I Made Up My Mind…

to make the Make Up Your Mind tank by Julie of Knitted Bliss. I fell in love with the Mr. McGregor’s Garden comfy sampler from Knit Picks (unfortunately not available anymore) and decided I would find a pattern for it once I got it. I tried to make my own first, but that didn’t work out quickly enough because I wanted this to be my project on vacation.

After a little searching and swatching, I decided Make Up Your Mind was what I wanted. I cast on provisionally for the 40 in size since my gauge was a bit smaller and I wanted it to be a little more flowy since it would be going over another shirt. I did mostly stick with length measurements from the 34 in size, except when it came to how many times to repeat decreases. Actually, I fudged a lot of the numbers because I kept getting off with the stitch patterns and would just decrease until I had an ok amount for the pattern. I was on vacation; I didn’t want to have to actually count my stitches.

This pattern was fairly easy to work, and very easy to follow. I’d say it’s a good bridge between beginner and intermediate skill sets.If you can knit, purl, yarnover, increase and decrease, you can make this pattern, too. Best of all, no sewing seams! You just graft the shoulders together and weave in the ends and you have a ready-to-wear shirt.

The Dark Side Has Cake

TO round out these posts abour June that have dragged on into mid-July, I brought cake. Well, pictures of cake. The actual cake has been gone for weeks.

It’s Lord Vader, and he was delicious. I used this pan by Wilton to bake a chocolate cake, then covered it with black frosting according to the instructions included along with the pan. By the way, it took a whole canister of black frosting coloring to make it even this dark.

And, of course, I forgot to get a cake box. Because I never write a list for the store. But I learned that it is actually quite easy to fashion one from a turkey roasting pan and a cookie rack. Just remember to tape the cake plate in place first.

These Cookies Are Popping

Pops are the “treat of the moment” lately. Cake, brownies, krispie treats, basically anything you can shove a stick into and cover in chocolate is being turned into cute treats. Including Oreos:

When this Nerdy Nummies episode came across my instagram feed, I immediately forwarded it to one of the birthday boys’ mamas. If you can remember, he’s obsessed with Baymax. So I thought those would be perfect for treats for his party.

He’s also obsessed with Pokémon, so I thought I’d try to make a few of those. I figured out how to turn Baymax into Pikachu and made a Pokémon ball to make four different characters.

One thing I changed from the tutorial was using popsicle sticks (well, all I could find was tongue depressors, but same concept) instead of the lollipop sticks. That’s because I was using regular not-Oreos that don’t come in the triple-stuffed variety. I think they might even work better in the triple-stuffed version.

I also forgot to get styrofoam for drying, so I taped two cake boards together with plastic dixie cups between them for height. I cut slots for the sticks with a steak knife, then made it the right size by shoving a popsicle stick into each.

These were super easy to make, and they taste really good. They were a hit at the party (and with my mom, who ate all of the test ones I made at her house).

Lego My Table

One of the boys with a June Birthday is completely obsessed with Legos. So I knew I wanted to do something Lego-themed for his present. I didn’t just want to get him another set to build, though. The perfect gift came across my feed one day when I saw this on IKEAHackers. Considering my entire room is furnished from IKEA, I figured it wouldn’t be too difficult to make a simpler version.

Truthfully, the most difficult part was probably deciding how I wanted to glue everything down. We used Legos to hold the plates together (I found these plates on Amazon) before gluing them in place with rubber cement.

Altogether, the whole project cost around $30. Much better than the alternatives I found at Toys ‘R’ Us for about $100 more. Not counting drying time (or searching for the table in IKEA), it took around thirty minutes to finish this. Best to have at least two sets of hands, though. Even with the Legos holding them together, the four plates can get a little unruly.

Birthday Shirts!

I’ve mentioned before how June is a busy month for birthdays around here. Well, we have two of them. Now that I think about it, that describes every month March through June. Anyway, I decided to make t-shirts for both birthday boys. One asked me for a Baymax shirt and the other was having a cooking party so I made him a cupcake shirt.

I used my contact paper masking method to create stnecils for some fabric spray paint. I made the basic picture using the paint, then added the details in a couple of different ways.

For the cupcake shirt, I went back in with some embroidery thread to create outlines and details.

The other one being a cartoon character, I thought drawn details would fit better with the style. For that I used my trusty Sharpie pens I found on my trip to the closing Office Depot.

They both turned out really well. Well enough to say definitively that the contact paper method really works for creating stencils for the spray paint. It just takes a lot of light coats of paint to prevent bleeding and pooling at the edges of the sticker.