Hooked on Needles

Monday, May 31, 2010

Pink Dresses for two little girls

The dresses I made for Anna and Jessica to match their pretty pink sun hats are finally ready to be delivered! Whew! This was a project that should have had a very quick turnaround, but events conspired against me to drag it out several weeks. Sometimes you just can't win! Anyway, my knee is better than better, the trip to NYC is over, and whatever illness I came down with after returning home is hopefully on the mend, so I'm slowly getting caught up on my list of things-to-do.

Here's how they turned out...

Pink DressesTwo pretty pink butterfly dresses...

Pink Dresses...for two cute little sisters.

Pink DressesAnna's dress has little puffy capped sleeves with a band...

Pink DressesJessica's little dress has plain capped sleeves.

Pink DressesAnna's dress on the left has a plain hem and Jessica's has a little flounce at the bottom to add a bit of girly detail. These were made from Simplicity patterns 2688 for Anna's and 2425 for Jessica's in case you want to check them out at your local fabric shop. The fabric is from Joann's and I noticed it was recently featured in their circular along with other summer fabrics. It is seersucker and very bright pink! Perfect for girly summer dresses!

Now here's something you don't see every day...

Toys R Us Ferris Wheel...a four story ferris wheel inside Toys R Us! Of course this was in New York City, and of course we couldn't pass up the opportunity to ride it.

Scooby Doo car Toys R Us Ferris WheelWe got the Scooby Doo car!

Scooby Doo car Toys R Us Ferris WheelAnd of course Shaggy was there with his box of Scooby snacks and a huge sandwich! Another one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences!

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

The View from The View

One of the most relaxing spots to view the beautiful buildings in New York City is the revolving restaurant at the top of the Marriott Marquis in Times Square called The View. Elizabeth and I had put that at the top of our 'must do' list for our recent four day visit and it did not disappoint.

We started out with some refreshing drinks of the non-alcoholic variety in pretty hurricane glasses which we got to take home. You can see here that we were using our time wisely and planning what we wanted to see and how we were going to fit it all in. Also check out the cocktail napkins under the drinks. They have a sketch of the circular view with all the major buildings labeled so you know what you're looking at. That was very helpful.

The dinner buffet was quite extensive, but there were a lot of people around it, so this is all you get to see! Everything was so delicious ~ the beef was melt-in-your-mouth tender, the salad was wonderful, the carrot was almost as good as the carrots we picked out of our own garden last year, the dinner roll was full of herbs and tasted so good, and that mixture up there by the fork...that was a turkey/cranberry/butternut squash salad and I wish I had asked for the recipe, it was that good! Yum! There was much more, but I was saving room for this...

The dessert buffet was unbelievable...

...yep, that's a chocolate fountain and they had the most beautiful long stemmed strawberries to go with it...

...every kind of dessert you can imagine, along with a variety of cheeses and fruits...

...this is what I chose ~ a little warm bread pudding with vanilla sauce, a chocolate covered marshmallow, a bite size piece of cheese cake and chocolate cake, and a chocolate cup filled with the most scrumptious custard pudding. Just delicious!

Oh yes, and let's not forget...

...the view! This is the top of the spectacular Chrysler Building which I happen to think is the most beautiful sky scraper in New York City. We were on the 48th floor of the Marriott, so that's why the Chrysler doesn't look very tall from here! In fact, it is 1045 feet tall, and was the tallest building in the world for one year, until the Empire State Building was completed and took over that distinction for a while.

So that was our fancy dinner on the first night of our visit to New York City. After leaving the Marriott but before heading back to our hotel, we decided to see if we could find Rockefeller Center where the Christmas tree is lit and the ice skating is enjoyed every Christmas. Elizabeth had never seen it and it was a nice night for a walk, so off we went. You'll never believe what we stumbled upon...

That's Billy Joel (the bald guy in the middle) and his band giving their final bows to the crowd in Rockefeller Center! We got there just as he started his famous Piano Man which happens to be one of my favorite songs of his. Then he did his own version of Hey Jude and that was the end of the concert! Can you believe that? Only in New York City!

