Friday, May 27, 2011

Royal Getaway

For the next few days I will be far away from my complete yarn and fabric stash, visiting my parents at their bed and breakfast.  They are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary with a little get together tomorrow.  Fortunately for me, I get to spend a few days away from the house with my son.  I love the days when we get to share a room, it reminds me of when he was a newborn and got to hear every little sigh and sound he made.  Right now, he's sleepily watching me type on my laptop, searching for new and exciting knit and sewing projects.  He's always going to be my little buddy. 

A very mommy moment when baby was 3 months

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dude, Progress

Current Projects
The Dude
As promised, here is the picture of my progress on "The Dude" sweater:

I didn't get far because I only get little chunk of time each day to do knitting that I can hide from the hubby.  This is my third attempt at fair isle and it finally worked out.  I guess third time's the charm.

Coming Soon
More pictures of "The Dude"!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sew Good

Completed Projects
Baby Items
I was working on a few things to send to my best friend's sister who is having another baby.  She lives in France and I don't get to see her as much anymore.  Using the new sewing machine, I can sew much straighter and even got the chance to do a topstitch that does not get all "jacked up" as it did with the sewing machine I got from my mom.  So here's what I made:

Baby Blanket
(Cropped to edit out my husband)

Contoured Burp Cloth

Burp Cloth

Round Bib

Square Bib

Wipes Holder

These were really easy to make.  The blanket front came pre-quilted and I attached a piece of fabric to the back that matches the patches that are yellow with polka dots.  The other pieces came in a kit where you just cut out the pieces, sew a 1/4 inch seam, turn them inside out and press, then topstitch a 1/8 inch seam.  It took just a couple of hours to complete everything, including about 45 minutes of ironing seams.

Coming Soon
Pictures of the progress on "The Dude".

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"The Dude"

Current Projects
"The Dude" Sweater
My husband has been going on and on about the movie "The Big Lebowski" since I've met him.  When I started my most recent yarn collecting phase, he hinted that he wanted me to knit him "The Dude" Sweater.  I initially told him, "No way that's gonna happen, it's too difficult."  Mainly meaning that I wanted to work on my own projects.  Then, yesterday, to test out our new printer, my husband printed out the pattern for the dude sweater made by Andrea Rangel.
So yes, I took the hint and pulled some wool yarn out of my stash.  I am now secretly making "The Dude" and hopefully will finish it by Father's Day.  If not by then, I will give it to him for our 3rd wedding anniversary coming in August.  I think he'll like it.

Coming Soon
Pictures of progress on "The Dude"!

Friday, May 13, 2011

So little time

Photos of completed projects
Ribbed ankle sock

Entrelac Sox

Cherries and Berries
Handdyed yarn

Peanut's Sweater Vest
Current Projects
Summery Socks
I am currently working on some summery socks.  They're going to be ankle socks as well with an interesting pattern that is actually painted on the yarn.  I am using a 3 weight baby yarn called Cuddle Muffin.  Pictures to follow once completed.  They should not take any longer than 2 days to complete.

Cherished Moments "Logo"
My husband designed a nice image to put on the new website once it is launched.  I can't wait until the new site is finished.  I'll be keeping that one a secret for the time being.  :)  I'm working very hard on making sure the site design is something I am happy with.  These are a lot of the things I enjoy doing myself.

Coming soon
Brainstorming ideas for summer fashions!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Short and Sweet

Current Projects
Sewing: Matching vests
A few weeks ago, I posted about making matching vests for my husband and son.  Today, I made some progress, cutting out the fabric and working on the front pocket of my husband's vest.  I was reluctant to start the sewing portion because I was dreading pulling out the sewing machine that my mother handed down to me.  It's an old Singer sewing machine and most of the accessories are gone.  It does not have a zipper foot, sewing buttons and button holes (as per my mom's instructions) are a pain, and I could never get a straight seam.  Not to mention that this was the model that you could not switch bobbins at all!  If there were tension problems, you had to pull out the bobbin, all the thread on it, and remake the bobbin.  That said, it was better than the "el cheapo" sewing machine that was gifted to me as a youngin'.

Meanwhile, my husband had stopped talking about the vests altogether.  And then he made mention that after Mother's Day, I would definitely be happy.  At first, I thought it meant I was getting a dishwasher for Mother's Day, which would have overjoyed me.  Not only am I a stay at home mom, but all dishes have to be done by hand in our tiny closet of a kitchen.  Today, my husband unveiled...A COMPUTERIZED SEWING MACHINE!  It's a Brother CS-6000i and I love it already.  Everything is pretty much automated and it's very user-friendly.  Goodbye Singer, hello Brother!  Details to come as I learn the ins and outs of the new machine and get more done on the vests.

Entrelac Sox
Still no pictures, but I am more than halfway done with the second sock.  The lighting is not the best in my "office", but I'm glad that my experiments and projects are getting me that much closer to my goal of revamping Cherished Moments.

