it’s so fluffy!

As of yesterday, I am off work for two straight weeks. Woohoo! I’m hoping to fit a lot of crafting in between now and then, but there will also be lots of visiting family, both the boyfriend’s and my own. This will be our 8th New Year’s Eve together.

Here are a couple more yarn-y things I’ve made lately.

The first is a scarf I whipped up for a scarf exchange with friends. We each brought a scarf and picked one out of the pile at random. There were only four of us so it wasn’t too random, and none of us ended up “stealing” each other’s scarves as we were all happy with the one we picked out. 🙂

Amanda used to crochet but has problems with her wrist, so I was really surprised and excited to get a handmade scarf crafted by her! She’s started working on a loom and as you can see it’s been going well so far.

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I knew it was homemade as soon as I pulled it out of the bag, because I recognized one of my favorite kinds of yarn.

I forgot to take a picture of mine, so I had the scarf’s new owner, Lindsay, snap a few. She did an excellent job!

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I really like how Lindsay has decorated her place. Love that rug.

I made it the same way as the purple scarf I made for Crystal last year (Super Easy Squishy Scarf), but it looks a lot different now that I learned the right way to purl. I used size 13 needles and Lion Brand Homespun in Tulips. I wasn’t sure how my friends would feel about the strikingly hot pink color, but they were all fans.

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One more showcase of Lindsay’s photography skills. After I requisitioned the favor of her snapping some photos of the scarf, I realized I never took pictures of the coasters I made her either. Not super exciting, but I wanted something her dog couldn’t chew up like the cork coaster she had. He still tends to run off with them, but he can’t do as much damage.

I made a couple of square ones, and a couple of double layered circle ones out of a blue yarn bought with the gift certificate to a yarn store that she bought me for Christmas last year.

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By the way, coasters are a super easy gift that are always useful if you are looking to make something last minute. I have several sets around the house that I use daily.

That’s all for now folks. I’m hoping to wrap up the rest of my Christmas shopping today so wish me luck! Jackson already assisted me in wrapping some gifts this morning.

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super simple tree skirt

Back in May I went on a scrapbooking weekend with my mom and her friends. While I was there one of her friends (and my former middle school teacher) asked if I would like some fabric she didn’t want. I was already picking up two large bags of sewing supplies from another one of my mom’s friends (that she’d gotten from cleaning out her mother’s house) so I said why not?

She followed up with me when I was home over Thanksgiving and I went and picked it up. Two large plastic tubs of fabric. I’ve already found some cool things in there, and I’ll have get some pictures and post more about it.

We put up the tree the other day and the boyfriend commented that it needed a tree skirt. My Christmas fabric selection is slim, but when I took a peek in the box I found the absolute perfect thing. These two Christmas fabrics were quilted together and so with a couple packs of bias tape, I was able to make a reversible tree skirt in no time flat!

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I was pretty excited when I realized how quickly this could come together. I cut the fabric out like you would cut out a circle skirt.

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I skipped ties or buttons because I didn’t want to think about how to make reversible closures. I can do that next year 🙂 Right now I just safety pinned the skirt together on the underside along the bias tape.

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Here it is under the tree! Don’t adjust your screens, people. The tree is actually super narrow. We’re hoping it prevents cats from getting any ideas about climbing it. Plus we don’t have a ton of ornaments right now.

I used to have more, but I’d brought a lot of my childhood ones back from my parents’ house to my apartment before the fire years ago and haven’t accumulated many more since then. And the old apartment was so small that I didn’t really decorate for Christmas last year. It was fun to get the ornaments out this year. There were some that had never even been hung on a tree!

I think my mom went on a spree at some point and bought me a bunch of ornaments. Here are three of my favorites.

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Camera, cats, and crafts. That pretty much sums me up!

Next on the agenda: a stocking for the boyfriend, and maybe two more for some tiny furballs!

upcycled cashmere cowl

When Crystal was here in September, she left a few things. She was taking some clothes to a consignment store on the second part of her trip, and let me have my pick first 🙂

A couple of items I can wear as is, but I was stumped by this purple sweater for a few months. I didn’t take a regular “before” picture but it was a lavender, short sleeve, scoop neck cashmere sweater with in-seam pockets.

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I let Jackson mess around with it at first because I was thinking it could be a cozy cat bed but he preferred attacking it and dragging it around the house to laying on it.

He’s done this before with cashmere or angora sweaters. I think he thinks they’re alive.

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A couple of weeks ago I got the idea to turn the sweater into an infinity scarf.

Not surprisingly, the cat mauling caused a few holes that I had to cut around or sew closed. Since the bottom of the sweater had in-seam pockets, I just sewed the pocket openings closed and let them be a design element in the scarf.

