Every year at our annual Stitch Lab Instructor meetings, we review goals made the year past and place new ones into the box for this year, to then be reviewed again at the next meeting. One of my goals, for several years now, has been “To Make Goals”. There is truth to my snarkyness. If I do make a goal, it is usually a daily one, or I forget it as soon as I think it. All this leads up to me keeping myself organized too. Especially with crafty stuff. I have such a habit of doing too many things all at once. Today my goal was to decide on my summer sewing and knitting projects. This is a big step for me! Cross your fingers that I will follow through.

For sewing…

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First, I want to make a Collette Hazel dress with some amazing Hawaiian fabric I bought last year on Maui. I only have 2 yards of the stuff, and this dress takes just that. Two of our good friends are getting married there this September (heck yes- we get to go to Hawaii two years in a row!!), and this would be a perfect dress for their casual beach affair.

Second is the Picnic Skirt from Tilly and the Buttons. I always love a button down gathered skirt.

Another pattern from Collete, my third is the Laurel shift dress. It looks super simple and wearable, and I know that I would make dozens of this dress for daily wear.

And lastly, a bit of a lofty goal, is to make a Hawaiian style quilt for the bride and groom mentioned above. Do you know the kind I mean? They are beautiful! I am NOT a quilter, but have professed on many occasions to be ‘Quilt Curious’. Here are some examples of what I mean. Please wish me luck on this one.

And now for knitting…

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The first on my list is to finish a Wispy Cardigan. I’ve been working on it on and off for months now, and I have made progress, but it’s time to be done.

A ‘cool’ linen knit for the family reunion we are going to at the end of this month is number 2. If I don’t finish Wispy by then, I will probably start the Nachtfalter pullover anyway. I ordered some Knit Picks CotLin yarn in a bright scarlet red. There is also a knit-a-long happening over on the designer’s blog.

Lastly, the Featherweight Cardigan. The pattern is in the same book/collection as Wispy. I know I would wear it all the time. My favorite cheapo yellow cardigan from Target is falling apart, I hope this one will fill the void.

I know I will totally skip around and make more things between these, but I am on a mission.

I have caught the downloadable pattern bug! I am pretty sure I just love shopping from my phone, and if a cute pattern company is going to cater to that, I’ll buy.
This is theTiny Pocket Tank from Grainline Studio. The pattern PDF is here. I pieced the paper, cut the pattern, cut fabric, and sewed this all in one nap time. I am both thrilled and surprised.

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I just used a cute print of quilting cotton that I purchased at Stitch Lab. I’m calling this version my “wearable muslin”. The only mods I plan on doing for the next one is making the bust dart a pinch larger. Otherwise, fancy fabrics, here I come!

Where have I been? Too lazy, too occupied, and too flighty to blog lately.
I have been working on so many things, while teaching, Quilt Con, SXSX, designing birdhouses for HomeAway, Kids Crafts 1-2-3 projects, oh, and being a mom. I’m tired after just typing that. Sheesh.
Sooooo, to catch you up, here’s a few photos of projects that have happened over the last month or 3:

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I have been mostly on Instagram, and you can follow me there for more frequent posts. I’m b_to_the_j
TTFN

I love patterns by Quince and Co. The photography, styling, and color palette are all right up my ally. I’ve done one or 2 if their knitting patterns before, but not crochet. The Haiku Shawl is the first crochet pattern I’ve done from their site. Love it!

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I used one skein of Tosh Merino Light in ‘dust bowl’. This stuff is like crack. At $20 a skein, it’s an expensive addiction. Worth it! I only used the one skein, but could have easily kept going with a second. As is, the size is perfect for a neck kerchief.

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The pattern was easy to memorize and fairly quick. Both of those things are required these days. A chart is included for easy reading too. I highly recommend it.

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After my last blog post and the popularity of that photo amongst my Instagram friends, I thought I’d share a quick little tutorial on how to use a flower loom. I used this kind, which can be purchased at any craft store. I’ve also seen different (and cheaper) varieties out there. They are pretty simple to use, and come with instructions. I plan on using my flowers for a top secret magazine project, but they would be darling affixed to a cardigan, as pins, as art, headbands, on and on.
The above photo shows what materials you’ll need. The loom comes with a base (tan thing) and multiple loom shapes/sizes (pink and blue pronged things). You will also need a darning needle, scissors, and yarn.
First, decide on the shape to use and attach that to the base. Take yarn and tie a knot in the end, a few inches from the tail. Thread that through one side of the base, letting the knot become an anchor. There is a handy slit on the base, just for this purpose.

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Now, bring yarn up to ‘north’ prong, wrapping around clockwise and back down to the ‘south’ prong.

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Continue wrapping up, then down all around every prong. Work clockwise.

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Tie new tail to old tail so that everything stays in place.

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Now we get to make the flower center and secure all the petals. Thread the darning needle with new yarn, about 18″. Bring needle up through the center and leave a little tail on the back.

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Bring needle down through the middle of a petal, then back up through the center of flower. The goal is to come up each time in the same spot. Repeat around.

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To end, pull needle through a couple of loops on the top side and cut.

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Cut flower free from loom, trim tails close. Repeat!

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The loom instructions have different variation on flower shapes and ways to make a center. So far this basic method is my favorite.
I have seen folks make their own flower looms from cardboard, which looks really neat too.
Enjoy!

Austin finally gets rain and its a monsoon. Kidding, but 4″ is quite a but for us. P and I have been rolling around all day. He definitely needs constant games and activities, and I am trying to be better at playing real things with him. Block smashing is wildly popular. Between games, I have been working on my next project for Kids Crafts 1-2-3 Magazine. I won’t spill the beans on what exactly I’m up to, but it involves yarn and flowers. A festive craft for a gloomy day. Enjoy this photo.

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Last day of 2012, time to finish up a few projects. I have some UFOs sitting on my knitting needles, waiting to be completed (not to mention sewing, embroidery, painting, or crochet things waiting on their own turns). It’s fun to start projects, but a challenge for me to finish them. I am often envious of folks who have the kind of focus to work on one thing to completion. Who are you?!
This week I was able to finish a knitted hat (pattern) for a gift, a double-knit cowl (pattern) for me, a bear (pattern) for P, and a woven t-shirt (pattern) Feels good. One of the benefits of limited craft time is that I am forced to take things slow. Which makes me enjoy the process much more than I have in the past. The days of quickie sewing are no more. A fine mantra for today:
Enjoy the process. Enjoy the process. Enjoy the process.

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