Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Imps in Progress

I love a good work-in-progress. A project that's formed enough to hint at what it will ultimately become, yet undefined enough to be full of potential. A work-in-progress implies devotion and time; you peel back the curtain to reveal the history behind the final image.

I'm particularly excited about this work-in-progress, my Mama Imp. Knit from Rebecca Danger's Daphne and Delilah pattern, she's going to be one tiny little trouble-maker when she's done. She's extra special because she's made out of a baby alpaca/silk yarn, which would be a dream to work with if it wasn't DK on size 1 needles. Still, I feel confident that at this gauge she won't be loosing her stuffing anytime soon.

I can't wait for her to get some arms and a face, which should go a long way towards giving her some personality. And then she'll get a little kangaroo pocket which I will fill with a Baby Imp. I'm dying from cute just thinking about it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fractals and Falling Leaves

I was talking to some friends on Ravelry this week about fractal spinning and my blog post about this technique, when realized that I should update you on how my fractally spun yarn looks knitted up! I ended up giving the first skein in the aforementioned post to my friend Stephanie, who made it into this beautiful shawlette:

Knitted up, you can really see the effect of fractal spinning: the general color progression from yellow to orange to blue overlaid with shorter versions of this color sequence. I love how the shape of her shawl really highlights the color effects.

While Stephanie's handspun shawl is beautiful, I'm totally in love with her autumnal version of this shawl made out of MadelineTosh Tosh Sock. Not only is the color choice perfect for the pattern but you can really see how all of the beautiful leaves fit together into an interesting design.

I'm going to brag about Stephanie a bit and tell you that she designed this shawl, which is called 'Fall of Leaves', and has shared the pattern for free on Ravelry! For someone who recently started writing patterns, she is very talented. Plus, I think it's very generous of her to post the pattern for free since I know she put a lot of time and effort into this design.

I'm lucky to have a knitting friend like Stephanie. I always enjoy our tea-and-knitting dates with our mutual friend C, and I know I'm going to miss her when she moves away from Madison this summer.

All photos in this post are courtesy of my very talented friend Stephanie (eccentrica on Ravelry).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Potter Party Pals

I love themed parties. I loved them as a child and I still think they're wonderful as an adult. I love them so much, in fact, that I no longer feel the need to confine them to birthdays nor confine my imagination when given a theme. Especially when said theme is Harry Potter.

This party hasn't happened yet, but I'm already making preparations. The general idea is to have a few friends over to watch Deathly Hallows part 1 in anticipation of the release of the final Harry Potter movie. In addition to movie watching, there will be a little decor, a few themed snacks, and maybe even some trivia.

One of my favorite items that I've prepared so far is this little Hogwarts House bunting. The flags and simplified Hogwarts crest, which is held together with spray adhesive, are made from felt and I hand-stitched each of the flags onto a grosgrain ribbon. I just adore how it turned out!

A few other items on tap for the party include these adorable Owl Post notes from Celestefrittata on Etsy, which I will be using as invitations, and homemade caldron cakes made with supplies from Bake It Pretty. I really need to keep hold of my senses or I will really go overboard on the party supplies.

I have more exciting plans for this party, but that is for a future post!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

All Aflutter

I think I'm falling for crochet. The more I do it, the easier and more enjoyable it becomes. And as much as I will always be primarily a knitter, I'm really coming to believe that certain things just work better in crochet. Butterflies, for example, fall into the crochet-is-better category.

I fell in love with this butterfly pattern the moment I saw it in 'Crochet Adorned'. It was originally designed to be a pocket on an apron, but I thought it would also work well as a larger statement piece. It took me a while to figure out the best place to make that statement, but I'm pretty happy with my final choice.

This gray top is one of my favorite layering shirts, but it has a tendency to slip off of my shoulders. Thankfully, a large butterfly is the perfect thing to provide structure to the shirt as well as subtly highlight the shirt's low scoop back. As the butterfly is made from recycled cotton, I now have the perfect thing to wear in all of this newly-arrived warm weather!

While I'm pondering doing more crochet from 'Crochet Adorned', I also got a copy of Linda Permann's second book, 'Little Crochet', from the library and I think it's another great offering from this author. It might just be time to up my crochet skills by attempting a tiny sweater.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Crawling out from under a Rock

I apologize for the lack of posting this week. I spent a long weekend traveling and came down with the requisite airplane-induced cold when I returned home. Blah. The one good thing about spending a few days glued to a box of kleenex was that I easily found time to read Rick Riordan's new book, The Throne of Fire, in between all of my naps.

Now that I'm back on my feet, I'm looking forward to sharing lots of exciting crafting projects with you over the next few weeks!