giving thanks

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We're headed over the river and through the woods ... (I couldn't resist!) There's been a lot of behind the scenes charity knitting going on here that I'll be posting about tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy your loved ones and all that you're grateful for!

staying warm

Nearly a week away from Thanksgiving, and we're only now getting our first freeze here in Mississippi. Finally it feels like fall! I'm celebrating with some cocoa and casting off on a super speedy scarf. Size 13 needles, super bulky Lion Brand Hometown USA--what's not to love?

I cast on 12 stitches, and proceeded with seed stitch from there. Used two skeins (162 yards). Final dimensions: 6.25" wide and 67.5" long.

so simple sewn coaster tutorial

All this quilt business got me itching to whip-up one of my favorite instant-gratification sewing projects--coasters! Here's my recipe for making easy, attractive coasters ... they make a great hostess gift!

Step #1: Cut three 4.5-inch squares for each coaster (one square of batting, and two squares of  fabric). I prefer cotton batting for this project, and like to mix things up with more than one fabric.
Step #2: Layer your two fabrics so that the right sides face each other (see above). Then layer your batting on top of that (see below).
Step #3: Sew around the perimeter using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. 

Step #3, continued: Be sure to leave an approximately 1.5 inch long gap in the middle of one of the four sides (in order to pull things right-side out). See below.

Step #4: Turn coaster right side out. Use a pencil or other pointed tip to push your corners out and square things up. Gently tuck the raw edges in around your gap (see below).

Step #5: Top-stitch approximately 1/8 of an inch from the edge around the perimeter of the coaster (this closes and secures the gap). Using your first top-stitching as a guide, stitch another interior square of top-stitching approximately 1/8 of an inch from the first line. Repeat an additional two times, or as desired.

Step #6: Enjoy your new coasters!

Finished Object Friday: Bubby

This month, our knitting guild has taken on the goal of knitting children's hats, scarves, mittens, and toys for a local domestic abuse shelter. I really like the idea of making toys, so I've been using this as opportunity to finally try some of the many bear patterns I have hanging out in my Ravelry queue. Here's the first: a Knitty freebie, "Bubby." Bubby is adorable ... but tiny! As in, Beanie Baby tiny. The construction is fun and fast--almost entirely seamless, which I enjoy. A little fiddly though, given how small the arms/legs are and the fact that you're using DPNs (it's pretty much like making mitten fingers).

Pattern: Bubby (my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease (colorway: Blue Mist), used a tiny amount ... under 40 yards?
Needles: Size 3 DPNs
Notes: Using size 3 needles created the perfect density of fabric! You can't see any stuffing at all ... I would make this again, for a baby--it's very grab-able for a baby, with the long limbs. Not so sure it's big enough for our charity project, but my daughter has claimed it for herself anyway!

my book problem: reviving the craft book challenge

That picture? That's 50 knitting and crochet books ... 50 books that I have yet to make a single project from (funny, they don't look as numerous in two orderly stacks as they do on my shelves!). Sadly, I have only made projects out of a whopping seven books from my entire collection (see below) ... And this is excluding all my sewing, quilting, beading and general crafting books! I've been re-organizing my shelves in our "library" which has forced me to come to terms with this problem ... I have a bad habit of going straight to Ravelry's pattern search when I am contemplating a new project. I then fall in love with a new pattern, purchase it, and cast on ... and never crack open a single book I already own. Remember my crafting resolutions? Yup, one of them was to make more projects out of my crafting book library. I've actually done a little better this year than most. So far I've made five projects, but clearly I've got a long way to go!

Is this a problem for you, too?

I've decided to revive the craft book challenge for myself. This was a fantastic idea of Liesl's that she passed on to Michelle McCoy, but has seemingly died.

Anyone else want to join in?

2021 year in review

  Who would have thought that the second year of a pandemic would be worst than the first, in terms of crafting mojo? Not I. But this chart ...