Hats & Scarfs Ready to Go

Blogged under Charity Crafting by Tammy on Wednesday 16 May 2012 at 2:27 pm

3 hats and 2 scarves for May 2012 charity drive

3 hats and 2 scarves for May 2012 charity drive

For May 2012, the Yahoo Crochetlist is having a charity drive for Warming Families. I actually happened to have a few charity stash items (2 hats and one scarf) already done, so I made another hat and scarf to go with and should get these mailed out next week. Hopefully, I can stay a little ahead each month and be able to participate without stress out that I get stuff made in time. It is onto animal blankets for next month!

Using my Crochet Noodle

Blogged under Projects in Progress by Tammy on Tuesday 15 May 2012 at 2:38 pm

As I mentioned before, I have had a heck of a time with a pair of fingerless gloves. But after frogging them for almost a dozen times, I finally have made some significant progress. I have just a few more rows to do and the thumb part.

Of course, that is easier said than done. I’m using thin sock yarn (first time I’ve every used sock yarn) and a size F hook. I’m also having to crochet in the front loops most of the time, and if it isn’t in the front, then it’s in the back loops. Thin yarn + small hook + not so easy stitch = I must pay attention and actually use my brain for a change. My hands have also been challenged and are starting to rebel, so I can only do a few rows before I have to stop and rest.

Now this glove is in no way perfect, but I do have the correct number of stitches – yeah! – and it fits so far – double yeah! – and the boo boos are probably only noticeable to me (at least that the story that I’m sticking with). Le sigh! I just have to make one more after this.

Summer Puppy and Kitty Days

Blogged under writing,Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Monday 14 May 2012 at 6:30 am

My first week of summer vacation has been great! I’ve gotten a good chunk of writing work done, and I’m having a blast with my hairy crew.

We are hunting for lizards.

Here...lizard, lizard. I want to be your friend.

Here...lizard, lizard. I want to be your friend.

We are taking lots of trips out to the backyard, especially in the morning before it gets too hot.

Rocky likes to take a walk in between naps.

Rocky likes to take a walk in between naps.

We are doing lots of relaxing and snuggling.

Two Calicos can fit in one paper box lid.

Two Calicos can fit in one paper box lid.

Lola looks great with my beads in the background.

Lola looks great with my beads in the background.

This is one cozy spot!

This is one cozy spot!

Coco likes to keep an eye one me while I\'m writing on my computer.

Coco likes to keep an eye one me while I'm writing on my computer.

Jasper smiles for the camera.

Jasper smiles for the camera.

Crafting Links

Blogged under Around the Web,Charity Crafting,Free Craft Projects by Tammy on Sunday 13 May 2012 at 10:21 am

Beautiful Lola is guarding my beads. As you might imagine, she is very helpful when I’m making jewelry.

Here are this week’s crafting links:

The Card Album
How to make a MOM tattoo style Mother’s Day Card

About Family Crafts
Play along with the current Make-It-Over craft challenge! Submit your shrink plastic crafts or links!

Craft Foxes
Enter the “Mom & Me Knits” Contest to win a $50 gift card plus an assortment of knitting books, just in time for Mother’s Day.

Carmi’s Art/Life World
A styrofome head must be made into an auction worthy art piece….Carmi’s results are now online.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
The Artful Crafter shares free clip art sources to publicize neighborhood fun.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi got to film a master glass worker on the Italian island of Murano!

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
How to make a recycled leather and plastic Steampunk gear cuff.

Couldn’t Help Myself Scarf

Blogged under Charity Crafting,crochet and knitting by Tammy on Wednesday 9 May 2012 at 12:38 pm

This scarf and the matching loom hat I made to go with it are not on my to-do list. In fact, I have a number of other craft projects in the works that I promised myself I would finish before I started one more thing. But, I guess because the last scarf I made was so super fast to make, I decided at the spur of the moment two whip up a few more items for a charity drive I’m participating in with the Yahoo Crochet List. I already had a scarf and two hats in my charity stash, which is plenty to donate, but I just had this urge to make more.

Some pluses to doing this is that the loom hat took me only a few days to make (still loving the loom), and this scarf is about one and a half rows just shy of being finished as well. Plus, I am using some yarn from my stash that was kind of orphan yarn. It’s Bernat Softee Baby in a color called “Ocean,” and I don’t have any other skeins in this exact color of blue and don’t see a need to buy more any time soon, so this unplanned project has turned into some stash busting too.

Why I Don’t Podcast or Missing Non-Knitting Podcasts

Blogged under Social Networking,Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Monday 7 May 2012 at 4:18 pm

First I want to make a disclaimer that I have nothing against knitting podcasts. If you look at my blog roll, you will see a bunch of knitting podcasts listed, and many of these I listen to whenever I can find the time. I enjoy them; I really do. But….I know that I would also enjoy podcasts on crochet and/or other types of crafting.

Now before everyone starts to tell me that there are other types of craft podcasts out on the Internet, I know that there are, but there aren’t very many (compared to knitting ones) and some of them are ancient and haven’t been updated in months, sometimes years. Face it: knitters are on the ball when it comes to podcasting. The rest of the crafting world is lagging way behind.

Because of this gap in the crafting podcast world, of course it has crossed my mind to do one of my own. It would be handy even for my teaching to be able to record a quality podcast. As it happens, I make a number of videos for my classes using Power Point combined with audio; however, I receive technical help to make these through the school’s e-learning department. I make up the Power Points myself, write the scripts, and go to a sound room where I read the scripts and move through each slide. Then the techie guys magically put the two together for me. If I goof while talking…and of course I do…they can often edit it out for me so it doesn’t sound too bad.

