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Friday, November 15, 2013

Newborn photo props

One of my close friends is a photographer. You can check out some of his work here.  Well, recently he asked me to make him some props for photos of newborns.  He showed me some pictures and described what he was looking for and I went right to work!  He requested 4 different outfits--a fisherman with fish, a cap and matching pants, a pumpkin cocoon and hat, and a cute hat for a girl with a flower.  So far I've finished 3 of the 4 requests.  (Moving sure does take away crafting time!)

I'm so excited by these little outfits! I tried to make things adjustable--because I know even newborns come in different shapes and sizes.  I can't wait to see the photos he will take with these outfits!

Here we have a matching set--a news boy cap and pants.  I used a gray tweedy yarn and big dark wood buttons!

Next I made two different size white hats.  I used multiple strands of yarn, including one with a little shimmer.  I wanted to get a cute look, but not something very bulky.  The flowers are attached using a button, so they can be switched between sizes :).

And finally this is the fisherman set.  I LOVE the way this came out.  I made a diaper cover that can be adjusted because the buttons fit anywhere on the tabs.  Also, the suspender portion is attached before the bottom is closed to (hopefully) make it easier to get a little one into the outfit.  The fish are attached on a yarn-chain.  AND I adore the little feathers in the hat!  I seriously cannot wait to see this on a little baby!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Moving on the craft room!

So...when did it become November?  This year feels as if it has been flying by!  The scariest part is that I haven't even started my holiday knitting yet!!  Hopefully I will get to it, if not, then I'll have to just be ok with store bought gifts!

In other news, I'm super excited to say that I now have a craft room!  No longer is my yarn in my bedroom/closet, sewing machine in the dining room, and other craft stuff all over!  It now has a room of its very own!  Just over 3 weeks ago I "upgraded" my space and went through the glorious process of moving.  After a few trips to Ikea and unpacking multiple boxes, we are finally settling in, which is such a wonderful feeling.  The craft room is almost done--it still needs some straightening up and some artwork, but most things are put away :).

I went through so many ideas of what I wanted the room to look like.  Pinterest is a glorious thing :).  I ended up getting two more 9-cube cubicals from Closet Maid, a 5x5 expedit bookcase from Ikea, and two tables (one tall one and one with sides that you can put up and down).  I had planned everything out on graph paper--even cut out little versions of the furniture!  However, when we got home from Ikea and built the Expedit and tables, it did not seem as if the arrangement was going to work!  Thankfully after much rearranging we found something that made me happy and optimized the space in the room!

Here's my "wall of yarn"--I highly recommend these Closet Maid "cubicals" for yarn storage.  They are reasonably priced, sturdy, and simple to put together!  I love the bins that you can get for them too.  Almost all of my yarn is stored here...almost.

On the other side of the room is the Expedit bookcase.  I love this thing, but it definitely takes some muscle to get it together!  I originally wanted to fill this with yarn, but my books started taking over.  In fact, I had to move all of my school books, well most of them, to bookcases in the living room and dining room!  I still want to get some drawers for this unit, but I haven't found the ones I want.

I love the talk, skinny table that you see here.  It's a good height to cut fabric and work on while standing (the legs are adjustable yay!) and it works perfectly with the stools that I already had!  I guess that's the "computer station."

This portion is still a work in progress and definitely messy.  That table is where the sewing machine is going to live.  I have a nice bright light that will be perfect as I'm working on projects!  I also got a 2x2 expedit bookcase that's holding my ginormous printer!

So far I'm LOVING this room!  I can't wait until it is finished!  Unfortunately, it wasn't one of the "priority" areas to unpack, which is why it still isn't done 3 weeks later.  Soon it will be! (and then I'll post some "ta da!" photos!)

Until then! Happy crafting!

Friday, September 13, 2013

New REVIEWS page!

I've just added a new page for reviews from my customers.  I'd also love to add reviews from people who have used my free patterns!

If you'd like to leave a review (and I would love it if you did) please leave a comment on my "Craftini Marini Customer Reviews" page!

In case you're confused by "Craftini Marini" let me explain.  That's the name of my craft business!  You can find me on Facebook and on Etsy!  People have always liked to rhyme my name with things...and one day someone said to me "Jessica, you're such a Craftini!" and that's how Craftini Marini was born.

