Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pretty Posy of Bobby Pins

I love doing fun things with my hair and one day I was window shopping online and came across some silk flower hair pins. They are definitely my style, but since I crochet, my thoughts quickly turned to how I could make some in crochet. Since I am using average size bobby pins, thread was the way to go. I used a size 7 hook, DMC or size 10 thread, average bobby pins in black and brown, and a hot glue gun. I didn't find mine after recently moving, so I bought one. Don't worry, not spendy! The minigun was only $2.49 and the mini glue sticks were the same price. I didn't even really need the glue because the flowers stayed on ok alone, but these pictured are going to be worn by children.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I finished it!

I actually remembered to take pictures this time. I never seem to remember that. The color is a little off, don't know what I did wrong but it's more the color of a scrub jay, not a grape. The pattern was a bit tricky for a few rows but then it got easy and repetative so I could finish it while watching From Russia With Love and not miss a stitch. I took two full days to make this, grabbing yarny-time whenever thte kids and pets (and Mike) would let me. Fast AND gorgeous, I think I'm in love. *wink wink*
Look at the cool mum-like detailing. This pattern was created as a crochet version of Kool Haas, a gorgeous knit hat.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hats are the thing

Fall has been over in our neck of the woods since October 2nd, and winter was making itself felt. Poor Winter must have felt ignored because there was a snow fall yesterday and today that really illustrates how 'fall' is an apt description. The dogs were out for a few hours and I panicked when I stepped outside to call them in and couldn't see them in the snow. They did finally hear me calling and startled me because I was looking for them to come running, not pop out of the piles of snow directly in front of me.
Today Mike needed to go to the bank and then check the mail... of course we needed snow chains. Ahh, the habits of winter. Getting bundled up to go outside, putting on chains to check the mail, Keeping the dogs in the house for the greater part of the day to avoid frostbitten pads.
In keeping with the weather, the next thing on my list of projects - HATS. Amazing how much a little boy's noggin can grow over the summer. I don't have a pattern picked out for those three quite yet. Mike needs a new driving hat, too, since that 30 miles drive to work can get COLD. I think I have a good pattern in mind for him. Of course I';; have to adjust the dimesions a smidge, but the Boy's Crochet hat from Coats and Clark is good and simple, but cool looking.
I've already started on a new hat for myself last night, the crocheted version of the koolhaas. It's called the Diamond Ridges hat and while it was a little hard getting the first 7 rows right, the rest is easy as could be and I should be done today if the kids and pets can stop needing me desperately for an hour or so.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mini purse swap, here I come!

I am getting started on a project for a swap group I joined on Ravelry. Shocker, ME doing a swap. Hahaha.
The Mini Purse Swap is going to be so much fun! I have a ton of reclaimed yarn I want to use and so many cute patterns out there. The only problem is that the person I am sending to has a severe cat allergy.... and I got two cats over the summer. She says as long as I don't crochet a purse for her from cat dander and hairballs, I should be ok. LMAO, all righty then, time to get started! It needs to be sent by December 4th, so I have plenty of time. I did mention I am fast, right?
I'm thinking of making a variation of bag no. 2793 from Free Vintage Crochet. It could be so cute and since my partner likes bright colors, I am going to make it a felted red lambswool with some contrasting color. I was thinking black, but the only black I have is in cotton. Might have to rethink it.

I'm going to love making this and buying stuffin's to put inside, too.
When that is done I have half a sleeve for a green cotton gauntlet to finish and then I want to start on that crossword puzzle purse for my Nanny. OH, and a purse for a dear friend, as well.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

For Ari From Aunt Mellaly

I am making a special little something to put inside of it, too. I hope you like it!

Ahh, fall decorations

PLEASE click on the picture to see the entirety.

I did a couple more snowflakes, but I didn't make it to 19 yet. The small, close work was tiring and the blocking... oh, deliver me from glue stiffening and blocking.
The ones that are finished are pretty and I love them, but I have sore, sore fingers.
Here are a couple of pictures of my finished flakes and clear-coated pine cones hanging in my window. And yes, snowflakes are a fall thing here. Haha.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Snowflake Challenge update

I have 9 snowflakes made up so far. They are as easy as I thought they would be, the average being 8 rows and the most exotic stitch was a double treble. The tiny hook and attention to keeping the white thread clean is difficult and doing all of this with two cats and three kids vying for my attention as well... see, that's why only 9 are done.
There were a couple of flakes that I passed up even though they were on my To-Do list because once I got them started I realized the pattern was written poorly enough that I had to scrutinize the wording or phrasing and each row felt like a trial... OR it was simply and easily understood, but incorrect and the finished flake look odd, as thought the author forgot to tell me about a row. I made up for that with a few extra snowflakes. So many people have a collection of patterns available instead of just one, makes it SO easy on me to find different patterns.

