Friday, November 15, 2013

Because I’ve Got Extra Yarn

I’ve got a new favorite children’s book!  And those of you who know me, know I love books as much as I love yarn!

The book is titled “Extra Yarn” and it is written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen.  When I saw it in the library, I had to borrow it.  More for me than my kids… hah!  It’s about a girl who has a box of yarn and keeps knitting more sweaters (or a hat for the man who doesn’t wear sweaters) for anyone she knows.  Then she still has extra yarn so she makes sweaters for all the animals, and then for things that don’t even wear sweaters (like a mailbox!).  But she still has extra yarn.  Her magic yarn box is then stolen by an archduke who was fond of clothes.  But the yarn box was empty!  So he tossed it out his window into the ocean below.  And it miraculously ends up back at the girl.  Who, naturally, keeps knitting sweaters!  Isn’t that cute? 

Now I’m planning to buy a copy for my home.  And it isn’t just me who likes it either.  It received a Caldecott Honor, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and is a New York Times Bestseller.  Yarn, knitting and crocheting are definitely back in style, and I love it!

So, now I need to tell you about the sweater I made for something that didn’t need it.  Because it had already had a sweater before.  And before that, I’d already made a fabric cover.  Lol, guess I like my options.

AnnaVirginia Fashion: Extra Yarn

This is an ottoman that I have in my bedroom.  You might remember the Euro pillows that I crocheted for my “pillow headboard.”  I had a smallish ball left over from the aqua yarn that I’d used, and I love that color, so I wanted to use it on something cool.  I was also trying to bring some colors together in the room, so I figured black and aran would work well.

DSC_7142

I used the good ol’ common granny square to do this.  I started with black and did five rounds alternating with aran.  On the sixth round, I did the aqua.  Then I alternated again for five more rounds.  And so on.  I stopped doing the square when it was at the width I needed (in this case, it was 17 inches or 43 cm).  After that, I didn’t do corner increases anymore and it made it three dimensional.  I continued until it covered the ottoman.

DSC_7138AnnaVirginia Fashion: Extra Yarn

It looks pretty good (even better in person!) and I love how it looks in my room with my pillows at the opposite wall!

Do you think you would make a “sweater” for an ottoman in your home?

Monday, November 4, 2013

One More Halloween Post…

AnnaVirginia Fashion: Jedi CostumeI know Halloween has come and gone, but I have to let you know about one more costume that I made this year.  I’ve only got a few photos, and they are blurry (thanks to pictures at dusk without a tripod!), but you should still be able to get the idea.

My husband hasn’t had much of a costume the last several years.  Back when he was in high school, his mom put together a Jedi costume for him, which he loved and so did his little sister!  Anyway, my husband moved out and got married (to me!) and left the costume behind.  And it’s been more-or-less claimed by his little sister.  So he asked me to whip up one in time for our church’s trunk-or-treat activity.

It didn’t give me much time, but I finished with 24 hours to spare!  I bought 5 yards of heavy knit polyester (color: Potting Soil) for the Jedi robe and a cotton bed sheet (color: Brown Stone) to use for the v-neck shirt cover.  I used this website to help guide me in constructing both parts.  Their instructions cracked me up!  But the product turned out quite nice.  And my husband likes it, which it the true test!

The v-neck portion is sort of like a vest, so it just goes on top of whatever other shirt is being worn.  The idea is that it will be hidden beneath the robe the entire time while worn.  This was a good time-saving option for me!  I attached a waist band, made from the same fabric as the v-neck, to the front of the v-neck part.  That way he will just slip the v-neck over his head and wrap the band around.  It hides the stitching that was done to hold the v-neck portions together.

The robe is a simple design that is easy to modify as long as your fabric is big enough.  The knit comes in 59” (1.5m) wide, so I needed to add length for my husband’s longer arms.  I also made the hood even bigger, at 18 by 36 inches (46 by 92 cm).

