Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thing A Day and Gift


Let's see, what have I been up to?  Thing a Day continues in the form of a gift for a coworker.  She was nice enough to do me a huge favor and refused to accept any gift I attempted to customarily give.  So what do I do?  She is a HUGE Tennessee Volunteers fan.  Her entire work area is decked out with Vols memorabilia.  Her husband is a Gamecock fan and half of her car is decorated in Gamecock memorabilia and the other half in Vols.  Well I knew that her gift would have to be related to that so I decided to make a T pillow.  I made up the design as I went along and wrote it out and I think it came out quite nicely.

This was my progress as of last night.  I had already started on the other side when I took this, about half way completed.

Here is the completed Vols T.  I like how it came out. It's about 14 inches tall.

I wrote out the entire pattern and who knows may offer it for sale one of these days.
Here is the other side in white.

I plan on putting it on her desk when she is out to lunch so she would be surprised when she comes back.  She'll know it's from me.

A stuffed crochet star in sport weight yellow baby yarn completed with a 3.25 hook.  I gave this to the kids and the first they they wanted to do was sell it.  I plan on doing another one in worsted weight with a larger hook around the 5/5.5 range.  This would make a great pillow.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Share A Square and Thing A Day


These two go hand and hand :-).

Share A Square 2010 is an initiative in which thousands of granny squares are collected to create afghans for children that are sick with cancers and other illnesses.  They are aiming to collect 12,000 six inch granny squares to create afghans (80 squares per afghan) roughly 150 afghans.  For each square we are to send a tag with our name and our location in the world.  The last I checked over 8000 squares were collected.

Naturally, of course, I cannot think of a better way to utilize my crochet skills.  All the years I have crocheted I have never actually done a granny square.  The one I was tempted to try (to make a bookbag) I lost interest in.  Well I hunkered down and completed some granny squares to send.

Click the picture for more information.
 I made two of the white ones with the pink hearts
 and one of the brown and white ones.  I saw a pattern while I was searching that I may do that has a flower design incorporated into the pattern.  I did these over the weekend so these double also for my Thing A Day.

This hat is a WIP for my husband.  He picked up the gray toned yarn and said, "Make me a hat with this."  He wanted the brim to be that design with a stripe.  I still have to finish the brim...the plastic hasn't been inserted yet.  He likes it so that's that.

Thing A Day may be cooled the next few days as I intend to catch up on some reading but I may do a drawing or two.  I'll see.

"Drawing with a Hook" (Tapestry Crochet)


While I was researching tapestry crochet I came across this as an explanation:

"With Tapestry Crochet, one yarn is single crocheted, while another is carried," explains Ventura. "Colors are switched while 2 loops of the unfinished single crochet stitch are still on the hook..."

I was mulling over this until I realized that I do this anyway.  I could kick myself for not taking pictures of my Puppy Love Pillow before I frogged it but I used this method to spell out P-U-P-P-Y in my pattern.  I ended up just carrying the colors from row to row, one over the other until I needed it (white for the letters, pink for the pillow).  I started doing this because I needed a cleaner way to switch out colors without strings all over the backside.  My hats can be worn on both sides due to this method and I was surprised that it actually had a name out there like tapestry crochet.  Go figure.  Previously I was finishing off then reattaching another color but like I said this left strings that had to be weaved in in the back and I had a higher probability for the piece unraveling whereas doing it the "tapestry crochet" way left it sturdy and weaved in so the chances of unraveling are pretty much nil.  Woe (or headache) to the person that may want to unravel it one day though.  I was working on the Africa bag when I came across doing it this way.  I like how the color peaks through at times.  It works best with single crochet in my opinion unless you are working with a small hook.  Then the other stitches could work.  Just my experience. Also sometimes the yarn just ends while you are working with a color.  In my early crochet days I used to tie them together which would create a lump that would interfere with a stitch later on and leave a hard knot in the piece.  Doing it the "tapestry crochet" way provided a way to keep going fluidly.  I'll post pictures of how I do this later.  I thought this was how you were supposed to change colors...

I love crocheting this way.  It is like drawing with a hook.  The best of both worlds, so to speak.  I will explore this more. I have the time now.  After much anticipation I got the email I was waiting for last night from the Crafty Feast organizer.  I wasn't chosen as one of the 100 vendors this year.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed but I'm also a little relieved.  I was going non-stop building up inventory.  Now I can just sort of scale back and get on to other "non-crochet" related endeavors such as reading, writing, drawing, and painting.  Primarily reading, though.  As for crochet, I can experiment more and I will with this "drawing with a hook" method. 

I wonder what else that I am doing that is considered an actual "method."

Also I am having an issue that I think could possibly interfere with my crocheting endeavors in the future.  It is starting to hurt.  If the crochet hook is the small standard type with a thumb rest it works for awhile, then I start to develop a cramp in the crook in the palm of my hand which radiates up through my wrist.  Very uncomfortable.  I'll switch up (if possible) use my crochet hook that has the thick bamboo handle which alleviates a great deal of the pain.  I am mostly working with the G hook these days (my bamboo handle one is an H) so I may hunt down my polymer clay and make a handle for my G hook.   I'll make a kids "play with clay" day out of it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Stitchmarkers and the Letter P


This is the Letter P pillow in progress.

