Tuesday, July 7, 2015

15 Factoids Revisited

I recently decided that I somewhat regret having allowed my blog to lapse.  I could blame it on any number of things, but let's just not lay blame and get back to it, shall we?

10 Factoids that Capture the Moment:

1.  EVERYONE in my house is fully potty-trained and has been for a year now.  Let's let that one sink in for a moment.... ah!

2.  We are on summer break from school right now and the neighbor kids think we are the  most cruel parents ever for requiring that our children to a single page of Language Arts workbook and a single page of Math workbook each day. 

3.  Also, it's apparently okay for six-year-olds to roam the neighborhood at 8:30 at night looking for company.  And we are, AGAIN, the worst parents ever for putting our 6 and 8 year old children to bed shortly after 8.

4.  A year ago, A was starting the summer in size 6X clothes.  This was the same size she had worn for 4 years already. Now?  She's in a size 10 pants and size 8 top.  It's crazy how kids grow.

5.  I am starting to get back into knitting after a long break where knitting just wasn't much fun anymore.  A gal can only own so many scarves and hats and if the kids aren't willing to wear sweaters...  I'm not sure what has turned the tide back.  Perhaps it's knitting for the dollies?

6.  M's favorite meal is Sushi Rice.  It's fried rice made with sushi rice, fried spam, sweet omelete, avocados, carrots, onions, wasabi sesame seeds, and other yummy add-ons.  I can't seem to make enough to ever have leftovers.

7.  We are going through a transition time in regards to toys.  Nothing is cool anymore.  A has been sitting in a $30 Toys R Us gift card for over 8 months now, with no idea what to spend it on.  OH, the pain!  M still thinks toys are cool, but is having a hard time deciding how to spend her birthday money after we told her no more Barbies and NO Monster High.

8.  We just lost half of our side yard to a new bike path.  It's awesome that we will have access to the bike path so close to home.  It sucks that we lost half of our side yard to it and a lot of our privacy.  The one thing I will say is that I do pity the folks who step off of the bike path and onto our lawn.  That's the dog toilet part of our yard, and while I do regularly scoop the poo, dogs are pooping machines and not every one gets flagged.  Watch your step.

9.  Mom absolutely loves the summer schedule.  Dad doesn't.  Two whole days with just me and the kids at home?  Yes, please! 

10.  It's probably time to retire the phrase "Hanitizer."  Sadly, even the youngest can now pronounce "Hand Sanitizer" correctly. Only the parent still call it "hanitizer."

Thursday, October 17, 2013

It's Zombie Time!

Halloween is just around the corner and while life has been very busy, I have made some time to play with the zombies.  Here are a few snapshots of this year's zombie crop.  Some have found new homes, and others are still waiting for someone to call their own brain-farm.  Please enjoy them and as always, we love special requests.  So if you have a dream zombie and want to see him or her made a reality, please let me know!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

It's time to celebrate!  After 6 years of throwing around the idea, I have finally opened an Etsy shop! 

Come take a look at little poopie!

I've been working hard on finessing the doll patterns in the two smaller sizes.  I have several pre-made dolls ready to go along with a few outfits and accessories.  Also buried in the shop somewhere are two custom listings for design-your-own style dolls.  Please take a look!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Small Victory Gets Smaller

After reworking my doll pattern over the holidays, the resulting dolls spent a little time in the livingroom and playroom.  The conclusion I came to, after watching my kids play with the dolls a few times was that while the doll felt really small to me, it is not, in fact, a small doll. Yes, the smaller size of this version of the doll barely fills out newborn-sized onesies, but still, it was too big.

My youngest struggled to see where she was going while holding the doll.  My oldest can see around it, but even in her arms, the doll looked like a giant.  This was not going to work for them as a plaything!  So I set about to reducing the size yet one more time.  The problem, I thought, was that the arm and leg pieces, when cut out for the newborn size, already seemed impossibly tiny. In fact, the first time I sewed one up, I almost gave up before doing any sewing at all because the arms just looked too tiny to even be possible. 

Nevertheless, I tried anyway.  I figured that the only thing I had to loose was a few dollars in fabric and an hour of my time.  So I put the pattern on the old photocopier and reduced it to 64%.  I then added back in 1/4" of seam allowance, and went to it.  The end result is here:

and here:

And here are two more in progress:

 I love the new size.  This size is just 17" from toes to the top of its head.  In my own hands, it feels absolutely tiny.  In my child's arms, though, it looks perfect.  These little ones wear preemie-sized prefolds and fill out preemie prefolds perfectly.  Clearly, we have a winning size... seeing as how I have whipped them out in 4 of the 7 cloth colors I have on-hand.  I've had to fiddle with the pattern a bit, and that is all the excuse I am going to give for why I am making so many of them.  LOL.  They are really a great size and a ton of fun.  I'm glad I decided to risk taking them too small.  The end result was worth it!

