A Sneak-Peek at the Shrug

As soon as a I possibly could, I moved my knitting for the Camellia Shrug off of the double pointed needles and onto my circulars. Here's my current progress on the lace part...

For the most part, once I got going, it's gone well. I've had to unknit and reknit a few portions here and there to correct the inevitable mistakes that happen with lace knitting, but no harm done. Once I really block it and the stitches even themselves out, it'll look even better. Just a few more rounds to go before the lace portion is finished! I'm definitely loving how it's coming out and can't wait to wear it this spring!

Thank Goodness for YouTube

I was really excited to start making the Camellia Shrug today, but little did I know how frustrating it would be to get the darn thing started! You start with double pointed needles, working from the center of the back outwards, and I've never done that before. It's quite a pain in the behind to handle five needles at once with only a couple of stitches on each! It kept getting twisted around, needles would fall out of the stitches, and I ripped it out and started again at least 6 or 7 times. Finally, I gave up trying to figure it out myself and fired up YouTube. I'm always so thankful to all of the people out there who take the time to create helpful, instructional videos for others! I found one that taught two different methods for circular cast-ons for center-out knitting. I'm happy to say I finally am on my way! Here's what I've got so far...

Get Your Knit On

Knitting has really been experiencing an upsurge in popularity these days. Used to be that it was just something we associate with grannies and aunties, but not anymore! Knitting is, dare I say it, hip! From young IT professionals who want something tangible they can actually create in the real world to avant-garde guerilla-knitters who make very public knitting installations grafitti-style, knitting is suddenly new again. NPR's "On Point" with Tom Ashbrook just did a show called The Resurgence of Knitting, available for download as a podcast on iTunes. After listening, I'm just dying to get the needles clacking! Here's what's next...

Knitscene Magazine's Camellia Shrug
This is my next project plan. The lace-work on the back and sleeves is just gorgeous, but not so delicate-looking that it becomes too precious. You could just as easily throw it on over a tank top as a dress. Can't wait to get started!

I've got another fun thing coming up. In March I'm taking a knitting class at WEBS in Northampton... Explore Entrelac with Rosemary Drysdale. Entrelac is a style of knitting that produces a distinct basket-woven look, and who better to learn it from than a master knitter who literally wrote the book on it? I'll let you know how it goes, and of course post all resulting projects!

Valentine's Day Garland

What better to do with my tons and tons of leftover red yarn than to make a cute doorway garland for Valentine's Day? The hearts were really easy to make, and only take about 10 minutes each. I got the pattern for free at Vogue Knitting, which I just recently received a subscription for ;-) Love it! So, here's the garland...

And here's a close-up of one of the hearts...

The garland was easy to make... just make as many hearts as you want, then chain them together! <3

Take a Creativity Break

One of my favorite computer applications as a kid was the old staple, Microsoft Paint. It's still around, but I imagine it doesn't get used much these days. When Kid Pix came out, I was instantly hooked. Like Paint, the point was to make pictures, this time with all kinds of fun effects like stamps and sounds and animation thrown in. What fun it was to get lost in colors, creating patterns, drawing worlds, and expressing our natural creativity, all without the mess! Fast forward many years, and all of this fun came back to me when I stumbled upon a really fun site called bomomo.com. It's all random, colorful, interesting effects that you have only partial control over. Need a really quick creativity break? This is your site.

I just whipped this one up in a minute or so, using one of the 20 effects. If you try it out, I used the bouncing circle button, third button from the left, bottom row. You can easily make a picture that's at least as good as your computer's screen savers or abstract wallpapers ;-) Heck, make your own, save them, and use them as your screen savers and wallpapers! Have fun!

Update: Did this one after spending the afternoon cooking. I'm making South Indian food tonight: dosas with masala potato filling, sambar (spicy lentil soup) and coconut chutney. Actually, the colors of this painting are the colors of dinner, hahaha!

Crochet is Fun, Charlie Brown!

Wanting a big of a change from knitting, I found the cutest Snoopy toy pattern to crochet! I'll post links to the free pattern at the bottom. I'm getting a bit more comfortable with crochet, and I love how quickly toys like this work up. Plus, the cuteness is just irresistible! The pattern didn't include a tail for Snoopy, so I improvised one myself.

Pattern: Part 1   Part 2    Part 3


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