Completed Project: Easy Knitted Baby Blanket

Knitted baby blanket folded over-titleWhen I found out I was pregnant I first thought, yay!, but my next thought was oooooh….what am I going to make?? So many choices! I did know though that I would have to start a baby blanket soon since I’m a pretty slow knitter and I wanted to complete it before the baby came.

Also, I wanted to knit a baby blanket that was gender-neutral since I’m not a fan of gendered colors and patterns. Since then, we’ve found out that Munchkin is a girl, which brings up for me a whole host of issues on raising a daughter. Like the current Disney princess culture  (don’t get me started). If Munchkin wants to dress up like Belle from Beauty and the Beast, that’s great, but I don’t want to unintentionally foist that on her. What if she thinks Peter Pan or Han Solo (totally) is cooler? I don’t want to suppress her creativity or imagination.

So all of this over what kind of blanket to knit. I was totally over thinking it, I know.

Knitted baby blanket-drapedAnyhow, I loooove the knitting patterns at Purl Soho and I came across their free Super Easy Baby Blanket pattern. And it’s stripes! Love stripes…The pattern is so easy, you only use the garter stitch (knitting only). That’s it! Instead of using the merino wool that the pattern recommended, I chose colors from Caron’s Simply Soft line since the colors won’t bleed, the yarn is very soft and I can throw it in the washer/dryer. Why waste fancy yarn on something that is just going to be covered in spit up?

Easy Knitted Baby Blanket Pattern

Adapted from the Super Easy Baby Blanket pattern, The Purl Bee


  • US #8, 24 or 32-inch circulars
  •  7 skeins of Caron Simply Soft Solids (1 each in Persimmon, Pumpkin, Off White, Sunshine, Soft Blue, Light Country Blue and Ocean)
  • Darning needle

Finished Size

Approximately 30 inches x 45 inches


Like the original pattern, loosely cast on 120 stitches using your first color. Knit 40 rows in that color before switching to the next color. Make sure to switch colors on the same side each time. Repeat with each color. After you’ve completed all of the stripes, bind off and weave in any loose ends.

You should refer to the original pattern as well– there is a good tip on creating a nice edge on the blanket. I completely missed it and recommend it anyone knitting this pattern–it would have made my blanket a little more professional looking.

P.S– I just made it under the wire with this project. My due date has come and gone, but I’ve finished the baby blanket before Munchkin’s arrival!

Posted in Crafts, Knitting, Patterns & Tutorials | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Printable 2015 12-Month Office Calendar

Oprah Winfrey New Years quote

Happy New Year! I hope everyone is having a joyous and festive holiday!

I’ve been fairly quiet on the blog the last several months. But, that’s because I’ve been working on my biggest project to date—my husband and I are expecting a baby girl in the spring. Woo hoo! Up until now I’ve been too pooped to work on anything besides the basics (and even then…). But, this is going to open up a whole new world in sewing and craft projects for babies and kids! I’m definitely not going the mommy blogger route, but just adding some new crafty things to the mix.

So the first post for 2015 is a practical one—a free printable 2015 12-month calendar PDF that fits on 8.5” x 11” paper. While I was organizing my desk at work last week I realized that I needed an at-a-glance 2015 calendar. Looking online for a free printable, I didn’t see anything that I really liked—they were either too Microsoft Office-looking or too kooky. I needed something that would both brighten up my office space and look professional.

The Stitcherati 2015 Calendar

Download free printable calendar PDF here.

Posted in Graphic Design, Original Designs | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Summer Entertaining: Guiltless Tapas

Summer Entertaining - Guiltless Tapas

Clockwise from top left: Caprese salad, spicy garlic shrimp, turkey bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with chorizo, walnut cranberry date balls

Last month, to celebrate our wedding anniversary, I made a tapas spread fit for a king…or in this case, my husband. One of our early dating rituals was frequenting restaurants that served sangria and tapas. Nothing is better than sitting outside at a cafe in the summer, sipping sangria and grazing on tapas. Nothing. Except if your dog is haunting you for a nibble…but I digress.

Are these recipes completely guiltless? Well, not really. But, wherever I could, I used lower calorie options, like substituting turkey bacon for regular bacon. You get my drift. But you’ll also see no bread or wheat, so these are all gluten-free.

