Friday, December 14, 2007

finished x-mas gift/the doomed shawl

Ok. first off, let me preface this by saying "Mom, if you're reading this, stop reading NOW and wait until after we exchange gifts. :-)"

OK, if you're NOT my mom, scroll down for the rest of the post:

OK, at the bazaar mom was admiring one of my little purses, but she said "if you made me one I'd want it bigger, and lined." easy enough to do. I enlarged it, used a different color, lined it, (using my new sewing machine that I had to get b/c my old, tired one crapped out on me mid-project. Luckily they had a good one on sale at Target.) added a strap and voila. I was quite pleased with how it turned out, especially after the shawl fiasco. I was amazed that even though my sewing skills are somewhat lacking, I was able to make it even and the liner fit perfectly.

If you would like the pattern, please leave a comment and I will gladly post it. I just dont' want to type it if no one is interested.

Anyway, here's some photos, again in no particular order b/c I can't figure out how to rearrange them:

this is a close up of the pattern, a 4 row repeat and then I added some fuzzy stuff at the top.
the inside, I double lined it so that both sides of the liner were nice, since you can see it thru the knit fabric. I used some satin napkins for the liners. Even added 2 pockets and a zipper that was sewn in between the 2 liner layers!!!
the whole purse, along with the one that inspired it. The strap is recycled from another purse of mine, since the new strap I bought at Michaels didn't match.
ahhhh, the ill-fated shawl. The darker one is the one that ended up too small, even after blocking. The smaller one is the one I'm planning to finish for mom's birthday, hopefully, although since this photo my dear darling daughter pulled it off the needles and I have had to start over. Luckily it is somewhat of a quick knit.
close up of the shawl pattern, I still need to add the border along the 2 sides. I'm planning to give it to my husband's grandmother once its finished, doubtful it will be before Christmas.
this is a closeup of the new shawl for mom, made from Lion Brand Homespun. The pattern is from Lion Brand's website, I think it is called diamond lace shawl. Size 15 needles I think. Much faster than the size 3's I did the other one on!

Anyway, thanks for looking! feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think! :-)

Friday, December 7, 2007

finished project nightmare

I like quick knitting projects, the kind that take only a day or two to complete, a week at most. I realized why today. I had stepped outside my box and have been working on a shawl for my mom. This shawl:
Posh Yarn :: because everyone deserves a little luxury if you scroll down you'll see it, its the wildflower shawl. If you've been to either the Stitch N bitch at barnes and nobles in the arbouretum or at bluebonnet's chicks with sticks you've probably seen me working on it. Anyway, in the photo it has 12 rows of flowers, so that is what I did. It said to knit until it was 28 inches, and it is about that. I bound off. This has taken me like 2 months. I held it up and it is waaaayyyyyyyy too small!!!! ARRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!! I am so dissapointed it isn't even funny. I'd have to do at least another 5 rows of flowers for it to be big enough! Plus its already bound off and I don't think I have the patience left in me to pull it all apart and add that much more. Nor do I have the time, I was hoping tohave it done by her birthday which is Jan 8. I could seriously cry right now. THIS IS WHY I DON'T DO LONG PROJECTS!!!! If It had been a weekend project and had turned out too small, I would have said oh well. I've invested 2 months into this stupid shawl!!

I'm going to look for a quick pattern with chunkier yarn that I can knit up quickly, and I'm going to Michael's today. If I can face this stupid shawl without crying I may add the border and finish it for my husband's grandma who is pretty tiny.

::::::::::::::::huge sigh::::::::::::::::::::::

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

photos of the bazaar etc.

OK, here's some photos in no particular order, mainly b/c I can't figure out how to rearrange them :-)

The first one is of my table of knits at the bazaar

here are the scarves I made on a rack my MIL loaned me (she suggested it too, worked great!) I didn't make very many scarves b/c lets face it, we live in Texas!!
close up of some knit stuff, I'm surprised the purses and the stuff in the basket didn't sell. I did sell the purple purse with the flower. and a cupcake.
this is the vest I'm working on for myself. In between the two yellow stitch markers is the cabled area, kind of a herringbone style cable. The rest of the body after the ribbing is worked in a k2/p2 checkerboard pattern (3 rows each).
This is the vest in the book. Can't think of the name of the book right now, I think it is hip little knits or something. Its downstairs and I'm not :-)
photo of our stamp table, the notebooks and the big reindeer poop.
another view, we had a corner and then my kit table at the end of the other table, and we were STILL cramming everything in!
punch critters (got the idea from and tag nugget holders, as well as the "christmas fudge" made from large hershey bars with a cute poem. These things sold quite well.

small reindeer poop, snowman poop, reindeer food and wisks we filled with chocolates and added a tag that said "we wisk you a merry christmas". These all sold quite well also, they were inexpensive, cute items.
I've been working on crochet cookies today (sc circles that are about 2.5 inches wide and then you do dark brown french knots for chocolate chips.) for a friend, got almost a dozen made up. Also working on the vest, I really need to remember to WRITE DOWN WHERE I AM IN THE PATTERN WHEN I QUIT! LOL. I *think* I was finished with row 3 of the pattern repeat. . . .

