Sunday, October 30, 2011

A friendly reminder...

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Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A knooked hippie hat

We went on vacation last week to New Orleans and to Orange Beach, Alabama. It was such good fun that it was even worth the total wreck it has now made of my house. I'm not sure how it is that returning from travel can destroy a house so quickly, but it can. Something about the laundry and the picnic supplies and the tired. I'll catch up sometime. (When I'm dead? I hope not.) I'll post photos after I have a minute to sit down and comb through all, um, 825 shots that I took on the trip. (I'm afraid that's no typo.)

In addition to all the sightseeing, swimming, and keeping my kids from drowning that I did on vacation I also finished my next knooking project. I used this pattern but in a funky rainbow print. It's going to be my cure for second-day hair this winter. The final project is more hippie than my mental image of it was, but it's kind of fun. I'd hate to get stodgy anyway.  :) The Knit Picks Chroma yarn is deliciously soft and comes in other colorways--I'm tempted to come up with a project just to use more of this yarn. The pattern translated easily from knitting to knooking, so now I'm really gaining confidence. I ordered a set of knooking hooks from eBay, but they have to ship from China so who knows when they'll get here. I purchased the crappy set that Wal-Mart sells, but the hooks are so rough that they must be sanded before they can be used, and the shape of the hook makes me unhappy--it is difficult to use. I'm hoping a good retailer picks up on the need for good knooking hooks soon and makes more metal ones. The locker hook I posted about earlier is the easy to use but only comes in one size.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pressed flowers and crocheted socks

Dorothy and I pressed flowers as a school craft. I don't think I'd pressed flowers since I was in high school. It's one of those things, I think, where I've seen supplies at crafty places and gotten suckered into the idea that it's just a craft for people who have the right gear, which is just silly. Pressing flowers requires only a stack of heavy objects. We have those. We used cardboard to lay out the petals and another piece to lay over them.
After two weeks under the heavy objects (books, in our case) we had beautiful pressed blossoms, which we adhered to cards using rubber cement. This was a pretty and satisfying craft for both of us, and it was fun to count down the days until the flowers were done.
I also finally finished my second pair of crocheted socks. I made socks from this pattern right before Worth was born and loved them so much I knew I needed more.  Then Rob got me yarn for our seventh wedding anniversary, from which I made a hat and started socks. But since I have other things to do (ahem) and have not been too inspired to make wooly socks during the warmer months it took me a long time to finish these. The recent chill has me crocheting again so I finally pulled this project out and finished it up.
I have every reason to think I'm going to love these socks as much as the first ones. This is a great pattern--the small size fits me perfectly, and they are so warm and comfortable. The other pair is my go-to comfort strategy when I come inside on cold or wet days. After we moved to this house with the fireplace I'd put on these socks and sit in front of the fire--domestic heaven! Now I'm prepared for winter weather with this cheerful new pink pair.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Knooking and Bear Feet

