Monday, July 28, 2008

Fun with Kool-Aid

A while back I bought a bunch of white/natural colored wool yarn with the intention of dyeing it. Well, the day has finally come! Last week I saw this tutorial on dyeing with Kool-Aid, which I happen to have a ton of (yes, we love Kool-Aid around here), so I figured why not?

I rarely do step-by-step stuff on this blog, mostly because I'm lazy and forgetful when it comes to hauling out my camera until things are finished, but today is a new day! Woohoo!

First, I wound the skein around the back of a chair so that it'd be one even piece and easier to get the dye on evenly. Sorry, no pic of that, but I'm sure you can picture it in your head. Next, as per instructions, I soaked it in a bucket of warm water with a little white vinegar.

Here's the initial colors I started out with. Lemonade on the left, Blue Berry Blast on the right, and kind of a mix of the two in the middle.

And a before pic (kinda looks like spaghetti, doesn't it?)

First lesson I learned? Three packages worth is not going to be nearly enough. Crap. So off to the store I went. Of course, I had to be dumb and forget to get more lemonade (I was distracted by the unusually wide variety of flavors they had at the particular store I went to), so I settled for Lemon-Lime instead. In the end, I think I ended up using something like 7 or 8 packets.

Here's the after:

Note to self, next time wear gloves.

After a couple zaps in the microwave, I let it cool and then started rinsing. This wasn't in the instructions, but after rinsing I stuck it back in the water/vinegar mix for a few minutes. And now here it is outside, drying.

I'm surprised by how vibrant the colors stayed. If I'd known they would set that bright, I probably would've diluted the kool-aid powder a bit more. I was hoping for more of a graded effect of blue-green-yellow, but my lack of yellow kind of nixed that. Still, I think it'll make a cute pair of longies or something. And I figure I can always try selling it if I don't like it for E. I'll try and take another picture after it's dry and I've wound it into a ball or skein.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Saturday Night Sewing

I am on a hot sewing streak this weekend! It must be because I decided that I was going to have a bunch of crochet done by Monday and I'm such a terrible procrastinator, haha.

In any case, yesterday, I finally tried sewing my own cloth diaper. I've been wanting to do it for a while and even cut the pieces earlier in the week out of some scrap flannel someone gave me, but I only got it all assembled yesterday. It was actually not nearly as hard as I thought. In fact, I was kind of shocked when I finished it and it actually looked like a diaper!

I was so excited that I immediately put it on the munchkin - over her regular diaper. Not only did it fit, but with room to spare, so I'm thinking it's probably a wee bit big. I'm going to have to go back and tweak the pattern a bit. Still, I did take off her regular diaper and have her wear this to dinner (with a cover since it's not waterproof), and it worked great! Homemade diapers, here I come!

I also finished a project for a bi-weekly Project Runway Challenge my friend Tracee came up with. The assignment was pretty straightforward: take a piece of clothing from your closet and turn it into something else. I really wanted to take one of T's Hawaiian shirts and turn it into a button-back dress for E, but I couldn't quite convince him to part with one. It was probably for the best though as I suspect that may have been too difficult a project for me. Instead I took one of his old t-shirts and turned into a little tank dress. And just for kicks I added a little appliqué robot. It's my first recon project, and it's also my first time doing any time of gathering for the skirt. I'm pretty proud of how it turned out.

I have to confess though, I made a pretty big mistake last night when I put it together. I sewed the right side of the skirt to the wrong side of the top, so all the seams are showing now on the top. I about cried when I realized it because it was kind of a bitch to sew with all the gathers and whatnot. But T said it wasn't that noticeable, so rather than spend all night ripping it out, I decided to do as Tim Gunn would say and carry on and make it work.

Here's the before:

And the after:

And here's E wearing it with a smile (she kept pointing to it and saying "bobut"):

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Less than a success

Here's another bit of crochet food that didn't quite turn out. It's supposed to be a pear, but it ended up kinda gigantic and looks more like some sort of gourd. I'm going to have to tweak the pattern a bit to get it to be more pear-sized.

Other than that, I've been very busily working on other food items that I'm hoping to get up in an Etsy store very soon. Stay tuned.

Friday, July 25, 2008


I finally finished the nap mat! And let me tell you, it was WAY harder than I thought it was going to be. Or to be fair, it's not that it was hard, just lots of steps and very time-consuming. It did turn out pretty nice though. T told me I should make them for money and I told him I'm never making another one again. Although, technically that's not true since I have to make one for E too, now that I've signed her up for Mother's Day Out (better known to the rest of the world as preschool) this fall. I think the next one will definitely be easier, now that I have a clue. I'm also probably going to make some changes to the pattern I used to make it less complex.

Here's a couple more pictures of it rolled up, so you can see the tabs and the carrying strap:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Finally finished something

The irony is, this is something I just started at Knitting Night In on Saturday. I know, I'm terrible. It's just so much more fun to start something new. Anyways, this is the wool soaker that I mentioned before. I knit it using this pattern, but as usual, I skipped the swatch guage so it turned out gigantic (if you look close, you'll see that I've already folded the waistband down too). There's a reason I never normally knit clothing. Next time (if there is a next time), I'll probably go down at least a couple needle sizes.

