Wednesday, January 28, 2009

hats, hats, hats



I've been on a hat-knitting bender. Here's one patiently modelled by my son. Look at that shaggy hair. I can't bear to cut it. It actually looks sweet without a hat on.

Anyway.

I love how the hat yarn stripes on its own.



I knit this hat after I learned how to rib. Aren't the colours great? For a sweet red-headed eight year old boy in Cape Breton.

Further evidence I've gone knit-nuts. Here's some yarn.




This brown stuff (sorry about photo, what's up with my iphoto? argh) is yarn for a cozy tam for my DH's aunt in New Brunswick.






(Will someone help me mail my finished projects? I'm so bad at getting down to mailing...I have several completed hats sitting on the piano near the door.)





Here's an almost-completed tam. My own design. If you want to call winging it a "design".




My son's new scarf made of scrap yarn. A few mistakes in the ribs...try to ignore that part.



xo
ella

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

quilty gift cushions and making new knitty friends




This past fall I took a quilting workshop at the workroom. "presto nine patch" with Johannam which was so much fun. At the time I asked my dear MIL to come give an opinion on my colour selection, which she did. It was so much fun I asked her if I could make her some quilted cushions, and she proceeded to choose nine fat quarters she loved.
These are the cushions, finally, given for Christmas. I'm happy with them. They're not my colour combo cup of tea -- they're a funny kind of custom gift. I would like to have placed the horses a little more artfully but the thrifty sewer in me uses as little as possible of the fabric -- so that gets in the way sometimes, when I'm choosing tidbits for quilting. This is one such time. However, I love the way they washed up and shrunk. I stitched in the ditch, nothing fancy, and backed them with leftover fat quarter fabric.



Today it's sunny, cold, and I'm working at home. Next to me is my knitting, I pick it up and knit a few stitches as I think. It's amazing how much I can knit and still work! At the moment I'm working on a crazy improvised project which I will call a "Buttercup Vest". It's for my daughter (3) and yellow is her favourite colour, as I have mentioned before if you visit me here. My mum gave me some Tanis yarn in yellow for my birthday (39 again! woo hoo) so I'm knitting that up into a sort of vest with a crazy ruffle at the bottom. I'm up to the underarms...wish me luck. I've only ever made hats and scarves before....I just signed up for Ravelry (a brilliant knitting site) and you can find me -- and hours of procrastination -- there. Not many pics yet -- too busy these days.

Last night I took my first knitting class at "lettuce Linkknits" here in Toronto. Kensington Market, to be exact. The teacher, Kate, was fantastic, really sharp. It was two hours of learning the secret of knitting cables. I highly recommend this class. Tons of peaceful fun. I connected with a couple of fellow students and wonder if I should stalk them to the February Lady Sweater class they're signed up for. Am I crazy? Do you have the same difficulty finding craft soul mates as I do? I feel a bit alone here...thus the blog. I was never good at "dating". I just, well, fell into things. Which all worked out. But friends -- it's funny. There was a Seinfeld episode about finding friends, double-dating with couples, I think. Like -- who are our "couple friends". Weird. I mean, we meet friends at school, mothers of children. Share years of growth. We haven't chosen those friends but we have so much in common a kinship is easy. Do people in middle ages make new friends?



My mother is a brilliant example to me, actually. She is constantly making and keeping new friends. She doesn't judge. She's in her sixties, and just graduated from art school with her degree. She hung out with twenty-year-olds and made friends there. Isn't that amazing? Student friends of hers still write to her from around the world.

I learned long ago I didn't inherit that trait. I'm too shy and/or curmudgeonly. It takes a while for me to warm up.

All that said...(whew, confession time of what, sheesh) I wonder if I should ask these knitting ladies out for coffee. Of course I am not forgetting my talented blog friends at 13 mimosa and ricrac, for example

I might sign up for sweater class yet. Here's the link to lettuce.




Friday, January 23, 2009

soft baby book, a trivet pad, & michelle's outfit


Good morning. This is the back of a soft book made of retro quilting fabric, as per their instructions. I made it for my baby nephew for Christmas. Though I understand he's running all over the place and may not have time to stop and read yet.



