December 26, 2011

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Can you believe another Christmas has already passed?  I have been busy getting presents wrapped and the house to be filled with our family and festivities.  We had all of our families in yesterday, and it was so nice and enjoyable.  Now comes the time to find where to place all the kids' new toys, and what to do with all the leftover food! 

To give as a Christmas gift I did manage to get finished the Moth Wing Shrug that I had been working on for about a year and a half finished.  I really liked the way it blocked out, and the way it wears.  The edging detail on the front gives it such a nice attractive detail.  The best part was seeing my friend open it, like it, and appreciate all the work and details.  That, to me, is one of the best parts of Christmas.

Now, I still need to work on my coat.  I did get the inner lining sewn in and am ready to start on the lining.  I am hoping that it goes nice and smoothly since I have figured out all the changes on the outside of the coat. 

December 20, 2011

Winter coat pinned

I was able to get the outer portion of the B5145 coat sewed together.  And, yes, this was one of my intended projects for the sew along that I mentioned here that ended several weeks ago, but better late than never.  If I can get it finished before the new year I will be a very happy camper.

So, here is my coat at the stage of pinning the lower portion with the bodice, shown inside out also.  I had to pad my dress form to adjust to my new figure, it seemed to work well.  I did have to modify a few things once I got the original bodice on the dress form.  For one, the bodice came down lower than I thought it would, and cut into my higher belly.  I ended up removing the darts and it seems to work.  Then, from removing the darts the lower front was too narrow to allow for the now even more added room there.  Luckily when I cut it I had it flaring out towards the bottom, and even added a few extra inches to the length.  I ripped the stitches, lined the two section's hems up (instead of the waist edges as before) and sewed from there.  As you can see on the top picture I do have a little extra fabric on the front interfacing at the waistline now, but that is easily taken care of with a pair of scissors.

It also was nice to add the back panel on when it was on the dress form.  It made getting the pleat even and centered a breeze.  I must say that the coat does look better on me than on the dress form, which is how I prefer it being rather than the other way around.

I now have managed to get it all sewed together, added the sleeves, and even started to add the interlining.  That will be my project for the next few days since it consists of sewing each section of lining to the seam edges of the outer coat.  But, little by little I am getting a nice warm winter coat that will fit me and the baby!

December 18, 2011

Moth Wing Shrug almost there!

As you know I have been trying to finish the Moth Wing Shrug for quite a while, as I mentioned in my first day of vacation post.  I thought I would finish Wednesday, didn't so I then thought that Thursday would be it.  It wasn't.  I had it completed but didn't like how the sleeve edging fitted my arms so I redid it.  I finished most of it in the short time I had on Friday to work on it, finished the last round of actual crocheting yesterday, and wove in the ends this morning.  Now all I need to do is block it and trim the loose ends off. 

Next up is another top, the Luna Sweater, that I have had almost completed for a long time now too.  I first started it in the winter of 2009 or early 2010.  I just have one side seam, one sleeve to attach, and the neck edging to complete and I will be finished.  This one has me concerned about the size of the fit.  It looks SMALL!  I made the small, which was to my measurements.  However, this thing better block out a few good inches in length and width otherwise there is no way this thing will fit an adult.
With both of these projects being the only ones I have ever made to take so long for me to finish has me wondering why these.  What makes a project be set aside for a long period of time before you pick them up again and actually complete them?  Why have I on these projects and not others?  I wonder if when choosing another project I should think if I will truly finish it in a relatively short time, and if I don't will I be ok with possibly not finishing it.  Of course, then where would be the fun of trying something new!

December 17, 2011

The New Look 6802 dress

As you know from an earlier post that I was working on the New Look 6802 dress.  I finished it a while ago, but was never able to get pictures of me in it.  I have worn it several times and have received many compliments off of it.  I absolutely love it.  It is so comfortable and easy to wear.  As you know I did add width to the front panel to make it a little more maternity fitting.  To my surprise it worked out splendidly.  The only thing that I would do differently is make the sleeves a little longer, but I do love how I did the sleeve edges.  I made a narrow hem and put a 1/4" elastic inside so that I wouldn't have to make such a large hem like the pattern called for.


