Amy Artisan

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Category: Gift Knits (page 3 of 3)


What do you think of when you hear the word Whiplash? Your neck? Sometimes you feel like you are being tossed in so many directions that you can barely keep your head on straight. I’m experiencing a bit of that these days.

Whiplash also results from car crashes – especially when you are rear ended. Three weeks ago my sister experienced that firsthand. Thankfully she is alright. As is often the case, her neck is a bit sore these days as she is on the mend. When I learned of her accident I already had a scarf on the needles for her – I immediately thought that I would name the scarf Whiplash – a little something nice to comfort her neck. This was the secret knit that I mentioned in January. Now that it has been received in Georgia I can reveal the project – not only the “boring” shots but also the scarf in action.

Blue Bejeweled

The Details:
Another Bejeweled scarf. This time I used Patons SWS yarn in Natural Blue on size 13 needles. This pattern was just as fun to knit this time and with the bigger yarn & needles it created a completely different scarf.

Bejeweled Rebecca

The scarf looks great with her new peacoat!

This pattern is definitely a favorite of mine now – I can see knitting it with lots of different yarns & having such different results each time.

Snowy Sedum

Work had me in Wisconsin this week so I missed the big snowstorm that came through Chicago. (Although, I had enough of a snowy drive en route to WI on Monday morning.) When I came home last night I was so thankful that my basement neighbor had shoveled the snow in front of my garage so I was able to get in without having to dig in. A batch of brownies were whipped up this morning to say thanks. This afternoon I took a few pictures of some snow scenes in the neighborhood. My favorite picture is of the “leftover” sedum in my neglected flowerbed poking through the snow.

Not much knitting to report – although Blanket of Hope squares are the perfect simple knitting for after these busy work days!

O Tannenbaum!

One of my favorite parts of decorating for Christmas is the Christmas Tree. The smell of the evergreen, the twinkle of the lights, the assortment of ornaments – each time you look at a decorated Christmas tree you see something new.

Our family collection of ornaments is a story of our lives – ornaments Mom & Dad hung on trees as children, momentos from places we have lived, collections of favorite things/animals, and on and on. There are so many ornaments that each year we choose which will be on the tree – I think we would need at least a 12 foot tree in order to put them all on the tree. Each year our collection grows – on the morning after Thanksgiving, Rebecca & I always have an ornament waiting for us at the breakfast table. For the last 10 years or more, most of the ornaments have been hand painted by Artisan Dad. (Note to self…need to photograph all of the hand painted ornaments & blog about them some day…)

Artisan Dad Ornament 2006

This year’s Artisan Dad ornament is very appropriate given the resurgence of my knitting this year.

Dad & I subscribe to the “you can never have too many lights” school of tree decorating. For the 8 foot tree at home I think we use at least 500-600 mini lights. For the last couple of years we have bought our tree on the day after Thanksgiving so that I can help Dad put the lights on the tree before coming back to Chicago.

Since I have been up in Chicago I have amassed quite an ornament collection of my own – I haven’t even brought any “childhood” ornaments from home. I’ve had assorted Christmas trees – decorating a potted Norfolk pine, a small fresh cut tree, silver ornament trees when work had me traveling in Dec. When I moved into my current apartment I started getting “full size” Christmas trees. Again this year the Frasier fir is in the living room by the window and the fresh cut evergreen wafts through the air. As I was putting each ornament on the tree I was reminded of dear friends and fun travel among other memories housed in the ornaments.

Artisan Tree 2006
Last December I came across Lolly’s posting about the fun knit Christmas trees that she pulled together based on Anjo’s tree pattern. I thought these were a great idea & made a mental note “next year.”

The day after Thanksgiving I was wondering what to knit since my scarf was finished. So I pulled up the blog entries about the trees and went to Hobby Lobby with Artisan Dad and Artisan Sister. We had a fun time picking out yarn combinations – although I think Dad & Rebecca were still a little skeptical about how these would turn out. We came home with 2 different tree combinations and after lunch I got started knitting. Within an hour, the first tree was knit up so I just kept going. In no time the 2nd tree was done and so I started on a 3rd tree. After dinner I ran out of one of the yarns so Mom & I were back to Hobby Lobby – while there we picked up yarn for more trees. By Saturday evening 5 trees were off the needles & fully assembled.

Knit Christmas Trees 

Row 1: For Aunt Clara Pearl in Ohio; For Mom & Dad; Row 2: For Rebecca; For Miss Doodlebug & Miss Butterfly
My modifications: All of these were knit as triangles & then seamed together. Some of the trees started with 36-40 stitches instead of 30. The smaller trees were size 11 needles, the larger were size 13. Instead of stuffing trees 1/2/3 I put them on floral styrofoam cones that had been wrapped in batting. The bottom of the cone was covered in felt. For the girlie trees, Mom made a tree form out of Christmas fabric with felt as the bottom – she then stuffed the cone, then put the tree knit over the form & stitched it to the felt bottom. The ornaments & bows on tree 1 are from the “mini-tree” section at Hobby Lobby.

The yarn combos: 1 & 2 = LB Chenille Thick & Quick, LB Wool-Ease Chunky, Yarn Bee Playful; 3 = LB Jiffy (2 colors), Yarn Bee Playful; 4 & 5 = TLC Essentials, Patons Brilliant, Yarn Bee Feather Wisp

These are a fun project! I think that a couple more may end up being gifted this Christmas. I also want to make some for my own Christmas decorations – although I’m pretty sure that they won’t be completed before next Christmas.

