Monday, February 28, 2011

New Project on the Hook


This is a swatch of the Peaceful Waves Shawl from the Prayer Shawl Companion. I had a bit of trouble working out the first few rows of the pattern and hope it goes smoothly from here.

Question: Has anyone worked the Peaceful Waves Shawl yet? If so, what color scheme did you use? I'm trying to decide if I should work the shawl all in one color or add another shade of darker blue to make the cool-looking stripes.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Abandoning Shawl!

I'm abandoning the ugly shawl I started. I worked on it some more last night and the more I worked on it the bigger and uglier it got! I'm trying out another pattern in the same book in hopes I'll have better luck. I'll post a pic of the new shawl tomorrow-once I get a few rows worked.

Question: Did anyone else work Mary's Hug Shawl with better results? If so, I'd love to hear about which yarn you chose for the project and which hook size you used.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Not Liking This Project!


This is a swatch of the prayer shawl I've been making. As you can see, I've gotten about 2" done on the project. I'm not crazy about the yarn and I'm having to use an enormous size N hook to achieve the 8 sts=4" gauge, and I'm still a bit shy...I'm getting about 7.5 sts to 4". The hook is making the project appear too holey for my tastes. I making this shawl up as a test model anyway, then I'll probably go back and rework the pattern with a smaller hook and different yarn to see if I get better results. The recipient of this shawl has decided she wants it in a different color anyway. :)

Question: Don't you hate it when your projects don't turn out as pretty as you'd like, especially after dropping your hard-earned money on supplies?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Yarn for my Prayer Shawl


Here's the yarn I'll be using to crochet my prayer shawl. I'll post a pic of the WIP progress tomorrow. :)

Question: I'm crocheting with this yarn for the very first time and honestly, I'm not too crazy about its color or texture. Has anyone else crocheted with this type of yarn before (naturallycaron's Country)? If so, what is your opinion of the yarn? I may change my mind about the yarn and fall in love with it once I see the completed project. It's hard to judge this early on...but I think if I make another shawl like this I'll use Caron's Simply Soft yarn, which I love.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

And My Next Project Is...


I have a request to make the "Mary's Hug Shawl" found in The Crocheted Prayer Shawl Companion book. So, I'll be starting that project as early as tonight.

Question: Has anyone crocheted Mary's Hug Shawl yet? If so, which brand of yarn did you choose for the project? In which colors? I'd love to hear about your version!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Meet the Designer

Like my flat fairy doll? You can visit the talented designer, Paula McGee's, site here.

Question: Paula's dolls are so charming! Has anyone taken one of the classes she offers on her website? If so, I'd love to hear about your experience with the class. Was the class easy to follow? Was it worth the money? Let me know!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fairy Complete !!


I finished my flat fairy doll last night! Tell me, what do you think? She little resembles the original pattern but I'm pleased with her anyway. As a crafterthought, I chained her a pale blue scarf (she looked cold!).

Question: I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions about my doll. Did I overstuff her? Do you like the scarf I made her? Should I have given my dolly a face? Let me know!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Arms Added


Almost done with my fairy doll. Attached the arms last night. I glued them on with some Fast Grab Tacky Glue...it was easier than sewing them on. Tonight, hope to get the wings attached. Then, add any finishing touches...if I think of any.

Question: Do you take crafting shortcuts, like gluing when you're supposed to sew or leaving the faces off dolls when they should have beautiful handpainted eyes, lips and noses?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sewing the Pieces Together


All of my pieces are stuffed and sewn shut. At last, I've begun sewing my fairy doll's body together. Hope to sew at least one arm on tonight.

Question: Do you have a favorite cloth doll sewing pattern? If so, I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Buttons for my Baby



Here are the buttons I've chosen for my fairy doll. I think they match the wings nicely. I found this pack of buttons in the craft department at Walmart.

Question: Don't you love it when you get close to the end of a project? Not only do you get to see the results of all your hard work, but you get to start planning your next project!


Friday, February 18, 2011

A Gathering of Wings


I didn't get to stitch my fairy doll parts closed last night as planned. I was busy writing poems and articles. I did, however, find a few minutes to gather my wings. They look good (I think!). Maybe I'll get around to stitching those parts closed tonight.

Question: How many minutes (or hours!) per day do you craft?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I'm stuffed !!


I finished stuffing my Flat Fairy Doll last night. You now have an idea how the doll will look when she's done. I hope to start stitching the pieces closed tonight.

Question: Did I overstuff my doll? Do you like the flat look better?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tough Stuff !!



Last night I stuffed one Flat Fairy Doll arm and boy-because of their tiny size-they were tough to stuff! First, I tried shoving the stuffing into the arm with the pointed end of a knitting needle but in doing that, I accidentally poked a hole through the stitching. The other end of the knitting needle didn't reach far enough into the arm to form that sharp point on the hand. I then-successfully-found that the sharp end of a mechanical pencil  (lead retracted, of course) worked best. I'm hoping to stuff the other arm tonight.

