2,4,6,8 – let's see what adaira creates!

my blog for cooking, crafting, thrift store finds, and more!

I got Knittin’ for Christmas!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas – I know I did! We had a a great time with both sides of the family – lots of great food, awesome presents, and lovely time spent enjoying each other’s company.

Although I received lots of super cool items this year, I’m going to focus on the fiber related things. Tim’s mom knows that I’d like to get more comfortable knitting in the round, and that the second-hand circular needles that I have are less than ideal. She gave me more than a wonderful start into the world of quality needles! The first needles I received were the Knitter’s Pride Cubics in size 9:

knitter’s pride cubics

I had tried a set of square needles at Tim’s mom’s house over Thanksgiving and fell in love. Now I have my own to work with! I gave the Cubics a whirl with some worsted weight acrylic that I had brought with me, and I couldn’t believe how comfortable they were to use! She gave me some magic loop pointers, and off I went making stockinette in the round that I was more than happy with!

The next fiber-related item I received was the Knit picks interchangeable circular needle set. How cool is this?! The set includes one acrylic (sz 6), one nickel-plated (sz 7), and one harmony wood (sz 8) pair of needles, and two cables. I love the knit picks needles! The tips are very pointy, and all of the needle varieties have a really nice feel to them.

knitpicks interchangeable circular set

There is a pattern for a simple hat I’ve wanted to make for Tim, and after knitting some swatches with Tim’s mom we decided to use the size 7 needles for the project. I started in on it while I was with her (thankfully – she was there to fix my first mistakes). I can’t wait to pick it back up again after the holidays are over!

I also got some yarn to work with – Tim’s mom got me two skeins of wool-ease yarn (in case I needed yarn to play with right away, she said – how cute!), and a ball of a very pretty soft plum colored rayon yarn with a pattern for a rick rack knit scarf from Daft Dames. The feel of this yarn is amazing! I can only imagine how soft the scarf will be!

Last, but certainly not least, this little pretty arrived under the tree:

needle felting tool

Tim’s mom has been getting my feet wet in the wonderful world of felting. We made some wet felted sheets over Thanksgiving so that I could make some flower brooches. I had lots of fun with it! She also showed me some items she had made with needle felting. It’s a whole world I never really knew about, and am eager to learn! She cards, dyes, and spins wool and has very graciously given me some wool from her stash to begin felting. I have lots of colors to choose from; I hardly know where to start! She suggested I try needle felting a mouse first. I thinks that’s a great idea. Last night I had some idle time, so I perused Pinterest for felting ideas. You should see my felting board: animals, ornaments, brooches, hats – so much to love!

Needless to say, I think I’ll be happily busy for a while!

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Christmas Has Gone to the Dogs (and Cats)

Our dogs and cats are family too, right? Why not have them celebrate Christmas with a present or two! Some days ago I bought a dog bone shaped cookie cutter and made Brown Eyed Baker’s Peanut Butter Doggie Bones. I has our resident taste taster give one a whirl after they had cooled down, and she gave it two paws up – I hope our canine cousins enjoy them as much as she did! Yesterday I packaged them into bundles using waxed paper and festive yarn:

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I’m happy with the result!

Now I can’t forget about family members of the feline persuasion, can I? Of course not! Today I searched Pinterest for cute cat toys and found Lion Brand Yarn’s crochet pattern for Goldfish Cat Toy. I just had to make some!

I filled them with catnip and a bit of wool. I haven’t let Mika try it yet, she’ll just have to wait for Christmas with the rest of us.

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Aren’t they cutie? I wish I had a reason to make more!

 

UPDATE: The goldfish are a hit! Mika has been going nuts since Christmas every time she’s near the goldfish. I never got to see Tim’s mom’s cat play with hers, but if she likes it half as much as Mika does, it was well worth it! My folks’ dog Thye seemed to enjoy the homemade dog biscuits, just as Phoebe did. Dad indicated that he might want the recipe and make some on his own. Score!