The ones I have are still a little floppy looking til I get them blocked and stiffened, but I am excited none-the-less. I am going to be using the glue method since I plan on these being gifts to hang as a decoration or an ornament or even to use as a topper to gift wrapping. They'll need to hold up and from what I've read, glue method is the best for that.

I have another seasonal project going on today: pinecones. We recently moved to a new home, our first venture as home owners and since I am sentimental, I collected a basket of cones from the tree by our from window. I am cleaning them up, spray painting them with a clear gloss and then attaching a ribbon to the end, sort of a marker of our first year in the new home. Pictures to come of that!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October = Snowflake Challenge

I am part of a few ongoing swaps and I love them... heck, if it weren't for the cost of materials and shipping, I would be involved in 100.
My Fall Swap at Sweetpeace is themed Christmas. It was going to be ornaments, but that was a little too restrictive and since I don't celebrate Christmas myself, the theme is enough of a challenge. Don't you agree? Now is where you simply nod and agree with me because to otherwise would just be silly, and you are not a silly person, are you?
I've decided on snowflakes. I have 19 snowflake patterns in my favorites list on Ravelry and I plan on making each and every one of those bad boys. There will be a loop attached so they can be hung on a tree, hooked to a suction cup to decorate a window, or even given as a gift or used as a gift tag on a present.
Most of the patterns look fast, I think blocking will take the most concentration. As I make them, I will post pictures for you, my dear reader. It's not a surprise kind of swap, but there has been an unspoken choice by everyone involved so far, not to reveal their gifts to the others yet, so I hope that no one mind my posting this. If you ARE a SPer and in the swap and just happen to see this... shhhhhh! I'll let you pick which you want in return for your silence.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Three Day Auction for Granola Chicks

Granola Chicks is a great parenting forum. Its focus is on living naturally and raising children in an AP home, but it's a good place to find support no matter what choices you make for your home and children. Moms need other moms, right? Granola Chicks is in need of the funds to keep up and running. I am donating in the only way I can - through Melanie's Closet. Please share this auction with your friends! If you aren't a member of Granola Chicks, you can join up or you can participate in the auction through email or IM. for email and google chat.

I am offering a special deal right now, all proceeds will go to keeping our beloved GC open. First things first - the items up for auction.

Package #1- The kids will love this one. My kids love play food and I am constantly being requested to make them cookies, candy, dinners, and produce. This package will include 8 pieces of playfood, custom made and they will arrive in their own storage bag.

Package #2- A crocheted purse. You can get a new, unique bag AND help out your fellow GCers. There are a number of patterns avaliable and lining is optional. As a thank you, the bag will be holding a surprise or two when it gets to you.

Package #3- What if you don't need a new bag or toys for a child? This package is for you! You tell me what you want. Perfect for someone on your gift list this year or just to treat yourself. Any reasonable item (not a blanket, adult sweater, car cozy... you get the idea )

Rules, Regs, etc.

* This is a three day auction, starting at 9 am pacific.

* Bidding starts at $5, in increments of no less than 50 cents.

* Simply PM me with your bid and the package number you are bidding on, I'll update the thread with each bid.

* You can bid anonymously if desired.

* Please allow 2 to 3 weeks turnover.

* Unless there is an allergy, yarn fiber content is at my discrection.

PM me with any questions!

