Saturday, August 13, 2011

Something New - Knooking

After waiting weeks for this new kit to hit my local Walmart, I couldn't wait to dig in.  I've read up on the directions in several blogs, and watched many videos.  Now with my own kit in hand I can finally try it out for myself.

I made two practice swatches.  The blue was made when I was trying to follow the instructions in Leisure Art's The Knook Kit.  The purple was made following instructions I found on a blog - Jen's Hooky Place.


Using The Knook Kit instructions I kept my hook pointed down and didn't yarn over.  It was easy enough, but with close inspection it looks like the knit stitches are twisted.  I'm pretty sure I didn't follow the purl instructions correctly, but reading them over and over I don't know what I did differently.  I think if they extended the instructions a few more steps I would have understood better.  So.....  I hit the Internet to read instructions on a couple of other blogs, and You Tube to see the videos.

Jen's instructions on her blog Jen's Hooky Place were a little confusing - I learn better visually.  So I found her You Tube videos and finally got it.  Trying it her way, I think this looks more like knitting.  More like crocheting, I had my hook pointed up and I used yarn overs to pull the yarn through the loop.  To purl, I understood that you have to start with your yarn in front, but I what I didn't see in the Knook Kit instructions, was that you're supposed to enter the loop from the opposite side.  Not right to left, but coming in from the back / left before pulling the yarn through.  Or, you can  twist the stitch so you can enter the opposite way than the knit stitch.  Jen's tip is to hook the loop with the hook first - making it easier to insert the hook from the opposite direction.  Hard to explain in writing - that's why the videos are a "must see".  With the Knook in the kit, I found the hook a little too narrow to grab the yarn.  I'm not sure how I'm going to resolve that - maybe I'll try to file it down some.  Now I'm ready to start my first test project - I think the wash cloth in The Knook Kit booklet.  Hopefully with this project I'll get more comfortable with the knook and my tension will improve.

Something New - Cuddle Bunny Blanket

Now that my daughter is driving - better -, I'm able to crochet in the passenger seat.  The other day, heading out of town, I was able to quickly crochet this blanket - Lion Brand's Quick & Cozy Cuddle Bunny Blanket using Bernat's Baby Blanket yarn.  I had some trouble with backstitching the face, but I came up with a face that works for me.  I loved the way it turned out - I plan to make more to give to hospitals for their young patients.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Rozetti Marina Ruffling Yarn

For the past 2 weeks I've dropped in on the Knit Night at Downtown Knits in Apex, NC.  I've really enjoyed both visits, and hope time will allow me to keep going.  During the last visit, I saw one of the ladies knitting with a yarn that ruffles.  I was fascinated - and hooked.  I had to buy some of my own to try out.  I had great fun knitting with these - it was so simple!  I plan to buy more yarn next week and try out more colors.  Check out these 2 scarves.
Color:  Galaxy

Color:  Vineyard

Monday, July 4, 2011

Two More Finished WIPs

This is a ripple pattern - Baby Lacy Ripples.  I used a larger hook size to make it an adult-size afghan.  A couple of years ago I made a baby afghan for my great-niece using this baby terry yarn.  My nephew loved it so much he joked and said he needed a soft afghan just like it.  That gave me the idea to use the left over yarn for a bigger ghan.  I used the left overs, but actually had to buy more.  Any excuse to buy more yarn!  The finished ghan is extra soft and cozy.  My daughter has already claimed it.

This is a quick and simple prayer shawl made with Lion Brand Homespun.  The pattern is Crochet Wife Scarf out of the first The Prayer Shawl Ministry pattern book.  It is a quick pattern, but it took me awhile to finish it.  My main problem is starting so many projects and then not finishing them.  This summer I've made a good start on finishing my WIPs!
This shawl will actually be one of my first donations for my new community outreach program - Crafting Blessing.  Check my other blog for more information -

Monday, June 27, 2011

Another Finished WIP

I finally made the time to finish my daughter's afghan.  I think I've been working on it on and off for 4 years.  Since she just graduated from high school, I thought it was about time.  Plus, she's been begging me.  I used 4 different yarns, I don't even know if I can remember them all.....  The green is a soft Red Heart, the White is a fuzzy Lion Brand, the black plain Simply Soft was paired with black eye-lash yarn.  I thought the main color was going to be green - the way the pattern read.  But it looks more like the main color is white.  I just hope it doesn't get too dirty.  The size turned out shorter than I'd like, and it's extremely heavy.  I added several rows of single crochet as a border trying to make it a little bigger - until I started to run out of yarn.  Then the final row is picots.  The pattern is from Lily Chin's Mosaic Magic - Fair Isle Fancy.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Another Wedding Invitation

