Hooked on Needles

Saturday, February 27, 2010

One more sneak peek at spring giveaway

We are still covered in snow here with a fresh many inches having fallen overnight. The sun is trying desperately to come out from behind those gray clouds, but there is a bit of spring time taking shape in my sewing room. Here's one more sneak peek at what I'm cooking up for a fun giveaway which will be announced very soon...

sneak peek pile of fabricDoesn't that pile of pretty fabric brighten your day? It's called Celebrate Spring by Sandy Gervais for Moda. It's been keeping me busy all week, and in a few days, you'll be able to see what it has become. Any guesses?

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sneak Peek at Spring - But it's still Winter outside!

Spring is on its way, but you could never tell by looking out our windows this morning! We are snowed in! It's quite beautiful to look at, but I wouldn't want to be out there shoveling it or driving in it! Schools have been canceled for both our resident college student and first grader, so it should be a nice cozy day at home.

Recently I was invited to participate in a spring-themed giveaway which has not yet been announced by the hostess, so I can't say too much about it except maybe just to keep an eye out for it in the coming weeks! I'll give you a little sneak peek of the prize I will be offering if you promise not to tell anyone...

That's it! That's all I can show you for now. As you can see, it's not finished yet, but it's getting there. This is an original design which I have been wanting to make for quite some time, so this was the perfect opportunity to introduce it in this giveaway. But don't worry, if you don't win it, I'm thinking about offering the pattern for sale so you could make one of your own to bring a little spring into your home!

And in case you were wondering what 'almost spring' looks like here at our house, this is the view out our back window looking onto the deck and into the backyard. That is the very same swing set that was encased by the fallen tree during the big ice storm of 2008. HERE's the same view from that great event!

I think we're ready for spring. How about you?

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Mail Call!

Look at this lovely package I received from Stephanie at Loft Creations...

Mail from Loft CreationsSimple white tissue paper and a little piece of pink ribbon make receiving this purchase extra special.

Teapot ButtonsI purchased three little teapot buttons which I am going to use on future tea cozies. I thought they would be just the perfect finishing touch. What do you think?

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Knitted Helmet Liner Complete!

The Knitted Helmet Liner, started less than two weeks ago, is now complete and ready to send back to Patternworks. Here's how it turned out...

Knitted Helmet LinerMy ever-patient husband modeled it for me...can't you see the smile under there?

This pattern is free with purchase of yarns approved for making these helmet liners for the troops. Just go to Patternworks and click on the little ad towards the bottom of their main page.

I've been working on this project in the evenings while enjoying coverage of the Olympics, so now I guess I'll have to find another project to work on. I really thought this would take me much longer to knit since I am a slow knitter, but I was able to finish it pretty quickly. Those of you who are fast knitters could probably work one of these up in just a few days. The price was right too, just the cost of one skein of yarn. I hope the person who gets this one wears it well, stays safe and comes home soon to family and friends.

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Other Tote Bag I wanted to show off!

Last fall I made a tote bag out of some fabric I had purchased on this trip to Pennsylvania, but I couldn't show it since it was a Christmas gift for Mary Corbet of Needle'n Thread.com. Silly me forgot to take any pictures of it before packing it up and mailing it off, so I asked Mary to take some for me. She did that, and more! She showed it off to all of her readers!

Here's one look at it...you'll recognize the basic shape of it and some of its features...

Mary Corbet's Tote Bag
...but there's so much more to it than you can see in this picture! Hop on over and see what nice little extras this bag has, and read about how Mary is using it for her embroidery projects.

And just so you know, she's not a fink! The gifts she sent to me and my family were equally as thoughtful, and a lot of it edible to boot! YUM! And for those times when my eyes and hands are busy and I can't sit down and read to them, the audio stories for the kids are fabulous! Thanks again, Mary!

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Knitted Helmet Liner - aka My Olympics-Watching Project

Whenever there is a major viewing event, such as the Super Bowl or the Winter or Summer Olympics, I like to have a project ready and waiting so that my hands will not be idle as I sit and marvel at other people's talents and abilities. Since I had already finished my sweater, and I am not quite ready to begin another long term project like an afghan, I brought up a little knitting project purchased from Patternworks a few months ago. It's a helmet liner which I will send back to Patternworks once it is finished, and they will send them along to the troops. There is a link on the Patternworks main page if you are interested in more information about the project.

Knitted Helmet LinerThere are several yarn choices for this project, but I chose Nature Spun worsted weight wool, made in the USA, and my color choice was Latte. It really does look good enough to drink! The pattern comes free with the purchase of approved helmet liner colors.

