Saturday, January 31, 2009

OFO (= old finished objects)

Catching up with stuff I finished in December and January - just before the month is over. First of all, the sweater I was making during most of the holidays.

Considering it was knit during chatting and hanging out with my family, i.e. mindless knitting, it turned out good. A bit tight, but not too much. By the time I decided I 'd prefer it a bit looser it was perhaps the 20th time I 'd unraveled it (mindless knitting does have its drawbacks).

The yarn can be a bit itchy, but is also soft to the touch and very warm. I have already worn this sweater to work a lot, and I like it very much. The pattern, or rather guidelines, came from here, and it has been very helpful. Although I didn't quite know what I was doing, following the instructions produced great results.

The process of doing (and undoing) it also taught me a lot about the development of a sweater, knowledge that I put into my next project, the Lettuce Coat (ravelry link) from this book, also an excellent guide to sweater construction. Here's a progress shot, mostly to show off the wonderful yarn I got for Christmas as one of my presents: Malabrigo Merino worsted, kettle dyed.

I also finished a Felicity hat, found here. Great pattern, great yarn: our local Tahki Bunny, which I bought at Northampton - rescued from the bargain bin! It's a great yarn - no itchy forehead! and the hat is warm. I have enough left over to make a pair of matching wristwarmers, I believe.

Last, but not least, here is another one of my Christmas presents I forgot to take photos of. (Model and photos courtesy of the recipient - thanks M!) The yarn is Noro Big Kureyon, and the pattern Evangeline.

They were mostly made in transit - the fate of all portable projects - much of it in the bus to and from MA. It was fall, and the color variations of the yarn matched my view outside the window.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I am behind in project posting, but I 'll try to catch up faster than the finished objects accumulate. The first thing I have been wanting to mention is my failed attempts to knit a scratching post for the kitties.

In 2002, when the girls were just kittens, I had made them a scratching post out of a pole, a heavy base and all wrapped in some cheap carpeting.

It was a big success - note how young Sunny is here! Still hadn't grown into her ears!

After a couple of years, the post was totally torn, and therefore ineffective for its purpose.

It stayed in storage for a while, until I thought I 'd try to knit a tube and felt it, using some bright orange and hot pink yarn from stash. When it was ready, I rubbed catnip all over it, so as to jumpstart its reintroduction into their lives.

As soon as it was presented to them, L woke up Skid and brought her over for a test run.

Things seemed to work well.

But, alas! it was the catnip... After the first day, no kitty claw was laid on my felted post. My feelings were kind of hurt. All this work, and for what...

Luckily, I had a plan B:

Filled with unused clothes from my closet, it keeps the air out of the HUGE crack on our entrance.

As for the kitties, they will have to continue to use the floors for their pedicure, until I buy some carpeting again and give them just what they want, how they want it. Spoiled...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Some gifts, revealed

December 2008 was so hectic, I just realised I forgot to take photos of half the projects I made for presents. Nevertheless, here 's what made it into my camera:

1. Fabric collage notepad decoration. They are Moleskin notebooks with blank pages, and were given to a very talented person. Here's to them being filled with lots of creative ideas and future projects.

2. I don't actually have a photo of the finished project, but this is a progress shot for an idea my brother had: it is a bag filled with beans, attached on a solid top. It is meant to be an adjustable-shape coaster for use on the sofa or other uneven surface.

I made two on an experimental basis, and he kindly left them in the living room for a few days, so we could use them and get some feedback. There are a few ideas for the pattern's improvement, but all in all I think they quickly became popular around the house!

3. Another series of criss-cross coasters, this time made with a bunch of Japanese squares I bought on e-bay.

They are one of my favourite projects to make - I 'd say I 'm addicted to them. Luckily, they seem to be quite popular, which makes me very happy, because even though it seems like I 've given a set to pretty much everyone I know, I hope that nobody will mind if I give them some more in the future (for a different table, perhaps?!)

I also did a lot of knitting (and unravelling) over the holidays, while sitting around with my family. More on that when I get some photos.
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