Friday, December 31, 2010

2011's 365 Item Challenge

Are you ready for the challenge of making 365 items in 2011?
You can also just sit back and watch to see if I can do it.
I'm going to keep an on going tally on the top right hand side of my blog.

Works in progress as we speak:
- My first pair of knitted socks, which will take a while to finish.  Personally I think that each sock will count as a finished project (which is why there is single sock syndrome).
- Another circular scrubby.
- Unfinished snowflake ornaments left over from my class this week.  I can always make them and save them as gifts for next Christmas.
- A knitted yellow plarn bag.
- A soda tab purse.
- A spool knit rug.
- Several quilts: some being pieced, some tops almost finished, and some finished tops.

I usually make what I feel like making, except when deadlines are involved.  Which means that I usually have different types of projects going at the same time.  Even though I plan on finishing at least one quilt this year and making a few big projects, I also plan on making several small projects.  Those small projects will make this challenge possible.

If you plan on joining me in this challenge, you can grab my button at the top.  I am going to research how to host a link party.  Maybe I'll host a link party at the end of each month and those participating can link a few of their favorite items from that month.

Let the insanity begin!

New Year's Hats, Scrubbies, & Socks

It's New Year's Eve and I had some left over hat template print outs from my class the other day, a mess of foam stickers all over the place (every time they are put away, my son dumps them out all over the couch and floor), and a 3 year old bothering his big brother.  So why not have him make some hats of his own?
Here are the two hats that he made, which equaled 30 to 45 minutes of some peace in the house.  
I finished another circular scrubby last night.
And I began another one while watching a movie with my family.
I'm using Bernats yarn and size 8 needles, and again I am doubling the pattern for size.
I'm joining a sock-along over at  Technically I made me first sock a year or two ago using acrylic yarn, and it was for a toddler.  I made it so that I could turn it into a sackboy.  Then I found the sackboy pattern.  This will be my first real pair of socks.  I cast on last night using 3.25 mm double pointed needles.  I hope that I don't fall into the single sock trap (not making a pair).  By now I am very use to working with double pointed needles and sock yarn, so it should be easy enough.  This will also be the first time that gage is really important.  Making a pair of socks is one of my New Year's resolutions.  Another is making a dog sweater, which might seem easier after making the socks.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Zebra Sackboy

I just finished making this zebra sackboy for my 3 year old.  
It is his first sackboy.  I've made his big brother 5 of them (that look different).
For his mane, I crochet into some of the knit stitches, chained 5 to 11 stitches, and single crochet back down the chain stitches.  Then I repeated this until I reached about a half an inch above the back of his neck.  
I'm really happy with this zebra version and so is my son.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snowflake Ornament & New Year's Hat Class

Today I taught a class at my local library for grades K-4th (but there were younger kids who came as well).  Its Winter break here, and the library likes to offer things for families to do.  I had two projects set up for the kids to make: a snowflake ornament and a New Year's hat.  The snowflake ornament was based on the retro ornament found in Family Fun magazine.  A snowflake has 6 sides, so I converted Family Fun's ornament to be like a real snowflake.  One snowflake is made using 1.5 toilet paper tubes and 2 to 3 chenille stems.  For the New Year's hat, I found the hat template here and the library printed it out onto card stock paper.  I spent at least an hour (maybe more) die cutting starts, balloons, and party images yesterday.  The library let me use their die cut machine (mine is missing a part) and their supplies so that the kids would have a lot to decorate their hat with.  Its hard to see my sample hat.  My son loved getting the hat after the class.
The yarn and markers are for the hat.  I just love the big boxes of markers.  When I was a preschool teacher, we use to use the empty large marker boxes to sort all kinds of arts and crafts in.
There was a great turn out of kids.  Between 20 and 30 kids came and made crafts.  It was a drop in class, and they came at different times over a 2 hour time period.  Here are some of their snowflakes.  I love how creative kids are.  The pom poms in the center was one girl's  idea, and other kids loved it so much that they did the same.
This group put the pom poms in the center.  The green one is a Celtics snowflake, and the red one is a christmas one.  The other side of the red one has a green pom pom.
The one on the left has snowflakes and snowmen drawn on it.
Here are some of the awesome New Year's hats.
These two girls worked really hard on their hats.
Everyone was so very creative.
Now here is an example of just how creative and "out of the box" kids can be.  This girl started making a snowflake ornament and then saw the other girl's  snowflake with the pom poms inside of the loops.  She said that that other girl's snowflake inspired her to make a crown.  She combined the idea of the snowflake with the New Years hat and made this awesome crown.

I had a lot of fun today, as did the kids.  The parents were so happy to have a place to take the kids and do something fun and creative with them (and free).  It reminded me of when I use to teach preschool (a lot of fond memories).  I hope that I can teach another class like this in the future.

If you have kids, you should check your local library's calendar and see if there are fun craft classes and story times that they offer.  During school vacations, they offer activities for school age children, and during the school year there is a lot going on for the younger kids.  My 3 year old loves going to these activities.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Resolution / Challenge

Every year I make 100 New Year's resolutions.  By making 100, I have a high chance of succeeding in half or more than half of them vs failing one big one.  One of them is to make 365 items in 2011.  You might have seen a new box on the top right hand side of my blog that says "items made in 2011."  This is where I'll be keeping a running tally of the number of things that I make in the new year.  The biggest question mark is will pieced quilt blocks count?  They do take time to make.  I think that they count, but I will be keeping a separate tally of them anyway.

Does anyone want to join me in this resolution / challenge?

Field of Dreams Scrubby

Last night while watching a movie I made this circular scrubby.  I used Lily's Sugar'n Cream cotton yarn in the color way "Field of Dreams" and size US7 needles.  I doubled the pattern to get the size that I wanted (cast on 36 stitches and knit 40 rows).  This is my current go to pattern when I want to keep my hands busy but don't want to pay attention to it, which makes it perfect for movie watching.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holiday Swap Gifts

I've been dying to show all of you what I sent to my holiday swap partner back in October.  Christmas is over and now it is show and tell time.  Basically the only money that we were allowed to spend was on something very small, something to finish a project, and mailing it.  Here is what it all looked like before it got stuffed into a box.  I made all of the bags.  Three of them are fused plastic, one is a Juicey Juice container that has been crochet around, and one is a fabric gift bag.  All of the gifts had labels on them saying when she was allowed to open them.
I really love the popcorn & Doritos fused bag.  I buy the small bags in bulk for my son's school lunch, and so I used the bigger plastic bags to make the fused bag.  You can also see some fun with the newspaper bags and a Lowe's key bag (when you have a key made).
Here are her gifts.
Some cotton knitted scrubbies, plastic bottle ring wreath ornaments, a Tardis ornament, mini mitten ornament, a fancy ornament, a gecko bookmark, matchbook notebooks, fabric, a knitting loom (I had an extra one), 3 juice pouch bags, and a spun and plied crochet plarn & yarn tote bag.
This large crochet tote bag.
I really like this bag, and I would like to make one for my mom and one for myself.
I spun the plarn for the bag, and then I plied it with some green variegated yarn.
The picture on the right is the bottom of the bag.
I made this bag from a plastic Juicy Juice container.  I punched some holes and crochet the top.
So that it would hold gifts, I placed fabric inside of it so that she wouldn't see her presents.
A medium juice pouch purse with a zipper closure, a juice pouch pencil pouch with a zipper closure, and a small juice pouch container with a velcro closure.  This picture was taken by my swap partner.

Where did all of these handmade gifts go?  Australia.  Merry Christmas Gekko!  I hope that you enjoy your gifts.