A Knitted Wonderland

Along with a couple hundred other volunteers, I am knitting orange, pink, turquoise, and olive yarn to cover 99 trees in the Blanton Art Museum plaza. The project is coordinated by Magda Sayeg, renowned yarn-bomber/textile artist. The exhibit will open in March for Expolore UT, where tons of little kids get to play on campus and learn all about the University of Texas (my alma mater). It’s going to be so neat to see it all put together! It will really be a knitted wonderland of such happy colors 😀

It grows...All four colorsAnd gets coffeeknit knit knit

Every tree has to be striped with the required colors (although not necessarily all four), and we chose to divide ours up and stripe them however we wish. My stripes are all varying sizes with no color order. I love the randomness! I began knitting my 2.5 foot section for the tree sponsored by Velma, Lisa, and me a couple weeks ago. I was so excited that I’ve already finished….woops! I’m really looking forward to getting together with the girls and knitting our creations onto our tree. Don’t worry, I’ll take lots of photos 😉

And of course I’m already finding other uses for my leftover yarn…;DBright & Colorful Granny Squares

It fits perfectly into my latest brainstorm! Oh, it’ll be great when I can show it all 😀

You Amaze Me, Crochets of the Past

Crochet Magazine

Last week my grandmother-in-law gave to me a bag full of old crochet magazines (1987-1993), in case I found anything I wanted. Who would have guessed that this would spur such an entertaining evening?! You may have seen me tweeting some of the hilarious pictures I found, but I have more to share…oh, so much more…

It started out with this gem that just screams 90s. I left the description so you could read all about the “Fluorescent Fun!”

Neon sweater

I found patterns for children (I wonder if my mom would have made these for us)…

Taxi Sweater for BoysCrayon Sweater for GirlsGame BlanketWhat's with the lobster? <–What’s with the lobster?

And patterns for young adults (Below: “Granny Glamour” and a rockin’ sweater vest!)

Granny GlamourCircle flower sweater vest

Accessories are killer. Such a 90s photo for the headband! But the jean jacket takes the cake. Don’t you want to embellish your own? It’s so easy with doilies, lace from your grandmother, and crochet you can do yourself!

Winter HeadbandJean Jacket

So many projects for trendy crocheters of the 80s and 90s! Thank you for sticking with me through this blast from the past. I hope you’ve found these as amusing as I have! I wonder what crochet/knitting patterns we’ll laugh about 20 years from now… Will cowls be old-fashioned and silly? Of course, I’m already laughing at some current patterns I’ve found…maybe fluorescent sweaters were the crocheted bikini of 1990? 😉

Have you come across any fun vintage patterns? Share in the comments!

Sewing a body pillow

The other “Home Improvements” project I finished last week was a body pillow for our bedroom. I created it to fit into our plan for a cohesive style. I decided to use two fabrics to give it a little extra, and I’m very happy with the result. Though I made a few (fixable) mistakes as I went, it’s one of the few finished products I’ve been able to call perfect.

Body Pillow

Special considerations:

  • Color: I chose silver and grey to fit into our overall palette while contrasting each other enough to express the difference between materials
  • Material: Silk and velvet fit the feel of the room, but they are slightly more difficult to work with. I used a smaller sewing needle and lots of pins.
  • Zipper: Since I want the pillow to last, I included a zipper in the design – this way I can change out the stuffing if it starts to lump, and remove it for cleaning.

Cutting FabricSewing Silk

1. Measure and cut fabric. I used the full width of my velvet, then added enough silk on each end to make it the width of our bed (adding seam allowances).

2. Pin and sew end pieces to middle. I made each silk end piece exactly the same size, then pinned them to the ends of the velvet (right sides facing) and sewed together.

Layout fabricAlign fabric

3. Line up all pieces and trim. I first made this as one large rectangle, then cut it in half (to make the 2 sides) and trimmed each to match up.

4. Pin together. Make sure all your seams are aligned!

Pin ZipperTurn

5. Add the zipper (optional). Design Sponge has a great tutorial here. Put it in a place it won’t be noticed – mine is along the bottom (but not the whole length). Don’t forget to unzip it when you’re done, or turning will be a pain!

6. Pin and sew around. Remember to back-tack! (If you don’t add a zipper, you’d better leave an opening to turn.) Go ahead and trim any bulky seams and clip corners, too.

