New Painting

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I got some new paints for my birthday, and a new standing easel for Christmas.  I tried them out with a canvas board I had sitting around.  I call it ‘Tumultuous Sea’ and is 16″x20″.  I framed it even.

I even set up a little studio in an unused nook of our house. I have a drafting table and a rolling cart, plus part of a bookshelf to store all my supplies.  I am working on getting a new logo (more info on that soon). Hopefully someday I will sell a couple paintings.

Arina

3D Printed Stitch markers

I once again found a cute pattern on the internet that I want to make later, but…It requires stitch markers, lots of stitch markers.  I don’t have that many stitch markers, just some for some tiny size 1-3 needles and a few safety pin style crochet markers.   While I was at Joann’s, for an unrelated Halloween project, I was looking at stitch markers.  There were packs of them between 16-20 of the size I needed for $5.  I was thinking, “you know that is kind of expensive for what you are getting”, and “seriously?”   Anyway, I grabbed a package and put them in the cart and went on with my shopping.  As I approached the registers to check out, I had an idea, “why not use that $600 3D printer we bought last year for Christmas and just spent another $200 to upgrade?”   I ended up not buying the $5 stitch markers.

Once I got home, as my husband was fiddling with the printer getting it to behave, I went to work.  I searched the internet for some pre-made designs, but didn’t find any I liked.  I then opened up Autodesk Fusion 360 (which is free to use) and designed my own stitch markers.

The first batch were a little too small, but they turned out nice.  Glow in the dark even.  Then I made them 2mm bigger (3D stuff is all in mm) and they were perfect.  So I printed 25 of them, I could have fit many, many more on the printer, but I don’t really need 100 of them…or do I?   I then made a set to fit the giant US 17 knitting needles I have, but they didn’t want to behave, and we are looking into why.  I can at least use what was a mistake in a pinch, even tough they are much thinner than I would like.

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(Small ones have a 6mm inner opening, the middle ones have an 8mm and fit perfectly on a size 10 US needle, the purple ones are for my 17s)

Now I just need to figure out how to make safety pin style or split ring style for crochet….

Crochet Pouff

I was surfing the internet and I came across this great pattern and I decided I needed to make one. A storage pouff.   I have tons of extra blankets around the house (a must when in Minnesota), and they end up piling up all over the place, especially the floor.  I figured this pattern was exactly what I needed to help my house appear more organized and tidy.  This is a free pattern from Jess at Chaleur Life.

I bought enough yarn to make 2 of these bad boys, only because I found this interesting boucle yarn on clearance at Joanns for $5 a skein for the giant 1 lb skeins after I bought some regular yarn not on sale for it.

The boucle yarn was annoying and stretchy to work with, and super difficult because it wasn’t center pull, so I ended up hand balling it which was quite the chore considering that the pattern calls for 4 strands at once and the skeins were huge. Yes, I did turn all 4 skeins into a single ball, it ended up working pretty well.   The ball was the size of a small watermelon! I should have taken a picture, but I didn’t think of it.

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The pouff turned out great, much larger than I expected, but great.  I even had enough yarn leftover to make a short waffle stitch scarf which could double as a shrug if I put on some sort of ties…

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Triangle Shawl

This is the first project using grandma’s yarn stash.  Well, one skein from it and a coordinating color to stabilize it.
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The orange/gold brown was hers, and so are the needles I used to knit this.  It was super easy and turned out super pretty.

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Here it is being blocked, I added the crochet border with just the plain brown yarn (I only had one skein of the fancy stuff and used it up in the main body of the shawl), I thought it needed just a little something to make it look finished.

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It turned out nice, with just a hint of sparkle and shine!  I ended up sending it to my grandma for her birthday.  (She has Alzheimer’s and cannot knit/crochet anymore).  I haven’t heard if she liked it or not, but I hope she is enjoying it.

Yarn, yarn, yarn

I recently acquired a small subset of my grandma’s yarn stash.  She has Alzheimer’s and can’t use it anymore. I went to visit her, she lives about 500 miles away.

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That is all I could fit in my car to take home.  I had to leave a bunch, and by a bunch, I mean buckets and buckets for yarn.  I let some family friends take some, and maybe, I will get more in the mail😉.
Most of what I brought home is wool, with a few exceptions.  There is a fair amount of fur and novelty yarns, as well as some crochet cotton, random worsted acrylic yarn, and even some baby yarn.  I even got the start of some project, no pattern though.
I am thinking I will make some stuff for family members in the near future.

Crochet cat

My 3yr old picked out this bright yarn at Joann’s a while back, and I let her hold it while I was shopping to keep her calm.  I ended up purchasing it because she screamed like crazy when I tried to take it away from her, ahh kids.  I found this random pattern online for a cute cat here.  I think it turned out cute, and I have most of the skein left.  I may make her a scarf for winter or a little shawl with the remainder, only time will tell.
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Octopus plushie

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Isn’t he cute?  My baby loves octopuses, so I decided to try to make one for her.  I went to my local fabric outlet and bought some Minky fabric.  It is super soft, a little nicer than fleece, and easier to work with than faux fur. Plus, Minky is machine washable, which is great when you are making a toy for an almost 3 year old.  His head is just a six sided sphere with the bottom cut off and 8 cute legs sewn on.  The very bottom is a single piece, then I cut matching tops to the legs, sewed it all together, and viola one cute yellow octopus.  I used safety eyes with a little fabric glue to prevent fraying.  For about $18 I made him with enough fabric left over to make him a twin.
My daughter loves him, she insisted on bring him to target that night.

