Because crafts are like crack.

A Stache and A Stash February 20, 2012

Filed under: Crochet,Sewing — Casey @ 8:57 pm

My weekend was a nice relaxing, crafting weekend. Nothing beats three day weekends… a day for cleaning, a day for errands and a whole day for knitting!

I started my weekend on Friday with a text message that one of my favorite fabric stores was having a sale. What budget?

I don’t have anything in mind for most of it, but I couldn’t resist the fun spring colors.

The plaid is part of the Happy Campers by American Jane line. Adorable! Fortunately, I picked up a bunch of it last summer. Can’t wait to make some reversible sun hats.

My finished project for the weekend was a beard hat. Not a hat made from beards fortunately, but this crocheted hat with an attached crocheted beard. Slightly less creepy, I think.

My aunt found a picture of this on the internet a couple months ago and needed one for her grandson. Unfortunately, she doesn’t crochet. Fortunately, she made 180 mini-jars of jam for my wedding so she has a crocheter forever in her debt.

Sizing the hat was a little tricky. It is always fun to try to guess the head size of babies, and this kid is particularly difficult. He is 7 months old and off the charts in head circumference. I ended up doing the 2T and making it a little shorter. It seems to fit fine for now, but I will probably have to make another for next fall.


@%^>?&<… (sigh) February 14, 2012

Filed under: Knitting — Casey @ 8:25 pm

There is nothing on this planet that keeps the ego in check like knitting. I have been working on the February Lady Sweater since the first of the year. My mom got me some Berroco Ultra Alpaca in sweater quantities for my birthday a couple of years ago. When I received my Addi Turbo Interchangeables for Christmas I wanted to do some real luxury knitting.

It has actually been coming along pretty quickly. I have been doing a lot of knitting while catching up on my best movie nominations in preparation for the Academy Awards.

Last night was my knitting group and I was very excited to show off my progress. I pull out my sweater to find….

Well, can you spot the problem?

Yup. That sleeve is inside out. I knitted it into the inside of the sweater.

The lace pattern should look like this.

But instead looks like this.

I will frog with great humility. But that is the great thing about knitting. When you make a mistake, you can fix it by just knitting some more… which is what I like to do in the first place.


Fits like a glove! February 11, 2012

Filed under: Knitting — Casey @ 7:57 pm

Last winter I was knitting with numb fingers and decided I wanted some fingerless gloves to wear while I craft. I cast on this leafy pattern of vacation in Florida and quickly knit up to the fingers. Then for some reason, it went into the pile of UFO’s when I got home. Since we bought a new furnace last spring, so my fingers have stayed pretty toasty this year and I forgot all about them.

I think this project caught my eye again because the yarn is just so pretty. It is Knitpicks Stroll Tonal in Springtime and I can’t believe how beautiful it is for the money. I know I normally score about a C in my yarn/pattern matching skills, but I think this combination is an A+.

The really remarkable thing about this pattern is that there is no cabling. I KNOW! All those leaves are a combination of YOs, K2togs, and SSKs. The fingers were pretty easy too. I made them a little longer than the pattern said to maximize coverage.

The pattern comes in two sizes and I made the larger. I would say my hands are a little larger than normal and find there to be a bit of gapping. The ribbing in the pattern has a lot of give, so I would suggest the average woman make the smaller size.

Oh, and the polish on my nails is my new favorite… OPI’s Gouda Gouda Two Shoes. It has the tiniest bit of sparkle in person.


Why buy the cowl when you can knit one for free? January 19, 2012

Filed under: Knitting — Casey @ 1:09 pm

I pinned this because I thought it was a pretty take on the popular cowl. As I looked through the boards for Christmas gift inspiration, I decided that it would make a wonderful and quick gift for several women.

This one is in Cascades Superwash 220. I love this yarn for how it feels and how great it washes.

I was a little disappointed in the result of this one. I think the yarn and pattern did not mix as well as I thought they would in my head.

The yarn was amazing… Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Kettle Dyed. It looked like heaven in a hank. I just think the color variations clashed a bit with the pattern. Live and learn!

There was a third cowl that I made, but I managed to give it away without taking pictures. Maybe over the summer!


Putting my best foot forward January 9, 2012

Filed under: Knitting — Casey @ 3:56 pm

At some point, every knitter must venture into the world of short rows and kitchener stitch in an attempt to make socks. Either loved or loathed socks are such an integral part of knitting that they get an entire class of yarn. There is no hat yarn or sweater yarn per se, but whole websites are devoted to sock yarn.

This is actually my second pair of socks. The first pair are rarely clean as they get worn as soon as they come out of the dryer.

Did I just say “dryer”? Absolutely! In my house, hand wash socks would get worn once and then stashed in the “too difficult to clean” pile. I have been liking the Deborah Norville Serenity sock yarn. Has a great feel for the price.

And the pattern? Inside the wrapper of the yarn. Yep. I knit the wrapper pattern.

Please ignore the box in the background. I keep them around longer than I should cause the kitties like to play with them.


Craft du Jour-nal January 6, 2012

Filed under: Cricut,Paper Crafts — Casey @ 4:28 pm

I can’t remember how I first found the Grace Is Overrated website. I have been enamored with the journal pages ever since. I am not capable of keeping a normal diary. Within a few days, I am reporting the weather, what I ate for dinner and little more. I love that the writing prompts on these pages give a snapshot of what is going on in your life for the week.

I drew up a quick word document for the left hand pages… just a place to write some quick notes, make a few doodles or add a photograph.

I am working on the learning curve with my Zutter Bind-It-All. I think I have it figured out now.

The cover is courtesy of the Cricut. I have to admit, I put it together pretty quickly.


Winding up for some knitting January 2, 2012

Filed under: Crochet,Knitting — Casey @ 12:16 pm

As every yarn crafter knows, good yarn often comes in that perpetual knot-maker, the hank.

Why this is the preferred packaging for higher end yarns remains a mystery as any google search can tell you.One theory is that this shape is easier on natural fibers than balls that can pull and distort the yarn. Another argument is that shipping is easier and cheaper with the more compactable hanks. Still others claim that the hank allows the buyer to have a better idea of what the color variations in the yarn might look like.

Whatever the true reason, the process of getting a usable ball from a hank often requires a couple extra sets of hands and a lot of patience. That is unless you are fortunate enough to have access to a yarn swift and ball winder. These make quick work of any winding project and allow you to purchase hanks without fear.

The swift expands to the size of the hank and allows the yarn to be pulled off smoothly and with perfect tension. And it never complains, unlike my husband who used to have this task.

The ball winder feeds the yarn into a perfect center pull ball.

These tools allow an hour long task to be completed in a few minutes. Kitten help is optional.