Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Lovely Year

I sat upstairs early this morning, watching the snow fall swiftly as I nursed the Wee One and reflected on this past year. Truly an amazing, life-altering time for me. I am almost sad to see it end!

The snow that fell is now melting as the day warms above freezing, sending rivulets of water coursing underneath slushy, almost-melted snow down the driveway, down the bank of ivy. You can see and hear the water. It almost feels like spring, today. Fresh. Cool. Possibility.

So this is the last day of this wonderful year. It feels like the earth is cleaning the blackboard so there will be room for tomorrow's lesson. Everything wiped clear.

And that is what tomorrow for me will entail; taking down the decor here at Knitsburgh. Packing away memories to be re-visited next year. Cleaning the house, both physically and spiritually. Starting over again as it was, before the holidays came.

I will say goodbye to this year quietly and a bit sadly and ready myself for the next.

Happy New Year to all!

Monday, December 28, 2009


Finally able to take a breather here at Knitsburgh. A quick update on the craftiness follows:
1. Nature Boy's niece liked her interchangeable hat! Others liked it too, so much that more have been requested for other little heads...I better get knitting as we will likely see them over the Russian Christmas Extravaganza...
2. Here are some sea glass pendants I made for some special folk out there: Different view which makes the colors stand out more:

They were made with some of the stock pile of sea glass found on the North Carolina shore when we lived on the Outer Banks. I made some little sachet bags to house some of them for gifting out of some fabric scraps but sadly, the pics I took cannot be located at this time. If I stumble upon such pics I will show you sometime.
3. My vegan Yule log cake.
It was really yummy and didn't come out half bad. I did not have a jelly roll pan, so I just used my largest cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I made my fave vegan chocolate cake recipe and baked it for about 15 minutes, let it cool about 5 minutes, then rolled it from short end to short end and left it cool completely all rolled up. I then iced it with my fave vegan chocolate icing and stuck a piece of the cake cut off the side before rolling it up on it for a branch, gluing it with icing and covering it too. I wish I had more time to make it and venture outside for some greenery to properly decorate it but I had to pick up Kay at the train station and time was short. Maybe next year I will only make the cake and not all the cookies too. We are still eating our way through a ton of sugar.
4. Some silly magnets for Wee One's auntie. I really went cheap and quick here, printing out pics on regular copy paper, then gluing them onto some magnets that come in the mail for free as fake "credit cards" trying to sucker you into getting a credit card...if they only knew what I did with mine! I then put some packing tape over it to help seal in the photo, trimmed around the edges and voila, some silly magnets for your abode or cubicle. Hopefully for your abode.
5. Some things (Wee One's Red Sweater among others) did not get completed. I was sad but I think it will be ok. I did not stay up all night on the Eve of Christmas to complete things this year. I chose sanity instead. I think my family appreciated this too.

We traveled from Knitsburgh to my parents' to Nature Boy's parents across the state on Christmas Day. We woke at 6AM that morning and did not reach Nature Boy's kin's homestead until after 9PM that night. We drove back yesterday and I am finally recovered from the unpacking and such. We had so much fun! This is one holiday season I won't soon forget, so many firsts. I only hope the Wee learns to love the madness as much as Nature Boy and I do. Happy Holidays to everyone out there!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Deadly Craft

The crafts are killer around here.

So yeah I cut right though the measuring tape. Call the crime lab, another severed body. A new murder investigation begins here at Knitsburgh...

Please hold on as the next parts will move quickly from one subject to the next without much rhyme or reason. Maybe I should post smaller amounts daily instead of once-a-weekish and smattering you with all sorts of chatter? Maybe but not today; today you will be chatted up. Grab some tea and a cookie and get comfy. Away we go.

Have to first tell you about the awesome goodness at Handmade Arcade. Sadly I did not think to take photos while I was there and cannot attest to the goodness of the vegan food because I did not partake this year, but the wares, they were wonderful! This year Nature Boy and Wee One came with which was quite helpful indeed; we took his stroller in which probably wasn't our best move. As I was standing in line to buy this print from Strawberry Luna for the Wee One's room:

I overheard the following:

20-something man: "Oh god, look at that guy with the stroller!"

20-something woman: "Oh how awful! This is really not the best place for that!"

I laughed in my head. I remember being that age and saying similar stuff. I wanted to tell them, oh I said those things too, just you wait...but managed some control. Nature Boy and I laughed at it later. Oh the days...

I did throw the Baby Bjorn in the car for the next too-crowded thing we find ourselves at.

There may or may not have been other purchases there; one may just not be at liberty to discuss it yet, Mr. or Ms. Snoopy Snooperson.

