Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Barbie's Toilet - Toilet Paper Roll Cover

Once upon a time (back in January & February) the Crochet Lovers Victoria group on Ravelry had a toilet roll cover design competition. We entered our creations anonymously.

After contemplating several different ideas of what I could make for the comp, when falling asleep one night an idea popped into my head. I'd make a toilet! And I could have someone falling into the toilet with their pants around their ankles. I could even make a tiny roll of toilet paper hanging off one side, and a magazine rack on the other. Yep this was the one.
The next morning a sketched out my idea and started to plan how I'd make this come to life.

A few days later I got to work. I started with a large blue circle to represent the water in the toilet (and a hole in the center for the "person" to fall in to. I then moved on to the toilet seat. I worked down from there to create the base of the toilet, and then I attached a toilet lid. I then created the tank or cistern behind this and stuffed it with hobbyfill to make it more solid.

I added two different sized buttons to the top of the tank to represent the half flush and full flush buttons we have here in Australia. I then manipulated a small paper clip and some paper towel into a toilet roll and attached it to the side of the tank. (I have to say, the little roll of toilet paper is probably my favourite part!)

Then it came time to making the person to go down the hole. I got some flesh coloured yarn and started with the legs. Ugh! It looked awful and it definitely didn't look anything like a leg. I grabbed one of my old childhood Barbie dolls to get some perspective and to use as a model for my crocheted person. Well dang - this toilet was the perfect size for Barbie. She looks pretty darn funny sitting there atop the toilet.

That's it! I'll use Barbie. Oh I loved this idea 100 times more than making a crochet person for the toilet. It was like Barbie thumbing her nose at all those people who have made her stand inside a roll of toilet paper in some horrible garrish enormously puffy dress with some equally awful hat on her head. Love it!

Of my Barbies, my Miss Amercia 1970s Quick Curl Barbie won the honours. I changed her into a short dress that one of my other Barbies had been wearing (to hike up around her waist so she could use the toilet). She also had the advantage of having bent arms.... perfect for holding the newspaper! I also love the fact that she looks so much like a TV character Kath, from a show here called "Kath and Kim." The exact same frizzy hair and all.

My one regret is that I didn't not have a tiny pair of Barbie panties to put around Barbie's ankles, but I was still super happy with the result. I know it made me laugh, and I hoped it would give others a good laugh, too. Well, it must of worked because I won the competition! Yippee!

I wrote down the pattern whilst making Barbie's toilet. I will endeavour to get it up here on my blog sometime in the next week or so. So stay tuned!


Barbie’s Toilet, Toilet Paper Roll Cover Pattern
Copyright August 2009 by Letitia Sherriff

Materials used:
3mm hook
*Carnival 8ply Acrylic White (approx 50 grams)
*Carnival 8ply Acrylic Turquoise (approx 10 grams or less)
*Any DK weight yarn (or 8ply) may be substituted for these yarns
Approximately two handfuls of hobby fiber-fill
Two different sized buttons (or one oblong shaped button)
One small paperclip
A small scrap of toilet paper or paper towel
Two small pieces of clear sticky tape
Two stitch markers
Yarn needle to darn in the ends
Barbie (optional)
Old sheet of newspaper (optional)
Roll of toilet paper to sit inside

With turquoise blue colour (this forms the “water” for the inside of the toilet)
Ch-22, slip stitch to first chain to form a ring.

Round 1: ch-1. SC once into each chain around (slip stitch into the first SC to finish the round, for this and every subsequent round). (22 SC made).

Round 2: ch-1. *Two SC into the first stitch. 1 SC into the next stitch.* Repeat from * to * around. (33 SC made).

Round 3: ch-1. *Two SC into the first stitch. 1 SC into each of the next 2 stitches.* Repeat from * to * around. (44 SC made). Finish off blue.

You are now going to be working the “toilet seat”.

