Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Handmade Holiday Blues

I am very very sad today because two of the things that I had planned on making for gifts this year are not going to work.

One of them is for my husband (and happens to be the only handmade thing I could think of to give him)

And the other was my idea for all of my friend gifts. It was going to be chic and fantastic and not too expensive or difficult to make, but I failed miserably. The whole idea just isn't going to work, and now I have no gifts for my friends :(

You know, sometimes my ideas work and I feel like I'm on top of the crafting world, but then again, sometimes they just don't. I really need to start testing things out before I count on them.

Anyone have ideas for friend gifts?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pettiskirt Hell (finished)


Purple pettiskirt in all of it's finished glory.
Don't be decieved by it's demure appearance.


"Hey, those super-popular pettiskirts are like 80$! There's no way I'm spending that much on a dress-up skirt for my 3 year old! I'll just make one instead, there's a tutorial on Martha Stewart's website, and it looks easy enough..."

That's how it all started--six or so months ago. Let's just say that the maker of pettiskirts that provided a free tutorial on Martha's show way back when was less than forthright about the important details of making a pettiskirt (like what size they made for starters, and the difference between polyester chiffon and nylon chiffon--and it has nothing to do with fiber content). From that very vague set of directions, I began my pettiskirt journey. Along this journey, I bought the wrong kind of chiffon (and now I have 8 yards of bright purple polyester chiffon), bought too little of the right kind of chiffon as per the tutorial's instructions, and then later I bought waaaay too much chiffon to make up for it. I learned that nylon chiffon is the slipperiest stretchiest lint sheddingest material known to man, and sewing on it is a kin to what it might be like to sew on mucus that sheds tiny bits of fur in large amounts. For months my sewing/crafting room looked like it was slowly being devoured by the purple blob, and I learned that working with and gathering 20-30 yards of fabric strips is no small task.

My breaking point came about a week ago when I saw a really inexpensive pettiskirt at Costco (19$). I almost bought it too, because at that point I had no idea what I was doing, but I looked closer at it and realized that it was made cheaply and with much cheaper fabric and not nearly enough yardage (making it see-through and not as full). So then my pride got the better of me, and for the sake of quality I decided to finish what I had started.

I'm elated to say that last night, I finished the purple pettiskirt! In time to give it to my daughter for Christmas. I was so excited last night, that I literally danced around my sewing room. It was a wonderful feeling of accomplishment, and I'm so glad I stuck with it. It was a great way to start my Handmade Holidays goal, and I feel energized and ready to make a plethora of pajamas.

Did I save money? Maybe a little, but I think I spent close to 60$ for all of my supplies, maybe even more if you count the purple serger thread that I could not have done without. My verdict? The people charging 80+ dollars for these skirts are earning every penny. In fact, I think I would have to charge about 1000$ to make it worth my while to make another one. And with all of the adjustments I had to make, the skirt resembles somewhat of a Franken-skirt, but all in all, I'm happy with the result.

Bottom line: if you are looking for one of these for your daughter, check out your local Costco, or I've heard that they are at Hot Topic in the mall, and of course there is etsy. And if you absolutely positively must make one, do yourself a favor and buy a tutorial from etsy. I will say that once I figured out how to do it, I found that it wasn't too difficult, the hellish part was all of the trial and error. ooh-- and please email me a pic if you decide to do this, I'd love to see it!

I'm not even going to provide the link for Martha's free tutorial because it was so misleading and difficult to understand. Trust me, you are better off without it!

** Oh, and P.S. don't tell my daughter, it's a Christmas present!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

About That Time



A moment of silence please for my sewing machine which is out for service for at least the next four weeks.....




*sigh* You will be dearly missed my little Viking #1 powerhouse!

In the meantime, I will be catching up on my crocheting and knitting, and maybe even blogging (!).


I suppose, if I get desperate, I could use my old sewing machine.....

Monday, September 14, 2009

An Oath

I solemnly swear before all of you--my crafting witnesses--that I will not buy fabric for another quilt until I finish the six (yes, six) quilts that I already have fabric for.