I promise to have lots of updates of my latest yarny endeavors! <3 br="">

Friday, August 2, 2013

Columbia cup cozies

So, as you all know, I successfully defended my dissertation and received my PhD this past semester.  It is sort of customary to give a gift to your advisor and dissertation committee as a thank you for taking the time to read your dissertation, provide a thorough examination of your ideas and work, and give you constructive feedback on your research.  I decided to give each member of my committee, my advisor included, a coffee cup cozy and a gift certificate.  I use a wonderfully simple pattern for the cozies.  Columbia colors are light blue and white, so I made the base of the cozy light blue and added a duplicate stitch "C" in white.  I was really pleased with how they came out and my committee loved them.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tunisian crochet potholders

In February I stumbled upon a fantastic pattern for potholders.  The pattern is free on Ravelry and can be found here.  I've been playing a bit with Tunisian crochet, but never really made anything with it.  Just sort of played around trying to learn the stitches.  These potholders were a great way to practice Tunisian simple stitch (TSS).  The only downside is that the pattern doesn't tell you how to do TSS, so I had to do some googling to get the instructions down pat.

However, the finished product is amazing!  It is thick and double sided.  You construct a rectangle and then fold it over and add the border through both pieces--so cool!  It really is good for handing hot lids and handles while cooking.  If you're looking to try Tunisian crochet I suggest starting here (and with some YouTube)..the result is great!

I made an orange one for myself (not pictured) and these two for my mom.  They were her Valentine's Day gift, so I cross stitched a little heart on each of them.  (That might be one of my favorite things about TSS--it's perfect for cross stitching on!)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Yoga mat bags

If you don't know this about me already, you need to know that I love yoga.  Everything about yoga--the message, the spirit, the teachings, the poses, and the way that it is part of everything in life.  My love of yoga ties with my love for yarn (now that's saying something, isn't it?).  As you know Matt just completed his yoga teacher training and he has been teaching me a lot about yoga and its foundations.  He specifically has been teaching me about Raja yoga and its 8 limbs.  I have been trying to abide by the yamas (the first limb that represents the social code) and the niyamas (the second limb that have to do with the 'self').  One of the yamas is Aparigraha which says that one should not hoard things and should be non possessive.  I do have a problem with this sometimes (evidenced by my growing yarn stash).  So I have been trying to work on this in various ways.  I've been gathering items to donate, trying to get rid of items that are unnecessary to me, and also trying to destash when possible.  I am definitely not an expert on the yamas or how to live by them, but I am trying my best.

So what does this all have to do with knitting and crocheting?  Well, I have been making yoga mat bags with my stash.  I am planning on "selling" them at my yoga studio very soon.  The yoga studio has a boutique and it would be a perfect place to sell these items.  So far I have made 4 different bags and have at least one more planned before I'm going to bring them to the studio.  I've used a bag for my yoga mat that I knit back in 2011 and I'm ALWAYS getting complemented about it.  I really like it--it is machine washable and dry-able and is perfect for quickly stashing a sweaty yoga mat.  However, there were things that I could improve on--the strap was too long and the drawstring tie would come untied or be a bit of a pain to tie.  So I improved on these things with the new bags I made.

Here are the first two I've made for the studio.  The purple one is crocheted out of cotton in a ripple pattern.  You can see how they feature a shorter strap and a drawstring that cinches closed when you pick up the bag.  That's my favorite part :).  The second one is knit out of acrylic and also features the same shorter strap and cinching drawstring!

I have two others--one that looks like a tree and a blue lacy one that I developed the pattern for.  I'll post those in another entry when I get some decent photos of them.  I'll also be posting the pattern for my lacy mat bag--so keep an eye on my blog for that :).

Thursday, July 25, 2013

So this happened yesterday... latest Knit Picks order arrived!!  I definitely use yarn as a way to relieve myself of stress. (Hey it's better than many addictions!)  Last week I had a couple of stressful days at work and definitely took refuge in the Knit Picks summer sale and a gift card I had :)

Here are the knitty-gritty details and planned projects!

