Thursday, February 28, 2008

I got a treasury

Check it out and see if I'm making any sense at all.

My treasury
Sheesh, I'm going to bed.

Anyone want to guess why I'm posting this today?

btw, the official music video is here, but they disabled embedding (and Angus was wearing normal clothes), so I had to pull this concert footage instead.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Silly, silly woman

A few years ago I had the idea to collect the signatures of my favorite authors on fabric, and turn it into a reading quilt. I know, I'm just a cesspool of wackiness sometimes.

Anyway, after tracking down a few authors at book signings, realizing a few others were dead, getting no response from a few (ungrateful louts), and getting some by mail, I sort of hit a wall. I was out of people to ask for signatures, but I didn't have enough blocks for a decent quilt. So the supplies for the quilt have been sitting in a nicely labeled shoebox on the shelf in the closet of two different houses now.

Earlier this year it occurred to me that I might be able to flesh out the quilt if I included autographs from my favorite craft authors and bloggers, but I've yet to do anything about it. That is, until the Yarn Harlot announced the locations for her upcoming book tour, and I realized she's coming nowhere near me. Wahhhh!

But all is not lost! My parents live close enough to Philadelphia that I'm actually considering making the trip there in May to see the Harlot's appearance at this: . Might even drag the kid and the grandmother with me and send them off to the storytime tent while I stand in line with my Sharpie and a square of muslin taped to a piece of cardboard.

Or, I could just send the muslin up to Canada and see if I can get her to sign it long-distance. But then I wouldn't get to show her whatever sock-in-progress I have going in May ... oh, the decisions!

Thinking warm thoughts

mobile from etsy, of course

Monday, February 25, 2008

My new secret weapon

Yep, it's a shuffle. Jason got it at a technical conference he attended earlier this month, and he was generous enough to give it to me. I give him credit for not hiding it for a week and presenting it as my Valentine's Day present ... the corporate logo on the back probably would have given him away.

You'd be amazed how many yo-yo's you can sew on during one podcast of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me.

YoMama Infant Quilt prototype finished!

What is it? A quilt you can use to make an infant's tummy-time a little less boring (and keep your carpets a little less urp-covered). Machine pieced from visually stimulating black and white prints, the quilt features brightly colored hand-stitched yo-yos sewn to the quilt by hand to provide the quilting.

This is a prototype; patterns to make your own, as well as some completed quilts, should be available in the shop later this week.
This is the inaugural project in my new line of patterns designed to be completed at least partially by hand. All of the hand crafted parts of these projects are will fit inside a gallon-sized plastic bag (most will fit in a quart-sized one, which is perfect for popping in your purse or diaper bag). This approach allows crafters to take the project with them and do some work during the little pieces of idle time they can find throughout the day. For example, I made all the yo-yos for this project while watching Sesame Street with my daughter, supervising my daughter at an indoor playground, and riding in the car.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

It was all going so well

After a weekend of frantic sewing and cleaning, my studio looked like this:

And then I realized how low my stock of SWAK blankets was, and I was out of suitable material for new ones, so I bought fabric. It was on clearance. I might have gotten a little carried away.

That's a 7-inch-thick stack of fabric, in case anyone's counting. Gonna be a lot of ironing and hemming in my future for the next couple of weeks ...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hmmmm - scatterbrained much?

It's never a good sign about my current ability to concentrate on one project when my cutting table looks like this:
I can identify pieces from at least seven separate projects, all of which are in process and none of which are done. And that doesn't include the WIP knitting projects (two) down in the family room, or the Easter bunny that needs to be sewn together that was in the kitchen last I checked (wtf? how did it end up there?), or the tote bags for my sister-in-law's wedding party, or the valances I'm supposed to be making for my house.
One of the WIPs is pretty close to done, though, and lacks only a couple hours of handsewing to debut in its finished form ...

Project codename: YoMama

Thursday, February 21, 2008

"Yes, it's supposed to look like that."

I'm sure that's the number one response I'll be making when people comment on this sweater (assuming I ever get in gear and make the back ... and the sleeves ... and sew the whole thing together).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Making progress on the list

Remember my ambitious to-do list? I'm making progress. Here's the dress for LazyToddler, now completed and currently in use:

It's made in Plymouth Yarn jeannee, color 20, a worsted weight yarn that's 51% cotton and 49% acrylic. That, plus some madras plaid fabric I've had for at least seven years or so.

I'd love to share the pattern with you, but the stitch pattern is taken from one pattern, the bodice from another, the sleeves from a third, the shells around the hem and sleeves from a fourth, and the actual ruffle I just sort of faked until it looked right.

So basically this is a one-off ... but if you want to duplicate it, my best recommendation is to find a dress that's the shape you want and trace the pieces onto a piece of butcher paper or newsprint. Pick a stitch pattern and crochet until the pieces are the same size as the paper pieces. That's what I did, and I think it turned out okay. It's a bit on the wide-but-too-short side, but I'm thinking on the positive side and saying she'll be able to use it next year as a shirt, and she can just wear a pair of leggings under it this year as a dress.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Why I got no (machine) sewing done this weekend

If that's not the perfect place to get some hand-sewing done, I don't know what is.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


So the ill-fated alpaca sausage-tube-of-a-sweater has been cut free, although I still haven't found the guts to frog it and deal with the skein-and-a-half of kinky yarn I'll be left with.

