Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hot Loops Party Plans and oh yeah, my stash

The Hot Loops Party was awesome! I bought a couple of patterns to use with stash yarn. Both patterns are for short-waisted people. Many hand-knit sweaters/jackets/whatever are made for people who are long waisted. So more pictures as they come out. I also bought some amazing bamboo cotton, handpainted yarn and other yumminess.

The pink/red/green actually has REAL sterling silver flicks in it! Awesome! I'm thinking about making Miss Ava a Christmas shrug out of it. Or at least I can make 2 hats, 1 for Bella and 1 for Ava.

So I'm on a roll to finish up some projects to get started on the new yarny goodness.

Above is a basketweave blanket from Encore. So easy, the pattern states that it is an 8-hour project, but It's more like 12 hours. The blanket is knit on size 13 needles, which takes some wrangling when you are knitting with basically large sticks. I have plans to make another one from this creamy colored boucle':

Janine, Britt and I have decided to call all yarn from the yarn estate sale a few months ago "murder house" yarn. It may sound melodramatic, but the front of this lady's house looked like a very bad horror movie. Add that to the fact that inside, there was yarn from floor to ceiling. Of course this decision making came from a conversation at Loops over pomegranate martinis. Janine also wants to design her own yarn and call it "murder-house" yarn. Can you hear some of the colors: vampire red, boo black, Kreuger orange? (hey, I teach first grade here, I know these are mildly scary names for yarn)

I must take a picture of Janine's cardi she made from the, ahem, murder-house yarn. It's a lacy leaf sleeve and just open in the front. Turned out great! And she's going to teach me how to make one!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Memory Quilts 101

First, you take some of these adorable baby clothes.

Cut and line with interfacing...
Carefully decide placement of the squares and then go shopping for fabric for the sashing, binding and back (my favorite part - I LOVE taking a quilt shopping!)

Quilt-in-the-ditch with hand-stitched binding and you have....
a memory quilt is born!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Weight Loss Wednesday

I got on the scale today and surprisingly, i lost 1/2 pound. I'll take it. Labor Day weekend was an unhealthy food weekend for me. I'm working at eating more fruit/veggies and a lower-gluten diet.

I need suggestions for gluten-free that tastes good for my family. When I bake things with high fiber grains, they tend to turn up their nose. Suggestions?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Memory Quilts

This memory quilt was made for Angie out of her oldest's baby clothes. Most of them were onesies. I cut 2 5" squares and then sewed them so that none of the matching squares were next to each other. Add a border, machine quilt and bind!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Baby Goodness!

As I was cleaning the craft closet, I found some more unfinished objects. Here they are finished:

Baby things are another way to really work your stash. Babies don't require a lot of yardage and they look cute in any color! Mommies can never have too many burp clothes or blankets or onesies. I have some more onesies to embroider - I use many of Sublime Stiching's patterns or I use them for inspiration.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I LOVE Dishcloth Cotton!

Dishcloth cotton comes is a staple of my stash. It's worsted weight and knits up on size 7 needles. When I want a project that I can see results fast (read: unlike socks), I head to the cotton shelf. It's blogged by other knitters also: Mason Dixon Knitting and The Purl Bee to name a few.

I give you a log cabin washcloth:
You can find the directions from Purl Bee. Just 4 skeins of cotton makes 4 different ones. I'm on my 2nd in about 3 days. Told ya it was fast!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Weight Loss Wednesday

I'm joining a few other crafty moms in trying to lose those last preggy pounds. Rosey Things has started this Weight Loss Wednesday where we write about what weight we've lost, if any, and what we've done differently to lose that weight.

Well, this week I gained a 1/2 pound and I know why. I've strayed from my mostly fruit/veggies/whole grain lifestyle. I ate out this week and didn't watch what I was eating. So back to the healthier choices for me. I'll have some more green smoothies, and I love this smoothie with 1 banana, 1/2 c. pineapple, 1 orange and 1 c. almond milk. Yum!

On to more finished projects: I made this scarf from stash acquired at the famous yarn estate sale that was in Tulsa this summer. The cool thing about some of the yarn I bought is that some of it doesn't have a label. This means that you MUST knit a gauge swatch in order to make something look right. But, that said, when you are making scarves, most of the of the time, I say gauge, schmauge!

