Thursday, December 23, 2010

Look what I got for Christmas!

I love receiving surprise items in mail.. don't we all?! I rarely pass up a good chance to participate in a swap. I like putting together a mystery package for my swap buddy hoping that they would like it while I stalk my mailbox everyday for my mystery package to arrive. I participated in a Secret Santa Yule swap in Ravelry and I got my package yesterday. My secret Santa is Cathy from Mercerville,U.S and she sent me a lovely package. The swappers are supposed to open their packages on Christmas day. But, me being myself, I waited exactly 2.39secs before I ripped into the package. ;-) Here is how it went :

I opened the package to peek at the goodies..and, there was this gorgeous blue-green yarn staring at me.. I ripped into it and couldn’t believe what I saw there. I was looking at a gorgeous skein of Mad Tosh merino light yarn in my fave blue-green combination. Madeline Tosh! in.my.hands. I would never have thought that I would get a chance to meet a Mad Tosh yarn.


In this excitement, I almost forgot to see the lovely pair of fingerless gloves in a pretty stitch pattern in a soft yarn. Then, I slipped my hands into the gloves and they felt oh so warm on my hands.. The funny thing is.. I commute on my bike to work and these days, its getting very chilly and my fingers freeze while I am riding.So, I was just thinking yesterday on my way back from work that I should knit my first pair of gloves for my bike rides. And..lo..what I see in my package!? My first pair of gloves!! I feel that the knitting Gods have been watching out for the package and me.


And, not to forget the teeny-weeny Hiya-Hiya yarn snipper.. Its the cutest notion I’ve seen till now and its gonna go right into my project bag to travel with me always. Thank you so much Cathy for the lovely package. Here is the entire loot:


I hope my swap buddy likes the package I sent. I can't reveal what I made for her till she opens the package. All I know is, she has received it and is waiting like a good girl for Christmas day to open it. :-) I am keeping my fingers crossed that she likes the package. Its starting to feel like Christmas now, isn't it?!

Merry Christmas to all my lovely readers!

-Josie

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cowl affair!

Cowls! They are versatile. I've been drooling over a few cowl patterns for quite sometime and shawl collared cowl has been on my mind since the time the pattern was released. I love patterns by Alana Dakos.. I've knitted the Cedar leaf shawlette and I thoroughly enjoyed knitting it. So, when I was gifted the pattern for the shawl collared cowl 2 days back by an anonymous RAK-er, I was thrilled to bits. She gifted me a few other patterns too..but, the instant gratification promised by this pattern was too good to procrastinate. I cast on for the cowl on Friday night and I was done by Saturday night..and, I did my Christmas shopping in between on Saturday. So, you can imagine the minimal effort needed for making this cowl.

The best thing about this cowl is it will dress-up a drab coat and make you look sophisticated with minimal efforts. I used my bamboo circular knitting needles for the first time and they felt as weightless as clouds in my hands. I wish I had bought them earlier.. The yarn was a gift from a kind Raveler. It was hand spun by her into a light worsted weight yarn with thick and thin portions. I doubled the yarn to make it a chunky weight called for in the pattern.  Its a perfect project to learn short rows. (Warning: double-chin ahead!)


I wasn't sure of the yardage I had in hand and I didn't have any tool to measure the yardage. But,I felt that it will be perfect for the pattern. So, I jumped right in and started the project. As I was nearing the end, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach.. "What if the yarn falls short?!" I could feel my heart beat faster.. It was tenser than watching an India-Pakistan cricket match! ;-) I finished the cowl with about 15cms of yarn left. Phew. That was a close call!



I have a hunch that I am allergic to the fiber in the yarn because I broke out into a rash since I started knitting the cowl. It will be a sad end to this cowl affair if the allergy is confirmed. sob. The cowl needs 3 LARGE buttons and I don't have any. I hope to get to a craft store soon to pick up the right buttons.I highly recommend this pattern to anyone who wants to make a quick cowl and learn short rows in the process. I also have plans to make more cowls in the future. So, please share your favorite cowl patterns in the comments. I would like to hear from you. And, as promised.. Alvin(my 3 yr old)  picked up the 5 winners of my pattern giveaway and here are the lucky five... Drum roll please...

Luann(aidensgammie)
Nicole(HermioneWeasley aka aNewKnitter)
Lynn(lynn893)
Pearlin (purlycues)
Kaylee(KJo)

Please check your Ravelry inbox for your copy of the scarf pattern. I hope you enjoy knitting it. Thank you all for participating in the giveaway. Its my first and definitely not the last! :-) Hope your holiday season is as wonderful as mine is. I am looking forward to Christmas as we will be meeting our parents and in-laws and take a week long break. Seasons' Greetings to all my lovely readers!

