Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Nautilus Hat: Wendified

My camera broke awhile back and my phone kinda sucks for pictures (I'm sorry Steve Jobs, but it's true).  So my friends Megan & Jared met me in Saugatuck and we took a bunch o' pics.  We had a great time!  Here is the 1st project from the batch:

The Nautilus Hat--Wendified 
(like modified, get it?)

I made this hat TWO summers ago!  I made it on a trip to California during the summer.  I was sweatily knitting away in the car outside the post office when this tough guy drove in on a big ole' motorcycle.  "Isn't it too hot ta' be workin' with wool?" he asked.  It's never too hot for wool.  The hat was just too big.  I loved it (especially since it was the 1st hat I'd made), but wanted to get real use out of it instead of its current job: blindfold.  This past fall I took it to a chili cook-off in Baldwin and added the black around the bottom and the flower.  It has become one of my favorite hats, now.  

(BTW-please ignore the orange scarf, I forgot I had it on.)

Monday, October 18, 2010

iPad iPad iPad

Geesh, I have been a horrible blogger!  Once school starts, I feel like I can barely catch my breath.  I have found time to continue knitting however (of course).  There is barely a spare moment that knitting needles or a book aren't in my hands.

A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of spending the weekend with the fabulous Nora J. Bellows of Noni Designs at Needle in a Haystack.  She is amazing and her patterns are incredible!  If you haven't seen her work, definitely check out the link.  Her bags are awesome!

I loved every minute I spent at the workshop.  I found out about it last minute (on a Friday stop-in at the LYS), yarn was thrust into my hands and I was told to have my project knitted and felted by the next morning.  Well . . . it was Friday after a LONG week of school, so I fell asleep with my needles in my hands and woke Saturday with my project only about half-finished.  It wasn't a problem, they just let me learn while I knitted at the workshop.  I had my iPad case finished, felted, zippered, and flowered by Sunday.  I could not be happier with the results and love love love my new carry-case!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Arielle Continued . . .

I keep pluggin' away at Arielle and finally finished the back.  I really hope I can finish by September so I can play along with my Ravelry friends.  

I didn't get much knitting done this past week because I had another fun "vacation-at-home" with my mom & niece Carolyn.  My future sister-in-law Megan also joined us for the weekend.  I loved having all of them here and can't get enough creative inspiration from each of them.  We had a true Michigan-fun time.  We picked blueberries, played at the beach, visited lighthouses, skyped with the cousins, had a picnic, and a beach fire with s'mores.  Elli, the most amazing German Shepherd ever, learned how to body surf, too.  Speaking of Elli, she seems to love Caro's stuff.  The last trip it was Barbie (8 of them) and this time her little pink purse.  We worked as a team to fix it.  I bought the yarn Caro picked, my mom used the french knitter to make a new handle, and Megan sewed it on the purse.  Teamwork!

Bummed that summer is almost over, but have loved every minute of this one.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Blue House Birthday

I think I may have had the best birthday ever this week!  Wednesday was a great day filled with all kinds of love from friends and family.  Going to the Blue House on Tuesday with my good friend Megan (Calla's mom) made it even better.  Blue House is this great art studio in Ann Arbor.  We drove over in the morning and met with Libby who taught us how to make a paper collage pendant.  It was so nice to spend the day with Megan.  She is a great friend and excellent listener.  Thank you, Megan, for letting me go on and on about new things in my life.  ;-)  Here's the pendant I created.

So, this may be ridiculously creepy, but there is an awesome antique/junk store called Sunset Junque here in South Haven.  I feel the need to go through this gigantic place every now and then scouting for treasure.  Uh . . . I found one.  Check out this awesome antique head.  She's perfect for modeling my hats for me and, yes, she is kinda creepy, but really cool all the same!  She needs a name.  Post a comment with a name for her and your name may be just the right one.  If so, I'll send you something cool.

I made this hat awhile back.  It's a slouchy hat with a picot edge.  I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, so it's a cashmere/wool blend that is super soft.  It was a really fast pattern, so it was a nice project to slip in between some of the bigger things I'm working on.  

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Baker Allegan Studios Rocks!

So I've been playing with the idea lately of spinning and dyeing my own yarn.  In an effort to learn how to do this I searched for a place in Michigan that could teach me and stumbled across this amazing studio.  I saw that they give weaving classes, so Margaret (the art teacher I work with) & I immediately signed up.  It was a 2-evening workshop and I loved every minute of it.
Debbie & Joe, the owners, are great people who truly love what they do and are completely committed.  The first night Debbie taught us how to use 7 different types of looms and create patterns while we're weaving.  These are a couple of pieces that I worked on.
The second night I brought my favorite skirt from high school.  It was one of those long hippie skirts (I pretty much wore hippie skirts exclusively for about 2 years).  I have always loved this particular skirt, but it's totally out of date and way too big, so I hung on to it hoping I'd find the right project for it.  Debbie taught me how to rip it into one big long strip of fabric.  Then we loaded it on to the shuttle and I made myself a laptop bag/knitting bag . . .
The thing I like best about my skirt into bag is that, while I can't see the detail from afar, I can still see all of the things I loved the most about this skirt when I look at it closely.  Not sure how I feel about those long tassels, but I'll give it some time and decide whether or not they need a trim.  Margaret cracked me up trying to take this video with my phone, but here I am working on the loom.
Finally, at the end of the night, these are the things I had accomplished and got to take home.  None of them are official projects (except the bag), but a great sample of different weights of thread and fabric and looks that one can get from weaving.
On a side note, Debbie had just gotten 6 new spinning wheels, and when Margaret & I walked in, she whipped out her credit card.  She bought an amazingly sweet, modern-looking new wheel.  I didn't spend much time spinning, but I got to try it out.  AND--Margaret let me take her old wheel home so I can practice!  Fun stuff!
If you find yourself anywhere near downtown Allegan, I encourage you to stop in and say hello to this great couple at Baker Allegan Studios.  Their studio and art gallery are fabulous!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Workin' On This

I thought a few updates were in order.  You'd think I'm obsessed with this frog hat, but I'm not, I promise.  I just wanted to post my redo, because I think it's so much better than the original.  Learning how to embroider, for real, made a big difference.

My latest project is Arielle, by Kim Hargreaves.  We are doing a knit-along in one of the Ravelry groups I belong to, "Sexy Knitters."  We have to be finished by September, so hopefully I can make the deadline.  Here's my start.  It looks a little rough in this picture, but really it looks gorgeous in person.  No, really!  This is the back.  I have it about 3/4 of the way finished . . .

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Love Combining Crafts

Embroidery has been my "new" craft of the summer.  I started to embroider tags to add to my knitting projects and today I decided I should embroider a card for my Australian niece who is turning 19 next month.  The thing I love about these cards is that I can be as creative as I want to be and they look so complex, but it really isn't that difficult!

 I started by sketching out a quick design, then I did a little revising.  Doing my best, I copied my idea onto a piece of card stock and threaded the needle!  
I made 2 Eight Petal Daisies using the Detached Chain stitch and a Bullion Loop in the center of each flower.
I made the stems using a Back Stitch, the leaves using a Seed Stitch, and the embellishment with simple French Knots.

I put the card together using scrapbooking eyelets and then used some of those Pop Dots to affix the embroidered piece to the card.  The Pop Dots are great because they leave a bit of space between the 2 pieces so all of my back thread doesn't make it appear wrinkly.

Happy Birthday, Miss Emma!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My niece was here visiting this past week.  She modeled my frog hat for me and looked so stinkin' adorable I decided I had to make her one too.  So, I showed her the animal hat options and she (of course) chose the pink bear hat--which is perfect since I nicknamed her Princess CareBear.  ;-)  Here it is!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

How Sweet Is That?

Since I'm on a roll with baby hats, I thought I should post this one I made awhile back.  I actually made this Nautilus Hat for myself, but made it way too small (1st hat I'd ever made).  I added the little flowers and made a pair of mittens to match for my adorable little friend Calla.  I could never have done justice to this hat like she does anyway.  

