Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sea Jewel Cowl

If these colors don't stop you in your tracks, then I don't know WHAT will!

First attempt at plaid.  I think I nailed it!  LOL
I LOVED how this turned out!  Was a LOT of fun to weave!  Actually, when I pulled it off the loom, I think I actually said "Well, damn..."  See, it was soooo pretty that I didn't want to give it up!  But, alas, I had created it with a friend in mind, and yes, she did get her cowl for Christmas!

Doesn't it look fabulous on her?!  And Suzanne chose a great pin to accent it!
Here are a couple more shots, showing just the color.  I wish the textures and shimmer of some of the yarns would have shown up more.  I really gotta work on my photography skills!

I'll be posting a couple more weaving projects soon.  Two more cowls, a table runner ... plus, a few other Christmas gifts!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Where Art Thou?

Yeah, yeah, yeah...I've been MIA.  Had a craft show in October.  Trying to slowly get a web store up and running.  New job keeps me super busy all day so I'm kinda spent when I get home.  (Not that I mind.)  But the REAL reason I've been lax in blogging?

That would be WEAVING!!!

Oh, how I love it!  This above is my first thing EVER!  It's a mile long scarf.  SRSLY.  It's huge.

And here's my SECOND scarf!

There are other things that have been woven, but they're super secret until after Christmas.  :)  You'll see them then.  But apparently I have a new favorite thing.  LOL  I'm kinda obsessed.  I think you can see why.  Weaving yields such a soft and drapey fabric.  More so than knitting or crochet.  And it's quite meditative.  Once you've warped, it's just swoosh, swoosh, swoosh!  Now, I'm not doing anything super fancy.  This is just plain weaving.  Although I have an AWESOME plaid I can't wait to show you!  ...just not until after Christmas.  ;)

Ooo...and there's these fingerless mitts, too!  In a soft-n-squisy baby alpaca!

You can find the details over here on Ravelry, including the pattern I used.

Monday, September 9, 2013

In Which I Get All Wild & Woolly

Okay, okay.  I don't REALLY get all "wild & woolly."  It's just the name of the pattern I used to make ....

... THIS!

This yarn was quite trixy.  Not in working with, but in photographing.  Or maybe it's my (lack of) photography skill.  It's a bit washed out in the photo above.  But here ...

... here you can see how rich it really is!  Very jewel-like. 

The pattern is from designer Sharon Silverman's book Tunisian Crochet: The Look of Knitting with the Ease of Crochet.  The pattern is "Wild and Woolly Wrap" and is just so big and squashy.  It's actually worked on this bias to make a giant quadrilateral-(Yea, math!)-shaped shawl. 
With tassels!

The above pic shows both sides of the shawl.  The left side of the photo shows the "right side" of the fabric.  Notice how Tunisian simple stitch mimics weaving.  The left side of the photo shows the "wrong side" of the fabric.  It mimics garter stitch.  Looks good from either side!

The original sample in the book was made using a "thin and thick" yarn which I was having trouble locating in a multi-colored yarn that I liked.  This yarn was a good alternative.  It's Vineyard from Artful Yarns.  Unfortunately, this company is now out of business.  :(

Above is another shot of the "right side".

... and above, the "wrong side."

Apparently things really ARE better with tassels!

Anyway, this was a really fun, fast Tunisian crochet project!  In fact, I'm making another one!  For myself!   This one was for my Mom.  Supposed to be a Christmas present, but I decided she'd get more use out of it now as we approach Fall. 

... you know, if the weather here hadn't just decided to hit the 90's again this week.  Weather Fail.

Oh well.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Hawt Half-Granny

Who doesn't love a good Granny Square?
How about a Half-Granny?

Isn't it HAWT?!
It's a scrumptious, bulky cotton from Araucania.  I chose four coordinating shades of red, pink, orange and purple.  Seriously people, it's HAWT!!

The pattern is the Half Granny Square Shawl by Anastacia Zittel.  There are a couple of similar patterns floating around on Ravelry, but there's a reason her pattern is used waaay more than any others.  It's so much better!

I finished this about a month ago and just got around to taking pics yesterday.  I do that a lot ... there are so many finished projects I've never shown you because I forget to photograph them.  But this one was so awesome, I finally remembered!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I May Be B(ias)³ed

B(ias)³ first "official" crochet pattern.  Why is it official?  Because I was commissioned to create it as Knitorious' contribution to the Summer's Last Blast Yarn Crawl 2013!  I'm so excited!

Here is a quote from the intro to my pattern:

This scarf is a bit of a play on words. If you're any kind of a math nerd (ahem!), you will appreciate the cube pattern of the scarf reflected in the pattern name. If you're not a math nerd....well, just trust that it's funny. The scarf is worked in three basic sections. When looking at the right side (RS) of the fabric, the first section increases along the right edge only. The second section decreases along the left edge and continues increasing along the right. The third section continues decreasing along the left edge only. Once you understand how the increases/decreases work, it's an easily adaptable stitch pattern for a shawlette or stole or shawl!

