Friday, April 29, 2011

Liberty Crochet Collar Top

All my careful planning has come to an end and I present to you:

withering stare in the crochet yolk top
The Liberty Crochet Collar Top

That's what I'm calling it, since I'm entering it in Rae's Spring Top Sewalong.

After crocheting the collar, I went on the search for the perfect fabric. I originally planned to use a vintage sheet, but none of them really popped. And then I found this Liberty of London scarf. I bought it last year at Target (Liberty for cheap!), and I loved the pattern, but the drape was just not working for me. It was much to voluminous to be worn as a scarf - it was strangling me. So it was relegated to the fabric stash, and has now found new life as a top.

back detail of crochet-yolk top

My first attempt was a complete fail - I cut the body of the top much too large, and it looked... horrible. Like a mumu, but short. I let it sit for a day or two - let my frustration subside - and then ripped out all the seams and started again. 

front detail of the crochet yolk top

I cut about 5" off the sides and added a curve to the neckline and back. I gathered the fabric in the front to give it some shape, since I decided against darts. It's completely lined with muslin, so there are no facings. And this time, it worked. 

hem detail
Muslin lining - Can you tell which hem was sewn by me and which was sewn by the nimble-fingered (machine) employees of Target?

The next version will have a thicker collar (better to hide the bra strap), but other than that, it's perfect! I'm planning to wear it with high-waisted skirts - a favorite summer time look that combines the hippie look with a 1930's aesthetic. 

untucked crochet yolk top
And look how good it will look when I'm pregnant*! I will probably never wear it like this.

These pictures (except the hem close-up), were taken by my lovely sister, Meghan. And why do I look so unhappy, you ask? Because it was really bright outside, and my eyes are extremely sensitive. I swear - I like the top, sewing, and Meghan, despite my expression.

*I will not be pregnant anytime soon, Mom, don't get excited.

Monday, April 25, 2011

friendship bracelet winner

Everyone's a winner when it comes to friendship, right?

finger knit bracelets

And since only 5 of you entered my friendship giveaway - you all win! 

Congratulations Meghan, Allyson, Sloane, MafiosaGrrl and Nicky

I'll send each of you two bracelets of your choice. Look for an email from me later today. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Hoppy Easter!!

From Katie, Chris and Sir Thomas More (the bun)

ps. adorable outtakes here and here

Thursday, April 21, 2011

friendship bracelet giveaway!

Ok, so I got a little carried away...

maybe I went a bit overboard...

I started making a few of these finger-knit friendship bracelets to send to some college friends, and I just couldn't stop! They're so fun and easy, and before I knew it, I had a lot. Soooo many. 

finger knit bracelets

I have more than enough to swap, so I want to give some to my online friends, too! Just leave a comment to enter the giveaway and I'll pick two winners next Monday. Each will win two bracelets in the colors of your choice. Huzzah!

Monday, April 18, 2011

giving socks another chance

Back in January I planned out my selfish knitting. I knit a Beatnik and Bella's Mittens, and the final item on that list was a Knit Picks sock kit.

finished socks

I asked for the kit for Christmas because I'm not really a sock knitter. I know some might consider that knitting sacrilege, but I'm just not that into it

But I wanted to give socks another try. Because knitting socks seems very useful, and portable, and non-seasonal. The kit has enough yarn for five pairs of socks, and here's the first.

navy blue socks

They're too short, but other than that, successful. I knit them from the top down, and I'm going to knit the next pair from the bottom up and go until I use an entire ball of yarn. 

And how great are those shoes? I got them on sale at the end of last summer and - lucky me! - they're still hip this year. Now if only there wasn't snow on the ground, I'd be able to wear them. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

crochet top progress

After brainstorming on Wednesday, I whipped through the crochet collar for my top. I crocheted 14 round motifs and then joined them together. No pattern - just improv. I used stash yarn and it was just enough - an inch of yarn left over.

completed collar with fabric

I think I'll use this scarf for the blouse part. It's from the Liberty of London line for Target last year - so its like Liberty fabric for cheap! 

And I'm pretty excited because Rae from Made By Rae just announced that she is once again hosting a Spring Top Sewalong! 

If you haven't heard of this - get ready - it's awesome. Everyone takes part with some selfish sewing and in the end the best tops go into a little competition. It's all good, inspirational sewing fun, and I'm excited to enter my top this year. Click over to Rae's blog for more info!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

thinking about crochet and spring

It's not quite warm in Chicago yet, but that hasn't stopped me from dreaming about warm-weather clothes. I've been thinking about making a flowy spring top with a crochet yolk. With the magic of Ravelry, I found this: 

The pattern is Floral Motif Yolk Top from Crochet Adorned. How cute would that top be with a rustic leather belt?

The neckline is a bit square for me, though, and I don't like the thick straps. So I turned to ModCloth for some research/inspiration. 

I love the collar shape on this one.

A lacy racer back! A racy lacer back! 

But this:

This one is my favorite. I love the combination of the warm rose print with the cream-colored lace. I think I could use circular motifs laid out in a nice pleasing half-moon shape and then add a scalloped edging. I'm not going for a super lacy look, so I think it will work out!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

a touristy weekend in Chicago

This weekend my parents and younger brother came into town and we did some tourist-y things. We ate at Yolk and Quartino (both highly recommended), shopped on the Mag Mile and hit up Navy Pier.

Navy Pier!

I took this picture of Navy Pier with my iphone while we were out on a boat tour, and I cannot believe how awesome it is! Needless to say, I'm in love with the camera aspect of my phone, and took some portraits of Chris and my younger - but much taller - brother, Patrick. 

chris on the water  li'l bro

Now Chris and I are watching Twin Peaks and I'm finger knitting bracelets like mad. Exciting night, eh?

Friday, April 8, 2011

doughnuts and bracelets - otherwise known as today.

This morning I waited in line for a half hour in the rain for doughnuts from the Doughnut Vault, a new shop that is a block from work. It was worth every minute - the doughnuts were amazing. 

Can you spot me in this picture from their facebook? Hint - I am the most colorful person in line. 

This morning I took this tutorial from V & Co. for a spin, and I like the results:

friendship bracelet!

It's just a simple finger knitting technique, but I think it turned out fun and summery and I'm hoping to swap some with some long-distance friends! Anyone else wanna get in on that?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Patchwork Spring Wreath

This weekend, while Chris made chili, I made this new spring wreath! 

Spring Patchwork Wreath

Last spring I made this yarn wreath, and while it was nice or whatever, I never really loved it. A few months ago I patched together some scraps into a little something-or-other that needed a purpose. Two "meh" projects on their own - so I put them together!

Restyled wreath

To begin, I pulled all the red flowers off, and squared up my patchwork into one long rectangle that was a bit bigger than the circumference of the wreath. 


After that, I loosely pinned the fabric around the wreath and whip stitched it in place.

stitching the fabric down

Finished with a bow and much more spring-time than before! 

the wreath in action