Thank you to Calla's mommy for letting me post these pics.  I absolutely love them.  It's like seeing a commercial--the girls are so stinkin' cute.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Help, Please! I Need Your Opinion

So I posted my frog hat the other day and then I had this crazy idea that if one is going to have a frog hat, they need frog mittens, too.  I set to work looking for a pattern, but could only find sock patterns (thank you to my friends at Ravelry who helped).  Here is what I came up with in trying to alter the sock pattern into a mitten.  I need your opinion, and please be honest.  Does this work or should I keep trying?
(Made for a baby, hence the small mitt.)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

As If I Don't Have Enough Projects . . .

As I mentioned in my previous post, my embroidery skills definitely need some help.  So, that was the project du jour.  I found myself at Jo-Anne Fabrics where I stocked up on supplies and even found a couple of baskets 50% off.  Then with my adored Barnes & Noble gift card in hand, I purchased The Emroiderer's Handbook.  This book is awesome!  While I know just about everything can be found on the Internet, sometimes it's nice to just have a handy reference book close by.  In my basket, you can see that I started a little sampler using the Algerian Eye Stitch, the Backstitch, the Bullion Loop, and a Chain Stitch.  So far, so good.  Definitely need to keep practicing, but it's a fun start.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Frog Hat for a Friend

I'm lookin' a little rough first thing in the morning when I took this pic, but hey, if you can't love me in the morning, then you just can't truly love me.  I made this frog hat for a friend's little one.  I finished it this past weekend.  I think my embroidery skills definitely need more practice . . . He was super fast and easy to make so I'm going to try again and see if I can improve.  I finished several other projects this weekend, so I keep watching for more!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Hangin' On To Those Dutch Roots

I originally saw this idea posted by Dottie Angel.  I thought it was a perfect way to store and organize all of those knitting needles, but to also use those wooden shoes I've had since I was a child.  I had no idea what to do with them.  We used to attend Tulip Time and I've had the "tulip shoes" for a long time.  Because I now live in Southwest Michigan (a very Dutch area), it was nothing for me to run out to the Wooden Shoe Factory and pick up these adorable little shoes.  I painted them with a mixture of Liquitex colors and finished them with a gloss polyurethane.  Getting them to hang straight on the wall was no easy task.  I finally went with some of those extra 3M hook adhesive labels (you know those hooks that you can remove from the wall--they always come with a few extra tabs).  I stuck those to the bottom of each heel and they seem to work perfectly.  I popped the bottom of a button off and hot glued it to the screw so that it gives it more of a unique push-pin look. Sorry the pics aren't very clear.  One of these days I will get a new camera so I can stop relying on my phone.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

MaggiKnits Workshop Day 2

Another great day with Maggie Jackson.  I think my hands were tired on this 2nd day of nonstop knitting, because I was pokey!  I kept getting behind so Maggie just laughed at me and would take my knitting out of my hands to catch me up.  I told her I was going to post this pic and she said, "Oh no.  Now people are going to think they can come to a MaggiKnits workshop and I'll do their knitting for them!"  LOL!  She is so much fun and I promise--she doesn't knit for everybody.

We learned how to add embellishments, like a tube-bow and a scrap bow:

Then we learned how to make a 2-color picot with a rag embellishment:

Now at this point, I love my colors and while I don't really see myself using the bows, it was good to learn how to do them.  From here on out, I wasn't crazy about my color choices, but again, I really liked learning the techniques--I'll just have to figure out how to incorporate them into my own style as I knit.  The next skills were learning how to do a twisted split and a frill tube: 

I'm so glad I chose to attend both days of the workshop, because I got a lot out of them and I truly enjoyed meeting Maggie.  She's an amazingly charismatic person and her stories are absolutely fabulous!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

MaggiKnits Workshop

Today I went to a great workshop with Maggie Jackson of Maggiknits.  She really encourages you to try new things and to add to your pieces to give them interest.  Many of her designs are created from squares and rectangles with extra "fancy" yarn thrown in.  We began with a skein of her 3-thread linen, 1 solid color stash piece, and 3 "fancy" (as she calls them) stash pieces.  There was a ton of yarn to look through and finding the right colors alone could have taken me all day!

