Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Downton Abbey Christmas!

 Just LOOK at all this Downton Abbey goodness!  The full dvd set, 2 Downton books and a tote!  Can't wait for the new season to start!  Whoo hoo!
 A new yarn bowl from my bestie and a headband from my daughter!
The back of the headband.  I think I might have to try and recreate this!
An Addi starter kit from Fiber Wild for $50.00!  AND a $25 gift cert for an Addi Click It set!

What were some of your favorite prezzies?

Yarn tip:
Freeze your garment overnight before ripping out mohair or other fuzzy yarns.  You'll have an easier time getting the stitches undone.
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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thank you , my lovely followers, for making my year so memorable!  My best wishes to you and yours this holiday season and I hope the New Year is healthy, happy and full of squishy, yarny goodness!


p.s. photo courtesy of Knit Picks

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Yarny Goodness and a Kitchen Makeover

I just LOVE this needlepoint stained glass poppy!  It looks even more gorgeous in person.  It's been in the closet for years, just waiting to be framed or upholstered on to something.  Cover a pillow?  Maybe a little footstool.  What about a pad for a dining room chair?  Framed on the wall?
 I have been a crafter all my life.  Everything from glue to paint.   Cross stitch to knitting.  Fabric to pottery.  Needlepoint was my craft of choice in the 80's. I have tons of framed pieces all over the house.  I burned out right after that, but when I saw this in a craft store about 5 years ago, I just had to have it! This really needs out and seen everyday.  It's far to glorious to be put back in the cupboard.

Color in a little more subdued form.  My living room couch is in a soft turquoise, perfectly matching the color in the 5th row from the center.  I know many of you follow Attic24, as I do.  Don't you just adore her?  All that color, baking, shopping trips and English wit all from one attic!  I have made a few of her Blooming Flower Pillows for gifts.  One for a wedding shower gift in their wedding colors, one in matching nursery colors for the rocking chair.  

Lucy has the best photo tutorials for her yarny goodness.  This is a simple pattern with spectacular results!  If you use variegated yarn, as I did, there is no adding a new color for far less weaving in at the end.  The back is in a solid cream, worsted weight.  
Affordable fingerling from Knit Picks does all the work here.  Two skeins of Chroma in Soft Rock and a D (3.25) hook is what I used.

Christmas is around the corner.  We are having 8 around the table this year.  Prime rib, spanakopita, Mykonos cheese dip, roasted veggies, kalamata olives with feta cheese and baklava!  Did I mention that we are big foodies over here?  We had our dream kitchen put in a couple years ago....  

Someone was remodeling their kitchen, so we bought the whole thing!  Everything from the light fixtures to the floor!  Can you believe they were getting rid of all this?  (If you look close, you can see little white bits on the floor.  We had the contractor put in some stones we collected from our trip to Greece a few years ago.)
 Maple cabinets and pulls, all the appliances, granite counter top, stone floor....we bought the WHOLE kitchen!  That pantry cupboard on the left was made over the chimney stack bump out (look at the 2nd picture above to see the before)
A working hood that vents to the outside.....awesome!  I don't have a pic of the backsplash that was installed.  Cream subway tiles with some green glass tiles here and there. 
Well, thanks for reading my ramblings!  

Merry Christmas to you all and a safe, healthy and Happy New Year!

Yarn tip:
Ribbing (k3 or more) will sit better and pull in tighter if you work the first knit stitch by knitting in the back of the stitch!
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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Missoni Inspired Chevron Blankets

I love orders I get for baby blankets!  Small, squishy and unique.  This one is for a little girls black stroller.  I adore the pom poms and they really take the blanket from ordinary to something special!
True black and ivory go great together.  It looks like crisp white in the photo, but ivory is a much better contrast.  White yarn would be a bit too harsh, so the ivory softens it up.  
 I used my Pink Champagne Baby Blanlet pattern and substituted the colors with black and ivory.
 I made the poms from with a pom maker from Clover.  Definitely worth the small investment as they come out so perfect.  Ivory poms would have been just as cute.
 This photo is a little like a zebra print, which would also be as cute as can be!  I used machine wash acrylic I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby.  Black and a shocking pink would be great for the mom that likes color!
My buttons are custom made from this Etsy shop.   I love them so much!  Made of wood and the name of my Etsy shop is applied with a lazar.  If you don't have an shop, they would be cute with "made for you with love".  They are very affordable and the shop owners are very easy to work with.
 Here is another order, same pattern,  in white and 2 shades of grey.  Poms need to be made...I'm thinking the lightest shade of grey. 
 Did I already say...I love my custom buttons? 
If you look close, you can see the middle of the blanket is solid white for a number of rows.  Not the greatest photos....darn those clouds outside! 