It's a plain, old, nubby garter stitch, back and forth for miles and miles (ok, only 65 inches - I'm a little on the short side). I finished it off to prepare for my class this Sunday. I'm going to "on-purpose" create a scarf with sock yarn that has holes in it! I figured, I have the sock yarn, let's give it a go. It's gorgeous and I'll keep you posted...

I think I need a digital camera, the indoor pictures from my iphone are not doing anything justice. Any suggestions for cheap, basic camera??

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A red scarf and more

Disclaimer: The pictures in this post are a little fuzzy b/c my camera is broken and I'm trying to make due with my iphone.
In 3 days, I created this scarf from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders. It's called the Smock-a-Ruche. This is for the Liz Logelin Foundation silent auction. I think this comes from Matt's blog: Life. Death. All in one day and then what happened. Basically Matt and Liz had a baby about the same day I had Ava. I was walking around the next day feeling great. Except for when Liz stood up to go see her baby in the nursery, she collapsed and died. I can't even imagine all that Matt has gone through and to tell the truth, I haven't met him. But one thing's for sure, he is an outstanding human being to be able to start a foundation in his wife's honor. I can't imagine life without Rich.
My friends have been requesting purses, so this weekend I cranked out a few of them. I even cut out a diaper bag and started a baby layette.

On a healthier note,
Also I made some healthier cinnamon muffins and bought teff flour. Apparently, it is a great flour that can be used to make Ethiopian flatbreads. Rich and I are working on eating tons more fresh produce and whole grains. He is challenging himself to eating only produce, some dairy and some grains. I'm challenging myself to 2 green smoothies minimal this week and exercising 3 days minimal.

More pictures of baby stuff later this week.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mitered Square Quilt

This mitered square quilt comes from an idea in my head when I saw mitered square patterns in knitting and quilting. I'm super proud of it because it is my own idea all the way through. I collected the stripes for a year or so. I learned quickly that in order for the squares to work, you must have a reasonably repeated stripe fabric.

For the quilting I used a variegated perle cotton and just meandered around in curvy lines. The binding is going to be a orange dot print. For good measure, I intend on quilting around the squares in black if I get to it before school starts.

I did have a bit of trouble with the borders. The top and bottom are wavy and I'm not sure why. It may be that I pulled too much on the fabric as I was sewing. I've thought about ripping it back and I'm still thinking. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I have not patience for ripping back for knitting or ripping seams for sewing. It annoys me.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yarny Goodness

So I've been stash-enhancing a little bit. I went to this yarn estate sale and this is what I bought:

Now, some is for my little sister Jill and some for my big sister Teal. It was CRAZY going to this lady's house and finding it full of yarn, basically from top to bottom. Her home was about 900 square feet and it was full! All kind of textures, brands, content. I bought some thick/thin rayon/cotton and mostly green or purple silk. Some of it is silk blends. But silk yarn at $1.75/pound is amazing.

Working on an extra long garter stitch scarf for the fall. And then Janine recommended that I make a "whisper" sweater out of the green silk. It's a vine-stitch pattern and then you add ribbing. I need to ravelry it so I can see gauge, etc.

I went to Fiber Christmas in July in Kellyville, OK. The same yarn lady was there and so were tons of batts and fibers of all sorts. For volunteering some of my little bags, the coordinator gave me some of her batts:

Since it was cash or check only, I had a bit of problem buying anything. But Janine to the rescue! In exchange for making her a project bag, she bought two of the things I was eyeing:
The batting on the right is a wool/mohair blend in hot pink/orange/yellow. The drop spindle basically is the same colorway and so light. My complaint about the homemade one is that it's sort of heavy.

Here's hoping that I'll get some laundry folded and then I can try out the new spindle. Going to go catch Ava!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bibs and Bags and More!

Even more sewing coming from the machine! I unearthed these bibs from my to-do pile and whipped them out. Well, whipped is not the word. It's hard wrangling bias tape around curves. And so no more baby shower bibs for me....I may even venture to say I'll stick with embellishing onesies. It's quick and painless and doesn't require the sewing maching.
Also, I'm still on a bag frenzy - I've cut out 2 more bags for my friends and recently gave this one to Beth.
My taxi tote is floppier b/c I didn't put interfacing in it. I like the stiffness of this one. What is it about purses?? I'm sort of a bag/purse/tote whore. I have made many for myself, experimenting with different colors/shapes/sizes. There is just something about bags...They are so easy to make and fun to embellish. And right now, I need a bigger purse instead of a purse and a diaper bag. I hate carrying a purse for me and a diaper bag. Add that and a baby and my body gets worn out fast. And there's also the octopus look.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Baby, Oh Baby Projects

For Kate's baby girl Em, I made this sweet pink jacket and matching onesie. The jacket is a vintage reprint of a McCall's pattern. It called for ties, but I thought the frog closures would be cuter. I "fussy-cut" flowers to blanket stitch to the onesie.

