Monday, April 4, 2011

The more things change, the more things stay the same!

Someone in the CLF on Ravelry found this 160 year old Punch article... surprisingly true for those of us who are addicted to needlework...

Click the link and have a good laugh...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

That little voice inside my head...

I'm sure you have one too, it's the one that says, "Sure, take another piece of cake, what's one more tiny slice in the Grand Scheme of the Universe?" Well, sometimes, the one in my head says, "What's another few tiny balls of sock yarn? They're only 50 grams apiece! Bring some home... they're only a paltry Euro per skein!" So, I bought some... more... yarn... sigh...

Are there enough hours in a day, days in a week, weeks in a year, years in a lifetime, for me to do anything with All My Yarn? No, I don't think so. Could someone tell the little voice that? Please?

Monday, February 28, 2011

I'd rather be crocheting...

...or at least reading what others have to say about crocheting, or shopping for yarn or downloading cool patterns. But I really should mop or do laundry..........

Hmmm, maybe blogging to avoid housework is a better idea...

I will not give you feeble excuses as to why I have not blogged in ages... (but perhaps moving to another continent with my family, most of my possessions and 6 huge boxes of yarn had something to do with it).

Yes, I moved my yarn 4159 miles (6691 km). And, not just a little-- a whole lot. Some is in storage, but most of it is here in Germany with me. "Why?" you might ask. "Don't they have yarn in Europe?" you may query. Well, to a fiber addict, it's akin to asking a mother which of her children she'd like to leave behind. The poor, sweet, colorful, soft little skeins would be bereft if I left them for years in a cold corner of my mother-in-law's basement. So the yarn came with me... and now I've bought my yarn some new foreign friends to hang out with. This is yarn addiction. And I am unrepentant.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Broomstick Lace Bolero

I have really wanted to explore new crocheting techniques lately, so I though I'd try my hand at broomstick (or jiffy) lace. The end product was this bolero. I started with a row of foundation single crochet the width of my shoulders in a multiple of 4 stitches. I just made it up as I went along. Broomstick lace is lots of fun and very easy! The only awkward part was holding the 25mm knitting needle to cast on the loops for the motifs. I had to put it between my legs in a most unlady-like manner-- I won't be crocheting jiffy lace in public, that's for sure!

I learned the technique with this youtube video. The lady who does these crochet tutorials is awesome!

Friday, July 2, 2010

When self striping yarn goes horribly, horribly wrong...

I saw a lovely and simple pattern in Interweave Crochet called the Marilyn Twinset. I thought it was pretty, but I couldn't really see myself in a fuzzy, pale pink mohair cardigan. (not really a stay at home mother sort of look, unless you're June Cleaver...) Funky, earthy, colorful, is more to my liking, so I chose to use this Noro Kureyon Sock. Well, I got halfway through the body of the cardigan and... eeep! I knew that the stripes weren't going to line up , but oh my goodness, one side is very dark and the other is very light. What can I do? I will continue to work on the issue; I am reluctant just to frog the whole thing, though it may come to that.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

2 more thread flowers

More of the 5 petal flowers... hmmm... I seem to be making this a lot.  It's fun, quick and easy.  Both the tapester and the bookmark are going out as Random Acts Of Kindness to some members of Crochetville.  I hope they are well received.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Some bookmarks

I have learned to love thread! Hooray! I have been busily making bookmarks the past few days for gifts for my daughters' teachers. I really enjoy working with thread; it always looks fancy (even when it's really, really easy). I'd love to start on a summer cardigan in thread-- but considering my "crochet ADD" it might take a decade for me to finish!

The pattern I used is Apak's Butterfly Bookmark. I used the chart, but kept going in the round to make the 5 petal flower. I added an extra (3 dc, ch 3) in the first round to make the 6 petal flower. A row of foundation single crochet makes the thong part and the leaves are freeform.

The butterfly is done in Noro Sekku and a 1.5 mm hook, it has a charming, rustic quality about it.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Turtle Tape Measure Cover-- The pattern!

I wrote up the pattern and had it tested-- have fun! Click the text for the pdf! Crochet to your heart's content!

Please do not distribute or copy the pattern. You may post links back to this blog. You have my permission to sell and donate items made from this pattern as long as you give me full credit as a designer. And, by all means, let me know what you think! (I'm allieliz on both Crochetville and Ravelry)

Turtle Tape Measure Cover by Alice Kaufman Rich

Materials: 2 inch diameter plastic tape measure, size 10 thread in variegated green (or Green for MC and a coordinating color for CC), 1.65 mm steel hook (or size for gauge), small amount of polyester fiberfill, black thread or beads, for eyes.

Special stitches:
Back post double crochet (bpdc)--  Yarn over, insert hook from back to front around post of stitch below,
Reverse Single Crochet (rsc)
“Claw Picot”—Chain 3, sc into 3rd chain from hook, sc into stitch below.

To start, chain 5, join with ss

Rnd 1—Chain 3(counts as 1st dc ), 14 dc in circle, join with ss. (15 sts)
Rnd 2—Ch 3, dc in same st, 2 dcs in each st, join with ss. (30 sts)
Rnd 3—Ch 3, 2 dc in next st, (dc in following st, 2 dc in next st) 14 times, join with ss. (45 sts)
Rnd 4—Ch 3, dc in next st, 2 dc in next st (1 dc in next 2 sts, 2 dc in following st) 14 times, join with ss. (60 sts)
Rnd 5—Ch 3, 1 dc in nex 2 sts, 2 dc in following st, (1 dc in next 3 sts, 2 dc in following st) 14 times, join with ss. (75 sts)

The circle should come out somewhat concave so it forms the shell.

(The next 2 rounds are to be crocheted back and forth in order to make a gap for the tape measure to come out the back)

Row 6—Ss ito 1st st (to make the gap). Ch 2, bpdc into st below and next 6 sts. Ch 3 (makes a loop to attach the limbs), bpdc into next 23 sts, ch 3, (bpdc into next 7 sts, ch 3) twice, bpdc in next 23 sts, ch 3, bpdc into last 7 sts, turn (do not join with a ss). (74 bpdc)

Row 7—Ch 3 (counts as dc), work 1 dc in each dc below,  2 dc in the last dc (leave the ss unworked).  Join with a ss in the top of the ch 3.  Note: Do not work into the ch 3 loops, keep them to the front so you can fasten the head and feet on later.

At this point you may want to put a small amount of fiberfill in the “shell”, and place the tape measure inside, button side down, poking the tape through the gap made in the 2 previous rows.  You will work the decreases around the tape measure.  If it gets too hard to hold the tape measure, take it and the fiberfill out, work 2 rounds of decreases (rnd 8 and 9) then put the tape measure back in and, using the end of your hook, stuff the fiberfill up in the shell and pull the tab through the gap.

Rnd 8—(begin decreases) Ch 3, dc in next 2 sts, dc2tog in next 2 sts (dec), (dc in next 3 sts, dc2tog in next 2 sts) 14 times, join with a ss. (60 sts)

Rnd 9—ch3, dc in next st, dc2tog in next 2 sts (dc in next 2 sts, dc2tog in next 2 sts) 14 times, join with a ss. (45 sts)

Rnd 10—ch 3, dc2tog in next 2 sts, (dc in next st, dc2tog in next 2 sts) 14 times, join with a ss. (30 sts)

Rnd 11—Ch 2, dc in next st (counts as a dc2tog), (dc2tog in next 2 sts) 14 times, join with a ss. (15 sts)

At this point you should have an opening for the button on the tape measure.  If it is a little large, dc3tog in the first 3 sts and dc2tog in the remaining sts.  If you want to fill it in a little more add a round of scs in each st. 

To make the head: attach thread (or CC if using 2 colors) to the ch 3 loop opposite the opening for the tape measure. 
Row 1--Ch 3 (counts as a dc) 14 more dc in the loop, ch 3, turn (15 sts)
Row 2—ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), dc2tog in next st, (dc in next st, dc2tog in following 2 sts) 4 times. (10 sts) ch 2, turn
Row 3— dc2tog in next 2 sts 5 times. (5 sts)

This should make a nice 3-D semicircular head.  Add 2 dark colored e beads or use black thread to embroider the eyes.

For legs: In each of the remaining 4 ch 3 loops:
Row 1-- Attach the thread, ch 2 (counts as an hdc), hdc, 2 dc, tr, 2 dc, 2 hdc.  Ch 1, turn. 
Row 2--  Claw picot (sc, claw picot) 4 times.  Finish off.

You should have 4 wedge shaped legs with 5 triangular “claws”.

Join thread in the in the ridge created by the bpdcs in row 6.   Rsc  around the ridge.

Weave in all of those pesky little ends, give your turtle a cutesy little name, and enjoy!

Copyright 2010 by Alice Kaufman Rich.  Please do not copy or distribute this pattern.   Individual crafters may sell items made from this pattern for their own cottage business 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Turtle Tape Measure cover

Isn't it just too cute (if I do say so myself)? I used an inexpensive plastic tape measure, size 10 thread (Omega cotton thread in Dark Green Variegated) and a little polyester fiberfill to puff up his shell. I am typing up the pattern, and I hope to get it tested soon. I'll let you know what I decide to do with the pattern once I'm done.

Now I'm off to crochet a little before I have to start some major housecleaning. Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Bead Shawl Pin Tutorial

Some the lovely ladies on Crochetville have asked me how to make a beaded shawl pin so I made up a little tutorial. You need 24 or 22 gauge wire, needle nose pliers, wire cutters, and plenty of beads.

1. Cut 3 12" pieces of wire

2. Then choose your beads. I line them up in 3 rows that are 9-10 inches long. (If you are using larger beads 10 mm and larger, intersperse them with smaller beads so the wires bend well)

3. String a row onto each of the wires.

4. Holding the 3 ends of wire together, twist the strands together and loop them into a circle.

5. Carefully hook the 2 ends together are try to hide where they are joined. Pull the ends of the wire tightly with needle nose pliers and weave them in. (Sometimes I tie a coordinating piece of ribbon over the join if I'm having a hard time camouflaging it.)

You will end up with a roughly 3 inch diameter pin. Use a chopstick, DPN, or a 5 inch piece of ¼ inch dowel to fasten it.