Sunday, July 29, 2012

Baby Craft Project 4: Berry Baby Hat and Booties

This Baby Craft Project just might make my head implode from cuteness.  Number three nearly killed me, but when I finished the booties for number four I wanted to scream until my throat bled, they were so damn cute.  I have never made booties before, and now, its pretty much all I want to do.

This particular pattern was found in Crocheted Gifts: Irrestible Projects to Make and Give.  The book is edited by Kim Werker, but this design was by Chloe Nightingale.  The pattern is found on pages 31-35. 

I chose a fairly chunky purple for the "berry", I might venture to say that mine is a bit more eggplant than berry.  Regardless, it is still cute.

Baby Craft Project 3: Little Bo Sheep Hat

An over abundance of naps, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the excitement of completing part three of my Baby Craft Project kept me up to the wee hours of the morning.  This one came from the Sept/Oct 2011 issue of Crochet Today magazine, pp 82-84 and was designed by Noreen Crone-Findlay.

This was the first issue of Crochet Today that I received.  I thrill at its arrival, and wish it were more frequent.  This particular issue had Halloween items, and this baby hat was a particularly adorable one.  I did not have the right size yarn, which altered the gauge, and instead of a toddler hat it came out an infant cap.  That's ok,  a fuzzy white coat of sweater and baby is a little lamb.

This particular hat found a home with a dear friend, and her little lamb.

Baby Craft Project 2: Li'l Monkey hat and matching blanket

This second piece derives from Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'n Bitch: Happy Hooker and can be found on pages 274-279.  The pattern is credited to Carmen Watkins.

I'm not sure how I feel about sock monkeys.  I think they might be a little disturbing, and my suspicions were not helped when as I was working on this piece my roommate asked if I was going to give this to a baby that I hated.  He went on to note that the monkey looked less like the beloved sock monkey and more like a screamin blood-mouthed monkey with tiny sharp fangs.  Suffice to say, while I am generally pleased with the outcome of the piece(s) I am not as confident about it not giving babies nightmares.

I don't know, I think I would still give it to my own baby (if I had one).  It is kind of cool.

Baby Craft Project 1: Cupcake Bib

The first installment of my Baby Craft Project was the Cupcake Bib, which arrived in my latest issue of Crochet Today Magazine (Sept/Oct 2012, pp. 79-81).  The pattern is credited to Linda Permann. 

It was cute and easy to make, when I showed my roommate he worried that it might strangle the baby, so I was pleased to demonstrate that the strap was attached with a button.  I'm not sure how functional it is, since I have no toddlers to test it on, but at the very least it is cute.   I think that perhaps on a largers scale (by increasing the gauge) it might make a cute top for an apron.  If I were to make more, and I very well might, I would use Sugar 'n Cream yarn.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Baby Craft Project

Sometimes I find it difficult to go to work where there exists no yarn or hooks and I have to spend 8 hours not crocheting. Oh sure I do other things that are more useful to the operation of my place of business, but let's just say that if I had a novelty t-shirt on right now it would read "I'd rather be crocheting"

Right now there is a baby blanket at home that begs to be finished.  It is part of an ongoing project.  The project began as an attempt to complete a pattern from each publication of patterns that I own.  It fell apart after the second pattern book provided little inspiration and an unfortunate crochet "fail" (granted I did pay all of $1 for it at a going out of business sale,and it does have some of the ugliest sweaters I have ever seen). Making sweaters is hard work, and so fussy. I finished most of it before I realized that I had miscounted, wrongly sized and so on. I'm also trying to use up my current supply of yarn, and the only color I had enough of was cream. The entire time I worked on the sweater I thought, this color should be used for doll heads...why am I wasting it on this lousy sweater?

So the project was altered.  Given that nearly 20 friends and acquaintances have or will have babies this year, and baby items are naturally small and completed more quickly (nearly instant gratification) I have decided to create at least one baby pattern from each publication.  I'm already on the second publication, and eager to start on the third.  Most, or all of the items will be for sale at Signifying Nothing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Signifying Nothing

I am delighted to announce that I have finally listed items on Etsy at my shop: Signifying Nothing.

Many years ago my dear friend and I collected some handcrafted items and some trading cards (mostly of the Star Trek variety) and set about to sell them at craft bazaars across the countryside.  I'm not sure that we ever managed to sell any product.  Of course our product may not have been well matched to our audience. I had in all of my youthful creativity made jewelry with bizarre themes, most of which I've forgotten, although I am told the one piece that sold was a hair clip resembling flies on shit, and that my partner's mother bought it (bless her).  The fun of it was actually all in the time spent with my friend.  We would spend hours talking and and laughing, and I would set up a canvas and work on oil paintings in the the downtime, and there was nothing but downtime.

One bazaar had music piped throughout it.  Well, music, after a fashion.  It would be more apt to say that it had the song "Achey Breakey Heart" piped through it.  The song repeated a maddening number of times, until we were downright giddy at the absurdity of it.

The name of that shop had also been Signifying Nothing, a name we agreed upon because we were properly dramatic teens and appreciated Shakespeare's Hamlet and all of his dark brooding.  I was also a huge fan of Steve Martin and had watched LA Story many times, and anyone who has seen this film knows that he repeatedly references Shakespeare, claiming that he was originally from LA.

"Sitting there at that moment I thought of something else Shakespeare said. He said, 'Hey... life is pretty stupid; with lots of hubbub to keep you busy, but really not amounting to much.' Of course I'm paraphrasing: 'Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.'"
At seventeen or eighteen I felt that pretty much summed it up, and I guess I still feel that way, just the like would still find true happiness sitting at a flea market craft bazaar listening to "Achey Breakey Heart" and laughing with my friend.

Covering the cushions on Grandma's chairs

For as long as I can remember these chairs have been a part of my grandparents living room.  Grandpa sat in one every evening, when he wasn't sitting on the bench which was placed over the hot air vent.  He helped me with math homework from this chair.  He was so quick with math, it was like watching a magician.  He would also retreat to one of these chairs during particularly chaotic family functions, and it was always a relief to be able to excuse yourself as well, to go sit with Grandpa.  As a child I would sit in this chair and place a board over the arms to play solitaire.  I particularly liked the board that my mother had illustrated with pictures of poodles and little girls, back in the 1960's.

Recently my mother asked if I could make cushion covers for the chairs.  Those too had not changed, in all of my memory and were showing the wear of possibly 40 years of derrieres.  So I set about to fulfill my mother's wishes.  She chose the colors and purchased the first round of yarn.  Ultimately it was a few months and many more trips to the craft store before I was finally finished.  I think they turned out ok.  I imagine that Grandpa would have appreciated them, too, if for no other reason than the fact that I made them.