Felted Forest Folk Giveaway!

I wish I could needle felt.  Remember my one attempt?  Well, my new friend Marie is a wonderful needle felter, and I might just have to hit her up for some lessons.  Over at New Zealand Handmade there's just 12 hours left to enter a giveaway of her adorable needle felted forest folk!

See Marie's  other creations at her Etsy store: Softearthart.


Knitted Socks

And finally!  A post about knitting.  Coming up to the end of May, I wanted to send my sister-in-law in Canada a birthday gift of lovely hand-knit socks.  I picked the Tyrolean Stockings pattern from an issue of Interweave Knits.  This first photo is the lovely example from the magazine.  Aren't they cute?  Don't they look comfy?

Well, I cast on and knit and knit and knit and knit for AGES.  And I tried the sock on every now and then.  And it seemed a little tight, but not too bad.  See, I was using yarn that was slightly heavier than the one called for, so I used needles slightly smaller to get gauge.  But it didn't quite even out right.  But I figured I have pretty big calves and pretty wide feed, so hopefully they'd fit my sister-in-law fine.  So I finished the first sock and was ecstatic!

Then I had to make the second one.  What a drag!  So I sped through it, never stopping to try it on, and apparently I knew the pattern much better and was working so fast through it that my gauge was even tighter and the second sock ended up about half an inch shorter than the first!  Yikes.  So I pulled it back to the heel and tried knitting looser, which worked to even it out a bit.  But even then my socks were a bit of a disaster.  I can just barely, with mighty struggling, just barely get them on.  And they cut off my circulation.  Not comfy at all.  :(

The leg part, though, actually fits my 6-year-old daughter quite nicely.  So my plan now is to shorten the foot part by a few inches, and she'll hopefully wear them through the winter.  And I ended up buying my sister-in-law a lovely locally made merino wool shirt from Soma which will definitely fit her fine.

Here are the finished stockings, modeled by my daughter.
 See how nicely they fit her calves?  They do look cozy on her.
But currently the feet are still too long.  So I can't yet put these in the Finished Objects pile.


Another non-knitting post

I swear!!!  I have been knitting.  But this is my other most recently finished project, so I really want to share it.

I had a new baby niece being born in the chilly depths of the South Island of New Zealand, so I thought what would warm her better than a heavy crocheted wool blanket.

Still being a crochet newbie, I used this simple pattern from this book I got out at the library: Cute Crochet for Tiny Tots: 25 Modern Designs for Babies and ToddlersThe book is decent, the patterns are pretty basic, but that's good enough for me right now.  Sometimes you just want a simple project, right?

Sorry for the darkness of the photos, I forgot to brighten them before uploading, and I can't be bothered doing it now.  Anyways, the yarn is 2 parts o-wool organic merino (the green and purple) and 1 part Henry's Attic Gaia organic merino.  The Gaia is slightly heavier weight than the o-wool, but it worked out okay.  I followed the pattern exactly, and it took just slightly over 1 skein each of the o-wool, and just under 1 of the big skeins of Gaia.

Crocheting is wonderful for blankets, first because it's so fast, but also because the fabric it makes is twice as thick as most knitted fabrics, so the blankets end up super heavy and extra warm.  So just beware, you end up using a LOT of yarn on even little baby blankets.


New Zealand Handmade

I know I said there'd be knitting in this, my next post.   But I lied.  Instead I'd like to introduce you all to a new group effort I'm a part of: New Zealand Handmade!  It's a site and blog dedicated to promoting hand crafted item from this corner of the world.  I just made my first post over there, a crochet tutorial, so check it out!


New look, new start

Hey! It's about time for a new post.  Since it's been so long, and so much has changed in my life, I decided to change up the look around here.

And I have been knitting!  So let's start with that.

I finally FINALLY finished the seed stitch bag I started way back in 2006.

It looks about the same, right?  I had actually finished all the knitting way back when, I just wanted to line it (and bead it but I decided not to do that in the end).  So I never did the actual finishing work.  But having bought a cool old sewing machine, I had the motivation to kick this WIP to the FO pile.

And the lining turned out great!

I used the tutorial over here. Worked out perfect!

Okay this doesn't count as knitting, since I only sewed, but I'll get to some of my knitting in the next post.