Thursday, July 3, 2014

One Beautiful Button

My trip to Avignon, France in May included visits to many wonderful places and as always, I visited lots of shops.  After visiting the Yarn Shop, I noticed a shop window full of buttons and ribbon and other treasures.  To me a good shop is as wonderful as a good museum exhibit.  I love to experience the way that people express themselves by how they arrange the items that they stock in their shops.

The shop is Le Cartonnier de Marie and it was a joy to visit.   Everywhere I looked, I found wonderful things. At the rear of the store was this incredible work space.

  A display of postcards caught my attention too.  I bought this one which totally expresses my love of doll clothes that are handmade. There's lots of doll clothes on my blog Dressing our Dolls.

Postcard by
Even the bag that the store owner used is beautiful.

So now that I'm home, what will I do with this one beautiful button?  I decided to look for a sweater pattern that only needed one button.  After looking through the patterns on Ravelry, I found one that I really like.  It's the Lady Kina

Once that was decided, I needed yarn for my project.  Guess what, I went to several shops before I left on my trip during the New Jersey Wool Walk and I had purchased 5 skeins of Perfection Tapas by Kraemer Yarn at All About Ewe in Clark. 

The color, Roquefort #9010, is my favorite green with a hint of teal and golden threads running through it.  The button compliments the color beautifully.  The green of the leaves and the small golden blossoms come alive next to this yarn, along with the turquoise blossoms.

I cast on this sweater this week and hope to finish it in about 6 weeks.  This is a project full of wonderful memories.  I can't wait to wear it!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Woven Ribbon Style Knit Dishcloth Pattern

I designed a place mat that I'm using for meal time this summer.  I really like having place mats especially knit ones.  I use worsted weight cotton that is machine washable so I can wash and dry them whenever something spills on them.  The pattern is available in both my Ravelry Shop and my Craftsy Shop.

While looking through stitch patterns to use in another placemat design, I discovered a woven ribbon style that uses knit and purl stitches only. When repeated, it is great as a dishcloth.  So I thought that I'd share it with you.

The yarn is Bernat Handicrafter Nautical in a color called Stormy Skies a nice grey.  With so many stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, I was happy to finally find grey yarn.  I bought the big skein, 608 yards so I have plenty for lots of dishcloths.  I'll be making The Night on the Town Dress Dishcloth from my Knit a Dish Cloth Dress Book so I have gift sets ready
for the holidays.

The finished dishcloth is an 8 1/2 inch square. Hope you enjoy knitting and using this dishcloth

Woven Ribbon Dishcloth

Worsted weight cotton yarn
U.S. Size 7 knitting needles


Cast on 38 stitches

Knit 5 rows of garter stitch


Row 1:  (RS) Knit across
Row 2:   K3, P32, K3
Row 3:   Knit across
Row 4:   K3, P2, (K4, P2) 5 times, K3
Row 5:   Knit across
Row 6:   K3, P2, (K4, P2) 5 times, K3
Row 7:   Knit across
Row 8:   K3, P32, K3
Row 9:   Knit across
Row 10:  K3, K2, (K1, P2, K3) 5 times, K3
Row 11:  Knit across
Row 12:  K3, K2, (K1, P2, K3) 5 times, K3

Knit Rows 1-12 Three times

Knit Rows 1-9

Knit 4 Rows of Garter Stitch

Cast off on WS

Monday, June 16, 2014

My Friend Jen Knits A Princess Dress Dishcloth

My friend, Jen posts the Leisure Arts Blog.  Recently she knit the Princess for a Day dress dishcloth.  I wanted to share her post with you.  So here it is!

"I realized that it’s been a while since I knitted a dishcloth dress, so I had to remedy that immediately!  I love all of the patterns in DishclothDresses but the Princess for a Day pattern really grabbed me.  So I made it!
This takes about 55 yards of yarn, and you have to be sure to set aside a little separate amount to work one side of the bodice. 
Other than that, this is one of the few patterns that doesn’t require switching up your yarns.  Sometimes I’m in the mood for that sort of thing.  Sometimes I’m not.  I had a blast knitting a patriotic version of Happy Day #2 for the 4th of July last summer, but this time I felt like the variegated yarn would be enough.  I know these colors aren’t especially princessy, but they’re so cheerfully summery!  They make me think of kitchen decorating styles back when shows with names like “Princess for a Day” were on the air.
This was a quick and easy knit, and I had a blast making it just like I was always do.  My work tends to get a bit gappy when I have to make a lot of decreases in just a few rows, so I was careful this time to pull my yarn tight after each decrease stitch in the bodice so that the knitted fabric looked tight and tidy.  I love how this looks!  Maybe it’s my favorite dishcloth dress yet?  I won't know if it's my favorite dishcloth dress of all time until I knit them all, and I do plan to find out which one is my favorite someday.
One thing I do want to note: the vertical lines of knit stitches on the skirt.  I love them. But the pattern calls for slipping your stitches as if to purl them, and then purling them on the next row.  Maybe it’s because I twist all of my stitches (I could have tried to learn how to knit correctly once I discovered this, but I quickly realized I wouldn’t have a handy excuse on which to blame all of my problems and pattern misunderstandings if I fixed that), but I just don’t see how that’s going to make a stitch that looks like a knitted stitch.  So I unraveled my first attempt because it was only a few rows long, sang “Lorrrrrrrrrrrd, I can’t chaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaange” under my breath because summer is coming and that’s just how I get, and went ahead to just slip that stitch as if to knit it, and then I purled it on the next row.  And ta da!
Lynyrd Skynyrd lyrics and a few rows of concern aside, everything about knitting this little dishcloth dress was a dream.  I always feel a little silly when I’m making these, but in a good way.  This is fun!  It’s a nice reminder that I have fun knitting and that sometimes you can just make things to be pretty.  And yes, I know these can be used as dishcloths but DON’T YOU DARE.  I almost never feel this way about dishcloths, but this is a dishcloth dress.  You don’t just take some princess frock and use it to scrub some greasy pots and pans!  This is the dishcloth dress of royalty!
I mean, this is not a whisk.
It’s a scepter.  I bid you good day.
This post originally appeared on Everyday Life at Leisure."

