Jana is a Corporate Ninja, an Immunology geek, and a Rogue Knitter born and raised in the Tdot. She is a heavily tattooed, breastfeeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping, cloth diapering, rainbow coloured clothing mama to Silas Gray. She synthesizes and shares data, connects the dots, and likes to help people make better decisions.
I’ve been doing a giant decluttering this year. It’s come in waves over the course of the last year, but I’ve gotten so much traction that a friend recently said that the house looked like a roommate moved out. And he was right, I’m pretty sure that’s how much stuff I’ve put on the curb, freecycled, recycled, or passed onto friends. And as a knitter who sometimes knits just because I have a few hand knits to giveaway.
Giveaway Rules: Canada or US based. Leave a comment with a note about the item that you’re interested in. I’ll go a draw on December 2nd 2014 for any entries in place by midnight on December 1st 2014. I’ll pick a random random number generator to pick winners. I’m not a lawyer – I’d just like these to go to a home that will love them.
A) First up is a simple medium sized hat, knit of out Misti Alpaca. I find it a little more fuzzy than I like next to my skin, but man oh man is this soft and warm.
B) Next up is a simple pair of wrist warmers knit out of some local handspun (sadly not mine). These are lightweight and ever so cozy.
C) a simple Bolero style shrug, knit in a small/medium out of a lovely lavender/blue Malabrigo. I’ve debated using this in bed at night simply for snuggling with.
D) last up is a kerchief scarf I knit out of some crazy and bulky weight hand spun (mine!). It is neon and cozy and just plain fun.
or for some detailed stitch close ups…
So which one do you want? (all is a valid option)
I’ve seen lots of beautiful felt christmas tree pins floating around. And every time I followed a link through there were instructions on how to make ornaments and cut out the felt, but never anything about how to get the darn tree to stay up. I wanted to make one for little man for this year and here we go – here is how we made the actual felt Christmas tree and how it stands up.
- 1 meter of green felt (I ordered mine from Bear Dance Crafts here in Canada)
- boxes (I grabbed mine from the LCBO because they were free)
- box cutter
- duct tape
- spray adhesive
- hot glue gun
- yard stick
Construction: I’m going to run through what we actually did and then provide comments on what might be easier (based on what we learned)
First up we draw an outline of a tree on the felt, getting an idea of the shape. I had ordered a full meter of wool felt (which I needed for the width), but could have used only half the length.
Then we took our collection of boxes (all liquor store bottles because we didn’t have any handy at home and it’s a common thing here in Ontario to grab extra boxes from the LCBO).
We broke the boxes down and then laid them out to check against the felt tree.
Then we duct taped the boxes together so that there was a double layer of cardboard (for stability). My husband traced the tree shape onto the cupboard and we did some measuring to then cut out the actual tree shape.
My improvement would have been to build the cardboard tree base, draw the shape on directly and use the box cutters to cut it out. What we did got us there, but it took more time.
Once the cardboard shape was cut out, we spent some time reinforcing any areas that were a little thin/wobbly.
Then we went down into the basement and used some spray adhesive to join the cardboard to the felt.
We left it flat overnight to bond (and because it was 11pm by then). This morning I went through and finished the edges. I went around and duct taped the felt overlap to the back of the tree. Another option would have been to use a hot glue gun.
It’s pretty awesome. The tree stands up on it’s own and can be leaned up against a wall or tucked behind something when you need to put it away.
I still have to make more ornaments (and some presents to go under the tree!) – I’ll use this awesome pdf pattern for felt christmas ornaments that my friend Laura made for me. But here are the few that I already had ready to go!
I’m so glad that this is finally in progress. I started dreaming about this last winter, but couldn’t get my time well enough organized to get it done. I honestly ordered my felt in September (which feels really early to start planning for Christmas activities), but it gave enough time for a custom order to get made and it gave me a week or two to find the time to get this made.
The actual work wasn’t to bad – we spread it out over two nights after bedtime. I’ll spend another evening or two make some more ornaments so that I can unveil this next weekend.
Now, please cross your fingers for me and let’s all hope that this means that little man will happily decorate his tree instead of fussing with the main tree!
Last winter I knit a lovely stripey blanket out of Noro. It was a cold winter and on our trek to and from daycare I used this big, cuddly blanket to tuck around little man. On one of the trips the blanket got tangled under the wheels of the stroller and dragged along the cold, icy ground. I was a little gutted and couldn’t face the repair, so the blanket got tucked away until this past weekend when I was finally ready to face the music and learn to darn a knit blanket.
Oh the hole, the hole! It looked so terrible. It gaped and pull stitches.
I found some tutorials online to learn how to darn. I chose a bright, acid green yarn. For a blanket that is full of colour and stripes, I thought that the contrast would be fitting. So first I put my vertical lines in.
