Posts Tagged ‘projects’

My latest project has been trying to create a form to felt a size 2T coat for Alaina, but I knew I would have a hard time felting it to sizeThe coat is for next year so after talking with Emily Ann we figured she will be about a 2T by then. The pattern is by Nani called “Ella & The Legume”. It is so cute I saw it done in pastel colors at Knitch in Atlanta and just had to get the yarn and pattern to make her one.  (If you are going to get the pattern look also on line @ Deep South Fibers there is a correction to the pattern there.)






The thought I would share with you the project because it was easy fun and very useful when felting or even knitting.




Making forms all came about because my daughter Tracy was mentioning that when I knitted her a sweater she has to much extra fabric under her arms. I thought about this problem and did not know how I could work without trying it on her or having a form. Trying it on her with her living Michigan and I in Georgia seemed a bit difficult. However, a dress form was not out of the question. I did not want to buy a form they cost so much so that left me to exploring making one. I found a great book called “Custom Knits” by Wendy Bernard. She suggests making a form for you with the help of a friend out of duck tape. This worked really great and was an easy and fast way to solve the problem.


Making a form for Alaina like this presented two problems. One she is not a size 2T yet and the second and biggest problem was I would never duck tape a little person. She would hate it and never sit still and I would be the Nana that traumatized her at a very early stage!!!!! So with that said I started to think about what could be done.


Several years ago I made Santa Clauses out of children’s clothing. They were really cute and I enjoyed making them. I thought maybe I could do that. The next problem would be that they would be all wet during the felting process. Whether during the drying or spot steaming process, they would become damp and limp. Then I thought I could water proof them.



1.        Paper Mache ……..not waterproof again. Nope!

2.      Plaster of Paris……not waterproof again!!! Nope.

3.      Water proof the above…..HHHHHmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

4.     Why brother with all the mess just waterproof the fabric of the outfit!!!!!!!!

5.      But how??????????

6.      Buy spray waterproof like the kind for boots and stuff………….too much money

7.       what makes cloth waterproof……………..Enamel Paint


So I did I spray painted the outfit with enamel paint and water proof she became. The following are pictures and explanations of the process I used to create Alaina 2T: 

 First step was going to a thrift shop to buy cheap 2T long sleeve top and pants.





Then you need to make the form:

 I  closed the arms with fabric circles to give room for the wrists of the coat. I stuffed the top and the began to work on the bottom.







I made the same type of circles for the legs and sewed them to the opening. This insured that the legs were round and not pulled together. Stuffing the legs came next but I wanted them to be weighted so they could stand if I wanted.




I put the stone weights you use for flowers in vases in a plastic bag to keep them together and placed them in the legs. I then stuff the legs tight and began to attach the top to the bottom.




Next step.

After I stuffed the top and bottom tightly I then attached the two together. I whipped stitched them all the way around.  


















I can either stand the form up or put it on a hanger in the neck of the top. Depending on now heavy the garment you are felting, will depend on which way you will want to put the form.




Standing on it’s own!






I put a paper tube from wrapping paper down the back like a spine. This helped me be able to handle the form when I was spraying the paint. I left it in while it stood to dry and will cut it down later so there is room for the hanger too. I painted the form green because that is the color I had on hand. It also made me think of Michigan State. Go Green Go White. But I think I would have rather  had the white. I would pick a color you like and go for it! make sure you get all the spots. Under the arms around the legs around the neck. You want it water proof so it doesn’t go limp or mold while drying.


I think it came out rather well. I am just about finish knitting the coat just a front ruffle. I will be felting it next week and will make sure to share the finished project and the coat drying on the form.







Good Luck putting your form together. Let me know how it goes!


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I am having a great time knitting the digestive system. The pattern has a few flaws but they are easy to overcome. It is really interesting to see what comes next and how it is attached to the next. But the wildest was the small intestines. Who knew it was 7 yards long. That’s right 21 feet, or 252 inches long! That is a lot to knit six stitches. So, I remembered when I was little making long long long tubes with a simple loom. Off to Michaels I went and got one. I was able to chain the 21 feet in one day and not pull my hair out while doing it. Here are some update pictures. I am working on the Esophagus it is 12 inches long! Then on to the tongue. All I have left is tongue, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder. (Maybe mine had gallbladder surgery and we don’t have one. No I’ll include it because it is the only thing that has some interesting color to it.)  The pattern can be found @: “Strange but Trewe”


 this is the beginning of the project. I have the Anus and Rectum finished.  


The pink with white lines is the Large intestine.

 (you can see the little loom I used at the end).