So dragging out the sewing machine helped me rediscover my stash. I also made a tote bag from Anna Maria Horner's book "Seams to Me." I've cut out 2 more of them for friends who are like, "I want one!"

In the works is a baby quilt. I was a little rusty at binding. I cut the binding width too short and so I'm wrangling it to "make it work." So instead of entering it at the fair, I may just give it away to Catholic Charities. Also, my mom's has a friend who's daughter is pregnant and will need lots of stuff.

So it's chess camp this week in Owasso. Ava and I are going to window-shop or go have a snack somewhere. It's HOT here in Oklahoma and outside is not an option.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sewing Mojo up and running

I was seriously concerned about the lack of creative sewing I've done with my sewing machine. Little did I know, but all it took was the simple act of taking it out of Ava's closet. Now, it sits patiently side by side with Rich's Memoir '44 game. But I have plans, ha, ha, ha!

Last night, after a fun-filled day in 103 degree weather with 2 kiddos, I dragged it out and started to work. I made a fun jacket for Kate's little one - can't post it yet, I want it to be a surprise. Then BOOM, with that little project finished, the creative juices started to flow. Now, I have cut out a new bag, and 2 coat jacket bags.
Does that look like the sleeve of a jacket? Why yes, dear reader, it is! The lining of my new bag is made of an old early 90's GAP jacket and I used the sleeves to make little bags. The little bags are not for me though, maybe I can sell them or something. Maybe my knitting friends can use them to hold their notions. The purse is from Anna Maria Horner's book "Seams to Me". The coat sleeve bag is from Last Minute Fabric Gifts. I've had both books for a few years and just now have some time to work from them. There are some CUTE projects in both books!

And I'm OBSESSED with this mystery yarn lady who is trying to sell her friend's stash. Like 2500 POUNDS of it. I can only hope that her stash had it's own room or something. I can't imagine what it even looks like. And I thought a closet shelf full of yarn was a problem.....

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Crafting

For Father's Day, Rich had a few simple requests: a new picture of the kiddos for work and no BBQ-ing (he's mowing 4 yards while his mom is in NY for a few weeks.). Of course, any holiday is an excuse for crafting something. After ruling out bookmarks, we made this:
Painting is not easy for me, but it works. If you look very closely, you can see Vincent and Ava's handprint. We did this at a playdate at Purple Glaze. But I learned that you can't put light on dark paint. Oh well, Rich is relaxing with the TV after mowing 2 lawns in 90 degree weather. He's a great dad and husband and deserves a little rest and relaxation.

This weekend we went to OKC to see my family which calls for knitting all the way up I-44. What is it that I'm working on?? Another mitered kitchen towel from the Mason-Dixon girls!
This one goes to my dad as a part of his Father's Day gift when it's finished. Well, it's time for Ava's nap, I can hear it from the bedroom....

Friday, June 19, 2009

Embroidery Storm

After finishing the blooming cotton scarf, I cast on for another ravelry favorite: clapotis. But I got bored with it real fast. I mean, who needs a scarf when it is 95 degrees in the shade in Tulsa? So I moved on to other brighter things, like embroidering this tote from Jenny Hart. Which also prompted me to organize my thread stash by color.

My embroidery thread stash was, in a large part, given to me from friends and family who have given up on embroidery. Halfway through a tv "timeout"at my house and Ava's nap, Vincent informed me that Ava is awake. He said, "she must have heard my stomping." I have this mound of thread to wind on bobbins and continue sorting:

Yeah, right. I think we need to further discuss the importance of napping.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I've been taking a break from socks. Granted, they are fun, portable and I'm getting pretty savvy at turning that heel. But the bulk of my stash is a DK weight yarn, Peaches and Creme. The ladies of Mason Dixon Knitting enabled me a year ago to buy 4 bags of "dishcloth cotton." In about a week, I whipped up 3 dish towels for my 3 classroom volunteers. Now, using the leftovers, I made one for my own kitchen.

