The Sweatshop of Love Blog

twitter facebook rss contact

December, 2011

Mochimochi Nativity

Yesterday was my last day in Chicago for quite a while. Today I’m off to Michigan for the holiday, then next week I pack all the rest of my Chicago belongings up and bring them to Minneapolis. I’ve got a friend subletting my Chicago apartment, and I won’t be back until May.

Tiny Knit Nativity

So yesterday I blew it out. A four hour boozy lunch with my most loved coworkers rolled into an evening of tiny knitting with a few of my best knitting friends. We fashioned this nativity featuring chicken baby Jesus complete with his first meal (hot dog), gnome Joseph and Mary, a lion serving as security, and an exit strategy (plane!)

A Few Angels

My contributions were these three angels, Teeny Tiny Mochimochi Angels, I knit a few days ago. I brought them to show off because they turned out so adorable! I’m so glad I did because they added greatly to our nativity scene.

Gnome!

And while we were hanging out last night I knit up this gnome. It’s really fun knitting these with an appreciative audience, because any tiny finished part of each object gets a huge delighted squeal! It really is the only way to knit.

Blasphemy? Nah

Yesterday was an amazing way to say goodbye to Chicago, all the things I love about this city, and the people I love here. So it’s time to start embracing another winter in Minneapolis! It’s just as well I have no plans to leave the house between January and April because I’ve got so many amazing projects on the horizon. But more about that later.

In the mean time, happy holidays! Sneak in some knitting between gigantic meals and parties!

Pattern: Teeny Tiny Mochimochi Angels and Tiny Things Collection 3 by Anna Hrachovec

Yarn: Knit Picks Palette

Needles: Size 2 DPNs

Angels Ravelry Project Page ~ Gnome Ravelry Project Page

100% Handmade for the Holidays

Every single gift I’m giving this season is handmade. 100%. If I didn’t make it with my own two hands, I bought it from someone who did.

My Knit Gifts

I knit 15 gifts this year. I started in July! I worked in other knitting along the way and I’m taking a break from putting the finishing touches on a few things to write this post, 3 days before Christmas. There is stuff in that pic I haven’t written here about yet because I want them to be a surprise! So yeah. I’ve been a really busy knitter.

I’m lucky to have a lot of people in my life who appreciate handmade gifts. And I’m pretty good at finding patterns for ridiculous things that are joke gifts, which helps!

Soldier Field L Sign by CitizenShay

I’ve also got people on my list that don’t appreciate hand knits as much as others, so in those cases I’ve found other people to fill in the gap. I got this print of a Chicago L sign for Soldier Field for my dad, because while he is a Lions fan, he comes to Soldier Field every year for a Lions Bears game, and Chicago is awesome, so this printed canvas is a fun reminder of that. CitizenShay has lots of fun Chicago L signs and are worth checking out!

Octophant Print

I thought my brother Matthew would like this print from Octophant, who does a lot of crazy interesting prints and illustrations. My brother is really into history and music, and the medieval feel of this gig poster I thought fit the bill.

So there you have it! I’m 100% handmade for the holidays. There is always room for improvement, of course. I bought my holiday cards and never got to the mitten gift tags I wanted to make. Next year I’ll be even MORE hand made. Because that is just how we roll.

FO: 2 Sets of Hot Stripes Kitchen Towels

You know that project you have laying around for ages and keep telling yourself you’ll get to and then forget about until you wake up in a cold sweat after having a nightmare about it?

… no? Wait, that’s weird?

Hot Stripes Dish Towels and Dishcloths

According to my ravelry page, I cast these on in September. Back then Christmas knitting was something I could ease into, and I knew two special ladies that would love a set of my Hot Stripes Kitchen Towels. In a million years, because Christmas was a million years away, and I had a lot of other things to work on in the mean time.

One Hanging Towel, Two Dishcloths Each

Then about a week ago I was looking at my holiday knitting list, thinking I was doing pretty well, and saw this WIP. WHERE?! WHAT?! HOW?! I dug a finished hanging towel and half a dishcloth out of the bottom of a knitting bag I hadn’t looked at in 2 months and went into Hulk-smash mode to finish the rest.

Ready to Wrap!

These are really fun to knit, if I do say so myself. I used all the original colors from the pattern because they’re, well, really hot. So if you are looking for a last minute gift, hit this pattern up! You can knock out a dishcloth in about 4 hours, and a dish towel in about 5.

Pattern: Hot Stripes Hanging Dish Towel and Hot (Diagonal) Stripes Dishcloth by me

Yarn: Lily Sugar’N Cream in Green, Hot Green, Hot Orange, and Yellow

Needles: Size 7s

Ravelry Project Page

FO: Yoda

My brother Adam is a big child, in the best sense. His favorite Christmas movie is Die Hard. His favorite actor is Sylvester Stalone. Star Wars ranks pretty high on his list of favorite things ever. Thus, his Christmas present.

Ridiculous He Is!

I tried to get one of the cats to pose with him, but I’m pretty sure they’re terrified of him. And for good reason! He looks like a little demon in a robe.

Kind Of Scared You Are!

I had to do a little modifying for the face, so he doesn’t look as much like Yoda as the original pattern called for. The pattern had you knit eyelids and kind of glue the safety eyes to the insides of the eyelid part. I knew that babies would be playing with him, so I didn’t want eyes that would be relatively easy for a child to pull out. So I ended up seaming the eyelids in place, and putting the safety eyes right into the head. I think it still works!

Fully Clothed He Is!

This pattern had like 3150931 parts! From four sections of feet to the belt to the toe nails, he was a pain in the ass to make! But the pattern is spectacular. Really thorough with tons of step by step pictures and clear directions.  I’d recommend you  not need to finish this in a weekend. At some point I blacked out and seamed a sleeve in as the hood. It got ugly. But he’s done and on time!

I can’t wait to knit up one of Phoeny’s other amazing designs. Dobby! Knitting sheep! Harry Hopper!

Pattern: Yodi the Jelly Master by Phoeny

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease in Green, Linen, and Coffee

Needles: Size 6 dpns and straights

Ravelry Project Page

KAL: Thank You!

Our knit along may be over, but our Aidez are still coming together. I know mine is blocking as I type! FO shots will be rolling in over the next few weeks. So keep chugging along and be sure to keep us posted over on the ravelry forum, and if you are REALLY far behind don’t worry about it! I’ll keep checking in over there from time to time to make sure everyone finishes.

Bets DuBois Aidez

Share FO pics as you get them! I know a lot of people are just as invested in seeing your progress as I am. Let’s do this!

mum2grls' instensive seaming!

Finished? Ready for our next KAL? It will be kicking off on February 6th. The official announcement with yarn suggestions won’t be for another couple weeks, but if you want to get thinking about your next sweater, you MAY want to SHOOT OVER HERE for a SNEAK PEEK!

Betsy's Casualty!

Thank you so much for knitting along with me. I can’t wait to do it again in a couple months!

Nina's Aidez

My Mom's Aidez and Belt In Progress