Author Archives: pieKnits

She’s here!

Introducing Avani Lee Tallapaneni Baby Girl!
Born Febuaray 21st at 10:42pm weighing 6 pounds 9 ounces and 20 inches long.

We’ve both been doing great and I can’t believe the first month has flown by already! She had to be induced a couple weeks early, so the final baby stuff posts I had started I didn’t get to finishing, but hope to sometime soon! It was a looong labor process (we started on the 18th) but we did it, even epidural/drug free! Because I’m crazy like that. :)

And for fun, the little grey booties in action.

First baby booties

The Craft Room: 6 Years Later

Remember my pristine craft room? Yeah it’s been well used in the intervening years.

This is actually a shot about half way through the clean out process (I had a blogger fail and forgot to get a true Before photo). It was bad though, and this clean-out/total reorganization is something I had been meaning to do for some time. My original system just didn’t work anymore and as a consequence stuff had descended into chaos.
Craft room makeover
I pulled everything out of the shelves, drawers, closet, etc and started sorting it into piles- fabric, patterns, craft items, yarn, fiber, jewelry, paper & art supplies and so on. Plus a Trash pile, a Donate pile and a What the Hell is it Doing in Here pile.

Half way through sorting
You can see the craft armoire is already emptied with items starting to be placed back inside.

Yarn closet disaster
The yarn closet was becoming a catch-all. I had also failed in my plan to start this before I was in my 3rd trimester and crawling around on the floor became more challenging to say the least. However I just kept plugging away a little bit each day and taking lots of breaks on the weekends.

All organized!
Craft Armoire organized
Each shelf has it’s own categorized items. On top I got some Ikea magazine holders to hold patterns (sewing, tatting, knitting, etc) and put print outs all into plastic sleeve binders. The little drawers on top holds pens and small craft items. The woven basket holds all my organized Jewelry supplies so I can just pull it out and all the little containers are together.

Little fabric stash
The part underneath the slide out sewing table holds my fabrics, felts, current sewing projects, notions, thread organizer, box of ribbons and bag o’ feathers.

Yarn Closet
Last but not least was organizing my entire yarn stash. I pulled out every skein I have and sorted them into lighter than worsted, worsted and bulky+ weights, plus tatting threads. I then may have rolled around in all the wooly goodness. After that I sat with my iPad and actually cataloged all the non-leftover balls into my Ravelry Stash page, yeay! You can’t see in the photo the little fabric box that holds all the small tatting threads together in one place or the hanging shoe organizer in the corner that holds all my fiber. An organizer on the floor holds current WIPs and a spare knitting bag holds all my embroidery floss and trims.

It really wasn’t that bad once I got going! In some ways being 8 months pregnant helped in forcing me to take breaks and not get overwhelmed. I think watching episodes of “Hoarders” to get in the proper “Clean All the Things!” mode works too. I’ve already completed several projects in my To-Do pile. It’s so much more enjoyable and inspiring when everything is easy to fine, clean and not crowded!

Things for a Little One

Now that the nursery is coming together, I’ve been cranking out the baby knits. So cute! So fast! Lots of instant gratification!

Knitted pouf for nursery glider
First up is the Bitty Bump pattern, which I actually had zero mods on – a rarity for me. Great fast little pattern that only used up about 1 1/2 balls of Lion Brand Landscapes in Country Sunset. Too bad this yarn is discontinued because I love the colors. But I did get it on discount for $1 each, so hard to beat that!

Camilla Babe
This little sweater is the Camilla Babe pattern, love the texture in it. I worked this one up in the 3 month size.

I knit the sleeves first, flat to avoid purling- joining them in the round for the last couple rows to make seaming the underarms easier. It also saved me from having to break the yarn on the body, as I could just keep knitting, attaching the sleeves when needed.

I will say when first adding the sleeves to the yoke (since they are in the round at the join) it does make it a bit awkward and tight at first but it all works out.

Baby cloche
In matching yarn (Reynolds Signature), I had to have a hat of course. The Nola Petite pattern was so cute I couldn’t resist. I can see making this one in larger sizes too after outgrowing this 0-3 month one.

More Nursery

The nursery, it is starting to look like such! I’m also nearly as excited to be gaining the upper hand in the battle with my ever expanding To-Do list. Here’s a few things I was able to happily cross off.
Yellow floor pouf
Floor cushion or pouf for the glider, I couldn’t find one I liked in yellow so decided to knit one myself. I managed to get the all the yarn for this on sale for $14, total win. Most of these patterns call for super bulky yarn but I just used three strands of Lion Brand Homespun in Golden and two strands of Caron Vickie Howell Sheep(ish) in Yellow(ish)held together using US 15 needles. Total I used 3 balls of each brand (as a little less yardage in the Sheep(ish)).

I was inspired by the Puff Daddy’s Baby pattern but ended up using this Drops pattern as the short rows provided better shaping and easier to sew closed at the end. I just CO 28 stitches and worked in Seed Stitch instead of Garter.

I found a matching yellow sheet at the thrift store and wrapped it around an old balled up comforter to stuff the pouf. Worked great! I was originally going to fill it with bean bag Styrofoam balls but it would’ve required properly sewing more a liner than I felt up to. The comforter solution was much easier.

Side table parts
Next project, side table for the glider. Again, after not finding something I really liked and discovering these fantastic mid-century inspired tapered legs and angled mounting brackets (by Waddell and carried by Lowes, Home Depot and Ace in varying lengths), I decided to make my own. Hit the thrift store in the hopes of finding something that could work for the table top and came across this butcher block cutting board for $2.99, perfect!

