Friday, February 27, 2009

butter bean

if you've not guessed, the theme of l'enfant ensemble is eyelets. a little while back, this chickadee had another knit commission and chose to use a pattern for a baby bonnet, sweater and booties from an eighties knitting book (you can see that finished project here). it was such fun to knit and seemed suited for this project as well.

this time, instead of the ribbon closure, one carefully chosen vintage button adorns the front of the cardigan. the ribbons weren't used for the booties either. it isn't pictured above but the yarn used the knit the project was twisted into cord and threaded through the eyelets to help keep the booties where they belong.

and, instead of following the bonnet pattern, this chickadee came up with her very own quick knit pattern for a rolled-brim, striped baby hat.

voila! one cozy and comfortable baby set complete.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

good day sunshine

not much in the way of posts lately, but plenty going on here at chickadee central. for the past couple of weeks, the assembled crew has been working their needles (knitting and sewing) to the bone on some special projects for some special people. first up, the knitting project that kept this chickadee up late! a friend commissioned little me to make a knit baby set that she could then give as a gift. she gave me the colors and then sent me to work on a plan for a blanket, sweater, hat and bootie set that would be cuddly and cute for the little newborn.

my casual planning and constructing turned constant when the due date for the bundle of joy was bumped up! so for a few days, there was nothing going on here but the constant click and clack of needles, a few "ughs" and the occasional frog.

today let's talk about the blanket. once again, ravelry came to the rescue. already armed with ideas for the sweater from a previous project, i searched through ravelry's never-ending database of patterns to find something that would look similar. the oh so soft baby blanket by jennifer jackson was oh so right. the chickadee version is knit holding two strands of bernat cottontots together throughout. to make the striping a bit more symmetrical, the middle row of yellow had eyelets added at the beginning and end of the row. other than that little twist and total ignorance of gauge, it was knit according to the pattern which was clear and easy to follow. and jennifer does not tell a lie, the blanket is indeed oh so soft.

Monday, February 23, 2009

who likes to rock the party?

this chickadee likes to rock the party. especially the second annual homespun yarn party on march 15th at savage mill. what a great excuse to get to work on those accessory bags for knitters!

check out their blog for a list of other vendors and events going on that day!

if you aren't yet aware, new zealand also likes to rock the party:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

spyro gyra

joanie jenome had her first foray into the world of fabric bowls recently. here are her debut dishes:

the extra height adjustment on the presser foot was a spiral sewer's dream. plenty of space to slide the clothesline under and lots of steam to power through the tough turns. joanie performed admirably on the initial outing. she'll be stitching together plenty more of these saucers soon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

artificial sunlight

this is the current scene on the chickadee cutting table. awash in brights, it is the perfect antidote to a dreary winter day. the going is slow on this, but there should be something to share with you very soon...

Monday, February 16, 2009

the panda in winter

hooray for the new issue of panda head magazine! today is the debut of issue three, late winter. as always, it is full of fancy photographs and fashion fun. this time there's even a literary element.

panda head is spearheaded by friend and inspiration morgan hungerford. she and erik loften put out the first two issues of the magazine on their own. now they are joined by another friend o' the chickadee and a creative force in her own right, nilay lawson. viva la panda!

(look closely and you'll see a chickadee creation cameo)

panda head magazine comes out on a seasonal basis. but you can keep up with morgan et al. at panda head, the blog.

Friday, February 13, 2009

my selfish valentine

if you haven't done so already, this chickadee suggests that you become friends with a crafter. you'll get the most amazing prezzies. sometimes they come in the form of amazingly handcrafted holiday cards delivered right to your doorstep! the talented pang of pretty little fings sent these gorgeous greetings to p.o. box chickadee.

the problem is that they are too cute put in the post! so they will be spared the stamp and instead find a permanent home in a frame on the wall.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

little zipper nipper

as you may have figured out, this chickadee loves to knit! nary a night goes by without some noodling on the needles. travel (anything from a short hop on the metro to a multiple hour flight) is impossible without the comfort of a companion project. it is great to have a place for everything and everything in its place when a last minute impulse to grab knitting and go strikes. with this in mind, this chickadee is creating some new products.

the first one (prototype seen here) is the perfect size for double pointed needles. it would also make a great pencil case and it served as an awesome organizer for craft show change.

fully lined with a contrast fabric and constructed with interfacing for added stability. more coming soon!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

craft for the creatures

australians are currently battling the worst natural disaster in their history. as it stands, 181 people have lost their lives in wildfires that have been raging through the southeastern state of victoria. that number is predicted to increase as many areas have yet to be searched. international aid organizations like the red cross are on the scene to help the human victims, but help is also needed for the area's four legged, furry friends.

whip-up, an everything craft blog from down-under posted this appeal on her site:

click on the picture above to go directly to her site and visit the links that she has provided to learn more on how to help.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

the threads that bind at hello craft

check out my latest post over at hello craft about a great local organization making a difference one stitch at a time. dc threads is hoping to get the district sewing by offering free monthly workshops open to anyone regardless of experience. the next one happens to be on valentine's day, what a sweet thing to do with your sweetheart.

click the pic to read the article:

Monday, February 9, 2009

crafts and kisses recap

(special guest dandelion blu surveys the apron array)

the first show of 2009 is in the books! it was a sweet little show, and a good way to ease back into the life of a craft carny. there were all sorts of smiling and familiar faces from the dc area scene, and even one special visitor all the way from baltimore. sherry of dandelion blu braved the beltway to be part of team chickadee for the day. many thanks to d.blu for her set-up skills and saleswomanship.

