Monday, September 17, 2007


Yesterday, I finally managed to get some time to myself and managed to finish not just one, but TWO sewing projects. These are pretty much my first attempts at sewing (not counting an ill-fated attempt to sew a dress back when I was 16 or the apron I made in 7th grade home ec). Both projects were pretty easy in the grand scheme of things, but it did take me a while to figure out how to use my sewing machine. In my own defense, my mom gave me her machine last year and I hadn't had much chance to play around with it yet.

The first project is a little blankie for E. I noticed how much she likes to play with the tags on her toys, so rather than spend money on one of the overpriced Taggie-brand blankets, I thought I'd try and make one on my own. I figured it's only two squares sewn together with a little ribbon sandwiched in between, ho hard can it be? The answer is, it actually can be pretty hard. When all is said and done though, for a first attempt, it turned out pretty well, especially considering that I took it apart two or three times because I couldn't get the tension right (that's what I get for being too lazy to test on scrap). I think I also kind of made it more difficult than it needed to be by buying the nice minky-style fabric as opposed to plain old fleece. It was very slippery and hard to keep lined up, even with pins. I also discovered that it's a lot harder than it looks to sew a perfectly straight line. I'm sure the next one I try will be better. Even though I only bought a yard of fabric, I think I have enough to make 5 or 6 little 12"x12" blankets.

The second project was a little more difficult. It's a needle roll for my double-pointed knitting needles loosely based on this pattern. Besides having a lot more pieces to deal with, this also required that I measure out what size I wanted and make a paper pattern. Not quite as much ripping this time around, although I still wish some of the seams were straighter.

Here's another picture of it, unrolled. I should also mention that I ambitiously started this after finishing the blanket Sunday evening. I became a wee bit obsessed and ended up staying up till about 2am working on it. I got most of it done last night and finished up the top flap tonight.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

old stuff

I'm in the process of transferring pictures from the old computer to the new one and found some pix of old projects, so I thought I'd share. Most of these are things that I made for other people and I'm glad that I took a picture for posterity. It helps me remember that I do actually finish projects every once in a while.

First up is one of the first fruit hats I ever made. I think I was actually originally intending it to be a strawberry, but I got too lazy to do the dots for the 'seeds' so I renamed it a tomato hat. Made with cheapo acrylic Red Heart yarn when I was still living on a student budget in Austin. I think I gave this to Paula, but I can't remember for sure.

Next is a kitty kat hat. Again, made a couple years ago with Red Heart. I made this for Madigan, who I've since lost touch with. :( This was my first attempt at doing stripes in the round and thus my first encounter with the dreaded 'jog.' You can't see it, but the stripes don't match up in the back, so there's an unsightly seam. I've since learned how to do the 'jogless jog.' I was otherwise pretty proud of this hat, especially the ears, which I not only did in two colors, but stuffed with a little poly-fil too. Hmmmm, maybe I should make a kitty hat for E....

Last but not least, one of my first attempts at baby booties. Of course, I couldn't just find an easy free pattern somewhere. I had to go to the trouble of buying a whole book of very pretty, rather complicated booties. These turned out pretty well, although I'm not certain how accurate the sizing was when all was said and done. And yes, I did actually do a gauge swatch for a change. I'm still not sure I buy into those things. These were for our friends Mike & Michele's baby, Ella. I was afraid to ask if she ever really wore them since, again, I wasn't sure about the fit and I didn't want to put them on the spot. Which also reminds me, I have two other pairs of unfinished booties from that same blasted book.

One of the projects that I really wish I had a picture of was a beautiful afghan I made as a wedding gift for some friends who are no longer together. It had dark blue, cornflower blue and celery green zigzag stripes, made with super soft yarn and big enough for a queen size bed. I'm not sure who ended up with it or if it's even still around. That's my lesson learned about not taking pictures of finished projects.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

crafty withdrawal

We were on vacation in the midwest for the last 10 days, and in my rush to make sure we'd packed all the baby-related nonsense we could possibly ever need, I totally forgot to bring something to work on. In fact, I didn't even bring a book to read, let alone a crafty project. I think I went through some major withdrawal while we were gone. But now that I'm back home, I, oddly enough, don't feel like starting anything back up again. I took out the amigurumi bunny I was working on and realized I have one ear(?) and one leg(?) and I have no idea how I made them, so making a matching pair might be problematic. I also just didn't feel like crocheting at all. I'm almost freaked out by this lack of crafting desire.

However, the disinterest in yarn-related stuff may stem from the fact that I'm newly obsessed with baggo. I played baggo (also sometimes called 'cornhole') at a barbecue this past weekend and now I'm totally hooked. For the unfamiliar, it's pretty simple really: two teams of two people each take turns tossing four beanbags onto an angled board with a hole in the middle. You get 1 point for landing it on the board and 3 for in the hole. There's a million variations, but if you're playing "Nancy Rules" like we were, you have to play with a drink in your hand, and do a little dance if you get it in the hole. You also get 2 points if it's on the rim.

I'm trying to convince T to that we should make our own boards this weekend, and I'm also debating whether I should attempt to make the beanbags myself or just buy them on ebay. I'm really tempted to make them myself since it sounds like a relatively easy little sewing project, but I'm nervous that if I do a shoddy job, they may explode all over the place. I also worry that if I start buying fabric, it may open a scary new can of worms.


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