My Life in Knots

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Seaside Espadrills...sort of

In Interweave Crochet Spring 2006 there are 3 sets of espdrilles listed to try out. The pattern calls for jute twine for the sol and silk for the upper. Well I didn't have either but could easily go buy twine and I subbed in Aunt Lydias Denim Crochet for the uppers. But, I had major issues
1. First off the jute smells liek kerosene. The label states it is 100% natural and biodegradable yet it reaks
2. The pattern was odd! Now my gauge is never on with what's stated. I made a swatch with the jute using an M hook and my gauge, for the first time, was spot on. However, I made the first sole and it would have fit a 2 yr old it was so small. I went to the med size, to small, large, way to wide. So I had to improvise and did the sole using the size medium directions, but, instead of slip stitching row 3 I did a sc around and this seemed to help make them the perfect size 7 1/2's
3. Now I got the soles done time for the top. I used the denim thread and an F hook and my gauge was correct, I should have known not to trust that. Made the first upper using the large directions for the La Mer pattern, UGH looked like a band aid. I went to a g hook and the large pattern and the uppers worked out well.
4. Now I get the uppers attached and try these on and I just saw potential falls happening as the sole was so floppy it was bound to trip me up. So what I did was went back to the La Mer pattern and altered it. I made a chain of 22 to start and then followed the pattern through row 9. Once done I sewed it onto the back, added ties to the top of this and now They're Perfect!
Only issue is they were suppose to be for my daughter, but, try as I might I couldn't enlarge the sole past a size 7 1/2 without making them ultra wide. So I will practice with it more later and she'll eventually get her pair. I don't think they will hold up long though. I plan on using mine as deck shoes near the pool or just around the house, in and out from the patio. I doubt I would go shopping all day in them and such, comfy but I just don't trust the floppy bottoms.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Trying A Poncho

So I was flipping through magazines kind of bored at the moment with my WIP's and saw an add for a yarn wholesaler. As a sample to show what their yarn could do they pictured a model wearing a knit sweater and crochet shawl. I can't actually find the shawl pattern but I was inspired by the look and decided to design a poncho.
I have 10 random balls of luster sheen, each a different color, red, country blue, pale yellow, white, black, aqua, sage green, lavender, tan and mauve. I couldn't figure out exactly what to do with them but should have enough to make a flowy poncho.
I can't draw so I really can't show what I am invisioning as the finished project but here is my start

I started a basic flower motif I just winged off prior knowladge of how to make something look sort of like a flower with a border. When I started the second motif I juust joined it to the first as I went along.

Here is a strip of 7 motifs. This is going to be the width of my poncho and I am working the length off here and will attach with motifs to make a poncho, maybe fringe, maybe not we'll see if I ever finish it. I am intending this project to be for myself, so it may get put to the back of the line.

Cell Phone Cases

A friend of mine requested different sized bags to slip in her purse for make up, medicine, coupons etc and her cell phone which she can never find. So I was playing around and created these.

The red/multi case still needs the ends woven in and a snap sewn on, but the black/peach bag is all done.

I started by making my base chain right over a D-ring and then kept chaining after that. Went back with a simple afghan stitch to create a texture and juist winged it as I went. I then added a handle attached to one side, opposite the D-ring, with a clasp on the free end. This way, as you can see above, the case can be clipped onto a belt lop, purse or bag handle etc. There is a sewn on snap cover so the phone won't fall out but is easy to retrieve

Small Entrelac in Thread

I saw a pattern online for an entrelac draw string bag but had thread out and decided to wing it. This was the result, I think it's pretty

Saturday, April 07, 2007

I finished the bag, added a small zipper to keep the contents inside and an i-cord knit on size 8mm double points. My daughter saw it first thing this am went "OMG so cuteI I can have it right?" So it's off being tested already.

Hello Kitty Tunissian

I wanted to play a bit with some yarn I was given off freecycle. It's the green Romanian yarn that I plan on using for a project, still can't say what though. I, however, wanted to make something small out of it to see how it worked up and how it will hold up in the wash and with use. How better to see the wear and tear an item will take then to give it to a teenaged girl? So I made something I knew my daughter would use and abuse and it will help me determine if I can use this for the intended project.

These are photos of the back side of the bag before assembly. The reverse side of the tunisian stitch looks like the garter stitch in knitting. When working off a graph you can see the pattern on both the front and back of the work, but, on the back it appear as if knit.

