Friday, January 3, 2014

Friday Mishmash

Now that Christmas is over and gifts have been opened, I can show you a few knitting things that I worked on over the last couple of months.  Here's a hat I made for my mom - I loved the Boardwalk pattern so much and got so many compliments on the first hat I made that I wanted to make her one.  I used Madelinetosh DK yarn in Tart colorway, which is just so pretty - not a usual color for mom (or me, for that matter) but I was drawn to it and decided that she needed a hat in that color:
 
I love how intricate the design looks, plus the color is so festive!

I also made an ear warmer for my niece Theresa - hopefully this will fit under her bike helmet so she won't freeze to death (my slight exaggeration) when she rides to school:
I used my Malabrigo Twist yarn in Indicieta colorway - I had some leftover after I made my fingerless mitts and thought this would be a good match.  The earwarmer came out so soft and squishy - I love it, and may have to make another one for myself!

For Barbara, I made a felted bowl - she's been redecorating her family room, and I wanted to make something that would go with her beach/ocean/sky color theme. Plus, the idea of felting something fascinated me - basically, you knit something using 100% wool yarn, on big needles, in a bit of a comically-large size, and then you wash it in a top-loader washing machine (you need the agitator) using hot water, and the piece shrinks and the stitches melt/felt together.  My running/knitting friend Stephanie offered her washing machine for me to use, so last Friday afternoon I went over to her house and watched the magic happen.  The bowl started out looking like this:
And then, it looked like this:
 Again, before:
And after:

And yes, as if you couldn't tell, I am fascinated by this and now, of course, want to FELT ALL THE THINGS!  Or at least make a couple more bowls.

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When the kids came home over Christmas, they brought their rats - yes, plural.  Last Christmas we gave a rat (Civi) as a gift to our youngest, and a couple of months ago, the kids decided that she needed a friend, so they got another (Louise).  They are very cute to watch - they sleep cuddled together, and follow each other around, but watch out with food - Louise gets very bossy and if you give them a treat and she doesn't get hers first, she will take it away from Civi.  There was a battle over an Oreo cookie that got pretty intense - cookie and cream filling flew everywhere!
Clockwise from upper left:  Louise; both rats asleep on my shoulders; Civi; Mr. Jealous getting a little too close for comfort...

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It feels like every year around this time I go on an organizing binge; probably has a lot to do with putting away all the Christmas decorations, cleaning the house, and wanting to start the new year out fresh.  My knitting accoutrements have been spilling out of the Expedit cubby that I bought a year ago, so Sam and I made a little trip to Ikea on Wednesday and I bought another one, which I plan to stand up next to the horizontal one.  Plus, I've added a sewing machine to the mix, so I needed a place to store that as well.  I'll have pictures next week; now, if I could just find the perfect chair for the room (I'm still thinking something modern, with black and white upholstery), everything will come together!

Have a great weekend - we will be running 11 miles tomorrow (eek!).

17 comments:

  1. Your gifts are beautiful. The ones who received it must have been very happy with it too because it's made with love.

    Well since I don't think that stupid package ever will arrive, I hope someone else has fun with it. You know my knitting adventure wasn't a success, it's just not for me anymore. So I had sent you all my yarn and was hoping you could use it for something small. It was a pretty big box so I'm really annoyed that it never arrived. Next time I better bring it myself :) (reminds me that R. won the huge amount of around 7 dollar in the lottery LOL ).

    I have cleaned my closets too the past 2 weeks, like you I like to start fresh in a new year.

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    1. Well shoot! Now I'm even more sad that your gift hasn't arrived! Maybe it's still floating through the postal system and will arrive soon? Yes, I'm optimistic. :) very sweet thing for you to do, regardless.

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  2. I have a small felted handbag that I got from Leslie a few years ago - very fun to carry in the winter!

    I'm sitting here in our snowstorm - we've got about 9 inches so far and it's blowing and drifting like crazy. Actual temp is 7 and the windchill is going between -12 and -18. It made me laugh out loud to read that you're running 11 miles tomorrow. I'd have to be on a treadmill, no thank you!

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    1. Holy crap, your weather!!! Hibernate! Stay warm!

      And honestly, that 11 miler has me a little worried.

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  3. Yes, my condolences on running 11 miles on a perfectly nice Saturday! Remember the "I'm fifty rule," just in case : )

    Wow, I LOVE that felted bowl. I might have to try to make one of those. I think they're really suited for special gifts. So unusual, and something everyone can use.

    How fun to hear about how the rats cuddle, but still have a "pecking order."

    Okay, all kidding aside, good luck and enjoy tomorrow! I'm guessing Blue Baker will follow?

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    1. LOLOL - I might just employ the I'm FIFTY rule tomorrow! And heck yes, Blue Baker is definitely on the agenda!

      The felted bowl is really, really cool. I need to find some more yarn suitable for felting and make another - I'm thinking of doing a solid color (gray? tan?) for most of the base, and then an accent color for the rim.

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  4. I especially love the red hat. That color is amazing!
    I'm a little nervous about those 11 miles too. I think we deserve a medal. At least this is our last really long run before the race. Then we won't have any over a 10K until next fall!

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    1. Right with you on that medal for 11 miles! Or at least a nice skein of yarn? Too bad we'll be too wrecked to go shopping afterward!

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  5. Yes! Felt all the Things! I adore making felted knitted things, especially slippers, bags, ipad/pod/phone sleeves, mittens, toys, all. of. it. It's like total magic when a big old floppy piece of knitting comes out of the washer all sturdy and usable.

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    1. Oooh, felting mittens? Interesting!!! There must be a size ratio so you know how big to make them in order to fit after felting...I need to do some searching on Ravelry. Thanks for the idea! :)

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  6. That red hat is such a gorgeous color!

    You should try felting a bar of soap. You form the felt around a bar and the cool thing is that you can get it wet and it suds up like a washcloth, but the felt keeps shrinking to fit the bar of soap as it gets smaller.

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    1. Thanks, yes - I love that red color!

      My mom felted some soap and sent it to me for Christmas - it's bizarre to get suds through the felt! I didn't know that the felt would keep shrinking with the bar, but that makes sense.

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  7. Oh my word, I saw the FB photo and thought it was a toy rat! I'll have nightmares now....

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    1. I bought them a stuffed toy rat (99 cents at Ikea) and they DID NOT LIKE IT. Kept shoving it out of their bed, off of their ledge (naturally I kept putting it back there) and eventually they buried it in the shavings at the bottom of their cage. Real rats are cute and pretty funny, I promise!

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  8. You are getting so good Shelley - you should be so proud of your work! Love the felt bowl - so cool - I can see now how you want to felt everything!

    But ew on the rats. My brother had them growing up and one time I put on my shoe, only to find a dead rat that got out in my shoe and rats have haunted me ever since!

    So glad you enjoyed the time with the boys!!

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  9. The felting is very pretty! I've never seen that before!

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  10. So behind in my blog reading. LOVE the hat Shelley!! Such a gorgeous color! And the rats? Awww...

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