I think I have discovered the most expensive hobby of all--quilting with new fabric.  I just spent $140 on fabric for a twin sized quilt, and it was only the top, not the backing or binding.  Yikes!  For someone used to spending $10 on some fabric for an article of clothing, this was a shocker.

Oh well, what's done is done.  Check out the quilt from American Jane, isn't it adorable?




And then after that, or in the meantime, I'd like to make a quilt out of my kids old baby clothes, and also a quilt out of my old t-shirts (it should be much cuter than it sounds, trust me).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Halloween Math

In an ideal world, there would be a large chain of Halloween exchange stores wherein you could borrow halloween costumes for free, not unlike a library.  To me, Halloween is a huge waste of resources.  People often complain about purchasing a wedding dress or a prom dress and wearing it for only one night, but I usually feel like the only parent that complains about Halloween costumes.  Think about it-- you are buying an outfit that your child will only wear once for a couple of hours (more if you are lucky) to beg for candy in.  At the end of the night, the most you can hope for is that you'll be able to pass it on to another sibling--that is, if the costume survives the night.

These are among the reasons that I refuse to make my kids costumes almost without exception.  Usually people are surprised by this due to the fact that I love to sew and craft so let me break it down for you:

Cost

Just about any seamstress knows that these days, you do not save money by making your own clothing--especially children's clothing.  If you are purchasing your materials retail, you usually spend way more than the cost of a ready made garment before you even put in the time and effort to make it.  Costumes are no exception.  Take this Cinderella costume for example:

*Pattern--$10.51
*41/2 yds blue polyester satin fabric from fabric.com--$22.41. (plus more for shipping)
*notions (ribbon, interfacing, velcro etc) 10-20$
--------------
*Total cost: $42.92-52.92 depending on how crazy you go with the notions, and this isn't even including extras like a crown or gloves or shoes.

I found a much cuter one on ebay for under $30 dollars brand new including gloves and shipping

Effort

Last year I did actually make Greta's Tinkerbell Costume, it consisted of me hunting down a leotard and slippers, bleaching the pink out of them and then hand dying them green.  Then I had to cut a ton of green tulle strips and tie them on an elastic waistband, and make pom-poms out of yarn for her slippers.  On top of all of that, I had to purchase wings.


Through the night, Greta had a potty accident in her leotard, ripped a hole in her tights and ruined her slippers beyond repair.  So all of that money and work went down the toilet so to speak.

I think many people make the mistake of thinking that a halloween costume should be easier to sew than a regular garment, and this is simply not the case.  I guess technically you could get away with not finishing your seams or pressing, but the general construction is still the same.

I'd rather spend my time making something my daughter or sons would use over and over until they grow out of it--or better yet--something for me that I wouldn't grow out of (hopefully).

Hopefully I've convinced you to relieve yourself of the Halloween pressure and just purchase the cheapest thing you can for your kids this year, and then spend all of the time you would have on costumes for your handmade Christmas gifts (wink wink).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Holy Fall Knitting Batman!

And I haven't even finished my summer knitting...

So, I was hoping that this would have waited for another month or two, but I already have two sweaters and a scarf in the queue!



**Thanks Lion Brand for the free patterns


Yikes!  And I'm not that fast of a knitter either.  Anyone know how I can speed up?


Friday, August 21, 2009

Chococat Amigurumi (finished)

Chococat is my favorite Sanrio character. I adapted this from a Hello Kitty pattern that I bought on Etsy (just do a Hello Kitty amigurumi pattern search and pick your favorite).

Isn't he adorably mischevious? I have to admit, I'm not totally in love with the nose, I may have to redo it. It's surprising how you can create an entirely different look by just adjusting the facial features a tiny bit. If you look at the cartoon, you'll notice that my ami's nose is just a tiny bit north of where it should be and not exactly the same shape. Such are the pitfalls of embroidering with yarn on yarn... and lack of skill I guess...
















Okay, the nose is definitely bugging me now...