Friday, September 18, 2009

baby doll bare

baby doll bare
Originally uploaded by Meroluni

here it is naked, poor thing.

baby doll modeling

baby doll modeling
Originally uploaded by Meroluni

here is the baby clothed

I needed a model

I have some living, breathing models but they're either too big for my stuff or too grown up to model something not masculine enough for their newfound Big Kid attitudes. Sigh.
I had three options~
1) have another child
2) take someone else's child
3) crochet a baby body

Seeing as how I already have a nice collection of kids and I'd like to avoid jail, I went for door #3.
I made the baby about a 3-6 month size for clothes and totally screwed up the legs. The measurements I took were in order of age - and I mistakenly made the legs to fit the newborn measurements. What can I say, it was late and I was tired. So the brand new model is wearing a 3-6m crocheted hat, a 3-6m crocheted jacket, and nb knit socks. Oops. But isn't he/she cute? I'll be performing major surgery later on this week and giving the darling new legs.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

sweet Baby crochet

Part of my To-Do list for crochet is a neutral baby outfit for an RAK. She is expecting soon and does not know the sex so I found a cute Lollipop Romper that I can make in a tan colored cotton. It's a pattern I've used before and loved for it's old fashioned look and easily it can be made boysih/girly with little changes.

The next project is a hat, booties, jacket pattern for my younger sister's expected baby boy. The shower is this weekend so I have to hurry it along. I'll post more pictures later on.

While not a baby item, I am making a cloche hat in a buttercream colored merino/acrylic boucle as one of the game prizes. There is one row left and I need to attach a flower to the side.

The party favors include a crochet element as well. I've made up a recipe of instant coffee drink (coffee crystals, powdered creamer, sugar, and a touch of cinnamon) and put it in a sealed baggy, a plastic spoon dipped in chocolate also in a baggy, and put both of those in a crochet drawstring sachet.

Project: Baby Shower

This weekend my project is a baby shower for my younger sister. She is having her 4th baby, a little boy. Er, not little exactly, he's looking like a big fella, but you know what I mean.

The shower will be a small affair and mostly about Mom-to-be instead of the bundle of joy. 4 of the 7 guests are diabetic, so the refreshments required a little more thought. Green onion roll ups, sugar free coffee and tea, a vegetable platter are on the list, plus a cake that is in no way sugar free. :) Hey, I have to have a cake!
The cake is going to e home baked, devils food and classic white cake marbled together with a home made buttercream frosting and topped with raspberries and mint leaves as well as decorated around the edges with miniature chocolate flowers... you guessed it, I'm making those, too.

The coffee is a recipe similar to the coffee I had at a wedding years ago. It was soooo delicious that I had to ask what was in it. Caramel flavoring, coffee, and cream. i thought, 'that's it!?'
The key was the coffee preparation, it was cold brewed. this is basically putting coarse grounds into a large stainless steel bowl and mixing cold water into them. the recipe I used called for 2 cups water for 1/5 of a pound of coffee. Let it steep for 12 hours and then strain the grounds out. Relax, I know it sound expensive for how little coffee you get, but it makes something of a coffee concentrate that is then mixed with ice, cream, flavors, etc. For $7-$8 you get a full pound of coffee, another $2-$3 and you can buy heavy cream, half and half, or even skim milk for the fat conscious.Add a flavored syrup or simpler still -- get flavored coffee beans.

I'm finishing up all the details today - prepping any food that I can, baking cake, brewing coffee, chopping veggies, and so on. Since he shower site is 3 hours drive away, the food will be installed in a cooler in the back of the van.
I'm also making a shower gift as well as a prize for one of the games. I am right on schedule with all of the details, how did that happen?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Handmade RAK from a Ravelry group

I got one of the items on my wish list for August... and I adore it. It's beautiful! i don't knit well enough to make it myself but I kept going back to the pattern so I made it one of my wishlist items.
Isn't it lovely? I put it on before I even read the card that came with it and I didn't want to take it off when I went to bed.
Thank you so much Triega!

I love this pattern!

So I talked about Dot's Little Ditty bag, a crochet pattern for a mini purse. I have made 4 of them now an all of them took me roughly an hour.. a few minutes less once I memorized it. Which, my fellow hookers, is EASY with this particular pattern.

I have been tempted to make so many additions or changes to it because the bag is basic, like a canvas waiting to be painted. I controlled myself. Mostly. The handle was too small for me, I have giant wrists and hands. So I extended the chain for the handle from 30 ch to 45 ch. It was just right. I even tested it out and it fits my full wallet, a bottle of eye drops and a chap stick. I'm sure I could have fit my keys in as well, but I wasn't driving. :)

I've loved this pattern for stash busting, it's a great gift (or gift bag) and it could be even nicer with stripes, an accent edging, a spray of flowers, a cute smiley face, buttons... etc. I could go on forever. Make it taller and it's a great wine bag, make the base circle bigger and then adjust the height to match and it could be a beautiful laptop case, book bag, or beach tote.
See what I mean? I controlled myself.
I also made a rippled cosmetics bag. Not as thrilled with this style but it ended up looking sort of like a flower and I think it would be perfect for one of my nieces to store her pretties.

