Friday, November 30, 2007

Library Love

Amanda Soule is just plain rad. Her blog entry today was all about winter themed books for kids. I've been wanting to expand our little collection of Christmas books because there is not a mama in the world that can read/sing the Jingle Bells book 5 times a day for the whole month of December and not kind of want to chuck it in the recycle bin by the New Year. Also, our books were the actual books we grew up with and were specifically about Christmas. I wanted to add some in about Solstice and winter in general. Her suggestions and those from the comments from her readers fit the bill.Our local library is freakin' awesome. They have such a wide variety and almost everything I look for is actually there, on the shelf, no waiting. We went and cleaned them out of winter books. Then we came home and found a basket to put them in so they'll be easy to find throughout the month. Bella Dia made mention of doing a holiday book advent.
I love this idea SO much. I've been looking at all of the inspiration out there for marking the advent or the 12 days of Christmas and trying to find something a little less specifically Christmas, more about time together, less about gifts, less work and more fun. I think reading a holiday/winter book a day and keeping track of them in some sort of journal or calendar on the wall will be the way to go. Of course, I can't keep Abby to only one book a day, but we'll just make a bigger deal out of one of the books we read each day in December. If I come up with a crafty way of tracking our books, I'll post it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It took about 20 minutes. . .

After seeing my dear friend's hand warmers the other day, I've been wanting some. I've been dreaming of finding a few minutes to make some and warm my hands. I went on etsy and found some inspiration.
And then I hit the stash of felted sweaters from last year's sweater bags.
I knew I kept the sleeves for a reason. I realize now that when I do this again, I'll just cut the sleeve open and re-sew it because if you just use the sleeve, it's hard to add any appliqué to the top and since you have to made the sleeve more narrow anyway, you might as well just open the whole side up. These were just quick prototypes, but I like them so much, I can't seem to take them off. I started to change Abby's diaper and before it became yucky, I begrudgingly took them off. I'm pleased. I think there will be more of these in the future. Yay!

Monday, November 26, 2007

If I push hard enough, I'll get my hands in those mittens

Scale is hard to show here. These are teeny tiny little mittens that are an ornament. I'm sending them off to Sweden tomorrow for my Holiday Traditions Exchange.
It was fun putting together a wee package to send to a different part of the world. The pattern is from this book and I made them with left over bits of Cascade 220 from the stockings I made last year.

And, this poor quality picture is of really cute folksy hand warmers that a friend was wearing the other day. Being who I am, I made her take them off for me to examine. At one point I exclaimed, "but they're not even well made!" They laughed and said the frayed edges and "deconstructed" look was in. I don't mind that the spots don't match. . that's pretty cool, but they didn't even get them the same length! As far as I can tell, it's just felted wool from recycled sweaters sewed into a tube with a part of the seam left open for your thumb. I am so making some of these!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Dr. F hat finished

I might have run off with this hat. I love this hat. In fact, I have left over yarn, so I'll probably make it again and wear it. A lot. And then I'll be twinsies with the snowboarding neurosurgeon. He liked it. He really liked it!

As long as I can still sew for tiny babies. . .

Making teeny tiny little things makes me happy. I figure as long as someone out there keeps making babies, then I can keep sewing these little things!
Here then, the improved diaper changing pad:The picture is dark, but this one is much less wonky. Again, that rotary cutter, mat and ruler! I had no idea what I was missing.
A sweet wee jacket from Bend the Rules Sewing. It is made from a thrifted jacket with bias tape that I made myself from vintage fabric. I most likely won't be making bias tape again any time soon. The stuff is cool to use, but now I see why it's sold already made. Again, vintage and thrifted materials to make the matching little shoes.
The elf hat from bend the rules sewing. I really like this one. So easy, quick and what a cute result. I like it when something that looks so great doesn't take much time! I usually have the opposite happen. I spend a lot of time and the result is so-so at best. I found this piece of thick wool felt at a thrift store.

Part of why I use reclaimed fabrics is because we don't have a lot of options for buying new stuff out here. Also, I'm cheap. I can't spend $10, $15 or $20 (!) a yard for something that I'm trying out for the first time. Also, I love the thrill of making something out of almost nothing! Mostly, I like the sustainability of using discarded items to make something new and fabulous. Why would I buy new wool felt when I can felt and use an old sweater destined for the garbage because it has holes in the sleeves? Why would I order online and have something shipped, using all kinds of fuel, packaging and resources when I can just walk 2 blocks to a thrift store and take apart an old wool coat that cost $2 to make a wee jacket?
But, that's just me. I'm crazy like that.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I knit a basket, a hat and take a cold hard look at the stash

I was trying to knit this hat. I ignored all manner of advise on what yarn to use. I used a very bulky yarn and made the blue one in the background of this picture. It's hard to tell, but it's so thick and big that I might just add handles and call it basket. As Pee Wee Herman said, "I meant to do that!". So, I looked in the stash and found some less bulky yarn and started again. That's the one that's almost done in the front of this picture. I like it. It's for Tom's neurosurgeon. He's a snowboarder. You gotta keep a snowboarding neurosurgeon warm! Here is a fairly innocent looking bureau.
Here's a wee peek behind the bureau.
And, here's what happened when I emptied the bureau, the bags from behind it, the bags next to the couch, the bags behind the couch, the basket next to the t.v. etc.
The stash. In. one. place. It's not as bad as I thought it would be. Tom came upstairs. Oh, I can't suggest you EVER let the husband see the stash all at once like this. Stephanie warned us all, but it happened. No manner of explanation about "having only one skein left from a project", or, "my mom gave it to me, " or "but they were 99 cents a piece!" could soothe the man. I don't think I'll be buying any yarn soon.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Oh the beauty of blocking

Dream Swatch before blocking:Dream swatch after blocking:
A thrifty treasure:
Pure wool vintage skiing dress. I'd love to say that it looks great on me, but it doesn't. More like a potato sack with a belt. I'm thinking of hacking the bottom off and making it more like a wool shirt/jacket idea. . . what do you think?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Lest you think I've been idle. . .

A Dream Swatch head wrap for a wonderful Dr. of Tom's.
A tried and failed attempt at making Abby a neurosurgeon costume for Halloween. Thank goodness for Goodwill on Oct. 30th!
Using my fabulous new rotary cutter, mat and ruler (thanks Mom and Dad!) to cut out fabric for wee baby shoes.
The shoes, the shoes! Such fun and so darn cute!