Knitting Sadness and Doggie Madness

Blogged under Projects in Progress, crochet and knitting, learning2knit by Tammy on Sunday 12 July 2015 at 3:56 pm

If you have watched any recent episodes of my Crafty Princess Diaries Podcast on YouTube, then you may have seen this shawl popping up once or twice. It’s a very simple pattern, perfect for beginning level knitters like myself (and free on Ravelry) called Das Tuchle. I was using my beautiful Rainbow circulars from Knit Picks, size 8 (5mm) needles, and some of my favorite yarn from Cascade, Heritage Silk Paints in the Water Lily colorway.

Well….I guess I spaced out one night and forgot my project bag in the TV room where we sort of keep our dogs sequestered from other parts of the house and this is what happened! Yikes!

We don’t have any doggie evidence for sure on who of our three dogs did it, but this guy looks the most guilty.

And he already has a bad track record after eating a hole in my MIL’s cashmere sweater. Not that out other two guys wouldn’t have gone for it if given the chance. He was probably just faster than they were.

On the flip side, I’m very grateful that the needles and cable are fine. Most of the yarn made it through, though now in a lot of small balls. I’m not sure exactly what I will be doing with the yarn, but I’m preparing to start up the shawl again with some new yarn, hopefully one that won’t be as tasty.

Video: Making Beaded Stitch Markers for Knitting

Blogged under Crafty Videos, beading, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Friday 5 June 2015 at 8:32 am

I combine my jewelry making skills with my love for fiber arts in this video where I explain the uses of various types of stitch markers and then show you how to make stitch markers specifically used for knitting.

Video: Yarn Review of Cascade Souk

Blogged under Crafty Products, Crafty Videos, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Friday 29 May 2015 at 2:02 pm

I love Cascade’s Souk yarn, but it might not be for everybody. In this little video, I give you the rundown on the good and not so good points of this beautiful silk and wool blend yarn.

Rainbow Knit/Crochet Tote Tutorial

Blogged under crochet and knitting by Tammy on Tuesday 5 May 2015 at 1:40 pm

After purchasing some beautiful Cascade Souk yarn in the “Rainbow” colorway, I thought it would be fun to use it to make a small crossbody tote that I can use to carry a few small items. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, so here is a basic tutorial that explains how I made it. I used both knitting and crochet to construct it. Gauge does not matter with this project, and it can easily be altered to make a larger or smaller bag.

You will need the following supplies:

2 skeins of Cascade Souk yarn (I had lots left over, but 1 skein was not enough to make the size bag that I wanted.)

US size 9 needles (straight or circular)

size G crochet hook

3 - 1″ buttons

darning needle

measuring tape

straight pins

1) Cast on enough stitches to make a rectangle that is 10 inches wide. I think I had about 35-40 stitches. (I spaced out and forgot the exact number because I kept changing the number until I found the width of the bag I thought would work. This can really vary, too, depending on how loose or tight a knitter you are.)

2) Using garter stitch, knit until the rectangle is about 24 inches long, and bind off.

3) Using a size G hook, make a single crochet border around the entire knitted rectangle, except skip about 1/2 an inch in the center area on the end of the rectangle that will have the button hole. Instead of single crochet for this part, make 3-4 chain stitches. Use your 1” button to measure that the hole will fit the button.

4) Flip the piece around, and single crochet back down the end with the button hole so that the chains section have a single crochet border on them.

5) Fold 10 inches of the rectangle over so that there is about a 4 inch section left over, which will be the flap (it’s the area that the button hole is in), and holding wrong sides together, single crochet both sides together.

6) Turn the bag inside out so that the seems are inside of the bag, and stitch on the button in the center, making sure that it is aligned with the button hole. At this point, the bag part is finished, and you are ready to make and attach the strap.

7) With a size G hook, make 8 chain stitches, and then half double crochet back and forth until the strap is as long as you want it, keeping in mind that the strap will stretch. My strap ended up being 46 inches long and about 2 inches wide.

8 ) Use straight pins to attach two inches of the strap on the outside of the bag so that it is centered over the seam. Using yarn and a darning needle, stitch this section securely on using a simple straight stitch. Be careful not to tug on the yarn as this Souk has a tendency to break.

9) Attach a button to the center area of the strap you attached in the previous step.

10) Repeat steps 8 and 9 for the other side of the bag.

11) Weave in all tails, and you are done!

This is a very floppy and unstructured bag. I designed it to just hold a few small items like a comb, lip gloss, and a small wallet so that when I travel and want to head off for a quick dinner (on the ship during a cruise for example) I don’t have to bring my usual purse, which tends to be on the large size. If you want a sturdier bag, I suggest using cotton yarn instead of the silk/wool blend I used, or you could also line the bag and strap with cotton fabric.

Rainbow Yarn!

Blogged under Projects in Progress, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Saturday 18 April 2015 at 9:48 am

I love the look and feel of this Souk Cascade yarn! It’s an almost equal mix of silk and wool, and it’s amazing. I will admit, though, it’s a tad challenging to work with, similar to Noro in some ways. You have to be gentle and patient.

It is so fun to watch the colors change, and it makes me want to keep knitting so I can get to the next color. I am attempting to make a simple tote with a long crossbody strap. The design is something in my head, which hopefully will successfully transfer into my hands as I keep knitting.

