Monday, December 29, 2008

Blogiversary and Spinning Therapy

It's my blogiversary!!!! Well, officially, it was 2 days ago...I missed it...but we'll pretend that it's today. I haven't been very good about regular posts, but I will try to be better this next year.

The last 2 months especially, I've been crazy trying to get my Christmas crocheting/knitting finished. I almost made it. I would have done better had it not been for stupidity. Two days before Christmas, I slipped and fell in the kitchen, while doing something stupid trying to make the babies laugh, and I badly sprained my wrist. For a little bit, I thought I had broken it! So I have not been able to knit or crochet a stitch since then.

But I discovered I could spin, so that's what I've done the last few days. I call it spinning therapy to rehabilitate my injured wrist. It works too! My wrist feels much better...even if my fingers hurt a little from all the drafting and spinning. LOL But so worth it! Here are my 3rd through 6th attempts ever at spinning...

Not bad huh? I'm quite pleased! The one on the left (the slightly finer one) is 100% merino. It's the same fiber I used for my first 2 attempts also. I wanted it really thin so I could play with plying and still end up with a non bulky yarn. Not that I have anything against bulky, I just don't use it much and I want to make something I'll use a lot. :D Then the one on the right is Romney. First time trying it, but I like how it came out. I also have some blue romney that my oldest has claimed. He wants me to "hurry up and spin it already so you can make something for me with it!" LOL Guess that's a compliment?

Oops! Just realised I didn't post my first 2 attempts! Well here they are...

The one at the bottom of the picture was my first ever attempt. It's about DK to worsted weight. The one with the quarter is my second attempt. Got a little finer with it and a bit more consistent. Learned a lot about overtwist with these two! LOL

But yes, I'm now addicted to spinning as well and have visions of spinning up sweaters worth... OK, maybe that's still a dream at this point, but I will at least invest in another spindle...or really get this going. Maybe Yertle will get me one for our anniversary????

And I need to figure out how to ply these now too. I'm seeing lots of things about Andean and Navajo plying and it's really all Greek to me at this point. But I'll figure it out and maybe the first post next year will include the completed yarn!

Hope you all had Happy Holidays and will have a safe and Happy New Year!

Happy Crafting!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Day of the Ninja!

Today is Day of the Ninja, so I thought this would be an appropriate post.

One of my Ravelry Village Hopelessly Overcommitted friends designed this adorable scary Ninja Minion. I was lucky to get to test it for her, but of course, I had to make mine miniature. Can't remember if I posted this first little guy already or not, but here he is, my Mini Ninja Minion....

Then in November, I decided I needed to make another one for my swap partner. Since she likes blue and spends some time in the Carribbean, I made a Carribbean Camo Mini Ninja for her. I liked him so much, I had to make another one for myself.

But be warned...they are sneaky little ninjas! Particularly these little ones. You never know when or where they might show up. You can't hear them coming. And don't ever call them cute! They don't like it! *looking over shoulder for ninjas*

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Every Woman Needs a Tiara!

That’s right! Every woman needs a tiara, because we are all Queens and Princesses of our own little worlds. Don’t be shy, you know you deserve it! So why not make a tiara for yourself?

This is really just a recipe for how to crochet your very own tiara, since the actual design will depend on what you like. Don’t worry, it’s easy. If you can slip stitch, you can do this.

This recipe is available as free download on Ravelry or through the link on my side bar. Hope you enjoy it!

Happy Crafting!

Experiments in Hand Dyeing, Part II

OK, lessoned learned. Sometimes, people really know what they are talking about and you should listen. Whereas the Wilton dye did actually dye the yarns and they seemed to be colorfast, they were not light fast. In about 2 weeks, there was noticeable fading... I've folded down a part of each skein to show the side that wasn't exposed to light. Oh well! It was still fun to try! Next time, I'll suck it up and order some Procion dyes and give that a whirl.

But before that, I'm hoping to have some handspun yarn to dye! That's right, I said me! I was making a birthday/Christmas wishlist for DH (who will be known as Yertle from now on...and not as a bad thing either) with URLs and everything. I showed him my friend KraftyKay's Etsy Shop and he told me to go ahead and place the order! So I'm getting a top whorl spindle and 8 oz of undyed fiber to play with! And another one of my friend's is sending me a little care package with some other types of fiber to play with too! :D I can't wait to give it a try!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Experiments in Hand-Dyeing, Part I

I finally got to try experimenting with Hand-Dyeing again. I tea-dyed, well over-dyed really, some ecru cotton thread for the Ravelympics. It was pretty successful, so I wanted to try more things. This time, I wanted to try dyeing 100% cotton thread and 100% bamboo thread with Wilton's Icing Colors (cause I have lots of them and it just sounded like fun). But everything I read seemed like it wouldn't work for my threads.

I asked around Ravelry a lot and read a lot of blogs and dug into my copy of The Yarn Lover's Guide to Hand Dyeing. Cause I'm stubborn, I was determined to try it anyway. I took lots of notes and kind of pieced together a strategy to try.

I made 3 10 yd skeins of each thread type. For one skein of each type, I decided to do nothing to it except wet it before dyeing. For another skein of each type, I decided to do a mordant bath in Alum and Soda Ash before dyeing. For the last skein of each type, I decided to scour them in Soda Ash, then mordant in Alum and Soda Ash (again) before dyeing.

Here's how they came out:

The three skeins on the left are the bamboo and the 3 on the right are the cotton. I'll give details as to which had what done after the experiment is completely finished.

They seem to be colorfast. I rinsed and washed several times and could not get anymore dye to come out. I even pull a strand through a paper towel and they were all dry to see if any would come off on the paper towel...nothing. So far so good. Now, I'm testing them to see if they are light fast or if they will fade after all this work. I'll let you know how it goes. If all goes well, I'll post exactly what I did.

Happy Crafting!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hopelessly Overcommitted and Loving It!

Thanks to the Ravelympics, I have made many new friends. We all came together for the games as Team Hopelessly Overcommitted. Sounds perfect for me, right?!? Well, it was! I never knew there were so many other like-minded people hopelessly overcommitting everyday, not just to their fiber passions, but in life in general. It was great fun! We encouraged each other in competing for the games and, of course, committing to even more things! LOL We had sooo much fun that we just couldn't stop after the games were over. So a new group on Ravelry was born...Village Hopelessly Overcommitted! (All links in this post are Ravelry links. If you're not a member yet and knit or crochet, you should be!)

Thanks to these amazingly talented ladies, I've pushed myself and am learning new things and overcommitting to even more! LOL It's this group, that has encouraged me to give cabling a more serious try. Karen (Lykkefanten on Ravelry) designed this gorgeous cabled bag called Viking Bag as a cable test for her Viking Socks. As you may have already guessed, she is also a member of Team HO (which is just another fun thing about our team name!). She, and others in the village, helped me get through reading a chart, successfully, for the first time! And that lead me to do this....

In my typical fashion, it's about 90% complete. All I have left to do is seam it and add some sort of handles. But I LOVE this pattern! And I can't believe how easy it was to create such complicated looking cables! I am now totally addicted to cables!!! I plan to make more of these bags and try some other cabling projects too!

The same group, in fact the same people, also encouraged me to try something I never imagined could even be done...knitting two socks at the same time (no big deal right?) inside the other! GASP! Yes, it's true, it can be done! It's a double knitting technique and it works like a magic trick. There you are knitting on DPNs looking like you're making just one sock. When you finish, you magically pull one sock out from the inside of the other and Voila you have two completed socks. Magic I tell you.

Well, I have yet to complete my first pair of adult sized socks. So I wasn't sure that I was ready for attempting such a feat. I searched patterns and found something in my queue I thought could work. Not itty bitty socks that are the same color (for a matching pair) so as to totally confuse me, but Christmas Stockings. Yep, stockings, made on BIG needles with contrasting yarns so I can easily see what I'm doing and really get the technique down. Yes! This is it! And off I went and here they are...
It's the coolest thing ever!!!

I've also started on a Crocheted Circle Scarf for myself in a deliciously soft bamboo yarn, Babyboo from Knit One Crochet Too. I LOVE this yarn! In fact, I love this yarn so much, that it doesn't bother me that I have to frog it and start again because it was coming out too wide. Just means I get to pet the yarn more. :D Here's the progress I had made on it before frogging...

I have wanted to do this pattern for a long time and I'm glad I'm finally getting around to it.