AnnaVirginia Fashion: Jedi CostumeAnnaVirginia Fashion: Jedi Costume

This was a fun and fairly quick project!  Now we’ll just have to find a decent light saber – the little glow stick just doesn’t cut it!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I’m also Walt Disney…

AnnaVirginia Fashion - Mickey CostumeI brought Mickey Mouse to life last weekend as I finished this Mickey Mouse costume.  Seems like we have a Disney theme going on with my daughter’s Cinderella costume and my own Tinkerbell costume (I’ve used it for the last couple years… it’s nice when you’re not growing anymore and can reuse the costume year after year!).  And my husband wants to be a Jedi… until recently that wouldn’t have really been included in a Disney theme!

I bought the black shirt from Walmart.  It’s a Garanimals brand shirt in 3T. 

For the shorts, I used McCall’s M5836 (it is out of print, but it can be bought used from other sellers).  I lengthened the legs out a bit to be more boyish.  But it’s a basic short so it wasn’t terribly girly! 

I got the giants buttons on the from Joann’s.  They are so big that they come in singles, rather than in a pack.  Then I used Red Heart Fashion Crochet Thread in black to sew on those huge buttons. 

AnnaVirginia Fashion - Mickey CostumeAnnaVirginia Fashion - Mickey Costume

For the Mickey Hat, I used a modified (adjust for a bigger size) version of my Peruvian Style Ear Flap Hat (Soon I will need to write a pattern for kids and adults!). Then I used a variation on the Mickey & Minnie Mouse inspired hat ears.  I jumped straight to the Ears portion and skipped the 6th row instructions and instead did it like the last row but with the number of stitches from the 5th.  If that makes any sense.  I used Black Cotton yarn and White Cotton yarn from Walmart.  The Red Cotton yarn is from Michael’s (the red at Walmart wasn’t bright enough).  The buttons were from a four-pack of buttons at Walmart.

AnnaVirginia Fashion - Mickey CostumeAnnaVirginia Fashion - Mickey Costume

Hopefully for Halloween he’ll actually wear the black leggings I’m planning on underneath the shorts!  He wasn’t in the mood to borrow them from his sister when I wanted to get pictures.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I’m Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother

AnnaVirginia Fashion - Cinderella CostumeYep, I waved my wand and made a gown for the ball!  Or I actually went to the store, bought fabric, pull out my sewing machine and made a costume for Halloween.  Either way, this girl feels like a princess!

My mom made me a Cinderella costume when I was a little girl, too.  I remember it was white and had sparkly silver tulle.  I had a ribbon neck choker and I loved that dress!

For my daughter’s dress, I used Simplicity Threads Pattern 3978 (I guess it’s not in print anymore, because it’s not on their website anywhere…), but I added about 12 inches to the length.  I used Homemade Toast’s Cinderella Princess Dress Costume for the “hip poofs.”  I just scrolled down to the poof instructions. 

I did a light blue, to match the headband we already had, for the bodice and skirt, and a white print (it’s hard to see the print in pictures, but it’s cute!) for the sleeves and hip poofs.  I also have a lace trim from my grandmother’s stock that added a nice touch to the bodice and skirt hem.  The hip poofs have some tulle inside to add stiffness.  I used a ribbon for the neck choker and then sewed hems and snap closures on the ends. 

AnnaVirginia Fashion - Cinderella CostumeAnnaVirginia Fashion - Cinderella Costume

There is also a pink organza slip/petticoat that I made to give some structure to the skirt portion since it was weighed down so heavily by the hip poofs.  It looks great with the added body underneath.  Now my daughter just wants glass slippers! 

AnnaVirginia Fashion - Cinderella CostumeAnnaVirginia Fashion - Cinderella Costume

Friday, October 18, 2013

Mickey and Minnie Mouse Hats

AnnaVirginia Fashion - Mickey and Minnie Mouse HatsThe weather is cooling down in Las Vegas – We’re in the mid 70s F for the high lately!  It’s been beautiful, especially since I was expecting warmer weather like last year (we had highs in the upper 90s F until mid-November).  It’s lovely that it feels like autumn.