My nephew is getting married on the beach.  I usually create quilled invitations with the wedding flowers and colors, tying in the details to bring back memories when they happen to look at this framed invitation as years go by.  At the same time, I try to keep it tasteful.  This invitation was a challenge to create, but I chose to go more with the beach theme than the flowers.  Having both was just too much, and would have a negative appeal, I think.  I had a friend collect some shells for me when she was at the beach - these are real.  The quilled part is supposed to be sea oats.  Hard to recreate with paper, but hopefully enough to bring back those memories.  A small quilled flower in coral and orange at the top to tie in the background.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Wedding Afghan

I finally finished the afghan for my nephew who's getting married in a couple of weeks.  It took a little longer than I expected, but it turned out pretty.  I think it's going to look great draped over the back of their chocolate leather couch.  I just love working with Simply Soft yarn!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Meet oJo

oJo is a character my daughter created when she was in middle school.  Previously I posted a couple of pieces of art she painted.  As you can tell, she is very creative.  She created oJo on paper - something to doodle.  I expanded a little on that and created a toy animal.  These are my first prototypes.  I'm still perfecting the pattern.  I'll build the inventory, then approach some local shops to see if they'd be interested in selling them.  I've already tried them out on my great niece and nephew, and they seem to be a big hit.  These toys are a perfect fit in a toddler's hand.  The weight is just right, and the construction is very durable.  These appendages won't be coming off easily.  And no plastic eyes or mouth to swallow.  Totally OK to chew.  Totally wash proof.  Cuddly to boot.  Awesome choice of a favorite toy for both child and mom.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Catching up

I'm a little behind in my posting, but I've still been working behind the scenes.  I made my New Year's Resolution to complete my WIPS, but I'm afraid so far I've only really been creating more.  It's only March, though, so I'm still hopeful.  I just need to be stronger.....  But today my mom gave me tons of hand-me-downs - fabric and yarn.  Oh, the possibilities.  I guess I should look at this as more incentive to work those WIPS.

Some WIPS in the making:

Diaper shirts for Online Angels - all I have to do is add the velcro closures and hide the thread ends.  Wash and send.

Recycling candles.  Don't you just hate it when you have a good-smelling candle that you can't light anymore?  I recycle.... bought some wicks from my local craft store and brought out the smaller empty candle jars.  Just dig out the leftover wax in the candle that won't light anymore, remelt it, add some scented oil, then pour in the waiting empty jar with the fresh wick.  I made 6 new candles while working on my Invitation WIP (below).

I have a cousin who's getting married in May.  I requested an advance invitation so I could create an invitation keepsake for her.  I asked her mom about colors and flowers, and created from there.  I don't usually do much of this, so it's time-consuming for me from creating to execution.  I think it turned out well, although I worked on it off and on for several weeks.  I was determined to finish it this weekend so I can give it to her at the Bridal Shower next weekend.

Another WIP  I need to get working on is a crochet afghan that will be a wedding gift for my nephew.  I think there might be a Bridal Shower in April or May, but I'm not sure.  The wedding's in June - right before my daughter graduates from high school.  Yep - need to focus on getting this one done.  I probably have about 1/4 done on the body.

Oh, yeah.   One of the numerous joys the mom of two teens has is the last-minute requests for something for school, a friend, an activity.....  My son had a dance to go to, and he needed a corsage.  Well, at the last minute - who can find an open florist???  Luckily the near-by grocery store has a nice selection of price-reduced flowers.  A trip to the back yard from some green leaves.  I found some Baby's Breath in a silk arrangement - you can't even tell they're not live.  The only florist tape I had was white, so that had to do.  I found some white ribbon to cover up the sticky tape, added some more ribbon....  I think it turned out nice.  At the dance, she felt special.  Not many of the other dates bothered with flowers for their girls.

So, here's the finished Invitation Keepsake for my cousin.  The picture is terrible - I should have taken the picture before I put it in the frame.  But it was a struggle to get it in the frame, so I wasn't about to take it out again just for a picture.  The invitation is ivory with brown lettering.  My cousin told me the flowers are going to be blue hydrangeas and cream roses.  I usually add quilling to these, but I had no idea how to quill hydrangeas.  So, I really had to think about this awhile.  I ended up with a combination of scrapbooking and quilling.  I used a punch for the hydrangeas and larger leaves, and the roses, buds, and vines are quilled.  I had to cut the invitation to mount the front and back - I needed to frame both to complete the picture.  I used a double mount - the hydrangea blue directly under the invitation, then sitting on a larger brown rectangle with the quilled design.  The background sheet is a beautiful 12 x 12 scrapbook sheet with a linen-look cream that's shiney.  I chose black for the wooden frame.  My cousin told me the kitchen is black, red, and white, so I thought that might be a sign of their taste for the rest of their home.  I hope so!

