Monday, November 26, 2012

Pattern: Miniature Bunting

Thanksgiving weekend was a blast (I hope it was for you as well!). But now it's back to work and back to working on Christmas-y knits. I've finished off my Christmas list knitting, but now it's on to wrapping! I've vowed that next year, I will be much more creative with my Christmas packaging, but for this year, I'm only worrying about Syd's birthday extravaganza packaging.
So I knit up this adorable miniature b-day bunting to adorn the outside of her package (packaging post coming soon).
NOTE: Astrid over at Twisted Lamb was kind enough to convert this pattern into crochet!

Miniature Bunting

BO - bind off
CCF  - bring contrast color to front
K1M - knit 1 in main color
CCB - bring contrast color to back
K - knit
P - purl
SSK - slip 2 stitches knitwise, knit through back of stitches
K2tog - knit 2 together

US 6 needles
Any color worsted weight acrylic yarn

{Contrast Color}
CO 11

Row 1: K across

Row 2: BO 3 switching to main color on last BO. (CCF, K1M, CCB, K1M) x2. BO 3 with contract color.

{Main Color}
Row 3: K1, P3, K1.

Row 4: K across.

Rows 5 - 7: follow rows 3 - 4.

Row 8: SSK. K1. K2tog.

Row 9: K1, P1, K1.

Row 10: slip first stitch knitwise, K2tog, then pass slipped stitch over knit stitch.

Weave in ends. Join the flags together, add embellishments and enjoy!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pattern: Lady Tie

I made this adorable lady tie for Martin's sister. This was my first time embroidering, but I think it turned out alright. Plus the vintage shiny, yellow button was the perfect match for this yarn.

Lady Tie

End to End: 23"
Button to Buttonhole: 15.75"

2 skeins Wool of the Andes yarn in Opal Heather
Pair of US 9 straight needles

CO - cast on
K - knit
P - purl
P2tog - purl 2 together
K2tog - knit 2 together
YO - yarn over
M1P - make 1 purlwise
M1K - make 1 knitwise
BO - bind off

{Pattern Notes}
If you need more length around the neck, just add more rows in the Straightaway section.

Holding yarn doubled, CO 13 stitches.

Rows 1 - 5: (K1, P1) across

Row 6: P2tog, (K1, P1) to last 2 stitches, P2tog

Rows 7 - 10: (P1, K1) across

Row 11: K2tog, (P1, K1) to last 2 stitches, K2tog

Rows 12 - 16: (K1, P1) across

Row 17: P2tog, (K1, P1) to last 2 stitches, P2tog

Rows 18 - 25: (P1, K1) across

Row 26: P1, K1, P1, YO, P2tog, K1, P1

Rows 27 - 32: (P1, K1) across

Row 33: K1, M1P, (K1, P1) to last stitch, M1P, K1

Rows 34 - 109: (K1, P1) across

Row 110: P2tog, (K1, P1) to last 2 stitches, P2tog

Rows 111 - 125: (P1, K1) across

Row 126: K1, M1P, (K1, P1) to last stitch, M1P, K1

Rows 127 - 131: (K1, P1) across

Row 132: P1, M1K, (P1, K1) to last stitch, M1K, P1

Rows 133 - 136: (P1, K1) across

Row 137: K1, M1P, (K1, P1) to last stitch, M1P, K1

Rows 138 - 141: (K1, P1) across

BO all stitches.

Weave in and tie off ends.

Felt piece.

Add button. [ I had to cut a slightly larger hole for the button. I was able to pinpoint the location of the cut by finding the tiny hole that remained from the YO at the beginning of the pattern. ]

Add embellishments and enjoy!

Mushroom embroidery.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Photo Tutorial: Felting

Here's the promised felting tutorial. This tutorial covers felting in an upright washing machine only. For other felting techniques, check out this site.

Start with your finished knitted piece. Tie off loose ends. I personally don't bother weaving them in, because once felted, I can just cut off the loose tail without worries of unraveling.

Throw your knitted piece into the washer with a couple pairs of jeans. Note: Do not use towels! They will lint all over the place.

