Sunday, June 26, 2011

Slowly But Surely...

I'm working on this very cute doll from AK Traditions out of Australia. They have several books for these dolls. Isn't she cute?...just the cutest knitted boy and girl dolls, with clothes and accessories. I've gotten the parts knitted ok, now I am starting to seam all the pieces. I still can't seem to get the hang of how to seam things. I've tried backstitch and it's ok, but the seam is bulky. I've tried getting out my knitting books and reviewing the seaming methods, but even after blocking the pieces, I'm having trouble sewing what I see in my knitted piece to what they want me to sew that's shown in the book!

I know this doll is going to look a lot different than the one in the book, hopefully it will still be cute! The book is confusing about how to put the doll together, I think. There is supposed to be a muslin stuffed body, with the knitted pieces going over it. The way they have you join the arms and legs and put the head in to the body is odd, so I'm going to have to use my knowledge of sewing to try and figure out a better way to construct the doll.

Well, I've just decided to start in and see what happens...she's coming along! And actually, the seams aren't too bad. I'm trying different approaches for each set of seams, and seeing how they are coming out. I've got to finish the head, pull it inside and neaten up the joining of the clothing and the head, attach the arms and legs and embroider the face...maybe next week it will be finished! MAYBE...I'm leaving myself an out, just in case I'm not...

It's hard to find a local knit shop (LYS) when we go places, but I did see one in Cannon Beach, called Coastal Yarns. I might take my pieces in and see if they can advise me. Sometimes knit shops that are dedicated to selling yarns and needles charge for assistance. Can't stay too long if that's the case!

I'm excited about another side of me that I've been nurturing since I retired and went RVing full time and that's photography! Eldy and I bought a new camera, our first SLR, a Nikon 3100. It is so user friendly! He researched and researched and then the camera went on sale at Costco, so we picked one up! I've got a lot to learn about SLR's but the shutter is so fast now, I can take more photos and not have to wait for the camera to catch up. Here's my favorite from this week's shots....I love the way it captures action....this photo was taken at Hug Point near Seaside, OR.  See you next week! Hard to say WHAT I'll be's that darn ADHD thing goin' on......

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Time Flies When You are Having Fun

Geesh! Where did the week go? After resting on my laurels for having finished SOMETHING (the fingerless gloves), I let the week slip away without doing any knitting to speak of except for a new dishcloth pattern that I'm about half way through knitting. It's called the "Stacked Barrels" pattern from a dishcloth book I have. Wait, change that...after doing fine with the pattern and getting really far along, I put it down, marked where I was, and then when I came back to knit some more, I saw that somehow for the last seven rows, I got "off" on the stacked barrels and that the pattern was off. It was quite noticeable, as if I had changed my mind midstream where I wanted the barrels to be. (And I hadn't been drinking any wine, either!) Argggggghhhhh! Tried several times after frogging it back to the mistake to figure out WHICH row was where I needed to start on again in the pattern, and just couldn't quite figure it out. Some of these dishcloth patterns are not that hard, but you've got to pay attention. I'm thinking that maybe I need to type out the pattern for all the rows instead of "repeat * to *, or another example is when you get to rows 10 and 11, and it says to "repeat row 8 and 9" for rows 10 and 11. I think my ADHD brain has trouble with those kind of directions. (You think, Sparky?)

So-o-o---o, I picked another, easier pattern and here it is so far.....I love the latest colors in the 100% cotton lines in the Peaches and Cream line or whatever it is that I bought. ( I take the labels off right away because they usually fall off in short order.)
When I get finished with this one, I'll start another dishcloth from this bright green, orange and red just for stress relief (? HA!) from the thornier issues I have facing me, like how to seam all those knit doll seams from the knit doll pattern I made a couple of weeks ago. The fact that I'm thinking about how to do them is a start. I've actually looked up some different methods of seaming. I'd better get going because this is a gift for my little cousin in about a month.

Another accomplishment--I mailed the tee shirt quilt this week! Yay! It only took me from last fall to now to finish it. It helped that there was a sewing room at Palm Creek in Casa Grande, AZ. That's where I got the bulk of it done.  It's handquilted in places but not all over repeatedly as most quilts are done or probably should be, but hey--This is my quilt and I'm sticking to it!  In the RV it was hard to handquilt, this quilt ended up being almost as large as a king quilt I did random circular stitchings in different sizes. I'm not a good hand stitcher, and I really didn't have the right equipment or knowledge on how to do that. I didn't want to distract from the logo designs on shirts, so I did the circles close to and around the squares. It's not your usual tee shirt quilt where you make all the squares the same sizes. All the logos were sized so differently that I couldn't get a uniform square without chopping off some of the designs so I just appliqued them on top of the fabric. Made my task a LOT easier.....

