Friday, June 28, 2013


Someone found my blog by googling:  fat women bathing suits.  Also "dark green rit dye tits"  Ummm.....

Can You See It?

When I went up to my parents for last weekend, I rushed to finish up some surprise water bottle holders and putting in a new zipper in my Dad's coat.  The zipper sucked.  Got to do it over.  The water bottle holder I made for my Dad didn't fit the larger bottle he usually uses.  And I forgot to take a picture of it.  It's the green camo I used in the 5 holder order; backed with a greenish colour from one of my husband's shirts, and another greenish colour for the strap, cut from my husband's pants.  His bottle fit in the green/yellow holder I had crocheted, though my hubby said it wasn't manly enough.
 So, I decided to head into town, to V&S Stedman's....the closest thing to an old Five and Dime in small, rural Ontario towns.  They always have a decent yarn selection (even if it is just Patons/Bernat and Briggs & Little).  I found some Handicrafter in grey, beige and brown.
 I was able to crochet this up, with time to spare.  And, with 2grams left.  I'm going to count it as using the whole ball though; since I doubt I'll use the remainder for anything.
 These were the surprise holders I made last week.  From left; a little flower print, centre is a turtle print for Lucy, and right is the dainty ladies walking dogs again.
Left is a chicken print.  This was for my mom who has chickens.  Centre is a teal pattern.  I showed Lucy two colours with this pattern and asked her which one she liked better (she didn't know about the turtle fabric).  The other one went better, but this way she does have two options.  The insides do not need to match.  The one on the right is figure skaters for Meg!  The two on the left have twill tape for straps.  It's a little wimpy, and I mis-calculated when figuring out how much to get for straps.  I thought I was being clever, getting enough from 2m to make exactly 5.  However, that was calculated with only 1/2 the strap length!  So, now I can get two and a half straps.  But I don't think I can seam it.  So, I have to get  creative.  Maybe try out an idea for an adjustable strap...

Yarn In:  42gr + 7410gr = 7452gr
Yarn Out:  42gr + 4553gr = 4595gr
Balance:  2857gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $2.25 + $208.46 = $210.71/180 days = $1.17 per day

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Way Back When...

We had a very cool spring this year, and although I wanted a new hat set, I hesitated, thinking any moment spring would appear.  It never really did.  We had two nice days this month, and then this past weekend, summer arrived in full force.
I did finally get around to crocheting a set, partially due to the fact my youngest takes figure skating lessons, and a hat and gloves are perfectly acceptable while I sit there and watch LOL.
 The gloves are from the crochet book I wrote about a little while ago.  I felt the stitch pattern was a little lost in the pair in the book, due to the yarn.  This yarn (KnitPicks' "Sugar Bunny") is definitely hairy, but I thought the solid colour would show off the pattern.  Well, I'm not sure it was worth it--while totally easy, it just looks a little random when worn.
 I got the first one done with no problem, including the sewing up and the trims.  Then, when I did the second one, I couldn't see how their directions resulted in scallops along the top.  LOL.  I knew what it should look like though, so I got it done.  Really, these gloves could be done in any stitch pattern.  Cast on/chain for the length you want--knuckles to wrist bone (or longer).  Do as many rows as needed to go around the hand (allow a bit of negative ease).  Seam up the side, leaving a gap for the thumb, location based on how long you made it.  Easy peasy.
 The hat.  I love the end result, but it wasn't easy to get there.  I wanted it loose and open, and I wanted to match the gloves.  I had no idea how to increase in the glove pattern.  Went with double crochet.  Too closed.  Tried triple crochet.  Too unstructured.  Tried double crochet, ch 1.  Too open.  Finally, did just double crochet, but with a much larger hook.  It's quite warm despite that!
And then the scarf.  Again....many attempts at the right stitch/gauge.  This time, I did end up with dc, ch1; (not sure if I then dc into the spaces, or into the dc).  I miscalculated the mid-point, but after ripping back so many times, I just could do it again.  This yarn does NOT like to be ripped back (maybe easier in knit though).  It's big enough, and quite warm.  The set is not really as "spring" as I'd like--the angora is warm!  So, I could actually have used real gloves or mitts.  However, the gloves look really shoddy now :(  I'm so glad I didn't make them to sell!  I used all but 2grams, and it cost $4.73 when I bought it at Value Village back in early December!

