April 26, 2009

Phat Fiber!

I'd been anticipating it all week and on Friday my Phat Fiber box arrived!

Phat Fiber boxes are full of handspun yarn and fibre samples, as well as other knitting related goodies. A limited number are sold each month and they sell like hot cakes! You sign up to find out when they'll be going on sale on Etsy. They go on sale once in the morning and once in the evening on one day each month and literally sell out in seconds. With eyes on the clock and hand ready on the mouse I tried to get a box during both drops in March and struck out. Alas, I could not click my way through the checkout process quickly enough!

But I persevered and managed to get a box this month! Here are my favourite items from the box:

1) 15 yards of dk superwash merino in 'Poisoned Apple' (love that name!) and a cute little handcarved yarn ball stamp from Oddish Creations. You can see how nicely the stamp turns out on the tag.

2) Delicate Alpaca Lace from Twisted Fiber Yarn. The label says 50 gr./553 yds. 553 yards?!?! Is that even possible? It doesn't look like that much at all, but then again I've never worked with yarn this thin before. Perhaps looks are deceiving. Can anyone advise if its likely to be that much yardage? Anyways, I'm thinking of trying my hand at an intricate lace doily pattern. We'll see.

3) A 'Reinyarnation' from presentsknits. This is 15 yards of a lovely springy, peachy colour yarn. I love the colour but also the fact that it's recycled wool that has been dyed with non-toxic, food-safe dye. How cute would a Bunny Nugget look in this colour!

4) Two little pots of hand salves. Shea Buttah from Yarns and Musings smells sweet like bubblegum. 'Oh my aching....' from Desert Garden Farms smells spicy. Mmmmm.

I also received stitch markers, a cute kid's cardigan design from Kira K Designs and lots of hand spinning fibers including merino, milk fibre, bamboo/merino, alpaca/silk, and tussah silk.

Here are all of the contents strewn about on my floor.....

There are two types of Phat Fiber boxes, the type I got and one called 'Just Stitches' which doesn't include unspun fibers, just yarn. I had to click so quickly I ended up selecting a box with spinning fibers. I don't spin, but feeling these luxurious fibres tempted me to try. I just ordered a drop spindle from Green Bee Goods on Etsy and am anxiously awaiting its arrival so I can start spinning!

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April 24, 2009

Colour inspiration from a recent hike

I had the opportunity to get out and hike this week and visited a beautiful hardwood forest insterspersed with pockets of swamp. Here I found some lovely colour inspiration.....

...in the form of Marsh Marigold leaves. The colour of spring. Fresh, new, lush and full of life. The forest was flooded and from the pools of water these bright green leaves sprung.

All around, the pools were littered with the spent red flowers of Silver Maples....

The green is pretty much my most favourite colour. I tend to gravitate toward this colour. Put fabric, yarn, or some other item in this colour before me in a shop and I find it hard to resist. Unfortunately my stoic husband finds this colour 'larry'. Agreeing on colours for our home is a trying endeavour!

What's your favourite colour?

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April 20, 2009

Fun with my new sewing machine!

I had a free weekend with no time commitments so plenty of time to knit and sew. I worked on a pair of socks that are just about done and I had the opportunity to complete a sewing project from In Stitches by Amy Butler. I made this apron...

I like the pattern and colour of the fabric but now wish I had chosen a slightly heavier cotton for the main part of the apron. It's a bit thin for an apron I think. The yellow trim is a bit thicker and would have been a better choice. Oh well, I still think I will get a lot of use out of this.

There is a small pocket and a towel loop (just visible at the side of the apron, near the top).

I found the pattern very well written and easy to follow. Each step is clearly described. Can't wait to make another pattern from this book!

I took a basic machine class at Sewing Machines Etcetera last night to get acquainted with my new machine and found it very useful. The instructor took us through the anatomy of a stitch, how the machine mechanics create a stitch, with the aim that if we know how it works we will be more likely to be able to troubleshoot when something goes wrong. We covered machine care, types of needles and thread, and went over reinforced straight stitch, overcasting, basting, mending, and sewing buttonholes.

I was so excited about sewing after it was over, I bought several yards of fabric before I left. Two yards of a beautiful Kaffe Fasset printed cotton...

...and two yards of an Amy Butler print.

Now all I need is inspiration for what to make with them!

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April 13, 2009

Happy Easter!

A quick Easter knit, Bunny Nuggets by Rebecca Danger are just too cute. Check out her blog for this free pattern download and to see her other super adorable knit toys.

I made a couple......

The blue one went to my three year old nephew who decided to name him 'Moe'. I gave the purple one to my husband so he wouldn't feel left out ; )

My husband had a good idea for these which I may employ next year (if I remember to get started earlier). Instead of stuffing the bunnies with wool batting as I did, you could leave the bottom open and place a creme egg inside (the perfect size). These would make great little favours at an Easter dinner.

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April 9, 2009

Pitter Patter

I finished the slippers for my cousin's baby.......

This cute little Magic Slippers pattern comes from sockpixie. It's a great way to use up leftover yarn. You really don't need much to whip these up. I used some Zitron Trekking Pro Natura that I had leftover from knitting myself a pair of socks. This yarn is 75 % wool and 25 % bamboo. I love the colours.

As you can see, the slippers are petite (and I have very small hands!):

They're a quick gift to make for a baby that decides to show up a bit early!

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April 5, 2009

For a lil' drooler

My cousin and his partner just had a baby so, eager to put my new sewing machine to use, I made this ....

I found the free pattern download over at Chickpea Sewing Studio. I love how Chickpea's bib is personalised with printable fabric. Must get me some of that.

The bib is made with a cotton print on the front, terry cloth on the back, and fastened with a snap. I think it turned out nicely, but don't look too closely as the line of finishing stitches around the edge is anything but even! It was hard to keep the seam allowance even with the terry cloth because it is thick and the edges fray making it hard to see the seam guide on the machine.

I've got enough fabric to make several more of these (I know babies produce a lot of laundry!) and I may try to make some little cloths with the terry and edge them with the cotton. We'll see.
I will be giving the bibs and some little slippers that I'm currently working on and will post just as soon as they are done.

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