Friday, January 29, 2010

North country socks

I used to be one of those knitters who thought nothing could be so tedious as knitting socks, until I tried it and got hooked. After searching all winter for the perfect pair of socks for a baby - warm, soft, durable, and with a cuff long enough that we can pull it up his calf to keep that space between the ankle and pants warm or pull over his pants - and never finding it, I finally dusted off my knitting needles.

Honestly, I don't know what I was waiting for! I wish I had made this pair in December but I'm thankful to have them now for the new blast of cold weather. This is a very easy pattern that I've made over and over again and it's free online. The only part of the pattern I would change is that it originally calls for 100% cotton yarn. While I love cotton, I've had bad luck with it stretching out in socks quickly and not retaining its shape. For this pair of socks I used two yarns held together - a superfine washable wool yarn from Patons and a medium organic bamboo/wool blend from Moda. The sock yarn is self-striping, hence the funky pattern.

And, I think it looks pretty cute on the little guy, who can't pull this sock off by himself, yet.

Here's that new pair of socks on baby while he falls asleep on Mommy's lap, ah, this is the life!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Kilo Appliqued Camisole

Part three of Savannah's Kilo outfit from Alexander Henry's 2005 fabric line- the camisole top with flower applique. See also, part 1 the Kilo skirt, and part 2 the Kilo handbag.

Even though I sometimes skip the step, I did use fusible interface behind the flower this time. It really helps and note to self: I shouldn't ever skip it! When I sew an applique on fabric I use my zigzag stitch and I lower the distance between stitiches to 1 so the zigzags are really close together. I sew around it twice for good measure.

What can I say, someone wasn't in a modeling mood this afternoon.

I still think it's cute. The tank top can be worn with shorts, sweats, skirts and as pajamas too. I like it best with her red sweatpants though.

I'm still amazed at how far a yard of fabric can go when you're five and a half, and I even have a little sliver of it left, possibly enough to make a zippered pouch for her purse or a wristlet to keep her ice cream money safe. Hmmm....

Saturday, January 16, 2010

One Way to Reuse a Cork

A cork can come in handy for a variety of projects around the house but here's one suggestion.

I'm really attached to a pair of trivets or hot plates that I have because they are in my signature kitchen colors, china blue or willow blue and white. However, over time the original felt pads have worn off and now when I use the trivets, I risk ruining my table with the heat that is transferred right through the bottom. (I have been using oven mitts beneath my hot plates for months now to prevent any damage to my dining room table surface - but this is time consuming, hard to explain, and could look better.)

I sliced a regular cork into about 10 2/10 of an inch slices as equal in size as I possibly could with my very sharp Henckels knife. Then I carefully super-glued these new "pads" onto the bottoms of my favorite trivets and voila! my trivets are as good as (okay better than) new.

Touch your table the next time you serve something hot and see if your hot plates could use a little cork makeover as well. (If so, you get to get one more good excuse to open a bottle of wine.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Upcycled Airplane Duvet

I purchased this airplane fabric a while ago with the intention of making a duvet cover for William. He inherited his sister's petal pink crib-size down comforter, which is lovely and warm, but you know, pink.

I found the fabric on etsy from Whimsie Dots, a shop that specializes in fabrics from vintage sources and upcycled fabrics. This fabric is reclaimed from a flatsheet and was very easy to work with.

I liked the airplanes because the first time William saw an airplane it happened to be landing at the Albany airport. It flew right over us and he was mesmerized....

I decided to use three ties on the bottom to close it rather than velcro, buttons or snaps. I made the ties from two inch strips of fabric that I sewed close and then turned right side out with a safety pin. On the bottom edge, I also sewed in about 5 inches on each side to give the comforter a lip to sit on in the corners. This plus the tied bows appear to be working very well. When I went to school in Paris some of the children I took care of had duvet covers with a similar system.This also takes care of one of my crafty New's Year resolutions, only twelve to go.

 I hope the little guy likes it. It will be his for a while...

Friday, January 8, 2010

New and blue

I purchased a set of three white cotton kitchen towels from Williams Sonoma (I love the weave and texture of their cotton towels) a while back with the intention of embellishing them with my signature kitchen colors - china blue or willow blue and white. I finally completed this simple little project and am already enjoying the result.

Eventually my appliances will be replaced with stainless steel energy-efficient ones and I think my white and blue will look even better with the stainless steel. My husband is in charge of that endeavor but I am really looking forward to having an induction stove eventually.