Messenger Bags

From the vault of things that have been done in the past year come these wee messenger bags. The pattern/tutorial is here.

Can you tell my kids were in a Paw Patrol phase around Easter? I mostly followed the pattern as written but only a couple mild changes. First, the strap on the pink/girl version is 2″ longer which has been a wise choice as she’s so tall for a 4 year old, it goes her just right at the hip this way. The grey/boy version stayed the same and it’s just right for my average sized 2 year old. I did add snaps instead of velcro so they could stay closed if needed (mostly because I despise Velcro) but 95% of the time I’d say they are perfectly fine with just the flap flipped over.

I enjoyed sewing these. The tutorial was very easy to follow and they were quick to sew up, which is a major bonus when your sewing time is rather limited. The kids love them (my son actually felt like such a big boy getting to carry his own bag to Church that he walked in too the toddler room and quit his weekly crying when Mama leaves phase, so this was so worth it!). I’m undecided if more will follow, but for now I was very pleased. The size is perfect for a few diapers and a small pack of wipes along with a sippy cup, so it’s perfect for having a young toddler carry with them for church or for small outings. The kids prefer toys in them so it’s a good travel bag as well as the strap easily loops over the arm of their car seat so they have easy access to their things on longer drives. So overall, definitely a great pattern and project

I’m late! I’m late!

Halloween was a good 6 months ago but I wanted to share my daughter’s Alice in Wonderland costume that she had this past year. I drafted the pattern myself and used plain broadcloth for the dress. The apron was like wise self drafted with the same materials. I had been inspired by Pinterest work this one and created a white rabbit hat and vest and large pocket watch for my son so we had a coordinating costume set this year. 

Better Late Than Never

An odd sideways blocking photo, but I never mentioned it here so I thought I should document‚Äčit. I seem to knit a shawl immediately after having a newborn and this was the result of baby #2. It’s the Stars in the Twilight shawl so perfect for my muddled tired yet itchy fingers to work on. It worked up very quickly in my spare time and was a relaxing project. I can’t remember for the life of me what the yarn was called, the ball band was long gone but I did pick it up in a cute little yarn shop in Colorado Springs around 6 years ago during a visit to see my sister.

Gradient Top

Not fully done, but the whole top has been pieced. It’s not perfect, but the A type personality that I have had the absolute hardest time doing “random” so there is a pattern to how I laid the pieces, so it’s as close to random as I’m able. In any way, in pleased with it and I’m looking forward to quilting it, however it’s on hold as I work on Halloween Costumes.

In the land of a million squares.

More like 168, but close enough. Since knitting is more my bedside table sewing basket craft, I play with my sewing machine during daylight hours. The fact that it requires less focus is also a bonus. I’ve been working on a gradient table runner and after my type A personality took nearly a week to figure out how on earth to do random, I devised a pattern that just looks random. It will be 8×21 squares which means about 12″x31.5″ which I’m happy with.

I started with two mini charm packs of Moda’s Persimmon line that I absolutely fell in love with (the great irony being that I’m highly allergic to the fruit). Now just to finish The pattern and start piecing!


It’s the little things.

I decided to finally sit down and finish the family set of stockings. Our family is growing faster than my progress on the stockings so I need 3 more stockings. First up is DH’s us the only one I have a set request for in terms of pattern choices so it should be easier.

I began by doing a knit crochet cast on (basically pretending my knitting needle is the crochet hook I forgot) and doing a wonderful first row. But does anything look off in that picture? That would be because in my eagerness to begin I neglected to actually count how many stitches I’d cast on. Yes, as the brilliant Yarn Harlot is fond of saying “Experienced knitters don’t make fewer mistakes, they make them faster.” So of course I frogged and removed the extra stitches and began again. In one night I managed to get halfway through the first 11 row chart before the baby woke up, so I was pleased. Let’s not count how many rows are left in the following 3 stockings…

Rocking Chair Redo

IMAG1164A new rocking chair pad and cover complete! This was an absolute must. The rocking chair came with no pad over a year ago and a new pad was on the “Must Do” list for the longest time. So over the summer I finally buckled down and got it done. I used 3″ thick padding, and I probably would have been happy with 2″ as the 3″ felt a bit too thick, but it works well. I made up the pattern according to the dimensions of the chair and it fits like a glove! I chose a soft Duck Cotton and it worked up beautifully. My one mistake, I didn’t pay close attention when I cut my pieces out. So I essentially cut with the pattern going in the opposite direction of what I intended, but it worked out fine and it’s growing on me.

