Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! 

It's been a super busy holiday season, amiright? I've had a whirlwind December, and have the lack of posts to prove it, but I'm gearing up for a brand new, sparkling clean 2014. I hope your holidays are merry, bright, and full of yummy food and good friends and family.

Love you all!

Monday, November 25, 2013

New Free Embroidery Pattern - Mitten Wonderland!

I have a new free embroidery pattern today on Red Letter Day Stitches

Mitten Wonderland: It’s no secret that I’m not just an avid sewist – I’m a knitter, too! And for me, that means hand-knit gifts every Christmas, including mittens. Luckily, these little mittens are quicker to stitch up as a last minute gift or decoration than a knit pair! 

Each mitten is decorated with a special stitch – just enough to practice each a few times before moving on to the next wintery mitten.

Closeup on Mittens

Finished Size: Intended for 6” embroidery hoop. DMC Floss #322: Blue; #775: Light Blue; #3756: Ice Blue; #762: Bluish Grey; #321: Red; #562: Teal.
Materials Required: 2 12” squares of muslin or other woven cotton fabric, fabric marking pen or pencil, safety pins or masking tape, 6” or smaller embroidery hoop to use while stitching, embroidery needle, scissors.
Mitten Wonderland Pattern

Notes: Use 2 strands of DMC Floss throughout, unless otherwise noted.
Stitches Used: Straight Stitch, Back Stitch, Chain Stitch, French Knot, Lazy Daisy Stitch, Satin Stitch.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Riga Bonnet FO - Really, it's finished.

Riga Bonnet

Hey, lookit this! I finished a knit thing! According to Ravelry, the last knit thing I finished was in July, and the last crochet thing was in August, so I've been taking a yarn break, apparently...

Bonnet from Afar

This bonnet, the Riga Bonnet, is one of Allyson's patterns from a recent Knitscene Accessories. It's super cute - but as Allyson wrote in her recent post - the pattern as written in the magazine is a bit hard to follow. That's probably why, even though I cast on in August, it took me awhile to finish. I kept losing my place! 

Tassels on the Bonnet

But I powered through, with Allyson's help, and I love the finished product. I did some stash-diving for this, and used a black skein of Lamb's Pride Worsted, and teal skein of Caron Sheep(ish). I love the effect of the two together - the neon teal really pops with the black. I finished the ties with some tassels, as modeled above. 

Back of the Riga Bonnet

The construction is great, too. The latvian braid portion is knit back and forth, and then joined in the round for the crown. I love this bonnet style of hat, but I'm wondering how much use it'll get here in Southern California. Maybe I'll start a new trend - bonnet with tank top?

Wes Anderson Riga Bonnet!

Ps. I posted this photo as my Facebook profile picture, and my friend Derick added some Wes Anderson-inspired text. It's too funny not to share!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Embroidery Pattern - 2014 Calendar!

2014 Calendar Pattern!

On Monday, Allyson and I released our newest embroidery pattern for Red Letter Day Stitches - A 2014 Calendar! This is our first paid pattern, and it's quite the project - a full calendar (lots of french knots), with pretty little motifs that set up a year of patterns. Allyson will be hosting a stitch-along for the calendar, starting on Friday. 

2014 Calendar: What better way to celebrate the new year than with a fresh calendar? This stitched calendar not only looks pretty, but it incorporates little peeks into our full year of designs for 2014! Sure, you’ll get a workout on those french knots, but the final result is a piece that can hang in your home for the whole year.

All those french knots!

Finished Size: A 17” by 11” rectangle.

DMC Floss: #839, Dark Beige Brown; #445, Light Lemon; #3033, Very Light Mocha; #350, Medium Coral; #310, Black; #334, Medium Baby Blue; #761, Light Salmon; #3835, Medium Grape; #522, Fern Green; #414, Dark Steel Grey; #3854, Medium Autumn Gold; White (no number).

Materials Required: 2 30”x20” rectangles of muslin or other woven cotton fabric, fabric marking pen or pencil, safety pins or masking tape, 12” or smaller embroidery hoop to use while stitching, embroidery needle, scissors.

Notes: Use 2 strands of DMC Floss throughout, unless otherwise noted. Instructions are written to be worked in sections to minimize moving your hoop.

Stitches Used: Back Stitch, Chain Stitch, Satin Stitch, Straight Stitch, French Knot, Lattice Stitch, Long & Short, Lazy Daisy.

And be sure to download our free stitch guide!
Buy the pattern!

