Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Kusha Kusha Scarf

A dear friend's birthday is quickly approaching and I wanted to make her a little something.  She's probably the biggest recipient of my scarves and doesn't seem to tire of them.  So guess what... she's going to get another :)

This is the start of the Kusha Kusha scarf.  I think this is such a simple, yet sophisticated, pattern.  A nice easy knit too.  And since the needles are a US 8, it goes reasonably quickly.

Kusha Kusha scarf

Other than that, with the assistance of my trusty helper, I managed to finish up 98 of these salt water hexies! 

Salt water hexies

Now I just need to figure out what to do with them - currently thinking they'd be fun for the bottom half of another birdie sling bag.  What do you think?

Hexies in a jar

I was surprised that I enjoyed working on these as much as I did.  Of course all I have done is the basting.  Next comes the tricky part of stitching them together.  And speaking of stitching together, I am also making good progress on Mum's quilt.  I'll share some more pictures once I get a little further on...

Other WIP are the Bertie's Blanket squares for hospice.  You can check out the latest progress on  Thanks for all the support :)

And finally go check out the other lovely WIPs on Tami's blog:

Happy hump day,
Hope you enjoy the rest of your week,
Sam x

Sunday, February 17, 2013


My number one priority project is to finish the quilt I had started for Mum - it is the Curio Quilt in a selection of glorious Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  Mum and I had made pretty good progress when she was here late last year.  After she left I continue to plug away and finished all the component squares.  All I needed to do was seam it up; the end was in sight.  Or so I thought...

pink back

Ahem, if only!  I stitched the first row of squares together - a row of 3" square 9 patches.  I then stitched the next row together which comprised of a mix of the 3" square 9 patches and larger squares.  Aww man!  :(  This 2nd row was noticeably shorter due to a rookie mistake:  I had not cut the squares as precisely as I should (thinking that a teeny tiny bit of wiggle room on each square would work in my favour).  Except that even the tiniest bit of wiggle room causes the row with more squares to be significantly longer than the row with fewer squares.  You can see in this picture how quickly they started to misalign:

To be unpicked and reassembled

It lay like that for a good while:  I couldn't bear to look at it, never mind start taking a seam ripper to it.  Until it was time to get my big girl pants on, arm myself with a seam ripper, and start dissecting then reassembling those 2 rows.  I am pleased to say that this is now done.  I'm hoping that's the last time I'll need to make use of the seam ripper in this project.

Be gone seam ripper

I have decided to take a different approach to piecing this together - making big blocks out of the component squares (vs long rows).  This is allowing me to make sure the pieces are lining up better.  I feel much more confident with this approach.  More to come on this soon.  Like I say, number one priority...  I need, and want, to get this all finished up and gifted to Mum.

That doesn't mean to say that I won't get distracted.  First distraction is a bunch of addictive Hexies.  When I met up with some of my crafty friends recently, Stacey was showing us these lovely Tula Pink Hexie kits.  (Stacey is one of my biggest enablers sources of inspiration, and I love her for it :)

Hexie Kit from I Heart Tula Pink

I picked up a box and wanted to just give one a go to see if I could do it.  You can't just do one though - these things are addictive!  I really enjoy working on them. 

Hexies in Tula Pink Salt Water


And I have had help...  yes, this is a typical day at our hone with my little helper, furry friends, and crafts close by.  (Yes, I look like a goof... that's typical too :o)))

Typical day at home

Finally I joined Denver's modern quilt guild group this week to see what that was all about (Stacey's influence again :o)))  What a lovely informal and welcoming meetup group.  They just kicked off a quilting bee project that I'll be joining.  Essentially each participant provides guidance on the quilt that they want to create, and provides the fabrics to work from.  Then this box of goodies visits with a different participant each month who creates one of the squares.  Sounds like fun, right?

For my quilt, my guiding design is the Stained glass quilt from Narcoleptic in a Cupboard, and my selection of fabrics primarily Sarah Jane at play with some Crafty Chloe thrown in.  I think this quilt allows each participant to build their own unique stained glass window square.  And some of the fabrics can be fussy cut to give them an almost cartoon strip feel.  I'd also like each participant to add in a little bit of their own fabric, from their scraps bin, to add an additional bit of individuality to each of the squares.  I think this is going to be fun, and look forward to providing updates here.

Fabrics for Quilting Bee

Here are few versions that I love in blogland, that truly inspired me to choose this design:
OK, time to rejoin my family.  I've spent a good deal of time fixing this blog, the Bertie's blanket blog, and my ravelry page, after a recent glitch when flickr reset the status of some of my photos to private.  Which means they didn't show on these public pages.  Even when I reset the privacy to 'public' they still remained hidden and required to be manually updated.  6 months worth of blog posts people.  :(  Can you hear the sobs from there?  Apologies for the 'under construction' appearance of the blog while I worked to make these fixes.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Much love,
Sam xxx

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Love is in the air

It is quickly approaching Valentines Day.  Hubby and I have a date night... wahhoooo!  Date nights are few and far between and therefore highly cherished.  Naomi will be celebrating with her friends at school; they are having a Valentines party.  At any mention of Valentines, Naomi tells me she is going to be a princess.  With a beauuuuutiful dress.  Apparently I can be a princess too.  And Daddy?  Well she tells me he is the Queen.  :)

Naomi saying ooh they are soo pretty

This last weekend we worked on some little party favours for the Valentines party.  Pinspiration strikes again:  I found this great idea for Valentines bubbles on the Simply Modern Mom blog while searching for children's Valentine gifts.  This was perfect because it wasn't a food item (there can be quite a few restrictions about what can/can't be brought into school and what other parents do/don't want their kiddos eating).  I get it, and therefore steering clear of food items always seems to be a good way to go.

