Category Archives: crochet

Absolutely delectable!

I started following Tinks and Frogs blog not too long ago – I stumbled across it maybe 6 weeks ago – and have really enjoyed watching her spin and show off her work. Oh, and her adorable little girl! (Although, I’m quite jealous of how much her daughter gets to snuggle with her hand spun yarns….)

About 2 weeks ago, she had a giveaway when asking for some advice on her patterns and I posted my thoughts. And I won! I was quite excited to get my free hand spun yarn, but wasn’t actually expecting much. I mean, I was in love with the color, but didn’t know what to expect in terms of softness and feel.

WOW! I was BLOWN AWAY when I opened my package with its sweet little note! It is not only spectacular in color (the loveliest dark gold that is almost magical), but the softness – oh my!  (My daughters have both decided that I need to make a stuffed animal that the whole family can share and snuggle with.) It is just delicious! And how perfectly it’s spun? Just WOW is all I have to say about that!!

So I got a shot of it. And I added the ability for you to feel how soft it is – really. Just touch your screen!

yummy

YUMMY!

Seriously, though, if she ever decides to sell her yarn, I’ll be the first in line to buy lots and lots! (Or maybe she does and I’m just missing a link – I’ll update if I am.) And then I’ll fill up my tub and soak in it. That deliciously soft – I swear!

I’m still in a quandary as to what to make, but I’m leaning toward a cowl. It’s chilly here in the winter and a soft, squishy cowl in this would be so stunning…. But how gorgeous would it be? Don’t worry, I’ll post a photo when I work something up! (Hmmm, can I do both knitting in crochet for a cowl? I’ll have to figure that one out!)

Thanks again, Rue! You do such lovely spinning!

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Filed under crochet, hand spun, knitting, yarn

Finding new rhythms

The last month or so has been interesting. After being sick for so long, the end of school coming around and all that goes with that, photography business picking up again, I’m having a tough time finding a new rhythm in my life right now that includes this blog and a few other things I enjoy. No, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining in the least. My life is wonderful, but getting the balance right can be challenging.

And now that I’m doing both knitting and crochet and not so focused on one or the other, I find that I like the rhythm of going back and forth between the two to change things up. This post will show that….

First, the teacher gift. The blue scarf I started just didn’t turn out well. It was a good idea with a poor execution. My chains just didn’t match between the beginning and the end. Toward the end, it was tight, even and pretty. The first few rows were uneven and ugly. And blocking didn’t help. But it was a learning experience!!

So I did a little switcheroo. I started another scarf about the middle of that and intended it for Sammie’s teacher. But after working, I realized I had something else that Sammie LOVED for her teacher so I gave Ellie’s teacher the second scarf. Frankly, I fell in love with it and the yarn…. It’s Classic Elite Yarns – their Alpaca Sox. Such amazing colors!!

colors

I fell in love with the colors in this! I bet it would be gorgeous as socks!

mess ups

I have to admit *shhhh* I messed up on this scarf twice before I noticed I'd decreased two squares! So I just went with it and kept it up. I liked the end result of an asymmetrical scarf! You?

 

The gift for Sammie’s teacher is this little bag. I have several – one I use for knitting and crochet on the go, another for toiletries, another small one for the girls when traveling. I just LOVE it!! Sammie picked this as her teacher gift. These are easy to make and don’t take that long if you can sew a straight line. I hope to make some more as “just in case” gifts this summer.

butterflies

I love the surprise of butterflies inside it! Mine is blue with bright orange stripes inside. I love it!

 

toiletries

This one is a great size for a few random toiletries and it hangs on the door! My mom taught me how to make it and I love it!

 

Socks. Washed and finished pink ones, halfway done second blue one. And I consolidated it to one picture just so you can skip past it faster. LOL!

socks

I think I need a new pattern for the next one! Must switch things up....

