Thursday, January 29, 2009

Eye Candy

Just some eye candy - I had a little fun with the felt flower hair pins we made up recently.

(You can make them too - our free tutorial is here!)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tiny Beads

I love beads. Give me a lump of glass with a whole through it and I'm a happy girl. Give me some delica beads, and I'm your best friend forever. Delica beads are Japanese beads of unrivaled uniformity. They are perfect for beadweaving where you want each bead to lock into place like a little brick.

I recently discovered that there is a smaller size of delicas available, size 15. Since I'm all for anything that makes my work more time consuming and painstaking, I ordered myself a little sample. I tried to get a photo for you but the size difference is hard to capture. The gold bead is the smaller one. They're AWESOME. So tiny, so perfect! I made myself a ring which I'm totally in love with. The smaller beads mean the 'fabric' is just a bit more flexible and .... I don't know, finer-grained? It's definitely love for me.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Obsessed with Material Obsession

It's been a week of rough seas for me. But the kind where it's all the more glorious when you find yourself safe on shore. So I'm just keeping my gaze fixed on that shore and reveling in the amazing support of my husband, family and good friends.

And now I also have this to focus on.

Melanie Falick just posted a preview on her STC blog and I am so excited.

Mostly because of this quilt:

I just love it.

And apparently the book is coming out in February so I don't even have to wait that long....

Check out the preview here.

See previews for other upcoming books from STC Craft here.

Join me in blog stalking the "Material Obsession" authors here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wham, Bam, Thank You Cosy

Just a quick post to show off a recent knit.


I followed the general idea of this pattern in that I knit a short scarf in garter stitch and then seamed it up wonky. I love how this makes a little triangle that sticks down and covers that little V of exposed skin without adding any bulk under my coat. And although a pull-over style probably isn't best for a super finicky hairstyle, I love just plonking it on and not worrying about buttons coming undone or the ends hanging down and getting in my way.

I've been wearing it all day and think it may be more suited to in-office and spring wearing. When I'm outside I find myself wishing it was a smidge warmer. I probably should have knit with smaller needle to make the fabric denser, cast on more, and knit a couple less rows. Of course then I'd have a scarf for outside and nothing for my chilly, but not as chilly as outside, office. But, I have some yarn left, and re-knitting would use it up... Argh. It's these things that can make knitting stressful for me. These silly decisions that don't really matter but I end up thinking about them all day. And I don't why it bothers me so much to have yarn left over. I want to use it ALL.

I should mention that the yarn I used is a gorgeous handspun merino/tencel thick-and-thin 2-ply from Cosy. I love it and I'm having trouble letting any of it go to waste.

I wonder if this pattern would look as good with the garter ridges going horizontal as opposed to vertical. Then I could cast on enough to go around my neck and just keep knitting until I ran out yarn. Maybe I'll try that with some of the other yarn I got from Cosy.


hmmmmmmmm. I don't know. Decisions, decisions.

But it's all good cause I'm cosy in my new knit.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Finished Objects 2009!

I don't have anything profound to say - I think I will let the fact that I have finished objects to show already and it's only Jan 20 speak for itself. ;)

So the weaving project I started during the holidays... I finished the weaving portion during the holidays and now just have the dreaded finishing finishing to do. I'm not super thrilled with how the scarf came out, it's a little more rustic than I had in mind. Still, I will finish it and show it off properly, but here's an action shot to give you an idea!

The first really finished project of the year for me is a crocheted hat. It's called the "Divine Hat" and the pattern by Rheatheylia can be found here. I LOVE it. My hat came out a bit on the big side, but I don't mind. I made it out of one of my stash yarns - Bernat Satin. I'm not a huge fan of acrylic yarn (I'm trying to use up all of it from my stash so I can buy natural fibres) but I have to admit that every project I've made with the Bernat satin yarn has been very nice. So if you have to go acrylic, it's a good one.

Hope everyone is is having a good crafty start to 2009. Here's to many more finished objects!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Umbrella Lightcover

I went to London last year to visit my sister, which was awesome. She lived in Notting Hill at the time and I loved the neighbourhood - the streets with picture perfect Georgian rowhouses... I'm a sucker for that stuff. There was one cute little shop there full of delightful things that you would expect to find in a charming, quirky shop. Including a fabulous umbrella. I loved it, had to have it. Bought it. Forgot that I still had several international flights ahead of me. Needless to say, the umbrella did not survive the baggage handlers. So, I mourned my umbrella - Vancouver would have given it lots of use too.

Here it is being enjoyed by my cat. Notice the handle has broken off. It took forever to get the umbrella open once it had broken.... then we couldn't get it closed again. It sat around, open, looking sad for a while.

Then, inspired by Kalin, I decided to use the leftovers as a light cover!

I had a drab, boring light in the little entryway alcove to my tiny apartment so I decided to string it up there. A hacksaw shortened the remainder of the pole, and then it was just a matter of some eyehooks screwed into the ceiling and some wire - and - bob's your uncle - it was done.

I think it's a big improvement.

