Sunday, May 22, 2016

knitting in 2016

  I haven't blogged in over 2 years... yikes!  These days most of my free internet time is spent on Facebook and Instagram, obviously more likely using my phone, which is always by my side.  Time is my most valuable commodity, and phone apps are convenient, fulfilling the instant gratification desires of my heart, but I'm starting to feel those places are best for keeping in touch with family and sharing the more personal, mundane things in life.  I've neglected to document the creative aspects of my life in detail, which has left me feeling flat, bored and frustrated.

  In the past, before the Facebook revolution, invention of Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and the smart phone obsession, I loved having a blog to journal my creative life, and this was where I went to document the projects I was focused on, which was rewarding and inspiring.  In 2009 I was invited to go on The Martha Stewart Show because of this blog and the Yoda Hat, which was an unforgettable experience for me, personally and creatively. At the time, I was a very young, stay-at-home mom, with plenty of time to spend blogging and being creative for no real reason. I've since deleted 99% of everything I had blogged in the past, for reasons I can't remember, and I feel a little bit like I've lost that part of me.  In a way, those were my formative years! There are a few gals I've kept in touch with, who I've only met through the internet, via our individual creative blogs, and that small part of the internet community makes me feel connected to something fulfilling I haven't seemed to find in day-to-day life.  I've still been quite creative, Instagram and Ravelry have been the best resources for me to post my projects of the moment, but they really don't inspire me creatively, as I don't tend to add much writing or commentary on the process, for fear of boring the "regular" people in my life.  Then when I go back months later to remember what I've been up to, everything 'looks' good, but falls flat in capturing the 'feeling'.  I'd describe it as similar to watching a music video on mute, there's something going on, but I can't feel it the same way, and my creative memories start to fade away like a future Marty McFly.
  The last 7 years have had some dramatic personal moments, including 3 major household moves, which required a purging of supplies, as well as a severe neglect of this blog.  The majority of my creative tools had to be put in storage for almost 2 years, (mainly knitting books, magazines and YARN.. I know.. first world problem).  Regardless, I have accumulated too much to know what to do with, and I've challenged myself not to buy any more knitting/crochet paraphernalia this year!  I've made it through most of May without a dime spent, have refrained from perusing the needle-arts section of the $1 Bookstore and have kept away from the clearance sections of Michaels and Joann's.  This was so hard for me - I love to spend a fortune on bargains!! I kept myself from purchasing tickets for the Vogue Knitting Live Marketplace in Pasadena last weekend and have stayed away from the Purl Soho warehouse in Tustin (just 5 mins from work!).  My 2016 challenge was meant to push me to focus on creating and NOT preparation and over-thinking.  I really like to be prepared, to plan, dream, and shop, but I was finding myself too often getting stuck in the planning process, rather than actually creating anything.  This blog post itself is an act of resisting actually working on anything - I'm not even 100% sure blogging is relevant these days!! Honestly, none of it really matters, I have all the tools I need, I just need to get working - the inspiration and creative reward will come in time...

  On a personal note for 2016: My daughter, the oldest of my 2 kids, will be turning 18 in a few short weeks.  She is eager to vote this year and spread her wings into adulthood.  In about 3 weeks, she'll be graduating high school as a Valedictorian, with plans to go to school in the fall of 2017 to study Architecture and I couldn't be more proud!!  My son, only 11 months younger, will be following right behind her.  Now, he is preparing for his Senior year with much talk of college and future plans involving Music Composition and performing (the boy is always playing music).  Naturally, this change in life has me looking back at the past, thinking about the future and revelling in the present!!   I've done my best to train my little sparrows to fly with confidence out of the nest, and while I know a mother's job is never finished, I can't help but be a little bit excited to free up some more time for my personal interests and aspirations, maybe even go back to school myself.  Only time will tell!

Much love!  Sunshyne

Saturday, January 18, 2014

American Girl cape

I made a cape for my niece's doll. Alpaca Dance yarn I bought at Jo-ann's. I would make changes to the seed stitch border if I make it again, it tends to roll inward.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Felted Baby Yoda Hat

This pattern is a “felt-to-fit” baby size hat.

