Monthly Archives: September 2005

I will not give in.

It’s disappointing in a way to go to crochet blogs and find lots of posts about knitting, and none about crochet. Worse than looking in the needlecraft section at Barnes & Noble and seeing 20,000 knitting books and maybe five crochet, four of which I already have and the fifth of which is afghans.

Not that there’s anything wrong with practicing more than one craft. But when I visit crochet blogs, I’m not looking to learn about anyone’s adventures in knitting. There are more than enough knitting blogs out there that, should the last of my current personality leak out in my breastmilk, I can read about knitting easily.

Sigh. I have some knitting needles laying around the house. I almost want to pick them up and practice again, but I will not give in. Knitting these days is like mold. Give it the slightest bit of air and it will cover up everything else & start to smell funny.

I’m about half done with Linda’s swirly skirt. Just being lazy about it is all. Thirty-seven weeks now, and the past two days I’ve had long naps during the afternoon. Four hours yesterday and two hours today (yeah, I know it’s technically Friday already, but as I haven’t been to bed yet my body still thinks its Thursday). I’d love to crochet up a storm, but right now my ability to sleep is so iffy that sleep takes precedence. Which means I’m spending time trying to fight Linda away from Bobbie’s outfit; she keeps grabbing it to put it on.

Well, Bobbie is sitting down here with me. She woke up and saw a monster, apparently, so I let her stay with me, since Linda is already in bed with Rob. She’s starting to demand we go to bed, so I’d best finish this off & go.

Bobbie’s Dance Outfit

What more can I really add to that photo? She loves it. She wanted to sleep in it tonight.

It was a royal pain to make. The lace pattern is simple enough, but getting it to look OK and have a bit of a ruffle to it wasn’t easy. Especially since I started doing it one way, frogged it and decided to do it another, then kept forgetting to do it the new way and having to frog it yet again to fix it. That’s one reason the skirt is above-the-knee, not a length I usually let her wear (it’s an almost totally openwork skirt, which means it’s an at-home-only piece). It’s made specifically for her to dance in, though.

The top was much easier. The skirt was the work of several days, the top took maybe an hour and half or two hours. Being an at-home-only outfit, again, made my job easier, because I don’t have to worry about it keeping to my usual standards.

Now, of course, I have to make Linda a similar outfit, because she kept demanding this one, LOL.

Linda’s Fish Bug


Hmm, perhaps a bit too close-up. Ah well. Same basic technique as the one I made from Bobbie, but intentionally different. Stitches this time are a multiple of 6 instead of five, there’s an elongated nose (for a while, it looked as if I was crocheting a multicolored nipple…), there’s a dorsal fin and the fins are shaped differently & have a sort of ruffled edge. The legs are made in one piece instead of individually (which is a good thing, as I accidentally put them on one side to begin with & had to frog ’em & put ’em on the bottom). Antennae were made to curl too.

Linda likes it, but it’s nowhere near as big a hit as the zombie dolly. She was smacking it against the wall this evening, trying to squish it I assume (Rob has taught them to squish bugs on sight).

Today’s non-crochet anecdote:

There are two local papers. We have home delivery of one, and buy the other (and also USA Today during the week; I’m a total newspaper slut). Well, we decided around four this afternoon that it was time to get dressed & go get the Star-Bulletin. Everyone was dressed and ready and literally walking to the door when Rob stopped to get the keys…And they weren’t on the hook.

Thus commenced an epic search for the keys. We looked upstairs. We looked downstairs. We cleaned and organized as we went. No sign of the keys. We’d had them just the day before, when we went to buy some groceries. It quickly became obvious that, for them to be lost as quickly & thoroughly as they had been, one or both of the children had to be the culprit.

I sent Rob out to the van, thinking that my set of keys was in the diaper bag. Of course, the van was locked, so he had to break into it. Luckily, my husband is one of those people who frequently locks his own keys in his vehicle (something I have never done), so he’s rather handy at it. But they weren’t there. Which meant the children had absconded with my keys as well.

Right around dusk (mind you, the search had been going on literally hours by this time), I decided to go outside & look for them again. The girls play out on the front porch quite a bit, and I thought perhaps they’d managed to shove them into one of the two sheds out there.

To understand the denoument of the story, you must know a small bit about the set-up here. We live in a sort of townhouse unit, and the porches are separated by cinderblock walls, which for some reason have holes in them, so that there are little openings between the porches. When I went out initially this afternoon to look in their toys, I peeked through to the porch next door, where lives a little girl about Bobbie’s age to whom she frequently passes toys.

What I neglected to do was get down on a child’s level.

When I went out this evening, though, I knelt down and looked through the bottom of the holes. Sure enough, there was the silhouette of my much-gnawed leather Texas. I reached through and retrieved my keys. I couldn’t see any others, but it stood to reason that his would also be there, and so they were.

