{handspun} - sincere red.

I submitted this lovely skein of yarn I spun into the 2013 LA County Fair and it won a First Award and Best in Show for the Handspun Competition. I was beyond excited when we went to the fair today and I saw my entry hanging up there with those pretty ribbons! 

The naturally dyed fiber I used was from the wonderful Brooke at Sincere Sheep of Northern California. For this skein I used two, 2oz fiber bumps of BFL (Bluefaced Leicester Wool) - one all red (“Kung Hey Fat Choi”), the other the same red with touches of yellow and pink (“Closer to the Flame”). I plied the two singles together and ended up with a fingering weight yarn with 18-20 WPI (wraps per inch) and approximately 446 yards. I can’t wait to make a project with this delicious yarn!

{made} - alpa crochet cowl.

Busting some of my stash yarn I had waiting around for something fun to make, the Alpa cowl by Lady Colori was the perfect match for my delicious madelinetosh pashmina in the color-way “fragrant”. I loved it so much I got a little carried away and made it a mighty 58” diameter, so there is lots of room to double, even triple wrap it around your neck. 

{made} — felted slippers. 

This is my second pair of felted slippers. This time I added one strand of black to the two strands of blue for the sole to add a marbled effect. I like how it turned out.

I also added fabric paint to the bottom of the soles for traction, the other pair was pretty slippery on the hardwood floors.

On this pair, I flipped the strap around and put the button on the larger side… just seemed to fit better on these.

The pattern can be found here.

{made} — purrrdeer holiday cards

I love making homemade cards to send out to our family and friends over the holiday season. They all hold an important place in our hearts and I feel that they should receive something special and unique. 

I was having a bit of an issue deciding what to carve this year, I thought something relating to our cats would be cute because they are important to us, but what do cats have to do with the holidays? I was at a loss, then Ryan suggested putting antlers on a cat and I was sold. It was silly, unique and totally us.

The stamp is hand carved out of a speedball block and I used a roller to apply the ink to the stamp between each card. I tried to mix things up more this year by using a variety of colors for fun card/ink combinations. 

I personally love them, it’s my favorite stamp to date that I’ve carved. Plus the name is just ridiculous :)

Hope you enjoy.

made — vintage kitchen towels

These three knitted kitchen towels were mother’s day presents this year. Usually the thought of knitting a kitchen towel sounds so boring and lame, but this pattern looked so fun and unique I had to give it a try. And, I love them! I see myself making a few more in the future because they are so quick and easy to do — It helps that every RS row is a decrease row, speeding up the project as you go along making it fly by!

I used Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton yarn because it was so ridiculously soft and came in such beautiful colors, but I was pretty disappointed in the quality especially for the price. It had a lot of pilling while working with it and 5 out of the 7 balls of yarn I used for these towels had multiple joining knots in them — making it really difficult to hide because they always tend to pop-up in the most inconvenient places. One 50g ball of yarn was enough though for the bottom portion of the towel. Definitely get two balls of yarn for the top contrasting color, you will be able to get two towels out of them.

This really simple and quick pattern is from Canadian Living, give it a try!

{photography: Jill Cannon}

made - hand stamped card set

I’ve been working on these cards for the last week; they’re a gift for all the bridal shower attendees. There are two showers - one for each side of the family - totaling about 60 people.

I really wanted to have something handmade for each of the guests because that is important to me, and I’m a pretty crafty person so it gets my creative juices flowing a little bit too. I decided on a set of four blank greeting cards that they could use for any occasion.

I started by carving four rubber stamps out of carvers blocks with floral designs I liked. This is such a fun process, it really makes it special because the stamps are so unique. Then I used a roller and printers paint to coat the stamps and individually press each card. In total I hand stamped about 240 cards with the front floral designs and then also the backs with a little “Jill” stamp indicating they’re homemade. Finding a good drying place was tricky for so many cards, I ended up using a clothes drying rack to hang the cards over along with several clothes hangers hooked on to the rack. Next I packaged the four cards with their matching envelopes into a waxy envelope and sealed it with a circle label printed with a designed used for the shower invites.

It was a fun project to do and got me making things with my hands and not my computer for a change which was really nice. I love making things from scratch and I hope everyone will enjoy them as much as I do.

{photography: Jill Jeziorski}