Remember those finger puppets from the Death Star Buddy Bag? Well, they were my design. And my son has asked for even more of the characters to be made into finger puppets. So I am working on writing up patterns for the 3 I've done (Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia) and creating new ones as well. One of my goals for this fall is to write them up and make them available. I might not be able to get all of the characters he wants figured out by then, but I for sure have a few more I can do. They're really fun! So keep an eye out for more posts about them. I promise to let you know when they're ready! :D

And as soon as I figure out how to add .pdf downloads here, I have a pattern, or recipe really, ready for the Beaded Wire Crochet Tiara!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm Published!!!

I can't believe it! I'm published!!!!!! My CLF Patch has been published in the First Ever Crochet Liberation Front Book! And not only that, but I'm on the cover!!!!!!!!

See it? Right next to the amazing Carol Ventura's Tapestry Crochet UFO Bag (the one with the skull and crossbones). I'm in a book with Carol Ventura!!!! I can't believe it! There are 36 fantastic patterns in this book. Plus articles and other great stuff. It's fantastic! It truly shows that crochet isn't just for granny squares! It's fabulous! And you can get it here!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Catching Up Post Ravelympics

Wow! Has it really been that long since I've posted???? I guess between vacation and the Ravelympics I got totally carried away! :D Well, the Ravelympics are over now :( and I had soooo much fun! Guess this will be a picture heavy post just to get updated! LOL

For the Ravelympics, I entered 36 projects total. I completed 24 of those during the games and of the ones I didn’t complete, 4 were alternates anyway and the rest are at least farther along than they would have been otherwise. There were only 2 new projects that I didn’t get to at all. And I earned a medal for all 6 of the events I entered. I'm quite pleased with how I did. :D

And just before vacation (right at the start of the games), I received the yarn I won from Knit It Up's Name the Skein contest. Thanks to my wonderful husband, who came up with the winning name "Taffy", I received this...
I think the knitting Gods must really want me to make socks cause this is the second skein of sock yarn I've won in the last month! LOL So I'm working on it. I cast on Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Basic Sock just before the games (pre-game warmup) and I'm now working on them in the car after school while waiting to pick up my son. I'm just about an inch away from turning the heel now. So far so good, I think...

And just to catch up completely, here are the projects I completed during the Ravelympics and just before:

Kid's Nap Sacks (checked off the Summer goals list!!!):

Fairy Tale Finger Puppets; My second pair of socks...this pair is for my daughter to coordinate with her twin brother who recieved the first pair; My Nutcracker Scarf:

Hostile Bunni and his Evil Minions for my oldest; a Doughboy for my Hubby as a joke (I got a little carried away and stuffed his hat too...I shouldn't have.); Mintley, the Cafe au Lait Miniature Thread Bear. (I over-dyed the ecru thread with coffee.):

The kids Buddy Bags (working on writing up a pattern for the Star Wars Finger Puppets...more on that later):

My In Bloom Bag (photo of the outside of bag is pre-seaming); and the Draft Stopper for my oldest:

The other 10 were Fantasy Knits and were only done in my head. LOL

That catches us up a bit. I'll talk more about the Death Star Buddy Bag and the wonderful friends I made during the games next time. And about some other GREAT news regarding the CLF Patch! :D

Until next time...Happy Crafting!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Yummy Yarn and Ravelympics FO's

I just got back from vacation, which is why I haven't posted for a little while. We went to visit Grandma and I was focused on using my "alone" time for Ravelympics knitting/crocheting and of course, watching the actual Olympics. The rest of the time was spent chasing the kids around a new environment that was completely not baby-proofed...and they LOVED it! :D It was a lot of fun, but completely exhausting. And the a/c dying before we left didn't help things either. It's cool in here now and I'm ready to get back to work.

First, the day before leaving for vacation, I got a wonderful package in the mail. It contained the yarn I won from Ruth at Cinders Knits. And it is simply gorgeous!!! Thanks again Ruth!!!! :D Did I mention that I LOVE this yarn?!?!

I took the photos from both sides of the skein so you could see all the lovely colors in it. The slight touch of purple is really nice. Makes it seem like it's alive and growing (which would be awesome for it to grow more so I would have even more to love!). Now I just have to decide what to make with it. Socks? Scarf? What to do, what to do????

I was too tired from the heat and goofyness of the stupid a/c to cast on exactly on time for the Ravelympics. I was about an hour behind, but I did get started. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do much and then we left for vacation. I worked on my socks for the Sock Put and Gift Knits Pentathalon in the car there and back...and finished them! They're a little better than the first pair, but I still need to work on grafting so that I end up with those nice rounded toes instead of pointy ones. At least they're not the elf toes like on that first sock! LOL

I started an Evil Minion, for the Ami Toss, in the car on the way there, but couldn't finish as I forgot to pack the right color yarn for the eyes. And I made the Fairy Tale Finger Puppets while we were down there.

Not quite as productive a start as I had hoped, but not too bad. I have now finished 2 of my 22 real projects and 5 of the 10 fantasy ones. I am already doing better today. I did start the Hostile Bunni, for the Ami Toss and Gift Knits, late last night. I should be able to finish that one and the Evil Minion I started in the car shortly and I've got 2 WIPs, for WIPs Wrestling, blocking. So, I think it's possible to get pretty far on my list.

Due to the slow start though, I don't think I'm going to get them all finished. Not like I really thought I would finish all 22 projects in 17 days, but it was a nice dream. :D

Off to work on some more! Happy Crafting!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I Won! I Won! I Won!

I've entered soooo many blog contests this year, I guess it was bound to happen. I was having a rather frustrating week. Then I logged into Ravelry and got a really great surprise. Waiting in my inbox was a message from Cinders of Cinders Knits and a subject line of You Won! I got soooo excited and was jumping up and down screaming for a while. The prize was a skein of BFL machine washable sock yarn custom dyed to your choice.

I won yarn!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!! (OK, I still jump up and down everytime I think about it.) Now, the hard part was deciding what to ask for. I've never made adult sized socks or used actual sock yarn....yet. I know I rambled for awhile in my reply to her. But she helped me sort it out and it will be something similar (not exact as it's hand dyed) to this...

The second I saw this photo she sent me (and gave me permission to use here), I knew this was it! I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this! So, of course, now I'm even more excited! Thank You Thank You Thank You Ruth!!!! :D You should check out her Etsy shop and she's got more great pics of yarn she's doing on her blog too.

Now I need your help! As I said, I've yet to make adult sized socks. Don't worry, I'm still planning on making the socks from the poll earlier, but they will have to wait until after the Ravelympics. Although, it's realllly hard not to cast on for those right now! Anyway, what I need is help deciding what pattern to use this realllly gorgeous yarn on. I haven't got a clue! So either leave me a comment here or find me on Ravelry and let me know what you think I should make with this.

And, OK, I did win a pattern naming contest earlier this year. Fiona Kelly had a pattern for a felted lion that needed a name, and the second I saw it, the name just came to me...Marlion. It's a cross between lion (cause it's a lion) and Bob Marley. The colors in the mane just made me think of it. I don't know why. But it seemed perfect. And Fiona liked it too! So he was named Marlion and I won a copy of the pattern. Yay! You can see or buy it here or through Ravelry. Thanks again Fiona! :D

Oh, and did I mention you should check out Cinders Knits. ;)

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

One down, many to go!

I really didn't forget to post, honest! I have just been super busy trying to get a crazy amount of projects done in a short time (ok, at least it's a crazy amount for me). And finally, I have some things to show you. But sadly, only one completely finished. Let's start with that!

This is the first of 2, make that 3, Nap Sacks I have to make from Vickie Howell's New Knits on the Block. Two were always intended and need to be done ASAP! They are for my 2 yo twins for our upcoming vacation. I wanted to finish them before we left so they could start using them and therefore have a comforting piece of home to take with them. Now that my 6 yo has modeled it for me (and amazingly he fit!), he wants one too! There's no way I can get that done in time with the other projects I have planned to finish before vacation (and I don't have the yarn). But I've put it on the list. I think though, I'll make his a little longer so he can use it for longer than a day! Darn kid keeps growing! LOL

It's nothing majorly spectacular. But it is huge and I'm quite proud at my math skills converting it into a machine knit pattern and adjusting for the difference in gauge. And I think it came out pretty close to the size in the original pattern. So, I'm quite pleased with it. :D

I've also been working on some "surprise" Buddy Bags from annypurls. I'm going to stuff these with surprise goodies for the kids to keep them entertained on the long car ride. The biggest surprise will be the finger puppets. I can't show you pictures of them yet cause I really want to keep those as a surprise (they see me working on the bags). But I have come up with something awesome for my 6 yo and pretty fun for the little ones. Or at least I think so. I promise there will be another post on the bags after the vacation. And I'm going to make myself one or two of them to use as small project bags. I'll just change the strap a little. It's a very adaptable pattern. I LOVE it!

