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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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#TSOLKAL Week 3 in Review

We’re headed into the 4th week of the knit along and there are lots of projects looking awesome!

OhDoogs Block Island

OhDoogs Block Island

Emily's Block Island

Emily’s Block Island

There are a bunch of people in a race to finish their Block Islands!

JanuaryYarns Ridgewood Reversible Shawlette - first try

JanuaryYarns Ridgewood Reversible Shawlette – first try

JanuaryYarns Ridgewood Reversible Shawelette - second try

JanuaryYarns Ridgewood Reversible Shawelette – second try

And I wanted to show this great example of choosing the right yarn for your project – Sarah, or JanuaryYarns, started her Ridgewood Reversible Shawlette, which has a LOT going on with it, in that beautiful multi colored yarn and knew it was just not going to work. She restarted it in a semi solid and it’s looking so much better! Choosing the right yarn is so important!

eimc's FO! Baby Sweater Buffet

eimc’s FO! Baby Sweater Buffet

And we had our first FO this week! eimc’s Baby Sweater Buffet turned out fantastic!

Real Block Island Progress!

Real Block Island Progress!

And as anticipated I actually made some real progress on my Block Island last week! It’s really starting to look like something!

Extra Stripe Rows

Extra Stripe Rows

I did a little pattern modification – because I wanted the same stripe placement as my first sample but wanted the body to be a little longer I added a row to each stripe in my second striped section, so you can see that the bottom stripes are 4 rows each, like the pattern, but the second section of stripes are 5 rows each. This will add 1″ of body length without messing up my section placement, and add a little more visual interest as well! Feeling good about it.

On to the halfway point! Keep up the great work everyone!

Color Grid: Picking Stockings Colors, & a Giveaway!

About a month ago I was given one of yarn dyer Gail Callahan of Kangaroo Dyer‘s Color Grid to play around with. Never checked out a Color Grid? They’re pretty cool!

The Color Grid!

The Color Grid!

It’s a really easy to use tool to help you pick complimentary colors for your knitting projects. Or really any projects where you use more than one color! There are lots of pictures about how to use it on the Color Grid website, but essentially, and more specific to knitting, you find your main color on the grid and place the black finder’s largest circle over that color – it’s the circle in the center of the block of cut out circles. Then each color in the smaller circles are complimentary colors, and each color that falls in the slit on the other side of the black finder are your complimentary pop colors.

Gift Wrap by Judy Tollefson

Gift Wrap by Judy Tollefson

As soon as I got the Color Grid I knew what project it was going to help me with – these fantastic stockings! Gift Wrap by Judy Tollefson use 8 or 9 colors! Luckily I had a guinea pig.

Laura's Stockings!

Laura’s Stockings!

My friend Laura was commissioned to knit up these stockings, so she found the pattern and quickly punched out three of them. Aren’t they amazing?! She only used 6 colors, so that is what I’m going for.

I want to knit two stockings, one each for Shane and I. I didn’t want super traditional colors, and I also wanted them to be complimentary in that they are different but also look great together because they use a few of the same colors. So I looked at the Color Grid and picked out my first MC – a deep dark cranberry red.

Deep Red MC

Deep Red MC

Another caveat? I don’t like purple! So that eliminated a lot of my MC’s complimentary colors. But was I was left with I really love – bright coral pink and a very pretty range of greens.

Red MC Complimentary Colors

Red MC Complimentary Colors

I went to JoAnn and went to town! I had my Color Grid, I was spreading yarn out all over the floor! I made myself at home. And here is what I came up with! That neon coral as my closes complimentary color, a very light green and dark green-y blue as my pop colors, and cream and grey as my neutrals.

Light Green MC

Light Green MC

In order to make sure my stockings look good together I picked a MC from the CCs of my first stocking – that light green. I found it on my Color Grid and, avoiding again the purple trap, picked colors from what the Color Grid told me.

Green MC Complimentary Colors

Green MC Complimentary Colors

Those colors included the dark green-y blue from my first stocking, a neon yellow complimentary color, then instead of the purple pop color the Color Grid was set on, I stretched it a tiny bit to use the MC from my first stocking as my pop color, and again the cream and grey.

All in All - Pretty Hot!

All in All – Pretty Hot!

So here are the yarns I snagged with the help of my Color Grid! They are all Caron Simply Soft: MCs are Autumn Red and Pistachio, that blue/turquoise is Pagoda, the neons are Neon Coral and Super Duper Yellow, and the neutrals are Off White and Grey Heather.

Color Grid Giveaway!

Now that I’ve sold you on the Color Grid, you want one, right?! Well it’s your lucky day because I’ve got TWO to give away. Comment on this post and tell us what multi-color project you’ll be using a Color Grid to help you pick out colors. I’ll pick my two favorite projects a week from today, Monday October 27th. Good luck!

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A Look Inside Faux Taxidermy Knits

So many great knitting books have come out this fall so far, right?! Monday we took a look through Alexis Winslow’s book Graphic Knits, and today I’m very excited to share another fun book, Faux Taxidermy Knits!

Faux Taxidermy Knits by Louise Walker

Faux Taxidermy Knits by Louise Walker

I bought this book in a crazy fever! Actually I bought two copies – one for me and one for Laura. I saw it, kind of passed out, and the next thing I knew I had an order confirmation. It’s just SO cool! There is nothing else like it out there in the knitting world. I love animals, I love dead animals, I love home knits! It was a match made in heaven.

Pheasants!

Pheasants!

First up? Pheasants. While I could never have actual dead birds hanging in my house (and, you know, ignoring the fact that I’m a vegetarian), these fake dead pheasants are so magical. My kitchen will look like a still life painting from the 1800s! Who doesn’t want that?!

This is one of the patterns from the book actually on Ravelry – strangely there are only 4 shared there now! And the store page on Interweave isn’t very forthcoming with the project pictures either. What gives guys?! Interweave does have a list of the projects inside the book, and yeah they are all amazing! Take my word for it.

Here are some of my favorites from the book:

Moose Head!

Moose Head!

Fox Head Hat

Fox Head Hat

Bear Coasters

Bear Coasters

I had this book laying out when Shane came home, and even though while he was flipping through it he said it was a super cool book (duh!), he made it very clear he didn’t want any of these projects in our house or on my body. To which I LAUGHED AND LAUGHED! Fat chance dude. What are you going to do, divorce me?!?! lololzzzz

Rest assured my home will soon be covered in these ridiculously amazing knits. WIPs to come sooner than my knitting schedule allows because I’m just that pumped.

Order your copy from Interweave here, and find it on Ravelry here. Hopefully more projects pop up soon!