Round 4: Attach white yarn in first SC of Round 3. *Ch-1, 2 SC in the first stitch. 1 SC into each of the next 3 stitches.* Repeat from * to * around.

Round 5: Ch-1. *2 SC into first stitch. 1 SC into each of next 5 stitches.* Repeat from * to * around.

Round 6: Repeat Round 5. (You should now check that the circle you’ve made is the same size as the top of the roll of toilet paper you are going to use to put inside the cover. Roll sizes vary greatly from brand to brand. If necessary, you can repeat round 6 to make it larger… or rip out a row if it is too big).

Round 7: TURN WORK OVER TO THE “WRONG SIDE.” You are now going to surface crochet (around the post) on the bottom of side of Round 6. 1 SC around each stitch of Round 6.

You are now going to be woking the base of the toilet, under the toilet seat.

Round 8. Ch-1. 1 SC into each stitch.

Round 9. Ch-1. *1 SC into each of the next 4 stitches. You are now going to do a SC decrease over the next two stitches (aka SC2TOG).* Repeat from * to * around.

Round 10: Ch-1. 1 SC into each stitch.

Round 11: Repeat Round 10.

Round 12: Repeat Round 9.

Rounds 13-22:
Ch-1. 1 SC into each stitch.
At the end of round 22, you should make sure to check that your item now adequately covers your roll of toilet paper. If it is not long enough, you can add additional row(s) of SC. Fasten off.

With white… Ch-4. Slip stitch into first chain to form a ring.

Round 1: Ch-1. 10 SC into the center of the ring. Slip stitch to first SC to join round (here and at the end of every subsequent round). (10 SC made).

Round 2: Ch-1. 2 SC into each stitch around. (20 SC made).

Round 3: Ch-1. *2 SC into first stitch. 1 SC into next stitch.* Repeat from * to * around. (30 SC made).

Round 4: Ch-1. *2 SC into first stitch. 1 SC into each of the next 2 stitches.* Repeat from * to * around. (40 SC made).

Round 5: Ch-1. *2 SC into first stitch. 1 SC into each of the next 3 stitches.* Repeat from * to * around. (50 SC made).

Round 6: Ch-1. *2 SC into first stitch. 1 SC into each of the next 4 stitches.* Repeat from * to * around. (60 SC made).

Attached lid to base of toilet by single crocheting the two together over approximately 8 stitches. Attach the lid at the raised round that forms the outside edge of the toilet seat above.

With white… Ch-17.

Row 1: SC into the 2nd chain from the hook and into each chain across (16 SC made). Ch-1 and turn.

Rows 2-77: SC into each stitch across. Ch-1 and turn. (work should measure 16 inches long. If work is not 16 inches long, you should add additional rows of SC as necessary or rip out rows if too long).

Measure six inches down on each side of the work and place a stitch marker on each side.

Turn your work ¼ turn clockwise. You will now be working one of the sides of the cistern (as indicated by the A & F in the diagram).

Row 1 (Side A/F):
Ch-1. Place 10 SC evenly spaced over these 6 inches (as indicated by your stitch marker). Ch-1 and turn.

Row 2 (Side A/F): SC in each stitch across. Ch-1 and turn.

Rows 3-10 (Side A/F): Single crochet in each stitch across… until the side measures 6 inches.

Rotate work ¼ turn clockwise. Work 10 SC over the side of the cistern side you just made (indicated by A in the diagram). Continue with an additional 10 SC over the top of your work (indicated by B in the diagram). Turn work ¼ turn counterclockwise then flip.

You will now repeat the instructions that you did for Side A/F, but now for Side C/G.

Turn work ¼ clockwise and work 10 SC over the side (indicated by C in the diagram). Slip stitch to last adjoining stitch of area B and finish off.

IMPORTANT: At this point please remove about 2 feet of white yarn from your ball or skein and set aside.

