Monday, November 10, 2008

CLF First Ever Book

A few months ago I submitted my pattern for the Very Versatile Vertical Stripe Beanie to be published in the Crochet Liberation Front's First Ever Book. The book is out now and my pattern is on page 54. I received my copy of the book over the weekend and I have been enjoying reading and browsing through this book. All of the patterns in the book were designed by other CLF group members on Ravelry. There are wonderful patterns for socks, hats, bags, toys, tops, scarves and many other items. It will be hard to decide what to work on first. I also love the little articles that people submitted. You can follow this link to find out more about the book or purchase your copy of the book.

In a related note, my hat has been awarded the Hookalicious Award from the group's leader. You can read about it here. It has been exciting to see people use my pattern and make hats of their own. I look forward to seeing more of people's projects as they post them on ravelry. Thanks also for all of the compliments.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Updates galor

I haven't posted for awhile, but I have been busy crocheting. We had a nice visit to Minnesota. My kids got to meet their new cousin. Here he is in the outfit I crocheted for him. It was fun to see him in the outfit. If I had to guess what size it is, it probably turned out to be 2-6 mo. I know the standard sizing is 0-3 and 3-6, but it is a little big for a newborn, so I don't want to say 0-6 months. He was 1 month old and about 12 lbs in this photo. The sweater should fit for quite awhile yet, and I think there is still plenty of room in the pants.

For my daughter's birthday I crocheted a small doll for her, and then my mom helped me make a cake to match the doll. She likes her doll, and loved her cake. One nice thing about frosting a crocheted cake, is that you don't need a steady hand, because you want it to have lots of texture to mimic the stitches.

One of the projects I worked on while in MN, was this sweater for my husband. The pattern is by Robyn Chachula and is from the winter 2007 Interweave Crochet magazine. He chose Lily Chin Park Avenue- 50 % wool, 50 % alpaca yarn for his sweater. Size medium took 13 balls of black and 2 balls of brown. It was a pretty straight-forward pattern to follow. Although, after trying it on, he commented that he'd prefer the neckline to not be so open and square, so I have to take out the collar ribbing, add some stitches in and then redo the collar. I have enough yarn left over to make a scarf and hat.

Now that we've been back for awhile, I've been able to really put my tapestry tortilla warmer to the test. I am very pleased with how it turned out. It keeps them nice and warm, and I don't have to go through lots of towels each time I make tortillas, and I put a little loop on the edge so that I can hang it on the oven, when it is not in use.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tapestry Tortilla Warmer

We eat a lot of tortillas in my house. We buy the uncooked kind, and cook them on the tortilla pan. I like to keep them warm, and usually use a towel to do so. I wanted to have something dedicated for tortillas, but I didn't really want to go buy a plastic container. I had several small amounts of yarn left, so I decided to make a tapestry crocheted felted tortilla warmer. I didn't have a set pattern in mind, but I kept going seeing where the yarn took me. The two sides are different. I used leftovers from 3 different balls of yarn from 3 different sources, they were all worsted weight, and luckily they all felted ok together. It was about 14" before felting and about 11" after felting. I'm still trying to decide if I'll need to line it or not, but I am pleased with how it turned out. The above photos are the prefelted shots. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet, but the kids think it makes a cool helmet.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wash cloth for Baby

I know a lot of people that have had or are having babies this year- like over 20. I have been busy making baby gifts for them. Here is a simple pattern for a washcloth or burpcloth for baby. A wash cloth will get a bit more use than a hat, and it is distinctive from the other washcloths, so it can be easily recognized as Baby's cloth.

I used mercerized cotton, Butterfly Super 10, about 1/2 of a ball.
Size G hook.
Gauge: 18 st/ 4" and 17 rows/ 4"
Finished size about 9" square.

Chain 41
Row 1: in second ch from hook make dc, sc in next, *dc in next chain, sc in next; repeat from * across. Ch1, turn
Row 2: dc in first st, sc in next. *dc in next stitch, sc in next. Repeat from * across. (You are always putting a dc in a sc of the row below, and a sc in a dc of the row below).
Repeat row 2 until cloth is square, or desired size. Fasten off, weave in ends.

I have made a couple of these cloths now and I love how the color pools in different patterns.

