Friday, December 31, 2010

Final Project-- Knitting Needle Case

Yes, finally, it is done. The knitting needle case that I have been putting off doing forever. I buckled down and worked on it off and on for the past few days but I was determined to have it done before 2011 made its appearance

After searching the net for a while I found this case and it seemed practical. They all seem practical so this is just the one I picked. I guess so it could hold a lot, lot, lot and the majority of my items will be in one place. A few dimensional adjustments were made but for the most part I stuck to the tutorial. may need to put on shades or some type of protective eye gear. Looking at it may make your eyes cross. Don't judge me..clearance fabric is great. I'll start you off easy so your eyes can get adjusted.

All rolled up...

Knitting Needle Case

Prepare your eyes it is slowly coming undone.

Knitting Needle Case

Ta daaaaooow!!!! (Do your eyes hurt now? My brain actually hurts a little, just grab the needles and run!!)

Knitting Needle Case

Everything nice and tidy in one spot. No more looking in this bag or that can or wherever else. No excuses. I do see that I need some colorful needles to make this clash just a tad bit more.

With that being said I have rolled up 2010 (ha, ha,) and am ready for a great 2011.

(ugh, the red clashes with everything!!)
Wishing you and yours a prosperous 2011.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I did it. I finished the gloves I made for my sister. A while a go when I was sharing that I had learned how to knit she said, "Ooooooohhhh, I want some hot pink fingerless gloves!" After searching through Ravelry I decided on the Knucks pattern and got busy. These weren't hard to knit at all and I feel like I learned something which is always spectacular. When I gave them to her she is either a really good liar or she really liked them. My thought is that I make them a little longer next time so I told her they were my trial run. She can tell me any modifications she wants for her second pair.


I totally forgot to take pictures with them on her hand but here a few pics from the process and on my hand.

Knucks- Thumb


I am definitely making some of these for myself. Scarf down, hat down, dishcloths down, sweater down, and gloves down. What shall I tackle next on the knitting front?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Time For Another Dishcloth

Yes, it is that time again. Another dishcloth/napkin/whatever!! These are my little break projects while I figure out what I am going to knit next. I am almost finished a gift for my sister but need to get a tapestry needle. My hands needed to knit so it was dishcloth time!!!

Three Easy Washcloths

I wish I used a solid for this so you could see the stitch details. Beginners mistake no doubt. I still like it though.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My First Sew-A-Long- Burda Marie Skirt

2011 is guaranteed to be a year of firsts when it comes to my sewing. I joined my first sew along which is being hosted by Regan over at Stitch In My Side. This will also be my first time trying a Burda pattern as well so it will be a double dose of firsts.

We will be making the Burda Marie skirt. Cute isn't it.

Hopefully it really is for a Novice like me but if not I think being part of a group of other people doing it too will help in case I have any question.

Well here it goes!!

Download pattern-- check
Print page with test square-- check
Measure test square-- check
Adjust print settings-- check
Print page with test square-- check
Scratch my head-- check
Recall my knowledge of ratios and do a quick equation-- check
Adjust print settings-- check
Print page with test square-- check
Measure again-- check
Do a happy dance-- check
Print the other 8 pages-- check

Not so bad. Now I just have to decide on a fabric and see if I have interfacing as well. I am thinking navy blue because I already have the fabric and I don't have a navy blue skirt.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Window Woes

This window is on the front of my house in my office. Everyday the sun totally beams through this window to the point where it is blinding and I have to move. If only I could have some solar panels and put all that energy to good use. Anyway I need some type of curtain or shield to go in this window but the shape is throwing me off on how to achieve a nice barrier between me and the sun. Any thoughts?

Office Window

Sunday, December 12, 2010


This is smaller than most dishtowels but I wanted to see how big of a product a roll of the Sugar N' Cream would yield.  I know it all depends on the stitches you are doing so there will be some variances.   For this I used a Labyrinth pattern and it gave me a 10"x 16" cloth.  I guess I'll just use it in the kitchen for a drying towel.  I was hoping for something big enough for a handtowel to hang in the bathroom but this is to short.  Next time.