And then I started filing in horizontally. At first this was so strange and didn’t seem like it filled the hole. And then magically as I got closer to the end it was just… done. It certainly isn’t neat and tidy, but for a first job I’m certainly proud that I darned my first knit item – because I’m not actually a knitter until I can repair items (right?).
And then a shot of the blanket overall – it really doesn’t stand out a huge amount.
And on this cold day, I’m looking forward to being able to snuggle under this blanket without having to worry about making the hole worse.
So way, way back in December 2011 I started a blanket. A lovely, lovely granny stripe blanket (using Lucy from Attic 24’s tutorial – found here). I worked on it off and on (mostly off) until we purchase Tiny Cabin. I started dreaming of a space filled with hand made goodies, but was too busy with my holiday knitting to start back up. Well, this past month I picked up my afghan again and just finished blocking it yesterday – 3 and 1/3 years later (oh dear!).
For an afghan, this blanket turned out a little bigger than expected once I’d added the edging (to be fair, this is about 2″ extra in all directions) and blocked the blanket.
I used a 3.25mm crochet hook, which is much too small for the cascade 220 I was using. I ended up with a very dense, very warm blanket (which is nice as I like blankets like that).
I picked 7 colours of cascase – a dark purple, a bright fuschia, a medium blue, a robin’s egg blue, a leaf green, a bright yellow, and a pale gray. I did a 7 row repeat, with random selection of colour (except for one strange section where I did a little ABCDEDCBA pattern for some reason that escapes me).
I sewed ends in off and on, which at least made me feel like I was getting closer to the end. And one evening last week I finished the very last stripe and then sewed the last 28 repeats of ends in (so 56 ends).
Then I got to plan the edging. I was thinking gray to keep from being overwhelmed, but decided last minute that since I had a fair amount of colours leftover that I’d add a little pop in there. I did 3 rows of single chain, chain one to create a tiny pattern and to show the colours off.
And then I ended with a lovely scallop! And despite not paying any attention at all to stitch counts or rows or whether or not my planned edging would, you know, fit the blanket that I’d made I went for it. And despite the fact that my corners aren’t exactly uniform it turned out pretty smashingly.
I’m pretty excited to 1) be finished this project (oh my goodness, finally!) (to be fair I did knit 4 baby blankets last year so that should count for something), and 2) to see this on the back of the couch at Tiny Cabin.
I still have yarn leftover, so now I’m dreaming about crocheting a matching pair of granny square arm protectors for the couch. I want to start them now, now, NOW. I’m going to be good and wait until we head up for May 24 so that I can measure the couch arms so that they’ll fit.
Maybe now I’ll make some progress on the rest of my works in progress…
We did a mini power road trip up to Tiny Cabin yesterday. Our renos are done and we wanted to check them out (plus pay the contractor!).
Our renos were pretty thorough given how small the space is. We had the loft lowered by 10″ (makes it much easier to move around). We had the permanent ladder removed as it was semi-dangerous with a toddler. Instead we had a central drop down ladder installed, which divides the loft space up so that it’s more usable. We had the bathroom changed around – we removed the shower stall and moved the toilet so that we could put in a short bathtub. We also moved the sink from the bathroom to the newly created kitchen space, because who wants to do their dishes in the bathroom? We also put in a tiny kitchen (4 cupboards total and a sink) so that we have a proper food prep area. We had the white bead board taken down as it was totally unstable and instead had pine put up which looks lovely. We also insulated the roof and had pine installed in the loft as well. Our nice contractor even built some proper shelving (now with doors!) on the inside of the door.
So we went from this before, noting that all the stuff there is stuff that the previous owners left behind! The entire loft was full of bedding, pillows, carpets, and just stuff!
To this after. Please excuse the washed out look – the light was so bright in the middle of winter that I didn’t stand a chance!
We brought another load of junk home and still have at least one to go before we’ve gotten through everything we need to (like the 2 carpets and the old bed frame that are resting on the couch).
We’re looking forward to this spring. Our first visit will suck a little bit because it’ll be the final clean up (I have to get the rest of the saw dust swept/mopped up), but the good news is that it is such a tiny space that I’m sure that it’ll go quickly.
There are still a few things that we need to do before it’s totally good to go – like get rid of the godforsaken carpet tiles. Who on earth puts in carpet tiles in a cabin surrounded by hemlocks? We’re thinking that this year we’ll live with the current flooring and next fall we’ll see about getting laminate put down. I’m not normally a huge fan of laminate, but with a toddler running in and out and being sandy and dirty, it’s probably the easiest and best option for me to stay sane/keep clean.
We put together a ‘need this’ list and the next month or so will be spent getting us ready to go. Things like bedding, towels, shower curtains, a dish drying rack, and some small appliances.
We’re almost there!