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Posts Tagged ‘sublime stitching’

Hi… so… I know it’s been a while… but I promise… I’m still knitting.

Witness:

february-lady-sweater-sleeve

The February/October/November? Lady Sweater now has a sleeve. I’m really languishing on the second one (ain’t that the way?) but I’m hoping that scoring some buttons soon will inspire me. Goal is to have this done for the boy’s performance, which approaches quickly.

Also, making things up:

moebius-cowl-silver

A cowl in this BEAUTIFUL silver yarn I found, inspired by Cat Bordhi’s musings on the current state of our political/social climate. I’m hoping this will be something I wear frequently under my favorite purple pea coat, as a kind of reminder to see things fully.

And in the slowly-but-surely-things-for-other-people category:

striped-scarf-orange

I’m really digging how the colors work together. Yarn is Berroco Jasper something or other — more info next time I post on this, which will hopefully be a victory “It’s Done!!!” post. Anyway. Super fun yarn to work with, as the stripes don’t follow a regular pattern.

While I’m at it, here’s how I’ve been getting stitchy lately:

embroider-tea-towel-apple

The embroidered tea towel love fest continues, this time with a whole slew of fruits and vegetables from Sublime Stitching. All that’s left to do is the black!

I’m also working on acquiring more scarves, in an effort to work on a “personal style.” I guess this is a sign I’ve been watching too much What Not to Wear. But in all seriousness, I love scarves, because they are frequently inexpensive and can take an outfit from blah to hooray. I’m proud of this last find, which is blue and white, but has sparkles (OMG!!) in it:

sparkly-scarf-blue-white

Yum. Sparkles.

I’ve also been working at keeping two adorable dogs out of trouble. And this is my parting gift to you:

cute-dog-picture-hat

Dogs like hats made out of pillows. It’s true. Especially when said hats accentuate a condition known as Cute Wrinkle Face.

Over and out.

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I finished another tea towel yesterday, and I’m really, really excited about it:

I’ve been wanting to put this idea into stitches ever since I bought Sublime Stitching’s Forest Friends pattern. Two hedgehogs. In love. A reference to me and my boy: I love purple and he loves blue (and was once Sonic for Halloween). I’m not sure it gets cuter or mushier than that.

Taking the time to make this has also been an act of home-making, in the most complete sense of the word, for me: settling down and deciding I live here, making a new space my own.

Speaking of making things for the home, some pictures of my Log Cabin blanket (a Mason Dixon must-knit).

This blanket began very much as a comfort item for me. I was living in an unfamiliar place, with few friends and a lot of time to feel lonely. I started knitting a log cabin blanket on a whim, out of all the cool- and neutral-colored Cascade 220 I could muster. It’s become a long-term project that I’ve carried with me through all my moves.

The blanket’s a good lap size right now, and I’d like to make it big enough for two people to snuggle under. The rows keep getting longer and longer… and yet I still enjoy knitting it.

That’s the funny thing about knitting. What can seem really tedious when you’re looking forward to part of a garment will seem soothing in another piece. For instance: right now I’m working on a February Lady Sweater, and I’m so happy to have moved past the garter yoke. Yet every time I pick up my log cabin blanket to knit, I’m ready for nothing but garter stitch.

I think the explanation lies in the comfort of coming back to something familiar, letting a piece of knitting provide a sense of home for me when I’m not quite sure where I’m going next (and have had at least five spaces I called home over the past year). It’s this feeling of “I’m here and I’m going to make something pretty happen” as I knit knit knit away. The repetitive motion of just knitting, stitch after stitch, allows me to breathe and relax, reminding me that I really can take things only one step at a time… whether or not I know what my next step will be.

I guess it’s all about creating a home wherever you land: making your mark with something handmade, curling up with someone you love, coming back to what’s familiar, noticing the beauty of simple details.

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My mission for this past week has been to embroider some tea towels. More specifically, my mission was to embroider tomatoes onto a tea towel.

Success. I took the towel with me this weekend and we used it, instead of paper towels, to wipe off our cutting board. The towel was a little stained by the end of the day, so it did its job well! Last week we had a bunch of semi-used paper towels in our trash; this week, just tomatoes too squished to sell.

The tomato design is from Sublime Stitching. If you haven’t checked out this site, please do so. They offer a lot of really cute designs, from cowgirls to hedgehogs, at reasonable prices; when you purchase a pattern, you get a bunch of iron-on designs that can be used multiple times on whatever your little stitching heart desires. Plus, their site has a bunch of tutorials that can get even the most needle-clueless stitching away. If you’ll notice, all of my stitches are split stitch, which is explained on the site. Easy peasy!

