Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Knitting: Purple "$5 in Paris" Sweater for Me

This is how far I've gotten since Monday on the third sweater from this pattern.

I'm working the sleeves at the same time because I'm running close on my main yarn color and don't want to have to buy seven more ounces of yarn if I only need a few yards. If I don't have enough to finish to the same sleeve length as my previous versions, I'll just end with ribbing in my contrast color. It will still be long enough for me and still be 3/4-length sleeves.

Did I mention that this sweater really doesn't look like much until you put it on? Really, it doesn't. The first time I knit it, I looked at it on the table and thought, "Mine isn't going to look as good on as the rest of the projects I've seen." Then I put it on and it really DID look as good as the other projects.

One thing I'm doing differently this time is weaving in the ends as I go. For each stripe, you cut the yarn. That's a lot of ends to weave in when you're done, and I prefer to do that work as I go along. For some reason, it's not nearly as annoying when you're only doing one or two ends at a time. It's downright tedious when you're doing 54 ends at a time.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Knitting: $5 in Paris Sweater for ME!

I spent the weekend knitting myself a sweater. I don't know about you, but I love sweater weather. Unfortunately, most of my storebought sweaters make me look like I gained 20 pounds, all in places I'd rather not gain. So I was happy to find a free pattern for a striped sweater in a flattering fit. It's called $5 in Paris.

This is my second sweater in this pattern, and I already have a third one waiting for me to start today.

I made some significant tweaks to the pattern, so you may want to check out my project page if you want to make one for yourself. I changed the neckline to more of a traditional jewel neckline, rather than the boatneck, almost-off-the-shoulder neckline that is written into the pattern. I also made the sleeves longer by working as many stripes on the sleeves as I worked on the body of the sweater. This came out to 3/4-length sleeves on me.

For this sweater, I used the "I Love This Yarn" from Hobby Lobby in the worsted weight. It's yellow and navy blue. I'm always happy to support Hobby Lobby, and I truly do love the yarn or I wouldn't work with it.

As for the Sherwood Sweater I'm working on, I got a little distracted with these sweaters. I'm 3/4 of the way finished with the second sleeve, so it won't take me long to finish when I get these sweaters "out of my system". :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Trying something new with our homemade AG doll rooms

Recently I saw a picture of a dollhouse on another blog made out of mostly trifold project boards. She added a wooden board to the top (that didn't go the whole way out) and then layered cardboard flooring over that. I didn't think foam board or cardboard could hold that much weight, but it never hurts to try, right?

So I set up the two foam board rooms that I've already made - the cabin and the schoolroom. Then I layered two doubled-up foamcore project boards on top (just because I had them on hand and was experimenting). So far, so good. Ideally, you would keep the heaviest furniture on the floor. But if you keep the heavier furniture upstairs to the outer perimeter, it looks like it should work. I'm going to leave it up for a few days of play and see how it goes.

And yes, this is set up in our living room. Sorry about the distracting background!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

My version of a doll's snack cart

This is a project I made last Christmas for my daughter and just haven't shared here yet. I was originally inspired by kkcollect (you can find her on Youtube), but you can see that mine went a slightly different direction once I got going. I appreciated her inspiration, but I like mine better. :)

Kit and Samantha are showing off my homemade, very affordable snack cart.

Here's a better view of the canopy that I made from a gift bag, coat hangers, and a few scraps of PVC pipe. The base of the cart is made from a photo storage box.

It has a mini fridge/freezer, microwave and cash drawer just like AG's version. As you can see, they all stay closed quite nicely. To fill in the space that the boxes weren't occupying, I used a piece of foam board with pieces cut out for the boxes to slide into. I glued everything into place so it wouldn't come apart.

Notice the sink? It's a mini plastic bowl from Dollar Tree with a coat-hanger-end faucet and bead knobs.

The mini fridge/freezer and microwave are made from boxes I got in a set at Dollar Tree. I just covered them with white paper (for the fridge/freezer) and a printed microwave panel (for the microwave).

The cash drawer is made from a large box of matches, also purchased at Dollar Tree. I added a bead as a pull handle and printed doll money (dollars and quarters) to go inside.

Here you can see the food accessories that go with it: juice containers (erasers from Target Dollar Spot), lip gloss soda cans (from Wal-Mart's after-Christmas clearance), water bottles (from Ebay - blogged about these previously), juice bottles (homemade from breath freshener at Dollar Tree), hot dogs/French fries/hamburgers/sandwiches (all erasers from Target's birthday party favor section), homemade fountain-style water and cola drinks. Not pictured: ice cream cones and popsicles (both erasers, both stored in the mini fridge/freezer).

And here's what it looks like from the customer's side.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Our Doll Family Has Expanded ... And Sherwood Sweater, Day 6

I haven't shown you yet who last joined our doll family via Goodwill ...


She's a Pleasant Company doll, so our local Goodwill didn't think she was a "real" American Girl. (Yes, that's what the sales lady told my husband when he asked to look at her in the glass case.) As a result, they marked her $25 less than they charge for the ones marked "American Girl" on their necks. I had a coupon that made her $5 less, so she was actually cheaper than I could get her on Ebay.

She was quite dirty, but it was all surface dirt and all on her vinyl. I'd guess that her original owner never cleaned her for fear of ruining her.

This is what she looked like before I cleaned her.
I'm not sure if you can see the dirt, but it gave her that "old doll" look.

One of her legs is a little loose, but I'm not going to bother with it until it falls off completely. It's an easy enough fix, but re-stuffing her and getting her head on tightly again are a bit more difficult.

Yes, I'm now the 37-year-old proud owner of two American Girl dolls. I tell my family that I'm going to enjoy them now with my daughter, in a few years I'll enjoy them with my grandchildren, and then they can give them to me all over again when I'm senile and wanting to play with dolls. :)

Sherwood Sweater, Day 6

I started on the first sleeve today and got over halfway through it. (I stopped at chart Row 60, but that was only about 50 rows of knitting.) The was pretty good progress for the little time I had to devote to it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

AG Doll Find and Sherwood Sweater, Day 5

I have to share a recent dollar store doll find with you. I got a pack of 20 of these Solo-style party cups at Dollar Tree recently. Aren't they just perfect? I've also seen them at Wal-Mart for $1.97 if you're desperate for them and your Dollar Tree doesn't have them. By all means, don't buy them from an online seller who will probably charge you $2 or more (plus postage) for 4 cups! (Yes, I've seen ridiculous prices like that before.)

As for my Sherwood sweater, I finished the front and joined it at the shoulders.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Some AG doll things and Sherwood Sweater, Days 3 & 4

I haven't blogged about my daughter's (and my) American Girl dolls in a little while. On Saturday, I finally asked my husband to spray paint the wooden piece we've been using as Paige's (my daughter's My AG) trundle bed. I was planning to do it, but I've never spray painted before and kept putting it off.

It started out as this:

I got it from a thrift store for $4 awhile back. I had been planning to make it a couch, but then my daughter told me she wanted a trundle bed for her doll like the AG version. This has a compartment for the second mattress underneath, so it's perfect.

Ugly as it is, she actually used it for awhile like this. Hey, it worked ...

But now it looks so much better:

And here it is with the bedding on it (but without the trundle mattress yet):

The paint job wasn't perfect because it was so dark to start with, but I told my husband that was just fine. It looks quite shabby chic like this, and I really like it! So does my daughter.

Sweater Day Three

I finished 18 more rows on the sweater today, bringing me to my second time through Row 52. I've already split for the armholes:

Sweater Day Four

I finished the back today: