Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My First Ever Homemade Diaper

I finally got up the gumption to try sewing a diaper. I think it turned out pretty well for a first try. I was pleasantly suprised at how simple it was too. I cut out a size medium pattern and added elastic and a soaker layer, then used a very wide zig zag in a very short stitch to finish the edges and attach the inner and outer layers. It's not as nice as a serged edge (I don't own a serger), but it's not bad, and I didn't want to fiddle with turning and topstitching until I knew if I liked the pattern, if it fit well, etc. Actually, it doesn't fit very well yet. It's too big. I think it'll be okay if I add a crossover tab on the front to make it a bit slimmer. It's a little gappy around the legs too, but I'll just live with that until he grows into it.

Things I'll change for next time:

(1) I'll add more layers or a more absorbent material for the soaker. I used 6 layers of recycled men's undershirt, but it doesn't seem quite thirsty enough.

(2) I'll use Aplix instead of locally store-bought velcro-type fastener. I didn't want to "waste" my Aplix if this attempt turned out to be a total bomb. It's not too bad, so I think I may take off the velcro and sew on my Aplix so the diaper is more usable. The velcro stuff doesn't grip together nearly as firmly as the Aplix.

All in all, I'm feeling pretty good about myself right now!


Monday, September 25, 2006

Choo Choo!

Okay, so I didn't make this, but it's so cute that I just had to post a pic. I got this fitted diaper off e-Bay. The woman I got it from made it for her little one, who decided to become potty trained before wearing it, so she sold it to me. Everybody wins! I've been thinking of trying my hand at sewing some diapers, and this little beauty may be the inspiration for me to stop thinking about it and actually try it.


A New Gadget

Check out my new toy! I had one of these when I was a little girl. My mom made it for me from a wooden spool (too bad thread doesn't come on wooden spools anymore!) with four nails driven into the top of it. I picked up this plastic cheapy at Michael's for around three dollars, and it works just fine. I thought it would be nice for making drawstrings. I get tired of crochet chains, and I don't have the patience to make I-cords. I just hate DPNs, and it seems like too few stitches to magic loop. So here's my solution!


Hurray for Cooler Weather!

I anticipation of the cooler temperatures to come, I whipped up this little scarf. Cute, eh? It was just the thing: It took about one 3.5 oz. skein of yarn (I used up some more of my stashed acrylic). It's long and thin and very wrappable. It's red, which will be perfect with my black pea coat. And I made it in a couple hours of evening TV watching. One evening: new scarf. What a deal! (Pardon the goofy second picture above. I had to hold the camera out to photograph myself--hence the gorilla-looking arms and weird pose!)

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Taking a Break

I need a break from my Doodlepants. Being a consummate perfectionist, I just can't let an imperfection slide, and some of the details of these longies were driving me crazy. I'm so sick of frogging and redoing that I could scream. So . . . I'm putting them aside for a while and working on pieces I'm more comfortable with, patterns I've used before. Not that the Doodlepants are hard. I decided to add a crotch gusset by increasing on either side of the center four stitches front and back. It worked really well, actually, but I just didn't like how the increases and the join between the gusset and the leg looked. I was tempted to just frog the entire thing again and start all over (later--much later), but instead I frogged back past the increases and will pick it up from there once I can approach the project fresh again.

So I made a cute little crochet scarf. It took me only a few hours, and it turned out kind of cute. Now I'm working on a pair of Tiny Birds longies in some Wool Ease I have left in my stash. Not the most fabulous yarn, but all my wool is already designated for other projects.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Back At It Again

I'm back to my Doodlepants now. I successfully got past the short rows, and they look pretty good. I'm nearly done with the body. I decided to try to add a gusset (why can't I ever just follow the pattern?), and I screwed that up. So I ended up frogging again, but only a handful of rows this time. I know what I did wrong, so now I just have to redo and it's on to the legs! I'm getting somewhere . . .

