Sunday, June 29, 2008

Princess Progress and a New Toy

WooHoo! I'm making progress on the Princess and I think I may actually be able to finish it in time to give it to my baby girl for her 2nd birthday in a couple of weeks! YAY!!!!! OK, so I got tired of working on hair plugs (which btw, I think I've figured out a better way to do it, but I'm sooo far into it I'm just gonna finish doing it one strand at a time), so I opted to try to finish her dress instead. I've promised her that I won't take any pictures of her until her hair is finished (what, you don't talk to the dolls and animals you make?), so here is just the dress.

I strayed from the pattern a bit. First the skirt is done in the round instead of two separate pieces for back and front. This worked out well since I think I overstuffed her a little and she needed those couple of extra stitches to get into the dress! LOL Also, instead of attaching a garter stitch band to the bottom of the sleeves, I did a row of single crochet. I think it looks nicer and fits with the other crocheted edges better. All I have left to do is add the waist band, but I'm going to leave off the "petals" (cause I think it looks regal enough without them) and add ties to the back of the neck. And oh yeah, see that curl on the bottom...I've got to figure out how to get rid of that! I bought some satin ribbon that matches the skirt. I thought maybe if I sew that onto the backside it might help? What do you think? Is there a better way to do it?

And a couple of weeks ago, I bought an Ultimate Sweater Machine. I'd been thinking about it for awhile and kind checked out a group on Ravelry to see what others thought of theirs. And finally, I decided to do it. So with my 50% off coupon in hand, I took the dive. It was about a week before I even got to take it out of the box and I haven't really gotten to play with all that much since then either. But this week, I tried the baby blanket pattern from the machine's pattern book and decided to use up the yarn that came with the machine and some old 80's stash and in a couple of evenings, I made this...

It's not completely finished. I still have ends to weave in and I'm still working on the crocheted border. Again, with the stupid curl! So clearly, I'm going to have to do more than just one row of single crochets to straighten it out. This would have take me months to do by hand! I'm really loving this machine right now!

I was originally planning on donating this, but my DH is trying to talk me into keeping it as a "first" project from the machine. So that years from now, I can look back and see how far I've come. I'm still not sure what the fate of this will be, but I know that I am for sure going to use up some of the other 80's stash to make things for charity. Like this scarf that just needs the pom-poms added...
It was technically my first project off the machine, but the yarn is just really not my thing. It's very bright and happy and I think would be perfect for a child, but to me personally, it kind of looks like clown barf. (I tried to make the photo smaller as to not scare you too badly.) So the clown barf scarf will be donated and I think I have enough of this yarn leftover to make a hat too. Is it horrible of me to donate something made from a yarn I can't stand??? And there are other yarns I have from the 80's that I personally don't like, but think it could do some good for someone else. But what's better, to donate the yarn itself or something made from the yarn?

And I know I didn't really need another project to start, like the baby blanket, but there is a method to my madness. I was using this to practice the sew as you go techinque on the machine. I'm planning on cheating and using the machine to make the nap blankets from Vickie Howell's New Knits on the Block for the twins. I find stockinette stitch to be extremely boring. Don't get me wrong, mindless projects are great and have their place, but I have sooo much I want to do and not a lot of time this summer for mindless projects, that I'm going to make good use of my new toy. In fact, I may never knit plain stockinette stitch by hand again!

I feel like I'm making good progress on my Summer Goals list. I'm really glad I did that now. It's helped me stay a little more focused that I would have been otherwise. Oh, I forgot to mention I have finished another project. I just can't show it to you right now, but I promise I will as soon as I can! I'm particularly fond of this one too, but you'll just have to wait! :D

Happy Crafting!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Rings, Rings and More Rings

And more hearts! :D Warning: I got my image upload problem resolved and as such this is an image heavy post! :D

OK, it's official! I have crafting ADD! LOL I have soooo many other projects I should be working on right now. But I couldn't resist a little mini challenge for the Ravelry Silly Strings group. And it felt good to actually finish something! I think it has actually inspired me to really get to work on those summer goals (so I can start on more stuff). :D

Anyway, the challenge was "What’s the finest thread you can actually crochet with to create a wearable ring?". How can I resist that??? Well, I almost did. I was really trying to be good and not start anything new till I get some of my WIPs finished. But I needed a break and needed to finish something quick! I was losing steam on my projects and having a hard time getting inspired to even work on them. This challenge seemed like the perfect thing! So here is what I came up with....
First a simple green band....

that evolved into a sinlge flower ring...

that evolved into a Garden Fairy Ring...

that led to a Floral Fantasy Ring...

And then I couldn't help myself, I had to make another one of those hearts! This time I made a Nano Heart Ring for my baby girl so now we match...

They were all made with sewing thread and a .75mm hook. I know, I'm crazy! :D But it's so fun! Now I just need to give my eyes a break for a few more days. LOL

And then to further stray from my summer goals list, I went to the LYS yesterday. They were having a GREAT sale and I couldn't resist. So I picked up some yarn for things on my list to do... just not on my summer goals list. But I got some lovely Babyboo from Knit One Crochet Too in this lovely Blue Ice colorway that will become a Circle Crochet Scarf by Michelle Gibbs for me.

