Tuesday, December 23, 2008

12+ years of cross-stitching

In 1996 I graduated from college and prepared to move to Ohio for grad school. I told my mother that I'd like to give counted cross stitch a try. So she went out and bought me a pattern, some floss, and even prepared the aida (sp?) cloth for me so I could make 12 little decorative thingys for her. Earlier this week I finished them. Here are the final four, October through January. I included a shot of the "wrong" side, as that's where Kathy looks first. Ah, completion...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mary-Claire's new hat

Mary-Claire and I recently worked out an exchange where she helped me with a Christmas present and she got a hat. She wanted one with ear flaps, so I logged onto Ravelry to search for a pattern I am not too excited about how this hat looks, but I love how warm it is. I made the large, because it comes down far on the back of the neck. I learned a new crochet stitch for the border.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


This is the extent of my craftiness these days...
With lots of help from Mom we had
A Pink Fairy Princess and Dorothy...
The dog wasn't my work... She's a friend.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hats for Ellie and Conor

Kathleen asked me to make some hats for Ellie & Conor. The only restriction was that they needed to be warm and cover their ears.

For Conor I went with a simple ribbed hat. A few years ago I made him a Bears hat, and Kathleen mentioned that he liked it. It may not look like it in the picture, but it is long enough to cover his ears.

For Ellie's hat I wanted something girlie. I went with a pattern that has a braid around the brim and seed stitch for the brim. It is a really pretty hat, but you can't really see the detail. Her hat covers her ears too (I tried it on to make sure), but she could not put in on all the way because she had curled hair for High School Musical Three.

I love the bracelet Kathleen made me for making the hats. I will happily make scarves for earrings. I am digging the talent for talent exchange. I think we should set up a system of craft trading.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


When you have a sister that can knit like the wind, you sometimes take advantage of her. You order yarn and have it delivered directly to her house. Then you email her and say "my kids need hats". You never ask "Hey, are you busy?". Sometimes you feel guilty about that, because when it comes to utility, none of your talents can begin to compete. So you think "utility be damned, I'll make her something pretty." Thanks, Sarah.

I obviously need my other sister to take the photos, because the colors are much prettier in real life. They're very fall-y sparkly crystals. Also, please note that the model is a 6 year old. The circle frame beads are dime-sized, not quarter-sized.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Scrap Afghan

I always have a lot of scrap yarn around. I decided a fun thing to do with it would be to make an afghan. Mary-Claire received my first scrap afghan, but there are more scraps, so more afghans to come.

A special thank you goes out to Claire for posing with the afghan.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hat for Todd

You have probably picked up on this, but I love making hats. For Todd's birthday I told him I would make him a hat. He picked a very basic tube hat. It was great to knit while watching football, as it required very little thought (the hat, not the game).

I used some extra acrylic that I had sitting around. I needed bulky yarn, so I just doubled up the worsted weight. I like being able to wash hats, as my head sweats a lot, even in the winter.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Celebration Flags

As this time of the year approaches, I feel like all our work to raise children aware of, and resistant to, consumer culture, falls apart. It starts with Tucker's birthday and goes downhill. So I've been on a kick to find ways to make celebrations fun and special without buying. Hence the celebration flags.
I saw these in a book. The person made them by cutting triangles with pinking shears and sewing them to binding tape. I don't have pinking shears, and I know my mom did, so I didn't want to buy any (I like to think of myself as anti-consumer and eco-friendly, but the reality may just be McCarty). So I sewed triangles together, with the added bonus of having them be two sided. It's a great project for all the small remnants of fabric I had (I *know* that's McCarty). They're really fun. We've had them up since we finished them, in preparation for Tucker's birthday, but they'll be great for any celebration. Tucker has big plans to pull them out for Groundhog Day.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bobble Head

For my friend's birthday I told her I would make her a hat. She picked out the pattern and the color. I was a little worried, as I am not a big fan of bobbles, and there are a lot of bobbles on the hat. I was really frustrated with it at first, but after a break of about a month it was not so bad.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Scissors fobs

I hesitate to post this on the same blog as the most recent posts, but it is as crafty as I've been lately. Tonight I made scissors fobs for myself and a friend. Yet another dabble in the jewelry realm, and I'm pleased with the results. It will make a good little gift. That, and it will keep the rest of you from trying to steal my scissors.


