Ren Knits ^^

key racks January 14, 2009

Filed under: catch-up,Christmas,crafting — Ren @ 2:10 pm

right now, i am supposed to be finishing my finance homework and studying for tomorrow’s quiz. as you can see… that’s not happening yet. instead, i’m going to show you the last of my Christmas projects (i think!).



these are key racks, loosely based off of this tutorial from design*sponge. i started with the 5×7 plaque and a sheet of scrapbooking paper, and then i stamped and decoupaged until i was satisfied. i had never done any decoupage or worked with mod podge before, but i really like how these turned out. i love how they are totally different from each other,  just as the friends i made them for are totally different. ^^ definitely a type of project that i would try again.



mom made this one for me while i was working on the others. i just adore the key on it, too. i will probably hang necklaces on it or something, since i certainly don’t have five sets of keys!!! ^^


i hope that everyone is staying warm!  have a great week!


back to school (again) January 9, 2009

Filed under: Christmas,crafting,knitting,news,school — Ren @ 12:48 am

this was my first week back to school… oh how i wish Christmas break lasted longer! things are insane around here because our gators just won the bcs championship. everyone is honking and screaming as they go by… what a commotion! it’s a good thing that i’m not trying to sleep yet!! : )





i just got the pictures from the kevat shawl (rav link) that i knit my mom for Christmas with lorna’s laces shepherd worsted. i think that this is one of my  favorite knits. i’ve never knit a lace shawl like that before. i know the pattern isn’t terribly complicated, but i think it looks really good! mom loved it and wears it to church because it is COLD in the pew we sit in. blocking it was crazy, too — that was another new experience!



this is the lunchbox that i started out with for my dad. i got it free at the southern women’s show. i asked dad if he would want it and he said, “but it’s pink.” i asked, “well, if it wasn’t pink?” he replied, “but it is pink.” as though that couldn’t be changed?



this is what i ended up with after i recovered the whole thing. the fabric has different travel destinations on it (like paris and  new york) and the pocket is globes. turns out that he really liked it once it was a different color. go figure!


anyway, i hope everyone has a great weekend! thanks so much for your concern about the surgery i had. i really appreciate that!


december?! January 1, 2009

Filed under: catch-up,Christmas,crafting,knitting,recap — Ren @ 4:25 pm

where the heck did december go? i meant to post three or four times, but got sidetracked doing other things. the month went something like this: knitting, Christmas knitting, final exams, doctors visits, neck surgery, Christmas, visit to the grandparents, time with the boyfriend, happy new year. i seriously can’t believe that i go back to school after a three-week break on sunday. i went to doctors/hospitals ten times in the last two and a half weeks, which is draining, to say the least, but my surgery went really well and my neck is healing up nicely. i almost have my full range of motion back, too. on the knitting front, i finished two projects before starting Christmas knitting, one big project for my mom (i haven’t taken pictures yet), stockings for the local nursing home, and two sets of notecards. i  sewed up a lunchbox for my dad, too, but i think i’ll leave that for next time. also, i got a ball winder for Christmas! it was lots of fun to wind up a few yarns. ^^




these socks are finally finished! i really liked the yarn and i really liked the pattern, but i had major trouble following through with the second sock. they are the harris tweed socks (rav) knit on size 2 needles with mary jane’s attic superwash given to me by rhoda a while back. i love how bright these socks are and i want to use the rest of this yarn for wristwarmers or something. ^^




i’m pretty excited about this scarf. it’s a my-so-called-scarf (rav) in misti pima cotton/silk. i know scarves are better in wool, but every single wool i’ve tried has itched my neck (yes, even malabrigo). i need to wash this before i can wear it, but i’m sure hoping the cotton is better on my neck.



these are the stockings that i made for local nursing home residents this year. the total cost for the project was $1, since i already had nearly all the materials! dad distributed them and said everybody loved them. the project took a while to complete, but it was fun to do and totally worth it. ^^




these are made using a technique called quilling. i used the tutorial found here at reese dixon. these took me about an hour a piece to complete. they look cooler in person than in the pictures because you can’t really see the glitter here. i made them for a friend who really liked them. ^^




i used the mochimochi land heart pattern (rav) to make these heart notecards. i made a set in the spring and they were well-received, so i thought that i’d try again. this time, i used interfacing on the undersides of the hearts so that they stayed flat while i sewed them on the card. that made things SO much easier. i think i might like these even better than the originals… ^^ grandma didn’t even realize they were handmade.


sorry for such a long post!!!! i had so much to show before i forgot. happy new year!!!


