Thursday, April 28, 2011

Helena Jacket - Interweave Crochet

Helena Jacket - Interweave


I use Interweave almost daily. Seriously now, I use it for techniques, inspiration, the newest in crochet and knitting trends, you name it. Today it paid off! I got an email offering me a survey, at the end of the survey I got a coupon for $5 off any purchase, no minimum. EEEEEEEEEEE! It was a hard choice between the Tuscany Tank Dress and the helena Jacket. You can see which one I chose, but I think I'll be buying the Tuscany Tank Dress pattern anyway. It's so pretty and I've been looking at it for at least a year so it's not really an impulse buy, now is it?
Yay for me!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Time for Blocking

I've been making stuff and things for sale and I think it's time to block them up. Jewelry seems to be the path I'm taking this week and I LOVE making necklaces and bracelets. I made a necklace and bracelet set for my niece last week and I didn't want to stop.

First I made a 6 strand necklace similar to the one I made for my niece, I used a pink cotton 4 strand thread and made the shortest length 17 inches. A matching bracelet with a single flower came right after.

I had some reclaimed nubbly silk in a lovely pale cream color that just made me think of flowers. I arranged an Irish rose, a slightly smaller English rose and a little 5 petal flower on a medallion and and attached it to a single strand necklace.

I think I had my fill of flowers by then because I made a gorgeous butterfly pattern in a single thread of tan silk using a number 14 hook. They were eye-crossingly tiny stitches but it turned out so great. I'm not sure whether it will be a necklace or a bracelet but I'll block it anyway.

Right now I'm making two half snowflakes in a mint green, I have no idea what I'll use those for, I just thought they were pretty.

You know what might complement jewelry? Some light, lacy spring fingerless gloves and a thin scarf.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Toe Up Toe Socks for my mules

I adore shoes. I never used to but as I got older I fell a little more in love with shoes each year and now I have a gorgeous collection of high heels and cute shoes that get comments.
As much as I love shoes, I prefer to be barefoot. Confusing, I know. Look at it this way - if I HAVE to wear shoes then they need to be cute, interesting, sexy. I bought a pair of mules as a nod to warmer-but-not-warm-yet weather and after wearing them a few times I remembered why I pass them up so often. Being half open, half enclosed little bits of dust and grit get flipped in and I hate that. I would wear sock, but socks+mules=NO NO. Ugh, how tacky!
Last night I finished up a pair of toe socks to solve the problem. They're exactly what they sound like, the toes only of socks. Since I was still enamored of the eggplant colored Pima lace thread, I made my toe socks from that.

I measured where I wanted them to end on my foot and came up with a length of 4 inches. Then I measured around my arch where I wanted the cuff. Easy peasy from here on out!

this is going to be my first picture tutorial, go easy on me.
First, make a chain for 2 inches. this is worsted weight yarn and a G hook, so 2 inches = 8 chain.

Chain 1 (this is the turning chain) SC in the second chain from hook across. That's 8 sc so far...

make 2 more sc in the last sc (this is an increase as well as shaping) sc across the opposite side of the chain as well, 3 sc in the same chain as the first sc. Don't Join!

Place a marker in the center sc of the 3 on the end, I recommend a different color for each end so you can tell which is the beginning.

Repeat the increase row until it reaches your arch measurement.

Sc in each sc around without joining or increasing til it reaches the length you desire, keep markers in place. If you want an edging then stop 1 inch BEFORE the desired length and make the last inch in a different edge.
finish off!
Here is a sc rib edging

a FPDC edging

and a shell edging

Yarn Necklaces are Pretty

I posted this to my family/personal oriented blog, but considering the amount of crochet talk I poured into that entry it needed to be shared on my project blog as well.

Tonight my niece turned 15. We got her a pretty off-white linen dress with a thin leather belt, but I felt like something was missing. Being without wrapping paper, I quickly sewed a bag our of white fabric with black flowers and a red ribbon for a tie. Hmm.... tied up all pretty and still, something was missing. While searching for the fabric to make the bag I had run across a couple of balls of a very deep purple Pima cotton lace weight thread so when I finished up the gift bag a lightbulb went off in my head.
BING!! (yes, it made the sound)
I had seen a crocheted necklace somewhere, at sometime, I couldn't remember the details but I loved it. Basically it was lengths of chain with a small section of single crochet at either end, each chain length is a little longer than the last. A button on one of the single crochet ends and a button hole on the other, then some flowers sewn to the lengths off center. It was much simpler than it sounds when I explain it, I promise. So I whipped up a necklace and a bracelet.
Here's what I did, though you can change the weight of the yarn and number of stitches to suit yourself.

