Monday, January 29, 2007

I Get the Hint

My mom sent me an email yesterday containing a picture of this. There was no text in the message, just the picture. The email's subject line was "Hey this is nice..." She has also been saying how cold it is in Dallas.

I guess it's time to dig through my stash and get cracking on a scarf for Mom. It should be a good chance to learn how to make knit-in button holes.

BTW, the original scarf is from the amazing brooklyntweed. If you haven't already, you must go see his man-sweaters!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Eye Candy Friday - January 26, 2007

With a last name like Hipp, you can't help but love hippos.

This pink beauty is from the It's a Small World ride at Disneyland. It sort of looks like it was made out of papier-mâché. Talk about a craft project!

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Bandwagon

Every sock knitter who has not knit a pair of Jaywalkers yet, please raise your hand.

Oh hey, I'm the only one with my hand in the air.

The niche of small and portable projects for knitting breaks at work was empty. (Yeah, I knit during my work breaks. Thank goodness for labor laws! Mandatory 15 minutes of knitting for ever four hours of work.) So, of course, socks came to mind. I've been periodically squeezing my yarn from Purl and daydreaming of the pretty socks that would emerge from them someday. Then I saw this finished pair and decided to jump on the bandwagon.

Call me unoriginal. Call me trendy. Call me a follower. Call me a copy cat. Whatever.

I think I am in love. Shhhh, don't tell Mr. Hipp. No wonder this pattern is so freakin' popular.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Eye Candy Friday - January 19, 2007

Just five weeks after setting an amaryllis bulb in a sunny spot with some water, you get these beautiful flowers. If only all things in life were so easy and satisfying!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Entrelac Scarf...OC Style!

The entrelac scarf is all done. Yay! It has been chilly in Southern California lately, so the timing could not have been better. What to wear with a fabulous, warm, and wooly entrelac scarf when in Orange County? Why, shorts and Uggs of course!

Tree-hugging is optional, but highly recommended.

Don't worry, I am far too old -- and have way too much sense -- to really dress like this. But if you have ever been to the OC when the temperature goes below 70 degrees, then you know that this is look is laughably common.

Here are the specs on the scarf:

Pattern: Entrelac scarf, a shrunken version of the Lady Eleanor stole in Scarf Style. After seeing how huge Lady Eleanor is, I knew it would be unreasonable for me to embark on the full pattern given my knitting speed (slow) and the local climate (generally warm). But a scarf I can do!
Yarn: Noro Big Kureyon, Color 1, about 2.5 skeins
Needles: US 10 Clover bamboo circulars
Modifications: Used only three base triangles instead of seven for a narrower scarf. The knotted fringe is shorter, too.
Size: 8" wide by 60" long, not counting the fringe

I LOVE this scarf. The preliminary uncertainties in width seem to have worked themselves out. The fabric is sort of stretchy in all directions, so I think the stitches just needed to get settled. It was also a lot of fun to knit. The directions in Scarf Style were excellent; it only took a couple of rows of rectangles for the pattern to click. Then it was easy street all the way.

This scarf looks pretty on the "right" side (left) and the "wrong" side. Brilliant!

BTW, I am hugging our own Hipp little magnolia tree, generously given by my in-laws. Talk about a great Christmas present!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Beer and Knots

My goodness, I am almost done with the entrelac scarf. I finally made it to the end of the knitting! (Woo hoo!) For a slow knitter like me, this is a big deal. Can you believe cosmicpluto knits! did roughly the same amount of knitting in just 18 hours? Amazing.

Now it is on to the knotted fringe at each end. The scarf kept slipping off the table while I was trying to tie the knots, so I had to use my beer to hold it in place. Maybe one day I will be sophisticated enough to sip a kir royal while doing finishing work on my knits. Until then, Sapporo will do just fine!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sockapalooza 4 is Coming!

