Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Time for Review

So it's nearing the end of the year, and I think I'm at the point where I'm not going to be finishing many more (if any) crafty things by the end of the year.

So what all have I done this year?

In no particular order, we have....


  • Pseudo kimono

  • Violet bearegard in blue

  • Seatcover for shop stool

  • Sleep mask

  • White basketweave washcloth

  • Hook roll in pink

  • Green zipper pouch

  • Skull bag

  • Divine hat in teal

  • Honey panta in white

  • Red leg warmers

  • Cell phone cases

  • Seraphina Shawl

  • Black leg warmers

  • Yellow mittens

  • Black mittens

  • The I don't know

  • Door Hanger Cat Toy



I haven't started plotting the Master Craft Project List for 2009 yet, but I know that I want to tackle socks, and a cargo net. Yes, you read that right.

I'm also going to try and get some patterns done. Hopefully they'll get published, but if not, I'm going to offer them on Ravelry or by request or something.


What all have you made this year?
What are you planning for next year?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas is finally over...

...because I finally finished the last christmas gift. We also finished all the cookies today too, but that's not particularly crafty.

To be fair, the cats didn't care what day it was, but I decided I wanted to make them something, so I made them the Lion Brand Door Hanger Toy








It was spectacularly easy and didn't even take an hour, tops. The only reason it took me two days is because I didn't have time to stuff it when I started it.

Do they like it?




I think so, although the catnip I stuck in the middle of the stuffing may have something to do with it...

Poor Joe is so confused....it's a yarn thing he actually gets to play with without me yelling at him to drop it...

Monday, December 15, 2008

comfy gift

Although I didn't get started in time to make everyone in my family something, I did do a few things. There of course is the I Don't Know, and I made my grandma a pair of the flip top mittens.

I also made my sister a pillow.


(she flies, hence the airplanes)

Your tutorial:
Cut a rectangle of fleece. Fold in half, sew up two & 3/4 sides (but not the folded side). Stuff with batting. Sew up the hole where you stuffed.
Give.

It's that simple!




Next year, the goal is to plan early and start crafting by September...
(it would also help if my family actually WORE scarves and hats all those easily craftable items...)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gifts for Crafters

Some of you are special and have a crafter in your family or circle of friends. For some reason, be it Christmas, Birthday or some other celebration, they may need a gift.

If you're also a crafter you may be able to make them something. But what if you're not? "I'm not crafty," you say "I can't make THEM anything." You can try, though, and I'm sure that they'll appreciate whatever your efforts bring forth.
However, if you'd like to stimulate the economy, I can give you some ideas as to what to buy.


First of all and Most Important: make sure you know your crafter. There's nothing worse than getting a pair of knitting needles for a scrapbooker. Awkward! Same thing goes for closely related crafts. Some crocheters also knit, some don't. Just make sure you know what you're getting yourself into.

Enough with the admonishments, on to the ideas!



Good scissors:
"Meh, scissors...." you're saying, but let me tell you, good scissors are an essential. Non-crafters think that all scissors are the same but they're not. There are pinking shears, fabric scissors, thread clippers, etc. Every crafter needs a good pair of scissors they can have exclusively for their crafting. Good scissors make cutting fabric, scrapbook paper or yarn a breeze. They're also safer than having to try and hack things up with a dull pair of grade school rejects.


Rotary Cutter and Mat:
Yes, more cutting things. If you have a sewing crafter, this will make everything SO MUCH easier on them. A rotary cutter is kind of like a pizza cutter for fabric. No more trying to maneuver around odd corners or curves - just roll around them and you're good to go. I got a set last year as a gift and let me tell you, they're awesome. If you get a cutter, you will also need a mat to go with it unless you want your crafter to slice up their tables and everything under the fabric. (Those things are SHARP. I'm still waiting for a CSI episode where somebody gets their throat slashed with one of these.)


Thread Cutting pendant:
This is the LAST of the sharp things, I swear. This pendant holds a tiny blade and lets your crafter cut their yarn or thread without scissors. This is especially ideal for the traveling crafter because these things are benign enough to be considered "safe" on planes, where scissors (and nail clippers) are verboten. If I don't get one for Christmas, I'm buying one for myself.


A good craft light:
Crafting requires attention to detail, which is easier if you can actually see what you're doing. I have an OTT light, and while I usually end up using it for lighting my craft projects for their photos, it does come in handy when I'm using dark yarn and can't see stitches as well under normal lamps. If you've got an aging crafter who can't see as well as they used to, it's a godsend.