I made my oldest niece a scarf and soon, a matching hat. Can you believe the gorgeous wool you can find at a thrift shop for $2? i got 4 balls of it, all for that price. Back to the scarf! It's my favorite crochet pattern for scarves and I found it at under the quirky title Zen and the Art of Stash Diving.

It's the most amazing thing I think I've made. No matter what yarn I use, it works. It can be any length or width or color or texture. It's FAST, too. I whipped one up while I was in labor, as a distraction. I think I'll always feel a bond to this pattern :)
Last but surely not least, I made a pair of slippers from a pattern in Simple Crochet for Cherished Babies. It's supposed to have a ribbon through the eyelets on the cuff, but I haven't gotten there yet. Mostly because I hate sealing the edges, that's a pain. But they're worth it, don't you think?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dot's Bag

I love Dot's patterns and yet somehow missed a cute, simple little bag on crochet. Of course, once I saw the pattern I had to try it out. She named it Dot's Little Ditty bag. It took me under and hour to make and it's about 5 inches tall and the handle is the perfect size for my nieces. Since I have 6 nieces, simple, fast and cute are essential. I'm thinking I could fill these little purses with some presents like nail polish, jewelry, and candy... top with a pretty bow and voila` a great gift.

Thank you to Dee for bringing this purse to my attention. I am making several others soon. I love trying out patterns, don't you?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ravelry Swaps

As a member of Ravelry, I've been a bit of a slacker. I didn't take easily to the way the forums and groups were set up and I never made much effort. When I finally did devout a little time to it, I found a few groups I am really loving.

I joined the Traveling Creature Laboratory and then once all the details were worked out in regards to shipping and send-off dates, of course I had a snag in Paypal. It took me a week longer than it was supposed to for me to send the body off, but I did it! I am so excited to get a body in the mail so I can add a head.

The other I have recently joined was French Press Cozy swap. I made a cozy tonight but I am not really pleased with it. I'm starting another and crossing my fingers that it has a little more UMPH than the lack-luster first cozy.

My Paradise Skirt didn't make it. I got about 8 inches into it and ran out of cotton. Too bad about that, it was really a lovely pattern but I didn't have any cotton that would look good with the salmon color. I think I'll make one in a thicker yarn for the fall, I was given a bunch (and by that I mean two giant black garbage bags full) of acrylics. I think that they would work beautifully for a skirt or even dress for the cooler weather.

The salmon cotton has begun a new life as a light top instead. It's a create-as-I-go pattern, starting with a raglan style neck, ruffled short sleeve, and a shell pattern down the body. I'm using a smaller hook and though it looks nicer with a C hook instead of an F, I am worried I might have too little yarn again.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tiny wool is fun

Lately I've been getting into lace work and branching out in my interests as far as patterns are concerned, so I was excited when a friend asked if I would mind making a few miniature knit/crochet wool longies for a good cause. Yarn, miniatures, and gifts for a friend... how could I resist? Am I not simply human?
She gave me a link to a pattern for the knit longies which is super simple, fun, and cute as could be. The pattern is called Bitty Britches from Sweet Mama-Small Sugar.I whipped out 4 pair in two days, the biggest being 3 inches or so tall. (lol, speed demon am I with needles)

In order of creation...

Unknown type of 100% wool in "forest green and brick red"

Lamb's Pride worsted in Flannel

Lamb's Pride worsted in Hot Pink and Flannel

Last of the Bitty Britches pattern was a grey Icelandic wool with pink angora and Cascade 220 in heathered green. I love this one.

Then I experimented a little with a few crochet minis. Those went a lot faster, all of them in about 6 hours total. The green soaker is a knit body with crocheted legs, but the rest are crochet. The patterns... meh, whatever struck my fancy at the moment.

My knit soaker, Cascade 220 in a heathered green with brown waist and crocheted brown legs.

Completely crocheted shorties, brown wool/acrylic blend body with pink angora waist and leg trim, and a pink heart outline on the hip.

Last, but not least ~ pink angora shorties with a skirt. These are SOOO soft, I kind of with they were full size... and for me. Try to get THAT image out of your head. LMAO.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Soft, and fuzzy, and mine - Oh my!

