Monday, November 24, 2008

Free Pattern: Top Hat for 1:6 Scale Dolls

I have been working on creating a mad hatter tea party diorama with my dolls and needed a top hat, so I made one. I am posting a pattern and instructions so you can make one too. This pattern is for personal use only.
Model: Mattel Top Model Head with Volks Neo EB Body
Outfit: Mattel
Necktie & hat: me
Teapot: Rement

Heavy card stock
White glue
Acrylic paint
Paint brush

1. Cut out all three pattern pieces and trace them onto card stock. Trace and cut out two hat brims. Test out the opening hole inside the hat brim to make sure it will fit your doll’s head. I made this hat for a doll with a ponytail, so the opening for the head is a bit large.
2. Fold the pointed pieces to 90-degree angles. The pointed pieces are used to attach the parts of the hat together.
3. Curl up the wall piece of the hat and stuff it into the hole of one brim piece. Glue the ends of this piece together and tape it closed from the inside. Glue the points at the base of the hat wall to the underside of the brim. Glue this brim down to the other brim you cut out so the points will be sandwiched and hidden between two pieces of card stock.
4. Place the top on the hat, concealing the points inside the cylinder of the wall with glue.
5. Let the glue on the hat dry. Apply several coats of acrylic paint, allowing it to dry, then embellish with a ribbon hatband.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Great Holiday Indie Shopping around LA

Yikes! The holidays are almost here. Here is a list of great upcoming shows that handmade gifts.

Art & Pottery Market
November 7 & 8
American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona

Annual Art Fair
November 7-9
Creative Arts Group, Sierra Madre

Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival
November 9
Santa Ana museum district, OC

Xiem Fall Ceramic Art Fair & Studio Sale

November 14th & 15th
Pasadena, CA

Felt Club
November 16
Shrine Auditorium, LA

Holiday Staff Boutique
December 12-14
The San Gabriel Bead Company, Arcadia

Handmade Galleries

Always open, Sherman Oaks

Friday, October 24, 2008

New Knitting Pattern: Doll Sweater Tank

The girls had a get together today to catch up and have a drink at home. They had to take a group photo to show off their new sweater tanks. The perfect item for any fall wardrobe.

This new knitting pattern, sweater tank, fits most medium and small busted 1:6 scale dolls including Barbie, Obitusu, Volks, and J-Doll. I used Cotton Classic yarn by Tahki Stacy Charles. It is an inexpensive yarn that comes in a rainbow of beautiful colors.

The pattern is available at my etsy store.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Barbie is my gateway doll

The other week, I was at the bookstore picking up the latest Vogue Knitting magazine and came across Haute Doll. I could not put it down and ended up purchasing it. Inside there were all these beautiful photos of "Barbie like" dolls set-up in lush dioramas with amazing outfits.

As a kid, I had always coveted Barbie. I had the Skipper doll, The Sunshine Family, and other non-Barbie 1:6 scale dolls, but not an actual Barbie. To make amends for this, I purchased a Barbie about 6 months ago. She was cool, and I made the knit mermaid tail for her, but it was frustrating that her posing abilities were so limited. My need for 1:6 scale dolls was satiated, or so I thought.

In the pages of Haute Doll, I discovered ball jointed dolls (bjd's) and became obsessed with researching all I could find online. My first purchase was a Tonner doll, but I soon discovered the diy Asian bjd's such as Volks and Obitsu. Many of the Asian bjd's allow you totally customize them by choosing wigs, painting their faces, and changing their hands or feet. I also pre-ordered a J-Doll and discovered the wonders of Re-ment 1:6 scale miniatures.

I had not realized that I liked dolls so much. I guess Barbie was my gateway doll. Luckily the mermaid tail fits my new 1:6 scale bjd's. More doll knitting patterns will be on the way.

I have a Volks doll up for sale over at e-bay this week that comes with acrylic eyes. I over bought.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Knitting Pattern: Squared Up, fingerless Mitts

I adore fingerless gloves because they keep your hands warm and still let you do things. The design for this Squared Up pattern was inspired by the open floor plans of loft living and the clean geometric lines of mid-century modern furniture.

This pattern calls for 3 colors of Sock by Shibui Knits. It is a really soft superwash merino wool in semi-solid colors. The pattern for Squared Up is available in my etsy store and includes sizing instructions for small, medium, and large sized gloves.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

New Knitting Pattern: Mermaid Tail for Dolls

Transform your Barbie into a siren of the sea with this new knitting pattern, Mermaid Tail for Barbie.

The pattern, which requires knitting in the round, increasing, and decreasing is now available in my Etsy store, AnsleyBleu.

