Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cookie party 2012

I haven't posted in a while but I have been busy!

We just had our cookie party Saturday and it was a hit! This year we made gingerbread houses. we made up the dough and Anja cut out templates for the house parts. we collected lots of candy and edible decorations for the houses.

this was the gingerbread recipe

Heat to boiling point:
2/3 c brown sugar, packed
2/3 c molasses
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves

remove from heat, and add:
2 1/4 tsp baking soda

Pour this over 2/3 c margarine in a bowl. Stir until margarine melts.

Add and blend thoroughly:
1 egg
4 1/2 c sifted flour (approximate)

Knead lightly (10-15 strokes on floured board)
Divide into 4 pieces and form into flattened balls. Wrap in plastic and let cool a bit.
Roll out about 1/4-3/8” thick and cut out each set twice (dorky’s note, this is the house pieces). Note: Do not make the dough too thick.
Bake at 350; on greased baking sheet or parchment for 15 minutes.

*note - it originally called to let chill a couple hours but when I did that I couldn't roll it out for nothing and had to add water and butter my hands to stop it from crumbling. So we ended up mostly just cutting it straight after kneading.

For the Royal Icing I use the Wilton recipe that uses meringue powder. it's really easy to make. Just be sure not to over beat it. Also allow the walls to harden and set before "gluing" on the roof. Royal icing get's rock hard and is a very effective (and tasty) glue

the decorations we used:
pull and peel twizlers
mini and regular m&m's
pretzel sticks
mini candy canes
mini Nilla wafers
cashews
holiday "drops"
jelly beans
sprinkles
gummy bears
fruity twizlers
Jolly ranchers
peppermints
powdered sugar for snow

we melted the jolly ranchers in a low, 250ºF oven in silicone ice cube trays (the type that have sort of a gem shape to the bottom) to make gems. Lots of the people used them to make windows. We also melted the jolly ranchers on silicone pan liners so that they would spread out flat which is what you see as the roof tiles on one house and "stepping stones" in front. We melted the peppermints as well on the silicone liners. the silicone kind of grabs the bottom of the mit and it melted in really neat ways as the candy ran.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Key tag cozy



Key tag cozy

This is something I have been thinking about for a while and finally made because everything needs a cozy!
 The inspiration for this is that I have a lot of tags and being that they are open on a ring the bar codes rub off and some are chipped. For this I knit it flat in a version of double knitting that allows you to knit an open tube flat. You can knit it in the round on DPN's or even use magic loop and circulars if you would prefer. I like to knit these flat because they are so small around it's less fiddeling around with needles and cords.

I made several of these. the 1st one I made was on size 2 and was 22 stitches. The 2nd one I made was on size 1 and was 24 stitches and I used a 2x2 rib for the edge. Out of the ones I made I prefer using the size 1 needles and casting on 20 stitches and finishing with a 1x1 rib.

Materials needed:
size 1 needles - you will need at least 3 needles. For mine I used double point needles (but I treated them like straights)

When slipping the stitches, slip them purl-wise with yarn in front.

 In short this is a stockinette tube with a small rib on the open end.

*I just made another and found it easier to work all purls to the ribbing. This was you don't have to switch position of yarn as it stays in front. It will be inside out, so just UT it on as shown below and turn right side out over the tags.

Cast on 20 stitches. I used the long tail cast on and snugged my stitches up together to keep the end from flairing out because these stitches will be shared between  2 sides.


body of cozy
s2, (k1, s1) repeat to the last 2 stitches,  k2, turn

repeat this row untill the tube is about 2 inches long

Ribbing
s2, (k1, s1, p1, s1) repeat to the last 2 stitches, k1, p1, turn

Repeat this row untill you have about 5 rounds of ribbing.

bind off:
this is where the other needle comes in handy. When you have finished your last row you still have all the stitches shared on one needle.
 Now take 2 needles and slip the stitches onto them diving the stitches between front and back to open the hole. slip the 1st stitch onto the front needle, 2nd stitch onto the back... *remember, I'm left handed so I'm slipping my stitches onto the needles in my left hand.

 Repeat this untill the stitches are divided and your tube is open
Now bind off in pattern using a stretchy bind off. knitting the knits and purling the purls. p1, k1, slid both back and k2tog, *p1, slide both stitches back and p2tog, k1, slide both stitches back and k2tog*. repeat between * and * untill all stitches are bound off.

