Saturday, September 22, 2012

Frogs and Pajamas

So I've made the hard decision to frog a couple of projects.

First, the Unseamly Sweater. It just doesn't fit, and although it took me forever and was my first sweater, I'd rather have something I can use. So once I pull the sweater bag out of storage, it will be unraveled and wound into balls and made into something else.

Same for the white hat I made last year. Yes, I like it, yes, it works, but it always felt to me that it wanted to be knitted instead of crocheted. Something with cables. So that will be redone as well.

What am I up to this weekend? I bought jersey knit fabric yesterday with my 50% off coupon and I'm going to make pajama pants. I also bought lining fabric so I can fix the inside of my peacoat. I probably also ought to clean that, too, eh?

If I get really ambitious, there's a button down shirt that needs to be cut down to fit me, but we'll see how the first two projects go!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tutorial Goodness

So I've been going through my digital storage closet here lately, cleaning out stuff and checking up on what's happened to all the crap that I bookmarked long ago. Because if you don't check up on these things, you find that maybe one of those groups you liked let their URL go and now it's pr0n. Awkward.

Anyway, while going through my bookmarks, I found these that I'd like to share because they're awesome.

Invisible zippers are a pain in the butt.  There, I said it.  However, you CAN insert them with a regular zipper foot and not have to buy yet another doodad for the machine that gets lost conveniently when you want to use it.  I found this tutorial photoset that shows you how.  She's also got a tutorial post on Craftster, but some of the images are broken, so I used the Flickr set and it turned out fine.  This is what I used to put the zipper in my wedding dress and am more than pleased with the fact that this helped me NOT SCREW IT UP.

As for some Crochet Tutorial Love:

I hate making the long starting chain and then working back into it. If you know how to work a foundationless stitch, you can skip all that! Carina explains it very well. Also, she takes awesome pictures and makes very colorful stuff that I dig, so take a look at the rest of her blog.

You know when you make a hat or something round, and you have to make a certain amount of chain, but the stitches inside it don't totally fill it up? And then when you finish your hat you have a tiny hole in the top? You can get rid of that with the magic loop in the ring technique.

Hope these help you guys out like they've helped me.  Now back to the cleaning! Today I'm going to purge some fabric and yarn. I know, weird, right?

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Sometimes you have an idea in your head and it just has to sit there.  I've had an idea for a bracelet for a while. Nothing fancy, just a leather celtic knot.  The last big trip to the craft store, I couldn't find the right leather. The other day I finally got to the other store, and found what I wanted.

And now I have a new bracelet.

Sometimes it's just satisfying to get something finished and actually have it turn out like what you saw in your head.

What else have I been up to?  
Well, there are new posts over at Charlottesville Crafter, for one.

I'm still going on the Luna sweater, although I did have to rip back a few rows because I forgot to do the errata for the shoulder, even though I had it printed out. Oops.
I fixed up some shirts to get back into the wardrobe.
I painted the mailbox post (just boring white, sorry).
I finally put the button on my Calorimetry, not that it's even remotely cold enough to wear it.

Just trying to get some little stuff off the table, get some things cleaned out.  For some reason, I am in Pare Down mode, and not sure why.  There's plenty of room in this house for supplies, but I guess I don't want stuff just sitting around. 

Just keep creating, soon enough the spark will come back...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Aloha, Aqualoha.

Well, that was a bust.

Remember way back when I made the Aqua Aloha and it came out huge because of my gauge being off?

And then I went back to revisit it a few months ago and decided I was going to do something about it?

Well. I did.

I cut it up the front.

Then I took the last of the leftover yarn and crocheted up the middle sides so it wouldn't unravel.

The result? Still sucky. So sucky I'm not taking pictures. Even as a "cardigan" it's still not something I'm ever going to wear.

I tried. It didn't work. Sometimes things don't. So into the goodwill pile it goes.
Better luck next time!

Friday, July 27, 2012

What's Up, Date?

FYI, a remarkable amount of glitter remains on my glittered house key. Polyurethane FTW!

I've picked back up on the Luna Sweater.
Yes, I'm working on a sweater in freakin JULY.
PROTIP: If you're going to put down a pattern for a couple of months, make sure that when you mark your place that you are UBER-specific about where you are, what row you are on and which direction you are going.

That's what's going on in craftland for me lately. Work is picking up on the OT, and I've given up the other blog as of now. I don't know if I'll delete it or not, but I'm not going to put anything new up there.

How's your crafting going?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Redemption, knit style

Four years ago, I tried to knit a Calorimetry.

