Monday, September 26, 2011

A to Z: About Me

Sometimes my craft blog is not very personal. Yeah, you know I like polka dots and baby hats. You know I'm a procrastinator. You even know what my niece looks like. But do you know what I gorge on while watching episodes of The Simpsons and Monk?

Following in the footsteps of my friend and fellow blogger at Elephant is Love, I decided to fill out an A-Z survey. Maybe you'll learn something you didn't know! And if you do A-Z on your blog, link to it in the comments so I can learn something about you, too.

A. Age: 29. Still deciding how I'm going to persuade friends to cancel holiday party plans so they'll join me for a 30th birthday celebration in December.

B. Birthplace: Kentucky

C. Chore you hate: Laundry. This would not be so bad if I didn't have to lug all my laundry up and down several flights of stairs and carry it two blocks away.

D. Dogs: I don't have a dog, but someday -- when I have a yard and a larger space -- I would like to. He'll probably be a Wheaten Terrier. Or maybe a Scottish Terrier. Or maybe he'll just be a nice little dog I pick up at a rescue. Who knows!

E. Essential start to your day: Face washing. I can't even look out the window without first washing my face.

F. Favorite Color: Purple or blue. I could just combine them and go with indigo.

G. Gorges on: Peanut butter. Anything peanut butter.

H. Hoards: Craft supplies, duh!

I. Instruments you play: Piano and (barely) fiddle

J. Job Title: Web Producer

K. Kicks: Pretty much flats every day, except in winter when I wear boots that I end up loathing by January.

L. Last read: Life by Keith Richards

M. Music all-time fave: the Beatles

N. Nicknames: Red (unacceptable if you're a man over the age of 12, unless you're my relative)

O. Office decor: We're discouraged from having a lot of personal items at our desk, but I have photos of my niece and nephew, a magazine cut-out photo of the Muppets, and random papers that were relevant months ago but aren't really now. I should probably take those down.

P. Phobias: Mice. I realize NYC is not the ideal place for me. Mice are #1 on my list of reasons to move. This is only one thing on a list of hundreds of things that I'm scared of. Clowns? Heights? Mascots? Yes, yes, and yes.

Q. Quote of the day: "I went all Kentucky on you and didn't give an area code with the phone number." -- said to my coworker today.

R. Random fact: I'm the only redhead in my family. Yeah, figure that one out. But don't tell me when you do. I prefer to live in the dark.

S. Siblings: One younger brother

T. Things that tick me off: Laziness and people who complain a lot. Just shut up and get on with it!

U. Underwear: Usually cotton, and it's gotta be comfy. Nothing digging around down there.

V. Vegetables you hate: Peas

W. Word of the day: perspicacious. It's fun to try and say it. Go ahead. Try.

X. Xylophone concerts given: 3, all under the age of 5.

Y. Yummy food that you make: I've been told my biscuits and gravy are not too shabby, but I must credit my mom for that. I also make a really nice creamy peanut butter pie. Mmmm. Pie.

Z. Zoo animals: Most animals scare me. I like the penguins because they're behind glass and pretty fun to watch. I doubt they'd eat me if given the chance. Monkeys on the other hand? They'd totally eat me.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Favorite Patterns: Shawls and Wraps

I usually transition into winter with an ambivalent attitude, but I had a great summer full of beaches, babies, smiles, road trips, bikes -- sigh. While there are major positive life changes coming in the near future, it's harder to say good-bye to summer this year.

To ease my pain, I bring you some of my favorite shawl and wrap patterns from the web! I doubt I'll get around to making all of them, but it sure is nice to dream.

Are you working on wraps or shawls for fall?

Herringbone Knit Cowl
This one makes me want to drink a gallon of hot chocolate and then pass out on the couch. Not that I need a cowl to do that.

Versatile Shawl
There are many different ways to wear this pattern, and they all look awesome.

Bamboo Wedding Shawl
This would be so pretty in a jewel-tone green. Love the drape.

Sidewalk Shawl
I'd probably skip the fringe. The pattern looks like it would work up quickly. That's a bonus when your to-do list is as long as Santa's.

Bohemian Shawl
Love the open work on this one. I bet you could also bunch it up and wear as a scarf.

Coin Lace Stole
I have worked with this cuddly yarn before, and I'd gladly do it again -- especially in this color.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Flashback: Seed Beads in the 90s

As a kid I had my hands in a lot of crafts, but the one craft I remember most is beading.

Last time I visited my family, I dug through my old craft stash and found a lot of seed bead jewelry still hanging around.

I was obviously obsessed with the daisy.

I had that last daisy necklace hanging from my Beetle's rear view mirror in high school, if I'm not mistaken.

But I also knew how to rock those bugle beads.

I remember how my head was full of creativity and ideas back then. Funny how, as adults, those things do not come so easily. I wonder if it's because our minds are clouded with worries that push out things like seed beads. I'm too busy avoiding the homeless man peeing on the mailbox outside my apartment to think about bead designs.

Normally I look back at things from the early 90s and cringe, but these make me feel happy. In fact, I'd still wear these today. What were your favorite childhood crafts?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Watermelon Knit Baby Hat

I continue to torture my niece with hats -- hats that my brother probably doesn't even let her wear when I'm not around.

What I used to make this project:
Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe in Lipstick and Sprout
Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Black

I knit a basic baby hat, then single crocheted a ruffle onto the edge. For the "seeds," I used bulky black yarn and a tapestry needle to embroider small v-shapes onto the hat.

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She liked it for a while...

When she was sleepy, she jerked it from her head. Ah, well.

This hat was inspired by a hat I saw on

What I liked about this project:
It's one of the few times I've successfully completed a great-looking copycat pattern!

What I didn't like about this project:
I fear it looks a little like a strawberry instead of a watermelon. Thankfully, babies can pull off anything.

What I listened to while I made this project:
Jenny and Johnny's I'm Having Fun Now album

Thursday, September 1, 2011

More Knitted Baby Janes

I told you I couldn't resist these knitted Baby Jane shoes from Red Heart!

I learned a few lessons from making them for my niece a few months ago. That made the next two pairs super easy to knit.

I knitted one pair for a co-worker's baby and the other for my cousin's baby Sadie. I haven't actually met Sadie in person, but in photos she has pretty long feet so I hope these will fit her!

What I used to make this project:
Red Heart Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe in Lipstick
Two white buttons from M&J Trim
Baby Jane Stitch Nation pattern

What I liked about this project:
You can change the entire look of the shoes by changing the yarn color and button.

What I didn't like about this project:
The strap comes loose on kicking baby feet. I sewed my buttonhole closed just a bit to make sure the button stays in place.

What I listened to while I made this project:
ELO (I love you, Jeff Lynne!)