Follow my progress!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

YOP update and some Major (crochet) surgery

This week I have 5 finished projects and I'm so glad to be able to work on something else for a change.

I have my crochet baby dress (Frilly Dress) finished finally but there were some problems.  It is a beautiful dress and I love it but there are some errors in the pattern; some were fixed and the pattern updated but they didn't fix them all.  I made notes of the problems I found as I worked on my Ravelry project page here. Besides those more obvious mistakes the straps are too long.  I'm new at making baby clothes and my kids are grown so I didn't realize until too late that the straps were way too long and besides that they stretch out under the weight of the dress and it ends up looking like a vintage strongman's outfit.  With the help of someone in a facebook crochet group who shared this chart I learned that the straps should be about 2.25" so now I have to fix them. I've never had to fix something like this before and I did a lot of googling to see if someone else had a better way but of course I found nothing.  I also asked in the crochet group but other than lots of suggestions on how much I should shorten the straps or that I should add buttons etc, I got no suggestions on the actual process.  So here is what I decided to do with some pictures.

Here is a picture showing the straps laying flat.  I measured 3.5" and I decided to take out about 1.5".  I turned the dress inside-out and safety-pinned the two layers together so it wouldn't shift while working on it.  I measured back from the top of the shoulder about 2" and placed a safety pin there.  Then I used matching sewing thread and sewed a line just above the pin.  I took scissors (and prayed) and snipped across at the top of the shoulders and then used the eye of a needle to pick out the stitches (much easier said than done) leaving me with long lengths of yarn to work with.  The trim on this is added after the main body was complete so I had to pick that out separately and then had to use a safety pin to hold the the last loop to
keep it from unraveling past my new seam.  In this picture (left) you can see my safety pin holding the two layers together but you probably can't see the hand sewn stitches across I made with sewing thread.  This was a very slow process and took a lot of patience since the stitches didn't easily come out and where I wove in the ends in from my edging I really had a tough time.  After I got everything unraveled to one row above my sewn line I used a darning needle and used the lavender yarn from one side to seam the two sides together and then carefully wove in the ends, including the lavender yarn from the other side.  Then I had to use the darning needle to sew the edging sides together to look like it was uninterrupted.  I also folded the seamed section (which is about a half inch) to one side and secured it in place.

Besides the strap issue, this dress is not really very practical and is more of a photo-op dress.  The skirt is so full and heavy with yarn that it would probably be hard for a child this age, who is just learning to walk, to walk in without falling.  This dress is pretty much floor length.  Another person on ravelry who made this dress told me it is very difficult to fasten the car seat strap over the bulk of the dress so it is better to wait to put the dress on after coming out of the car seat.  I think it would be much better to make the newborn to 3 month size since there are less problems with it than with the larger sizes. There are less rounds (so less increases and less bulk). Plus, from what I can see most of the errors are in the larger sizes.

So now that I'm done it looks like this.  These pictures are dark since it is night time now so the color is actually much lighter.

My second finished project was a headband to match.  I used this free pattern for the band except that I only used 5 stitches so it would be narrower.  I also used left over yarn from the dress which is DK so I used an E hook or 3.5mm.   I used this free pattern for the columbine flower.

My third project was a quick little crochet washcloth which was a CAL with the ravelry group called Dishcloth Weekly Knitalong.  They have KAL/CALS using free patterns every week and is a fun group of people.  
Flower Power dishcloth
The next two patterns were also quick ones.  I finished them both on Saturday even though it is still
Weeping Willow Sun hat (free pattern)
raining continuously and I've been in even more pain then before because of a Fibromyalgia flare up.  Some areas are on flood watch actually because of all the rain.  It had been drizzling pretty consistently for quite a while but the last couple days we have been getting heavier rain.  I actually slept most of the day and spent the time I was awake in bed/pajamas.

I had planned to make this hat for my great niece Maya in her great grandmother's favorite color red. She is only two and never got to meet her great grandma who passed away in 2008.  I made this hat to go with a cute little heart-shaped purse I made her in May.  I sewed a zippered pouch (putting in my first zipper ever) and I used a red vintage zipper from my mom's sewing table.  My mom would be so happy to know I used something of hers to make this little gift for her great grand-daughter.

While I was working on that hat, Buddy the beagle baby kept stealing my ball of yarn or the project. I had already noticed he seems to really like the color red (or dark pink) and anytime I try to work with that color I have to fight him off.  Since he just turned 4 months old I thought I should make him a little toy using red yarn.  I came up with my own pattern that I will write up later and post here on my blog.  For now I want to see how this first one holds up.  Here is Buddy's Squeaky Bug which he really loves.

Well, this week was fun and I really enjoyed being able to work on some new things.  I can't wait to see what next week brings - hopefully sun.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

YOP Update

Today I am contemplative and moody - don't know why.  I also can't seem to spell today... or type. What you see has been severely edited.  I guess it's just another manic Sunday.  

