Thursday, November 17, 2011

Are you hungry?

Looking for a holiday gift for little hands? This quick and easy tutorial that I found on One Inch World has Bee's stamp of approval.

I whipped up a batch of felt farfalle using just one sheet of cream colored felt during our drive to and from our fall family reunion. FIFTY-SIX little pastas later, we pulled into our driveway. When I poured the pile of butterflies into a wooden cooking pot, Bee was hooked. She played with these the entire evening.

Fill, pour, stir, spoon, and nibble (pretend nibbles, of course). While a bit tedious on the stitching end, it was well worth it to see how much pleasure it brought to my sweet Itty Bit. I'd highly recommend these for the toddlers and preschoolers on your holiday "shopping" list!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Head Start:)

I'm notorious for waiting until the last minute to make holiday outfits and gifts. Remember the fish outfit I whipped up for Bee the night before her birthday??? Crazy, I know!

Well, thanks to Becky over at Owly Baby, I'm getting a head start on Christmas!

Becky asked for volunteers to test a couple of her new patterns, and I jumped on board in a hurry! The City Jumper pattern is super cute and it was a great excuse to get started on holiday dresses for the girls. I'm not sure when it will be available to the public, but I'll try to keep you posted so you can snap it up:)

For my version, I started with a black and white palette. The little punch of red piping adds just the right amount of flare without the dress screaming CHRISTMAS! That way, hopefully, we will get a bit more wear out of it. I just can't stand to make (or buy) dresses that we wear one time!

With the piping, and the pockets, and the adorable red zipper on the back (that I, of course, forgot to take a pic of...) it is just the sweetest little dress. Don't you think Bee will be the cutest little bit around?

Now to decide on a pattern for Belle...anyone else looking for a dress pattern reviewer in the next couple of weeks??? Apparently, I need a little push:)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Warm and Snuggly Just In Time

It's a really good thing that I was in such a hurry to start knitting when my yummy alpaca arrived. The hubs and I had the chance to get away to Charlottesville for a long weekend. And with a winter storm warning and lows in the 30's my snuggly new cowl got a lot of use.

And as much as I detest having my picture taken, I did promise to share my finished product. So focus on the scarf, ok? I mean...not only is the yarn amazing, but those buttons! And the scenery isn't bad either:)

I, of course, don't have pics, but this cowl can be worn in several different ways. Buttoning just the top button, for example, turns it into a capelet. Leaving just the bottom button undone results in a cute little slit that looks great over the shoulder of a turtleneck. Or if it's 35 degrees outside, go ahead and button it all the way up and hunker down:)

Knitting Notes: In all honesty, I have no idea how many stitches, or rows, or what needles I used or anything like that (remember I reknit the thing 5 times!)...but here's the gist of it:) And I'll pretend that the "pattern" is intentionally vague so that you can apply it to any yarn you may choose to use!

After a lot of trial and error on the gauge, I settled on really large needles so the stitches were super loose. This seemed to show off the super-chunky yarn best. Then I cast on enough stitches so that the piece measured about 16 inches wide. From there I worked in garter stitch until it was long enough to wrap around my neck and overlap, as Belle says, "just a smidge" without having to be stretched. At that point I STRUGGLED with the buttonholes. I tried a few different methods and just couldn't seem to get the spacing right. I finally settled on a basic eyelet buttonhole and put in 4 buttonholes. To finish up I added another three rows of garter stitch plus the bind off to reinforce the buttonholes. Then I took the finished product to the local fabric shop to pick out buttons that would fit through the holes, but be pretty snug so they wouldn't slip out while I was wearing it. Ginorma-buttons fit the bill:)

Intentionally vague enough??? :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Purpose - Spreading Love

If you've visited my blog recently, you might recall that I have been searching for a higher purpose for my crafting/sewing/knitting/cooking/etc/etc/etc. Just a means of using the gifts I've been given to touch others. So, periodically you'll see some links, tutorials, challenges etc. that will hopefully inspire you to do the same.

And this one's a breeze!

I love to cook! Love it! And, no, that isn't sarcasm. I really and truly enjoy it...ok, maybe not with a needy two year old hanging on my leg and a VERY talkative four year old providing endless commentary, but anyway...

Cooking is one of my ways of spreading love. Whether just to my immediate little family of four, or to a neighbor in need. It's one of my favorites ways to give to others.

And my secret to easy, affordable, and delicious treats...BISQUICK! I've found several easy-peasy recipes using the baking mix in various creations. This yummy apple cake recipe takes very few ingredients, very little time, and no baking experience whatsoever. Go ahead, sniff the screen, you know you want to:)

Then, when you are finished drooling, click the link and go make one for someone you love...or better yet, make one WITH someone you love! Then let me know with whom you shared your apple cake...have a great week!