The Serene Seas Cowl

Did you know that the middle of the ocean can be as calm as a lake? This phenomenon took me by surprise last year when I sailed across the Pacific from LA to Hawaii with my husband and dad.

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The West Coast Collaboration – New patterns and yarn designed with the West in mind

Back in November, Halo-Halo Knits and All Knit Up Designs (basically my favorite knitting people on Earth), and I created a collaboration! You’re just going to love what we’ve created for you. Keep reading to find out more!

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Introducing the Bee-coming Cowl!

A year-long in the making, and perhaps in the imagination much longer, I´m happy to debut my first official pattern as a knitwear designer! Introducing the Bee-coming Cowl! (See what I did there? It´s a honeycomb pattern but also looks super ¨becoming¨ on? Haha, I crack myself up.) Anyway you can buy this pattern on RAVELRY or ETSY! The Bee-coming Cowl was inspired by bees, something I both fear and admire. It´s amazing that these tiny workers do so much for the continuity of humankind, and make more than one kind of tasty food while they´re at it. I wanted to create something that honored our little friends, and sport my favorite color at the same time. Nothing can beat sweet honey.

Let me tell you a little about this quick-knitted cowl.

It features:

* a beautiful honeycomb cable repeat
* slipped stitches
* traditional knits and purls

This pattern is great for advanced beginners and beyond. Newbies have an opportunity to practice basic cables and learn finishing techniques, while more advanced knitters can enjoy the meditative process of a repetitive knit. The pattern has an unconventional seam that I made a video for that you can watch right HERE!

The cowl is knit flat, so no need to get a specific size circular needle to make it. The pattern has also been tech-edited and test-knitted for accuracy!

I hope you take the plunge and make one too!

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project 23: cottage socks

I don’t know about you, but all these chunky yarnmade things on Pinterest are making me swoon. Maybe not the most practical at times, but they would definitely engulf you in warmth like I imagine jumping into clouds would feel like. (Only in my dreamland of course… clouds are actually super wet and cold… seems like false advertising to me). In the spirit of chunky yarn, I knit up these cottage socks. I made them for tall boots, but alas, they’re too thick. They graduated on to bigger and better things by keeping my legs warm when worn with shorts like the ones I made a few weeks ago. These are definitely go-to slippers when the day calls for (warm) shorts.

I followed the free pattern from Lion Brand Yarns. Click here and sign up to get the free pattern! These only took about a day, so if you know know anyone who has cold feet (not in a figurative sense), then these may be great for them! Happy crafting!

What would you like to learn how to make or do? Let me know in the comments!

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project 22: flannel bedtime shorts

It’s getting cold outside, but it’s still a little too warm to wear long flannel, (flannel shorts, that’s your stage cue). Originally these were going to be long pants, but when I realized I didn’t have enough fabric (thrift store finds!), then they turned into these little shorts. The pattern is adapted from Tilly and the Buttons‘s book, Love at First Stitch. It was so fun to use up fabric I found at the thrift store and make it into something usable. Let’s go Slow Fashion October! 🙂

Flannel shorts made with revised pattern from Tilly and the Buttonn's Love at first stitch
It’s time for flannel!

 

I just want to make a little shoutout for Tilly, because if you’ve ever wanted to sew, you really should check out her book (and her blog). She makes dressmaking fun, quirky, and super easy to understand. After a few years of not touching my sewing machine, it was refreshing to open up her book and relearn techniques I thought super difficult, and find they really aren’t so bad at all! (Let’s just say there were too many moments of “Oh so that’s how you do that!”) I had fun, and made something presentable in the end of all the fun. Isn’t that how we always want crafting to go? So win-win in my book!

 

 

Is anyone else participating in Slow Fashion this month? What have you made or are making? What should we make here? Let me know in the comments below!

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project 21: rain boot socks

October is finally here! The air is a little crisper, the leaves crunch crunch under my feet, and the smell of someone’s fireplace pays visit to my nose. And you know what that means! Pumpkins, and Fall, and leaves, and pumpkin pie, and halloween, and thanksgiving, and rain. (Can you tell I’m excited?) Almost everything wonderful happens in Fall (except my birthday), so I’m so happy it’s finally here. Also, you guys, it’s been raining all day! Drought subsiding? I hope so!

Just for the occasion, I whipped up this fun pair of rain boot socks. They’re a little thick, so they fit just perfect inside a rain boot and don’t slip down too much.

Easy 2 needle knit socks
Rain boot socks! Fall, here we come!

These socks are simple to make and don’t take a lot of engineering. If making socks (especially with 4 needles and super tiny yarn) freaks you out,(or you don’t want it to take two months, like my million dollar socks) you’re in luck! This pattern knits up with two needles and seamed down the back. I definitely recommend for a new intermediate knitter if you want to learn a few things. I’m already on my second pair! (Just FYI, everyone is getting these socks for the holidays whether they like it or not).

The socks shown here are improvised from a pattern in the book Simple Knitting by Erika Knight. I love this book so much I’ve borrowed it four times from the library. (At this point I should probably just invest in one of my own.) It takes you through how to make great basics for your home and wardrobe, while slowly introducing some of the most commonly used (but sometimes a little overwhelming) knitting skills (seaming, short row shaping, colorwork). It’s a great book no matter your level. Check it out at a library near you! Or, you can buy it here!

What are your favorite things about Fall? Let me know in the comments below!

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DIY dill pickles

I love pickles. Sometimes I eat a whole jar by myself at night while I’m watching BBC movies on Netflix. Okay, enough about my not-so-interesting night habits. But really though, pickles are crisp, refreshing, and salty all at the same time. Something that satisfies a few cravings at once. And while we’re following slow food and slow fashion trends, why not make a few jars? (Just so I’m ready when I find a new show to binge-watch.)

Homemade Pickles
Homemade pickles!

This pickle recipe is great if you want to try your hand at your own flavorings or different vegetables that you can’t get at the store. (MeeMee makes pickled okra.) This recipe is fit for water-bath canning, which if you have never done, you should read up on it first. (Let’s not give anyone botulism!)

I’ve canned jam quite a few times with my grandmother, MeeMee (the author of the best peach cobbler, and super tasty zucchini bread), but never by myself and never pickles, so it was an adventure remembering all the stages. Canning is one of those life skills that take a little bit of practice, (and a lot of attention to detail), but in the end, you never have to buy boring jam again if you don’t want to, and you know exactly what’s in it. Wanna make artisanal spreads? Why not? Canning lets you do that. Better for the Earth, better for us. It’s really the tastiest kind of FREEDOM! Yay life skills!

Dill Pickles: makes 7 quarts (sealed containers good up to one year)

  • 20-25 small cucumbers
  • 2 cloves garlic – per jar
  • 1/3 tsp alum – per jar
  • 1 dill sprig – per jar
  • 1 small read hot pepper – per jar
  • 1 qt vinegar
  • 1 c salt
  • 3 qts water

Directions:

Bring vinegar, salt and water to a boil. Tightly pack vegetables in warm, sterile jars. Pour brine over vegetables, leaving 1.5 inch headspace. Seal, if making shelf-stable, otherwise, lid and store in fridge once cool (good up to 3 months). Wait 4-6 weeks for pickling process to complete. Enjoy your pickles!

If you’re interested in learning more about canning and other homemade, useful things, check out The Hands-On Home, by Erica Strauss. It’s my new favorite book. Go buy it.

Thanks for reading! I want to see what you make! What else would you like us to write about? Let us know in the comments!

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project 20: DIY pom pom garland tutorial!

Have you guys all seen those cute pom pom garlands for sale on Pinterest/Etsy/everywhere? Well, I was stalking them a little bit… and… I decided to make one of my own.

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Pom pom garlands: also volunteering to hold your photos for you.

Pom poms make everything (at least to me) more lighthearted and fun. It’s like candy that never goes rotten… and you can put it on anything you want (except food of course, that’s where the real candy goes). Pom poms and candy, two of my top favorite things, so I just put them on everything.

I know, I know, you want to make one too! (Right?! Right?!) Don’t you need this for your ____________ (dorm room, newborn nephew, Christmas tree, mantel, car, or some other noun of your choosing)? You do! So here’s a tutorial because we all need a little bit more whimsey in our lives.

Pom Pom Garland:

You will need

  • 100% wool roving (enough to make as many pom poms as you wish)
  • Embroidery needle
  • Crochet thread (#10)
  • Futte Futte (optional) – this is to make the pom poms by hand, to try a more traditional method, click here. (Or you can buy my handmade pom poms in my Etsy store!)

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Step 1:

Take about 1 gram of wool roving (the Futte Futte uses less wool roving than the traditional method. This will create a pom pom that is about 1 inch [2.5 cm] in diameter). You may choose to make smaller or larger pom poms, just be sure that each felt ball begins with the same weight. Now cut this wool roving into small slices, about 1 cm- 2 cm wide. This will allow the wool to fluff up. Pull apart these pieces and fluff them.