The great thing about these recipes too is that I made everything in just over an hour.  Plus, if you’re entertaining friends and family, you can keep the dishes coming as you finish. So, to start this meal, I started with something easy– a caprese salad.

Caprese Salad


  • 1 or 2 beefsteak tomatoes
  • buffalo mozzarella
  • fresh basil
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar


Cut the tomatoes into thick slices and arrange on a serving plate. Cut similar-sized slices of the buffalo mozzarella and place them on top of the tomato slices. Next, chop up the fresh basil and sprinkle over the tomatoes and cheese. Lightly drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the salad and serve.

Walnut Cranberry Date Balls

Next, I served up these walnut, dried cranberry & date balls. I know the picture above looks like raw meatballs, but I’m telling you, these are soooo delicious that you’ll want to devour the plate. Also, these are a good snacking option if you’ve been working out as they also have protein powder.

Walnut Cranberry Date Balls

Adapted from the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan


  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup pitted whole dates
  • ¾ cup walnuts (unsalted)
  • 1 scoop of protein powder (optional)


Place walnuts in a food processor and chop until the nuts are finely ground. Remove nuts into a bowl. Next, place the remaining ingredients (dried cranberries, dates and protein powder) into the food processor and mix until a paste forms. In the bowl, combine the cranberry-date paste with the chopped walnuts. Place bowl in refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill. Once the mixture is chilled, roll the paste into 1-inch snack balls and serve. These can also be made ahead.


Keep those dates handy, as you’ll be using them for this traditional Spanish tapas recipe, Turkey Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Chorizo. Yum….

Turkey Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Chorizo

Turkey Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Chorizo

Adapted from Food & Wine magazine


  • 1 small Spanish chorizo sausage (about 2 ounces), casing removed
  • dates, pitted
  • 12 slices of turkey bacon, halved crosswise
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • toothpicks


Slice chorizo into small, matchstick-sized pieces. Tuck each chorizo stick into a date and pinch the date shut. Wrap a turkey bacon strip around the date and secure with a toothpick. Next, heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Place the wrapped dates in the pan and sauté for about 10 minutes or until all sides of the turkey bacon have thoroughly cooked. Serve immediately.


Spicy Garlic Shrimp

Spicy Garlic Shrimp

Adapted from Food & Wine magazine



  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 canned chipotle chile pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp
  • Sea Salt


In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Add garlic, chile pepper and parsley and saute for about 30 seconds. Next, add the shrimp and adobo sauce. If you prefer more heat, add more adobo sauce. Sauté until the shrimp turn pink and curl. Sprinkle with salt and serve.


Summer Sangria RecipeAnd where would a tapas meal be without sangria? You can make this recipe the night before since it will need to chill for at least 4 hours. Traditional sangria recipes call for wine and liquor, but to cut the calories a bit, this recipe also uses seltzer, which gives it some fizz.

Summer Sangria

Adapted from Tropical Sangria recipe in Cosmopolitan magazine


  • 1 (750-ml) bottle full-bodied red wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec or Grand Marnier
  • 1 orange (unpeeled), thinly sliced
  • 1 cup strawberries, chopped
  • 1 (8-oz) can pineapple chunks packed in 100% juice, with juice
  • 2 cups naturally flavored lime or lemon-lime seltzer or club soda

Summer Sangria ingredients


Combine all of the ingredients (except the seltzer) in a large pitcher and stir. Chill for at least 4 hours (or overnight) in a refrigerator. Before serving, add chilled seltzer to the pitcher and stir.


Posted in Food | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Off the Hook: Crocheted Cowl

I know that I’m a slow stitcher, but this is one of those rare times where I actually started and completed a project in time to wear it in the current season! Woo-hoo! Also, it had been a very looooong time since I last crocheted. I figured it was time to dust off my crochet hooks.

I saw this free crochet pattern on Purl Bee’s blog last fall and immediately added it to my Ravelry queue. This is how easy it is…The only stitch you make is a single crochet. That’s it! OK, so it’s a slightly altered single crochet stitch, but still. Instead of inserting the hook under both loops of the previous row’s stitches, you insert the hook through the back loop only. The Purl Bee does a great job illustrating how to do this in their instructions. Essentially what it does is flatten the stitch so the cowl appears as a rib.

