Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Baby Blanket Bonanza

The agency I work for has a project that specializing in educational advocacy for our clients. The project assists children in foster care, who are often placed in the wrong educational setting, face problems due to multiple school transfers, or may be dealing with suspensions and expulsions, in addition to many other educational needs. I received an email recently asking for donations to the project's annual fundraiser; a silent auction and gala. It didn't take me long to decide to knit something for the auction (donors get free admission to the event!), but it did take me a while to decide what to make. The event is in April - not exactly knitwear season.

After some discussion with a coworker who is part of the even organizing committee, I decided to knit up some baby items. I've started with the largest project first - a dishcloth baby blanket.

I am really satisfied with how the blanket is turning out so far. The yarn is a little annoying, but I love the colors and it is 75% acrylic so it will be very easy to care for. (It is Martha Stewart Extra Soft Wool Blend for those of you who want to know).  I like this project a lot. Much more than the Pinwheel baby blanket I started almost two months ago, which has completely lost its appeal.

I have to finish both of these projects soon, though. The auction is in two weeks, and the baby the Pinwheel blanket is for is due next month!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The bead adventure

I have been thinking about making stitch markers to give as gifs and sell on Etsy for a while. I have very little beading experience so of course I turned to the internet for help. There are several good stitch marker tutorials, but I was still feeling a little lost, especially when it came to the wire wrapping. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was walking with a friend in Chelsea when we stopped into a little bead store called Beads of Paradise. The shop has lots of beads, of course, as well as keychains, wallets, figurines, and wall hangings from around the world. I am not sure exactly how they acquire these products - if they are made in sweatshops or purchased at a fair price from artisans - but it is a colorful collection of weird and wonderful stuff at any rate. Long story short, as we were browsing I spotted a little sign that read "Jewelry Class Sunday at 1:00 p.m." After a little research, I discovered that the class was the "Findings Crash Course" where students learn pearl knotting and some basic wire wrapping, and everyone takes home a bracelet, necklace, and pair of earrings, as well as some beading tools and a little carrying case. Of course I signed up right away! And here are the results:

My necklace and bracelet. I started with a pattern on the necklace, but it was taking too long so the second half is kind of random. 

Earrings! These are my favorite! If it looks like one is longer than the other, that's because it is. But I love them anyway. 

Now, you might think that after this class I would immediately run home and start my own little stitch marker production company. But that was not the first thing I did. No, the first thing I did was buy more beads.

So then I must have gone home and made stitch markers, right? Wrong. I decided I would try some simple crochet jewelry.

What about the stitch markers? I finally did make some. They didn't turn out beautiful like the ones in the tutorials, but they turned out. Unfortunately, I didn't think about getting a pic of them until it was too late. They were a present for a fellow social work knitter.

A disaster!

I just noticed that all of my blog posts for February are missing. I am working on getting the content back up as soon as I can. I think I will just add it as new posts. Sorry, everyone!