Friday, December 31, 2010

have your self a merry, knitted xmas!

dear blogland, i've been so remiss in updating you. so now i have a post for you, sharing 90% of what i knit for people this christmas (the other 10% is a half-done pair of socks, and a pair of turkish bedsocks i don't have pics of)

from left to right, starting at the top:
1) green lantern socks for hunter! men's size 10.5, koigu prettiness, symbol purled into the ankle, two-at-once, toe-up

2) 'reversible biking hat' for dad, used bigger yarn (Qina) and bigger needles (size 6) and upped the stitch recount and pattern repeat. i like this 'wrong side' best

3) hoodwink! for gayle; amy butler belle organic dk, thanks for the fun seed stitch pattern amy butler!

4) 'jayne' hat in spud & chloe sweater, moss stitch around the brim, watched the episode and looked at what everyone else was doing, used jared flood turn a square formula, and i learned i hate pompoms

5) linen stitch scarf for mum, 450 stitches for five inches (never going to make this scarf ever again, just this once for the woman who taught me to do all of this stuff), but lovely, lovely koigu

6) r2d2 hat, enlarged and expanded the pattern for worsted weight and adult head, more spud & chloe

i've got a some pictures of recipients wearing the accessories i knit, but i'm going to leave a mosaic of that until they all get in. i also just bought myself a better camera, so better macro shots will be up before too long!

for more pictures and details, check out my ravelry (my user name is KKPwnall).
tell me what you think!

Friday, November 5, 2010

(still technically) Friday Feature: doodles!

hey blogland, long time no post! this semester has gotten crazy, and i am itching for a break (not that last week's adventure to the nation's capital wasn't a fantastic mini-vacation, i just can't wait for a longer stretch).

i've done quite a bit of knitting, but none of it has been blocked or photographed yet, and as i have been neglecting our little crafty blog, i thought i'd share a bit of what i do when i'm not diligently taking notes or studiously...studying. or when lectures are boring or moronic...

click for bigger, doodle (c) Karen Pownall 2010
inspiration: hot air balloon/dirigible race = steampunkery; young sheldon = big bang theory; narwhal= narwhals; flowers =boredom; high cheeked angry man that turned out much creepier than i ever intended = harry potter? probably...; cute yoda & flower r2d2 = discovering and reading much of EPBOT's geekery and girliness blog, and this post in particular

i have a secret for you blog-readers, whoever you may be: for years i have been wanting to author and illustrate a webcomic. and i try to think of a really good story, and work at drawing people the same way multiple times, and somehow, i just can't make it past more than 5 or so strips before i lose motivation. so here's my most recent attempt: a strip without a plot, without context, that i spent four days 'perfecting.'

click for bigger, doodle (c) Karen Pownall 2010

also, you should check out these webcomics! they're all fantastic and i read and reread them whenever i can.
The Phoenix Requiem
Left-Handed Toons
The Zombie Hunters
Penny Arcade

happy november bloggers!

Monday, November 1, 2010

November is...

for enjoying fall decorations while planning for festive holiday decorations! for TEACHING A WORKSHOP AT DONNA DOWNEY STUDIOS!! (just a little excited about this one!) for taking classes and learning new techniques. for making presents and starting new projects. for purging and organizing. for inspiration a plenty.

photo: flickr. post idea: kara. see my other thoughts here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Autumn Wreath

Last fall/winter flew by and I saw a lot of craft inspiration on the internet but didn't carve out the time to make anything! I am determined to not let that happen this year! I have been decorating for Halloween & Autumn and saw this wreath decoration on a blog called Secondhand Suaviloquy. I love her whole mantle set up, but don't have a mantle but I am trying to make my apartment seem as homey as possible!

I have an old book I bought at a garage sale for the cover design so I decided that ripping out a few pages for this project would be acceptable, even though I love books so much the thought of ripping out pages makes me feel bad! I took pictures throughout my process so I could show you all a tutorial on how to make your own book page wreath!

1. Take a deep breath and rip out a bunch of pages from a book!
2. Rolling the pages is a big difficult to describe in words, but I used two layers of pages. The bottom layer keeps the page right side up and the roll is a bit loose. I used tape to secure the rolled page. For the top layer, I turned the page on it's side and rolled it slightly diagonally until I got the shape I liked, again securing it with tape.

