Jan 30, 2011

52 weeks, 52 projects: finished object #5

while pillaging the massive markdowns last summer, i noticed a really lovely navy purse with an even lovelier silk scarf tied to the strap at anthropologie. i really loved the look of the scarf + bag combination, but i found myself at a big of an impasse: i'm sure i could find some suitable scarves around town to tie onto purses i already have, but, while i love scouring thrift stores for kooky knickknacks and anything midcentury modern, for some reason the same energy just doesn't transfer over into wearable items. digging through a basket of scarves and handkerchiefs just doesn't speak to me.

cut to me finishing my bandit scarf. i was honestly getting pretty tired of working on the thing, and i just couldn't bring myself to knit through the whole skein. i also couldn't bring myself to *shudder* throw away the leftovers, and that's when inspiration struck. lace-weight yarn knits up to about the same weight and drape as a silk scarf; i could knit my own bag scarf! not only would i save myself the time of hunting down a suitable vintage scarf, i would also avoid the unfortunate situation of having to settle for a girly floral that may be gorgeous, but not my style.

this is my first attempt at a bag scarf. i just stuck with garter stitch for lack of ideas for other stitches that would both lie flat and avoid testing my patience. over the course of knitting this model, i came up with ideas for future incarnations: seed stitch borders, tapered edges, squares, maybe even triangle shapes. expect to see more of the bag scarf both in this space and in the shop.

the stats:
  • materials: leftovers from a skein of noro sekku, size 3 needles
  • cost: $0
  • instructions: cast on 27 stitches. work in garter stitch until you reach the desired length or you're about to run out of yarn. bind off. slipping the first stitch of each row will give you a cleaner edge.

Jan 26, 2011

on the radar for spring 2011: bargains

this spring, i'm liking the same stuff i always like: wide-leg pants, full skirts, and anything that reminds me of (preferably french) sailors. i'm not too good at picking one splurge for the new season and calling it a day (or, um, a season), so i'm trying to be a bit more realistic by picking up a few new pieces from affordable sources. what i've got my eye on at old navy:

images via old navy

i wore the crap out of my last denim skirt and pair of wide-leg jeans from old navy. i'm sure it'd still be wearing them, but, i lost weight, and they just didn't look as good hanging off of my skinny bones. maybe i should have just kept them hidden away until the weight came back, but the idea of not being able to wear my favorite pieces was just too depressing at the time. now that my health and weight have stabilized, i think it's time for some replacements.

more images via old navy

striped tops are always a good thing, and a sailor dress would bring a new option to my collection of nautical pieces.

image via dsw

obviously it isn't spring or summer without a trusty pair of sandals. last year, i was all about finding the perfect pair of flat sandals (thanks, tj maxx!); this year, i'm thinking some wedges in brown or tan are in order. this pair is from dsw.

what's on your list for spring? is it way too early in the year to even think about your spring wardrobe?

Jan 23, 2011

52 weeks, 52 projects: finished object #4

for awhile now, my knitting needle storage situation has been pretty frustrating, and this week i began to remedy the situation. i bought some of those bill/receipt plastic filing envelopes at target, and i labeled each section with needle sizes. now my circular knittings are all tucked away in their own little slots, and i won't have to search for the right size needle ever again. it's quite a bit different from a scarf or a puppet, but i think this totally counts as a finished object: there were specific materials involved, and i had to manipulate the materials to get the final result. sorry my pictures are not looking so great... i need to start checking the weekend weather so i can take my photos on sunny days, not overcast days with yucky lighting.

the stats:
  • materials: 2 plastic filing envelopes, tangled mess of circular needles
  • cost: $2 for envelopes (they were in the dollar spot), circular needles part of the never-ending craft supply stash

to make this post a bit more exciting, i included one of my works-in-progress in my photo. it's a few inches of the front of a sweater. i doubt it will be done in time to be next week's finished object, but be on the lookout for it soon!

Jan 16, 2011

52 weeks, 52 projects: finished object #3

up for your consideration: a light, little shawlette done up in lace-weight noro sekku. for those of you uninitiated into the world of knitting, noro is a japanese yarn company that specializes in self-striping and space-dyed yarns with colors so beautiful they hurt. i love noro, and i am always on the lookout for ways to use it that aren't going to be too overpowering. or too expensive--a sweater in just about any noro yarn is likely to run you $100 or maybe even more. this project is a good blend of being something i am likely to actually use and not being too hard on the wallet.

i used to be all about pink and green together, and then my interest in that particular combination started to wane. it can end up looking a lot preppier than i generally want to look. however, seeing this hot pink and almost forest green together (not to mention the other pinks and greens) makes me want to give it another go.

the stats:
  • materials: one skein of noro sekku, 24" size 3 needles
  • cost: yarn and needles were in my stash, but i happen to remember that the yarn cost $18.

