Hi Everyone,

The new site is ready. It has all of the old, and soon to be, all of the new!! So update those RSS feeds, bookmarks, bloglines, and google readers to:

http://peacockchic.wordpress.com/

 

I will have some new FO’s going up this week so hurry up and update your info…pretty please :O)

See ya there!!

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Ok, I couldn’t have thought of a better way to open 2008 than with a much loved finished object. I LOVE this bag!!! Love it, love it, love it!! If I could marry it I would. When it was finished I would leave the room and then come back just to look at it. I walked around the house with it for hours with no intention of going anywhere. Even now I get a little gitty just thinking about it. It took all my will power to finish my resolution posts and not inject this FO post in the mix. Does it match my outfit you ask? WHO CARES!! I will wear it anyway. That is how much I love this bag. Excuse me I have to go look at my bag now….

Fabric:

Inspiration: Pleatness Bag from Craftster Tutorial (here is the link to the .doc file for the tutorial)
Modifications: Quite a few modifications – dimensions changes, added inside pocket, deleted zipper top, lenghtened straps, added button closure.
Enjoyment Factor: 10++
Time: 1.5 days

The Good:

  • You mean the fact that I love this bag isn’t enough? Ok, ok, back to the details…

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  • The fabric. I finally broke and added the yellow beehive fabric to my stash when I heard that this line was being discontinued. Yes, there will be no more!! I had to get it. And once I had it I had to make something wonderful, which I think I did. The Uptown lining fabric was found on a later visit to Purl and it just complimented everything because I looked at it and at once thought of honeycomb.
  • The Red Suede. I had this fabric in my stash for a while and I just love the feel of it. It was a great combination piece to the Etsuko fabric

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  • Notice the button string? Well that is the selvage of the fabric. I couldn’t find a ribbon or string I liked enough so I used the wonderful purple fabric of the selvage. It was a bear to make bias tape from about 1/4″ of fabric, but I did!
  • I really like the side pockets since I always lose my phone in my bag, hopefully the pockets will end the futile “search for the phone before it goes to voicemail” adventures

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  • I am getting really good at adding those welt zipper pockets to the inside of bags. They are so handy!

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  • Love the chubbiness of the bag. It was modeled after a $3.00 bag I got from Target that I always use for casual (a.k.a. everyday) use. It can hold a mountain of stuff, including the requisite knitting project and still has room for more.
  • Gotta love them pleats. I like how they add dimension to the honeycomb fabric and it really makes the bees pop!
  • The tutorial is well written and it was a great gesture on heartasaurus’ part since she sells these bags on her etsy site.

The Bad:

  • The straps were originally too short. I complete the outer shell and was so disappointed to find that the straps were just too short. I felt that I had an armpit tumor with the bag right there. So I had to deconstruct the whole bag to get back to the handles and then remake the handles to the proper dimension. Final cut dimensions were 44″L x 4″W cause I like my straps on the long side.

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  • I love the bag when it was completed but it was a little too gardener bag like when the edges flopped out on the top. So I added some pleated to the sides which kept them in and make the bag look a little more petite. That little addition just made my hear soar.
  • The top of the bag could have used a little interfacing. Nothing bad, but it would have given it just a little more structure. I will do that next time.

The Ugly:

  • Absolutely, Positively, not…one…thing

Ok, I have been away from my bag long enough. I must get back to oggling it!

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So courtesy of Lolly and Knit Lit I bring you the Best of the Best 2007. However, instead of just keeping it to my knitted accomplishments I am going to expand it to include sewing and possibly some other hobbies I may take up in the future.

1. Your best FO of the year:

2. Best FO of the year made by a blog you link to: Wow this is hard. There were so many wonderful FO’s in 2007 that remembering them all and THEN deciding if they are the best is far to complicated. So I will give you a selection of FO’s that I distinctly remember from 2007. The fact that I remember them makes them noteworthy.

3. Best yarn you tried

  • Noro Iro – Very expensive, but well worth the money. It is not scratchy at all to me and has such lovely color.
  • Berkshire Bulky – This is a great inexpensive, soft, and warm yarn produced by WEBS. I have already used on two pattern and definitely have it as a bulky yarn backup if needed.

