Monday, January 30, 2012

Super Bowl 2012

 The Super Bowl is here in Indy this year, and everyone I know is volunteering loads of their time to the event.  I mean like a whole work week of time; I wonder if they knew that when they signed up.  But they'll be part of an event Indianapolis won't ever forget.  I was just hoping someone I knew would get my Super Scarf.  That was improbable, though, with over 13,000 scarves donated!  

I donated a bit of knitting time to Super Bowl 2012, but maybe it was for selfish reasons.  In 2010, the coordinators for the Super Scarf Project offered free knitting lessons and yarn with the commitment to knitting a Super Scarf.  I wanted to learn, so I went to the library with my new needles  and the official blue and white yarn, and haven't stopped knitting yet.

I find knitting very relaxing: the repetitive motions, the counting, the yarn slowly rolling from the ball.  It helps me get to sleep.  I was pregnant with my first child at the time, so I needed some help in that department.  Knitting for her was a logical way to learn and try out all the patterns and yarns I found on Ravelry.  After getting the garter stitch down, I tried knitting in the round.  This is the Berry Baby Hat by randomstitches modeled by my baby.  

I just remembered that I was knitting the berry hat during the 2011 Super Bowl, and my friends said it looked like an eggplant.  I was going for blueberry, but oh well.

I used the same pattern for this blue and green hat.  I was knitting this in the waiting room just before I was admitted to the Labor and Delivery ward.  I was just above the brim of the hat when my baby was born.  It took me 9 months to pick it back up again and finish!

When I saw the baby hat in Leigh Radford's book One Skein, I fell in love with the pattern and the not-really-pink angora yarn.  I made this for my friend's baby who is on the way any minute.  I used the same Lush yarn as pictured in the book.  

I knitted myself some scarves for this winter as well.  I haven't had to use them, global warming and all, but they're there if I need them.  (It's really because I stay inside, though.  You know, inside my house, or inside Target.  Where it's warm.)

This is my first attempt at Drifted Pearls.  I used Berroco Flicker, which has a little metallic thread twisted in the alpaca.  It's really soft and squishy.  I love the idea of a keyhole scarf, which I guess this really isn't.  But same concept.  No tying.

And another scarf I don't have to tie.  It's my harf!!!  It's the coolest design by Spincycle that combines a hat and a scarf.  I love the hood, it's perfect for when I'm wearing my hair in a ponytail.  Which is always, or else my toddler yanks a chunk out.

The smooshy yarn is Mochi Plus made with (not itchy) merino wool.  It's self-striping, I didn't have anything to do with this.  I'm sure it takes talent and care to get each color to fade into the other like this.   Oh, and cable knitting is fun!  Knit one, two, three, four, switch!  Knit one, two, three, four, purl.  I kind of hate cabled sweaters, but I find this single line twisting down the scarf so attractive.

 Ok, I guess you can look at my Super Scarf now.  

I joked earlier that I participated in the project just to learn how to knit, but I am truly in awe of the response they received.  They asked for 7,000 scarves and almost doubled that thanks to crafters who donated not one, but two or three or fourty-six or two hundred and fifty scarves in many amazing designs.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn and glad that because of it, some volunteer is a bit warmer in this chilly weather!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Christmas Presents

This summer I resolved to finish 3 quilts by the end of 2011.  Big surprise, I didn't even touch them :(  But it's 2012 and I pulled out the clamshell quilt and got stitching.  If I sew for an hour a day, I might finish it by July... In reality it would only take a little over a month if I sew 3 clamshells a day.

I did make a few Christmas presents, so I wasn't just sitting around filling my Pinterest boards with cool stuff.  But I did not take very nice pictures of the things I'm about to show you, sorry.

For my nieces, I made a bean bag chair that also stores their stuffed animals.  Now I can keep making them dolls without my sister-in-law ruing the day she bought me those Aranzi Aronzo books.  I followed this pattern by Stardust Shoes, and modified one panel to be half mesh with a zipper up the middle.  It's big enough for a two year old to get inside, or for an adult to sit on the floor and play a bit.

I have two little girls in my life that are INTO American Girl dolls.  After searching every fabric store in town, sometimes twice, I settled on the fabric and trim for these Renaissance dresses.  Both dresses came from Simplicity pattern 2768, but I wish I had an American Girl doll to see how they fit.

I searched high and low for the fabric for this apron as well.  My mistake was thinking I would find the perfect fabric at one of the many quilting stores in town, and driving to each one with a 9 month old.  It took me weeks!  And not one of them had a black and white damask.  So to JoAnns we went.  The pattern is a fully lined and perfectly tailored design by Modest Maven.

I knitted this scarf for a grab bag present which my sister ended up with.  The beautiful pattern is Drifted Pearls by Sadie and Oliver.  (I made one for myself and have a better picture of the amazing cable design for another post.)  I'm a new knitter, and this pattern helped me learn many techniques.

Finally, a major failure of a Christmas present.  I wanted my daughter to create a messy masterpiece for my in-laws.  I put paper stickers on a canvas to make the saying I wanted.  Then she finger painted over it.  When it dried, I went to pull the letters off and the paper came off but the glue didn't.  So next time I'll use vinyl letters (even if I have to special order them).  I'll also use a background that's smooth because the paint seeped under the letters because of the texture of the canvas.  And I'll use bigger letters.  Or a smaller canvas. 

Plus, 9-month-olds don't know what finger painting is and you have to smear their hands all over the canvas for them.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Leslie Molen Doll Workshop in Indianapolis

Saturday and Sunday March 3 & 4, 2012 
East Washington Library, 2822 East Washington Street  Indianapolis, IN 46201
Club member $160, plus $39.50 kit fee (optional, but strongly encouraged)   
Non-members, $175, plus $39.50 kit fee (optional, but strongly encouraged)

Class Title: Chun Woo (Spring Rain), 
a 13- inch Asian Girl

Chun Woo by Leslie Molen

Class Description:
Come join Leslie to create Chun Woo, (Spring Rain). Together with Leslie learn using detailed instructions on how to create a beautiful and Asian-influenced doll. Our focus will be on needle sculpting a head, NEW-creating our own eyes. An overlay to cover the face and armatures in the body will create a free standing doll. Sewing, stuffing and color balance with fabrics will also be explored.

Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Prerequisite skills: Ease of using a sewing machine and hand-sewing

Instructor Bio:
Leslie has been creating dolls for 20 years. She has been inspired by the Asian cultures and translates this interest into her work. Leslie has been fortunate to travel world-wide to teach. She believes teaching is her gift and loves to share it with her students.
Leslie work has appeared in many national and international magazines and books. Her doll art pieces are held in collections around the world. She is an artist and board member of NIADA- the National Institute of American Doll Artists.

Kit Fee- per student:
Kit $ 39.50
Head Knit Fabric, Body Fabric, Pattern, Overlay knit fabric, 8mm eyes, lashes, ¼ dowel & hair

Please contact if you are interested in attending the class.