The pattern calls for 1 skein of Cotton Classic yarn by Tahki Stacy Charles and US 5 dpns or a long circular needle.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Katamari Hat, COMPLETE!

I am so excited. I finally finished my Katamari Ball Hat that I started a year ago. I think I was afraid to make ear flaps for some strange reason so I put it down.

The other night I felt the desire to pick it up again, and it was done in just a few hours. I really like how it turned out and I love the colors, although they remind me of frog eyeballs a little.

I used an i-cord knitting machine for the "chin straps" and then sewed them to the corners of the ear flaps. You can read more details about what I used here.

Here are the directions for how I made the bumps. The pattern is based on directions by Easily Amused and The Knitting Fiend.

Merino Style yarn by Knit Picks (3 Colors)
8 – 2” Styrofoam Balls
Thin batting
Tapestry needle

Directions for Bumps
Using top down method mentioned by the Knitting Fiend
With waste yarn, CO 6 sts, knit
Transfer sts to 3 DPNS
Round 1 knit
Round 2 KF&B, 12 sts
Round 3 KF&B, K1, 18 sts
Round 4 KF&B, K2, 24 sts
Round 5 KF&B, K3, 30 sts

Change Color

Round 6, knit
Round 7 KF&B, K4
Round 8 - 10 Knit

Change Color

Round 11 – 18 knit

Repeat 7 more times for a total of 8 bumps.

Bind off all sts, leaving a long yarn tail to be used to sew bump to hat later.
Trim away the CO waste yarn and close up the top of the bump and weave in the ends.

Slice off one side of a Styrofoam ball, cover it in thin batting, insert into a stocking to keep the batting on the ball, and insert it into the knitted bump. The sliced off side should face out so that the bump will lay flat against the hat. I used Styrofoam balls inside the knit bumps so that they would retain their shape over time.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Free Gift Box Templates

The Senri International School website that has over 35 templates for boxes available for free that you can print out on your own card stock. There are some really great designs available that are perfect for little gifts. I really like this one for a pyramid.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Twist Collective - New Online Knitting Magazine

Twist Collective is a new online knitting magazine created by Kate Gilbert and her knit designer friends. I am excited about this new format and the patterns available are lovely. The main difference with this magazine and other online knitting magazines is that the patterns are for sale.

It is a sad fact that knitwear designers get paid much less for their design work today than what they were paid in the 1980's. Although I enjoy a free pattern, I am more than happy to pay the small fee of $7 for a knitting pattern. This way individual designers make money for their talent and also retain the rights to their work. There is nothing like good pay to inspire great work. I hope this project takes off and sets a new standard for the fair treatment of artists.

There is a nice interview about Twist Collective with Kate Gilbert on episode 90 of the Ready Set Knit podcast.

Jenny & Nicole of Stash & Burn podcast also discuss this new magazine in episode 59.

There was a great discussion about the fair treatment of knitwear designers over at Cast On podcast, but I can't seem to find which episode it was on. Lily Chin also touches on this topic during her interview on episode 67 of Craft Sanity.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Book Inspired Knits - Twilight Series

This summer it has been hot, so I have been doing much more reading rather than crafting. About a month ago I was bitten by the Twilight series written by Stephenie Meyer. They were so much fun to read. I also started listening to a great podcast about the series, Imprint.

As with many other books, this series has inspired a number of knitters. Two that stand out are this great pair of Eclipse socks by Shiny Knits that were inspired by the Eclipse book cover, and this pair of Twilight socks by Chicken Betty that were inspired by the Twilight book cover. I may have to start knitting socks!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Last Day to Enter the Bag Challenge

Today is the last day to enter CraftStylish's Tote Bag Challenge. I just completed mine tote bag. I am calling it the Eco-Chic Floral Tote. I entered the eco-chic category. You can read and see more details about it here.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Tote-ally Crafty Bag Challenge

CraftStylish is hosting a tote bag challenge, Tote-ally Crafty Bag Challenge, where the Grand Prize Packages consist of an official CraftStylish tote bag filled with crafty items worth over $250. The categories are Play Ball, All That Glitters, Eco-Chic, and The Omni-Crafter Special. The deadline to enter is 11:59pm ET on July 31st. Yea!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

This weekend: Cirque Berzerk in LA

This weekend, July 24th - 27th, Cirque Berzerk presents Beneath, a full length theatrical circus experience.

