Posts Tagged ‘baby’

22
Feb

Fair Projects for 2015

Posted under Charity, Crochet, Knitting, Life, Models, Paper Crafting, Sewing and Quilting, Woodworking No Comments

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It’s getting to be the time of year when you’ve got to start thinking about what projects you’re going to be making for your county and state fairs. Ideally you’d start too as working right up to the deadline is never fun, though it seems to happen more often than I’d like!

So far, most of my projects are rather bland looking, but I promise there are colorful projects coming too!


natural colored projects

Here we have a lace baby sweater which will ultimately be part of a three-piece set, a knit lace doily, and a crochet lace bag all in progress.

I’ve also been working on filling the first of three bobbin lace pillows I’m making for myself. I really enjoy the bobbin lace beginners kit I got for Christmas, but the failings of a beginner ‘pillow’ are more than apparent. I done some research on the best and longest lasting bobbin lace pillows and how they’re made. Then, I presented this information to my physical therapist and we worked out a stand set up to prevent any undue stress on my body. Now I’m building that stand and pillow set up! This is the first pillow in progress.

bobbin lace pillow stuffing

 

Kaia seemed rather displeased with my pillow stuffing as a few bits of straw landed on her in her bed!

dog with straw

The pillows are filled with natural straw cut into 4″ or shorter pieces. Cutting the straw is a painful and dull process, and stuffing the pillows is painful and slow going as a result, but when they’re done, I’m going to have fantastic traditional bobbin lace pillows, a standard 24″ cookie pillow and a more rectangular pillow with a roller in the back for making yardage. The pillow above is the roller that will go into the rectangular pillow. The exterior is a natural canvas material sewn into a tube with drawstrings on either end. Inside, there is a dowel running the length and I have two discs cut from 1/4″ plywood. One disc is already in place at the bottom of the pillow and the other will go in just before cinching up the other drawstring. The dowel sticks out a few inches on either side which is how it will connect to the support pillow.

The last big WIP keeping me busy lately is a paper craft project. Some friends asked me to make a 4′ tall LEGO minifig as a decoration for a Boy Scout party in March. After that party, the gigantic LEGO man will be a county and state fair entry for me before finally being sold to the highest bidder to fund some new LEGO sets for me! The main framework of the minifig is cardboard sheeting from Costco. Some of guy pal’s friends from work taught me how to use anti-fatigue mat foam to create the complex curves and gave me some foam to use for the project. Atop the cardboard and foam frame is paper maché. This will create a surface I can sand to a perfect finish. With the glossy paint a LEGO minifig has, any imperfections in the body will show. That’s why I’m doing the paper maché coating. There will likely be some spackle to help fill any gaps prior to sanding as well. Here’s the first two pieces being coated in paper maché, the head (which is upside down in this photo) and one of the arms. They’re the most curvy pieces and thus require the most paper maché to get perfectly smooth.

LEGO head and arm WIP

 

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24
Oct

Finished Blanket…Finally!

Posted under Knitting, Product Reviews No Comments

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In February, I started knitting a baby blanket for my step-dad’s brother’s child who was born later in July. Of course with how hellish things have been for me lately, and a passionate hatred for the yarn mom bought for the project, I didn’t finish until October. Oh well, it’s been mailed off to Japan where it can be enjoyed properly by a sweet looking little girl!

I spent quite a while deciding on the pattern to use for this. I wanted something that felt both American and a bit Japanese, as dad is American and mom is Japanese. I settled on the pattern Feathered Baby Blanket by Kaye Smith, but of course I had to make a few modifications. First off, why feather and fan? When I think knit afghans, I think of a feather and fan pink blanket my grandmother made me when my parent’s got divorced. That blanket just screams comfort to me, even if I’m not a ‘pink’ sort of person. Feather and Fan is a pretty basic traditional afghan pattern in the USA, and when I think of Japan, I think of the beautiful fans I ogled as a kid. Then, knowing how important numbers are in many of the Asian cultures, I used the number 7 everywhere I could throughout the pattern. Each band of feathers and fans have seven repeats. There are also seven repeats across the width of the blanket and seven garter stitch bands going up the blanket.

The pattern itself was a quite easy knit, but the garter stitch rows don’t have any shaping in them and thus tend to pucker a bit as the feathers and fans pull them into waves. If I knit a similar blanket again, I’d write a new pattern that took this into account.

Mom had originally planned on knitting the blanket but became frustrated, so I offered to take over…after she’d already bought the yarn. I HATED this yarn. It’s Kraemer Yarns Tatamy Tweed DK. In general, I don’t like acrylic and just barely tolerate working in cotton. This yarn is an easy care acrylic/cotton blend…and I found it to be horrifically splitty. It seems the cotton and acrylic are made into separate strands and then plyed together rather than mixing up all the fibers before spinning. I think that’s part of what contributes to so much ply splitting while knitting. I even tried several types of knitting needles to combat the splitting and the poor sliding of the yarn on the needles. I used both ChiaoGoo Knit Red and Knitter’s Pride Dreamz circulars. I decided the Knitters Pride Dreamz worked best, but only if the wooden needles were kept freshly oiled.

Keep checking back for more updates on the service dog front and how Sketcher is doing. Things have been VERY crazy here, but we’re making great progress and are over 1/3 of the way there! I”m now hard at work getting thank you notes and donation reward from the GoGetFunding page put together to go out. I’ve been slowed down drastically by how sick Sketcher has been, but I’m starting to make some headway!

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