Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bike Shirts & I'm gonna need a serger

Several months ago, I was in my favorite fabric store and saw the most adorable bike fabric. I kept thinking to myself, "I need that fabric!" I wanted to make something "bikey" for the girls to help support / promote their Dad's bike business ... but, I have a hard time buying fabric unless I have a project in mind. I need a limitation / restriction like that - otherwise, I'd be a total fabric hoarder and have no money. If you're reading this crafty blog, you probably understand.

Anyway, a month or so later I was still thinking about that fabric- now under a special circumstance like that, exceptions can be made to the buying restrictions. So I went back to the store to get the fabric. Only, they were out of it on the bolt! Boo! Not to be deterred, I started looking all over the store and found 2 fat quarters of the bike print and 2 fat quarters of the lilyrose print left - I bought them! Yay! I still didn't know what to do w/ them but I felt happy knowing they were in my fabric bin! :-)

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Project Selvage

Have you heard about Project Selvage?   If not, you need to check it out.  Michael Miller Fabrics (you know Sara and Sarah are fans of MM) is teaming up with in a fabric design contest.  The winner of this contest will have their fabric design produced by Michael Miller Fabrics and will win a trip to the Houston Quilt Market Fall 2011.  The ten finalists will win a $100 credit with Spoonflower, and 10 yards (!!!) of Michael Miller Fabrics.

You can find out all the details of this great contest here.  Be sure to check it out!

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Challenge No.15 Announcement!

Sara & Sarah have to create a craft using scraps and post it here next Wednesday! Then you'll pick your favorite. Sara's antsy to get the crown back, but Sarah seems to like wearing it ... we'll see which one brings the best scrapbuster craft!

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February Thrift Store Finds

It's been awhile since I've shared some of my thrift store finds with you so I thought I'd post about some of the fabulous stuff I've found in February.

This gorgeous Danish modern lamp base was a Goodwill find.  With my 20% off coupon, it came to $6.39.  Once I got it home, I paired it with the fab lamp shade from another lamp I had, and a new harp and finial from yet another lamp.  Now I have an awesome Danish Frankenstein lamp!  The little poodle planter was a thrift store find last year.  I use it to throw my thread tails in when doing handwork in front of the TV.

One thing I'm always on the lookout for is vintage paint by numbers.  As you can see, I've accumulated quite a few!  None of these are new this month, but I thought I'd snap a picture since I was in that room and had my camera out.

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The Winner is...


With a final vote of Sara-35 vs. Sarah-57, Sarah re-earned the tiara and will reign as the craft queen of Sara vs. Sarah for the next two weeks...  maybe even longer!  It was Sarah who made the Atomic Ball Clock

That all depends on our next challenge.  Tune in tomorrow to find out what we'll be up to next.


Read more about the projects:
Project Organizer, link here.
Winner! Clock, link here.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

What's Next on SvS?

  • What is it? 31 days / 31 projects created from our scraps. (Sara & Sarah admittedly have problems with throwing away crafty scraps.)
  • Scraps? Nothing is off limits here people ... fabric, ribbon, trim, yarn, felt, knits ... you name it!
  • When? March 1 through 31st
  • Will there be a challenge? Yep. We're going to bring scrapbusting to our regular challenges.
  • Giveaway? Of course - with 31 projects coming, something will have to go!
Have you made any great scrapbusters lately? Do tell! Leave a comment with your blog link, visit us on Facebook and post a picture or whatever. We have lots of inspiration, but would love to see what you're all up to too!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend ... someone's off to finish up a Sock or two. :-)

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Without further ado, here is my nifty, concise, page protector-ready, BYOP for Basic Crew Socks:

I also have another PDF for you.  This one has information on variations you can try, some fitting tips, and a couple of miscellaneous notes.  I did this as a PDF in case you would like to print it along with the pattern.

Sock Tips

That's it for Socks Education.  I hope you learned something to help you with your socks life. If ever I can be of help, give me a holler!

