Velvet Acorn, A Favorite

Tis the season for yarn, coffee, needles and hooks. With the increasing cold weather, those of us that make, have an increase in orders. What is the most requested items this year? Non other then the wonderful Velvet Acorn designs.

I have had my eye on this lady for over two years now. Since before she had crochet patterns available, and before she lifted her “personal use only” terms. When I saw her recognizable designs all over ETSY, I had to hop aboard!

Her patterns are extremely well written, and easy to follow for all skill levels. She also has pattern pack purchases available at a discount. I have gladly participated in her pattern packs.

Here is her knit Failynn Fox hood. I’ve made quite a few of these this winter, and it always comes out fabulous. With a color change or two, you can make many animals. Knitters will need to know some basic crochet to get the proper look.

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Knitters only- This hat is so absolutely gorgeous. If you love cables, or have always wanted to make a cabled project, you will not be disappointed with the Serenity hat. The math that it must have taken to get the cables just right in this pattern, well, it gives me a headache just thinking about it. This was actually requested by a crochet friend. Yarnies, not afraid to ask others for a must have =)

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Crocheters only- The Ashby scarf is a very feminine cowl that is great for those (like me) that worry about a choking hazard. One end tucks in the other, and can be pulled open. The make up is very simple, but the look is exquisite. This is a great beginner pattern.

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I have other patterns that I have yet to make. I admittedly went pattern crazy, but they are all so adorable, I blame her ever so cute models =).

Have a Crafty Day!

 

 

Sewing ain’t Easy, Wait, Yes it is

I have been honing my sewing skills.

From t-shirt make-overs to pattern making (this isn’t it, later, promise).

I have found the crown jewel of adorable beginner sewing pattern! I’m so excited, I had to share. It is the Abby coat pattern by Shwin Designs.

I’ll be honest, I went to their ETSY shop everyday, trying to muster the courage to buy this pattern. It looks very intimidating! I even messaged the shop, asking a few questions to determine if I were up to the challenge. Sadly, they never responded to my inquiries, which brings me to wonder if they thought I was a pattern writer trying to pick their brains and develop a like pattern (don’t snicker, it totally happens). Regardless, I purchased it, and YAY!

It is super easy to follow. I’ve tried following online patterns before, and it was horrible! I much prefer winging it, or better yet, purchasing a pattern at the store with the super fabulous tracing paper that you use to cut fabric. I find the store bought patterns difficult to understand though. The most difficult part of the Abby coat is cutting and pasting the papers together to cut your fabric. The instructions to cut and paste the tracing paper is really great, easy to understand and great to follow.

Sewing the fabric was simple too. The pattern you purchase has extreme detailed photo instructions. I’m talking about a photo of all your pattern pieces, a photo that shows connect piece A to piece B like so, stitch, iron seam open, etc.

I’ve made so many of these coats. I love the versatility, and it’s so soft and warm. My friend even caught her daughter sleeping in hers, which is the best compliment ever!

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I even adapted the pattern to make a boyish version for my son, complete with glow in the dark collar and elbow pads(ish).

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He loves his coat, and brags that I made it for him wherever we go, total proud mama moment.

I LOVE this pattern! I’m a very slow sewer, but this sews up pretty quickly, and always looks fantastic!

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Have A Crafty Day!

 

Flower Power

I’ve been obsessed with newborn photo props.

Any photographers I encounter at craft shows, always ask for some.

I found this fantastic pattern on ETSY by Crafty girls of Avon. It works up quickly, and uses soft chunky yarn. Although it has a lot of sewing, which I’m not a fan of. I find myself crocheting up all the pieces, and letting it sit, for days, until I sew it up. Not the best strategy, but oh well. It’s great for beginner crocheters, can be done in multiple color combinations, and here’s a little hint, use a bigger hook for a larger size bonnet =)

Did I mention, this pattern is only $3.99!!!

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Have a Crafty Day!

Flower Lovey pattern

I’ve been wanting to post this for awhile now, but it was a gift, so I had to wait until my expectant friend got it. ANNND, she loved it =)

One of my absolute favorite Crochet blogs, is by the talented Miss Sarah, creator of Repeat Crafter Me. I tell ya, I just don’t know how she has the time! Her blog is so professional, and she has such amazing creations. She has perfected the “Lovey,” a fleece piece, with a crochet border, and crochet stuffie attached. For years there have been the crochet Lovey dolls, a stuffie attached to a crochet square. Maybe because Joanne’s constantly has fleece sales, but I just like Sarah’s version better.

I used Repeat Crafter Me’s tutorial for a Monster Fleece Lovey as a starting point. Here’s the thing, I bought a skip stitch blade, BUT, it was the wrong one….of course! On to plan B.

I am not a pro with a ruler, or measuring, or making straight lines. Weird right? So I stitched a long serger stitch around the edge of my fleece with my sewing machine. Using light weight yarn, and a 2.75 metal crochet hook, I crocheted 3 double crochets (DC) in every 3rd sergered stitch. Since the sewing machine already made a hole for the thread, it was easy to make the hole larger to accommodate the yarn. Then I crocheted two more rounds of 3 DC between each cluster. On to step 2. 2014-04-27 17.32.54I couldn’t find a cute, and free, flower pattern so I made one.

Abbreviations: st- stitch; sc-single crochet; dc-double crochet; dec-decrease; * repeat

Petals: Hook- 3.25 mm; I made this in a continuous round, you can always slip stitch to the first stitch and chain 1 in the beginning of each round if you are more comfortable doing that.

Make 5 sc in magic loop (6)

*2sc in same st, sc in next 2 st* (8)

*2sc in each st* (16)

*sc in each st* (16) *repeat for 2 more rows*

*sc in next 2 st, scdec* (12)

Repeat previous row (9)

I slip stitched the ends together, you can do this or just bind off, these will be hand sewn. to flower face. Leave long tail to sew. Make as many as you want to get the look your trying for (I made 12).

Flower face: Make 2

Make 6sc in magic loop

*2sc in each st*

*sc in next st, 2sc in next st*

*sc in next 2 st, 2sc in next st*

*sc in next 3 st, 2sc in next st*

sc in each stitch for 2 rows

Bind off, leaving a long tail to sew.

Here is what you have, a whole lot of small pieces, AAAAGH!!!

2014-04-23 12.27.24Now you will sew your petals to one side of the face. I used a whip stitch, but really, any hand stitch will work. 2014-04-23 12.30.152014-04-23 12.30.58If you want eyes and a smile, now is when you will sew it on one of your flower faces. Then you will begin stitching your faces together. When you have about a couple inches left to sew, now comes the stuffing. I used the poly-fill for stuffed animals, you can get it at any craft store. I also put a bell in the middle of the fill to form a rattle effect.

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All what’s left is to stitch it up, and sew it onto your fleece.

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FYI, I used some fleece from another project, I didn’t measure it, I just used what I had left =)

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Have a Crafty Day!

Charting for Intarsia

After my success with intarsia crochet, I went Google and Pinterest crazy! I used keywords, “pixel, knit chart, crochet chart,” and then expanded to “cross stitch chart, bead chart” so many options! Then I found this very helpful website, Knitpro. It’s ah-mazing! And FREE! It takes any picture and turns it into a chart that you can print or save. What’s the down side? There are a couple.

First, it takes the picture and digitally separates the color spectrum. Now I don’t know the techie talk for it, but I’ll show you what I mean.

Here is a picture I uploaded, thunder, Thunder, THUNDERCATS, HOOOO

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Nice crisp lines, perfect for intarsia work! Knitpro saves as a PDF, so I had to take a photo of my screen to show you what I mean.

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The reds are in different shades, black and greys make up the darker areas, but still, I am not artistic enough to draw it myself. So we have 2 choices, color it in, guess, or re-graph it.

I didn’t have large enough graph paper to re-graph this picture, boo, but I was able to graph other ones I found on my google search.

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Here is some bead art of R2D2 I found. There are pretty distinct lines here, very easy to chart for yarn work. Of course I took some artistic liberties.

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Now I can use this for intarsia, YAY! The possibilities are endless, just takes a computer, color pencils, graph paper, patience, and maybe some glasses, your eyes might hurt if you go at it for as long as I did.

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Happy charting!

Have a Crafty Day!

