Art and Needlework by Rebekah

Art and Needlework by Rebekah: May 2011

May 31, 2011

5/31/11: The Rosy Days of May Giveaway WINNERS!!

Catherine and I generated the two winners for our giveaway this morning on  And we are happy to announce...

AnneGirl is our First Place Winner!  You will be receiving the Silky Summer Scarf and the Rosy Chain Bracelet!

And the Second Place Winner is Amanda Sue!  You will be receiving the One Dozen Crocheted Roses and the Crocheted Rose Earrings!

We will be contacting both our winners today, so make sure you look in your inboxes!

And because a post cannot be a post without a photo... we leave you with an adorable photo of our kitty.  :)


May 30, 2011

5/30/11: Project Organization Plan -- Casey's Spreadsheet

Last week I brought up my struggle with organizing the many, many crafting projects I am doing, want to pick up again and finally finish, and want to start. A lot of talk has been happening around the blogosphere about this topic and has truly motivated me to set out and find a plan I can keep with. So here's go for the first plan of attack: a spreadsheet.

This idea came courtesy of Casey Brown who did a guest post on Tilly's blog. As she says, this spreadsheet approach can be labeled as basic and bare-boned but to me, that is what's so appealing about it. I am not one for spending a good amount of time on the computer trying to update this and that. It feels too much like doing paper work or paying bills. (I haven't had to do much of either in my lifetime but I've grown to loathe it already!) 

Because my productivity is meager when speaking of the topic of sewing, I thought it would be the first craft I shall keep organized. The other crafts I do seem to be without real deadlines currently so I'm not considering them as top priorities. There's no doubt, however, that they will be following suit!

So this spreadsheet idea. . . I've taken some of Casey's categories and added a few extra. Here's a couple screen shots of my Sewing Project Spreadsheet using the same program she uses: Open Office:

{ First Five Categories }

{ Last Five Categories }

The categories are:

  • Project Description
  • Made for Who
  • Pattern
  • Fabric
  • Notions
  • Construction Notes
  • Techniques to Use
  • Pieces to Make
  • Deadline

"Pieces to Make" is not a typical category a home seamstress would include, but I do sell what I sew, so I thought it was important to include.

Notice the yellow and red highlights? Color coding some of the entries will help keep me focused on what is paramount. The yellow is used to tell me that that project's deadline is approaching; red is for approaching fast! I will also be using a blue highlight later on for those projects I can check off my list. I will be Maria on top of the Austrian mountains when that happens!

The projects I have listed thus far are only a drop in the bucket. There are so many other ideas I have! But let's get real, shall we? Let me keep this condensed list for awhile and see what happens. I'm feeling like this will work and believe me, it better. For it is never fun being a chicken with your head cut off. :)


So what do you think of this spreadsheet idea of Casey's? Do you think it is something you could use with your own crafting? How would you change it? What do you do to help stay focused and organized?


May 29, 2011

5/29/11: A Round Up of Topics

Have a mismatch of topics to talk about today.

Giveaway: I first want to thank all the participants in the Rosy Days of May Giveaway (which will be ending tomorrow, by the way, so spread the word!). Catherine and I think it was a success and we learned so much from doing it! I can't wait to find out who the winner is on May 31st and send her a special package of goodies. The future is sure to hold more giveaways here on my blog, so be sure to keep an eye open for those.

Here's a question for you: What giveaway prizes do you always look for? Crafting supplies like fabric, yarn, or patterns? Handmade items? Books?

Stool Cushions: I'm coming along well with the stool cushions I mentioned about yesterday. The only problem I've ran into so far is lack of good synthetic foam around here. I went to Wal-Mart last Thursday and spent a couple seconds looking in their fabric section. Even though I go there almost every week, I haven't looked at their fabrics before because I find fabric and notions way too tempting! Fabric is one of those things that causes impulse shopping for me I'm afraid. :) But I knew I could handle the onslaught of fabric bolt attacks by having a real plan. Plan of attack was get in, look for foam and knit fabric, and get out.

It turned out to be a disappointment. The foam was thin and ridiculously priced and they didn't have one single bolt of knit fabric. I've been thinking of sewing some knit t-shirts for myself and so I am need of interlock or jersey fabrics that are lightweight. I find it hard to choose a knit from an online source because I personally want to see how much stretch it has and feel the weight of the fabric.

So, yeah, the foam choices at Wal-Mart did not make me happy. So now I am looking for an online source to purchase from. Do you know of any online source that carries synthetic foam that is typically used as cushion forms? I don't need the foam right away I just want to replace the foam I used for these stool cushions I'm sewing.

Silky Scarf Plan: I have been getting many, many compliments about the silky scarf and rose pin I made for the giveaway. Because they were both quick and easy for me to make, my eldest sister suggested that these items would do well in my Etsy shop and the Craft Room that is located in my family's farm stand. That has been a major problem with me over the years: choosing items to sell that require too much time and hands on work. I think this tendency of mine is linked to my fondness of intricate work and making things that have lots of eye-catching details. This habit can really slow me down and I causes me to fall behind.

So this scarf idea kind of hit home with me. The scarf and pin can be changed up in so many ways that I know I'll never run out of ideas. And the scarf isn't only a scarf, it can be used as a kerchief, sash, or snood. What I did find at Wal-Mart is lots of satin and silk-like material. . . That is where I'll be going this week if I can.

So that leaves me with questions for you all: what color would you buy the silky scarf in? Would you keep it navy blue or would you rather have it in a different color? How would you wear it? Like a scarf or maybe a sash?


May 28, 2011

5/28/11: Sewing Musings and Reupholstering a Stool

In viewing my past blog posts I see that I haven't really been doing much actual sewing lately. I did do some to make our giveaway prizes and I did a bit of mending, but I haven't broken out the serger or sewing machines for a full blown sewing project. The month of May, for me, has been a busy one with all the cooking and farm planting to do, and that causes havoc to the subject of sewing.

For me, spending 15 or 20 minutes sewing here and there throughout the day is hard to do. It takes me awhile to "get the wheels turning" again so I lose valuable time there. I need at least 30 minutes total to get any progress done. Dropping a project: easy, picking it back up, not so much.

I haven't worked much on my crafting plan that I mentioned about earlier. I'm finding it incredibly hard to set my priorities and not go crazy with all the projects I want to complete. It is a work in progress, sometime next week I should have something to show!

So onto what it is the latest for me in the world of sewing.

I am reupholstering two stools.

The two stools in question are used at my family's farm stand. When we were cleaning and organizing the stand this month I noticed how run down and faded the cushions looked. The stools have good, solid metal bases so only the cushions needed the TLC and when it comes to yours truly, when that TLC involves fabric, I'm on the job. Here's one of the stools that need a bit of help:

And here's the under side:

OK, maybe they need a lot of help. Whatever the case, they are going to get a complete cushion overhaul courtesy of Art and Needlework.

The book I am using as reference (since I haven't done many cushions before), is Simplicity's Simply the Best Home Decorating Book.

They have a section in the book that discusses how to make a cover for a box pillow:

And add a zipper for easy pillow insertion and removal:

I am using a medium blue cotton twill for the fabric. I first thought of adding piping to the cushion edges but I have to keep things simple for myself; I don't have much time yet before we need these stools back. The cushion will be separate from the stool and will be attached to a wood base using snaps. I'll show you that detail when I get the first cushion done.

I think this cushion project of mine will help me out with my garment sewing addiction. I need to try new things and a cushion is always a good place to start. Now if only I could find more foam. . . 


May 27, 2011

5/27/11: Inspirational Clippings

Kind of late popping in today. I had my semi-weekly internet malfunction for the part of the day, you see, and that put me behind schedule. It always seems that I cannot get a WiFi connection around the weekend. . . Maybe more people logged on is causing it? I'm not sure. Whatever the case, I managed to get online again and I still have a couple hours left to ramble. :)

Because I am late today, I will be using a posting-device of mine that I like to use when little time is to be had. It is my "Inspirational Clippings" idea that I did a couple weeks ago. For an Inspirational Clippings (IC) post I like to gather together all the great articles, projects, and tutorials (all craft related) that I found recently on the web. Since I like to "favorite", bookmark, and "heart" everything that makes an impression on me, I have a very inspirational web cache I like to go to and see again and again. My four main sources for these are namely blogs, Burda Style, Etsy, and good ol' Ravelry.