Yarn In:  7410gr
Yarn Out:  120gr + 4433gr = 4553gr
Balance:  2857gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $208.46/178 days = $1.17/day

Thursday, June 20, 2013


I realized I hadn't been doing a good job of adding the photographer photos to posts about the photo props I've made.  I've gone back and updated them.  I decided to add them here too, just so you can see them easier :)

 The fedora set and ballet slippers on twins (the boy is 8lb and the girl is only 5lb!).
 The fedora set on a mom-to-be who's expecting a boy!
 Here's those same twins again.  Isn't this a clever shot?!
 The little fisherman!  I didn't make the shoes, but they match so well!

Tom Sawyer!  Jennifer made the hat herself!

All these photos are courtesy of Jennifer Bel Photography!  Check out her site.  She is awesome!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Water, Water....

It's a water bottle holder factory here, it seems!  I'm surprised I didn't show these yellow ones, since I had them done in mid-May (one was a gift, so I think I was holding out).
 They all reverse to black.  One of the yellow circles ones was for my niece.  The other three are available.
 Rubber duckie holder for my SIL who is obsessed with rubber duckies.  Reverses to white.  She's an adult with her own washing machine...LOL.
This one is kitties on one side, and a blue pattern on the reverse.  I gave it to Andrea, who owns Crazy Corn, who sold me a big bucket of a custom creation for the raffle table at our Spring Fling. 
This was the picture she posted on Facebook, of how she intends to use it.  The small size fits commercial bottled water and beer bottles!  Perfect for summer parties when you need two hands to eat and have no where to put your drink! 

Got a favourite animal, hobby, colour, theme?  Old college shirt?  I can make these in any fabric.  Multi-item discounts available!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Water Bottle Holders

I made more crocheted water bottle holders.  They're quick, and very portable.  Though I find I have to watch myself, I can't quite crochet without looking.
The pink one is rather large, but I've been seeing a lot of larger water bottles out there.  The green one is sized for "disposable" bottled water (or beer bottles, LOL).  Together, they weigh in at 86gr (50gr for the pink, 36gr for the green).  This means that the large one can be made with one ball of solid colour Handicrafter, and the small one can be made with one ball of the ombre/stripes Handicrafter!

Yarn In:  7410gr
Yarn Out:  86gr + 4347gr = 4433gr
Balance:  2977gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $208.46/165 days = $1.26 per day

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Each year, my kids' school does a "Spring Fling".  There is always a large raffle table.  You buy 25 tickets, for $5, and your odds are pretty good.  Some of the items are theme bags put together by teachers, many items are "re-gifted" things, some are bought new by the parent group and others are bought new by parents to donate.  I decided this year, I should do something to promote myself a bit!
First up was the water bottle holder on the left.  The middle one went to my niece in Indiana (red and white are her school colours), and the right one went to a friend of my mother-in-law who comes from England every year.
 I also crocheted two water bottle holders.  I bought a red, cheap, water bottle at the dollar store to fit the one on the left, and the other two got bottled water.
 I also made a neck cooler, a crocheted tote/gym bag, and a "wallet-to-tote" bag.
 This is different than the teachers' gifts I made last year.  I did a single layer for the bag (but with French seams).  The base is some red Naugahyde.  I had some difficulty figuring out how to sew the pocket lining and should probably have just googled it.  I wanted it a bit bigger than the ones I made before, but the one piece bag caused some problems when sewing it down.  If going for a bigger size again, I'd make a bag with a sewn in bottom.
Also in the basket (from the dollar store), I added a red and silver pinwheel, and instructions for the neck cooler.  I think the end result turned out great!!  It was certainly well-presented (and survived the night without losing parts or being pawed to death!), though I don't think my business card on the front was very visible.  It's amazing what a basket and some clear basket wrap can do to make ordinary items look impressive!

Yarn In:  7410gr
Yarn Out:  228gr + 4119gr = 4347gr
Balance:  3063gr more brought IN than out
Cost:  $208.46/163 days = $1.28/day

To compare with a year ago:
Yarn In: 12 574gr
Yarn Out:   10 714gr
Balance: 1860 gr more In than Out
Costs: $287.71/164 days = $1.75/day

There's a much higher in and out amount because I had gotten a large yarn donation (4820gr), and then re-donated much of it (1624gr), plus the donations of hats/scarves/mitts that I made to the school (2536gr) and to the northern First Nations community (2416gr).  So, without that yarn donation, my total last year at this time would have been 7754gr IN, and without the yarn donation out, 9090gr OUT, but if I also take off the winter items donations--4138gr OUT, for a balance of 3616gr more brought IN than out.  So, I'm actually doing better this year, especially with the cost per day (and add in that I'm getting paid for many of the items I"m creating now!).  I still have a few bigger items to show to get that Yarn Out balance down.  However, donating so much last year felt really good and you can't put a price on that!

