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The name explains it all.  They are wee and boy are they wonderful!! May I introduce Olive and Kitty from the Wee Wonderful line.  They were a blast to make and I love them so much I can’t don’t want to give them away.  I had been eyeing them on the website for a while but when I say the kitty  pattern at the Craft Inc. fair last month I just had to have it.  The next day I made kitty.  The very next day after kitty, I bought the pattern for Olive and made her.  If it hadn’t been for the need to make other Christmas gifts I would have continued until my whole world was populated by Wee Wonderful creations.

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Olive

Olive is a Christmas gift for me my niece.  I really loved making this doll and will probably make her some of the accessories when I have more time.

Fabric: Random Corduroy and Polyester Felt (not recommended)
Inspiration:
Wee Wonderful Olive and Archie Pattern
Size:
n/a
Modifications: I added little ponytails
Enjoyment Factor:
10!!!
Time: 1.5 days

The Good:

  • I love the result from such a simple pattern.  Everything was pretty inexpensive or from stash and the construction was easy.  I hightly recommend this pattern!
  • This was my second time doing embroidery (the first time was kitty).  I really like how the stitching brings like to the doll.  Adding the little white stitch to the eye was the final touch that made Olive come alive!

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  • I added a little ethnicity to Olive because my niece is black and mexican so a slightly darker skin tone was needed.  Also she has curly hair that is often worn in ponytails so I added that too.

The Bad: 

  •  Since I added to the hair pattern, stitching around the wisps of Olive’s hair and the ponytails was a bit of a chore.
  • Stitching those arms and legs in was no joke.  It was quite a bit of work to get those in.
  • The arms came out a little low.  I thought I measured the correct amount from the neck, but I guess the stitching pushed them down.

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  • I couldn’t find and didn’t really know about Wool Felt when I was making my Wee Wonderfuls.  I wish I had because the quality of wool felt versus Polyester felt is noticeable.  Polyester felt does not wear as well as the wool felt and therefore will pill (as seen on kitty below).  I did read in Sew Stylish Magazine, Gifts issue that if you can’t get wool felt you can control the pills by:
    • preshrinking felt in hot water, and drying it in the dryer
    • Then misting the dried felt with water and ironing it dry.  However, ironing typically causes the felt to melt but preshrinking should eliminate this problem according to them.

The Ugly:

  •  None

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Kitty

Kitty is a Christmas gift for a family friend.  Kitty was the first Wee Wonderful ever made and was quite a learning experience.  I made a lot of mistakes learned a lot of techniques about embroidery and felt on Kitty.  But either way she still is cute!

Fabric: Polyester Felt (not recommended)
Inspiration:
Wee Wonderful Put Together- Book #1
Size:
n/a
Modifications: None
Enjoyment Factor:
10!!!
Time: 1 days

The Good:

  • Kitty is a great beginner pattern for the Wee Wonderful line.  It was very easy to assembly and cut everything and it goes together in a flash.
  • Since I bought this pattern in person, I really liked the presentation of the booklet.  It is a high quality print and worth the money.
  • I like the yellow buttons I had in my stash for the eyes.  They look like really cat eyes to me.

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The Bad: 

  •  Polyester Felt!! See above for why I don’t like it, but see below for the outcome.  You can really see the pilling on Kitty.  However, the upside is that kitty is a cat and therefore it just makes her look furry.
  • The embroidery on kitty is less than stellar but it was my first time so it doesn’t look THAT bad.

The Ugly:

  •  None

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I have been a crafting machine over the past few weeks, and producing some pretty kick ass gifts if I may say so myself…which of course I do. Not only am I crafting for the upcoming Super Holiday of Christmas, but there are also some birthdays and baby showers sprinkled in there for good measure.