And of course, I'm still prepping for the Ravelympics. I am now entered (as of today) in 5 events with 17 active projects (and 5 alternates). And am considering also entering the Fantasy DecKnitathalon. Since it's fantasy, I'm pretty sure I can do that! HeeHee Besides, what's another 10-20 projects for someone on Team Hopelessly Overcommitted. ;)

Now back to work on those projects! Happy Crafting!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Finished Socks and Ravelypmics

Yay! I finished my first pair of socks! And it only took me 3 to make a pair! :D Here they are...

The one I took on his feet came out really fuzzy. For some reason, 2 year olds just don't want to sit still! ;) I'm really happy with them. Thanks to all the great people on Ravelry and those of you that commented on my blog, I was able to make huge improvements. The holes are gone and the toe is round! YAY!!! I don't know if the sock bug has bitten, but it's a least nibbling. I'm going to go for a pair for his twin sister as part of the Gift Knit Pentathalon for the First Ravelympics!

That's right...Ravelympics! If you haven't checked it out yet, you should as registration ends Aug. 6th! I will be competing for Team Crochet and Team Hopelessly Overcommitted in WIPs Wrestling, Amigurumi-n-Toys Toss and the Gift Knit Pentathalon. Overall, I'm planning on 14 projects for the 17 day event. Screams overcommitted doesn't it? Perfect team for me! LOL

Anyway, for WIPs Wrestling, I will be attempting to complete the Daisy Afghan for my baby girl that was started while I was pregnant with her (she's now 2); the Monkey for my oldest DS that was supposed to be for Christmas last year; my first lace project - the Nutcracker Scarf that I finished most of in I think a week, but never quite finished; the Draft Stopper that was supposed to be for my oldest DS's room last winter; my very first ever knited project - a purse that needs a lining; my In Bloom Bag from Debbie Stoller's Happy Hooker book; the Annimeko Cat I started a few months ago but put on hold cause I couldn't find pellets (well I have now!); and the thing that was supposed to be my first ever miniature thread bear. I also have 5 or so projects waiting in the wings in case, by some miracle, I finish all those and still have time to kill.

For the Amigurmi Toss, I'm planning a gag gift for my DH for Christmas (who I just found out doesn't read the blog, but now he might); Fairy Tale Finger Puppets for all the kiddos; at least one brand new miniature thread bear; a Hostile Bunni for my oldest DS cause he loved the blog story about him; and of course what's a Hostile Bunni without Evil Minions? So I'm going to try to make at least 2 of those (another blog story we loved).

A lot of the Amigurumi's are cross competing for the Gift Knits Pentathlon. In fact, all of them except the thread bears will. In addition, I'll be trying to do those socks for my baby girl.

It's official now...I'm crazy! I have to be to try to do all of this in 17 days while also going on vacation and getting ready for school to start again. What was I thinking???? I don't know how much of all of that I'll actually be able to get done, but I'm certainly going to give it a good try. It'll be fun no matter what.

Oh, and if that's not enough, I'm also trying to get 3 to 4 Buddy Bags done in the next 2 weeks as well as 2 napsacks. I've almost finished the first Napsack (no new pics yet) and I'm about halfway done with the first Buddy Bag.

Of course, I've really messed up that Summer Goals list now. But by the end of it, I will have finished about half of all of those goals and then some. I'll just consider the rest to be rearranged for the Fall. Yeah! :D

And I know I haven't done all the links to the projects. If you're on Ravelry, you can check my profile (share32006) to see it all in my projects/queue or just plug the names into the pattern finder. I've got to go run and get dinner on and feed everybody so that maybe they'll go to bed at a decent hour tonight. And maybe I can get some knitting done! :D

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Princess is Done!!!

YAY!!! She is finally finished! Well, sort of. She has no shoes or socks, but they would probably just get lost right now anyway. I'm going to learn more about making socks so I can make her a pair that actually fit. So, maybe for Smiley's 3rd birthday, she'll get shoes, socks, a crown (that's actually already made) and some new outfits for her princess. But for now, she's considered done! And here she is...
I did stray from the pattern a bit, as I have mentioned before. Her dress is knit in the round up to the bodice. Her sleeves have a crocheted edge rather than knit. I left of the "petals" from the dress. To combat the curl at the bottom of the dress, I sewed a satin ribbon to the underside, which also served to cover up the floats on the back from the embroidery. Now little fingers can't pull on them.