Anyway, some stuff's been going on around here.  I'm not even sure where to start.  Well, how about the fact that the sun came out finally.  It's been raining a ton... I'm pretty sure it's been 40 days and 40 nights plus a few afternoons.  I'm thinking Noah forgot to invite me into the ark.  That must mean I need another beagle puppy - a girl to go with my boy. Too bad my husband wouldn't buy that story. Anyway, my fibro-riddled body feels a little better this morning and some of my lilies have opened up!  

Speaking of Buddy the Beagle Baby, he has been learning some tricks!  He learned "sit" really fast but the others not so much.  He just finally learned "lay down" and "leave it."  He also came to me right away when I said "come."  The best thing though is that I just got a potty training bell.  I have only had it about a day and a half and this morning he rang the bell.  It was kind of funny because it is so new I hesitated a minute thinking "what the heck is that noise?"  lol  Well, only a few seconds and then I somehow FLEW over there and let him out.  Not only did he go pee but he also went poop which he usually prefers to deposit in my entryway whenever it is raining and/or wet out.  I was so SO happy!  Oh, and Buddy also has a new confinement space.  He does not like our wall (Mexico did not pay for it btw)

Oh, and I made a tumblr account.  I used to have one but never really used it much.  I tried to sign in but it said I didn't have an account.  Boo.  Oh well, I started over.  My new account name is DJCstitches (which I'm pretty sure is what my old one was) and I have no friends. That is very sad so please be my friend if you tumble with tumblr.  

I want to say THANK YOU! to all the people that gave me advice for fixing the snag in my Frilly
Dress (baby dress) and helped me decide on which color to use for the trim.  I did decide to go with the Caron Simply soft Party in purple sparkle.  The baby this dress is for has a darker skin tone and I think the color will look perfect on her.  I'm really hoping I will get a picture of her in the dress that I can share.  I am currently working on adding the trim edging to the bottom of the dress (pictures of the top are in the previous post) and I've already used up one whole skein of the purple sparkle (while marathon watching the 9th season of Criminal Minds). After I saw how that was going to look I really fell in love with it.  It really sets off all of those ruffles.  I do think this dress is more of a 12 month size and not 6-9 months but I'll find out once they get it and try it on her.  I am sure I have enough time to whip up a matching flower headband.  Of course I already added one to my list of projects.  Oh, and after adding the edging to the straps thay are less stretchy.  It really helped to stabilize them some but I will probably still add some ribbon or fabric

Update: You won't believe this but I can't find my second ball of that dark purple Caron Simply Soft Party ANYWHERE.  I got half way around the hemline and ran out.  I have turned the living room upside-down and now I'v sent out a text-plea to my hubby to grab a ball for me on his way home.   
Second Update: I got it!  Hubby made a special trip by Joanns to get it for me and bring it home BEFORE he went to play golf.  Isn't he the best?

I finally got a new set of size 9 needle tips for my Boye Needlemaster knitting needle set. I think it was back in January when I broke mine. I was knitting and got up for some reason and laid my project down on the couch (which will never happen again).  When I sat down I folded my leg underneath me like I always do and my knee pressed down right on one of the needles and snapped the threaded part in the cable.  I've actually done that once before and quickly was able to get a replacement cable and needle tips. This time however I could only get the cable. The other replacement parts were no longer on amazon.com and the whole Needlemaster replacement parts section on their website was gone.  I was freaking out thinking they were discontinuing the set all together.  I have been watching for them on ebay and etsy ever since.  I finally found a store on ebay that had them plus they have other brands, sock boards, crochet hooks, pattern books and some cross stitch kits etc.  The seller is super nice too because I accidentally ordered some connectors for the knit picks needles instead of the Boye and they were kind enough to fix that for me.  I have some OCD issues so it has been driving me insane that I didn't have a complete set.  It made me not want to knit at all and when I did finally make a washcloth I used straights instead. It is so nice to see my set complete again!  (I do realize there is a size 2 missing but it is actually attached to a project with a stop on the other end of the cable).

Okay, so I know I had more things that I intended to add here but I forgot what they were.  I guess I will save them for later since this is long enough.  I hope everyone had a very productive and fun crafting week.  

Friday, July 22, 2016


So Buddy the Beagle Baby, the angel that he is, got his chops into my cute little baby dress I've been working on.  I thought I'd saved it at the time but just now noticed this snag just as I finished weaving in the yarn ends.  So the dress is finished now except for the trim which is a decorative edge around the bottom, neckline and sleeve edges.  I have pulled the snag through to the inside of the dress and you can't tell anything from the front side now.  It is a double crochet stitch (US) that is snagged but the stitch is fine.  The yarn strands have separated and one is pulled farther out.  This snag is about .5 to .75 of an inch.

Does anyone know the best way to fix something like this?

