Thursday, October 16, 2008

completed projects.

WOW 2 posts in the same month... I am on a roll ;-) O.k. so in the last few weeks I have been a knitting FOOL!!!! I completed the background of the wall hanging for my friend's wedding. I am not sure that I like how the intarsia turned out. This was my first time attempting intarsia at this size and for the most part it looks o.k. but some of the stitches look a little wacky where I carried the opposite color in the back of the stitch. I think I just need to work on my tension in those areas. But either way, I don't know if I like the piece well enough to finish it and send it to her. For starters, it is HUGE... it is about 26" square and when I started this, I thought that it was going to be much smaller like 10" square. I don't know if I would even want to hang something that big in my house and I don't want to make her feel obligated to hang it just because someone she knows made it for her. At any rate, here is the picture of the piece so far.
If I were to finish it, I would make several eye cords to embellish the hills on the bottom, the tree and add some "leaves". I would also embroider their names and wedding date at the bottom (see picture). This project comes from the book, Closely Knit by Hannah Fettig. The project is really cute, I think in the end it was my yarn choice and lack of intarsia experience that has left me disappointed. (picture is of page 46-Tree of Love Wall Hanging).
And the entire time I was knitting this (which took me a long time) I was dieing to start knitting some baby stuff out of this book:
So the minute I was done I started knitting a hat, then another hat then some booties and then another hat. And now I am going to start on a baby sweater. It is probably my nesting instinct kicking in, but I only have a month (or less) before the baby gets here so I am trying to cram all of my knitting for him in before D Day!! :-) But I have to say that I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!! There are so many great, fast and easy projects in there and now I have a few go to items when people I know have babies. I check out every book from the library to test it out and see if it is worth purchasing... and this book I am definitely going to buy!!! Here are the projects that I have done so far:
I also have all of the paper goods to make the baby announcements. Since I don't have any of the information or the picture of the baby to start making them, I have just set them aside for when he gets here. I used Paper Source products; for the announcement I used the #10 card in the color Bluebell for the background and the 4-bar flat card in the color Leaf (for the text). I also used the #10 OE envelope to match the background card in the color Bluebell. I plan on printing the pictures and cutting them to fit the area adjacent to the 4-bar card... so we will see how that goes considering I don't have a picture for a size reference.
BUT when I was picking out the cards at Paper Source, I noticed these really cute address labels that were in the shape of clouds:
I thought that these were PERFECT for the addresses on the announcements but they are pretty expensive... $4.95 for only 8 labels. Considering I have to send a little over 60 announcements... we are talking $40 for just the labels. So, since poverty breads ingenuity, I decided to make my own. I bought ink jet address labels that are 3 1/3" x 4" from an office supply store and a 2" round scalloped paper punch from a craft store and WAAH LAAH. Now, they aren't clouds... but I think the effect is still the same and I saved a TON of money. The best part is that I bought 150 labels (so I can do the mailing address and the return address) and I have the punch for other projects or other announcements. Now I am thinking about getting a "Christmas-y" punch and making labels for my Christmas cards! Maybe that would be a little much....

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

many projects

This past month (2 months) has been CRAZY!!! I have completed and started so many projects that I lost count a long time ago. One that I completed was my knitting needle organizer. I made it so that it would hang on the wall and possibly fold and roll up if I needed it to, but I think that it will always be too full to fold. Besides I don't know why I would need to have my entire collection of knitting and crochet needles anywhere but at home. I used a bunch of Amy Butler scraps that I had left over from other projects and although the organizer is HUGE, I really like how it turned out. The main thing I was trying to accomplish was to just be able to look over and see if I had a specific size needle and to just grab it, instead of having to fish through a bin of assorted needles for 10 minutes every time I started a new project.
I also completed the knitted bear for my cousin's baby, but I neglected to take a picture of it. So you will have to take my word for it.... it turned out cute.

