My Christmas crafting is nearly done, and I am in the home stretch! I have finished all 6 I-Spy bags for the kiddos in my life.  They came out really cute.  The key to making them is the teflon foot for sewing the vinyl.  They were super easy with that attachment.  Otherwise, it would have been a real pain!  These are so fun. I have all kinds of small goodies inside.
All 6 I-Spy bags!

To make these, I cut out 2 9″ squares of fabric. I picked out my toys.  Then I printed the list of toys on an iron on transfer sheet. I ironed it onto a piece of ivory knit fabric that I had.  I then sewed that onto  one of the squares.  On the other square, I cut out the center. I then cut a piece of vinyl a little bit bigger. I sewed the vinyl to the back of the opening (double stitched). I then sewed the 2 squares together (right sides facing), leaving a small opening.  I then topstitched around (except for the small opening).  I added the toys and poly pellets. I then stitched the opening closed (blind stitch by hand).  Then I topstitched the small opening area.  They were pretty easy!

Showing the back

The last couple of days, I have been working on making other little gifts.  For my nieces, I decided I wanted to do a little hand sanitizer holder. I spent a lot of time looking online for a pattern/tutorial I liked. I never found one.  I had some socks that I bought for another project. I started thinking about how to use them.  This is what I created:
Sanitizer sock 1

I am calling them hand sanitizer socks!  I love how they turned out.
Sanitizer sock 2
The button is just for decoration. It closes at the top with a snap.

I have been covering composition notebooks with fabric using fusible web.  I ran out with two notebooks left.  After I pick some more up and finish, I will post pictures.  Besides that, I need to do a little more candy making. I also want to make a few coupon holders to have on hand to give as emergency gifts.  I have a few things I have made that need to be photographed.  I should be posting the final wrap up in the next few days.


I finished my CNE scarf a few days ago. This is a scarf that will go to one of my nieces for Christmas.  It is made of the yarn I dyed using Easter egg dye left over from our eggs this year.  It is very bright.  I really like the pattern, but the project seemed to take forever. It was knit on size 3 needles with fingering weight yarn. I suppose that is why. If I were to knit it again, I think I would use larger needles.  The pattern was easy to memorize. I also have a fondness for seed stitch, and this scarf has a seed stitch border.  I don’t know why, but I love knitting seed stitch!

After I finished the scarf, I cast on a Monkey 2.0 for CB for his birthday. He turns two at the end of September.  We are trying to wean him from his paci, but I really feel like he needs a comfort/security item to replace it. He loathes blankets, so that is out.  I think he will love the monkey.  The pattern for this monkey is really clever. It eliminates a lot of the sewing by being knit in the round.  I really am enjoying knitting this. I also think this yarn is completely perfect for this project. This is the Kindred Spirits yarn I got in the first Flat Rate Box Swap.  It is supposed to be fair isle/stripey yarn. In the legs of the monkey, it has almost a “galaxy” effect (like the Regia Galaxy yarns).  Also, the legs and body all started in exactly the same point of the color repeat.  I could not have done this on purpose so perfectly if I had tried.  It is such a fun, happy accident.  This monkey is going to be very, very cute.  I also love that it is knitting up really, really fast.  I am thinking that I may do one for my nephew for Christmas since I hadn’t decided what to make him.  I may also do one for LB for his birthday (late December).

I have also started another new scarf (another Christmas present for another niece).  I decided to make it out of the Spritely Goods that I got in a trade some time ago. The colors just scream to be made into something for this particular niece.  I decided to knit the One Row Handspun Scarf by the Yarn Harlot.  I doubled the yarn and am knitting it on size 8 needles.  It is a huge relief after knitting the previous scarf. It is knitting up so fast!  Part of that is the completely addictive nature of the pattern.  A row doesn’t take long. I can’t seem to knit a single row. I keep saying, “Just one more…ok, just one more…maybe one more…”  I am enjoying this pattern (and how quickly it is knitting up) so much that I may do another for my last niece.  I just have to check the yardage on the yarn I have for her.

I am actually pretty surprised at how much knitting I have gotten done over the last week or so.  We have been dealing with a lot of kid stuff.  LB started pre-K this morning. We have been trying to prepare him for the last week or so for the change in routine. I am not sure why we worried so much. He is such an easygoing kid. He adapts to new situations with amazing ease.  I actually cried a little when I dropped him off. He started by telling me that I didn’t need to take him into the building. Thankfully, they require that parents sign their children in, so I had a really good excuse to go in with him.  He went in and started playing immediately.  I spoke to the teacher briefly, and then told LB I was leaving.  He said, “Bye, Mom” without even looking up from his toys. I said, “Can I maybe get a hug and kiss before I leave?”  He heaved a huge, long suffering sigh, and then gave me the fastest kiss and hug on record before returning to his toys. I got all teary eyed and looked at the teacher. She said, “He will be ok, mama.”  I said, “I know. I think that is why I am crying!”  I couldn’t believe how big and independent he seemed!

We have also been dealing with some health stuff with CB. While we were in Wyoming, my mom asked me, “So, how long has CB been walking like that?”  I had no idea what she was talking about. I turns out, he walks with his head tilted.  I never noticed.  She had to point it out and tell me it wasn’t normal.  Then, CB had one of his “spacing out” spells. Sometimes he just spaces out.  My mom noticed and tried to get his attention. She couldn’t.  She asked me how often he does that. I had no idea because we leave him alone when he spaces out. We have always just assumed that he was such an internal child that he just needed space sometimes. We thought he was just very good at tuning us out, so we don’t really try to get his attention when he does it.  My mom was very disturbed by it. She suspects that he is having absence seizures.  At first, she told me just to mention it at his next appointment at the end of September.  After thinking about it and considering that his head is abnormally large, my mom asked me to call the doctor immediately. The doctor diagnosed CB with mild torticollis (for the “tilt” when he walks). He is going to start physical therapy (again). She also expressed concern about the possibility of absence seizures combined with his head size. She decided to send him for an EEG and neurology appointment. I spent all week setting all the various appointments up (in between court, office appointments, jail visits, and all the other mom stuff I do).  All the appointments are spread out over the next month.   As I said, it amazes me that I got any knitting done at all!

I finished my Shawl that Jazz just in time for my vacation (which starts Friday).  I had planned to take this on vacation instead of a jacket.  I finished it at knitting group on Sunday. I just had to bind off. When I got home, I did the bind off and blocked it.  Today, it was finally dry and I was able to get pictures.

The things I love about it: it was a great pattern. I would do this pattern again. The design is easy, but very clever. I also love the look of the shawl. It is pretty and feminine without being lace.  This is one of my favorite projects I have done.  I also love the yarn. It is soft and squishy. The colors are also perfect for me.  I am also glad that I did the ruffly ruffle.  I love how it looks. It is so warm and cozy!

Now the things I don’t love: next time I make this, I think that I will use a larger needle size (just one). The fabric ended up a little denser than I wanted, but I still love it.  I also will be a bit more careful when casting on. I cast on 10 stitches less than it called for. That made it 10 rows shorter than the original. I think I would have liked it just a bit longer in the back (although, it is a good length as it is).  I think a larger needle size will help with that too.  Next time, I will air the yarn out a bit before using it. There was a strong vinegar smell for quite a while.  It is still a bit vinegary even after blocking (I used Euchlan).

All that being said, I still love this shawl and can’t wait to wear it!

I finally got a picture of the toes of DH’s socks.  I am really enjoying doing two at a time. I keep thinking that I need to keep track of rows and such. Then I remember that I am already working on the second sock. It is very liberating!  I think that I am going to look for a more rounded toe for the future.  I think this toe is a bit pointy, but I am not starting over!  DH will be fine as his own toes are pointy.

I also have been doing more sewing. I have done a secret sewing project for a swap pal. I also made a blouse out of the sheet fabric.  I used McCall’s Easy Stitch n’ Save M5451. I used fold over elastic at the neck and arms.  I didn’t hem it, but used bias tape.  I think that the shirt would be too short otherwise.  It is a nice summery top.  I like this pattern, but wish it was a bit longer.  I will lenthen it next time.

I have had a busy day today. I decided to go to the thrift store this morning to look for sheets. I saw a really cute skirt tutorial where the skirt is made from a sheet. The biggest bonus…no hemming!  I knew I had to make this skirt.  I managed to find two sheets. One is a blue floral. The other is a yellow and white check.  It already had a ruffle on it!  I knew it would make a really cute skirt.

When I got home, my 2-at-a-Time Socks book was in the mail.  I quickly read it. I then printed out the Judy’s Magic Cast on Tutorial.  I cast on immediately.  I had decided to take the Panopticon yarn from the failed Monkeymen and do a toe up 3×1 rib sock for DH.  Right now, I am about halfway done with the toe increases. This method is really clever. I also like that both socks will be done at the same time. I don’t mind the second sock when I am making socks for me, but a second sock for DH is too much!  I do think that I will still use DPNs in the future, but I also love this method.  I will post a picture later. I just couldn’t get a good one today!

After the boys went to bed, I got to work on my skirt.  I was just finishing the waist elastic, when I cut my finger. It is a pretty deep cut.  I was cutting through the elastic when the tips of my scissors caught my index finger on my left hand. I managed not to bleed on my project (only my white carpet suffered). After performing the necessary first aid, I finished the skirt.  It is so cute! I can’t wait to wear it (of course, I will need a white slip before I can, but that is a problem for another day).  After I cut my finger, DH took the scissors and told me that I couldn’t sew anymore tonight.  I picked up my knitting, but am finding that holding the yarn is a bit strange.  I may just read for a while.   I am still proud of how much I have managed to get done today.  I also think that I will be able to get a blouse out of the rest of the sheet (and probably some sleep shorts for the boys).

Besides all the crafty stuff, I have been learning my new phone too.  I got an HTC Touch Pro. I love it.  I can check my email, Twitter, keep track of all my contacts, keep track of my calendar, and play games (all from anywhere…even court).  There is a lot the phone can do that I haven’t figured out yet, but I am getting there!

