Thursday, December 25, 2008

Snow hats

I've been doing a bit of knitting during our vacation. I've made five snow hats, or you could call them beanies, I'm sure they could have several names...

...and I thought I wouldn't mind making some for my shop. Everywhere I went folks asked where we got our hats. Then when I said, "I made them," folks would say something to the effect of, "you should sell them!"

They're not very hard, and not terribly labor intensive...well at least not as time consuming as one of my dresses anyway!

But, there's this new law from the CPSIA coming into affect Feb. 2009 that will require all items intended for children under the age of 12 to be subjected to lead testing and such. Now, I didn't think this pertained to clothes, but now I'm told that the law is so nonspecific, that it most likely includes things such as my dresses...and just about anything else I could think of to make. Wow!

There's no way I could afford to spend several thousand dollars per item...and since all of my creations are one of a kinds (for the most part), would I be required to submit them all for testing...or face a very, very high fine?

Several of my fellow crafter friends are very confused and concerned. And yet, nobody can ease their fears. Now, if you want to read a bit on this you can visit a few different sites. Then contact your Representative and ask him or her to push for a change or clause that would exempt cottage industry inside the USA. Americans make great's time to stop regulating ourselves out of business!

Save Handmade Toys From the CPSIA

Handmade Portraits WoodMouse

Etsy CPSIA Updates and Call to Action

Monday, December 22, 2008

It fits!

And Angel seems to appreciate her new jacket, and it couldn't have come a day too soon.

Yes, it does fit a Cocker Spaniel. Of course, only a girl dog, a boy dog would need a different pattern for the under belly strap.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dog Jacket

My mom was telling me about the dog sweater she bought, and how her dog hated it. She wanted something for the dog for walks in the winter time. It rains a lot where she's at.

So...super me to the rescue...

* The outer shell is a Polyester laminate (water proof)

* The lining is a very thick impervious fleece by polar tech (malden mills...made in the U.S.A.) and also virtually water proof.

* And for safety, some reflective stripes (I found for 50% off at Joann's a couple weeks ago, thought it would come in handy...and it has)
* Velcro closures for under the belly and around the neck, with a fold over Velcro tab for the wash (like you see on Velcro diapers and keep the lint out).

I think this should do the trick. Now let's hope I got the dimensions correct. I take it as a good sign that it does not fit my collie. Hopefully, that means it will fit my mom's cocker spaniel just fine.

Maybe next year for Christmas I'll make her a rain hat too...goodness, I don't know if I can't think around those dimensions at this late hour.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Electra Repurposed

Yes, you can take a beat up boys bike and turn it into something a 5 year old girl would love to ride. A little simple green, black spray paint, new white wall tires, new seat, and new basket cover, and it's almost better then the girls' version of this bike. Seriously, we're thinking of writing Electra and telling them our bike is better then theirs.

I made the basket liner, but Daddy Saint Nick did the rest.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Big Toddler Longies

Yeah, she still needs longies. Accidents are just a chronic affliction around here, but we're too far into this to revert back to full time diapers. She does use the potty some times. A good pair of cotton training pant (or side snap fitted diaper that can be pulled up and the toddler-ease), and some wool pants, and we're sitting pretty.
These were knit in the round, no seams! I hate sewing up seams...all I had to do was tuck in the tails.
You know I think Mother Mary was a knitter. Well, because I can think of no other way to make a seamless garment. So I believe she knit the round. :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I won

Isn't this quilt petty! Well, if you want one too... you'll have to go ask Dana to make you one...but she also makes some yummy looking soaps too. So Go check her out, cause she's obviously very sweet...and aren't those litte goats so cute!
Thank you Dana @ Old Red Barn Co.!

