Whatever!

What to muse about today?

May 20, 2015 ~ Finished Objects

Teagan’s Slippers

I finally finished a few things this week.  Some slippers and a shawl.  I made my very first tassels!

Ashlin’s Slippers

A few weeks ago, or months, I had made some slippers for Ashlin with some left-over sock yarn.  I had quite a bit of two or three different yarns after I made the socks.  A bit more than I wanted to use for the patchwork quilt I’m making with the other leftovers.  I decided to make up some slippers to use it up. A super fast, double-stranded pattern.  I quickly seamed up Ashlin’s and then started on Teagan’s, but got sidetracked with a crochet sundress and another project or two.  Teagan was eager for me to finish, she would look longingly at the flat pieces of knitting, asking every few days or so when they’d be done.

I can’t wait for her to see them tomorrow.

The other project I finished was the Christmas Shawl I made using the Baktus pattern, a pattern where you increase the row width until you use half the yarn, then you start decreasing.  Eventually you use all the yarn and have a triangle shaped shawl.  I used this project to try my first color work, alternating a red and green cotton yarn I had been gifted.

Tassels!

Working with two strands of yarn is a bit fiddly, but not too bad once you get the hang of it.

I’m glad to finally have the tassels done.  They weren’t as annoying to make as I thought.  I had avoided making them once I finished the body of the shawl, wearing it with the yarn tails hanging, unfinished.  It was the perfect colors for Christmas :D

Now, I can put it away with the other winter things.

Next up, finding the time to get Teagan to sit still long enough for me to place the straps on her crocheted sundress so I can finish that as well.

LOL.

 

 

 

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May 5, 2015 ~ Spring Clean

Finally Blocking

I must have been nipped by a spring cleaning bug or something.  The past few days I’ve been slowly straightening up long-neglected corners of the house and getting projects finished up.  Finally.  Today I am blocking the two lace doilies that I finished back in November.  They match (sort of!) the star table runner I did for Teagan.

I’ll get some better pictures once they are dry.

These doilies have been sitting right next to the Christmas shawl I still need to put tassels on and the picnic quilt that still needs borders and backing.  I did get the patches finally put on to the size 4 pants to cover the holes that Teagan put in the knees.  She’s almost six.

I’ll get the size 5’s done next.

 

I know.

I’m getting there.  I’ll get there.

Bigger

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August 27, 2014 ~ it’s so fuzzy!

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I asked Teagan if anyone one said anything about her blanket. She said that her teacher wanted to take it home, it was so fuzzy.

Awesome.

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August 26, 2014 ~ The Day Before

First Day of School Outfit

This is the outfit Teagan wants to wear tomorrow.  I was going to give her a choice of a few outfits, have her pick from them, but I needn’t have worried.  She wanted the first outfit I showed her, saying “Mama, that’s exactly what I wanted to wear!”

I ironed it for her.  That is not a wrinkle on the left side.  Really.  It’s just a shadow.  From the pleat.

I can’t believe summer is over already.  It flew by.  We spent most of it at Lake Compounce, with occasional trips to Bounce U or a playground.  Towards the end, we also played a bit of Just Dance on the Wii.  Ashlin often scored higher than Teagan, but neither girl really paid attention to the scores.

Lunch for Teagan is packed, snacks for Ashlin. Back packs are labeled and ready. Well, I need a spare outfit for Ashin – just in case!  Both girls are excited for school, and Ashlin is jealous of Teagan being able to take the bus.  She has to be driven, special, to her pre-K class.  She’s also upset that she doesn’t have a fuzzy blanket for nap time, even though she doesn’t have nap time.

I think they’ll both do great tomorrow.  I hope they do.  I’m sure they will.  Hopefully, I’ll do just as well.

Teagan’s new fuzzy blanket

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May 1, 2014 ~ Bunnies Make Everything Better!

Second Easter!

Anyone who follows either my Instagram or Flickr feeds has seen many crochet bunnies in various stages of completion.  Inundated with them.  I ended up making eight of them, two for my girls and the other six for children of co-workers.  All were done and handed out before Easter too.  Of course, I forgot to bring the ones for the girls up to my parents.  So, they got them today.

I found the pattern on Green Dragonfly’s site.  Totally adorable!  And a great use of the scraps from previous projects.  I had also asked a few of the ladies at work who yarn too if they had some bright colors  for me to use.  Maybe some blues and greens, colors boys may not mind, compared to the pinks and purples I seemed to have a lot of.

Proto-bunnies. #crochet #bunny #easter

I started with my girls’ bunnies first.  Dug through the left over bins and found the yarn left over from Teagan’s ripple blanket.  It had pink, so would be perfect for her. For Ashlin I pulled two of her favorites – purples and blue.  I didn’t have a red that matched.

