Finished Objects, Inspiration

Fiber Art Exhibit + Community Art Project

The art center is doing something wonderful. It’s captured quite a bit of attention lately, and I want to share a few photos with my fiber-loving friends:

Fiber Exhibit

Fiber Art

Fiber Sculpture

I am completely in awe of this exhibit. I’ve yet to explore all of it, but what I’ve seen is incredibly inspiring. One of the best parts, for me, is that it encourages others to try knitting and crocheting. Take an instruction card, learn a skill.

Take One

Fiber

Doesn’t it just make you happy to imagine that someone who has always wanted to learn to knit or crochet might take a card home, give it a try, and discover a new passion?

And there’s another way that this exhibit encourages community involvement: They’re asking local knitters/crocheters to submit swatches, which they’ll assemble into a giant tapestry. This tapestry will capture the spirit of Georgia O’Keeffe’s From the Lake No. 1.

From the Lake

The art center even provided the fiber – I received a skein of navy blue yarn. Since Georgia O’Keeffe is known for painting floral subjects, I decided to pick a pattern with a flower motif: The Crocodile Flower. It’s a gorgeous, heavily textured crocheted square pattern. I used almost an entire skein of Vanna’s Choice to make my 12″ square! (Your mileage may vary, of course.)

Crocodile Stitch Square

I hope to get pictures to share once the tapestry is complete. What a great way to connect the community!

Fun Stuff

Gilmore Girls Crocheted Scarf

I’ve been binge-watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix lately – it’s just such a perfect show to “watch” while crafting. I’ve already seen all of the episodes anyway, plus there’s definitely enough dialogue to keep you informed of what’s happening by just listening. I’ve found Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue-heavy shows (West Wing, Sports Night) to be good for this, too. 😉

Repeat viewings do reward you, though – there are so many awesome details in the sets! The Hooked on Houses blog has a photo tour of Lorelai’s house and the Gilmore mansion, as well as the Dragonfly Inn (and the town of Stars Hollow). For super fans, there’s also a thorough guide to filming locations for the show on the Filming Locations of Chicago and Los Angeles blog.

Needless to say, the knit and crocheted items on the show catch my attention – and there are a lot of them! One piece that I’d particularly like to recreate appears in at least a couple of episodes: Rory’s crocheted scarf.

Rory's Scarf

It appears prominently in Season 5 Episode 14: “Say Something.” This is the episode in which Rory borrows Logan’s limo service so she can comfort Lorelai in Stars Hollow. The limo causes a commotion in town, and Rory responds by poking out of the top and explaining that she’s “not usually in a limo.”

And good news for those who like the scarf as much as I do – there’s already a pattern that was inspired by this piece! It’s called, appropriately, “I’m Not Usually in a Limo,” and was designed by Maria Keays. (Available for free as of this writing.)

Rory Crocheted Scarf

In the closeups, you can see some of the details of this lacy crocheted pattern.

Rory Crocheted Scarf Gilmore Girls

The scarf made an appearance in at least one other episode. Here, Rory layered it with other cold-weather wear. I think this was from Season 4, Episode 17.

Rory Crocheted Scarf Gilmore Girls

Bonus: Here’s another scarf that’s similar in appearance but clearly isn’t the same one. This one might be knit? It’s hard to tell, but it’s pretty.

Rory Scarf Gilmore Girls

Finished Objects, Past Projects

Ready or not…

…it’s almost time to enter my knitting and crochet projects into this year’s fair contest. It looks like I’ll have 16 entries this year – down from last year’s 20, but still not too bad. 🙂 Here’s a peek at a few of my projects:

Victorian Romantic Pineapples 5

glitzshawl7

Circular Motif Shawl by Babycakes Creates

Nennir Scarf

Donna Spiral Doily

And now that I’ve cut myself off from making contest projects before this year’s deadline, I’m spending time on some fun projects with no pressure. I’m finally using my Blue Heron Rayon Metallic to make a shawl, and it… is… amazing. It just knits up beautifully. More on that project later!

Finished Objects, Past Projects

Woodland Sage Chalice Baby Blanket

Time for more show and tell. This baby blanket is my first knit lace project. Well, technically my second – I made two of these in a row. The first one didn’t get photographed – I gave it away as a baby gift before I started documenting my projects. How lovely is the Chalice Baby Blanket pattern? 

Woodland Sage Chalice Baby Blanket

I really like the soft gray-green color of Caron Simply Soft I used for this blanket. Alas, it’s no longer available. (Story of our lives, amiright?) The other one of these I made was in white – really lovely for a baptism gift. It’s nice to have photographed my older projects like this one, so I can see some progress. My stitches are more even now than they were on this project!

Woodland Sage Chalice Baby Blanket

WIP

A Study in Contrasts

My most recent projects are on opposite ends of my fiber-crafting ability spectrum. He’s a little bit bulky-weight and knit, she’s a little bit cotton thread and crocheted.

Crochet and Knitting Projects

I ran out of thread while in the middle of one project, and had to wait until my order for more arrived. (Booooo. Hisssss.) In the midst of the waiting, I started the other. This is rare for me – I prefer to work on my projects one at a time. I usually work until completion, even when the project gets mind-numbingly boring and I reach what I like to refer to as my “point of despair.” As in, “Will this project EVER be done? I cannot make one. More. Stitch.” But then I do, and eventually it gets finished.

Crocheting and Knitting Projects

The thread crochet project is the Wild Rose table runner by Elizabeth Hiddleson, which I waxed poetic about in a previous post. I’m making it with Curio thread in Comfrey. I bought the thread without a project in mind – you’ll definitely need two balls of it for this table runner.