Something kind of major happened to me this past week. I finally learned to knit! I already "knew" how, technically, but I hated it. It just didn't work for me. Crochet has always felt good in my hands but I just never could get comfortable with knitting needles. Every few months for a couple years I'd pick up a project and try again, but I've never made more than a dish towel and I've never enjoyed it even for a second. I'd get tensed up instead of calmed. Then I discovered knooking! At the risk of sounding totally dorky, knooking is like a dream come true for me. I've actually day-dreamed that knitting could feel like crochet for me, and that I could make knitted patterns without dealing with knitting needles, and--ta da!--it has happened! Knooking is making knitted fabric (interlacing yarn in the way known as "knitting") but by using a crochet needle attached to a cord. It turns out the exact same product but feels like crocheting instead of knitting. Which, if you're me, is totally fantastic. I used this blog, this blog, and this Ravelry group as references and used a locker hook as my first knooking hook. I knooked this hat for Worth by reading the tips at those links and holding the new hat up to a hat he already had for sizing. I'm ridiculously pleased with it and don't you make fun of me, dangit, because it's not every day that dreams come true.
Today I put down my next knooking project long enough to have a great day at an outlet mall with an old friend. She lives in Indianapolis so we met in between her city and mine for a fun day of catching up and fall shopping. I purchased what I thought were matching pajamas for my kids, who spent the day with their grandparents. Back at home, Worth wanted to put on his new pajamas right away. We allowed him to change and he immediately started stomping around, acting like a Big Scary Bear (this is a favorite Worth game already, which inspired the purchase of these pajamas) and admiring the bear faces sewn onto the feet of his new pajamas. Dorothy decided to put her matching pajamas on as well and join the fun. Sadly, however, she returned crying, having discovered that Carters unwisely manufactured pajamas that were almost identical in both sizes, but which lacked the novelty of bear face feet in the larger size. Curse you, Carters!
So I rallied my inner good mother (though she was a bit tired!) and rounded up some felt and sewed my own version of bear faces onto the feet of Dorothy's pajamas.
Now all the Big Scary Bears in my "den" are happy again.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A lemonade stand

I'm afraid I haven't done a single thing crafty or blog-worthy (with the possible exception of some newly invented cookies, but I forgot to photograph them so what's the point?), but I'm posting anyway because Worth doesn't feel well and won't get off my lap, and if I'm going to sit here captive I may as well do something. So here is a random post about things that have been going on! The neighborhood kids had lemonade stand in my front yard. Unfortunately their accounting was almost as bad as their spelling, so it is unclear if the enterprise earned money or just annoyed the neighbors.
Worth got his first favorite pair of shoes. He tried these on at an outlet mall on the way home from an out-of-town wedding last weekend and we couldn't even pry them off his feet to pay for them so we just snipped off the tags and he wore them home. He kept cooing over them and touching them and giggling in his car seat.  Hilarious and cute. I love that we finally found shoes he'll actually keep on, plus they are mercifully easy to clean. The adorable t-shirt was a gift and I love it like he loves his shoes.
This was a picture that appeared on my blog back in June of Belle on her homemade dog bed...
and an updated snapshot, two months later. I'm glad kids don't grow that fast! (And a disclaimer, Belle is not allowed to play with the kids' toys ordinarily, but she has a deep and abiding fondness for this little knitted animal. She doesn't eat it--she just plays with it and loves on it and since it seems to be no worse for wear as a shared toy I allow it. She's just a baby too, after all, even though she's more than doubled in size!)

Friday, August 19, 2011

May the Force be with Baby: A Star Wars Quilt

We've had a good first week of school! This is Dorothy getting ready to blow out our circle time candle on the first day. I've learned that a) homeschooling takes a lot more of my day than I had been able to comprehend (although I'd been warned about that) and b) I need to make some curriculum adjustments or we'll both get bored in a hurry. I've purchased a ready-made kindergarten curriculum and I love many things about it but it's a little soft on some skills we're ready to march on into. That's a great thing about homeschool, I have to say, because I can easily make these adjustments to suit my specific child.
And late last night after my wee padawans were snug in their beds I snuck back down to the sewing machine and made a baby quilt to gift to a friend. This is for the first baby of an old college pal. This friend is the only person with whom I've attended a midnight movie showing (he was in costume) and the only person I know who owns (or owned? It's been a while...) red contact lenses. When he told me he and his wife were expecting a boy I knew I had to make him something cool and nothing light blue or fluffy.
I bought one fat quarter of Star Wars fabric on Etsy, then found coordinating prints on I used the licensed fabric to make homemade patches and then made strips of the rest. I'm not much of a quilter but I like the cutely haphazard look of strip blankets. I machine stitched it all and didn't use batting because I wanted it to be thin and flexible enough to actually wrap the baby in. The finished size is 34 by 38 inches and the back is a soft black flannel. It felt funny to have the sewing machine threaded in black to make a baby gift, but I think this one will be appreciated by the baby's father, at least.