Friday, December 28, 2012

learning to knit.

honey cowl
I've been knitting for a year and two months now.  I love it as much as sewing, it is one of my most favorite things to do.  I get so many emails from readers asking me how I learned, how they can learn, and if I can share any advice with them.  That is what this post is for :)
honey cowl
When I went to the Sewing Summit last year, I bought some gorgeous yarn and a circular needles in hope of learning to knit.  With the help of my sweet friends Amanda and Deeidre, I learned how to cast on for a project and two basic stitches: knit and purl.  I started a honey cowl.  I tried my hardest to get it to work, but it just was not happening for me.  I felt like I was missing something, or that something wasn't making sense.  When I got home I ripped out my project and hopped on the internet to figure out what was wrong.  I needed to teach myself.
honey cowl
Thanks to a few recommendations, I landed on knittinghelp.com.  It is a very informative website that has everything you need to teach yourself how to knit.  I watched videos on knitting and purling, and I realized that the English method (where you hold the yarn in the RIGHT hand and throw it around your needle) just wasn't my thing.  I watched the videos and taught myself to knit using the continental method, which is perfect for me.  In this method, the yarn is held the LEFT hand, and you don't throw the yarn.  This made so much sense to me, and everything just fell into place.  I am a crocheter, and when you crochet, you hold the yarn the same way as you do when continental knitting.  Well, I do anyways. :)
honey cowl
Once I taught myself to knit from those videos, I just fell in love.  It came really naturally to me.  I have to admit, that may partly be due to the fact that I am very comfortable with yarn.  I've been crocheting since I was 7 years old!  But really, I truly think that anyone can learn.
honey cowl
All of this to say.... you can teach yourself to knit!  You can.  I highly recommend the videos on knittinghelp.com.  I've watched other videos elsewhere, but I always come back to these.  There is also an app on that website that you can buy for your phone, and I use it ALL the time.  It is totally worth the money.  If you learn, give continental method a try.  I know it is not everyone's favorite, but I love it.  It is so quick and efficient. 
 
I hope that helps you!  Feel free to keep asking questions.  Good luck!:)
xo, A
 
PS - These pictures are of the honey cowl I finished back in the fall, I finally took some nice pictures of it.  I wear it all the time, and it is one of my favorites.  If you are learning to knit, this is a great beginners project.  You can find links and details here on my ravelry page.

Friday, December 21, 2012

shallows

Shallows scarf Shallows scarf
This scarf is called Shallows.  I knit it for  my mother in law for Christmas.  Her favorite color is green, so I think she will like it.  The yarn is shades of pemberly from the Plucky Knitter. 
Shallows scarf Shallows scarf
This is a great beginner lace project, and the pattern is easy to memorize. So you know what that means.... knitting and reading! I'm so predictable, right? A few of you emailed me and asked how I knit and read at the same time. Well, it has to be easy stitching (knit, purl, or ribbing), and I read on my kindle app in my ipad. I just prop it up in its stand in front of me, and I'm ready to go. Best of both worlds. :)
Shallows scarf
I definitely recommend soaking and then blocking this project with lace wires. Once it is wet and stretched out, the yarn relaxes and the lacework shows wonderfully. You can definitely block without wires, I just find it to be a lot more effective with this kind of project.  Ravelled here.
 
xo, Ang

Thursday, December 20, 2012

millwater #1

millwater 1
Once it starts cooling down around here, my fingers start itching for cowls and scarfs.  This is the Millwater cowl, I finished it last month.  This may be the most enjoyable pattern I have ever knit!  I could not put this project down.  I have been reading a lot lately, and this pattern is so simple and easy... perfect for knitting and reading!  Two of my favorite things.
millwater 1 millwater 1
The yarn is Madeline Tosh DK in antique lace.  I picked up a couple skeins while I was at the Sewing Summit in October.  It is really great yarn.  I love the color, it works with almost everything.
Millwater 1
I highly recommend this pattern to newer knitters.  The stitches are so simple, and the big chunky cable is really easy!  It is a really good project to learn cables on.  I promise it is easier than it looks.  More info and links to the pattern can be found on my ravelry page.
Finished blocking my Millwater cowl!! Love. Yarn is antique lace, Madeline Tosh DK
xo, Ang

catch up.