The first one took a bit, I needed to learn the pattern.  I crocheted up all the pieces first.  By the time I got to the last one, I could get a whole bunny, less pompom tail and sewing together, done in an hour if I focused.

I didn’t always focus.  There really wasn’t a rush, there was plenty of time.

Green ones! #bunny #body for a #boy   #crochet

Green!

#bunny #body for a little #boy. #crochet

Blue!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Can’t Hear You

 

I saved all the sewing up for the very end. And the pompoms. I hate pompoms. They don’t ever seem to look right, too thin, too uneven, not tied tightly enough.  Something.  I’m sure I’ll eventually get them right.  These were made using a fork, so were just a tad off-center.  But they needed to be, to be sewn on the back.

Ears were a bit of a pain, but not too bad.  Short rounds with color changes, a small diameter that your finger doesn’t fit in, doesn’t make for much fun.  But they would go quick enough.  Again, if I focused.

Most times, I would get the pair of ears done while watching some show.  So, a nice distraction.

When I stuffed them, I would wrap the poly-fill in a dryer sheet, so that the fiber wouldn’t escape through the stitches as easily.  And it made them smell really nice.  I did tell the people at work that there was the dryer sheet in there.

The girls got theirs today.  Teagan said “cute!” and hugged hers.  Ashlin snuggled up with hers and didn’t want to give it up for dinner.  Both girls have gone to bed with them.

This makes me happy.

#crochet #bunny #body waiting for stuffing

Waiting for Stuffing

First #bunny of many. Almost done! #crochet

In process

 

Bunnies at work

Finished pair at work

 

#bunny line up!

All in a row

 

Front

 

Back

 

PS.  I started this post on April 16th.  Yikes!

 

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April 15, 2014 ~ Bumpy Blankets

Look!  A yarn cake! #ballwinder

Cake!

So, yeah. Life got busy – Birthdays, travel, work, kids.  So, instead of dealing with all that, (though I do promise a birthday post!), let’s talk about a yarn project.  It’s easier, for now, anyway.

The lovely friend who gave me this awesome yarn, also had a spare ball winder…  and gifted it to me.  This is the first yarn cake I ever made.  So much fun!  Cake!  I didn’t think I’d really enjoy the winder, but oh, I do.  It’s so lovely.  Watching the skeins quickly disappear is really a joy, much more than winding them yourself.  A swift would have been super helpful back then, but that’s food for another post…

The girls needed blankets for Stu’s car.  He takes them to day care at times in his car, and they complained to me a few times about being cold in it.  And with the spare Lumpy Bumpy yarn, I had more than enough yarn to make them each a blanket.  I decided to crochet one and knit the other

 

#knit #car #blanket in progress #lumpybumpy

Knit Lumpy Bumpy

The knit one is very similar to the Big Button Wrap, but with slightly different dimensions.  Still, fun to watch the color and texture variations appear.

First #lumpybumpy #car #blanket is done #crochet

Crochet Lumpy Bumpy

The crochet version looked a bit like cauliflower as it worked up.  I needed to start over, I was using a hook that was a bit too small, and the stitches were coming out a bit too tight.  Redoing it with a slightly larger hook gave it a bit more airy look.  There’s no big pattern for this at all, just a chain that was about 34 inches long, and I crocheted until it was about 24 inches long.  I did finish it off with a quick single crochet border, but nothing fancy.  The yarn really didn’t need it.

I may have used about twice as much yarn in the crochet version than the knit, for about the same dimensions, not that I was keeping track.  I do think the color and texture work a bit better with crochet…

 

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Crochet

Ashlin told me she likes the crochet one better than the knit… Teagan doesn’t seem to mind either…

I think I have another two hanks of this hiding downstairs…

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March 31, 2014 ~ Blocks

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Baby with Baby Blocks

This is Ashlin’s blanket!  I used a pattern from the Lion Brand site – Baby Blocks.  I picked yarn colors that would go with the bedding we had.  I stayed away from the browns and yellows, focusing instead on the bright colors from the flowers and leaves.

I had started working a different blanket – a sampler afghan. I wasn’t happy with the way the few squares turned out – I just couldn’t get the gauge right – so pulled them apart and started the Baby Blocks.   Eventually, I’ll do the sampler, it is very pretty.

I know I always say this, but I liked working this blanket up.  The small squares were very easy to bring around with me – to and from work, the salon, the car, wherever.

I started the blanket in May but didn’t get it done until November.  It hibernated for a lot of the summer.  There was no rush.  Ashlin wouldn’t be needing it soon, she wasn’t close to being moved out of her crib, although she was climbing out. It got put aside for other projects with sooner due dates.

There were some troubles, not enough of a discontinued yarn color – orange.  Some squares were done with the wrong color order – each color was used on each round five times.  To make the size we needed, I did 20 squares instead of 12, this worked better for the colors, though did make it difficult to decide on the final positioning.  Too many dark colors on a row made it look lopsided, so each needed to be balanced out.