Here is me at 6 months along.  I still have room to grow, and the front bodice detail adds a nice accent to flatter even a maternity figure. 

I will most definitely use this pattern again.  I may have to look at other reviews to see how the other options look.  I am scared some of them will look very plain, but I may be proved wrong.  Either way, this pattern is a keeper! 

December 15, 2011

What I did on my first day of vacation

Yup, I crocheted with a Darla on my lap to keep me company.  Tuesday morning I sneezed and felt a muscle in my lower back flip over.  No fun at all that day!  Yesterday, which was my first day of vacation, I sat or layed with a heating pad off and on all day, and also did back stretches ever hour or two.  Thankfully I am feeling like I'm making progress.  Still stiff and sore, but luckily not even close to where I was.

So, my goal yesterday was to finish this shrug.  I was at the point to add in the 4 full motifs for the collar, do the 4 half motifs, and then all the edging.  Early morning I found that I had started attaching the neck incorrectly, and had to adjust the 2 I had just attached.  But, then I got rolling.  Finished all the motifs and one arm edging. 

Today, with the DVD box set of Mad Men season 3, I hope to finally finish this project!  I may even get it blocked and all the ends taken care of!  Woo hoo...bring on the crochet vacation!

December 03, 2011

Moth Wing crochet shrug

I have been working on this shrug from Interweave Crochet for almost a year and a half now.  I pick it up for a week or so, and then do another project for a few months it seems.  This past weekend I brought it along for a holiday trip and am determined to finish it. 

I am using Patons Lace yarn in Wasabi.  The previous work session ended when I ran out of yarn, and to my surprise the stores locally didn't carry the color way anymore.  Luckily I found some online. 

I am down now to the sleeves, collar, and the half motifs.  Each square motif takes me about an hour to do.  So, all in all probably only 20 more hours to go!

This is Darla modeling it in her usual pose on my lap in my comfy rocking recliner.  I am sure this is going to be how we spend most evenings this week! 

What was the longest time it took you to complete a craft project?

November 25, 2011

Sew along coat plans

Here is my next project plan.  As soon as I get my new washer (Sunday!) I will pre-wash the fabric and start.  (Side note: Ours that came with the house stopped spinning.  Luckily the ones that we were looking at are now 35% off instead of the 20% that they were when we first almost bought them!  I can't wait for a new washer and dryer, I guess that means I'm growing up) 

Since we live in very cold winter Michigan it is necessary to have a good winter coat.    I have several, but with my growing belly I am down to only one right now.  And that is also only most days.  When I have a good dinner zipping the coat up is not that comfortable.  So, I bought this pattern in thought of converting the front to have a little more room around the waist and belly.  I think the pattern should be easy to modify for this.  The one thing I want to be sure of is to watch how much flare is at the bottom.  I don't want anything too wide, but nothing too fitted either. 

I bought the bottom weight fabric at Joann's when I bought the fabric for the purple dress.  I also bought black buttons at the same time to coordinate with the style I have in my mind.  I inherited some batting that I am going to use in between the body layers for warmth.  The only thing I still need to get is the lining.  I have some that I already bought for other projects that I can use, but I am just not sure if it is what I want.  More than likely it will come down to what I have when I get to that part, or if I am patient enough to go out and get new material.  I am looking forward to this one!

November 22, 2011

Simplicity sueded jacket


Before I show you my new dress I want to show you what I made earlier this spring.  It is Simplicity 3628 jacket pattern.  I used a synthetic suede material that I bought at Joann's fabric, and lined it with a synthetic silky material that was on the clearance at Joann's at the same time.  

