Monday, March 25, 2013


Back in the fall, when I went with the other ladies from my machine knitting group to "Peter's Knit and Sew" in Toronto, I picked up a ball of James Brett Marble Chunky.  I want to get more boyish items in my inventory.  I love this yarn.
 I needed a mindless knit, so I decided to handknit this as a circle blanket, working from the center outwards. 
 This is one ball, though I wish I had a second so that I could match up the colours and use both yarns at the same time to get thicker stripes as the blanket got bigger.  However, I think this probably would have been more frustrating and not worth the effort, LOL.  It's not a huge blanket, but it'd be a good size for a baby, and then as a "lovey" to be carried around.
This yarn is two ply, both plies are the same colours.  Sometimes they align so that both plies are at the same colour at the same time, and that's okay, except for when both plies are the beige.  I didn't like that for some reason--too bright?  The yarn has a slight sheen, and is very soft.  I highly recommend it!

I counted this "yarn in" last fall, so that's great, although I did just buy some more Bernat Mosaic...two balls, 200gr...$14.17....

Yarn In: 4892gr + 200gr = 5092gr
Yarn Out:  1304gr + 200gr = 1504gr
Balance:  3588gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $141.54 + $14.17 = $155.71/84 days = $1.85/day

I also just got some small bits of yarn donated to me by my mother-in-law...

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Although I've been quiet here, I have been busy making things.  Not a whole lot finished, and ready to show, but I've been keeping busy.  As well, we somehow blew through our internet usage limit this month.  So, today, I took my middle girl and her best friend to the library so we could use their wifi/computers.  I've brought my laptop, but I don't have any pictures on it.  I did put a bunch of pictures on a usb drive so I could post on my other blog, LOL.  I never know if my laptop is going to work, so I also brought my tablet.  I figured I can always write the post and add pictures later (that's how I did the last 3 or 4 posts--I was able to get the laptop to work, and I wrote the posts while watching TV, then added the pictures later at my desktop).  Anyway.  Just wanted to let you know I'm still here :)
You can always get sneak peeks on my facebook page: 
I'll be back later this week with actual photos and a real post!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Custom Crochet

The photographer I've been working with has a partner who ordered some custom hats at the start of the year.  I haven't shown them because I've been hoping for her pictures, but recently she sent me an email with a picture and asked about getting a custom hat or blanket to match the picture.  The blanket in the picture was crocheted in a chevron pattern, and the earflap hat was done in thick stripes.  She loved the colours, and the stripes, but decided on just the hat.  I went stash diving and found 3 out of four colours, though I wasn't overly thrilled with them.
So I went to my favourite yarn store, Value Village, LOL.  Nothing in the yarn section (not surprised), but while browsing around the sweaters, I turned around and saw this little boy's sweater:

It had three of the four colours, but was missing the green--the same colour I couldn't find at home (I had some Paton's Classic Merino in the right shade, but it's too delicate).  So I headed to Michaels and found a green, though I wasn't 100% happy with it.

I unravelled the sweater.  I wish I knew it's story.  It was obviously handknit with love, and looked like it hadn't been worn.  The brown in the body was different than the brown in the sleeves--different dye lots?  Then the placket had been done in one of the browns, and the collar in the other.  Something was very odd with the cast off---the last two inches were cast off in the opposite direction.  The yarn was finer than I was expecting--it looked like a worsted or DK in the sweater, but unravelled, it was much finer looking.

I started with the yarn doubled (except the green, which was a worsted weight) and rows of half double crochet, one row per colour.  I pretty much had it done, but was not happy.  I swatched and swatched and started again, but still not happy.  Swatched some more. 

The end result was two rows of hdc in white, then one row in a colour, matching the colour sequence to the original picture (I couldn't find my styrofoam ball, and this was the only thing in the house that is close to the right size/shape LOL).

My colours seem a bit darker than the inspiration photo (and it doesn't seem as white as I was hoping--it did look white when it was the sweater!), but that could be because of editing of the original.

When I crocheted the first one, I cut the yarns with each stripe.  What can I say...I had swatched and thought that was the right design!  Add to the fact the yarn was originally from a striped project....and then I doubled it.... when I unravelled it, the small balls ended up even smaller.  So, the final result had quite a few ends to weave in.  Then I changed the earflaps.  I was able to use up lots of small pieces to make the braids though!

In the end, I was pleased with it.  It was something different for me--I would never have picked those colours, or chose crochet.  It's fun to make something specific for a client, although it makes me a little nervous too!  It's one thing to have a general idea, and run with that, and it's something else to try to totally match a picture.  I definitely won't shy away from it though!
The yarn from the sweater was already counted.

Yarn In:  4892gr
Yarn Out:  1244gr + 60gr = 1304gr
Balance: 3588gr more brought IN than out
Costs: $141.54/66 days = $2.14/day

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

More Sweetness

One of the other items I got at Value Village to unravel was this sweater.  I loved the multi colours and textures in the yarn, as well as the gold thread.  There's a lot of yarn in this sweater,  610gr (already accounted for), as well as three nice, large buttons.  Scroll back a few posts and you can see a picture of the sweater.  I don't think it had even been worn, because these hats softened up a lot once washed.  These hats barely took any (40gr each)! 
 The first one seemed a little narrow, so I crocheted a ruffle around the face. 

 Little detail on the ties.
 Close up of the ruffle and yarn, with it's many textures and colours.
 I made a larger one, without the ruffle.  This one still fits on the newborn head, but can stretch up to a 6 month head!  I found the perfect flower when looking for ribbon to use for ties.  It has both a pin and an alligator clip, so it's removable.
After finding out how soft this yarn actually is, I'm going to make a hat and cowl for myself.  And fingerless gloves.  My old ones are looking a little ratty!

Yarn In: 4892gr
Yarn Out:  80gr + 1244gr = 1324gr
Balance: 3568gr more brought IN than out
Costs: $141.54/65 days = $2.18/day

Newborn items may be quick to knit up, but they sure don't make of a dent in the stash!!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013


I bought this scarf at Value Village recently and knew it would be great for a spring/Easter hat! 

The colours reminded me of the "panned eggs" you get at Easter, in the bright pastel colours (can something be bright AND pastel?). 

It's  a pretty simple little hat, I actually knit a little swatch, and cast on 32 stitches.  I love how tiny newborn things  are, especially when knit  in a chunky yarn!

Could it be any sweeter?

I'm still searching for something in the middle of the bow.  I love how the ribbon has the holographic silver edge, to match the silver metallic thread in the yarn.

I'm going to whip up a diaper cover, I think in white, and use this yarn to make ruffles on the bum.  Sweeeeet!

Yarn In: 4892gr
Yarn Out:  33gr + 1211gr = 1244gr
Balance:  3648gr more brought IN than out
Costs: $141.54/64 days = $2.21/day

Monday, March 04, 2013

Finally Finished!

I should start a new series, "Finally Finished Fridays".  LOL.
These two Baby Surprise Jackets go back to last summer.  I'm not sure of the actual dates, but I made the pink/white/blue blanket in early October, and I know I was in the early stages of the brown BSJ when we went to Peter Smith's store in Toronto around Oct 9....I think I was working on the pink/white/blue one during the summer and that's why I made the blanket in early October.  Whatever, they took way too long to finish up.  It's a quick pattern that CAN be made in a week (I think that's what the group does for a KAL), and it's a great pattern for doing stripes because you're working the sleeves at the same time as the rest of the whole body, so you never get to the sleeves and run out of yarn and they don't "match".  However, when you're using up yarns, you do end up with a ton of ends to weave in.  And then buttons to BUY and sew on.  So, it all adds up.

