Craft

Baby Blanket Blues

My friends are having their third baby. Third… Baby… Eww. I am not a kid person. Never have been. Never will be. I have a niece whom I enjoy terrorizing. Well, she can be cool sometimes… just sometimes though.

I have crocheted a baby blanket for both their girls so now I’ve made a third one for their upcoming third child, a boy. I try to not do the typical style of baby blanket for them. The first was a hot pink, black and white bubble blanket. The second was a rainbow colored star shape blanket. Now for the third, I’m making a basket weave teal and grey blanket. I found the pattern Basket Weave Baby Blanket from Craft Passion.

I went back and forth on deciding the colors for this blanket. You’ve got the typical blue, yellow or green. Blah! I let Hubby decide when we got to the store since I couldn’t make up my mind. Who better to pick colors for a boy blanket than another guy? Right?

The pattern is simple. An always repeating pattern and I can watch tv while I work. It took me a few months to complete, mainly because I can’t stick to one project but bounce around to different ones.

I tend not to pay attention to details when I first start projects. If I had, I would have realized that this afghan pattern is flipping huge. How is this made for a baby!?! I decided the width of the blanket is now the length. I even returned a skein of yarn because I didn’t need to make it as big as instructed.

Without further ado… Baby blanket!

Back Trim
The grey is the trim and it’s the back side.

Front Trim
The front side of the trim. The weaving looks the same on both sides. The trim is the only piece that distinguishes front from back.

Full Blanket
Perfect little blanket for a little man!

Pincushion Ring

Pincushion Ring

I’ve been thinking about this project for awhile now. I finally decided that I would take time out on my lunch and get it made.

I have a habit of moving my pin cushion here and there when I’m sewing or cutting fabric. I know there’s the wrist strap looking pincushion you can make. It really didn’t catch my eye like a pincushion ring.

Circle

I picked up a couple ring blanks from Hobby Lobby. The blank was 22cm in diameter. I wanted something bigger but I figured I could make do. I cut a circle of fabric by using a large mouthed cup and chalk.

Circle Button

After I cut the circle, I serged around it. This kept the edges from fraying and gave me a stitch to pull to start pulling the fabric into a dome. I added the button to the center before stuffing it to make it easier on myself.

Poof WO Ring

I pulled the fabric as tight as I could and stuffed it with fiberfill. I read that you can stuff a pincushion with saw dust, sand or steel wool. I guess it’s really up to you. I finished pulling the fabric closed and stitched until it was completely closed.

Preparing Ring

I added colored floss through the button and down the sides, knotting it on the bottom. This completes the little poof for the ring. I kept sitting the poof on the blank and it didn’t look like enough. I took some ribbon, folded it accordion style, and stitched the one end. Fanning it out made a little ruffle base for my poof. I stitched the ruffle to the poof so it was centered in the bottom.

Blue Ring

Creme Ring

Next was time for the hot glue. I glued the ruffle a bit more to the poof then glued the poof to the ring blank.

Two Ring Cuteness

That’s it! Done and adorable! Just a word of warning, let the ring cool before slipping it on your finger.

Pattern Love

Pattern Love

I’ve read several different places that you can make your patterns last longer by ironing interfacing to the back of them. I’ve been really hesitant on doing this because ironing paper, especially flimsy pattern paper seems really sketchy. I was afraid that as soon as I touched the iron to it, it would burst into flames. I didn’t say it was a rational hesitation.

Pattern

I decided to start with my favorite, most used, I’m gonna bawl my eyes out if it ever falls apart pattern. This probably doesn’t sound too smart, but sometimes I’m not very bright. But really, if you’re going to do something, do it with a bang!

Iron

I bought the cheapest interfacing from Jo-Ann’s. It’s a whole $.99 a yard. I plopped on the floor with my iron and board. I first ironed the pattern pieces. I chose one of the lower settings because I was terrified. A couple swipes later I turned the heat up and my pattern pieces were smooth. This is going swell!

Interfacing

Next came the interfacing. I tried to maximize it by putting the pieces as close as I could together. If their edges touched that’s fine because they’ll be cut apart anyways. I rolled out the interfacing on my board, laid out pieces and started pressing. I was careful to get close to the edge but not so close that I would end up with a sticky mess on my iron. Once the pattern and the interfacing were stuck decently together I got out the scissors and cut around the pieces. The edges weren’t bonded together yet but that’s fine. After completely cutting around the piece I ironed the whole piece out. It really shouldn’t make a crinkly noise anymore. If it still has a crinkle sound, it’s not bonded somewhere.

Flexible

I was so surprised at how flexible yet sturdy the pattern pieces were. I used this pattern immediately after doing this. It was easy to pin through the pieces and having the interfacing on the back made the pieces sit still on the fabric when I was laying it out.

I plan on doing this to to a few more of my patterns. It’s not very time consuming, especially if the pieces are already cut from use. The only issue is that the pieces no longer fit in the pattern envelope. I’ll have to make plans to figure out a better system for containment.

River Song Diary

For Christmas I always trying to give my bff Jes something Jamie-Made and something store bought. Last year she received an awesome pixel quilt. Check it out below:

ZeldaQuilt?w=620

This year I couldn’t think of anything for the Jamie-Made piece. Eventually I settled on River Song’s diary. I know you can purchase it from Think Geek but I always think things are much more special if you make the present. Plus, I didn’t think the idea of making it seemed like something especially difficult.

