Mini Makes

I just finished knitting/finishing two adult sweaters and my next big sewing project is a button up Archer shirt for myself, but before I dive into what is going to be another involved project, I wanted to bang out a few quick mini-makes for some more instant gratification.  

Darlingside Tee
Darlingside Tee

Band Tee for LMC.

To say that we are fans of the band Darlingside in the Cleaver household would be a massive understatement. We love this band. Ever since Mr. Cleaver and I saw them on 207 back in 2012, we've been hooked and have seen them in as many local shows as possible. Our household also probably counts for 5% of the hits on their youtube videos. And thus, through frequent exposure, they have become Little Miss Cleaver's favorite band too. If we ask her what she wants to listen to, she will almost always say "Darlingside." Unfortunately, they don't make band shirts in size 4T. Fortunately, I know my way around an exacto knife, a stencil sponge, and a sewing machine. 

The image is from the cover of their album Pilot Machines, and I thought the balloons would be perfect for a kid. So I traced the image unto a file folder and cut it into two stencils, one for the balloons/ strings and one for the body. I cut up an old shirt of mine into a Made by Rae Skinny Tee, stenciled it on, sewed it up, and there you go! A mini Fangirl tee. We're seeing the band at a show in September and I'm hoping to get them to sign it for extra cool factor.  

While I'm at it, here's a video of my current favorite Darlingside song. LMC's favorite is this one or this one

Dying Playsilks
Dying Playsilks


LMC and I recently dyed some playsilks with Kool-Aid and managed not to accidentally dye anything else except our fingers- success!  The silks came from dharma trading company and I used this tutorial from Knitty to pick my Kool-Aid packets. I had made a blue and green one a while back that get heavy use as ballet skirts and super-capes, so it's nice to have the full rainbow to choose from now.

Hobby Horse
Hobby Horse
Hobby Horse

Hobby Horse

Lastly, a few weeks ago, we picked up a bunch of books at Goodwill to refresh our collection, which included a pop-up version of the Nutcracker. In one panel, one of the children had a Hobby Horse. I said something along the lines of "I could make that,"  resulting in daily requests from LMC  for Mommy to make her a horse.  Fortunately, I had a free pattern already pinned on Pinterest, and all the supplies I needed in my stash. Except for a dowel, which means that LMC can sweep and play at the same time!  Of course now, Little Miss Cleaver thinks that I have the magic ability to just make anything (which kinda cool), but I can't mention that I'm considering making anything for her, because she demands I sew it now (even if the fabric is still uncut). 

What have you been making?

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Fiber Fun

I just wrapped up a two-week knitting hiatus, but that doesn't mean I didn't have fun with fiber in the interim, in fact you could say I was rather productive:

I spindle spun 6 oz of fiber, which included my hand-dyed fiber from last year's dying workshop, and half a braid I picked up at this year's Fiber Frolic.




I also pulled out a kit I purchased at Fiber Frolic 2011 and made a pair of needle-felted gnomes (though there is some debate as to whether the male gnome is holding a shovel or a spear -the intention was shovel).




I also did a major piece of sewing, but I'll save that for another post.

For now, it's back to working on my long-neglected cookie-monster cardigan.

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2011 in Review

Master Bedroom Mosaic

We became homeowners on Dec 31 of 2010, and a lot of this year was learning the in and outs of being homeowners. We removed what didn't want and started building in what we did. We peeled wallpaper and painted walls.

Snowpocalyspe 11:30am

Shoveled snow and learned the importance of roof-rakes.  (Hint: don't pile that much snow that close to your house)

Gardening Station in the Garage

Perennials were planted in the spring and bulbs were planted in the fall. Lawns were moved and leaves raked. Floors were swept and appliances replaced. And at some point along the way it stopped being their house and started being ours.

Karen & Chris

Starting the day after we moved in, we filled our home with friends: Pie Day, poker games, dinners and documentaries. The highlight was inviting over all our friends for a summer time barbecue and concert.



And we saw a little doggy online and decided to invite him to stay for the long-haul.


During Lent I wore skirts for 47 days and visited Washington D.C. for the first time.

Cherry Blossoms

Korea Memorial

In sewing, I got my own studio space and made a thing or two.


My creation

Fiber-wise, I learned how to dye and needlefelt.



I bought a loom and made a total of one scarf.

The pattern appears

I also did a fair amount of spinning, but haven't quite met my knitolution of knitting anything with handspun yet.

Tour de Fleece Skein One

Knitwise, this has been a huge year for me. I've released three patterns with Quince & Co., one with Twist Collective, and six on my own. I started a mailing list.

My creation

It's amazing to me how much has happened in one year, and how quickly that year has gone. There's snow on the ground outside now and it's a few days to Christmas. It's been a helluva year in the best way possible.

Merry Christmas everyone, and a Happy New Year!


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If We Dye, We Dye Together

IMGP2618.JPG This is what a day's worth of dying by a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs (and one real pro) looks like and is yet another reason why I am a part of the bestest knitting group ever.

Because these guys?




One of our members, Bristol, happens to be an all-around fiber pro and locally dyes yarn and fiber for the Fiber Gallery and even made a nifty hand-dyed fiber/yarn calendar for 2011.

As part of one of her bazillion jobs, Bristol also works as Creative Designer and Instructor for SuriPaco farms and she needed a few guinea pigs to test out SuriPaco's facilities for upcoming dye classes. The Portland Knitters on the Town (PKOTT) were nice enough to oblige.

Aside from the usual group we were joined by Aimee's husband and the young Maggie (which was a good thing since our regular Maggie was out of town) and the adorable Sadie.


We measured out the base dyes from powder (and safety first- wearing dust masks!) IMGP2568.JPG


Prepped the yarn for dying by tying it (loosely) and soaking it. IMGP2576.JPG

We kettle-dyed IMGP2590.JPG


And hand-painted IMGP2595.JPG


(If only you could see how zombie-like my hands were in color here!) IMGP2607.JPG

And we pulled out skein after skein of lovely yarn:




And braids of roving: IMGP2619.JPG

And admired our hand-iwork. IMGP2634.JPG

Here's my three pieces: IMGP2653.JPG



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