Friday, November 14, 2008

On the needles

I cast this on this past Tuesday. Charlotte has grown out of all the sweaters I made her. And her older brother isn't always nice enough to keep his sweaters nice enough to pass down. So I've got to make her a little something special for Christmas.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Working towards Christmas

I'm glad to have this many gifts to knit, so little time....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A reglan tweed knit sweater

I bought this yarn over a year ago, and started several projects with, but was never happy with anything. This was something I had to push through, and finally it's done.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Win 1 of 3 Quilts

I don't quilt very well. I've made a couple things. I even have one of my quilts on the wall, but seriously, it's nothing special, and it's not on a prominent wall. Mostly, the walls in my current set of quarters are so tall, I'd put anything on the wall to make the place not look so plain and the space so empty. Though, this place is void of decor sense, lol. It's just not my home, and we're leaving soon, so it's not like I'm going to go all out to decorate this house. I don't own it.

Anyhow, I've added a button to the sidebar, because I'd love to win a pretty quilt for one of the kids. Any one of the quilts made by Old Red Barn Co. would look fabulous on Felicity's bed.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I've been in a couple treasuries over the last couple of years. But this one is special because it's been so long and SewMelody, who made this treasury has wanted to add me to one for a long time. I'm so honored, thanks so much! Here's her treasury; Surf and Snow

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Finally finished!

Thanks to a generous lady who sold me some of her left over yarn, (thank you, thank you, thank you) I am now finished with the first Felicity Mock Turtle Neck, long sleeve dress. It feels so good to be done with this project. Whew!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Voila, yarn!

So here's my first 350 yards (give or take), double ply, loosely spun, variegated weight, Merino/Cormo cross lamb and English Angora wool yarn.
The yarn is twisted into two hanks. The first hank is really large, and the second one is smaller, but the yarn is all about the same.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Carding and Spinning

Once I was able to find some of the wool was dry (not all of it is dry, but some of the locks on the top of the bag were dry) I didn't hesitate to start carding the wool.

This is my first experience carding sheep's wool, as well as trying my hand at blending wool fibers. So I would estimate that this blend is 70% lambs wool 30% angora...maybe? I'm just sort of putting two to three fist full of wool to each fist full of angora fiber. I know that's perhaps a bit haphazard. It's turning into a very fluffy batting.
And thus far it's spinning up nice enough. Now, I've got to decide what to knit with this. I wonder if this is soft enough for my son's sensitivities. (He doesn't like itchy wool). I might make a sweater for him. If this doesn't do the trick I don't know what would. This is angel soft!

Wool Washing

Friday we washed our wool. Wash, rinse, wash, rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse. It's so hard to be patient.
The cleaner the wool becomes the more it's prone to float. The instructions said to press the wool down with wool racks. Opps, I don't have any of those, so I got some coffee mugs and used those to help anchor the wool bags down during the soaking portions of the washes.
Then, it all has to dry. It's so hard to wait when you just want to just spin!
But it is so lovely! It's so clean is smells awesome!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pre-soak the wool

My lovely wool came with washing instructions. I'm so glad too, cause I'm pretty green at this part. My first fleece ya know!

So the first step is to run out and buy some laundry bags. I dashed off to the PX where they gave me a $5 off coupon for spending 10 minutes to fill out a survey. So I got 6 bags for the price of 4!

Once home, put wool into bags.

Fill tub with warm water (and I added some euclan wool wash) and allow to soak for at least an hour...or over night.

Tomorrow we wash!

Pearl my wool

I've found the most scrumptious wool fleece, it arrived today. The most beautiful part is it's so clean, soft and fully lanolized, and I didn't have to feed or tend to the dear little lamb who produced it for me. I love my fluffy bunny, but he is stinky. I'm so glad he's partly potty trained though. He uses a littler box and helps to ease his clean up to some degree. Still, when I'm ill or super busy, and the cage needs to be cleaned, I wonder if it's all really worth it. Growing fine wool is hard work. It's a dirty job, but someone has got to do it.

Cause, yes, in the end the fluffy clouds of wool, are so worth it.
This big box is going to take a while to process, and it's a good thing too because my wheel is broken again. And we've got to take it back into town and have another new piece made for it. Yeah!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Another diaper Cover?

I just finished this diaper cover today, after starting it on Sunday. It took me four days. I think I have a touch of tendonitis to thank for it too.

My three year old has been potty training forever, and has yet to fully graduate. Well, she came down with a horrible diaper rash over the weekend, and she doesn't even really wear diapers, per say.

