Sarah Mayland

Author Archive

Update

In Uncategorized on 07/13/2013 at 15:37

Hi All,
I just checked the date of my last post, and it’s pushing 2 years…ouch. But I am working on a new felted clutch pattern, as well as some other projects. I’ll be sharing my finished projects on here as well as original patterns. While I get myself up and running AGAIN, I encourage everyone who is interested in eating and health to check out my newest blog:

http://www.whatsonsarahstable.com

Cheers!

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Instant Gratification I-Cord Necklace

In Knitting/Crocheting, Patterns on 05/07/2011 at 21:19

Mother’s day is tomorrow, and I’m dreadfully poor.  Thankfully, I found some lovely metallic gold yarn that I had laying around and decided to whip up a little something.

this is the completed necklace

Materials:

  • one skein Adrienne Vittadini Francesca in Gold (please note that this yarn is now discontinued, but can be found in some places online — substitute any DK or light worsted weight yarn of your choice) (please note that you don’t need a whole skein for this — one skein will make quite a few necklaces)
  • two double-pointed needles (size 6)
  • two stitch markers
  • a tapestry needle

Gauge:  the gauge here is not really important

To make the necklace:

CO 4 sts.  Knit 1 row. When finishing the row DO NOT TURN the work.  Slide the stitches back to the other side of the double-pointed needle and knit the next row, always working on the Right Side.  Continue doing this until the I-Cord measures 32″.  Cut the yarn leaving a long tail. Thread the tail in the tapestry needle and weave through the remaining stitches.  Pull to gather the stitches and fasted securely.

Measure 8″ from each end and place markers.  Use the tails at the end to sew the ends of the I-cord to the places that the markers are.  You should have two loops at the end of the cord.  Weave in ends and cut off the remainder of the tail.  Wear as shown above.

measure 8" from each end and place markers

Saving Money

In Reviews on 03/29/2011 at 19:46

Anyone who knows me can tell you that one of the things that is most difficult for me to do is save money.  I’m not a crazy crazy spender where I get myself into trouble or anything with my spending, but I do it enough that I’m a paycheck to paycheck person.  As I mentioned in my last post I joined AVON as an eRepresentative and saved a good deal of money on my makeup.  My very first order arrived today and I decided to crunch the numbers and see how much money I actually saved by switching over my makeup regimen.

Here’s what I got from AVON with the prices as listed in the brochure:
Foundation: $7.99
Pressed Powder: $7.99
Concealer Stick:  $3.99
Primer: $6.99
Cream Blush Stick: $5.99
Eyeliner:  $1.99
Eye Makeup Remover: $1.99

So I spent a total of $36.93 (plus, since I’m a rep, I get 40% of that back)…now check out how much I would spend for the same makeup regimen at Bare Minerals (where I used to get my makeup):
Foundation:  $28
Concealer:  $18
Mineral Veil (what the pressed powder is now used for):  $19
Primer:  $21
Eyeliner:  $14
Bronzer (they gave me that instead of blush):  $18

Plus in order to apply the Bare Minerals makeup you need brushes, so add:
Concealer Brush:  $20
Foundation Brush: $28
Blush Brush: $18

So the total I would pay at Bare Minerals is $181.  So by switching to AVON I saved myself $144.07. 

This is a step in the right direction — hopefully I won’t spend all of this extra money on yarn!

One of the tools I use to help save money is Mint.com, which enables me to make budgets and track my spending over the course of the month.  It also lets you see how much debt you have proportionate to your income, and alerts you when you spend more than what you had budgeted for in a certain category.

Yay Saving!!!!

Update and Exciting News

In Miscellaneous on 03/25/2011 at 15:57

Hi all,

I have finally emerged from underneath my rock and I’m glad to be back!  My semester is officially halfway over now, and I’m using what’s left of my spring break to delve back into my knitting and crocheting.  This post is just to share with you what’s been going on the past couple of months as well as to let you know what’s coming up in the very near future!

1.  I have written my very first tutorial!  Due to the huge response to my painted earflap hat, I have written a tutorial for anyone who wants to know how to make the stencil for it and how to paint the hat.  It’s really easy, and quite a bit of fun, and I welcome any comments and suggestions either on this blog, on ravelry, or via e-mail.  I had a request for tutorials on trimmings for my cloches, and those will be up ASAP.