With two strand lace weight cotton, doubled and a size 10 hook:
Chain 161, turn, sc in 5 ch, chain 170, sc in the last 5 ch.
Turn, sc in 5 sc, chain 180, (sc, chain 3, sc) in last 5 sc.
Turn, (sc, 3 sc in chain 3 space, sc), chain 190, sc in last 5 sc.
turn, sc in 5 sc, chain 200, sc in last 5 sc.
Turn, sc in 5 sc, chain 210, sc in last 5 sc.

Attach a button to the single crochet section without the button hole. Weave in ends. Crochet 2 flowers and attach them to two strands together, wherever you think they look best.


Same materials and hook as for necklace.
Chain 56, turn, sc in the first 5, chain 45, sc in the last 5.
turn, sc in 5 sc, chain 45, sc in 5 sc.
Turn, sc in 5 sc, chain 45, (sc 1, chain 3, sc 1) in the last 5 sc.
Turn, sc in sc, 3 sc in chain 3, sc in sc, ch 45, sc in 5.
Turn, sc in 5, chain 45, sc in 5.
finish off, weave in ends. attach button to the side without a buttonhole, make a flower and sew it to two strands together wherever you think it would look best.

with single thread, chain 4, join into a ring. chain 1, *sc, hdc, dc, 2tc, dc, hdc, sc* Repeat til there are 5 petals, join to first sc and finish off.

She seemed to like them. Her favorite colors are purple, black, and red and I managed to add those all to her present AND she has a thing for buttons but she also admitted that she's the type to smile and pretend to love it even if she hates it. She's 15 and I'm not sure what teenagers like or if it was really dorky. Oh well, *I* thought it was pretty so I think I'll be making one for myself tomorrow.
If you make this, it's fast and easy, just 3 tips - 1) try to make sure that the button isn't so heavy that it pulls the necklace down the back of your neck 2)take the time to stop and organize the strands of chaining every so often in order to keep it straight and even 3) sew the flower to 2 strands to keep the flower from twisting backwards.
My skirt is coming along nicely as well, but it's in a boring stretch where I just keep repeating the pattern over and over and over and... see it's not interesting in the least. 2 more inches and I'll start making some decreases for the waist, that will involve some thinking at least. I'm not sure what I'll do for the waist bad and tie, but I love the look of the motifs on the hem and I can't wait to get the edging on it to see the finished look.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Where, Oh, Where Can She Be?

I fell off the face of the Earth. I joined a commune. I ran away. I was too busy/lazy/forgetful to update my blog? BINGO!!!! We have a winner.
It's been 2 1/2 months since I showed my darling face around here and for depriving you of my company and wit I apologize. I got wrapped up in the little things of life that are unavoidable yet mindnumbingly average - colds, kids, more colds, spring cleaning, pet sitting, subsequent carpet shampooing, yadda, yadda, yadda. Well, I did like the yadda and yadda, but that last yadda was uninspiring. While I was away from Blogger, I learned to make a Wii remote shaped cake and Lego Indiana Jones characters out of modeling chocolate. Which I also made myself. And I got a haircut. I took off well over a foot of length. Yeah, think about that! I tip forward as I walk now.