Because I'm a nerd.  That's right.  The secret is out.  I gave my first "official" crochet pattern a nerdy, mathematical name.  Yep.  Nerd Alert!

This was a fun pattern to create.  I was inspired by a gridded or "cube" stitch from a stitch dictionary.  (Do you get the math-y, nerd part yet?  It's "cubed"???)  But it needed ... something. 

As much as I liked the cube-like stitch, it needed to be more than just a repeating grid.  So I thought it would look good worked at a fun, funky angle.  Again with the math!  But don't worry ... this pattern really doesn't involve much math.  Seriously, the largest number of stitches worked at one time is seven.  Most of us can count to seven.  

The pattern contains pretty easy to follow increases and decreases.  It's also easily adaptable to other sizes once you understand how it works.  

The pattern is available -- for F-R-E-E!!! -- in my Ravelry store.  Look for the link to my pattern shop on the sidebar of my blog (to your right.)  [Edit:  I'm having issues getting a button installed, so for now a link to my Ravelry Designer Page & Store will be in my bio.]  Enjoy!  Link up your finished projects on Ravelry!  I'd love to see them!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Special Order

Okay, okay.  It's not exactly a special order.  My bestie had a request for her birthday ...  "this fabric ... with that bag top ... but in black denim ... straps that are long enough, but not too long ..."  Well, you get the idea.  LOL  But it was her birthday gift so that makes is special!

So THIS bag was born:

I love this obnoxious fabric.  It's got every color of the rainbow.  Which means, it goes with everything in your closet!  Ha!  So of course, I had to use a rainbow thread!  All the seams, all the stitching, all the free-motion embroidery - rainbow!

Ain't she a beaut'?  Nice fuchsia lining.  A little more rainbow fabric tucked into the handle straps.  And of course, the free-motion embroidery on the black twill.  This was my second attempt.  Not too bad.  Need practice.  But for the look I was going for - scribble-y and angular - not too bad.

I gave it a tab closure, complete with magnetic snap.

The tab is black twill on the outside and rainbow fabric on the inside.  I made a twill "base" for the other side of the snap, to give it some heft and to keep it from pulling too hard on the lining.

As you see, below, I've given the bag a nice, hanging interior pocket.  Again, I didn't want the pocket to pull hard on the lining fabric.  So I dropped it between the interior "upper band" and the bag lining.  That way, when stitching the lining and the exterior together along the bottom of the "upper band", it gets a little more support.

The exterior and interior both have a pleat on each side to give a little more "growing" room to the bag.  With the bottom corner gussets, this is a pretty roomy bag!

Pretty bitchin' bag, no?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Happy Crafty Hour

Last week, I organized a "Happy Crafty Hour" at the Community Crafts Studio.

What the heck is a "Happy Crafty Hour" you ask? 
Well, it's like a regular Happy Hour ... with a craft!

(This one is mine.)

I prepared a large batch of my turkey chili (the tame version) and a small batch of the wild!  It was BYOB and a donation to cover the craft supplies.  Hey, we'd need the "B" to get loose enough to have some fun and do some marble painting!

That's right!  Marble Painting! 
Like you probably did in Kindergarten.
Don't laugh.  It's fun!
And produces some very gallery worthy art!

(This one is Chris'.)

I had done some test art at home, trying out how best to teach this.  I don't have any pics of those.  Too bad, but I took one to work with me to adorn my new desk.  Anyway, this works best with slightly watered down acrylic paint.  It lets the marbles roll around better.

We used box lids to contain the marbles and to do our painting in.  Just taped down the paper (so the marbles don't roll under the paper), used little cups for mixing and pouring paint, then ...  voila!  Marble Paintings!

They all turned out so different!

Some were minimal...

Some were maximal ...

Some even branched out and used moustache-shaped resists!
(The resists came in the form of cardboard moustaches that slide over your straw.  Like I said, it was BYOB and boy did we B!)

I wish I had remembered to bring my "good" camera as some of these shots from my camera phone just don't do the pics justice.  But it was a lot of fun and was E-A-S-Y!!!

Did I mention that I'm sadistic and I made them practice their color theory for mixing?  Yep.  I only brought red-yellow-blue-black-white paints.  [insert evil laugh here]

But a fun night was had by all!

... even if the threat of tornadoes made us call it an earlier night than planned.  Severe storms hit the area, but all were safe. Except me.  My cat Erebos had a freak out while trying to put him in the pet carrier so we could head to the basement for safety.  He cut my foot good.  I had to bleed in the basement for awhile ... then he promptly crawled willingly into the OTHER carrier for a nap once we were back upstairs.  The little jerk ...

Anyway, I suggest you try having your OWN Happy Crafty Hour sometime!  Make it a potluck!  Have special cocktails!  Go big!  Go small!  Just have fun!