Sunday, December 30, 2012

This has been the very best time off. I am still making things so I am quite content. I have not yet run out of inspiration. Zipper pouches are my latest sewing project. Neither one came out perfect. In fact the red one had to be opened up for me to redo one of the boxed corners. The pattern called for a handle, but I don't like handles on pouches this size. I thought the tab would look nice though. Red Pepper Quilts inspired me to start making these and I used the pattern from The Busy Bean like Ms. Hodge did. I still want to make a few that are sized for credit cards.

My friend and I went to a bead and yarn store in Collingswood, NJ (Jubilee) on Friday where I found these little charms and jump rings that I am using as zipper pulls. Gold would have probably worked out better on the red pouch, but I only purchased silver toned charms.

I am also knitting socks for TOMA's birthday.

I don't expect to have the second sock finished in time, but not too far beyond the deadline. They are 100% wool that was left over from a Swallowtail Shawl I made for myself; Araucania Natural Wool. I made the socks on #5 DPN at 6 stitches to the inch.

I have some more of this yarn in burgundy and intend to make a Penny Straker cabled vest for TOMA with it.

I have started working on the Cladonia Shawl (made with Madelinetosh yarn) again. I may have mentioned that I did not like the first row of lace that called for M1-s and YO-s next to each other so I decided to alter the row before that and do my increases in that row, which was knit all the way across. Then when I did the next row I knit the stitch that would have been the M1. Much better, I am 2 rows away from completing the lace pattern and see the shawl being finished soon.

I purchased some more Madelinetosh yarn as it is really beautiful and nice to work with. I usually don't like working with singles because it tends to wind back on itself while knitting, but not this yarn. This time I purchased Tosh light in a gorgeous hand painted purple that I cannot find on their site, so I assume this color is discontinued. I am going to make the Holden Shawlette (by Mindy Wilkes) with it. I found the pattern on Ravelry. The rule is that I have to finish Cladonia before starting Holden.

And the last project that I want to start is a top down yoke sweater. I purchased the Knitter's Hand Book of Top-Down Sweaters by Ann Budd on the last work day before Christmas. I was hanging out in the Barnes and Noble waiting for TOMA to get finished work (we were dismissed at 3:00 p.m.) and had a 25% off coupon burning a hole in my pocket. I have had some hand painted Brown Sheep yarn for years that would look great for this project.

I dug out a lot of yarn that I would like to knit up different things out of to either sell or give away as gifts.

Wishing you a happy & healthy New Year (Felice Anno Nuovo)!

Baci e abbracci

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Holiday Rush is Over... for me

This has been the most prolific time for me, even TOMA agrees, I was either knitting, sewing or even drawing non-stop during my time outside of the office for the last couple of months. I did not photograph everything, but here is an example of my new wrapping, which is super simple and I am quite fond of.

I purchased a pad of newsprint and some rubber stamps that were 50% off and whalla! instant scarf and sock wrappers. I still made a hand tag that I tie on with a ribbon, but you could write the care instructions on the wrapper and skip the hang tag. I was so intrigued with the wrap, I did not photograph the socks and scarf, but I was pleased with both. The socks were a basic pattern, but the scarf was kind of unique, and an original design. It was knit across the length rather than the width in garter with minimal stripes and an asymmetrical addition at one end that was knit in garter width-wise. Maybe I can get a picture in the future.

My other major project this season was a painting promised over 6 months ago. A friend commissioned me to paint a picture of his sister's home and as I have often said fear is the proponent of procrastination; I put it off as long as I could. I thought it would be nice for him to give her for the holidays and also wanted it off my "to-do" list, so I finally buckled down and got it done.

He was very pleased, so I was as well. I have not drawn anything since August and the drawings that I did over 3 months ago were a struggle with nothing turning out to my liking, so I was very worried that every stroke would be the one to mess up the whole thing. I even took off a half day from work to finish it. Architecture is not my thing, and I used a light box to get very loose lines of the building in for the perspective, but everything else--all details, foliage, etc. was done freehand and with some artistic license.

I also made a hat for TOMA using the Thank You Hat pattern from PurlBee. I will have to photograph it. I used Plymouth's Galway as I plan to make a few and the yarn called for in the pattern is expensive. Galway is a beautiful 100% wool yarn that comes in solids and tweeds--really reasonable at $8 per skein. I let TOMA pick the color and since I thought I would run out and only purchased one skein, I put stripes in the crown and shortened the height by 2 inches, which was fine as it has a very generous height, that I don't really like anyway. As it has a 4 inch, 2 x 4 ribbed fold, it is super warm and he loves it! It covers his ears down to the bottom of his lobes, which is how he likes his hats.

Now I am free to make what I want. Let's just hope the momentum continues now that there is no deadline pending.

Baci e abbracci

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The winner of the Alphabet Poster is

Comment number 16!
Penguin... my daughter really liked the penguins the first time we ever went to the zoo so I am now a penguin lover too.
Thank you to everyone who left a comment or visited my blog!

If you would still like a poster, I have 5 left in my Etsy shop. They will be on sale until New Year's for $25. 

Again, thank you for the lovely comments, and if you have a few extra dollars before the end of the year, please donate to your favorite animal charity! They always need your help and it is a tax deduction for you.

I hope you stop by again soon...  Baci e abbracci

PLEASE NOTE: I used the Random Generator with 44 entries. I do not know how to get the picture of the actual generator into my blog. The first entry was disqualified for the drawing as it was "anonymous" without an email address.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Give Away at Sew Mama Sew

I just found out about the Sew Mama Sew give away. I started reading the Sew Mama Sew blog again when I signed up for the free mini class on Bag Making Basics: Reversible Tote and Zipper Pouch and noticed that blogger Kristin Link was teaching the class. I was reminded of the inspirational blog Sew Mama Sew is and started reading it again (you can also find it on my sidebar). I thought it would be nice to participate in the giveaway as I have been fortunate enough to win a couple of prizes from different blogs and it is great fun!

I am giving away this open edition print signed by me, the artist. The image is 14" x 24" and is printed with permanent UV inks on heavy weight semi-mat (luster) paper. The original painting was completed using Dr. Ph. Martin's Watercolor Dyes, Sakura Micron pens and charcoal.

The poster will be rolled and shipped in a tube.

All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what your favorite animal is and why. If you live outside of the US, please enter the give away. I will ship internationally.

Thank you for visiting my blog. If this is your first time, please stop back as I hope to have lots of new things soon.

Baci e abbracci...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Best Parts of the Holiday Weekend, Part II

Although I finished these sachets during the week, I completed the machine sewing and stuffing within the holiday weekend. My cousin asked me to make a few for her to give as gifts: 3 for women, and 2 for men. I am giving her a choice by making an extra.

Hang tag

I am pretty pleased with the outcome and it was a good way to practice the technique I learned in Rayna Gillman's book.

Baci e abbracci...