Friday, September 24, 2010


It took me a week, but I think I have all the materials to get started on this year's halloween costumes.  Well most of it anyway.  I could not believe how difficult it was to find a plain pink calico or in the words of the "client" "white with dark and light pink flowers and green stems."  One of these years I'll actually achieve my goal of buying everything for both costumes at $20 per kids, but not this year thanks to the pink calico finally found at a local quilting store for $9.50 a yard instead of Joann's $2.99 per yard. Thankfully halloween is only once a year.

Along the way I bought fabric to make myself a fleece jacket and almost bought flannel to make jammies for me.  As if I have the time for all that nonsense.  Nope, all my sewing time for the next 5-6 weeks is focused on Halloween.  The class party is Friday the 29th which cuts off two days of sewing!

I had thought this year also that perhaps I could have a costume--and had the perfect idea... Velma from Scooby Doo.  I have the orange sweater and the hair and glasses but then I'd need a red pleated skirt and orange knee high socks.  The crazy part of my brain whispered that I could sew the skirt and get this... dye and knit the socks.

Are you laughing yet?

As odd as it sounds after running to three stores to look for pink calico I started to think the red pleated skirt might be the issue  rather than say knitting a pair of knee high socks.

Did someone mention socks?  I finished one.

libby sock

Lorna's Laces Mardi Gras done toe-up and short because I'm trying to get two kids socks out of one skein--somehow her feet have grown since I last made her socks.  Second sock is underway.  Thankfully my sewing and knitting times are so different in nature that this won't interfere.

Friday, September 10, 2010


In my haste to tell you all that I had entered the exciting world of crochet I had neglected to tell you about the socks!

I finished the first pair of my back to school socks for the ladies. They both had picked out some yarn at Threadbear and I can't tell you why I started with this pair, but I did. The next are on the needles now, but for some reason I'm having a big mental block on them--I've ripped back so many times that I'm nearly ready to rip all the way back and just start fresh. And you know what--they aren't even HARD socks.

next socks

That's some Lorna's laces in Mardi Gras--a colorway I'm sure I've seen at other shops although I was told (at purchase it wasn't a deal breaker for me) that this was exclusive to the shop I was in. I'm just hoping I have enough--their feet have grown a bunch since I last made them socks.

And coming soon (well next month anyway):

Next project

Oh yeah, life is good.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

insert obligatory hooking joke here

I have a very mixed history with crochet.  Oh sure I can knit, and I can quilt and I can even do some basic weaving and dyeing, but I think I might have this mental block when it comes to crochet.

My mom crochets and has ever since I could remember.  She mostly makes afghans which I once at the tender age of 3 or 4 thought were going to turn into dogs, after meeting an afghan hound.  I don't know what my small self would have thought had I known a whole country existed... but I digress.

I have several afghans (the blanks not the people or hounds) that she's made for me (and for my girls).  Once I tried to knit one, and boy howdy that's not something I'll rush to do again any time soon. And frankly, I have enough so at this point learning to crochet so I can make afghans is kind of pointless. Still, I love the 1970 style granny square hats and vests (although I would probably never wear a vest) and would love to make some.

My mom did try to teach me to crochet once, but it was very short lived as I had the attention span of an ant. I tried to teach myself once, about 18 years ago when my husband's roommate's wife was pregnant, and gave up on it shortly after the child turned 2--and gave everything away.  And I taught myself to chain and single  crochet for knitting projects. 

This time though I'm determined to master this... in part because I thought it might be a good thing to teach my girls.  So when my mom announced her annual visit--I said--perhaps you could teach me to crochet.  She proceeded to teach both of my girls to chain and single crochet (sort of).  She also helped me clarify why it is so hard for me to get this. 

First, crochet is not knitting and I was expecting that I would be as good at crochet as I am at knitting.  By this I don't mean that I am an expert knitter (I'm not) but I mean I can read a knitting pattern, know what's going on and follow it pretty well. I can look at my knitting and tell where I am.  I can look at my knitting and see the mistakes AND how to fix them.  I can do none of that (hopefully yet) with crochet.

First, the directions still don't make a lot of sense to me and second, I'm clueless when it comes to looking at something someone has crocheted and knowing what they did (I can do this with knitting pretty much).  But my mom left me with two how to crochet books (one for kids and one for clueless adults like me) and the girls and I are working through them.  My girls though, ever the optimists want to make hats and blankets for charity or afghans. Me, I have given up on the idea of a granny square hat anytime soon, and am focusing in on doll blankets as let's say practice swatches. 

I guess it is like anything--a lot of bad swatches need to come out before you can start producing good.  I wince at the first attempts I made at quilts, and I think I pitched my first knitted swatch (although I still have the project I made with my grandma--before I learned to cast on). So it is with this knowledge that I show you my efforts on single crochet

I think there are a lot of doll blankets in my future.