Monday, April 28, 2008

Hipp Crafts Has Moved

First of all, thank you, Shannon, for your advice on the Baby Thorpe hat. It's a good idea to consider the vomit and drool factor with babies. So no braids it is - good! That makes this project a lot simpler to finish. Now all I have to do is add the crochet edging and I can call this project done. Then it can be sent to friend who sent me the Panda Cotton that was used to make the Baby Thorpe hat...and who conveniently had a baby a few months ago. :)

Second, I am moving this blog! The new home is All of my old posts and your comments have been migrated already. I am still in the process of moving over my sidebar buttons, but hope to have that done by the end of the week. For the eight of you who currently read my blog (up from four this time last year! yay!), please update your bookmarks, favorites, Bloglines, Google Reader, or whatever it is you use to find my latest post.

SNEAK PEEK: I've already added a new post at my new blog site related to this:

Oddments Scarf Ball

See you over at Wordpress.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

What's Going On

So despite the dearth of posts on this supposed log of my crafting adventures, a fair amount of crafting has actually been going on.

Evidence #1: Baby Thorpe Hat

Thorpe 003

This knit is not technically done because I can't decide if I want to add the braids at the end of the ear flaps or not. Here are a few examples with the braids. But it looks kind of cool without. Since this hat is intended for a baby, will the braid be a safety problem? What do you think?

Evidence #2: Birthday Tote Bag

Bday Tote Bag Mosaic

It is my first sewing project in a long time and OMG! I love sewing! I'm going to have to incorporate more of it into my crafting time. Sewing is near-instant gratification compared to knitting.

I spent a few hours on my birthday to indulge in making this project and it was pure bliss. The fabric is from Purl Warehouse, purchased during this blog buddy visit, and the pattern is adapted from this tutorial. Nothing but good things to say about this finished object. I've been using the bag everyday and it makes me proud and happy every time I pick it up. If that is not the point of crafting, then I don't know what is.

Evidence #3: My Current Work in Progress...The Flutter Sleeve Cardigan

FlutterSleeve 001

Smooth sailing so far. I am determined to finish this before starting another project, so thank goodness it only has three pieces!

So let me know what you think about the braids on my Baby Thorpe Hat. Otherwise I'll be forced to flip a coin! Decisions, decisions....

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Greetings from St. Lucia

Just a quick drive-by post while I'm on vacation in St. Lucia (oh yeah, and attending my brother's wedding). It seems like nowadays the only time I have to focus on crafting and my blog is while I am on vacation. Free time has been a rare luxury.

Our first full day in St. Lucia was spent on the beach. As we ate ate lunch, a young vendor came by with palm frond bookmarks for sale. He demonstrated the making of this lovely little fish in 2 minutes flat. It was a quick and beautiful example of craft. I don't know if this craft or this design is particular to St. Lucia, but I do know that I enjoyed watching him make it immensely. It will dry to a faded tan and be quite sturdy in a few weeks. Now it is green, flexible, and quite delicate.

Handmade Palm Frond Fish

Some catch up and more St. Lucia crafts after I return next week. I spent quite a bit of time planning and packing for my airplane knitting. What do you suppose I've been working on? (No fair peeking at my Ravelry site.)

Hope your week has been as sunny and relaxing as mine. Until later...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Just Right

Today is a government holiday so I had the day off. Sometimes it really is fabulous to work in the public sector. It has been a rare freedom lately to have the day off and not be sick, so with Mr. Hipp busy on schoolwork, I took full advantage of the time to finish something for my long-suffering mother. She may not have her guilt socks yet (they're coming, I promise!) but at least her hands will be warm.

Evangeline 022

Project Specifications
Pattern: Evangeline from MagKnits January 2008 (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Cascade 220 Paints. My mom picked out this yarn herself when I dragged her to The Woolie Ewe during our Thanksgiving visit with her.
Needles: US7 KnitPicks Options 40" circular (magic loop) and a nice little wooden cable needle that I got from Mr. Hipp as a Christmas gift (sweet man).
Modifications: Did two extra cable repeats before the thumb and an extra 10 rows of ribbing at the top for extra warmth. Picked up extra stitches (16 total) for the thumb because the first try was just too darn tight.
What I learned: Cabling without a cable needle! It is fantastic. I didn't trust the technique enough for the 4/2 cables (six stitches off the needle at once! eeek!) but it worked like a charm for the smaller ones.

It took me a long time to decide on a pattern for these mitts. For months, I waffled between these (too bulky for the yarn) and these (too fussy). Then I saw Tiennie's post on her million and one Evangelines and it was like Goldilocks and Baby Bear's bed...just right.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The 2001 Cobblestone Sweater

Superbowl Sunday ended up being rainy and cold - a rare wonder in Southern California. It was ideal for wearing a new wooly sweater, but not so ideal for getting Mr. Hipp to go outside for a photo shoot. Indoor lighting and a flash will have to suffice for the time being.