2.  Anyone who works retail (unfortunately, like me) knows that after the holiday season business is slow, hours get cut, and money in general becomes rather tight.  To bring in extra income, I have joined Avon as a representative.  Honestly, I didn’t know much about them until I talked to the DM, and I didn’t know that they support campaigns to fight breast cancer and end domestic violence.  This really hits close to home for me since my grandmother is a breast cancer survivor and my mom was a victim of domestic violence.  I just submitted my first order yesterday, and I actually ordered some things for myself.  I got primer, foundation, pressed powder, concealer, blush, eyeliner, and eye makeup remover, and all together I paid around $35!  I was pretty excited since for my previous makeup regimen, I paid $13 for eyeliner and $30 for primer (that’s already over what I spent for everything I got from Avon, and that’s not even counting the actual makeup!) — so this is definitely a much better value.  If you would like to check out the great stuff at Avon, please visit my e-representative site here.

3.  My ETSY website should be back up by the end of this week!  I am re-opening with my new black and white hat collection, and will gradually be adding new collections as I make them.  Everything in my store will be 20% off.  The sale price will be posted as the purchase price, with the original price in the description.  I know a lot of sellers will charge the full price and then refund the 20% in paypal, but I’m not that technologically advanced, so I will be posting the sale price to make things easier for everyone.  In addition to the hats I normally sell on ETSY, I hope to eventually have on some jewelry, bridal items, and some knit clothes as well.  I know most of you that read this blog are crafters yourselves, but please, refer your friends over to my store — it is most appreciated!

4.  I am trying my hand at gardening!  (I have NEVER done this before).  I ordered tons of seeds, and hopefully will have a fruitful balcony garden underway in the near future.  If it’s successful, I might be blogging about that as well.

TTFN!!!

Painted Earlap Stencil Tutorial

In Knitting/Crocheting, Patterns on 03/25/2011 at 15:10

And I’m back!  I’m on spring break at school, and spent most of this week working on English assignments.  But I did promise some tutorials, and today I’m going to show you how to stencil your earflap hat.  Thank you to all those on Ravelry who have left me such nice comments on the hat!

So let’s get started:

You will need a piece of posterboard approx 20×30″.  A standard piece that costs a dollar at the local drugstore will do just fine.  Make sure you don’t get something too thick because you need something that’s a little flexible, and you don’t want to be cutting this thing till you’re 92. 
You will also need and x-acto knife, utility knife, or box cutter, a pen or pencil to mark where to cut your squares as well as to draw the stencil, and a ruler or other straightedge.  These items are needed to make the stencil itself.  To paint the stencil you will need some straight pins (aka common pins)  acrylic paint in any color of your choice and a medium-sized flat-tip brush. 

These are some of the things you'll need to make your stencil

 The next thing to do is to cut your piece of posterboard into squares that are 6×6″.  Obviously you can make any size you choose, but I find that the 6″ squares are really good for an adult-sized hat.  A standard piece of posterboard should yield about 12 of these squares.

After you have cut your squares, the next thing you can do is to plan out your stencil design.  I actually drew mine first with black pen so I could make changes as needed without it showing up too much. When you have drawn the design that you want to use for your stencil, trace over it in a color that contrasts your posterboard, so that you don’t have to strain your eyes when you’re cutting the stencil out.  When designing your stencil, there are a few things to consider: straight lines are much easier to cut than curved lines, and large pieces are much easier to cut than small ones. A bunch of little circles (like I did in mine) are a HUGE pain in the neck. Trace over your design in a color that contrasts the posterboard. After your stencil is drawn up, you are ready to cut it out! Carefully cut out your design using your x-acto knife, utility knife, or box-cutter. It is best to cut along the outer edge of your lines so that more space can be filled by the paint. Don’t rush this part — you don’t want to mess up your stencil or hurt yourself! The stencil is now cut out and ready to paint!

A standard piece of posterboard should give you 12 6" squares

Now that your stencil is cut out, you are ready to paint.  If you are painting an earflap hat, I could recommend laying the hat flat and pinning the stencil down onto the hat.  If you are painting something without earflaps, you should be okay to put the hat on a styrofoam head and pin the stencil onto the hat while it’s on the head.  When you pin, make sure you pin some of the spaces in the middle of the stencil so that the stencil doesn’t pop up while you are painting and mess up your design.  Better to have too many pins than too few. 