Friday, July 11, 2008

My summer cardigan

I finally finished my summer cardigan- and it's still summer! I started it the first weekend in May and finished it the first weekend in July. The pattern is Butterscotch Cardigan from the Spring 2008 Interweave Crochet magazine. It was a fairly straight-forward garment to crochet, each piece went by rather quickly. My stitch guage was a little off from what the pattern called for, but since it is worked vertically and I am taller than average, I didn't have to make any adjustments to the length of the garment. This was also my first real experience blocking and it went fairly well, although I might try a string or wires for the center front pieces next time. Seaming went by fairly quickly too- just match up a stitch on one side to a stitch on the other. Sewing in the sleeves was also wonderful, the striped pattern made it really easy to know what stitches to match up. I also loved working with yarn on a cone- each segment of the sweater was made from a single piece of yarn. The yarn is JaggerSpun Zephyr 50-50 Wool Silk lace-weight. It's a little finer than what was called for in the pattern, but I am pleased with the weight of the sweater.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bamboo Baby Set

I recently made this bamboo baby set for my soon to be born nephew. I chose bamboo because it is soft, and because it will "grow" a bit with the kid, so maybe he'll get some more wear out of it. I was under a bit of a time crunch by the time the yarn arrived and when I wanted to get it mailed. I did this in a week. I was able to send it out to arrive in time for the baby shower. I tried swatching from a couple of books I have with baby sets, but nothing was really coming out very well. In addition, one of the books had a very sorry excuse for a gauge, showing only the stitches per 2 or 4 inches, but not giving the row gauge, nor finished measurements. So I improvised by taking a pair of baby shorts and matched the waist and rise, and added legs. For the sweater, I used measurements from a different pattern book, but created the pattern myself. I took good notes and may try to write up the pattern once I have some feedback on how it fits.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

One Blue Ribbon

I went to the County Fair yesterday and entered the "Nimble Fingers Quick Crochet" Contest. This year the pattern was more challenging than last year's, and we had 5 contestants this year. I am happy to say that I won a blue ribbon for coming in first in this year's contest. It was a close competition, the man who came in second was right behind me. The prize this year was some Blue Ribbon Strawberry Jam and a cookbook of the prize winning recipes from the 2007 county fair. I found my two entries on display, but neither of those won a ribbon. I didn't get a chance to look around the display floor too much, but I hope to take another look when we go back another day.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Infinitely finished

I've finished my take on the infinity wrap. I've blocked it once, and woven in all the ends. If I had time, I'd block it again, but alas, entry day for the fair is tomorrow. I was surprised at how much flattening happened when blocking it. If I were to do it again, I think I would stick with more regular color usage instead of my imposed pseudo variegated. I didn't change colors on the mesh part because I didn't want to have to weave in ends into the mesh. I'd also try it with only 2 colors. To recap: vintage size 30 cotton thread in 5 colors, and vintage size 11 steel hook.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A new shaped shell

Well, I finally finished it! This is a shirt that I made from "The Lady who Lunches Sheath" by Lily Chin in Couture Crochet Workshop. Her pattern is a beautiful dress and gloves. I was drawn to this pattern for several reasons, I liked the look of it, but more importantly it involved interesting increase and decrease sequences in the shell pattern stitch. I wanted to learn how to do this type of shaping. I had hoped to make the full dress, but when I was shopping for yarn, I couldn't find enough yarn in any one color to make a dress, but I found enough to make a top. This was done in Vickie Howell "Love" 6 skeins of purple and 1 of white, a bamboo silk blend. The pattern starts from the hem and works upward. It was an interesting challenge starting halfway through the pattern- how many stitches do I have after working through imaginary decreases, where do I put the stitch markers...After a few evenings of math and diagrams, I figured out the adjustments I needed to make. I pretty much followed the pattern from there, but I think I added a few extra rounds to lengthen it. I discovered an error in the shoulder shaping, figured out the problem, and was pleased to get a prompt response from the publisher about the errata. Once I finished the top and shoulder seams I had about half a skein of purple left over, so I decided to add a few rows to the bottom because it was a little on the short side for my tastes. I then trimmed it in white following the details in the pattern.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fun with Felting

I finally got around to making little swatches for felting. I made a sc square, a dc square, a dc circle, and a dc adult size hat. I should have known better and done this much earlier, but I am so glad I did it now. To make my sc square I chained 11, and starting with second chain from hook, sc in each stitch across to get a swatch 10 sc wide. I sc for 11 rows. Then I chained 16, and then made a dc swatch 10 stitches wide. I did 6 rows of dc. I chained 10 more stitches, then worked 10 dc in 3rd ch from hook. Closed w/ sl stitch in 1st dc. Increased 10 dc evenly for 3 more rounds for a total of 4 rounds and 40 stitches. Then I made my basic dc adult sized hat that goes to the bottom of the ears. I measured each piece and then threw it into the washing machine with a couple of other items to be felted.