So what does a man do in his first hand-knit sweater? Well, I can show you.

Aaron 30th 015
He finishes his homework...

Aaron 30th 006 some football...

Aaron 30th 011
...finds enlightenment...

Aaron 30th 014
...and promotes world peace.

You know, the usual stuff.

I got him to wear it again for a mini modeling shot tonight. He's trying so hard to look serious. :)

Cobblestone 013

Project Specifications
Pattern: The brilliant Cobblestone (Ravelry link) by brooklyntweed (AKA Jared Flood) from Interweave Knits Fall 2007
Size: 43" chest circumference
Yarn: Reynolds Lopi
Needles: US10.5 KnitPicks Options 40" circular to start the sleeves (magic loop), do the the body, and the yoke. US10.5 Clover bamboo 16" circular to do the rest of the sleeves (SO much faster than magic loop or DPNs) and finish the yoke.
Modifications: Adjusted stitch counts to accommodate the bulky yarn. Made sleeves 20" instead of 19" because Mr. Hipp has a high ape index. Left out last short row at the neck because it didn't need it.
What I learned: I tried a new increase method on the sleeves and LOVE how it turned out. It's totally invisible. Also, Lolly's moisturizing conditioner wash suggestions worked like a dream - the sweater is much softer and smells terrific!

On a health note, I am feeling back up to 90% and the knitting mojo is back on! What did I cast on this weekend? You'll have to wait until the next post to see...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Changed My Mind - Being Sick DOES Stink

I know, I know, I was all optimistic and perky in a recent post about how being sick is good way to catch up on your knitting. Well that was then, and this is now. When I wrote that last post, I was on the upswing out of a head cold. Now I am at the nadir of a chest cold and I am one unhappy crafter. I feel so lousy that even starting a fun new project (and I have loads in my Ravelry queue) doesn't sound appealing. That, my friends, is when you know a crafter has hit rock bottom.

At least Mr. Hipp's Cobblestone Sweater got finished before things got too bad. And just in time for dear Mr. Hipp's 30th birthday yesterday.

Cobblestone 011

I'm happy with how it came out. The collar makes a nice little lip at the top of all that garter stitch.

Mr. Hipp tried it on and likes it! He thinks it looks like chainmail and he feels like Gimli in "Lord of the Rings" in it (first a hobbit, now a dwarf!). The sleeves and body are a smidgen too short, but I'm hoping that a good wet blocking will fix that. Lolly made a sweater out of the same yarn for her hubby and gave me some lovely advice about using moisturizing conditioner when I wash it so that this rough wool softens up a bit. Thanks, Lolly!

A proper wrap up of this project and photos of Mr. Hipp wearing it are forthcoming; hopefully we can take some nice pictures at his Superbowl birthday party this weekend!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Purl, Peacock Chic, and Panera

Have you ever eyed a pretty woven scarf and thought "Hmmm, maybe I should learn how to weave. A loom only costs a few thousand dollars..."

Have you ever put down a $5 super sale sweater and thought "Why should I buy this when I can totally knit it instead?" Then promptly plunked down $60 for a sweater's worth of yarn?

Have you ever had a hard time finding shoes that fit and thought "I ought to cobble my own!"

Have you ever met up with a blog buddy and thought "If she were hit by a car right now, would it be weird to take a picture and blog about it later?"


Well, maybe one day you too will reach these crazy craft blog depths. I know there are at least two crafters who are already there: one is me, and the other is my lovely blog buddy at Peacock Chic. I met her a while ago at a Yarn Lady bag sale and we've been egging each other along in blogland ever since. When I found out she had been to the infamous Purl warehouse, and was willing to take me along with her, I said, "Um, yes please!". We got together this Monday and wallowed in craft heaven.

Purl Visit 001
Can you tell we were having fun?

Good thing I had a buddy with me, because I don't know that I would have ever been able to find the Purl warehouse on my own. It's hidden in an industrial park, no sign no nothing. The only hint from the outside was piece of cardboard stuck on the door with a handwritten NO SOLICITING and a tiny Purl logo sticker.

The inside was as nondescript as the outside except it is totally full of great stuff. Yarn up to here, fabric up to there!

Purl Visit 002

I was very proud of myself for exercising considerable self-restraint. I was lucky to have Peacock Chic there to set an example (she was very good and bought just a bit of fabric to finish a WIP). I came away with some beautiful fabrics to make a tote bag and one skein of Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton (Ravelry link) to line stranded hat for Mr. Hipp.

Purl Visit 003

After Purl, we went to Panera and enjoyed soup, sandwiches, and a whole lot of laughter. The people at tables nearby must have thought we were crazy, but whatever. She is super fun and bubbly and it was neat to see that someone else thinks some of the same weird crafting thoughts as me. Good thing she didn't get hit by a car after all.

Thanks for a great time, Peacock Chic!