Friday, July 03, 2015

Catching Up

I just wanted to get caught up with some yarn in totals.  For some twin cowboy hats I was asked to make, I bought one ball of Patons' Decor, and one ball of Vanna's Choice.  She liked the Decor, and I got started on the first hat.  Of course, it took just over half the ball, so I had to go back for another ball.  I meant to return the Vanna's Choice, but I forgot to take it.  I still have time to return it, but don't anticipate going there anytime soon.  So I guess I'll include it and just throw it in the bin.  It's a nice yarn, I have others in different colours...but I just don't care for this colour.  All together it's another 300gr of yarn in.  Boo!

Yarn In:   300gr + 2576gr = 2876gr
Yarn Out: 4399gr
Balance: 1523gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $13.64 + $125.91 + $139.55/184 days = $0.76/day

I've still used up more than I've bought!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Two Weeks?!

I was just over at Marg's blog to see if there was anything new.  I love that she has me linked in the sidebar...and it shows when my last post was....and today it said "two weeks ago"!  OMG.  What have I been doing these past two weeks?  Ummm....  uhhhh....  ohhhh... I went crazy with crocheting some headbands.  I'm working on some cloth diaper repairs for my cousin.  School has been busy, physiotherapy twice a week.  I don't feel I've accomplished much, but I did do all those headbands.  So I'll get them photographed tomorrow if the sun shines :)

Tuesday, June 09, 2015


I have had a single ball of Plymouth Yarn's "DreamBaby" in this pretty pastels...for ever.  I made a newborn outfit for Megan in 2005 in this yarn, in white, and it's quite possible I bought this ball at the same time.  I know for certain it was before 2009.  Actually,  I wonder if I made that white dress for Lucy (2002)?
What to do with ONE 50gr ball of DK yarn?  It's very soft, no substance at all.  The pastel baby colours did not say adult hat or scarf.  One day recently, while perusing Pinterest and Ravelry, I just decided it would be a little romper dress.

It got off to a fine start.  I made it the length the pattern said, and then decided I didn't want booties, and I did NOT want any yarn left over.  Lately, it seems the trend is to diaper covers, so I thought I would give that a go.

I started with a crochet pattern...but the sizing seemed way off.  Tried again, using the sizing info that I use for my other covers, and decided to crochet hdc in the round.  Got almost to where to divide for the legs...and realized that after that, I'd be working flat.  And hdc looks different flat than it does in the round.  Rip!  Gave crocheting it flat another try, but it seemed to be eating the yarn very quickly.

Gave knitting it a try since it uses less yarn.  I think the first time I was off on sizing, so I started again.  Interesting how different the yarn looks when knitted.  I'm not sure which I prefer though. Got the legs divided and was going along...and I just knew I wasn't going to get it done with the yarn.  Rip!

I then ripped out the last round on the dress, which is a different scallop row from the rest of the body.  Used the yarn from the diaper cover, and did another two rounds on the dress.  Not enough for another round, but I was determined there was going to be NONE left over.

Decided on a headband.  I used a narrow piece of elastic I had, sewed it into a loop about 12" around, and crocheted over it.  Made a little flower with the  last yards.  Not enough for two layers, which I felt it needed, so I grabbed a lilac yarn for the second layer.  Now, I wish I had started with that lilac, and added some details on the dress, to tie it in.  Then I might have had enough for the diaper cover (which could have also had some lilac).

Anyway.  It's done.  Used up that entire ball.  Now, instead of having a ball of yarn in the stash, I have a baby dress in the "sale box" LOL! Anyone need a baby gift? :)

Yarn In:   2576gr
Yarn Out:52gr + 4347gr = 4399gr
Balance: 1823gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $125.91 /160 days = $0.79/day

Friday, June 05, 2015

Simple Things

Every year, my kids' school has a "Spring Fling" and there is a huge raffle.  Something like 59 items/baskets this time.  You can donate individual items and/or contribute to your kids' classroom's theme basket.  My youngest had a theme of "Water activities" so I thought I do a crochet beach tote, great for not holding all the sand from the toys!  And, I also threw in a water bottle holder.  I forgot to buy a bottle of water to put in it, but I tossed in a business card and wrote a bit on the back.  My plan was actually to sew a patch on the bottom part of the strap.  My kids' school is Captain Michael VandenBos PS.  Michael was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force's demonstration team, the Snowbirds.  I also knew Michael in high school!  There is/was an Air Cadet troop that met at the school.  Their crest was similar to the Snowbirds crest, with "VandenBos" underneath.  The conductor of the community band I'm in is involved with Cadets and I saw one day he had this patch on his bag.  I asked him and he said he could sell me a couple for $10 each, and that they're hard to find now.  So, I bought two.

