Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nothing much going on...

I really don't have much to report right now.  I'm working on knitting a mermaid costume for the girls from Vickie Howell's book New Knits on the Block.  The top is done and I'm making good progress on the skirt.  I really want to finish this before getting into much of anything else.  That plus I'll have two more to make.  :::sigh:::

I said "much of anything else" because I do have to sneak in a quick project later this week.  Izzy has been invited to a birthday party for a little boy in her class this Saturday.  I think I'm going to get some felt and some Hot Wheels and make a little travel play mat/carrying case for the cars.  I saw something similar online once and it's not exactly what I want, so I'm going to revise it heavily. 

I need to start planning out Christmas presents soon, also.  It might be 4 months away, but if I plan on making stuff, I'll need every bit of that to complete them.  I just hope I don't make someone something and then realize last minute there's something even better I have to make instead.  I do that.  It's why I can't shop early... I always change my mind last minute and get them something else. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

They're not lunch bags anymore

I only made 2 of the lunch bags, instead of my plan of 3.  Let me explain why...

One of my friends was packing up her house to move and decided to give me her daughter's old lunch boxes (because she's in high school now and will never use them again) that were still in good shape.  She thought I could put them up and use them as back up in case someone left their lunch bag at school (which actually happened - first day, even) or they needed to be washed.


One look at the lunch boxes and my kids were in love.  Olivia's words were, "I'm so glad you didn't make me a lunch box so I could use this one."  Well, I had and I had showed it to her, but Lisa Frank's crazy colors apparently scrambled her memory.  Oh well.  They're better insulated and probably would keep their yogurt and drinks cooler.

I didn't even bother with the 3rd bag after that....

So what to do with 2 rejected lunch bags?

They just so happen to be the perfect size to hold a pair of tap shoes and a pair of ballet slippers.  =)  I had to take their dance backpack (which they shared) to use as Zoe's Mother's Day Out backpack and when I went to get their dance shoes yesterday, they happened to be on the same shelf with the bags and I thought, "why not?"  I put the shoes in there, the girls each had a bag (Olivia doesn't dance anymore), and they worked perfectly.

So it wasn't a total waste of time after all.  =)

Sunday, August 15, 2010


My sister gave me a book of knitting patterns last week, not realizing that I crochet instead of knit.  They are really neat patterns though, so I decided I should give knitting another go.  I've tried before and couldn't get into it.  My mom gave me several sets of needles a while back when I asked her if she had any crochet hooks, so I let the girls pick what they wanted me to make and bought some yarn.  Of course, they picked probably the biggest pattern in the book... a mermaid costume consisting of a tank top and long skirt with a tail. 

I started working on it yesterday.  Every time I'd get a few rows done, for some dumb reason I'd set it aside to do something and Zoe would pull the needles out of my work.  It's 99 stitches long.  SO frustrating.  But I'd rip it out every time, because I knew there were little mistakes along the way and figured I might as well try again.  At the time I was doing a 2 needle cast-on and it was hell.  I kept thinking I had never used 2 needles to cast on before, so I googled and refreshed my memory on 1 needle casting on.  So much easier and faster. 

I got about 1/3 of the way through the top last night and made it about half-way today when I set it aside and went to switch out laundry.  I heard the sound of needles clacking together and my stomach flipped.  I ran to the living room to see Izzy with 2 empty needles in her hand.  I wanted to scream.  We're talking 40 rows of work.  I managed to get it all back on the needles though with only a few stitches lost.  Thank goodness.  I must remember to not leave it out no matter how long I plan on being away from it.  It's not so bad with crocheting.  If they take the hook out, I might loose a few stitches.  Knitting is a whole other ball game.

Here is what I have done so far:

I love this butterfly pattern going on and I think it's what is keeping me interested in it.  Every 10 rows I get to see these butterflies emerge and it's so neat to me.  =)  It's supposed to look like scales.  I can't wait to get the top finished and try it on one of the girls.  I'm trying not to think about the fact that they've placed an order for THREE of these beasts.  At least they'd have Halloween costumes ready...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

One down... two to go...

