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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Schneeglöckchen Summer Shawl

When I saw the "Estonian Triangular Summer Shawl" in the July/August 2008 Piecework magazine, I knew I had to knit this one day. The shawl is actually a pattern from the book "Knitted Lace of Estonia: Techniques, Patterns, and Traditions" by Nancy Bush.

Finished modified summer shawl

Unfortunately, I didn't carry any lace yarn in my stash so I had to be patient. In April 2009, I got lucky when I ran into a sale of the Patons Lacette yarn. This would make a great gift for my mom's upcoming birthday.

This was also my very first lace project so I started right away not knowing how difficult or easy this would be. As it turns out, the pattern was very easy to knit and I was surprised at how quickly the shawl grew.


Shawl body

I did change the edging of the pattern a bit by adding a few extra rows of a ribbing pattern and a couple of rows with "holes" in it to make it look a bit more "airy" for this yarn. I actually played with the thought of adding a couple of ribbon bows to the edging, tying them through the holes... but then I decided against it as it wasn't quite the right fit for my mom. :)

The final size turned out to be about 51.5" across the widest part (57" along the top edge) and 21" tall. For my mom this will be just right. If I would make it for myself, I would most likely add about 4 pattern repeats and adjust the following rows accordingly as the shawl doesn't "close" in the front for me.

After a quick hand wash, blocking and taking a few pictures the present was ready to be sent out with my handmade birthday card.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Thank You" Card Tote

My version: a "Thank You" Card Tote
What perfect timing for Splitcoaststampers's newsletter to show up in my inbox yesterday with a great idea for a Teacher's Thank You gift: a 3"x3" Note Card Tote.

I was a bit in a crunch because our school district has released new regulations about teacher gifts in order to level the playing field between wealthy and not so wealthy schools as well as to preempt any hint at possible bribes in return for special treatment for a student. No more end-of-year money collection allowed to buy the teacher a nice gift or gift card unless the total amount is under $25...

So when I saw this idea of a Note Card Tote (with tutorial) I quickly thought of changing it into a Thank You Card Tote. Luckily I had an unused pack of little store-bought Thank You cards with envelops that would fit perfectly to my son's teacher.

In no time the Card Tote was made from nice bright blue card stock, paper cuttings, glitter glue and a ribbon and off it went to the teacher with a rose scented candle for some relaxation after all the stress at school. :)
(I am still a newbie in card making so that I don't have a lot of paper in my stash and all the other trimmings to make anything too fancy)

She was so happy and thankful because it would come in handy to write all the Thank You notes for all the little gifts she got from other students and parents!

Now that is a cute and useful gift! I can highly recommend it to anyone.


Friday, May 22, 2009

3. Place Winner!

I can’t believe it: my first ever contest submission (Fall Waves Scarf) actually won 3. place out of thousands of entries from the US and Canada in the Vanna's Choice Contest by Michaels!!!

3. Place Winner Vanna's Choice Contest - Fall Waves Scarf and Cap

It's a surprisingly easy pattern that even beginners will be able to knit and more advanced knitters will enjoy the look as well.

I am so excited! This feels great! And the $100 Michaels (US craft store chain) gift card is just an added bonus.

Yippee! It feels great that some total strangers actually liked my project and officially nominated it.

Sorry about my jumping up and down, I just needed an outlet somewhere for this first-timer luck!

Now the pressure is on… just kidding...

Look for the pattern on the Lion Brand and/or Michaels website and handouts in the near future. I am not sure yet if it will be for a fee or for free. I'll keep you posted.

For more pictures you can checkout my Flickr account or find me on Ravelry.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Big THANK YOU for teachers

It is that time of the year again where my calendar fills with end-of-school year events faster than I can blink. And with that them come the never ending requests for donations and teacher gifts.

This year my young son is graduation from his half-day preschool to kindergarten in fall so that I thought I should make something special for his 3 teachers and the lady director of the school instead of just giving some money towards a teacher gift.

