Friday, April 28, 2006

Aargh. Frogging.

Previously on craftfetish, Sarah wondered if her pattern extrapolation skills could take her from a scarf to an afghan...

yeah, not so much.

My master plan for the Victory Junction afghan was a blue basket weave pattern with a seed stitch border. I'm using US size 11 needles because I was hoping for a quick, loose pattern.

Turns out, I don't really like the look of seed stitch on big needles. Last night, I ripped out the first inch or so of border that I had started.

I was too tired to try counting high enough to cast back on, let alone re-doing my pattern multiplication, so I left it alone. I'll probably take another crack at it this weekend - I'm now debating a garter stitch edge vs. skipping the border all together.

Monday, April 24, 2006

National Scrapbooking Day is just around the corner.

Saturday, May 6th is National Scrapbooking Day.

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Yay! Craft night.

My friend Lori has organized a craft night to benefit The Victory Junction Gang. Victory Junction is this cool summer camp for kids with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.

The camp is totally free to the campers and it gives these kids a chance to do all sorts of fun summer camp-y things in a medically safe environment.

They have this cool crafty side where all of the beds at the camp are covered with handmade quilts that people have donated. And all of the campers are given an afghan and a teddy bear to take home. Pretty neat.

And obviously this is where craft night comes in. Hopefully we'll find some teddy bears and afghans at the bottom of a few wine bottles this evening. (You can find the greatest things at the bottom of a bottle of wine)

I'm planning to make a blue basket weave afghan. I like the look of basket weave knitting - it's quick to knit and not too girly. Should be okay for some of the more manly campers.

Plus it doesn't involve the P2Tog/K2Tog into the back of the same stitch nonsense that is currently the bane of my existence. (Little progress to report on my mystery knitting project - starting a new project probably won't help that either).

To keep things interesting, I've decided I can invent my own pattern for this afghan. I have a pattern for a basket weave scarf - we'll see how my pattern extrapolation skills go this evening.

Since I am in Kentucky, I feel like I should point out that we have an awesome summer camp for kids with cancer. It is called Indian Summer. Unfortunately, they don't seem to need any craft projects, but they could probably use a donation if you are able to make one.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Backtracking a bit.

My current knitting project is still progressing very slowly. I'll try and make some worthwhile progress over the weekend and get some pictures posted next week.

A few weeks ago I participated in a swap through getcrafty. If you've never checked out getcrafty, it is a great forum full of very talented people from whom I like to steal ideas.

The premise was to send off a random craft supply that you have been hoarding for too long. Once you received someone else's random craft supply you could make whatever you wanted and send it back.

My partner sent me her old girl scout uniform. I was never a girl scout but I vividly remember that they got to wear their little green vests to school when they had meetings instead of our regular school uniform. A break from green plaid skirt monotony was almost tempting enough for me to join.

Anyways, while in possession of my first ever girl scout uniform, I decided to make a handbag. I tried to use the infamous jordy bag tutorial, but I am too much of a novice sewer. I couldn't even remember how to operate my sewing machine for the darn thing, so it is all hand stitched.

I made two small rectangles for the sides of the bag and a bigger rectangle for the front-bottom-back. I used some iron-on sticky stuff to finish the edges of the rectangles. Probably could have skipped this step and just ironed the rough edges under, but there's a learning curve to this stuff.

I just reversed the process to make the lining. The little girl scout blouse comes with a tiny pocket in the front and I wanted to keep that for the inside of the bag, so my big rectangle had a bit of armpit included, but once the lining was sewn into the bag, the wonky bits were fairly well hidden.

To further take advantage of any pre-existing seams and keep my sewing to a minimum, I used the little neckerchief thing they wear as a handle. This also allows the bag to snap closed, albeit slightly off to the side. And I used the curve of the vest to make a pocket on the outside of the bag.

This is the finished product:

I also made her a little stuffed giraffe out of the leftover fabric. I got the pattern for the giraffe here. He is supposed to be bigger, and made out of felt, and named Ms. Cuddles, but frankly, none of those things were happening.

