Your Weekly Craft Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Saturday 30 June 2012 at 10:47 am

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a recipe for roasted red pepper pasta, tutorials on how to draw and paint clouds with a watercolor mixing tip, and a fun idea for using sewing hook and eyes in a mixed media collage.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Sneak a peek into Eileen’s Creativity at Sea journal.

Cherie Burbach
Cherie makes a glass sculpture out of darker green glass.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi moves forward with her lava-inspired quilt, but is still not quite sure where she’ll end up!

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
Check out Stef’s latest creation: a recycled wood and furniture cabinet.

Aileen Musings
Aileen struck gold finding Vintage tins at a garage sale…check out some of her altered tin creations and get inspired!

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi is giving away ONE free spot in Claudine Hellmuth’s next Big Picture online class “Composition for Collage.”

Guy Fingerless Gloves No. 2

Blogged under Projects in Progress by Tammy on Saturday 30 June 2012 at 6:44 am

I am having some major success with my second attempt (see first attempt here) at making a pair of fingerless gloves for guys. This time, I’m using a G size hook instead of an F size, and they are coming out better and are way easier to stitch too. I’m using a colorway called Taffy, which is a mix of dark blues and a little brown, and the yarn is again Sock-Ease from Lion Brand.

I have one finished and one on the hook. Life is getting busier now that summer school has started for me, but I’m hoping to finish this next pair in the next week or so.

Another Ripple Shawl in the Works

Blogged under Projects in Progress by Tammy on Friday 29 June 2012 at 7:02 am

I am cruising on another ripple shawl using some more Big Trend yarn. The colors are jewel tone with this one, and again, like my previous ripple shawl, it is self stripping and turning out great so far. I know I need to try a different shawl pattern on my next shawl project, but I’m still in love with the ripple Got to love the ripple!

More on Knitting and Ribbing and Frogging and Frogging

Blogged under crochet and knitting by Tammy on Thursday 28 June 2012 at 8:56 am

Here is more photographic evidence that I can sometimes manage to do knitted ribbing. I says sometimes because I get about this far, a few inches, and then I screw it up! Though I drop a stitch sometimes, more often I’m adding stitches. Yes, and I’m not even sure how.

One issue with knitting versus crochet is that you can fake stuff so much easier with crochet. If I were to have an extra stitch in a crochet scarf (I was attempting to make a scarf here), I would just decrease to remove a stitch some place and all would be well. Or at least, no one would really be able to notice the flaw unless they really, really looked for it. But with knitting, nope, you can’t fake it.

I know there are different ways to fix stuff, and my Knitfreedom e-book does show how, but right now, I’m just frogging and frogging and frogging some more. I will say that I’m becoming an expert at casting on though. I don’t think I will ever forget how to do a long tail cast on. I can almost do it blind folded by now!

Knit Picks Order Arrived

Blogged under Crafty Products by Tammy on Wednesday 27 June 2012 at 3:48 pm

I’m a fairly new shopper at Knit Picks. I purchased some Brava acrylic recently for a baby hat I made for a friend, and about 2 days after I ordered it, I got an email about a sale they had going on as well as an offer that if you made a purchase (of anything) you got a free skein of Brava. ERRrr….yah…kind of bummed me out since I had just ordered some of that! It would have been nice to be given the skein when I had made the purchase! But, timing is everything, right? And I have heard so much about this company and its yarn, I went over to take a look at the sale. I was really impressed with some of prices, and I am still trying to expand my yarn horizons, and oh, yeah, I have a thing for baby alpaca now, so I caved and ordered (after doing some yarn research of Ravelry).

First I went for some more baby alpaca, Tidepool Heather Andean Treasure. I got a bunch of this because it was about half the cost of what I had paid at the not so local yarn store, and I had dreams of making a super soft shawl out of it. Now that it is here and I’ve touched it, I’m not so sure. It is soft, but compared to the other alpaca yarn (from Casade), it is not thrilling me. It is soft. It just isn’t “angels are singing” soft when I touch it. I guess maybe you get what your pay for.

