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Crafty Compilation – w/e 01/28/17 – w/e 02/25/17

Ugghhhhh.  Is February really almost over?  Is that a thing?

Sigh.  When there’s nearly 4 weeks of everyone in your household getting back-to-back gastro, time can really get away from you, y’know?

I’m obviously behind on these little compilation posts of mine, so rather than upload a bunch of weeks’ worth of recaps in quick succession here’s an overview of the non-own-post-worthy stuff that happened during these last few weeks:


Knitting

  • Comfy Socks

My travel knitting socks have become my sit-on-couch-watching-Supernatural socks because I’ve only been back to work part time as yet and there hasn’t been much need for a travel project.  No pics, but the first one is about mid-foot.

  • V-neck sweater progress

The sweater was moving along at a great pace, as stockinette projects tend to do, until I was nearly finished the front.  You split the front at the v-neck, working each side individually.  I’d finished one half and held it up against me to see how it was gonna look…and noted that the v-neck began roughly in the middle of my rib cage.  I’m not one to shy away from a low-cut top but that’s a bit much to wear without an under layer, even for me.

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I calculated the height I wanted it to start at and ripped back, making notes so I could add that many rows before the split.  I have ripped this yarn back so many times I’m surprised it hasn’t fallen apart by now!

Crochet

  • Kitchen soap cozies

As part of my massive cleaning kick (see ‘other stuff’ below) I threw together these liquid soap bottle cozies for my kitchen.

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The counter used to be a giant mess (pic censored to spare your eyes) and the cleaning supplies weren’t hideous but the kids (and I) had a hard time remembering which pump bottle I’d refilled with dish washing liquid and which one was hand soap.  The ‘dish’ one used to say ‘DISH’ in scrawled black Sharpie but it kept wearing off the bottle.

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I didn’t use a pattern.  It took longer to keep casting on, starting then ripping to get the correct number of stitches than it did to actually work the two pieces.  In the end they took 30 sts, and I worked 4 rows of single crochet for stability, followed by 3 of double crochet (so it wouldn’t take as long to make), then 3 more rows of sc to have a more closed-in area to embroider on, another 2 rows of dc and then finished with a row of sc to stabilize the top.  I embroidered the words and then sewed the cozies together in place on the bottles.  They do stretch enough to be removed and since they’re dishcloth cotton when they get dirty or covered in soap drips I can wring them out a few times and they’ll be good as new.

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Coloring

I’m not going to keep showing the coloring for each day… I tend to do them in batches as the images can start getting repetitive and I’m not always in the mood to work on them.  I’ve got them mostly completed through til February 12th or so, but I haven’t taken pics of them all yet so here are the last few I did photograph:

  • The Princess Bride coloring book

I have been ADDICTED to the new coloring book my brother got me for Hanukkah.

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This book is gorgeous.  It’s the entire movie in coloring book format!  No matter what your favorite scene from the movie might be, there’s a page ready for you to get to color it!

I always use the pages in the back of the book to swatch the supplies I plan to use.  I knew the pages were thick enough to allow water applications for my Inktense, but the little swatch sample I keep with the pencils is on beige paper.  I want to try to go for screen-accurate colors when possible, so I decided to swatch out ALL the Inktense colors.

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I gridded it out with a ruler then scribbled a tiny bit of color on one side of each cell.  Once it was dry I added the color numbers next to each but didn’t photograph that.

I’ve since begun working on some of the pages.  I’m going in order and have 4 pages in various states of completion.  It’s become my reward each night after I get the kids settled and tidy up and do laundry or whatever.  Chores done = coloring time LOL

Other Stuff

  • Cleaning!

