Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Teapots & Teasers

So, I've been finishing up my projects rather late at night this week and so I've been too sleepy to blog about them. Therefore, I'm going to do a mega project blog tonight before bedtime. Sunday I made another hair clip.
Monday and Tuesday were devoted to finishing the green fingerless gloves for Dylan. I ended up not making a third glove. He didn't seem to mind the wonky one, but he's got an open invitation to swap it out for a new one anytime he likes. Apparently, he has bigger fingers than I do, which came as a shock to me. I always think that I've got pretty big fingers. The thumb and the pinkey were especially tight, but he squeezed into them. If I make more I'll have to remember to add an extra stitch on all the fingers.
Tuesday I made this month's project for Kitchen Sink Dyeworks' Badass Women's Yarn Club. This month's Badass is Lane Turbeville who works with Pathways, a United Way organization that focuses on homeless women and children. This is a super awesome program. If you want to know more about Lane and the work she does you can read about her on the KSD site or go to the Pathways site.
I love this month's yarn color! Seafoam greens and blues are some of my favorites. I'm also excited because I got to use the awesome buttons I got at the Bottletree Holiday Craft Fair. Luckily, Mercedes kept up with the name of the craftsman who made the buttons because I've lost his card. Bad Sara! I also got one of his super awesome hair clips at the fair. I really love it because I've got a mess of hair and I'm always looking for something to put in it!

Today I decided to return to my first love - jewelry. I made these simple, but adorable teapot earrings. The teapot charms are hollow stamped brass so they're very light. I've been getting more and more interested in the steampunk movement especially the costuming and the literature. Gail Carriger and George Mann are two of my favorite steampunk authors. Gail posts lots of fabulous steampunk links on her twitter feed. Especially those relating to tea and parasols. Back in November I made this hair piece inspired by the Order of the Brass Octopus from Gail's Parasol Protectorate series.
Threadbanger helped me a bunch with my first attempt at a steampunk costume, which I wore to DragonCon 2010. Flickr and Livejournal both have some great steampunk fashion ideas too. My bustle was a little out of control, but it was the first one I'd ever made. I'm debating making another actual bustle for next year or just going with a ruffled bustle on a new skirt. The skirts I made for this year were taken from deconstructed prom dresses I got at the thrift store. I'm pretty proud of all the gathering I did. this was my first project on my new sewing machine too!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Seven at One Blow

Ok, so I'm not quite that good, but I have done several accessories in two days. My official 365 Accessories item from yesterday was a hair clip from Stephanie Lynn's blog: Under the Table and Dreaming. I just used cheap felt from JoAnn's and a hot glued it to a small hair clip. Today's official entry was a second rose for my friend Christel. I made her's with lavender felt. However, I made my felt rose at about 12:30 in the morning yesterday, which left me lots of time during the day to work on other things. So, I decided to make another pair of fingerless gloves.

For those of you who are counting that makes 5 pairs in about two weeks. I was using bulky yarn and found a cute pattern over on Spindle and Wheel. I like the pattern, but they ended up being a little snug for the person I had in mind, so Christel ended up with those too.

Today's official item was the rose for Christel, but then I decided to take that a step further and made this little item...
The feathers just make it something special I think. But, that was done by 10 this morning! So, I worked on some wreathes for the store and then this evening I started... that's right! More fingerless gloves!

This pattern is from KnitPicks and it's the same one I used to make Benji's gloves a few days ago, but for whatever reason they aren't fitting quite right with the change in yarn. I'm going to have to tweak the pattern to have some plain knit rows before we get to the thumb increases I think. I've got enough yarn to make two more gloves, so I can alter things on the second glove and then make an exact mate to it if I decide that it's worth it. I may be willing to put up with one wonky glove though.

Then, just for fun, before bed, I made the sweetest little clip. And on that note, I'm off to bed.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cheater (with bonus pets!)

So, days 5 & 6 are combined into one post since I was making a pair of fingerless mitts; one for each day. Once again, I'm using the Best Friend Mitts pattern from Kitchen Sink Dyeworks' Badass Women's Yarnclub.
The first mitt got made Wednesday despite "help" from Kristen's cats Delilah and Henry. I was also generally having trouble. I messed up the pattern repeatedly, I forgot to change needles, I got all kinds of crazy math going on. I was already fudging things a little because I was knitting these in organic cotton instead of animal fiber, because the guy I'm making them for is allergic to wool. Since cotton doesn't have the same spring that wool does I was playing with the math to try to make them fit better (I'm not at all sure I succeeded.) But, by 10:00 or so I had the first mitt done!
Then Thursday rolled around and I started on the second mitt... and a nasty, sinus-y cold. Bleh. So I came home from work a little early thinking I'd relax with some Twitter and some knitting. About 10 rows in I started nodding off so I took myself for a nap. And woke up (semi) refreshed and ready to go. That's when the internet jumped up and snatched my attention span. I swear! That's what happened. It totally wasn't my fault. These three DIY/Decor blogs ambushed me!
UndertheTableandDreaming Nesting Place