7. Turn right side out, stuff, zip. (No zipper people: sew the gap closed.) You’re done!

3 Things Friday

What a week this has been! I was offered a new part-time job doing photography and graphic design for an antique dealer (I start Monday :)), I tried to start Couch to 10K, I tried out some new recipes, and brrrr – what a cold front last night! But on to my 3 things.

The good: I’ve been working on a new product line for AJ the Purple. I want to take it in a new direction, and it’s been so fun getting samples together!

The bad: I’ve been fighting a cold this week.

The great! I’ve been working on a Knitta Please project for the Blanton Museum of Art. (The exhibit is in March.) On Wednesday I got together with Velma at my favorite local coffee shop to sip, chat, and knit! It was lots of fun :)

What have you been up to this week?

Quick & Easy Cushion Tutorial

Chase on his new dog bed

I made mine to be a dog bed for Chase, but this could also be a floor pillow, a bench cushion, or a million other things – the possibilities are endless!

Supplies:

  • Large pillow case (or fabric, folded) [Mine was $2 on clearance at Ikea!]
  • Fabric scraps and/or stuffing
  • Sewing machine, pins, thread, scissors

Now for the instructions!

Cut seams2 squares and 2 stripsSew strips togetherPin sides to square

  1. Cut your pillow case in half to form a square from the closed end (or cut 2 squares from your fabric). Turn inside out; remove side seams and cut fold so you have 2 squares.
  2. From remaining pillow case (or fabric), cut 2 strips along the cut edge – the width will be the depth of your cushion.
  3. Cut one side seam off each piece, so that they are strips instead of circles (each should now be the length of 2 sides of your square – the seam in the middle will be a corner).
  4. Pin the 2 strips right sides together. Sew each end. You now have the 4 sides of your cushion, forming a square.
  5. Pin the sides to one square of fabric, right sides together. Sew around.
  6. Now pin the second square to the open sides. Sew, leaving a 4in. gap.
  7. Turn and stuff! [I used fabric scraps I’ve been saving forever!] Sew gap closed.
  8. Place in a cozy place and add sleepy dog (Optional ;))

Sew, right sides togetherLeave 4" gap for turningStuff with fabric scrapsscrap-eating monster! nom nom

I tried to make this really simple, so I hope it makes sense for everyone. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have any questions! Now go make and enjoy your quick & easy cushions 😀

Sleepy dog on his new dog bed

A Tasty Upcycle

Typewriter Waffle Iron

Designed by Chris Domino in his Typewriter Series, a seemingly useless item has been given a new life as a typewriter waffle iron. As noted on Treehugger, this represents an ideal reinvention since it has minimal modification. Recycling the typewriter would be good, but upcycling it saves the energy of recycling and keeps the soul of the original product alive! Plus it puts a new and fun twist on a loved product :) Looks tasty!

You Amaze Me, Possibilities

Although the beginning of January is like the beginning of any other month, it’s a great time for a little reflection. On Friday I posted a photographic review of my crafty year, and it was wonderful thinking of all the new things I learned, attempted, and created. December is for looking at the past, but January is for accepting it and looking toward the future. What do you want to accomplish this year? In what ways will you push yourself to grow?

You are creative and capable; if you set your mind to it, you can do it. Now is the time for dreams to become goals! I’m turning a few of my “some day I’d like to…” thoughts into “this year I will” goals. So, without further ado, I give you my crafty list for this year:

Creative Goals 2011

[I have a few other lists too, for my personal goals, as well as family and business. Keeping them separate helps me focus and organize. I think this one is the most relevant at the moment :)]

Remember: Keep it simple and do-able, but challenge yourself. Include things you’ve been putting off, things you’ve always wanted to try, and even plain necessities. Make your list fun yet practical. You’ve got goals, and you can meet them!

What will you accomplish this year?

3 Things Friday

This week:
The good: I’ve finished 8 gifts this week, and I’m on a roll!
The not-so-good: The Post Office lost a package of supplies (for gift making) :(
The best: I tried my hand at both knitting and crocheting hats, and made some really cute ones! I’m so glad I tried a new project and am really happy with the results 😀

Dixie DIY

Today I’m on to sewing projects! I’ve got hair accessories, home accessories, and a giant pillow to make :) Here’s to a great start for the weekend!

How was your week?