Project Updates

I’ve been struggling with all the rain we’ve been getting in Virginia the last week.  It’s made me want to hole up inside, forget my work, and knit/crochet to a good series of audiobooks.  Ever have those weeks?

This weekend ended up being like a breath of fresh air – the weather was warm and favorable, and we were able to tackle some projects we’d been wanting to get to before Little Turtle arrived.  Little Turtle, thankfully, was accommodating.

As I’m wrapping up projects left and right before Little Turtle comes, it’s given me some breathing room to tackle some personal knitting projects that had stalled.  It’s also given me a bit of breathing room to begin dreaming again – projects and ideas I’ve been wanting to tackle, yarn that needs to be used, and things that have been resting in the back of my mind that needed to come out.

Rosemary and Bay

I finally finished the small touches on my own, personal Rosemary & Bay.  I started it shortly after St. Patrick’s day, so it has a bit of an Irish theme.  Which is OK with me – my father’s family being Boston Irish, I figure I’m entitled to dressing Little Turtle in Shamrocks on more than just the holiday.  The small Shamrock was duplicate stitched after finishing the dress.


Wooden Buttons

It still needs a good ribbon for the center – debating if I want to do a shade of green, white, or something completely different.  I added two little wooden buttons for the back closure.  I actually turned the buttons around so the backside is facing outwards: I like this side better!


Coming off of Unwind I’d had a number of samples I’d started for classes.  I normally try and have something to use to demonstrate on (even if I’m just as prone to “stealing” student’s projects).  That way, if someone needs to practice a skill before working on their own piece, there’s one available.  Still, after the weekend I had a yen to finish the pieces, rather than just ripping them out and returning the yarn to the pile.  A week later, and I find I’m richer two sets of pulsvarmers and a half-finished cowl – pictures to come!

What have you been working on?


Crocheted Tea Cozy: a quick personal project.

Nance last week in her interview made an interesting point about drinking tea.  She said, “Tea is also essential for knitting/my design process.”  I’ve been thinking about the connection between hot beverages and yarn-work: Kate also mentioned that she drinks a lot of coffee.  The Yarn Harlot’s blog is rife with pictures of tea and coffee.

Which shouldn’t surprise me.  Three out of five mornings from early fall to late spring, I have a pot of tea on my desk next to me.  Doesn’t matter if it’s a computer morning, or a stitching morning, chances are it’s there.  My husband knows on mornings when I’m particularly slow to get going that a hot cup of strong Assam will get me going; in the evenings it’s a smooth Rooibos to finish off a meal.

Which is why last week I buckled down and I made myself a new tea cozy.  A few years ago, I had the perfect teapot: one my husband had gotten from his grandmother.  It had a lovely infuser, and held a lot of tea.  It was a very pleasing shape, and best of all, it had a copper insulated tea cozy that went over it, and it’d keep the tea hot for hours.  Practically the entire morning.

And then then cats broke it.  Knocked the pot off the table, and it smashed to pieces.  The copper insulated tea cozy didn’t break, but it was useless – unable to fit over any other pot.  Only now, three years later, was I able to say goodbye to it, at heavy pressure from Michael.

So it was time for a new tea cozy, something to pick up the slack.  I have a perfectly lovely tea cozy for the pot at the farm, and I love how long my tea lasts inside it (now if I could only find an infuser that fits a non-standard pot).  It was time to make a tea cozy for my favorite pot at home.

So two weeks ago, when we were at the farm, I set out to crochet myself one.  I had a few criteria: that it be quick, that it work well with the style of pot I had, and that I could spend no more than 2 hours on it.  The time limit was because I had a lot of other knitting/crocheting to get done that weekend, and I couldn’t afford to be indulgent in time.

I’m pleased with the results.

The cover opens so I can put my infuser in and take the top off without removing the cover.
I can keep the top open while the tea is steeping.
And because I’m terrible at pouring tea, I can take the whole thing off easily to wash it. (I used machine washable wool.)  I’m not exactly pleased with how the top comes to a trident shape – I’d intended for it to be smoother, but since it was quick and a prototype, I didn’t allow myself much ripping back.  The only thing I might change is to do a trim along the bottom – right now the bottom doesn’t fit quite a closely to the pot as I’d like.
Still, it does it’s job keeping the tea warm – which was the intention!

Rosemary’s Hedwig

I realized that I had never gotten pictures of the Christmas gifts I made for everyone up – I had to keep them a secret because well… I wanted them to be a surprise.

Rosemary, my sister, this year got a crochet Hedwig.  I’ll quote my notes from my Ravelry project page directly, because I think it says my thoughts about the project well:

Heavily modified Nelson the Owl from Fresh Stitches, almost so that I wouldn’t call it the same pattern.

Different stitch count on body (made body taller and less squat), different stitch count on head, I didn’t do the color changes, sized up the wings, improvised my own feet so that there were toes, no ears, made eyes slightly different. Basically, only thing not changed was the nose. Changed the colors to reflect a snowy owl, made body white, didn’t do the color changes on the belly, embroidered little “ends of feathers” onto body after crocheting, made an improvised set of feet with bobbles turned inside out. 

I still think Hedwig looks funny without ear tufts, but since snowy owls don’t really have ear tufts, that’s fine. She reads as a snowy owl, so I guess that’s all that is needed.

Rosemary was happy with it, and all told the project probably only took me at most, probably 5 or 6 hours all told.  And that was mostly because I was being fiddly with things, and ripped back a few times to adjust.  I also was fiddly with the seaming, so that took longer.  I still think it came out crooked, but don’t tell my sister that – Rosemary has a “thing” about objects being symmetrical  and I already had to convince her the eyes really WERE the same size.