20 December 2006


from The Christmas Songbook and my workshop, all good wishes

Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse's lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah 'twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind.
To show God's love aright, she bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

The shepherds heard the story proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of glory was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped and in the manger found Him,
As angel heralds said.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
True Man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

O Savior, Child of Mary, Who felt our human woe,
O Savior, King of glory, Who dost our weakness know;
Bring us at length we pray, to the bright courts of Heaven,
And to the endless day!

19 December 2006


aka Mister (Baby) Green Jeans

Elio's denim pair (the pattern prototype) were only recently retired after being worn and machine-washed at least once weekly for well over a year; my husband and I were so sorry to see them go into the box of outgrown baby clothes, I had to make another pair.

MATERIALS: Four skeins 1824 Wool in Basil and one in Sprout, five yards or so of off-white dk weight cotton for embroidered topstitching details (I think this is Peaches and Creme), Holland wool felt in Willow and Valdani embroidery floss in Basil for the patch, 1" wide elastic for the waist
TOOLS: size US5 needles, needle for sewing up, embroidery needle
PATTERN: My own co-authored with Kay and published in knitty (see "blu" in the sidebar recipes)
GAUGE: 5 stitches to the inch
MODIFICATIONS: This is the largest size in the published pattern that was written for Rowan Denim. I tweaked the pattern to give fuller, straighter legs like those of a pair of my son's sweatpants the fit of which I really like. Instead of casting on 59 stitches, I cast on 65. Because it seems to me that wool wants to curl more than cotton, I knit the first four rows in garter stitch and then continued the "cuff" in reverse stockinette as specified in the pattern; the garter stitch keeps the edge from curling and is hardly noticeable against the reverse stockinette. Instead of increasing as specified, I increased one on both edges of every tenth row before the seat and crotch shaping until I had 75 stitches. I did the shaping as written in the published pattern and followed the instructions to the letter from that point on. A thorough wet-block pin-down made the pieces lie flat for seaming. These should see a lot of action over the holidays, so I'll report back about wearability and maintenance to anyone who lets me know they might try the pattern in wool.

15 December 2006

pine fresh

soft tree gifts

Here's what I did with that brilliantly simple pattern from little birds handmade. I made the smallest size directly from the pdf into ornaments; the others are made from the pattern enlarged 129% and 154%. These are for my mom, sisters, sisters-in-law and neices. I pulled out my stash and picked fabric that made me think of each of them as I worked.

09 December 2006


The recent catalog from Paper Source included craft letters to cover with decorative paper. Here's where I took their idea. Wet-felted wool balls came to the rescue over the e. Here's the link to the letters page at the Paper Source site. I used this paper and PVA adhesive to cover the fronts of the letters after tracing them in reverse onto the wrong side of the paper in pencil and cutting them out with an x-acto knife.

08 December 2006

past present

a great craft with older children

Remember icosahedron ornaments from grade school? I save cards from birthdays and other celebrations (and from interesting packaging) to make these and now Bruno enjoys revisiting the year as he chooses images for an ornament. Here are MS Living's directions. And here's my tip: to form the equilateral triangle template, mark the extra cardstock circle like a clock face by placing a dot at 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, and 9 o'clock and then marking the spots where the numbers in between should go. Draw lines from 12 o'clock to 4 o'clock, from 4 o'clock to 8 o'clock, and from 8 o'clock to 12 o'clock and cut. Older children using compasses and protractors could make their triangles even more precise.

PS Coooooool. I asked my husband how to inscribe an equilateral triangle in a circle using Euclidean geometry and he found this site.

05 December 2006

far out

a spaceboy for Elio

It took me a while to figure out which fabrics to use, but when I hit the right combination, this too-much-fun project from wee wonderfuls came together in a day of sporadic crafting (wrangling with the Elio being the main distraction). Please note the shrinky-dink Alain Mikli circa 1984 lunettes to go with the Norma Kamali epaulettes (for crystal specimen collection, naturellement).

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