Tie in your ends.

putting this on your key ring

Now turn your finished tube inside out
In the center about 3-4 rows down from your cast on edge, slid this onto your ring piercing both sides at the same spot in 





Now just turn it back right side out  
 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Art Prize 2012

I took the kids down to Art Prize yesterday and here are some of the amazing art that is scattered around our awesome city! I think Art Prize is the best thing our city has come up with. It's the largest art competition in the world.

you can enlarge these images for a closer look.

this one is made of old tires

 I'm sorry, I don't know why these images are loading sideways. I switched them to up and down before uploading them and Google want's to load them sideways when I upload them to the blog. But I think these are great so I won't delete them.

 The whole city is available for art exibits. There is a art district and they are displayed at random through. Many are displayed within our museums and during art prize the museums are open to the public at no cost. This was clearly placed in our river.
 There is no limit to the medium that is being used for the art that is submitted. this display uses many recycled items.
 I really liked the penguins which were placed in our water fall/fountain in front of the Gerald R. Ford presidential museum.
 This was another display located in the GRF museum. it was quite amazing from all angles.
 Not a part of art prize, but this is just a button for the kids to play on in the park.
 Another exhibit in the park along our river.

 This is another piece made form recycled items. Below is the main which is made form strips of film.

 Another recycled piece and and a close up below.

 I really liked this, shame it had to load sideways though.


 This is done entirely in pencil.





Tuesday, August 21, 2012

M1L & M1R

I thought I would do a post that I hope will make the m1l and m1r increases less confusing. I won't go into the details of "how" you make these increases because it can vary depending on your personal style of knitting and also weather or not you are a mirror knitter. This is pretty much the same post I put on Ravelry when someone was asking about these increases.

The M1L and M1R has to do with the direction you twist the bar. Generally you lift the bar between 2 stitches to make these increases. If there is a lot of twisting in the pattern, you can set them up on the row before so that you are not stealing yarn from the surrounding stitches. This is what I did on my "the drunken mason" scarf.

 the difference between a M1L and M1R is the twist. on a M1L the leg in front will be slanted to the left, on a M1R it will be slanted to the right. Generally these are used when stitches need to slant away from a particular line in the knitting so the top leg will slant away from what ever it is in the pattern you are increasing.

If you knit in a way that your leading leg is in front, for mirror knitter (knitters who move their new stitches onto the left needle) the M1R is the same thing as a KTBL. For standard (non mirror knitters) a M1L will be the same as a KTBL.

If your style of knitting results in your leading leg in back, you will want to slip the stitch to reposition it so you can knit through the back loop to get the twist.

So when you are required to make a M1R or M1L, twist your stitch as I show in this diagram. This is as though you were looking at the knit side of the fabric.

When working from a written pattern, a mirror knitter will want to switch these. If the pattern is telling you to make a M1R you will want to swap that for a M1L and the same goes for when the pattern tells you to make a M1l you will want to make a M1R. this is because we are approaching the stitches and knitting from the opposite way.

When a mirror knitter is working from a chart you will want to make the increase in the direction they tell you. But if they give you instructions for how to create the left and right stitch, you will want to swap the directions. The directions they give you for a M1R will result in creating a M1L, and vice-versa.

But in short, for both standard and mirror knitters, you simply want to twist your yarn so that your stitch looks like the loops in this diagram.



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Headphone earbud holder


Earbud headphone holder

I like to use earbud headphones  with my iPod at work but have to take them out often. I usually run my cord up my shirt and when I take out the earbuds I let them hang out the neck of my shirt. Problem with this is the left and right get all twisted together and gravity grabs hold and they start to slid down to the point that the ear buds are bouncing around somewhere on my belly. Not only is this irritating, but I've ruined several sets by snagging them on things.

So I saw a photo somewhere of some silicone holders for earbud headphones and of course thought "I bet I could make that" and this is the result. I whipped these up before work last night and they worked great! I work in a factory.

So here you go!

