Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sewing a Liner


I don't own a sewing machine.  Perhaps I should; however, it is a much more costly investment if one isn't handed down to you.  I remember some things from my youth when my mother, grandmother and godmother used to sew so I'm not completely out of the loop (ha ha crochet pun).  I think it is a patience thing, although that is really no excuse.  I can spend hours crocheting the smallest thread yarn and yet the thought of weaving a needle back and forth through fabric is daunting to me.  I decided to conquer this.

Now my husband is supposed to be doing this but I'm going to beat him to the punch.  He did buy the ball point pins I wanted and I already had needles and thread.  My husband cut out the fabric a bit larger than the bag piece.  I shaped it and pinned it down the way I wanted it to go and now it is time to sew it.

What kind of stitch is good for sewing a liner?  I'm hand sewing so this is a very relevant question.  I know how to knot and thread a needle.  My grandmother had me doing it all the time although I swear her eyesight was better than mine.  I can even sew a button courtesy of one of my professors in college.

Long story short, I'm at a lost.  So I google it.  Success at!

This tutorial made it so easy I feel silly for even feeling hesitant about doing it.  Now my attempt isn't perfect, per se; however, it has given me the best results I've ever had with lining bags.

This is the finished lining.  I'm very happy with these results.   Although it is hard to tell by the photos the liner is a rich dark green.  The bottom pics are closer to true color.  I am very pleased.  I will post the finished bag later.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Crochet Flower Headbands


I am presently making some really cute baby crochet flower headbands along with all my other projects.  The pink baby headbands I created from HERE back in June sold at the Crafty Feast on July 4th.  The buyers were so pleased I decided to make some more in different colors.  I have them for sale in my artfire store.

Here they are being modeled by my youngest.  She has so much hair.  This is the headband in warm yellow and cream.  I will make a few in pink also and I guess any other color I get the notion to.

I'm still trying to figure out the lining for the bag...

WIP - Fat Bottom Bag


A trip to Michael's yesterday proved successful.  I left with two skeins of impeccable worsted weight yarn in earth umber.  I'm not usually too fond of gradated yarn unless I'm making washcloths and such but these were pretty earth tones at a great sale price.

Ok so I have this yarn.  Now what was I going to make with it?  I run into this conundrum every time I get yarn without a specific task. I still have some chunky wool from earlier this year in what to me at the time was a beautiful green.  I'm not big on it now...when in doubt, make winter hats.  Anyway, I went home and picked up The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller.  I hadn't made a fat bottom bag in a while so that seemed like a good project to spend the evening pursuing.

This is what I have so far.  I am debating on how to do the handles.  I do not have any bamboo handles like I did for the last two so I will have to improvise on the pattern (yay!).  This is also a lot bigger than the written pattern in the book.  I increased the starting stitch by four and used a bigger hook.  I do not sew very well so I am debating on whether to put in a liner.  Now would be the time to do it.  I have a lot of fabric for someone who doesn't sew :-).  For whatever reason the dark brown/black portions look green in the camera phone photo.  I'll take it with a better camera later. 

How am I going to do those handles?  A quick google search has yielded a possibility.  It took a whole skein to make what I have so far, 192 yards.  If I do it similar to the google link, I would have enough yarn left over to make a matching wallet purselet.  I would change the approach just slightly and work both sides simultaneously and joining at the middle.  Actually I wonder what the outcome would be if I drew in the sides first then continued with the strap portion.  My hubby can sew so I may put him to work on the liner and possibly put a zipper on this.  I like it...

 This is the very first fat bottom bag I ever completed.  I was very pleased with this and it is presently for sale in my artfire store.  I did another one in black yarn with black bamboo handles and a yellow sunflower as a present for my mother-in-law (who loved it).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Projects


I heard a few rumbles today but no rain!  I took advantage of the sun while I could and took a few pictures of my projects.

First up...the blanket.  I decided to change the hook on the afghan from 3.75 to 5 mm.  It may have been premature as there is now an actual ripple to the afghan and it won't lay flat anymore.

I am debating whether to keep this or FROG it and follow up with a 4.25 mm hook instead.  To give an idea to the size of it so far, the drum is 12 inches high and about eight inches in diameter across the top.

I completed this beautiful periwinkle/country blue swirls slouch cap.  I am looking forward to the cooler weather to start wearing these hats.  I got compliments everywhere I went last year.  This one is for sale in my artfire store.  I have these now in a variety of colors. 

I experimented with a basic single crochet hat to come up with this beanie below.  I changed the stitch and added a brim and have placed the pattern for sale in my artfire store.  I am still a newbie at writing patterns; however, this one won't cause any headaches :-).

I've been working on some little things.  Some keychains and crochet flowers from this post

The pretty blue yarn left over from the swirls hat made a cute little keychain purse.  I used this as an opportunity to review complementary colors with the kiddies.  I have the biggest collection of crochet keychain items you'd ever see...the ultimate go to projects.  Also you never know when an event will come up.  I like having a lot of small things.

That's all for now! 

