Monday, December 28, 2009

✻ Knitting in the New Year ✻

Crocheting flowers will always be my number one hobby, but I am also going to take up a bit of knitting in the new year. Why the knitting itch? Hard to say, but the art of perfecting knitted socks is a challenge I'm taking on !!

To begin, I had to do some research to find out which method of sock knitting I wanted to learn. Since I am a clean slate sock maker, this was an exciting part of the journey. I found out that there are three main methods. The standard way uses multiple sticks called double pointed needles. There is also a method that uses one very long circular needle. In the end, the technique that snagged my real interest was one that uses two circular needles to create the sock. Now how was I going to learn to do this?

Santa brought me two Cat Bordhi books for Christmas, "New Pathways for Sock Knitters" and "Personal Footprints". Her instructions are written for her preferred two circular needles method, but she also gives tips for the other techniques. I've been pouring over my new books - fascinated by the art of knitting footwear.

I finished my first two baby sized socks yesterday, after much learning and stumbling. Knitting basics were something I have picked up over the years, but this experience tested my ability to teach my hands new crafting positions, and my mind new pattern reading skills. Getting used to using two circular needles was very interesting. I almost thought it was impossible, then I found Cat's teaching videos. Seeing the needles in action was very helpful indeed !!

knit sock circular needle cat bordhiSo here is my little learning sock. I am amazed that I made this cutie !! It is knitted all in one long thread, from the cuff to the toe. Cat's method keeps everything logical and flowing. Next I'll learn how to make the sock from the toe to the cuff. Great fun to come !!

And so you know that I'm still making my crocheted flowers, here is a side project I've been doing. This are a bunch of crocheted blue columbines. These blooms are the state flower here in Colorado where I live.

Colorado Blue Columbine Crocheted FlowerWhat challenges are you taking on in 2010?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

♥ Love The Holidays ♥

My online community has not let me down this holiday season. I went looking for some great items and I was not disappointed. Here are 4 of my favorite holiday inspired, Christmas tree related, finds. Please click each picture to be taken to the item, and spend some time looking around the fine shops of these artists. I guarantee doing so will bring you holiday cheer !! christmas tree
Let's start bold. This pendant is called "Christmas Tree on The Window Ledge". So fun and creative ! The artist is Zeba, who makes "jewelry that dares you to be different". noel christmas treeNext, is a Christmas Tree hanging ornament, handmade by DycheDesigns. This piece is sculpted from clay, painted, then sealed with a clear spray. I like the elegant simplicity of the symbol and the message.

christmas tree bumblebeeThese sweet plush bumblebees are wearing Christmas Trees on their heads. Just for fun ! Artist BombusLane created these two from fleece, and has a number of other critters in the shop too.

bell holiday red greenThese unique tree ornaments are made from actual acorn tops, with festive bells attached. I just get filled with holiday cheer thinking about them decorating a tree, a package, or even hanging in a doorway !! Artist pinkbeeb0 has certainly created something special and fun !!

I hope you have enjoyed exploring on Please have a peaceful, wonderful holiday season.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

✈ Bird Watching ✈

Birds are a special feature on our property and surrounding grasslands. We share our land with meadow larks, hawks, sparrows, burrowing owls, lark buntings, and occasionally golden and bald eagles. In the spring we also see herons migrating through. Although our lake dried up in the 2002 drought, we are planning to build a new one that birds can share with us.

With winter now set in, temperatures are cold, winds are blowing, and snow is not uncommon. Despite these conditions, a nice group of Horned Larks are outside our windows on most days.

bird larkI took a few pictures of these cute little birds this morning. The wind was blowing our fresh snow around, yet there were about 15 little birds working the ground for food.

bird larkThe second picture shows the little horns these birds are named for. It was hard to get a picture of their faces since they were so busy pecking for food.

I hope you enjoy bird watching too. Leave me some comments about what kind of birds you are seeing this time of year.