 As you move up the large intestine you get a little bigger and that is the colon. Now on to the Appendix. That is that little nob at the end of the colon. Then the 7 yards of small intestine, I just finished the stomach and started the Esophagus. I noticed that all this flows together so you could roll a marble straight on through. (This reminds me of the time Peter swallowed my mother’s Cruifix off her rosary. We went to the ER and they said it should flow on through. The whole time he had it working it’s way down, he would tell people that he had Jesus in his tommy. They would say don’t you mean your heart and he look them straight in the eye and say “Nope, they say he is just about here now” then point! )


The Pancreas, Gallbaldder, and Liver are all add ons to the process. This all interested me as I moved a long so I looked up several sites about the process. Here is a really good one “Your Digestive System and How it Works”. I found the whole thing really great fun! 




UPDATE!  Finished the project! I think it looks great and was great fun!


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I bet you thought I fell off the ledge of the earth! No I have just been really busy with home, however, I am never to busy to knit. Or maybe this time I should say crochet too! I have been working on several projects. I finished Paul’s traveling socks, started a red Secret Garden sweater for Alaina, and worked on the Tribal Baby Carrier for Emily Ann. All are coming along fine.



 Paul’s socks from: “2 at a Time Socks”    by Melissa Morgan-Oaks



Tribal Baby Carrier from: “Folk Style: Innovative Designs to Knit” by Mag Kandis


  I am working on the sleeve how so I am a lot farther along than this picture.     Secrect Garden Sweater from: “The Children’s Collection” by A Starmore and J. Starmore.


I have found out however, I am not to fond of intarsia knitting. All the changing of colors and weaving in ends drives me crazy. I have also found out I work much better writing out the entire chart instructions, then slowly reading the color chart. I always seem to lose my place and it is hard to tell the color needed, plus you have to count it every time.  I was listening to Kelley’s podcast from “KnitPicks”  

Episode 33# on how to read patterns and she suggested trying this method. She writes each row of pattern for lace or color chart on one index card. Then she keeps them in a small zip lock bag so that you can keep them in order easily. I tried this for the Journey Shawl that I just finished and it work beautifully.





Japan’s Journey Shawl:  Voyager Lace Stole Pattern from elann.com this is a free pattern.


 So I adapted the concept to the color chart for the baby carrier. The chart is very long and cards would be too much so, I tried it with small sheets to fit the chart holder I have. It took some time to get it all down but I think it was well worth the effort. I am not sure how long or if I would have finished the carrier if I had just used the small color chart given. Make sure you print it with the gridlines and change every other line’s background color to help keep your place. I have been moving right along with this method. Kelley’s podcasts have many helpful hints and she reviews some great books. But this comes with a warning if you start to listen. You will be buying knitting, spinning, and crochet books all the time. She makes each book sound wonderful and so special you can’t live without it. I must say however, she is usually right about the book.


Well, in the middle of all the things I wanted to get done for others projects, Emily Ann seems to be having some difficulties and will deliver early. This makes the baby carrier, and a few other projects on the top of my list to get done now! Except I have been reallllllllly wanting to try my hand at one or two of the patterns I bought home from Japan. I decided to try one pattern that looked like a day project and see if I could follow along with visual clues. I choose the crochet hat from the book with all the crochet projects and began. I really like the results and have been wearing it all the time. In fact I am currently writing this at the airport on my way to visit Pete and Emily Ann. I am wearing the hat on the journey as we speak. I hope you enjoy the pictures and try a straw hat or two. The yarn was bought in Japan but it is very similar to raffia and I am thinking you could use that or a similar feeling yarn.


         To connect the two balls together there is a small plastic tube that you put together than use your blow dryer to warm and melt together to hold. It works really great!   


    I need to shape the bowl of the hat and rim. I went it lightly with warm  water and molded it on a metal bowl. I used a plastic tube to shape the rim and then put a plastic thread through the end stitiches to keep the shape. I think it turned out rathe well.


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I just decided it was time for me to try to sell some of the things I have made. I will be offering different items as I go along but for now I am offering several Keepsake Bonnets, Chubby Bunny and Pacifier clips on Etsy. Etsy is a site where you can fine all different type of handmade items for sale. The site is a great place to find all kind of things handmade. I hope you take the time to visit my shop and others who offer a large assortment of one of kind items. Enjoy the site and stay tuned for more items offered by me!


The link to the site is placed on the side bar of this blog.



Here are a few pictures of some of the things available.