So for my friend’s birthday gift, she wanted some aprons to wear when she has a booth at craft fairs. She specifically requested a Christmas and a Spring season color apron set. So here are the details…

Springtime in Craft land Apron

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Fabric: Urban Chicks “Summer in the City” Fabric for the middle and birds on the edges, JoAnn’s fabric for front side panels
Inspiration:
McCall’s 3979 Vintage Aprons
Size:
X-Large (20-22)
Modifications: Added side seam pockets
Enjoyment Factor:
9 – love the construction details
Time: 3 days

This was definitely my piece de resistance in apron making. I have loved this pattern since I saw it made in black and white oil cloth material. I had yet to make it since, although I love aprons, I have very little use for them. So when my friend asked me for aprons I knew this one would be topping the list.

Good:

  • I absolutely love the unique design of this apron. It was so revealing to make. Every time another piece came together I would say to myself…”ta da!!”. I just love new construction techniques.
  • I like the color combo which was inspired by the bird print that my friend likes so much. This is definitely not a color combination that I am used to working with so it took quite a bit of mental massaging to keep going and know that it would look good when finished.

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  • There is a secret addition to this pattern that I made. I added in-seam pockets between the second and third panels of the apron! My friend specifically asked that the pattern be a full body apron and have pockets. So after racking my brain for a few days I thought “a ha”. Only thing is that I had never done an in-seam pocket, let alone made significant additions or changes to a sewn pattern. So when I actually pulled it off it was probably the biggest “TA DA!!!” moment of the sewing process.

Bad:

  • Figuring out the proper size. Yes, this apron pattern has sizes but no measurements to tell you how to determine which you are. Does it use modern sizing or vintage sizing as the name would imply. Either way I knew I would need the biggest size to err on the side of caution because both me and the recipient are quite boodyilicious.
  • The 1/4″ seams they asked for were to big and were not covered by the double-fold bias tape when it was applied. I even double checked the pattern to make sure it didn’t require Extra-wide double fold bias tape and it didn’t. So I sewed the seams at 1/8″ and the applied the bias tape and sewed over it again. Unless she is making all her craft sales in quarters and putting them in the pockets of her apron, I think the seams should be fine. Just need to make sure you sew at the VERY edge of the tape so that you capture the most fabric.
  • I did notice that one of the seams for the side ties had come loose so I repaired it and then reinforced the ties my sewing another line of stitching right outside the edge of the bias tape. I highly recommend this to add stability.

Ugly:

  • Sewn binding is an unforgiving mistress that points out every flaw you make along the way. It may actually be IMPOSSIBLE to sew this stuff straight. I tried people, I TRIED and still it looked a little drunken at the end. Oh well, if you are looking that close at my friend’s body you may want to buy her a drink 🙂

Christmas Sparkle Apron

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Fabric: Christmas Fabric from Micheal Levine
Inspiration: Kwik Sew 2311
Size:
N/A
Modifications: Deleted single pockets and added one long pocket unevenly divided into two.
Enjoyment Factor:
7
Time: 1 day
I was not much into the idea of the traditional Christmas color combo of red and green. In fact, I kinda don’t like those colors together when they are put on your body, so I had to break it up with some gold and a more sophisticated print fabric to liven it up.

Good:

  • This was kind of a nostalgic moment for me because I made this same apron pattern as one of my first ever sewn object in last year. It went much faster than the 4 weeks it took last time 🙂
  • I added a bigger panel style pocket instead of the tiny hand pockets so that it had more uses than holding change. Plus the xmas panel was too beautiful to cut up.
  • Used the label method in Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts. It was simple, fun, and effective. I will definitely be using it again on future projects.
  • Super fast.

Bad

  • Same binding tape issues as above.

Ugly

  • Nada

UPDATE: We won!!! We won!! Thanks everyone for voting and loving Elijah that much.  And if you some reason you didn’t get the entire story, Ysolda posted the entire story on her blog.  

 

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 Thanks everyone for the wonderful compliments on Elijah and his fantastic adventure on Flickr. He has been very proud of his moment of fame, but now you can make him even more famous.