Labyrinth Dishtowel

Labyrinth Dishtowel

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Finally Hemmed the Jeans

These jeans, the ones I posted about here, finally got the hem they deserved.  It only took 3 or so years but who is counting anyway.  When you absolutely nothing to wear that will put a fire under you to get something made or altered just in a nick of time.  

I was in such a hurry I really don't have any photos of the process. Here is quick snapshot of me pinning.  

Original Hem Alteration

Exciting right. But it worked out perfectly.  Kind of.  After doing one leg it was still a little to long so I did the second leg an 1/8 of an inch more and voila, perfect.  Kind of.  If going out with to different length pants legs is your idea of perfect.  Yes, I ran out of time but here is the finished product for one of the legs. 

Original Hem Alteration

I don't think anyone noticed since it was such a slight deviation and if all someone can look at is the hem of my jeans then I should be worried.

It was quick lesson that I enjoyed getting back at the machine and doing.  I am looking forward to my next project.  Hopefully I will have sense enough not to wait until the last minute on whatever it is.

I used the the tutorial found here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Kercheif Cowl

"Cowl, what is a cowl?  I have never heard of that."  Truth be told it is not a word I hear to often either.

This is a cowl.

Kerchief Cowl

Actually that is a almost finished cowl where I just couldn't deal with the ends and put them off until the next day.

If you want to keep your neck nice and toasty through the winter months a cowl is great. I got this pattern on One thing I love about is the Advanced Search option. I knew that I didn't have a lot of yarn to work with so I was able to find a nice project for the amount of yarn I had.

Here is the finished project. I have it on now and my neck is very, very warm. This may not be taken off for a while!!

Kerchief Cowl

It is hard to see in the picture above but there is a triangle at the top that folds down. My colors all just blend together so you can't tell. You can see it a little better with the cowl pulled up higher. Warm neck and face!!!

Kerchief Cowl

Yes, my hair is a mess.  Don't judge me.  

Monday, December 6, 2010

First Sewing Book Purchase

Look what I scored at my local Goodwill store.  I have gone in there a million times and thought I looked through all the books never to find any sewing books.  Come to find out I never made it to the very last bookshelf.  Lo and behold this was staring right into my face.  I dare not tell about the happy dance I wanted to do.  I know there is a newer version but for $2.62 this one will do for the moment.  

Thrift Store Sewing Books

I also picked up this Coats and Clark Book.  Don't they look happy together!!!  I can't wait to thumb through the both of them a little bit more.

Thrift Store Sewing Books

These are my first ever sewing book purchases.  I usually just check them out from the library but I am happy to call these my firsts.

Monday, November 29, 2010

COMPLETED- Fingerless Mitts

UFO Week Project 1 Completed

These Fingerless Mitts were sitting around unfinished for quite a while.  Glad to have them done. It is a quite quick and easy pattern to knit up but I can see now that seaming is not my thing.

Fingerless Mitts 11-29-10

Fingerless Mitts 11-29-10

I used some leftover Lion Brand Jiffy yarn for this.  This yarn is so fuzzy and splity.  Glad to know that so I won't choose it in the future.  Any yarn lovers out there?  What is your favorite to work with?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

UFO Week

Yes, the dreaded UFO's are weighing on my inner being.  This is it, UFO week.  I have 2 sewing projects and 2 knitting projects that WILL be done by weeks end.

A New Look vest that I started about 2 months ago.  Why is it UFO you ask.  The fit is off so I need to take apart the straps, do the button holes and then redo the straps so it fits properly. (sorry, no pics)

A Butterick Cardigan.  Sleeves.  Need I say more.  Then finishing the edges. It would be more bearable with a serger I think but rolling and stitching those edges is torture.  Pure torture so it is in the UFO pile. (no pics again)

Fingerless Mitts.  A knitting project I started ages ago.  I had to reverse the pattern for the 2nd one and it just never happened.  I did start them today as a break to the project I am working on now.  Once I finish the second one I need to sew a seam down each and then that will be done.

Fingerless Gloves

Sweater for DD.  This is not really a UFO in the sense that it has been lingering around unworked on.  I have been working on it but it seems to be taking forever.  This is my first time knitting a sweater so of course it is slow going.  I just want to be done.  Once DD tries it on I can finish the body and then move on to the sleeves.

