Sunday, March 29, 2009

our earth hour

we turned off the lights, lit some candles and participated in earth hour last night. it was just as fun as last year. this time esme' did quite a bit of planning so we had plenty to do. simon says, mother may i, a crazy dance contest, story telling, and a few made up games kept us occupied.

i tried to do an exclusive earth hour in-the-dark interview with esme' and here is what i got ::

video

amy from crunchy domestic goddess wrote a wonderful post yesterday about the importance of changing our daily habits to really make a difference.

she wrote ::
While I believe it has the power to affect change, I think if people, businesses, corporations and governments just do this one thing - turn out their lights for one hour - without changing any other of their habits, it’s really moot. And I question how many people are doing it just to be a part of something trendy and make themselves feel good. Turning out our lights for an hour isn’t going to solve global warming. However, if everyone uses Earth Hour as a springboard to take another step and another step and find little changes they can make to live greener and more sustainably, then it’s a great thing.
i completely agree and will continue to make staunch efforts to live greener and more responsibly beyond earth hour.

so, this earth hour... it may not be saving our planet in 60 minutes but it sure makes family time fun!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

cupcake

a new summer top for esme'.

the pattern is wonderful- quick and easy, just the way i like them! the yarn is cotton ease in berry and taupe. the needles i used were addi turbos in sizes 7 and 8. the little girl wearing the top is very happy.


the end result is very sweet indeed!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

swap lovelies

two felted nests with birds for my seasonal celebrations swap recipients ::

a charming handbag from bend the rules sewing for another swap ::



and little extras tucked inside the bag- handmade gift tags, fabric covered buttons, a fabric button ring, and fabric button hair pins (fingers crossed that my partner likes fabric buttons, cuz i sure do!)

Friday, March 20, 2009

felted nest :: a pattern

celebrate Spring by creating a whimsical felted nest and eggs!






materials

:: 200 yards of worsted weight, brown wool. i used lamb's pride for my nests and knit them double stranded.
:: 3 ounces of undyed wool roving
:: 1 ounce of blue wool roving
:: us size 10.5- 16 inch circular needle
:: us size 10.5 dpn
:: stitch marker
:: tapestry needle
:: old stockings for felting the eggs
:: fabric scraps (optional)

pattern

using your 10.5 circular needle, double strand your yarn and cast on 75 stitches. place marker and join in the round. knit in stockinette stitch until piece measures 5 1/2 inches from cast on edge.

decrease as follows switching to the dpns when necessary ::

round 1: *ssk, k11, k2tog. repeat from * to end- 65 sts
round 2: knit
round 3: *ssk, k9, k2tog. repeat from * to end- 55 sts
round 4: knit
round 5: *ssk, k7, k2tog. repeat from * to end- 45 sts
round 6: knit
round 7: * ssk, k5, k2tog. repeat from * to end- 35 sts
round 8: knit
round 9: *ssk, k3, k2tog. repeat from * to end- 25 sts
round 10: knit
round 11: *ssk, k1, k2tog. repeat from * to end- 15 sts
round 12: *ssk, k2tog. repeat from * to last 3 sts, ssk, k1- 8 sts remain. cut yarn and thread your yarn tail through remaining stitches and pull to close the hole. weave in yarn tails. here is what your nest will look like, pre felting. kind of like a big, floppy hat.




now, thread pieces of your yarn, various lengths, onto your tapestry needle and weave them randomly through your nest leaving a couple inches of tail sticking out. when felted they will look like little twigs. you can also use strips of fabric or brightly colored yarn, or anything a bird would use when making a nest!

time to make the eggs. using the undyed roving in 1 inch strips, start winding them into a ball. keep winding around and around until your egg is 25% larger than you want the felted egg to be. then cover the egg with a thin layer of the blue roving.

you will place the eggs into the leg of a stocking and tie a knot in between each one. these are baby tights that i cut the legs off of.

to felt the nest and eggs, place the nest into a pillow case and tie the top shut with a piece of yarn (do not use wool as it will felt together and make it hard for you to untie) throw the eggs and nest into the washer and add a little soap. wash them in hot water on the longest setting. check your nest every 6 or 7 minutes to see how it is felting. some yarn felts very quickly, and some may have to go through a couple cycles before it is felted enough.



after felting pull and stretch your nest while it is still wet until it is shaped the way you like. i rolled the the top down to make it more shallow and nest-like. you may have to squeeze the eggs a little to make them egg shaped. let them dry and that is it- you are done! if you would like a little birdy for your nest there is a free knitting pattern here and a free sewing pattern here. or how about an origami crane? if you create a nest and eggs from this pattern i would love to see! please make as many nests as you want for you and your friends, but do not sell items created from this pattern- thanks a bunch!

