I’m just tickled to have been one of the winners of the lovely and talented Daniella of DaniDo Crafty‘s Handmade News scavenger hunt contest last week. I’m tickled pink… and blue… and green… because I chose as my prize some of her absolutely gorgeous Superwash Merino roving. And the colorway? Please Clap Your Hands! (Seen pictured here. Photo copyright to Daniella!) Way too fun! This excites me because I’ve been wanting to spin; if you recall in a previous post, I had purchased a top whorl (and bottom whorl) drop spindle kit that came with some plain white wool roving to work with. I’ve been so busy with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day knitting projects that I haven’t had a chance to sit down and give it a whi(o)rl. (See what I did there?) Then in walks an opportunity to work with Daniella’s beautiful Please Clap Your Hands roving, and I’m inspired to make time for spinning. No more putting it off — once this fabulous merino arrives I’ve got no excuses; I can’t let such beauty go wasted and unused. It will be loved, I tell you, LOVED! And hopefully (*fingers crossed*) spun into something that I can knit into something fantastic. I’m also a little embarrased to admit I’ve never worked with merino before; so even more reason to be excited about such an opportunity to work with something so awesome.
Special thanks to Daniella for the contest and the wonderful prizes. I truly am tickled. You should definitely check out her site, Danido Crafty! as well as her Etsy and Artfire shops. You’ll love the free patterns on her site and all of theÂ beautiful handspun and hand-dyed yarn and roving (among other things) that she has available in her shops. She’s also a writer over on Handmade News and guess what she writes about? Inspiration! Perfect, as her contest to hunt all over Handmade News last week had me finding articles that I may not have otherwise read, and so many great ideas — all very inspiring! Thanks again, Daniella!
My focus this past week was on my feverish attempts to finish some Mother’s Day gifts in time to ship them out ASAP. As I mentioned in a previous post, Lucas and I spent a Saturday morning over at a do-it-yourself ceramic painting studio, where we painted three mugs: one for my mom in purple, one for Lucas’ mom in blue, and one for Lucas’ step mom in yellow and blue. Our moms will get quite the treat when the mugs arrive in the mail: each mug will contain a packet of tea (and coincidentally the teas we chose are packaged in wrapping that matches the color of the mug) and each mug will be hugged by a handknit coffee mug wrap by yours truly. It’s the same Coffee Mug Wrap pattern by DaniDo Crafty that I made recently for Lucas and I, only these have been made in (surprise!) coordinating colors to match the recipient’s mug, of course. Each have a little handmade tag attached to the handle (made from graphics I created myself in Photoshop) to let our moms know that we painted the mugs and knit the cozies for them to wish them a Happy Mother’s Day. I think the gifts will be well received :) They shipped out Tuesday, which was later than I wanted to get them out, so hopefully they’ll arrive soon.
We really had a fun time at the ceramic studio, even Lucas really loved the whole process and wanted to paint everything in sight. We saw lots of other people in the studio painting things for their moms and there were a lot of really neat painting techniques that we would’ve never thought of that produced some amazing results with the paint. One such technique was blowing bubbles! One person blew bubbles that were in a paint and bubble solution in a shallow bowl and the other person placed the ceramic piece against the bubbles as they were being blown, and when they popped they left a really neat painted effect on the side. Definitely something we want to try when we go back for other things. You can see all of the pictures we took of our fun afternoon at UB the Artist in Mackenzie Towne in our gallery. There you can also see more photos of the final mug sets all prettied up before they were shipped off earlier this week.
I recently realized that two of my co-workers knit, and so our conversations once we became aware of our kindred hobby have been most exciting. I was working this past week on Daniella’s fabulous patterns for a Star Stitch Headband during one of my breaks at work, which brought us together. The headband turned out gorgeous, by the way! So gorgeous that I cast on another one last week for a friend’s upcoming birthday. One co-worker who really admired the star stitch has now encouraged me to try Fair Isle/stranding and cables — she swears each are much easier than I think! I’ve been itching to give both a try, but with Father’s Day (and Lucas and I’s wedding anniversary) gifts looming on the horizon with very real deadlines and knowing it may take us forever to complete our sock project, I may just hold off until they are finished. But you know how I am; the craft ADD will take over and I’ll find myself having to try just a little during a (hopefully) quick detour of finishing those projects. I haven’t even had time to play with my new drop spindle and roving kit yet! I’m sure I can sneak in a few minutes sometime soon ;) Hope you had a Happy Mother’s Day!
