Friday, February 3, 2012

knitting hiatus...

...IT'S OVER!! Yaaaay!!!!

I'm so glad I decided to take the month off. I needed a break from knitting. It was getting redundant and almost boring for me. But now! Now after my month off I'm SO ready and excited to get back to it! And I'm feeling so inspired to try new patterns and broaden my knitting horizons!

But as always, there are plenty of projects that I've started and I'm determined to finish them first! So yesterday I got back to working on a hat that I had started in December for myself. I wanted to get it done by a certain deadline but wasn't able to so it got pushed to the back burner.
Unfortunately I spent so much time away from this hat that I don't remember what pattern I was using. Something online I think since there wasn't one in the bag I had it in. Regardless I'm not too worried about figuring it out. A hat is a hat is a hat.

And YES it's Miami Dolphins colors! I was trying to finish it in time for the game I went to back in December but I was only able to finish the fingerless gloves. But I'm still determined to get it finished this time around! That way I can wear it next year if I go in December again.

I'm also thoroughly inspired by the fact that all of my friends seem to be having babies lately!! Which means baby knitting for Sarah!! So far I've only made baby sized hats so I'm very very excited to dive into some new patterns!

And speaking of new patterns, I found this book at Joanns the other day!! Now usually when I flip through a pattern book I'm lucky if I find 2 or 3 patterns that I like. Well that was not the case with this book! I think I like atleast 55 of the 60 patterns. And the other 5 I'm sure I could modify to my liking too. I was thrilled when I found it.

So needless to say, I can't wait to start picking out patterns to make. I have 2 friends who are about to have baby girls so it will be so fun to make some cute stuff for both of them! Now I just need some friends to have boys so I can make cute boy stuff too!!

Yay for knitting again!! I also hope to learn how to crochet this month too. I've been wanting to learn and I tried it one night a while ago but I wasn't' exactly sure if I was doing anything right or not. I think I'll have better luck with someone else there to show me what the right and wrong way looks like. Regardless I'm very excited to learn!

Friday, January 20, 2012

hats upon hats

UPON HATS!! I feel like 2011 was the year of the hat! If I had to guess I'd say I probably knit over 20 hats last year. Maybe that's not a high number in the scheme of things but it's a lot to me. No complaints here though. When I look at the hats I made at the beginning of the year and the hats I made towards the end, I can see so much progress in my skills. My hats seems to have less errors and little slip ups. It's pretty exciting. Since most of the hats I made were gifts I wasn't able to put them on here. (Again...I just can't ruin never know who's reading these things!) So here they are, some of the swell hats I made in the last couple months of  2011!
Hats I made for some super sweet chef friends!
Mom's hat

Man hats for my cousins and me sisters BF
Swirly hat for Charklie
Baby Hat for an Etsy customer

A slouchy hat for a secret santa gift
So many hats!! And I know there were others that I didn't get to take pictures of. I don't know how my fingers kept up! So, after all that knitting, I've decided that a knitting sabbatical was in order. I needed some time off to reboot and re-energize my knitting. So for the month of January I have not been knitting in hopes that when February rolls around I will be ready to tackle new projects. I really want to start working on bigger items and challenging myself.....clothes maybe? I also want to learn how to crochet! The idea of only having 1 implement is kinda strange to me but from what I've hear it's waaaaay easier and quicker than knitting. So here's hoping.
My knitting hiatus has also given me some time and energy to work on some sewing projects too which has been very exciting. Again, they are gifts so noooo peeking just yet. One of these days I'm gonna work on something un-gift related!! I promise! Until then, there are still plenty of projects to show you from the holidays! :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

christmas pants 2011

Fabrics for this year!
I have SO much you show you all!! I actually started on Christmas crafts at a decent time this year so most of the projects I worked on I wasn't able to post on here. I hate it when Christmas gets ruined!! The project nearest and dearest to my heart are the Christmas pants for my family. If you recall from this post last year I decided to make pajama pants for my family to wear on Christmas eve when we open gifts. Last year I DID NOT give myself enough time to complete the pants in time so it was imperative that I fix that this year. Since Joanns gets their Christmas fabric in October I was able to get what I wanted in the beginning of Novemeber. I went with Christmas fabrics this year and got straight to work. Since I have most, if not all, of Wednesdays off from work it was the prime time to work on the pants while my parents were out of the house. Another little help to myself this time around....NO DRAWSTRINGS.Good Lord I never could have imagined the time and hassle it spared me by just using elastic in the waists. With God as my witness I'll never use drawstrings again! phew. Now, without the drawstrings I still wanted some way to tie all the pants together. Last year I used each persons drawstring in a different person's pants. This year the best option I had was switching the pockets. It added such a cute and unifying touch to the whole thing. So with the combination of time and elastic I was able to finish and wrap all the pants by the first week of December. What a relief it was.

