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The baby’s room is done and just under the wire.  There may or may not be a whole lot of scary chaos going on in the closet that needs to be dealt with but for now let’s focus on what hasn’t been shamefully tucked away.

First off, I must say that I was planning on going for a zoo theme with orange as a central colour until I saw Norah’s nursery which was itself heavily inspired by Little P’s room. I loved the bright, fresh, fairly gender neutral palate and decided to blatantly rip them off.  I used the same paint colour, Benjamin Moore in Robin’s Nest, but only on one wall since we rent and will have to repaint.  I wish I could have used it throughout the room. It’s just so perfect. Onward.

It’s a pretty tiny room so it’s tricky to get a photo of the whole. This is what you see from the door.

Underneath the crib sheet is a mattress pad I made by fusing some PLU with some fusible fleece and zigzagging the edges. It took all of ten minutes and saved me fifty bucks.
I made the crib sheet from Lecien Yellow Dots using various online tutorials that were all lacking in some way but once I got the gist it was super easy. I also used the yellow in the centre embroidery hoop.  You may recognize the pink fabric from the package Robyn sent and the little dress from my last post. The green print is by Patty Young and is much brighter in real life. The alphabet print is from the Cosmic Cricket line and the lambs are from Scarlet Fig.  The infamous Purl Bee Swatch Portraits tutorial is here.

On the opposite wall is the dresser / change table.  The print above is by The Wheat Field, as seen in Little P’s room. I want to buy every print in that shop. The dresser itself was a huge ordeal that ended with Chris making a solo, do-or-die trip to the city on Easter weekend where he found forty year-old beauty at a consignment shop in dire need of refinishing.  You can see a bit of it in it’s original state in my diaper bag post. He painted many coats of white and then spray painted the handles.  I really fell in love with this super expensive dresser and I think we did a pretty good job at approximating it. I made the change pad cover and I’m really proud of it. Instead of following the online tutorials that all seem to be an unshaped slipcover but I ended up measuring all the sides and making a fitted cover. I’m really in love with the Etsuko Furuya print that I used and wish I had ordered lots more.  The little pump bottle is recycled from my favourite body wash and holds a homemade wipe solution (scroll down – Aloe Vera Recipe).

The wall opposite the window is a bit sparse at the moment. Chris is planning on building a book case at some point but right now it just has this little shelf with this print from Lovely Sweet William, stolen from Norah’s Nursery.

I made the little valance by hemming a rectangle. Three cheers. Again, I used an Etsuko Furuya print. I also lined them with some blackout fabric.

It took a lot of trips to the city and elbow grease to get this all together but now that it’s finally done I’m really pleased. I don’t know if the cheerfulness really translates here but it’s pretty light and fun in real life.  I’ve considered adding some pink pom pom decorations and I have additional fabrics I ordered and a stash of fabric balls that I had planned on making a noren with but I was starting to run out of wall space and didn’t want it to look too cluttered given that it’s such a small space.  I tried to give lots of details and links but if there’s anything I left out don’t hesitate to ask.

Now we just need the baby!

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Everyone still seems to be on vacation and out of blog land but I have things to show so post I must!

On Christmas Day 2005 Chris and I opened our presents and then flew from Obihiro to Tokyo.  The trip was a bit ill-fated, literally – I threw up in Harajuku station – but I did walk away with some lovely Puppy Maurice yarn that has sat in my stash since.  It seemed too precious to touch, the colours were just so me and I knew it would be near impossible to get my hands on more.  But with stash depleting resolutions on the horizon I thought a good way to kick off the new year would be to get the oldest yarn out of the studio.

Note the frozen hair

Note the frozen hair

Pattern: Sweet Honey Beret – Interweave Knits Winter 2008

Yarn: Puppy Maurice (can’t recall the colour)

Dates: Decemeber 21-24 – although I only did like two rows of ribbing before the 24th

I have to say, this is the most challenging thing I’ve knit in a really, really long while.  The stitch pattern stumped me repeatedly.  And I don’t think my lace is as open as the sample in the magazine.

Man thats some purty yarn

Man that's some purty yarn

I’m totally remiss for not mentioning sooner that my old friend Robyn has opened a lovely little Etsy shop with the sweet name Dahlia and Delilah. Her jewelry is super classy and her descriptions make her seem like a total pro.

In other Etsy news, back in November I ordered some blank tea towels from the supremely talented Early Bird Special and yet, after her shipping them twice they never arrived.  I have to commend Amy for her amazing customer service.  She was downright panicked when they didn’t arrive and bent over backwards to get them to me.  Please give her all your business.  She totally deserves it.

