Sunday, September 14, 2014

Not Enough

Next row of squares waiting to be attached
Not enough crafting that is!  It's been a busy week with the kids at school full-time.  So while I've been able to sneak some crafting in at lunchtime, things have been busy in the evenings.  And its not gonna get any easier 'cuz I start my online classes tomorrow.
One more square needing white trim . . . 
I'm actually looking forward to my classes even though I know its gonna be a lot of work.  As long as I can sneak in some crafting during the day. Living arrangements at home have changed a little, so I'll be scrambling for a study spot--a quiet study spot!

By the way, have I mentioned that we're moving?  I think I alluded to it here back in June.  It's been a long wait and it's not over yet.  Yes the time draws closer, but I still have about 8 weeks left to go . . . **sigh**

I think I need to find my hook . . . 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Names and Dolls

Catalogues for Maplelea and American Girl
So in pursuit of my interest in doll clothes, I decided to try a bigger doll--something in the 18" size.  There are some lovely dolls out there, in particular the Maplelea and American Girl dolls.  Love them!! The price, however, is way outta my budget.
My new 18" doll
Happily I found an adequate substitute that satisfies my need to make and clothe without breaking the family budget: My-Life-As Dolls from Walmart.  For about $35 (Canadian), I have something that looks similar.  She's not as posable as the more expensive versions, but she'll do.
New wire-rimmed eyeglasses
I could only find the blonde (I was hoping to get the brunette with glasses).  So as a compromise, I made some wire-rimmed glasses out of craft wire.  It took a few tries, but I made something adequate.  Watcha think?  I'm still experimenting with how to keep the glasses better attached to her head.
A how-to book for making doll clothes
On my bookshelf, I even found a great collection of patterns for 18" dolls (pictured above).  Its for dressing antique dolls, but the patterns can be modified for more simple designs.  The book even has a few knit patterns.  
More contemporary clothing styles
This book, combined with free patterns online, should keep me busy for a long while . . . 

By the way, I'm no longer Acrylic-Girl.  I had been thinking about changing my name for a long time.  When I was blogging for Bernat, I had chosen the moniker DinaPurls.  I like that name so much better than Acrylic-Girl (And who's kidding who?  I haven't been a "girl" in a long, long time).  So I made the necessary changes here on the blog as well as on Ravelry.  I feel like a new me!

Monday, September 1, 2014

66 and Counting . . .

Stitched Squares
That's how many squares I've completed for my rainbow bedspread.  My plan had always been to make a bedspread that was 11 squares by 11 squares.  Simple math tells me I need a grand total of 121 to finish.  Anything over 61 squares puts me over 50%.  Yay!!  Progress!
Another View
My renewed enthusiasm for the project continues unabated, although I have projects lined up--mostly in my head, ha!

I'd best use my time wisely and get back to working on the next row of squares. 
Later,

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Pass and Fail

The Pass: the cowl turned out lovely.  I couldn't get a good photo of me sporting it, but it does wrap comfortably twice around my neck.  I just need to weave in the ends and give it a wash.
Finished cowl needing finishing
The Fail: in the spirit of matching accessories, I attempted a beret in the same yarn.  I used a popular beret pattern online and knit along merrily.  Occasionally I would pause and try it on to ensure a good fit--and it was fitting well up until the very end.  After binding off, I attempted to try it on--and could not!  The hat would not even go over my head!!  I screamed in frustration.  Then I calmly unpicked the bind-off edge.  Staring at the live stitches without any needle, I briefly contemplated whether to pick them up or not . . . . Needless to say the "leftovers" are pictured below.  My frustration was so deep, I just kept unravelling until the hat was no more.
Frogged beret
The fault was NOT in the pattern 'cuz tons of people have made the beret (it was the One-Day Beret from Kristun Kapur).  The fault lay in my technique (the same thing happened the first time I made toe-up socks and had to bind off the cuff).  I still want a matching beret.  A search through Ravelry led to other beret patterns--ones that were bottom-up.  I might just have enough yarn to make two hats.   ;)
Barbie's new pink suit
Meanwhile here's the strappy top with matching jacket and skirt for Barbie.  I thought I should share the finished items.  I've been eyeing more patterns from the Sticka till Barbie website.  Downloaded a few patterns and even printed off a few.  Still have plenty of leftover sock yarn and I know where I can get more too.  Always good to be prepared for when the mood hits . . . 
Strappy top underneath the jacket
On the plus side, I've been working diligently on my rainbow bedspread.  Nothing like failure to help one get motivated for a "sure thing".  LOL!

Later,

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Still Summer

Coneflowers in bloom in big garden under the honeysuckle
Yup, still summer, although the air feels crisper and the evenings are definitely cooler. There's still lots of growing left in the season: plenty of flowers left to bloom and I'm eagerly anticipating my red sunflowers.
Tall tiger lilies on the other side
Certainly can't deny that school is right 'round the corner--less than 3 weeks!  That'll mean work for my boys and me (although this year I'm excited 'cuz I've transferred to another institution that will hopefully be a better "fit' with my professional goals).
Wildflowers growing in garden along front deck
Meanwhile I can enjoy the loveliness blooming in the garden beds.  I love watching the seasons change and noting the season markers, especially the wildflowers.
Detail of poppies amongst the wildflowers
I found some great books on wildflowers in Nova Scotia.  One (Wildflowers of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick & PEI) has been out for a while, but I love the photography.  While not exhaustive, it's a lovely tome to peruse.
Great coffee-table book with lovely photos
Excellent field guide for wildflowers in NS
The other one (Wildflowers of Nova Scotia) is a recent publication and quite exhaustive.  It's a great primer and handy reference for those of us who go for walks in the woods or near fields (the same author has a similar book on trees and bushes which I may have to pick up at some point).

How goes your summer? 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Still Stylin'

Yup, she looks good, doesn't she?
I finished these not too long ago, but forgot to post about them.  I showed you the finished pink jacket here, but neglected to share the matching pink skirt and lovely off-shoulder top. The skirt is from the same Patons-Beehive book Just Dolls (Rav link) as the jacket.  The top is from the wonderful site Sticka till Barbie where you can find tons of free Barbie patterns--and I mean tons (as in over 1000 patterns including accessories)!
The original pattern was actually a two-tone dress, but I stopped at hip length.  There was actually an error on the pattern, but I've knit a few other patterns from the site without errors (I think the stitch count got messed up in the translation from Swedish to English).

I also made a strappy top for my doll 'cuz the off-shoulder number pictured above didn't quite fit under the jacket.  I have yet to take a proper photo--maybe next week when I'm on vacation again.

There is something rather nice about finishing up so many little projects.  It gives one a sense of accomplishment.  Maybe there's hope for the bedspread . . . 

Later,    :)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Couldn't Resist!

The temptation, that is.  We went away to Cape Breton for a few days to visit some historical sites and enjoy the lovely natural wonders.  And when I spied a Michael's craft store, I HAD to check it out--of course.

I saw lots of goodies and supplies for painting, scrapbooking and knitting (the crafter's lament: so much to do, but so little time to do it all).  When I spied some lovely yarn--and there was lots to choose from--I wrestled with the difficult decision of choosing one.  I didn't even have a particular project in mind.  I finally settled on something pretty that I knew I would never find in town.  Three skeins could work for a scarf or a shawl--or perhaps some other accessory.
Red Heart Boutique Treasure
Aren't the colours just gorgeous?  It's Red Heart's Boutique Treasure in Watercolours.  I just love the way the greens mix with turquoise and shift to blues and back to green again.  Although mainly an acrylic, there is 30% wool in the fibre content.  This could work as a winter accessory . . .  

I spied a current issue of Knit Simple at the magazine rack and picked that up too.  The issue has lots of winter accessories (Rav link).  Even though its still summer, it won't take long for fall to arrive.  And the nice thing about making accessories is that they usually don't take too long to finish--and I need the quick-project fix right now.
Fall 2014 issue of Knit Simple
It wasn't until a few days later--when we got home--that I matched project to yarn.  There was a simple cowl pattern in Knit Simple that caught my eye (among other patterns). 
No 17  Striped Cowl
I found a never-before-used pair of 6mm bamboo circulars and cast-on.  Even though the pattern calls for bulky yarn, the Boutique Treasure is rather thick for a supposedly worsted yarn.  The bigger needles will  make for a looser and loftier fabric.
WIP
Meet my cowl in-progress.  With variegated yarn making it's own lovely stripes, I decided against using two colours.  Oh this will be lovely to wrap 'round my neck come winter. ;)

Later,

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