Saturday, March 28, 2009

i've moved!!

I recently moved this blog to a new address. I still plan on blogging about my knitting, but it was time to create a space where I can blog about my jewelry and all the non-knitting stuff I'm interested in, as well! It just seemed like an appropriate time to get rid of the knitting-themed title. All my posts from this blog have been moved over (I think), so please update your bookmarks---hope to see you there! :)

New blog:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

yes. deer.

To everything there is a season, and sometimes, in life, you just have to make a deer head. I am smitten with all things antlers these days, and probably have more deer-head-type things hanging on my walls that I ought, none of which are made from actual deer parts, FYI. I really have to learn how to edit, but this was love at first sight. What can you do?

I stumbled across this project while browsing my daily blogs, and immediately sent the link to my most crafty friend. Within minutes, this crafty friend was standing before me saying, "We have to make them." And I said, "Yes." And she said, "But we should make them out of wood." And I said, "Absolutely." Yep, that's pretty much how it started.

First, a mini foamcore deer head prototype was created (more out of deer head project excitement than anything else, really), and revealed that the proportions of the pattern do NOT match the proportions of the deer head in the project photo. And the slits are not the correct depth for keeping all the parts aligned properly. So together we redesigned some of the pieces, correctly measured the depth of the slits, created a new pattern, and started searching for materials. My friend is much more of a grown up than I, so she actually owns power tools AND, most importantly, a place to make a mess. So we gathered our materials and got together for Woodshop Saturday! 2 band saws, 1 jigsaw, 1 belt sander, 1 electric hand sander, 1 Dremel, some sweat, little to no blood, zero tears, and a couple bagels later we had our deer head pieces.

Ok, I glossed over the hard parts. The project was actually more challenging than we had anticipated. But I hadn't played with power tools in a very long time, so it was WAY fun. Would I do it again? Probably not. Am I glad I did it the first time? Oh, you betcha.

My friend's deer head will likely remain as is, with just the natural wood grain, perhaps just a clear coat to finish it. She has what's known as "good taste." For me, when it comes to stylized deer hear wall hangings, I tend to go big or go home. I chose some fabulous, kitschy, flocked paper that I found here, and spent quite a bit of time gluing, trimming, and painting the exposed edges. In retrospect, I should have cut the slits a bit wider. I had a nice, snug fit after all my cutting, which was shot all to heck when it scraped up my beautiful paper upon assembly. Argh. But I worked with it, finally got the thing together, disguised the mistakes, and the overall result is pretty flippin' sweet, if I do say so, myself. :)

I wish I had a better photo of the deer head. Alas, there is no light. There is only rain.

Monday, February 23, 2009

paper 'n stitch

Recently, a friend of mine (frustrated by searching the entire internet for handmade items) wondered how you find the "good" handmade stuff. One of my suggestions was Paper 'n Stitch. If you're not already familiar with the site, Paper 'n Stitch describes itself as "an online exhibition space for talented artists, designers, makers selling handmade goods, and independent boutiques." In other words, the good stuff. Since the exhibition rotates monthly, I'm continually adding to my collection of favorite indie shops! I'm very excited that my shop will be featured in the latest Paper 'n Stitch exhibition, which runs Feb 23rd - March 22nd. However, the items that appear on Paper'n Stitch are only a sampling of what's available in the actual Small Bird Jewelry shop. The shop was recently updated, so some favorite items have been restocked, and several brand new items have been listed, as well!

And I'd be delighted if you'd vote for my shop as your favorite! Just visit my shop at Paper 'n Stitch and click on the cute little heart icon by my shop logo.

One of the new items in my shop is the Green Sea Glass Ring. I'm sort of completely in love with it. I don't remember exactly what made me want to experiment with sea glass in the first place, but all of a sudden I just had to try it. There's something I love about the idea of sea glass...knowing that it was once sleek and shiny and mass-produced and carelessly cast aside, and that nature has turned it into something lovely and organic and soothing and translucent and soft and dreamy and one of a kind.

Yeah...maybe that's what made me want to use sea glass.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I finished the first of several baby knits. I'm saying "several" because the list keeps growing. And changing. And growing. I've been getting so excited about all these new people I'm going to meet (you know, when they finally get born) and suddenly baby knits are so stinkin' cute! And have you smelled that baby aisle in the grocery store??? It's heaven. I might have baby fever. Make that: Other People's Babies Fever.

