Monday, December 15, 2014

Busy!

I've been busy with holiday stuff (concerts, shopping, being sick, etc), and I've been working on three Pocket Bunnies for a couple weeks now.  I now need to make a pocket Dalmatian.  I have no white yarn suitable.  How is that possible?  I have Patons Lace in white--with sequins...but Dalmatians have sleek coats.  I have bright white in worsted weight, but I can't find any in DK, which is what the pattern calls for.  I have some white sock yarn, but probably not enough.  And I'm not keen on the pattern.  The boy wants his dog to be standing, but the mom doesn't want it to have the pipe cleaners. She wants it to be cuddly, but Dalmatians aren't really cuddly dogs to me.

And, I was trying to get THREE Toothless stuffies made.  I've got one body and two front legs.

And...I got sidetracked by a cupholder mitten.  I offered this as a prize on my 300 Likes contest on Facebook, but the winner took the other option, a Pocket Buddy (she chose a unicorn).  Then, last night, a local crochet business posted her version, done in crochet.  Well, crochet is quicker than knitting, and it looked sturdier.  Surely it wouldn't take too long to make up?  A trip to Ravelry and a stroll through my stash...I've got it about half done, and I decided to do the cuff in knitting, for a better fit.  And, this cup holder doesn't have a bottom.  I couldn't get to sleep last night because I was thinking of a way to make this on the knitting machine.  And then, I thought...what about sewing one?!  I can't figure a way to sew on the bottom without topstitching.  And really, I should make three mittens to make a set--two matches and one cupholder.  Now that I've got the construction figured out, I think I can do it on the machine (or even just a quicker crochet stitch).  The bulky yarn in crochet seems a little too bulky too.  But if I could sew these out of felted sweaters?  A google and Pinterest search revealed no patterns---or anyone else doing it!

And...I need to sew up the cat Lucy knit.

Oh, and then there's the issue of the three matching bears I need to knit for the new babies in the family.

And, orders are coming in for January!  Eeek!  Off to work I go!!


Friday, December 05, 2014

Matching Roars!

The teddy bear hooded cowls are so popular this fall.  I received one order in late summer for four--2 for 2 year olds, 2 for 5 year olds....then she added another 2 year old size.  I had already cleaned Michaels' out of Cozy Wool in Mushroom when I first got her order, so she was open to the 3rd small one being in a different colour.  When the time came though...I couldn't bring myself to use a different colour.  That's what led to that trip to Michaels' with the last "yarn in" report.  I wish more people liked the knitted versions of these cowls though--the crocheted ones take so much more yarn!

 I don't think I need to show photos of all five.  The only thing different is the smaller ones got a smaller button (but same design), and a smaller tag.
 Something I've started doing is leaving the very bottom of the back seam open.  I figure this will help it spread a bit around the neck, since there's no shaping in the cowl part.

I have two versions of the little tags.  The top one was the first mock up.  I like it, though Sandra thought it was perhaps too small of type.

This one has bigger type, closer to what I use in my cards/watermark/etc.  But without the "Designs", it feels a bit like a name tag to me.  What do you think?  I'm inclined to stick with the first one.  I also wasn't sure of the colour on this hood.  The yarn is a really cool taupe, and the gold tags seemed too bright, but the silver tags were wrong.  I had some small pink ones, but since the hood is unisex, I didn't want to go with pink.  I think I might need some other colour of tags :)

I carefully wrote the weights of each one down, since the two larger ones were just slightly different sizes.  And now can't find that sheet.  I do know that it took nearly every yard I had, and what was left wasn't enough to get two matching ears from any of the leftover bits (the dyelots got mixed up with the little bobbins left over).  I do know that I bought 8 balls x 127gr = 1016gr, and I'm going to be generous to myself and count it as a neat 1000gr.  The kids often take my yarn for projects, or I use bits for things, and there's always all the ends that get  trimmed off and aren't accounted for :)

Yarn In:  9363gr
Yarn Out:  1000gr + 5669gr = 6669gr
Balance: 2694gr  MORE brought IN then out
Costs:   $482.20/333 days = $1.45/days 

Thursday, December 04, 2014

New Photo

I had finally gotten my laptop running again, though it seemed fussy.  I had been putting all my recent pictures on there, and doing the editing/watermarking/collages on it cause our laptop has been really busy.  I kept meaning to transfer the pictures over to my desktop....and now the laptop won't turn on at all (well, a few of the icons on the keyboard light up).