Once again, I have finished a project within a year of obtaining its materials. Okay, the lovely set of six placemats is only the beginning. I'll make coordinating napkins sometime, but not today. This project was wonderful because I also used some old flannel from my stash--I know it's a shame to waste Barbie (flannel) as placemat filler, but she and I were willing to sacrifice.

Normally I'm a quantitative gal. Statistics are part of my daily life. It turns out that on my time away from my job, I don't really so much like to measure. Or make sure things are properly aligned. Hope my guests don't either. Then again, they'll be so sidetracked by the yummy things on their plate masking their placemats that they won't even notice.

Amy Butler's pattern calls for using her fabulous fabric on the back of the placemat, too. I avoided this blatant scam and backed the placemats with muslin. Barbie was pretty bright, so I went with one layer of Barbie and two layers of muslin. They're a nice weight and should keep too much heat from passing through.

Friday, September 5, 2008

iPod Cozy

I recently purchased an iPod. Every morning I throw it in my backpack or purse. I noticed that is was getting small scratches on it. In order to prevent further scratches, and have a cute looking iPod, I decided to make a cozy for it. It was pretty simple. CO 15, work a few rows in rib, knit until it will wrap the iPod, knit a few rows of rip, sew it up. I used size five needles and leftover yarn from Rowan's hat.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Pumpkin Hat

For Rowan's birthday I made him a pumpkin hat. It's adorable. I did not get any good pictures of him in the hat, as he seems to really enjoy taking the hat off.

I used a superwash wool from KnitPicks.com. It is really soft, and I like the colors.

It turns out that there isn't much to say about pumpkin hats. If Kathleen or Mary-Claire got a better picture it would be wicked awesome if they would post it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

whiplash shirt

This is my first attempt at stenciling. I'd originally started this project last year for my friend Jeff's birthday. I'd made the stencil design, bought the freezer paper to print it on and use as the stencil, and then decided I just didn't care any more and bought him The Cable Guy instead.

So when his birthday came around this year I decided to give it another go. I'm glad I did because it's actually a fun process once you get the hang of it. I had bought spray-on fabric paint and tried that on my first shirt. It came out way too fast and heavy and bled all over. So on the second try I sprayed the paint into a container and dabbed it onto the stencil with a small foam brush. This worked much better. There's still some bleeding, as you can see around the dog's head, so next time I'll have to be careful to use less paint.

I'm excited to make more stenciled shirts. Any other ideas?

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I've wanted an oilcloth apron for a while now. And I've had a crush (thanks for the lingo, Kathleen) on the oilcloth at Treadle Yard Goods for years. I actually completed this project in a way more timely fashion than usual: I bought the fabric in February, with this actual project in mind. Then I began cutting the pieces out a couple months ago, and then Bernie (my Bernina) decided to rebel against me. I hadn't had a chance to bring Bernie to the doctor until last weekend, so when he came home better, I was ready to crank out the remainder of my apron. Luckily, I had so much momentum to finish the project when Bernie first broke, so I cut all the pieces out and planned it completely that day. When I returned to the project yesterday, all I had to do was sew. My dreams finally came to fruition yesterday. And Mom & Deirdre were there cheering me on! Were I do make another such apron, I would use a non-oilcloth fabric for the neck and side straps. But I'm still really happy with it.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Two years ago when I first started knitting Deirdre was kind enough to come down to Des Moines and teach Kathleen and me to knit in the round, increase, and decrease stitches. On that visit she gave me a booklet of 16 dishcloths. I vowed to make every dish cloth in the booklet.

I wasn't able to do much this week, but I was able to knit. I made three dishcloths this week. With the cloth I finished this morning I have finally finished all of the patterns. I'm looking forward to returning to my favorite patterns, just as soon as I get more dishcloth cotton.

Friday, July 11, 2008

When you find something that works...

