This Old Dog

We’ve all heard the saying:

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

But me and a friend of mine were chit-chatting the other day remembering just how good our little Cocoa-bean was for grumpy old Bogart. He’d never understood the pleasure of a good hello, ear rub, greeting. You could scratch his belly—sure—but he just wanted to play ball or frisbee. All this social stuff was beyond him, until that silly puppy came along and wanted to be petted all the time. In his old age, he decided a little attention could be nice.

All that is a long, round-about way of saying this old crafter can learn a thing or two. You see, I’ve been knitting and crocheting for close to 40 years or more. I’ve made sweaters and snowflakes, hats and mittens, socks and blankets. I’ve got this stuff down, right? But no, people are always coming up with new ideas, new designs, new stitches, new methods, and I don’t want to be left behind.

So I’ve been on a bit of a binge lately—a book buying binge, and I thought I’d share a few of my recent projects.

 

Let’s start with Blueprint Crochet Sweaters by Robyn Chachula. The book came out in 2013, so it’s not new, but I’d checked it out from the library on a whim and been blown away by the patterns. They were just so intriguing. At first glance, I had no idea how they were creating these stitches or how to replicate them.

To be honest, I’m not usually that keen on crochet for sweaters. They tend to be a bit bulkier than I like and just don’t have the drape of a knit garment. But these were very unusual. I loved the cranberry cardigan, and was surprised to learn a whole different type of stitch I’d never heard of. The linked double treble crochet is like the marriage of regular crochet and tunisian crochet. It creates a very nice band with beautiful texture. Coupled with open work crosses, I thought it would make a great summer cadigan for our chilly evenings.

I even had the yarn in my stash—or so I thought. I’d picked up some great bargains at Vogue Knitting Live in Seattle a few years back and lost the tag on some tencel/linen in a beautiful red. It was listed online as 1450 yards per skein, so I’d be set. Unfortunately, I somehow had purchased half a skein, so now I have the better part of the front and back of my cardigan done with no sleeves or button band and discontinued yarn.

I’ve been pouting/ I mean thinking about how to proceed, and so the partial sweater has sat on the dining room table for more than a week. We have company coming, so I’ll just have to rip it out. But next time I will weigh that random yarn from my stash to get a better idea of what I’m working with.

Key words, next time, sadly I had another stash issue all at the same time. The lovely cotton table runner I made up is about a foot too short to hang off the ends of the table. Queue more pouting and frustration. I came up with all sorts of ideas. I could buy contrasting yarn, rip out a yard, add a different color for interest, and then finish it off as planned. But my local shop didn’t have any that I thought would work in the right weight, and color, and twist, and material. I told the MR my woes, and he said just make it shorter.

I remember flying into a tizzy when we centered the guest bed under the windows and could no longer open the closet doors. I had visions of adding a panel to make it look like we have three windows over the bed, moving the wall sconces, and maybe adding a new window eventually. The MR suggested tilting the bed just a smidge away from the wall, so you can open the door. Sometimes he’s so smart, and the simple answer is the best.

Back around the holidays, I bought Knitting Fresh Brioche by Nancy Marchant. If you’re into two-color brioche and you love the idea of patterning with this technique, this is the book for you. Nancy Marchant is a master of this stitch, amazingly creative, and a great teacher. I knitted up a modified Ring of Fire cowl for the shop to show how marrying two very different colors can change the look of each. Using the stitch patterns, I’ve designed a sweater, and many of the people on my Christmas list received mug cozies. I’ll warn you, brioche can be addicting. This is another book that’s been out for awhile, but I think it’s great.

Now, I was surprised to find myself buying A Garden of Shawls by Karen Whooley. But I’d been listening to a podcast (The Yarniacs) and the host told how she’d used a shawl as a blanket when traveling on an airplane. The shawl fit into a sandwich bag and was at the ready in her purse in any situation. A had some laceweight yarn I’d been holding on to, and me and the MR are always on a plane somewhere. Then I listened to another great podcast (Yarn Thing with Marly Bird) interview with Karen Whooley about her new book. She was from the Seattle-area, maybe she’d want to come out to our shop, maybe her shawls were just what I needed.

This is not an amazing technique book; it’s not teaching you a slew of new stitches; it’s a collection of very pretty shawls. I made the Ecliptic in Juniper Moon Farms Findley Dapple (a yarn from my stash that actually had enough yardage). The directions are great and the chart was easy to follow. Now, on my travels, I have a lovely, lightweight shawl to throw on over my sundress to make me church appropriate.

