Wednesday, December 22, 2010

merry and bright

thank you for being a friend in 2010
hope to see you back here in the new year!

xo, chickadee

Friday, December 17, 2010

uke can squeeze this

this little number was cast on while waiting in the wings for victoria vox to strum some tunes on her magical ukulele. not only does she play the world's cutest stringed instrument, she also hails from wisconsin and currently resides in baltimore...two places near and dear to this chickadee's tiny heart. if those three things aren't enough to make her awesome already, add in her ability to play a mad mouth trumpet and pen sweet songs.

you can get yourself yuletide cheer ukulele style in the form of her holiday card ep, available on her website along with her other releases (that's also where you'll find screenprinted unders with "uke can squeeze this" on the bum). check her out when she comes to your town! tell her the chickadee sent you.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

by the chimney with care

the chickadee contribution to the holiday edition of the fiercegrrl fund is on the auction block! don't miss your chance to bid on a 100% handknit stocking to hang on your mantle. the sweet striped super-sock comes unstuffed so that you can fill it full of cookies or coal.

empty as it may be of goodies and gumdrops, it does come to you full of love and gratitude for your support of nicole in this difficult time.

go! bid! win!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

butternut squish

there's a no-more-new-yarn mandate here at chickadee central. after finally filing things down a wee bit, it seems silly to already be stocking more. so at least until the end of this year, all new projects will be knit with old yarn.

but don't cry for me chickadees, there is still some spectacular stuff that's been packed away and been waiting oh so patiently. like this squooshy skein that reminds me of a certain winter vegetable that is delicious roasted and delightful in soup form.

another quick and fun knit, this is the honey cowl from madelinetosh. it is knit in malabrigo worsted, which is always a nice thing to have on hand (the hat posted earlier this week is also made from the same yarn). the pattern is easily customizable and as such, a great way to go though single skeins that you might have lying about.

Monday, December 6, 2010

neon pom-pon

after working on projects that take quite a long time to complete, it is a treat to be able to turn one around in two days. and also a treat to adorn one's head on drab, dreary winter days with such a delightful, brightful topper. plus, everyone should own at least one hat with a pom-pon.

make your own! go to erica knits blog. there you will find a sweet celebration of simple pleasures, like knitting and reading and eating things yummy. plus, she shares some knitting patterns for free! one of which is this hat, you'll see it in the sidebar. it is the piksi hat. it is made of fun.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

it's all about the buttons

this next chickadee knit was totally driven by the need to match buttons to yarn. they sat apart for quite a while...buttons displayed on the wall not far from where the skeins of yarn sat in wait for someone to take them home. and day after work day at fibre space i'd pass them and think about what a pretty pair they would be. until one day...

if no one else was going to find a way to get these two together, then the task would fall to this chickadee. after spying the hay cardigan pattern (from a favorite designer, veera välimäki) the vision of neon green buttons placed playfully atop purple yarn became perfectly clear. and throwing caution to the wind, the sweater was cast-on in no time.

pity though, about the time...because usually that time is utilized quite well. there's research in picking patterns, and thanks to ravelry there are lessons to be learned from those that went before. with no errata posted for the pattern, it seemed from the outset to be smooth sailing. but then it took a turn for the wicked and things did like david byrne said and stopped making sense.

there were times when it seemed like this sweater's destiny lie in the scrap bin. but thanks to the helpful hints from other knitters on ravelry, some perseverance and waaaaay to many ends woven in (hooray for hand-dyes and alternating skeins!) somehow it all came together. fingers crossed that it doesn't now fall apart....

for more information on this project, errata and corrections made please see the ravelry post.

(and for those of you out there who notice these things: a. you know who you are, b. i know too ,and c. yes, it is a wee bit snug)

Monday, November 29, 2010

new x2!

one piece of fabric with two choices of print! mostly matched but there are a few that mixed and mingled together quite nicely. check them out below as they model both their easy, breezy tote style and their stay put, tied tight option.

these bags arrived just before the great fibre space black friday sale of the current selection might be a bit limited.

Monday, November 22, 2010

a few of my favourite things

1. spelling the word favorite "favourite".

2. knitting.

3. knitting shawls.

4. pink, purple and gray. preferably in combination with each other.

5. this:

my favorite things

more specifically, this is the chickadee version of kirsten kapur's pattern, snow drops and snap peas (pattern available via ravelry). and it is made even more chickadee thanks to the pretty and perfectly named chickadee yarn from quince and co.

it isn't just the name of the yarn that is lovable, the yarn itself is some of the most delightful stuff to work with. it is springy, squishy and soft...everything a yarn should be! and it comes in quite a generous palette. these three were the ones that chirped the loudest to me.

my favorite things

Friday, November 19, 2010

in the bag

just landed in space...and already flying off the shelves

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

stocking stuff

this over-sized sock is on its way to join the ornaments in the fiercegrrl fund ornament shop. done up in wide stripes that feature nicole's favorite hue, hot pink, this stocking will brighten up your holiday and hold whatever treats santa decides to throw in it. unlike the auctions, the ornament shop is first come first serve and this giant knee-hi is the only one of its kind.

