Sunday, October 30, 2011

Eyeglass Chains

These were created by my sister, Lyle...she is selling them at various locations around where she lives and travels...I just love these! I think she has a real talent for color and bead combinations. She has a natural eye for color in everything she does.

She also has been making ceiling pull chains and key ring fobs which I posted a photo awhile back, but here they are on a display board. Good job, Sis!   We are both trying to figure out an avenue to sell our things, Etsy is tough to be able to stay on display at the top of the list, there are so many vendors!

She also used to refinish old furniture and then tile the table tops which were just wonderful and very useful and beautiful for outdoor patio use...Wish I had some photos of her creations! I'll try to get her to send me some. She lives in a suburb of Detroit while we are traveling around so it's difficult to get our creations and photos together!

I was in Washington, D.C. all this week so I didn't do anything but finish a sock. This is made from Deborah Norville's Serenity sock yarn. It is a superwash blend and very very soft. I just love the feeling. I made them on smaller needles this time, size 2.75 mm, so the fit is better. Time to start the second sock! I haven't ventured into two at a time toe up socks on two circular needles yet, but some day....MAYBE! I really don't mind doing one sock at a time, even if they don't quite match up! This will be my third pair of socks and I love doing them! But I need to get more adventuresome in the leg parts. I saw Cat Bordi's video on the "sweet tomato heel" yesterday and really want to try that. It's a turned heel with no wraps and is constructed of a couple of wedges. It looks very easy and is VERY smooth. It's very cool! She has an e-book on that for 20.00 I'm thinking of purchasing. We'll see what the next few weeks brings!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Angels Among Us"

I like that Alabama song....I heard it earlier this week and it inspired me to make some little knitted angels this week. It's not Christmas without angels in there somewhere.....I wanted to make some either for my daughters and for my little Christmas tree we put up in the RV. I guess you could say they are also minis since they are so little. They are EASY to knit--no seams!...Knit in rounds, decrease a round for the neck, knit some more rounds. The wing is knit in seed stitch and garter stitch then tied up to make two wing halves and then  it is attached to the body. I used size 2 needles to make them.

The arms were hard to do the way the pattern suggested, which was to make one long arm, then poke a hole through the already stuffed, knitted body and pull out the arm through the other side. I decided to just knit two little arms and sew them separately to the body. The hair was a little bit of a challenge as well, but I just "worked it" to get a look of having some hair. For a little angel, there was quite a bit of "fussy" work, but I didn't mind doing it. What the heck! I'm retired! I've got lots of time to do stuff like that!  I liked the yarn I used, it had a nice sheen to it...Paton's "Grace" in ecru...I still need to add halos, and haven't quite figured out how I'm going to do that unless I find a beaded wire garland. I think I'll sew a little charm to where the hands are joined together. I think a themed charm would be cute--a book for a teacher, a heart for my girls when I make them each one.

Speaking of angels, I like to read the stories in Woman's World magazine about people's encounters with angels.....They are such positive stories!  Until next time....

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Photo Week

Another week has gone by quickly...I'm still working on my little knitted angels, trying to figure out how to do the beaded halo. The pattern says use a beaded garland, but I have not seen anything like that in the craft stores in the few I've been to, so I might just do a little wire halo and figure out how to attach it to the knitted body...

Fall is here in full force in Indiana...the trees are GORGEOUS! This is my favorite time of year. I love the cooler temperatures and my energy level soars after a long hot summer. We're having a lot of rain here in Elkhart, and it's getting me in the mood for crafting and making some other things besides knitting up ornaments. I bought some cute patterns for little purses, and some zippered "pocket pals" that would look cute in a child's room...Here's a photo of what those look like:

Speaking of photos, I just wanted to post my two favorites from this week's activities with the grandkids...The first is a little four year old friend that was spending the night with the grandkids that I thought was the cutest little girl. She was just sitting at the carving table watching me take photos of everyone, so I quickly snapped this one. She was a little shy, but then warmed up to me as the evening went on....She didn't know quite what to make of all the commotion going on with the other kids at our family get-together. She made a valiant effort to bob for apples because she thought that was the only way she was going to get a little treat bag. The minute she got her face and hair a little wet, she started to cry...Aw-w-w--w, we all felt badly for her and explained she was getting her treat bag anyway! I'll bet she breaks a few hearts when she gets older!

My second favorite photo is one where I focused on a part of the action....and not the kids.

I really like photos like these, I think it's a more interesting type of photo....I hope to be able to compose more shots that capture a different aspect of an activity or moment instead of always focusing on the people. I think it just makes your photos more artistic to have a variety. I'd like to grow my skills as a photographer and take a class or two somewhere along the way on our travels...or maybe an online course. I'll have to look into that....

This week I'll be traveling to Washington, D.C. to see my daughter for five days. I won't be crafting, I'll be a tourist! So there might not be a craft blog next Sunday....Maybe I'll focus on "artistic" photos, lol!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

All Thumbs!

I'm a glutton for punishment! This week I decided to tackle mini mitten Christmas make this little itty bitty mitten took double pointed needles, size 1, an extra cable holder for stitches that kept getting in the way, (I should have used a piece of scrap yarn to hold the stitches, I know!) and the patience of Job to work with DPNs the entire way through the pattern. Up until now, I have been using circular needles for just about everything I do, particularly the mini ornaments I've been focusing on. But this little guy was just too small for those, I couldn't go around in rounds easily.
So I used double pointed needles from the very cast on. Everybody says you have to make sure your stitches don't get twisted as you move the cast on stitches between three needles, but the cast on went so easily and did not get twisted, I  may try using these more often! And as I say that, I'll probably get all twisty with my cast on the next time I try double pointed needles from the start. It's really not as hard as it looks. You are only working with two needles at a time--the others dangle underneath and you move around counterclockwise. It was actually kind of fun using the needles! I picked up a shorter length to work with--4" long and that made a huge difference!

BUT--This project just wasn't quite as much fun as all my other "minis"--the hats and the sweaters, but it could be because I'm still working with really small sized needles...sizes 0 and 1 and there were such few stitches. I think I'll move up to size 3 for the next pair. Pair? Did I say pair? That means I've got to make another one to go on the little bitty needles before moving up another size...just to complete a pair. I don't HAVE to make another matching one, I could move on, but that's the perfectionist in me, I would like to have a pair of mini mittens...sigh!

This is one of those projects that I will look back on in my later years and say, "I can't believe I had the patience to do that!" or the eyesight! It reminds me of the time I made my mother a pieced paper lily wall quilt. I had never done pieced paper quilting. The pattern involved many many mini sections, then piecing the mini sections together to make the larger sections to make the wall hanging. I just dove in and did it, figuring one small section at a time was no big deal and very doable. The hard part was having seams match up while joining the smaller sections to the bigger ones. I had to fudge quite a bit. After I completed it, I said NEVER AGAIN! Here's a photo of it...the sad thing is, I don't know what happened to it in the various moves Mom did over the last few years, and it's disappeared...I'm just glad I have the photo to remember I did it!

I love working with sock yarn, it's so pretty and I love making small things, it goes much more quickly so I will probably still be on my minis another week or a little foldable purse I'm working on, it's knitted and then you block it to make a "snap" open looks and works like origami in principle. It will be here next week if it works out. (Update: Well, I can tell you right now, after trying and trying to figure out how to do the "folds" it's not going to work so I gave it up--too frustrating!) I want to have FUN or at least enjoy the process or learn something while creating and that was not enjoyable. On to something else!.....And next, I REALLY should tackle the WIP's (works in progress) I have in zip loc bags. Got about five of those going.....a scarf, knitted flowers, another adult sized sock, a vest for me, and more least I'm off dishcloths for the moment! Bye for now......

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Mini Me

Actually, it's mini ornaments to be exact...I'm on a roll....for some reason, I  just really like these little itty-bitty knit patterns. They are relatively quick, it's not a big deal if you make a little mistake, and you don't have to worry about size! I can't wait to get my little table top pine tree up in the rig to decorate it with my little sweater, sox, and now, hats!
These are made out of leftover sock yarn. It takes about 15 yards to make one. I just love them, they are actually quite fun to do and take me about an hour for each one. The pattern shows a little Christmas-y style button towards the top of each hat. I'm not sure I'll go out and buy some little buttons for these guys, I kind of like them the way they are!

I also made another sweater this week, a little purple one...I think I'll make some more sweaters and hats, and maybe even some mini mittens. I found a pattern for those this week. Looks like I'll be knitting minis  for the next week or two until I get tired of making them. Maybe I'll go back to making myself another pair of socks, REGULAR big girl sox or working on a scarf I started. Got some other little projects in the works as well...another one is a little knitted foldable pouch/box for a little Christmas candy or a little note inside. We'll see what that looks like next week.

My sister, Lyle, apologizes for not having a creative streak lately. She's got lots of ideas, but she's working HARD at Ferncare, the free health clinic that just opened up in a new building in Ferndale, MI. That's really important work and she's putting in many, many hours for free because the people are so wonderful to work with...and it's such a wonderful cause to help those who cannot obtain medical care any place else......Even though she's not crafting at the moment, we bounce ideas off each other all the time...Some day when Eldy and I settle down more, we'll be finding a cause that's near and dear to our hearts, I'm sure. I've got my eye on Habitat for Humanity.....I love working with wood, lumber, nailing things, using tools.....I used to saw my own tole painting projects a few years back. I miss that...but for now, it's keep it simple in the little itsy bitsy teeny weeny things are right up my alley!