I had the great fortune to attend this evenings amazing performance which was loosely based upon the story of Orpheus. There were beautiful male and female aerial acrobats, a contortionist, clowning, a cabaret performance, and fire stunts all set before a live original score. If you get the chance, I highly recommend it. It is taking place under the big top located within walking distance of the LA Metro Gold line, China Town stop.

Tickets are available here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Free Pattern: Merbaby

Angry Chicken has a great how-to up for this adorable Merbaby. I have been wanting to create a mermaid doll for a while now, but have not gotten to it yet. I love this idea and think it would make the perfect gift for one of the little girls in my life.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

How to: Outdoor water fountain

I have made a few small indoor water fountains in the past, but I found them to be a bit irritating rather than soothing. They splashed too much and the sound of it water made me think I had left the water on outside. So, I decided that this is an item better left outside.

I just came across this nice DIY Bubbling Water Urn over at Gardener's World. It looks really easy and fairly inexpensive to make.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

New Online Knitting Magazine

I just stumbled upon Knotions, a new online magazine with free knitting patterns. Yea!

New Knitting Patterns at Berroco

Although LA has had record breaking heat the last two days and it is almost unbearable to even look at knitting, I am smitten with this new sweater pattern, Crotona, over at Berroco. It is knit in Cuzco which has a gorgeous color pallete. If I do get a chance to make it, I would probably shorten it to hip length. This pattern and a few other amazing patterns can be found in Berroco's Booklet #281.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Cutest Cupcake Contest Winners

A while back, there was a Cutest Cupcake contest over at Martha Stewart. They have a whole photo album up of the finalists and winners. There were a ton of entries, so judging must have been pretty hard. I really liked this labor intensive one that made it to the finals by Just_Maryam.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Flower Pot Desserts

The Pioneer Woman Cooks has a tutorial up for these cute desserts that are made to look like a potted plant.

Garden Decor: Tipsy Pots

Gardens and Crafts has a great tutorial up for making this pretty garden flower pot display.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Amazing Felt Brooches

I am loving this collection of wool felt brooches by Canadian based artist Woolly Fabulous that I came across over at Flickr. A number of them are available at her etsy store.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Links are back

When I updated this blog a while back, the links went away. I have just updated the list and they are now back in the sidebar.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

I-Cord Knitting Machine

I have just purchased an Embellish Knit i-cord knitting machine. I have been wanting one ever since I saw Betz White use one during her pincushion tutorial on the Martha Stewart show. I opened the packet and, after a few cranks on the handle, got it going fairly easily. I made this pile of i-cord with the yarn provided, which would have taken a few hours if hand knit, in just a few minuets.

One thing I noticed is that the tension of my cord is a bit uneven in a few places. I think this is because I waited a while to move the weight up the cord. This is not a major issue and I will be sure to remember to change the position of the weight more frequently.

This little machine only has four stitches and uses sport weight yarn or thinner. I think I may get one of theses little machines or possibly this one too. I think they will be a great help for making knitted toys.

Monday, June 02, 2008

DIY Vingear from Leftover Wine

I was listening to one of my favorite food podcasts, The Splendid Table, and one of the guests was talking about making your own vinegar from leftover wine. They have a tutorial written up over at their website, Gang of Pour. It sounds delicious.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

DIY Upholstery Tutorial

Pie Knits, who has some super cute knitting patterns, has just posted a tutorial for DIY upholstery. She did an amazing job re-vamping this settee. I did a similar, but smaller scale, project once and it just about killed my wrists and hands. I love the result though.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tutorial: Knitted Dish Scrubbie

I just came across this tutorial for a Knitted Dish Scrubby written up by Berlin's Whimsy. She uses tulle fabric combined with yarn for good scrubbing action. What a great idea and cute too!

Knitted Car Cover

I came across this photo of an amazing knitted Volvo car cover over in the flickr's The Knitting Club photo pool by secretagentmartens. You can read more about the Manifest festival that the art car was created for here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New Knittng Pattern Love: Praying Mantis

I totally adore the creature knitting patterns of Seattle based artist Hansigrumi. They are completely cute and a little creepy at the same time. She has just completed a new knitted toy, a Praying Manits, which I love. Her work is so detailed and well crafted. I will have to make one of her patterns soon. You can purchase her knitting patterns at her etsy store.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sewing Pattern: Twist-It-Up Bandeaua Top

I just came across the pattern for the cardi-wrap in an hour that I wrote about a while back and thought I should visit the Threads website again. They have a free pattern up right now for a super cute Twist-It-Up Bandeau Top that can be worn several ways. The pattern looks really easy and should be a fun thing to wear out on a summer evening.