Yarn: sock yarn scraps, this takes verry little yarn
needles: size 2 double point needles. you don't really need a whole set if you don't want to knit the ends in the round, I don't have a full set so I knit my ends flat and seamed them. you do need 2 dpn's though.

cast on 12 stitches (join in the round if you want, other wise leave a tail to seam shut
knit 5 rows in 1x1 ribbing
bind off 9 stitches leaving 3 on the needle.

use these 3 stitches to make an i cord about 14 inches long (or desired length)

cast on 9 stitches (join in the round if you prefer, other wise knit flat)
knit 5 rows in 1x1 ribbing
bind off. 

use tails to seam ends closed if you have not knit in the round.

The ribbing stretches enough to allow you to put the earbuds through but are not big enough to have them fall back out. when I set my earbuds to hang in this holder I just move the cord so the bud is resting on the end piece.

If you find your buds are sliding in the holder (I didn't have this problem) you can just loop the bud back through another time creating a loop around the end hole and this will secure it in place.

To knit an i cord you must have 2 double point needles. you knit your stitches, do not turn, slide them back to the other side of the needle and knit them again. keep doing this untill cord reaches desired length.

 




Tuesday, August 7, 2012

new reversible scarf pattern

8-21-12 I have picked a name for this scarf pattern. I am going to be calling this "The drunken mason" because it looks like crooked brick work on both sides

At this point this is just really raw. I am confident that the chart is complete and accurate and this PDF is not fine tuned for publishing. But as far as the information on it goes I think it's done. If anyone would like to give this a go and leave a comment I would very much appreciate it.

This is a reversible stitch pattern for a scarf. it has a wide variety of stitches in it including twisted stitches and dropped stitches. Even though this had dropped stitches it is still mostly a solid knit so I think it should be suitable for winter.

Heres the rough draft. I don't have a name for this yet. I was also asked to offer it as a written pattern so that will come as well. This chart is right handed so those lefty's will have to flip the stitch deffinations. But i did use m1l and m1r to better destinguish these stitches from the twisted stitches and that should make it easier to identify the stitches that need to be swapped

this is a PDF document. it's only 2 pages but saved as 3

reversible stitch pattern.

This is my working sample I used to help create the pattern.

side A

I don't know why this one loads sideways. it's not sideways on my camera and the thumb nail is not sideways when I select it but for some reason blogger uploads it sideways 

side B
but this one loaded straight.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Knitting and crochet fonts

I haven't posted in a while as I've been extremely busy. But I do have some things in the works which will be quite detailed blog posts.

I thought I would share with you 2 fonts that you can purchase. They are really high quality and very inexpensive to purchase. For anyone out there who wants to make (be it for your self or to publish) charts I highly recommend them. They also include symbols used for washing and ironing, both are a very comprehensive set of fonts. the washing and ironing fonts are only part of the knitting set though.

knitting font - StitchinKnit
crochet font - StitchinCrochet

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lacy shells edging

This is the edging I put on my Lapse of Reason moebius wrap. The wrap pattern is available for free on Ravelry .

I used an I hook, which is compatible to the size of the knitting needle I used. 

Stitches/terms used used
ch - chain
ss - slip stitch
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
sp - space
sk - skip
st - stitch

This edging is worked over a distance of 9 stitches on the edge of what ever you are attaching it to.

Personally I do not worry about exact stitch count of the fo that I attach it to, I just follow the pattern and when I'm about 1/2 way to the end I figure out if I have enough stitches to complete the pattern. If I have a few to many stitches than the pattern calls for I'll just skip a total of 4 here and there when working the edging to make it come out correct. Or if I don't have enough I'll just skip 2 instead of 3 stitches on the edge a couple times spread out so it evens up.

I worked this wrap using Caron Simply Soft and I bound off the knitting in single crochet by inserting the hook into the 1st stitch to be bound off , yo and draw up a loop, *insert hook into next stitch to be bound off, yo and draw up a loop, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook* Repeat around untill all stitches are bound off. This is the same bind off as the knit stretchy bo but it's just easier for me to do in crochet.

For the edging I attached my 2nd color at any stitch.

Round 1: ch3, sk next 3 st on edge of wrap, sc in next st, ch3, sc in next st, ch3, sk next 3 stitches on edge of wrap... repeat around join with a ss to beginning of round.

Round 2: *ch3, ss to 1st ch, sk next ch3 sp, (dc, ch3, ss to 1st ch) 5 times in next ch3 sp, sk next ch3 sp, ss to next sc* repeat from * to* around. join to beginning of round. break yarn and weave in ends.