Sunday, October 25, 2015

Hat and Wristlet Set

Another Swirling Leaves Wristlet (pattern HERE) and Not Quite a Slouchy Hat (pattern HERE), child sized.  Two more Crochet-a-long entries!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Monkeying Around

My husband was thinking about getting a new lunch bag, and then guess what the next Crochet-a-long project was!  Sigh.  He has a good sense of humor, but not enough to carry this to work.  Well, I hope some pre-schooler will love it!  The pattern is HERE.  I changed the handle and put my ears on the flap rather than the bag.  I didn't think to check the gauge of my light colored yarn - the face, ears, and button (eye) holes are a bit smaller than the original pattern.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Recycled Denim

My other sewn project which was entered in the fair was under the "Thrifty" category: "Useful item made from recycled denim."

I've been wanting to make a crocheting project basket... though I was collecting crochet patterns. But when I saw the one HERE, I decided that was it!  And it looked so simple... why buy the pattern?

Did you read about my apron!!??  Yes, there was ripping out and re-sewing, because I did things in the wrong order!  When I was sewing the reversible lining in, I had to ask son number two for help!  "I don't know anything about sewing!"  "Yes, but you're very good with spacial relations. How do I..."  "Oh, just turn it that way."  Simple, of course!  Oh, and we won't even talk about my math... circumference of a circle plus seam allowance... Oh! MINUS seam allowance.. Huh?  Whoops, I just did (talk about my math).  Hopefully I will remember to not ever try making a narrow strap with a heavy seam in it like that again.  Turning a narrow tube is hard enough with regular fabric, though You Tube does lend some hints!

Hey, did you know they make special sewing machine needles for heavy fabric like denim?  Thankful there were a few included with the sewing machine I inherited!

In the end, I'm pretty happy with this, though I didn't make the drawstring top, so it probably won't be going out with me much longer in the interest of keeping my yarn dry.  In keeping with the thrifty theme, not only did I recycle the denim from an old pair of jeans, but the fabric, trim, thread, and fleece between layers were all left over from a mid-80's project!

Happy also to win 2nd place out of three entries at the fair!  Maybe I will sew again.  After I forget...  For now, it's all put away.  Back to the hooks.

(Thanks, Mom, for the magazine!)

Friday, October 16, 2015

Video of the Week: Yo Yo Ma at age 7

Yo Yo Ma had great connections even at a young age! 

Students: What country did he live in before the United States?
Who introduced him to Leonard Bernstein?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Grandma's Apron

I have a love-hate relationship with the sewing machine.  I love creating things, and I love a finished item I have stitched myself.  And using the machine makes it all happen rather quickly, right?  Ugh.  Only when you don't have to take it apart and do it again.  I do struggle sometimes with spatial relations.  It always LOOKS easy, but then when it comes to fitting pieces together (wrong sides, right sides, upsides, downsides?)... So, sew, so... Not something I have spent a great deal of time doing.  Usually I finish an item, then sigh with relief, and put the machine away.  Far away, for a long time.  Until the pain recedes.

Our fair has a category called Grandma's Apron, with a nice prize for first place.  Usually there aren't that many entries, either!  So for several years, I've said to myself, "I should make a new apron."  I mean I HAVE been using Grandma's apron for 35 years!  Who knows how many years she used it?  Right before the 2014 fair, I went shopping for fabric.  No, I was not intending to enter it that year!  But the store was moving, having a sale, and I had some visiting relatives to help me choose fabric, and then a year to make my apron!  I could do this!

In the end I was having trouble deciding between two fabrics (I favoured one, everyone else voted for my second choice)  - decided to make two aprons!  A month or two later I had a much-experienced-with-sewing friend help me make a pattern from Grandma's apron, and figure out how to lay it out on the fabric (which I could NOT have done without help).  Great!  Two aprons cut out!  And moved out of the way.  The sewing machine was living in the basement and resided there until regular lessons finished in June.  Then, time to get sewing!  The living room was invaded.  For two months!  This included time waiting for  either our local Fabricland to restock their binding, or a trip out of town (thankfully Kamloops came through).

I won't relive the process, but there certainly were frustrations!  I had to call in my friend when even YouTube tutorials couldn't help me figure out how to sew in the gussets.  (Note to self: avoid any project with gussets in the future!)  After the first one, the second should have been a little easier.  Only somehow I still ended up ripping out something sewn on backwards!  Well, the fair entry was finished in time... in fact, with time to sew one more project (all straight lines ... that should be easy, right??? Stay tuned for that project! :-)).

And yeah, as well as being a figurative pain in the neck, there was the literal!  I mean, you have to get your eyes right down there by the needle, don't you?  Well, it seemed that way to me!

But in the end, I am in the happy possession of two new aprons!  Of course only one was entered in the fair.  I gave the fair people my original Grandma's apron for display, too, and this is how they set it up.  Oh yes, 3rd place white ribbon out of four aprons!

I chose to enter the brown one for the old-fashioned look.  Which is your favourite?  

And while the brown and green were in the fair, and I was frying something... I looked at those pretty birds, and my old T shirt, and the new apron, and my old T shirt.  Sigh.  The birdies stayed clean.

Swirling Leaves Wristlet

The stashdown continues!  The pattern for this Swirling Leaves Wristlet can be found HERE. Learning lots of new stitches from these patterns!  The only change I made to this pattern was to thicken the drawstring by slip stitching over my chain.  It did make it shorter, but still an appropriate length for small to average hands. I used a G hook for this lighter weight yarn.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Stashdown Cowls

Here are a few more Stashdown projects.  I made the Ice Blues Cowl first.  The original design, found HERE, called for 30 squares (in three rows), and I had 16 made before I decided to just stick with these 12 for a less bulky cowl that just fits over my head and scrunches around my neck - or could cover my nose, too!  So what to do with the four more squares?  Make the Midnight Lilac Cowl! 

I was running low on my navy skein when edging Ice Blues (I joined the squares with single crochet), so only did one row of double crochet on the edges.
Someone else in the Stashdown group mentioned edging the individual squares before joining.  I thought that was a good idea, so slip-stitched around each one on Midnight Lilac before whip stitching them together.  Finished the edge with two rows of single crochet.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Finishing the skein


And when you have just a little yarn left...

Another item in the crochet-a-long I joined was the "Almost a Slouchy Hat" found HERE.  I used the toddler size pattern, but changed the band to decrease faster to a smaller circumference (14") to make something like a beret for an infant.

This was the only appropriately sized model I could find on short notice.  Speaking of short... his toes won't even get cold!

In case you missed the earlier post with my Bubblegum Baby Jacket, the pattern is found HERE.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Bubblegum Baby Jacket

My latest Stashdown Crochet-a-long project is from the pattern of the Neapolitan Rainbow Jacket found HERE.  It uses an interesting, if a bit tedious, split half double crochet stitch.  Quite happy I was able to discover these matching yarns from my stash!  I just might have to make a matching hat now!