If you liked the story, please, please, please go over to Ysolda’s site and vote for Mopix (another of my alter ego to hide my super powers) so that I can win the goody bag she is offering for best Elijah story. Voting is only open until Friday so rush on over to support this young rising star!

Thanks for supporting my shameless self promotion.

Elijah thanks you too 🙂

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This cute little elephant was knit for my 2 year old nephew for Christmas. I can post it now because I doubt his internet skills are that developed yet.

Yarn: Queensland Llama Seta for Eli and scarf, Gray mix Paton’s Merino for eyes.
Inspiration: Ysolda’s Elijah
Needles:
Size 2 (2.75mm)
Yardage: about 1.75 balls (154 yards)
Modifications: Knit on 2.75mm instead of 3.0mm. Unintentionally knit the ear backwards on one side
Enjoyment Factor: 8

Knit Time: One to Two weeks

Good:

  • Love, love, love the pattern. Ysolda did a knock out job of making a wonderful looking toy without all the seams that most knit toys ask for. It was amazing how everything blended as you knit it. I love all the beautiful swirls on the head, feet, and hands.

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  • Ysolda’s pattern detail was impeccable. She gave you everything you needed without the guess work, even the direction to pick up the stitches. There was one problem found with the ear, that she has since corrected.
  • This is a real stash buster. If you’ve got stash, bust it on this pattern because it is well worth it.
  • I had to add the hand knit scarf because one I love the color combo of the light green Eli with the purple scarf and the fact that everyone deserves a hand knit scarf, even a knit elephant.
  • I like how you stuff the elephant as you go. It did make it hard to knit around sometimes but I liked the fact that when you were done you had a uniformally firm stuffed toy.
  • I love how there are lots of places for my nephew to grab on to when carrying Eli around. The trunk, the arms, the ears…perfect for a 2 year old.

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  • Ysolda was also holding a contest for Elijah Adventure stories which helped to motivate me to get this done quick. The story of my Eli and pictures can be found here. In the meantime, here is a sneak peak at some of his antics.

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The Bad:

  • OMG my hand hurt the whole time. Knitting yarn that is supposed to be on size 6’s on size 2’s is like knitting with the hardest cotton you can imagine. Let alone the increases and decreases…OUCH! The pattern did call for 3.0 mm needles, but those odd sizes are hard to come by if they are not already in your needle stash, so I trudged ahead on my 2.75mm’s because I cannot imagine that the 3.0mm needles would have given much relief. Besides I wanted a think fabric so the stuffing didn’t poke through.
  • The time. Because of the hard to knit fabric, I had to take quite a few breaks to give my hands a rest.
  • Not really bad, but more of a challenge was the French knot eyes. It was not about the technique, which I googled and found a great video tutorial, but more about getting the right size and shape. Thank goodness I had done all the embroidery on my Wee Wonderful, so I felt quite in control when it came to the eyes.

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The Ugly:

  • I couldn’t figure out how to knit one of the ears. I am very bad at visualizing how things go together so I struggled to figure out what direction to pick up the stitches. I must have knit the ear 3 times – once upside down, once with big nasty purl ridge, and lastly backwards. The fact that I was fed up, you really can’t tell that it is backwards, and it was made for a 2 year old helped me to come to terms with the backwards version being good enough.

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  • Due to the thick fabric, I would highly recommend metal needles for this project. I started these on Brittany needles which are wood and kinda blunt. Bad idea! Two needles were sacrificed for the birth of Elijah. I am not too heart broken though because I didn’t like them that much anyway. Now those Susan Bates metal needles…now those were right on the money. The problem was that I only had 4 instead of the 5 needles your need for this pattern. So since the breakage on the tip of one Brittany needle left it with a sharp edge, that became my 5th needle that I used gingerly when the time came.

All in all a wonderful pattern that is highly recommended.

Grumperina’s Shifting Sands

Here is a peek at one of the numerous Christmas gifts I have been working on. This will be a Shifting Sands scarf for my stepdad. I started out making A Scarf Askew that, although fast, was not presenting a great enough challenge for me at the moment. Plus I was not happy about using my Cascade 220 allotted for another project just so that I could stash bust. So I ripped out the first scarf, trotted down to JoAnn’s, picked up a wonderful green color Wool Ease and commenced to knitting a very thrilling and enjoyable knit. This has help reinforce that it is not the knitting but the challenge that I like the most.

Speaking of the ginourmous about of crafting I have been doing, I hope to have a barrage of FO posts starting on Sunday. The weather, my time, nor the availability of a suitable photographer (since my cats cannot take pictures worth a darn) has lent itself to me getting post worthy pictures up until now but I will try and remedy that this weekend.

Until then I will continue to sew…I mean knit…I mean bake. Sheesh, I may go crazy before these 17 days are up. But I guess it is a good kinda crazy in the end.

Have a good weekend!

Sorry I have been away so long. I have just been Busy, busy, busy due to my recent outburst of Christmas crafting. Normally I don’t commit to too much in the way of handmade gifts but this year I am on a mission! It mainly has to do with this being the first Christmas where my ability to sew is pretty good so there will be lot of sewn gifts. Anyway, this will be a quick post but here are some sneak peeks on what I haven been working on…

Anemoi Mittens

Ummm…what a minute! These are for me!! But lets forget about that for a second. Anyway I started on the Anemoi Mittens and they are fabulous. love the knitting. However, I think I may have got the colors backwards and probably should have switched them since the green seems to overpower the purple. Haven’t decided yet if I will rip or keep going.

In the meantime I have been obsessed with making toys for my younger niece and nephew. I am currently working on Elijah for my nephew.

Ezekial’s head

This is such a wonderful and well written pattern. It was so worth the $4.00 for such an ingenious pattern and construction. So far I have completed the head on one leg since this picture was taken. Can’t wait until he is done!

My Wee Wonderfuls

Last, but definitely not least, are my Wee Wonderfuls!!! OMG I have been obsessed with these. These go fast but I have become obsessed with all the accessories. I want to make all the clothes and backpacks to go with them but I had to stop because I have other Christmas crafting to work on. I did make them for my niece but I want to keep them for myself 😥 They are so cute it makes me wanna squeal 😀 and believe me it take quite a lot to make me do that! These definitely deserve a proper daylight post so I will have to leave you with this teaser shot.

I have lots more to tell you but this is all I can muster for now. I hope to have another post this weekend if I have time.

Have a good week all!

Wow! I had a pretty crazy night on Thursday which ended rather well. Me and a friend decided to go to the book signing event for Craft Inc. which was hosted at Reform School in Los Angeles from 6-9pm . We were so jazzed! We even planned to get off work early. Well, little do we know that we should have left at 12 noon because we ended up battling massive traffic on the freeways, and getting lost in Los Angeles for 1.5 hours!!

Yes, we had internet direction.

 

Yes, we had a map.

 

Yes, we stopped and ask for direction, which were wrong.

 

Yes, we are obviously direction deficient.

In the end, we got to the event at 8:15pm and had a wonderful time. We met Meg the author and I got my book sighed.

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I also got to see some of the wonderful crafts that I have only seen via the internet, included the wall pockets from Shim and Sons.

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The best part of the night was that me and my friend both won prizes in the raffle! She won a necklace from a local artist, whose name escapes me at the moment, and I won a wonderful gift package from Variegated Inc.

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Which included a Denim Bag with a silkscreened tree, a drawstring bag, and 3 lavendar pouches.

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I also bought this wonderful cup/bowl called a Buddha bowl. It is so perfect! Due to the way it is molded it makes you hold the bowl as shown in the picture above. This is ingenious because it not only serves to secure the vessel but you hands warm from the liquid inside. I loved it and enjoyed my coffee with warm and toasty hands this morning 🙂

My new cup, the raffle win and the endless story telling has made the long night, frustrating moments, and long drive home worth the visit.

