Thursday, March 24, 2011


this has been one of those weeks. in the middle of one of those months. 
one of the ones where there is JUST. TOO. MUCH. of everything. and nowhere near enough of the stuff you need in order to balance out all the rest of it. 

my solution?

make stuff. 

usually, i'd write, but since, at the moment, that's technically 'work' my brain tells me to shut that off and go cut and glue and sew and 'knid' and draw. 

so here's a little peek at what i've been doing when i'm putting off doing all the other stuff.

Repurposed Leg Warmers for Baby. 

i have had this blue turtleneck that i liked for the color and the softness, but HATED PAST THE POINT OF REASON for the turtleneck. i hate wearing turtlenecks. i feel like i'm being slowly asphyxiated all day long. sometimes i have trouble swallowing. or smiling. it's weird. but there you have it. turtlenecks are not for me. 

so, in a fit of frustration the other night, i decided to cut the turtleneck off and see how the shirt worked without it. 

it worked fine. :) 

i was about to toss the loathsome neck-piece into the trash with relish, when the crafty part of me whispered... why don't you make something out of that?

that whisper is hard to resist. 

so i've been wanting to make some leg warmers for Naomi for a while. "it's been a long, cold, lonely winter" as the song goes, and Namoi's poor little legs are chilly when she wears skirts or dresses. 

that ugly neck was destined to be cute legwarmers. 

so i cut the circle, so it formed a rectangle, and then cut the rectangle down the center, giving me two longer rectangles. (i wasn't sure how it would turn out, so i didn't take any pics of that part...)

but when i saw those two empty rectangles, i thought what a perfect opportunity this would be to jump into the lovely world of embroidery. 

not that i had any embroidery floss. or a proper needle. or a hoop... 
but it was just for practice anyway...

so i took out a sharpie and drew a little owl on one rectangle, and a teacup on the other. 

i'm not sure why owls and teacups should go together. but it seemed right at the time. 

the knit material was really thin and stretchy and hard to keep straight. 

this was how things looked at that point. 

also.. did i mention i don't have a sewing machine yet? well, it's coming, hopefully soon. but the lack of machine meant hand stitching the wrong sides together. 
i'm not the world's worst hand-stitcher... but i could be her understudy. 

this is how they looked after i'd stitched them up.

and because i like crocheting a whole lot more than i like hand-hemming, i decided these needed some crochet lace trim to finish off the bottoms. 

so i blanket stitched around the edges with the yarn, and connected the trim to the blanket stitch.

this is the ... 'finished' product. 

and here they are on the kiddo.

sorry for the horrible pics but it was a wiggly morning. she kept pulling them on and off and calling them her 'sockie-pants'

they reach all the way up to her undies when they're pulled up, or can scrunch agreeably to any other size. i'll probably end up taking them in a little, as they tend to slip down after a while. she was asleep when i was making them, so i had to guesstimate on the size. 

but all in all, not a terrible project. probably a number of things i'd do differently for next time (like, use the right materials for the embroidery, have a sewing machine and measurements... etc) but for a throw-it-together-on-the-spur-of-the-moment project... well, Namo's legs are warm and cozy, so... mission... decently done. 

and because i got bitten by the embroidery bug, i decided to repurpose an old crib sheet that wasn't being used into some handkerchiefs for the kiddos. 
and homemade handkerchiefs just scream out to be embroidered. 

the first one i did, ... i used regular worsted weight yarn that i pulled apart to make a thinner string. it didn't work well. the threads kept ... just disintegrating. 
this was the first one, for Max. (he was the most keen on having his own hanky) 

still no sewing machine, so the edges are all unfinished. i was going to run around them with some pinking shears, but then i remembered, i don't have any of those either... grrr... i need a serious trip to the craft store. STAT!

i made annika's in the same way. she wanted a little kitty in the corner. 

and then i said, forget this, and sprang for a few bundles of embroidery floss, and a real needle. 

an owl and an octopus followed the cat.

and lastly, a little pink monkey, commissioned by Naomi. this one's not quite finished yet. 

oh, and i've been making these. 

56 delicious chocolate bomb cupcakes for Max's birthday tomorrow. they'll get decorated in the morning. 

these aren't shop-worthy, but the embroidery practice has been good, and so far the kids are pleased to get the results of my practicing. (especially with the cupcakes!)

what about you? 
what are you working on?
how do you drown your frustrations?
what new skill are you learning?

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