Swatch .................Prefelted..... Felted..... % change

sc square 10 sc wide........ 2.75" ......... 2.25" ........... 20 %

............... 11 sc rows .........2.75" .......... 2.5" ............. 10 %

dc square 10 dc wide...... 2.75"........... 2.25" ........... 20 %

.................6 dc rows........ 2.75" .......... 2.25" ........... 20 %

dc circle 4 rounds .......... 4" ................ 3.125" ........ 20 %
The hat is a little hard to measure because it is still damp and drying, and I have to crush it to measure it. But rough measurements suggest it was 8" high when folded flat and 20" in circumference before felting. Post-felting it is about 6" high and 18" in circumference.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Circular handbag

I've had this bag finished for awhile, but I haven't posted it. It is made from two circles in 2 colors. The circles are concentric- and closed at the end of each round. The ch stitches at beginning of each round do not count as a stitch. Then the circles are stitched together starting with just a single crochet seam, and increasing to about 5 stitches wide for the sides and handle and then decreasing back to the single crochet seam. To do the side seams, just sc into the side of the circle, and turn. Don't do a turning chain. Here's the recipe/pattern for this bag.
Gauge: not really important since it doesn't have to fit. But the first 4 rounds of this bag measured about 2.5 " in diameter.
Worsted weight yarn in 2 colors about 100 yds each will be sufficient.
Hook to match yarn used. I used an H hook for this.
Stitch markers- 4.
Needle for weaving in ends.
Circles- Make 2. Make them any size you'd like. Just make them the same size! Do the increases evenly so that the circle stays flat.
Round 1: With green, chain 3, dc 10 in 3rd chain from hook. Close w/ slip stitch in top of 1st dc.
Round 2: Join black w/ sl stitch. Ch1, make 2 sc in each dc around. Close w/ sl stitch, and change to green.
Round 3: (green) Ch 2, Dc in same stitch as sl st; 2 dc in next stitch. *(1dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next stitch) repeat from * around. Close with sl stitch in top of 1st dc.
Round 4: With black, ch 1, sc in same st, 1 sc in next st, 2 sc in next st. *(1 sc in each of next 2 stitches, 2 sc in next st), repeat from * around. Close w/ sl st in 1st sc.
Round 5: With green, ch 2, dc in same stitch. 1 dc in each of next 2 stitches, 2 dc in next st. *(1 dc in each of next 3 stitches, 2 dc in next stitch.) Repeat from * around. Close w/ sl stitch in top of 1st dc.
Round 6: With black, ch 1, sc in same stitch. 1 sc in next 3 st, 2 sc in next st. *(1 sc in each of next 4 stitches, 2 sc in next st), repeat from * around. Close w/ sl st in 1st sc.
Round 7: With green, ch 2, dc in same stitch. 1 dc in each of next 4 stitches, 2 dc in next st. *(1 dc in each of next 5 stitches, 2 dc in next stitch.) Repeat from * around. Close w/ sl stitch in top of 1st dc.
Round 8: With black, ch 1, sc in same stitch. 1 sc in next 5 st, 2 sc in next st. *(1 sc in each of next 6 stitches, 2 sc in next st), repeat from * around. Close w/ sl st in 1st sc.
Round 9: With green, ch 2, dc in same stitch. 1 dc in each of next 6 stitches, 2 dc in next st. *(1 dc in each of next 7 stitches, 2 dc in next stitch.) Repeat from * around. Close w/ sl stitch in top of 1st dc.
Round 10: With black, ch 1, sc in same st. Sc in each stitch around, close w/ sl stitch.
Fasten off black and green yarns. Make 2nd circle as the first. Fasten off green only.
Joining and Handle
With wrong sides together, line up circles. Place markers symmetrically about bag at 10 st on either side of center bottom, where yarn is still attached, and at 15 stitches past each marker 1st placed. Put another way, the markers should be placed at 2, 4, 8, and 10 o'clock. (Note you can adjust where the markers are placed to suit the opening you want for the top of the bag. Just be sure to place them symmetrically about the vertical axis (12-6 o'clock) of the bag.
Row 1: Ch1. Sc through both circles in each stitch up to 1st marker.
Row 2: Sc in stitch on front circle, sc in corresponding stitch on 2nd circle. Turn.
Row 3: Sc in last stitch made. Sc in next stitch. Sc in next stitch on bag. Turn.
Row 4: Sc in last stitch made. Sc in next 2 stitches. Sc in next stitch on bag. Turn.
Row 5: Sc in last stitch made. Sc in next 3 stitches. Sc in next stitch on bag. Turn.
Row 6: Sc in last stitch made. Sc in next 4 stitches. Sc in next stitch on bag. Turn.
Row 7: Sc in next 5 stitches. Sc in next stitch on bag. Turn.
Repeat row 7 until you reach marker at 10 o'clock position.
Row 8: Ch1 and sc in each stitch across. Turn.
Repeat Row 8 until handle is approximately 2" longer than arc of bag if you were to hold handle snug against bag to measure.
Row 9: At next marker (2 o'clock position) Sc in next stitch on bag, sc in each stitch across. Sc in next stitch on bag. Turn
Row 10: Sc in next 5 stitches, sc in next stitch on bag. Turn.
Repeat row 10 until you reach 5 stitches before next marker (4 o'clock position).
Row 11: Sc in next 2 stitches, sc 2 together, sc in next stitch, sc in next stitch on bag. Turn.
Row 12: Sc in next stitch, sc 2 together, sc in next stitch, sc in next stitch on bag. Turn.
Row 13: Sc in next stitch, sc 2 together, sc in next stitch on bag. Turn.
Row 14: Sc 2 together, sc in next stitch on bag. Turn.
Row 15: Sc in next stitch on bag on each side of bag.
Row 16: Through both sides, sc in next stitch on bag until you reach center bottom, close w/ sl stitch in 1st sc. Fasten off and weave in ends.
copyright 2008 Karla McCalmont.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Birthday fun

