Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lady Bugs Dancing on Roses

I was finally able to complete a hat that fits my three-year old daughter -- and in her favorite color as well!  She chose the ladybug appliques that really give the hat a nice pop.  The yarn is "Rose Petal" from the  Lily Sugar'n Cream Scents collection and has a nice, subtle fragrance that she really likes.  The pattern is a slight modification of my trail hat design - I just adjusted the top and side rows to fit her head as I went.  As you can tell from my past posts, I really like this design and am already working on another in camo colors for my seven-year old son!

I know a lot of people with allergies don't like the scented yarn from Lily, but I really enjoyed working with it.  The subtle fragrance would waft up occasionally and remind me of walking through botanical gardens.  I will definitely give some of their other scents a try when I get the chance.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Princess and the Pea

My son is in a homeschool group production of The Princess and the Pea later tonight, and my wife and I crocheted these little Peas in a Pod for each of the cast members and the directors to remember their hard work on the play.  It was a lot of fun making them together, and I can't wait to see what the kids think.  My wife took care of the peas while I handled the pods.  These are quick and easy to make!  If you are interested in the pattern, it came from a book called Yummy Crochet by Kristen Rask.  We got it at Barnes and Noble as part of a gift set.  There are lots of other cool "yummy" amigurumis in there too!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hawaiian Shirt Pattern

If you want to make your own Hawaiian shirts, this pattern - M2149 from McCall's - ROCKS!  It takes anywhere from 2-1/2 to 3 yards of material (depending on how big you want the shirt) and also requires a bit of facing and a few buttons.  It is easy to lay out and easy to assemble, and the finished product looks great.  I am a true beginner, and I had no problem doing this mostly on my own (with assistance from my beginner wife).  The pattern also offers several other styles of shirt that I plan to try, so it is a great value for filling up your closet.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Trying Something New

So, for our 15th wedding anniversary in April, I bought my wife a sewing machine. She had been wanting to give sewing a try and fell in love with this retro-looking Singer model that was on sale at JoAnn Fabric. We went out to dinner that night, and I surprised her afterward by stopping at JoAnn and picking up the machine. She promptly named it "Motel" after the Tailor Motel Kemzoil from Fiddler on the Roof.

Over the next couple of weeks, she bought some material and made a couple of dresses for our three-year old daughter. I helped her lay out the patterns and pin seams, but steered clear of Motel. Finally, about two weeks ago, I found a pattern for several different types of Men's shirts in my size and went to the clearance rack to pick out some fabric that I thought would make a nice Hawaiian shirt. We got it home, layed out the pattern, and started putting it together. In the beginning, my wife was doing the stitch work on the machine while I pinned the pieces together. Then, she got distracted with the kids, and I decided to give a couple of seams a try. Next thing I knew, I was having a blast. So, I ended up finishing the shirt, including machined buttonholes, by myself and it turned out incredibly well.

 I liked it so much in fact that I went out last night and found some more clearance fabric. I spent this evening after work and dinner laying out the pattern and cutting all the pieces. So, now in addition to crochet, I believe I have found another hobby that might just keep me busy for a while.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wooden Hook Experiment

I just got my first wooden hook from SnokistFarmGirl - it is a US Size G (4mm) in Surina wood. It is 7.5 inches long with a decorative end. What struck my immediately is the amount of flex in the hook. I tend to crochet on the tight side and this hook definitely made me relax the stitches a bit. I would assume the flex decreases as you go up in size, but it definitely takes some getting used to. I do find the cotton yarn I am using tends to slide less freely on the wooden hook, but it isn’t enough to be an issue for me. I’m glad I got the hook to experiment and definitely think it will be a nice addition to my collection for projects where I need to ensure a looser stitch, but for me, the stability of the aluminum hook at this size is still preferred.