Friday, May 21, 2010

Craft Overload

So first of all, EVERYBODY'S posting about Anna Maria Horner's book "Handmade Beginnings" and I really hope that the next time I find myself pregnant, that book shows up on my doorstep via the "Brown Truck of Happiness" as Martin and his forum friends call it. (Not pregnant now, btw.)

Isn't it ridiculous that I and others have to constantly let people know that I'm not expecting? I wonder if this is just a Catholic girl thing? Hmm.... Anyway, I've been keeping on top of it well lately and so my mom hasn't asked me in a really long time!

Anyway, this is not what my post is about. Let's get back to crafting.

One project in that book is the fabric stacking blocks. Years and years ago, my sister told me about these blocks that a friend of our brother had made for her kids. Were they fabric? Felt? Lidded? I can't remember, but I just remember thinking I needed a set and have looked everywhere for them or a pattern to make them, and until seeing reviews of this book had found nothing. So whenever I do find my hands on that book, that will be my first project to complete. At last!

Another completed project is this:

I finished it up yesterday morning and it fits the doll perfectly! As you can see, the knitting is not great. I for some reason had a really hard time remembering how to do ribbing... hm. But this is my first sweater to knit and finishing it gave me the urge and confidence to do more. So I'm putting my dream of an Hourglass Sweater on the shelf for awhile while I complete a sweater for Greta in this same green wool. I think it's going to be really sweet looking and VERY Greta. It will be a jacket... may or may not have a hood and pockets, but will DEFINITELY have big wooden buttons down the front. I am tossing around the idea of lining it with some gorgeous flannel I've had for years that's just waiting for the perfect project.... this may be it. But I'm not sure how I feel about sewing lining to a handknit sweater and possibly ruining the entire thing. Any suggestions on this?

As for the doll for whom the sweater was knit, she is going to be ugly, but lovingly made. She's rather modeled after me--short, stumpy legs, no torso to speak of, and surprisingly nice arms! she has a very unfortunate neck... many wrinkles and crinkles... and since she's made out of one of Martin's old undershirts, she looks to be in serious need of some sun. I intend to make her a little floral skirt whenever I do that, I'll also sew up a little scarf for her, to try and cover up that unfortunate neck. The eyes turned out decent, and now I'm sewing on the hair. I try to tell myeslf that of course it won't look perfect because I'm too lazy/stubborn to use a pattern, but it's still kind of frustrating sometimes to be creating something so unbeautiful. Anyway... Anja is really excited about it and is always telling me to work on Greta's doll.

So anyway (do you think I can stay on track here for more than a paragraph?!) I've begun the sweater for Greta. I'll need to get more wool, but it's just Lambs Pride so it's relatively inexpensive and they've always got loads of it down at River Knits. I'm doing a garter stitch for the edging instead of ribbing because I'm tired of trying to remember how to rib. (Purl the knits? Purl the purls? Arrrgg!!!) I get ribbing and seed stitch mixed up. This never used to happen! But now I CANNOT keep them straight. Anyway, I think if I work on it as diligently as I have been since yesterday (goodbye, housework!) I can have it done by Fall. And I have these beautiful visions of Greta toddling through the Farmers Market, hugging pumpkins as big as herself, wearing this fabulous, green, Mama-made sweater. *sigh*

Yesterday was a really great day. The girls slept in, giving me an extra-long morning, and everyone was SO HAPPY all day long!!!! I did absolutely no housework. I just sat with them, played with them, and knit while I watched them play. When Martin got home from work [late] he suggested we go out to Chick-Fil-A for dinner because if you went and told them you listen to the local country station (which we occasionally do) you get a free meal. Not a bad deal! So we loaded up and drove out there--and couldn't even get through the turn lane to get into the parking lot!!!! The line was out the door. And it was kind of cold and raining. So no Chick-Fil-A for us. BUT, Martino always has something up his sleeve, so he turned around and instead of going home, he took us to Outback Steakhouse!!!! Talk about a treat! We haven't been out to a restaurant in.... well, it's been a really long time. I actually can't remember the last time we ate out. But anyway, the girls were awesome and it was really nice to go to a restaurant with just the four of us!! We had a number of fun little things to celebrate, so we promised each other that we wouldn't feel bad about spending the money. And we didn't! We just kept talking about how much fun the evening had been. Then this morning Martin got up and in his interenet checking noticed that he had recieved his last payment for the class he taught this semester--almost exactly the total of our bill last night! He thought he'd already been paid for the last time for the class so it was really like free money! How perfect is that!?

Also, in the car on the way to dinner, Martin asked me to be his girlfriend! So I guess we're official now! Aw, what a good night!


Jill said...

Knit the knits and purl the purls! If you knit the purls and purl the knits you'll end up with more stockinette stitching. I love your doll sweater! It is so cute. Did you use a pattern or just make it up as you went along? Your ribbing looks good - although maybe next time you could try a 2x2 rib instead of 4x4 (?) and your ribs would be narrower - or maybe they wouldn't show up at all...
Have you ever seen this book?
<a href=""
It's a bit crass but is a really good reference book. I use it all the time when I forget how to knit. Also, have you checked out It's a fun way to waste time.
Great job! You inspire me to knit more.

Jill said...

Okay, that link won't work. I was trying to post it as a hyperlink but I don't know how to in blogger so I'll just paste the webpage:

LauraSuz said...

I think it's weird too about having to update people of ones pregnancy status, whether you are or not. I've always thought if they are pregnant and want me to know they'll tell me when they want to. It's still a personal thing that seems to be losing that respect a little.

Clare said...

Annie!! First of all, you are ridiculous comparing your "ugly" doll to yourself. I almost wasn't going to share this link for the free pattern for nesting blocks from Amazon just because of that:

But, I am generous! lol! so now, you can make some adorable little nesting blocks!

Anne said...

I LOVE Martin's name for the UPS truck! It's so true! I've got a number of packages on the way since I need stuff but can't get out of the house now, and everyday I look forward to that truck's arrival!!

Also thanks for that free pattern. I'm wondering if that's something I'd be able to do...I'm thinking of giving it a go since I'm not currently actively working on any project at the moment.

Anne said...

PS Annie, I bet Martin has this on order for you long before you're pregnant again!!! :o)

Anonymous said...

1. Yes, it is a Catholic girl thing.

2. The doll's neck is just patterned after mine....unfortunate, wrinkly and crinkly are good descriptive terms.

3. When things like Martin getting the windfall money happen, I always think that whatever you spent it on was just a happy little gift from God. He knew you needed a night out at a place just a little better than Chick Fil A and arranged (through His helper, Martin) to give it to you. Don't forget to say thanks!
Love, Mama