When you find a pattern that works
and you have the bugs worked out of it
I recommend making it in several colors!
I wish I had a close-up of the fabric...
It's red with tiny denim blue flowers...
Would be adorable as a shirt with jeans/jean shorts.
Mariah gets up some mornings
and she says she needs "to wear a BOO-suh-sull dress".
I have made a collection of "beautiful dresses" for
daily wear... Easy to wash and stains come right out!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Partial Dress

So I decided to try the dress as designed (only a bit bigger for a 2T-ish size), and you might be wondering why I'm posting it just the unfinished front of it. That's because WE HAVE GUARDIANSHIP OF BRINDA!!!!!!! and we should be leaving to pick her up in two or three weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She may actually come home and wear it!!
And we're a bit excited.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Is that a PAINED look or what???
Ugh! Don't ask a 3 and a half year old to smile!
I woke up today and it was HOT!
It was 84 degrees at 9 a.m.
I refused to look at the thermometer again!
Between long soaks in the pool and tall glasses of ice water
I made this dress...
I think it turned out CUTE despite the HORRIBLE
directions that came with it!
Also, according to their measurments,
I should have sewn an 8 for Mariah... This is a 5...
The straps were not supposed to "V" like they do...
I was supposed to overlap the back enough to put a button on it.
I have it overlapped 4 inches and ended up with 3 buttons!
Plenty of room to grow!
She can wear it to college!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Shopping cart cover

I fully admit that I used to scoff at these. After all, I never needed one for Conor and Ellie. But then I remembered that there were two of them, and two don't fit in a shopping cart (except at Costco, but that's another story). And then one day when it was sprinkling, a very helpful gentleman wiped off a cart handle and seat for me at Target. With his handkerchief. After using it. Rowan, who never met anything he didn't want to eat was thrilled with the handle. So I decided we needed one of these.

I used a "Sewing for Dummies" pattern, as it's been awhile since I've sewed something not flat. I will never use a pattern from that series again if I can help it. If I didn't have some knowledge of how sewing worked, including the abiltity to think ahead to how it will go together, I would have given up.

Although the picture is shoddy, and it looks as though I tossed some material over the shopping cart, I am really happy with it. I could have made it less expensively, but I developed a crush on this flannel.

blanket chest cover

So we use the blanket chest we got (when I got married, and became a valuable family member) as a changing table. Thus, I like to keep it waterproof and kick/hit/smash-proof. So I made a cover, using fabric I found in my stash. Not enough of anything, of course, to completely cover it, but whatever. It doesn't look great, but you should have seen it before, when it was haphazardly covered with one of Margy's old vinyl Christmas tablecloths. I really like the bug print, should have bought more when I found it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Knitting Pattern Search

So now that it seems that Brinda may really be coming home this summer, and since I will soon have updated measurements for her, I want to knit her something. This http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring04/PATTanouk.html is kind of what I'm looking for - a simple dress, that can grow with the kid from jumper to tunic. Anybody know a pattern similar to this, but cute? Or recommendations on how to make this one cute? I'm thinking maybe one great color, no flowers?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Leg Warmers I Made in more seasonable weather

So really I made these last winter, but there's been something of a camera issue around here (I hate taking digital photos since our stupid president forced me to take them daily - I like to skip intermediaries, and directly blame Bush for everything that happened during or due to the deployment). So here are my leg warmers.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hawkeye Scarf

This scarf took forever. I can't decide if that is because it is knit in a k1 p1 pattern of if I just resented making it for an ex-boyfriend. Either way, it is done.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Coffee Sleeve

I have what can only be described as a horrible addiction to Starbucks. All I have to do is cross the street and I'm at a caffeinated oasis where the baristas are friendly and the coffee is strong. I feel guilty about my Starbucks addiction for many reasons, one of which is the wastefulness of the paper cups and sleeves. I use a travel mug as often as possible. It isn't possible very often, as I forget my travel mug at home approximately 80% of the time.

In order to lessen my environmentalist guilt I use a knit coffee sleeve. They are quite popular, and I've made a few for my friends. They knit up quickly and are really, really easy.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lobster Mittens

I have a friend that is a serious biker. He even bikes to work in the winter. He was telling me that his hands are always cold, because he needs the warmth of his fingers together, but needs to be able to use his fingers. He requested lobster mittens, and I agreed to help him out. Anyone with a smaller carbon footprint than me deserves mittens.

I couldn't find a pattern, so I made one up. The first mitten didn't turn out well, but the second one is a success. I am really excited that I was able to make up a pattern. It almost makes up for them being so ugly.

