Ok well I pretty much finished that um "seal". I haven't embroidered his face so I'm not posting a picture yet. Also, I've officially changed him from a seal to a manatee. Here's the thing- I started that pattern mostly because I wasn't sure I'd be able to actually do it. I wasn't sure if the increases and decreases would leave me confused so I just found whatever yarn I could and picked up the needles I had closest to the pattern's suggestion and so where the pattern called for a DK yarn I used worsted and where it called for size 11 needles I used size 10 and so I ended up with a very LONG seal. So he's a seal no more! He's a manatee which works better for me anyways living in FL and all.
So now I'm kinda excited about taking on a few projects and so I've been looking around for patterns and such things. First of all, I didn't have to look far for my first one because my secret pal sent me one with the yarn and needles for it. It's a pattern for a simple felted bag. And I already had a good time with it. I was ready to start casting on last night but a cranky Daughter pulled me away and it's a good thing because I was going to do it ALL WRONG. See the pattern calls for circular needles which I don't have and even if I did have them I don't know how to use them and they sorta scare me a bit. I'll get there I know because I HATE sewing things but I'm just not there YET. So my partner knew this and made a note on the pattern to simply not join as it called for but to continue working the pattern straight. So I was going to do that but something was bugging me about that and I read the pattern and what I was visualizing in my head as the finished product was simply not what the finished product on the page was. So I wrote it out and found that if I did work the pattern straight not only would I get an upside down bag, I'd get one with a very wonky pattern. When you're making a purse on straights, you're basically making a rectangle that will fold in half. So you have to start with the top of the purse and end with the top of the purse too. The pattern, because it was worked in circulars, started with the bottom of the purse and ended with the top and this would not do. So I looked at it some more and adjusted it and made a pattern for working that bag on straight needles. If it works, I will happily share those adjustments but I don't want to inpsire someone to try it along with me to then find themselves with a wonky bag too! So that's the project that I'm starting today. However, in looking around the internet to confirm my suspicions about how the bag would turn out, I remembered Knitty Gritty. And on one episode they made this bag:
Now here's the thing about the bag. I love the shape of the bag- that's it. The color does nothing for me and the pattern they did in swiss darning does nothing for me either. But the pattern DID inspire me to do my own bag. And so I'm going to make a solid black bag with this pattern in hot pink.
This awesome skull chart came from this blog post which I found thanks to Google. I'm just not an artist and don't know anything about making charts from images and yes I know there's a skull in Stitch and bitch but it's missing the mouth!! You have to know that the Knitty Gritty episode with swiss darning was like an extreme eye opener "ooooooooooh" moment for me. Because it looked SO FREAKING EASY. I can follow charts- I've done embroidery before and the fact that there's no switching yarns mid knitting or anything and that mistakes are so easy to fix just made it something I NEEDED to try. The yarn has been ordered for this project and for another one too. I KNOW I am so overprojectizing but god help me I'm excited! I have to take advantage!! Actually, yarn's been ordered for two other projects.
First of all, there's the snake from World of Knitted Toys which brought me my seal. I'd LOVE to make the striped one they have but Eldest loves green. So I'm making a green snake. A solid bright green snake. He'll like it and that's what matters. So I ordered that yarn and I also ordered yarn for one more project- my first garment.
After getting many AWESOME replies to my request for easy tank top patterns, I settled on this one provided by KnittinMol for a few reasons. First of all, it's the one that looked the easiest and most likely to be doable by me. That was a big thing with me. Second of all the shape of the tank works really well for me because it's so basic and the straps allow me to wear a bra underneath which as I've got a baby to nurse is key. So I ordered a light blue yarn from KnitPicks and will be trying my hand at that. If successful, I can pretty much guarantee that you will see a new one of those every so often because I adore tank tops. It's hot here people, you have to make do and a tank top is SO perfect.
I've just noticed that August is neutrals at Project Spectrum and that tank would look gorgeous in an ivory. I actually wanted it black but they didn't have the yarn in black. And although the bag is black, I'd like to have that finished by Eldest's birthday- August 12 because it's a pirate party heehee. 🙂