Jan 15, 2011

it's coming, it's coming, it's coming...

it's rainy and cold in austin, but spring must be right around the corner. the berroco spring preview has arrived, and i think the only thing that could be more exciting for me is the berroco fall preview. or anything involving baby animals. but as far as knitting is concerned, this is it for me. i love berroco yarns, i often love norah gaughan's less conceptual designs, and i pretty much want to make everything that cirilia rose has had a hand in.

norah gaughan's collections are a bit hit or miss for me, but when it's a hit, it's a "MUST KNIT EVERY PATTERN" kind of hit for me. that's how i feel about these 3 patterns. the first two are fairly similar, but i still think i need to knit them both.

the scalloped edges of this cardigan? painfully beautiful.

then, of course, there's the new vintage patterns. you all have heard about my love for vintage at length, and now there is a new member of the vintage family: vintage dk. i am one step closer to knitting everything i have ever wanted to knit in shades of vintage. truth be told, my mind has not been totally shattered to bits by the magnificence of the new vintage patterns. while i'm being honest, i have been looking forward to a new spring vintage booklet for months, so it's possible that my expectations were just too high to be met. however, there are still some patterns that are going to become members of my queue, most notably, this sailor sweater:

it may be knit in tan and white, but you can't fool me. i know a nautical knit when i see one.

i'm not normally that into knitting scarves, but i am into knitting textures, so i think this little guy might be a fun, quick way to try out the new vintage dk.

all images via

Jan 9, 2011

52 weeks, 52 projects: finished object #2

another week, another project! i'm 2 for 2. i'm bringing you another yarn-y project; this time the petal edge scarf, from pie bird designs. i bought this yarn at the renegade craft fair last spring, and i looooved working with it. it's expensive, (it does have bits of sterling silver incorporated into the yarn afterall) but so worth it, especially for a one skein project like this one. you're supposed to block it so that the petals lay flat, but i ended up really liking how they curve in to look like waves.

the stats:
  • materials: size 5 bamboo needles, one skein of 'silver spoon' in meg from kitchen sink dyeworks
  • cost: something like $6 for the needles, yarn was from my gargantuan stash

Jan 8, 2011

the winner is...

suburban prep! thanks to everyone who entered my first ever giveaway. i hope to do more in the future, so stay posted! coming up tomorrow: a new finished object for 52 weeks, 52 projects. it's a good one: it's a little bit sparkly and it reminds me of the ocean. it would be a good "spring will get here soon" project if winter had ever come to austin.

Jan 3, 2011

fabulous modern design GIVEAWAY! (closed)

let's keep the unveiling of exciting blog news going with the announcement of my very first ever giveaway!

CSN stores has generously offered to give one of my readers a $25 gift certificate to one of their many online stores,, where you can find all kinds of lovely midcentury modern-inspired wall art and decor. if modern isn't your thing, there's plenty of other styles to choose from--there's something for anyone who enjoys good design. being the science nerd that i am, i'm particularly partial to this solar system clock. win the giveaway, and that baby's yours for $5 plus shipping!

if you want to be a winner, comment on this post with how you'd like to freshen up your home for the new year by this friday, january 7, at 11:59 PM ET, and i will randomly select a winner saturday morning. the winner will be contacted by email with the details for how to claim his or her prize. CSN stores only ship to the united states and canada, so, if you're logging on from somewhere exotic, unfortunately you're exempt from this giveaway.

Jan 2, 2011

52 weeks, 52 projects: finished object #1

okay, okay. i've already done a post about the stephen puppets, but this is a very special stephen puppet. as you can see, he's about to be shipped off to... new york city! to meet... the real stephen colbert! yes, that's right. i'm sending a stephen to stephen himself. i knew that this guy was the one when i embroidered his little face and it came out just right. only the best for my puppet muse. i hope the real stephen likes him... i hope he gets some air time on the report... i hope the address i found on the interwebs is right...

more stephens will start appearing in the shop soon.

the stats
  • materials: various acrylic yarns from my stash
  • cost: $0 for materials, plus about a buck for a mailing envelope and about a buck for postage

yay, first finished object! i'm 1/52 of the way to actually completing a project!