January 9, 2012
A few months ago I made this quilt for some friends who's third boy was born a few weeks premature and was in the NICU. I had seen the original on This Momma Makes Stuff, and I love it. Carrie had used flannel shirts, but it was June, and there were no flannels to be found at any of the the thrift stores I frequent. So I improvised. I picked up 3 men's cotton shirts from the thrift store and raided my stash for the other fabrics (the airplane fabric, navy and white seer-sucker and the light blue minky dot). Having never made a quilt before I was kind of apprehensive at first, but I figured I only had a few dollars invested in the quilt top, so if it turned out poorly, it was no big loss. In the end, I LOVED the blankie. Don't you love when that happens? Giving handmade gifts that I'm proud of is one of the best feelings.
Now, I admit, it's quite a loose interpretation of the original, but all the best parts are still there, thrifted fabrics layered with cushy minkie. Where Carrie made the edging out of minkie, I made my own bias tape from scraps of the shirts and fabric I had left over using a tutorial I had in my files (I'm a little embarrassed to even admit that I have paper files still, am I the only one?) but it is the same idea as posted on About.com, the Continuous Binding method 2. I love love loved how quickly the bias tape came together, and it was the perfect finish to this baby blanket. Also, I only cut some of the pieces on the bias and sewed all pieces wrong sides together so fraying was not a concern. I also added a monogram that was cut using my Silhouette HD, and the silhouette interfacing to personalize it.
We just saw the little guy who received this blanket over Christmas and he sure is adorable, one of those babies who smiles with his entire body, you can't help but smile back. I hope he is playing up a storm on his blanket right now... well, actually, our friends have three boys under 6, so for her sake, I hope he's cuddled up napping in it.
January 8, 2012
2012 is gonna be the year. The year that I do all of those things I've been muddling over for... I don't know... maybe ever. That's kinda how I roll. I like to think things over, research them, ponder, ask around and then make a decision. Or not. Sometimes I just don't make a decision. I'm going to make some changes this year though, not everything has to be so thoroughly thought through. So I'm going to try some more things, and if they don't turn out perfect, so what? I'm going to strive to live my life inspired by the Cult of Done Manifesto, particularly #8 "Laugh at perfection. It's boring and keeps you from being done"
Blogging is one of those things that I have thought and thought about. Friends and family would encourage me and I would blow off their encouragements. Enough with that. I'm just going to do it (obviously right?) So, it may not be perfect, it may not even be "good enough" for my standards to start. But I'll get it there. Hang in here with me, I've got some goodies up my sleeve. If you have suggestions or ideas that might help, lay them on me.
Another one of the things I put off was learning how to crochet. I learned how to knit years ago, but I never really got the flow of it. It felt very unnatural to me. Someday I'll practice more and add it to my arsenal of crafty skills, but in the mean time, I'm digging crochet. I like that crochet is something that can be picked up and put down at will, that it can travel and can be used to make an assortment of things.
So one night I sat down with my smartphone and started watching YouTube videos with some old yarn and a hook and learned how to crochet. I took it one stitch at a time and would watch a video and then practice a few rows. I started with chain stitch, then moved onto single crochet and then double. Pretty soon I felt confident enough to start a project. My 3 year old was very intrigued by the entire process and repeatedly asked if I would make him a hat. So I naively thought that was a good place to start. I asked my crocheting friends for a good, simple hat pattern and googled half way around the internet. I finally settled on a "the pattern that shall not be named". Half way through that hat (that is still only half way done.... probably will be forever... its been banished to the pile of projects that time forgot) I scrapped it for being too pointy. Why finish something that is ugly right? Then I went back to what someone told me from the beginning. "Get some pretty yarn and make yourself a simple scarf." Well, I couldn't just make a plain scarf, I had to fancy it up a little. I saw this cute infinity scarf on the Michaels web page while I was looking for some examples of projects made with the yarn I had picked out. I really liked the detail that the row of holes gave the scarf. So, with some inspiration drawn from the purl bee I kind of made up my pattern. And my first finished project was born!
Here's what I did:
Crochet Hook: size 10 1/2 or K
Yarn Weight: (5) Bulky
Yarn Specifics: Loops & Threads, Charisma, 100% Acrylic, Color 21 Chocolate Cupcake (distributed by Michaels)
Row 1: Chain 30
Row 2-6: double crochet
Row 7: Double crochet, chain 2, skipping 2 stitches, double crochet into the third stitch. Repeat across row. Continue, repeating rows 2-7 until desired length.