After finding the colors, we all started knitting!  We started with the solid linen and knitted knotted-rag pieces in for the first effect:

The next skill was learning how to do splits with different colors:

After lunch we had a mini fashion show where Maggie put each of us in her pieces and showed us what to look for to compliment our shapes and styles and give us new ideas for knitting.  Then we were back to the table to create the tube stitch and the ladder stitch:

All-in-all, it was a super fun day.  Maggie is entertaining, knowledgeable, patient, and was able to keep a bunch of ladies on-task.  I'll be back to the shop again tomorrow for Day 2 . . .

Friday, June 25, 2010

Felting & Sunbathing

This was my perch today.  The telephone woke me up WAY too early today (geesh--who calls at 7:30 am???), so I decided to use my time wisely.  After my run, I set up shop in my favorite spot on the back deck with coffee and wool.  I know, seems a little crazy sitting in the sun with wool, but I'm working on my very first felting project.  I have a fabulous tan with crazy lines on my legs from where the wool protected those UV rays.  So now you're asking yourself, where did that chick get those fabulous chairs?

These are the awesome chairs that The-Very-Talented-Sprinkle-of-Creativity-Megan made for me.  We found the unfinished chairs at Menards.  One night I went through a bunch of art showing her the style of stuff I like.  This was what she came up with.  I'm so in love with these chairs!  I sit in one every single night.  Megan, you rock!  I thought I was breaking my selfish knitting rule and knitted her a Marshmallow Scarf for the chairs, but clearly, the scarf is not an even swap.  Don't worry, Megs, I know I still owe you!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

(My phone doesn't take the best pics, but hey, I needed to show off my happy face!)

Yea!!!!  It's finally finished.  I decided that no matter how beautiful the day, I was going to finish my Razor Cami and I did!  Here's the final result:

I added a bit of Maggi's Rag by MaggiKnits around the bustline and threw a few beads on the ends.  I like that it gives it just a little somethin' to make it different.

I'm super excited because I went to Needle on a Haystack to force myself to complete this project.  I discovered that Maggie Jackson of MaggiKnits is going to be there this weekend doing a fashion show and workshops, so of course I signed up for an all-day workshop.  I can't wait to learn some fun new techniques and maybe meet a few fun folks!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fix It if It's Broken

(I forgot to take a pic of this project before I put the fabric on the first drawer, so I apologize for that.)

This set of drawers which used to house all kinds of fun crafting supplies has been sitting in storage for about 5 years.  At the time it went in, I taped all the drawers shut with some fabulous packing tape.  When my new abode required more drawers in the bathroom, I thought it was time to pull this guy out of storage.  The tape, however, did not agree and had permanently affixed itself.  Being the crafting-genius that I am, I didn't just reach for the Goo Gone, but instead chose Goo Gone Extreme.  Hint: Goo Gone Extreme eats plastic.  Not a good idea.  So--what was I to do?

I found this fun fabric at a place in Holland called Found on 8th St.  The store owner carries lots of cool vintage and vintage-style furniture and accessories.  She used to own Roxie's Vintage Clothing in Holland, which I am sad to say is no longer in business.  I used spray adhesive and that has seemed to hold it in place.  I sprayed the plastic "drawer-holder-thingie" with Krylon for plastics.  It took me no time at all and I like the results.  If I get uber-motivated, I might pull the fabric off the bottom 2 drawers and go with a solid color, or mix it up.  It's a little busy for my taste, but an easy project all the same.

I am pluggin' away at that Razor Cami (see post below).  It's essentially finished, but I'm working out the seam edging and the straps.  I hope to have it completed by the weekend if I'd just stop doing all of these other projects--like moving my mom into a new home after 35 years in the same place, I might accomplish that goal.  Whew!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Rainy Day Earrings

I welcome rainy days because I know it means I will accomplish much around the house with my projects, or I will laze around watching movies and catching up on much needed rest. Today was both welcomed and thoroughly enjoyed.