4. Best new book/mag/pattern of 2007

  • Best Mag goes to: Burda World of Fashion – This is the hands down winner for best magazine discover. Hot damn this magazine is good. Now I just need to get my sewing skills up to par so that I can rival those contestants on Project Runway for my fashion sewing capabilities.
  • Best Book goes to: Craft Inc. – I really love the business minded content in the book and the fact that it is very contemporary instead of the stuffy business books in the library. The interviews are superb and Meg herself is a wonderful speakers.
  • Best Pattern goes to: Autumn Rose Pullover – I hope to get enough guts to make this sweater because it
  • is absolutely beautiful!!

5. Best new knitting technique or gadget you tried in 2007

  • Italian Tubular Cast-On – This really produces such wonderful results! It looks so finished and professional
  • Two color knitting – I am definitely addicted to this one. I can’t wait to start a Venezia!! Wait did I say that :)

6. Best new sewing technique or gadget you tried in 2007

  • Using a serger machine. I really enjoyed the professional finish that it created on my clothes. So much so that I brought one for my Christmas present. More on that later
  • Embroidery – which I used on my Wee Wonderfuls
  • Creating an inseam pocket – which I used on my Springtime in Craftland Apron

7. Top 5 inspirations–what five things inspired you the most over the past year?

  • Anthropologie catalog – This catalog is always a reflection of some interesting knits and sewn fashions
  • Blueprint Magazine – Loved for its contemporary crafts and wonderful collections of ideas and colors. This magazine however will see its end in 2008.
  • Nordstrom’s catalogall the things I would love to wear and have, but am too chub and poor to afford. Therefore I have to try and make them :)
  • Knitty – Always an inspiration for every knitter.

8. Designer who most amazed & inspired you throughout the year

  • Amy Butler – She has really topped my list for amazing designers because I just think her ideas are so creative and the patterns are challenging yet doable.
  • brooklyntweed - He brings about great designs with great yarn as the foundation.
  • Eunny Jang - She has such seemingly complicated and yet gorgeous patterns that I know that I will get a wonderful challenge and a beautiful FO when I make her patterns

9. Knitting resolutions for 2008

  • Make a two color sweater – specifically the Venezia Sweater
  • Learn to crochet – not really a knitting resolution, but could be useful for knitted projects

10. Sewing resolutions for 2008

  • Learn, and master, my new serger
  • Make a pair of pants
  • Make one, if not many patterns from my Burda World of Fashion Magazines
  • Finish my tailored jacket and quilts that are currently in the W.I.P. category
  • Learning how to Crewel – since I got the book for Christmas

11. What’s next for you and your blog?

  • Actually I will be moving and renaming my blog to prepare for some other crafty goals I have for 2008. Nothing solid or anything but just another resolution for 2008. Stay tuned for the move in January

OK people!! That was way harder than I imagined it to be. This is pretty much a post created over three days of pondering and  I feel like I barely scratches the surface of all the wonderful people and finished objects I have seen in 2007.  Hopefully 2008 will be just as filled with great people, great design, great knitter, great sewer, and great crafty people in general.

Happy 2008 Bloggie Buddies!!!

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Grand Total: 3 scarves, 3 aprons, 5 bags, 1 shirt, 2 skirts, and 2 toys, and 1 hat

This one, unlike my knit edition left me pretty surprised at how few sewing FOs I had. Now given I am not complaining but I just imagined having more. Given there are a few that I have not blogged about and won’t be blogged until 2008, but I just imagined more. Hmmm….curious.

Still, for my first 13 months of sewing this is still a pretty good haul. I can’t really narrow down a particular skill for 2008 because it was really all new to me. Everything was a learning experience and I felt as if I earned a new sewing merit badge every time. My skills have improved dramatically and I have branched out into more clothing sewing as will become apparent in 2008.

Finished Object 2007 – Sewing

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1. Wee Wondefuls – Kitty and Olive, 2. Denise Schmidt Scrap Wrap, 3. To Be Blogged 2008, 4. Box Bag, 5. To Be Blogged 2008, 6. McCall’s Vintage Apron 3979, 7. Denise Schmidt Scrap Wrap, 8. Kwik Sew 2311 Apron, 9. Amy Butler Blue Sky Sun Hat, 10. Amy Butler Barcelona Skirt – Layered Version, 11. Amy Butler Weekender Bag, 12. Butterick 4457 Shirt, 13. Amy Butler Patchwork Bag, 14. McCalls M5053 skirt, 15. To Be Blogged 2008, 16. Denise Schmidt Scrap Wrap

The Best of 2007

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Amy Butler Weekender Bag

The Weekender Bag was voted best of 2007 because…well…can’t you tell?! This was the best pattern that produced the best looking bag around. Don’t get me wrong, it was a lot of hard work to get this bag looking this good but damn it was worth it. And as a man would say after gazing on a beautiful woman walking down the street…”DAMN YOU ARE FINE”!

