Sunday, October 21, 2007

Another Dinosaur and CRAFT MY RIDE!

Hey everyone. It has been a long week and I spent many nights crafting my heart out, and I am proud to unveil my "Craft My Ride" submission. A set of three re-usable grocery bags covered in graffiti. They roll up and all 3 fit into a carrying bag that stores in the glove box or the door pocket. It was so much fun designing these bags and drawing the graffiti was amazing. I had students guide me with the graffiti and I really learned a lot about how tough it is to do.

OK, back to the classroom. My speediest knitter, Irina, has finished another project (last week she made 8 baby hats). This week's project is a scarf that she designed herself. I tell you, this group of knitters is blowing me away with their ambition! Next week I will post a dog sweater that one kid is finishing up. Pretty!

Coming off of my own needles this week is a companion to the T. Rex...a Stegosaurus! This guy is too cute!

Friday night, my best friend Andi and I took a cooking class in Culver City. SO MUCH FUN!!! It is at the New School of Cooking and it is a 4-week course. We learned soups and salads. Here we are with our creation. So proud! Next week we learn seafood and chicken. Yummy!!!!! Tonight I did some "homework" and made a spinach and white bean soup and a california chopped salad with roasted beets. Almost everything the recipes called for I found at the Larchmont Farmer's Market this morning.

Hope everyone is safe and out of the way of the fires. Have a great week!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Another Pidge and a T.Rex!

I saw the cutest patterns in the Holiday issue of Vogue knitting! Yeah, there are some wonderful sweaters to dream about knitting, but I was immediately drawn to the dinosaurs from I went to their website and purchased the dinosaur pattern set. The patterns arrived Saturday afternoon and I dove right in. Today, I have a T.Rex.

Really easy and I think it turned out pretty cute! I sure hope the little kids on my X-mas list like dinos! There is also a stegosaurus, brachiosaurus, and a triceratops left to knit. I used worsted weight wool for this guy, about 80 yards did the whole thing. His face is sweet. If you like DPNs and lots of shaping, then these are the patterns for you. Fairly straight-forward pattern.

I also knit another Pidge. This one is Misti Alpaca bulky. So soft and warm! Love it and it will be a x-mas gift for someone.

The kids were busy this week as well. Baby hats were due on Thursday, so as they came in I took pics before they were donated. Notice that they all have Stitches From the Heart tags on them, ready to be shipped off to deserving new babies!
This is Anastaysia. Very pretty hats.

Here is Irina. She has made 8 hats so far. This girl is ADDICTED to knitting!

Johanna and her baby hats. I love that her nails match a hat. Perfect!

Natalie made these hats. Awesome!

One of our boys, Nick. He donated 3 hats. Way to go!

Sinai (continental knitter) is getting really fast at making hats. Watch for more to come.

Next up for the kids is to make something they want. A gift, a toy, a purse, whatever. If any of you have suggestions for the kids, post them in the comments.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

My So-Called-Pidge

I initially saw the Pidge Scarf listed on SnBLosAngeles and realized I had to make one. The $275 price tag made me want to do it cheaply as well. Everyone was buzzing about this simple neck scarf with two wood buttons, so I figured I would try to make my own version. I used the stitch pattern from "my so called scarf" and did some basic measuring to come up with my version.

Here is the pattern I used:
60 g Cool Wool (bulky)
size 11 needles
Finished length: ~22 inches, but you can measure on yourself for the best fit. Button holes should be about an inch from one end.

Cast on 22 stitches, or any even # +2
Row 1 (RS): K1, *S1, K1, PSSO but before dropping the slipped stitch off the right needle, knit this stitch*, repeat from * to *K1
Row 2 (WS): P2 tog but before dropping the stitch off the left needle, re-insert the right needle into the first stitch (of the 2 purled together) and purl this stitch by itself, then drop the 2 stitches from the left needle (leaving 2 new stitches on the right needle). Repeat this across the remaining stitches.

Repeat these 2 rows until you reach the point where you want to add the button holes. I did my button holes toward the beginning, figuring if I messed up, I could start over without wasting too much time.

