Friday, June 28, 2013

All of the things.

I've been doing a lot (a lot!) of design work lately. Perhaps I haven't told you, but... I have a sweater pattern coming out in the Fall issue of Holla Knits! I am seriously over the moon. But of course, now that I have a bunch of knitting that I must do, I of course want to cast on all of the things. Like these.

1. Tadpole by Katie Boyette, from Petite Purls Summer 2009
I want to make it for my still-cooking nephew, who we loving refer to as "The Avocado." Because every kid needs a stuffed submarine. Duh.

photo by Brandy Fortune

2. #32 Cropped Jacket by Jacqueline van Dillen, from Vogue Knitting Early Fall 2013
Not a fan of cropped styles, but as this is knit top-down it will be so easy to make longer. I love, love, love it. I will likely go with navy and white, because I actually can't help it. Plus then it will easily fit in with my nautical wardrobe.

photo by Vogue Knitting

3. Admiral's Knot Halter by Ashley Rao from Interweave Knits, Summer 2013
This one seems tricky. The construction is wild, but so clever. My only issue with it is I'm not sure how to wear the um, appropriate undergarments with it. Once I figure it out I'm totally making it.

photo by Interweave Press

4. Gradient Pullover by Amy Miller, from knit.wear Spring 2013
I am a sucker for anything a) coral, and b) ombre. This looks like a sweater that's easy to wear, which sounds goofy, because it's just a sweater, but so many of the things I've knitted are hard to wear. They're tricky to style, or sleeveless wool (I've learned that lesson now), or too fancy, or something. This, however: easy.

photo by interweave knits

5. Slip Stitch Dishtowels from Purl Soho
Is it weird that I want to knit dishtowels? I totally do.

photo by PurlSoho

6. Blush by Kessa Tay Anlin
I actually already made one of these, but it was before I was the awesome Knitter I am today, and it doesn't fit as well as I'd like. Also, I used yarn that drives me bonkers with the itchy. So I want to try again and do a better job. It's a cute, versatile vesty-thing, and I like it. 

photo by Kessanlin

7. Toulouse Pullover by Leah B. Thibault, from Knitscene Winter 2012
Love this. Love the bow, love the fit, love the idea. Plus it's mostly stockinette, which is often totally what I need. Plain stockinette makes me feel better about life. I know, I'm weird.

photo from Knitscene

So, I want to make all of these, plus like eleventy million other things that I don't have to design while I knit. I think I just need to do a better job of always having one thing on the needles that is not coming from my own head. I think my sanity would like that.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Goodbye, Google Reader.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin My beloved Google Reader is going to interwebs heaven on Monday. I tried out a couple different readers before picking Bloglovin. So, follow me!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A graduation dessert table

Last week, my husband graduated with his PhD. Finally. After the ceremony, we had a lovely backyard barbecue, with requisite dessert table.

I made cookies n' cream cupcakes (his favorite, my own recipe), brown butter rice krispy treats (recipe from Smitten Kitchen), double-chocolate cookies with sea salt, cake pops, and champagne lollipops. Yum, yum. I was going to make chocolate French macarons as well, but luckily, I had a reality check. And a short time frame.

I was reading someone's blog post about dessert tables a couple of weeks ago (not a great story because I can't remember what blog), but the main point of this post was that "this awesome dessert table was done for only $40!" I thought, hmm. My tables never cost that much! Thinking about it, and looking at these photos, I think it's because I never buy anything new for my tables. The stands the cookies are on- I've had those since I was a professional cupcaker-ist. They are little glass ice cream dishes epoxy-d to glass plates. All from the thrift store. (Except for that silver one, that's inherited from a grandma.) The platter holding the rice krispy treats is one of my everyday white platters, and the cake pop one is from the dollar store. Cupcake tree- I have like 4, and they were all gifts. When you make a lot of cupcakes, most of your birthday and Christmas gifts involve cupcakes. Go figure. The owl lives on my credenza normally- he just got a quick cardstock and yarn graduation hat, along with those gold spray-painted sticks. And the fabric is just a large piece of white satiny stuff from my craft room. So really, for me, dessert tables come down to little details. And a color scheme! I make my own labels with just cardstock and sometimes ribbon, using this method to fake calligraphy. The rice krispy treats have little sticks in them (cheap on Etsy) with ribbon flags at the top. The background cost like $.50 in streamers from the dollar store. But overall, the effect is terrific. Right? And cheap!

Closer view of the sticks with ribbon flags. There in the corner are the lollipops. I love making them for my dessert tables, although they don't often get eaten. They are ridiculously easy. Sugar + water + corn syrup + flavoring, poured in little pools on a greased cookie sheet. Insert stick, add sprinkles, package in small plastic bag. Done. 

Another successful dessert table. Love doing these. Especially now that I have my credenza! Most favorite piece of furniture ever.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The necessity of handmade gifts.

I have some sort of psychological problem that does not allow me to buy gifts, ever. Under no circumstances may I buy a gift. Even if I'm under a huge time crunch, or have eleventy-million other things to do, nope! Cannot buy anything. Must make something.

Case in point. Wedding gift. Two oven mitts and two hot pads.

I actually really enjoyed making these. I order a lot of fabric on Etsy, and it often comes with a little pack of a few 2" by 3" or 3" by 3" squares of different fabric. I just kept tossing them in my scrap bin, not knowing what to do with such little pieces of fabric. Fortuitously, I pulled out my scrap bin (which really, was getting out of hand, and something needed to happen with it) to make this set.

The bride is an ocean lover, and an ecologist, so I was thinking blue and green would be the way to go, and I knew I had a lot of blue and green scraps. In my search I found a bunch of these little squares that totally worked with my color scheme, so I included them in the patchwork. I love it. The little pieces of unique fabric are so cool. And they add a great variety to the oven mitts. I especially love the blue glitter crown fabric. I might have to buy some yardage of that. Which when you think about it, is surely why the Etsy sellers include little pieces with your order... Hmm. They got me.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Yet another baby shower gift. I was looking through my pregnant friend's baby registry, and noticed she'd registered for a ton of jungle-themed baby stuff. Super cute. So I bought 2 yards of this fabric:

(Jungle Bungle by Moda)
My thinking was that this would be the back, and an amazing ombre quilt from the book We Love Color would be the front. (If you go to that Amazon link and click "look inside book", it's the first quilt shown.) So I ordered like 12 different fat quarters of Kona Solids in pinks and purples, and when I got all the fabric and piled it up, I realized that there is no pink OR purple in the jungle fabric, and that they in fact looked awful together. Luckily, I had a couple of yards of a pretty dahlia-printed quilter's flannel that totally went with the pinks and purples. So I forged ahead. By that, I mean I procrastinated until literally the morning before the shower, and I made the whole thing in one day. Like 9 am to 2 pm. It was a quilting marathon. 

I love it. I want to make a big one for me. I think it turned out perfectly. Except, um, the quilting. Clearly, straight lines are not my forte. 

I bound it in the same fabric as the backing, something I'd never done before. I really love the way it looks. I also figured that I didn't have time to hand-sew the binding down, like I usually do, so I used some Steam-a-Seam (like double stick tape, but for fabric) to stick the binding to the backside, then machine-stitched it down. It's certainly not perfect, but it saved a ton of time and my hands. I'm getting old and it's getting harder to hand-sew. Boo. I'm not even that old.

Gratuitous close-up.

So now the question is what to do with that adorable jungle fabric? And when am I gonna have time to make one for me?