-14 skeins of Wool of the Andes Sport in Mai Tai Heather for my Humboldt Raglan
-14 skeins of Wool of the Andes Sport in Marina for a Larch Cardigan
-Curio in Ash and Bluebell for who knows what (it’s super soft btw)
-6 skeins of Comfy Fingering in Lilac Mist for an Elvira All Grown Up
-9 skeins of Wool of the Andes Worsted in Claret Heather for a Washington Square Vest
-two balls of Galileo in Nebula for something (can’t remember what I planned to use it for…perhaps a cowl)
-and finally 3 skeins of Felici in the colorways High Tide, Aquarium, and Fizz (I’m thinking of using all of my Felici to make some sort of blanket…perhaps a Babette-esque blanket).

Welcome new stash! You're already very loved!!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Baby Mermaid

Let's rewind to the beginning of the year.  One of my close friends was pregnant with her second child (I believe she was due in March).  She already had a boy back in 2009 and this time she was having a little girl!  I know she was super excited for dresses and other girly things!  I had crafted a few things for her son--a little puppy, a blanket, and some bibs--you can see the post here.  So, I obviously wanted to make various things for her daughter too!

I've been trying to be on a destash mission--which has worked some what, but I must admit that I've also purchased yarn...tisk tisk tisk, Jessica.  However, back at the beginning of the year I was TOTALLY on the "cold sheep" "use only from stash" bandwagon!  I've also been trying to use patterns that I already own, rather than finding something new or buying a new one.

So with that in mind, I found the cutest pattern from a Crochet Today! magazine to make for my friend's daughter!  The pattern is called "Mermaid Cocoon" and is from the July/August 2012 issue of Crochet Today!  I totally fell in love with this pattern when I first saw it.

I was pretty lucky that I had both mint green and teal yarn in my stash!  I just reversed the colors of the tail--making the teal the main color and the mint the accent.  I also had white and purple!  They are all simply soft yarns, so you can just imagine how soft and snugly this outfit is before washing and how much softer it will get!

I added little white buttons to it rather than colored ones.  I spent an awfully long time standing in the button aisle of Jo-ann's picking out the 'perfect' buttons :).

The construction of the garment is so interesting!  It is all made in one piece without seaming.  You start with the bodice, then work the arms, and then the tail portion.  It was so quick and only took me four days to make!  I'm so pleased with it and can't wait to see pictures of little Keira in it!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Baby Pinafore

I've been really into making items for babies lately.  I think that I've been drawn to small projects that I can work on during my lunch break.  I also have been loving projects that finish quickly, use up bits of yarn, and are simply "totally adorable."

Recently I finished making a sweet little pinafore.  I used some yarn that my mom got me from Jo-ann's.  It's called "Breeze Self Patterning" by Jo-ann's Sensations.  It has nice long color changes that created a pretty rainbow look to this dress.  

This dress seems very easy to customize to make larger sizes.  In fact, I saw a pattern for larger sizes on Etsy and Bernat also has a free pattern for child-size dresses.  They all look like the same dress, but in different sizes.  Honestly, just change your initial chain length and it should be pretty easy to customize.  I think that you would add or subtract multiples of 4 to get larger or smaller sizes.

Some people on Ravelry have added a decoration to the front of the dress, but I left mine plain since the yarn is sort of busy.  I'll definitely be making this pattern again!  It could definitely be made in a few hours.  Great last minute baby gift!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Om hand warmers

Matt (my best friend) just finished his 200-hour yoga teacher training at the beginning of June.  So, being the crafty friend I am, decided to make him a yoga-themed gift.  Using my knowledge of his love for hand warmers and all things Om-related I set off to make him the perfect gift.  And...the Om hand warmers were born!

He absolutely loved them and can't wait for it to get a bit cooler to wear them.  (I'm also hoping to do a photo shoot with him to get some swanky yoga-riffic photos!)

Since he loved them so much, I really wanted to share the love and share my pattern and Om chart with you!  So without further ado, here is the recipe for my Om hand warmers!  Enjoy!

