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Friday, December 31, 2010

Confession Time; I've Etsy'd

I was sewing the other day and my stupid tomato pin cushion kept falling over and tipping when I stuck pins in or took them out so I decided I needed a Diva Pin Cushion. I grabbed some fabric I had and viola... it even has a tassel because no self respecting sewing diva has a cushion withOUT a tassel!! It's 7 inches square and a 1.5 inch side. I stuffed it with cluster stuff and shoved a giant green plastic button in the middle and some bright yellow ribbon to tie it together.

I love it. I made two.

So, "people" have been telling me for years to get on Etsy or somewhere like it, to share that which I make that comes out of my head, through my fingers and, frankly, clutters my space :).

My foray into Etsy will be the over sized pin cushion...

To begin 2011, I'm going to. I hated 2010, should the truth be told. I felt belittled and mocked frequently through the year and lost a lot of confidence in myself.

I have decided I'm going to make 2011 mine all mine.

I'm not going to think my stuff isn't good enough, referring to the food, the writing or the crafty things.

I'm going to stand with head held high and face forward.

I'm going to produce what I do and hold before me proudly.

I'm going to try hard not to rely so much on the support of others but rather on the strength of my faith in myself.

Sort of preachy and sort of resolution-y (it is so a word!) but it's how I intend to wake up tomorrow morning.

Happy New Year and thanks for all the support, watch this space for the new and improved and cool funky stuff that is in my head and will hopefully be presented soon!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmastime hats!

Merry shortly after Christmas!

As way of a little confession, I went on a bit of a knitting spree this season.

I had been doing so much crochet that my arm started to hurt and I was afraid I'd have to go back into my crazy brace so I switched to knitting to give my arm a break.

I've also been skyping with my friends from the frozen northland and knitting circular tubes is easy and mindless work. Way to spend hours of staring at a screen, yakking to a girlfriend, then using the progress of any given tube as justification for no laundry or cleaning being done at all! Oh yeah baby, I worked it!

I happen to be lucky enough to know four children whom I just simply adore. I called their mother, my dear friend, for each of their favorite colors. It's hard to buy for kids you don't see all the time and I didn't want to just go get them what they wanted (how fun is that? for me I mean??) Anyway, I thought since it might get cold in Texas (hahahaha) I'd make them all a little something. They know I'm sort of crafty and the girls have been victim of my finger knitting and crocheting instruction in the past. I try to find little crafty things we can do when I visit while enjoying very large bottles of red wine with their mother. The boys generally dash off and do boy things.

For Christmas for them all this year, I whipped up a simple flannel scarf with serged edges for each in their color. I saw flannel scarves at The Gap for $24.00 *insert maniacal laugh here* truly? for $1.50 worth of fabric? Give me a break. Good thing I sew. I added the scarves because I'd decided to knit "tube hats" for each, adorned with the requisite pompom! I secretly just love the pompoms.

There's no pattern for the hats, it's a procedure. I cast on 55 onto 16' circular needles, 8's I think, I knit rather loosely. Knit like crazy until the tube is at least 20 inches long, or twice what you think the hat should be. Fold it in half, lengthwise, periodically and check it. Cast off by cutting a length of the yarn and threading the stitches off with a yarn needle. Cinch the top then cinch the bottom. It's an empty tube. When both ends are done, carefully thread a yarn needle and pull through both cinched ends and sew them together! EASY! VOiLA, you have a double thick hat!! If you knit it too long, you can fold up the bottom like a brim, if not you can wear it flat!

I think the kiddies loved them, I loved making them. I'm heading back to crochet land for a while again, I'll post my progress!!

Oh, ok, wait. I didn't double up or pompom the two hats for the preteen boys. Goodness, I was threatened within an inch of my needles to add pompoms. These hats I just knit long, about 12 inches then gathered the one end and sewed it closed. The boys like the "skater" look of them and both wore them pulled up with the "cool" bump at the back. Whatever, I'm not an 11/12 yr old boy and am obviously not versed in the current "coolness" factor of any homemade knitwear. Luckily, homemade knitwear made the cut at all so I supposed being given some simple direction can't be all bad. You look groovy, boys. Oh wait! nevermind.

So, go knit for a bit till we put our crochet hats back on... oh, no pun intended but I'm leaving it!! I'm working on a crochet hat with ribbing that I'll post when I get it finished. I just tried it on and pulled my hair through it to make it fit better and might figure some way to keep the back open so I can do it on purpose... Hmmm... anyway here's a sneak peak of the work in progress!

it's a bunch of rows of ribbing ( fpsc and bpsc ) then switch to sc around and I'm making it up from here ;)


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Lilttle Christmas Gnome (dudes)

I have to apologize for wandering off and sewing and knitting like a crazy woman recently, fear not though, I'm back!

I had some time to kill during a Skype session with a dear friend in the frozen wasteland and saw a cork across the table. The cork belonged to a bottle of Chilean red that I was enjoying as my after dinner "it's almost Christmas, I think I'm done and think it might be time to just enjoy for once" drink. I remembered a knit pattern I'd seen for little elfin Christmas gnomes and thought to myself, "heyyyy, if the knitters can do it, WE can do it!"

Viola! Enjoy my little dudes:

They are wine corks. They are 4ply worsted and an E 3.5mm hook. The little coat is made with a magic circle,
sc 6 in the center,
dc in each sc to 12sc,
do a row in the back loop only
do 2-3 rows sc in each stitch.
Finish and put it on your little cork gnome. You can make the coat longer of course.

The hat is made by a ch12, join to make a round then sc in each sc around for a couple of rows then begin to decrease a few each row until the hat is long enough.

Attach ribbons, bows, bells, glitter, buttons, whatever your heart desires.

They can be ornaments, decorations or just little dudes who smile at you when you've had a bad day. They will love you always. Crocheted Christmas gnomes are for always.

Make an army of them to protect you and send me some pictures!!


ADDENDUM: Ok, I've been Gnoming again and here's the link: there's Easter Gnomes and my new favorite St. Patricks day Gnome. I'm making more as I type this: