Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Like the late night DJ, I am taking your requests

I couldn't turn down a couple of requests from friends.  

First up, a newborn baby girl football set.     

Dontcha just love the football buttons?

I am not sure about the leg warmers, wish I had a doll or baby to try them on.  But the pics I have seen on etsy of babies in hats and diaper covers and leg warmers are cute.  See?  And another!  OK, this one is a bit scary.   Plus, I needed something simple to work on in the car on the way to Florida, so there you have it.  Leg warmers. They go well with the ruffle butt, I think.

Next up, angry bird hats.  I made some last year with worsted weight, but I have a special affinity for the Loops & Thread Charisma yarn that I make my owl hats out of and bulky just works up so quickly, I had to try the AB hats in a new way.   I think it worked.

Worst picture quality ever.  Sorry.  If I waited for natural light, this post would never see the 1's and 0's it deserves.
Side view to see the tails and 3D beaks.   

And finally, this isnt an order, but I wanted to try my favorite owl hat pattern as a Hello Kitty Hat.   Cute, no? 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

You would think the second crocheted larynx would be easier

Yes, I have crocheted a larynx before.   For an extra credit project in my dysphagia class and boy howdy, does one get very intimate with the musculature and movement of the larynx when forced to piece it together in yarn.  Extra credit, well played, Prof!   

(Can you believe my little ol' blog is the first hit on a Google Search for Crocheted Larynx?)

But, having since moved onto owl hats and coffee cozies, I put crocheted anatomy behind me for good.  Or so I thought!

I am running in the MS MuckRuckus and offered a free coffee cozy to anyone who donates $10 or more to my team.   I also said that I would entertain custom orders for a donation of $20.  One of my classmates took the bait, donated $20 and asked for a larynx coffee cozy. 

"How hard could it be?" I thought, since I didn't have to do the musculature or the tendons like last time. I could just focus on the bone and cartilage and the trachea already screams "coffee cozy" to me.   AmIRight?

Well, 3 false starts later, I finally made some progress that seemed to work.   I was politely asked what I was working on while in the carpool lane at my daughter's preschool.  Sometimes, honesty is not the best policy..or at least the one that make you look sane. 

Late one night in bed, I had an epiphany as to how to keep the two side together, as well as how to incorporate the vocal folds - elastic hair ties, of course!   Otherwise the top heavy anterior side of the larynx might flop over and not fully protect the users hands from the hot coffee.   (It's all about functionality here at ADHD Crochet!).  

See how it holds the coffee cup snug, right there at the juncture of the thyroid and the cricoid cartilages?

And then...I realized that I made my tracheal rings go all the way around the trachea!   Ack!   A crocheted organ can be functional and aesthetically pleasing all day long, but if it isn't anatomically correct, it might as well be a lowly bag of yarn! 

Out came the scissors and a pointy needle.... 

And the front view...

Although I will probably recommend she stick with the Venti or the Trenta to accommodate that hyoid and epiglottis. 

For anyone else who wants to donate, I might nicely ask you to choose from my existing stock of much less cartilaginous cozies:

Saturday, September 1, 2012

It would have been easier to crochet a bike!

Yes, I'll tie this in somehow to my crochet blog, that is really an all purpose DIY/Crafty blog.    And this was hard enough work to be considered DIY!

My son, who has autism, gets these wild hairs about stuff (I need a snack that starts with K!  Remember my speech therapist from 2nd grade, can we meet her for lunch TODAY?  I need to ride a bike NOW!) and I usually try to accomodate those.  

But the bike thing is tricky.   He outgrew his bike with training wheels, I bought him a bigger bike and a pair of add on training wheels, but the axle wasnt big enough to attach them.   He isnt coordinated enough to steer, pedal and balance.   Hence the problem.

So I set out to create balance bikes for both him and my 4 & 6yr olds who also need to learn to ride on 2 wheels. 

And lo and behold, taking the pedal mechanism off a bike is not that easy!   So I figured I would blog it up and share the youtube videos that a friend shared with me and pay it forward, so that you, too can be drenched in sweat, grease and the satisfaction of makig your own balance bike out of a thrift store cast off, an awl and a hammer!

First up, removing the pedals...did you know the key is that the screws are threaded backwards?  Heh, yeah, that's kind of a key piece of info.

Next, how to remove the chain.   Yeah, who knew the chain was threaded through the solid part of the bike frame.  Well, not I, until I got to that point in the deconstruction process.

Not many things can make you feel invincible like solving a problem with an awl, a hammer and a bolt!   

And voila!  A pile of mangled bike parts to show for the better part of my Saturday!

And one happy little learner:

A happy big learner:

And one who is pretty much ready to move to pedals and no training wheels.  She's got this!

