Tuesday, December 07, 2010

French Press Felted Slippers

As I may have mentioned, I think these are the cutest darn slippers EVER. And indeed, they have become MY slippers. Perhaps next year I can knit up a slew of them and gift them to my lovely family & friends :). They are incredibly quit to knit up and I was even able to get them to felt up in the front-loader. No hand felting was necessary. And just in time too - our temperatures have taken a deep dive this week.

I used Cascade 220 (don't remember the specific color), which is so economical and so yummy. I did a single crochet trim and used some more of Grandmom's fantastic vintage buttons. Amazingly, I still have half a jar full of those buttons to use! I think these little knights were just too fun to keep in the jar.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Tying Up Some Loose Ends

I'm really great at starting projects and then letting them linger, almost completed. I get to the point where I can see the finished product and then I just loose interest. Especially if the item will not be used for several months. Exactly what happened to this adorable Double Breasted Seed Stitch Jacket.

I got the entire jacket put together and then couldn't find the right buttons. It sat around until I finally got back to it this week. And truthfully, I think this is my most favorite baby item yet. It's functional, adorable and who could resist these fantastic vintage buttons I discovered on Etsy from AddVintage? Seriously, no boy should be without this hoodie. Can't wait to see our little man in it!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Breville Pie Maker

I'm not really the chef in these parts. I'm much more the baker. But when I saw this slick little piece of machinery for the kitchen, I was immediately struck with the benefits it would bring our family. Now, I'm not one to be all about the very specific kitchen equipment. I firmly believe that any kitchen item should have at least three good uses or be used for it's one purpose almost daily in order to be allowed admittance into our busy lives. Otherwise, I just don't have much use for it, you know?

However, this little machine just may be the answer to hours spent in the kitchen every Christmas Eve. At our house, we have a tradition of making fried pies - a recipe my grandmother developed - and that process can be very time consuming. This year, we have the luxury of this little machine. And let me tell you, we've already had success with some delicious salmon pot pies, ready in 16 minutes. My hubby the chef was extremely pleased. And everybody gets their own crust. I can't wait for my in-laws to arrive so we can do individual chicken pot pies. If the upside of having a timesaving device for the holidays is also to have a convenient way to serve up supper, I'm all for it. And all for just $80.00. Oh and family, if you're reading this, you'll need to get your own - ours is staying right where it is!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Xmas Gift Sewing (2)

My new sewing machine is getting a good initiating these days! I think I finally have the basics figured out, and this was a great, simple project to do just that.

I'm a headache sufferer, and there is nothing quite so comforting as my "happy eye pillow." I use it whenever a headache befalls me. It's essentially a silky beanbag, filled with buckwheat hulls and lavender. It smells lovely, darkens the room and puts just the right amount of pressure on my eyes. I love it.

So this Christmas, I decided to make a few of my own from Richard's old ties and some fabric scraps I had loitering about the studio. (If you are not as remiss in cleaning out your closets as we are, you could always scope out the local thrift stores for fun ties and pocket squares.) I found all the filling ingredients at my local, natural foods store - and they were all in the bulk aisle: read, nice and cheap. I estimate each Happy Eye Pillow cost me about $2.00. So not only do I have a green gift, but it was super cheap too! What could be better?

If you are looking for a pattern, check out Amanda Soule's book, Handmade Home. She recommends thrifting for vintage scarves for the outsides. I may just have to try that too!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Baby Blankie

I never had a baby blankie. My lovie was my teddy bear. But my sister had her blankie, and so did my son. And I just love a soft blankie for baby. I picked up some double sided printed fleece at the big-box store (there is SO much to choose from this time of year!) and some satin blanket binding, and voila! I have a new blankie to spread on the floor at play time for baby Jack.

It was so dog-gone easy, I am almost embarrassed to say I sewed it. So I'll tell you I put it together myself, and leave it at that. I'm certain there will be another. It's just too easy not to have extras!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Xmas Gift Sewing

Have I mentioned that knitting gifts this year is not going to happen? I believe I have. So while I still have the ability to sew, I thought I'd whip up a set of fleece mittens and a scarf for the guitar teacher. (Seriously, it's been a long time since I hung out with 20-something single musician guys. It was not easy to figure out what we might be able to give him this year.)

When I saw this fleece in the remnant rack at the local big-chain fabric store, I knew I was on to something. And then when I found the simplest pattern in the world for mittens (and it was free), it was a done deal. So for a whopping $7.00 we have a hand-made gift for the guitar teacher he might actually use. I love it when a plan is inspired.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Birdie Rattles

More baby sewing is afoot, even with the onset of the gift-giving season. I've been swooning over more of the patterns in Sweet Booties, as mentioned here, and decided that I just had to work on the Birdie Rattles next.

