Category Archives: MAKE

knit // birthday faerie

ilona blythe | workhouseblogilona blythe | workhouseblogilona blythe | workhouseblogMeet Ilona Blythe, builder of faerie houses and a jill of all trades. She is warm hearted, soft spoken and loves to hear stories about pirate adventures and mythical creatures. She surrounds herself with the most imaginative 8 year old and they have already gone on some pretty daring adventures. We are all quite fond of her and are happy to have her befriend our favorite faerie expert.

I stumbled upon this beautiful modification of the eco fairy pattern and knew I had to give it a try. It was a quicker knit than I first anticipated and was delightful to make, there is a lot of love and intention hiding inside this little faerie! Her dress is purposefully imperfect as it’s Ilona’s favorite and has been mended many times by her mother. She managed to find a spare button lying around our house and fashioned a hair clip out of it. She has both a linen apron and a tool belt and soft leather boots. She is now residing with us, telling us the ways of faeries and is getting a lot of love and attention.

[more details here]

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knit // boxy tweed vest

tweed tank | workhouseblogtweed tank | workhouseblogA little handmade gift for her first birthday, which was a wonderful day filled with close friends and family, sunshine and lots and lots of food and cake! Our home was bursting with some of our favorite people coming together to make our village, members both big and small. We feel fortunate to have had most of these folk witness some of the biggest milestones in our lives from our wedding, our moves and now our last baby. We are lucky.

During our spring break, a few weeks ago, we were on Bainbridge Island to spend some time with close friends and gave me the welcomed excuse to go into one of my favorite yarn shops, Churchmouse. There I saw this pattern and knew it would be a perfect knit for our birthday girl. I completed it in about 3 evenings, I used the recommended Rowan Revive which I would definitely use again because its a nice weight, didn’t split, is a silk cotton blend making it perfect for spring/summer.

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make / window stars

window stars | workhouseblogwindow stars | workhouseblogwindow stars | workhouseblogwindow stars | workhouseblogwindow stars | workhouseblogwindow stars | workhouseblogwindow stars | workhouseblogWe welcomed Spring Equinox by making some colorful window stars. We said goodbye to winter’s dark skies and welcomed the bounty of color and life that is about to bloom. A simple star can be made by folding 8 squares of kite paper into simple cone shapes (like the reds ones shown above) and then attaching each point with either tape or glue. You’ll work clockwise overlapping the one side of the bottom edge of each point with another- this makes sense once you have all your points made and you can arrange them on a flat surface. There are many tutorial online but we keep referring back to these instructions and just try our best to translate the images.

They catch sun the sun perfectly, add some color to our landscape and change with the light throughout the day. Plus its a pretty simple mess free craft which I always gladly welcome with open arms.

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make // little weavings

child weaving | workhouseblogchild weaving | workhouseblogchild weaving | workhouseblogchild weaving | workhouseblogchild weaving | workhouseblog

We recently went to the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival  and Miss Beans had the opportunity to weave on a floor loom, she has talked about it ever since. For homeschooling  she gets to pick a craft or art to work/learn for the month, this month its weaving, obviously. We have started very small and made a simple cardboard loom to for her to get a sense and feel for weaving. (EXCELLENT tutorial here!). This is keeping her occupied for long stretches of time, I am finding that she is quite happy practicing this way making little rugs for fairy homes.

 

 

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knit // cascade

cascade | workhouseblogcascade | workhouseblogcascade | workhouseblogcascade | workhouseblogcascade | workhouseblog

These are the kind of sweaters that make childhood a bit more enchanting and wondrous. The kind of thing that collects pine needles as you wander through the woods and comes home smelling of the sea with sleeve cuffs so tattered from collecting treasures and digging in the earth. An object so loved that the moth holes are loving patched with scrap yarn and every snag or missing button has a story to go along with it. An article that brings back so many magical memories of childhood when you stumble upon a photograph of it as an adult.

For the past several years I have tried my best to make at least one sweater a year for each girl. This year it was the Cascade, Miss Beans really wanted matching sweaters with her sister and as I am sure this phase will be short lived, due to their age difference,  I was happy to comply. Miss Beans and I discussed colorways and then I hand dyed the yarn for each sweater: Miss Beans’ is grey logwood  and the baby’s is purple logwood with a touch of lac, I will say that adding a bit of cream of tarter to the mordant made the yarn super soft.  The sweaters are beautiful, cozy and so sweet on each of their owners. The pattern is a raglan knit cardigan which was quick and fairly easy to adjust to a size 8.

They are proudly worn (almost) everyday and nothing could make this momma happier than knowing that they were knitted with love and the best of intentions.

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knit // rosebud

rosebud hat | workhouseblog

Knitting is one form of meditation for me, it brings me to my breath, shows me where I am holding tension in my body and gives silence to all the chatter that life gives. It allows me to slow down, sit still, most likely with a hot cup of tea and is a sign to my family that mom is taking a break. It also has quite a lovely outcome.