I can't wait! The Blue Blog organizes it every year or so. This year's sign-ups start some time in the end of January. My first knit socks ever were made as part of Sockapalooza 3, back in my pre-blog days. It was a great way to tackle my fear for knitting socks...they seemed so intimidating at the time! But Sockapalooza assigned sock sisters to the beginning sock knitters for help, and there were great links for beginners on The Blue Blog (the links are still there on the right side if you are interested). Here are the socks I made for Sockapalooza 3:

They came out well, despite all my fears at the onset. For the knitters out there, they were made with Lorna's Laces shepherd sport, Motherlode colorway, using size US 3 needles with Magic Loop. Toe up, plain stockinette, with short-row heels and toes, and some ribbing at the top.
Correction: toes were done using Turkish cast on and then increasing on both sides as I knit around.

There were 606 participants in Sockapalooza 3; this is the big leagues, folks. Let's hope something in my stash works for Sockaplooza 4 so that I don't have to violate my own Knit from Your Stash 2007 rules. Ah, a fresh challenge!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Eye Candy Friday - January 12, 2007

What could be better for Eye Candy Friday than a picture of two people in love?

Here are my brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law at Las Vegas when they got engaged. You can see the ring on her finger!
May we all feel this happy today!

Monday, January 8, 2007

The Catwalk

In response to this post, my mom emailed me and asked, "Did you knit only one sock?" Despite my tendencies to become bored half-way through a knit project, I actually did complete the second sock. I still have a couple of ends to weave in but they were done enough for some modeling this morning.

My first finished object for 2007!

Pattern: For Me All Me Koigu Socks
I made it up as I went on the first sock then "read" the first sock to make the second one. Toe-up, short-row toes, arch ribbing, and Widdershins heels.

Yarn: Koigu Kersti Merino Crepe, 2 skeins, from my stash.
This yarn was a birthday present from a non-knitting friend. Not bad, eh? I can't find the yarn labels right now. A turquoise somewhat solid was used for the toes, heels, and ribbing, a mulitcolor was used for the rest. I split the multicolor skein in half then knit each sock until each half ran out (ah, the beauty of toe-up socks). Most of the somewhat solid yarn was used; I have about 10 yards left.

Needles: US 4 and US 3 (on the ribbing) Addi Turbos using Magic Loop.
I love me some Magic Loop. It is perfect for DPN klutzes like me.

I didn't get very far in the photo session before someone decided she wanted to show off her modeling skills.

Then she decided to take a nap.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Non-Crafty Content Ahead

Okay, so this post is not craft-related, but since friends and family visit this site, I thought I would share the good news.

My brother got engaged this weekend!

Best wishes to the happy couple!

We will now resume our usual programming...

From The OC to The NC, Part II

Vacation Days 6 & 7: Lenoir, North Carolina (continued)
Mr. Hipp grew up in Lenoir, so we spent some time visiting sites and friends from his childhood. His high school sweetheart and her husband own Hogwaller Outfitters, an amazing store downtown. They have everything from outdoor gear to kids educational toys to skateboards to fresh roasted peanuts! It was buzzing with holiday shoppers but we got to say a quick hello to the proprietress.

Next door is Java Joe's, which is everything Starbucks once was and, unfortunately, will never be again -- cozy. Work from Lenoir artists is on the walls, including some great stuff from Mr. Hipp's high school friend, Charlie. He used to have a website with his artwork, but it is no longer active. I did get a shot, though, of Mr. Hipp attempting to steal one of his pieces from the wall of Java Joe's:

We have our own Charlie original that we treasure. It was a wedding gift and has a prominent spot in our dining room. Charlie and his wife, Leigh Anne, are remarkable people. They are both special education teachers who made a conscious effort to stay in Lenoir and make it a better place. Leigh Anne is working on a master's degree full-time and they are the proud parents of an impressively well-behaved and super-cute little girl (the aforementioned 2-year-old who was, sadly, only mildly impressed with my Magic Sock). Where do they find the energy?

Here is Leigh Anne, Charlie, Baby G, Sarah, and Wiki by some public art outside of Hogwaller's and Java Joe's.