The Purple Sweater11-21-10

Wish me luck in clearing my UFO stash.  Usually a stash implies good things but a UFO stash, I am not to happy about it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Planning to Sew Something

Clutch the pearls...this is a sewing post.  You probably thought you would never see one from me again now that I have picked up some knitting needles.  Lots of knitting needles with nowhere to store or transport them properly which leads to this.  A knitting needle organizer!!

This is just the planning phase.  I have looked at a ji-zillion (I am pretty sure that is an actual number) online but have been stuck in the mud on moving forward to make the darn thing.  They all seemed okay but just not perfect, probably just my excuse for going downstairs to knit instead of sew.  I did put my foot down and decide on the one I will make.  It will be a revised version of this.

What fabric to use is the first question that needs answering. I think I should have picked up a solid color during the 50% off clearance items at Joanns.  Solids are no fun but now I am thinking a solid will be necessary.  My eyes are hurting.  Seriously.  This beast needs to be tamed!!!  Take not in some of the pictures further down, you can barely see the needles on some of the fabrics.  It will be one of these two color schemes though.

KnittingNeedleRoll 014KnittingNeedleRoll 012

Before I dive right in I also want to make sure the depth of the pockets was agreeable to the needles I use.  After measuring and comparing the pattern dimensions I think I am going to change the depth of some of the pockets to suit my needles better. 

Knitting Needle Roll
KnittingNeedleRoll 009
I think I have decided to keep my circular needles in a completely separate pouch which means I may try to transform the front few pockets into some small zippered or flapped pockets.  They would hold cable needles, counters, and other small items.  Hopefully someone will just buy me the interchangable circulars and then that will be that.

The next step is to finalize dimensions and add in seam allowance.  I'll also get some solid fabric for both color schemes to have on hand for this project and future use.

One step closer to sewing something.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Another Dishcloth

Hi all,

Another dishcloth for your viewing pleasure.  Knitting these little cloths is addictive.  I am thinking I will have a whole lot of dishcloths, handtowels and washcloths pretty soon.

Ballband Dishcloth

I need to work on carrying my yarn up the side but that is why these little cloths are great practice for things like that.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Double Bump Dishcloth

This sample was made from a free pattern on Ravelry.  It is the Double Bump Dishcloth by Missy Angus.

Double Bump Dishcloth Sample

I don't keep a yarn stash so I knitted it up in the Red Heart Super Saver Yarn to see if I liked it enough to make multiples.  I think I do.  I am a new knitter and quite happy that I could get this finished result.

It looks great on both sides. 

Double Bump Dishcloth Sample
Double Bump Dishcloth Sample

Next time I make this I am going to try it with 100% cotton and a cotton/acrylic blend.  I want to knit up a bunch of dishcloths and washcloths so I need to find yarn that holds up well, feels good, and dries well.  The scratchiness of the acrylic is great if you like the feeling of a loofah.  I think for my face I want something a tad bit softer though.  The feel of the acrylic would be good for the dishcloth and cleaning cloths as well.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I feel like I am in an adulterous relationship with my knitting.  Sewing I still love you but I have learned how to knit and I love it too.  What is a gal to do?  Lately my sewing mojo hasn't been up to par but knitting has really got me going.  My heart is torn.  I refuse to choose.  It WILL be both.  I just have to work out the logistics of how to devote time to each.  

I feel better now that I have confessed.  What a weight lifted off my shoulders.  

I started a 2nd and 3rd knitting project.  Another scarf and a hat.  The scarf is like the first one but a different type of yarn so I'll show that later on down the line, the hat is what I am excited about.

If you like hats go get Hat Heads by Trond Anfinnsen aka KNITKID.   It has all sorts of fun patterns and hats.  Here are all the hats on Flickr.  I made the Kjersti hat.  Ambitious for a novice knitter is what someone told me.  It really was not that hard though since it was just knits and purls.  That is one of the reasons I choose it, the other being there is only one color change.

I did have to wait and run to the store and get double pointed needles.  I thought since I only had about 12 more rows to go I would be done quickly.  Oh my, those decreases are a pain.  With time and experience I'll get quicker but I kept recounted to make sure I didn't screw something up.  Tying off and weaving in wasn't hard either.  VICTORY!!

