Tuesday

[knitting] Bearded Hat

I've been wanting to make a bearded hat for a while...

Bearded Hat


Bearded Hat

I was going to follow a pattern but the only thing that I took from it was to make the hair/beard in seed stitch.

Yarn: Lamb's Pride worsted for the hat. Unspun Icelandic for the beard.

I knit the beige hat normally (from brim to crown). I picked up the back loop of the cast-on row to work the hair/beard. Then I knit seed stitch around, cast off some stitches for the face hole, increased back up, joined, cast off some stitches for the mouth hole, cast off the back hairline, decreased to finish the beard. Knit a little mustache to sew on. I just kind of winged the whole thing.

Bearded Hat

Should keep me warm while I'm shoveling snow this winter!

Monday

[misc] Penny Monday

Hurricane Sandy's coming. Time to get into sleeping bags and camp out inside.

Kitty Sleeping Bag

Kitty Sleeping Bag

Friday

[knitting] Some assembly required

I've got some sewing to do this weekend:

Mystery KAL

Guuuuuuuuuh, I hate sewing. I hates it, my precious. I'm not sure whether or not I should sit down and devote an hour to sewing/stuffing/finishing this thing sober. Or if I should just bring a bottle of something up to the craft room and spend 4 - 5 hours getting wasted and suffering through the sewing. Looking at all those ends makes me want three fingers of Glenlivet, with a little bit of pepper... and some cheese.

I made this as part of a "Mystery Knitalong" in the Knit Toys group on Rav. This was my first time partaking in a mystery knitalong. Each week, you receive instructions and clues. The surprise comes at the end, when you go, "Well look at that. I had no idea what I was making, HAH HAH WHUT FUN."

My thoughts? I'd rather wait for the pattern to be done-done, rather than participate in what is essentially pattern-testing. I still have to rip and re-knit one of the pieces because there was an error in pattern. Also, now that I've seen finished projects, I probably wouldn't have used green as my contrast color- I would have preferred to use a light blue instead. 

Any guesses on what this might be?

Thursday

[crafts] Paint your own pottery

I recently went to Tip Top Pottery in White River Jct. to paint pottery with my sister and a couple of her friends. I don't know why I waited so long to try this- it was so much fun! Thursday night is "Ladies Night" so the studio fee is $5. Then it's just the price of whatever you choose to make. They have lots of 'regular' stuff to paint (mugs, bowls, plates, etc) but also FUN stuff- piggy banks, decorative figures, a few seasonal items (pumpkins, skull mugs). I picked a desktop organizer.

It was pretty busy there but we had someone explain the different glazes, how to paint, what to do, what not to do, etc. My major mistake was putting 5 different colors onto a plate... and not writing down the number of each color. So when I went back for more, I was looking through the bottles like "Uh... Shit." Lucky, I was able to show one of the employees my plate and she could tell what colors I chose.

So, after painting three layers of glaze in different colors over my organizer and decorating it with black details, it looked like:

Pottery

So pastel. But everyone's projects look pastel before firing them. Here's how it came out:

Painted Potters

I like it! There's one spot missing some color. You can see brush strokes here and there. Some of the blackwork is kind of sloppy. (I was kind of rushing to finish toward the end.) But overall, VERY fun and VERY rewarding to do.

I set the organizer on my craft desk:

Using the organizer

Yay, so functional and made-by-me. I've got to go to Tip Top once a month. I think I'm addicted.

Wednesday

[knitting] Handspun Capucine


Knit a quick Capucine- this is my 4th time making this pattern!

Handspun Capucine

Fiber is Lorna's Laces Superwash Merino (received in 2009 as part of a swap).

Lorna's Laces Superwash Merino

Spun into a fairly bulky-weight yarn.

Ocean Blues

Ocean Blues

I added tassels to my past iterations of this hat but this time I opted to braid yarn into long ties. I like it.

Tuesday

[crochet] Maester's Chain

Here's a project that I just finished and submitted for Team Iron Thone in Nerd Wars on Ravelry:

Maester's Chain

It's my take on a Maester's Chain. I crocheted over bone rings with 16 different fibers- a link representing various fibers that I've worked with in the past.