Specs:
Pattern: Adapted from a Hello Kitty pattern found on Etsy
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Rialto color 23005
Hook: size E

Friday, July 31, 2009

What I've Been Up To

Another appropriate title would be:  The Lazy Blogger.

So here's where I apologize profusely for not blogging lately--  Sorry.

Anyway, let's get on with it.  I want to tell you all a little bit about what I've been crafting lately.  It has been a very interesting summer craft wise, I have learned a few new skills, stretched some current skills and also revisited old skills.  I have purchased way more crafting books than I need, and have therefore also made promises to myself about making more things.  Anyway, here we go:


Knitting:
I wanted to take a small hiatus from knitting for the summer, but in a visit to the yarn store, I found some delicious new yarn that I knew would make the perfect pair of summer pants for my baby boy.  Then I found a long lost pattern for a pair of booties that I've been wanting to make for about 7 years so I had to do those too (posts coming).  Overall though, knitting has not been the star of the summer.

Sewing:
I have made a thing or two for my kids, and have also desperately longed to make myself something, but I am waiting for some weight to be lost before I do that.  Oddly enough though--I've begun a couple of quilts.  I've never been much of a quilter, but lately something has churned inside of me (I think it's hereditary, personally, so if you are related to about 15 major quilters like I am, it's just inevitable) and I have caught the bug so to speak.  Can't wait to blog about those and show you all about them!

Crocheting:
When I started knitting about 7 years ago I stuck my nose up at crochet and wrote it off as too hokey and homemade-looking.  I have sense seen the error of my ways and have learned to love crochet and appreciate it in a whole new way.  I have been making all kinds of little toys called amigurumi (which is sooo addictive by the way), and have plans to make loads of other things as well.  Also, it has been a great refresher course in using quality yarn.

Photography:
In an effort to make my pictures better, and because I had once had a fling with photography in my younger years, I decided to go all the way (if you know me, this will make sense) and go back to school and get my BA degree in photography.  I am happy to report that I cashed in all of my savings and bought a camera much too sophisticated for me, and that I  have also been accepted back at BYU for hopefully the last time (this will also make sense if you know me).  I will start classes in January, and I will also be putting together a portfolio for the department because I have to apply for the program (wish me luck).  You can view my latest attempts with my intimidating new camera on my Picture Pages blog, and if you want an invitation email me or leave a comment.

Other:
An interesting thing that happened this summer, I have also begun to write.  I kept it a well guarded secret at first because I was afraid, and what I write is still a well guarded secret, but at least I am confident enough to say that I am doing it.  At the moment, I am writing novel-type stories about people and relationships, and I have found that I love it very much.  I'm trying not to give much thought to publishing, I'm just doing it for me for the time being, and I have found it to be a very satisfying creative outlet.  I can see that I am improving which makes me happy, and of course the dream is to be published some day in any way, but for now I'm just doing it for me.  I am surprised though at how I can sit and write about my characters and the time slips away and I will look up and realize that I have written 10 pages in a short sitting.  If only my school research papers went that well.  I hope to someday be able to share with you what I am doing, or to post about a publishing, but I wanted to at least tell you about it.

Anyway, this is what summer has been like for me-- I will post more about my finished projects, I promise!  Check out the one I just posted below...

Crocheted Motifs on Baby Onesies (finished)









Alright, I finished these back in May, and I'm just now blogging about them (sorry) Anyway, I apologize once again for the less than stellar photography, but I gave them away and am therefore unable to re-photograph them.

I used patterns from one of my favorite crochet books The Happy Hooker.  It's a great book for beginners and non-beginners alike.  These motifs were originally quite large, but the great thing about making motifs (or toys) is that you can play with the gauge by using a different size yarn or string and a corresponding size hook.

I originally wanted to sew them to the onesies, but that proved less fun than just gluing them on (hehe).  I used a fabric glue, and I said a few prayers that they would stay on during washes.  Jessi--if you are out there in cyberland reading this, let me know if they were able to stay on.

Anyway, what do you all think?