That hasn't stopped me from using the remaining yarn to start a new sweater, this time one where my guage was spot on, and there's a lot of play in the directions so I should avoid a repeat of the last disaster. And the design is one that's unlike anything I have in my closet right now, and it's actually a winter-weight style, so the warmth of the alpaca won't be an issue.

I'm using the yarn doubled, which makes the whole wrap-and-drop-the-wraps-on-the-next-row thing a little on the dicey side. I actually had to switch to a long circular needle for one row where there were five wraps for each stitch ... that's more than 400 wraps and stitches on the needles for that row! It's going very fast, though, and after starting at the waist a few nights ago, I'm now about 3" below the armpit area. Hopefully I'll make it through the armpit cast-offs tonight, and it will start looking like the front of a sweater instead of just a pulled-stitch holey mess.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Free project - Fabric postcard Valentines

I made these with my not-quite-three-year-old daughter for her preschool classmates. She picked out fabrics and manned the glue stick; I manned the sewing machine and occasionally told her where to stick things down. It probably took me under an hour to make the five I needed for her class.


  1. Sew fabric scraps together until you have a piece that's at least 4"x6". Repeat to make a second piece.
  2. Use the glue stick to apply glue to one side of the interfacing or Timtex, then adhere it to the wrong side of one of the pieces you made in the first step. Repeat for the other side of the interfacing or Timtex.
  3. Zigzag stitch or serge around the edge of the interfacing or Timtex, making sure you drop the needle off the edge so that one side of the zigzag is sewing through just the fabric. Trim the excess fabric, being careful not to cut into the stitching.
  4. Use the glue stick to apply glue to more fabric scraps, then adhere them to one or both sides of the postcard.
  5. Stitch slightly inside the edge of these fabric scraps to raw-edge applique them to the postcard.
  6. If you wish, stitch a message onto the postcard (use a darning foot, drop your feed dogs, and spell it out in cursive ... or program your fancy sewing machine to embroider it for you, Ms. Lazypants!)

Monday, February 11, 2008

How I'm staying sane

Have I mentioned that my daughter seems to think this month is the perfect time to give up napping? Argh!

The only way to maintain my sanity is to give her something she can do while I work on the computer for an hour sometime during the day. Last week that involved peanut butter toast, dress up clothes, and a Bear in the Big Blue House DVD from the library.

You'd be amazed how much crochet you can do during one episode of Sesame Street ... I can finish most of the body of an Easter bunny before it's even time for Elmo's World. If our DVD player and/or DVR break down, my productivity is going to go down the drain.

Faux Chocolate Easter Bunny Pattern Page

Nothing says “Easter” like a chocolate bunny … unless it’s a chocolate bunny that can be used year after year without getting its ears bitten off!

This pattern is suitable for beginners, but does assume that you know how to make a single crochet stitch.

Finished size is about 10" from bottom to the tip of the ears.

A person with average sewing skills should be able to complete this pattern in less than 3 naptimes (6 hours).

Photos from the pattern:

The vanishing loop method of working in the round

Finishing the head

Pattern includes illustrated instructions, and it is packaged in a resealable plastic bag (6"x9"), ready to hang and sell. Pattern also includes a link to this web site, where buyers can access a free pattern to make a Goodie Basket to match the bunnies.

Wholesale price: $4.00/pattern

Suggested retail price: $7-$9, or whatever the market will bear in your area

Free shipping on your first order! Shipping charges for subsequent orders will be the actual charges for USPS Priority Mail to your destination.

I am willing to make free samples to display in your shop, if you are willing to provide the materials. Please contact me for more information on this service.

For more information or to place an order, please contact Gretchen Woods at Lazy Mama Designs: lazymamadesigns (at) yahoo (dot) com.

NEW!! You can also place orders through my shop at - just convo me with a request, including the number of patterns you'd like to buy, and I can post a custom listing for you at the wholesale price.

Thank you for your interest, and I hope to hear from you soon!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hooray for being early!

I've got most of the new inventory listed in my etsy shop, so cruise on over and check it out:

Here's a sneak peek of some of the things you'll find there:


You're just dying to see what that teeny little skein of yarn looked like when I used it, aren't you? Well, wait no longer - here's the results:

That's the whole skein, minus about 2 feet I had leftover at the end. I love the pattern, which is described as "mutating variegate," which I'm guessing means that the pattern of variegation changes throughout the skein. It's cool, because you only get a stitch or two before the yarn changes color, and the next color isn't always the same. I'll definitely have to keep this in mind after I finish the current pair of socks ... because a girl can only have so many stripes in her sock drawer, after all.