Now I'm going to do a little bit of showing off of my daughter's artistic talent.  She gets hers from her dad, thankfully.  I can do lots of crafting with my hands, but I just can't make a go of drawing and painting.  Here are a couple of paintings my daughter created for her high school first year art class.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Crochet: Hexagon Granny Baby Jacket

Several times while looking for crochet patterns I've come across this really cute baby sweater.  I took the time to look for the pattern, and I printed the one from Bev's Country Cottage.  She refers to the pattern she found on Tina's Blogspot.  But I'm still not sure who the originator of this design is.  It's so versatile and the color combinations are endless.  This is my first attempt, and I'm sure I'll be making more.  I had some problems with the ribbed cuffs, so I ended up with a ruffle instead.  I repeated the ruffle around the collar and bottom to complete the effect.  I also chose to use tie closures instead of buttons.  I was pleased with the final product.  The pink and purple are Bernat Satin - one of my favorite yarns.  The variegated is Bernat Softee Baby.  I'm hoping whoever ends up with this sweater feels extra special.  This is a contribution to the charity I volunteer for - Online Angels.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Crocheting for Online Angels

This past week I've crocheted a few baby items for Online Angels.  I've been accomplishing some much-needed work around my house, so my crafting time has taken the back burner.  The items pictured were made during my lunch hour at work.  I plan on making a lot of baby items for Online Angels this year.  You can't really tell the size just by looking at the picture, but some of them are so tiny.  There are preemies born every day, and the new parents need to see them in cheerful clothes.  Handmade is especially meaningful during the stressful time of taking care of a newborn in need.  There seems to always be a shortage of donated baby items for hospitals and shelters.  I wish I could do more.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bead Play

This weekend I took a little break from crocheting and worked on some bead projects.  I love working with seed beads.  My two favorite beading crafts for now seem to be weaving on the bead loom and bead kumihimo.  Saturday night I did some research on the Internet - looking for a bead designer so I can play around with patterns for some bookmarks and small tapestries to weave on the loom.  I found a free one, but am not too happy with the print options.  I want to be able to print a pattern on an index card so I can prop it up in my loom while weaving.  I'd really like to see a designer I can use both on my laptop and on a tablet pc (yet to be purchased). 

Today I spent some time finishing a couple of bracelets in my WIP pile.  I have a few beaded kumihimo bracelets waiting for the finishing touches and clasps.  I was only able to finish 2.  I need to buy some more spacers so I can finish up the others.  I have a bracelet started in my kumihimo disk, and I have some sets of beads strung waiting to be woven.  The beaded kumihimo bracelet is another one of my projects that I hope will turn into sales one day.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Crochet A Rainbow

For many months I have admired the artistic talent of fellow crocheter Sarah London.  Sarah has recently started a campaign called "Crochet A Rainbow" in order to provide some comfort to flood victims of Australia.  For many years I have dedicated much of my crafting time to a very worthy charity based out of Pennsylvania.  This is the first time I've reached so far across the globe, but I feel blessed to be able to use my God-given talent in order to help in this special way.  Thank you, Sarah, for heading this up.

For more information, click on "Crochet A Rainbow" in the side bar.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Working on WIPS

One of my goals in 2011 - other than concentrating on baby items for the charity I volunteer for - is to finish up some WIPs that have been hanging around.  I have, oh, maybe 5 or more years worth of projects to complete.  Well, it might not be that bad.  But I do have a lot.  Over the summer when fleece was on sale, I bought 4 panels to edge in crochet.  I think they're 2 1/2 yards and 60 inches wide.  Nice and cozy, with a personal touch.  Here's the first.  I ran out of yarn before I could complete the final round, but I think I like it this way better - not so ruffly.
I have to make a plug here for the awesome tool I have to make the evenly-spaced notches in the fleece.  It's a rotary blade called the Skip Stitch blade.  Look it up on the Internet (using Goodsearch to help Online Angels, of course) and check it out.

Crochet for Birthday

My mother-in-law's birthday is exactly 2 weeks after Christmas - 1 week after New Year's.  I get so stressed out getting all the gifts for Christmas, her birthday usually pops up on me quicker than expected.  This year, she's getting hand made.

Crochet Scrubbies (cotton and plarn)
Crochet Dish Cloths

Crochet Hot pads

Crochet Coasters (6 in all)

2011 - Something New Saturday

While waiting on husband to bring a new car battery and rescue me from being stranded while out shopping, I walked over to JoAnn for some yarn and a hook.....  and came out with something I didn't plan on.  Check out this cool Tadpole knitting loom!  I have a wooden scarf loom I bought years ago, but these pegs are much closer - providing a tighter weave.  Love it!  I still have my first scarf on the loom, but it looks promising for my husband.

I must mention the obstacles I have while taking pictures - other than poor lighting for lack of a good photo spot.  This is Taluse - wanting attention - curious to see what I'm doing.