Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Small Wonders

Latley I have been incredibly inspired by the small things in life.  From miniature crochet projects, tiny pin-cushions, micro gardens, to simple home cooked meals.  Inspired by this, a sweet treasury via Etsy was created.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More Mini Friends

A wee cat, a masked lady, and two hands that hold the key.  I'm excited to share these in their infancy.  A few more steps need to be taken to make these new brooches complete!  Stay tuned!

Also, this week has been packed full of the usual holiday preparations!  I made my favorite simple cookie for a holiday party.  They're made of a basic rolling dough and the best red raspberry jam in the universe!  

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fillet Ole

Check out the shop within the next few days for some custom name (or any word you'd like) banner options!  Here's my prototype!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thrifty Gifty

As I now have more time on my hands, I've been cracking down the last few days on some handmade holiday gifts.  I'm excited to share a quick crochet gauntlet pattern I designed.  A great small gift for anyone!  Feel free to make the cuff wider if needed.  These are a nice average size for a woman:

Materials:  1 100 yrd. ball worsted weight yarn (I just used some stuff that I had in my stash.  You really don't need a lot), E US hook (4-3.5 mm)

Ch 16 (leave a long tail, as you will sew cuff together in finishing)
SC into back leg of second chain from hook.  15 sc across total.
Turn, ch 1, sc into back leg across.  Work this row for 28 rows.

Connect in round (so "rib" runs lengthwise).  Ch 1, Sc 32 sts along edge of cuff.  Slip into first ch.

Ch 1, sc around.  Slip into first ch.  Repeat this row 3 more times.

Ch 3, dc around.  Slip into 3rd ch. Repeat this row 1 more time.

*Ch 3, dc1, ch8, skip next 8 stitches,  dc into 9th st.  Dc around, slip last stitch into 3rd ch.

Ch 3, dc around.  Slip into 3rd ch. Repeat 2 more times

Ch 1, sc around.  Slip into 3rd ch.  Repeat one more time.  Darn ends in.

Finishing:  Sew side cuff.  Darn ends in.

*For right gauntlet, use this row:  Ch 3, dc around to last 10 sts.  Ch 8, skip next 8 sts.  Dc into 9th st.  Dc 1, slip into 3rd chain.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Mulled over

Another day, another blizzard.  Last time it was this bad out I was a first grader trick-or-treating in the Great Halloween Blizzard of 1991.  Thank God I am now of age to buy alcohol.  My friend Natalie and I tried braving the storm yesterday to run some errands.  Coming back was quite the pins-and-needles-in- your-face ordeal.  I made a batch of mulled wine to warm us up.  This recipe is a variation from the Joy of Cooking recipe and is quite simple (and probably more affordable than buying mulling spices).

Simply, put the peels of 4 clementine oranges, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1/4 cup sugar and 750 ml of Merlot in a pot.  Bring it to a simmer, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.  Serve hot! 

It can be a great gift as well!  Just pour into a pretty bottle and presto.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Rustic Love

Some early morning workings produced these fine and functional treasures.  My gigantic crochet has been reinterpreted into a soft jute rope basket to hold various crafting supplies.  Also, spending some time with my extraordinary artist friend Natalie last night also inspired this abstract yarn embroidered cameo pouch.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I'm making progress on this afghan for a holiday gift.  In my crocheting ventures, I have always stuck with the small scale laces and blocks.  Oh, but to make a lovely blanket with small scale blocks may take several years.  Since the 25th is getting closer, I decided to create a blanket made from only 12 large scale blocks.  This is a great block from the Reader's Digest book Crochet in No Time by Melody Griffiths.  However, you could use any block you like!  Mine measures 14" across one square.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Curious Machines

My mom came upon this curious machine at a local antique store in Mound, MN.  This antique sock knitting machine promises to cure the "Home Money Problem" while also keeping your toes warm.  I have yet to figure it out, but wanted to share it for its industrial beauty and its interesting marketing angle.  Too bad it now costs more to make socks than buy them!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Golden Thrift #2

Holy Moly!  I love finding special notions of yester-year.  Dylan's mom is in the process of tidying up her craft/sewing room.  She's big into antiques and vintage, and was kind enough to let me pillage through her stash!  Above are several of my favorite finds!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again

Hey y'all.  The cold snap has finally come and I realized I am without a cozy pair of mittens to carry my phalanges through this soon-to-be tundra.  Last year I stumbled across this yarn at Coldwater Collaborative in Excelsior.  Every year they have a great Super Bowl Sale where you find yourself freezing in a line down the block next to fellow knitters.  I do admit that experience was worth it, having scored a bag of GGH Savanna yarn.  This is an awesome blend of alpaca, linen, new wool and nylon.  Sounds like a strange mix, but it has a great single ply dread lock look (which strangely I find rather pleasing).

Long story short, I needed to get back into knitting, and am excited about this little project!  I have played with plaited cables, mostly in lazy swatch knitting, but have never used them in an actual finished piece.  Here's a great 4 row plaited cable recipe I'm using for these sweet garter stitch mitts!

Plaited Cable:
Row 1: k12
Row 2: p12
Row 3: k4, c8f
Row 4: p12
Row 5: k12
Row 6: p12
Row 7: c8b, k4
Row 8: p12

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mini Friends

Small things are always fascinating.  Micro miniatures, terrariums, and finger foods have a lot of offer for being so slight.  I had a few spools of 10/2 cotton for my knitting machine laying around, and thought I'd try a little experiment:  teensy weensy crochet projects.  I bought myself a new 1.30mm crochet hook (and a magnifying glass), and got to work.  Here are the fruits of my labor.  

What to do with these little guys is the question....

One idea....

Monday, November 1, 2010

Magical Workings

Maybe it's my inner hippie or my inner nomad.  I love casual and functional design, what can I say.  Oh, and I also named my cat Smiegel in honor of Lord of the Rings (they had magic, right?).  Whatever it is, I was inspired to create this little magical pouch.  Crochet has so many uses, and as I have regained the crochet bug, I'm beginning to explore the possibilities.  So, here we go inner hippie.  Something to put your patchouli in.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall, Nests, and Micro Gardens

Nature has always been a huge inspiration to me.  The colors, the shapes, and the human hand in curating it.   This spring, I got really into terrariums and indoor gardens.  The flower inside the "cloche" above is a miniature violet.  African violets and similar varieties tend to do well in an enclosed area, though this guy hasn't given me a bloom yet.  A little more singing and plant food may help.  When I began this obsession, I picked up a really great book on the subject.  The New Terrarium is a splendid resource for all things miniature garden including planting directions and a great list of suitable plants for cozy indoor growing.