Specs:
Materials:  Crochet cotton string found in any local craft store (size 10 I think) and corresponding hook size (you can find a recommendation on the yarn package)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lisa's Scarf (finished)

Lisa, my cousin, was one of the winners from this contest I had a while back and so far she is the only winner to tell me what she wanted which means she gets hers first.

Lisa told me she wanted a small scarf and for me to "surprise her."  So I designed this:



Originally I had something more flowery and ruffly in mind, but I thought more about it and I said to myself  "what would Lisa wear?"  So I looked on her family blog and noticed that she isn't a very frilly person.  She looks good in yellow, and I didn't see a flower or ruffle on the whole blog.

This scarf is a smaller and slightly varied version of This Lion Brand pattern that I've also wanted to make, and I have to say, I like it.  I hope you do too Lisa! And I know it's too hot to wear it now, but it'll give you a few months to play around with it and find out how you like to wear it before the colder weather sets in.  Email me if you are confused, and don't be afraid to stretch it or scrunch it or whatever you need to do to get it right.

For the rest of you winners, your gifts are just an email and a couple of months away (haha), so let me know what you want and I'll make it happen!


Friday, May 15, 2009

Amigurumi

Amigurumi is the Japanese animal crocheting craft.




Do you think my 32 year old brother would like one of these for Graduating from BYU with a Master's degree?

Check out the amazingly large stock of free patterns for these little creatures from Lion Brand Yarn's website.

Looks like I'll be learning another craft...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rotary Cutters--a cautionary tale

So, I love my rotary cutter, but it doesn't always love me back. Really, it's kind of like having the untamed wild in your craft room--a rogue craft tool if you will.

I was cutting some fabric for a gift (I'll post that one later), and unbeknownst to me my thumb was sticking out of the edge of my ruler (aka no man's land for appendages). Zip went my rotary blade right through the fingernail and tip of my thumb. YIKES!



sharp little things they are!

I think I'm going to purchase one of those metal mesh gloves to use from now on...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Military Style Cap (finished)

Alllllrighty then. Sewing hats. 1 part fun: 1 part frustration.

My favorite thing about this hat (besides the cutie underneath), is that it was made from a pair of my husband's shorts that had a hole and could no longer be worn by him. Enter the fabric recycling fairy (aka me). It's a disease really, because now I can't throw anything out!

Just think, where can you get one-of-a-kind fabric for your projects for FREE?? yep, your closet. Those clothes that you used to love but don't anymore can become the accessories that your kids will love today!

Really, that's the only downside, there isn't usually a lot of fabric to salvage, but if you can get enough, it's pretty darn cool. Now if only I could get him to keep it on!

I'm not in love with the size of the bill, but hey--he's young--he can get away with it, right?


Sorry about the blurry pic, but I wanted you to see the front





Specs:
Pattern: Military Style Cap from Amy Butler's little stitches for little ones

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Another Blog

Ok, those of you who know me know I don't love to cook dinner, but my Dad discovered and purchased a 30 year-old company called Shirley J with some friends and his brother, and they have some seriously amazing products that make cooking dinner oh-so-easy.

Because of this, I've decided to start another blog, this one dedicated to cooking. This blog will help me become better at making dinner, and hopefully give some of you some dinner ideas if you are into easy dinners like I am. I will be using the Shirley J products (which are many) as well as other things in my cooking, hopefully you'll find something you'll like to try!

Here it is, come and take a look!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

S-O-C-K-S! (finished)

I once heard that if you spell "Socks" out loud, you're saying a phrase in Spanish. I think it means "That is what it is" or something. Anyway, I can never think of the word "socks" without spelling it in my mind with a spanish accent. And now--neither will you.

But I digress...

My mom and I took a sock making class earlier this year and it was loads of fun. Socks are really fun to make--but I did find one thing about sock making a bit disparaging-- when you finish your "project" you realize that you aren't really finished until you turn around and repeat the whole process over again.



Other than that, I thought it was fun--especially turning the heel--I don't know why...

Specs:
Pattern: Knit to Fit Ankle or Calf Socks by Nancy Lindberg
Yarn: Trekking color 158
Needles: size 2

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Side Slip Cloche (finished)

Here it is, and I love it. Easy and fast to knit, this one was pure fun!



Now, a word about my photography. Something is not gelling. I took 15 pictures of this hat because I just couldn't get it to look as cute in the pictures as it did in the mirror (could someone please explain this phenomenon to me?). And I go through the flash dance (not that flash dance...give me a moment to compose myself from laughing....) every time I take a picture of any of my projects. Take one with the flash, take one without the flash. with, without, with, without. With gives an artificial light and makes my background too dark, without gives the right light but the image comes out looking fuzzy--even if I place the camera on an inanimate object and set the shutter on a timer. And then I pose. and pose. and repose and pose again to get the perfect angle that both shows off my object and doesn't make me look like a dork. This process is doubled any time my face is involved-- my eyes look dead in that one, my chin is too high in that one, my smile looks too fake in that one, that one is just too cheesy, etc etc. And the thing is, some of the best ones look a little over-posed, but I use them anyway, because when I just "look normal" it looks stupid (does that mean that I normally look stupid?)

Maybe I'll start taking my pictures outside. And maybe I need a professional camera. All in all, I'm extremely disappointed in my pictures and picture taking ability. Take this post's pictures for example: I had to take them without the flash, but there wasn't enough light on my face so I had to over-expose them in my photo editor, bring down the highlights, and up the saturation just to make it look decent. By doing that though, my pictures turned grainy. *sigh* I need help, does anyone have advice?

So if my pictures ever look like I'm trying too hard, it's because I am trying too hard--way way too hard.

Specs
Pattern: from Boutique Knits by Laura Irwin
Yarn: Rowan RYC Soft Lux in Mist
Needles: knit in the round (except the band) with size 5 needles
Changes: I added an inch to the band and an inch of stitches to the body for size

Friday, April 3, 2009

Dilemma

So, remember this post about winning my free fabric?  They haven't contacted me yet, and now I have two beasts warring in my head:

*One of them wants me to politely mention it so that I can get free fabric.

*The other wants me to gracefully forget about it so as to avoid being one of those people that must right every wrong in the universe.

And since I am the most indecisive creature on the face of the Earth, I thought I'd let you all weigh in (check out the poll on the right) ----------->>

Also, a reminder to those of you who won my contest earlier (you had better be reading this!), please at least send me an address via email (located on the right somewhere in that mess) so that I can send you something lovely, and this includes all of the people who commented but didn't win so that I can send you your consolation prize!

And look forward to a bunch of finished projects as soon as I get off my Lazy butt to take pictures of them!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bread, part deux (finished) cross-post

Bread. The most intimidating of all baking. Difficult to master, and requiring of loads of patience and work. You must knead, and rise, knead, and rise, and knead, and rise. And then, after all of that, you must bake, all the while on the edge of your seat wondering: Will it be too dense? Will it be too hard? Will it be crumbly? Will my family eat it? Will I be able to use it as a doorstop if they don't?

Well, my friends, wonder and worry no more. You may have noticed the Shirly J button on the right (you did? What observant and smart readers I have!), and thanks to this glorious company, everyone can bake bread like a pro on the first try. How? With a mix. That's right, you read that right, a bread mix. I know, I was skeptical at first too, I am after all, generally anti-mix. They never taste right, and really, who would have thought that something so difficult as bread would work in mix form and be so easy to make? Certainly not I.

But I tried it. I got this little bread mix from Shirly J and I measured out 2 Tbs. of yeast and added it to 2 1/4 warm water. Then I measured out 6 c. of the mix, and kneaded it for about five minutes in my machine. Then I divided it and let it rise and threw it in the oven for 20 mins. And viola:






It tastes wonderful too, and you can't tell in the picture, but the crust is soft which is very important to me, because I was raised on bread-maker bread and we had to use a buzz-saw to get through the crust. Not very practical. If I'm going to make bread, I want to be able to do it for everyday use, and have it work well for sandwiches. This mix does just that.

