Sunday, October 27, 2013

Vampire Knits

I'm giving myself a challenge.  I want to knit my way through the pattern book, Vampire Knits. By no means is this a new book, but I have had it for a few years and have pined over so many of the projects in that book that I HAVE to knit more from it.

Vampire Knits by Genevieve Miller was copywritten in 2010, so 3 years ago, this book came out about the time Twilight and all of that was the rage.  It is cleverly written with vampire folklore, quizzes related to dark characters like werewolves and vampires with each project having a very calculated name with a brief summary of why it was chosen.  This is a story, not just a book of patterns and pictures.
I have actually already knitted from this book.  My Shapehifter Shrug is from this book.
In that pic, I'm wearing it like Little Red Riding Hood, but it shows how cool the weaved pattern looks.  Here is a pic from the book:
I am going to do a count down with the ones from the book that I want to make.  The count down will be from the one I love the most down through the book, but it does not mean that I will knit them in that order.  I can't predict what I will be feeling like when it comes time to knit, so I will go with the flow and knit out of order as the mood strikes.
Here is my Top 9 (I already knitting one, so it really is a Top 10 list...)
Lore Hoodie
I have been in love with this project for-ev-ver.  This is what I should have knitting first, but I always talked myself out of it because it was a sweater with a hood that is not very Florida-like, calling for 100% wool.  Well, screw it!  I am going to knit this one with a more Florida-friendly yarn, like a cotton-acrylic or acrylic-wool blend.  My local knit shop has a yarn that I see each and every time I go in there and it screams, "Lore Hoodie!" at me.  I cannot resist much longer!  Help! 
Sidhe Shrug
This shrug is something that is a bit more practical for Florida.  Just two arms, with all the A/C around here, wearing tank-tops and spaghetti straps makes these shrugs a necessity!
The Black Veil
This scarf is so pretty!  One of it's features is these picots all the way around the edge.  I have attempted to knit this a few times now, but cannot seem to have the correct gauge/correct weight of yarn.  I do not know why I am not getting gauge, but I will just break down and buy the yarn it calls for and the guessing will be over. 
Vampire Diary Protector
This is not practical for me, but I love it so!  It makes me want to keep a journal, but I'm not going to fool myself, I won't write in it.  I should make it big enough so that it covers a 3-ring-binder that I place my printed patterns in.  That is much bigger than this book, though.  I will have to see about what it can go on before I take the plunge and cast-on.
Under the Cover of Midnight Hooded Cowl
No, she is not a conjoined twin.  Ha!  This is even more unpractical in Florida than the Lore Hoodie.  I may have to knit this as a gift for a Northener, or I use it when I make my annual trek to Mass to visit my family.  It would beat having a scarf and a hat. I love the cables and how snuggly it looks.  If it was knit with an alpaca blend...I would die for it!  Just Maybe...
Pulse Protectors
I really like the fingerless gloves better than the throat cover (cowl).  Cables are so striking with yarn that had great stitch definition, that you just want to wear them...even if it doesn't go with your shorts and tank-top.  Alas, most likely this will be a gift.  I cannot really see myself wearing them around here, but one day out of the year.  That won't stop me from knitting them, though!
Rampage Fishnet Gloves
I attempted this project back when I bought this book.  I ordered the special yarn with elastic in it and everything.  I could not even cast-on!  I think that I was trying to do too many things: A new cast-on, elastic yarn, in the round, and trying Magic Loop.  Too much!!!  I may revisit this again, these are really cool.  They are like evening glove length and then you weave a red ribbon at the end.  Very dramatic.
Werewolf Hat
This is a felted hat with ears.  How cute is this!?  I clearly will never wear it, but it is so hard to resist the temptation of knitting it!  Maybe I can give it as a gift to a kid, just knit it smaller.  I know there are some Team Jacob's on my Christmas list!
Glamour Earrings
These are like dripping blood.  I would have to go to the bead store and see what they have, but maybe I could just loosely use this pattern as a guide, because the odds of me finding these beads are very slim.  This looks like a simple project; it calls for DMC thread.  Oh boy, do I have embroidery thread...3 cases of it.
That concludes my Top 9 list of pattern projects in the Vampire Knits book.  I can't say that this will be an easy feat or that I will stick to only knitting these projects.  I have magazine subscriptions and I fall in love so easily with every pattern that it will be hard to stay on-track.
No way will I knit any of these items quickly.  Quickly and knit do not belong in the same sentence when it is pertaining to me and knitting.  I love the craft, but I'm just not that fast with it.  I wonder how long it will take me to knit all 9 of these projects???  Let the counting begin...

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Coffee Cup Cozies

At work we are a sponsor of the American Heart Association's charity Relay For Life, Westshore chapter in Tampa, FL.  Last year a group of us created a committee to form Team Xcelience, and we must fundraise leading up to the event, which will be in April of 2014. 
One of the fundraising ideas we had was to create the Xcelience Yellow Pages, which employees with a skill or talent can "sell" their skill or expertise for a fee and donate the fee to the charity.  It was a big hit.  I had an "ad" which was Sewing by Nancy  or something like that and I was able to earn over $70 just mending people's pants and repurposing t-shirts and all other sewing-related tasks.  Not too shabby, if you ask me!
I will do the same this year and also have a second "ad" with a few coworkers to make crafts to sell.  I wanted to come up with an idea that was easy, fast and cheap.  I came up with Coffee Cup Cozies.  I will knit them in a ribbed pattern.  I plan on making a few and see how well they do, then consider making more.  I have made a few already:

Well, not exactly a coffee cup, it is basically a sleeve that will go on a hot cup of take-out coffee, instead of using the cardboard sleeve they offer you at the cafĂ©.  This is a greener way to drink coffee!
I have made a few in a variegated cotton yarn and one in Lion Brand Homespun.  The Homespun is the pink one in the pic.  It was my prototype and came out cute!

I am working on another one now that I am holding two yarns together to give a confetti look.  I'm not sure I am crazy about the colors I chose to go together, sort of 1980's looking, with the neon green-yellow yarn, but I will continue it.  you never know who will like it.

Here are the balls that I am currently using:

I have a TON of yarn that I will use up.  I really do not want buy new yarn, only because I really can't charge too much for them.  Each one takes roughly an hour and I was going to charge either $3 or $5.  How much is too much??  And will anyone even buy them??
Right now, I am only doing a k2, p2 ribbing in the round, but I do plan on changing it up.  Stayed tuned.