Set your washer to the smallest water level, hot wash / cold rinse temperature setting, and heavy duty cycle.

Add just a tiny bit of soap to the load.

Check back every ten minutes, restarting the load every time so it doesn't switch to the cold cycle. Once all your stitches have lost definition and felted together, allow the washer to finish through the cold rinse. Set your piece out flat to dry completely.

Add your embellishments and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Recipe: Super Yummy Tacos

Prepare yourself to eat the best dang tacos this side of the Mississippi!
Okay, so I don't actually know that to be fact, but my tummy sure thinks it is. These tacos have been in my family since the beginning, when I was so little that the only role I was allowed to perform in the preparations was setting the table and readying the condiments. My mom called them burracos, because they were half burrito and half taco and all delicious. I loved how the house would be in such a bussle getting everything ready for taco nights.
I remember the first time I actually got to fry the shells myself (about age 11 or so). As I flipped the shell, hot grease sloshed onto my hand. Luckily, minor grease burns can get you out of PE for a whole week! And I learned to be more careful when flipping tortillas. The only thing that's changed from then and now is the number of tacos I make in one sitting. I've learned that making them all up in one fell swoop and reheating in the toaster oven is much more appetizing than making them up as I'm ready to eat them - the shells just get so super crunchy in the toaster oven!

Reheated tacos from toaster oven. These are the last two tacos from the batch we made Saturday night.
Super Yummy Tacos
Note: These directions are set up for more than one person, so invite some friends over and get them helping! This recipe makes a total of 24 tacos. They can be refrigerated and reheated in the toaster oven at 350 for a few minutes on each side or until golden brown. And don't worry, they get eaten up fast so you won't have to keep leftovers for long.
2 cans refried beans
1 pound ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
1 package (24count) corn tortillas
Vegetable oil
Any extra condiments you enjoy with tacos (we found some creamy havarti cheese with jalapenos in it - yum!)

Person 1: Brown the beef. Drain grease. Stir in both cans of beans and taco seasoning. Stir everything together then place on slightly lower than medium heat until warm, stirring occassionally.
Person 2: While the beef is browning, pour a layer of vegetable oil along the bottom of a sauce pan or skillet over medium heat. Once oil is hot (check by setting the edge of tortilla in it - if it starts to sizzle, it's ready), start frying your tortillas flat until golden brown on both sides - about 30 seconds on each side (I used my kitchen timer).
Person 1 or 3: Line casserole dish with four layers of paper towels (for soaking up any excess grease). As shells become ready, place a spoonful of filling inside and fold in half. Add any condiments that everyone agrees on here (cheese will get wonderfully melty at this stage) - if no one agrees on condiments, you can do an assortment or leave them out for everyone to do themselves.
Once the last shell gets filled, gather round the table and dig in!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pattern: Wonder Woman Slippers

I love, love, love this pattern! But of course I would seeing how my love of Wonder Woman will never fade.

This pattern is for the knit pattern only - felting tutorial post coming soon!

Wonder Woman Slippers

Small US 5-6 (Medium US 7-8) (Large US 9-10)

2 skeins Wool of the Andes worsted yarn in Red
2 skeins Wool of the Andes worsted yarn in Caution
1 pair of US 11 needles

CO - cast on

{Pattern notes}
For the decrease of 3 stitches on each side at the top of the charts, bind off 3 stitches on odd row [row 25 (29) (33)], then bind off 3 stitches on the next even row (should have total of 26 (30) (34) rows after bind off rows).

So that slippers are mirror images of each other, I work one slipper starting on the right side and the other slipper starting on the wrong side.


CO 32 stitches in red.

{Double Knitting}
Follow the proper size chart below




{Decreases / Increases}

Work your decreases and increases using the chart below. Watch the video tutorial here if you don't know how to decrease / increase your stitches with double knitting.

Weave in ends, felt down these babies, and enjoy!

A felting tutorial post will be up Saturday, so check back soon. Also, it will be a picture tutorial seeing as I was extremely awkward in the video tutorial. Haha.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Video Tutorial: How to Increase and Decrease with Double Knitting

Here's how to do increases and decreases with double knitting. This tutorial specifically applies to my Aquaman and Wonder Woman slippers patterns.