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Socks Education Part 5: Finishing Off (The Toes)

We are to the toe!  Can you believe it?  It seems like just yesterday that we were turning the heel...  or was it the day before yesterday?  My, how sophiscated and experienced we are with socks now.

The Toe

Believe me, after the heel, the toe is going to be a breeze.  A walk in the park.  An ice cream sundae with a cherry on top.  It’s going to be easy.

Round 1
·        Needle #1:  k until 3 sts left, k 2 tog, k 1
·        Needle #2:  k 1, sl 1 st, k 1, psso, k until 3 sts left, k 2 tog, k 1
·        Needle # 3:  k 1, sl 1 st, k 1, psso, k to end
Round 2
K even
Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until
12 sts are left
To Finish
·        Graft remaining sts (aka Kitchener sts); or
·        K 2 together for 1 round until 6 sts remain; cut thread leaving 8 inch tail, thread tail onto a yarn needle, then thread yarn through 6 sts and pull up; or
·        Bind off 12 sts and sew toe closed

Before we start, make sure your stitches are properly distributed.  You should have one-fourth of the stitches on Needle #1, one-half the stitches on Needle #2, and the final one-fourth on Needle #3.  We are going to decrease one at the end of Needle #1, one at the both the beginning and end of Needle #2, and one at the beginning of Needle #3.
Sock with stitches distributed

For Round 1:
Needle #1:  Knit until there are three stitches left on the needle, knit two    together, knit one.
Needle #2:  Knit one, slip one stitch, knit one, pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitch, knit until there are three stitches left on the needle, knit two together, knit one.
Needle #3:  Knit one stitch, slip one stitch, knit one stitch and pass slipped stitch over the knit stitch, knit to end of needle.
For Round 2:  Knit even.

Repeat these two rounds until you have 10-12 stitches left.
Ten stitches left

We have three choices for binding off: 
1)  Graft the remaining stitches. Grafting is also known as the Kitchener stitch.
2)  K two together for 1 round reducing the number of stitches to six.  Cut yarn leaving an 8 inch tail.  Using a yarn needle, thread yarn through the six remaing stitches and pull up to close toe.
3)  Bind off the 12 stitches and sew the toe closed.

There are pros and cons to each of these methods.  I graft my remaining stitches.  This looks the nicest and there is no bulk.  However, grafting is the hardest method, especially if you haven’t done it before.  I’m not going to go into an explanation of it here.  My suggestion is that if you want to give this a try, go to YouTube where there are several good videos.

Pulling up the threads is the easiest method, but it is also the least attractive.  It will give you a little point at the tip of your sock.  The sock will be perfectly comfortable and usable, but if you’re anything like me, that point will annoy you.

Binding off and then sewing the toe closed would be my second most preferred method.  It results in a little bulk in the toe, but it’s attactrive.

Once you have finished the toe, weave in the ends.  If you have change colors at any point, and have two ends right next to each other, go in opposite directions when weaving them in.  This will reduce bulk.  Also, added colors with Russian join, you don't have to weave in at all.  Just snip your yarn and get on with your life.

Second Sock

Here’s the worst thing about knitting socks.  Unless you have only one foot, you have to make a second one.  So, return to the Casting On section and do it all again. 
One finished sock.
Come back tomorrow when I will publish the final, printable version of the Basic Crew Sock Build Your Own Pattern.  If I do say so myself, this pattern is pretty nifty.  Sara loves it because she can put it in a page protector (she has a strange affinity for page protectors).  It does fit neatly onto the front and back of a single sheet of paper which is handy if you knit on the go.  I’ll also have some ideas for you regarding designing and custom fitting your socks.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quilt and Quilt Camp

I work for a community college which is having a scholarship fundraiser that will feature a silent auction of donated gift baskets.  I was asked if I would make a quilt for one of the baskets.  Well, I went one step further by making a baby quilt, two matching bibs, two matching burp clothes and the cutest little bunny you ever did see (I guess that five steps further).  

