Thursday, March 31, 2011

My husband and I went to see Kyle Cease last year sometime when he did a comedy show with Louie Anderson. We absolutely loved his message, which he presented at the end of his routine. He talked about little kids, and how they believe whole-heartedly that they can do or be anything they want when they grow up. His main point was that if we can foster that excitement and belief in ourselves, no matter what other people think or what may seem more "logical" we just might surprise ourselves. Here is a video from his blog with a similar message. I have been straddling a line for the past few years, and that line is between doing what I feel in my heart I'm supposed to do "when I grow up" and doing what I think others expect of me. For some reason it has been tricky for me to realize that the people in my life who matter most will love me no matter which direction I choose to go. Now I just need to have the confidence of a four year old and the stubborness drive of a toddler.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

handmade baby toys.


I am loving these sweet little soft baby blocks I made today for my niece who will be born in a few weeks. I used this tutorial over at Zaaberry and they couldn't have been easier. After reading the comments on the tutorial, I decided to try making one block "crinkle" by putting a piece of plastic from a grocery bag inside, along with the fiberfil stuffing. It worked like a charm! I also put a jingle bell inside one of the blocks, and then left the third plain, but with an extra couple ribbon "tags". I'm pretty sure my little niece-to-be will love them, and I'm going to make up some more for my little sweet little nephew who is now sitting up and playing toys.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!!

:)

Friday, March 11, 2011

inspiration.

This would fall under the category of parental/educator inspiration. I hope that one day I'll be able to convey this same kind of peace through gentle and loving communication.


Monday, March 7, 2011

another sock post.

Just wanted to let everyone know I haven't given up on my socks yet, the pattern by the way, is Clover. I'm not sure if I mentioned before that this is just my sixth sock (which means there is a kid sock in my knitting bag that still doesn't have a mate!), and my first adult-sized sock. I'm thrilled with how it's coming along. I'm using a 9in circular needle which seems to make the knitting go faster.

Here's a better look at the funny heel. I'm doing a short row heel, which is not what the pattern calls for (I'm also knitting the socks toe-up which is also not what the pattern calls for). It looks a little funny like this, but I tried it on and it fits perfectly and looks just like any other heel. Here is the tutorial I used, in case you're curious.

Ta-Da! Have I mentioned yet that I'm thrilled with how this is coming along?! I have been asked a few times how I knit things that seem daunting to some people, and my answer is always this: If you want to knit it, just do. My trick is not to read the whole pattern through before you start. Simply make sure you have correct gauge and go for it. Sometimes reading the whole pattern came make it seem confusing, but reading it as I go, line by line, means I don't question the pattern trying to think ahead about what to do next. I just trust each step as I do it. So far, it has worked for me! Believe me, if you asked me just two years ago if I thought it were possible for me to knit socks or a sweater I would have just laughed at you.

Now for the funny part: shortly after that last photo was taken I got a phone call, and left my knitting in the couch. Then I looked through the kitchen doorway into the living room to see a sweet two year old boy smiling up at my, wearing a giant green lace sock on his little foot. He accidently pulled out a section about 12 stitches wide and 4 rows deep. It was so cute that I didn't even lose my temper. But I did invite my mom over (she lives next door!) to come over for a "knitting" date once the kiddies get to bed. She's my knitting moral support. 

:)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

baby blanket.

I finally finished this super sweet baby blanket I had started when I first found out my sister is having a girl. I took my time on it partially because I like to bounce between projects, and partially because I have a secret fear of finishing things--what if it doesn't turn out?! Luckily, I'm beginning to learn that the amount I learn from each screw up greatly contributes to the success of my next project.

 Anyway, back to the blanket. I used the tutorial at MADE, as well as the one she links to. I LOVE the way it turned out.


One thing I love about this design is that I'm always a little nervous to throw my freshly sewn items into the washing machine. I have fears that they will just completely deteriorate and all my hard work will be completely ruined in one 30 minutes cycle. So, imagine my pleasant surprise to find out that not only did this blanket survive the wash, it actually improved as the cut edges frayed, making them softer and more chenille-like.

I decided to spend the time to hand sew the binding onto the back of the blanket. Even though it took a lot longer for me to do it this way, I love the thought of putting hand stitches into a project. It gives you some extra time to really hold the project in your hands and infuse it with all the love you want to give to the recipient. I think this is also why I am so drawn to knitting for people, and babes in particular.

You can sort of tell in this photo that I used multiple colors of contrasting thread, mostly because I ran out of my first color and decided to make it look like that was the plan. I actually like how the "stripes" turned out though. The horse fabric is an embroidered corduroy that I found at Joann, and I think it's perfect for a little baby girl who will be born and raised on a small farm, especially since there is already a pony in the family. :)

Overall, the tutorials are great, the blanket was fun to make, and I love the way it turned out. Success! Give it a try. 

:)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

pillow!

 Here is the pillow I finished for Mad's room. I am entering it in the Blogger's Pillow Party. What fun!

 I ended up making a scrappy log cabin (of sorts) for the front panel, and experimented with quilting it to a small piece of batting.

 Here's a better look at what I did. I love the way the stitch lines formed squares at the corners, it really adds to the "quilty" look I was going for. The owl is a left over piece of fabric I had hand screen printed a while back.

I added some embroidered tree detail.

 And appliqu├ęd some leaves.

And in case you're curious, I sewed my first ever envelope back (super easy!) out of an old sheet, which means I didn't even have to hem the envelope opening since I just cut my pieces from the edge.

Success! She approves. 
:)