Monday, January 24, 2011

Autumn Button Baby Sampler

Another new baby boy arrived in November for my friend who had her first one a couple of years ago. I decided to make a companion baby sampler to go with the one I stitched for the first baby. You can see the first one on this post. Both designs are from the Homespun Elegance Button Sampler series. For the latest little bundle of joy, I stitched the Autumn Baby Sampler. I did this mostly in the suggested DMC alternatives. Several of those used the blended needle technique to give a tweeding effect. For the pumpkins, I used DMC color variations. The fabric was a piece of Rue Green 36ct Edinburgh linen that had been waiting in my stash for a good use. I added a little wooden leaf button at the bottom since I omitted the squirrel buttons in the corners as shown on the original pattern.

The trickiest part was the squirrel tail and acorn top. They are done in French knots just packed in to give that textured effect. This would have been a disaster if all the French knots had to be the same size, but not a problem for this kind of thing.

One of my non-stitching friends happened to look at my blog one day and grew very fond of my Fetching fingerless gloves. I told her the knitting fairy might help her out. The knitting fairy doesn't usually like to knit the same thing twice, so these gloves were done in Patons Classic Wool, New Denim. These knitted up smaller than the ones I made for myself. It's a good thing because my friend's hands are about half the size of mine.

I've decided to participate in a year-long SAL on the San-Man Board called "The Birthday Village". Each month will bring a different building in the village. Someone on that board started the SAL on linen banding and when I saw a piece that would work and was on sale at 123 Stitch, I couldn't resist. The piece is Mill Hill 27ct Simplicity Banding in Natural. It's 3.5" wide and almost all of that area is stitchable since this banding has only a very narrow selvedge. Here's the January house all stitched up and waiting for it's next door neighbor to arrive in February if the schedule is upheld.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

E-reader Cover

My brother's birthday is coming and I was running out of ideas for cross-stitched gifts to give him. Then he told me he bought an e-Reader, one of the lesser known brands that he got for a really good price. So a perfect opportunity for creating a pouch to protect it. I found the dimensions online and it's very close to one of the Kindles. So I whipped up this version based pretty much on the tutorial at Junie Moon. I left off the pocket since I don't think my brother will use this to listen to music. I had planned to make a cross-stitched card with a cute Margaret Sherry design, but in the end I decided to sew the design onto the pouch instead. I just turned the edges under and used Stitch Witchery to fuse it to the pouch. Then I edge-stitched on the machine to be sure it staid put. I think the pouch is a bit big, but better too big than too small. Since I didn't have the reader in hand to check out the fit, it was really my only choice. It's nicely padded with a velcro closure so I hope it will be good for something if not the e-Reader. Next time, I would taper the flap on the sides since it kind of sticks out a little funny. I keep telling myself that's the charm of hand-made items!

Big thanks to Nia for helping me find this cute as a button design. My brother loves crossword puzzles. I just changed the words in the puzzle to be more appropriate than the original 'Nice Cross Stitch'.

On another note, I had a wonderful surprise at our local Farm Women's Market last week. I met a lovely woman who owns a 'farmette' in Mt. Airy, Maryland, where she raises 'fiber animals' including alpacas, llamas and angora goats. For January/February she has rented a stand in the market where she is selling her hand-spun and hand-dyed fibers. These products are in the most glorious colors that you can imagine. For any yarn I pointed to, she could tell me the name of the animal that produced the wool. It made it so personal.

Take a peek at her website, Avalon Springs Farm, if you get a chance. She also has an Etsy shop where you can buy some of the pretties online:
Avalon Springs Farm on Etsy.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Diamond Wrist Warmers and Elephant Coin Purse

With a whole ball of yarn left over after the last set of fingerless gloves, I decided to knit a second pair with a thumb gusset. This pattern was designed for a much larger hand than mine, but I didn't feel like ripping it out after I had finished the first one and made this discovery. So I just knit the second glove with fewer stitches cast on and it came out perfect. One of those patterns you have to concentrate closely on to ensure you don't mess it up. Still find I have some large holes to stitch up where the thumb joins the base. Maybe I'll figure out why that happens eventually. These are the Diamond Hand Wristwarmers by Micah Hazlett.

I recently discovered that a friend of mine collects elephants (not live ones thank goodness). Always wondered why she had a giant plush elephant on a chair in the living room, but I never noticed the curio cabinet behind it that had the most amazing collection of figurines. As a little New Year's gift, I crocheted the Crochet A Little elephant again, this time in pink. I made a quick little zippered change purse and sewed the motif on the front. On the back I sewed another of Wendy's tatting motifs. It has just enough batting to give it a little body.