Archive for the ‘crochet’ Category

Was outside just a minute ago taking the last meat from the grill and thought when will I have something substantial to show for all this yarn that I have.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  It’s been a while since I was truly able to sit down at the sewing machine and make anything.  I have several new knitting patterns that I mentioned in my last post but haven’t had the time to start on any of them.  Got a new digital scrapbooking program that it took me a week-n-half to upload.  Have 3 SWAP’s I’m in on RAverly and no real time to get anything done.

Yes, life as it usually does has gotten in the way and I hate that because crafting is my outlet, the catalyst to relaxation.  So I’ve been on edge for weeks without any real time to craft.  You can normally find my efforts laying beside me the next morning with only a stitch or two completed.   Work is stressful, my youngest is graduating from high school but has been ill for the past month and we still don’t know what’s going on with her yet.  My boyfriend was just diagnosed with prostate cancer.  To top it all off, I’m back in school and looking to start nursing school in the fall.

I did become inspired to use up all of my acrylic yarns and make things for charity.  Here’s my latest endeavor

Crocheted baby caps for a charity KnitsforNeeds.

So although I’ve managed to crochet 3 caps I feel as though my creative mojo is being stifled and I want it back.

If any of you see by mojo please stop by and let me know >)


Hello Ladies and Gents, I’d like to welcome you to my 2nd official Podcast Review.  This month I had the good fortune of interviewing one of my new favorite podcasters.  You can find Brianna of The CrochetSide  here .  Not only is her podcast rockin’ but so is her blog.    You will find Tips & Tricks, free patterns, link to her hand dyed yarn and her crusade as a crafter to be truly creative.

I chose Brianna because her podcast really caught my ear and inspired me to try new things with my crochet projects.   So without further ado here’s my interview with Brianna.

1. What crafts do you create?
I design and crochet mostly hats, though I’ve been branching out into bags and wraps recently. I keep trying to push myself into different realms of crochet so that I don’t find any one thing stale. I want to learn, learn, learn, and then pull from everything to keep my designs fresh and technically correct.

2. How long have you been doing them?
I taught myself to crochet in 2003, and once I learned a couple of basic stitches, I jumped right into making hats. I learned the structure of a basic beanie after I had already freeformed several “art-pieces”. If you check my Flickr account  you’ll see what I mean when you find the “Marshmallow” and “Ribbon” hat. Those had no design process—just an idea then freeform until I felt they were done. That was the beginning of it all, really, as I felt empowered by this new skill—it felt as though I knew how to crochet all my life, and yet I was only days into this new world of creativity. I like to think that Fate exists when I think back to how fast and hard I was drawn to crochet.

3. Do you sell your crafts?
I don’t go out of my way to sell the finished product. There aren’t enough hours in a day for me to fulfill all of my other responsibilities AND crochet individual items to turn around and sell. Instead, I sell the patterns to these designs. Occasionally I’ll take a custom order, but only when I have the time and won’t neglect something else. Between my day job, returning to college, running the podcast, dyeing fiber, and designing when I can, there is very little time for much else. 

4. How did you come to start your Podcast?
It was a complete whim. I had been opened up to the world of podcasting shortly before I began my own, and first started listening to Marly, of the Yarn Thing podcast. She was so much fun, and talked about crochet and knitting. I searched hard for a crochet-specific podcast, but there were very few, and of those few all were defunct. It was the right-time, right head-space, and a bit of spontaneity, that I found myself house-sitting for my mother while she was out of town. I had a cheap microphone handy, found a free podcasting host (didn’t know if I’d stick to it), and I rambled and rambled about pretty much nothing. There’ve been a lot of stops and starts to my episodes, so it’s taken me a while to get to where I am, but I think I’ve finally hit a point where I know what I want (at least partly) from my podcast, and I know what I want to share.

What started as a crochet-only podcast, has dipped also into my fiber life (dyeing and such), as well as my home life. I’m trying to balance them all, but still focus mostly on crochet. I’ve recently introduced a vidcast supplement to the podcast episodes. There’s a new section called “In Stitches” where I verbally discuss how to create a stitch or stitch pattern. Then, for those who are like me, where audio instruction isn’t what works for us, comes the vidcast/video episodes that are my showing my listeners/viewers how to do the stitch, from beginning to end.