I recently celebrated my birthday and had lots of fun with family and friends. I have to tell you though that I received the best birthday cake ever from my son. He made this cake, with frosting and candles all by himself. He came out of his room and gave me the cake. We had so much fun eating it and eating it and eating it. Then the next day, it was so sweet, he came out of his room singing "Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you." and handed me the cake again. I wish I could have recorded it because it was so sweet and precious.

I also received some llama yarn from a local farm. I am excited to work with it, but I am not sure yet what I will make. The yarn is minimally processed, so it still has bits of hay in it. So I'll need to pick them out as I go.

I almost forgot- I also received some wonderful handmade crochet stitch markers from my niece. I haven't done much crocheting since my birthday, but I am excited to use them. I'll have to use them on projects I keep in my bedroom away from curious little hands though. Otherwise they'll pull them out to play with, and I won't know where they were marking.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Update on Infinite runner

I titled this post Infinite Runner, because it goes on and on and on... I started the Infinity Runner using size 30 thread for a couple of reasons. I have alot of thread in many different colors; I wanted the challenge and I thought the San Diego County Fair had a specific entry for work done in thread smaller than size 20. (Size 30 is smaller than 20. The higher the number, the tinier the thread.) The hardest part of working with tiny thread is that my left hand holding the thread cramps up because I have to hold it so tightly to get any tension. So while the pattern itself is easy to do, it is time consuming working at this small scale. Well the Premium Book for the Fair came out and that lot isn't listed this year. I had 3 motifs done before the Premium Book was released. It was hard to finish the last 2 motifs in the tiny thread. I can still enter it, just not in the separate lot for tiny delicate threadwork. I now have all 5 motifs done, and 2 of them are seamed together. The seaming takes quite a bit of work when I am working with such small thread and so many colors. I have lots of threads to weave in, and I don't have any smaller hooks or needles to use to help the work go faster.

Here are my motifs, 5 of them with 4 colors each. I was probably a bit too ordered and maybe should have been random in the color choices, but hopefully adding the borders will bring some of that flow back. They measure about 3 inches long by 2 inches high.

