Friday, January 30, 2009

love is in the air

make a date with craft!

this chickadee's first craft show of the year!

more information to come...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

alice the camel

it is slow going with the sewing at the moment...a combination of too much hot chocolate and too much time spent watching snow fall. the white winter blanket outside reminded me of the warm indoor blanket just bound-off and bound to be a prezzie. the lacy chunky throw by wenlan chia of twinkle knits had me at "hello i look so very soft and warm and luxurious." knit with size 19 needles and yarn that looks like dreadlocks, the toughest part of the pattern was tackling the bigness of it. once you get used to the super sized silver needles and the creepy feeling of knitting with nappy dreads, the rest is a breeze. the lace pattern is quite forgiving and friendly for those of us who sometimes forget to yarn over.

lacy chunky throw

and best of all, the pattern is free! classic elite manufactures the suggested yarn for the throw, twinkle soft chunky. and they are offering a free download of that pattern from their website. this chickadee wasn't able to track down the twinkle soft chunky around this town, so i settled for cascade magnum. four skeins and just about four nights later, voila! the lap of luxury.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

finally finished

no new sewing to show you just yet, instead take a look at a knit project that seemed never-ending. the knit centerpiece treasure throw from lion brand was indeed a treasure to behold on their website. and early knitting was a breeze thanks to the small circumference. but as the stripes broadened the project became tedious, taking hours to complete one round! (also, the pattern wasn't too precise and there wasn't enough yarn to go around at least twice.) patience and perseverance won out in the end and now this throw is ready to be the belated wedding present it has always wanted to be.

knit centerpiece treasure

Monday, January 26, 2009

heaven in a handbasket

it is back to the business of bolts and bobbins here at chickadee central.

i love the smell of freshly laundered fabric in the morning...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

the united states of love

phew, so much excitement has already been packed into the week, and it is only wednesday! when the going gets tough, the tough get going. so this chickadee is getting tough and getting out of town. that means a little blog break until next week. you kids behave, see you soon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

daily chickadee

goodness gracious.
a feature in the daily candy? somebody please pinch me.

click on the article above to read more!

many thanks to erin from the daily candy who contacted me out of the blue with an interest in these pillows! she wrote the sweet little article seen above. to see the pillows for yourself, check out this chickadee's newly minted etsy shop.

Monday, January 19, 2009

little shop of chickadee


Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

nary a month into the new year and this chickadee is knocking out a new year's resolution. 2009 is the time for all good chickadees to spread their wings and branch out in the dot com world. in that spirit, it is with great delight that we here at chickadee central announce the opening of our very own etsy store. over the next couple of weeks the chickadee crew (bernie the bernette 65 and new friend joanie janome) will be working on stocking the virtual shelves and stitching together more items to showcase. stay tuned!

DIY textile design

scoot on over to hellocraft to learn more about spoonflower, an online site where you can create your very own fabric!

Friday, January 16, 2009

oh! you pretty thing

there are several reasons for this chickadee's current crazy knitting crusade. the craft show season coming to a end coupled with hopeful holiday present making and a growing addition to ravelry...that's one. the other culpable culprit is christianna of knitting pretty in dc. between peeking at the beautiful projects on her blog and absorbing her considerable knowledge at the monthly redeem knit night, she's been quite an inspiration. not only can she work up anyone else's patterns, she can also pen a few of her own. she's just starting to share them and her first foray fits this chickadee to a t.

oh! you pretty bird

oh! you pretty bird

the pretty bird neckwarmer is a cabled cutie that will chase the chill off of your nook. it fits close and comfortable and can function as a make-shift turtleneck under your winter coat if you aren't feeling like bulking up below. there was just enough manos silk blend leftover from the calorimetry to make a matching set. with just enough cabling to keep it interesting and not too much to be confusing, this is a fun, concise knit that buttons up without being buttoned-up.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

icy hot

the calorimetry pattern from knitty has been making the rounds on ravelry since its release in the winter 2006 issue. seems like it is reaching its peak of popularity right now, and while this chickadee isn't much for band wagons, she sure is one for warmth in the winter. the calorimetry covers up the ears and keeps them cozy. thanks to the button in the back, it can go on and off without disturbing a perfectly placed ponytail.