And her hair...her lucious thick hair can be styled in several ways, not just permanently sewn into braids. She has been a true learning experience for me, but not something I would recommend to others who are just starting out knitting. That's probably another reason she took so long.

Anyway, this made it all worth it...

Yesterday was the twin's 2nd birthday. We all had a blast. Smiley clearly loves her princess and her brother's turtle. I missed that shot as well as the shot of Bear with his turtle. He loves him as well, but you know guys.... LOL

Of course, I made their cake, like I always do for the kids. It's just something I must do. And I love doing it. I'm quite proud of this one though...

I was afraid I wasn't going to have enough fondant, so that's why the windows were iced instead. Turned out, I did have enough, but I probably would have messed the rest up trying to go back and add them later, so I just left them. And in case you didn't recognize them, it's The Wiggles in their Big Red Car. My twinadoes are big fans! They sing and dance all day long to The Wiggles (even when there is no music on!). And they recognized them right away and had big smiles. They just loved it! It was the perfect day!

Now off to work on some more stuff! Happy Crafting!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Queen of WIPs

Yes, that's right, I've designated myself Queen of WIPs. And here's my crown to prove it...

See, it's even on my head...

This is crocheted with wire and beads. My first time crocheting with either, btw. It was created for a challenge for the Ravelry Silly Strings group. Back in May, we were all dubbed queens (yes I'm behind). We had to figure out what we were queens of and set forth to crochet ourselves crowns/tiaras representing it and do it with wire. This was tough! I've never crocheted with wire before and it's a lot harder than it looks! There were some great creations made by people who clearly have better wire skills than I, but I'll get there! :D

I knew right away that I wanted a something along the lines of a traditional (in shape/style at least) crown/tiara. Just had to figure out what to be Queen of...and of course figure out how to work with wire. So I got out my sparkly silver (diamond looking right?) seed beads, some 32 gauge wire and a for wire only steel crochet hook and started playing. After many attempts, I finally a really simple almost bracelet looking thing (sorry, I can't find the photo).

Not exactly what I had in mind. Too thin, too flimsy, too everything but what I wanted. And all my attempts and anything other than chaining left a lot to be desired as did my attempts even at chaining larger wire. So, I had to figure out a way to use my chaining with flimsy wire skills to create something that would fit my idea of a crown. Oh yeah, I also have to come up with a theme!

The WIP idea came about pretty early too actually, but I was sure how to do it or if it would even make sense. I kept bouncing other ideas around, but this is the one that kept coming up and hence, I dubbed myself Queen of WIPs. Not necessarily because of the number of crochet and knitting projects I have in progress (I know there are people who have more), but for all the other things in my life that are also works in progress (me, the kids, my other crafts...just to name a few). So to that end, I put in some color to represent the ever changing "Works in Progress" that we all are. The green is not only my favorite color, but is also meant to be vine-like. The pink dot over the ‘i’ is symbolic of a flower. And I can use it as something cool to put on my head to let the rest of the family know when Mommy’s working and needs to be left alone. LOL (And there is another definition of WIP for ya!)

I'm quite please with how it came out. And it can actually be considered a Work in Progress as well, even though it's technically finished. It's inspired me to try other things in wire and darn it, to figure out how to do more than chain and slip stitch in wire! :D So that's one thing I can cross off my Summer Goals list.

Speaking of Summer Goals, my baby girl's Princess should be done in time for her birthday Monday as well. I finally finished the hair! YAY!!! Although I may never do doll hair again! I've just got a couple of other minor things to do. I didn't like the 'crown' in the pattern. So I made up my own. I don't want to sew it to her head as I wanted to make this a doll that can grow with her. So it's removable and as such I probably won't give it to her till she's a little older. Besides, that will give me more time to figure out the socks! Try as I might, I could not make a sock from the pattern that would actually fit the doll. So that will have to wait until I know more about socks and can make her some a different way. And the stupid shoes haven't worked for me yet either. But I'm going to give them at least one more try before giving up. She may just end up being a barefoot Princess. I do plan on making additional outfits for her. But that definitely won't happen for awhile! I'll post pics after she's all 'dolled' up. :p

