Light and Breezy

I love layering. So much so that I have a drawer’s worth of plain colored t-shirts and tank tops that exist solely to be worn underneath other shirts or vests. I mean, I could wear them by themselves, but that would be boring.

One thing my dresser has been missing for a while in the layering department is what I like to call a “mesh shirt.” I’m sure it has another name, but I am too lazy to actually look it up. I had one for a long time that was pastel tie-dye, but it had a few holes that were bigger than they should be because they got snagged or torn in the wash.

Browsing for projects (because I never have enough projects lined up, right?) I came across the Breezy T pattern by Brenda Bourg on the Red Heart website. It was so perfect I even matched the color of the sample.

It turned out extremely well. This was my first attempt at crocheting a garment. Many hats before, and a couple of arm bands, but never a shirt. That kind of thing I tend to reserve for knitting. Because (for those who don’t know) knitted fabric tends to have more drape and be more suited for clothing than stiffer, crocheted fabric.

Because of the mesh structure, though, this shirt is quite nice and soft. The one thing I changed from the pattern was the sleeve edging. What was written does not seem like the edging in the sample picture, plus it was way too wavy. Instead I used a simple edging that would give me a similar shape to the picture (details here if you want to know, along with all details for the project).

This may become my favorite layering piece of the summer if the temperatures stay where they are. Turn a tank top into a work-appropriate look without making me feel like I’m boiling in my skin when we are outside.

XOXO

(I am still working on labeling my France pictures, so they should be ready by Friday. There are a lot and I have to look up what some of the specific places were.)

I love gloves. It is a serious obsession, almost rivaling my CD collection, but not quite. Gloves are my favorite “On-The-Go” project because I am not really into sock knitting (yet).

I had gotten this (apparently discontinued) yarn one day when I browsing the aisles at Michaels. It’s a super-soft acrylic and bamboo blend that I am sad doesn’t exist anymore. But, I was able to turn it into these gloves from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders.

This is the Hearts-and-Kisses-With-Love Hand Warmers pattern by Nancy Bowron. I love the XOX chain on the top:

But I really love the “hidden” heart on the palm:

It just gives the gloves a little something extra.

Starting the Year Off Right

I finished this pretty little cape on Jan. 1. I had been working on it for a couple weeks, but I finished it the first day of the year.

Cape

I made it for my mom from the DROPS 199-17 (short DROPS cape) by DROPS Design, but omitted the ribbon tie. Not really her style; a pin works better. I used Silky Alpaca Lace and the recommended size 8 and 4 needles. It took two full skeins to make the large (middle size in the pattern) size.

Wrapping Up Warming Up For Christmas

Warming up for Christmas

Last July-ish I gave myself a goal of making hats for the women at Elizabeth House. I did end up making enough for the women living in both houses, though I had hoped to make more and have extras. That didn’t work because I got distracted, possibly a little bored, and tied up in some other projects. But, like I said, at least I made nine sets (adult, child, and infant).

Here’s the end result of this project:

Adult Hats

Adult Hats

Child Hats

Child Hats

Infant Hats

Infant Hats

They got distributed in Christmas bags to the residents.

I didn’t keep up with the project as well as I had hoped, and I didn’t work at the pace I originally expected. I don’t think I’m going to do something like that again. Too much stress to put on myself when I was also trying to make Christmas presents, working extra hours with a new baby, and just generally busy with the holidays. From now on, I think I’ll stick to donating to projects headed by others so it’s not all resting on me.

Purple Giraffes

Well, not exactly. But it is a giraffe on a purple shirt.

My little buddy (the boy I babysit nearly every day) had his third birthday last month. Two things he is absolutely sure of on a regular basis: his favorite color is purple and his favorite animal is a giraffe.

In addition to a few cars and some stickers, I decided to make him a shirt. Mostly because I couldn’t find any giraffe shirts at Target.

I found a few tutorials online and cobbled together my own screen printing method using curtain fabric, an embroidery hoop, and some handmade stencils.

It worked well for the yellow base coat of the giraffe’s body, but not exactly for the spots.

The paint didn’t exactly go through the tiny holes. It frustrated me a bit, considering it took so long to cut out every single spot, but it gave me a good basis to paint on the spots that didn’t come out by hand.

I painted the outlines, eyes, and leaves as well because by that point I didn’t want to mess with the home-made screen anymore. The curtain fabric was not rigidly woven enough and it started creating large holes. Painting ended up working pretty well.

Have you ever tried to silkscreen this way? Anyone else like to throw in a hand-made present along with (or in lieu of) store-bought ones?

Illustration Friday: Shiny

“Shiny Pebbles”, pastels on paper.

The first thing that popped into my head with the prompt of “Shiny” was a necklace. I like the effect of balancing the shiny necklace with the shine on the lips. The title comes from one of my favorite shows ever:

“I ask for rich guys stuff and you give me shiny pebbles?” – Dr. John Zoidberg, Futurama (“Three Hundred Big Boys”)

What does the word “shiny” bring to your mind?

Illustration Friday: Faded

“Old Blue Jeans” – watercolor

The word faded always brings to mind jeans for me. Especially jeans that are faded in the right spots from wearing them for years, not the acid-wash style jeans.

“I’m gonna put on my old blue jeans/gonna walk out of here and into the streets/ would you put up resistance/ would it make a difference/ would you know the real me/ me in my old blue jeans” – “Old Blue Jeans”  Hannah Montana