I finished up a Blooming Flower cushion, from Attic24, with some Knit Picks yarn.  As soon as the sun comes out, I can get some photos taken!

Have a great week,

Yarn tip:
When seaming something made with bulky or super bulky yarn, use a thinner yarn in the same color to join the pieces together.
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Fun Interview on Kollabora

I have been very fortunate indeed, to be asked to sell my patterns on a relativity new site called Kollabora.  Free to sign up and post all your hand made goodies, follow others, buy pdf patterns and more!  I did a little interview with them and with your indulgence, I'd like to share it with you....

From explosions of color to cool functionality, Sheila's projects caught our attention right away and we're super excited that she is now offering her Creative Design knit and crochet patterns for sale on Kollabora!
Whether it's a stunning knit shawl or a cool pair or arm warmers, Sheila's patterns and projects are the perfect middle ground between classic and cool! 
My name is Sheila Zachariae, I own and operate Creative Design by sheila and my DIY weapons of choice are knitting needles, crochet hooks and fabric
When I am looking for inspiration I go shopping. I see inspiration for colors and trends in the clothes and jewelry that people of all ages are buying. I also love the big box hardware stores! Paint chips are definitely my friends!

After a long day of making things I like to be with my husband and college age daughter in the kitchen! We are big foodies at my house and as I am half Greek and half Scottish, ethnic cooking is the norm. Plus, we just had our dream kitchen installed a couple of years ago and we relish in all its stainless steel glory!
I got started making when I was a little girl. My mother is quite crafty and I would help with giant flowers made from crepe paper, cover little match boxes (everyone smoked back in the 50ʼs and 60ʼs) with felt and beads andChristmas angels made from cheesecloth and spray painted gold.
When I think about starting a new project I look at my Pinterest boards! I have been with them since the beginning and have a plethora saved goodies! I also look in my clear plastic bins full of yarn. I pull some hanks, look for a pattern and go!

The best part about running my own business is being able to put my daughter through college majoring in Costume Design, so it is well worth the time and effort. Keeping a schedule that works for me is also important. As a knitwear pattern designer there is always work to be done. Patterns to write, photos to take, helping a customer with a question and the actual knitting or crocheting of the next project. I also have custom orders that need to be fulfilled. I can do these at any time I choose. Even if Iʼm on vacation!

(giraffe pattern is from Susan B Andersons book Itty Bitty Toys.  The Lace Baktus scarf pattern is from Ravelry

My advice to anyone looking to start their own business is go for it! You will never know unless you tryTake great photos and charge for your time(because YOU are worth it)!
If I wasnʼt a knitwear pattern designer I would love to be a sign language teacher. I have always been fascinated by sign language and communicating with the deaf is the coolest thing ever!
 The first thing I do when I wake up is get a cup of coffee! Then I open my laptop and start working. I read my email, check all my pattern stores and read blogs I follow. My brain is at its best the first half of the day

The movie that can cheer me out of any bad mood is that flick Pitch Perfect, it's my latest feel-good movie. Itʼs about a bunch of college age kids all in Acapella groups competing for a trophy. I love it! Fun, quirky and full of great music!
My favorite artist our daughter, Zoe. She has so much talent in the arts and is the model for my knitwear. Zoeʼs is a gift from heaven and itʼs such a joy watching her find her inner artist and way in the world.
(pattern is from Martina Behm.  Yarn is from Knit Circus on Etsy)

 My favorite thing about making is when my vision becomes reality and it works out! 

The first thing I made was a flower paint by number on felt about 50 years ago! I still have it and I get all warm inside every time I look at it.

Three words that describe me (itʼs actually two words).....aggressively friendly! When we moved into a new neighborhood, some years ago, there was anelderly man living next door. I was warned by some that he was a little “cranky”. I became good friends with his wife, and he said to her.... “that Sheila, sheʼs aggressively friendly”. Now, there are two ways to take that.....I choose to take it as a compliment. In the end, I was the only person he liked in the “hood”!
Best creative advice I ever received is if you donʼt like it, itʼs not finished!
I never leave the house without my cell phone and a project. You never know when you will be stuck in traffic or something.

(Crocodile Stitch Shawl pattern is from Bonita on Craftsy) 

If I could live in any other country it would be Greece. When we were there on vacation a few years ago, I felt like I had been there my entire life.
I believe that there is no such thing as a DIY mistake!

