Winter is officially here, it seems (proof: (a) I have a cold. (b) There is snow. (c) It is December.) With that in mind, on a snowy Saturday morning before I brave the roads and run some errands, here is some snuggly inspiration for you! (click on the pics to go to their sources ♥)
Don’t you just want to make lovely wooly crafts all winter long? I do. I’ve finished a pair of fingerless mittens (which I started in January, yikes!) and am crocheting away on my second ripple, which I do hope to finish this winter. Aside from that, I have been recently inspired by the patterns over at Tiny Owl Knits (the antler hat above is one of her lovelies!) and after Christmas & my birthday, both at the end of the month, I will probably have some mad money to spend on some luxurious yarn, perfect for a woodland hoodlet or two ♥. Her patterns are so magical & sweet.
After today I will hopefully have some progress photos of the ripple… I need to get batteries for my camera. Last weekend I wrote and addressed all of my Christmas cards, and if I can buy stamps today they will get mailed on Monday – woo – I’m very happy to get those done!
Anyways, hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday morning (or has enjoyed, for those of you ahead of my time zone) xox
- this weekend, because I don’t have to work!
- on Saturday a brand new yarn store is opening right downtown, minutes away from where I live. Currently I have to drive at least 20 minutes to get to a real yarn store, so this is exciting!!
- I made banana bread yesterday, with chocolate chips. I only had one egg & the recipe called for two, so yeah… I totally substituted “an eggy amount” of water for the second egg… and the middle of the loaf is consequently verrrrry moist. But it’s actually extremely tasty!
- tomorrow is Friday
- I’m close to finishing my alpaca armwarmers
- tonight is 30 Rock night
- I ate french fries for supper
That’s all for tonight; what’s making you happy?
You’ll have to forgive the lighting, by the time we got home tonight it was past 10 pm, and our flourescents don’t do colours justice. Anyways, it is super-scrumptious Diamond Luxury Collection Baby Alpaca Lace in a lovely neutral tan colour. Two skeins at 400 metres each should make some nice long smooshy armwarmers, right? I’m thinking of maybe a 3×2 rib or something… highly influenced by the ones in the Toast catalogue I posted about the other day. And hopefully I won’t drive myself crazy knitting with lace-weight yarn.
Today was great for shopping; we also stopped at Chapters to spend some Christmas gift cards– I bought this:
I have a bit of a crush on Nigella, as in: I want to be her (accent included), and I’ve been looking at her books with longing for a while. I did mention I was planning to do some more baking this year, the real stuff from scratch (!), so this book should help me with that.
The recipes are really drool-worthy, too. I’m getting hungry just thinking about them (especially looking at the photos of cookies & cupcakes)!
One last thing before I go– one of my other favourite birthday gifts was this awesome makeup bag (from my mum), how cool is this?
Yep, that’s right: it’s got owls! I super-love it. I sort of flaunt it when I take out lipgloss, but so far no one has said anything. What super gifts did anyone else get? I’d love to read, or especially see pictures!
… is happening tomorrow! Love! And the best part is I get to spend a gift certificate that a certain lovely Himself gifted me for winter solstice. So it’s like free yarn!
Also I got two skeins of supersoft Lion Brand Organic Cotton in ivory from my mum yesterday (hooray for second birthdays!) which are destined to become some fingerless mittens.
(mine isn’t pink, but this was a nicer pic than I could get with crappy evening lighting).
Okay, but people at work are totally starting to tease me about my knit accessories (and being cold)– I have a pair of alpaca fingerless mitts that I use when typing if my hands get cold, which everyone seems to find hilarious. And today I really wanted to wear a new sweater that I got for my birthday, only the sleeves are 3/4 length and it’s too cold to wear them. So I put on some armwarmers, which are really just long knitted tubes, and used them as sleeves.
So everyone’s like: “Are you wearing two sweaters??” (This came up at our daily meeting. Yes, nothing much goes on at work). And I go: “No…” (pulling down the armwarmers) “… they’re just sleeves!” Haha. It was super.
Also I may be starting a new crochet blanket (with more gifted yarn), but it’s bulkier yarn so it shouldn’t take too long.
The Ripple Blankie is complete! Started in January (really??) and recently spurred on to completion with a Ravelry Crochet-Along, this blanket has been a long time coming.
Here it is on the (new!) couch:
Ah… lovely soft cotton. I already mentioned that I was using up odds and ends of Bernat Handicrafter cotton, and that I ended up having to purchase more (well, the pound bag only cost $5) as I seem to have this problem with estimating the size of project I can complete with an amount of yarn.
Once I finished the last ball of the cream colour, I did two rows of blue (using my unravelled-as-I-went Lace Ribbon scarf, which did not warrant keeping) and called it a day.
It’s much narrower than it is tall, and can fit lengthwise across the double bed perfectly, just hanging over either end. I think it will come in handy during cooler nights to warm our feet, as well as on the couch for marathon movie sessions.
Oh, and Leela loves it as well…
Things I have learned while working on this project:
- Crocheting is sooo much easier to rip back than knitting. I’ve only been crocheting since the beginning of the year, but wow have I ever had an easy time ripping it back. I must have done the first few rows of this Easy Ripple five times before getting the stitch pattern right. And every time I ripped back, I marvelled at the ease and neatness of it.
- Mistakes happen, but are easily masked by the large size of a blanket. My stitch count was seldom consistent (I can’t stand counting stitches row by row!) but the overall effect is still impressive. I let myself get into the relaxing rhythm of rippling, and whenever I noticed I had extra stitches (or not enough) between repeats, I’d just decrease one (or two or three!), or add one in, as needed.
- Never underestimate the amount of yarn needed for a blanket. When I started this, I was overly confident that the two 400 g rather large balls of cotton I had would be more than enough. Then I found myself unravelling previous (unsuccessful) projects and buying new yarn to finish it.
- I like that with crochet, every row has the potential to be your bind-off row. When you aren’t sure how many rows you can finish with the amount of yarn you have left, it’s nice that you don’t have to start a specific bind-off row (as you do with knitting)– each row itself is neatly finished as you go! Miraculous!
- I will be making more ripple blankets in the future– just have to go out and buy more yarn… hmm…
I’ll leave off with a close-up shot of the lovely stitch definition!