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(If you could sing the part in parentheses like “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, that would be great.)

Anyway, my Ongoing Wish Swap package from PhoenixFireDesigns arrived at my house while I was out of town, but I’ve gotten it now and snapped a photo:

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She claimed me for stitch markers and a “wisty surprise” (which I knew was a Tree of Life pendant). I love both things, but the tree is particularly lovely. Yesterday I went to Michael’s to get a chain to hang it on. : ) I don’t wear jewelry much, but I’m sure I can find and occasion to wear my lovely Tree of Life.

In knitting news: I’ve just started a project for the Ongoing Wish Swap (I know, again), and I’m also working on a tank top. And I have a FO that I never posted. Never fear, THERE WILL BE POSTS. : )

At long last, the items for the Craft my Wish Swap on Craftster have been sent and received by the intended parties, and I have finally received my final package from sg1psychopath, which came all the way from Great Britain and somehow managed to do that is less time than it took for Nikimac’s package to get from Virginia to Washington. *shrug*

Anyway, here’s what I got from sg1psychopath:

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Sweet buttons (the red ones will probably go on my version of Lilith, which I think I’m just going to design myself), a phone holder, which I will make an honest effort to use, a bookmark, a little box with shells (which she didn’t make but had around) and a pillow cover, which doesn’t have a pillow in because she (understandably) wanted to save on shipping, and one of these days, I’ll just haul my ass to Michael’s to get my own pillow form.

And here is what I made for my partners:

For Nikimac:

A little itsy-bitsy sweater for her baby due in July:

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I’m so excited I got to make this. : ) I used Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, US 10/6mm needles and the 5 Hour Baby Boy Sweater pattern. It’s so tiny and so cute! Now I want to make a ton of baby sweaters. : )

Also, this little earflap hat for her two-year-old son:

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I freehanded the pattern top-down using US 7/4.5mm dpns, red Ella Rae Class wool, and blue Lion Wool. The earflaps were picked up after casting off, and there’s a border of single crochet around everything. I love this hat too because it’s cute and tiny.

And also this kickass apron:

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Oh my God… This apron. It is my opus. Okay, not really. But it WAS extremely frustrating and turned out extremely AWESOME. I am kind of sad I don’t cook and therefore have absolutely NO use for any such thing because I really love it. Niki really loves it though, so that’s good. : )

I was going for a retro sort of look, and I think I got it. I found the fabric at Walmart on the day before send out (yep, I did this all the night before, as I do everything) for $1.50 a yard and bought a yard. And I used every inch. The white bits are pieces from various t-shirt scraps. The ruffle at the bottom was extremely frustrating and I did not enjoy sewing it on and poor Mary, my sewing machine, did not enjoy sewing it on either. She does not like knit fabric. Nor did she like this this, seersucker-ish fabric that the main bit of the apron is made of. But she pulled through like a champ, and it looks awesome. I am SO SO proud of this thing.

For JanelleJ:

Amigurumi Fruits and Veggies:

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With faces! Cute. Had to put these off til the last minute because I lack food-colored yarn at school. Fail. I actually intended to make many more of these than I actually did, but I ran out of time and also desire. And food colored yarn. So I have a pear, a lemon (which I made up and did NOT use a pattern for, even though there’s one on Ravelry), and an orange which actually looks more like a peach and I guess it doesn’t matter which. Pretty basic patterns.

A stuffed elephant:

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I improvised this design using Vanna’s Choice, left over from Talia way back. It’s based on the crochet elephants I used to make, and I definitely like the knit design much better. Mostly because I prefer knitting and find it’s much faster and much less annoying. *shrug* I think this little guy came out looking pretty cute though. : )

Headbands for her two-month-old:

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Basically some elastic and some fabric scraps. These were definitely a last minute decision, and I, of course, made them Thursday night. I like how them came out though. They were very simple, and I would definitely make them again given an occasion.

Decorated Notebooks:

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The smaller one I got in a previous swap but knew I would never use, so I slapped on a carrot (one of her desire themes/motifs) and called it a day. The other one I am MUCH more fond of, but I went through a couple different octopuses before settling on that one. I think that one is adorable though. The paper inside of it is the innards from a small notebook that was missing a cover. So I glued some black construction paper to the spine, slapped on an octopus, and called it a day.

And because I didn’t make anything large like the apron I made for Nikimac, I also threw in two skeins of Bernat Matrix and two spools of ribbon. You don’t need pictures of those.

I’ll be honest. I picked the Matrix because I wanted it out of the stash. I have no regrets.

So yesterday, as a lovely end to a fairly crappy day, I received one of two packages for the Craft my Wish swap on Craftster. This was something of a nontraditional swap in that the people/person you craft for are/is not the people/person you receive from. I’ll show you what I sent off in a later post, but here I’ll show you what I got from Craftster user zcrafter:

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A holder for my circular needles, a drawstring bag, and a vintage knitting magazine full of sweaters. I haven’t really flipped through the magazine yet, but I’m thinking it will be interesting and maybe have some cute vintage-y patterns. : )

I finished my Cavern Cardigan, button and all, in about a week and a half. The thing knit up EXTREMELY quickly.