Making Up (all will be done with SC).
With white… Join yarn at the corner where G & H meet.
You are now going to join sides G & H together.
Continue by joining areas E & K together.
Continue by joining C & M together.
Continue by joining B & N together.
Continue by joining A & L together.
Continue by joining D & J together.
Now is a good time to sew on any “flusher buttons” or items that you intend to attach to the cistern while you still have access to both the interior and exterior of your work.

You will also need to attach the cistern to the base of the toilet at this point. Make sure you line it up properly with where the toilet lid is attached to the base. Using the two feet of white yarn you set aside earlier, threaded through a yarn needle, just whip stitch the two together, attaching the front of the cistern to the back of the toilet in a few spots.

Now take your hobby/fiber fill and stuff it into the cistern. I recommend stuffing it pretty full so that the cistern is nice and firm and will stand up well. If you run out of hobby fill you can even use some paper towel, toilet paper, etc to fill it up. I DO recommend using something white to stuff it so no colour shows through your white yarn.

You are now ready to finish up the cistern by joining sides F & H with SC. Finish off and weave in your ends. Ta-da!

You can now add your toilet paper roll to the side by manipulating a small paper clip and using some toilet paper or paper towel. (You may need a small piece of clear sticky tape to start the roll and to finish the roll). Don’t forget to leave some of the roll dangling!

Now you just need to find a Barbie to put on the top and you’re done!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Three 12 inch Squares

I was asked to make a 12 inch square to contribute to a special blanket. I was watching TV one evening, got a little carried away, and ended up making three instead.

The first is in an interesting Carnival variegated with different shades of blue and white from a pattern called Arches by Dayna Audirsch.

I also wanted to use some of the "eyelash" art yarns, and ended up making two traditional granny square style squares (since the gaps make it less difficult to use the art yarn). One was in turquoise blue/green with nearly identical eyelash yarn.

The second one was in a soft blue with a variegated eyelash yarn with different shades of blue and white (which you can't really see in the pictures).

I'm excited to see the finished blanket when it is done - it is going to a very deserving recipient!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Niece 9's Birthday Shawl

I recently finished a shawl for my 9 year old niece. Her birthday is August 12th (aka - 8-12). I used her birthday as a guide for my row changes. I used an eyelash yarn from the Palette Collection in Wisteria (a lovely shade of purple) as well as some Moda Vera Wisp yarn in a lavender and silver colour.

So I had 8 rows of eyelash, 1 row of wisp, and 2 rows of eyelash. I then reversed it... 8 rows of wisp, 1 row of eyelash and 2 rows of wisp. And then back to the original set of 8 rows of eyelash, 1 row of wisp and 2 rows of eyelash.

I am so happy with how well the purple's match and I'm so pleased that the set of three repeats gave me a perfectly sized shawl for my niece. It is super soft and squishy - exactly what a shawl should be.

I have now started on a similar one for Niece 6 (who's birthday is May 31, aka 5-31, therefore 5 rows, 3 rows, 1 row, repeat twice).
These will be the first crocheted items I will be able to give my nieces in person (the rest have been posted or delivered by someone else). I am really looking forward to seeing their reactions to their shawls. I know how excited I'd have been at their ages to get something like that!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Aaron's Blanket

A dear friend's best friend has a little four year old boy with cancer (Ewings Sarcoma). With the help of several lovely ladies from Ravelry's Crochet Lovers Victoria, we were able to make him a blanket in green and yellow (which I'm told are his favourite colours). Some of the ladies also made Aaron some cute cuddle toys and hats!

Many, many, many, many thanks to Cathy, Dawn, Daphne, Tess, Sharon, Lyn, Julie and Michelle for all of your help! (aka: CRC, DawnieDear, HappyPeacock, KingsvilleTess, LaughingPurple, lyndymb, Shilo and Yarnplay67)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

More Dyeing - Food Colour Attempt Two

This past week I made another attempt at food colour dyeing. This time I was more prepared wtih plenty of food colour on hand as well as my plastic mustard and ketchup picnic bottles to squirt on the colour (a tip I received from someone... sorry, I can't remember who, but thank you whoever you are!). Edited to add: Oh, I just looked it up. It was Meagan who gave me the plastic bottle tip. Thank Meagan - they worked PERFECTLY!