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Discovering the Cath Kidston Brand

On my recent trip to London, I visited Harrod's and Windsor Castle.  While wondering through Harrod's, I discovered the Cath Kidston department.  I was immediately drawn to the flowery prints and made a mental note to look into the brand.

Windsor Castle was glorious.  Here's a few pictures that I took while visiting.

As we wondered the surrounding area, I noticed a Cath Kidston shop.  I couldn't resist stopping in.  Again, I was totally pleased by all the prints and merchandise.  This time, I couldn't resist and purchased this business card holder.

Once at home, I began to seriously explore the Cath Kidston Brand.  This brand examplifies the type of things that I love.  The flowery prints are my favorite.  Here's the sewing basket, knitting bag, scissors and tape measure that are on my list.  They also sell fabric.  I will definitely be adding some of that to my fabric stash.  Not sure what I'll make but I know it will be special.

Take a look at the Knitting, Sewing, and Crafts Department

Cath Kidston Knitting Bag

Cath Kidston Sewing Basket
Cath Kidston Sewing Scissors

Cath Kiston Tape Measure

Cath Kidston Fabric

Cath Kidston's story is great too.  Check out her story.  She defines her style as Modern Vintage.  I adore this style.  Here's some words to remember that I discovered as part of her story.

"Stay true to your idea
Learn to say no,
Don't confuse a distraction for an opportunity,
Trust your gut,
Don't be afraid to ask for help,
Stay focused"

Monday, May 26, 2014

Yarn Shop Visit in Avignon France

My recent trip to Provence included a visit to Avignon and a stop at La Boite a Tricot.  Whenever I travel, one of my destinations is a local yarn shop.  This one was lovely. 

I purchased this Bergere de France HomeMade Girly Nina Kit.

It is an ideal souvenir for me.  The kit includes the doll and 3 skeins of yarn.  Since the doll clothes only use a small amount of yarn, I'll have plenty left for another project.

The instruction booklet with this kit is written in 4 languages too. It's designed for the "Budding Young Crafter" with how to knit instructions on the first few pages.

This doll will become part of my Dressing Our Dolls display.  The display will be in another library this summer to inspire others to learn to knit and sew.

This trip was a dream come true.  I have many other things to share from my trip and will post about some of the other treasures and experiences soon.  Meantime, here's a few pictures that I took along the way.

I found time to knit in the yard at the lovely B & B where we stayed.

Knitting at the B&B in Provence  

I discovered Santon Dolls.  They were everywhere.

And this is only one of the many pictures that I took of homes with their wonderful colored doors and shutters.
Home in Provence

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Knit Blanket from my Yarn Stash

With yarn straight from my stash, I knit this baby blanket in less than a week.  It's a 30 inch square using the traditional Grandmother's Favorite dishcloth pattern.  This blanket is really soft as I knit it with Alpaca Co Snuggle and a strand of Ella Rae Seasons held together on a U.S. Size 15 knitting needle.

The Ella Rae seasons is the colorway called Ocean/Sky and is shades of blue that go from turquoise to a deep blue.  It added a nice shaded effect to the blanket without being overpowering.

The edge is crocheted with two strands of Snuggle held together and slip stitched through the holes created on the edges.  This is inspired by this Pinterest picture.  I'll be using this edging again.  It gives the blanket a firm border and color contrast.

This blanket is being added to my Cedar chest and next time I need a baby gift, it's all ready to go.  I like to keep a finished project stash as I really don't like deadline knitting.  It takes the joy out of knitting for me.  How about you?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Knitting and Sewing Inspired by Pinterest

Browsing Pinterest has become an important part of my daily routine.  I am inspired by the projects that I find Pinned.  My Board Knitting and Sewing Ideas has 208 pins right now.  I've started to sort them into separate boards so that I can find inspiration when I'm ready for new projects.  I've added lots of patterns to my Ravelry queue that I would not have found if they weren't highlighted by a fellow Pinterest member.  I've also discovered several great ideas for finishing projects and for organizing my knitting and sewing tools and supplies.

One of my favorite Pinterest finds is this idea to use a teapot as a yarn bowl.

 Another is this eyeglass case turned into a sewing or knitting tool kit. 

Here's the post from the blog Tea Rose Home that includes the tutorial.

And I'm about to try this crochet edge on a baby blanket that I just finished knitting.

I contribute a few of my own project to Pinterest, too.  Here's my case for my Nexus 10 Tablet.

Besides knittting and sewing, I have lots of other pinterest boards.  There's creative skills that I want to learn, creative color, and random articles.  Random articles holds lots of inspirational phrases that I love.

So what is your favorite Pinterest find?  Leave a comment and I'll be sure to check out your boards.
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