First, I want to squeal like a little girl… my very first KnitPicks order arrived (finally) yesterday. I yanked out the fingering weight sock yarn and got to work playing with my new sock-sized DPNs and even tried magic loop with the fixed 40″ circs (also sock-sized.) … and WOW, was I ever impressed. Like, really impressed. As a side note, I finally caught on to the magic loop method and was successful, and I truly believe it’s because of the great needles. I was trying magic loop on some cheapy no-name brand circs I bought a long time ago and the join just wasn’t smooth so I was getting frustrated, thinking I just couldn’t do it. Then the KnitPicks needles saunter in and suddenly I’m a magic loop pro. They are fantastic needles, and I finally understand what all of the fuss is about. I’m giddy with excitement that I’ve already placed an order for the complete nickel plated interchangeables set. WOOHOO!
This weekend Lucas and I did a little crafty shopping. After helping me put some supplies away earlier in the week he commented on my horrible (or lack thereof really) organizational tools, so we stopped by Michaels with a coupon I had to look at my options. Turns out that’s what a lot of other people did, too, and the giant craft tacklebox we had in mind was nowhere to be found in the store. That’s when we stopped in at Wal-Mart, because I needed buttons to finish my amazing Coffee Cup Wrap (which is finished! See below!) and lo and behold … there was the crafty tacklebox contraption we were looking for at Michaels. We snagged it and I spent a good hour organizing every little thing I could think of into this amazing device. I still have some leftover room in the thing, which is great since those interchangeables and other tiny accessories will be coming soon…
I’ve got all of my needles in the top, with lots of leftover room. My mini netbook even fits up there with my needles, LOL! I’m thinking of making a needle roll to organize those better up there in the future. In the body of this gadget there are three tiers of plastic mini tackleboxes with do-it-yourself dividers to really personalize the space. In the top one I have my knitting notions, the middle one contains all of my sewing supplies, and the bottom one holds all of my general crafty/leftover and miscellaenous stuff. It’s so handy! I’ll keep the little needle case I’d sewn a few years back for in my carry-along knitting bag so that I can take the supplies I need for whatever WIP that’s with me, but this new organizational device will be perfect to have at home so all of my supplies are with me no matter where I am in the house, easily accessible. *happy sigh* I love being organized.
As mentioned, I finished my Coffee Mug Wrap, pattern by Danido Crafty! I loooooooooooooooooooove it, have I mentioned that yet? lol. Today Lucas and I spent the afternoon at a paint-your-own ceramic place and made mugs for our moms for Mother’s Day. As part of the whole package gift I plan to tuck some tea into the mugs along with making a suitable mug wrap for each. More about that whole fun crafty adventure painting ceramics together next weekend when we pick up the finished pieces and can show them off! It’s sure been a great day :) I plan to relax the rest of the evening and watch some playoff hockey soon and attempt some socks with my new KnitPicks needles. Hope everyone else is having a great weekend, too!
I guess instead of blasting Calgary for this <sarcasm> fabulous </sarcasm> snowy weather I should look at it from a positive point of view: Lucas had a reason to wear the toque and scarf set I crocheted him for his birthdayÂ last fall, and I had a reason to wear my handknitted ribbed cuff (pink) toque and my handknitted pink and burgundy boucle scarf… plus it was the first day out in the wild for my crochet felted purse, which I put the finishing touches on last night. The button closure was a breeze, and to shorten the length of the handle I cut out a section and put the two ends back together using two buttons; this looked decorative and it was functional all at the same time. I adore it!
It’s a good thing I didn’t pack those winter accessories away yet, eh? Meh, Calgary.
The cold and the snow meant I was in search of something… well, warm this morning. But of course, as I was at work, it would have to be a small project. Cue my shameless plug for today’s Knitting Under the Desk free pattern suggestion: Danido Crafty’s Coffee Mug Wrap! I think I’m in love. No, scratch that… I know I’m in love. This pattern (and Daniella, the creator) ROCKS! I’m stalking her now, because it seems we have more than just knitting in common… like me, she also enjoys mixing fitness and fun with the Wii AND she and her boyfriend have a white mini schnauzer just like we do! Too freaky!