The Sweatshop of Love Blog

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November, 2012

WIP: Black Swan Holla Knits Holiday KAL

My other site, Holla Knits, is hosting a couple holiday KALs this season. I’m in charge of Tara Shade’s Black Swan.

Black Swan Weeks 1-2

We are knitting this in three weeks, so it’s easily the chillest KAL I’ve ever hosted. Size 17s and bulky yarn! Here are weeks 1-2, the front and back of Black Swan.


I’m using Knit Picks Swish Bulky! I love this yarn, and the gauge looks awesome with the size 17s. I’ll have a Black Swan to show off soon!

Follow the KAL progress at the Holla Knits Ravelry group, and check out the Black Swan FOs as they come in on the forum!

I’m in Mollie Makes!

If you are unfamiliar with the magazine Mollie Makes, make a point to get yourself to your nearest craft store and pick up the latest issue.

Mollie Makes Issue 20

Mollie Makes is published thirteen times a year. We curate the best craft from around the world into a tactile, collectable and totally irresistible magazine.

We love to make – handmade is more than just a hobby for us, it’s in everything we do.

We can’t resist hunting down treasures in thrift stores, then customising, re-covering and embellishing our finds with our endless stash of ribbons, buttons, fabrics and felt.

We’re forever on the lookout for new inspiration. Whatever we do, we’re living and loving handmade.’

♡ Making ♡ Thrifting ♡ Collecting ♡ Crafting

Cute right? And even better? I’ve got a SIX PAGE SPREAD!


Anytime I can be in a magazine next to the word bootilicious means I’m doing things right.

Step By Step Photo Tutorial

I’ve got a simple Welly Warmers pattern with a step by step photo tutorial in the magazine. I took a million pictures thinking they’d get edited down, but they are ALL THERE.


I’m sure glad my nails look so good! Kind of awesome, right?

The Mollie Makes site is already into issue 21, their holiday issue, but issue 20 with the adorable handmade bear on the cover is the one I’m in, and it’s just hitting American newsstands now.

Crocheted Overnight Bag

This issue is FULL of really fun projects, like this adorable overnight bag.

Lobster Hat

And this freaking adorable knit Lobster Hat.

So keep an eye out for this fun magazine, or subscribe here.

FO: Holiday Cards

In my quest to go 100% handmade this year, I made my own holiday cards! For the first time ever!

Snowflake Cards!

I had a few ideas for cards I wanted to make this year, and spent a lot of time in JoAnn a few weeks ago trying to put different ideas together until I came up with these. I bought two packages of the brown paper bag like small cards and envelopes, on sale for 40% off, and a small book of holiday print scrapbooking paper, also on sale for 40% off!

One Adorable Card!

I used this snowflake template from Martha Stewart to make a stencil, then traced the stencil on the back of a bunch of different prints from the scrapbooking paper. I then spent the next few episodes of The Vampire Diaries cutting them all out. I made an Elmer’s Glue wash, painted the back of each snowflake with glue, and carefully stuck them to each card.

Matching Envelopes

Then I cut a bunch of snowflakes in half and stuck them to the sides of the fronts of the matching envelopes!

LOTS of Envelopes!

So now I have a bunch of tiny holiday cards with a bunch of matching tiny envelopes, ready to be written out and sent to my favorite people in the world. Fun right?! I can’t wait to make them out!

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A Knit Ode to Stefanie

My friend Stefanie died on Tuesday. So many of the projects I’ve made since meeting her I made because of her, or were inspired by her, or inspired her, that I can’t help but think about how there is such an amazing and unique connection between knitters, and crafters, that other people don’t have.

Ann Weaver’s Button Cowl

When I found out she died I went straight to the drawer I keep all of my winter accessories in and pulled out this cowl she made for me for Christmas last year. I put it on over my pajamas and held it, crying and reading facebook posts left by her friends and family. I didn’t take it off for the rest of the day. It made me feel warm, like a hug I desperately needled, and close to Stefanie because she made it with her hands. This cowl would not exist if she didn’t exist.

Crazy Gloves

You may remember CRAZY GLOVES from two years ago. That was all Stefanie. Keeping in mind this girl JUST learned to cable, she comes in to class with this pattern. And it was crazy fun working up these gloves with her.

My Donkey

Stefanie’s Donkey

Chemo Hats

When she started her chemo treatments I started compulsively knitting her hats. ALL of which I saw her wear, because being a knitter she knew that even though she had cancer I’d still be pissed at her if she didn’t wear the hats I knit for her. From left to right – Gilda’s Club Chemo Hat, From Norway With Love, and Robin’s Egg Blue hat.

Tiny Knit Nativity

Last Christmas we got together to have a tiny knitting party, Stefanie with like 3 Mochimochi books and all of us with piles of size 2 needles and very tiny yarn.

So it’s Thanksgiving. And blah blah we should all be thankful for our health, because when you don’t have your health it’s over, and it could go at any moment.

But more than that MAKE THINGS. KNIT. SEW. Use your hands and create ridiculous oversized donkeys and very tiny hotdogs and give them to the people you love. Make them hats and cowls and toys and pillows, so they have lots of silly handmade stuff to hug and cry and laugh at when you die. Hang out with the people you love while you make things. Learn to make more things, and give all of those things away.

And nobody else get cancer. That is a new rule I’m enforcing from here on out.

FO: Baby Embroidery Mermaids

Because why wouldn’t I have embroidered 3 adorable baby mermaids to show you?

Baby Mermaids!

Just like with my nephew Baby Nolan and his Batman and Friends cross stitches, I wanted to make his sister Ryenn some cute needlepoint things, too. After surfing around Etsy I came across Green Bean Baby, a shop full of fun, super cutesy baby themed embroidery patterns. The winner for me was the little mermaid girls pattern, so I snagged it up immediately.

Red Head Mermaid

The pattern comes with two images of each of the three mermaids, so you can pick the direction each mermaid is facing. Sadly, that is all the pattern comes with. I guess I’ve been spoiled by the other embroidery patterns I’ve purchased that have come with embroidery floss color codes and a stitch guide. The pattern really is ONLY the pictures, which is great, but I’d hardly consider that a pattern. There are no instructions, no directions of any kind, and even only one of the mermaids is pictured finished.

Blond Mermaid Baby

So with the non pictured mermaids I just had to wing it, using the one finished mermaid as an example. They worked out great! But I would have liked a little direction and a little help along the way. Or, a little more pattern in my pattern, you know? So if you are looking for a fun embroidery pattern and have a lot of experience with embroidery and don’t need a lot of direction, these Green Bean Baby patterns are for you. But if you are like me and want to follow directions, find your future adorable embroidery patterns somewhere else.

Brunette Mermaid Baby!

My favorite is my little brunette baby! She is for sure me, if I were a mermaid baby – polkadot bikini top with contrasting color matching bracelet?! Three gigantic hair flowers and a glitzy star? I think she is even more pale than the rest of them.

Back Magic

One thing I was really focused on with this embroidery project was making the back look good. I planned out my stitches so I wouldn’t have a lot of big loops back there, and kept my knots as small as I could. And that is hot glue you see there holding the fabric to the back of the embroidery hoops! Safe and secure and ready to wrap up for Ryenn for Christmas.

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