2012 FO Round-up

I only finished 15 17 knitted, crocheted or sewn objects this year, and none of them sweaters!

basket for mom silvery scarf The orange ruffles were for Kristi, apparently binary cable hat Mug and Coffee Carafe Cozy set Annis FInished Memorable Yarn bag Snowball likes it! Yarmulkes for sale! It's Warm baby zg's bunny Finished Fitted Mitts crown for tyrion my jogless jog Finished chemo stripes teacher gifts Gingerbread house ornament

I’m noticing that only two of them are for me (the binary cable hat and the tapestry cowl) and I can’t find one of those two (the hat). Darn. I think that’s because I knit two shawl/scarf things that ended up being for other people (lintilla and annis) even though I thought they were going to be for me. Also, I have several sweaters on the needles for myself but none of them are getting finished.

The last two items pictured never got shown off here. I made bird ornaments for my children’s teachers.

teacher gifts

And a cute (if I must say so myself) gingerbread house ornament for a friend.

Gingerbread house ornament

I really like they way they all turned out. I wish I had set aside more time in December for sewing ornaments. Next year! (Maybe.)

I attempted to calculate the yardage of yarn currently in my stash but my spreadsheet program and Google docs both refused to read the file that Ravelry exports. I’m going to say that’s the universe telling me that I don’t need to know. I’m actually glad because 2012 was supposed to be my year of not buying yarn except at Stitches and I know I didn’t stick to that. Also, I didn’t finish many projects and no sweaters so that means not a lot of yarn leaving. Let’s just agree that I probably have too much yarn and leave it at that.


christmas means no craft pictures

Actually, I have one craft picture you can see: a craft I messed up. I was going to make these whimsical quilted notecards as Christmas gifts. So easy! So cute! So “You really can’t mess these up.” according to the description. I proved them wrong.

yes, you can mess this up

Instead I made something from the book I mentioned in the previous post. A couple somethings, actually, but I haven’t given them away yet, so you can’t see them.

Instead, enjoy my cookies. I made one of my favorites: Double Ginger Crinkles. I actually mixed the dough up a couple of days ago and it was waiting patiently in the refrigerator. Today it was ready for the big time!

First it got rolled into balls.

ready to roll

Then the balls were rolled in sugar spiced with ginger and allspice.

mmm, sugary

Lined up neatly on the baking sheet.

all lined up

And baked until they puff up and then crinkle back down.

don't eat them all at once!

These cookies are delicious, trust me. Or you could make them yourself and find out.

Double Ginger Crinkles
From Washington Post 12/1/99
makes 3 doz. cookies (I get more than this, maybe mine are too small)
2 cups plus 2 Tblsp flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
3/4 cup veg. shortening (I use Spectrum organic, nonhydrogenated)
3/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup unsulphered molasses
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup packed chopped crystallized ginger
1 1/4 cups sugar blended with
    1/4 tsp ground ginger and
    1/8 tsp ground allspice
(I only used 1/2 cup of sugar for the rolling – with the usual spices – and I still had sugar leftover. Go figure.)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Set Aside

In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the shortening for 2 minutes. Add the sugar in 2 additions, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the eggs. Blend in the molasses and vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions, beating just until the flour is incorporated after each addition. Stir in the crystallized ginger. The dough will be very soft. Cover tightly and refrigerate until firm enough to handle, 3 to 4 hours. (If necessary, transfer the dough to freezer until firm, about 1 hours.)

Preheat oven to 375. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

Form the dough into balls of about 1 Tblsp. Roll each ball in the ginger-sugar mixture and then place them 3-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake the cookies for 12 to 13 minutes or until set. During baking the cookies will puff, then deflate and form crinkled surfaces. Cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight tin.

sometimes it’s hard not to knit with wool

Cookie, Teenuh, Mairead, Juls and I visited A Verb for Keeping Warm today. The shop is gorgeous but, sadly, most filled with wool. Gorgeous natural dyed wool…

Covetable Wool

…but wool nonetheless. There was some lovely laceweight silk and tussah silk too but the colors are never as vibrant in silks and I wasn’t really in the market for laceweight.

I got a book, though: Fa la la la, Felt. I see some felty Christmas stuff in my future.

NaBloPoMo Day 24: almost lost sweater, flowers, quilt squares

I thought I lost my Anhinga. Those of you who have been reading my blog long enough probably remember it as the sweater I was working on last November when I thought I could make it through NaNoSweMo, National Sweater Knitting Month. I didn’t finish it in November but did around Stitches this year and love it. I was very sad for a few days because I wasn’t sure where it had gone. I found it though, so crisis averted!

This morning I noticed that Stefan’s Narcissus which he planted at preschool is blooming.

Stefan's Narcissus

Isn’t it pretty?

This evening I did the, um, clean up work on the quilt squares from the kids in Arts Focus. I had to put together quite a few of them but the kids had at least started. Part of me feels guilty for changing their work but the rest of me can’t stand to have them sewn together backwards or what not. Ah, perfectionism.

Kid Quilt Blocks

There are enough blue squares for one quilt and the other will be a mix of the reds and greens. Given the time of year I have this odd feeling that I’m making a Hannukah quilt and a Christmas Quilt. I don’t think they’ll turn out that way at all but it amuses me that the colors ended up that way.