And here is the front before assembly and after. I am thinking of making an I-cord as a small handle and maybe adding a zipper tomorrow so she can use it as a small make up bag. Ofcourse, she is 16 and this is only 5 ½ inches square, so it may not hold ALL her make up needs, but, I'm sure she'll be a great tester.

Victorian Baby Cape

I wanted to make something unique and I don't see, in the USA, baby capes in use these days, so this pattern fit the bill.

I did vary my cape from the pattern by using Jamie baby yarn in white #200, and size g hook.

I found the picture a little lacking on the pattern page so wanted to take a few to show the details of construction and how the cape functions.

I think it's darling and I am thinking of making a second for some twins that are due in june. This single cape worked up in about 4 hrs of crochet time, and had only about 4 ends to weave in.

An Ottoman and a Plan

Think I have a form of crocheting ADHD?

My First Design

I was bored, ok I had homework to do, so instead I decided to try and design an original pattern. I did a Hello Kitty sitting about 9 1/2 inches tall. I am still making a shrug to complete her outfit.

Giant Afghan

OK so it dodn't take a month, mor elike 3 days and I FINALLY completed the NY Giants Graphghan I am making my Father in Law, well I still have to add a border and finish sewing in ends. But here it is

Babies First Easter Poncho

Most people know about my friend who is a grandma for the first time. Well her granddaughter is now 4 months old and will be having Easter dinner with us. I had a basket and was thinking it would be cute to do something for the baby. I may not like the parents of the baby, but, I wouldn't hold that against her.
So I was thinking my friends been complaining that the mother never keep sa hat on the baby, never has the correct clothing on her for the weather. She'll come out of the house dressed in sweats and a sweat shirt herself and have the baby in a terry sleeper with a recieving blanket and no hat, no sweater, no coat. Her excuse is the baby doesn't like to get hot and they were going from house, to car, to house and not really outside so she feels it's ok. I feel shes kinda lazy and doesn't want to wrangle a sweater on a 4month old and doesn't like the hat she owns.
I know the moms favorite color is Hot Pink so I figured if I made something that is easy on and off, in the moms favorite color maybe she'd be more inclined to use it? Well we'll see. But, I ran across this cute pattern and it looked as if I could complete it in a night. So I started it and it took 2 hrs to make the hat and poncho, frogged a few times and altered a bit to fit a baby wearinbg 6-9 mo clothes now.
I dug in my stash and used , after I started in one color and needed to bulk up the yarn a bit to bulk up the size, one strand of Red Heart Soft in medium rose and one strand of Jamie pink. I think it came out adorable and hopefully the baby will get to wear it.


Friday, April 06, 2007

A view from my seat

People always wonder how to work with so many bobbins attached to your work, especially on a large afghan and such. Thought I'd share a glimpse into what my work looks like from my point of view
There's 2 parts of my 4 part graph laying there, written all over, beat up and have seen better days. I always keep a graph and then make a working graph that I print off larger so when it's ok 3am and I am still crocheting my eyes doing go buggy trying to see itty bitty squares.
and all the bobbins and skeins. See they get tangled up and twist around one another or a stray yarn waiting to be woven in will weave itself into a bobbin. But, it's not as much of a nightmare as it sounds. If you keep the bobbins up close to the item as you move along, they only slightly tangle and can be popped back into their place when you go to pick up the next color.

Romanian Yarn in Upstate NY?

Someone from freecycle dropped off some yarn on my front porch today (even after I insisted I could pick it up she delivered it) It's really pretty, but, I have no idea what it is exactly, the label is all in Romanian. It seems to be like Microspun, no guage on the lable so I'll have to play with it and use my tips and tricks to pick needles. I couldn't get a great pic so it's hard to see , it's 2 tone, the front of the yarn is the color showing in the picture and the back is slightly darker shade of this green. It's interesting and I already have an idea for it's use, which I can't share because the possible recipient reads my blog.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Nice Surprise and New Desire

So like most people I am a Freecycler. I have recieved some yarn in the past from people on the site and use it to make beanies to send to the troops or chemo caps I donate to the local hospital (in memory of my Aunt)

Today I ran out to grab some vintage books from a woman and got to her home to find she raises Alpacas and had a sign stating she sold fibers. No one was home though so I grabbed my bag of goodies and came home to find SHE PUT SAMPLES IN THE BAG YAY!!!!!

