Hearty Hats for yet another Boston winter…

Lately, I’ve been feverishly knitting up some hats for friends and family as a hearty Boston winter approaches and sets in for the long haul.

Of course, after seeing the latest Harry Potter flick The Half Blood Prince, I just had to work up the beautiful cable and lace hat Hermione is wearing outside the pub (pictured in the above photo at left). And even though I’ve taken a break from it of late (including an annoying rip back after a cable muss), it’s working up gorgeous and I can’t wait to gift it out to someone for the holidays.

The amazing Hermione hat has nothing but the amazing Pickles’ From Norway with Love to blame. While rounding out the work week before a lovely week-long vacation for the holiday, I was thumbing through patterns as the day wore on slow and of course found a new one from one of my favorite blogging pair. Naturally, I had to get right to it and had the perfect bits of yarn lying around to accomplish just that.

The hat took only 2 days to complete; I haven’t taken photos of the finished product yet because it’s got to block and flatten, but expect it in the coming days. I’d love to make this hat again in another colorway, too. I know the above hearts are perfect for a particular friend of mine–consider one up for her this holiday.

As always, see more snaps at the Flickr set. Expect me to add a boat load more hats this winter to it.

“To be thoroughly conversant with a man’s heart, is to take our final lesson in the iron-clasped volume of despair.”

I have finally gotten around, after many many months, taken to getting shots of a cowl vest I created sometime last spring whilst there was still  a bit of a nip in the air.

Crocheted up with a honkin’ large hook and some super bulky wool, this wearable is called the Voluminous Vest and I’m still working on writing a sufficient pattern (one size fits all? small? medium? and large?) and have some of my hooker friends (haa. cheap joke.) test it out and find any errors. Or maybe I’ll just sell the finished product in my shop.

The Voluminous Vest is meant to be worn oversized; the gigantic cowl at the top adds a little more crazy to the shape of the entire thing. I can’t decide if I’d actually wear this around or if it will end up more as a show piece. Can it be pulled off?

The entire vest was created as two separate pieces for front and back before being joined by single crochets at the top of the shoulders. The cowl was worked up in a series of single and double crochets–added after by working it into the completed front and back of the vest. Next time, I’d love to put a front pocket on the vest or some other kind of detailing. I think I’d also make it a little less bulky in front and back, but make the arm holes longer to add size and volume to the entire piece.

Of course, as always, you can see the Voluminous Vest in all its glory at its Flickr set.

In Good Company…

Kraftworkin’ Kitsch is hard at work on another mixtape. What’s that you ask?

A little less than a year ago, the lovely Melissa, brainchild behind the amazing website NonPretentious, asked my to create a mixtape for her new series on music and bloggers. Of course, I said yes.

But this was as the persona I hold in another space–at my years long music blog, Pulp and Circumstance Juiced.

Of course, I wanted the theme of the entire affair to feature fruit (what else, really?) and worked hard to strive towards keeping it all in the theme (god, I love themes) while managing to express and flex my greatest of music tastes and desires.

It worked out well.

That being said, Melissa has since asked me to make a mixtape for this here persona; my domesic, crafting one, that is. I happily obliged.

But, I’ve failed to actually get it together. It simply consists of a bunch of scraps of paper lying around with potential tunes (but why that tune? I ask myself when I look back at the paper, crumple it up, and throw it away to start again from scratch). It’s now turned into an electronic piece of paper that I can add too from anywhere.

The list has gotten so long it’s ridiculous. So now, the pairing down begins. And the reasoning starts.

The theme? Something to do with crafting, of course.

I’ll let you know when it’s actually finished, and if Melissa still agrees to publish it. If she does, I will once again fall within the ranks of the great mixtape makers on the interwebs–even Martin Starr, who played the ever-amazing Bill Haverchuck on the short-lived but nontheless amazing show Freaks & Geeks, has a mixtape at NonPretentious.

You can listen to my Pulp and Circumstance, Juiced: Nutrition Served! Mixtape here. You can get the whole lot of them here, too.

Oh, and if you like music, you should check out my original blogging baby, Pulp

A fellow handmade junky…

A fellow co-worker of mine and I recently discovered our love of all things homemade, dog, renovation, and welp, documenting it all via the online writing medium of choice: blog.

You should definitly read DukeBecky if you are into the process of renovating and face-lifting a living space; at Duke Becky, you can see all the progress made on a brand new house–paint choices, fixtures, art, the like.

It’s all quite wonderful stuff. Oh, she also knits, paints, plays with her canines, and of course, eats! It was kismet!

Would Elvis approve of these bold stripes? If Priscilla is the benchmark, uh oh.

Just last week, I mentioned I’d be releasing a whole bunch of goodies on the Kraftworkin’ Kitsch readers. Welp, I’m still working on pattern writing for a few of them (…and with loads of holiday knitting on my plate I don’t foresee getting them done in the nearest of futures), but at least I’ve finally got snaps of finished projects.

Some of you might remember my Rugby Cowl from last year. Welp, I’ve taken to reinventing it for 2009, and I’m quite pleased with the results. This latest striped cowl features an orange colorway and an even less bulky style than its blue and yellow counterpart of yore.

I love that with this cowl, there are no rules. Stripes are uneven and completey random, aiming to allow each of these sections of color to pop in their own way.

It’s a really simple knit; done up on large needles, it takes to quick knitting. All you need is a bunch of bulky yarn in various colors, any size needle betwixt 13 and 17, and the ability to knit using mutiple colors. Finito! Done! Woo!

As always, you can check out more shots of the Uneven Ruby Rugby Cowl at its Flickr Set.

“Don’t point that beard at me, it might go off.”

About a year ago (! I know !), Boston news photographer extraordinaire Harry S. Cahill begged me to create a “non-traditional” hat for him to wear while shooting the Red Sox playoffs.

And this amazing beard and stash (of which I modeled after this pattern) was there result. Of course, he rocked it when he worked at the top rafters during the ALCS and it kept not only his head, but his entire face, warm as the late fall winds whipped across the top of Fenway. I think it might of been a hit with other photographers, too.

But, Kraftworkin’ Kitsch is finally getting around to publishing the brilliant snaps of the hat in all its glory; oh, and of Harry S. Cahill, too. He’s quite the model, no?

Many thanks to photographer Renee Dekona for capturing his essence and the hat so well.

If you’d like a similar hat for these brutal winter months ahead, just let me know and I’ll queue one up for you.

You can check out more snaps of this bearding glory at its Flickr set.

And in honor of all this bearding is sexy stuff, might this suit your rainy, cold, dark Friday fancy and make it a bit warmer?

[The Dodos – Beards.]

A lavender jacket turns linen…

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Finally! I have cast on a delicious pattern from the loverly Pickles Blog, which I have gushed over before.

I am absolutely head over heels for their Lavender Jacket; only mine won’t be lavender. Instead, I’ve chosen a light tea dyed sort of white-tan color, much like linen. And I adore it.

The bulk and puff of the sleeve, coupled with the length of this coat, makes it one of the most intriguing shapes in knitting–and clothing in general–I’ve seen in quite some time.

It can’t get finished fast enough.

File Under: I absolutely adore pickles, the cucumber delight. Who knew something simply named Pickles could whet my appetite even more!

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Caught up in a web of yarn…

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New yarn!

The joy. The excitement. The awe. The drooling.

This past weekend I went to visit my mum and she took me to a famous knitting shop called Charlotte’s Web in Exeter, N.H. to scoop up some new skeins and other supplies. Of course, no trip to the knitting shop is devoid of roaming back and forth frothing at the mouth trying to decide on what to buy.

There were a number of delicious eco-friendly yarns, as well, which was exciting and intriguing.

I ended up settling on four skeins of Filatura di Crosa 127 Print Yarn in a beautiful deep eggplant, tan, and greys colorway; as well as 1 skein of some yarn which I cannot remember (pictured above, front) the brand since I bought it sans label but its bright and amazing and I think will be a great contrast for the 127 yarn as part of a project I have in my for one of my best friends.

I also scooped up two skeins of Noro Kochoran–and its so soft and gush worthy and the teals in this yarn pop so much it couldn’t be denied (it’s #65 if you care). Could not.

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Stay tuned for stripes…

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Exciting news, my crafty kitties!

I know this here blog has slacked on releasing new designs, projects, and patterns this fall; but I’m about to make up for a bit of that.

Here is a small sneak peak at one of a few designs I will be featuring here next week.

The items range from scarves and cowls to sweater vests and more small items, so stay tuned. Stay tuned.

File Under: request an item for the holidays! Or to rock this year in New England’s fierce winter. I swear, I won’t kill you on the charge.

I spun around in my chair thanks to this sheep…

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The ever amazing Jessica George, who authors the splendid Go Team Sweet! blog, is one of my bestest friends from college.  An avid and ambitious cupcake baker and street artist, Jessica has recently returned to the states after living for several years in New Zealand.

And smuggled in her luggage, for this here me, she carried a brilliant ball of handspun wool–all worked by a granny’s hands on a sheep farm. And the incredible thing about this small ball of wonder is its strong scent of lanolin; it’s as if you were right in the room with granny herself as she worked the wool.

Thanks to her thought, this little ball arrived in the mail last night. And I squealed with delight.

File Under: expect a gifty out of this wool, Mim! It’ll only be for you! Thank you thank you thank you.

This weather makes for plenty of “dimples”…dimples in cake, that is!

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This unseasonably warm weather has rejuvinated much of my November-ly blemberly spirit, and with that comes copious doses of cinamon, plum, and what makes these two things go well together: coffee cake.

I urge you to take to this weather, crunch under the remaining dead leaves, and then dive into beaters and bowl and make a cake. Might I suggest The Smitten Kitchen, my favorite cookery blog, to get you started; or hell, dive into SK cakes I’ve made before: the dimply plum cake and the raspberry buttermilk cake.

You.won’t.regret.