Maester's Chain

From top-most dark blue ring, following the links, the fibers are: merino wool, alpaca, acrylic, linen, cotton, metallic nylon, hemp, mohair, baby camel, bamboo, tencel, plastic, handspun yarn, cashmere, angora, brushed alpaca.

Not really the most trendy fashion accessory in the world but it will be fun adding to it over time with new fibers. Silk is notably missing (really, I can only think of working with silk a few times... and the yarns were always blends). I have qiviut in my yarn stash but I haven't used it yet and there was no way I was going to scalp some to add another ring. And there are always new fibers being introduced- soy, milk, tree pulp. And if I want to get specific with wool breeds, I can add rings for polwarth, wensleydale, corriedale, etc. 

Monday

[misc] Penny Monday

Penny, hanging out with me in the craft room this weekend:

Penny


Friday

[misc] Santana Friday

Santana


Lots of stuff to do this weekend- hope I can finish everything. 

Thursday

[spinning] Grey Wind

I joined Team Iron Throne in the Nerd Wars tournament on Ravelry. For three months, challenges are posts in various categories (charity, scientific, technical, etc). Team members complete challenges to earn points and if you can tie the project to your team's theme, you earn extra points. There are lots of different teams based on various nerdy interests: video games (Team 1-Up), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Team Hellmouth), Lord of the Rings (Team Precious). My team is for fans of the Song of Ice and Fire series.

My dissertation (three-month-long) project is to spin 3 pounds of grey wool into a 2-ply worsted weight. 

Spinning project

That's a lot of wool. I bought it so long ago, I can't even remember when- but I know it was at the VT Sheep and Wool when it was still held in Essex Jct.

I am using my Spinner's Control Card to make sure that all my singles are spun the same size:

Spinning project

I plied and washed a small skein to figure out wraps-per-inch:

Grey WInd

Grey Wind

Now I just have to spin it all. I'm calling the project Grey Wind, because that's the name of Robb Stark's direwolf in the series. In the end, I should have more than enough yarn to make a sweater or even a blanket. Or a big, stuffed direwolf?

Wednesday

[cooking] Lemon Cake

I received a copy of A Feast of Ice and Fire for my birthday. Lots and lots and LOTS of food and feasts are written about in the Song of Ice and Fire series. I thought it might be fun to work through the recipes.

Before getting into the cookbook, though, I tried making Lemon Cakes from this recipe. Obviously mine didn't rise  like in the picture (did I not beat the egg whites enough?) but it was stil tasty. Tart and sweet.

Lemon Cake


Since winter is coming, I think recipes from Winterfell and the Wall will be in order. But why do so many of the recipes call for prunes? Hm.

Tuesday

[crafts] Cartographic Coasters

This is another project that I saw in DIY/Crafts on Pinterest - Homemade Tile Coasters. It ended up being very easy and I love love love the finished coasters:

Map coasters

I mostly followed this tutorial.

Map coasters

Materials List:

- Cutting Mat
- Exacto Knife
- Ruler
- Pictures/Paper/Map
- Tiles
- Mod Podge
- Sponge Brush
- Adhesive Spray
- Matte Sealer Spray
- Felt
- Scissors

I bought the cutting mat and exacto knife (with extra blades) as a set at Joann's. Also got the Mod Podge, Adhesive Spray and Sealer Spray there. I waited until a "coupon commotion" event, so I got everything at 40% off.

The tiles I bought at Home Depot. A box of nine 4" x 4" was < $6 but there were two or three in the box that were unusable due to irregularities and imperfections.

The images that I used are from an old antique map calendar. 

Map coasters

So, my method for cutting was to lay a tile on top of the image and cut around it. Then, using a ruler and the grid lines on the cutting mat, I would cut away 1/8" from each side- to neaten them up and make the final images just smaller than the tile.

Brush on a layer of Mod Podge. Apply the image and smooth down. Wait an hour or so for it to dry. Then apply 3 - 4 more THIN layers of Mod Podge, allowing an hour or so of dry time between each layer. Don't apply a thick layer or else the image might pucker. Keep the head of your sponge brush in a sandwich baggie to keep it for drying out.