I wish I could knit heirloom lace cashmere afghans for each and every one of these babies, but I'd go bananas. Plus there are so many cute baby things to be ordered online! Some of the baby stuff on Etsy is impossible to resist. So for baby gift #1, I kept the knitting small, but I think mom-to-be will appreciate the entire ensemble. Now, I realize that there are people out there who may be somewhat horrified at the thought of dressing a teensy little bundle of joy this way, but Mom has a tattoo of a flaming roller skate, and in all likelihood, there's a mohawk in this kid's not-so-distant future, so you can see why it was the right thing to do.

I used just a fraction of a skein of Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted on size 6 needles. You can find the free hat pattern here, the onesie here, and mom-to-be here and here.
(Erin, did you peek? They should make "punkling" onesies in your size. :P)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

the babies are coming!

Everyone I know is pregnant. Everyone. Ok, not everyone, but I know 4 babies that are arriving this spring, all within weeks of each other! Seem like a lot of babies to me.

The best part is, one of these babies is going to be my first niece or nephew---I'm going to be an aunt! I'm reallyreallyreally excited. (reallyreallyreallyreally...) Of course I'm going to knit for the little peanut, but I kinda can't help shopping in the meantime.

Yes, I bought my niecephew a Small Bird onesie. Turns out, they'll print anything you want on a onesie. With options like that, my sister and brother-in-law are lucky that my business logo is the only thing I tried to put on their kid! (For now.) And my sister loved it. And this is why I love my sister. Because I can cheapen the miracle of life by attempting to turn her firstborn child into a living business card and she thinks it's as funny as I do. ;) Actually, she thinks it's pretty cute, too. But I should really knit this kid something good if I expect to get away with this kind of nonsense.

I'm trying to get my Assemblage cardigan under control before I start my baby garment factory. But I have several patterns all lined up and some of the yarn is already here and I'm having a very hard time NOT casting on. is hard to resist.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

lace legwarmers

I completed my first finished knit of 2009! Yes, the legwarmers turned out ok. More than ok, actually. I am still aggravated by the yarn requirement issue in the pattern (see mods and gripes in my previous post), but after blocking, they are 16" in total length, which is just right for how I want to wear them. And the yarn itself is really soft and a very pretty, natural color. So overall, I'm happy with the finished product! The process? Not so much. But as I said before, this project was all about the product anyway. All's well that ends well. Heh. Legwarmers...who would've thought?

More pics on Flickr.

Thursday, January 22, 2009 was going so well...

As soon as I saw this pattern I knew I desperately needed legwarmers. (And cowboy boots, please.) The lace pattern is pretty and easily memorized, although this project was really all about product rather than process. I modified the pattern slightly, since I wanted them to be the knee-high, rather than over the knee, so I knit 9 pattern repeats and 1/5" of ribbing at each end, even though the pattern wanted them to be about 4" longer. I also eliminated the increases, as the lace pattern seemed stretchy enough. It is important that I point out how much less knitting I did so that you understand how frustrated I was when I realized I was definitely going to run out of yarn after only 8 pattern repeats on the second legwarmer!! Argh! Come ON! And then the yarn circus began. I had to rip out the top of the second legwarmer, take it down to 8 pattern repeats, then divide up the yarn I had left over both legwarmers...oh! but you have to double the yarn just on the ribbed cuffs, so I had long pieces of yarn stretched through my house, then doubled back, which make the cat go berserk, which made me yell. So I reknit the cuffs on both legwarmers, decreasing 10 stitches on the first round, and making them a bit shorter than the pattern called for.

Moral of the Story #1: if you are going to knit these legwarmers, get TWO (2) skeins of Classic Elite Alpaca Sox!!! The one skein that the pattern calls for does not even come close, especially if you want to wear them over the knee, like the pattern photo. I don't know what they were thinking.

Moral #2: Check the pattern notes from other Ravelers BEFORE you start a project. I looked at other knitters' projects AFTER I was already frustrated and ripping and reknitting, and it turned out I was not alone; most people were frustrated by the yarn shortage in this pattern.

So they're blocking, and they look pretty, and I think they'll be just fine for the way I want to wear them, but we'll see.