I walked around the yarn store petting this yarn the whole time! It's soooooo soft! I haven't worked with bamboo yet, but now I can't wait! I see many more bamboo projects in the future!
And then I got some Sirdar Snuggly Tiny Tots DK to make some sweater thingies for the twins. More on that later. :D I may go back and get some more to make one for my oldest too. But first I want to be sure he'd wear it and not be freaky about it coordinating with the babies. HeeHee

I also got some help on the Daisy Sweater while I was shopping. So now, I can continue on with that. The princess almost has a full head of hair. I'm waiting to get new pics till the hair is done.(See some things on my summer goals list!) That's about it from the list so far. But I have renewed energy for it, so we'll see what I can get done this week! :D

Happy Crafting! :D

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer Goals

Well, I still haven't resolved my issues with uploading pics to this machine, so I have nothing to show you. But, I read Dove Knits blog about Summer goals, which linked to a contest about Summer goals on skeinsherway and I thought "why not?". Maybe listing them will actually make them come true?

As I am omni-crafty, I have goals in many areas. But I decided to list here, separately, just my goals for knitting and crochet. So here goes...

Knitting Goals:

1. Finish the Princess to be able to gift it for DD's 2nd b-day. (Her brother's turtle is already done and waiting.)

2. Finish the Monkey to be able to gift for oldest DS. (Maybe for birthday and maybe before that just because it's finished! :D)

3. Finish 1st knitted sweater! Just waiting to be able to meet up with some other more experienced knitters to be sure I haven't bound-off too tightly on one shoulder as I don't want there to be issues later that are too difficult to fix.

4. Knit first socks! :D

5. Cheat a little and use my new knitting machine to help speed up the process of some projects that are all stockinette stitch! Sorry, I know some of you find it relaxing or whatever, and I'm all for a mindless project now and then, but not this I'm going to cheat! :D This will help me with making an Alien Tooth Fairy Pillow for oldest DS and napsacks for the twins (both from New Knits on the Block). Oops! I haven't told you about my new toy yet cause I haven't been able to post photos. Don't worry, I'll work extra hard this week to resolve those issues so I can tell you all about it next time. :D

6. Find someplace to get poly pellets that doesn't require buying 6 lbs! so I can finish up some toys for the kiddos (like the bowling set from New Knits on the Block).

If I get all that done before the end of August, I will be soooo happy! If I finish earlier, I'm gonna finally get around to the lace projects for me. I have the yarn already, it's just a matter of finding the time. :D

Crochet Goals:

1. Finish secret gifts for special day for someone very near! (sorry can't say more since they may read this.)

2. Finish my Experimental Baroque from the Happy Hooker. :D

3. Finish the Legion of Queens challenge for the Ravelry Silly Strings group. (This was the challenge from May...oops!)

4. Get crackin' on the Teddy Bear Picnic Scene for the Ravelry Miniature Crochet group's challenge due end of August.

5. Get started on the Hourglass Jacket from StitchDiva for me! Again, got the pattern and the yarn...just need the time!

6. Figure out how to make the dress for DD that I sketched out a couple of months ago.

7. Make more blue squares for the eventual afghan.

8. Work on some other design ideas. :D

And for both lists....start working on Christmas presents!!!!!!!!!

I think that will keep me busy in what spare time I have between running 3 kids around for summer activities. :D

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

And the winning sock is....

Basic Sock Recipe by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee!!! :D Just barely eeked out Wendy's Generic Toe-Up Sock by Wendy Johnson. (Both are Ravelry links) There weren't many votes and one was mine that I kept moving around just playing with the poll thingy. But I've queued them both anyway. I'll start with Stephanie's and if all goes well, my second pair will be Wendy's. :D Seems fair!

I've been sick this weekend (which is why I'm late posting) so I don't have much more finished. I did start on a few new things....I swear it's a sickness! And my DH has changed my computer yet again, so I can't post any photos cause they're all on the other machine! I'm working on getting them transferred to this one, I just want to wait until I know for sure if this is the machine he's going to let me keep. He's only switched me 3 times in the last 2 weeks! :D At least he's upgrading me everytime!

So as soon as I get my photos back, and new batteries for my camera so I can update some shots, I'll post photos. But I at least wanted to let you know about the socks!

Happy Crafting!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Help me decide which sock!

OK, I still don't have any new finished items to show you. I'm still working on everything, it's just slow going right now. And as if I need something else to start......

I wanna try knitting socks! It seems like such a big thing in the knitting world! I haven't really gotten into it or understood what the big thing is about making socks when you can go buy them. But there must be something to it since sooooo many people are really into it. So, I'm gonna give it a try and see if I can figure out what the big deal is. :D

The question is where to start? I found some "basic" sock patterns in Ravelry that I thought might be good, but even in "basic" patterns, there are lots of patterns! So help me choose! Please! :D

The yarn I've chosen to use is Moda Dea Sassy Stripes in Crush colorway. I didn't want to make a huge investment in sock yarn until I know whether or not I'm gonna like making socks. I've heard so much about Second Sock Syndrome that I didn't want to spend the money if I was only going to make one sock. :D If all goes well and I enjoy it and decide to make more, I'll get the really good stuff then. I've already got my eye on some ShiBui Sock colorways that I will have to make something else out of if I don't enjoy socks! :D

And how do you decide on toe-up or tow-down????? Is there a big difference?

Anyway, to the patterns...... All these patterns are links in Ravelry (since most of you I know from there):

Knit Socks - LM0131 by Grace Alexander
Basic Sock Recipe by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Magic Stripe Basic Socks by Lion Brand Yarn
Wendy's Generic Toe-Up Sock by Wendy Johnson
Sock-u-lator Sock Pattern Generator by Lucia Liljegren

And by all means, if you know of some other really good free pattern (again, not ready to invest much in this yet) for a first sock attempt, let me know! Leave me a comment or vote in the poll. Whichever pattern gets the most votes will be the one I give a go!

And to my crochet friends, you know I've got to try a crochet version too, but the pattern I really want to try for crocheted socks isn't out yet! So I'm eagerly awaiting the first CLF Book release! :D

Happy Crafting!