lots of knitting
Hi there, neglected blog!  I think I have been missing you.  My sewing machine hasn't been out of its cabinet in over a month, but there has been lots of knitting going on over here lately.  I can't seem to get enough!  One of the reasons I love keeping a blog is because I can document every project I make, and I have a backlog of knitted projects to write about.  Just wanted to warn you that you will be bombarded with knitting pictures over the next few days. Here are just a few of the things I've been working on.  If you are on instagram, you should recognize these (I'm @fussycut over there).
lots of knitting
xo, Ang

Monday, November 12, 2012

more tovas.

new Tovas
new Tovas
After making several sleeveless Tovas this past summer (here, here, and 2 more here), I figured it was about time I try my hand at the long sleeves.  It really is fitting to have longer sleeves, since it is cold and mostly snowy here from November through April.  This first one is made out of my favorite Liberty of London print from their Bloomsbury Gardens line.  This is the same print that I used in my autumn Washi tunic... Can you tell I like it? 
Tempted to leave the sleeves off. Finished! I ended up putting on the sleeves.
The only modification I made was to narrow the waist a bit.  When I was testing the fit of the width, which was before I put on the sleeves, I almost decided to leave the sleeves off.  Isn't it so cute like that???  I fought the urge and finished it up, and I'm glad that I did.  I really like the end result and have been wearing it often.  (However, I do think I might get this dark blue in another floral print for a sleeveless tova this summer!)
new Tovas
DSCF6039
 Next up is a gingham Tova.  This is completely copied inspired by my friend Ashley.  I have a thing for gingham, so when I saw hers I just knew I had to make one for myself.  This is Lecien yarn dyed gingham which is a heavier fabric with a really nice drape.
Tova. Boots and pumpkins.
Up next in my continued love for garment sewing is another washi.  This time with some Tova sleeves!  I am cutting it out today.
 
Can you believe that Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK?  I better get my butt in gear, we always host.  Happy Monday!
xo, Ang
 
PS - Tova pattern available here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sewing Summit 2012

Hard to believe that the Sewing Summit was almost a month ago!  I'm so thankful that I was able to attend again this year (2011 recap here).  To say that I had fun would be a huge understatement.  It was an amazing weekend.  I didn't bring my camera, so I thought I'd share with you the pictures I took on Instagram.  I wish I would've taken more, but here we go anyways.

Flying out for #sewingsummit bright and early.  I guess I should start packing! #lastminute Airport!!!
Packing for one is the best.  So quick and easy!
Enjoying quiet time in the airport.  I love to travel.
 
Heading to breakfast. @provhandmade Yay! @lucyandnorman is here!!
My roomies!  They are the best.  Stephanie of Providence Handmade and Megan of Lucy and Norman.  Our other roomate was Amber of One Shabby Chick, but somehow we didn't get a picture together. :(
 
Dinner! @freshlypieced @freshlemonsquilts @provhandmade @oneshabbychickhawaii @pitterputterstitch @amyscreativeside Malabrigo wall! Hello, Blazing Needles.
Dinner with my amazing friends.
The Malabrigo wall at Blazing Needles yarn shop in SLC.  We shopped here twice. :)
 
Fun boots.  @kayeprince @provhandmade @lucyandnorman @provhandmade
Fun shoes.

Ready for another day. 
Roomies again.
On the way to the airport with Anna of Noodleheads, Deidre of mybricole, Jeni of In Color Order, and Megan of Canoe Ridge Creations.  (I swiped Megan's picture off of Instagram!)
 
Hysterical. Apparently I've been missed.
Knitting on the plane ride home. 
One of my two silly cats.  I guess Banjo missed me?  Hilarious.

If you ever get the chance to attend the Sewing Summit, go!!  It is a great conference full of fun classes, amazing people, and lots of good food and shopping.  My only complaint?  There were too many wonderful people in one place, I didn't get to spend as much time as I wouldn't liked with everyone.  That is a good problem though, right?

xo, Ang

Saturday, October 27, 2012

autumn washi.

