knitting it up in a big way

Category Archives: craftiness

Also Known As: Life Lately According To My Phone.

Two married ladies. Alternatively: the bride wore duck lips.

One of my very favorite ladies got married on Halloween. I cried the moment she started to speak at the ceremony, because geeze, there’s something about people I love making life long commitments that brings out the sap in me. Properly contrasted with a duck face selfie, of course. I designed her invites, and hopefully someday I’ll get around to showing you those.


I borrowed a dress for the wedding and I’m kind of in lurve with it. Also, dressing up for this made me realize: a) my hair is pretty long and b) I don’t really know how to make it formal or even semi-formal at this length. Braids have been my default, but I need some new inspiration.

So far so good!

I decided to knit another ‘seasons hat’ for a friend who always wears hats. When there’s this many colors at play, I have to swatch a minimum of four times. I like where I ended up! This is pretty close to completion, depending on how much knitting time is in the near future.

Rings on rings on rings.

Time is at a bit of a premium right now because PoPS is in full swing production! Which is time-consuming, but it’s wonderful to be getting this stuff done. Pre-production was a especially brutal this round (I’m looking at you, scheduling). Oh, this picture is hands belonging to myself and Carlyn. When we need a double for her on set, I don a wig, and rings.

Accidentally did some random bleaching of my jeans while cleaning today. At least it doesn't look totally accidental? #oops

Production at our place means I’ve been cleaning every room we’ve been about to shoot in. And then inevitably seeing corners of dustiness while we’re shooting. SIGH. Accidentally bleached my jeans with the tub-scrub stuff the other day. At least it looks kind of planned-ish?

Baiza has been hanging out in this little tent that @chynagrove made! It's pretty dang cute. #baizagram

Baiza has been a bit under the weather. It’s easy to forget how old she is, being as teensy and spry as she is, but occasionally her age catches up to us. She’s on the mend, and this little tent has been her favorite hide out. Chyna made it for Mitzy, who upheld the time honored pet tradition of not giving a rats-patootie about the things their people want them to, so I’m glad Baiza likes it!

Jake matches the flowers.

Part of my family celebrated an early Thanksgiving with a meal, and I very much enjoyed how much Jake’s sweater matched the flowers on the table.

Mending my favorite chambray... Might not be worth it, but I gotta give it a try.

In this time of eternal cleaning and tidying, I’ve been shuffling through my wardrobe again, and I decided that my favorite chambray shirt has been out of commission long enough, and either needed to be tossed or fixed. So I took a cue from my favorite board dedicated to mending (specifically this) and went for it! It’s wearable again! I think the fabric is starting to give, so I’m not sure how much I extended it’s life, but oh well. I still like it!

What have you guys been up to?


i did something a little crazy when i got back from ireland. my sweater was done, i had just cast off a pair of socks and started another. ness had announced her spring cleaning KAL for the month of april. i had just received an invitation to a friends baby shower in a month, and i was browsing ravelry for stash busting baby knitting inspiration. i found this blanket on ravelry, and became kind of obsessed…

What's this?!?!?! Could it be???? Crochet?!

by the next day i had 12 little circles…

Crochet update! This is a hexagon blanket pattern, so the project is tentatively named 'I put a hex on you'

and then 16. without ever making a real conscious decision about it, i was embroiled in a project crocheting a baby blanket… i’ve never finished a crochet project before (and i am not counting the little bitty flower i made once with emi beside me to guide me through it), i’ve only picked up a crochet hook for steeking or finishing a knit in the last 7-8 years.

This is what having a kitty is for! Crocheting tiny things to make them wear as hats. Much to kitty's chagrin.

baiza had to test them, of course. she decided they didn’t work as hats, but they were good for baby blankets.