it took some doing to get this headband done. the first time through with worsted weight yarn it came out too big and bulky. the second knit-through with dk weight yarn and smaller needles (6 us) turned out just how goldilocks would have wished...just right.


the manos silk blend yarn is also enough to make goldilocks pass on the porridge. another yarn out of uruguay that is hand spun and hand dyed by a women's cooperative, it is as smooth as its name suggests and a wonder to work with. the icy cool of the wildflower colorway caught my eye did not disappoint. you'll be seeing more of it soon...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

malibrigo man

guy next door cowl
(the goose would like a word with the bearded gentleman)

my husband is often the muscle and the mover for chickadee craft show operations. time to treat him for lending a hand throughout this first year. he put in a request for a cowl that was soft and snug with a modest pattern and muted color scheme that was still manly. after searching through copious cowl options on ravelry, this aptly named one was the winner.

guy next door cowl

the guy next door cowl is available as a free download for ravlery members (if you aren't a member yet, don't worry...that's free too!). there's a subtle herringbone-like pattern that was perfectly accented by a slight color change in the yarn that wasn't apparent until the after-knit photo session. the hidden hues were an added bonus to an already awesome yarn that is a favorite of fellow ravelers. malabrigo worsted is a hand dyed, super soft merino made in uruguay by a woman's cooperative. a perfect pairing of conscious and cuddly crafting.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

topo gigio


if you are a fiberholic you've probably clicked over to knitty plenty of times. it is an online candy store for knitters where your pennies aren't even necessary. patterns, articles and advice are all available for free! published seasonally, it is a great place to thumb through pages of inspiration and ideas. in fact, this chickadee has mined it mercilessly and struck gold on more than one occasion. most recently, the topographie hat made it to my needles and then to the head of one lucky little elf.

the pattern is deceptively simple. pick a pretty dk weight variegated yarn then pick out your favorite hue. highlight that pick by purling it instead of knitting when it shows up on your needles. that's it! the results are like a map with raised ridges interspersed throughout...hence the name. here's a detail of this chickadee's version. knit with one skein of colinette cadenza in copperbeach with the navy portions purposely purled.


Monday, January 12, 2009

take it easy

hope you are ready for another week full of knitting. the holidays were just the perfect time to pick up the neglected needles and make up for lost swatch time. plenty of projects were completed in a short time thanks to some super bulky yarns like this one from rowan. big wool lives up to its is full and thick and knits up quick. you can find the pattern for this hat in rowan's big easy booklet. it has a host of scarves, hats and sweaters that can be made in a snap with big wool and some matching big needles.

rowan smarty cap

this topper is topped off with a fancy little felted pin made by the littlest bean, a baltimore crafter who whip stitches beautiful brooches and an assortment of accessories.

Friday, January 9, 2009

cabled creatures

give a hoot mittens

who would have thought that one curved cable needle could create something so cute. it took only a few twists in the front with a couple of leans to the back and out popped this lovely little owl. this chickadee is always keeping an eye out for adorable aviary friends and knew right away where these would find a fitting home. it was a pleasure to put this pair together as a prezzie for pang of pretty little fings (you can check out her super cute sewn owls on etsy).

give a hoot mittens

if you'd like to knit your own little nests, the lovely folks at kelbourne woolens want to help you along. you can print out the pattern for the give a hoot mittens from their website. conquer your fear of cables with the easy to follow and extra thorough instructions. these were so much fun to work on that they're probably be a flock of them soon to follow.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

wicked good wrist warmers

here's some more from our new friend, noro kureyon. she sure shows herself off well in stripes! the maine morning mitts pattern by clara parkes was a perfect partner to the yarn. the constant color changes livened up the simple rib pattern that was easy, breezy and ended up being beautiful.

my morning mittens

the mock-up for the mitts was originally published in the knitters book of yarn, but you can download it for free you lucky little thing. your wrists will thank you. your friends will thank you, because you'll like it so much that you'll start outmitting outfitting them in these carpal coozies too. start making these in a dimly lit restaurant/bar and two glasses of wine and one metro ride later, you'll be moonwalking home like michael with one (fingerless) gloved hand.

