Thursday, March 21, 2013


I finally finished a snowflake pot holder from a pattern I snagged for free at JoAnn's Fabrics back in January.  Here it is! :)  I might make some more, too!

It didn't take that long, though the pattern was a little confusing between rounds 2/3 and 3/4.  I like it a lot!

Ravelry Pattern | Ravelry Project

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dad's Socks

I decided, after much deliberation, that my father's birthday gift was going to be a pair of double-heelix socks (Ravelry PatternBlog Pattern).  He did go to MIT, after all.

Well, his birthday isn't until March 31st, but I was working on them in February while I was home, and one day he came home from work a little early and saw them.

"Are you making socks?" he asked, reaching out to investigate my knitting.

"Yeah," I sheepishly handed it to him.

"That's so cool!  And oh look at the heel!  How did you do that?"

I explained the process to him, and he put his hand on my shoulder and said "you're definitely my daughter," laughing about how I could make anything complicated.

My mom walked in and wanted to know if he liked them.  He said he did, and she said "oh good," at which point I told my dad that they were for his birthday.

"Oh awesome!  Lil, I can't wait!" he said.  I took the opportunity to ask him if he wanted to socks to be matching or contra-positives, like the picture.  Glad I asked, cause I would have done it the other way!

And so, even though it's not his birthday yet, here they are!

I like how they came out.  They're a little different, but usually socks are.  These pictures are a little awful, but they're the best I could get.

Ravelry Pattern | Ravelry Project

Friday, March 15, 2013

Freedom in the Air

Something I've been working on recently is being more home-minded.
One of the outcomes of that is that I (finally!) started using my clothesline!  It was warm enough on Tuesday to put my clothes outside!

And then there was a problem.  Tuesday night it got cold again, but I had class and wasn't able to take them down before dark.  Wednesday I was out of the house before it was light for work, and then straight from work to class to a meeting, and then drive across town to tutor for three hours.  During that time, there started to be these flurries of sleet.  Where they came from, I have no idea, but by the time I got home again, my clothes were soaked.

I managed to take in a few articles of clothing and hang them on the one, flimsy, house clothes-rack we have.  And then I changed, went to class, came home after dark, and slept.

Thursday it was windy.  I mean 30-40 mile an hour gusts.  I left the house before it was light, went to work, class, a meeting, went to the library for a few hours, class again, and I got home around 9:00pm, after dark, exshausted.

My housemates were not amused.  "Sweetie," they said, irritated that they, the 24- and 26-year-olds, had to tell me something so basic again, "you need to go get your clothes off the line.  And the bushes. And the trees.  And out of the squirrels' nest."

I stared at them for a minute, and then turned around and went right back out.  It took me almost half an hour to find everything, untie it from the line, and pick it up with my numb fingers in the dark, when the wind was not on my side.  I went inside, threw the heap on the table, and went to bed.

I suck at house-keeping. I told myself. I'll never be able to do it right.  Even that literally exploded the stove burner...

I sat up, shook my head, and lay down again.

It doesn't matter.  Yes, I'm getting married in December, but I'm not perfect.  It's okay that I don't know everything there is to know yet.  That's what life's about, right?  Learning and living from that and moving on and becoming someone new.

I'll try the line again when it's warm out, and this time, I'll make sure I can be home to take the clothes down.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Minion Hat!

My brother, Ben, turned 16 on March 3rd.  (Yay!).  Well, of course, I wanted to make him a birthday gift, and I searched for patterns for a long long time.  Finally, I found this one.  It was perfect!  He was obsessed with Despicable Me for a while and still thinks it's pretty cool, so I made him a Minion Hat (Blog Pattern).

I decided to nix the smile that the original pattern had on the hat and leave the goggles un-attached (turns out that was a good decision; he wears the goggles by themselves sometimes!).  I've had it done for a few weeks now, but he came to visit me at college this weekend and I was finally able to give it to him!  It was a great hit!

Ravelry Pattern | Ravelry Project

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Out of Commission!

Hello there!

I have successfully completed nothing over the past few days, and here's why: I machine-sewed through my thumb on Sunday and have been rather unproductive since!

Has anybody else ever done that?  What can I do to help it?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pants! Finally!

In June, I found some ladybug fleece for sale at Wal-mart, along with my apron fabric and pattern.  For those of you who don't know, I am obsessed with ladybugs.  I have ladybugs everywhere.  When I turned eighteen, I tried to convince my Dad to let me buy, for $20 on E-bay, a box of 5,000 chilled ladybugs to release in our basement for the party.  Needless to say, I was given a resounding "no."

