Monday, September 28, 2009

Getting organized

It seems lately that my style has morphed into wearing mostly black and white and accesorizing with the brightest earrings, necklaces, and scarves that I can find. So needless to say my accessory collections are getting way out of hand. A month or two ago I spotted this on my Google Reader and promptly hit "Add Star". I knew I wanted to make it, it was just a question of when.

The when happened this weekend when a trip to visit my parents landed me at Michaels. My mom was also interested in organizing her huge collection of earrings (we are So Good addicts) so I decided to pick up the supplies.

We put them together and were hanging my mom's earrings when we hit a snafu. She had some hoops and some with a leverback closure that didn't work with the plastic canvas. She quickly dismissed the project saying if she couldn't hang all the earrings, she didn't see the point.

Enter my dad... My dad came up from his workshop with some pieces of hanger and some pliers to create this. A little bar to hang the earrings on. It worked out great.

So we finished up my mom's and I immediately ran to my earring collection the second I got to my apartment. Here are our finished products (it's not hard to figure out who's is who's. But notice the heart obsession carries through generations).

Friday, September 25, 2009

Team Spirit

Over the years I have made many afghans for many people, working tirelessly for days and nights to neatly crochet the perfect blanket for that special someone which will keep them warm through many nights and reflect their personality in colors and texture. Choosing that perfect pattern and color combination is an essential piece of the process, and never has that been more true when creating an afghan to show team spirit. Not my team, mind you, but my rival team.

Yup, that's right, I'm crocheting an afghan in Miami Dolphins colors. During football season. Against my better judgement that it may jinx my beloved team. There is only one person I would do this for. And it must mean that I really like him.

I have to admit, at first I was turned off by this color combination - I have seen it garishly displayed in team gear both on the field and off. But we carefully chose very rich shades of the three colors (Teal, Orange and White) and selected a pattern suited to this combination. And I have to say, it's coming along nicely. I will post an update on the afghan's progress shortly, which is faring quite better than the team itself.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Too Big Toddler Hats

So in one evening I was able to quickly finish Olivia's Toque - and the next morning she tried it on but it is definitely too big - not around, but in height. I plan to take a couple rows out and try again, and then I need to find a button for the finishing touch. But all in all I'd say it was a successful project, and I plan on making a matching one for myself, although perhaps in cream.

Ethan decided that he liked the "test hat" so he might end up keeping that one if I don't get around to making one specifically for him. Because, well you know, I'm busy and all.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

baby hats

I love knitting baby hats--they are just so quick and rewarding. So when Heather emailed to ask for the pattern for a viking hat I had knit for a co-workers baby, I jumped at the chance to knit it for her. The pattern's originally from the blog Chile con Yarne, but unfortunately, it looks like it's no longer available after the author saw that people were using the pattern to make and sell the hat on Etsy. Annnnyway, it's a really cute hat.

It's coming along well so far...knitting up quickly, and I haven't even had to take out any rows yet (laugh it up, girls...I always get a hard time over what the knitting triangle thinks are crazy perfectionist tendencies). The one problem I DO see down the line is that big ball of tangled yarn sitting behind the hat. I grabbed an end and started knitting, and it just kept getting worse and worse. We'll see what happens, but I don't think it's going to end well...

Here's the last version I made...perhaps I needed to work on the sizing a bit.

In other (unrelated) news, I want to buy a good pair of sunglasses. Any suggestions?

Monday, September 21, 2009

stART on the Street: The Tammy Thorpe Edition

When you think of Worcester you probably don't think of a rich cultural art friendly city. After attending stART on the Street for the 3rd year, I'd say that stereotype is wrong.

stART on the Street is one of the more diverse craft fairs I've ever attended. Every artistic medium was represented there, including one that is near and dear to my heart, home sewn bags, aprons, and accessories. I checked out every booth and after walking around the entire fair I came upon a familiar face: Tammy Thorpe.

Tammy's booth looked the best yet... Her bold patterns and cute styles were a fair standout. She has something for everyone... yoga mat bags, totebags and handbags of all shapes and sizes, toiletry bags (and my personal fav - the wristlet) all beautifully sewn and of her own design.

Tammy is also just getting started on Etsy and you can purchase some of her great items here:

Check back in to Tammy's Etsy shop often as I have insider information that the shop will soon be growing. And trust me when I say that while using a Tammy Thorpe product, you will get nothing but compliments. I should know - I'm not only a blogger, I'm also a client.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

creative practice

As part of my thesis, I interviewed the guy who started and runs Community Music Works, a great organization that teaches kids in low-income neighborhoods how to play stringed instruments. He is the only person I have interviewed so far who seemed genuinely interested in me and my research. The interview was more of a conversation really, because he asked almost as many questions about me as I did about him. Early on, he asked if I was an artist and I sort of stumbled through the answer, because I don't consider myself an artist--I can't paint, draw, sing, sculpt, etc.--but I said something along the lines of, "well, um, I craft and I love is my creative outlet." Or something incoherent like that. And he responded by talking about cooking as my "creative practice." It was the first time I had thought about creativity in that way. I feel like it's more inclusive than the artist label, and gives everyone a chance to express themselves creatively/artistically, whether it be through baking, gardening, knitting, quilting, flower arranging, home decorating, etc.

Today's adventure is an apple pie.

Perfect apples that were
on the tree yesterday became this today:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Toque for Olivia

Last night I started, and tonight I finished, a hat for Olivia, the Cabled Button Toque.  Since I made the decision to start this at 9pm at night, I had to use some yarn from my stash. I made it with Lambs Pride worsted weight, so I had to use two strands. I think it might be a little too tall for her, and I'm not thrilled with the double strand look. So for the first time in my life I went out and bought the yarn that the pattern called for and cast on with Cascade Lana Grande. Tune in tomorrow to see how it turned out (and a test fitting).

and then there were three...

Tonight was our last night with Anna in the knitting circle. Portland Maine has proven more attractive than a bi-weekly get-together for wine and crafts. Anna is the fourth member of the knitting circle to actually move out of the state just to avoid having to hang out with the Founding Mothers.

Goodbye Anna!! We will miss you, but we will always remember your Ripplestitch Crocheted Afghans!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Project Teaser

A co-worker of mine found a picture of scarf she wanted, hung it on my wall, and then told me she wanted it as a birthday gift. Being in the middle of quite a few projects already, I was hesistant to start something new. But since I have a very strong affection for self patterning yarn and knitting needles the size of toothpicks, I went for it. Surprisingly I chose a purple and pink colorway... It's not quite knitting up as bright as I thought but it was the best out of the bunch.

Another surprise is that this is about an hour's worth of knitting... and the scarf is supposed to be 71" long. Luckily I have until November to finish. But since this project is stuffed in a bag with a pair of socks that are 75% completed, I may get distracted.

Wish me luck!