The Paradise skirt is underway again and about 6 inches long now. I'm not sure I'll have enough cotton so I may have to use another color for the top. Cross your fingers I don't because I don't think I have anything that would coordinate well with that salmon cotton.

While Mike watched the kids in the van, I took my oldest into a thrift store with me and cruised the sweaters. Being the time of year it is the trip was short because a)it was too hot for the guy to stay alive in the van for long and b) sweaters are big sellers in July.
I picked up 4 potential yarn garments as I searched but on a closer secondary examination, I really hated on of them, another was WAY overpriced, and the third was silk, but was stiff and a little abrasive. Not to mention it was apple red. Not many people want something crocheted from apple red silk, know what I mean? So those three didn't make the cut and the son that came in shopping with me got the delightful chore of putting them back. Because I am .. well... ME, he had to put them back where I got them from and I am sure it's left him with a special hatred of shopping with Mom.

BUT the sweater I brought home was well worth it, especially since it was a half price item. Hooray! It was a total of $2.49, 97% rabbit angora with 3% nylon and it is the softest, squishiest, most touchable yarn ever. I petted it all the way home. More while I was ripping the seams. And even more so while winding it into a hank to wash. Being a lace weight, it was a $@^*! to unravel ad I created at least 10 knots that weren't necessary before I tugged that one last bit. Tonight I washed and dried it and it's sitting on a fan in the open window of the office upstairs to banish the last of the moisture.

I've already made it into a head scarf for a friend. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that I'm nuts to make a wool headscarf for someone in the summer. But it's light weight and soooooo soft and squishy, it's not bad at all. No pick of the scarf yet, but here is a pic of the yarn.
Forgive the dark picture, it was 11 pm.

Monday, July 6, 2009

progress has halted

I've been busy with a special project and my poor skirt isn't even one stitch closer to done. BUT, I got to play with my new sewing machine for a few days and then I unraveled the softest, fuzziest, comfliest angora sweater. Good times.
Will update with pics when there is a change in status!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Paradise Skirt progress

So I haven't gotten too far, what's it to ya?

Ahem, sorry. I haven't worked with pineapples much and when I did it was long ago. The pattern started out a little on the rocky side because of it, but the pattern is really clear and well written so I muddled my way through and behold! the pattern got easier and even *gasp* memorized.
The pattern ranges from petite to plus size which I loved, of course. It's made in a thread, but it could be made with something slightly thicker if so desired. Ankle length doesn't appeal to me much, but since it's worked from the hem up, it can be shortened to your required length simply by starting the decreases sooner than later.
I think this is gonna be a bunch of fun now that I'm past the hard part. Wish me luck and check back for updates soon!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm back from the Void

We've unpack about half of our stuff and I have my hooks and yarn on hand again. What? A girl has to have her priorities straight. Coffee, clothing, internet, yarn.
I hit the Humane Society again while mom was here because they are awesome. Sadly, since it's hot weather they didn't have much in the way of wool sweaters out on the racks. I did, however, snag a salmon colored cotton. More orange than pink in this case, but nice. On a subsequent visit to the same store, Elizabeth looked at shiny pants and kept a watchful eye on the creepy partially shaved cowboy mannequin head whine I went scouring the men's section for potential yarn. Came up with a soft, lovely wheat colored cotton. There IS a lack of wool and I consoled myself with the two sweaters I have hidden away for just this reason.
Right now I am making the salmon cotton into the Paradise Skirt. It's simple and easy so far, a lovely pattern. It actually has my size! I'm only one full row of pineapple pattern into it but it think it'll be fun. I like the hem-up style more than I thought I would. (my size usually makes it difficult to get the right measurements if I don't work the waist first)I think I'll make mine just below the knee instead of ankle length.

Monday, June 8, 2009

It's OURS!!!

I just got a call from Juana, our realtor. We got the keys, the money is in and the house is OURS!!!! We're moving, finally. I can't believe it! Mick also lost his first tooth today and I have some cute random shots of the kids playing outside. Many are a diaperless baby, so be warned!

In the line of fire....

Serious discussion about the toothfairy

Gratuitous nakey pic

The tribe found water and toy shovels

flower for Mom?

Look, lost a tooth!

Running FREE!

Mase Face

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I love the Swiffer Cover, so here it is in use.