(woolarina hard at work)

(the pretty little fings booth with pang and lacey)

Friday, February 6, 2009

brightest young(at heart) chickadee

this chickadee got a mention in the crafts and kisses write-up over at brightest young things!

someone to snuggle with me

has it been cold in your neck of the woods? it certainly has around these parts. one of this chickadee's tried and true weapons to combat the cold is the scarf. an easily added layering option, a few flips of a scarf around a nippy nook and the whole body warms right up. like magic! and if you feel a hot flash coming on, it is easy off as well. in honor of punxsutawny phil's reluctance to conform to my seasonal timetable, i whipped up a batch of cuddly cotton and fleece scarves to chase away the chills. they are long enough to accommodate a double wrap around for extra warmth. and they are done up in some cute cotton prints likely to melt your valentine's frosty heart.

see them in action at crafts and kisses this sunday!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

your two cents here

i don't know about you, but this chickadee is ready to shake off the winter blues. the cold, the drab and the dreary need to beat it back to the arctic already. but with no help coming from the calendar and a frightened furry groundhog back in his hole, looks like there's naught to do but hunker down with a hot beverage and brighten things up by making happy new work.

here's an assortment of blissful billfolds that will be livening up the chickadee offerings at crafts and kisses on sunday. three internal slip pockets provide ample room for the, metro pass, library card and a few dollars for a steaming cup of something soothing. there's a side tab with a removable ring that you can use to carry keys along or clip to a belt loop.

when all else fails, stay inside and listen to joni mitchell. you know that you can count on a canadian woman to commiserate with you on the cold.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

wrap it up

(hooray! a happy chickadee apron recipient)

this chickadee was quite honored to be a guest at last night's benefit for ovarian cancer. even more honored to be asked to donate aprons to be given as door prizes to the generous donors and supporters of the ovarian cancer national alliance. while the food was fantastic, the speakers stole the show and brought the focus of the evening back to the facts of ovarian cancer. here are some (provided by the ocna):
  • ovarian cancer is the deadliest cancer of the female reproductive system and the fifth most deadly cancer for women because there is no early detection test and no cure
  • each year more than 22,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and about 15,000 die from the disease
  • 1/3 of women diagnosed are age 55 or younger
symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
  • bloating
  • pelvic or abdominal pain
  • difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
  • urinary urgency or frequency
many times this symptoms are overlooked and unchecked. fewer than 20% of women are actually diagnosed in the early stages of the disease, when it is most treatable.

laurey masterton (one of the speakers) is among the lucky 20%. she listened to her body and was persistent with her doctor. her cancer was caught early and now she is a 20 year survivor! and she's on a mission to spread the word about ovarian cancer from coast to coast, one pedal at a time. on march the fifth she and her bicycle will set out from san diego and spin through the lower half of the u.s. until her front tire dips into the atlantic ocean. in september she's sponsoring a ride from asheville, nc to washington, dc to commemorate ovarian cancer month. to get on board with her, learn more or donate, visit her website.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

tonight's special:

chickadee aprons, hot off the sewing table!

two new designs are making their debut tonight at the ovarian cancer national alliance food fest! the chefs will be turning up the heat and this chickadee will be turning on the charm with a couple of debutante darlings.

this pretty pleated number is a take on the familiar hostess apron. instead of a ruffle around, flirty folds flip out of the bottom seam only. the pocket and loop are borrowed from the original design, so is the secret slip over the pocket square. larger than its frilly friend, the pretty pleat measures 15" x 19" and has a super long tie strap. the reverse of the apron is pocketless and plain, but still serves as a valuable second side.

and finally, here comes the full apron! so far the array of aprons coming off the chickadee assembly line has been focused below the belt. this one takes the basic design of the kangaroo/joey and tops it off! the ties make it adjustable all around and it reverses with pocket options on both aspects.

let's hope that these aprons create a buzz and bring in some dollars for ovarian cancer research and education! i've been asked to attend and "model" the aprons. you can bet that i'll also be volunteering to try out some of the delicious dishes. all for a good cause!

Monday, February 2, 2009

it ain't ova 'til it's ova

a little while back at the dc craft mutiny holiday trunk show, a chance meeting with a customer set-up a most excellent opportunity for this chickadee. betsy crone was chatting about aprons when she had an idea. as the event coordinator for the ovarian cancer national alliance, she was overseeing a fundraiser featuring female chefs right here in dc. she asked if this chickadee would be interested in donating a few aprons for the evening event and faster than you can say "flambe" it was agreed.

turn up the heat: a celebration of women chefs is being held tomorrow night at the ritz carlton in dc. top chefs from the dc/maryland/virginia/west virginia area are going to be in town putting their culinary talents to the test. all proceeds from ticket sales for the event go to help the ocna fund research, education and awareness of ovarian cancer. and all ticket holders will have the chance to win a specially designed apron from this chickadee. there are four available aprons, all in the alliance's signature color, and all handmade with a whole lot of love.

here's a look at the aprons with familiar features; the craft apron and the kangaroo/joey. meet the new kids in the kitchen tomorrow.

craft apron