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!

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