The curious case of the forgetful blogger

I keep forgetting to blog.
It has been a while. I am a bad blogger.

Sorry, can I make it up to you with some pretty pictures?

After the crazy week of rainbow knitting and crocheting I wanted to knit socks so I cast on Jaywalkers.

I think I am the last sock knitter to knit jaywalkers. #knitting

The week before last the 6 year old was home for spring break so we made some Sharpie mugs.  If you have never made them or made them and they failed check out Craftaholics Anonymous, they have some great tips.

#sharpiemugs are fun.

And then I caught a bug called “makedollitis”, but it is ok, I am better now

Sweet instant gratification. #crochet

I find peace in making. #crochet #amigurumi

Now to add some hair. #crochet #amigurumi

Jumpsuit attempt number 1. Needs some work. #crochet #knitting

Before spring break ended someone got out the ruffled fabric and asked for a skirt, so I made a skirt. This is the second time I use this fabric, the first time it was a nightmare, so this time I researched some more, found this tutorial from Make it & Love it.  She also asked for a bag so I made this teeny tiny cute bag.

Today's #sewing. A ruffles fabric skirt and a mini bag for her dolls.

Then I decided if I could knit a doll. Isn’t she cute?

There was a time when there wasn't anything in the world that would make me knit 6 stitch tubes using DPNs. #knitting  #chocolatemintsinajardolls

A knit version of the #chocolatemintsinajardolls #knitting

And the Jaywalkers got frogged and cast on as plain vanilla socks.  Then it got tedious so I got out my fancy sock yarn hanks, wound them into balls as motivation (bribery)

I have been having sock #knitting trouble lately. So I am motivating myself with pretty #yarn

But of course I got lost somewhere and started Eva’s Shawl, which has probably been in my revelry favorites since I first joined.  I am trying to use up as much of my stashed yarn as I can because the yarn is getting out of control.

I have wanted to #crochet this shawl since 2009.

 

I hope you made it to the end and enjoyed yourself.  I will try to remember to blog more regularly.

A blanket called Endurance

#crochet I am starting to accept that it will never be as big as I want it to.

This is my Uncoordinated blanket.  I started it on July the 28th of 2012.  I was just stash busting, trying to use up old odds and ends of leftover Alize Diva that were the remains of projects.  I then called it the vulnerability blanket, but today I was talking to my mom about it and said it is your endurance blanket.  I thought about it and I guess she is right.  It is about my endurance and patience.  My perseverance to keep going even when I really didn’t want to.

To the average person it is an unremarkable blanket made up of colors that do not match and even in some places clash.  It is made up of the most basic crochet pattern there is.  The Granny Square.  It is not even made up of squares that are joined up, just one never ending square.

It started in Kuwait, it came with me to hospital when I had a near death experience, it came with me to the apartment in Cairo while I was getting it all fixed up, it came with me back to Kuwait again.  It has already been snuggled with by the 6 year old.  It has been exhausting, exhilarating and exasperating.  It tells a story of the many projects that were made with the yarn.  But most of all it tells the story of a woman.  A woman who chose to grow up, learn a lot of things and to always keep going.  A story that no one else might understand.  A story, of struggles, pain, happiness, sadness, elation, success and failure. A story that might not interest anyone else, because it is not amazing.  But a story that we all share.  A story of growing up.  Growing up is nothing but endurance.  Learning to keep your eyes on the ball while enjoying the game.  Of wanting to give up but deciding that you can give it another go.  You also learn that it is ok to stop and rest for a while, life isn’t going anywhere without you, and then you get up and try again.

I love finishing things, and having a work in progress for so long is a struggle for me. But this isn’t a quick project.  I have a King Size bed and this is fingering weight yarn.  I always knew it was going to be a feat.  But I am also starting to accept that it might never become a full King Size blanket, that maybe I have worked on it enough.  It has served its purpose.  It has shown me so many things and now I understand why.

It might be time to work on it for a little more time and stop.  To move onto other things and start using it on my bed so it can be a daily reminder of the amount of work we need in life and also that we are never really done.  We will always be works in progress.  We will always be an inch away from completion but that is ok.  We are perfect just the way we are. Because to me, this blanket with all of its imperfections and weirdness, it is just perfect to me.

Crochet Crown Headband {a tutorial}

Not for lack of WIPs, I just made something new. It is a problem I assure you. Here I was sitting knitting on my second color affection when I thought to myself. “Crowns!” I need to crochet a crown. I also need it to be a mini crown because EVERYTHING is cuter in miniature. Just think of anything and google it and add miniature to it.

What do you do with a miniature crown anyway? You glue it onto a headband and make a 5 (6 in two days) year old extremely happy.

