Finished Knits: Bella’s Mittens

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I love to knit, especially in the cold winter months. It’s dark when I leave for work in the morning and it’s dark when I come home. It’s cold, I mean cold, outside and there just isn’t as much to do. Knitting keeps me busy, warm and it’s a creative project for me to feel like I’m doing something productive rather than just watching Netflix. I recently finished these mittens and just love them. They are so warm and cozy and perfect for the below freezing February days where it just will not stop snowing. Have I mentioned yet that Michigan has broken it’s all time record for the most snow ever this year and winter is not even close to over. These beauties really came in handy when I got my car stuck in a snowbank the other day and had to shovel it out. Ahh, Michigan. It’s a love/hate relationship sometimes.

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Pattern: Bella’s mittens
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-ease Ranch Red

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Spring Knitting

Spring is here and that means warmer temperatures and chilly offices. Perfect lacy wrap weather if you ask me. So I’ve rounded up my top ten patterns for some cozy spring knitting.  All of the patterns come from Ravelry and most are for purchase, but 9 and 10 are free patterns. I picked up some Stroll Tonal sock weight yarn from Knit Picks in the Thunderhead grey color and the Nefertem pattern. I can’t wait to get started.

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1. Andrea’s Shawl by Kirsten Kapur
2. Nefertem by Kirsten Kapur
3. Juneberry Triangle by Jared Flood
4. Damask by Kitman Figueroa
5. Cladonia by Kirsten Kapur

6. Celes by Jared Flood
7. Be.Leaf by Kitman Figueroa
8. Xeni by Kitman Figueroa
9. Springtime Bandit by Kate Gagnon Osborn
10. Spearmint Tea by Kateryna Golovanova

Sigwalt No. 9.. Come to Mama

Ebay is genius. I can’t say I’ve always thought this, but I definitely think so now. I recently won a bid for a glorious vintage Sigwalt No. 9 clamshell letterpress made in 1888. She arrived late last week, 15 pounds, 12 inches tall, 18 inches long. Fully restored and awaiting new rollers. Isn’t she beautiful? I can’t even express my sheer excitement to get this girl into production. I am a longtime admirer of letterpress printing, but new to actually making my own prints. Its going to be a learning experience, but its going to be great. I’ve been compiling resources for supplies and advice and plan on posting that for reference once its closer to being completed.

Coming soon: The Rust Belt Market

While driving home the other day I noticed a coming soon sign in the window of a previously empty building in downtown Ferndale. Assuming it was going to be another restaurant or something of the sort, I didn’t think much of it beyond “neat, that building has been empty for way too long,” that was until I read the description of what it was going to be. To my joyful surprise, the most amazing thing e.v.e.r. was going to take over what was once Old Navy. And my heart skipped a beat when I realized it.

The Rust Belt Market, a year-round indoor weekend marketplace, is setting up shop. This is going to be an amazing opportunity for local artists to create, exhibit, sell, and interact with peers and community face to face. Not only is this going to be a powerful tool for selling your goods, it is also going to be an invaluable resource for inspiration, networking, marketing and expanding your clientele. Think a weekly brick-and-mortar Etsy-like arts & crafts fair in a mod indie environment.

“Our atmosphere will be one of camaraderie with fellow creators..” Doesn’t this just energize and inspired you to get involved? I’ve already put in my request to become a regular vendor. This is such an exciting opportunity for local artists/crafters/designers and our community.

I encourage all of you local crafties out there to get involved and help this movement thrive. It is going to be a huge addition to the city of Ferndale, as well as Metro Detroit and Michigan as a whole.

Learn more about The Rust Belt Market and how to become a vendor here.

Crafting Runs in the Family

These 1960’s style crochet cocktail rings were all made by my grandma. She made the gold rings (above) in the 60’s and recently found a small collection she still has. After showing them off to family and friends during Christmas time she was inspired to try to start making them again, in spite of the arthritis that forced her to stop crocheting many years ago. Since Christmas she has been on a crafting kick and has made over 150 rings and is still going strong. The rings in the photos below are some of her recent products. I don’t know if it’s just because she is my grandma, but I am truly amazed. I think they are so beautiful and really fun vintage-y accessories. She plans to start selling her rings at craft shows and there is a rumor of an Etsy store in the near future. Go Grandma!

iCrochet

I am always up to something and last night I was up to making a crochet case for my new iPhone that I happen to be enamored with. I’ve been waiting ever so patiently for Verizon to get with it, and the wait was well worth it. Who knew a phone that can access the internet would be so utterly amazing. I didn’t realized that I had been living in the Stone Age. Anyway I whipped up this adorable little case last night, which makes me feel just a bit better about putting this thing in my over stuffed purse where it is susceptible to all kinds of torture. Best part is it fits over the case I’m currently using to give it another layer of padding, like for instances when I drop it on the floor and it goes flying..

So until OtterBox comes out with a case for the Verizon phone that isn’t $50, this is what’s going on.

GMUND Love

Want to try something new? Going for a rustic or nature inspired look? We’ll I’ve got just the thing for you. In my quest to create the most amazing wedding invitations ever, I came across the GMUND Savanna paper collection. It has an exotic wood grain embossed finish in eight different earth shades (depending on where you buy it). It is the first wood embossing in the paper industry that really has the character of wood. Savanna paper is made with chlorine free cellulose, is pH neutral, fade resistant and FSC® certified.

I purchased the Limba (white) 111# cover stock at LCI Paper. My favorite little paper supplier, Blue Dot Paper Shop, now also has it available in smaller quantities (= smaller price) if you don’t need as much of it.

Printing on a laser printer is not recommended, inkjet works best in this case. Do a test print, preferably on a sample sheet before you purchase a whole pack. I can’t say that loud enough. My original plan was to print my design out on this paper at a print shop, but I learned otherwise and this happy accident turned into using my Limba paper to create the envelopment folders for my wedding invitations, rather than them being the invitations themselves. With its sturdy weight, it worked perfectly for that and turned out better than what I was originally planning to do, and single-handedly formed the entire theme for my upcoming wedding. Who knew paper could be that influential? More on this to come later.

If I haven’t been as influential to you as GMUND was to me and you aren’t ready to commit just yet, the good people over at GMUND will gladly send you up to 5 A4 samples free of charge. Did you read that? FREE OF CHARGE. Go! Get some GMUND!

Inspired by: Mason Jar Chandlier

I am absolutely loving this diy mason jar chandelier tutorial. Its a really clever spin on an everyday object. I don’t know about you, but I happen to adore mason jars, especially the vintage Ball Blue jars with the old zinc lids. Do you see where I’m going with this? In November, after my life slows back down to semi-normal I am definitely going to be putting this on my to do list. We are using the vintage Ball Blue jars as part of the centerpieces for our quickly upcoming wedding, so I’m going to have 50 jars laying around just waiting to be used.

A huge thank you to Kara Paslay for this great tutorial.

Kitty Got Hat – Knitting Pattern Freebie

Well, this one has been in the works for a little while now and its finally ready to make its debut.

This adorable knit kitty baby hat pattern is all yours for the making, download here.

I’d like to add that this is the first pattern that I’ve ever created and I am terribly excited about it. It’s not anything fancy or complicated, but it sure is cute. So enjoy and send me your pictures! I’d love to see them!