Thursday, July 28, 2011

If Not Kansas, Then It Must Be OZ!!!

She's my latest Coffee Can Doll! Here are Dorothy and Toto, about to enter the Emerald City with their friends!!

No, I didn't knit or create the Cowardly Lion, Tin Woodsman, or Scarecrow in the background. But I did knit Dorothy's dress:

Since the details on how to create her will be in my upcoming book about all my coffee can dolls, I will only give a few details here. I call them coffee can dolls because under each doll's dress is a coffee can. I used the Knifty Knitter round looms to create the dress, painstakingly alternating the Red Heart Super Saver Spa Blue and White yarns to create the gingham-inspired pattern. I decided not to include the ruby slippers for her feet, partly because she doesn't have any feet! But also because I didn't think they would look right poking out from under the front of the dress. And in the original story the slippers aren't red; they're silver. I wanted her to be a combination of the "Dorothys" we have come to know and love on the silver screen, not just focusing on a particular one or accurately following her description in Frank Baum's book.

I used some brown yarn from my stash on the spool loom to create Toto's basket, seen here from various angles:

It took me awhile to find a dog that would be recognizable as Toto. I went to crafts stores, searched online, even considered sculpting my own Toto out of clay and painting him. I would find dogs that looked like him, but they were the wrong size. Finally, we were perusing a local Christmas ornament store that had just opened, and I found him nestled inside a Christmas stocking. He was just the right size, the right look, and everything! So I bought him, removed him from the stocking and twisted off the hook from his head. With a marker I carefully painted over the hole to match the color of his fur.

For my Emerald City, I paid homage to the movie and added a little of my own ideas about the city:

And yes, me being the detail-oriented person that I am, I individually drew and shaded every brick on the yellow brick road, even though I knew much of my hard work wouldn't be visible in the photos I took. I made them all different sizes, and drew them in perspective so that the further away they were, the smaller they were. Here's a close-up look:

It was a happy accident when I took the outdoor photos that the sun was shining in the direction that I had shaded the bricks.

So long, Dorothy! May you ever be enchanted by the spirit of whimsy as you follow the yellow brick road to your dreams!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Baby Blankie Gift Set!

Here is the complete baby blankie gift set, at last!

But first, to complete the baby blankie, I blocked it, taking care not to stretch it too much so it would keep it's shape:

After blocking, the blankie measured 24"x30". Next I pinned the blankie to a large piece of pink flannel and carefully cut out the flannel around it. With Coats and Clark pink thread, I painstakingly hand sewed the blankie to the flannel around the outer edges. I made sure to sew every loose bit of yarn onto the flannel around the edges so it wouldn't snag.

Then I pinned a pattern on the flannel side of the blankie and carefully sewed the flannel to the blankie according to the pattern I made. First I pinned about 2" in from the edges to create a box, and sewed that. Next, to make the center x pattern, I lay strips of paper down diagonally until a straight line is formed, and then stuck the strips of paper to the flannel using post-its (regular tape would fray the flannel too much when you pull it off). Then I pinned along the edge of the paper strips to create the line, removed the strips and sewed along the edge of the pins. This helps keep the blankie from sagging and keeps the flannel from separating from the knitting.

Finally, I arranged the hat, booties and blankie inside the box that I bought from a local craft store (Michael's). It has a magnetic strip on the top flap that keeps the box closed.

I'm thrilled with the way that it came out, and I have already started working on a blue gift set!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Engaging Interviews with Fellow Knitters!

I've been having some problems with my computer photo editing software, but I hope to have it corrected soon so I can post the photos of the complete baby gift set!

In the meantime, I’d like to introduce you to two outstanding fiber artists: Michael Leach, who is on a fascinating two year quest to master the art of knitting and crocheting. Prior to his quest, he never knit a stitch in his life! Also, meet Dino Foxx, an expert at yarn bombing, which is the art of transforming ordinary objects into extraordinary art by covering them with knitted yarn. It's a fast growing art form!

You will certainly gain a new perspective about yarn by meeting these two men, and I enjoyed interviewing them both! You can read all about them and see pictures of their work at

Friday, July 8, 2011

Finishing Touches and Baby Footsies

I'm 95% done with the bably blankie now; just finishing sewing the flannel on the back! I took a short break to make the rocket last week and that put me a little behind schedule, but all is well.

In the meantime, I finished making the baby footsies using the flower loom as instructed in Jennifer Stark's pattern @ . It's the Bernat Baby Coordinates Baby Pink yarn, using the yarn double stranded 1 over 1 knit and purl stitches. They came out great!

I bought a sweet little gift box to pack my baby gifts in. Next week: the baby gift set will be complete!