ripple yarn project

Earlier this summer, I signed up to be one of the 57 artists in the Ripple Yarn Project.  The project was created by two local artists, Adria Arch and Cecily Miller, and the installation is along the Minuteman bikeway in Arlington Center.  We were assigned specific measurements to knit or crochet a piece to cover a portion of a tree using a bright and bold color palette, but were [almost] totally free to do whatever design we wanted.  The exhibit will be up for six months.

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knitting :: dropped stitch striped cowl

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I’m also calling this my “Frozen Cowl” simply because we seem to watch that movie every day.  Every. Single. Day.  And surprisingly, I get get one cowl made while watching the movie with our Frozen fanatic which is really a double win for this mama.

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handmade holiday

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I have pretty much the same goal each year when it comes to Christmas presents: I want to give something that is handmade.  I came pretty close to reaching that goal this year with about 50% of the gifts I gave to dear friends, which is actually much better than I’ve done in a couple of years.

Now that Christmas has passed and the friends that received these gifts have seen them unwrapped, I thought I’d post a couple of my accomplishments as proof that yes!  I can make something and give it away and on time this year too.  Shocking!  Yes, I know.

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knitting :: baby hat and socks


As you can see, I’ve been on a knitting spree lately.  Thank goodness the carpal tunnel in my wrists has dwindled down enough so that I can get about an hour in before the tingling begins (compared to ten minutes before).  Luckily, too, I managed to find this super easy baby sock pattern that is worked from the top down and with the option to make the heel and toes in a contrasting color.  I made these two sets for two coworkers who are expecting baby boys this winter – hopefully this cashmerino yarn will help keep the little ones warm!

On the socks:  I did the top-down version and where it says to knit around until leg is desired length, I knit 10 rows.  When you get to the “sock foot” part and it says to work in stockinette until the desired length, I did 2 rows.

On the hat:  The hat is the umbilical cord pattern from the “Stitch ‘n Bitch” book.   I started alternating the yarn colors so that I would knit 2 with the gray, 2 with the green, 2 with the gray, etc. (while carrying the other strand along the way) and then do the opposite on the next row. I like how it kind of looks like little hearts!

Again, two very simple patterns to work with and I know I’ll have to crank out a set for our little girl very soon too.

knitting :: first baby sweater


It’s definitely not perfect (don’t even let me get started on pointing out the imperfections) but it’s the first baby sweater I’ve knitted for our anticipated bundle of joy.  It’s my second time working with this pattern after making one earlier this year for a friend’s baby.  I really like how simple the pattern is to follow and that it’s all knit in one piece.

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size does matter

In this case, we’re talking about knitting needles and yarn weight.  [Sorry folks if I lead you to believe this was going to be a dirty post.  🙂 ]   Back in the day when I worked at a craft store, I taught a few people how to knit (and a couple of my coworkers at my current job over the past couple of years too, come to think of it).  One of the key things to explain to someone who is new to knitting is the importance of using the same type of yarn that a specific pattern calls for.  Of course, there are other terms such as gauge and tension (here I go with the nerdy-knit-talk) but that’s a whole different discussion.

The other day I went online searching for a cute and relatively easy baby sock pattern.  I came across this one and decided to try it because it was from the top down, it didn’t have any tricky stitches I didn’t already know how to do, and I loved the texture of the ribbing in the final product.  For those of you knitters/crafters out there who know me and my fondness for Debbie Bliss cashmerino yarn, you will probably not be shocked to find out that that’s the first ball of yarn I reached for to make my first pair of these cute socks instead of a ball of fingerling weight yarn that the pattern called for.  And for those of you who were my past students, you’ll remember that it’s the yarn label that tells you which size needles to use, right?  In this case, I used size 8 double pointeds and decided to make the newborn size in the pattern.

I don’t think this is a good idea if you really wanted newborn sized socks.  Unless your newborn is born the size of a 3-year-old.  Then maybe.

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gather here stitch lounge (cambridge)

There’s a new yarn and sewing shop in town: Gather Here.  It’s located on Broadway Street in Cambridge and boy, is it full of cool stuff!  A few of my coworkers and I took a lunchtime jaunt over to check it out one afternoon and were just mesmerized by all of the gorgeous fabrics and yummy yarns they carry.  Unfortunately, it’s almost exactly the shop we would want to open ourselves some day so for now that dream of having a yarn shop in the Cambridge/Somerville area will have to be put back on hold.  Sigh.


[Before I go on to show you more photos and to point out things we drooled over, I wanted to mention that they are currently donating 25% of any purchase of Echino, Kokka, Kiyohara, and Heather Ross fabrics to the Red Cross to aid with the recent Japan disaster relief.]