What started out as a simple crochet lei (Wikipedia: lei) using a pattern from the first Lei Along over at Ravelry turned into a bigger and bigger and bigger project that I nearly didn't finish on time! I actually made the last stitches in the car on the way to the year-end family pick-nick!

At first, I had a single tube lei for each teacher - but it looked a bit meager because of the fine yarn I've used. It was super soft and pleasant to touch and wear but... not quite look I was hoping for.

Spiral Ilima - Lei Along Colorways 2

Then I got the idea of braiding the tubes for more body - ah, much better. Oh, boy, I just tripled my work! I better get moving on this. The braided lei was about the right size now to be noticeable - but it still was not quite right.

Spiral Ilima - Lei Along Braid

Ribbon! After a couple of re-braiding versions with various ribbons, I decided to go with a subtle use of a very narrow satin ribbon in a complementing color to the lei. Yes, much better... now, what could I add to give it that special something that would make it stand out?

Spiral Ilima - Lei Along Braids Detail

A butterfly? A flower? Off I went experimenting with a couple of patterns and adaptions until I settled on an adaption of the free pattern for a crochet Irish Rose pattern on Lion Brand's website and from the book "100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet".

This was the day before the pick-nick and it was getting tight! What a disappointment when the Irish Rose just kind of blended in with the lei - oh, no! It was the right size and idea... the rose by itself looked nice... just... just... ribbon!

Ribbon to the rescue, again! This time I was looking in my stash for a more substantial ribbon to provide a nice background for the rose to pop from - and I found it in a hot pink, feather-edge satin ribbon that would work with all 4 lei colors.

Rosette Award

I had less than an hour left to finish the leis, prep the pick-nick food and zip off to the event. Yikes!

Luckily my DH stepped in and drove so that I was able to apply the last stitches in the car on the way to the pick-nick. Boy, that was a close call! I sure didn't expect my little single tube lei to grow that much!

Spiral Ilima - Lei Along Triplet

But look how nice it turned out! The lei now looked like an award which it sort of was: a big THANK YOU to some excellent teachers for a job well done!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

CPS#115 - Birthday Card

Lucky me!

I've knit a light rose colored Estonian lace shawl for my Mom's birthday and needed a card to go with it.

Quite a while ago, I've bought this one sheet of "Silhouettes - Pink Paper" by Sandylion Sticker Designs without any project in mind. I just liked the ladies. :)

When I saw this week's CPS card sketch I thought this paper could make it work, although I did turn the sketch on its side...


finished card

Materials used:
Card stock: textured Red#1 by Hot Off the Press
Paper 1: "Silhouettes - Pink Paper" by Sandylion Sticker Designs
Paper 2: "Brown & Orange Circles" by DCWV
Paper 3: "LOVE LOVE" by me &my BIG ideas (PL-229)
Paper 4: "Sunrise Stripe" (#44877) by Around The Block (orange heart, Happy Birthday circle)
Accessories: mini round rhinestones by Jewelry Design (clear), feather-edge pink ribbon by Offray
Font: Harrington (mom), Bernard MT Condensed (Happy Birthday)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

CPS#114 - Mother's Day Card

Ah, this week's CPS card sketch #114


gave me the template I was looking for to capture an idea for a card that has been floating in my mind for a while - and there you have it - my Mother's Day card for my mom!
finished card

I've always wanted to try out the "Iris Folding" technique where you layer folded pieces of paper to create a camera iris look. I bumped into the Iris Folding technique and the lady hat design on the website: Handcrafted Greetings.

hat detail

The hat required about 40 folded pieces of paper. It was assembeled amazingly quickly and the effect is just worth the effort.

Materials used:
Hat and hearts: Muted Rose from Hot Off The Press
Hat band: Bright Tints Yellow Gingham from Hot Off The Press
Background: reads "LOVE LOVE" from me & my BIG ideas (PL-229)
Half circle and strip: Pastel Yellow from The Paper Company
Card stock: textured Red#1 from DieCuts With a View
Accessories: mini round rhinestones from Jewelry Designer (light pink & rose)
Finishing touch: yellow blending chalk from Inkadinkado Bold Brights
Font: Edwardian Script ITC, 28 point