They have a few other cute patterns up right now too in addition to this great sewing tips & tricks guide.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

New Knitting Pattern: Sparkle Beetle

Metallic beetles fascinate me. Their beautiful colors and body structure are striking and sometimes creepy. I wanted to create a toy that captured that glitter and form, but also had a sense of humor. So, the Sparkle Beetle knitting pattern is born.

This knitting pattern uses 4 balls of Shine Worsted yarn by Knit Picks where a thin metallic yarn is held together with this soft cotton yarn so the beetle sparkles.

The beetle measures 12” long x 11” wide, from leg to leg.

The pattern is available in my etsy store,

Softie Awards Winners Announced

The 2nd Annual Softie Award winners have been announced. The Knit Carrot & Mandarin did not win in the picnic food category, but who could resist those cute mice! Thanks to everyone who voted for me.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Voting for the Softie Awards is now open!

Softies Central is hosting another Softie Awards competition and I am honored to announce that my Knit Carrot & Mandarin have made it to the finals in the Picnic Food Category. This time there are five categories with five finalists each.

Voting is open now through Tuesday, May 6th at 8pm PST and winners will be announced on Wednesday, May 7th.
Voting is taking place here.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

New Knitting Pattern: Carrot & Mandarin

There have been so many babies amongst my family and friends lately that I decided to design a few knitting patterns that could become baby gifts.

This cute pattern is for a knit Carrot and Mandarin is a really versatile project that can be made into a baby rattle, sachet, or pincushion. It is a quick and inexpensive gift to make. I used one skein of orange and green Lamb's Pride yarn to make both toys with yarn to spare.

This pattern and the Rolled Brim Baby Hat with Stripes are both available in my etsy store.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Curiobot, an archive of strange and wonderful things

I just came across Curiobot. It is a site that selects interesting products that are available on the internet. Some of the items are mass produced, but many are handmade. There are a ton of neat things there. They have listed my fleece Leia Wig among their products. Yeah!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Light Carpet

I just came across this amazing Light Carpet by Finnish architect and artist Johanna Hyrkäs. Light Carpet is made up of a light rope that is enclosed in a crochet cording. You can see more of her work including more Light Carpets at here website.

This piece was part of a design exhibition titled Extremely White, which was organized by Otro Diseno which is located in Amsterdam, but specializes in Latin American design.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Knitted Innards

I just stumbed across these images of amazing knitted innards at the Sarah Illenberger website. This site is mainly in German, so I am unsure if she knit or photographed these pieces, but I love how the mohair yarn has captured the feel of the pieces.

Brain Embroidery at Monster Crochet
Knitted Digestive System at Craftster
Other Fiber Brains at Museum of Fabric Brain Art
Womb at Knitty

Saturday, March 22, 2008

New Knitting Pattern: Rolled Brim Baby Hat with Stripes

I have created another hat pattern, but this time it is for baby. It is called the Rolled Brim Baby Hat with Stripes. I made this little hat for the same friend that I made the Strawberry Baby Rattle for. She wanted a baby hat for the little guy when he comes home from delivery, and I am happy to be able to fulfill this request.

I used Merino Style yarn from Knit Picks. So this is a very soft, yet inexpensive gift to make. I have really enjoyed designing for baby I will probably do more. This pattern is available in my etsy store,

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Knit Strawberry Baby Rattle

I wanted to make something for a friend of mine who is having a baby soon. While browsing at patterns over at Ravelry, I came across this adorable Knit Strawberry pattern by Pez Diva. I saw it and knew that it would make a perfect baby rattle.

I used two yarns held together, Lamb's Pride and Berkshire, so it would be large and have a pretty variegated effect.

For the rattle, I filled a small plastic egg with peppercorns and sealed it with my favorite low VOC silicone glue.

I also added a small plastic ring onto the stem of the strawberry so the toy may be clipped onto a stroller or whatever. To cover the plastic ring in yarn, I used a crochet tutorial which was written up over at Lula Louise.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Crochet Bullion

This past Sunday, at the LA Fiber Guild meeting, my new friend Janice showed me how to make these adorable crochet bullion.

Janice is a freeform crochet diva and I am a crochet novice. I am thrilled to know this new technique and plan on using them as embellishments on the surface of various projects.

violet: Cascade 220 Tweed,
lime: Lion Wool, teal: Lamb's Pride

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Loose Leaf Tea Canisters

I have been brewing a lot of loose leaf teas lately. I wanted to purchase some nice canisters to hold the teas in. Everything I found in the stores was either really expensive or ugly.

