Category Archives: Design / DIY

@rockyknits New crafting Instagram account

So… I made an Instagram account just for my crafting/maker projects. I created it so that I could separate my personal posts from my maker posts and create more of a social media identity that I can use for interacting with the fabulous maker community. I’m hoping to keep it updated with my current projects, but I’ll continue to update on here too! My new account is @rockyknits.

Another bathroom project

After
Before

The grout looked very outdated and no longer matched the bathroom changes that I had done in our hall bathroom back in February. The new color scheme is gray, creams and blue, but the old grout was brown. I found this product called grout refresh and after reading some great reviews, I decided to give it a try. It took me 2 coats, and a 3rd for some touch up to fully cover the brown.

It definitely isn’t the bathroom of my dreams, but this project has definitely given the bathroom a much needed update. I used Grout Refresh by Mapei in the white color.

Hall bathroom redo

When we moved into our house in December one of the things called out by the inspector was the bathroom flooring in the hall. Next to the bathtub, it was peeling up and there had been some water damage. This is the bathroom we plan on using for the kids so it was important for us to repair it right away. In addition, the bathroom linoleum and paint was very worn and outdated. We hope in the future to redo the countertops and bathtub especially when the kids get older, but for now, this is a nice little update.

I started by pulling up in the linoleum which is easier than it sounds. In many places the paper and glue were sticking to the floorboards. I had to lay wet towels on them overnight in many cases and then come back with my chisel edge scraper to remove it all from the floor. I planned to put in peel and stick tiles so I knew the floor needed to be as smooth as possible. when I pulled up the linoleum near the bathtub there was limited water damage. I was afraid I might have to redo some of the floorboards and I was very fortunate that I didn’t have to.

I made a giant mess!

Once I had all of the linoleum pulled up I decided to paint the walls. the previous paint was a very glossy white which was actually hurting my eyes when I walked into the room. On top of that, the previous owners had painted over a dark brown wall but the brown wasn’t completely covered. overall it was just a pretty bad paint job that needed an update. I found a really pretty grey blue color from Benjamin Moore. I decided to go with a flat sheen and I had an additive put in the paint to make it mold and mildew resistant. We took down the mirror and took out the toilet while we painted so that I could cover everything.

Next I sanded the floors vacuumed and cleaned everything extremely well then began with the peel and stick tiles. I chose some Kiko peel and stick floor pops from home Depot. In some of the areas where there had been some water damage I sealed it up with a primer prior to installing the floor tiles. 90% of the peel and stick tile stuck on securely however there were a few that didn’t seem to take very well. since I needed this room to be absolutely waterproof seeing as how it’s going to be the children’s bathroom, I did a little bit of YouTube contractor research and found a product called a Loctite all purpose caulk. for any of the peel and stick tiles that didn’t stick all the way, I just applied a little bit of it underneath to completely seal them up.

And when I was done putting the tiles in and sealing them up I went through and I added my baseboard. I was able to reuse and restore part of the old baseboard by sanding, repriming and painting it. I used Benjamin Moore paint and it was a color called snow on the mountain. After reinstalling the baseboards I went through and added my caulk. I generously applied white flex shot all purpose. One of the finishing touches was to redo the outdated handles on the bathroom cabinets. I chose some cute bronze ones that I found at Target.

I still plan on making some wall hooks for the towels. I think we’re also going to make some cute bathroom children’s art, but for now this is our finished and updated bathroom.

Interior door project

We’ve been doing so many home improvement projects during the shelter in place. This is one I had earmarked to do in the summer but we’ve had enough time to get started on it. I used a tutorial from With Love and Lola that I found on Pinterest. We didn’t really like the look of the wooden doors because it was a bit of an outdated look. The hollow core doors also felt and looked really cheap. First I removed the knobs and all of the hardware. I primed and painted the door trim using Benjamin Moore “snow on the mountain”. For the doors, I added moulding, a few coats of primer, caulking and paint to the doors. The paint color I selected is called “nightfall” by Benjamin Moore and it is a satin finish. I still have a few more to finish in the hallway but they’re coming along very well so far. Here’s some before and after pictures.