Here's what I'm most proud of- the felt backs:

Map coasters

I decided that I wanted FULL felt coverage- I don't want my countertop or tables getting scratched by the ceramic tile edge. Actually, first I wanted cork bottoms and I did buy a sheet of cork at Joann's but it didn't cut well at all and the edges of what I did cut tended to crumble away. So I moved on to felt. But the felt squares that I cut were not exact and not neat and... It wasn't working. The solution was to use the spray adhesive. Spray well a slightly-too-large square of felt and press the finished tile onto it. When dry, use a pair of sharp scissors to follow along the tile edge and cut away the excess. A felt bottom with perfect coverage. 

Map coasters

After I applied the tiles to the felt (but before cutting away the excess), I also sprayed the entire tiles, all over, with the matte sealer. After a few hours drying above the garage, they're ready to use:

Map coasters

This was an easy weekend project. Once you buy the supplies (apart from the tiles) you have enough stuff to make a hundred tile coasters. I'm not sure what theme to do next... but I have an urge to cut up a comic book. Also, any of those Dover Pictorial Archive books would have interesting images.

Monday

[misc] Penny Monday

Returned home from work to see:

She isn't sorry.

She doesn't look very sorry, does she? 

Friday

[crochet] Small Bag

I crocheted a small bag:

Crocheted bag


Using my handspun from last year:

Venus Fly Trap

This is cute and easy to make. But very small (like, 6" x 5"). The pattern looks easy to modify to make a larger bag.

Crocheted bag

Thursday

[cross-stitching] Go INSANE

I finished a cross-stitch project, FINALLY:

X-stitch Ke$ha


The pattern is from Subversive Cross Stitch. I used glittery sewing thread (double-stranded) to do all the glitter stitches.

X-stitch Ke$ha

I pressed the finished cloth onto a 5" x 7" self-adhesive mounting board (they have these at Joanns, with the cross-stitch stuff), which makes it nicer to frame AND tacs down all those loose ends in the back. Then I popped it into a 5" x 7" frame. I took the glass out because it was reflecting and detracting from the overall message of the piece- GO INSANE.

Wednesday

[knitting] Guest Slippers #2

Here's the 2nd pair of guest slippers:

Slippers


The rainbow yarn used for the soles is handspun that I made back in 2009. I could never find a decent use for it- it was so bulky and... rainbow-y.

Slippers

It works well for these slippers. The bottoms are very plush and cushy. 

Slippers

I should attach some felt numbers or something, to approximate sizes. These are more like a woman's size 9, whereas the first pair that I made are more like a woman's size 8. I should find some darker yarn and re-work the pattern to make larger sizes for men.

Although, I did just download this pattern:


I'll work the grey Tiger tanks for Dollar. Then I'll make US Sherman tank slippers for me in Army green. Then we can wear them while we play Memoir '44- Dollar usually plays Axis and I play Allies. 

I don't know, if we both have a pair of tank slippers and wear them at the same time, I'll want to shuffle around the house after him, going "Pew pew pew, I shoot you with my tanks, pew pew." Or, if he's not home, I'll just follow after the cats, going, "Pew pew, kitty, I shoot you dead with my feet. Die, Nazi, DIE!!!"

Tuesday

[misc] Santana Tuesday

Santana


Well, I got the cold that was going around. I took a few sick days from work and spent the long weekend sick. Sick sick sick. Worst. Birthday. Ever. :(

[knitting] Guest Slippers #1

I've always wanted to keep a basket of handknit slippers by the front door, for guests to use. I started making them:

Slippers


Pattern: Non-felted Slippers (rav link)

Yarn: Green yarn is (discontinued) Knit Picks Sierra; Yellow yarn is Plymouth Taria Tweed

Needles: US 9

Slippers

This is a great pattern- it works up quickly using bulky-weight yarn (only about 50 yards of each color). The only drawback is that there is sewing involved- lots of ends to sew in because these slippers are worked flat.

Slippers


Monday

[misc] Muderface, Santana, Penny Monday

This doesn't happen very often:

3 kitties on the bed.


All three on the bed. And Dollar. And no room for me :(