Oh now on to other stuff hanging on the walls. Here is a pic of the frame that Nature Boy made for the other print we got for Wee One this summer:
Here is a pic of some free package inserts from BPAL that I framed up for our bedroom:I had those pics on my dresser mirror for years cause I liked them and finally thought, hmm, could just frame them already. I love the art that comes from BPAL almost as much as the oils!

And then we move over to...some Yuletide Cheer!

The tree:

And stockings:

So, the cookies (three kinds in two days) are now baked, the handmade holiday cards sent...things are getting crossed off the list! Let's hope there are no further fatal crafting incidents around Knitsburgh for the rest of the year and in 2010...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's the most craftacular time...

...of the year!

Here is the hat I knit for Nature Boy's niece plus the little do-dads which snap on. She can wear it plain or with one of them. Or maybe she will even make some of her own?!?!? Hopefully she will like the interchangeable stuff enough that it won't suck to get a hat for a gift. Don't worry, we got her some other non-handmade fun too.

The pattern is by Just Jussi and called "Poppy." The interchangeable idea I claim as my own. The hat is by the same gal and knit in much the same fashion as the Wee One's recent aviator helmet. You should check out her patterns if you knit, they are fun and fast and I think cute too.

Next up is the finished stacking rings toy for Wee One. After making the rings I stitched up a cloth pyramid, sewed it to a square with a hole cut out of the center, then sewed another square to it. In all, the whole thing took 2 bags of bamboo fiber fill. That alone is a testament to the gigantic-acity of it. Yes, it will definately qualify for the Festivus Feats of Strength as the Wee will surely be a mini-muscleman if he is able to heft it.

You might think with all this that Ms. Knitsburgh might be ready to sit on her laurels and relax. You would be wrong. Ms. Knitsburgh has a few other handcrafty projects on her list to go...some may not appear here until after the holidays as it would not be a surprise if someone spied their gift here, now would it?

The crafts are calling....see ya!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Craft Abandoned...

Oh no! Nature Boy is slacking on his end of the ornament completion:
I'm trying not to nag him but it's been a week now since he has returned to them. Mine are finished and ready to mail to the Special Folk; once they are gone I'll post some pics.

Here is some inspiration for another gift:
I hope to knit a hat for a young niece, then craft up some interchangeable do-dads she can attach to it to give her some sass. I'm thinking buttons, fabric or knitted roses and bows will all work (plus eat up some of my leftover craft stash). "Hope" is the operative word here...

I leave you with an elvin friend. He was crocheted by Onie, or Ona, who lived next door to us when I was myself a wee. She made all sorts of beautiful cakes and this is what she made all three of us for Christmas one year; his arms and legs had rolls of lifesavers in them. I wonder where that vintage pattern could be found and what he was called? I miss you Ona and would you believe after all these years your little elf is still making me smile?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Learning Curve...

Here is a Wee One Yuletyde Present which I have been working on. The fabric before (hello ROY G. BIV....or at least ROY G. BI...couldn't find a violet fabric that was just right at the fabric shop):

And after:

Some notes:
1. You can't make a circular ring by sewing the wrong sides together at both the inner and outer ring seams. After some false starts, I finally sewed the outer seams on the wrong side, then turned and sewed the inner seams from the right side, reinforcing with two rounds of stitches around the circle. I used pinking shears to cut the fabric and hope the inner side doesn't fray too much.
2. You can't have too much fill. I had some bamboo fill left from the Wee Rattle and thought there would be enough, but the last ring, as you can see from the pics, is only half-way filled.
3. This toy appears to be so huge, it could be part of the Festivus Feats of Strength competitions. I hope the Wee One is strong enough to heft them! I made the inner circle 6" and increased each circle by one inch, so the last one is a whopping dinner plate sized 11" (I know because I used a dinner plate to trace out the circle). Oh my! If I were to make another, I would start with a much smalled inner circle. Maybe 3" (though my ability to sew a circle this small is definitely questionable).
4. I still need to craft up a base and holder for the rings, although they seem to stack well enough without one; I'll let you know what I do indeed come up with.
5. Nature Boy helped with the fabric selection and apparently, we like the octopi. I didn't even notice until I was cutting that the two blue prints are heavily octopi-influenced.

So I need to run out for more fill and finish this project up! The Wee One Red Sweater is still on the needles...still working on the front...not much else to say about it now. Better get going and craft some more 'cause it is December already and I have space under the tree that needs to be filled up.

So what do I do with all the leftover flannel fabric? I found a pattern for a ball, could make a blanket...any other ideas out there? I've got at least a 1/2 yard left of each if not more.