Tag Archive: creativity


More Knit Happens at Christmas

Christmas is almost here!  In my last Knit Happens post, I shared all the hats I made for friends and family, so now it’s all about non-hat knitted gifts.

While I made loads of socks last year, I couldn’t fully escape making more. However, I’m not complaining because I love to make socks! Along with socks, I made dishcloths and fingerless gloves for those who are not into hats.

Once again, friends and family should stop reading. You’ve been warned – don’t scroll down unless you want to spoil your Christmas present!!

I mean it, no peeking. Santa is watching.

As for everyone else, keep scrolling to see some cute knits!

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Last year, there was one friend who did not receive socks. I simply ran out of time! This year, I put her socks at the top of the list and made them first! These socks are made from Paton’s Kroy Socks FX in Celestial.

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Interrupted Rib Socks

Pattern: Basic Sock

Over the summer, a family member wanted socks so much she picked out the yarn while we were out shopping. It’s hard to refuse a hint like that! However, I added  a second color so she’ll have a little surprise when she opens her socks.  These socks were made with Yarn Bee Snowflake Wool Blend in Whimsy and Pale Aqua.

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Warm and whimsical!

Pattern: Basic Sock

At Thanksgiving dinner, a family member hinted that she really wanted another pair of socks. She’s done so much for us over the last year, I decided to whip out a last minute pair for her. To make things fun, I decided to use this opportunity to practice making straight needle socks. They turned out pretty good! I used Red Heart Fiesta in Harvest to make these socks.

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Straight needle socks in progress.

Pattern: Your First Socks

Over the summer, I got a little addicted to knitting cotton dishcloths. Luckily, two of my family members prefer them over sponges. I made a total of 5 dishcloths in a variety of patterns and colors using Lily Sugar’n Cream cotton yarn. Here are my two favorite:

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Diamond dishcloth on the needles (it’s since been finished!)

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A good scrubber!

Patterns from: Nifty Knit Dishcloths

I’m probably most proud of this final gift set. Instead of hunting down an easy pattern for fingerless gloves, I created my own pattern. I combined garter stitch borders with  2×2 ribbing  for the body of the glove. Then, I used a technique I learned from making straight needle socks to run a decorative seam up the side. The result is a pretty cute fingerless glove! This pair was made with Red Heart Shimmer in Plum.

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Glittery gloves.

Pattern: Check out my notes on Ravelry.

I was so thrilled with how the fingerless gloves turned out, I made a matching headband/cowl to go with them. Knitting in the round, I used the same garter stitch and 2×2 rib combination.

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Both a headband and a cowl!

Pattern: Check out my notes on Ravelry.

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Happy Christmas everyone! I hope you find something homemade under your tree this year. :-)

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c.b.w. 2013

Scribble Diary: Survival Mode

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Scribble Diary: July 7, 2013

They say it’s a dry heat, but 110 degrees with humidity is fun for no one. Monsoon season is getting ready to descend on Arizona within the next few days. We haven’t seen rain in a few months, so I’m hoping those gray clouds do more than shout thunder and spew lightening. (And yes, I noticed I forgot the letter “h” in breathe. Some weirdo guy was staring at me when I was making this page and it distracted me).

While driving to the bookstore the other day, a quail with babies darted into the road and I instinctively hit the brakes. I do the same for any animal that crosses the road and I don’t care who’s honking their horn behind me. Critters deserve the same courtesy and respect as human pedestrians.

All I had to do was look in my “bookstore bag” to give me ideas for my survival kit. All of these things are with me when I head out or are present in my intended location. I have a classic iPod that plays both music and video, but does not have a touch screen. I prefer it that way and will probably keep my old iPod until it dies!

My muse obviously doesn’t go in my bag, but she never lets me go anywhere without whispering in my head. For that, I am beyond grateful!

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c.b.w. 2013

Knitting A Cozy Blanket

My journey as a knitter has so far taken me into the realms of socks, hats, and scarves. Up until a few weeks ago, I didn’t attempt to do anything as big as a blanket. That changed as soon as I paged through the Winter 2012/2013 edition of Knit Simple magazine. About halfway through I came across a simple, yet gorgeous pattern for a cozy afghan.

I made the decision to make my first blanket while in the middle of making a scarf from the same magazine, (see Busy Knitting Needles).  Seeing as I’m a sucker for texture, I couldn’t resist the combination of a triangle and square pattern and thick, chunky yarn.

From Knit Simple Magazine

From Knit Simple Magazine

While the pattern was beautiful, I hated the color. Pumpkin Orange just isn’t part of my home decor, so I switched up the color to a more earthy tone. In addition, I decided to change the solid color palette into something more interesting – like stripes! God forbid I ever follow a pattern to the letter. My muse just won’t stand for it, no matter the creation.

