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FO: Tara’s Swatch Baby Blanket

There has been a lot of baby-ing around here, mostly for Tara. Last week I shared my first stab at a plushy, and a couple months ago showed off the cute bibs I knit, all for Tara. She’s just the best and her baby needs all the cute stuff!

Swatch Blanket!

Swatch Blanket!

My knit night group also thinks Tara is the best, and we’re all very good at knitting swatches as seen in our swatch swap framed hoop project, so we all knit up a swatch and I crocheted them together into this adorable baby blanket.

It turned out so cute!

It turned out so cute!

I gave very few parameters – 5×5″ square (loosely followed, as you can see!), greys, creams, mustards, and greens.  And out came this!

Tara's Blanket Top

Tara’s Blanket Top

Tara's Blanket Bottom

Tara’s Blanket Bottom

Sure, it’s not a perfect shape by any means, but it looks great, and was very well received by the mom to be. I can’t wait to see a little baby wrapped up in it!

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#TSOLKAL Week 4 in Review

Halfway point! Congrats everyone! We’ve hit the halfway point of our KAL, which means we’ve still got 4 weeks to knit like the wind and get a ton of great projects done in time for the deadline!

Let’s see what everyone’s been up to:

yondercrawdad's Heraldry

yondercrawdad’s Heraldry

JanuaryYarns Block Island Sweater

JanuaryYarns Block Island Sweater

JanuaryYarns Ridgewood Reversible Pullover

JanuaryYarns Ridgewood Reversible Pullover

And my Block Island is shaping up really well, too!

Block Island Pullover Sleeve

Block Island Pullover Sleeve

I finished the front and back of the body, 3 needle bind off-ed them together, and started working on a sleeve!

Beagle Photo Bomb!

Beagle Photo Bomb!

And I just had to include the very rare Champ photo bomb. He usually couldn’t care less, so that must mean he really loves the sweater!

Ok KALers! Keep up the great work, and hopefully we’ll have even more WIPs to show off next week! Happy knitting!

Color Grid Winners!

We’ve got a couple Color Grids to give away after my fun Color Grid post from last week.

Usually I just pick winners randomly, but I wanted to check out everyone’s colorwork projects, and my favorites were:

Congrats Lily!

Congrats Lily!

Rook Pullover by Alexis Winslow

Rook Pullover by Alexis Winslow

Lily had me at Rook Pullover! One of my favorites from Alexis Winslow’s new book Graphic Knits which I’ve been fawning over (here and here!), and I can’t wait to see what colors Lily picks!

Matthew's Pixelated Pullover

Congrats Matthew!

Jennifer Beaumont's Pixelated Pullover

Jennifer Beaumont’s Pixelated Pullover

I just LOVE this sweater by Jennifer Beaumont – the Pixelated Pullover! Jennifer Beaumont is a Midwestern Knits designer as well, so Matthew REALLY had my vote with this one!

Congrats Lily and Matthew! I’ll have your Color Grids in the mail to you soon.

FO: Lovey Dovey Lion

Lovey Dovey Lion

Lovey Dovey Lion

So funny thing I learned about making plushies: They’re really hard to make!

Lovey Dovey Lion Face

Lovey Dovey Lion Face

I made this super adorable lion a couple months ago when I was in my sewing frenzy which resulted in this amazing dress. Once you make a dress you feel invincible, and that literally anything could come out of your sewing machine!

Lovey Dovey Lion by While She Naps

Lovey Dovey Lion by While She Naps

Abby of While She Naps was having a sale for her Lovey Dovey pattern, so I jumped on it. They’re SO cute, and like I just sewed myself A DRESS, so like how hard could an adorable lion be? Let me answer that for you: ACTUALLY SUPER HARD! The pattern itself was very clear and helpful, and Abby’s instructions were well written and easy to follow. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around the head+main+ears+face thing, and it took me years to figure out.

Lovey Dovey Back

Lovey Dovey Back

BUT, once I figured it out, clearly this little lion turned out great. And, as the pattern promised, he was a huge hit at the baby shower for my friend Tara despite me regaling everyone with my tales of construction failure. He was passed around and squished and loved! And I’m pretty sure he’s in for a lifetime of squishing and loving.

Back of His Head

Back of His Head

All the Lovey Dovey Toys!

All the Lovey Dovey Toys!

