Wednesday, June 30, 2010

#9

#9 is the winner.

#9

I realize a random generator is not really necessary for twelve comments, but it was fun, nonetheless. Thanks to all participants. I'm excited to hear from some new voices, and I've bookmarked all of your blogs (or at least the ones I didn't already follow). I don't know about you, but there's nothing that I enjoy more (except actual crafting, of course), than opening up Google Reader, and seeing a double-digit number of new entries. I find it super inspiring, and it's a great way to start the day.

The big winner today is... Weezalana! I've enjoyed reading Weezalana's blog for quite some time now. I'm always amazed by her knitting projects, and recently, her sewing adventures as well. Modifying knitting is a bit scary for me; I'll do it out of necessity, but it's just usually something I wing. It's not intentional. Weez is a master of modifications. She's knit some amazing garments, and everything she makes for herself seems to fit perfectly. She also has a knack for making adorable toys, a skill I haven't mastered. I hope you enjoy the new stash additions, and the copy of In Stitches.

Thanks again, friends.

Monday, June 28, 2010

FO: Circus Socks for Sister

I'm only six months late with Jill's socks. I intended to gift these at Christmas. In all fairness, the first one was done over Thanksgiving break, but then, well, the other one just didn't get started until January. Then, when I got to the heel on the second sock, I forgot what I was doing. I had to frog the heel three times before I got it right.
Knitting a heel is like riding a bike; you can easily forget the motions if you don't do it regularly.

FO: Jill's socks

The yarn is one of my favorites: Yarn Love's Juliet, in the Joy colorway. The yardage is generous (just under 500 yards!) and the colorway says CIRCUS to me. I can't explain it, but that's what I think every time I look at it.

FO: Circus iPod Cozy

I made Jill an iPod cozy out of this yarn previously (literally, two years ago). Luckily, even after finishing this pair of socks, I've got quite a chunk of yarn left. I'm thinking of making myself a pair of anklets with the leftovers.

FO: Jill's socks

I'm a big fan of toe-up socks. While I didn't really use a pattern, I used the slip-stitch formula found in this pattern (pdf link). I used a turkish cast-on, and I used a bind off described by Grumperina:

work two stitches in pattern, k2togTBL, work 1, repeat

I was going to use the EZ stretchy bind-off, but Grumperina sold me when she said this was easier to frog.

FO: Jill's socks

So, another sock success! There is an itch for another pair to be on the needles; maybe this weekend!

Raveled

Don't forget; there are two days left to enter the contest!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Post #300: A Giveaway

Honestly, I can't believe I've written three hundred posts. I've enjoyed this blog immensely. It's awesome to look back at the progress you make as a crafter, and as a person.

I don't have a huge following or anything, but I appreciate the readers who stop by my little corner. Equally, I LOVE reading about other knitters/cooks/sewers are making. This is an inspiring community and I'm grateful to be a part of it. Ultimately, it's all about the craft (or crafts, I suppose!).

That being said, I've got an offering today:

DSC_0938

Included in this giveaway, you will get the following:
-One YARD of Heather Ross Seahorses in Fuchsia, from the ever popular Mendocino line
-One fat quarter of Alexander Henry's Mocca (I think this is the right name for the fabric-it's the brighter green small piece above)
-One fat quarter of Amy Butler's Trailing Cherries, in the Sand colorway
-One copy of Amy Butler's In Stitches book
-One skein of Femme Fatale Fiber's Buffy Sock, in the Secret Boyfriend colorway

Additionally, I will probably come up with some extra treats for the winner.

To enter, just leave a comment. It's that simple. Of course, if you've got constructive criticism on something you'd like to see here, I'll take that, but just a "hello!" will do. Please do leave your email or make sure it is shown on your blog somewhere (or you can leave your Ravelry ID if you've got one).

I will take entries until Wednesday, June 30th at 7:00 PM CST.

Here's to another 300!

P.S. There are no sponsors to this contest except me!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Knitting Sisters

If you frequent knitting blogs, you are probably familiar with Erin and Kara, two very inspiring crafters. A few months back, they each held a contest. In exchange for a donation to the MS Walk they participated in, you would be entered in a contest for a prize. They walked in honor of their brother, Brett. Even though I've never met Erin or Kara in real life, I decided to give to the cause, times two. I felt like a contribution was worth it, and I couldn't just give to one of these girls; competition is fierce among sisters!

I never expected to win, but Erin contacted me to let me know she drew my name. I received the coolest package in the mail. Seriously, Erin is inspiring with her gift package contents. I've taken a lesson from her for future packages.

Tina Givens / AMH Fabric

I've never purchased any Tina Givens fabric, but it is gorgeous stuff. The two pieces on the left or Tina Givens. The remaining piece is from Anna Maria Horner's Garden Party line. The three pieces could even be used together, so I'm trying to think about what I'd like to make.

