a stitch in lime

stumbling into creativity


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Slouchy thanks for stand-up babes

I own three different slouchy hats.  I love them.  I wear them too much, actually.  But they are so comfortable, and make me feel relaxed and groovy.  So, as gifts for my three wonderful bridesmaids, I decided to knit them each a slouchy hat so they could feel the relaxed and groovy feelings, too!  From a seasonal point of view, these were totally inappropriate gifts.  It’s late spring, and it’s getting warmer — who needs a warm winter hat?  Almost nobody. But you know what?  I love them so much (the hats and the girls they were intended for) that I let that little detail slide.  It will be fall again someday, right?

I started by intending to make each of them a Jane hat (okay Jane Richmond, my nonsexual crafter crush on you and your patterns is official now) but by the time I was done one (in aqua, for Michelle, as seen below), I was feeling like I would be setting myself up for the gods to smite me with carpal tunnel if I were to make another two identical hats back-to-back.  So switch them up, I did. The other two were knitted more freestyle by following my heart.  Sara’s (in raspberry, above) ended up being a hybrid of the Jane hat and the adorable bands of seed stitch from the Kanoko Soaker Pants I made not too long ago. And for my maid of honour, Candice (whose hat is green, also below), I did a series of stripes (I think I knit 5 rounds, then purled one, then repeated throughout the body of the hat — pretty basic).  I’m really pleased with how they all turned out!  And each girl seemed to be pretty happy with their hats, too.

I chose each colour to suit each girl in a unique way.  For Michelle, I knew she owned a bright and beautiful aqua pashmina that made her eyes and dark brown hair pop. I love that colour on her and I thought she could use more of it.  Sara has a beautiful sense of style I totally love, so I thought the deep and vibrant raspberry colour could and would be a stunning accent on her noggin. Plus, she’s getting married this fall and I thought a nice warm colour would suit her style in the months surrounding her autumn wedding. For Candice, I knew the green would bring out her beautiful light green eyes and would jive with her very green job (she works for a company that does energy assessments for homes)!

I really did have the best bridesmaids a gal could ask for.  They helped me in countless ways to keep my cool about the whole getting married thing. Even when I was having trouble delegating, they always let me know they were there to help, and that meant a lot.  They are beautiful, wonderful pals!

When they wear these hats, I hope they feel the warm and fuzzy love feelings that went into knitting them — even if it’s not until September. 🙂


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It started off as snow…

Or rather, the idea started off as snow.  I was inspired by hanging snowstorms made of dental floss and stickers and kitten dreams.  But snow is typically white, right?  For our wedding, the wall we wanted to stand in front of was pretty bare, save for two inset window shapes and a ledge. And it was white. So while I thought it would look great to make a hanging snowstorm garland to decorate that wall, my friend Sarah aptly pointed out to me that you probably wouldn’t be able to see it very well (this was a “duh” moment for me). So with my now-husband’s help, we figured out a way to add some colour, using up all the scraps of green paper I had in my possession in the process — most of which were left over from the matchbox favours, in fact.

A peaceful backdrop for getting hitched!

What we did (mega credit to the lovely Sara and Sarah for their help with this) was cut out a bunch of green paper circles in two sizes (we just traced whatever round object I could find hanging around). Then, using plain white circular stickers, we attached the green paper circle to a string of white embroidery thread on one side.  We put also put another sticker on the opposite side of the circle for consistency’s sake, and decorated each sticker with a green heart (which was just drawn on using a green marker).  All the strings were different lengths, giving a random feel to the garland when it was hung.  Pretty simple concept, actually.  What was time consuming was cutting the circles out, and then just how many strings we ended up making in total.

Extreme close-up of the garland before it left my house.


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Wedding tree guestbook

So I’ve been a bit absent lately, but I promise my reason is an excellent one!  I got married on Saturday!  It was such an incredibly wonderful day, full of love and warmth and in beautiful surroundings, to boot.  I couldn’t have asked for it to go more smoothly, more calmly, or more happily!  It was really and truly amazing, all of it.

I have a few weddingy posts lined up for the coming days, but I will start with what I think is my favourite craft of the wedding — the wedding tree guestbook!  Some of you may remember a post I did a while back about the beautiful wedding trees that have been located out there on the interwebs.  Well, I am happy to announced that I managed, in this case anyway, to turn coveting into creation, and did up one of my own!  Check me out!

The wedding tree. Before (left) and after (right).

The set-up for signing… some instructions, ink & pens, a test paper, and some WetNaps for wiping off the ink!

I drew the tree myself using a sharpie marker (for the thicker areas) and a fine tip pen for the finer branches. The look of the tree was loosely based on Evan & Corinne’s from August and After. Then I wrote out the text in Gimp and taped it on the top and bottoms of the page. A lovely guy at Staples then helped me photocopy it onto 11″ x 14″ paper/cardstock, maxing out the contrast so as to hide any pen marks or brush strokes.  I bought both the frame and the ink pack from Michaels. The ink pack had four different shades of green, which was perfect for this project.

I got a ton of compliments about the wedding tree from all our guests — everyone really seemed to love it and thought it was pretty unique!  Truth be told I’m pretty proud of how it turned out, and so pleased that the finished product looks as good as it does!  No smudges or mistakes, even!  Awesome possum.


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Earrings for getting hitched

Given that I am (was?) such a keener for making earrings, it’s no surprise that I decided I should make my own earrings for the wedding, as well as those for my bridesmaids!  I made these out of what was originally a chain of metal-encased pearl beads I bought from Michaels. Each bead originally had a connector loop on both ends (instead of the one you see in the photos — the one that attaches it to the earring hook or the chain). I actually ended up snipping off the bottom connector  loop and sanding down any jagged metal edges that remained (I have an old school metal nail file that did the trick).  That made them more… hangable.

Wedding earrings — bridesmaids’ on the left, mine on the right.

Bride’s earrings.

Bridesmaids’ earrings.  (I made three sets of these.)

Although the materials aren’t too fancy, I think they will look great for the day (and the pictures, obvs). I made these a while back actually, and since then was reconsidering, thinking perhaps I wanted to do something else entirely for earrings. Then I dug them out today and had one of those revelations you tend to have just a couple of weeks out from a wedding: They’re done, they’re fine, and you shouldn’t think about it anymore because there are a million other non-done things left to do. A pretty practical revelation, but a nice comforting one, nonetheless.

P.S. Who knew my Joby tripod would be such a wonderful little earring modeler?


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Crafting ADD

I haven’t posted much lately on any completed projects, because there aren’t any!  I am currently knitting three (yes, three) different projects, and working on sewing neckties for the fellas to wear in our wedding (which is LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY OMG HYPERVENTILATE!)… so I do apologize for the lack of real meaty posts (uh, ew).

I seem to be starting a million things lately and not really completing any of them before starting the next thing.  It probably has to do with me realizing that the wedding-related crafts are a priority (given we’re running out of time), and thus putting the fun ones on hold has gotten pretty commonplace.  But dang!  It makes me feel a bit like I have some kind of crafting-related attention deficit.  But you know, I’m comforted to know that this is common amongst crafters… there is a whole movement of “stash-busting” where crafters vow to use up the materials they currently have rather than buying new ones, which just goes to show how easy it is to have a lot of things on-the-go, or in progress, or planned and ready but not quite started.  I am not alone, in other words.  Phewf!


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Spoiled

I have some of the loveliest friends. My wonderful bridesmaids (and one ‘groomsbabe’) put on a spectacular bridal shower and stagette for me on the weekend.  We played copious games (mostly trivia about me and/or my fella), rode around downtown on rented scooters (so fun! so cold!), had a delicious meal, then partied for the rest of the evening. It was so so so much fun. I can’t thank my girlfriends enough for putting on such a well-orchestrated event!