There are at least two other patterns—Enchantment and Briar—that are totally calling my name. How many cathedrals are we going to visit this summer? I’ll need something to cover my shoulders during those starlight dinners.

The last book I’m going talk about today is Self-Striping Yarn Studio by Carol J. Sulcoski. This book is less about new stitches and more about using some of the amazing new yarns to their best advantage. Sulcoski talks about the different types of self-striping yarns and what they mean for you. She discusses common problems, how to solve them, and then offers an array of patterns to showcase these beautiful yarns. Thumbing through the book just now, I saw a sweet baby sweater that I need to make.

I’ve been working on the Hexagon Sweater off-and-on for a bit. I started with some yarn where the repeat was too short and I ended up with hexagons all looking a bit muddled and much the same. Then I moved on to a longer run yarn where the motifs where brown, brown, brown, red, green, green, green, blue… Let’s just say not that appealing.

So when I was visiting Baby Girl back in April, I picked up a skein of Cascade sock yarn at Cozy a new yarn shop in Eugene. This yarn is (like Goldilocks would say) just right. In a variety of colors, each motif is turning out a little different. I decided an allover pattern might be a little much, so I’m using Cedar House sock yarn in a lovely muted rust for the back and sleeves (from Quintessential Knits). Maybe I’ll have this done by the end of the month to show you. I just need to be a little more monogamous in my crafting.

While maybe you don’t have an incredible urge to buy a bunch of knitting or crochet books, I do hope you’ll try something new today. You can listen to a new podcast, read a new blog, try a new recipe, walk a new path, shake things up a little.

Tried anything new lately?

For the local yarn shop tour, I added something new to my resume and designed a shawlette. I was rather pleased with the results. The Shoulder Stripe Shawlette pattern is available on Ravelry or at Quintessential Knits here in little old Duvall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On the Needles

I was thinking about it the other day. I haven’t shared recent knitting and crochet projects for awhile, and with multiple trips back and forth to Oregon over the last month coupled with down time at the yarn shop, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to knit and crochet to my hearts content.

So here’s a few of the projects from the last month. You have to remember that I finished Sweet Miss’ blanket in time for graduation, and I spent a few days on the local yarn shop tour back in May, so I was itching to start something new, and quick, and pretty, and easy.

I spent most of the trip back and forth to graduation designing a “Shoulderette”. It’s somewhere between a shrug and a shawl.  The pattern is free with purchase at Quintessential Knits. I talked Baby Girl and Cocoa into modeling for me.

Shoulderette Collage

Some time in June, I decided to make the crocheted cowl from All Wound Up. I followed the instructions exactly including the hook size even though it seemed way larger than I would have chosen.  Sometimes it pays to listen to your instincts.

Cowl Xwide & tape measure

But it was a cowl, and can it really be too wide? Does gauge really matter? Yes, yes it can and does. It was supposed to be about 34-inches wide not nearly 40 inches. I ended up taking it all out and starting over again. It wound up much closer to the expected size.

Cowl Take 2

I think it will be great come fall.

Cowl Modeling

I also made the scarf from Acorn Street Shop. I wasn’t excited about the yarn they featured with their LYS pattern, but I had a few skeins of beige-to-peach at home that were waiting to be used. I was totally surprised as I worked up the yarn to come across vibrant coral.

Before I blocked my scarf, it looked a little, OK a lot, wonky.

Wonky scarf

But that’s what blocking wires are for. They turn a crazy looking scarf into a thing of beauty. I simply soaked the scarf for about 20 minutes in a sink full of warm water with a few drops of Eucalan (wool wash). Then I weaved in the wires and used T-pins to move it into place. Let it dry and you have a thing of beauty.

Blocked ScarfOK, so maybe the lime green beach towel isn’t the best backdrop, but you get the idea.  The yarn I used was in a finer weight than the pattern called for, but with two balls of yarn, I wound up with a lovely scarf. I’m quite pleased.

Scarf Selfie

I’m not a big selfie fan, put I looked “deer in the headlights” crazy when I ran in front of the camera on the self-timer for the other photo. You’re just going to have to deal. Wrinkle remover is a paid feature on PicMonkey, so you get me in all my glory. 🙂

I also crocheted Country Yarn’s featured pattern the Lattice & Blossom Scarf. Have I mentioned that tencel is a lovely fiber to work with? Or that crocheting allows you to scream through patterns oh-so quickly? This tencel yarn has beautiful drape and sheen along with a richness of color.

Lattice & Blossom Scarf

I have been knitting up the Tea Cozy Summer Poncho in a beatuiful sik blend and have another road trip in the works, so it’ll be done soon. I’ve been working on a sample pattern for the yarn shop using an ombre yarn that moves from beige to taupe to dark brown and back. By pulling from one end of the ball and then from the other, I wound up with some beautiful contrast. Some of those new yarns make colorwork a no-brainer.

I also saw some recycled t-shirt yarn gift bags on Etsy and have been inspired. All those pot holders I made a few years ago that are really too loosely woven to be “safe” pot holders I’ve been reworking into gift bags. The yarn sheds like crazy, and I’ve learned new ways of making a long length of yarn rather than making so many knots… Live and learn.

I’ll share some of my gift bags in the monthly recap. One good thing about being the only part of the country that’s rainy and overcast this summer, you’re totally content staying indoors and playing with yarn.

I did send Sweet Miss and her Fella’ home this weekend with broccoli, blueberries, beets, and some giant cucumbers from the garden and orchard. And her roommate also received a jar of jam ensconced in a crocheted t-shirt yarn gift bag.

It might break 80-degrees this week for the first time in July. I think things are looking up.

Any projects in your queue?

 

 

Yarn Shop Hooky

Last week I wasn’t home taking care of business, I was off playing hooky. Not the standing on the street corner, smoking cigarettes, getting into trouble hooky—I’m a little old for that—I was wandering the streets checking out yarn shops.

It was the annual local yarn shop tour, me and my buddy Kristi have been checking out for the last seven or eight years. She could only take one day off work, but I spent two more visiting 21 of the 26 shops. It was the 10th anniversary, so the shops were handing out pins.

pins 001

I know it’s silly, but a pocket full of pins sure made me happy.

 

Now some of you might be wondering why bother. You can buy any yarn you want online, right? Well, there’s a certain amount of truth to that, but you can’t see the colors or feel the softness through the computer screen.

And knitters and crocheters are a generous lot. They’re constantly offering tips and tricks to make your projects more successful. Did you know that the crazy busy yarn shop in downtown Bellingham has a sale section upstairs? I was the only person in the shop for the first time ever; it’s usually wall-to-wall people at Northwest Handspun. While I didn’t pick up the locally dyed and spun yarn they were featuring, I did leave with some sale yarn.

As I was walking out, the owner was on the sidewalk sewing and stopped me to see what I’d purchased. Did you know that adding a strand of mohair to the heel and sole of your sock can stop those pesky holes? The mohair fibers strengthen and naturally felt together to keep your socks in good shape. I’d given up on hand-knit socks; our tile floors seemed to generate holes in minutes. Now I have something new to try.

The shop up in Lynden we’d visited last fall has moved and more than tripled in size. I picked up some lovely yarn for pillow covers—the MR has complained about softness. The owner mentioned that all of their stock at Wear on Earth is available online, so if I run out of yarn for my project I won’t have to head nearly to Canada to get more.

Apple Yarns also sells online. None of the skeins in-store are tagged, so they can easily change the price to be competitive with other online retailers. While I’ve been to Great Yarns in Everett over and over, I was surprised to note their huge selection of Noro yarns. I bought the book Crochet Noro and have been wanting to try out some of their amazing designs.

A friend had mentioned that Yarn of Eden down the road in Country Village was really tiny. Well, they’ve expanded to a new space, and the workers were so helpful.

I love the feel of Tolt Yarn and Wool just south of here in Carnation. I’ve never taken any of their classes, but I see one in the future. I just want to sit in their lovely space.

Our own local Quintessential Knits where I spend my Tuesday afternoons in knitting group was filled with friendly faces. One of the featured designers, the genius behind Fiber Fetish, told me all about the Portland Yarn Crawl. With two girls in school in Oregon next year, I may have to add that to my calendar.

I was excited to note that one of the workers at Quintessential had designed felted bags for another shop. I didn’t realize that was part of her expertise. My felting attempts have been a bust; it’s nice to know I have help just down the street.

Along with tips, tricks, and a better feel for some local shops, I spent a fun day with a sweet friend. I even talked my dad into joining me for coffee when I was out on my own. We caught up at Makers’ Mercantile—just a short drive from him. I enjoyed a yummy, gluten-free treat, and he got Baby Girl’s senior photo. We also played with photosensitive yarn. They sell white yarn that turns pink or purple when it’s out in the sun. If the girls were younger, I’d definitely find a project for that.

