My Shawlette

Blogged under Finished Projects by Tammy on Wednesday 28 November 2012 at 10:25 am

Back in October, I splurged at a not-so-local yarn shop and purchased this wonderful skein of Frog Tree sock yarn (80% washable Merino wool and 20% bamboo). One thing I am trying to be very careful about when I purchase fancy yarn is to make sure I actually use it. I know from past experience with other crafts (such as beading) that it can be difficult sometimes to make yourself use the “good stuff.” You  buy it but then never use it because you think you are saving it for that perfect project, which never seems to materialize.

When I purchased this yarn, I had plans to use it to make a shawlette, and here it is just the end of November and I have it finished – yeah me. (I will try to get a better photo of it.) Of course, in Florida, there is not a huge need for me to have a lot of warm clothing, so I used a fairly large hook (US size H) and a pattern from the book Simply Crochet (crochet shawl with chain stitch loops). I also made it shorter than the pattern called for (37 inches x 17 inches), so it is not a very heavy piece to wear.

Shawlettes are basically small shawls that essentially work more like a scarf in a way. Over the past six months or so I have been treated for skin cancer in various areas, including right under my collar bone. Though I am not one to wear low-cut shirts, this has still meant that I have to had to keep my collar bone area covered. I have been wearing silk scarves to help with this, but now that there is a little chill in the air, I am hoping this shawlette might replace the other scarves for awhile as my skin continues to heal. I may even make another one using some more of the “good stuff” in my special yarn stash.

Holiday Links and More

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 25 November 2012 at 9:55 am

Handmade Christmas Gifts
‘Tis the season for handmade holiday gifts! Read up on 11 unique and fun handmade Christmas gift ideas.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi is giving away a challenging new book: Push Print from Lark Publishing!

Sweater Ornaments
Does anyone have some old sweaters that are looking for a new purpose? Cut out a shape and make a cute monogram ornament with this no-sew Christmas craft tutorial!

June’s been making tiny glitter houses and is giving one away!

Cherie Burbach’s blog
Cherie makes a small blue and green glass sculpture because she’s obsessed and can’t stop.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Check out some winter and Christmas craft projects at The Artful Crafter.

Gifted Stitch Markers

Blogged under Crafty Products by Tammy on Saturday 24 November 2012 at 1:14 pm

I keep forgetting to show off these cute stitch markers. My sister made them for me as a birthday gift recently. Like me, she also makes jewelry, so was able to use her jewelry making skills to make these. She sells her jewelry too, and recently participated in a local art show. She does not have an on-line shop yet, but she occasionally posts pieces she has for sale on her weblog.

Crochet Dude’s New Hooks

Blogged under Crafty Products by Tammy on Tuesday 20 November 2012 at 12:44 pm

I have had a chance now to try out one of the new Crochet Dude’s products I received recently, starting with this H hook. It retails for $5.99. The top part of the hook is aluminum, and the bottom part of the hook is a soft ergonomic handle. Even though I enjoy working with bamboo and wood hooks, I often reach for aluminum hooks because I crochet much faster with them. However, the coolness of the hook can bother my hands sometimes.

I was a little uncertain about using a ergonomic hook, though, because it just seemed weird to me that the hook handle was so much larger than the rest of the hook. I thought it might be awkward to work with. Of course, I was totally wrong. This hook is very comfortable to work with, and I don’t get the cold sensation in my hand while holding it.

I’m using this hook and some yummy Frog Tree sock yarn (80% washable Merino wool and 20% bamboo) to make myself a shawlette. The hook and yarn together have been a joy to work with. Each stitch has been one of those Zen moments.

New Crochet Dude Products

Blogged under Crafty Products by Tammy on Monday 19 November 2012 at 6:34 am

I received a wonderful box of crochet goodies in the mail the other day, some new products just added to The Crochet Dude’s line from the Simplicity Creative Group. Though most of these items are already in stores like JoAnn’s and Michael’s, you can see his full line on the company’s web site here.

Here is what was in the box….

A bloom loom – This little gadget is designed to help you make flowers. Along with the loom, it comes with a flyer with instructions and a plastic needle. What a great way to use up odds and ends of yarn, and you can make flowers for hats, purses, and other accessories. I think my craft club members will have fun with this because you don’t need to be super knowledgeable about yarn crafts to use this little guy successfully.

A set of purse handles – Believe it or not, it is not easy to find these (or it wasn’t until now) in most craft stores. The handles are clear plastic, so this means you can cover them with yarn. Obviously, knitters and crocheters both could use these. I’m already doing some pattern lurking to find the perfect pattern to use these in.

A size H crochet hook with an ergonomic handle. H is one of my go-to hook sizes, so I am curious to see if this fancy handle will help with my wimpy hands.

