Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Yarn Along

Joining up with Ginny today.

I'm working on some longies for the boys. Surprise, surprise - right?
B, the Elf, and I are all reading Howl's Moving Castle. I've read it before but thought it would be fun to read it with them. It's like a mini book club. Except that B has very little time to read with work and all.

Yesterday I finished reading Austenland by Shannon Hale. It was good, not great, but worth reading. I seem to still be thinking about it, so that's something. The sequel isn't available from my library yet, but I will be reading it once they let me know it's in.

Mostly I've been working on some pegs for the (very sad and empty) shop. Hopefully I'll get them up tonight, though baking oatmeal peanut butter cookies (with chocolate chips) may get in the way.

I finished spinning my blue roving. I seriously don't think I'm doing it "right" - and I think it's more user error and not my ghetto spindle. The blue was definitely easier to spin than the brownish roving. I think the brown was meant for felting, not spinning. The problem is (ha! *one of the problems is* would be more correct) that I really don't know anything about this stuff. I'm a much more hands-on learner. One local yarn shop is offering a drop spindle class - but it $25 (for an hour, I think) plus you have to buy *their* kit (which they decline to list the price of in their newsletter).

Blergh. Any of you spinners out there want to come and visit? I'll bake cookies! (:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Crafting on

Linking up with Nicole today.

This is what I've been up to:

Totoro is done. Ravelry notes here.

I think his leaf is a little too big, though.

I made myself a ghetto drop spindle (yes, that's a roll of ribbon. hush.) because I *really* want to learn to spin but have no money. The problem is that I need someone to show me what I'm supposed to be doing. I've watched a gazillion youtube videos already.

This is the "yarn" I tried to spin first. I didn't "set the twist" and it.. well. It sucks. But there it is.

And the never ending pegs. For those of you waiting on me for orders and swaps, there they are. Burned, mostly painted, but that's about it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekending in doll land.

I had this idea. And I couldn't shake it. So I spent the entirety of Saturday after dinner making a doll. I finished her up on Sunday.

She's about 11 inches (not including her tail fins). I shamelessly borrowed a heart shaped barbie top pattern for her. Future dolls will have something else, I just don't know what yet.

Her hair is a golden linen (I think) and can be styled in many ways.

Her tail is a soft cotton/modal (beechwood) blend in a deep plum color.

She's still a prototype of sorts. There are some construction issues that I want to change when/if I make another one. But for a first attempt, I think she came out rather well. I'm hoping this little lady will be part of a giveaway soon. I'll keep you posted.

I also spent some time working on peg dolls for the shop, a swap, and a custom order. The Beast didn't nap as much as I'd like, so they aren't done yet (he and paints = splatters on the ceiling). Hopefully he'll nap today so that I can finish painting them. Then it'll be beeswax polishing and hat sewing. Whee!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Yarn Along

I'll be honest, I haven't been knitting. And most of the crochet I've done has been doll hair related. I have been working on this Totoro for the Beast's upcoming birthday, though. It's coming along slowly. I've finished reading Wildwood. It was good but I wasn't as blown away as I wanted to be. Now I'm reading Embrace the Night by Karen Chance. It's the third book in a series that I've read several times.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Crafting on in Doll-land.

I can't shake it. I think I love making these things.

This doll is based on Adirondack Patterns' Lillipals doll. The clothes are also made using the same pattern and tutorial. She's about 12 inches tall. Her hair is 100% wool yarn and is not meant to be taken down (it's a permanent hairstyle). Her skin is a cotton/poly blend - I couldn't afford the "good stuff" to learn on. She's filled with clean, carded wool. All in all, I'd say she cost me about $30 in supplies. Anyone interested in taking her home for the cost of supplies and shipping?

This doll was also made using the Lillipals pattern, as were her clothes. She has a green print dress with off-white "bloomers" and a wool felt (it's a blend, I think) coat. Her hair is super soft organic cotton. She's about 12 inches tall. Her skin is also a blend. My sister may be claiming her for a little girl's birthday present, but I don't know that she'll like this one. So if anyone falls in love with her, let me know! has claimed her, but I can always make another similar doll if anyone has fallen in love with her.

This is a doll in progress. She's being made using a mix of patterns and techniques I've picked up in the last month or so. Oh. The hands with fingers (this one and the brown-haired doll) - I picked up that idea from this tutorial. I don't think I like it - because I can't seem to do it "right." The hands looks all funky. But then, doing the fingers like toes makes them look like sausages. I may just give up on fingers altogether.

Here are some resources that I have found invaluable in making these dolls:
The Silver Penny's doll head tutorial (specifically for the nose)
Adirondack Patterns' Lillipals and Basic Waldorf patterns and tutorials
This hair tutorial
This doll tutorial (by the same person as the hair)
This baby tutorial - you can buy rights to sell this doll from her Etsy shop.
A doll tutorial by the same creator as above - though I don't think you can buy rights to this one
I've also used Toymaking with Children by Freya Jaffke

Now! This weekend I'm going to assess the finances and buy some "real" doll skin fabric. I think I'm ready. I hope I'm ready. I know that I won't be able to compete with the "pros" on Etsy. But.. I love making these - they keep me sane.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Weekend

Saturday there was an awesome yarn "yard sale" at my favorite local yarn store. Check out my haul:

Yep. That's all Malabrigo. The Elf picked out the bright one.

