Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gift for a young friend

A friend's daughter, aged 14, told me her favorite colors were hot pink, turquoise and purple. With that in mind, I'm making her a hat and scarf set. The hat is done, the scarf is about halfway there. The trick with the scarf is counting the stitches to keep it even! I can't tell you how many times I've had to frog it 'cause it was lopsided! But, I think she'll like it (it's a Christmas gift) so the effort is worth it.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Take Along Chalk 'Board'

I had some remnant canvas (I think it's meant to make outdoor cushions) hanging around, and I saw this idea in a magazine (either Country Woman or Country Living). This is my adaptation:

I painted the fabric with chalk paint (Martha Stewart), then folded up the top and bottom. Instead of futzing around with mitering, I just used some pretty duct tape on the sides. I also used the tape to attach the ribbon tie. Here it is rolled up:

Something easy and cute for a kid to take to a restaurant or use on a road trip!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Jar Pin Cushion

I've seen these around the net and thought they were kind of cute. It was pretty easy to make. I just used my larger yo-yo maker for the circle.
I am using mine for buttons I'll use on yo-yos. Here, I've got pins in the pincushion, but I will probably use it instead for threaded needles.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Handbag Tryout

This is from one of the "One Yard Wonders" books. I just used what I had on hand--not crazy about the fabric, which came with a package deal from "Tuesday Morning." But now that I realize I really like the style, I'm going to make a nicer one with fabric I like. I'll use interfacing to give it some 'body,' too. This one is soft. I'll probably just use it to store something.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I have a lot of cute old spools and don't know what to do with them all. I saw this idea somewhere or other and copied it. It's just 3 spools glued to a plaque. I've been kicking it around my office for months because I never remember to get the picture hanger hardware. So I got the idea to use the binder clips. Not so pretty, but at least they match the black paint.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Clothespin Apron

I made one of these last year, but I have no idea where I put it! It's from "One Yard Wonders" and is very easy to make. (Obviously, I used two fabrics here, but the original pattern is all one fabric.)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Afghan for my Mom

I've been working on this for a long time--years, in fact--and I hope to have it completely done soon. My mother's 90th birthday is next year and I think she'd like this for a room she has decorated with clowns. (It has a red leather couch!) All I have to do is weave in some ends (been doing that a little at a time) and add the rest of the border. It's just double crochets, one round of each color in the blanket.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Learning to knit in circles

After several false starts, I think I've finally gotten the 'gist' of knitting on circular needles! There is a big rule that you want to make sure your cast on stitches never twist. If they do, you end up with this weird figure-8 thing you can't fix. I thought I had that 'down,' until I got to about the 10th round and saw the twist. Grrrr! I had been SO careful! Now I realize that when you are casting on circular needles, you can't be distracted. You might think everything's going in the same direction, but there will be that one rogue stitch that will totally mess you up!
So when I cast on this one, I checked every two or three stitches. Success!

This isn't any particular project. I am just practicing the technique. It's too small for a hat and the wrong color for a baby. (Could be for a doll, though.) I might just make it into a little pouch. 
I have also learned how to cast onto double-pointed needles, but that's another post!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lil Punkins

A bit of "Halloween in July" (explaining the Patriotic things in the background.) 
The biggest one can be either a lollipop cover or a fridgie. It's from an old issue of a crochet magazine. Then I was inspired to take my new knowledge of ball-making and create two little pumpkins! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Jammin' Today

I made strawberry jam this morning. I also made a mess, but that's par for the course with me. The strawberries came from BJs and were very beautiful--totally red. (They were also the cheapest ones I've found so far.) If you want sweeter strawberries, you don't want any white on the tips. They should be red all over. White on the tips means they were picked too soon and not allowed time to ripen!

Not sure why, but the strawberries are floating on the top. No matter, it still tastes flipping good.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Have a Ball! (Or Four!)

 The littlest ball here is a little bigger than a quarter. It starts with only 2 rounds!

I figured out the 'math' for making a crocheted ball. Okay, I figured it out for my own self. Experts probably already know. It's actually 'stupid easy.' If you can crochet in the round, you can make a ball.

I start with two chains, then do six single crochets in the second chain from the hook.
Next round is two scs in each sc, so you end up with 12.

Round 3: two scs in one sc, then 1 sc  (2+1 around) You'll end up with 18

Round 4 : two scs in one sc, then 1 sc and 1 sc (2+1+1 around until you reach 24.)

Okay, so let's say this is as far as you. You have four rounds.
You'll now crochet 4 more rounds of 24.

Then you'll start decreasing. You want to go from 24 back down to 18, so you need to lose 6 stitches. You added them when you did 2 scs in 1 sc. Now you'll crochet 2 scs together, then do  a single and a single. (2 together+1+1, which gives you 3) Keep count until you get to 18.

From 18, you reduce to 12. So you'll crochet 2 together, then 1. (This is where I put the stuffing in, but you can do it at any point that is easy for you.)

Finally you're back to 6 again. Simply crochet 2 together all the way around. Fasten off, leaving a long tail. Weave the tail through and pull it tight. Weave in the ends.

The math is basically this: however many rounds you make, you will continue with that many even rounds before reducing. Five rounds will give you 30 stitches around. So you'll do five more rounds of 30 stitches, then you'll start reducing. Just remember you want to lose 6 stitches each round.

Okay, so maybe not so 'stupid easy,' but once you get the gist of it, you'll be able to crank out crocheted balls by the dozens!