Tag Archives: crochet

WIPs: Recently Found Failures and Semi-Abandoned Works In Progress

4 Jan

I’ve recently unearthed an impressive amount of knitty projects that have been abandoned, or forgotten, or have just plain failed. So while some people like to take time at the beginning of the new year to reflect on past accomplishments, I thought it’d be fun to take a look at an inventory of unfinished business.

A few years ago, Tim asked me to make him a pair of fingerless gloves so his hands can stay warm while he works on his computer. A year after this request, I started these babies. Two years later, I found this at the bottom of a bag in my workspace at home. So, it looks like I stopped knitting right before where the finger openings start, and the red yarn indicates where the thumb gusset should start. Maybe I stopped making these because I didn’t want to deal with the complexity of making all the digit openings? I do remember that this sport weight yarn seemed to be making a pretty small-sized glove, so if I ever finish these, I may find MYSELF with a new pair of fingerless gloves… Also the material is knitting up pretty stiff, so, yuck. Sorry Tim.

I found another abandoned project for Tim: a C’thulhu dice bag! It was going to be a Christmas present three years ago, but it looks like I only got as far as making the bottom of the bag. I was going to use glow-in-the-dark yarn for the knitted C’thulhu shapes that are supposed to go all around the outside of the bag. Cool, eh?

Here’s the glow-in-the-dark yarn. I remember it was really hard to find, so I better start putting it to good use.

Earlier this year, I made a couple of cute brimmed hats for my little nieces. Well, here are the first iterations of those hats, back when I wanted to use a more neutral color so they would feel more “vintage”-y. You can see that I was trying to work out the sizing of the hats, then once I finally managed to make one in the correct size, I saw that the soft material of the yarn made for a pretty shapeless brim hat. Looks like these guys will be getting frogged.

Oh, geez. So, I wanted to make myself a chunky cable knit hat with a brim. I couldn’t find a pattern I liked, so I took a pattern for an ear-flap hat and figured I could just nix the ear flaps and add a brim. It was only after I made the entire hat that I realized how much that wasn’t going to work out. (It looks like I’m wearing a big licorice bell on my head.) So this photo is for posterity, to remind myself of all of the hard work I did. I’ll be frogging this, and using the yarn to make a different hat. (I finally found a pattern for a chunky cable knit hat with a brim that I like!)

I found this yarn in a drawer. I can’t remember what project it was originally used for, but it definitely looks like it was frogged then hastily rolled back into a ball.

This is the neck opening to the ugly sweater that I started making for ViVi this past Fall. I only got this far before I realized that the pattern I was using didn’t go over the chest and belly. So it was more like a cardigan, which isn’t really that helpful for a dog that gets cold easily.

So I found a new dog sweater pattern! This pattern uses a formula where you can apply your dog’s measurements to create a custom fit. Since taking this photo, I’ve been able to finish knitting the belly section. Now I just have to add the semi-complicated ribbing border… I was hoping to have this sweater done by this past Christmas, but at this rate, I’ll be lucky if it’s done by next Christmas.

Speaking of sweaters, I started making a sweater for myself! I started this at the beginning of last year, in the hopes that I could have a super cute short-sleeved sweater for the beginning of last spring. This is from a vintage pattern called “The Two-Hour Sweater”, and it neglects to instruct what the best way is to sew the sides together, pick up the arm hole stitches, and knit the little sleeves. I guess back then, little details like that were common knowledge?

Perhaps I will spend time this winter figuring out how to finish up this sweater. I do really like all the details of this pattern. Here’s a close-up of the neck hole on the front.

And here’s a close-up of the top of the back.

And a close-up of the ribbing at the bottom.

After I started writing this post, I found this half-finished fingerless mitten. I’d forgotten all about this one! It’s hard to tell because of the tweed, but the bottom of the mitt is all cable-y.

Hmmm, even in a close-up, it’s hard to see the cables. Well trust me, they’re there, and they’re glorious.

And last but not least, here’s a gorgeous hat I started making at the request of my sister Sara. She wanted a big, cable-y hat, and picked out this lovely, soft, grey cotton yarn. I was cable-ing like a madwoman, until I got to this point and realized one of the cables is pointing the wrong way. I have no clue how to successfully frog this only up to the mistake, fix it, then continue on with the hat. So it looks like I’m going to have to frog the whole thing and start again.

So let’s just take a moment to gaze at the lovely, soft cables, before they get annihilated.

Well, that was fun. Let’s see how many more WIPs I can start and then abandon in 2013!

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Gifties: Black Kitty Hats

20 Dec

My cute little nieces live in Salem MA, and they have a black cat named Spooky. So of course I wanted to make them black kitty hats for Halloween!

I wanted the girls to have the hats by Halloween, but I started them later than I should have. To ensure that I could quickly make something at the correct size without any time-consuming experimentation, I used this Animal Winter Wear pattern by The Craft Frog because it’s geared specifically for toddlers and children. Also, for the ears, I was inspired by the ones found in this Crazy Cat Hat pattern by Brenda K. B. Anderson.