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Stack of Squares

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Final Position

As always, this was a learning experience.  Other than learning I have less-than-stellar color choices, (at times), I learned to do an invisible seam.

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Almost mattress-stitch

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Invisible Join

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used instructions from this site to join all the squares.  It’s very similar to a mattress stitch used when joining knit pieces.  You sew up through the bar between the top loop of the stitch.  Then you pull the yarn tight.  You don’t even need to use a coordinating yarn color.  When you pull the yarn tight, you can hardly see the yarn used.  You just need to be sure not to pull too tight, or the squares pucker at the join.  There’s a tiny bit of a bump, but that could be due to the tightness of the yarn used to seam.

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Snuggling in

I’m sure Ashlin won’t ever notice.

Another change from the official pattern was to add a border.  I just think it pulls everything together and gives the blanket a finished look.  I used my copy of Around the Corner for the border.

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Corner

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Edge

 

I went around the joined squares twice with single crochet before using the border patterns from page 120 (blue round) and 59 (green crab stitch).  I do wish I had kept up the corner style of the squares when doing the border.  But that’s a small thing.  I am really happy with it.

And Ashlin is as well.  And that’s what really matters.

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March 25, 2014 ~ Swift Sleep

Trying a #noodle to keep her from falling out. She also was excited to have her #crochet blanket. Not that you can tell. #lifehack #toddlers #fallingoutofbed #growingup Although Ashlin loves her converted bed, it doesn’t love her.  She’s been falling out at least once a night.  I go in and find her crying, half asleep, standing there unable to figure out how to get back in bed.  So, tonight we are trying a lifehack – a pool noodle!

I picked one up on the way home from work and cut it down a bit – she was having trouble crawling over it.  Hopefully it helps.  I’m sure she’s not enjoying falling out of bed.  It must be a bit shocking.

Even though you can’t tell, she’s very happy to get in bed, with her noodle bumper and her crocheted blanket.  I got her before she did the “I love you” sign she does every night.  Sweet girl.

Today was a good day, I got a new toy!  A co-worker’s husband made me an Amish Swift.  It’s awesome!  I couldn’t wait to get home to wind some yarn.  Heh.  I feel all official and serious now that I have both a swift and a ball winder.  Making cake is fun :D
I have a new toy! #swift #yarn #amishswift #baller

Yarn cake was fast on the new #swift #baller #amishswift
Now. What am I going to do with this yarn??

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March 19, 2014 ~ Love is Like [Crocheting] Ice Cream

Granny Stripe

This doesn’t exist any more.  I pulled out almost 1,700 yards of afghan worked in granny stripe, balled the yarn, and started over.  Yeah, crazy.  I know.  Somewhere along the way, I stopped liking how the Neapolitan yarn was looking with the granny stripe stitch.  I actually enjoy the stitch, and actually crocheting it.  Something about the stitch and the yarn, and the change of skeins.  I’m not even sure what it was.

So, I hunted for a new pattern to do, a different style.  Something that isn’t all clusters, but still had an interesting stitch combination.  And of course, nothing too intricate, any of the intracacy would be lost in the strawberry/chocolate/vanilla striping of the yarn.  Also, crocheting is usually very relaxing, and most often done at the end of the day when I’m tired.  I don’t count well when I’m tired.

I ended up starting this pattern instead.  I think I’m happy.  It’s been fun so far.

Do-Over

 

 

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March 18, 2014 ~ Runner

Star Runner

I finished the lace runner for Teagan’s dresser the other day.  It was much easier than I thought.  It was not as difficult or fiddly as I thought it would be!

Scared of the idea of a doily, lace, I had gotten some sock yarn – fingering – to use instead.  I hadn’t thought about the sock yarn would be a bit more stretchy than the cotton thread.  I just thought it would be a bit less daunting than the thread, and not as tiny to work with.   At least for a first attempt.

It wasn’t as bad as I thought!  Granted, the first two attempts to do the motif weren’t successful, it felt as if the pattern was written for someone that knew what they were doing.  Not me.  Those first attempts were wonky, with the wrong number of stitches, bad joins, too stretchy.  Eventually, I got it figured out though.

Even with the wrong yarn, I decided to go ahead and work it up anyway.  A decision that Teagan was very happy with when she found out the pink star thingy was going to be for her.

It didn’t take too long to work up, I could get two maybe three motifs done and connected a night.  A week and a bit to get it all done, with the border.  There’s just blocking to do.  I’m not sure how well it will block, stretchy sock yarn and all.  But it will be just fine.

Teagan will be happy with it, as is.  I’ll probably do this pattern again, with cotton thread, I enjoyed working it that much, and am than pleased with how it turned out.

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