I used the Honey Wheat, but they also have a Honey White, and I believe a Sourdough is coming soon...

Anyway, click on the button to the right and visit their website, and try it out for yourself!

Also, they are having an open house at the main office in Orem, UT this week and next so you can go visit, get a balloon for your kids and eat their products. It's good clean fun. (click on the button for address)

Monday, March 23, 2009

check out this sewing blog...

Sew, Mama, Sew!

I came across this blog about a month ago, and fell in love.

*Great ideas

*Great links

*Great tutorials

And, as if that isn't enough, there is a Fabric giveaway every Friday... and this Friday I won!

Not much sweeter than free fabric.

Check it out!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Winners!

Teri,  Jennifer, and Lisa of course all win because they were among the first three to comment, and the randomly generated (Courtesy of random.org) additional winner is.....

Chris!

I have to say that I am really looking forward to this, and I decided to give you all a bit of a choice of gifts.  Here are my ideas:

**A-half apron of which I have a few pattern options, so we can discuss that later if you choose this.

**A scarflet (small version of a scarf, like my button scarf or my ruffle cravat) can be like either of the two made, or I would happily make some modifications that we can discuss also if you choose this option

**Fabric covered wooden hanger and shoe dust bag for your closet

**A Golf club cover

**Surprise gift chosen by me

**Anything you have an idea for as long as it isn't too difficult/time consuming or expensive (email me and well talk, sometimes what you would think would be difficult really isn't and vice-versa)

So dear winners, email me (address is on the right hand side of my blog), and let's let the making begin!  Also, I'll need addresses.

As for the rest of you who entered, I'm a full believer in consolation prizes (even if I don't always practice it), and I have a special handmade gift for all of you as well, so please send me your addresses!

Love to all my readers!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monkey Pants (finished)

**Still time to enter the drawing portion of my handmade giveaway!

I found this cute little pattern on etsy, check it out:



The gusset is what sold me. I'm a sucker for gussets. And, as a bonus, I also got a cute new nickname for my baby (yes I do in fact call him monkey pants now).

They turned out well, I love and hate sewing knit fabric though. Sometimes it works so well, and then other times it gets stuck in the foot plate (grrrrr). But overall, these were fun to make, and I have plans to make many more!

A side note about the pattern--I altered the legs, I don't care for bell-bottoms on babies, I think they look ridiculous so I straightened them--but that's just me. Also, the instructions are a tad difficult to understand, something got lost in the translation. But, not impossible to follow.



And on a completely unrelated topic-- don't you think my son is adorable?

Specs
Pattern: Monkey Pants by danslalune
Fabric: 100% cotton double knit
Modifications: Length and straightened legs

Saturday, March 7, 2009

First ever Hand Made Giveaway!!!

There's quite the bug going around these days, a handmade giveaway bug. Several of my cousins and my husband's cousin has sponsored giveaways, and I won on my Husband's cousin's blog (ug--can I just call her my cousin too? it's too long to say and type the other thing...), and my cousin's blog, so naturally I wanted to "pay it forward" if you will (plus it was in the rules for one of them).

Here's the deal:

THE RULES:
1. Be one of the first three bloggers to leave a comment on this post, which then entitles you to a handmade item from me.
2. Winners, you must post this on your blog, meaning that you will "Pay It Forward," creating a handmade gift for the first three to leave a comment on your post about your giveaway!
3. You have 365 days to make/ship your item. And, remember: It’s the spirit and the thought that count!
4. When you receive your gift, please feel free to blog about it, sharing appropriate linky love! If you are not one of the first three to comment on this post, you can still play along. Start your own "Pay It Forward" chain and encourage your blogging friends to do the same!

In addition, I would like to pick a random person from the remaining entries (assuming I get more than three) to also give something to, and there will be no obligation to participate in the pay it forward part.


