Wednesday, June 27, 2012

crochet celebrity look-a-like shawl in progress

Because I am one lucky woman, my Hubby allowed me to indulge in my obsession for my birthday.  We woke up relatively early, enjoyed a delicious brunch at a local cafe, then headed out to my favorite place in the world: Knitter's Edge

Yes, that means he bought me yarn.  And beautiful yarn, it is.  Check it out:

If you haven't worked with Berroco Flicker yet, you must.  It's a mostly-alpaca/acrylic blend with some sparkles mixed throughout, so you know it's incredibly soft.  Then again, I have a "thing" for all things alpaca, so I could be biased.  Suffice it to say, I've loved every minute of working with it.

The yarn itself appears more braided than spun, so it's been heavenly to work with.  Although I consider myself a master of conquering yarn-splitting, it's nice not to worry about yet one more thing when trying to read a pattern.

What pattern am I reading, you ask?  Well, I decided to revisit Jennifer Hansen's Celebrity Shawl.  The last time I tried crocheting this shawl, I nearly threw myself out a first-story window (slight injuries, no death).  I was in college and using a beautiful Debbie Bliss yarn - that got incredibly tangled after tearing out the shawl numerous times trying to achieve proper gauge.  It didn't happen, and eventually the yarn was too knotted to work with.

I downloaded the pattern again two weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised to learn it had been rewritten from the bottom up.  What does that mean?  It means your gauge is almost non-important.  You can use any yarn as long as you eventually make your shawl 60some" x 35".  My life is so much easier this time around.

Here are some photos of what I've crocheted so far:

A close-up of the stitches
With any luck, I'll finish this puppy up over the upcoming weekend.  I still have some adorable baby photo props to complete, but those should get done, as well, because my class ends this week and then I get a whopping week off between classes (at least I only have two left).

Stay tuned for photos of those baby props - they're too cute for words.  I just finished up a baby bunny + carrot set and need to sew on some buttons for the diaper cover before calling it a day.  Now, I'm working on a pea pod and pea pod cozy, which should work up quickly with bulky yarn and size 15 needles.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

crochet baby lion hat for photo prop

I have a feeling that you're getting tired of all these baby photo props that I'm propelling your way.  Never fear: I do have another project to show you soon (hint: I'm making it out of birthday yarn, courtesy of Hubby).  But in the meantime, I'm still getting kicks out of the endless cuteness.

My latest photo prop is this lion hat:

Again, I must ask you to pardon my "baby".
I crocheted a basic newborn bonnet pattern, followed by adding orange fringe.  The yarn is Lion Brand Homespun, which is perfect for this project because the mane/fringe needs to look like wild hair. 

It seems almost natural that Lion Brand would make yarn fit for a lion, no?

I've nearly completed the accompanying diaper cover - also adorable because I get to atach a tail with more fringe!  Perhaps I'll have a photo of the whole set to show you after the weekend.

In other news, I'm asking you to feel bad for me.  I had a sinking feeling that the other hats I'd created for this order will too big, despite measuring accurately (or so I thought).  Far too late, I remembered I had a bunch of white balloons left over from pervious baby hat photo shoots, so I blew one up to the size of a newborn's head... and the balloon was swimming.  What the heck?

So the bad news is I have to start over with the other orders.  The good news is that they're so tiny, they're whipping up quickly.  Last night, I finished the bases of my new owl hat (ear flaps and all) and managed to save the eyes from Owl #1.  I'm almost done with the base of of the new teddy bear hat and I think I can save the bumble bee.  Wish me luck!

Have you ever had to rip something out and start over long after you'd already finished a project?  Did you hate the universe as much I did when you discovered you had to go back to square one?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

sleeping owl hat for baby photo prop

First, I hope everyone is enjoying my birthday giveaway!  If you haven't entered yet, click here for your chance to win a $25 gift card to  It's my birthday this Saturday and I firmly believe everyone should get yarn in celebration :)

(My other birthday present to everyone I know personally is my final commitment to liking Die Antwoord.  I had seen them around - literally having walked next to them when I visited Las Vegas this past February - and thought they were interesting [to say the least].  But I woke up this morning with "Enter the Ninja" stuck in my head, plus I think "Baby's On Fire" will be fun to add to my hula hooping routine, so there it is.  You can all thank me later).

Second, I wanted to post about another baby photo prop I finished crocheting over the weekend.  I don't have a completed photo, but I do have this one:

It's an adorable sleeping owl hat in neutral tones.  The customer doesn't know the baby's gender yet, so we're sticking to neutral colors for everything.  Although I love the colorful owl hats, I think more natural ones have something going for them, as well.  It all depends on the look you're going for when styling a newborn photo shoot.

I also crocheted a coordinating hammock, but don't have photos of that yet, either.  Once I'm done with all these cute props, I'm going to do a photo shoot of my own so you can see each set in their entireties.

Currently, I'm crocheting a lion bonnet.  I'm not sure how I feel about the way I've designed it and I may end up redoing the back.  But we'll see what happens when all is said and done.  In the words of my husband, it looks "ridiculous", so I know I'm headed in the right direction :)

I hope you're all enjoying your week so far!  Today is my dad's birthday and it's a big one - but I won't give you a number.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!  See you later tonight for some tasty dinner.

Monday, June 11, 2012

birthday fun for every-wun - birthday yarn giveaway

We're more than a week into June now, and we all know what that means - another year older. Womp womp.

The good news is that I still don't turn 30 for another year, so I figured we could go out on a high note. And I don't mean going out for a night of margaritas (although I think that's happening, too - if you replace "margaritas" with "craft beer").

In honor of my I'm-almost-30-but-not-close-enough-to-mope-yet birthday month, I've decided to hold a fun little blog contest.

I know what you're asking yourself:

"Why the #$^@$& should I care?"

The answer is simple:

Because you're as addicted to yarn as I am and you can't pass up a $25 gift card to Herrschners.

How to enter:

Simply follow the instruction on the super fun Rafflecopter widget below.  Each activity gives you a certain amount of entries, so the odds are ever in your favor (see what I did there?).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And on that note, good luck, have a great week, and start planning some projects to use new yarn with!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

my beachy yarn haul

Hurray - back from vacation *sob*

Okay, I'll admit it - it's kind of nice to be back in the groove of things, but my brain is still in OCMD.  So are my ankles.  I got so sunburned last week that they swelled up to the size of softballs and my slow recovery may or may not have included a steroid shot.  I am a turkey lovingly basted by Paula Dean, and the sun is my oven.

Needless to say, walking has been a painful chore and I cry at the thought of putting on clothes.  Let me tell you, the moment my ankles make their grand re-entrance, I may bend over and kiss them (if my flexibility is still in tact and so my friends and Hubby stop calling me Cankles McGee).

While you mull over that attractive image, I thought I'd show you my haul from the yarn shop I found on the boardwalk.  I know, you're probably all SHOCK!HORROR!GASP! that I found yarn.   I did, however, manage to ignore the pain (not without the help of 900 ibuprofin pills) and drag myself off my death bed for the experience - which wasn't so death-like since I was blowing through Fifty Shades of Grey - to visit the only yarn shop in town: Salty Yarns.

Here's what I picked up:

Yarn: Queensland Caracara in #4 - Vanilla, Pale Blue, and Spearmint (I thought it was beach-like)
Patterns: Lace Knitting To Go - pattern cards by Chronicle Books
Needles: Lantern Moon Straight Needles US3

I was pleasantly surprised that I maintained composure and got this instead of the $35 yarn I wanted to try.  I couldn't decide between supplies for a fashion scarf or choosing to conquer lace knitting once and for all.  The lace theme sounded beachy, so I went with that.  Plus, I couldn't stand up any longer to keep thinking about it.

The most expensive item?  The knitting needles.  Ever since getting my interchangeable KnitPicks Harmonies, I vowed to myself to only buy good needles from now on.  It makes the experience much more enjoyable.  Yeah, so those needles up there?  $21.  1/3 of the cost of my total purchase.  Sometimes I hate myself.

But don't worry - we didn't just go to a yarn store.  We also drove out to Dogfish Head Brewery for a tour then stopped in to their Brew Pub in Rehoboth (which had nummy food - fried pickles, baby).  We went through a lot of tasty beer during the week, and any last respects I had for Miller Lite has now disintegrated.  Some of my faves include Dogfish Head Lil Tart, Ommegang Witte, and Angry Orchard Crisp Apple.  And I know this isn't a beer, but I highly recommend the Dirty Banana if you ever find yourself at Seacrets.

We also ate at no less than four seafood restaurants without getting any seafood.  Ask me about my allergies.

Here are some other photos that may make you salivate:

Don't worry - I'm not drinking a Bud in that bottom photo.  It's the Ommegang Witte in a Bud glass (or as I like to call it: a travesty).

And now, I must return to my incredibly busy week full of blurry contacts, sunburn, ankle pain, and no ambition.  This should be fun!
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