Thursday, August 11, 2011

secret crafty hobbies

I have a secret. I <3 yarn crafts. Crochet and knitting are my private craft enjoyment. My great-grandma taught me to crochet when I was about thirteen and rekindled my interest in college (lack of space in a dorm room for a sewing machine!) A coworker my senior year saw me crocheting and asked if I wanted to learn to knit. Of course! So now I do both, although I still haven't gone much past basic stitching in either.

I read some awesome advice somewhere in blogland (sorry I can't remember where) that said when you run your own craft business, you should always save one aspect of craftiness for yourself and don't try to sell that product that you make. So when I'm starting to feel burnt out, I create with yarn! Don't get me wrong, I'm not awesome. Far from it! But it's fun and I love it, plus I actually get to craft and hang out with my hubby at the same time!

Usually I pick up knitting in the fall when there's a chill in the air and I start to realize that if I want to make Christmas gifts, I better get started! Most people get stockinette scarves, they're easy to work on during craft fairs because you don't have to remember how many dc's or purls you've already done. Lately I've been gathering patterns and practicing for some gifts. This year it's cowls! They're great because they don't bulk you up like tucking a scarf into your jacket would, plus they're a lot quicker to make! I love to use super bulky yarn because it works up so quick. I started early this year for some reason. Here are a few completed projects from this summer.

The first one is knitted and is going to be part of a gift set for my BFF! The rest are crocheted using varying size needles to try to get slightly different sizes. The patterns are both from Lion Brand's website. I think the ivory and green ones might end up being gifted. The striped one is for me! I was actually able to use remnants from a scarf I made a loooong time ago for a swap on Can you tell I accidentally twisted my chain when joining the loop? I think it makes it look cuter! No?...I have enough yarn for another.

So the reason for this yarn-y post is actually not the projects I've been completing lately. Do you ever pass something everyday without truly seeing it? Turns out this adorable yarn shop, Cornerstone Yarns, has been located on my way home from work for over a year!

I had just been thinking how I wanted to immediately buy yarn for this little girl vest pattern I just downloaded from Ravelry, first seen here at One Flew Over.

Photo courtesy of Georgie Hallam

I can't wait to try to knit one up for my niece! I actually bought the pattern because it looked SO adorable in newborn size. No, nothing to share with you all yet! But I want to be prepared. I'm going backwards here and making the 6-year old size first as practice and gifting the vest to my niece. Maybe some progress photos soon? Luckily this yarn shop is less than three miles from my house and they offer free help, yay!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

finally, my work is complete!

Well, not everything. But I did finish a few WIP in the past few weeks. I've bought a TON of new fabric lately but I was waiting to post until I had a completed project to go with it. First, the fabric-y goodness!

A few weekends ago I visited a local fabric shop that I absolutely adore called The Polka Dot Pincushion. How could I not be drawn to a store with the phrase "polka dot" in the name?! The purpose for my visit was to increase my stash of red fabrics. I'm trying to be a little more well rounded with my use of fabric. Prior to this shopping trip, this was my stash of red and orange:

Most of those pieces are even just scrap size! I think I did well in choosing some great new red a few extras! The top two green fabrics on the stack on the right are actually hard to find fabrics I purchased at the very same shop about three years ago, and I always wished I had more. When I saw those half yard pieces I had to pick them up. Those have been tucked away, probably to remain in my stash for years to come because they are too precious to cut.

The reds are coming up soon on the list though. I was resistant at first, but I think I'm going to have to hop on the red/aqua bandwagon. I'm envisioning a paintbox style quilt...we will have to wait and see!

And now for the finished project! Remember when I posted about this quilt top back in May?

 It lingered all neatly folded up on the edge of my ironing board for months, basted and even partly - if horribly - quilted. Finally I ripped out the wonky lines, ordered a walking foot, and today I got some time to test it out! I loved it so much I finished the quilt today. Now it just needs to be washed and dried to get that awesome crinkly look (and get out any dust it may have picked up from the back of my sewing desk). This one is going in the shop!

I also made a present for the kittehs, a kitty tunnel from the book In Stitches by Amy Butler. The recipients don't seem to be fans so we don't have any actual photos of them enjoying it. Here is a placeholder!

Somebody totally loved this box. :)