Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday FO Favorite....

I just finished crocheting a very clever design called Tuck Away Tote by Ruth Shepherd.  I ADORE this pattern!! It begins as a standard fish net tote attached to a simple crocheted medallion. Add a matching medallion at the end to form a pocket and it becomes the clever self-encased ready-to-use, take anywhere tote. The only thing lacking in my otherwise finished version is a little button for keeping the encased bag neat & contained. 
Loving bright colors as I do, I have GOT to make some of these in some bright cotton yarn. But for this one I was using up stash yarn. And while it is pretty in it's simple ecru, I can just see bunches of these done up in every color of the rainbow. 

This is a perfect project to make & use in the upcoming hot summer months. It would make a great beach or pool bag or use it for bringing home all of those wonderful fresh veggies & fruits from your local produce stand. 
Kind of looks like a squid here

Not really an FO, but's another super clever design. This one is called Pocket Spirit Doll, (Poseable version) by Beth Webber . You can find her amazing blog here.

This doll is very small but has so much movement and detail, (something that is generally hard to achievewith crochet & knitted dolls). Beth cleverly uses a post & washer eye in the head and neck to create a head that swivels. This really works.There are other joints at the major bendable areas of the doll but obviously I haven't gotten there yet.

I am loving the engineering of this doll and the scale as I am using sport weight yarn and an E/3.5 mm crochet hook. Frankly I really like the textural look of tightly crochetd dolls and amigurumi but using the smaller yarn seems to add more detail & smooth the surface while maintaining the look that I love. 

Getting ready to add lower leg and knee joints.

There are many other FO hopefuls in my project bags including my poor Spud, who only lacks having his feet sewn on and his tail & bow tie completed. Really MUST get him done, he is SO cute!

Please take the time to thank a Veteran this weekend and remember those who have lost their lives protecting our freedom!! Have a safe, happy Memorial Day and.....

TGIF y'all!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

I miss this...

Thread on wooden spools! Yes, I suppose they are more expensive to make, than the plastic ones of today. But unlike the spools of today, we always kept our empty wooden spools, ALWAYS! We would put them to good use as bases for doll furniture or strung together with yarn to make fanciful necklaces or even doll limbs. Whatever the intended use of the empty wooden spool they were saved with the expectant potential of being re-made into something wonderful and fun.
vintage thread
And while I'm on a retro subject, here's a finished object that I started yesterday. He's a crochet variation on the retro sock monkey theme. There are a LOT of sock monkey inspired patterns out there and I love them all but this one is by Linda Cyr & can be found here.
sock monkey 2
TGIF y'all!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bok, Bok....

Another toy from precious hand spun yarn completed. I am calling this one "Prissy", because she IS prissy. The yarn came from an online friend, the very talented Kat, aka atwhittzend on Ravelry. Most of the yarn was used for a scarf I knitted back in December that I called "Miss Kat" after the fiber artist. This was an excellent way to use up leftovers, rather than letting it languish in a drawer.

hen party 4
Oh and my "Spud", (from Spud & Chloe on the Farm by Susan B Anderson), is almost done! He just needs his legs & bow tie. I love him.
Spud 1

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What I was GOING to say was....

So many of us had a glitch with our "last" post a few days ago, before Google folks did some work on the system. Well mine is back and here it is...

My friend Jennifer at Desert Garden Farms surprised me with an extraordinarily generous gift of SIX skeins of hand spun yarn!! WOW, I feel so luxurious & artsy & pampered!! Most of my knitting & crocheting is done with manufactured yarns, which I love but still the look and feel of hand spun is a special treat of undeniable richness. Add to that the fact that some of the “ingredients” in the yarn are from her very own wool/fiber bearing animals and I don’t feel worthy.

Like so many people, I am a saver. Always putting nicer things away for a special occasion. Rarely do I use the fine china, silver or even my finer yarn. I’m going to need to get over that and give myself permission to start using my hand spun. I tried to take that plunge last week by using some chocolate colored Desert Garden hand spun for my Spud stuffed animal but it was too thick. So close, I almost made it and was rather pleased that I was going to use the yarn for a toy, no less.

So for now I will pile my skeins up, jealously guarding them like a miser with his gold. They are pretty to look at, just as they are.

Addendum to the story is that I have in fact permitted myself to knit a toy in handspun as evidenced by my previous post.

So here's what I made for the Desert Garden children, as a thank you for my wonderful yarn;

"Fairy Doll" by Ana Paula Rimoli from Crochet Today! Magazine, May/June 2011
"Mini Cthulu (and Mini Kappa)" by Cherene Reyes, Ravelry pattern store. Well written pattern and so affordable!!You get TWO patterns for under $3!!
bunny closeup
"Garden Pals" (bunny) by Tamie Snow from Crochet Today! Magazine, May/June 2009
"Little Baby Monkey" by ME, (although I heavily improvised it in order to make it small enough to fit in a toddlers dress pocket), from Crochet Animals Big and Small, Redheart publication J27-0025

I really enjoyed making these toys. All of the designs were simple, easy to follow & quick. I love that.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Washable Ewe yarn...

Hurray! The Stitch Nation Washable Ewe yarn by Debbie Stoller is officially out! I've been waiting for this day!!
Y'all,this yarn is fantastic. The colors are so beautiful and like the other Stitch Nation yarns, they all look good together in some combination or other. I just love them ALL!! In addition, the yarn is very soft and is such a pleasure to work with.