There you have it!  If you have gotten to the end, I thank you very much.  You can find all my patterns by visiting my Craftsy, Etsy, Kollabora or Ravelry stores.  You can also "buy now" just scroll to the top of the page.

Yarn tip:
Buy little snap barrettes and mini rubber bands in the hair care section of the dollar store to keep the loose tails on balls of yarn!

p.s.  I don't know why the interview is in different fonts and sizes.  Try as I might, I couldn't get them all the same.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Catherine Wheel Shawl

Just a quickie post as my list is long for knitting and crocheting items this holiday season.  I've had this shawl in hiding for months just waiting to be photographed.  My daughter loves the colors in this giganto shawl!  Me too, as I love variegated yarn.  No ends to weave in, no color changes, stripes without all the work!
 This is so light weight, I think you could wear it as a hood without messing up the doo!
 Oh so cozy in mohair yarn!  I love the colors too.  Goes with everything.  I just listed the pattern in my Etsy shop.  Not for the beginner unless you like a bit of a challenge or have done the Catherine Wheel stitch before.  YouTube has great videos to watch if you are a newbie!
This would be perfect for the car on your lap, or if you have leather seats, under the bum!  Mine get ice cold here in Nebraska!
Yarn tip:
Stock up on paint chips.  Use them to work out color combinations you like, then search out the yarns to buy.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Gift Giving and Receiving

This is the time of year that I really treat myself!  I feel that I work hard all year knitting and crocheting away.  Custom orders, pattern writing, photography, networking and keeping up with 4 online shops and another one in the works.  I'm also working on my first book of patterns.  But who can pass up on all the yarny goodness of sales!  Just look at what arrived this week from Knitcircus!  Three hanks of glorious, hand painted yummy yarn from Jaala.  AND, a mini skein, free hat pattern and Soak soap.  Can't wait to get out my winder to cake these!  

Knitpicks has a great sale going on at the moment.  They have very affordable prices even without a sale, so you can save a bundle when the yarn is 50% off.  I am awaiting a big box of goodies from them this week!  Whoo hoo!
 I also treated myself to a Gelaskin for my Mac.  This is my logo for my knitwear business. A crocheted blanket and bunny, with an ombre ribbon, in a linen colorway.  I'm sorry that it does not show well in the photo.  I use it on all my Moo business cards, stickers and labels.  Gelaskins is a great product.  I do not receive anything for touting their praises.  The site is easy to navigate, upload your photo and purchase.  They have skins and cases for all your iphones and laptops.  They also have tons of designs to choose from if you don't have your own photo.
The keyboard decals are from Kidecals.  I bought these a few months ago and love them.  You can read the post here.  They have some new decals this season, a great sale and you can create your own on their site, too.

Have a great week,
Yarn tip from Knit Simple:
To keep stripes even on circular needles,when you come to your next color change, put your needle in the stitch below and knit with the new color.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Technicolor Granny Blanket - 2nd Pattern In A Series of Four!

If you followed my post last week, you know about the Technicolor Chevron Blanket.  Well, here is project number two is a series of four! 
Technicolor Granny Blanket is so easy.  If you can crochet a granny square, you can make this.  Perfect for the newbie "hooker" who is ready to move on from scarves to something only slightly more challenging.
Perfect for the stroller and won't get caught in the wheels.  So colorful that any child would be happy to snuggle down for a nap with all this squishy goodness!
The Technicolor Chevron Blanket,
Technicolor Granny Blanket,
Technicolor Linen Blanket and
Technicolor Wave Blanket
(photos below) patterns are ready to purchase in my Etsy shop, Craftsy shop or Ravelry shop.  
The 3rd pattern in the series ready....Technicolor Linen Blanket.  I love this stitch as it looks like fine linen.

The 4th pattern, Technicolor Wave Blanket is ready too!

You can make all 4 blankets with the one yarn purchase. I have put all 4 patterns together in a bundle for one low price.  Find them all in my Etsy shop.  That would be 4 blankets total you can make from the one yarn purchase!  It comes out to about $17.00 per blanket.  There is still plenty of yarn left for a wee hat and booties!
Have a great week,
My Etsy shop
My Craftsy shop
My Ravelry shop

Yarn tip from Knitsimple:
Not sure if you have enough yarn left to make it across the next row?  Stretch the yarn gently across the entire width of the piece back and forth three times.  If you can make it back to the edge, you'll have enough to complete the row.
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