I think I mentioned before that I had found an awesome tutorial for lunch bags.  It's at Pink Penguin.  I used her fabric bag tutorial (enlarged) to make the girls' Easter baskets.  I made one of the bags tonight:

Ignore the multi-colored yarn.  I was just testing out the drawstring function and I forgot to get cording today.  I really like it and I hope Olivia does.  She seemed a little disappointed that we weren't going to go buy one.  I guess I should get used to that... eventually it will probably be so uncool for me to make her stuff.  I have to make one for the other two also. 

I made one change to the pattern.  I added some fleece in between the lining and outer fabric, to kind of insulate the bag a bit. 

Last night, I was sitting here thinking about what I'm going to do with my Laura Gunn fabric that I'm in love with.  I don't think I ever posted a picture of it:

It's the gorgeous green fabric with purple pods.  The pattern itself is larger than I expected, but that's no big deal.  As I was looking at it and thinking it would be just a shame to cut up that beautiful fabric, I had an idea.  Why not make a quilt out of it?  Quilts don't have to be patchwork.  So I went and got a coordinating solid color (it coordinates much better in person... it looks off in this picture) to back it with and some quilt batting.  And, I know I'm biting off WAY more than I'm going to want to chew... but I'm going to hand quilt it.  I'm going to trace the vines and pods.  I have everything I need except a hoop.  But I need to get the lunch bags finished before beginning this monster project.  And yep, my first quilt is still not quilted....  I'll get to it eventually.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I was given the opportunity to test a pattern for Inner Hooker this week.  It's a super-chunky, super-slouchy women's hat.  I ran right out to get this humongous P hook and some chunky yarn.  It worked up really fast, but I tend to crochet kind of loosely, especially with treble crochets, so it was HUGE.  I ripped it apart and started again and got all distracted and had too many stitches going on, ripped it apart again... then managed to get it finished.  I thought I was going to have yarn burn on my finger from keeping the yarn tighter.  It's a cute hat.

That's my super-cool coworker Kelli modeling the hat for me. 

My first attempt at the hat, the one that was super-huge, made Zoe cry.  I took it to the bathroom to try it on and she followed me.  I put it on and she started crying and saying "Take it off, Mommy!  You're not a doctor!"  (She's never been afraid of doctors before, so I don't know why it freaked her out so much)  The hat did  resemble some of the scrub hats the nurses wear at work.  That's the only thing I can think of as to why it reminded her of a doctor.

Anyway, I think the hat looks great.  I personally don't like to wear hats (I am a very warm person, even in the winter) so I may end up giving it away.  I love Inner Hooker patterns.  She's really creative and talented, and her patterns are well-written. 

And in other "testing" news... this blanket is testing me.  I got one panel finished:

My intention was to make a baby blanket, but this is much too long for a baby blanket.  I went with sock monkey colors and I really like this.  I think it would make a really cool scarf.  I was afraid that the panels wouldn't be uniform, so I decided to make the second panel with the zig zags the original pattern called for.  I'm not quite done with it, but I am pretty sure I like the straight strips woven better than the zig zags woven.  I'll finish it up, compare the two, and decide where to go from there.  Half of me wants to rip it all out and try a granny square blanket with the color scheme and half of me is still determined to make this work.  

I found a really awesome tutorial today for some lunch bags and I am going to try to see if I can knock three of them out before the girls start school a week from Thursday.  I think I can, even with us going out of town for a night on Monday - we're going to the Memphis Zoo Tuesday so we're going to spend the night in Memphis.  Needless to say, I have a lot on my plate in the upcoming week, with school starting, our mini-vacay, and the last-minute projects I'm piling on myself.  I like it that way.  I hate being bored.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


A while ago, I bought some crochet patterns on etsy.  Sock monkey hat, cow hat, and a really cool blanket.   My first clue that I was going to have trouble was that it took me a whole week just to get the PDF patterns.  I had to report the seller just to get the patterns.  I hated doing it, but I paid money for something and expect what I paid for. 

I have made a few of the sock monkey hats and decided after the last one that I shouldn't even have to credit this chick as being the designer of the hat.  I had to modify all of it.  If you crochet it up exactly the way she wrote the pattern, it's way too small.  If you make an adult hat, it fits a small child.  And the facial features are only sized for a newborn hat.  Way too small for anything but. 

