~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~ Ginny at small things

Yarn-along:  April 17, 2013

Yarn-along: April 17, 2013

Good morning … it’s a rainy, foggy day here (temp is 59 at 0625) but we’ll have a good day since we have fun stuff planned … we homeschool … and we know that summer is almost here.

Cranford: A Beaded Bag

Cranford: A Beaded Bag

Last week, I showed you the bracelets we’ll be doing at Saturday’s Knitting Workshop … here’s a picture of the Cranford design I worked up for those who aren’t into bling. It’s a fun bag pattern and the beads add just a bit of whimsy. The pattern for this bag … as well as the Beaded Bangle … will go live on Saturday evening (after the participants at the workshop get their copies). I’ll have about two dozen people in the class on bead-knitting .. so it should be fun to see them experience the creativity of adding beads to ANY knitting project. It’s fairly addictive, too.

I have since moved on to working on the Knit Picks version of my Miss Ellie’s Garden. The original design was knit in a worsted-weight, washable wool called Summit Hill (from Kraemer). I loved the colors. But, oh, the colors for the KP version! I’m using KP’s Shine Worsted, 60% cotton and 40% modal, which knits up so soft and fluffy! The stitch definition is great and I can’t wait to see the final product. It knits up fast, too (doesn’t split at all and is easy to “ladder down” if when I make a slight mistake). This will make a nice cozy blanket — I’m renaming it, “Miss Maggie’s Garden”, because I’ll change it up a bit and it will end up in Kit’s room as these are her favorite colors. Here’s a closeup of the work to-date:

Miss Maggie's Garden

Miss Maggie’s Garden

On the book front, I’m reading lots of books on re-purposing flea-market finds. I’m having a great time putzing around the local “antique” stores and second-hand shops … finding fun things to work on. I’m very interested in shifting my design work from exclusive knit-wear to home fashions: pillows, throws, covers, etc. There are so many cool ideas rolling around my head and I’m reading up on refinishing and recycling and repurposing to spur the creative juices even more. This week’s haul includes: Find & Keep by Beci Orpin (a beautifully illustrated book of making fun furnishings, objet d’ars and toys from “found” items) and Salvage-Style Projects from This Old House (packed with great ideas for using architectural pieces in unusual ways). These books are so fun to read!

To finish up our WW2 unit … I found World War II for Kids … this has proven a treasure-trove of ideas for making the War come alive for the kids. The historical synopses give a great summary while the activity (including code creating/breaking, rationing game, military strategy, censored letting writing, etc) that completes each mini-unit is fun and helps us see what it may have been like. I highly recommend this one for a true, living-books, history unit!

I did just finish The Locket’s Secret … and passed it on to 13yo Kit for her “take”. It’s a pretty well-written middle-school novel about loss and starting over and family and finding joy. For my full review, click here.

So, what’s on your needles and your reading table? Won’t you come play with us …

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