Knitted Helmet LinerThis project is turning out to be what I would call 'small knitting' because it requires 16inch circular needles and only one skein of yarn. I've been knitting on it for several days now, and it still isn't very big or heavy. So it's small!

Knitted Helmet LinerThe first six inches are a 2 x 2 rib, meaning knit 2, purl 2 ribbing, on size 6 16 inch circular needles, so it's very rhythmic and relaxing and the whole thing fits right in my hands. It's also easy to handle because, like I said before, it's small - no large pieces to maneuver around in my lap! I like a project that requires very little thought when I'm trying to enjoy the Olympics coverage.

Knitted Helmet LinerAnother benefit of starting this project was that it required a needle that I did not have, so I had to visit my favorite little local yarn shop, The Merry Weaver right here in Leominster, and make a purchase! I could not believe I did not have one 16 inch circular needle in size 8 among all the dozens and dozens of needles in my collection! That was fine with me though since I have become quite a fan of the addi Turbo line of circulars with their very flexible and soft cables and the nice feel of their needles. Just something about them! Have you ever used them? What do you think of addi Turbo knitting needles?

Spring is on its way, slowly but surely! The sun was actually shining this morning while it was snowing! That's progress! And I just got word of a fun Easter/Bunny/Springtime giveaway that I was invited to join. I'll be sharing information on that once I decide what lovely little item I am going to make for the occasion. This weekend I will be visiting a new quilt shop so while I'm there, I just might look for some Easter inspiration for my giveaway item. I'll keep you posted!

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Samples for Sale! Get your Hooked On Needles Samples here!

Hooked On Needles has been around for close to two years already! Hard to believe! In that time, I have made samples of all sorts of things in order to show a stitch or technique, or just to try out a pattern so I could explain something about it. Some of these items I actually make for a purpose, but some of them, although perfectly usable and wonderful handmade items, are not things I plan on keeping or using for myself or my children. So I have decided to list them for sale on this post, along with some items that I will make to order, updating it as new items become available and old items sell or are passed along in other ways. I will add a link on my sidebar too.

Each item will have a name and a picture, and if possible a link to the post where it was originally presented. A price will also be listed, which will not include shipping charges. If you are interested in purchasing or ordering a particular item, just email me at HookedOnNeedles {at} gmail {dot} com and include the name and price of the item along with your shipping information. I will calculate your total with shipping and send you an invoice through paypal. I will ship the item once I receive notification of payment. Charges for shipping will always be the exact shipping charges that I pay to mail the package, never a packaging or handling fee! If you would like your package insured, let me know that as well and I will add that charge to the paypal invoice.

Most sample items can also be custom made in your choice of colors or sizes. Just email for information!

Now on to the goodies available...

Item #1 ~ $30 ~ SOLD
Purple Knit Baby Jacket
Read all about it, including size information, by clicking HERE.

Knitted Baby Jacket

Item #2 ~ $25 plus shipping
Knit Colorful Rings Tube Scarf - an original design
Read all about it by clicking HERE.

Vanna's Choice Contest Entry - Knitted Colorful Rings Tube Scarf

Item #3 ~ $20 plus shipping
Jacob's Ladder Crocheted Scarf
Read all about it by clicking HERE.

Jacob's Ladder Crocheted Multi-color scarf

Item #4 ~ $50 ~ SOLD
Extra Large Patchwork Tote Bag
Read all about it by clicking HERE.

Super Awesome Patchwork Tote Bag

Item #5 ~ $8 ~ SOLD
Fabric Origami Drawstring Bag
Read all about it by clicking HERE.

Origami Bag Tutorial

Item #6 ~ $40 each plus shipping
Hand Embroidered Personalized Christmas Stockings
Made to Order!
Read all about them by clicking HERE.
Contact me to discuss colors and fabric preference.
Stockings in photo are not for sale.

Continuing a family tradition with Christmas stockings

Item #7 ~ $30 plus shipping
Remembrance Pillows
Made to Order
Read all about them by clicking HERE.
Contact me to discuss preferences.
Pillows in photo are not for sale.

Remembrance Pillows

Item #8 ~ $60 plus shipping
Large Lined Tote Bag with zippered extension and other little extras!
Made to Order
Read all about them by clicking HERE.
Contact me for fabric preferences.
Tote bag in photo is not for sale.