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I didn’t have enough width for the scarf to wrap around my neck twice, but I was able to make a decent cowl out of it. I just cut off the bottom of the sweater below the neck, sewed the top and bottom edges together to create a tube, and then sewed the ends of the tube together with a slipstitch.

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You can see the edges of the pockets on the front of the scarf, but they aren’t very noticeable.

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The cowl is really cozy. I finished it yesterday morning and have already worn it out a few times.  It pairs well with a warm sweater…

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and with my new (Black Friday!) coat that I’ve been wearing a lot these last few weeks.

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Columbia outlet for $70! I’ve been needing a real winter coat that actually keeps me warm and dry for a while now and I love it!

After this Friday, I’m off work for two full weeks so be on the lookout for more posts soon. Hope all of your Christmas crafting is turning out like you’d hoped!

blue green mittens

I’ve been destashing my yarn this year, and doing a pretty good job of it. My mom bought me some swanky blue-green Malabrigo several years back and I hadn’t brought myself to use it yet. I made a headband from this pattern with it first.

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Sewed on the button and everything.

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And it was giant and looked ridiculous on my head.

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sidenote: cozy oversized GAP sweater perfect for weekends = $3 from Goodwill

If someone had thicker hair or a bigger head it could work, but it wasn’t for me. I considered giving it to a friend, but opted to be selfish and keep my wonderful yarn 🙂 so I made it into something else.

And I chose…mittens! This pattern is a bit much, but I fell for it. Elbow-length mittens? Why not.

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The yarn felt like it lent itself to this project much more than to the headband. (The fact that they are Twilight mittens didn’t push me one way or the other, the pattern stands on its own.)

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I didn’t know how I’d feel about these horseshoe cables, but they are very interesting and I like trying different things. They look more like a wishbone cable to me.

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I made some mistakes as I was knitting, but they were easily fixed. I remember the days when I was scared to knit because I didn’t know how to fix mistakes!

Overall, I was very pleased with how the pattern worked up and the finished product. I wore the mittens to work today with a 3/4 sleeve sweater (it’s been freezing here lately) and they functioned well. I’m definitely a convert to nice yarn now, and may have to head to a nice local yarn store to buy some of the good stuff this weekend.

Check out my Instagram if you want to see WIP and follow the saga of my knitting adventures!

herringbone afghan

I started this black and white herringbone afghan for my friend Crystal at the beginning of the summer, and finished it around the beginning of fall. She’s a big fan of black and white and this pattern from Mamachee seemed perfect for her sense of style.

It took most of the summer to finished all seven strips of the pattern, but I liked how you didn’t have to sew each individual black and white piece together. I finished up with just a tiny bit of yarn left over from my two skeins of Caron One Pound.

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Once the strips were created, there was a lot of weaving in ends and then I had to sew all the strips together. I was almost done with this part when Crystal came to visit, but I didn’t manage to have the afghan ready for her to take with her.

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Jackson approved, as with all of the projects I place on the floor to photograph.

I finished sewing the strips together and put a double border around it at the end of September, and have been waiting for us to get together again so I can hand it over.I wouldn’t think of mailing it, definitely not after our latest attempt with the Unites States Postal Service. (By some miracle I got my package from her three weeks later, despite the “tracking” fiasco.)

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My edges are never quite straight on “motif” afghans.

I usually stick with the free patterns, so you can tell that I really liked this one! I think it’s pretty unique for a crochet pattern and we’re both happy with how it turned out.

crochet blitz

Trying to catch up on some crochet projects here.

I quite like this star washcloth I made in yellow Lion Brand cotton for the nephew. I saw the pattern over at Creative Pixie and started making it within a few days.

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It took a few tries to get it right, but I love how it turned out. The free washcloth pattern is from Crochet Spot.

I took some random chenille I got at a yard sale and put it with some brighter purple I Love This Yarn to make an interesting cowl.

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I gave the cowl to my mom, but it might be a bit too interesting for her. I figure it will at least keep her warm as she walks around the neighborhood this winter.

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A couple of weeks ago I made some mitts for a friend at work. I used leftover red wool and double crochet ribbing to whip them out quickly. They’re pretty much just rectangles with a hole for the thumb.

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My friend Christine has been crocheting up a storm and following her on Instagram has made me want to crochet more and more lately. I’ve recently crocheted a rug and a shawl, and have been doing some knitting that I’m pretty excited about as well. I’ve been sewing and thrifting too. Pretty much everything but blogging 🙂

With the incoming winter storm this weekend, it looks like more knitting is on the agenda! I’m really hoping these mittens I’ve been making turn out well. I love the yarn (Malabrigo green/blue) and the pattern too! I’ve posted a couple of pictures on Instagram and am really looking forward to the final reveal. I also just finished a simple scarf for a scarf and cookie exchange with friends. We’ll see if the weather permits us to actually hold it!

Well, I’m off to knit some more! Hope everyone’s enjoying their Christmas preparations!