Now I have wonderful new patterns, beautiful new yarn, and lots of catching up around here. The MR tells me something has eaten the leaves off my broccoli. I was thinking 6-inch tall plants were safely on their way. I’ll try the homemade garlic insect-repellent. Maybe they still have a chance.

Have you experienced the joys of supporting local shops?

 

March–Taking It All In

You can find it all at the Big White House on the Hill.  We share decorating, gardening, organizing, philosophy, and life. I was sure March would hold big changes, but instead it’s been pretty low-key despite the lack of hot water, wasps in the roof, mice in the heat pump, and pallets full of stones waiting to be placed. I did manage to organize under the kitchen sink; it’s the small victories I hold on to.

Sometimes I have plans and ideas that just don’t jive with reality. I need to learn to Work with What I’ve Got whether it’s really fuzzy yarn or crazy hair. As you can see, we’re pretty heavy thinkers around here.

Bobo

 

And guess what? We wouldn’t have it Any Other Way.

Daphne & Sign Up Close

 

I went with Baby Girl on her senior picture shoot–if you’re local, Cassie Pepper does a fabulous job–and Cassie kept telling BG to look at her mom, and then BG would start cracking up. Apparently, I was always doing something silly without knowing it–I mean totally on purpose. The fact is, we do have a good time.

When stress does creep in, all I have to do is take a look at the view, the sunrise, the sunset, or even the moon rise. We have a lot to be thankful for in those Sweet Moments.

moonrise

 

We had plenty of sweet times celebrating Baby Girl’s birthday and Sweet Miss’ spring break. I was feeling guilty that we didn’t have a cake to celebrate, so last week after work, BG came home at 9 o’clock to find her papa and aunt and uncle here to sing to her. You can read all about our Great Week full of shopping, shows, and sisters.

The girls

 

Now let’s turn our thoughts to outside. When I was little we made crafts for March featuring lions and lambs; well this year, it’s all been lamb. OK, so we’ve had some rain, but the sunny spring days have been amazing. That means we’ve been enjoying Early Spring Blooms.

Bouquet Collage

 

And we’ve been watching The Garden Awaken as the slugs, bunnies, and birds eat my peas. The asparagus is thriving.

more buds

 

Perhaps It’s Time To Move On and toss out those old seeds from 2007. I retried with some onion seeds from 2012 with no luck as well. Maybe seed starting isn’t my gift.

Remember the stones and dirt Piling Up? Well, they’re still just waiting in the yard. Tomorrow will be the day, so if you’re lucky we’ll have progress next week.

So what did we do this month? The MR hung a picture in The Best Laid Plans, and I reorganized under the kitchen sink Behind Closed Doors.

Sounds like a successful month. Now you’ll have to excuse me while I watch the sunrise with my dogs.

How was your March? Any sweet moments you’d like to share?

 

Work with What You’ve Got

Sometimes you have to learn to work with what you’ve got.

Take Baby Girl for instance. She’s always had a ton of hair.

BG and Bunny10082014_0000

 

She was just born with it.

BG and Berries10082014_0000

And somewhere along the line, her hair has turned really, really curly. She could fight all that volume with straighteners and creams, but instead she’s just embraced it.

Her hair is what it is–big, curly, and gorgeous. (Yes, I am her mother; it’s my job to say those kind of things.)

BG & SM

My sweet lovely girls on our recent trip to Mexico.

Now that brings us to the point of my story. I have a hard time passing up a bargain. OK, it’s a stretch, but stick with me it’ll all make sense.

So when I saw furry green yarn at the dollar store, I immediately scooped up a half dozen skeins. The girls were little. Wouldn’t it make a great scarf?

Furry Yarn

 

I tried knitting with it; I tried crocheting with it; this was the most difficult yarn I’d ever worked with. What was I thinking? This was no bargain.

Five or six years go by, and I still have this silly yarn sitting in a drawer. But last summer I saw a great stuffed lamb at a local yarn shop and pulled it out. I bought the pattern Puff by CiD Hascom on Ravelry and got busy.

Pairing it with another yarn gave it a little more body, but it was still tricky to work with. After I finished this little guy, I was done.puffThen it hit me; I was going about this all wrong. I was trying to make some crazy novelty yarn act like regular yarn. This was never going to work. I needed a new plan.

I switched to a simple openwork pattern and whipped up this little blanket in no time.

BoboI mean this sweet little blanket.

Fuzzy BlanketYou don’t know how many pictures I have to retake, because the dogs are fascinated by my work. If I spend that much time on it, it must involve food, right?

Oh well, Bogart seems to approve.