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Step 2:

Grab a bowl of warm soapy water. (The directions for the Futte Futte says hot, but I think that felts too quickly, before it’s able to become a ball shape.) Put the fluffed wool inside one side of the cage. Close the cage and place into the water for 2 seconds (to allow the wool to soak up a little of the moisture). Swish in the water in quick, small circles to create a ball shape. Shake it out a little in the sink using the same motion to help it form its shape. Place back into the water and repeat these two action until a ball forms, and no creases or holes are present.

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Step 3:

Roll gently between your palms to perfect its round shape. Place on a paper towel to dry. Depending on how humid the environment, each ball may take up to 2 days to dry completely. They should feel light in weight when fully dry.

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Step 4:

For a garland to drape an area of 5 feet, cut the crochet thread about 7 feet long. Fold one end at 6 inches. Tie a small overhand knot to form a 1 inch loop. This is the end of your garland. Tie the two loose ends together over and over on this knot until the knot reaches 1 inch. (This secures your original knot.)

Step 5:

Thread your string through your embroidery needle and pierce the exact middle of your pom pom. Thread as you would a bead on a necklace. Thread this first pom pom until the middle of the pom pom reaches 6 inches until the end. Tie an overhand knot on each side of the wool ball to secure it. Now thread your next pom pom until the middle of it is exactly 6 inches from the last one. Tie a knot on one side to secure. (These pom poms are light enough that they stay in place with only one knot. They may slide when in movement, but stationary, they don’t move). Continue this process until you have 1 foot of thread remaining.

Step 6: Finishing

Fold the last foot of thread in half and repeat step 4 with an overhand knot. Trim the leftover thread. String and enjoy!

…..

Thanks for joining the pom pom revolution! (Let’s go from “Put a bird on it” to “Put a pom pom on it”, [also say that 3 times fast]). I would love to see what you all come up with!

What flair can’t you live without? Is it fringe? Sequins? What should we make next? Let us know in the comments below!

Previously in Tutorials: Make your own sunglasses case!

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Pom Pom pillow to match!

 

project 19: festival crop top

I know that many people are craving fall weather, but that’s all we’ve had here in San Francisco. We’ve had chilly days, and apparently the coldest July in recent history. Our summer is coming up here in a month or so and I am super pumped about it. I’m getting ready with all my summer supplies, like a cute sunglasses case, a beach bag, and, a made-for-me bikini top. Summer’s not over yet, and let’s just say I’m looking forward to basking in the sun. It’s not all been doom and gloom though. A weekend visit to Sacramento in 100 degree heat was all I needed to break out this crop top.

crop top 3

This is my first garment pattern that I’ve been working on for a while now. And… I’m excited to announce that I will be offering this pattern for 50% off (because I know I have some kindred spirits out there that won’t give up on warm weather yet!).

This really is the best summer top. Even though the back ties, it stays on all day, and keeps you nice and cool. (I wore this all day yesterday, rode bikes, hung out and the sun, and it was not smothering at all.) The reverse stockinette stitch hugs snugly under the breast so there’s no involuntary peek-a-boo happening. The back ties lay flat and don’t dig into your back because of the gentle tapering of the sides. The current pattern is a women’s medium size, but new sizes will soon be developed! Stay tuned!

crop top la jasmina

I might be a little partial, but this is my new favorite top…

Get it through my Etsy store or Ravelry!

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Also a huge thank you to this girl for being my Instagram husband yesterday!

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Crop top weather!

 

Melissa’s Sangria (Melisangria)

We’re hopping back to Spain for this post with a contribution from my ever-adventuring, beautiful friend Melissa. She lived for a time in Granada, Spain, and picked up a few tips and tricks here and there. (Also, she’s pretty much always in the know of what’s happening in San Francisco. I don’t know how she does it. She’s our personal tour guide of the city we live in, and a great one at that. She always has something fun up her sleeve.)

Whenever we have a get-together, she always brings this tasty sangria to the delight of everyone else. She was kind enough to let me share it all with you. I hope it lifts your spirits (haha) like it does us!

Sangria – makes about 6 happy faces

  • One 750 ml bottle cheap, fruity red wine
  • One 750 ml bottle blood orange italian soda
  • 2 ounces triple sec
  • Chopped up fruit: apple, orange, grapes, pear, peaches etc. (No peeling necessary)
  • Juice of half of a lime
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon (Secret of Spain!)
  • 1/4 cup raspberry puree (optional)

Add all ingredients together and stir or shake. Let sit for a few hours or overnight for best flavor. Add more wine and soda to fruit to make more.

 

Summer Sangria
Cheers to you!

See you in the park for a picnic! You bring the sangria!

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