More to come!

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

New Bumper Sticker: I Survived New York City!

New York City is complete sensory overload, but I survived four days there and had a great time! My older daughter Elizabeth, whom you have met before here, here, here, here and here, and I took the train from Boston on Monday and returned very late Thursday night. We did some fun things, shopped at some great places, ate some fabulous food and enjoyed a spectacular Broadway play.

I have lots of pictures I'll share with you over the coming days, but for starters, just these two...

That button is New York's subtle way of letting you know you have just entered the garment district! I noticed there is not too much in the way of subtle in New York City!

I'm friends with M&J Trimming on Facebook and I knew they were in NYC, but when we passed their store on the taxi ride from Penn Station to our hotel, I knew we had to find our way back there and pop in for a visit. You can see Elizabeth's reflection in the door glass...she's a great photographer! It looked like a cute little shop from the outside, but just as I found the whole city to be, M&J was also totally overwhelming. I'll share more pictures of their little shop later, as well as the goodies I brought home with me from here.

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Shelving Units - any ideas?

Just a quick post today as I am off to New York City to spend four fun-filled and frivolous days with my oldest daughter seeing the city and all it has to offer. This is something she's wanted to do for a long time, so now that she has completed her first year of college, we thought it would be a good time to go. I'll be sure to share our adventures with you when we return!

In the meantime, I've been thinking of adding a little more storage to my sewing room so I've been cruising around different online stores to see what my options are. Thinking a little outside the box, I searched for things like media storage units, kitchen storage units, bookcases, and even bathroom vanities and related accessories. I've found a few that I think would work for my space, but have not yet decided which I will choose. I'll keep you posted on that.

Feel free to continue commenting if you like, but I'll be off line until I return at the end of the week! Looking forward to catching up with everyone then!

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Party Favor 4-pack - My Crocheted Itty Bitty Anything Bag

Seems like I'm on a crocheting-with-cotton-yarn kick once again! You may recall I've been there before quite a few times with floor duster covers, crocheted pin cushions, crocheted bags, more crocheted bags, and more cotton dish/wash cloths than I can count!

This time I'm back to my Itty Bitty Anything Bag, which is my own original design for a little drawstring bag just the perfect size for holding marbles, Barbie shoes, hair accessories, candy, money, anything really!

I offered the pattern and a little picture tutorial HERE back in August 2008, so if you want to make your own, that's the place to go!

Recently I had the idea that these would make wonderful little party favors for a little girl's birthday party, so this is what I came up with...

...a Party Favor 4-pack...one in each of four colors - yellow, blue, pink and green...

...you could fill them with fun little things that all girls love...

...like stickers, hair bows...

...those little tiny Disney princesses that are so small you can hardly hold on to their clothes to dress them (but little fingers can sure undress them quickly!)...

...candy, jewelry...

...you get the idea! What a nice little treasure to take home from a birthday party!

I'll be listing these in my Etsy shop soon and I'm always happy to make items like this in special colors for special occasions...like if you wanted to do school colors or bridal party colors, favorite colors, or a happy mix of solids, variegated and self-striping for a fun party! All you have to do is ask!

Boys love these bags too! Camo variegated makes a really awesome looking little bag, or school colors too, for holding marbles or bottle caps (do kids still collect those?), coins or sea shells.

Each bag is about 4 inches tall and about 3 inches across the bottom, and made from 100% cotton worsted weight yarn so they are very sturdy and washable too!

Try making one yourself, or zip me an email and I'll whip up a few or a dozen or more for your next special occasion!

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Sun Hats for Anna and Jessica

Nothing cuter than a cute little girl in a cute little sun dress and matching hat, I think anyway! Here in New England, the weather is warming up and the sun dresses are starting to make an appearance. A friend of mine asked if I could make a sun hat with a large brim for each of her little girls, so I did some checking online and came up with several different ideas, but none that was just what I was looking for. So I sort of made up my own. Of course it doesn't look too much different than most sun hats with wide brims made from a pattern, but coming up with my own was free and offered lots of possibilities.

This little hat was my second prototype which I made from some yardage found in my stash. Before making this one though, I did cut out all the bowl and brim pieces for one layer from some old drapery lining that I keep for just such purposes. I sewed it all together and tried it on the girls to make sure the hats would fit. Then I cut into this cute flowered fabric and made a real hat just to make sure my idea for the lining would work. It did! For this one, I also set two grommets, one on each side, through which I threaded the tie.

This is the hat for my friend's baby girl. I added velcro on the front bowl and brim so that the brim could be turned up if needed. On this one I also used white ribbon for the ties instead of matching fabric so that the two hats would be a little different from each other.

Here it is with the brim turned up. So cute!

Check out that nice wide brim all around! That will keep the sun off of these fresh new faces, as long as they will keep their hats on!

And here's big sister's hat with the matching fabric tie. The bowl on this one is a little bit higher, but otherwise the hat is the same as her little sister's hat.

This hat is made using six pieces for the bowl and one donut shaped piece for the brim, and another six pieces for the bowl lining and another donut shaped piece for the brim lining. So it's basically two hats made exactly the same, then sewn right sides together around the outside of the brim and turned through one of the bowl lining seams. Ties can be added when the brim lining is stitched to the bowl lining as I did for the pink hats, or buttonholes or grommets can be added for the tie to be threaded through as I did for the blue hat with red flowers. Of course, you can always leave the ties off altogether, but that would just be conceding defeat in the battle to keep the hat on!

The matching dresses are in the works. The little one with matching diaper cover is finished and I'll be cutting out the bigger one this afternoon. It seems so strange to be using huge 5/8 inch seams again and sewing in three dimensions after many years of just sewing quilt blocks and other crafty things. I'll share the dresses when they are finished.

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Crocheted Cotton Hotpad/Potholder - video tutorial

Yesterday these fabulous crocheted hot pads made an appearance here at Hooked On Needles. They've been made by generations of practical crafters, and used by them as well. Would you like to make one or two for yourself? Keep reading and you'll find out all you need to know!

Crocheted Cotton Hotpad/PotholderI put these pictures in here just because I love how they turned out. We've been enjoying some gorgeous weather here in New England lately, perfect for picture taking out on the deck in the morning sun! But if you keep reading, you'll get the information you're looking for, I promise!

Crocheted Cotton Hotpad/Potholder
I would love to be able to sit with each one of you and walk you through crocheting one of these double thick cotton hot pads, but these videos will have to suffice. Blogger was not cooperating when I tried to publish one video, so I split it into Part One and Part Two and was successful. It actually worked out pretty well since Part One shows how to begin the pattern and get to the point of just having to work hundreds of single crochet stitches. Then Part Two starts up at the point where all the single crocheting is done and it's time to make the loop and finish the seam.

If you're new to crocheting, you may want to brush up on these skills: chain stitch and single crochet.

Now grab your 2 ounce ball of worsted weight crochet cotton, a size H hook, and get cozy. We're going to make us a cotton hot pad!

UPDATE 7/7/2020: Now Blogger is not cooperating at all for showing my videos, so I have posted them on my Facebook page. Click HERE to find the two videos on Facebook.

Here's the written instructions to which you can refer in case you need to refresh your memory on how to get started:
Crocheted Cotton Hot Pad/Pot Holder

2 ounce ball worsted weight crochet cotton
size H crochet hook

Begin by working 37 chain stitches.
Work 3 single crochet (sc) in 2nd chain from hook.
Sc in every chain until one chain remains.
3 sc in last chain.
Work 1 sc into the other side of each chain stitch.
Work 1 sc into first sc and continue working 1 sc into each stitch for 18 or 19 rounds, until the two ends of the top round meet when folded towards each other.
Stop crocheting at a point half way between two ends. Work 15 chain stitches for loop and join with slip stitch into same sc as last stitched worked. Cut yarn, leaving a tail about 1 yard long, and draw tail through loop. Using the long tail, whip stitch both sides of single crochet to each other forming a flat square. Secure end, weave into the inside of the hot pad, clip tail and enjoy!

