Friday, December 24, 2010


The elves have knocked off early here. Craftmas activities have subsided. The last delivery was made yesterday. Provisions for a cozy weekend by the fireplace are in place. Plenty of food options were gathered (chicken soup for the elf with a cold), sufficient wood for the fireplace, digital connections tested and secured---what more could these elves ask for?

World peace, first. Second, that our families were just minutes away and not transcontinental plane rides away.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

knitting and shrinking things

For my birthday in October, I received a really cool project bag that a friend knit, felted (technically, the term is "fulled") and filled with a skein of yarn from her stash that I coveted. She included several really helpful knitting accessories which I put to good use right away. Aside from being a great gift it was also an inspiration. Thank you Cheryl! (If you're interested the pattern is available here.)

It started me thinking about my felted knit experiments from last winter. (Don't worry I'm not making slippers again!) I dug them out from their secure location in the garage and they spawned more knitting and shrinking experiments.

First, I was compelled to make a cover for my iPod. Covering it in wool was more important than actually mastering the use of it. When I acquired it in a birthday frenzy there were no lime green covers at the Apple store! I know, how could that happen? Under pressure, I selected a turquoise and orange cover which I now think is probably for a Miami Dolphins fan (I'm not even sure what sport they play, but I do know where Miami is.) That's beside the point.

I had an acorn design in mind and thought that making an aCorn for my iPod was just oh so funny! I knit a pile of acorn samples, using knitting techniques from sock and hat constructions. It took several generations to determine what gauge knitting would work with the fulling process to create the fabric I was looking for.
They're not all candidates for iPod covers and as yet there is no truly lime green sample, but there are several combo's I like.

The one that did become the iCozy was from the first generation of samples. I knit it's acorn cap with a buttonhole for one of my buttons. Found the perfect thread, maybe too perfect, and constructed the button.

Stuck it on and decided that I needed to search in my vintage buttons for an alternative to the perfectly matched thread that rendered it unseeable.

Vintage won! Ta dah! The winning iCozy combo!

I'm writing a recipe to knit an iCozy. Takes almost no yarn. It's quick to knit. And most importantly, it's fun to intentionally shrink your knitting! It is adaptable in the felting/fulling stage to fit similiar mobile devices. Hope to post it soon, but I've got more knitting and shrinking projects in the works too!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

ruby red





Glorious ruby red beads decorate our Korean Ash in today's light-

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

is it really Dec 1?

I've been reminded by friends that I haven't posted since May! May 2010? Are you sure?

I know you have all missed reading my kitchen appliance rants. But this Thanksgiving went off without a hitch, because I tricked my oven. I turned it on Wednesday morning and didn't turn it off until the last item was baked Wednesday evening! I'm pretty sure there's a code in the computer of this Kitchenaid range that prompts random holiday crisis. Thanksgiving Eve 2010 was not on the list, thankfully!

The report I have to make today is in the local interest category. When I was on the road a couple of months ago I reset my Google news headline thingie to my own zip code on my laptop. I'm still surprised by Calverton headlines when I open the Google news page(duh!). Just before Thanksgiving there was a headline leading to an article about the Kent Animal Shelter needing donations for the winter.

I'm a dog lover. Last Fall we lost our all-time favorite boy, a lab/mystery mix, Louie (our all-time favorite boy in his weight category--just have to qualify that for our beloved Archie, in the miniature category). He was a rescue dog. A pain in the butt for the first year we had him, but he turned out to be our best dog ever. When I became aware of the needs of the local shelter I was determined to do something for their homeless dogs and cats.

I read the Kent Shelter list and decided to venture out on Black Friday to see what I could do. The last place I would have imagined I'd be on any Friday morning would be at Walmart, but towels were on the list and theirs were a great deal. The place was not the retail nightmare I thought it would be at 7 am, so I was able to score a shopping cart full of towels while everyone else was loading their carts with whatever the electronic thing is this year.

Inspired by the tower of towels success I headed for Joann's to buy polyester quilt batting to make dog blankets. My collection of flannel includes lots of colorways, prints and plaids that are never going to become logs for my etsy shop, but would make great blankets for dogs! Polyester quilt batting secured and a bolt of dog bone polar fleece that could be blankets too (without any sewing!)and some yarn and I was good to go. (Yarn on the brain, just can't pass up a good deal on Paton's classic merino for felting projects, but that's another story.)

Sewed up several blankets over the last few days and made my delivery to Kent Animal Shelter this afternoon. It made me think about Louie and how lucky we were to have him in our lives if only for a short while. There will be more blankets. I've hardly made a dent in my second string flannels and there are always more Joann's coupons arriving in the mail weekly.

If you're a local animal lover and have a chance to click on the Kent Animal Shelter link, there maybe something you could contribute too.