Here are the before shots (yawn) - we've got nice high ceilings, otherwise this wouldn't have worked:

And after - much sassier, I think:

Treasury Love

Mrswoowoo included one of our items in her fabulous love-themed treasury on Etsy. It's perfect for Valentine's day without being sickly sweet!

Check it out:

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Dear Megan,
I thought I'd do a little post updating you on how those knits you wanted are coming along.

BSJ in progress

The sweater is almost done. Aside from sewing on buttons, the only other thing I want to do is fix up that neckline a little. I'm thinking I'll do a crochet edging to even it out. And as for said buttons, I've got a couple that might work but I thought I'd get your input. It's times like this I really miss "Button, Button" (a button store downtown that was awesome but had to close b/c of soaring rent). I'm thinking something woodsy...

I've finally made some decisions about the hat and got going on it during my trip to Toronto. I've started with a little I-cord knot on top (like the Stitch N Bitch Umbilical Cord hat). Once I'm done the increases I think I'll throw in some garter ridges (kinda like in this hat) to pull it together with the sweater.

Also what I need to do is figure out what size baby the sweater fits and make the hat so that it fits the baby at the same time.... hmmmmm. If only there was a coordinating BSJ hat pattern that would just say "using same yarn and needles, cast on this many stitches."

Anyways, let me know what you think so far!

Variegation etc.

Well it's not Friday, but it's only been a few days. It was a busy, yet awesome weekend. Busy might not quite be the right word because I had very little scheduled, but it was all I wanted.

Anyway, as I mentioned I have been attracted to yarns I wouldn't normally use. In particular yarns that are variegated and self-striping. I used to completely avoid them, but since December I have been loving them. Here's a sampling of the ones I have bought and used.

This beautiful silk, kid mohair and nylon blend called Maiden Hair fromHandmaiden was the start of it all.

My housemates request for something fuchsia lead me to making a bikini top from colinette.

I also made my first project using a noro yarn (the lovely Kochoran) but used my favorite stitch pattern, the diagonal box stitch. One skein made a perfectly sized neckwarmer.

My nephew also asked for a blue scarf so I picked worsted weight, kettle died merino from Malabrigo. It's my top priority project to finish right now. It's helping my knitting speed up, but I'm not very pleased with my edges.

And finally, the project I have been calling "My Rabbit" all week. It's a primarily angora yarn called Peter Rabbit by Fleece Artist and the colourway is Cosmic Dawn. It's soft and warm and one skein makes a scarf. The pattern is from the latest Interweave Crochet.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Google Alerts

Every week I get two emails from Google Alerts. One is for "maked" and the other is for "maked crafts". I don't feel either provides me with much insight, but it has made me realize how many people don't know the proper past tense of the word "make". Occasionally there are a few things worth noting...

I find out about other blogs who have mentioned us or have linked to us. For example, Watashi no Uchi Desu has us in their blog links and Spotted Sparrow included us in their list of Holiday Inspiration.

Often, I'll get alerts about "maked" that will just include the word "make" which it's kind of silly because it's a really, really common word. Once, of all the blogs it chose to include was my lovely friend Diandra's blog. Her post had nothing to do with us at all, but her post where she "made" something put her in my alerts.

That's all for today. Tomorrow expect pictures of beautiful varigated yarns.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

On working in a yarn shop

I have been thinking a lot lately about my new job at the yarn store. Every spare minute I have is spent thinking about yarn and crafts and designing and all sorts of other big life things.

First off, all I want to do is create fiber things. All day I get to think about everything other people are making and by the time my shift is over I can not wait to pull out my own projects. This has lead to finishing and planning lots of projects in the last few weeks.

That leads me to the fact that I am now also a knitter. I have yet to finish a project, but I am working on two and have a few more planned. They all lead up to a beautiful pair of silk and cashmere knee-high cable socks. It's very exciting.

Not only am I learning every day I also get to share my own knowledge. I share with customers all the time, and then staff because I am the most experienced crocheter here right now. But above all I am officially an instructor now. I taught my first crochet private lesson today. It was long but went really well. I'm only doing private lessons for now, but who knows what might happen in the future.

I'm also starting to officially design. I'm working on two spring scarves, plus will finally finish my Cupcakes for Secrets pattern. I also might do a bikini in the summer out of Skinny dyed cotton by Blue Sky Alpacas.

But all in all, there's just something lovely to being surrounded by all that yarn. Every day I discover something I hadn't paid attention to the day before. I'm working with colours and fibers I wouldn't normally work with. My fiber heart growing and it feels awesome.

100 Craft Tutorials

Need some crafting ideas for 2009?

This lovely blog, The Long Thread, has put together a list of 100 of her favorite free online tutorials - that should keep you busy for a while. ;)

Friday, January 02, 2009

Afghan-covered buses

Happy New Year crafting world! Hope everyone had a fabulous holiday and a bright outlook for 2009.

An interesting bit of local news for Vancouver - our Main street trolley buses will get a very interesting public-art treatment starting on Monday.... they'll be covered in the material usually used for advertisments except it'll be afghan prints, just for fun. Details here at the Buzzer Blog (photo from there as well). I love seeing the fusion of transit and art and crafts.