1st Mitered Squares to Share

Blogged under crochet and knitting, learning2knit by Tammy on Sunday 1 March 2015 at 12:49 pm

The cooler weather has gotten me into an afghan making mood, so I have been mulling over a few project ideas. Though I told myself that I was not going to make anything with a lot of squares that would be too fiddly to put together, well, I totally caved when I saw the free pattern called Knitted Patchwork Recipe. I love the idea that this is portable, uses up scraps, and is easy to do. Obviously, this is a long (long, long) term project, but it is perfect for working on in between other crafting projects I always have going on.

The pattern suggests using leftover sock yarn and size 2.75mm (US 2) knitting needles. However, I don’t have a huge amount of sock yarn scraps. I do, though, have a fair amount of sport weight yarn and light worsted, so I will be using those scraps along with a US 5 needle (again, using what I already have).

When I made my very first square, I was baffled at how this was going to be a square when I finished it. I stopped and restarted a few times, and then I just decided to trust the pattern, and of course, it worked. I had my first mitered square, which lead to my second very quickly.

And….now I’m on to my third….I really have other projects I want to work on, but these little squares are so addicting. It’s hard for me to stop. Mine are turning out to be about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. My husband asked me how many I will make and how big the afghan will be. I told him I don’t know. He was kind of incredulous, but like I said, this is long term. I may need a 100 or I may not a 1,000. Who knows!? This could turn into a king size blanket or a placement.

Scrap Cat in Progress

Blogged under Projects in Progress, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Monday 26 January 2015 at 11:25 am

I have an accumulation of yarn scraps piling up, and I need to get on making some stuffed toys for the club’s boutique that will be held in a month or so. My thoughts were, then, to figure out a way to combine the scraps into at least one or two toys.

As I was browsing through my collection of amigurmi and toy patterns, I found an adorable cat on the Little Woollie blog that I had downloaded some time ago. As the blogger admits in her description of this project, her “pattern” is sketchy, but I am figuring out, attempting to re-engineer it as necessary, starting with the square, which I could never find the size it should be. I’m going with about 6 inches, and instead of doing a granny type square (because the stuffing would come out), I’m going with a simple single crochet square using an assortment of brightly colored yarn scraps. (And, yes, that is a Younique makeup bag in the background, which I have discovered hold small balls of yarn perfectly for a project like this.)

I have one side finished and have started side number two. I’m not sure how I’m feeling about the ears at this point. Again, the original instructions were kind of…um…not easy for me to follow, so I ended up just making a row of single crochet and then stitching two stitches together on each end of a section to help create a kind of triangular shape.

I will keep you posted on my progress, and of course, I will show my work as I go and hopefully finish soon through my video podcast.

TinyKnit Pattern Donation Giveaway Thank You

Blogged under CFEs/Contests, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Sunday 25 January 2015 at 5:32 pm

I have mentioned this a few podcasts, but I wanted to give another shout out and thank you to Linda Browning of for offering up one of her knitting patterns as a prize in my January 2015 Giveaway.

For information on how you can enter to win this or a number of other wonderful crafting prizes, read the full details at this link. Along with this great prize for one lucky knitter, other crafters will have a change to win all types of crafting supplies.

Hurry up and enter if you haven’t already. There is only 1 week left of this month!

Visit + Revisit Craft-Along

Blogged under Crafts from the Past, Design Ideas, Fiber Fun, Jewelry Designing, My Crafty News, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Friday 16 January 2015 at 12:35 pm

I am very excited to announce our first craft-along for the Crafty Princess Diaries Blog/Podcast group on Ravelry. It starton on 1/15/15 and end on 2/28/15.

Ravelry group members are invited to “revisit” a previous craft they have tried before and stopped doing for whatever reason and/or “visit” a new craft or project they have never tried before. For example, if you used to spin but haven’t for years, “revisit” it by picking up the roving again and give it a go. If you have been thinking of trying a new craft, like cross stitch, “visit” it by trying it for the first time.

The official thread for the craft-along is linked here, and we have a chatter thread as well.  Participants will start their own post in the official thread and share what they are planning, working on, and how their “revisit” or “visit” is generally going.

Post pictures! Tell us what inspired you. Journal your experiences with us. Keep adding to your own post in the thread as we craft-along together throughout the rest of this month and February 2015 as well.
Finished objects are not required. In this craft-along it’s the process, not the product, that we will be sharing!

I will randomly pick someone at the end of the craft-along who will win a $5 Ravelry giftable pattern.

Works in Progress!

Blogged under crochet and knitting by Tammy on Friday 17 October 2014 at 12:05 pm

I have a number of yarn projects going on, and each is in various stages. The dragon is “this close” to being finished. Fingers crossed, I finish him up this weekend. As you can see, unlike the previous dragon I made, this guy is made with all kinds of yarn leftovers.

In the center is another Blair the Bunny. This one is going to be on the smaller side than many of the previous bunnies I’ve made because I’m using sport-weight yarn and a G hook.

Finally, as I mentioned in episode 6 of the bi-weekly podcast, I started up another knitted scarf. I am using some yummy super soft baby alpaca yarn in a light purple colorway. I’m kind of just winging it, doing mostly knit stitch with the occasional purl thrown in here and there. Of course, I dropped a stitch a few rows back, so now I need to figure out if I’m going to press on or attempt to fix it. I’m leaning towards fixing it because this scarf will probably be a holiday gift for someone.

Three projects is a good number for me. I know it may seem to a non-crafter that I may not be focused, but each project has its purpose as far as when it is a good time to work on it or when it is travel-sized or not. For seasoned crafters, three projects is really a small number of WIPs!

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