Naw, I Don’t Need No Swift N Ball Winder

Blogged under Crafty Products, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Saturday 11 January 2014 at 5:19 pm

I keep telling myself that I do not need to spend the money on a swift and ball winder. Then every once in a awhile I have an unruly skein like I did today. I don’t even know how long it took me to finally wind this ball after I got it tangled at one point and had a pile of yarn barf to deal with. At least, I caught up on some podcasts.

The colorway is called “Metamorphosis,” and it’s the “Show Stopper” base, 80% superwash merino/10% nylon/10% cashmere from Leading Men Fibers. It is destined for fingerless gloves.

Project Bag/Book Bag/Purse/Kitchen Sink

Blogged under Crafty Products by Tammy on Wednesday 24 April 2013 at 3:51 pm

Like any dedicated crafter, I try to make sure I have a small project with me pretty much all the time, just in case I have any downtime or, in my case lately, I’m stuck in a meeting and need something to keep myself busy. I am not the type that can just sit and listen without doing something or my mind wanders. In the past, I have either taken notes that I never actually go back and reference or I would doodle. Now that I have come out of the crochet closet and crochet during meetings (at least many of them), crocheting a wash cloth is my form of doodling.

Luckily, one of my favorite 31 bags is perfect for keeping my yarn, books, ipad, phone, wallet, keys… umm……yeah..everything but the kitchen sink handy.

Recently, I posted some tips about getting good deals on 31 Gifts bags, and I briefly mentioned one of my favorite bags and showed a picture of it along with a smaller bag, but I did not give details about these two bags, so here goes:

  • The larger bag is called the Cindy tote, and retails for $70 (unless you use my tips for getting deals of course…I paid $35 for mine). It has a zipper on the top to close it up, and it has two outside pockets on each end that are large enough to hold a water bottle, a large zippered inside pocket, and three other inside pockets. There is also a hook inside for attaching your keys. It has a flat base with little metal feet, so it stands up (when you put stuff in it), and it comes in 4 different patterns. Mine is in Railroad Denim.
  • The smaller bag is part of a set of make-up bags that come together. The set retails for $35, and they come in 5 different pattern groupings. For mine, the larger makeup bag is in Woodblock Floral, and the smaller one (that goes in my Cindy tote) is in Grey Pin Dots.

I have been trying to figure out a good bag solution like this for awhile and before discovering 31 bags I was looking a lot at Namaste’s products, but the large bags are all are made of vinyl, which I’m so-so on. The Cindy tote has plenty of room for a skein of yarn plus all my school stuff, and I keep a little pair of scissors and a crochet hook (along with makeup, pens, and other odds and ends) in the smaller makeup bag. They work perfectly together, and I now always have a project handy just in case I’m stuck somewhere.

Zipper Pouch Project Bag & Crochet Experiment

Blogged under Crafty Products, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Tuesday 2 April 2013 at 5:10 am

I decided to make something for myself for a change and dipped into my treasured stash of Cascade Baby Alpaca yarn (colorway no. 3030). At first, I was going to make a shawlette, but I was having trouble understanding the pattern. After frogging it about six times, I figured life is too short and decided to make a cowl or infinity scarf. I’m going to make this long enough to double around my neck, attach the ends, and then single crochet around the edges. Of course, this yarn is so soft and buttery. I love working with it.

I’m housing it in a new project bag I purchased when I hosted an on-line Thirty-One catalog party. It’s called simply the Zipper Pouch, and the pattern is Woodblock Floral.

As you can see, it’s got plenty of room. This is just about a full ball of yarn (about 200 yards), and I could easily fit more in there. The bag is 9 inches high by 12.25 inches wide, and 2.5 inches deep.

It has a little ribbon tag connected to the zipper, and the inside is lined with vinyl, making it easy to wipe clean if you used this for something other than yarn.

The bottom flattens, and the material is stiff enough so that it stands up. The Zipper Pouch also comes in other colors and patterns and retails for $15. You can find it in my Thirty-One Gift shop, item number 3045.

