Bartering for Baby Afghan

Blogged under Projects in Progress by Tammy on Wednesday 30 March 2011 at 11:52 am

A good friend of mine offered to pay me to make a baby afghan for him that he wants to give to a couple he knows who is having their first child. This is the first time anyone has asked me to make something and offer to pay for it. I thought about it for awhile, and honestly, I have no idea how long it takes me to make items that I crochet. I do it because I like to, and I’m not that great at it, so it is probably best if I don’t time myself and try to figure out how fast I am (or more than likely how slow).

I didn’t feel right about selling, but I didn’t want to turn him down either. It’s not like I haven’t made a jillion baby afghans for total strangers. Why not make one for a friend? Then I realized I could barter for it instead, and this would relieve some of the pressure.

Pictured is what I’ve started so far. I’m planning on making it about 36×36 inches in shell stitch. I’m using Bernat Baby Softee in blue and white/blue variegated. I plan to do about 12 inches of solid blue, then 12 inches of variegated, and then another 12 of solid. Then I’ll trim it in variegated. That’s the plan at least. We’ll see how it goes.

I haven’t done shell stitch in a while, so this is a nice way to reintroduce myself to it. I forgot how much texture it creates, and because of the softee yarn, it’s nice and squishy feeling to boot.

Blocking Crochet Baby Hats

Blogged under Charity Crafting,Fiber Fun by Tammy on Tuesday 29 March 2011 at 10:01 am

During spring break, I am washing and blocking all the baby items my craft club made for Healthy Start, and then I will deliver them when we get back from the break. Pictured are a dozen hats. I wash them in Dreft baby detergent, and then place them on a big beach towel on the floor of our guest room to dry. This the one pet-free zone in our house, so that means they can safely sit there until they are dry, which in Florida does take a little time.

I have purchased a few bed comforters over the last few months and have saved the clear plastic cases they came in so that I can use them to store all of the baby items and deliver them blocked, clean, and ready to use.

Skimpy Powley 2011-1994

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Monday 28 March 2011 at 8:56 am

Today seems like a fitting day for all of the rain we are getting. We said good-bye yesterday to our little gray-boy cat, Skimpy. In May, he would have turned 18, and we are very grateful to have him with us for 17+ years.

He was a personality plus, plus kind of little guy. Even though he never weighed more than 8lbs, he was always the alpha cat in our home, bossing everyone around including his humans who were more than happy to serve him. He had a sassy demeanor, but he could turn on the purs and charm you instantly.

When I found him as a stray, I seriously thought the vet would suggest he be put down. He was about 3 months old and weight 1.9lbs at the time. He looked literally like a little rat. In fact, he looked so awful that I couldn’t bring myself to take photos of him at the time, but he rallied and eventually turned into a gorgeous cat with silken fur and a lean body, often mistaken for a pure Russian Blue for those who didn’t know his alley cat pedigree.

It is oddly quiet in the house today and strange to sit here and type without him next me, reaching out and pulling my hand off the keyboard so that I would pet him. He was a great office assistant and reminded me often that life is not all about work and we should play once and awhile and then enjoy a good nap.

Weekend Crafting Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 27 March 2011 at 10:09 am

The Crochet Dude
Drew announced his “Carnation Bouquet Afghan Project” – looks like a FUN way to crochet for charity! There is also a way to win something from his product line The Crochet Dude Collection!

About Family Crafts
Even if you don’t have spring weather where you are, you can celebrate spring with these flower coloring pages.

The Card Album
See how to make a jackalope card with a bunny and deer punch.

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen offers you an Altered Composition Notebook tutorial this week; stop by and check it out.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Eileen shares directions for sewing a secret pockets hanger cover. This clever organizer can also be used to organize outfits.

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Following up on last weeks post Carmi prepared a two part sachet making tutorial.

Craftside- A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world

This week at Craftside there is a free vintage octopus clip art, idea for using steel wool for doll hair, a unique redwork crazy quilt and a tutorial on how to make mini art collages.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
See how to get your rubber duckies to take flight with some recycled plastic.

Craft Sales at JoAnn’s This Weekend

Blogged under Crafty Products by Tammy on Saturday 26 March 2011 at 12:17 pm

I’m getting ready to make a baby blanket for a friend, so this was a great excuse to pick up some yarn deals at a great sale going on this weekend at JoAnn’s. I ended up getting some Bernat Baby Softee yarn for 25% off and some Lion Brand Sock-Ease for buy one ($9.99) and get the second for 50% off. Plus, with a special coupon I got in my email, I received an additional 25% off the entire purchase. That means my Bernat yarn was $2.52 a skein (normally $4.49), and the Sock-Ease skeins were $7.45 and 3.74.

