Decorating a Stocking with Fabric Paint

Blogged under Projects in Progress by Tammy on Monday 23 December 2013 at 3:59 pm

It has been a tradition in my family that each furry child has his or her own Christmas stocking. I usually pick the small stockings up at my local Michael’s for a dollar each, and then I use fabric paint to paint their names on each one. Here are a few photos of one I just made today for our latest addition to the family.

Make sure when you purchase your stocking that there is some place (I prefer the top) where you can write the name. Also, be careful of any stockings that are extra flurry. That can be difficult to add fabric paint to.

I haven’t had to make one in a while, but we had a recent addition to the clan this past October. His name is “Little” because, to us at least, he is little. I was calling him “Little Dude” and my husband was calling him “Little Guy” when we first found him. Our other dogs are around 80 pounds, so at 50 pounds, Little seems like a small dog to us. I’m just waiting for the paint to dry before adding his stocking to the others on our tree. Luckily, it will be ready in plenty of time for Santa.

Ah, Alpaca Scarf

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Sunday 17 November 2013 at 3:03 pm

Here is one of my latest projects. It’s just a simple crochet scarf using open stitch and some super soft baby alpaca. I have only been able to find this specific baby alpaca yarn at the Knit and Stitch Boutique in Cocoa Village, so I had to have my sister pick this up for me since I didn’t have time to go by the last time I was in town.

This is a special gift that I plan to give to my veterinarian. On one of my last visits as we were discussing safe cat toys (this is after she found a pony tail holder in my cat’s carrier and warned me nicely about how dangerous these are because animals will eat them and get them caught around their intestines), and I mentioned how I had made some mouse toys from alpaca yarn. She was surprised to learn that there was such a thing as alpaca yarn and told me how she was allergic to wool.

This vet and her entire office have gone above and beyond countless times for my animals and me as well. I could write a 5,000 word blog post about just that, so I made a mental note that I had to make her something out of alpaca, and of course, it had to be this specific kind from the Cocoa Village shop since it is ubber buttery soft! I know she does go up north now and then, but just in case she ever wants to wear it down here in Florida on the few cold days we have, I decided to make it using a very open style stitch because alpaca yarn is very warm. She is very petite, and I am going to make it long enough for her to double around her neck in case she ever wants to use it where it really gets cold.

Oh, and that adorable cupcake zipper pouch? I got that during the last Thirty-One outlet sale, which I have heard rumors may be popping up again in the next few months. I will definitely post about it on here when I get any details.

I haven’t decided if I am going to do a single crochet around the entire scarf or not. Some of that may depend on how much yarn I have left once I get the length that I want.

City Tweed Hat

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Monday 17 June 2013 at 8:24 am

I’m almost finished with a hat I am making for my husband. He used to never ask me to make anything for him because he gets hot so easily. However, after I made him some fingerless gloves he used camping during a particularly cold period, he is slowly coming around.

Recently he asked for a hat when I told him I had some leftover yarn from a pair of fingerless gloves I had made for myself. He really liked the color of the yarn. Unfortunately, I had to explain to him that there was not enough of this yarn to make him a hat, and even if there was, it is sock yarn, so it’s kind of thin to use for a hat. Plus, this yarn was hand-dyed by a woman who did not have an active shop any more, and even back when she did, she usually just had sock yarn available. So we went on the hunt for some yarn that he would like and he picked out this City Tweed in Cobalt. I have never used this yarn from Knit Picks before, but this yarn is luscious to work with. It’s 55% Merino wool, 25% superfine alpaca, and 20% Donegal tweed. I got 2 skeins in an Aran/heavy weight.

I’m making him a beanie style hat. The pattern is free and called Soldier Beanie. It’s available through and is used to make hats for soldiers to wear under their helmets. I was just about finished when I had my husband try it on, and he thinks it needs to be longer because he wants it to cover the top part of his neck. I have tried to explain to him that a longer hat will not cover his neck; it will just start to roll at some point, but he won’t be convinced until I try to do it. Maybe I will be proven wrong, but I’m now working on trying to get him to let me make him a matching cowl or scarf.

Got a Ho! A Sock That Is!

