Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Rainbow Bib

Rainbow |Bib
So I finished the baby bib from this post and I have mixed feelings.  I like the way the variegated colour did not pool too badly and I love the circular shape; however, none too pleased with the neckline shaping and my confusion over the pattern instructions.  I may or may not attempt a second one, but I think for now I'll attempt a beanie and some booties. Planning to use familiar patterns so that there's no confusion over instructions.

By the way, happy to report that work was done on the lovely rainbow bedspread.  I've been busy seaming and crafting more grannies for the next row . . . every little bit helps. ;)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Merry!

Special ornaments made or gifted from family
Hope you are all having a great holiday with loved ones nearby.  Merry Christmas everyone!!
Gifts under the tree Christmas morn
We are enjoying the holiday in our new home and feel very blessed for all that we have.  May your season be filled with joy, love, many blessings . . . 
Knitted mini-stocking from Little Cotton Rabbits
. . . . and lots of yarny goodness.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Rainbows and Bibs

Yup, I did it.  I  made something.  And I even managed to finish it too (but since the natural light has since faded, I'll have to wait for another day to show you the finished item, although I did manage in-progress shots).
Crochet bib in progress
What do you think?  The  pattern comes from a book I borrowed from the library entitled Baby Crochet.    First problem, I used the wrong gauge yarn; instead of fingering, I used worsted cotton.  This, in turn, meant I used a bigger hook.  So while I initially tried to follow the pattern as written, I had to make changes so the bib would not be monstrously large.
Closer view of bib
Although I've crocheted lots of items, I still consider myself a beginner crocheter.  As such, I'm no expert at reading pattern instructions.  So I'm trying to determine if my confusion over pattern instructions were the fault of the pattern itself or the fault of the crafter (i.e. me) . . .  Not sure.

My plan is to make another bib (second time should be the charm, right?).  So if my confusion subsides and I make a better bib, then the fault may lie with me . . . We shall see.  I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sort of Crafting . . .

I meant to pull out my hook and work on more grannies for my bedspread (which will look awesome in my room against the grey walls--if I ever finish it!).  But I didn't.

Instead I attacked a group of boxes left in my room (Ugh!  More boxes!).  Notice the lovely mess of boxes in front of the closet below:
Before: the mess in front of the closet
It made getting to the closet very difficult--to say the least.  Thankfully the mess was diminished--if not completely eliminated.  Baby steps, right?
After: more organized . . . 
The number of boxes continues to decline as I slowly find a home for my stuff--and toss the things that are no longer needed--no easy task, but it's getting done.

The corner by my bed had turned into a mess of bins and baskets filled with miscellaneous crafting stuff:
Before: poster board, bins & baskets
Now it's more organized.  Remember that colourful drawer unit I assembled a few weeks ago?  It now contains many of my scrapbooking supplies (stamps, ribbons, embellishments--a modest stash at best.  My papers are on the bookshelf across the room next the larger closet). 
After: organized space
And then this got me thinking about my craft closet and the baskets of yarn scattered 'round the house.  So I gathered all the odds and ends 'round the house and consolidated everything so that it all fit nicely into the bins--with the necessary skeins left accessible.  I've got photos, paints and embroidery floss on the top shelf (yeah, those are the photos I need to get into albums).
Photos, paints and embroidery floss 
Yarn and some leftover fabric in drawers and bins on the floor.  The large bins are labelled on the outside.  The drawers are clear so it's easy to see what's in there.  A lot of my special yarns are in the drawers--special one or two skeins of pretty colours or interesting fibres.
Bins and drawers filled with yarn.
It's a work-in-progress for sure.  And in my organizing, I found a big ball of cotton.  Isn't  the colour yummy? Perfect for a baby, right?
Colourful cotton yarn for upcoming projects
Someone in the family is due soon.  Time to cast on for some booties, a hat and maybe a few bibs . . . Holiday break is fast approaching and my needles will be clicking away--at long last!  ;)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas Lights

Details of Lights
Yup, still working on school--one more project to finish and then I can relax (translation: do some crafting!).  Meanwhile, everyone all around is getting ready for the holidays.    Hubby and the boys put up the lights outside and I really like it!
Lights on Bush
I think they did a bang up job!  The photos don't do it justice.  Those LED lights don't show up as well as the old regular lights.  Just the same, it's enough to get a person in the holiday mood . . . 


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Still Unpacking . . .

If you've ever moved, then you can empathize with my pain . . . all the boxes!!  The never-ending boxes . . . 

At least I found a place for most of my yarn (although there are yarn baskets in my closet and a couple in the basement.  I'm not sure where they will end up but hopefully everything will eventually fit in the closet). 
New yarn closet
Not sure how to re-organize for optimal storage . . . Somewhere on the interwebs, there is a solution.  Needless to say I miss my lovely craft closet in the farmhouse (but I miss neither the farmhouse nor the nasty winter drive to and from the farmhouse).

As for my scrapbook supplies, I wasn't sure what to do with them (they too were stored in the craft closet at the farmhouse).  My papers and books found a place on a new bookshelf.  As for my other supplies, I purchased a rolling cart.  Of course, some assembly was required.  It took some time to connect the pieces, but the final product looks pretty (even if it is smaller than I had hoped).
Assembled rolling cart with rainbow shelves
With yarn and books finally accessible, I can think about crafting . . . but not until I finish the last two projects due in my course--two weeks left before classes end for the holidays--although this is not to say that there has been no crafting.  Some grannies were made and some were attached . . . it's all good!   ;)  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Lots and lots of boxes!
The hallway outside my old room . . . 
That has been my life for quite some time now, as we tried to  pack up all our things into boxes. And then the time came to pack the truck with all those boxes . . .
Our life in a truck . . . 
Meanwhile our internet service ended and we weren't re-connected at our new place until later in the week.  
Living-Dining Room BEFORE

Living-Dining Room AFTER
So far we've made good progress unpacking, but there are still boxes to unpack.  And I have to figure out where I'm gonna store my yarn . . . all in good time I suppose.
Living Room area
For now, I wish you well and I'll keep you posted.  