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Denise Schmidt Scrap Wrap Scarf

The Scrap Wrap Scarf was voted best of 2007 because I really like the creativity involved with the scarf. It is very simple and easy to make plus you get a playful and colorful accessory at the end. It is also obvious that this pattern would get the 2007 winning nod because I made it three time. THREE TIME PEOPLE!! This is not like me. I am a one time only type of crafter. Maybe even two, but three!! The funny part is I could see myself making more of these in 2008. These little puppies are as addictive as little smokies. So small and good you end up eating them all before you know it.

So there is the wrap up for the sewing projects of 2007….

Oh…hey, wait a minute. I just realized why I had fewer sewing FOs than I thought. That is because I have so many unfinished projects in the sewing category. Me!! The finishing queen has 2 quilts and 1 jacket waiting sadly to be finished. Well, we can’t have that! So I shall be kicking those out of the WIP category in 2008.

Next up… the Best of the Best 2007 meme, complete with resolutions, courtesy of Knit Lit!

 

 

Grand Total:5 sweaters, 2 bags, 3 scarves, 1 shawl, 1 knit toy, 1 pair of socks, and 1 hat.

Wow, I have been one busy knitting bee this year. This has also probably been one of my most successful years for knitting as well. I tackled some complex techniques, designs, and learned a variety of new knitting talents. Some of which are: Tubular Cast on, two color knitting, cabling without a needle, lace work, picking up stitches, making a heel gusset, kitchener stitch, and knitting in the round.

Finished Object 2007 – Knits

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The Best Knits of 2007

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The Montego Bay Scarf was voted best knit due to its versatility and wonderous color. It has great drape and really works with a variety of fashions. It was a simple knit but one of those wardrobe powerhouses that just makes everything pop.

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Noro Butterfly topped the list because it was such a wonderful knit to make. It have a great color and is very warm and cuddly. It definitely makes a statement and it holding up nicely.

So there you have it, the knits of 2007.

Next up… The sewn objects of 2007

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“Hello ladies and gentlemen. Don’t I just look dashing in my new scarf”

This scarf was knit for my stepdad’s Christmas present. The criteria that was given to me for a good scarf by my stepdad was a good color, not too busy or flashy, not top long, warm, and heavy enough to hug the back of the neck and keep the warmth in. I grappled with what to knit and finally settled on Shifting Sands. It has been a project on my list for some time and I am glad I made it because it is a very, very good pattern. I can’t wait to make one for myself :)

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease in Forest Heather Green
Inspiration: Grumperina’s Shifting Sands
Needles:
Size 7
Yardage: about 1.5 balls
Modifications: Cast on 37 sts and knit until it was long enough to just hang on neck
Enjoyment Factor:
9
Knit Time: 2 weeks in between holiday knitting and crafting

The Good:

  • I love all the cables. Mainly because they were so darn simple and yet created such a complicated look. I was originally intimidated by all those cables but when I finally got started I felt like the queen of the world by conquering my fears.
  • This pattern also works up pretty fast because of the simplicity of the repeating cable pattern.

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  • I like the fringe that I added to the scarf. Originally I was just going to leave it be, but I saw the slight curling on the edges and it started to bother me. Once the fringe was on I felt much better and it gave the entire thing some added weight.
  • The scarf is just long enough to hang on the neck but still long enough to wrap if desired. My stepdad normally only drapes it around his neck so I did not go for a super long length.

The Bad:

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  • The yarn. I can’t really say it was a bad because I love the heathered color and it will be easy to take care of. But I cannot say that I am in love with the Lion Brand Wool Ease yarn. It felt quite soft in the ball but was squeaky when I finally knit with it. A little like fingernails on a blackboard. And for some reason this yarn did not feel as warm as wool.

