Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday Miscellany

Awesome or just odd?

If you are intrigued you can find the recipe for dill macarons with chocolate hazelnut buttercream via the modcloth blog.  If you try them let me know!

In the meantime I'm sticking with the basics

Homemade apple pie.  Yum.

Friday, September 2, 2011


I come from a long line of crafty women and these beautiful garments were knitted by my grandmother.  Sadly, she passed away when I was only three so I don't have a lot of memories of her but I have learned that knitting was a passion of hers.  My aunt had been holding on to these baby clothes but I convinced her let me have them to frame.

This is not the best photo but if you look closely you can see how delicate the stitches are.  I particularly love that she used a feather and fan pattern on the sweater, a favorite of mine (Check out the feather and fan scarf I made for June here).  I'm sorry I never had the chance to learn from her but I'm glad that I have a few pieces of her work to inspire me. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Knitting in Progress

I'm having a lot of fun knitting up this sweater for a movie lover.  If you are a Big Lebowski fan it might look familiar. 


The pattern is fittingly called "The Dude" and is available for free on Ravelry.  It's a challenging knit with lots of colorwork but I'm so happy with how it looks so far.  It's such an iconic sweater that I've even had a couple of folks recognize it even though I'm only halfway finished with the back. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Matinee Idol

In case you can't tell right away, it's an homage to one of my favorite actors.  I was looking for a quick project to use up some stash yarn and I came across this great chart based on this photo of Heath Ledger.

It knit up quickly and I added a few rows of garter stitch around the edge and knit a simple stockinette back for the pillow. I sewed a muslin pillow form for the inside to avoid any stuffing leaks.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to watch “10 Things I Hate About You.”

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Good News, Bad News

The good news is it was easy to sew and it has pockets.  The bad news is that it looks like grandma's housedress.  I think the problem might be the fabric.  I made this muslin for Simplicity 2004 in more of that thrift store cotton I got on the cheap.  It went together easily but all I can see is grandma's housedress.

The pattern envelope shows the dress with a belt and that does help a bit.

I'm thinking it might look sharp in a navy/white striped seersucker (see swatch pinned to the yoke) but I'm still on the fence.  Do I go ahead and cut in to the good fabric or hold off for a better pattern?  Comments are welcomed.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Miscellany

These beautiful sun print projects caught my eye recently.

Sun prints on fabric via the garden design blog

And on yarn via the craft blog

I picked up a sun print kit at a yard sale this summer.  I might have to give it a try before the summer is over.

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Loving lace

I'm a bit late in posting this but I wanted to share this shawl I made. It was a gift for my husband's grandmother on the occaison of her 90th birthday.  I used a lovely sock weight hand dyed Malabrigo yarn I picked up on a road trip to Vermont.  The yarn is beautiful and soft and  this project used less than one skein.  I am very happy to report that my local yarn shop has recently begun stocking this yarn so I look forward to using it in future projects.

The pattern is called In the Land of Oz and is available for purchase from Bellybuttonknits Designs. The pattern really shows off the colors in the yarn and it’s a relatively quick knit.  I would definitely make it again.

Project notes can be found on my Ravelry page.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Love the Internet

You might remember I was struggling a bit with this simple pattern (Simplicity 1969).   In a fit of desparation I googled the pattern number and happened upon the lovely and talented Beth from the Rusty Bobbin blog who wrote that she had recently purchased the same pattern.  I described my problem and she generously explained what I was doing wrong (as I suspected, it was a case of user error).   She was so helpful and sweet she even went so far as to offer to make up the pattern and photograph the steps for me (fortunately, her explanation was very clear and no photos were necessary). 

I now have a completed muslin (minus topsticthing and finished hems) that actually fits and I'm looking forward to sewing up a new top.  I've added a link to the Rusty Bobbin blog in my blogroll.  If you are interested in garment sewing, I highly recommend keeping up with her blog.  Did I mention she knits too?!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Miscellany

I wanted to share a picture of the treasures I picked up at SOWA with June last week. I scored a Vera Neumann scarf & pillowcase and a yard of elephant ribbon.  I don't know what the pillowcase will be just yet but I couldn't resist.

