Friday, October 17, 2008

Turning a Sweater into a Shrug

It feels like shrug weather. Not yet cool enough for a sweater, but just cool enough for something extra on your arms. While tossing my 19-month-old son around in his music class at the Y, I noticed that my beloved, but admittedly bedraggled, shrug from Anthropologie (home of all things shrug), had an armpit hole. Not the most attractive feature in a shrug. I have knit shrugs before, but they take much longer than a nap time to complete and they seem to grow as you wear them. I'll post a picture of my knitted shrug soon. But, here's how I made an upcycled shrug during Jack's nap. (OK, the order of the photos is completely wrong.  But somehow, I cannot figure out how to move them around.  I'm starting to loathe blogger).

Step 1: Dig out a sweater from those I've collected from thrifting with an eye to turn them into something else.

I have actually washed and dried this one because it is 100% cashmere and you can do that. 

Then, I cut it up the center.

Next, I laid my old shrug on top, as a rough pattern, and cut across the bottom and roughly followed the "ties" on the old shrug.

That's it.  Voila!  Shrug-mania.

Now, full disclosure, I made another one first, a former thin cashmere turtleneck which I think turned out better.  The open turtleneck made sort of a sailor collar and the thinner weight looks nice, however, it has three moth holes which are still quite visible (of course), so it may need some embroidery or be turned into a stuffie.

Also, I don't love this new blue shrug, so I'm thinking that I might cut up another sweater and stitch on a bottom.  Then, I might add a fat snap and cover the placket with some ribbon to make kind of a reconstructed thing.  It could all turn out to be very homemade, but I will 

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I'm not a very accomplished jewelry maker or beader, to say the least.  But I'm a bit like a mockingbird -- ooh pretty, shiny, shiny.  I love bead stores and all of the little compartments filled with sparkling, funky, unusual and lovely beads.  I stumbled upon a new jewelry-making book, filled with fabulous layouts and beautiful projects.  I've been inspired again.  Here's what I've been up to the last few days.  

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The most wonderful time of the year...

I'm still here. My husband spilled tea on my computer and it is currently in computer hospital. Send it your good vibes for a full recovery.

It's apple picking time here in NY. Every year we go to the same orchard and pick as many apples as we can. This year, we got a bushel of macintoshes and cortlands. I have apple muffins in the oven now, and have made four batches of our favorite microwave applesauce. The recipe is from The New Basics Cookbook, and you can have warm applesauce in about 25 minutes (very hard not to let it cool longer). Very simple and delicious.

In a microwaveable bowl or casserole dish mix:
Six apples (three macs and three granny smiths or something tart) roughly chopped
1 cup water
juice from 1/2 lemon

In a separate bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 t. cinnamon (I add a t. of ginger). Add to big bowl.


Microwave on high for five minutes. Stir and try to mush a bit.

Microwave on high five more minutes. Mash with a potato masher. Let cool. And dish into bowls. So good.

One bowl works for 3-4 people. Just a warning, don't eat too much applesauce. It can have unintended consequences.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The weird world of flickr

I love the rabbit holes you can fall into when you're looking for something on flickr. I found this picture of the Colonel Drake Theater in Oil City, PA. I have a program from this theater from my grandmother's scrapbook. She wrote on it about an exciting night at the "pictures" with her crush, Tom McCluskey. She worked at this theater in the early thirties. I wonder if she saw Gone with the Wind here or The Wizard of Oz. Could be...