As always, feel free to sell items you make from my patterns, but please do not claim this pattern as your own, post any parts of it or the whole thing in other locations, or sell the pattern. :)

Gauge: roughly 7 rows = 1 inch; 7 stitches = 1 inch on size 7 needles.  The Om chart is 20 stitches by 17 rows and this measured 3 inches (stitches) by 2.5 inches (rows).
Needles: US size 7 and US size 9 or size need to obtain gauge
Yarn: Aran or Worsted weight

You can use any yarn and needle combination that you like.  If you use thinner yarn, increase the cast on stitches by 2 until you have enough to fit nicely around your palm, above your thumb.  These mitts are meant to be fitted to the hand--so if you'd like them looser, increase your cast on.

This hasn't be tested by others, so please let me know if you find any errors!

Mitt Instructions

Cast on 34 on 9s.
Switch to size 7s on the first round of knitting.
Join in the round, place marker for the beginning of the round.
Rounds 1-12: K1P1 ribbing
Rounds 13-24: Knit

This should get you to up to the base of your thumb or slightly higher.  You'll now begin to work back and forth in rounds.  DO NOT JOIN the next 13 rows.  You're creating the thumb opening.

Rows 25-37: Alternate a knit row and a purl row, continuing in stockinette stitch but in rows, ending with a knit row.  You can slip the first stitch of each row to create a nice edge if you'd like.

In more detail:
Rows 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, and 37: Knit
Rows 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, and 36: Purl

[This section leave the hole for your thumb.  If you have a smaller or larger thumb (or different row gauge) adjust the number of rows--adjust by increments of 2 rows.]

After Row 37 join to the beginning of the round and start knitting again in rounds.

Rounds 38-47: Knit (this is 10 rounds in stockinette stitch)
Rounds 48-51: K1P1 ribbing

BO in pattern using size 9 needles, or stretchy bind-off of your choosing.

Repeat for the second mitt.

Adding the Om on the front of the mitts
Us the following chart to duplicate stitch the Om on the front of the mitt.  Remember that you'll need at least 20 stitches by 17 rows to complete the chart.  Try the mitt on first before stitching.  I found it worked nicely to have the side of the Om closest to the thumb opening begin about 2 or 3 stitches inside.

I'd love to see your finished hand warmers!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Presenting Dr. Jessica

So remember that time when I used to update my blog somewhat regularly and then I just sort of...stopped?  Well that is soon to be a thing of the past!  I'm back!! AND...guess what?!?!  I got my PhD!  I'm officially a Dr!

Last Sunday (5/19) was my PhD Convocation and then last Wednesday (5/22) was the university Commencement and then my hooding ceremony.  I am elated that I was able to achieve my dream of earning my PhD.  I just wanted to share a few pictures from last week's festivities. 

My mom, Sean (bf), Matt (best friend), Uncle Dan, and Aunt Cathy accompanied me last Wednesday to Commencement and hooding.  I know that they were so very proud of me--maybe as proud or prouder than I was!

Here I am leaving the hooding ceremony.  If you have never been to a hooding ceremony it is the time that we are officially presented our doctoral hoods that show the color of our degree (royal blue for me indicating PhD) as well as our school colors on the inside (although you can't see it in the picture, the inside of my hood is light blue and white for Columbia).  Technically we aren't supposed to wear our hoods before being hooded, but we all did--call us rebels!  Commencement took place prior to hooding and it just felt good to wear the hood to Commencement!

I actually have a funny story about the hood I received.  We had the choice of either buying or renting both the hood and the gown for graduation.  We all had to buy the tam.  Well, after pricing out the outfit I decided that it would be best to rent the gown (it was over $600 to own) and buy the hood as a memento.  If I was to buy the entire thing it would cost about $1,000 which is a bit too much for me right now for something I might not wear again.  Anywho, back to my hood story.  I had the bookstore ship my regalia to my house since I'm very rarely at school any longer.  (Side note: I got a job much closer to home so I no longer have to go to the city every day!)  So when my regalia arrived I was so excited to try it on!  When I put the hood on I realized that it was red and royal blue inside, but didn't think more of it.  When I got to school on Sunday for my Convocation my mom and I decided to visit the bookstore to purchase a few items.  The bookstore has PhD gowns on display and I realized that the inside of the hood was school colors--Columbia blue and white.  I checked with the bookstore staff and the assured me that as long as the velvet part of my hood was royal blue, the hood was correct.  When I asked about the red inside the bookstore staff, Convocation staff, and even a Dean did not have an answer.  So after my Convocation I was sure that I was sent the wrong hood in the mail--EVERYONE else had Columbia colors on the inside of their hood.  Luckily the bookstore lent me a rental for the other ceremonies!  At least my mom was able to spot me easily at Convocation!!