This yarn is a very old Sear's yarn which was in the huge donation I received last year.  I still have 70gr left.  Booties?  The jacket is 154gr (with buttons, so lets round down to 150gr).  Garter stitch eats up yarn (the blanket weighed 234gr)!  There is a stockinette version of this pattern online, but you need the original pattern to understand it.  I tried sewing the buttons on using one long strand of yarn, but it appears that they loosened up after being washed, so I'm glad I washed it, but now I need to go fix that.  It will also get steamed.  I'll be putting it on my weebly site later this week (or today, we'll see how the day goes!).
Something weird happened when I made the button bands.  The pattern has you make the holes on both sides, so that you can decide after which side you want the buttons on (for those that still follow the girls on one side, boys on the other "rule"), and it helps to line the buttons up with the holes.  Well, I had just about all the buttons sewn on and then realized that they weren't lining up with the buttonholes! So I had to close up some, and judge where to put others.
 I found a bag of brown yarns, along with a small amount of camo and some odd balls of black, so I thought a boyish version would be nice--I don't do enough boy items.  This fellow weighs 188gr including buttons (so lets say 180gr).
 This sweater is a great example of why you should wash items before gifting/selling.  The yarns have been hanging around for a long time, before I even started.  Then the project was in various bags, taken many places (including beaches), etc.  When I washed it, a LOT of ends popped out!  This might freak out a new mom if she's a non-knitter!!  Also, there was some pilling and fuzziness, so I need to clean it up a bit.
Not sure if you can see how there's a variety of different brown yarns there, along with black and camo.  Fun.  It'd be nice paired with brown or black pants, or a cute, custom made pair of itty bitty camo pants!!

I also bought a ball of novelty yarn for a potential custom order, but she didn't like the price :(  I returned one ball that I bought for it (a plain, solid colour I know I can pick up alternatives if it ever goes ahead), but kept the novelty yarn cause it was on sale, and will come in handy at some point.  But can you believe I actually returned yarn?!

Yarn In:  4807gr + 85gr = 4892gr
Yarn Out:  881 + 150gr + 180gr = 1211gr
Balance:  3681 gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $138.16+$3.38 = $141.54/63 days = $2.25/day

Got to get that "cost per day" back down!!  Of course, I am making some money now (not a lot!), so I guess it's okay for that to be a bit higher than last year.  Next post--a baby blanket!  Then a couple little infant hats!

Friday, March 01, 2013

Gone Fishin'

A little while ago, I was asked by a photographer to make a fisherman outfit.  She showed pictures; wanted a cream bucket hat and blue pants, and some wee fish.  I searched my stash, I wanted to use cotton for authenticity.  I didn't have anything that worked, but what I did have in both colours, was some Red Heart "Washable Wool".  So yes, I made a newborn "Tilley" hat in wool.  LOL.  This wool has a nice construction though, which gives it an sort of cotton look, but is very soft and durable.

 I made the pants on the SK155, using the same pattern as the Tom Sawyer pants.  Funny how this odd shaped piece, combined with one done in reverse, can be turned into pants!
 I sewed a piece of twill tape to the outside of the hat and fed a length of yarn through it, coming to the inside at the back.  I wish I could have done grommets and snaps too.  Grommets are a little tricky because you don't want to snip the yarn, so it needs to go between stitches--pre plan and use eyelet holes.  The hat is a little over sized, as a sunhat should be.  Plus, I think it's adorable when daddies plop their favourite hat on their tiny lads!  The hat is crocheted.
The fish are a free crochet pattern from Red Heart.  I didn't stuff them, but tucked all the ends in (and a few snips more of matching yarn).  I didn't want them puffy, but this little bit did help give them a bit of squishiness.
I can't wait to see this set on a real baby.  I was rushing to get these pictures, and it was cold out!  We went from a dusting of snow to a huge storm that evening and the next day, over 12"/30cm of snow.  It was coming down at about an inch an hour!  Definitely not fishing weather!

I didn't make the shoes, but what an awesome match!  Jennifer is so talented!

Interested in having your own little fishing set?  I can't use the exact yarn again (discontinued), but send me an email and we can work something out!  TracyKM at yahoo dot com!