Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Armies

With Winter on its way, I have been focusing on which crochet items I can make for myself that I will actually use and get to show off. Arm warmers have always been something that I thought looked really cool and since they don't cover your fingers like mittens and gloves, I might actually wear them!

When I first got the Stitch 'N Bitch book, I made the Ladylike Lace Gloves and, after a little hardship on the secongd glove (even though the first glove flew off my hook without a hitch), I really liked the way they came out. It hasn't been cold enough to wear them yet but I will be breaking them out soon. I used Lion Brand Microspun yarn in Sterling. It took about a skein and a half and just under a month to make them, but remember all my times are with a toddler factored in! So you could probably make them much faster, lol. Here are my finished Ladylike Lace Gloves...





After looking through pattern after pattern of arm warmers and fingerless gloves I found another set I'd like to try: Armies by Tarra Gray. I started these a couple of days ago and I am really excited to see how they will turn out. Again I'm using Lion Brand Microspun yarn, this time in Leaf. I'm also alternating front and back loop only to give each row a little ridge and I will probably make the cuff a bit thinner. Here is a picture of what I've done so far...

Candy Apple Shrug Progres

I've managed to make a little progress on my Candy Apple Shrug. I'll need to get back to the store for another skein soon. It feels like it's going to be pretty thick and I hope that does not put me off from wearing it, we'll see. I've never worn a shrug before so I may end up selling it or gifting it if it I end up not wanting to wear it, but I'm glad I'm at least giving it a try. The pattern calls for a whopping 80 inches and so far I have about 20. So I've got a little ways to go! Here's what it looks like today, sorry the picture turned out so dark.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

General WIP Update

I haven't blogged in quite some time. Unfortunately, I have no finished projects to show right now. I have worked a bit more on the Candy Apple Shrug. I have been putting most of my efforts into the baby blanket I'm making for my friend JoAnn and, because she could possibly come to this blog, I am not going to post any pictures of my progress. I am estimating that I will need about 16 blocks and I have finished about 6 and a half. I may end up making more than 16 blocks depending on how wide I make the border. We'll see. But I think it is turning out nicely.

JoAnn has also requested a pair of baby booties that look like little combat boots. I was excited to make these for her because I have never made booties before and needed a break from the blanket anyway. So I searched the internet for a baby bootie pattern that could be made to look like combat boots. I found one and got started with some black Lion Brand Suede yarn. Let me tell you - I hate this yarn. When you work something up with it, it is absolutely beautiful. But it sheds a little while you're working and if you need to frog something - forget it. There is no way you are frogging this yarn. And don't pull too hard because that beautiful fluffy soft suede-ish stuff is held together by the thinnest piece of string possible.

Now the first baby combat boot worked up just fine. But somewhere on the second boot I must have skipped a row or something and it ended up just a little bigger on the top than the first. No problem, they are small. I'll just whip up another one. So I started another boot but I ran out of yarn. No problem, I'll just frog the funky one. No. Not happening. This yarn is unfroggable. So I am debating now whether to buy another skein and finish the pair or to just start over with another yarn. The one boot I have is really adorable so I think I will buy another skein. I will probably make another pair or two with different yarns and see what I like best, since they only take a few minutes to make.

Luckily, I got my check yesterday! So Monday I will cash it and head to the store to pick up a few crafty items I need. I have been wanting to make a rug so I will probably be picking up a huge hook. The largest hook I have right now is an N. The pattern I am looking at calls for a Q! I've also asked my grandmother to pick up some sheets for me when she goes to the thrift store next time. I'm going to tear them into strips and crochet them into a rug. That should be fun.

Also on the list for the somewhat near future is another pair of gauntlets or fingerless gloves. Haven't quite narrowed it down to a pattern yet. And very soon I will need to start a request from my friend Phillip who wants a black and green voodoo doll. I have the yarn but I'm not sure yet how I want to divide the colors up. I have some great green yarn I got on clearance last time I was out. I'll also need to be starting some more Christmas gifts before I run out of time. And I have been craving to make a shawl for myself. We'll see what actually gets finished out of all this! Especially since I got Spore last week!