Ok, back to pictures.  Here are a bunch of people from the Human Development department.  HUD (as we call it) houses my program as well as other psychology programs.  We were waiting to go into the hooding ceremony--notice that no one is wearing the hood :).  I think someone commented that without the hood we look like a chef choir.  Haha!

Here I am post Commencement posing with the "Columbia University--Congratulations to the Class of 2013" banner!  I think I have a similar one from when I graduated in 2008 with one of my masters degrees.

Here I am with Sean and My mom after my Commencement.  If you look to the left of the picture ALLL the way in the background you'll see a "sea of blue"--that's where I was sitting for the ceremony!  Needless to say it was tricky to get to my family afterwards to take some photos!  Luckily we got some nice ones :).  There were over 30,000 people said to be at this years graduation.

Here I am with Uncle Dan (who is also my godfather) and Aunt Cathy!  I know they had such a nice time at the ceremony.  I'm so glad they came!

I do like that we got Low Library (which isn't a library) in the background of these photos.  I do love the campus!  Here I am with Matt and my mom.  :)

And last, but certainly not least is a photo with my advisor.  Dr. Johnson was a wonderful mentor for my dissertation and I'm very proud to have been able to work with him!

So that is it for now.  Definitely expect some project posts coming soon!  I've done a bit of knitting and crocheting during my blogging hiatus and would love to share the projects with you!  Until then, happy yarn time! :)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Dillon Hat

I have been making custom items for my friends and family, at their requests, for some time now.  However, recently it has really taken off and I have had lots of requests for custom knit and crocheted goods.  I can do custom items in many ways--my friends can describe an idea and I'll find patterns that fit the description or they can show me various photos of knit/crocheted items and I can come up with a design that combines the aspects of each photo that they like best.

Up until recently I had never tried to create an item from a photograph that was NOT of a knit/crocheted item.  At the end of 2012 one of my friends asked me if I would be able to make a newborn-sized hat that looked like the family's bulldog.  She sent me a few different photographs of the dog (what a cutie!) and with a bit of trial and error, I was able to produce a crocheted version of him!

Here are two of the pictures of Dillon that I used as my inspiration.

Here is the final hat that I made!

And here it is on little Gianna!  She is just so adorable and could make any hat look cute! :)  I'd like to send a big thank you to her mommy, Jazmin, for sending me these pictures of her little one in the hat and letting me use them on my blog :).

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

FO: Puppy Hats

Not too long ago one of my favorite blogs, Repeat Crafter Me, posted a new free "Puppy Hat" pattern. This pattern has a very high cuteness factor!  I love this blog for a few reasons 1) it's loaded full of great  ideas and patterns (she is the creator of the Owl Hats that I've made so many of), 2) it's well written and fun to read, and 3) she let's you use her patterns as you wish as long as you give her credit.  I absolutely love that because then I can use her patterns and make things to sell--perfect!

So far I've made two of these puppy hats.  One in child size and one in the smallest size (0-3 months).

Pattern: "Puppy Hat" from Repeat Crafter Me

Yarn: Both hats are made from Vanna's choice yarn--oatmeal for the puppy part and other colors for the accents.

Size: The blue hat is made in child size and the pink hat is 0-3 months.

Hook Size: H, 5.0 mm for both hats.

Notes: Love the pattern and everything about it.  Super quick and super cute.  You can make a few of these in a day.  My only problem was that the child size hat fit my head....and I don't have a tiny adult-sized head.  My gauge was spot on, so I'm not really sure if I had some other issue.  Good thing is that children's heads grow--so it will fit my friend's nephew perfectly at some point.