The yarn I needed runs about $8 a skein, so I had to do a little planning so I could afford the required seven skeins to complete the blanket. Spending $56 to make a blanket just isn’t in the cards while on a teacher’s salary, so I waited and watched the ads until I could get a better price. Patience paid off when a 25% percent off all yarn sale met up with a 25% off your total purchase coupon. Now, that’s a deal! Here’s what I got for the bargain price of $31:

  • Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky
    • Indigo (2 skeins)
    • Willow (2 skeins)
    • Walnut (2 skeins)
    • Wheat (1 skein)

A little more than three weeks later, I had a beautiful blanket of blues, greens, and browns. I love how the texture and colors come together to give this throw a rustic look and feel.

Warm and Toasty!

Warm and Toasty!

Here’s a closer look at the texture of triangles and squares. Only two stitches – knit and purl – are needed to create this pattern:

Simple, yet gorgeous!

Simple, yet gorgeous!

As for my next project, I’m working on a creative way to use up a bunch of leftover yarn. We’ll see how it goes!

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c.b.w. 2013

Sewing With Grandma

One of the most precious memories I have of my Grandma is how much she loved to sew. She made beautiful patchwork quilts, pillows, and placemats out of calico prints and scraps of fabric. I loved watching her choose a color scheme, trace the pattern, and cut out the pieces. It was like watching an artist create a masterpiece.

One summer, my Grandma decided to make the most difficult quilt she’d ever attempted.  The flower basket pattern looks simple enough, but the difficulty lies in making sure each and every corner meets up without a gap. There’s about three dozen geometric pieces in each block! On top of that, she wanted to cover the borders and empty spaces with intricate stitch designs.

For most sewers this is a challenge, but my Grandma added a bonus challenge. She believed that patchwork quilts were best when made by hand. That meant tracing and cutting each piece individually and hand-sewing every single stitch. I remember watching her at the kitchen table with stacks of fabric and quilt templates. And how could I forget her sewing blocks together while in the car (it was a looooong drive into town) and even when flying (back in the days when it was okay to bring scissors on a plane).

A few years ago, my Grandma passed her crowning achievement to me. I’ve always treasured it, but now that she’s gone, her flower basket quilt is absolutely priceless.

Grandma's Handiwork: Flower Basket Quilt

Grandma’s Handiwork: Flower Basket Quilt

I love how I can still see her pencil marks and that I can remember her sewing some of the petal stitches. In particular, I have a distinct memory of her using pink thread to make the flowers in the upper right corner.

Grandma's stitched flowers and swirls.

Grandma’s stitched flowers and swirls.

As soon as I was old enough to hold a needle without hurting myself, my Grandma started to teach me how to sew. She taught me how to make invisible knots and how to evenly space stitches. Just like her, I learned how to do everything by hand. To this day, I make my quilts the traditional way.

I made my first micro-quilt when I was about nine years old.  While she was working on a larger Tumbler pattern quilt, I used a few scrap pieces to make a smaller version:

Tumbler Quilts. Grandma made the big one and I made the little one.

Tumbler Quilts. Grandma made the big one and I made the little one.

The bright yellow piece on my quilt was actually sewn in on purpose. One of the special things my Grandma taught me was to make sure there was an “oddball” piece or a mistake in every quilt. This was important because it paid homage to the pioneers who used nothing but scraps to make quilts. They didn’t have beautiful fabrics or the luxury of perfectly matching colors and we shouldn’t forget that tradition. Can you find the “mistake” in her quilt?

One of the last projects we ever worked on together was a quilt I started when I was sixteen. It took ten years for me to complete all the blocks (college kind of distracted me), but she was still there to help me lay out the border and trace the quilting lines. Then, there was one evening when we were both on the floor rolling out the backing and pinning all the layers together. I couldn’t have done it without her!

Another few years went by before I finally finished the quilt. I am so grateful that she got to see it before she passed away. Along with her flower basket quilt, my eight-point star quilt holds memories that will stay with me for a lifetime.

The last quilt I worked on with my Grandma.

The last quilt I worked on with my Grandma.

Yes, there are a few on-purpose mistakes in this quilt! Can you find them?

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c.b.w. 2013

Photography Challenge: Create

It’s been a long time since I’ve dabbled in the Photography Challenge I took on last summer, but I haven’t given up on completing the list. One of the more intriguing prompts involved the search for a word that illustrates my day. It turns out I didn’t have to look very far. My writing space is full of words and objects that define my attitude and perception about any given day . . . even the “bad” days.

I settled on photographing a combination of objects that serve as my ultimate inspiration when I sit down to write. They are my constant reminders that no matter what, I am a writer and a creative spirit.

Photo by: c.b.w. 2013

Photo by: c.b.w. 2013

You see things and you say “Why? But I dream things that never were and I say “Why not?”

- George Bernard Shaw

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Stay inspired!

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c.b.w. 2013

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