A Wednesday wip

A wip* a day, keeps the doctor away. No?

I’ve tried to keep to avoid alliteration blog posts, like Wednesday wips etc. Not that I don’t like them – a lot of my favorite blogs use these kinds of posts. It’s just that I would fail – badly – at putting up certain types of posts on certain days. I tend to blog whenever I think I have something interesting to say (I hope!), and I’d unfailingly forget to up a post on topic, and then I’d start running behind and so on and on. (Even though it would give me some blogging discipline).

Of course I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself doing exactly that down the road…


Anyway, Ginny from Small Things runs a Yarn Along on Wednesdays, where you reflect on your current knitting and/or reading. So, this is a good opportunity to take a look as to what I’m currently working on. Especially since I’m trying to reduce my number of wips.

First wip is this one:

“Pleated” is a lovely squishy scarf knitting in Madeline Tosh Pashmina. This merino-cashmere-silk blend is so soft and gorgeous. The pattern is Olga Buraya-Kefelian’s Issey scarf, a pattern that’s inspired by Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please collection. And the scarf really is pleated – you can stretch it out and becomes quite a bit wider, but when released, it bounces back into the pleats shape. It really and truly is gorgeous, and my Dad will love it. Although he’ll probably only wear it come fall – it’s just too warm now. Oops. (More information on the project page, and in the blog post about the finished project).

And then there’s this wip:

This one is a mystery KAL, so no pattern page or project link for now. This is a gorgeous project. I can’t wait to see what the finished project will look like. The bottom edge has the same tortoise-shellish pattern as the top edge – the garter stitch makes the edge roll up, but I promise you it’s still there. I’ve finished clue#3, and clue#4 just arrived, and I think there are a total of 5 clues, so I’m nearing the end. The mystery KAL really is a lot of fun – I forgot how much fun it can be. My last mystery KAL attempt was the Westknits Earth & Sky KAL. That one was a fail for me – I never even managed to cast on for that one (yup, I STILL haven’t cast on).

I’m hoping to finish up clue #4 by tomorrow, and then I’ll finish the pleated scarf – only 3 more inches plus tip are left, and then I can try and work on projects. I’ll probably start to cast on for a Wollmeise project to fulfill my 12 Wollmeise in 2012 goal, and then I’ll turn my attention to another wip – my “Better than pea soupwedding blanket project. That one will take up quite some time…

So, that’s it for me. Are you interested in participating in the Yarn Along? Here‘s more info on the Yarn Along, and here you can see Ginny’s past Yarn Along posts. And here’s a link to Ginny’s current Yarn Along post.

Have fun looking at all those knitting and reading posts, and I’ll be back soon, probably with a post on food. I made these amazing cookies that really deserve a post of their own.

*For you non-knitters, a wip is a work-in-progress


It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day…

and I’m feeling good


I’ve been in the New Year’s Resolution camp – unsuccessfully – for so many times over the past few years that I’ve pretty much given up on making new resolutions. In the end I manage to keep my good intentions for only so long, and the new year just serves as a reminder of failed resolutions and whether I should take up the old resolutions once again.

I have some things that I do want to accomplish, but I’m not going to stress myself out over that. This year will be more of a “Let’s play things by the ear” year. I am looking forward to this year which will hopefully be a better one, better than 2011 with all of its ups and downs. There’ll be a big 90th birthday, a big wedding (not mine!), time with my little nephews, a potential move, a new internship and maybe even a new job, health improvements, and hopefully lots and lots of fun to look forward to.

So – you can look forward for me to blog more about knitting and other crafts, food adventures, improving photography skills, everything that tickles my interest and general life. I know I still need to catch up from last year, so you’ll see some of those posts over the next few weeks, but I’ll be putting up some new stuff as well. I’m looking forward to 2012!

XL Ishbel

Another past project post:

extra large Ishbel

XL Ishbel

One of our friends turned 60 last year, and she said that she didn’t want any presents, only ‘a rose’. Well, I decided to interpret that a little more creatively and decided to knit her a shawl and then fold and roll it into a rose shape. After much discussion, we settled on Ysolda’s Ishbel pattern, to be knit in Wollmeise Twin in the colorway roter Himbeermund. The color works especially well with Indian clothes, where stronger colors are often paired up (I remember seeing a woman in a neon green and neon pink sari in India – somehow it worked there, although I wouldn’t be caught cold in such a color combination outside of India).

I made the stockingette section larger, and a smaller lace section. That meant that I did 41 repeats of the stockingette section, rather than 25 for the small or 33 for the large version of the pattern. Since the Wollmeise Twin skeins have less yardage than the 100% skeins, I only had enough yarn for a small lace section. I also had to use a teeny tiny bit of another skein to bind off the last few stitches. More information is on my project page (Ravelry link).

It truly is an extra large Ishbel, and she loves it. I hope she wears it frequently – nothing is worse than knitting something for someone and they don’t appreciate it, or it sits in their closet, forgotten.

