Archive for the ‘crafts’ Category

If the image at the left looks like a large blob of grocery bags, you’re halfway correct. It’s plastic bags cut into strips to make a “material” suitable for crocheting.

This weekend I went to another craft day at Lissa’s house with two other craft-a-teers. Learning to make plastic bags into a big ball of yarn that could be crocheted into just about anything I wanted is one of the things we did together. Carrie was the “pro” at the idea, and she and Lissa demonstrated how to fold the bags then cut them with a rotary cutter. While they folded & cut, I attached the strips together, making my very own ball of very plastic yarn. Now to figure out what to do with it. Carrie had a couple of bags she’d already made which were really cute, and Lissa was working on one for herself. I’m sure I’ll make a bag out of it, but I don’t know yet if I want to look for a pattern I like or just wing it. I guess time will tell what this plastic glob will become.

Among the other things we did: a knit hat was finished and we all checked the washer when it was time to see how much it had felted, a pair (actually a single) flip-flop was attempted to be made with some very thick jute, and we all crocheted and knitted, whichever was our preferred way of doing things at the time. We also talked, laughed, munched, and had an overall good time.

Jenn was a little late so she missed out on the plastic glob yarn making demonstration and the felting, but she jumped right in and started working on a market bag she’d been crocheting. I was totally delighted when she said she thought crocheting was so much easier than knitting and that she may just have to switch back to it. Now I don’t feel all alone when I bring out my hook and yarn. It’s good encouragement for me to start going to the Wednesday night “knitting” group again since she’s usually there as well.

Too, last time I was at craft day, I took a few of the things I’ve made over the year. One was a really pretty wire crochet bracelet done with gold wire and golden-hued beads (liked the one shown at the right). It was gorgeous, if I do say so myself, and I gave it to Jenn. She told me when she arrived this last time that a friend of hers wants me to make a couple of bracelets to try to sell in her store. How cool is that! So, in the next couple of weeks or so, I’m going to add some wire crochet projects to my WIPs.

All four of us decided we were going to try to get a table together at a couple of upcoming craft fairs in our area for the holidays. One can’t be signed up for until the first part of September and the other I need to call on and see what information I can find out. It’ll be my first  shot at a craft fair, and having a few other people to hang out with and craft with doesn’t hurt. I’m looking forward to it. Not only are my crochet WIPs going to grow in the very near future; my other crafty venues are going to get some attention as well.


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Mmm…Cake & Crafts!

My daughter is growing up. She recently celebrated her sixteenth birthday. We didn’t do any of the “sweet sixteen” stuff because she just didn’t want it. Instead, my sister and her husband sent her fifteen gorgeous red roses, with one white one to commemorate the year, and her step-dad and I bought her an iPod, took her out to eat, and celebrated with balloons and an ice cream cake. She and I also went to see “Hairspray”, which we both really enjoyed. Ah, and she also applied for her first job. She’s been volunteering at the library for about a year and a half now, and their entry level position is a book shelver. She got her birthday in just in time to make the deadline for applications. I really hope she gets it.

Speaking of “Hairspray”, in my opinion, it was a toe-tappin’ feel-good kind of movie. If you like musicals, I recommend it as one to go see. It was really hard for me to get over John Travolta being a woman, though. He did great, but I think I’d rather not known it was him so I wouldn’t have keep thinking that it really was.

Yesterday, I went to a friend’s house for what we call “Craft Day”. It’s just a time for a few girls to get together to craft, talk, munch, and have fun. I haven’t been to one in forever, so it was really good to get out and be around a couple of other crafty chicks for an afternoon. We looked through books and magazines, crocheted, ate homemade salsa and tortilla rounds (recipe to follow), and talked up a storm. Too, I helped the other two learn to crochet with wire, which was fun. It’s kinda ironic in a sense: One friend I was teaching was actually the person who first taught me how to crochet. The student becomes the master. Then, I sat and watched in awe as a baby blanket was made using a knitting machine. Once it was up and going, the blanket was made in a very short amount of time and turned out really cute. Eventually, I’ll probably learn to knit from this group, but I’m in no big hurry. I have too many crochet projects I want to do still; although, I’d really love to learn to knit just so I could make lingerie. I got a little more done on my daughter’s spirit blanket; I’m hoping to finish it soon, although I’m not all that far with it. I’m still working on my butterfly shawl, which I really do want to finish–and will–just a matter of time.

And speaking of time…
Wow! Where does it go?!

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Silver Coiless Pins
Small Plastic Faceted Beads (or other beads of choice) – 2 for each pin
Letter beads – in letters representing your hook sizes


Bend the base of the pin until it’s almost straight, being careful not to break or weaken it. (Yes, it’ll snap in half, believe me. I found out through trial and error.) Place one bead on the pin, pushing it past the curve to the other side. Do the same with the letter bead and the other bead, then carefully bend the pin back to its usual shape. Once closed, pushed gently on the curve to bend it a bit tighter. The curve of the pin will keep the beads from falling off.

The letter on the marker will not only keep your place when you sit your crochet project down, but it’ll also help you recall what size hook you were using when you last stopped working on it.

I’ve found that the smaller pins work better than the larger ones. The markers in the image were made using size 1 1/4″. If larger ones are used, you could add more beads. It’s totally up to you. Experiment with different bead sizes and such. The possibilities could go on and on.

I wish I could take credit for this idea, but sadlly, I can’t. The orginal idea came from here -> Smart Stitch Holders.

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Swap Stuff

I signed up for a crochet-related swap on one of the forums I play around in and just got my package sent out today. This is what I sent:

Swap Stuff

There’s a denim project bag, with a “lacy” crochet trim that I made then sewed on by hand (the bag itself was premade), as well as a Crochet Project Journal, with pages I made up to log projects, as well as some patterns I got from the net. There’s also a skein of yarn to make a skinny scarf, a button that says “I *heart* Crochet”, and some stitch markers. The card has a crocheting vampire on it; it can be cut out and used as a bookmarker. I hope my partner doesn’t look here before she gets her package!

I plan to post the how-tos soon for the project journal and the stitch markers by this weekend. The artwork on the card and the journal was done by peggytoes at Crochetville.

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On-the-Go Bag

I decided to do a quick project this weekend, as my attention span was too small to do anything intricate. (My carpal tunnel was acting up, too, which didn’t help any.)

 This is the On-the-Go Bag from the Spring 2007 issue of Interweave Crochet. Instead of using the yarn specified for the pattern, I used a bulkier, varigated 100% wool yarn I got from Joann’s. I didn’t have to switch colors every couple of rows; instead, I just crocheted from the bottom to the top without stopping, other than to begin a new ball of yarn. I then tossed it in hot water in the washer to let the felting process begin. This is the first time I’ve ever done felted crochet, and I must say that I’m quite pleased with the results. It’s kinda cool to watch a crocheted piece go from big stitches to smaller closed ones and become a thicker fabric. I really wish I had taken before and after photos.

Since I used a bulkier yarn, my bag turned out about two inches taller than what the pattern stated, and it is about 1-1.5 inches longer across the bottom. I used two-2 mm leather cords (actually, it was one long cord, cut in half to the size I needed) for the drawstring closure, as well as a black plastic cord lock. I also decided to add the silver beads to the four ends of cord hanging down to make it a little more individual to my liking.

This is a super-easy pattern, and I loved working with the wool yarn. The felting process was rather easy, and it’s something I’d like to try again. I’m sure I’ll also make up another bag in this pattern as I find the yarn I’d like to do it in.

inside the bag   toggle, cords, & beads   On-the-Go Bag

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