I'm also changing some things on my goals list. I'm going to save the Hourglass Jacket for August or September, cause I decided I wanted to do the longer sleeves and it's just too darn hot right now to think of that. So I've replaced it with the La Mer Scarf from the Summer 2008 Interweave Crochet magazine. It's done in Tunisian Crochet which is totally new to me. I had a very small taste of it during the NATCROMO CAL and wanted to learn more about it and since the Tunisian Crochet group on Ravelry is having a La Mer CAL, it seemed like the perfect time. Here's my start on it....
I'm using Patons Grace in Spearmint and an I cro-hook. The color really is nicer than this picture shows. I'm liking it a lot and it's going pretty quickly, even with all the frogging. I'm already about half way done.

And I'm going to make the Anny Purls Buddy Bags for an upcoming vacation. I'm going to stuff them with fun stuff to surprise and occupy the kids with for the long car ride. And my oldest just lost his only loose tooth, so I have a little more time on the Alien Tooth Fairy pillow (now if he'll just make a final decision on color it would be great!). That reminds me, I have to figure out what project I'll take with me for that vacation! Hmmm....

I've also been participating in a contest over at Aunt Kathy's Place. It's fun. My Princess's dress was even the mystery photo last week! HeeHee! I'm still tickled by that! :D It's fun and you should check it out.

Anyway, that's all the updates for now!

Happy Crafting!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

First Sock!!!

Woo Hoo! I finished my first ever sock!!! I know I said I was going to do the first sock for me, but I decided to start slower and make a sock for the little ones first. You know me and mini things, so it seemed to make sense to try a small one and finish faster. :D

The pattern is Lion Brand's Knit Child's Solid Socks using Caron Simply Soft Shadows Soft Merino colorway on US Size 5 DPNs. I made the 2-3 year size. And I'm happy to say that I had perfect gauge on this! So anyway, here it is...

Not too bad for a very first ever sock, I think! But there are a few problems:
Captions are kind of small, so I'll talk about them in more detail. I think you seasoned sock knitters will see the problems right away anyway.

Problem 1: There is a very small hole in the cast on edge. I think it's not a big deal. I used the backward loop cast on and it made a very stretchy cast on. Considering that I have been told I cast on tightly, I'm actually pretty pleased with this. But, it's not perfect and there is room for improvement.

Problem 2: I don't really know the technical terms, after all, this is my first sock. There are holes right at the point that you go from shaping the heel to working on the foot (is this the gusset?). Now this one bothers me! They are not exactly small holes, as you'll soon see. And I'm not entirely sure I even did the slip and wrap thing correctly either. I don't like holey socks, so I would dearly like to fix this!

Problem 3: Grafting. Need I say more? Well, OK, maybe I do. Again, new technique to me and don't know if I did it right, but I certainly tried (about 6 times!). My toe did not end up nice and rounded as in the pattern picture. Instead, I got a pointy toe that only an elf could appreciate.

Now onto the other side of the sock:

Problem 4: Why yes, that is a strange thing protruding from the side of the heel. It's some kind of strange bump that sticks out when the sock is flat and when on a foot, it kind of turns into a squared edge. Really weird!

Overall though, I think it doesn't look too bad, laying on the table, for a first sock. It does look enormous for a 2 year old! But then I had to try it on the squirmy one...

Don't know how many of you have tried it, but it's very hard to get a 2 year old to hold still while you take a picture of his foot while also trying to keep his twin sister from jumping in the shot cause she's jealous of the attention and wants a sock too! Oh, and then the 6 yo big brother gets upset cause you messed up the pattern he created with the mats and tries to fix it while you're taking the shot. Needless to say, it took several attempts to get a shot this good (albeit not very good). :D

Anyway, here you can see the problems more clearly...pointy toe, big holes, strange protusion. And one more problem. See on the table the sock looks huge! On his foot, the huge part is from the heel up. The length from the toe to the funky heel protrusion is not quite long enough. Of course, maybe this would be fixed if he had that extra room being taken up by the point in the toe. Did I mention I had perfect gauge on this?

So, all you experienced sock knitters out there, please help me! :D What can I do to improve my sock skills? How can I fix these problems? What did I do wrong????

Happy Crafting!