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


The bazaar was last weekend. We did OK, mom and I had a stamp table that did pretty well although not as well as last year. My knit table, eh, not so much. I sold $152 worth of stuff but the table was $75 so I didn't make very much. After you count the yarn I bought I'm well into the hole but like I told my husband, I would have bought the yarn anyway so I don't really count that. yeah, I'm not much of a business person can you tell? :-) I probably won't do a knit table next year, may not do any table depending on my mom's health but we'll see how the year goes and if she gets a transplant or not. Please say some prayers that she does!

Anyway, The stuff I figured would sell like crazy didn't sell at ALL. The mini stockings and the greensleeves (coffee cozys) especially. I sold a couple scarves, an evening wrap, several baby hats and a baby layette set, as well as a purse or two. Did not sell any blankets, I figured those would go but they didn't. Luckily they were baby size so I'm not out a ton of money or time. Still have a baby bolero with matching blanket and a baby boy hat, bootie and washcloth set that I thought would sell and didn't, and of course I have NO use for them. I do know a few people who are pregnant, maybe they will be getting these :-) I also have a couple just blankets, one is a slightly bigger one that is blue and I may save that for my son for the car. The other is pink and green and purple and blue and yellow, and although it is a bit small I may use it for my daughter in the car as well. Can't give one of them something if you don't give one to the other as well!

now I'm working on knit food for some online friends although I am missing one of my size 7 bamboo needles that I need to finish this project, of course. I have some aluminum ones but theyr'e really long and dinged up pretty badly, or I could use my circular needles. I guess if worse came to worse I could use my dpns. I'm making them pizza, sushi, cookies, strawberries and various fruits and veggies. LOTS of knitting. I'm also trying to finish my mom's shawl (only a few more rows left on the body then I can start the edging!) and of course I have startitis so I started a vest for myself out of simply soft in a pretty grey color, my first knit wearable (other than scarves etc) for myself. It even has a cabled front and I'm switching the pattern to knitting in the round until the armhole. Pictures to come soon, I promise! Oh, and I'm working on a hat for myself. I must be nuts. I did get my knit picks harmony options needles this week, yayyyyy!! GEORGEOUS needles, they're multicolored wood, and soooo much nicer than my boyle (sp?) needles. The cables are more flexible, the needles seem longer, and the joins are so much smoother! I love love love them!

I finally found a project to work on in the car for our long trip. I wanted something that was easy and no complicated patterns in case the kids started getting rowdy and I had to put down the knitting mid-row. I also wanted a semi-big project so I would only be working on one or two things on the trip instead of having to plan multiple projects, but I was hesitant to do something too big b/c I didn't want anything long enough to drag on the floor of the car where it would get dirty. Then I foudn this: PERFECT! It is made of 35 little squares, all the same just put in different directions, and all garter stitch so it is easy mindless knitting. I'm switching it up a bit, I'm using simply soft b/c I found the colors I wanted in that plus I was worried the homespun would be too heavy. I'll have to swatch several times to get it right but that's OK. The other great thing about simply soft (my favorite yarn BTW) is that it is no dye lot so if I run out of yarn and have to stop somewhere in AZ or something, I can make sure it matches. Homespun doesn't have that. I may also take along the sweater I was making for Meg (I have the back done) in case I need a change of pace, but we'll see.

And on top of all this I want to get some x-mas cards out. I may cheat, not go all out and buy cards (GASP! The stampin' police would have my head!!) but I might stamp the image I have in black on white cardstock, mat it in green, mount on red, then let my son color it with crayons. That way he gets to help with the cards and I get to actually finish them in time ha h aha. But we'll see!

OK, off to knit some more and watch Reaper!

Monday, November 26, 2007

knittin' mittens!

I knit my first pair of mittens. 2 pairs actually. and a lone mitten that ended up being too small so I never did the match to it LOL. I consider myself to be an intermediate knitter and can do the more difficult stitches and patterns without problem, but things like mittens and socks intimidate me. Why? I blame the dpns. I don't like them, but I am working on it. The mittens turned out great, no "ladders" where the needles met, so I have more confidence now. However, Scott ordered me the harmony interchangable circulars from (one of my favorite sites!) and he even said he wouldn't make me wait until Christmas to play with them!! I've been dying to try this "magic loop" technique with circular needles but mine have cords that are too stiff. I did manage to do the top of a hat, but it didn't look the greatest. The knitpicks needles have, from what I've heard, much thinner and more flexible cords. Plus the harmony needles are wood (my current set is aluminum) and are stained beautiful multicolored. I can't wait to get them!!