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knitting frenzy

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on this blog of mine, and there are several reasons for my lack of posts that I won’t bother going in to.  One reason that I will share with all of you loyal readers (who, according to my site stats, still visit my blog despite the lack of new pictures and words – thank you!): you see, I’ve been distracted by this damn stuff called yarn.  You see, I have a stash of it and I have been on this knitting frenzy lately.  I feel like making so many things.

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Like this little alien guy.  And these cute little pookies too. Not to mention fulfilling my goal of making two chemo caps during the month of February.  And then my enabling coworker evilly emailed a link to the Louie the Lovebot pattern, so then I wanted to make one as a Valentine’s day gift for my hubby (hey, I needed some sort of reason to make one right away).  Oh and while we’re at it, let’s take a workshop to learn another technique – entrelac – and start a new scarf project.  (My list of wip’s is growing, I know …)

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knitting: striped scarf

I know it has been a while since I’ve posted anything really craft related on this blog but truth be told, I’ve been in quite a rut. It’s also been a while since I’ve posted anything about the going ons within my knitting group at work. So hopefully this post will satiate both and get me back on the crafting radar.

My friend Jess is like one of the best knitters I know. And I mean, seriously, she is a really good knitter. Not only is she good at it, she actually completes projects. (I have so many WIP’s — in the knitting world that translates to “works in progress” — it’s pretty shameful.) Anyway, she brought in this scarf to our knitting group one day and I just knew the instant that I saw it that I had to make one too. I just love it when inspiration jumps at me like that.

It’s a pattern that Jared Flood blogged about and she used Noro yarn like he did. I love how her stripes turned out, don’t you?

I had some Manos del Uruguay yarn in my stash and of course, I need to use the yarn I have before I buy any more, so I decided to try making the scarf with it instead of buying new stuff. I tried to pair a skein of multi-colored dark blue and gold tones with a really bright turquoise skein I have, but it just looked awful. So I caved in and made a drive out to Windsor Button in downtown Boston one afternoon and found a skein in a more golden brown and orange colorway that I thought would provide enough contrast.

I started working on it while flying out to Chicago and it was the perfect project to bring along on the plane ride because it’s a simple knit one, purl one rib where you do two rows in each color. The only tricky part is remembering to slip the first and last stitches purl-wise on the second row. (I still think it’s odd how they will allow me take bring knitting needles — the metal ones even!– onto a plane and past security, yet we still can’t bring water on board.)

It’s my “do at work during my lunch break project”, so I don’t bring it home (I have the hubby’s sweater to work on at home … yes, that will take a long time) and as a result, I usually only get in about 4 rows each time I sit down to work on it. Needless to say, it’s slowly coming together but I intend to give it to someone (won’t say who here even though I know he doesn’t read my blog) for Christmas so I have plenty of time to complete it.

The striping is very subtle and at first I was quite disappointed, but over time I have started to really like the coloring. I hope the person I am making it for likes it, which is most important, and I think the colors are masculine enough.

Stay tuned. Hopefully I can get this one complete before the summer ends!

purple alliums

There’s something about allium flowers that grabs my attention each time I see them. I don’t know if it’s because I’m in awe of how perfectly round they seem to be, or if it’s the bright purple color of the petals.

I made a special trip out to Windsor Button in downtown Boston a couple of days before our trip to Chicago because I just had to get some skeins of Manos yarn for a striped scarf project so I could work on it during the plane ride. A scarf? Made out of wool? Yes. And you’re working on it in this heat? Yes. Well, mostly at work where it’s quite frigid because of the air conditioning. But yes, during the summertime. I know, crazy but Christmas is coming! (<– that was supposed to be funny …)

So, where was I going with this? Oh yeah … so I made this special drive out to downtown Boston and actually managed to find a parking spot (thank you, parking angel!) next to the Public Garden. I went along and bought the yarn, and then on my way back to the car decided to take a quick stroll through the garden. Why not, right? It was a gorgeous spring day, I didn’t have anywhere to be in a hurry, and I could use the exercise.

Oh, and the alliums were in bloom!

So pretty. So tall. So purple. So spring. So step-carefully-over-the-chain-onto-the-grass-for-a-quick-photo-opp worthy.

And it was also nice to see so many people out enjoying the weather. I loved this scene of the swan boats at rest.

Of course, as I write this — fashionably (?) late mind you — I look at these photos I took a couple of weeks ago and our park just pales in comparison to what we experienced in Chicago. More from that trip to come soon!

TGIF!