I think I cut a straight size 8, but can't quite remember.  Since I made this I have been sure to write what size I cut and all the alterations to remember.  I really like the pattern and the style, however next time I would make a few alterations.  I think most of the fit issues would be resolved with cutting the next size up except on the front.  I would also take in the princess seams over the bust if my measurements stay the same.  Don't get me wrong, the jacket is very wearable now, it just isn't as comfortable as it could be.  The arm movement being restricted is my biggest complaint.  For some reason I have beefier arms than most clothes are cut for, even though I think I have normal arms.  This especially becomes an issue on jackets when I would like to wear a layer or two underneath.  I also can not button the waist after a big meal (of course being pregnant there is no way I can now) but that isn't something I am as concerned with since I wear most of my jackets open at work so I don't look too formal.  I was quite happy however with the length of the sleeves and overall jacket length. 

I have intentions of making another version for when I start work after the baby.  Perhaps something a little lighter weight than the suede so I can wear it all year around here in Michigan.

November 19, 2011

Meet Oliver

Oliver is Darla's brother, and he is the stereotypical cat personality.  He goes where he wants to, when he wants to, and allows affection on his own terms and time frame.  He will not let you hold him for more than ten seconds, even though he is purring, and will not sit on your lap without you having particular quilts covering you.  He also will not sit by you for pettings, but he will sit across your chest when you are trying to go to sleep and enjoy being petted for a short time, generally just enough time for his weight to start effecting your breathing. 

He does love the sun as you can see in the picture.  He also becomes like a kitten with a particular stuffed fish on a string when he jumps and chases after it.  The only other time he moves fast is when he is chasing or wrestling with Darla. 

When the kids are around he generally is around.  He loves to watch what is going on, and will allow the kids to play with him.  When it is just me and Brandon he will come and go, find hiding spots that we can not find him in to disturb his sleep. 

Oliver is a funny cat in his own way.  How he will change behaviors so drastically with toys, how he is very independent and alone at times but then will stand in the middle of commotion without moving.  It is just really nice to have two very different cat personalities in the house, and both of them we enjoy having around so much.

November 17, 2011

Alligator embroidery for baby

I have finished another embroidery for the baby.  I like the monkeys best, but I still think this is cute in its simplicity. 

I am enjoying working on these as the kids play inside, very much like crochet.  I can watch a movie or keep an eye on them without having idle hands.  There is something also about the "plunk" sound of the needle going into the fabric followed by the sound of the thread pulling through that relaxes me.  I guess it is something that reminds me of my childhood and takes me back to when things were less stressful.  Anything to relax I'm thinking is a very good thing!

November 13, 2011

How can work take most of your play time?

Sorry for the delay in posts.  That was not intentional!  With my full time job picking up and causing me to work extra hours along with being pregnant leaves very little energy to just get dinner going when I get home.  So, unfortunatly, the craft room has not seen as much of the cuddly cats recently.  It has also meant that the eight week sew along challege has passed with me only completing one dress.  I will just continue and make them to my own pregnant time frame!

While I have not been able to complete anything, I have been working on a New Look 6802 dress that I have modified slightly to fit me during maternity. I am doing the pattern as what the model is wearing, but with long sleeves.

I cut the dress a size 14 for the top out of a mottled brown/grey/and black sweater knit from Haberman Fabrics.  I am usually a size 4 on top and 6 on bottom in ready-to-wear, but the 14 was closest to my measurements when rounding up.  Since I know my chest and belly will be growing I errored on the side of large knowing I will shortly fill it in.  On the skirt front panel I also cut the largest size available and added about an inch narrowing to the hip line.  This added extra gathers to the front section for growing room.

I am finished with the body portion.  I have yet to set in the sleeves and and hem the skirt.  For modifications to the pattern directions I added a double bias tape on the neckline instead of a facing.  I am also going to modify the end of the sleeves to have little ties that will use the bias tape. 

The fit so far is PERFECT!  With the knit I am comfortable and not constrained in my belly.  The cut of the pattern is flattering for maternity.  I am hoping that after the baby is born I can remove the skirt and revise it to be a non-maternity dress that is just as flattering.

I will of course post a finished picture when I am done!