I decided to make my Christmas cards this year. Usually I buy my Christmas cards the day after Christmas for the following Christmas season and store them for a year. And I usually buy the really simple ones that you insert the standard size picture into the pre-made frame. This year when I was making the invitations to my son's birthday I stared to wonder, "why don't I make my Christmas Cards when I make cards for every other occasion?" So I decided to make them and I knew that I was going to have to make them early because I am not going to have much time for anything soon. It took me a week to do, but they are all done.... all 110 of them. I can't take the credit for the design, I got the idea directly from the Spring 2008 issue of Paper Crafts Magazine.
The idea came from p.36 and the thing I liked the most about this design is that it had a picture that you could hang in the Christmas tree. I didn't intend on using the same paper, but I found it on sale at Archiver's and couldn't pass it up. They didn't quite have enough so I found another paper that I liked for the rest of the cards. Both came double sided in 12"x12" and the bottom of the pocket shows the reverse side of the paper. I couldn't find a shipping tag that was the size I wanted so I made the tag and the backgrounds for the text from Manila folders that I use for filing. I also played around with using each side of both papers as the background, so I have 4 different versions of the Christmas card. Inside:

The inspiration card had a ribbon embellishment, but it has been my experience that when you put any embellishments that adds any sort of dimension and then you try to send it through the mail, they end up torn apart when they are delivered on the other end... if they ever make it there. So I think I am going to put a piece of string through the whole for hanging, similar to what you would normally find on the commercial Manila shipping tags. That way they can be hung and the string is thin enough that it won't cause any problems in shipping.

I also added some embellishments on the envelopes that I bought at an office supply and for the most part these are done. I don't have the photo for the cards yet, so that will have to wait until last minute and even though I have put the return address on them already, I am waiting to address them just in case there are addresses that change.
This week I have been working on my son's Halloween costume. I have committed myself to making all of my kids' Halloween costumes, probably because that is what my mom did..... so I started early to make sure that it would get done. This year, my son is old enough to pick out his own costume... so I took him to the fabric store, we looked through pattern books and he picked a pirate. I decided to wait until the pattern was on sale to buy it and while I was waiting I saw a really cute pirate costume on Old Navy's website for an infant (which is no longer available so I can't include a link). I instantly like the look of the Old Navy costume much better than the one that was in the pattern books! So I decided to wing it and make one that looks like the Old Navy version for my toddler. I got a simple pattern for pants and a simple pattern for a buttoned down/collared shirt. I adjusted the pattern so that I could make it out of micro fleece, add french cuffs, a sailor collar, ruffles on each of the cuffs and add embellishments. I decided to buy the pirate hat, an eye patch and a hook. I am trying to find a stuffed parrot for his shoulder, but I am not having any luck with that, so he might have to go without. To be really honest I think my son is only interested in wearing the hat, but the costume turned out great and I can't wait for Halloween!What else??? I have a friend that just got married this past weekend in Georgia and since I am about ready to pop, I couldn't go. But I found this really cute "wall hanging" in the book, Closely Knit by Hannah Fettig, that I checked out from the library. I think it is just a cute something to commemorate their marriage and something to hang on the wall so that they don't ever forget their anniversary :-) So that is what I am currently working on. It is an intarsia pattern and although I have knitted intarsia before, this is the most in depth intarsia pattern that I have attempted. It is looking good and I am learning a lot!

I think that I have started to "nest". Up until recently I thought that was just a myth... but lately I am doing some crazy organizational things like uploading my entire CD collection onto iTunes.... which has become quite the task. But I have also started to do things like make my Christmas ornaments that I make every year for people. This year I have decided to make paper mache "snowmen" but it has turned out to be more work then I wanted... so I might have to rethink my options for that.

I think my next project(s) is going to come out of this book:
There are 2 hats and the sweater pictured on the front that I am dieing to make for the new baby. I think it would also be cute to make matching hats for my toddler too! I must like being busy...