Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 30

Wow - Day 30 already! I finished Sarah's new shirt and skirt from the 2XL shirt.

The top portion of the skirt is actually one of the short sleeves from the original shirt. The bottom edge became the waistband. I cut a small slit in the hem of the sleeve and threaded elastic through it. The new bottom edge I left on the curve of the sleeve and added another piece to make it longer. Then I took and added a ruffle to the bottom.

I haven't sewn them together yet, but I also cut out a pair of pants. So from one shirt Sarah gets a shirt, skirt and pants. This has been a fun project - thanks Laura for the idea!

I also did the next day on the mystery knitting project, but only managed a half row on the sock (how pathetic!).

I've had a great time with the Make 'n' Tell Challenge. I finished some projects that had been languishing for quite awhile, tried some new things, and got to see some fabulous work from my fellow participants. I'm going to try to keep this up as much as I can, though I will probably always post the day after the make. Taking night photos just ends up with crummy photos (no my projects are not finished early enough for daylight photos). I'm away this weekend at Otherworld, so there will likely be no makes for Saturday or Sunday. I'll be way too busy having fun!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 29

Today was an eclectic day. I worked some on transforming Sarah's giant t-shirt...

Cast on for a new pair of socks...

And joined in a mystery knit. I don't know what it will be, but it's only supposed to take one skein of yarn (150 yds) and requires 2 buttons.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 28

I finished the September block, so I'm caught up just before October's is posted.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 26 & 27

Day 26 I managed to finish August's afghan block.

And Day 27 I started September's block. I may actually be caught up on this before October 1st.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 25

More knitting while waiting at the doctor's office and gymnastics today.

And then at dinnertime the kids got creative. Joshua's Big Backyard magazine had a recipe for tuna boats, so the kids got to make dinner.

Prepping the masts

Stirring the tuna

The finished boats!

Pirate Joshua added a cucumber life boat

Grape tomato sailors and cucumber life preservers were creative additions not included in the magazine.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 24

Today I picked up my spindle after a long hiatus. I spun while sitting on the porch at a friend's chatting away. The weather was beautiful today.

I'm still a beginner and am working on getting a consistent thickness. I long for a wheel now, though I do enjoy the drop spindle. I'm planning on going to Rhinebeck again this year, so I guess I should start researching wheels if I want to consider buying one.

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 23

More knitting. This time a square for the other afghan I'm working on which is a block-a-month knit-along for this year. I'm behind and this is the August block.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 22

Today was a little bit of this & a little bit of that. First I made some beaded stitch markers to add to a swap package I was sending out.

Then I started a t-shirt transformation. Sarah, age 4, won a door prize at a dinner we went to last week. She picked this shirt as her prize...

It's an adult 2XL, and she really wants to wear it. So thanks to Laura's Make 'n' Tell Day 5 I'll probably be making her a whole wardrobe from this one shirt. Really this is just a tease because I don't have anything to show yet. I cut off the sleeves and did a bit of planning.

Next up was a Dorset button ornament while at gymnastics class. The floss is actually teal (like the shirt above - crummy photo) to very pale teal, so the blue beads I brought with me did not work. (Must stock even more junk in my tote so this doesn't happen again.) Joshua wanted one that looked like a spider web, so this is what we ended up with. It's 1.5" diameter.

I started another larger one (that is actually blue so I can use the beads), but no photos yet.

I can't take credit for this one, but I liked it. Here's Joshua's make for the day - a driveway monster. Bad Mommy that I am, I failed to ask what was on the monster's arms - muscles perhaps? The cones are so that Daddy does not drive on him.

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 20 & 21

Catch up time again. I was away Sunday and Monday, but did have my knitting with me so I managed to finish the afghan square I was working on.