Yup, I'm gonna show you pictures of my used mop and dirty floor. Aren't you thrilled?
Here is the cover.

Sorry about the looks, it has been used to death since I made it because my kids keep fighting over it. Oh, and I can't forget the coffee-grounds-on-my kitchen-floor incident. Pick up the grounds FIRST, then mop! Sheesh, He's 6 already, do I have to tell him EVERYTHING?
Totally teasing. Just in case you took me seriously and got offended for my kids. :)

This is the linoleum on the floor just inside my back door. three kids, a husband, two dogs and this is a regular look for us.

And below is the same spot of floor just after using the Swiffer cover. It took some real scrubbing, but the cover can take it since it's cotton, not paper.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Crochet Swiffer Cover

I made a Swiffer cover as a gift for an RAK group I recently joined and I was dying to try it out myself. I have a Swiffer Wet Jet, but my conscience was poking me every time I bought a bottle of cleaner or a box of disposable Swiffer pads so it went in the closet to gather dust. I made do with my sponge mop for a while, but I really hate those things. I crocheted cotton sponges for my kitchen and use cloth rags for washing, I even use cloth for nose-wiping during a cold most times... so why did I keep using a sponge mop? I couldn't answer that myself, so I started using a spray bottle with more natural cleanser in it and a handful of terry shop rags to mop with.
When I saw the Swiffer cover I just HAD to make one... I made it a few days ago and didn't test it out til today, but now I wish I had. It's wonderful! It scrubs the spots like nothing else, it absorbs far more cleanser than the pads did keeping the floor drier and I can use less because it stays wet enough to keep cleaning.
I'm SO making a couple of these for Nanny, I think she'll love it.
I was concerned about the fit since I went by the pattern with no alterations even though the pattern wasn't made for the Wet Jet.It's great, perfect fit.

Mason's New Sleeveless Hoodie Pullover

The boy never seems to fit anything for long and the most recent growing phase left him without a suitable jacket. It's an awkward time to buy him something because I know he'll only wear it a very short time and I don't want to waste money... but I can't begin to guess what size he'll be when the cold weather comes again so I cant buy one that will be big enough to fit when he needs it.

What do I do? Crochet, of course.

This was a simple little pattern I made using the guidelines in my favorite (and very first) book, American Crochet. It's a must have for any serious crocheter. The cover is torn, the corners bent, coffee stains on a couple of pages and yet it's still the most valuable book I own for crochet. In this case, I used the chapter for making wearables.

I will post a pattern in greater detail soon, but for now a basic description will have to do.

I started at the bottom of the back and made a simple rectangle then shaped the arm holes and the back of the neck. Cut yarn, and start the front panel also at the bottom. This time I added a crocheted cable to either side and I made the front neckline a couple of rows shorter and the shoulders a couple of rows longer. Since I know he'll grow quite a bit, the joining of the sides and shoulders were done in a sc for easy undoing to add a bit of ease when he gets bigger. SC joining on the seams also allowed me to hide the ends of threads without sewing them in... simpler for the finish and much easier when sizing up.
The hood is simply made by sc around the neckline and adding a few sc in the back for shaping. A couple of rows into the hood, I decided to add cables, 1 on either side of the hood to match the cables on the front. Once the hood was the right length, I stopped at the back of the hood, half row, and turned it inside out. Holding the sides together, slip stitched a joining and made a row of sc around the facing. To further shape the hood, I decreased every third stitch for the top half of the hood.
Finishing was done by two rows of sc around the arm holes decreasing at the bottom to shape, and a row of sc around the hem. This left only 4 ends to weave in, one for the hood, one for the hem, and one each for the armholes.
Finished sleeveless hoodie is 24 inches around, 12 inches around the arm openings, 12 around the neck and a 10 inch tall hood.
It's fast and simple, I made it in a day and a half with many delays and interruptions.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ravelry is Wonderful

I know most of the people who actually read this blog (hi, mom!) are familiar with Ravelry. I love that place, but I have to admit to a shameful neglect... I used it only for the patterns. I know, I know! Bad Melanie.

