Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mean Irene

Mean Irene threw off my blogging groove. She knocked down trees everywhere, trees that landed on power lines. Our lights flickered once, twice, three times- Out. Off. All that remained was darkness and the sound of rain and wind.

Because of Irene, I couldn't spend my evenings writing crochet patterns. I sat in candlelight and talked to my husband.
Because of Irene, I couldn't upload new pictures to my blog. I took pictures of some crochet stuff, but then snapped shots of my boys playing in their rainy-day tent.
Because of Irene I couldn't do any laundry. I spent a day picking up sticks and finding green acorns all over our backyard, much to the delight of a little boy who loves collecting things.
Because of Irene, I slowed down. I took a break. I sat on the porch and did nothing. It was marvelous!

....thanks Irene. :)

***But the power's back on, so scroll down for a look at my finished nesting bowls . The pattern should be written by weeks end. Assuming another hurricane doesn't come through...

There's your sneak peek at what's coming soon to my Etsy shop.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Nesting Bowls (WIP = Work in Progress)

My husband, Seth, discovered Top Gear UK is on Netflix (he's a car enthusiast)... 17 seasons of them. Oh yeah. While we were watching it last night I got the itch to make something. Who knew transatlantic car shows from 2003 were so inspirational?

Isn't he cute? Got him at Hobby Lobby
 I ran upstairs and sifted through my yarn stash. Not enough cotton for a yoga mat bag (or any bag really). Not enough wool for a hat. Not enough bamboo-blend for something luxurious- I just made one of those anyway. Not enough brain power to work with the fingering yarn, not enough daring either because I intend to make a cardigan out of it (stay tuned, it'll be ready in about 3 years). Hmm. Jute. Oooh, jute! I never did use this, did I? I carried my prize down the stairs (then back up because I forgot a hook).

I purchased my jute after reading Uncommon Crochet (the link is to a review, I hope to have my Amazon links up and running soon) and was simply inspired! The jute I purchased, however, is crazy difficult to work with. Fortunately, it's thick so it doesn't take many stitches to work it up into something delightful! 

A teensy basket! Well, it was more like the size of a cereal bowl. But it was so cute and worked up so fast I wanted to make a bunch!

I was royally sick of the jute after just 5 rounds, so I ran up for my left overs of cotton and proceeded to scribble out a pattern...

Emphasis on the scribble.

The cotton, being a thinner yarn, required a smaller hook and came out truly teensy (and adorable).

It's pretty remarkable the difference your yarn makes. But I'll refrain from actually remarking on it.

So I made a 3rd. And I've just started a fourth.  They're each getting bigger (as nesting bowls do) and I'm making them a tad more interesting by finishing them off with different borders. A nice WIP (work in progress) for the weekend.

My plan is to have a legitimate pattern (unless anyone is interested in some illegible scribbles? Anybody? Nobody?) for sale on Etsy by sometime on Monday. Check back then!

Happy (Hurricane!) Hooking, everybody!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gorgeous Crochet Earrings (Fantastic Finds)

Despite my love for pins and buttons (Button Love!), earrings are, without a doubt, my favorite accessory. The following are some fantastic finds from, where else? Etsy. So, with no further babble from *me*, have a scroll...
Image courtesy of FebystanDesigns

Image courtesy of KnotTherapy

Image courtesy of Monicaj

Image courtesy of muggytuesday

Image courtesy of saltcitydesign
Image courtesy of anthropologie

Image courtesy of Fr33na

Image courtesy of chrdesigns
They're so intricate and lovely and delicate and glamorous and gorgeous and fun and, well, fantastic!

Got a favorite? Leave me a comment!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Peacocks, Pins & Crochet

No shawl/capelet/stole/call-it-what-you-will is complete without something gorgeous.
Image courtesy of farwellantiques
And lately I've been on a huge peacock kick because they are, well, gorgeous.
Image courtesy of khaoskouture
And I reaaaally love pins. It's a nice way to finish an item without the commitment that buttons demand. (Though I will forever be smitten with Button Love.)
Image courtesy of MoonBubbles
Put them on bags, on scarves, on capelets, stoles, shawls, anything, really, how can you go wrong?
This *new* pattern is available at PurpleChairCrochet
And now my shawl -and this post- are complete.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Do-Dads and What the Man Wrote (Symbols and Terminology)

Growing up my piano teacher referred to various musical symbols as "do-dads". Before learning new musical terminology she would tell me we were about to "read what the man wrote". I was a thoroughly confused 10 year old.

 It wasn't until I was about 17 that I realized "the man" was the *composer*. I could have asked for clarification. I should have asked for clarification. You may be wanting clarification right now, "What exactly does this have to do with crochet?" Well, I'll tell you. 

Image courtesy of Crochet Geek
Crochet has an abundance of symbols. Crochet also has an abundance of terminology. Yarn over, half double crochet, double crochet, slip stitch, working in the round, chain stitch, double crochet clusters- and then it gets better (worse?) and everything becomes abbreviated. It all becomes do-dads and what-the-heck-did-the-woman just say? (Typically woman, though there are men crocheters)

So I'm going to offer a helping hand. Here are a list of resources with a basic idea what you'll find there.

Excellent Resources YOU Must Know About

CrochetMe's Glossary : CrochetMe, much like Ravelry (Click here to read my profession of undying love for Ravelry) is one of those sites that you *must* know about if you're a crocheter. Their glossary is *fantastic* and gives you the term, the abbreviation and then an explanation in plain English, which is pretty stellar when you're a newbie.

Craft Yarn Council Abbreviations Master List : Craft Yarn Council offers their master list of abbreviations. It's good for a quick-look and much simpler to glance at than CrochetMe's glossary though it is based around the thought that you already know how to do make, for example, a treble crochet stitch. 

Craft Yarn Council Crochet Chart Symbols : Similar to the chart above but much more inclusive, Craft Yarn Council has created a chart. Here it is, but you'd probably want to save the actual page if you're looking for good resources. 

Image courtesy of Craft Yarn Council

Okay, so the symbols and terminology are covered. If you're not a newbie, is there still more to learn? You betcha.
I personally have trouble knowing how much yarn to purchase. Well, not anymore...

Thank YOU Interweave for this little pamphlet, for sale on their website riiiiiiight HERE! I ended up getting it at my then-local yarn shop (Unique Yarns, how my heart doth long for thee....). It's so handy, and has helped immensely to keep me from under purchasing as well as over purchasing my yarn. Though, over purchasing isn't exactly a bad thing. ;)

Whew, I'm tired.
So, lots of information, lots of clicking, lots of helpful hints, lots of good things.
Happy Crocheting!

Psst- Got a great resource? Share it in the comments section! :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

How Beardiful!

  I feel like everyone should have a beard. And through the magic that is crochet, it's available to all!
Photo courtesy of bylauradesign

Photo courtesy of rexjericho

Photo courtesy of themonkeycannon

Photo courtesy of hurleysashimi

Photo courtesy of RKMdesigns
Have a Beardiful Day!

Friday, August 19, 2011

How Very Cliche (Blankets)

Anthropologie, you never disappoint me.
Image courtesy of Anthropologie
 I happened across this gorgeous afghan throw on Anthropologie's website and fell in love. It may be knit. It's hard to see on the pictures. Anyone seen it in the store? I may be taking a trip down there this weekend...
Image courtesy of Anthropologie
 -Sigh-, gorgeous. I love some crochet-maybe-knit blankets. Love, love, LOVE. (Sorry, got over excited).
Image courtesy creativedeva
You may think they're cliche. "Ugh, the girl with the Purple Chair is talking about crochet blankets". C'mon, they're cliche for a REASON.
Image courtesy of lovinghandscrochet
 There's nothing better than a throw blanket, especially one you've made with your own hands.
Image courtesy of magikjaz
 Versatile, snuggly, cozy, warm...
Image courtesy of MrsSpider
 Aesthetically pleasing, fun and rewarding project, family heirloom...
Image courtesy of MrsSpider
 Organic color play,
Image courtesy of theknitbox
or a more cohesive look. Delightful, inviting, fun. Are you sold yet?
Image courtesy of TheHookHound
The above star shaped blankie is a pattern and I'm itching to make this for my little boy! His birthday is in October, he has a preoccupation with being cozy, and he's a big fan of green. So, he's getting a green blanket just in time for the cooler months. (Shh, don't tell him.) Couldn't be more perfect for him.

And then he will join the countless individuals who, somewhere in their house, have their special, hand crocheted (maybe knit) blanket from their childhood. How cliche. ;)

Just for the fun of it (it's Friday, after all) I thought I'd include some pictures of my blankets, since the wee lad's blankie is still a pdf file on my laptop (thanks, TheHookHound!) and a thought in my head. These two live on my couch and are snugglicious (a real word).

Wool used for this blanket available at LionBrandYarn

Cotton yarn used for this blanket available at Lily Sugar 'n Cream

Ahh, blankety goodness. If you're interested in blanket-making at it's most delightful hop over to Lucy's at Attic24. Her Ta-DAH!s are a great time! Scroll down her page a bit on they're listed on the right of the screen. You're welcome!