Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Why Did I Learn To Knit?

For part of my Ravelry Swap group there will be bi-weekly questions to let our Spoilers know more about us. This time the question is: Why did you learn to knit?

I learned to knit the basics from my momma. She had knit off and on while I was growing up and I'm not entirely sure what pushed me to first ask her, maybe she knows? Anyways, I was probably about 9 or 10 and she gave me some yellow cotton yarn and some wooden needles and that was that.

I continued learning because, for whatever reason, the technique clicked with me. And the opportunities to learn more and more about the craft, new textures, new shapes, new fibers, all of it was just so inspiring. From there I mostly taught myself, and to this day I teach myself new things and I make my own designs.

So my question to you is: Why haven't you learned to knit?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Panda

My Samoyed Panda participated in all the holiday cheer this year. He tried to make sure that he was always in the middle of all the action and didn't want anyone to forget that he was there as if his presence was the only reason to celebrate hehe. Here are some pictures of him that I took during the Christmas festivities.

The bow just adds to his charm:

Just the happiest puppy ever!

Here he is looking regal and intelligent (both of which are characteristics completely lost to the poor dog)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Goodies!

Finally I get to show you all what I got for everyone for Christmas! I couldn't post about it earlier because some of the people I got gifts for check my blog regularly, but now I can show you!

I vowed at the beginning of my shopping season to do all of my shopping on Etsy, and I stuck with it! As my family is fairly small, I couldn't buy from all of the Etsy sellers, but I tried to support as many as I could.

For my mom, I got some custom stitch markers from WeeOnes...
and a custom ornament from TheMagicSleigh:

I got some custom coasters for my dad from swilhoit:

My little brother received a tshirt from mediumcontrol:

My older brother got a custom painting from javachip:

I got some great gifts myself, a box to organize my knitting notions (this zip lock bag was just not cutting it!), a CD by Holly Brook, a neato torpedo votive candle holder with the Hindu God Gamesha, some DVDs, and of course, like any college student wants, some food and money for food. So all in all, I had a great Christmas :D I hope all the rest of you did as well, and in the coming days I will post some pictures of my family and my gifts.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Closer Than It Appears

So with the coming of Christmas and soon thereafter the New Year, much change is upon us. Not only in the US with our new President, but all over the world!

I really wish I could write a lengthy, inspirational post, but I think I will just say that I hope you all have a very happy Holiday season, remember your blessings, and don't forget that there is always hope.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Custom Cross with Roses

This weekend I had another request for a last-minute Christmas present. The gent wanted a cross for his mother. I hadn't done this before, but it actually was kind of fun!

I put a vine of roses (roses do grow on vines don't they?) wrapping around the cross all the way up and at the top was a sign reading INRI. There is a small loop at the top so this cross can be hung on the wall.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Truffles, Mice and Cookies

So last night, in lieu of studying for my last final which I took this morning, I made some truffles, chocolate mice and chocolate chip cookies. And right now I am preparing to make some chocolate marshmallow bark.

The process took longer than it would have had I owned an egg beater, but I made due and given the circumstances, it was probably better for me to just take my time and get my mind off of my rough day. I mixed up some cream cheese, powdered sugar, melted chocolate and vanilla to make the truffles then after they sat in the fridge for a while I rolled them into balls and rolled half the balls in powdered sugar and have in cocoa powder.

The mice were made from a simple mixture of chocolate, sour cream and cookie crumbs (which were actually chocolate graham cracker crumbs). After being rolled in cocoa powder and more crumbs the ears were put in place. I kinda feel like these look more like little turds with ears than actual mice, but perhaps if they had tails and faces I would feel differently?

The cookie dough was delicious and after stuffing my face with the raw stuff I put the cookies in the oven only to have them all melt into each other. Oh well, this way they make cooler shapes and they are still soft and gooey. Next time I'll use a bit more flower.

This weekend its off to Taos to go snowboarding and spend some time with my family in Los Alamos, then who knows, work, Christmas, knitting.

Ah The Therapy of Baking

and of making truffles. It is amazing how therapeutic making delicious desserts with a deadly amount of chocolate can be for the heart. Chocolate chip cookies, truffles, mice, enough chocolate to melt the hearts of the likes of Hilter, Sadam, and my high school Physics teacher. Pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Green and Black Knucks

These are the coolest knucks I think I've made, maybe I'm just partial to the colors :) These are a custom order for a friend as a Christmas gift.

They took me a little longer to make than they should have because I was swamped with school work (the semester is winding down and finals are this week) and I also became fairly ill, but here they are, all completed and warm and wonderful!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holiday Stocking Stuffers from Etsyknitters Team!

It's not too late to get those last minute stocking stuffers for your deserving (or otherwise) family! Here are a few adorable choices from fellow Etsyknitters:

This adorable Sir Hamlet Cuff/Armpocket from OhMay would be the cutest little gift for that animal lover (or pig)

How cute is this little Mouse Hat from ElleGanT?!

All of the super cute earflap hats in BabbidgePatch's store are too die for, and this skunk one is perfect for your little stinker!
And don't forget about all the other Etsyknitter's Team members out there that haven't been mentioned here, all of them have wonderful, high quality pieces in their shops :)

Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ravelry Swap! And basically a little more about me...

Hi everyone, I have decided to do my first Ravelry Swap! This should be a fun experience and to start off the swap to give my pal some information about me I am going to answer a few questions for them that have been posted in the group.

Do you knit or crochet, or both? How long have you been at the craft?

