Oh, there are soooo many pics I want to post right now. We had our family Chanukah party/Grams' 95th birthday party on Saturday night, and it was a blast. Now I can finally post photos of my nephew's surprise gift, and of the gifts with their recipients! Hooray!
First, a picture of my gift to my nephew:
A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle beanie! I had kind of an awful time making it, but isn't it awesome?! I am so proud of it. Here's my nephew wearing it and rocking out:
Now I must gripe about the hat. (Skip ahead for more pictures if you don't want to read my complaints!) ;) It should've been simple to make, but the pattern didn't give a gauge (and when I contacted the author, she wouldn't give me one), so I started it out with one size bigger than the recommended hook (G hook was recommended; I was using an H) and it still came out way too small. I frogged it and re-made it with a J hook, and it turned out OK. Also, the hat length measurements from the pattern were all out of whack; the length given for the child's hat was longer than that of my own hat, which just didn't make any sense. So I made it the same length as mine, and that worked out fine.
When it came to the band, I started with the number of chain stitches recommended for the child version (still with the J hook), and it came out barely long enough to go around the hat, much less tie in the back. I wound up using the number of chain stitches for the adult version, which made it long enough to tie and untie in the back. I did the width of the child's version, though, and that looked about right.
Other issues: instructions that just said to sew the band to the hat, without saying how or whether to sew it with thread or yarn or if it mattered; instructions to sew or glue the eyes on, without saying how far apart to make the eyes (mine wound up being too far apart when the hat's being worn) or how/with what to sew them; and instructions to crochet all the way around the band, without instructions on how to do that (I'd never crocheted all the way around anything that wasn't, well, round--I did my best, but I still don't know if I did it right).
This pattern was a pain in the you-know-what. My nephew is so worth it, though!
And now, my beautiful nieces in their ponchos, from oldest to youngest:
And here's my niece wearing her poncho with Grams, who is wearing her Seraphina's Shawl:
We gave Grams the shawl pin, too. It was purchased from a fellow Etsy seller, South4th, and it is really lovely.
The gifts all went over really well! My whole family gave me compliments. My oldest (little) niece (the "real" oldest is the 19-year-old, who wasn't with us that night) wore her poncho to school yesterday. Awww!
So, what am I crocheting now that I'm done with all the gifts? Ummm...nothing. I want to make a Sera Lace Top (pattern by Doris Chan, of course) with the yarn that my in-laws gave me for Chanukah, but I tried to wind some of it the other night, and wound up with a tangled mess after only winding about half a hank into a cake. I need a swift, but we don't have the space for it. My hubby is being very sweet and working on untangling the rest of the hank...We'll see how that goes.
Still trying to figure out what to bring with me to S&B tomorrow!
Now for what I've been up to with beads lately...I made these coffee bean stitch markers the other day:
(This picture makes them look scratched--those aren't scratches on the beads, it's just reflected light.) I haven't listed them yet only because I haven't decided on a price. The beads were expensive, but I don't want to charge more than a customer would be willing to pay for them. Dilemmas, dilemmas. I'll figure it out eventually. (I will list them soon, I promise!)
I sold more Autumn Leaves stitch markers, and finally made more last night and re-listed them. They're popular enough that I decided to make--and list--2 sets.
A close friend of mine gave me a gift certificate to Fire Mountain Gems & Beads for the holidays! I'm so excited about it. I'm going to take my time in deciding what to get, since there are many tempting things on the site. Nothing fair trade that I know of, though I think Karen Hill Tribe silver is a safe bet (I don't think it's technically fair trade unless sold by a certified company, but I am pretty sure all their workers are treated fairly and paid pretty well...I really should look into it more, though). Also, plenty of Swarovski, which is definitely a safe bet, as are Czech beads. And lots of books! And tools and things! Woohoooo!!!