Thursday, August 31, 2006

Update on next baby blanket!

This weekend I bought the yarn to get started on Olessia's baby blanket--it's absolutely beautiful yarn--Bernat Cotton Tots:

I'm using Sweet Green, Little Boy Blue, and Wonder Dreams (a light blue, light green, pale yellow, and white blend). I love this yarn because it is 100% cotton and so soft. I think it will wear really well too.

Tuesday night, Brad and I started yarn ball rolling while watching TV. After I had a ball of each color, I looked through my hooks to find the one that the label recommended--4.5 mm/US 7. I didn't have it. I tried a 4.0 hook. Too tight. Then I tried a 5.0 hook. Too loose. Sigh. So began a quest for a 4.5 hook. I could special order it from Michael's or Susan Bates, but that could take a while. I wanted to get started right away! So I checke the yarn shop, The Yarn Company, right down the block from my office, but since it's a knitter-friendly shop, they don't really cater much to us happy hookers. I pressed on and walked down to this new place that my google search for yarn turned up: Knitty City. There, I met an awesome lady named Amanda who not only went out of her way to unearth the strange hook that noone else seemed to carry, but she was also told me that they do intermediate crochet classes! Score! I need to get another person to go with me, but they do have intermediate crochet classes. I am so excited! Now I'll be able to bring my dilemmas to Amanda whenever they come up, and hopefully I'll get to go to a class soon.

Happily, last night I not only started on Olessia's baby blanket, but I also mananged to figure out a motif called "Italian motif" which uses the dreaded puff stitch. I'm happy to say that I figured it out, but won't be making blankets with this motif any time soon. Way too intricate--at the most, I think it might make a nice shawl...hmmmm, now who can I make one of those for?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Polka Dot Bag!

Yet another finished project...and probably one of my favs. I am a tote bag fiend--I constantly drag lots of stuff with me back and forth to work--and on weekends (they're perfect for toting unfinished crochet projects around with you). So I got to thinking--though I love my Trader Joe's tote bag, it is sort of blah in the fashion department. So of course I started thinking about making my own. I found this black canvas tote bag (unadorned) in Michael's for around $7 and then I got to making rounds in lots of different colors using (mostly) different shades of Lion Microspun. And the finished product? Stylish and functional! Perfect!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Even More Crochet Flower Pins!

Here are a few more pictures of some of my very favorite crochet flower pins. I think that I will write out a pattern this weekend and post how-to instructions. That way lots of 'happy hookers' can get to crocheting these pretty and fun pins. The color combinations are endless!


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My first baby blanket!

No, I'm not pregnant. It's not for me. I cannot even explain to you how many people I know who are pregnant this year--and this blanket is for my friends James and Maria. Their baby boy is due in September. Now that I've finished this blanket, I need to get started on my next one...November and January due dates are fast approaching! :-)

I used four skeins of the Bernat yarn in blue (2) and yellow (2) and a 4.0 crochet hook (to get the stitches nice and compact). It's a basic granny square project so it pretty much speaks for itself--3 rows of each color alternating 4 times. I connected everything using crab stitching instead of a tapestry needle, which I think gives it a nice finished look.

This blanket didn't take me all that long, so I'm hoping that the next one won't be too bad either. Although for my next project, I would really like to do something besides the granny square thing because, to be honest, I'm sort of bored with it. It's hard figuring things out though--I think I might need to find myself a class because although Anna taught me the basic single crochet stitches, I figured out double and triple crochet on my own and also figured out how to do the granny squares through a lot of trial and error. We'll see what happens. I think I might make a mini-blanket for one of the cat beds in the cool zig-zag stitch I've been trying to figure out, just to see how it goes. Once I really get a feel for it, then I can attempt the next baby blanket. The one thing that worries me is how big the blankets tend to get--I do a lot of crocheting on the subway going back and forth to work (1 hour and ten minutes there, usually 50-55 minutes home--don't ask me why it's less; I have no idea) so that's my best crochet time. It's harder to crochet at home because the cats are into everything and I don't want to get the projects full of cat hair. We'll see what happens. I am just excited to try and learn more stitches and patterns!

By the way, if anyone knows of crochet classes/workshops that go on in NYC or Brooklyn, please let me know! I'm dying for some crochet camaraderie!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

New necklace and bracelet for my mom-in-law...

