Archive for the 'handmade' Category

More Sewing: Pants for my Boy

I’ll admit, I finished sewing these pants weeks ago.  I took pictures of them meaning to make a blog post about them, but didn’t get around to it right away.  So, even though these are old news, they’re too cute not to share.

These are the “pluto pants” from the winter 2008 issue of Ottobre magazine.  I used olive ripstop fabric from Jo-Ann’s and did contrasting topstitching in light blue thread. 

This pattern went together so well, I’ll definitely make it again.  All the little details – knee pleats, panel seams, cargo pockets – make these pants special.  E-boy much prefers pull-on pants, and I love the sporty look these have.  They are plenty baggy to wear over long johns if the weather is chilly, too.

Knitting in the New Year

Winter makes me feel like knitting.  Hats, scarves and mittens make sense in December.  Practically, I should start knitting for the coming winter when it’s August, but in August I feel like sewing shorts and swimsuits.  Luckily, I can knit these small projects rather quickly, so they can be in use soon after they’re begun.

I’m not a great knitter.  I enjoy it, and have learned a lot since I first picked up yarn and needles about a year ago.  I’ve found that when I don’t understand some direction in my pattern I can find what it means by a quick internet search.  Looking for a bit of a challenge, I decided to give fair isle knitting a try.  I started with this pattern, found on Ravelry.  I changed the fair isle pattern a tiny bit on the earflaps.  I wish I hadn’t positioned the earflaps according to the pattern directions, though.  As I was doing it, my gut instinct was to move them, but I resisted.  They don’t quite cover the ears as well as they should how the pattern is written.  Well, there’s always a next time.

And here’s the current work-in-progress, a cable-knit hat.  It is fun to see the pattern emerge as I add rows, one or two at a time as I pick it up.


Here’s the trio of pajamas that I just finished sewing up for E-boy.  When asked which was his favorite pair, he chose the doggies.  Hopefully, when I put these into his closet, I can also remove the much-loved and now-too-small Christmas Tree pajamas from last year without any complaints.

I also made some nightgowns for my girlies.  This is the pattern from the latest Ottobre.   The girls have decided that they like long nightgowns, they’d never had any before these ones.  I still need to put some labels in to tell whose is whose, but all in good time…

A Sock and a Half

I think this yarn thing is addictive.  I started off trying crochet because I found a cool slipper pattern.  Now, I’m learning to knit:  dishcloths, hats, mittens…socks!?!?  Yes, I’m knitting socks.  I just can’t help myself.  They’re not done, and they’re certainly not perfect, but here’s the progress so far:

The socks are taking way longer than any of the other projects I’ve done.  Because of the thin yarn combined with the tiny needles, it takes many stitches to make any progress at all.  Luckily I spend two hours a week waiting while the girls have gymnastics class, so I should be able to finish them before summer is here. 

The kids think it’s funny to watch me knit, Hubby says I look like a grandma.  Gee, thanks!  The other day, E-boy found a ball of yarn and some knitting needles and gave it a go himself:

Snow Days and Sick Days.

The winter storms are here, and with them come quiet days at home.  Actually, this week hasn’t been as quiet as it should be due to having sick kids at home.  On Wednesday, A. stayed home from school with a fever, Thursday was E.’s turn.  To keep the sickies busy, I helped them create these shrinky-dink ornaments for our tree (on the left are mine, already shrunk; on the right are E-boy’s, ready to go in the oven).

I spent some time crocheting a hat and some fingerless mitts out of the leftover yarn from making my slippers.  Can you tell which project came last?  I think the not-quite-matching look makes them charming…

E. spent some time practicing new hairstyles in front of the mirror.  Hubby insisted I take a picture of this one.  She said, “I have a garden on my head!”  She’s going to be trouble when she gets a little bigger… who am I kidding, she’s already trouble.

And finally, we did a little baking.  These gingerbread bears turned out pretty yummy!  However, I do recommend removing them from the tray immediately after baking, as the recipe directs.  I was busy bundling up a two-year-old in snow clothes, and didn’t get to one of the batches right away, which resulted in a lot of broken cookies.  The kids helped me dispose of them, so I can’t say it was such a bad thing.

Here’s hoping you’re staying warm and cozy and happily busy during these cold winter weeks!

Toasty Toes

Look!  I finished corcheting my slippers.  It was quite a challenge, especially for a beginner.  At several points, I sat in front of my computer using a google search to find out what the stitch should look like.  I love the colors of these; I used dark brown for the bottom sole, an oatmeal shade for the inner sole and blue for the uppers.  Having two soles makes these super cushy.  The only issue is I didn’t realize how “slipper”-y these would be on our wood floors.  Seeing as the wool socks I have are pretty slick, you would have thought I would make the connection that wool slippers wouldn’t be much different.  But despite that, I’m loving having my feet toasty warm in the slippers I made.

Yes, It Is Another New Purse.

This morning I took this design I had sketched:

And turned it into this purse:

Of course, I adore the shape of this bag, but I want to know what you think of it.  I’d love it if you’d leave a comment to let me know what you like and what you’d change about this design.  It’s highly likely that this will be the next pattern I’ll make available for sale, so now is your chance to make your voice heard.  Many thanks!

Festive Paper Crafts

The kids and I spent some time this morning decorating the house for Christmas.  Okay, I’ll admit that I did the decorating and the kids watched.   

The first project was these colorful paper chains to adorn the dining room windows.  These are made from the covers of magazines and catalogs that were bound for the recycle bin.  I chose the brightly colored pages, cut them into strips and linked them into chains.  I love how the colors from the opposite sides of the pages peek out!  And even though you can get a glimpse of what they used to be (see the blue New York Life ad?) the look now is just bright and cheery!  I’m debating adding a few more chains to each window, or maybe some more in the living room, but we’ll have to see what kinds of catalogs come in the mail this week.  If you have to know, it was a Nordstrom catalog that came addressed to the lady who used to live in this house 4 years ago that started it, it had the greatest red cover with hot pink writing on it I just had to find a way to use it.

Second, I made some paper snowflakes to hang in the family room window.  I also made a big mess of little bits of paper all over the floor.  We haven’t had any snow so far this year, so I guess I felt the need to make some on my own. 

Crochet Hat

Hooray!  I finished my first crochet project!

Actually that may be a little misleading.  I’m not counting anything I started as “practice” or the things that I started and then proceeded to pull out because I made a mistake.  I did try working the slipper pattern I purchased, but I kept getting lost with all the counting.  My friend Wendy encouraged me to just try to eyeball something and helped me get this hat started.  Whaddaya know?  I found eyeballing it much easier than trying to follow a pattern.  So thanks to Wendy, I now have a finished hat.  And by some miracle, it fits my head!

I’ve decided I like to do crochet (even though Hubby declared I look like a grandma when I’m doing it).  It’s quiet and portable.  I can do it while watching TV, riding in the car or waiting for the kids’ gymnastics class to finish.  Next up, a hat for each of the kids…maybe then I’ll tackle that slipper pattern again.

You’re never too old to learn something new.

I’ve been eyeing this slipper patternon Etsy, and decided to finally order it.  It says the level is “easy”, never mind that I have no experience doing crochet.  I got the pattern in my e-mail and realized it may not be the best first project.  But I am undaunted.  Here’s some of my practice, but I’m not showing you all the curly thread I made from the stitches I pulled out because they just wouldn’t look like they were supposed to look.  Maybe in about five years I’ll be proficient enough to tackle the slipper pattern.  I hope.

Flickr Photos