And hid them so well I couldn't find them.

The little circle is one of my TracyKM Designs tags.

The bottom of the bag was annoying me--I was using a smaller hook than I should have, to add some body, and my circle wasn't laying flat.  So I had to redo it with fewer stitches.  And it takes forever to do that base in single crochets!  Then I do a row through the back loop, to form the turning ridge, then a few rounds in single crochet, then a few rounds in half double crochet, then about halfway up in double crochet.  Then I switched to 1 dc, 1 ch (skipping a dc).  This speeds it up.  As I was going up, I also started doing some decreases...I split the bag into quarters and did two decreases every row, alternating front and back and sides.  At the top, I switched to single crochet in each dc and in each ch1, and then back to several rows of single crochet.  Then the strap is 12 sc wide.  I got this width from a free Bernat pattern I've done before.  However...I didn't read that it should have been decreased down to 8 sc!!  The strap seemed to take forever, LOL, but the sc really helps prevent stretching (I've had that problem with the water bottle holders I made with dc straps).

It's a good size bag!  I had quickly popped into Michaels to get the cotton yarn, and got the huge ball of Handicrafter.  I had a 20% off coupon, but the cashier used a 50% off coupon!  Score!  It used 198gr!

Yarn In:  400gr + 2176gr = 2576gr
Yarn Out: 198gr + 4149gr = 4347gr
Balance: 1771gr more USED than bought
Costs: $8.49 + $117.42 = $125.91 /156 days = $0.81/day

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Where Did May Go?

I can't believe how fast May zoomed by.  I got only six posts done!  I'm not really busy with TracyKM Designs right now, so creating all those Mosaic newsboy caps, and all the caps for this post, was more of a "make work" project.  She wanted only two hats, LOL.  I made a total of ...15?

 She asked for "two shades of blue, or grey".   I searched my stash, and although I had two shades of blue in Paton's "Decor", they didn't look good together, and didn't look fresh and modern.  I had a grey Decor, but not enough for two hats.  I have some other grey acrylic, but I don't think it's "nice enough" for a new customer's newborn twins.  I trekked off to Michael's, where the only worsted weight yarn that came in two nice shades of blue was LionBrand's "Vanna Choice".  Co-incidentally, it also came in two nice shades of grey.  Just in case she went with one grey, one blue.
 I started with a pattern I've use before from  I did some altering, since the picture she had shown me, the hats were done in double crochet, and the Posh Pattern one in dc goes through the back loop only, I believe.  And I winged the straps.  They were a bit smaller than I wanted, but still looked good.
 I tried to find buttons that would look good on all colours, and not be shiny bright--a big no-no for photographers.  These had a pewter and black look to them.
When I was photographing them, I remembered why I don't like the newsboy caps with buttons.  From straight on, the buttons look like eyes and the bill looks like a platypus.  Sorry!  Slightly longer button bands would have helped.

The client bought the two charcoal ones, so all the others are still available.  They are all NB, with the exception of one of the royal blue ones is more like 3Mos.

What do you think of my new styling ideas for the photos?  Pictures of just hats get boring!

The four balls of Vanna's Choice weighed in at 400gr, and $19.84.  I used 215gr, for an average of  31gr each.  

Yarn In:  1776gr + 400gr = 2176gr
Yarn Out: 225gr + 3924gr = 4149gr
Balance: 1973gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $97.58 + $19.84=$117.42 /153 days = $0.77/day

Monday, May 25, 2015

Where've You Been?