I should note that I have terrible luck with sizing hats. They rarely come out the size they should, even when I’m following a pattern for a specific size. I’ve tried making swatches to figure out the gauge, but I must be pretty terrible at gauges too because it doesn’t help. But because of time constraints, I think I talked myself in to believing that these would come out perfect the first time.

And here they are! They didn’t come out too badly. Sewing the ears was the toughest part, because I had to make sure they were sewn on symmetrical, and that the ear placement on the hats were relatively similar to each other.

To add a little pop of color to the hats, I crocheted and sewed on these little pink triangles.

It was only until after I finished up the hats that I decided it would be a good idea to test how big they came out, so I attempted to try one on.

Yikes. If its a little too big for a 30-year-old, it’s probably going to be *very* too big on a 3-year-old. Oh well, Halloween was right around the corner, so I sent the hats to my nieces anyways.

I don’t have pics of the girls in their hats, but I can assure you that they’re huge on them.

I love making stuff for my nieces, so they’re going to learn very quickly that “it’s the thought that counts.”

Gifties: Lotsa Love

19 Dec

Here are a few cute things I’ve crocheted for loved ones this year!

Love Cupcake for Kristen

This cupcake was part of a wedding shower gift for my lovely friend Kristen! She’s excellent at making fabulous baked goods, and I couldn’t resist making this little cutie to go with my baking-themed gift.

I used this Mini-Bite Cupcake pattern by Dena Stelly for the cupcake shape, and added a few of my own flourishes.

Since this was part of a wedding gift, I made these little hearts for the cupcake decoration. If this were a real cupcake, these hearts would be little candy conversation hearts, yum.

The little face! This is one of my first attempts at using yarn for the eyes instead of black safety eyes. I thought the black eyes wouldn’t show up as well, plus if this were a real cupcake, I envision the eyes as little daubs of vanilla frosting, yum.

Beet for Sara

My sis Sara loooooves vegetables, so I made her this little beet as a thank you gift!

I used this Beet pattern by NyanPon for the beet shape (I particularly love how the leaf was done!), and added a little face.

I added a loop of string to the top to turn it in to an ornament for her Christmas tree.

Sara shared this pic of the beet on her tree, chillin’ with some glass vegetable ornaments. This little guy sure found the perfect home!

Star Tree Topper for Shelley and Bob

My friends Shell and Bob moved in to a beautiful new home, and they wanted a cute star topper for their Christmas tree. I had to make sure it was large enough for their big, classic tree!

Luckily, I found this Star Stuffie pattern by April Draven, which proved to make the perfect size star for their tree, and I added a smirky smiley face.

I also added a little crochet band to the back of the star so it can stay in place on top of the tree. This lighting makes it look like this little guy has cellulite, haha! I’m not judging; pudgy is cute!

I have lots more to post, but I’m running behind because I’m in the throws of Holiday Crafting! But I hope to be with-it enough to post a little more this week. Til then!

Gifties: Isa’s Tulip Hat

8 May

I found the perfect spring hat to crochet for my friends’ sass-ily adorable daughter, Isabel: this delightful little Tulip Cap! I used Cotton-Ease yarn so the hat would be light-weight and easy to wash, plus I really like the dark pink color. (Extra thanks to Melanie for providing the perfect yarn!)

Cute! I was worried it would be a bit small, even though, according to the pattern, I made the correct size. I can’t figure out if I’m terrible at making hats, or if the issue’s really with the patterns and not me. 😉

You can’t really see them in this pic, but for some reason, there are holes at the top of this hat. It’d be easy enough to whip-stitch them up (which is what is suggested in the bag version of this pattern), but I decided to keep them. Perhaps the hat having air holes will help keep Isa cooler in the warmer Spring months?

Isa and her mum came by my work to see me and a few other buds, so I was able to present the hat to them in person.

Awww, what a cutie patootie!! (And hooray, the hat fits!)

Isa’s mum also shared this pic of Isa rockin’ her new hat during playtime.

I also heard that the hat made it down to Chile during a recent trip. How cool is it that something I made ended up in another country??

I really like this hat. I think it’s lovely, and it was fun to make. I’d definitely make it a bit bigger if I ever make it again. (I guess I should start making gauge swatches before starting a project, instead of jumping right in…)

Gifties: Spring Hats for Lulu and Rosie

1 May

My cool little nieces like to dress up, so I made them little, brimmed hats for the spring. I followed the Cheri Hat pattern, and I made the flowers by following this Flower pattern. And I used Sugar’n Cream yarn so the hats are light-weight and hold their shape.

This one’s violet, for Lucille Violette (Lulu).

And this one’s rose, for Rose Madeleine (Rosie).

A close-up of one of the flowers.