Additionally, there was this yarn:

I won!

It's Brooklyn Handspun, which I've never used. I LOVE the color. It's vibrant and fun.

And how cool are these gift tags?

DSC_0919
"Just because it's handmade, doesn't mean it's cheap"

It's funny because it's true. Erin also included these Liberty of London journals. Lovely.

Not pictured is a box of chocolates from Hatch Family Chocolates of "The Little Chocolatiers" fame. They were so good. I ate them quickly and then wished there were more.

So, thank you to Erin for a lovely and generous package. I didn't donate to either sister for the contest, but it was a sweet reward for helping a very important cause.

My next post will be number 300. In honor of this, I will be a having a giveaway of my own. The next post will have all the details!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Another sewing FO: For Rhonda

My good friend Rhonda moved into my townhome complex just about one year ago. It's pretty awesome having a friend (a knitter, a kitty sitter, a running buddy) so close, and soon after she moved in, I planned to make her some pillows as a housewarming gift. One year later, I'm here to show them off.

Pillows

Friday, when I got home from work, I ironed, cut and placed my pieces. Saturday morning, I sewed them up. I think the whole project took my about 5 hours or so-not bad!

Red + aqua = awesome

I used two half yards of Deer Valley fabric by Joel Dewberry (purchased on Etsy from Fabric Closet. This is one of my favorite lines. I also used a fat quarter I purchased at the Hen House last year. For even better stash-busting credit, the red ribbon was a purchase from at least five years ago. I used the entire 1.75 yard cut I had.

Pillow

The white sashing on the paned pillow is bias tape, which I ironed flat before using. I really like the effect.

These pillows also feature zipper enclosures, which my previous pillows lack.

Pillows for Rhonda

Sarah has requested some pillows for her new abode, so there are definitely more of these in my future.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sewing: Totes Magotes

As promised, there was actual sewing going on at my place last week. I started this project Monday and completed Thursday night. Five (count 'em) bags done and ready for gifting (well, all but one of them).

Jill and I visited some fun Dallas cousins this past weekend, and we wanted to give them a little thank you gift for having us. Jill bought some LUSH products (man, I love that place!), and she asked me to sew each of them a tote bag.

Completed Totes

I wasn't sure I could get them done in time, but I managed to make the three bags we needed, plus one for Jill and I. It was exactly the request I needed to get back in the sewing groove.

Gift Tote
Deer Valley by Joel Dewberry

I used less than a half yard for each tote bag. A good chunk of my stash is fat quarters, so for each bag, I pressed two fat quarters, and used essentially all of the fabric.

GIft tote
Amy Butler Midwest Modern

Each bag is reversible, but I chose the side that looked the best for gifting.

Gift Tote
Valori Wells and fabric from Joann's

I'm planning to make several more for gifts, including one for part of a giveaway here in the next few weeks (hint!).

Jill's Tote
Jill's bag - Amy Butler Midwest Modern

Here's the bag I couldn't part with:

Summery. girly. awesome.

I just love the Erin McMorris fabric, and in combination with some of my favorite Amy Butler prints, it's awesome. I justified keeping my favorite by also realizing that since this was the first one I made, it had the most mistakes. That works, right?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Food Friday: Marmalade Muffins

Jenny and Rhonda came over for brunch a few weeks ago. We were too hungry and "in the moment" for pictures of the food, but we had mimosas (also could be part of the reason for lack of pictures), veggie omelets, fresh fruit, and these:

Marmalade Muffins

The recipe is from Pioneer Woman's Cookbook. There's no marmalade in the muffins, despite the name. You zest oranges into the batter, and brown sugar and orange juice makes a syrupy glaze. I lessened the amount of brown sugar in the glaze, and I didn't miss a sweet drop. The muffins come together quickly and are very tasty, moist muffins. They don't taste as good a couple of days after, as they get a little soggy. To avoid this, eat quickly!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Progress: Fruition

Shawl progress shots always look a little blobby to me. Unblocked lace scrunches together, so that you can just barely make out the pattern. This is especially true when using a handpainted or highly variegated yarn.

Progress: Fruition

My Fruition shawl (Waves of Leaves pattern) is about halfway done. I'm really enjoying the knitting, as I'm always excited to see the next color. I've got five hanks of undyed worsted yarn in my closet, and I keep seeing a color and thinking, "ooh. That's what color I'll dye the worsted."

It will probably be a while before I do more dyeing, but if you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it. It's messy and fun. Plus, your yarn smells sweet (even two years after dyeing, mine has a faint smell!).

I've been sewing the past few evenings, in preparation for a quick trip Jill and I are taking. I'll have three to five sewing FOs to show you, on the double!

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