I made a new washi tunic yesterday.
Phew, that was a crazy week.  Steve was gone on a hunting trip, so it was just me and the kiddos.  He is my favorite person and the best dad, so we are all a little lost without him when he is gone.  He will be home any minute, I can't wait.  Life can resume as normal.

Liberty washi tunic
My love affair with garment sewing continues!  I made my second Washi earlier on in the month.  My first was a dress, so this time I tried out the tunic.  I really like my dress but I LOVE this top.  I used a beautiful print from Liberty of London's Bloomsbury Garden line, isn't it the perfect autumn print? 

Liberty washi tunic
I went sleeveless and used the traditional washi neckline for the first time.  I really thought the cutout was cute,  but after making a top with it, I love it even more!  It is so unique, a nice little touch.  I like it sleeveless, it fits perfectly under my mustard yellow cardigan.  Plus, I feel like those little sleeves, which look adorable on everyone else apparently, just don't work on me.  I feel like a football player!

Liberty washi tunic
I cut out another washi top already.  This one will have the 3/4 length sleeves from the Tova top.  Did you see Rae's new tutorial for her long sleeves?  That dress is adorable!  I might have to switch mine up, the elastic at the cuffs looks so comfy.

Liberty washi tunic
xo, Ang

PS - Thanks to all who entered the Sweet Celebrations giveaway!  The winning comment is from SewLindaAnn:  "My fave line has always been Authentic by Sweetwater. (Love all the garments you've made, the tanks and dress are really great. Your shawl is stunning, can't believe it's your first!)"

If you haven't already heard from the kind people at Moda, you will be soon!  I hope you enjoy your book and fabric. :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

on the same page.

Blocked my new honey cowl! So soft and drapey and cozy. Up next- Avery cowl! (yarn for this honey cowl is Madeline Tosh silver fox on vintage)

I went to the Sewing Summit for the second time this past weekend.  Did I tell you that?  This isn't quite a recap post, that is coming soon.  This post is to share with you what I learned, and it is been floating around my head all week.  I guess it is time I finally write it down.  It is kinda wordy, so please bear with me. :)

I've been through a bit of a blogging drought.  If you have been reading for awhile, you can probably tell.  I started blogging nearly 4 years ago, back when I kept an etsy shop.  It was a way for my customers to know me.  That quickly changed once I became active in the online sewing community.  I started reading sewing blogs, and I wanted to share what I was sewing for my home, family, and friends, not just what was going on in the shop.  I think I was quickly classified as a quilting blog and I had plenty of "sewing time" on my hands with sleepy babies.  I was blessed with many real friendships through blogging.

Fast forward to today.  Now I have a 2, 4, and 6 year old, and not much time to sew.  My projects have mostly switched to portable items (like knitting) and smaller projects (like garment sewing, bags, pillows, etc).  I still quilt, but it is a lot harder for me to do since I don't have big chunks to devote to bigger projects.  In all honestly, I was starting to feel like maybe my blog readers weren't interested in what I was making lately, since they originally were drawn to my quilts.  And they just aren't happening now. My blog became pretty quiet.

Then I went to Sewing Summit.  So many of you, my readers, came up and introduced yourselves to me.  You shared with me how after you read my blog, you were inspired.  Inspired to knit a cowl, tackle socks and sweaters, sew a farmer's wife block, take a break from your farmer's wife blocks (because sometimes you just need a break), sew clothing for yourselves (even if it is scary at first), and more.  You told me that you were inspired to create when you had the time, just because you love it and need to do it. 

I was and continue to be humbled.  I truly believe that I desire to create because I serve a creative God.  He gave me the ability and talent, and the idea that He uses me in some small way to inspire others blows me out of the water.  It humbles me and brings me to tears.

So I want to thank you so much for your support and encouragement.  To all of you that introduced yourselves at the Sewing Summit and shared these things with me, and also to those of you that take the time to read my blog and leave me comments.  It means the world to me. I hope you know that. 

I had been thinking about closing down my blog, I think that I lost my way for a bit.  Now I feel focused again, and I see that this little space has meaning and a purpose.  I will continue to be me and blog simply because I enjoy it.  I'll share what I'm working on, and bits and pieces of my life, too.  This includes my faith and my family because they are entwined in all I am and do.  There is no way that I can leave them out. 

