Up-cycled Embroidered Folding Chair

I love a good up-cycle, and this transformation really hit the spot! I wanted to give my old maroon, flat cushioned folding chairs a facelift because they were joyless. I opted for a pretty blue outdoor fabric from JoAnn Fabrics so it would be easy to clean off any spills. Plus it was a nice sturdy fabric that I figured would hold up to a lot of wear. And I used a memory foam seat cushion we already had from Muji to really fancy up this chair. Also, I wanted to add an embroidered element to make it unique, and decided on a simple feathery stitch design. 

The chair and seat backs were much easier to remove than I thought - they were attached with screws to a strong compressed cardboard. Once I got them off, I just covered the top piece with my embroidered fabric, and stapled over the existing maroon fabric and cushion. For the seat base, I removed the sad, flat foam, and replaced it with my springy, happy, supportive memory foam. I covered it with the blue fabric and stapled at the center of each side first to help give the fabric an even stretch all around. I continued stapling around the sides until they were covered, then folded in the fabric neatly at the corners (as seen below) and stapled them down. The longest part by far is the embroidery work! The rest can be done in well under an hour. 

Hope you enjoyed my chair makeover as much as I did! 

[Tiny] Fruits of My Labor

I made these tiny fiber fruits recently for the Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day, Mrs. Meyers Hunt competition on Instagram. It's an homage to some of their fresh product scents, and those lovely food/fruit collages Instagrammers love so much! They were fun to make, and can be used for many things, such as the samples below. Great for applique, or arranged in a frame as artwork. Enjoy! 

The basil and apple were patterns were eyeballed, and I traced around a penny to make the outside yellow of the lemon, and made the inside white circle a bit smaller. The lemon wedges are satin stitch embroidery. I used a water soluable marker to mark out each wedge. The orange slice is crocheted as follows: 

2.25mm crochet hook & Aunt Lydia's Crochet Thread Classic 10, in orange and white. 

With orange, make a magic ring. 
Rnd 1: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc). Make 11 dc in the ring. Cut thread and pull through last loop. Make an invisible join. Do this after every row. (12 dc)
Rnd 2 (With orange, begin anywhere): Ch 2 (counts as 1 hdc), 1 hdc in the same st, 2 hdc in each st around. (24 hdc)
Rnd 3 (With white, begin anywhere): Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), sp-3 (into center ring) in the same st, 1 sc, 2 sc in next, sp3, 2 sc in next, 1 sc, [sp-3 & 1 sc in next, 1 sc, 2 sc in next, sp-3, 2 sc in next, 1 sc] rep 4 more times. (36 sc)
Rnd 4 (With orange, begin anywhere): Ch 1, 1 sc in same st, [2 sc, 2 sc in next] rep to end. (48 sc) 
Weave in ends.     

Sci-fi mobile

Just a little something that I made for a friend's baby.....you know, the usual baby mobile which includes the Star Wars Millennium Falcon.... 

..... the Star Trek Enterprise (TNG) .....

.... the Dr. Who Tardis ship ....

.... and Firefly's Serenity ship.

I consider each ship a little work of art, and really enjoyed stitching all the details to them! I'd say the Serenity was the most challenging ship to make, with all its pieces and parts. The crazy ocd part of me couldn't help myself in stitching all the tiny "lights" on the Enterprise. Though the Millennium Falcon does capture my heart :) 

My lovely significant other, Corey, added music box style music of each of the theme songs inside the yellow circular "moon" that hangs in the center. There's a button to trigger each song, and a velcro opening to change out the batteries.  I like to think we make a great team - analog + digital! 

Felt the Grit!

I got a commission to make a needle felted Mr.Grit - Etsy's unofficial mascot, for Etsy's offices! He's my biggest needle felted piece so far, and I had a lot of fun making him. Corey and I decided to make a bust of him coming out of a frame, and I wanted to share some behind the scenes shots of the making of this wooly guy. Corey also added lights to give him glowing eyes!

First, I cut a sheet of foam into the shape of Mr. Grit's face for my base and started laying down white wool, and needle felting away. 

Once the face was done, I hot glued styrofoam balls to the base of the frame to fill in Mr. Grit's body. 

I keep a bag of fiber scraps under my desk and thought it was a good tine to pull them out to fill in the guts!  Then I needle felted flat "shingles" for Mr. Grit's body, and felted them into place. 