The bunny was a featured project on a great blog called All Sorts.  You can find the tutorial here.  The quilt pattern is called Charming Stars and I found the pattern on Moda Bake Shop.   The MBS pattern was for a larger quilt so I used only nine blocks to get the right size for my baby quilt.

I made this all this at quilt camp.  I love quilt camp.  We go to Bear Cabin Inn in Show Low, AZ and are treated like queens by the owner Carol.  Carol is a quilter herself and built her inn to cater to quilters.  Basically, that means two things:  lots of workspace and lots of good food.

Here we are enjoying a yummy breakfast.  At or first breakfast, Carol (top left corner) gave me about 12 strips of bacon.  Man, I love Carol.
The camp dog Maggie is making sure my feet don't get cold.
I love quilt camp because I get to hang with my crafty peeps, because I have no obligations to meet for the time we are there, because I learn from my friends and mostly because the entire time is devoted to creativity.  If there is a heaven, I think it will be an awful lot like quilt camp.
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Challenge No. 14 {Get Organized} - The Submissions

Apparently, we thought that being on time and having a proper place to store stuff was a good way to GET ORGANIZED! Check out our projects for our 14th Challenge (get organized!) and then be sure to VOTE for your favorite!

Read more about the projects:

Project Organizer, link here.
Clock, link here.

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Challenge 14 Submission: Atomic-look Ball Clock with Tutorial!

My atomic-look clock inspired by George Nelson's ball clock.
This submission is dedicated to chronically late, of which, sadly, I am one.  So, to get myself organized, I decided to make a clock for my TV room to help me keep track of time.  My prediction?  I'll still be late, I'll just be more aware that I'm late!

Here's the original George Nelson clock which retails for about $400:
Here's mine again; it cost about $10:

Here are the instructions for making your own Atomic-look Ball Clock.
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Project Organizer - Get Organized Submission

The finished measurements are 8.5" x 24" (conveniently the size of my largest cutting ruler). I used a piece of canvas for the backing because it's sturdy (and it's apparently permanently wrinkled from washing and I cannot think of anything else to do with it). I made my own "bias tape" using my fancy new bias tape maker (1" maker creates 1/2" double fold tape - note to self). I have "bias tape" in quotes because I did not cut any of this fabric on the actual bias - I knew that I'd be using it to bind STRAIGHT edges, so I didn't think it would matter (it didn't). SO, I used up the scraps for cutting the pockets and created about 85" of bias tape (woah!) and used it to bind all four edges and make the "hanger."

Regarding the picture below, I am OBSESSED with this color combo! The yellow / grey / purple thing is working for me!

doesn't that corner look sharp? I've never rounded a corner before, but was surprised at how easy it is to make nice corners!

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Socks Education Part 4.3: Taking Your Socks Life in a New Direction

Was turning the heel good for you?  It was good for me.  Now, let’s move on to gusseting.

The Gusset.
Click to enlarge.

The gusset can be as confusing as the turn, but I got you through that and now I will get you through this.  The gusset is, by definition, a triangular piece insert to make a garment fit better.  It’s the opposite of a dart which is a triangle that is taken out of a garment to make it fit better. 
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Monday, February 14, 2011

Socks Education Part 4.2: Taking Your Socks Life in a New Direction

I dropped the ball on getting this posted over the weekend.  But, better late than never and sometimes, with socks, it takes awhile to get there.

Without further ado, lets turn our heels!