You are asking for a few pictures.  Sure, no problem.

The beginning stages where it seems like it won't ever be done.First Hat 

Whoa! When did that happen?  This may actually be a hat :-)First Hat

All done.  It's over.  Really?
First Hat

Close up of top.  Not that anyone will be all up in my head like that.  At least I hope.
First Hat

Stitches and stitches and stiches.
First Hat

And there you have it people.  My very first every knitted hat and my very second ever project.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

One Fish, Two Fish...

....fifty some fish?  What?  Oh how did I get myself into that.  Of course, just trying to help LaniJ with homecoming festivities.  The theme for all of the classes was Under the Sea and more specifically her class was The Yellow Submarine.  Each class got to decorate their hallways and were judged.  The winner getting, I have no idea what, bragging rights  I assume.

Homecoming Fish

LaniJ made fish and a whole lot more.  She traced a template and we cut, sewed and stuffed these things for what seemed like eternity.  It wasn't hard, just tedious. We went the economical route by using old donated t-shirts and shredded paper.  I like the ones with patterns but unfortunately most of the t-shirts we got were solid colors.

Homecoming Fish

Hopefully LaniJ will come by and post what the hallway looked like when it was done being decorated but here is one picture of the very early stages of decorating.

Homecoming Fish

Wow, I JUST noticed the fish hanging up. I guess this was the first time closely at the picture. When I walked through the hallway I just took one quick flick because I was hunting down LaniJ so we could go home. There they are hanging from the ceiling by dental floss and paperclips.  

Maybe if I beg LaniJ she will come back and discuss her homecoming t-shirt refashion. 

By the way, Happy November...are we really winding down 2010?  Sigh.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Magazine Sighting- Simplicity 2512

InStyle Magazine has been one of my faves for years.  I have bunches of old ones that never made it to the recycling pile that I occasionally take out to thumb through.  Look what I found in this 2007 InStyle magazine. InStyleCynthiaRowley 003

Surely this will look familiar to some of you.  It is the Simplicity 2512 Cynthia Rowley skirt.  Back in 2007 I never would have known a pattern existed for this skirt but trust me I say I shrieked a little bit when I saw this.  Do you think that was sign that this should be my next project?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Was A Good Girl...Kind Of

Do you remember that post about patterns and me not buying anymore patterns? There was one that I was allowing myself to get because I knew it would be on sale for 99 cents.  I have a small confession to make.  I did get the pattern I wanted (Simplicity 2572), but as you can see I was bad and picked up yet another pattern (Simplicity 2892).  Those 99 cent sales are just to hard for me to pass up.


Looking at the bright side, I didn't go crazy.  It was only 1 little 99 cent pattern.  Just one.  

Do bans work?  Have you ever succssufully put yourself on a ban or did you cave under the pressure?

I caved :-(

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Can Knit...

I know this is a sewing blog but I feel like sharing that I learned how to knit.  Over the summer the lady at the local knitting shop said she would teach us.  Last week I gave myself a little free time and took her up on it.

Knitting- Project 1

She did the cast on part so I still haven't learned how to do that yet but then she showed me how to put those needles to work.  Talk about confusing at first.  I watched her as she chanted a little knitting song and it looked pretty easy.  That is until the needles got into my hands.  I did a few stitches(?) and she guided me through it.  I was so proud of myself for learning something new.  Not so proud when I totally messed up and was purling and not knitting and then had to undo some.  Is that called unknitting or unpurling?

A scarf is in the works and you can tell it is the scarf of someone who just learned how to knit. There are some uneven areas but honestly my goal wasn't to make a perfect scarf it was to make my first scarf.  I'll figure out how to get more consistent with practice no doubt.  I held it up to the sun so you can see my moments of "learning".

Knitting- Project 1Knitting- Project 1

Knitting- Project 1

What was really great about this experience was that when I got there another lady and her were learning how to do another stitch.  I sat there for 2 hours and we knitted and unknitted.  Me doing the most basic stitch and them doing something far more advanced.  It just goes to show you that you are never to old to learn something new.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Getting Organized

This is my dining room sewing room.  I don't think that we have eaten in here in all the years we have lived here so why not turn it into something useful.  No one seems to mind at all and I am glad that space is now put to use.