Anyway, the mitten pattern I used is here:

I used simply soft yarn from caron, and did a set for Meg in pink and purple and even used duplicate stitch on the stripe to put M. Then I did a pair for Brendan in orange and neon green, using #6 needles instead of #3 and increasing the thumb by 2 rows and the stripe by one. I also crocheted the sets together with a long chain so they don't get lost. :-)

I am getting more and more comfortable with adjusting patterns and am even trying to write my own for a few things (see the coffee cozys a few posts down, which I have renamed "Greensleeves" in honor of Christmas and the 'green' eco-friendly movement). One thing about this blog that will be different from the rest--when you see a pattern written by me, there will NOT be a request from me stating that you may make one for you or a friend but please don't make one and sell. I don't really understand why people say not to sell them. I can see why they wouldn't want you selling the pattern itself, but when it comes to my designs, if you like it enough to want to make it and think it looks good enough to sell, that is a compliment to me and by all means please do! I've tried to be mindful of those types of requests when making things for my bazaar, even though the concept seems rediculous to me. I'm afraid the knitting police might get me LOL. So most of the stuff is stuff that didn't say that or stuff I got from pattern books etc. But when I design stuff and post it here, feel free to make it and sell it. All I ask is that when someone asks where you got the idea, please direct them to my blog :-)

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

knitting badges

The “Proselytize Knitting” Badge - A requirement for all Knitting Scouts, the recipient must do his or her bit to present knitting in a positive light, whilst at the same time avoiding all references to “hipness”, grandmothers, and yoga.
I do my best! :-) I am a young, not hip kinda funky person, and I love knitting for others. I also have a whole shoebox full of preemie hats that I plan to mail to either Stitches from the Heart or directly to the hospital my daughter (a 29 weeker) was born.

The “Inordinately Fond of Novelty Yarn” Badge - In which the recipient professes an arguably unhealthy affinity for yarn with slubs, sparkles, spangles, fur, feathery bits, and an unconscionable proportion of man-made fibre. Recipient makes no apology for the preference.
HA! Soooooo me. I love love love funky yarns. the best part is that not many people do, so you usually can find the great fun fibers on sale!

The “I Will Impress You With My Math Prowess” Badge - The recipient is a whiz at substituting yarns and calculating gauge, can space increases and decreases evenly and is fully comfortable with the basic math encountered in all knitting projects.
OK, well maybe not FULLY comfortable but I do pretty well. Sometimes I have to ask my husband for help or consult a calculator, but who doesn't? I do substitute yarns in almost every pattern.

The “MacGyver” Badge (Level One) - The recipient must demonstrate clever use of a non-knitting tool in a knitting-related scenario. For instance, recipient has used paper clips as stitch markers, or successfully whittled and then utilized bamboo skewers as dpns.
I've used toothpicks as knitting needles, rubber bands as needle stoppers for dpn's, stuff like that. I'm sure there's more. just can't think of it right now.

The “MacGyver” Badge (Level Two) - The recipient must demonstrate clever use of a knitting tool in a non-knitting-related scenario. For instance, recipient has used a strand of Regia Bamboo to slice cheese, or repaired a small appliance with a metal knitting needle.
I've used knitting needles to pull stuff out from under the couch, used yarn to tie the baby gate shut, used the end of a needle as a screwdriver, and even used one to scratch my ear LOL.

I got these fun knitting badges here: what badges have you earned?

Hello/free pattern for reusable coffee sleeves

Hello! This is my new craft blog. Here I will post photos of my projects (mostly knitting and stamping), sometimes free patterns, and probably some stories about my kiddos. I'm new to blogger and not very computer savvy so please be patient with me as I try to figure out how to post photos and make my blog look cool LOL.

Today I'm going to post a free pattern for an environmentally friendly reusable coffee sleeve. I heard about this idea on DIY's "Uncommon Threads", one of the guests owns a coffee shop and crochets reusable sleeves instead of providing the cardboard kind. They didn't provide the pattern though, and I'm a novice at best when it comes to crochet, so I decided to make up my own pattern for a knit version. I had to make several prototypes to come up with one that adjusted to the size of the cup without becoming too loose. Anyway, here's the pattern:


US size 5 straight needles (can also be done on DPN's to avoid seaming if you prefer)

small amount of washable worsted weight yarn, I recommend cotton. For mine I used Lion Brand's Cotton Ease.

c/o 36 sts using your preferred cast on method, I use long tail.

work in k3, p3 ribbing for about 2 inches

work in seed st (k1, p1 across 1st row, then on following rows k the p sts and p the k sts.) for about 5 rows. bind off in pattern and seam sides together.

the ribbing paired with the seed stitch gives it a nice triangular shape that stretches to fit all sizes of coffee cups. They're also very quick to make, so you can make several and keep them in your car or purse for whenever you get a starbucks craving! :-)

Well, I'm off. I have a craft bazaar in a couple weeks and I've got 2 tables going, a knit table with lots of different projects and a stamp table that my mom and I are doing together. Fun fun! I've also got several orders to fill for knit play food. My daughter is napping and my son is at preschool so I'm going to try to get some stuff done. Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment and let me know what you think! :-) Hugs!