The switched pockets
Come Christmas Eve eve I snuck around my dark house placing the wrapped pants outside my families doors with a note that said "Open ASAP. You know what to do!!". As predicted last year, my step-dad woke up early (he got called into work), kicked his gift, and didn't think much of it since their door was near the tree. He didn't have a clue haha. I woke up nice and early the next morning and stayed in my room, trying to listen for people as they woke up. When it seemed like they were all upstairs I went up, wearing my pants, and discovered them awake and in their pants as well! It was glorious. I hadn't said anything about the pants all year so they had forgotten all about it. And boy did they look swell. I was so pleased that the whole thing went as smoothly as it did. AND I even got proof this year!
our better sides!
Our traditional family "Capt'n" pose.

I'm so happy with how everything turned out. And even more happy with the smiles on my family's faces. They all loved their pants and wore them for the rest of the day and into the weekend. What a Merry Christmas for all! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

quilt retreat

Last weekend my sister and I packed up our sewing machines and our projects and headed to the quilt retreat! We were both pretty excited for it this year since there was a time when we didn't think we'd be able to go this fall. But as it turned out we made it happen and couldn't wait to work on our projects. And to make it even sweeter, we were both able to get off a whole day on Friday so we had ample time to get to the retreat and really get some work done.

As always it was so nice to see the other quilting ladies and catch up with them. It's almost like having my Grandma there with me. It's a real comfort to know that they still care about Cassie and I. They get a real big kick over us being there and continuing the tradition of it. There were actually some other girls out age that went this year too so that was pretty exciting for us. It's not very often that I meet quilters my age and sometimes I worry that it may die out after a while. I hope it won't. For all the old lady flack it gets, quilting is still a really beautiful art form I think and people would appreciate it more if they really knew the work that went into it.

Long story short we had a blast. We were able to get so much accomplished and had a really fun time with each other as well. I took the T-shirt quilt that I started during the Spring retreat. I hadn't really gotten much done back in the Spring so there was a lot of work to be done for it. I'm super pleased to say that my hard work really paid off. I was able to get 4 rows sewn on and only have 2 more to go. And I couldn't be more pleased with the way it's turning out. I can't wait for it to be finished!! I've wanted this quilt for so long.

Here are a few pics from the weekend. I don't have any of the quilt currently...I kind of want it to be a big reveal!

yes I had lunchables!

and yes they were delicious!!

the applique FCS square I made. It's a little silly but I still like it

the strips monster

the rooms of ladies

my happy little space

figuring out where I wanted the shirts to go

Row 1 complete!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Crown Royal suit

About a month ago a friend of mine contacted me about making a Crown Royal suit for Halloween. My first thought was "He wants me to make him a Crown Royal bottle looking outfit"? Lucky for me he was referring to a dress suit made with the colors of a Crown Royal bag, purple and gold. Always looking to try something new, I said "sure thing!" having never made a suit before.
So my friend and I picked out the fabrics and notions I would need for the suit and construction began. The colors were a perfect match and I was pretty excited to get started. For the most part constructing the suit wasn't difficult. There were the usual flubs though, sewing the wrong sides of the pants legs together making it look like a mermaid tail, realizing that the standard arm length in the pattern isn't long enough AFTER you've hemmed it, sewing buttons onto the wrong side of the jacket opening. The usual. That's what I get for working late at night but alas, one must use the time she has. The one aspect that gave me the most frustration was the binding for the inside of the jacket because it was made with a lining fabric that proved difficult to work with. It was nearly impossible to cut an even 1inch strip so when I ironed the edges over it made for some very skinny parts. And skinny parts only make it impossible to sew on to a seam allowance. Not gonna lie, it was a pain and I never looked forward to it. BUT the end product was very much worth is because the gold striping really made the inside of the suit look sharp. So here it is, the Crown Royal suit:

 I wish I had taken more pictures during construction. When you get into the zone it's hard to take a break for anything haha.
the finished suit!

the jacket

these gold buttons really added to the finished product

i looove the way the lining makes the inside look! so sharp!

the back pockets came out prefect!
Tom sporting his new suit when he came for a fitting. I still had to hem the sleeves and pants.
Overall I couldn't be more pleased with the way this suit came out! And more importantly, my friend is beyond thrilled about it! It fits great and looks great too. With a gold dress shirt and a sweet crown, this will end up being a very unique Halloween costume and I can't wait to see whatever pictures pop up of it! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

slouchy beanie

A while back a friend of mine say me working on a hat at work. His immediate words were "Can you make me one with really bright greens and blues and stuff", and I said sure! I chose an aqua blue, bright, orange, lime green, and black yarn by Stitch Nation. I wanted some black in the hat to make it a little manlier and in hopes that it would make the brighter colors really pop. I didn't want to make a regular ol' striped hat so I decided to intermingle the colors throughout the hat. Little did I know what a pain in the bum this would be! Switching colors so many times in one row made for lots, and I mean LOTS, of ends to tie in. But despite that, the hat looked killer and all the work really paid off. And my friend couldn't be more pleased. The smile on his face was payment enough for me.
Overall I'm really please with the end result of this hat. It looks super cool and different. And the fit was perfect as well. It even fit on my big noodle!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

crochet fun

I feel like someday, whenever I figure out how to crochet, I should do this to a tree! Doesn't it just look so happy and comfy and warm?! Why shouldn't a tree have a sweater?! hahaha And a rainbow one at that!
I just couldn't help but be amused by this and there are plenty more to see here.