I have been using Queen food colours from the supermarket. This time I used an entire bottle of rose pink, an entire bottle of conchineal (sp?), an entire bottle of blue, and about half a bottle of green. All that for just 200 grams of wool!

I was aiming for mostly red to pink (and varieties in between). When I was squirting the dye on, the red and the pink looked nearly exactly the same and I was afraid I'd end up with more or less just one colour all over. That's fine, but that's not why I was doing home dyeing. I then decided to try and add a little bit of "turquoise" to the mix.
I REALLY saturated the wool because I wanted nice strong bright colours and I didn't want any of the natural colour of the wool showing. I followed the same directions as my first attempt - soaking in vinegar, putting it in cling wrap, squirting on the colours, then microwaving. After giving it a post microwave rinse in tepid water in the laundry sink, I noticed A TON of colour was coming out. And since, from my previous experience, I didn't want a residual vinegar smell, I decided to let it soak in some wool wash for awhile.

Later that night I was on my way out to dinner when I realised - oops! I'd left the wool soaking in the sink and had forgotten to take it out! Not much I could do about it at that stage, so it had to wait until I got home a few hours later. Because a lot of the colour that was coming out in the sink was of the blue/green variety, I believe it affected the rest of the colours.

Although I still have a bit of red and pink colours, more of that has turned to purple. Ultimately though, I am really happy with the colours and I love how they look. I started making a hat with the wool and it was working up beautifully. Unfortunately the pattern was awful and although this was supposed to be a large sized adult hat, it ended up being a good size for one of my niece's doll. I ended up having to frog it and will have to just wing a hat pattern as I go. Can't wait to finish it. Oh, I think that means I have to start it first!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Part Two - I Would Dye For You

In the end, I really love microwave dyeing and have since tried it with Kool-Aid. Yes, I sacrificed some of my precious Grape Kool-Aid to dye some alpaca that was very gray and gummy looking. Can't let perfectly lovely alpaca go to waste!

Jumping back to my first batch, after it was all dry, I realised it was still a bit stinky from the vinegar. I was advised that I might want to give it a hand wash in some tepid water with wool wash (being careful not to agitate it!).

I then balled it up and used about two of my three balls to make myself a tam style beret (which I haven't photographed yet).

As for the alpaca, I followed nearly the same directions as the food colour dyeing, however, this time, instead of squirting on the colours, I microwaved the alpaca in a bowl of Kool-Aid water. I read elsewhere on the internet that you just continue to microwave (in 2 minute intervals, 2 minutes of rest) until the water is clear and your fibre has absorbed all the colour.
I would have liked it to be a tad more purple, but I only had two packets of Kool-Aid for 200 grams of alpaca, and according to the calculations I got off the internet, I should have had about 6 for that much fibre. Ah well! I much happier with it than I was before. And it has a slightly grape-ish odour as an added bonus. :)

Pre-dyeing colour.

Soaking in vinegar for about an hour. (I've read you don't need to the vinegar soak for Kool-Aid dyeing because the Kool-Aid is already acidic. But I figured I'd rather be safe than sorry).

My two Grape Kool-Aid packets from the American food shop (must remember to stock up on Kool-Aid on my next trip back to the US!)

Ready for the microwave.

Outside drying.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Would Dye for You

Well, I did it for myself actually, but it was so easy, I would do it for other people, too!

I've been wanting to try dyeing wool for quite some time, but it just seemed so messy! I was also very worried about ruining my pots and pans. Then I saw a blog by Laughing Purple Goldfish Designs where she dyed some wool in the microwave - yes, the microwave!

Well I had no idea this was even possible! I was so excited, I had to give it a try. In addition to reading several of Laughing Purple Goldfish's related blogs, I also searched the internet for any other tips and tricks that might come in handy.

I started with three balls of Spotlight's Basic Harvest Wool (please be advised that if you are using food dye, you want to use 100% animal fibre).

Using the back of my office chair, I wound them into hanks and tied them together with some alpaca I was not particularly found of (a little test to see how the alpaca would take to the dyeing).

As I've read, I then soaked these hanks in the laundry sink full of tepid water with about 1 cup of vinegar. I've read you should soak them for at least half an hour, so I did it for one hour. (By the way, make sure your water is not too cold or too hot or run the risk of inadvertently felting your wool).

While my wool was soaking in the vinegar and water mix, I got the rest of my items ready to go. Food colouring, cups, some old takeaway food chopsticks for mixing, cling wrap, and some more vinegar.

Then I set about mixing my food dye colours with water and vinegar and trying to get some cool colours. (Long story short, these were not the colours I was aiming for at all, but they are pretty fun nonetheless).

I've read that a turkey baster is recommended for squirting the colours on, but I don't have one. Ironically I needed a "potty break" and came across this little dropper thingy in the bathroom that came with a perfume atomizer - that'll work!

So I drained the hanks, gave them a little bit of a "hug" in a towel and then laid them out on a couple of sheets of cling wrap (with some old towels underneath just in case).

Now it was time to put the colours on!!! Weeee!!!! Okay the perfume atomizer thingy was a little small, but beggars can't be choosers. (I reckon I will invest in a turkey baster though for future dyeing).

Then I rolled it up in the clingwrap and popped it into a microwave safe dish.

Cook for two minutes, rest for two minutes, cook for two minutes, rest for two minutes, cook for another two minutes. Obviously since I've just been cooking this thing for a total of six minutes, this puppy was hot. I carefully took it over to the laundry sink with my oven mitts and popped it into the sink. I then very carefully unwrapped it, being sure to avoid any steam burns.
I wish you could see the steam coming off of this thing in the photo!
Then it was time to give it rinse with some tepid to warmish water (you don't want to hot or too cold so you don't accidentally felt it). Then another big hug in the towel to get some of the excess water out - and TA-DA! It's ready to go outside and dry!!!

I can't wait until these are dry so I can put them into balls and then start crocheting with them!
This was just so easy, so fast, and pretty mess-free. Because it's just food colouring, the glasses and bowl were just popped into the dishwasher and the chopsticks and cling wrap were popped into the garbage can. Clean-up complete! Too easy!
Obviously adult supervision is needed for this - especially with the microwaving and post-microwave unwrapping, but I think it would be so much fun for kids to be able to mix their own colours and squirt them onto the wool themselves. And it's totally safe since it's just food colouring. How excited would they be to have something made for them with wool they dyed themselves? :)))

Hip to be square

It seems like I've been making a lot of squares lately. In addition to the block-a-month crochet-along (where I'm actually doing both squares each month), I've also been organising a blanket for a friend of a friend's little 3 year-old boy who has cancer.
Some of the lovely ladies of Crochet Lover's Victoria on Ravelry have made some squares for the blanket (in addition to a couple of hats and toys as well - they are very generous!). I've personally completed three squares for the blanket so far.

Apparently the little boy's favourite colours are yellow and green, so everyone has been making squares in those colours.

I've made one of my 3-5-3-5-3 Squares

A center heart square
And a Mandala square. (I made this one on accident - I thought I was making a different square, and was already too far into it when I realised I'd grabbed the wrong pattern - oh well).
I've also finished my second January square (that Mandala pattern I don't care for.)
And this "two-tone" square pattern.
The center heart square is also one of February's patterns so I still need to make that in the blue and cream for myself now.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"I Felt the Earth Move" Handbag

After making my '2 Bizarre 4 the Car' blanket I had several scrap balls of Cleckheaton Vintage Hues leftover, and nearly 2/3 of one complete ball as well. I'd heard that Vintage Hues "felts beautifully... whether you want it to or not."