Stormy Weather


There is nothing that makes me more wary than the low rumble of thunder and the crack of lightning.  Every time I hear it I can hear my mother telling me when I was a child, "Be quiet now, the Lord's talking."  And my young mind understood that the Lord didn't appreciate it when you interrupted him.  I'd sit still and quiet until the last rumble faded out of earshot.  I chuckle at the memory...I have it every time it storms. I grew out of that fear and into an understanding that nature will do what it does regardless of your fears or beliefs as it has done for millenia.  The beauty of it fascinates me now.  Nature is really something.

The past two days have been filled with the most tumultuous thunderstorms I've ever seen in the area and I've been here nearly ten years.  Angry black storm clouds turned the sunny afternoon to an ominous gray.  The lightning sliced through the air in jagged brightness.  Several homes and businesses were struck and burned to the ground.  I actually had to drive in it on Monday.  The rain started falling where I was around 4:45...I decided that was a good time to cut out of there and go home.  Apparently I wasn't the only one because I caught crazy traffic on the quickest way to get home.  So it's dark.  The wind was blowing so hard it shook the car and trees bent almost into the road.  The rain was falling sideways in pounding sheets.  The windshield wipers became useless play things in the driving rain.  I had no choice but to pull over at a store's parking lot and wait it out.  Then the pinging began.  Hail.  I sat there for about 15 minutes and soon realized that this storm system wasn't going to abate.  When a slight lull came I ventured back out.  Five minutes later the rain stopped as abruptly as it began and I continued home unhindered.  It struck my area later that night; however, I would much rather be home than driving in it.  Tuesday wasn't as bad.  I made it home before the rain hit but the lightning and clouds gave a fantastic showing over Lake Murray

That being said I wasn't able to take great pictures of my finished projects the past few days.  I've come quite a ways on the blanket also.  I have since switched to a 5mm hook.  I've finished a brimmed crochet beanie and have completed the pattern for it which will be for sale in my artfire store soon.  I've done a periwinkle/country blue  swirls slouch cap which is very lovely that will also be for sale soon.

The remainder of my projects are WIP or small things like keychain purses and other quick projects.  I read a news report that said to expect more severe weather this afternoon.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Crochet Baby Blanket/Afghan


I call this my "project between projects."  I don't do a lot of baby items usually.  Some time ago I bought this big ball of super soft sport weight baby yarn.  I had an idea for a baby gift basket that never quite made it into fruition.  Well I did have a goal to do a blanket for some time; however, most blankets are rectangle shaped.  Boring.  There's only but so many colors you can stick on a rectangle to keep it interesting in my opinion (although in the future I will challenge this).  Then I came across this pattern: the 9-pointed star round ripple pattern for an afghan.  Well this changes things.  It was begging to be made so I have started it.  It will make a great blanket for a boy or a girl...whenever I get done with it.  I'll post the updates periodically.  For once I am sticking to a pattern...a rare thing likely to never be seen again.

This is about seven rows into it.  It works up really quick and easy but I am taking my time with it.  I'm working it with a smaller hook (3.75) and it will have a lot of drape to it once it is finished since the yarn is so lightweight.  Like I said, it is my "project between projects." I am working on several other projects such as hats and scarves for the kiddies for winter and rasta tams.  I am even going to do another tote.  Once this afghan is finished I am going to work on tapestry crochet and knooking as my "in between" ventures.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Visor Hat and Crochet Earrings


I completed this hat last night.  I wasn't sure how the colors would turn out on the hat; however, it came out pretty nicely.  I was debating on whether to make it a drawstring hat.  I still have a bit of the warm yellow left over so I will probably make a striped version of this with a drawstring later this week.

This is presently on sale in my artfire store!

I posted these crochet earrings when I was preparing for the Crafty Feast.  They are a beautiful set and finally gave me a use for the beautiful crochet thread that I had sitting around.  These are now for sale in my artfire store also.  I am definitely going to do a pair in pink.  My niece commandeered a similar pair in pink that had swarovski crystals dangling in the middle...they were really beautiful.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Earth Toned Slouch Cap - Complete


I completed this Sunday and it is now for sale on my new artfire store!  Ironically enough as often as I frequent artfire, I had yet to set up an account until now.  It is by far one of the easiest sites to set up and get started with.Anywho, I am working on building the artfire store and will make that my primary site for listing my items.I really like how this hat came out and will be making some similar ones.  I want to try other color combinations also.  These pictures came out much better with my fuji camera. I completed this warm yellow soft swirls slouch cap Sunday also.  It is for sale in my artfire shop.

I've done this hat in a number of colors and this (in my opinion) is one of the prettiest results.  It's light and summery and yet warm enough for the fall...the all around choice for nearly year-round wear.  Last year I wore out my autumn red version and got compliments everywhere I went. 

 A tribute to my alma mater, Columbia College....tiny koalas!

  The Crafty Feast was coming up and I had finished everything except the face of a little koala I had made. I bought my yarn and such to work on it during the event but guess what? A little girl scooped it up and bought it before I had the chance. She absolutely adored it just as it was and I've been making them that way ever since.  It is in a few of the pictures from this post.  They are adorable and addictive.  If I don't watch it I am going to be overrun with mini koalas...the kids don't seem to mind though.