I have to say, I've managed to do something each day but posting each day is difficult for me. I also feel like I've been wimping out with so much knitting, because that's really just second nature for me and it's not like I've been tackling exciting or exceptionally challenging projects. I have one more afghan square to finish up my swap commitment, so you'll be seeing that here sometime over the next week. I don't think I'll sign up for another swap like this anytime soon because I miss my socks! In order to meet the deadlines I haven't knit much besides afghan squares. Trying out the different patterns was fun, but afghan squares are not my favorite things to knit. I've been putting off casting on a new pair of socks, so that will happen as soon as block 12 is done.

Nine days left to the challenge. What will I do with those days? A Dorset button ornament, some tie-dyeing, afghan square, t-shirt transformation, ???

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 19

I didn't have a lot of time for creativity today, but I did knit on the afghan square during swimming lessons.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 18

The jacket is done! Really, it's sad that it wasn't finished years ago, but at least it wasn't too late. Yay to the challenge for pushing me to get it finished!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 17

A bit more knitting on the afghan square. Unfortunately only a bit, so it doesn't look much different than the last pic.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 15 & 16

Nothing too exciting to report. Day 15 I worked on the purple jacket for Sarah and started the next afghan square. Day 16 I sewed the pink lining for the jacket.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 14

Well this one is late going up because we lost power last night just as we were sitting down to dinner, at 8 pm. Which means it was already dark. Hmmm, flashlight? I guess it's good I'm slow getting the camping supplies put away, there's one just over there on the floor. Candles? Check the box in the front coat closet. We moved 6 months ago & needless to say, not everything has been unpacked and found a permanent home yet. I hope one of the cell phones is charged (we're really bad about that). Yes, call Mom to ask for the power company phone number (I guess we can't look it up on-line). They expect power to be restored within 3 hours, not bad. It did make me realize that we need to prepare a bit for these occurrences.

I whiled away the day yesterday - laundry, dishes, a bit of picking up, putting things away in the craft room. Late afternoon I realize I haven't done a make yet. So I tackled some of the mending pile that was taking over the sewing table. Not exactly creative, but I was making things useful again. OK, so I was still thinking while mending. Six things taken care of! Really, I think they only took me about 15 minutes total, and had been sitting there for a couple of months. Just wait until I find that pile of really old mending.

A very old project caught my eye while mending. How old you ask? Well, I found some cute butterfly toggles when one of the nearby JoAnn's was closing. I thought I'd use them on some kind of sweatshirt/jacket for my daughter. I found a pattern, cut out the pieces and planned embellishments. I cut the size 3, which probably means my daughter was 2-3 years old at the time. My daughter is now 4. Oh wait! That's my younger daughter who's 4, I was making this for my older daughter. She's 8. Sigh. Younger daughter is tiny for her age, I'm thinking it may still work somehow.

To embellish the jacket I enlarged the design of the toggle and layered fabric to match. I made one large one for the back, and two smaller ones to go on the front as 'pockets' (not sure if they'd be functional or just decorative). They were put together with fusible web, so that part was easy. Then I needed to embroider around the edge so it would match the toggles, just a simple backstitch. Of course I had already applied the fusible web to the back of the whole butterfly (to attach to the jacket) before beginning the embroidery. I have no idea what I was thinking at the time. It is more difficult to sew through that rubbery backing by hand, but not impossible. I never finished the embroidery, the large butterfly was half-done. So today I picked it up and decided to see what I could do. Not that hard, it's done. I remember really struggling with this originally. Was I using a blunt needle to do it way back when? (Um, probably. I'm embroidering with DMC floss, and it's entirely possible that the only needle I had at hand with a large eye was a blunt cross-stitch needle.) Use the proper tools for the job!

Here's what I have now.

All the pieces are ready for assembly, I just have to check it against Sarah to decide if I need to do any modifications so that it fits her before beginning. Fortunately I did keep the leftover pieces of fabric with the project, so I have a bit to work with if necessary.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 13

Today I did a project that's been sitting on my table since July. We went camping over the 4th of July weekend and the kids found old bits of lost jewelry and a fishing lure around camp. Since they brought them to me while I was knitting, asking what we could do with them, I told them we'd make knitting stitch markers to remember our trip.

