Ok, so I thought I'd post about what my most recent crafty projects have been.
The first one that I completed a couple of days ago is for my mother-in-law...
So Mom, if you're reading this...STOP! You'll ruin the surprise! :)
It's a Christmas gift that I made for her. They live in DC, and I know it's not as cold there as some parts of the country, but it still gets a little bit chilly and is a lot colder than here in South Texas, so I thought about making her a hat and scarf for Christmas. Problem is, she's allergic to a lot of things, including wool, and most of the yarn that I use for scarfs, etc. is wool based. So, I went searching and found this great yarn made of organic cotton. It's from Lion Brand and is called Nature's Choice Organic Cotton. I picked it up in the Bark color, which is kind of a khaki/tan shade.
Lion Brand Organic Cotton-Bark
Then I found some great yarn from Bernat in their new Natural Blends line. It's a bamboo/acrylic blend called Bernat Bamboo which I picked up in the Linen color.
Bernat Bamboo Chunky Yarn-Linen
So I combined one strand of each yarn and used my small Knifty Knitter long loom (the pink one) to make a double-sided (wrapped figure 8 style) scarf. The bamboo yarn is so soft and the cotton is pretty fluffy. Together they make a wonderfully thick scarf. I added some fringe to the ends and it was done.
Next I took those same two yarns and started on the hat. The first hat I did was based on a pattern which used a much thicker yarn (one of the thick n' quick kinds) and even with double-stranding, it didn't work out well for a warm winter hat. The pattern is great though and I'll be doing it again. In fact I plan to keep the first hat I made for myself since here we don't need the extra warmth necessarily :) The pattern itself is from one of the "Learn to Knit on Circle Loom" books and has the basket weave top. It's very pretty, just too "loose" for warmth.
So I started again, this time with my round yellow KK loom. This one was a simple e-wrap stocking cap which I created a brim on. It's nice and snuggly warm as well as soft. Hope that Mom will like them both :) I'd post a picture, but don't want to totally ruin the surprise, so those will have to wait for after Christmas :)
Next, I attempted to create a pattern for a felted cd carrier. We picked up a cute Dora the Explorer cd player for my niece Kayla (who'll be two in a couple weeks!) and since she's little, she tends to drop it occasionally. It's not an expensive thing (purchased on clearance at WalMart for $13), but I figured if I could make a felted cover for it, so much the better. I've got that project ready for my next "hot" load of laundry. Basically I created a three layer woven circle by following the basket weave technique from the hat I mentioned above but beginning with four rows of e-wrap stitch followed by three rounds of basket weaving (in three different directions) and completed with one row of knit stitch and the bind off. The funny thing is, it looks a little like a "tam" hat right now! I'm anxious to see how the felted result will come out though. If the felted result is good, I'll make another one and stitch the two together for the case. Will post a pic when I'm done felting it.
Right now on my loom are two projects. On the smaller pink KK Long loom is a guitar strap for my guitar. It's being made out of Paton's SWS yarn in some shades of purple and will be felted when completed. I took a dark purple SWS and e-wrap knitted several rows, then switched to a variaged SWS and am doing stockinette stitch on this portion. Will finish with the dark purple before felting. Should be nice and strong as well as pretty :)
The second project is a sweater for my niece. I'm doing it in a purple version of the Homespun from Lion Brand. It's a "hooded sweater" pattern I got online and should be really cute. The front and back panels, the pocket and one sleeve are done. Just have to finish the second sleeve and make the hood. She's already seen part of it and just kept saying "soft!" over and over :) Cute!!! I'll put up a pic when I finish it as well as hopefully one of her wearing it once I give it to her.
I also made cards for our Fall/Halloween card swap and am currently working on the Thanksgiving swap cards. These I'm doing using a cornucopia rubber stamp which I stamped in Staz-on onto watercolor paper. Then I spritzed it with walnut ink and "dabbed" the torn edges of the watercolor paper with the walnut ink dilution as well. Now I'm using watercolor pencils to shade the stamped image. They will then be mounted on a diamond-folded mat which will be matted on another piece of colored paper (perhaps the "crepe" paper by Martha Stewart that I got at Michaels...) and then mounted on the front of some kraft notecards. Will post a pic when complete :)
So, that's it for me right now... Quite enough at one time I'd say!