I just finished my first fair isle project! I’m so excited. The technique was much easier than I’d anticipated. I used the Boku yarn that I found at my favorite local yarn shop, Table Rock Llamas. The pattern called for Noro, but they assured me Boku was a better quality yarn and cheaper. Gotta love the more affordable stuff! The black yarn I used is left over from a felted sheep I did out of a kit I was given years ago before I knew how to even knit. I used the pattern “FakeIsle” on ravelry, and though the name implies it isn’t fair isle, it really is. However, since the Boku/Noro is self-striping yarn it looks like you used more colors of yarn than you really did.

It took a bit of time to get used to holding two yarns in the same hand and switching back and forth between them without tangling them all up. The pattern is pretty easy, but I don’t recommend it for a beginner because it breaks a fair isle rule! In fair isle you should never have a single color for more than 5 stitches because of how the yarn is carried across the back of the piece. This pattern uses more than 5 stitches of one color making it VERY difficult to not have those parts of the hat come out too tight. It does come out quite nice looking though. It’s a satisfying project and not so large that beginners are likely to get frustrated by excessive new techniques. It’s just the right size to try out fair isle. I may have to design a better beginner fair isle hat. I do have a hank of Boku left in the same colorway and probably enough black Cascade 220.

I made the larger size of the hat since the last time I tried to make a nice little grey hat it came out too small. This hat came out too big. My brother and my guy pal both could wear the hat, but complained that it was a little tight and odd feeling at the top due to those tight rows where there are more than 5 stitches of the same color in a row. Here is my brother, Scott, sporting the cap.

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Before I was hurt in the second accident, I got all 3 Wilton cake decorating certifications with the hope that I could work as a cake decorator to put myself through film school, either as a decorator or as a teacher of cake decorating. I can’t do much in the way of cake decorating now due to the arm strength needed and back pain from bending over the cake. I do still try and decorate for family and friends as needed. Though it tends to end in agonizing pain and even missing the event for which I tried to make a cake.

For my little brother Scott’s birthday, he was getting together with a few friends to drink, play video games, and generally just have a wild time. I really wanted to do something special. I had cake mix already which I talked my mom into baking into cupcakes for me since my power mixer and such wasn’t at her house for me to use. I can’t make cake batter by hand anymore either. Since I’m perpetually broke, I had Scott pick up some cream cheese frosting at the grocery store. I felt bad he had to buy his own frosting, and it’s much better to make your own frosting so you have better consistancy, but I couldn’t manage that either. I put color into the tubs he brought over and he whipped in the color by hand for me. He helped me to then decorate all the cupcakes to look just like beer bottle caps! It was really fun to teach him about cake decorating and get to make something nice for his party. We didn’t have time to google any pictures, so all these bottle caps were done from our collective memory.

The little bit of decorating that he and I did that afternoon still ended up being too much for me, but I think you’ll agree, it was worth the pain! Don’t they look great?

cupcakes decorated to look like various bottle caps

The Bazaar

October 18, 2009

I spent a great deal of my free time lately working on goodies to send my grandmother for her church bazaar. Every year I make sure a batch of my crafts make it out to Riverside, CA for her to sell at her annual craft bazaar. This year I made 24 wood burned spoons, 18 pairs of earrings, and a cute candy corn hat.

The designs on the spoons are from clip art and some are orignal drawings. I’m most fond of the lizard and adobe spoons which I drew freehand. My mom also helped making a few of the spoons since she wanted to see how my wood burner that Grandma got me worked. It’s much faster than other wood burners I’ve used, but highly detailed designs still take a great deal of time. It’s the Walnut Hollow set that you can get here.

The earrings are all made in my usual charm style. Matching up which beads you want to use often takes much longer than actually doing the wire work necessary to create them.

As for this awesome little hat, I originally made it for myself, but it just wasn’t quite long enough to cover my ears so I figured it would be better off going to a kid who has a smaller head.

Hopefully, getting all this done means I can continue to attack my Halloween costumes full force.