For those of you interested in a size comparison, see the following picture.  On the left is the original size of the doll.  The two larger bald ones are the first reduction and the center is the new size.  This picture is a touch misleading, though, since the tiny doll is sitting on the legs of the newborn doll. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Birthday Baby

My youngest recently turned 4.  For her birthday, she asked me to knit her a babydoll.  I asked, "Knit or sewn?"  Knit.  She was absolutely certain she wanted a knitted baby.  I researched some knitting patterns and offered her a choice of three patterns that I thought would all be workable.  Again with absolute certainty, she chose Susan B. Anderson's baby doll pattern.  Those of you on Ravelry.com can find the pattern here.  I've had the pattern for a few years now and never knit from it so it was a great time to try. 

We dug around in my stash and found some undyed Kona DK.  I thought that would be perfect and was sure that Kool Aid wouldn't fail me in that perfect peach color.  By the way, have you ever thought about why you can't buy yarn in that perfect fleshtone color?  I hadn't until I dyed some up and realized that no one in their right mind would knit a sweater the same color as their skin.  Hee hee!

So M and I spent an afternoon mixing Kool Aid and yarn and came up with a lovely peach number that I thought would be perfect.  Two days later, when it had dried, I asked M to help me wind it so that we could start her baby and she broke down into tears.  "But I wanted a brown baby!"  Sigh.  Light or dark brown?  Dark. Thankfully, Knitpicks.com has a nice dark brown in their Swish DK palette.

The yarn arrived and upon opening the box, M cried again.  "I didn't want dark brown!"  Insert head-smack here.  After a bit of discussion, I got her to remember that she had in fact specified dark brown.  All would be well with the baby as long as she could have the requested pink hair on it.  Pink hair?  Why yes, pink hair.  My husband thought I was nuts for allowing it, but really, I thought it had potential and if it kept the birthday girl happy, I was happy.

After about two weeks of work, this is the resulting baby:


The undies are actually based on the Eviepants All in One pattern by Marilyn Porter.   I didn't see the point in knitting flat undies and stitching up the sides.  Knitting in the round is SO much easier for me.  They fit perfectly!  The dress is not the dress from the doll pattern. It's an improvised pattern.  

All in all, I was pleased with how it turned out.  Unfortunately, someone gave M a cheap vinyl Disney Baby Princess doll for her birthday and as usual, the cheap plastic toy outshines the homemade one.  Grumble.  Well, at least *I* am pleased with the project!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Small Victory

A few months ago I posted about wanting to recreate a doll pattern that I had designed years ago.  The story goes that in between designing the pattern and finding the time and need to sew up a third doll, the pattern disappeared.  It's hardly surprising with all that has happened in the past 6 years.

This winter, I finally found time to work on recreating the pattern!  My first attempt yielded the curly haired baby shown here:
While I decided that the pattern, overall, was a success, the doll ended up being slightly larger than I wanted it to be this time around.  I wanted something smaller and younger.  

My second attempt was even more successful!  From the revised pattern, I created these two little ones.  I quickly claimed the first for myself and my children spoke for the second. 

We, errr..., *I* have been having fun knitting little clothes for them.  It's still a work in progress, but I think I can finally say that I recreated the look and feel that I was after.  Phew!

They are a heck of a lot of fun to pose.  They move so nicely and seem to snuggle up to each other perfectly.


And I have to admit, it makes a mighty fine excuse for knitting newborn-sized projects!

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Hollenhorst Scarf

I was in a knitting funk last week so I decided to pull out my one precious skein of handspun and give it a go.  I figured, if nothing else, I'd at least enjoy playing with the yarn.  In the end, I loved the scarf I made!  Here is the pattern in case you'd like one, too!  It took one 4oz skein of handspun BFL.  It appeared to have been spun to about a worsted/light worsted weight.  The pattern is flexible, though, as it's a SCARF.  Anything DK through worsted would work.  

It couldn't be simpler.  Really.  Try it!
4oz of handspun, worsted/DK weight

size 7 (I used size 5s, but I tend to knit loose and require needles 2 sizes smaller than others.)

Use needles sized to reach a gauge that you like.  My scarf, after blocking, is about 5" across

Cast on edge:
CO 21
Row 1: K all stitches
Row 2-6: sl1 stitch  purlwise wyif, K to end

Body of scarf:
Set A:
row 1: Sl1, k1, (ssk yo) four times, k11
row 2: Sl1, K10, P7, K3
Rep rows 1 and 2 three more times for a total of 4 times.

Set B:
Row 1: Sl1, k10, (yo k2tog) four times, k2
Row 2: Sl1, k2, p7, k11
Rep rows 1 and 2 three more times for a total of 4 times.

Repeat sets A and B until almost out of yarn. Make sure to end with a full Set, but it doesn't matter whether you end on Set A or Set B.  I think I left about 2-3 yards before beginning the bind off edge and had yarn left over after finishing.

Bind off edge:
Knit 6 rows of garter st.
BO purlwise.
Weave in ends and block.