Monday, December 04, 2006

Sock Yarn

Got out the dye pot and went crazy with sock yarn. My favorite is what I call the safe sock yarn, aka Heathers. It is very muted, very safe, not wild, but the colors are so subtle and soft, I love the way it looks. I don't know if I can resist knitting this myself. I must be getting old.

These yarns were designed to have a soft speckled appearance, not stripe or pool. This green looks a little funky,
it's hard to tell looking at the skein how it would look in a sock, so I knitted a small swatch to see how the speckles turned out and it looks great, softly blended flecks of color.

These yarns are available here.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Clogs and more

It feels like I've been working on these slippers forever, but really just since last Christmas. My feet were so cold and sometimes the ribbing on socks really irritates my ankles so I decided to make a pair of slippers. I searched the internet and craft store for patterns and even made a few that turned out pretty nice.

I wanted a smoother feel so I looked for a felted pattern. Found some really nice knitted patterns for clogs and booties but I couldn't knit. Out of frustration I decide to come up with my own pattern. I experimented with a few clogs but they were sadly misshapen, so as the weather warmed they were relegated to a pile in the closet.

In September I thought about the clogs again and decided to tackle the problem from a different angle. I used a pair of well worn leather clogs as a model and worked on mapping the proportions and translating it to crochet. Then I approached it as a piece of sculture. I took a few years of sculpture classes and here's what we did, we put the model in the center and then work the 2D view, then turn 45 degrees and work that view, and so on and so on until you go all around and it looks as you wish.

So I did this and the pile of rejects grew and I was really committed now and one day I fished it out of the washer and it looked good! I made another one and it was still good! Then it was easy to make different varieties. The boots took quite a bit more but they were really worth it. I could make endless more varieties with fancy trims and hardware. I am very pleased with this pattern, I feel like it is my best so far.

Pattern available here.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Black & White Cookie Purse

I wanted to make a purse with black and white paillettes, I was thinking a small rectangle shaped bag that I could use for parties, so I gathered all the materials together and when I started to crochet all I could think about was those yummy black and white cookies that I can't eat anymore since I'm eliminating sugar from my diet. So the purse turned out round instead, very stylish though. Kinda yin-yangish too. Download the pattern here. Instructions to crochet with paillettes here also.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Felted Wine Glass Coasters

I have a whole bunch of wool scraps and wanted to make something useful out of them. I found a few nice coaster patterns, but it just didn't seem right to have open holey crochet in a coaster. Since I've been in a felting frenzy, I decided to felt them. They turned out pretty nice, super fast and easy, and functional too. Great gift with a bottle of wine. Pattern here.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Green Wool Purse

I like carrying a purse with a shoulder strap so I worked up the wool cable purse pattern in this olive green color and used a longer 20" leather purse handle. My personal favorite of all my purses so far, color, texture and a shoulder strap. The shoulder strap gives it a whole new look!


Friday, October 13, 2006

Autumn Secret Pal Reveal Package

I have the best secret pal, Misty Strouth, aka Mom4x. I received this wonderful reveal package from Misty. In the package there was a beautiful shawl, two big balls of thread, a doily pattern booklet, a thread crochet hook (all to get me started on doilies - yay!), a retractable tape measure (how did you know mine just broke?), a glass picture frame, a purse notebook, a box of delicious Hershey pure dark chocolate and a lovely letter.

Here are a couple of close ups of the shawl. She made this beautiful shawl in, get this, thread, that's right, thread not yarn! It is two lovely shades of rose and trimmed in white. I can't believe she finished it in two months, I would need two years and a couple new pairs of glasses.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Bulky Alpaca

I loved the light weight alpaca I got at a lys and the lovely results from dyeing. I thought a bulky alpaca would be great for winter, soft, light and warm. So I found some bulky alpaca yarn and pulled out the dye pot and here are the beautiful results. I call this first one Jewels of the Sea, very saturated colors in lovely jewel tones.
This next one is Deep in the Night. During the dyeing process, the yarn absorbed so much dye, I wrote it off as a failure. To my surprise, after it was dried, you can see the subtle gradations of color, still dark but in a mysterious way. Deep dark and rich.
p.s. these yarns are for sale.


