Tuesday, August 31, 2010

a lovely vintage dress

I'm pretty lucky to have a few friends who are of similar size to me. This means that when they clean out their closets, I reap the rewards:

I almost didn't take this one home. I don't usually wear blue, but I think this dress is a-ok. I love the little tab & button details

This is a pretty standard look for me: vintage dress, cream slip, and cowboy boots.

Monday, August 30, 2010

and then there was patchwork

This is another little project I finally pieced together this weekend. There was a huge stack of strips on my ironing board for about two months. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. It's about the size of a place mat currently. I could just keep adding to it as I get scraps.... the never ending project!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Madigan's first stitchery

On vacation last week, I finished up an embroidered piece I have been working on for. ev. er. My 3 year old niece, Madigan, kept watching me and saying things like "I could just help you pull that through!"

Luckily* I had an extra hoop with fabric in it already...

She picked the colors, the stitch placement, and did all the stitching herself - with only a few gentle suggestions from me.

She was so adorably proud of herself, yelling to her mom in the other room "I'm doing knitting with Katie!" "Not knitting, sewing.""I'm doing sewing with Katie!"

I think she did a pretty great job - her style is quite modern, don't you think?

*I'm not the only one who travels with my entire stash of embroidery thread, etc, right!?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

stash busting - a winter hat of strange color

Oh, don't mind me. 

I'm just rolling around on the floor, trying to find good light in my house. Really - it is bad news to live on the first floor. 

But on to the hat!

About two weeks ago I looked through my knitting magazine collection, which is not much to brag about - 12 magazines total. And I pulled out patterns that I actually thought I would knit, then I further narrowed it down into patterns that I had yarn for in my stash. This won - "#07 Trapper Hat" from Vogue Knitting Winter 2005/2006.

And guess what? I didn't actually have the yarn for it. 

Once I had completed the back flap in that yellow color, I realized there was no way I was going to get through the entire hat with it, so I pulled out some orange yarn. The orange yarn - ahem - was not enough. Luckily this thing is knit on size 13 needles - I ripped it and used white. Even then, I took out an entire repeat of the cable pattern and started decreasing about 10 rows early. 

Folks - using up yarn is hard

Of course, the minute I lay on the floor, Sir Thomas More has to come over and check things out. Good thing he's so cute. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

a few thrifty treasures

One of the best things about vacationing in a small town in southwestern Michigan is the profusion of "Antique Stores." I put that in quotes because, honestly, some of these places are just small, overpriced junk shops. 

However, I was able to find this beauty:

Right before I left for vacation, some friends and I went to eat at Sticky Rice (some of the best Thai food in Chicago), and walked by a huge garage sale. Turns out this guy sells stuff on ebay, but just had too much and needed to clear out some room in his garage, which was packed to the gills. There was a big crate of colored glass, one of my favorite things to collect.

He sold me this glass milk pitcher and sugar bowl for $4 each, while telling me they were worth $30 each. Hrm... not so sure...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

and now for the big finish: Owls

I proudly present to you, my Owls:

I really could not be more happy with this finished sweater. I knit size "5" using a skein and half of Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool- and it knit up fast. About three weeks total, and honestly, I didn't knit much the second week.

A little note about the fit - I am reluctant to knit sweaters in sizes that match my measurements. I always err on the side of negative ease, especially when knitting a bulky sweater. However, my gauge was slightly off with the Ecological Wool, so this one worked out perfectly. I absolutely love the neckline, and I think the overall fit is very flattering.

Check out those darts in the back, though. Do you see them starting way down there by my butt? I have a pretty long torso, and ended up adding length at the top of the back, before I started the owls. In hindsight (puns!), I would have knit another inch or two before I started the darts in the back. 

This was not helped by the fact that when I blocked the sweater, it grew about two inches in length. That was a-ok with me, but if you don't like long sweaters, beware. 

Check out that collar bone! 

I went with buttons on just one owl. It think it looks a little like a brooch, don't you? 

Overall I am very happy with how it came out - perfect for this cold weather that is already beginning to sneak up on us. 

PS: My sister shot and edited these gorgeous pictures - isn't she talented?

Monday, August 23, 2010

my success at the Vintage Bazaar

Yesterday I attended the Vintage Bazaar. It was hot, it was crowded, but I still came away with some great stuff. And a chocolate chip scone (not pictured, unfortunately).

found at Vintage Goodies

This may sound silly - but I've been looking for a cute vintage napkin holder for awhile now. Something that can sit on my table all the time, so I don't have a messy pile of napkins hanging out. 

The lighting was pretty bad at the VB, so when I spotted the Vintage Goodies booth full of kitchen wares lit by clip lights, I followed the light and found the napkin holder of my dreams!

found at Vintage Goodies

... and was talked into the matching canisters. They were a set! How could I split them up?!

found at Ord-Red

I have been obsessed with paint-by-numbers lately, and our bathroom is sort of Our Lady of Guadalupe - themed, so when I saw this paint-by-number of Our Lady, I knew I had to have it! I bought it from Ord-Red as soon as I walked in the door, and got many compliments as I carried it around. She is now happy in her new home next to the alpaca. 

Although not as big and exciting as last time, these finds were still great - I can't wait for the next Vintage Bazaar!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I'm back!

Hello friends!

I took a little vacation with my family and Chris to a small beach house on Lake Michigan in Harbert, Michigan - quite the bustling metropolis. We swam, we ate, we biked, and of course, we buried my brother in the sand.

Whenever we go on vacation, my mom takes a journal and paints watercolors of our trip. We went to the beach almost every day, and this is one of her little paintings.

I promise I'll make up for my absence with lots of fun stuff this week - stay tuned!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Owlie Update

I'm speeding along on my Owls sweater. I've already completed the body and one sleeve. This chunky yarn is great!

Yesterday morning it was gloomy and rainy - hence the terrible lighting in the above photo. There you see the tiny remnants of my first skein of Ecological Wool. That giant skein got me all the way through the body of the sweater, one sleeve, and the cuff of the second sleeve. So seriously - you can easily knit this sweater in two skeins. 

After the rain let up, it was humid and hot - gross. I stayed inside and knit and watched one of my favorite childhood movies: Clueless.  

Childhood? Yes, friends, when I saw this movie for the first time (in theaters), I was only 11 years old. And let me tell you, after refreshing my memory, it was not appropriate for an 11 year old. Luckily most of the jokes just went completely over my head - like all the drug references.

Watching it now, though - it is priceless! Really funny and smart, with solid acting & great outfits. Cher (Alicia Siverstone's character) really informed my fashion choices as a teen. Although my skirts were not as short as her's, I still have a penchant for knee socks, and you can thank Clueless for that!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Me & Plants - a Story of Failure

After reading Rae's posts (here & here) last week, I got to thinking about perceived perfection online. A lot of craft bloggers only blog about what they are good at, which makes sense. If they happen to be good at one crafty thing, chances are they will also be good at another crafty thing and another and so on. However, sometimes that can be downright intimidating! 

My friend Anna recently told me: "Have you heard about the survey that shows that women who look at blogs feel terrible about themselves because they feel like they can never live up to what bloggers do? They cannot raise the family and cook beautiful, delicious meals and be thin and make 46 sweaters!"

Folks, I'm here to tell you: I'm bad at something, and that something is plants. See the above photographic evidence - a very dead basil plant next to a very dead mint plant. What? You don't see the mint? Oh, it's that brown stick-like thing coming out of that red pot. Some "plant," eh?

I could blame it on the fact that we live on the first floor (little natural light) in an apartment with no backyard. I could blame it on the "basil-eating fungus" that has supposedly plagued Chicago this summer. But really, I think I just haven't got the knack of growing things yet, and I'm ok with that.

And yes, I did leave this dead plant sitting in my house just so I could take a picture of it.

(What is that green thing in the white pot in the background!? A tiny palm tree purchased at a Florida airport. Classy, I know. I'm better with trees, less watering required.)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010