Saturday, April 5, 2014

Penguin Pal

DSC_7792If you remember, I posted about a set of fleece blankets I made for my kids a while back, as well as a monkey to match my son’s blanket.  Well, I said back then that I was going to make a penguin to match my daughter’s blanket. 

I made it in time for her birthday which was back in November, but I’m finally getting to tell you about it. 

The penguin has a pink beak and pink feet.  Doesn’t he look liked he’d waddle if he could walk?  My daughter has decided to name him “Penguino,” which is Spanish for penguin.  He’s a boy in spite of the pink accents.  He’s got a face to match the applique from the blanket. 

I used Lion Brand Homespun yarn in Cream, Black and Pink.  The scarf used Parfait and Mixed Berries. It turned out way cute and he’s good for snuggling.  I also made him a hat that matches the scarf, but it disappears.  Maybe I should have sewn it on!

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Purse Please

Purse Please - AnnaVirginia FashionI’m sorry I’m taking for ever to post!  I am three months pregnant and I’ve been exhausted!  But I’m going to write this up quick and get it online.

I have a friend that I made a purse for a couple years ago.  Actually, I’m looking at the time stamp on the pictures and it was in March 2010, so FOUR years ago!  Anyway, this friend emailed me and told me her bag had died and needed to be replaced.  Could I make her another just like it?  I love this bag pattern; it’s a version I modified of an out-of-print Simplicity bag pattern.

The purse is a shoulder bag with the strap being tied in a cute knot on top.  The bag is deep and has a variety of custom pockets that she requested.  The outside of this bag is made with nearly two yards of home décor fabric and the lining is made with regular woven cotton. 

Last time she had me put a 20-ounce-size water bottle pocket inside the bag, but this time she didn’t need that.  Instead she wanted two pockets that would fit her phone and another that was zippered.  On the outside, I was to do the pockets the same way as last time.  She picked out the fabric from Joann.com.  Isn’t it pretty?  It’s a home décor fabric so it’s more durable and looks great.

Okay, so the bag is finished and looks amazing!  I’ll show you some of the pictures of the bag from four years ago and the new one.  The old pictures look terrible (the lighting was not good).  Fortunately, for the sake of your eyes, I’m getting better at taking photos!

The Bag from Four Years Ago:

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The New, Beautiful Bag!

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What custom pockets do you wish you had in your bag or purse?  I love making my own bags so that the pockets are just how I want them.  But if you don’t sew, I can make that custom bag for you.  Message me for an estimate on a purse for yourself!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Christmas Stockings

AnnaVirginia FashionMy first post for the new year!

I decided it was time for some new stockings to be hung in our home for Christmases to come.  I looked all through Ravelry to see if I might find a pattern that would be a good starting point for me (If you’ve read my blog, you know I usually modify whatever pattern I’m following).

I found a stocking pattern that was just right!  It’s from Bernat Design Studio and is a free pattern.  It’s called “Cross Stitch Christmas Stockings.”  If you click on the link, you will have access to a free PDF download.  Of course you’ll need an updated version of Adobe Reader to view the PDF.  The pattern is only available in English and it’s written in US AnnaVirginia Fashioncrochet terms.

I made sure to get yarn that closely matched the thickness of the other yarns used.  If it varied enough, then I switched the hook size to get the same dimensions while doing the same number of stitches.  This way the cross stitch pictures would be the same size.

Knit Cuff

This pattern starts with the cuff and works its way down.  My husband requested a fold-over cuff and I wanted the cuff to be knit (instead of slip-stitch crochet).  I worked it with circular size 10 needles; that way I didn’t have to do any sewing.  So I started the pattern like this:

With Color A

Cast on: 92.  KK, PP, around for 10 rnds.  Cast off.  Don’t break yarn.

Crochet:

Rnd 1:Ch 1. Sc in between each KK or PP section around so that you have 46 sc.  Sl st to first sc. Turn.

Rnd 2: Ch 1. In back loops only, sc in each st.  Sl st to first sc. Turn.

Rnd 3: Ch 1. In front loops only, sc in each st.  Sl st to first sc. Turn.

Rnd 4: Ch 1. (In both loops) Sc in each st.  Sl st to first sc. Switch to Main Color.

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Crochet Portion

Follow the pattern from “Leg” rounds.  Be sure to end each color-section on the wrong side (WS) even if the pattern doesn’t specify to.  It seems like it was a detail they forgot to type in because it definitely gives the stocking a cleaner look.

I noticed that I continuously needed to modify the pattern at one point (I did make this stocking 10 times…).  I’m not sure if I kept making the same mistake or if its an error, but here is what I had to do:

In the “Shape heel” section, 6th row, I had to do this (bold signifies the change): Ch 1. 1 sc in each of first 13 sts.  Sc2tog. Sc in next 2 sc. Turn.

