Category Archives: Project

All you need is love… and hippos


That’s what I wrote on the label for this quilt I just made… my first!

There is a new baby on the way for one of my Stitch n’ Beach girlfriends.

I started with a Jelly Roll of fabric from I think 2009 or 08 called “All you need is love”.  It was red, pink, and white, with some brown and a great green that just pops!


There are polka dots, stripes, hearts and lots of Love Love Love.  Very girly for the girl on the way. 


I was inspired by this pattern, which means, I read that pattern, and went and did my own thing.  I’m happy with the result.  (Do you love my giant red corkboard wall?  yeah, me too.  ahem.) 

It’s backed with the red hippos from IKEA. 


I don’t know what it is about this fabric that I love so much, but I do.  I have a pillow and duvet cover in the green hippos for La La’s crib and  I bought some more of the fabric because eventually she will outgrow her crib and I want to keep the fabric around. 

I quilted in straight lines, (uh, mostly) on the diagonal.  I started without a walking foot and then realized it would be better to get one and it made the rest of the lines much easier. 

I machine stitched the binding to the front, and hand stitched the back and even mitered the corners.  I got some advice from fellow SnB gal Carole who is an expert quilter, and I’m so glad I asked because what she showed me looked so much nicer than what I was trying to do at first. 

I started working on this quilt in February at the LA Modern Quilt Guild‘s Sewing Saturday.  They have a space where we can spend almost the whole day with great light, a great space and everyone brings their work, their machines, a few irons, ironing boards, cutting mats and rulers and everyone shared tools and advice and I had such a great time that I want to go back in March, but may have to wait for April. 

Just like my local SnB, there were women of all ages and skill levels, and even a few men.  I wish I could join the guild but will never be able to make it to a meeting, as they meet on Monday nights and getting around LA after work is not on my list of fun things to do.  I might join anyway, just to get in on these great Weekend Sews. 


I am so looking forward to meeting the recipient of this quilt.  She’s due in a month.

I didn’t get to stay at the baby shower Wednesday night because we’ve got the plague at casa adnohr right now.  Mom, Dad, and La La all have conjunctivitis, Mom also has an ear infection and laryngitis, and Dad has an ear infection and bronchitis.  We spent the day yesterday sanitizing the house because this needs to get out!!!  We are still coughing til we’re dizzy and are just miserable. 

I am really bummed because some of the women that don’t come on a regular basis always come for a special occasion, and I didn’t get to see them.  I just ran in, gave momma the gift and left.  I felt really bad, but didn’t want to make anyone else sick, this is no fun.  Especially momma who wouldn’t be able to take the good antibiotics to kill the bugs. 

But I’m really happy I was able to complete this in time for the shower.  I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to start on the next project.  It’s either going to be a quilt, some more doll clothes, or a really cute book for La La.  I’ll describe that later, once I iron out the details. 

ETA:  I forgot about Sew & Tell.  I wanted to link this up so I’ve added this line so you can see what others are sewing and sharing too!

Long overdue Christmas update (photo heavy)

I mentioned I’d update after Christmas with the presents I made for my daughter and her cousins. 

I’m finally getting around to it. 

Some shoes:  DSC_2266

Some bodies:  DSC_2267

Some clothes:  DSC_2268 

Some more:  DSC_2270 DSC_2271 DSC_2272 DSC_2273 DSC_2274 DSC_2275  DSC_2277 DSC_2278

All for these little guys and gals: 


 DSC_2302 DSC_2303 DSC_2304   DSC_2307 DSC_2308

Green eyes for La La:


DSC_2310 DSC_2311

Special violet eyes for Ms. A. 


Brother and sister pairs:




The boy cousins:


The girl cousins:


The pattern is from Wee Wonderfuls, called Kit, Chloe and Louise.

But the pattern is for three girl dolls, which was fine, but I also needed two boy dolls.  Yikes!  How do I do the boys hair? 

I struggled with it for a few hours, then came up with this idea: 


I made 2" wide strips of cardboard and wrapped the yarn the short way around.  Then I sewed up the middle and used that line of stitching to anchor the hair to the top of their heads.  Whew!  I think it looks pretty good for a hack.  DSC_2305

Then I needed some clothes for the boy dolls.  The shirts were ok, I just used one of the girl shirts in boyish fabric. 


And then I needed some pants.  And shorts.  I used up quite a bit of muslin making test pairs, and finally came up with a decent pants pattern, which I then shortened for shorts.  Pretty nice!

If I sound a bit proud of myself, I am.  I haven’t really sewn in 20 years, since home ec in middle school, really.  And while I was doing this project, which I started Nov 1 and finished on Dec 26th(!!!) I realized I really enjoy sewing and want to get back into it.