Sweater Day! March 20, 2008

Filed under: Christmas,knitting,memories,news — Ren @ 10:18 pm

today (thursday) marks what would have been Fred Rogers’ 80th birthday. the non-profit that he founded ( put together “won’t you be my neighbor?” days in conjunction with pittsburgh’s 250th anniverary. i have nothing to do with pittsburgh (i’ve never even been there!), but i stumbled across the sweater day group on ravelry and thought i’d have a little bit of fun with it. ^^


i loooved mr. rogers’ neighborhood when i was a kid. even seeing it now that i am older, i am amazed at how calming and kind he was and to this day i remember the episode where he went to the crayon factory. i can’t even remember most of the other series i watched when i was small, so i think that’s saying something.




this is the little mini-sweater i knit for the occasion alongside my very favorite sweater. i love this sweater to pieces, as i have from the very first day we bought it. that year, i had three other sweaters fall apart in the first weeks i owned them due to low-quality workmanship (we were able to return them, luckily). i had seen this sweater in the store window and wanted it, but at $40 it was more than we were willing to pay. after the returning fiasco, mom let me get the sweater, anyway, since we were ready to be done with the hassle. it has sleeves that cover my knuckles, with thumbholes built right in! that’s probably my very favorite part.




the sad thing is that i wore it so much, for so long, that i nearly wore a hole through the left elbow (i’m right-handed, so i was always propping myself up on my left elbow). ever since i noticed how thin it was there, i have been too scared to wear it. i don’t want it to fall apart! *sigh* all good things must come to an end, i suppose.




here is a close-up of the mini-sweater. i want to make the little hanger in the pattern so the sweater can double as my first Christmas knit of the year. yay for a little head-start. ^^ the pattern for the sweater is here and its ravelry page is here. (and thanks, kelly!)


ok, i think i can be done with my silly little tribute now! ^^


post-Christmas fun December 30, 2007

Filed under: charity,Christmas,crafting,knitting — Ren @ 4:35 pm

i hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas and holiday season. i spent Christmas with my family at my grandparents’. i hope it isn’t tacky to show you some of the presents i got… i’m just really excited about them!


  1. a photo collage of my trip to hawai’i last year
  2. a day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom with my best friend (we went december 26)
  3. softies!! (amazon listing)
  4. the boyfriend and i are stocking up on some of our favorites things from childhood
  5. a notebook wrapped in a leather cover… that leather smells SO good. no kidding
  6. wristwarmers from my grandma’s trip to norway in the fall; they are even lined with fleece
  7. a dvd player! (not pictured)

i scaled back on the knitted gifts this year and bought quite a few things on etsy instead. that’s not to say there were no handknit gifts, though!



this is a set of four coasters for an aunt knit with leftover cotton from last year’s dishcloth craze. i knit a fifth one, but after i finished, i realized that i had used size 8 needles on it instead of the 7s i used on the others. oops! the pattern is a modification of mdk’s baby genius pattern that i found here.




my close friends each got a fortune cookie knit with paton’s classic wool in natural mix on 11s. the pattern is here, but if you sneak ahead in the 2008 knitting pattern-a-day calendar, it’s october 20 (i think). i have a collection of fortune cookie fortunes from our regular chinese takeouts, so i used those in the cookies and i found plastic baggies and eurosealed them up to look more like real fortune cookies. i was very impressed by how well the cookies turned out and my friends seemed to like them, too. ^^




this was my largest Christmas undertaking. like i did last year, i made little Christmas ornaments for the residents of a local nursing home that my dad heads a weekly church service at. i was getting really worried about completing this project, since i couldn’t find a knitting pattern i really liked that i could complete fairly quickly. as you can probably tell, we ended up sewing the felt doves and adding little accessories instead of knitting. it worked out really well and i heard that everyone liked them. mom came up with the idea for the doves and how to make them, but i used this template to cut out the doves.


