Thursday, December 16, 2010

Project Life

Hey... here's something cool for you to check out. And, you could win one of your own. Becky Higgins is this awesome scrapbooker and all-around creative person. Her blog is fantastic. If you're a facebooker, follow her because she's all the time posting cool links and ideas for scrapbooking and other creative things. Anyway, here's a link to a blog by a photographer that describes Becky's Project Life. In a nut-shell, it is a scrapbooking kit that allows you to document EVERY day of a year. It is a fabulous wedding present idea, or great for any reason.
Check it out!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Gary and I moved into our first home about a month ago. We still have boxes everywhere, but I'm starting to attack things room by room. I started, of course, with the smallest room in the house, the guest bathroom.

It started small, with a whimsical spur of the moment purchase of a shower curtain at Target. It was a series of Peanuts cartoons, all showing the Peanuts Gang in various shower-related scenes. It was trimmed in red and just spoke to me. I've always thought Peanuts was a great comic strip and I thought it would be a fun way to perk up our guest bathroom.

Once it was installed, I couldn't help but transform the rest of the room. I got some cheap art canvases and some paint, did a quick Internet search for comic strips (OK, so I got distracted and read Peanuts strips for about 2 hours, but who is counting?) and printed out my favorites. With all apologies to Charles Schultz, I got my carbon paper and traced the images on the canvases, painted on the color and outlined it all with a permanent marker.

To top it all off, I found a Woodstock toy from a kids meal that's been floating around my office for years, clipped him to some fun-colored towels and here's the result!

These four little ones I've put on the wall above the potty. I left these black and white, more like a four-panel cartoon than a painting.

This one is the largest of the set. I was all finished, when I realized I had this big empty space by the towel rack by the mirror. I couldn't have that, so I made a bold statement with a larger canvas.

This is the three canvas paintings and a glimpse of the shower curtain that started it all, and Woodstock, who ties it all together.

What do you think?

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Lady Bertram

I wish I knit like Wendy of She can crank out projects every day or two. Her project page on ravelry goes on forever.

She has started putting out a few of her shawlette patterns, and I thought the Lady Bertram looked like a good shawl for a yarn that had multiple colors in it.

Perfect, let's say, for a skein of teal/cream/orange fingering weight that was purchased with SisterLoo in mind at Stitches from Pagewood Farms.

This was an easy knit, and one I will likely do again.

Jean's Ishbel

Next up in the shawl parade is Ishbel. This one was meant for Jean. I found the prettiest color of yarn at Sttiches that had Jean's name all over it - it was Miss Babs sock yarn in Waterfall, a pretty blend of blue, periwinkle, and purple. I'm not a blue person but it was lovely.

I had purchased Ysolda Teague's Ishbel pattern previously, and it turned out to be a good match. I did the largest size since I had two skeins of yarn. I used about 1.25 skeins.

I wish I had a photo of Jean wearing it (HINT HINT Jean), but here is the shawl while blocking:

Hope Jean had a happy birthday!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Amazing Alpacas

Our Brownie troop visited the PorterBray Pines Alpaca Ranch yesterday! This was a part of an overall lesson in fiber - last month they learned to sew by making a little felt beanbag, and on it they learned to sew on a button. Life skill.

Many of the girls, being city girls, hadn't given much thought as to where that thread or yarn comes from, so a trip to the alpacas was in order. Carey was our link to PorterBray Pines, and I had seen them twice at our local Renaissance festival. We had a lovely time!

Alpacas are rather shy, and third grade girls are rather noisy, so it took a few minutes for them to warm to each other, but once the carrots came out, fast friends were made (as long as there were carrots in the bags anyway).

The girls were enchanted with their sweet faces and gentle personalities. We even saw Marina, the 5 month old baby!

We got to see a bag of fleece from the recent shearing, and then our good friend Janice treated the girls to a spinning demonstration, to see that fiber turned to yarn.

The girls were fascinated at the spinning and had lots of questions for Janice. I think one Brownie is asking her mom for a spinning wheel soon if she hasn't already!
Thank you Janice and PorterBray Pines!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Mmmm... Donuts!

Wilton has these new fabulous donut shaped cake pans that I tried out for the first time tonight. Gary and I worked together to make a dozen chocolate glazed donuts and a half dozen mini donuts. The recipe was super easy and the whole project took us a little less than an hour -- including cooking time!