The plan was to make sweatpants, but I didn't have a pattern, so I just got a couple of yards.  I found a pattern on instructables (here).  And then, I ran into trouble.  I didn't have any pajama pants that fit -- I had one pair that was too big and one that was too small -- so it was hard to judge the size of the legs.  Then I did one leg backwards, so I had to cut it open, stitch chunks together, and do it again.  I ended up with chunks of extra fabric on the top of the back.  But it worked, overall.  They've been sitting in my great room waist-band-less for a few months, and I finally got around to finishing them up.

I'm glad I did!  They're super comfortable!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Crazy Lazy Update

These last few weeks I have been insanely stressed.  Work, packing, and a friend being sick and in need of help have all piled onto my plate.  Consequently, I've been a little behind on my crafting.  I hope you'll all excuse me for not having a completed project this post.

I do, however, have three projects that are /almost/ done.  They are all birthday gifts, though, so I won't be sharing until the big reveal. :)  Until then, happy crafting!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Soap Cozy

I'm home for the week!  Well, until Thursday, that is, and then I'm off to my fiance's house for the second half of the week.  We're very lucky because his family's house is between our school and my family's house, so when we get time off, we can go to both.  However, in all the crazy shuffling of the last few days, I forgot my bath scrubby at my home by school!  Eep!

Well, I happened to bring a few skeins of worsted yarn that I wasn't really using for anything, and since a soap cozy has been on my project list for quite some time, I whipped one up in the last 24 hours.
Well, I chose brown yarn because the other options were gray and white, both of which looked dreary or messy.  The cozy itself was pretty easy to make, but I had trouble getting the soap in when I was done.  I may have made it a bit too small!  The bar was unused, but a few months ago (while I was home last for Christmas), I had unwrapped it and put it in a soap container (which still had water on the inside).  Because of this, the soap was infused with water and was moist and creamy, so when it was a little big for the cozy, some extra soap just kinda slid up the edges and formed lovely curls, which I promptly destroyed by shoving them back in the top before pulling the i-cord through.

I haven't used it yet (but I will when I shower tonight!), but my mother is convinced that it's going to become moldy and kill me with bacteria in my sleep, or somesuch.  I'll be sure to let you know if it does.

Have any of you ever used a soap cozy before?  Did it work, or was it more of a hassle than it's worth?

Ravelry Pattern | Ravelry Project

Thursday, February 14, 2013


I saw this pattern on Ravelry and I had to make it for my fiance for Valentine's Day!  Here's the original pattern photo:

His gift preferences are specific.  He likes things that are functional and things that show that the person actually cares.  Stock gifts are not his thing.  It's a good thing that I know how to knit, because that makes it even better -- I invest time, he feels loved, I have fun, and we look obnoxiously adorable walking around with our hands in a Smitten!

Well, this was quite a feat to make.  It called for super-bulky yarn and two sets of DPNs -- sizes 13 and 15.  I don't have any of those and I'm broke!

So I made it work.  I used two strands of royal blue worsted yarn and one strand of a blue/white self-striping worsted yarn and held them all together.  I had a pair of size 13 circular needles, but they were too big for most of the project and too small to make a magic loop.  I also had one size 15 regular knitting needle (I lost it's pair) with a rather stubborn end piece.  I basically did the whole thing in my size 13 circular needles and used my size 15 singular needle for a few odds and ends here and there to make it work.

In the end, I'm pretty proud of it!  And we went for a wonderful walk today :)

Ravelry Pattern | Ravelry Project

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I went to Tennessee a few weeks ago for a class trip.  While we were there, we found this adorable little yarn shop put in what used to be an old house called "A Likely Yarn."  I got some nice wool yarns there and one of my professors got some hand-dyed yarns for his two teenage knitting daughters.  After that trip, a friend asked me to teach her how to knit.  I had some extra yarn and extra needles, so I did, but we were on a bumpy car ride and both the needles and the yarn were sock weight, so she made a valiant effort, but didn't get very far.  Instead, she made an accidental alien!  We all loved it though, so I cast-it-off and she took it home.  Overall, it was a lot of fun.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

T-shirt Quilt

My Fiance, Randall, and I decided to make a T-shirt quilt together!  A few Saturdays ago, we got together and went through all of our t-shirts and planned them all out.  He's been helping me pin and cut while I've been doing most of the sewing.  It's nowhere near done, but it's a start!  I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Katie's Hat

I knit to keep my hands busy while my brain is doing other things, like watching a movie, reading, or listening to a lecture, so I'm always looking for new things to knit.  Often times, friends ask if I could make something for them, and my general policy is that if they buy me the yarn (and notions if necessary , I'll make it.  IT ends up working well for both of us -- they have a new cool thing they like, I have something to do with my hands for a while for free, and typically, I also get a little bit of yarn for my stash!

A few weeks ago, I was hanging out with some of my friends, and my dear Katie saw Design 18 in my
Noro Mini Knits book.  She was enchanted.  So later that evening, when we all went to JoAnn Fabrics, she grabbed some yarn and asked if I could make it for her.  Of course, I said yes.

