Friday, July 31, 2009

ulma mater

here at chickadee central we're on a serious shawl kick, triangular ones to be exact. they've been popping up in posts with a pretty good frequency and there's another one to introduce today. you've seen this pattern before, it is the delightful ulmus drafted by kristen kapur. the body is worked in a meditative knit and slip stitch pattern alternating two complementary yarn colors. then the border lace ties it all together. this time, armed with copious amounts of yarn and fierce determination, i set out to make the large...the mother of all shawls up to this point.

the colors chosen were inspired by a particularly perky patch of pansies just up the street from casa de chickadee. and the perfect yarn for the project came courtesy of karida collins (thank you! thank you!) and her neighborhood fiber company. it was wonderful to work with and became incredibly soft after blocking. the colors were just as nature intended and the end result is a big, beautiful, cuddly companion.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


please join me in congratulating dandelion blu (and mr. db) on her (their) latest creation! she's really done it this time, made something incredibly beautiful and perfectly lovely. here he is, little jasper samuel:

what a sweet sweetheart. mama, papa and baby are doing just fine. this chickadee has been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the little guy for quite a while now. just enough time to whip up a little something that will hopefully bring comfort and warmth when the weather turns cold.

this is the owlet hatched in the mind brilliant knitwear designer kate davies. she's assembled a positively pleasurable parliament of owl inspired patterns and this pint sized one is the perfect fit. jasper's room is decked out with a delightful woodland motif and this jumper is just the thing to go along with the other animals. knit with brown sheep lamb's pride worsted, it is a weighty wool fabric with some subtle color variation. for more info on the project, see the ravelry write-up.

Monday, July 27, 2009

summertime, and the livin' is sweasy

a little summer school math:

sweet + easy = sweasy

sweet + easy = peach/blueberry/cherry pie

p/b/c pie = sweasy


fresh fruits (and local orchard grown peaches)! a crispy cream cheese crust (really, cream cheese)! and a crunchy crumb topping! add all of that up and you get delicious. the perfect summer school study hall project.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

space bag

friend of the chickadee and local knitting notable danielle romanetti has launched a new enterprise. her name should be familiar to dc area fiber fans as she is the founder of knit-a-go-go, a wonderful resource for neighborhood knitters looking to learn first steps or to increase the scope of their stitches. knit-a-go-go operated with no fixed location for the past several years, offering classes and workshops in local shops and stores. now danielle has up and opened her very own brick and mortar business in alexandria, va.

debuting TOMORROW, fibre space (website coming soon, see her blog in the meantime) will function as an extension of her already successful teaching empire and as a destination spot to pick up the latest yarns, hooks and needles. she'll be offering classes and workshops, as well as an amazing selection of fiber, including a small section of fabric!

this chickadee is so excited not only to shop, but to have knitting project bags in stock there! the inaugural bags are approximately 7"x10" and great to stash socks, scarves and sweaters-in-the-making. there are three different fabrics to choose from, but they all follow the same design. constructed of cotton and linen, they wear well and are washable and reversible! this was a special order and a limited edition, so stop by and pick one up today! you'll be supporting two local businesses with one purchase and we both thank you ever so much.

special note: these bags could not have been stitched together in time for the opening of fibre space without the assistance of a very special lady. mama chickadee uncomplainingly allowed her dining room to become the command center for our little sewing space module. she patiently received her orders and executed them to perfection. thank you mama! you are out of this world.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

we're in!

dandelion blu and this chickadee made the cut for crafty '09!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


this shawl pattern, la cumparsita, was named after a spanish dance. inspired by my week at common ground, the chickadee version sings its own little tune in a blend of blues and greens. my first time working with malabrigo sock yarn certainly won't be the last. it is quite a pleasurable ply with the same subtle and sublime color changes of its worsted weight sibling.

the little bud lace pattern was a pleasure to knit but the border tripped me up just a bit. thankfully, the designer marnie maclean was a dear and easily diagnosed my dilemma. worked with size five circulars, it worked out pretty much to the suggested gauge. there was just one little modification made on the cast-off edge. this one is just plain purled instead of embelished as the pattern is written.