This is my very first video I've ever done, and I'm exceptionally awkward. I felt like Ricky Bobby in front of the camera -  I just didn't know what to do with my hands. Haha.

If you have any questions, please comment below or email me: daysofowls (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Inspiring Me.

via :: ajoure blog
 These adorable mushrooms are just what I'm looking for to embroider on Kia's lady tie.
via :: vamosthreads
I'm drooling over this kitty skirt.

via :: cartbeforethehorse
 These folk art owls are deliciously creepy.
via :: ivahome
These earrings are too precious.

via :: denizgunes
 I want to try my hand at making a twisty sweater like this.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Knitting Frenzy: 6

Almost all of my Christmas gifts are done now. Hoowee!

1. Martin
2. Marsha
3. Sydney
4. Secret Santa
5. Kia
6. Terry

Marsha's snowman ornament
I finished Marsha's snowman ornament, and his little bead eyes are still making me squee. I'm glad to be done with ornament making. As cute as they are, I was really ready to move on to knitting things I could get really excited about.

Kia's lady tie
Speaking of exciting things, I finished knitting two swatches for Kia's lady tie (and two prototypes). I've decided on moss stitch with yarn held doubled so it would have a little weight to it and lay flat easily. I also worked my butt off getting the math just right (I really flub it up sometimes). I can't wait to add the embroidery to the final piece. Who'd have thought I'd be so excited to hand sew something? And working the final piece out should help make a great tutorial for felting!

Wonder Woman slippers
Right now I'm working on the small side project of my Wonder Woman slippers. A video tutorial post on how to increase and decrease stitches with double knitting should be up Saturday, and the pattern post for these babies will be up Monday. I'm going to felt them down with Syd's Aquaman slippers whenever she comes over to get her birthday present.

And I'll be casting on for Terry's wonderful Christmas houses soon. I've got a plan of action, but I'm going to run through a trial house first. Also, my Kitten is cute and matches my carpet.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fall / Winter Reading List: 2

I'm one book down, four to go!

I finished The Woods Are Dark by Richard Laymon just a few days after posting. It was a very quick read, but very disappointing. I was expecting much more detail in the horror of the story, but everything was lacking. Even the few love scenes were atrociously written. All-in-all, I probably won't pick up another book by Richard Laymon. It just left me wanting more.

Since I finished well before Halloween and wanted to keep the horror coming, I chose Galilee by Clive Barker next. It's a romance horror story, and so far it's living up to all of my Clive Barker expectations. It's a slow burn with Clive; I'm in part three of the book and I'm still learning backstory. I'm moving much slower with this one, but it is also much better. Of course, Clive Barker is my favorite author so my opinion of his work is little biased.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pattern: Comic Book Cozy

This cozy can also be used for an iPad or tablet. Sydney doesn't have either, but she does have a scheduled weekly shopping trip to our favorite comic shop in town.

This pattern was adapted from this cabled iPad sleeve by Sarah Davis. I followed her pattern up until the end where I cast off one complete side and start knitting back and forth for the handle / flap.

Cabled Tablet / Comic Book Cozy

1 skein worsted weight acrylic yarn
US 8 16" circular needles
US 8 straight needles (optional)
Stitch markers
Cable needle

[ ] - pattern notes
BO - bind off
C8B - slip 4 stitches onto your cable needle held to back of work. Knit next 4 on your working needle, then knit the 4 on your cable needle.
C8F - slip 4 stitches onto your cable needle held to front of work. Knit next 4 on your working needle, then knit the 4 on your cable needle.
CO - cast on
K - knit
K2tog - knit 2 together
KtoE - knit to end
KtoM - knit to marker
P - purl
PM - place marker
PtoE - purl to end
PtoM - purl to marker
SSK - slip the next 2 stitches knitwise, then knit through back of 2 stitches together

Holding yarn doubled (I used the center pull strand and the strand from the outside of the skein), cast on 72 stitches.