Thanks for letting me share this with you.  Despite the fact that I blog for the whole world to see, I am actually a very private person.  It is really hard for me to open up about this kind of thing.  I'm glad we are on the same page now. :)

with love, Angela

PS - That is my new honey cowl and Tova pictured above, I'm in love!  More details on the cowl can be found here on my ravelry page, and a Tova post is coming soon.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sweet Celebrations - blog tour and giveaway!

Hi friends, both old and new!  Today is my day to share Sweet Celebrations with Moda Bake Shop Chefs. This is the latest book by the talented folks over at Moda, and it is full of projects designed by the bake shop chefs.  Made from precuts, these projects can be used to celebrate holidays and special occasions all year long. 
 
Make sure to read to the end...
I am giving away a copy of Sweet Celebrations AND my favorite Moda precut!
 
 
I am thrilled to be a contributor in this book!  It is such an honor for me.  The falling leaves quilt, table runner, and placemats in the photo above are my projects.  Autumn is my favorite time of the year, and I had a lot of fun designing and sewing projects for that season. Moda Bella warm pastel solids and crossweaves are gorgeous and so fun to work with.
 
 
To spice up our blog tour, Moda sent along some questions for us to answer.
 
1. Do you prefer to celebrate wtih cupcakes, cake pops, or just plain old cake?
I have quite the sweet tooth, so I love them all!  However, when I choose a cake for my own birthday, I always go with a Dairy Queen ice cream cake.  It is my favorite by far!
 
2. What is your favorite part of quilting - fabric selection, piecing, quilting, binding - and why?
My most favorite part of quilting is binding.  Nothing beats snuggling up on the couch under a new quilt while handstitching the binding down.  I love it.
 
Single Girl quilt
 (more pictures of my Sherbet Pips Single Girl quilt are here)
 
3. How do you press your seams?
I mostly press seams to the side so that the pieces lock together when I'm sewing.  If I am working on a block with alot of pieces, I press open to reduce bulk.
 
4. What sewing accomplishment are you the most proud of?
I am most proud of my Farmer's Wife blocks.  I have 56 of those little 6" blocks finished, and I love them.  They are fun to piece, and each one feels like an accomplishment.  I am looking forward to getting back to this work in progress... I want a big, scrappy, queen sized FW quilt for my bed!
 
FWQAL - so far
(more pictures/posts on my FW quilt are here)

5. Do you prefer a corner piece or a center piece when eating cake?  Or do you not like to discriminate?
Oh, corner piece every time.  That way I get more icing. :)

 
Since my projects are autumn themed, I am sharing with you my favorite fall recipe - the Great Pumpkin dessert!  It is so wonderful, especially when it is served warm with french vanilla Cool Whip or ice cream on top.
 
 
 
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED - Thank you for participating!
Now for the giveaway!  In order to win one free copy of Sweet Celebrations and a fat 8th stack of Moda fabrics, leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite Moda fabric line is!  The deadline to enter is October 14th.  The winner will be randomly selected from the comments below and contacted via email.  Only US participants will receive the actual book - winners with an address outside of the US will receive an e-book.
 
Make sure you visit all of the other blogs on the tour!  You can collect recipes at each spot, and enter in giveaways there as well.  Thanks so much for stopping!!
 
October 1 – StashBooks and Moda Cutting Table

October 2 – Melissa Mortenson and Melissa Corry
October 3 – Mary Lane Brown and Natalia Bonner 
October 4 – Lissa Alexander and Corey Yoder
October 5 – Jane Davidson and Angela Yosten
October 8 – Angela Mitchell *that's me!* and Ellie Roberts
October 9 – Katie Blakesley and Aneela Hoey
October 10 – Amy Smart and Angela Pingel
October 12 – Moda Bake Shop
October 14 - Readers have until midnight on the 14th to comment on all the blogs for the giveaways!
 October 19 - Winners announced on all the blogs!
 
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED - Thank you for participating!
 
best wishes,
Angela