So let's get going! First up is what I found. . .

Rebekah P. from the Rebekah's Sewing Diary blog has done something I've dreamt about so many times that I lost count. It is a teal knit dress and my gosh, how stunning is it? She used Vogue 8663, which has a pleated bodice and flared skirt, and used a cotton/spandex knit from Spandex World--a retailer I have never heard of before.


Read more »


May 26, 2011

5/26/11: Making Stitch Diagrams of Your Own

So stitch diagrams. I was talking about them yesterday and that got me thinking: how could I make them myself? I mean, there are so many benefits when using them in crochet that you got to wonder why I don't use them more often.

So a quick search via google led me to this blog.

The author of the blog demonstrates how you can make stitch diagram symbols (like a ch, sc, dc), and draw your very own diagram using Adobe Illustrator.

I do not own this software (boy, I wish I did!), but I think I still can take the tutorials and use the software I do have on my computer. I downloaded two free, open source programs: GIMP and InkScape. GIMP is a photo editing program and InkScape is for vector images. I think the latter will be the one to use but I need to do some experimenting.

So what do you think of stitch diagrams? Do you find them easier to follow than a written pattern? Would you ever try to make your own?


May 25, 2011

5/25/11: Forming Your Own Stitch Dictionary--Part 2

Yesterday, I showed you how I usually put together a stitch pattern using only a written knit/crochet pattern as a basis. Now I will show you how to do the same thing but this time with a stitch diagram.

But before we go any further, let me explain the meanings of the terms I am using so you won't get confused. I was using these terms yesterday and I really perplexed my sister, Catherine!

1. Q: What is a knit/crochet pattern? A: It is a set of instructions that is used to make a knitted/crocheted article, like a sweater or afghan.
2. Q: What is a stitch pattern? A: Directions that show you how to make a specific sequence of stitches that can be used in a crochet or knitting project. Famous stitch patterns include ribbing, ripple stitch, seed stitch, etc.
3. Q: What is a stitch diagram? A: It is like a blueprint of knitting or crochet. Instead of reading a written pattern, you follow a drawn diagram that uses symbols to represent the stitches. A stitch diagram also has the added benefits of being visual. You can picture in your mind what the finished stitch pattern will look like even before you cast-on or chain!

Stitch diagram of a stitch pattern:

OK, with all that straightened out, let's get to forming a stitch pattern via a stitch diagram.

But first, let me find a good example. While flipping through the same Crochet Today issue I mentioned yesterday, I came across one of my favorite designs, the Springtime Trench designed by Melissa Leapman. It is a truly stunning piece and the stitch pattern is surely something I would like to use in other pieces. It is a sturdy, solid stitch pattern that looks complicated but only uses two crochet stitches: double crochet and single crochet.

Using a Stitch Diagram to Find a Stitch Pattern:

1. First find if the knit/crochet pattern has a diagram. Good, the Springtime Trench does. Here it is:

2. Start counting the number of chains formed and how many were skipped at the beginning (if at all). For my trench pattern I see 13 chains and 2 skipped chains. So that means 11 stitches were formed.

3. With the information I just discovered, I can figure out the multiple for the pattern. I shall write it as follows: Work in Multiples of 2 plus 1. How did I figure this? Since I have to work with an odd number of chains (13) I need to find the multiple of the even number below 13. 12 happens to be this number and 2 is a multiple of 12. In order to make sure that I always crochet the right number of chains, I need to add 1 extra chain to the multiple of 2.

4. Now I need to examine the rest of the stitch diagram and try to find one full repeat. In the case of my trench pattern, Rows 2 and 3 is one full repeat.

With my multiple and full repeat established, I now have a new stitch pattern to add to my Stitch Dictionary. Now I only need to give it a name to keep it organized. How about Spring Stitch. .  . That sounds good to me!

Did I cover everything well in this two part series on how to pull a stitch pattern from a knit/crochet pattern? Have any questions or ideas? Please share!