Bogart Checking out the action

 

Life might be easier if we didn’t have quite so many windows, if our house wasn’t all strange angles, if we weren’t perched on a hillside–baby, it is what it is. You’ve just got to deal.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll wind up with something amazing. Just look at Baby Girl.

Fighting any losing battles lately? How do you learn to embrace life? Do I have to change BG’s nickname when she turns 18 in a few weeks?

 

 

Gauging Success

A few weeks back, I volunteered at Vogue Knitting Live Seattle and spent two days at this yarn extravaganza.

I decided to volunteer so that I wouldn’t be able to talk myself out of going. I knew if something came up for BG or the MR or I was invited to something with friends, I’d be tempted to blow it off–even though I really wanted to go. Volunteering forced me to commit, and I had a great time putting together gift bags, checking badges, dressing models, and winding yarn into balls for a random bunch of wonderful ladies who just happened to stop by.

As a thank you for giving of my time, I received $25 off the class of my choice, free entrance, plus some gift cards that should be arriving soon. Well, I’ve been knitting for over 30 years and crocheting for over 40 years; I figured I pretty much had this thing down. Then I saw a class entitled “The Secrets to Solving Mistakes, Mishaps, and the Disappointing Project.” OK, maybe I could use a little help after all, so I signed up.

Leslye Solomon of Woolstock Yarn Shop, just 20 miles outside Baltimore and 2,700 miles from my house, dropped pearls of wisdom throughout the class, and I do believe my knitting will never be the same. I guess it goes to show you that you can always learn something new.

Here’s just a few gems for you:

  • Your stitches should fit the shape of the needle. You don’t want to be all loosey-goosey or so tight you have to fight to get the stitch off.
  • Make sure you cast on and bind off loose enough to match your knitting. If it’s curling, it’s too tight, and you’re going to have to take it out.
    (The lady next to me had a lovely shawl with a curling point that just needed a looser bind off.)
  • As a rule of thumb, use a two-needle cast-on for a lengthwise scarf or a blanket.
  • Use Dawn to wash your sweaters
    Isn’t that harsh? Why would I use that? That’s what the the spinners use to get the oil out of the wool–hhm I’ll think about it.
  • Put knots in your yarn tail to mark the needle size. That way you won’t have to remember if you used size 7 or size 8 needles for the front of that sweater that you got sick of and put away for the last six months. I totally loved that idea. It spoke to my unorganized heart.
  • The needles you use for ribbing should always be smaller than the needles you use for the main body. If the pattern calls for the same size; it’s wrong. Be brave and do the right thing–it’s going to look better I promise.
  • When you’re knitting lace, add a “life line” after a row where everything matches up perfectly–the purl return row if you’re lucky enough to have one.
    (Simply run a tapestry needle with contrasting thread through all the loops. That way when you have too many yarn overs and something’s gone horribly wrong with your count, you’ve got a do-over without dropping any stitches.)
  • If your sweater is too big and you never wear it after all that work, pull out your serger or sewing machine. An overlock stitch or a zig-zag can give you a new edge, be brave, cut it up, and stitch it all back together. You won’t win a prize at the county fair, but at least you’ll get to wear it.

Finally, the biggest “Ah-ha!” moment came when we started talking about swatches and gauge. When you’re starting a sweater, you’re supposed to make a small swatch to check your gauge, so you can make sure that the sweater will end up the same size as the pattern. When our trusty teacher asked us how many stitches to cast on for this, the answers ran the gamut from the exact amount of the gauge plus a couple for a border, the exact amount called for, round the gauge amount up to the nearest round number, cast on the amount needed for the sleeve and start on that, cast on and use a garter stitch along the edge to keep it flat. Basically, no one new the “right” answer. Leslye suggested casting on the exact amount called for; otherwise how are you going to keep the stitch count with some of the bulky and fuzzy yarns out there. She uses blocking wires to keep the swatch flat.This all seemed to make sense.

Then she asked the craziest question ever, “Do you wash your swatch?” Well, I’ve already gone to the bother of checking the gauge, why would I do that? If you’re going to wash your sweater, you need to see what happens when you wash your gauge swatch. Maybe the yarn will loosen up and flatten out, or maybe it will shrink–you just don’t know. Perhaps that’s why Baby Girl’s Christmas sweater has rather long sleeves. Our teacher was kind enough to show us samples and share stories of past mistakes. As she pulled out a beautiful red and white striped swatch, the room let out an audible “aww”. When the two vibrant yarns were washed the stripes bled together. So much better to learn that lesson on a small sample rather than on the finished sweater.

Another light bulb moment was when she asked the class how we block our knits. A volunteer began laying a sweater piece out flat–just like we all would have done. Unfortunately, this doesn’t take into account gravity, so Leslye recommends giving your swatch a little stretch to see how it’s really going to hang and then counting the rows (on the purl side). Then if the gauge is supposed to be 10 rows to four inches but your is only 8 rows to four inches, you use that ratio to figure out number of rows rather than by measuring. It requires a little math and a little thinking, but at least your sleeves will both be the same length.

So has this really made a difference in my knitting? Yes, I came home and unraveled a sweater that seemed way too big before it was even blocked. I’ve washed my swatches and checked my gauge. Now let’s hope my math is right and it turns out beautiful–or at least wearable.

Gauge Collage

Now if you get a chance to go to Vogue Knitting Live, I’d say grab it. It was wonderful to be surrounded by other people all passionate about something you love. Leslye Solomon was an amazing teacher; I highly recommend one of her classes. I’m sure it would be much more organized than my ramblings. I do hope you’ve picked up a few tips and trick to try.

What are you knitting or crocheting? Any hobby have you hooked?

 

 

 

 

Cozying the Couch

On these windy, rainy days, I like to snuggle up in a nice big sweater. It’s cozy and warm and keeps the chill off. So last spring when I came across a few skeins of gorgeous, variegated, chunky, green yarn I snapped them up thinking they’d make a great snuggly pillow cover for the fall and winter months.

Over the summer, I started crocheting my pillow cover and soon realized I was running out of yarn. I switched part way through to a pattern that was less of a yarn hog and wound up with just enough to cover one of the old the pillows the former owners left in the conversation pit. These are perfectly fine pillows; I just hate the southwest fabric, and I still have a pile of them in the guest room closet. Now I had to rethink my plan. That’s usually my downfall. I’ve thought things through, they change, and I don’t know what to do.

I could use the faux brown suede I have from a project that fell through years ago. I have some light linen I could use for the back. But I’m moving away from the browns and trying to incorporate more gray in the color scheme. Linen and sweaters don’t really go together. On one of those sleepless nights, I remembered the rolls of fleece fabric I received from a friend when she moved about 10 years ago–I’ve told you I keep everything. Well anyways, I was sure I had some gray fleece out in the sewing room. But had I cut it into strips when I was on that bag making kick? Who knows. I could just piece the back; it would be fine.

Sometimes I need to tell myself, “Get a grip Kim. It’s just a pillow.” And this weekend, I found the perfect piece of fleece, and sewed it up lickety-split, and now we have a new pillow.

backing pillow topper

First I cut the fleece into a 16×16-inch square to match the size of the pillow and a cut a 16×5-inch flap. Well, my crocheted pillow front wasn’t quite square, so I readjusted the fleece to match up with front.

cut fleece

Next, I pinned both sides together and started sewing. Well, have you noticed how sweaters can stretch? I was quickly running into problems with a standard stitch length. So I switched it to the longest stitch length (this pillow is not meant for pillow fights or heavy wear and tear) and pinned it carefully. I don’t normally use a lot of pins, but with stretchy fabric it helps keep everything in place.

sewn together

Then I removed the pins holding the flap and the back together and turned just the backing fabric to the right side.

pillow inside 2

After slipping in the pillow, I turned the flap right-side out and sewed it in place with a running stitch and some embroidery floss. If the pillow cover needs to go through the wash, I will have to resew it, but it took all of two minutes, so I’m OK with that.

And now while I love, love, love my owl pillow; it looks a little bland against the gray couch. Beige on gray is not my favorite.

owl

But when I add our new cozy pillow, it stands out so much more.

owl and sweater

The owl pillow might be even better on one of the little green chairs, so my cozy green pillow can hold its on with the faux-fur throw on the couch.

owl on green chair

My new pillow certainly adds a punch of color and texture to the loveseat.

sweater pillow

Here we are all up close and personal.

sweater pillow up close

I love the texture, the color, and the coziness factor. The dogs on the otherhand can’t figure out why I’m crawling around and not playing with them. They’ve been trying to photo bomb all these pictures with tails and noses everywhere. I don’t believe they have much to say about pillows, although Cocoa did eat the corner of the owl pillow in her puppy days–maybe that’s why she can’t look me in the eye.

dogs

Did you get crafty this weekend? Added any cozy touches to your home as winter approaches?

(Note to self: Clean up the den and hang up that silly picture–it’s another plan went awry and has been on hold for months.)