I received a lovely felted coin purse kit for Christmas, but have been scared to use it. I've never felted before and I didn't want to screw it up. I decided using these scraps would be the perfect opportunity to practice felting, and if it didn't work - oh well - no biggee.

I know items shrink when they felt, I was going on the principle of about 1/2 shrinkage in size. I wanted a small bag to throw a few things in. I ended up getting a little carried away and the bag got a bit larger on me than I'd originally intended. Here's a photo prior to washing/felting. That's a 12 inch ruler below the bag.

Thanks to the wonderful ladies of Crochet Lovers Victoria on Ravelry, I was able to give it a go! One item that was especially helpful was this blog from Laughing Purple Goldfish Designs.

Since I didn't have much to bash around the item in the washing machine, it took four rounds to get all of this puppy to felt.

I am sooooooo happy with the end result! I love the shape, I love the size it ended up being in the end. Even MrElle, who tries his best to be enthusiastic about some of my crocheted items, seemed genuinely impressed with my final result.

Here are some post felting photos. The bag is still wet in these photos (and stuffed with plastic bags so it will retain it's shape while drying). Check out the difference between the first photos (the size of the bag in comparison to the ruler) and the post felting ones.

This was my own improvised design. I'm quite happy with how it came out. A few people have asked me for the pattern, so I'm in the process of putting it to paper (or screen?). Watch this space....


"I Felt the Earth Move" Handbag Crochet Pattern
Copyright January 2009 by Letitia Sherriff
*Although I am happy to offer this pattern to you for free, please do not reprint this pattern or make this pattern for items for sale. Pattern is written in US crochet terminology.

Materials Used
  • Cleckheaton Vintage Hues 50 gram balls (Shade 1268)- 3 balls should be more than sufficient. (If substituting yarn, please be advised it must be 100% animal fibre for it to felt) (ETA: 2-March 2009, I have been advised by someone who made this bag that they used 5 balls of wool, though I am not sure what type/brand they used - FYI).
  • 8.0mm crochet hook

  • Chain 50
  • Starting the second chain from the hook, sc in each chain across and 2sc in the last chain (50 stitches made). Remember to crochet loosely (not too tight) so that the item will felt properly.
  • Continuing along the OTHER side of the chain, sc all the way across and 2sc in the last chain (50 sc made).
  • You are now going to continue crocheting "in the round" making a very elongated oval / rectangle. Do not join or fasten off at the end of a round, just continue working in a spiral. You may wish to use a stitch marker just to keep track of where you are in terms of rounds.
  • At each corner (4 corners total) you will do 2sc into the same stitch. All other stitches will just receive 1sc each. You are currently making the base/bottom of the bag. (Please note, pattern originally called for 3sc in each corner, but found this to be a bit too bulbous).
  • Continue in this manner (2sc in each corner, 1sc in all others) for 10 rounds
  • Now do one round of surface crochet on each stitch of the previous round. (Stitch explanation - surface crochet: If you are doing single crochet and lay the item flat on a table, the "V's" will be facing away from you. When you do the surface crochet, instead of putting the hook through the top of the stitch by the V's, you are actually going around the stitch itself. As you can hopefully see in the photo below, the purple is done laying flat, with the V's facing away, and the yellow is done on the surface, with the V's FACING THE CEILING). Hook in the photo is placed where the next stitch would go.

