Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Professor Snape (First Doll Completed)

Snape is finally done!
Here is the pic of him dressed in his shirt/pants. Unfortunately his legs/feet weren't long enough, or his pants were too long...either way, he doesn't get boots. Oops.
His shirt is a bit too short too. He apparently likes to show off his belly

Once he had his underclothes done it was time to make his robe. Then I took apart the plies of his hair and brushed it. It's rather neat, and looks like actual hair now. Of course I had to add a wand as well. Here's the finished product. I hope my friend likes it.

Friday, June 25, 2010

A towel, A cloth, & A wizard

I can't believe it has been so long since I last posted. Time is just flying lately.
I've completed a couple more knitted items, and am in progress on another for a birthday gift.
First, I finally finished the boring old hand towel for my mother. I actually like how it turned out, though next time I'll do a longer decrease on the top to the 'handle'.

Second, I tried out a new circular lace cloth pattern I found online. I meant it to be a washcloth to go with a birthday gift of homemade sugar body scrub. Then my mother saw the finished product. She has claimed it as a doily. Guess I'll be making another one soon.
It only took a few hours to complete in the car on a road trip to Rattlesnake Point.

Hint: If you're terrified of heights like me, this may not be the best place to go for a hike. The scenery was spectacular though and we even ran into a few chipmunks.

Project #3 is yet another gift for a friend who is absolutely nutty about Alan Rickman (aka Professor Snape from the Harry Potter movies). Now I've never knit a 'doll' before. Nor have I knit doll clothes. So he has been a labour of love...and lots of trial and error. The body is finally done now. What do you think? Did I get his nosey profile right? :)
I've also finished his shirt and pants. They're....pretty bad. lol. I haven't taken pics of them yet. I will get some shots to put up in my next post.  I'm working on attempt #2 of his wizard's robe now. We shall see how it turns out. 

Until next time, happy crafting and be safe!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

50 Projects in 2010

Craftster has this great craftalong section of their forums. There are various challenges and project ideas, and if you want to participate you do so.
I just found this great challenge to do 50 craft projects in 2010. I think it's great and inspiring. In order to keep myself on track as much as possible (ha ha I know), and not just leap from project to project and never finish any....I have signed up. To help organize myself I'm going to post my list of projects here (the thread for this craftalong is already 366 pages long, that's a lot to dig thru to find my list.)
You do not have to list all 50 projects at once, and I don't believe you have to restrict yourself to the ones in your list (ie, you could swap one out for something else if you get inspired/hijacked into making something else). I haven't thought of 50 things yet...but I'm getting there! 
So without further ado, my 50 projects for 2010:

Knit Items:
  1. Dragon! I have the idea in my head, just have to get the time and mats to make it.
  2. Sharpei - as a gift for a friends bday.
  3. Tiger - another gift
  4. Manta Ray - to go with other underwater themed toys for my nephew
  5. Chiuahua - or however you spell the tiny dog, for another gift.
  6. Gnome Log or Mushroom House (doll house for boy...this may not get done this year. Planning for nephews 3rd birthday (he just turned 2 months old yesterday. lol.)
  7. Gnomes/Fairies/Other magic critters for the house.
  8. Moose - for mom (she's moose obsessed)
  9. Snowman
  10. Elf
  11. Frogs - debating on poses. May make a couple different ones
  12. Finger Puppets
  13. Polar Bear
  14. Fawn/Deer
  15. Ferret
  16. 'Monster' hand puppet
  17.  Elephant
  18. Mouse
  19. Seahorse
  20. Koala Bear
  21. Itty bitty tiny panda bear
  22. Sheep with removable fleece
  23. Gecko
  24. Baby Seal x2 (1 was a prototype before I made 2nd in good yarn)
  25. Big Piggy
  26. Ball
  27. Knitted mobile for nephew (5 flying animals and vine/branches for them to hang from)
  28. Baby Hat and Booties w/pompoms
  29. Saartje Booties
  30. Hand Towel for mom
  31. Cotton face/dish scrubbie from frugal swap
  32. Pi Dishcloth 
  33. Set of a scrubbie and 2 cloths + homemade sugar scrub for a bday gift
  34. First knit lace circular cloth (got stolen by mom so it didn't make it to #33's set)
  35. Professor Snape - a gift for a friend's bday.
[u] Non-Knitting[/u]
  1. Finish my nephew's underwater scene painting
  2. Reuse a thrift store sweater to make a felted bag. (It's in my washing machine being felted right now!)
  3. Make mittens or fingerless gloves from the same sweater. 
  4. Stage for Finger Puppets
  5. Scrapbook of nephews first 6 months at least. 
  6. A case for my knitting needles! Sis has even promised to help me with her scary sewing machine.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Puck!!

Yet another birthday today. There are a lot this month. Today is extra special though. It is my dear wonderful amazing man's birthday. Happy birthday sweetheart!

What's new in the knitting department? Well, my mother asked me to knit her a new hand towel for in the kitchen. The kind with a strap that attaches over the stove door handle with a single button. Her old one is getting quite ragged. So I was busy knitting the start of it, and asked her what sort of pattern she would like. Her response: "It doesn't matter, it is just a hand towel". ARGH! As if I want to waste my time knitting something that won't be appreciated. *sighs* So...I took some time off and made a couple fun new patterns while I thought up an appropriate retaliation.
Inspired by the frugal swap post on craftster, I made a 'scrubbie'. They can be used for your face, in place of disposable cotton swaps/pads, or used on dishes. It knit pleasantly quick and is nice and plush. I'll definitely make more if I ever run out of ideas/projects for a few days.
I'm debating making a few sets of dishcloth, scrubbie and hand towel for Christmas gifts. Planning, Plotting, Pushing back fun toys to do plain old knitting.....hummm...

A cute little 'star' critter. The author calls them aliens. I can see using oval eyes and no mouth to create a star from the Mario games. They also remind me a bit of the little star kids from Rainbow Brite. Very quick and easy, they are delightfully tiny.

Until next time, I am back to work on the towel. Happy crafting everyone! *huggles* 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Birthday + Broke = Inspiration

First, #3 won. The person who inspired the making of a tiger liked that one best as well so ... here he is:

 So Monday was my friends birthday. Unfortunately I rarely leave the house here, and when I do it's usually only for an hour or two tops so it's very hard to shop for that perfect gift. Even if I could afford THE perfect gift. And for some people...that's just way out of my budget. Jo-anne is one such person. SO....I decided to try and put my feeble knitting skill to work and make her something special. She is a huge Sharpei lover. Here's a pic of her old dog. Such a cuddly ball of inspiration! Here's the result:

Ok, this was an in-progress shot. Only one leg attached and no tail yet. I forgot to take a closeup finished pic....because the lil guy wanted to go explore. Look below for his adventures.

Wandering about in the backyard and checking out some of the flowers.

He then climbed to the top of this balloon leaf plant. I know that's not the real name of it, but that's how I always refer to it. I loved making those balloons when I was a kid :D Actually....I still love making those balloons......

Finally...he made a friend out of one of my tree gnomes! That was a long climb for such a lil puppy.

I sure hope she likes him. *Cue nervous knitter anxiety*.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Eenie meanie miney moe. . . .

Argh! Decisions, decisions! Yes, I am STILL working on the little tiger. Now I need your help! Below are 4 different looks for the tiger. Which do you think works best? The white yarn is the super soft fluffy baby boucle, so it does puff up and away from his tummy.

#1) No muzzle, small nose.                               #2) No muzzle, big nose.

#3) Just muzzle.                                            #4) Muzzle and white tummy.

So let me know what you think. Which one should I stick with?

Onto other news....I was very bad today. I spent waaaaaaay too much on yarn at the grand opening of Len's Mills. They had oodles of bulk packs of yarn on special. Granted, I saved a TON off the regular prices on what I bought...but would I have bought that much if it wasn't on sale? Nope! Did I get any of the pure bamboo or mohair or alpaca yarn that I was looking for? Nope! They didn't have any. :( They had some mixes (like the 15% alpaca/85% wool blend I debated on for a good 10 minutes) but I decided to wait and save my tiny yarn budget until I can find what I really want.
Of course I then went and blew that tiny budget out of the solar system. As in....4 months of budget gone in 1 afternoon. Oops! However I did get a lot of yarn that I have ideas for to make as gifts for Christmas, so that doesn't count right? :D  Want to see what I got? Here, lookie......mmmmm yarn goodness.....

-I picked out three of the 1 lb bags of factory mill ends, that they had on for $4. Yes! $4 for a whole pound of yarn! Mmmm. One bag appears to be a nice roving wool. The other 2 look like crafting cotton.
-A big package of brown crafting cotton to make my mother dishcloths and hand towels for in the kitchen for $8.
-3 balls of Bernat Soft Boucle
-6 balls of Patons baby bamboo in blue (no clue what I'll use it for, but at $13 for 6 balls when it's $7.50/ ball regularly, and I adored working with their silk/bamboo for the seal)
3 balls of Bernat satin sport in a nice light brown and 6 balls of Bernat satin cause I just couldn't say no to the prices.
-3 balls of Bernat Boa. Fun feathery stuff in blue. Maybe I'll make a cookie-monster type hand puppet for the nephew out of it. My mother has a scarf I knit her of the exact same shade a few years ago that she loves. -Last but not least there are 3 balls of Bernat Cot'n Corn. Because I've been looking at it for awhile and it was a nice green colour and only $3 or $4 for all 3 balls.
-3 packs of extra tapestry needles and a package of coloured safety pins for stitch markers when knitting on DPNs (my solid loops just don't work on them).
-6 pieces of felt. Four of which are more of a heavy fleece than felt, and soooooo soft. I want to try and make baby booties out of them.
Teehee. Reading this over, it's pretty clear who Lens Mills deals with for their yarn selection. 
Grand total: $76.62.  Meeeeep! However I figure it is about $250 worth of yarn. Not too bad. :)
So many projects .... spinning thru my head!
Until next time, happy crafting!

Monday, June 7, 2010

So Excited!!

They're opening a new yarn store in the smaller city near me! *dances* Ok, not a real honest-to-goodness local yarn store, but a Lens Mills store that sells yarn by the boatload! I cannot WAIT til Wednesday. It is their grand opening and I am going to be there with bells on and a hankie to catch all the drool so it doesn't muss up the beautiful yarn they are sure to have. Even better? They have bamboo yarn on sale!!!! Maybe some of it will be pure bamboo and I can see how that compares to the bamboo silk mix I used on the seal. :D

Current project news: I have a long time friend that loves tigers. So I've been procrastinating and trying to figure out patterns to make him one. I'm on attempt 2 now and not at all certain it will pass the test either.  Both versions started on DPNs in ...yes you guessed it...more of the bernat satin. I told you I was addicted to it lately, lol. Started with orange and then rotated black and orange stripes.

As I mentioned, attempt #1 (seperate head/body) did not turn out well at all. I  knit a wee panel of white for the tummy since most real tigers I've seen have white tummies. I'm not sure I like it though. Also the head is much too long and looks like it belongs on a horse or maybe a zebra that went swimming in orange kool-aid.
So I moved onto attempt #2 which I'm currently working on. I didn't like how uniform the stripes were on the first attempt so I varied them a bit on #2. I added wee ears that I may still stick some white in. I've also added a wee striped tail. I have kitty safety eyes for the face. Right now I'm trying to make some sort of muzzle for the face. I have yet to make one that looks acceptable though. I'm also still debating trying a white tummy on this one. I may just go for a more cartoonie tiger.

I shall update when I get further on it. My next project is already roaring around in my head demanding to be let loose, which is making concentrating on this wee one a bit more difficult. hehe.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Spring Seals

Ok, so I delayed posting a bit. I hope you'll forgive my tardiness. I wanted to finish the project I was working on so I could share it all at once.
I finally found a little ball of silk bamboo yarn from Patons for $7.50!!! Yay!! It's not pure bamboo, but it was soooo soft and smooth and almost....buttery??. I absolutely loved working with it. I don't know how I'll go back to acrylic after this... Unfortunately it doesn't brush up nearly as nice as I was told the pure bamboo does, so I shall have to continue the hunt for the elusive pure bamboo yarn.

So, in honour of the bamboo yarn, that I was VERY excited to finally find, I decided to try and knit up a baby seal.
Since I was making up my own pattern, I made one first in some Bernat satin acrylic to try out the pattern I had growing in my head.

It didn't turn out too badly. I decided I wanted  a slightly thicker tail and a longer body in the bamboo version. I'm still not sure about the 'whiskers' either. It's just a piece of unraveled black acrylic yarn. The eyes and nose are both embroidered on the acrylic version, but I used safety eyes on the bamboo one. Also, the bamboo/silk yarn was a beige/off-white colour. They didn't have white unfortunately. I definitely hope to get some actual white in pure bamboo. But now...without further's the fluffy lil baby seal:

As I mentioned, he didn't get the nice long-hair/furry look I was going for with the bamboo brushing. However it did make a very fine hair halo that is soooooooooo soft. I don't think the camera quite captured the fine fuzz surrounding him in the pics. So what do you think? Does he need whiskers? I think he deserves a name too. So cute and cuddly and fluffy....

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

This lil piggy....

Hello again!
My apologies for not posting for a few days. Things have been busy around here. My nephew is almost 2 months old now so he's awake a lot more, requiring attention and playtime. He's just discovered his feet so we've been having fun with the old piggies rhyme.
I haven't been completely idle though. Speaking of piggies...I finally finished the knit piggy I was working on as well! I believe we left off with the body, head and 1 leg completed last post. Since then...I've knitted the other leg and 2 arms and attached them.

I also added a curly lil tail and a bellybutton! I was thinking of making him/her an outfit...but I'm not sure I want to cover the bellybutton.

I also found a nice quick pattern for a toy ball that I just had to give a try, during my random link clicking.
I think I should have used blue for the center stripe instead of green. It's too Christmas-y. But it is bright and the wee one seems to like it, so I'm deeming it a success! It was also really easy to make.
I'm working on 2 other small toys now but I shall save them for tomorrow. :) Have a great day and happy crafting!