February 9, 2011

Tatted Heart

A dear friend of mine had her birthday in early January. I wanted to do make something special for her, so I pulled out my tatting shuttle and my favorite "I need a gift in a hurry" pattern.
I also found a nice pen and notepad in my gift stash. The heart pattern is from a free project sheet by Lizbeth Thread, and available at Handy Hands Tatting.  I didn't have time to starch the piece, so it's not quite as heart shaped as usual. The thread is Lizbeth, size 20, in Caribbean (122) and Purple Dk. (633). The inner rings and outer chains were done in Caribbean, and the outer rings were done in Purple. I've made this heart several times, but it never looks like the picture - at least not without some serious starching. Can anyone tell me what I'm doing that makes it not-so-heart-shaped?

February 7, 2011

Polymer Clay Notebook Cover

Among the gifts I received at Christmas were some polymer clay tools, and the book, pictured to the left. I had borrowed the book from the library, and was able to think of many applications for the techniques, not just the applications pictured in the projects. For example, this notebook cover. It is rather different in the book, but using the technique, I made my own version. This was my first time trying the Skinner blend, and for my first try, it's not too bad.

Change #1: I made a cover for both sides of the notebook, not just the front
Change #2: I didn't have a spiral bound notebook, as in the book, so I sewed the two pieces together, resulting in a sort of folder. I then carefully hot glued a piece of ribbon along the spine to bind it together.
Change #3: The book has you doing some fancy decorative things on the cover; I wanted to use some texture makers that I had also received at Christmas, but my pieces were too thin. The reason they were too thin is that I didn't use enough clay in my blend. The neat thing is that the covers are very flexible, and almost transparent.

Clay used: Fimo Effect in #052, Glitter White, and #209, Glitter Lilac.

February 4, 2011

Tulips Sweater

A year or two ago, a lot of bloggers were raving about the baby sweater "Tulips" by Dream in Color. I thought it was a cute sweater, but couldn't quite see what all the fuss was about. My quilting friends went on a shop hop, and got the pattern as a freebie. Since neither of them knits, they gave the pattern to me. The pattern sat in my knitting notebook for several months, because I didn't have any pregnant friends at the time.

Last year I finally got the opportunity to knit Tulips. Now I understand what all the fuss is about. This was my second baby sweater, (I still haven't worked up the nerve to try an adult sized sweater) and compared to the first one, this was a piece of cake! It is knit from the top down, so there are no side seams to sew; the sleeves are made by picking up stitches from the armhole section, and knitting in the round. There were a few parts where I had to really stop and think about the directions for a few hours (or days) but overall, this is the easiest knitting for a baby that I've ever done.

Yarn: I chose to use Vanna's Choice yarn, partly because it's acrylic and can be machine washed, and partly because I already had all but one skein in my stash.
Pattern Variation: If you are familiar with Tulips, you probably noticed that I did not use seven different colors of yarn. Again, this was partly because I was trying to stash bust, and also because I thought it would be too busy. I also did the knit-on I-Cord edging in purple, instead of pink, to make the sweater 'pop' a little more.
Advice: One thing that really puzzled me in the pattern was at the end of row 8, it says "for first three sizes, work color change row" then after row 10, it says "for largest two sizes, work color change row". What confused me was where to put in the row, since I already had directions for those rows. I finally realized that if there was a color change, to work the color change instead of the 8'th row (or 10'th, depending on the size made.)
The only other advice I have to offer is to work the applied I-Cord and seed stitch along the edges loosely! I had to rip out the second side and do it over because it was a good inch shorter than the other side.

February 3, 2011

Quiet Book

This is one of those projects that sits around for years, because you're too lazy to finish the last step that would really only take 10 minutes to half a day. I started this quiet book way back in high school, (I think). It was a kit from Nancy's Notions. I remember struggling with understanding the directions. It has been 'done' for several years, it just needed the X's and O's for tic tac toe cut out, and the flowers for the button page cut out. One day I finally sat down and cut out all the pieces. I used suede cloth, so I didn't have to finish the edges.
From left to right: A large zippered pocket, an embroidered inscription, and the front page, a moon with stars that can be pulled out of a clear vinyl pocket.

From left to right: the 'button page' with suede flowers, tic tac toe, and the final page is made with chalkboard fabric. It also doubles as a pocket to hold some chalk, and a sponge to wipe it clean.