Tuesday, November 30, 2010

catching the drips

Our Thanksgiving was great.  My dad was here this year; it was so nice that he wasn't traveling with the WVU basketball team. I can't remember the last time he's been home for Thanksgiving. His presence was a real treat.  The meal was delicious, although I thought the turkey was a bit dry - but that's why we had gravy! 
My aunt made the best pumpkin upside down cake and the kids all played a game of football when the weather cleared. The day was spent visiting, eating, napping and doing dishes.  As the mountain of dishes was washed we used my newly sewn dish mat
 I made this dish mat for all those dishes that aren't allowed to go into the dishwasher.  I typically have used tea towels and they would end up very soggy.  But this dish mat worked great....it caught all the drips and stayed absorbent til the last glass was put away.  The back of it is an old bath towel that I re purposed and it works much better at catching those drips than a cotton tea towel. And it looks pretty!
 I made two...one for us and one for a gift.  These would make great hostess gifts over the holiday season.  You could make them in a Christmas/winter theme or coordinate them to match your hostess's kitchen.  They are fast and satisfying and they made dish washing a little bit more fun.  I've got a couple more to make for Christmas presents....I just need to round up some more 'out of commission towels' to reuse.  This week we're putting away the turkeys and pilgrims and pulling out the Christmas decorations....I hope your week is full of new inspiration as well!  happy last day of November.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


The kids have been hounding me about decorating for Christmas.  They are wanting to get the tree up and pull out all the trimmings that go along with it.  We're on break from school this week and in reality it would be a great time to get the big holiday decorating done....but I just can't do it.
I actually went downstairs to our storage area to pull down some boxes, but I just left them on the shelf.  I'm not in a hurry to get to the next holiday.  I want to savor this holiday.  I don't want to miss Thanksgiving in the rush to get to Christmas.  That's not a blanket statement on my feelings about decorating pre-season. I'm not opposed to decorating early - as a matter of fact, some years we've had Christmas up while enjoying the turkey....but this year I want to sit and marinate in the current season.  
The Christmas boxes will come out soon enough.  Right now though, I'm enjoying not having to get ready for the next big thing.  There is so much to be thankful for and I want to have the space, mentally, to enjoy those blessings.  I hope that this Thanksgiving finds you with some time to reflect on your blessings....Happy Thanksgiving!  May it be a day that turns into a season of much gratitude for you and your family. 
"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever."  1 Chronicles 16:34

Friday, November 19, 2010

I couldn't make just one....

My mom wanted a pencil pouch to carry her pencils with her to church....so I made her this:
It's very basic. Nothing fancy or overly creative.  However, I needed some help with how to put in the zipper and while looking for directions that would work with my simple plan, I found this pattern.  Which led to this:
So, now I'm set with some gifts for the holidays....isn't it funny how one things leads to another?!
Special thanks to Vanessa who blogs over at Little Big Girl Studio for the free pattern.  She did a fabulous job with the directions.  These little pouches were so fun to make.... I guess that's obvious, by the fact that I couldn't make just one! 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

baby love

Showers tend to go in phases....wedding showers by the handful and those are usually followed with baby showers by the dozens.  It's been a while since I've been to a baby shower and my friend Jennifer is having her fourth baby.  She's my age and her youngest is 13.  I have been so blessed to watch her walk through this pregnancy with grace and joy.  In all honesty, to be starting over with a little one would be quite the upheavel to life as one knows it.  Her oldest is graduating from high school this year.  Do you get the picture?  I'm sure that she feels pulled between two worlds.  However, in talking with Jennifer, you'd never know it. 
She is glowing as she waits for this new little life.  She's been a great example to me in trusting God with the details of life.  Resting in His plan has brought her peace and acceptance in a powerful and exemplary way.  "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11  She glows because she's trusting in His plan for her life.  That has been so powerful to watch. 
So....I had to knit this new little person some cotton sweetness.  Beth sent me the pattern for the sweater and my favorite baby hat was the perfect topper.  This was my first baby sweater and it was so quick and fun to knit!  Thank goodness for Ravelry pictures though, because if I hadn't been able to see how this sweater was to look before seaming it might have turned out to be a straight jacket.  But that's the great thing about knitting (and life)....you learn even through the mistakes. 
Here's the knitty gritty:
Sweater Pattern: Ribbed Baby Jacket
Needles: size 7 and 8
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease - less than 1 Skein
Size: 0-6 months
Modifications:  Instead of adding a buttonhole, I added the button to the sweater and crocheted a closure for securing the sweater. 

Hat Pattern: Simple Baby Hat from Itty Bitty Hats
Needles: size 7
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease - the remaining part of the skein
Size: newborn
Modifications: Instead of binding off and pulling the yarn through the last stitches, I continued to knit those stitches for about 3 inches.  Then I pulled the yarn through them, and knotted the top. 

I highly recommend both of these patterns...they were great baby knits. (they received lots of ooohs and aaahs at the shower) Do you have a favorite baby knit that you love to stitch and gift? 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

justifiable sewing

As you walk into our house, you'll be greeted by piles of shoes, slippers and flip flops.  I try my best to keep them corralled, but they seem to have a pack mentality and no matter how many times I neaten them, they always re-assemble themselves into a big gnarly pile.  If you look up and above the piles of shoes (be careful not to trip!) You'll notice my knitting bag.  It's hanging on one of the hooks right in the entry way.  I keep it there so I can grab it as I'm heading out the door or when I have a rare moment to sit and knit at home.
 I love the idea of a knitting basket, but so does Molly the dog and she seems to think that my knitting is her dog toy, so a hanging bag is much safer.  My knitting bag hasn't changed for about 3 years....it's been the same Vera Bradley bag.  The perfect size and shape.  The other day though, I noticed that it didn't really match anything around it.  It's pink and black and my house is khakis, reds and greens.  I know, that sounds crazy, but when I stopped to think it through, I realized that my knitting bag hangs on that peg about 90% of the time.  It's part of the room.  It's what you see when you trip walk in the door.   I knew then that I needed to make it right.  (justifiable sewing is what this is called - try it!  it works!) 
My mom gave me the gift of a couple of hours all to myself the other week and after I finished singing and dancing through the house, I used that time to make a new bag.  I made an autumn bag....I used some fabrics that Larissa had sent me months ago and I couldn't be happier! 
 It works great when I grab it and head out the door.  I used Larissa's tutorial for the deputy tote and added 2 inches to the overall size.  A wonky flower was added to give it some extra snap.  I sewed a pocket to the inside to hold all my little things like scissors and tape measures.  It really is a great tote! 
I love how it looks as it spends most of its time on the peg in my entry way!  Did you realize that Christmas is only 52 days away!?  I'm sure that I'm gonna need a holiday version when we deck our halls....you know what I'm sayin!?  Maybe I'll deal with the shoe issue in January!