Felt fruit

Dec. 9th, 2013 02:20 pm
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I made F some felt fruit for a gift this year. She asked for more soft toy food. I used McCall's 6572 and the wool/rayon felt from Treadle.

felt fruit (1)

I loved the way each orange half looks alone, but they were supposed to stick together into a whole orange, and that totally didn't work. They look like 2 donuts stacked up.

oranges )

But, separately, they still look okay, so I'm gonna go with it. And I love the way the banana and strawberries came out!

I thought I was done with felt food for a while (because every one I make will just add to the mess in the living room) but I think I might do a couple fried eggs. We'll see.
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
I decided I needed to make a doll for my friend's housewarming.  She just bought a condo in a very modern, industrial loft space, and it's beautiful and awesome but really needs a few things to warm it up and make it softer and more organic.  (At least that's my opinion!)

So, a wool felt dolly was absolutely required.

dolly! 019

More! Back view and dolly nudity )

This pattern is the Tag-Along Doll from Wee Wonderfuls; the pattern comes with an apron with an open pocket you can tuck her into.  The dress I totally made up on my own.  It took some trial and error, especially the armhole curve; since she doesn't really have shoulders, it was a lot of guesswork.

F helped me sew this.  I still have some doubt about mommy/daughter sewing projects.  It's fun and she REALLY gets into it and wants to do everything with me, and I really want to be supportive and encourage her with sewing and also have a nice togetherness activity, but I also feel slightly uncomfortable with the invasion of my sacred sewing place.  But we did pretty well this time, although she's getting a little big to be sitting on my lap at the sewing machine, because I can't see over her head anymore.

Plus F had some questionable creative input (normal for a 3-year-old).  The pattern had the 2 pigtails on the sides, but she insisted they go on top of her head.  Her hair had to be red (ginger was the best I could do), her dress had to be green, and it also had to include fabrics from our fabric garland (which went up for about a week in the house for my b-day a couple weeks ago).

I was also afraid F would have a hard time letting her go, but since the doll was for Lainey, our babysitter and surrogate auntie and F's total BFF, it was fine.  She was so excited to give it to her!

I had so much fun making this that I want to get back to making more toys.  I really need to make all my costume-sewing deadlines FIRST, but if I do, it would be nice to have the diversion. 


Jun. 19th, 2011 12:35 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
 Ok, so I did get a little distracted from the sweater collar (meaning, I chickened out).

Instead I made pickles!

I used the pattern here.  Of the dozens of free pickle patterns I found, this one was the most realistic, with the nice curve.  Many were just a straight green tube.  Ick.

I'm going to make as many as I can stand to for holiday gifts, which won't be hard because they are such fun.  I'm really not much of a gift-giver outside my family, but I realize that even really dull people will usually indulge in whimsy when it comes to christmas ornaments, and I am using that to my advantage.  Everyone's life needs to be a little sillier sometimes.

Now I just need to brace myself and dive into that collar!


Feb. 20th, 2011 03:36 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I finished this doll!

The pattern is Patchwork Penny from Wee Wonderfuls. She’s designed to have a matching quilt, but I just made the doll. Other than that, I pretty much followed the pattern without changes.

Many more photos and construction notes )
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I've pieced all the triangles for the quilt.  Phew!  Doesn't look like a lot, but I've turned about 480 triangles into 192 squares.  Now I'm ready to assemble the blocks.

They are all a little wonky and not perfectly square at all, but I am trying not to let my inner perfectionist get annoyed.

I've also started a little doll from the Wee Wonderfuls book.  

I was all ready to finish her the other day, but after I embroidered the face, I dabbed a bit of water around the stitches to remove the marking pen, and the wool felt I used for the eyes bled all over!  I scrapped the face and tried to fix the felt (multiple washings, vinegar soak) but ended up just buying some new, non-bleeding poly felt when that failed.  I'll probably finish her tomorrow or the next day.
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

Toy bags!

I wanted these to store some of F's toys, mostly a bunch that I got at garage sales. I wanted something kind of generically old-timey looking for the wooden ninepins and tops.  I made a few different styles of drawstring bag, all done from scraps on hand.  The two woven-stripe fabrics are scraps from some Victorian shirts I made for my man.

The labels were a pdf download I got here.  I used olive brown text in various fonts (because playing with fonts is fun, no matter what the Good Taste Police say).

