Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Crafting

Last year I made very few handmade Christmas gifts. The idea of making and sending something across the ocean in time for Christmas was really daunting. So I skipped it.

This year, I went for it. I started early and made three (count 'em) shawls for the women in my family. Mom, Mom-in-Law, and Sister-in-Law. Two of these are Swallowtails, which is a really beautiful pattern. (I actually made another one for a friend's mother, but did not have time to photograph it, so you'll just have to trust me on that.)

This one is called Saskia, and is written by a Dutch woman named Angeline de Brok. If you are a raveler, find it here.

Some time ago, I bought this little cooking pamphlet at a second hand store somewhere in the US of A. Last year when Hyland was back in the US looking through our books, he came across it and brought it back to Holland. It has a delicious recipe for Lemon Drop cookies that is out of this world. They taste kind of like the old Lemon Coolers, except without the powdery outside.
And of course, the trusty old Christmas stamps came in handy this year too. I made cards, tags, and even some wrapping paper from plain brown wrapping paper. My 7 yr old found it really really fun, and it was remarkably easy to clean up!

Oh yes, and I made this tiered cookie platter from some plates and cups I found at the secondhand store. I glued them together with 2-part epoxy, and so far they are staying together really well. I got the idea from the ladies at RESTORED.

Christmas just wouldn't be the same without crafting.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Fiber Studio

So many of you have heard that we have been putting together an atelier for housing our Penelope Craft and MatherKunst businesses. Well, it is now in the final stages of completion, and the final necessities have been coming together nicely.

This is what the studio looked like when we first acquired it:

And, after much painting, building, cleaning, and assorted labor, it is now really shaping up. (Truth be told, Hyland did most of this work himself. Thank god for handy men.)

Most of our things have been moved over, Hyland hung up some artwork, and it is really becoming homey.

We owe thanks to so many people that helped out in a variety of ways, whether by donating a counter for the kitchen, finding us great pieces of furniture, picking up a paintbrush, or just showing up to support us.

Oh yeah, and we got a stair too. These photos are a little older...

We're still a little fluid on the date of our opening party, but we'll be sure to post it everywhere we know once we're up and running.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Anything for Greenpeace

Recently I created two socks to be used as a willie warmer for an awareness campaign for Greenpeace. It was really fun and I think turned out well. Go check out the spot on the director, Daniel Bird's site here.

Fun times!

Monday, November 2, 2009

What I've been doing instead of Blogging

Working on the new Penelope Craft/Mather Kunst Atelier! Opening information coming soon..

Knitting an amazingly soft Swallowtail Shawl with Merino wool.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Talk about natural talent

So, everyone probably knows that person that can pick up anything and do it really well right off. For me, that person is Stina. She is an amazing classical sculptor. She learned how to knit, and in a week and had already made this gorgeous alpaca baby snuggly thing from a Norwegian magazine.

That's her and Maia crafting down.

So, tonight, when I was invited over for dinner and crafting at the art studio, you know what she did? She didn't have a crochet hook, and wanted to crochet. So she carved her own crochet hook out of a rod. And then proeeded to crochet a bunch of flowers with it. Unbelieveable.

And yes, she did just learn how to crochet. In a week. And then designed a hat.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Argyle Boy

Today I finished up a pattern that I have been doting over for some time. It is an argyle patterned hat designed in sizes ranging from infant to child.

I openly admit that I am not the world's best stranded knitter. (Some people incorrectly refer to this kind of colorwork as fairisle.) So far I haven't really been attracted to it. The patterns I usually like fall into the intarsia spectrum of color work, so I am not very practiced.

Argyle, however, is one of those patterns that I have always loved. So, I decided to chart out a very simple argyle pattern in two colors and make a boyish design from it. And besides, practice makes perfect, right?

You can find this lovely on my Etsy page, or on Ravelry if you're in the know.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Knit in Public Day 2009

What a great time we had on Saturday for Knit in Public Day 2009. A whole bunch of us converged upon Westerpark in Amsterdam to knit, bbq, eat, drink and carouse. Here are some photos to prove it.