It’s hard to get the full effect of the hats unless you have a cute little model showing them off. Luckily, Lulu and Rosie’s mum took some pics and shared them with me!

Lulu’s going to be FOUR this summer (can you believe it??). She loves to draw, swim, and play with her friends at school. She also likes to build blocks, do puzzles, and have dance parties with Auntie Chrissy and Uncle Tim. She’s such a sweetheart! Photo (c) Liz Frazier

Rosie’s two and a half years old now! She also loves to draw and color, and she’s got some amazingly smooth dance moves. She’s very giggly and adventurous, and she looks up to her big sis to learn new things. And I hear she never leaves the house without a pair of sunglasses. So cute! Photo (c) Liz Frazier

I really like how the hats and the flowers came out. And I can already tell I’ll be using this flower pattern for future projects, it’s so simple and cool-looking. I hope the little ladies enjoy their hats!

Gifties: Thomas the Viking

10 Apr

When my excellent friends Kyle and Carrie were expecting their first child, I decided to welcome him in to the world with a bad-ass viking hat! I found this cute pattern online, and thought I’d give it a shot: Warrior Baby Helmets

It’s hard to take accurate photos of a hat if you don’t have a model to don it for you. Since there was a lack of babies in the vicinity at the time, I somehow thought it would be great to toss it on to a nearby cantaloupe. I guess it’s doing an all right job of showing off the hat, but, it just feels weird. Anyways, what a cute hat, right?

I made the 6-12 months size, so the little guy could grow in to it. I decided to use Super Saver yarn (my jam!) so it would be strong and durable enough for rough-and-tumble play, as well as easy to machine wash/dry. Plus I thought the stiff yarn would hold up the horns well. But after making this, I realized I totally could have used a softer yarn, and I totally will if I if I ever make this again.

Note: This was my first time making “bobbles”. They were easy and fun!

It was also my first time making horns out of two colors of yarn. It was easy to crochet, but not easy to sew on to the hat. I think I sewed and re-sewed the horns at least three times before they were relatively evenly-placed. This was a fun hat to make, but the only thing stopping me from making another one any time soon is having to sew on these blasted things.

Thomas William graced us with his presence last summer, but it took awhile before I was able to send out his gift, and even longer for me to post about it (Sorry, my poor, neglected readers!). But there are no hard feelings, as nothing stopped Thomas from immediately trying on his new chapeau.

Thomas the Viking, posing with his daddio, and striking fearsome adorableness into the hearts and minds of the public. The hat’s a *bit* big, but hey, it’ll fit perfectly in about 8 or 9 months!

Gifties: Some Goodies for Riley Paige

16 Sep

My friends Shelley and Bob are now the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl, Riley Paige! As a way to say “Howdy,” I decided to get back to basics and knit her my go-to baby blankie: The Hoodie Baby Blanket.

I like this Hoodie Baby Blanket so much because it’s simple and functional, and there’s room to personalize it with your choice of yarn, stitch, color, etc. I made this blanket for my two nieces when they were babies: I used a breathable cotton blend yarn in a garter stitch and a crocheted border for warm-weather-baby Lulu, and I used warmer yarn in a stockinette stitch with a broken rib border for winter-born Rosie.

For Riley, I did the main part of the blankie in a garter stitch, and did a seed stitch for the border. I think it made a good combo!

Here's a close up of the garter stitch (green) and the seed stitch (cream) together. It's my first time doing a seed stitch, it's pretty!

I rocked Cotton Ease yarn again, to make for a suitable warm-weather blanket. Um, also, you noticed how ruffly the border is, huh? Well I experimented with using a bigger needle for the border, and that’s what happened. I like it though!

Also, I made Riley a matching little friend:

Meet "Smirky Sue"!

Why is she called "Smirky Sue"? 'Cuz she looks like she's smirking! (Because maybe my attaching-different-pieces-together skills are not so hot... read on!)

I really wanted to make Riley a hippo because hippos are her mom’s favorite animal! I figured it’d be easier to use a pattern instead of trying to make one on my own, so I started out using this one. It’s pretty cute, right?? Well, I made all the pieces, but then I ran in to my nemesis: Sewing Pieces Together. It was coming out aaaaaaawful. I haaaaaaaaate sewing pieces together. I lamented not going with my gut and just whipping something up on my own (which would have involved less pieces to sew together, naturally), but I already had all the pieces, so I just attached the pieces differently and added some CK Flair.

I wanted Sue to be baby-safe, so one of the most important changes I made to this pattern was embroidering the eyes instead of using safety eyes. Also, I added teeth, 'cuz hippos have teeth!

I also crocheted her a cute little hair flower.

And I knit her a sassy little scarf.

Don't forget the rear view!

Unfortunately, I didn’t get these gifts to poor Riley until last week (she was born in July!). But even though I was two months late, she didn’t mind.

Riley's mom was kind enough to send me photographic proof that the blankie and Smirky Sue were well-recieved!