Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy Nearly New Year!

As you can see, this has not been a good year for me with the blog. I am surprised that December got away from me completely.

I have been doing a lot of knitting and sewing, while trying to keep up with other responsibilities.

Hopefully 2013 will be a better year for the blog. At least, that is my resolution aka goal - to blog at least twice a week on scheduled days for those of you that follow me. Maybe then I can keep up.

Wishing you a grand start to your new year.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone is having a fabulous Thanksgiving with family and friends. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Charm Scarves

In my research across the vast web waves, I discovered a really fun and practical thing to do with charm packs.

With the selection of charms shown here I created a scarf and an infinity version of a scarf using flannel as the backing.

These are warm enough for mild winter days and not so warm that they cannot be worn indoors as an accent piece.

I will be making more of these, hopefully with more pictures of finished ones in the future.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Italian - All Together Now

All the components of the Italian kitchen set are finished and ready for gifting. I think that mom is still working on some towels to go with this as well.

It was a very fun project to pull together and I hope it adds a splash of color to the new home in Italy.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Italian Kitchen Accessory - Coasters

The coasters I made are an easy construction and used leftovers from the napkins and apron. I made this set from the 4 1/2 inch square ruler.

I discovered that they make nice wine charms/coasters, however for future ones that can be used this way I will use the 5-inch square ruler to cut out the pieces. That gives it just a bit more wiggle room to get the wine glass base in the coaster.

More on this design idea in a future post.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Italian Kitchen Accessory - Napkins

For the Napkins I bought fat quarters in a fabric that went with the collection used for the apron and used the plain gray that was used in the placemats for the reverse side fabric.

These are just sewn together with right sides facing, leaving a three-inch gap in one edge and then clipping and turning it right side out. I pressed it and topstitched the edges to finish.

These turned out very cute.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Italian Kitchen Accessory - Placemats

From the leftovers from the apron, I created a pair of placemats. The important lesson I learned was to cut the backing fabric slightly larger than the finished top to ensure that when it is quilted that it still lines up to set the binding correctly.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Eye-Popping Italian Apron

The title is pronounced with a long I (eye) in Italian for effect, I think it says it all about this apron. I used the Four Corners Apron pattern my Vanilla House Designs. The working side uses all four fabric choices to make it really stand out.

The serving side is the black and white spirograph with the red polka pocket and trim.

I ended up buying some plain black broadcloth to do the ties because I could not decide which of the other fabrics worked. I think it looks even more sophisticated with that touch.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Designing for Italy

My mother brought me the fabrics pictured to the left. She wanted an apron to send to my sister's new home in Italy. All I could say was "Eye-Popping".

I chose the Four Corner Apron pattern from Vanilla House Designs. Then I went to work choosing what fabrics went together for the serving side and then for the work side of the apron.

Over the next few posts I will show how the Italian Kitchen accessory project was completed.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

In Anticipation of Thanksgiving

I found the best dessert recipe that I had to share with all of you. It is a pumpkin version of bread pudding. We tried it this past weekend for our monthly potluck we do in the community. It got rave reviews and it is easy to fix.

Here is the recipe:

3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 (15-ounce) can 100% pure pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/2 pound French or Italian bread , torn into large chunks

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the bread and whipped cream, whisk until smooth. Add bread and stir until all chunks are evenly moistened. Cover and let soak for 4 hours minimum or overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Coat a 9xs13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.

Spoon the mixture into the baking dish and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until set.

Let cool slightly, spoon into serving dishes and top with whipped cream and serve.

Note: this recipe comes from Donatella Cooks: Simple Food Made Glamorous.

Halloween Aftermath

In respect for those that had the scariest Halloween ever - my heartfelt thoughts go out to all those impacted by Superstorm Sandy.

I attended my first "trunk or treat" and here are some pictures to enjoy. Happy November! on to a new month...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

What is Pedro Doing?

He is doing a little of this

And a lot of this. 

I rebuilt his pride rock area and he now has a sunken bedroom that is about 5 feet off the ground and in the corner. He seems to really like it. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween in Cripple Creek

It was a beautiful day in the "Creek" today. We went to see the Halloween play called Haunting at the Old Homestead. As usual the players did a fabulous job. It will play through next week so if you get a chance to see it, it is worth the drive up there.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Baby Bibs and Burpees

I made a fast set of bibs and burp cloths for a baby shower at work one evening and delivered them to the party the next day. I did not remember to take pictures of those, but these are for a neighbor who is expecting her first baby and thought that she would not have any handmades because her family are not crafty.

Another neighbor crocheted a crib blanket with a train pattern in it and has gifted it. The girl was so excited.

These bibs and burp cloths will go with the hat and mitts. At least that will give her some handmades for her first little boy.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Am I Knitting, You Ask.

Yes, I am knitting. Over this month I have completed another cowl gift item and started the next one. No pictures here because folks are reading.

