Wednesday, May 25, 2016

knit your library, vol. 14

My second granny square blanket is groooooowing! It's so close to being done--by the end of the month for sure! I estimate this one will use about 3,800 yards. I'm even more excited about it, since it's eating up some boucle' and eyelash yarn that I have had sitting around for years.

And in between crocheting, another pair of socks got started. I'm excited to try a toe-up version of the heel flap (instead of the short row heel most toe-up socks use) from my Wendy Johnson box of patterns I got last summer. There's a TON of patterns in this box I'd like to try, honestly!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

knit your library, vol. 13

It's done! It's done! The big 'ol bulldawg blanket I made my husband for our anniversary is done! It went really fast once I concentrated on it. I'm super happy since that's 4,000 yards out of my stash and he loves it!

The "marled" section is one strand of maroon and one strand of cream held together. I actually already had the yarn balled up that way from ripping apart this flop of a project and realized that it would be a major tangly mess to separate the two strands back apart. I'm glad I added the marled section now--it breaks it up and makes things more interesting.

And like every successful blanket project I've done before, I got super excited and immediately pulled out yarn to make another one. This one will be super girly and for my daughter. It's already doubled in size since I took this picture--that's how fast these go!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

curtain crazy, part 2

So, my kitchen windows have remained "undressed" for years ... I never wanted to block the view of my backyard or any light! But since I caught a curtain sewing fever, it made me reconsider the idea of adding a little pop of color in the kitchen.  So this is my second curtain project using printed cotton duck. These curtains are kind of like valences, I guess--they sit on a tension rod inside the top of each window. I only had one yard of the print that best matched my kitchen, so I cut it in half and found a print to use for the back side that I would enjoy when I'm on my patio looking toward the house. I wanted a curved edge to make it a little interesting, so I carefully made myself a pattern. Then I hemmed the bottom curved edge including pom pom trim along the way (my favorite part!), and then sewed the top seam. Pressed the bottom seam, and done! So these used up two yards of fabric total.

view from outside

pom poms!

And in my last fit of curtain making, I tried something different for the window in our big family room. I wanted something even shorter to better be able to see the backyard. And this print had a fun design to it, so I thought I'd let the design dictate the shape. I'm not 100% convinced on this one. Sometimes I adore it, and other times I think it looks comically too tiny. But for now it stays! Another yard out of the stash.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

love your library, vol. 12

In my latest efforts to keep crafting from my library of books and patterns, I've gone crochet crazy again using a pattern from the book Granny Square Love that I've had in my library for over a year (at least) now. Technically, this is a cushion pattern. But I'm using it to make a blanket that's one of those around-the-world keep adding a row to the edge until it's big enough type patterns. And I'm totally hooked (hehehe, couldn't resist!). I'm using two strands of worsted weight (Red Heart yarns, since this will need to be washable) held together with the same M/N hook I used for my daughter's mermaid blanket. It's going sooo fast, which is super satisfying since it'll be over 4,000 yards out of the stash if I use everything I purchased for this project! Weeee!

And to get back into my charity making spirit, I started making chunkeanies again! One done, and one started ...

Which is good, since I have this entire bin of charity project yarn I plan to knit through this summer!  (you know me, summer = stashdown!)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

curtain crazy, part 1

I don't know what it is, but once spring semester finishes and I'm in "summer mode" I start sewing like crazy again. Remember last May, when I sewed 18 tote bags and used up 36 yards of fabric stash? Well, I'm still working on that same large stash of printed cotton duck. I knew I wanted to use it for some home dec type projects, like recovering cushions and things like that. But when the spring inside my bedroom roller shade curtain broke, I realized I could change the fabric when I replaced it (besides, it was really shabby looking thanks to holes in the shade my cat had made (see below)). It dawned on me that I could use my cotton duck fabric for curtains! And then I got excited. So this is project number one on my recent curtain overhaul.

And this is the after! The side curtains were the easiest part, since I got rings that had a clip on them. So all I needed to do was hem the raw edges. This is approximately 2.5 yards of fabric cut in half lengthwise. Since the roller shade provides the privacy, the long curtains are decorative only and didn't need to actually cover the entire width of the window. I didn't line them, since I want as much light as possible to filter in--and I love how the flowers really stand out when they are backlit. The roller shade was more of an adventure. Primarily in getting it trimmed to the correct size. I purchased a cheap roller shade at my local Lowe's, and they will custom trim it for you .... except at my store the trimming machine was broken. So I had to drive to a neighboring city to get it cut down to size. When I brought it home, I realized it was still too long to fit in the existing brackets. Grrrrrr. This I actually attribute more to my measuring error. Having watched the Lowe's employee pop out the fittings, I felt confident enough to take about the shade and trim it down myself the additional 1/8 of an inch with a box cutter. Finally, it fit! So I ripped off the cheap plastic blind it comes with and used double-sided tap to attach my fabric shade. And now I realize it's not quite perfectly straight. So I'll be taking it down again to adjust that, but otherwise I love it! So much more cheerful, and so much more "my style" to have flowers and color in the bedroom.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Love Your Library, vol. 11

My nurmilintu is finished! And in a few moments, it will be blocking! I can't wait to see what this looks like blocked!! With any luck, I'll have photos of this beauty fully blocked by the end of the week.

And I'm embarking on a different type of "love your library" project--a needlepoint project from my big book of Needlecrafts! (that's the book I've been working all the crochet blanket edgings out of too). This will also hit my new year's goal of making a new pillow cushion cover for my couch in the front living room. You can see I'm using mostly blues, plus the green that matches the couch. It's fun and fast so far!

Monday, April 25, 2016

a prettier view

This was my normal view from the back door out onto our patio. And it drove me crazy. I couldn't argue against the utility of using this three-tier stand for corralling the balls and toys. But I sure didn't enjoy the visual clutter it created on a daily basis. So I decided to reclaim the stand for my original purpose for it: plants! My husband surprised me with this stand years ago, and I've always loved it. And immediately I could envision plants overflowing from it. But I consulted one of my gardening expert friends about how to plant it, and was dissuaded from that plan since I might "ruin it." Well, it's years later and it's starting to rust on its own accord. I figure worst case scenario I can spray paint it!

I started with these basket liners, as I knew I needed something to contain the dirt. I cut them in half and ripped them to fit, overlapping to avoid gaps. Then I added my plants, and handfuls of potting soil to fill in the gaps. After a first watering, I realized I needed additional lining around the center to avoid silt spilling out. But after that fix, it was perfect!

Creeping jenny on top, and wave petunias on the bottom two levels.

Much better view, don't you think?