Saturday, November 28, 2009

I just received a Yudu for my birthday

I am so very excited...but there are so many possibilities, I don't know what to do. I have a shopping bag that I sewed but never embellished, and another which just needs the handles finished... they may need a pretty picture or clever phrase printed on them. I will definitely post some pics soon ( I just need to post something, since my blog has been ignored, unloved and un-updated for so long)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rainy day... good time to sew, or crochet, or knit, or bake or...

So far this month has been rather cool and somewhat rainy. I'm actually rather grateful for that-- it's much more pleasant to run, and there have been some good opportunities to stay home and craft too. The other day I sewed myself some pajama bottoms (they turned out quite nice, a little big, but they are PJ's) I also went to JoAnn yesterday and bought a few patterns for tote bags. (Butterick patterns were on sale for only 99 cents-- I couldn't help myself!) Perhaps I'll chech out my fabric stash and see what I can do.

I am also crocheting a hat using Patons Silk Bamboo in sea. I really wanted to try the yarn, so I bought a skein to make something small. Oh, is it soft and pettable! It is definitely a luxurious yarn, I like it. I am trying to figure out what stitch pattern to use for the body of the hat. I'm thinking some kind of post stitch to add texture. I'll take a picture when I'm done.

Well, I'm off to play with the kids and maybe start something cool this morning. Have a creative, fun day!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wow, I've really been a bad blogger!

Goodness, it's been eons since I last updated my blog! Sorry to everyone who is dear and sweet enough to follow my somewhat random musings and occasional rants.

In my defence, I have decided to train for a 5 K run, and making time to run has really cut into my computer time. So far I can go about 2 miles without having to stop, so I'm 2/3 of the way there (a pretty big accomplishment for someone who could barely run a tenth of a mile just a year ago). I have added in a little strength training too (which also cuts into my computer time). I feel very healthy and empowered and I enjoy getting out of the house. My neighbor is kind and sweet enough to watch my girls, so I actually get a little time to myself when I run-- an added bonus.

I guess, perhaps, I've become one of those crazy exercize loving people. So mow I'm obsessed with crocheting, crafting and running. I really need to figure out how to stretch time so there are more hours in the day for me to get to everything-- you know, since I actually have to take care of my children, husband, dogs and house too!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My new skinny bolero

Yay me! I have officially lost 30 1/2 pounds! Now to celebrate my new-found figure, I made myself the Short 'n Sweet Bolero from SnB The Happy Hooker. I finally feel comfortable making myself more than shawls to wear. I already have the yarn for another cardigan. I feel great, I have lots of energy, I exercise regularly, I'm eating healthily-- and I get to make myself sweaters in a smaller size-- I'm definitely liking this!

As for the sweater-- I used Lion Glitterspun and an I hook. I think I will add a hook and eye closure just under the bust. It's really hard to see the texture the fpdc and bpdc give the shells in black yarn. I think I'd like to make this again in a lighter color to show off the stitches

Monday, April 27, 2009

Kids are characters... part deux...

My 4 year old says the most outrageously funny things. Earlier today, I reminded her she had said that she'd finish her yogurt at lunch. To which, she replied, "Oh yeah, sorry, I have short term memory loss sometimes."

Princess, again, was running around, pretending she had various and sundry different super powers. So, she comes up to me in the kitchen and I'm humming "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch"-- it's been stuck in my head for days-- and she says, "Zap!" to me. When I asked her why she zapped me, she said it was her super power, "To zap out the songs stuck in peoples' heads." Wow, what a cool and useful power to have!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Kids can be such characters!

The other day I gave my girls ice cream sandwiches as a treat. So, my little one, being not quite 3, by the time she was done, managed to get it on her face, shirt and hands. She's always on the go, the busy little thing, and she ran right up to her father on the sofa and started to climb on him. So he said, "Honey, you're sticky, go ask Mommy to help wash your hands." She starts licking her hands to get the ice cream off, and says, "No, Daddy, I not sticky anymore!"

I made the mistake of going shopping at Gymboree with the girls the other day. So my 4 year old runs to a rack, gasps, and says, "Oh, this skirt is fabulous!" (it happened to be a tulle tutu skirt) When I explained that she already owned 4 tutus she gave me this look, and said, "One of them is my sister's, I only have 3."-- like she'd be bereft with only 3 of them! Needless to say, she did not get a 4th tutu-- she didn't get upset, she's really a good girl, but I swear, 4 going on 14!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I Feel Kitschy, Oh So Kitschy...

I feel kitschy, and silly, and bright. So, I got bored with the plastic Softsoap bottles I had in my kitchen and bathroom, and I decided they needed to be "dressed up" a bit. Here are my ultra silly, totally unnecessary floral "soap pump cozies". What do you think? Hey, maybe I'll make the pages of that "What Not To Crochet" blog! Still, I just love these silly things. Now the big question is, if I write up a pattern would anyone want to buy it? I think I'll make some soap savers to match... oh, maybe even a TP cover-- how funny would that be! OY VEY!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I'm on a flower kick...

I really need it to be spring. The snow that accumulated the last 2 days has pretty much completely melted, but I don't hold out much hope for warm weather until May. So, since I have only a few sad looking, frostbitten crocuses in my yard, I need to crochet flowers in order to feel vernal. So, here is my bluebell bookmark-- what do you think? This one is done with scraps of Sinfonia yarn, but size 3 cotton would work just as well. I used a 3mm hook. The pattern is in American terms. This pattern is not tested by anyone but myself. Please contact me with any questions or if you spot any errors.

