Planting Sequoias

In which I blog about a life (hopefully) well lived.


Lace Infinity Scarf Tutorial (in which I give you a perfectly valid reason to purchase frilly thrift store curtains)

Prior to this day, you may not have had too many occasions upon which you desired to purchase thrift store drapery, but that may be about to change.

In fact, this very post may cause a run on thrifted curtains, so you may want to duck out now and grab some and come back to read this post later. Just saying.

I purchased said curtain in preparation for the annual Christmas Craft Party where some friends and I draw names and then make our gifts for each other. This year I had Hannah, for whom it is incredibly difficult to make something for, since she is very crafty herself.

Despite being under a lot of pressure to create something awesome, I kept my cool and headed to the thrift store for these $2 curtains and then the craft store for a 2-yard length of jersey knit. 2 yards (off the wider 60″ type of bolt) ended up being exactly enough for 2 scarves, so if you attempt this project, plan accordingly.

Thrift Store Curtain and Jersey Knit

I made the pattern up as I went along, so these pictures might not be the best ever, like the rest of my photos normally are. 🙂

I first laid out the yardage on the floor to get a look at what I was working with. I knew I wanted the infinity scarf to wrap around twice, so I figured I had enough for two and cut it in half the long way and the short way to get 4 pieces total, 2 for each scarf.

Scientific Measuring

Then I sewed each piece into a tube, but on one piece, I sandwiched the lace inside.

Sandwich Lace between Knit Layeres

Next I sewed the two tubes together on one end, catching the raw edge of the lace in this seam. I actually used pins for this–usually I grab the devil by the horns and just go for it without using pins. Surprisingly, pins help a lot.

Here’s a pic of the tubular shape and the lace curtain to be sewed in.

Creating the tube

Next I had to connect the two ends of the tube together. This step sorely tested my logic skills, and I’m not sure I can explain how I did it, but I shall attempt to nonetheless.

You won’t be able to sew the ends of the tube together entirely, since you need to do it from the inside of the scarf (unless you’ve somehow invented a way to do sew while inside an object), but you can get a good three-quarters of the way around .

And the you’ll shake things out and just be left with a smallish hole, which I then stitched shut by hand from the outside of the scarf.

Hole left to sew by hand


finished lace infinity scarf

Finally, I modeled the finished product and deemed it super-cute.

Lace infinity scarf with jersey knit

I really really wanted to keep one of the two that I made, but after stroking each scarf both lovingly and bidding a fond farewell, I gave one to Hannah and the other to my sister Sara for Christmas.

lace infinity scarf with jersey knit tutorial

And no, I didn’t do my hair that day. It was a Saturday. Just pretend it looked awesome, okay? Thanks.

Oh, and does anyone else have the problem of wanting to keep gifts you make or get for other people for yourself? I can’t be the only selfish one out there, right?



Upcycled Sweater Stockings (in which I spend more than 1 hour on a project and do not use spray paint)

This may be unprecedented here on the old blog, but I recently completed a project that did not involve paint in an aerosol can (like here and here). However, dearest spray paint lovers, do not fear! There is undoubtedly more to come. I know this with certainty, since I have at least 2 more projects of that nature coming your way soon. When I like something, I tend to go overboard. It’s always been that way. My apologies to my husband.

This project is also unique in that it took me more than one hour to do. Along those same lines, it may have taken me almost a year to finish…I began this project last December//hangsheadinshame//

This is how far I got before the motivation train left the station back in ’11. Picture another coordinating stocking completed to the same stage, but red.

I started this one Christmassy afternoon last year by drawing up a template on some newspaper. I then used scraps of old wool sweaters to create a large blob of sweater pieces sewn together, upon which I placed said template and trimmed it up. I cut out a larger piece of sweater for the backside of the stocking and created an inner lining with some other weird scratchy fabric.

I should pause to mention that I got the idea for the stockings from a pair that our dear friends Dan and Grace have. Their stockings were lovingly made by Grace’s mom, who makes gorgeous things out of wool sweaters. I can only aspire to some day have half her talent.

At the time that I began the stockings, I was blogging about 0% of my projects on average, which meant two things: 1) no pictures, and 2) no accountability to finish. Bad stuff, I know. But since I have only the best blog readers who are very imaginative and forgiving folk, these two things are of no consequence.

Fast forward to November 2012, when I finally gathered up the energy to drag this project out of the closet again.

All I had left to do was to attach a cuff of sorts and the little loopy thing from which the stocking could hang. Taking deep breaths, I began chanting The Little Engine That Could  under my breath (all the while getting weird looks from the husband)… “I think I can! I think I can!”

So I cut myself a cuff and stuffed it in the stocking and began to sew.

Or rather, I tried. My 1950’s sewing machine has issues, as we all know, and could not even muster up the energy to execute a single successful stitch. The above picture is fake. Instead, I took my stockings over to my Grandma’s house, which is a treasure trove of sewing machines. After breaking 7 needles (wish I were joking…sorry, Grandma!), I had 2 completed stockings.

Sort of. See the difference between these stockings and the one mentioned above?

If you answered “these stocking toes are pointing left! The picture above shows the stocking pointing to the right!,” you are correct.

Long story short: last winter I began 2 pairs of stockings and in fact did double the amount of work listed above. Including cuffage. I would like to point out that this seemingly insignificant statistic actually works in my favor: instead of breaking 7 needles on 2 stockings (an average of 3.5 needles apiece), I broke 7 needles on 4 stockings, a mere 1.75 needles apiece.

One pair of cuffs turned out awesome and one pair of cuffs turned out so-so, so we’re keeping the awesome pair. I do not know what possessed me to create stockings with opposing toe-pointage. (Wow, the number of words I am creating for this post has got to be some sort of record!) //patsselfonback//

We hung these on our TV stand, since we are a no-fireplace family at this time. And of course I took the picture late at night–it’s what my blog readers have come to expect from me. I have a reputation to uphold.

If you squint really hard into the darkness, you can see that the stockings are there. I promise. But come on over in person to see them! We’d love to have you. And between our visitors and being the star of this blog post, that’s probably all the action these stockings will see. We have bigger things to save up for, after all!

On an unrelated note: I was WAYYY too thrilled on Monday to have an idea “featured” on Hip2Save AND win $25 to Amazon for doing so! See the post here. 🙂

On another unrelated note: if you’re at all like me and like free things and reading, check out this post from awhile back on the Tyndale Rewards program. I’ve gotten several free books this way and it is SO EASY to get your first book!

On another more related note: I’m linking up here!



Sheesh, will the post ever end? NOPE! I’m also linking up to Censational Girl!