New Year, New Pattern – Happy 2013!

Look, I made you a pattern! And it’s the very first pattern I’ve ever put up on the site, woo hoo!

KindlecoverCollage

Kindle Fire/Nook Color Sweater

Materials:

about a half ball of Super Bulky yarn (I used Rowan Big Wool)

size 11 needles (straight or circulars used as straight)

cable needle

Instructions:

c/o 18 stitches

Row 1 – K3, P2, (C4B) twice, P2, K3

Row 2 – P3, K2, P8, K2, P3

Row 3 – K3, P2, K2, (C4F), K2, P2, K3

Row 4 – P3, K2, P8, K2, P3

Kindle Fire – repeat rows 1-4 16 times
Nook Color – repeat rows 1-4 17 times

Knit Row 1 once more, then bind off in pattern

Turn the piece inside out and sew up the sides

Turn the piece right side out, add a button to the front and attach a piece of yarn to the back to use as a closure.

Insert Kindle or Nook & enjoy!

Handy printable version here:

Kindle Fire-NookColor Sweater

Speedy teacher gifts or What I got for the Kiddo’s teachers this Christmas

Teacher gifts are tough. I never know what to get for the Kiddo’s teachers and there are usually at least 3 teachers to buy for because she’s still so little. It can get costly real quick.

That being said, I like to make sure I get them something every year for the holidays. These are people that take great care of my little one and who do a great job keeping her smart little brain full and happy.

I typically go the coffee or other local food place gift card route since I know that it’s something that is likely to get used. And if I make cookies, I attach a gift card to a container for each teacher. This year I just felt like the gift card and cookies weren’t quite enough, so I added in a cup cozy as well.

These 3 were quick & easy (just half-double crochet the whole thing, done flat), but I think they came out pretty cute. They’re actually adjustable and use velcro to close (which I naturally forgot to take a picture of before I put them in the gifts).

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And bonus, I used some of my cotton yarn for these so they go toward the Project Use Up All the Cotton tally:

Pink Cozy – 19g
Purple/Blue Cozy – 19g
Red/White/Blue/Green Cozy – 17g

55g total for all 3 cozies

314 grams of yarn used, 772 grams to go

Project Use Up All The Cotton – Week “I gave up counting a LONG time ago”, Projects 5, 6, & 7

I know, I know…it’s been a REALLY long time. What can I say…darn life! I seriously did not expect this summer to get away from me like it has. Yeah, yeah, excuses excuses. On the up side, I’ve actually gotten quite a bit done…some non-cotton items and a couple of things that are in cotton, but are not part of this project. Plus 3 more PUUATC things and here they are:

There’s an Owl Coffee Cup Cozy:

I really enjoy how this came out & I’m thinking a few more will make great holiday gifts for my kiddo’s preschool teachers. I’m always at a loss for what to get them, especially because there are usually at least 3 teachers to give gifts to and we don’t have a huge budget for that stuff.

A Zig-Zag washcloth:

I added this one to the small arsenal of wash/dishcloths I’m amassing in my kitchen. I like that they are re-usable and soften up over time. Right now I’m the only one that will use them though. My husband has yet to convince himself that it’s okay to use a knitted washcloth. He looks at them like little treasures that he’s afraid of ruining…which is sweet because he respects that it takes effort to make these things, but he’s missing the point – they’re supposed to be used. Ah well, some day.

And a Broomstick Bookmark:

This came out really cute. I’m not sure if I’m going to make more though. I love giving book gifts, but my family has finally hopped on the e-reader bandwagon, so a bookmark is less-than-helpful as far as a book-related gift goes. They would probably be happier with Amazon gift cards so they can get more books. On the other hand, I’m considering doing a few craft fairs next year and if I do, I’ll totally put a few of these out for sale. I think they’ll do really well.

Project Use Up All The Cotton Totals:

Project 5 (Owl Coffee Cup Cozy) – 16g
Project 6 (Electric Cloth) – 33g
Project 7 (Harry’s Broom) – 6g

 215 grams down, 871 grams of yarn to go

Boo boo birdy

You know what little kids are great at? Bashing their head and knees (and elbows and faces and fingers and toes) on stuff.

And do you know what helps make tired, irrational, sometimes legitimately injured kids feel better nice and fast? Ice packs. They’re like magic. I used to think my mother had lost her mind when she would give my nephew an ice pack nearly every time he got hurt. Then I received my own head-bashing machine toddler.