One of my projects in Washable Ewe is this stuffed animal called "Nummy Bunny", done in Icing, Peony & Duckling, which can be found as a free pattern on the RedHeart website.
I have several other items I am working on in this yarn that I can not talk about at the moment. Except to mention again how much I love this new yarn. It's gorgeous, soft, comes in a wonderful array of colors, is washable and last, but not least, it is so affordable. Can anyone argue with that, these days? How awesome would a granny square bedspread be in this yarn? SUPER awesome!!

Oh and while I'm on the subject of things that are fun, look at this adorable no-knit, no sew project from the Red Heart team. I think this is just the thing for young teens and tweens. So cute!! This would be a perfect, affordable craft for summer camp, Girl Scouts, Bible school, birthday spend-the-night activity and so on. Y'all, I used to have a career that entailed doing arts & crafts with children and THIS activity really speaks to me, on both a cute AND affordable level.

A happy, yummy Sunday...

er, or rather Sundae.
another angle
I allowed myself to knit a toy out of my precious Desert Garden hand spun that I have been hoarding for so many months.I named the yarn Hot Fudge Sundae when I first saw it because it is rich & sweet & chocolatey and oh so decadent. The fiber content is lincoln , yak,silk,llama, camel & a bit of sparkleTalk about luxury, WOW! See why I was happy to hoard it for a while?
extreme closeup
This little bunny knitted up so quickly and surprisingly looks so realistic because of the awesome yarn.
guests for tea
Of course my nosy cat had to get in on the action or rather had to authorize the photo shoot, as it were.

OK, so this was a huge move for me to give myself permission to knit a toy from fancy hand spun yarn. However, this may be the beginning of a full blown addiction. Good thing I have a lot of art yarn on hand, thanks to my hand spinning buddy.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A joyful surprise....

Jeremiah was a bullfrog..

...was a good friend of mine...

Drink the Wine
...I never understood a single word he said but I helped him drink his wine..

...Joy to the world, all the boys & girls, joy to the fishes...

deep blue sea the deep blue sea...

this n that

SL385504 YOU and ME!

Thank you Jennifer of Desert Garden Farms, for all of this wonderful, fluffy, lovely Three Dog Night inspired hand spun!! What a fantastic surprise!!

TGIF y'all!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Come with me, I want to show you something...

A shower caddy, sold in bath stores, for use particularly in dorm or travel situations. When not in use the caddy can be flattened and held flat with an elastic strap. Take the strap off and it pops up. So what, right?

I use these for project bags. It can be worn on your wrist for on-the-go crocheting or knitting, (haven’t we all done this at one time or other, oftentimes holding the skein under the arm as you walk)?
 It also corrals those pesky yarn balls, that otherwise would be rolling haphazardly all over the floor as you work from them.

Confidentially, I have never used my shower caddy for it's intended purpose. Even if I wanted to, it's always full of yarn.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Well almost anyway. I just need to weave the 50 gazillion ends.
And speaking of granny's, I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's day!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Warm & toasty beach glass...

So how can glass be warm & toasty? When it is a granny stripe blanket in all my favorite beach glass colors. I'm making this large enough to fit our queen-sized bed. It will be a nice coverlet for the summer months. Hopefully it will get finished this year. We'll see.
beach glass

And while I'm "on the beach" I should mention my "Miami Beach Throw". It is so thick and heavy that it is getting hard to work on due to the warm weather we are having. I really need to turn down the air and get it done, it's so close.

Spud update:  His head is completed and I am on my 2nd round of twisted loop stitch on his body. It is slow going but SO worth it!! What a cute, perfect stitch for a chubby, woolly sheep. I love him!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A time to sow sew...

Yes, for everything there is a season and for my granny square afghan it is time to connect the squares. I got a good start last evening. In fact I am halfway through. The finished piece will be 7 squares tall by 8 rows. I've done 4. Of course then there will be the fifty-eleven loose ends and the edging but still there IS light at the end of the tunnel.
sewing it up

On the Spud KAL progress, I was unable to use my most fantastic Desert Garden handspun for Spud's coat because it was too thick for the twisted loop technique. So I am using what the pattern originally calls for, which is Spud & Chloe Sweater in Ice Cream and it is perfect and how it should be. I love the twisted loop technique, it is so cool and perfect for woolly sheep coats. Susan Anderson, the designer has created a wonderful tutorial on this technique, which was SO helpful in making the stitch.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Conquering fears....

When I was in high school I read a very popular novel called the Exorcist. It scared the stew out of me! So much so that I had to sleep with a light on for WEEKS, (not that an evil spirit is scared of a little ol' light but still). Then the movie came out and I just HAD to see it. I was not disappointed. It was scary beyond my wldest imagination. Again, the lights were left on to chase away evil spirits and lurking shadows. I am still scared of that movie & novel even today.

Well now I have found a cure for the heebie jeebies in the form of crochet artwork by Croshame. In my quest to cleanse my mind once and for all from this scariest of scary I am about to begin desensitization therapy. Check it out...I am going to get one of these prints & hang it in my craft room. I LOVE the use of crochet to depict gory, terrifying situations. It's just a funny dichotomy to me. This definitely ain't granny's antimacassars & toilet roll covers.

Speaking of all things granny, its time to stitch! I completed all of the squares last night. Will post pictures soon.

And here's the beginnings of a KAL I am participating in on Ravelry. I'm knitting his wool out of Desert Garden hand spun. YUM-MEE!