Fairy Beach Garden

Spring has sprung and I’m trying to decorate accordingly. That being said, I can’t wait till the summer. Even though the humidity here means no need for a sauna, I love the heat. So I decided to go beachy with my next fairy garden.

I paid attention this time, and planned ahead so I could make a semi-tutorial for ya’ll, yeah me!

Supplies: popsicle sticks, shell, hot glue gun (and hot glue…duh!), sand, dirt, pot, birdhouse, and plants =)

 

IMG_1126Dollar tree is a great place to get the tidbits you need to make your garden; most craft stores have unfinished wooden birdhouses for about a dollar.

IMG_1124I have discovered that pruning shears are perfect for trimming the perch on the birdhouse, and cutting popsicle sticks.

IMG_1127 I decided to use un-colored popsicle sticks to make that wooden plank look, which really wasn’t necessary, but so what.

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I used orange popsicle sticks to make the door, and the cut bird perch made a perfect handle.

IMG_1128I decided on a shell roof. Sounds easy huh? NOPE! The odd shapes of the shells made it pretty difficult to form them together.

IMG_1129See? When in doubt, just add more….

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and more….overlapping them until you get the look you would like.

IMG_1132 I decided we needed a bench. In order to do this, I needed extra hands for the drying process. Thank you honey =)

 IMG_1131I used small shells for the back of the bench.

 IMG_1133Lovely.

IMG_1135Buttons + jewelry wire = Fairy sized bicycle.IMG_1141

Here we are. I hot glued 3 sizes of shells together to form a mini shell fountain. I just can’t get tired of these little darlings. Now to find a bikini clad fairy.

Have a Crafty Day!

Intarsia Crochet

One of the most challenging words I hear is “Can you make?”

When someone starts a sentence with that phrase, I immediately get a feeling in the pit of my stomach, coupled with a blank look, open mouth, and then one of two things happen; a wave of relief if I’ve made something similar, OR a look of thoughtful confusion. If it is something new, my mind starts working at warp speed, taking internal inventory of my crafty knowledge, and trying to determine if I am skilled enough to take on said challenge. Thus was the case of the crochet Yoda blanket.

Initially the request was a brown crochet blanket for a baby shower gift, no problem! As I was working on the rest of the order, leaving the blanket for last since it takes the longest, my friend, in her infinite wisdom, said it would be really cool if I could add a Yoda to the center. I was playing around with shaping, thinking a Yoda applique, then she emailed me this:

yoda chartI had yet to do such extensive work in my crochet endeavors. Knitting, yes. I had made my good friend a skull blanket as a baby shower gift. She was having a girl, she hated pink, flowers, basically anything girlie. So I made her a knit skull checker blanket, using Intarsia knitting.

skull blankieIntarsia knitting uses different colors in large blocks. Instead of carrying the colors over, like in Fair Isle knitting, you use separate skeins, or bobbins of yarn (small amount of yarn taken from a larger skein), dropping one color and picking up another, as you work along.

Since I had experience with Intarsia knitting, I figured, Intarsia crochet? Why not.

First things first, the graph she sent me was fantastic! But it’s kind of small. So I decided to double each square, and repeat each line in half double crochet. Then I decided to make the Yoda center first, then add to that center, making it larger, like you would if making a large granny square style blanket.

The smaller colored areas (hands, feet, staff), I carried my yarn, the larger areas (robe, head, sides), I used Intarsia crochet. At some points I had 3 skeins of yarn, and 3 bobbins of yarn working at the same time. This is how it turned out.

IMG_1083Pretty cool for using Intarsia crochet for the first time =) I love, love, LOVE, that it looks the same on the right side and the wrong side. With knitting, it is obvious which side is the wrong side, but not in crochet, happy dance!

As I mentioned, I crocheted around this rectangle, using triple, double and single crochet, to get a nice stripped pattern. I also crocheted 2 of whatever stitch I was using, chained 2, and crocheted 2, in each corner *example: 2DC, chain 2, 2DC = corner stitch. In each round after, I put a corner stitch in each chain 2 space. My final blanket measured 36×30 inches, perfect for a crib.

IMG_1084 This technique has endless possibilities. I immediately went out and bought some graph paper to make my own patterns, thereby adding to my never ending to do list. Expect more posts soon.

Have a Crafty Day!