(it wouldn't be chickadee knitting if a few modifications weren't made. the cuffs were lengthened a little by simply working a few more rounds before dividing for the thumb. size 7 needles were substituted to ensure a snug fit.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

third time's a charmer

skinny quant

remember the quant? a fab, first-time-friendly entrelac project with a funny name. (click to see the purple or the pink version). it is back and better than ever, this time knit with a new yarn and a bit of a twist. the yarn is noro kureyon, 100% wool from the land of japan. it comes in the most amazing array of bold and bright colors. it seemed a bit scratchy at first, but softened up once it was out of the skein and on the needles. instead of following the full pattern, this time i skipped a set of triangles and whiddled down the width.

skinny quant

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

baby it's cold inside

meine kalte liebe cowl

this cuddly cowl was made for a friend whose house tends to be a tad chilly in the winter months. stylish, not too snug, and super soft thanks to the berroco ultra alpaca yarn it is a quick, comforting knit. just one skein was all it took to whip up a toasty turtleneck. the pattern came courtesy of a free download found on ravlery (if you knit and/or crochet, this site is an incredible resource and a treasure trove of tempting patterns...many of them available for free). named "meine kalte liebe" (my cold love) by its creator rilana riley-munson, it was inspired by her love of the twilight series.

meine kalte liebe cowl

the pattern is offered as a free download from ravelry, but if you aren't a member yet don't despair. looks like you can also get a copy from her website, pdx princess. scroll down in the right hand column to find a list of the patterns available. the chickadee version deviates from the printed page only slightly...and not at all on purpose. it was just fun and absorbing and before you could say "schei├čevogel" i'd worked an extra repeat.

Monday, January 5, 2009

knit 1, purl 2, make many

the end of the 2008 craft show season also brought a temporary end to the sewing around here at chickadee central. the new machine that joined the family has been sitting idle, a victim of overbooked obligations and happy holidaying. that doesn't mean that all modes of creation have ceased. in fact, the urge to make some last-minute prezzies started a knit storm that's still raining needles and purls.

centerpiece treasure blanket

here's a current project that's yet to reach completion. started way back on november 28 (see the first post here), the centerpiece treasure throw has been quite a project. this circular coverlet is worked from the center out, which means that each round includes an increased number of stitches. in the beginning it was a treat, now it is quite a timely undertaking. rounds that once were worked in twenty minutes now take nearly an hour to complete. and, from reading what other knitters had to say about this pattern on ravelry, it seems that the folks at lion brand might have given a low estimate of the yarn usage. i ran out of yarn two times and cut it pretty close twice more.

centerpiece treasure blanket

this one was put on the back burner for the sake of smaller, cuter projects that you'll soon meet. but hopefully soon the cast-off will begin and the never ending circular knitting will come off the needles and show itself off. hopes for this one are still high.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

new year, new friends

hello 2009! how did you get here so quickly? your predecessor, 2008, was awfully kind to this little chickadee. as old '08 was skipping out the side door, it stopped for just a moment to bring a new friend to chickadee central. bernie has a playmate at the sewing station, a new machine that can't wait to start stitching up a storm of practical and playful designs.

these first few days of the new year are going to be busy, but hopefully soon there will be time to get acquainted and get back down to the business of being this chickadee. until the sewing starts anew, look for some snaps of pretty knitting to show up next week!