Thing is, ice packs can be a bit of a pain in the butt. They make really cute ones for kid, but then you’re supposed to wrap them up in a towel since they shouldn’t go directly on the skin. Kids don’t understand this…they want the cute. So, a while back I found a really adorable thing called a Boo Boo Buddy. This one was a Hello Kitty and it’s plush on one side, satin on the other & has a pocket for the ice pack. Kiddo LOVES her “cold kitty.”

Unfortunately, “cold kitty” is sometimes dirty or wet or hidden in the deep recesses of a toy bin. So, I made a second ‘buddy’ or Birdy, in this case.

A couple of my Nerd Wars peeps asked me if I had a pattern, but since I just improvised and didn’t bother to write it down I had nothing to give them. Looks like I need to make another and write down what I did this time.

“Neutralizer” iPad Cozy

First things first….in addition to my addiction obsession love of making hats (especially little ones), I also have a thing for cozies. You see, I LOVE gadgets and I love to be able to take them places with me, but just shoving my e-reader in my purse isn’t much of an option unless I want to scratch the screen to bits. Not to mention, there is just something about using laptop case that I made that makes me happy.

So when I saw that one of our Nerd Wars Challenges this month was to make something inspired by a gadget I knew I needed to make a cozy for my new iPad.

I didn’t have an actual pattern for this one. Instead, I chose to use a stitch pattern from a book I recently bought – Knitting Stitches Visual Encyclopedia by Sharon Turner – and figure out the cozy from there. I swatched up a sample, measured everything out, and started knitting from there. I decided to do it in the round since I didn’t want seams running up the sides and to avoid a seam at the bottom, I used a provisional cast-on so that I could go back and have live stitches to close up. When I got to length I needed, I bound off about half the stitches and knitted the flap flat with a buttonhole near the end (thanks to knittinghelp.com for showing me how to make a buttonhole). I unzipped the provisional cast on and used the kitchener stitch to close up the other end. I had to block the flap so that it laid right when the iPad was put in the cozy. And finally, I added a button.

Here’s the result:

The yarn is Knit Picks Comfy Worsted in Blackberry. I chose it because it’s a soft cotton blend and since the cozy is not lined, the yarn will be rubbing on the iPad itself and I didn’t want to risk any kind of fine scratching or anything weird like that.

As for the color, the Blackberry is a deep purple which I picked because of it’s similarity to the purple goo neutralizer in Warehouse 13. Since I am on Team Paranormal Investigations (Team PI, for short), I pull my Nerd Wars inspirations from TV shows & movies that are based on researching supernatural things. And one of my favorite shows of that genre is Warehouse 13. The purple goo (or neutralizer) keeps the items they hunt down in the show from getting out of hand. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you should probably check out the show…it’s awesome & you can stream it from Netflix.)

On the whole, I’m quite happy with result. Although I think for the next iPad cozy I make, I’ll choose a yarn that isn’t quite so soft & stretchy and put in a liner instead.

3rd time’s the charm – my February Nerd Wars plan

February is Round 1 of Tournament 4 of Nerd Wars…my 3rd NW Tournament. I’m like, a real veteran now.

Since it’s a short month & there are actually things I want to knit, here’s what I’m planning for the month:

Porifera Socks

These will apply to the Scientific Challenge which is to create a single something or an item out of all one “thing” – such as one ball of yarn. And that’s what I’m doing…making a pair of socks out of a single ball of yarn. I have no idea how I’m going to tie these to the team yet.

The pattern is quite pretty and is working up quickly so far.

iPad cozy

This I am making from scratch without a pattern for the Nerd Culture Challenge (make an item inspired by technology). The yarn is a very nice dark purple. I am going to tie it back to Warehouse 13. I figure I can make a nice little story about neutralizer (purple goo) infused yarn keeping Steve Jobs’ original iPad from going all “artifacty.” (In reality, I need a cozy for my fancy new iPad that the Hubs got me for Christmas.)

If I wind up having time I’ll try to do a third project, but at this point I’m only planning on two. I figure I’d rather aim a little lower this time and not have to be sad when real life intrudes on my knitting time.

More holiday gifts

Just the other day I realized that I probably should give gifts to the Kiddo’s day care teachers.  There are four of them.  And they range in age and background.  So, what in the world can I get these women?

I’ve decided, at this point, to go with coffee mugs and Dunkin Donuts gift cards….which, at first, sounds chintzy.  But I’m also going to knit mug cozies.  So there will be a bit of “personal touch” that goes along with the present.

I hope it’s not too cheesy or cheap-seeming.  I’ve never had to do teacher gifts before.