Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wrap This - Scrappy Jewelry for Scrappy Knitters

Like most knitters, I have a lot of yarn scraps, those odd little lengths of string that are sometimes barely enough to cast on with, but are long enough that I feel guilty throwing them out. I collect the detritus of them whenever I'm done with a project and stuff them into a drawstring pouch, hoping one day I'll find a use for them. 

Well, my sweet little scrappies, that day finally came. During one of my whirlwind "I need to organize my house!" weekends, I decided on a whim to "yarn wrap" my CD spool cover to cover up the ugly plastic.

It was so new and refreshing to use yarn in a needle-less kind of way, I started to think of other things I could yarn wrap. I wasn't quite ready to wrap the tree in my front yard (though looking at this picture from a tree in Japan, I think that should be one of my goals in life)...

So, I settled on yarn wrapping jewelry instead. Much more functional, summertime appropriate, and even better I got to use my long-waiting scrap collection!

Since I couldn't find anything the exact shape and size I wanted the earrings and pendants to me, I made my own shapes by hand forming lightweight, white polymer clay. I poked holes for the findings where needed before baking the clay.

These pieces ended up looking much sunnier and happier with their bright, wrapped stripes, and I like the way the white of the clay peeks out.

So, if you're feeling scrap happy this summer, or just need a break from knitting, put your scraps to work on some jewelry! These lovelies are also available for sale at my etsy shop .

Saturday, May 28, 2011


 I've been having a love affair with stripes lately. Is it just me or do nautical stripes become trendy every single summer? As soon as the weather hints at warming up, I suddenly see images of people in pretty navy stripes standing all sunkissed by the dock. And every single year it sucks me in.

It's been cold here - too cold and rainy I tell you! - so I've lately been rocking a very cozified version of the stripes look. Kind of like this outfit above from Totokaelo,  but without the heels, the purse, the skininess and the overall clean, stylish vibe.

Memorial Day weekend has arrived though, and I'm hoping that means that summer isn't too far away. So I should probably be updating my stripe warbrobe to include less hats, scarves and overall wool content.  For instance, I should knit this Madewell top for myself in cotton....

Scenic-Stripe Top 

That is if the idea of figuring out all those multi-directional stripes didn't make my brain hurt!
But I could at least go for more summery bright colors in my outfits like this one... 

 Massimo Dutti shoes - Levis jeans - Zara blazer - Zara t-shirt - wayfarer rayban

This outfit looks decently warm enough to pull off in the near future, except I wonder if I only like it because of the major jealousy I am feeling for  her hair...

Regardless, my brain is whirling for ideas for striped knit things. But then I start thinking of the whole "dealing with all those yarn ends" problem. I've knit a few striped things in the past, and they never come out quite as nice as the fine gauge machine knit items. Hmmm...What do you think out there, fellow knitters? Are striped summer tops worth knitting? Any ideas?

While I mull this over, here is another manufactured striped item I came across, which seems rather apt for this weekend. The Grill Power Dress!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sneaking up on Summer

Now, you all know I love to knit. I love yarn. I love learning new stitch patterns. I love barrelling through a sweater in a weekend, my hands glowing with the promise of something cozy to wear.

But, I have a problem. It's called summer. As soon as the weather warms up, I have about as much desire to knit as I do to run a marathon... which is to say, I get exhausted and sweaty just thinking about it.

Last summer, I came up with a rather sneaky pattern to beat the summertime knitting blues. It not only produced something I wanted to wear right away (which I'm starting to think is the only reason I ever knit anything), but with a lightweight cotton and only a few stitches on the needle, there was nothing overly warm or cozy to scare away my hands.

The past month, I've been trying to come up with a new, equally summer-friendly pattern to knit, but, well...I'm stumped. I try to imagine a knitted friend I might need this summer, but apparently I'm feeling rather hopeful and well-equipped. Give me sunshine in the morning, lakes to swim in, and big, ripe slicer tomatoes, and I'll wear anything. Acid-washed jean shorts. A turban. A clover chain around my neck. I don't care. Just give me summer.

So, until I can wrangle some kind of motivation out of my sunshine-addled brain, I've been sticking with the necklace cowl. Knit in fancy, silver glitter or multi-color stripes, they all feel like summer to me.

I've been knitting these up for sale in my Etsy shop and in the Crafty Wonderland store in downtown Portland. And while apparently I'm not interested in anything new for myself, I do think I might be convinced if this yarn were involved...

Madelinetosh Pashmina, Turquoise

Wouldn't this make an awesome necklace cowl, with big chunky knitted turquoise "beads"? And there'd be a whole lotta yarn leftover for something else, something new and exciting and a little summery? Come on, hands, you know you want to....