Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Catching Up... Ornament Swap, 2012

One of my favorite things about every Christmas holiday season is the annual ornament swap that my knitting group does. I've participated since my first Christmas as a member String Thing, and over the years have amassed quite a collection of beautiful, handmade ornaments for our Christmas tree.

In our swap, we usually each make five ornaments, and we each receive five ornaments to take home. Since more than 5 people are swapping, you don't get every ornament, so I love to take photos of the display table so I can remember the ornaments that go home with others.

String Thing Ornament Swap, 2012 String Thing Ornament Swap, 2012 String Thing Ornament Swap, 2012 String Thing Ornament Swap, 2012 String Thing Ornament Swap, 2012

Mine are the string ornaments in the bottom photo. I used the instructions from this tutorial to make them, except no bells. Next year I have to remember to start on ornaments waaaay earlier. I always am unhappy with my first batch and then have to rush to do a second!

Many thanks to the ├╝ber-creative Cocoaeyesthestitcher for being our organizer and motivator. She also did a lovely round up of this years' ornaments with way awesome-r photos.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Catching Up... SAFF 2012

Last fall, I had my first SAFF experience. SAFF is held each fall at the WNC Agriculture Center in Fletcher, NC, not too far from Asheville. So fun! What better way to spend a weekend than a trip to the NC mountains for some fibery fun? I went along with some lovely friends from my knitting group, and we rented a mountain cabin for a couple of nights. We did a full day at SAFF, and had a bit of time to putt around Asheville for sights and supper.


My girls know how to shop! Here is our collective haul:
SAFF Haul 2012
Makes you want to dive right on in.

Its so interesting to see what everyone comes away with. Going with a group is fun, because other people are bound to zone in on things you might not have noticed. And it's easy to miss stuff when bombarded from all directions with all the fabulous colors and textures.

I did a good job staying in my budget, but this is because I had plans for my moolah once I got home (more on that later). Some lovely things did manage to make their way home with me, though:

SAFF Haul 2012
Bottom row: The braid is from Unwind, the burgundy and gray skeins are Dream in Color Smooshy, the batt is from Tangled Up in Wool. On the next row up, the pink skein is from Steam Valley Fiber, the blue is Miss Babs (oh the looove!), and above that is a spindle from the Woolery, where I also purchased the white rug warp. At the top is some goat milk fudge and soap. The things in the upper right corner belong to someone else.

I went to SAFF with a list, thinking that would help me keep on from impulse buys, but honestly, I don't think this is a great way to shop at this type of event. I quickly gave up on looking for anything specific (except, perhaps, some particular vendors I knew I wanted to buy from), and just let things speak to me. My practice is to wander around the floor, see what catches my eye, and if something sticks in my mind after I've left the booth, I go back for it later.
SAFF Haul 2012

After we laid out all of our things together, I made sure to make notes of things that I wanted to check out next year in my SAFF booklet. Next year I'll have my eyes out for a project bag from Fleruy Sheep and Wool, Buda Botanicals fennel soap, and lace yarn from Skaska!

Friday, January 11, 2013

First FO of 2013!

Still running behind, but I have a whole backlog of things I'd like to share!

This, however, was just finished last week. A quickie little baby cardigan, knit for a drive my knitting group is doing for Welcome Baby, a local organization that collects and distributes diapers and clothing to folks who can really use them.

Concentric Circles Baby Sweater

This is the second time I've knit this cardi. I really like the look of it, and I like that it's a quick knit for those last-minute baby gifts. The pattern calls to knit each sleeve flat as you come to it, and then crochet slip stitch the seam to bring the working yarn back up to the main body. The only thing I would change the next time I do it, is to hold the sleeve stitches on a scrap yarn to work after the rest of the sweater is finished.

Concentric Circles Baby Sweater


Designer: Melissa Mall
Yarn: Various Red Heart Eco Scraps, mostly

My Ravelry Project page is here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Re-start

I've been thinking about this blog a lot. For years I've been thinking about resurrecting it (the ornaments in the post before this were from Christmas 2010!), but was having a hard time pinpointing what I wanted it to be. Do I want to archive all my old posts and start fresh? Do I want it to be knitting-centric, or just generally creative and about day-to-day happenings? Does anyone still happen by here occasionally (stats say yes!). I got stuck on if I wanted to update the template, move to a dedicated URL, renew my Flickr Pro account, reformat some of the older posts... it was easy to put off making decisions!