Crocheting Project

My “killing time” project is a GAP-tastic cowl made with Brava yarn in bulky. (Noticing a theme? Both this and the thread are from my amazing box of yarn.)

Knitting Project

It seems that many knitters/crocheters work on several projects at the same time, so I’m curious – am I alone in only working on one project at a time (most of the time)? Which do you prefer – working on several projects or just one, and why?

Fun Stuff

OttLite Flex and Store

PSA: I just scored a new OttLite from Michaels for $24! I had been eyeing these awesome lamps for a while, and this deal was too good to resist.

OttLite Flex and Store

The Flex and Store lamp was originally priced at about $80 – but it’s worth noting that it can be had for much cheaper elsewhere. (This same model is on sale right now, along with other models, at Jo-Ann’s infamous periodic lighting sale.) In any case, I already had a Michaels gift card from Christmas, so it was priced just right for me. 🙂

OttLite Flex and Store

Note the small built-in caddy – perhaps now I’ll be able to keep track of my cable needle. Doubtful.

OttLite Flex and Store

I just got this and have already been using it a TON. I don’t know how I managed without it, really – I have such bad eyesight anyway, and I wasn’t doing myself any favors by going without a decent task light.

OttLite Flex and Store

It’s set up on my coffee table right now, in fact, casting light over my otherwise eye-straining thread crochet project. Anybody else loving their OttLite (or another type of task light)?

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend – I’m getting ready to settle in for a night of PBS. Downton Abbey + Sherlock? Can’t think of a better lineup. The cup that the husband got me for Christmas has been coming in handy. 🙂  (It’s from Etsy, but it doesn’t seem to be available now.)

Downton Abbey Mug

Uncategorized

The Power of Making Things by Hand

Today was a difficult day. It’s tough trying to get back to “business as usual” after saying goodbye to a loved one. The experience is one that everyone faces, but it feels so raw and unfamiliar when it happens to you.

Rose doily

I learned a lot of things from my grandfather, things that I can see have trickled down through generations and that I know will have an unseen impact for generations to come. Things too numerous and too personal to explain here and now. I can tell you that he was a man who appreciated the value of hard work, and of doing things right. Often, this meant making things with his own hands. I’m happy to know that, in some small way, the things I love to do reflect his values.

Yarns

In My Stash: Knit Picks Chroma in Autumn Day

Around Halloween, I picked up a few skeins of Knit Picks Chroma (fingering weight) in Autumn Day. On sale. Pinch me. 🙂 It’s lucky that I took some photos of the yarn quickly, because it has already been transformed into a shawl and is pinned to the blocking boards as I type.

knit picks chroma autumn day 1

Having purchased this yarn in the Lollipop colorway, I knew what to expect this time. Although I have to say that, after working with angora yarn, this wasn’t quite as soft as I remembered. 🙂 Check out the lovely, slow-transitioning colors.

knit picks chroma autumn day 3

This yarn reminded me of something when I placed the order, and when it arrived I had an opportunity to compare. The colorway makes me think of the cover art for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It’s a closer match in person, but you get the idea. Love it!

knit picks chroma autumn day 2

Uncategorized

My Knit and Crochet Supply Bag

In my knit and crochet gift ideas post, I mentioned that I use the Thirty One Timeless Beauty Bag to store my knit and crochet supplies. Take a look at how well it works for craft supply storage.

Timeless Beauty Bag for knitting and crocheting

The bag folds out into three separate sections. The two end sections have large, transparent zippered pockets that make it easy to see what I have stored in each one. My interchangeable circular needle set fits perfectly into one of these pockets.

Timeless Beauty Bag for knitting and crocheting

The center section, which  is intended to hold makeup brushes, features some elastic loops. They work fairly well for holding sets of medium-size needles. I do have a few longer needles/hooks that I can’t keep in this section, but they are used so rarely that it’s not really a problem. Smaller needles might be tough to store in these loops too.

Timeless Beauty Bag for knitting and crocheting

The strap that fastens the bag shut is elastic too. So, if you tend to overfill your supply bag a little bit, the strap will stretch to accommodate the extra stuff.

Timeless Beauty Bag for knitting and crocheting

You’ll also see that one of the handles has a clasp, so you can hang it up easily by the handle. I have seen people use this same bag on the backs of car seats for road trips. Plus, it allows you to hang it up on hangers in hotels that can’t be removed from the closet bar. In my case, though, it’s an instant craft station. 🙂

Timeless Beauty Bag for knitting and crocheting

I’m not a consultant – I just really like using this brand’s bags as storage for my craft supplies! In an upcoming post, I’ll show you how I use the Organizing Utility Tote as a project bag.

Finished Objects

Chroma Lollipop Haruni Shawl

You may recall that I purchased some Knit Picks Chroma yarn in Lollipop to make a Haruni shawl. Well here it is!

Chroma Lollipop Haruni Shawl

I got the idea to use the yarn for this pattern after seeing one created by a Ravelry user. It’s a fantastic way to take advantage of the gradually transitioning colors – just look at the neat ripples it makes on the edging!

Chroma Lollipop Haruni Shawl

I had a lot of trouble keeping my center stitches even in this pattern. I thought it might just be because of the varying thicknesses found in the yarn, but I had the same problem with the one I made with my Comfy yarn.

IMG_5428

There are two edging options for this project – a crocheted edging and a knit I-cord edging. For the sake of trying something new, I went with the I-cord edging. Now that I’m done, I think I would have preferred the daintier crocheted edging option. Oh well – now I know! Practice makes perfect, and I still need a lot of practice. 🙂

Chroma Lollipop Haruni Shawl

See this project on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/BabycakesCreates/haruni