My Little Dragon

In keeping with the horned-hat theme (see my unicorn hat here), and because my daughter loves dinosaur-type creatures, I made her a dragon hat!  For two days she wouldn't take it off, inside or out, and I had the pleasure of watching a tiny dragon roar around my house.  Nothing better than watching my baby wear and be excited about something I made for her!  Plus, it's a lot easier to laugh at the mishaps of toddler life when said destructive toddler is dressed like a dragon.  Toddler empties the contents of the silverware drawer while you're trying to cook dinner? Frustrating.  Dragon empties the silverware drawer? Well that's what any dragon would do, don't you think?  Maybe I've been inhaling too much acrylic yarn fumes...

A few pattern notes: I freehanded the pattern and used Lion Brand Homespun, Red Heart Super Saver, and Lion Brand Hometown USA.  The tassels will need to be redone because they've frayed too much (darn LB Homespun and it's fuzziness) and I'm thinking of adding some ribbons into them because, ribbons.

I've got another hat hot off the hook for Mr Pickle that I can't wait to show you all...tomorrow!

Happy Crafting.

Sewing Love

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I've been on a refashion roller coaster this week as I've been prepping our wardrobes for fall; Long sleeves, leggings, and chai lattes are coming, people! Something that makes me deeply happy is wearing partially or wholly homemade clothes. I feel like when I reuse or refashion pieces of old clothes I'm lowering my carbon footprint, diminishing my spending, and exercising my creative mind.  At the thrift store I collect clothes with designs, colors, and materials that appeal to me or are in fashion, then bring them home to cut up and re-purpose in a way that looks good and works for me.  I also have a strange addiction to collecting sewing notions like lace, ribbon, and buttons for fancying up old or cheap pieces in my wardrobe.  Matching the parts together and finding ways to reuse old materials is fascinating and such good fun.

This week I raided our giveaway pile of clothes looking for an old button up shirt which I turned into an adaptation of this Sweet Crochet and Sew Dress from the Purl Bee.  The yarn was remnants from a bonnet for my daughter and is a soft cotton.  Then I took some scissors to an old, stained, lace pajama dress and used the hem to lengthen a new sweatshirt/sweater so that it would cover my (growing) bump without being utterly scandalous.  I love how a bit of lace can make anything look a bit more fabulous, don't you?  After that it was onto one of my husband's old T-shirts.  I turned a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shirt into a dress for my little miss.  It fits her with room to grow and it gave me a wonderful, low-risk opportunity to practice sewing knits (tricky, tricky).  If you'd like to make one for a little person in your life, you can find the tutorial here on Instructables.  Really, who doesn't have an old t-shirt laying around that could use a new life?

Between all these lovely sewing projects, I had a few dates with my crochet hook and some Caron Simply Soft.  I can't tell you just yet what those flower squares will become, but I think they'll make something whimsical and lovely for fall. I always seem to need a few flowers in my life when the clouds come to stay and the cold creeps in each winter.

What are some of your favorite ways to refashion old clothes?  Do you cut up your old tshirts for household rags or weave them into rugs?  I'd love to hear your suggestions and stories so please drop me a line.  If you leave me a link to your own refashion blog post I'll certainly pop over and have a look!

Happy crafting.

Formal Lace Shawl

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCPicMonkey Collage   It's finished! It's been blocked! And my toddler didn't eat any pins off the blocking board.  I call this a win, win, win situation.  The lace is shiny and lustrous and has a beautiful drape, perfect for frolicking in meadows (or my backyard).  I hope it's also perfect for formal events but I can't be sure until Saturday.  The result is totally worth the crazy, struggling process of making it (click that link if you want the gory details). Now I've just got the issue of styling and accessorizing to worry about.  Wait, what do you mean a shawl is an accessory? No, no, no, the shawl is the main event!  Everything must compliment the shawl.  I'm not going to tell you all how many times I've tried on my outfit, thrown it back into the closet, and dragged it back out again so that I could glare at it better. I think I made the classic error of investing so much love and excitement into this shawl that there isn't an outfit in the world (or my price range) that can measure up to it. So right now the shawl, dress, and I are in a cooling-off period. Mister Lace Shawl is buried in the back of my closet with the evening dress and I'm not going to look at either of them all day.  This is good because I'm actually very busy today.  I've got an important meeting to attend, a toddler to occupy, a potluck dish to whip up, and a good book to read.  Speaking of books, have you heard of Women Are Scary?  I literally just held back tears through the first chapter because I felt so much hope while reading it.  Nobody really tells you how lonely motherhood can be, and if they do you don't believe them because babies. Babies are cute. Pattern notes if you're interested:  Pattern is Maia Shawl by Lisa Naskrent. I used an entire three balls of Lace Lux by Lana Grossa and had to cut out a border repeat to make that happen. I would caution against using Lace Lux if you tend to make mistakes because it is nearly impossible to rip out.  The wool surrounding the metalic thread gets tangled very easily and I may or may not have used a seam ripper to frog my swatch for extra yarn... I used a size 5mm hook instead of the recommended size because I'm cool like that and I wanted a lacier shawl. Well, have a lovely day, all!  I hardly know what to do with my hands now that I've finished my shawl but I think I recall having one or five works-in-progress to keep me busy... Talk soon!

April WIPs and Vintage Finds

SONY DSCSONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC Hello my lovelies.  I hope you're having a fabulous weekend full of tea and crafting.  I've been enjoying lots of time with Mr. Pickle and Toddler Pickle.  Yesterday we went to our monthly flea market for some treasure hunting. The mister got some electronic doodads to fiddle with and the little one got a new book of German songs.  I came home with a few tablecloths (one of which is destined to become a Mei Tai or Onbu), vintage buttons, a lovely little painting that looks so familiar, and a load of vintage linens that I'll be using for sewing projects this week.  I'm very excited to show you what I'll be making, so please watch this space!

As I was stashing my new treasures away I started rifling through my WIP basket.  The pile of yarn has been growing and when that happens I start to feel a little disconnected from what I'm making.  The obvious solution to this problem was to drag my projects out into the sunlight and take some photos.  My logic is that if I show you what I'm making I'll be accountable for finishing them!

On the hook I've got a granny square cowl from Knit Picks Chroma in Smoothie Fingering (a discontinued colorway) and some fuzzy fingerless gloves in a mix of vintage acrylic yarns.  It's a bit too warm to think about working on any sort of gloves, which is unfortunate because I'm also knitting a pair of wristwarmers that were supposed to be a Christmas present last year (oops). Also on the needles is my Lonely Tree Shawl in double stranded Tosca Light and my Stripemania socks which are determined not to fall prey to SSS (Second Sock Syndrome)!  Oh, and the pièce de résistance in crochet, my Lace Lux Maia Shawl.  I have less than a week to finish, block, and string a set of pearls to match.  Eek.  Here's a little sneak peek....Happy Crafting!

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