The infinity scarf is working up quickly. Fingers crossed, I’ll have it done in a few days and can put another new project in my new project bag.

Crochet Dude Decades Yarn

Blogged under Crafty Products by Tammy on Tuesday 29 January 2013 at 6:50 am

I am waiting on some freelance money, which means my play money is on the low side right now, but luckily, I had a few funds left so that I could indulge recently in some new yarn from a line designed by The Crochet Dude. He sent out a newsletter with a promo code that you could use to discount anything in his on-line shop. I ended up getting these two skeins from the 1960s Decades collection in the Blacklight colorway. They are made with 100% extra fine super wash merino, and each skein has 2 ounces/125 yards. I’m not exactly sure what I will make with these. I think there’s enough here for a hat and maybe some fingerless gloves or maybe a shawlette would be nice. I’m curious to see how this knits or crochets up. It is very soft, and the colors mingle from a dark, tonal pink to a pastel pink. Now I will be on the lookout for the perfect pattern for this yarn.

Crochet Dude’s Stitch Markers - Thumbs Up

Blogged under Crafty Products, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Tuesday 1 January 2013 at 5:52 pm

With all the amigurumi I have been making, this means counting stitches a lot, and of course, this also means using stitch markers. While for larger areas of crochet, I prefer locking stitch markers; when making small items like limbs for a stuff animal, I find the locking markers to be a bit of a pain to take on and off constantly. I pulled out these little flexible stitch markers sent to me by Simplicity Creative Group. They are part of the Crochet Dude line of products they distribute. I definitely have to give these the “thumbs up” because they are perfect for small items like this and are very easy to slip on and off but stay when you need them to stay too. It’s a little thing, but the right stitch markers can make a huge difference in the end product as well as the experience.

Stacey Trock Pattern Sale 12/31/12!

Blogged under Crafty Products, amigurumi by Tammy on Monday 31 December 2012 at 9:58 am

I’ve really been enjoying the Woodland Animals amigurumi class I’m taking from designer Stacey Trock on Though I’m not new to amigurumi, I still feel like I’m learning a lot from the class, and I find her patterns to be very easy to follow. That’s why I’m helping pass the word on about a one day pattern sale she is having in honor of her birthday, which is today 12/31/12. She’s offering 36% off her patterns, which you can purchase through Ravelery or directly through her Freshstitches web site. The discount code is STACEYS30TH, and you can find out all the details on her blog.

Her patterns are pretty reasonable any way, so with the extra 36% discount, they are priced really low. I purchased 5 patterns (Cliveton the Tiny Pig; Choose Your Own Dragon Adventure; Owen the Monkey; Jeff the Valentine Dog; and Cliff the Brontosaurus) for a total of $16. Plus, since I purchased them through Ravelry, they are automatically in my on-line library over there. Anywho, I have no affiliation but am just a fan who has enjoyed making a number of her patterns.

This Week’s Craft Links

Blogged under Around the Web, Charity Crafting, Crafty Products by Tammy on Monday 10 December 2012 at 11:51 am

June’s having another give away. This time it’s a mid-century style glitter house!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a double giveaway featuring 16 new craft and cook books, 25 days of paper crafts, and a recipe for vegan stuffed cabbage rolls.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Make these sweet bread dough clay candy cane ornaments with the kids.

Holiday Gift Guide for Arts and Crafts Lovers
What to buy for the crafter in your life? Here are our current favorites!

Laura Thykeson’s Uniques
A Wonderful life - well lived! Plus some arty eye candy!

Mixed Media Artist
It’s amazing what adding some color to a black and white fabric print can do…

Modern Quilt for Music Lovers
Lindsay shows off her Turntable Quilt, a modern crib-size quilt that’s unlike anything you’ve seen.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
How to make recycled cup glitter votive holders

Very Last Minute Stocking Stuffer
Cherie makes a simple ribbon bookmark with charms.

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.

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