Thank God they were within easy reach. I’d have hated to have to go to the neighbors and ask them to give us back our van keys…

Fish Bug

So Bobbie announced yesterday that she wanted a fish bug. We had been to the Commissary earlier in the day, & of course every time we go there she has to look at the tank with the live crabs & lobsters. I can only assume that, when she said “fish bug,” in reality she meant lobster. (Crabs she knows. Lobsters not so much so.)

But at any rate, it gave me an idea, so I decided to make her a fish bug:
It looks vaguely butterfly-ish, but that wasn’t on purpose, though from now on I will swear it was. It went together quite quickly and easily, being just BLO sc in the head/body. No eyes, because I just wasn’t in the mood to embroider tonight. It really took maybe an hour or two, total. I’ll give it to Bobbie tomorrow after I make another one for Linda.

Finished Fairy Dolls

OK, they can’t rightly be called fairy dolls, as I don’t like either well enough to actually use the wire wing forms Rob made. So they’re wingless, and fairies should have wings. But still, they’re cute enough for the girls:

The one on the left, the purple one, is the first I made. I used the same techniques as for the zombie dolls, but with a different multiple, & of course these have figures too. No idea what yarn, even what weight, I used for the body. The hair is a varigated worsted weight, but no clue what brand. I used up some of the mystery yarn in my stash on these things! The skirt is Jamie baby fingering weight yarn. That was simple enough. Started out at the wide end and made a triangle by decreasing on one side only, then crocheted a simple lattice stitch edging around two of the sides.

The green one…Weird that I’m less happy with the second attempt. In theory, number two should be to refine techniques, but I just don’t like the changes I made. Well, I like some of them. I like the torso much more, and the hair is great even though it was a total pain to do & I’m certain I made it more difficult than necessary. But I don’t like the bottom of the torso where I made the legs, I’m not too happy with the legs themselves, and the seam where the arms are sewn to the torso looks odd & I think it’s because of the arms themselves. What’s neat about it is I used a pompadour yarn for the body, so it’s kind of shiny, and I still am enamoured of the yellow-green yarn I used for the hair.

Now, the skirt on that one was a trip to make. It’s a floral trellis stitch. Forget the name of the book offhand; it’s one of those collections of stitch patterns. It has both written directions & a chart, and all I can say is thank God for that chart, because the directions make zero sense after the first row. They seriously do not match the chart or what obviously needs to be done. It’s a very pretty pattern, but it’s a pain in the rear to do for other reasons, so I don’t see myself utilizing it too often. But it worked for a fairy.

I’m keeping these back from the kidlets until the new baby is here, or until I am in labor at least. Something to distract them and make them feel special, I hope. Of course, this means I have to hide them until then! They’ve both been trying to steal them as I was making them.

Who knew…Zombie dolls keep away monsters.

Bobbie is at that age where things sometimes get scary. We’d had a nightlight in her room, but it’s burnt out and none of the others we have on hand work either. So she was flipping out in her room alone. I told her to come into the room with Linda and I for a few minutes and told Robert to go find her zombie doll. While he was off looking for it (last I saw of it, it was in the toy closet, which is our walk-in closet under the stairs that is about knee-deep in toys), I explained to her that he was going to go get her zombie doll, because zombie dolls keep away monsters. I told her to keep her zombie doll with her for protection.

And…it worked. Robert brought her zombie doll upstairs & told her the same thing I’d told her, then walked her back to her room. She cuddled up in bed with it and went right to sleep.

Talismans are a good thing at this age too.

I’m working on another doll already. I’ve got enough baby stuff to keep me happy, and I’m feeling rather over-babied, but I look on the dolls as little sculptures, and if the girls get use out of them, then so much the better. This fairy doll is going to be done 99% in purples. I’ve got most of the head done right now, and took a break after busting my butt trying to get the facial embroidery right. I finally have something I’m mostly happy with. Still not totally satisfied with the mouth especially, but it’s as good as I’m going to get right now. So I’m moving on. The eyes are dark blue & the mouth is pink, but the skin is purple and the hair will be a variegated purple/white yarn that I have, and the clothing (which I am making separate) will be purple as well. Not sure how I’m going to do the wings yet, but I’ve got the rest of it well in-hand. A good mental picture of it, at least.

Second zombie dolly.

I finished Linda’s today. She loves it, & has been carrying it around pretty much since I gave it to her. Not to mention she started demanding it long before I finished. I guess eventually I’ll have to make them normal-looking toys, LOL.
Despite how it looks in the picture, the legs are actually the same length. I think it’s because of how the skirt is hanging that they look off. I did a few things different with this one, obviously. The color scheme is different, of course. The hair is styled. The facial embroidery is a bit different. The sleeves are different, and of course so is the skirt. I should have taken another picture of it standing up so you could see the skirt better, but oh well. It’s sort of an evening gown, thus the updo. 😉

It started out so innocently…

Over at Crochetville, Sue89 posted a thread with her Little People Doll. Thought the picture was cute, and I am always on the lookout for crocheted dolls, having some long-standing fantasy about making my girls their very own crocheted dolls/doll wardrobes.