2014 - It's gonna be a good year.

2014 is gonna be a great year, right?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Let's Talk Turkey Stitch-Along!

Time for a little stitch-along action!

Let's Talk Turkey!

Over at Red Letter Day Stitches, we've released our second pattern, Let's Talk Turkey

Allyson designed this one, so I'm running a little SAL, and it starts today. Won't you join us?

Monday, September 30, 2013

My first embroidery pattern! CANDY for Halloween 2013! Free pattern, wheee!

Candy - Halloween 2013

I'm so proud to introduce my first embroidery pattern for Red Letter Day Stitches - CANDY!

You can download it for free here

Candy Closeup

Allyson and I have been working so hard on this project, and it all starts today. We've even created a handy (and free) stitch guide to help out first time stitchers! 

Halloween 2013

I really love my finished sampler - I think I'm going to make a pillow out of it. Wouldn't that be cute - a little round Halloween pillow? 


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Red Letter Day Stitches - Launching Monday!

I've been hard at work on my new project with Allyson - Red Letter Day Stitches!

Halloween Sneak Peek

Next Monday we're launching our first (free!) pattern - a Halloween pattern that I designed, all about my favorite part of the holidays, the food! 

Allyson and I have a lot of fun things cooked up for these patterns, but I'm most excited about the stitch-alongs! We set up a forum on the Red Letter Day Stitches blog, and we're using that to organize SAL's for each pattern. 

Red Letter Day Stitch Sneak Peek

So, please, join us in some stitchy holiday fun on Monday! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Crochet Beach Bag, Finished!

Crochet Beach Bag

Oh, just a photo of the crochet Beach Bag that took me waaay too long to finish. I started it as part of Alycia's crochet along for JUNE. Yes, June. But I've finished it, photographed it, and posted it to this blog, and I think that's what counts, right?

The white yarn is some Sugar & Cream, and the cream is leftover from my favorite summer sweater. I initially planned to ombre dye the whole thing, but then when it was finished I really liked the subtle color blocking. So I'm leaving it as-is for the moment, and when it gets nice and dirty, I'll stick the whole thing in a dye bath as planned. 

Crochet Bag Closeup

This means I get to cross off another one of my summer goals, and since it was 100 degrees yesterday, I say I still have time to complete the remaining goals. After all, crossing things off lists is one of my greatest pleasures in life! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Family Time is Fun Time.

Family Time in Ventura

Here's a photo of my family (minus my mom, who was taking the picture, and my brother and his family) in Ventura on Saturday. They've been having fun doing California touristy things and buying me dinner. My mom and sister leave on Friday to head back to Michigan (and back to Autumn weather. Jealous.), and after that I might even have some craft projects to share on this here blog.

That's right - I actually finished a project! The craziness of summer has left me little time for crafting, for the first time in years, but I finished my crochet beach bag on Monday. Only took me two months. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Family Fun at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum

George and the fam

Having family in town is so fun - especially when you live in a big city like LA, and you have an excuse to go out and do the touristy stuff you would never do on your own time! Last Sunday, after my Dad, Mom and little brother, Patrick, arrived, we went down to Hollywood and visited Madam Tussaud's

Watch out behind you! Singin' with Whitney

We had way too much fun posing with the wax figures! They're silly and kind of creepy, but we all really got into it and enjoyed the campy-ness. 

I carried a watermelon
I carried a watermelon!

Fanboy! Which one is wax!?
Patrick and me posing with our fan favorites. 

Giant Cotton Candy

We finished off the day with a delicious (but cheesy) meal at Saddle Ranch on the Sunset Strip. Lookit this huge thing of cotton candy they gave us! 

Dad Swift

And the good thing about having your Dad around - always there to help you wind yarn. Thanks, Dad!

Today we're headed to Ventura for some less cheesy, but still touristy, fun! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Mom's Graduation Blanket and Life Updates

This summer, amIright? 

Mom's Crochet Blanket

I finally finished this blanket, a gift to my mother for her graduation. She actually graduated in April, but I made it my goal to finish this blanket by this week, since my whole family will be in California visiting me for two weeks.

Crochet Blanket Close Up

The pattern is something like this Starburst pattern, finished with a chain-stitch border. The yarn is that ole WORK+SHELTER yarn I dyed last year. It crocheted up wonderfully into a blanket that can only be used in colder climates. Seriously, this thing is heavy and WARM. I was suffering and sweating while finishing it last week when it was nearing 90 degrees. 