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Happy Post-Halloween

How was your Halloween night?  Did you get many tricker-treaters?  We get no visitors that night--too far out in the country, I guess (That will, no doubt, change next year when we are living in town again).
courtesy of photo site
I failed to get a photo of my boys dressed up.  We dropped them off at a friend's house and they got dressed there, so photo opportunity missed (I'll get them dressed up once we're moved into our new place).

Right now I'm up to my eyeballs in boxes, boxes and more boxes.  So please forgive this short post and the lack of crafty content.  Next weekend is our final one in the farmhouse and then we're back in town in our own place . . . .

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Meet Gimli

Pleased with the helmet.  In hind-sight, I would have made the helmet in the darker grey and then used the lighter grey for the details . . . but I already had the light grey in my stash.  I had planned to use a similar coloured grey felt, but none was to be found.
Finished Gimli helmet
And I'm especially pleased with the beard 'cuz that makes the whole costume work--if I do say so myself.
Finished dwarf beard
The beard wasn't hard, but it was a little tedious cutting all those strands and then attaching them.  Still, the effort was well worth it!  The grey bands around the braids really finish off the beard nicely too.  
Helmet and beard worn together
Meet the little dwarf--even without his axe and tunic, he's one happy dude.  He'll be in full battle garb come Halloween night.  I'll have to remember to post some photos.

I must confess it was a nice change to leave the bedspread and work on some "quick" projects.  I needed the change of pace.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Little Something . . .

So my kids were thinking about Halloween costumes.  One of the boys decided he wanted to be Gimli from Lord of the Rings--a noble character.
One thing led to another . . .  so now I'm making a helmet and beard for someone's costume.  To be fair, I made the offer 'cuz I know crocheters and knitters are resourceful people.  If they can't find something, they make it.  Simple as that!  We couldn't find fake beards or even helmets, so we decided to make our own.
Gimli's helmet in progress--almost done too!
This is the helmet--almost done.  There's no detail as of yet.  We plan to add it later and embellish with golden thread.  I'm using a pattern I found on Ravelry: Viking Hat has horns and some knobby bits 'round the brim.  I've eliminated both.  My hope is to add a darker grey for the details and roughly embroider it in gold thread.
Yarn for the beard and helmet detail
The beard will be an interesting challenge, but I found lots of orange yarn and two great patterns to try.  I'm sure one of them will prove satisfactory.  If nothing else, it will be a fun experiment.

Both patterns came from Ravelry: Epic Viking Beard is pictured on the left and Viking or Dwarven Beard is on the right.  I'm leaning towards the latter.  The base is already complete and enough lengths of orange yarn have been cut to start threading the beard.

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 13, 2014


So here's a little something to celebrate the day and the weekend.  Here's hoping you will spend it with friends and family.  Happy Thanksgiving!
Photo credit: Martin Cathrae / Foter / CC BY-SA
I am especially thankful for supportive and loving people in my life: my dear hubby and my children.  At the same time I am saddened by the loss of someone whom I had believed to be a friend.  Nothing like stressful times to reveal the true nature of some individuals.  At least I can see clearly now . . . 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Ups and Downs

UP: Yay for me!  I  got to do some crafting this week after all.  It's not a lot, but it's something.  I'll get whatever I can get. :)
White centres for the grannies
I finished and submitted a major project this week--that was stressful 'cuz I was trying to keep up with my coursework while still going to work and caring for my family.  Most days I felt like a chicken with her head cut off! :S
A different perspective of grannies
DOWN: To make matters worse, there is stress everywhere I go.  I don't want to get into too much detail here, but suffice to say that it is hard work getting along with other people whether it be family members, co-workers or complete strangers (especially when there are conflicting values and philosophies).  And I've lost some supportive people due to relocation to other cities.  Perhaps all the stress is affecting my perception, too?  And its not just me either.  I think my family is affected by all the stress.

In any case, we're hangin' in there as best we can.  We hope our big move to our own place will help towards alleviating some of those stresses.  Maybe with this big project out of the way, I can muster some crafting time too.  I need it!   Everything I read points to the healing properties of crafting (be it knitting or crochet).  I think I'll sneak in some crochet time as soon as I log off here.

Have a good week and send me some good karma . . . 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Winding Down

We've been blessed on the east coast with some lovely fall weather (and perhaps your little corner in the world has seen lotta sunshine and warmth too).  Sadly I've been unable to enjoy it because I'm been up to my eyeballs in school work.
Delicate Cosmos
Compounding my workload is an additional project on the side (it's to ensure my transfer goes through for another course).  Then there's packing to be done which is going at a super-slow pace.  And to top it all off, I've been sick. **cough, cough**
Happy Sunflowers
Consequently I'm sad to report there has been no crafting. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. **sigh**  So I'm peppering this post with something that makes me very happy: my wildflower garden.  Look at the delicate cosmos and the happy sunflowers!  Now that's joy.
Sunflowers creeping along the ground
See you on the flip side. :)

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. 

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!

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