La Granada

La Granada

This is one of the prettiest lace projects I’ve knit up so far. The combination of yarn and design work together beautifully. The pattern is La Cumparsita by Marnie MacLean, and the yarn is Wollmeise 100% in Granatapfel. Hence the project name La Granada. I modified the bind off – I did a yo bindoff instead of the picot edge. I’m just not a friend of picot edges, including on sock cuffs. Too girly for me.

My aunt came for a visit when my Mom was first diagnosed with breast cancer – to help out both in the household as well as a mental support. She’s a doctor, so it was great for my mother to discuss matters from a medical point of view. I wanted to knit something for her as a thank you for all her help. I planned to knit a Pompa scarf for her but things were just too busy. So I decided to rehome this project and give it to her. She loves the color and all the lace work so I know this shawl is going to a good home where it’ll be appreciated.

La Granada shawl

up close

Freezer paper stencils

I love craft projects – handmade gifts can be personalized so much more than bought gifts. Or you can personalize a bought gift to match the recipient’s personality. I’ve made wood puzzles for friends’ kids, knit and crocheted all kinds of presents, decorated aprons and baby items with napkins, embroidery, fabric and the such, and now I want to try this: Freezer Paper stencils. I first saw this in Frecklegirl’s photostream – that’s Jess as in Jessica of Ravelry co-founder fame. Look what cute designs she came up with.

Freezer paper stencils

freezer paper stencils in action

finished baby onesie

finished baby onesie decorated with freezer paper stencils

I think I’ll buy some plain baby onesies and personalize them for my new nephew to be. I can give my own creativity the reign, and it’s way cheaper than buying some of the fancy baby onesies. And I can work up a combination of dyed fabric and stencils and prints. Hmmm, the possibilities are endless.

Maybe I’ll also decorate a onesie with potato stencils – I remember making a pillow decorate with potato stencil prints in elementary school. I think I still have a pictures of it:

potato prints

badly lit potato stencils

Blowing in the wind

My friend Razili is expecting her first baby right around the time that my sister’s baby number two is due. I’ve been knitting up lots of baby clothes for my sister, but I haven’t yet knit anything for Razili. Not because I don’t want to, it’s just that her mother knits, and she’ll be knitting up lots of baby clothes. And I don’t want to take away from that. Plus, I think her Mom is planning to knit a Shaun the sheep mobile for her.

all the colors

not the best picture, but still very cute and colorful

Instead I figured I’d make something for her in the wood workshop. One of the people there had a design for this pretty wood mobile, so instead of knitting up a mobile (as I’d done in the past), I decided to craft one for her out of wood. The design is pretty easy – the wood pieces are shaped in waves.

The tricky part is to balance the pieces correctly, otherwise the pieces will be out of alignment. It’s something that can be fixed through the careful placing of wood beads and/or attaching a weight to the lowest piece, but fortunately the holes in the template were pretty much on target. I sanded the pieces and painted them with parquet floor paint – that way they can easily be wiped off, and the color glows nicely.

My sister saw the finished project, and now she wants one for her second baby. I already made her a sheep mobile, but that one is hanging over the changing table, and the new mobile is supposed to hang over the baby’s bed. Back to the wood shop!

A fourth birthday

I’d mentioned before that I had knit this cute little dress for my goddaughter as a present for her second birthday. The straps of the dress were too stretchy, so I decided that I’d frog the dress and knit up something else instead of fixing. Since the birthday party is over it’s now safe to post this. So – meet her new dress:

posing for the photo

4th birthday dress

The pattern is Kenna botton top (Ravelry project link) by Nicole Ratliff. Cute, and perfect for a little girl. It’s actually a top, but I made a dress version. I knit the 4/5 year size so it should fit her for a while. I cast on six extra stitches so I could knit together the two button plackets instead of knitting the somewhat skewed version as in the pattern, which would require a sewing together later. I also knit the body for a bit, then knit the two sleeves so I could later knit the body until I used up all my yarn. I added increases every so often to make the bottom of the dress a bit wider. And I finished of the dress by adding k2p2 ribbing at the sleeves and at the bottom, to continue the apple color scheme.


new apple buttons

Remember my post on embellishments during the Knitting and Crochet Blogging week? I’d talked about some custom made buttons that I’d had designed. Since I had an apple theme going, I asked Robin from Buttoms by Robin to design matching buttons. They show a red apple, a green apple, a worm looking ouf of an apple and an apple tree. These are way prettier than the original buttons although I’d been really lucky that those store bought buttons completely matched the dress. But the new dress has 4 buttonholes, so I wouldn’t have been able to use the original maroon buttons anyway.

The dress is too warm for her now, but it’ll last her at least through this year, and possibly the next. The dress can easily be steamblocked wider. Right now it’s a sweater dress that she can wear the dress with leggings, as a short dress, as well as a top over jeans. And later when she’s older she can still wear it as a top.

This turned out way better than fixing the original dress. And she loves it, and her Mom as well. Yay!

McKenna top