Thursday, February 07, 2008

Happy Birthday Emily!

Is it barbecue season yet? We had some unseasonably warm weather in Kentucky this week (and some scary @ss tornadoes, but fortunately I missed the worst of those). Makes one want to sit around in the backyard, drinkin' beer, eatin' 'shmallows.


Which brings us to the birthday bit. My dear sister has an outdoor fire pit, which is a lovely thing to sit around on warm, tornado-free evenings. And for several years since she got it, she has had marshmallow roasting sticks on her Christmas list. (If your birthday is in February, don't think I'm not pulling out the same list I used in December)

So, roasting sticks it is. And because I can't help myself, of course I had to make them.

Et voila! Personalized 'shmallow roasters:

Because you can't have anyone trying to steal your perfectly toasted 'shmallows. And you know, some for guests:

They are made of salt dough (for which there are loads of recipes online - take your pick), acrylic paint and recycled coat hangers (for the holding of the 'smallows - not pictured). I'm not entirely sure how food-safe recycled coat hangers are, but meh, we used to use sticks we found on the ground. These are funnier.

The idea is from - I stuck with their 'shmallow and hot dog designs, but you could certainly branch out. The possibilities are limited only by your sculpting abilities, or possibly your sculpting abilities and your supply of old coat hangers.


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Baby Girl is not happy

Forgive the camera phone picture, but I wanted to share Miss Eleanor's reaction to my baby hat and gratuitous ear research.

I don't think she's too thrilled about the goofy ears. Perhaps she would have preferred a larger ear to hat ratio. The good news is that she should outgrow the hat pretty soon. The bad news is that Aunt Sarah's obsession with knitting all things ridiculous probably won't be something I outgrow.

Good things she's cute. She can pull off goofy. In a couple of years, we'll have to see how she does with tiny lobster claw mittens.

For the moment though, she is probably safe. I am taking a sabatical from my goofy baby hat research to work on some mittens for myself. I'm finally getting around to the Fetching mittens I intended to make last winter to go with my Fetching hat.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Speaking of Cuteness Quotients...

Check out Miss Eleanor modeling her blue argyle sweater:

Still a little big on her, but she's pretty freakin' cute no matter what you put on her. My gauge and Debbie Bliss' gauge didn't quite match up, so I think (I think) this is size 3-6 months. And my sweet niece is only six weeks old, so I guess big is a good thing at this point.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Further Research

Previously on craftfetish, we explored the scientific properties of baby hat cuteness as it relates to the addition of gratuitous ears.

Holding true to the scientific method, we initiated a series of experiments to identify the ideal mathematical ratio between baby hat size and gratuitous ears.

We posit that cuteness will be maximized at extreme values of the gratuitous ear ratio - basically that very small and very large ears are friggin' hilarious.

(we further posit that if I inject enough scientific jargon into this posting, no one will notice that it has taken me two weeks to knit a simple baby hat)

Experiment One: A hat for Baby Christopher employed an ear to baby hat ratio of 1:3.

Next, we would need to determine how variations in the ear:hat ratio would impact the overall cuteness quotient for the hat. Which brings us to the current phase of our research.

Experiment Two: A hat for Baby Eleanor

(I have previously knit a tiny orange hat for my niece Eleanor using the same Cascade Fixation yarn that I used to make a pair of socks for her birthmom. That was back when we thought she was going to be a boy, hence the gender neutral orange.

Now she can have a pink hat too. Okay, back to science...)

For our baseline cuteness quotient, let us consider the hat sans ears:

And now to experimentally manipulate the ear:hat ratio...

For consistency, we employed the same baby hat ear technology as in Experiment One:
Cast on 20 stitches. Decrease one stitch at each end of every knit row until 10 or 12 stitches remain (whenever they seem tall enough) and bind off. This gives you a little trapezoid. Allow the cast on edge to curl in on itself and stitch the top and sides of the trapezoid to the hat in a c-shape.

Because my gauge for the Cascade Fixation was smaller, I needed to cast on 84 stitches for this baby hat.

Ergo, our new ear to baby hat ratio is 20:84, or about 1:4.

We'll employ a survey instrument to determine the relative impact of this new, smaller ear to hat ratio on the underlying cuteness quotient. (Translation: leave us a comment as to which you prefer)

Stay tuned for future experiments.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Math and stuff

I've decided to research the ideal mathematical ratio between baby hat size and gratuitous ears for maximization of hand knit baby cuteness.

