12 November 2007

The Scholar Collar

My dear friend Danielle is one of those people that you would assume that you would not like. Beautiful - yup. Successful - yup. Smart - yup. Stylish - yup yup. Nice - yup yup yup. It is that last part that gets you. She is so nice, kind and funny that you have to forgive her for being so darn perfect. She is the one person that I can call that I know I will end up laughing so hard that I will have to gasp for breath.

Danielle is three weeks younger than me. This means that I get to see what it is like to be 31 and then I tell her what it's like. Luckily, nothing has fallen off or dropped to the floor. We can both breathe a sigh of relief. Besides this special knowledge, I can also give her a handmade present - the Scholar Collar by brooklyntweed. I chose this because: 1) Danielle works in Brooklyn, 2) she went to law school so she is certainly a scholar and 3) it is probably the only one of the gorgeous things designed by brooklyntweed that I can actually make.

I used this yarn and size 10 1/2 needles for this project. I knit a garter stitch rectangle (7" X 22.5") and placed buttonholes where I thought they should go. The results are so squishable . . . I really almost kept it.

Danielle, this is how you wear it - just button and go:
Happy Birthday, Danielle!

10 October 2007

Greetings from Buffalo!

I have loads of FOs to share, but I thought that I would share my "Anthropologie-Inspired Capelet" first. A few weeks ago I started looking for a little sweater to wear over a black spaghetti strap dress that I planned to wear to my cousin's wedding. Since cousin Tommy's wedding was going to take place in Buffalo in October and I am so not used to cold weather, I had to find something reasonably warm, but still dressy enough for a wedding. In a radical change of thinking, I decided to make something instead of simply going to the store.

After an exhaustive search through Ravelry, I came across the capelet - a short sleeved cropped sweater in reverse stockinette. The chunky yarn, the reversibility, and the pin closure sold me on the sweater. I chose Cascade 128 in a lavendar shade (maybe lilac mist - did I just make that up?) and I used just over two skeins. Which was kind of a problem. I only had two skeins and couldn't find another one in Winston-Salem or Charlotte. I went online and found what I needed at Yarn Country. Luckily, it came quickly and I was able to finish up the ribbing on the bottom of the body and sleeves.

This was my first time blocking and I think that it turned out all right. I used the full-size upright steamer I got for Christmas a few years back (before I even considered it for blocking). I found a cute pin at Target and I was all ready for the wedding.
It was such a success that my sister and a bridesmaid have asked for capelets of their very own!
OK, I am no longer in Buffalo. It is November 9th and I am just now remembering to put up this post. I've got lots more to share - I hope that I can get to it all!

27 September 2007

Help Find A Cure for Lupus

Aimee over at Fairie_Knits is raising money to support the Alliance for Lupus Research Walk With Us To Cure Lupus Walk-A-Thon. The Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR) supports ground breaking Lupus research that will, hopefully, find a cure for this awful disease. My rheumatologist, Dr. Mishra, has a research project that is funded through the ALR. So you know that the money you give will go to the researchers who will help me and other patients with Lupus live a healthier life.

The walk will take place in Raleigh on Saturday October 6, 2007. Please take a moment to go over to Aimee's blog to donate to the ALR. She hopes to raise $5,000 for Lupus Research and I hope that you can help her reach that goal. If you like to knit, crochet or spin, there are a lot of great prizes that you can win if you donate. If you aren't crafty (or just crafty in a different way), you can still donate.

Thank you for helping us find a cure!

25 September 2007

A Little Flower Power in the Living Room

Chair slipcover 1
Originally uploaded by Renee Antoinette
It has been a few weeks and I am still not sure how I was able to pull this off. Maybe it was all that "Project Runway" that I saw on DVD. Maybe I inherited the seamstress gene from my mom and grandmother. Despite my limited experience with my sewing machine, I was able to turn out a chair slipcover in one day.

The chair - an IKEA purchase from years ago - is one of my favorite pieces of furniture. I was heartbroken when I spilled red wine on it. Since the chair is discontinued, I knew that I wouldn't be able to get a cover from IKEA. So I purchased the fabric, "Flower Power" at Hancock Fabrics during a big sale. I glanced at a slipcover book and I was soon on my way. I draped muslin around the chair and pinned around the edges ("Project Runway's" influence I bet). Then I used chalk to mark where the seams would go. I took the muslin off, cut around the marked seams using a seam allowance that went from 1/8" to 1" - very sloppy. I sewed the muslin together and fit it on the chair. The fit looked surprisingly good given my slap dash pattern making.

I ripped out the seams of the musin slipcover and transferred the pattern to the fabric. Miraculously, the slipcover fit as well as the muslin. I poked holes in the fabric where the arms attached and put it all together.

24 September 2007

Voila! One becomes three

I rescued this huge bouquet from the trashcan at work. It was left over from a board meeting and no one wanted to take it home. I can see why - it is a bit too formal to have in your house.

I knew that a little creative re-arranging, a vase and two re-purposed candle holders would yield wonderful results. So my house looks all pretty and it didn't cost me a cent! Don't you love it when that happens!

31 August 2007

What I have been up to, craftwise

This is the start of my first quilt, the Crazy Eights. So far I have 16 of the 32 squares that I will need for the quilt top. I have no idea how to piece them together, add a back to the quilt, or do the binding. I want to learn the process one step at a time. This will probably result in a lot of mistakes, but this is how I will do it for now. Can you tell that I am one of those people who hates reading the instruction manual first?
Mistakes aplenty have already been made. Due to an unfortunate cutting error I will have to go back to this lovely store - Sew Original - to purchase more fabric. The last time (and first time) I was there, my mom and I DESCENDED on that store. The sweet owners showed us all of the fabric and all of the projects hanging around the store. They invited us to come back and take a class or just browse to our hearts content. They ended up keeping the store open for 30 extra minutes to answer all of our questions. It was probably the best experience I have ever had in a fabric store and that is saying a lot.

19 August 2007

A Particularly Good Sunday

I got the chance to read a novella and drink a cup of weeping rose tea from a local tea shop. After that I did a little crafting.
I think that I should have slowed down while reading "Memories of My Melancholy Whores" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Now that I am writing about it nearly a month later, I can hardly remember it. I just have this hazy memory of a very sumptuous story. It was definitely a good read for a hot summer afternoon.

24 July 2007

I've Been Simpsonized!

Woo hoo! I've been Simpsonized!