So, after looking at awesome ideas for all sorts of things I realized that I was a little behind on my knitting. And, of course, my own pets wanted to help just like Kristen's did. Bela decided to help from my lap, while Callie stayed on the floor to better ensure full coverage of all possible yarn escape routes. I finished the body of the mitt by midnight, but (and this is the part where I cheat) the thumb took me until 12:30. But, I'm going to apply the Warren Ellis definition and say morning is whenever I get up and the day isn't over until I go to bed. So, really, it's still Thursday, Day 6 of my 365 Accessories. So there.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Owls Are Not What They Seem

Sometimes, they're jewelry!
My iPhone doesn't like taking pictures in my house very much, but here's the necklace I made today. It's a commission for a friend. The blurry pendant is a small owl. All the stones are howlite and the small spacers are silver Swarovski findings. The stones & spacers are on black organza and the pendant is hanging from sterling silver chain. It's a sweet simple little necklace.
I had been planning to make an embroidered scarf with coins, but my technique needs some work first.

I've joined a knitting swap over on Ravelry. I'm excited; my partner's name is Sarah and she lives in the UK. The swap I joined is the Happy Blue Year Swap so all of our projects are going to be blue. I picked Kitchen Sink Dyeworks' Snakehandler Mitts as the pattern for the first kit I'm going to send off. I especially love these fingerless gloves because I got to help beta test the pattern. That makes me feel special! I haven't decided on my yarn yet, but I don't have tons of money left to spend on it. (We're supposed to try to keep it under $20-$25, which is a shame because I've got a beautiful skein of a merino/silk blend that would be beautiful. Oh well. I'll think of something.
Now I've got to start another set of KSD's Best Friend Mitts from the Badass Women's Yarnclub. I've got another friend who needs some warm accessories. I've got tomorrow's project ready to go!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day #3

Day 3 and I'm still on track. My third accessory is an iPod case made from fulled wool from a failed sweater attempt and the free pattern from LarkCraft's Doodle Stitch Along. I added snaps & a belt loop. I'm contemplating a button, but I don't know. My interfacing is still caught up in the embroidery, but it's water soluble so I'll wash it out tonight.

I managed to get this relatively time consuming project done thanks to the snowpocalypse that landed on Birmingham. Granted, compared to winters in MA it's nothing, but an inch of mixed snow and sleet around here pretty much paralyzes the city. Alabama just isn't equipped to deal with icy roads. So, I got to stay home today and play with my toys. I did pop out for some brisk exercise consisting of shoveling my driveway. That was... fun.
I picked up Dad's dogs on Friday. So far they're getting along with my animals pretty well. Daphne has some joint problems and Tango has a skin condition, but they're sweet animals. They're both on diets now, which should help with all their problems. They each had (in their own way) hard lives before coming to live with Dad, so he pretty much let them eat whatever/whenever they wanted.

This is Tango. She lived with a lady who had over 20 dogs. They were all adequately housed/fed/cleaned, but with that many they couldn't get the amount of attention that they needed. So Tango is clingier than kudzu. If you call any other animal's name she'll show up. If one of the other animals is 2 feet from me she has to be 1 foot away. She'll sit on top of Daphne to make sure that she's closer. Right now she's got irritated skin, but we're going to the vet Friday to get it checked out.

Daphne was a Hurricane Katrina rescue. She's about 8 now. She moves slowly and she's got some balance & joint issues, but she's a trooper. If you take them out without leashes Tango will stick close, but Daphne will lumber off much faster than you'd expect. She's a pretty quiet dog most of the time.
They're both sweethearts. Although, between the two of them and Ilsa, I've got to say, the bed is getting very crowded at night. I'm waiting for the morning I wake up with the three of them on the mattress and me on the floor in their dog bed. At least it's a big dog bed.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Accessories #2

Two blog posts in 1 day? The world may be ending. The ice storm coming down outside certainly seems to agree with that.
But, this blog is to announce that for the second day in a row... I have made something! I did indeed finish the first of the fingerless gloves I'm making for Benji.
As I said before, the yarn & the pattern both came from Knitpicks.
This will be the third pair of fingerless gloves I've made recently. The other two pairs came from the Kitchen Sink Dyeworks Badass Women's Yarn Club pattern for December. This is the best club I've ever been in. I get awesome custom yarn & patterns and each month part of my fee goes to an awesome charity. December's Badass was Kris Crawford who works to end dog fighting and to educate inner city kids on dog safety with all breeds, but also to teach them to respect the dogs.
I haven't seen a Badass Woman that I'm not proud of, but Kris's organization is especially exciting for me since my boss's son has recently adopted a female pit bull that was used for baiting in dog fights. He's named her Emma and she's super sweet. When he first found her she was hiding under his truck and in pretty rough shape. She's doing really well now and making a place for herself in the Little Professor pet family.

Make Something Every Day

So, yesterday on the etsy blog julieincharge suggested that artists to try to make something every day. So, I'm going to try to make at least 1 accessory every day from 1/8/11 to 1/8/12. So, the first thing I made was a little hair clip out of a rhinestone skull brooch with feathers.
And, lucky for me, I posted it on Twitter & one of my friends bought it already!
Today I'm working on fingerless gloves from Knitpicks. My friend Benji got the pattern & the yarn earlier in the winter and asked me to make them for me. I don't think I can finish the pair today, but maybe I can at least get 1 of them done. Of course, if the snowpocolypse happens then I could probably get quite a bit done.