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!