Monday, September 29, 2008

fall 'favorite fabrics' tote

I wanted my fall tote bag in neutral black and white with pops of color and have been wanting to use some of my favorite fabrics in these tones instead of just looking at them lovingly in the cabinet.

I really like how the patterns work together. My one rule was to look for fabrics that were black, white or cream for the most part and then allow some color to mix in if it was in the pattern. My other rule was to not include polka dots which I adore but didn't want included in this.

I love the linens mixed with cottons and you can see I put quite a few Japanese fabrics in there.

I am really happy with the mix of patchwork and it has me inspired to do more piecing work. My next patchwork project will be the quilt for Little M.

I lined the bag with a gray cotton and decided spontaneously to go for red handles in the end.

Friday, September 26, 2008

herringbone stitch

Herringbone stitch has become a new favorite of mine. It makes a lovely dense piece and has wonderful texture to it.
This example is a neck warmer I am almost finished with. I have also been trying to fashion a pair of wrist warmers with this stitch in my own pattern.

Here is how you would knit this stitch

Cast on an even number of stitches

K1 *S1 K1 psso but before taking it off the needle knit through the back loop first; repeat from star to last stitch, K1
P2 together and keep on left needle, p 1st stitch again and drop both stitches off needle.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 to desired length

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

pink mittens

A month or so ago I had in my mind to make toddler mittens and I made 3 pairs. This was the only pair that turned out to my liking without ladders on the side. I'm thinking it was my gauge but, I'm not sure. I also did a hat and had to rip it out because of ladders. I've been reading how to avoid this situation with double pointed needles. Anyone else have this problem and which method do you like to use to avoid them?

three skirts

I went and made myself some new fall skirts in a simple a-line shape with a side zipper. They sit between the waist and the hip and are very comfortable. I followed the same instructions I did when doing the bicycle skirt nixing the waistband. I seem to have lost/misplaced that green skirt which makes me very sad as I really loved and wore it a lot. It seemed to have gone missing right around moving time or maybe right after. Perhaps I will discover it one day. I do like a mystery like Nancy Drew. If only I had a clue to help me along.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

weekend knitting

The weekend was full of knitting and I started and completed these two sample pieces which I am pretty happy with. Unfortunately, most of us also had colds and the baby got the worst of it. Can you tell here how tired I look? Oh well.
Poor Ms. S. She is such a trooper though.

I had been wanting to experiment with cowls and shrug-like garments and this is what I came up with.
I am planning on making the red one a little different next time with a bit more increasing and a I think a little design feature in the middle.

The weather was so nice ( I love the sun and sky in September and October) and the change of season has me even more excited about my yarn stash which is perfect because I've got to finish up my knits for the store. We had a short outing to a herb festival in a garden in town today and I was given some homemade sage shortbread cookies that Liz (the garden club president) made to take home. They are so good. And, the chrysanthemum tea was amazing too. Liz and Little M made some potpourri for us. It was very sweet.

Friday, September 19, 2008


So, I told my Mom I was going to bake brownies for our block party. We got assigned a dessert since we are newcomers. I now have block parties to attend. You can tell I'm not in a city anymore.

I discussed with Mick my method of making them from scratch and then we decided afterwards even though it's not hard to go the scratch method we'd opt for the easier route this time since it's for a bunch of folks we don't even know. Is that bad?

Anyway, he went to the store and got a Duncan Hines mix and I told my Mom and this is when she divulged her now not a secret anymore cheater recipe for her brownies.

Basically, she uses a Ghiradelli mix and adds a cup of chocolate chips pre-baking. And, her brownies are really good. Not fudgey, not cakey just really good. So that is the cheater route I took. It meant another trip to the store but, hey, I'd like to make a good impression

Now, I can't taste one until tomorrow but I did lick the spoon.


Happy Weekend.


Thursday, September 18, 2008


Here is the cardigan I've been working in progress. I can't seem to photograph this to show the true shade of the yarn so you can look at it here which I think is more accurate. This is my first adult sweater and I am making it for me.
The pattern is this one and I decided to try it out in Sheep Shop yarn.
I fell for this shade hard which is pretty odd for me as it is not something I normally gravitate too but, I really like it and I think this color will suit me well. I'm almost through with my third skein and I've got to get my hands on 2 more so I can finish the bottom and do the sleeves.
It is very straightforward and I've made a few changes so far. I did the increases differently and made the top stockinette section a little longer before I started ribbing. I saw on Ravelry that some people made the collar smaller and am wondering if I should have done that. Oh, I've still got to carve out some time to upload all my knitting projects to Ravelry. I do love it as a resource and use it all the time.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

love it

I finished the poncho I previously mentioned I was working on for Scarlet and I love it.
I wish I had one for me too because it is simply gorgeous.
I fell in love with Lorna's Laces which is so wonderful and soft to work with and it is washable which is always a nice aspect with children's clothing although I will still use yarn that is handwash only.

She won't be wearing this until 2010 as it is knit to size 2-4 years old. I really wanted to try out this pattern as I loved the others I have done. It is Knitting Pure and Simple Children's Poncho and is suitable for an Advanced Beginner.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

baby blanket

Mom guilt:

I was feeling a bit guilty that I had not made Ms. S any sort of blanket. Of course, I've made her clothes and some toys but, a blanket somehow escaped the finished project list. I decided I needed to remedy this fast and looked for a quick project.

I decided on the scallop baby blanket from Bend-The-Rules-Sewing and it was just what I wanted. The color choice came easily for me as I call her my 'plum pudding' and I backed it with a pale pink

It is three layers so I guess I could technically call it a quilt, no?

The blanket could also serve as a play mat or lap quilt when she is older.

I have a pile of fabric picked out to make a quilt for Little M which I hope (cross fingers) I manage to do for his birthday which is November so it should be doable.

Now, I understand the extra warm and fuzzy feeling people get when they take their quilts out of the dryer (so much better after washing). I could get addicted to this.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

button wall

This morning while in bed with my daughter after nursing and all was still and quiet (okay the little boy downstairs was making noise while with his Papa eating breakfast but let's pretend) I watched her observe and delight in the tiny things- a strand of my hair, the little blue stars on her flannel cloth, the tiny threads sticking out of a corner and I thought I would show you a little something pretty that tickles me today.

A group of carded buttons in a corner of my studio most of which came from a friend and some which traveled with her from a visit to France.

I am so happy that Autumn is around the corner. I've already seen piles of leaves which make me so happy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

this boy

-had his first day of preschool today
-did great
-loved his monkichi satchel i gave him which i actually bought around 13 years ago and used once. little did i know then that i would give it to my son today.

Monday, September 8, 2008

new top!

So, here is a new top that won't be worn anytime soon because it's a size 3. I've been in the habit lately of mixing in some clothes for the future with items I make to be worn by the baby now. I like to look forward to things.

This is Simplicity 4206 and I realized I had a bonnet that matched. Now, I've got to check to see if I have enough of that fabric to remake it in the child size when the time comes.

By the way, all seven of the bonnets, I made have been worn all summer long and the compliments keep coming.

I also used this pattern to make a dress by simply lengthening it.. I'll show you that soon.

Friday, September 5, 2008

smocks forever

Okay, maybe not forever but recently I decided to try one of my smocks on Scarlet and it worked. Hooray!
A wonderful discovery for me because now I know they can be worn for 2 years! I tried it on Little M and it fits too. I'm not going to show you a picture because he would kill me when he is older but, trust me.

How many garments fit for that long on little ones? Not many, I think...not many.

There is another one of these at Mackey Blue and the Etsy shop. I would not sell one that has been drooled on:) Ms. S has 6 teeth now. Oh, and she turns 7 months tomorrow. I can hardly believe the time is going so quickly. She's really the best. I love this age.

I have so much to show and tell but, have been bad/lazy about taking pictures. If the boy decides to nap today, I'll try to get another post in today.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

dressmaker mannequin

i've had this dressmaker mannequin for so long. I think 16 years. I remember the day I bought her from a tailor. I was on my way to work at Ken's Magic and Costume Shop. It was October and I was working there for the Halloween season. I was quite eccentric in those days and I loved to dress up and this place you could dress like you were going dancing in New York City which I did a lot. I know I was wearing a bright red wig and a bubble gum pink dress that belonged to my Mom in the 60's. The mannequin was in the back of the car and I got pulled over by a cop. I'm thinking 'oh my god' is he going to burst out laughing or think I'm on drugs. Turns out it was something silly like a tail light and he didn't even make a comment about my outfit.

Anyway, the point of all this is that I want to fix her up so I can utilize her. She is in dire need of a tune up. Her hips are all out of wack and she needs rust remover and something to loosen the joints so I can get her into my measurements. Ideally she could use some new cloth for her body too though I'm not sure I want to venture into this territory. I've no idea where to begin with this. I guess I have some research ahead of me. Any tips you want to pass along?

Monday, September 1, 2008

photo shoot in the woods

I have been knitting a lot lately.

Sometimes I am too tired or unable to get up to the sewing room and so I surround myself with my yarn and stitch away.
I think currently I have at least 7 projects on the needles and at least 8 finished objects I have not shown.

One of the projects I am excited about is a sweater for myself although I feel so guilty working on it because I know I should be working on shop stock. I feel less guilty working on something for the kids. I've got a poncho in the works for S and I've picked out a pattern for a sweater for Little M.

We went to the woods recently and Mick photographed me in some of my knitwear. I pretty much disliked every photograph except for this one which showcases the head kerchief. It is one of my designs I really love. I have several available and not all are listed on Etsy so shoot me an email if you are interested in owning one for yourself. You can even wear it around your neck. It looks cute like that too.

Oh, and yes it was like 90 degrees when this photo was shot.

What you don't get to see:

Little M peeing on a tree.
Scarlet sitting happily in her stroller in the middle of the woods content as can be until she got hungry of course.