Last night I decided to give the blanket a try.  It's supposed to be 7 panels consisting of 3 crocheted strips woven together.  It looks super cool in the picture.  I started the first strip, following the pattern exactly.  From what I could tell from the picture, the strips are supposed to be zig zags.  What I got was a squared spiral.  There's no way they'd weave together correctly.  So I figured out how to make zig zags on my own.  I made three strips and wove them together and started trying to use the pattern again to finish the panel.  It's completely nonsense.  So now I have to go back to square one and see if I can't pretty much design my own blanket out because I really want a blanket like this and I am determined to figure it out. 

I'm afraid to even bother with the cow pattern.  It's cute, but going on the other two patterns, I may as well knot up a bunch of black and white yarn and throw it at my kids.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

August Organization

I can't believe it's August already.  There are a lot of things on my list that have been there for months and that I suspect I just won't do because I'm out of the zone... so it's time to take a look:

  • Refashion dark gray striped shirt
  • Refashion light gray striped shirt
  • Apron for me (I have some fat quarters that would be good for this) - Partially made. I need more fabric and bias tape. Not extremely happy with it, but I had to try it.
  • Aprons for the girls (I think I'll let them pick out the fabric and they'll be pretty simple)
  • Re-refashion the Goodwill dress
  • Refashion other Goodwill dress
  • Work on lengthening some of Izzy's pants
  • Make a pair of scrubs (I really want to try this)
  • Barbie Organizer Started, but on hold.
  • Noodlehead bike basket for Olivia
  • Crocheted leg warmers for the girls Made a pair, Izzy thinks she looks silly in them and the other two don't care, so I think that's it for the leg warmers
  • Corset top for Tammy  Done
  • Something for ME  I did make myself something!  I made a cute top, but no pics.  That would involve me being in a picture =)
  • Make a pleated dress (it's in my head and I've sketched it, ready to go to town on it)
  • Make something with my Laura Gunn fabric.  It's GORGEOUS!
  • I have an idea for another style corset top I can make for my BFF
  • Cow beanie
  • Crocheted blanket (if I can figure out the pattern, the person I got it from isn't the best pattern maker)
The stuff in italics are things that I don't know if I'll ever get around to finishing/working on any time soon.  The moment has passed =)  I didn't cross much off of the list, but I have actually been super productive.  I've made several crocheted projects.... character beanies, a cute little set for my cousin's upcoming grandbaby, and I've even sold 2 things.  I guess I keep up with a list to remind myself of my plans when I feel like I don't have any ideas on what to work on, because in general, I'm kind of spontaneous with my sewing and crocheting.  I'll get an idea and have to complete it right away, no matter what else is on tap. 

So that's that.  Let's see what I can do this month!

Oh Noooooo!

So, here's the background:

My husband goes by Bill, and quite often I call him Mr. Bill because it's funny.  To me.  He looks nothing like THE Mr. Bill, so it's just me being dorky.  Imagine that =)

The other day, I told my husband I was going to change his facebook profile picture to Mr. Bill, but we had computer issues and I couldn't.  When he got home from work, he went ahead and changed it for me.  His sister mentioned that she had seen Mr. Bill dolls at a store recently and from there I had the idea to make this:

That's her "Oh no!" face

I think I need to get back to my sewing machine a little bit before coming up with new hats.  It's not like we need them =)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'm so proud!

I have been crocheting hats.  Hats, hats, hats.  I love cute hats.  I want to make a blanket soon, but I keep finding or coming up with hats.  No matter that it's 105* and that even in the winter, it's rarely cold enough for me to insist on putting hats on the kids.  They're cute, they keep me amused, and that's all that matters =)

I made a  Cookie Monster hat and an Oscar the Grouch hat (sorry, no good pics yet...).  When we were at the store buying yarn, my oldest picked up some fuchsia yarn and said "Mom!  You can make me an Abby Cadabby hat!"  That's great and all, but I didn't have a pattern for one.

So I had to wing it.

Duh, duh, duh....

Wanna see it?  (if not, you better move on, 'cause here it comes....)

so stinking cute!

It's mine!  All mine!  No pattern whatsoever!  Not too shabby for someone who has only been crocheting a little over a month.  (Yeah, I'm tooting my own horn.  I can't help it!)

I'm going to sell it in my zibbet shop.  Not this particular one, a custom-made one.  My daughter would be so mad at me for selling her Abby.

I'm even more excited about my next hat.  Also my own design.  I just need to go get some more white yarn.  It's going to be so awesome (probably only to me, but that's OK).