And I gotta say, they know me preeeeetty well.  I got an amazing, generous gift from a big group of them!  A huge basket of wool, some buttons, a pair of big ol’ needles, and a booklet of seven patterns that had all been hand chosen for me to make!  All the wool seen below was predestined for one of the patterns given to me (with buttons to match). The patterns, wool, and buttons are all labeled with numbers so I know which materials are for which pattern.  This is quite possibly one of the coolest presents I’ve ever received!  Plus, I’m obviously drooling over all the knitting goodness that awaits me.

I am really, really excited about this.  Also, I get to keep and use that cute wicker basket when I’m all done!  Exclamation point!


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Birdcage veil

I know birdcage veils are basically becoming the new thing nearly everyone does for their wedding in an attempt to be different (or retro, or indie, or whatever), which essentially nullifies any uniqueness to them, but I still love them.  And for the record, I loved them three years ago, before everyone and their dog had one.  I’m just sayin’.

And given that I wanted one, and couldn’t fathom paying more than $50 for a tiny piece of netting (don’t get me started on the exorbitant prices of veils), I decided it would be a perfect little craft project.

Forgive the unfancy hairdo, I’m only a part-time model.

I ordered the veiling/netting (often goes by the name of French/Russian netting, FYI) from JudithM Millinery Supplies. Fun fact: the profession of designing, making, and selling hats and hat accessories (cue Hank Hill here) is called millinery!  Who knew?  Not me before this, that’s for sure.  Anyway, I was a bit wary about buying from their site but I read nothing but positive reviews from those who had gone through them before so I bit the bullet and ordered. My veiling arrived quickly (even with having to cross the border into Canada) and was cheeeeeap. Only $2.30USD per yard, and one yard was plenty to work with, even doing a couple of test runs. I actually got one yard of white and one of ivory, and they were so close in colour you’d never notice the difference unless you put them against a dark background side by side and scrutinized them. That being said, my dress is ivory so I used the white for playing around with before committing to the ivory for the final product. But honestly, you could make 4 veils this size with a single yard.

I attached them to two metal combs (that I found at Country Beads, I believe) using beading wire. I folded the edges of the veiling over about a centimetre or so, held it in a haphazardly gathered way, then threaded the wire through the gathered netting and between each prong of the comb twice. Using needle-nosed pliers, I tucked the cut ends of the wire underneath the wrapped part so they wouldn’t catch on anything (especially the netting, which, while not prone to ripping per se, is sort of delicate). Then I cut the buds off some wire-stemmed white rossettes (found ages ago at Grand Prix Hobbies, but probably available at any craft store — Michael’s maybe?) and attached them to the top of the combs with a glue gun.  It was really easy.  The tricky part is figuring out exactly how/where I want to wear it, and how it’s going to work with whatever I end up doing with my hair.  Oh wow, my life is so hard, I have to make a decision about my hair.  Woe is me.


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Things I covet: Wedding tree

I so love this idea for an alternative to a guestbook at a wedding!  The guests stamp their fingerprints as the leaves on the tree, then sign their names next to their respective prints!  I think it would make for a fun activity at a wedding, plus the end result looks pretty elegant!  It’s something I would be happy to hang on my wall, even. Check out this version Corinne from August and After used for her wedding:

See the original post.

This version was made by Cassie and featured originally on Rock N Roll Bride (Photo by Jonas Peterson).

That second picture appears to have been the wedding tree that started all the uproar around the blogosphere (of the “I want! I want!” variety, of course). So major kudos to Cassie for making it!  Evidently these things are so popular that someone on Etsy is even selling them, ink pads and all!  I think I’ll probably opt to make my own, though.

Cute note about Evan and Corinne’s wedding tree: “Everyone walked around the rest of the night with green thumbs. That’s a good thing, right?”

… or if you’re not into that, having some moist towelettes on hand would surely rectify the inky situation for your guests!