Monday, March 27, 2006


I tried a Craftster swap again. I've been a little wary since my last experience. The thing about swaps is that if one person puts their whole soul into the project, and the other person doesn't, it ends up being a really slimy memory..but hey! For gnomes, I will give it a another try. Today is the send-off date and here's what I made:

It's a Jordy bag, made from this genius tutorial: I used some kind of stiff denim for the outside, and some vintage cotton from my local antique store for the inside.

Then the gnome: Found on Google, I admit it. I am not so confident in my crafty skills to think I can create a decent gnome. Maybe if I was more artistic in the painting kind of way. And I can't help thinking that all the crocheted and knitted gnomes out there would be disappointing to someone who, like me, holds the gnome from Amelie to be the pinnacle of gnomehood.

So I did an iron-on transfer onto yellow felt and patched him on there. I freehanded the crocheted mushroom, and used my favorite yarn, that green Lamb's Pride, to do the grass in a lazy daisy stitch.

I made a little keychain, too, because my swap partner specifically requested one. The strain of turning the felt inside out is starting to make the transfer flake already, though. I feel bad I couldn't do something more permanent.

All in all, I'm very pleased with it, and I hope my partner is too.

Oh, and check this out: nifty Japanese knitting and crochet patterns with charts.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


I'm on spring break now, so I can put up a few things...first off, though, I'd like to apologize to all the crocheters who had trouble with my Fluffy Bunny Slippers pattern in the Happy Hooker book. If there's one thing I'm bad at, it's math, but I should have checked it five times to make sure it was absolutely correct. I'm sorry.

Here's the Frivol hat I knitted. The pattern is brilliant! It's all done sideways, and you use short rows to make the top. I find that most new knitting techniques I learn are unintentional. I learned short rows by jumping in to a project. I don't usually say to myself, "Today I am jolly well going to knit cables," or anything. It's less scary this way. I used acrylic yarn for this one, since I wasn't sure how I'd do on it, and size 9 needles. Genius pattern. It makes my budding inner knitting snob cackle with glee over the clever design.

Short rows on top:

Here's a few animals I made, too. I was a little burnt out on the knitting. Happily, I know a two-year-old who will love them. I used a felted wool sweater and this Japanese pattern for the dog, which I found on Craftster.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Stuff for trade!

I've given up on that sweater idea. It seems like the more involved I get in preparing for a project, the less likely I am to actually do it. DK weight yarn will never be a sweater for me. I'm not sure if I want to store it away against a day years from now when I may have more patience, or sell it, or trade it. Does anyone want it? 10x50 gram balls are exactly what's in there, I think, the original packaging was opened by me but not used.
I'm also ready to trade my Loopdloop Teva Durham book, Scarf Style, and Knit and Crochet with Beads by Lily Chin.

I desperately want that Interweave Knitscene magazine!!! Does anyone have it who wants to trade me something? I NEED it! I need to make those red socks and the slippers!

I'm currently working half-heartedly on this pattern:

I'm using Andes mint colors, and I'm pleased with the results, although it's slow going because the pattern is so repetitive.

I'm also making a tie-front shrug from Knit1 magazine out of my gift Homespun. It wanted ribbon yarn, but heck, it's the right gauge, all in garter stitch, and all the pieces are rectangles's like pudding. The Pudding Shrug.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Free Crochet Patterns! Lots!

Look look everyone, Go here!

Free Crochet Patterns for Toys

I figured out what I'm going to do for my sexy sweater. I'm going to use this Bernat free pattern:

However, I'm only using it for the shape. It will have no fluffy collar or anything. Then I'll add belt loops and a sash sort of thing to go through them at the bottom. Mmmmm, pretty. I wish the neckline was lower. I'll have to see if I can do that.

Yarn for a sexy sweater

It was one of those moments you dream about. My dad came home from work and said, "I've got a bunch of yarn here my coworker wants you to have!" There are three skeins of nice Homespun, some seafoam baby yarn (bleagh), some hot pink Plush, and THIS:

The color name is Vellum. You can tell just by looking at it that it's high quality stuff, and I have got to find the sexiest sweater in the world to do it justice. If anyone has any suggestions as to which sweater that might be, please tell me!!! If you don't, my homework will probably be brushed aside merrily until I find the pattern myself.

I finished my scratchy wool breakup scarf. It is a beautiful scratchy scarf. I used the raspberry stitch which is sort of like a bobble stitch but nowhere near as difficult, on size 13 needles. It didn't come out too long, but it's lovely and I'm going to do my best to wear it. Ever since all the arguing started I've been CRAVING something like this to knit. I can't think of a healthier alternative to violence and drunkenness in the aftermath of breakups. I love knitting.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

the art of the commonplace

I have pictures of stuff for you.

First of all, the Corset Belt from the new Happy Hooker SnB book: I used some incredibly stiff and nasty vintage acrylic yarn I had lying around. I should have used Lamb's Pride, because the ruffle is too stiff and it looks like a skirt. Lovely pattern, though. It took me about three hours to make.

Here's a cabled hat I threw together on impulse. I've gotten so many compliments on it! I used a US 11 circular needle and wool yarn from Muench. I based the pattern on a basic hat pattern from somewhere and a Cable Rib pattern from my Better Homes and Gardens Needlecraft book. Crazy Aunt Purl's hat recipe came in handy for the mysterious decreases, too.

I got this next idea from
It's a simple circle of ribbing done of double-pointed needles in Sugar and Cream cotton, Lamb's Pride, and random acrylic. I cut off an uncomfortable watchband and sewed the clock to the ribbing-very comfy!

Here we come to the villain of our piece. Remember my Amelie sweater from Well. I got gauge. I swear I did. However, when I unpinned it from blocking, it was so small it won't even fit over my arms. I am befoozled. Shoe for scale. Too bad the colors are too sober for a three-year-old....

Here's a happy item: I made this for my Etsy shop. I call it the Lotus scarflet. I copied the flower design from my bedspread pattern. I used Berocco Softwist in Ginger, US 10 needles, and seed stitch to make the scarflet. The flower pin is made of felt, embroidery floss and sequins.

Last of all is my next project: handspun wool yarn in greens and blues that I got at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival last September. I've been saving it for a special occasion, and since my three-year relationship just ended in horribleness, I think a lovely repetitive scarf in this yarn is in order.

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