For this project, these are the materials I used:

  • Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice
  • Color: Silver Heather
  • Fiber: 100% acrylic
  • Skeins: 3 (only needed 2-1/2 though)
  • Hook: Size P (biggest I’ve ever used!)

I first cast on in January and this is one of those projects you can easily complete in a week. Not that I did that mind you, but if I had focused on it, it would have been doable. The truth is, I kind of forgot about it, but when I was looking for a project to work on during a flight to San Francisco last week, I remembered this portable project. I think somewhere over Colorado I finished it!

The cowl is a snug fit–you only need to twist it once around your neck. But trust me, you won’t be feeling any cold air around your neck with this cowl scarf. At this point in March, I HOPE I will only need to wear this cowl for another two weeks. Spring cannot come fast enough!


Purl Bee Crocheted Rib Cowl pattern here.


Enhanced by Zemanta
Posted in Crafts | Tagged | 2 Comments

What I’m Pinning Now: February Edition

Pinterest February pins

I feel like I’ve been pinning up a storm on Pinterest this month and wanted to share what is currently inspiring me. Maybe these will inspire you too!


1. This free pleated skirt tutorial from Elle Apparel is so of-the-moment for spring. (

2. I’ve been looking for healthy breakfast options and thought this smoothie from Harley Pasternak would be great to try. (

3. I saw this gorgeous Twiggy Tunic sweater on Ravelry and had to add it to my queue!

4. I love the simple lines in this Spring 2014 dress pattern (B6016)  from Butterick

5. Pinned this and made it last weekend to rave reviews from my husband– Red Curry with Tofu recipe from A Beautiful Mess. Definitely a keeper (A Beautiful Mess)

Posted in Crafts | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Printable Valentine’s Day Matchbook Covers


Whenever I go to a fun restaurant or bar, I keep a lookout for matches. They’re nice little mementos to take home and I like keeping a small collection.  So, I thought, maybe it would be cool to make classic rock-inspired matchbook covers just in time for Valentine’s Day.  And with my husband being a huge Bruce Springsteen fan, of course I HAD to include our wedding song, “Fire.”

DIY Matchbook Covers

If you like these matchbook covers, you can download a PDF of the Classic Rock Matchbook Covers here.

Or you can design your own—perfect for wedding or shower favors. To create your own matchbook covers, flatten the matchbook and measure it around from the strike strip to the edge of the flap. Then, in your design program, enter the dimensions and create something fun!

I found these matchbooks in bulk in my grocery store

Next, print your design or the PDF in this post on 8-1/2” x 11” sticker paper. Trim the cover using the crop marks in the PDF and then align the sticker on the matchbook with the shorter end of the sticker flush against the strike strip. The side of the matchbook with the flap is a little longer. Press the sticker firmly, then fold and tuck the matchbook flap.

I dare you not to sing these songs while you’re making the matchbook covers!

Free Printable PDF: Classic Rock Matchbook Covers

Posted in Crafts, Original Designs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Fashion Inspiration: Olivia Pope’s Coats on ‘Scandal’

Olivia Pope's Salvatore Ferragamo coat from Season 2 (photo credit: ABC/Nicole Wilder)

Olivia Pope’s Salvatore Ferragamo coat from Season 2 (photo credit: ABC/Nicole Wilder)

A sure sign of a show hitting the country’s pop culture zeitgeist is when you check your Twitter feed and all you see are tweets related to #Scandal. Especially when it’s between 10-11:00 pm EST on Thursday nights. For me, ABC’s Scandal is appointment television and I’ve got my iPhone ready to go to live tweet my astonishment at every oh-no-they-didn’t-just-do-that plot point. And while I’m glued to the TV, I’m also ogling the awesome, ultra-feminine wardrobe that Kerry Washington gets to wear as her D.C. fixer character, Olivia Pope.

I mean, come on! I feel like the Jack Nicholson as the Joker in Batman–“Where does she get those wonderful clothes?!”

Lately, Olivia Pope’s wardrobe has been all about the coats. They are so luxe and gorgeous! So while we must wait until February 27th for new episodes (why!), below are some sewing patterns you can use to create your own Olivia Pope-worthy coats.