I experimented with printer fabric for these. I used June Tailor 'colorfast'* printer fabric sheets (cream color). The images printed very crisp and nice, but the fabric quality is not what I expected. It is so stiff, even after washing, it is almost like paper. Pins made nearly permanent holes, so eyeballed the placement and just held it with my fingers. I could have used glue stick, but I was being lazy. I liked using this for a craft project, but I doubt I would use it in a quilt.

I don't know why I made the "string" label; I didn't end up using it. I wanted to fill up the page to avoid waste and I couldn't think of anything else (and F likes to play with string, when she can get it).  Now I realize I should have made it say "jacks." She doesn't have any, but she will eventually.

Btw, I have no idea what game you play with the wooden rings. Any thoughts?

* It's only colorfast when hand washed in cold water with no soap and dried flat. Or so the label says. In my opinion, if you can't use soap, it's not really colorfast. Next time I will try the non-colorfast ones because they cost about half as much.

Tag Bean

Jun. 4th, 2010 08:08 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

This was inspired by the tag blanket I saw in a book while absent-mindedly flipping pages at the cutting counter at Treadle.  I think it was One-Yard Wonders.  F loves tags; she somehow finds them on anything and plays with them.  So I wanted to make her a toy that is all tags!

I used scraps of ribbon, just what I had on hand, about 2 3/4" long, but I tried not to make them too uniform.  I tried to use lots of different textures: satin, grosgrain, cotton twill tape.

I also wanted to make it crinkle, because F also loves crinkly things, so I used a piece of cellophane from a box of Stroopwafels ( the crinkliest cello I could find).

More photos and how-to )
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I finally sat down and embroidered the faces on these.

I think they're teetering just on the edge of creepy (mostly because my mouth stitches are a little crooked, I guess) but I like them. The patterns (apple and pear) had really wide-set eyes and teeny mouths, but that's not quite my style.

Others have already mentioned the errors in the patterns, so I won't get into it, but I did make a few alterations. I also improvised my own leaf.

my improvised leaf )

Notes to self * about embroidering on knitting:

- Always make your stitches a little wider/longer than you think you want the finished size to be, because the stitches will sink into the knitting and look smaller.

- When embroidering circles (i.e. eyes) you don't need to make the edge stitches very short in order to make the shape look round.

- DO NOT pull your stitches tight. Do not even pull them snug. Do not pull them flat. Just let them be loose. In the end, they won't look messy. Really. Knitting stretches.

- Yes, you do still need to knot the ends, because yes, they will come out if you don't. Knot under the stitches you've just made, if possible, and weave the crap out the end.

- Draw your design on paper first.

I think I am done with toys for a little while now.  I want to finish my mitten and then start my new sweater.

* and other interested parties

elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I finished knitting a little apple and a pear.  I re-did the leaf about 5 times because the one in the pattern just didn't look right to me.  Now I'm starting to have doubts about embroidering little happy faces on them.  They look so cute the way they are!  Besides, I already embroidered the apple once and ripped it out because it looked so crappy.  I really don't think I am any good at embroidering faces onto knitting.  I always try to make nice round eyes and they aways end up long and oval somehow.  My faces never look as cute as the ones in the patterns.

To avoid thinking about those, I started a new pair of mittens.  I bought some beautiful, wacky-multi-colored merino a couple years ago on a whim and I think it's just enough for a pair of mittens.  I'm knitting them at 6.5 sts/inch on a sz. 5.  I've just done about half the cuff now, but I have some vague plans to include some cabling to the back of the hand.


Jun. 23rd, 2009 09:13 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

Last week, when I was focused on getting my 18th c picnic outfits done, I made a list of things I needed to do after the event to keep me from getting distracted and so I couldn't forget all the things. Yesterday I started the list: I cleaned the house, cut out a new apron, and sewed the limbs and face on my Poor Man's Spherey.

I'm calling him Admiral McGundersen.

He's an admiral.  (tee hee!!)

More photos and notes )

It's nice to have a new friend.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

What I've been knitting lately.

1.) Sweater. This is done being knitted - I started seaming it together on Tuesday. I put in one sleeve and did one side seam. Then I decided I didn't ease the sleeve properly and picked out about half of it so I can distribute the ease more evenly over the top.

2.) My Poor Man's Spherey is done being knitted too. This was fun and I think my jogless jogs on the stripes came out pretty nice. I'll attach the limbs and embroider the face when I have some downtime, probably this weekend.

3.) I started making a baby vest last week. It's knit in one piece from the bottom up and buttons along one side. I think I'm about 2/3 of the way done with it. I am loving the tweed yarn. The color looks so darkly olive here; it's really a sort of light sage color.  And contrary to what the pattern suggests, I do not think this style looks 'manly.'

