Monday, September 19, 2011

Bits and Pieces

What a month!  I have had every intention of posting, but work has gotten in the way.  New (relatively temporary) duties have required even earlier hours and have sucked up my knitting time during the offspring's afternoon activities.  In a fit of "I must accomplish something fiber-related or I might pop" on a Saturday, out came the following bits and pieces busters.

I am sure I'm not the only one who hangs on to bits and pieces of skeins of yarn.  You never know when you might need to make Silly Socks for school or an anemone for a diorama or mend a hole in a sock (I'm still ticked at some bug) or anything else that might pop up.

As my hair has gotten wider longer, I have been in search of an effective, yet comfortable headband.  This particular Saturday, as I was sipping my cappuccino, I decided to check Ravelry for patterns.  Low and behold, I came across the perfect match!  All you knit is a simple I-cord.  Rachel Bishop takes the time to pictorially show how to knit an I-cord.  Easy as can be!  I-cords are a good way to get use to double points or magic-loop.

It took me about an hour to knit each of these.  All were knitted from my "leftovers stash".

Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend
Forest Has a Long Memory
Merino/Tussah Silk
I knitted three I-cords, braided and attached to the hairband.
I-cord for 3 inches.  Increase to 8 stitches.  Slip stitch beginning of row, 2x2 cable for 8 inches.  Decrease to four stitches, I-cord for 3 inches.  Attached to hairband.
Navajo ply
Northern Lights
Blue Faced Lecester
Spinning Awesome Good

For my pseudo-offsprings:
Supersock Select Azalea
Single chain crochet flower in Northern Lights (see above)

Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend
Flower in discontinued color of Knit Picks Stroll
Koigu PPPM in a long-lost color
Flowers in Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select Azalea and Knit Picks Stroll

It was a fabulous, fiber-productive-feeling weekend.  Plus, there are several girls enjoying their one-of-a-kind headbands that don't pinch or hurt!  Fabulous!

Holiday gift ideas:

Teachers - I received a Penzey's Spice catalog this week.  They have  a teacher's gift FOR FREE with a purchase.  Code: 83018C (one per household)  It is an AWESOME deal.  You can purchase additional kits for $8.78 each.  Kits include:  1/2 c jar Penzeys Forward seasoning, 1/4 c jar Penzey's cinnamon, Teachers Care bumper sticker, Teach! pin, and Teach! book of stories and recipes. (You can also get a free 1/2 cup jar of Penzey Forward for yourself with coupon code: 15958C)

If you have a potential sock knitter (i.e. they have been discussing it, but haven't taken the plunge), enable them for life by shopping at Knit Picks.  Knit Picks double points are great and affordable.  You can purchase individual sets (select sizes 0-2 for sock newbies) or a great set for those bitten by the sock bug.  Throw in a skein or two of Stroll and you have a full sock knitting kit!  (At VERY AFFORDABLE prices.)

Friday, September 2, 2011

One of those people

That would be me.  I have already started Christmas shopping.  I actually started some time ago, but this is the time of year I begin to ramp it up.  (If it makes you feel better, I don't start wrapping until the tree goes up the first week in December.)

From now through the holidays, I will try to offer gift suggestions for the fiber and food lovers on your shopping lists.  I will try to offer a wide variety of ideas for every budget.  Hopefully you will find something just right for your loved ones.

If you shop for a hardcore sock knitter who has everything, Blackthorn DPN are the ultimate splurge.  Many knitters would feel guilty spending this on a set of DPN (double point needles for the non-sock/hat knitting folks) so a set would be a wonderful expression of "I know you would never treat yourself, but I know you will use them constantly" caring.  [Honey, here is your hint - 6" size 00 would be perfect.]

For the foodie on your list, spice gift boxes are a fabulous option.  Penzeys offers gift boxes for every budget.  Spices are also something that need replacing every so often also.  Spice blends can open up new doors for cooking creativity also.

Fiber fanatics who would like to give hand knits for gifts, now is the time to start!  Scarves (in particular lace ones) are great gifts for colleagues, teachers, family members, etc.  There are tons of pattern options on Ravelry (most are free!).  The Cherry Tree Hill semi-annual yarn sale occurs Labor Day weekend.  Cast on and start knitting!