One last thing, I realize that the last post seemed a bit scattered. I was going to go back and fix it, but decided against it.  LB had been having some health issues.  He had toxic synovitis (an inflamation in his hips following a viral infection). He has been in a lot of pain.  On Monday night (when I wrote the post), he was supposed to be sleeping. The pain was keeping him awake. He was crying every few minutes. It made it a bit hard to concentrate.  I ended up taking him to the doctor on Tuesday, where he had x-rays and blood work.   He is doing better now, although he still has times when he is pretty sore. They say that it will last for up to two weeks and will return anytime that he gets a viral infection in the future. It is pretty yucky stuff.

I have been wanting to do more sewing. For some reason, sewing intimidates me.  After listening to Megan from Stitch It and Nicole and Jenny from Stash and Burn talking about sewing, I got inspired.  I had a bunch of flannel that I bought a while ago to make cloth wipes.  I never got around it (we just use baby washcloths for wipes).  I took the Little Mermaid flannel with Flounder on it and made sleep shorts for both boys.  I got this fabric for a dollar!  I used just about every bit of it in the shorts.  I just made a template from shorts that fit the boys. I traced the shorts onto tissue paper to make a pattern. I sewed them as shown in this tutorial.  The only difference is that I used Fold Over Elastic for the waist.  I was going to do a pretty blind hem, but decided to fold over the hem and topstitch because I was feeling lazy (and they are just for sleep). They came out really cute. The boys love them. I have a bunch of sock monkey flannel that will soon become sleep shorts for the boys!

On Stash and Burn, they were talking about a 5 minute skirt. I decided that I could do that!  I seemed easy.  I had 2 1/2 yards of some pretty woven cotton fabric that would be perfect.  I followed the tutorial with the exception of the hem. My serger is not working (it is in the shop).  I just folded the hem and topstitched.  I was going to do a pretty blind hem on this too, but got lazy again.  I really like this skirt. The only things I would do differently are make it a bit longer and make the hem more curved in front (without the curve in front, it makes the side seams pointy).  I do love the skirt despite it being a bit shorter than I would normally wear (it still hits my knee…just above it).  I think it took me a bit longer than 5 minutes, but that is my fault for not serging the hem.  I can’t wait for my serger to be fixed!  I really love this pattern. It is such a flattering shape.  I will likely make more of these!

Besides sewing, I have also been getting some knitting done. I have been working on my shawl. I am working on the ruffle part. It is coming along very nicely. I can’t wait to wear it!

Saturday was WWKIP day (or at least one of them). There was an event at our local mall.  DH agreed to watch the two boys (something he never does alone) so that I could go.  It was great.  I worked on my Shawl that Jazz. I got to the beginning of the ruffle on it. I am still on the first skein, so I am going to do the extra ruffly ruffle.  I might also make the ruffle a bit longer.  I learned that there is a local group that meets 2 Sundays a month.  I am going to start going to that. I am pretty excited. It is hard for me to go to group in Gainesville because the drive is so long. A 2 hour knitting group becomes a nearly 4 hour trip.  This avoids all that travel time, so I am able to go more often!  I am pretty excited.

We also had the option of making a donation and getting a goody bag.  The goody bag was great. There was a skein of yarn. It was Classic Elite.  It came with 2 soap sweater patterns. I love these things!  I can’t wait to make one.  I think my first one will be out of this yarn for my mom. I bought her some handmade soap at Hanks for her birthday (in January…yes, it is still in my house). I think I am going to put a sweater on that yummy soap!  The bag had all kinds of coupons and adds for local crafty places. There was some wool wash and lotion, a needle gauge, a ruler, and a button too.  It was pretty fun!

While I was there, several people were knitting 2-at-a-time socks toe up.  I have been thinking about knitting toe up socks.  I promised myself that I would not cast on any socks until I finished DH’s socks.  I had gotten to the toe decreases and realized I was still on my first skein of Lorna’s Laces (this was about 6 weeks ago). There is no way I should be able to get a whole sock for DH out of one skein of LL.  I had that sick feeling that the sock was too small. Naturally, I did what any good knitter does…I put the sock in a drawer hoping it would grow on it’s own.  While watching everyone knitting socks, I confessed that I had DH’s socks in timeout.   I was told to get them out, frog them, and cast on a toe up sock for DH out of the yarn.  I decided this was a fantastic idea as it kills two birds with one stone.  I have decided that I will not only do a toe up sock for DH, but I will go ahead and do it 2-at-a-time (on one circ).  I have an extra 47″ cable, so I just need some tips. I am going to make a Knit Picks order tomorrow and will add those on.  I ordered 2-at-a-time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes today too.  I think I am going to ditch the Monkeymen pattern for know. I think I am just going to do a ribbed sock.  So my knitting disaster that I have been avoiding has turned into an opportunity to learn something new.  So, I celebrated WWKIP day by frogging a nearly complete sock!

I have also finished the second April Square. I have one more April Square to do. Then I have to do the May and June squares!  For some reason, I don’t love knitting the April Square. I haven’t been working on them. I am excited to try the May one. It is a cabled square.  I have never done cables.  Even that has not gotten me moving like it should.  Once I get this last April Square done, things should pick up on the blanket making!

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