a stitch in lime

stumbling into creativity


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Christmas knitting (and crafting) 911

luvinthemommyhood

So despite my better judgment, I think I have to admit something. Christmas is in a month. I generally take after my mum when it comes to Christmas, plugging my ears and singing “lalalalala” until somewhere around December 15th, but this year I need to snap out of it. I have a baby this year. He makes accomplishing a shower challenging. If any gifts are going to get organized, I should start now. Probably better yet to have started months ago, but alas, I was busy birthing a human being back then.

So far my list of handmade gifts is small. Bite-sized, if you will. One knitting project, one sewing project. I may even scrap the sewing project, depending on time… Hoo, look at me go! I think might break a sweat.

Anyway, Shannon over at luvinthemommyhood started up a Christmas crafting support group called Christmas Knitting 911 and I am all over that. Some accountability and encouragement is so necessary this time of year in order to prevent me from saying “oh eff this”, throwing my knitting out the window (don’t worry, only figuratively) and instead spending an exorbitant amount on some cheesy last-minute gift in Chapters’ Things That Aren’t Books section (scented recipe cards?).

There’s even a handy thread over on Shannon’s Ravelry group for this thing, guys. So come join us and dish about your to-make list! And if you blog, you can grab the button below over at luvinthemommyhood!

luvinthemommyhood


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Rae scarf

The leaves are falling and there is a chill in the air.

Also, one of my favourite knitting designers, Jane Richmond, was having a knit-along (KAL) over at her Ravelry Group, and I got to feeling the joining vibe.

I mashed these two things together and knit up her lovely pattern, Rae, in a lovely spicy brown fall-ish colourway called Butternut Squash by Yummy Yarn Studio.

Behold the product of my furiously knitting over 2+ weeks in order to meet the KAL deadline! (I cast on October 28 and finished November 14, one day before the deadline!)

I joined this KAL shortly after introducing myself to Jane’s group, and perhaps too quickly (as far as first impressions are concerned) compared the colour of this yarn to poo. Everyone reassured me that it was instead a beautiful yarn with lovely fall hues, and that I should have no worries in knitting it up. (I think I’ve been spending too much alone time with Señor Baby. Clearly poo is on the brain. But thankfully not literally.)

Happily, no one was horrified that the new girl was talking about “bathroom words” (as my preschool teachers called them), and some of the ladies local to me were even so kind as to invite me along to their weekly knit night! So I’ve been knitting for ONE WHOLE HOUR (remember, I just had a baby) on Saturday nights with some lovely new pals, including Jane herself, Shannon of luvinthemommyhood, Rebecca of Nook, and several other gals without blogs or whose blogs I have yet to discover! And man, they are all so dang nice. For reals. I feel lucky to have met new friends. In my twenties! Despite baby brain fog! Back pats for me.

I’m really loving this scarf. The pattern is beautifully simple, and the fancypants yarn I chose is soft and luxurious. WIN WIN.


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Stripey chapeau for charité

At my job, a bunch of gals have gotten together and formed a Knit Club, which I obviously joined immediately. We decided that, what with the upcoming holiday (and chilly) season, we’d spend our time there knitting some items to be given away to a deserving charity (perhaps a low-income public school, a homeless shelter, etc). So I decided to knit up this little hat to donate. The pattern is the Rochefort Chapeau by the lovely and talented Whitney Van Nes at the Purl Bee.

I modified it slightly to be able to use the materials I had on hand. I used worsted instead of DK weight yarn, and used 4.5mm needles instead of 3.75. So that meant I had to modify the number of stitches (bigger needles + bigger yarn = fewer stitches to compensate). I ended up casting on 84 stitches instead of 112, but basically followed the pattern as written from then on. Okay, so the math didn’t work out exactly perfectly, but it was close enough.

Do you like the tassel? It was my first one, and I kinda ad-libbed it. Next up: a real pom-pom!  (Someday. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.)


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Learning the stamping ropes

My friend Shauna is an avid card maker, scrapbooker, and stamper. She is also a teacher. She recently decided to mush these two interests together and become a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator — basically this means she’s running workshops to demonstrate and promote stamping products and projects.  She decided to do her first workshop for an audience of close pals and family the other night, so a bunch of us went and made a card under her wise tutelage. Here’s the project we all made:

For those who may not really know the ins and outs of stamping (I didn’t), what we did was this:  We used a clear/sticky ink for the cupcake, candles, and ‘party hearty!’ message (all were stamps).  The ones stamped on the pink background cardstock we let dry, which darkened to form a sort of ‘shadow’ effect. For the stuff on the white foreground, we stamped in the same clear ink, but brushed various chalk colours over the different areas of each stamped design. The chalk clung to the ink and voilà!  For the ‘party hearty!’ message, we attached it to the card with little foam glue bits called ‘dimensionals’, which gave it a sort of 3D feel.  The rest was just cutting (done ahead of time by Shauna, which was nice), ripping, and gluing.  Easy as pie!

Shauna also demonstrated how to make a small box from decorative cardstock, and even showed us how heat embossing works!  It was neat to see all her cool stamping/papercrafting gear put to use, and all the various things you can do as a stamper!

Head on over to Shauna’s blog for a peek at more projects from the workshop!


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Gals who craft

My sister-in-law-to-be hosts a craft night at her husband’s art studio every Thursday, and I went last night with my mother-in-law-to-be (this was my second time going — the last time was probably over six months ago).  I loved it.

I knitted a huge amount of my vintage pixie hat (coming soon to a blog near you).  But in addition to getting some crafting accomplished, I just really enjoyed the entire evening’s interaction(s) with the small group of women in attendance. We gave each other tips, showed off our projects, talked and shared about our lives, and just plain had fun. What was so neat about it for me was that I was able to have wonderful conversations with women I’d normally probably not have ever met or talked to. It reminded me how wonderful being in the company of other women can be — and not just your comfort zone of an established group of girlfriends (although obviously I love that as well, for other reasons). Add to that womanly vibe an atmosphere of creativity and creating, and it was such a great experience to have.

I also really like that attendance is totally l0w-pressure, so you can show up or not show up, and you never have to offer an explanation or confirm anything. When it comes to crafting, I’ve recently realized that it should be a relatively spontaneous pastime (an aside: after showing off a couple of my recently finished crafty projects, I was immediately faced with several requests to make one for so-and-so, which put a knot in my stomach immediately that told me loud and clear: never do this for money.  The enjoyment I get from making things is that it’s completely up to me when to pick it up and when to put it down — no deadlines, no obligations to finish. Taking orders would negate all that and make it into work instead of a hobby).  So as I was saying, the fact that attendance at this craft night can be totally based on a spontaneous decision, or how you’re feeling that day, or whatever, that works for me bigtime.

Seriously, last night was top notch!