I haven't been posting as often because I have set goals of how far I want to get on a project before I post about it. I thought this would allow me to have more regular posts, but it seems like everything is getting finished about the same time. We'll see how this goes. Maybe I'll just have to save things for a bit later when I'm working on getting other projects ready for posting.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Thread work

So it's been awhile since I've done any thread work. This week I've started two thread projects- and even finished one of them. I made this doily "Hearts and Diamonds" by Cylinda Mathews as a bridal shower gift for a friend of mine, Dr. Cookie. Her shower is on Saturday. I started it on Monday and finished it, except for blocking, on Wednesday. I love the pattern, it was fast and easy. I made another one of Cylinda Mathews' designs for another friend as a wedding gift a couple of years ago, but this pattern was easier to find. If I do it again, I might add a couple of rounds of mesh in between the diamonds and the hearts so that I can do it in more than one color. This was made using size 10 cotton with a size 5 steel hook.

My other thread project is "Infinity Wrap" from Interweave Crochet Winter 07. It is supposed to be a huge wrap/throw, but I don't really need a big blanket/wrap out here. I do need a project for the fair, I have lots of thread, and would like to make a table runner/doily for us to keep. All the other ones keep getting given away as gifts. (All except for the first 2 that are so bad I don't want anybody to see.) I worked on this for about 3 hours last night. I am about 60 % done with the first motif. There are 5 motifs and then they are joined and rows are worked on either side of them. The other two colors I'll be using are natural, and garnet. This is being done in size 30 thread. I am using a super tiny size 11 hook that is much shorter than normal hooks. I have some other ideas, maybe a 2 color infinity runner with size 10 thread. I think I might do a motif with that and then decide which one to pursue first.

On another note, my blog now shows 2 counters, and my clustrmap shows over 1000 views! So exciting. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Very Versatile Vertical Striped Hat

I know I haven't posted a lot lately, but that is because I have been busy crocheting and writing up a pattern. One of my friends is testing it for me. I plan to submit it to a book the Crochet Liberation Front group on Ravelry is developing. Since we retain our own copyright on our patterns, I can show you a photo of it, and not keep it in super secret. I am also super excited about the new pattern store features on Ravelry that are being tested by others. Soon I will be able to host my patterns for free or sale on Ravelry, and you will be able to access them even if you don't have a Ravelry account.

OK back to the pattern, I made this using the leftover yarn from the spiral felted bag. Hence the Chocolate Raspberry Delight.

Then I tested the pattern in toddler size and had to come up with a new name, so Very Versatile Vertical Striped Hat it is, or VVV or (Ver)^3 for short.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Tag again

So my friend Lisa at tagged me for 7 random things. The rules are very similar to the 8 random things I got tagged for last October. This time it is post 7 random facts about yourself and then tag 7 others. The difference is this time, I know more people who have fiber blogs. Here are the official rules:

1. link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.

2. share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.

3. tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.

4. let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are my 7 factoids:

1) I just watched "No Reservations" last night. A very cute movie. The main character, a chef at a fancy restaurant, had one of Alton Brown's cookbooks on her shelf.

2) I had fun spotting lots of fun crocheted and knitted hats and scarves that the characters sported in that movie. Even some cute crocheted doll clothes.

3) I'll probably get interrupted 15 times writing this post. Changing diapers, dealing with toy teasing, nappers not staying in bed during naptime, fun stuff.

4) I went to a delightful tea party on Saturday that my sister-in-law had. She made delicious scones, pumpkin bread, and hot cereal. Afterwards we went to a yarn shop and I got some fun yarn to make a bag, plus some for a top for myself.

5) The yarn I bought was all in hanks, and I needed to wind it into a ball myself, we couldn't stay and use the one at the shop. The first hank, 90 meters, took 3 h or so because I didn't put it around my knees or a chair or anything. I thought I could just be careful. It got knotted up pretty quickly.

6) Last night I did about 1500 yards in 3 hours while watching the movie. It sure does go faster when it doesn't get all tangled up.

7) I haven't been posting too much recently because I've been busy typing up and formatting some of my patterns. I'm super excited about the new pattern features coming out on Ravelry, and hope to have some of my patterns available there soon. You'll see some of my designs in an upcoming post.