The Ugly:

  • No uglies on this pattern. It knit like a dream and produced a wonderful wonderful scarf. I can’t wait to do it again…and again…and again :D


I hope Santa brought you everything you wanted!!

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Yet another Christmas present done and gifted. This was given to a friend who admired my first two DS Scrap Wraps I made earlier in the year. Since this was not the first time I mad this scarf it went together very quickly. One thing that I changed was that I made it thinner and longer – 63″ x 5.25″. All the pieces are from my stash which was great and I love the little accent of green mixed in with the primary colors of the turquoise blue and chocolate brown. The best part was that the recipient loved it! I couldn’t have asked for a more enthusiastic response.

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No good, bad, and the ugly for this post because really it was just all good. Great instruction, easy to make, wonderful results, fabulous to wear. I can’t say more, except I wish it was mine :)

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This is a box bag set that I made for my secret swap partner in my knit group.   She was a burgeoning sock knitter so I thought she could definitely use a small project bag.  I filled the inside with sock yarn and sock knitting notions for her to get started.  She seemed to like it so…mission accomplished.

Fabric: Marimekko fabric found at Crate and Barrel Outlet,  Suede fabric
Inspiration:
Box Bag Tutorial on Drago[knit]fly
Modifications: The dimensions mentioned on the blog did not produce the size I was looking for.  I had to remake the bag using 15.5″ x 15.5″ dimensions.
Enjoyment Factor:
7 – mainly due to dimensional issues I had.
Time: .5 days

The Good

  • I bought quite a bit of this Marimekko fabric on discount and finally got to use it. I really like the color combo
  • The bag is actually very handy for small projects so is perfect for sock knitters.  This is exemplified by the abundance of these bags on etsy.
  • I really like the suede fabric.  I justed in on the back of the handle and the little zipper pouch.  I can’t wait for the Christmas crafting to be over so I can finally make myself a bag with this material.

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  • I used a zipper that was too long and it actually worked out perfectly because I did not have to worry about stitching around the zipper head when topstitching the opening flaps.  I just trimmed them later.  It definitely made for an easy and clearer line.

The Bad

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  • The dimensions on the pattern are for literally a box shaped bag, but the picture shows one more similar to mine or at least rectangular instead of square.  This was probably both a function of the 16″x12″ dimensions given and the sizing of the final stitched triangle that creates the sides (see pattern for clarification).  Either way it was too small for what I had intended so I had to make another using 15.5″ x15.5″ dimensions and making sure the triangle was much smaller.
  • I didn’t like how the pattern left you with exposed edges so I bound the cut edges of the bag with some extra wide bias binding from my stash.   It really gave it a more finished look.  Wish I had a picture to show you, but alas it is gone now.

The Ugly

  •  The first bag left so much to be desired.  I wish I had a picture but it was just BAD.  The size was off, the sides were crooked.  But in the end I learned a  lot and was able to do a MUCH better job on the second round.

Especially these part two weeks. Let me tell you why….

  • I have such great blog readers to help sway the election :) – thank you thank you thank you

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  • I have a great knit group that doesn’t bat an eye at knitted cupcake pasties – No we don’t all walk around with knitted pasties but this was our “how many knit items can you wear” contest. The most we got was 9 but man we had lots of fun while everyone was walking the runway.
  • I got a wonderful holiday party swap partner – who bought me some yummy Debbie Bliss alpaca silk and a beautiful flowering tea. As you can see I couldn’t control myself
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  • I won a mini bundle of fabric from Linda Lum DeBono’s blog in a holiday giveaway. She is a designer and the fabrics will be from her new line of fabric. She also have a really cute totebag pattern on her site.

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  • I got to test sew a fabulous pattern. If you sew, you will be buying this pattern up like gangbusters. It was great to sew and produced such a wonderful finished object. I have to wait to show you, but above is a little sneak peek. You are just going to love it!

So all of this wonderful luck led me to buy two lottery tickets in the hopes that my luck was still running strong. As you can see, I am still posting and not while sipping Mai Tai’s on the beach so suffice it to say my lucky streak has run its course :)

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On the Needles


Kusha Kusha Scarf CO: 8/22
Turtleneck Tube Vest CO: 9/30
Knitty Shimmer CO: 9/8
Cable Down Raglan CO: 10/26

Under the Needle

McCall's M5478 Jacket
Started 8/07, 45% Complete

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