Still no variegated yarn on Meg's etsy shop, but maybe if enough of us ask for it, some will magically appear :)

Saturday, February 09, 2008


Just when I thought things were going so well on the sweater I'm making for myself, I took it off the needles and put it onto some yarn so I could try it on, and lo and behold, the sucker is tiny. Tiny tiny tiny. I mean, it's supposed to be form-fitting - maybe even a little snug - but my arms were turning blue from lack of circulation in my armpits, and I don't even want to tell you what the bust looked like.

Strangely enough, I actually checked my gauge before I started, and it was pretty close. I haven't checked the gauge on the actual sweater, as I'm not quite in the right place mentally to figure out where to go from here.

So is it a good thing I tried it on now, before I had months of time invested in it?

Or is it a bad thing, because now I'm probably going to abandon ship, and if I'd waited at least I would have had a completed (tiny) sweater to give to someone or to sell?

Or is it a good thing, because as I was knitting I was sort of regretting my decision to use my alpaca yarn to make a sleeveless sweater (alpaca = ridiculously warm, sleeveless sweater = spring and summer)?

Or is it a bad thing, because now I'm going to have to do more research to find a pattern for a 3/4-sleeve sweater I like, which will take me lots longer to finish than the sleeveless one, so I won't get to wear this until next winter?

Or is it a good thing, because now I can legitimately start working on a pair of socks with the yarn that's been taunting me for the last week?

You decide. I'm going to go knit.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Next major etsy shop update scheduled!

I'm putting my nose to the grindstone this weekend and getting a whole mess of stuff ready to list on my etsy shop on Monday, February 11. This includes a bunch of lightweight SWAK blankets in some fun colors, as well as some knit and crochet goodies I've been stockpiling for a while.

I don't know exactly what time they'll be up, since that sort of depends on whether LazyToddler cooperates and lets me get on the computer ... but I'll post a message here to let you know when everything is ready. Check early! Check often!

Hope everyone stops by to take a look!

Note to self:

No matter how cold your feet are, do not wear hand-knit socks when the contractors are tiling your kitchen backsplash. You WILL step on a tile full of mortar. Good thing that stuff rinses out, right? Right?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

It's about time

I think the QuiltSmart approach to the Double Wedding Ring makes sense ... until I sit down to sew it and it's just one tedious step after another, and every time I think I'm past the worst of it, it just gets more tedious, and I'm never super-happy with the results. At any rate, I've gotten through the worst of it (which hopefully I'm thinking for the last time), and I've got something to show for it. The blocks are done, even if they're not pieced together yet.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Bad light day

Gahhhhh - the photos of these dudes are just awful. You know it's a bad photo day when Crocheted Faux-Chocolate Easter Bunnies aren't cute. I really need to dig the Easter baskets out of the attic and try this again the next time we see sun. So, like, May, I guess.
In the meantime, show the ugly photo some love: Please?

Monday, February 04, 2008

SWAK customer feedback

Actual message from a customer regarding the lightweight Swaddled With A Kiss blanket she bought earlier this year:

Hi there, just wanted to let you know I received this -- and have gotten compliments on it the two times I've used it as a nursing shawl so far. I love how lightweight it is; the fabric is really pretty. Thank you!

Thanks for the feedback, and I hope you continue to enjoy it!

Readers, if you're interested in purchasing one for yourself, you can find a selection of lightweight swaddling blankets in my etsy shop in the Baby Gifts section.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Aha! Steampunk mystery solved!

Now I know where you're all coming from ...

Hope somebody sends me a photo of my free fairy skirt pattern under a steampunk outfit, because I would totally post it and love it and hype it within an inch of my life.

Whew! Made it just in time

Off the needles at 11:30pm on Friday:

Basic toe-up socks for LazyHusband, made from custom-dyed self-striping yarn (in Virginia Tech colors) from WhimsyPinsy. I loved how this yarn knit up, and she got the guage on the stripes exactly how I had requested. Thanks a ton - the socks look great!

And in the mailbox at 3pm Saturday:

Colorway Octarine from Twisted Fiber Art. I really like that Meg offers her colorways in different blends of yarn, so even if she's sold out in one type you can pick up the same color in a different fiber blend. The particular yarn that I bought is 30% bamboo, so it will be interesting to see how differently it knits from the 100% superwash I'm used to using. Hopefully it doesn't bag out like the 100% bamboo I knit into this sweater, which becomes 3 sizes larger after wearing it for an hour or so.

Oh, and Meg sent along a little bonus sample of another colorway, Karma, in her 100% superwash merino yarn:
Is that not the cutest skein you've ever seen in your entire life? Don't you just want to put it in your pocket and pet it? I'm going to have to find something really cool to do with a tiny amount of yarn, because it's a really nifty colorway, and I don't see any more of it for sale on her etsy store, so I guess I'm stuck with just this much.

A little etsy love

I was just poking around the list of items I've marked as "favorites" on etsy, and I found this:

Oh, how I love it. Anyone want to make a donation to the "Lazy Mama needs some new art for her studio walls" fund?

Or, if you're feeling a little more generous, how about this: