Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall, Nests, and Micro Gardens

Nature has always been a huge inspiration to me.  The colors, the shapes, and the human hand in curating it.   This spring, I got really into terrariums and indoor gardens.  The flower inside the "cloche" above is a miniature violet.  African violets and similar varieties tend to do well in an enclosed area, though this guy hasn't given me a bloom yet.  A little more singing and plant food may help.  When I began this obsession, I picked up a really great book on the subject.  The New Terrarium is a splendid resource for all things miniature garden including planting directions and a great list of suitable plants for cozy indoor growing.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Favorite Stitches

Happy Sunday!  

Today I'd like to share one of my favorite (and super quick and easy) knitting stitches.  I found this stitch last year in an old knitting book entitled "The Complete Book of Knitting."  This was my mom's knitting book, printed back in 1971 and scribed by Barbara Abbey.  It's been my go to resource since I began knitting, though it is super hardcore instructional.  I agree that it is in fact a complete book of knitting.

So, this stitch has a great name: the modified schiaparelli stitch, sort of like the famous designer.  The stitch however, looks like dragon scales (great for all those Friday nights staying home watching Harry Potter and knitting).  It's also a fairly warm stitch.  

Last year I made a sweater using the schiaparelli.  

Requirements: Make sure your rows are in multiples of four plus 2 extra stitches.  My swatch is 20 stitches wide.  

Alrighty, here we go!

First, cast on your chosen number of stitches
Purl one row

Row 1:  * Knit 2 st.  Yarn over.

knit 2 more sts

Pull the YO over the last knit 2

Drop the YO off the needle.  Repeat to end, beginning with *

Row 2:  Purl all sts

Row 3: *YO

knit 1 (pictured).  knit 1 more...

Pull YO over knit 2.

Drop YO off the needle.  Continue to end, beginning with *.

Row 4: Purl all stitches.
Repeat these 4 rows!

There you have it. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sweet Surprises

This weekend we're off to Dylan's homeland, so I arose early this morning in order to get this package in the mail and on its way.  I wanted to quick share this simple but thoughtful wrapping technique!  Take a paper lunch sack as the main wrapping agent.  Use string (or whatever you have lying around) and tie.  Use a button, or vintage key, or pom pom, and use that as your bow "centerpiece".  Draw a small icon in the area under where you will place an envelope with card (i found these great miniature envelopes from muji).  Now, when your opener moves the card, they are pleasantly surprised by what they find.  And the actual gift isn't half bad either!