And I get to smell like grease all day! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

It looked better in my head

So I'm on a coffee cozy kick as I build up inventory for a craft fair.  I love coffee cozies, because the "canvas" is quick to whip up (unlike a blanket or even a hat) and then you can add all kinds of fun detail which appeals to my right brain. 

In the midst of sharing my various coffee cozy creations, I had a request for a VW Bug cozy from a friend who is a VW Bug enthusiast.   Being somewhat of a fan myself (my favorite car in the world was my baby blue 69 Beetle, may she RIP after I blew out her engine trying to drive her from CA to GA...*sniff*) I had to pick up the gauntlet.

But alas, it looked so much better in my mind.   I can see that it looks vaguely car shaped.  But Beetle-esque?  I went with the convertable to work around the idea that, by design, a coffee cozy cannot have a domed top.   The headlights and front bumper look crammed together and I cant quite get that rounded front end I was looking for.

I may try again, after the craft fair.  Or I may skip the coffee cozy challenge, and make a straight up plushie.  

Unless my dear readers have any ideas to make it more Bug-shaped? 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Boobies and Bumblebees

My son's private Special Needs school is called MDE School and their "mascot" is the bumblebee.  So I felt inspired to create something for the school this year.   Let me tell you, the bumblebee was cute, quick and did I mention cute?  I could make 12 of him.    The letters on the other hand....quick, sure.    But of the persnickety pattern type where you constantly need to check the pattern while working, "wait, was I supposed to decrease on this side or is that the next row?"   Of course, when making angled and perfectly symmetrical letters, one must be persnickety and the pattern is well written, easy to follow and cheap at $1 per letter.   Just not good for a distracted crocheter like myself.    Oh and she even offers some letters free.

Unfortunately, my 4yr old loves the letters.  And she is learning letters.  Thus, I feel a compulsion to crochet her a set of her own.    Luckily school starts in less than 2 weeks and that does a pretty good job at squelching any and all creativity on my part.

"But what about the boobies?" you may be thinking.  I bring you the boobie hat.   I sooo wish these were around when I was nursing my kiddos.  I love the "in your face" statement it makes about nursing in public (AKA...get over it!) and it's so fun and quick and easy to make.   I especially like that the pattern comes in sizes beyond newborn, since some of us *cough, cough* nurse a bit longer.

I cant wait to see it in action, once my friend has her newest babe and the weather cools down a bit!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cuddle Cuddle Up It

Yeah, I was commissioned to make a Cuddleuppet, a blanket that's a puppet.    Which is apparently the most "coolest toy in the world, a'cause the pink monkey comes with a t'nana that he eats!"

Who am I to turn down commissioned work paid in hugs & kisses?

Except the monkey puppet pattern that I tried to follow had some very confuzzling directions, which caused me to just branch out on my own and wing it.  "Wing it" is apparently Jenn-speak for "create a monkey-like head that resembles a cow."

But the recipient is happy, especially once I added the t'nana.

And the other little girl has requested a pink poodle version with a crocheted dog bone.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Big Red What?

So imagine you're at Western Kentucky University, studying to become a Speech Language Pathologist, and all you see is Big Red.   No one quite knows what Big Red is, but he's big and he is red.   And he's an institution here in Bowling Green, KY!

And suddenly, you realize you are going to meet some classmates to celebrate a classmate's birthday at an Irish Pub. And you cannot come empty handed, right?  And all you have is 1 hour and a skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn.

I know, it writes itself, doesn't it?   You're thinking exactly what I am thinking....a BIG RED BEER COOZIE!

Eek, only 30 mins to go.  Better fire up some 80s music on Pandora.   She's a Maniac, Maniac on the floor...

Finished!   With a minute to spare!

OK, so I forgot the eyebrows.   But considering it's a replica of a big red blob with legs....I think I did pretty well!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

For once, not a Pin-FAIL

For Father's Day, I loved the idea of making this picture collage.   For one, it seemed simple enough not to screw up.  And for two, it gave me an excuse to make a cool speech bubble with chalkboard paint!

First, cut the shape from a foam board (I salvaged the remaining rectangle for a general purpose chalkboard) and paint 3 coats.   This is after 1 coat:

They really enjoyed the chalkboard the next morning.  I may be creative and hang it on the wall like this blogger.

Then go outside and snap a few pics.   My favorite outtake, which is only an outtake because she wouldn't let me use it for the final product:


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The easiest twirly skirt!

I love this circle skirt pattern.  I have attempted a twirly skirt, in particular this one that is supposed to be the most popular twirly skirt pattern on the web and the waist band ended up so thick and hard and bunched that it was not wearable by the intended child.   I figure since its so popular, it must have been user error on my part.  