5. What keeps you motivated to continue your show?
Mostly it’s been my listeners/viewers, particularly in the beginning. I really enjoy interacting and hearing their feedback, getting to know them and what they like, how we’re similar or different. Recently, though, I’ve realized that I really am a teacher at heart—I like sharing information and helping others to learn something. Some of the stitches/stitch-patterns I do in the future will be ones I’m not familiar with, so it means I get the chance to learn something new too. Also, there’s that whole having one more excuse to play with yarn!

6. What knowledge regarding your craft have you gained in researching your episodes?
Oh man, okay—I’ve learned the importance of swatching, and swatching correctly; that there is never a completely right or wrong way to do something, unless you’re a purist (which I can sometimes be, then am forced to smack myself for); that there is always something new to learn; that what I think of something today may change tomorrow (I’d never thought that I’d crochet amigurumi, yet somehow people received them from me for holiday presents); and that each new thing I pick up along the way only makes me a better crocheter. Oh, and that I do not have the be-all, end-all, absolute answer for everything crochet-related, and that’s okay. I’m still learning like everyone else.

7. In the land of Podcasting shows who is your inspiration?
I listen to so many, so I’m going to have to narrow this down quite a lot. I’ll share three:

1) Dr Gemma of CogKNITive
a. She’s a crocheter and a knitter.
b. Witty and amusing
c. Provides bits of wisdom in the form of life “strategies”

2) Lime’n’Violet
a. If ever I just need a giggle, the Lime’n’Violet crew provide it to me
b. They’re constantly doing something—a project, dyeing yarn, expanding their business
c. They seem fearless in regard of moving forward and aren’t afraid to publish ‘the crazy’. 😉

3) Yarn Thing
a. Marly was my first inspiration due to her openness
b. She has a fantastic laugh, and there’s never any doubt that she’s a good-natured, completely fun woman with tons of good stuff that she’s ready to share with the world.

8. This is a really big one, have you been published, appeared on any craft shows or do or plan to do any fiber festivals in the upcoming year?

I have not been published, outside of self-publishing, though 2009 is the year where I push to get this done. I’m even taking a class on designing for publication, so cross all your fingers for me!  I don’t know of any craft shows in my area, though I’ve looked, and if I can get published in the next couple of months, I will try my hardest to attend TNNA this summer. Barring that, I will be on the lookout for additional places to attend.

If you enjoyed this interview stop by and let her know by subscribing to her blog, Flickr page, or podcast.  Trust me if you like easy listening podcasts that give you new and inventive ideas then you can’t go wrong on the CrochetSide.  Stay tuned for next months review.

This is a sweater I’m making for one of the Doctors that I work for who just gave birth on Christmas to a little girl.  This is yarn I’ve had in my stash for about 2 years now.  It’s SWTC Twize in Twink which I’ve discovered on Ravelry is no longer available.   I waited because we didn’t know what she was having.   So for those of you wondering what are those things hanging off the sides of the sweater they are Knit Klips to make semming/finishing projects easier.  They come as a set of 5 at around $7 a pack.  They are very handy and do offer a weight if you are trying to see how a fabric once knitting/crocheted will drape.

This is the booties that will go with the sweater and I have the hat on the needles so we’ll see what’s next.

On Ravelry I’ve joined 2 SWAPS for 2009.  The first is my deep secret love of knitted socks and I found Sock It To Me 3 a 3 month SWAP that you must commit to making at least 1 pair of socks for your partner and send 3 packages.  The next group I joined is one that is really giving to others while getting something in return.  It’s Celebration of Life that ask for you to create a knitted item for expectant mothers and babies at a local shelter or organization in your area and also SWAP a package with your partner.  Both of these are open info SWAPs and that’s so much fun as you get to know them during the time.  I look  forward to getting to know my partners and can’t wait to share my goodies with all of you.

I also signed up for Eat.Sleep.Knit 2009 Yarnathon.  This is a competition with prizes, goals, new friends and most of all excellent customer service.  My goal this year is to make it to the finish line first but this year I want to have the projects completed with the yarn I’ve purchased.

Stay tuned for my Podcast Review on Wednesday and the return to FO Friday will be back with a vengence.

Just stopping back by to show off more FO’s and to discuss a Frogging and plan of how to re-invent a pattern.  First, I’ve been doing some crocheting and completed 2 caps one for me and the other for a co-worker after she saw my cap.  Both are made with Red Heart……yes, I use acrylic blends but my top choice would be Caron Simply Soft.  Well, I talk about that later.