From Lenoir, we hit the road for Asheville for even more good times with friends and...YARN!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

From The OC to The NC, Part I

When I make plans for a trip, I get excited about my destination and the people and places I will get to see while there. But I have to admit -- I also get pretty excited about the trip itself.

I firmly believe that a knitter was on the design team of the modern commercial aircraft. Free movies? Ear phones? Seat-front pockets to hold your yarn? Belts that keep you seated for hours on end, requiring that nice people bring drinks and snacks to you? It is none other than Knitting Paradise!

The right airplane project(s), however, must undergo thorough screening before being allowed to board:

  • Lightweight
  • Small
  • Quick and easy to take out and put away
  • Requires no pattern, or have long stretches of easily-memorized sections to minimize the amount of time referring to a pattern
  • Not require double-pointed needles (I am more skilled at losing them than knitting with them)
The following additional criteria is nice but not mandatory:
  • Requires minimal finishing
  • Requires little to no blocking
  • Can be worn during the trip
So what fits the bill? Socks! I received some beautiful Koigu Kersti Merino Crepe for my birthday this year and it has been waiting until just the right airplane trip to make its transformation into a pair of socks for me-all-me.

Vacation Day 1: Layover in Washington Dulles Airport
Start a short-row toe. Overhear guy whose flight to New York City had been delayed make an angry phone call to United, tells United rep that he's missing has bachelor party because of the delay. At first feel pity for him then decide he's just smarmy enough to lie to weasel a free flight out of them. Shake my head and return to sock toe.

Vacation Days 2 & 3: Hipp In-Laws' Home in NC
Zip along on foot. Decide to add 1x1 ribbing at the arch for a super-huggy sock.

Vacation Day 4: Drive to Raleigh to Meet SIL's New Beau
Turn heel using toe-up heel flap method adapted from Widdershins socks. Become very excited. Force others to share excitement with me. (By the way, SIL = Sister-in-Law.)

Vacation Day 5: Hipp In-Laws' Home in NC
Work on ankle of sock while watching "Cool Hand Luke" in TV. Decide Paul Newman was once The Cutest Man in America -- he was relegated to second place, of course, in 1996, when Mr. Hipp turned 18.

Vacation Day 6: Drive to Lenoir to See Friends
Finish sock #1! Spend remainder of day showing sock to anyone within arm's length. Tell a 2-year-old that it's a "Magic Sock" in hopes of planting the seed for a future knitter.
Truth be told, I actually also brought the entrelac scarf to work on. I did make some good progress on it from LAX to Dulles, but it still basically looks the same as the last time I posted about it, just a little longer. C'mon, that's not nearly as interesting as a Magic Sock!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Happy New Year 2007

Happy New Year!

It feels like to has been so long since the last post! Mr. Hipp and I were in North Carolina and the surrounding areas for 11 days. There is so much to catch up on in Hipp Crafts that I am not even sure where to begin. Perhaps the easiest thing will be to start from the beginning and work my way back up to the present.

Before we left, I scrambled to get these done for my coworkers:

It was several evenings of washing, ironing, cutting (oh how I love my rotary cutter!), sewing, and finishing, but it was so worth it. The little bags came out so pretty -- I almost kept them all for myself!

These bags were inspired by a lovely little bag brought back from Hong Kong by an uncle and auntie. I adore the little bag they gave me. It is the most perfect thing for carrying around an in-progress knit sock. My auntie gave me my sewing machine, so it seemed fitting to sew gifts for others that echo this perfect little bag.

These bags were stuffed with yummy-smelling almond and honey soap and a goofy card with a picture of my Little Sibling and me pretending to be chupacabras. I lined each one with a contrasting fabric because happy fabric linings always make me smile to myself, so why not spread the smile to others?

The real gift to my co-workers was a donation in the name of our office to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Orange County...the little bag and soap were just a fun way to package it up, as well as giving me an excuse to wallow happily in craftiness and good scents for days.