I want to finish seaming my sweater, but my man's suit is taking precedence right now, and it's June anyway, not really sweater weather, and it's not like it would fit me right now anyway, so I'll just get to it when I have time.

A Bear!

May. 27th, 2009 12:09 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

More details in my Ravelry notebook.

And I'm starting to wonder if I should keep updating on my knitting here, or just move it all over to Ravelry.  Hmm.

edit: the pattern is Bubby from Knitty. 
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I did this in a few hours yesterday.

Now it's on to a little cotton chenile bear.
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

Earlier this week I was rambling on and on about the sort of things I want to knit in the near future. Realistically, though, I decided that the pink mohair lace scarf (Wisp) I was planning to start next is neither a.) fun for me to knit, or b.) practical to wear. I was seduced by the pretty pattern, but I don't think it would really fit into my wardrobe and/or life. I am also doubting the yarn I picked up for it; the mohair is a little scratchy on my neck.

So, that means I need a new between-times project.  I'm feeling the need for something smaller on the needles that I can work on when I get bored of my sweater.

Since I can't really go out and buy a bunch of new yarn right now, I decided to start working on some little toys. I have about 8 colors of barely-touched Cascade 220 and a skein of green cotton chenille.

I started looking for patterns and ended up adding about a bajillion to my Ravelry queue. Some of those:

I'm not really a bear fan, but Bubby from Knitty is so cute.

I really like these Pocket Creatures from Knitty, but I'd like to figure out a way to do them without the heated inner sachet (and sachet-getting flap). 

Happy Corn, Pear, and Apple are on my list!

Jess Hutchison's Bunny is cute and simple.  (Side note: I wish I could get my hands on the robot pattern and a few others from the now out-of-print Unusual Toys to Knit by same author).

These little Gnomes are super-cute, too.

I've had this Light Bulb in my plans for months now.

Now the only question is: which to start first?

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

Ok, I'm not a huge doll fan, but man, I really, really need to make one of these.

They're so cute and simple and I love wool felt.  Yeah, so what if my kid won't be old enough for dolls for a couple years.  I might just make one anyway.

Edit: more adorableness at the maker's blog.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I got a picture of my capacitor and resistor.

They're posing with their pal Robot, whose anennas I just replaced.

The patterns are both from mochimochiland.com and they were quick and fun!

The best part was when my HB opened them and knew what they were.  Now I couldn't recognize a capacitor to save my life, but I guess my man is just nerdier than me!


Dec. 23rd, 2008 08:46 am
elizabeth_mn: (needlecraft)

Another quick little gift project. I used the free slug and snail pattern from MochimochiLand.


I wish his shell looked more spiral-y, but this is the best I could do. Maybe next time I use this pattern, I'll make the shell part longer before I roll it up.

I've already gotten a request from my HB to make him one of these!


Dec. 12th, 2008 11:50 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I finished knitting Captain Capacitor and Resisty the Resistor yesterday.  I gave them smiley mouths because I'm not really a fan of the expressionless no-mouth look on my toys.  I was so excited to finish them that I forgot to take pictures, instead I just shoved them in a box and wrapped them for an Annual Gift Day present.  I'll take photos of them in a couple weeks when they get opened.

I haven't been doing much else, but today I want to finally finish my left sweater front and work on a little embroidery project I just started.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

This week, I've put together most of two pairs of jeans (for the man).   I just need to sew the side seams, hems, waistbands, and belt loops.  I spent way too long on the zippers.  Every time I sew a fly zipper, I get all confused again. I want to try a couple new methods I read in Threads and various books to see if I can learn something simpler.

I spent a couple hours knitting my capacitor body.  Then I organized all my yarns.  I put all the Cascade 220 in one bag.  Making toys uses such small amounts, but I like to have all the diferent colors, so now I have about a 10-ball stash of Cascade 220.  It's nice, too, to have a bunch of the same gauge yarn for making little toys.

I have the feeling I've been very busy all week, yet I can't think of very much else I have done.

Today I want to finish the jeans, finish the capacitor, and make some bread.

elizabeth_mn: (needlecraft)

I think I've decided I need to knit this.

And of course, his little sidekick, too.

And yes, I already bought (and wound into balls) 4 new skiens of Cascade 220 just for the purpose. 

If I can stop procrastinating and actually finish the 3 rows left of my left sweater front, I'll start these today!

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