Organization is not my strong suit.  On any given day you can walk into my sewing room and it will pretty much look like a tornado went ripping through.  There were a couple of things that were nagging at me and had to be done.  First off I needed a spot right next to my sewing machine to keep my at hand items.  Seam rippers, snippers, pin magnets are the items I use when I am sitting right at my machine.  I took a little shelving unit that had in another corner and put it by the machine.  Don't laugh at me but I have had this little white plastic shelf since I was in college almost 15 years ago.  A shelf is a shelf.  

Sewing Space

The green bin is something I'll explain later but on the 1st shelf there is a caddy with my seam ripper, snippers, a little ruler and anything else I may grab.  The second shelf is my thread and an empty drawer that I haven't decided what to put in yet.  The bottom has my sewing machine needles.

I dug this organizational unit below out of my basement.  It was full of my kids puzzles, craft supplies, coloring books from when they were small.  Before I buy anything I try to take a good look at what I already have and repurpose it if I can.  The colors leave something to be desired but hopefully I can make some pretty covers to take care of that.  Tutorials or suggestions are gladly accepted here.  

Sewing Space

I was happy to to add this unit because it houses buttons, twill tape, zippers, elastic, pattern tracing supplies, muslin and projects actively in progress.  As you can see it isn't full and some things may still be reorganized but it is a nice addition.  I really like the larger bins at the bottom which will be for my current projects.  I can just grab one and have everything I need is waiting  for me.  When I am done for the day I can throw it all back in there and if Lani J needs to work she won't have to worry about moving any of my things out of the way.  Hopefully this will prevent having pieces of different fabrics and patterns scattered everywhere.

My scraps are in that box on the lower right.  I just dig through to find the size or material that I need and practice or test whatever.  The little basket to the left that is cut off is my basket of patterns.  All 52 of them!

Fabric, where is my fabric you ask.  Ta da.  What better use for china cabinet?  As you can see the top shelf still has some things that need to be cleaned out but for now this is where I store fabric, interfacing, some items that need alterations, books.  Hanging to the left are some projects that my daughters were working and have decided to come back to somewhere down the road.  The knobs are nifty for hanging measuring tapes too. 

Sewing Space

There you have it.  That is my sewing room.  It will probably be organized and reorganized again and again but for just starting out I am pretty happy. I have a few things to keep me organized so I can do more sewing and less looking for things and cleaning up.

Eventually I want to get another table for just my sewing machine and put some risers under the table to get it to a nice height for cutting.  I was wondeing if the furniture could be painted to give it a fresher look.  That is for somewhere down the road though.

So now I ask you, what is your favorite thing about your sewing space and what is the one thing you would change.  I am just curious to hear.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Project A Week

Following all of the bloggers who participated in Self Stitched September has got me extremely envious of their lovely self-stitched wardrobes.  My goal for the month of October is to present you with at least one self-stitched item a week and actually wear it.  This forces me to get moving on my sewing.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

Are there any techniques that you practice just to get better?  Each time you make something that is no doubt practice but what I mean is sitting down at the machine and trying to perfect a certain technique typically using a piece of scrap fabric.  When I first started sewing I drew lines and curves on fabric and sat there and practiced sewing straight and curved lines.  Beyond that though there was nothing outside of my projects that I have done.  Shame on me probably.

I was recently reading a sewing book and it showed another way to gather your fabric so I sat down and practiced it a couple times to see if it was a technique I would prefer to use.  I am still undecided but I can tell you that doing it was 100 times better than just reading it and moving on.

None of my patterns have called for a blind hem but I know I will come across having to do it soon enough.  I took out my machine owners manual and worked through doing a blind hem.  After doing it a few times I realized I was doing it backwards so I need to go back and practice the right way now.  At least I can say I have attempted it and not just read about it.

Sewing Practice- Gathering Sewing Practice - Blind Hem

In the future I would like to get practice some of the different seam finishing techniques, using bias tape (whichI really need practice at), and also making my own bias tape.

Do you "practice" your sewing outside of the projects you make?