Why? No good reason really, other than I enjoy employing the scientific method to urgent matters such as this one. And I worry that babies may be suffering the ill effects of goofy baby hats that don't maximize their cute potential. And we can't have that.

My hypothesis is that similar priniciples of cuteness apply to both goofy hand knit baby animal hats and bona fide baby animals. (for the theoretical framework of baby animal cuteness, please consider the fine body of research at cute overload)

Basically, we posit that baby hats with ears are adorable. And very large or very small ears are even more so. But these assumptions must be validated. Ergo...

Experiment one: A hat for Baby Christopher

For the hat itself, I boosted the pattern for the baby duck hat I made for Baby Aubrey, only, you know, without the duck bill. Using 2 strands (of my never ending supply of) Bernat Softee Baby held together, I cast on 60 stitches.

For each ear, I cast on 20 stitches. For research purposes, we'll call this an ear to baby hat ratio of 20:60, or 1:3.

Should you need to make some ears:

Cast on 20 stitches

Purl across

K2Tog K16 SSK (18 stitches)

Purl across

K2Tog K14 SSK (16 stitches)

Purl across

K2Tog K12 SSK (14 stitches)

Then, they seemed about tall enough, so I sped up the decreasing plan:

P2Tog K10 P2Tog (12 stitches)

Bind off (I K2Tog and the beginning and end of this row too as I was binding off, but I'm not sure if that really makes a difference)

Let them curl in on themselves and attach to the hat in a C-shape. Voila - ears. Good stuff.

We'll have to see how increasing or decreasing the ear to baby hat ratio impact the cuteness factor.

Yay! Science.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Holiday Walk of Shame

Okay, I was so distracted by the arrival of my beautiful and perfect niece that I did very little crafting this holiday season... and even less photographing of the crafting that did occur... and even less blogging of the few photographs of the tiny amount of crafting. I suck.

My shame is only compounded by the fact that, even with a newborn, all of my sister's Christmas cards were still homemade. Sigh, I made one stinkin' card:

Outside based on supplies from one of Emily's card swaps. She sent me all of the ingredients. I'm still exploring the wonderful world of pop-ups, so I put a tree on the inside:

The color was a bit nicer on the original, but you get the idea.

I did virtually no holiday baking this year. I caught a bad cold (excuses excuses) the week before Christmas, so I'm not sure anyone would have wanted anything I cooked anyway, but before that all I managed was a single batch of porn star cookies:

I try to keep this a PG-13 website, so I'll spare you the cookies with ball gags in their mouths. (can't wait to see what sort of google traffic we get now that I have typed that - ick) Sadly, my limited cookie decorating skills preclude them from getting too racy. Chaps are about all I can make.

The last of my conscience clearing pre-holiday crafting documentation was a teeny baby sweater. Alas, I only have in-progress pictures. Hopefully Miss Eleanor will be kind enough to model it one of these days. This is the almost finished knitting shot:

and the Sarah's first attempt at intarsia shot:

Can you tell I started this back when we thought she was going to be a boy? I found a little yellow dress, so hopefully she'll just look preppy in the completed ensemble.

It is a Debbie Bliss pattern from Special Knits. I used Bernat Baby Softee, because frankly, I have a boatload of it.

And this concludes our guilty conscience belated holiday retrospective. May 2008 be a year of crafty goodness and more timely updates.

Happy New Year y'all!

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Introducing Eleanor!

Now hang on a second, I thought you said you were getting a nephew. Apparently ultrasounds can be decieving, as I now have the most beautiful and perfect niece.

This is Miss Eleanor:

She was born December the 4th, but I have been too busy staring at her photos and pestering Emily to take more pictures to do much crafting or blogging. But don't worry - the deluge of tiny pink craftiness should commence soon, I assure you.

(possibly starting with a teeny pink bow to girly up that dinosaur onesie - whatcha think?)

But, baby Eleanor does come with a little craftiness already - she was kind enough to model her tiny orange hat before leaving the hospital. I apologize for the blurry photo, but you hate to blind the poor thing with flash bulbs on her first day. If you'll notice in the background, her birth mom is sporting the matching socks I made for her. Love it!

You can't see with all of the tiny hat photos, but she has the cutest little head full of super dark hair. I confess, the urge to give her a baby faux hawk is strong. Perhaps it is for the best that she lives 400 miles away from her Aunt Sarah.

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