I have been making my kids new hats every fall since they were each born.  It’s so much fun to come up with something new and fun each time.  This year I made something fun and I’m excited to share it!

My inspiration came from my son, who wants to be Mickey Mouse for Halloween.  There is more to come on his costume in a later post!  And when I made a Mickey hat for my son, I just had to make a Minnie hat for my daughter!

UPDATED: I’ve made a pattern for this hat!  It’s for children through adult sizes and is pretty easy.  You can find them at my Ravelry store or at my website in the Pattern shop.  If you don’t crochet but still want a hat, I can take custom requests at my email address: shopannavirginia@gmail.com.

Anyway, my kids love these hats and they love the compliments that they get!

AnnaVirginia Fashion - Mickey and Minnie Mouse HatsAnnaVirginia Fashion - Mickey and Minnie Mouse Hats

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pumpkin Baby Hat


annavirginiafashion.com - Pumpkin Hat
This is a hat I made for my new little niece. She will be about a month old on Halloween, and so her mama and daddy asked me to make a pumpkin hat to go with an outfit they chose.  I was so excited to make it!

It’s a fun, simple hat to make, and so I’ll divulge how I did it!

I used Peaches & Crème in Bright Orange and Soothing Aloe (the green).  The ribbon was from a collection of ribbons.

First, I used the Flapper-Girl Hat Pattern to make the hat. If you were going to make this hat for a boy, then you would simply omit the last round (a.k.a: Rnd 11; the shells; the brim) and don’t weave in the ribbon.

Supplies: Yarn needle

Next, you make the leaf, curly vines and stem.  Use green or brown yarn and a 4.0 mm hook (size G).

LEAF (based on a pattern by Julie Chen – Ravelry login required)
This pattern uses Picot stitch: Ch 3, sl st to first ch.
Ch 4
Rnd 1: Dc 11 times in first ch. Sl st to the first dc.
Rnd 2: In 1st dc – sc.
annavirginiafashion.com - Pumpkin Hat
In 2nd dc – dc, picot, dc.
In 3rd dc – tc, picot, tc, dc.
In 4th dc – sl st, sc.
In 5th dc – 2 dc.
In 6th dc – 3 dc, picot, 3 dc.
In 7th dc – 2 dc.
In 8th dc – sc, sl st.
In 9th dc – dc, tc, picot, tc.
In 10th dc – dc, picot, dc.
In 11th dc – sc. Sl st to top of first sc.
Fasten off, leaving a tail about 8 inches (20 cm) long to use to sew to hat.

Sew to hat so that the tip of the leaf points away from the top of hat.  Attach leaf from side point to other side point. Leave the rest of the leaf unsewn. If you want, you may decide to make another leaf.

CURLY VINES
For first vine, Ch 20. *In second ch from hook, 3 sc. 3 Sc in each ch. Fasten off, leaving an 8-inch (20 cm) tail for sewing.*
 
For second vine, Ch 30, and then repeat between **.
 
Attach each vine near center of hat and leaf. Weave in loose ends.
 
STEM
Ch 2.
Rnd 1: 5 sc in first ch. Sl st to first sc.
Rnd 2: Work in back loops for this rnd only. Sc in each st. Sl st to first sc. (5 sc)
Rnd 3: Sc in first two sts. 2 sc in next st. Sc in next two sts. Sl st to first sc. (6 sc)
Rnd 4: Sc in first three sts. 2 sc in next st. Sc in next two sts. Sl st to first sc. (7 sc)
Rnd 5: Sc in first three sts. 2 sc in next st. Sc in next three sts. Sl st to first sc. (8 sc)
Rnd 6: Sc in each st. Sl st to first sc. (8 sc)
Rnd 7: Sc in first 4 sts. 2 sc in next st. Sc in next three sts. (9 sc)
Rnd 8: Work in front loops for this rnd only. 2 sc in each st. (18 sc)
 
Fasten off, leaving an 8-inch (20 cm) tail for sewing.
 
Attach Rnd 8 of stem to center of hat, covering seams of leaf and vines.  Weave in loose ends.
 
