Sunday, October 31, 2010

Last Day of Blogtoberfest

Well I almost made it. We had dinner with my inlaws last night and somehow in my mind I thought I would be home early enough to blog something interesting for the second to the last day of blogtoberfest. Instead I came home full and content and promptly fell asleep. So I guess I owe you all two posts today.
I feel a bit like a lousy crafter because I don't have any Halloween type things to show you. Maybe it is because I don't have kids, or because I grew up in the west village, the hub of all Halloween craziness, but I have never been a huge Halloween party, costume oriented kind of girl. I promise for post two to try to think of something spooky.
Until then I thought I would share a post summer picnic napkin making moment of bliss I had the other morning. I meant to do this at the beginning of the summer. I bought some fat quarters of this great material but some how it also made it to the bottom of the heap. So in the midst of preparing our outdoor space to be winter ready I made some summer napkins.
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Too Intense?

I have been thinking that our world is too cluttered. I decided that maybe some of the problem is that our bookshelf is now directly across from our couch in the living room. Why is this a problem you ask? Because I now stare at it all the time.
I keep looking at photos of other people's apartments and their bookshelves and they don't seem cluttered, why do mine?
I think it might be our bookshelf. It is large and has no back which means a lot of negative space. So I decided to do something radical and go vertical.
I am not ready to pare down my books anymore, or get rid of them all together but I don't pull them out all the time anymore either. So vertical isn't too much of an it too intense?
My other idea is to build little shelves or boxed in areas. What do you think? Too Intense?
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Heart These

I have been lusting after these bangles made by Lynda Slade at sew new things. They are made from old knitting needles that she heats and bends. I think they are lovely.




Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quilt in Action

A good night sleep, some band aids and these great pictures was all I needed to get back on the blogging band wagon. Thank you all for putting up with my disgruntledness. Actually I have really been enjoying blogging on a regular basis. I thought I would run out of things to tell you about but it turns out I still have more things on the list.
It takes a bit of work to figure out how to fit blogging into my regular life. This is especially true because since signing up for blogtoberfest my computer and blogger decided they didn’t like each other so I haven’t been able to upload photos directly from my home computer. This has created a somewhat crazy scenario of my e-mailing photos to myself and having to go to another computer to upload them. And if you all want things spelled somewhat to standard English language it means having my hubby (my god when did I start calling him that?) edit my blog before posting. You may notice that sometimes I post with misspellings and repost corrected texts. So if you really are bored and looking for amusement you could swing by my site and read the same post a couple times and see how it has changed, dear god that sounds boring please don’t do that.

I wanted to show you all some pictures of Amelia playing on her quilt. Cause really is there anything better than seeing crafting in use? A very special thank you to Liz for taking these pictures for me. Thanks Liz, you rock.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blogging Blues?

Okay, I may have hit a blogging wall. Blogging every day is harder than it looks. I know, I know I have made it look so easy up until now. Well today was a long day, followed by a nasty blister and a crazy bus ride, I won't whine too much though. Instead i thought I would show you one more Sheep and wool find. I went bin diving at a rug stall and came up with these great scrapes of felt. I am thinking about making a felt scarf with raw edges out of it, or maybe several cause I kinda got a lot.
I am off to early bed and I promise to be more chipper tomorrow :)
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Monday, October 25, 2010

On My Needles

Sorry there is no picture today, rather a quick note before I turn into a pumpkin.
Tonight on my needles: my guys Wallaby. What's better then picking a project back up after some time away? The look of happiness I got from my guy when he realized I was working on his project.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Paint Chip Magnet Tutorial

Last week I was making some magnets to put into a belated birthday package. I had all my magnet making supplies out for three little magnets so I started looking around the apartment for other things that might want to be immortalized into magnets. And that is when I stumbled upon upcycled crafty goodness: paint chip magnets.

I think ever crafty person has a bunch of paint chips wandering around their stash. How can you resist the colors and those crazy names like Banana Cream Pie and Red Hot Chili? For those who haven’t made magnets in the past here is a little tutorial.

You’ll need:
Paint chips (with good names)
Diamond Glaze
A brush you don’t care too much about
Glass blanks
E6000 adhesive (you can also use diamond glaze)
I ordered the glass blanks, magnets and glue off etsy but I am sure you can pick everything up at a good craft store.

