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1  Re: Waldorf inspired washcloth gnome baby ***NOW WITH TUTORIAL!!!*** in Baby Showers And Gifts For New Babies by mlle_rachelmarie on: September 12, 2008 06:41:56 PM
My awesome sister (craftster user Raggamuffinchild) used your tutorial to make my baby this cute gnome!

I just love the colors and his cute little face:

Thanks for sharing your great tutorial. I can't wait for the baby to come (any minute now - he's due in 5 days) so that he can play and snuggle with it!
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2  Jacket for a Baby Prepster (and link to the free pattern) in Knitting: Completed Projects by mlle_rachelmarie on: September 02, 2008 10:10:52 AM
I just finished this fun double-breasted seed-stitch jacket for my baby (due in 2 weeks) and now I want one in my size!

The pattern is free at the Exercise Before Knitting blog:

I used Rowan's Cashsoft Aran yarn (a lovely cashmere and wool blend), so this chunky jacket is sure to be warm. It took 7 skeins, though, so it turned into a bit of an investment piece at $9.50 a skein. What I like about the pattern is that it's knitted on circular needles so you can somewhat reduce the number of seams you have to deal with a the end (although the hood and sleeves must be sewn on).

I like the double-breasted pea-coat look:

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3  Hot Chocolate Spoons in Winter Holidays by mlle_rachelmarie on: December 20, 2007 05:41:52 PM
What better utensil for a cozy cup of hot cocoa, than chocolate stirring spoons!!

I'm sure I've seen something like this online somewhere, but I can't remember exactly what inspired me to make these.  I took 30 small plastic spoons and 2 bars of 76% cocoa chocolate bars and in about 15 minutes turned out these home-made gifts that were a total hit at our friends' holiday dinner party last week.

I just broke the bars into chunks and melted them over low heat:

Then I dipped the spoons into the melted chocolate and twirled the spoons around until the fronts and backs were covered. As I finished each spoon, I laid them onto a greased sheet of foil (I didn't have any wax paper on hand).  I had a lot of leftover chocolate, so I spooned the extra into the dips of the chocolate spoons:

Let them cool and harden for about an hour and then they're done! I included them with some cookies and a few caramels I purchased from a gourmet shop.

Quick and easy and definitely a crowd-pleaser. It'd be cute to have these accompany a mason jar of hot cocoa, or a little home-made bag of hot chocolate mix. You could also add toppings, or roll the spoons in nuts or crushed up peppermints... The possibilities are endless!
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4  Re: Who did their own flowers? in Weddings and Bridal Showers by mlle_rachelmarie on: November 19, 2007 09:54:30 AM
We did.  Cheesy

It was a lot of work (more than I had expected, actually), but I had lots of help. We had the flowers delivered the day before and then prepared them (took leaves off, cut stems, etc):

We assembled the bouquets and boutonnières the day of the wedding:

I made a couple of pdf's with directions of how to do it:

For Boutonnières:

And Bouquets:

Our centerpieces were really simple plain glass vases with ginger flowers in them. We figured, with dramatic enough flowers, you don't really have to do much arranging at all. The only problem was cutting the thick stems. We had to use hedge trimmers!

Let me know if you have any questions or need any advice about it.
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5  Provençal Prints Go Around the World in Quilting: Completed Projects by mlle_rachelmarie on: October 23, 2007 08:50:51 AM

I just finished my first quilt, with the help of my amazingly talented sister (left in the pic below) and all of her fancy quilting tools.

I didn't buy any fabric at all for this project. I used leftover material I bought in Provence (France) for other things, and how much I had of each pattern determined what the overall layout would be, which I guess is how quilting came about in the first place, right?

The pattern is called Around the World (I think?), and is very appropriate: the material is from France, I started it in the U.S., finished it in France (where I live now), and then sent it off to our friends' brand-new baby in Hong Kong, where it has now safely arrived. The Provençal prints make it look a little crazy, but I hope the little baby boy I gave it to will find the madness entertaining and not dizzying!

Since this was a relatively quick, machine-pieced first experiment, I decided not to hand (or machine) quilt the layers, but instead used yarn ties to hold it all together. It's important to use non-synthetic yarn, as synthetic yarn will eventually wear through the cotton fabric and batting.

