Monday, November 22, 2010


I think I'm addicted. Addicted to beaded crochet of all things.

It started out as a neat idea to give the teachers, something non scarf, not because I have any objection to scarves really, but more because I'm not really all that inspired at the moment by scarves--wait a month I'll be cranking out scarves like mad. and then it sort of got out of control.

First there were the swatches, and then:
teacher gift
And then:
teacher gift

Seriously, I had two teacher gifts in less than a week.  Turns out I can knock out 3 strings of a necklace in about 90 minutes.  So my teacher gifts were done, but I couldn't stop. 

green and black

I have two different types of metallic threads, but I like the dandyline in the top pictures the best.


I've already been to the craft stores twice since this project started, and I'm sure I'll be back for more dandyline.  And gold clasps.  And maybe just more clasps because I was teh dumb and bought 4.  I mean really, what was I thinking?  That I'd be able to stop with 4?
I think it might be the beads

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Usually about this time of year I start to get all excited about Christmas knitting. The last few years I have knit scarves for my girls' teachers. ANd then last year I made a pair of socks for my MIL. At the end of the Christmas season I wished I had whipped up a few scarves for my co-workers. This year I was determined to start earlier and do that very thing. Um yeah. Let's just say this year, I don't really feel the need to knit everyone I work with a scarf. It isn't that I don't like them, I just don't want to spend the money. Ok and I've been feeling tired lately at the end of the day and the thought of such pressurized knitting fills me with dread.

But that's not to say I won't be knitting some gifts! In fact I've already started (and finished) a few. LAst year my girls got American girl dolls for Christmas, and while they don't "play" with them exactly, they do like dressing them up. So this year after browsing the catalog--and realizing that the scarf trend that is so popular with adults is trickling down to the dolls, I decided the dolls needed scarves. And hats:


All this is cascade fixation done one size 4 or 5 needles. Fours I think.
I did measure the heads and worked up enough stitches to go around based on gauge, which was about 52.


The one doll is sporting a complicated updo (as seen in a doll magazine--it had directions so of course we had to do it...) and the hat doesn't fit over her head. It will fit when her hair is down though.

I have no idea this year if the girls' teacher is a scarf appreciator. Last year I figured if the teacher wasn't, she had a teenage daughter who might be. This year, there are no teenage daughters. Also complicating this year is that the aide in their classroom (who is there to help one boy but she really does more) was also the aide in their kindergarten classroom. So I already made her a scarf. And even though she has a new coat this year, I know she knits--AND I gave her the pattern for her scarf (she asked). So I figured a scarf wouldn't quite do.

Enter a quick look around ravelry and Lo and behold, I discovered you can crochet beaded necklaces. I'm following the directions here. I'm really happy so far:


I think I need more and bigger beads though. Who knows, maybe I'll end up making necklaces for my co-workers too.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

the fall

In the middle of the Halloween costume craziness, my daughters decided they wanted to be brownies. After attending the first meeting and being handed the uniform order forms I has a small gasp of sticker shock. The whole kit for vest/patches etc retails around $50. Take that times 2 and well... let's just say I had a moment of quiet contemplation.

I went home, and after researching it out--the patches totaled $15 each, the vest was $16 and the rest was made up of books, I decided there must be a cheaper way. I looked on ebay, I asked around, and in the end, I scanned a bunch of pattern books. Because really--$16 for a brown vest? The downfall of me, was when I said--how hard can this be? In the end, I found that Mccall's pattern M6229 has a view that is roughly the same shape. I got the pattern for $1 on sale at Joanne's and then went looking for fabric. I found some for $6 a yard, and bought 3 yards. I also bought a bunch of bias tape, but in the end, I didn't use it. So, for $17 I was ready to make 2 vests.

Well, this is about the time I realized that the vest pattern was only partially lined, and I was thinking fully lined (although for the record, official brownie vests are not lined at all). So I thought I'd just make mine fully lined, I've done a vest like that before, and thought I remembered how it should go. So I cut out the 2 pattern pieces 4 times and set to work.

The first vest, went together really nice until I sewed the lining to the outside. Let's just say that the way *I* had it it would have no armholes. I could not for the life of me figure out how I had done this before. Looking at the vest I had made, I could not figure out how to do it. After a day of fretting and ripping, I finally thought to look to see if I had kept the pattern. I had and after looking at the instructions, it was very clear what I had done wrong.

The second vest took only an hour to put totally together.

But the vests also took some handsewing--on the sides, which was how they got turned inside out. And again, I had to remember how to sew slightly invisibly those seams together.
So, ok it isn't much of a fall, but you would think that two vests could not take 3 days to sew. And then the patches! The patches are ironed on, but they need to be sewed down still. And I didn't foresee that my homemade vests would need some sort of label so that girls could tell them apart.

The official vest:

My versions:

Sunday, November 07, 2010

pride goeth before the dfall

You know the saying, Pride goeth before the fall? This here, this is the pride:

the public view

I don't know if I've ever been more proud of my sewing skills. Not only did I manage to pull off a frog costume, I managed to shorten it in a fairly non-distracting way. I think you can see where I had to make cuts, but it doesn't distract from the overall look. And then! And then I made a dress. A real dress that actually fits and doesn't look costumey (like ariel as a bride and Glenda). Also in those last two, I can really see all my mistakes. Honestly, I pull it off, but I can see saggy hems and threads hanging and puckered sleeves. In this year's colonial girl--I don't see ANY of that. Of course if I was to do it over, I'd probably have surged the hem first, because that is where it is fraying. Or maybe an overlock stitch. But anyway, it looks like well, a real dress, not just something someone whipped up for Halloween.

You might think that the "fall" I allude to in the first line has something to do with a school halloween party and black frosted cupcakes (actually something like that happened to Glenda), but no! Actually aside from a minor punch mishap which I think if I washed the colonial girl dress, would probably come out, they remained unscathed. The pride... well let's just say I got a little too proud of my sewing skills and details will follow.