As an after holiday gift I usually splurge on little something special for myself, the rosebud was exactly that. I was given the pattern from a friend and so happen to have a bit of yarn stashed away just for this hat, the colorway is postcard for those who are curious (since I had the fingering weight I double strand knit it). Its a delightful knitting pattern and the yarn make such a beautiful fabric,  it made for the perfect self gift.

|POST SCRIPT| I wanted to add that my hat (as well as others who have made this) was a touch too big, so as recommended by a good friend, I dampened mine and tossed it in the dryer with a few dryer balls (or towels) in 5 min intervals until it was the perfect fit.

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motherhood // on creating

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Every year I make a simple little ornament for Lucy, the tradition now continues with Anaïs. While I was sewing these my heart was overcome with love and gratitude for the special beings in my life, two women who show me everyday that beauty is wholehearted, they love me with pure gentleness. I, in return, make them things with my hands- all while holding the intention of love and their well being in my heart.  When I was sewing  I started to question why it is so important for me to make things, to have these offerings for my children, I sat there for a moment and thought of the history of my own life.

The Christmas season has been a bittersweet holiday for me, my father passed away, in the early morning hours of Dec 26th when I was 9. He held a lot of the holiday traditions for our family: the baking, the Christmas music and of course the magic of Santa Claus, he was the cornerstone of my life. In the years after his passing I had a longing for those things but they never really seemed to come back in their true form, until I became a mother. I too, want to give these beloved gifts to my daughters, to revisit the things that I learned from my father that made this time of year so special for me.  So with not only creating traditions around the season, I feel extra moved to create things that are tangible for them, a lasting memory that they get to take with them when the grow up, items that hold a story for them that they can pass down and treasure. I am an artist, my love is shown through my creativity whether it be through a photo, a knitted sweater, a recipe or a simple ornament. This love is shared with my family and and friends; now when I look at my Christmas tree I am not only reminded of this but of my father and everything is now a whole lot sweeter.

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make // advent calendar

advent // workhouseblog.comThis should have made an appearance last week as to give some sort of inspirations for making your own but alas as life is these days some projects are done at the last minute. So in tradition with every other year, I made this year’s calendar. Its made from toilet paper rolls covered in white paper with sparkly red sticker paper on top and white vinyl numbers I’ve had lying around since college. There are small treats, trinkets and treasures and a few toys for the baby but the fun is most had when punching through the paper.

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lovely list / no. 11

warm eucalyptus rub / workhouseblog
The lovely list today is two fold; part gratitude, part recipe…and then thankfulness for said recipe, so it all comes full circle, or could just be the head cold, teething baby woes, lack of sleep talking. This past week has completely depleted my energy reserves, the stuff that keeps everything together even when things are difficult- mine are shot! We all have been fighting this cold and the baby is teething, fussy, unhappy, not sleeping which make my days feel like 72hrs instead of 24. My days and nights feel the same, everything is a blur and I am not able to get away to give myself time to restore and rejuvenate my reserves. I am finding myself snappy, telling everyone in my home how hard mothering is and feeling like I am scrambling to find 10 minutes for myself, somewhere, anywhere. That all being said, I know this is something that will pass but while you’re in it, its sometimes hard to see the end or even think that other people (that would be people who are not moms) get what this is like. It can quickly spiral inward into a world of self pity and the overwhelmed.  I know sleep can quickly change this all, so would a good date night or an evening with girlfriends who make your life feel like you’re in Sex in the City. So the mix of not feeling well, wanting my life back, fussy teething baby and lack of sleep has brought me the kitchen to make something that will bring relief, comfort to us all and is a quick home remedy. I suppose a glass of whiskey would offer some of the same benefits, for myself.

WARMING EUCALYPTUS RUB

5 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil (a natural anti-viral)

1 tbsp.  sweet almond or olive oil

2 tbsp. beeswax (chopped or grated)

8 – 10 drops eucalyptus

15 – 20 drops rosemary oil (I infuse my own by taking a few sprigs and frying them in olive oil, you know its done when the leaves have turned brown but are not burnt)

In a small pan, melt the coconut and olive oil.  Add the beeswax, stir until melted.  Add the essential oils and stir to combine. Pour into glass jar and allow to cool.

I sometimes I also add tea tree, lemon, peppermint or clove oil (no more than 2 drops) to the recipe above.

|*Please note: Do not add peppermint oil if this is going to be used on babies or small children*|

I apply it to our chests and slather it on our feet, cover with socks and enjoy the benefits of cough relief.

Here’s to sniffle free days, sad baby woes be gone and to mom getting some much needed time to herself without having to answer a single question, pick up a thing and having her body all to her own for a bit. Be well and stay healthy.

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