August the 25th

IMAG1165Back in my college days, I took a theatre costuming class. For the final you had two choices: Create a life-size costume with a model or create a small miniature model using a doll of some sort. Thinking I would save time and fabric I opted to create my King Lear inspired Renaissance Era dress in miniature. It was a horrible, horrible mistake. Seam allowances were so slight that hemming sheer fabric and satin with 1/8″ allowances resulted in several attempts that were thrown away because by the time I managed to get them right, the fabric had started to disintegrate and unravel. I suddenly had a new appreciation for the cost of doll clothes and vowed to never make a dress for a doll again.

Fast forward to the more recent past, I was browsing my local JoAnn Fabrics store looking for costume ideas for Halloween. I stumbled upon a sale for a doll pattern at $0.99, and at that price I couldn’t pass it up. I have my not so little 19 month Chickpea who is loving baby dolls right now, but unfortunately, the dress she came with has gotten filthy and sneaking away a much-loved doll¬† resulted in more drama than I expected. So when I saw that pattern for a whole set of doll clothes the faded memory of college was pushed away as my Mommy of a Toddler urge screamed “Make all the doll clothes!!!”

This pattern wasn’t terribly difficult. The good people at McCall’s designed it with nice big seam allowances of 1/4″ so it did allow for a bit more ease of sewing. The bodice did give me a tiny bit of trouble as you have to sew it together, attach the lining, and then flip it right-side out through narrow 1/2″ shoulders. But all in all it worked up extremely quickly in just about 2 hours on a Saturday. I will be making more of the different sets of clothing in the future as the fabric requirements are perfect for stash busting remnants and odds and ends from larger projects.

Time and NaK

Time is funny, as a kid time seemed to never pass as quickly as I’d hope. Now, time seems to blaze on by with nary a thought to how well I can keep up.

For instance, I can’t believe I have an almost 4-month old!

10308304_10202617061561429_4966586234582171407_nDD is a giggly, loving little one, but as one can expect with an infant, sleeping so mommy can knit is not one of her priorities. That being said I did start a new shawl in April, but due to time and NaK (nursing at keyboard, aka my only computer time before bedtime) I’ll have to share it once its blocked and dry. We will see if DD is up to modeling then…

In Which Our Intrepid Knitter Returns

I have been incredibly productive lately in the knitting/crafting front, which is great since I now have actual blog fodder that consists of actual content. However, it means I haven’t been posting because I’ve been busy squeezing every last bit of knitting time in between work and Christmas preparations.

As I finally finished a commissioned piece and they’ve received it, I can finally post about it. Not that they would have seen it here to begin with, but it involved color work which I naturally tend to dislike and when it’s Red Heart acrylic that’s being matched to a set made almost 40 years ago, well that doesn’t lend to me being thrilled with it.

Macee StockingThere is a bit of history here, however. My paternal Grandmother was a knitter, and actually a rather specialized knitter. She made hundreds, if not thousands (I’m not kidding in the slightest here…) of these Christmas Stockings in her lifetime. She’s still around, but arthritis and eyesight no longer allow her to enjoy knitting as she used to. Personally, I blame the Red Heart acrylic with the arthritis, my own hands get achy and sore when using the stuff and it’s pretty much the one type of yarn I avoid without being allergic to it. Anyway, back to the stockings. Since my Grandmother made so many of these things, every single person in the family has one. Well, except for Macee, she unfortunately was born a few years after my Grandmother’s knitting retirement and so for the last 3 years she has been the stocking-less family member. That was until earlier this year when her Grandfather (my Grandmother’s Nephew) asked me if I could do it. I accepted much more quickly than I should have, but almost a year later I did it. It lacks the main intarsia motif that all my Grandmother’s stockings are known for, and clearly it puckered around the hearts, but I’m happy with it because I did my best, even when I wanted to stuff it down the garbage disposal and deny ever accepting the challenge.

Also, I’m just pretty thrilled that it won’t be living with me so I can now close that chapter of knitting history and open up a new one for my own family’s stockings. Which probably will include color work, but done well with wool, never again with Red Heart acrylic. (Not that I’m biased…)