Demeter Dress

I’m so proud of myself! I finished a garment and I actually like it! Back in September I decided to purchase a pattern that I saw on Instagram called the Demeter dress by Anna Allen clothing. All of the pictures of finished items on the #demeterdress tag on instagram looked great. After learning that the pattern had no closures, I decided to give it a try. It’s been a while since I’ve attempted a garment for myself and I was a bit wary of using my precious time to make something, but at the same time I was determined to do my best.

I do realize that being intentional about choosing a fabric and a pattern that works for me has probably been the missing link in the past. This seems like a no-brainer, but being more intentional about planning the projects that I make is a newer concept for me. I tend to be spontaneous and into making something that’s more of a wow item. When I pause and look at the clothes that I want to wear, not too many of them are wow pieces. The theme for this project, for me, was making a neutral piece that I would love to wear regularly. I wanted something well constructed, comfortable and usable. This pattern was so wonderfully written. It took me two months between printing up the almost 40 pages of pattern pieces assembling them, making a test item to get my size and then finally making a dress.

I went to Hart’s fabrics in Santa Cruz to purchase my 100% linen fabric. I was careful to follow all of the steps of the pattern as best I could. The most challenging part for me was getting the neck facing looking even. I ended up using some seam tape that they had told me about at Hart’s fabrics that was very useful. My measurements were a little different than my typical measurements because I had just had a baby 2 months before. I ended up sizing up the dress a little bit too much as this dress has quite a bit of ease. In the end, I sized down the dress just a little bit by pulling in the bodice and removing some of the bulk from the skirt. I’m very happy with the way this dress came out!

Baby Maple Crafting

So Maple was born in September and there’s been lots of cool things that I’ve made for her. It’s kind of fun to see her in so many handmade items whether they are hand-me-down handmade items that I made for her sister or brother, or new items made for her. This post is about some of the cool things that I’ve had the opportunity to make specific for her.Since she came a little bit later than expected I was able to knit her an adorable sweater called the Top Down Garter Stitch Sweater by Nancy Munroe and she’s been wearing it quite often. For some reason I thought a garter stitch card again would make a nice thick knit fabric that would keep her warm. This pattern has been a very practical make. It was easy (and seamless!) to construct and it is a very useful item for a young baby because it’s super easy to take on and off.I absolutely love the book Vintage Knits for Modern Babies by Hadley Fierlinger. I’ve made many things for my older kids out of that book and I continue to be in love with just about every single pattern in it. I made Maple some booties and a little hat out of some beautiful rainbow colored malabrigo yarn rios that I had in my stash. I purchased it at Santa Cruz yarn shop and the colorway is chameleon. The yarn was also used in the top down garter stitch jacket but I mixed it with just a plain worsted ivory colored wool because I liked the idea of toning down the colors. I’m happy with the result.I used some gorgeous stash yarn to make maple some super cute pink booties. She’s been wearing those frequently. The pattern is called baby hug boots and it’s free on ravelry.For Maple’s monthly milestone photos, I made her a cute little whale. We were thinking about what kind of animal to make her and my husband suggested a whale because he loves whales so much and we live close to them. The pattern I ended up using is called Lasse the Little Blue Whale by Alexis Hamann-Nazaroff. I made it with jingle bells on the inside to make it rattle. Her little whale was there to meet her in the hospital when she was born and the older kids have had a lot of fun playing with it and rattling it at her as well.I was able to make her a Hosenmatz out of some stashed yarn that I bought long ago in Monterey. The yarn is by frog tree and it’s a sock yarn that’s made out of bamboo. I thought it would be nice for some baby pants because I really liked the color and I didn’t have any other plans for the yarn. I used some other stash yarn for the top and the cuffs of he pants. It is knitpicks sock yarn and I remember that the colorway is called evil stepmother. I made the four to seven month old size and so far they’re too big for her but at her growth rate I get to feeling in the next month or so she’ll be in them.As far as sewing, I had a chance to make her a side snap shirt which she’s been wearing quite often. When shopping I had a lot of trouble finding side snap shirts other than white ones. when I can’t find something to purchase to me that means it’s time to start making something. So… I found some really cute cotton jersey fruit fabric that was very busy. There’s a few hidden flamingos on it as well. It’s turned out to be a pretty fun shirt that she seems to be comfy and cozy in. It was fun using a hammer to put in the snaps! I bought some extra fabric to make her a pair of matching pants which are currently cut out and ready to be sewn.