Admin note: My internet is being a totall douche and each page takes around twenty minutes to load so if I’m slow with responding to comments or e-mails please, in the words of the still hot uncle Jesse, have mercy.

I’ve been meaning to unload some of the patterns I’ve amassed over the last few years before the move.  I finally got around to uploading them to the shop today! I only uploaded books that had kitschy and / or wearable patterns, the rest will go to charity.

Highlights include a brand new and super cheap McCalls 5525 – the same pattern I used for my trench (don’t ask me how I ended up with two):

Click on pictures to bring you to listings

A very awesome doll knitting book that I would totally keep if I could see myself knitting a lace layette for a doll:

The famous scary balaclava:

Seventies Awesomeness:

And some surprisingly wearable pretties:

I did a little research on Ebay and other online sites before posting and my prices and much lower than what I found out there. But as an added bonus I’ll throw in a free vintage pattern booklet to the first three purchasers of vintage pattern books!

Phew.  I need a nap.

In celebration of my one year blogaversary on August 30th I officially kick off Finished Works week!*

First up: Butterick 5206.

I really could not be more pleased with this dress.  It’s the comfiest thing I own, including pajamas, it fits well and is flattering and it gave me only slight headaches.

The sewing matte jersey bias tape onto matte jersey did give me mild convulsions, which is why I didn’t include it on the obi-style belt.  I tried to attach it to the excessively long thing but it looked like crap so I spent three whole hours ripping it out.  It would make the belt pop a bit more but it would also make my major arteries pop in frustration.  Maybe some day when I get a serger I’ll give it another go.

I had read several reviews that said the pattern was on the large side so I cut something like four sizes smaller than I usually would for the top and stuck with my regular size for the skirt.  I also omitted the side zipper which seemed superfluous on a jersey dress.

I can’t tell you what a relief it is to have a successful project after many, many relative bombs.

The fabric is from Fabric.com.

I also managed to finally update my shop.  I included a few sewing patterns that The Body Shape Bible told me would be a huge waste of time for my figure.

*Author reserves the right to claim Monday as a recognized national holiday and Friday as TGIF on which posting may not occur

I’ve lost a photographer and gained a tripod but I don’t have much talent with using it yet. 

Pattern: Rusted Root by Zephyr Style

Yarn: Brown Sheep Co. Cotton Fleece in Provincial Rose – 3 skeins and a teeny tiny bit of a fourth

Needles:  4 mm 24 inch circular, 3.5 mm dpns for sleeve bind off

Modifications: (I’m so happy with how this section is growing!) As I mentioned before, I did GoodKarma‘s neck modification but I dropped it down five inches instead of four.  I probably could have done an extra inch or two (what can I say, I like my décolletage). 

I did two extra decrease rounds at the waist.

I finished it off with a picot bind off around the neck, bottom and sleeves.  I thought it complimented the lace section better and looked sort of like thorns with the leaves.

Why do I make the stupidest faces when I’m taking self portraits?

I’m so happy I made the medium because I’m sure the large would have been too big.

I ended up drawing out a chart by hand for the lace section because I couldn’t stand having to stop and read whenever I got to the insert.  I would not advise transcribing while watching tv because I left out a yarn over and ended up having to frog fifteen rounds when I noticed my mistake.  I also had to frog the bind off once and add another repeat because it was comically cropped.  I’m actually starting to embrace frogging.  You get a perfect product and more knitting!

I updated the shop too!

Can you tell I’m crazy for vintage cabochons?

Yesterday was a momentous day, although I did sleep through most of it.

If you ever want to feel like you’re in a Michel Gondry movie, wake up at ten to four on a Sunday morning and start frying eggs. I speak from experience here.  Chris left yesterday and it was harder than either of us expected.

We’ve already decided that waiting until the end of October to see each other again is not going to happen.  We’re going to scrimp and keep an eye on seat sales and make a visit or two happen.  This plan has already made things easier.

I gave my mom her mother’s day gift on Saturday.  She has promised to get pictures of her wearing it but for now my bookshelf and wall sconce will have to suffice as models.

This is Simplicity 3542.  It ties in the back.

My mom never gave me her measurements so it’s a miracle that this fits.  She reports that she got a lot of compliments on it at work yesterday and that the big pockets are great.

This is a Robert Kaufmann fabric that I purchased on ebay.  It looked completely different in the listing.  I don’t think I’ll order fabric from ebay anymore.  The contrasting fabric is broadcloth from Fabricland.

Apparently I didn’t think I had enough to deal with yesterday so I also decided to give up refined sugars for three weeks.  This started as a plan to give up fruit juice and all other sweet things but from there it’s a slippery slope to giving up carbs and I can’t deal with that.  I’m also trying to lay off the dairy after a week of upset stomach. So far I’m doing well and I have avoided eating my feelings.

I’m hoping to get a big shop update done today which will include some cute cabochons earrings!

I am very happy because:

  • I have the best real friends and reader-friends ever. You guys are all so kind and you don’t know how much your encouragement and sweet comments mean to me. Not to mention the supreme enjoyment I get from reading all of your blogs.
  • The top of these top drawer friends, Erin, sent me this adorable kitchen towel from Early Bird Special.
  • I now have beautiful hand embroidered tea towels for almost all of the shelves that display the pottery and ceramics we bought in Japan. These towels were made by one of my sweet students.


(the yellow tea cup was my great-grandmother’s which my awesome grandma gave me as a wedding gift)

  • Chris was approved for a student line of credit so I will be able to stay in our apartment and he will have money to take to school with him. Yaaaaaay!!!!! This also means not putting all of my much loved possessions into storage for six months and having to move by myself. Now I can focus on missing Chris instead of missing my apartment and bed and sewing machine. It also means that I will get to live by myself for the first time in my whole life. I’m looking forward to it.
  • Spring is finally here. It came like a flash and I’m soaking it all in. I just got back from the park where I sat with a fun summer read and felt my neck get burned by the sun.
  • I got a ten dollar SD card reader for my camera and since then my camera’s been giving me no trouble.

Good times.

And now for a dilemma: last year I picked up three skeins of Cotton Fleece to make Rusted Root but I was worried that I’d need a fourth so I ordered another online, not realizing (and perhaps being too impulsive to check) that it was from a different dye lot.

The skein on the far right with the silver label is the odd duck. Even though there isn’t much of a perceptable difference in shades I’m worried about it creating a stripey fabric. How would you proceed? Should I just start knitting with the three matching skeins and only use the fourth if I need it? Should I alternate skeins every few rows splicing as I go or carrying the unused yarn up the side? Some other method I’m not familiar with?

My Interwoven Cable hat pattern is now available as a Ravelry download!

I plan on dealing exclusively with Ravelry for pattern selling once the Etsy listing expires and I have more patterns to sell.  Which I hope will be soon.  I’ve been scribbling in a notebook but not doing much with those scribbles.  Shame on me.

The camera is being capricious and seems to be working o.k. now.  This is great because the rough estimate was $150 to get it fixed when we bought it for 22,000 ¥ (about $220).  It’s not so good because I was getting a little excited about buying a new camera.  We’ll just have to see if it keeps behaving, I guess.

Season four of The Wire is effing awesome.

My poor little Pentax Optio seems to be dying a sudden death.  First the port was acting up, then the white balance, LED screen and focus all went at once.  While I really want a digital SLR I don’t have the cash money for it right now so it looks like I’ll have to get the old one fixed or buy another pocket digital.  Oh my poor middle class self.

This made sock picture taking and shop updating mighty frustrating yesterday.  I spent the afternoon making stitch markers to then struggle for a couple of hours with the ailing camera.  I updated anyway because who knows when I’ll pick up a replacement so behold the blurry glory of new stitch markers.

I finally made use of all the vintage beads I picked up a while ago and I restocked the popular sweater in progress markers.  I’m really excited about the owl stitch markers because not only are they removable but they can be worn as earrings.  Fun!

Some of the vintage bead stitch markers I mentioned a few weeks ago are finally up in my shop.

I’ve had the cute owl beads for a little while but they didn’t look finished without the accent beads so I had to wait for those to come in. With them came some proper jewelry making tools. I’ve been making stitch markers for almost a year and the whole time I’ve been using Chris’s Buck knife and totally shredding my already wussy nails. I’ll have some more markers up once I get some more supplies in.

Easter dinner turned out great. I was especially proud of how fancy the challah looked.

Everything was really tasty. Chris made the potatoes and despite some exploding in the oven drama they were cheesy and delicious.

I am finally on the colourwork portion of Enid. I had hoped to have it finished today but I very much doubt that will happen. Soon, though, very soon.

And just for fun here are some creepy socks Meaghan brought me back from Korea: