a sweater!

Hello hello! Over the weekend, I finished knitting my moss green oatmeal pullover. I love this green! A lot.
I think I started knitting this in February, when it was still legitimately cold enough for warm sweaters, but then I ended up ripping it back, starting over and knitting a larger size.
And so, here we are in March, almost April, wearing a nice thick wool pullover. But at least when fall comes I will be ready to bust this baby out of the closet.
I'm kinda bummed now that I didn't just go with the smaller size that I started with, as this sweater is supposed to be smallish and fitted. And mine is kind of too big. But this was such a quick and easy knit that I can totally see myself making another one soon. (And it only uses 3-ish balls of Wool Ease Chunky ... so it's super economical.) Next time I'll knit it in black or gray ... or both ... and one size down. It's such a great everyday sweater and I can see myself wearing this a lot. Super stoked to have it done and off my mile-long to-knit list.

new in the shop

Just listed! Some super soft hand-knit loopy scarves for spring and summer.
These are my new knitting project for spring and summer Market Day, and you can also find a few of these at Ephemera if you're in the area. (But if you're not, hop on over to my Etsy shop.) Happy Monday, friends!

our most excellent adventure at Stella's

This week, our little fam made a spontaneous stop into Stella's Blue Sky Diner for some ice cream. Isn't it kind of funny how we all have these local favorite hangouts, but since they're so accessible, they don't always get photographed?
Stella's is such a fun little place to visit, with mis-matched retro kitchen table and chair sets and glittery booths.
With jukeboxes at every table.
And vintage lamps in all shapes and sizes and colors.
The talented wait staff pours malts and shakes from great heights, right into the malt glass on your head. They'll even stand on the counter and pour them into your mouth if you lay on the floor. And they don't miss. (I think if they do, it's free.)
They serve rocket burgers and neutron fries; cheese frenchies and meatloaf. But their ice cream sundaes and malts are really the main attraction.
They're huge and made just right. No soft serve ... just old fashioned real ice cream and heaps of whipped cream.
It's the kind of place that just makes you smile. I hope it's the kind of place that will stick around for a long, long time.

Happy Friday. :)

... glad I wrote it down.

Just a few pages to share today that will go into the various scrapbooks. Speaking of scrapbooks ... what kind do you use? Like, to actually hold your pages?
For the past two years or so, I have been using binders. Not even scrapbooking binders ... just pretty binders that I find at random places. My very favorite ones are Greenroom Eco binders from Target. I just buy a few packs of 8.5 x 11 page protectors once in awhile, and fill up the binders until there's no room left. And then I get to shop for new binders. :)
Anyway, here's a few recent pages. I wanted to use some of my favorite photos from last summer, like this one of Lo wearing her red Converse.
And these, from the Iowa State Fair last August.
Then, one more page using Twitter updates from one random day last month. I love using Twitter as a jump start. This was from the day that Corey Haim died; I watched Kill Bill on tv, talked about Ralph Macchio and listened to the new Hole album. Tiny insignificant parts of life put on paper. (But I know that someday I'll look at this page, all of these pages, and be glad I wrote it down.)

cast on, rock out.

If you've been reading here awhile, you know that I teach a beginner's knitting class at Ephemera in the East Village. (I know I've blogged this photo before ... taken by Arin and Karen, the lovely girls who own the shop ... but it's just so adorable that I can't help but share it again.)
It's so so so much fun to hang out at the shop and I love passing on the love (and addiction) of knitting to sweet people, like my pal Sara.
Here's a class photo from our latest group of fantastic knitters, and I'm excited to start a new session with a brand new group tomorrow! Every time, we have such a fun, chatty group and it's always a blast to meet everyone.
And starting next month, we're offering another class for knitters who want to learn the next step ... knitting in the round. Yup, that means hats. (And eventually sweaters, and so on!) We'll be making this lightweight spring cap in class.
This class is perfect for anyone who took the beginner's class at Ephemera, or for any knitter who is ready to tackle circular and double pointed needles to make their first hat. Just holla at the girls at Ephemera to sign up – class will meet for just one session on April 15th or on May 4th.

fabric flower tutorial

So, you may have noticed the flowers this spring. They're popping up all over the place. Fabric flowers on headbands and hair clips and ribbon belts and dresses ... and the t-shirts. Oh, the beautiful $45 t-shirts. You know the ones. Sigh.
I'm not even usually a flowery type of girl, but even I have been seduced by the fabric flowers this season. So I started making some.
Here's a couple of little tutorials if you'd like to do the same. (It's really easy.)
First, find some fabric scraps or swatches and cut out several circles. (Mine are about 2" in diameter, but you can make them whatever size you want.) Then cut out some flowery shapes with petals – make some of them smaller, and some a little bit larger. I free-handed mine; they really don't need to be perfect.
A note on fabric: I used all kinds of scraps that I already had in my fabric stash. Some fabrics will fray a bit on the edges, but that's okay. I used cotton, satin, organza, weird chiffon-y stuff and even some cotton jersey, which worked great. This could be the perfect way to re-purpose some old t-shirts that you don't know what else to do with.
Stack up your cut-outs, and you're ready to get started. (I was lucky enough to have a little help with this part.)

Fabric Flower Tutorial No. 1
Grab your stack of flowery cut-outs with petals. To make the flower's center, start by pinching one of your smaller flower shapes as shown – so it's in fourths.
Hold it in place, and grab your needle and thread. (I used contrasting thread here in hopes that you could see what I was doing a little bit better, but you'll want to choose thread that matches your flower.)
Make a few stitches in the very bottom of the pinched section, making sure to catch all of the folds that you pinched so it will stay gathered. Knot at the back.
Add another similar sized flower cut-out behind it, and again, pinch the whole thing to gather it a bit. Sew through the back of the center of this flower at the base, where you pinched it. Stitch through all of the layers and continue to make folds/gathers to give it dimension.
The back side will look something like this. You don't need tons of stitches to make this work; a few will do.
Then add another larger flower layer to the back, and another until you've achieved the size and shape you're going for.
Ta-da! Just eyeball it as you go. You really can't mess it up.
Here's another example of this type of flower, with more layers and in a lighter weight fabric.

Flower Tutorial No. 2
The second type flower will be made from the circles that you cut. Start by folding one of your circles in half, and then fold it in half again. (As shown.)
Stitch through the layers at the center point of your folds.
Again, just a couple of secure stitches will do the job.
Then, fold several more of these little ruffles, stitch and knot their center points, and then line them all up on your needle.
Squish them all together like this, and stitch through them all at once. I usually use around six to eight circles but you can use as many or as few as you want.
Tie a knot at the back and rearrange the individual ruffles/sections to make a round flowery shape. Make several stitches on the back to keep all of the layers in place. And you're done! Almost.
Now you can sew your blooms directly onto your t-shirt or bag or dress with your needle and thread. Or, if you're like me and are a little bit worried that your flowers may not survive the wash, you can sew pin-backs on them. You can purchase a whole bag of bar pin-backs for under $3 – just be sure to get the kind with the holes in them so you can sew them on. Cut a little piece of felt to use as backing and stitch it to your flower with embroidery thread. Now you can rearrange your flowers in different configurations and add them to anything you want. (Exciting!) This is the fun part ...
A few little 'corsages' for a bunch of Lo's summer tops. (I went a little crazy in her closet.)
And then I got excited about my closet.

I could go on and on but you get the idea. Go forth and make pretty flowers.