My other yarn acquisition included some fingering weight Chroma in a colorway called Guppy. I may need to see a shrink for ordering such thin yarn, but I’m imagining a light, bright, and lacey shawl that might be gifted if I live long enough to make it.

Here is some more Chroma yarn, also in fingering, in a colorway called Fossil. This allocated in my mind for a shawl, this time for me, possibly something I could leave in my office at school.

This is some sock yarn I plan to use for making fingerless gloves for a friend of mine who loves red. It’s called Cochineal Felici, whatever that means. I’m doing pretty well in the fingerless gloves category right now, so I don’t think I’m delusional imagining this project.

Finally, here is the “freebie” (ha ha) that I got in Rouge. I plan to use this for making some toy crowns for next month’s Crochetlist donation drive.

I’m not sure if I’m a Knit Picks convert yet. My experience so far with customer service was not so great. I won’t give details because so many people rave about this company, and I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that my experience was an anomaly. As far as the yarn, I was disappointed in the quality of the alpaca compared to my previous alpaca purchase at a yarn store, but I’ve learned a valuable lesson that not all alpaca is the same. In fact, since then I’ve read on the Ravelry boards that some can even be itchy…yikes! I’m hoping that once I actually start to use some of this yarn, especially the Chroma which I love the colors of, that my opinion will change.

TLC’s Craft Wars – I’ve Got the Scoop for You!

Blogged under Crafty Videos,Shows by Tammy on Monday 25 June 2012 at 3:31 pm

Remember back in the day when you could actually watch craft shows on TV, and not just on PBS? Finally, crafters are getting some of TV time again. Crafting is mixed with a dose of reality TV and competition in a new show coming out Tuesday 7/26/12 at 9pm central time  on TLC. It’s called Craft Wars. I was lucky enough to get a chance to view an early screening of this new show, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

The basic premise of the show is for three crafters to compete against each other by making projects assigned by the host, Tori Spelling. The finished product is then judged by Erica Domesek (author of the DIY book, PS I Made This), Stephen Brown (author and founder of the multi-million dollar gift wear company Glitterville Studios) and Jo Pearson (author and creative expert for Michael’s). There are two rounds of competition. The first includes all three crafters, and then one is eliminated before the second competition. The final winner receives $10,000.

I have been seeing the clips on TV for this show for a few weeks now, and one thing I wasn’t too sure about was how long the crafters had to do their magic and what kind of support (if any) they received. I was concerned that they might get something ridiculous like 5 minutes to create a prom dress or something, but I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, they are crunched for time, but for the first round they had an hour and the second they had 5 hours. Doable to a certain extent.

Contestants also received help in two ways: hands-on and via supplies and equipment. For the shorter round, their husbands assisted them and then later three additional helpers were provided for each contestant. On top of this, they had a wood shop available as well as the “Michael’s wall,” a shrine of everything craft related.

You can see a trailer and more information about this new show at Craft Wars TLC. What a great show to watch while your knitting or beading, hey? Don’t forget to watch and also set your DVRs.

Weekly Craft Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 24 June 2012 at 8:54 am

Coco is helping me get some stitching done while we surf the Internet! Here are this week’s craft links for you to enjoy.

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen shows you yet another background technique from her Junque Journal. Learn how to create a far off textured galaxy background this week.

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Is it too early to say Christmas? Carmi has a huge Christmas themed Jewelry post

Cherie Burbach

Cherie’s art reflects her busy schedule this week.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on the embroidered turkey stitch and using the parts of type as a prompt for hand lettering a quote along with knitted balloons and sugar substitute info.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Do you craft for profit? If yes, be sure you track your costs and your customers to assure profitability and good customer relations.

Mixed Media Artist
What does Hawaiian lava have to do with making a quilt?

I’m Making Ribs!