Sunburst Crochet Blanket

This summer has really been a kick in the pants - in addition to tackling my web series, and moving offices, and hosting amazing visitors, life has taken a 180 degree turn. Chris and I broke up about a month ago after being together for five years. 

Crochet Blanket on the Purple Couch

It's a bit weird to make this announcement on a craft blog - I just want to show you pretty pictures of yarn - but you might notice that I haven't been talking about him much on Instagram lately, and he hasn't been mentioned here for awhile. It seems like this space would be a pretty incomplete picture of my life if I allowed him (and the sweet bunnies) to just disappear without a word. 

That said: I'm doing well. I'm staying in California. I'll still be knitting and acting and singing and sewing. Thanks for listening - you guys are the best. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Return from Radio Silence!

Hi friends! 

Allyson in the pool with sweater! Shopping

Apologies for the silence around here - I've been super busy filming my web series, hanging out with Allyson, and going through some crazy life changes. Allyson left last week, but we certainly had some good times over two weeks - knitting in the pool, shopping, going out dancing, and - oh yes - starting a new business! 

Girls Gettin' Ready to Go Dancin'!

Girl Talk

We also did a lot of filming for my new webseries - 50 Words or Less
Bad Dates

The plot revolves around my character, Annie, dating people she meets on the internet. And yes - it's based on a true story. Actually, it's based on SIX true stories - each 5 minute episode is a different date, and each is based on a true story from one of my friends. So a lot of fun times were had on set!


What else have I been up to.....

Watching this video on repeat:

And obsessively checking Forty Days of Dating. Have you been reading this? Totally addictive and fascinating. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Finished Nachtfalter, Wheeee!


Here's my finished Nachtfalter sweater! I finished it over the 4th of July weekend, but I wasn't able to take pictures of it until this week. I've been wanting another airy summer sweater, and I think this will fit into my wardrobe quite nicely. 

Nachtfalter Back

Why this week? Because Allyson Dkyhuizen of Sweatshop of Love is here! Although she was just here in February, but she's back to help me film my web series, and to start a new business. 


Yup, you heard me: New Business. It's called Red Letter Day Stitches - a site dedicated to holiday embroidery fun. It's something we've had in the works for awhile, so I'm excited to get to work! 

Nachtfalter Front

Allyson and I have been busy bees, so things have been a bit quiet on this ole blog. But Allyson has Instagram-ed some fun photos of the past week, so be sure to follow her here

Friday, July 12, 2013

Happy Friday! More ukulele videos!

This week has been a bit of a whirlwind, prepping for my upcoming web series. I haven't been doing much crafting, but I have been making things. 

My friend, Joel, and I have been talking about making some sort of YouTube channel for awhile, and eventually came to this little band - The Hypercolor Kids. We'll be posting covers of favorites from the late 80's to 90's. Stuff that makes us think of childhood and high school, re-imagined on a ukulele, because that's the only instrument I play that makes sense for this. Although maybe we'll do one with accordion, for laughs!

Ps. There's an applique piece over my left shoulder that I never blogged, similar to the center of this piece, so that counts as sharing something crafty, right?! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Happy Holiday Weekend! Here's what I've been up to:

How was your holiday weekend? If you are in the US, that is. If you're not, then how was your regular weekend?

Fireworks 4th of July Chickens

I spent the 4th at a BBQ & Pool Party where I befriended a sweet two-year old named Talulah (she shared her special pool noodle with me), and hung out with chickens. I finished out the night by watching the fireworks from my front door. Pretty good seat. 

Nachtfalter Week 5

I made a lot of progress on my Nachtfalter sweater - ok, I actually finished it. I love it and can't wait to wear it!  

Crochet Beach Bag

I finally started my crochet beach bag! I've finished the bottom, so now it's just 14 rows of mind-numbing double crochet. It'll be a good project to pick up and work a few stitches when I need a little distraction. 

Also this is two items on my summer list - Beach Bag and Pool Party - that are close to being complete. I already took down the sticky note that said "Pool Party." Consider it done. 

Sleepy Bun

Lookit this silly bunny! She's snuggling with the wooden leg of a chair. Bunnies are funny. 

Creamsicle Addiction

Seriously - it's so hot and I can't get enough ice cream. I might have a problem. 

And lastly, I wanted to film a little something to test out my new camera equipment, so my friend Joey joined me on this ukulele duet. It's a cover of "Jolene" by Dolly Parton we quickly threw together. Enjoy!