As a way of making amends, I started joining more groups, slowly of course since I am not really a "join in" kind of girl, and my friend Dee from SweetPeace made it easier when she invited me to join Handmade RAK and RAKs. Yes, two groups. So far I have only sent one out - to a member of the Handmade RAK group. I made her a Swiffer cover and a coffee sleeve from her list and I loved them so much I made myself one yesterday while visiting. Visiting whom, you might ask? Good question! Smooth segue if I do say so myself.
One of the groups I joined on Ravelry was Oregon Knitters and Spinners. I have crocheted for years, but I do knit a little and though I am bad at it, I use a drop spindle that was a gift from Dee. She's great, don't you think? I owe her cookies.
I got an email after I joined the group, an invitation to come meet some of the local members, a group of three ladies who meet up in Sunriver a couple of times a week. I couldn't make the first meeting On Sunday because of Mike's return from Vegas being so late/early. I wasn't sure I would make the Tuesday meeting either because DH needs the van (only vehicle) for work. He was sweet enough to take off a little early so that I could make it to the group! Maybe I owe him cookies as well.
They were so nice, I really enjoyed spending time with them. Two of them were spinning which was so much fun to watch, and one was knitting. I felt a little out of place with crochet, but I think that was just me. I got more than half finished with my Swiffer cover while I was there and DH & the kids enjoyed wandering through the library.
I had only been in a group like that before with Mom and my Kirsten. I suppose it was nearly the same thing. They are both members of Ravelry, too, but we met in my house and brought husbands and my kids and usually stayed for coffee and dinner.
I miss you both! I wish you were here.
Back to yarny stuff... the Swiffer cover patterns* I found were for the green Swiffers. I don't know if there is a difference that matters, but mine is purple. I tried on the cover and it fits, so I think I'll try it tonight and see if it works. If it does, I'll make some for my grandmother. She loves her Swiffer, but hates how often she has to change the pads and rinses them out in the sink. LOL, yes the disposable pads. I figure this will be something she would love. She won't know what to do with herself when I give her the presents I've amassed (such as her afghans) over the months since I've seen her. I saw her in November, I think it was. Been too long.
Heather, LeAnn, Shirley, it was good to meet you three and I am looking forward to seeing you again at the next meeting!

* - the patterns I found were mostly free Ravelry downloads, but if you aren't a member, this is a good pattern and it's available free on Craft Stylish .com.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Sock and more

Didn't go as well as I had hoped. It was great from the toe all the way up to the ankle, but then I had to alter the pattern a little to make the ankle bigger to fit my foot and then the afterthought hell didn't work up right. I will take the heel out and make it a more gradual decrease in the hope that it will not pull the back of the cuff down like it does right now. The toe was worked in the round and that led to it being twisted just a little and I hated it. Next time I'm working in rows, I can handle the joining, but not the twist.
Ignore my D-doggy, he is just soaking up the warm weather. And ignore the color as well, the wool is a bright red, not pink or orange.

After those pics, here is one of my latest project. We went to Juana's (our real estate broker) garage sale on Sunday and got some baby boy clothes for the two nephews we found out we are having. I love crochet so it's not that hard to believe I started talking about yarn and thrift store reclaiming. She dug a sweater out of her boxes of clothing and asked if I could do anything with it. It was felted, for sure. It used to be a woman's medium and the poor little thing would have fit a size 5T girl. However, it was in good condition so I was indeed able to unravel it. I got two 5 oz. and two 4 oz balls of merino from it. I used some of that to make Juana a scarf. I know, it's the first hot weekend and I make a wool scarf for a pregnant woman, but she can use it later in the year.

I also made a Swiffer Sweeper re-usable pad from kitchen cotton and a thick coffee cup sleeve in a pretty blue color for an RAK I am part of on Ravelry.
Handmade RAKs. My friend Dee is running it and it was so fun to make something for someone! I do love giving gifts. Unfortunately, I forgot to snap pics before they were sealed up and mailed off. I have a couple of Swiffer here so I will make myself a pad or two and another coffee sleeve. Only for the pictures, of course. I'm obligated now.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A New Sock Project!

I need to update because I made it once and it was too small, then again and it was too big, so this time I had a different size hook and adjusted the pattern a smidge and so far it seems to be right on gauge. Back to the toe now and my next step is the LDC... after I clean more. I am crazy cleaning freak right now because of the house junk going on. Tired of it, soooooo tired of it. Socks later, held in reserve to bring back the sanity when the kids and house get to be too much.

I am a hooker, plain and simple. I crochet very well, but my knitting is passable sometimes, atrocious at others. I love socks and I have tried to knit myself a pair so many times..... so many.... *sniffle*. I can't. I just can't. I can managed kids or babies socks, but not mine. The obvious plan is to crochet a pair, right?

Take a good look at the crochet sock patterns out there. They are more like slippers or boots. Ribbing in crochet is for looks only, no good at all if you are looking for something that will hold up a cuff. I stumbled onto a pattern I liked the look of, Heart and Sole crocheted socks. I love the effect that linked double crochet has on the sole of the sock and the light, open look of the front. It's simple and easy to follow and I have plenty of fingering weight wool for the project.
I'm finished with the toe and halfway up the length so far, wish me luck!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Reclaiming yarn again

I went to my favorite thrift store on Saturday and there was a 50% off green tags sale. I got 11 sweaters for for $21. So far I've reclaimed two full sweaters, one is a bright blue and had the most annoying epaulette-style shoulder patches and they took HOURS to unstitch. 31 ounces of wool from that one!
The next sweater was a soft lambswool, 20 ounces of a more earthy blue color, like the breast of a Blue Jay, 6 ounces of darker blue like the crest of the bird and then .8 ounces of a pale oatmeal color.
Right now, I am about a 1/3 through frogging and balling a lovely moss green cotton in fingering weight. There are firm plans for the green cotton :)
I'll have to get pictures of the whole steal and the balls of yarn I've worked so hard for already. I've already gotten enough yarn from the sweaters so far to more than pay for the total purchase.

OK, ladies and gentlemen, here is the picture I promised. My yarn from 4 sweaters. All balls are wound, labeled with fiber content, yarn weight, weight by ounce, and color name. What... I was nowhere near organized enough last time.

And here is all of it stacked neatly. Just because I like to see things clearly labeled and neatly stacked. It doesn't happen in my house anymore and I miss it. Just let me have this moment.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Purple Yarn First

I debated which of my stash of recycled wool would be the first to become something. I decided on the navy blue wool, but after about 15 starts and stops I realized I had to squint to see the stitches and I was never happy with the gauge. In an attempt to keep the wool from weakening with overuse, I contemplated the other yarns and my eyes kept coming back to the purple. Mmm, a lovely dark, yet vibrant shade.
I started on it last night and I believe it's trying to become a skirt... or the bottom to a tank top. I'm not too sure but it's working up nicely. I'll add pics later when it's a little more recognizable.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Finally, pictures

~NOTE~ PLEASE click on the individual pictures to see the whole thing.
I shared a picture of my first finished "Nanny 'ghan" with my friends on Granola Chicks, but I don't remember if I shared that here as well. It took me longer to make that one with all it's panels and several different stitches to jump back and forth between. It's heavy and thick and slightly smaller. The fringe was real work, let me tell you! Instead of using the pictures I already took, I snapped a couple this morning.... ok, so they are on the same couch in front of the same window. But they really are new pics. Cross my heart! Both of these throws/afghans/blankets are actually big enough to cover most of a twin bed, from the foot to the pillow. I can actually wrap one around myself and be covered from shoulder to toe and front to back... and I'm not petite.
Here's the finished Aran Cables afghan, from two different angles as well as a little closer in for some detail of the stitches and fringe.

Though the Aran turned out beautiful, it was also an intense afghan and my sore fingers and the boredom of the same panels over and over made me want something very different. My options were limited since a) it needed to be approximately the same dimensions as the Aran and b)I only had one color to work with.
That leaves texture as the arena for creativity. It took a few abortive attempts before I found something that felt right, a center rectangle of flowers in filet crochet. I then edged it with single crochet and a panel of V-and-Cross stitch on both long sides.of course, it looked lopsided so I had to add something to the short edges, but it needed to be visibly different... hmm... ah HA! Offset shells. PERFECT.

Once that was accomplished, I liked the dimensions and thought a good solid border of double crochet all around would define it nicely. It still needed to be more square than rectangle, what now? Too many different textures would be busy and jangled my nerves to look at, so I re-used the offset shell pattern to make panels again on the long edges, balancing out the look of the whole afghan. To bring it all together and give it a finished look, I edged it in a row of single crochet, then in a row of picot.

I love how the work graduates from very open in the center to thicker on the edges and I am pleased with how well the flowers in the filet stand out, I wasn't sure they would be easily identified when I made the center piece.

I know she'll like it, but I am hoping she'll love it. Those poor throws she's had on her couches for so many years have been well loved and often used and are in need of retirement.