Well here's the finished project!  It was difficult because I didn't have the right needles, but I made it work.

Ravelry Pattern | Ravelry Project

Thursday, January 31, 2013


I finished knitting my first pair of socks!

A little over two years ago, I went on a retreat with a bunch of other high school and college aged kids from my church.  We stayed in a tiny little house on Cape Cod that belonged to the parents of one of the girls in the group.  We spent all day Saturday in the local town -- the morning on the beach and the afternoon in the quaint shopping area.  Well, I got horrific sun poisoning all over my back and couldn't sleep or wear clothing for several days without bleeding, but I also found a nice little yarn shop tucked away in the corner!

And it was there that I got the yarn that I have been unable to decide what to do with for just over two years.

Until now!

I love the way that the yarn striped itself.  They're just a basic pair of stockinette socks, but I love them!

Also: my camera is currently broken, so all of my pictures are from my phone and therefore are super shoddy.

Ravelry Project | Ravelry Project (the yarn information is wrong)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Patchwork Skirt

A few years ago, I bought a strapless dress at a handmade craft shop on the beach in Maine.  Since then, I've grown four inches and washed it enough times that not only does my rear hang out the back when I bend over, but even the ribbons I sewed on after the elastic shot are themselves shot.  Besides, I like skirts better.

So I planned to make it into a skirt.  The only problem was that I didn't have any elastic.  Instead, I took the (shot) elastic from the top of the dress, sewed it to the (shot) elastic at the meeting betweent the patchwork and the bustline, and pinned and sewed it all the way around.  It's a little loose, and soon I'll probably cut that off and sew normal waistband elastic on, but in the mean time, it looks like this!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dye Lot

One of the projects that has been on my to-do list for a long time (but that I've never gotten around to) is a dye batch.

Well, long story short, I tried it.  It was a nice warm day, I set up the clothesline, and lo and of five things worked.  Two skirts came out a nice baby-puke, a hat shrunk about three sizes, and the gloves stayed exactly the same color.  But the scarf worked!

I dyes the whole thing, but for some reason, the lace didn't dye.  So, when I went back and forth between a dark green and a tan, this is what I got!  It's the one in the center with the white edgesand the nice forest-y green color.

I'll probably try the other dyes some time soon, but until then, I'll just check one off my list!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Photo Card

Meant To Be Wedding Save the Date
View the entire collection of cards.

I'm getting married!  :)  The proposal happened over Thanksgiving and you can read all about it at!  Just over a year!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wardrobe Walls!

I live in a renovated horse stall.  Yep, that's right, a horse stall.  A married couple bought the barn behind their house and turned it into a place for poor college students and married couples.  The bottom consists of six horse stalls and a kitchen, bathroom, etc, and each stall is occupied by a different collegiate.  The loft has become an apartment for the newly married and newly impoverished.

But since it's a horse stall, it doesn't have a closet, and upon moving in I inherited a nice wardrobe from the lady who lived here before me.  The only problem?  The left door won't shut.  I tried hooking it to the other door, but then they both hung open a few inches.  I also tacked my mirror to the inside of one of the doors, but when I opened the doors to look in it, they blocked all the light.  Besides, when they were open, they pulled the Wardrobe dangerously close to toppling forward and they interfered with opening the door to my room!

That lasted me for about six months, and then I decided to do something about those darn doors.  So, new project one is my wardrobe doors!  I decided to just take them off!

First, I took a good look at the bindings that were holding the doors to the wardrobe.  It was easy: three small brackets on each door.  I decided to only unscrew the side that was attached to the wardrobe and keep the brackets on the doors in storage in case I ever needed to use them again.  I also chose to unscrew the top bracket last so that it didn't fall over backwards while I was unscrewing the bottom one and risk breaking something (or itself).  So, in order to keep the bottom steady while I worked, I plugged a thick binder under each door before starting.

It was pretty easy, in the long run.  I took my mirror off the inside door, my whiteboard off the outside, and then detached the doors.  Afterwards, I re-hung both accessories and put the doors into our vast storage room.

I LOVE my room now that it's done!  I can open the room door much more and the room feels so much bigger now that the giant wood planks aren't boxing it in; it's easier to keep my room clean when it's easier to put things away.  I'm so glad I did it.  Besides, I now have a bunch of wood to practice my wood-burning on!

Maybe I'll make some curtains for the wardrobe at some point, but not just yet.

And on to project set two!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fancy Pants

Back in March, I started looking at Thrift Stores for brown Business pants.  I have a personal pledge not to buy anything at a regular store if I don't need to.  Usually, I can get what I want for a fraction of the price at almost the exact same quality at a Thrift Store or a Garage Sale.  However, these brown pants were hard to find.  I looked all over every month or so, and they never had the style and size that I needed in brown.