I thought maybe I'd share this photo with you today instead of suffering through this cold and trying to post something that needed watermarking, etc.

Romper, hat, and pocket bunny.  Can it get any sweeter?  Thanks to www.jennafayephotography.com for the adorable photo.

And now I'm going to curl up on the couch.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Intake!

Just when I thought I was doing great at not buying yarn...I needed more.  I have an order for 5 Teddy hooded cowls, and although I asked if the 5th one (an addition to the original order) could be a different colour/shade, it just felt wrong when the time came to work on it.  And, I had used some of the black I bought for more Toothless stuffies, for the black kitty cowl, and I was pretty sure I didn't have enough anyway, so that was on the list.

I got to Michaels and headed  to the Cozy Wool section.  Yup, the rack of "Mushroom" that I had emptied out last month was still empty.  So I wondered around looking for another yarn.  I was coming to the back corner, and wow--there was two balls of Cozy Wool in Mushroom, just sitting in another rack!  Upon closer inspection, it was a whole other section of Cozy Wool, with another rack of Mushroom!  While the dye lot doesn't match, it does appear very close.  Two balls of that, and I will use leftovers of the very first dyelot to make the ears for them all.  I did just barely squeak cowl #4 out of the last of the last dyelot, though that one has a few extra ends to weave in (127gr x 2 = 254gr)

Loops & Thread "Impeccable" was on sale, and that's what I bought before for the new Toothless orders.  However, they had no balls of black.  I started looking at the giant balls of acrylic, and noticed it was also Impeccable, and there was a black.  I got out my calculator--it was a better deal than the same amount at regular price, though the sale priced balls were cheaper than the big one...but there were no black small balls.  However, I realized that I could use my 40% off one regular priced item coupon on the big ball!  Awesome!!  Then I got home and looked up the original Toothless and see  I used Bernat Waverly, LOL! (396gr).  Total cost at Michaels, $20.31)

And, I had a give away on my Facebook page.  I offered a pocket bunny, or a cupholder mitt.  The winner ended up being the sister of the photographer that I made the other pocket bunnies for--and she had ordered them for her sister.  I said I was flexible, and she thought a pocket unicorn would be nice because her daughter wants a baby unicorn for her big unicorn.  I searched for some gold metallic thread/yarn, couldn't find anything at Michaels, but did find some at Wal-Mart.  35gr, $4.26

Yarn In:  289gr + 9074gr = 9363gr
Yarn Out:  5669gr
Balance: 3694gr  MORE brought IN then out
Costs:  $24.57 + 457.63= $482.20/322 days = $1.50/day 


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Winter!

Last week, November 11, Remembrance Day in Canada, was so warm, even for November--it was more like late September.  What a nice treat--usually it's cold and rainy.  But then, it turned cold and rainy and yesterday, winter appeared in much of southern Ontario.  On Sunday, I managed to get some photos done before we got too much snow!

Back in late summer I had quite a few inquiries about the animal hooded cowls.  I finally got one woman's order done (no rush, these are Christmas presents....if she can wait that long LOL).  She asked for one kitty and one bear for 6 and 8 year  olds and a kitty for a 16 month old, colours up to me.

