If you've ever moved to a new place, you know how hard it is to find solid friends.

I've been incredibly blessed over the past 2 1/2 years. Since moving to Pennsylvania, I've been wrapped in support and kindness from all sides - neighbors, colleagues, acquaintances... I've been overwhelmed by warmth and acceptance.

So, let me introduce you to two ladies who now occupy a very special place in my heart - Cristy and Missie. These ladies have made it their personal mission to make me feel like family. They are now my sisters. They embody all of the characteristics that you could use to describe the "perfect friend."


Cristy was one of the first people I met when I moved here. She has done an amazing job of pushing me out of the house and forcing me into social settings. That's a tremendous feat for this introvert! She asks for as much as she gives (which is, in my opinion, THE hallmark of true friendship). She also introduced me to knitting, which has had a powerful effect on my overall well-being.

Extra bonus: our hubbies hit it off, too, and our little guys are like brothers.

Missie is one of the most positive, inspirational women that I've ever known. She has faced incredible hardship due to chronic illness over the past year and a half. Her body has betrayed her in every way. She lives in pain—yet, she never complains. She remains upbeat and chooses to focus on care and concern for others, rather than herself. I will forever think of Missie when I'm compelled to complain about trivial issues.

Needless to say, it's going to be really, really, really hard to leave these amazing women behind! I'm constantly brainstorming ways to take them with me.

In a silly moment, I declared, "We should get matching tattoos before I leave. We'll be bonded forever!" Before I even had time to process my own idea, Cristy had already made appointments for the three of us.

So, I spent the next two weeks hyperventilating at the very thought of getting this tattoo. I didn't have any tattoos... neither did Missie... Cristy, well, let's just say she has her fair share.

**wink-wink**

I'm 37 years old! I decided if I was getting a tattoo, it had to be meaningful and original so I worked up a concept for the 3 of us and the artist tweaked it.

Tattoo Day came and I awoke thinking of this video:



Needless to say, the girls made me go first. Here's how it all happened.









One week later, I'm getting used to my permanent addition. I was in shock for a few days. Not necessarily a bad feeling, but I had to work through all of my emotions. Truthfully, it was an awesome experience - one that I've always wanted to have. I'm so grateful that I got to experience it with two women who mean so much to me.

k3tog... knit 3 together... It's heartwarming to know that we're forever linked in our own creative way.


Call us "Cavy Slaves." Over the past year, we've fallen totally in love with a pair of guinea pigs, Jagger and Joplin.

They wheek and we come running. We are really at their beck and call.

Well, Miss Joplin decided to give birth to two precocious wee ones while we were on the road, traveling from Georgia to Pennsylvania.

Yeah... our road trips are never boring.

Just look at these little guys!!





We have been planning to find forever homes for these babies, but now that they're here... we can't imagine giving them up!

Wheek!!

Have you ever heard me say that I'd never sew with crepe again?

Never?

Well, I really mean it this time. Unfortunately, I fell under the spell of this gorgeous bird print and chose to ignore the little voice in the back of my head that said "DO NOT HIT 'ADD TO CART'!!!"


After all, the pattern that I had in mind for it was a very simple pattern. How much trouble could it be?

**bwahahahaha**

McCall's 6794 is an adorable high/low spring top that I've had in my stash for a while.


Although I found it challenging to complete, I'm fairly pleased with the outcome. It has an Anthropologie-esque feel.



I love, love, love the back. Even without the tie, it would be perfect for a cute, flowy top.


This top should have taken an hour or two... seriously. It's so simple. My trouble came with hemming the bottom and sleeves.

I finally managed to hem the bottom using a rolled hem foot...


But... I gave up on the sleeves and decided to finish them with single bias tape. It's not ideal, but it was the ONLY way this top was going to be completed.



I would recommend this pattern and will likely make this top again. I think it would be fabulous in cotton lawn or lightweight linen. The only revision I would make is adding an inch or two to the length. I have a longer torso than the model in the photo and need the extra length!

But, I swear... no more crepe!! Except for using up what I purchased in the past... and then, no more crepe!!

Most of my sewing posts start along the same lines.

I've had this fabric in my studio for years, waiting for the perfect project...

This post is no exception. I purchased a few yards of beautiful embroidered border fabric 3 years ago and I've been scared to cut it all of this time. It was so pretty... and I only had a few yards... and I might make a mistake causing me to waste it all... and... and... and...

Because of the border, I needed a garment that might end in a relatively straight line - as opposed to something like a circle skirt. You'll see what I mean in just a sec.

Enter Simplicity 1877.



This Leanne Marshall pattern proved to be just right for this fabric (unfortunately, it's now out of print!).

Awful photo aside, I absolutely love the result!



Contrary to my typical report, I had no trouble at all with this project. Can you believe it?! Working with cotton is such a dream.




My only big alteration to the garment was adding a lining. I also used pre-made bias trim in white, rather than making my own. I was happy to discover that I had it on hand. It saved me a lot of prep time!

I made slight changes to the shoulder flounce - but only to maximize the use of this pretty border. I also eliminated the triangle stitching at the waist. It looked so odd to me!




I would describe this dress as the perfect garden party outfit.

(Ask me how many garden parties I've attended.... that would be none. But I'm now prepared and awaiting an invitation.)


So, I feel like I'm just waking up from a dark, haunting, and very cold dream...

I've just endured the longest, most miserable winter of my life. I didn't fully understand that weather could leave you feeling incredibly drained and uninspired. Depressed, really.

I used to think that any temperature below freezing would essentially feel the same.

{snicker}

I can now attest that -25° F (before the wind chill) does not, in fact, feel like 25° F. And... walking through deep snow is more of a workout than jogging on a beach. And... going weeks without sunshine does affect your emotional well-being. Phew!

We've had 40° temps and sunshine for a few days now and I feel reenergized. It's simply amazing.

So, now that I'm feeling more like myself, I have a lot of catching up to do.

Most of my creative energy over the past months has been channeled into knitting - primarily because you can do that one the couch, in your fleece pajamas, wrapped up in a blanket! I have to say, I've become pretty darn comfortable with it.

So, here's a quick overview of a few of my favorite creations. Get ready for photo overload...

Chunky wool poncho

I absolutely love this piece. I would wear it all of the time if I could. Every time I've worn it out, ladies stop to ask me where I bought it. I've actually made two of these. With practice, the second actually turned out better than the first. I doubled the amount of fringe and it looked so polished!




This pattern came from a book. If you'd like to make one similar, here are a few free patterns:


The Simplest Sweater

I chose this pattern for the promise in its name. It was my first attempt at a top-down sweater. I am pleased to report it was incredibly simple! I've been lax with my photography, but a friend snapped this quick pic for me. 


I will definitely work up this again. Love it!

Colorwork Cowl

Three cheers for my first colorwork project! For this cowl, I used a pattern from The Purl Bee. Truth be told, I really prefer the colorways that they recommend. But, I wanted to use the yarn that I had on hand. I made many, many, many mistakes along the way. Fortunately, the folds disguise most of them!






Honeycomb Brioche Sweater

I could not love this sweater more. I typically gravitate towards free patterns, but I actually bought this one. I found this yarn on Little Knits, one of my favorite yarn sites. Retail, this yarn would have cost more than $200. I only paid $40!



I am very proud of the way it turned out. And it's such a cool look!

This is just a sampling from the past few months. As you can see, I've been very busy (and cooped up indoors!).

Next update... sewing!