And this for his mum. A hot pad, quilted with Insulbrite so she can put a scalding pot on the table. Who does that? Here's yer mashed grits, y'all -- grab a spoon!

Okay, I so do not know what it's like in the south but I think I just insulted half of America. (Sorry, folks, I am obsessed with Louisiana due to my True Blood kick. I'm on ep 9. And finished knitting the following: hat, hat, hat, scarf, scarf, half a hat. Someday when I am not so crazy busy here at home with a tough writing schedule I will post pics of the stuff.)

So. America. What about the first lady's inaugeral outfit! Yes, yes, yes. Gold, pashmina, silk, OLIVE gloves...I mean, did you love it? I loved it. Those teal shoes were brave, too! Gutsy! What did you think?






xo
ella

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

my other bike is a harley



Another quick catch-up on Christmas gift post while I listen to CBC R3-30 and work here at home....

Here's a t-shirt I embroidered for a sweet, funny guy I know, who has a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Old school handlebars and stuff. It's scary -- thinking of him on a bike -- but then he's a danger-loving guy. I'll say no more. Top secret. He's a softie on the inside...so I made him this.

And I made this for a beloved cool chick family member...like I said, I was crazy about olive green this Christmas. It's applique, embroidery, this and that...


Have a great day.

p.s. Thanks, 13mimosa, for the shout-out. Enjoy True Blood...it's not scary...it's full of....

uh.....S....E.....X......

Ahem.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Happy January / Twisted Sister


Hi, y'all. I've been saying "y'all" since I have gotten suckered into watching True Blood on HBO. Addictive stuff. I knit and watch TV. It can lead to problems.

That, and using circular needles for the first time to knit a "Noro Capelet". Because...uh...the yarns was COMPLETELY TWISTED and I knitted it for ages...me: "la li la"....{no idea}..."oooh, it's getting longer....loo li loo....oh, I should straighten it out to see how long it is...hmmm..how do I twist this flat? uh...no, that doesn't work.......hang on....no, it couldn't be....uh.....what the...I KNITTED IN A TWIST???!!"

Ahem.

Yup. Here's the evidence. (Excuse totally erratic settings and light...light's been lousy. Winter. Pheh.)


And for a day or so I thought maybe I could learn to like it as some kind of neckwarmer. Tres chic?
No.

Tres clown.

So.

I UNDID all the knitting. And started again, (obsessively) making sure my yarn wasn't twisted.

Lesson learned.

I'll show you the "good" one sometime soon.




Anyway.

*** knitting versus sewing ***

I am TOTALLY obsessed with knitting right now. Are you? I am! Possessed! I discovered Ravelry, also. Uh oh. I mean, a big uh-oh, there goes all my time. It's so ZEN. Yet fun. The colours. The soft yarns...and chunky knitwear is so hot right now.

Anyhoo, back to sewing for a moment.

Here is a Christmas gift I can now show you. It was a hit.



Table runner for folks-in-law.


I'm not sure why, but the colour olive was clearly my fave this Christmas.

This was inspired by the Purl Bee table runner but I didn't have the desire to do applique. Instead I made a little quilt using Insulbrite.


(Picture shows it after being unwrapped and unfolded at Xmas. Thus the wrinkles. Normally it lays perfectly flat. Gotta trust me on that one.)

Top is Kokka and linen, bottom is stuff I've had since the 80s! Can you believe that? The runner is about 36 or 40" long and about 16" wide. It was immediately used for hot servers at Christmas. Yay!


I basically made an Insulbrite quilt sandwich, sewed wavy lines along the centre strip, straight lines along the linen, made a bias strip for edges -- no wait, it wasn't bias. It was straight. But I DID get a bias-tape maker for Christmas -- thanks, Mum! So I sewed the edges on with little folds. Not mitered.

You like?

I've got an even sweeter quiltier one in the works for our house. But I've been all about the knitting. Sort of a crafty A.D.D. situation. Right now I'm knitting a tam that looks more like a sweater. It's all good, baby.


xo
ella