It did not go well, and may have actually ended with me throwing needles and yarn across the room. I can neither confirm nor deny that ending. *shrug*

So I decided it was time to try again. I had really pretty yarn, and since I tackled socks successfully, I had a better understanding of short rows.  Cast on.

Two days of TV knitting later, I have a finished object.

The yarn is Premier Magic that my mom got for me a while back, and I LOVE these colors.

The actual knitting went fine. TOO fine, actually, because the "larger holes" that are supposed to be in there in order to fit a button through? Yeah, I have no holes for buttons. So I can either go back and add a loop somewhere or find some other way to close the thing.  No biggie. Besides, I have months and months before it gets cold again (thank god), so I can worry about it later.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Stashbusting, hippie edition.

Friday night we got a storm called a derecho. Its kind of a tiny hurricane without the actual hurricane. We were lucky and our power came back overnight, but our cable and internet were still out.

So to keep myself occupied all Saturday afternoon, I pulled open the closet door and did a little stashbusting.

The result? A cute little skirt from some tie dyed material that long ago was a set of curtains. I needed something casual and cool (hello 100 degree days!) so this fit the bill.

Next up on the crafting list is tackling the mending pile and starting some new yarn projects before work eats my spare time again.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

War and Craft

So last week, I saw a promo for the new show Craft Wars. I thought "huh, that might be interesting, " and since it was set to air past my bedtime (I'm a lame old lady) I made the Tivo record it and sat down to watch it the next day.

Omg you guys, so disappointing.

I should have realized that anything that came from the minds of anyone at that network was going to be complete crap. But no, I had to be optimistic.

The challenges? Those were actually ok. I can easily think of things I would have done with the supplies given.

But I really hated the rest of the show.

I hate the fact that they made them explain everything (everyone watching this show knows wtf Mod Podge is, trust me).
I hated how bitchy the judges were, for no good reason. Unless the reason was to be complete jerks, then congrats, mission accomplished.
I hated the fake drama induced over the whole thing.

I will tell you first-hand that crafting and creating is not always sunshine and rainbows. Cursing is a large part of my craft process. But the way they tried to depict everything made me yell at the TV, and I don't do that unless I'm mistakenly on Fox News.

And yes, I did object loudly when the one contestant said "hot glue is the duct tape of the craft world.". No. Duct Tape is the duct tape of the craft world. *headdesk*

Half an hour in, I was done. The only reason I even fast forwarded to the end was to see the final finished projects (that the judges were still jerks about).

This had such potential, but it was so poorly executed. I won't be watching that again.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pinterest Craft Time

So I've got a whole board on Pinterest with Crafty Ideas to try.

The first one I decided to hit up was the glitter key:


The original blogger used regular white glue, sprinkled, let dry, did the other side and then coated with nail polish top coat.

So then I did it KMay style.

I used Tacky Glue (which is kind of dried up a little in my bottle.  oops, time for new).

I didn't sprinkle, I dunked.

I let dry overnight.
Fun tip, if you use a binder clip, you can stand it straight up!

And then, because I had most of a small can left from the cabinet project, and I know how abused my keys get, I polyurethane-d that glitter on.

Obviously, she used a little bit finer glitter than I did, and I mixed pink and iridescent instead of one color.

Hopefully I'll get a week out of it before I start finding glitter in all my pockets. (but really, is that so bad?)  I was thinking during lunch today - the glitter would REALLY stay on if the head of the key was encased in acrylic resin.  However, I don't have any, so that will have to be an experiment for a different time...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's ALIVE, Run For Your Lives!

So...hi, how you doing?
We're creeping up into neglected blog territory.
I'm not going to break my policy of "no excuses, blog when you want" but I will tell you that if you go over to the Main KMay Blog, you'll see where I've been lately. Working on the biggest craft project ever - the house.

Seriously, we have had to do at least *something* to every room in this place. But, now I'm done with school (graduated and everything), we're all moved in, and normal life (ha!) can resume.

Also, there have been two new Charlottesville Crafter articles:

Crafting for Good

It's Curtains for you!
And if you're wondering how they turned out.... How's this?

Monday, March 26, 2012

March Crafter

Hi, crafty friends! It's almost the end of March, which as it turns out was both National Crochet Month AND National Craft Month.

What have I been up to? I'm finishing off a second hat to send off to Halos of Hope. Hopefully I'll get pictures snapped of those soon.

It's also time for Charlottesville Crafter!  This month, we're making a tote bag!

