Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bengals Capelet

Went to the Bengals game last weekend (enjoyed watching them crush the Bears!) I don't have a lot of Bengals-wear and of course, one cannot attend an NFL event without being decked head to toe in spiritwear. I decided a nice little jacket would be fun. I almost bought the actual Bengals polar fleece but decided it would be too gaudy. Instead, I chose a lovely tiger print because I thought it would be much more sophisticated... cough... cough...

Anyhoo, I made this capelet from McCalls 5985. Or maybe I should say the pattern was simply the starting point. I kept losing my train of thought when I was sewing and so the end result is a little different from the design. For instance, I serged the front opening closed and then realized that was where the zipper was supposed to go. Then I forgot that I was using the hood. Finally, I decided to leave the elastic off the bottom because I wanted it to hang free rather than be gathered at the waist.

All in all, it turned out to be just fine to wear to the game. I actually received lots of positive comments from people at the stadium (I think they were sincere and not actually laughing at me!) in spite of my daughter's comment, "You are NOT wearing that to the game. No Mother, I..... AM..... SERIOUS!" If you can't embarass your kids occasionally, you're not a complete parent!

The guy liked it!

I already showed off the lovely pumpkin hat I made just in case it got nippy. You really have to see them together for the full effect. My daughter got lucky the temperature did not dip below 55 degrees.

"I never win ANYTHING!"

Isn't that so annoying when you hear people say that? I mean... who DOES win?

Oh wait.... ME ME ME!!! That's who!!!! LOL. I arrived home today to find not one but TWO packages sitting on the counter. One from New Hampshire and one from Loopy Ewe. My first thought was I don't know anyone in NH and my second thought was, "Did I order yarn from Sheri and forget about it?"

But it turns out, each package contained a prize I won!!! And Holy Toledo, Batman, these are two fantastic prizes!

On the right is a gorgeous postcard created by Summerset Banks. Most of my blog readers know Summerset but if not, she is a fantastic designer / artist / sewer who makes these beautiful embellished garments that are truly artwork. Each one takes her hundreds of hours and she has won many awards for her creations. Every time she completes an ensemble, she makes a few postcards with a sample of the embellishments and sends them off to random winners who enter her contest. I loved the theme of her most recent ensemble which she entitled Garden Path. I plan to frame the postcard I won and display it in my sewing room which just happens to have yellow walls almost the exact same shade as the postcard. I wish you could see the details she put into the flowers on this postcard. It gives me a whole new level of admiration for her designs!

On to surprise package number 2, which contained a lovely skein of handpainted yarn from an indie dyer called Tempted. This yarn is called Luxe Grrl and is a merino/cashmere/nylon blend. This skein is a lovely swirl of bright jewel tones. I am not sure what I will make from it but I can't wait to try it out. Thank you so much, Sheri for hosting your contest. Oh.... "What was the contest?", you ask? I had to name my favorite flavor cupcake!!! If that's not a contest made for me... Hooray! Sheri described the prize would be full of color - she wasn't kidding!!

What a great ending to an already great day!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bengals Hat

I'm going to the Bengals game tomorrow (Beat Da Bears!) so I decided I needed a Bengals-themed hat. That was before I realized the forecast for tomorrow is sunny and 60 degrees but I digress....

Anyhoo, I love cables and found a cute and quick design from Picnic Knits. The pattern is called Snappy Hat because it goes together so quick. It calls for a chunky yarn but I found the perfect shade of orange ("pumpkin") in the Lion Brand Woolease Thick and Quick which is even bulkier than a chunky. I simply made the child size hat using size 10 needles and it worked fine. If I did it over, I would probably make the hat a half inch shorter. Full review and details on my Ravelry account.

Now, I must wrapped up my bengal tiger print capelet to wear!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Halloween Cuteness

Those of you who follow Stacy's blog know how darn creative she is but my favorite of all her creations is this "Candy Cauldron". She submitted the idea to Sew News and they published it in their October / November issue! I fell in love with it and couldn't wait to make one myself. The design itself is very clever. It was quite easy to pull together and probably took 2 hours total. Originally, I had planned to make one for a 2-year old to use as his Halloween bucket but it turned out bigger than I anticipated and he's just a wee little peanut. So instead, I will be gifting it to my oldest daughter tomorrow. She LOVES decorating for Halloween and I know she will love it. I hope to find time to make another one this weekend to mail off to my other daughter at college. I'm sure she and her dormmates would love receiving a basketful of candy!

Isn't that blue skeleton fabric adorable? Someone gifted it to me years ago - at least 15 years, i bet!

I think this design would also make a cute Easter basket or even a centerpiece for a baby or wedding shower. Thanks so much, Stacy!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vogue 8305 - part 1

I've mentioned before that I'm a big believer in the 10/20/30 minute sewing philosophy - i.e. even if you only have ten minutes in a day to sew, take advantage of it. Those small increments add up. Between work, travel and family, I don't usually find large blocks of time to commit to sewing so this works well for me. I love mornings so I like getting up 30-60 minutes earlier in the morning and spending some time in my sewing room before I head to work. The following was sewed over the course of a few weeks by sewing in small increments. (I sewed other stuff in between; I have ADD when it comes to sewing and knitting for that matter and always have multiple projects going to suit my mood.)

A few weeks (months?) ago, someone started an informal "Cozy / Cardi" wrap sew along at PR. I already had this pattern in my inventory so I decided to try one. I used a lightweight poly knit from my stash. I finished it over the weekend. I did shorten it by a few inches as I am a bit vertically challenged and I was afraid I would trip! Ok, slight exaggeration - it didn't really touch the floor - but I didn't need it quite so long. I used Vogue 8305 and highly recommend the pattern. It is very fitted and quite flattering.

I also made the top out of the same fabric but decided I didn't like wearing them together. I'll show the top in another post (after I've made a skirt to go with it.)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Special Day / Special Friend

A year or so ago, a Pay It Forward exchange was making its rounds in the blogosphere. The idea was that you signed up on someone's blog and they would send you a little something in the next year. In return, you agree to "Pay It Forward" by making something for several other people. I "signed up" at my friend Gaylen's blog partly because she makes some really cool stuff and I hoped to be a recipient. LOL.

Fast forward to yesterday. I left my house at 7:15 am and didn't get back home until almost 10 pm after a day of work, errands, dinner with friends. I was exhausted and walked in the door intending to go straight to bed but what do I see... A package from G Marie! I ripped that baby open and out pops the fantastic Colonnade pictured here. Yes, that's right. The Colonnade that I have coveted since the pattern came out and have in my queue at Ravelry. I was not thrilled about the two-tone look and had decided if I ever got around to making it, I would stick with one color. So now I am the thrilled owner of a gorgeous corally pink Colonnade!

I wore it to work today and was immediately greeted with oohs and ahs! Perfect timing, too as the weather has turned nippy here in Cincinnati and just right for an accessory like this one.

G as you already know, I adore it and can't thank you enough for my special gift.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Finished Projects

My friend Robin and her husband Joe recently had their first baby. I finally got to meet her last night and she is a doll baby! I made her a little blanket and some booties to celebrate her arrival. Details on Ravelry for the blanket and "Merry Janes" booties.