Monday, December 12, 2016

Raggedys to Riches

Raggedy Andy arrived Monday. I started on his cardigan right way.

I reworked the pattern I used for the Bitty Twins to accommodate R. Andy's smaller size. He's 15", same as the Bitty Twins, but he's smaller around and has shorter arms. I published it as a free download in my "Ravelry Story" under the name "Raggedy Andy Keeps Warm." Raggedy Andy came from the Etsy Shop Roszanna's Dolls. He was made in the US (very nicely) by hand, and his face is hand-embroidered. They have all sizes of Raggedy Anns and Andys along with extra clothes. I plan to make him some PJs or a nightshirt.

To keep the boys from getting mixed up, I tattooed the names of their "owners" on their little fat bottoms. This will help prevent confusion, since the two dolls are virtually identical. I used a 5mm archival permanent marker. I used the children's names rather than the dolls' because they may get new names. I will leave that up to Zachary and Soren.

I packed Hannah, Buddy and Dude away in their boxes. The boys were easy to pack and went right to sleep, probably to dream of their new best pals, Zachary and Soren. Here's what they looked like before I cushioned them with tissue paper.

The boy dolls came from My Sibling Doll Company. They are groomed and dressed in a sheltered workshop for young people and adults with disabilities. They came with perfectly nice clothes, but more casual. Dude and Buddy wanted to dress up to meet the boys. They should be comfortable in their boxes until Christmas.

Hannah was another matter. She comes with a lot of beauty-parlor equipment, and restraints to protect her from suffering any damage in case the box gets dropped. I replaced the restraints, leaving only her arms free, so she would be comfortable. One lock of hair had been sewn gently to her jacket when she arrived here. I had to cut that to get her clothes off, so I replaced the stitches with a safety pin when I put her back. (The safety pin has the added benefit of letting other, dolls...know she will stand with them against bullying if they encounter it. Daphne will like that.) 

Hannah's eyes don't close. I didn't want her to have to just lie there and stare at the inside of her box until Christmas Day, so I gave her the sleep mask I made for Gabi. I will have to make Gabi another.

I removed all the catalogs from the box. I will give those to Daphne's mother to use as she sees fit. Daphne is a loving, sweet and generous child, but she's normal, and I could see that she would want everything in the catalogs. They can get expensive when shipped from Europe, so better let Mom take care of the catalogs.

I posted these photos in one of the doll groups on Ravelry, and someone commented, "They look so sweet and innocent when they're asleep." Ha!

I spent a lot of time early in the week cleaning and moving furniture around upstairs, which is our main living level. Our sturdy coffee table became a sitting bench with the addition of a cushion I made for it several years ago. The tree will go on the trunk we had in the bedroom, and I put the dogs' crates in the bedroom. We have two beaten-up Finnish chairs, which you can't see in the photo, but with the bean bags for some of the kiddos, we should have plenty of seating area. As you can see, the pups are enjoying the new couch location. (That black puddle on the left end of the couch is Rocky.)

We had postponed Thanksgiving dinner when I got sick, but we were able to reschedule and have it on Wednesday. DH's brother came, as did our next-door neighbor, who lives alone. I had it all cooked and in the freezer, so all I had to do was clean up the upstairs, heat up the food and set the table.

I started cleaning downstairs on Thursday. So far, I managed to get the laundry room and the downstairs bathroom clean, and made a little progress on the guest room. I'll have to finish the guest room and clean my fiber studio this week. It will be a busy week, because we have two performances of the Park City Singers Holiday Concert. I'm doing the descant (alone) for The Star Carol, so I've been practicing for that, too.

Saturday, we went to see Oliver! at the Pioneer Theater in Salt Lake City. Since I had finished Raggedy Andy's cardigan, I tool my So-not-my-palette Cardigan along to work on. As you can see, the second sleeve is coming along. I'm getting excited to get to the button/buttonhole and neck bands, and the pockets.

During intermission some ladies came over to see what I was working on. They were amazed that an ordinary person could do this kind of thing by hand. "All those colors! How do you keep them straight...", etc. I explained that there are only two colors in any round, and that I was always working on the right side, so I could see the pattern. When I explained that I had cut it open, one lady said it should come apart, but I showed her how I sewed down the length of the steeks before cutting (then I had to explain what steeks were). Eating an elephant is one bite at a time, so a knitting project is one stitch at a time. We also talked about the yarn shops I like to go to, and where they were. I wonder if they will get started knitting, too. I hope so.

The show was a matinee, and it was raining down in Salt Lake City. By the time we got home early evening, it was starting to snow at our place. This greeted me at 7:00 AM Sunday morning.

It was nearly a foot by the time DH got out the snowblower at 8:15. I didn't get to leave for 9:00 AM choir practice until 8:45, so I was a couple of minutes late. I was especially glad to be there, because the children were putting on their annual Christmas pageant. They were adorable!

Also adorable (if you can stand more) is DS2 and his family in this photo taken at the Scan Fair. It was December 3rd, I think. DDIL2 is Swedish/Norwegian, and our son is 1/4 Finnish. Johan is named after DH's Finnish grandfather. The other grandmother was taking the photo.

It's going to be an interesting Christmas week with those two boys in the house. Plus yet another boy. Yikes!

What's on my needles: Back to the “So-not-my-palette Cardigan,” progress on the second sleeve. I'm getting excited to do the neck, buttonhole and button bands, and the pockets.

What's on my Featherweight: Set up to make Andy's PJs.

What's on my wheel: Still put away for now.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Christmas music, and Still listening to An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor, not very far yet. Finished reading A Rose Before Dying by Amy Corwin on the Kendall app. It was good, and the author gave me a free eBook in exchange for finding the typos. Now reading The Cryptographer by Alice Wallis Eton. Good so far (although it has nothing to do with crypts).

What's in my wine glass: Gato Negro Malbec, 2015, in the big bottle. It will take a few days to finish it.

What's my tip of the week: If you are working on a knitting project where you decrease every few rows/rounds until you have a certain number of stitches on the needle(s), you can count those off when you start that piece and place a marker that's different from any you have placed to indicate the beginning/end of a pattern repeat. I started this sleeve by picking up stitches around the armhole steek. I've been decreasing at the beginning and the end of every third round. The orange stitch marker indicates the end of the decreases. The marker with the dangly bead marks the end of the pattern repeat. I have two more decrease rounds before I just work straight without decreasing the rest of the way to the cuff. This saves having to count each time if I think I'm getting close. This works for sock heels and toes, also.

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

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