Still, I think it's salvageable if I felt it a bit. I do really like the colors, and the stripe used up the small bit of pink yarn I had laying around. Although now I'm wishing I had more pink since I still need to add some ribbing or ruffles around the leg holes, but I'm going to call it done enough to post.



Monday, July 21, 2008

Busy bee

I spent the better part of the weekend working on various projects. Unfortunately, not a single one is totally finished, so I have no pictures to post just yet. I was just saying the other day how I have a terrible habit of starting things and then never finishing them. I need to work on that. But in any case, I'm hoping to finish at least one thing tonight and get some pictures up. This weekend's big project was a nap mat for my friend Meighan's daughter. She bought all the materials some time ago, but I just finally started working on it last week. Like most of the things I aspire to make, I thought it was going to fairly easy, but it did turn out to be more complicated than I thought. Just lots and lots of steps to go through. And me making dumb mistakes that I had to go back and fix didn't help things either.

Other stuff I've been working on: more crochet food, including sushi! And sewing cloth diapers and more wipes. Not nearly as fun or exciting, but practical and necessary. I'm also trying my hand at knitting a wool soaker (another cloth diaper accessory, in case you have no idea what I'm talking about). It's a little funny that I've waited this long to make something like that, considering that it's actually pretty easy to make. I also really really want to try dyeing some wool yarn I have with Kool-Aid, but I'm going to hold off until I get some other things finished first.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rise & shine!

Now I just need to work on a cup of coffee and maybe a carton of milk. Thinking about pancakes too.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It's always easy in my head

Sometimes, I get an idea of how to do something and it seems so simple - bing, bang, boom, knock it out, right? But then when I actually sit down and try to do it...well, not so much. This is a perfect example. A friend recently gave me the idea to make cloth versions of alphabet magnets for the fridge. So since I had already gone out and bought a bunch of felt (10 cents each at the Hobby Lobby!) for the amigurumi food, I thought I'd use some to try this idea out.

It's not totally awful, but not really how I pictured it in my head either. I need to figure out a better methodology of cutting/pinking. I think it'll get better once I get a little more practice. Man, my sewing skills got rusty fast!

Monday, July 14, 2008

And now we've come full circle

It's been a long time since I've done any crochet - or anything crafty at all, for that matter. The month of June was just super insano busy. We had a parade of out-of-town guests, and then went out of town ourselves for a while. With all that going on, I've been in a bit of crafty withdrawal so I went on a bit of a tear this weekend, especially since I'm all fired up about the idea of opening an Etsy shop. I've already got one hat almost done, but I'll confess, I'm easily distracted by new things. And lately, I've had the idea stuck in my head to make some play food for E, especially since she's been putting toys in a old pot that I let her have and stirring it with a spatula like she's cooking. I know I'm super-biased, but it really is quite cute.

So this weekend I decided to go back to the inspiration for this blog and whip up a few amigurumi items. Some are from the book that my wonderful friend Meighan gave me, Amigurumi Super Happy Crochet Cute. Others are variations of pictures or patterns that I've found online. I cheated on some of the leaves and stuff and used felt.

Most of it is pretty self-explanatory. The two circles on the left are tomato slices that are going to be part of either a sandwich or a burger.
I'm about halfway through making a fried egg to go with the bacon, and I'm planning on adding a pat of butter to the toast too. I may do some pancakes too, but it's hard to find the exact colors (and I'm trying really hard not to buy new yarn). More to come...

Friday, July 11, 2008

biting the bullet

I've been thinking about opening an Etsy shop for a long time now. Well after much encouragement from some friends, I think I'm finally going to bite the bullet and do it...this fall. I need to build up some inventory first. I'm thinking it's going to be mainly baby/kids' hats, but there's a possibility of also doing some plush toys and play food. Not sure if my sewing is quite up to snuff for selling to real people yet, so most stuff will be knit or crochet. But I'd really love to hear any and all suggestions, so please feel free to leave comments!

Here's a few examples of things I've made in the past that are likely to make an appearance in my store.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Shameless plugs

I haven't had much time for craftiness lately. Been too busy with houseguests, travel, and other baby-related stuff. But on a sidenote, we did have an absolutely marvelous vacation in Iowa last week. E got to attend her first parade and I think she really enjoyed it. Well, that is, until she decided that she also wanted to march in the parade and throw candy, which of course was not realistic, so we had a bit of a meltdown. She did content herself with throwing her candy at us though, so not all was lost.

Anyways, instead of craftiness, I'm going to post a link to enter a contest where you can win a whole bunch of slings. For those that don't know me, I'm pretty big on babywearing and always looking to expand my modest stash - a Moby-like wrap, a Maya ring sling, and an Ergo SSC. But now that I'm hooked and have seen all the other options out there, I want more! The next baby that comes along is going to ride in serious style. Ha!

Win the Essential Babywearing Stash from Along for the Ride (one Beco Butterfly, one Hotsling baby pouch, one BabyHawk Mei Tai, one Zolowear Ring Sling, and one Gypsy Mama Wrap)

Also, here's another link to a contest to win a Bum Genius 3.0 Starter Kit from Nature's Child - Wholesome Goods for Mothers and Babies.


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