September 23, 2011

Baby embroidery

When I found out I was having a baby I started to immediately think about how I wanted the baby's room.  I know I want animals of it, and have even found some cards with the animals and color scheme that I would like.  My mom trying to help me gave me a coloring book she bough for animal ideas.  They aren't quite what I'm thinking of for the room, but another idea came to me.  I have already started to trace the patterns on some plain white cotton material I had and then embroider the designs.  I am planning on then making them into a baby picture book.  I think it is going to be adorable.  I haven't decided how many pages it will be, I am thinking when I get tired of embroidering I will be done.

September 20, 2011

Sewing and craft room

Having introduced you to Darla, I thought I should start to show you where I do all my crafting.  My favorite part of the room is my "new" sewing machine.  The actual machine isn't new, but since my grandma gave me hers about a year ago it is still new to me.  It is a Singer Touch & Sew from around 1965 and still works amazingly.  When my grandma took it into be tuned up she was told it was a great machine since all of the parts are metal instead of plastic like they are today.  The cabinet is from my grandma as well.  I love it!  I also love that there is a knee pedal instead of a foot pedal which I seem to be able to control with my knee.  The room we have it in faces south and is full of windows on three sides.  I have great lighting till the sun goes down. 

Darla has several places she likes.  One is where she is at in the picture, the other is taking up half of the ironing board.  She likes that spot so much she won't move or budge if I need to iron something, so I have to work around her.  Oliver has other spots he prefers, the middle of the floor in the sun and on one particular box for some reason.

September 17, 2011

Meet Darla

I thought I should put some pictures up of those important in my life, my family.  I am going in order of those that joined first. 

This is Darla.  She is my buddy.  I got her and her brother, Oliver, when they were about 15 weeks old back in 2003.  When they were little they both would try to sleep with me.  I was so scared that I would roll over and crush them I ended up closing the door to my bedroom to keep them out.  Once I allowed her when she got bigger she generally is my nightly companion.  She comes when you whistle to her, but not when you call her by name.  She follows me around the house, and talks to me when I get out of the shower in the morning. 

Like I said, she is my buddy.  She will tolerate Brandon since he shares the bed with her, but she doesn't crawl up and take naps on his lap.  Unfortunately she does not like my step kids all that much.  She hisses and then hides when they try to pick her up, or sometimes when she just walks into a room and they are there not even noticing her.  After 6 years she is starting to come around though.  She likes to watch what is going on, you just are suppose to pretend she isn't there.  Also now that the cats and kids are getting older they are finding ways to bond.  Breanne knows Darla likes to play with a string as long as it is on Darla's terms.  Darla has also found out that Mitchell will brush her if she lets him, and that both of the kids will go out and pick her fresh cat nip if she look at them just right.

She acts a bit like a kitten still, she is a bit of a princess, she likes to cuddle, and has one loud purring motor.

September 15, 2011

Wore the dress to work

Here it is!  Brandon thinks the shoulders look droopy, but I like it and it is comfortable.  Next time I may work on making the neckline narrower through the shoulders and not so low.  Of course cutting a size to my measurements may help and not planning for future baby bust size. 

The picture does not show the color all that well.  It is a dark dark purple.  I am hoping to get a lot of wear out of this one!

Black sweater knit dress plans

Next up for the sew along is another dress.  I am planning to cut out the one like the model, but do the longer sleeves since we have already been flirting with the cooler weather here in Michigan.  During my big Joann's shopping trip I bought this charcoal sweater knit.  I like the texture that the slight heathered yarn with the knit structure adds to the fabric.  It is a thinner and a bit see through if you hold it up right, but I figure that I will be wearing it with leggings or tights and at least a tank top under it so nothing will show through. 

I have not tried a New Look pattern before, so I'm interested in seeing how they compare to other Simplicity patterns.  I have not decided what size to cut out.  Unlike the See and Sew I just completed this one does not have ties to adjust the fit.  This one is going to have to require some measuring and thinking in order to get a dress that isn't too big to wear now, but won't be stretched out and too tight in a short amount of time.

September 13, 2011

Purple dress is almost there

I have managed to get B5476 pattern all sewed up!  All that I need to do yet is the hem.  I have been letting it hang just to make sure I get a good straight edge.  I am hoping to finish it tonight so I can wear it to work tomorrow.  I will have Brandon take a picture of me so that I can share a modeled photo.
I cut a straight 14, which is bigger than I usually would have - especially in the top.  I decided to go larger with my growing front side, and I figured with the waist ties I can customize the fit.  When it is on it is a bigger fit than what it looked like on the envelope model, but I don't think it looks bad.  I should be able to wear this dress for a while during maternity.  So, my first dress was a success for my sew along goal of wearable maternity clothes!  If I can wear this after the baby is born it is another gold star on this pattern!
I am quite happy with the dress, how it fits, and how it went together.  However, I do not believe I would put "Yes, it's easy" on the front cover on the pattern.  This pattern was one of the ones that was on a wall display where all of them are suppose to be quick and easy.  I would not put this in that collection.  Like I mentioned earlier the rolled hem took some time to get it nice and even.  I know a while ago I would not have been able to do this.  Part of it would be from my old machine I was using that just didn't do nice and pretty stitches, had a foot pedal that was all or nothing it seemed, and also since I was newer at it I was still learning how to control all the things at once which ended up with a not so straight line.  It also had interfaced sections on the neck band and front rectangle on the chest.  Now, I usually don't have issues with facings at all but this one was not the most basic in construction.  For instance, the pattern told you to attach the neck banding to the bodice.  Then you sew the backed facing neck band to the already attached neck band right sides together.  Not so bad there, but then you slip stitch the already ironed, folded over, majorly curved seam to the inside neck band.  I don't think that a "stitch in the ditch" seam or that much hand sewing should be included in an "easy" pattern.  The pattern also has a lot of gathered sections.  I personally don't have any issues with it, but I do know some who have difficulty getting them nice and even for a non-homemade look. My other comment about the pattern was if I was a novice sewer, and only knew what the directions told me, I would have missed some critical points.  One important was the fact that they did not tell you in the patterns to clip the inside of the neck banding after you sew so that it will not pull on the curved seam. 
Now don't get me wrong, I like my dress.  I enjoyed sewing it, but I just do not support the easy on the cover.  I would make another and to me that tells me a lot of how I liked the pattern.

September 12, 2011

Purple knit dress

So for the See and Sew dress pattern B5476 I just couldn't wait to sew it up in the purple knit ponte roma I got at Joann's. I absolutely love the purple color and the weight of this knit.

I cut the pattern out that night. I recently purchased a rotary cutter and mat, I still can't get over how much easier and quicker it makes cutting the fabric out. I usually dread this step of sewing, but with the rotary cutter I may start to enjoy it!

The pattern looks quite easy. No zippers or buttons to mess with. I did start sewing, but the first step listed was to do a rolled hem on the parts that will become the waist ties. Since I am trying to be patient and not get wonky seams this step is taking me a little longer than I want. I am really anxious to get this dress in more of a dress form, and these long hems are really trying my practice in patience.

The past few days I haven't been able to make much progress. Hopefully tonight I can get a good chunk underway. in order to meet the eight weeks with all the things I want to sew I need to get going! Hmmm, I wonder if a vacation day from work just to sew is in order?

September 09, 2011

The sewing starting line

I went to Joann's and bought some fabric and patterns for the sewing challenge. Before I went to the store I looked through my patterns and had a dress and a coat pattern picked out. However, once I got to the store I couldn't help but look through the pattern books. I found two dresses that I liked that I think will be better maternity patterns than my original selection. I could not find a skirt pattern, but think I may be able to wing one on my own from looking at my inspiration image.

The dress pattern I already had that I was going to make was Simplicity 2308

I was thinking of making it with like the knee length version with sleeves like the lower model.  I thought I could wear it, at least in the beginning, without the belt and then after maternity with the belt. 

The two dress patterns I like better are See and Sew B5476.  I like how this one wraps around, so I think I can get a better fit with it through the months.  I like the patterned dress cut, and it in the pattern.  However, I didn't see any patterned knit material I liked.  Even if I did I'm not sure I am quite sure of how the pattern I would choose would look with the wrap and different pieces on the bodice.  So, I figure the easiest is a nice solid colored knit.