(Just a reminder,  if there's something you'd like me to try for Charlottesville Crafter, just leave me a comment! I'm always looking for ideas! )

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Savory Roasted Chickpeas

A while back on Pinterest, I saw a recipe for "sweet and spicy chickpeas" which sounded intriguing. I looked it over - sugar and cinnamon. While that combination is usually a GO for this house, when I think chickpea, I think savory. So I figured out my own spice blend and did a test run the other week. When it came out good, I made a big batch today, and now I'm going to share it.

2 BIG cans of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans or whatever you want to call them)*
olive oil (a few tablespoons should do)
garlic powder
onion powder

Open and drain the chickpeas. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees while you shell the chickpeas. You just want that little skin on the outside to come off. You can usually pinch the bean at the pointy end and the bean itself will fly out of the shell. 

Spread the beans out on a baking sheet and stick them in the oven. After they've been in around 10 minutes or so, pull them out, move them around, and then put them back in for another 10. You want them to be crunchy at the end and if you don't roast for long enough, they will be soft and squishy. Keep an eye on them at the end of the 2nd 10 minutes. If they start getting dark brown, take them out.

Put them into a bowl and toss with the olive oil. Each bean should be lightly coated.

Add salt, pepper, the onion and garlic powders and paprika to taste. I will give you the advice that a lot of the grains will stick to the bowl and the baking sheet, so you might want to add a bit more of each than you think.

Put the beans (now well coated with spice) back onto the baking sheet and put them back in the oven. You want them to be in for at least 10 minutes.

You'll know they are done when they are starting to turn a darker brown and are nice and crunchy.

Pull them out, let them cool, and then enjoy.  

*When I say big cans, I mean the 15 ounce cans. The grocery store was very sneaky and hid the big cans in the Hispanic food section. And when I say sneaky, I mean that they had the small cans with the rest of the canned vegetables for $1.19 each, and the big cans in the other section for $1.29 each.  Don't let them fool you! (and pick up some canned chipotles while you're in the Hispanic section, because they make everything delicious)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ravelling Merrily Along

If you knit or crochet and have the Internet, chances are you've heard of Ravelry.

If you're a member of Ravelry, when you logged in this week, you should have seen the announcement.

Ravelry now has TWO MILLION MEMBERS!

Two Million yarncrafters on one site. And with surprisingly little drama. There are a few dust ups in the boards now and then, but everyone generally keeps to the Ravelry motto of "be excellent to each other."

If you're not familiar with Ravelry , I need to explain.  It's not just another yarn site with a forum. There  are really many many forums, but the best part of Ravelry is the specialized tools that are available for use.  You don't even need to look at anyone else's avatar if you don't want, and just focus on your own account. Why? You can keep track of your hooks and needles. You can virtually sort your stash and projects, (as well as share them with a group to get feedback). The pattern database is so huge, I don't even have a word for how huge it is. Gigantomungous.  It really is a unique environment.  I can't even think of any other hobby website that can even come close to half the functionality of Ravelry.

It kind if reminds me of my early days in Paganism, when the Internet was just starting to be helpful. It was a highly specialized community. Ravelry takes this one step further. Community PLUS productivity.

All this came about from two people who loved to knit, and had mad programming skills.
So thank you Casey and Jess (and Bob). You have literally changed the way that yarncrafters interact on the internet, and for the better.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

Hey, did you know that it's National Crochet Month??

This weekend I got a new picture of the baby, and saw that she was wearing the headband I made for her! Warm fuzzies.

Charlottesville Crafter went up last Monday. It's the full project to the sneak peek I gave you a few weeks ago - rice bags!

The Joann Fabrics here in town is moving. So they're liquidating the entire current store and are just going to stock the new one (that's two doors down the shopping center from the old one). The new store is supposed to open April 13th. Right now almost everything is 15% off, at least. I picked up a new crochet hook and a star coathook for the new house. At the rate that the store is being picked over, I'm wondering if they'll have enough merchandise to stay open until the 10th of this month, much less next.  I guess we'll see.

I'm just about to fasten off on Mom's hat band, and then I am without a current project. I am on Spring Break next week, and I think I'm going to try to make it a Craft Break.

What's new with you?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Sew What

Last night I got out of my class early and decided that while I had the spare time, I would walk down to the Arts building to see the current exhibits, as both shows were of interest to me.

The South Gallery is currently housing a show by local photographer Jen Fariello. "The Personals." I am a fan of Fariello's work. I love that she works in black and white and I think her compositions are amazing. Although the show is small, it does not disappoint.

The North Gallery currently holds the show "Sew What," featuring a few local textile artists. This brings in again the discussion of "When does craft become art?" This exhibit showcases mostly embroidery and quilting and is a small pocket of awesome.

