I'm still learning to crochet with the awesome Kid's Crochet book, which is long overdue at the library. My son picked out the gold yarn at the yarn store to match his coat and I picked out the blue, so it wouldn't be so matchy matchy. The pattern called for three colors and I think that would have been better, because my scarves turned out kind of school colors-y (or hogwarts-y, hogwarstian?). But I'm happy with them anyway and the kids love them. The blue and gold one was done with single crochet into the front loop and the purple and blue one done into the back loop, just so I could practice them both. I haven't blocked the purple one yet and I don't know when that is going to happen. I think blocking is to crocheting (or knitting) as hemming is to sewing: that last pain in the ass thing that never gets done, but has to and should because it makes everything look finished.
Well after that last post I went for a little walk to gather leaves. There was one lonely tree left with leaves on it, but they were huge and yellow and perfect. The boy and I snipped off their stems and folded them a bit, then I sewed them together one by one with a simple whip stitch. He picked yellow thread to match the leaves, so you can't see it. But I have plans to stitch something on them in blue. This was such a simple and beautiful project. I think making these will be part of our fall for years to come.
These kind of posts are addictive. You do one and then suddenly you find all these other things that are awesome and you need another. So maybe this will become a regular thing, though I'm bad at sticking to "every friday I will..." so let's just say it's a feature that will come and go. So here are this week's awesome things on the internet:
This leaf crown was part of a "homemade halloween" post on Dos Family. I want to make this before the leaves get too crunchy and crumbly. They are almost all off the trees, so I better work fast. Damn if winter isn't on it's way already.
Ringo is a fantastic resource for creative kids projects that I heard about on bkids. It's in french, but with my handy dandy google translator I can read it all. It's a beautiful site with tons of drawing projects, download-able masks, children's book reviews and lots more. They say, " Each publication will be monthly and will include a fortnight of activities." Awesome! So go check it out.
I can't remember where I found this, but the Play Box looks like a pretty fantastic christmas present for any kid. A box filled with flip books, word games, pictures that come to life when you hold them up to the light, a cool Russian kid's book from 1928? I'm in.
And just so you don't think everything awesome on the internet is for kids, here is today's project on design sponge: crocheted hanging plant holders. I need to new crochet project and I think this is just the thing as everything fades and turns brown outside we need some color and life inside. But they would also make cute kid purses.
At the beginning of fall I made a list of the things I wanted to make for my family, but I didn't want to post it because I was afraid I wouldn't get any of it done, then I would feel guilty and get crabby and nothing would get done. But shockingly, I am slowly crossing things off. The purple pants and skirt, a little red riding hood cape (for her birthday), and now this coat. I was very nervous when I wrote "a coat for each" on my list, but this came together relatively simply. I bought the pattern ages ago at a thrift store for ten cents and it was super easy. Raglan sleeves, baby. They make everything easier. The only thing that tripped me up was the collar, which I had to rip out three times before I got it right and I'm glad I did. Normally I would just say screw it and push on, but I was feeling extra patient for some reason. Plus it has to stand up to be handed down now that he has a little brother.
The very best part of the coat, though, is the lining. It's made from a felted cashmere sweater and holy crap does it feel nice. I was lucky enough to find an XL cashmere sweater (for 5 bucks!) right when I was looking for a lining and it was just, just enough. Lining a coat is super simple: right sides facing, sew all around, turn inside out and sew up the opening. The sleeves are a little different, but that shouldn't deter you. You too can make a coat for your kid! I feel like clothes are getting more and more expensive as they get more and more cheaply made.
Okay one more thing about the coat and then I'll be done. The buttons. They are beautiful. I was going to use up whatever matched from my button jar, but a friend told me to go to Gayfeather, which if you are local know is a beautiful fabric store, but I bet you never noticed their button cabinet. It's awesome. I love the burnished look of them and that everyone is different.
After all the swearing and unpicking of seams, it's just feels ridiculously good to see him always choose this coat to wear. Now I have to figure out how to make the one his sister has been asking for.
I've been meaning to write about this little project for a while now. It wasn't much work, practically none at all really, but it has been awesome. I got the idea from an old issue of Cookie magazine (well they are all old now-- damn you, tanking magazine industry!). I just slapped some chalkcloth--oil cloth that works like a chalk board--that I got on etsy, cut it to fit, and because I couldn't be bothered to take it off again I just mitered the corners with some glue. Done and done. Now it's someone's job to draw the place settings for dinner (sometimes mine) which makes those 15 minutes before dinner enjoyable rather than the low blood sugar hell they usually are.