I've decided to just stop over-thinking, plough forward and start documenting whatever strikes my fancy, and what this blog will become (or remain) will come about naturally. I'm not sure I want to focus on any single thing, but you can be sure to see posts about knitting, cooking/food, general DIY-ness, fun internet finds, and more than likely, some cats. Maybe some rock n' roll. And some posts about where I  live in NC.

Hope you'll stick around :)

xo lekkercraft

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Christmas Ornaments

These are the ornaments I made this year for the annual ornament swap with my knitting group:
2010 ornaments

I followed a tutorial from Pinwheel Ponders, and used a bunch of different scrapbook papers I found on sale at AC Moore, but this would be a great way to recycle old Christmas and greeting cards, too.

I gave all of them away though! So I think I'll make a couple more, to keep for next year's tree.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

a very lekker new year

Image courtesy of VintageHolidayCrafts.com.

Perhaps some blogging again in 2011?

Friday, May 08, 2009

CSA - Week 1

I had been wanting to join a CSA for YEARS. There were some available in the New York City area, but I never participated because I didn't think I could get to some pick up location at the same time weekly. After moving, it was one of the first things I looked into. I looked through the offerings on Local Harvest, and signed up for the first one that opened up applications for the spring/summer season. But that was way back in NOVEMBER, and I still had to wait until MAY for the CSA to start! This is totally normal, and how the whole process works, I was just so excited to get going with it.

CSA stands for "Community Supported Agriculture," which has been increasing in popularity for the past decade, and has really started to boom in the past couple of years. A farm accepts shareholders who pay a bulk amount at the beginning of the growing season. Many farms offer full- or half-shares, depending on the size of your household. The farmer uses that money for seeds and supplies, etc., and when harvest season comes around, the shareholders receive a weekly box of vegetables -- and/or eggs, meat, flowers, or whatever the specific program offers -- for the length that the program runs. I like it especially because I know that my money goes directly to a local farmer, and I know I am getting the freshest, in-season produce that is grown right in my area.

I am looking forward to the challenge of cooking with what is available, rather than purchasing out-of-season sub-par ingredients that have been marked up a million times. One draw back that some people might find is that you might not have control over vegetables you receive. A picky eater might want to locate a CSA where you have the option to switch out items or one where you purchase credits and can use them weekly for the specific produce you want. Personally, I hope to find some mysteries in my box this summer. I encourage anyone interested in finding out more to take a look at the Local Harvest website.

As for my CSA, I think I got lucky in the program I joined. I am getting a half share weekly from Elysian Fields Farm, which will provide me with yummy veggies for the next 20 weeks. The farm practices organic and sustainable agriculture, which is a huge selling point to me. This is my first weeks takings:

CSA Week 1
Strawberries, Winterbor Kale, Boston Lettuce, Pink Beauty Radishes, Baby Turnips, Spinach

I've been snacking on the strawberries and radishes straight up, and have used the lettuce for lunchtime salads. Last night I used the turnips and their greens for a simple soup from The Art of Simple Food (and it was GOOD). I am thinking of trying kale chips with the kale, and the spinach is reserved for a bed for my potato salad I'm bringing to a family dinner tonight (which also includes someofthem radishes).

Does anyone else participate in a CSA? Let me know. I love hearing about different types of programs.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Sometimes, I knit

My knitting mojo has been crappy in 2009. Oh yes, I've been knitting for sure, but every project is either not working out, or going painfully slow (hello Riding to Avalon [Ravelry link]), or riddled with mindless knitting mistakes. I haven't finished one project yet. Not one, son.

I've been working on a baby gift, and whizzing right along, until I looked back, and realized I had missed a a few rows of garter stitch along the button band, very noticable. $#&^%&%%! I sure as heck did not intend to frog back that far when things were finally moving along, and especially with a lace pattern. I decided to tackle dropping the stitches and weaving them back up in the correct order.

Fixing Garter Stitch
I actually had to work my head around how to do this for garter stitch (I've done it countless times for stockinette). And lo, it is simple: Just alternate between inserting the crochet hook from the front and the back (I turned my work for each row) to alternate purl and knit stitches. That might be obvious to some, but I had to Google to double check...
Fixing Garter Stitch
Wow, it worked!
Bonus round: Can you tell what I'm knitting? I bet you can!