Blogged under Projects in Progress by Tammy on Sunday 14 October 2012 at 4:37 pm

Sock # 1 is done! It is not perfect, and it was a bruise-braining process, but not only do I have one sock done, it actually fits my foot!

Now onto sock #2!

FYI: HO = Half-Finished Object

Crochet Socks – An Attempt

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Wednesday 3 October 2012 at 11:51 am

I’m attempting another knit along. This one is run by the Knitbulls Podcast and requires making socks using self-striping yarn. Of course, there is no way in the world that my knitting skills are up to the level required for socks, but I checked with Diane (aka knitbulls), and she said it was okay to crochet sock. As a native Floridian, I have to admit that socks are not a huge part of my life. When I’m home, I’m usually barefoot. When I’m out and about, I’m usually wearing sandals or flip flops. However, at night when the AC is cranking I do tend to wear socks at least for part of the evening.

Pictured is what I have so far on my first pair. This is actually my second attempt because the first pattern I tried to do was like reading Chinese. I really could not figure out what the heck the instructions were trying to tell me to do! Both the pattern I’m using now and the other I tried are from a book I got during the 50% off sale at Knitpicks. It’s called Learn to Crochet Socks for the Family. There are 15 patterns in this book, and all are at the intermediate level. That sort of tells you something: there is no such thing as an “easy” sock pattern.

The KAL deadline is mid-October, so hopefully, I can continue to have some success with this other pattern and get these made in time. Most of the stitches are single crochet, working in the round, so it’s fairly fast once I figure out what I’m supposed to do.

Oh, and notice the cute little owl project bag? I got that from Freshstitches. It is probably one of the smallest project bags I have, but it is perfect for socks, and I love the little owl pin.

Crochet Shawl Obesession

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Tuesday 18 September 2012 at 5:52 am

Here is an update on my Cascade shawl: it is now an obsession! I am determined to get this finished by the end of the month. Now whether that will actually happen or not is hard to say. I’m just a smidgen from the halfway point. I started this on 8/26/12, and it was a casual project for awhile. But then I started thinking of all the CAL/KALs on Ravelry that are allowing double dipping (Dramatic Knits, Positive Knitting, Knitty Knatter, Knit Me Happy, and so on), and this urged me on to get this puppy done by the end of September. Plus this would mean one more Christmas gift will be done.

Cascade Shawl

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Wednesday 12 September 2012 at 12:27 pm

Nicole from the Positively Knitting podcast is running a “Sacred Skein Craft Along.” By “sacred” she is talking about skeins of yarn that we horde because they are too good to use or you are looking for that perfect almighty pattern before you break it open. This happens to crafters in general. I used to be really bad about buying gorgeous beads and then not using them because I was afraid the finished piece would not do them justice. I think I have gotten much better about not hording the good stuff when it comes to my craft projects, but I still felt the urge to participate in Nicole’s craft along.

Pictured is my progress so far on the Cascading Stylish Shawl pattern by Michelle B. of It is a $1.99 pattern available through She uses Wisdom Yarns Poems Sock yarn, which is fingering-weight. So I decided to crack open my fingering-weight Chroma yarn in the Guppy colorway. I’m loving it so far. I think this is going to be a gift, but we will see if I am able to part with it when I’m done. The total finished length is 68 inches, and I’ve only got 9 inches done, which means there is a good chance I won’t finish this by the end of the month and be able to submit to Nicole’s craft along. However, her idea did urge me to get started on this and use this yarn that I have admittedly waited to use until I found this perfect pattern.

On My Hooks and Needles

Blogged under Projects in Progress by Tammy on Wednesday 22 August 2012 at 8:58 am

School is starting back for fall, so my summer productivity when it comes to my fiber fun will probably start to slow down considerably. I have a few projects I’ve really wanted to start, but before I do, I have the following to finish. I just can’t stand not finishing something, and if I have too much started, I start to lose focus and actually get a little anxious.

First, I have another knitted wash cloth. This one I’m doing all in purl stitch, and it is a little holy here and there, but I’m keeping at it. Since taking this photo, I’ve made more progress. I’m a little past the halfway point. I definitely like knit better than purl stitch, and my purl gauge is really super loose.