Turning the Heel
Row 1
Sl 1 st, k _____, sl 1 st, k1, psso, k1, turn
_____ (heel flap stitches)/2 + 4 = _____
Row 2
Sl 1 st, p 9 sts, p 2 tog, p 1, turn
Row 3
Sl 1 st, k to 1 st before the gap, sl 1 st, k1, psso, k1, turn
Row 4
sl 1 st, p to 1 st before the gap, p 2 tog, p1, turn
Repeat Rows 3 and 4 until all the stitches between the gaps have been eliminated.  End on a purl row.
Turning the Heel.  There is something about turning a heel that feels a little uncomfortable, but it’s perfectly natural, I assure you.  What’s different is that you are decreasing stitches in the center of the row, not at the ends.  As you decrease in the center, your work will curve in from both sides forming a comfy cup for your heel.
You will make your decrease at this point.  The stitches on the left will not be used again until we get to the gusset.
The first thing you do on Row 1 is slip one stitch (yes, we are still doing that!), knit half your heel stitches plus 4 more.  At this point, you slip one st, knit one stitch, pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitch, and knit 1.  You’ll notice that there is a little gap between your stitches where you decreased.  We’ll be using that gap to determine where to make decreases on subsequent rounds.  There are still stitches on the left needle, but we are just going to ignore them for now.  Turn your work and let’s purl Row 2.

Row 2 starts by slipping one stitch, purl 9, purl 2 together, purl one.  You’ve now made your second “gap.”  Again, there are still stitches on your left needle, but we are going to ignore them.  Turn your work for Row 3.

We are now decreasing on the purl side row.  You can see the "gap" on the right needle.

Slip the first stitch of Row 3, then knit to one stitch before the gap.  Slip the the stitch before the gap and knit the stitch after the gap, pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitch and knit one stitch.  The result this is that you’ve drawn up that gap so there won’t be a hole, and you’ve decreased another stitch.  Turn work.

Knit to one stitch before the gap.  This is where we start are next decrease.

Slip the first stitch of Row 3, then knit to one stitch before the gap.  Slip the the stitch before the gap and knit the stitch after the gap, pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitch and knit one stitch.  The result this is that you’ve drawn up that gap so there won’t be a hole, and you’ve decreased another stitch.  Turn work.

Row 4 is essentially the same as Row 3, only we’re purling, not knitting.  Slip your first stitch, purl to one stitch before the gap, purl one stitch before and on stitch after the gap together, purl one stitch.  Again, we’ve drawn the gap together and decreased a stitch. 

Repeat Rows 3 and 4 until you can no longer decrease.  End on a purl row.  Now it’s time to work the gusset.  Look for that post within the next 24 hours!

Your heel will look like this when you are done.

So far, it’s not so bad, is it?

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I just had to share this.  Margie at work brought in this adorable Valentine's strawberry bouquet.  I've dubbed them "Margiepops." 

How cute is that?  She used strawberry marshmallows dipped in chocolate and fresh strawberries.  They are inserted into the planter using Dove chocolates as the "dirt."  It's too cute to eat!

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Socks Education Part 4.1: Taking Your Socks Life in a New Direction

The day you have been so nervous about is here.  You are about to turn a heel.  Don’t panic!  It won’t be that bad.  Pay attention to my instructions and we’ll get through this.

If you have finished your leg, your sock should look something like this.

In this basic crew sock, the heel flap and turn are worked in stockinette on two needles.  This means that you will knit one row, purl one row (in the round, you were knitting every row).  I use two DPNs to do this, but you could switch to regular needles if you wanted.

Because of there are three distinct steps, I’ve decided to do three posts, rather than just one.  Let’s really break it down.  We start with the heel flap.

The Heel Flap.  The heel flap is the first of the three heel sections.  It’s also the easiest.  The math to determine the number of  stitches is easy.  Divide the total number of stitches by 2.  For me, this number is 28 (56 total stitches divided by 2).

As a reminder, the heel flap is the part of your heel that extends from the right ankle, across the back of the foot/leg, to the left ankle, and from the ankle to the floor.

There are two tricks to the heel flap:
1.    Half of the heel flap stitches come from the right of the start of the round, and the other half come from the left of the start of the round.  Your first row will be knit from the center of these stitches.  Follow the instructions in the Heel Flap Chart below.
2.   You MUST slip the first stitch of every row (except Row 1).  I promise, you will hate yourself in the morning if you don’t slip that first stitch.   

Other than that, the heel flap is a breeze.  Just keep repeating to yourself, “Slip that first stitch.  Slip that first stitch.  Slip that first stitch. . .”

Heel Flap
_____ [number of cast on sts] ÷ 2 = _____ (number of heel flap sts)
The heel flap is worked on two needles
Row 1
([number of heel flap sts] ÷ 2)  = _____ (k sts for row 1)
Row 1 sts are knit from Needle #1; move remaining sts from Needle #1 to Needle #2
Row 2
Sl 1 st, Purl


([knit stitches from Row 1] - 1 = _____ (p sts for first part of row 2)

([number of heel flap sts] ÷ 2) = _____ (p sts for second part of row 2)
Always slip the first st of the row.  This is important!  
Row 2 sts are knit from Needle #3; move remaining sts from Needle #3 to Needle #2
You should now have two needles, each with half the number of sts you cast on
The sts on Needle #2 will be reserved until the gusset is worked.
Row 3 and All Odd-Numbered Rows
Sl 1 st, k to end
Row 4 and All Even-Numbered Rows
Sl 1 st, p to end
Repeat Rows 3 and 4
until heel flap measures
_____ [number of heel flap sts] ÷ _____ [sts per inch] =  _____ (length of heel flap)
End heel flap with a purl row

Starting at the beginning of the round, knit your Row 1 stitches from Needle #1. This is the only heel flap row that you do not start by slipping a stitch. You will have a couple of stitches left on Needle #1 which you can transfer to Needle #2.  These stitches will be reserved until we start work on the gusset.
I've knitted my 14 Row 1 heel flap stitches from Needle #1. 

For Row 2, turn your work, slip your first stitch, then purl to the end of the needle.  Purl your remaining Row #2 stitches from Needle #3.  Again, you will have a few leftover stitches which you can move to Needle #2 to reserve until we work on the gusset.

You can see in this picture, that I have slipped my first stitch and am purling starting with the second stitch.

I've slipped on stitch, purled to the end of the first needle, then purled my
After working Rows 1 & 2 of the heel flap, your sock will look like this.  The remaindered of the heel flap will be worked on the stitches on the bottom needle.  The stitches on the top needle will be reserved until we get to the gusset.
The heel flap should be square when it's finished. End the heel flap with a purl row.  

Of course, you slipped the first stitch on each row, right?  We’ll pick it up from here tomorrow when we will turn the heel. So far, it’s not so bad, right?

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And the Winners Are ...

Well, the giveaway closed on Tuesday and now it's time to announce the five winners! Thanks to everyone who participated and to the new readers, welcome! Without further ado, the winners are...
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Challenge No. 14 Announcement

It's that time again! Our next challenge is for Sara & Sarah to craft something that falls into the category of "get organized!" Our projects are due here on the blog next Wednesday. Which one will be the best? You will decide with your votes!

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tammis Keefe Challenge - Winning Projects!

Well our fabulously fun Tammis Keefe Tribute & Challenge is coming to a close! Voting ended last night and based on your record number of votes, the winning project is .....
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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Socks Education - "Student" Input

Years ago, I decided I wanted to learn to knit socks ... somewhere along the way I lost my way!

I did everything I should: bought a book, bought DPNs in every imaginable size, bought sock yarn, and... I even knit a "test sock"! I do not know what derailed me, but for whatever reason, I didn't make it. Maybe that was when I got pregnant and I could not bring myself to do anything other than lay around and eat McDonald's & Eggo Waffles. Whatever the case, I quit.

My sock yarn with the beginning of an abandoned sock

this is how far i got :(

i ripped it all out, because I'm starting over with Sarah's Socks Education!

my "test" sock from years ago
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