I bought a new sewing machine just before starting because I thought I needed an update from my old Kenmore.  I picked up an (relatively) inexpensive Brother from Costco.  Great price, great machine and it was perfect.  And I gifted the old machine to Ms. A’s mom, who was in need of a new machine since hers broke and she has a little girl in need of doll clothes!

I also bid on and was able to get a pattern to make clothes for my daughter’s Groovy Girls dolls, which is pretty cools because Ms. A has some of them too, and I can try that for birthdays and such until they outgrow them. 

The pattern for these dolls was well written, although there were a few mistakes that I fixed along the way.  And also, I wanted to make dresses for all the dolls but just couldn’t wrap my head around the instructions for the pintucks and ran out of time before Christmas.  So I ended up with two outfits for each doll instead of three for the girl dolls.   The girls got undersuits but the boys didn’t, since the girls were in dresses and the boys had shorts or pants. 

I would definitely recommend the pattern if you are looking for a really cute ragdoll.  My daughter plays with her quite a lot, which surprised me because she wasn’t really into dolls for a long time.  She calls the doll "baby". 

I used assorted fabrics that I don’t even know the names of, I just bought stuff online that looked cute.  The hair though, was great.  It’s a tonal ombre from Lamb’s Pride and it really gave a great hair effect, I thought. 

So there it is, the long overdue update.  Up next, the next sewing project. 

The new To Do list

Love this!  Just might be the project for my Amy Butler Love. 
Or this.  Or this
And I absolutely have to make a few of these so I have a place for my fabric.  I especially like this version, which is really simple and clean. 

I know, no yarn, right?  Well, I’m taking a break, but will surely knit again soon.  It’s just difficult to knit when a little someone is always grabbing the needles out of a project, or is pulling the needle off the cable leaving me with useless circular needle.  You know. 

As the days get longer, I’ll have some light in the crafty room/office and will enjoy sewing after La La goes down for the night. 

Now that things are working again, I’ve got a few sweaters to show you that I made in 2009.  All for La La of course.  And a little sewing project I did for Christmas. 

In reality, I may make a little doll quilt or two before I dive in on a human sized one.  Not the sewing I’m worried about, but the quilting, since I’ve never done it before. 

And can I just say bah! to the Zemanta thingy that is suggesting photos of cats just because I typed the word knitting!  Not all of us knitters have cats, or even like them, Zemanta!

Actual Crafty Content

I got the book Luxury One-Skein Wonders on Wednesday, and by Friday, I had a new hat for La La.  Crocheted, even. 
That tells you that the instructions were well written and correct, because I can’t crochet very well, and this hat came out really well. 

Hook: F


Universal Yarn’s dolce merino in Strawberry Ice and Whisper White.  There was no way I was going to touch Angora, so this nice merino/microfiber blend worked for me.

Pattern: Angora Baby Bunny Cap by Renee Barnes.  Strangely, on my copy of the book, the hat is on the cover, but on Amazon, it shows a different hat on the cover.

:  Love it!  I didn’t even block it, it was so cute I just had to put it on her and take some photos.  The pattern was easy, only  slip stiches, single, double and treble crochets were used throughout.   A beginner could do it easily, like I did.   


She seems to like it too.

I have an idea

I’ve been thinking of playing with the palette yarns from Knitpicks to come up with a little fair isle sweater for a baby. The heathers are really nice, although I don’t think the range is quite all there. I’ll have to mix in some of the solids, and maybe some of the other odd balls I have from J&S or Jamieson’s. I’m thinking something juvenile, like the fish and anchors motif from Alice Starmore, some trees, some mountains, and some wave peeries.

I am dying to start something new. I thought I was close to the end of my shawl and had screwed up because my count was off, but it turns out I just misunderstood now many pattern repeats I had already worked, so I now have about 36 more rows before I get to the neck edge, and have run out of prestrung beads. Ugh! I have to either break the yarn and string more beads, or string them onto the other end and slide them up to the other end.
Both ideas sound as bad as each other, but the sooner I do it, the sooner I can move on to something else. Not counting the Hello Kitty.

Blumengruss Translation

I’ve been working on the translation of Blumengruss from the book New Style of Heirloom Knitting for a while, and by using the sites mentioned in the last post, I think I’ve finally got it all.

So, I present, Blumengruss Translation.

You will, of course, need the book for yourself, because there are a number of charts that need to be referenced and I won’t reproduce them here.  That would violate the copyright of the original author, so please don’t ask.  

Yarn: Lace Weight. It translates phonetically as pappy pappyness which I can’t find reference to anywhere, but it seems like any laceweight will do. I list the color numbers below anyway.