HaPpY Spring! enjoy!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

sneaky peek

today i am sewing for one swap ::

and knitting for another swap ::

with lots of help from this little leprechaun!


happy st. paddy's day to you!
erika

Thursday, March 12, 2009

pocket pants

we are leaving for our weekend trip in the morning and my house is messy, there is laundry to do, and bags to pack. so hey, why not sew pants! i decided on a whim that harper needed some new one-of-a-kind, mama made trousers. i was heavily inspired by the adorable little pants my friend liz made for her little girl.

they were super quick and easy to make- i simply traced a pair of well fitting ready-to-wear pants to make the pattern. and those little pockets... oh my, how fun! i want to add them to everything, and i just might!



but no more sewing for me today. i am off to fold clothes and stuff back packs.

wishing you all a fabulous weekend- see you monday!

re-fashion


look out closet, here i come! 2 months... no problem! this is right up my alley, i am tempted to commit for life. the new term doesn't start until may but i am totally going to test drive this idea. we are going out of town this weekend, but just as soon as i get home i plan to alter, embellish, chop, crop, patch, re-vamp and re-fashion everything i can get my hands on. i have my own make believe project runway planned. make it work!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

chopped

hair before::


and after::


of course this is a horrible picture of new cute haircut, but you get the idea- it is short! i have had a lot of fun with it so far. oh, and the bed head is wicked! now i am considering some color. any suggestions?


and here is the little cabled headband i knit with some of my handspun. the pattern can be found here- i used bias tape for the ties instead of i cord. LoVe this! i am going to knit a whole stash of them in cheery spring colors! because spring really, really is right around the corner, right? right!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

rrrrrroar!

Photobucket yep, march is a lion! this was the scene from my back porch earlier this afternoon. what. the. heck! last week i was planning my garden and cleaning up the raised beds. my tulips have already produced healthy green stalks with a promise of beautiful, bright blooms in the near future. i have new spring clothes practically begging to be worn. and now this!


really it only snowed for about 20 minutes and then the sun came out. here is how it looks from the back porch right now. the snow should be gone before evening.

and snow or not, we are stuck indoors today. i am taking care of these two little ones. they are both snotty and feverish and miserable. poor, poor things.

our tea kettle has been busy as we brew pot after pot of awake tea for this groggy mama and cold bear tea (as esme' calls it) for the littles.


on the bright side::

:: i am getting a ton of knitting done.

:: we have watched nearly every movie in the house, some of them long forgotten favorites.

:: right now the sun is shining through the front picture window and it is so bright and so warm. everything in the room is glowing.


i have decided that spending a sunday afternoon curled up on the couch with blankets and tea and two small people watching DVD's and sun and snow through the window while knitting and occasionally napping... really isn't so bad after all.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

hiding in a pile of yarn and kleenex

remember me? my poor little blog has been grossly neglected lately. let's see, what is new? i got super excited for spring, and then it snowed. but it is sunny and clear today. and my tulips are peeking up out of the dirt. yep, it is march indeed!

we have also had yucky colds! not me so much, but the kids- we just cannot seem to get rid of the runny noses and coughs. no fun!

my knitting friends and i are in the middle of a stash game. you might remember my stash busting efforts from last year. so far i am not nearly as productive as i was for those games. not even close! i finished up these cute little wool shorts for harper. they were stuffed into my knitting bag a few weeks ago when i realized that my cute little cabled owls on the bum were upside down!!

see, there are the little owl horns, at the bottom. they kind of look like feet.

here, i'll flip the photo so you can see the owls right side up. grrr!! ah well, they are still very cute and will get tons of use. this is my very favorite peace fleece colorway- grassroots.


these tiny little sockies were knit for my friend who is expecting a new baby boy this month. i am very lucky to be her doula so i will get to be present when she welcomes her sweet baby into the world! i can't wait!



and we have been doing a lot of this- staying in pajamas all day long!