The Valentine’s Day Surprise

I have been working on a Sooper Seekrit! project. I cannot hope to convey how excited I was to make this.

One of my Ravelry friends posted this pic & link to a pattern a little while back.

gangnamst1_medium

From the moment I saw it I knew exactly what the Hubs was getting for Valentine’s Day. I can’t really explain it, but he enjoys the Gangnam Style song far more than is reasonable for a grown man.

So, I made this:

20130213-232734.jpg

And, oh yeah, it plays the Gangnam Style song. That’s right! I put a chip in it to make it play music.

Who is super awesome? (And quite possibly, a bit weirder than necessary?) Yep…I AM!

Advertisements

Speedy teacher gifts or What I got for the Kiddo’s teachers this Christmas

Teacher gifts are tough. I never know what to get for the Kiddo’s teachers and there are usually at least 3 teachers to buy for because she’s still so little. It can get costly real quick.

That being said, I like to make sure I get them something every year for the holidays. These are people that take great care of my little one and who do a great job keeping her smart little brain full and happy.

I typically go the coffee or other local food place gift card route since I know that it’s something that is likely to get used. And if I make cookies, I attach a gift card to a container for each teacher. This year I just felt like the gift card and cookies weren’t quite enough, so I added in a cup cozy as well.

These 3 were quick & easy (just half-double crochet the whole thing, done flat), but I think they came out pretty cute. They’re actually adjustable and use velcro to close (which I naturally forgot to take a picture of before I put them in the gifts).

20121228-001817.jpg

And bonus, I used some of my cotton yarn for these so they go toward the Project Use Up All the Cotton tally:

Pink Cozy – 19g
Purple/Blue Cozy – 19g
Red/White/Blue/Green Cozy – 17g

55g total for all 3 cozies

314 grams of yarn used, 772 grams to go

Make ALL the Hats!

Well, I did it! I took on the challenge and I completed it. On my second attempt at a Nerd Wars Dissertation (read “very large project that takes 3 months to complete”) I actually finished. (Get ready folks, this is a long one.)

So, what did I do exactly?

I made 9 hats in various sizes – 5 knit and 4 crochet. Want to see?

A couple of the patterns were free, a couple I already had in my personal library, and a couple I had to purchase. Not unexpectedly 3 of the 4 knit hats are Susan B. Anderson patterns (I LOVE her stuff!).

Anyone who has seen some of my previous posts will not be surprised to see yet another Pumpkin Hat. It’s a HUGE go to for me when making baby gifts…especially when I don’t know the baby’s gender. So, I had that pattern and the Pink Paper Bag pattern already because they’re both in Itty Bitty Hats. The 2 Pom Pom Hats are also Susan B. Anderson. The pattern for them is the Dream Catcher Hat and was free.

The other knit hat – Princess Crown – was also a free pattern. Despite it’s lack of cost, I’m not entirely sold on this pattern. It came out okay, but I didn’t really enjoy the process. There were A LOT of stitch markers involved. It’s possible that I was just grumpy because I was short on time so I will give it at least one more shot before I decide whether or not  I like it.

As for the crochet patterns – I bought the Minnie Mouse and the Cloche patterns from Lizzziee on Etsy (along with 3 other patterns) and I couldn’t be more happy with them. The directions were so easy to follow – which was a big deal for me since I’m pretty new to crochet.  The other hat I made was Hello Kitty and it was from a free pattern. I was dubious at first, but when I got it all finished I was super pleased with the result.

Minnie, Rainbow Pom-Pom, and Princess Crown are for my kiddo. She’s all set for winter and playtime now. Pumpkin has already been gifted and Blue Pom-Pom is a gift as well. Hello Kitty has actually been sold. I’m saving the 2 Cloche hats and Pink Paper Bag to sell at a craft fair.

And more awesome – I already have an order for a Minnie Mouse and I have 3 more Hello Kitties to make for birthday gifts.

Best of all…I finished a dissertation and I’m really proud of myself!

It’s so nice to hear when someone appreciates something you’ve made

Today I got a facebook message from the woman whose mother I made this blanket for.

She told me how much her mom loved the blanket and how wonderfully it matched her mom’s living room decor. It made me so happy to hear. This was my very first LARGE crochet project and I worked really hard on it.

Yay!!

My mission, should I not wuss out and refuse to accept it

I believe I’ve previously mentioned my affinity for the creation of small hats, yes?

As I was looking at my list of items to create for gifting purposes, I realized that I have a fairly significant number of hats to make in the next few months…no fewer than 6 without having to think too hard. And then it dawned on me…dissertation! (A dissertation is a project/series of projects made during a 3 month period of time during a Nerd Wars Tournament.)

I attempted (and failed to complete) a dissertation in Nerd Wars Tournament 3, but I believe that was because my plans were FAR too ambitious. This time the challenge I will set for myself should be much more achievable, particularly because I already know how to knit hats and some of the patterns are ones I’ve done before.

The Basic Plan – Knit or Crochet 9 hats in varying sizes and patterns between June 1 and August 31

Here’s where the challenge comes in:

  1. I actually have to function in real life and not yarn-craft all day.
  2. I will also be participating in other Nerd Wars challenges.
  3. I want to do this all from my current stash and not buy any new yarn. (This is a personal challenge and will not be included in my dissertation proposal.)
  4. I’ve knitted plenty of hats, but I’ve never crocheted any. This one could get interesting

So, that’s 3 hats per month. At the moment, I’ve selected 3 patterns which will be used for 5 of the hats. And all 5 of these hats have gifting destinations. I’m just not sure about the other 4 yet. Hmm….

An apple (in) a day

With a month gap between Nerd Wars Tournaments, I have the chance to make anything I want & not have to fit it into some kind of “box.” (Not that it’s generally difficult to find some kind of connection to a challenge, but it’s nice to not have to think too hard.)

Naturally I went straight for a baby hat. (Ya gotta stick to what you’re good at, right?) Really though, between family and friends I have at least 3 babies to make gifts for this summer. One of my “go to” hats is typically Susan B. Anderson’s Little Pumpkin from Itty Bitty Hats, but I’ve already made at least 4 of them and I don’t want to get that predictable. SO, I changed up the pattern a bit and made an apple instead.

 

I actually used the Simple Baby Cap 2 pattern from the same book since the yarn weight was more like what I was using and I didn’t want to have to figure out the calculations myself…yes, I was math lazy. Then once I finished the decreases, I added a brown i-cord for the stem and a cute little green leaf.

Now I just need to figure out which baby gets this one.

A shawl complete

It’s done, it’s done, it’s done!!

(Well, with the exception of blocking…but the knitting is done!)

It took me 4 months, but I finally managed to finish my Twiddlebug Shawl. It’s 70 inches long and 16 inches wide at the moment – after blocking it should be closer to 75″x20″. Each pattern repeat has 10 rows and I did 46 of those. Every repeat took me about an hour to complete and there was a single crochet border (and I don’t really know how to crochet, so that was fun). I figure it took me about 60 hours in total to complete this shawl between getting used to the pattern early on, fixing problems, and taking 8 hours just to do the border because of my lack of crocheting skills.

The last step in this project before it can be gifted is blocking. I’m not really sure how I’ll accomplish this yet since I don’t have a place where a 75×20 inch shawl can lay flat pinned to a board undisturbed until it dries. Once I figure it out, I’ll take some pics and let you know how I did it.