 

And finally, I finished my friend’s hat a week or two ago! I’m hoping to get it in the mail on Monday and I truly hope she loves it! I also realized, after measuring my head, that her head is petite compared to mine! LOL! But I know it’ll still be fab on her.

She requested a black hat with black flowers and I added on the buttons to change it up a bit. Each button has a different colored back button – and it’s easy to make more. One is black , as she requested, but I love the pop of hot pink! And she can take them off and switch them up as much as she’d like. Still love this pattern!

hat

Isn't that pink center on that black flower FAB? (The pink is better in person. Black is hard to shoot!)

flowers

And the flowers can be done together or separately. Even put two on there in different spots! Fun....

little one

Just the little black flower....

 

Since I won’t have the girls in things much this summer, I suspect I’ll be a little slow at the blog. I’m going to try to get past my mental block on posting iPhone crochet/knitting/crafting photos so I can be a little more prolific. But being a photographer, they have to be decent photos so we’ll see how it goes!

But I know this summer will be about finding new rhythms. And I know it’ll be good no matter what.

 

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Filed under beret, crochet, Ellie, flowers, hat, knitting, photography, Sammie, scarf, Sewing, sock - knit

Reclaiming, knitting and crocheting – a little bit of everything!

But honestly, I’ve mainly been purging. I admit it – I like to save things.

“These cute little scraps of paper would be so cute in a project!”

Said 4 years ago. At least.

TRASH

“I love this shirt!”

Not worn in 2.5 years because it’s a titch to small.

DONATION!

“Maybe I’ll use this purse again!”

Nope. 5 years later, it needs to GO!

EBAY PILE!

So I’ve done some playing in the evenings, but mainly I’ve been focused on cleaning things out. And WOW, has it been cathartic!

What have I done in the last 2 weeks? Well, I found a cute scarf that was hardly worn because it was too scratchy and I unraveled it!

rolling it up

Here is the first of 4 balls of yarn! I really LOVE green and LOVE this color!

soaking

Soaking the yarn

stretch

I believe cast iron is the professional way to do this...

I also finished Ellie’s sock. And decided that maybe I would make a second sock for Sammie!

socks

Can you see that the two pink socks are different colors? They were different dye lots. At least they're socks and not mittens! Or a scarf! Yikes!

And I started on a teacher gift….

scarf

Yup! Crochet! It's chains connected with SC. Simple except for needing to focus on counting between each SC.

scarf 2

I'm still not convinced this will work. But I'll wait until I block to make the final determination! Only 8 or 10 more rows to go!

I actually did have a fingerless mitten I was making from the pink sock yarn on some slightly larger needles, but I got such bad laddering between the needles that I pulled it out. Now I need to figure out why. I suspect that it’s because I’m knitting too tight. I pull tight between the needles, but I continue on knitting too tight. I’ll play around! Or I’ll just rib. LOL!

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Filed under crochet, fingerless mitten - knit, knitting, photography, scarf, sock - knit

My crochet is lagging and it’s all knitting’s fault!

I think I’m so excited about knitting because I’m finally GETTING it! Seriously understanding how to do it, doing it relatively fast and doing a decent job at it! And frankly, I can’t wait to finish a few projects and I really want to figure out how to bring what I’m learning with knitting into crochet somehow. Not sure how – maybe they’ll just both be done in the same project or maybe it’s techniques… But I’ll figure something out!

Anyway, I’ve been working on another Hot Cross Slouch Beret as a thank you for a friend and frankly, it’s taking me too long… I’m just going slow because I want to knit and not crochet! LOL! But I force myself every few days and then I remember why I love crochet so much. It’s just so effortless, so lacy and pretty and I don’t have to worry about breaking needles. LOL!

hat

I just LOVE this pattern! I wear the two hats I've made for myself a LOT!

simple

It's deceptively simple! I love this pattern...

I’m considering adding another row. It calls for 7 X rows before decreasing. But my friend has a big head. As big as MINE, which is a big shocking. LOL! So I think , since I really wish my hats were slightly longer, I’m going to add another full X row and then do the decrease. I figure I can always pull it out if I need to!