Oh.  So.  Much.  Cleaning.  (…she says, pretending it wasn’t her own craft supplies making the mess in the first place!)  The house is long overdue for a big, thorough clean, and the first thing I’d tackled was the hutch in our dining room.  As you can see in the ‘before’ pic below, it was a massive jumble of an ill-organized mess, so crammed full of unnecessary things that there was no room for the things we DID need to store there.  During the brief lull between the kids’ gastro sessions I revamped the storage to better handle the things we needed.  My cake decorating supplies are still there, with the closed containers now spanning the top sections, and the open boxes and packages hidden inside the center.  Now the unit has become more of a central home art hub, with my drawing and coloring supplies on the left, and all of the home’s coloring and instructional drawing books on the right.  I’d grown up leafing through drawing books from a very young age and I didn’t want the boys to miss out just because mine were hidden away in my office.  The center square thing has become a homework depot (rather than homework remaining piled on the table or chairs during the week) with space for their binders and duotangs, as well as now being pre-stocked with construction paper, looseleaf, bond paper and cardstock, and the horizontal storage unit is all set up for them with glue sticks, scissors, erasers, sharpeners, etc.  All of their colored pencils and markers and such are in the top drawer right under the coloring books, so whether they’re up to some crafting or sitting down to homework, everything they need is right there.

I also did a similar complete overhaul to the den (I think that was between mine and Yannick’s bouts… ughhhh…), and am currently on a break with the kitchen about 85% complete to work on my office.  No pics of the rest cus there’s only so much of my mess I want to make public LOL

  • My hair 🙂

In the middle of all the illnesses I returned to work for the first time since roughly August.  Finally getting to be around people again was reason enough to treat myself to a little salon time, and I redid my crazy colors once more.me 2017-02-09 2.png

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If interested in any of the items I mentioned in this post, you can check them out below:
Creative Coloring Throughout the Year 2017 desk calendar
The Princess Bride coloring book
Derwent Inktense pencils
  • these are affiliate links.


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frogged!

Remember when this was a knitting blog?  *grins* Well this post is about crochet LOL

Last night I found out just how many geek & gaming videos one can watch while ripping out an entire sweater.

Earlier in the day I’d somehow found myself browsing granny square-related patterns on Ravelry yesterday, and stumbled across this pattern.image

It’s the 171-35 Harvest Love Pullover by DROPS and it’s free on Ravelry.  I think it’s got the potential to either look hideous or adorable on me, and hoping for the latter, I opened a new tab to check out my stash database and see if I had anything that might work.  One yarn that came up was my Noro Silk Garden, because I’d never marked it as fully used in the v-neck sweater I’d knit last January.

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This one.  I’ve also never finished weaving in the ends for this sweater, because I’ve never been satisfied with how it fit or looked on me.  I tried it on again last night and decided it was not going to ever be something I’d wear, and that Silk Garden is too gorgeous to leave relegated to a discarded FO box.  So, I decided to frog it.

The process should have been easy enough: undo the bind-off on the neckline and rip that back, undo the bind-off on each sleeve and rip those back, then pull out the seam thread from each side, then undo the 3-needle bind-off from each shoulder and then frog the front and back pieces from neckline down to the hem.  And it was… easy.

It was also a huge pain in the butt.  I’d been so smart in my knitting that to avoid pooling I’d alternated balls of yarn every 2 rows.  This now meant that every 2 rows I had to untwist the balls I was re-winding around each other.  It wasn’t so bad on the body pieces because I could let them flip around to help me out, but the sleeves were still attached to the heavy body and had to be manually twisted after every short 2-row tugging bit.

It was long.  How long?  It took 2 Day[9] shows (I caught up on the latest episodes of Day Off, and Mostly Walking) and 6 from Geek & Sundry (checked out some tips on finding anime and watched Damion Poitier snuggle puppies) to go from adult sweater to a bunch of balls.

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So I guess now I’ve… got balls?  Heh.  I’ve also got a crochet chart to type out into rows I can tick off on a spreadsheet, and then I can get started on what will hopefully be the last project with which I attempt to use my lovely Silk Garden.

 


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Halloween help

My phone has been pinging quite a bit lately, notifying me that people have been saving my pins.  While I think that’s awesome, and am flattered, I was also confused because I couldn’t think of what I’d posted that would be so popular at the moment.  And then I remembered – it’s almost Halloween!  Sure enough, it was my Minecraft-related pins getting all the love, the Creeper/Steve head tutorial especially.

So for anyone who found my blog via those pins, or anyone else who’s interested, here are some quick links to my (few) Halloween/costume-related tutorials.  I do have more coming up this month, so be sure to come back and see.*

For those with some boxes and paint lying around: here’s how to make Minecraft Steve & Creeper heads.