Buttonhole row:
On the WS, repeat pattern stitch twice, then bind off 2 sts, repeat pattern st 5 more times, bind off 2 sts, then repeat pattern st two more times.
RS row that follows: K1, S1, K1, PSSO and K into the slipped st, S1, M1 onto right needle, PSSO and K into slipped st, M1 onto right needle, K1 from left needle, PSSO and K into "made stitch", repeat pattern st 4 more times, S1, M1 onto right needle, PSSO and K into the slipped st, M1 onto right needle, K1 from left needle, PSSO and K into "made stitch", S1, K1, PSSO and K into the slipped st, K1

Bind off once you reach the desired length. Add 2 fancy buttons and wear with pride (and keep the $275 in your wallet)

Not sure how "easy" this is to understand. I read the stitch directions a bunch of times before I figured out exactly what I was supposed to do, and I worked this buttonhole row at least 5 times before I finally got something that sort of worked. I know some people were tossing around the crochet button hole and I am curious how that turned out for people.

I am currently knitting another Pidge with Misty Alpaca bulky. Yummy yarn.

My students are knitting maniacs and I have lots to show you from this week's classes. First, Lesly is assembling our 6" squares into a pretty cool baby blanket.

She is a really fast knitter who has already finished her baby hat assignment and was looking for something to do while waiting for the rest of the class to catch up. Gotta love it when a kid asks for more to do.

Here is one of my "advanced" knitters from a past semester, LaTijera. She soared in the beginning class and decided to come back for more. Here she is with the Elbac scarf from winter '06. She just learned cables last week and is making some real progress on this piece. I admire her skill and patience with so many cables!

Here is Halie, another returning knitter from last year. She is knitting the final leg for Sheldon, a turtle we love from I made many Sheldons last Christmas and Halie couldn't wait until she was "good" enough to do one. Little do any of them realize that you just have to think you can do it and you probably can. She picked up the DPNs and jumped right in. We will assemble this guy on Tuesday, so look for more pictures of her finished turtle next week.

Here are more knitters. Johanna and Sinai are furiously knitting. Sinai is a crocheter who picked up the knitting needles and taught herself to knit continental. I love watching her zoom through rows. So elegant!

This is Cristen, who is a bit wacky, but that fits right in with most of the knitters I know, so she feels right at home. She made this baby hat that is for a pretty big baby. For some reason, my kids are obsessed with the pom pom maker, so much so that I think I need to invest in a few more. They like to put pom poms on everything!

Here is Delyla, showing off the purple yarn that I wound into neat little balls for the kids. I bought pounds of worsted weight yarn and used my new ball winder to make center-pull balls for the kids to knit with.

And finally, our most recent donation to Stitches From the Heart. 5 baby sweaters, 4 dolls, 30+ baby hats, 10 scarves and 25+ purses and other teen-related items. I dropped in to Stitches Friday afternoon and was reminded how wonderful it is there. I really recommend you get yourself there to enjoy the people, yarn and always at least one good cookie on the big table. Friday I met a new grandpa who just learned how to knit so he could make stuff for his new granddaughter. He was chugging away on a scarf, then he put that down to show me the doll he is kitting for Hannah (I also saw the album of pics he carries in his impressive knitting bag).

I had a fun little adventure with my best friend Andi this afternoon. We went to the Museum of Natural History here in LA to hear one of my marine biology idols, Jean-Michel Cousteau, speak. His 2 hour lecture was on the state of the oceans and how we can change what we do to help the earth. His father taught him many things, but the most resounding message he learned from Jacques Cousteau was this: "People will protect what they love. We must show them how to love the ocean, the earth and all of the inhabitants, then they will care to save it." Here is a small, grainy picture of him up on stage answering questions following the lecture. My iPhone to the rescue!

Before the lecture, Andi and I toured the museum. Here she is in the Kid's section, standing in front of a really tall polar bear. Watch out, Andi!!

Next up for me is to work on the Scion Craft My Ride project. I have a super-secret idea in the works and I promise to reveal it once I have submitted my entry. Is anyone else out there entering this fun contest? Tell me what you can about your entry.