My Cool Cap in Black had to add as a link because I can’t upload pics right now. Once I wore this work my co-worker Rachel asked for one and this is hers modeled by my youngest DD  Rachel’s Cap Hope to be able to get this photo gliche worked out soon.  I love a blog with pictures.

Well, here we are at the end of another year and I’ve been thinking of all I’ve done this year.  It has, by far, been the most productive year since I’ve started any of my crafts.  I would like to show off my accomplishments by the categories I create in.

First we have sewing and the big thing that happened to me this year was the discovery of sewing blogs and happened upon Carolyn .  She was the one that set in me the drive to step out of my fear of sewing for the new sized me.  I was sewing for my daughters and that was going well but I wouldn’t dare make a garment for myself.  Not only was this the year to sew for myself it was also the year to learn to read patterns.  What I learned this year was to have a good garment you have to plan and take your time to properly execute a fit that in the end is flattering for you.   So here’s my sewing garments ’08 projects

Now on to my crochet projects.  This was the year I found Afya Ibomu of Get Your Crochet On.  This was actually the only thing I could figure out on my own as a child but didn’t know how to put it all together so now you can link to my crochet hats from Ms. Ibomu.  Crochet projects ’08 I look forward to adding some crocheted garments to my wardrobe in ’09.

I don’t talk about this craft often but it’s the one that catapolted me into the world of blogging and opened the way to sewing and knitting.  So without further ado here’s my Quilting ’08 project I actually added every quilt I’ve done since starting this craft.

How could I list my projects without including my knitting.  Here are my knitting projects for ’08 there are more projects somewhere around my Flickr so take a cruise.

Now on to 2009

I’m looking forward to managing my time so that all my crafts get some attention and my completed project list is longer than in ’08.  In my knitting I would like to try lace knitting and actually have a few sweaters for myself when it’s all said and done.  I would also like to work on having a better fit as the fit of my first sweater my Green Gable is not exactly what it should be.

In sewing I want to learn how to fit my shape better and improve my lining skills as it is my goal to make an outer garment.   Sewing should bring about more confidence in projects I tackle  and a fabulously flattering wardrobe.

In crochet I hope to create some garments.  Honestly,  my biggest desire is to write a pattern and actually have it work.  I have always created for others and in 2009 I really want to increase my wardrobe with items I created.

I will be keeping a running count of how much yarn I bust through in 2009,  I will do more to give to charity through my crafts.  I would like to give locally as I feel the need to help my community as we are facing a devastating job loss market here in my region of Ohio.

There will be a monthly review of the podcasts I listen to as they too cover every craft I do.  It will be the last Saturday of every month beginning Jan. 2009.   I will also try to feature a new pattern from the many pattern books I have not so much that they will be new to you but we can take a look at how it comes together.   I would also love to review different products and books that I have as a way of pushing myself to keep busy and productive.

Here’s hoping that you’ve had a wonderful year of creating and learning and growing as an artist and in 2009 I look forward to what the year will bring to all of us in our nature to share the warmth of creating something from a beautiful yarn, fabric, beads, embroidery as only you can.

I have one item to offer for this week.  Since I have finals this week that has been my focus and not much else has been getting done.  I have next week off and many items I plan to complete.

My first love, crochet has made it back into my life and finding Ms. Afya Ibomu on Uncommon Threads lite the fire under me and got me grabbing my hooks out of the closet.  So here’s my offering for the week.  This is my fifth Soldier Cap from Afya Ibomu’s book Get Your Crochet On!

This was crochet on size G hook and scaled down from the pattern by 6 rows for the body and on the brim I eliminate the last 2 rows since this is for a child.

Until my next post Be blessed, be positive, be truthful, be joyful, be at peace, and be CREATIVE.

I’m back for my second installment of FOF and to share some new findings or better new direction. The one thing I was looking forward to sharing in this post was 3 tops that are various stages of completion but that maybe in next weeks gallery. I do however, have 2 crocheted and 1 knitted objects to share.

First on the list is a Cap that was being made for my youngest DD from Afya Ibomu’s Get Your Crochet On! I’m fixated with Soldier and so is everyone around me so that’s what I’ve been making.

I had been making this cap for her and it was too big so I omitted the brim to have a different look. I like it and think you could embellish it with a flower in brown or white for some contrast.