They are very easy to make.
I made two variations one using DK yarn and a 3.5 mm hook and sports weight yarn and a 3 mm hook.
You can use any weight yarn and hook as long as it gives you a tight fabric because you don’t want a flimsy crown. I also tend to crochet and knit tight so make sure you test it out and see if it works.

Version 1: {greens and blues}

Make a 30 stitch chainless foundation. You could also just chain 30 but it is always a good idea to learn something new.
Slip stitch into the first SC to join the round.Make sure you don’t twist.
Round 1 – 3: SC into each stitch all around, slip stitch into first stitch to join in the round.
Round 4: Turn your work around so you will be working on the wrong side. SC in same stitch, *4DC in same stitch, SC* repeat until the end of the round, then slip stitch into the first stitch to join the round. Turn around the work so you are back to working on the right side.
Round 5: SC into each stitch all around, slip stitch into first stitch to join in the round.
Round 6: DC into each stitch all around, slip stitch into first stitch to join in the round.
Round 7: *SC in same stitch, Skip two stitches, in the next stitch (4 DC, CH3, 4 DC ), skip 2 stitches*, SC in next stitch, slip stitch into the first stitch to join the round.

Finish off yarn and weave in all ends.

To attach to the headband, I cut a felt circle the size of the base of the crown,sewed it to the crown then glued that onto the headband.

Version 2: {purple}

Make a magic loop, chain 3 (counted as first stitch) and 11 DC.

Round 2: 2 DC in each stitch (24 stitches), slip stitch into first stitch and CH 1.

Round 3 – 5 : *2 SC in same stitch, SC* all around,  slip stitch into first stitch and CH 1.

Round 6:  Turn your work around so you will be working on the wrong side. SC in same stitch, *4DC in same stitch, SC, SC* repeat until the end of the round, then slip stitch into the first stitch to join the round. Turn around the work so you are back to working on the right side.
Round 7 – 8: SC into each stitch all around, slip stitch into first stitch to join in the round. CH 1.
Round 9: *SC in same stitch, Skip two stitches, in the next stitch (3 DC, CH3, 3 DC ), skip 2 stitches*, SC in next stitch, slip stitch into the first stitch to join the round.

Finish off yarn and weave in all ends.

Since this one has a circle for a base you can just glue it directly to the headband, that is what I did, but in retrospect I think a felt circle might have helped it keep its shape better.

 

 

Chocolate Mints Dolls [Friday's Finished Objects]

This week I went on a doll making frenzy.

I got this idea that I could turn my family into little dolls. I started out with my daughter then my mom, now everyone wants their likeness turned into a doll. It is so exciting and fun. They are easy to make but the details take the most time. Things like hair and clothes take more time than the actual dolls. I love working on the details. The challenge of depicting their personalities is the best thing about them. I am still experimenting with different yarn and clothing options. I want to be more adventurous and sew things like jeans and hats.

 

What have you finished this week?

 

 

It is doll making season [wednesday's wip]

 

&

I somehow found myself making dolls. It is like it just happened. Something inspired me, which I can't recall and I went on this doll making research frenzy.

 

 

Dolls are fun to make. The options are limitless. You can include as much detail as you want or none at all.

I started out with this one. Then my mom said she wanted a granny one too. I am loving dressing them, giving them eyes and making the hair.

Do you like making toys?

 

The vulnerability blanket

This started all the way back in August of 2012 and I used to call it the uncoordinated blanket because there was no color coordination whatsoever. I started out using leftover fingering weight yarn and just kept on going.  It was never meant to look perfect like some of the gorgeous blankets I have seen out there.  It was never even meant to look coordinated.  It was meant to use up the leftover yarns and to turn something that had no use into something useful and usable.  It was meant to be my downtime project, unexciting yet reliable.  It was never meant to be intricate, it is just a never ending granny square.

But the best thing about it, is that it is very honest.  What you see is what you get.  It doesn’t promise anything, it just is. It has been with me in happy times, not so happy times and that one time when I got really sick and almost died.  After that, I started changing the way I look at life and the way I live.  It has taken a long time but I think I am definitely at a much better place than where I started.

Long projects like this one are a reminder that we are never really an FO, we will always be WIPs. No matter how put together you think you are, there is always room for improvement and growth.  I am not perfect, I am clumsy and uncoordinated.  I am imperfect yet I am beautiful, useful, practical, quirky and funny. And so are you.  I do not aim for perfection anymore.  Just for trying really hard and growing.  I want to be more. But I do not want to be everything.

The change in name was inspired by Brene Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are . My sister gifted me the book and it has changed the way I think about a lot of things.

 

Watch her TED talk, it sort of captures the essence of the book.

Summer in winter {Wednesday’s WIP}

After finishing the big dots bag I had some leftover yarn (a lot of it) and because my OCD makes it hard to accept yarn that has no purpose I just started another bag. I still haven’t decided how it will look like in the end but I have some different ideas.

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