I've listed a handful of these great hot pads in my Etsy shop if you would like to have one but don't want to make it yourself. I'm also happy to take custom orders for one or two, or even for a large number of them if you want to use them for favors at a kitchen bridal shower or give them as gifts.

Coming soon is a cute little sun hat I made by combining parts of a few different hats into one perfect sun hat for a little girl.

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Crocheted Hot Pad/Potholder - It's double thick!

Here's a classic crochet design that has been around for generations. Perhaps you remember these in your mother's kitchen growing up, or maybe you even have one or two in your own kitchen. It's no wonder, because these crocheted hot pads or pot holders are double thick, 100% cotton, can be made in any color or color combination, and they just feel good!

Just look at all that crocheted cotton yumminess!

It takes exactly one 2 ounce ball of cotton, 37 chain stitches and about 1300 (give or take a few) single crochet stitches to make one of these hot pads.

Don't you just love it?

And look how thick it is!

It even has a loop so you can hang it near your stove.

Mmmm mmmmm good!

Would you like to make one for yourself? I'll be sharing the pattern and a video tutorial in the next day or so, as long as blogger behaves and lets me publish my video!

But if you like these hot pads and don't feel like making them for yourself, check out my Etsy shop. I'll be adding a handful of these great hot pads in several different colors later today. I'm also happy to make them for you in the color of your choice. Just zip me an email and let me know what you have in mind.

Are you planning a kitchen bridal shower for a friend or relative? One of these 100% cotton hot pads wrapped around a nice wooden spoon and tied with a ribbon would make a lovely party favor for each of your guests. This would also make a nice housewarming gift for a first-time homeowner or for a college student moving away from home for the first time.

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Rosary Bracelets for Rebecca

About a week ago, I got a nice email from Rebecca saying that she had found my post about a Rosary bracelet I had made for a gift and she was interested in having two Rosary bracelets made, one for herself and one for her mother. What a lovely idea!

She was interested in blue beads, and I happen to have a nice selection of blue beads. So I was very happy to make two over the weekend and sent her a picture of them. She liked them, we arranged payment, I shipped them, she received them, and now I am showing them to you!

Rosary Bracelets for RebeccaThese are the beads I used, about 8 millimeters in size and made of some sort of marble looking glass. I purchased these beads at a trade show in New York City many years ago from a vendor who specialized in unique, high quality beads. Unfortunately I did not save any information about the vendor or the beads, but I can tell you they are very nice beads and feel good when running them through your fingers. That quality is of major importance when choosing beads for a Rosary! I've actually remade a few for friends because the beads didn't feel right! These beads also have a good weight to them, which is just as important.

Rosary Bracelets for RebeccaThe findings, or little metal parts, used to make these bracelets are base metal, which is strong and sturdy, but not expensive. I also make these bracelets and full size Rosaries using crystal beads and sterling silver findings, but only upon request since the supplies are quite expensive.

Rosary Bracelets for RebeccaHere's the matching mother-daughter pair of handmade Rosary bracelets for Rebecca and her mother. Each one was packaged in a cotton lined white gift box before shipping.

Rosary Bracelets for RebeccaAs you can see, this bracelet measures 8 inches exactly, but could be made a little bit smaller by removing some of the links in the chain sections.

If you are interested in having a full size Rosary or bracelet made for yourself or to give as a gift, just zip me an email and let me know what you have in mind. Birthstone colored glass or crystal beads in either base metal or sterling are always a nice choice when giving these as birthday, wedding, First Communion or Confirmation gifts. Turn-around time is not always as quick as Rebecca's order since some supplies need to be special ordered, so please allow at least 3 weeks if you need one for a special occasion.

I will also have a few listed in my Etsy shop later today.

Happy Stitching!

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