Monday, February 11, 2013

FO: Sweet and Swingy Dress

My friend Alyson is expecting her second baby in March--a girl!!  I'm so excited for her family and their upcoming addition.  I've been crafting away making a few things just for the occasion!  I've known Alyson and her family since I was in the 6th for like 18 years (WOW!)  I'm actually going to be in her sister Alexandra's wedding in October as a bridesmaid :)...Alex and I are yarn buddies and have been pals since we met in our 6th grade class...but I'm getting off topic.

Pattern: "Sweet and Swingy Dress" by Ellen Gormley which is available in the May/June 2009 issue of Crochet Today!

Yarn: TLC Baby Solid in powder pink with accents of Patons Beehive Baby Sport in Big Girl.

Hook Size: H, 5.0 mm

Size: According to Ravelry, this pattern runs REALLY small.  Since the baby isn't born yet, I figured that this wouldn't be too much of an issue and picked the 12 month size to make.

Notes: I have to say that I don't think this is a dress sized for a 12-month-old.  I don't have a baby to compare it to, but it just seems small...which is perfectly fine because the baby will only be a few months old this summer and maybe it will fit perfectly then!  I really loved making this dress.  The way to do the accent crab stitch around certain areas is genius!

I decided to add a little flower to the front of the dress.  I did this for two reasons-- 1) the back of the dress is identical to the front and I wanted to tuck my ends and start the accent colors on the back of the dress to make any finishing less noticble and 2) I wanted a little more detail and I didn't like the look of the three rounds of detailed edging on the bodice of the dress.  The flower is called the "10 minute flower" by Boomie and can be found for free online.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the English instructions.

What would I change if I was do make this again (which I will be doing)?  I would either make one shoulder have buttons so that it would be easier to put on/take off of the baby or try and incorporate a slit and button hole on the back of the dress.  The neck line is stretchy and wide-ish, but I just would feel better knowing it would be easy for mommy or daddy to dress the baby.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

FO: Baby Bibs

You'll see in the coming posts that I've been busy making a bunch of baby items.  It seems as if a lot of my friends have been asking me to make them stuff or having babies!  Here is one of my favorite patterns for a handmade bib.

Pattern: "I-Love-Stockinette Baby Bib" by Laura Treadway which is available as a free Ravelry download.

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in plum and berry.

Needle size: US 7

Size: As written, no modifications.

Notes: I really enjoyed using cotton-ease for these bibs.  I love the way that they turned out.  The drape is nice and they really don't curl that much.  I've used Knit Picks comfy worsted before, but I've found that they really curled a lot.  Also, I did not slip any edge stitches on these bibs and I think that might have helped them to not curl? Just a thought.

Friday, February 8, 2013

FO: Shades of Yellow and Green

My first project of 2013 (which took me just over a week) was a baby blanket.  My friend requested a ripple baby blanket in gender-neutral colors including yellow and green.  This is what I came up with.

Pattern: "Shades of Coral" by Jan Eaton, found in the book 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns

Yarn: Mostly Vanna's Choice and Vanna's Baby and a little bit of Lion Brand Pound of Love.  I picked greens and yellows first and then added beige and white to round out the colors.  I like using acrylic for baby items because of its softness, durability, and how easy it is to care for.

Hook size: I, 5.5 mm.

Size: I measured the blanket agains the quilt I used to have in MY crib as a baby ("Quilty").  Although I didn't record the finished dimensions, this blanket would be called "crib-sized" so it will won't be out grown for a while (if ever).

Notes: This was a really great and fast project.  I actually began at the end of December (12/30) and finished it by January 9th!  I tucked the ends in as I went along, so that I didn't have to worry about them after it was done.  The border is one row of single crochet.  I didn't do any adjustments along the top and bottom ripples as I made the border.  I'm very happy with this project!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

FO: Crocheted Flower Motif String Bag

I came across this pattern when I was looking for Christmas gift ideas.  I actually made the pink bag for one of my friends, but we've yet to seen each other for the holidays, so I might just end up with it for myself.  The pattern is a really nice pattern (although I found that some of the counts were off).  It's free and quick (took about a week of off and on crocheting) and easy!  I definitely recommend this one.

Pattern: "Crochet Flower Motif String Bag" by LisaJedi Gwinner and it's available as a free Ravelry download.