My fast knits have been a baby hat and hand mitts for a gift that will include bibs and burp cloths out of really cute duck print flannel. More on that project later this month.

The other knit is a convertible pattern that I designed. I will let you know when it is available at Ravelry. It is a great design for those who want one item to keep their neck warm when needed or as a hat when the weather gets wet and snowy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lunch Bag Reverses

In Walmart I found the cutest bandana with owls on it. I bought several because I knew I would find something fun to make with them.

Then I found the new Quilt-It Today magazine (premier issue is November/December 2012). In it is a pattern called It's Munch Time. It is an insulated lunch sack and is fully reversible. Armed with that pattern I went out looking for a fabric that would POP the owl fabric. I found that at High Country Quilts.

I spent the evening cutting out all the components for the project, then did the sewing over the next couple of mornings at 5 a.m. with my coffee.

It went to a lunch and learn in the same week, and I have carried it as a knit bag since then.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Another Apron Maker

Here is another apron maker, she is also one of my regular knitting students. We have lots of fun together.

In these pictures she is showing the apron she is making for her great-granddaughter. It is reversible and when she was asked to demonstrate the reversibility she shows us. It was too funny.

I have sent these pictures to the instructor and let her know the story too. As you may recall she is Gwen O'Leary who wrote the book, When Life Hands You Alzheimer's, Make Aprons. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Leaf Mug Rugs

So, all those fabric scraps that I have created with my sewing spree, I had to figure out what to do with them. I googled around and found lots of ideas of ways to use scraps. This one rose to the top as the most fun to try first. I am glad I did because I will be making more of these soon.

I tried it with and without binding and think I like the binding better. And it gave me the opportunity to learn about binding cut on the bias to give it the stretch to go around the curves. Very interesting lesson.

The pattern is called the Scrappy Leaf key fob found on Etsy,  and the idea came from the Pink Penguin blog where she expanded the template to create a larger leaf. I had to do the same thing with the pattern but I think it turned out so cute.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Another Apron - Froggy Goodness

This apron was done for a co-worker who loves frogs and it was her birthday.

The pattern is the Four Corners Apron by Vanilla House Designs. It was one of the ones that were samples to look at when I took the apron class in September. I love the fact that it is reversible, as stated: "it has a working side and a serving side."

I have several combinations to make some more of these aprons for gifts. They are so cute.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Giraffe Update

The giraffe has found its home with the crib quilt that was the inspiration for the knitting of the giraffe.

This is one lucky little girl to have a grandmother who is so talented. I was so happy to be part of the gift creation.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Apron

Yesterday I went to the apron class that I have been anticipating since May. It was great to see Gwen again. It was her book, When Life Hands You Alzheimer's, Make Aprons,  and the pattern that got me all excited about my sewing again.

For four hours she shared stories of her mother, father and growing up on a farm, while we all sewed and shopped for more fabric to create more aprons. We also learned some new tricks to make the sewing go faster, and how to create the really cute towel that hangs on the apron. The one I made is called Katie's Apron. There are two others in the pattern, one is for a child.

This one will hang in the shop for a while as a sample, then I will have it at home to use. It is a great project to practice your sewing skills.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Return from Breck

Just some random pictures to share of the return from Breckenridge. I had to come back after the last associate session so I can get ready for the apron class tomorrow. I have been looking forward to this class since May, cannot believe it is already here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Trek to Breck: New Hat to Knit

When I went up to Breckenridge for a work event, I took a new pattern for a really cute hat to knit in my off time. It is from the latest Knit Simple magazine. It is called the Tasseled Hat. (looks like I am the second person to be knitting this on Ravelry).

I found some Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool to knit it up and cast on this evening with a little help from MiniMoose. My first adjustment to the pattern was to do a provisional cast on because the pattern calls for picking up stitches to do the brim. Otherwise the rest of it reads well. It calls for a size 9 however I think I will have to use an 8 because I am not getting gauge and think this will be too loosely knit.

I love the color and hope it will have some leftover so I can knit stripes into the grey I got for handwarmers.

It is beautiful in Breck and I got to see some snowflakes and soak up some much needed cooler temperatures. I hope everyone is enjoying some Fall weather where they are~!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Shoulder Cozy 2: Just in Time

The second shoulder cozy is finished and just in time for my little trip to Breckenridge.

It is done in Berrocco Boboli  in a multi-jewel tones. I knit it longer than the first one and will be glad I did.

Not much to show because I did not take a picture yet, however as usual I had assistance and supervision. Hopefully this pic of Pedro is more entertaining than just another knit. :-)

Happy first Sunday of Fall~!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Oktoberfest: Rocky Mountain Style

Mom and I had a little adventure today when we met in Woodland Park and went to the 15th Annual Rocky Mountain Oktoberfest.

The weather was fabulous for the first day of Fall. There were two music venues and we chose the traditional German music indoors at the Ute Pass Cultural Center. There were dirndls, lederhosen and folks who knew the traditional dances, and we polkaed and Chicken Dance'd. It was great fun.