I would say that this project took a month and a half to complete. I know that sounds like a long time for a book but I worked on other stuff and you do have to wait for paint, glue and mod podge to dry.

StrippedDiary?w=620

I bought a cheap diary style book from Wal-mart but I’m sure you can pick one up anywhere. Mine cost about $5. I stripped the book of its shiny and ugly wallpaper style coating. Doing so was rather quick and decently fun. The thought of destroying something to then make it beautiful was at the forefront of my mind.

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The small piece of the book’s spine came off. That was an unexpected twist but easy to deal with.

ReplacedSpineDiary?w=620

I took a small piece of packing paper, some rubber cement and glued that bad boy back on.

CoverDiary?w=620

After that it was trying to figure out how to make the detail on the front of the book. It’s very similar to the look of the Tardis. I used a couple cereal boxes, cut them to the size of the front of the book and glued the printed sides together. I had already sketched the design of the diary onto a piece of paper before I marked all over the cardboard. This was the longest process of the whole project. Cutting every little piece out with an X-acto knife and constantly worry about not stabbing myself took a small lifetime. I think it was worth it.

NewSpineDiar?w=620

I did the spine a bit different. I use a single piece of cereal box cardboard. I didn’t want the ridges to be really deep. The great thing about thinner cardboard was that I could cut it with scissors.

ModPodgeDiary?w=620

Next I used mod podge. This was the first time I ever used it. I’m not a fan. I used a blue shade because I figured it would be a good base coat of color. This stuff didn’t go on as smooth as I was hoping. I took a piece of tissue paper and mod-podged it all over the book. My reasoning was that the edges of the book and the cardboard would become one. If I hadn’t, the cardboard would easily pop off of the book if it got caught on something and what a crap gift that would be!

Since that didn’t go on very smoothly I was stuck sanding down the book. Yes sanding. Hubby happens to have some uber fine sanding paper for model cars. It worked perfectly!

PaintedDiary?w=620

Two coats of Tardis blue later…

DirtyDiary?w=620

DirtySpineDiary?w=620

It’s starting to look very much like the book you can buy. To give it a bit of a dirty used look, I sanded it one more time in a few spots and painted it with brown watercolor then wiped it off.

DiaryInsid?w=620

The inside I made a bit more special. I bought a large piece of poster paper from Hobby Lobby in a cream tone. I printed Gallifreyan on the paper, painted yellow and orange water colors, and glued it into the book. I bet the one you can buy doesn’t have that!

DiaryComplete?w=620

The last step was for Hubby to give the whole book a clear coat. I wanted the book to have a smoother feel and the clear coat was the way to go.

I like to think of myself as a decent gift giver. I would love to keep this book, of course, I felt the same way last year about the quilt. I hope she loves it as much as I do!

NYC Crochet Hat

Over the weekend I had my first trip to NYC! In my preparations for my trip, I did inventory of my best cold weather items. I noticed I was lacking a good hat. I have plenty of cutesy hats but if I’m running around New York in the cold I must be prepared!

My whole trip boils down to 13 crazy hours. A co-worker and I are taking a bus from Ohio to New York overnight and spend 7am to 8pm running amuck. We carefully made a list of everything we wanted to see in our little time. High on both our priorities is seeing the Statue of Liberty and hitting the Garment District.

I’m one of those people that needs to plan (let’s be honest, over plan) a trip. I need to know what’s there, how much, how long does it take and so on. My travel companion tends to be the “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of girl. Two completely different people. She is gracious enough to humor me and super plan with me.

So here’s (almost) everything we hit:
Staten Island Ferry – where you can see great views of the Statue of Liberty and the skyline of Manhattan. By the way, it’s free!
Mood Fabrics
Paron’s Fabrics
Spandex World
Macy’s
Empire State Building
Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market
Times Square
Grand Central Station
Rockefeller Center

That’s the main places. We hit a few more shops in the garment district and around the city. It was completely overwhelming. The amount of people, the places to shop, and the things to see. I was amazed at how small everything was compared to what it looks like on tv.

I do have to say every New Yorker we spoke to was nice and extremely helpful. The subway is not scary (it’s surprising clean and the tile work at the stations is amazing!) and it’s a great cheap way to get around the city.

Okay enough blabbing here’s about the hat:

The awesome hat I made comes from Yarn Inspirations called Twist ‘N Shout Slouchy Hat.

I’m a fast crocheter so I knew I could get this done quickly. The piece that took the longest was the band of the hat. Slip stitches and only catching the back loop is a bit time consuming but it makes for a nice stretchy band. I did stray from the instructions when it says to use a faux fur ball as your pom. I made a big one with left over yarn I had.

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Riding the Staten Island Ferry in style!

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I wear my hats back pretty far on my head but it still covers my ears. If you’re going to wear this hat farther forward you would need a smaller band.

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I love the stitches on this hat! It gives it just enough visual interest and the stitches are tight together to keep the wind from whipping through.

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A look at the big pom. I think it still could have been bigger. It also could have been a different color from the hat such as hot pink or purple. I’m happy with the grey on grey for now. It’s easy enough to change later if I choose.

Eventually I’ll finish knitting a scarf to go with the hat but I suck at knitting. It’s my first knitting project that I started in the spring. It’s not getting very far. Maybe in a few years I’ll have a scarf.