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Santa’s Weird Little Workshop Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Well, now. Seem’s like even though we’ve gotten the year’s shortest day out of the way, there’s still work to be done!

I just finished making a cowl using my Cassidy’s Cap pattern and some beautiful Sweet Grass Wool 3-Ply. On the left, you see it as it’s fresh-off-the-needle scrunchy self — too tight. On the right? (click on all pictures for larger picture)

cowl-before-7871   cowl-after-7886

The main characteristic of this wool, from the label, is that it’s unscoured. I’m thinking, not being a spinner, that this is sort of like Right Off the Back of the Sheep, or as close as you can get ;p

It knit up chunky and full of lanolin, etc and it needed a couple of warm sudsy dunks to release its hidden beauty.

On the right, you can see it bloomed and blocked!

Want to make one of these: if you’re using Aran weight yarn like the Cassidy’s Cap, just follow the first instructions as given from the beginning cast on; if you want to make one using a gauge like the one above (which is 3.5 sts per inch), subtract 26 sts from your base cast-on count. It took 130 yards of bulky yarn (not sure on the Aran weight yardage since I haven’t knit one, but I’m guessing about the same as the cap). REMEMBER: you need to finish up the way you started. ;p

yarn-7890Stocking Stuffer: for a little seasonal cheer, I found an extra skein of this yarn (153 yds) and if you leave a comment below, we will draw randomly Sunday, the 27th, and send it to the winner!

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Orn-Santa-7880Orn-Monkey-7883Orn-Elf-7873  Orn-Bird-7884

From my house to your house: as always, Christmas spirit arrived here late in the season, late last night, after visiting the Christkindlmarket (visiting Chicago from Germany) in Daley Plaza downtown. A couple of ornaments snuck into the mix from Lauschaer Glaskugelhaus and I went home and decorated the tree. (This is what happens after you eat bratwurst smothered in saurkraut, chased with a cup of glog…)

Here’s some new and old favorites from my tiny tree (3 feet). Most of the ornaments are about 1″ high. (click on all pictures for larger picture)

My all-time favorite: and the tallest guy on the tree – a very old and fragile 3″ high glass Santa. He’s from the Allegan flea market, found years ago. I love him because he’s Blue, not Red, even though he has a pretty big hole in the head.

Second in Command: this tiny blue monkey with a cheerful yellow face. He had a brother that was my all-time favorite, in lime green and because I loved him so much he ended up as a decoration on a boyfriend’s gift in a bow (because: see previous explanation). Said boyfriend actually threw it away after he opened his package; we were history by the end of first week of the New Year. (I guess it DID bother me.)

I live in the Forest: or I’d like to, with the Elves! I have several vintage elvish ornaments who have lower bodies made from pine cones and are all carrying little xmas trees. This one looks especially happy but his brothers, like some gnomes I’ve known, look a little sinister whereas this one just looks a little manic! PARTY!

New to the party: a lovely multi-colored bird with a bristled fan tail! My grandparents had many glass birds on their xmas tree like these but bigger — I haven’t seen them to buy before last night at the market. So here’s to my Busia & Dzia Dzia and if I had the bubble lights from their tree I would be in paradise :)

Happy Holidays Everybody!!


Monday Morning Mirth December 21, 2009

  Monday Morning Mirth  

What’s a Map Quest map good for?
 
map_7868

Recently, while on one of my metropolitan romps in the far west suburbs, I needed to quickly measure something.

I was stuck for hours at the edge of a storm front waiting for it to come in, so I could take its video portrait for ye olde day job.

Although I was surrounded by technology at its finest, there was no tool to simply measure with.

Until I saw the 8.5 x 11 map on the seat next to me…

Chick TeK:
- fold paper in half lengthwise, then widthwise
- fold half the paper width-wise again
- repeat twice

VOILA! 1.0625″ wide segments ready for action! (Much more accurate than the dubious map was to begin with…)

What’s your favorite in-a-pinch tool?


Whoa December 18, 2009

Like many of you it seems, something’s sneaked up on us all: ye olde Holidaze!

No. Really. Seven days from now and NOTHING’s Done.

Sugar plums dancing in my head? Nay. And there are no elves doing night duty that I’ve noticed so I am plum out of luck!

cryforhelp

What you see above is a feeble attempt to make it all go away: cast-on a hat out of some nice touchy feeley yarn and go to it!

It also helps that the color is my fave — a little eye-sugar to help the medicine go down.

Yummy navy Malabrigo has got to make it to the bitter end, no?

Memo: maybe it’s a good thing the fam&friends adore those gift cards after all.

This weekend the Crockpot’s gonna be cookin’ and the needles are going to be clickin’.

Who else is on this crazy ride?

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