Thursday, June 06, 2013

New Yarn

I had been doing good for awhile, not buying any new yarn, then some lovely stuff caught my eye at Value Village!
 Look at that plum mohair in the middle.  How delicious!  It's Sirdar "Gold Seal Mohair", "Strata", 2x50gr, $3.99.  I should probably make some tiny mohair pants and a bonnet for photo props.  I've discovered I don't really like hairy yarns for my own scarves, but for those colours, I could be persuaded to try again.  On the right is Bernat "Felting Natural Wool", 75gr, $1.99  The two balls on the left are Bernat Mosaic, 2x 100gr, $4.99 each, on clearance at Michaels'.
Then today I had to go back to Michaels' to find a tan mohair, and was looking for Patons "Lace".  They are expanding their yarn section, and so had a LOT of really nice yarns in clearance bins for $1.99!!  From the left, Lion Brand, "Nature's Choice Organic Cotton", 78gr (?!), Loops & Threads "Woodlands", 50gr, Red Heart Boutique "Changes", 100gr, Patons "Lace", 70gr, Loops & Threads "Willow Sauce", 50gr x 2.
It was hard to limit it to that.  I went for unisex, muted colours, to make things to add to my newborn prop collection.  The green isn't too muted, but I love the different textures all in one yarn.

Yarn In:  6637gr + 773gr = 7410gr
Yarn Out:  4119gr
Balance:  3291gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $6.76 + 16.66 = $23.43 + $185.03 = $208.46/158 days = $1.32 per day

Wednesday, June 05, 2013


To go with the white slippers, I needed some little flowers.  The red and white one is to give some perspective.  I ended up making 9 pairs of little flowers.
 They're so tiny, you don't get "second flower syndrome" like you do socks or mittens.
 I used a variety of patterns and ideas.  Can't really say much more than that.  Most of the yarns were sock yarns, even DK yarn seemed too thick.
Flower embellishments are often touted as a way to use up scraps.  The bigger, three layer flowers can use up to 25gr, which, if all one colour, is 1/2 a 50gr ball!  However, these nine tiny flowers used up only 9grams TOTAL. Now this is a scrap buster!

Yarn In:  6637gr
Yarn Out 9gr + 4110gr = 4119gr
Balance:  2518gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $185.03/157 days = $1.18

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Water Bottle Holders

Last summer I tried making some water bottle holders.  I really loved the convenience of them!  I still couldn't convince the kids to carry their own most of the time, but at least I wasn't trying to stuff 4 bottles into my purse!

I posted some pictures on my Facebook page and quickly got an order for FIVE, in Arizona from an online friend!  Exciting!  She picked out some pictures and this is the result:

These are the fabrics she chose--two camo's for her sons, a retro floral for her, a modern floral for her almost-tween daughter, and a bold floral for her mom.
 I picked out the inside fabrics.  Basic black for the boys, striped sweaters for the middle two, and a feminine floral for the blue one.  The black ones have matching black straps, the two white straps are webbing, and the pink strap is corduroy.  I pushed my comfort zone to do the one stripes sideways.

I've made several more since, and will show them to you later!  I'm taking orders, and making up a stock pile.  $15 for one, multi-item discount applies ($13 each for 2-4, and $10 each for 5+). 

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Tiny Toes

A client wanted some little ballet type slippers for newborn shoots.  No problem, I thought.  However, most patterns say 0-3 months, and are really sized for 3 months, not 7-10 day olds.  I ended up making 4 pairs, using different yarns, from DK on thinner.

The smallest ones were really too small, the largest ones probably too big for newborns.  Quick and easy pattern, though I seemed to keep having a problem with the second last row.  I had no idea how long to make the ribbons.
Aren't these twins adorable!  The boy was 8lb and the girl only 5lbs.  Jennifer is so awesome and creative!

Yarn In:  6637gr
Yarn Out:  19gr + 4110gr
Balance:  4091gr more brought IN than out
Cost:  $185.03/153 days = $1.21/day

19gr to make four pairs of slippers.  Sigh.  Not getting much yarn used up.  And...I rescued more yarn from Value Village.  Gorgeous yarn.  Can't wait to show it.  Can wait to add it to the totals LOL.