Monday, November 15, 2010

lightening the load

the possibility that there was someone or some organization out there that could make good use of some good yarn got this chickadee motivated. no corner, cubbyhole or crate went without investigation. and when the dust bunnies settled, these three boxes were packed full of skeins of yarn, supplies and the hopes that they'd find loving homes where they could inspire, soothe and entertain women in need...the way that only knitting can.

anyone out there with a craft or hobby probably also has an abundance of materials. there's that yarn that you save for years waiting for just the right project to come along. or the fabric scraps that you just can't bear to send to the circular file. a quick search online reveals that for every reason you can think of to hold on, there are equally as many organizations out there hoping that you'll let a little bit go.

it is pretty easy to take a look around and see that there is enough to share. but sometimes the hard part is finding the right place for it to go. here are two sites that were super helpful for me.
  • interweave knits: a nice list of knitting charities including organizations that are requesting supplies and/or finished products. short descriptions of the organizations and web/contact information available.
  • lion brand charity connection: search by supply/project and location and find someone in your area who is looking for just what you have. descriptions/contact information also listed.

next on the list, unused finished objects and fabric!

if you know a group in need or if you are a group with needs, feel free to leave a footnote in the comments below.

Friday, November 12, 2010

the fiercegrrl ornament shop

it is up! and already filling up with affordable and totally adorable ornaments that would make great holiday gifts...or look great on your very own tree. all proceeds from the ornament sales go directly to benefit nicole. so now there are two ways to help out (the auction continues on the blog as well).

the chickadee contribution is coming soon! so keep your eyes out for that. of course, it isn't exactly an ornament...but it fits with the theme....

Monday, November 8, 2010

the tools of the trade

in case you were wondering...

on the craft exchange, one custom sewn camera case can be traded for an absolutely gorgeous hank of hand dyed yarn, like this one from dragonfly fibers! pictured above is one skein of dragonfly djinni sock in the most amazing peach melba colorway. the djinni base is 80% merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon and 100% awesome.

thank you kate for the trade! the original intent was to actually use this sock yarn to make socks...but now that we've become acquainted it seems a shame to hide something so lovely in a shoe.

you can own your own piece of hand-dyed paradise by visiting dragonfly fibers on etsy. you can also catch up with kate on her blog or get up close and personal with her yarns at fibre space.

Friday, November 5, 2010

someone in baltimore loves me

this chickadee project bags were recently featured in the urbanite! awesome.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

smile for the birdie

say cheese! here's another custom camera case from the chickadee central workshop. it is both sturdy and soft thanks to the combination of batting and fusible fleece. a velcro closure keeps the camera contained. there's a single slip pocket around the back for low profile photo excursions. and even a wrist strap that, when not in use, can tuck away into the a fore mentioned pocket.

this case was a special treat to make because of who it went to. more on that soon!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

i heard it through the grapevine

the hawthorne pattern was added immediately to the knitting queue as soon as it was released in the fall 2010 twist collective issue. in the photos, it looked totally scrumptious and seemed like something new and different to knit.

hawthorne is a scharf...somewhere in between a scarf and a shawl. the construction is interesting too. it is worked from the bottom up (which calls for casting on a couple hundred stitches) and the garter section employs short rows.

the perfect yarn happened to be just steps away in the stash. manos del uruguay rittenhouse merino sold me upon first squeeze. it is a super fine, kettle dyed merino. it was gorgeous in the skein and worked up dreamily too. two skeins turned out to be more than enough to finish the project.

Friday, October 29, 2010

i'm sticking to the union

the chickadee craft apron has been retooled and refashioned to be fit for work in a retail environment. a few posts back you saw my own personal shop apron. it is the same basic design as the craft apron with longer pockets and squared off corners. perfect for a day stocking shelves, saving dropped stitches, showing off yarns and helping customers amass a stash.

karen, a fellow fiber arts worker, visited the store a couple of weeks ago and agreed. she fell in love with the fabric and the function and ordered her very own shop apron. here's hoping that the chickadee shop apron is adopted as the official uniform for united yarn workers of the universe!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


the marvelous oh meaghan asked this little chickadee to craft a creation for her aunt, who is about to be married. it was such an exciting request that many hours were immediately lost to ravelry looking for just the right pattern...and then many circles were walked around the shop looking for just the right yarn. meaghan specified that she'd like a shawl and for color choice had mentioned perhaps a swiss red, as her aunt resides in that lovely little land.

achtung bitte:

here's what happened. the summer flies shawl was the first pattern that came to mind. of course, that thought was then replaced by a million others, but in the end it finally won out. it is a sweet semi-circular shape with several different lace motifs. the changes kept the knitting interesting and fun. the soft flounce at the bottom adds a nice finish. the chickadee version has a bit of an extended flounce due to the extended amount of yarn on hand.

why so much yarn?

because the yarn that seemed perfect for this project was miss babs yowza whatta skein and whatta skein indeed. 560 yard of hand dyed goodness, and it surely is goodness. every shawl that i've encountered that is made with this yarn looks lovely. it has a pleasant drape, a soft hand and is delightfully dyed by an equally delightful woman in mountain city, tennassee.

auf wiedersehen kleines schal, grüß gott. hope meaghan's tante likes it sehr viel!

think HOT pink

fiercegrrl auctions are back up and running. on the block this week is a beautiful brooch from baltimore's own broken plate pendant company. go bid!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

gimme shelter

knitwear designer jared flood of brooklyn tweed fame recently took the sheep by the shears and released his very own yarn, shelter. it certainly speaks to the rustic, traditional stitching that so define his patterns. and the palette is a perfect complement, he's circled the spectrum and selected colors with richness and depth as well as much needed neutrals.

you are talking to a very lucky little chickadee who actually works at one of the few flagship stores that sell skeins of the lovely stuff. that's right, fibre space has it! and it has been a real hit.

to celebrate our celebrity yarn status, we were privy to previews of his new patterns and yarn. and yours truly got to stitch up a sample...the terra shawl in the sap colorway. here she is, big and beautiful!

if you are in the dc area, stop by space to see this and other samples that staff members knit out of shelter. it is delightfully sheepy and oh so very squishy. and warm, is it ever warm! the chill is coming. get yourself some shelter. even sir mick sang of needing some.

Friday, October 15, 2010

no more fumbles

more chickadee mega-project bags to keep your yarn in the field of play! super sized for sweaters, shawls and throws and stuffed with slip pockets to organize your notions. score one at fibre space.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

holidays already?

yep. and this year they are going to be fierce!

as you may remember, this chickadee participated in the fiercegrrl fund online auction to raise funds for a fellow crafter who is fighting ovarian cancer. nicole's courage is inspirational. she's endured multiple surgeries and experimental treatments that take their toll both emotionally and financially.

oh ginger is again sounding the call to those of us in the crafty community and asking for donations. see the flyer below for more details and please donate if you can. if you can't, please stay tuned to this space for information on when you can purchase an ornament and help fuel the fire of nicole's fight.

for more information, see the fiercegrrl fund website.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

by candlelight

the chickadee central coffers aren't terribly choosy. in fact, chickadee accounts are often paid off with various forms of currency...yarn being but one example. a skein of yarn like the one my friend annobananos (ravelry link) tendered is worth way more than its weight in gold in these parts.

this skein of squoosh fiber arts silky sock (50% merino, 50% silk) was socked away in a safe place for a while, waiting for just the right project to come along. enter the candlelight shawl pattern (ravelry link only) by saccade elyse and then enter your moth to flame references here. this knit was made even sweeter knowing that proceeds from the sale of her pattern go directly to the epilepsy foundation of northern california.

a great pattern for a great cause made with a great yarn given by a great friend.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

go bold

big. bold. floral. project bags.
now appearing at a fibre space store near you!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

masterpiece mystery

this shawl started out a troublesome mystery. aptly named agatha, it was a script that ms. christie could have that might fittingly feature miss jane marple, quite the knitter herself. it took some clever detective work to decipher the chart and plenty of fits, starts and restarts before any progress was made. but it was well worth it to persevere.

with berroco pure merino dk on the case and its excellent stitch definition, the design of the shawl became clearer and easier to follow. there are whispers that this yarn might be discontinued and it would certainly be a shame. the spring and twist is like no other. it shows off cables as well as lace in lovely fashion.

with a little patience and pluck, agatha transformed from a mystery to a masterpiece!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

half credit

there was a kid in my high school calculus class who would get all of the right answers to questions, but was never able to explain how he did it. the teacher would make him write out his work on the board and he could certainly transcribe the entire sequence that lead him from problem to solution. but there was always a step or two, a leap you might say, that made sense only to him. for not being able to totally prove his theory yet still coming up with the right answer, he got half credit.

in clothing construction class, i too would receive half credit. my attempt at making the amy butler anna tunic seems to be complete...but don't look too closely or you'll be able to poke many holes in the theory and there will be no explanations to offer. just the fact that it came out sort of right, but who knows how it got there.

half credit.

oh, and that kid, he's now a mathematician working for nasa.

Monday, September 20, 2010


photos of the finished chickadee project bags:

they are just the right size for those bigger projects that get cast on this time of year like sweaters, wraps and throws. fully lined with internal slip pockets to keep needles and notions organized. kind to your knitting and to the environment because they are made from repurposed linens. landing in fibre space today!

Friday, September 17, 2010

more to love

another batch of big old project bags is currently baking in the oven. they'll be fresh and ready for delivery next week!