The girlie trees have already been sent to Texas & are in full play use by the girls. Aunt Clara Pearls’ tree is bringing some Christmas cheer to her room while she is in a nursing home receiving some rehabilitation services based on recent health issues.

Aunt Clara Pearl's Tree in Ohio

Thanks Ruth for sharing a picture of the tree in Ohio!

What are some of your favorite Christmas tree and Christmas ornament memories and stories?

Click here to share yours!

Beyond Dishcloths & a bit of Butterfly time

A lot of my knitting recently has been dishcloth sized because it is relatively small & simple – so perfect for travel. Since I was home this week I was able to work on some larger projects…finished one that has been on the needles, started 2 more, started & finished another.

One (+ One) Skein Felted Clutch/Tote

Felted Clutch

This is a cross between the The clutch you’ll never give up and The Felted Striped Tote from One Skein. I used less than 1 skein of Cascade 220 & 1 skein of Lornas Laces Glory (I think it was Mixed Berries). I knew that I wouldn’t have enough of Glory for the entire bag so I stopped it a couple of rows before the self handles.

This was my first felting project & was a lot of fun – both on the needles & in the finishing. It went through the hot cycle twice in a pillowcase with an old pair of jeans. I didn’t capture any before pictures but the 2nd cycle was definitely needed to get this down to a good size. Once it finishes drying it needs a bit of a fuzzcut before it is ready to go.

I don’t know who will end up with this – while I’m not a pink person there are several pink ladies with birthdays in the coming months.

Hook ‘Em Horns

When I first saw this colorway I knew that it was destined to be a knit for Miss Butterfly – both of her parents are UT alums. I “whipped up” this poncho in just a couple of hours this week (actually twice, I ended up frogging the first one because I didn’t like how it ended). I’ve had the yarn for several months but since Miss Butterfly was in town I thought it would be great to give it to her in person instead of mailing it to her. Here are some shots of her modeling it when she was here for a “Sleepover at M’Amy’s House” (more details down below).

Hook 'Em Horns

Project Details: Based on the Kiddie Capelet. My modifications – for increases I did yarn overs; I used the following needle sizes: 9, 10, 10 1/2, 13, 15, 17; I didn’t do the ruffle at the bottom. Yarn is Hill Country Yarns Instant Gratification Superwash Sock Yarn in Hook ‘Em Horns.

I loved working with this yarn – it was so soft & so easy to work with, I will definitely be using it again! I already have 2 other colorways in my stash & love all of the colorways that they offer.

Wrap it Up!

Heather Wrap

On July 1st I actually cast on for a purple knit project during Project Spectrum purple month. This is the “Superlong Wrap” from Knitting to Go. I’m using some Jaeger Matchmaker in Heather. This isn’t as bulky of a yarn as the pattern calls for but I am wanting a lighter wrap. I don’t know if this wrap will stay with me or be gifted but I’m enjoying working on it. It is a very simple pattern that knits up beautifully.

Cozy Babies

Blue Blankie

I’ve got 2 baby boys to knit blankets for in the coming months. I’ve started on one blanket using “new to me” yarns – Wendy Peter Pan Double Knit in Lupin Blue & Polka Dot. This is a very soft yarn that is turning into a cozy blanket.

Two co-workers are expecting babies in August & September so I think I will try the Mason Dixon bib pattern as a quick knit gift for them.

Baby Knit

This is the start of an MDK bib that will go to another new baby with a matching onesie – I think it will be a “go to” gift to knit as needed.

Butterfly time

Miss Butterfly & Miss Doodlebug and their parents were visiting Chicago this week so I had fun spending time with them. On July 4th we went to the annual BBQ in their old neighborhood. It was a beautiful day for a picnic & we all had a great time.

July 4th Fun

I took Thursday as a vacation day & had fun with the girls. We met for lunch at our favorite Pita Inn. After lunch Maya & Miss Doodlebug left for naptime & Miss Butterfly came with me for an afternoon of play and a sleepover.

Our afternoon was spent at the Kohl Children’s Museum up in Glenview. What a great museum! We had so much fun with all the exhibits – we stayed there for over 3 hours. Here are some of the highlights of the afternoon.

Museum Fun

As we were walking to the car Miss Butterfly said “I had such a fun time with you today.” I would definitely agree! After the museum we planned to go for our favorite Bubble Tea as a special treat. Within about 2 minutes in the car Miss Butterfly was on her way to a power nap so we went for the new smoothie from the Dunkin Donuts drive thru instead.

Sleepy Butterfly

Our evening consisted of watching our favorite DVD, Mary Poppins, and reading Babar the King. Since she couldn’t bring her sleeping bag on the plane we made a little nest of pillows, blankets & stuffed animals for her.

Butterfly Knitting

This morning before it was time to leave Miss Butterfly found my knitting basket & the baby blanket that is on the needles. She wanted “to knit” so she sat on my lap & put her hands on the needles as I knit a row. Then she did some “knitting” on her own & said she was knitting a blanket for her new baby cousin. Her Grosi is a great knitter so maybe one day she will be clicking the sticks “for real.”

Knitting and time with the girls…just a couple more ingredients for a lovely week!

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