The other pattern is a New Look 6802, and of course since it is pushing winter here in Michigan I will be doing the sleeves version.  I do like this in the small pattern that the model is wearing, but I was not impressed at all with Joann's selection of knits.  Since, I am not to sure about ordering material online yet I just went with something solid that I could find.

I also found a bottom weight for the coat pattern I already had.  I still haven't found anything for the skirt so I'm still on the lookout.

More posts to come with the coat plans and images of the fabric purchases!

September 06, 2011

Major auction score!!

We went to an auction this weekend right down from where we live.  It is in a community building and this company will bring in anything from odds and ends, a furniture set from one seller, collections of coins, guns, or whatever they have, and then some are even part of an estate.  This has become mine and Brandon's weekend dates.  This spring we took the two kids with us and they are hooked.  It has since become one of the family's favorite outings.

This week, suprisingly to me, Brandon came up to me and said there was one of "your lady sewing mannequins" that I have been looking online at up for auction in the back.  I was expecting to find some ratty old thing not in my size, but low and behold it was what I was looking for!

We had been looking for them on eBay and most were going for $80 used. We were planning to buy one after I have the baby and start sewing non-maternity clothes. I decided to bid on this and see where the price went. I ended up getting it for $42 and think I got a great deal. All the dials work, it isn't torn or stained (not sure what the spot is in the picture), and more importantly it is my size!

Now I am working on getting it to where I can use it with my sewing now, even if it is just to help me get a good hem for once on these maternity clothes plan.  Any one have any thoughts on the best way to make a dress form look pregnant?

September 05, 2011

Sewing challenge inspiration

I keep looking at images of maternity clothes trying to determine what all I will need to make a wardrobe that will get me through winter.  Being in Michigan it will start cooling off here really quick, and will stay that way through the entire pregnancy.  I have already ordered some clothes online and should have them here within the next few days.  No matter if I keep all the clothes I ordered I thought these would be good to add to a wardrobe.   All images are from A Pea in the Pod.

Open Knit Cardigan

Cowl neck knit dress


Wool Coat

I have also been thinking of what colors.  Since I want everything to work with each other as much as possible to get the most outfits out of them, I am thinking of sticking moslty to greys and black.  Then, with scarves and accesories adding in color.  I can also maybe get a few base shirts in some colors and patterns to add some color to the selection.  With the 8 weeks given I think two easy project with the cardigan and skirt will balance out the more adjusting needed dress and very time consuming coat.  However, with most coats running around $300 the time spend will be well worth the savings.

Next up, picking patterns and fabrics!  Good thing there is a big sale at Joann's this week for Labor Day.  I should be able to pick up all the goodies I will need.

September 03, 2011

Colette fall sewing challenge

So yesterday I saw on Colette Patterns blog that they are going to have a fall wardrope sewing challenge. Lately I have been procrastinating on my sewing because I have been indecisive on what patterns I want for this fall and winter.
This is due to the fact that I am now pregnant and need maternity clothes.  However, I have not been able to find any maternity patterns out there that don't look homemade.  So, I figure I will have to alter patterns that would be appropriate for my growing belly. 

On my drive into work I decided to participate. What better way to force me to make some decisions and get sewing.  And, I know if I get stuck there will be an entire community out there to help me out.

I already have some fabric that I bought a few months back at Joanns. Recently I have been looking at maternity clothes that are out there to see what shapes most of them are, trying them on to see what size I need, or where the extra material will need to be at.  I have some ideas about what I want to make out of them, but I think this will be a great way for me to set a schedule to get them done in time to wear for fall!

Now comes the fun time of getting images of inspiration and tying that to what I will be making. Let the fun playing begin!

September 01, 2011

First major lesson on a gauge swatch

I don't know why I thought I did not need to check my gauge but I didn't when I made this pattern. I know when I first started crocheting I usually didn't. I don't know if with me being thinner in build I just thought most things would be big enough to fit without trying, or that since I was making a hat it didn't particularly matter. Either way for this hat I didn't check. I also don't remember what yarn I used. Something cheap and acrylic I'm sure.

