This portfolio has been in need of a good update for a while now. So much has happened since last fall, the most important being that my husband and I are anticipating the birth of our second daughter almost any day now. That makes it kind of a crazy time to try and get my portfolio up-to-date and ready for the fall preview, but I'm going to seize these last few days and try to do just that.

I had a bad case of creative block all winter (too much morning sickness, too little sunshine), and have spent the spring and summer catching up and getting back into creating mode. Fortunately, my inventory is filling up with lots of fun and exciting items, and I can't wait to share some of them with you!

Recently I've been experimenting with new recycled materials, including "plarn" which is yarn made from recycled plastic bags. There are lots of tutorials on how to make plarn, and I found the one from Cindy on to be most helpful. Most people who are experimenting with plarn are crocheters, so I've been exploring how the medium can be used in knitting. First up: A plarn sunhat.

This hat was made with a large variety of white shopping bags, including bags from Walmart to JoAnn fabrics to those generic red-printed "Thank You" bags you get everywhere from the Asian grocery to the Salvation Army. Combining all these bags makes a cool effect, because although the predominant color is still white, little colored flecks show the origin of the bags which make up the hat. It's fun to hold the hat and think about all the variety of things the bags held in their previous lives.

The flowers and hat band were made with newspaper bags given to me by a kind neighbor. Actually, he gave me a whole laundry basket full of colored newspaper bags, and it took me over a week to sort and turn them all into plarn! You'll be seeing more from those bags later, I promise.

The texture is surprisingly elastic and bendable. As a matter of fact, this sunhat fits both my toddler Annie and me fairly well. We both have very large heads for our respective ages, and although it's a little snug on me it would fit most children to adults very well. A thin wire is threaded through the outside of the brim, stabilizing it and allowing you to shape it to frame your face best.

Suggested retail: $30