Question: What do you use to stuff those teeny tiny projects of yours? Surely there must be a more sophisticated tool for the job than a pencil!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fat Fairy Doll?


As I started to stuff my Flat Fairy Doll's  body last night, I found that if I stuffed her body lightly as the directions called for my fairy looked dull and lifeless. But, as I added more stuffing my fairy came to life. Think I'll make a fat fairy doll instead!

Question: When following a pattern, do you follow it exactly or do you make major or minor changes to the pattern to make the project "your own"?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Do you like to handsew?


Last night I finished my Flat Fairy Doll's head and body and had time to finish both arms! Tonight, I'll stuff all her parts. The directions call to stuff the doll lightly. I hope I can get her just right!

Question: Do you like to handsew? Lately, all I want to do is pick up a needle and thread and go through the slow motions of handsewing pieces of cloth together. I was looking at a quilt pattern yesterday and thought...I bet I could handsew that entire quilt!  Have I gone mad? Is anyone out there still handsewing quilts?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Are you stitching a fairy doll?


I stitched some of my fairy doll's head and body last night. I didn't get it completed, as it was hair dye night and by the time I worked the dye in, rinsed it out and cleaned up the mess I was too pooped to stitch much. I should finish the head and body tonight.

Question: Are you stitching a fairy doll of your own? If so, I've done my job and inspired you to pick up the March 2011 Soft Dolls and Animals magazine and start stitching!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Fairy Dreams



When the winds of March are wakening the crocuses and crickets,
Did you ever find a fairy near some budding little thickets,...
And when she sees you creeping up to get a closer peek
She tumbles through the daffodils, a playing hide and seek. -Marjorie Barrows
                                                                                                        


I'm dreaming of fairies! I stitched another leg on my Flat Fairies Doll last night. I can't wait to get my fairy done. I wonder what she'll look like! I can almost see her floating through the sky on polka-dot wings!

I think I'll start on my fairy's body and head tonight.

Question: Do you believe in fairies? Have you ever seen a fairy fluttering through the sky or happened upon a fairy garden party?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fairy Wings


I started stitching my Flat Fairy Doll wings yesterday at the doctor's office (my daughter has been ill and I took her for a doctor visit yesterday). I found the polka dot fabric at Walmart last week and bought a yard of it. I thought it would make nice wings.

I was glad to have the stitching and the Soft Dolls and Animals magazine while visiting the doctor. My daughter and I were there nearly 3 hours. When I finished sewing, I read her the magazine and she showed me which dolls she liked in it-and which ones she didn't!

The good news (and there's always some good news!) is that my daughter is on the road to recovery and she feels some better today! Perhaps I'll find some stitching time tonight.

Question: Does your local Walmart still sell fabric? I've heard they're remodeling the Walmart I shop at and taking the fabric department out. Luckily, there's a fabric store nearby but I've always loved the convenience of buying fabric at Walmart (since I'm there clothes and grocery shopping a lot).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Do you struggle to find time to stitch?


Do you struggle to find time to stitch? It's hard to find time to stitch...I know! I don't sit in a rocker and knit and sew and crochet all day (nor do I want to!). My daughter has been sick with a virus for a week and I've been caring for her. In between doctor visits, trips to the pharmacy for medicine and time spent comforting a sick child ( things which I do gladly!), I've managed to get one fairy leg sewn (above).  I'm proud of modern needlewomen-like myself-who are determined to keep arts and crafts alive, no matter how tired we are!

Question: When do YOU find time to stitch? I'd love to hear from other busy ladies (caregivers, working moms, homeschooling moms) and learn how YOU find time to craft in today's busy world.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Flat Fairies Doll


Have you picked up the new issue of Soft Dolls and Animals yet? My next project is going to be a flat fairy doll based on the Flat Fairies pattern found in the March 2011 issue of Soft Dolls and Animals magazine. My doll will be very basic...she won't have hair or a face.

Question: Is anyone else stitching a flat fairy doll? If so, I'd love to see pictures of your doll in progress or your completed doll!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Got Blood? Cross Stitch for Vampires


Vampires are everywhere these days! My library's shelves are filled with bloody-good vampire books, including Genevieve Milller's Vampire Knits-from which I extracted this pattern and adapted it to cross stitch.

Question: Are you a vampire or a vampire lover who would like to see more "bloody" blog posts?

Who is The Modern Needlewoman?

The Modern Needlewoman is the woman who-in spite of her daily chores and challenges-finds time to stitch something beautiful with her hands.

Question: Are YOU a Modern Needlewoman?