Things I made on Hiatus

While I did take an extended break from publishing, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t still doing things on my break. I spent a lot of time knitting and crocheting, and I also did some writing–very, very slowly. It was nice to work at a more relaxed pace, and to not worry about deadlines or markets or anything like that. I really needed that break, and I’m not certain that I’m back up to full capacity yet, either.

Anyway, here’s a sampling of some of the things I made. I talk about all of these and more over on the podcast.

These socks were made for a friend, and they were on the needles way too long. For a big chunk of my break, I was off work (alas, the nature of temping, though it did give me a chance to heal and rest), and once I was no longer out of the house on a regular basis, I just didn’t work on them very much.

These are just basic vanilla socks, 60 stitches on US 1.5 needles with a stockinette heel flap. The yarn is High Fiber Arts “Just Give Me My Crown” which is an 85/15 fingering weight sock yarn. They are semi-local, based in Portland, OR (Portland and Seattle often get lumped together, because they’re only 3 hours apart on I-5 and there are so many similarities between our cities).

I’m not super happy with the stockinette heel flap, but the person I made them for has sensory issues, so I wanted to try something that might be more comfortable for them to wear with shoes.

Around the same time, I also made this bag. It’s my own design, and I used almost exactly 1 full skein of Lion Brand Ferris Wheel yarn in the color “Cotton Candy.” (Seriously, my leftovers could only be counted in inches. I used just about every scrap.) This is a 100% acrylic yarn, so not what I typical gravitate toward, but it was given to me by a friend and I really like the colors.

I knit the body from the flap down around to the top of the bag, with linen stitch on the base to make it more solid and to keep small objects from poking through the stitches. Then I picked up stitches at the bottom, knitting the strap flat where it’s attached to the bag and sewing it in place before adding a couple of stitches and making the rest of the strap in the round. It has magnetic closures which have been reinforced with muslin to keep them from tearing through the yarn (which is a single) or from damaging anything in the bag (or me when I reach into it).

Overall I’m happy with it, but I see this as more of a prototype. If I were to go back and do it again, I would need 2 balls of this yarn. I’d make the bag deeper by at least two inches, and I’d make the strap about six inches longer. I could probably do that if I ripped out the current strap and made it narrower or just a single layer instead of knitting in the round, but I did the tube-strap to make it sturdier, keep it from stretching, and to make it more comfortable on my shoulder. I want to make another one with these changes, just not at this moment.

One of the pieces I’m most proud of is this doll I made for Ash for Yule. I had the body done in time, but didn’t get to finish the rest of it until January.

I improvised the pattern for this doll, and it’s made from an acrylic baby yarn I’ve lost the ball for in a cream color, and Caron Simply Soft, which is my go-to work horse acrylic yarn, largely because of the texture. I crocheted the body and then knit the dress. I used some No. 10 crochet thread for the collar.

Originally, I wanted to make this a Coraline-style doll of Ash, with the button eyes. But then as I was assembling the pieces, I thought about one of the stories that bonded us in high school–the Girl With the Green Ribbon, and I decided I would make the head removeable and add a green ribbon around her neck.

And then the Wednesday Addams TV show came out.

So yes, the head is held on by a magnet. Green ribbon optional. Ash will eventually do the face herself, because she’s picky about those kinds of things and also she makes dolls, so she has a better idea of what she’s doing than I do. I’m really happy with the end result, and when I showed her the blank body at Christmas and took the head off she screamed with joy.

Most of my projects for the last few months have been larger. The Wednesday Addams show inspired me to make several of her sweaters, which are still a work in progress. I’ve also been working on two other sweaters and an afghan, so while I’ve been doing a lot of knitting, I haven’t been doing a lot of finishing. I’ll show you the WIPs here shortly.

Like what you see? Check out some of my knitting and crochet patterns in the shop.