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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Gettin' Back to It.

I've been a bit out of it, craft-wise. 

Messy Table
My crafting, I mean, kitchen table, complete with embroidery-in-progress

I'm sure you've noticed around here - updates have been sparse, and it's not just because I'm not blogging. It's because I wasn't really crafting. Of course, I've been working on Red Letter Day Stitches consistently for almost a year now (eeek!), but other than that, nada. 

Some Christmas presents, but nothing for me, and certainly not a sweater or major project. 

Yarn Desk
Piles of yarn at work. 

But early this year, I got some of the old itch back. And let me tell you, it feels really good to be excited about making something. 

Allyson is running a knit-along for her Fire Opal Tee, and since I've been coveting it for years, I had to join in. I'm knitting it in Comfy, as opposed to the recommended wool, but otherwise following the pattern. Of course, changing up the fiber means that the fit changes. 

Fire Opal Tee in progress!

For the most part this is good - I want a drape-y, warm-weather sweater. But after knitting a few inches, I was skeptical. It looked LARGE. I tried it on, and it was. large. So I pulled the whole thing out, and have started again, on the size 36. 

Whew. I guess you can't be out of the game for as long as I was and not expect a few bumps along the way, right?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

"bitch, please..." an embroidered present

bitch, please.

I'm pretty lucky to work at a day job full of creative people. I work for a post-production house - which means we do production on films and TV shows after all the fun stuff happens. It's a good gig with a lot of fun people, and everyone is super supportive of artists.

So when my boss requested a stitched piece with the words "bitch, please..." for her birthday in March, I was happy to comply! 

bitch, please... embroidery piece

I like to sweeten up a salty phrase, so I added plenty of Lazy Daisies and some French Knots and called it done. It now sits on the edge of her desk, confronting those that might give her sass during the work day.

the back of the work - "bitch, please."

And a quick shot of the back of the work - I always love to see it, and I know you guys do, too! 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Julep Jacket Knitting Pattern Sale! $3!

Julep Jacket Knitting Pattern by Katie Canavan

This week, my Julep Jacket knitting pattern is 50% off! That means you can snag this pattern for a mere $3. 

Allyson and I are celebrating over on the Holla Knits blog with lots of fun styling posts, too, so check it out!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New Embroidery Pattern - Bunny Hoop!


Today I have a new pattern up on Red Letter Day Stitches - Bunny Hoop! A little set of bunnies, ready to stitch up in time for Easter! 



This is one of my favorites - not only do I love bunnies, but there's lots of details in the eggs to keep things interesting. I'd love to see this stitched in bolder colors, too! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Knitting for Baby Boys.

I have two nieces, so I've knit a lot for little ladies, but no so much for little dudes. But this past year, my brother had a son, and a good friend just gave birth to a little boy, so lots of knitting for baby boys!

I knit two little cardigans that were very similar, so I thought I'd put them together in one big post:

Brennan in his Trellis

My nephew, little red-headed Brennan, in his Trellis. This is a free pattern from Knitty, so there were tons of great ideas for modifications on Ravelry. However... I knit is as-is. I made the medium size using size 7 needles and Lion Brand Cotton-Ease.

This little sweater took a long. ass. time. It's so tiny, but full of cables and seed stitches, so it's a bit deceiving. This was Brennan's Christmas gift, and I was knitting it up until the moment that picture was taken. So I cut some corners with the finishing and crocheted the seams together, and used 3-Needle Bind Off instead of grafting the shoulders. 

Despite my poor time-management skills, it turned out great. It looks flippin' adorable on him, and I didn't have any of the problems with the collar that other Ravelers talked about. I thought it folded nicely, which could be due to the heavy drape of the cotton yarn. 

Front of the Baby Sophisticate

Here's the little Baby Sophisticate that I knit up for Alex's baby, Finn. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease and size 10 needles. This is another free pattern that only comes in one size, but I followed these modifications to make it a bit bigger. Alex and her husband are both over 6', and Finn arrived at 13lbs, so I knew that he'd need the extra room! 

Back of the Baby Sophisticate

This was a super quick little knit, made quicker by knitting the arms in the round using Magic Loop. It will definitely be my go-to baby sweater from now on. I added some fun, colorful buttons, and called it done!

Dapper Baby Sweater!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wrist Pain - When Crafts Turn Bad.

It seems like recently, more and more of my knitting friends are complaining of wrist and hand pain from knitting and sewing. It makes sense - if you're spending 10 or more hours crafting a week, then you're going to be in pain from the repeated motions, right?

For me, it's been a long-time struggle. The first time I experienced wrist pain from tendonitis, I was 14 years old, and attending tennis camp. After the first week, I was in so much pain I cried. My doctor diagnosed me with tendonitis, and sent me off with just a wrist brace and a "good luck!"

After tennis season was over, it didn't effect me much. I mean sure, bowling meant a sore wrist and hand, but it wasn't a huge deal day-to-day. 

Then, I got super into knitting and opened up an etsy shop selling tiny hand-sewn accessories, and that meant multiple hours of crafting a week. It was when I was prepping for my first craft fair that my tendonitis came back and bit me in the ass, hard. 


So I bought a pair of these stress-relief gloves. And they helped! I wore them for years while knitting and sewing, and they really seemed support my wrists and hands.

But then, about a year ago, I got a Vespa scooter, started riding my bike a lot more, and started playing tennis again. I think you know where this is going... with the added motion of squeezing the breaks, and playing the tennis, my tendonitis got super mad at me, and I was in a lot of pain.

So I upped my wrist support, and got something like this:


It's a heavy-duty, stretchy wrist support, and I love it. It feels like a wrist-hug, and when I'm really in pain, it helps a lot. I got mine from Target, and you could probably find it at a drug store.

And then, the game changed. Last October, I did a few sessions with a personal trainer at a gym, and I told him about my 15 years-worth of wrist pain. He asked if I was on supplements, and was shocked that no one had ever suggested it. 

I was skeptical. He was just like, a gym-type guy who was trying to up-sell me on his $30 bottle of supplements, right? But then I tried it...


I didn't buy the gym stuff, but I found a similar, cheaper product at Rite-Aid, and then at Trader Joe's. My wrist pain has been so much better since I started taking these daily. The suggested dose for the TJ's supplement is two pills daily, but I only take one and have found that works well. 

I can knit! I can sew! I can bike and type and lift things up! I still occasionally wear my wrist supports when knitting and exercising, but I am in a lot less pain day-to-day. Hopefully if you're going through the same thing, it will help you, too. 

Ps. I'm not a doctor. I just wanted to share my experience, so if you're thinking about taking supplements, please consult a physician, etc, and so forth. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Annie & Tom's Wedding Embroidery

My best friend, Annie, got married back in October of last year.

Photo by Danny Dong

Here we are at her gorgeous wedding. She got married at Nestldown in the redwood forest of Northern California, and it could not have been more perfect. Both Annie and her husband, Tom, are stylish, detail-oriented people, and that meant that day was just lovely. And lookit my pretty dress!

Annie & Tom's Wedding Embroidery

Ok, enough bragging - the reason I'm posting this now is to show you the embroidery I made for them! 

I love doing an embroidered piece as a wedding gift. Taking a traditional gift and putting a modern spin on it. At the wedding, we all walked down the aisle to the song "Home," so I included some of the lyrics on this piece, along with my favorite thing to embroider - leaves. I hope this is a piece that will hang in their home for years to come!

Closeup on A & T's Wedding Embroidery

Side note: Sethrina, the bridesmaid with the long blonde hair, was also the recipient of this wedding embroidery