Sunday, January 2, 2011

This is it..

Vacation is over, back to work tomorrow, so the knitting frenzy will slow down while I go back to teaching and preparing for the trip to ID. 
So this is my last dog dress.  Tomorrow I will Priority mail them to Yvonne, and hopefully she will find someone, among her flock of 10 chihuahua's, who will fit into them and be able to use them. I look forward to some feedback on sizing and placement of leg holes...  This ruffled dress was interesting as I had to pick up the stitches that had been previously knit, and then add stitches to make the ruffle.  I thought the ruffles might be too 'heavy', but maybe not.  Yvonne will have to let me know how it works on a real dog.  I think this turned out cute, but the variegated yarn didn't work too well on such a small item.  I had the same problem when I mad a baby hat with the same yarn.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My own design...

I liked my striped hat, so I decided to try the same thing with a dog sweater... then I wasn't sure how many stripes I could fit into the length, and only went with three... then I didn't know if I should have the stripes at the top, plain at the bottom or vice versa.  After I decided to put the stripes at the top, I didn't know if I should try and stripe the front piece... So, this was very much a learning experience.     I don't know if I made all the right the choices, but it still came out pretty cute I think.   I'll see what Yvonne says when she tries it on a real dog...


Thursday, December 30, 2010

For me!

When I was trying to figure out what to do next, it suddenly ocurred to me that I am heading to Idaho in 3 weeks for the lovely Stellas first birthday, and I don't own a hat!  Talk about your Aha moment.  So I measured my head, figured out it was only an inch bigger than the biggest size in my baby hat book, so I modified the pattern by 4 stitches and made a hat for myself.

Isn't it cute?  This was a really easy hat to make, I just carried the second color up the 4 rows until I needed it again.  I think this is a definite candidate for a kids hat that I could make over and over and donate somewhere like I did with the baby blankets.  Definitely a 'repeater'.  And think of all the cool color combos - a simple pattern in worsted weight on size 9 circular needles.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ruffle Hat

I had to try the ruffle hat.  So pretty and feminine.  Poor Stella, what will she do with so many hats? Maybe I need to move to grownup hats, save them up until next winter and then donate them.  Hmmmm.  Or maybe there's a charity like Project Linus that takes hats instead of blankets.  I'll have to check into that.

The pom-pom didn't work out, so I went with a tassle.  Kind of looks like a ponytail.  The hat seems too 'deep'.  It said 6 inches before starting the wind down... 5 would have been plenty.  Live and learn.  I would definitely make this hat again. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The fun continues...

So, once I got started I couldn't stop. At first it was about knitting something new, but these things are so small! You can finish one in a day... and of course it opens up a whole new world of embellishment possibilities.

I'm hoping that I can learn a little bit of crochet so I can make stars and flowers and things to 'pretty up' my creations.  So I got a book (I always go to a book first) called Crochet Flowers for Every Wear by Kooler Design.  I bought a crochet hook and assumed I could teach myself, but my first attempt ws NOT a success.  I gave up and went with a knit flower instead (which was also a brand new thing to me).
So today I made a quick trip to Walmart to pick up more crochet hooks (I decided that the hook I had was too small and that's why I was having so much trouble) and while I was there, I saw this doll with a giant head and thought she'd be a perfect hat model.  (OK, I realize that is a little wierd)  and then of course I had to go find something closer to the right size to model the dog clothes (getting a little wierder).
The hat above was too big around, and funny thing is, I knew it when I cast it on, but since I was just beginning I went with the pattern.  Anyway, I wound up taking a couple of tucks in the the ribbed brow. Which was probably about 8 stitches worth - next time I'll adjust what I cast on.  I wlso thought the yarn was a little 'stiff'.  Might try it with another kind next time.

The dog sweater definitely had a problem with where the dog's leg holes went.  I had to take it apart and move them.. This is an ongoing problem with this pattern method.  But now that I know about it, I can make the adjustment, no problem.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Michael's Gift Card

It's all Brent's fault!

My husband's brother, tired of the annual bookstore gift card, branched out and got me a Michael's gift card this year.  Naturally I went right out and spent it the day after Christmas. 

Having made a couple of dozen of the same exact baby blanket over the last year, I felt the need to branch out myself.  So, (Yvonne) I got a book on making dog sweaters.  (Stylish Knits for Dogs by Ilene Hochberg) And, (Ryanne) I got a book on baby beanies (Baby Beanies by Amanda Keeys).  I also got circular needles in baby hat size and some (adorable) yarn to work with.  Nothing fancy, all washable, of course.  (Who in their right mind would knit for kids or dogs in non-washable yarn)?  Then I went straight home and made one of each.  

I have no idea whether either one will fit, since both the dog and baby are 3000 miles away!  (The dog's chew toy does not make a very good model)  Anyway, I had fun, am working on another hat and will send all these off for feedback.  The good news is that I can already see how some of the stuff from the baby hat book can be used to snazz-up the dog sweaters!   New Year fun...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Free Motion Sewing

Ha! I am learning a lot of stuff!  If you haven't checked out my link to Ellen Lindner, you should.  I downloaded her ebook class on Color and spent some time working on it yesterday.  I probably have  a couple more days of work to finish it.  But by watching a video of her and looking at her quilts and looking up stuff on 'art quilts' I discovered this thing called free motion sewing. 

It turns out my sewing machine has a couple of other feet I've never used.  A 'darning' plate and foot, and a 'walking foot'.  If you use the darning foot, you can sew backwards, forwards, sideways, in circles, it's unlimited!  You have to be careful not to make a mess of the back (by pulling the threads to the top before sewing.  Anyway, here is my first try... you can see the possibilities.  You can use fabric to make pictures...  how fun!

I learned something else too... it's called 'hiding your tails'.   How could I have been sewing for close to 50 years and not know about this?  It's basically leaving a longer tail on a thread and then sewing the tail back into the piece instead of just clipping it off.