Check it out!

Oh, and the recipe is right on the back of the box. Hooray for Sur La Table! Here's the link.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

WPBC Scrapbook

Hey all!
Happy Easter!

In honor of the holiday, I thought I'd show you what I've been working on lately. Recently, I was asked to create a scrapbook to give as a gift to our new pastor. Of course I said yes.

We prayed and prayed for a new pastor to lead our church. After two years, our prayers were answered and David Carothers accepted the call to be our leader. In late January, we celebrated our covenant with him with a special service and celebration afterward.

Volunteers took pictures -- nearly 800 of them! -- and I put together an 8 by 8 book that included the best of those and also messages from some of our membership. I've posted a few of the pages below.

The book will be given to the Carothers family so they can remember the special day and know they are an answer to prayer. It is nice, especially with Easter right around the corner, to scrapbook photos of church family worshiping, loving and celebrating God's goodness. He is so good, all the time!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Heart to Heart

Here were are at Shawl Number 4. Not too bad for the end of March. This shawl was really putting the "ette" in shawlette since it was fairly narrow. It was Sivia Harding's Heart to Heart Shawl/Scarf pattern, constructed from end to end. It had an edging, a garter stitch section that grew progressively wider as it got towards the middle and back to narrow again, and a heart lace edging, which was repeated 29 times.

A fun knit, this one has beads too. The yarn is Malabrigo Sock in Impressionist Sky, the color, as you can see, that Janice should wear ALL THE TIME it is so perfect for her. She chose the yarn so she gets all the credit for that. I was merely the knitter.

I decided that 1) Malabrigo sock is wonderful, 2) I like beads, and 3) I am addicted to lace. Not too bad.

Friday, March 26, 2010

She's a Traveling Woman

Lisa and Her Traveling Woman Shawl

My friend Lisa is awesome. When she wants to do something, instead of talking about it, she does it.

She started a website, Then came a podcast, speaking at conferences, writing for other blogs, etc. etc. etc.

Now she wrote a book. Cool huh? Look here. She will be off circling the country soon on a whirlwind of speaking engagements and book signings, as our newest celebrity.

Her only fault? She's allergic to wool. I know, not really her fault, but I had to find some imperfection. Anyway, she is the lucky winner of shawl #3 of my 10 shawls in 2010, aptly named "Traveling Woman".

This little shawlette is made from Berroco Comfort sock yarn, which has no wool in it for Lisa and her sensitivity, but is still soft and was lovely to work with. The pattern is from Liz Abinante, a nice gal I was fortunate to meet at Stitches last month.

Happy traveling Lisa!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cool knitting commercial

So, my sister's threatened to remove me if I don't blog. I am working on a few projects, but until they're ready to share with the world, here's this I found this morning. Coolness.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Double Knitting

Alex wanted a hat. A Saints hat. He announced that around the time of playoffs, when the Saints were on the verge of going to Super Bowl. My time was limited. I did what any "frugal" mom knitter would ordinarily do - I went to Joann's, bought cheapo Vanna yarn and using the free chart on Ravelry, made him a hat. It took about a day and a half.

It was UGLY. Very ugly.

I didn't want Alex (who's 6' 2") to wear evidence of my ugly knitting on his head, for all to see, towering above everyone in its ugly knitting glory. I had to do better. The floats on the backside showed through, black through yellow, it was not good.

I started looking at double knitted hat patterns on Ravelry, and started wondering if I could do it that way. I had never done double knitting, but there were excellent youtube videos on it, and after doing some research, I figured I could do it. I got much better yarn (Sublime merino, ahem a little more expensive than Vanna) and started in.

It was kind of fun. It is two sided knitting, done at the same time. Both the front and back stitches are on the needle at the same time and as the pattern switches colors you reverse them. Hard to explain, but hecka cool. Here's what the beginning looked like:


It took me around 3 days. When it was done it was too big. Way too big. Big lesson there - gauge is really different when double knitting. But, being handy with a sewing machine fixed that up really quick.

Here's Grace modeling it. She was a much more willing model at the moment I had the camera.