Play cape, or Elsa cape

My girls, like every other girl, love Frozen. My 2 yr old has been running around with a blanket over her shoulders singing “Let it Go.” Which is all well and good until she drags it through the dog water dish, or until one of the dogs wants to sit on the blanket.  Enter the Elsa cape!  No offense to Anna, but both girls want to be Elsa.

wp-1456108866524.jpgIt is just 1 yard of 60 in fabric with a narrow hem all around to prevent fraying, a gather at the top, and a tie sewn over the gather as a closure.

wp-1456108840841.jpgSee blue for Elsa #2 ( personally, I like Anna better, she does all the work). Fold and press hem.  I did top and bottom, then the sides, didn’t bother mitering corners.wp-1456108857641.jpg

Once all four sides are hemmed, sew a gather near the top. Along one of the narrow sides.wp-1456108849507.jpg

Now, for the final step, just sew some  ribbon over the gather, leaving enough on each side to use to tie the cape on. wp-1456108877148.jpg

And done! Here are my Queen Elsas.  wp-1456108885292.jpg

This could easily be adapted to be any other cape, super man, bat man, whatever.  You can make an adult size by getting more fabric.  Even this is about calf length on me.

Gloves

So, after making such a lovely hat to match the crochet scarf I made last year, I decided to make gloves.  I live in Minnesota where it gets super cold and having nice winter gear is important, and having matching gear is a bonus.
I had plenty of my yarn left over (Lion Brand wool ease thick and qucick).  So I grabbed my 10.5 dpns and had at it. This pattern is a mesh of 4 different patterns.  These gloves are made for petite hands.  You can modify them to fit your own hand, plus try them on while you are working them, it helps to get that perfect fit.
Pattern:
Cast on 24 st ( I used a double open closed or latvian cast on).
Rows1-9: k2 p2 ribbing (or longer if you like)
Rows10-13: K ( can add rows to get to base of thumb)
Thumb gusset:
R1: kfb, k till last st, kfb
R2: k
R3: k1,kfb, k till last 2 st, kfb, k1
R4: k
R5: k2,kfb, k till last 3 st, kfb, k2
R6: k
R7: k3,kfb, k till last 4 st, kfb, k3
R8: k
R9: k4,kfb, k till last 5 st, kfb, k4
R10: k
Take 4 st off the back needle and place on st holder.  k4 of first needle and place on st holder.  These will become the thumb later.
Hand:  take remaing st and divide evenly onto 2 needles.  K 6 rounds or until sts come up to just below where your fingers start.  make sure to pull yarn tight when knitting next to thumb opening as to not create a gap.
Fingers:  For this part you will need 2 extra dpns.  The ones will act as stitch holders as you knit each finger.
Pointer: Move 4 st from each needle to a different needle.  K 13 rounds (more or less depending on the length of your finger) break yarn and BO.  I just used the yarn that was still attached from knitting the hand portion.
Ring: Transfer the next 4 st from each needle.  attach yarn leaving a long tail (6in or so, just enough to sew together the gap between fingers).  K 15 rounds (again or fitting to your fingers).  Break yarn and bind off.
Pointer:  Transfer next 3 st from each needle.  Attach yarn leaving tail for seaming,  For the first round on this finger you will want to kfb, k to last st, kfb, so that you have 8st total.  K 13 rounds (or whatever works) break yarn and bind off.
Pinky:  using the remaining 4 st, kfb k2,kfb for the first round after attaching yarn with a tail for seaming. k10 rounds (or whatever), break yarn and bind off.
Thumb: Seperate st from holder (or holders) to 2 needles (remember which half had the extra knit sts)  Attach yarn after first 4 st to pick up and knit 4 st to bridge the gap from one side to the other.  K the last 4 st.  At this point you should have 12 st on 3 needles.  the first needle was knit when you transferred onto the holder, the 4 you just picked up, and the 4 that you just knitted.  Now, K1, K2tog.  you can move to 2 needles during this step (8st).  K 9 rounds (or however many you need). Bind off.
Finishing:  First, seam between fingers.  Then I found it easier to flip the glove inside out to weave in the ends.  Weave in ends (turn right side out).  Don’t forget to make the 2nd glove.  You can add embellishments at this point.  I made crochet flowers to match my hat and scarf.  I also wanted to easily tell right from left hand.
Here is an extra treat:  you can buy conductive thread and sew it into the finger tips and thumb to make them work with your smartphone or tablet.  Adafruit has many varieties, this is what I bought.  There is even a tutorial.
Now I have warm gloves that I don’t have to take off to answer a call outside in -30 degree weather. wp-1456109068014.jpgwp-1456109072125.jpg

Halloween guys

In celebration of Halloween and my daughter’s birthday (also Halloween), I knitted a new toy.  A spider, inspired by one of my favorite knitters, Anna Hrachovech from Mochimochi land.  The pattern was from her book “Super-Scary Mochimochi.”.   Her patterns are super cute I own 3 of her 4 books and am planning on getting the 4th eventually.  I also have a bunch of patterns from her blog.

  I used one (gobbledyghost) to create the candy corn colored goblin for my Halloween girl last year.

Anyway, the spider was from the make your own monster section of the book.  I used the round body and fangs directly from the book.  The head is just a smaller version of the body, and the legs are just long i-chords.

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