This is by far my favorite buy of the day. This huge bag is filled with mini-hanks of naturally dyed yarn. Some even have the handwritten tags still on them - all dated in the 70's. I wasn't even alive then. I *adore* sifting through this stuff. It's amazing.

I won't tell you how little it all cost. You'd hate me.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Our strange life.

Some people crochet afghans. Or hats. Some people use wool felt to create sweet little gnomes. Or play food.

My middle son, the Imp, asked me to make him this:

Yes. My three (and a half) year old wanted a war axe. Whenever he wants something he comes to me. "Mom, please make me [insert request here]." It would never occur to him that I couldn't make whatever it is that he wants. And who am I to disappoint him?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

She's done!

Again, the doll body, dress, and pants (that you can't really see) are based on the Lillipals pattern by Adirondack Patterns.

I'm so pleased that I didn't run out of yarn for the hair. I seriously thought that I wouldn't have enough. The antennae don't stand up all the time, but as it's a toy for a very young child I didn't want to put anything stiff in them. Now I'm off to email the woman who inspired it - I hope she likes it!

Crafting on

Last night we went out to run errands. We stopped at a local Panera for dinner. To be honest, we go there a lot. B orders Chinese for the oldest of us and the youngest get mac and cheese from Panera. This works for us because there are a bunch of shaded tables there. So. One of the women that works at Panera saw the Imp playing with a chick-in-an-egg that I crocheted a while ago. She gushed mightily about how her two year old would love one. So I've made her one. Because I'm crazy.

Right. Speaking of crazy. Here's a doll I'm working on for the neice of an acquantaince from Friday knitting.

She doesn't have hair yet. I'm combining the crochet cap yarn with another thinner, sort of heathered yarn.

Next up I'll either be giving her antennae or making a ladybug hat for her. What do you think?

She's made using Adirondack Patterns' Lillipals pattern for both the doll and the dress/pants. The cape is something I came up with after crocheting wings failed me.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekend doll making.

I meant to take pictures of the other doll I've been working on. But.. to be honest.. I can't seem to stop working on it long enough to take a picture. How do you doll makers do it? How do you manage to do anything else?

This doll is a conglomeration of many patterns and tutorials. I'd list them all.. but.. I'm lazy. When it's actually done, I'll try to link to all the things I used.

Ponyo is done! I'm pretty happy with her.

Right. I'm sure there were things I did over the weekend besides doll making. I just.. can't seem to recall them. I guess I'm a bit addicted.

Friday, March 9, 2012

What I've Been Up To.

Ponyo is coming along. I'm pleased with her hair, not so much with her face. Oh well. I hope the Beast will like her.

Of course.. she's not quite done, despite appearances.

(Ravelry notes here.)

Cat girl is done. Yes, her thumbs are big. So is her nose. She isn't perfect, who is?

She is, however, possibly looking for a new home. She has found a home with the owner of my very favorite local yarn store! I'm nowhere near experienced enough to sell these lovelies on Etsy (yet?) so I was thinking.. would any one out there be interested in buying my "as I learn" dolls for the cost of supplies plus shipping? I would, of course, keep the complete failures to myself. Anyway. It's an idea. I may give it a go.

(Ravelry notes here.)

Totoro is still in blob-form. I'm really starting to wonder if it'll ever look right. I suppose it's a good thing the Beast's birthday isn't until the end of April!

And this..

was my photography helper this morning. Mostly he munched on "circle cheese" and made me laugh so hard most of my pictures came out blurry.

Suffice to say, we're all feeling better. I'm extremely thankful that our colds rarely last more than a few days. I'll be doubly glad once all these little noses finish drying up, though!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Why we crank.

Okay. The bad mood? The sleepless nights? The cranky boys? The tempers and fights?

Yep. Everyone in the house is sick. Sore throats, runny (yet oddly stuffed up) noses, fevers, sunken eyes, fatigue.

But at least we still have Flogging Molly (yes, these albums are all that are getting me through my days).

Monday, March 5, 2012

Weekending and a Monday.

Scenes from the weekend:

Ran out of sheet-yarn. The boys love my rug (as do the cats - someone peed on it already).

Ponyo in progress for the Beast's birthday. Ravelry notes here.

Totoro in progress for the Beast's birthday. Ravelry notes here.

This is how our table (yes, where we eat) routinely looks.
Monday. I'm in a terrible mood. I want to swear constantly and stomp around. I feel like an evil troll. So I'm scouring the house in an attempt to clean and blasting Flogging Molly on the speakers with the windows open. It may not be helping, but at least the house is looking better.