Monday, August 22, 2016


In between first days of school, updating course syllabi, waiting in carpool, and in general "back to school" mania, I have been knitting despite the quiet on this page! I've been working on clearing the needles of some WIPs (which I'll post about later this week), and doing my own mini hat-a-thon for the month.

These hats will go to local homeless/temporarily displaced children in our local school district. Last year my knitting guild made 140 hats. We're sitting at about 30ish now, so it's time to get cracking! I've finished eight so far. Expect to see many, many more!

I'm mostly using my favorite pattern, chunkeanie, and also double stranding worsted weight yarn using my free double dutch hat pattern as well. Knitting with bulky weight makes it go soooo much faster!

With any luck, I'll quickly see the bottom of a storage tub I filled with acrylic yarns in my stash specifically for this project!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

summer of spraypaint -- project dos

Okay, so I have been dying to try this new spraypaint since I read about in my magazines. Sea glass?!?! Yes please! When we finished a Pace salsa, I thought "hmmm ... that's not a bad vase shape." Perfect for my first trial!

And the verdict? LOVE! It really is the perfect amount of translucence. I will for sure be using this spraypaint again!

Friday, July 29, 2016

summer of spraypaint--project uno

Long time readers may vaguely recall this dresser ... we spray painted it "ballet pink" and attached cute wood animals on the drawers for one little girl's baby nursery a long time ago ... and after more than five years, it was looking shabby. Note the crayon, and missing felt from some of the poor animals' features ...

It was high time for a "big girl" makeover for this dresser. We wanted to keep the pink top and sides (and only paint the drawers), so I picked colors that coordinated. I found a very similar pink (ballet pink was no longer in stock at my local sources), a nice purple and pulled my old can of turquoise spraypaint leftover from this project out of storage.

This was a multiple day process, with nine drawers to update. I used a flat head screwdriver to loosen and "pop" the animals off each drawer, and then an exacto knife to remove glue and the bar code sticker I failed to remove prior to attaching each animal (lesson learned--the sticker stuck the most to the drawer!). Did half one day, then finished the rest on another. I tried using wood putty and sanding to even out the "holes" from the removed paint, but that was only moderately successful. The surfaces were still pretty bumpy if you looked close after painting.

What to do? Vinyl removable wall stickers from Walmart to the rescue! These are strategically placed to hide my flaws. Love, love, love how this turned out--and so does my big girl! This is the first of many spraypaint projects I've been working on this summer, so be prepared for more to come ...

knit your library, vol. 18 (roly poly edition)

Wait ... what is that thing ... it can't be .... it's a roly poly! A humongous, bigger than your head, pillow-sized roly poly! LOL. This is hands down the wackiest thing I have ever knitted. My daughter loves roly polies--and when we spotted the pattern for one in Huge and Huggable Mochimochi, it had  to be knit!

Pattern: Roland by Anna Hrachovec (link to my Ravelry project page)
Needles: size 8s
Yarn: "shell" is Queensland Collection Whitsunday held triple stranded, and the pink is Cascade 220 held doubled
Mods: My gauge for the shell and the stomach was not the same, so I did have to unravel and fudge it to make it work. I basically added more garter stitch rows in between yarn over rows. And using yarn doubled and tripled meant that this project ate up 822 yards from my stash (yes!).

Thursday, July 28, 2016

first floral arrangement

I've had this book since May, and have been dying to try a "recipe" from it! I would describe The Flower Chef as a "modern beginner floral design book." It breaks down bouquets into easy instructions and teaches you the basic underpinnings that floral designers use. Having never taken any floral arranging classes before, this book was eye-opening. Now I understand why my basic "grab a bunch of flowers and shove them in a glass" never really quite looked ... right.

Materials: 2-3 hydrangea blooms, and two bunches of other flowers. Grand total? $20! (these are from my grocery store) Also opaque container and wet floral foam.

My pre-soaked foam, trimmed to fit my container.

You start with the hydrangeas. ... then weave your other flowers through the hydrangea blooms.

Ta da! Needs something taller to add more vertical interest, but I'm in love! My first real floral arrangement!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

knit your library, vol. 17

Recognize this hat? Oh, it's only the seventh time I've knit a lowbrow hat. I can't help it--fast and fun to knit, fits perfect, and looks cute. This time I'm making an MSU Bulldawg appropriate version, which I'm honestly shocked that it's taken me this long to do! The yarn is Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label Aran weight in the garnet colorway (shhh! it's close enough to maroon!).

And to go with it, a maroon lacy cowl (this is pictured doubled up and drapes to my belly button when it's a single loop). The pattern, Palessie, was gifted to me for my birthday in 2014. Sad but true. Only two years to get to this one! It's the perfect pattern for one skein of sock yarn though, so I see a lot of these in my future! It's simple, brainless knitting too. And the lace when doubled will be plenty of warmth for our mild Mississippi winters. Win, win, and win.

Pattern: Palessie cowl
Yarn: Araucania Ranco Sock (unknown colorway), used one skein.
Needles: size 5
Mods: Only used K2tog throughout, instead of alternating with SSK sections. Just to make it even more of a brainless knit! 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

sewing up a monster laundry hamper


I have to admit, after seeing this project on the Martha Stewart website I really wanted to make one ASAP.  But I did do some internet searches for "cute hampers" before giving myself permission to place my order for this kit at Spoonflower. You'll get one piece of fabric with all the components printed on it (see below). It's hard to see in this picture, but there's even lines to guide you when cutting each piece out with your seam allowance already built in. The directions are even printed on the fabric! Super easy and fast--it took me all of two hours to make this, even including the time to cut out each piece.

Ta da! Monster ready to eat some delicious dirty laundry (the opening is the mouth)!

The kit even includes a smaller screenprint of the monster, suitable for sewing up a "baby monster" stuffy. Now to see if it motivates my kids to pick up their dirty laundry ...