Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Stitching

I've had to edit my Christmas stitching list down to only a very few items for lack of time, but I'm happy to say I finished three of them recently. The puppet scarf (pattern via Red Heart Yarns) is for my niece

...and the hat/scarf set is for her little brother.

I used my loom for the hat and made it in less than an hour. The coordinating scarf took a bit longer, but both were the products of a rare and wonderfully quiet Sunday parked in a rocking chair next to the heater.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Miracle of the Knitting Loom

I've been knitting. It tickles me to say that, because I'm not a knitter. My Nan taught me how to knit more than once, and I made a scarf a long time ago, but I just never reached the point of being comfortable with it.

Remembering how much I enjoyed spool knitting when I was little (mine was made with an actual spool and nails, but Lion Brand Yarn has an adorable modern version), I asked for a set of knitting looms for my birthday this year. Lo and behold, they're fun! And easy! And addicting! I can't say the same for pom-pom making (seems like they were a whole lot easier to make when I was a kid) but in any event, I've knitted up a scarf and a hat and trimmed them with big, goofy pom poms.

All hail the knitting loom! And, of course, Hank the Kitten. I've noticed a disappointing trend lately of bloggers apologizing for cat photos. As far as I'm concerned, cat photos are like cheese and chocolate--you can never have too much.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Pom-Pom Scarf

I placed an order for linen and pom-poms the minute I saw this scarf posted on The Purl Bee. I have mixed feelings about Purl. I adore their projects, but when I finally got to visit the shop in NYC one year, the staff wasn't as warm as I'd imagined they'd be. Maybe it was just the naivetee of a small-town girl in the big city, I don't know.

My finished scarf didn't earn the seal of approval around here ("Really, Mom? Pom-poms?") but those tiny red balls are just so dang cheerful, I'm finding it hard to resist.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

For the Tuesday Afternoon Sewing Guild

On most Tuesdays after school, my niece Rudie comes over and joins Olivia and me for a craft project. We started the tradition after Santa brought Rudie a sewing machine, but we've expanded from sewing into soap-making, candy-making, and other crafts. My aunt got wind of this and said she wanted to send the girls a "few little things" for their crafts. Today, a box arrived. I love that she named our little club and confirmed "Crafts & cooking OK too"!

Inside the box...bittersweet from her yard:

Cotton she picked. I've never seen "real" cotton on the stem. It's surprisingly soft and completely charming.

Feathers from the ducks, geese, birds, and peacocks she volunteers with.

And in case we weren't already Cloud 9 with all these goodies, she's sending us to...

I'm quite sure there's never been a luckier Tuesday Afternoon Sewing Guild. Thank you, Aunt Suzanne!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Slinky Success

I'm always surprised by what catches Olivia's eye at the fabric store. Fabrics I don't even see, perhaps because I've automatically ruled them out without a second thought. But she was so in love with this funky, slinky knit that I picked up a set of ballpoint needles and agreed to give it a try. And what a happy surprise--smooth, quick sewing. I didn't have to finish the inside seams because the knit doesn't seem inclined to unravel, and I used a zig-zag stitch for a simple rolled hem on the legs. The pattern is Simplicity 3553 (same one we used for our sewing day last year), and the doll pants are from Simplicity 7069.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Crafts & Cupcakes

My Brownie troop rallied yesterday to raise funds for the upcoming Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk by donating crafts, home-baked goods, their time, and their remarkable sales skills. Some of the girls made potholders, bird houses, and friendship bracelets; and the moms baked all sorts of goodies, including beignets and caramel cake.

Olivia and I made keychains using the weaving technique we learned at Girl Scout camp, cinnamon-scented soap, our favorite granola from Smitten Kitchen, and dark chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate frosting.

The day was gorgeous, the turnout was even better than expected, and the event was a great success.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

A Fab Mag and a Cute Cozy

I found myself with a few precious extra minutes at the local Joann store recently and happened upon a treasure of a magazine. It was a bit more expensive than others, but the dear little kit on the front (yes! it came with a kit!) put it over the top as far as I was concerned. I took the magazine to bed with me and marked page after page of fabulous ideas, but only after stitching up the gadget cozy last night.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Four Months' Worth of Posts...All Rolled into One

I came here to find those old Airstream links (still in love with Loobylu's afghans in campers photo set), and it hit me that I haven't posted in ages. Here's what I've been busy with...

Crocheted fingerless gloves for Susan:

Stitched an "RB" monogram onto a linen towel for Gina:

Made a hat for Deuce's trip to Latvia:

Finally turned my HomeSweet fabric into a pillow for the living room:

Hosted a 40th Anniversary dinner for Mom and Dad:

Made a happy discovery:

Adopted a handsome betta fish:

Got my own baby chicks!

And grew a corgi. Zeke will be 1 year old next week.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Napkins for Karen

I found this fantastic vintage '70s fabric on clearance during a ladies' weekend in St. Michaels, Md., a few years ago. Couldn't make myself cut into for the longest time, but when dinner napkins showed up on my SIL's birthday wish list, I knew what I had to do. They'll be perfect with Karen's famous homemade bread and broccoli-cheese soup. Which, by the way, is one of my favorite meals. Karen. If you're reading this.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Sewing Lesson

During Christmas break, we invited three girls over for a sewing lesson. My niece received a sewing machine for Christmas and was eager to break it in, and two of my daughter's best friends are also interested in sewing. We used Simplicity pattern 3553 (Learn to Sew series) and some fun flannel from JoAnn Fabrics. Four hours (and one glass of wine) later, they modeled the result:

Every single one of us was tickled with those pants. I'm not sure I'd do it again with so many girls at once (four little lead feet on those pedals had me kinda stressed), but it was a wonderful feeling to see them so excited about sewing.