Thursday, February 23, 2012

Super Soft Super Secret

Don't worry - I didn't even attempt to say that out loud.  Not the dream title for someone with a slight (it IS slight, dammit!) lisp.

Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that I have been posting little teases about a super-secret project.

It started with a picture of my yarn purchase.

This yarn is really divine.  It is a naturally dyed organic cotton in a light DK weight.  Soft, soft, soft.  It has also been discontinued.  I will never understand what causes a company to make that decision, but I'm sure they had their reasons.  Now one of two things happen when something cool is discontinued.  Some folks put the price through the roof - because now it is coveted.  Others bring the price way down because they want to clear out inventory and make way for the new stuff.  I lucked onto one of the second kind of distributors.  Yay me.

I've only shared this picture for two reasons:  to further stretch out my little tease, and because I really love close up pictures of knitting and I kind of can't believe I took this one with my phone.

Any guesses where we're going with this?

If you guessed baby romper, well, pat yourself on the back.

I have two friends co-grandparenting the same baby - mother of the dad and mother of the mom.  If there's one type of knitting I love above all others - it's knitting baby clothes.  Instant gratification, super-soft yarns, and an excuse to embellish freely.  (No embellishment on this piece, because it needed to remain completely gender non-specific - but that's beside the point.)

Hopefully this isn't the last picture we see from this project.  I'm hoping at least one of those proud grandmas sends me a picture of it filled up with something even softer and sweeter than naturally dyed organic cotton...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Have a Heart

A couple weeks ago, a friend was having a really wicked week.  We've all been there.  One thing goes wrong, then another, then another.  It becomes almost comical at some point.  It was in the middle of that week that I thought - I wish I could send her a hug that was a little more substantial than ->(((hug)))<- this.  I could take you on the whole thought-train ride, but it's not really necessary to the story.  Ultimately I decided to make her some little handmade hearts and send them to her.  Getting something in the mail that is not a  bill and is not junk mail is fun.  Getting something intended to stand in for a hug?  How could that not be fun?

I got to work.

I found this pattern for a knit heart and I started there.

I had some wool lying around, left over from making pillows.  Maybe I'll show those to you someday.


I made one in red.

Yes, I am aware that this is blue.  The red one was a bit camera shy. 

As you can see, at this point it was a bit curly and unruly.  I mentioned that they were wool, right? I do so love felting...  So through the hot cycle they went - once, twice, thrice.

Now they're behaving a bit better.

When they were dry, I joined them with a blanket stitch and stuffed them.

Imperfect - but I think that with a folky craft like this imperfections can be quite charming.

Cute, right?

But one seemed so insubstantial.

Four seemed just about right.

Hey, this isn't the last time I'm going to have a friend with a rough week, now, is it?  

I made these with no greater hope than that of making someone smile for a moment. Sort of like a Hallmark card on steroids.   But as I was whipping these out (so quick and fun!) I was thinking of more ideas:

  • knit them in pastel colors then use embroidery floss to add conversation heart type messages.
  • attach 2 hearts to either side of a cord and use them to tie a gift in a brown paper wrapper.
  • attach them to a headband, barrette or pin back.
  • attach them to floral wire and make a bouquet - or embellish a cookie or lollipop bouquet.
  • knit each side in a different color to represent team/school colors and fill a bowl with them as a centerpiece for a party - guests could take them as a token when they leave.
  • on and on and on - I bet you can think of something to do with one (or a couple dozen!) of these!  I'd love to hear your ideas!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Study in Sherlock

I have recently been doing research on the studies of crime of my dear fictional friend Mr. Sherlock Holmes. In case you (blasphemously) have never heard of him, he is very observant to the point that his talent has caused him the need to create his own job, thus making him the worlds only consulting detective. I find myself intrigued by him to the point that I felt the need to show my appreciation of his works through crocheting and knitting. What follows is the result.

This is the scarf of his friend Dr. John Watson as portrayed by Jude Law in the most recent Sherlock Holmes movie, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. All of the Sherlock Holmes stories are from written in Dr. Watson's point of view, in the books and movies through the means of his journal and in the most recent BBC series through his blog titled "The blog of Dr. John H. Watson".

This is the hat Sherlock often wears when going out to solve crime. In this picture he is examining the writing on the wall in a room in which he and Watson found themselves on their very first adventure, A Study in Scarlet. In this story, the killer carved the German word "Rache", meaning revenge, on the wall, trying to pass himself off as a German person so that the real person would never be found. Sherlock Holmes, however, was not fooled for a second.
This is a doll attempting to portray Sherlock. If I were to judge, I'd say he does a pretty good job at that.
That is all I have of Sherlock Holmes right now, however that count is subject to change at any given moment. If I ever try to make another Sherlock Holmes depicting object, you can be sure to hear about it.