The khaki fabric for the giraffe and the bag was from an old pair of pants with a stain on them that pre-empted their donation to Goodwill. My mid-90s denim fraying skills came in handy with his mane. This was my first stuffed animal attempt and I was pretty impressed with the gussets, but since my hand sewing was a bit tacky looking, I went over all of the seams with embroidery floss to make him a little cleaner looking.

I initially planned to sew all of her girl scout patches back onto the bag, but I ran out of time. So the only patch that was put back in circulation was the little girl scout wings. Thought the giraffe might need to fly.

Credit for the second photo goes to Sarabellum, the former-girl scout and new giraffe owner. She takes better pictures than I do.

All in all, not too bad for my first attempt at bag and animal making. I had to buy a giant bag of fiberfill in order to stuff the giraffe, so more toys and stuffed things are sure to come.

Monday, April 17, 2006

A disturbing side effect to baking for dogs

For Christmas this year, I got this book.

As Madeline will be turning one later this month, I decided to try out one of the recipes so she could give goody bags to all of her little dog friends. Do you remember goody bags? They were the best part of someone else's birthday. I really feel that we need to bring these back in adulthood.

Emily made spectacular goody bags a few weeks ago for my brother-in-law's birthday. All of these great sugar-high inducing concoctions that we used to get at the penny candy store as kids. Remember Lik-M-Aid? When a Pixie Stick just wasn't enough flavored sugar powder, there was Lik-M-Aid. But I digress...

So I was making cookies for Maddie and her friends. I selected a recipe for lamb treats because it had the most regular sounding ingredients. Maybe if I really loved her, I would have tracked down dessicated liver and bone meal as a few other recipes called for, but it wasn't happening this weekend.

I have made many a cookie in my day. I enjoy baking. I enjoy baked goods. I kind of enjoy squishing a stick of butter between my fingers in a bowl full of flour. But this was my first crack at making meat cookies.

With regular cookies, if you work the dough by hand, you may be vaguely aware that your fingers will subsequently smell like cookie dough. You probably don't really notice, because cookie dough smells good. Not so with meat cookies. I was acutely aware that my hands stank like cafeteria beef stew.

Multiple hand washings with nice smelling soap didn't seem to do anything either. It was just several hours of non-stop stew hands. So gross.

Maddie better like these dang cookies.

Friday, April 14, 2006

I'm supposed to be knitting.

Sarah is a bit behind. How's that for an introduction?

I would love to show everyone my current knitting project, but it is progressing slower than anticipated. Much slower. I keep thinking I'll get the hang of this pattern and be able to whip through rows, but it hasn't happened yet. The pattern calls for purling two stitches together and then knitting into the back of the stitch. Row after row after row of that. And I am contorting and yarn-pulling and cheating my way through every other stitch. Pretty, but seriously, if I don't get the feel for this soon, the pattern may just beat me.

It doesn't help that I can't actually do any knitting until my little dog goes to sleep.

Doesn't she look sweet and innocent? This is Madeline, needle thief and reigning champion of the tear-around-the-house-with-a-ball-of-yarn-in-your-mouth dash.

Once she is asleep, I can usually manage a row or two of knitting before I fall asleep. So, I am behind.

I may backtrack to some previously completed projects in my next few posts so it looks like I actually do stuff. With the addition of above, I have officially learned how to post photos to this site, so I'll try to make things a bit more craftily visual in the future.


Welcome to craftfetish!

craftfetish is written by Emily & Sarah and is an outlet for all of our crafty obsessions.

Emily and Sarah are sisters whose craft fetish started with a make your own Victorian valentines kit in elementary school. Emily designs invitations, centerpieces and favors for amazing parties and events. Sarah has crafter ADD and attempts a new project almost weekly.

We'll use this space to share craft ideas, play-by-play on our current projects, and probably more than a few glue gun disasters.

In addition to crafting, blogging and our less than glamorous day jobs, Emily and Sarah run s&em designs - our fledgling web store and future global empire. Until the whole empire thing takes off, we mostly just sell tshirts to help pay for more craft supplies.