Luscious Gracious! Look What We Made Today!

A blog devoted to the art of the Luscious Gracious clan.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

More Birthday Gifts & A Few Gifts For Ourselves

Happy Birthday Mel! We ended the year of birthdays in our International Knit Circle by celebrating Mel's birthday last week. Of course, we made her a few things. And let's not ignore her awesome vest, which is downright gorgeous. She made it some time ago, and it was her first sweater, and her first colorwork project. Goes to show you that even back in the day Mel was a kick-ass knitter (did we use enough "urban youth subculture-related vocab"? We are trying to tap more into that hipster demographic).

Kiki made this fuzzy pink bag out of Reynold's "Frisky" (a very unlikely choice for Kiki, but for some reason she HAD TO HAVE IT!!!! It's made of cotton and nylon - see, unlikely - but feels so very soft. She actually recommends it, if you see a ball or two somewhere). The top portion around the drawstring is made of Berroco's "Monet", which looks a lot like the berber (don't ask me how to spell it, you know what I mean) carpet in our old house. It's a squiggly yarn, made of rayon, acrylic, cotton, and nylon.....a bit like carpet. Whew. After two novelty-type yarns, Kiki went for the old standby Cascade "220" wool in #8407 Oyster for the bottom and handles. It is hard to see the shape, but it has a square bottom (reinforced with an Ikea flexible cutting board, which was easy to cut with kitchen scissors and comes two to a pack for something like a penny) and decreases slightly toward the top, with easy eyelets for the i-cord 220 drawstring handles. We bought all of the yarn at Tempe Yarn and Fiber, the store that continues to push us in new directions, and pushes us to finish things. By that I mean "encourages us", which is a good thing. Who knows how many IOU's we'd still have out otherwise. To finish up, Kiki lined the bag with old favorite polka-dot fabrics. If you'd like to make one yourself, just knit a bottom square or rectangle, pick up stitches all the way around, knit in the round to desired height, decrease at the four corners until happy (or tired of knitting, whichever comes first) and do a row of Yarn Over, Knit 2 Togethers followed by a horizontal i-cord and cast off, or just cast off. Make an i-cord string or two for a handle, line the bag if you like, and thread the handle(s) through the eyelets....that's it. Fun. Oh, I forgot. When lining, place a piece of cutting mat or whatever in the bottom of the bag. Steve recommends felting the whole thing, but we expected that comment, right?

Steve made the black scarf, originally named the 666 scarf as it was knitted while watching the new Omen boxed set. It started with 6 stitches, and 6 rows of the ruffles. The twists were going to be 6 wraps, but that was too big, so there were only 2. So it is the 662 scarf, but I used 3 skeins of R2 "Braid", and 3X2 is 6 (yarn made of viscose and nylon). Maybe the name still fits. That seems as plausible as the ideas that the "conspiracy hobbyist" had on the "666" dvd featurette. Hope it brings Mel good luck, though. The ruffle part was made by knitting through the actual stitches (like when you accidentally split a stitch) instead of the normal knit stitch. The criss-cross is a technique in one of the R2 magazines, that Illanna has let me borrow for about a year now.

Lucy made this cute doll from the "Dolly" pattern by Jess Hutchison. It is made from 3 colors of Malabrigo yarn. Lucy added the knee socks and the colorwork on the feet to make Mary Jane shoes. Lucy is such a cool knitter! She really gives her work personality. This dolly's crooked smile is adorable. Mel does so much knitting of soft things for others, and she really deserves a little love in return. With the addition of other knitters, a great hand-made card and decorations a la Ms. Lily, and three kinds of cake, we had a fantastic time helping Mel celebrate. It's been a great year, knitters! Thanks for everything.

Our youngest shares the family trait of making special things to show affection to our loved ones. Lily made this Jellyfish for a friend's birthday this weekend. (She's wearing a crazy bit of knitting that Kiki made when we moved here....the last time she was overwhelmed by novelty yarns. Both Lily and Kiki want you to know - It's not a poncho!)

This sweet creature is from Dad's Jellyfishin' pattern. She used rainbow colors of Rowan "Big Wool" and Someone's (?) "Fiesta" (label long-gone). Lily drew the cute face & Mom stitched it on. The jellyfish was a big hit, even if delivered a little wet. The happy recipient held the birthday party in a local bear-stuffing factory. A real factory, not the mall-based place. It was cool in there....

Kiki made herself this awesome shawl out of Fleece Artist's hand-dyed merino superwash, a birthday gift from Miss E2K Erika. Around here, we are all obsessed by lace knitting, or knitting lace. Even Threve (see Illanna's birthday and Stickmonster).

Here is a close-up of the lace pattern from Barbara Walker's Second Treasury. It's the Snowflake Eyelet, and is a very easy-to-remember 6-row repeat. I'd like to repeat the pattern in a snowy-day and white, or dark blue with silver fleck... The cute hand-shaped shawl pin came from Knit 1 Bead 2 up in Jerome. Have you been there yet? Go. Now. Erica R. (the owner) is a genius. I can't stop dreaming about the place.

Here is the full wrap, blocked to 24" by 49", from about 350 yards of yarn on a size 4US needle.

Check out the cool striped edge. Looks like candy! Soooooo happy with the way the yarn striped, although any pooling would have been cool too. The yarn is that perfect.

Lucy is preparing for the visit to Indiana this winter. She made this mitten, scarf, and hat set from Brown Sheep Bulky. Lucy will be plenty warm & stylish during her trip. By the way, her own patterns. She likes to figure it out for herself. Our poor girls. They have to pretend to be cold. Behind her you can see what November is really like out here. The other night it was 86 degrees at 9 pm, as we strolled home from our favorite neighborhood restaurant. Don't hate us if you are battling sleet and slush. At least you can wear the wool you knit.
So long, for now.

Don't forget to check out LGStitched #2

and be sure to visit StickMonster so she doesn't get lonely.

Steve (and Kiki, sorry if the back and forth narration gets confusing)

Coming soon - a requested pattern addition to LGStitched, and more holiday knitting.