Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sometimes you just have to crochet a gnome

After 4 days of a stomach virus waging war on my family, I finally feel capable of wielding a crochet hook.  I needed something quick, cute and easy enough for my frazzled brain to muddle through.   The gnome fit the bill perfectly. I love him.  I just don't know what to do with him - make him my mascot or send him around the world to take pics with my friend?

His eyes are a bit big, but it seems all the craft stores in the area have had a run on 6mm safety eyes.   It seems the amigurumi trend has kicked up before the retailers could keep up with details like tiny black eyeballs.  I think I am going to have to find an online source and stock up. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mystery Inc in yarn

I started the Mystery Inc guys before Christmas with Shaggy and Daphne, but it took until this week to find my motivation to finish Velma and Fred. 

So here they are in all their ascotted, bespeckticled and goatied glory!   (And no, I am not motivated to make Scoob, so the toy will have to do!)

Close ups:

Friday, January 14, 2011

I do not like Steel Hooks, Sam I Am. I do not like then on a train or on a plane or on my couch.

Yeouch!   Steel hooks.   How do Grandma's across the world crochet doilies with these puppies?   My young-ish hands had a heckuva time not cramping up permanently just from one single doll dress.

And lemme tell ya...a single American Girl doll dress takes a loooooooooooooooooooong time when made with a teeny weeny, itsby bitsy steel crochet hook.

But it sure is pretty with its tiny little stitches, isnt it? 

I read a review on Ravelry that it was tight even with a bigger hook, so I upsized to a 2.00 (as opposed to the recommended 1.75) and its a bit loose on the doll.   But I was able to skip 3 rounds of the skirt, since my "boss" told me it was long enough. 

The back is a little crooked, as it took me a little while to get used to the interesting method for the sleeves, which involved crocheting the right angles into the row.  Once I caught on, I liked it.   Better than making the sleeves separately and sewing them on later.

Once my hands uncramp, I may attempt the hat, but for the panties, I will stick with my sewing machine. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cheating on my yarn

Being snowed in brings out the creative in me.  Too bad the bored kids squelch that creative every chance they get.   But finally, on day 3 of the GREAT SNOW IN of 2011, I ordered my husband in charge of the sledding adventures and I sat down in front of my dusty old sewing machine, a sad neglected old girl since I discovered crochet. While sewing is my first love, I just can't beat crochet for being able to pick it up and put it down 100 times a day while also taking care of kids, house, school, etc.   Sewing requires more of a...committment. 

But while I trudged into day 6 of a crocheted American Girl dress, I realized that sewing definitely had some advantages of its own.   Add in the fact that I am way to cheap to spend the money on AG clothes for the doll and my girl...it was time to sew.

So here we have a $0.99 McCall's pattern + stash fabric + $2 Tshirt from Joann's for my daughter = Matchy Matchy Pj's and a super happy 5 yr old!

And just for good measure, here's my younger with her AG doll.  I got this matchy set deeply discounted on Cyber Monday and still paid probably $30 for both.  

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Who says you can't crochet socks?

Well, apparently I do.  

Socks are my holy grail.  I have always wanted to know how to make socks.   Cute, warm, wooly, multi-colored socks.    I think my inspiration was the book Hello Baby that I bought while planning my first homebirth, that featured fuzzy knitted socks for the big siblings and the new baby.   Well, that child ended up being delivered in the OR and by the time my 3rd was born at home, socks were the furthest thing from my mind.   

I failed at knitting once, took up crochet and loved it.   So I kept telling myself, once I finish making everything I want to make with a hook, I will try my hand at knitting again, so I can make SOCKS!

Then I said, "Self...why wait?  Why dont you look for crochet sock patterns?  Because you know yourself, Self and you wont ever get to the 'end' of your project list". 

So I listened to Self and decided this Origami Sock pattern looked great!   So simple to make, lots of math and computations to ensure a fab fit!    I splurged on many balls of sock yarn and went at it, making the mother of all Cankle Socks.   I am not slim legged lady, but these socks should be renamed "3rd trimester in August" socks.   But they fit like a glove from toe to heel, so I am not completely Dum at Mathz.

Not to be dissuaded, I decided to make a pair for my 5yr old who requested them in blue.   I never turn down crochet requests from my angel so off I went, measuring and crocheting and measuring and sewing...only to make a sock that perfectly fit my 2yo.

Who then decided she needed her 2nd sock NOW and went at my sock yarn with a pair of scissors in an effort to motivate me. 

Two socks are done, were worn for 10 mins and I have decided to stick with hats and dolls.  At least until I get to the end of my crochet to-do list and can try my hand at knitting again.   (Shut up, Self!)

The gangs all here!

I gave myself until Jan 6th to finish this nativity scene and I finished in the nick of time.   Whew!   My daughter has had a blast playing with these guys for a couple weeks now.   Jesus was lost and found quite a few times...hallelujah!   Eventually I would like to add a camel, a cow and a star, but when my 5yr old Pit Boss gave me permission to skip them this year, I took it.   For an ADHD crocheter like myself, crocheting 7 of the same figures was like torture.  Only the thought involved in making color choices saved my sanity.

Here's the whole gang, together at last (minutes before they are plunged into that storage box to languish for a year!)

Close ups:

They were made almost 100% in cotton for play durability but I used a little acryllic here and there for colors I didnt have in cotton.   All eyes are french knots.  

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Holiday wrap up

Just some odds and ends from the holiday crafting I finished up.  

Gingey with a bite missing:

Somewhat creepy eyed Snowdude:

Another snowdude that looked more like a Christmas Goose, so I added wings and voila:

And a hat I made for my son while spening 3 hrs in the ER waiting for a splinter to be removed from under my nail: