Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Just before Thanksgiving

On the day before our Thanksgiving the house is humming - the sound of the washing machine, dishwasher, vacuum cleaner, the hot oven, kids laughing/arguing and dog barking.  I swear the house is vibrating in its foundation.

I have to humbly admit that these are the years that I have been yearning for - no more infants or diapers, just a few little kid tantrums and no teenage angst (just yet).  I can actually bake a pie from scratch without interruption.

This humming is the sound of what I am thankful for this day, and every day.

pumpkin waiting to be baked, pureed and turned into pie

I also realized that the winter holidays are just around the corner and I pulled out the unfinished ornament kits from Alicia Paulson that I stowed last year.  I surprised myself by re-discovering that I had cut out all the pattern pieces and felt last winter for the remaining ornaments - this fall I spent time assembling and detailing them.  Here is the next set of 5 that I finished.  You can see the first six here.  I just have to complete the snowflake and I will have completed all the kits that I have. (I admit, however, that I just ordered a pattern and one more kit...that will complete everything that she has available.)  I just adore her designs - they fit in our home really well.  All told I will have 18 ornaments when I finish.

I know that might seem intense or over-the-top - but I am practical.  With four daughters that will one day have their own homes and families it will mean that I will, eventually, only get to keep two or three anyway.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

This is Halloween...

This year we had a whole ensemble of characters for Halloween.  A witch, a wolf, little red riding hood, a bunny, a hen and a rooster.  All the costumes came together really well and I had a lot of fun - most especially with felt mask making!

 I found a pattern for the hen and rooster masks on Etsy from oxeyedaisy - they are incredibly detailed and came together relatively easily.  I love them - and with a feather boa they finish off beautifully.

I think the pattern is one size, and they do fit our faces, but if I were to re-make them I might extend them slightly down the cheek and towards the ears for an adult. 

She has so many incredible designs that I am going to try to convince the kids to do a full family next year - maybe a herd of unicorns, flock of wise owls or family of bears?!

The little red riding hood costume was courtesy of Martha Stewart - she had a set of costumes based on hoodies which seemed to make more sense this year instead of sewing custom full body suits.  Arn't those yarn braids the best?!  The mask for the big 'good' wolf was from a website, Oh My Handmade, found here.  I went for the stripped down version and only cut and glued this mask - not too many stitching details for this first one.  We finished it off with fake fur wraps for the neck, wrists and ankles.

The bunny costume was an upcycle from last year - I was able to re-use the snowy owl body suit from last year and just glue on a tail!  I made a new hood from the left over fabric and some pink from the stash, and reused the same pattern from McCall's.

The witch is an oldie but goodie from the dress-up bin paired with a mask from the thrift store.

Overall another great holiday.  I am really happy that we have been able to continue in the making/assembling of our costumes as the years roll by..

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Upcycled Mittens

Early this summer a bag full of lovely sweaters showed up on my doorstep.  They were amazing sweaters - but, they had some challenges and couldn't be worn any longer.  Two had gone through the wash/dry and the third had stains and a couple holes.  But I knew that my friend had left them with me to give them a second chance.

To get me in the groove for making Halloween costumes (ahem...dusting off that sewing machine) I put together this pair to gift back to her.  I found a brown cashmere sweater at the thrift store for a cozy lining and the exterior of the mittens is from her three sweaters.  The cables were too delicious to not make the centerpiece of the mittens.

As always, I relied on the fabulous pattern by Five Green Acres, but improvised the cuff using the intact sleeves from a thrifted sweater.

I dropped them off to her last week and by all accounts she loves them.  I usually finish off these mittens with a button on the cuff, but I left he exterior and lining separate to make sure the fit was good for her first.

I have just enough left over to make another pair for someone else - the gift-giving holidays are coming up!

Friday, October 2, 2015

FO: Hitofude

I finished up Hitofude and just love it.  The color and lace work are amazing and the yarn feels great against my skin.  

We just got a new puppy so I don't have a lot of opportunity to wear it (or any of my handknits, really) but it is a great addition to my collection.  

The pattern is really ingenious and I love telling people about the construction of the sweater.  It is so different from others that I have knit, or western patterns in general. 

I highly recommend this pattern for people that have some passing experience with lacework and are ready to take it to the next level.  The pattern is very well explained and I didn't lose my place, not even one time.  The fit is flattering and forgiving and I think the styling suits a wide variety of wardrobe preferences.

As always...details on my ravelry page.