Well until next time :-).

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What I've Been Up To...


I've been really busy this past week working on hats!  I am going to follow up with the store to see how the swirl hats and earrings are doing.  Based on the Crafty Feast I know there is a local market for the swirl slouch hats so I made a few more.  I have four now and presently working on number five.  The autumn red and soft grey sold at the Feast so I made more of those as well as brown and a beautiful color that's like a brown heather.  My next one is going to be a soft yellow.

I've also been working on rasta tams.  The tan and red one has a draw string with cowrie shells on the end.  It took soe doing but I also crocheted a map of Africa into the back.  It is my favorite for the moment and I will likely keep it for myself.  I have enough yarn to make another probably won't have the map though.  I'll just do stripes.

This is my Jamaica tam hat.  I crocheted the map of Jamaica into the back.  The green kind of disappears in the map but it is there (forgive me for the camera phone images).

This is a rasta tam hat I completed.

This is a rasta swirls hat I completed.

I'm working on color combinations for the rasta tams.

Eventually these will make their way to my online store but presently I would like to work on selling in local venues.

Friday, July 16, 2010

New Venues!


Yesterday I took the fam to a local shopping area in Columbia, 5 Points.  There are a bunch of eclectic stores down there.  I was saddened to find out that one of my favorite spots to hang out when I was in college, Adriana's had closed some time ago.  They had the best gelato you would ever find and an ambiance that was great for my burgeoning creative mind at the time.  I have a sketch book filled with a gazillion sketches from that place.  It's a clothing store now :-(.  Anywho, I visited some old favorites like Loose Lucy's and dropped in on a store called Sid and Nancy.  One of my coworkers used to work there too.  I had bought some examples of my work.  They do consignments and they decided to carry my soft swirl hats and to try out my crochet soft elegance earrings.  She wasn't sure she had a market for my other items; however, she suggested we try Natural Vibrations, another store in 5 points.  So we did.  The owner was blown away and asked that we come back in so his partner could see the work and they could decide how they would do the consignment.  So far so good.  I'm just happy for the opportunity and it is encouragement to continue.

Monday, July 12, 2010



As promised here are some pictures from the Crafty Feast Freedom Festival:

There were five of us sharing a space which made for a very eclectic and eye-catching display.  I had my crochet work and jewelry to the right.  One of my coworkers had t-shirt bags, masks, and sewn stuffed animals (the manikin's apron too).  Her husband (another coworker) had done some lovely bamboo windchimes that are to the front right.  One of my coworkers in the back had done some great paintings and his girlfriend (?I think) had done some phenomenal photography.  To the left were two ladies I wasn't as familiar with but their work is lovely.  One of the ladies did a lot of sewing work (like felt pincushions shaped like tape cassettes and handmade mini books.  The other lady had beaded and glass necklaces and earrings and large handmade frames.

Below is some of my crochet work.  The hat on the skull was one of my coworker's ideas.  It drew a lot of attention, especially from the kids.

These weren't too bad considering they were taken with my camera phone.  We had a great time and I look forward to doing this again.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Great Day!


The Crafty Feast Freedom Festival was a success!  Sorry about the delay in posting...this has been a crazy week.

I tried to hang in there for the fireworks but alas!  The kids were worn out and so were my feet!  All in all it was a great day.  We set up from 1 pm until a little after 8 pm and did really well considering.  The craftspeople had to compete with over a hundred open stores in the center so I don't think that sales were as good as they could have been for everyone.  I didn't realize how much stuff I had until I saw it all laid out.  My top sellers?  It was a toss up between the ankh necklaces and earrings and the soft swirl hats, which was a surprise considering the oppressive Carolina heat.

I got to meet my "blogging idol" The Crochet Diva with a Sewing Problem.  She is sooooo nice and had a great selection.  My daughter fell in love with her owl pillows.  She's a fellow Carolinian (North,'s all the same).  We are a resourceful bunch.  I got to meet the owner of TotToppers.  I also got to meet the owner of FeatherBrainz!  She was set up right next to us and my kids loved her.  She did have a big bowl of candy and an endless supply of plastic flowers so that probably had a lot to do with it :-).

Well I posted all of my pictures to my Facebook albums.  I'm feeling a little under the weather so I will probably post the highlights here later.  I wanted to do an update since I was MIA for a few days.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Crafty Feast is today!


Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Today is the day for the Crafty Feast Freedom Festival in the Villages of Sandhills.  I've been working the past few days to complete the final pieces.  I even created some new pieces...I'll have to take pictures.

I will be exhibiting my handmade jewelry and crocheted items under my Moya Originals trademark.  This will be an all day affair so I may not have time to post an update later.  I'm going to arrive at the Villages around 9 or so to set up with the group I'm going to be vending with.  These are a talented group of people I am honored to work with...they are also my coworkers at my day job!  I will have loads of pictures to show although it probably won't be until MOnday. It is scheduled from 1 pm to 10 pm.  There's going to be live music, great art, phenomenal craftspeople and fireworks!