Crafty Bird

Welcome to my nest of fibre, fabric, paper, and beads...

Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Thanks for dropping by! I have a passion for all sorts of crafty goodness. Creating items with my hands and heart is a perfect complement to my working life.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Happy New Year!

Ah, the holidays! I have to say I become less excited about Christmas the longer I am on this planet; however, my indifference doesn't really concern me too much. My excitement over the holidays has waxed and waned over the years depending on my personal situation (where I am living, who I am with) and my financial situation. I don't have children, my partner's family is Jewish, and the cult of consumerism that can envelope the holidays is just, well, disheartening to me.

However, I do love the twinkling lights, the friendliness freely given by strangers, and the excitement of gathering with loved ones - that is something worth celebrating all year long. Another favourite is hearing from friends that have been out of touch through correspondence or telephone calls.
And I love to send a few cards out to those I have been remiss in keeping in touch with. Here are some cards I made to send to friends and family - love to make cards!
I also managed to make a few gifts: the green mittens I posted about in early December ;
A dishcloth for my dear friend Carley who is in Turkey at the moment. I love the stitch pattern repeat on this one: *yarn over, knit 2, pass yo over 2 knit stitches* ; I also knit a toque made from Rowan Biggy Print as well as a removable flower pin for my neice-in-law (no photo!) ; and, finally, a beret

made from Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk and knit in seed stitch on 5 mm addi turbos
for my mother ; I liked this one so much, I'm making one for me too! I just made a few, quick knits, but then, this was meant to be a low-stress holiday!

I did recently started a pair of Hedera socks from with Fleece Artist sock yarn (from the stash). I am loving the mix of clear blues and soft grey in this yarn. I'm knitting them magic loop style on addi US#1 and I've turned the heel on the first sock (woo hoo!). These puppies are for moi and I am enjoying them very much so far...very nice pattern...easy to memorize...pretty to look at.

I also have a larger finished object to report: River. It turned out beautifully and I was able to wear it to A's company party and a few other times over the holidays. I will take pictures and report properly once I get the software loaded for our long-awaited family present: a digital slr camera! We picked up a Nikon D50, which is being discontinued, at a descent enough price and I am very excited at the prospect of taking some yarntastic pics of my knitting projects (and craft projects too)!

Happy New Year to all. I wish you the very best for 2007! Be happy and be safe.

Friday, December 08, 2006


If you are in need of a nice lace scarf pattern, and you want to put your money to a good cause, click on over to Lisa Shobhana Mason's blog: my life in stitches. The pattern comes in a pdf form, with a "thank you" from Lisa herself - and it's cheaper than a gingerbread latte!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

linocutting 101

I love to learn new crafty skills and techniques and a few weekends ago I had the pleasure of taking a linocutting class at a local art supply store. It was a great day of learning and creating - just what I needed! The instructor was wonderful giving us the information we needed with enough time to let the new information sink in as we developed a design for our stamp. We created a 2 colour stamp by first drawing a design on the linocut block and carving out the design on the lines. Here's a picture of the block after it was carved.
This first version of the stamp was printed on all of the cards using the lighter colour of ink. I used gold, then mixed in some silver as I went along, and then added a teal (which looks green when mixed with the metallic paint). The print on the left shows the base layer of ink.
The next step is to carve out more of the design on the block - this is the area that will remain the colour of the first block print. For the second printing of the block, I used a dark purple, black, and brown on the different cards. You can see the image with the second layer of ink on the right in the photo above. I really love the results of all of the cards!

I also twisted the stamp 180 for a few of the prints ... I like how these images look so different than the others.

Our instructor advised us to sign the cards as limited edition prints - how fun! I titled my set "Peonies", one of my favourite flowers. I'm going to send a few of these out for Christmas/Hannukah cards and save the rest for special correspondence.

Tonight I had the opportunity to visit with a few knitters at a local coffee shop. I had a great time! So nice to sit, knit, and chat with these two lovely women. I haven't been able to find a local s&b group in town so I really hope that we will be able to meet on a regular basis in the new year and maybe even add a few people.

peace ... courage ... acceptance
::: may all of these be with you


Monday, December 04, 2006

Breaking the Ice

Hi there! Well, I seem to get in these non-blogging ruts where I know I haven't blogged in forever, but I just can't get a post down... silly me. I have been knitting a bit, crafting a bit, working on the thesis, and also enjoying the socializing that comes with the impending holidays.
Port Hardy, BC

I've been making a few gifts for people so please excuse the vagueness surrounding who the items are intended for - it'll just be a surprise! A few weeks ago during the rainiest, windiest, snowiest day in a long while, I travelled up Vancouver Island for a research workshop. We couldn't make it to our destination that day because of a mud slide blocking the highway, but did manage to arrive the next morning. I wasn't driving so I had plenty of time to work and knit in the back seat. A great distraction from the horrible weather.

RY Cashsoft 4ply Beanie

I was hoping to start on Grumperina's Odessa hat pattern, however, I forgot one set of needles. I improvised and made a simple 3 x 2 rib beanie out of the lovely Rowan RY Cashsoft 4ply I brought with me (knit with 3.25 mm Addi circulars-magic loop).

We've had plenty of snow and cold weather here on the west coast over the past week or so, which is great for staying indoors with a hot cup of tea and some knitting. I completed a fantastically quick pair of mittens from the Fleece Artist "Favourite Soft Mittens" kit.

The mitts are knit with 4.75 mm dpns using one strand of Blue Face Leicester 100% wool and one strand of mohair, both in a deep green/brown colourway. The mohair gives them a lovely fuzziness. I only used 99 grams of the yarn and have about 30 grams of each yarn left over. Maybe I should make a third mitt just in case one gets lost ;-)

I have not been working on my Embroidered Stockings with just the embroidery to finish them. I also have stalled on my Norwegian stockings, but I am hoping that the Stranded Colourwork Knitalong will give me a bit of motivation! I've put the button on the sidebar in case you are interested in participating or just taking a peek at what people are working on.

You may notice the link to "Finished Knits" on the sidebar - the link is to my knits set using Flickr pictobrowser. I think it's an cleaner way to view photos in Flickr as you don't have to go to the Flickr site and then click on the set you want to view. If you want info on how to add it to your blog, just look the bottom right corner on the new page.

Thank you for your comments on the felted slippers - they are keeping A's feet toasty warm.

I hope to be back soon ... in the meantime, be well.