Tuesday, December 29, 2009

One of my favorite things about Christmas is that my step-mom totally indulges my yarn habit. She and I have similar tastes, so she always picks out colors and fibers that I love.

The yellow is Euroflax yarn. 100% Wet Spun Linen. I've never knitted anything with linen before...I'm thinking this would make an excellent mesh bag. Or a summer shell. Hmmmm. The balled yarn is Plymouth Tweed and the last 2 skeins are Mountain Colors hand painted yarn. The hand painted colorway is called sandstone. It would make gorgeous, warm socks, but since I'm not much of a sock knitter I'll make a lace scarf with it. Or a cowl with matching fingerless mitts. We'll see.

On the needles right now is a Snuggie for Luke. I don't think I can call it that, though, since "Snuggie" is a trademarked term. So this is a blanket with sleeves. Or it will be. Someday. It's going pretty fast because I'm using Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick on size 15 circulars. Right now I'm not sure if I'll do a raglan sleeve or a set in. Can you do a raglan sleeve from the bottom up? Or is it only a top-down technique? You can see I've really thought this project through.

I'm also going to put a pocket or two on it for his iPod and a Transformer or two.

I heard on the news last night that there has only been 12 minutes of sunshine in Chicago since December 17th. No wonder why I've been so glum and tired!!! Today the sun is shining brightly, so I'm going out!! It's only in the single digits right now, but I'm going out anyway! Happy day to all!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa!! Can you believe it's going to be 2010 next week?????!!!! I'm excited about the coming new year because I think we are all going to have a very good 2010.

So, here are two new projects...first, this is a hat I knitted for Luke a week or two ago, but haven't shared it yet..
Luke's Nottingham Hat
It's the Nottingham Hat, which is a free pattern on Ravelry. Luke picked out the yarn and I was so excited to knit it since it was my first cable project. But, now he won't wear it. He wants a Transformers hat. TRANSFORMERS? He wants a Transformers hat instead of a hand knitted hat from his Mama? Well!

And I finished this scarf this morning...
The Road Scarf
It's the Road Scarf, also a free pattern available on Ravelry and on the Lion Brand website. This scarf is for my Grampa. It's a very manly scarf even though I draped it quite femininely on my dressform. I wanted to show the patterning on the scarf, so that's why I draped it like that.

Here's another photo of it...
The Road Scarf
I used Lion Brand Fishermen's Wool and was pretty worried because it's scratchy. Very scratchy. But, before I blocked it I soaked it for 10 minutes in Eucalan and my scratchy wool turned soft. I still wouldn't use Fishermen's Wool for a baby, but the Eucalan softened it up enough for teens and adults.

So, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanakkah, and a Happy Kwanzaa! Stay warm, drive safely, and be merry and bright!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What Do You Get A Teacher For Christmas?

I have to buy a gift for Luke's Greek school teacher, but don't know what to get. Any ideas?? I was thinking I'd buy her a nice ornament.....?????

Here are some of my latest projects...

First up is a stack of hats going to charity. The lovely Sea World Barbie is kind enough to present these....

Since July, I've knitted 22 hats for charity. Hopefully they'll find heads that fit them. Now I need to knit a hat for myself because it's getting COLD out!
Here's another hat that is going to charity...it still needs a button to hold down the flap.

It's the Robin's Egg Blue Hat pattern on Ravelry. I love this pattern and am thinking of knitting myself one of these hats!
I also knitted this scarf to go with it:
Feather Scarf
This pattern is the Feather Scarf from the book Twinkle's Big City Knits.

These are for ME:
Knitted washcloths
I didn't think I'd like knitted face cloths, but I do! They feel so nice on your skin.

And last, but not least is a baby quilt top. I couldn't get a good photo of it because two little girls I know wouldn't stay off of it long enough for me to snap a decent photo. ;)
Baby Quilt

See what I mean?
The girls
They couldn't resist jumping up and down on it. Little stinkers! I'm going to back the quilt with flannel and do minimal quilting. It measures 36" X 56". I don't have a recipient for this quilt yet, so I'll hang onto it for a while. Or maybe I'll give it to charity. I don't know yet.