Get Panda-fied:
If your crafter is a yarnie, consider a set of bamboo crochet hooks or knitting needles. They're "green" and affordable, and nice to work with. There are also wooden versions which are just as good if not nicer, depending on the wood. I'm holding out for a rosewood "G" hook, myself, but I do like the bamboo hooks I have.


A place to stash the stuff:
More and more places are coming out with specialized craft organizer bags. There are ones especially designed for knitting stuff and scrapbooking stuff, but everyone likes having a stylish and organized way to take their craft with them. If you've got a crafter who can sew, you can get them patterns for bags, making your gift twofold - something to do and a nice thing to use when it's done. They can also customize it to their liking.


Lotion:
Crafty hands work hard. They wind yarn, get burned by hot glue, get cramped from hours of knitting, get stuck by pins and generally take a lot of abuse to make those nice things. Help them feel better after they're done by giving your crafter a nice lotion. We generally prefer fast absorbing, non-greasy stuff, and please take into account any scent preferences or allergies (no lavender for me, thanks).


Gift cards:
You know you were thinking it'd be easier, right? Well, you're right. A certificate to the craft or fabric store, or the LYS (local yarn shop) are good ideas. You can even get them for online places like KnitPicks. You know they'll put it to good use and you don't have to worry about giving them well meaning but horrible yarn. If you want to play it safe, this is probably the way you should go.





Any of these items can be found on the internet (the sites provided are what I've used or what I've got), or at your local stores.


Happy gift hunting!

Happy Birthday Crafty Kix!

This blog's been around for a year now!

And people read it!
(so I believe, according to the Google analytics...)


Anyway, thanks for reading everybody!
I've got more crafty things coming up, I promise. :)

What is it? I don't know!

So in a post a while back, I mentioned the story of the "I don't know."
To review: My sister asked my mom what she wanted for Christmas last year and she said "I don't know, but a red one." That's exactly what she got. I think my sister whipped up this little fleecy flangy thing, and mom got a kick out of it.

This year she asked for an I Don't Know in blue.

Mission complete:






It was simple. Actually, the hardest part was trying to figure out how make it NOT be a rectangle.




It's wrapped, complete with tag that reads "TO MOM FROM IDA KNOW"

Sometimes Christmas can be fun.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Holiday, craft style

We had this on today, I thought it was cool: Batesville Woman Crochets 280 Santas

This woman has been crocheting different Santas for 15 years, she's got 280 of them now, and they're on display at her country store.

Not only is that an AMAZING amount of work, she really really really reminds me of my grandma, both in mannerisms and her voice.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Oh, fickle time...

If Only I'd finished the shawl sooner....

I wore it to Thanksgiving dinner last night, and both Grandmas, my mom, and one aunt went nuts over it.

There is NO WAY I'd be able to finish four (or even one) by the time I have to go back for Christmas. Sigh.

If I'd gotten it done earlier in the year, I'd have had feedback earlier, and could have started on at least one other by now...

Oh, the perils of crafting.


I am going to make two crafty things for Christmas gifts, though. My mom wants me to make my grandma a pair of the mittens. I had her try one of mine on and it fit, so I can use the same pattern, I just need to find her a nice color of fleece.

And then there's the "I don't know."

Last year my sister asked my mom what she wanted, and she said "I don't know..." so my sister came up with some sort of odd little fabric thing. I think it may have had a pocket, but it doesn't really DO anything. Mom took it out of the little box and goes "what's this?" and my sis replied, "It's the I Don't Know!"
Mom laughed her butt off.

This year it's my turn, and mom's requested an I Don't Know in blue.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Leg Warmers, Part the Second...

Now both legs can be toasty...





These were done on the blue knifty knitter. Two strands of Wool Ease, approximately 60-some rows, and a two row crochet border and drawstring. These didn't even take up all of the 2 skeins I was working with, either.





And of course, what do they look like ON?


SeraPHINISHED!!!



Ok, this probably wouldn't have taken me very long to do at all, except that I have the nasty habit of letting things sit between worksessions...

Anyway, she's done!!!
The giant yarn football is now a lovely shawl!








I don't really do "drapey" so I will probably have the points tied in the back most of the time, like so:



I'm wearing it now, and it's perfectly toasty enough for my house.
Still debating if I'll try it at work - I don't generally wear pretty things to work, what with the chance of ruining and all...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Heya!

Yeah, I'm still around. The crochet bag got squished over to the side lately while work took the front burner.

However, I'm back on the crafting train, and last night I finished the Seraphina! I'm also almost done with the second leg warmer, so expect pictures of both very very soon.

Side note: I was checking my google analytics for this page, and someone got here by searching "I suck at crafts" in Google.
WTF?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's that day...

And I'm sure you're being bombarded with this message from everywhere else, but...

GO VOTE!!!!



Take some yarn with you in case there's a line. :)

(see, both political AND crafty....)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One Leg....

is warm, while the other is cold!




One leg warmer done, working on the second one. Shawl still in progress....

I did some other crafty things today, including making pumpkin bread:



Then I made some strides in decorating the apartment. We've lived here about 4 months now, and have some pictures up on the wall, but the bedroom is pretty bare, and a corner above the dining table...


I have a bunch of canvases, but rather than paint something, we went to the Joann's to look at fabric. (I know, I got him to voluntarily go to the fabric store!!). We found some winners, and today I went to the Michael's and got some canvas stretcher strips to mount them.

Here is our new art in the bedroom:



Then these guys will be going up above the dining table on one wall:




And then these two will either be on the perpendicular wall over the dining table, or somewhere else, haven't picked yet:





Hooray for productive days!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Greetings from cold and rainy Virginia....

Yep, it is POURING here today.

So in a few minutes I'm going to put down the computer and try and add a few more inches to the Seraphina Shawl, because it's a perfect day for curling up with Yarn.

I also started another project (well DUH), this time breaking out the knifty knitter for another pair of leg warmers. This time a double strand of black wool ease, and since I have more than enough of this, they're going to be longer and hopefully look better than the last pair (they're warm, but they don't look like much...)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Brrr!

It got cold here fast!!

It's not quite freezing yet, but cold enough for me to want my thin fleece gloves. Except that when I cleaned out for the last move, I got rid of them because they had holes in them. DOH!

So, time to make new ones!!!



I had some fleece laying around, so I did some tracing, and some cutting.
I hand sewed these because I didn't want to drag out the machine for such a quick project.




Why yes, those are mittens....except for one sneaky detail...



The pair:


Just enough to keep the wind off my hands, and enough to let me still work the radio. :)


Did I mention I LOVE fabrics that don't ravel when you look at them????

Friday, October 10, 2008

Is there anybody in there?

I finally got the tracking stats for this thing working, and I saw page hits that aren't mine! Wheee!
(the inner geek in me is truly delighted)

So, hi everybody. :)
(including any RSS subscribers that I can't see)


Feel free to leave a comment and let me know you're here. I like feedback. Just don't be mean. I wouldn't be mean to you, I expect the same respect...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

And then? And THEN? AND THEN???

And then along cames Jones.
Wearing a stylish Divine Hat designed by Rheatheylia




I bought 10 skeins of wool. I used most of nine. So with the other, I made a hat!!




I'm getting better at this lighting thing...





Is it just me or is Blogger's picture posting process annoying?

Really done, not just pseudo done...

Pictures!



Oh my stars, it's finally done! I shall swoon!


Wait, what's that out there?



I need to go buy two more of these and put them on, THEN I'll be really truly finished with it:


Stitch pattern:



Yay! I'm so happy I'm finished with it!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

woohoo!

The Pseudo Kimono is done!!

Well, it still needs buttons, but that will have to wait a few days till I go to Joann's.
But all the crocheting is done and that's the important part. :)

Pictures forthcoming in the next few days....

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

finally

I finally got a picture where the color was damn near right...



There. DARK teal.

Also, I just took a trip home to see the family and showed my Grandma all my works in progress. Interestingly enough, she was most excited about the hook roll, instead of the crochet...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Progress!!

I'm even closer to being done with the Pseudo Kimono sweater!

I've got the top part done, and I actually BLOCKED.



Steam blocking is interesting.

Also interesting is the fact that no matter how much I blocked it, it's still WAY bigger than the measurements in the book say it should be. It's not so much a problem because the bottom part fits, but the sleeves are really long. Then again, I like long sleeves. It just doesn't make sense that it doesn't match the measurements in the book, because I made the smallest size...

Also, here's a bit that's more of the color.


One of these days, I'll get a picture where the color is ACCURATE. ha.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More finished objects, from the pile of fabric from last week...

First, the skirt I shortened. I've looked all over my photobucket and my computer, and can't find the "before" from when I first made it. It was floor length.





This was the lining of another bag I did. It was way too big. Now it's reasonable sized. It's got pockets inside, but I'm a lazy photographer today.




Lastly, a triangle zipper bag.
The long side is about 7 inches.


I'm not really impressed with it. It was an experiment, which results rated a solid "meh."

Hook roll

So now I have a place to keep my hooks...









Instead of rolling around the bottom of whatever bag I'm using, now they're all rolled up!!

The ribbon isn't attached, which might be irritating, but I'll cross that bridge later...




Also, let me show you what happens to my stuff when I'm taking a break...



No wonder my projects are covered in fur... :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

In Progress

First the Psuedo Kimono -


I STILL cannot get the color to look right in the photos. It's DARK teal.



The Seraphina -






And some of the sewing projects coming up.....




From top clockwise:
Green totebag
triangle zippered pouch
The lining of a bag I made before, but now it's going to be its own bag.
shortening a skirt I made before.

The power of craft

I haven't been having a really great time with work lately.

Usually when my mind is having its issues, I tend to decompress by either watching mindless television (heh, go figure), read, or craft. Somehow I turn stress into creativity, although it does not always work that way. Sometimes I just turn stress into tears and staying in bed.

So I've been dabbling lately with the two crochet projects, which has kept the crazy at bay for a while.

Until yesterday.


Yesterday was a bad day.

Bad enough that by 10:30pm, my brain was forcibly ignoring all but the basic automatic routine work, and thinking about what fabric I have in the stash, specifically a length of green.
When I left, I came home and almost immediately dove into the fabric box, and in the span of two hours, had sketched out about 4 projects and started cutting for at least one of them, plus some modifications.


And I felt much much better.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy International Crochet day!

Go hook something!




Also, the CLF book is ready for buying! 36 patterns! 13 articles! Buy!!!!


(I'm currently stuck in the "not buying things for self other than neededs" for a few weeks, but once it's my birthday, it's getting added to my bookshelf!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Now with more yarn!

So I decided that just one project wasn't really enough. I started a second. Oh wait, I've still got that tank. Ok, so I added a third.

I started a Seraphina Shawl.




That giant yarn football is Joann Sensations Rainbow Boucle (dark red). The only problem with it is that I have a hard time seeing the stitches with it. Then again, that's the problem I had with the baby starghan, and swore I wouldn't use it anymore. But it's so pretty with the gradients....


I am just past halfway done with the Pseudo Kimono. I finished the first front side, now I'm working on the second front side. Then the corset part, and it's done. Yay!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Word has it that International Crochet Day is September 12.

That's next Friday.

Sweet.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Yarn Awesomeness

OMG.
Someone posted this on Craftgrrl, and I have to share because it is AWESOME.

A KNITTED CAR

Not just a car, A KNITTED FERRARI.

Click on the "Works" link for up close shots, and "Video" to watch it being assembled.

*drool*

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

hook books

I scoured the craft books at the library the other week, and the only non-creepy crochet thing I could find was Lily Chin's Couture Crochet Workshop. It was actually written pretty well. I learned about "killing" fabric, which is something I'd never heard of before, but I may be trying it on that crochet skirt I made a while back (the butt sweater). Actually, maybe not, as that's made out of Wool Ease, which is part acrylic - a.k.a. meltable.
Hmm. Perhaps steam blocking instead, because the bottom is curling up and I don't like it. Not that it's cold enough to wear it yet anyway.
Anyway - back to the book. The techniques were cool, but I did not see anything in the patterns that I wanted to make. Ah well.

I also actually bought a new book (for full price - hot damn!) too. I picked up a copy of Crochet Me by Kim Werker. There's a couple patterns I'm going to try - the mesmerize sweater, , cocoon bag, comfy cardi and the thigh highs, most prominently. I like the overall tone of the book. The website, however, is a different story. It's just my opinion, but I liked the magazine format better than the new "upgraded" "community" version. It seems harder to find things now, and half the patterns I wanted to see don't have pictures. That's just irritating to me.
But that's why I Ravel. :)


I'm saving up my money for the Crochet Liberation Front First Ever Book anyway. It's coming out this fall.
I'm actually really excited about this one - no "basics" explanations - we already know how! Just the patterns! Yay!


Anyway, less looking, more hooking!

It's ALIVEEEEE



So the Pseudo Kimono is still going. I'd say I'm about 40% done. I've got the back and back of the sleeves done, now I'm about to depart on the journey of the front panels. It's not bad - the stitch pattern is easy to memorize.


Close up of the stitch pattern

It's a darker teal than the photos are showing - silly camera flash.
I don't know if it's my tension or what, but the the pattern is very..condensed. You can see it when you stretch it out, so I guess I'll be doing some major blocking when I'm done.

I bought the rest of the yarn for it today, so time to get hookin'!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pseudo-numb

New project started!
It's a big one, too.

I'm tackling another sweater - this time the Pseudo Kimono from Not Your Mama's Crochet



The yarn is Lion Wool, and it's actually darker and greener than the picture. Silly cameras.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

OMG! A finished object!

I finally got to play with some yarn, and came out with a 2 hour project!

Behold, the eyemask...



Pretty much one whole wall of our new bedroom is a window, so I figured I ought to have a backup for the vertical blinds...

Rowan Yarns Natural Silk Aran, not sure of the colorway...