Backyard garden 

Did a lot of work on our backyard today! We planted some pumpkins and carrots and also got a fancy purple tomato cage to keep the tomatoes from falling over. We also planted some perennials: lantanas, salvias and A mystery purple flower that I can’t find the name of. So far we’ve only had a mild slug problem in the garden and I’m hoping the gophers don’t discover all the plants I planted. 

DIY Headband Storage

So I guess anybody who has a little girl should be prepared for a ton of headbands. I found myself in this predicament and decided I need to find a way to make them more organized. After making this simple do it yourself headband organizer, now my daughter is able to find any have been she wants much more easily. I love that she got to choose the fabric and design and it was something that we already had in our pantry.

To make this all you need is a large oatmeal container, A scrap size of fabric to cover the oatmeal container, some paint to paint the top cap and a hot glue gun.

Perfect Day

I don’t want to jinx it but I’ve had a wonderful day today so far. I went for a walk with the little guy after dropping lex off at preschool. We stopped at Bel Bacio which is an amazing Italian coffee shop and I had a cardomoccachino. Next I finished an etsy order and packed up Christmas cookies for some family and friends. I finished little guy’s Christmas handprint ornaments and then just sat outside with him for a little while watching the breeze and listening to sounds. Babies grow so fast and I’m enjoying every minute of my time with this guy as an infant. Today was so productive yet relaxing.  

  

cardomoccachino at Bel Bacio

  

little guy’s first christmas handprint ornaments

 

  

July / August Knitting Update: Getting Ready for Baby Boy

These past few months have been busy, but now I suddenly have tons of time on my hands after finishing classes for my Masters degree in mid July.  At this point, I’m just getting ready for baby boy who could be due any time this month!  I’m currently 35 weeks and Lex came right at 37 weeks so I could be getting really close.  I’m doing some project planning for the fall and I think I’m going to try and finish my fair isle jacket that I started last year.  It’s a Debbie Bliss pattern and it’s coming out beautifully so far.  I’m hoping to have it done around Christmas this year.  Another long term project that I’m planning is something that I’ve never attempted before: a shawl.  I always see beautiful shawl patterns and I’ve only dabbled in lace knitting a little bit so I think this would be a fun challenge for me when I’m staying home with baby boy this fall (we’ll see how much time I have to knit lol).  I’m going to make the shawl for my sister and she started this pinterest page to get some inspiration.

As far as baby knitting goes, I’ve finished all of the projects that I really wanted to have done and am currently working on Pepita, by Martina Behm,  using a beautiful hand painted merino from Knitpicks.  I’m very excited about it so far and am about halfway through the project.  I made a hat for the little guy using some scrap sock yarn from a previous project.  I did the baby sheep hat colorwork by Melissa Burt and I love the result!  It seems like it will be a very warm hat which will be perfect for the winter!

It has become a tradition for me to knit a little stuffed animal for every new baby in our family.  I unofficially started it, but I really like the idea of making a special stuffed animal just for new little ones.  A few months ago I was brainstorming what to make for little guy and I decided what could be more perfect than an Alpaca!  Fortunately, I found an adorable pattern by Rebecca Danger and it came out beautifully.  I tied some jingle bells together and stuffed them inside it so that it will sound a little bit like a rattle.  He doesn’t look much like an alpaca, but I think he’ll make a great companion for baby boy.

Pepita so far, Knitpicks Herbal Wreath

Pepita so far, Knitpicks Herbal Wreath

Baby Sheep Hat, made with Scrap Sock yarn

Baby Sheep Hat, made with Scrap Sock yarn

Zeke the aloof alpaca, by Rebecca Danger

Zeke the aloof alpaca, by Rebecca Danger