Blogged under crochet and knitting by Tammy on Saturday 23 June 2012 at 2:24 pm

Put down your forks. I’m making ribs but not the kind you eat. For the first time, I finally have managed to knit what is called “ribbing,” where you alternate between knit and purl stitch. Above is some photographic evidence!

I can’t tell you how hard this has been for me to get my brain to tell my hands to do this! In fact, years ago when I tried to take some knitting classes, the instructor actually started with this, alternating between these two stitches, and it really turned me off to knitting because it was so freaking hard and I could not visually tell the difference between the two stitches.

Since discovering, I have finally been making some knitting progress. They are still baby steps, but Liat’s instructions and videos are so amazing. I’m working through her Intermediate Scarves & Stitches ebook now, and that is what finally made the whole knit/purl/knit/purl thing click for me. Being able to finally do this is a huge step because basically knitting is made up of pretty much these two stitches. So unless you can go back and forth between them, you are super limited in what you can make.

Now I’m starting the scarf project she has in the ebook, which I know will probably take me forever because I’m incredibly slow, but I just have to keep telling myself that it is all part of the process. Yeah for me!

US Olympic Committee Steps in Yarn Barf

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Friday 22 June 2012 at 10:10 am

This has gone viral all over the web, so as a yarn lover, I felt compelled to post about it. For those not already in the know, the nutshell version of the story is that the US Olympic Committee has sent a nasty note to the owners of in reference to Ravelympics, a virtual event held during the Olympics where members of Ravelry team up and have Olympic style yarn-related competitions. For example, I am part of team MinKnit, and our team has pledged to knit while we watch the games. I picked a fairly easy team to join because I just want to relax while watching the games, and I’m not much into competition. However, there are all kinds of other teams to join where groups pledge to do things like make an entire sweater starting when the games open and stopping when they close. Basically, there it is a fun way to challenge yourself yarn-wise and enjoy watching the Olympics.

However….now the USOC has gotten wind of all the fun and have decided to put a kabash on much of it by demanding that the name Ravelympics is changed because it infringes on its copyright to the word Olympics. The USOC has also demanded that any patterns or other related items that have an image of the rings or use of the word Olympics be removed from the site.

Granted, it does own the word, and so the committee does have the right to request some of its demands, but what really got everyone’s yarn in a knot was how the request was worded. Here is one biting comment included in the letter: “We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games. In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.”

Yes, of course being a yarn person is not the same as being an athlete, but really, did they have to go there? Was it really necessary to be this rude and condescending?

Oh, and it gets better. After the yarn community had a cow about this, tweeting like crazy and posting on Facebook, apologizes from the USOC were offered. So, you would think, okay, all is settled and everyone shakes hands. Of course not! Instead, the apology includes this statement: “We apologize for any insult and appreciate your support. We embrace hand-crafted American goods as we currently have the Annin Flagmakers of New Jersey stitching a custom-made American flag to accompany our team to the Olympic Games in London. To show our support of the Ravelry community, we would welcome any handmade items that you would like to create to travel with, and motivate, our team at the 2012 Games.”

Come on people! Seriously? You think knitters/crocheters are going to make stuff for you? Someone needs to tell the committee’s spokesman (Patrick Sandusky) to shut up already! The apologies are worse than the snarky comments from the nasty letter!

For more info on this craziness, here are some links:, TeamUSA, Gawker, The Atlantic, Yahoo.

Baby Blanket Granny Square Done!

Blogged under Finished Projects by Tammy on Thursday 21 June 2012 at 1:18 pm

Yeah for me for finishing what will be a Christmas gift for one of my young nephews! I used Bernat Baby Blanket yarn in the Summer Day colorway and whipped up a 50×50 inch soft as can be granny square afghan for him. He particularly likes soft blankets, so this should be a winner (I hope).

I still think this yarn is pretty cool, but I don’t see me making another afghan this size out of it any time soon. It is so bulky that it gets pretty touch to work with when it becomes larger than 30 inches. I felt like I was wrestling at the same time I was trying to crochet!

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