She was kind enough to post a link to the pattern, Little People to Crochet. The yarn it calls for is apparently discontinued, and it calls for an E hook, but hey, they’re dolls. If you can’t substitute material with dolls, what can you substitute it with? No one’s going to wear it, no one’s going to smack you upside your head for not checking the gauge.

Now, Sue’s doll is cute. Adorable little thing that I think any little girl would be proud of. I used her picture for the copy of the pattern I downloaded, in fact. ‘Cause if I was thinking whatever I made would come out looking like the dolls in the pattern itself, I’d never make it. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve passed over the pattern in the past because of the sheer hideousness of the model dolls. (Even if you don’t want to make it yourself, click on that link to see the ugliness.)

So I printed it out last night, thinking I’d make one for Smoochie once I was finished with the baby shirt I was working on. Finished that pretty early today, since I only had to put on sleeves. Now, to begin with when I was planning to make this doll, I was planning to do a nice, normal doll. Unfortunately, I wound up being influenced by Lady Linoleum’s recent zombie asparagus post, and a chance still from Tim Burton’s upcoming film Corpse Bride. And so, I made this:

It’s actually a pretty straightforward reproduction of the pattern. I went off on my own way with the face, the arms (long scs to achieve a ragged look, in case you’re curious), the hair, & obviously also the skirt. This one is actually going to Linda, since Bobbie asked me about fifty times as I was crocheting if I was making it for her. I’m going to make another one, but green instead of gray, & give that one to Bobbie.

Sad thing is, it’s still not as ugly as the original dolls, and I made a point of making it ugly…

***

One last comment about Lady Linoleum’s post that I linked above. It’s all well & good to make fun of vintage books (hey, I’ve spent my fair share of time at The Institute of Official Cheer). But I appreciate taking them seriously. Nothing wrong with Granny’s crochet. Nothing wrong at all.

Quick finished project.

I love this set. I really must write a pattern for it. It actually turned out pretty much exactly the way I’d hoped. The hat, at least. The sockies too. They’re surprisingly easy; much simpler I think than my previous attempt at newborn sockies, even the two-color version. I’ll work up a pattern for them too.

This is another set I was going to send to Lackland, before they told my mother to tell me not to bother. Fine. I still would like to have a good source to send these to back home. I’ve not much patience with local “charity.” Hawaii is willing to help if asked. Texas offered. I live in Honolulu, but I’m from San Antonio. That is a hard city to explain. Let me put it this way. They’re having scheduling problems with the volunteers. Because so many want to volunteer. My mother called to ask about volunteering (my mother, who has never had a charitable bone in her life, except when it came to recieving, but that’s another topic altogether) and they said it would be well more than a week before they could use her. Hey, it was less than 24 hours after I originally got the go-ahead from Lackland until they were overwhelmed with donations. And this isn’t unusual. There is the annual Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner. Last year, they served close to 25,000 people and had 4,000 volunteers. And this has been going on as long as I have been alive. Nothing coming close exists anywhere else I have lived.

Sigh. None of that has to do with crocheting, of course. I’m pregnant enough that I can’t sleep; I’m grouchier than usual.

New finished project.

First off, if anyone was planning to send stuff to Lackland, put a hold on it. I’m not sure what’s going on. My mother spoke with someone at the Family Support Center on Friday who said donations would be welcome…Someone on one of the sites I posted the info on said that she called & was told they had all the item donations they needed right now. So, something funny is going on. Either hand A doesn’t know what hand B is doing, and someone at Lackland is wrong about the status of donations (it’s entirely possible that they have what they need for adults but could still use donations for the babies-to-be) and they DON’T have enough, or someone else is wrong and they really ARE swamped…Or someone doesn’t want to deal with sorting donations…Or someone online is trying to make me look bad for an as-yet-unknown reason.

But until I know for sure what is going on, I cannot in good conscience ask anyone to send anything. I’ll get it straightened out as soon as possible, but I’ll tell you, if it turns out that whoever told my mother they needed things was wrong, I’m going to be highly pissed. Because that means that not only have I made an idiot out of myself several places online by asking for donations, it also means I spent money I can barely afford (as in, not really) on babies I thought were in need, and in the meantime put off buying stuff for my own baby yet another pay period.

On to happier stuff, though. I made a cute little girls’ set today with no pattern that turned out so well I have to share a picture of it.

The center of the hat is part of a pattern from 99 Granny Squares to Crochet (#41, in case you’re dying of curiosity). The sockies are my own pattern. Took some doing to figure out how to get the different colored toes and heels, but it wasn’t really too hard. Just a matter of figuring out how many rounds to use for the toe. The pattern is such that the heel portion is obvious (as in my other sockie pattern, it’s worked in rows instead of rounds). The whole thing just turned out so cute…

I’ve got another idea for a boy’s hat that I’ll get to work on shortly. Whether I wind up sending this stuff to Lackland or not is anyone’s guess at this point. But I’m pregnant, so at any rate I’ll get some use out of one set or the other!