Sunday, October 01, 2006

"Suede" Shoulder Bag

I started this project early this year but with the warm weather it got stuffed in a drawer and neglected. With fall here, I pulled it out, worked out the kinks and wrote up the pattern.

For a while I wondered if this bag would ever come together, the yarn was too soft, blah blah blah, instead I worked with it's qualities and came up with a soft chic casual everyday bag. The Lion Suede yarn was perfect for this bag.


Felted Coffee Cup Cozy

Lately I've been hangin' out at my local coffeehouses and with those paper coffee cups in front of me all the time I just had to make a coffee cup cozy. Sometimes I get girly so I made it pink and ruffled. It's felted too.

This time I took notes and wrote up the pattern right away otherwise it'd get lost in the cracks. I'm making this available free on my website.


Website Re-do

I finished a couple of new patterns and didn't really have space to put them on the website so I redesigned that too. Was just going to make some minor changes to make space for new stuff but then with the yarns too and I got some ideas into my head and I ended up redesigning most of it. I almost gave up the first day when those little cells kept moving but after I realized I should really understand how to do it the right way, it came together really quickly. I like it much better. What do you think?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Week-end to dye for

I got out my dye pot this week-end and painted a few skeins of wool. Two of these were autumn inspired. The first combines glorious golden yellows, oranges, reds, browns and greens in a fairly straightforward colourway.
The next colourway adds purple to the mix along with darker softer hues. Freeform painting and overdyeing produced a multi-layered colourway that is softly blended and variegated.
And last but not least, my personal favorite. Two bulky skeins of a wool and alpaca blend were dyed soft and soothing shades of blues and greens. This yarn is so soft and light and the colors so calming and pleasing, I just want to hug it.
p.s. These yarns are for sale.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

One Skein Secret Pal - August

Dear OSSP Megan,

Thank-you for the lovely felted clutch purse. I love it! Most especially since it's in my favorite colors. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness.

When I didn't hear from you for August I was a little upset, and then I wondered if something happened and I prayed that it was nothing bad and everything was okay. I'm glad to hear your family has been blessed.

I haven't made anything with the Cestari cotton or Anny Blatt yarn yet, I'm hoarding it in my stash for that special project.

blessings and hugs,


Fall Purse Swap

Wool. I love wool. The more I learn about it and the more I work with it the more I love it. Especially handspun stuff with it's thick and thin twists and color variegations. I was pleasantly surprised with this yarn, Sensations Licorice, from a big chain store.

Now that my swap partner has received her purse I can post about it. It took quite a bit of rework and redesign and I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. Originally designed with different stitches, after I crocheted a few rows, it was clear it didn't show the yarn to it's best advantage. The new crocheted fabric shows off the lovely twist and richness. Here's a close-up.

The handles were made with stamped leather I had in my stash. I've been a little frustrated with the selection of purse handles available and I picked up this leather skin for another project. The rich brown suited this purse perfectly.

It was hard to give up this purse.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Blue blue

Pronunciation: äb-'se-sh&n
Function: noun
1 : a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling; broadly : compelling motivation
2 : something that causes an obsession

For a long while now I've really been into blue, not navy blue but blue-green, teal, turquoise. When I have a choice, I always go with the blue first. Sometimes I consciously think about it and pick something like pink, but then I'm compelled to go back to the blue.