Size US11, 16” circular needle, and set of 5 DPNs
Green, feltable, worsted weight wool. I used Paton’s Classic Merino Wool in ’Leaf Green’ - 1 ball made 2 hats.

Yarn needle

Gauge: Before felting, 12 stitches and 16 rows = 4 inches in Stockinette stitch.

Felted gauge is not critical, as this is a felt-to-fit pattern.

With circular needle, CO 60 Stitches
Join, and work in K1 P1 rib for about 1.5 inches.
Knit all rounds until hat measures 6 inches from CO edge.

Work decreases as follows:
Round 1: (K13, K2tog, pm) across to end.
Round 2: (and all even rounds): Knit
Round 3: (and all odd rounds): (Knit to last 2 stitches before marker, K2tog) across to end
Repeat rows 2 & 3, switch to DPNs as necessary, continue until only 4 stitches remain.
Finish off by pulling the end of the yarn through the 4 remaining stitches.

CO 17 stitches.
Knit in St. st. for 2 inches, ending with a purl row.
R1: K2tog, K to end (16 sts.)
R2: P
R3: K
R4: P
R5: K
R6: P
R7: K2 tog, K to end (15 sts.)
R8: P
R9: K2tog, K to end (14 sts.)
R10: P
R11: K2tog, K to end (13 sts.)
R12: P
R13: K2tog, K to last 2 stitches, K2tog (11 sts.)
R14: P
R15: K
R16: P
R17: K2tog, K to last 2 stitches, K2tog (9 sts.)
R18: P
R19: K
R20: P
R21: K2tog, K to last 2 stitches, K2 tog. (7 sts.)
R 22: P
R23: K2tog, knit to end (6 sts.)
R24: P
R25: BO

CO 17 stitches
Knit in St. st for 2 inches, ending with a purl row.
R1: K to last 2 stitches, K2tog.
R2: P
R3: K
R4: P
R5: K
R6: P
R7: K to last 2 stitches, K2tog. (15 sts.)
R8: P
R9: K to last 2 stitches, K2tog. (14 sts.)
R10: P
R11: K to last 2 stitches, K2tog. (13sts.)
R12: P
R13: K2tog, K to last 2 stitches, K2tog. (11 sts.)
R14: P
R15: K
R16: P
R17: K2tog, K to last 2 stitches, K2tog. (9 sts.)
R18: P
R19: K
R20: P
R21: K2 tog, K to last 2 stitches, K2tog. (7 sts.)
R22: P
R23: K to last 2 stitches, K2tog. (6 sts.)
R24: P
R25: BO

Stitch CO edge of ears to hat with purl side facing front.


With 2 DPNs, Pick up and knit 12 stitches centered directly below the ears,

R1: P
R2: K
R3: P
R4: K2tog, K to last 2 st., K2tog, (10st)
R5: P
R6: K
R7: P
R8: K2tog, K to last 2 st., K2tog (8st)
R9: P
R10: K2tog, K to last 2 st., K2tog (6st)
R11: P
R12: K2tog, K to last 2 st., K2tog (4st)
R13: P
R14: K2tog, K1 (3st)

Continue in I-Cord for 24 inches, finish off by pulling the end of the yarn through remaining 3 stitches.

Repeat on opposite side.

Tie in ends and felt to desired circumference.

Allow the hat to air dry completely.

To stiffen the felted ears, so they will stick out, make a non-toxic fabric stiffener by mixing Elmer’s glue with water until milky. Saturate EARS ONLY, and let dry into desired shape, curving in slightly for a more realistic look. The more stiffener you use, the more sturdy the ears will be. To keep ears from flopping over while drying, I used an adjustable pants hanger (the type with clips on the ends). You can either hang the hat or position it over a bowl or pot to dry.


Creative Commons License
Felted Baby Yoda Hat by Sunshyne Leland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.