The people I have tagged are: Pam, UmmeYusuf, Lana, MinglingYarn, HobbyZu

I know it's not 7 yet, but if I don't post it now, I doubt it will ever get posted. =)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New look

I was having a bit of trouble recently with my blog. Like none of the posts would show up at all. However, changing the template allowed my blog to magically reappear, so we'll see how this goes. My counter may have been lost, though. It was so close to 1000 too. Oh well.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


For Valentine's Day I thought I would share with you some recently acquired treasures which were made by my Great-Grandmothers. These items were made with love for their daughters. The first is a beautiful guest towel and washcloth that my Grandma received as a wedding gift 62 years ago. She told me she doesn't think she ever used it, but often had it out. I just think it is a clever and creative way to put the towel and washcloth together. I'm also curious about how the edging was done. Did she just force her steel hook through the bottom of the towel and cloth or did she use a needle somehow?

The second was made by my other Great-Grandma, whose crochet thread I now have, for my Great-Aunt. It's a little potholder, with the same pattern on both sides, seamed together with the white picot edging. Inside is a pad of cotton flannel. It has been used with love to serve many meals.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Circular Labyrinth

I've finally started making some progress on the circular labyrinth. I've wanted to work on it since I first did the square labyrinth last summer. I didn't see any patterns that matched what I wanted to do, and I knew it would take some time, so I set it aside until after Christmas. This is actually the second one I've started, as I didn't like how the first one was turning out. Some of the rows I have done several times because I get distracted and miss a color change, and don't notice until 2 rounds later.... I've completed about half of the circuits. The nice thing about this circular labyrinth as opposed to the square one, is that there are far fewer color changes- so the yarns don't get as tangled. A lot of my time on the square one was spent untangling the yarns so that I could continue stitching.
I think I'll make at least two more versions of this before I'm satisfied, because as I am going along, I keep coming up with ideas to make it better. Ultimately I want to convert this into a hat. It won't be hard to do, I just need to finish making it flat first.

Monday, February 4, 2008

even more hats

So I've been busy making a few more hats and even got them sent off to MN. I really like the plain simple dc beanie. It goes so fast. I also made an adult size spiral hat. I made them for my brother and sister-in-law as a thank you for letting us stay with them while we were in MN. Since they have received the hats now, I can post about them.

The blue one is for a former neighbor who is expecting a baby boy this spring.

I've also been working on a circular labyrinth. no pattern, just following a sketch of one. It is taking me awhile, and sometimes have to rip out a couple rounds when I discover an error. I'll talk more about this and show a photo in a later post.

I'd have more to show, but I've been spending too much time on Ravelry lately.

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Shrug and an Ugh!

I started this shrug for my friend Rebecca last fall. I bought the yarn at an overstock sale at a yarn store in MN (the new owners were clearing out lots of odd balls of yarn.) There was enough to make something, but what..... I found a stitch pattern in my Crochet Stitch Bible by Barnden. I used 1 ball each for the scallops, and 1 ball each for the honeycomb mesh. I was just over halfway done after about 2 weeks. I didn't bring it with me to MN, but started working on it again after returning in January. I even tried blocking it (that sort of worked). It was sort of neat to see in Lily Chin's Couture Crochet Workshop, which I received over Christmas, a dress and shawl with scallops out of a very similar peach color.

And now the Ugh!!! I started this project last summer. Ruthie Marks had a welcome mat out of twine in her Geometrics book. I bought some sisal rope from a big box home improvement store, and a giant hook (P) from my craft store. I kept the rope and project outside on our patio. I could only work about 2 rows a day because it would tear up my fingers and also hurt my forearms because it was so stiff. I finally got the mesh done, and even a few rounds of the dragon curves. Then the wildfires came, and deposited lots of ash and soot and particulates all over the patio and my rug. Yuk! Now the rain has come, and this is what it looks like now. It is sitting on top of the spool of rope so maybe I just need to cut it and try again???

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My first felted bag

Well I finally finished my first felted bag. Ta da? It turned out nice, but I've learned a few things for next time.
1) My machine doesn't let me peek in at anything once it has started. For some reason I thought I had been able to in the past, but alas, I cannot. What does this mean? It felted a bit more than I wanted it to, and the opening is a bit narrower than I had hoped.

2) Crochet stitches shrink more in height than they do in width. This means that the proportions of the bag are a little off. I thought that I had read somewhere (must have been wrong) that the stitches felt more widthwise than lengthwise, so I made the bag with that in mind.