May 24, 2011

5/24/11: Forming Your Own Stitch Dictionary

I have been knitting and crocheting for a number of years now and it is interesting to note that I don't have many stitch dictionaries. The number one reason for this may be that I haven't really done any pattern concocting of myself, (which I am really hoping to change this year).

Not having a wide assortment of dictionaries hasn't really created a problem for me, even when I did try to create a pattern of my own. It is because I found my stitch patterns a different way. Namely, magazines.

With every knitting/crochet magazine there comes projects and with projects, stitch patterns. I have found it to be real easy to pull a stitch pattern from any knitting/crochet project. Take a look at the Jan/Feb 2007 issue of Crochet Today, for instance:

This was the first issue I received and I still remember the gorgeous stitch pattern designer Marianne Forrestal (whose the designer of the Log Cabin Throw I am working on), used in the Perfectly Pretty Pillows pattern.

Aren't they something? The stitch pattern is made up of dc rows and hdc/sc rows that alternate. And the whole project is doused with gorgeous beads that add sparkle and definition. Wonderful combination! Now wouldn't it be pretty nifty if we could take this stitch pattern and utilized it in some other fashion? I'm seeing it used in a solid afghan or pullover. Hm, I wonder what it will look like if two different colored yarns are used. Intriguing. . .

There are two methods of finding the stitch pattern amongst the instructions of a crochet pattern. Using the written pattern OR using the stitch diagram, if it is included. I am sure there is a more mathematical way of doing this but I have found my two approaches to be quick and easy. You just need to be familiar in distinguishing the different crochet stitches (i.e. sc, hdc, dc, tc, etc.)

Using the Written Pattern:

1. Most flat (not round) crochet patterns start something like this example: Ch 32. Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across: 31 sc. Ch 2 (counts as first hdc now and throughout), turn. Take note of how many chains are skipped at the beginning (if they are at all), and how many stitches are formed during the first row. So for my example, you skip 1 ch and formed 31 stitches.

Tip: If you are trying to find the stitch pattern and the starting line tells you to do an outrageous amount of chains, try cutting it down to a manageable number. I mean, who wants to do 99 chains when a small swatch is all you need? 30 chains is a good number to choose.

Hold on a sec, what are multiples? In a crochet stitch dictionary you will find this term used with every single stitch pattern. You might find something like "Multiples of X" or "Multiples of X plus X". But what does it mean? In math, a multiple is a number that can be divided by another without leaving a remainder. Such as 3 is a multiple of 6 and 4 is a multiple of 8. It is exactly the same in crochet. The stitch pattern can be completed in its entirety using a designated "special number" (aka multiple). 

And in some occurrences the stitch pattern cannot be completed using only a multiple. In this case an extra stitch or stitches are added to the multiple giving you Multiples of X plus X. 

So let's use my example line above and find its multiple. We chained 32, skipped the first ch, and sc in the remaining 31 chains, leaving us with 31 sc total. So 2 is the multiple of 32. (16 x 2 = 32)

2. Now start following the crochet pattern until you believe you have made a full repeat of the stitch pattern. Sometimes this may take one row or multiple rows, it all depends upon the level of the stitch pattern's complexity. Count how many rows it took to make a full repeat.

3. Now you have the full recipe for your stitch pattern. Write down the multiple you found (which is 2), and the instructions for the stitch pattern rows to make one repeat.

That is my first approach in finding a stitch pattern. Tomorrow I will write about my stitch diagram method; which, to me, is a little bit easier than the first. See you soon!


May 23, 2011

5/23/11: Home is Where it's At

Give me dresses, pants, blouses, and every garment you can think of and I'll say, "Sure I can make that." But when it comes to home decor. . . I would rather grade a 1920s vintage dress pattern that is tattered to pieces. :)

So why do I find myself giving the brussel sprout face whenever home decor enters the conversation? I mean, it is mostly made up of squares, circles, and other geometric shapes, which would technically make it easier to measure than the curvy figure of a woman. Whatever the reason may be, I still find myself nervous when thinking of doing a slip cover, bed linens, and what not.


Which is this:

Haven't heard of it? Neither have I until yesterday. I was reading a sewing blog and happened to click on the Home4Sew link in that person's "favorite" list. What I found on the other side of that click has been on my mind ever since.

As it turns out, Sew4Home is a daily website (meaning, it is a blog turned website), that offers a wide variety of projects, tutorials, tips and resources, and glossary. . . And all of this is written specifically for the home. The only garment you're going to find is an apron at best.

The authors of the projects are truly thorough and like to include many step-by-step photos. They are also thorough by including everything you can imagine that is part of your home or regular day-to-day activities. See some examples here:

{desk set baskets}
{jazzy ironing board cover}
{ottoman slipcover}
{queen quilt fat quarter cut-up}
{sleepover pillowcase}
And all of these projects are available in PDF form so it makes for easy-peasy printing.

And tutorials, you ask? Yes, they have them, too! Take a look at the ones that caught my eye:

Gathering and Ruffles Made Easy
Bias Tape: How to Make It & Attach It
How to Measure for Curtains
Quick Tip: How to Tell If You Fabric is on Grain

So will a brussel sprout face break out as soon as the term "slip cover" comes along? Hm. . . Well, I don't think so anymore. I know that I will find everything I need to know at Sew4Home and, my goodness, who cannot feel motivated after seeing all those beautiful designs?

What about you? Do you find home decor more fun to do than garment making, or vice versa? What is one home decor project you've always wanted to tackle? 

P.S. Let me not lead you into thinking that I don't like brussel sprouts. Au contraire! Maybe I should have said "grapefruit face" instead; me and that fruit are like Batman and the Joker. :)


May 22, 2011

5/22/11: Thoughts on Project Organization and . . . A Doily?

There has been a lot of thread crochet around these parts lately. Such as my Etsy merchandise, the current giveaway, and my previous post on how I store all the balls. Now guess what all this caused. Yep. I am desperately wanting to do more thread crochet. . . Which might be good right now because of the hotter weather. 

But this creates a problem: what about all the other crafty things I need to work on? Ah, it always seems like I am constantly battling that imaginary list of 101 project ideas that looms over my head. And let me tell you, I am out of war tactics. Which project should I be working on now? Which one should I set as my priority? I am at a lost to these questions!

Dixie, from DixieDIY, just posted about this same topic in her latest post. She asks her readers the question: "How do you manage all your projects while still getting everything else in life done?" For her, the need to "finish" is a major part of her personality and so she tries to work with this "quirk", as she says, instead of against it.

And she thought of four distinct ways in how to stay focused and sane:

1. Limit the amount of projects.
2. Schedule projects with set deadlines.
3. Create other projects or activities outside of crafting.
4. Make lists.

I think she hit it spot on with these suggestions and I can see myself using them. Numbering down the amount of current projects will eliminate the anxiety factor, giving projects a set deadline will make me more productive, including activities outside of crafting will be helpful during those times when you want to use the seam ripper on the sewing machine, and making lists will keep me focused and prioritized. 

And what about keeping everything else in life in check? For me, I don't really find it that hard to stop crafting time and go and do something else. It is like a stop watch for me, as soon as you press the button the needles and thread are down. This is probably very helpful in many things, but I do find it hard to get back into the project once I left it! :) 

So for this week I will be constructing a crafting to-do-list for the upcoming months, sort of like the Meal Calendar I form for my family. I find it so useful in cooking, why not crafting, right? 

And now I leave you with some remarks on my thread crochet obsession. Hehe. 

In 2008 I received some doily books as a Christmas gift from a member of Eri's Crocheting Circle. (Thanks again Pam! I was looking through them again today!) And I couldn't pick out which doily I wanted to make which led me to designing my own. I selected the ones that inspired me the most and constructed my own pattern. And that how my St. Catherine's Wheel Doily was created. Here is how it turned out:

I named it St. Catherine's Wheel because the solid and lace aspects of the doily made it look like the hub and spokes of a wheel. And also because I was learning about St. Catherine of Alexandria at the time. 

Since then the doily has been sold and I've been wanting to make another one ever since. So this happened:

And I am very close to being finished. I hope to include this project in my to-do list I will be writing up this week. I know it isn't a "priority" but it would be nice to finally be able to do a tiny bit of thread crochet before I go onto big and complicated things! Aka SEWING!

