Wednesday, May 29, 2013

To Frog or Not To Frog

To frog, or not to frog: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The pain of ill fitting garments and dashed dreams,
Or to take arms against the offending legwarmers,
And by opposing end them?

Or something like that... well unlike Hamlet, I decided it was not "nobler in the mind" to let these legwarmers live. Considering they were knitted in the smallest size and were still too big, they were created with very, very expensive yarn, and every time I see them I am saddened by the memory of the possibility of having my work photographed for a real book I thought it was high time I re-purposed the yarn into something I would actually enjoy.

So I frogged 'em! I thought tearing them apart would be sad considering all the care and time I put into them but really all I was thinking was "die legwarmers, die!"

I wrapped the unraveled yarn around my niddy noddy as if I were making a skein and then tied it in four places.

Yikes! The yarn was quite a mess when it came off of the niddy noddy...

So, I soaked it in the sink with some warm water and it is hanging up to dry now!

In the meantime, I was looking at some patterns that might use 900 yards of fancy sock yarn and decided to make a shawl! It seems like a major milestone for knitters is their first shawl and I have never made a classic one (only the Margaret Dashwood Shawl from Jane Austen Knits). I found this shawl pattern on Ravelry and I am really enjoying it so far! Unfortunately, the pattern does get a little lost in the variegation of the yarn but I have a feeling the pattern will be more visible post-blocking!

Here is my progress so far! I am really enjoying it! Look out socks, I see a shawl obsession on the horizon!

In garden news:

The first harvest from our garden! Store bought radishes have absolutely NOTHING on radishes fresh from the garden. Fresh ones have so much more spice and zing than the ones at the store and were promptly consumed! :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Checkered Drawstring Bag

Free pattern for my Checkered Drawstring Bag as promised!

Materials: < 230 yards of sock weight yarn
               5 size 2 double pointed needles
               Tapestry needle


Cast on 80 stitches using the same method you would to knit a toe up sock

Knit in the round for 16 rounds

Checkerboard pattern:
Section 1: Row 1: *k4, p4* *repeat across the round
               Rows 2-4: reapeat Row 1 (of Section 1)

Section 2: Row 1: *p4, k4* *repeat across the round
               Rows 2-4: repeat Row 1 (of Section 2)

Repeat Sections 1 and 2 three more times

Knit in the round for 16 rounds

Drawstring holes:
Row 1: *CO2, k6  *repeat across the round
Row 2: *YO2, k6  *repeat across the round

Knit in the round for 4 rows (the top will roll down, so you can add more rows if you wish)

Bind off.

Drawstring: I-Cord

CO 4
Knit in the round for 15 inches
Weave the cord through the holes in the bag
Attach both ends of the I-cord after it has been woven through the bag

Weave in the ends and enjoy! The final dimensions of the bag are 5.5" x 6.5".

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's...

A long, long, overdue blog post! The last several months have been extremely busy; there were so many school related activities going on!

As far as knitting and baking, not much has happened because of my crazy schedule, but finally I have some things on which to report (and another free pattern!)

I recently made a Pinterest account in order to bookmark and save pictures of original Regency garments from online archives (here if you are interested) and started poking around the craft boards. Long story short, I have a list of 60+ crafts that I would be interested in trying in the future and one such craft was custom binding a book!

Here is my book! I found this fabric in my basement and thought it was so pretty! 

Not bad for a first attempt, eh? I am excited to fill it with words and pictures and perhaps some paper embroidery!

Recently, one of my friends commissioned me to make her a drawstring bag. She did not specify a color or pattern so I picked this forest green I thought she would like and improvised my own pattern:

The final result turned out well (at least in my eyes; I have yet to give it to her)

Here is a close up of the checkerboard pattern. (The color washed out a little bit in this picture.)

(I will post the pattern for the bag in a separate post by and you will be able to find it on Ravelry)

On the food front:
I made some savory french toast with some old Italian bread we had lying around and put some fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil on top!

It was pretty tasty if I do say so myself! And rather picturesque too!

I also made some pies but... I did not think to document them until they were already half eaten... oops.