Last week I was making some magnets to put into a belated birthday package. I had all my magnet making supplies out for three little magnets so I started looking around the apartment for other things that might want to be immortalized into magnets. And that is when I stumbled upon upcycled crafty goodness: paint chip magnets.
I think ever crafty person has a bunch of paint chips wandering around their stash. How can you resist the colors and those crazy names like Banana Cream Pie and Red Hot Chili? For those who haven’t made magnets in the past here is a little tutorial.

1)      I cut the strips into individual colors. This makes it a bit easier to hold and less chance of getting glue all over the place.
2)      Coat the back of the glass blank with diamond glaze and align the glass over the portion of the paint chip with the name. Apply some pressure to make sure that the surface of the glass is making contact with the paper.
3)      Let dry, approximately 4 hours.

    4)      Cut around the outside of the glass with a xacto knife.

    5)      Attach magnet using E6000 adhesive or more diamond glaze. Make sure you space the magnet a fair distance apart or they will actually pull together leaving you a sticky mess.

That’s it. Super simple and perfect for those who can never quite figure out what color to paint their house.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Yarn Bangles

I came across this great idea the other day at See Me Knit. I have a huge box of little odds and ends of yarn that I can't quite throw out but that really are pretty useless. Most of them are even too small for a row of a Baby Surprise Jacket. I guess if I ever wanted to knit doll clothes I would be set, until then I will just have to make these knitted bangles.
I picked up the plastic bracelets for a dollar at a thrift store. I am pretty sure that if I was anywhere other then NYC they would be a dime but here a dollar seemed as good as I was going to find. Then it is a matter of knitting a long strip and sewing it around the bangle. Pretty neat.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

About Me

There is a little meme going around blogtoberfest. Here are my answers:

4 things that I always carry:

• lip balm

• pens

• phone

• advil

4 things that are in my bedroom:

• back issues of Ready Made

• a “new” white noise machine (and it rocks!)

• a framed piece of handmade washi paper I pulled

• a copy of Alice in Wonderland

4 things that I would like to do but haven't done yet:

• go to Venice, before it sinks

• spend a month hiking in Glacier Park

• live in Portland, OR

• whistle with two finger in my mouth really loud

4 things that you don’t know about me:

• I hate eggplant, love the color had the food

• I get really angry when people only see their own needs

• I love popsicles

• there is a safety pin in my wallet just in case

4 things I often wonder:

• how can people be so selfish

• where my life will go next

• why there are always dirty socks all over my apartment ;)

• will I ever stop feeling like a bad adult for not being able to spell?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall Felt

A few weeks ago we went to my friend Evelyn's wedding upstate. She made these crazy amazing felted acorns as table settings. She also made each of us a mini pie but as they were eaten right away so I have no proof of her hard work to show you. These are so lovely and well done I just had to share them; the perfect piece of Fall.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New to the Flock

At every sheep and wool festival, I try to find a wee sheep for my collection. I am not sure how long I am going to keep adding to this collection because these things can go from cute to "lady with crazy sheep collection" fast. I think I am still okay, especially because no one else has identified me as some one that collects wee sheep and therefore no one gives me them...please don't start.
But met the new guy. No name yet, any suggestions?

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Everything is going to be fine; I found more wool for the Wallaby that ate all my yarn. I know you have all been sitting there with baited breath worrying your poor selves sick over my Wallaby issues and I sure do apologize for not telling you sooner that things worked out.

Finding more wool was at the top of the list for sheep and wool and the first thing I did, well, after I ate a lamb burger. I was able to find the same vendor who had something very close to the original yarn. It may be a touch lighter but I can blend it by knitting every other row without making things too noticeable. I was so excited to have found it, and so scared to be in the same boat that I bought 2 skeins of 270 yards. I admit I thought about getting 3 but even I knew that was overkill.

Now I just have to start working on it again.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Weekend of Sheep, Wool and Good Friends

I am back and mostly recovered from sheep and wool. This year was more about time with good friends then wool, although there was still a lot of wool. I bought mostly patterns to help inspire me to use up some wool from previous years purchases.