For this project I was able to used repurposed fabric (read clothing I can no longer wear for various reasons) and was delighted to find a color palette that seemed boyish. This, is the (very high tech) recycled material that created the interior rattle mechanism:

I have to admit, the sewing was a little more involved than the last couple projects I've done, but in the end, I think it was totally worth it. I even decided to use my snap setter to attach snaps at the ends instead of tying them as the book recommends - I think it'll be easier once I have a babe in one hand and a shopping cart in the other. Time will tell. And who doesn't love birds? I can't wait to try them out!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bootie Love

A sweet friend and sister loaned me the cutest book for baby sewing: Sweet Booties! And Blankets, Bonnets, Bibs & More. The projects are just irresistible. I decided to tackle these little newborn booties first, using some scraps from a flannel receiving blanket I made for a friend last fall.

It's so wonderful to be using the fabric in my stash for new baby stuff! And these are going to be so fun on a little pair of kicking feet this February.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Recycled T-shirt Newborn Sleepers (2)

Remember this post from February? I'm still in love with these practical little sleepers. I've been on the prowl around here for more fun Ts to recycle. I think we're gonna have the hippest baby on the block (well, maybe the only baby, but let's not dwell on that). Here's what's been done lately:

(Curious George, front)
(and back; from men's large T)
(first sleeper, from a Men's XXL)
(second sleeper from same shirt - had to add arms from a different T; I think it looks like a baseball shirt.)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Little Something Extra

I finished the snaps on the shoulders of the hospital gown this week. I am thrilled with how easily the Kam Snaps pliers work! And since I had a good bit of material left from that project, I decided to make these adorable little pants.

Thanks to Made By Rae's blog, these were a cinch to whip up. These could not have possibly taken me more than 90 minutes to create. I'm sure there will be many more in the future for our little one.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Proof of Pregnancy (4)

It was bound to happen. It did the last time. At least this time I was ready for it. The inevitable swelling of my extremities has taken up residence for what I can only assume will be the remainder of my pregnancy (three months and counting). I've always been prone to swelling, but my body particularly takes issue with pregnancy it seems. My short little fingers feel like overstuffed sausages, and my feet refuse to fit in anything but my Birks (which I love, by the way). And the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is slowly creeping into my wrists. It makes knitting a little less enjoyable.

Happily, (thanks to my amazing yoga instructor) I've found a little something that helps: Coconut Water. It's packed with potassium and eleventy-million other nutrients that seem to keep the swelling at bay. I will admit, it's a bit difficult to choke down on its own. It comes from under-ripe coconuts and it tastes like it. But mixing it with a bit of OJ (ok, a lot of OJ) makes it palatable enough to drink and does wonders for the extremities. I've been able to find it at our local Trader Joe's, but I understand most health food stores carry it as well. We'll see how long it works, but for now, I can knit on (and sew, and bake, and...).

Friday, November 05, 2010

Maternity Sewing

I haven't been much into the sewing of maternity clothing. It seems like the pay-off is for such a small amount of time. I just can't get into it. But as I was browsing Etsy (a dangerous thing to do), I ran across some homemade hospital gowns and realized the wisdom of this. All the photos I have of me and Hayes in those first amazing days are of him swaddled in a hospital blanket and me in a ratty hospital gown. I'm hoping it'll be a bit different this time.

I found a terrific pattern over at Lazy Girl Designs. The pattern doesn't specify maternity, but making the larger gown will definitely be generous enough for me, and I would imagine most pregnant women. How do I know? I altered my dress form to give me an idea:

I found some fabric in my stash that won't be too see-though or readily show any dirt/spit up/etc. The pattern was extremely easy to follow and I love the result.

All I have left to do is set some snaps along the shoulders and I'll be ready to go! I have yet to get my snap setter and snaps, but I can't wait to finish this stylin' gown. And the best part is, I will be delighted to send it on to Grandmom so she can use it at the nursing home. (I'm sure I'll need to take it in just a bit before that!) Everybody wins.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Handmade Baby Gifts

I have been busily working away on a few gifts for a friend who is expecting a girl this month. And while I love, love, love being the mother of boys, I miss the sewing and knitting opportunities that girls offer. So I took the arrival of this little one as the opportunity I needed and here's what emerged:

Another capelet from Leigh Radford. I adore this pattern! And I love how easy the capelet is; no sleeves to contend with. The knitting is quick and the pattern is interesting. A perfect project as far as I'm concerned.

And then I whipped up these little beauties:

I always forget the before picture with a "refashion" - but at least this time you can see the T-shirt they were born from, and how I cut them out.

I've been holding on to this shirt for years waiting for just the right thing to use it for. These little baby britches were exactly what it needed for a second life! I just love it when a plan comes together.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Super Secret Trip Bag

SHHH! We are taking our kid on a super secret trip tomorrow. You'll never guess where. I've been super-secretly bursting with excitement for a month! As such, I needed a way to channel my energies without spending all our money prior to arrival :) So without further ado, I give you my WDW Bag:

I designed it myself. Because, while there are many, many things The Dis can do for a dedicated fan like me, try as I might, I never can find the perfect bag. I realize this is a very personal need, so I decided to make one for myself.

First of all, it had to be cute. Cute in that I'm-a-hip-momma-and-I-love-me-some-Mickey-Mouse kind of way. So when I found this adorable Heather Ross canvas (Far Far Away II series) I knew it was the fabric I needed. (Isn't it a fantastic coincidence that Disney is releasing Tangled this Thanksgiving?)

Secondly, it had to hold my Passporter, my Nikon DX40 (protected from other trinkets), my pressed penny books, maps, tickets, pressed pennies, a water bottle and sunscreen (so they don't get other things wet), my refillable mug, cell phone, and an XL sweatshirt. And of course, I didn't want anything bulky. So this is my design, and I am damn proud of myself.

(the map, ticket and pressed penny pockets on the outside for quick access)

(the roomy, and divided, interior)

(the back, and a great view of the print)

(the side mesh pockets for water and sunscreen)

I am in love with this baby! I'll let you know how the trip goes. I may not sleep tonight!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Baby Sweater Vest

Yet another knitted baby item. They're just so darn satisfying to whip up! No time at all, I tell you. I decided to switch things up by making a sweater vest, instead of a full fledged sweater this time. Hey, spring will eventually hit. And what little boy doesn't look amazing in a sweater vest?

I made this in Bella DK from Universal Yarns. You can find this Cable Vest pattern, in the Bella Babies - Book I, also from Universal Yarns. I've done enough projects in DK weight that I think I am done with it for a while. I've started a hoodie in a burnt orange worsted weight for something a little different. So far, I'm loving it. I'll post it when I'm done.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Baby Sweater IV

This is another fantastic baby pattern from Leigh Radford's One More Skein. This is Nash's Garter Stitch Sweater and I think it is adorable! I love the button styling on this pattern. I used grandmom's button stash again - an endless supply of fabulous finds. I can see this paired with a little pair of jeans and a t-shirt. What a styling little baby we're gonna have.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

De-Stashing V

More baby knitting has been done, and this all before we knew we are having another boy! This little cutie is called Baby Yeti; apropos, wouldn't you say? It's the perfect use for this fantastic fuzzy yarn. I found this yarn at Hobby Lobby (Baby Bee) a year ago for $2 a skein. So this cuddly little pullover cost all of $4 to create. I love a bargain!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Scrapbook Layout #1003

Could I be getting back into a groove? Hmm....

Happy Birthday To Me

So my husband knows me, really well. And he knows exactly what this girl wanted for her birthday this year: a zoom lens for my Nikon DX40. I am falling in love with my camera all over again! Check out these photos from the sidelines yesterday. (Our boy is #81.)

I just love it! AND I can't believe how much I enjoy watching these football games. I mean, honestly, it's not like the 8 and 9 year olds are experts in the game by any stretch. But they are so fun to watch. And there is nothing like seeing your kid make a great play!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

When It Rains...

Rain. It's a rare commodity in these parts. We're way below the norm and our poor garden is so sad. So today, when I heard the rain outside, my heart soared. Never mind that my headache was a combination of the weather and muscle tension. It was good to have the rain. And then I heard the sound of the sprinkler against the sliding glass door. I heard the the neighborhood kids giggling and screaming and thought it was delightful that they were having so much fun in the rain. It was about time.

And then I heard the sound again. It was coming from the garage. I opened the door to find my child with the hose in hand drenching the other kids in the garage. I was stunned. Who does that?!? The neighbor kids made themselves scarce with a quickness. After chewing my son up and spitting him back out, we assessed the damages together. Half the garage was soaked; some of my art work, some antique furniture, all the sporting equipment, the new crib, him, all of it wet. I was overwhelmed. How could he have thought this was ok?!?

My head was throbbing, my heart was aching and I saw my entire week vanishing into this oblivion of garage cleaning damage control. I came inside to throw some dinner in the oven and calm down. I looked at the dog and screamed, "Can it get any worse?" She promptly threw up. Apparently she ate some pasta with red sauce at some point today. Perfect.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Must Listen Article

I'm a huge fan (and supporter) of National Public Radio. You know, the sort of dedicated listener who won't turn it off even during the fund drive. So last night, when I heard this story I knew I needed to post it here, so the rest of you could hear it too. Just click on this link and when you get there, click on the Listen To This Story Button. It's so true!

(My favorite part is about the chickens.)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Scrapping Again

I did manage to get to some scrapbooking this week! (After a full 9 months off the grid - ack!) I am learning the differences between Photoshop and Elements. Not so hard, but just enough to be a bit frustrating. Nevertheless, I am pleased that I got this layout, with one of my favorite pictures of all time, finished! Huzzah!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Busy Little Bee

It's been an exhausting week around here, at least for the pregnant lady. On Monday I decided that whatever else happened, I needed to can some applesauce for the coming winter. Upon finding only 6 apples in the 'fridge (have I mentioned how much I am loving apples right now?), I hopped in the truck and headed for the local orchard.

Upon arriving I found not only 3 varieties of apples I had to have, but also a bushel of #2 peaches. These are the ones that drop, get bruised, don't look just right. Well I couldn't just leave them there now, could I? So I picked them up too.

Needless to say, my week has consisted of making applesauce, canning applesauce, making peach puree, turning it into peach butter, and canning said peach butter. Had I had a bit more energy, I might have been able to sweeten the peach butter, but as it is, it's strictly the fruit and some spices; a bit sweet and tart all at the same time. Which actually will be nice for the two people in the house who can't have sugar. The rest of us can always add it in if necessary. And I swear by the crock pot. That makes the entire "butter" experience so much easier.

And I have been extraordinarily tired from the entire experience. I needed a couple of days just to veg in order to catch up with myself. I'm glad to have finally got some canning in though. We'll see just how long those jars of applesauce really last!

Friday, September 03, 2010

De-Stashing IV

Before my fateful yarn-buying-spree, I was able to create this lovely little sweater from my stash of yarns. (Baby knitting really is a great way to use up those odd balls of yarn.)

This is done in Berroco Comfort - and even though I tend to be a yarn snob, this Acrylic/Nylon blend is so soft, you would never know it's not a natural fiber. The pattern is the Inca-Dincadoo sweater by Sarah Keller, and it's all in garter stitch which makes it super easy. And I used the buttons from Grandmom's stash; I'm sure they came off a blazer of Gramps's at some point.

The sweater clearly needs blocking, but I was so anxious to share I thought I'd post it anyway. Happy Labor Day weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

And I Was Being So Good, Too

Ah, the allure of new yarn sucked me in and down the rabbit hole! It's not like I need the yarn. In fact, I still have a substantial stash to work through. But in the end, I discovered a new yarn shop in Plainfield, Nomad Yarns, and they had the most adorable book of baby patterns (which I need like I need a hole in my head) and the very yarn called for in the pattern. So I purchased them both to make a cabled baby vest.

Then, my regular shop, Village Yarn Shop, sent out an e-mail that all the cotton and summer yarn was going on sale. I tell you, it's a conspiracy! Of course, I had to go up there and get some supplies for baby knitting, because there's nothing quite so perfect as Blue Sky Organic Cotton for a baby. Of course I also picked up two other cottons. Come on, they were on sale. Oh, and I also signed up for a class to make these slippers (which the Yarn Harlot was nuts about - and rightly so) because they would make such great Christmas gifts. (I keep telling myself that, anyway. Let's be honest; they will most likely wind up in my own closet.)

Ah well, I slipped off my yarn diet. I suppose everyone drops a stitch now and again.....

De-Stashing III

Still using up that stash of yarn! Here are some future Christmas gifts that will be added to the gift larder:

Still thinking about felting the red one....

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

De-Stashing II

I have this habit of buying a ball or two of a yarn I find irresistible, and then I don't really have enough of it to do much of anything. I mean, really. How many hats can a girl have? I finally collected enough of these random hanks to make a shawl. And while I don't really see myself as much of a shawl wearer, I find myself reaching for it at night when I am watching TV and the house seems a bit chilly. And it's made up of my favorite yarns. What could be better?

Pattern: Odd Ball Knitting, Triple Triangle