Valentines gifts

Plus, the project is super easy.  There are complete instructions and free printables on the Simply Modern Mom blog.  You just need to pick up some bubbles (I got mine from Target, but I'm told craft stores also have them in the wedding section), some paper, ribbon and glue.
Valentines gifts in progress

Naomi was super excited about helping me and came armed with her glue stick and a bucket full of enthusiasm.  That is until she saw the bubbles and then decided it would be much more fun for us to play with those instead :)  So all in all a great project to work on together and then to have fun catching bubbles afterwards. (Dear sweet girl has inherited her mother's under eye bags when she hasnt had enough sleep... and this particular morning she'd had us both up at 4am)

Checking quality of supplies

On the theme of Love, I was also able to finish a couple of charity/Project Love hats with the leftover yarn from the Polka dot cardigan.  Neither follow a pattern as such - I just made it up as I went along.  They were looking a little 'meh' until I added thee crochet rosettes, with the button centers.  Hats with flair! :))) 

Project Love hats

I also like that a little girl has a matching mini hat for her favourite doll or teddy.

Project Love hats modelled

Sending you lots of love,
Sam xxx

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Polka Dot

Last night I had this desire to finish a project... do you ever feel that way?  That you want to work on something where you'll have a real sense of accomplishment at the end of it.  Most days I'm quite happy to plug away at something that I know is far from being completed.  But yesterday I had the need to get something done.  So I rummaged through my WIP pile and found this polka dot sweater that I started for Naomi some time ago.  It was only 1 and a half sleeves away from completion.  It was the perfect project to meet the need.  I'd put this aside some time ago because I was unimpressed with it.  In my mind's eye it was going to be super cute.  But in reality it was turning out a little, erm, shall we say, "odd"?  :o)))

Polka dot in progress

I searched out a couple of Rom Coms on TV and plugged away on the cardigan.  By the end of the evening it was done.  I still wasn't loving the cardigan, but was quite content for having completed it.

In the morning Naomi was excited to see the new cardigan:
"Mommy, you made that?"
"For me?"
"I love it!"
Dear sweet girl :o)))  She put it on, and, you know, I think it's growing on me.  Yes it is weird, ahem, I mean whimsical.  But she looks soo darn cute in it.  In a wacky sort of way.  I was joking that she looks like she should be a wizard.  Joe countered that it needed a top hat to complement the look.  Naomi on the other hand believes it is her super hero cardigan!  (I guess it does have a cape vibe to it).  My little girl is happy, then I'm happy.  :)

Polka dot - front
Polka dot - back
Pattern:  Polka Dot by Berroco
Yarn:  Plymouth Yarn Kudo
Modifications:  The pattern is for 4 years and up, so I had to downsize it for my soon-to-be-3 girly.  Also the pattern is written for the sleeves to be worked from wrist to shoulder and then sewn in.  Instead I picked up the stitches around the shoulder and worked down to the wrist.

Hope you are having a lovely weekend and staying warm.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Catching up

How are you doing?  It feels like I've been away from blogland a little too long, and I miss connecting with you.

Where to begin...  I'll start with what's in my heart and on my mind:
Last week I went back to the UK to visit family.  It was an unplanned trip at short notice - we recently discovered that my Grandma has stage 4 breast cancer.  Yes, this nasty disease is rearing it's ugly head in our family once again.  And with the same upsetting prognosis.  I am thankful that I got to go back and spend time with my Grandma, and the rest of my family, but it was an extremely hard trip.  I adore my Grandma and saying goodbye was soo difficult.

My Gran is an amazing knitter and used to create beautifully intricate and complex garments that were shipped to the US and Japan.  It used to tickle her that the company she worked for would deliver the yarn, and pick up the completed sweaters, in an armored vehicle.  She smiled at the thought of what the neighbours must think she was up to :)))

I was glad to see that one day she was covered in a handmade blanket at her palliative care nursing home.  It was really pretty pastels and added a cosy touch as well as helping keep the chill off.  Of course all this spurred me on to make additional squares for Bertie's Blankets.  You can see the latest progress over on the Bertie's Blankets blog (try saying that quickly 3 times ;o) 

It was a low key visit so there was lots of down time for knitting (which Grandma would like to hear about and then shake her head jokingly asking where I found the time :).  Aside from the blanket squares I worked on a novelty purse for my Mum using some t-shirt yarn - Zpaghetti.  Man, that was like knitting with exercise bands - I felt like I'd had quite the workout after knitting a few rows on it!  (If only it burned the calories like a workout would).   But it was nice to have something to work on that was straightforward and a temporary distraction.

Here's the finished object.  It's cute and fun for summer.  My Mum is into blue at the moment and so I think she liked it well enough.  There won't be any repeats though... I was happy to get back to knitting sock yarn on skinny needles!
Zpaghetti handbag for Mum

I'll be catching up on your blogs over the coming days and looking forward to seeing what you've been up to. 
Big hugs,
Sam xxx