25 June 2009


I love the Kiki-Mariko Rug from the second Mason-Dixon book, but I wanted to try a smaller project first before diving into such a huge effort.

The perfect opportunity arose when my boss showed me his new glasses. The arms of his glasses have a funky little pattern that looks just like the zig zag pattern in the Kiki-Mariko Rug. Since his birthday was coming up, I decided to make a dishcloth using the pattern in the same colors as his glasses.

I tried a flat discloth first. Oops - the floats show. Well, duh. So I decided to knit it in the round without the steek and make it more of thick hot pad than a dish cloth. I knit the tube, turned it inside out, seemed the bottom, turned it rightside out and did a 3-needle bind off for the top. Voila!

05 May 2009

Bunny on Swing

Papercutting . . . because I really need another
craft to add to the list.

I started to get interested in papercutting after I signed up to get mailorder #8 from the Angry Chicken. (Wow - that's a weird sentence). After trying out papercutting, I was amazed at how easy it was to get a fairly decent looking piece of art with few tools (pattern, exacto knife, paper, magazine as cutting board) and a short period of time. This can be my go to craft for last minute gifts and simple re-decorating for my house and office.

I am really inspired by the papercuts of Elsa Mora and I own a few pieces. I love the otherworldly look of her artwork.

To further myself along, I have signed up for a class later this month at Asheville BookWorks. The teacher will be Beatrice Coron and I can't wait to learn from her. I've never taken a class like this before; it's going to be an adventure.

13 April 2009

Mini House Dreams

When I am not knitting or fooling around with some other craft, I am dreaming about mini houses. What is a mini house? Well besides being an obsession of mine, it is a house that is less than 250 square feet or so.

I'm not sure how this all started. Maybe it was my childhood ambition to become an interior designer who exclusively worked with children's play houses. My "big" idea back then was to paint yellow stripes on the floor that would serve as sleeping bag parking spots. We can say that my tastes have changed a bit since then.

About a year ago, I stumbled across the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company website. The ingenious and teeny houses really inspired me to design my own. Since I am slow as molasses, I finally got around to designing my own trial sized house today during my lunch break.

This is my idea of drawing up architectural plans - in Excel, using shapes and text boxes. Low-tech . . . yup. My ideal tiny house would be about 15' x 20'. I decided to scale it down to the infinitesimal 5' x 8' for one reason. If you check out the Tumbleweed site, you'll notice that a lot of the smallest houses are built on trailers instead of foundations. Well, my Dad has a 5' x 8' trailer and he seems interested in helping me build this. So this nutty dream of living a fun-size life MIGHT actually happen (one day . . . maybe).

The house is basically a small room with a walled off toilet/shower area, a small kitchen and a living area. You climb a rope ladder to access the sleeping loft above. This drawing is missing a lot (like its bottom third and . . . um . . . windows), but it is a start.

I envision that the mini house would be permanently parked on a beautiful piece of land with views of the NC mountains. While getting super lost on the way to Caroline's baby shower, I spotted potential "parking spots" in Stokes County. It is close to home, but far enough away for a little vacation house.

I would have just enough room in the mini house for a few knitting projects, books, my laptop, food and (maybe) my dog, Iris. Any visitors would have to sleep in tents or curled up in the living area.

So is this totally nuts?

25 March 2009

What I did over my blog break

I knit up a storm last year. I just had blognesia and completely forgot to blog about what I was working on (some friends would say that they reminded me a few times).

Here are just a few highlights:
The Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann (made for a friend's newborn baby boy). I really took advantage of the Knit Picks 40% off book sale and got copies of The Opinionated Knitter, Knitting Without Tears and Knitters Almanac. I love EZ's wit and good common knitting sense. I see many more EZ projects in my future.
I started the Twilight socks the morning of my little sister's college graduation in May. I finished sometime in the fall. These are my second pair of socks and a week doesn't go by when I don't wear them to bed or with jeans. I did try the two-at-a-time technique with these socks, but I got really tangled. I got to the heel, put one sock on stitch markers and just proceeded one at at time.

