18 August 2009

Jumping the Pumpkin

School starts up in two weeks; I keep referring to this fact in order to remind myself to spend these waning hours of summer doing fun things, things I may not have time to do once my nose is stuck in piles of books and my fingers are flying across the keyboard writing papers. Yesterday, I feel, was a good use of time, engaged in some crafty goodness for the little ones in my life.

Up first: the candy corn hat. Quite a few of my friends have babies and these small knit candy corn hats are irresistible as well as a quick, quick knit. I think this hat encompassed a whole hour and a half of mindless knitting while watching season two of Mad Men. I did deviate from the pattern a bit: rather than k1p1 ribbing, I made it a k2p2. I like the look of the k2p2 ribbing much more than the k1p1 - simply an aesthetic change. Another aesthetic change was to finish the hat after the k1k2tog decrease; when knit according to the pattern, the hat becomes really pointy. I wanted the top of the hat to be more rounded and finishing after that particular decrease accomplished the task.

This is a great project to use up odds and ends, should one have bright yellow, bright orange, and white yarn in their stash. I did not but collected said shades in Plymouth Encore Worsted at my LYS. I used so little of the yarn to make this one hat, I'm thinking one skein of each will be enough to make seven more. Or, at least, I hope.

Also: Why was I convinced that orange was the base color of a candy corn? Where did that come from?

Next: A trick-or-treat bag, or at least the prototype I will use to construct more later on. I've slowly but surely been spending some time in front of the sewing machine in order to build some skills. I was sick with mono when my classmates had sewing in Home Economics and my mom didn't think it wise to teach me, even when I asked. Hence, I've been reading, reading, reading, and attempting a few easy-peasy-lemon cheesey patterns. I had thought I'd found one such pattern in Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing - a tote pattern I figured would make a great tote for holiday-inspired candy gathering. I purchased fabric from the local Joanns, cut out all the pieces, ironed on interfacing, and prepared for an hour or so of sewing the next day.

Perhaps it's my lack of sewing schema or just a lack of comprehension period, but the directions lost me. I can read learning theory and have it make perfect sense but can't seem to follow directions for a simple tote bag. Epic fail on my behalf. Also: the interfacing I purchased wasn't so great, not adhering to the fabric completely and causing some issues with the sewing machine. So I improvised. Using some of the measurements provided in the book, I made the above tote: fully lined and reversible, ready for trick-or-treat goodness. My sewing skills still are not those of Adam, but I managed through a quilt top and now a tote-like bag. When can I start sewing coats and such?

I also managed, in course of yesterday, to make a pot of chicken noodle soup (to use up a stalk of celery - it made sense in my head when I woke up yesterday, but seems silly now) and a peach pie, which will be enjoyed tonight with vanilla ice cream. Not a lot of creating today, however: I have a syllabus that needs to be polished and at least three rubrics I need to write.

School starts in two weeks.

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