Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Featured on Kollabora

I seriously can't stop blushing.

Kollabora interviewed me this week for their Meet the Maker series, and I can't believe the nice things they said!

If you want to check it out, you can do so right here.

I feel so lucky to be a part of all this.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Precip Hat Knitting Pattern

Today I'm really excited to finally tell you about a project that I've been working on behind the scenes for quite a while...

It's my first-ever dowloadable PDF pattern: The Precip Hat!

My goal was to make a cozy hat that was cheerful enough to fight the late winter blues (so a pom pom was obviously essential) and that could carry over into an early spring wardrobe as well.

When I was first drawing up the pattern, I intended the speckled stitches to look like fluttering snowflakes.  Then I knitted the hat with Blue Sky Worsted Hand Dyes Yarn in the lovely Dungaree color and I suddenly saw raindrops.

So that's where the name comes from; Precip as in precipitation.  In the two versions of the hat pictured above, I see snowflakes for winter and raindrops for spring!

To make this hat, you'll need the following materials:
- 1 skein Blue Sky Worsted Hand Dyes Yarn (100 yards).  I used the Putty color in the hat pictured above.
- Less than 1 skein (about 5 yards) Blue Sky Worsted Hand Dyes Yarn in a complimentary color.  I used the Dungaree color in the hat pictured above.

- 16 inch circular needle, US size 5
- 16 inch circular needle US size 7
- Set of five US size 7 double pointed needles

- 1 stitch marker
- Pom pom maker
- Scissors
- Tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Using US size 7 needles, 4 stitches equal 1 inch.

Finished Hat Measurements:
20 inches in circumference
8 inches deep

There is a little bit of stranded/Fair Isle knitting involved in this pattern.  Hopefully it's just enough to keep it interesting but not enough to be overwhelming.

For that reason, this pattern is intended for knitters with advanced beginner skills or higher.  A basic understanding of stranded knitting is needed, but other than that you only need to know how to knit, purl, and knit two stitches together.

If you need a refresher on stranded knitting, I highly recommend reading chapter 3 of Stitch 'n Bitch Superstar Knitting: Go Beyond the Basics by Debbie Stoller.

The Precip Hat knitting pattern costs $6.00 and it comes as a PDF download that you can purchase on Ravelry right here.  Or, if you're a member of Kollabora, you can also click here to buy it.

Happy knitting!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Taste of Tomorrow

I hope you're having a lovely weekend.

I'm just putting the finishing touches on a new knitting pattern that will be making its debut on the blog tomorrow.

I seriously can't wait to share this one with you guys!

Stay tuned...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Showgirl Beauty Tip: Removing Leftover Makeup

My show makeup involves a lot of waterproof black eyeliner.

After the shows, I remove it with eye makeup remover, then I wash my face, then I go to sleep, and sometimes I still manage to wake up with faint black smudges under my eyes in the morning.

I don't love rubbing, scrubbing, or pulling at the delicate skin under my eyes and luckily I don't have to because I developed a great little trick.

After I've washed my face the next morning and the black shadows are still there, I apply my face lotion like normal.  Then I a put a tiny dab of the lotion onto a q-tip and gently swipe it under my eyes.  All the leftover black stuff magically ends up on the q-tip, and my face looks fresh as a daisy.

When I'm finished, just to make sure I don't get any extra lotion in my eyes, I use a dry q-tip to re-swipe the under eye area one more time.

It's kind of like using the old fashioned cold cream makeup removal method as a spot cleaner.

Happy makeup erasing!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Link to Love: Podcast

Images via

I recently discovered and I'm loving it.  It's a podcast by Pam Allen (whose lovely designs are available through Quince & Co) and Hannah Fettig (author of Knitbot) that's all about knitting.

I started with Episode 5: Yarn, and I learned things that I didn't know I didn't know.

For example, I prefer to knit with the softest yarn I can find, so if I'm going for natural fibers I usually gravitate toward baby alpaca.  What I didn't know is that 100% alpaca has a tendency to stretch out and droop over time.  That's why it's often blended with wool.  The wool provides a nice shape-holding elasticity while the alpaca provides the softness.  Pretty cool.

I'm looking forward to popping on my headphones tonight and listening to more knitting talk while I do a little knitting myself...

Happy listening!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

As promised in last weekend's Link to Love post, I participated in The Sheepish Heart Bomb again this year.

I ended up leaving a cute little pom pom heart in St. Maarten on Wednesday in the hopes that it would be found by today.  I think it probably happened because I left it on a railing near the cruise ship port where thousands of passengers pass by every day.

I hope it made someone smile.

What did you do to celebrate this year?  Did you participate in the heart bomb too?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

DIY Flip Book Valentines

I was browsing the Valentine's Day candy section at Target last weekend and accidentally walked away with a crafty thing or two in my cart (in addition to the chocolate that I had actually intended to buy, of course).  One of those things was a bag of tiny heart-shaped notebooks.  I had no plan for them, they were just so cute that they ended up in my cart.

It wasn't until a few days later that the idea hit me: these notebooks are perfect for old-school flip books!

To make a flip book, all you need is a pen and a little notebook like these.  Don't have one? You can also make do with a pad of sticky notes.

Begin by deciding what you want to draw and how you want it to move as you flip the pages. I decided to make the words "you" and "me" converge on the page then frame them with a heart.

Here you can see each individual page:

Simple, eh?

