Friday, January 15, 2010

Baking AND Sewing!

I had plans today, but they never really came to fruition. So I took the opportunity to be extra domestic: I baked AND sewed!

You all know I bake cupcakes a lot, but some holidays get ignored. Like, did I make Christmas cupcakes? I can't even remember. But I bake Valentine cupcakes every year. Even if they're really super early, I bake them. Because, of all of the holidays, Valentine's Day is the one that really begs for gaudy, chocolaty love. And also, it's one of the rare opportunities for me to use my heart platters.

When I resigned from my job, this is exactly what I envisioned: welcoming my daughters home from school with freshly-baked treats. Nora was oh so happy to see these today!

Tomorrow we are going to a baby shower, and even though I bought something off of the gift registry, I really could not see walking in without something handmade to go with it. Because you can dress a baby in anything and she can't argue about it, and trust me-that does not last.

Yesterday, Dana and I went to the fabric store and selected this fabric. I can't even tell you how much I love it. It's the softest flannel ever, and the birdies are sublime. You can't really tell, but the trim and ties are a coordinating floral, which you can see here. They are both Valori Wells, and I had such a hard time picking which specific fabric to use as all of her flannels are adorable.

The kimono top was made from this tutorial, and I found the pattern for the bloomers in my pattern box. I don't know where it's from! Hopefully the new mama will like this set!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


For the second time in a week, I woke up way too early and, after tossing and turning for an hour, finally got out of bed and baked. I believe I mentioned that last Monday.

Yesterday: same thing. Maybe it's a new Monday thing. Anyhow, I got some raspberries and blackberries outta the freezer and made muffins. Which worked out well because I brought them and all of their buttery goodness to my PTA board meeting and only ended up bringing 2 back home.

I also baked a loaf of maple buttermilk bread and made honey butter to bring to knitting that night. But I didn't think to get a photo of that.

Any requests for next Monday?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Knitting Bag-Ta Da!

I finished up my knitting bag last night!

From the outside, it looks pretty much like every other tote I've ever made. It's about 17 inches wide by 11 inches tall, with a 5 inch bottom. Did I mention before that it's Amy Butler home decor weight fabric? It is. And it's awesome because I didn't have to use any interfacing. I am not in love with interfacing.

But this time I added a zip top to keep all of my knitting stuff safe. Nobody needs to lose their scissors or darning needles, right?

The zip panels-they almost killed me. It's not that they were hard-it's that I had to make up how to do it. I am certain directions exist in abundance on the world wide web, but it seemed so easy until I got into it. And by then, it was too late. There were details I should have worked out in advance, but I didn't know about them until I got to them. So the two ends of the zipper aren't identical, but it's my bag and I sure don't care.

Here's the inside (I know-you needed me to clarify what you were looking at). I sewed pockets in so I can keep stuff organized. So the pocket you see here is for a pattern. Right now, it has a magnetic board with my Central Park Hoodie chart and pattern. I made the pocket big enough to fit 8 1/2 by 11 papers.

And on the other side, there are tool pockets. I have my cable needles, a gauge check/ruler thing, scissors, my circular needle bag, a tape measure, etc. I also sewed a few pockets to accommodate a pair of straight needles, a set of double pointed needles, and my cell phone.

I feel like I need to sew a matching tiny bag to hold things like stitch markers and darning needles. They would fit in the pockets, but it seems that, if I need one of these tools in the middle of my knitting, it would be easier to grab a little coin purse thingy than to root around in various pockets for something so small. So I will probably whip that up next.

I love how I can put extra yarn and my project in the middle and they are safe there.

I want to use this for a few weeks to see if there is anything I would change, and then I told my mother in law I would make her a knitting bag, too.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Fabric and Stuff

Red and green M&Ms have been replaced with these. We pulled down all of the Christmas stuff yesterday and I went on a cleaning frenzy, much like the rest of America. Someone climbed into our bed to snuggle around 6:00 this morning and I just could not fall back asleep. So right now, there are brownies cooling on the counter and muffins in the oven. Muffins made with strawberries and raspberries I picked in the heat of the summer. I needed a little reminder that it isn't always -3 degrees and that there isn't always ice on my bathroom window.

I bought this fabric in November so I could finally make myself a knitting bag. And it has sat in a bag in my closet ever since. This weekend, I pulled it out and pressed it. Then I went on a mad hunt for my tote bag pattern. I searched in every single location I may have possible stashed it and came up empty handed. The thing is, this "pattern" I speak of is nothing more than two sheets of graph paper with drawings and measurements on them. So it is conceivable that someone (i.e. me) recycled the whole works without realizing it.

It's OK though. I made a new pattern with some changes to make the thing more knitting-friendly. I am adding pockets inside to hold things like needles, tools, and a pattern. I am also adding a zipper on top. Hopefully I can sew this up this week, since the pieces are all cut out now.

My parents returned from Huahine last night. Kevin picked them up from the airport and when he got home, he threw these onto the couch next to me. I thought, at first glance, that they were pareos for me and the girls, but it suddenly dawned on me that there was a selvage edge! Fabric! Yay fabric! I am sorry to say that this may have contributed to my insomnia this morning, as I lay awake thinking of different things to use it for: a little lap quilt! Skirts! A bag! So I guess I'll think it over for a little while longer.

Also: vanilla beans! This I am thrilled about, too, as I am nearly halfway through the vanilla from last year. And since it takes 6 months to steep, I say it couldn't have arrived at a better time!