Sunday, February 24, 2013

Current Knitting Projects

I have never been good at sticking to one project at a time.  So, here is an update an all FOUR knitting projects I'm currently working on.

First up is a pair of fingerless gloves.  The first one is nearly completed (still needs a thumb) and the second one is more than halfway done.  I started these right after Thanksgiving with the intention of giving them as a gift.  They ended up too small for the recipient, so I put the pair on hold and went full-speed on a bigger pair (blogged about here.)  I am hoping to finish these by mid-March so I can still wear them this season.

Next, I have the beginnings of a pair of colorwork socks.  This is one of those projects that I started because I had new yarn that I really, really wanted to use right away.  The blue yarn was a Christmas gift, and the self-striping yarn was a purchase from Black Friday shopping.  I thought the colors worked well together and had been thinking about doing a colorwork project using the two yarns together.  I started these before a day-long craft show to give me something to do.  I was worried the gloves wouldn't last for a 12 hour day of knitting.  I have no specific timeline for finishing these, it is just a relaxing (yet not boring) project to work on in the evenings.

My third work-in-progress is a wallet sized version on my Norwegian Knapsack.  My sister-in-law loved my Norwegian bag and wanted one too.  We decided that a clutch/wallet size would be more manageable than the one I made for myself.  It required a little bit of math to get the size right, but is moving along quickly.  In less than a week I have half the knitting completed.  The next big challenge will be adding a zipper to the top.  This project should be wrapped up in the next two weeks.  Out of the four, this is my top priority.

The fourth project I'm working on is just in the beginning stages.  I saw this pattern online a week ago and I keep coming back to it.  It is a thick shawl made with big chunky yarn.  I never got around to knitting myself a sweater this winter (and at this rate it is not happening), so I figured the shawl would be a good alternative.  I am going to use up my stash of leftover yarn from making hats and cowls.  Reds, blues, greens, purples... This shawl will be all the colors.

So that's what's up in the world of knitting right now.  I also have a lot going on in the worlds of sewing and bookbinding... But that can wait for a different post.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Indoor Gardening: Part 1

A few weeks ago I found an interesting blog about craft, diy, food, and gardening called 17 Apart.  One of the articles I found especially interesting was about re-growing celery from the base.  I happened to have some celery in the fridge, so I chopped off the stalks, put the base in a dish of water, and waited.  Sure enough, little celery leaves started growing out of the center!  This got me thinking that maybe I could grow a whole little indoor garden to hold me over until my local CSA starts up again in June.  Even if I don't end up with a lot of edible produce, it will still be a fun project.
I also read a post about doing the celery thing with bok choy and gave that a shot too.  In the week and a half it took me to plant everything and finally get around to writing about it, the bok choy has grown significantly and I planted it next to my celery.  (I realized the leaves went down farther than I expected, so I later trimmed down the white parts to speed things up.)

Meanwhile, at work we have had a bag of onions in a bowl on top of the fridge for a very, very long time.  One of them had begun to sprout, so I figured: Why not grow onions?  When I pulled the bag of onions down from the fridge I noticed a second one had sprouted.  After work I took a trip to Home Depot and bought a plastic window box planter, two bags of organic potting soil, and some supplies to re-pot my houseplants (more on that later!)

Stay tuned for updates on my mini-garden, and re-potting my beloved jade plant in Indoor Gardening: Part 2.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Handmade Valentines- 2013 Edition

Snow is falling, Christmas is long gone, and everyone has gotten used to writing "2013" on their checks.  That means it is time for this year's handmade Valentines!

Ohio cards are some of my most popular handmade cards.  This year's Ohio Valentines are a bit on the Pirate side!  Ohio cards are available by request in any pattern or color I have.  Stop by the Urban Orchid in Ohio City or the Bazaar Bizarre Valentines Show to pick one up.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Books 015-029

Today was a perfectly snowy day, and the best kind of work day.  I had the whole day off to stay at home and get things done.  It has been snowing constantly all day, but is still light enough to be cozy instead of depressing.  So I got to work making books!

The Bazaar Bizarre Valentine's Show is coming up on Saturday, so I decided to make some pamphlet books with a Valentine's theme.  My Ohio pamphlet books usually sell very well at shows.  On a day like this I can make them assembly line style and get a lot accomplished in a short amount of time.  Today I made 15 little books, and I have enough Ohio's cut out for numerous cards.

This also means I am nearly caught up with where I should be on my 365 challenge.  Today is the 35th day of the year, and I've finished 29 books.  Not too shabby!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Books 010-014

I made these five books over the last couple weekends.  What was supposed to be a "quick project" turned out to take much longer than I expected...  First the glue took a long time to dry, then I needed to wait for an opportunity to use the cutting equipment, after that I decided to add some machine stitching...

The books were inspired by a project my co-worker was putting together.  I used glue to laminate together scraps of decorative paper and bookcloth.  Then I folded rough signatures of my own handmade paper.  When the covers were dry, I sewed the books together using a quick stitch similar to a pamphlet stitch done with two needles.

The next step was using the paper guillotine to cut the edges, and a corner rounder to add a professional look to the corners.  Most of the books came out well.  Some of them had some bubbles between the bookcloth and the paper.  I think this was from using the last of my PVA... it had gotten much thicker than I had realized.  I tried to machine stitch some of the covers to correct (read: cover up) the bubbles, but that didn't completely hide them.  So I called them done.  One of these days I will try again with my new, thinner batch of PVA!