Here's a video of the flip book in action:

I can't wait to give this little flip book to my boyfriend tomorrow for Valentine's Day.  I think he'll really dig the throwback to our childhoods.

Besides giving my boyfriend his Valentine, my only other special plan for the day is to eat a lot of chocolate.  I love hearts and I love chocolate so mix those two things together and I'm in heaven.  (Thank you, Target candy aisle!!)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Showgirl Beauty Tip: Letting Eyelash Glue Dry (a Little)

Eyelash glue is quite slippery when it's first applied to false lashes.

If you immediately try to apply wet lashes to your eyes, the lashes won't stick where they're supposed to.  Instead, they'll slide around on your eyelids and you might end up with glue in your eyes (which hurts).

Not to worry, though, because there's an easy fix.

Just let the glue dry a little bit before you attempt to apply the fake lashes to your eyes. About 60 seconds, to be exact.  That's long enough for the glue to become tacky but not fully dry.

Waiting those 60 seconds will make the lashes go on (and stay on) easily on the first try.

Until next time,

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Link to Love: Sheepish Heart Bomb

Looking for a little knitting project to get you in the mood for Valentine's Day?

Why not join in on the One Sheepish Girl 2nd Annual Heart Bomb?

Image via One Sheepish Girl

The basic idea is to get people all over the world to make a heart, attach a nice note to it, and leave it somewhere in public.  Hopefully you'll be putting a smile on the face of whoever finds it.  The more people who participate in the yarn bomb, the more smiles will be created.  Head on over to One Sheepish Girl to see the details.

I participated in the heart bomb last year by making some hanging hearts and leaving them on my friends' doors on our ship.  This year I'm thinking of leaving some hearts outside the ship in either St. Thomas or St. Maarten.

I'll post some pictures when I've completed the project.

Happy heart knitting!

Friday, February 7, 2014

No-Sew DIY Bow-Back Tank Top

I love redesigning my old t-shirts for lots of reasons.  It keeps my wardrobe fresh, which keeps me from getting bored and spending money on new clothes.  Also, I like skating in edgy/cute/cut-up outfits.  Plus, imagining how to redesign a t-shirt is a fun way to spend a morning coffee break or an afternoon workout (or both).

For this particular t-shirt redesign, I wanted something with a drapey, open back, but I didn't want it to be so open that it would fall off my shoulders and bother me while I was skating. The simplest (and prettiest) answer was a bow similar to the ones I made on the sleeves of this t-shirt.

If you want to make this top too, you'll need an old V-neck t-shirt, a pair of scissors, and some glue (I used E6000).  

Make sure the shirt fits a little bit loose because creating the bow at the back will tighten it up a little bit.

Place your shirt facing down on a flat surface and follow these directions...

1.  Cut a half-circle out of the neckline that's about 4 inches deep into the back of the shirt. The lower you cut this half-circle, the lower the bow will sit on your shirt.  Next, start at the bottom of each armpit, measure 6 inches down the side seams, and make a little mark with a pencil. Cut straight across the back of the shirt between your two marks being very careful to cut close to the side seams but do not cut through them.  Those side seams will keep the horizontal slit you just made from growing and growing until the shirt isn't wearable anymore.

2.  Insert your thumb into the horizontal slip and your forefinger into the half-circle at the neckline and pinch your fingers together.  This is where your bow will be.  If you're not happy with the placement, now's the time to cut the neckline a little deeper to correct it.  Once that's all sorted out, cut a 4 inch x 2 inch strip of fabric out of the extra fabric that you cut from the neckline.

3.  Wrap the fabric strip around the spot that you pinched and glue it in place on the inside of the shirt.  To keep the glue from leaking onto the front of the shirt, place a piece of cardboard or a notebook in between the front and the back of the shirt.  Let the glue dry fully before moving on to the next steps.

4.  Turn the t-shirt over so the front is facing up.  Cut off the neckline just outside of the seam that was used to the keep the neckline on the shirt.  Leaving that seam on the finished product will help it last as long as possible.  Now cut off the sleeves, also cutting these just outside of the seam so that seam stays on the shirt for structural support.

5.  Cut two strips off of the scrap fabric that used to be the neckline.  Wrap each strip around the top of each armhole to hold the straps in place in an aesthetically pleasing way.  Glue them in place on the underside of the strap.   Let the glue dry completely before trying on your finished creation.

I put mine on and skated around a bit this afternoon.  This shirt definitely achieved the drapey look in the back without becoming too loose to skate in.  I can't wait to wear it on our warmup ice tomorrow before the shows!

If you decide to make this shirt too, I'd love to see a picture of yours too!

Happy redesigning!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Link to Love: Knitting for Charity

Now that the holidays are over, it's that funny time of year where it's easy to lose knitting motivation.

First of all, it feels great to take a break from knitting after the holiday rush, and second, there's a lack of people to knit for now that you've already given presents to all your friends and family.

Charity knitting is a great solution.

One option that sounds fantastic is Halos of Hope, an organization that donates hand-knitted hats to cancer patients nationwide.

Image via Halos of Hope

They have donation centers in various locations across the country, or you can mail your finished hats to their main address in Arizona.

I discovered Halos of Hope on She Makes Hats, an inspirational knitting blog that features a whole list of charity knitting options.

Do you already knit for charity?  Which organization(s) do you donate your knits to?
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