I don't think I have enough orchid yarn left to make the other piece so I may make it pink on the other side.

I finished up these purple stitchmarkers for someone I know on a forum I frequent often.  Silver spacers, especially the bali type kind that I like to use are not easy for me to come by unless I order online (which usually requires a minimum order of some sort).  My favorite bead store moved from the shopping district I frequent most.  I hadn't even noticed (which is a shame).  It took a bit but I relocated them in a shopping district that I rarely frequent.  It figures.  I'm going to have to make a weekend day trip of it and take the kids to the downtown park and art museum when I do go.

I am presently working on finishing a hat for my husband.  I completed it last night, I just need to make the brim and I will post that shortly.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

More Thing A Day


Here are the projects that I have worked on the past three days:

Here is a Rust Red Mesh Skull Cap made from bamboo wool yarn.  I followed the pattern listed here from Bernat.  If you want it you will have to sign in to see the pattern.
Here is a pink K pillow in baby pink.  The puppy love pillow has been frogged as I couldn't get pass a small mistake I made.  I'll tackle the bone pillow at a later time as I did keep the pattern I followed.

I have a few works in progress but nothing substantial. I will probably work on some drawings next week as well as some more letters.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Children's New Artfire Store!


 My 7 year old son and ten year old stepdaughter have opened up their own artfire!  They have gotten into loom knitting thanks to my curiosity.  They caught on to it pretty quickly and were knitting hats in no time.  They have gotten so good that they decided it was time to start selling their wares.  I asked them what they wanted to be called and they said The Fantastic Knitters.  They are sooo excited about it.  They even took their own photos!

My son took this...he has a knack for composition (even though I am not a fan of centralized compositions as a whole).  I love how the head is teetering towards the right edge of the drum and the contrast of the white and the teal.  Kid has a good eye.  This is his Teal Blue Spring Cap

My stepdaughter took this one.  I love the skewed composition.  They really got the hang of using my Fuji camera.  This is her Baby Blue Boy's Hat.  She used her doll (isn't that a beautiful doll?) as a model for her infant/toddler hats.  I'm really proud of them.  They are making new things everyday and we are just waiting for a sunny day to take more pictures.

Their site is

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I've been featured in an Artfire Collection!


Yay!  My Golden Nefertiti Crochet Earrings were featured in the Artfire Collection, Another Snow Day in the Forecast!

My work is getting noticed *smile*.

Busy, busy! Thing A Day...


I decided to enter the Thing A Day blog this year.  Incidentally (as I suspected) I have been unable to keep up with the requirement of posting a picture everyday of what I have made; however, I have been able to make a "thing a day" so to speak.  Especially if you count work in progresses.

So it began on February 1st and here is what I have made in no particular order:

A stuffed A soft pillow.  I've only seen one seller online that makes these this way but she doesn't sell the pattern and I don't plan on selling it either.  After I get finished having fun making letters I'm going to make numbers and symbols.  I looovvveee doing this.  I used worsted weight yarn and a size 4 hook.  It is roughly 10-12 inches in height and stuffed with polyfill.

I plan on spelling B-A-B-Y in baby pink and here is the B.  LOVE IT.  I provided the drums for size comparison.  The one to the right is roughly 12 inches and the big one in the back is the size of a standard medium djembe drum.

The Y. Don't you just love Times New Roman?  Serifs are fun.  It didn't take long to make the Y.  Now there is one more A and B left before this goal is reached.

Here's a J.  It was a random choice but it made my short list of interesting letters right up there with Z, S, G and R.  Yeah, I need to find new hobbies.

I intend to make a really big C for Carolina in garnet and black to bring to local setups so folks can take pictures with it.

Crochet donuts.  I followed a pattern I found at crochetville to create these.  The pink one is filled with jingle bells and if made with the right kind of yarn these would make great cat/dog toys.

Yeah, so I had some requests for custom visor hats, an off white hat and a black hat.  Here they are.

I made several sales on my artfire and ebay in January and February.

Out of sheer curiosity I made one of these Victorian beaded flowers.  It is very simple but very time consuming.  I don't anticipate making any more of these in the future as I do not have a copious supply of beads or wire (or patience!).  This isn't a project I anticipate doing very much (if ever again) in the future.

This pretty much covers everything I worked on and completed the last 8 days.

I am currently working on a pillow.  I am making up the pattern as I go along.  It is of a bone...I couldn't find a bone pattern online that fit my specifications.  It is baby pink and I spelled out PUPPY in white letters and I plan on having a heart (or the words LOVE) on the back part of the pillow...I haven't gotten there yet so I am still undecided.  I made some stitchmarkers also over the weekend.  I have a hat in progress that is black and gold and made from merino wool.  That is the extent of my projects for the moment and there is a shawl on the horizon that is itching to be made.  I will try to update here often especially since I do intend to create a thing a day even if it is a drawing or a poem.