Next event…Felt Club XL craft fair which is also in L.A.!! I guess I need to put on my big girl panties for this one so I have the courage to brave the L.A. streets…AGAIN .

Wish me luck!

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Like my paparazzi picture?? Hee hee, who said you can’t learn anything from America’s Next Top Model 🙂 !

 

Yarn: Knitpicks Palette in Bark and Apricot
Inspiration: Eunny Jang Endpaper Mitts
Size:
8.5″ Hand Circumference
Needles:
Size 0 and Size 3
Yardage: 174 yards of Bark (3/4 ball) and 115 yards of Apricot (1/2 ball)
Modifications: None
Enjoyment Factor: 9

Knit Time: One Week!!

The Good:

  • Free yarn!! Yup, Free!! I got it from a lovely woman on Destash who wanted to get rid of some unwanted stash. Since I have been itching to learn colorwork, but didn’t want the Anemoi mittens to be my first foray into unknown knitting country, I decided that the endpaper mitts would fit the bill.
  • Quick. Very quick. This set of mitts took me exactly one week to complete. Maybe it was because I couldn’t put them down but it was quick nonetheless

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  • I learned a variety of new techniques – Italian Tubular cast on and bind off, colorwork, and did some knitting continental style.

The Bad:

  • Since this was my first colorwork project the second glove came out a bit tighter due to improvements in my technique. I luckily had no problems with terribly uneven fabric.

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  • I got a little bit presumptuous on the second mitt and mistakenly skipped over a step with the tubular cast off so I had to go back and retie my yarn since I had cut it already. Its not a visible issue for anyone else, but just goes to show how easily the pattern instills you with confidence so that you think you know everything and cut your yarn without referring back to the patter. BAH!!

The Ugly:

  • I did make a mistake on the first glove right around the wrist area because I obviously wasn’t paying attention. Therefore, the gloves are no longer interchangeable and the mistake glove will forever be the left glove unless I want to reveal the mistake to others.

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Fetching Gloves

Picture of Fetchings from 2006

The chill is in the air and I woke up feeling like it was the lazy week of Christmas. After all the gifting is over and you are allowed to just revel in the thoughts of a new year and the holiday cheer. I thought of Christmas trees, or at least the scent since I have an artificial tree and use the Christmas tree scent air freshner 🙂 . I also thought of fresh baked bread, hot winter food, and cuddling up at home with some good knitting and quiet time.

Then the thought of decorating popped into my head. But decorating two weeks before Thanksgiving, is that just crazy talk or is bring the cheer a little early acceptable? Please note that I normally decorate either Thanksgiving night or the next morning to get maximum enjoyment.

So I thought I would poll some of my lovely readers and see if anyone else has caught the bug…

Go take the Poll HERE

and see how everyone else feels about the holidays.

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The Endpaper mitts are nearing the end. I love how they are so swishy and warm from the stranded knitting. I will probably have them completed by Sunday. The only problem is that instead of wanting to go back to the Cable-Down Raglan, I want to start on the Anemoi mittens next. Needless to say, two color knitting is highly addictive!

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Other distractions include tracing my first Burda magazine pattern. It will be making skirt 129 from the August 2007 Burda Magazine ( click on it for bigger view).

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I have some left over red plaid from my tailored jacket so I thought I would make a skirt to match. I am normally not a matchy matchy person with my wardrobe but this just might work out. The jacket won’t be done for a while, but when it gets to a presentable point I will post some update pictures.

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Another distraction, or inspiration, came in the mail last week. A full size ham, tailor board, and tailor clapper. I won them on e-bay after losing out on all the point pressers. I was so much happier having won this set for $26 bucks!! I am playing in the big leagues now!

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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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