 First up, the bear.  Cozy Wool in chocolate brown (267gr).  This bear told me she wanted a pink bow tie, no boring button!
 Next up, a charcoal kitty.  This was three strands of yarn from the stash--Impeccable in black (that I had bought for making more Toothless dragons), vintage Mary Maxim Royale (30% mohair) in black, and Esslinger Wolle "Charme" (20% wool) in charcoal/grey.  A nice subtle effect!  Then, I edged the front and the ears in black curly fun fur (no label).
 I finished the main part of the black kitty first, then did the white one--including the bow, then came back to the black one to finish it off (at the time I made it, I didn't know what I wanted at the neck).  This bow is made from Red Heart "Reflective" in the purple colour (234gr).  A fun way to be cute AND safe!  And every kitty need a bell.
 The white kitty is a strand of white,  I think Impeccable, and a strand of Patons Sequined Lace, and then every third row I added a fun fur.  On the right side rows, I crocheted it in, and on the wrong side rows, I carried along  the front (right) side of the work.  I was running low, and I thought this would be a good way to stretch it out and add some variation, since these rows weren't as dense as the rows it was crocheted in with the other two yarns.
Then I spent a LOT of time with an almost blunt needle, picking out the fun fur so it was mostly on the right side.  Less tickly on the inside, and more fun on the outside.  I didn't have much left, so I wove the fun fur along the outside of the ears--it wasn't enough to crochet it around the edges of the ears, like I did with the black.  Then I trimmed it along the ears, as it seemed too scraggly.  I didn't do a round of single crochet around the face on this one.  Not enough of the white fun fur, and it wouldn't have looked good without it.  (186gr)
The bow--I took quite a bit of time finding the "right" bow pattern.  Not a bow tie, a real looking tied bow.  I was going to just crochet a chain, single crochet back, and tie it into a bow.  But I wanted the tapered tails.  I found this pattern through Ravelry.  Perfect!

Got them delivered, and they were well received!  I still think I might make one for myself if I ever get the chance before spring!

Yarn In:   9074gr
Yarn Out:  687gr + 4982gr = 5669gr
Balance: 3405gr  MORE brought IN then out
Costs: 457.63 /316 days = $1.45/day 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Clean Up, Clean Up!

A photographer posted in a frugal group (like Freecycle) that she was looking for crochet hooks and yarn to learn to crochet.  There are often posts like this, and I always mean to respond....but this time I actually did, and cleaned out my duplicate hooks and dug deep in the worsted weight bin to find some yarn  I could part with.  Not a lot, but one of the balls is a full ball of Impeccable in a bright Christmas green :)

 Yarn In:   9074gr
Yarn Out:  435gr+ 4547gr = 4982gr
Balance:  4092gr MORE brought IN then out
Costs: 457.63 /312 days = $1.47/day 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lions and Tigers and Bear!

Okay, I've done a wolf and a dino, but no lions and tigers :)

I was asked to make an adult bear hooded cowl, for the same lady who wanted the dino one.  Sandra, from Apple Melon Designs is a hoot.   And thankfully, patient :)  I've had her bear hoodie done for a while, though it just needed a button or something at the neck.  I don't do the little button placket that's in the pattern, it might be okay on an adult size, but it just seemed bulky and unnecessary on the tiny ones.  She wanted something more subtle then the dino one, so this one is plain black, LionBrand Thick n Quick.  But what to do for the decoration?  I had some black glittery buttons, but they were a bit small.


So, I crocheted a circle with the teal reflective yarn, and sewed the button on top!  Now, there's just a hint of a reflective patch when it's dark out, and a nice teal colour when it's not dark.  I chose a circle instead of a flower so that the men in the house could also grab it and wear it for those quick late night dog walks.

It's hard to get a good picture.  I tried outside, but the flash wasn't going off...even though it seemed dark out.  Oh well, it shows it enough to know the reflective yarn works!

Yarn In:   9074gr
Yarn Out:  314gr+ 4547gr
Balance:  4527gr MORE brought IN then out
Costs: 457.63 /310 days = $1.48/day