I like how the backing turned out, too, with the little nubs of white yarn peeking through the cheerful fire-engine red.

I can't wait to get more experimental with my next quilt. Maybe I'll even try – gasp – rectangles! Thanks for looking and I hope you don't need asprin after doing so!
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6  A little odd but very sweet knit/fabric baby toy - Now w/ Tutorial in Baby Showers And Gifts For New Babies by mlle_rachelmarie on: October 20, 2007 02:56:02 AM
This project was very quick and easy. I'm always trying to find something unusual to make for new babies. This toy is my favorite at the moment: it can be thrown around, grabbed, or snuggled.

The pattern is from a magazine, so it's copyrighted, but it's pretty straight-forward. I made the head in stockinette and then the little body parts in moss stitch. The tail was a departure from the pattern, which called for a fabric one. I made it using knit cording (on double-pointed needles cast on 2 stitches; knit them and DO NOT TURN and knit again; repeat until desired length). The little poof is a yarn pom-pom I made (my first one!).

I used some vintage fabric for the body, and just traced the rounds using a large plate and a smaller one. Sewing was somewhat time-consuming because I don't have a sewing machine here (I'm living in Paris for the year), and the trick is to cut the circle so that you can turn it inside out (see photo above).

Even without the sewing machine, this was easy to finish quickly, so I made two. They're going to a pair of twins that live in Miami.

Thanks for looking! Any questions, just ask.
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7  Re: June 9th-National Knit in Public Day! in Knitting: Discussion and Questions by mlle_rachelmarie on: June 10, 2007 01:52:12 AM
So who celebrated yesterday?!!  Cheesy

We went to the Palais Royal in Paris.  Since this was worldwide, anyone else have any photos or stories to share?  Everyone was so friendly and I felt like knitting can really change the world!

Julie and me with our projects.

Bootees and Buren columns (Daniel Buren is the contemporary artist that designed this black-and-white installation).  We were supposed to wear and knit in black and white...does ivory count?

A knit Buren column that some of the knitting day organizers made. Love it!
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8  Re: Help!!! Getting married in 3 weeks!!!! (country decor ideas) in Weddings and Bridal Showers by mlle_rachelmarie on: June 08, 2007 05:53:00 AM
The garden section of a home-supply or hardware store could really help.  Although this was for a fall wedding and not summer, my sister (the amazing craftster raggamuffinchild) used as centerpieces plants she found for $1 each, just covering the pots with burlap and ribbon.  This picture isn't the best, but it's all I can find:

She also found these inexpensive wooden barrel thingies on sale at a garden supply store and put more sale-priced plants in them:

They also used straw/hay stuff: they served cider from the back of our dad's vintage pick-up.  It was very festive!

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9  Bootees Knit in a Round in Baby Showers And Gifts For New Babies by mlle_rachelmarie on: June 05, 2007 02:26:43 PM
I am one of those strange knitters that would rather knit on double-pointed needles than use just two and deal with seams at the end.  Roll Eyes So with the arrival of a friend's pair of twins and two other babies being born this month, I was determined to find a small project that wouldn't drive me mad with sewing.

Do you know how difficult it is to find a bootee pattern that doesn't look passé, dorky, or just plain sloppy?  Well I was thrilled to find this wonderful pattern online for bootees knit in a round!

(I knit them top-down, but there is also a bottom-up pattern:

This little guy has a match now.

Like fresh strawberries (hmmm...getting ideas for a green top to these...could I get into fruit-themed bootees?)

I made this cording but I found it too thick to look very nice.  I'm going to get some cute ribbon for the ties, but in the mean time, I think the plain ol' yarn looks pretty good.  Smiley
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10  Re: Rice Krispies Treat Wedding Cake? in Weddings and Bridal Showers by mlle_rachelmarie on: February 17, 2007 02:31:03 PM
Ooo what a fun idea!

My mom made 90 carrotcake cupcakes for our wedding, but it was a pretty huge task that took up the whole day before. I've heard of people making them in advance and freezing them.  Another tip for icing is to replace 1/2 the butter with crisco.  Doesn't sound appetizing, but it keeps it from having a total meltdown.

The donut idea is funny and cute, too.  We had a cream-puff cake (croquembouche), which shouldn't be too hard.  Just make the puffs ahead of time (they will freeze for a while i think)

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