gardeny goodness

My own gardens are looking rather sad at the moment – most of them are still little seedlings since I just put seeds down after the walkways were finished, and with the ridiculous heat we’ve had I haven’t been out to weed in weeks. (The crab grass situation is out of control tbh.) However! I spotted a bee-you-ti-ful garden yesterday while I was on my lunch break!

Butterfly garden at the local PL is looking gorgeous

This is the back entry to the local public library (where I used to work until about a decade ago) and it is so lovely! So many of my favorite native plants are growing here and despite the ridiculous heat this garden doesn’t look parched at all! So inspirational! I really hope we get some cooler weekend mornings sometime soon so I can get out and do some dirt work without getting heat stroke.

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would you care for some Licorice?

Awhile back I wanted to make a hat for a friend who was going through a bit of a rough time. I looked to the internet, as you do, for inspiration and came up with licorice, which represents strength, gives a feeling of satisfaction, and is an anti-inflammatory. I also used multiples of 4, as four is reputed to provide a solid foundation, good support, reliability, commitment, patience, strength of spirit, and intuition.

Licorice Hat

This hat will also be comforting and warm based purely on the fact that it is made from worsted yarn at a gauge that provides coziness.

Licorice Hat

Take a bite at Ravelry, Etsy, LoveKnitting, and Craftsy.

can I get a volunteer?

The answer is yes! I already did! After we had the walkways replaced, there was (is) a lot of disturbed earth around them and some weeds and other things cropped up. Some of the plants I’d planted on purpose also got disturbed, so I sort of let things be and figured once any plant got big enough for me to determine what it was, I’d make a decision about it staying or going. When the leaves of this started to get big enough for me to identify them, I wasn’t sure what it was but I knew it looked familiar.

Volunteer ground cherry

And it turns out that it is! It’s a Ground Cherry aka Cape Gooseberry! It will fruit! I’m super geeked! I definitely didn’t plant any seeds for this anywhere, so who knows where it came from. I’ll take it!

Review: Sew Happy

Sew Happy by Karin Ziegler

Sew Happy: Stitch yourself stylish with 25 step-by-step projects by Karin Ziegler

This book has a great introduction to sewing garments but also features a lot of patterns and instructions for smaller items that may be an easier place to start for those unaccustomed to sewing apparel. Most of the patterns in this book use knit fabrics, which may also be new or seems challenging for a lot of sewists. Ziegler includes a fun brief description of each of her own favorite sewing machines which also includes some advice for those making decisions about future sewing machine selections (and reinforces my own desire for an overlocker, though I don’t think I really have room or a serious need for one!). Most of the projects here have a distinctly retro feel, though they could be made to look more contemporary with different fabric choices or by adapting the patterns (instructions for which are included! Many of the patterns could be combined with one another for more options). I’m looking forward to trying at least one of the smaller projects where fit isn’t a huge challenge!

full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from a pal

it’s grate

Yes, *grate*.

Window well grate

It’s a cover for the window well that is right next to the pathway by the back gate. The pathway was originally much closer to the window well and it was a real danger that someone might step in by accident, so we felt it was important to make sure it was super safe. Our contractor found someone to fabricate this for us and it’s definitely doing the job! Even though the pathway is a little further away, it still seems good to have this safety feature.

Blythe Swap: Time Traveling Blythe

Our most recent Blythe Swap had the theme: time traveling Blythe. This was up to interpretation by each person so they could make things from their partner’s favorite period(s) of time.

I got a real haul from my awesome partner Angela!

Blythe Swap: Time Traveling Blythe - what I received

Just look at all of this! Hand-sewn and -knit clothing, hair clips, pendants, embroidery floss, and fabric! Such a lot of awesomeness!

Blythe Swap: Time Traveling Blythe - what I received

I love the way all of these separates work together – I’ll be mixing and matching these happily.

And here’s what I sent:

Blythe Swap: Time Traveling Blythe - what I sent

These have a 60s/70s vibe and I had a lot of fun making things with these bold prints. I made two knit mini skirts, two sewn maxi skirts, two a-line dresses, three crop tops, one vest, two knit shawls, and an assortment of hair clips and mini pins. I’m so pleased with this swap – it was great to make and great to receive!

Review: Home Sewn

Home Sewn photo homesewn_zpsngqxasj2.jpg

Home Sewn: Projects and Inspiration for Every Room by Cassandra Ellis

This is a book that you can totally judge by its cover – what you see is a solid representation of what you’ll find inside. That is to say, a lot of linen, cotton, and other organic undyed fabrics; plenty of unfinished rustic fabric edges; and a healthy serving of billowing material in neutral-heavy rooms. Solidly inspired by Martha Stewart but with a more limited palette, these projects all fit into the trendy look that relies on light earth tones and a pride in doing it yourself (with materials you carefully purchased from curated sources). You’ll find brief instructions for each project, but none include in-depth detail – the joy here is in doing it yourself and in figuring out how to make it work for you. The tone suggests that whatever result you end up with is what you are supposed to have and that you can appreciate the beauty of your own unique creation (the degree to which it matches the photos may vary). I can definitely appreciate this aesthetic (being a relatively privileged white woman, I am its target market) but it is a bit too neutral for my own taste. That said, one could easily make any of these projects using a more colorful range of fabrics.

Full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Blogging for Books

Calling Calvin

Anyone looking for a fun, portable, easy summer knitting pattern that requires almost no thought or effort? And is free? This hat is for you!

Calvin Hat

You can wear it slouchy or not depending on your style. It’s lightweight and doesn’t smoosh your hair much. It’s designed to work well with Knit Picks Felici self-striping yarn, but should have a lovely effect with any self-striping yarn – OR with any solid or pooling yarn! It’s totally up to you!

Grab this freebie on Ravelry, Craftsy, or LoveKnitting.