-Josie

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Paper flowers!

I love stationery! When I go to a stationery shop, I go berserk..I behave like a child that entered a fair..with loads of cash.So, the most recent visit to the hobby section at Staples was very..ahem.. interesting expensive. I saw some quilling supplies and I had to buy one each of all the varieties they had there. ;-)  I did end up with two quilling pens of the same type..but, hey..I am not complaining. Where did I hear about Quilling,you may ask? My first encounter with a quilled item was when I met a RavFriend's daughter,Varsha who had made a greeting card with quilled flowers and it was love at first sight for me. Since then, I've been on the lookout for quilling supplies and you can imagine my excitement when I saw them at Staples. So, I got busy with what I had brought home which included a beginner's quilling kit with supplies and instructions. Here is the first thing I made :


It is a box with a quilled decoupage and I am happy with how it came out although it looks nowhere close to the one showed on the kit. The paper cut-out to make the box also came with the kit. Here is a full picture of the box with the decoupage on it.


Then I decided to make some flowers and leaves. It is true when they say Practice makes things perfect and it is so true when it comes to crafts. I made 3 flowers and you can tell the difference in them as I made each one. The first one was a very crappy attempt at making petals. Here is it:


The second one was better than the first one. Here is it..


So, obviously my third attempt was way better than the first one. I like this the best..

Here is the entire bunch of flowers and leaves that I made and you can see how pitiful the lavender colored flower is. I haven't decided how to arrange them yet. Maybe I will stick them on card stock and make a greeting card out of 'em. So, you can see more quilled FOs in the future. Anyone else out there who do quilling? Please share your work.. Let me know your blog links.. I would love to see what you make. :-)


 Also, this year, me and my Hubster have decided agreed ( ;-) ) to give each other a handmade gift for Christmas/New Year and to make an annual tradition out of it. I hope he is working on it.. ;-) I will know it only on Christmas day.Do you think I should remind him of it to save myself from a possible disappointment on Christmas Day? He is not the most artsy-crafty man around the block, I must say. ;-)

 Do not forget the scarf pattern giveaway that is going on my blog. Here is the post with more info : Lost in transit pattern giveaway. You have time till Dec 20th to enter the giveaway. Also, I was told that the Disney character that I had embroidered as mentioned in the previous post is Snow White and not Cinderella. So, many apologies to Ms. Snow White... ;-)

-Josie

Monday, December 6, 2010

Another Cinderella story and a giveaway!

Thank you for all your lovely comments on my first ever adult sweater. Its still growing at a snail's pace. This post is very special to me.. This is my 50th post on this blog. I started this blog in the December of 2008.. 2 years and 50 posts later, this blog has evolved along with my crafty life. It started as a knitting blog and became a knitting/crochet blog. With the entry of a sewing machine in my life, this became a multi-craft blog.. And, its only a lovely coincidence that I am adding a new craft in my crafty life.. EMBROIDERY! Its been almost 10 years since I dabbled in any hand embroidery. I remember doing it in my schooldays as a part of the craft period. But, I got this urge to try hand embroidery last week and that is what I did.. I traced a picture from my son's Disney coloring book and embroidered a Cinderella using only back stitches on a cotton fabric scrap. Here she is:


I wasn't sure if it was a good idea to embroider a character to break a decade-long sabbatical from the craft.Its easier to embroider leaves, flowers and motifs as they don't need to emote. I was worried that Cinderella will look sad or scared but, I think her face came out pretty neat.. Here is a close-up of the beauty..


I am pretty happy with the results and now I have so many plans to adorn my entire home in my hand-embroidered items.. starting with pillow covers.. I am waiting to go shopping for good embroidery hoops. Weekends have been hectic with family visiting us often. So, finding time for hobby-shopping is becoming a luxury.. I am participating in a secret Santa swap in Ravelry..and, I finished the item I made for my swap-buddy. Since it has to be a secret, I can't divulge more info than I already have.. ;-)

Okay.. you must be thinking what exactly is the giveaway.. and why I am still not talking about it?! so, without much ado, I will give you guys the details.. This giveaway is to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of this blog and the 50th post and not to forget the holiday festivities.. I would like to give away 5 PDF copies of  my scarf pattern Lost in Transit . All you need is an email id for me to mail you the pattern and a way for me to contact you on the internet.. your email ID or Ravelry user-name. So, leave a comment on this post and my son will pick 5 random winners on the 20th of December and the lucky ones will be notified.Here is a picture of the finished scarf from my pattern in case you havent seen it..

Hope you guys are having a wonderful holiday season this year.. Seasons' greetings to all my lovely readers..

-Josie
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