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May 21, 2011

5/21/11: Inspiration in Film -- Bonita Granville

Oh my goodness! Haven't I done this yet? Are you kidding me? Here I am, a humongous movie fan, and I haven't yet posted about the immeasurable amount of inspiration that can be reaped from this source. Not only sewists, who can take so much from Hollywood's fashion, but anyone who enjoys DIY will, or have already, find that movies offer much more than a plot, actors, and climax. Oh, much more.

So this post here is the beginning of many that will be discussing some movie inspired DIY projects that I've been daydreaming about. And I tell you, there has been a lot of that daydreaming happening lately. :)

The first bit of film inspiration I will be sharing is Bonita Granville. For most of you, you can spend a solid 24 hours thinking of that name and nothing will come to mind. Yeah, she is one of those Hollywood stars of old (1930s-40s to be exact), that has gone under the radar. Nonetheless, she has always played a significant "role" in my movie watching.

Let me briefly explain my association with Miss Granville. My eldest sister has collected for many, many years the Nancy Drew collection of books. (She has almost every book published for the original collection, btw). And that is how Bonita Granville got her real start: starring Nancy Drew, the famous girl sleuth who seems to always find herself in the middle of a mystery.

Bonita Granville, who played in 73 films total, began with Nancy Drew: Detective in 1938 and went on to make three other. And of course my family watched every one of them and so Bonita Granville has been a household name, you can say, since the time I was seven.

{ Bonita as Nancy Drew }
I've been thinking about her lately because I am in the middle of watching Gallant Sons, a 1940's mystery co-starring vivacious and impish Bonita Granville as Kate Pendleton. A very fun and well scripted movie, by the way!

What really caught my eye with Bonita is her ensemble from Nancy Drew: Reporter. Don't you love the plaid skirt, cropped jacket, and peter pan collar with tie she is wearing?

I have a few sewing patterns that might actually make something very close to Nancy's. Take for instance Butterick 4235. 

Both skirts are cut on the bias so I think it is a real contender.

And what about the black version from McCall 5006? Wouldn't that make the perfect cropped jacket replica?

And the Peter Pan collar and tie? How about using Gretchen's tutorial?

What do you think of my choices? What movie or actor inspires you?


May 20, 2011

5/20/11: CLOSED! The Rosy Days of May Blog Giveaway

{ one of the prizes: delicate rose earrings }
Who doesn't love to enter a fun contest once in a while? I certainly do! But this time the table is turned... I will be hosting the contest for all of you! Well, make that we will be hosting! My sister, Catherine (Youtube and blog), who I interviewed yesterday, and I decided to make a collaboration contest and give away four awesome prizes to two lucky winners! Also, we know how entering contests can be difficult and confusing at times, so we made our rules easy to understand. So why not scroll down and check out the fun prizes you might be receiving?


The first place winner will be able to choose one item from each group. The second place winner will receive the remaining two items.

Group A:

{ silk summer scarf with a white fabric rose brooch }

{ fabric rose brooch }
Silky Summer Scarf + Fabric Rose–  I went to my serger for the first giveaway prize. This lightweight, silky scarf in navy was created by using the rolled hem setting. You can adorn this scarf with your white fabric rose brooch and maybe even use them together as a fun sash. Dressing up a plain white tee has never been easier!

{ one dozen crocheted roses }

One Dozen Crocheted Roses – As most of you know already, I enjoy crocheting, especially delicate thread projects. For the giveaway I crocheted 12 intricate roses for you--6 in rose red and 6 in soft pink. There are so many different ways to use these! Applique the roses to dresses, blouses, sweaters, skirts, hats, shoes, and baby clothing or use the roses in jewelry making, card making, scrapbooking, or your crochet and knitting projects.

Group B:

{ delicate rose earrings }

Delicate Rose Earrings – Using an extra, small crochet hook, I made two dainty roses for Catherine, who was able to turn them into earrings. These silver earrings will add that special sparkle to any outfit!

{ rosy chain bracelet }

Rosy Chain Bracelet – Who wouldn't want a garland of roses around their wrist?!  Using delicate little seed beads, Catherine stitched this beaded bracelet the perfect length for any wrist!


Read all the rules for this contest. Failure to abide by these rules will disqualify you from participating in this contest.  We reserve the right to change these rules at any time.  

Time:  This contest starts today, May 20, 2011, and will end on May 30, 2011 at 12:00am EST. We will announce the winners on May 31, 2011.

Eligibility: This contest is open only for U.S. residents. Also, if you are under 18, you must have parental permission to enter.

Winners: We will select the two winners randomly using, check to see if they followed the rules, and notify them by email. The first place winner will be able to choose a prize from each group. The second place winner will receive the remaining two prizes. We will announce the two (2) winners on May 31, 2011. If we do not hear back from one of the winners within 48 hours, we will select another winner.

Main Entry:

Comment on this blog post with your favorite item from each group.  Example: “From Group A, I love Rebekah's silky navy rose scarf!  From Group B, I love Catherine's delicate crocheted rose earrings!" 

You must complete this entry before submitting any of the extra entries. Post this entry in only one comment. You must also leave your email address at the end of your main entry comment in order for us to contact you!  

Extra Entries:

You must complete the Main Entry before you can submit any of the extra entries.  Comment only once for each entry. You do not have to leave your email address on any of your extra entries, it is only required on your main entry.

Bonus Entry!!

Our older sister, Bernadette, recently set up an Etsy shop, Bernadette's Gourd Creations. She doesn't have any of her handcrafted gourds (such as pitchers, birdhouses, and bowls), up for sale yet, but she is busy making them! Why don't you surprise her by “hearting” her Etsy shop? This will count as two entries, so leave two comments! Example: For the first comment, “I 'hearted' Bernadette's Etsy shop! #1” and for the second comment, ““I 'hearted' Bernadette's Etsy shop! #2”

Questions about the rules? Please do not leave questions in the comments, but rather email your questions to herlittleway at

Catherine and I hope you have fun with this contest and be sure to tell all of your friends!

P.S. To help spread the word about this giveaway, Catherine uploaded a special video announcement to her YouTube channel. Watch it here:


May 19, 2011

5/19/11: A Bit of Crafting Journalism -- Interview with Catherine Fox

{ source }

I'm going outside the box today not only in doing my second interview (see my first one here), but choosing a crafter that is very different from myself. Different, yes, but she has played a big role in my life--you'll see why in a little bit. 

As you can well see from reading my blog entries, my crafting expertise lies mostly in sewing and knitting/crochet, so I am very excited to let you meet my younger sister, Catherine Fox, who does jewelry making, painting, drawing, and much more.
Read more »

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May 18, 2011

5/18/11: Divine Design of Knitting

No, I will not be discussing Candace Olson of HGTV's Divine Design--even though her show is fun to watch--I am going to talk about one of my favorite knitwear designers: Ysolda S. Teague.

She is one inspiring designer for me, not only in her innovative and timeless sweaters, but also in how knitting is an integral part of her life. Most designers submit or self-publish their patterns on the side, but for Ysolda, it is a full time job and her main source of income.

Before knitting came along, Ysolda satisfied her crafting sweet tooth by sewing. I remember watching a video interview with her and her remark: "I contemplated about doing knitting again but I thought, why bother making your own fabric? You can buy fabric in any store and make clothing in a matter of hours instead of months like a sweater."

But when she entered college she needed something portable. She wanted to spend time with friends and keep her hands busy at the same time. Lugging around a sewing machine and fabric wasn't the answer, but knitting certainly fit the bill.

So that is how she got on the knitting "train" and it was this new sense of respect for the yarn and needle craft that led her to do something drastic. Well, sort of. One day she came upon the online knitting magazine Knitty and thought, "What a cute idea! I'll try submitting something." When it was accepted and other patterns of hers as well, she decided to do something else drastic, and this time it really was utterly drastic. She was going to support herself with her knitting.

So for the next few years she created these:

I think she took the right road!

And so what's the latest with Ysolda? Her latest book is being printed as I write! The future book's title is Little Red in the City and it will be available very soon. (Psst. You can pre-order!) So check out her website and her blog for future updates.