Rounds 1 - 2: K all

{Cable Pattern}
Rounds 3 - 6: (K8, P2, K16, P2, K8) repeat

Round 7: (K8, P2, C8B, C8B, P2, K8) repeat

Rounds 8 - 12: (K8, P2, K16, P2, K8) repeat

Round 13: (K8, P2, K4, C8F, K4, P2, K8) repeat

Rounds 14 - 46: follow rounds 3 - 13

This is where you can switch to straight needles if you wish (or you can keep knitting back and forth on your circs).

Row 47: K8, BO20, K8, BO36

Row 48: K8, CO20, K8 [36 stitches total]

Row 49: P8, K2, P16, K2, P8

Row 50: K8, P2, K16, P2, K8

Rows 51 - 52: follow rounds 49 - 50

Row 53: P8, BO20, P8

Row 54: K8, PM, CO20, PM, K8 [36 stitches total]

Rows 55 and 57: PtoM, K2, P16, K2, PtoE

Row 56: KtoM, P2, K16, P2, KtoE

Rows 58 and 70: SSK, KtoM, P2, C8B, C8B, P2, K until 2 stitches remain, K2tog

Rows 59, 61, 63, 65, 67, 69, and 71: PtoM, K2, P16, K2, PtoE

Rows 60, 62, 66, and 68: SSK, KtoM, P2, K16, P2, K until last 2 stitches, K2tog

Row 64: SSK, KtoM, P2, K4, C8F, K4, P2, K until 2 stitches remain, K2tog

Remove markers as you get to them.
Row 72: SSK, K8, BO2, K8, K2tog

Row 73: P9, CO2, P9 [20 stitches total]

Row 74: SSK, K until last 2 stitches, K2tog

Row 75: P across

Rows 76 - 79: follow rows 74 - 75 [14 stitches should remain at end]

Bind off, weave in ends, seam up bottom, block, and sew on a button.

Note: I blocked my piece before seaming up the bottom to make it easier for me to align the bottom correctly.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

What's In My Project Bag?

cat lady pride tote :: topatoco
Out of my entire collection of purses / bags I've converted into project bags, this one created by octopus pie is by far my favorite. I start off every knitting project with planning exactly what I'll need throughout the entire project and throwing it all in a bag together so I'll never be caught unprepared for finishing.
So what's in my bag?

Proper needles, yarn, and back up skeins of course.

My iPod and earbuds are a must-have when I'm out and about with my knitting. To prepare my finishing box (a converted vintage men's shaving kit), I sort through each item in my large box of knitting notions and transfer over what I'll need to finish my current project. For this project, I have my metal knitting gauge, crochet hook, small darning needle, scissors, and pins.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Knitting Frenzy: 5

Palette Yarn :: knitpicks
The yarn for the tiny houses came in yesterday, and I'm rushing to get all my other gifts knitted up so I can start working with this amazing yarn!

1. Martin
2. Marsha
3. Sydney
4. Secret Santa
5. Kia
6. Terry

pattern :: Amy Gaines
I'm officially finished with the set of adorable ornaments I started a couple weeks ago for my Secret Santa at work. I'm going gaga for the little snowman eyes!

pattern :: coming soon
I will be finishing up Syd's comic book cozy tonight. I've knit it all up, woven in ends, and blocked it last night to make it easier to seam it up evenly. Then it's just a cute little button to hold the flap down and I'll be done!

pattern :: Amy Gaines
I started on Marsha's ornament Wednesday night. My wrist is starting to hurt again... dang. I think it's from how tense I get when I'm working with tiny needles. I have to stop myself often just to take a breath and force myself to relax my muscles... it's very counterintuitive.

Happy Birthday To Me!

It's my birthday today! I'm 24 years old... that's almost a quarter century old, guys. Exciting!
via :: granny vintage shoes
I ordered myself these adorable boots from granny vintage shoes, and tonight I'm celebrating with knitting and relaxation. I'm going to make these red boots into wonder woman boots by knitting myself some yellow boot toppers.
hey look! there's my hideous orange kitchen.
My hairstyle of choice lately has been this weird topknot updo. It makes me feel like a cross between a ballerina and a high fashion samurai. You can't see it, but I was having a conversation with Logan the fat kitty in those first two panels.