Wrap Coat

Like the costumes on Suits, Olivia Pope’s clothes are all about the necklines. In season 2, Olivia Pope wore this light pink, oversized wrap coat by Salvatore Ferragamo. The wool and cashmere coat retailed at over $1,700.

Vogue 1321, Donna Karan Collection

However, Vogue Patterns has this Donna Karan pattern above (Vogue 1321), that could easily look like the Ferragamo coat, but at a price tag with less zeros.

Short-Sleeve Coat

From Season 2, Episode 14, “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” (credit:

Oh this Max Mara coat! And with the long gloves! So iconic…And get this–Vogue has a similar pattern to this coat as well:

Very Easy, Very Vogue–V8861


Military Jacket

Season 2, episode 10 “One for the Dog”

I had a tougher time finding a pattern for this Ann Demeulemeester double-breasted military jacket. However, if you alter the Simplicity 2508 below, it makes a nice alternative. And with the right fabric, you can make any of those patterns worthy of a Olivia Pope coat.

Simplicity 2508


People, we have 39 days until Scandal is back. Who’s makin’ a coat?


P.S. While I was researching this post, I found this video gem from online retailer, Bluefly, made with Kerry Washington in 2012 about Olivia Pope’s wardrobe:

Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Tutorial: Hipster Gingerbread Man Felt Ornament

Hipster Gingerbread Man Felt ornament

Last year, after I made my little lobster ornament, I was revved up to come up with other felt ornament ideas. I adore gingerbread men, but what twist could I make on a traditional theme? OMG, I gotta make a hipster gingerbread man ornament!

In New York City (or any major U.S metropolitan area, I’d imagine), if you work in a creative field or venture to an of-the-moment restaurant or bar, you’ll invariably run into a subculture—that of the hipster.  For me, it’s easier to describe the fashion of a hipster guy than a hipster girl. Usually, the guys have large, black plastic glasses, bushy beards, slouchy knit hat, plaid flannel shirt and skinny dark jeans rolled at the ankle. It’s grunge for the 2010s.

What’s great about this project is that aside from the body and the beard, you can use whatever fabric scraps you have lying around. Also, if you have a small 2-foot tree like I do, the ornament doesn’t look too big—he’s only 6-1/2” inches tall.

Hipster Gingerbread Man Felt Ornament

Finished size: Approximately 4-3/4” x 6-1/2”


  • Brown felt
  • Dark brown embroidery floss
  • Polyester fiberfill
  • Fabric scraps for shirt and vest
  • Denim
  • Thread to match fabric
  • Curly doll hair (kind find this in craft stores)
  • Black cardstock
  • 5/8” hole punch
  • 3/8” hole punch
  • Piece of silk ribbon

Click on the link for the free PDF of the Hipster Gingerbread Felt Ornament pattern.


1. Print and cut out the hipster gingerbread ornament pattern. Fold brown felt in half and pin the gingerbread body pattern to felt. Cut fabric. Do the same for the shirt, vest and pants.

2. Pin the gingerbread body pieces together and using 2-ply of the dark brown embroidery floss, sew the edges together using a blanket stitch. Leave a small opening between the arms and legs and gently stuff the ornament with the fiberfill. Sew the hole closed.
3. Sew the side seams of the denim pants with right sides together. Turn the pants right side out and put on the gingerbread man. Cuff the pants.
4. Pin the two shirt pieces to the gingerbread ornament and hand-stitch the shirt together as close as possible. You will need the shirt to hug the gingerbread man so that it won’t appear bulky under the vest. Fold sleeves under.
5. With right sides together, sew each vest front to the vest back. Turn right side out and put it on the ornament.

6. For the beard, cut a small length of the curly doll hair. Bunch it together wrap a piece of thread around it to keep in contained. Then sew to the bottom of the gingerbread face.
7. Use the hole punches on the card stock to create the glasses. Cut out a small, narrow strip of paper for the bridge and attach to the glasses with either craft glue or tape. Attach the glasses to the gingerbread face with a small bead of craft glue.

Oh no, Mr Bill! That lobster is about to eat the hipster gingerbread man!

Posted in Crafts | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment