Thursday, December 4, 2008
First, to your left, you can see not only the creepy mannequin head that Nick yells at me for keeping out and about, but also my first project on the hairpin lace loom I bought a couple months ago and hadn't used. I'm not sure what sparked my interest in picking it up for the first time ever - maybe the fact it just seemed so easy, I wanted to bust my stash, and take a break from writing patterns or making things in the round. It's funny how everything I'm doing right now is made in the round - so easy, but tiring after awhile. Oh, well, I was the one who decided hats were my calling, right?
Anyway, I really like the way this scarf turned out. I couldn't tell you what I'm gonna end up doing with it - selling it, giving it away, whatever. But it looks freaking awesome. For details about the yarn and whatnot, you can visit its ravelry page.
Next, I found out last night that my very pregnant friend finally went into labor. I had made her a baby blanket and sweater, both of which had been posted here, but you can't visit New Baby in the hospital without a present! So I found some pink yarn I purchased awhile ago and made a quick baby hat, playing with the stitches along the way. I really like the way it came out (the bottom half was done with HDC in BLO), and the yarn was really soft. More detailed info is, again, on its ravelry page. I really think I can switch over to making baby hats permanently because they get done so quickly, and I have the attention span of a 3-year-old. Probably why I can't bring myself to finish any of my holiday gifts right now, haha. That - and I have other stuff than crochet and knitting projects going on, and of course it all needs to be done now now now. It's the holidays, so I really wish people would cut me a break with my deadlines. I'm always busy busy busy this time of year, so giving me deadlines on stuff doesn't usually work out and people get mad at me :(
Now that I have ranted about my insane schedule, yay for my friend having a baby! Nick and I will be visiting tonight, and I'm preparing myself to smoosh a fat widdle baby face.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
That being said, I free-formed some basic mittens last night and hope to whip out a pattern for those soon; with any luck, I'll have it up before the holidays for those of us who have tons of last-minute gifts to finish!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Okay, so the title says this hat is for Christmas, but we all know how versatile a pattern can be. Because of that, it really can be created in a much less tacky way than the holidays allow - but I like tacky, so here we go.
- Your favorite DK-weight yarn. I used Red Heart Designer Sport in colors by Candi Jensen in pink, white, and bright green. I love them so much. And the lighter yarn makes for a nicer fabric in crochet. I think I'm done with Simply Soft. Travesty, I know.
- 4mm (G) crochet hook.
- Large-eyed needle for weaving in ends.
Abbreviations (in order of appearance):
- ch: chain
- sc: single crochet
- PM: place marker
- inc: 2sc in st
- BLO: back loop only
With white, ch3, join.
- R1: 4sc into loop; with green: 4sc into loop; with pink: 4sc into loop, PM; DO NOT JOIN.
- R2: inc (4x); with white: inc (4x); with green: inc (4x); DO NOT JOIN.
- R3: (2sc, inc) 2x, 2sc; with pink: (inc, 2sc) 2x, inc, sc; with white: sc, inc, (2sc, inc) 2x; DO NOT JOIN.
- R4: (3sc, inc) 2x, 2sc; with green: sc, inc, (3sc, in) 2x, sc; with pink: 2sc, inc, (3sc, inc) 2x; DO NOT JOIN.
- R5: (4sc, inc) 2x, 2sc; with white: 2sc, inc, (4sc, inc) 2x, sc; with green: 3sc, inc, (4sc, inc) 2x; DO NOT JOIN.
- R5: (5sc, inc) 2x, 2sc; with pink: 3sc, inc, (5sc, inc) 2x, sc; with white: 4sc, inc, (5sc, inc) 2x; DO NOT JOIN.
- R6: (6sc, inc) 2x, 2sc; with green: 4sc, inc, (6sc, inc) 2x; with pink: 5sc, inc, (6sc, inc) 2x; DO NOT JOIN.
- R7: (7sc, inc) 2x, 2sc; with white: 5sc, inc, (7sc, inc) 2x; with green: 6sc, inc, (7sc, inc) 2x; DO NOT JOIN.
- R8: (8sc, inc) 2x, 2sc; with pink: 6sc, inc, (8sc, inc) 2x; with white: 7sc, inc, (8sc, inc) 2x; DO NOT JOIN.
- R9: (9sc, inc) 2x, 2sc; with green: 7sc, inc, (9sc, inc) 2x; with pink: 8sc, inc, (9sc, inc) 2x; DO NOT JOIN.
- R10-30: work even, continuing spiral, pausing at the end of your last pink row;
- R31: with your pink color, sc around in all the other colors, joining to first pink sc in row.
DO NOT BIND OFF.
- R1: Ch 7
- R2: Sc in 2nd st from hook, sc in next 5 sts (6 sc), sl st into next st on hat, turn.
- R3: 6 sl sts across in BLO, ch1, turn.
- R4: 6 sl sts across in BLO, sl st into next st on hat, turn.
- Repeat R3-R4 around hat; join with sl sts.
BIND OFF. Weave in ends.
Word of Caution:
Make sure to keep track of your yarn, as it's easy for them to get tangled during this whole process. I wasn't paying attention for the first good half of the project and then wasted 15 minutes untangling everything - it's really not a good use of time. Spare the three seconds it takes to move the balls around when switching colors and save yourself many hassles :)
Sunday, November 23, 2008
- 1 skein Caron Simply Soft in grey (or whatever color you prefer, but Bella's is grey)
- 5.5mm crochet hook
- 1 large-eyed needle (for weaving in ends)
Some pre-pattern info:I imagine you can use most worsted-weights single-stranded and accomplish the same feat; however, most of us know that Caron is not your typical worsted weight, so I double-stranded the whole thing. It's not a bad result at all. Just play around with the yarn until you're able to get the proper size to fit over your head :)
To make it look more like Bella's hat, you would use a thinner yarn and more rows in between the BPdc's, adding more length as you go. I kind of like the chunkier look.
As always, please let me know if you find any errors in my pattern :)
FPtr: Yarn over twice, insert hook around the post (from the front side of your work) of the stitch indicated; yo and draw up a lp (4 lps on hk); yo and draw through two lps (3 lps on hk); yo and draw through two lps (2 lps on hk); yo and draw through two lps (1 lp on hk)
BPdc: Yarn over, insert hook from the back side of the work right to left around the post of the indicated stitch on a previous row; yo and pull up a loop (3 lps on hk); yo and draw through two lps (2 lps on hk); yo and draw through two lps (1 lp on hk)
Ch 3, join
- R1: Ch3 (counts as 1st dc), 11dc's into loop, join. (12dc)
- R2: Ch3, dc in same st (inc made), 2FPtr, [2dc in next st, 2FPtr] 3x, join.
- R3: Ch3, dc in same st (inc made), dc in next st, 2FPtr, [2dc in next st, dc, 2FPtr] 3x, join.
- R4: Ch3, dc in same st (inc made), dc in next 2 sts, 2FPtr, [2dc in next st, 2dc, 2FPtr] 3x, join.
- R5: Ch3, dc in same st (inc made), dc in next 2 sts, 2dc in next st, 2FPtr, [2dc in next st, 2dc, 2dc in next st, 2FPtr] 3x, join.
- R6: Ch3, dc in same st (inc made), dc in next 4 sts, 2dc in next st, 2FPtr, [2dc in next st, 4dc, 2dc in next st, 2FPtr] 3x, join.
- R7: Ch3, dc in same st (inc made), dc in next 6 sts, 2dc in next st, 2FPtr, [2dc in next st, 6dc, 2dc in next st, 2FPtr] 3x, join.
- R8: Ch3, dc in same st (inc made), dc in next 8 sts, 2dc in next st, 2FPtr, [2dc in next st, 8dc, 2dc in next st, 2FPtr] 3x, join.
- R9-R12: Ch3, 11dc, 2FPtr, [12dc, 2FPtr] 3x (work even), join.
- R13: Ch3, 11BPdc, 2FPtr, [12BPdc, 2FPtr] 3x (work even), join.
- R14-16: work same as R9
- R17: work same as R13
- R18: [Ch1, sl st] around, join.
Monday, November 3, 2008
I finally finished Baby Sweater #2. I may or may not save this for Christmas, as my friend's baby is due rather soon! But we'll see. If she reads this, I may just have to give it up sooner :P This time around, I cast on an extra 10 stitches so it wasn't so preemie-looking. After that, the patterns was still pretty simple. It took me a long time to make, though, as I grew bored of the pattern. I plan on taking any leftover yarn and making a pair of matching booties. I've never knitted booties, so I'm excited to try something knew.
I also started this knitted hat for Nick's friend's girlfriend. You can't see the detail in the picture to the left, but it's the pattern Foliage from Knitty, which I found on Ravelry (an addiction of mine). This is the third time I've started it, thinking the first time I had messed up the pattern and then couldn't count the second time when I was surrounded by poeple. Frustrating! But now, I'm realizing I was right with the pattern first time around, so I'm going to finally finish it, haha. Of course, this means another trip to ACMoore for more yarn so I can make matching mittens, since I threw away all of my frogs in frustration every time :)
Not to be forgotten are a bunch of crocheted santa faces Nick's mom would like me to make for work gifts. I made a bunch for the holidays two year ago - enough that they lasted me until Christmas the next year. I gave one to his parents in 2007 as a magnet and his mom loved them. I purchase all the supplies a few weeks ago, sans yarn because I think I had enough from the kit, and I'm patiently awaiting working on them. They were so fun to make and whipped up really quickly. Sadly, Mary Maxim no longer sells the kit or pattern, but I had ordered three to make them the first time around and found it a couple months ago. I didn't search through it, so hopefully everything's there, but maybe I could figure it out if I needed to again, haha. The picture is from the first round of Santa Faces I made in 2006.
It's funny how I've always had problems with knitting, even though I started when I was 11 years old. Then I recently realized there were really only two stitches to remember, and now I have no problems counting, reading patterns, or anything.
I ordered a million tunisian crochet hooks (and by a million, I mean five). I'm excited to try my hand at that one. For a practice piece, I'm going to make a cover for the top of our toilet seat in the man's bathroom. Nick is a big fan of keeping that room completely barren and it drives me up a wall. To add some color, I decided to make a black piece for over the top lid, since everything else is so white and there's a black shower curtain. I hope he doesn't mind. If he does, tough cookies. I figured it would be simple enough to practice with - a big rectangle, haha.
I also bought a hairpin lace loom, and I'm anxious to give that a shot. Oh, if only these blasted holiday gifts would be done!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Since joining Ravelry, I've taken a huge interest in knitting again, especially since things like baby sweaters and clothing in general look better when they're knit. This lead to me picking up my needles once again and casting on.
I didn't expect much out of this sweater, since the first and last baby sweater I knitted two years ago took forever to complete and I had to seam every piece together once I was done. I like to call that project "Hell on Earth." I don't mind emroidery or things like that, but I abhore sewing things together (almost as much as weaving in my ends). But this whole sweater was made as one piece on two needles - you couldn't ask for an easier project!
I really love the colors - pink and green. The picture is pretty true to the actual colors. You an also see it's barely bigger than the size of my hand, which makes me think it's too small for even a newborn. So... I'm making another. I've altered the pattern to be 10 stitches wider and it'll be a couple rows longer. We'll see what happens, but I'm also alternating the colors on this one - the main color will be green with the pink as accents.
I can't tell you how quick it is to knit this sweater up, and maybe I'll make a bunch of them for people I know and to sell. I mean, it's just a basic raglan, which until this past week I had no idea was so easy!
More of my friends need to have babies so I can make a ton of these.
For more information on this project, or to download the pattern yourself, click here for the ravelry page..
Thursday, October 2, 2008
They have very few yarns that I like and use on a regular basis or, when they do, it's never in colors I'd like to use. Last night, I went in hopes I could find some awesome colors to make more fingerless gloves and wrist warmers. I spent five minutes trying to find the Caron Simply Soft (or any Caron at all, for that matter) and finally found it buried in the middle of the tiniest aisle ever. I was soon horrified to discover they only carried six colors, all of which were either muted tones or primary. Where were the Brites?
I tried to find the silver lining, thinking this would be the perfect opportunity to use some Microspun again. Nope, they didn't carry that, period. Any soft yarns that didn't cost more than $4? Meh, not really. Like, I'm looking to sell this stuff - I'm not going to spend $5 on a skein of yarn to make something I only plan on selling for $5.
My basket empty, I saw a row of blue in the Red Heart aisle. Okay, so it wasn't what I was looking for to make hats or gloves, but I figured I could pick up some white and delft blue for the Special Olympics scarves. I had planned on purchasing some online, but if they sold it here, might as well save myself the shipping and have something to work on during the craft show. Great. So they had periwinkle, light blue, dark blue, and navy. Not delft, heaven forbid.
At this point, I think my trooper boyfriend was ready to murder me and was going dizzy from all my walking back and forth. Eventually, I wound up purchasing $32 of yarn from the sale rack in some gorgeous colors that felt great. I couldn't, for the life of me, tell you how some of them ended up in clearance because they were so wonderful, and most were less than $3.
My biggest concern? I live in a heavily populated city less than an hour outside of Phildelphia. For two years, I lived in Middle of Nowhere, Central PA, and had the world's most amazing ACMoore less than 15 minutes away that carried every Caron color imaginable and tons of novelty yarn I have yet to find around here. I love where I live, but the ACMoore leaves something to be desired.
But they do have a bigger selection of crochet and knitting tools than I've ever seen anywhere. Then again, how often do I need to buy supplies?
PS: I bought a High School Musical lunchbox at Giant last night for $4. Guess what I brought my lunch in today? :)
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Anyway, I found this pattern on Ravelry and they're seriously super quick to whip up and uber cute. I might actually try some of my own patterns as the weeks wear on and I feel more comfortable with my inventory for the show.
I expect these to sell like hotcakes, perhaps for $5 because they really do whip up quickly, but I'm never good at anticipating what sells. I poured my heart and soul into gorgeous hats last year and ended up selling a ton of fun fur scrunchies I whipped up in a day. People bought my hats, they really did, but the scrunchies stole the show. Who knew? I mean... they're scrunchies.
Anyway, super happy with these and I've already started making a set in black. With any luck, I'll finish up a bunch tonight while I do some reading for work, bust some of my unwanted stash, and have plenty of room to add more yarn to the collection tomorrow.
Monday, September 29, 2008
One thing I realized over the weekend is that I need my yarn stash back. When I moved in with Nick back in July, he still had a roommate. Because of a space shortage, I couldn't exactly bring my huge bins of yarn, plop them in the living room, and expect either of the boys to welcome the situation with open arms. My stash takes up a lot of space, people. So at the time, I thought it would be a great idea to store said stash at my parents' house with some of my other kitchen and craft supplies. They live an hour away. I'm not sure if I'll ever see my beautiful yarn again.
It's not like I don't have any to work with. I have some left from a hat I knitted this weekend, the leftover pink skeins from the baby blanket I finished two weeks ago, and some black, white, and grey from an amigurumi penguin I made for Nick's sister. It's a pretty monochromatic pallet with pastels tossed in, and we all know how I think pastels are colors that lost their will to live. My available stash makes me pretty miserable.
But I did finish up some cute projects this weekend. First and foremost is a hat I was commissioned for before the summer even started. You can view the pretty picture on the left, here. I'm really happy with it. I found the main pattern online and added a brim from cardboard. I've been knitting for as long as I can remember, but still consider myself enough of a beginner to not know how to shape a brim, so I ended up crocheting it with slip-stitch that looks a lot like thick knitting. I'm pretty happy with the result, although the brim is still a bit wider than I'd like it to be. You can read more about this project on my ravelry page.
Not to be outdone by the hat is this prototype for mittens. With the leftover baby yarn I had from the blanket, I made these heinously pink flip-top mittens from one of my pattern books. I'm in love with them, except the color. I need to figure out a better pattern for the thumbs, as they're huge, but it's nothing too difficult to mess with. What thrills me more is the pattern was so simple, I'll be able to come up with my own renditions. I mean, I really like the shell look it has going on in one way, but hate it in another. It almost seems too fancy or something. But yes, LOVE the concept and plan on making 1200 more. I bet I get bored after 3. You can again read more about them on my ravelry page.
Well, if I don't have my stash back by Friday and I'm still itching to make more of these, I'm gonna have to suck it up and make a run to the yarn store.
Friday, September 26, 2008
If you know me, then you'll know I'm big into charities. There are certain charities I really enjoy because I get to give directly to the charity, while there are others I avoid because I'm not so sure I trust other people with my money. I'm a little cynical. HOWEVER, it brings me joy to create something for people who need it, whether it be kids, homeless shelters, just something where I can contribute what little I have right now to anyone who can appreciate it and maybe feel good wearing something I've made.
I recently came across this idea in Crochet Today. I have a craft show coming up that is taking all my time and energy, but I'd really like to participate in this over the holidays. I'm really excited to work with these new colors and even play around with some new stitches (in either knit or crochet, whatever's blowing my skirt up that day). But I also know that there are a few people who'd like to participate and don't know how to crochet or knit, or maybe they don't have time to dedicate to the project over the extremely busy holiday season. Because of that, I'm collecting donations to purchase yarn for the project.
Now, it's not insanely expensive, believe me. You can view what is needed here. I just thought I have the time to dedicate, the access to the yarn, the support of my friends and family, and the ultimate goal of making someone very happy with my favorite hobby. If you donate, rest assured that all your money will go toward the yarn. I already have the crochet and knitting supplies, so it won't be spent on that. And hey, it's only like $3 minimum. So if you're interested, click on the happy little PayPal button below. I'll post picture of the scarves as I finish them, and maybe I'll have a little scarf party in my craft room before the year is out.
The deadline for the scarves is mid-January, so I'd need to ship them out crazy in advance because of the holidays. Just FYI :D
PS: If you'd like to include a fun little message to send to the scarf recipient, please do so on the donation form or shoot me an email. The article says we can include personal messages, so anyone who donates money for the yarn should obviously be able to send a greeting :)
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Anyway, I've tried to keep a bunch of crafting blogs in the past, so we'll see how long this thing lasts :) That being said, I'm trying to take a new approach with this one and not consider as so much of a blog, but more of an "instant website update without having to redesign anything or upload files three times through my host's FTP server" feature. Maybe if I view it as something easy, I won't put off updating :P
The main website layout is done and I'm working on the subpages. The biggest project is going to be the store, something I'm really not looking forward to in the least. I'm waiting for the mini-tripod I ordered so I can reshoot my items at least somewhat professionally. Then I'll need to tackle PayPal. Or I could just go the easy route and link all the items to an etsy shop, but I really don't want to do that (even though I'll end up putting my stuff on etsy anyway). We'll have to see how lazy I get in the next few weeks with my busy schedule.
Currently, I'm finishing up a knitted hat I was commissioned to make, then it's time to go balls out for a craft show I'm doing mid-October. It's time to get my act in gear with that, and I'm excited to start! I'll also be participating in a lot of charity things coming up, like making scarves for the Special Olympics, so I'll have the updates here :) Check back soon!
PS: I almost forgot to mention that I watched an episode of Uncommon Threads about Card Weaving, and I am more than excited to try this. I think it would be better if I could find a local class, but good luck doing that anywhere around here. I'm doing to ask the darling boyfriend if he'd buy me a starter kit for Christmas, since I wouldn't have the time to bother sitting down (or standing up and tying myself to a doorknob) until after the holidays, anyway. The cards I found to buy are $10 for 25, so I'd probably want to get two packs. Either way, this might just be a passing fancy, but it's so cool!