Thursday, April 10, 2014

Feautred on Craftsy

Have you visited the Craftsy website? If not, hop over and check it our right now (well, finish reading my post first).

Look what was featured in a blog post about intarsia!


My sweet Emma wearing the Tweet-Tweet hat is amongst the pictures and featured patterns on the Craftsy blog. Here is what they had to say about it:


"This has to be the cutest and best pattern for someone new to knitting and intarsia. Hats are always a great first project because they don’t take too much time and, knit in worsted weight yarn, this too will work up quickly. A small intarsia bird design will get you to practice using two contrasting colors. Even better, this hat pattern comes in five sizes to fit 16″ to 20″ heads!"

Remember that hats with single or double rims can really stretch. My daughter has a 22" head now and she still comfortably fits in the same hat from last year. 

If you are interested in trying your hand at intarsia, then I have a handful of good beginner patterns.

Baa-Baa
Kite Tails

Plus I have two patterns to be re-released very soon. Both were published in Knit Now Magazine in August 2013.  The first pattern, Little Birds Tunic, has already been reknit and had fresh photographs taken. It is with my tech editor now but should be available by next week.

Little Birds Tunic
It features a sweet bird motif on the bottom front corner of the dress. The Little Birds Beret features the same three birds as well. I have yet to reknit that one, so it will not be available for a several weeks. I have some lovely colors in Chickadee set aside for that project: Petal, Pommegranate, and Twig. I can't wait to see how it all turns out!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dreaming about Quilts

I am dreaming big right now, dreaming about quilts. To absolutely specific, I am dreaming about making a real quilt this summer.

Many years ago (6-7?), I made a simple patchwork quilt called Lotus Brick Path Quilt from Amy Butler (a free pattern, I might add).

Mine was made in blues and greens (real surprise there).




This was the perfect first-time-quilting experience. The straight sewing was a breeze. Ordering and then playing with the fabrics was incredibly fun, but machine quilting was a major pain. I'm going to be a bad crafter and blame my machine. My mother bailed me out and helped with that part quite a bit (okay, she did most of the machine quilting).


Now it is time to give this quilting thing another go. What I can't decide is if I should dive straight into a twin size quilt for either of my kids or start slightly smaller with a wall hanging or throw? I do have plans to make two table runners this summer. Alas, I cannot find pictures of these anywhere. They are both from Amy Butler's Softwares program. Trust me, they are cute. If you click on that link, watch the images of the patterns change. I plan to make the pink triangle table runner and the blue/green/gray one.

So here are the big project contenders:

1. "The Color Wheel Quilt" from Joelle Hoverson, author of Last-minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts. I'm thinking this would look pretty sweet in my bedroom or in the guest room (aka craft center).



2. "Off Track" from Allison Harris of the Cluck Cluck Sew blog. This would be for Tommy.


3. "Tea Party" also from Allison Harris. This would be for Emma.


Someday.. a long time from now.. I hope to make this to hang in my dining room.



In the meantime, I seem to have gotten my knitting mojo back. So I will be putting the sewing machine aside for a little while. Yesterday, I added up my planned designs for the next 6 months and you won't believe this, but I have 8 in the works! Yowza! Better get clicking...


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Kite Tails Winner!

Congratulations to Jane for being selected as the winner of the Kite Tails pattern giveway! I will contact you today to send you your new copy of the Kite Tails pattern.


Remember to keep checking in with my blog often, you never know when I might have another giveaway. I have several patterns that will be published over the next few months... so stay tuned... and keep knitting!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spring Sewing

As much as I love knitting, sometimes I need to take a few days off (especially if I have been knitting with skinny yarn and tiny needles for too long).

This is what happens when I take a break from knitting... I start sewing. Here are the sewing projects I managed to whip up in the past 48 hours.  I know it looks like a lot, but once I share my secret to this victory you will completely understand how this was possible.


 First, the projects:

1. A Simple Skirt from MADE: This is a great website chalk full of cute free patterns and tutorials. This pattern also included a video tutorial, which I particularly like. There are directions of how to make two skirts: one-layered or two-tiered. The first skirt pictured on Emma is the one-layered skirt made out of Valerie Wells' Nest, which is a super soft light weight corduroy fabric.




The second skirt is a two tiered one with Beatrix Potter pink toile on the top layer and a sweet pink small print ( I think it is called "sweet dreams") on the bottom. 

testing out the twirliness

2. Joelle Hoverson's Super Quick and Easy Blanket from Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts: This was made for my friend's little girl. Like Emma, she is a big fan of all things Peter Rabbit. Naturally, she needed to have this blanket made for her. The pattern suggests using the satin stitch on the sewing machine dotted all over the blanket to help keep it in place (plus it looks really cute). I chose to tie little knots in hot pink embroidery floss instead. My machine is an oldie, so it does not have the satin stitch feature.



