Monday, February 27, 2012

Hairdos and Don'ts

:: Don't let your baby girl grow a mullet.
:: Do use a cutting cape and sharp (fast) shears.

:: Do work quickly to get the straightest lines possible.
:: Don't think a wedge is too edgy for a toddler.
:: Don't forget the blueberries

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I made this!

I best be careful, before you go thinking this is a crafting blog. But, oh man, I had a day to myself (President's Day! Holiday!) and ran straight for the sewing machine. I had a need to be creative in the worst way, and the kind of scattered-across-the-room blow-out that I was thinking simply could not be achieved with little bodies scampering around. (Although the very littlest body in the house made himself my helper.) So I took my day and did the best I could. An experienced, knowledgeable, professional (?) blogger would spread these creations out over several posts and include beautiful photos, well-staged, lit and detailed. I know what's out there; but this is what ya get:

First: Cozy Pants for Oliver

I have admitted that I'm a lazy sewer. I'm not good at following patterns and prefer to wing it, yet get really cranky when/if that doesn't pan out. But I bought myself a bunch of sewing books and patterns last year (probably nesting hormones or something). This first project was a little bit of a fusion. I used a pattern (Kid Pants by Dana at MADE), but added in a little modification: fold-over cuffs for extended length. I used organic cotton velour from Very Baby and some "Zoo" fabric by Alexander Henry. To make them extra cozy for the fella who likes to wear Pajammies all day, I turned the velour (brushed) side to the inside. Next time, I'd make the cuffs smaller and the rise larger. But he wore them non-stop once he saw them. Running, to sleep, and then to school. That makes them a winner!

Second: Gussetted Pants for Etta
I've been meaning to make some of these for a little while: the Big Butt Baby Pants by Made-by-Rae. I had bigger, better fabric combos in mind, but my fabric stash is all over Etta's room and the basement in bins and garbage bags. So this combo sufficed. I liked it, then didn't once it was together. Then liked it again once it was on her. I haven't gotten any feedback from her yet, but I think she likes them. I like that they have a bottom poofy enough to fit over her cloth diapered bum without straining. I had big ideas to modify this pattern and in the end decided to make it (at least the first time) just as written. I'm glad I did. I'm pretty sure it was faster that way.

Third: Some bags for Craft Hope

Craft Hope is an organization that coordinates the crafting of individuals and gives the resulting products to a deserving recipient. I have always been interested in participating, but finally jumped on board with a couple small bags for Project 16: Littlest Warriors. They are asking for beanies and bags to give to children in the cancer ward. Seeing how cancer continually is popping up in our lives, friends, family - it seemed appropriate. The deadline is mid-March and I'm hoping to have a couple more to contribute.

Fourth: A Pillowcase for the Cupola

Not like we really need it, but I got some fabric a while back (a year ago?) in grey and Cupola Yellow with the intention of making housewares and accessories for the cupola and maybe living room. With heating and insulation and flooring being more pressing issues, nesting has taken a back burner. But it doesn't take long to make a pillowcase, so I did. Learning from my living room pillowcases, I made this one a little smaller, so that it fit more tightly on the pillow. AND I may have erred slightly in the small direction this time. But it's staying. Oliver likes it and noticed it right away. He has an eye for detail, that kid.

Fifth: Pillowcase Pants for Etta

I actually made these for Oliver a while back. I cut them from 2 thrifted flannel pillowcases and lined up a pair of his 2T pants that fit well. Only... I slipped up somehow because they were way too small. I took them out to try to figure out how to fix them and, after holding them up to a pair of Etta's pants, decided the fastest fix was a new size tag and hemmed legs. Viola.
And that, is a wrap!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tip Up

No not those tips, my needle tips. I got some big ideas before Christmas and saw a couple of them to completion recently. 

First up, Oliver's hoodie. I wanted to make this like Papa's, but I didn't want to deal with all of the seaming. So, as I'm (slowly) learning is my modus operandi, I threw myself headlong into some really intricate modifications thinking that it would be simple. The problem with knitting seamlessly is that most people don't change yarn color. (Because then it's not seamless, see.) So I rigged my transitions by knitting with both colors for 2 stitches and called it good. It came out better than I hoped, and it fits really well! He loves it for looking at and wearing for about 10 minutes. Then, I think he finds it to be a little itchy. All that pure New Zealand wool. (What was I thinking?) Every time I grab it to put it on him or pack it in a bag, he says, "how about my cozy sweatshirt instead, Mama?" Humpf.

Next up was a hat for the guy who insults my knitting ("That's the ugliest hat I've ever seen") then asks why I haven't knit him anything. No surprise there. So I knit a super soft alpaca watch cap for Dad (aka Pap-Pap) for Christmas. But never took a photo. So here's one of the aforementioned ugliest hat:

Shortly after Christmas, when I should have been burned out with Dinosaurs, I thought I would swing another one in: mittens for Oliver. I got a pattern off of Ravelry, made up the parts of the directions that were seriously lacking, and out came a Stegosaurus and an Allosaurus. These are a hit and he loves wearing them, scratchy wool and all. I think I should make another, bigger pair for hand puppets.

All the while, I was working and working on another sweater for Darling. He had picked the yarn, but I wanted the presentation of the sweater to be a surprise. Shortly before his birthday, I revealed it to him. I wanted to be sure that it fit and I wasn't going to waste time. HAH! I had suspicions that it was running a little large but he thought it was fine. I did get the sweater done in time for birthday giving (hooray!) but it is in fact, too large. Not by much, but enough. He's debating it. He doesn't like the fit at the bottom, but doesn't want it to go away while I rip it and knit another. Oh such tough choices. By the way, there's quite a lot of knitting that goes into a mens sweater. Just sayin.

After finishing that behemoth, I needed some quick satisfaction and whipped out 2 hats for gifting. Kyle's was up first: a wool beanie with some flashy Noro color. I gave it to him at the Super Bowl party in exchange for raw fish. (Not really, but kinda.) He loves the hat, but I still think I made out on the deal. I really liked the turn-a-square pattern and the super fast, take anywhere knitting.

Next: a cap for Julie's recently bald dome, in fun colors and luscious Zitron Nimbus organic merino and alpaca. Very very soft. It's a little funky with the hearts, but so is Julie. Darling and I thought this would fit her to a T. It's stranded fair isle and I could still use a little practice at that, being only my 2nd go (the first one is the aforementioned "ugliest hat ever"), but overall it turned out well and not too bunchy.

On the tips right now? A pair of hemp and wool overalls for Etta. Talk about scratchy, eh? I think it'll soften up pretty well with wear and washing. I've once again taken the pattern, blindfolded it, and forced it to do my bidding. I apparently have no qualms about taking something wonderfully simple like knitting, and transforming it into an overly complex debacle.

Better go, my fingers are itchy.