I knit, I have tried crochet and can crochet a few simple things but not the complex things I can knit. So I mainly stick to knitting. I've been knitting for about ten years, my momma taught me when I was about 9 or 10.

Do you spin?

I have recently (within the last three months) taught myself to spin using a basic drop spindle.

What yarns/fibers are your favorites?

Oh boy, I like so many of them! I mostly just like anything that is soft and in beautiful colors.

What yarns/fibers do you not like?

I am not a big fan of chenille....but I think that's the only fiber I make sure to steer clear from.

What yarns/fibers would you like to try but haven’t?

I'd love to try to spin some fibers that aren't wool, as I've spun only wool since I first learned, but knitting-wise....I haven't knit with silk too much, that might be fun.

What are your favorite colors? Colors that you don’t like?

Colors, all of them! Except probably pink, I don't really like pink but I do have some because my customers like it...

What are your favorite types of projects to knit/crochet?

Honestly, I like all of them. I haven't come across any projects that I absolutely loathed.

What are you currently working on?

Right this moment I am working on a pair of knucks for a custom order as well as trying to finish up some Christmas presents for friends and family.

What is your favorite FO? (Please post a picture if you have one.)

I suppose I would have to say my every day bag, because I use it every day...I'll see if I can dig up a picture...

Are there any techniques that you want to learn?

Oh yes! Always, I love learning new things! I'd love to learn how to crochet even better, I'd love to learn how to dye yarns (and have the space to do so), I'm always up for learning new stitches, new textures, new anything and everything :)

Do you have a yarn winder and/or swift?

Sadly, I do not, at least not yet. When I am more permanently established somewhere I would love to finally get one!

How do you store your needles/hooks?

I store my needles, hooks, etc in this super cool organizer case from lenabrowndesignsDo you collect anything?

I have an unnatural fondness of elephants and have all kinds of elephant paraphernalia around, even a tattoo on my back. Also I collect yarn hehe, like any natural fiber addict!

Do you like sweets?

Oh yes, but who doesn't?

What are your favorite scents?

I really like anything citrus-y, as well as the basic but calming vanilla, lavender, patchouli, sandalwood, and dragon's blood.

Are you having a birthday during this swap?

I am not, my birthday has passed already, but wouldn't that be fun?

What is your living situation (Are you married? Do you have kids, pets, or both?)

I currently live with my boyfriend and our hamster, Delilah and our Samoyed, Panda.

Are you allergic to anything?

As far as I can tell, I'm only allergic to cruel people and school work.

Is there anything else that you would like your pal to know?

I suppose I could let my pal know that I am a college student and plan on getting my Associates Degree in May, 2009.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Small Ways You Can Save a Little Green

Don't we all need just a little extra cash these days? I know I do, college sure is the money-suck. Here are super cool, easy, sneaky ways you can save a little dough here and there, and hey, even if its just a few cents, every little bit counts, it all adds up. Some of these were found in the Etsy Forums, and some are just little ways I, and my peers, save some every day.

  • Wash clothes in cold water, not only does it help them retain their color, size and shape, it lowers the cost of gas
  • Wear jeans twice before washing them (unless you go out skipping in the mud and make a slip n' slide out of banana peels)
  • Make slightly bigger dinners so that you have leftovers, leftovers for lunch will prevent the allure of fast food which isn't actually cheaper than bringing your own lunch
  • Set the thermostat a degree lower every day, you won't realize that its colder, and if you do feel chilly, layer up with sweaters and blankets (besides, a cold room is a great excuse for snuggling)
  • Save all your change, even the pennies, and put in your savings account when the jar is full or too heavy to carry
  • NEVER go to the grocery store hungry, this is probably the number 1 way to come home with more than you expected
  • If possible, shop at a Trader Joe's, or local farmers' market - considerably healthier food for half the price, supports local economy
  • Who really needs the name brand cereal? The store brand tastes the same, costs a fraction of the price.
  • Use household items for cleaners instead of the toxic and expensive ones you can find at the store
    • Lemons, vinegar, water and maybe some alcohol is all you really need to clean anything in your home
  • Walk or ride your bike wherever possible, gas is still expensive and most cars are still bad for the environment
  • When you do have to drive, avoid using the heater or air conditioner, these use up your gas more quickly. Just bring in extra sweater if its cold, or roll down the window if its hot
If you have anymore ideas, please leave them in a comment to this post!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Rasta Beret Pattern

So my friend Miriam pretty much brings out some of my best hats. She tells me what she wants, or at least an idea of it, and lets me be creative with the rest.

Our latest brain child was this totally awesome, super soft, very warm slouchy-rasta-beanie-beret. It is knit with two strands, one merino and one soft fuzzy acrylic held together throughout in 3 different colors of each. It is loose and warm and a relatively easy project.

Those beginning knitters out there who have mastered scarves and basic beanies would enjoy this pattern because it is still easy with minimal shaping, but is beyond the basics. Advanced knitters would also enjoy this project because it is not complicated and would provide a needed break from the more time-intensive pieces they have done.

The pattern can be found here. Once purchased I will send it as an attachment to your desired email address.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Coming Soon!

I have another pair of baby booties and matching hat coming soon to my shop!

So far, the booties have been completed. The set is knit out of a recycled mix of white and red wool, they look like candy canes had a love child. It is very soft and very warm, and the colors are great for this time of year what with parties and other social functions that all the hip babies today attend.

The booties are about 5 inches long and should fit munchkins up to a full year old! Why not pick these up for your favorite little one?
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