What exactly will you win? I'm not exactly sure. I'm thinking of giving you a few things to pick from, but let's iron out those details later, shall we? For now, just get your entries in! You have until

11:59 PM MST Friday March 13th

to get your entry in (one per person of course). Good luck! And for those of my Male readers, have no fear, I can make stuff for you too, so don't be shy.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What's next

Knitting and I made up. Actually, I was perusing pattern books before my needles even cooled off. It took me a few days too build back my self confidence though (I'm not exaggerating either, suddenly I wondered if I really could knit or if I had been fooling myself all of these years...), but I finally did, and I ordered some yarn and bought this book:




Isn't that hat adorable? That's what I'll be knitting. Even though technically I still have two more knitting projects to finish (the second of a pair of socks, and two more golf covers for my husband. Coming soon, I promise!!)

Wish me luck--I'm still paranoid that nothing will look good on me anymore...

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hooded Sweater (finished)

*sigh*

Where do I begin? I started this sweater years ago. Yes, years. I actually can't even remember when it was, but I know that it has been over multiple pregnancies and weight fluctuations. This sweater has been on many vacations with me, and it has basically been the thorn in my side for quite some time. I just finished it tonight, and I hate it. Now, to be fair, I've learned a lot since I started this sweater, and really, I shouldn't have picked such a boxy pattern. I should know better having been a mediocre seamstress for the better part of my life, and also from just being an experienced shopper (i.e. you never buy something just because it looks good on the model--everything looks good on models). Also, the pattern is foreign (like from a different country), and the wording was weird and very confusing at times. And to be quite frank--I wouldn't buy it if I saw it in the store, and that is NOT my objective with crafting. Honestly, it was enough to make me not want to knit for a long time, and I don't remember ever feeling that. I guess I should be more patient with myself... Enough of that, on to the gory pictures:


This is what it's supposed to look like



This is it. Notice that the hood is too small, I have to carefully move it over my face to get through...



Once the hood is off, it isn't quite as hideous (sorry for the blurry pic)



And, finally, the sleeves are too long.

So there you have it. I'm going to go stuff this thing in the recesses of my closet and console myself with an episode of Wings and then go to bed. Maybe I'll bring it out again after I have lost scads of weight and my hair has grown--maybe then I won't hate it...

Specs (you know, if you really want them)
Pattern: Hooded Sweater from Rebecca 29 (pattern #3)
Yarn: GGH Domino in red, black, and white
Needles: A whole mess of size five needles

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday Brunch Jacket (finished)

Ah sewing. How I missed thee. We should never let a silly thing like moving ever get in the way of our relationship again. I can't tell you how difficult it was to have my sewing machines packed away like common appliances. But no matter, all of that is behind us now.

In all seriousness though, sewing should be sold illegally to teenagers in the streets because there is no high quite as high as sewing, nor addiction quite as addictive.

And, there is no motivation quite like that of a three year old constantly hanging under you begging you to "bake my jacket." Seriously, all I have to do is tell Greta I'm making her something and she won't drop the subject until it is finished.






How adorable are these buttons??


I love that this pattern suggested bias covered seam edges, I'm going to do that now whenever I don't want a lining. Sure it's a tad tedious going over each seam 5 times, but hey, that's sewing for ya.

Button Scarf (finished)

Ok, another scarf. Also, I have one more that should be finished soon and then I swear that I will be done for the season. Watch out for next fall though, because one can never have enough scarves, can one?




Specs
Pattern: My own (worked in K1 P1 rib until desired length)
Yarn: Blizzard 65% Alpaca 35% Acrylic in Maize
Needles: size 13

Knit-along Scarf (finished)

Well, I think my first knit-along was a horrible disaster, but at least I got to make a scarf that I like, right? If there are any of you out there that decide to make one, please send in your pictures at any time and I will totally post them!



I really like this scarf because it keeps my naked neck oh-so-warm (one of the pitfalls of cutting your hair extremely short is a cold neck). And if you haven't noticed, I've fallen in love with alpaca. So warm. So soft.