Make sure you pin the stencil to the hat in several places to keep the stencil from slipping

 
Now we paint.  Put some acrylic paint (the kind to paint an artist’s canvas, not the craft acrylic that you can use to paint ceramics) on a plate.  The brush you use should be completely dry.  Don’t water your brush or the paint, as that will make it absorb into the yarn rather than stay on top of it and give you a nice, deep color.  Take your time and slowly paint in all the spaces in your stencil.  Let dry for a minute or two and do a second coat if you feel it’s necessary.  Un-pin the stencil and slowly peel it away from your hat. Let the paint dry overnight.  That’s longer than it needs to dry, but always better to be safe than sorry.  Once it is dry, you can put your hat in the washing machine, and the paint won’t come off.   (Please only machine wash if your hat is NOT made of a fiber that will felt!)
 
This is the finished hat. Give it a while to dry and don’t be afraid to machine-wash it!

I hope this tutorial helps!  Please leave me any comments here or on Ravelry if you have any questions or suggestions about how to make this tutorial better (it’s my first tutorial, so any suggestions are very very welcome!)  And please, if you try this, post pics on Ravelry, or email them to me at bellevoix21@yahoo.com and I will post them if you would like.  I’m really interested to see everyone’s ideas. 

Deviation — My Fragrance Collection

In Perfume, Reviews on 01/12/2011 at 21:21

Anyone who has read my profile on Ravelry knows that aside from being a reasonably avid knitter and crocheter, I am a full-time student majoring in Psychology, and I work full-time at a perfume store.  I HATE working in retail (and my boss and I clash quite a bit), but working here is great because it’s not a big corporation and between customers, I can do whatever I want (i.e. study and knit). 

With anything I do, I try to read up a bit on it and learn as much as I can about what I’m doing.  I like to learn some historical tidbits and some trivia.  Aside from being exposed to a ton of new scents (whenever I test something for a customer), I’ve been reading reviews, and have gotten some great fragrances for myself.

There are a few categories into which women’s fragrances are typically sorted, some examples being oriental, floral, floriental (a mixture of floral and oriental), fruity, clean, sweet.  I tend to prefer a good floral or a rich, earthy oriental smell.  I never used to wear perfume, but now without it I don’t feel dressed, and I can actually match which fragrance I put on to how I’m feeling. 

Here is my collection thus far:

1.  Burberry
I prefer their classic fragrance, which includes notes of  peach, apricot, sandalwood, amber, cedar, and musk.  I typically veer away from the fruits, but they wear off quickly and on the skin remains a nice earthy smell.  For me this is a great fall-back fragrance.  I wear this when I don’t know what to wear, knowing that this is appropriate for any season and any occasion.  Burberry fragrances in general are long-lasting on the skin and moderately priced.  I highly recommend them.

2.  Very Valentino
I would describe this as a light floral.  There are also notes of sandalwood, amber, and musk in here, and when I wear this, I feel classy.  I usually wear this when I’m in one of two moods: either I am dressed up and going out and feel beautiful, or I think I look like crap and I want to wear this  to make me feel better.

3.  Gucci Flora
I used to really like this, and am now not as fond of it as I used to be.  It’s a light floral with a really sweet base to it, and it doesn’t have a tremendous amount of personality.  But  it smells nice and I wear it sometimes when I’m in the mood for something a little younger-smelling.

4.  Sira Des Indes by Jean Patou
This was an expensive bugger, and I had to have my boss special order it for me because whenever I ask someone in the department store for it, they have no idea what I’m talking about.  This is a love or hate fragrance, and I love it.  This, I believe, is named after an Indian dessert, and it certainly has a lot of sweet notes in it.  It develops beautifully and is really cool.  I get a lot of compliments on it.  Try to buy it discount, as the last I heard, the retail price is $158.

5.  Gaultier 2
This is one of the fragrances I have had the longest.  The smell lasts FOREVER on the skin and clothes.  Beware — there is a heavy milky note at the beginning which is weird and a little gross, but after about an hour it develops into this gorgeous, rich, spicy smell that it just so warm and comforting.  This is strictly a winter smell.

6.  Tom Ford Black Orchid
This is my most recent acquisition.  This also has a weird top note, but that wears off after about an hour and then the scent is very beautiful.  This one serves the same purpose as the Valentino, but this scent is much more substantial.  This is an investment, but a good one.  Notes in this include: Patchouli, Sandalwood, Truffle, Dark Chocolate, Ylang-Ylang, Black Currant, Bergamot, Orchid, Incense, and Vanilla.  I used to shy away from Patchouli for fear of smelling like a hippie, but I’ve acquired a fondness for it as long as it’s mixed well.

