Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year Handknit Socks

Handknit socks are a real luxury. They are super warm, fit well, and are infused with positive thoughts. These babies are my newest gift to myself for Christmas. I cast them on a week ago and am now running around the house with them on.

I have always used the following formula for socks:

Step 1: Figure 8 cast-on (learned at, increase to desired number of stitches for circumference (these are 56 sts)

Step 2: Knit up foot until time to add the heel. Work short row heel. (Lots of ways to do this, but I learned this new method thanks to reading my friend Alex's blog)

Step 3: Knit up leg to desired length, rib for a few inches, then sewn bind off (found here on called "Knit One Purl One Bind Off").

Step 4: Repeat for second (maybe take some notes while making the first)

Ta Da! Handknit socks. Sometimes I get adventurous and add a pattern to the top of the foot and the whole leg part, making sure that the pattern is divisible by 4 or 2, or some other multiple of the number of stitches I am using.

Oh, and those cute shoes you ask? $95 Borns at the flea market for $5. Score! And good for my poor little feet that have been shoved into tall shoes for the better part of the last decade. Ah, the short girl complex!

My Knitting New Years Resolutions are to finish what I start, make more socks, and get Penelope Craft a home.

Till Next Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Crafty Christmas Gifts

My friend Wendel gave our family these darling Kerstboom (Christmas Tree) decorations at our Christmas party on Saturday, and I absolutely adore them.

Wendel is poly-crafty. This means she is not monogamous with any one craft. She fools around with many different ones with a varied level of commitment to any given one.

I fancy myself poly-crafty, but I really lean heavily on knitting as my primary craft. I dabble in others, but my passion is for the yarn-related arts.

What about you? Are you poly-crafty?


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tiny Jumpers

I have been making these super cute little ornaments over the past few days. The pattern is called Cheers! and is by a designer named Cheryl Niamath. For you knitter types, it is free and can be found here. They are really quick and satisfying and great for Christmas gifts.

Here in Europe these go by the name jumpers as opposed to sweaters, as we say in the USofA. Another interesting European English vocabulary item: all yarn goes by the name wool. Doesn't matter if it is cotton, bamboo, acrylic (shudder), goat hair or actual sheep's wool; all these are wool.

Happy Holidays everyone. Get out your wool and knit up some tiny jumpers!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Yarn Tasting

We had a yarn tasting at Katie's Cozy Craft Corner this past Thursday at De Nieuwe Anita. It was super fun, very cool vibe as always. Here is a yummy photo of some yarncakes.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

We got Noro!

Dagmar and I got a few colorways of the Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn. It's really striking. I have to say that I'm not a huge fan of some of the sweaters I have seen from Noro. I think it makes great accessories, but no one looks good in horizontal stripes.

But this yarn is beautiful and tempting. It's all I can do to keep myself from casting on yet another project. This is the one I am lusting after:

Friday, November 14, 2008

Penelope Craft

A short while ago, my partner Dagmar and I opened up our webshop, Penelope Craft! Here is a snapshot of the website.

We are actively making and adding new items to the shop, and are looking for new yarns and crafting accessories to include. Please stop by and check it out!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Here's a really fun thing to do in Amsterdam tomorrow night! See you there!


{click to see larger image}

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Melina Mittens

I have officially published my second for-sale pattern, the Melina Mittens. I desperately wanted this to be published on a popular online knitting site, but they already had a similar one in the works for a future issue. Ah well.

These clever little mittens are knitted tip-down using the same method as toe-up socks. The simple cable detailing on the top side of the mitten combined with a picot bind off and a ribbon run through a row of yarn-overs at the wrist gives them a soft victorian look. Perfectly feminine, woolen and warm, the Melina Mittens are sure to be one of your favorite things.

The thumb is worked by knitting scrap yarn for several stitches , transferring them back to the first needle, and continuing on with the main yarn. After the rest of the mitten is completed, the scrap yarn is removed and the thumb worked.

I designed these mittens to be snug, and down-sized the needles to achieve a denser fabric. I find snug mittens immensely practical, especially when turning door handles, or unlocking your bicycle. To modify for your own tastes, see the sizing and modifying notes in the pattern.

To purchase this oh-so-affordable pattern, click the link to the right, or go here.

Hugs and Kisses,

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Crafted Gifts

I always love getting handmade items from friends, especially when they lovingly make it, package it, and mail it across the ocean.

Here is a lovely crocheted washcloth that my friend Pam sent me from Denver.

One of the great things about crochet is that it can be immensely practical. (there are a hundred other great things about crochet) I like crocheted washcloths for the same reason that I like knitted socks. They are probably the most frequently used items you can give someone, and therefore get more mileage.

Thanks Pam!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Skull Crazy

It may be that it is nearing Halloween and we are likely going to miss out on a proper Halloween. It may be that I am subconsciously reacting to the sorry state of the US economy. Or, it may just be that Addison really likes pirates, and was jealous of GiGi's skull dress (he kept asking me when his hat would be ready - assuming that the dress was a hat, and that it was for him).

Whatever the reason, I have made my second skull-patterned handknit item within 3 week's time. These little mitts are for Addison. He likes them so much that he has already worn them out on the warmest day we have had in weeks.

If anyone is interested in this skull chart, it can be found here.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

I made this for you.

A lot of crafters make the lion's share of their projects for other people. Our gifts will take us hours and hours to complete, all the while thinking of the person for whom they are being made. I feel the items that I make for others are somehow infused with these good thoughts.

When I get to the gifting part, I am always a little stumped as to how to demurely say "Hey, I made this for you. It took me a while, and I just want you to know that this is a statement on how much I really like you. Please wash it carefully so you can have it for a long time to come." It's hard to say that without sounding like kind of a jerk.

So, I came up with these cards to softly say just that. On the front they say:

And on the back:

Cute, eh? These little lovelies will soon be available for sale online in sets of 3. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for news on the new online craftshop.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Skull Jumper

Here is my newest finished creation, a skull Jumper based on the Vogue Knitting/Blue Sky Alpacas Baby Jumper (pattern here), only much better in my opinion. This one was made in a few days for my newest little girlfriend, 4 month old tough girl GiGi Tinsel.


Dear Diary,

I resisted as long as I could. I started a new crafting blog today. It was a tough decision, but I think I can handle the responsibility. If I don't post terribly often, please don't think it is because I don't like you, because I do.

Love Malia