So, back to my original question.... What's a good gift for a teacher????

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cheerful Crochet Flower

Here's a great tutorial on how to crochet a cute flower to embellish a hat, bag, sweater...you name it!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I was websurfing the pattern websites and I really like a few new Vogue patterns...check them out:

This first one is totally me. Athletic-looking, but sexy. Not that I'm athletic or sexy, but that kind of style fits my body type, which is straight up and down. No hips, no boobs.

I love this whole outfit! The jacket is awesome!

A part of me wants to be classy and vintage (not that I'm not classy or vintage!! lol!), and this pattern fits that bill perfectly! This would look great for a fundraiser we are going to in 2 weeks. I just redesigned my sewing room (pics soon!) and it's very convenient to sew in there now (always a good thing!)

What's on your sewing agenda?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm Back And I'm Ready To QUILT

We had a great time in Greece. We saw loads of family and baptized our twins in the horio (the village). It was awesome. We went the nontraditional route in choosing godparents...our girls have 3 godfathers, but no godmothers. They are very handsome, very Greek, and very tall and strong!! Who wouldn't want three hot godfathers??? They are also very smart men and I think they are excellent role models, even if they are a little too traditional in their ideas about marriage (in my opinion!). But, most men are too traditional to me. If they don't cook, clean, change diapers, and worship me, they're too traditional in my book. :)

So, now I'm off to finish my 9 patch quilt and catch up on everyone's blogs. I was only gone 12 days, but I feel like it was 12 months!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Vacation Time!

I was hoping to have one more post before we left for vacation, but between cleaning and packing I didn't have enough time to finish my 9 patch baby quilt! So, I'll finish when I get back.

I don't want to leave you with nothing (I'd feel like such a bad blogger!), so check out these links:

Here's a tutorial on how to knit a bag using plastic bags (the tutorial uses Target bags and the red and white is SO cute!).

This one sounds like a really fun thing to do: a quilt block dash. It's like a Fab Shop Hop, only with quilt blocks. I heard about this from Eleanor Burns' website and wanted to join in, but my vacation is calling!

Speaking of Eleanor Burns, you can download all kinds of free quilt block patterns from her site. I like the Rocky Mountain block. Scroll down a little on the page and you'll see all her previous free downloads.

And because I'm a Husqvarna Viking kind of gal, here's a link to all their free projects. If you look on the left hand side of the sewing project page, you'll see other links to great information under the heading "Education". There are great tips and hints, help for Viking Diamond owners, and if you like the show America Sews with Sue Hausman, click on the America Sews link and it will take you to her page where you can spend hours learning new things. Great stuff.

Well, my vacation is calling my name, so I'm off. I'll see you when I get back!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Shrinky Dinkies

About 2 weeks ago I bought a Shrinky Dink oven from the thrift store.

It uses a light bulb as the heat source, so it's really just an Easy Bake Oven with a narrower slot. When I bought it I wasn't sure it would be a worthwhile investment, but it turns out that this thing is awesome!

Luke calls Shrinky Dinks Shrinky Dinkies. That cracks me up. I made these two...

They were supposed to be knitting stitch markers, but the hole is only big enough to fit up to a size 5 needle comfortably. Maybe if I find a larger ring I can use them for larger needles. Until then they're just charms. For these I used real Shrinky Dink plastic, but did you know you can use any number 6 plastic for Shrinky Dinks? Yep. Pretty cool. I'm on the lookout for number 6 plastic now because Shrinky Dinks are fun!

EDIT: Here's a link to a tutorial using #6 plastic...it's here on Thrifty Fun. I tried it and it worked great with my Shrinky Dink oven.

Here are Luke's Shrinky Dinks. I wrote the colorful one, of course. He didn't do as good a job spelling his name as he usually does. It's summer, so he hasn't had much practice lately!!

In other news, we aren't leaving for Greece until the 13th now. We were going to leave on the 4th, but my husband is swamped with work. With the economy the way it is, we think it's best to delay our trip. I'm not upset at all since I've got a ton of stuff to do....like, sew, knit and finish some quilts. I should say "clean, do laundry, and change the oil on my car", but eh... priorities, shmriorities.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dyeing Yarn (and More Hats, Of Course!)