Next I need to figure out a cool BIG flower to go on it! And I would post what I’m thinking of doing, but I suspect she’ll read this! So you’ll have to wait….

My goal? To finish it this week… Wish me luck – or should it be focus that I ask for? 🙂

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Filed under beret, Crafts, crochet, flowers, hat, photography

Uh, oh! I may be in trouble… I think I have a new obsession.

Well, I ordered a huge load of DPNs (double pointed needles). They didn’t cost much and I’m sort of intrigued by socks…. (I’ll post my foray into crochet socks when I get a chance. Busy weekend – hubby is away on business and Sammie’s party is this weekend and Ellie is sick again so it may not be until next week.) And, while I’ve found some sock patterns that call for two needles, I don’t really relish the idea of sewing up the sides – I like the thought of knitting in the round. But I’m getting ahead of myself….

I checked out a book at the library – The Yarn Girls’ Guide to Simple Knits – and found it most helpful! The illustrations are clear, the explanations are easy to understand and their patterns are nice and simple. It’s a perfect beginners book! But I have to say, after doing some basic things, I’m ready for something more challenging and all their patterns are very simple.

I found a cute and simple hat pattern in it so I decided to downscale it and try it out for giggles and grins. Thinking I was making a small baby sized hat, I ended up with bug sized hats. Not real bugs, just my girls’ stuffed bugs. LOL! I’m seeing that it’s hard for me gauge knitting.

But I just LOVED how the little hats turned out!

lucky

This is Lucky, Sammie's third buggy that looks like this. He wanted a hat so I gave him the first one. It's knitted on two needles and the seam is sewn up. Simple and easy on a small hat like this!

goofy

This is Buggy. He... I mean she has been around for a long time - since Ellie was 2 and she stole Buggy from Sammie (who was 4 months old). Ellie loves to wear goofy hats. So of course, I fixed up Buggy's hat to be a little goofy! (Those are supposed to be antenna since Buggy's fell off years ago.)

spiral

I just love how clean knitting looks - and how this spirals up. Sure, most knitted hats do that, but I still love that mine actually turned out well! LOL!

After two buggy hats, I thought I was ready to tackle and adult hat! So I set to work and cast on the appropriate stitches on the proper needles….

adult

Adult hat in the beginning

Unfortunately, my little design embellishments turned into some horrible ideas. I did the decrease and then an increase (YO) to spiral it up with little holes – pretty cute where I actually did it right – and then I decided to add some crochet. Not a good idea. The hat is also WAY too small for an adult! Even Sammie looks a little odd wearing it. Looks like some serious swatching is in my future for knitting projects! LOL! I definitely need to understand gauge better.

On a happier note, since this failed adventure (actually, I’m happy overall even though it’s not that wearable), I’ve taught myself how to knit Continental style. I was having pain while I was knitting American style (remember “Love, American Style”? LOL! Sorry – that song just went through my head). I may have been doing it wrong, but it felt like it was too much movement regardless. Now that I’m knitting Continental style, my wrists are MUCH happier and I feel like I’m started to knit looser, too. I think my gauge has been way too tight – like for that hat.

Next on the list – trying out some kids socks! That little pattern seems to be SUPER easy to follow and very well written out. And since they are kids socks, hopefully they’ll be more forgiving. I’m off to do some swatching!

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Filed under Crafts, hat, knitting, photography, swatching

Oh, my word! Is it rude to keep the gift you just made someone?

Or another title I was considering:

Holy crap! Blocking is a total pain in the butt!

Heh.

So, after the illness, a short stint with my hubby in town (man, I miss him!) and getting back into the swing of things, I finally found time to block the scarf I made for my MIL. I have to admit, it took me two different times to get cracking and do it. Mainly because I don’t have anything good to pin to. I tried my bed – nope. So I’ve been doing it on the floor and pinning to the rug – which is HARD! So I need to figure that out. And I decided to try the spray method instead of soaking since it was such a thick yarn. I didn’t think I’d like it, but it actually worked out well for this yarn!