Now it’s all done!  I think it’s so cute, and I hope it will work out for the baby!  I will be making a pair of booties to match!

annavirginiafashion.com - Pumpkin Hat
annavirginiafashion.com - Pumpkin Hat

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ripple Afghan

AnnaVirginia Fashion - Ripple Afghan
I had some yarn I’ve acquired from both of my grandmothers who loved to crochet.  After each had passed away, I ended up with a bit of their yarn collections.

I didn’t know what to do with some of the yarn that I wasn’t particularly fond of!

It’s been years since I’ve had these yarns, and I finally decided I had time for a bigger project.  I decided an afghan was the way to go.  I’d used this pattern before, and thought it was great.  I recommend it!

The original pattern is called Ripple Beige Afghan by Bernat (login required, but it's free to join).  It’s a free PDF download.

AnnaVirginia Fashion - Ripple Afghan

The yarns I used were:

I really like ripple afghans these days.  I especially love the chevron blankets that are popular now!  Here are some more free ripple afghan patterns:
AnnaVirginia Fashion - Ripple Afghan

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Matching Monkey

Matching Monkey - annavirginiafashion.comA few months back, I posted about some fleece blankets that I made for my kids.  Since then, I’ve been working on making some matching stuffed animals to go with them.  First I did a monkey, and soon I’ll finish a penguin.

This monkey has really long legs and arms and tail that are great for tying together to have him hang on to things, just like a monkey would.  His face, hair and ears match the face on the applique of the green blanket.

I used Lion Brand Homespun yarn in Barley and Cream. It turned out way cute and he’s good for snuggling.  This was a gift for my son, and my daughter keeps reminding me that I need to finish the penguin for her!

Matching Monkey - annavirginiafashion.com
 
Matching Monkey - annavirginiafashion.comMatching Monkey - annavirginiafashion.com

Friday, August 16, 2013

Girly Dress Socks

Girly Dress Socks - www.annavirginiafashion.comMy kids love getting dressed up for church.  Both my daughter (she likes wearing dresses and frilly things) and my son (who wears a shirt, tie, slacks and vest with finesse) are aware that we dress up for certain occasions, even weekly!  And they love dressing up.

So much fun!  I love that both my kids enjoy their clothes.  Maybe it helps that I was dressing them up for church since they were newborns, even when it was hard to find clothes for their age.

Girly Dress Socks - www.annavirginiafashion.com Anyway, so it’s summertime in Las Vegas and it’s hot.  I like for my daughter to wear to wear tights, but tights are no good in the summertime.  So, instead, I decided to make some dress socks that she could wear.  She loves them!

I bought a package of Faded Glory 10 pack bobby socks from Walmart.  They did just the trick.  I also got the beads from Walmart, too.

Here are a couple of sources where I got ideas for the socks:Girly Dress Socks - www.annavirginiafashion.com

The third link has a pretty good pattern, but if you want to add beads, the other two links will help.  Basically, you string the beads onto the thread before you start crocheting.  Then you hook the crochet thread into the sock.  Crochet the pattern you want around the sock, pulling up a bead one at a time. 

 I only planned to make about three pairs like this from the package, but I had so much fun that I did all ten pairs!  Only eight pairs are pictured above, but I really crocheted edges on all twenty individual socks.

Girly Dress Socks - www.annavirginiafashion.com

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ikea Bekvam Step Stool

DSCF1023I bought this stool from Ikea (well, I don’t live close to Ikea, so I had my parents buy it and bring it with them when they visited) probably about a year ago.

I originally planned to use it in the bathroom so that the kids could reach the sink, but it didn’t work out so well in there so we keep it in the kitchen now.  It’s perfect there!

It didn’t come with a finish on it it, but I wasn’t sure what I would want it to look like or if it would be better to leave it unfinished.  So it stayed that way until recently.  During it’s time with us, it had acquired some stray crayon marks (got used as a desk) and also was looking grayer than it shows in the picture at Ikea!