For those who need an easy addition to their Gryffindor robes, here’s a quick free scarf pattern.

For those with a young’un eager to train a dragon, here’s how to make a viking vest.

And finally, for those with a lot of knitting time on their hands, here’s how to make a child’s first superhero costume, as well as a look at how I used that same pattern to turn Jakob into Superman for his first Halloween.

I hope you enjoy the links!  For my fellow Minecraft-loving folks, I’ve got a matching Enderman tutorial coming up, complete with his very own diamond block.  Stay tuned!

 

*I know I’ve said that often, but I’m currently off work awaiting surgery so I have the time to actually DO the posts!


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aren’t they called “waiting rooms” for a reason?

Today I had a doctor’s appointment.  It’s not the kind of appointment that most women look forwards to- think cold hands and torture devices.  In fact, the only plus side to these appointments is that my doctor can, and usually is, called out to deliver babies.  If she’s not bringing new life into the world, she’s hopelessly overbooked with at least an hour’s wait past your scheduled time.

So it was actually with eagerness that I set out this morning for my visit.  Sure I had to miss sleeping in on my “late morning” and drive into town, find parking and schlep through the snow.  But I got to bring my Vegas Scarf with me, and was SURE to get in at least a dozen of those long, long rows.

Not.

I got there, 5 minutes late for my 9:45am appointment, and checked in with the secretary.  “How’s she running?” I asked.  “Oh,” she said, not realizing she was about to totally disappoint me, “you’re her first patient today.  Come right into the room.”

Crap.  No knitting for me.

I didn’t get any knitting done in the afternoon, ‘cus I spent it doing something totally frivolous and fun- shopping!  Note- I don’t usually call shopping “fun”.  But today it was.  My neighbor C and her adorable daughter (the one I babysat on Sat) went to Fairview to spend some gift cards I’d received for the holidays.  C is MUCH more fashionable than I am, works in the industry, etc, and a few weeks ago we’d played a game of “What Not To Wear” in my closet and pulled out EVERYTHING that did. not. work.  Too big, too small, too 90’s…if it wasn’t making me happy, it went in the bag.  There’s a woman’s shelter C knows of that has a lending “closet” where women can borrow clothes for interviews, work, etc, and we’ll be bringing the huge garbage bag of clothes there.  Which meant I had empty hangers to fill!  We had a great routine set up where I watched the stroller while C went around and picked the clothes, then I tried them on while she went to change sizes, etc.  In the end I managed to take advantage of some crazy sales and get boots, shoes, a belt, a pair of skinny jeans, a dress, a sweater dress, a cardi, a long-sleeve T and a sweater (oh- and 2 bottles of nail polish)- all for $180!  It was INSANE- and thanks to her amazing sales-radar, I still have more money to spend next time!

I had a headache by the time I got home, and it turned into a migraine by the time the kids went to bed, so I ended up crashing early.  That means no knitting for the day.  So I’ll share 2 projects I finished over the last 2 months.

After my cousin told us he was having another baby, I knew automatically what I’d make.  He’s a huge HABS fan, but he moved out of our province and couldn’t root on his favorite team as much.  Whether the baby would be a boy or girl, I KNEW he’d like one of my HABSie dolls.

I used worsted weight acrylic yarn from my stash, held doubled, and appropriate needles.  Beyond that I followed my pattern as written.  I used the doubled worsted yarn because I wanted a larger toy than the original.

Ok I did make one teensy change…or rather, an addition.  I duplicate-stitched the year of the baby’s birth on the back.  🙂

As it turned out, my cousin had a baby boy so the HABS doll was perfect!

A baby boy in a Jewish family means a bris, and my aunt had asked me for tips on making a baby-sized kippah.  She wasn’t sure about the yarn…or the pattern…or the hook size…and finally just asked me if I would be able to make it for him.

So I did.  I used crochet thread and a very small (1.25mm?) crochet hook.  The white was one thickness but the blue was thinner so I held it along with a white/silver strand, not that you can really tell from these photos.  I made up the pattern, both the increase rate and the colorwork, as I went along, and stopped when it “seemed about the right size”.  I think it was roughly 3″ across.

This is the inside, for those of you who like that sort of thing.