The fishing lure got a frog charm (closest thing we could find to camping) and some green beads. I was disappointed that it didn't really come apart anywhere so that I could add more beads. The jewelry bits just got split rings added. The center one is already a bit over the top for a stitch marker and I think will be prone to tangle in the knitting. The bottom set I made from beads I had on hand. I love the bright turquoise color. They are tiny & will be nice for sock projects.

I also finished the afghan square today.

I think I need a new camera, as mine absolutely sucks at these night photos. They are being taken right under my ott light and are still coming out dark.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 11 & 12

I was too tired to come down and post last night, but I did knit a couple of repeats on the afghan square. Today was more knitting when we took the kids bowling, so the square is about 3/4 done now.

Tonight I made a couple more cloak clasps as well, no pictures yet though. I've got a Dorset button ornament in my mind, so hopefully I'll get to work on that soon.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 10

A good friend was in a car accident early this week and came home from the hospital yesterday. She wanted a few of her friends (and our kids) to come over today to play games with her. So after breakfast today I told the kids and we decided to make cards. One of our friend's favorite hobbies is making and trading Artist Trading Cards, so instead of greeting cards we made those. Each one is a miniature work of art, measuring 2.5"x3.5", the same as a baseball card. Artists typically give a title to their work. I have to admit that drawing, painting & the like are not my favorite crafty medium. I'm much more comfortable with the fiber arts.

My card

Titled: "Erika - a heart of gold with helping hands surrounded by a web of friends."

And the children's cards...

Top left - Emily's, titled "Hope"
Top right - Joshua's, titled "John the Parrot"
Bottom Sarah's - left, titled "Balloons" and right, titled "A person rafting at the ocean."

It's so much fun to watch the creativity of my children. They seldom worry if it is "good enough," but put their heart into it and have fun.

We spent the whole day in the company of friends laughing and playing. It's truly warms my heart to have such a wonderful group of friends.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 9

I found the missing supplies! Today I made the first of a dozen or so cloak closures for Otherworld. I had some clips my MIL gave me and some leftover trim and buttons from a long-ago project.

The clips are like those little kids use to keep their mittens attached to their coats. I took some scrap fabric, applied a stripe of trim, then sewed a tube to slip over the elastic between the clips. I then snipped the shank off the buttons with heavy duty wire cutters and used some E6000 Industrial Strength glue to attach those to the top of the clips.

Simple, yet effective. I think I have 3 more clips to make this style and have another idea rattling around for the rest.

I also worked another pattern repeat on the current afghan square tonight at knitting group.

I have to say that Sarah's Make 'N' Tell from yesterday stuck in my mind. Tonight's dinner...

My first fritatta! I used broccoli & carrots, leftover grilled zesty garlic chicken breast and cheddar cheese. No potatoes in the house & I just realized I forgot the mushrooms I was going to use. Very simple, except for the fact that I have cookware for the basic cook. No pans that can go from stovetop to broiler. They can however be used in a 350 degree oven - stupid plastic handles! I debated and ended up risking it, but I kept the pan so the handle wasn't actually under the heating element, hence the uneven browning.

I deem it delicious. Joshua says he loves it. Emily comments, "I liked the scrambled egg part, but the rest doesn't really suit my taste buds." Don't ask for Sarah's opinion - it involved "never, ever going to...." Oh well, you can't win them all over on the first try.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 8

Nothing too exciting today. Here's a bit of the new afghan square I'm working on. The pattern is Double Lattice. Hopefully tomorrow brings inspiration and more crafting time.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 7

While still in bed this morning I remembered I have a project that needs to be done by the end of the month. "Perfect, today's make n' tell," I thought. And it would have been too, if I could have located the supplies that I have. I thought they were still at the old house, so when we went out today I stopped to pick them up. Nope, not there. I guess I did grab them the last time I was there. Came home and located the boxes we brought back last time, no supplies. Dug around the loose bags in my craft room, nope. I have no idea where they are.