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Christmas tree is in the house!

After what felt like weeks of having it acclimate in the back porch, we finally brought the potted pine into the living room last night! Tim put the lights on and then we gave the tree the trim:

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I had some Stuart tartan fabric that I picked up at the craft thrift store a few months ago, not knowing just what I’d do with it (I have yet to use my 5 year old sewing machine). It went well around the pot as a makeshift tree skirt of sorts.

We bought an ornament together earlier on the week to commemorate our first Christmas together in the house:

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Here’s a close up of the crocheted tree topper I posted earlier:

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It’s a little large for the tree, but we agree that it kind of gives it a folk art feel.

We dug the hole in the yard for the tree last weekend, so after the holiday we’ll pop it outside. I am looking forward to watching it grow year after year!

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Mini Silver Pipe Cleaner Christmas Tree

I love Pinterest. I have pinned more crafts than I can probably make in a lifetime, not that it stops me from pinning more. I found this beauty from one of the lovely crafters I follow there. It’s the Martha Stewart  Pipe Cleaner Snowflake Christmas Tree. I didn’t have green pipe cleaners on hand, but I had just enough silver ones. Here’s what I made:

naked silver tree

I had one sparkly white pipe cleaner on hand, and I thought it would make a nice star tree topper! (stars for tree toppers – note a theme here?)

The base is a wooden thread spool!

thread spool tree base

I made the tree itself last week. Today was the day that I decorated it. I had purchased tiny little plaid bows a couple years back, not knowing what to do with them. I actually forgot I had them until I looked in my Christmas wrapping paper and ribbon container. It’s like those little bows were just quietly waiting for me to make this tree. Once I found them, I went over to my bead bins and got some Swarovski crystal beads to add to the tree. Here’s what I ended up with:

all decorated

I had a few beads that I had already herringbone wrapped with silver wire, so I thought I’d add them too. I love the way it turned out! I do have to say that making the tree was not as easy as I thought it would be. I’m not sure I’d want to make a dozen of them or anything. My hands hurt for a little while after I got done twisting all those little pieces of pipe cleaner. It is a little top heavy now that I have decorated it. I’m not sure how to put more weight on the spool to make it more secure. It sure is adorable though, and it makes me smile when I look at it, so it was definitely worth it!

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Knit Cowl – done!

Thanks to Tim’s mom Marge, the cowl is done! She not only commented on the last post, but sent me an email of a message board thread where someone else had a similar issue. There were different suggestions to get the piece to lie flat; after reading and thinking about it I decided to run a single crochet border around the top and bottom of the cowl.

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Here it is standing tall. As you can see I haven’t even finished it off – I wanted to make sure I liked the way it looked before I made the commitment. I wanted the cowl to be tall enough so mom could tuck her nose behind it when the wind kicked up, and also so that she could fold it over when she didn’t want it in her face. Here’s what it looks like folded over:

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I think I’m ready to make the commitment and weave that yarn tail in now! Thanks so much Marge, for all your help!

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Knit Cowl Gone Awry – Help!

Earlier this year I knit myself a cowl using this pattern, and it turned out quite well. I have never knit in the round, so I thought making a rectangle of fabric then stitching it together would be quite easy for me, and it was. It worked out so well, in fact, I thought I’d use it as inspiration for my next project. Here’s the finished product from earlier in the year:

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I bought a skein of Lion brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Sequoia thinking it would go with my mom’s jacket nicely (and it was on sale). I could have just followed the pattern for the one above, but no, not me. I looked at the New Stitch a Day site and found the Downward slipped double cable pattern. I decided that was too cool not to try!

I made a swatch an figured out how many stitches to cast on for the length I wanted the cowl to be, and set out making my rectangle. Everything was going well. The videos on that site are so easy to follow, I felt like I was knitting like a pro! Last night I spent some time knitting, and this is what I got:

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Once I finished the fabric and moved it around a bit it turned into this:

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I know that knitting curls, but I didn’t think it would curl up completely! All the pretty cabling is hidden! Is there something I can do to prevent this from curling, or is this just the nature of the stitch? Any words of wisdom are appreciated!

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Peppermint Oreo Truffles and Loudmouth pants

I’ve been baking up a storm preparing for Christmas. I love making cookies to share with friends and family, and my KitchenAid gets a workout around this time every year. Yesterday I made Oreo Truffles using peppermint oreos, and crushed candy canes for the festive topping.

oreo truffles

I’m planning on taking pictures of all the cookies I’ve made once it’s time to plate them up.

Last night we curled on our Monday league. It was the last night of the draw, and our team will change next week. We took a team photo on our last night together.

gotta love Tony's pants!

gotta love Tony’s pants!

Our skip Tony loves his Loudmouth pants so much he has been dubbed the Minister of the Pants, and runs the Norwegian Olympic Curling Team’s Pants Facebook page.(I don’t think I’ve ever had so many pants in one sentence!)  My kilt pales in the shadow of the hounds tooth…

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Chrocheted Twine Star Tree Topper

This is my first Christmas living with my boyfriend Tim, and we are excited to make new holiday memories together. I’ve always had an artificial tree, and he’s always had a live one. I like the idea of a real tree, but finding dried up needles in every corner of the house for months after Christmas never appealed to me. He told me that about 15 years ago he bought a potted tree to decorate for Christmas, then planted it in the yard at his old house. He thought that might be a nice new tradition for us to start. I thought it was a wonderful idea! We went out earlier this week and picked out a potted tree that stands about 5 feet tall. It got moved from the deck to the back porch today. The target date to move it inside is December 20th.

I have some ornaments that I moved with me, but neither of us has a tree topper. I thought since we’re in an 1810 farmhouse that a rustic tree topper might be nice. I found a great pattern for a crocheted star, but I didn’t think making it out of yarn would do. Tim pulled some twine out of the cellar, and I got to work.

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I used this pattern from the Jellywares blog for the star, but I used a size L (9-5.50mm) hook.

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I used three tan colored pipe cleaners to weave around the edges of the star to give it shape. I was too excited to wait until the tree came inside to see what it looked like. Here’s a picture of it resting on the tree in the back porch

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Now I have to decide what garland to make!

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Easy crocheted infinity scarf

I’ve been crocheting since my grandmother taught me at the age of 5. Picking up a crochet needle and yarn always makes me think of her and smile. She mainly made afghans, never reading a pattern. I wish we could sit down and crochet together now; I would love to show her just how many beautiful items that can be made following patterns, and so many of them are quite easy!

The pattern for this scarf is a great example – it’s perfect for beginners! If you know how to sc, hdc, and dc you are more than ready to make this beautiful infinity scarf. I whipped this up while watching tv last night, and I think it took me about an hour to make.

I wish I could tell you about the yarn I used, but I picked this skein up secondhand and there was no tag with it. I can tell you that I’ve also made this scarf with Loops & Threads Charisma yarn in the sunny day colorway, and it took exactly one skein.

The pattern that I first followed is here, but I modified it a bit. Here’s what I did:

Needle Size: M or N

Ch 85 loosely

Join ch with sl st

Rnd 1: Ch 2, hdc in next ch and each ch around. Join with sl st to first st of the rnd. (make sure the front sides of both ends match up and that there is no twist in the loop – the first time I made it I didn’t realize there was a twist in the loop until a few rows up and I had to frog it)

Rnd 2: Ch 3, Dc in next st and each st around. Join with sl st to first st of the rnd.

Rnds 3-9: repeat alternating between rnds 1 and 2.

Rnd 10: ch1, sc in next stitch and each st around.

Finish off and weave ends.

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My First post

Here I am! I’ve been thinking about blogging for a little while now, and for some reason today is the day I took the plunge! I’ve made a few new items recently, maybe it’s time to post about them!

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