But given all of that, here’s why I don’t just podcast myself:

  • First, I want to listen and enjoy them. Listening to myself talk is not the same at all. It sort of reminds me of when I used to sell my jewelry at art shows and people would say, “Oh, that sounds like fun. I love to go to art shows.” Yes, well, when you work at one, you don’t actually get to wander around casually and enjoy yourself.
  • Another issue I have with it is that I hate to hear a recording of my own voice, and I do make mistakes. It would take a heck of a lot of editing to make it sound half way decent.
  • Then there is the fact that one of my favorite types of podcasts is when there are two people doing one such as The Knit Girllls and Yarn Craft. I listen to solo ones too, but having two people talking is much more of a conversation to me.
  • Finally, another major reason is that while I am sure, given time, I could figure out all the techie stuff necessary to create and post a podcast, I can think of many other things I would rather spend my time on.

If you know of any good non-kitting podcasts that actually get updated regularly, feel free to post the URL as a comment, or better yet, what is stopping you from picking up a microphone and doing a podcast yourself?

Chilling with Craft Links Today

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 6 May 2012 at 9:02 am

School is over, but I haven’t been very busy yet because of some allergy attacks that won’t seem to subside. Like Chanel (above), I have had to just take it easy for the past few days. At least I can craft virtually through the Internet.

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen offers you a free printable label and shares the recipe for some tasty grapefruit curd.

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi reviews her first class at a Toronto sewing school.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to chiffonade leafy greens, sew a dart-in apron tie, make a retro kitty disco ball, and patch wallpaper perfectly.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Eileen has been at sea with creativity while making mementos of the trip of a lifetime.

Mixed Media Artist
Nothing makes bright colors pop quite like framing them with black!

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
How to decorate a sombrero for Cinco De Mayo

1 Skein Scarf – Take Redo

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Finished Projects by Tammy on Saturday 5 May 2012 at 5:53 pm

I showed this same scarf and same yarn recently, and while I liked the pattern, there were a few issues I had with the finished product. First, for some reason it looked like I had missed one row of single crochet on one side of the scarf. No one but me would have probably noticed, but it bugged me. It felt “off.” The other issue I had was that ii was too short. I should have measured it, but I’d say it was about 3 feet long. Now, it is not meant to be long, so this was an issue I had. There’s nothing wrong with the pattern.

I wore it once and felt so-so about it, but considering I paid about $10 for the 1 skein I used and this was a scarf I didn’t see myself wearing much, I decided to go ahead and frog it and make it over again. This time, instead of starting with 121 chain stitches, I made 161 stitches, so this gave me length. It ended up being about 4 1/2 feet long (just right!)

As I frogged the finished scarf, I ended up having a heck of a time getting it all unwoven. Some of this was because I had woven in all of my tails, but I ended up losing some of the yarn. Once I started getting past the half way mark when remaking it, I realized that I may not have enough (yikes!) To play it safe, I ended up making 3 rows (instead of 4) of the crossed double crochet that are sandwiched in the middle of the rows of single crochet. This made it about a half an inch narrower than before.

This is the first time I’ve taken apart an entirely finished crochet project and redid it, and I’m glad I did, even if it meant sacrificing some of the yarn to do it. It is the length that I want and both sides of single crochet are even now. Totally worth it!

Looking Ahead at Summer 2012

Blogged under amigurumi,writing,Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Thursday 3 May 2012 at 1:59 pm

Tomorrow I go to commencement, and after that, I’m off for summer 1 semester! While I will be on vacation for a good chunk of time, of course, I have a pretty good size list I hope to accomplish during my break:

  • As far as yarn works in progress, I have a shawl, a pair of fingerless gloves, and a scarf I plan to finish.
  • For projects that I haven’t actually started yet, there are two necklaces I plan to make, which I pretty much have the supplies for, just need to nail down the actual design.
  • Another project not started yet is an afghan for one of my nephews. I got some of the super soft baby blanket yarn that I like so much in a colorway called summer days. He’s not a baby any more, but he loves to snuggle with a soft blanket and play on the computer.
  • Then finally on the yarn list are some toys I plan to make for a donation drive I hope to participate in this summer. I have a fair amount of green yarn in my stash and can use that to make some amigurumi frogs. I also think I can whip up a few little princess crowns.
  • As far as writing, I have a fiction piece I’ve been working on that I am about 3/4 of the way through the first full draft. I want to at least finish the draft, and then it will be time roll up my sleeves and do lots of rewriting on it.
  • My other writing project includes a book proposal on a topic that I have been researching. Until I have something more solid, like a book contract, I don’t want to say too much other than it is not craft related but a little on the academic side.
  • Sprinkle reading and getting lots of exercise in between all of the above.

Summer vacation….here I come!

Bag of Beads Haul

Blogged under Jewelry Designing,My College Craft Club by Tammy on Tuesday 1 May 2012 at 12:28 pm

Yesterday’s mail brought me a yummy load of lampwork beads from Dee Dee Hess of DeeDleBeads. She knows that the craft club I sponsor at school likes to make jewelry, and as it happens, we will definitely be making jewelry during the fall semester to sell at the DECA show we participated in last year. So she got a collection of beads for us, many of of them her test beads or seconds, but heck, they look pretty darn good to me. I can just picture these mixed with crystals to make some awesome memory wire bracelets. I know club members are going to love these!

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