  • Working into this surface crochet that you just did (like it is a regular stitch now), you will do 1sc into each stitch. You are now working up the sides of the bag.
  • Continuing in a spiral, do 12 more rounds of sc - 1 sc in each stitch.
  • #*For the next round, do a sc in each of the next 8 stitches, then sc2tog to decrease* continue from * to * for two rounds. Then do one round of sc in each stitch. # Repeat from # to # two more times.
  • Now you are going to be decreasing only at the short sides of the bag. Although the bag is technically more of an oval than a rectangle, if you think of it as a rectangle the "ends" of the bag are the short sides.
  • #*sc all along the long sides of the bag. When you get to the short end you are going to do 2 sc, sc2tog. Do this three times on the side of the bag. Now continue along the other long side of the bag all in sc. When you get to the other short end, do the same as you did on the other side (sc, sc, sc2tog, sc, sc, sc2tog, sc, sc, sc2tog). * Repeat from * to * one more time. Now do one round of just sc#. Repeat from # to # two more times.
  • Do one final round of all sc, ending on the short side of the bag. Do NOT fasten off.
  • You are now going to start the handle. SC over 10 stitches, making sure they are centred over the short end of the bag. Ch-1 and turn. *SC once into each of the previous 10 scs. Ch-1 and turn. * Repeat from * to * another 48 times (or more depending on how long you would like the handle to be).
  • Now sc the handle to the other short end of the bag to attach the handle. (Don't worry, this will "disappear" when the bag is felted.) Fasten off! Your done!
  • Now you are ready to felt it, baby!

January Block-a-Month

I am participating in a crochet-along (CAL) through a Ravelry group. The idea is that you make one 12 inch square per month and end up with 12 at the end of the year. Each month, two different patterns are posted and you pick the one you'd like to do.

Seeing 12 squares would only make a 3' x 4' blanket - which isn't of too much use to me - I've decided to do both blocks each month. That's 24 squares by the end of the year instead, which will make a nice sized 4' x 6' blanket instead... much more useful.

Here's the first of my two squares for January from a pattern called Esther.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sock it to me baby!

I have to admit, I never really got the whole sock obsession thing with knitters and crocheters. I guess I had two 'areas of resistance' with the whole thing (or maybe three).

First - Having lived through the 80's, when all socks HAD to match the rest of your outfit, I've now gone to the other extreme. I have white socks and I have black socks. That's it. Not even any navy blue. Nothing.

Second - I guess, I just had trouble getting my head around paying somewhere in the neighbourhood of at least $5 for some sock yarn, when I could just go to Target (or similar) and buy a perfectly good pair of socks for less than that - and I didn't have to do any work.

Third - although technically speaking a blanket, or a scarf, or a hat could last for years or even generations, socks really have a limited lifespan.

On the other hand though, I can see some appeal to them. They are small and portable, can be worked up quit quickly, can be easily adjustable for odd sized feet, and can be made in so many varieties of colours and fibres - absorbent cotton to warm wool.

So as they say, don't knock it till you try it. With all the sock fuss, I figured maybe there is something to it that I'm just missing out on. Sooooo, I am now in the process of attempting my first pair of crocheted sock. I'm about halfway through the first sock (which I think I am making a little too large). I really love the colourful yarn I am using - so they will be fun when they are finished. I'm coming up to the tricky part, so we'll see how it goes from here.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Possum: 'Raspberry Beret,' 'There's a Possum on My Head!' and "Neckwarmer'

For Christmas this year (er, well, 2008 anyway) I made my Dad's wife Cathy a beret style hat with the red possum/merino/silk wool I picked up on my trip to New Zealand. I LUUURRVVEEE how soft this wool is. And I just love the uniqueness of the the possum fur! I picked out this lovely shade of red for Cathy as I thought it would look very nice with her colouring and very pretty against her gorgeous snow white hair.

Cathy has thanked me on the phone for her hat, and it sounds like she likes it. I forgot to ask her if it fits though! Fingers crossed...

For my Dad, I made two items. The first was the "I've Got a Possum on My Head" hat/beanie - which was just an improvised design. I also made him a neckwarmer in griddle stitch. I made the neckwarmer large enough to be able to slip over his head without fussing with buttons, and to have the alternate use of being used as earwarmers. (I made both of his items in the natural colour as I thought it was the most blokey of the lot).