We decided to put the lights under the orange felted eyes, so I pulled them up and we stitched Flora Smart NeoPixel circuits with conductive thread onto the face. 

Corey did some testing to make sure everything was working before we closed the eyes up.

Everything's in order, so I needle felted the eyes back into place, being careful not to stab the circuits!

This is the back of the face, and Corey's connecting the power, ground, and data threads to separate coated wires so they don't touch each other. We don't want the uncoated conductive threads to touch each other  because it makes everything not work. 

 I'm using a knitting needle here to make a hole to feed the wires through to the back where they'll connect with the Electric Imp (a wireless micro-controller board).  

Wires successfully pulled through and Electric Imp in a cutout in the back.

And here is the finished piece! 

Here he is in place on the 4th floor of the 55 Washington St. office!

KnitKnit's 10 Year Etsy-versary!

I can't believe it's been 10 years since I opened my shop on Etsy. It's been truly life changing to say the least. I never thought that these mostly self taught hand skills would lead me to where I am to where I am today. With that said, I'm having a sale to celebrate! Use coupon code: AWESOME20OFF in my Etsy shop for 20% off any one item from now until midnight Sept. 6th. Discount includes on sale and made to order items, and excludes custom pet portraits. Enjoy!

Here's a roundup of some of my faves:

Release the Nyan Cat!

This is Corey & I's first "KnitCore" project together, and we're pretty stoked about it. It's 24 x 36 inches of internet meme, Nyan Cat, embroidery, and wires. We made this as a late wedding gift for our friends Zach & Sally, who are the meme-iest people we know :) 

I chalked out the pattern and did most of the embroidery. Corey helped stitch the rainbow.  He mapped out the wire path for the LED sequins, and I stitched them together with conductive thread. We delved into each other's worlds a bit for this one, which is what made it a great project for us. He goes in depth on his blog with all the nerdy technical details of making the lights flash with musical accompaniment by the touch of the pop tart! 

Behind the scenes:

Happy Year of the Sheep!

Happy Year of the Sheep! Hope your fiber endeavors are joyful and plentiful!

DIY Secret Message Holiday Card Tutorial

While looking for ways to re-use things, I came up with this fun card using paper scraps. I love a surprise, and they pull out to reveal hidden messages! The holidays always sneak up on me, and I thought this would be a nice tutorial to share for anyone else needing to make or send out last minute holiday cards this week. Enjoy!

+ Pencil
+ Pen
+ Scissors
+ 1" circle punch
+ (2) 1 1/8"x 4 1/2" strips of paper
+ (1) 4"x6" card stock for backing
+ (1) 4"x6" color or decorative paper for front
+ Sewing machine 

1. Punch a hole approx. 1 1/4" from the right and left edges of the decorative paper as shown. Be sure to leave enough space for the strip to pull out and reveal a message when punching the hole.

2. Draw a line approx. 1/8" around the perimeter of the strips with a pencil as a guide for sewing the pockets. 

3. With the card stock and decorative paper sandwiched together, sew along the pencil line, making sure to leave a few inches of thread at the beginning and end of the pocket. (This part could also be done by hand sewing if you don't own a sewing machine.)

4. Knot the thread ends together with a double knot and trim excess thread. 

5. With strips inside the pockets, draw cute, winter images.

6. Wait a bit for the ink to dry, and pull strips out until you have a blank section. Write warm, happy messages and send to lucky friends!

My Second book, Color Knitting with Confidence!

I feel like I'm constantly working on "secret" projects that I can't share publicly, and I've been keeping this a secret all year! I'm happy to finally announce my second book, Color Knitting with Confidence! 30 colorwork patterns are featured, using 5 colorwork techniques - stripes, slip stitch, intarsia, stranded, and double knitting. I love color, and had so much fun coming up with the patterns and color combinations in this book. It touches little bit of every category - accessories, wearables, decor, and housewares. They make for great gift knitting, or even just quick knits for yourself!  So excited to share a few of my faves here!

Above is a slip stitch chevron rug, which can easily be customized to fit any space. Next to it on the right, is a double knit bumblebee trivet. Its colors are reversed on the opposite side, making it a sweet double sided project! Below, an intarsia knit world map makes for a unique piece for any home.  

An intarsia knit feather backpack is perfect for carrying snacks on a hike, and these chunky knit stripe and cable house socks are super cushy and comfy. Below, a stranded Fair Isle baby sweater features little fawns and even a heart at the center back. I love little details.

My book is available for order through my Etsy shop