Thursday, May 26, 2016

Knitting Club Update


Wow, I cannot believe that we are at the end of May and I haven't yet given an update on knitting club.  If the picture above is any indication, I'd say we did a pretty good job!

If you remember, we started knitting club at school towards the end of March.  We met every Monday and Wednesday and the kids picked up knitting the garter stitch so fast!   Our knitting project was pretty ambitious considering a half hour two days a week isn't really that much time.  Overall, this blanket has 81 squares - mostly done in garter stitch and a couple of heart squares for detail.

I got really excited about the finished product as well and was so happy when we finally finished stitching up all those squares (so many squares....).


But the job wasn't done until I crocheted a border.  As we all knit with slightly different tension, I had to crochet a single chain around the whole blanket first.  I tried to keep an even count on all sides.


Then it was a half double crochet around the whole blanket to finish it off.


The blanket ended up being bigger than 36" x 36" due to stretch and the border.  Next time, I think we'll try 8 squares x 8 squares.   Other lessons we learned:  1) Divide the yarn amongst the kids vs giving them a whole skein  2) Work on one blanket at a time  3) Use neutral colours.  4) Consider an all-white blanket with a coloured trim.  

I really enjoyed teaching the kids and learning from them.   The kids were amazing to watch and are asking for a club again next year :o)


I designed a label because it makes the project so much more professional looking.  It also lets the new parents know what's in the bag, the care instructions, and who made it.   Once we have washed all of the knitted items, they will be packaged in clear ziploc bags and the labels will be placed outside the bag to keep the items clean.


Here's a last look before we package it up and deliver it to the hospital(s).   This picture makes the blanket look a little wonky on the sides but it reality, it isn't!   It's hard taking a photo of such a big item.


I am so glad we finished the blanket.  I love the portability of knitting as I can do it anywhere!  But I am a sewist at heart and it's time to go back to the machine before school lets out.   

xoxo
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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

DIY Cocktail Napkins for the Ink & Arrow Whip It Up Kitchen Linens Challenge


Spring has finally landed here in Toronto and I couldn't be happier!!!!  Spring means the start of BBQ season and all things fun outside.

What better way to celebrate spring, than to participate in a sewing challenge over at Sew Mama Sew.  The challenge was to sew kitchen linens using the "Whip it Up" line from Ink & Arrow Fabrics.


I waited very patiently (not really) for the fabrics I selected to arrive.  It was worth the wait! 

 

I wanted to make something that everyone in my house could use - indoor or outdoors.  Hence, I sewed cocktail napkins.


These were so easy to make and a it's a nice way to showcase different fabrics!  I made mine double-sided with different patterns on each side.  So depending on my mood, I might use one side and on another day, maybe the other side.


Here's what you need if you'd like to "Whip some up" - (haha couldn't resist!)
- A fat quarter of fabric makes approx 4 x 5" cocktail napkins (double sided)
- A sewing machine and basic sewing supplies (thread, scissors, pins, and ruler)
- An iron

Cut your fabrics into 5.5" x 5.5" squares.  I chose to use different patterns on each side but you could use the same fabric.  Make sure the right sides are facing and sew around the perimeter using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Leave a small gap for turning.  Press the seams so that they will be super flat after you flip your square inside out.  Make sure you clip the corners to reduce bulk.


Next, turn your square inside out through the unsewn gap.  Use a BBQ skewer to gently poke out the corners.  Press properly and use steam to ensure your napkins are nice and crisp.


To finish the cocktail napkin, sew a line 1/8" from the edge to sew the opening shut.  You could also stitch a second decorative line 1/4" from the edge and a 3rd line about 1" from the edge.  I ended up going with one line of stitching because the fabric was patterned.  If I used a solid colour, I probably would have done 3 lines of stitching.


I've always found cocktail napkins from the store to be flimsy and when they start flying all over my backyard, it's a bit of a pain to chase them down.  I'm so happy to have these!


We started using the napkins yesterday with our afternoon snack.  It even doubles as a mini plate.


A touch classier than what we've been using!


Today was warm, so we had a chance to use them outdoors again.


I really enjoyed the #whipitupchallenge and now that I'm done, I'm going to go take a peek at what my blogger friends have designed!


Don't forget to visit them too -  I can't wait to see what they've come up with!

Cindy Guch of Raspberry Sunshine
Dena Wilkins of Living Water Quilter
Magdalena Langa
Bethany Raymond of Sew not Perfect
Lina Rose of Sew Happily Ever After

Until next time,

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Monday, April 04, 2016

DIY Sharpie Roll


Introducing the Sharpie Roll!!!

A couple of weeks ago, I posted some pics of my DIY Crayon Roll.


Then my friend E sent me a note asking if I could turn that into a Sharpie Roll.  Um... yes?!?!?!   Apparently Crayola isn't cool for the tween set (I had no idea) and the choice of markers is Sharpie Brand. 

I grabbed some Sharpies from my sister's stash.


And got busy sewing.


I had to make two as my friend has two daughters... 


I used my usual denim for the outside - best way to hide stains.


You can even put some pens in it.


Or just leave it full of Sharpies.


As you can see, the pipsqueaks are much smaller than the Sharpies.  But as in life, kids grow and I guess their stuff does too.  I hope by then, I can look at a Sharpie and not cringe. 


Happy Colouring!


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