It seems a bit early to be thinking about Christmas but the folks at Craft Hope have posted a new project  making Christmas stockings for families who were impacted by the tornadoes in Alabama. I have friends in Alabama (who thankfully survived the tornadoes without suffering any damage) and have some experience making Christmas stockings so I might have to make some time to participate. 

In non-crafting news, I've recently discovered and become obsessed with Drew Carey's Improv-a-ganza on the game show network.  I find Jeff Davis hilarious.  Check out one of my favorite clips below

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pixie hat


I made this pixie hat for a friend's new baby. It knit up quickly in an evening and I like that it's easy to personalize with stripes that can be customized to match dad's (or mom's) alma mater or favorite sports team.

The pattern was free on Ravelry and is a great stash buster as it uses only a bit of yarn. More details can be found my ravelry page.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Still on a high from my last garment sewing success I picked up this Simplicity pattern for $1.50 thinking it would be a quick and easy project.  Apparently, I still have much to learn about apparel sewing. 

There are 4 pattern pieces and 13 (an omen?) steps.  Steps 1-6, a breeze.  Steps 7&8 might as well be written in ancient Greek and the diagrams look nothing like the fabric pieces on my table.  Thankfully I made a muslin first.  I sewed and unsewed it about 10 times before admitting defeat.  I feel like I must be missing something so obvious if I put it aside and come back to it later it will somehow all make sense.  At least that's what I'm hoping. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Miscellany

I spent a fun rainy Sunday with June shopping and catching up on Project Runway.  It's still too early for me to choose a favorite (I can barely remember everyone's name at this point) but a couple of my favorite past contestants have some interesting new projects. 

Season one winner Jay McCarroll is designing a fabric line for Free Spirit.  I particularly love this paint splatter print in plum from his Habitat Collection.  You can check out all his designs here.

And quirky nerd girl Diana Eng from Season 2 recently launched a beautiful line of laser cut t-shirts.  I love the combination of intricate details with such simple materials. Click here for more info.

In other news, I ran across this amazing birthday party via the Making in Lovely blog. Is it wrong that I would like someone to thow this party for me on my next birthday?  For the record, I'm just a little older than 7.

Head over the the Pure Joy Events blog for more photos and details.  Seriously, could this cake be more awesome?!  It's even got a Max look alike.  I'm smitten.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Sewing

I finally sewed something that I would actually wear in public! I made this skirt using Anna Maria Horner's Flirting the Issue skirt pattern which you can find here for free.

I am still new to apparel sewing and hesitant to cut into good fabric so I opted for this floral print quilter's cotton. I picked up an entire bolt of it at the thrift store for $6 so there was plenty of room for error. The pattern calls for a lightweight cotton fabric, like a lawn or voile, but the quilter's cotton worked well enough. The pattern is fairly simple and basically requires the ability to measure your waistline, cut a rectangle based on that measurement and sew a few straight lines. It was a bit of a challenge threading the several rows of elastic through the casings (a beer helped) but overall it's a good project for beginning apparel sewists. I don't have a serger and I didn't want to spend the time on complicated seam finishes for this project so I just used a simple pinked seam. I'll see how it holds up after a few washings and decide if I want to to attempt a different technique on future projects.

The print would not have been my first choice but it's growing on me and paired with a tie front blouse, cardigan and my favorite bow necklace, I feel a bit like I'm channeling style icon Emma Pillsbury.

Monday, March 7, 2011

New Sweater

The knitting spree continues and I recently finished this cabled cardigan. It was a free pattern from Lion Brand and more information is available on Ravelry. It was a good challenge and I'm feeling much more confident with cables now. Of course, not confident enough to show you an extreme close-up of the many mistakes that you'll find if you look closely at this sweater.

Overall I like the cardigan, particularly the dramatic collar and the waist shaping. But I'm not sure I'm sold on the sleeves. I only have one coat that can accomodate them and if I were to make it again would probably attempt to modify the sleeves a bit.

The knitting continues but I'm starting to think about spring and there may be some sewing on the horizon. Stay tuned!