Monday, March 24, 2008

dressin' it up

This is the dress I made. It was a lot more challenging than the shirt, but I'm really happy with how it turned out. It has pockets in the front, and darts and a zipper in back! Thanks to Kathleen for answering my panicked interfacing questions, and to Mom for walking me through darts. I think I will make a couple more of them and wear them all summer. This one is made out of a really comfy lightweight linen, which I'm really digging.... and I don't know why I'm making that face in the picture.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Pretty in Pink

After a week of being sick I thought Mariah and her baby
might feel better with new, pretty nighties!
Is there anything better then soft, snugly flannel
when you are not feeling well?!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Hawkeye Scarf

In Phoenix I spent a lot of time in a knitting store. While in the store I decided it would be fun to make some Hawkeye scarves. I went with the keyhole scarf, which Deirdre was kind enough to read to me over the phone. Every drive in Phoenix was over a half hour, so I had plenty of time to finish one of the scarves while on vacation.

Peekaboo Mittens

I'm over my fingerless gloves addiction, and I have moved on to creating cool mittens. These mittens are warm, but not bulky. There is a slit so you can slip your fingers out when you need to use your fingers.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Witness my pathetic first attempt at sewing partnered with my complete lack of taste. I *love* the rhinestones and can't believe I'd never used a hot glue gun before! Let me know if you want to borrow my "GeMagic" - a knockoff bedazzler. It's easy and fun. I hope this goes without saying, but this is my upgraded parade outfit :)

This is the table runner I made for Kathleen. It is mostly flannel... If you were to compare it to David's quilt you may find some fabrics in common...

Fun to do but there are definate changes that I would make in the future...

Carol did WHAT!?

So after drawing David's name for Christmas Carol decided she could quilt. It IS only sewing straight lines, RIGHT!? What's so hard about that?
She chose the fabric, flannel for the front and polarfleece for the back, and a pattern then went to work! She made some changes and a few mistakes but in the end it didn't turn out too badly! It covers our couch so it MUST cover David!

A little Raggedy

This was Mariah's choice for a Halloween costume... It turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself... Gotta admit though, that wig is the strangest thing I have ever made!!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

fleece jumper

I know a fleece dress sounds kind of gross, but it looks so comfy. Deirdre has been telling me about the cute jumpers for kids on-line, so this is my knock-off. I did use a pattern, but I choose fleece because I'm lazy, and I don't like finishing. Then Tucker was stretching the crap out of it, so I put some binding tape around the edges. It doesn't match, but let's be honest, it's a fleece jumper. And he wears it with stripes, almost invariably.
Also, I find that when I watch other kids, life is easier if I drug them both.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Hat Love

For Christmas I got Deirdre some alpaca. I loved it so much I also purchased some for myself. I love this hat. It's super soft. I finished it last night and I've already made 4 people feel it. I love how the colors changed at the right spot to make a weird swirly design.
I have made more ribbed caps than I can remember, at least a dozen. I recently switched patterns from Stich N' Bitch to One-Skein Wonders. The pattern uses a size 7 circular needle, and is very simple. It is what Annie would call playground knitting.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Did you know about this?

Last week at knitting group I was told about Ravelry.com. It's like MySpace for knitting and crocheting. I am on the waiting list now, and I am worried that it may consume my life once I'm admitted. They have groups for all sorts of knitters. My friend Amanda is a member of athiest knitters. They are currently doing a sign of the devil mittens knit along, based upon some hillarious confusion on the born again Christian knitters page (there is a mitten pattern with a pocked for your license and bus pass. Someone on the page thought that it was a flap so that people could expose their RFID implant. This confusion led them to believe that the rapture is upon us). There is also a great pattern finder, you can enter your yarn (weight, amount, etc.) and it will give you a list of patterns that fit it.

Wrist Warmers and Magic Loop

I've been busy this week. Well, snowed in is more like it. On Tuesday I finished the wave wrist warmers I've been working on for Sophie. They are made out of some amazing wool. It appears to be hand spun, as the yarn varries from sport weight to bulky. It really worked with the pattern.
Today at Des Moines Metro Knitters I learned how to knit in magic loop. It was awkward at first, but I think I'm really going to like it when I get it down. Magic loop takes the place of using dpns to knit in the round. You use a circular needle, split the stiches in two, and get to work. This is really nice because you don't get the laddering that you can get with dpns. It also solves some of the tension problems I have between the needles. I think I'm going to start going to knitting group more often. They were really helpful, and it was nice to knit with people that appreciate knitting.