16 Apr

Knit Night

I missed yesterday’s post. I have a knit fail I’m willing to share, but I haven’t gotten around to photographing it. I’ve got some fun knit related accessories though:

Circ holder 1


I made this circular needle holder last week. I made a book style needle case about a year ago, but it didn’t have enough pockets for all the sizes and now I have enough needles that it was getting too full. This pass-through style holder looks messy, but is actually more organized since each section only holds one size of needle, so I don’t have to get out my needle gauge each time I want to start a project.

Circ holder 2


Also, when I was at the Maryland Homespun Yarn Party a few weeks ago, I got this awesome monster yarn bowl from Claymonster. It’s so fun to look at this silly face every time I work on a yarn project.

Yarn Bowl and Elfe WIP

29 Sep

It’s Crafturday! (14)

Mostly I sew, but sometimes I knit. And now I’ve knit long enough that I’ve accumulated a decent sized collection of needles and supplies. I had been storing them all in one roll, which was great when there wasn’t much, but recently it’s been getting out of hand.

Knit and Crochet Tools Storage

So I spent Friday making tidy little cases for everything. The best part — I used hand silkscreened fabrics which I’ve had for a few years but been stingy with since I didn’t have a really good project for them. Now I’ll get to admire the fabrics every time I go to knit.

Circular Needle Book, closed

I started with a “book” for my circular needles since they were my trouble makers.

Circular Needle Book

The house fabric was oriented the wrong way and too bulky for the pockets, so I used this aboriginal-inspired print from my stash. I like that the colors coordinate and the fabrics share an Australian ancestry. I’m also busily plowing through my stash right now, using up stuff and that makes me very happy!

Crochet Hook Roll

Chuffed with my needle book success, I made a little roll for my crochet hooks.

Crochet Hook Roll, open

I realized after the fact that the chunkiest needles should be on the opposite end of the roll from the ties, and that I had missed an opportunity to line up the house fabrics, but that could all be remedied in the next roll. Before, my crochet hooks would fall out of the needle roll every time I opened it since they were in bigger pockets than my knitting needles. Now the problem is solved and I will no longer have loose crochet hooks rolling around!

Straight Knitting Needle Roll

Now I was on a roll (punny) and made a slightly larger needle roll for my knitting needles.

Straight Knitting Needle Roll, open

I realize that this would not accommodate a full flight of knitting needles like serious knitters have, but I’m not there yet and this will do just fine for the immediate future. Besides, now that I’ve taken everything out of my first needle roll, it is ready and waiting to be re-filled some day.

With one of the scraps, I even made a little lined pouch for the funny shaped bits and bobs like a stitch counter and a little container of stitch markers, my needle gauge, small scissors, tapestry needles, etc.

11 Aug

It’s Crafturday! (11)

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any Crafturday content. Today was Fine Art day for me as I joined a Life Drawing session at McGuffey Art Center here in Charlottesville. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do but had not found the appropriate time and place to get me motivated. The planets are aligned here though.

But back to the Crafts! Almost as soon as we arrived in town, I began to scope out the fabric shops, and our closest one, Les Fabriques, had a big sign for Camp Stitch signups. There were several options for sewing, fashion design, and upcycling for kids, and I knew a certain young lady who would love it!

So, my daughter spent three hours a day, for five days, with about six other girls her age, drawing, sewing, and transforming clothing into new fashions for their dolls. The two ladies who facilitated the class were sweet, and organized, and did an amazing job coaxing the creative vision out of these kids. They all made amazing things and had a great time doing it. We’ll be back for more “camps” for sure!

07 Jan

It’s Crafturday (4)

Our beloved exchange student leaves today. She’ll be returning to Germany well equipped for the new school year though. In addition to well honed English skills and a suitcase full of American clothes, I’ve sent her off with a Multi-Tasker Tote bag much like mine which she’s been coveting.

ACU Multi Tasker Tote

This side has a big velcro-topped pocket in addition to the floral lined ones that are part of the original pattern.

ACU Multi Tasker Tote

I love this side in which I kept the integrity of the uniform blouse front. On my tote the button front is purely decorative. On this tote, I lined it so that the zipper can open to an actual pocket!

ACU Multi Tasker Tote

There are so many pockets on this tote it’s crazy! My hubby’s favorite is the pen pocket that normally lives on the uniform sleeve. I moved it to the tote interior along with a patch pocket and a flap pocket from the blouse front. And there’s a little loop to clip things on to too.

ACU Multi Tasker Tote

And, here’s the bag in situ as a fabulous beach tote.

31 Dec

It’s Crafturday (3)

Look what Santa brought for the kids!

I love this silly Hawaii themed fabric and decided it would be perfect for little bags for the kids.

Circle Zip Earbud Pouches

Everyone got Circle Zip Earbud Pouches. The tutorial from Dog Under My Desk was easy to follow and I think the pouches are cute and practical. I’m putting a few on my list to make for myself (excellent use for mushroomy fabric methinks) in a few sizes perhaps.

