Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Y is for Yarn

My crate of yarn. Yummy, yummy yarn :) The Jigsaw yarn in front was my prize for the Oddballs' sockapalooza. It's a really pretty sock yarn.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

V is for V-shaped Edging

I have been messing up the lace pattern of my sweater so much that I decided to practice the pattern by knitting a scrubbie. Here is a section of the edging. It's actually a very pretty pattern. And I seem to be very successful knitting it over 40 stitches. If only I could make it work over 200 :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

T and U

U is for Unfinished Objects (or UFOs as they are called in the knitting world.
This is just a small selection of my UFOs :)

T is for Tangled Strings.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

S is for Swarovski Crystals

I love these beads. I have had the snowflake bead for years. I love it so much that I can never find the perfect project for it :) I am a little over-protective of my pretty beads.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Howl's Moving Castle

I just finished reading this book this morning. It is a children's book about a girl named Sophie. In the land where Sophie lives, the third-born child is considered to be the successful one. Since Sophie is an eldest child, she has no big hopes for her future. Nonetheless, she ends up living an exciting life filled with magic, wizards and witches.

This book was a really fun read. At times, I wished that the author would have gone into more detail. The story seemed shallow at times, like it was just brushing over events, giving an abridged version of the story. Still, maybe it's fun to get to fill in all the details yourself :) Anyway, now I really want to watch the movie.

Q and R

R is for Round-Nose Pliers.
A great tool for working with wire, especially when making loops.

Q is for Quan Yin.
The Goddess of Mercy. She sits in my craft room and brings peace.

Monday, February 16, 2009

P is for Purse

This is the first purse I ever felted. My mom gave me the yarns for a Christmas gift along with the book Pursenalities. The pattern for this purse came from the book. By the way, I love that book. It has a good variety of purse patterns and really great instructions on how to felt.
Anyway, I love this purse, and I use it all the time. It's nice and big, so I can carry my book and my knitting in my purse. And that is a dream come true for me. However, the large size also makes it difficult to find important things like my wallet, cell-phone, keys and lip balm, so I decided to make a lining. Now, my sewing skills are lacking, and I have not used a sewing machine in years, but I still decided to try. I actually bought myself a sewing machine with some of my Christmas money, and this was my first time using it. For the lining, I used an old dress, red and glittery. I even made a pocket for my important items to live in. It is not perfect by any means, but I am very happy with how it turned out.

Also, I finished my CAL square for February last night. Here it is, the two-tone square. It's crocheted in the same colors as the last two squares. I don't really like the second square this month, so I will have to find something myself. This square turned out a little bigger than the other two squares, but that can be fixed later.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

O is for Oven

This is the oven where I baked my Sculpey buttons and embellishments this weekend. The two eyes are buttons for a purse I knit with a boucle yarn a while ago. The yarn is blue and purple and that is also the color in the iris of the buttons. The pumpkin is a button for my pumpkin purse, and the leaves will dangle from the pumpkin as an embellishment. It's gonna be so cool.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

N is for Necklaces

A collection of some of the necklaces I have made over the years. The one with the wooden beads and the cross was one of the first necklaces I ever made. I wore it for my senior portraits in high school.

Friday, February 13, 2009

M is for Mittens

The very first mittens I ever knit. One of them is perfect; the other is huge and has no shape. The yarn I used was very hard to work with, but it looks very pretty in the finished product.

L is for Loom Beadwork

I have been working on this bracelet for a long time. It uses traditional Native American designs in size 14 black and blue beads. I started a gradual color change to add in a different blue and can't decide if I like it or not, and that's where I got stuck. I guess I am going to have to bead a little bit more in the new color before I really know if I like it or not :) I love loom beadwork, all the teeny tiny beads coming together to make something beautiful. And it's so easy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer

I finished the fourth book of the Twilight series yesterday, and I have to say that this series consumed me. While I was reading if, it took over my brain. It's not that the plot is amazing. It is actually quite predictable, but there is something about these books. Maybe it's the characters. I'm not quite sure.

I am very partial to vampire stories, but these books are not my favorite in the vampire genre. Stephenie Meyer plays with the traditional vampire myths in a way that I did not particularly like. I like the idea of vampires burning in sunlight and staying out at night mostly. In her books, they do not burn in sunlight, they shine and glisten. Annoying. Also the whole pregnancy thing still bothers me. How can an undead vampire have viable sperm??

On another note, the main couple in the book, Bella and Edward, bother me also. She has no self-confidence and blames herself for everything. She is not a role model I would choose for teenage girls. Edward is overly protective, almost to the point of being a stalker. This is not the type of boyfriend that teenagers to hope to be or find. Plus they fall in love way too quickly!

I started reading these books because I wanted to see why so many teenagers (even the ones who never read for fun) are suddenly reading all Twilight, all the time. There is something compelling about the story, but I worry that these teens could be getting a false impression of what love is. I would recommend the books, because they are entertaining. Just be aware, they may also be extremely frustrating.

I, J and K

I is for I-cord.
Very useful for purse handles and for decoration.

J is for Jasper beads.

K is for Knitting Needles.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

H is for Hemp

H is for hemp.
I started making hemp jewelry when I was in high school. I still do some macrame once in a while, mostly in the summertime.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

E, F and G

Well, I have gotten a little behind in my posting, so here are E, F and G altogether.

E is for eleven rows of swatching.
I knit my first gauge swatch for the sweater on size 8 circulars. The results are not good. I will need to buy new needles, size 9 I think. I will try straights before I go to the store.

F is for felting.
I love to felt my knitting. Felting uses hot water and agitation to alter the fiber. You have to use animal fiber in order to felt something. This purse is knit in wool. Here it is stuffed with plastic bags to maintain its cool shape as it dries. I think it looks a little like a pumpkin. What do you think?

Here is the purse before felting. You may notice the little leaves attached to the end of the strap vine that are no longer attached to the felted version. They fell off during felting. Oh well, I will reattach them.
Here are the big pumpkin leaves I knit. They look really weird after felting. Not sure what I will do with them.

G is for Gauge.
This is a neat tool that helps with gauge. Gauge is so important in knitting, especially if you want anything to fit correctly. This tool measures needle gauge and knitting gauge. I love it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

D is for Doodle

Here is a doodle that I drew. I do love to doodle.

C is for Circular Needles

My new circular needles. As soon as I finish my purse, I will use these to knit my sweater :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods by Neil Gaiman is a very interesting book with a rich storyline. It tells the story of a man named Shadow, who has just been released from jail. He is offered a job by Wednesday. Wednesday wants Shadow to help him with a battle: the battle between the old gods and the new gods. The old gods are gods from the ancient pantheons who were brought to America in the minds and beliefs of immigrants. Some of the pantheons included in the book are Norse, Egyptian, Hindu, Native American, Celtic. There are also some folk figures included. Gaiman does not name all the gods explicitly, and some of them I could not figure out by myself. The new gods are the gods of tv, the internet, media, and other modern phenomena. The new gods are gaining worshippers, while the old gods are losing their power. Hence the battle.

Throughout the book, the main storyline is interrupted by short stories. These stories tell how the different gods were brought to America in the first place. These short stories are a fascinating addition to the book.

I really liked this book, and I would definitely recommend it The whole story was very imaginative, and the characters were well-developed. There was a little twist at the end that surprised me, but it fit perfectly with the storyline and characters. Overall, a good read.

Monday, February 2, 2009

B is for Bead Table

Here is a photo of the inside of my bead table. Every little baggy and container is filled with beads. I also have all of my other beading supplies in my table.
I should bead more :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A is for Amigurumi

Amigurumi is a Japanese style of crochet. Instead of joining at the end of each round, the items are crocheted more in a spiral. Amigurumi are small stuffed toys, usually animals but also can be inanimate ojects that are given human features. Here is my amigurumi chicken.
If you have been reading this blog, you have probably seen this little guy before. But you have not seen the painting that inspired me to make a chicken. Here is my honey's chicken painting.I am often inspired by his paintings and hope to do more knitting, crochet and beadwork inspired by his paitings. He creates such awesome creatures :)