3. I laid out the rolled paper and saw my wreath take its shape. As you can see from the pictures, I flattened one side of the rolled pages, stacking them on each other, and used a stapler to secure the rolled paper together. I did that for both layers. I felt the top layer was a bit too long when I was laying it out, so I trimmed the ends before I stapled them all together. This created a more significant difference between the layers.

4. I needed a centerpiece to hid the ugly staples so I went to my scrap stash and dug out what Halloween paper I had. Most of what I had, had words on it and wasn't really the "look" I was going for. I found a maroon "autumn" paper and the orange does have halloween words on it but they are really small and monochromatic so you can barely tell that it's halloween paper. I used my circle punches to cut out the shapes and then crumpled up all the paper. When I flattened the paper back out it gave it a more distressed look to go with the old book pages. I secured the layers with a Making Memories brad and added the fabric ribbon flowers as an extra touch.

5. Now to put all the layers together. Unfortunately, my brad was not long enough to go through all the layers, so I got out my handy craft glue and glued the two book page layers together. I set the closest thing (apple) on top as a weight while it dried.

6. Once it dried, I glued on the flower and voila! I had a handmade wreath! To create a way to hang it, I cut a couple lengths of curling ribbon and stapled them together and taped them to the back of the wreath. I hung my wreath off a floor lamp in my living room where I can see it and I am so pleased with how it turned out!

What do you think? Link me up if you make one too!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Bueller... Bueller... Bueller...

Hello readers! Zoom here coming 'atcha with a mobile post. I seems like I can make a written post via my
phone but I'm unsure how to add pictures at this point. Any hints?

It is Wednesday and I've recently completed some projects and have others in the works so Stitch encouraged me to do a work in progress Wednesday post! It would be more exciting if I had pictures... But....

In progress:
* cleaning my scrap are. And wishing I could do a swap with some else who was purging their scrap stash!
* going through my grandma's photos for her
* fall crafts
* wedding scrapbook/ guestbook

Recently completed:
* paper pumpkin garland
* paper pumpkin decorations
* tshirt quilt! (almost)

I feel like I'm forgetting things but that's what I have for now! I'll be back with pictures tonight! :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

friday feature: autumn!

well, the autumnal equinox has come and gone, and today it was an unrelenting 80 degrees in fayetteville. *sigh* maybe by this time next week it will be cool!
here to encourage the cool fall weather is a little autumn feature, combining some of my favorite fall activities with some etsy features!
i adore this red panda scarf! red pandas are some of my favorite animals, and this scarf just begs for cool fall days! check out more fun stuff at bobbin4apples etsy shop!this hot air balloon necklace sets my imagination to wanderlust (it just might be satisfied at the end of october!) it'd be fun to go on a hot air balloon ride, though sometimes i feel more partial to a dirigible... check out heartworks by lori for more lovely jewelry!

one of my favorite parts of fall is warm, tasty drinks! and little starts along day at class off better than caramel apple cider!and perhaps the biggest contributor to my desire for cold weather is all of the wonderful things i've knitted this summer, not least of which is this brand new pair of socks!i am now officially addicted to doing toe-up two-at-a-time socks (i just started a new pair)! thanks for all the help, cassy!

fingers crossed autumn shows it's head soon!

any one happen to follow the efferdares blog? well, a few days ago, one of zoom's fabulous scrapbook pages was featured there! congrats sister, your work always looks so fantastic!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Feature: Fair-Isle Knitting

i thought it might be fun to mix up etsy faves friday with a friday feature! so here's the first: fair-isle knitting!
first off, i adore fair-isle, the technique, the finished product, making it, buying it. i can't get enough of it. and i just finished a fair-isle hat that's a recreation of an old commercially-bought hat. so i thought it'd be fun to feature some of my favorite pieces along side it!

anyone who's talked to me about knitting recently has probably heard my schpeal about these Moulin Rouge Mittens. and how much i want to make them... it's such a brilliant design. Extreme kudos to Heather Desserud, she's got other brilliant fair-isle mitten designs on her ravelry page, you should check it out.
(ravelry link)

can you really have a fair-isle feature without showcasing a Kaffe Fassett piece? i think not! one of his most recent pieces in the new Rowan magazine is the gorgeous Lidiya Scarf (ravelry link)

my friend and co-worker at Hand Held has recently contributed to my knitting addiction by teaching me to do socks! and what else do you do when learning a new skill, but look up other fun patterns? that's how i stumbled across these Durmstrang Socks by Ann Kingstone (shown here knit by Northknitter (ravelry link).) (ravelry link)

speaking of my dear friend Cassy, she's made a lovely fair-isle hat called Zooey (ravelry link)! isn't it just gorgeous? and i'm seriously jealous her photography skills.

on wednesday i finished my most recent fair-isle piece, and my first original piece! designed after a hat zoom bought years ago, i wanted to recreate it.
So here's 'Autumn Phoenix'since i couldn't find near enough reds that i liked, i decided to go a completely different direction and pick up six skeins of various Amy Butler yarns (and you all know how much i love amy butler yarn). i could gush more, but i'll spare you the mushy details. if any body would like the pattern, i'll try to clean up my sketches and scribbles

happy friday!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

end of summer wrap-up

now that summer has (almost) officially past, it seems like it's time for me to do a wrap-up of my summer goals as well.

1. finish the sweater *CHECK*
2. finish fingerless gloves.... gonna call this one a check too.
i may have given up on those specific gloves, but i did make two different pairs, and broke into socks. personally, i think that counts for a lot more than one measley pair of fingerless gloves that drove me crazy...3. sew clasps on duvet cover ~fail~
oh well, i just wasn't into domestic sewing this season. maybe when there's a pressing need for the comforter to stay inside the duvet cover...

4. learn bach's prelude to cello suite #1 ~meh...~
this one didn't work out too well either. the change in climate didn't do my cello any good (in fact, i broke a string the first time i tried to tune it up here), and honestly, i have to be really in the mood to make music...

5. pinhole camera ~nope~
also, not accomplished. with the repairs i've been having to do around my apartment, i just haven't felt like taking apart this beautiful old camera. maybe when it gets colder outside...

6. doodle-a-day *kinda...~
off and on, this project didn't really take off the way i had planned. i've drawn a lot more than i have before this summer started, but it's been a lot of sketches of things to embroider or just class-notes doodles.

7. learn/get better at embroidery *WOOT*this one, i'm really proud of. i have been so continuously inspired this summer to pick up a needle and thread and create. i never imagined i'd get so sucked into it, but now i've completed three pieces and have a few more in the works. i think one of the biggest things for this goal to me was getting up the courage and gumption to enter the Sublime Stitching Combo Contest. i am really proud of my piece, and i think it looks fabulous. i can't wait to fill up the rest of my wall with more embroidery!what a fun, busy, crazy, crafty summer... here's to fall being equally as productive in class and craft!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

big hopes, big goals revisited

Well my friends, it is officially September 1 and summer is OVER! Let's revisit my beginning of summer goals, shall we?

~ Week in the Life scrapbook~~ CHECK
~ Hilton Head scrapbook (from a trip in May 2009) ~~ CHECK
~ Beer-fest mini book (from an event May 2009)~~ CHECK
* Faulty Hearts Art Journal class (by Rachel Denbow) *
* Spray ink focused class (by Vee Jennings) *
* Kelly Purkey Sketchbook Class
* a mini book to build on based on my love of Jcrew and their catalog
* Alphabet Inspiration - based on an old, old post on Jamaica's blog
~A quilt for Karen~~ Materials purchased
~A quilt from my old college tshirts for me~~ IN PROGRESS
* Jessica Sprague photo editing class
~ Take Donna Downey class locally- she's opening her studio in my town and offering classes- I'm so lucky and excited that she lives in the same town as me! ~~ I've been to the store but haven't taken a class yet

** These classes were offered in the past and I was part of them then but never finished all the project or what have you.

Not too shabby! Almost half, plus a few extra projects completed that weren't on the list! I honestly couldn't remember what was all on the list so I am pleasantly surprised at how much I did accomplish!