Yarn: The pink bag is made using Knit Picks Cotlin yarn in Cerise and took about 1.75 skeins.  The green bag is made using Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy in colorway 017 and took about 1.5 balls.  Both I had in my stash--the Cerise from my spring/summer crocheted cardigan and the Hempathy from my I-91 Shop Hop vacation.

Hook size: F, 3.75 mm

Size: The size was as written in the pattern.  My only issue was that I ended up with more loops in the final round than the pattern states.  I think I had 111 or something like that.  Really, it's not a big deal because all you're doing is the top edging and then adding the handles.  This happened both times I made the bag.  To compensate for this difference I just recalculated where to place the handles of the bag.  Easy peasy :).

Notes: The bag holds WAY more than you think it would.  Seriously this bag is awesome!  You can see that I have a few boxes of cereal in the first one and I think some cans and whatever else I had in the kitchen that I could stuff into the bag :).  The green one is now being used as my "stuff carrying bag" for yoga--which is working out really well!  My towel and clothes are all sweaty and gross (eww but AHH) when I'm done with class and the meshiness of this bag allows it to dry really easily.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

FO: Dallas Cowboys Football Hat

One of my friends saw the football hats that I made last year and asked me if I would be able to make her daughter a Dallas Cowboys themed football hat.  Here's what I came up with.

Pattern: "Football Hat"by Brenda K. B. Anderson available in the 8th issue (December 2011/January 2012) of Knitting Today! (aka Your Knitting Life).

Yarn: I actually had trouble finding yarn that seemed to suit the Dallas Cowboys colors.  My friend said that it would be ok if I had to use navy, so that's ultimately what I ended up with.  A lot of the blues were too bright and a lot of navys were too dark.  I ended up using Loops and Threads Impeccable in Navy and Vanna's choice in Silver Heather.

Needle size: US 7's for the ribbing and US 8's for the rest.

Size: Adult size with my usual modifications--2 extra rows on the ribbing (done in K2,P2) and two extra rows on the top stripe before and after the decreases.

Notes: My friend's daughter wanted braided tails, so I cut twice as many lengths of navy as of silver and threaded them through the bottom of the ear flap and then braided them.  I was braiding with two navy sections and one silver.  I'm very happy with the final product as is my friend! I hope her daughter likes it just as much.  This is a great pattern to make (I've made 4 of them so far).  My only issues are that the ear flaps curl, they are thin, and the laces detail is a bit of a pain to sew on.  Other than that, I totally recommend it!

Happy Super Bowl!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Christmas gift recap! [FINALLY!]

Ahhhh, finally I have the time to present all of my finished Christmas gifts!  This past Christmas I decided to make as many presents as I could.  I get such enjoyment out of making gifts and it's also a good way to save some money!  I believe that I made something for each person on my list--definitely a successful holiday!

I knit a cowl with carved wood buttons for each of my bosses.

For Sean, I knit a scarf and hat set and also made a Sheldon the Turtle in Giant's colors!

I added the year to to bottom of Sheldon's shell so that Sean will always remember which Christmas I gave him Sheldon.

For my cousin Kyle, I crocheted a rocket pillow.  He told me and my mom that this was one of his favorite Christmas gifts--which means a lot to me, coming from a 6 year old, especially when he got different video games and electronics from Santa and our family!

For my mom, I finally finished the ripple crochet blanket that I started 2 years ago!  It was worth the wait--she loved it!

I also made a vest for my mom....but it came out a little large and looked like armor on me!  I think she ended up giving it to a friend who it fit better.

And as usual I edged a couple of dishtowels for my mom and even monogrammed one too!

I also made my mom a snowflake fridge towel and one for Sean's mom as well.

I also made another fridge towel for Sean's mom as well as two crochet-edged towels!

And....I made a bunch of crocheted ornaments for Sean's mom as well. She loved them all.

For my Aunt Cathy and Uncle Dan's cats I crocheted 3 cat toys and stuffed them with catnip!  They were a big hit.

And last, but certainly not least, I finished Matt's sweater!!  It looks so good on him and he loved it!  I'm happy I was able to finish it and give it to him this year!

It was definitely a busy holiday craft season, as I'm sure you can tell, but it was wonderful!  I love giving handmade gifts to my loved ones!  I'm already thinking about next Christmas--because, you know, it's never too early to start!