Oh and just so you know, I have been working toward making a nicer looking layout for this blog. I'm working on graphics at the moment. But it will probably take some time. You know, (almost) two year old and all. Haha!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Candy Apple Shrug Started

Today I started the Candy Apple Shrug. It calls for a bulky yarn which I don't have because I don't really like them. So I decided to use two thinner yarns together - Caron Simply Soft in Light Country Blue and Bernat Satin Solids in Grey Mist Heather. I made a gauge swatch and ended up almost exactly at the right gauge - close enough to work anyway.



So I frogged the swatch (since I don't have enough yarn in the first place) and started the pattern. Then I noticed that the pattern said single crochet and the swatch I had done was in double crochet. Oops! So I worked another swatch in single crochet and the width was close but the height was lacking. It should be four inches square. As you can see, it's not.



So I decided to just use double crochet instead. Besides, I think since I'm using two yarns together the double crochet stitch looks better anyway. It shows the colors a little better. This pattern is incredibly simple - make a long rectangle, fold it in half and then sew the two ends up for arms leaving the middle open to wrap around your neck/shoulders. The pattern calls for it to be 80 inches long. Woo that's a lot! So far I have about 14 inches.



I love the way these two colors look together and it seems to be working up pretty fast. After all, it's just one stitch over and over. And over. I'm not so sure about how it will look from the back though, since it just wraps around and crosses over. I can't find any pictures of it from the back so when mine is finished I will be sure to include one. I think this is going to look great over a black tank top. And I just happen to have a black tank top that has one strap a little stretched out. This will be perfect for hiding it!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Barcello Jacket Complete



Today I completed my Barcello Jacket! I'm really happy with the way it turned out, especially the extra bit of length I added to the sleeves. I wish I'd made it a bit longer but it may stretch out after I wash it. Hopefully it will soften up a little, too. I can't wait to show my grandmother! I took a few pictures of it today but I'd like to get someone to take some more of me wearing it. I'll try to do that this week.

Here's the one shot I took with it on.



And here it is on a hanger.



And the back.





Detail of the sleeve.



And collar.



And to think one month ago it started out as this.



I also whipped up a matching headband while watching the HBO premiere of True Blood. I'm not really a headband person but when we go camping there's a fan in the RV that blows all the little baby hairs on my forehead and drives me crazy so I will be making a few headbands to sleep in.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Captain Jack Sparrow Is Sea Worthy At Last!

I finished Captain Jack Sparrow today. I won't be able to give him to Preston at the birthday party tomorrow because my son is sick so we're staying home. I'll have to mail him out this weekend. (Pictures are clickable)

Here is a full body view.



A close up of the face.



Detail of the necklace, shoes, and belt.







And a side view before I added the mouth and mustache.



I think he turned out pretty good. Now to finish those jackets so I can start some new projects.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Our Labor Day Weekend Camping Trip

Here are a few pictures from our camping trip at Lake Bob Sandlin State Park in Pittsburg, Texas.

First I'll show you my nature shots. There were tons of mushrooms everywhere.





There were lots of moss covered logs and branches, too.



And there were vines and winding branches hanging over our heads.



There was a stump with all kinds of neat stuff growing on it.



As I was walking around taking these pictures of mushrooms and things, I came upon a bush with an unusual addition: a pair of panties! I took a picture of it but I will spare you the sight here. I did find it hilarious though.

Here is a picture of my son Gibson looking closely at things with me.



Here is the first frog Gibson ever touched! He blends in so well with the ground.



Here are a couple of pictures of Gibson playing in the RV. I really love the RV. It's not the newest or the fanciest but it is ours and it has everything we need. I love how everything is so tiny! I have many crochet projects planned for the RV and it's exciting to be able to make something that will be useful and appreciated.





And here he is completely passed out after a long day of running and exploring.



Here is my dad on his bike.



Here's Gibson's cousin Hally helping to put up the tent and get the fishing poles ready.





We had a really great time. I absolutely can't wait to go again, especially when Fall is here. Gibson started sneezing and got a stuffy nose yesterday so I probably won't have much time for crocheting the next few days. He doesn't feel well at all. But I have to finish Jack Sparrow by this weekend for the party so pics of that will be coming soon.