Decor8 Mood Board Contest Entry!

I was totally inspired by the latest Decor8 challenge - the Amy Butler Mood Board! Picking one of Amy's newest fabrics to design a room around - what a dream challenge! Admittedly my style is a bit more modern than hers, but I think the bright colors she's used pop wonderfully off interesting textures in neutrals (or pseudo-neutrals,) in both fabrics and wood. I hope you like my entry, and I really hope I do well, the prizes are awesome! Hehe. The items I've chosen do range from the very affordable to the very pricey, but I like the mix of serious and playful. I hope you do, too!

Lime Martini Living Room with a twist

The title of my room is Lime Martini living room with a twist. The twist is the office, because who doesn't have real living to do in their living room?!?!?!? Bills, a laptop, sticky notes and pens - real living is so much messier than design magazines would lead us to believe! I didn't use actual paint chips, they vary so much from market to market, so I just went for color blocks instead. Also, the drapes are like my dream drapes... silver velvet casual pleat drapes with a wide band of turquoise silk dupioni at the bottom. I haven't been able to find them anywhere, much less the fabric to make them, but am still planning on sewing them up myself someday...

Here's my list of resources -
It was so much fun pulling together these items, and dreaming up the paint colors & drapes! I may have to do more design work soon, but it's so much harder when it's in your own house! Hahaha! I hope I do well, this is the first contest I've been interested in for a while!!!

There were a few accessories that didn't make it into the final room, I may post them if anyone is interested. (Cheaper, more room "fluff" than furniture.) Thanks for looking!


FO - Lilac Evening Shrug (in Bamboo!)

Habu Bamboo ShrugWhen I saw this shrug pattern in my RSS feeds (via Craft:'s blog,) I knew instantly I had to make one for myself. Bamboo is one of my favorite fibers, it's super soft and has this wonderful quality of keeping me warm in cool temperatures, and cool in warm temps. The hard part was trying to decide if I wanted to make it with SWTC Bamboo in Intensity, (variegated denim blue, teal and lilac) or Habu Bamboo in Lilac - both yarns I have plenty of in my stash.

Since I'd already worked with the SWTC Bamboo, I decided to go with the Habu. Plus, since it's a solid color, I think it'll look a bit fancier with a nice dress. I have another cruise coming up in the fall, and I always need something to keep my shoulders warm in the big dining room. On the last cruise, I forgot to bring a sweater one night and was f-f-f-freeeezing! Hehehe.

After I finished up a quickie Bernadette Scarf, I used my cast-on fever to motivate myself to finish up some chores before I actually cast on for it. A good tactic I'll definitely use again, I really hate folding laundry. What do you do to motivate yourself for chores you dislike?

Habu Bamboo Shrug - Cuff DetailI had a bear of a time starting this, I used a long tail cast-on, and had real problems joining the cast-on row. So, I knit a couple rows back and forth and then joined to work in the round. I also used Knit Picks metal dpn's, as my interchangeable circular set doesn't include a 12" cable (and honestly, I don't think I would've been able to join the round on a 12" circular anyway.) Once I got past the garter stitch beginning, I had to be careful not to leave a yo as the last stitch on any of the needles; but once I figured that out, things went a bit better.

The first sleeve worked up super fast, I had it done and split for the back the first day I really worked on it (the multiple cast-ons took me a few days to get over before I tried again.) I actually gave myself a little blister, probably trying to manage the dpn's... the bamboo seemed to stretch a lot though, and I ended up with ladders between where the needles met. No matter what I tried, I couldn't seem to even lessen them, they stretched out after I created them, in the round following; and I had no way of evening the adjoining stitches out to hide them.

I used a 3 needle bind off to finish it, and was very pleased. I only wish the edges didn't curl as much, it rides up in the back, and down in the front! I fudged my measurements a bit, because I knew the edge along my neck would need to be longer than the lower one; so I took them both, added them and then divided by 2, to get a total length from armpit to armpit of 19.5" (9 3/4" on each half of the body sections.)

I don't have a picture with me in it yet, but I love it! It's great for when the a/c kicks on in this humidity!


WIP Wed - Smokey Pearl Scarf

Not long after I started my Flutterby scarf, I found myself itching to cast on for something else. This seems to happen a lot when I'm working on one project at a time, so rather than fight it, I used it as an opportunity to de-stash and use yarn I'd already purchased.

Smokey Pearl Scarf - WIP

Somehow or another, I ended up fixating on the Lace Ribbon Scarf from this spring's Knitty. The funny thing was, I decided it would be just perfect in Malabrigo lace. Haha! Yes, I decided to start another scarf from one skein of Malabrigo lace… so I have two going right now, one in a multi-colorway and one in a semi-solid. Grin. They're both for me. And I don't feel bad at all. I've had some issues as of late with family, inducing feelings of extreme exclusion; so I feel like it's time I stop pouting and start acting to change the way I feel. I can't change the people making me feel that way, after all… (even though I've tried. That's about as much as I feel comfortable sharing here.)

Smokey Pearl ScarfAnyhoo, if you can't tell yet (or are new here - Hello!) I LOVE MALABRIGO LACE*. It's just about the softest 100% wool I have ever laid hands on, (and I shop by sticking my hands on every sweater in a store,) it has great yardage per skein - 470yds! - and it's the perfect weight for a lace beginner. It's thin enough for lace projects, but it's thick enough that it's less frustrating for someone unfamiliar with really fine weight yarns. They dye it in so many colors, and you can also get un-dyed for those who dye their own (Kool-Aid is awesome for this, see my mini-skein experiment.)

Even though it's a 24 row repeat, I found this pattern very fast moving. (I have 13 repeats of the chart done!) I chose size 6 needles because I wanted 5's, but my other Malabrigo lace scarf is on them, so I went up one. I've always been on the tight side, tension wise, so I tend to go up in needle size regularly anyway. The repeat was also super easy to memorize. At first it looked like such a big chart, but it's really only 4 rows alternated in a certain sequence in those 24 rows.

Smokey Pearl - DetailI love the movement of this piece... normally I would've dismissed a zig-zag as "not my thing," but I'm so happy I didn't let that stop me. I seriously love this piece… the design is balanced but not boring, easy yet still somehow challenging and versatile. (Originally I wanted to add beads to this, but I wasn't sure I had enough, and wondered how well the thin one-ply of the lace would handle lots of beads sliding over it.)

*I've linked to Eat.Sleep.Knit for this yarn. There's plenty of places to buy it, but they ship fast (and they had the color I wanted - Molly. That's for another project! I'm currently crushing on Cuarenta. Hehehe.)


Ravelry MiniMart Goods (and more cake pops!)

Ravelry Cake Pops

I recently purchased some goodies from the Ravelry store, and thought I'd celebrate with another round of cake pops! There would be more here, but I took a bunch* over to my sister who just had her baby a couple weeks ago. Congratulations Jenn & Lance on their new baby, Elinor (all 9+ lbs of her!!!)

Ravery Tote BagI was lucky enough to snag a tote (all sold out for now,) as well as a Bob sticker, pins and a plant fiber t-shirt. I had the "HELLO my name is..." button, as well as the two smaller ones, from the Beta round last year. I should've gotten an organic veggie bag, too - but I convinced myself I didn't need both bags, and now it's sold out... :(

They printed another round, but I think I managed to miss that, too! Ravelers are a ravenous bunch! Even though I tried to check the stock every day, it wasn't
Ravelry Pinsannounced, so except for the fact that some people were posting how happy they were to get one, I would've never known they were ever back in stock! How bout them apples?

Actually, the cake pops do last that long so long as you get them completely covered with candy melt so the cake & frosting on the inside doesn't go stale. Moisture loss seems to be the real enemy to these luscious treats! I only have 3 left as of today! Hehe.


WIP Wednesday - Flutterby Scarf

Flutterby Scarf - Brisa
I can't wait until I get to the end ruffles! So feminine and lovely, I think.

I'd been looking for a pattern to make a scarf out of one skein of Malabrigo lace for kind of a while, when I recently stumbled across Miriam L. Felton's Flutter Scarf. Easy, and yet still an interesting project, I'm really liking the way this is working up. I'm just over halfway on the first half, so about 25% done in total (less in the picture.) The colorway is Brisa, a playful mix of lilac, pink and grey in variegated shades. I couldn't help but immediately buy it, even though I had no idea what I'd make with it. (That's not entirely true, I had a hunch it'd be a scarf. At 470 yds per skein, Malabrigo Lace is enough for a 60" scarf (approximately!)

The cast on row is provisional, (a heavier weight bamboo) and will be removed later. I picked it because it wouldn't "grab" the wool stitches I'll be ripping it out of. We'll see how well that works... hehehe.


My first fabric design - ever!

Wowsers! That was FAST! My first Spoonflower swatch arrived today! They warned it might take a while, so I wasn't expecting it so soon! I whipped it up the very first night I got the invite. (Actually, I worked up two designs... but couldn't get the repeats right on my other one.) It's a crappy picture, but I just have to share how cool this is!!!

Concept and reality - right next to each other!

I had to adjust the lighting on the fabric (right,) it wasn't reading quite right next to the laptop screen. It's also un-ironed here, I just couldn't wait to share it!!! I think it's so satisfying to design something, and have it show up at my door a week later. I can't put into words how good it felt, so great big THANKS! go out to the folks who run Spoonflower. You guys are awesome, and I can't wait to see what's coming next!

Hooray for ME!

I was so excited when Bakerella asked if she could include my Martha Stewart themed cake pops! Little did I know, just how many other people were having so much fun with them! All sorts of cupcake pops, from all over the country... seriously, if you love sweets like I do you should click over and watch her video composite (immediately!) I'm at 1:57 into it. Thanks for including me, Bakerella!

Another awesome surprise recently was my invite to Spoonflower finally came! AND - I already have my first fabric swatch on it's way! They have a video on their blog, too... and I was sooo stoked to see my fabric in it! Check it out! I designed this pattern! (I cut the repeats, too - so if it's not tiling properly I'll only have one person to blame! Me!!!)


Cardstock Calender

Cardstock CalenderThere was really no reason I put this project off for so long. (It's Patricia's template, available over at A Little Hut.) I bought it back last year, just before January, and only got about half-way through it before I put it down and let it languish. It wasn't hard, but I let it get buried under a few other things on my craft table, and didn't think about it again for a while.

Now that it's June, I thought to myself that it might be really nice if I actually finished it, and was able to enjoy it on my wall*! So, I finished the last bunch of cuts, punched holes at the tops of each page, and got to work on a hanger to mount it on the wall. I used a plain old dry cleaner hanger (which is weird, cuz I haven't gotten anything dry cleaned in recent memory!)

Calender Closeup - Dupioni
The only thing left to decide was what fabric or paper to use behind each month's "window." Of course that was easier said than done, but I narrowed it down to 4 fabric scraps - one in aqua wool gabardine, one in teal silk charmeuse, one in silver silk dupioni and one in purple minky. I really liked another blogger's version of this calender, although for the life of me I can't seem to dig up the link. She used a piece of orange wool felt the same size as the calender page, and I thought it was so simple and bold. I wish I could figure out where I saw it...

Calender Closeup - Minky*I actually finished this last month, but didn't get the pictures taken and uploaded to Flickr until today. What can I say, I'm a lazy blogger!


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