Monday, January 24, 2011

What did I get accomplished

Last week, I started out needle felting a miniature bunny who did not want to cooperate with me at all. His head didn't turn out like I planned (at all) and my fingers took a beating. After lots of pokes and loud compliments I set him off to side. Maybe he'll come alive another day.

Now, I'm wondering what I accomplished last week after.
I went through and organized a few totes, cleaned the house (not much fun), finished a plush ted named Theodore, did some grocery shopping, visited with friends and danced with a bowling pin (yep, Saturday night with friends) but what else did I accomplish? I'm thinking...yes, small, but accomplished. Two baby hats, and the beginning (not finished yet, so I'm sure she doesn't really count as accomplished) a knit kitten.

Getting Organized

Every once in a while, I get that urge. The time to get organized urge. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. You start out, full of positive energy, you pull out bins, go through boxes, grab the label maker and dig in. You find things you forgot you had, things you didn't know you had. You decide, "that's it" I'm going to be able to find everything whenever I need it. Your intentions are good and you might get it all done and have one of those studios or work spaces you see in a magazine. Or, you get most of it done, get rid of some things and then poop out, give up or feel sort of satisfied with a little bit done is better than none, I'll finish this later. My organizing day ended this week when I came across some plush fur that I'd forgotten I had. When I saw it, I thought hey, that's a bear I need to make, so everything went back where it was and I headed to the sewing machine (after putting the label maker away and thinking I'll finish this another day).

Theodore is one of my, get organized bears.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Needle Felted Bear Named Beuford

One of my resolutions is to needle felt more in 2011. Well, it's January 12th and I've already done that. Hooray, a resolution accomplished. I just finished up a 8" cub named Beuford. It's been a long time since I needle felted a larger cub or any little critter for that matter. So, it took me a little while to get back into the swing of things. Several faces got started and discarded and after lots of finger pokes (if you've ever needle felted you know these can be pretty darn nasty. Sorry to whine a little, but wow I got a good poke in my index finger that almost ended my needle felting resolution), I started to get a little discouraged. I put my so called bear off to the side and decided to try again another day. This morning I was determined to try again. Lots more shaping, lots more poking and finally a little bear started to come to life. Once Beuford was looking back at me with those big glass eyes, I knew I'd get him finished. I just added Beuford to the website and love his sweet face. Now that he's finished, and my fingers feel a little better, maybe I'll needle felt again tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Knit Toys

Bears, knitting and cute faces. A perfect combination for me.

My first knit teddy bear was added to the website today.

Thank you Twins Knit for an adorable pattern.

Sweet faces

I love those sweet teddy bear faces. Actually it's not just teddy bears, it can be bunnies, sheep, elephants, lambs, dolls, etc. Probably why I'm a collector of bears, and dolls. Even after making bears for over eleven years, I still smile when a cub looks back at me with shiny glass eyes and a cute, "pick me up" face. Bears and dolls sit on shelves, perch on tiny chairs, poke out of baskets and peek out of corners in almost every room of my house. Sometimes, just looking at them makes me smile, brings back a memory or just makes me feel at home. Some people (you know who you are) think I have more than enough bears, maybe so, but since the rules for collectors are not really clear on the matter, I think I'll keep them. Sometimes while I'm walking through a shop, browsing a blog or checking out an antique store, a bear will catch my eye. Almost making me feel like he "called out to me." It never fails, I have to zoom in on his picture or pick him up and take a closer look. Sometimes I just steal a little hug and carefully put him back where he was so that someone else can enjoy that cute face. Sometimes...I have to bring him home with me, what can I say, I'm a bear collector. I can't speak for all of us, but I'm pretty sure bear collectors know this feeling. I hope some of my bears have that "pick me up" face.

Knit Faster

There is a little button pin on the side of my knitting bag. I got it last year while my husband and I were in Door County. It's a simple white button with three little words, "must knit faster." When I bought it, I thought, this pin is perfect. At that time, I felt like I needed to knit faster so that I could finish projects and gifts in time for holidays and special occasions. My projects seemed to hang on my needles a lot longer than other people's. My rows seemed to take longer to get across then everyone else.

The words on my little pin haven't changed, and I still feel like I need to knit faster, but not because I want to get sometime done in time for a holiday or birthday. Now I need to get done so that I can knit something else. There are so many things I want to knit and oh so little time to knit. Every month there's a new magazine filled with beautiful knit gifts, toys, cowls, scarves, mittens and hats. New patterns appear on Ravelry everyday, ideas pop into my head, my favorite designers have something new, friends show me what their working on or what they just finished. Oh, so much to knit. I don't have grandchildren yet (knock on wood), but what will I do when I'm told I will. There are hundreds (yes, hundreds) of baby things I want to make. Oh, so many patterns, so little time.

My pin says it all.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Crochet Patterns

This year, one of my goals is to get some of my crochet ideas down on paper and on my computer. I always start crocheting with good intentions of writing as I go, but usually before I know it, I've crocheted several rows and forgot to write down what I did. This means starting over and usually it goes on this way several times before I just finish my project and plan to write another day. I hope this year is filled with those writing days and some patterns get done.

I did manage to get one finished and since it's my first I want to share it with you. "Sweet Pup" is available on my freebie page. If you make him, I'd love to see some pictures and would really appreciate feedback and comments since he's my first.

Monday, January 3, 2011

First bear in 2011

Just finished adding Linus to the website. My first ted of the New Year. I love his multi colored plush fur and sweet face. I gave him a soft, oatmeal colored scarf with stitched, felt hearts and vintage buttons. Valentine's Day will be here before we know it (and I don't even have my tree down yet).

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Knitting Needles

The basement of my house on Ashford Lane is filled with art and craft supplies. I think I might have more ribbon then JoAnn Fabrics. Mohair and plush fur fills a cabinet, scrap booking and paper take up a room size corner. Buttons fill jars and old tins. Now yarn balls, hanks and skeins have taken over any available space there once was. I love it.

As if I didn't have enough hobbies and interests, I decided one day about two years ago that I wanted to learn to knit. My grandmother and mom had both crocheted and had taught me when I was small enough to still play with Barbies. I remember making granny squares, tiny bathing suits and blankets. I crocheted every now and than through the years, but never enough to really call myself a crocheter.

One day, I spotted some old knitting needles in my favorite little thrift shop. I remembered a lady (wish I could remember her name) trying to teach me to knit when I was little. I remembered her saying, "knitting is just two basic stitches, knit and purl. If you can do these, you can knit." I thought okay then, I'm going to learn to knit. I had always loved the way knitted things looked and remember asking my mom to crochet me something without holes in it. She would say, that's knit.

With a how to book in front of me, I took the plunge and started to "cast on". I studied the pictures as I struggled to hold both needles and the yarn at the same time. After lots of tangled yarn and dropped needles I did it. I was ready to knit. Again, I dropped my needles, fumbled to hold on to the yarn and get it to cooperate with me. Why didn't it want to come back through that space without falling off, oops there it went, dropped again, start over and so it went for several hours until finally it looked like the picture, it looked like I had knit a row. The lady's words, sounded in my head again, 'if you can knit and purl you can knit." Well, then, I thought I can do this knit stitch, lets try the purl one, I started again, now I had to change the way I held the needle, not fair, just got it to work the other way, wrap the yarn this way now, oops dropped the needle again, hey, my stitch fell off, and so it went for a few more hours until it finally resembled the stitches in the book again. With two rows done, I remember thinking to myself, I can do this, I can knit. I sure had a lot to learn.

Like most people, my first project was a scarf. After a few rows I'd look at the stitches, run my hand over the soft knitted garment and remember feeling a little sense of accomplishment. Two years later, I still do this. Lots of scarves, hats, slippers, socks and baby booties have been knit here with my old needles (and new, of course, my collection quickly grew).

My favorite chair is now surrounded by patterns, knitting needles, counters and yarn. For some reason, when I sit down and pull out those knitting needles I know I'll be relaxed in a couple minutes. Is it the sound of the clicking needles, the soft yarn or the continuous movement that puts me at ease? I'm not quite sure, but whatever it is, I can't imagine life without my knitting needles.