Take this yarn, I really didn't need it, I'd been working on a few projects with Cottontots in different colors and I'm at the store and I just had to get it, no project in mind, I just liked the color so I got a skein. It sat on my coffee table and one evening I picked it up and started to crochet and it became this sweater. So I had to get more blue.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Week-end Projects

I had a great crafting week-end, did a little shopping for lining for the purse for my Crochetville fall purse swap and got some goodies to go with. I made excellent progress on many of the projects I've got going. I can't share them yet because some of them are secret for my purse and swap buddies and some are drying. I'm just so happy with all the work.

Here's a close up of Glampyre's One Skein Wonder I'm doing as a knitting lesson. It took me a while to figure out what to do and I'm finally getting good at increasing stitches and using a circular needle.

I'm using a skein of KnitPicks Wool of the Andes out of my stash. It was one of my first dye projects. Is it a little bright? I was thinking of overdyeing it but it's growing on me.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Autumn Secret Pal

My Crochetville autumn secret pal mentioned that she was sending a package and I got it in the mail today. I quickly tore it open and there's a bunch of good stuff, a tapestry tote bag (great for carrying crochet projects), a skein of Bernat Softee Chunky in a pretty hot pink color, a box of Twinings Earl Grey Tea, a box of Salada Green Tea Chai, an afghan pattern, and a hand drawn card. I love getting stuff in the mail. Thank-you Secret Pal, you're the best!


Friday, September 01, 2006

Crochetville Purse Swap

Wow, I got home dripping wet after running around in the rain today and there was this big box on my porch. The address labels were decorated with fall leaves. Oh boy oh boy oboy! It was from my Crochetville Purse Swap partner Michelle Goodrich, aka Appliejuice.

The box was beautifully packed; many of the items were individually wrapped with tissue and raffia, all along the fall theme. Nothing was wet nor damaged.

Here is a pretty purse in a forest green with an attached cell phone cozy in variegated fall colors and trimmed in cute fall leaf buttons. The inside of the purse was lined with a leaf print pattern also. I can tell she put a lot of care and attention to detail here. There was also extra yarn and buttons.

Here is a felted bowl with candy corn, crocheted potholder, mini-pumpkin, decorative accessories, pumpkin spice candles, and two skeins of blue wool by Brown Sheep Company. There was also a two-year planner, chai tea mix, chocolate mini-book with adorable crocheted flower bookmark, fall napkins and a lovely note (pictured above).

Thank-you so much Michelle for these beautiful gifts. You outdid yourself.


Thursday, August 31, 2006

Cable Wristwarmers

I've always had a mental block about knitted cables ... somehow they are so lovely but in my head I thought so difficult, I couldn't do that. Well, I decided I would knit cables so armed with my clunky needles and Bernat Softee Chunky yarn in gray, this intrepid knitter (hah!) started with one twist and after a bit of awkwardness soon had one rectangle with thick twining cables! Cool.

I didn't want a scarf or a big project so I made another one and they became wristwarmers. Soft and warm. This was a really fun fast way to try a new, albeit intimidating stitch. Funny how these little things can make one so happy.

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BlogDay 2006

Today is BlogDay 2006 and the idea is to link to five sites that you normally would not link to. This took a little thought. Besides crafts and cooking, I wanted to take a different look, expand and delve into it's place in the world.

There are some beautiful felting and fiber arts pieces at Layers of Meaning. I'm going to make one of those recycled felted blankets one of these days.

Some great photoshop tips here at Love the pirates poster.

I feel like is a kindred soul. She also makes some lovely yarn.

Sometimes when I miss the chinese food and culture I had growing up I visit Cha Xiu Bao for some truly authentic stuff. This is the stuff my dad would always talk about and try to replicate at home. No egg foo young here folks.

I like the indian food and cultural aspects at Mahanandi. Lots of great information, I feel like I'm visiting the home of friends.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Newbie Knitted Scarf

Whenever I go to my lys I always touch Moda Dea's Cache yarn, it's so pretty, variegated wool wound with a touch of glittery gold. I picked up a skein at my lys and wanted a simple little project, something that would show off the color and texture.