There are also some good deals on jewelry supplies and fabric. I think the last day of the sale and the ability to use the 25% off coupon is tomorrow. I’m so glad I got in on this, and as luck would have it, I managed to get to the store fairly early for a change and didn’t get stuck in those horrible lines JoAnn’s usually has on weekends like this.

Crochet Chain Stitch Ideas

Blogged under CFEs/Contests,Charity Crafting,Fiber Fun,Free Craft Projects by Tammy on Friday 25 March 2011 at 12:25 pm

Now that I’ve taught a few people how to crochet, I’ve learned how critical the chain stitch is for them. However, there is only so much you can do with crochet chains or so I thought until I found this very cool video of the Double Stitch Twins who show a few things you can do just with chain stitch. I especially like the picture frame. That is super easy and would make a nice gift too. Plus, those new to crochet can get lots of chain stitch practice in and have something they can actually make with the zillion foot chain they end up making!

Baby Beanie Hat with No Slip Stitch

Blogged under Charity Crafting,Crafty Videos,Free Craft Projects by Tammy on Thursday 24 March 2011 at 6:10 am

Finally, I discovered a very simply baby beanie (aka hat) pattern requiring no slip stitches but instead is worked in the round that I think my craft club members can do. It is a single crochet hat from the Art of Crochet by Teresa weblog. Not only is it very easy to understand as far as the pattern goes, but it is very forgiving in case you mess up on counting the rows. She even has a video that shows you how to make the entire project, which is awesome for beginners or even me 😉

I like how it turned out. The only down side is that it takes much longer to make than my tried and true hat that I’ve been making for awhile, but hey, it got me to expand my crochet horizons some.

Yarn Skeins, Balls, and Hanks, the 411

Blogged under Crafty Videos by Tammy on Wednesday 23 March 2011 at 9:33 am

I have been trying to think of a way to easily break up some yarn skeins into maybe two or three balls each as a way to help spread the yarn love some among craft club members. My initial approach was to use yarn scraps to teach them how to crochet and then hand over a full skein when they are ready to actually make something. However, while members usually have good intentions, I’ve learned that sometimes the end product does not materialize, and I’ve essentially lost yarn.

I don’t think there is going to be an easy way to do this, but I thought I’d check YouTube just in case to see if I was missing some cool trick for turning skeins into balls. As I did, I found this interesting video from Vicki Howell about the difference in how yarn is wrapped or packaged.

Crocheted Baby Hats, Hats, and More Hats

Blogged under Charity Crafting,My College Craft Club by Tammy on Monday 21 March 2011 at 5:12 pm

Along with crocheting baby afghans, our club is also working baby hats. I haven’t made these in a while, and though I’ve been trying to find some different patterns for me to attempt, I keep coming back to this one from the Tying Knots in Yarn weblog. It’s such a great pattern. It is easy to follow, the stitches are simple, and the results are wonderful.

I have had a few club members ask for a pattern that works in the round because they aren’t thrilled with the seam you get on these, but so far, I haven’t found anything that was on the super-easy level. Plus, once I wash and block these hats, you really don’t see the seam like you do when you are making it. I think some of their issues was that they are still pretty new to crochet and don’t understand how to tighten up the tension when moving up to the next row.

We are going to be sending off our first batch of donated baby items soon, and between a few members who are making hats and the hats I’ve been making, we should have at least a dozen or so to include with the afghans as well. Yeah!

Weekly Craft Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 20 March 2011 at 4:09 pm

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Eileen reviews Chapter 4 of Cyndi Lavin’s eBook, Every Bead Has a Story.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi found a new product to help out with her fabric books…

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
See how to make an Easter egg locket necklace.

About Family Crafts
Follow these tips shared by Sherri to successfully color on fabric.

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen offers you a couple of Easter Egg projects to inspire you!

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi makes a sweet sachet with fabric she printed herself.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to make a custom car windshield sun shade, carve novelty erasers into cute rubber stamps, paint pale skin tones, some history about sheet music, and a crazy quilt made with techniques from the book Designer Bead Embroidery.

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