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Specs:

Pattern: Cavern Cardigan from Cosmicpluto.
Needles: US 7/4.5mm 29″ circular and dpns.
Yarn: Almost exactly three skeins of Lion Brand Cotton-Ease
Modifications: Fewer raglan increases, fewer increases for the fronts, probably lengthened the body and the sleeves, changed the ties to a button/button flap.

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I really like how this came out, actually. I originally did the sleeves too short, so I ripped them back and made them longer, and now they fit perfectly. I love how it looks on me, and the cotton/acrylic blend is nice and light, perfect for cool spring/summer evenings. It’s just long enough and fits well across the bust. I think I am going to get a lot of wear out of this one. : ) And because I am a poor college student, I would certainly use cotton-ease again.

So now that this is finished, I need another sweater on the needles. I have a few patterns I’m considering, including the Climbing Vines Pullover from the Winter 08 Interweave Knits. That’ll probably be my next sweater project, in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes.

Speaking of sweaters: Around various blogs and Ravelry, I’ve seen reference to this knitting challenge, which is to knit a sweater for every month. I’ve decided this will be my goal. Here’s what I’ve done for this year so far:

January: Corona/Talia (I did them both in January)
February: Burgandy (Cable Cardi from Knit Simple)
March: Spring Cardi (Hey Teach)
April: Lime (I finished it in April. It counts).

I just placed a huge (almost $70) order from Knit Picks for enough Wool of the Andes to knit the Climbing Vines Pullover (in Lake Ice Heather, a lovely grey color). I also ordered a bunch of Comfy as well as a couple balls of a different color of WotA, some Palette for a shawl, and some knitting needles. Squee.

I finally received my tree swap package from Lunakitten on Craftster.

Let me just say it is fucking amazing:

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These AWESOME paintings on BOOK PAGES. Seriously, I am in awe. Until I obtain frames, they’re just chilling on my desk, but I’m totally going to frame them because they’re amazing.

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Tote bag. HUGE totebag. I could fit myself in this totebag. It is awesome. I shall carry everything I own in it. Or at least use it for my books. : )

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This BITCHIN’ box, which currently houses my button collection, meager though it is (my button collection, I mean. The box is kickass).

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Sweet stitch markers to add to my collection. These are so pretty!

Thanks a ton to my super AWESOME swap partner, Lunakitten. So much win!!

And here’s what I sent her:

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Pillow cover made from a bedsheet, random brown wool yarn, Red Heart yarn, and hair ties. The tree is freehand crochet (I made it up as I went along) and the cover is removable but buttons together with two crocheted buttons that secure via cannibalized hair tie.

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Another pillow cover. Made with a thrifted curtain, brown stretch knit fabric with houndstooth on one side, an old green tank top, part of a white t-shirt, the leg of some old jeans, a button, and a hairtie. Basically, I took parts from all the old clothes I had in my fabric stash. She (and her son) seem to really like this one and I am thrilled because I wasn’t thrilled with how it came out (though I guess it came out alright). It was fiddly as hell to sew the tree on there, and my sewing machine did not enjoy sewing through denim. I actually sent her two covers and one pillow form, so she could change them out as she saw fit, but apparently she just got another pillow form so she could display both. : )

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Made from a curtain, a cereal box, white paper, t-shirt scraps, awesome glue, ribbon, and dental floss. I did a bit of searching to find how the hell to do this, but I mostly just made it up. It was pretty easy, but if anyone wants a tut, let me know, and I’ll see what I can do.

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Possibly my favorite papercraft thing I’ve ever made ever. I just used construction paper and computer paper. I think they came out wonderfully, even though holepunching for the autumn tree took a VERY long time. I love how it came out though. Also, look at the cute little bird on the spring tree:

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So cute.

The gallery for this swap is located here if you want to see more trees.

And because I forgot to mention it before, the gallery for the quotes swap is here in case you want to see more quote crafts.

(Hey Teach pictures are coming… eventually. I promise.)

Greetings, all. A couple of knitterly things have been in the works lately. For one thing, I recently started the Cavern Cardigan in Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in Lime (I had it on hand and have been meaning to make a light little summery/springy cardigan). I’m going to have a bit of trouble with the sizing because I’m small, and the size of the pattern is medium/36″ bust. I’m either going to have a lot of ease of a lot of fiddling. We’ll see. That’s being worked on.

Other things: I made a hat!

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From a chart I found on Ravely. Unfortunately, it came out weird. My large gauge made the motif too wide and also I fucked up the chart a couple of times. Also, it was coming out too long, so I hurried with the decreases, making it really bunchy. It now looks like this:

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Yep. But I made some other things too:

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It’s the Zune/iPod Wallet found here on the Internets. I used Red Heart Strata in this blue color, which would have been a lot nicer if they hadn’t included the black and white bits. *shrug* I made one using the pattern exactly for my iPod and cast on a couple more and knit a couple extra rounds to make a similar one for my boyfriend’s Creative Zen mp3 player. It’s really a quite useful little cozy because it means I don’t have to search through my whole purse for my headphones and because the cord isn’t EVERYWHERE, the headphones will last longer. So that’s good.

Pictures of Hey Teach are… nonexistant yet. I’m waiting for the weather to warm up and stop being wet so I can take spring-type pictures in the sun. Patience, children. Also, I’m expecting a swap package some time in the realm of soon, so you have that post to look forward to also. : )