Monthly Archives: January 2006

Really, really belated.

I did actually finish the girls’ Halloween costumes last year. In fact, this is how hard-core I am: I finished up Linda’s while in active labor. (Not really bragging, I’m sure it’s more evidence of how obsessive I am than anything else!)

But I didn’t get to take them trick-or-treating because, well, I was sort of in the hospital after having given birth that day! I swear to you, though, that I was trying to get them to let me out of the hospital early so I could take them. Without, you know, actually saying “I know I had a baby eightteen hours ago, but I really want to go to the mall now.”

I haven’t posted the photos here before because I didn’t have any good ones. They wore their costumes to the hospital on Halloween, and I do have photos of that, but nothing that really shows them off. But I’m rather proud of the designing that went into them, so I’ve been meaning to get better photos to post here. And I just did:

The ears were made by crocheting around purchased headbands and then attaching ears that were made over wire frames. Bobbie’s skirt (the black one) was one I’d made her some time ago; I just crocheted the tail onto it. Linda’s I made specifically for the costume. You can, unfortunately, tell that I was in quite a bit of pain as I was making her tail; it’s kind of ratty looking. I think I overstuffed it. You can see a lot more of the stuffing in it than in Bobbie’s. Still, though, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

And my stash…Most of that yarn came from Wal-Mart. By & large it’s the cheap stuff. The 20 skeins we bought the other day cost no more than $3.84 apiece, and are much cheaper on the Mainland. (The Simply Soft I used to p ay $1.88 a skein for in Virginia; here it costs about a dollar more.) The few specialty yarns I have I bought at a 50% off sale at AC Moore, for the most part. I have paid full-price for almost none of my specialty yarns; I just can’t afford to.

Oh, & I just thought of another place I have yarn…on the counter in my half-bathroom upstairs in my bedroom…I’m horribly forgetful. I’ve got a lot of stuff just waiting for the perfect project. Another reason I tend to make baby stuff is because I can only buy a skein or two of yarn at a time & I need a project that takes only that much.

Before I forget: I have the pattern for the overalls & long-sleeved shirt I made for one of the ‘rescued’ Cabbage Patch Kids for Christmas up on Crochetville. You can see it here.

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Further proof my hubby loves me:

This is one of my yarn closets:
(Sorry about the strangeness of that first shot; I had to stand about 3 steps down on the staircase to get the whole length in.)

You will see I have a large complement of yarn. Also, that second shelf is crammed full of crochet books and magazines, and there are others floating around the house and one more on the way from Amazon.com.

This is not the only stash of yarn I’ve got. This is the other:
The second stash area is half of the top two shelves in the large closet across the hall from the small closet which is completely stuffed full of yarn and other crochet paraphernalia. You’ll note that the plastic bags in the photos are filled with yarn and FOs and UFOs alike.

What this all has to do with my husband is this:
What this is, is the twenty skeins of yarn Robert bought me this afternoon. Ten of them are my absolute favorite yarn of all time Caron Simply Soft. The rest is Bernat Softee Baby & Red Heart Baby Soft.

This is upwards of a hundred dollars worth of yarn. Have I mentioned lately how I love our government’s income redistribution program? (Commonly known as tax return season.) What a wonderful country, where you can pay slightly over a thousand dollars in taxes and have nearly six thousand returned to you. I am a Libertarian at heart, though, so all I can say is that I hope to one day be in a tax bracket high enough that I’m the one the government is taking money from…

Anyhoo, that’s really not my point here. My point is that I love yarn. I have yarn scattered around the house. If I look under my monitor, I see a ball of yarn. If I look on top of the file cabinet by the stairs, I see 3 balls of yarn. If I look to the left of my monitor, there’s a ball of yarn. On the coffee table are two skeins of yarn. On the dining room table there are several skeins. More are in my yarn tote in the kitchen. There are even two skeins out on the back lanai (don’t ask).

I really need to start crocheting…!

Mystery Project Update

I have finished the first draft of my mystery project, and let’s just say there are even more issues with it than I expected. There are some design quirks…I thought it was all done, but when trying to take a picture of it completed there was no way to get one that wasn’t R-rated. So, back to the drawing board…

I rather like the way this turned out.

Another hat for Eleanore. Worked in Tunisian knit stitch using an M hook (yep, Annie’s Attic Easy Tunisian; as if there’s a difficult Tunisian out there somewhere) and Autumn Red Caron’s Simply Soft. This is my favorite color of my favorite yarn.

The construction of this hat was amazingly simple. It is just a rectangle of TKS, top slst’ed to the bottom to make a tube, a scalloped edging done with a K hook at the bottom of the tube, then the top of it gathered til closed & tied. It’s quite stretchy and very pretty. Looks so much more difficult than it really was.

I’m going to make one for Clara the same way, but using a deep purple yarn instead of the deep red. And if I have time, after that I’m going to make matching 1 Hour Baby Sweaters. I’ve actually made the sweater before, so perhaps this time it’ll go faster.

I love any excuse to make baby stuff. I hope to get an online in-stock store up this year, so I can sell some of my own designs, and perhaps even my own patterns. We shall see. I’m determined to find a way to become a work-at-home mom instead of merely a stay-at-home one.