: 24.5 sts and 60 rows over 10 cm.
(This seems a little off to me, but it’s what it says in the book)

Finished dimensions
: 156cm x 84cm


Color Number Color Name Amount needed
211 Rose 75g
237 Pink 10g
203 Ivory 15g
206 Light Grey 5g
219 Purple 13g
220 Wine Red 5g



Needle Number
mm Closest US
2 2.7mm 2.75mm
3 3.0mm 3.00mm
4 3.3mm 3.25mm


With #2 needle and Rose yarn, cast on 3 stitches.
Knit the first chart(Yellow area of diagram).

Use the e-wrap cast on for the increases at the end of the rows. 162 rows.

Place stitches on a holder or extra needle, break yarn.

With # 3 needle and Rose yarn, pick up 80 stitches on the first side of your knitting, pick up the three cast on stitches, and then 80 stitches along the other side, 163 stitches. (Pick up one stitch for every other row you
knitted in the first chart.)

Knit rows 1-53 of second chart (the large chart) with needle #3, according to the color sequence in the chart below. (Pink area of the diagram.)

Change to #4 needle and knit the next 91 rows (chart rows 54-144).

Leave stitches on the needle, break yarn.

Color sequence:  30 row repeat, start from the bottom and work up.

5 rows Rose
3 rows Purple
2 rows Wine Red
3 rows Purple
5 rows Rose
2 rows Pink
3 rows Ivory
2 rows Light Grey
3 rows Ivory
2 rows Pink
Setup of 6 rows
Work only once. 

With #3 needle, cast on 22 stitches in a waste yarn using a provisional cast on.

With Rose yarn, knit edging chart, joining to outside edge of the last chart (around the bottom of the vee).

Knit on 846 rows of the edging chart to 423 live stitches of the bottom of the vee.

Knit on 144 rows of the edging chart to 144 rows of the end of the vee.

Knit on 326 rows of the edging chart to 163 stitches left on the holder from the first chart.

Knit on 144 rows of the edging chart to 144 rows of the other end of the vee.

Remove the waste yarn and graft the last row of the edging to the first row of the edging.

Soak, block and enjoy!

Now, I haven’t knitted this yet, but it’s high on my list.  I may actually use a single variegated yarn instead of following the striping, or I may buy some KnitPicks laceweight and dye my own stripes, I haven’t decided yet. 

I’ve only seen one other version out there in blogland, and it was done in a handpaint and came out very nice.  Maybe you were thinking about it but were put off by the pattern.  Maybe this will help?

Let me know if you find any errors or info you may find valuable that I can add to the translation, then we can all have a good version of the pattern to work from. 

Some baby things


A former colleague just had a baby, Miss Cassidy, and she was clearly in need of a trendy, pink, kimono shrug.  Don’t you think it’s adorable? 

This is from the Mason-Dixon Knitting book, and is made on size 6.5 mm needles from Lily Sugar & Creme yarn. 

I think it came out quite nice!

After I finished it, I had and idea.   I had made those sock monkeys last year for my niece and nephew, and had some socks left, so I made a sock-horsey for Miss Cassidy too. 

Normally, you would put some button eyes or something, but this is for a newborn, so buttons are not a good idea.  So I embroidered some eyebrows.  This is a skill I need to work on.  I was just going for “not scary”.  I think I did ok. 

Today I was in Target, and picked up another pair of socks on clearance that will be perfect for a sock-zebra.  They are black and white with some pink stripes too.  I may make one up to have on hand for the next new addition to our planet.

Does anyone have any tips on sewing knit fabrics?  The only thing I could figure out to do on the machine is knit a few stitches, lift the foot and let the fabric snap back, then drop the foot back, all while keeping the needle in place.  That’s probably not the way you’re supposed to do it…

Oh, and some knitting

There’s a new baby in the world, and she needs a new sweater.
This is the little kimono sweater from the Mason Dixon Book.
And I started on some socks. There’s some weird pooling with the green. But otherwise, I love the colors, so vivid! And purple and green. This pattern is my own design, so I may rip it out and start over if I don’t like how it goes. There’s a lace pattern on the top, and just stripes on the bottom.
I still haven’t sewn in my zipper, but with the weather the way it’s been, there’s no need for a sweater.
I made a little trip last week:
It was amazing. I’ll have some more to say about it later, and more photos and even a video if I can figure out how to get it on here.