Here is the pre-felting photo.

Here is the post-felting shot.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Winter hats

I made several hats this winter. First was the "Strawberry Frozen Yogurt" hat & mittens for #2 Here is the finished set alone. Made out of alpaca from the Alpaca Yarn Co., exactly 1 skein each color. I also made "Cookies & Cream" hat & mittens for myself. I used the Fibonacci sequence for the stripes, from the center 8-5-3-2-1-1. The hat was made with alpaca and misti alpaca. I bought the yarn this summer. I started it this fall using front post double crochet stitches, which make it look nice, but eat up way too much yarn. So I had to frog it and start all over again using just plain dc after I got to MN. I then bought the yarn (Araucania Nature Wool) for the mittens when I got there. I thought that the browns matched a little better than they do, but I guess they are close enough. I just worked a few rounds at a time, and tried the mittens on. I worked from both ends of the skein so that I wouldn't forget what I did with from one mitten to the other. They worked pretty well, except when it was windy. A single crochet stitch would have probably been better.

Here's the hat/scarf I designed for my mom. I used Jo Sharp Cashmere, silk, wool blend for the light purple and Cascade 220 wool for the dark purple.

I also made the following hat for my dad out of Tivoli's Aran Luxury Tweed that my sister-in-law brought back from Ireland.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Felted Placemats

For my first attempt at felting, I thought I'd try something simple. Placemats are rectangles, and it doesn't matter how big they are exactly. Above are the prefelted shots, below are the pics post felting. They were 120 stitches wide, and done with dc Rows are made up of stripes of 3,6,3,6,4,1,4,6,3,6,3. I used the same colors, just rotated them through between the two placemats. They felted more along their height and less along their width, so that they are a little wider than normal, but still functional. The edges ruffled a bit. I suppose I could have placed something heavy on them to prevent this. But they are super soft. I used Patons Classic Wool Merino, 5 skeins.

Monday, January 7, 2008


We had a mini-dishcloth swap in our meetup group last fall. Here is the awsome cloth that my swap partner Jennifer made for me. I love the tumbling blocks design, and it is so soft. The photo doesn't do it justice.
My grandma gave me lots of her stash of yarn from her plastic needlepoint canvas projects. I will use a good portion of it for squares for the Wildfire Blanket project. She also got a lot of crochet thread from a friend, so now I have lots of beautiful thread complementing the other threads in my stash. I better start working on more tiny projects. Just waiting for it to arrive. There was too much yarn & thread to bring back on the plane with us. So when it gets here, it will almost be like Christmas all over.
I have also received the new Interweave Crochet magazine for winter. I'm looking forward to making some of the items in there. I also got Lily Chin's Couture Crochet Workshop, and am excited to attempt some of the patterns in there, as well as use her ideas to adapt patterns to fit myself. One of her ideas about turning chains at the end of the row, is similar to something that I came up with on my own when I worked on my dischcloth. I use one less chain than recommended for a typical turning chain/1st stitch of row, and then make the correct stitch in the first stitch of the row. She says to just make an elongated chain st, to bring it up to height, and then do the correct first stitch in the row. This eliminates the gap and frustration of trying to work into a chain on the next row. Of course this will mean a trip to the yarn store.....

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Some of what I have been working on

I promised to share some of the items I made for Christmas gifts. I have most of the photos on the computer now. (Some still need to be uploaded, some gifts still need to be made.) I made lots of washcloths, a scarf, 2 hats, a wine bottle bag, a market bag, a FBB, 2 placemats for felting and tiny flower pins as Christmas gifts. I also made 4 baby hats, a hat and mittens for myself, 2 pairs of mittens for the kids, and a Hat/scarf combo for my mom. Most of the washcloths were out of mercerized cotton, some were just out of plain cotton. I made several Ms, a couple of Zs, an L and a P. The P didn't turn out quite as I had hoped, but the others looked pretty good. I also made several hearts and one bell washcloth.
These are the pins I've worked so long on. Made from thread that belonged to my Great-Grandma and my Great Aunt.

Here is one of the placemats pre-felting. You'll need to stop by later to see the photos of the felted project.
I still have all of my Christmas cards to mail out- the only ones that have been delivered are those that were hand delivered, so it may be a while before I get back to regular posts.