My very best friends (baby brother and sister-in-law-to-be) Colin & Megan, were my Memorial Weekend guests at the ole' beach house.  We had a fantastic weekend with much laughing, lounging, and sand.  I felt like I was on vacation, too, in my own house . . . the best feeling ever!  

Today we ventured to town to visit the lighthouse and have some lunch.  As we were just about to the end of the pier watching all of those crazy tourists sprinting back to shore, we carried on--a few dark clouds can't scare us.  Suffice it to say, by the time we made it back to the car we were completely and totally drenched, but still in good spirits.  It absolutely helped that we had first perused the bead shop.  Once home and out of our wet clothes, bundled up in robes, Megan suggested that it was time to create with our beady finds.  We started a Netflix InstaPlay and each made a pair of earrings.  If only we could be neighbors.  I can only imagine the inspiration we would be able to provide each other.  Once this rain stops, I will absolutely post the amazing adirondack chairs that Megan so kindly painted for me.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Razor Cami

This is my latest project that I've been working on (it seems like) forever!  I had gotten a good way through and decided there were way too many mistakes, so I started over.  I can't wait for it to be finished, so I'm trying to dedicate all of my project time to it until it's finished.  It should be a fabulous summertime cami once it's finished.

This particular project is special to me because it will have so many memories attached to it.  I bought this great Kollage yarn in Louisville when my good friend Rachel & I were on our Spring Break adventure.  I have spent several recesses knitting this one with my friend and 5th grade student KT.  She's an amazing self-taught knitter and more recently crocheter.  So my fun cami will always make me think of Louisville, Rachel, and KT.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thrifty Finds

I've been on the hunt for a dresser for awhile.  I just couldn't find anything new or used until I stumbled upon this "junky dresser."  The size, the lines, and definitely the price were perfect ($39.99).  It took several trips to get it done because I kept running out of paint, but finally, it's in place and I love it.  I used Light Blue/Violet Liquitex mixed with a little Brilliant Yellow Green and Titanium White.  I found the pulls at Hobby Lobby.  I bought 2 different styles to see which one I liked best and settled with the smaller green pulls.

The mirror was an antique store find in Illinois.  I liked it just the way it was, but with white walls, I knew it would look terrible on the wall.  I painted it with Titanium White Liquitex and then mixed the Brilliant Yellow Green with a little more white and brushed it lightly over the detail.  I love the effect, though it's a little tough to see in the picture.  I smile every time I see my fabulous finds.  The vase and wild daisies also came from Hobby Lobby--love that place!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Managing Pesky Birthdays

I am notoriously late for birthdays and just plain forget them constantly.  I've succumbed to the realization that I will never be good at it.  However, it never hurts to try.  This is my attempt.  I started this book about 5 years ago, set it aside, and decided today that I should get back to it.  This is my start.  I still have 5 months to go (Mar, Set, Oct, Nov, & Dec).  I am determined to finish them tomorrow.

The left side of the page is where I can list names & dates.  The right side of the page is a pocket designed to hold those cards I've worked had to create throughout the year.  ;-)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cozy Gray Mittens

I actually made these mittens before the hat (previous post).  I seem to be addicted to making mittens and these were super fast.  After they were finished, they needed something to spruce them up, so naturally, I had to add beads.  The loves of my life: my pooch, yarn, stripes, & (duh) beads!

Gray Cozy Hat

This fun little hat was super easy to make and is complimented every time I wear it.  The beads were the best part.  I got to sit at this great little bead shop "Peace, Love, & Beads" where the owner, Jackie, is overjoyed when she can help select the perfect beads for a project.

Puffed Flowers

I created this card as a thank-you to my fabulous sister-in-law-to-be's parents for graciously inviting us to this year's amazingly delicious Easter dinner.  I got the idea from Creative Cards by Becky Higgins.  Love having my new art studio.  It makes creating so much easier!

Oh yeah--and make sure you check out her fancy blog--Sprinkles of Creativity!  Maybe then she'll get a sprinkle of action and update it again!  ;-)