March 1, 2010

What I've been up to

There hasn't been much crafty posting here, but there has been a fair amount of crafting ("fair amount" considering the traveling and parenting that's also been going on.) I find that when my crafting time is limited, it can be really nice to use a tutorial. No second guessing or starting over or craftfails -- and lots of nearly instant gratification.  I've been using some wonderful free tutorials and patterns from the internet and it's been so easy and rewarding. So here's a linky lineup in case you're in need of a quick crafty fix too.

Well, not exactly cooking, but playing with food. I've been making my own chai latte mix (like the one from Trader Joe's but better!) loosely based on this recipe. I gave jars of it away as stocking stuffers at Christmas and it's been a big hit.
I leave out the instant tea (ew.) but the recipe still calls for non-dairy creamer (scary stuff.) so I'm thinking about trying this recipe which calls for sweetened condensed milk instead (I can get a nice organic version at my local grocer.)

For my dear friend Beth's birthday, I made a reversible tote bag from Skip to my Lou. I made mine a wee bit bigger and finished it off with an apple print with an appliqued leaf.

I put a few goodies for Beth's beautiful baby Jonah in the bag: a ball from felted wool sweaters and a flannel crinkly square using an old baby wipes package...  The crinkly square especially is perfect: it only took about 10 minutes to make, saved an old diaper wipes package from the garbage, and (most importantly!) it was such a hit I had to make Finn one too.  It's become my go-to last minute baby gift.

I've also been whipping up a bunch of these super easy wool pants for Finn.
They're made from the sleeves of adult-sized felted sweaters and they seriously only take a couple of minutes to throw together. Wool is a perfect material for diaper covering as it's naturally antibacterial and absorbent without feeling wet. Plus you can add fun and easy (no unraveled edges) appliques. I'm kicking myself for not keeping all the shrunken sweaters I've sent to the Goodwill over the years!

I've been knitting too, several as yet unfinished projects -- and these ones are (almost) all for me! I'm making a simple sleeveless cardigan, the Shalom Cardigan from Involving the Senses.
Shalom CardiganFinn's helping with this one:

Also a Burberry-inspired cowl (every girl needs a little luxury, especially if it's homemade and $720 less than the Burberry version.)
burberry-inspired cowl

And I'm finally attempting an Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern, the Baby Surprise Jacket), just in time for Finn not to fit it at all.
Baby Surprise Jacket

And I haven't cast on for the last project yet but I just had to show you this yarn: Malabrigo Merino Twist, isn't it beautiful?
Malabrigo Twist
I'm thinking some sort of slouchy beret for myself. Perhaps the Star-Crossed Slouchy Beret or maybe the Grace Lace Beret. Do you have any suggestions?

Any other good (quick and easy) tutorials I should be looking at? What are you working on?


  1. I love all that yarn of yours. I'm working on the Francis Revisited sweater--not a tutorial, but a free sweater pattern is just as good!

  2. I must have that Bob Marley t for my little Bodhi girl. Can you tell me where you got it?

    I've been YouTubing watercolor techniques, and teaching myself a new art. Learn something new! That's my new motto.

  3. Monika, the tee was a gift from my friend Marie who got it at a baby store in SF. The company is called Jackapotamus and their etsy store can be found here.

  4. The wool pants are so cute. I love the applique :-)

  5. Thanks for all the links to nice patterns! I love the crinkly square (if only i could sew...) and also the pattern for the cowl!

  6. I think I'll be using your crinkly square idea in the next cloth baby book I make. Thank you for sharing your creativity (and adorable Finn).

  7. It's funny, whenever I check out your blog you are working on something that I have made or thought about making! I made two baby surprise jackets last year for our nieces, and I started a Shalom cardigan in January but lost interest due to first trimester fatigue ;) I really liked making the baby surprise jackets and I liked the Shalom pattern too, but now it's too warm to think about wearing a wool cardigan. I actually took classes for both projects at a local shop, and my teacher had just made those felted slippers you posted awhile back too. Thanks for sharing all your crafty projects!