Pleated Zip Pouches

The girls got Pleated Pouches made from the Skip to My Lou tutorial. Again, this was a very nice, easy to follow tutorial. I’d definitely use it again as I think the pouch is quite handsome. One change I would make would be to add a little interfacing to the top band fabric for a little more structure. I also added wooden beads to the zipper pulls.

24 Dec

It’s Crafturday (2)

Our stockings are hung by the chimney with care. Well, except that we don’t HAVE a chimney. And, we have additional kids here this year who don’t have Christmas stockings.

In Germany, St. Nikolaus comes on his Catholic feast day, the 6th or December. And while often brings candy or a gift, he leaves them in a shoe by the door, not a stocking by the fire. So, I thought our German guests would enjoy getting a stocking from American Santa Claus. And, as long as I was making new stockings, why not update my kids too?

Simple Embroidered Stockings

I started with the simple embroidered stockings from Purl Bee, but I sped up the process a bit by using grosgrain ribbon for the loops and sewing it into the lining seam. I used the fancy schmancy embroidery module on my sewing machine instead of hand embroidery for the names. Also, no good linen at the fabric store closest to me so I went with muslin from my stash for the lining.

Simple Embroidered Stockings

I probably should have taken the time and effort to go to the fancier fabric store (Kaimuki Dry Goods, home to the full color range of Kona cottons) and get a different color green for each kids. I do have one more green, but it’s a secret for now. These were so easy to make though, so maybe I’ll get lucky and there will be a sale after Christmas and I will get two more greens so Art and I can have new stockings too next year.

17 Dec

It’s Crafturday! (1)

Longtime readers know that I am kind of schizophrenic when it comes to my making. I create (what I hope to be) deep thinking art quilts and textiles. But I am also enamored of all things cute and crafty and have a hard time resisting a handbag pattern or fabric with mushrooms on it. I’ve tried to separate these two sides online, and for a brief moment determined to reserve this blog for the art stuff and keep the craft side on Flickr. Yeah, that didn’t last. I had a brainstorm this week though, and decided that I will devote Saturday posts to my crafty side. It doesn’t ┬áre-define me or what I do, it just organizes it a bit. I’m not sure there’s any benefit to designated “Crafturday” posts, but it seems like a fine idea to me right now.

So, on to the craftiness!

Though I’d hardly qualify as an environmentalist or one with a small footprint, I try to incorporate small earth friendly things into my life when possible. Right now, that’s re-usable wrapping for gifts. I thought cloth wraps would be classier than the newspaper I used last year.

Reusable Gift Wrap

Thanks to the Thanksgiving weekend sale at Pink Chalk Fabrics, I stocked up on festive fabric and set to making bags and furoshiki style wraps. These are just the first wave. I’ve made more since last week. And then I realized the problems inherent in this kind of wrapping.

The first, and relatively minor, issue is that I wrap things up and send them off to their recipients and, duh, the wrap is gone. I have to start fresh the next year. However, given the pretty embellishments on the tops of presents that have been circulating between family members for a decade, I fully suspect that sooner or later a wrap or bag will find it’s way back to me. This last summer I also had the pleasure of seeing a fabric envelope pouch from last year’s Christmas gift being used to carry my niece and nephew’s portable DVD player and headphones on our road trip.

No, the real issue is the re-usableness of reusable wrapping and it’s relationship to kids. I realized (after making about a dozen bags and filling them with lovely gifts) that it would be VERY easy for curious eyes and fingers to simply open up a bag, check inside, and tie it (or button, or velcro, or whatever!) back up. And my kids are exactly the age that would do that. Now I can’t put the pretty pressies under the tree to admire and intrigue as we wait for the special day. I guess we’ll have to start a new tradition at our house — presents don’t appear until Christmas Eve. Or, it’s back to newspaper and tape for next year.

BTW, the lovely gift tags are downloadable from Paperseed, here. The wraps above are hemmed squares of fabric and the bags were just made up on the spot.

14 Jan

Book Bag for my Daughter

I don’t know if this fabric is as big in the Mainland US fabric shops as it is in Hawai’i, or if it’s even made it there, but I couldn’t pass it up. It seems like new variations of fighting sushi, space geishas, happy stars, angry Ninjas and all their wacky cohorts are popping up monthly!

Book Bag

I bought a yard each of several different fabrics and brought them home to the kids to see what they’d like made out of these silly fabrics. Katja wanted a messenger bag like her BFF and it needed to be the size of her math textbook. She had also talked me in to buying her a dragon patch on a separate outing and really wanted it on her bag.

Book Bag

I looked around at tutorials on the web and a pattern I already owned but, while close, nothing matched my vision and the construction on all seemed pretty easy, so I figured I’d just wing it and do what I wanted.

Book Bag

I thought a kid might appreciate a zippered pocket inside so things don’t fall out. There’s a (pink) patch pocket on the back of the bag’s outside too.

Book Bag

The cute little pyramid coin purse is a free download from Nicole Mallalieu. I made it clip onto a strap sewn into the book bag so it can be used separately if needed, but can also be attached for security.

My boy decided that he’d like one of these too. I’ll tweak the construction a bit, mostly because I can and I’m curious. We talked about field trip money today too, so I’ll be making Lunch Money Cuffs for both kids with the scraps.