Before blocking, I liked the scarf. But it didn’t look quite like I was picturing. I like it, not loved it.

before blocking

You can see how tight it looks before blocking. Love this stitch, but hoped it would open a bit.

main body

And you can see how thick and tight the main body of the scarf looks...

But then I pinned it out and it started looking more like I expected. Unfortunately, my pinned photos didn’t come out well. But this is the scarf just a while after unpinning…. I wasn’t sure that it would retain its shape, but it did!

after blocking

It opened AND it kept its shape!

But the most exciting thing? I LOVED how the main body opened up! It was what I wanted!

open

I think I'm in love! What do you think?

hanging

The drape on it is very nice! I would LOVE to redo this in a slightly thinner, lighter yarn to see what it's like!

Overall, I’m really excited with how it turned out! I’m actually thinking I might write up the pattern so I can learn how to do that. There are a few minor changes I’ll make to it, but I’m happy! It’s my first design….

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Filed under Crafts, crochet, photography, scarf

Just a non-knitter trying to become a little bit of a knitter

I think the thing about knitting I like the most is the idea of making socks. And frankly, this blogger gets me psyched to try it every time she posts! Many of the challenges she’s faced have been similar to mine. And look at those socks? Aren’t they gorgeous? And no, my socks that I started are no further than they were last time I posted. Frankly, I’m afraid to go back to that heel and pull it out. Eek!

But in the meantime, I’m trying to become more comfortable with knitting. So I pulled out some big needles (I have my grandmother’s old set – very cool!) and two yarns to work together and whipped out (yes! Quickly, too!) this headband. I don’t really love it, but I’m really pleased with my knitting on it. I made some cables you can barely see because of the colors, but the cables actually worked well. And once I put the crochet edging on it, I felt it looked MUCH nicer.

headband

Not the prettiest headband ever.... But it's growing on me!

edging

I love how the purple edging brings it together for me. Yay crochet!

Next step? Felting it. I’ve had issues felting. I recently learned that you need to have LOOSE stitches! Did not know this! So I thought this might be a good candidate… And here is how it turned out:

felted

My thoughts? It's definitely tightened up! But the stitch definition is still there. Maybe it's just the colors in the yarn? I like it. But it didn't felt as much as expected - and I washed it in hot for an hour! Any hints are welcome!

Felting at 9000′ is, I think, quite different from felting at sea level. I think I might have to make some swatches of something that is known to felt well (I have no clue what the thoughts are on these yarns) and see how well it goes….

Next on the needles: a little baby hat. I also ordered some double pointed needles… We’ll see how that goes!

Oh! And when my daughter decides NOT to wear it, I’ll take a picture of the headband I made for her using Tunisian knit stitch. Can you tell that I’m antsy to try new, small projects?

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Filed under Crafts, crochet, felting, head band, knitting, photography

A little Easter fun

We kept a pretty low key Easter this year. Since we basically just celebrate being together and a little Easter Bunny fun, it makes more sense to keep it pretty small. So we decorated some eggs and had fun with that.

pretty eggs

I just love how bright the colors are! I know they are probably bad for us, but it's one of our few "bad" indulgences.

And then I stayed up way too late crocheting little bags for my girls. I put some yummy M&M like all natural chocolates in them. Gosh, I just LOVE the colors in these chocolates! So rich and beautiful. (Oh, and yummy!)

pretty pretty

YUM!

The little bags were funny. This bag is Sammie’s – it took me about 3 times longer than I expected! I kept playing around while making it. “Hmm, it’ll be an egg shape. No…. not that, maybe a little pouch, but still egg shaped. Not big enough, let’s increase. And put in some shells. Shoot, now I need to decrease. How should I make the handle?” Seriously, I think it took me about 4 hours of solid crocheting! Ellie’s, on the other hand, is basically round-ish and took me less than 90 minutes.

bag

This is Tahki yarn and I really enjoyed working with it! The colors are gorgeous and it's easy to use!

The fun part of the pouches was the cord. I’d recently seen Knitting Daily that showed how to make a cord like this. Super easy and I just LOVE the way it turned out! You can be sure that I’ll be using this technique more in the future!

cord

Isn't this a pretty, professional looking cord?

split

I just split the cord and tied it on! Easier than a crochet cord and I love the little tassels!

I hope your Easter was filled with love, joy and fun!

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Filed under bag, Crafts, crochet, eggs, holiday, miscellaneous, photography

I’m BAAACK! (I think….)

Wow! This has been a tough few weeks! I was planning on posting on Monday, but the catch-up that I had required that I ignore the blog again. Yikes! My intention is to post every day again, but it may take a bit for me to ramp up to that…

In the meantime, here’s what I’m up to crochet-wise: 99.9% done with my MIL scarf – just need to sew it together, made several cute head bands, finished my shawl, making a different headband for Ellie and 60% done with some socks for Sammie. Oh, and working on a hat for my friend who gave us a TON of hand-me-downs.

Since I don’t have pictures of everything yet, I’ll draw it all out into several posts….

First, the shawl. This’ll be drawn out into two posts, too. Man, I LOVE this shawl! I loved making it, blocking it rocked, I love wearing it and I love the yarn!

preblocking

This is it before it was blocked. You can see how tight it is. Still very pretty.

small

Before blocking, I was disappointed that it was so small. And I wasn't sure if it would work well for me. (I'm TALL!)

blocked

See how much it opened! I swear it grew by two times!! I liked it before blocking, but fell in love after blocking. Magical!

Bummer. One of my photos won’t come through…

Anyway, I’ll have to get back to you on a photo of me wearing the shawl. I love that it’s so thin and will wrap it into a scarf and toss it around my neck. I actually do this more than I wear it as a shawl. And it’s warm! (We’re still getting snow here!) But I can tell that this summer, it’s going to be way to warm so I might have to figure out which cotton to use with this or a similar pattern….

Remember that little green headband I made? Well, I went to a bit of a family reunion for my folks before they went to Alaska and got a few requests for others!

vera

My little niece, Vera, sporting her new head band.... She wasn't too thrilled with me taking photos, but I managed one! Heh. (She loved it when I photographed them last time!)

colette

My sis-in-law, Colette, requested one, too, and I was shocked at how quickly the third one worked up! Less than 30 minutes for sure! I did it in the round and it was even faster than the original way of doing it.

Ahh, it feels good to post again! Now I need to get crackin’ and take some more photos, finish sewing and block the scarf (today?! I hope so!) and get some shots of me wearing my shawl. Which probably means I need to take a shower. Gosh, such a full day! 😉

How are your projects going? Did you even notice I was gone? LOL!

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Filed under beret, Colette, Crafts, crochet, Family, flowers, hat, head band, photography, scarf, shawl, socks, unfinished projects, Vera

I’m almost back to the land of the living

It’s been rough in our household the last almost 2 weeks. We got hit with a pretty nasty virus and didn’t even get out until 2 days ago. The girls are MUCH better and I’m on the road to recovery. My hubby avoided it by going to Holland instead. Wise choice!

Anyway, I’ve done some crocheting, but frankly felt too crummy much of the time. I am 99% done with my MIL’s scarf. I just have 3 rows of figuring to do. Definitely need to concentrate while finishing. The hat is still tumbling around in my brain for now.

20110415-032357.jpg

I also finished and blocked my first shawl. Gorgeous! Makes me excited to block the scarf – what a difference! So fun.

My daughter also got her cast off. Yay! Hot springs, here we come!

20110415-032634.jpg

I’m hoping to be back for real on Monday. Fingers crossed for a continued recovery!

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Filed under crochet, iphone, photography, scarf, unfinished projects