Mad Tosh and Morehouse Yarn Afghan

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Fiber Fun by Tammy on Friday 21 July 2017 at 9:21 am

Of course, it is hot as heck outside now, which means I get in the mood to make an afghan. I always seem to want to make afghans during the summer. Go figure!

At first, I did some online shopping, and I found plenty of wonderful yarn to purchase, but I also have been feeling guilty about having some much yarn in my stash too. And, it’s good yarn too, most of it at least. I’ve gotten to the point with my crochet and knitting that I feel like the process is more important or at least as important as the product, so for me, this mean using yarn that feels good to me. Acrylic, while I don’t dislike it, just doesn’t have the same feel is wool or wool blends.

With this in mind, I headed to my yarn stash and started putting together skeins by weight. Then I put those together by colorways, attempting to match up mixes. That’s where I came up with the yarn for my afghan: two DK weight Mad Tosh skeins in the Dirty Harry colorway and three 2-ply skeins from Morehouse Farm in (f I remember correctly because none had a  tag with them) Beet, Raspberry, and Chocolate colorways.

I used a stitch dictionary to come up with the basic design, which is a fan stitch, and I’m using a size H crochet hook. The finished afghan will be used to help protect some new furniture, which (fingers crossed) our cats will be kind to.


Book Review: Natural Color

Blogged under Fiber Fun,Good Books by Tammy on Monday 16 January 2017 at 1:57 pm

naturalcolor
Natural Color: Vibrant Plant Dye Projects for Your Home and Wardrobe is written by Sasha Duerr, an artist and professor at the California College of the Arts. It is published by Watson-Guptill Publications in hardcover form and retails in the US for $30 and Canada for $40.

First, I have to begin by saying that this is such a “pretty” book. The layout and photographs are top notch. Plus, while the print text isn’t huge, it is nice to see a book that I can easily read the text without sitting under a massive overhead light. They weren’t stingy with the ink for a change, which is see much too often in books lately.

Now for the meat of the book, which focuses on using plants to die fiber for make-it type projects, really interesting, though I’m not sure how many people would be up for doing all this work. Not that it wouldn’t be fun work, but there is a lot to it. And the book is very thorough in covering the information. It reads a lot like an encyclopedia. There’s information on plants and the seasons they are available. This is followed by details about the type of colors you can dye with and their pros and cons. Then there are recipes for dying items like bedding, bags, and clothing. A short techniques section in the back of the book demonstrates four different dye techniques.

The beginning of the book explains how to set yourself up to make the dye and also collect the materials and process them. A list of tools and equipment is included. None of those listed where super expensive or difficult to find. It was a pretty long list, so you would need a lot to do this and a good space to attempt it, however.

Anyone who has ever thought about dying fiber, from textiles to yarn, would find this book immensely helpful. It is packed full of information. The casual reader might find it overwhelming, but I think it would become a useful reference book for anyone interested in fiber arts as well.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Taylor – Another Knit Shawl on the Needles

Blogged under Fiber Fun,learning2knit,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Thursday 7 January 2016 at 11:45 am

It’s not really a resolution for the new year but more of a continuation of learning to knit. I have to admit that I could happily make garter stitch shawls and scarves forever, but that would mean I would not learn to knit beyond the basics. So I’m taking a baby step and working on a shawl pattern that has lots of garter but a little bit more than that. The pattern is “Taylor,” from designer Jennifer Lysen. It’s a free pattern, so so far, I think I’m getting the hang of it. I like how it is a long shawl that could sort of work like a scarf too.

I’ve dipped into the “good stuff” as far as yarn goes, using a colorway called “Puppy,” from Expression Fiber Arts’ line of Resilient Superwash Merino Sock yarn. I have already made a number of mistakes but have managed to learn to pull out stitches and rework them. When I get frustrated, I keep reminding myself that it’s about the process, not the product!

Yarn Love by Mail

Blogged under Crafty Products,Fiber Fun by Tammy on Wednesday 20 May 2015 at 1:03 pm



I fell off my yarn diet wagon just a little with the recent Expression Fiber Art free skein sale. The skein on the far right is 100% silk shimer fingering in the French Macron colorway (and yes it feels like butter); in the middle is her “resilient” super wash merino sock yarn in the Kismet colorway; and then my free skein is “refined” 50/50 merino/silk fingering in the Row of Tulips colorway.

Now to spend countless hours deciding what to make with them!

Visit + Revisit Craft-Along

Blogged under Crafts from the Past,crochet and knitting,Design Ideas,Fiber Fun,Jewelry Designing,My Crafty News 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.

Book Review: Gramma Nancy’s Animal Hats (and Booties Too!)

Blogged under Fiber Fun,Good Books by Tammy on Sunday 11 January 2015 at 6:31 am

Gramma Nancy’s Animal Hats (and Booties, Too!): Knitted Gifts for Babies and Children is published by Potter Crafts and written by Nancy Nielsen. It retails for $18.99 in the US and $21.99 in Canada. Though you will find a few booties and some little mitten sprinkled throughout this book, its main focus is animal hats for babies and children. And, yes, this has a major “cute” factor going for it!