3. This morning I whipped up two grocery bag holders. There are collections of plastic grocery bags all over our house. It may not be very green of us, but the truth is, we use them! We line our small trashcans with bags. We have a cat... need I say more? Our plastic and glass recyclables must be bagged in blue plastic bags or they won't be collected (stupid rule, I know). So my family hangs on to these bags and they end up everywhere.


I came across this pattern while looking for a skirt pattern just the other day. It is a free tutorial from Craftiness Is Not Optional. It truly is a quickie. I made two modifications. I substituted 1/8" elastic for the 1/4" elastic suggested (I was out of the 1/4" elastic) and I made my holders longer. The pattern calls for a fat quarter (18 x 22") piece of fabric. I made both of mine from 18 x 24" fabric. And speaking of fabric. These were made with Amy Butler's Midwest Modern fabric (from the Ohio Sky line). Rather appropriate, don't you think?


And now for the big secret reveal...

Sand.

I did do some of the sewing during nap time, but today I made the bags while the kids  played indoors with sand. Crazy? You betcha! The kids play on top of a plastic outdoor circle tablecloth with storage containers full of sand and they absolutely love it. They also make an absolutely gigantic mess (remember, I have a 2 year old boy and a 5 year old girl), but it is worth it to have the quiet engaged playtime so that I can have my own quiet sewing playtime.

And now it is nap time again. Time for some rest of my own.

Happy sewing!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Colorful Kites and a Giveaway!

Me again. Just playing with color ideas for variations of my newest pattern, Kite Tails.



Springy
green
great lakes blue

















Neutrals
milk chocolate
light turquoise







Pop of Color
 
hot pink
pewter
  
Shades of Autumn

roasted pumpkin
garnet


So what color combination appeals to you? If none of the above move you, which colorways would you select? Do you have another yarn in mind? Tell me about it! Write a comment below with a way to contact you (i.e. ravelry name) and I will select a reader at random to win a copy of the Kite Tails pattern. You have until 11:59pm on Wednesday, April 2. Thursday I will post a winner.















 












Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Kite Tails


The inspiration for this design came to me while I was flipping through a quilting book at my mother’s house. My mother is a talented quilter. Throughout my childhood beautiful fabrics, quilts and quilting books, surrounded me. So naturally, as a knitter,  I have come to love the look of knitted items which are quilt- inspired. 



Here is the picture which first sparked the idea. Aren't those gigantic triangles and hand stitched lines gorgeous?
 

Kite Tails is a pillow cover with a trifold construction and buttons/buttonholes in the back for closure. The front panel features a classic triangle patchwork motif (also known as flying geese to you quilters out there), reminiscent of kite tails, worked in stockinette stitch in two similar tones of color with a contrasting color background.  





The back panels are worked in two different rib stitch patterns in one of the darker colors from the front. This pillow cover is worked flat and the sides are seamed with a generous overlap. 



 


My Kite Tails was made with Stonehedge Fiber Mill's Shepherd's Wool yarn. I first came across this yarn at a yarn festival last March and immediately fell in love. For the past six months I have been knitting a vest with it (on and off- the pattern is giving me problems). Every single time I have picked up my needles to work on that tricky fair isle vest, I sigh and tell my husband how much I adore this yarn. 

Stonehedge Fiber Mills describes it as a worsted weight yarn with 4 ounces and 250 yards to each skein. I find it to be more like a light worsted. They are extremely generous skeins at 250 yards! The pillow cover pictured was made with Navy, White and Frosty Blue.



These crisp classic colors are perfect for my home. I'm constantly drawn to all things blue (one peek into my living room and you would see what I mean). Even last week, at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival, I kept picking up squishy skeins in beautiful shades of denim and midnight blue (and sometimes apple green). The simple and repetitive intarsia motif lends itself to be worked in a variety of color combinations. Stonehedge Fiber Mill has an enormous collection of colorways, plus these hefty skeins are sold for a very reasonable price too. You can buy them here, here, or here.

This week I will put together some fun color combinations of yarn for this pattern and post them on the blog. Dig through your stash! Maybe you already have a few skeins just waiting to be made into a pillow for you home.
 











Thursday, March 20, 2014

Such a Tease

Here's a little peek at a new design to be released in the next week...