But this circle skirt pattern, once you work out some simple math and draft up a pattern is hard to mess up, even by me!   I actually did the reversible version, since I didn't have any thick elastic like in the original   It's so quick, which I love.   Except when you sew your elastic casing before you turn the fabric right side out, in which case you spend 45 minutes becoming intimate with your seam ripper.   *ahem*  And trimming it with bias tape?   Brilliant!

So, reversible twirly skirt in some "vintage" Strawberry Shortcake fabric I've had forever.   Yes, I've had this since before the latest reboot of Strawberry Shortcake (in which she has much better hair) which is why I had a hard time selling my fashionistas on using the fabric because "ITS NOT THE RIGHT STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE!".  No respect for the "vintage" there.   But apparently, I could have turned a fabric covered in loaves of bread into something fabulous with this pattern.

"It's so spinny!"


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Wonky is just another word for "Hand Made with Love"

Gifts!   I love making handmade gifts.  I find I think about the intended a lot while I am making it and it seems to connect me to people when we are all running in so many different directions these days.    Of course, that sentiment can backfire when a project goes on too long and I begin to curse the day I ever met that person or when a project becomes so wonky and haphazard that I wonder if the friendship will even survive the gift.

But I present to you, the cutest little owl set ever (just ignore the trapezoidal shape of the blanket.   (Remember, wonky = LOVE, dangit!).

I've been wanting to make a blanket with stuff applique'd onto it for awhile, but I learned I have little patience for creating the canvas.  Making the design on it was much more fun than the endless....vast...expanse...of white.   I gripe, and yet it's not even standard baby size.  I went with the ever popular "carseat blankie" size, which is just code for "I'm too lazy to make a full 36x36 square".

Blankie was free handed but inspired by this one on etsy, hat was a basic beanie with pom pom top and the owl rattle was from this pattern.

Next up, %^&@$^%#%$#%$#% super hero capes.

Apparently, my machine does not like faux satin because if I had a drink for every time my top thread bunched up and broke, I would be passed out cold under my sewing desk.    And I guess I am supposed to use some sort of different needle, because I kept getting "runs" in the fabric.

And my "decorative zig zag stitch" around the edge looks like it was done by that drunk right before she passed out cold.

But, alas, the reason why I do not sell my items, is because I look at this mess of satin and thread and think...."eh, kids will like it" and proceed to throw it in a gift bag anyway.    But I did have fond thoughts of the children and their mama while I was making it, so that counts for something, right?  In between curses and eleventythousand rethreads.

At least my kids approved.   Although they ordered a set in pink & purple, of course.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Taking on Big Doll, one remnant at a time!

I love when I can make something awesome for little to no money and time!

Take one pre-shirred, pre-hemmed .375yd fabric remnant for $0.75.   Cut into two pieces:

Throw two girls in a tub full of water:

Add one Dollar Tree hairband (from a pack of 5, so $0.20) and an existing black T-shirt:

And get one really happy matchy-matchy girl for less than $1 and 30 mins:

(I bought 2 of those remnants at $0.75 each, so I will be making another little girl happy eventually, but I need to find a Tshirt to use)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

If only everyone was 18" tall

I'd have the whole world dressed in handmade clothes!   I love how quick and easy doll clothes are.  And there are so many free patterns online.    I had some cute left over disney fat quarters, so I made an ensemble for a friend's daughter's birthday gift.

First up, a reversible Wrap Skirt.   So fast and easy and it's cute on the dolls. I made three in about an hour. BTW, see that bodkin on the skirt below?  How did I sew pants and skirts and diapers all these years and never know there was a tool for threading elastic through a casing?    Sayonara safety pin, you have been replaced by a $4 upgrade.

Next up, cute knit Tshirt with applique.  One thing I learned form some of these doll clothes sites is that you can repurpose old clothes and save hems and such to save time.  I did this with a Tshirt in good condition, other than the mystery stain all over the front.

The ensemble needed more, so I stitched up a Mickey Ears hat (freehand, no pattern) and added a coordinating bow.   It still needed more, so I added a cute purse from the Tshirt fabric and ribbon.  

This shows the princess fabric on the reverse side. 

The patterns work for the Madame Alexander dolls, as well, which tend to run a bit thinner in the shoulders and hips.

I'm getting a strong desire to go to WDW...

I have 2 more Tshirts cut out and one skirt I am making from the cut off bottoms of a pair of my son's pants that I am hemming into shorts.   This is so fun.  

Two more pics...I found some strips already cut from years ago when my 6.5 yr old was a toddler and I was on a patchy/strippy skirt kick.   So I whipped 'em into shape, added a ruffle based on this easy technique and made a little 4 year old happy with her new "fancy skirt."

And two more Easiest Little Girl dresses.  Man, I love that pattern.  So quick & easy.  I have been on a bit of a sewing roll lately.    School starting in 2 weeks is going to be a major buzz kill.