What did you conquer this summer?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

These are a few of my favorite yarns...

Not too long ago, i got my hands on some Koigu KPPM and Amy Butler Belle Organic. and man, let me tell you blogland, these yarns are pretty freaking awesome. I highly recommend them!
now let me show you what i've done with them (well, one of them...)
I just finished a pair of Churchmouse's Koigu Turkish Bed Socks. these were a super quick knit and oh so much fun! I'm not gonna lie, blogland, i've never made socks before in my life. but after doing these, i can't wait to try my hand at more traditional socks (and make more of these!)
one of the reasons i made these socks was to wear under my new TOMS when it gets cold here in Fayetteville. (also, to review TOMS, my vote is awesome: i've worn canvas shoes for years, but these ones have really excellent soles!)i ended up modifying the pattern a bit after the first one, making the foot longer by six rows. i've been living with two different-sized feet for a while now, so it's nice to be able to adjust things accordingly! i decided to add a little embellishment and embroider an L and an R on the bottom of the corresponding sock.and then i went to the park across the street from my apartment and had myself a little photo-shoot before the sun went down!and i was joined by this pretty little guy! isn't he beautiful?the Amy Butler i'm using for a secret squirrel project (no telling, ravelers!) and to recreate a hat that zoom and i have been tossing around for years.

happy saturday, blogland!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Work In Progress Wednesdays

Well, I don't have a picture to share. But I do have a project in the works! I am taking most of my memorable t-shirts from college and making them into a blanket. One side are all the sports season shirts and activities I was involved in, and the other side are greek life event t-shirts. There are 16 shirts per side!! I am cutting them down to 15x15 squares. It is going to be that basic, just 16 squares on each side and some binding. Nothing super fancy, but it will be cozy! And then after I finish it, I am going to start working on Stitch's Quilt! {I suppose she wants it soon, now that we are approaching the cold weather season ;) } I will share a picture later with more progress or completion!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Treatise on Shipbuilding and Navigation

oh dear blogland, i am so ridiculously proud and excited to present to you, my submission to the Sublime Stitching Combo Contest!
(photo uploaded to Sublime Stitching Gallery, click for bigger)

i used 12 different colors of DMC cotton floss, 4 Sublime Stitching patterns, six different stitches, and a bit of ingenuity to make this piece look like an old book, the kind you find in libraries where all the books seem like they're rotting away and haven't been opened in ages but have the most beautiful illustrations of old maps, the kind with sea monsters. i find those books and maps so inspiring, and when the idea popped into my head, i just couldn't resist.

and here's where it all began. this is my original concept sketch, doodled during class. it's evolved quite a bit since then, but i love looking back at how i originally envisioned it all coming together. the title of the post was found during a random google search, looking for something about shipbuilding (originally written by Mungo Murray, Shipwright in his Majesty's Yard, Deptford, in the year 1742)my friend and coworker Cassy Dominick took some truly fantastic pictures of the completed piece. this is my favorite of the ones she took (even though i used one that was flat on the table so it looked more like a book).

i really can't believe this is only my third embroidery piece! i've decided that one wall of my apartment will become my embroidery showcase wall (though right now, this is the only piece up since the other two pieces i gave as gifts). i'm already scheming a new piece...

adios blogland, happy crafting.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Work In Progress Wednesdays

Hey readers! I decided to start a feature here on the blog-o! Surprise Stitch! Do you approve? I am going to feature something that I have in progress at the moment!

I am still working on that Hilton Head album and here is a picture of my table in progress!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Four Goals

Elsie posted a challenge about 4 simple goals to accomplish before year end. I enjoy making goals and lists so this challenge is right up my alley!

My four goals for the rest of the year are:
1. start a savings account. I've been at my job for officially a year now and it's time I be an adult and start saving money!

2. make Stitch a quilt. i've never made anything like this before, and i'm super nervous to start it!

3. make my apartment feel more like "home". add more decorations. settle in. get comfortable in my space.

4. make two new friends. I am still "new" to the area and want to expand my friend base!

What are your goals?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Finished: Sweater!

i am so excited to present to you: my first sweater!begun in early june and completed earlier today, this Classic Elite Wide Rib Hoodie is making me even more anxious for autumn weather! Using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Candy Apple, i happily toiled over this sweater, and made it my own.i made the body and sleeves longer than called for. i added ribbing at the base of the sleeves (because really, just doing faggot stitch on a smaller needle didn't look as great as i wanted it to, so i carried over the wide rib), and in attempting to pick up the 314 stitches that comprise the outer rib, i only managed to get a total of 239 (picking up only bars, not bumps, the bumps looked stupid and cramped).
so with the help of my wonderfully math-minded best friend, Anna, i figured out how many stitches i needed for each section (broken into left and right sides, and hood), and how i could space them evenly around. the next round after making those stitches, they were knit through the back loop to make them lie flat.
i have to extend a hearty thanks to anna for her math that saved the final stage of the project, to joy, colleen, cassy, and sarah jo, for telling me that i definitely could make a sweater, that it wasn't as scary as i thought it would be, for helping me figure out my what size to make, how to modify this pattern to my desires, and for the fantastic and inspiring work-environment, to chris for his encouragement and interest in what i was doing, to gayle for her excitement to see it all finished up, to dad for playing ps3 with me when i needed a break back home, and to my mother for blocking all the pieces and her sage advice about knitting calmly. thank you all, for all your help, i am so lucky to have this support from all of you!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

WIP: vacation album

My current Work In Progress is a vacation scrapbook from a trip last year to Hilton Head that I took with my family! I am using the Snorkel line by Cosmo Cricket and have picked out cardstock to go with it. I have all the pictures assigned to a layout and the paper to go with them all lined up. It's now a matter of cutting and adhering all the layouts! I am using a kolo album as the base. Here is what I have so far: the cover!

My plan is to mix up layout types that I haven't tried before. I am going to use what I learned and use sketches from Kelly Purkey's Sketchbook class! I don't typically use sketches so this could be interesting!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

etsy faves....saturday?

zoom and i were talking earlier today about how long it's been since either of us have posted! last time i posted was my birthday and chris and i were on our way to conway. the following weekend, zoom and i caught up with our dad's side of the family at a reunion in austin, texas.
from my side of our crafty duo, i've begun my christmas knitting projects (eep! already?!), started on the last little bit of my first sweater (only 5 inches of rib to go!), and decided i'm going to enter the Combo Contest on Sublime Stitching! at first i was skeptical (i stitch for fun, for my own enjoyment/relaxation/creativity, and for people who will truly enjoy it). but then, of course, inspiration struck, and i just couldn't resist! i've saved my original concept sketch, so we'll do a little before and after post once it's all finished. deadline's august 20th!

also, i've got some new etsy faves! i could go on and on about how much i love etsy as the handmade forum it is, but i'm sure you'd rather see the pretty things!

it is still summer here in northern arkansas, but my hopes are high that fall is soon on the way! wouldn't this be a fantastic back to class dress? check out more handmade clothes at THIMBLEandACORN!this penny farthing bike tote would look fantastic wandering around the farmer's market! there's plenty more screen-printed totes and shirts at the Bold Banana!
during finals, i took study-breaks to read Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. if you haven't picked it up yet, definitely do, not only is it scarily historically accurate, it adds badass vampires (no sparklies here!) and takes another look at abe lincoln as a man, not just our beloved 16th president. Seth Grame-Smith is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. so i couldn't resist when i saw these intense Abe Lincoln screen-printed ties! pretty fancy stuff! you can check out more of Mr. Phipps wonderful screen-printing a ScatterbrainTies.
my boyfriend, chris, has taught me to have a good appreciation for the beauty of knives, antique, international, and all others. when i found this Scrimshaw Pocket Knife with the glorious sailing ship set in india ink on it. lindalayden's shop has many other great articles in it!
and finally, this pin. because a) i love pins, and b) i do understand. daedalus' and icarus' story is one of my favorite of the ancient greeks, and i really like the portrayal of the story beanforest has created. there are a bunch of other great buttons on his page too!

i'm heading off to work more on my combo piece! stitch out!