Just For Fun is my way of sharing all the little things I like to do... from crafty things to thoughtful things!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Oh baby! Part Deux

2011 has been a big year for babies, and boy is my crocheting arm tired.  Ok, not really, but there HAVE been a lot of babies this year!  Earlier in the year I made several baby related projects, but the time has come for more.
This time the projects were for niece-in-laws (I guess?  How do you describe my sister-in-laws' nieces?).  One with a new boy and one with a new girl.

I made a set for each one that included a soft 100% cotton blanket, booties and cap, as well as a silly monkey just because Auntie Donna likes them so much.
The boy got dinosaur spikes on his cap and the girl's is shaped like a flower.  Likewise, the shoes were different, sneakers for the boy and maryjanes for the girl.

I had a lot of fun making them and I hope they get put to good use!  In fact, I liked the flower caps so much, I made a few more for baby Rose (the one who got the hockey gear previously).   So cute!
But I digress, again.  Back to the in-laws.  I also wanted to make Gramma blankets for the two new grammas in the family.  Normally I make something kid-like.  But, in this case, Auntie Donna said that at least one of the new Grammas would really like a blanket she could keep in the living room.

So, I decided on some cool Aran afghan patterns and made what might seem to some as normal crocheted blankets... but have been infused with special Gramma energy!
The first one has traditional Aran cables with main panels of basketweave.

The second has cables but has main panels in a popcorn stitch.

Both are made out of sturdy washable yarn so they are not only grandkid-proof but Grandpa-proof as well.  Oh come on, you know that's who will be using them when the babies aren't around!  ;o)
So, congrats to all the new parents and grandparents out there!

The entire time I was working on these Gramma blankets I was dreaming about an Aran Fisherman's sweater, but I need to make Steve's "Charlie" sweater first. 
These cheeky little monkeys are Pittsburgh Steelers fans.  I had a little trouble getting the jerseys right though.  After trying a few things I decided basic is best.  I wish they were just a tad bigger though so I could have been more detailed on the name and number on the back.  I just had too much trouble with teeny tiny yarn.  *sigh*  My ideas are too big for my hands I guess.

I hope the point came across ok!

Last but not least, I participated in a shawl CAL (Crochet A-Long) with the Slytherins over at the House Cup on Ravelry.  (The new term starts this week... I got sorted into Hufflepuff - wonder if it was because I was working on yellow and black while the Sorting Hat was pondering?) 

I tried a new pattern, but used a heavier yarn instead of the laceweight it recommended.  I think it turned out great!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tie a Yellow Ribbon - for Endometriosis Awareness

My friend Amanda is an active blogger, writer, and general illuminator of interesting thoughts.  Over the years we've swapped recipes, patterns and ideas... but this week she has a doozy!

Amanda suffers from endometriosis, like many women (diagnosed and undiagnosed) around the world.  Bringing trouble into the light of day, bringing knowledge and hope with it is one of her special talents.  She asked me to participate as a guest blogger with the hope that we might be able to combine her talent, endo awareness and my crochet.

Specifically, I created a pattern for this hot water bottle cozy with a yellow awareness ribbon, in hopes it will not only bring awareness but comfort to a woman in pain.

The exact same pattern can also be used to make a tote bag (by attaching a strap), and I’ve included a pattern for a small pocket purse for carrying personal items as well (because you know we all do!).

This technique is called "illusion crochet".  I thought it appropriate for this particular purpose not only because it’s cool, but because it is symbolic.  If you look at it one way, it’s simply striped, but change your point of view and the ribbon appears... your awareness changes!

Most of the things that trouble us are things we can see better if we just change our perspective a little.

You can find the free pattern here.  I wrote it with beginner crocheters in mind so don’t let the look intimidate you if it is a new technique. If you get stuck you can reach me by posting your question here.

We’ve also come up with a way for you to win this one from me!
And here's how you can find out more about endometriosis... knowledge is power!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

More PotterMania!

So... what did you think of Deathly Hallows, pt 2?
I loved it.

Of course I have issues with added scenes simply for special effects that have no real meaning (Harry pulling Tom off the ledge as if he knew he would be flown to safety in a swirl of black smoke.) and issues with details I wish they had included (Neville got his big scene with Nagini but it was a bit of a let down since no one saw him do it.)

But really... they are small issues compared to the overall feel of the Battle Between Good and Evil in 2 1/2 hours or less.
There's more news on the Potter front, in case you haven't heard.  Pottermore is currently in beta testing mode and will open to everyone in October.  It sounds like a fun way to keep the Potterverse alive.  JK Rowling promises it will have a lot of the background information she created for the books that readers haven't yet seen. 

Before you go there, yes, I am that big of a nerd and I signed up for the beta testing program.  I found my magic quill and everything!  I'll report more as I get to see more, but my understanding is that it could be a few weeks as they are still sorting testers for a few more days.

The timing is good because I've completed all my assignments on Ravelry.  I've a couple projects on the hook for now, but I'm saving the big ones for the new terms in September.

Do you have any Potter-y project ideas?  If so, leave a comment and let me know.  I'm always up for inspiration!

To see my previous Potter-y projects, just search this blog for the 'Potter' tag.

In the meantime, good thing I have the latest issue of Quidditch Today to keep me busy!