Tote Bags for Sister Margaret

Item #9 ~ $60 + cost of yarn plus shipping
Crocheted Baby Blanket
Made to Order
Read all about them by clicking HERE.
You purchase the yarn and I make the blanket.
Can be solid or stripes, square or rectangle, your choice.
Baby blanket in photo is not for sale.

Crocheted Baby Blanket

Item #10 ~ $125 + cost of yarn plus shipping
Crocheted Afghan
Made to Order
Read all about them by clicking HERE.
You purchase the yarn and I make the afghan.
Can be solid or stripes, your choice.
Afghan in photo is not for sale.

Crocheted Afghan

Item #11 ~ $45 plus shipping
Mitered Squares Crocheted Cotton Baby Blanket
Read all about it by clicking HERE.
The blanket in the photo is for sale and ready to go!

Mitered Square Crocheted Baby Blanket Finished

Item #12 ~ $20 plus shipping
Hand Knit Baby Sweater
Read all about it by clicking HERE.
The sweater in the photo is for sale and ready to go!

Hand Knit Baby Sweater

That's it for now, but I'll add more as items become available.

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

First Bagalicious Club Bag Complete

Bags are so fun and functional too! Depending on what you need to haul along with you, you may need a super huge tote bag like this one, a generously sized tote bag like one of these, or a kicky little over-the-shoulder bag like the one I finished just yesterday. It's the first in the Bagalicious Club series from Quilt Fabric Delights. I just love how it turned out. Take a look...

Authentic Bag from Bagalicious ClubThis cute little 10x10 inch bag is made using Authentic by Sweetwater for Moda Fabrics.

Authentic Bag from Bagalicious ClubDon't you love the detail of the ruffled edge on the pocket?

Authentic Bag from Bagalicious ClubAnd those delicious polka dots? YUM!

Authentic Bag from Bagalicious ClubI had to make sure the word fabric pocket lining faced the right way so it could be read when peeking into the pockets!

Authentic Bag from Bagalicious ClubThis was a fun bag to make and the fabric is just lovely to work with. I had thought about adding a magnetic snap to the top of the inside lining before sewing up the top edge, but in my excitement to see the bag finished, I forgot to do it. Now I'm not so sure I want it anyway. I suppose I could unstitch the facing around the inside and snip the basting stitches holding the top edges together then slip the two pieces of the snap in and sew it all back up again. What would you do? Snap or no snap? I'm still deciding. But for now, it's finished and I love it! My next Bagalicious Club shipment won't be for another 5 weeks or so, just long enough to get me excited about the next surprise!

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Big Bulky Knit Sweater - It's Finished and it's MINE!

After Christmas and all the projects I did for others, I felt the urge to make something for myself. I scoured my patterns and discovered this sweater pattern I had picked up from one of those little pads that hang off the yarn shelves in stores such as Michael's. I didn't have any of the yarn called for in the pattern, and I really did not want to go out and purchase new yarn when I have so much sitting in my cabinet. I tried a sample of this yarn, leftover from the wedding gift afghan I had made for my niece, and two strands of it held together worked up exactly to gauge. I gathered my needles and stitch markers and got to work.

I am happy to report that it is now complete!

Big Bulky Knit SweaterThe color is probably not something I would have chosen for myself, although green is a good color for me. But this was a good way to use up some of the leftover yarn, about 12 skeins to be exact.

Big Bulky Knit SweaterSee that thick cozy neckline? It is knit onto each front side as part of each piece. The only finishing work on the collar is to sew the back seam together and then turn under the center facings and whip stitch them to the inside of the sweater...very easy!

Big Bulky Knit Sweater

Big Bulky Knit SweaterThe turning row was marked by slipping a certain stitch on the knit side along the entire length of each front piece. This made a nice edge on the collar after it was turned and stitched.

Big Bulky Knit SweaterAnd there's the back view of the turned collar and the rest of the sweater. You can see here that the bottom edge of the sweater as well as the ends of the sleeves turn up just a bit. This is because each piece begins with stockinette stitch which tends to roll on the edges. It's a design feature in this pattern, not an oversight!

So that's my latest project done just for me. It is very cozy, but quite bulky to wear. I think if it had been knit using just one strand of a heavier yarn, it wouldn't feel so substantial. But this is what you get when trying to use up yarn from your stash! I am pleased with how it turned out and will enjoy wearing it once our temperatures climb a little bit away from frigid and get into something a little more mild, like above freezing! Then it will be perfect to wear on its own to keep me warm and cozy.

I finished my first bag from the Bagalicious Club whose button you may have noticed on my sidebar recently. It is just so stinking cute and I can't wait to show it to you, so stay tuned!

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Jane's 6 1/2 Hour Purse

Subtitle: A fun day spent sewing with an old friend.

Jane and I met about 18 years ago (!) at the wedding of mutual friends. Our conversation over dinner that day revealed our shared love of crafts, sewing, quilting, basically all things needlework. We have been friends ever since. You've met Jane here before. She's the one who made this darling quilted and appliquéd Christmas wall hanging.

Jane had a medley of six fat quarters from Keepsake Quilting that she wanted to use to make herself a purse, but couldn't find a pattern she liked with all the features she wanted. I suggested she just make one up for herself and put into it the features she desired. She laughed. I invited her over for a day of sewing. She left with a finished purse. It was FUN!

We began our purse making marathon with a cup of tea and some scrap paper. So many good times start with a cup of tea! After figuring out overall dimensions, we headed down to the sewing room and started picking out fabrics. Since we had only fat quarters to work with, some piecing was in order and this is what we came up with...

Jane's 6 1/2 Hour PurseIsn't this fabric just lovely? I didn't catch the name of the line, but it is from Benartex and was available in a fat quarter medley at Keepsake Quilting when purchased. So this piece pictured above is the outside shell of the purse. We figured the overall finished height and width of the purse, added in the depth of the bottom and sides and seam allowances, and came up with the dimensions for this piece. Then Jane lined it with fusible fleece and top stitched across the pieced seam on both ends.

Jane's 6 1/2 Hour PurseJane wanted outside pockets, so she made two and lined them with fusible fleece. She added the diamond quilting detail to give them a little more stability.

Jane's 6 1/2 Hour PurseThe pockets were stitched onto the outside shell so that the bottom of each pocket would be just above the bottom edge of the finished purse.

Jane's 6 1/2 Hour PurseThen we moved on to the inside lining. Jane wanted a hidden zippered pocket on the inside as well as six open pockets around the inside edge of her purse so we set to work choosing fabrics, figuring and stitching to come up with the lining pictured above.

Jane's 6 1/2 Hour PurseTo save a 2 hour round trip to Joann's to purchase a zipper that would match, we just used one that I had on hand which happened to be a 12 inch aqua colored zipper. Not the perfect size or the perfect color, but we made it work by installing it in the seam between the top trim and the main lining fabric. Using a similar method as I used for my expandable zippered tote bag, we also stitched the hidden pocket onto the zipper. To finish off the ends neatly, Jane stitched the little covers over the ends of the zipper, effectively making the usable part of the zipper just the right size for the inside of the purse.

Jane's 6 1/2 Hour PurseDoesn't that look nice and neat? Jane's first zipper installation too! Nice job!

Jane's 6 1/2 Hour PurseThen a divided pocket panel was added to both sides and the whole thing was lined with fusible fleece.

Jane's 6 1/2 Hour PurseA super cool magnetic snap was added to the lining towards the top of the trim to hold the purse closed...or just to play with because it makes a cool sound!

I showed Jane how to box the corners so that the depth of the bottom and sides would be 5 inches, using a method similar to the one I used HERE, only marking the corners with a 2 1/2 inch square which makes it a little easier. Then handles were added, and a swivel hook too...all the little details that make the perfect purse! The lining and shell were combined, turned and top stitched.

Jane's 6 1/2 Hour PurseAnd here's the finished product...Jane's 6 1/2 hour purse! We figured that's how long it took from the time she arrived until the time she left, less the time we took for tea and planning and also a break for dinner.

Jane's 6 1/2 Hour PurseThe pocket on the other side of the purse is a little smaller than the first one and a useful feature for this purse.

Jane's 6 1/2 Hour PurseI think the inside came out just as nice as the outside, and look at all those pockets!

Jane's 6 1/2 Hour PurseThere's a little peek into the hidden zipper pocket...so practical and pretty too!

Jane's 6 1/2 Hour PurseThat little swivel hook hanging down over the edge will help keep keys from getting lost in the great abyss our purses sometimes become!

Jane's 6 1/2 Hour PurseAnd there you go - Jane's 6 1/2 hour purse! A fun project and a fun day!

In case you didn't catch the moral of this story, it really is simple. If you have an idea for something useful that you want for yourself but cannot find a pattern that fills all your needs, go ahead and design it yourself. Whether it's a purse or a tote bag or any other item, think about what features you want, check out how other people have incorporated those features into things they have made or try to figure it out for yourself, practice it with some scraps and work it into your next project. And if you have a friend who is willing to help, spend a day together and see what you can create. You'll be happy you did!

Happy Stitching!

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