Sanded out any old cut marks, drilled the pilot holes for the brackets, stained, assembled and painted the top (it took the stain too uneven for my tastes so now it matches the dresser) and was done!

Finished side table and rocking area
I’m so proud of it, and did it entirely by myself- yeay for girls with power tools!

$5 thrifted reworked lamp
And lastly another thrifted fixer-upper, lamp for the dresser/changing table area so don’t have to turn on the overhead light for night-time changes. It was originally unpainted and dinged up with a cracked lamp socket and no shade but was $5 and worked. So I used some wood filler on the scratches, sanded and then painted the fronts and backs (match the new curtains perfectly too, woohoo). My handy Mr. Fix-it Dad was kind enough to help pull the guts apart and replace the socket while visiting. (thanks Dad!) After a new shade it was done!


A cute little monkey I made for my friends baby who’s due very soon. She has an adorable rainforest themed nursery and couldn’t resist creating this little guy to live there.

The pattern is Jerry the Musical Monkey. As you can see he’s composed of lots of different little parts. The pieces knit quickly but definitely more than a little assembly required.

Monkey parts

Update: My friend’s little girl is here! And was kind enough to model her monkey friend with her. :)

Otherwise lots of nursery projects going on. We got this great vintage mid-century modern dresser and with Mr. PieKnits help, customized it to the white two-tone to match our crib.

Freshly painted mid-century dresser

I love it! I’m excited for the room to come together. I’ve now started my third trimester so things are really kicking into gear. :-D

Baby PieKnits first things

I’ve finally have some finished baby knits to share! Or more like I’m finally getting around to posting them. The nursery design has taken up a large portion of my brain of late…

So we’re hoping to cloth diaper as much as we can, as such I’ve started working on my diaper stash. Those first few months require special newborn sized diapers though and I didn’t want to spend a lot for items with such a short use time. Here’s one thing where knitting really is a big saver! Wool soakers can run around $40(!) each. I managed to get two newborn sized covers out of one $5 ball of wool yarn- win!

Vanilla Soaker
This is the popular Vanilla Soaker pattern. Love the look of this one, it’s so cute. And I liked the newborn button option to fold down the waist to avoid sensitive new belly buttons. It looks so tiny until one holds it up to their tummy, then the mind boggles.

Blue Steps Baby Booties
My baby’s first booties, so itty bitty! In fact I probably could’ve gone up a needle size (knit on US 1). We’ll see how long these fit but oh so precious. The pattern is Blue Steps (Ravelry link) worked in some mystery thrifted wool sock yarn.

Wool soaker/diaper cover
Here is the other diaper cover from the same ball of Patons Classic Wool in Jade Heather as the Vanilla soaker. This one using the Curly Purly pattern. Followed the pattern just added a knit stripe of lighter blue around the waist and leg openings. I also bound off the legs using Jenny’s Stretchy Bind-off technique.

Halloween 2012

Quick post recapping this years Halloween costume- Dia de los Muertos/Sugar Skull!
Dia de los muertos makeup
Had fun doing this makeup! I got to play with my different bright colored makeup (a lot of colored eye liners, eye shadows, bindis, and glitter liner). Originally I had put this costume together last year but ended up not using it. Since I was 5 months pregnant this year I figured the elastic skirt would work and a little addition, a “baby costume” pinned to my shirt.

Day of the Dead Halloween pregnant costume
Baby’s “first” Halloween. Again this year most of all this is a combination of thrifted, dollar store and my own closet pieces. For the top I tacked some ruffled lace around the neckline and the little baby sugar skull is a felt cut out with fabric paints and little pink bow pinned on. The hair decorations are from the dollar store with some thrifted feathers added in. The skirt is my fabulous 25 yard bellydance skirt, always fun to wear.

Sugar skull costume
As usual, took full advantage of my work’s green screen photo studio at this year’s Halloween party – yeay fun backgrounds!
Dia de los muertos

A New “Work In Progress”

Lots of finished items and WIPs around here to share. But first, our current biggest “project”.

Nursery construction underway

Growing a baby girl! (and building that nursery for her too)

Yep, I’m now currently 22 weeks – more than half way! Mr. PieKnits and I are super excited. You can expect some Nursery progress photos and lots of baby knits up here.

Little Things

Peter Pan Collar
Lots of different little projects I’ve finished up lately. I have several more to share shortly. First up however is the cute and quick Peter Pan Collar. Worked up in some Red Heart Eco-Ways, I followed the pattern exactly except for slipping the first stitch of each row for a neater edge.

Knitted Peter Pan Collar
It’s finished with a clear vintage button from my stash. Love this as it’s super easy to layer over about anything!

Owl Puff
Next was another cute freebie pattern for a recent baby shower (and owl themed nursery). The pattern is Owl Puffs and is a free Ravelry download. Was a great little project for a recent road trip too.

PieKnits Photoshoot

Photos from the PieKnits and Fake Plastic Design Photography mash up!
PieKnits designs
Finished object spotting and linkie goodness, photographed here:

Scarlet Woman Tank

Mirror shot

New mini top hat

  • Unblogged new teal mini top hat
  • Had to work my new petticoat- thanks sis!

Evelyn Vintage Tilt Hat

Stella Hat, version 2

LOTS more great shots on the Fake Plastic Design site here –

Treena Muir Photography

A huge thank you to my talented friend Treena for the photos and to her and my friend Mel for modeling as well!

Scrap lace cravat
A fun little sewing project I finally finished up for the photoshoot is this lace cravat. I found some wonderful huge bags of lace at a thrift store and make this from all random different scrap bits. I think it’d be fun to make another one and dye it in an unexpected color like lime green.