Off the needles…

… for now.
I finished up the final chapters of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on Thursday morning, and worked the final stitches of Eris on Saturday.
I finally figured out what the wool reminds me of. You know the old 3-D glasses with one red and one blue lens? And do you remember what the pictures or movies looked like if you looked at them without the glasses on? That’s what this yarn looks like. Mostly blue wool, with red threads of alpaca heathered in. I think it’s the alpaca that gets up my nose and makes my eyes water.
I put her in my front loader with a little Tide, on the “Ultra Handwash” setting, and hoped that it would take some of the itch out of the wool. I think it did!
I set to work repairing my wooly horse. I used dowels from that big orange place, and the wood was quite soft so many of the pegs broke in their holes. I found the same size dowel in a harder wood and made myself some pegs and a few to spare. Good thing too, because while loading up Eris I broke another one of the soft pegs!
Thirty minutes later and with a bit of wrestling, I set her up on my wooly horse to dry. I tied up the front band along the convenient turning ridge that will be hiding the zipper that I plan to insert this week. It took me a couple of tries to line everything up. In retrospect, the heavy cotton yarn I used for basting wasn’t such a good idea – cotton absorbs water and shrinks when wet!
And the waist shaping made the wooly horse not quite work perfectly for blocking, but I love the way the sleeves blocked. All the decreases looked so neat and in rows along the inside edge of the sleeve. Ah well, live and learn.
Here’s a closeup of the collar. There’s something bloopy going on around the collar, but I think i might be because the sweater is people-shaped, and the wooly horse isn’t really.
I said off the needles for now because… the sleeves are too long! I tried it on before completing the first sleeve and it seemed to be right on target, but that was before I sewed the underarm seams. I wonder if maybe the way the stockinette curls at the underarms made the sleeve seem a little shorter that it really was. I do know that it was too much to block out, because I could tell they were too long before I even blocked. But I wanted to see the finished product before making a decision.
I think I’ll rip out the cuffs, and back about 8 rows (I’ll measure to be sure!) and then reknit the cuffs. I thought about just unravelling some stitches just above where I started the cuffs and then grafting them back on after removing the extra length, but there will be 2-4 more stitches to ease into, which is 4-8 rows of cuff. I’ve got the pattern memorized now anyway, so I don’t mind reknitting it. It will give me another chance to graft the cuff ends together better, too. I think instead of casting on, I’ll use a provisional cast-on instead. That might look even smoother in the end.
Then I’ll get busy attaching the zipper. I may need some help from my stich-n-bitch sewing gals on Wednesday, since that is certainly not one of my skillz. Finally, I have to stitch down the hem all around. The knitting curls back on itself beautifully, but I’ll stitch it down and steam it all into shape.
So, stay tuned for a really finished post soon. I can’t wait to wear it to work and show it off. I found another semi-knitter on my current project. She is also a HP fan, a bit of an HP-nerd actually. Way more HP-nerdy than I am. I’m more nerdy about other things though, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer which she also is a fan of. Nothing like establishing safe topics of conversation when you are on a project with someone you may have to argue with about work stuff! Sure comes in handy.
Meanwhile, while I was waiting for Eris to dry, I started on a new interim project: Lavender Fields socks.
It’s green, not lavender, I know. But the yarn came from the Lavender Fields in Valley Center, CA where I visited recently. It’s a sports weight yarn, which I haven’t used for socks before, so this will be a swatch at first. I have no idea how many stitches around it will need to be in sports weight. I’m using 3.00mm needles, which seems a good gauge.
I took out my Barbara Walker 3 last night to see about a lace pattern to use, but didn’t really find anything I wanted to use. I always pull out #3 first, because it’s charted. I hate lace without charts, it’s sooooo hard to follow.
In the car this morning (my huz was driving, I swear) I worked out something that may or may not already exist. Once I finish swatching I’ll share the pattern I come up with. I tried the turkish cast on that Meg Swansen wrote about in Vogue Knitting last year (or was it the year before?) and I like the way the toe looks, so I think I’ll stick with that.

18 Chapters and 1 sleeve down…

… 400 pages and one more sleeve to go.
I finished the first sleeve last night, save the grafting of the cuff which I will work on tonight.
My copy of HP didn’t arrive as early as last year – it didn’t show up until almost 3 pm so I got started a little late, but spent Sunday knitting away and reading at the same time. This is the only way to make the miles of stockinette manageable. Stopping every 6 rows to do the decreases and refocus my eyes off the pages was a perfect balance of adventure and knitting.
Tonight I’ll graft that cuff, prop up my book and start again on sleeve two. At the rate I’m going, I might be done, really done including blocking and the zipper, by the weekend.
Last weekend I found some harder wood dowels to improve the pegs on my wooly board. The cheap ones I bought at the house of orange kept breaking on me because the wood was too soft. So I’ll have to spend an hour or two out in the garage to cut the dowel into pegs and then drill the broken pegs out of the hole so I can wash and block this sweater the right way.
I can’t wait!
I bought two different zippers, I’m not sure whether to go with the lightweight or the sporty zipper – I may just baste them both on and see which one l like better.
I bought some nice coordinating thread, the perfect color really, so I can’t wait to finish this Eris cardigan.
Pictures soon. Can’t stop reading to take photos!