I got a few ideas of what I wanted to do:

LEMONSTALE
Lilyfield Life

Yesterday's Sweetheart
The Gold Jelly Bean
It seemed like I liked the two-tone look that still showed some of its wooden qualities.  So in the end, I decided to go with something like the second picture and make it white with natural-look steps.

After some sanding, I gave the steps several coats of Natural Stain and then a couple of coats of Polyurethane.  Then I used some white satin finish paint and did the rest of the stool.  It turned out so cute!  My kids love it and push it around where they want to get a better look at things.  

We also added some feet (the kind you hammer in) because it made a scuffing noise no matter how you tried to push it.  And with the kids being still quite small, they can only push it.  The feet make the scooting noise less intense and it slides a little better.  The feet are so discreet you don’t even see them in the picture!

DSCF1027

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Dishcloth Gifts (crochet)

AnnaVirginia Fashion - Dishcloth Ideas
Handicrafter Cotton Dishcloth
I love having a small arsenal of gifts to be able to give when people we know have babies.   The baby flapper-girl hat, and piggy peep shoes make great baby girl gifts, and the summer sun hat is great for boys or girls.  There are also patterns I have for both baby girls and boys at my website for purchase that make for handy gifts!

Now I’m wanting to have some handy gifts available for wedding gifts!  I’ve had some friends ask me about making quick crocheted dishcloths, and I think that’s a great idea!

Generally, handmade dishcloths are made using cotton yarn, such as Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Lily Sugar ‘n Cream, or Peaches and Cream or others.  They are worsted 4-ply cottons and are easy to care for!
I’m starting work on a pattern that I like so far.  They all seem to work up pretty fast.  I’ve also included a link to a few other patterns that seem to be nice.

Here they are:
AnnaVirginia Fashion - Dishcloth Ideas
Free Dishcloth

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Euro Pillows

DSC_6306This month’s post is about my new Euro pillows.  Yeah, I realize that I’m only posting about once a month… sorry about that.  I have so many ideas of what to post about, but finding a moment to collect my thoughts and make a post seems to only happen once a month!

Alright.  We got a new bed set-up this past year.  We made a platform bed for king size (yay!  So much nicer than the full size we were using!), and got that all worked out.  I wanted a headboard, but it’s not in the budget now, and I really can’t pinpoint a specific headboard that I would like to make or buy.  My ideas change too much!  So, for now, I decided to make a watercolor picture set and have a pillow arrangement to add the flexible touches that I crave.

First, a close up of the watercolors – I’m not a professional by any means, but I like using watercolors.  I just use the cheap $1.00 watercolor set, but maybe someday I can have nicer, more expensive watercolors.  I decided to do a leaf theme.  I wanted it to represent an exhibit of five types of leaves.  The leaves are maple, oak, quaking aspen, raspberry and fig.  I thought they were all unique patterns from each other!

Euro Pillows and Watercolors

Euro Pillows and Watercolors

Next, the pillows.  I didn’t have the access to euro pillow forms, so I made them.  I cut out fabric to make 26x26 inch (66x66 cm) pillows.  I used four standard size pillows (20x26 inch or 50x66 cm) to make the stuffing for the three euros.  Then I got to work crocheting.  Since there are three pillows, there were six large squares needed (for front and backs).  I used patterns from various locations.  They all turned out beautiful and so unique!  The yarn I used was Bernat Super Value, which is actually pretty soft for a worsted acrylic.  I used the Aqua color, and I purchased it through Joann’s during their coupon commotion!  It took about 8 skeins!
Here are each of the pillows, fronts and backs.
Euro Pillows and WatercolorsEuro Pillows and Watercolors
Euro Pillows and WatercolorsEuro Pillows and Watercolors
Euro Pillows and WatercolorsEuro Pillows and Watercolors

What do you think?  I thought that the various patterns were unified by using the same yarn and color between them.  I really love them as the background and foundation for the rest of the bed.  And do you think we have enough pillows? Lol, I didn’t mean to collect so many!
Euro Pillows and Watercolors