Friday, March 31, 2017

Color therapy

So this blanket begins with a story.  Once upon a time, long long ago (we're talking 14-15 years ago), I started a random baby afghan.  Normal baby colors and all.  This is the "Lollipops" pattern, created by Diana Sippel of Diana Lynn's Designs, and was found in the book Afghan Splendor, put out by The Needlecraft Shop.

I finished all the "lollipop" strips and started adding the white edging, and then I either lost interest or ran out of time or something.  No idea.  But I put the pieces into a plastic bag and stuffed it into a box of UFOs.  Somehow this passed the purge test when I got rid of a lot of yarn UFOs on freecycle six years ago before our move.  I think at the time I thought I'd finish it for a baby gift?  At any rate, Thing 2 dumped out the UFOs to take the box last year around this time, and I needed a mindless project for a day-long CE meeting.  So the stars aligned, and I got to work on finishing the afghan.  I did run into some trouble, as it was not wide enough, and I wanted to add another strip (or two?  I don't remember now).  But I couldn't match the blue I'd used - apparently Red Heart discontinued it at some point.  That started a frantic search, and I ultimately matched it to a blue in a baby yarn (that really seemed worsted weight) in another brand, and I finished the afghan, with no idea who it would go to.  Then a month ago, I gave it to an expecting colleague - who just happened to be sitting next to me when I had worked on it last year.  Full circle, eh?

After all that, I sadly have to say that apparently I never took a picture.  Oh, well...but it did spawn an interesting next project.  So the pattern calls for 5 colors, and you make 4 repeats in each strip.  Finished size should be 30x38".  I had used 6 colors and 3 repeats in my baby version, and I don't think I ever measured it.  Anyway, I was in the fabric store, looking at yarn one day.  And I had had a bad day at work and just wanted some color therapy.  And I was drawn to the Red Heart blacklight yarn.  So I painstakingly picked out the five main colors that were in it, and I bought those and black to make myself an afghan.  I thought it would be neat to do the lollipops a little bigger for a grownup sized afghan.  And then I decided to rotate the strips so that the colors went diagonally across the afghan instead of straight across.  Ultimately it ended up almost the size of the top of my queen-sized mattress.  The Husband thinks it's weird that it's black, but I love it!

Ultimately, this is a great portable project, because it is fairly mindless in each phase and easy to remember what to do.  Also, until you're putting the strips together, everything is small and easily carried.  Worked out great for what I needed!  I have also since made a smaller, baby-sized version of the black light afghan - no pic yet, but it's for a friend who loves the colors and is hoping for a baby.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Shawl frenzy

I believe it's been previously mentioned that I don't sit still terribly well, and that I do better with a hand project to distract me from fidgeting.  When my grandma was in the hospital last year after a broken hip, I thought of crocheting her a shawl as a gift.  I'm familiar with the concept of a prayer shawl, where basically the idea is that you're thinking of/praying for the person as you work on the shawl, and then they are given a gift of warmth and positivity.  So I found a (naturally) free pattern online that would allow the yarn shades to be the star - bonus points that it was a mindless pattern, allowing me to work without paying much attention.  That's important when one is crocheting while attending continuing education meetings or church!

This one was given to my grandma.  The yarn I used is Red Heart with Love, which is softer than the regular acrylic.

This one became my mom's Christmas present.  She loves yellow.

This one, which didn't photograph well, was for a friend for Christmas.  I thought she'd enjoy the cheery colors!  It is the Fruit Punch shade.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Scrub caps

 You may remember that I previously was asked to make scrub caps for coworkers, which I did, using a free pattern.  And then I did make more as Christmas gifts for a few coworkers, though apparently I didn't take pictures. :(

Anyway, I was asked by another friend about making scrub caps for her and her coworkers.  At this point, I had given away my original prototype, so I needed something for them to try on.  I pulled the sea life print out of stash and made it up, using the same free pattern - no changes.  While I was at it, I made a scrub cap for another friend (late Christmas present) using the Dr. Who fabric.

Then I had the brilliant thought of trying to enlarge the pattern a bit, to see if it would be helpful for those with big heads or a ton of hair.  (I have both problems, and I haven't been wearing my own creations so far.)  The 101 Dalmations print was also from deep stash.

Ultimately, they were happy with the original size, and these are the resulting scrub caps, which are now ready for delivery!  I hope that they enjoy wearing them!

I decided to try out some of the other free patterns available on that site - but they are cut and pinned at the moment, not sewn.  So hopefully eventually those results will be pictured here.  It seems kind of strange that so many at work wear my creations, but I don't!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

New dress

Well, I'm a terrible blogger.  It's been MONTHS since I updated this blog.  I have been working on stuff, and I'll probably write a few posts all at once, then forget again, right?  Sorry.  It's what I do.

Anyway, I have been sewing on/off, but mostly off lately.  And I have several clothing prototypes in the works for my niece, who requested niece/doll clothing to match.  But I got annoyed with what I was working on, and there it sits.  In the meantime, I got busy with other projects but finally threw a quick dress into the mix.  This is the Fern's Fleece Shawl Collar Pullover from CKC.  I think I bought it back in December or January, and I bought this fabric (cheap fleece blankets from WM) for a test shortly after.  My intention was to make the test quickly and get feedback on it, then use faux minky from JAF for a Valentine's version. see how that went.  Well, I finally got around to cutting it last weekend, and I finished it last night.  Off to my niece it shall go, not that she'll have opportunity to wear it more than maybe once before it gets warm.  But then I'll be ready for the next version, just up a size, right?

This project works up quickly, especially with no seam finishes needed.  I made the entire thing on my regular sewing machine, since fleece doesn't fray.  When I use the faux minky, I will probably serge finish all edges, just to try to decrease shedding.  But with sweatshirt or regular fleece, it wouldn't be needed.

I think it turned out cute, and I have hopes that my niece will like it!