Both of these caps where crocheted using Red Hearts Multi in brown, tan and white on size H hook for the body and top of hat and size G hook for the brim. One skien in 141g 244 yds can make 2 caps.

My next offering to my FO pile is my 5th pair of socks using the ML method of knitting socks. I used Cascade Cloud 9 yarn in Pink on size 2 Addi Turbo circs. The pattern is Cat Bordhi’s basic sock pattern. I love this method and look forward to meeting my goal of 12 pairs of socks by years end.

There are just a few things I need to tell you about new beginnings. In each day we have a rare opportunity to start anew and I’ve always been a crafter with that view. It’s not always the method but the course that makes the difference in the end. Have you learned something new? Did you take the time to really look and appreciate the art in your creation or does it have to look exactly like the pattern pic? I love the little quirks that are uniquely mine and keeps me grounded that God is perfect and I have yet to achieve perfection but I’m perfect in the scheme of who he made me to be with all the gifts and wonders that are now in my life. I brought this up to ask you to look at your approach to your crafts and although we want to be and do our best we are human and mistakes are allowed. Don’t beat yourself down because something doesn’t work for you just take another look at it, reevaluate your approach and keep at it or start anew. I shared this with you because I had this experience this week. I started Flair for the Ravelry group EbonyElite Sister Friends and as time went on I got frustrated with it for the lack of understanding in my mind’s eye. I let it sit for a week and begin to look for answers to the things that puzzled me. I found the answer and the light bulb went off but I just wasn’t excited about the pattern choice. The next day I was going through my paper pile and came across some old magazines and found a pattern more to what I had wanted to knit during our KAL and gingerly set about froggin’ Flair and casting on KnitSimple’s Ruffled Shrug from Holiday ’07. I’m a lot happier with the progress and because it fit what I had envisioned for a nice spring and summer cover up to go with some summer dresses. I have this Shrug on the needles along with a pair of Socks in the Cascade Cloud 9 in red for my youngest DD. Will show progress pics on Wednesday.

Have a safe and Happy Easter weekend

Be Blessed, Be positive, be truthful, be joyful, be at peace and be CREATIVE

Blogging, Creating, Rearranging………Repeat. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the past week. I keep telling myself that I’m going to meet my goals of creating more items and dwindling the stash. This is a very challenging charge to take on but what is the true measure of a knitter, quilter, crocheter, sewer. Is it the fabric and fibers? Or maybe it’s the needles, stitch holders, sewing machines, serger, patterns, cutting mats, scissors? No, it’s the completed project that makes a crafter’s world worth it. Now before you get all testy, let me explain and this is solely my opinion. I have projects, fabric, and fibers everywhere in the apartment and a very unfashionable wardrobe of scrubs and factory work clothes. My solution is to destash all of my crafty goodies and create some items that enhance my wardrobe and provide smiles and joy to those who are gifted items that I make.

Moving on to creating I’ve been working on my sewing mojoe and felt that making skirts would get the juices flowing. I’ve made 2 skirts so far this year and wanted to share my latest one in progress. I’m currently working on this skirt please check out the details below.

Here’s my zipper placement. If I do say so myself, I think I did a nice job. now all I have to do is the hook & eye.

Here’s a better look at the zipper.

Then to add a little spice I thought this embroidery design would add a touch of whimsy. What do you think?

To incorporate all of my crafty goodness I present my 2nd Soldier Cap from Afya Ibomu in pink. I just started to crochet again and it’s just such a rush to complete a FO in 1 day instead of weeks or months like in my knitting. I already have another one on the hook and should be done with it tomorrow and have a request for 2 more.

I’m trying to decide what other crochet projects I ‘d like to tackle this year, but in the mean time, I’m taking on my second sweater Flair here’s the progress I’ve made so far. I’m really looking forward to having this done by April. Yes, I did say April, no pressure I want this to be an enjoyable knit. Who knows what challenges I’ll encounter on my way with this project.

Now, on to rearranging. I’m currently taking this opportunity to gain while I rearrange. This allows me to gain knowledge, try new things, discover my true style, step out of my comfort zone and stay on task by planning out my fashions and other crafts. I hope that you will chime in with your suggestions, expert advice and friendly encouragement.

Until the next time Be blessed, be positive, be truthful, be joyful, be at peace and be creative.

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