Coming Soon
Pictures, pictures, pictures.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Handmade Socks

Current Projects

Entrelac Sox and childhood memories
I am currently enjoying making the entrelac socks that I found in a Patons pattern book for socks.  I taught my mother some sock knitting techniques and we have been working together on making the socks.  My mother has been knitting for as long as I can remember and I definitely envy her knitting saavy.  When I was 3 years old, I proudly donned a blue cardigan that had buttons that spelled out my name.  I remember it being one of my favorites.  My mother also made little dresses for me when I was younger, some of which we both laugh about and there are others over the years that showed how well my mother sews.

Me as a kid showing off
mom's handy-work.
A pageant dress my mother made
which helped me win first runner up!
 So now, as I work on my entrelac sox, I remember the days in elementary school when I would sneak yarn and knitting needles to school and knit during recess.  I wasn't very good back then, and what I wanted to be a scarf did not turn out as such.  I picked up stitches inadvertently and would drop them as well.  I also would take my mother's knitting machine, set it up the best I could, and attempted to knit on that as well.  That never turned out well either.  I believe I might have lost some of the pieces as well.  As I finish the socks, I will make sure to post pictures.  In the mean time, I found a website that gives you patterns for making sock blockers by hand, rather then buying them.  Check out this site:

Dyeing with Kool-Aid
As promised, here are the instructions for how to dye entire skeins of your yarn of choice with Kool-Aid.

Large pot (not aluminum)
A glass Pyrex bowl, large enough to hold yarn and dye
At least 1 Pyrex measuring cup
White vinegar
Yarn made from animal fibers (cotton and acrylic will not work)
A plastic or wooden spoon
Clothes pins

  1. Unravel your yarn and attach a clothes pin to one end.  This will help you wind your yarn after dyeing is complete. 
  2. Soak yarn in hot water for 30 minutes.  I used another pot with the heat on medium to keep the water hot and clothes pinned the end to the side of the pot.
  3. While yarn is soaking, prepare your dye solution.  For every one packet of Kool-Aid, use 6 oz. of water and 2 oz. of white vinegar. 
  4. Here I used 4 packets of Kool-Aid with
    24 oz. water, 8 oz. vinegar
  5. Also, while yarn is soaking, place large pot on stove with Pyrex bowl nested into it.  You will need to have enough water in the pot to boil, but not so much that it will boil over into the bowl.
  6. Drain yarn in a strainer, squeeze off any excess water.  Caution: water will be extremely hot to the touch.
  7. Place prepared yarn in Pyrex bowl.  Make sure to clothes pin end of yarn to the side of the pot or bowl.
  8. Pour dye solution over yarn, stirring to make sure dye evenly coats the yarn.  Let yarn and solution set on stove for 30 minutes, stirring often to make sure dye evenly coats the yarn.
  9. After 30 minutes, turn off heat.  Allow yarn to rest for 30 minutes.
  10. Drain water from pot and bowl.  Rinse yarn until the water is clear.
  11. Lay yarn out to dry.  May take overnight to dry.
  12. Wind yarn into ball, if desired.

While visiting the Royal Victorian Manor, I attempted to dye cotton fabric with Kool-Aid, which did not turn out as well as the yarn.  After further research, I discovered that cotton fabrics and yarns will not take the Kool-Aid as a dye.  You will need to use a Rit dye or other natural dyes to dye cotton fabric.  I did get some results with the cotton fabric (see below), but you will not be able to wash the fabric, as the dye will wash out with it.

Coming Soon
Pictures of entrelac sox are coming soon!  Also stay tuned for our announcement of the new website launch for Cherished Moments.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Dyeing with Kool-Aid

Current Projects

Dyeing with Kool-Aid
Over the past week, I have been perfecting the art of preparing samples and entire skeins of yarn dyed with Kool-Aid.  Some of the websites I have seen date back as far as the year 2000, but I am sure this technique has been around longer.  As I experimented with different flavors of Kool-Aid, I sent some snapshots to my mother who was in absolute awe.  A few days ago, I conducted a demonstration for my mother and my uncle at the Royal Victorian Manor, a bed and breakfast owned by my parents in Woodstock, Illinois (the house was The Cherry Street Inn in the movie "Groundhog Day").  Here are some of the results on both Flax-colored and Ivory-colored sock yarn from two different brands:

Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade

Black Cherry on Flax only

Lemon-Lime and Ice Blue
Raspberry Lemonade
Pink Lemonade
and Orange
I will be working on putting together instructions for dyeing with Kool-Aid and post them on my next blog entry.  In the mean time, I will be working on dyeing some self striping skeins for sale on  I also plan on putting some items on etsy that are made from the yarn that I have dyed.  More photos to come!

Size 2-4 years sweater vest
I ended up making the v-neck too small for my son's sweater vest, so I will have to redo the ribbing around the neck so it will fit.  I am determined to make this project work in order to get this business going again by mid-June.  Wish us luck!

Coming Soon
We will be updating the Cherished Moments website to include all of the new projects that we are working on.