I had to resort to "what can I do that won't take very much time or effort now that I'm so tired and annoyed." So here is take 2 at a Dorset button. Same ring & floss as last time, but this time I added some beads and did my own thing with the weaving. I like how it turned out. I think I'd like more contrast with the beads next time, but these were the ones I had available with a large enough hole for the needle I had out. I was too tired to search for a new needle or a different color of floss.

I'm not sure what I'll end up doing with these buttons. Others have used them in jewelry, as embellishments on purses, hats & other items or as ornaments. We'll just have to wait and see what they decide to become.

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 6

It was a long day at the zoo, very crowded, but we had fun. And I knit, a lot. The drive there, walking around the zoo, and part of the drive back. I was hoping to finish the block before we got home but I had failed to take into account two things. First, it gets dark around 7:30 now. At least dark enough that it makes knitting really difficult. Second, it takes a really long time to knit a row with 40 bobbles in it (in near dark). Like about 58 minutes - for one row! So the last 8 rows were finished at home.

Checking the pattern

While taking a break a woman admired my work and said she had never seen anyone knit at the zoo before. Yes, I knit pretty much everywhere.

Admiring the bison

And later on from behind me I hear, "Look! She even knits while walking." And you thought people went to the zoo to see the animals...

The finished block

I'd say it was a day well spent.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 5

The sweater is done! Even better, I think I actually like it. Originally written as the February Baby Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmermann, Pamela Wynne revised the sweater for adults creating the February Lady Sweater. The sweater is knit in one piece from the top down, then the sleeves are picked up and worked down in the round. No seaming at the end - yay! The original design was for worsted yarn and had 3/4 sleeves. I actually shopped my stash for this one & the only yarn I had enough of in a color I would actually wear was closer to a sport weight. So, instead of knitting the size Medium I had to knit a 2XL to make it the right size. I also knew I wouldn't wear 3/4 sleeves, so I lengthened them and ditched the garter stitch cuff. In the end I finished a lace repeat and went directly to a picot bind off. I swatched, I calculated and it fits!

I will take better photos in daylight, but I did want to post this tonight. Tomorrow we're off to the zoo for the day. Two hours drive each way, plus walking around = lots of knitting time. I'll probably work on an afghan square for a swap I'm in.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 4

Today I made my first Dorset button, the Dorset crosswheel pattern. I used a 1" plastic ring & some DMC floss that has been languishing in my craft supplies forever. This one is pretty plain, but I'll be digging out some beads for embellishment on my next one.

I'll also be working on the sweater sleeves tonight.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 3

Today I worked on the cuff of my February Lady sweater. I finished the second sleeve on Monday, but when I tried it on I hated how the cuffs looked. The sleeves were a lace pattern then ended with a couple of inches of garter stitch. So today I ripped out one cuff and continued the lace pattern. I think I'll add just a couple of garter stitch rows and possibly finish it with a picot bind-off. I'm at the point of the bind off of the first sleeve, but I'm too tired to deal with it tonight.

Night picture, poor lighting. The top sleeve has the 2" of garter stitch, bottom is the revised version before bind-off.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 2

Today I dyed yarn for a swap on Ravelry. The request was for pink, which is way outside my normal color range. I used Wilton food coloring in pink and rose, and kool aid pink lemonade. I'm not thrilled with the results, but it is pink. I was hoping for a bit more variation in color. The pictures were taken right after the rinse, so we'll see what it looks like dry and reskeined in a day or two.

I like the results from my last session better.

I made it to JoAnn's today & found some rings to try out the buttons, now I just need to dig out the embroidery floss.

Make n’ Tell Challenge: Day 1

Here I am, trying to participate in Laura's 30 Days Hath September Make 'n Tell Challenge. I love the idea of making time to do something creative each day. Laura's rules are here.

I'm getting a late start since we just got back from camping. Consider creating this blog my entry for Sept. 1. I know, not very creative but I'll try to spruce it up eventually. I did think crafty however, when I picked up 50 Heirloom Buttons to Make from the library. Now I need to try to find some rings & such at JoAnn's so I can try some of the great designs.

It can only improve from here!