I think I'm done knitting hats for a little while! Here are the last two of the bunch I am sending to the Pine Ridge Reservation:

That makes 4 baby hats, one baby hat & blanket combo, 2 toddler hats and 4 child sized hats. Not bad! We are leaving for vacation next week, so I'll have time to knit then. Now its time to finish some quilts! But first....

My foray into dyeing yarn with Kool Aid was not very successful! This was harder than it seemed. For me it was, anyway! I was going to wait to try Kool Aid yarn dyeing until I had destashed more, but then I remembered that last year I had bought 2 Irish wool sweaters from the thrift store for $2.50 each. I always intended to frog them and reuse the yarn, but never got around to it. Until last night.

I cut the seams of this sweater (luckily it was seamed with mattress stitch...easy to unseam!)...

Wound it and tied it so it looked like this:

Looks like a bad perm, doesn't it? I wound two skeins like this and...

...then I used Kool Aid to dye it in the crock pot. I used Orange, Strawberry, and Lemonade.

Here's the finished product:

It's not bad, but I think I'll leave dyeing to the experts. I don't think I have a knack for it! If you'd like to try it, here are two excellent tutorials on how to dye yarn using Kool Aid and a crock pot: this tutorial on Knit Purl Gurl, is excellent, as is this one on Nermal, Not Normal. There is also a tutorial on Knitty, but it doesn't use a crock pot. If you try this I'd love to see your results. Leave a comment if you dye your own and I'll check it out!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

More Knitting For Charity

This blanket & hat combo will also go to the Children of the Pine Ridge Reservation. If you want to donate hats, blankets, mittens, or whatever you'd like, there's a group on Ravelry that lists addresses and the needs of the Native Americans who live on the Pine Ridge Reservation. They need items for all ages. One particular need is for mittens for kindergartners this fall/winter.

My kids aren't babies anymore, so I don't have a baby model to show these off. The teddy bear will have to do!

The pattern for the blanket (it's actually a hoodie blanket) is here at The Thrifty Knitter and the hat pattern is published in Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. I used Caron Simply Soft yarn...it washes well and is nice and soft.

Now I'm off to watch the second half of Soylent Green with the husband (while I knit, of course!!). It's funny that I was only 3 yrs old when this movie was made! It's a great movie and I recommend it. Especially in this day and age where food is becoming more and more engineered.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I'm baking again today. We had no snacks in the house and the kids kept chanting "blueberry muffins! blueberry muffins!" so I baked muffins. Luckily I had all the ingredients handy! The recipe was from Martha's book:

Luke helped me, so it took a little longer than expected, but it was a lot of fun! He is my official Mixing Technician.

Cook! Darn it! Cook!

Ahhh! Muffins!

"You are mine, all mine! And I shall devour you!

Confession time: These plates...

I stole 4 of them from Greek Islands restaurant. I don't know why except that it's my most favorite restaurant ever and I just had to have them!

Bake On!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Charming Girls Quilt Club

With so many UFO's in my sewing room, I think joining a quilt club will be the only way I'll get them all finished! So, I joined a fun group of women at Charming Chatter:

I'm leaving for vacation in 2 weeks, but I have 2 quilts I would like to finish before then (actually, I have 3 I'd like to finish, but I'm trying to be realistic!!).

The first quilt I'd like to finish is my pinwheel quilt. I have all the pinwheel blocks finished; all I need to do is sew them together and then make a flying geese sashing and another sashing and, and, and.... you can tell I have this one well thought out, can't you? Here's a photo of some of the blocks:
Double Pinwheel Blocks

The second quilt I'd like to finish is my "Beach Quilt". Its a quilt made of super bright orange and yellow obnoxious polka dots and an equally obnoxious vintage sheet backing. I've been wanting to make a quilt to take to the beach to sit on, but could never decide on fabrics since I don't want to use really nice fabrics; this quilt will be soaked and rubbed in the sand! I couldn't bare to use expensive fabrics. I don't have an "in-progress" photo because I just started cutting it yesterday, but I swear I'll be embarrassed to show a photo of it when I'm done. I'm almost certain it will be the most obnoxious quilt I've made thus far. But at least my kids will always know which blanket is ours.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

How To Make Gluten Free Cupcakes That Taste Good

Use a good mix. lol! These cupcakes were made using Pamela's gluten free chocolate cake mix and they were really good! The frosting was also a Pamela's gluten free mix. Both were very easy to make.

