Cloth Produce Bags

DIY enviro-nerd. If I had just a couple words to describe myself, these encapsulate it well. In this post, you will see how my crafty side joins up forces with my full-time inner-environmentalist: phasing out plastic with reusable cloth produce bags.

In 2014, California became the first state to phase out plastic bags at major retailers (NCSL). Since then, there has been a remarkable behavior and cultural shift among shoppers--from the environmentally-minded few bringing in canvas bags to the ambivalence of everyone else, to a common value of trying to remember to bring bags to the store and kicking yourself when you forget. Such a widespread change in so short a time span is quite a remarkable feat. And now this trend is catching on around the country as other states create their own plastic bag bans.

We're so close but so far! We've got the big bags down, but people, environmentally-minded though they may be, are not thinking critically about the plastic produce bags we reac…

Subalpine Prance Hat | Olann And Hat #3

This post is the third quarterly installation of my 2018 series of hats published in Olann And, Ireland's craft and fibre magazine. Catch up on the latest hats and free patterns below:
Amanda's Hat {blog | pattern} ||  Carnival Hat {blog | pattern}
Autumn has gracefully overpowered summer, or so says the calendar. It's officially time to start thinking about colder weather, especially if you have the good fortune to not be in California, where fall colors don't start waking up until the heart of November. Although it was an 80F Indian summer affair today, a good planner knows the briskness of fall is around the corner and it's time to get the hat-making habit in business. And I have just the hat for you!

The Subalpine Prance Hat pattern is my third contribution this year to Olann And. In my 2018 series of increasingly-challenging and technical hats, this issue brings out smaller needles and an involved two-color fair isle pattern. By the end of this hat, you'll…

Labor Day Scrunchies

Scrunchies seem to be making a comeback these days. I seemed to get by just fine with only one scrunchie in my life for the last ten years. But ever since my sister and I went on a scrunchie-making spree a couple weeks ago, I seem to be reaching for scrunchies a lot more often--even for work outfits!

This past Labor Day, my sister suggested a new sewing project: scrunchies! We spent the afternoon at work and whipped out eleven unique scrunchies.

With an abundant cotton fabric stash, picking good scrunchie fabric was no problem. In fact, there were so many good options, choosing was a little hard... We ended up going with a mix of colors, some solids, some small prints, and a couple seasonal fabrics. Some of these fabrics also have special meanings behind them--for example, the cherry fabric is from scrap remains from a dress my grandmother made me as a kid that I loooooved.

After consulting several sets of DIY blog scrunchie instructions, we based our construction process on this tutoria…

Self-Drafted Pencil Skirts

Summer is for sewing, and the rest of the year is for knitting, my brain tells me. Why deal with wool when you're sweating to begin with? So, hello, it's summer, and I've been working to get my sewing game on. Today I'm popping in to share two new pencil skirts I made last month. 

Now that I'm past the every-day-is-casual-Friday PNW chillaxing of college and need to start looking presentable on a more regular basis, I'm trying to update my wardrobe to have more professional clothing. I'm also trying to address some gaps in my wardrobe, such as having too many printed pieces without any solids to wear them with. This is particularly a problem with skirts--besides a solid black maxi skirt and pencil skirt, all my skirts are fun florals or prints. Thus, I have coined this summer as the time where all of my new clothing acquisitions must be solids. Off to the races I go to make myself a solid professional skirt.

While I find that sewing is a terrific summer pa…

Carnival Hat | Olann and Fibre Magazine partnership

Happy Summer! This is my 100th blog post, after almost six years of The Craft Lizard. And given this occasion, you may also notice that the blog design has had a little upgrade... :)

Today I want to share some other special news that is long overdue. This year, I have a knitting publisher! For the year of 2018, I am working with Olann and, an Irish knitting webzine, where one of my fair-isle hat designs is featured in each of their quarterly issues. As the issues progress, the hat patterns will get harder to enhance your color-knitting skills! The second issue was recently released with my latest design, Carnival Hat! Check out the summer issue online.


Chevron Hat is easily recognizable as one of my hat designs, as the yarn is Drops Karisma. Someday I'll expand from Drops Karisma, but it's affordable, versatile, knits up well, available in lots of colors, and machine-washable--what's not to love?! This hat was inspired by the classic chevron quilting fabrics and c…

Graduation Dress!

Less than a month ago, I graduated summa cum laude from Whitman College. My time at Whitman has been among the best four years of my life thus far, not only academically and socially, but also craft-wise! In the last four years, I have improved immensely as a knitter. I have knitted six sweaters, 22 hats, three scarves, my first two pairs of socks, three headbands, and released fifteen original knitting patterns. Beyond knitting, I taught myself to crochet and completed four embroidery projects, four sewing projects, and two quilting projects. A casual scroll through the last four years on my blog shows how a part-time hobby can accomplish quite a bit without a particularly concerted effort.

So it's only appropriate that I end my collegiate career with one last craft project: a graduation dress! Last fall, I set a goal for myself to make one garment each semester during my senior year of college. Last semester, I made myself a green shirt, and as a crazy spring semester was wrappin…

Au Naturel Handspun Scarf

In December 2016, I had just finished Semester in the West. Fellow Westie Nina did 4H in high school and still had natural wool on hand from the two sheep she raised, Eboni (a darker-haired sheep) and Ivori (more creamy-white wool). During the semester, we bonded over our mutual appreciation for fiber crafts, and she asked her parents to bring her spinning and carding supplies up to Walla Walla to teach me how to spin! 
It had been a number of years since Nina herself had spun, so we both learned together on Nina's drop spindle. Eventually, Nina was carding and I was spinning, a nice teamwork operation. Over the next couple days, I hunkered down and spent several hours each day spinning. By the time I left for winter break, I had spun about half of the carded wool into two skeins of inconsistently bulky yarn--classic beginner stuff. 

Then, of course, is the question of what exactly to do with the wool. I had recently discovered herringbone stitch, and I decided that I could use anot…