Monday, 20 January 2014


So, as you may have gathered, I'm kind of a fan of Doctor Who.  And in fact the whole family is coming round to my way of thinking... so when I saw this pattern for a KNITTED DALEK I knew I had to make one.

Fortunately it was just before Christmas and I was also trying to think of something fun but lightweight to send to my brother who's stationed in Okinawa.  Perfect!

This guy was really fun to knit.  He took a whole day - I cast on after breakfast and sewed in the last ends before bedtime.  The bobbles added quite a considerable amount of knitting time, which I hadn't expected, and they're a bit tedious but I think you'll agree they're worth it!  (The pattern suggests sewing on buttons if you don't care to knit bobbles, but I think that would be even MORE tedious and would also make your Dalek less cuddly.)

Unfortunately I didn't get any really good photos of him, since I had time constraints before we shipped the package and it kept snowing, but I think you get the idea.  I also think this will probably not be the only Dalek I ever knit!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

strange weather (and a moose)

We have been having the strangest weather this week.  Saturday and Sunday we had a huge snowstorm, which dumped well over a foot of snow on the whole of southern Michigan and followed that up with high winds and significantly sub-zero temperatures - part of that "polar vortex" thing that's been going around.  Schools were out for two or three days because it was so cold.  Then yesterday it got really warm - for January in the north, anyway - with above-freezing temperatures.  And now I look outside and it's snowing again.  (Was that a polar vortex or a bi-polar one, guys?)

When I haven't been shovelling I've been mostly inside, catching up on my tv shows and knitting madly at the incredible number of custom orders I've got on my list.  But I realised I'm a bit behind at showing you some of the things I've finished recently that weren't Christmas gifts!  This one was knit for the new nephew of my college roommate.  He was a fun project and I think he turned out pretty cute.  Hopefully his new human will love him too :)

Unfortunately my schedule and the weather never cooperated, so I don't have any nice crisp natural-light photos of Mr. Moose.  But I can assure you he is cuddly!

I've still got the last couple bits of Christmas knitting to show you, and some more custom knitting, and I did some sewing this week as well, so there's plenty of blog material out there!  And maybe soon the weather will settle down and we'll have a nice fresh coating of snow, which would make a better backdrop for pictures than the greying slush last weekend's snow has become in this thaw.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Christmas Cosy

Here's Kat's Christmas gift - a tea cosy for the pot she has at college.  (It looked a little cold last time I went to visit!)

I measured the pot but didn't get a chance to try this on as it went, so I hope when she gets it back to school that it will turn out to fit correctly.  We can but hope!

I've realised that while I love the way these cosies look and fit and function, I really don't enjoy knitting them.  Stranding the yarn along behind the work, and dropping one yarn to pick up the other every ten stitches, is fiddly and tiresome.  I wish there were an easier way to produce the same effect!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Mum's mitts

Mum got a pair of my Bad Wolf Bay mitts for Christmas, in a colour my camera totally fails to capture.  The Canon thinks it's a bright pink/magenta, while it's actually a dark, saturated pinkish-purple.  Change of light and settings didn't make much of a difference, either.  How odd!

I sized these down a little bit as I used fatter yarn than in my original design (and Mum has thin wrists anyway!)  Warm and soft in the dk-weight Gloss yarn from KnitPicks.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

knits for a new year

Happy New Year!  I hope you all have had a lovely holiday and that 2014 started well for you.  My year has involved so far a good bit of knitting, some cooking, a lot of snow, and plenty of time hanging out with friends and dancing.  I also played broomball for the first time ever (think ice hockey but without skates and with brooms instead of hockey sticks) - I ended up falling, hitting my head quite hard, and bending my wrist backwards, but it was so much fun that it was worth the pain ;)  What did you all do for New Year's Eve?

Here's another installment in the Christmas-knitting parade.  This is the scarf I made for my older brother.  He's hard to shop and knit for, but I hope he will use this a lot!

Knit lengthwise in the "transverse herringbone" pattern from one of Barbara Walker's pattern treasuries.  The long edges are done with a tubular cast-on and bind-off, and the slip-stitch pattern makes a fabric which almost looks woven, so it almost doesn't look like a knitted fabric.  Which is sometimes nice.  It's very dense, but still has a nice drape, and the yarn is a lovely silk/merino blend which is incredibly soft.  The knitting is a bit tedious, but the end result is worth it!

I've got lots of other new things to show you but my world is currently blanketed in snow, with more coming down - which is lovely but not so great for photography!  But more will come soon. 

Saturday, 28 December 2013

mittens for small people

Well, life happened and my carefully-laid plans for postings through Advent and Christmas Day were waylaid by illness and my inability to judge just how long it will ACTUALLY take me to knit things (and bake things, and pack things, and... you get the idea.)  But it is still Christmas for another eight days here, and since most people have received their gifts by now I think it's a good time to start posting about all the things I've made in the last month or so.  There may also be some Christmas music, just because.

I've been nannying a pair of 4-year-old twins since the early autumn and after several struggles with their existing cold-weather hand coverings, decided they needed mittens for Christmas.  The pattern is the Spiral Mittens from "Homespun, Handknit", which my mum used to knit for us when we were kids.  It's so, so easy to make, and the mittens are both durable and work for either hand, so they'll wear evenly.  The strings are important so you don't lose a mitten if you take it off.

The day I took them over was entertaining.  I get the kids from noon until their dad gets home; they discovered that there were PRESENTS at about 4:30, and I spent the rest of the afternoon fending off requests to open them NOW!  When I finally let them, they were delighted; L. tore around the kitchen declaring they were the BEST PRESENT EVER and their mother texted me later that evening to say that E.J. loved hers so much that she wore them to bed.  So I think they were a success :)

(The pictures are sub-par because the light was failing and it was my last chance to photograph them.  But you get the idea.)

Sunday, 8 December 2013

a rose e're blooming

I've spent the whole of this second Sunday of Advent tucked up in bed nursing a sore throat and cough which I'm praying don't decide to turn into anything really bad, since I've got a performance of Handel's Messiah this coming Saturday for which I need to be able to sing solos! 

But just because I'm sick(ish) doesn't mean I don't have music for you.  Quite the contrary - being stuck in bed gives a person plenty of time to delve into the depths of YouTube's Advent music collection ;-)  This appears to be the Year of Alternative Versions (of your favourite traditional Advent songs.)  This week, I'm enthralled with Feist's version of "Lo, how a rose e're blooming" - not your traditional choral setting, for sure, but really lovely.  And I'm certainly not saying there's anything wrong with the traditional settings!  In fact usually they're my favourites. But I love exploring the new stuff, too.

(And because the youtube video-finder is being strangely stubborn and won't let me find the exact video I want, you'll just have to have a link instead.  I promise I know how to use technology... I just don't always know how to bend it to my will!)