Clara’s Hat

I have no idea which baby will wind up with which, of course, but I was thinking of the other one as Eleanore’s, so it follows that this one is Clara’s:
Same yarn & hook as before, of course. Same stitch multiple (6). Same stitch (HDC) used for the increase rounds.

The difference: The work even rounds are worked as 1SC, 1DC around, the crumple stitch I think it is called. And since the SCs stack upon the SCs and the DCs upon the DCs, it gives an interesting spiral/ribbed look to the hat.

The edging is sl st, 3 ch, sk 1, sl st around.

I hope these hats are deep enough to stay on.

I’ll move on to matching ponchos tomorrow.

Ooh, I have an excuse to make hats.

Mindi from Mama Drama had twin girls earlier this year. Eleanore has a few medical problems and so has difficulty regulating her temperature. So Mindi put out the call for hats. It’s pretty cool actually. She offered to pay for them, but everyone is giving her hats. Stuff like that makes me feel pretty good about mankind. I finally got Mindi’s address yesterday, so I’m spending from now until next payday making stuff to send her. I’ll take any excuse to make baby hats. I love baby hats, but it’s too warm here for Esther to have a hat on. It’s cold where Mindi is, so her babies would need hats no matter what. And since there’s not only Eleanore but also Clara (and don’t you just love those names?), I have an excuse to make twice as many hats.

I figure I can make about a hat a day. What fun. I’ve seen the twins in both matching stuff and coordinating stuff. So I think I will make them coordinating things. Same color, different styles, and vice versa. I started a hat yesterday but it was coming out odd-looking, so I frogged it and didn’t get a chance to start back on it until today. But I was able to get the whole thing done today. I am so proud of myself. Eleanore’s head is 16.5″, and Annabel’s head is the same measurement, so I have an easy model. And so:
I used Wool-Ease yarn and a 4mm hook. I don’t like working with wool. I’m allergic to it. But I had to find somethingto do with the yarn. I’ve had it in my stash for ages. So…warm baby hat seems perfect. The main stitch is HDC, but the popcorns use DCs and there last row before the trim is SC.

I crocheted most of this while watching The Book of Daniel. For anyone who saw that, they freaking nailed Episcopalianism. We’re not all stoned or drunk or messing around, but the…the irreverence of it was just wonderful. We tend not to take ourselves too seriously. I’m hoping someone will be talking about it at church on Sunday. I’d love to get the vicar’s impression of it…I was rather afraid of how it’d present my denomination, since the pill-popping was obvious from the previews, & then USA Today mentioned most of the other problems, but it’s pretty respectful. I mean, by Hollywood standards.
Ah well, this blog is crochet, not Christianity. But it’s been literally years since I came across a TV show I care enough about that I think I’ll be making an effort to actually be home when it’s on so I can watch it.

So I set Cerberus aside…

Cerberus is a pain in the neck. I’ve got the torso done, but I’m having problems with the heads. I can’t get even the first one to come together looking doglike enough. So I have put it aside for now. Here’s hoping it doesn’t disappear into the UFO ether…

And now, I introduce you to the Mystery Project, currently in progress:
What will this be? I’m not telling til it’s done, thus the Mystery Project thing. It’s not something I’ve ever done before. I’m using Simply Soft yarn, a 4.25mm hook, and a repeat of (4 sc, ch 2, sk 2 sts, 4 sc). I have plans on weaving something–not sure what just yet–through those chain spaces.

I set to work on my poor model. Annabel. Don’t know if you remember her from prior entries (most recently, my blog about the lei I made my daughters for Christmas) . Annabel (named for the poem by Edgar Allan Poe) is older than I by quite a bit; she’s in her 30s or 40s. I don’t offhand remember quite the type of doll she is, but I’ve looked for her on eBay, and, well, I just cannot afford another copy. They start at roughly $100, and that’s for ones in worse condition. Not that I’m going to sell her. I need to quit blogging when I’m falling asleep; I talk too much. Anyway, I promised last time she made an appearance that I was going to dress her, and I have. I’ve even made some small progress–through liberal use of rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, & even a Clorox bleach pen–in removing the crayon from her face. I’m at a loss as to where to go from here in regards to that, but I thought I should show a picture of Annabel in much better condition. The dress she’s wearing is one both my older daughters have worn in the past, so I’m rather attached to it. My favorite thing about this doll is that she wears “real” baby clothes. I used to go to the thrift store as a kid for the express purpose of buying her baby clothes. I am a nutcase.

One last gratuitous photograph:
Esther is becoming more interactive. She is slightly over two months old now. What that means is that she’s now sometimes awake without either wailing like she’s being killed or nursing.

I took this photo of her and one of her Christmas gifts this afternoon. This is pretty much as close as she comes to playing with toys right now. I wrap her hands around them and she tries to eat them. It’s a lovely symbiosis.

This toy exhibits several design aspects I consider very important for baby toys. First off–there’s really nothing that could come off. The face is embroidered on & tied securely on the inside. The antennae are likewise tied tightly and attached in a couple different ways. The yarn is soft to the touch (Simply Soft Brites, and why do they feel the need to misspell ‘bright’?). There are places even the smallest baby can grab ‘hold. It is also loosely stuffed, which makes it nice and squishy and is another way to make it easy to grab. The only problem with this piece in particular is I was in a rush so I used a larger hook than I should have; there’s a bit of stuffing coming out the worm’s butt. That’s not a big issue at this point in time, however.