Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Neverending Headband Story

A month or two ago (oops) a friend from work asked me if i could re-create this for her. Without thinking I said I would try it. How hard could it be?, I thought. How hard, indeed!

I didn't get started on it until after the crap-i-forgot-to-start-on-Christmas-gifts-before-thanksgiving rush, so by that time I was already feeling bad about the amount of time that had passed. Once I was working on it I kept having the problem that i would measure it (to my own head) after a couple of rows and it would be fine, actually it was too long and would overlap, but every time I was almost done with it would have somehow shrunk down and ended up being too short. I hard to frog it -- not once, but five or six times!

To make it worse, my sister, after seeing that I finished (she knew how many times I'd started over) said, "So, did you write down what you did?" D'oh. The friend I made it for is out of town, but when she's back in the office I plan on borrowing from her long enough to write it down and turn it into my very first written pattern.

Anyway, after all that I was really happy with how it turned out, and quite proud that I could recreate something by looking at it.

The yarn is Patons Angora Bamboo (soooo soft!) in Low Tide.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

happy new year!

Just wanted to say... see you next year!

Here's a post on Skip to my Lou that I just loved... So many pretty calendars, how will I choose??

Printable 2011 Calendars

Friday, December 17, 2010

Another Needlecraft

I admit that the last thing I need is another "work in progress" pile in my craft corner, but come on, who wouldn't love this??

My oldest sister did cross-stitch (I know it's not exactly the same) when she was younger, I'm sure she would have liked to have some more modern designs like this to work with (she's just stylish like that!) So, yes, I think this is pretty great.

(as heard about on the indie biz chicks podcast)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

crochet basics: starting chain

Oh my! I've been really busy this past week. Too busy. So for now I'll leave you with a video a made, I thought a video might be more helpful than pictures in this case. (All it's missing is some metal background music, don't you think?)

Starting Chains

A few quick tips about starting chains:

  • Abbreviated in patterns as "ch" and followed by a number
  • If you have trouble with your work twisting once you start, try making your chain with a size bigger hook than you plan on using for the project
  • Remember to count your chains correctly! I made a ch 10 in the video
  • If you're making up your own pattern, chain 3 extra for double crochets, 2 for half-double and 1 for single
  • Also important if you're making your own pattern, remember that your chain will stretch once it has stitches in it
That's it for now, I hope you enjoy the video!

Friday, December 10, 2010

crochet basics: slip knots

Hello! This is my first post in the 101 series. I'm going to talk about the basics of crocheting. Perhaps you've crocheted in the past and are picking it up again, or you may be a knitter who sees crochet patterns they'd love to try (I'm the opposite!) or maybe you're looking for a new hobby and you're just getting started.

Whichever your path, let me start with some words of encouragement: You can do it! Really, though, crochet can seem intimidating at first, the patterns are written in a crazy-looking, foreign language, the are all the different hooks and yarn, and watching someone else crochet kind of makes your head hurt (how do they do it so fast?).

Believe me when I say, if you stick it out, crochet is an extremely rewarding hobby. You can make so many things... for yourself, for gifts. Practical things, cute things... (but you knew that already!) So stay positive and know that no one gets crochet right the first time they try,  you will make mistakes, and you will have to tear up things you've made. (hopefully not at midnight the night before you needed something to be complete.) But with a little practice, you'll do just fine.

Slip knots
Almost every project will start with a slip knot. (The only alternative I can think of is an adjustable ring or "magic ring" used for pulling a circular opening tight) As with a lot of things in crochet, there are many ways of reaching similar results, so you just have to figure out what works best for you. This is how I make a slip knot:

first of all, you'll need your yarn and hook

hold both the "tail" and ball ends of the yarn in one hand, and a part of it in the other

cross it over itself once

and twice

grab the "tail" end with two fingers of one hand to pull it tight, then cross the loop you made over the ball end of the yarn

pull the ball end of the yarn up through the loop

pull both end the same way while you hold the loop to tighten

put the yarn on your hook

pull it tight (but loose enough to still move) by pulling the ball end

There you have it. What did you think? Do you make your knots a different way? Let me know!

In the next basics post I'll talk about making your starting chain.

(The hook I'm using is a Clover brand size I/9 and the yarn is Lion Brand Cotton-Ease)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

new start

photo by stephaniekac

Well, I think that was a long enough break, don't you?

I really enjoyed teaching my crochet classes at the beginning of this year. We had a lot of fun and learned new things. We decided to take the summer off since so many people were going to be out-of-town or busy with other things. I'm hoping to start something again next year, but it will probably be something more like a crochet club (those exist, right?) that meets once a week to hang out and stay motivated on projects.

As for this blog, a bit of brainstorming and requests from friends gave me an idea... I think I'll be using it mainly to post tutorials, crochet lessons and helpful hints. Being left-handed, I plan to do most of them that way, but I may enlist the help of my (other-handed) sister too, she just doesn't know it yet.

So I hope you'll like what I have to share and if you have any specific questions or requests for me, I'll be happy to take them! Just post a comment here or send me an email. I'm here to help!