On my to-buy list:

  • Sycomore by Chanel
  • Prada
  • Givenchy Hot Couture
  • Tom Ford White Patchouli
  • Joy by Patou
  • Bois des Iles by Chanel (as soon as they release a smaller bottle)
  • Un Jardin en Mediterranee by Hermes (VERY earthy)

 

Bye for Now! ❤

Newly Finished…

In Knitting/Crocheting, Patterns on 01/11/2011 at 19:24

Yes I know I have made futile promises in regards to new patterns, new items for my ETSY shop, and tutorials, and alas, I suck because I am prepared with none of the above.  But I have finished a couple things that I wanted to get out of the way before I started school yesterday.

I signed up for 4 classes this semester — 2 online and 2 traditional, and was surprised to find out that one of my online classes is an 8-week accelerated course, so be prepared to hear (or more appropriately, see) very little from me for a while (or at least for the next week until I get my Ritalin and can get my horrible ADD under control).

But, before this mayhem began, I managed to finish a sweater (in 5 days!) and make a dinosaur hat that had been promised to one of my friends for about 3 months. 

The sweater was the Leyfi Pullover designed by Romi Hill, Interweave Knits Fall 2010.  I LOVE this sweater, and chose to do  mine in black and white rather than green and white (actually it was my husband’s choice — he thinks I look great in black).  The yarn I used was Nashua Creative Focus, which I think is a really nice wool, and then used a standard cotton crochet thread doubled with it. 

Leyfi Pullover

Please excuse the ridiculously horrible photo quality, as one of my friends took this picture with her iPhone.  My one complaint about my choice of color combo is that it’s really difficult to see the lace pattern — and the lace pattern is gorgeous.  I think I will definitely make this again.  It was an easy, quick project, and quite a pleasure to make.

 
My second adventure was to make a dinosaur hat for my friend that works at the store next-door to mine at the mall.  For the hat base, I used my Ridiculously Easy Beanie pattern (as I always do for hat bases…because it’s so ridiculously easy).  For the spikes on top of the head, I knit a diamond shape, casting on 3 sts, increasing 2 sts every other row by picking up a loop from the row below it until I had 15 sts, and then decreasing 2 sts every other row and binding off when I had 3 sts again.  The were worked in stockinette stitch, so every knit row was increased or decreased and the wrong-side rows were purled.  I sewed the middle of the spike down flat against the hat base, and then folded the sides of the spike up and sewed them together.  I think it turned out really well, and my friend certainly liked it.
 
I will get more fun stuff up here for everyone to do as soon as I can.  I really want to open my ETSY  store ASAP, and I’m still throwing around a lot of ideas for what exactly is going to be in there.  Wish me luck.  In the meantime, I wish you all happy crafting and I will be back soon.  Time to study!!

And I’m Back!!

In Miscellaneous on 12/29/2010 at 16:14

Christmas is over.  My semester is over.  YAY!!!!!!!!  I can finally devote some good time to knitting once again!!

As I mentioned previously, I will posting a series of tutorials regarding the trimmings I use for cloches.  A wonderful lady on Ravelry (please forgive me for forgetting who you are) requested that I show how I do the trimmings, so that will be done ASAP.  I am also hoping to have some time to design a little more — I have a lovely wrap sweater in mind that I would like to knit up in a mohair and post for you all.

Also, if any of you have been to my ETSY store, you will see that it is currently closed.  I have cleaned out my old inventory (by clean out I mean donated to a charity my cousin was collecting for her church) and I will be re-opening in January with a completely fresh collection of items including home items, hats (of course), and jewelry.

On top of that, I’m trying to have a little time to knit for myself.  I just finished a set of leg warmers from the book Weekend Knitting.  I love them!!! They are so warm!! But I made the ones with rolled edges instead of ribbed (because I hate ribbing), and I think next time I will make the edges ribbed.  I suppose if I wanted to now, I could just pick up the stitches at the ends and do a set of ribbing, but I’m lazy.  Anywho, here are the leg warmers:

These are the finished leg warmers
This is the first one

I am also in the process of knitting the Bubble Top from the book Boutique Knits by Laura Irwin.  This is very cute but a pain in the ass to knit.  Each row has more than 200 sts and it’s a ton of stockinette.  BORING.  But it will be cute, and cute is what counts.  Plus I just finished some crazy lace knitting not too long ago, so this will be a nice respite.  I just don’t have the attention span for it. 