So here's what they look like now. (Except that the color is way off in this picture. The lighting in the living room is really bad right now. I'm actually using a really yummy Peace Fleece color called Kamchatka Seamoss. I posted a pic earlier that shows the color better, even though it doesn't do justice to all the little subtleties. At first glance it looks just green, but if you look closer, it has a wonderful blue mixed in. Anyway, I digress! LOL.) I can't wait 'til they start looking like pants!


Some FOs

In between rounds of frogging and redoing Doodlepants, I've been working on a few little hats for charity, using up my stash of acrylic. (I don't remember what I bought these incredibly gaudy colors for, but there they are . . .).


Friday, September 15, 2006

Conquering Short Rows!

Wraps/unwraps at marker B. I'm really happy with these. They're nearly invisible.

Wraps/unwraps at marker A. For some reason, this side gave me much more trouble. I think maybe I was wrapping the wrong direction at first. The turning spot for the first short row is really bad, but I got progressively better as I moved up the swatch. The third one (very near the top) is nearly invisible.

The more I looked at the ugly gappy spots where I turned for my short rows in the Doodlepants, the more I hated them. I frogged back to the ribbing and redo the short rows, but I still hated them. I decided to frog the entire cotton-pickin' thing and start over after doing a swatch to practice short rows (above). I finally had some success by following the wrap instructions from a woman on wool_soaker_group and then unwrapping like this on the next row of knitting.

I think I've got it! If my babe stays sleeping for a bit longer, I'll cast on my Doodlepants yet again. Should be smooth sailing now that I've got short rows figured out. The only other think I haven't done before is the kitchener graft for the crotch, and that shouldn't involve frogging if I mess it up. At least I hope not! To be continued . . .


Thursday, September 14, 2006


As you can see, I got some work done on my Doodlepants today. I'm finished with the short rows, and they were much easier than I thought thanks to the fabulous step-by-step breakdown by a woman on wool_soaker_group. I may still frog them and redo them though. For some reason, on one side the turns are neat and tidy but on the other side they're sort of gappy. Yuck! I hate frogging knitted work and picking up stitches. I'm always afraid I'll drop stitches (it's happen too many times to count . . .), but I'm not sure I'm satisfied with my first attempt at short rows either.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Last Camping Trip of the Year

Just got back from our last camping trip of the year. We spent a long weekend with my parents at the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area on Lake Michigan. It was chilly and rainy the whole time--that's the chance you take camping in September, I guess. It was still nice to get away. At least we arranged to stay in the trailer with Mom and Dad instead of taking the tent! The baby did pretty well, considering the monotony of the rain, and the lack of mobility, being stuck inside the trailer a lot, etc. Poor little guy is teething and has an ear full of fluid (eustacian tubes are a bit flat, so they're not draining right yet). He seems a little more fussy than usual but not too much. What a sweetie! I'll post pictures soon. We just got everything put away, and I need to put up my feet for a bit. It'll be back to knitting tomorrow. I'm ready! :-)

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Friday, September 01, 2006

The Great Doodlepants Knit Along Begins . . . Sort Of

After watching the mail for a few days, I received my first skeins of Peace Fleece today. I love it! I sat down and wound one of the hanks into a ball, and I could feel that it still has some lanolin in it. Until now, I've only used Patons Classic Merino (which I do really like, but it's nothing "special"), so this is a treat for me. I got Kamchatka Seamoss (above left) and Zarya Fog (above right). It doesn't show up very well in the photo, but both have really cool flecks and details of color. I plan to use the Kamchatka for Aubrey Doodlepants and the Zarya Fog for Cargo.

The Doodlepants knit along with my wool soaker group on Yahoo starts today, but I'll have to join in later. I knitted up my swatch, and I got only 4 stitches to the inch with the suggested needles instead of the 5 stitches the pattern calls for. So I need to go out and buy some smaller circular needles. Bummer! I was aching to get started.