Friday, January 31, 2014

Free Classes at Craftsy

I'm not sure how long these will be offered, but Craftsy has three knitting classes you can take for free.

In's and Out's of Grafting with Anne Hanson - how to invisibly join knitting stitches.

Know Your Wool with Deborah Robson - look at different fibers and the best use for each type of wool.

Short Rows with Carol Feller - how to use short row shaping for a better fit.

And if you're not a knitter, there are other free classes listed here.  I'm going to have to schedule some class time!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Farm

Not much in the way of fiber work going on this week - just hanging out at the farm, enjoying the frosty mornings and gorgeous sunrises.

And the snow drops that are up and blooming everywhere!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bitty Baby Party Dress

Little c turned four, so of course Bitty Baby needed a party dress!  I ordered a pattern especially made to fit Bitty Babies, but it unfortunately did not come in time .... so I used a pattern I had for 15 inch dolls that looked like it should fit.  Almost!  So if you decide to make this, be sure to read all the instructions before cutting out your fabric.

Simplicity has come out with a line of retro patterns and this set of doll patterns is one.  It's a reprint of the original from the 1950's - and some of these clothes look very much like ones I had for my baby dolls!  

I used satin backed taffeta and cut it so the satin side would be the right side.  And why not just get satin, you ask?  Regular satin is pretty thin and I wanted something with stiffness so the skirt would have body - like a party dress should!  To add more sparkle, I also used a sheer fabric over the back and front skirts.

Here are the changes I made:

I put the sheer fabric on top of the skirt pieces and then sewed along the top for gathering.

After the front bodice was attached to the front skirt, I pinned on a satin ribbon.  I machine sewed along the very top of the ribbon and used hand sewing to tack it down in several spots along the bottom.

There are a few places that called for single fold bias tape.  I cut a 1 1/2 inch piece of the satin on the bias, ironed the edges under 1/4 inch and used that.  For the elastic channels on the pant, I used a one inch piece.

Here's where the problem happened!  Even though I did a rough fitting with the pattern pieces, it did not quite fit.  Bitty Baby is apparently a bit chubbier than the 1950's dolls!  So when I tried it on, the back edges met exactly - no overlap for the snaps.  I made a tab by cutting a long piece of satin, doubling it over right sides together, and sewing it on three edges.  I turned it right side out, ironed it, and sewed it onto the left side of the dress back.  I then sewed on pieces of Velcro to the new tab and to the other side of the dress.  Not too elegant, but it works.  For the next dress, I'll just make the front and back bodice and skirt pieces a tad wider.

To finish, I sewed three rosettes along the ribbon.  When making the pants, I just made the pattern as is and it fit fine.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Inspiration - Sewing Collages

I've been fascinated with fabric collages since a project in the third grade when I made a skunk from velvet scraps!  I don't think that work is still around, but I still love the process of taking pieces of fabric and ribbon and turning them into pictures.  I recently came across the work of Mandy Pattullo and fell in love with her collaged pieces.  

And I love the way she combines embroidery with collage in her Enchanted Forest Series.

She blogs about her work here, you can see more of her work here, and if you're in Great Britain, you might want to check out her workshop schedule here.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bitty Baby Sweater and Hat Set

 Little c got a Bitty Baby for Christmas, and I've been on a pattern search for clothes to make!  I found this crocheted sweater and hat set on Ravelry - it is a pay pattern, but definitely worth $4.00.  Here's the link.  I had to go down a hook size to get the right gauge.  And I think it would make a good newborn size if one used a size up hook!

I added a rosette on the hat ....

.... and pearl flower buttons.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Inspiration - Felieke van der Leest's Beaded Work

I love beading and have only made small stabs at it - usually adding edges or accents and the occasional necklace.  One of the things I've been meaning to do (for years) though is a piece made mainly of beads.  So when I saw Felieke van der Leest's work, I fell in love with it!  It's beautiful, whimsical, and sure to put a smile on your face.

Felieke combines crochet with beads and plastic animals  ...

Bat Girl

Hare O'Harix and his 6 Carrots

Prairie Pioneer

Be sure to take a look at the dozens of pieces on her website.  And if you need an English translation, click on the British union jack in the upper right hand corner.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Easy Knitted Cowl

I'm becoming a big fan of cowls!  They stay on and don't have to keep being re-wrapped like scarves do.  And they keep you warm!  I've had a couple of skeins of Plymouth's Boku for a few years and just realized they match one of my coats.  Since I've become a champ at straight knitting, I thought how hard can a cowl be?  Easy, it turns out!  I basically just knitted a square and then seamed it up - and afterwards realized I could have knit it in the round.  Oh well, I'll do the next one that way!

*about 1 1/2 skeins worsted or aran weight yarn
*size 10 1/2 needles

Cast on 90 stitches.  Knit in straight knitting until it measures about 7 1/2 inches.  Bind off and seam together.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Inspiration - Radiant Orchid

I can't believe my luck ... last year's Pantone color of the year was Emerald.  I love Emerald Green and soaked in seeing it everywhere all last year!  And this year, Pantone has chosen Radiant Orchid as the 2014 color of the year - another favorite!  Greens and purples are right there at the top.  So I get another year of seeing a color everywhere that makes me feel good!

Already, I have visions of more orchid!  My orchid kitchen towels need replacing - pretty much not so radiant any longer, just stained.  I have some yarn I dyed with acid and cochineal that turned out a beautiful mottled orchid ... maybe another hat.  It's a color that reminds me of spring and Easter ... and picnics for some reason!  Can't figure that one out.

So here's to a radiant new year full of orchid!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Monday, January 6, 2014

A New Year ... A New Hat!

Happy 2014!  And what better way to celebrate than with a new hat!  Last year I put a moratorium on making myself any new hats - I spend a large part of the winter in Phoenix, where hats are seldom needed.  However, suddenly my hats all seem old and worn or have just disappeared!  I recently found this crocheted slouch hat by Liz on her Crochet in Color blog and fell in love with it - you can find the pattern here.

I used Lion Brand's Amazing in the Glacier Bay colorway and it took a skein and a half.  I also took Liz's suggestion to move down one hook size when working on the ribbing.

Okay, I know it's a slouch hat but I don't have that much hair so it really, really slouched!  I like it better with the ribbing turned up.

Happy Creating!  Deborah