Friday, March 25, 2011

Crochet Bee!

Here's a little bee I crocheted for a little friend. He goes with the crochet wallet from a few posts back.

I designed him myself. It was easy enough--I just made a sort of egg shape. The wings are actually a butterfly pattern.

I'm still working on a crocheted ladybug. She needs another 'spot' on her back then she'll be done.

Oh, you can't tell, but you could hold Bumblebaby in the palm of your hand.

Yesterday I received two books in the mail: "Crocheted Socks" and " 48-Hour Afghans." I got them via with a gift card I got from cashing in coins at Coinstar. I'm in the middle of other socks but I will start on another pair soon because the ones in the book look awesome. And the 48-hour afghans? When I do one of those I am going to clock myself. We'll see about '48 hours'!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Finished socks

Here are the finished socks. I think these came out much better than the first pair. The only thing is that there is a wider maroon stripe on one sock (my left foot in the photo--obviously, my ankles are crossed) that makes it look as if the socks don't really match. Not that I care, LOL! I'm just so glad to have them done.
I'm already working on two more pairs.

Oh, and we woke up to about an inch or two of snow this morning. My squirrels and birds are grateful that I've throw seeds and peanuts out for them! I wouldn't want any of my backyard babies to go hungry!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Holy Ravioli

Sorry, this isn't a post about making ravioli. It's more like "Holy Sh**" but this is a G-rated blog.

This was a 70-degree, plant-roses weekend (which we did).

This morning it is SNOWING.

What the heck is up with that?????

At least it isn't sticking.

I promise to be back soon (sorry it's taken me a week to post again) with crochet progress. Up to the toes on my socks!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Another crocheted hat

Here's another hat I made. This one is adult-sized. BTW, it doesn't look it, but it's lavender, not gray.

I'm getting closer to finishing the socks and will take a picture soon. Had to take a break from crocheting yesterday because the arthritis in my shoulders was really acting up. I picked them up again today and did two more rounds on each.

I also did another row on a baby afghan I started last year. Will post a pic of that soon, too.

This morning I made French toast out of a loaf of Challah bread I found when cleaning the freezer a few days ago. I make it in the oven, which is faster than the stove. Tasted really good and there are enough leftovers for another breakfast.

I took the ends of the loaf and put them in the Magic Bullet to make crumbs. Then I crushed up potato chips left in the bottom of a bag (Mike likes chips with his burgers) and mixed them in the crumbs. I added chili powder, cumin and a little cilantro. I've got some cut up boneless chicken that I will dredge in this and fry. Then I'll either freeze the chicken or we'll have it later this week in tacos.

My inspiration was the show "Chopped." It's a contest where the cooks have a basket of strange ingredients that don't seem to go together. Think: cornish game hens, peppermint candies and bulgur. Somehow, they have to create a dish using everything. The elimination rounds follow a meal: appetizer, main, dessert. I love seeing how creative people can be. They do manage to pull it off.

However, interesting as it may be, nobody in this house is ever going to be served cornish game hen with a bulgur-peppermint rub!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Baby hat

I'd like to have a box of hats and scarves to donate to charity next winter. Here's a baby hat I made.

I've found that all these hats start by crocheting in the round to a certain diameter, and then crocheting evenly (in other words, not increasing) until the hat is done. Once you get that circle done, you can do just about anything with the rest of the hat. It's a good way to practice fancy stitches. I think this is a ripple stitch with a simple ruffle made with triple crochets.

I'm continuing to work on the socks but have to say I made a big dumb mistake last night. I started to make the heel and, as I usually do, kept trying to socks on after each round. I couldn't figure out why it was so tight over the top of my ankle.

Turns out I missed a whole section of the directions! Which means I had about half the stitches I should have had. I do have a reading comprehension problem, despite being a writer, so I have to check things off or mark where I want to start next time I look at instructions. I have so many marks on the instructions (this being my 3rd attempt) that my eyes just wandered.

Fortunately, I figured it out and now they're coming along nicely. I even bought more yarn for 2 more pairs of socks! I hope to get good enough at them to make them without having to read directions. It's the way I work best--hands on and practice, practice, practice.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Yarn tip

I bought this crafts journal on the clearance rack at Michael's ages ago. Finally finding some good uses for it. First of all, I ignore the tabs on the sides. I think this might have originally been for scrapbooking.