Nothing like a cupcake and a cup of tea. I love my new mug. It's cute, isn't it? It was on sale at Joann's for $3.95, so I couldn't resist. I also got one that says, "I love quilting". Totally dorky, I know.

The cupcakes got a thumb's up from Luke....

What a great way to start the week!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

EQ6 Haiku!

The Electric Quilt Company hosted an EQ6 Haiku contest and I was a winner! I'm so excited because I won a quilting design software package that is stand-alone, but also compatible with EQ6. It is called Quiltmaker and I won Volume 6. Now I can explore quilting designs other than straight lines and free-motion stippling! As soon as I get a chance to install it on my computer and use it I'll post a review. I'm excited to try it out! Here's what it looks like:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Serious Destashing Going On!

I've been knitting hats like crazy lately (aka...serious destashing!). My yarn stash is insane, so I thought I'd knit up a ton of baby/toddler/kid hats to donate to charities. Its a great way to destash, especially if you have a lot of acrylic yarn you want to destash.

So, why the destashing? I want to try the Kool-Aide dye method and dye my own yarn!! How exciting is that? Sure, I could just go dye some yarn now, but my yarn stash is seriously out of control, so I can't buy more yarn and remain mentally stable. I'll end up on CNN...A woman had a mental breakdown at Joann's today...police officers said she was mumbling something about her stash being out of control and she had a hoarding problem.... So, I told myself if I destash a bit I could venture into dyeing with a happy heart and clear mind.

I'll have links for you if you want to try it yourself, but my kids are going nuts today, so I don't have the time to add links to this post.

Have a great day and remember to take some time to enjoy The Stash (tivist). lol....

Some Free Quilt Patterns & Site Links

I was recently listed on the site Free Quilt Patterns and thought I'd share the link. When you go to the site, at the top is a list of categories for the free patterns that are linked to. But, and this is the greatest part, if you scroll down you'll see a huge list of quilting blogs (including my blog!). I spent almost an hour looking at all the sites listed and only got through the blogs that begin with the letter "A". It kind of makes me think I should have named my blog something that begins with the letter "A"... How about A Stashtivist instead of The Stashtivist?? lol!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Winner!

Thank you to all who entered this giveaway! It was a lot of fun and I love how many new people I've met here and over at Twitter!

I drew a number using the random number generator at Random.org and the winner is:

Number 14 is: Mandaleighta!! Congratulations!!

I'll be contacting you tonight (I have to run off to karate with my son right now!). If you want to beat me to the punch, email or DM your address to me.

Thanks again to all of you! I'll be having more giveaways in the near future; this was fun!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hey, Hey! Its A Giveaway!

Time's Up! Winner will be announced shortly! Thank you to all who entered!

To celebrate having more than 20 followers of this blog (Yay! Big Smile!), I thought I'd host a giveaway!

Tuesday afternoon, July 14, I'll draw a name from the comments and that lucky winner will receive a brand-spankin' new copy of Heather Ross' book, Weekend Sewing! I have a copy of this book and love it.

It has over 40 projects and wonderful accompanying photographs. If it doesn't inspire you, nothing will!

To win, leave a comment to this post. PLEASE make sure I have a way to contact you should you win. There is one entry per person. However, to get an extra entry, tweet this giveaway on Twitter and then come back and leave a comment telling me you did so. Easy as that. And if you'd like me to follow you on Twitter, leave your Twitter ID in the comment, too. I'm always looking for fun people to follow on Twitter!

Good luck and thank you all for reading my blog! It's a fun way to share projects, information, and inspiration!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Giveaways Are GREAT!

I won two giveaways! Both giveaways were on Twitter, which is yet another reason to use Twitter! The first giveaway was from Robert Kaufman Fabrics. A fabric roll!