It was a lovely weekend to spend out of the city. The trees are turning and the air had that crisp fall smell. There were also 20mph winds on Saturday but we were well bundled. All in all, my super crafters and I had a great time and managed to get everything on our lists. Mary dressed in brightness bought a huge bright bag and more bright wool to continue her felting. Katy bought a great fuzzy hat right of the venders head. And after a sluggish first day Molly managed to get enough yarn for all the projects on her Christmas list, personally I think it was the extra yummy birthday cupcakes that gave her the strength.

And for those that wonder what happens after sheep and wool:

That’s right we get right to it. Katy had most of her balls wound by the time we made it back in Brooklyn.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

NY Sheep and Wool 2010

there were...


and we had a smashing good time

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wonderful Wallaby Woes: part II

Yesterday I told you the very long tale of the wee Wallaby and my inability to count; today I shall tell you the tale of the giant Wallaby that ate all my yarn. In all fairness, we should probably blame me and my inability to count, this time yardage, and not the wallaby pattern.

So my sweetie and I have been together for about 5 ½ years now. When we first met and he learned of my knitting skills he asked for a sweater. And like all good girls I quoted the boyfriend sweater curse to him. What is this? You have never heard of the boyfriend sweater curse before?

It was whispered to me in hushed tones when I first learned to cast on. It goes something like this: never knit a man you are dating a sweater because, inevitably, you will break up before it is finished and you will never meet another man with the same measurements. I kid you not, this was said a lot to me and to a lot of other young knitters.

So I wouldn’t make him a sweater. At some point because of his pleas I wrote to the holy grail of knitters (my old Vermont knitting group, those ladies would steek anything) and asked what they thought of the boyfriend sweater curse. Their ruling seemed fair and unbiased. They decreed that the sweater curse applied to the beginner knitter and not pros. Because I was a fast proficient knitter who could make a sweater in a month or two I would be fine. But I couldn’t make it for a holiday or take on some insane pattern I would come to hate AND my guy had to promise not to break up with me for 6 months after receiving the sweater.

Despite this sound decision I managed to avoid starting a sweater for him. That is until two weeks after we were married when we happened to be upstate for the sheep and wool festival. When he took my hand sweetly in his and said “NOW can I have my sweater?” What could I do but make him one?

I bought yarn on the spot. Lovely yarn from Maine that is hand dyed and set in salt water from the coast. Do you see where this is going? Yup, somewhere around those lovely big shoulders I realized I was going to run out of yarn. Thank goodness this weekend is NY Sheep and Wool and with a little luck there will be more yarn. Of course the dye lot won’t match so I fear it will have to have stripes and of course I may have to rip back so that the stripes don’t all start at the top and scream “someone didn’t buy enough yarn!”

So please cross fingers, toes and nose for me that I find some yarn to ease the pain.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wonderful Wallaby Woes: Part 1

A few years back someone in a Vermont knitting group gave me a pattern for the Wonderful Wallaby. It is a sweater with, you guessed it, a hood and a big front pouch. It is super fun, fairly quick to knit, all in the round, and the pattern is for kid’s size 2 to XXXL adult. Really, what could be better?

The pattern was written by Waldorf school teachers and is full of encouragement, helpful hints and super cute drawings of kangaroos knitting. Now really, can you think of anything better then a drawing of a kangaroo knitting? Ok maybe you can but it has to be on the top of the list, right?

Over the years I have made several for myself and as gifts. Recently I had two Wallabies going at once, one for my sweetie and one for my nephew. And of course this simple pattern that had not failed me yet, failed on both counts. Or maybe I had better say that I failed the pattern, again on both counts.

Apparently I can’t count. You would think that this would have come up before in my life but, no, I just noticed or perhaps I developed some odd brain disorder where one loses the ability to count knitting stitches as they age. Whichever the case may be the verdict is the same, I can’t count.

Let’s go back a few weeks ago to me on the couch making the wee Wallaby while watching a marathon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Body and pouch knit, check. Sleeve one and two knit, check. Join pieces together and decrease for neck, check…wait, uncheck. Rip back, rejoin sleeves due to a difference in number of stitches on each side of body, check.

Now let’s stop for a moment and think, wouldn’t this be a good time to recount the stitches on both sleeves to make sure that they are the same. It sure would have been a good idea, but no that is not what I did. Instead I reattached the sleeves, was again almost to the hood when I counted and yup: all wrong. Rip back. This time I counted, redid one sleeve so they were now both the same number of stitches and proceeded with attaching. Knit all the way till most of the hood is completed, apparently without looking down, and realize that the sleeve are now on completely lopsided so that the pouch is mostly around to one side.