Why did you ask? Even I have no idea what I mean sometimes.
Enough of the pleasantries, onward to yarny stuff!!! I have been so thrilled by spring this year that I've made a fitted tank in a pastel green cotton and I am *just* about halfway finished with a pretty skirt I found a patter for on a web archive. I get so lost when I've pattern surfed that I forget where I found it or what led me there, I simply bookmark it and peak at it again in the morning to decide if it really was that cute or if I was wearing crochet goggles. They're kind of like beer goggles but its concerning ....aha, yeah, you get it.
I found this skirt pattern on Ravelry as well. Completely accidentally while I was looking for any new patterns, I believe it's titled Lace Edged Skirt, but you can look for yourself using the search, just make sure to tick free, crochet, skirt, and have the word 'lace' in the search box. There are some pretty skirt patterns there so even if you don't care about this particular skirt, you won't be wasting your precious crafting time.
The skirt starts with a long row of joined flower-like motifs. I don't think it's a surprise that I've altered the pattern a bit to fit what I want (and my backside, which I do NOT want). I used 5 play reclaimed cotton in a morning glory blue color and since I'll not be doubling the strands as the pattern calls for, I simply made more of the motifs. I adjusted for the thread and my plus-sizedness by making three of the motifs and measuring. I want a bit more flow and flutter, so I took my biggest hip measurement and added 10 inches then made the number of motifs I needed to reach that length/girth. It's worked flat, so the last and first flowers aren't joined. The pattern if pretty specific about the number of stitches per motif so that made it easy to DC over the entire length of them for one row, then to split the next row into the start of vertical panels. 16dc section divided by a simple 1dc, ch3, 1dc shell. I altered the pattern a little for the shell since I didn't like the look of it when I used the original instructions. Hookers prerogative *shrug*
I want it to hit just below my knees so I am making the body of the skirt about 20 inches. This isn't counting the motifs at the bottom edge or the waist and belt at the top. It has button holes every three inches down one of the straight sides so it's fairly easy to keep track of the length as I go, without the need to break out my much coveted measuring tape.
Yes, coveted. My children and I have a checkered past where the measuring tapes are concerned. I've bought the enclosed kind with a cool pattern and the children, thinking it was a present or treat of some sort, opened it. Poor thing was only a year old. I got a replacement and it died soon after coming home. OK, time to be a little more fiscally wise, cheap tapes here I come! The round cased retractable ones for $1... the first's retracting button was brutally crushed in and it was unusable. The second was either pulled out or retracted too hard and the little tab on the end snapped off. The third is still missing. Thinking I was ever so clever like Magical Trevor, I got the kind that HAS no case to break. The long plastic tape that you have to hand roll. None have died as far as I know, but I have two blue and one white somewhere here in the house that I can't FIND. Knowing they're here and not knowing where drives me around the bend, every so often I'll got crazy and toss the house searching for it while alternately muttering and screaming to no one in particular.
One day last month I was having a fit searching for my Nook, which has also mysteriously vanished and what did I find shoved in the recesses of the couch but a blue measuring tape! I've kept a close eye on it since I cant really keep buying innocent tapes for my children's nefarious deeds. There have been two rescues and once I caught the youngest in the act of whipping the poor thing. Not what it was made for and that's not even touching on my issues with the wild whipping about of a very long plastic tape with sharp, eye rending metal edges or the 'fun' to be had in wrapping it around various body parts and sliding down our steep stairs yelling 'whee, I'm a mummy!'
In more crocheting goodies news, while shopping one day we saw a very good sale on a shelving unit. It was pretty, heavy duty, and best yet, 75% off. I pointed and yelled "MINE!" with great maturity. Mike jumped, looked at me with one eyebrow up and asked calmly, "So hun, would you like a shelving unit?"
It's mine. For me. Now when I come in the door or walk down the stair I see MY shelves. I have three canvas eyelet totes on the top shelf, one with finished projects, one with WIP and the last... well, it holds my nail polish and related accessories. Seeing nail polish on the cream carpet and the remover in a puddle on the table was enough. the next shelf down holds my books. My collection of fairy tales, leather bound Reader's Digest books, a TON of crochet pattern books and booklets, and of course, my library books. The next shelf down after that is too readily monster-child accessible so there is not much more than a t-shirt and a laptop cover on that one.
I wish there was a crocheters group that I could meet with here in La Pine. I've gotten to spend more time with my SIL this last month or two and I have REALLY enjoyed it - clothes shopping, movies, lunches out and COFFEE. Mmm, Dutch Bros is the best, but I digress. As much as I love this time I've had to spend with her (I've missed her while she worked over in Eugene) I wish I had some ladies nearby who don't look glazed over or uncomfortable when I bring up yarn and hooking.
I'll be taking and posting pictures tonight, as soon as I make sure my poor neglected camera is charged up. Oh, and after a trip to the library to get Super Fudge for my boys. yeah, I had to say it because I just know you care. Goodbye til I remember you again, old blog.