You’re A Wizard, Harry

Friday was favorite character day at the elementary school. Predictably, most of the people who dressed up were from the Harry Potter universe. You know, since it’s an elementary school and they weren’t allowed to dress as movie characters.

It started with a scarf, which actually came together rather quickly. I used red worsted weight yarn and yellow bulky weight yarn and was able to create a five foot long scarf with about 4 hours of work off and on Monday and Tuesday.

Then it was time to make the robe. I dyed some muslin black (that one took a couple different tries) and drafted the pattern on Wednesday so I would be able to sew it up on Thursday.

I then went and picked up some sunglasses to remove the lenses from. I wish I had remembered to take a before picture, because they started out bright, sparkly pink. But after a bit of sanding and paint they were much better.

Once everything else was together, I thought it could use one last touch, so I took some extra material from the robe, sketched out the Gryiffindor house crest with a white pencil, and embroidered it.

On the other side, I put a pocket. Not really a stylistic choice, but because part of the robe got eaten slightly by the serger.

Getting Things Done

Is it just me, or does everything seem to pile up at once? You can just be going along with one or two things to do, and then when you plan to do something, twenty other things need to be done at once. That would be how my week is going.

Like I said before, I’m working to really get my Etsy store “open”. Technically, it is open now, but I’m “grand opening” on Sunday. And there is another project I am working on to go with that. So there’s two projects I was planning and working on at a steady pace.

Then, we found out favorite book character day is on Friday. That added another four projects to the list. But it gave me incentive to see if I could knit a five-foot scarf in under a week. (Spoiler alert: I finished in two days. Maybe a whole four hours of work into it?)

I’ve also committed to helping my mom re-open her Etsy Store this week before a major event at her work. And after a major event in her life, but that is her story to tell (and she should, hint hint). So I’ve put off some things for that until I finish this costume, but I’m getting to those, too.

While it can be stressful to have so many things going on at once, I think it helps. It gives that extra push to get things done that sometimes is lacking when you only have one or two things to do.

Sewing a Stroller

Bebe, the soft doll the boys have, came in a stroller. It matched his pajamas and was perfectly sized for a small child to push around the house/neighborhood. What it wasn’t perfectly sized for was a four-year-old plopping his rear in it and pulling himself around the house. So it has needed some surgery for a couple years.

I had some green cotton left over from fixing up the balance bike, and I had some random remnant bin finds. I salvaged the hardware from the original seat and used what was left of the seat pieces as a pattern for the new one.

I made the main portions of the seat from the green material, then made bias binding for the edges. Actually, I first tried to reuse the original edging, but somehow it wasn’t long enough despite the fact that I used the original seat as the pattern. Go figure.

I also changed how the top attached to the stroller. It originally had a couple elastic pieces that went around the handle. I chose to do button straps instead. That way the whole thing is easily removable in case it needs to be washed. And there’s no chance of the elastic breaking down as the old ones did.

Bottlecap Magnets

Previously meant to be necklaces, as evidenced by this four-year-old post. Like I mentioned a couple weeks ago, these were started for that shared shop. But I didn’t know about making things with resin back then, and couldn’t figure out what it was I didn’t exactly like about them.

Recently, I decided I would like them much better as magnets than necklaces. I also decided to fill them in with resin, which made them look more like I originally wanted.

I also redid the pictures for the centers. Originally, I had cut out the picture with an X-acto knife, but the pictures got a bit lost against the background color. So this time I decided to leave the white background.

I’ve put them into these sets, which you can find on my Etsy shop. The April20 coupon code is still good through April 30, 2016, for 20% off.

Ignoring the directions

I’ve done a lot of fabric dying over the past few years. Most specifically starting in college when one of my instructors mentioned we could just dye our muslin for our final pieces instead of having to buy different fabric. The muslin came with our supplies paid for by our tuition, and I didn’t have a job so it was a welcome revelation.

Since then I’ve dyed many t-shirts and more muslin for other projects, so when I was asked if I could fix a shirt I knew that was definitely on the list of things I can do.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of what it looked like before. So here is a picture of it after applying the dye.

  

And this is what it looked like after washing.

  

As for ignoring the directions, well, see that bottle of dye in the top picture? It’s Tulip Permanent Dye, meant for dying large batches of fabric in hot water with salt. They have other dye specifically for tie dye. But I’m going to share my secret: it works just as well mixed with cold/warm water. As long as you wet the piece first and let it set overnight, you can use it just the same as the “one step” dye.

Shrug It Off

It seems like it’s been a while since I’ve knit something beginning to end. I have a lot of projects lying around in various stages of finishing. There’s a mostly done baby blanket, three mittens waiting to be embroidered at Christmas time (there were four, but one got lost and needs to be remade), and the rest of the mittens that only have ribbing started. But I haven’t sat down and finished anything in a while. Mostly because it either doesn’t need to be done for a long time, or has no deadline at all.

This shrug/cape/shawl thing does have a deadline, however. My mom needed it done for her gala at work on April 30. She decided she needed a new one around March 20, so, with shipping time for the yarn from Knit Picks, I had a bit of a time crunch on my hands. Luckily, she picked the Gloss Lace yarn which is a blend of wool and silk and therefore could be spit spliced together. Which means I only had to weave two ends, the beginning and the end.

I made up for having only two ends to weave by dropping a stitch about twenty rows from the end and only realizing it when I was on the last row. So I dropped a couple around it to give myself yarn to fix it and did a lot of this:

It worked out fine, so I was able to finish in just over a week. Now it just needs a bath and a dry before I give it to her this weekend and take a final finished picture. Which you will be able to see Sunday on my Instagram or a few days after on my Tumblr.

You can find the details on Ravelry here. The pattern is Fairy’s Shrug (Drops 119-17).

Keep Those Instructions Straight

Lego instructions can get a bit unruly once you get more than about five sets. Actually, some come with so many instructions for one kit that it can become overwhelming. So I came up with the idea to make an instruction binder. Or I found the idea somewhere. Can’t really remember which it was.

All it took was a large binder, some page protectors, and some divider tabs. Or you could probably just put actual dividers between the sections. I chose to just label the first page protector in each group. Most of them only have one anyway.

This makes it easy to add sections, too. I had originally thought about getting an accordion folder, but decided it would be a safer option to be able to add space as the collection grows. Seems to have been a good call so far.