I have all this yarn nicely organized but don't know what half of it is. This is because I tossed the labels after balling it up. Since I have some new yarn that is still labeled, I cut little pieces of it, taped it into my book, and wrote down what it is.

I also keep a record of what hook goes to what project in here. If I put a project aside for a long time (what do I mean , 'if'? It's more like 'when'!) I can reference my little book and know what hook to start up with again.

For sewing, I've started to make a 'wish list' of patterns I'd like. Next time Joanne's has a 1.99 sale I can bring my list with me and I won't have to plow through a humongous pattern book!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sock progress

I have no idea why this is underlining!

Anyway, did a few more rows on the socks. They're coming along nicely. I love how this yarn stripes so evenly.

Okay, now I'm getting underline and boldface. Can't seem to turn either one off.

I was going to show you a picture of me wearing my finished jacket, but it really does need a belt and I look fat in the picture, anyway. So I'll post it when I actually have a completed outfit to show. But it's ready to wear when it gets warmer. Not too is 57 degrees here today!

BTW, do you like my St. Pat's pillow case? I just slipped it over a pillow that has cardinals on it. I also made an Easter one that will go on next month. Why buy pillow forms when you've got pillows you'd just throw into the attic, anyway?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Started New Socks

I found this sock yarn on clearance at Michael's. I like the colors although they are very 'autumn-y.'

I gave up on the socks I started with baby-weight yarn because they had NO stretch. Somehow, the worsted weight ones worked out okay. They're too thick for shoes but will be 'wearing around the house' socks.

I have to get back to those but ran out of yarn with just the toes to finish. No kidding. And, of course, they were out of the color. I think I might just put purple toes on them (they are a teal color) just to finish them. I'm not out to impress anyone. I'm doing this because it's fun.

For these new ones, I'm following the rules a little better. I'm doing them entirely in single crochet. I've actually gone a bit further than this picture, with the top ridges all done and about half the calf done. I hope to get to the point of turning the heels by the weekend. I try them on every three rows or so to make sure they fit. I hope if I keep working steadily on these I'll have them done in a week or two. For me, that would be pretty good timing!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cell Phone Holder

Here is a little case I made for my cell phone. It was pretty easy to do.

Just make a chain about as wide as the bottom of the phone, plus one chain for turning. Single crochet in the second chain then across to second to last chain. Make 3 single crochets in the last chain.

Now, instead of going back the other way, single crochet around the back of the chain. When you get to the other end, make 3 singles.

Just keeping going around and around (just a single crochet, don't do 3 more at each end now) until you have a 'pocket' that covers your phone.

To make the flap, simply crochet back and forth on one side. You could make a straight flap. I reduced on either side until I had about 4 stitches left. Then I simply made a chain from one corner to the other for a button loop.

Finally, sew on a cute button.

I chose a light fabric (it's actually baby weight yarn) to make my phone easier to find in my pocket book!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Crafts Closet

Here are some pictures of my cleaned up and reorganized crafts closet. Sorry there are no 'before' shots, but you've seen enough messy closets. Suffice to say it was a jumbled 'hot mess.'

I would love to have one of those fancy-schmancy closet organizing systems, but can't afford that. I gave it some thought and remembered the milk crates we had just sitting around the garage. As you can see, I combined them with some smaller crates and made 'shelves.' I wanted my things to be only 'one deep' so there will be no digging to find this or that.

Sorry there is no full-length shot. There was no way to get the whole closet in at any angle.

It was my husband's idea to use the soft shelves my daughter left behind when she moved out. As you can see, they hold my fabric.

I love cute storage items and sometimes buy things 'on a whim' just because I like them. The green and red polka dot box held stationary, I think. Now it holds my mini-iron. See the pink mini picnic basket? It was brown at first but I spray-painted it. It has gone through several uses but I finally discovered it is the exact perfect size for my label maker!

The green box with the handle has cardboard things like leftover tubes from the stickers we hand out at work. If you can read it, yes, it does say 'sausage' on top. I used it previously to hold pork in my downstairs freezer.

The wine box came from a fellow blogger a few years ago. Now it holds empty thread spools, including some very old wooden ones.

BTW, speaking of old and wood, I have a boatload of old-fashioned clothespins. You know, the wooden kind that look like people? If you want a handful to play with, just ask. All I want in return is my postage.