Finally, in October, I found some.  I found three pairs, actually.  One of them was a few dollars less than the others and I liked the shade and fit much better, so it seemed like a no-brainer, except for one things: the zipper was shot.  I bought them anyway.

I tried in November to fix the zipper several different ways, but it didn't work.  Finally, in December, I bought a new zipper to replace the old one.

So Project Three is actually getting around to replacing the zipper!

By now, I've lost a little weight, so I also wanted to take them in a bit, and I figured, why not do that while I fix the zipper?

So, the first thing I did was pin down the line of where I wanted the pants to come together when I finished.  I also pinned where I wanted the zipper to fall.  If you look, the right side of the zipper is right inside the flap, so that was my inner pin-line.

Next, I seam-ripped all of it -- the zipper, the flaps, everything I had to.  I kept the waist-band and the zipper-flap intact and just cut the ends of the zipper-halves out.

I cut the excess fabric on the left half (based on my pinning) away from the waistband so that I could fold it over.  I also trimmed some of the edge-hems off so I didn't have bulky hems inside my pants when I was done.

I folded the fabric to line up with the inner pin-line and pinned the zipper just inside this line as well.  Then, I sewed down the edge in triple-duty stitches.

After that, I unzipped the zipper and hand-stitched the other side onto the pants.  The plan was to machine-sew it, but then the stitching would have shown through on the other side of the zipper-flap, so I hand stitched in between the layers instead.

When I was done, it zipped fine, but I had to move the button clasp part over to the left.  After much exasperation, I finally just cut it off and sewed it back on.

In the process of all of this, I cut off the inside flap the kept the zipper from the skin.  The new zipper was also about two inches longer than the old zipper, so even though I inserted it farther into the inseam than the old one, it still has about an inch just chilling in the crotch of the pants.  I decided just to leave it.

 At the end of the day, they worked great.  The pants now fit super well and you can barely tell that they were altered.  The only place where it shows is in the inseam, because the right zipper is slightly higher than the left zipper (oops!).  I probably could have prevented that by hand-sewing the right half while it was still zipped to the left half, but I didn't think about it.  No-one's gonna be looking, anyway!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Baby Mitts!

A friend of mine at college is having twins!  We hosted a baby shower for her on the campus and I decided to make her some baby mitts!

Originally, the idea was to make a matching mitt, hat, and bootie set for each little baby, but since the shower was right at the edge of finals, I didn't even have time to finish the mitts!

However, they were finished a few days ago, and have become project two to be completed!

Here's the pattern I used:
The blog is in Russian, but there's an English version of the pattern in a link to the right of the picture.

I definitely enjoyed these mitts.  They're so adorable and fluffy!  If I were to do it again, I would make the k-cords thinner, though, because they keep bunching up in the mitts.

I also ended up having to use two different types of yarn to get colors that were neutral (she doesn't know the genders yet), so the cords were of course slightly different than their corresponding mitts, which may have contributed to the problem.

And there's project two!

Ravelry Pattern | Ravelry Project

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Simplicity Apron

I made a new-years resolution: I have to finish three projects I've already started/purchased before I can start anything new.  Here's project one!

I bought the pattern and fabric for this apron back in June when it was on sale at Walmart, so it was one of the first to be finished.  The pattern is Simplicity SewSimple 2011, as seen below.

It was pretty simple, when I actually got down to it, but it was my first sewing project (which had a pattern) in about five years, so I had forgotten what all of the symbols meant!

It was a quick project, about 4-5 hours total, and came out pretty well.  Honestly I'm just glad to have it done and off my mind!  It .

However, when I bought the fabrics, I had intended them to be switched.  On the pattern, it says to buy 1 1/8 yard of fabric for the "apron" and 5/8 yard for the "contrast."  When I saw the picture on the cover, I thought that the apron was made of the zebra fabric and that the pockets were inserted after, so my assumption was that the stripes were the "contrast" and I bought accordingly.  I was wrong.  The apron is made of two pieces of fabric -- in mine, the polka-dots make the bulk of the apron and the spirals are simply an over-lay -- so that the pockets are really just one big pouch.

It still came out okay, but now the waistband has a bigger design than the rest of it, so the illusion of slimness is gone.  Oh well. :)

I would suggest this to someone who knows how patterns work or who knows how to figure things out.  If you're the type of person who can do that "assembly required" furniture with no problem at all, then I'm not worried about you teaching yourself this pattern.

It's simple enough to be a beginner pattern, but a clueless person who has trouble with "assembly required furniture" should probably have an interpreter!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Craft Retainer

Hello There.

I've always been crafty.  I like creating.  I like putting things together for something new.

I'm also very bad at follow-through.

So this blog is here to MAKE me do it.

I will be posting my crafts on here.  We'll see if it works!