I tried my first seamless, raglan sweater, Francis Revisited. I bought the yarn over a year ago when my boss gave me a gift certificate for Knit Picky Yarns. I thought it was going to be the Tree Jacket, but I am glad that I chose this sweater pattern instead - I love how it drapes. I have a really hard time not wearing it every day.

I knit not one, but two thongs this year. They were both bachelorette party gifts for close friends. From my Ravelry notes: When I bought two skeins of Risata last summer, I was pretty sure that they would be knit up into a pair of socks. However, I used both to knit thongs for bachelorette party gifts. I started this one as the train departed Greensboro for DC. Luckily, no one asked me what I was knitting while I was on the train. I bound off the stitches as the train pulled into Union Station. I wove in the ends when I got to my friend’s, the hostess, apartment in Chinatown. I did this discreetly as her father sat a few feet away. After the hostess’s parents and husband left I started the i-cord waist tie. I knit on this mysteriously through the night as we talked, laughed and sipped wine. All the other guests knew was that I making 40 inches of … something. Near the end of the night, I snuck away to thread the i-cord through the eyelet row and, voila … a thong was born.
So, that plus a few more projects is how I spent my year. Hopefully it won't be another 13 months until my next post.

23 March 2009


Umm . . . yeah . . . it's been a while since I've posted anything. Technically it has almost been 13 months. Yikes! I have been knitting up a storm, I just never got the "knit something, take a picture, put the picture on flickr, blog about picture" thing down. I'll try to be better . . . we'll see.

I am turning up now for a good reason. If you remember all the way back to my last blog post, I was congratulating Emily on winning my contest supporting Big Brothers and Big Sisters. The 2009 Bowl for Kids Sake for Big Brothers and Big Sisters has come and gone, but I am still raising money. If you donate to my local Big Brothers and Big Sisters, I will send you a copy of my first pattern, Chuva. This fingerless mitt is based on the beautiful Droplet Hat designed by Norah Gaughan (who graciously let me use this motif in my design).

You can donate through the above link through March 31st. Please send me a quick email at renee dot antoinette at gmail dot com to let me know that you made a donation and I will send you a pdf of the pattern.
Thanks to my test knitters Nik and Stacey!
Coming soon . . . what I have been working on for the last year so.

26 February 2008

Blog Contest Winner - Emily!

Thank you to everyone who gave to Bowl for Kids Sake to support Big Brothers Big Sisters! Ranette and I raised $534.05 - that is much more than I ever dreamed possible.

Emily is our big winner! She wins her very own copy of The Best of Interweave Knits: Our Favorite Designs from the First Ten Years!

Emily, send your address to me at renee DOT antoinette AT gmail DOT com and I will send the book to you. In case you already have this book, we can work out another knitterly prize for you.

I was a biology major and I feel the need to include a "Methods" section to this blog post. My completely scientific process included:

1) put all four entrants names in an excel spreadsheet

2) sort the names by the third letter in each person's first name

3) run down the hall and ask my co-worker Greg to pick a number between 1 and 4

4) tell Greg that 3.5 is not an answer that works for me and ask him to pick a whole number

5) Greg picks 3

6) I run back to my desk to see who is in the number 3 position on the spreadsheet and see that it is Emily.

So congratulations, Emily! Your book will come to you soon.

Also coming soon, the last of my Christmas presents!

10 January 2008

Bowl for Kids Sake!

I am holding my first ever Sassa Nova Blog Contest to support Bowl for Kids Sake (BFKS)! This event raises money for my local Big Brothers/Big Sisters agency. In fact, this one event raises nearly 40% of the total annual budget for Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

This event means so much to me because of the smart, funny, super cool 13-year-old by my side, Ranette. We have been matched through Big Brothers/Big Sisters for three and a half years and we have loved every minute of it! OK, she doesn't look like she is loving the particular minute that was captured in this picture, but do you know how hard it is to get a 13-year-old to smile? Especially when she is super cool AND surrounded by her super cool friends!

Ranette and I will be bowling at the BFKS event on February 23rd and we need sponsors! If you can spare $5, please donate online here. Leave a comment saying that you donated (no need to say how much) and I will enter you in a contest to win a great knitting prize. Only 3 people read this blog so you have a REALLY good chance of winning. Good luck!