Monday, February 25, 2013

Mo' babies, mo' crafting

Remember back when everyone was having babies?  Apparently some people I know didn't get the memo that babies are like sooooooo last year.  Which I guess I can deal with since I bought too much baby yarn.  Also, trying to match yarn colors from memory is not a good idea.

Solution: sweaters for everyone!

Apparently one of the challenges of buying clothes for babies is figuring out what size the baby will be at the appropriate season.  Added to this difficulty is the fact that my family produces monstrous children who grow at an alarming rate.

Since this sweater was for my cousin's 10 1/2 pounder, I decided to make the 12 month size.  Since I still don't really understand sizes, I think there's a possibility they could just put this on the baby now and have it fit. I mean, the baby's not going to care if it makes him look bigger than he is.  Based on the free patterns I've been browsing, some parents put their babies in fancified sacks--this kid should just be grateful he has a real garment.

Also, Baby Gargantua lives in Asheville, NC.  I remember it being cold there every damn morning, so this sweater will still be seasonably appropriate whenever it actually fits.

The main sweater is Bernat Baby Coordinates, which is what I used for the first starghan and the award winning baby set.  For the edging/button loop I used Pound of Love Pastel Green--which is pretty much an exact match for the mint green in His Jeans while Baby Coordinates Iced Mint is not.  Yes, that blue, white, and mint colored yarn is called "His Jeans" for some reason.

Leftover yarn=baby hat.  For the last baby set, my mother said the hat looked too small for a baby that would be wearing the sweater size.  I just go with the age on the pattern and assume that everyone can enjoy looking at the nice matching set and then cram the baby into whatever fits at the moment.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Look, it was either pictures of my cat or gift spoilers.

Crochet Cat Bed

Materials needed: yarn, pattern for something that is not a cat bed, K hook

  1. Follow directions for pattern.
  2. Set unfinished project down.
  3. Cat bed complete!
The ruler is for measuring pattern pieces and seams.  The crochet hook is somewhere under the cat.

Bonus Pattern! 

Papercrafting Cat Bed
  1. Attempt to read the newspaper rather than feeding and/or giving all of your attention to the cat (works with any piece of paper larger than a book).

Monday, February 11, 2013

Fat Fat Fatty

I appreciate Mardi Gras as only an agnostic can: it's an excuse to party, and I'm not spiritually obligated to give up anything.  It's not a last hurrah before Lent; it is a hurrah to kill time between New Year's Eve and St. Patrick's Day.

My only problem with Mardi Gras is that it discriminates against people who have jobs.  Hence my Vendredi Gras parties of year's past.  Which took place after Mardi Gras, thus highlighting the benefits of appropriating the holidays of other cultures and using them as an excuse to throw theme parties.

Now that everybody I know is tired on Fridays and/or out of town, Vendredi Gras has given way to Meowdi Gras, a fundraiser for my Richmond SPCA Dog Jog Team.  Meowdi Gras requires Meowdi Gras decorations.  Having a lot of free time in the afternoons and responsible adult stuff to avoid, Meowdi Gras decorations have been slowly escalating.  Did you know that if you take out the decades old batteries, you can still get a Purrtenders toy to purr?  And then dress it up like a sad old cat lady and declare it a decoration?  And how were there two different lines of unwanted pets in the 80s?

To balance out the crazy of putting stuffed cats all over the house, I decided to make a wreath.  Wreaths are sad and nerdy, but in slightly more stable way than cats.

How to Make a Mardi Gras Wreath

Materials required:

  • A mother who makes lots of wreaths so you can possibly just find a wreath somewhere in the house
  • A mask
  • Mardi Gras beads
  • Feathers
  • Hot glue gun
  • An A.C. Moore cashier who lets you use both your teacher's discount and a coupon
  • Metallic paint you already have in the house
Step one:  Paint the mask.  It's important to do this before work so you can risk having green paint all over your hands.  Contemplate what would happen if you replied to colleagues and admins questions by saying you fingered the Hulk.

Step two: Wait for the mask to dry.  Rummage around for the crappiest wreath.  Consider what the hell you're going to do to make this straw wreath respectable without having to buy more stuff.

Step three: Realize that somehow, despite years of hoarding craft supplies from forgotten, unstarted, and unfinished craft projects, you only have curling ribbon and yarn.  Decide that you are too damn lazy to wrap any of these things around a straw wreath.

Step four: Contemplate Michaels ad.  Remember that Cabbage Patch Dolls were orphans waiting to be adopted.  Google Fluppy Dogs.  Discover that Fluppy Dogs had some weird, dimensional travel thing going on...but also ended up in the pound.   At least My Little Ponies lived in a free, feminist society.  Well, except for when the First Tooth Ponies sold the Newborn Twins into slavery.

Step five: Oh, right, making a wreath.  Go buy some ribbon.

Step six: Wrap ribbon around wreath while the 4 hour journey that is making a king cake.  Run out of ribbon.

Step seven: Buy more ribbon.  Make the mistake of wearing your red T-shirt to A.C. Moore so an old lady thinks you work there.  Decide to buy skinny ribbon.

Step eight: Finish wrapping the wreath.  Realize that your impulse to wrap it with curling ribbon and skinny ribbon was absolutely correct.

Step nine: Glue beads to the back of the mask.  Glue them some more until it looks right.

Step ten: Glue the mask to the wreath.  This may take several attempts as something designed to go over a human face does not easily line up with a wreath.

Step eleven: Hang this bastard up.  Wait for lesser beings to marvel at this seasonally appropriate masterpiece.  Revel in the smug satisfaction of not making some deco mesh horror.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Just in time for it to be stupid cold again!

A few months ago, I lost one of my fingerless gloves.  I find this very inconsiderate of me since it would've been much more convenient to either lose none of them or both of them.

My cousin knitted me a new pair.  I thanked her by not mentioning that I'd received them and by crocheting myself a replacement for my defective pair.

Oh, and by making the greatest baby gift any unborn child has ever received.

The last pair used green yarn from another project that kind of matched my wool scarf.  This time I decided to just get the same yarn although the dye lot is slightly different.

The way the colorway comes out is always a pleasant surprise to me because gauge swatches are for conscientious people with too much time on their hands.  My philosophy is measure once, cut once, that's not even, cut again, damn it now it's ruined.