Other than that the dress is finished now except for the trim and I don't have enough yarn to finish that.  I will either have to get another skein or use a contrasting color.  Or, I have thought about just not adding the trim.  The trim is a simple chain 1, slip stitch in next stitch around which just gives it a small rippled edge which reminds me of a row of garter stitch in knitting.  I tried to get some pictures but I didn't have anyone to hold it for me and I don't want to put it on a hanger again because I'm worried about the straps getting stretched out from the weight of the skirt.  I still have to get some ribbon to strengthen them.

So here is a picture of the top as it is now. The trim would go around the neckline and edges of the straps and underarm and also bottom of the skirt.  I do have 2 skeins of this Caron Simply soft Party with a metallic purple thread in it.  You can see a strand of it over the dress.  What do you think?

Should I....

  1. Use the contrasting color
  2. Get another skein of the same yarn or
  3. Skip trim all together

Here is a picture with the whole ball of yarn.  It looks a little more blue than it is.  It is more of a plum color.  What you can't see in this picture is where the light hits the metallic thread it has a hot-pinkish purple shine to it.

Below is a picture of the skirt portion of the dress.  It was a hard shot to get since I had to hold it with one hand and take the picture with the other.  It doesn't lay flat very well.

P.s. Buddy says "I'm the baby, gotta love me!"

Okay, here is another picture where I added the edging to the top but I didn't weave in the ends so I can undo it if I want. I'm a bit of a chicken liver and can't quite commit to the darker edging yet.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A new hope (YOP update)

No, not the Star Wars movie.... I'm talking about my crochet project (of course) - The Freakin' Frilly Dress.
You can't tell by looking at the dress that I've made much progress so I took a picture of the left over yarn.  I started that skein last week!  

This week I got really REALLY frustrated and almost gave up completely. I saw a post on facebook about the baby I'm making this dress for and it mentioned the month she was due to be born. I freaked out because she was older than I thought. I chose to make the 6-9 month size to give myself extra time and she is 8 1/2 months now. I was feeling so frustrated thinking I'd never get the dress finished before she out-grew it. Each day this week I would try to work on it while the puppy was sleeping and I couldn't even tell how much progress I'd made because of all the ruffles. I like to see how far I've gone and how much there is left till the end of the row, round or next change etc.  I realized part of the problem was that this feels like a small project but it is more like an afghan - a round one. So I rearranged the dress on my lap just now to look like a round afghan and then I noticed the center. Oh yes, that will definitely fit her unless she is a giant baby and she does not look like a giant baby from the pictures.  It is NOT too late (insert mental cartwheel here).  I totally forgot that I decided to go up a size hook too.

So I have a new prospective and a renewed hope in this project! I put on some music and turned it up and just started working away, determined to quit watching for the end.  That is like watching the tracks for the next train to come - extremely boring.  I'd rather just plow straight ahead and run right into it.  That's what I'm going to do.

Maybe Sunday I'll be able to get some ribbon for the straps.  What is it about V stitches that makes me hate them?

I just realized I didn't quite follow the round correctly for the previous row.  I misread the instructions but I did it uniformly around so I'm leaving it.  It doesn't look like a mistake.  It would have been faster if I'd followed the instructions, but oh well, I guess I redesigned it lol

To be updated......

Saturday, July 9, 2016

YOP Update

My main focus right now is on finishing the Frilly Dress and it is taking forever.  When I first started it I was trying to plow right through it fast to get it to the baby it is for but as the the bottom of the dress expanded each round I lost steam, (not to mention the frustration of figuring out the mistakes in the pattern).  I am keeping my notes for fixes to errors row by row in Ravelry if anyone else wants to make this dress. Anyway, I actually took a long break from the dress to make some cotton washcloths since I was really burned out.  Now I really need to finish it because baby girl is getting big!

I'm following all the directions for the size 6-9 months, including for yarn weight but when I put it on the hanger the weight of the dress really pulls on the straps.  I'm a little concerned about the straps being too long and her little baby boobies will be spilling all out and stuff.  I'm sure she's not that kinda girl. I may have to adjust them after I'm finished with the rest.  I was hoping for this dress to be a surprise but I may have to ask them to measure her.  I currently have about 1.5 rounds to go and then some trim of some sort.  I think I will have to reprint the last page of the pattern since Buddy the beagle baby grabbed it and it is in really bad shape now.  My main concern was keeping him away from the dress!  I think I would have cried if he got it and snagged it. The yarn is a thinner size 3 weight and his sharp little teeth would probably cut right through it.  That is why I haven't made as much progress on it as I would have otherwise.  I am too nervous to take it out unless he is in his crate.  My fibromyalgia has been flaring up too and so all told I didn't make much progress this week.

I did get Buddy the Beagle Baby a new squeaky ball which he loves though. I'm hoping that will keep him busy so I can crochet more!

I hope everyone is having fun working on their projects.  The most important thing to remember is to have fun with your hobbies and not let it become "work."