Then I turned to some other DK weight yarn, Cotton Fleece. Ah, I was supposed to use
this yarn to make something for Ava's room. But, then I didn't like how it was looking, so I frogged it. Since then, it has been a coachella, and various hats, and also gifted to my sisters to further enable their knitting obsession. Now, I bring you the beginning of Blooming Cotton Scarf.

I was going along, with this 400 stitch wide scarf, until I noticed that my stitches were twisted. Twisted stitches are the bane of my existence in knitting in the round. I hate it. I hate doing the work to make sure you don't have to redo it again. But, I did and here it is now. It's about half finished. There are supposed to be 14 stripes of colorwork. But at this rate, I think it will be too wide. Being short, I don't want the scarf to take over my head. The jewel tones are pretty!
I have an idea for a purse that repurposes a seersucker suit from the 90's that I've kept for some reason. I'm thinking a bucket style, with some embroidery from jenny hart. Sublime Stitching is what started the whole crafting thing for me. It will probably end up being another knitting bag of sorts or a smaller diaper bag for the lady Ava.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Spring Sewing!

Now that the birthday cake crumbs have settled, aquarium field trip finished, and most everyone is on the mend from a cold, here are some pictures of Ava's summer dresses.

The first dress is one those criss-cross smocks - she might be able to wear it this week, since the weather's supposed to be actually be spring-like and sunny. The middle is a "repurposed" dress shirt from Rich, aka Da...da! The right is a kimono shirt and shorts. I just need to put the buttons on it.

Now for a little heart to heart.  Those with more than one child: how do you find time to exercise? Aside from getting up at 5am (crack o'dawn) to go run on the treadmill, when do you work out? I still have the last 15-ish pounds to lose and I tried dieting only. It doesn't work, because eventually, I eat a lot of ice cream.  Or chips. Or (gasp!) the cafeteria lunch for the day. In my pre-Ava years, I would work out before I picked Vincent up from day care. Now I feel like there are always piles of something to do + working out.  I guess i fell off the bandwagon when I was pregnant and i'm having trouble getting back on. I love my runner's high and miss it greatly.  When i exercise i drink more water. My skin looks great, my body is strong. I'm not hungry for cookies or ice cream.

So, my goal this week is to get my rear-end up and just go. Cold or not. Sleepy or not. Hungry or not. Oh yeah and start another pair of socks.  

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Break Craftiness

 Hospital visits aside, I did get to some sewing during Spring Break. To sum up, I made some gifts for a certain little girl who was born almost a year ago today.  I'll be writing about these for a let's get with the pictures!

This is the bunny hat from Susan B. Anderson's Itty Bitty Hats book. It's a basic hat patt
ern and then you divide for the ears. You sew little pleats in the ears to shape them.  It's quite easy-peasy.  I knit it in one day at the ER. 

Here's another hat made the Miss Ava. It is the birthday hat from the same author and it is quickly becoming one of my favorites to make 1 year olds.  We'll see how long she wears it, but it will go with her tutu...
I've been thinking a lot about my little girl and how amazing she is.  Her birth story is just as amazing.  Not to go into too many details, but I was truly empowered by my doctor as she came into the world with very little drugs - no epidural. 

Fortunately, or unfortunately, she is the youngest of our family and I think she isn't crawling much because of that.  We kept her busy with her toys surrounding her, why would she need to crawl? There goes without saying that the second child gets to hang out a lot more than the first.  With Vincent, we were on top of everything, and working constantly with him to make sure he met those monthly guidelines. But with Ava, I slowed down and snuggled and held her more.  Knowing she is the last (which is very good), I think I may have inadvertently made her stay a baby longer. But, she isn't much of a baby anymore.  She's scooting all over the place and grabbing for everything. I think she wishes she had another arm, so she could carry something and scoot at the same time. Frustration incurs when she wants to carry something and move at the same time.  We are working with her legs and encouraging her to put weight on them.  

As an experienced mom, I know that she will not nurse until she's 35 (although it feels like it sometimes) and yes, she will walk when she is ready.  But for now, I'm savoring the snuggle bunny moments and those coy little smiles:

Sunday, February 22, 2009


My first handspun! I went to the Tulsa Handspinners Guild meeting and met a bunch of new fiber friends! In about an hour, I spun this little jewel using a low-whorl drop spindle. Don't ask what all of those words mean. I need to buy a spindle and practice more so I can learn the language of spinning.