anyway, i hope that everyone has a safe and wonderful new years and i hope to be back soon with the 2007 recap!


sock yarn and playing catch-up January 2, 2007

Filed under: catch-up,Christmas,knitting,news,recap — Ren @ 6:01 pm

first of all, my online friends and readers are the best. you all write such kind and encouraging things! it has been wonderful getting to know each and every one of you through your blogs and comments and i look forward to continuing to do so. happy new year to all of you!! (i’m in a brighter mood today, can you tell?)

i am incredibly excited to present to you my very first ball of kool-aid hand-dyed yarn. this is the sock yarn (knitpicks bare) i got from the dutchicans shower/KAL back in early november from jill. i would have dyed it sooner, but that would have been difficult to do without a kitchen! i’m really quite pleased with it; it turned out very well and i can hardly wait to knit with it (it’s three packets of pink lemonade and a half of strawberry, just so i remember).

this is where i need help, though. i’ve never knit socks before and i’m really looking for a good first sock pattern. it doesn’t have to be “easy,” just clear and simple to understand. any ideas? i know that some of you are avid sock knitters and i know you have favorites! i’d love to hear them! ^^

now, back to my catching up on holiday knits. i need to finish blogging about everything from 2006, so i can get to new things for 2007.

dad’s booties
yarn: lion brand wool-ease color oxford grey (double stranded, two skeins)
needles: size 9 straights
size: dad’s feet sized! 11in x 4in
modifications: i made them larger than the pattern called for; dad has long, narrow feet so i had to measure and account for that. they fit his feet perfectly, though!
comments: dad had been bugging me for a pair of knitted booties since about august. at the beginning of december i realized that i should probably make sure i could get them done in time for Christmas, so i made one, writing down my modifications and everything. well, then i got caught up knitting other things. come Christmas Eve, i still had only one bootie knit… i knit the entirety of the second bootie (following my now cryptic modifications) on the ride home from my grandparents’ house. dad never knew the difference. and he loves them. what a happy ending! ^^

paola’s scarf
yarn: malabrigo color peach tree (1 skein only)
needles: size 10.5 straights
size: umm, i don’t remember. maybe 4in x 56in?
modifications: none
comments: it took forever to find a perfect yarn for this scarf, but the malabrigo is so soft and very good to work with. i had never wound a hank into a ball before; it was pretty fun. this stitch pattern was really easy once i got going and the finished product was quite warm and cozy. also, paola really liked it. ^^

dishtowel (and dishcloth)
pattern: both from mason dixon knitting
yarn: sugar n’ cream color wine
needles: size 6 straights
size: 20in x 14in or so
modifications: none, just the yarn and needles.
comments: i do like how this turned out, it was just a pain to knit. i’m glad it’s done!

jack’s ensemble
i’m not really going to post stats for this one because i wrote/greatly modified the patterns myself and have them written down in my notebook. maybe one day i’ll post them up here, but i can tell you that it won’t be today! i think jack is adorable in his new clothes, though, and nina sure liked them, too! ^^

i’m getting close to the end, i promise!

church charity hat (#3)
pattern: my own: CO 72 sts, work around for a while, decrease and cinch
yarn: red heart super saver color dark sage (double stranded)
needles: size 10.5 16in circular and DPNs
comments: i don’t really like making hats. i don’t know why, it’s just not that fun for me. but i started this one at a Bible study before Christmas, so i figured i should at least finish it. i may have to knit another one before it’s all said and done so that i can use up the skein. maybe i’ll try the crochet one that everyone else makes…

and last, but certainly not least…

red scarf project scarf
yarn: lion brand wool-ease color black (double stranded) and chunky color red
needles: size 10.5 straights
size: 6in x 61in
modifications: well, i accidently messed up the stripe pattern, so i just ended up doing a random striping and i liked that just as well. ^^
comments: i’ve been wanting to knit a scarf for the red scarf project (KAL here) for quite a while but hadn’t had any red yarn or any time for other projects. now i do! i really like the cause for this one; transitioning to college can be hard for anyone.

i am finally done and ready to start fresh for 2007 knitting! yaaay!

p.s. i just found out i won a prize from the soaring eagles project blog. how exciting!!!!


the holidays December 26, 2006

Filed under: Christmas,knitting,news — Ren @ 3:54 pm
i hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas/holiday! i really meant to post on sunday when we got back into town, but then we opened presents and watched a dvd that mom got. then, i was going to post yesterday, but we went to grandma’s for dinner and then came back and watched another dvd of mom’s. so, here i finally am! i’ve got some pictures of presents that i got (taken with my new digicam, whoo!) and some of things i knit up in the last few weeks. the package i sent my best friend (remember jack?) hasn’t been opened yet (or at least i don’t think it has), so those knits will have to wait until i hear back from her.

but first, look at what i got in the mail last week! it’s a signed “bookplate” sticker from the authors of mason-dixon knitting. and free! how cool is that?! ^^

i got a needle felting tool and mat from “santa” and mom and i had some fun punching designs into felt last night. my “L” with holly is on the left and mom’s abstract design (it does look like a “W” though!) is on the right. it’s really a very neat tool and i look forward to using it on some knits… i’m planning on knitting a camera case one of these days very soon, so look out, it may have a needle felted design on it. ^___^

i have a thing for duckies (and chicks). i have a bunch of stuffed animals and other ducky things. this Christmas, we added to the duck collection. from the bottom left, there is a duck jingle bell ornament, a duck treasure box (with little duckies inside), a bar of duck soap, and a pair of duck earrings. the earrings are SO cute… grandma got them in mexico when she went in october. ^^

this is a new toiletry bag and heating booties and a nail smoothing kit. my old toiletry bag was getting pretty icky (i “travel” a lot now that i live in two places) and this one is so pretty. my feet are always cold, so the booties will be really nice and my nails… not in the greatest shape! looks like i’ll be a bit pampered once i use all those things!

i also got a knitting calendar, a few episodes of wishbone (wishbone.. oh man, childhood memories ^^), some stationary things, a few shirts, the knitting books one skein and knitted flowers, and a print from emily at the black apple. its really cute! it’s two people wrapped in one long scarf. ^^ i think i was a pretty lucky girl this Christmas!

onward to knitting by me. i should make another post instead of one long one, but why bother. i need to keep going while i’m sitting here with the momentum. i need to post about these so i can clean out my favorites!

business card holder
yarn: patons SWS color geranium
needles: size 10 16in circulars
size: maybe 2in x 3in ?
modifications: i didn’t add the twisted cord to make it look a bit more like a bag. i felted it and liked the way that turned out without any other embellishments.
comments: the SWS felted beautifully! i put it through the agitating cycle twice, and when it came out it was so thick and wonderful! i will definitely felt with it again. the colors turned out nicer than the picture shows, a little bit brighter. i made it for mom and she really seemed to like it. ^___^

saturday market bag (#3)
because i am a bit lazy, see here or here in my archives for details. this one was given to grandma.

potholders (set of two)
yarn: peaches ‘n creme colors white and orange sherbet
needles: size 8 straights
size: 6in x 6in each
modifications: none
comments: these look like basic everyday potholders, but they were knit using the double knit technique, so one side of the cloth is sherbet and the other side is white and they’re done at the same time. this means a double thickness cloth with no seams! it’s all already one piece. how cool is that?! my great aunt was the recipient of these, (she absolutely adores yellow and orange) along with two dishcloths, and she loved them. ^^

that is all for now. i have to get the pictures of dad’s booties from mom’s digicam, so those will be in the next post. also, another charity hat, the best friend package and (hopefully!) some new knits. hope everyone is having a good day-after-Christmas! we’re going to a friend’s for leftovers tonight, yummy!