more christmas knits

***CHRISTMAS PRESENT SPOILER ALERT!!!***

More Christmas knits to report.

First off, how adorable are these miniature sweaters?! They’re meant to be tree ornaments, but I thought (if made slightly bigger) they would make terrific gift card holders. So I made these and that’s what I intend to use them for. Might also make one for myself to hang from my rearview mirror. This pattern (and many more) are available free here at the Berocco site.

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A chunky cabled neckwarmer (no pattern used — pretty straightforward cable pattern done over 6 stitches with seed stitch on either side).

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And some fingerless mitts, one embellished with very simple embroidery and the other with an ultra easy fair isle pattern.

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warm things for winter

**CHRISTMAS PRESENT SPOILER ALERT! Friends and family, read on at your own risk!**

I was that high school slacker who pulled caffeine-fueled all-nighters banging out term papers begun just that evening but due the next morning…and my lousy grades reflected my habitual lack of planning. After much determination and effort to put that all behind me, I’m proud to say that I’ve learned to get (most) things completed way ahead of time—including taking care of my Christmas list before the holiday crunch. This year, pretty much everyone’s going to get a knitted/crocheted item—but of course I’ll try to throw in a sewn one here and there as well.

So, needless to say, every free minute I’ve had for the past couple weeks has been spent knitting gifts, as my goal is to have them all completed no later than December 15th. We’ll see how I fare!

So far, I’ve made this crocheted Peruvian style earflap hat using this pattern…

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…a basketweave stitch scarf (not pictured), and some neckwarmers…

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…using this very pretty lace scarf pattern, free here. I cut the scarf in half lengthwise (cast on 17 instead of 34 as the pattern calls for) as the lace pattern was repeated once on each row, and I used a thicker weight yarn — and I love the result!

Last but not least, get a load of this ultra kitschy 70s-style clutch, complete with pom-poms, that I made with some leftover yarn. knitted it up on a whim just this evening, but I’m not sure if it’ll get stuffed into any stockings this year. Think the kitsch factor might be too high on this one to consider it a serious gift!

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orange crush

Orange is definitely my color of choice for this winter. Actually, it’s been my color of choice for the past two winters…as well as the past few springs, summers, and falls. Alright, forget what I said, I just love orange in general. And to prove it, I present here two creations: a completed cardi-belt set and a UFO (unfinished object, for my non crafting readers) — the Best Friend Cardigan from Big City Knits I’d mentioned in the last post.

So, energized by my first knitted garment, I set to work on this little number that I based on my blue shrug. I basically extended the length (decreased a bit at the center back so it wouldn’t be too baggy), added about 5 inches of ribbing on the bottom edge and created a two-button seed stitch belt to give it some shaping. I’m thinking it might end up someone’s Christmas present.

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And now for the UFO. When I first laid eyes on this cardigan in Twinkle’s Big City Knits, it was love at first sight, so I delved right in without going online to check for any tips from other knitters who’d attempted the same project. Had I done so, I would have discovered that this item knits up tiny. And I mean TIIIIIINY.

So, all the knitting is done (I had plenty o’ of fun making those bobbles and cables!) and all that’s left to do is to attach the sleeves, sew on the buttons and weave in the ends…all of that tedious stuff that I HATE to do. And since it’s ended up too small for me to wear, I ran out of the motivation to complete it. *sigh* So for the moment, it’s shelved until I find a little girl to give it to. Either that, or a very thin friend.

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my first knitted garment!

Well not exactly my first, but my first wearable knit garment, that’s for certain. Hurrah! I’ve finally graduated from beginning knitter to advanced beginning knitter, but not without a whole lot of trial and error (with the scales tipped toward the error). But oh how happy I am to have finally knitted something that I can actually wear outside of the house! I made this Anthropologie Inspired Shrug, an adorable pattern (and a super fast project, btw!) that I found on Craftser.org.

Inspired by this success, I’m currently attempting to make the funky, chunky “Best Friend Cardigan” from Twinkle’s Big City Knits — a book that contains some of the most gorgeous knitting patterns I’ve ever seen. We’ll see if it doesn’t end up being ripped right back into a humble yarn ball like so many of my other failed attempts at making something too fabulous for my skill set. Gotta have hope, though!

to obi or not to obi

I apologize for the crummy blog title, but it’s past midnight and when it comes to wordsmithing, I’m definitely a morning person. So, I think it’s fair to assume that I will NEVER tire of the Burdastyle Anda dress + obi belt combo. First off, this dress is so easy to make, it’s almost laughable — and when paired with an obi belt (doesn’t have to be an obi, really, any type of waist cincher will do) it’s also incredibly chic and figure flattering. Also, simple dresses like this are perfect for showing off a bold print. That said, I’m totally unapologetic for the amount of Anda dresses I’ve made — and for the number I shall make in the future!

thrifty throw pillows

I love, love, LOVE a couch full of cushions, but I’m always put off by the cost — especially when I know that I can easily make them myself. I mean, I adore this gorgeous “Mantadia” pillow from Anthropologie…

…but no way no HOW am I going to pay $128 for it!

So, for a fraction of the cost, I made these two using some divine Amy Butler fabric and, for the backs (I didn’t make them two-sided in order to save moolah) used an old linen curtain panel from IKEA. I do love how they brighten up the livingroom!


yes, it’s been far too long…

…since I’ve posted or have even visited my favorite sewing blogs. Oh, the crafting withdrawals! So what’s been stealing my attention? Well, a few things really…

First, I’ve been writing/recording/rehearsing with my new band, then work got a bit distracting, and finally, a medical scare struck our otherwise serene household. It’s a long story involving a frantic 911 call and an ambulance ride to the ER. I won’t regale you with details (and my hubby probably wouldn’t want me discussing it here!) but please be assured that everyone is now safe and sound.

Anyway, there was something about this episode that made me want to take a break from my projects — to slow down, smell the proverbial flowers, count my many blessings and all that jazz. Of course this meant spending lots of quiet time with Dane, the kitties, myself and of course, a load of good books!

Some of my reads over the past couple months:

And I haven’t completely neglected my sewing machine! I did find the time to whip up a cheerful fabric bookmarker…

…as well as couple of fast and easy dresses, but I’ll save them for my next post!