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.

Make It a Bat Cycle

Remember how I told you there was a part 2 to the birthday gift from Monday?, and also how I procrastinated on it even more than the bubbles?

See, his big gift this year was his first ever bicycle. But that is a thing that is most definitely going to outlast his Batman phase and most likely be handed down to his brother. So he got a bike with flames on it but, through a series of random circumstances saw a picture of it and said he would rather have a Batman bike. Ding ding, birthday gift idea!

I had intended to measure the seat of his new bike (which he didn’t know he was getting yet) and all of that the day before his party so I could make a seat cover to give him the next day, but I never got around to it between laundry and lunchtime for baby brother. Luckily, I was set to stay with brother as he napped the next morning and everyone did things to get ready for the party. After everyone left I snuck in to where the bike was hidden, grabbed quick measurements and settled in at the dining room table to cut and sew a seat cover out of felt.

I had made the decal the night before, since that didn’t have to be any particular size. Then I cut out the four pieces of the seat, stitched the decal to the top, and backstitched them all together with embroidery thread to make the seams as secure as possible when hand sewing. I added a pullstring at the bottom so the cover just slips on the seat and is then secured with the string. Baby brother helped out by taking an insanely long nap and waking up just in time for us to walk down to the party and get cake.

It was a hit. He apparently wanted it put on his bike immediately and was incredibly excited about it. Mom was thrilled that he had his own logo on the bubble bottles. (And, let’s face it, at this age handmade gifts are more for mom than for child.) All around a successful birthday gift set.

How badly do you procrastinate on making things for others? Or am I the only one? Are you one of those super organized people who thinks months ahead about gifts and keeps them in a closet until the gift-giving occasion arrives?

Wintery Birthday Presents

My grandma’s birthday was this past week, and with wintery temperatures and storms and such this time of year what better present than a matching scarf and hat set. Wow, that was a long sentence.

Lotus Stitch Scarf and Hat

The hat is made from the Third Base Line’s Lotus Hat, and the scarf is just the lotus chart twice each row with a garter stitch border for five feet.

Detail of scarf
Detail of hat

They were both made from Loops & Threads “Incredible”. Eventually I will become better about posting these things to Craftsy and Ravelry with actual information…

Warming Up For Christmas: A Hat Project

It may seem a little early for a Christmas-related post, seeing how December is still about five-and-a-half months away, but really there are only about 23 weeks. I know, I just said the same thing twice. When you are knitting or crocheting for the holidays, 23-ish weeks isn’t much time.

About a week or two ago I came across the Miranda Hat by Evelyn of Project: Stash. She even started a charity knit-along to go with her new free pattern. The idea of her knit-along is that everyone knit as many Mirandas as they can between June 25 and September 30 and either donate them to a local shelter or program or send them to her to give to the group her family volunteers with. For more information on the Project:Stash knit-along, click here.

I thought this was a wonderful idea. But I’ve modified it a bit.

I love the Miranda and have knit a few of those (which you will see toward the end of the week), but I wanted to branch out. I’m going to donate all the hats I knit to Elizabeth House in Pasadena to distribute at their annual Christmas party in December. It’s a pregnancy shelter for homeless or in-crisis women. My goal is to knit 75 hats (in a variety of adult, child, and toddler/baby sizes) by December 1.

One problem with that is there are over 200 women in the program (residents and alumni), a sizable number of whom come back every year for the Christmas party. Most of these women have at least one child with them, making that a bit over 200 children involved. 25 hats in each size isn’t going to cut it.

That’s why I’m asking fellow knitters and crocheters to help me. The details of the project are found on the project page (click here), but the summary of the process is:

1. Make a hat (or 2, or 12)

2. Include on a piece of paper the fiber content, special washing instructions, your name (optional) and your preferred public online profile (Twitter, a blog, Ravelry, Pinterest, etc.) (optional)

3. Drop off or mail in your finished hat(s) by December 2, 2012. (Drop-off location, hours, and mailing address can be found on the project page here) (LA-area, or otherwise located and willing to ship, business who would like to be a designated drop-off location? Contact me through the form here.)

It’s that simple. If this works out well, I will make this a year-round project next year.

The contributed hats will be displayed and linked to the original knitter (when possible) in a gallery here.

If you are a knitter or crocheter looking to brighten someone else’s holiday season this year, please join me in the Warming Up for Christmas Project.

Questions? Comments? Leave them below and I will get back to you with an answer usually within the day.

Round And Round It Goes

Hypnotic…

Remember how I said I may be crazy? Well, I think I just proved it. This is a lap blanket I made for my grandfather for Father’s Day a couple weeks ago. In near 90-degree weather. If that’s not proof of insanity, I don’t know what is. 🙂

I modified the Pinwheel Baby Blanket pattern by not stopping where it suggested and continuing until it was a good lap-size instead.

It’s a fairly simple pattern. Every other row you add a yarn over to each group, creating the nice lines in the pinwheel. I also chose to do stripes with gray between the black and white in the middle and getting smaller with just the black and white on the outside. On the edge I just finished with a row of single crochet stitches and then a row of double crochets.

I’m considering doing an actual baby-sized one plus a toddler-sized one with a few embellishments in a month or so when the family I work for grows. It’s always a good idea to get the big brother something when the little brother comes so he doesn’t feel left out, and what better way than somewhat matching gifts.

Ollie The Owl

Meet Ollie. He’s my first knit owl. I have arbitrarily named him Ollie because it sounded good paired with the word “owl” and I have no clue whether he currently has a name beyond “Owl”. This little guy was a Valentine’s present for another little guy that I watch three days a week.

Ollie was made from the “Little Black Owl” pattern posted by Kat on Just Crafty Enough. It’s a top-down pattern with the ears and wings picked up later when the body is finished.

I tacked down the wings like the original, but I chose to sew on the eyes and beak. I did way too many glue gun projects back in middle school to even tough a glue gun right now. And that was almost ten years ago. (Seriously, way too many. We made them every month for old people who were kind of like our “pen pals.”)

I figured an owl made a perfect companion for the Valentine’s Fish. Who says predator and prey can’t get along on a day that’s all about love?

Soft Kitty

I made this little guy as a parting gift for one of the boys I had been babysitting. The time had come for me to move on to the next job, and so I wanted to give him a little gift. He loves stuffed animals (What three-year-old doesn’t?) and has a couple of cats, so I decided to make him a stuffed kitty.

This cat is made from the “Mao” pattern by Angela Tong, found here. It’s knit from the ears down in one piece, with the i-cord tail picked up in the back at the end, so there is no real sewing involved aside from the face.

The bottom is flat, so he stands up very nicely. It was the first stuffy I had made, at least in a long time and the only one for a child instead of an animal.

What kind of gifts do you like to make for kids? Anyone have an interesting stuffy pattern you have used recently?