Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Slipper Fun

Here are the felted alpine boots on Abby's feet. She won't let me take a picture unless she can see it in the viewfinder, so she's on my lap wearing them. It's hard to see them, but they're pretty cute. They're too big, but small enough that she can wear them now and maybe still use them next winter too. I didn't bother with a gauge swatch, as I figured they'd just felt down as far as they'd go and then she'd grow into them. I used lamb's pride homespun thick 'n thin and a random ball of novelty yarn. Both are from my stash. It took 4 cycles on my heavy duty option on our washer with a pair of carharts. I think it took so much because we have a front loader (less agitation) and our hot water is turned down to avoid scalding our small child. Perhaps I'll turn up the hot water heater when I felt next.
I think I'd make the cuffs shorter or with a more definite eyelash yarn so it fluffs out like the picture. I'd probably opt for needle felting the detail next time instead of crocheting it on before felting. They are VERY STURDY, pretty cute and all in all a fun knit. I look forward to trying out some slipper patterns in MY size! I'll swatch for those. :)
Oh, and for those of you asking how I have time to craft. . . here's how:

Monday, February 19, 2007

Oh, yeah. . . and. . .

I forgot, in my blogging binge the other day, to share these two items.

Ya know that sweater that I tried to frog for the beautiful noro yarn? And how I got really frustrated and decided to scrap the whole idea?
Well, my mom sent me to this website about how to frog a sweater. I still didn't get what was wrong, even after reading this dumb proof guide. It wasn't until I re-did the ribbing on this hat that I realized what most people probably get when they first start to knit. You can't take anything apart from the cast-on edge. I mean, you can, but it's not easy. Tom was astounded that I hadn't thought of this. But, in my defense, I'm not a strong spatial person. There is a very specific reason why Tom packs our kayaks, packs the back of the car and is called into the kitchen everytime I need to put leftovers into a tupperware. I can't figure out in my head how things work spatially. That's why socks were such a hard thing for me to start. I couldn't visualize how they would go together. It was blind faith to just start a pattern and watch the sock appear like magic. Tom laughed at me when I finally pulled the sweater apart by freeing up the cast-OFF ends of the pieces. He said, "I figured you'd thought of that already. .. I mean, you can do so many things in knitting, I just figured you understood how the knots go together." So, uh, he could have helped me from the beginning, but instead stood by and watched me struggle. I know we all have different intelligences and that one of Tom's is spatial intelligence (does that even exist?), but I still feel kinda dumb. So I got lots of yarn out of the deal. .. and a little knowledge in how the knots go together in knitting.

On a wild hair, I put an ad in our local used product website 2 good 2 toss for used knitting patterns and supplies. I figured I might get some old lady's aluminum needles, some red heart yarn and a photocopy or two of those old slipper socks patterns. Instead, I got this stuff:

I figure it's probably $50 or more in new supplies. She just decided not to knit anymore and gave me her stash. Including a set of bamboo sock needles and some beautiful merino wool. Yum.

I jumped right in and used some of the novelty yarn on the cuffs of Abby's felted slippers. I'm almost done with the first one and I have to say, it scares me how big it is. Will it really get small enough for her? Hmm.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Lots of Random-ness

It's been a while and I have a lot of projects to show off!
There have been a lot of babies to craft for, my new nephew to welcome, Abby to appease. It's been a whirlwind.
Here are some pics:
There's an i-river cozy for Tom's new favorite toy ,

a hat for a very selfless teacher,

a little flannel bag of Wise Woman Cards for my yoga instructor,

some oilcloth bibs with pearlized snaps,

a serged baby blanket,

the finished clubhouse for Nephew Ethan,

a pink scarf for my dear friend Hazel,

My little cutie modeling Tom's hat, my panta and the sweater my mom made for her. I did the hood and extended the bottom, adding the ribbing so she could wear it later. She loves to mix those colors and wear the bee boots with everything! Notice that the boots are on the wrong feet. .. always the "wrong" feet!

And, the hello kitty sleeping bag and pillow for Abby. We were hoping that this last one would help with the seemingly ridiculous sleeping issues that Abby's been having lately. When I CRIED during a parent meeting at our little pre-3 co-op, some of the parents suggested, well, they suggested everything. But one of them thought that Abby doesn't like having her blankets fall off. She's been waking up 2, 3 and sometimes 4 times a night and asking for help resettling. So, the idea was to make her a sleeping sack so the blankets don't fall off. I took her to the fabric store and she picked out the hello kitty ($15/yard. . . thank goodness I had a half off coupon! Jeesh!) fabric and started calling it her "kitty blanket". This is especially cute since my security blanket was called Kitty Blanket as well. In the end, this causes more frustration for her, because she can't get her blanket zipped and now screams for help with that!

I've started some felted slippers (the alpine boots on the side bar at the left) for Abby and I really want to do this sweater for her too.

That's more than enough from me for now.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Machine Applique Sucks

That's pretty much all I can say. I already hate sewing machines. .. too much reliance on a machine, you're plugged in and stuck where the machine is stationed, it makes noise, so it's hard to watch my netflix while crafting, did I mention that it sucks! I'm not patient enough with sewing to do it for long, so I'm always taking shortcuts to make things go faster. More often than not, my "shortcuts" end up making the process actually take longer when I go back to fix my mistakes. So, with all of that said, I made a little apron this weekend for a birthday gift. Abby's little friend Lilly turned 2 this weekend. I was hoping to make her something, but was running out of time. So, inspired by Amanda's last minute gifting, I went for it. Though, she's WAY more talented than I. Amid all of the pretty princess, doll house, plastic stuff, Lilly pulled my little dragonfly apron. I kind of made her put it on so I could get a picture. I'm pleased with the results.
However, Ethan's little "clubhouse" had to be appliqued as well. My dream that the wonder under would be enough to attach the little letters to the doors was amiss. I had to sew each and every letter down so they'd stay. The end result is a little maddening. I rushed and now they look crappy. I'm frustrated and bummed. It looked so cool and then the stitching is so, well, it looks like a 2 year old did it. I won't even show you the results here. I'm still giving it to him. I've spent too much darn time on it not to. He won't care because he'll be having so much fun crawling around and playing in it! I hope!