So my graphghan is calling but I had to play with this wonderful yarn and email her to get a price list...I want NEED some!

The verrigated is super soft and the picture does not do the hand dying justice I love it. But, I'm a chunky yarn girl and if you know me, you know my entire wardrobe is black, brown, tan and grey...I soooo need some of this black Alpaca and the Grey.

So I get side tracked

Everyone has heard me state that this is the year I am going to be on the ball about Christmas. So much so to the point I have already started Christmas presents. No I'm not really that organized and plan on being done by July. I just wanted to make afghans for everyone and knew it would take a LONG time so I needed a head start.
But, every so often a pattern catches my eye, or a kid complains about loosing a sock or how they out grew the old ya know, they insist on growing.
So I did get a bit side tracked but I think the results were worth it:

Nick (blue verigated fingerless mittens) and Ben (camo fingerless mittens) managed to loose 6 pairs of gloves I bought them this year. It got to be the end of January when stores wanted to stock cruise wear more than winter wear, so what was a mom to do? Of course, look up patterns for 4 hrs, oohhh and awww, plan 500 more WIM and then come across this great pattern here.

So while I'm at this lovely site I have come to love so much I found these
I recalled the same 2 boys telling me how the slippers I made just 4 months ago no longer fit them, so I had to make these as well.
I made Nicks in camo yarn without the cuff. He wanted the whole slipper in one color, sole and all. I did do a double layered bottom that the pattern calls for, but, forwent the foam insert. The double layer makes them very warm and cushy, but, I felt they would hold up in the wash better without an insole.

Ben had to have his with the cuff in camo yarn to match his fingerless mittens. I have no idea why they had to match the mittens but they did. Again I followed the same pattern without the insole.

Well then St. Patricks day hit and the kids were invited to a St Patricks day Celebration at St Patricks Church, so I made everyone one of these

they don't take pics well but this is how mine turned out

Its a Bobbin Life

I took some more pictures after attaching most of the bobbins needed to work on the NY Giants graphghan I am making. In the photo you may be able to see them all.

There's 14 bobbins and 4 skeins of yarn attached at this point in the picture. I now have 35 rows left to go and have 18 bobbins and 3 skeins attached. The bobbins help because really who wants to start 18 skeins to use just an ounce or so, but, they are better then having a ball or skein hanging around getting tangled up. However, the bobbins will still catch on one another when you have so many, so, you just have to deal with untangling them every so often.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

First Knitting Project

Here he is and his first official knitting project.
My son Ben wanted to learn to crochet but could never get the hang of it. When I started knitting he wanted to learn that too and did succeed in getting the hang of it. He made many little guage squares and such but this was his first official project.

It's pretty long messuring 70 in in length. He kept wanting to be finished but then tried it on and decided it wasn't long enough yet.

His guage is pretty good and his favorite yarn Caron Jewel Box in Jade, helped keep him focussed on his project. He finished it the week they went back to school for Christmas break and was so proud to show his class what he had done on their week off.

Shhh don't tell dad

Here is the inprogress of the graph afghan I am working on. I am actually past this point now with the N and Y complete I am now working on the Giants portion that will run down the side. It should be done oh in about a month or so lol. It's fun making these but really boring in 2 colors so it's slow going.

Kids Bath FINALLY done

It did finally happen, we finished the bathroom...sort of! Ok so I still need to paint some trim and install it but that's all.

Click here to see the Before Pictures.
Now here are the in progress images. Looks do not decieve here that is cardboard behind the tub walls. The pretty green flooring is asbestose composite tiles and the old sink with split faucets left our home about 20 min after I snapped this photo.
It was a horrible job! The entire room, ceiling and all, needed to be restudded, nothing was square, level or anything. All the plumbing was put in new, electrical, studs and then we finally got to drywall, backerboard and such.
Here it is...
A new tile floor was installed and works wonderful with 3 kids in this space. The odd shaped shower/tub combo recieved tile on walls and ceiling with installed shelving for necessities. We first concidered just paiting the walls BUT we had over bought tiles and decieded to reinstall tile on the walls 3/4 of the way up and as a back splash to the sink. Of Course before we finished the wainscotting we ran out of tile and had to go buy more, which we over bought again, but, finally returned the extras. Then the fun part of decorating. We used the new curved shower rod, fish shower curtain with matching bath mat, soap dispenser, garbage can and toothbrush holder and a pale blue on the walls (was the kids choice not mine) . I'm just happy it's finally done.