Working with basic knitting stitches this lovely scarf is a great beginner project.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Newbie Knitter

I thought I'd try knitting again. I had an old set of metal needles and some yarn in my stash, but I was quickly bored and I'm not sure I'm even doing it right. A couple of books said it was easier for beginners to use bulky yarn and big needles so I dug out this bulky wool I had and dyed it some great colors for fall and winter. What a good excuse to dye more yarn!
Then I made some big clunky needles with a wood dowel using instructions on Craftster. That was really fun and they turned out nice too.

On to the knitting. I found a website with good video instruction and that helped get me started. Using stockinette stitch, this bulky yarn works up pretty quickly. It's so much easier to figure out. I think I've got the hang of purling but I'm still all elbows with the knitting stitch. The variegated yarn helps to see progress too. Along the way a couple of stitches disappeared while I was watching tv and being clueless about what to do, I frogged the whole thing. I guess it's good practice.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Wool Cable Purse

I signed up for the Crochetville purse swap so there are purse possibilities swirling around in my head. I made this wool version of my cable purse and it turned out so nice I'm keeping it for myself. If my swap partner likes it I'll make one especially for her.

*pattern available here (edited to add).



It's been so hot lately, too hot to go out, so I've been keeping busy by crocheting. Here are a few little cupcakes I crocheted, although a couple of them look a little like ice cream cones.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Earrings and more earrings

Last year I noticed a lot of beading stuff, magazines, swarovski crystals, beads, etc. and it was all so pretty, really lovely stuff. I thought I would give it a try, to see what it was all about. One of the things I wanted to make was a pair of chandelier earrings, all the earrings I've seen at the stores seemed so big and fancy, I just wanted a small simple pair. I followed this pattern on-line that I liked and went to work. After a lot of twisting and turning, spilled beads, pinched fingers and strained eyes, I ran out of crystals, shoved everything in a drawer and forgot about it. Beading is definitely for people with good eyesight and even more patience.

Well, I was going through the drawer and happened upon those almost finished earrings and decided to give it one last desperate attempt. I bought the necessary parts and picked up those nasty pliers and twisted and turned and pinched and —voilà!— my new chandelier earrings.
Of course, I had some more beads so I made these:

And these and these:


July Secret Pal

I've been really busy lately what with being out of town and taking care of stuff so it was really nice to find a package in the mail from my one skein secret pal. I ripped it open and inside found this lovely cotton mohair skein of yarn. I've never worked with mohair before, it feels really soft. What could I make with it?

Thank-you secret pal for this lovely yarn.


Friday, July 07, 2006

Make your own Hairpin Crochet Loom

I wanted to try hairpin crochet and was able to make a loom from stuff around the house. The project was fun so I thought I'd post instructions for you to try.

Materials Needed:

2 bamboo skewers or other straight sticks. (The skewers were a little over 1/8 inch diameter, could probably go up to 1/4 inch.)
2 hot glue sticks. I used 4 inch 120 degree hot melt glue sticks. Make sure they have a high melting temperature so they
don't melt from your hands or in a hot room.
Sandpaper (not shown)
Drill. (
not shown, if you have strong hands, you may be able to push the sticks in with your hands.)

Note - This step should be performed by an adult.
Drill a hole, the diameter of the skewer or slightly less, on each end of the glue sticks. Be careful to align the drill holes so the skewers will be parallel to each other. I like to make the holes on one of the glue sticks slightly larger so that it can be easi
ly removed (if it is too large though it won't stay in place).

Lightly sand the skewers so there are no splinters or rough spots. Attach the skewers to the glue sticks making sure to keep the skewers parallel to each other. Keep the glue sticks at opposite ends of the skewers to form the loom.

Here is your new hairpin crochet loom ready to use.

Here is a smaller loom I made with 2 inch glue sticks. You can also drill the holes closer together.

Start to hairpin crochet.

Here are some strips I joined together.

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