Finished Objects: A hand-knit cowl and hat set for Valentine's Day, made from Rowan yarns for my lovely boyfriend!

I finished Johnny's cowl and hat with plenty of time to spare before Valentine's Day, and I'm sure glad I did because he only got to wear them a couple times before this unseasonably warm weather set in. Sorry it took me so long to get him to pose for a shoot lol! Info on the patterns and yarns used can be found in my previous post, here.

We were both really happy with how these pieces turned out! Like I said in the original post about the cowl, he chose the patterns and yarns himself, and I think that makes him really excited to wear them. I adore the hat, especially the textural stitch pattern and the beautiful way it's decreased on top. I have to admit I've been stealing it to wear myself here and there. Even though he may have to wait till next winter to wear them, he says it's the best Valentine's Day gift ever. Daww.

And holy cow look at what he made me! He's been whittling since Christmas now and this is by far the coolest thing he's made to date. He knows how much I love anatomical hearts and this one is amazing, just look at that lovely paint job too! Putting it under glass was a great touch, and now it lives on our fireplace mantel.


More Manly Knits. Lovely earth-toned wool yarns are steadily being knit into fashionable accessories for my man!

A big shipment of yarn arrived at our house! Johnny has been picking out patterns from Ravelry and, with a little help from me, has been buying the loveliest yarns to go with them! Above is a leftover Rowan skein from his cowl (Which is finished, photos coming in a few days!), that will be turned into a toddler version of the same pattern and put in the hope chest. The two dark Patons skeins are for the socks below, and he got me the minty one on the bottom just because he likes me. I'm thinking about a slouchy folded-brim hat with a big pom pom on the end, anyone know of any good patterns?

In the mean time, here's my list of things to do:

I've actually already started on the hat. I love this stitch pattern and would adore a sweater made of it! The yarn, like his cowl's yarn, is Rowan, but a lighter version called Creative Focus Worsted, with the opposite coloration. I cast on and am going to seam the hat in the yarn used for his cowl so he can wear them as a matched set! Also, we're kind of nerding out about how his cowl was called "The Hemingway" and now his hat is called "The Emerson"! And now on to Java and Beer... Quelle coincidence!


New Retailer: Rebooty in Oakland, CA is now carrying a variety of my items made from reclaimed materials, including my owl pincushions, steampunk rings, infinity scarves, and feather hair clips!

Yay! Another local shop has started carrying my items! Rebooty is tucked away on upper Grand Avenue in Oakland, and is a wonderful boutique committed to selling eco-friendly items made from reused materials by local artists. The owners are super nice and really care about people's impact on the earth, and the lovely variety of art and home decor in their shop reflects this passion.

I'm very proud to say that they now carry my owl pincushions, feather hair clips (which haven't been sold online yet), infinity scarves, and steampunk rings! And hopefully they'll have a few more things of mine coming soon too! Please go check them out if you're in the area, you won't be disappointed!


Yarn everywhere! My spoils from a fantastic de-stash bash and a proposed trade?

My friend and knitting guru Suzanne had a birthday party recently that carried the theme of "Share Your Craft", and she teamed up with another Stitch 'n Bitch member to also make it a de-stash party. I brought a bag of fabric and miscellaneous crafting goodies to give, but I had no idea how much other people were bringing! Needless to say, I came home with a LOT of yarn, fabric, and knitting needles! I don't have any plans for the ones above, but I'd love some one-skein project ideas from you guys!

The big pile of Fjord is going to become a lap blanket for Johnny, and I'm not sure what I'll do with the white and cream yarns yet.

I also came home with these cute fabrics and colorful needles! But, I cleaned out my own needles and realized I have an extra pair of 11's and 3's, and I was wondering if anyone out in internet-land would fancy a trade?

I really need a needle gauge, any kind will do! Since I have all these vintage plastic and aluminum double-pointed needles and I can't really be sure what size they are, does anyone have an extra gauge they want to trade for the needles above? You can comment here or email me at ohthecuteness@hotmail.com if you do!

I also snatched up this little beauty at the party! I think it's from the 70's, it's in great shape, and it had all these goodies inside! I'm not sure what the hook thingy in the very front of the photo is, anyone have any ideas? Maybe for a latch-hook rug?

And this was also inside! It's the most beautiful packaging for needles I've ever seen! It's very old, and from Germany, and the bottom of the lion label is gilt and so lovely. I took the needles out and glued the tabs shut, and now it lives on the shelf above my desk! 
Many thanks to everyone who brought yarn and other goodies, I'm so happy to have some new stuff to work with this year!


Finished Object: The Shabby Chic Bricklayer Baby Quilt. Years in the making because of a busted sewing machine, it's turned out to be the best quilt yet!

I mentioned this quilt in a post about this time last year, and I'm so happy that it's finally done! There were a lot of trials and tribulations with this one, namely a bum old sewing machine that wasn't doing me any favors. I ended up going back and ripping out all of the quilting I had done on my old machine and redoing it properly with the walking foot on my new one, and I am so happy I did! And it took me forever to choose a binding, but I ended up finding a very subtle yellow and white chicken wire patterned piece that was perfect!

The top and little pieced strip on the back are made entirely from recycled fabrics, mostly shirting weight samples form my fabric rep friend Ivy, along with some damaged vintage clothes that my mom cut up and saved for me (the red squares with white flowers and the pink squares with blue flowers for sure, but I forget which others). 
I hand-cut all the squares instead of using a straight edge and a rotary cutter, because I wanted it to look just a little wonky and distinctly handmade. And the backing fabric is vintage with little wide-weave stripes wich makes it so soft! This is by far the softest, sweetest, most huggably adorable quilt I have ever made. My head might explode from cuteness if I ever see a real baby wrapped up in it!

Here's the quilt pre-washing on the night I finished it. Nicholas is thinking "Ooh, something new for me to curl up on!" Sorry buddy, not going to happen.

 As a matter of personal preference, I don't pre-wash any fabrics I intend to quilt with. This means that they shrink the first time you wash them, and it gives them that lovely wrinkly-soft quality that vintage heirloom quilts have from being washed for decades. So, above is how it would look if I had pre-washed my fabrics. And here's how it looks now, washed and dried and looking like it's been snuggled for years already:

I was going to list this little beauty in my etsy shop, but a visitor to the craft room saw it and snatched it up straight away. I know it will be very happy and loved where it's going!


Free Crochet Pattern: Amigurumi Cupcakes! Whip up something sweet for your sweetie. This is a great beginner's amigurumi pattern!

When I started to crochet as an adult (I learned when I was 10 and quickly forgot until college), I learned how to make amigurumi first. The little cupcake on the bottom left was the 2nd creation I ever crocheted, and I still have him and love him to this day. The pattern was one of the first posts I ever made on this blog, nearly a decade ago, but it has since disappeared from the net. 
Looking back, I realize now that I didn't do some of the techniques right, but it still came out so nice that I made more and sold them on my etsy shop in the early years, and even figured out how to make a giant one for fun. I hope some of you will try this pattern if you've never tried amigurumi before, because it got me hooked (Ba-dum-bum-tsch!), and I hope it will work the same for you! 
You can leave it plain in earth tones for a muffin, or a red bottom looks like red velvet cake. My favorite thing to do was add seed beads for sprinkle "freckles" and little expressive eyes:

Amigurumi Cupcakes:
Many thanks to Cill Crochets for inspiring this pattern!
Finished size is about 3 inches tall.
Gauge is as tight as you can make it!
SC= Single crochet, SLST= Slip Stitch, and DC= Double Crochet, CH= Chain.

US Size G (4.5 mm) crochet hook.
Scraps of worsted weight yarn. you won't need more than 2-3 grams of each color.
Polyester or recycled batting.
Beads if desired.
Needle and thread that matches icing color.
Yarn needle for finishing.

Icing Pattern:
Round 1:  Start with a magic loop, and crochet 6 SC into the loop, pull tight and join with a SLST.
Round 2:  2 SC in each stitch around (12 SC)
Round 3:  *1 SC in first stitch, 2 SC in next*, repeat around. (18 SC)
Round 4:  *1 SC in first 2 stitches, 2 SC in next*, repeat around. (24 SC)
Round 5:  *1 SC in first 3 stitches, 2 SC in next*, repeat around. (30 SC)
Rounds 6-9:  1 SC in each SC around.
Round 10:  Turn. *SLST in first SC, DC in same stitch* repeat around, fasten off, and weave in end.

Wrapper Pattern:
Round 1:  Begin with a magic loop, CH 3 to count as first DC. Crochet 14 more DC into the ring, pull tight, and join with a SLST. (15 DC)
Round 2:  CH 3, DC into same stitch as CH, then crochet 2 DC into each stitch around. (30 DC)
Round 3:  In the back loop only of this round, crochet 1 DC in each stitch around.
Rounds 4-6: 1 DC in each DC around.
Fasten off and weave in end.

To Assemble:
Stuff the cupcake's wrapper with stuffing. Using a needle and a thread that matches the icing color, sew through the wrapper and up and over icing edging to secure the pieces together. Sew most of the seam closed, and continue to stuff the cupcake to desired fullness. Add beads or embellishments to suit your own style and you're done!


Big News! I've finally decided to create a brand identity and new logo for Oh the Cuteness! Be on the lookout here and Etsy for new style changes!

Guys, seriously, I am soooo excited to unveil my new branding identity! I'm complete crap with Photoshop, so my dear, sweet, wonderful, and endlessly patient boyfriend helped me (as in pretty much did everything) to create a new brand identity for Oh the Cuteness! It started with my rough sketch and color palette and evolved into the wonderful cohesive brand above! I can't wait until I have a chunk of time to sit down and implement all of these wonderful logos, fonts, buttons, and colors on the blog and shop. Not to mention new business cards, tags, labels, and a banner for the booth! But it will have to wait until this weekend as I've got a new retailer to make things for today, and a craft fair in Oakland this Saturday. If you happen to be in the area, be sure to stop by the Jack of All Trades market in Jack London Square and say hello!

Also don't forget to go enter my Valentine's Day Giveaway! Three winners will be chosen soon so hurry!