The designs are based on a rolled-brim hat and an ear flap hat, which are the first two projects in the book. From there, all the various type of animals hats included additions two either of these two patterns. So for example, if you are making the bunny hat, you will add ears and a snout. In the techniques area before the projects, it covers the different additions you would make to add the animal face to the different hats. There are a total of 19 different animals created with the hat designs, such as birds, frog, turtle, monkey, and so on.

Though there are technique instructions, you need to either have some experience or are ready to learn how to knit in the round with both circular needles as well as double pointed needles. Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice yarn is used for all the projects, so that means you will be using worsted weight yarn. The variety of animals are both girl and boy friendly, and they range in size from new born to child size (prob around 6 years old).

I can’t wait to attempt one of these adorable hats!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Follow My Knitting Snit!

Blogged under Crafty Videos,Fiber Fun,learning2knit by Tammy on Wednesday 24 December 2014 at 2:14 pm

Merry Christmas to everyone! I’m home for the next few days, enjoying time with family and, of course, crafting. More specifically, I’m working on my first knit in the round hat while I take a Craftsy class. It has been a little of a “knit snit” for me, but I’m determined!

I’m posting short videos on both my YouTube Channel and Instagram, so come follow me if you haven’t already and check out my progress! They have to be super short because I’m taping the videos on my phone and uploading them from there. Here is one of them below (but come follow and see the rest…I need support from my fellow crafters!)


Crochet Medium Size Bird Nest

Blogged under Fiber Fun,Free Craft Projects by Tammy on Friday 23 May 2014 at 2:22 pm



This uses Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn and a size H hook. The finished size should be 4 inches high and 6 inches wide. This should be stitched with a tight gauge so that there are no holes that the bird’s legs might get stuck in.

You can start with magic ring, or I prefer to do what some people call a “sloppy slip knot.” I got this technique from Fresh Stitches, and it works well for making sure you don’t have a hole in the center when you crochet in the round.
ch 2
Round 1: sc 6 times in 2nd ch from hook (6)
Round 2: sc twice in each st (12)
Round 3: * sc twice in next st, sc in next st. Repeat from * 5 times (18)
Round 4: * sc twice in next st, sc in next 2 sts. Repeat from * 5 times (24)
Round 5: * sc twice in next st, sc in next 3 sts. Repeat from * 5 times (30)
Round 6: * sc twice in next st, sc in next 4 sts. Repeat from * 5 times (36)
Round 7: * sc twice in next st, sc in next 5 sts. Repeat from * 5 times (42)
Round 8: * sc twice in next st, sc in next 6 sts. Repeat from * 5 times (48)
Round 9: * sc twice in next st, sc in next 7 sts. Repeat from * 5 times (54)
Round 10 through 16: sc in each stitch around (54)
End with 1 slip stitch in the next stitch and pull yarn through top of next stitch.
Weave in all tails.

Here’s a look at the inside of the medium bowl and the other smaller nests I’ve made so far:




I used left over yarn, so that’s why some nests use different colored yarns. If you switch colors, just make sure to weave the ends in really well. I don’t usually knot, but I did with the tails on these and then wove in the ends since I wanted to make sure they were extra secure.

Cupcake Fingerless Gloves Done!

Blogged under crochet jewelry,Fiber Fun,Finished Projects by Tammy on Saturday 17 May 2014 at 10:45 am



The Cupcake Fingerless Gloves I started recently are done! And I love how they turned out. The yarn (Desert Vista Dyeworks Viso in the Happy Birthday, Cupcake colorway) was wonderful to work with. Heck, even the striping almost matches, and while I did start the second glove around the same color as the first one on purpose, I honestly did not do much else to get this to happen. This yarn is sock weight made of 75% Superwash Merino wool and 25% nylon. It is not necessarily super soft like the previous pair of gloves I made for my hubby, but that yarn had some cashmere in it.

The pattern is a free one from Lion Brand called “All Season Wristers,” and I did modify this a tad. I made the larger size (that starts with 34 chains) and used a size G hook instead of an F. I also just attached yarn to the hole area for the thumb and did around 6 rows of single crochet. For me, that made the thumb part much easier than the instructions provided. Also, because I like to be able to turn down these gloves so that you can have the option of wearing them on the long side, I added about an inch of single crochet at the top of each one.

These are ready to be soaked and blocked, and then I have plans to mail them off to a friend of mine who is yarn worthy. I have a lot of left over yarn from this skein, so I’m toying with the idea of seeing if I can squeeze out another pair. I may even rewind the ball of yarn to see if I can get two even balls and try making them two at a time and see how that goes.

Lovin’ the Handspun

Blogged under Fiber Fun,spinning by Tammy on Thursday 30 May 2013 at 9:16 am



See, this is why I am learning how to spin! Is this stuff not gorgeous or what? And in person it is so much nicer. It has a little bit of sparkle, just a little, and it is textured but still soft. I would love to claim that I spun this, but no, I bought it at my LYS. A local woman spun it and sells at at the shop. I lost the band, so I can’t tell you what is in it or the yardage, dang it, but no matter. I’m knitting it into a scarf, making my self get back to practicing my knitting, and I’ll have a scarf that will look great with these crocheted fingerless gloves.

And they will all go with this hat I made awhile back too, not matchy – matchy – but enough in the same color family I think I can wear them all together.


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