Specs
Pattern: found in Martha Stewart Living Magazine January 2009
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Chunky color #2050 (not the recommended yarn weight)
Needles: size 10 (not the recommended needle size)

Bread! (finished)

My very first bread ever! (second attempt, the first is comfortably sitting in a landfill somewhere in Utah).



That micro-mini bun is Greta's first ever attempt at bread (hee hee)

Wanna learn how to make bread?

Unfortunately, I don't think I can post the recipe, but check out that link above and you won't be disappointed!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Take me Back, Please?

So I owe you all an apology (yes, all three of you). I left you right in the middle of a knit-along without any explanation. You see, my beloved computer started taking over my life (it all started when I decided to join facebook... but that's another story) and I had to stage a coup d'etat to get my life back. I'm not sure how much power I should let my computer have, but I'm slowly giving a little for a few reasons. During the coup, if I may get serious for a minute, I pondered the value of my blog(s) and whether or not to reinstate them. At first I worried that with this blog it may look as if I'm showing off or portraying some false sense of reality, or worse, that I may be pressuring myself to make things so that I could post them on my blog. I have thought about this for a couple of weeks, and I have come to these conclusions:

*During my break, I began to search for other crafty blogs/websites, and I realized that I did this because I was looking for inspiration and ideas and also just because I wanted to see what everyone "out there" was making and I realized that my blog was a part of that community also. I have long wanted to do my part to further the art of making (knitting, crocheting, quilting, sewing etc.) toward the next generation because I honestly believe there is large value in these lost arts, and I think my blog helps that cause. I hope that people who come to my blog enjoy seeing what I make and perhaps learn from my mistakes and possibly even become inspired to learn something new or continue to make great things. I realize I'm not curing cancer, but I hope you all see this blog as not merely a chance to show off.

*As far as my not portraying a false sense of reality--I can honestly say that this is my reality. Even without the blog aspect I have a very strong drive inside of me to create. The fulfillment is addictive and it beats the hell out of watching TV (not that I'm opposed to watching TV, believe me). I craft for three main reasons: 1-I enjoy the challenge and sense of accomplishment 2-I like having one-of-a-kind items that fit well 3-occasionally I do it for cost reasons, although it is rare that crafting will cost less these days. Also, I can craft and watch TV at the same time.

*As for the pressure, a little of that is a good thing. I sometimes get distracted in the middle of projects and have a hard time finishing them, so a little pressure to finish is a good thing. If this pressure starts to make me resent my projects, I'll take a step back.

So there you have it. Here's hoping that my blog will enrich your lives or mine in some small way. And now, if you'll take me back, I have a TON of finished projects waiting in the wings for your approval.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Baby's Denim Drawstring Pants + Baby Hat (finished)






They survived the move, and they are finished! Moving in the middle of a project is not so easy.

I love these little pants. So much, in fact, that it was a little hard (emotionally) to put them on my baby. I don't know how the rest of you crafters are, but for me, there is a certain amount of letting go that must happen after I finish each project--especially those that are given away. It's just hard to see your beloved project get stretched out, peed on, and drooled on or thrown on the floor, etc. after you have poured your heart and soul into each precious little stitch. But the irony is that you also really want it to be worn and enjoyed over and over again, otherwise what was the point? It's a fun little dichotomy of crafting!

I loved the yarn also, it shrunk and faded a bit in the wash (the pattern made account for this), and it looks great!

Honestly, I would love to have a whole closet full of these little pants... if only I didn't have a million other things I want to make... But--I highly recommend them to anyone who knows a baby in need (or want)!

**and a big FAT Thank you to Erin of Girl Who Knits for helping me figure out the waistband!

As a bonus, I found a hat that I had started when my three-year old was a baby, and I was able to finish it for this baby, just in time for winter!

Baby's Denim Drawstring Pants
Specs:
Pattern: Baby's Denim Drawstring Pants in Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson
Yarn: Rowan Denim Yarn in 225 Nashville
Needles: Size 6 double pointed and round

Baby Hat Specs:
Pattern: My own design
Yarn: 100% bamboo, and I can't remember who makes it
Needles: Size 6 round