Of course, there was beer and brats. The one big difference this year was they had more service booths than arts and craft sellers. I think that was because of the summer we had this year with the fires. It was good to see the community out supporting their own.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Apron that Started it All

This is the apron that re-energized my sewing bug. Earlier this summer I met the woman who designed it and learned the story behind it. I was impressed and knew that I had to take this class.

This is the apron that makes money for the Alzheimer's Respite Care program. The pattern and the book, When Life Hands You Alzheimer's, Make Aprons by Gwen O'Leary, are sold to raise money for the program with all proceeds going to that end.

Gwen offfers the class to interested shops and, according to the website, has done that around the country.

She will be giving the class in Woodland Park on September 29th at Nuts and Bolts. I think there may be a couple slots left if anyone is interested. I will be showing off my work on this project as it happens. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Island Fiesta

Another sewing project is done and gifted.

These were a wedding gift to a co-worker whose biggest excitement about getting married was the honeymoom in Hawaii. I hope these remind her of the great time they had.

Now I am off to start a new knitting project and eyeball the fabrics I have for another sewing project. I hope everyone is finding ways to enjoy the cooler weather that is coming~!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Termination Dust - 9/14/12

The first indication that summer is ending and winter is in the wings - snow on Pikes Peak this morning.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Finished - The Giraffe is Done!

The giraffe I started in June is finally finished. Seems like to took a long time this summer to complete this project. I guess that attests to the kind of summer we had this year.

I will be taking this to work today to give to the new grandmother who is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her first grandchild (a girl, I understand).

This was knit from the Itty Bitty Toys book.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Salida Fiber Festival

The knitting gals and I went over to Salida today for the first annual Fiber Festival in Salida. It was at the River Park downtown and was a fabulous day. The highlight was Brooks Farm from Texas was there selling their fabulous yarn.

We had a great day of visiting, talking about knitting, actually knitting, and watching the tabloid that is Salida. Best picture of the day was the bride and her bridal party wading in the river for a photo shoot. The boots are awesome.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

In Sewing News

This is my first major sewing gift project.

I created 4 napkins and coasters to go with a slumped wine bottle cheese tray I got for my sister's wedding gift.

I used grape and leaves fabric as a primary fabric and added purple printed and a plaid to offset. The coasters were done with a block weave and a triangle weave technique.

It all goes in a basket and will be gifted to them next week. I had little notice of the upcoming nuptials so could not get this done in time for the Labor Day wedding ceremony. Oh well, better late than not at all.

I am making another set for a co-worker and they have a really great theme too.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Rios - Pile of Gifty Goodness

The holiday season is fast approaching, no, I will not torment you with the number of days in the countdown, but I know it is time to get knitting.

I opted this year to do neckwarmers aka cowls for gifts and I wanted the softest, bestest yarn I could use. Lo and behold, my mother tipped me off to a sale at Paradise Fibers for Malabrigo Rios. It is the worsted weight version in superwash.

So, I ordered a bunch of skeins after I made my gift list of who would use a neckwarmer of this caliber. I looked for a pattern that would be great for portable knitting and do justice to the fabulous colorways that I ordered. The pattern I tested and really like is called Malabrigo Neck Thingie. The pattern shows off the subtle color changes beautifully (even if the picture does not reflect this).

Each Thingie takes less than one skein and I plan to make a car version for myself out of all the leftovers, I think that will be really cool.

Note: picture above - all Rios in the colorways as follows:
Top row from left to right - Archanger, Purple Majesty, Ravelry Red, Candombe, Cumparsita.
Bottom row from left to right - Glazed Carrot, Purpursa, Zamazora and Teal Feathers.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

New Knits - Juliet Cowl

Another hat project from the Cascade 60 More Quick Knits book is the Juliet Cap, #53 in the book.

In this case, the cap became a cowl. I tried the pattern as written on US size 4, got to the decreases and realized that the hat was TOO big, frogged it and started on US size 3. When I got to the decreases again I realized that it was still TOO big, so I turned it into a cowl by finishing it with K5, P5 rib for about an inch.

I love the bobble edge and the lace pattern in it. Not sure what the problem is with the pattern but have found no errata at the Cascade site. I think it will make a lovely neckwarmer this winter.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Test Knit - Team Colors

Another hat pattern that I tried is The Big Easy and I knit it out of the new Red Heart Team Colors worsted. I used the purple/gold colorway. I understand that is Lakers, LSU and the Vikings, there may be more that I have not heard mentioned yet.

The pattern is great, the yarn not so much. This version of acrylic is back that crunchy feel, may be the over dyeing that they have to do to get the richer colors, not sure, but not fun to knit with for me. I will be using this pattern for some Malabrigo Rios that I just got and expect a much better finished project from it.

This hat was a fun knit and proved very portable when I took it to Employee Appreciation Day and had it nearly finished by afternoon. Happy Knitting to All~!