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January 2008

I’ve been enjoying the Georgia winter weather and have been able to wear most of my sweaters. It is cool in the morning when I start my day and by the afternoon we are back in the upper 50’s lower 60’s. I finished my pink swing coat and have worn it several times. It is made of 100% merino wool but the sleeves are short. I can start my day with it closed and by the afternoon it is the prefect thing open. It looks great with my really dark blue jeans Paul got me for Christmas from Chico’s. I am really enjoying the outfit.  I have been busy getting things ready for the Wedding in just two weeks. I am making welcome bags for those who are coming from out of town and staying in the two hotels near the reception. All of our family and friends will be coming in. Most will travel from Michigan but Nancy and Brittany will be flying in from Texas and Yvonne and Dick are flying from Florida. I am really grateful that they are all coming so far to be with us. I had wanted to do something special to show how much we love them and are grateful they came so far. I decided to make welcoming bags.  I got the idea for my dear friend Kathy Shaieb. She had bottles of wine made up with a label to remember the day and had them handed out to you as you registered at the hotel for her son’s wedding several years ago. I thought it was so nice I always wanted to do that for my kids’ weddings. So I have gotten a mixed group of 50 bottles of wine. They are Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz two red and two white. I had labels made. First I thought I would design them myself and just looked at the ones on the internet to get ideas. Then I found this great site; My Own Labels. They had this really nice selection of wine labels and other things for weddings. They also had labels for water bottles. Well I just couldn’t resist. So I order the wine and water labels. I then got some truffles and chocolates to put into a small box. I decided that the boxes where plain so I made labels with Pete and Emily’s monogram and added them to the boxes. I also made a thank you greeting. It is a small card I punched a star hole in and will hang it with a ribbon from the bottle.  I also found some nice bottle bags at the dollar store and will put them all together in those. I think it will all come together nicely. I will post some pictures as soon as I get all the labels on the bottles and have a sample bag made up.  

Working on the welcome bags and on the blog has kept me busy all week.  The wedding has been fun but there have been several things to do. I have my dress ready and found the shoes I like to wear at DSW. I also got a pair of slippers to wear later in the night. I found the song Peter and I can dance to on the internet it is called “A Song for my Son” by New Traditions. I liked the country version the best. As Peter says about Country music, “what could be wrong with songs about family, love, cars, and our country?”

 I used my new Garmin GPS system I got for Christmas to help me find the DSW store. It worked great! I think my adventures will be less adventurous because I will get lost a lot less. However, I am sure I will get around and lost too. I am not sure if I ever explained why I call my little trips adventures. When I was little my mom (Ruth) would always go every where,she was the first women in our family to learn to drive. However, she would always and I mean always get lost. Well, me and my sister would ask her if we were lost and she would just answer. “No we are having a little adventure thats all”. So now when we go somewhere or get lost (which I have been known to do a few times) we just say we are having an adventure. I can remember my mother stopping at a phone booth to call my dad who was usually at work. It usually went like this: ” Joe, I’m lost come get me. (silence dad talking) No I don’t know where I am if I knew where I was I wouldn’t be lost ( silence dad on the other end) no I can’t tell you how to find me just come and get us. (silence dad on the other end) Well fine there is a gas station and a store “….and so on . She would keep telling him what she was looking at and in a little while there would be Daddy and we would follow him home. She would always say too, ” All roads lead home, some are just a little shorter than others.”  Anyway, I was trying to think of someplace interesting to visit this week. Paul is away at the Detroit Auto Show. He is there for the preshow for vendors.  I think I may try to find the yarn store in Buckhead, it is called “Why Knot Knit” . I have been thinking of going for a while now.  

Knitting has been pr0ductive this week too. Not only did I finish my pink swing jacket I finished the baby sweater and hat call the Pea Pod sweater set. It has a interesting leaf pattern on the sweater and hat. I just have to block it and I will take a picture to put on the blog. I liked it a lot.

 p1010118.jpg    Green Swing Coat Sweater I also tried something new this time on the pink swing jacket. I was listening a few weeks ago to the Podcast by Kelly Petkun. She is the owner of Knit Picks and I love her Podcasts. She was talking about an i-cord, or idiot cord. She suggested that you could add one to the bottom edge of a project to help stop it from rolling up. This happens to the green swing jacket I made and Paul is always walking behind me trying to pull it down. I tried knitting one on the pink jacket and it worked great. Not only does it look great it doesn’t roll at all. I really like the look it gives the jacket too. It has a real finished look to it.  I have also been listening to audible books on my iPod. I joined the audible books website last month. I learned about the site on from the podcast Daily GizWiz. This is another one of my favorite podcasts. Audible books are a sponsor. I listened to “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen I really enjoyed this story. My sister Yvonne told me about the book and sent it to me. I just did not have the time to sit down and read it. I would rather listen anyway. I always love being told a story.  I am now listening to a four books set by Nora Roberts. “The Last Honest Women”, “Dance to the Piper”, “Skin Deep”, and “Without a Trace”. They are about a set of Triplets and their brother. I have listened to: “The Last Honest Women” and really enjoyed it. I am half way through “Skin Deep”. They are the O’Hurley family. They are all very talented.  Well I am off to bed and to listen to more of “Skin Deep”. I don’t sleep well when Paul is gone. I like it much better and sleep better too when he is here. I guess after 37 years I’ve gotten really use to having him around. Besides I really like him and enjoy him and his humor. I will let you know how my adventure this week to Buckhead goes. There are also a couple of places I want to stop and take pictures of too. I can do that on the way. I’ll post them and my opinion of the store soon. Take care.

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