Sunday, February 28, 2010

current piles = future projects

Lately I have been on a bit of a bender. All the fabric and yarn shown here I purchased in the last 2.5 months. I think I have self control but I just don't. I think I can stop whenever I want but I just can't. Despite my obsessive watching of Hoarders I continue to purchase supplies for unplanned projects. I buy things "just in case."

The problem truly is that there has been so much great stuff around lately. Beautiful hand dyed yarns in incredible colors from and my favorite local yarn shop Urban Fauna. Whimsical fabrics in fantastic prints (monkeys and robots and dots oh my!) from Etsy and then there was the gnome incident which led to a fear that if I didn't purchase now I may never get it.

That being said - I now have a wonderful stash of really great fabrics and yarns that need projects worthy of their beauty. This is where you come in.

Friends - I need help. Please help inspire me. I need ideas, projects, requests, patterns, something to get these great materials transformed into fantastical things. So...shoot. I'm all ears. And who knows? Your super idea could very well end up being a present just for you!


YARN - knitted beanies.

Looking back on the blog I realize it has been a year since I posted any knitting projects. This is a bit odd given that I knit probably 5 times more than I sew. See - the sewing room is allllllllllll the way upstairs and the tivo and the couches are downstairs - where it is warm. Once the weather perks up and it is no longer dark when I get home - I'll do a bit more sewing. But this winter has been all about the knitting.

Here is a list of knitting projects I have completed since November.

5 pairs of fingerless gloves. Yes - five! I had my own Christmas sweatshop going.

3 baby hats.

1 hat/mitten combo for my baby niece.

2 adult beanies - including the one above which was a Christmas gift for my mom. The other was for me to walk the dog in.

1 gorgeous (if I do say so) baby blanket that I will have to blog about separately in all its glory.

I wish I could give you some fantastic tutorial on how I made these beanies but honestly - I have been making hats on circular needles for so long now I don't even pay attention to how/what I am doing. I cast on what "looks right" and start knitting then start to decrease when it looks about head-size. These hats are a bit of a change-up for me though because they are truly beanies. They have a ribbed foldover brim and a much more fitted look. I made the bigger one for my mom and then made a matching one for my niece with the leftover yarn. Want to know the cutest thing ever? They wear them together after their swim class. How f*cking adorable is that?

Since I am of no help at all with providing patterns or instructions - here are a few similar options for you to use.

1. Pill Box Hat from Lion Brand Yarns.
Single color, no brim, great for a first project.

2. Cashmere Hats for Mom, Dad and Baby from The Purl Bee.
Three great patterns. I'm especially in love with the baby hat with the little ear flats. Precious. Also - can we say cashmere? Yum!

3. Rolled Brim knit hat from Martha Stewart.
This one actually looks the most like all the hats I usually make. The difference is that it does not use circular needles which is nice given that many beginning knitters don't have all the supplies. This patterns also uses very chunky yarn - meaning you can finish in just a few episodes of Sex and the City on a weekend afternoon.



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

THREAD - I NEED this immediately.

That's right - I need - not want - this fabric. My body aches for it like a junkie in need of a fix. There are at least two dozen products I can immediately think of that will need to be made with this. Of course - it is only sold at Britex (huge San Francisco fabric store although a bit stuffy) and they are having a sale - 30% off and it ends today. I cannot get there before they close because Britex has the worst hours ever. It's as if they only cater to rich older women in need of chintz to redecorate their formal dining rooms with. Ugh.

Pining away at work.


UPDATE - My dear dear husband risked life and limb and went to the fabric store sale for me. The place was packed with the above mentioned women and a whole gaggle of emo fashion students from San Francisco Academy of Art.  Unfortunately - the fabric - the NEEDED fabric - was sold out.

Being the sweet man that he is (and probably to emotionally justify the trip to the fabric store) he asked for any other gnome fabrics and came back with one yard of 3 different versions. They were - alright - nothing amazing but it will be fun to fuss around with them. One is a large panel piece - 3 gnomes each measuring over a foot tall. I think I will try to make a stuffed throw pillow out of it. This should give a pizazz to the chair in our sun room. Here is an example of the fabric that I found on the internet. I have no idea who this poor kid is but the fabric is pretty cute eh?

And all was not lost with the ideal fabric - I found it on etsy - 3 yards are shipping this week. Phew!

Monday, February 15, 2010

THREAD - inspired by Martha - again.

That Martha Stewart - she just doesn't know how to relax. She has another book coming out - this one about sewing. I usually like the  projects she has featured in her magazine but rarely go back and make any of them. Lately I have been doing my best to purge any crazy magazine piles. This is partly to maintain the fresh feeling after the great closet clean of 2009 and also because Adam and I have been watching a lot of Hoarders lately - which makes me want to throw away everything I own. So... Martha's new book is kinda awesome. There is no need to hold onto old magazines since everything will be in the book. Thanks Martha.

Of course - I already pre-ordered the book on Amazon. In the meantime - Martha has posted a bunch of her favorite sewing projects on her website. Here are just of few the ones I want to make immediately. Along with the 100 other projects I have in the works.

1. Linen trivet - perfect for our new table!
2. Dish towel sewing machine cover. It's so simple and divine. I almost want to replace the one I made last year.
3. Quilted coasters. These seem like the perfect solution for leftover fabric bits. Part of the their charm can be that they are mismatched.
4. Oilcloth lunch bag. Perhaps if I had this I would actually bring my lunch to work instead of making a daily trip to the Whole Foods salad bar?
Alas. I would be so much more sewing and knitting productive if I didn't have a pesky job/career. Hmmmpphhh.

Happy Monday.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love. Flowers. Romance. Valentine's Day.

If I had to say what a physical expression of love is to me - it is flowers. They bring joy and nature and beauty and I truly love them. Can I just say that I have a wonderful husband? Absolutely amazing. Just thinking about him makes my heart warm. Happy Valentine's Day. I hope there is love in all of your lives in some form.

Love it not what makes the world go round. Love it what makes the ride worthwhile.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

THREAD - more bibs.

I made these a while back on my bib making binge. I just couldn't resist making more bibs. You can finish a whole set in under an hour and baby fabric is just so darn cute. Just look at it - dancing monkeys and baby animals. Precious.

Luckily - everyone I know is having a baby. This may sound like an exaggeration but - I have three friends and my favorite hairdresser all due within two weeks of each other. Four friends - two weeks - how crazy is that? Something in the water...

Since none of these babies were actually born when I was making the bibs - I found my own models. Their names are Owen and Fiona and they are random bunny/rat creatures I picked up at my previous job. No - I did not name them - their names are embroidered on their chests. Odd little dollies.

These bibs were super easy to make. Three layers of fabric and a little velcro - done and done.


duck. duck. goose!!

How amazing is this floor lamp? Beside the obvious (it's a duck!!) it lets off a subtle pale glow and stoically stands guard. When I was a kid - my aunt had this lamp in her hallway. At the time (when I was too cool for life aka 12) I thought it was a bit - shall we say "country clutter."

But now? Now I would give anything to have one of these silly floor lamps of my own. I lust. I covet. It would go perfectly at the top of our stairs. Of course - like everything you mock and then covet - it is unavailable. It seems as though the company that makes the lamp has gone out of business and the lamps have become this crazy niche collector's item. I guess I could get it from ebay - but I have a strange unfounded fear of ebay - so that's out.

If you see one of these little ducks waddling about in an antique store - call me!