Don't be alarmed: I'm not, repeat NOT going to buy a spinning wheel. It's a long process to make your own yarn and I am not sure I want to sit still for that long. But, that said, I am knitting socks on toothpicks, so who knows?? It's cool that the same people who spin usually dye their own yarn. Now THAT is interesting.....

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I Love Sock Yarn

So, this is my third pair of socks. HELLO?! Yes, I said socks. My friend Sara says that's going a bit too far, but I think that knitting socks is fun. I KNOW that you can buy 7 pairs of socks from walmart, blah..blah..blah...A little tedious, but fun. You take a ball of yarn that looks like this:
Let's just talk about the yarn: It is from Three Irish Girls. I bought it from someone on Ravelry who wanted to de-stash. I SO want to be a member of their sock yarn club.

Hold on there. I just said 3 terms that non-knitters will not understand. Ravelry is an online facebook of sorts for people whose creativity stems mostly from yarn fiber. If you are a member of a sock yarn club, ususally you will get a skein of yarn in the mail monthly as long as you pay the fee. Usually, it's about $80/3 months. To de-stash is to actually use the yarn you have or sell/trade your yarn with someone.

Ok, so back to the sort of boring story about sock yarn. I love sock yarn because it comes in so many beautiful colors and variations. I think this is true because it is easy to dye this kind of yarn. Also, more obviously, easy to sell. Usually 1 400 yard skein will get you 1 pair of socks. Well now, I have turned the heel and on to the home stretch. Maybe I'll give them to my baby sister in OKC - she appreciates my handknits.....but, i might keep them - i love the colorway! Look how it knits up!

I need to figure out how to take better pictures, but there is a lot of light pink and green in the sock. It is handpainted yarn - so loverly....would look great with my open sneakers....

Monday, February 16, 2009

Weekend Sewing

Within the next 2 weeks, there are 3 baby showers at my school. Let's talk a minute about teachers: most of us are uber-planners. Spring is the time to have your babies b/c it maximizes your stay-at-home time. And you don't have to close the school year. Which, most times is a blessing. Well, this year at JEE, is the year for boys. So what to give a new little one but these:

Each mommy-to-be will get 3 blocks for fun playtime. I found the pattern and directions from this cute little blog londonmummy.They were tested by a certain curious 10 month old, who found them quite yummy. And, this fabric came from my stash. Wow. A whole yard gone.

Next are some socks I started recently. So far, I've made 2 pairs of just plain old, well..socks. Now I'm working on using a pattern that extends from the cuff to the toe. It is a baby cable pattern, but I don't have to use a cable needle. Since the picture, I've started the heel. Starting the heel makes me feel like I'm getting closer to the end. Each time I start a sock, the leg/cuff part is a drag. It feels like it takes FOREVER.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Stash Diet??? What Stash Diet??

So here we are in February and I went to my mom's 60th birthday party. That was really fun! People come from out of the woodwork every time there is a party at my mom's. Of course, right before it started, I went to the Oklahoma Quiltworks. Just to see what they have (kind of like going to an ice cream store when you are watching what you eat). There was an awesome quilt store in Tulsa (I worked there), but now, no such awesomeness. So I'm browsing for small stripes and bought this:

Here are some of the blocks I was thinking about when I was buying the fabric.
I'm thinking about turning the squares so it's shaped more like a diamond (actually a rhombus, if you're technical). The goal is for it to look kaleidoscope-ish. So I'll cut out black squares, hopefully the same size as the other ones and then sew it together.
Later that night, after everyone went home - and let's just say it was LATE, my mom and her closest friends went to Jan's house to look at her quilts. Jan is old-school. She watched a documentary on Gee's Bend and saw a quilt that caught her eye. Then she paused the dvd, photographed it and then using many higher-math skills, made a pattern. That's not how I work. You can be sure that my process goes from "I have this idea" to "OH NO!" to "Now, I think I have it!" and then the quilt is done. Ask me about my coffee cup quilt.
As for the $63 spent on fabric, let's just say I'll make plans for it, but first you can guess that it will hang out on the shelf for me to pet for a while. Yeah. Crafters pet things like yarn and fabric. It's weird.