This little hexagon matches my shirt! #accidentalcoordination

i started adding the hexagon round after i had like 40 circles…

Progress report on the crocheted blanket!

and here’s the sequencing i’m hoping for. if you look in the picture above, you can see that i have the outside rings matching a diagonal line \ like a backslash, and the inside rings matching in a horizontal row. in the picture below, the external rings diagonal is a forward slash / and the inside rings are vertical columns.


and today i decided i needed an idea of what my final dimensions should be so i could figure out how many i’d need of what colors. i’m using leftover sock yarn, so i’m a bit concerned about running out and interruping the design at key points… buying more yarn would completely defeat the purpose. although i admit, i’m buying the white yarn to pull it all together. sigh.


for the moment i’m shooting for about the size of the coffee table, which is 28″x42″ (71×107 cm), though land of nod tells me crib blankets are more like 36″x48″ (92×122 cm)… by my rough calculations i need about 230 hexagons to cover the coffee table… right now i have 81, and i’ve been working on this for about a month. that’s 35% of the blanket… so two more months until i’m done. hmmmmm.

after doing those calculations, i’m feeling a bit underwhelmed by my progress. but the color relationships have been really fun to explore, and i think it’s turning out beautifully! so wish me luck!

are any of you guys impetuous project starters? tell me i’m not alone in this.

i subscribe to the idea that there should be a place for everything, and everything in its place. it’s a lovely ideal, though in truth the apartment is rarely in that state. but when an opportunity presents itself to improve upon a storage solution, i am always game. and the prettier the container, the better. there’s a time and a place for clear plastic storage bins (many, actually), but sometimes you want something a bit prettier.

the thing about having a bachelor in fine arts is that as you acquire the degree, you acquire a lot of fine art materials. i have a rather fine collection of colored pencils for example:


but their container? distinctly lackluster! so when i realized that this coffee container was just the right size to manage the job, i was quite pleased.


oh, coffee… how i love thee. ahem. what was i saying? right. ah, but as beautiful as the coffee is, and as fine as the packaging on this is, it could be better…


cue the supplies! exacto blade, my often-friend, occasional bitter enemy, pretty paper, ruler, surface for cutting that isn’t something precious to me. not shown:books by hand ph neutral pva glue. would have been nice, but wasn’t on hand: bone folder.

i cut the paper down to size and glued it down:


ah… that looks much better!

making any aesthetic upgrades for storage around the house? finding any new purposes for food containers?

as i’m sure you have picked up on by now, i have been thinking quite a bit about the concept of visual mending. i really like it. why, when something breaks, should it go back to looking exactly the way it did before it broke? there are so many examples of things looking equally nice, sometimes better, if you take a bit to think about how to go about mending them in a way that isn’t invisible.

while we were watching downton abbey awhile ago at my in-laws (i love that show soooo much), there was an episode in season 3 where daisy goes to visit her father-in-law (i wish that relationship was a little more to the forefront, it’s one of my faves) at his farm, and we see his kitchen windows:

Ep5 Downton 17 Kitchen
(image found here)

absolutely dreamy, right? my father-in-law explained that in old windows like that, when a pane broke, they would just mend it by adding another seam of lead (i think lead?), rather than the added expense of purchasing new glass. economical, and frankly, beautiful!

julie recently discovered there had been a moth attack on several of her favorite sweaters, and came up with the beautiful solution of embroidering over them:

(from this blogpost)

i love this! this was a lovely sweater before, but now it looks like something you could buy at anthropologie!

and i’ve been playing with contrasting darning, of course!

but last weekend, while i was tearing around the house, cleaning everything in sight, i stumbled across a baggie holding one of my favorite necklaces, whose delicate chain had broken, and a note reading ‘eliza, get this necklace fixed! love, eliza’. but i was feeling very diy capable, so i broke out my small supply of jewelry tools and materials and whipped up my own solution:



i put a tiny orange glass bead in place of the missing link, held there by some silver wire. it isn’t perfectly done, but i can wear my necklace now! and if i want it more perfectly fixed in the future, it’s easy enough to reverse.

been doing any visual mending of your own recently? or seen anything inspiring?

darned elbows

quite a while ago my father in law gave me one of his favorite sweaters, one that he’d worn straight through the elbows, with the idea that i might be able to do something about it. at that time i hadn’t darned anything, but i thought it might be worth a shot.

darned elbow

i tried one of the elbows, but i didn’t think it had worked out too well. so it got set to the side. and stayed there for a quite a while. (this is a theme with many things that i set to one side) i darned a few things, here and there, over the course of time.

