Sunday, May 31, 2009

Simplicity 3835

I have been wanting to learn how to sew my own clothes for ages! I dabbled in sewing when I was younger and less experience with sewing in general and never had good results. My sizing was always off, I was impatient and I never was able to understand or follow the pattern directions.

Well, finally, after a few years of sewing experience under my belt and lots of time spent reading, using and understanding tutorials, I decided to give it another try.

This time I read the directions before I started, used the correct measurements and pattern size and took my time making the garment. My patience and persistence paid off and I have a few new shirts to add to my wardrobe. Granted, it's an easy pattern to follow, but I was still able to make it work successfully.

I stocked up on patterns at the $1 Simplicity sale last weekend and hope to try out a few other simple shirt patterns to make some more tops for summer.

Top #1: Simplicity 3835 - Built By Wendy
cotton fabric from Joann's (excuse the weird arm angle!)




Top #2:
linen blend fabric from a local high end fabric store (designer unknown, but it was next to the Echino fabric line)



Top #3:
cotton fabric from Joann's





Saturday, May 30, 2009

Jon's striped vest



I finished up this vest earlier this month and it's taken me this long to get a good photo of Jon wearing it! I guess it's hard to want to put on a wool vest when it's warm outside.





If you remember, when I first started it I was trying to teach myself to knit continentally. After reading all of your advice, I decided to switch back to what I was comfortable with (English style) and knit at my own pace. I'm much happier for it now!




Pattern: Basic Vest Pattern
Inspiration from this sweater at throughtheloops
Yarn: Cascade 220
Color 1: 2434 (leftover from my Central Park Hoodie)
Color 2: 8013
Size: 36"
Mods: I added an extra inch of underarm length and it fits with a little bit extra room under there now
Rav link: craftr's striped vest




I used the pattern from Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns for the general V-neck vest pattern. This is an extremely useful book and I will definitely be using it again to make some other custom garments.



Friday, May 29, 2009

Cucumber, fennel and roasted potato salad

Every few months, in an effort to jump back on the cooking bandwagon, I find myself picking up a new cookbook or magazine to jump start the process. This time, I picked up a fresh, summer grill-type magazine that had this delicious recipe:







Jon and I both loved the salad, but Jon didn't care for the greek yogurt on the side. I'll definitely be making this again and taking Jon's portion of the yogurt. It's a fresh, tasty, interesting mix of veggies.

Cucumber, fennel and roasted potato salad

Serves 6 to 8

1 1/2 lb. Fingerling potatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 lb. Haricots verts or slender green beans, trimmed
1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/2 TBS Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 medium stalks celery, trimmed and sliced 1/8 inch thick on a sharp diagonal
1 English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced 1/8 inch thick on the diagonal
1 medium bulb fennel, trimmed, halved lengthwise, cored, and sliced crosswise 1/8 inch thick
1 small red onion, halved and sliced crosswise 1/8 inch thick
1 tbs. Fresh lemon juice

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. On a small rimmed baking sheet, toss the potatoes with 1 TBS of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender when pierced with a skewer, 25 to 30 minutes. Let the potatoes cool to serve warm or at room temperature.

Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Cook the haricots verts until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and run under cold water until cool.

Combine the yogurt and parsley and season well with salt and pepper. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

To serve, halve or quarter any larger fingerlings but leave the tiny ones whole. Combine the potatoes, haricots verts, celery, cucumber, fennel and red onion in a large bowl and toss with the remaining 3 TBS oil and the lemon juice. Season well with salt and pepper, toss and add more juice or olive oil if needed.

Serve the salad with a large dollop of yogurt.



Thursday, May 28, 2009

granny square afghan

I finished up this granny afghan that I started last April just in time to give to my friend and her new little baby boy.






I'm pretty sure this is one of my oldest wips. I'm very happy to be able to cross it off the never-ending crafting to do list. And, this just goes to show that starting projects without a recipient in mind will almost always become useful in the long run!





The afghan is 38 inches square and is made with a combination of Red Heart Soft Yarn and Bernat Satin Solids. See all the details on ravelry here.



Wednesday, May 27, 2009

pincushion swap




I participated in a pincushion (+other goodies) swap on one of the Ravelry sewing boards a few weeks ago. For the swap, I made a pear pincushion from Heather Bailey’s pincushion pattern set for Stacey. I had a fun time playing with fabric combos and ended up using the woodgrain because my swap partner’s husband is a woodworker and has just started building their dream home.






I received this lovely package from Vicky. She put together a wonderfully themed package on spring gardening with lots of flower, spring and bee hive related goodies. Isn’t this flower pot and bee hive pincushion set adorable?





Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nine patch a day Quilt Along

I got off to a rough start with Amanda's One a Day Quilt Along, but after cutting out a bazillion squares, I was able to catch up and move a bit ahead last night.

Here are my completed blocks so far:









Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ribbed Vest



I ran into this pattern on ravelry last week and stopped by my local yarn store to pick up the yarn and pattern to make one for myself. I knit it up in four days with a little break in there to help Jon with his office floor.





The vest is actually knit flat and then folded in half and sewn up the sides to make the arm holes. It's reversible and the pattern is one size fits all with a nice thick, bulky yarn, so it was a fun and quick knit.






Pattern: Baby Alpaca Grande Vest N026
by Sarah Punderson

Yarn: Berroco Peruvia Quick (4 skeins)
Color: 9117 Charcoal Grey
Needles: 13
Rav link: craftr's ribbed vest





Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dashing mitts

Earlier this year, Carissa and I set up a crafting swap…my knitting for her needlepoint. We’re both tapped out on the hobbies and have an ever increasing selection of our own crafts displayed in our homes, so this was a great way to swap projects without having to invest in or learn a new craft.





I made up these Dashing hand warmers for her. Because this is a men’s pattern and the previous pair that I made for myself came out a little bit too big, I made a few adjustments to the pattern to size it down a bit.






Pattern: Dashing Mits (from Knitty.com)
Yarn: Berroco Pure Merino
Color: Pesto Genovese (perfect because Carissa is a foodie!)
Needles: Size 5 for a smaller gauge
Adjustments: Reduced thumb length to 6 rows and reduced thumb to knuckle length from 18 rows to 14 rows
Rav link: Dashing



Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Etsy finds

I've become a tad bit obsessed with etsy lately....here are my latest purchases:








...a repurposed coffee sack bag. This bag is so roomy and sturdy and I love how the hummingbird is positioned on the front.
Store: BeckyBean






...some Carnelian drop earrings from Carissa's new shop. She even included this super cute credit card wallet with a needlepoint design because I was her first customer. (I did not have much luck photographing my own ears, so here's the picture of the earrings in the bag)

Store: Pidoodle







...a messenger bag that's great for mini knitting projects. I first saw this store on Priscilla's blog for a giveaway and then I had to buy my own once I saw it.
Store: Bayanhippo









Monday, May 4, 2009

Weekend Project: New floor



After living with a carpeted office for two years, Jon finally ripped it out and we converted it to IKEA laminate flooring. This new floor is much better suited to life with two kitties with minds of their own!

The whole process was fairly painless. We managed to get the floor all laid out within two hours.

Then we had to make an emergency trip to Lowe's for some new quarter round molding because of gaps next to the wall.





Jon finished up the project yesterday afternoon and now we're waiting for the custom door to be built before we can call this room finished!