This will be the first of many embroidered tea towels I’ll be making. I’ve realized how quickly I jump for paper towels if there’s a spill in the kitchen, or to dry off veggies I’ve washed. Embroidering tea towels to use for cleaning up and drying off is functional, but it’s also economical. I know in the past I bought paper towels as regularly as I would buy toilet paper, and feel the same sense of panic if I ran out of either. With reusable towels, I’m saving money over the long haul – a set of three tea towels cost a little under $9 from a local kitchen supply store – and I’ll save myself the time of running to buy more paper towels.

I know one perceived drawback to the towels lies in having to wash them, because of the inconvenience and possible threat to your handiwork. I’ve washed other embroidered garments multiple times to no ill effect, and getting them clean is as easy as tossing them in with any old load. (I guess I just revealed that I commit the sin of not separating my laundry.)

Added bonus of embroidered kitchen paraphernalia? Way cuter than paper towels. If there aren’t designs out there you like, you can draw your own design on to the towel with pencil. Alternately (or even additionally), you could just add a fun border to the towel, if you’re more of a minimalist in the kitchen. Check out Purl Bee‘s great stitch tutorial.

Give it a shot! Embroidering your own tea towels takes almost no time, costs almost nothing, and is a real way you can take steps towards reducing your consumption. Get your green on. Make your kitchen cuter in the process. Game, set, match.

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Alarm clock goes off. 6 AM on a Saturday. Gross. I flop out of bed and manage to grab a hoodie and my keys through the fog of slumber. There are a few cats meandering the streets, but that’s about it. It’s early. It’s dark. I’m tired.

But I’m happy. Or I will be. Early Saturday morning can only mean one thing: I’m working the farmers’ market again!

This is a real tea towel that we had around, so we hung it up today. Love it. I feel almost as happy as they look. After some coffee and an apple.

Today was a great day at the farmers’ market. We had insanely sweet Gala apples, lots of our organic dry farmed Early Girl tomatoes (our main focus), giant Walla Walla onions easily six inches in diameter, and some beautiful purple bell peppers and Anaheim peppers:

Will someone get on it and make me some sock yarn in those colors? I love all the purple we ended up having today at the stand; between the bell peppers, our cabbage, the red Italian Torpedo onions, and our purple flowers, I’m in color heaven.

So, as I was saying, it was a great day to be selling at the farmers’ market. The sun came out about 7:30, and there were a lot of happy people walking around, looking for the last remnants of summer’s stone fruit, getting serious about beets (so many beautiful beet greens!), buying up summer squash and zucchini flowers… the vendor two stalls down brought his mandolin, so we even had lovely tunes intermittently throughout the day.

One of the best parts about the market is the kids. One kid came up to the stand with his mom, who was buying tomatoes. He told me and my co-worker we “looked funny with our aprons on.” “Oh?” I asked, “And what do we look like?” He thought a bit, and responded, “Tomatoheads!”

You know, there are worse things to be.

Check out these conjoined tomatoes! We usually snag the funny-looking tomatoes and put them on display near our scale. I thought these were just too cute, being joined at the stem and all.

I’m always impressed by how red our tomatoes are. And part of the reason they taste SO GOOD (and why any fresh tomato will taste way better than conventional tomatoes) is because they’re allowed to ripen on the plant. According to my hero Alton Brown of Good Eats (from whom I get much of my food knowledge), industrial tomatoes — those sold in big grocery stores, even if they are organic — are picked when they’re just starting to blush. They’re then put in a room with chemicals that make them redden. Now, they may get red… but their ripening, or sugar development, stops the moment they’re picked. They may get prettier, but they’ll never get tastier.

And that’s why tomatoes from your garden or local farmer are downright yummier — because they’re actually ripe. I thought I didn’t like tomatoes until this summer. What I realized was I do like tomatoes. Real tomatoes.

Speaking of tomatoes… and tea towels:

I’m not going to get into details right now, but I will tell you that the stains are from tomatoes, and that this probably saved us half a roll of paper towels today! Stay tuned for total crafty and veggie dorkiness.

P.S. Obtained new Mason-Dixon book. Overcome with sudden urge to add to my kitchen cotton yarn stash. Predict I will not be able to resist the appeal of more knit objects in my kitchen.

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