Tag Archives: knitting

Craft Challenge: Bonus January Pictures!

14 Feb

The lovely Sharon sent me pictures of her (and her husband, the handsome Jason) with her January craft items!  I’m pretty much thrilled to pieces that Sharon likes her crafts (and really relieved that everything arrived safely).

Thanks, Sharon!


Craft Challenge: January – This is for Sharon!

7 Feb

I’m really pleased with my craft for my January victim–and in case you missed it, the fabulous Sharon answered a few questions about herself in this post! You can also learn more about Sharon and her wedding journey–pre- and post-wedding–at her blog, Bride Sans Tulle.

But what did she make for Sharon? I hear you wondering. Wonder no more! It is time for the Big Reveal!

….yeah, ignore my weird squinting-in-the-sun face. Don’t even look at that part of the picture. It’s not important.

Instead, look at this!

I love traditional silhouette portraits–I think that they’re beautiful, classic, and elegant (all words that also apply to Sharon), and I’ve been wanting to make one for a while. Originally I thought about doing two separate silhouettes as a pair, and starting looking through Sharon’s wedding pictures for profile shots, which is where I found the perfect shot of Sharon and Jason in profile together:

Sharon’s beautiful wedding pictures, by the way, are by (once a spark) photography

It was too gorgeous and adorable. How could I resist?

In the original picture, Sharon and Jason’s noses overlap, and I considered separating them a little so that they would be two independent silhouettes. Then I changed my mind, because I am sentimental and I liked the symbolism of their wedding portrait being cut from a single piece of paper.

The hardest part of this project was actually finding an oval frame large enough for my 9 1/5″ by 10 1/2″ silhouette–I finally found this 11X14 frame at Michael’s. Here is my pro-tip for you: If you plan to frame a project, keep standard framing sizes in mind as you work on it! And if possible, buy the frame first.

And if you are bound and determined to find an oval frame (as I was–I was going to be heartbroken if I had to settle for a rectangle! I think silhouettes are at their best in oval frames), I am here to tell you that your best bet is Michael’s.  They were the only oval frames that I found, so thank goodness they were perfect!

…I was also paranoid that the frame would break in between Texas and California, so I wedged it into its box with as much padding as I could fit. Let’s just say that a bunch of tissue paper, an entire roll of bubble wrap, and some packing popcorn was involved, as well as enough tape to subdue a legion of five year olds.

Not that I would use tape to control a five year old. Of course not.

That would be unethical.

And a waste of tape.

Moving on….

Sharon and I met online through our love of books (and the influence of a certain person named Sophia), and spent years exchanging emails and letters. We met in person for the very first time almost a year ago, in February 2010, and during the visit Angela and I got to go wedding dress shopping with Sharon.  We got to see her try one what would be ‘the dress’.

Meeting Sharon in person for the first time, February 2010

We met in person for the second time when I had the privilege and the blessing of going to her wedding in August–one of The Best Weddings Ever (and not only did we go to the wedding, we got to be there for an entire weekend of celebration leading up to the wedding, and join the big, loving community of people surrounding Sharon and Jason. One of the Best Weekends Ever).

Angela & Charis at Sharon's wedding! August 2010 (Kay is hiding on the other side of Sharon)

I suppose it isn’t a big surprise that my inspiration for Sharon’s craft came from her wedding.

However, Sharon happened to mention that she doesn’t look good in hats.

Hm, I thought.

That sounds like a challenge.

So I also sent her a hat:

Sharon's hat, modeled by me. At 3am, right after I finished it so that I could put it into the box and mail that sucker.

The pattern is the ‘Proposal Beret‘ by Belle Dee Designs

Happy January, Sharon!

love, Charis


A Parliament of Owls

4 Feb

If you knit or crochet, or do any other fiber related crafts, then you’re probably on Ravelry (and if you aren’t, then you should be! You’re missing out on a fantastic resource and community).  I spend most of my Ravelry time on the forum of the Folklore & Fairy Tales group, and every season we have a swap.  This winter’s swap was ‘Straw into Gold’, a theme that was all about creativity–we weren’t supposed to buy anything for our swap partners, and instead we were supposed to put together a package using things we already had (yarn from our stash, things that we’d made or happened to have, etc.)

My swap partner loves owls so much that they’re part of her screenname, so I made a couple of owl crafts for her:

First I made fingerless mitts, because everyone always needs fingerless mitts! I managed to improvise this pair, without following a pattern (so of course they aren’t perfectly symmetrical), with cabled owls that have been featured in several different patterns that I’ve seen–I don’t know where it originated, but you can see other patterns using it here and here, and in my favorite here (scroll down to find the pattern ‘owls’).

Do you see the owls?

They’re knit from a soft and cuddly angora/bamboo blend, with shirt buttons for eyes.

But you can never have too many owl friends, so I made a little owl out of wool felt as well:

He stitched up by hand really quickly–perhaps an hour or so.  I think that this style of soft owl originated in a Japanese craft book, but I was inspired by this tutorial.  If you follow that link you’ll find a template to download, but the owl is such a simple shape that I cut mine out freehand (…so of course he isn’t symmetrical either!).  It’s just a teardrop shape with the point folded down, and voila!   I used pinking sheers to cut out the red piece and the yellow circles that I added around his button eyes, and for a little detail I embroidered his chest.  I’m so pleased with how he turned out–I think he’s darling!

And he would, by the way, make an excellent pincushion.