NaBloPoMo Day 13: in which I sew an apron

My friend Tina hosted a sewing day today. When I arrived at her house, not feeling very motivated, Tina was on the couch and Jill was knitting. It looked like we were all on the same page. Jill, however, had an adorable hand sewing project: a felt Christmas stocking decorated with sequins and embroidered presents. Tina had some placemats she was working on, but it took her a while to get going too. Before doing anything, Jill and I snuck out to Peet’s and I got a large latte (read: three shots of espresso) and that sure helped me get going!

I brought the Sew What? Skirts book that I had taken out of the library, intending to make the wrap skirt in there. I called my mom earlier in the week asking if she had any spare fabric I could buy off of her. (My mom is a quilter, she called me back and said, “Do I have two yards of fabric??” in the same tone that someone asks, “Is the Pope Catholic??”) She had some black cotton and a purple and blue flower print that feels like rayon. I was going to use the rayon one for the skirt but got sidetracked by an apron pattern that Linda brought and I ended up making that with the black.

It’s supposed to have ruffles but I left them off. That vexed Linda a bit but I just let her be vexed.

unruffled apron

The whole reason I wanted to make an apron is that I hate the way regular aprons feel around my neck. My, um, anatomy is such that the front gets pulled down and strap chokes me and I hate it, so I don’t wear them and then all of my clothes have splattered stains from cooking. This one had ingenious straps that won’t choke me!

ingenious straps

I didn’t measure it but I used about two yards of the black and I think there is at least twice that left. If my mom doesn’t want it back, I might still make a skirt from it, although I still want to try making the wrap skirt from the other. I’m not sure when that will happen though. Maybe after my classes are over. I still have a pattern for pajamas that I want to use for my boys for their Christmas Eve pajamas this year. I need to find time to go buy cute flannel when they aren’t with me. I think I’ll be able to find that time more easily than I’ll find sewing time!

reversible tote

I made another bag with that same fabric. This time I made a reversible tote bag with pockets.

reversible totereversible tote

I like the blue better on the outside, but the brown would be more practical and less likely to get dirty. Decisons decisions!

I also made a reversible project bag with this fabric but it didn't turn out as nicely as I'd hoped. I need to redo the casing for the drawstring on that one, I think. I have some other fabric (I know, shocking!) from Bobbin's Nest Studio to make another project bag. I may have to start giving these away or they're going to take over my house. Okay, I'm not making them that fast.

In knitting news: I'm still working on my Slipstream Pullover. I have sewn the pieces together and picked up for one side of the neckband but I'm not pleased with the way it's going to look if I do it the way the pattern suggests so I'm going to try to do the neckband a different way. Then it's the side panels, all the ends, and I'm done! Okay, I'm not really near done but I am making progress.

Sewing is so much faster.

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another bag

I sewed a little drawstring bag for one of Niels' friends for her birthday. We put her Pokemon book in it instead of wrapping it up. I altered the bag so that the ties come out both sides but I forgot that when you do that you actually need two full length ties, not just knots on each end. Oops. I have fabric cut out to make one for myself. I think it would make a cute project bag.

I also have enough of the two fabrics to make a reversible tote for myself from the same book. I realized, though, that I haven't even thought of prewashing the fabrics. I probably should have done that.

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This morning I went and helped to set up the Textiles portion of the kids' art show at City Hall. We hung two of the quilts from the banister and I think it looks really cool.

quilts at the art showquilts at the art show

The other two hung on the panels with the other various projects that we did. That worked out well, I think, because the two on the panels are the ones with more quilting on them, which would be hard to see if they were up high.

quilts at the art showquilts at the art showvarious textiles mediavarious textiles media

I love the way we hang up the dyed silk circles. It's like stained glass.

This afternoon I went over to Purlescence to get something and I must have had sewing on the brain because I came home with a sewing book.

Then I made this:

Which Stefan liked.

Then I went to JoAnn and bought some more fabric to make one for Niels' friend who is having a birthday this weekend as well as a reversible tote for myself. I guess I'm officially sewing stuff now. We'll see if it sticks this time or if I send the sewing machine back to Mom and forget about it until next fall.

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not knitting, but finishing!

It's not that I have been knitting, I have. I'm working on Mingus, by Cookie, but I'm doing them toe up. Just since this is a knitting blog, I'll give you a quick peek at them. It's not terribly exciting. Actually, they're much farther along than this now, I just haven't taken any more photos.

They're panda cotton on size 1s. I just ordered some of the smaller size 1s (2.25 mm?) to try with this yarn. I wonder if it will be better, it's a pretty thin yarn.

Okay, so the knitting is out of the way, now I can talk about what I made today: an Amy Butler Frenchy Bag.

I think it turned out super cute. It's not perfect, but that's life, as Niels' kindergarten teacher has taught him to say when he can't get what he wants. I didn't use Amy Butler fabrics. These are some other "name" fabrics, but I can't remember which. I got the fabrics and the pattern at Bobbins Nest Studio and the interfacing and magnetic snap cam from Eddies. I made the handbag size but put on a not-quite-shoulder bag length strap (I didn't have enough fabric for a full shoulder length strap due to a cutting mistake). It's the perfect length, though, it fits over my shoulder nicely.

I think if I make another (and I might, in the shoulder bag size) I would use the decorator fabrics and sew down the middle of at least one of the pockets to give a smaller pocket option and also to keep them from flopping open quite so much.

Those lining dots could give you a seizure, eh? God thi

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