However, I determined that her PUL lined training pants weren't helping her skin to breath. Perhaps the were causing the problem? She needed a good old fashion lathering of lanolin with a bit of cotton and wool to help heal her bum. My old wool covers are just a tad too small for her now. She's been in training mode longer than my other kids ever were. So I yanked that XL wool diaper cover out of my store and stuck it on her over a pair of panties stuffed with a newborn prefold.

Then I ordered some ToddlerEase Sandy's, and got to work on another XL diaper cover. Perhaps I over reacted with the purchase of more diapers (but my thought was that the Sandy's are side snap and she could pull them up and down like undies if need be). She's healing very well now, and her rash is now peeling away, and no longer red and sore. She's back in her Imse Visme Training pants today.

Hopefully, she won't need this for long, but this way I'm prepare to keep her in breathable undies till....whenever she finally stops having accidents.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Snow White

Oh, I can't tell you how good it feels to have this project completed! This dress has been sitting in my pile in peices for so long. It's been weighing on me, calling out, "ha, you have to make me, you can't escape!"

I won't go into detail about how I had to change the thread color on the sewing machine about 50 times. I hate how many different colors this dress has...well I like it now that it's finished, but I sure don't know why Disney decided upon these color combinations, and why this dress???? Seriously, this is the biggest pain in the you-know-what princess dress to make. Surely the animators felt the same, imagine changing your paint brush color over and over again. I'm guessing it's why all the Princesses that followed had relatively single colored dresses.

Now I truly, have made this little girl's dreams come true, and she is just gushing over her dress.

Spinning Merino

I also spin...well know that my spinning wheel is repaired I do. Oh, I think it was about two years ago someone reclined the lazy boy into my spinning wheel and broke one of the wood peices that was instramental in the operation. I wasn't really actively spinning anyhow, so the wheel has sat collecting dust for the past three years. Yes, It's really been three years since I've completed anything. I've give you one guess as to why I was too busy to sit and spin three years ago.

This weekend I spun up the rest of this purple merino wool roving, which I purchased over three years ago in hopes of spinning and knitting up into a pretty sweater for Charlotte. We all know that didn't happen, and now I'm not sure what will become of this, but either way, I'm finished with the spinning part.

It's sort of lumpy and not the finest sample of spinning ever. However, I fell back in love with spinning, and have a wonderful 3+ pound Merino/ cormo cross fleece coming my way. I'll be blending Pearl's fleece with some of the angora wool I've been collecting over the last few years. Just you wait, it's going to be the softest wooly yarn ever!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pixie Dust!

This years Halloween challenge is complete, for one child at least. Tinkerbell does seem to suit her personality. The skates are just sort of my whimsical addition, we'll probably leave those at home on Halloween night.
I've not seen wings that look right. I don't think she'll notice if we never find them either. We still have a pink pair from the last two years, which I'm certain would be sufficient.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another Snow Hat

This one I finished last month for Charlotte. However, I finally put the button on this past weekend, so now it's officially finished. It's kind of gwady, but she likes it. Who's to question the florishing fashion sence of a 5 year old anyhow. Pink is in, pink is big, and flowers are here to stay!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

While I wait for my yarn

I've got a large pile of clothes and rags sitting by the sewing machine. I really need to keep combing through it and get rid of it all. However, there are some gems in that pile and I just need to fix them and get them back into our drawers.

This rose embroidered dress I made for Charlotte when she was two years old. Then the waist ribbon came off and I needed to hand stitch it back on. Well, now that Felicity is three it's not a moment too soon, ah?

Now, there's this pair of pants that used to belong to Peter. Thankfully, I pulled these out of his drawers before he thoroughly thrashed them. Only one knee was ripped. I'm working on a little applique so that Charlotte can get some wear out of these. Poor girl, most of her pant and short collection are cast down from Peter's thread torn pile. However, she seems to like these already and keeps asking if they're finished yet. No, still more hand stitching to be done, don't you think.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More Delays

This dress will take a while longer to finish. I ran out of Aegean Sea colored yarn with just three inches to go on the last bit. "No biggie, I thought, just go online and buy more", because this was not a discontinued color last I checked. But wouldn't you know it, they were out of stock for this color! My heart sank thinking about how I might have to rip this whole thing up and start over again. I e-mailed to see if they were going to restock Aegean Sea. Thank the heavens, they do expect more in...and I could care less if it's not from the same dye lot, seriously I don't care if there's a shade difference, I'm not starting this dress over again.