I've never used batiks in a quilt, so I'm really happy to have won this fabric roll. It will allow me to explore quilting with batiks (and there are a lot of impressive batik quilts out there!).
Then a few days after the Robert Kaufmann giveaway, I won 2 Amy Butler fat quarters from Flair for Fabric!

Aren't they great? I love fabric!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Elle's Quilt...Flower Girl

For the longest time I couldn't think of a quilt to make for Elle. Last year I had started a butterfly block quilt, but it just didn't say, "Elle". Know what I mean? When I went on my road trip (all by my lonesome!) I had purchased some fabrics I knew Elle would like, but I really didn't want to just cut squares and rectangles and sew them up. I wanted to do something different, so I made these:

They are HUGE. 16" square. I suppose 16" isn't really that huge, but they are a lot bigger than the other blocks I've been making lately.

The background fabric is a light yellow with white polka dots. I don't think you can see that in the photos. These last 2 are not yet appliqued onto the background fabric.

Since the blocks are 16" square, I'm only making 4 blocks. With 4 inches of sashing between them and around the outside edges, I'll have about a 43X43 inch square quilt. Perfect for a 2 yr. old.

On Sunday we went for a day-camping trip to try out our newly fixed RV, so I started another knitting project. And didn't get as far as I would have liked. It's a hat for my SIL's baby who will be born in early December. She doesn't yet know the gender of either baby (twins!), so if they both turn out to be boys, I'll donate this hat to either Knit One, Save One, or a similar organization. (it's purple..I don't know if the color is obvious in the photo!)

It looks like a cuff, doesn't it? Its so tiny! I remember my girls being that small, but it seems like a lifetime ago.

Time moves quickly!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The ORB Strip Quilt

I'm almost finished with the top to my Old Red Barn (or "ORB") quilt-along quilt. I could stop where I am and call it finished, but if I add another 10 inches in length and width it will fit a queen sized bed very nicely. It is on a queen sized bed in the photo below, but it doesn't hang low enough over the edges for my liking, so, I'm going to add on to it. The quilt-along ends this week and, obviously, I won't finish it by the end of the week, but I don't mind. This quilt turned out much better than I had anticipated, so I'm taking my time with it.

Luke can never resist jumping on my quilts when I'm trying to photograph them....crazy kid!

I also won 2 giveaways and a contest, but I'll tell you about those next time because I don't have photos yet. Exciting!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Great Site for Knitters/Crocheters!!!

Hi All! I'm really busy with my Old Red Barn Co quilt, so there won't be much posting this week. Also, my chihuahua died so I'm pretty sad about that. She was 16 yrs old and was going downhill fast (wouldn't eat, was losing weight quickly). She died here at home as peacefully as one could hope for. My Sophie Pop went to doggie heaven, the sweet thing. I'll miss her.

On the brighter side, I wanted to tell you all about a WONDERFUL knit/crochet site I recently found via Ravelry. Its called Sweater Babe. Oh my, is there anything she designs that I don't like?? No, there isn't! I want to knit and crochet it all! Plus, she has a "help" page where you can ask her questions and get help on projects or techniques. WOnderful site! Why didn't I know about it sooner!?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Just Call Me (Quilt) Block Head. Its A Good Thing!

Who is also quilting along with the Old Red Barn Co.? If you are a quick cutter/sewist, there's still time to join the fun! The grand prize is a Janome 6600P! We are in week 4, so there are three weeks left to the quilt along. I finished pressing and cutting my blocks this morning and will begin sewing them together tonight. Here's a look at my blocks:

Click on the Old Red Barn Co button on the right sidebar if you'd like to learn more!

I've also been working on two other quilts that aren't nearly as finished as I'd like them to be!! First is a hexagon quilt:

This is almost half the blocks I need. The fabrics look very subdued compared to the other quilts I'm working on!

Then there's my double pinwheel quilt. I love the bright colors of this one!

I'm using Baskets of Flowers by Mary Engelbreit for Moda Fabrics. I'll be working on these three quilts all week along with completing more 9 patch blocks for Amanda Jean's quilt along. Lots to do!

What are you working on???


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