Depending on the weather, I hope to get that knit doll put together--now that I've got it in print, maybe I'll get started! HA! (You can do it, Sparky!)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Finally-Finished Fingerless Gloves!

Boy, do I have a lot to learn! Got my second fingerless glove finished BUT--the bad news is, the second one is slightly smaller, the good news is somehow I did a better job on the thumb and it's not as fat. The bad news is, it bothers me that they are not the same size. The good news is after three or four do overs, I did complete it!
They look better in the photo than when they are sitting on the table without my hands in them! I still need to learn how to pick up stitches when doing the thumb area, but I managed to do it the second time better than I did the first. I must have started the second glove about three times. I finally tried using a lifeline, and although I didn't have to frog anything, just having that lifeline reassured me that I wouldn't run into a lot of problems like I did before. Taking stitches out on two circulars was a nightmare and I just ended ripping the whole darn thing apart three times before finally being able to finish it! Yay!

Am I going to wear these? You bet! It's chilly in the early evening here and I think I will wear them when I choose to sit outside and read or knit.  I might even wear them when I ride my bike. I feel good about getting something done this week. I've got a dishcloth going again. When I got frustrated with the gloves, I put them aside and went back to dishcloths. I was working on a particular pattern, one with right twist and left twist stitches, teaching myself how to do that. I had problems putting down the work and coming back and doing the wrong row. THAT dishcloth got ripped out four times....(Am I a little too much of a perfectionist! Yep!) Wish I wasn't, but maybe as I knit more, I won't worry so much about having something be perfect or look perfect. I put aside the the twist pattern and started a different one. When a project is so frustrating and not enjoyable, then it's time to put it away or forget about it, or try something new. The fingerless gloves bother me, but I'm glad I persisted and didn't give up. I'll wait awhile and try another pair using sock yarn again down the road.

Is the knit doll assembled yet? Nope....I'm dragging my feet trying to decide the best way to sew seams. Is the quilt for my daughter's friend finished yet? No....but it's on the list for this week. Just a little more handquilting to do on it. Having a craft blog is helping me be a little more accountable to myself. I can't believe how fast a week goes by!  Hope to have the quilt finished by next Sunday.....wish me luck!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Photography is My Thing This Week

For the moment, anyway....We're so busy checking out the beautiful Oregon coast, I haven't completed any projects this week in the way of crafts. I'm still working on that second darned fingerless glove. I got to the thumb again, and somehow lost a stitch and could see it more than a couple of rows down. I started to rip out back to the missed stitch as I couldn't seem to pick it up, and for some reason, frogging (rip it, rip it, rip it out) on circulars is more problematic for me than on straight needles.

I've been reading the Knitting Paradise forum, and they suggest a "lifeline"...running a piece of yarn every so many rows through a row of stitches or where you might run into difficulties later on, then when you have to rip out, you'll rip out down to the held stitches on your lifeline. After three times of trying to get this second fingerless glove done, I think I'll research that a little more and try using it....

My sister is selling her loom! She just wasn't happy with the weaving process and is looking for something different to do. Sometimes we try a craft and it's just not a good fit for our personality. She just didn't find the weaving process as rewarding as she thought. She's always been a great beader--having made gorgeous eye glasses holders, and other beading things like wrapped beads around lamps and candles and such things as that. So she thinks she might go back to beading. I used to do decorative painting on wood---signs for each season to hang on a door, barn wood signs--those wooden signs you see in craft magazines that hang over entrances to I got older, I seemed to get a little more unsteady with my paint strokes so I moved on to other things...made cards for awhile, scrapbooked with paper supplies, dabbled in jewelry a little bit, sewed a LOT of small quilts, table runners,  and wall hangings, now it's knitting. But I'm sure frustrated with myself at the moment...certain aspects of knitting are still so rudimentary as far as my skills, I'm expecting perfection when I should be just learning.

I finished my knitted doll parts--all the clothing, body pieces and the head, and now I have to put it all together...but I'm dreading it because seaming in knitting is not the easiest thing to do without having irregular stitches show through to the right side. So it looks like I'm going to have to practice first before putting this doll together....hopefully, something else will get completed this coming week. I'm working on it, truly I am!  :-)

Here are some pretty nature photos I took this week....Well, maybe a snail isn't pretty, but he sure looks interesting down there on the forest floor hiking path. I almost stepped on him!
I love flowers and their delicate papery thin petals and intricate designs within....