Next, I attached the Joining rnd in the Main Color on the back of the stocking: 

This meant that I attached it to the heel base that was on the back (same side as the “seam” from the leg).  Then I did 7 sc up the side of the heel, 15 sc across the end of the heel, 7 sc down the other side of the heel and 23 sc in the instead. 

Cross Stitch Detail

I used the three included cross stitch patterns, with only modifying colors AnnaVirginia Fashionas needed.  For example, I did a yellow hat on the snowman and I put a yellow “star” on top of the tree.  I used the snowman pattern and re-worked the colors for a penguin (shown above).  For the snowflake and reindeer, I did a image search online for “simple christmas cross stitch patterns” and got some ideas.  Of course, I modified those as well.

I think that is all of the modifications I made.  If you want to see the individual pictures of each of the stockings, please visit my Ravelry project details. Also, let me know if I left anything out or if you have questions.

Do you make your own handmade Christmas stockings?  If you do, I’d love for you to link your blog posts below so I can see!

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Because I’ve Got Extra Yarn

I’ve got a new favorite children’s book!  And those of you who know me, know I love books as much as I love yarn!

The book is titled “Extra Yarn” and it is written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen.  When I saw it in the library, I had to borrow it.  More for me than my kids… hah!  It’s about a girl who has a box of yarn and keeps knitting more sweaters (or a hat for the man who doesn’t wear sweaters) for anyone she knows.  Then she still has extra yarn so she makes sweaters for all the animals, and then for things that don’t even wear sweaters (like a mailbox!).  But she still has extra yarn.  Her magic yarn box is then stolen by an archduke who was fond of clothes.  But the yarn box was empty!  So he tossed it out his window into the ocean below.  And it miraculously ends up back at the girl.  Who, naturally, keeps knitting sweaters!  Isn’t that cute? 

Now I’m planning to buy a copy for my home.  And it isn’t just me who likes it either.  It received a Caldecott Honor, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and is a New York Times Bestseller.  Yarn, knitting and crocheting are definitely back in style, and I love it!

So, now I need to tell you about the sweater I made for something that didn’t need it.  Because it had already had a sweater before.  And before that, I’d already made a fabric cover.  Lol, guess I like my options.

AnnaVirginia Fashion: Extra Yarn

This is an ottoman that I have in my bedroom.  You might remember the Euro pillows that I crocheted for my “pillow headboard.”  I had a smallish ball left over from the aqua yarn that I’d used, and I love that color, so I wanted to use it on something cool.  I was also trying to bring some colors together in the room, so I figured black and aran would work well.

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I used the good ol’ common granny square to do this.  I started with black and did five rounds alternating with aran.  On the sixth round, I did the aqua.  Then I alternated again for five more rounds.  And so on.  I stopped doing the square when it was at the width I needed (in this case, it was 17 inches or 43 cm).  After that, I didn’t do corner increases anymore and it made it three dimensional.  I continued until it covered the ottoman.

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It looks pretty good (even better in person!) and I love how it looks in my room with my pillows at the opposite wall!

Do you think you would make a “sweater” for an ottoman in your home?

Monday, November 4, 2013

One More Halloween Post…

AnnaVirginia Fashion: Jedi CostumeI know Halloween has come and gone, but I have to let you know about one more costume that I made this year.  I’ve only got a few photos, and they are blurry (thanks to pictures at dusk without a tripod!), but you should still be able to get the idea.

My husband hasn’t had much of a costume the last several years.  Back when he was in high school, his mom put together a Jedi costume for him, which he loved and so did his little sister!  Anyway, my husband moved out and got married (to me!) and left the costume behind.  And it’s been more-or-less claimed by his little sister.  So he asked me to whip up one in time for our church’s trunk-or-treat activity.

It didn’t give me much time, but I finished with 24 hours to spare!  I bought 5 yards of heavy knit polyester (color: Potting Soil) for the Jedi robe and a cotton bed sheet (color: Brown Stone) to use for the v-neck shirt cover.  I used this website to help guide me in constructing both parts.  Their instructions cracked me up!  But the product turned out quite nice.  And my husband likes it, which it the true test!

The v-neck portion is sort of like a vest, so it just goes on top of whatever other shirt is being worn.  The idea is that it will be hidden beneath the robe the entire time while worn.  This was a good time-saving option for me!  I attached a waist band, made from the same fabric as the v-neck, to the front of the v-neck part.  That way he will just slip the v-neck over his head and wrap the band around.  It hides the stitching that was done to hold the v-neck portions together.

The robe is a simple design that is easy to modify as long as your fabric is big enough.  The knit comes in 59” (1.5m) wide, so I needed to add length for my husband’s longer arms.  I also made the hood even bigger, at 18 by 36 inches (46 by 92 cm).

AnnaVirginia Fashion: Jedi CostumeAnnaVirginia Fashion: Jedi Costume

This was a fun and fairly quick project!  Now we’ll just have to find a decent light saber – the little glow stick just doesn’t cut it!