I’m also working on a shawl. I started this back in early July and almost frogged it a few time because I wasn’t falling in love with it, but after making more progress on it, I’m starting to like how it is coming out. I’m using The Windsor Lace Wrap pattern, Chroma yarn fingering weight in a colorway called Fossil, and a G hook.

Next is a pair of fingerless gloves I’m making as a gift for a friend who loves red. I really hope to get these finished this week because I have tons more of these to make for holiday gifts. I may even give these to her early. I’m using an F size hook and a KnitPicks sock yarn called Cochineal Felici.

Finally, this afghan is also going to be a gift. It is my evening crochet project because there is no pattern to read, just all double crochet. I’m holding two strands together of Bernat Baby Soft purple yarn and an N size hook. I plan to alternate with sections of yellow yarn as well. I’m trying to use up some of my baby yarn stash. For some reason, I have a ton of purple.

The Scarf from Hell

Blogged under Projects in Progress by Tammy on Thursday 9 August 2012 at 5:05 pm

Like an Olympic hurdler who hit too many hurdles, my Ravellenics’ dream of making a four foot knitted rib scarf has crashed and burned. I now call this project the Scarf from Hell because it looks like a cat swallowed it and hacked it up a few days later.

My original intent of going to the end of the four feet no matter what without stopping and frogging just could not be realized. At one point, I had the hole the size of the Grand Canyon and wacky loops hanging off. In my ignorance, I thought I could fit it by just frogging a few rows.

Um……that did not work. Somehow I didn’t get the cast on back onto the needles correctly, and my knit, purl, knit, purls turned into knit, knit, purl, knit, what? purl, purl, what?

So then my thoughts were that I will do a few rows of knit stitch and then start back over with ribbing. Of course, I didn’t think about the fact that knitting stitch would be much wider than ribbing.

I’m thinking now that ribbing just does not like me.

LBS Visit & Crochet Project in the Works

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Design Ideas,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Friday 3 August 2012 at 5:25 pm

Today I had a chance to catch up with a friend I haven’t seen in years. Neither of us are mall people, and both of us are crafty types. So we agreed to make a trip to a downtown area, stroll down the streets, stop by a few boutiques, and do lunch. We had a great time, even though, sad to say, the downtown is obviously struggling since there were many empty shops.

One shop that is thankfully still open is a bead store that I would estimate has been there now for around 10 years. It is really a beautiful store, well-lite, colorful beads and awesome and sparkly finished jewelry everywhere. However, as usual when I visit this place, I have a little sticker shock. I had the idea to buy some size 6 beads for doing some bead crochet. Normally, I’ve bought these in 40 gram tubes. I buy them on-line, and I have gone to a few retail bead shows over the years.

I was thinking of doing a bead crochet rope, which meant I would need a fair amount of beads. I figured that I needed at least two 40 gram tubes. Ah, yes, well….20 gram bags of size 6 beads were going for seven to eight dollars each. I just could not bring myself to buy them. Yes, I know the owner has rent, electric, insurance, and so many other overhead costs. All of this went through my mind while I was looking at all the fabulous beads in the store. And, I did not walk out empty handed. I spent a little over $20 and got a few small strands of Czech beads (which are working for my crochet jewelry experiment so far), two foil lined glass beads, and a few collapsible twisted needles.

My tiny bag of beads fit easily into my purse, and after my friend made her purchase as well, we were off to do more exploring. I’m happy with my purchase. I plan to make a simple pair of earrings with the larger beads, and hopefully, some kind of cool crochet necklace with the others. I know, too, that the high prices have probably helped to ensure that this shop is still open when so many other small shops and boutiques in the same area are now gone. I wish I was able to just buy any bead I wanted no matter the cost, but I can’t.

Luckily, the shop has somehow found a clientele to support it on a regular basis. It was pretty quiet downtown, no big surprise since it was August in Florida and at least 90 degrees. My friend and I are both Florida natives, so we are crazy enough to handle the heat. I suspect normal customers for this LBS are what we call “snow birds” down here. They have winter homes on one of the islands and only live down here from around January to April. They probably stop by and take a few beading classes and don’t have to really concern themselves with cost that much. Maybe they are the type that really have to see the beads before they feel okay buying them. I’m not sure. I am happy to still see this shop open, but wow, I am also very grateful that I know of lots of on-line vendors that I can afford to shop at as well.

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