You all must appreciate the courage of showing you this very blurry picture that documents my inability to count, not once, not twice but three TIMES. The fact that I stopped and took a picture of this insanity and didn’t hide it from you all says something, I am not sure what. Maybe it says: don’t watch marathons of Buffy and knit. Or perhaps the super obvious: look down at your knitting every once in awhile!

The good news is I ripped back yet again. Counted 6 times to be sure and got it finished up before my nephew outgrew it!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Self Portrait

I started this blog a few years back as a way to share what I am making, my stumbles and triumphs with people I care about who live too far away to stop by and see for themselves. Along the way I have picked up a few other readers.  It has been an interesting dance of how much of my actual life I want to share with those in cyberspace. How personal is too personal?  But when it comes down to it the blogs I enjoy reading the most are the ones that share who they are, admit that they are human and not always perfect and share pictures or small glimpse into themselves. I love seeing where people live and what their homes look like, even if they are filled to the brim with dirty laundry, like mine is now.
The more we share the more we see that there is someone out there like me, or not like me but I like her anyway (I hope). All this is to say her is my self portrait and I promise to post a few more pictures inside my world, dirty laundry and all.

This picture was taken of me by my father, a year ago, the day before my wedding.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

That New Car Smell

Today is suppose to be self portrait day on blogtoberfest but the last 48 hours has been a wee bit too insane for me to find the camera or even manage to go through some already taken photo’s so you all are going to have to wait, sorry. I will try to get one up for tomorrows post.

The reason life has been so crazy other than the standard life stuff (work, dentist appointments, colds, more laundry than I thought possible) is my guy got a new car yesterday. And so this post signifies what I hope is the end of a month of solid talking about nothing else but cars! Looking at cars on the road and debating the merits of fold down seats. Does everyone hear that huge sigh of relief I just let out? No? Really? I thought it could be heard around the world.

Last night we went and signed a ton of paperwork and picked up the new car and left the old one. It is a very grown up moment to have a brand new car and payments for the next several years…Everything went well and we happily drove off into the sunset chatting and playing with all the new devices like the his and hers climate control, which has to have been invented by an amazing person that clearly got tired of having one person freeze while the other felt like they were in a sauna. I may actually be warm in the car without 25 extra layers!

We were so busy being amazed by this new feature that we forgot, until we were at the toll that we left the ez-pass in the old car which was now sitting at the dealers. I sincerely apologize to you if you were stuck in the lane behind us last night as we went through the drill of having the cop come over and look at the car and at us. Thankfully he was a very kind man and did not give us a ticket. Thank you Mr. Policeman for taking pity on us.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Blogs for Blogtoberfest

Some of you may have noticed that the links to other people’s site over on the right hand side toolbar  has recently disappeared. This was one of those accidents I sorta meant to do. By “sorta” I mean I knew it was out of date and something needed to happen but I wasn’t patient enough to spend the time on it. Because it is Blogtoberfest and rather than just put it back I thought I would highlight a few blogs that I really love and check regularly which you can check out in the new box called: Stuff I Frequently Click On.
Now many of these craft sites are places that many crafters know and love. Angry Chicken who wrote Bend the Rules Sewing is one of my favorites. I recently started reading some of these blogs from the very beginning to get a feel for the person and watch how their lives have changed.

All Buttoned Up has become one of my all time favorite blogs. She is a crafter/sewer with several kids and a wiliness to admit to her mistakes and show you her chaos, process and triumphs.

Skinny Lamix is the blog of a wonderful designer in Cape Town. I love her prints and her color palate speaks to my childhood.

How About Orange is a more recent find for me. She is in love with, you guessed it orange. Even if orange is not one of your favorite colors you will still like her site. She has a wonderful ability to pull many things together from all over the web and present you with the lovely bits. She also has really wonderful and generous free downloads.

I believe that Angry Chicken has her hand in Fat Quarterly but I wouldn’t swear to that. It is a site devoted to quilting that has great interviews and tutorials. They also have a news letter that you can purchase with patterns.

Sunday Treats and Smitten Kitchen round things out with great recipes. I have had the great fortune of going to a pot luck with the sister’s from Sunday Treats and all I can say is yes it really tastes as good as the picture.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another Happy Birthday

It might seem a wee bit repetitive to have another happy birthday post right after telling you all about my sister but this is a happy birth DAY post. That's right perhaps my oldest friend of all time gave birth this morning to Hannah (no pictures yet).
Madeline, aka mommy, and I became friends in the third grade when she invited me to share her tire swing.  Our relationship was solidified when we were given the assignment of reading out loud (to each other) Anne of Green Gables. From that moment on we were each others bosom buddies. I am over the moon for her and her family about this new addition. In honor of Hannah's entrance I made her this sweet little dress. I made it from cotton  purchased at last springs Maryland Sheep and Wool helping to clear out the stash for next weekends purchases.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Morning Glories and the Yarn of My Dreams

Last spring when we moved into our new place my sweet man planted me morning glories on the back porch. All summer long they vine has twisted it's way around our fence but until this weekend, ah the second weekend in October, no flowers. Yesterday we awoke to these.

Aren't they lovely! I am not sure why they took so long to bloom, maybe someone out there in cyber world can explain it.  But as the days turn chilly it is nice to still have a bit of new life on the back porch.

As it gets colder here on the east coast I also find myself pulling out more knitting projects. There is something about the air getting crisp that turns my hands to yarn. On Friday I met the yarn of my dreams.  I wasn't planning on it, I swear. In fact I am not even sure I believed in such things but maybe that's the thing about love it always happens when you least expect it.
I spent Friday afternoon at Downtown Yarns, my favorite knitting store in New York.  I was struggling with a project that I was making from some yarn that was gifted to me last spring. Next weekend is NY sheep and wool festival and I feel like I need to have some projects started from my stash before I am allowed to buy anything else. So using up this yarn was really some sort of justification to buy more yarn. But this yarn and I were not really friends.  I am not in love with its many colors,  or to be more specific how often it changes color and width.  So I was on project attempt number 3 with this yarn having aborted a hat and mittens when the lovely Callie told me to stop.  As she pointed out there was no need to make something that I was had no joy in doing. Thank goodness for Callie.I was so relieved to put it down and release myself from obligation knitting.
This left me to wander the store in search of some yarn. My office is ridiculously cold pretty much year round and I am pretty bad at generating my own heat. I pretty much sit directly on top of the space heater from Oct-June. My hands always are the coldest so I have been thinking a pair of fingerless gloves are in order. With that in mind I strolled around the store and pet all the love yarn. And that is when it happened, I met Rowan Lima.  It is so lovely, soft and sorta spongy. It is made of alpaca, merino and a wee bit a nylon to keep its shape.  It is a braided yarn which gives it an airy quality. Alpaca on its own has no real memory so when you knit it it can get heavy and loose it shape but the combination of merino, nylon and the braiding solves this. 
I have enjoyed this yarn so much that I found myself slowing down while knitting with it so the project wouldn't go too quick.  I am thinking that in spite of the yarn investment I will make a sweater this winter from it, or maybe even two.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Big Happy Birthday

Today is my big sisters big birthday she turns 40 today.  Happy birthday my dear I hope you have a lovely day

Friday, October 8, 2010

Blogtoberfest 2010

I have decided to dip my toe into the world of Blogtoberfest 2010, I am coming a bit late to the game but I am going to make a solid try of it.  Basicly the deal is I promise to blog every day until the end of the month.  This means 23 days of my life on the web.  My appoligies in advance if I start listing what I ate for lunch.  I have been in a bit of a rut lately and I think this may be just the kick in the pants I need to climb out.
So thank you to tinniegirl for organizing this I promise to do my best!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ta Da

Applause, applause, applause! Please excuse my lack of humility here but this was one hard finish line to cross!

Miss Amelia's quilt is finished. Despite family events, a cold an a evening wedding on Sunday I managed to put the peddle to the metal and get this puppy finished.
Because this quilt and I spent various weeks not speaking I figured I needed to make the binding as simple as possible. This wasn't really the moment to get over my binding fear, instead of doing one continuous strip I bound each edge with a separate strip.  It worked fairly well and unless you know better you wouldn't think there was anything wrong with it, and really there isn't.
You will all have to excuse me now as I do a happy little dance to the post office. And let's hear it for finishing before her first birthday! In fact she just turned 10 months so really there was tons of time...