darned elbows

recently, i’ve been seeing gorgeous darned and mended objects on pinterest, and with my current interest in clearing out old projects, i dug the sweater out of the pile of ignored projects. i pulled out the elbow i had already given a shot.

darned elbow

similar to mending the cardigan, i opted for a thinner yarn. in this case, however, i don’t think it was thinner than the yarn used for the sweater, but it was a similar weight. i used some of a partial skein, leftover from making purlless monkeys. i’ve always been very fond of the colors of this yarn, and i think it’s equally gorgeous woven as it was knit!

darned elbow

i threaded all of my vertical lines first, establishing a warp, as it were. i didn’t take any pictures, unfortunately, so fire up your imagination cameras and picture it: i ran a warp thread through the middle of every stitch, as well as the ladder between every stitch, going under/over every available intact yarn, with a radius of an inch or two of completely intact knitting around the hole i was mending.

darned elbow

i then created the weft, with the same yarn, doing the under/over motion to make the woven look. if you need an image to get an idea, this pin pretty much sums it up.

darned elbows

i don’t know if you can tell, but i’m fairly in love with how this turned out!

i spend too much money on starbucks. it’s a fact. it’s my little indulgence, my mid afternoon pick-me-up all too often. i am known in my family, and among friends, as a coffee addict/snob/connoisseur. depending on whose opinion you’re asking.


for christmas i recieved a little stove top moka pot and a milk steamer, and i’ve been making myself home made cappucinos, and lattes for jake.

First cappuccino with my new equipment!!!

First homemade latte for Jake! With a little bit of cinnamon! #homemadebarista

i’ve been hibernating recently. but instead of the tired, sleeping bear style of hibernation i dealt with much of last winter, i feel invigorated. possibly due in part to the cappucinos! i have no desire to leave the house, but ready to take on new projects, clear out spaces, get rid of things. the spirit of the new year has me wanting a tabula rasa. we donated some unnecessaries over the weekend. i’ve been digging out partially finished projects to see where they stand.

Been working on darning the hole in the elbow of a sweater today.

like this sweater, with worn through elbows, that i’ve been meaning to do something about… for years.

i like this energy, i love clearing out old projects. let’s hope this trend continues!

how about you? what has the idea of the new year brought out in you? resolutions? house cleaning? or a desire to crawl under the blankets and impatiently await spring?

my grandma gave me a lovely colorwork sweater from her closet last year. it is mostly in good shape, but there was a loose button, some of the edging needed re-enforcing, and several small bites from some bitty creature that thinks wool is tasty.

mending knitting has, historically speaking, been pretty low on my list of preferred tasks. just above carding wool, which i find tedious to the max. but i’ve found if i do it in small segments, in between knitting projects or in front of a tv show, it bothers me much less. and the more i do it, the more i enjoy doing it. plus, i get a pleasantly smug feeling off of extending the life of my clothes. waste not, want not! and other such smug idioms!

so i’ve been working away at the little holes first. they are all quite small, many are just one stitch missing, some have up to 3 total. because they are so small, i’m just using duplicate stitch, also called swiss darning, to mend the holes, as it calls less attention to itself.

i started by going through my various bits & bobs to see if i had a good matching yarn.


i found this natural wool and thought i’d give it a shot.


i started with a hole on the chest, right by the button band. this yarn is just a bit thicker than the original, and a tiny bit warmer (color wise). so it created this very dense area where i patched this hole. if i were to wear a black shirt under this sweater, it would look like a random little polka dot. not my ideal. so i went back to looking for yarn again, when i remembered some singles still hanging out on my drop spindle.


ooh! quite a nice match! and this yarn is thinner. i’ve been finding i prefer a thinner yarn for mending purposes. it is less bulky, an calls less attention to itself, and to the areas you’re mending.


i’ve also been finding if i mend from the wrong side of the sweater, the mending is less visible. the mending yarn tends to stay predominantly on the side that you are mending from.


i still need to re-sew the button and re-enforce the edging, but the little holes have pretty much disappeared! got any tips for me?

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