But I've got to wait for it to come into stock, and then of course there will be another week more to wait for shipping of said yarn to my house. This will probably be a record for longest duration to finish dress start to finish. And this my friends is another reason why I shy away from custom orders now. I'm stressed out enough as it is, and this dress is for my own daughter. I can't take the pressure of making all this magic happen in a timely manner for customers, who's feedback I so highly value.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

On again off again... the needles

It's been a while since I've completed something...okay, for feels like a long time. This is a headband for a dress I'm making my daughter. Usually I do the headbands last, but I've been torn over how to do this particular dress. I've restarted it three times.

My dress needles are starting to I'm having a bit of knitter's block as it were.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Genevieve's Dress

This sweet little number is another trade dress. Sweet Grocery Bags is making me a sweet little bag. I can't wait!

And I lined it...I'm pretty pleased with how that turned out. There are many cute fabrics I've been tempted to use, but wasn't happy about the fabric's thickness. Well, if I line them it's not an issue. Though I don't usually keep lining fabric lying about. This dress is partially up cycled, as I used a sheet that I'd had cut up for some other project before.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fresh off the needles

Most of this top and flower band were completed while I watched the Olympics. It's always good to have a little project to keep your hands busy when your mindlessly glued to the television.

This is another trade project, and should have a spectacular turn out. The fabric is bold and colorful, and it certainly was a color combination I would have been unable to pull together without such inspiration.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Snow Cap

I intended this to be a winter cap for Peter. It's made from a nice merino wool yarn, same yarn from the wool soaker I made last month.

However, it turned out too big, and is likely to become a gift for someone older and bigger.

I had Peter try it on and he declared that it was too itchy. Well, guess I'll have to get him something like silk...or cotton...and try again later.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Baby Hats

Two more hats I made while driving home from our road trip.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Soaker Shorts

I started these during my last trip to Palo Alto last month, and finished them on the way home from our recent trip to Palo Alto. I don't really know why I decided to make a pair of x-large wool soaker shorties...but I did. The color change pattern is one I found in a knitting book, apparently a pattern the Greeks used. It reminds me of the Mad Greek in Baker, CA...and makes me yearn for gyros, and all that yummy cucumber dressing, slathered all over the pita bread...mmmmm.

Snow Hat

It occurred to me that this winter we'll be moving to a place that actually gets cold, and maybe a bit of snow. I'm kind of inspired to get a jump start on my winter gear stash.

This turned out a little goofy, but she likes it anyway.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Coming along...

Yeah, I got a dress done today! But that trip to the post office, let me tell ya! It nearly killed me. It's soooo hot outside! And then they wouldn't let me used the priority tape on my priority package!

Normally, I box it all up before I leave the house, but I didn't have a label, and I wrote the address on the a card that I intended to seal up in the box...and I suppose the moral of the story is, make my own label and just seal up the box before I leave the house. The post office label isn't worth the roll of tape they'll charge me when I get there...and I sure as heck wasn't going to go home for tape. Did I mention the kids weren't behaving very well?

So I don't feel ready to re-open my store to custom orders yet. But I suppose if folks pay via pay pal, and I can click and ship, and never have to step foot in the post office again, that's fine by me.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

While I was away...

I came up with a special headband for this turquoise dress I'm making for someone who did me a hugh favor. This is the sort of thing you'll get if you my life. ;) While this knit in the round dress was an interesting experiment, I'm not sure I'm ready to switch over my methods. The sock cast off didn't work out as smoothly as I would have liked, and while it's fine for this dress, I think my old method is probably better. It just depends on what I'm going for.

And I finally procured some ABU (Air force Battle Uniform) fabric. So this first dress will be for my niece, whose daddy is in the Air force.

Though, I've been sort of sick so these dresses might take a while longer before they're totally complete.