Forgive the phone pictures. I didn't have the Lumix with me and it was a little too dark in there for the phone to do its best.

(Everything is best seen in person anyway!)

Fear of the Blank Page, by Shelby Fischer.

It's just so perfect. The embroidery of the lines, the roughness around the edges - it perfectly captures the intimidation and anguish of a new sheet of paper.

Fireflies in a Garden of Love and no Evil, by Jo Lee Tarbell
(I have the horrible suspicion that I have the name of that piece mangled. If so, I apologize).

Not only is the seaming top notch (especially on one of her other works on display, a hexagon based work), the embroidery is immaculate. I just really really liked this one. It gave me the warm fuzzies.

There were so many pieces I wanted to bring home to decorate the new house, but sadly, my budget can not accommodate my wants.

If you have a small bit of time, you should take a walk through these exhibits. The galleries at PVCC are located in the Dickinson building, in the halls surrounding the main theater. More information can be found on the PVCC Arts page.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

February Lull

Wow, has it really been over 2 weeks since the last post here? That sucks.

Then again, I have been a little busy - school is in full swing (I should actually probably be studying for a midterm), I was sick for a week. Not a lot of crafting going on!

Right now I have a tiny project on the hook. My mom bought a hat and wanted a band for it, so I'm working on that.

I'm also up to my ears in notes and paint ideas, because we're buying a house!!

It does need a little work, so I've been paging through the archives at Young House Love and trying to plot what we'll be doing without place after we get the keys. So I assure you, there will be house crafty projects coming this spring and summer!

What's going on in your crafty life lately?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sneak Peek

Sneak peek of a project to come later this month....

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Easiest Arm Warmers Ever

Here I have some socks that I've worn out. They have holes in the heels and worn thin in the toes. So I'm going to turn them in to armwarmers.

First, put the sock on your hand. (you washed it first, right? RIGHT?) Then mark where you'd like the arm warmers to end. Now take them off, and then cut where you marked.

There, arm warmers!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Little Miss Bear

It's Miss B's Half Birthday coming up, so being the crafty Nana, I made a little something to send down to her.

She's gonna be a bear!

It's made out of fleece, with flannel in the ears, and lined with cotton. It didn't take long, but I did have to do the ears by hand because the machine just wasn't cooperating.

She's going to be so cute! I can't wait for the picture of her wearing it!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

This Post Socks

I did it!!!

I finished the knitted socks!

I didn't give up!

They look the same!

[medium crappy phone pic for now, better picture later!]

I've learned decreases, increases, knitting with 4 needles in the round, and how to pick up and carry a dropped stitch from 20 rows earlier.

+1 Craft Skill upgrade!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I was listening to the latest YarnCraft podcast today, and being the first show of the new year, they were talking about yarncrafting goals and resolutions for the year.

While I made some goals for the year for my life as a whole, I didn't really make detailed plans for my craft life.

I did want to finish the knit socks, make jam and biscuits, and work on (and hopefully finish) the Luna Sweater.

But what else?

I need to get the Rachel Scarf pattern finished and published so that it can do what it's meant to do.

This year I would like to do more sewing. I'm off to a good start, having made something for the grandbaby (will post that soon) and a bag. Last year I made some pouches and my wedding dress. This year I would like to make some shirts.

I want to continue knitting, but I'm not in that big of a fury for that. I think that when I finish the second sock, I will try to make Calorimetry again. I think I understand the short row concept a little better and won't give up as easily.

I want to do more crochet. Projects yet to be determined. I think some of that should be some charity crochet work.

I want to improve my photography. I will be learning more of the manual settings on my camera, and I want to apply that knowledge to taking better project photos.

I have big ideas.
I just need to put the time and focus into making them happen.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Phannie Revisited

Back about 2 years ago, I made the Phannie hat from Berocco.

It came out ok, but I didn't dig the band or the way it came out, so surprise surprise, I didn't wear it often.

I used the same yarn for a different project and after I realized I had enough left over from that and Mom's present this year, I decided I was going to frog back and try again.

So I frogged back about 6 rows, and started over, this time adding a repeat of rows 15, 16, and 17, as well as doing the band with a bigger hook (I have big hair, it takes a lot to compete with it).

Success! I like the drape and fit much better this time around.

Today's lesson:
No project is permanent and you CAN go back and fix things later.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Stick With It

I've also been spending a lot of time on Pinterest and I found where someone had made a graphic of this quote. It's from Ira Glass, host of This American Life. While I find the show sometimes a little snotty and hipstery, this is a good thing to read about staying with your creativity.  I hope it enlightens you a little bit, as it did for me.