It turned out huge on me! I felt like that guy on "Fat Albert" that had the sock hat pulled way down. I also didn't care too much for the chain stitch "ribbon" running through it. It looked disproportionate, of course that could be entirely my fault for making the hat huge!

In the end I gave it as a gift to my mother for Christmas. She somehow has a really large nogen with lots of hair. Ironically it fits her well. She wears it since she can't find any hats in the store that fit her. Maybe this winter she will wear it and I can snag a picture of it to share.

So my lesson learned was if I want to make something for myself do a swatch. Otherwise I make it and who gets it is by who it fits!

August 30, 2011

Reason #1 why everyone should know how to sew

This is a picture of a cute little sun dress that one of my coworkers brought in. She does not know how to all. I have sewn on a button to a blouse she was wearing before, while she was wearing it. The button was on the back, and she wore the shirt in without the button so someone could fix it. So after that I guess I am now her seamstress/mender.

Anyway, this cute little dress's strap had come out on the front side. The front facing edge had frayed a little, but was not awful. With a quick five minutes, which most contained of trying to find a thread and bobbin to match and then threading the sewing machine, I had this thing ready for her to rock dancing again. I even put a little fray check on the edges just to be sure things wouldn't go sour on her when she is on the dance floor doing her salsa or cha-cha.

I can only imagine how many gorgeous clothes are tossed out due to a simple repair that the owner did not know how to fix. Granted not everyone has a sewing machine, but this one could have just as easily been done with a needle and thread.  At least one little dress was saved.

August 29, 2011

Another pattern from ravelry

Photo by Pinkleo on Flickr
Another pattern on Ravelry that I made foe Christmas gifts was the Luna Lovegood Scarf by Melissa Helton. I don't remember why I chose to make this one, but I still haven't forgotten about the pattern!

I remember using Red Heart Satin on this beautiful Christmas red. The pattern was fairly easy once I realized you crocheted the length of the scarf first with your chain stitch and then started working on the width. I don't remember how long it took me to make one, I ended up making two and gave both away, but I don't think it took me more that a few hours for each one.

I do remember when I was done blocking them by steaming the with my iron. I read somewhere this is called "killing" the acrylic when you do this method. I fell in love with how the scarf felt and draped after this, and how the pattern evened out and showed off so well.

With fall fast approaching I may have to make a few more. This time I willl be sure to keep one for myself!

August 28, 2011

Grandma's Christmas shawl

Photo by Interweave Press
Sometime in the fall of 2009 I joined Ravelry. I was amazed at how many people were also on there. I also was in awe of all the different patterns they had available. I know some you see you just know that you will never add that pattern to your queue but there are some designer that just make you drool.

One of the ones I found on there was this beautiful shawl, Chanson-en Crochet by Mari Lynn Patrick. My grandmother lives in an assisted living place and the room they go for lunch is always cold. I thought this shawl would be easy for her to wear without worrying if it will fit over her blouse, having it match to her outfit is another story. So I made it for her for her Christmas gift.

I used Caron Country in  Renaissance Rose color that I found on clearance at Joanns. This was the first time I had crocheted with anything other than acrylic' and the first pattern that was created by something other than single, half and double crochet stitches in a mathematical progression. At first o found the pattern confusing but determined it was just from being used to Lion Brand pattern writing and that they were more difficult directions.

I bought an antique looking button at Joanns and attached that at the top. I thought the shawl came out beautiful, I fell in love with the yarn, my grandma loved it, but I just regret not getting a picture of it.
Later, my mom told me that my grandma doesn't wear it to lunch since she had trouble keeping it out of her plate when she leaned over the table. I still wonder if she wears it at all but am too scared to ask. Is it bad that I would gladly take it back and wear it myself?

August 26, 2011

Mitchell's penquin amigurumi

I have two step children, Mitchell is 10 and Breanne is now 8.  I love them dearly and they always seem to find a way to entertain me or keep me busy.  After they saw me making the other little amigurumi animals they spoke up and said they each wanted one.  I let them pick out the pattern, and Mitchell (then 8) chose Lion Brand's Penguin for his.  I think I had some extra yarn from something around and let look to see what color he wanted.  He chose a dark blue instead of black (of course now I can't remember what yarn it is), the One Pound Caron yarn in Azure for the light blue, and I don't remember what the white was either.  Either way I thought this guy came out cute and so did he.  It was the first project I did that I changed colors.

I still like him even if Mitchell may not be so interested in him so much since the penguin lives with the cat toys.  Sad thing really, the cats don't really seem to be interested in the little penguin either.  Poor fella.

August 25, 2011

My little animals

I don't remember why I started making these amigurumis.  I know I used Lion Brand pattern Heloise Hen and Tiny Turtle.  I used Caron One Pound acrylic yarn in possibly Azure.  The label has since long been gone. 

I liked making these little guys.  They are stuffed with Polyfil.  They are quick to make and are always great for the kids.  Young kids really like to play with them, even if no one can tell if what the hen is.  I think most adults guess it is a dolphin.  Even though the kids try to get the cats to play with them the cats just look at them clueless.  The kids also have gotten into throwing them at each other recently.  Luckily I don't have to worry to much about them hurting each other or breaking a window with them either. 

August 24, 2011

Attempting to crochet again

I learned to crochet when I was around 7 years old from my great grandmother.  She would babysit me and my sister quite often, and she was the crochet afghan queen.  So, one day she taught me the basic chain stitch and maybe a single crochet.  I just remember being fascinated about how a single string of yarn can be looped together to form something more.  However, being a child, that was the extent of my crocheting lesson and interest.  I was off to play with my Barbie and My Little Ponies.  There was once during a high school summer that I found my mom's old "Learn To Crochet" type book, and I think that too lasted only one or two attempts.

In college I did manage to start an afghan.  It made it to a point of a throw when school got too busy for me to continue for a while.  Once I pulled it back out (after graduation, two moves, and a job) I realized I didn't like my made up pattern or the combination of colors.  So off to Salvation Army it went. 

I didn't pick up crochet again till about three years ago when I had an office desk job that was really quiet, dull, and not creative.  I needed something to do that wasn't expensive since our budget was very tight.  So, I purchased a cheap set of plastic hooks and whatever bulk yarn was on sale at the local big craft store.  Having found out that offers free patterns and also stitch explanations I was all set to start back up.  One of my first projects was to make a grocery produce sack since the reusable bags were really starting to come out big then.  I found a pattern online, can't remember which one it was now, and started to crochet.  I kept going and going following the directions but it seemed to be a lot smaller than what I thought it was going to be.  So I kept started to make up the pattern a little to make it bigger.  Once I had the diameter I thought it was going to be I started to make the increase for the sides. 

I went a little farther and then had an epiphany.  I was using a slip stitch instead of a single crochet stitch!  No wonder it seemed so small!  I decided to stop since it was taking forever to get anywhere with it. 

I kind of liked it as a bowl form and so it stayed like that.  Now it holds cat toys, some of which I have made.  When younger kids come over it always seems to become a hat or a frisbee.  I believe there was an occasion or two where a kid to hold a cat in it like a hammock which always did not succeed to well. 

Even if it is not a produce bag or a successful cat hammock it has become quite useful.  I don't worry about what the kids do with it, and after play time it serves a purpose to hold the cats' toys. 

Again, I don't remember which LionBrand pattern it was, but I do remember it is Caron 3/4 Pound acrylic worsted weight yarn.  I loved the ombre color combination but have now found out they no longer make it in this colorway.

Hi there!

For the past two or three years I have done various projects, even though a few still seem to be on my hook!  I wanted a place where I can keep a record of them, how long they take, the stories behind them, and all the fun that goes with completing something that you make by hand.  Not only have I wanted to just document it, but also be able to look back over time and see if there is any progression of my skill, style, and what I seem to be focusing on or learning when.  So I created this blog for me but maybe I will even inspire a few people to try something new.