Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I've decided to move to TypePad so you can find me there now.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sweaters To Yarn

I've fallen in love with reclaiming yarn.

I love thrift store shopping for good wool (or cotton or linen or cashmere). And then unraveling (or raveling) the yarn then measuring it by winding it around a handy device my father made for me (a piece of wood with two dowels stuck in it a yard apart). Then washing it it to remove the somebody else's house smell. And winding it into a ball by hand (I don't own a swift or ball winder at the moment - so big! where to put it?). However, I have yet to knit anything with it! Arrrg! So I'm holding off on the other sweaters I have until I get my stash more organized. However, I've keep finding nice cashmere sweaters that are too fine for unraveling, so I think I'll try to sew some longies with those! What I don't like - the little fuzzies that get everywere as I deconstruct the sweater.

Here's a GAP knitted mini-skirt in a natural colored lamb's wool.

And here's the finished balls of yarn - approximately 600 yards of sport weight (I'm guessing - I haven't mastered the art of telling the weight of the yarn yet). What to make with it, what to make....

Monday, January 21, 2008


Its kinda funny how you fall in love with a color combination and then suddenly you see it everywhere! I picked up these lovely fabrics at Ambatalia a green fabric boutique store in Mill Valley recently and when I got home from the trip I found a package with some Smartwool (oh how I love thee) socks. This pair picked up the colors on my fabric so nicely.

The other colors I'm in love with are baby blue/sky blue/robin's egg blue and red with a darker blue. It just seems to keep popping up!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Backtracking - my first sewn project

Slowly getting around to uploading pictures, I wanted to share my first sewing project. Its an Old Navy womens (?) lambswool sweater in holiday colors that had been put in hot too many times. I picked it up at a thrift store, cut the arms off, cut the seams midway down the arms so that they could become the legs, seamed the front and back and rolled a waist band with elastic, then lanolized it (that is added lanolin back to the wool to help make it less likely to absorb). Here H is sportin it over a fitted pair of training pants.

Its not too bad considering I've never sewn anything in my life and a sweater is pretty difficult material to work with for you first time out. If you were to look closely you could see spots where I missed and gaping holes and the spots where I sewed over an area way to often trying to get my seams correct. But I rather like it despite that fact.

Since I found the sweater I really wanted to get it done in time for Christmas because of the colors. And I got it done, yea! Here's to tossing paralyzing perfectionist tendencies out! And just getting the damn thing done, whatever that damn thing may be!

Oh yea, I also got the dream swatch headband (shown above, H is playing with it) done in time for Christmas as well. But I'll save that little knitting post for another time.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Toyko Tie Bag

Here's the 3rd (how much longer can I count things? I sorta gave up with knitting after a dozen) thing I've ever sewn! Its a little handbag perfect for holding wallet, cell phone and keys and it has a little tie handle that I can loop around the waist band of the Ergo (the pocket of the Ergo doesn't work very well with the baby on the back) without loading my pockets down with my essentials. Its from Sew Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp. Amazon users gives it almost 5 stars, which again seems to be right on.

Friday, January 4, 2008

I am sewing!!

So I'm teaching myself how to sew. And I've completed one of my first real projects. Its a sewing toolkit/apron from 101 Ways to Use Your First Sewing Machine. Amazon users give the book 2.5 stars which is about right, but I got it from the library and it helped get me started, so no complaints. The apron is very cute and a good first project but I think its probably the only item I wanted to make from the book. I'm not sure how I'll use the apron but I had fun working on it. It uses pre-made piping to line the top edges and is folded over with simple straight stitches to make the pockets.

But I'm not resting on my laurels - nope, my queue of things to work on is too long and is growing faster than I can make them. So here's a sneak peak of a WIP.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

This thing on?

A new year, a new blog. Yes, yet another crafting blog. I've been bitten by the crafting bug in a big way and would like the opportunity to share my finished works with others. I also started a blog to share news and updates about my family with my extended family and friends and didn't want it to get cluttered with the latest, "check out what I knitted!" types of entries. Also, my family blog is for, well, my family and friends - not the world as a whole, so my crafting blog gets to be public and the other family blog shall remain nameless.

What shall we cover over here at Thystle Down's Blog? Oh, you know whatever is catching my fancy these days. Currently that is knitting (oh thank you SoCal friends for my xmas present - a gift certificate to a LYS) and sewing! And I think I might have a book or two from Amazon coming on how to embroider. And I also wanted to share some of my interest in garden design - so its a bit of a creative hodge podge here. I'll try to get things started with some recently finished projects. So stay tuned!