Monday, January 24, 2011

Crafting with Purpose: Needles for Newborns

Extra! Extra!

South City Studio and Paste are teaming up for the fourth installment of Needles for Newborns to benefit Children's hospital. The goodies we make keep little preemie babies toasty at Children's hospital. Mark your calendar, right now! February 19th, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.


It's a noble cause and all, but why should I waste a precious Saturday when my life is already so busy?

  • Babies. Teeny tiny babies who get chilly easily.
  • Crafting with purpose feels really good! 
  • It's a super-duper fun time. We are a diverse bunch of really interesting people!
  • If you're rusty or just beginning, this is a great opportunity to pick up some skills. Sit near an experienced stitcher and watch 'em go. We're a generous bunch, you can ask questions, too.

Do I have to stay the whole time? Can I come late?
You don't have to stay the whole time by any means, drop in when it's convenient and stay for however long you'd like. Warning: You'll have such a good time, you won't want to go.

What should I bring?
A chair (just in case), a friend (if you can), a snack to share (we'll provide some snacks), and yarn/needles/hook.

Do I have to bring my own yarn? Can I buy yarn at Paste?
Most people bring their own or buy on arrival. We'll have some donated yarn up for grabs and there is a fantastic selection of really pretty yarn at very reasonable prices.

Can I donate yarn/supplies/food to the event? 
Heck, yes! We love that and thanks in advance for being such a generous soul. Snuggles from the babies.

What kind of yarn is best for babies?
Babies have really sensitive skin, cotton or acrylic is best. No wool.                                                    

I can't come, can I drop of things I make on my own? 
Of course! The babies don't mind one bit.

What are we going to make?
Hats, booties, and blankets.

Will you have patterns?
Yep, we'll have some. Please feel free to bring your favorite. There are scads for free on the internet if you don't have a favorite yet, just Google it -- free pattern knit crochet preemie baby. BAM! Zillions.

How big should a preemie hat be?
A very wise NICU worker told me think plum, tennis ball, orange. Yes, THAT tiny! Some of the preemie babies only weigh a couple pounds, so they're gosh darn tiny.

Is this a kid-friendly event? 
It breaks my heart to say this because we love the little people, but not really. A) A bunch of ladies cackling and stitching is pretty boring for the kiddos. B) The conversation tends to lean PG-13 and some of the adults like to consume adult-beverages. As a rule of thumb, I'd say it's probably too "educational" for anyone younger than 14.

I'm a dude, can I come?
Yes, please join us! Disclaimer: If you're planning to shop the crowd for single ladies, may I suggest
Do I need to RSVP?
Probably not. If you are planning to bring a bus load of people, then, yes please, let's talk. Otherwise, no worries, just show up. Early and late tend to be the least busy times, mid-afternoon is the busiest.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snow Day

If you're here in the Lou, I don't have to tell you that it's brrrrrr chilly and everything in sight is covered in fluffy white stuff. In my part of town, we got somewhere between six and eight inches depending on where you measure.

After checking in on a bit of work stuff, I spent the rest of the day sewing and knitting. I'm working on a new cowl right now using a pattern I found on Cornflower Blue's blog. She has great patterns that are in plain English; there's nothing worse than loving a project but being totally unable to understand the cryptic instruction. I'm doing a bright turquoise bulky yarn and only 30 stitches instead of 40. It's really coming along nicely. I can't wait to get it finished.

In between craft projects I took a short break to get bundled up and take a peek on the happenings in my backyard. Normally, the yard is bursting at the seams with all sorts of greenery, even in the winter months. Today, it was piled high with a thick blanket of snow. Mackie the Wonder Dog was pretty excited that I was going to hang out with him in his backyard and did a happy dance when he saw me slip on my yellow rubber boots. He really, really, likes to run around in circles and practice his herding skills when he has a visitor to corral. I love it when his nose is sprinkled with snow. So cute.

2011 is going to be awesome! LOTS of exciting things are going in the craftyverse. I can't spill the beans just yet, but I promise, I will -- soon.

Until then, be safe, stay warm, and keep it crafty.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Winter Stitching and OMG, Heyyyy from the Ranch

Cold weather makes me want to stay in my flannel jammies all day and knit, which is exactly what I've been doing, too -- every chance I get. Right now, I've got quite a few projects in the works:

I just started a crocheted baby blanket for my friend's new baby. This project gave me an excuse to learn the bobble stitch. Thanks, Blackwood Cottage for the easy-to-read instructions and cute pattern.

This afternoon I finished this cute little knitted hat with a crocheted embellishment for the same friend.

The boy is getting this waffle stitch scarf in his favorite color. It's made with Cascade 220 wool yarn and should keep him nice and toasty.

The girl is getting this lavender scarf in yummy alpaca yarn. SUPER soft and cozy. If you have wool allergies, I highly recommend alpaca, it's just as warm as wool, but it's hypoallergenic and won't make you all itchy scratchy.

Lastly, for myself, I just started to knit a hat in this scrumptious grey heathered alpaca. Being the big-headed gal that I am, hats are always hard to find that don't make me feel like my skull is being smashed, so a custom hat is my saving grace. Thank goodness for my pal, Janelle, who helped me get going with circular needles.

What sort of projects do you have in the works? Do you have a favorite yarn? I get all my yarn at Paste in Soulard. Paste has a really nice selection of good quality yarn at reasonable prices. It's my favorite supply shop and I teach classes there. :) If you're in the neighborhood or looking for an excuse for a field trip, scoot over to Paste, pet the alpaca yarn and ooh and ahhh over all the nifty handmade goodies in the shop! 

Just in case you haven't seen a picture of a cute animal today, let me help you out. These pretty mini-horses were resting at the ranch when I did my ranch girl volunteer gig this weekend. Don't they have fun hair? I bet when no one is around, they chatter in valley girl voices and do lots of hair flips. 
Like OMG, heyyyyy from the ranch!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Like everybody else, the new year provides a time to reflect on the year past and a time to look forward to the year ahead. Instead of doing a list of resolutions, I decided that this year, I would take a business approach and do some strategic planning instead. I don't know why, but that sounds more palatable to me for some reason. Perhaps, the bad taste in my mouth for "resolutions" is the result of a lifetime of abandoned ones that make me leery. I like to plan. Planning, I can do.

First, a review. I've thought long and hard about the previous twelve months and I think the greatest area for improvement is in time management. I don't have much of it to spare, so I need to be sure I invest wisely. Work, school, and family take up a considerable chunk, but I must also make time to relax and recharge my batteries, too. I spent entirely too much time exhausted in 2010.

This year, I plan to take better care of myself -- mind, body, and spirit. A little bit of advance planning will go a long way in all these categories. I don't need any drastic revisions, but a few hours invested here and there in meal planning, exercise, and a little more sleep will make improve things significantly. It certainly can't hurt to try.

The past couple years have been an incredible learning experience with my little business. I have learned a ton. In the past couple months, I have been doing some research, product development, tests and trials and I have some exciting ideas that I will share as they develop over the coming year. Expect to see a lot more maps. :) I also plan to put more effort in to my Etsy shop this year. It's been sparsely stocked for months and it's high time I filled it up. Thank you so much to all of you who have supported me, I'm pretty sure I have the best customers, ever!

I hope your first day of the new year has been a exactly what you hoped for and more. Blessings and good wishes to you all in 2011!