I've been a little busy with life here!  And, doing some crocheting...and, like often, I get a little carried away LOL.  A woman asked for newsboy caps for her twin grandsons coming this summer.  She asked for "grey or two shades of blue".  Pretty open ended...should be easy, right?

Because they were for twins, I wanted two matching yarns--same brand, and to look nice together.  I had both a grey and a blue in Patons "Decor", but felt the blue was too dull.  I had some really dark blues, and I have some grey...but together, nothing looked like "twins".  I went to Michaels and was surprised to see it was challenging to find a yarn with two shades of "nice" blue.  Many were very dark, or more of a turquoise colour.  Or, "Minion" blue (very bright).  Finally, I selected four balls of LionBrand "Vanna's Choice".  I really like this yarn, but some of the balls really split!  I got two shades of grey and two shades of blue.

Before I started though, I remembered I still had some of these hats:
I made them back in May 2013, and the sizing wasn't all exactly the same, and some were way too small for newborn, and some were just barely newborn size.  I had pulled the small ones out to re-do them and felt this was as good of time as ever.  If the client liked them, I could return the other yarn.  If she didn't like them, and wanted solid colours, then at least I had some more RTS items available!  In fact, I decided to rip them all out and start fresh.

I whipped them up--they go so quick!  Though weaving in ends, because the yarn was being recycled, added a bit of time.  But not much.  I decided to get creative and do some more gnome style ones.  They seem popular, so I hope they sell.

The three hats above are all the same hat; I wanted to show how it can be styled differently!

Eight adorable hats.  I sent a sneak peek to the client, and she said she'd prefer solid coloured hats.  Oh well!  At least these are made, photographed, blogged, and in the bin now!
Most of the yarn was recycled from the original hats.  However, I did have some left over, so I made another one.  I'm just going to count this ALL as yarn out for this year, and not worry about what was already counted back in 2013!

Yarn In:  1776gr
Yarn Out: 211gr + 3713gr = 3924gr
Balance: 2148gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $97.58 /145 days = $0.67/day

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Water Season

Although you should be drinking water all year round, many people don't carry their water around with them until the warmer months.  I've been on the fence about the sewn water bottle holders.  I like them, and that they're sturdy, and can be tailored to hobbies, men, children, etc.  What I don't like...I'm not a great sewer (as hard as I try to be accurate and precise, it just doesn't seem to happen), and the sizing is not as flexible as crocheted ones.

I had this white and red holder finished last year...but it just needed a button!  I made the strap extra long so it could be worn cross body or on the shoulder, and the button can be placed anywhere along the strap.  Somehow this holder turned out a little wide, which is great for the larger, odd shaped bottles.  Or, you can also tuck other things in with a smaller bottle!

I changed the pattern part way up cause I was bored.  One thing I have problem with is doing double crochet in the round.  I never know where to put the first DC after the chain 2 (or is it ch 3?).  It's really noticeable in the white one, a diagonal line starting from the bottom right of my watermark up towards the left of the holder. 54 grams.

 My niece likes pink and orange, and I knew she needed a new holder.  Although her mom said a "sewn holder because her's broke".  Not knowing the size of her bottle (and the fact that kids often have more than one bottle), I opted to use this cheery yarn, called "Cool Crochet" by Bernat (discontinued of course).  I used it a few years ago to crochet a cardi. I thought it would be good because it's 70% cotton, 30% acrylic, so it shouldn't shrink when washed, and I didn't think it would stretch too much.
 I started with 5 DC for the strap and then at some point increased up to 8, then back down.  But, I realized, that's kind of silly because the shoulder section is different if worn cross body vs on the shoulder.  So I redid it with 8 DC.  And I made a second one for Megan.  35grams each.
I tested it out, and I don't like how much it stretches!!!  I'm going to use some twill tape, and sew it down the backside of the strap, along the edges.  This will mean I don't need to sew button holes, as the button can still go through the strap anywhere.  It's great to have some stretch in the holder part, but not in the strap.  I'll report back later how that works.

I still have some fabric cut up and waiting to be sewn into holders, from last summer.  I like variety.  That's the True Tracy Way!

Yarn In:  1776gr
Yarn Out: 124gr + 3589gr = 3713gr
Balance: 1937gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $97.58 /129 days = $0.76/day