I saw a bunch of tin canisters with Christmas prints in the sale bin at the craft store for less than a dollar each. So, I purchased the canisters, some pretty paper by Paper Source and
Mod Podge. I covered them with the paper and now I have some nice canisters to hold tea.

Friday, February 29, 2008

New Knitting Pattern: Batgirl gloves

Introducing a new knitting pattern, Batgirl Gloves. Fight crime and keep your hands warm at the same time. These fitted fingerless gloves allow you to harness the feminine power of Batgirl.

My quest is to create knitting patterns that capture the spirit of feminine confidence and power but also have a sense of humor. Batgirl is an icon that captures this spirit. I was inspired to create this pattern after seeing this adorable photo (scroll down a bit) of Natalie Zee Drieu, Senior editor of Craftzine.

The pattern calls for 3 balls of Merino Style yarn from Knit Picks, so they are inexpensive to make.

This pattern and the two other patterns I have created along this same vein (Leia Wig & Breast Pillow) are a available in my etsy store, More to come!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Felt Handbag, complete!

I completed the last project I started at the last LA Fiber Guild's Felt Study Group last month. We all worked on the resist method.

The bag is made in one piece. I used a pre-felt fabric from Outback Fibers for the branch design that I cut out and wet felt onto the bag's surface. I sewed two short seams into the corners of the bag to give it more of a boxy structure. I added rivets to secure the handles in place, and made a felt ball for a toggle closure. I used wool blend yarn to sew a blanket stitch along the top edge of the bag for extra durability. I am really happy with how it turned out and am looking forward to making another.

If you are interested in joining us, the next meeting is at Sunday, March 2nd at 11am.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Knitted Valentine Gifts

This year I gave knitted Valentine gifts to the ladies in my family. I knitted up a bunch of Mochimochi Land's Hearts using Lamb's Pride yarn. I only washed them once, so they are only slightly felted.

I had intended to make the hearts into pins with some sort of embroidery or beading on them, but I did not like how they were turning out. So, I used an eye dropper to impregnate them with lavender oil. They turned out to be great sachets.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New Knitting Pattern: Simple Stripes Fingerless Gloves

I have just completed a new knitting pattern for fingerless gloves. They are titled Simple Stripes Fingerless Gloves. I adore fingerless gloves because they allow you to keep warm and still do things.

I was inspired by the bright Lemongrass green wool yarn and came up with this design. These gloves are shaped to fit the wrist and thumb, and have a pretty picot edging for a little feminine touch.

I used Lion Wool yarn from Lion Brand Yarn Co. These gloves knit up quick and are inexpensive to make. They are a perfect project to make for a gift or as a treat for yourself.

The pattern for these gloves are available in my etsy store,

Monday, February 11, 2008

How to: Paper Water Lilly

I am having a party for my birthday this weekend and wanted few table decorations. I decided not to purchase a bunch of ready-made plastic stuff that would just end up in the landfill. I chose to make paper flowers, which are also perfect for Valentine's Day. The flowers I made look like Water Lilly's. Here is how I did it:

2 colors of tissue paper
1 color of slightly thicker paper (I used a colored paper bag)

Cut four 10"x12" pieces of tissue paper and 1 layer of the thicker paper. Stack the pieces of paper up alternating the colors with the thicker piece of paper on the bottom.

Fold the paper lengthwise into 1" accordion pleats.

Trim the ends into points. Fold the folded strip in half, and cut it along the fold line. Trim these ends into points too.

Cut a notch on both sides of the middle of the shorter strip and tie with string.

Open out the pleats and begin gently lifting each layer of tissue paper. The slightly thicker paper bag paper will become the bottom of the flower.


Saturday, February 09, 2008

Knitting Patterns for Valentine's Day round-up

My family always exchanges token gifts for Valentine's Day. It is a fun way to remind them how much you love them and how important they are. In my attempt to keep up with the Handmade Pledge, I am going to make little gifts for my family.

Here are a few links for quick Valentine knitting patterns that should all take less than a day to make.

Hearts from Mochimochi Blog
Heartfelt from Berroco
Valentine Candy Pillow from Domiknitrix
Heart Sachet by Vicki Sever for Interweave Knits
Love Rocks! Mitred Heart Neck Garland from Vickie Howell
Heart Cloth from Purple Duckie
Crest of the Wave from Baxter Knits
Lace Heart Bookmark from Page by Page
Peruvia Rose from Berroco
Calla Lillies by Heather Broadhurst for Knitty
Flower Corsage by Rachel Henderson for I Love Knitting
Knitted Flower by Strikkelise
Perky Poppy Pins by
Nora Rezzatano for Mag Knits
Knitted Rose Pin by Knittingknonsense