Wednesday, April 23, 2008

hey everyone,
I am finally on! I LOVE IT!!!!! I have already spent hours pouring over all of the patterns for toys.

Look for me on ravelry as "knitting101". Anyone have any tips on cool stuff to do on the site? Right now I am still navigating.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Octopus and Companion Cube...what?

Now that the baby shower season has past (see previous posts) I am knitting for myself again. Or so I thought. I set out at the beginning of the week to knit up some super-cute amigurumi octopus. I purchased the pattern on and have been trying to find time for them for months now. The time has finally come. I knit up three of them, in various colors, and can't get enough. They are pretty easy to do. Each tentacle takes about 5 minutes, then assembling them and adding the body takes a few hours. This is a one-day project for sure.

I am getting requests for these little guys, but all are spoken for, they will find a place of honor in the knitted aquarium in my classroom. I also have patterns for a small squid, a cuttlefish and a dumbo octopus. Not to worry, all of these will be in the aquarium someday. One of my favorite parts of this pattern has to be the head shaping. I love how organic it looks. Also, I love the way each tentacle curls a bit at the end. I didn't put anything in them, they just naturally do that.

A few months ago, one of my favorite students (he is reading this...hi Griffin!) asked me to knit him something. I said I would if he pulled his grades up in Marine Biology. Well, he did, so I had to follow through. I asked what he wanted, thinking he would like a nice, simple beanie or something like that, but he had a very specific item in mind. A knitted companion cube. Not really knowing what this was, I agreed. Turns out it is one of the most challenging projects to date. 3-color fair isle, knit in the round, with spacers between each side of the cube. So, I knit this strange looking tube. Seen here with the guts showing.

Then, I ran it through the sewing machine a few times, to strengthen the seams and help keep it from unraveling. Then, I CUT IT INTO 6 PIECES. It was pretty tough to do. Cutting something that I spent hours working on. I took my too-sharp Gingher shears and CUT.

Then I spent my Saturday evening seaming the sides together. I cut squares of high density foam and layered them into the knit box.

Once the last piece of foam was settled in, I seamed around the last 4 edges.

The result is a strange not-quite-square "thing" that is exactly what he wanted. I am unclear as to the purpose of this item, Griffin says it is a cube that you carry with you in video games. So I said, oh, like a security blanket when you play? Nope, more like a virtual friend. The cube is actually an image that appears within the game, not in real life. Until now. Now Griffin will be the envy of all of his friends, as he now has his very own, non-virtual knitted companion cube. Enjoy it, and remember that we have a test on Monday.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Last of the Baby Showers...for now

The last of the baby showers is tomorrow. BUT, another friend at work just announced her pregnancy. Seriously, an epidemic at our school. Here is a picture of the diaper cake for baby Josh. Since we know he is a boy, it was so much easier to come up with stuff to knit. I made him a "j" sweater with roll neck and raglan sleeves. This might be my new favorite sweater. Whips up in a few evenings. Also pictured here, the "guess the birthday" calendar for the shower tomorrow. If you guess closest to actual delivery time, you win a huge gift basket full of fun stuff. This shower has close to 80 people coming, so we decided to skip the typical baby shower games and the gift opening, and treat it more like a BBQ. There will even be a pinata! The weather looks great, so the party should be awesome.

Here is a close up of the "j" sweater. I am gifting it on a bear I bought at an after Easter sale. Love those sales!

The banana rattle has a few new friends. Corn on the cob rattle and eggplant rattle. Don't they all seem really happy to be together? I got the patterns for corn and banana from Kimberly Chapman's website, but I invented the eggplant pattern on my own. It was really fun! Not sure what fruit or veggie I will attempt next. If anyone has any suggestions...
Also, check out the pretty flowers Mike sent me for our 5 year anniversary. So sweet!

This is what is in the wash right now. I was doing a KAL with one of my students, Amanda. We chose an entrelac purse pattern from Felted Handbag Workshop and set to work. The pattern has 6-7 different purses and we each chose a different one. This is my "before" picture. I was hoping the base would be bigger, so I am afraid this might turn into a make up bag or a knitting needle bag. Amanda felted her bag and I will post pics of her finished product next time.

Next up for me? I am working on a few more marine biology animals for my knit aquarium. Currently on the needles (my multi-colored wood knit picks dpns) is a blue ringed octopus. Hope to have pics in the next few days.

Went to Stitched From the Heart on Wednesday and dropped off 2 huge shopping bags of scarves, hats and sweaters. The kids are furiously knitting, as their community service hours are due by the end of May. Each student needs 10 hours per year (40 hours total) in order to earn a diploma from our school. I love this service requirement. It teaches the kids the importance of giving back. The kids are so proud when they turn in an item for donation. I am pretty proud of them all as well.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Baby Showers every weekend!

Hey all,
Seems like I am on baby shower overload. There is a baby shower every weekend this month! Yikes! We have a record number of pregnant women at work. So many that the local paper is writing an article about the baby boom at our school.
Last weekend we threw our boss, Amy, a baby shower in Topanga. A beautiful day and a fun crowd. I made a diaper cake and wrapped it in tulle. I love it and was sorta sad to give it up.
With no tulle...

With tulle...

Here we are with the mommies-to-be. Amy and Julie are preggers, Maggie and I threw the party. Baby Fin is the cutest, by far. Julie's party is this saturday. Watch out for more diaper cake and many more knit surprises!

Of course we dined in style. We had homemade quiche, scones, salads and cheese plates.

Tea and lemonade completed the brunch

Little Fin modeling my latest gift, a simple hat made form some hand-dyed yarn I got at the yarn exchange at Farmer's Market SnB.

I have a ton more to blog. So much more that I have knit. I sent a few boxes with knitted gifts to some friends with kids and am awaiting pictures to post.

Up next? I am knitting a corn on the cob and turning it into a rattle. For a shower. This weekend. Gotta go knit!