A Q size afghan crochet hook – Okay, I’m a little intimidated by this tool. I know it can be used for Tunisian crochet, and obviously it can be used to make afghans, but that is the extent of my knowledge base on this tool. I feel…errr…befuddled.

T-pins – Now I am back in my comfort zone. I can use these for all kinds of fiber work, but most of all, with all the shawls I have in my queue, I have some major blocking in my future. There are 35 in the little reusable box, which is nice to have so they can be kept safely away from my pets.

I will keep you posted as I use each product.

Craft Link Goodness

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 18 November 2012 at 10:01 am

Lindsay Sews
For holiday entertaining, whip up one of these aprons with built-in hot pads. Genius! Lindsay reviews the sewing pattern.

Old Solar Light? Use It in a Glass Sculpture
Cherie uses an old solar light as part of a new glass sculpture for the garden.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
See how to make a felt Thanksgiving “Be Thankful” banner.

June is going back into her archives to get the holiday season started. Come see how to alter a book to make a photo frame. It’s a great gift for those holidays rushing at us!

Beading Arts
Cyndi is soooo excited to let you know that Chapter three of her new book is completed and ready for download. The name? “Bridging the Gap.” Are you curious…?

Looking for a new sweater knitting pattern? Here’s a round-up of 10 free knitting patterns for women’s sweaters, to keep you warm this winter.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is an interview with Linda Wyszynski author of The Complete Photo Guide to Needlework, tips on sharpening, cleaning and storing kitchen knives, the AEIOU organizational framework technique, and a tutorial on how to draw shoes.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Crafters are easy to shop for.

LThykeson’s Uniques
Fall Projects in Mixed Media

Hacky Sack Experimenting

Blogged under Finished Projects,My College Craft Club by Tammy on Saturday 17 November 2012 at 5:10 pm

About a year ago, I purchased some yarn for the craft club in school colors thinking we could whip up some hats to sell. We did make hats, but it was about 80 degrees out, so they did not really sell and ended up being sent to a charity, which is fine. However, I’ve been trying to think of what we could make using this yarn that might actually sell at the craft show – maybe hacky sacks?

So far, I’ve made three, but I have had to rework a number of patterns to get the right size. Most of the patterns I found do not use worsted weight yarn, or if they do, the hacky sacks (IMHO) are too large. So I’m continuing to experiment and hope to get a pattern perfected as I make a few more of these.

I’m stuffing them with aquarium rocks that I first stick inside plastic wrap and then wrap closed with tape. They have a pretty good feel to them, so even if my stripes are off a tad, I think they are turning out pretty well.

Frog Eye Fixing

Blogged under amigurumi,My College Craft Club by Tammy on Wednesday 14 November 2012 at 9:28 am

To expand on the amigurumi animals my college craft club plans to sell at a local craft show – owls are cute but we need more than owls – I thought I would also make some frogs as well. Plus, someone donated a huge skein of green yarn to us. I have made a number of the Lion Brand frog patterns, which are basically a circle with legs, arms, and eyes. They are pretty easy to make, except the eyes. Those are fiddly, and so I thought I would use googlie eyes instead to streamline the process.

Yup, it streamlined it because I just had to glue on the eyes, but to me, this guy looks weird, not really like a frog. So before I opted for the entire eye the pattern calls for, I thought about it for awhile. Eventually, I decided to try just making a few small white yarn circles, stitching these to the face, and then gluing the googlie eyes to those.

Yes! Success! He looks like a frog now, and those extra white circles where not that big of a deal to make. And, of course, we also have a lot of white yarn that someone donated to the club, so it is another way to use up the yarn supply.

Thanksgiving Crafting from Provo Craft

Blogged under paper arts by Tammy on Tuesday 13 November 2012 at 5:39 pm

Thanksgiving is not a holiday that gets a lot of crafting goodness, but if you are into paper-arts then there is a reason to make crafts themed around this holiday (other than it is just fun to do!) You can make decorative items for the home, and considering most of us have company, you can decorate your house and show off your crafting skills at the same time.

Over at the Provo Craft site, there are a number of fun and easy projects using paper products and the company’s Circuit cutting machines. For example, pictured above (with permission from the company) is a 3-D Pumpkin Pie Slice. You can find similar free projects here, each of which has tons of how-to images to take you through the steps needed to create them.

Weekly Craft Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Monday 12 November 2012 at 10:03 am

L Thykeson’s Uniques
Bracelet Giveaway and Workshop News

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi experiments more with Inktense pencils…and she likes the results. A lot!

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
See how to make a large scale silhouette in an altered book.

Part two of the stamped salt clay ornament.

Art and Poetry
Cherie talks about the link between her poetry and how she creates mixed media art.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tips on adding expressive accessories to your manga characters, a great Obama poster, info on how accomplishments can boost your energy, and a recipe for a hash brown and bacon casserole.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Check out The Artful Crafter’s fall and Thanksgiving craft projects.

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