It's my mother-in-law's birthday this coming Saturday, and I wanted to do something really nice for her. My husband and I bought her this really nice black embroidered skirt with a red blouse from her favorite store, Chico's. While we were having the present gift wrapped, I was looking around the store at the various jewelery they had on display, thinking that a necklace might make a nice "something extra" to go with her new outfit. Alas, they lacked any red and black jewelery, but I wasn't going to let that stop me. Brad and I headed over to Michael's not long after, where I picked out some awesome beads and got to work on making my mom-in-law a really pretty necklace...and this is what it looked like:

My favorite thing about the necklace is the large circle pendant in the center--it didn't actually come like that! I bought a large hematite circle and sterling silver wire and wrapped it around the bead, twisting in and bending it into the pattern you see there. The necklace was strung together with sterling silver pins, a needle-nose pliers, and of course, wire cutters. I am so pleased with how the set came out and I can't wait for my mom-in-law to open it on Saturday! Brad thinks we should let her open it without telling her that I made it to see what kind of a reaction she had--so I know if she really likes it or not. I don't want her to say she likes it just because I made it for her! But I love it and I really hope she does too!

Brad's Blanket is complete

A while back, I posted a blog about a blanket I was crocheting for my hubby Bradley. (Check out Brad's Blanket to see the original post.) Well I finished said blanket over two months ago, but haven't been able to take pictures of it until here it is in all its glory:

If you look at the original blog and the blanket design, you'll notice that I eliminated the rows at the top and bottom of the blanket--to be honest, after I attached the 9 big squares together, I didn't think that the blanket needed to be any longer and it worked quite well as a throw (which is what I made it for). If you wanted to use it on a bed, then it would probably be a good idea to add the extra rows at the top and bottom.

As for materials--I used Lion's Baby Soft yarn in Lavendar, Baby Green (like a sea foam), and Baby Print in Lavendar, Sea Foam, and White. I used a 5.0 crochet hook, but after working with this the yarn, I would suggest using a 4.5 to make the squares a little more compact.

I love the way this blanket turned out and so does Bradley! It is the perfect size for us to cuddle together on the couch...where it hangs out when not in cuddle-use!

Monday, August 14, 2006

The infamous yoga mat bag!

I finally took and uploaded pictures of the infamous yoga mat bag. Can I tell you how long the darn thing took me to make? Around a month! I've completed baby blankets in that amount of time. However, it's probably my own fault--I used a tiny crochet hook--only a 2.75 and Lion Microspun yarn in teal, lime green, purple, and lavender. I crocheted a large round (there are 8 rows in the base of the bag) and then made the body of the bag separately. Crochet a chain of 104, and then add on enough rows of double crochet to cover the body of the yoga mat, with some extra to spare (I like to have space so I can throw a hand towel and my yoga pants in the bag). I did 80 rows, and then an additional 4 for the top of the bag to fold over and make a closure (use a tapestry needle to sew the top closed). The strap also crocheted--I chained 160, and then made a row in each color used on the bag (4 rows total). There is also a pocket on the inside of the bag to keep hair clip, lip gloss, and other do-dads you might need after class. All & all, I am really happy with the way this project turned out and I've gotten lots of compliments on my bag!
More pics to come!
the krafty gal

Friday, August 11, 2006

I'm back!

Yes, it has been forever since I posted, and I apologize. I'm still surprised how many hits this blog has gotten (even though no one comments but Eve and my hubby) in spite of me not posting anything new lately. I was really busy for a while in spring and hadn't had a chance to take pictures of the projects I was working on, and then BAM! Our digital camera broke and that sucked big time. How am I supposed to post things to my craft blog if I can't take pictures of the things that I'm making? Doesn't really work so well. (Do not ever by the Canon Doubleshot! TWO of them have broken on us and their LCD screen sucks!)

Anyway, the really good news is that Hubby and I picked up a new camera last week (the Olympus Stylus--so far, so good--and the LCD screen has a plastic cover on it, and to top that, you can buy a nifty little case for it and take it underwater! How nuts is that??), and I have tons of things to photograph and post on here. Over the past few months I've managed to finish Brad's blanket, I'm 95% finished with a baby blanket for my friend's baby (due in September--I need to get to work!), made a necklace and bracelet for my mom-in-law's birthday, and made too many crochet flower pins to think about. I can't wait until it gets a little cooler out so I can start sporting them on my jackets! There are some other projects too, I just can't remember them all right now.

So keep your pants on people--new pictures of projects coming this weekend!

the krafty girl