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.


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.


Welcome Baby Amelia! October 23, 2011

Filed under: Crochet — Casey @ 4:31 pm

There may not be anything more dangerous than pinterest when you have new babies around. And coming from a large family, I always seem to know someone welcoming an addition to the family. Most have been boys, so when a cousin announced she would be having a little girl I was extremely excited to attempt these booties.

The pattern calls for fingering weight yarn and I wanted to crochet a matching hat. The choices on ravelry were slightly limited. Most patterns called for a heavier yarn. I love the more delicate look a fingering weight yarn gives to tiny girl clothes. I must have had a specific style in mind because I ended up selecting a hat pattern from the exact same designer just by browsing pictures on ravelry. Apparently, she and I must have very similar taste!

While nothing beats an afternoon in a local yarn shop, I have recently developed a love affair with Knitpicks. There are so many great options for great prices and it eliminates some of the impulse purchases of skeins just because they are so soft. I picked the Stroll yarn for it’s washability and gorgeous color palette. The dogwood heather is just perfect for a little girl.

Both patterns crocheted up fairly easily with minimal frogging. I am not sure I would suggest the pattern for a first timer, but I always fudge my pattern-following so that I get the general shape.

I might crochet a little large, but the booties seem a little large for a 0-3 month size. I really haven’t tried them on any actual baby feet though. I am sure they’ll get use at some point in baby Amelia’s life.


Jumping back into crafting May 7, 2011

Filed under: Cricut,Crochet,Paper Crafts — Casey @ 5:30 pm

Finally a finished object! With the deadline of a baby shower I finally managed to put the details on the world’s most inappropriate baby toy. At least, it took me less time to make this than my cousin is taking to make her baby. I can’t say that about all of my baby gifts.

This was actually a pretty simple pattern. There is some work in putting it all together, but the crocheting was fairly basic. It was definitely the hit of the party though!

I used the suggested Vanna’s Choice Baby yarns which I like for the price. They tend to unravel a little, but I like the colors and that they are washable. I’ve never understood fine wool baby things.

When I make this again I will increase the size of the base slightly. I felt the proportions were slightly off as written. I also used the strands of the yarn to stitch the faces instead of embroidery floss in order to simplify the color palette.

The back of the bee got a little wonky. Not sure how to fix that. I love that the bee has a stinger and the dragonfly has a tail.

I will admit that I have sat in my car outside a baby shower furiously finishing a gift in the past. I cleared this gift by a mile with all threads clipped more than 12 hours before the shower started. So of course I had to use the extra time to create my own card and gift bag.

I am still a Cricut newbie, so there are a few blips. I used the Create a Critter cartridge which I absolutely love. I can’t wait to try more projects.

I’m actually loving the brown bag. What a great way to recycle!

Now onto the other half dozen babies due this year!


Maybe Santa will bring me a ball winder December 12, 2010

Filed under: Crochet,Knitting — Casey @ 2:54 am

Although I am not sure that would help. There has to be a better way to wind these skeins. It takes me an hour to untangle each. Why don’t they all come in nice center-pull balls?

The finished product is not pretty.

God forbid a project requires multiple skeins.


World’s most inappropriate baby gift December 6, 2010

Filed under: Crochet — Casey @ 5:17 pm

Saturday marked the first significant snowfall of the year. Perfect for skeins of yarn, a fire and some great movies.

This Work-In-Progress is certainly interesting looking. I guess they don’t call it hooking for nothing.

Does this make it look more like a baby toy?

Not sure which of the babies in my life will be the lucky recipient yet, but if it snows again this weekend it will be done well before Christmas. Stay tuned for pictures of the finished object.