Monday, November 30, 2009

A flock of birds

This is how I spent my Thanksgiving weekend.

I love my sewing room. Mom just gave me her 25-year-old sewing machine and I love it. I didn't think it would be that much better than my old machine, her REALLY old, 50-year-old, machine, but the "new" one is fabulous!

I love felting sweaters. If you have any old 100% wool sweaters, send them my way. Especially if they have interesting colors in them. I made the "robins" by using the part of a striped sweater that has brown and orange stripes. The robins are only shown on the photo of all of the birds... I'm not planning to keep all of these. I'm going to try to sell them at an event at Alex's elementary school--and donate the money to the school's holiday fundraiser.

If you want a bird, let me know and maybe I'll send one your way. Be sure to tell me which one is your favorite!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Felted Hat

My second felted project is a hat. A different sweater, with beautiful cables. It felted better than the first one, and I couldn't bear to cut up the cables. It would not have made nice birds... But it made a great hat. Not ready for primetime, but very, very warm. It fits Joseph perfectly. I have the back of the vest to make a second hat for Alex. The boys don't often wear hats, they prefer the hoods on their jackets, and it just doesn't get that cold that often here. However, I may borrow this hat to walk the dog on cold nights. I may fuss to make the shape a bit better, or I may just let it be kind of "rustic."

I made a few more birds--I copied the pattern at 80% to make a smaller version, and I really like that one. I'll keep you posted and post a photo of the whole flock when I am all done.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Felted birds

Here is my latest craft project:

I felted an old sweater. I knit several sweaters and vests 20-25 years ago. They have not fit for about 15 years, but I've kept a few favorites. I finally found a project to recycle/upcycle them. I felted the wool. Basically, shrinking the vest in the washer on purpose. See internet for information. I'm not happy with the way the process went for me to want to share. I'm doing my sweaters and vests one at a time, hoping I figure out how to make nice, tight wool fabric that won't unravel when it is cut.

Out of half of the first red vest I've made three birds. Two are shown here. I'll use them as decorations on the tree, I think. I'm not happy with the tails, but can't figure out a better way to do the tail, so for now, blanket stitch it is.

The pattern for the bird is from Spool. Maybe someday I'll have a whole flock and a fancy mobile like the one shown in the Spool link. The pattern is VERY simple and streamlined. Easy to make, but hard to make "perfect."

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Mailbox is Ready to go Trick-or-Treating!

"Mom, the mailbox is ready to go trick or treating!"

That is my Alex. I thought it was worth a photo!

He and Joseph wore their football costumes from last year. Alex's choice. Wow. That was easy and cheap!

The whole story is that Alex and I went out to shop for a costume a few weeks ago. He did NOT want a homemade costume, even though I encouraged him to consider that option and we stopped in at the fabric store to browse for ideas. So, I did what he wanted and went to the "Halloween" store set up temporarily next to the fabric store at the local strip mall. As soon as we walked in he got quiet. I was ready to spring for just about anything he wanted, as long as no weapons were involved. We were directed to the rows and rows of boys costumes, and he looked at everything--wide-eyed and silent. When asked what he wanted he stayed silent. He didn't even want to try one on. I've learned over the years that this silent, wide-eyed Alex is completely overwhelmed, overstimulated, and truly unable to make a decision or really to cope. So we left. I asked about six times as we headed to the car if he was sure he didn't want to look at the costumes more. If there wasn't something he wanted. He finally said he just wanted to be a football player again. He and Joseph could be football players again. So that is what we did. The pants didn't fit. The shirts just barely fit. The helmets were fine. Maybe we are starting to outgrow Halloween? Joseph wouldn't wear the shirt to his costume to school on Friday.

And the mailbox looked great!