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Amidst everything else,  I couldn’t resist joining the 22 leaves mystery shawl knit along.  Truth be told, this knit along went so fast I had a sneak-peak at the 1st half of the design before I signed up and now, halfway through my own have seen the full design.  It is so lovely I’m having a hard time not abandoning all else to finish.  I’d been wanting to see how some self-striping sock yarn that’s been in my stash for quite some time would knit up as a lace shawl and thought what I could see of the lace pattern might be able to work with the yarn.  From what I’ve seen so far, I can’t decide if I love or hate it but I love the pattern enough to carry on and either overdye or knit again if not entirely pleased with the end result.   Progress after clue 1 (right) and clue 3 (left).

For a Papa who takes an interest in making good food…

I’ve made lots of knit progress this year and was feeling pretty good about having a good head-start on Christmas until I realized:

The tissue sweater was a birthday present, and so are the 2nd pair of artichoke socks, and this…

 and this…

and this…

and come to think of it this may be a birthday present too…

Not to mention a half-dozen other family members with birthdays between now and Christmas.   Oh dear.

PS: Speaking of birthday we’ve had a flurry of crafting for an upcoming big birthday event.  More on that soon…

Ive fallen behind in posting again, but lot’s of progress has been made on various projects I’m not able or haven’t gotten around to photographing.  In the meantime.  Here are some random pictures of things we have recently made.

1. Angry Chicken’s Deoderant recipe

2. Completed second set of artichoke socks

3. Homemade yogurt (can’t take credit for anything but the photography here).

4.  Braided Butter Bread from Renny Darling’s Vegetarian Fast and Fancy .  I’m quite enamoured of this cookbook, everything we’ve made from it has been delicous.  The Rosemary garlic popovers were a big hit too.

 Encouraged by the quite wearable results of the pajamas I made last month I decided it would be nice to make the little Mr. some pajamas with a matching top.  Preferably one that did not involve buttons.  I’ve been saving a small stack of his receiving blankets for repurposing and this one matched quite nicely with a blue tank-top that had hit the scrap pile a while back.

A few snips and seams later.. voila!   The most satisfying thing about this project was that I used almost the entire receiving blanket with very little waste, which you can sort of see in my little cutting diagram below.    I would like to make another of these in which I perfect the sleeves (didn’t get the angle on the raglan quite right so they are a little poofy) so I will try and do a more complete tutorial of sorts when I do. 

 The short version though is to cut the blanket into equal 6ths, by folding it in half and then in thirds.  Each third then becomes a pair of fronts and backs for the shorts and sleeves for the shirt.  By positioning the cuts along the already finished edge of the blanket, you minimize the need for extra selvedging. 

Use an old t-shirt or tank-top (since you won’t be needing the sleeve fabric) to form the body of the shirt, the casing for the elastic at the top of the shorts and the neck edge.

The photo of the tissue cardigan I knit earlier this year is up at elann.com  along with yarn packs so you could knit your very own.  The pattern is from Interweave Knits Spring 2010.  I was a bit skeptical when the yarn arrived, this is knit holding two strands of lace weight on size 9 needles.  The swatch was true to the name of the sweater, not unlike a”tissue”.  The resulting sweater is light and drapey and yet doesn’t feel insubstantial or holey except in the lacy bits where there are meant to be holes.  The wool is wonderfully soft and warm next to the skin.  Perfect for a cool summer night or overly air conditioned day.  I also absolutely love the color for this pattern and the shaping is very flattering even on those of us a bit curvier than the model.  

 Don’t be fooled by the “minimal finishing” bit touted in the magazine, this is knit in 8 pieces (not counting the button) bands Most of these are picked up where the previous piece left off, but you still have to sew up the sleeves and the sides and I had plenty of ends to weave in.  You could as some ravelers have suggested, knit in one piece in the round but might loose some the structure and nice shaping in the garment especially at this loose a gauge .  That said, I would still highly recommend the pattern.

This week I learned how to crochet hairpin lace.  So called because it was originally worked on a curved hairpin.  Long strips of loops are produced by wrapping yarn around the hairpin (or loom) and crocheting up the middle.  Then the strips are joined in various ways to form a pattern.  I made and joined two strips to form a scarf.

There are quite a few nice tutorials on the web.  I used this one from bellaonline but Stitch Diva also has several along with her innovative uses of the technique and quite a few free patterns at Crochet Pattern Central.

This was a great way to showcase some ribbon yarn I had in my stash.    It goes quite well with the skirt my little one hand painted this weekend.  I’m savoring some of her artwork from earlier this year.  Now that school has begun, I’m sure a new body of work will be wanting to be displayed. 

We’ve also been perfecting our sewing skills.   La sirenita learned to do machine piecing and I practiced machine quilting.  We decided to save the lesson on sewing a straight lines for another day.