Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Potter-Inspired Knitting Spree

What happens when you cross a librarian with a knitter?  Me!  I have been thoroughly enjoying Charmed Knits by Alison Hansel.  In reading the Harry Potter books, I naturally identified with Mrs. Weasley: she has 7 children and knits sweaters for them every Christmas.  I have only 6 children and tend to knit scarves and socks rather than sweaters, since North Carolina's climate does not require sweaters as often as the British Isles; still, I think Mrs. Weasley and I could be great friends. 

I have adopted the Harry Potter scarf as my favored carpool/waiting room knitting for this season.  Miles of stripes are simple and calming to the frazzed nerves and unfocused mind.  I am, however, branching out into sweaters as well.  One child has requested Mrs. Weasley's outrageous sweater with the multicolored crocheted ruffle sleeves--and Alison Hansel has generously included an interpretation in her excellent book.  If only my boys liked sweaters, I would love to try the handsome ribbed Quidditch sweater, too.

Check out this article with pattern links.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Bridal Sewing Questions?

Check out my new Bridal Sewing lens on Squidoo. If you leave a question in the "comments" I will try to answer within a day.

I'm having fun collecting great wedding gown patterns whenever JoAnn has 99 cent patterns! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Helpful Sewing Tips

Here are links to some articles that offer solutions to common sewing problems:

Help! I Don't Have Enough Fabric : creative strategies for those times you are just a few inches or feet short of the fabric you need for a pattern layout

Handy Substitutes for Expensive Sewing Notions : Use items from your kitchen or workshop in the sewing room

Professional Dressmaking Tips : It's all in the details.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Custom T-Shirts

For an easy summer project, go online and design a custom t-shirt using CustomInk.  I used them to design a shirt for a school's LEGO robotics team and was very pleased.  Give it a try for a family reunion, a day camp, Vacation Bible School, or just for fun.

Custom T-Shirts designed by you!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Three Top Cotton Yarns For Dishcloths

I took the time to try various brands of cotton yarn and have evaluated their suitability for dishcloths in this article: Three Top Cotton Yarns For Dishcloths.  Let me know if you agree with my assessments and please share if you have found other great yarns for dishcloth knitting or crocheting.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Easy Crochet Summer Top

This is just a simple project that starts with a bust measurement.  Combine half-double crochets with rows of (double crochet, chain one) to make an easy eyelet pattern. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Finished Children's Socks on Five Needles

I put those Susan Bates sock needles to good use!  Here is a pair of children's socks in Debra Norville's Serenity Sock Yarn.  I used the tiniest needles in the set for the toes and heels, larger for the feet, legs and ribbing.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Quick Knit Project for Babies

This "lovey" is an idea I got while working in the church nursery.  Many of the babies have tiny blankies with a teddy bear or other animal in the corner.  I created this to be made with one skein of Velvetspun, Baby Blanket, or other bulky and super-soft yarn.  Simply knit a garter stitch square (in garter stitch, the item is square when the number of garter ridges equals the number of stitches cast on.  I used a bloom loom to make a flower for the corner instead of a critter.  This is a quick baby shower gift.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cheap Thrills: Susan Bates Sock Set

While browsing at JoAnn with a 40% off coupon, I happened to see something I'd not noticed before:  a package containing sets of 5 sock needles in 4 small sizes, perfect for sock knitting.  I had been needing some smaller needles, since I knit at a relaxed gauge and have trouble getting my stitches small enough for socks.  With my coupon I spent less than $7 for 4 sets of needles in sizes I needed.  I really appreciate that the needles come in sets of 5 instead of the 4 as with most of my other Susan Bates double points.  The needles are color coded 000 (red); 00 (turquoise); 0 (light yellow); and 1 (green) for convenience. I can finally try some sock patterns with all the proper needles sizes to fine tune my gauge, at less than the cost of one set of European needles.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Purple Dress: Epic Fail!

The purple dress is finished and looks great on the hanger.  Unfortunately, I gained weight after I took the measurements and sewed the dress.  I was foolishly confident enough that I did not try on the dress as I sewed AND I did not count on the ease required to get the dress pulled over my head (it has a side placket instead of the usual roomy zipper-up-the-back opening.)  I am glad I used inexpensive fabric.  I almost wish the dress were ugly so that I wouldn't want to wear it, but it is lovely--as it hangs uselessly in the closet, taunting me!

Lesson learned:  No matter how many decades you've been sewing, don't get cocky and think you can skip important steps like trying on a dress in progress.  Now to look for some more purple fabric on sale and cut out the next size up!

BONUS: Links to pattern (most of them free) for making gloves.