The pattern comes with 4 variations of Lovey Dovey, and I’m sure that when I dig back into the pattern to make the others it will be easier. Especially since the Lamb, Monkey, and Mouse don’t have manes! In any case, I love this pattern, and if you have experience working with 3D sewing I’m sure it will be a lot easier for you than it was for me! Snag it here. And be sure to check out all of Abby’s beautiful patterns!

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Crafty Football Blog Hop 2014: Motor City Kitties Cross Stitch

As you know, one of my very favorite things in the whole world is playing fantasy football. I LOVE IT! Last year I played with a great group of crafty ladies headed by Diane of CraftyPod, and we did a Crafty Football Blog Hop to celebrate. I made a Detroit Lions cross stitch kitchen towel, which was a huge hit at Christmas!

Even though I’m not playing fantasy football with these crafty ladies this year I was still invited to join their Crafty Football Blog Hop, so of course I jumped at the chance to create another crafty sports project!

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This year I knew I wanted to stick with cross stitch but do something a little more fun, so I came up with this Motor City Kitties cross stitch project!

Motor City Kitties Cross Stitch

Motor City Kitties Cross Stitch

The Detroit Lions, my team and one of only four sad sack teams who have never even been to the Super Bowl, are just that. Super sad sack. I love them but they deserve the ‘Motor City Kitties’ nickname, so I embrace it. (The Detroit Tigers also go by the Motor City Kitties nickname, but they’re actually pretty good so I call them the TIGERS, no kitties allowed. )

Detroit Lions LOVE!

Detroit Lions LOVE!

If you’re a big Detroit Lions fan, or know one, you’ll need this little guy hanging in your house!

What you’ll need:

  • 4″ embroidery hoop
  • 6″x6″ square of 14 count cross stitch fabric – I used the Oatmeal color
  • About 2 yards of DMC Floss color #334 Medium Baby Blue, and about 2 yard of DMC Floss color #311 Medium Navy Blue, but any two colors of blue, one lighter and one darker than the other, will look great
  • Mid sized embroidery needle
  • Hot glue gun with 1 stick of glue
  • 5×5″ scrap of muslin or craft paper for backing
  • Scissors
  • Erasable marker, or a pencil
Getting Started

Getting Started

First up you’ll want to cut your cross stitch fabric, making sure to cut along the holes made by the fabric so it’s easier to count. Place your 4″ embroidery hoop over the fabric, eyeballing the centering.

Next you’ll want to mark the center point of your work, and the only way to do this is by counting. Pick a side and count squares all the way across – for me this was 56 squares but yours might be different depending on how tightly you placed your hoop over the fabric, the exact size of your fabric, or the exact size of your hoop. I went back to my starting spot and counted out half of my total square number, which for me was 23, and I marked this spot with my erasable fabric marker. If you don’t have one, though, you can use a pencil.

Pull up your pattern! I charted this in google docs, so you can access my Motor City Kitties pattern by clicking this link.  I marked the center of the chart in red, so with 2 strands of your lighter blue color start cross stitching the lion at the center point of your fabric and the chart.

And now just follow the chart and create your image! Once you get to the letters, use 3 strands of embroidery floss.

Finished Stitching!

Finished Stitching!

A few credits are due: I used this Lions crochet chart created by Crochet Fanatic, and she has all the NFL team logos and nameplates charted out there, and each are easily converted into cross stitch patterns, so go crazy! I have been DYING to use this cat alphabet since I pinned it ages ago and am so glad I could finally work it into a project! I just kind of winged it with the other letters.

Get Finishing

Get Finishing

To finish your piece, cut around the fabric sticking out of your frame, leaving about 3/4″. With your hot glue gun, glue this fabric to the inside of your hoop.

Attach Your Backing

Attach Your Backing

Cut Around Backing

Cut Around Backing

Backing Looking Great!

Backing Looking Great!

Place a line of hot glue around the inside hoop and carefully place your muslin or craft paper evenly on the back. Once it’s cool, cut the access fabric or paper from the piece.

Ready to Display!

Ready to Display!

And you’ve just created an adorable cross stitch piece celebrating the Detroit Lions! Awesome right?! Well done you.

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Still itching to do more football cross stitch? Catherine at Ancora Crafts created this fun Cross Stitch Guide to the NFL on the hop, so start stitching that up, too! And be sure to check out the rest of the fun projects featured on this hop as well, below.

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