Saturday, December 14, 2013

Skulls, Blankets, Motifs, Overload

I never thought I'd admit to having too many projects going at once!  I am feeling slight pressure since a lot of these need to be done and shipped before Christmas (11 days left on the countdown) but I haven't completely freaked out yet.  The flu has tried to keep me down, work picked up a bit and pulled me from my true calling of being snuggled on the couch watching the snow fall as I crochet, lol.

So some of the projects are done, others that aren't as pressing are sitting lonesome trying to call to me.  Here's what I've been doing the past month!

Well, this baby blankey is finished.  I love the Bernat Baby Blanket yarn, its sooooo soft and plush its nearly ridiculous, lol.  Unfortunately my lighting was poor because of weather, so the true colors are not 100% here.  When it stops snowing I'll take some pics outside.  I've completed one in the "Peachy" colorway (pictured) and nearly done with a boy version in the "Little Cosmos" colorway.  This is a link to a great  video that walks through how to start this one solid granny square using the same kind of yarn.  I found it after I discovered the original pattern meant to be made in multiple squares and joined like traditional grannys.  I don't think this yarn would work up well that way, but it was spectacular for one giant one that is about 28" each side.  I love this project so much that when I get these listed to Etsy there will be an option to order custom.

This is one of the 6 motifs I have done for a baby sized "snowflake throw."  I am using the pattern found here at   Here is a great video tutorial that helped me through some of the confusion.  If you haven't noticed, I love Mikey!  I am finding it easier to do all the centers first then deal with the edging when I get tired of looking a the white.  I'm not doing the full sized afghan that requires 35 motifs right now, I do plan to in the future but using Vanna's Glamour and a dark blue or dark purple variegated yarn.  For now I plan to do the blanket in 3 by 4 motifs.  Estimating it will come to approx 27"x36".

This is one of my back burner projects since I don't have an immediate order or anything for them, but I am letting some ideas marinate in my brain.  For example, the original design is here.  The page is in Swedish, but that is ok because if you scroll down the picture tutorial has the directions under it in English.  I'm not a fan of shawls personally, but would consider taking that project on as a custom order.  I wish I saw the picture tutorial before I followed the instructions I found for the standalone square here.  It is still a great pattern and I found it very easy to follow and understand, both designers did a great job!!  So since I plan to post whatever comes of these to Etsy, I'm not sure I'm going to divulge everything rolling through my brain, but check back and be amazed after the holidays!

So sitting here and blogging is not getting my projects completed, lol.  Not pictured I have a "From the middle" blanket I'm working on in Caron Simply Soft.  When its finished I'll post pics and links to the pattern.  I'm also working on some smaller items to list on Etsy for under $15 gifts.  The usual dish/spa cloth bundles, fancy bookmarks, potholders, hacky sacks, random applique sets and the like.  I doubt I'll get them listed before Christmas which is a bummer, but late is better than never!  There are always craft fairs in the Spring to look forward to!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Teeny Tiny

So I recently became obsessed with making things like bookmarks, and that brought me to other very small projects.  At the store I happened to pass the embroidery thread on my way to the yarn and had an epiphany ... 30 cents or less per color of thread, and I'm sure I could probably find a steal at the local second hand stores.  I'm even tempted to see if my mom still has a stash, lol.  Anyway, these cutesy little flowers I came up with.  I am thinking they would make cute barrettes, motifs, maybe even an embellishment for a book thong.  I'm thinking when I get some pinks I'll attach them to some baby girl headbands.

Here's a picture in my hand to give an idea of the size.

So here's how I did it.

3 colors of embroidery thread (I can't find the exact colors, but its a light green, dark purple, and bright blue)
Size E crochet hook

Small Flower

Round 1 - Chain 2, 6 sc in 2nd chain from hook.  Slip stitch into the first chain, makes a ring.
Round 2 - (Chain 3, dc, chain 3, slip stitch into the same stitch) slip stitch into the next stitch and repeat ( ) 5 times until you have a total of 6 petals.
Finish off leaving a few inches of tail.

Large Flower

Round 1 - Chain 2, 6 sc in 2nd stitch from hook.  Slip stitch into the first chain, makes a ring.
Round 2 - (Chain 4,  2 tr, chain 4, slip stitch into the same stitch) slip stitch in the next stitch and repeat ( ) 5 times until you have a total of 6 petals.
Finish off using a few inches of tail.


Chain 9
Sc in 2nd chain from hook, hdc in next chain, dc in the next 3 chains, hdc in next chain, sc in next 2 ch.  Pivot work to use the "bottom" of the foundation chain.  Chain 1, sc in next 2 ch, hdc in the next chain, dc in the next 3 chains, hdc in the next chain, sc in last chain and slip stitch to the first sc to join.
Finish off leaving a few inches of tail.


Don't weave in any ends, as they can be used to sew the project together.

I started by placing the pieces how I wanted to assemble, then taking the tail from the leaf and drawing it up through the center of my purple (larger) flower and tied a few knots with the two ends to secure them.  Using the leaf's thread carefully sew using the back stitches of the larger flower and front stitches of the leaf just enough to secure the leaf from flopping back.  Weave in that end and cut.

Using the larger flower's thread, carefully sew the back of the smaller flower's center to the front of the purple flower's center.  Weave in end and cut.

Check and make sure things are well sewn together, the petals are loose, but make sure the center of the flowers and leave are secure.  If not, use the smaller flower's tail to tighten up.  Weave in final tail and cut.

I should be getting to bed, but When I make some more of these I'll take some pictures showing how I assembled to try to make it more clear.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Rainbow Cell Phone Sleeves

So a friend at work asked if I could make her a few cell phone sleeves after seeing a project I was playing around with for Rich's phone.  She got the Red Heart Super Saver "Mexicana" color yarn, and I have to say, it is AWESOME!  I was skeptical at first that the it could make a decent project, but OMGoodness I love how it turned out.

Unfortunately my picture quality right now isn't the greatest, as I'm working with an iPad and smartphone for cameras, but they work for the time being.  The first two came out with these perfect swirly rainbow stripes, completely by chance, and I LOVE IT.  So I decided to try to make a larger sleeve, and got a different interesting result.

I like the kind of ripple effect it took, and no matter what I do I can't seem to duplicate it!! I've tried starting at different points in the color changes in the yarn, increasing and decreasing the starting row of stitches, so much but no success in a repeat of Sleeve 3. 

Anyway, this is a basic breakdown of how I did these.

Size H (5.0mm) Crochet hook
Red Heart Super Saver in Mexicana
I didn't really take a gauge, just had the phone's measurements.  
This is worked as one continuous piece no slip stitching between rows.

Ch 11 (or just long enough for width of phone/device plus 1 chain)

Extended single crochet (ESC) in 2nd ch from hook. (To do an ESC, insert hook and pull up a loop. Y/O and draw through 1 loop on the hook, Y/O again and draw through remaining 2 loops on hook.)  ESC in each stitch until the end, then turn work upside down so you can work into the bottom "unused" loops.  ESC across to end and slip stitch into the first ESC. 

Ch 1 and esc in each stitch, going completely around and not turning work.  I put a stitch marker into that first stitch so I know when I've completed a row.  

Complete enough rows so it is just taller than your phone/device. Ch 1 and pull through tail to finish off.  Weave in ends and all done! 

I worked up 3 in no time at all.

Everything needs a place

So I've been really enjoying all my crochet projects.  Something inside me makes me feel incomplete if I have less than 5 going at once.  Currently in progress:  a black and pink diagonal striped baby blanket for a friend, a light green and gold/cream squared lap/throw blanket, "market" or "beach" bags/totes, a pile of dish cloths, a box of baby booties and hats, warm winter teen/adult sized hats, slippers for Rich's cold feet (he's mean with those things!) and a pile of butterfly, fan and filet bookmarks.  Yeah.  Lots.

There is a yarn shop just a short walk from the apartment that I've been meaning to go to, but have heard they're pretty expensive but carry intriguing yarn.  Like Alpaca!  Most of my projects just use Red Heart (that I soften up with fabric softener) Caron or cotton yarn like Peaches and Cream.  I like to do it as inexpensive as possible since I'm not yet set up to sell my creations on Etsy or at craft fairs yet.  Maybe if these all start helping pay for themselves I'll indulge with some unique yarn.

So anyway, most of these projects that I write out have only been tested by me, so if you do undertake any of these projects and there are any mistakes you think you see or are having difficulty feel free to contact me and I'll be happy to clarify.  Most of my projects I also post to Ravelry under my usual name, Shezzyla.