Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hat, scarf, fingerless gloves, purse......whew! Busy!

I have been in a knitting slump lately and rightly so I blame the fact that I bought a surplus of a certain type of yarn: It is jinxed! So I decided I needed to make something fun, cute, and that someone would love: Enter Kirsten's Set! Kirsten is my recently turned 10 year old niece who loves anything handmade by me and always asks me to make her something: ANYTHING! Because I had the "jinx" yarn in surplus I figured I should make something with break the curse! I was at Michaels "idea shopping" (that is where I go to a bookstore or a craft store to be immersed in other people's ideas in hope that my own ideas will be sparked!) and they had a display for Breast Cancer Awareness month ( the ta-ta's everyone!) I liked the ideas that they had for scarves and hats which made me realize that Kirsten is ALWAYS cold and would benefit from something knit/warm. (See? Idea shopping works!) I started that night on a hat with the "jinxed" yarn! A day later I was finished and went to buy my monthly copy of "Simply Knitting" magazine (greatest magazine ever--the Brits have great knitting ideas!) and what was inside: the cutest purse and scarf FOR KIDS I have ever seen AND...get almost the EXACT color of the "jinx" yarn!

Kirsten is a HUGE gamer...she loves the Wii and her brand-new Nintendo 3DS so to add to her set I made her some fingerless gloves as well. Problem is: Kirsten is petite. She is 10 years old but can wear a 7-8 and her hands are really tiny. SO any pattern I could find in Ravelry or anywhere else online were tooooo big for her. I MADE UP MY OWN PATTERN!! How exciting is that?? Me! I am not the best at making up patterns and really am afraid of the measuring and the math...but I DID IT! I will be adding my pattern in my next post, if anyone is interested.

Also, if you look closely at the scarf you will see fringe and on the fringe? BEADS! That's right! I ALSO BEADED with KNITTING ( not exactly adding beads onto my knitting but I have to get praise where I can!) I asked Kirsten if she just wanted fringe or should I add buttons, ribbons, beads, etc. and she asked for beads. So I did it!

One other thing that I did for the first time ever: i-cord! The pattern for the purse in "Simply Knitting" only was for the purse and not its handle so I had to learn to do an i-cord. I went on Youtube and found a simple tutorial. What I learned from doing an i-cord for the first time? BORING! Useful. Cute. Stretchy. Easy. BUT tedious and boring!

The entire time I was working on this set my 2 year old great-niece Sadie was enthralled. She loved watching me knit while she held "Cat-Cat's bassetball" (the ball of yarn) and she kept asking me what it was and for who. Today when I was putting on the beads and weaving in ends she was right in the mix. She was in love! All she wanted to do was try everything on. The next pictures are of her, (and a pic of the purse--close-up)trying everything on BEFORE Kirsten came home from school.

As you can obviously tell the "jinx" yarn has rekindled my passion for knitting and I am now thinking of other things that Kirsten (or possible Sadie...maybe I should make Sadie her own set?? Hmmm...) may need/want. Of course, all of this will have to wait until AFTER I knit Xmas cards for everyone....I now cannot wait to get started. Lesson for me: even "jinxed" yarn can be useful and sometimes learning new ways to do something is its own type of "idea shopping." more note: I am honored to be a guest blogger on the blog, "Knit Me" and have made my first official can see my post (and all the great stuff Aly has done!) here:

Hopefully one day I will have guest bloggers as well....we shall see.....

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Tropical Storms...oh my!

Tree in road by mad4marvin
Tree in road, a photo by mad4marvin on Flickr.

Virginia has had quite a difficult time lately! First, the earthquake struck...luckily for me and my family there was no damage as the earthquake epicenter was a little too far Northwest to do anything to us. Yet, the Earthquake (and all its aftershocks! still going on by the way---a 2.1 today!) has caused a lot of damage to Lousia County causing significant damage to the high school and elementary school as well as a number of homes.

Then came Hurricane Irene! She was a monster! She blew through my part of Va and knocked down everything she could. Electricity, for my family, went out Saturday August 27 at around 3 pm and we were in the dark until Tuesday! It was crazy! Both of my sisters were without electricity two days longer than my family...and one of my sisters had 7 trees fall in her yard and her garage completely destroyed. Hurricane Irene is still being felt even though over a week has passed. Some homes in the Tri-Cities are going on day 10 without power, school systems had to push back their start dates, and trees still block roads. It will be a while before Irene is forgotten.

Today, Tropical Storm Lee moved into the area after striking Louisiana...ok so really he is more like "drop a couple buckets of rain on Va" Lee and not so much "Tropical Storm" but we do not need any rain right now so he is somewhat annoying. On the plus side for some reason T.S. Lee made me want to knit and I finished a hat for my 10 year old niece.

She loves knitted things and I thought it would be nice for her to have waiting for the bus (if school ever decides to start!) and then I figured I would make her some fingerless gloves so she can play her brand-new birthday present--a Nintendo 3DS (her bday was 8/13 and I do not think she has let the game down since then!) So because I was going to make her fingerless gloves, I also decided she needs a matching scarf. See? This is how this knitting addiction gets you! It gets in your head and makes you want to create more and more things with strings and sticks! It is nuts!

I just knew that the perfect pattern for her fingerless gloves would be on but when I looked there were none that were small enough for her scrawny 10 year old hands so I have decided to try and make my own is called Kirsten's Fingerless Gloves. I am test knitting a pair tonight to make sure that the pattern fits her! I am excited! I usually do not write my own patterns because the math...welll...the math scares me! I am a grown up, I can admit that I am afraid of numbers...oh and measurements! Really. I can. But I am not scared of these fingerless gloves because they are for a 10 year old...she would like them if they were too big, too small, smelled like burnt toast, or if I dropped them in a puddle of mud.

So I am making them for her. As for the scarf, I am not sure....I am thinking of making her a fish scarf....the pattern is a free pattern on called "Recipe for Fish" and I think it is adorable but I am not sure if she would wear fish to school so I might just make her a regular scarf...still not sure. I will, of course, post pics when I am done. Try to stop me...because my niece LOVES pics being taken, I will have about a bajillion of her posing!

Anyway, the next post I have will be filled with knitting pictures as I plan to finish X-mas cards and my nieces hat, gloves, and scarf!!! Hopefully.....