I was on a double knitting roll at that point. I saw in the Stitches brochure a Market class on double knitting where they made these cute little heart coasters to learn the double knitting technique. I grabbed my pink and red left over Cotton Ease and whipped up a few to give to my knitting buds.

They were really cute!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Shawl #2 or How to Give Yourself a Yarn Heart Attack

I was given a lovely skein of pink silk/seacell blend laceweight. 700 yards. Good stuff. And I wanted to make Haruni. What a beautiful shawl! The perfect combination for Ravelympics, a challenge to make something during the Olympics - something that wouldn't be too easy, but doable. You have to finish before the torch is extinguished - to get your virtual medal. I would be at Stitches, but armed with an iphone and a little help from Alex to get the photo posted, it should all work out. Right?

I cast on as the opening ceremonies began, and started my project. It went well. The pattern calls for arond 450 yards of sock yarn, so I knew I had plenty (red flag! Danger!) so I made it bigger. The first section has "stems" and the pattern called for 12 and to make it bigger you had to increase in increments of two stems. I made 16. On to the edging.

"Ooooh, this is taking lots of yarn," she thinks to herself while knitting merrily along. (danger! danger!) "Oh, but I have 700 yards!" NO PROBLEM. By the time we were leaving for Stitches I had a wee little ball left and about 5 rows to go. Five LONG rows. I knit in the car, keeping the little ball hidden from Tracy so she wouldn't shriek in horror at the amount I had left. After every row I squeezed and felt how much I used, and it seemed like it could POSSIBLY work. Right? Gotta have faith, right?

I was on my last row during the opening session at Stitches. While listening to Jane Slicer Smith talk miters and design options, I started the bind off. The pattern calls for a crochet loop bind off which is really pretty, but I knew I was pushing it to have enough for a regular bind off. It took most of the session, since it was close to 500 stitches, and the wee ball was now more of a wee lump, but I did it (and resisted the urge to stand up and cheer when the last stitch was done!).

I steam ironed/blocked it in the hotel room and wore it the next day. Photo below taken on the bed in the hotel.

With several days of the Olympics to spare, I might add.

Now I want to make one with the loops.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cindy Pressure

Oh, those Cindy Knitters! They innocently mention a little knit a long and Boom! I'm off.

This time it is 10 shawls in 2010. Clever, right? Doable, right? I hope so. I enjoy lace, am sick of socks, so seems good. And the new crop of shawlette patterns use up around a skein of sock yarn, and BOY do I have some to choose from.

I started January 1 in the spirit of the thing, and cast on the Valentine Shawl. I figured it would get done by Valentine's Day. I had some lovely red Hana Silk that had been waiting for me to use it, so it was a match.

I finished on January 21. It was an easy knit, starting at the tip and increasing at the sides until a triangle was formed, at the same time knitting in little hearts. A snap.

I gave it to Mom, since she's my Valentine and all. She likes red, and is my number 1 fan, so why not start at the top? Here she is at Whole Foods (where we meet and knit on Fridays) modeling the shawl while other people buy carrots.

Note: all links are to Ravelry. You have to sign up to see them, but it is free and instant, so go look!!

Shawl #2 next post.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Back from Blog Vacation

That's right, I'm back!!

Blogging isn't what it used to be. So much competition. Facebook, Ravelry, iphone apps -- they all take up lots of time and are lots of fun.

I started blogging as a means to document my knitting and my life (somewhat) and the above things have pretty much done that for me with, lets face it, less effort. Blogger is a pain, the uploading and editing, etc. When you can take a photo with your phone and instantly send it to facebook or Ravelry, it seems like a lot of duplication of effort to do it here too.

So I decided not to stop blogging, but to take a blog break and see. After a few months of that, I think I miss it. So here I am. I decided that personal stuff will continue on facebook since folks I know keep up with me and my family there. But the knitting...even though I update Ravelry pretty faithfully, I don't really get to talk about it much there. And the crafting - I have been feeling the "itch" to do other sorts of crafting, and that isn't documented anywhere!

So Yarn Paper Scissors will continue as my adventures in knitting and crafting. My posting may be sporadic, as is my knitting and crafting life due to family and time constraints. I may only have 2 readers, but hey, that's okay.

If you are still reading at this point, look soon for new posts of what I've been up to since the new year began, and maybe a freshening up of the blog look.

It's good to be back.