Monday, July 20, 2009

this one time at band camp...

this chickadee made a mountain dulcimer! a real live, honest-to-goodness working musical instrument. at the beginning of the week it was just pieces of wood and some power tools. five days later, just take a look. here it is, about 98% complete...

there's just a little bit of finish work left to do. but the strings are strung and it has already been played. in fact, everyone in the class finished their instruments too and we all got to play them together at the end of the week. here's a shot of my awesome class/campmates and their dulcimers.

last week was way more than what was earlier described here as a bluegrass band camp. i attended the second week of common ground on the hill, a multicultural, multi-arts experience where students can take printmaking in the morning, sit in on a jam session in the afternoon and spend the evening square dancing. it was too much fun. the classes were great, the music was uplifting and the people gathered there were inspiring. see you there next year!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

power to the people

would you trust this chickadee with power tools?

this is a scene from one of the classes that i'm in this week -- build and play a mountain dulcimer. it is awesome! actually, there's quite a bit of similarity between sewing and woodworking...the materials and machines are a bit different, but the measuring and construction are pretty much the same.

Monday, July 13, 2009

pickin' and grinin'

this chickadee is crafting something quite different this week. for the next few days it is goodbye scissors and sewing, hello strings and strumming. call it a bluegrass band camp if you will. and as a full time student of the old time arts, there probably won't be too much time for posting. but stay tuned, there should be some mighty fine makings to show you by saturday.

Friday, July 10, 2009


pattern: ulmus by kristen kapur
yarn: ninnukka merino sock
theme song: simon and garfunkel

Thursday, July 9, 2009

it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

depending on your neighborhood....

dc area knitters are losing one of their finest fiber artists this week as karida collins of neighborhood fiber co. packs up her armada of kettles, dyes and yarn and sails west to columbus, ohio. it is an awesome opportunity for karida and a boon for fiberphiles in the buckeye state. for those not in the knit-know, neighborhood fiber co. has been serving up a series of super saturated yarns and rovings all inspired by the naturally occurring beauty in the district...not to mention providing patterns, kits and a monthly sock club.

before her own personal nina, pinta, and santa maria hoist their anchors and head out of town, this chickadee had a last minute opportunity to plunder an awesome stash of sheepy goodness. sometimes there is a silver this case, the lining is a mix of silk, merino, yak and alpaca.

thanks karida! have a safe trip, a smooth transition to a new town and lots of fun in your new neighborhood.

(dc locals, don't despair! her yarns will still be accessible through her etsy store, local shops and craft shows. and if you find yourself in the columbus area, check out her new home at wonderknit)

Monday, July 6, 2009


here's another dispatch from the land of night knitting...

a big blue beauty! this is the hemlock ring blanket made famous by jared flood of brooklyn tweed. basically, it is an old doily pattern revisited. instead of topping a table, it is made to be thrown over the couch or on top of the bed. the chickadee version, worked in magnificent malabrigo merino, is a cuddly cerulean circle.

Friday, July 3, 2009

no limit

lyric from bob dylan's "love minus zero/no limit"

here's another clue for you all

lyric from the beatle's "glass onion"

Thursday, July 2, 2009

off the wall

here's something new that made a debut at charm city craft mafia's pile of craft.

what in the world is it, do you ask? why it is a little bit of decoration for your wall. the platform is an 8" x 10" canvas that is covered with several lofty layers of quilt batting. then a patchwork piece is wrapped around and secured to the frame with a few shots from the staple gun. voila! the wall pillow is born.

this is an idea that has been cooking for quite a long time on the chickadee back burner. it was fun to finally turn thought to reality. tomorrow you'll meet the other two members of the first ever chickadee wall pillow collection. be on the lookout for more in the future!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

pile on!

la table d'chickadee at pile of craft

it seems like ages since the traveling craft caravan pulled in to beautiful baltimore for the charm city craft mafia's pile of craft. it was a lovely location with equally lovely vendors and shoppers alike. a fun way to spend a day, surrounded by a bunch of talented local crafters. the pride of baltimore indeed.