Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

We are a family that LOVES Halloween. We love to decorate, bake, dress up, carve pumpkins, etc., etc., etc. So, when I came upon this craft idea "Pet Pumpkin Rocks" I knew that we couldn't pass it up!! This was fun from start to finish. The kids and I walked around the neighborhood selecting rocks (we still have quite a few left!!), washed them, painted them (some of them have moe than one coat) - notice the poka dotted one - and drew faces on them. This was a multi day craft that the kids went back to each day as they had time. A HUGE success!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Juice Pouch Purses

These have been on the list to make for quite awhile. I found a tutorial over the summer (I forgot to write down from where) and printed it out. Our family does not purchase juice pouches normally except when we are snack parent at some sporting event where the kids are a part of the team. I enlisted the help of a few friends whose kids love these things and they have been generously donating the used pouches to me.

This is my first attempt. The bag itself went together without a hitch in a little less than one hour. I tried to add on the embelishment. ACH! Quite the challenge. This is an old boa that was losing some of it's feathers so I took it from the dress up box. First I tried to use the sewing machine - no dice, getting around the corners was a nightmare. Then I tried by hand and really didn't like to look on the wrong side. I wound up using E6000 glue (boy do I hate the smell of that) which worked great, but I am worried that it won't hold up to lots of use. I think over time, the glue is just going to pop off.
My second attempt. The embelishment on this one is also an old boa (where did we get all of these boas??). This time I added the boa to each piece BEFORE stitching up the side seams. Much, Much easier. Now I have to figure out how to keep my top thread from breaking. The feather kind of get all wound up in the thread creating a "ball" of sorts and then the thread does not flow smoothly though the needle - causing the thread to break. I have an idea and will share it if it works :o) These were quick, fun, and oh so cute!! They also fit in with the theme of conserving money and resources that we are adopting here. The first bag is for my 10yo's friend's birthday (can't get a cuter, cheaper gift than that!) and the second was made for my next door neighbor's girl. Her family has donated the bulk of the pouches. She is more than thrilled - it was great to see the huge smile on her face!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

She is done, done, done.....

The pinwheel is done and I'm NOT blockin' it!!!
I would definitely make this again although it would need to be much smaller :o)
Started: 2/4/2008
Finished: 10/21/2008
Needles: US7
Yarn: Lots and lots of different ones.
Variegated: Universal Yarn Classic Worsted Tapestry, Color: Party Time
Light Purple: Universal Yarn Classic Worsted, Color: Lavender
Teal: Plymouth Yarn Encore, Color: 1317
Orange: Berroco Touche, Color: 7958
Dark Purple: Universal Yarn Classic Worsted, Color: Grapesicle
White: Zara Feza, Color: 101
I wish I had kept track of how many yards and balls of yarn this took to complete. I think that would be interesting and fun to know.
Final Stitch Count on needles before seed stitch rows: 1220 (I stopped adding stitches starting with the seed stitch rows)
Diameter: 84 inches or 7 feet
and because I am a true geek:
Circumference: 263.76 inches or 21.98 feet
Area: 5538.96 inches
This is the picot edge and I love it. It took FOREVER, but I really like it. The eight rows of seed stitch were truly a test for me. I used to like seed stitch and I still like the way it looks, but I felt that these rows were never ending.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New & Old

Because the pinwheel blanket is really driving me insane-I have completed 8 rows of seed stitch and am using a picot bind off - I decided I needed a new project to keep me happy :o). I wanted to make a hat and scarf that would not match but go with the sweater I made for dh. This is the start of that hat. It is called the "Rook Hat" and I really like how the finished product should turn out. Now, I am fairly new to crochet - 3 squares under my belt, but as with most things crafty, I have decided to just dive right in. Let's see how this turns out and how many times it needs to be ripped! It has already been ripped once just to get to the point you see here.

Fleece blanket making. 10yo cutting!

13yo knotting

6yo knotting

10yo knotting

Uh Oh! It's a different color!! Actually two blankets were made from kits I bought last year on sale. All the kids were into making these (except for 3yo-he had better things to do-like play with lego). I just forgot to take a picture of the red backed blanket.

Another bear. Knitting complete, needs to be sewn, stuffed and embroidered. This one is supposed to look like he has on suspenders. 13yo dd has suggested that I add red buttons on the suspenders. I think that's a GREAT idea but since this is for my 2yo nephew, I will cut out the "buttons" from felt and embroider them on.

Bear for 7yo neice. I tried out a new stitch for the bodice - Row 1: YO, K2, pass the YO over the K2 and repeat. Row 2: purl. I like how it turned out except for the fact that:

It is holey (is that a word??). Anyway, I decided to block it (I never block these bears!) and will back this portion of the bear with some fabric from stash. I just haven't decided on what fabric - cotton, fleece, or something else. HMMM

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Spiral Monstrosity

The spiral blanket was started on a whim a lo-o-ong time ago. February 4th, 2008 to be exact. I noticed a friend at knit night was making one and it looked like a really fun project - and quick - HAH! I soon got kind of bored with the constant knitting, no variation so I decided to add in some color. I tried my hand at some color blocks. I did a section of squares followed by some other color sequences and then a section of diamonds (birds, my dh thinks) and when I started a section of circles I decided that these color blocks were not so much fun to do on such a large project. The yarn kept getting tangled and I started to worry that the blanket would not lay flat. It was just WAY too fiddly.

The birth of a new pattern to keep my interest. Rows of color. I knit 5 rows, purled 1 row, knit 1 row, did one row of k2tog, yo, knit 1 row, purl 1 row, and 5 more rows of knit to complete the pattern.
This orange section was started 7/31/2008. At this point, there were more than 623 stitches on the needle.

After the orange pattern was complete, there were 5 rows of dark purple, 10 rows of variegated and 5 more rows of dark purple. On 8/9/2008 the white was added and this section was completed the same as the orange section. This was followed by the same 5k rows purple, 10k rows variegated, and 5k rows purple and on 8/24/2008 the teal was added.

After the teal section there are 5 knit rows of purple and then I started a spiral that another friend at knit night was talking about. It is kind of cool how this works - basically you just add in a ball of yarn at any point and keep knitting. When you get to the new color, you drop the old yarn and continue with the new one without having to twist the yarn. It works!! The decision to do a spiral was two fold: 1) to try out something new and 2) to use up all those little balls of yarn left over from the color blocks and stripes. The spiral is now 25 rows deep and I really like it. It is so neat the way the spiral works and keeps me going - just to the next color change.....
Right now there are 1200 stitches on the needle, the radius is 39 inches which means the diameter is 78 inches. I found the formula for circumference (it doesn't matter that I learned this back in the 8th grade!!) and figured out that the circumference right now is approximately 20.41 feet. HMMM......maybe this will be our new slip cover for the couch!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Holiday knitting

'Tis the time of year to begin thinking about gifts for the holidays. This is a hat for my 10yo nephew. I have a bear in process with more to come, more hats, and some beaded projects planned. Let's see if they can be completed by the deadline!

Pattern: Pro Bono Hat
Started: 8/17/2008
Finished: 8/24/2008
Needles: US10
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn - Encore Chunky Bulky Knitting Weight
75% Acrylic, 25% Wool
Color: 0403 Lot: 35716