Sunday, February 22, 2015

do. Good Stiches - February 2015

I've noticed over the last few months that I prefer making my do. Good Stitches blocks two months at a time. Inevitably this means I'm late for one month, but it also usually means I'm pretty early with the next, so I say it balances out. I completed these at the same time as the January blocks, and I have to say I'm glad they were so quick! The January blocks were fun to make, but there was a lot of slicing and quite a few seams, so to make them in conjunction with these super simple blocks was perfect. And I also shopped my scraps for most of these fabrics. Except for all the Dear Stella, which was part of the very first fat quarter bundle I ever purchased 3ish years ago.

Pam threw a little teaser into the instructions for this month that she's going to add something special when she puts all of the blocks together - can't wait to see what that is!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sushi pouch

For the past 2 years, I've been schelping my stuff (lunch, shoes, knitting) to and from work in my Ghostwing Tote. While I love this bag, it isn't quite professional, so I decided to upgrade.

After much searching without finding anything that met my needs or budget, I instead inherited an old Longchamp bag from my sister in law. I LOVE this bag - it's big, but not too big, sturdy, and definitely more work-appropriate than my handmade tote. The only downside is the interior pocket. Or rather, lack thereof. There's a small slip pocket, but it's oddly placed at the very top of the interior right along the zipper. And since it has no closures, everything I put in it winds up at the bottom of the bag by the end of the day. So, I made myself a pouch!

It's perfect for holding on my essentials (pens, post-its, chapstick, hand lotion, mints, a curious kitten's tiny head, etc.) and I can just leave it my work bag so no matter where I'm working that day, I'm sure to have everything I need. (I used Noodlehead's open wide zippered pouch tutorial, size M).

Over Thanksgiving, Mom surprised me with some novelty fabric which is fun, but often difficult to weave into quilts or other projects. It's ideal for pouches though! I offset these cute, cartoony sushi with some Essex yarn dyed linen in black, lined everything with SF-101 for stability, and tied it all together with a coordinating green zipper.

I have to admit, every time I take this pouch out during meetings or trainings, I clandestinely glance around hoping everyone is staring at it. So far none of my coworkers have commented, but I'm sure they're all wishing they had a fancy, unique sushi pouch too!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

do. Good Stitches - January 2015

Time for the next installment of do. Good Stitches blocks. Last month, Barb asked the group to make two blocks using Jessica Kelly's Simply Woven tutorial. We could use any fabrics/colors we wanted, with the one stipulation that the background be solid.

This was a great scrap-buster for me. At first I started looking through my stash, but that was a bit overwhelming (even with my limited stash), so I turned to my two scrap bags and was surprised and pleased to find that I had plenty of strips the correct lengths and widths. I did use my stash for the two background colors, but I still call it a scrapy win.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Computer Case

Many months ago we got a much needed new computer, and Mr. T asked if I would make a case for it. As much as it warmed my heart to hear him request a handmade item, I didn't have time to get around to for a few months. Finally, in October I had some time off work, so I made finishing this case a priority.

I used the same style I had used for his iPad case previously, but I changed the dimensions to fit the computer as well as the additional padding I added. All pieces are lined with fusible fleece, and I also added a layer of duck canvas to the two exterior pieces.  I quilted everything with a 2" cross hatch to make sure all the layers stayed in place and to add a bit of extra weight.

The exterior fabric is Yard Dyed Essex in black and the interior is something that I received in a swap during the DCMCQ Retreat a few years ago and that couldn't have fit Mr. T better.  When he saw the case, he even said I should have put the records on the outside!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Alpine Headband

Two weeks ago, one of my friends turned THIRTY! To celebrate, we went skiing (my first time ever, but that's a different story), so I made her this aptly named Alpine Headband.

It was just a happy coincidence that the pattern I liked was also named after her chosen birthday activity, but I take it as a good sign that she'll like this (naturally I only started working on it the night before the ski trip, so I didn't quite finish on time and haven't given it to her yet).

I used Tosh DK in Smokestack and Malabrigo Lace in Glazed Carrot that I had originally purchased to make an Argon Tee, but then didn't like a) how the lace and DK worked together for that tee and b) could tell just by the first few inches that the sizing was going to be way off.

The pattern was super easy to follow, but given my gauge I was afraid the finished headband would be too narrow, so I added another two rows (which equals 4 additional stitches) to the repeat to make it a bit wider, and then ended up doing 6 or so fewer repeats than recommended to reach the desired circumference.

I also used the new camera I just received as a belated Hanukkah gift to take photos. SO AMAZING! So far I've only used the automatic function, but I'm excited to take some time and learn how to operate it manually.

Monday, January 5, 2015


I first mentioned these socks on July 11, 2012 when I purchased the yarn.

Then I mentioned them again in January when they were almost complete, but I frogged them because the fit was awful.

Now, two years later, it is my pleasure to introduce my first pair of adult socks!!!

You can scour the archives of this blog and find many references to the ridiculous number of times I took out rows, or frogged these completely, but now they're done and I love them!

They're plain vanilla socks with a 2x2 rib cuff and the fish lips kiss heel. I was originally working the gusset heel from Wendy Johnson's Socks From the Toe Up, but there was no way it was ever going to fit. So after a lot of research, I gave the fish lips kiss heel a try and it's great! It was super easy to knit, and it fits really well. I think the feet of the socks are a tad too big, but I can easily fix that next time. I must have some oddly narrow feet and/or extremely tight knitting style because even the smallest sizes in all of the patterns I looked at were way too big based on my gauge (these were 56 stitches on size 0 needles... Or maybe size 1. I'll have to check).

Now I just need to get some sock blockers! If you have suggestions for cute ones, leave a comment.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

do. Good Stitches - December 2014

To finish out the year, Amy challenged us and asked for paper pieced blocks using a pattern she wrote for a double edged arrow.

She asked members to make two blocks with black arrows and white/gray/low volume background. She's going to contribute red arrows for a very cool and contrasted quilt.

To top arrow is solid black with a mix of solid white and dotted background, and the bottom arrow is a Kona Stone background with a Sketch arrow (it looks solid in the photo, but it's not).

And after a few months of being pretty behind with my bee blocks, I'm happy to have completed these on schedule!