 
Time to wrap up, but I will return soon with new designs, new ETSY store, and new tutorials!  Ciao!

Brief Hiatus…

In Miscellaneous on 12/07/2010 at 02:34

Just a quick jot today…

I will probably not be posting anything until about a week before Christmas due to the fact that I am in college, and the end of the semester is in full swing.  I have a ton of work to do (mainly papers and studying for finals), so the knitting is going to be on the back burner for a couple weeks. 

However, when I come back, there will be tutorials on the trimmings of cloches, as well as some perfume stuff, and possibly a new pattern or two.  Also, I’m expecting to finish a sweater that I have been working on for quite a while, so I’ll post pics and notes on that.

Until then, I wish everyone a happy, healthy holiday season.  Even if you are not religious, think of this time as a wonderful season of giving, and embrace it enthusiastically (and try not to get too stressed out from all the goings on).

All my love and All the best,

Sarah

Ridiculously Easy Felted Cloche

In Knitting/Crocheting, Patterns on 12/03/2010 at 02:39

This is yet another variation on my Ridiculously Easy Beanie  pattern.  This is the same shape as the un-felted cloche, but this one is felted (hence the name). 

*A NOTE ABOUT FELTING*
Acrylic and other synthetic yarns will not felt.  Use a trusty wool.  I have not tried to felt alpaca, but I’m sure it works too.  You need a lot of agitation and some soap to make an object felt.  Everyone does things differently, but I find that I get the best results when I throw the piece in a washing machine on hot or warm water, fast spin cycle, and put a towel in with it so it has something to rub up against.  I prefer to have no stitch definition whatsoever after the felting is done, so I sometimes have to run it in the machine for 2 or 3 wash cycles.  Also, your piece will shrink a good bit when you felt (to about 2/3 of its original size).  So for any felted project, ch stitch or cast on 1 1/2 the number of stitches that it should actually be so that when it felts it will be its normal size.

The felted cloche is a really great piece to wear in the winter.  It is very soft and strong, and unbelieveably warm.  Also, because it is felted you can cut out shapes without the yarn coming unraveled.  I would recommend washing it one more time after you cut it so the edges are felted all the way through.

To make the Cloche”

Materials: 1 Skein Paton’s Classic Wool in color of choice (or any other worsted weight 100% wool) ACRYLIC/WOOL BLENDS WILL NOT FELT!! (I learned this the hard way), Size H Crochet Hook

ch 90 sts, join to form a ring.
sc 1 st in each chain st, continuing in the round
work 23 more rows (rounds — when I say rows I mean rounds) even
row 25: sc 14 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x around the hat
row 26: work even
row 27: sc 13 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x around the hat
row 28: sc 12 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x.
row 29: work even
row 30: sc 11 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x.
row 31: sc 10 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x.
row 32: sc 9 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x.
row 33: work even
row 34: sc 8 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x.
row 35: sc 7 sts, skip 1 st. repeat 6x.
row 36: sc 6 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x.
row 37: sc 5 sts, skip 1 st. repeat 6x.
row 38: word even
row 39: sc 4 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x.
row 40: sc 3 sts, skip 1 st. repeat 6x.
row 41: sc 2 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x.
row 42: sc in every other st.

repeat row 42 until hat is closed.  knot the yarn, and cut off.

for the brim:

starting at the bottom of the hat, sc 1 st in every original ch st.
brim row 1: sc 1 st in first 14 sts.  2 sc in next st.  repeat 6x.
brim row 2: work even
brim row 3: work even
brim row 4: sc 1 st in first 11 sts.  2 sc in next st.  repeat 8x.
brim rows 5-8: work even.

fasten off. 
don’t bother weaving in your ends because you are going to felt the  hat so you can just cut off the ends afterwards without fear of unraveling.  don’t cut the ends off before you felt or your hat might come unstitched in the wash.

throw it in the washing machine a few times until felted as desired.

This is the front of the cloche

on my hat, i cut the shape into a point at the nape of the neck — not triangular but kind of curved.  using the scrap felt, i cut out a circle as big as i could get, and put it at the end of the point, and sewed a big button on top.  do whatever tickles your fancy.

This is a view of the cloche from the side

This is the back of the cloche

This is the detail of the back of the cloche