Bluebell Bookmark-- by Alice Kaufman Rich (copyright 2009)

Materials: less than an ounce (28 g) of sportweight cotton yarn in blue and green, 3 or 6 yellow large holed beads at least 4 mm, one large (10 mm-ish) bead.

Notes: blo-- back loop only, flo-- front loop only


Rnd 1: Form magic ring, ch 1, 6 sc in ring, ss into 1st st. Pull end of yarn to tighten ring.

Rnd 2: (sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st) 2 times (8 sts), ss into first st.

Rnd 3: (sc, 2 sc in next st, sc in next 2 sts) 2 times (10 sts), ss into first st.

Rnd 4: (sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st, sc in next 2 sts) 2 times (12 sts) ss into first st.

Rnd 5: (sc, 2 sc in next st) 6 times (18 sts)

Rnd 6: (sc in next 5 sts, 2 sc in sixth st) 3 times (21 sts)

Rnd 7: work even in dc

Rnd 8: (dc in next 6 sts, 2 dc in seventh st) 3 times (24 sts)

Rnd 9: work even in sc (24 sts)

Rnd 10a: working in flo sc, ch 3 in each st (24 sc's) do not ss into 1st st, put your hook into the unworked back loop and start rnd 10b.

Rnd 10b: working in the blo of rnd 9, sc, ch 3 in each st (24 sc's) this creates a small double ruffle. ss into first sc.

Weave in ends


Place the yellow beads on the green yarn.

Leaving a 12 inch tail, ch 9, pull up a bead (or 2)make last ch w/ beads, ss back over the 9 sts, repeat 2 more times so you have a "Y" shape with beads at the end. With your hook or a tapestry needle, pull the tail through the bottom of the flower. You will use this to sew on the calyx.


Rnd 1a: Leaving a 5 foot (1.5 m) tail, ch 12, ss to join. Into the chain (not the ring)-- [sc, hdc, (dc, tr, dc) in next st, hdc] 3 times. ss into first sc.

Rnd 2a: (ss from rnd 1 counts as first st.) [sc into hdc of pervious rnd., 2 hdc into dc, (dc, tr, dc) into tr, 2 hdc into dc, sc int hdc, ss into sc] 3 times. Fasten off.

Turn work so you are looking at the bottom of the calyx.

rnd 1b: With tail, into the back of the chain sc 2 tog 6 times, join with ss.

rnd 2b: sc3tog twice, join with a ss.

Using the remainder of the tail, ch 50. Fasten off. place large bead on the tail and use tail as the hanger for the tassel. (Here is a link to a tutorial for making a tassel, or you can go without if you choose.) Using a tapestry needle, sew the calyx onto the flower, going up through the bottom of the flower and the stamen several times (I also went around fastening the tips too).

This pattern is my own work, feel free to post a link to this page, but do not post a copy of the pattern itself .  Do not copy and distribute this pattern.  However, whatever you wish to do with the finished object is your choice.  I'd love to hear your feedback if you make the bookmark though!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I have the best husband

Look, he went and bid on and won a Jimbo hook for me... isn't it lovely? It's made from sapele wood and it's a size I (6 mm). It is just a dream to use. My sweetheart is the most wonderful man ever! This is even better than getting flowers or candy! Maybe he'll get me a bouquet of yarn for Mother's Day...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The trials and tribulations of online yarn buying

Oh, I am so vexed. Tell me, what color do you think of when you hear "sunshine"? I think of warm, mellow, golden yellow-- NOT neon highlighter yellow! Well, if you are looking for a golden color do not order Creme de la Creme cotton in "sunshine". I learned the hard way that the tiny 100 pixel square thumbnail on the website does not, in any way, accurately depict the color. Try "goldtones" instead. It is a lovely varigated shade of warm golden hues. The picture does not really capture the chartreuse quality of the "sunshine". So, if you are looking for a neon color, try "sunshine" but if you want warm, rich, lovely color, try "goldtones".

Okay, I'm done ranting... for now...

Monday, March 23, 2009

A cool new yarn-- if only I had more time to crochet!

So, I've discovered a lovely new yarn-- Red Heart Collage. It's a 2 ply self striping acrylic yarn and each of the plies is a different color so the stripes have this heathered look to them. Now I know some people poo poo Red Heart, but this one feels nice and soft and for charity items it really is best to have something washable. Check it out-- the scarf is not quite done yet, but this is all done from a single skein of Collage in Rose Dust. Pretty cool, huh.
I have not been able to do too much lately except work on the scarf above for Compassionate Creations. (and start a hat for the Hat Sawp on Crochetville, but, shhhh, it's a secret) On the plus side, I've been able to go running and my house is much more clean than it's been in eons! I guess it's a tradeoff.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I have an Etsy store now!

I sat on the fence about this for a while. Did I have the time (and more importantly the organizational skills) to start a little shop on Etsy? Well, I finally decided to give it a try. Hey, if I sell something, wonderful! And if I get no interest, at least I tried. Maybe I can make my passion for crafting make a little money. So, "gentle reader", next time you visit my little corner of the internet, click on the link and check out my Craftio Ergo Sum shop on Etsy!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Drumroll please...

The winner of the lovely purple hook roll is-- Debbi-A1! Congrats! I'll send you a PM on Crochetville as well. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read my blog and comment. I love to crochet because I find it very relaxing. In addition I love yarn itself-- the colors, the textures-- fiber fascinates me.

I had a lot of fun giving away the roll, maybe I should do these more...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

This shawl is actually for me!

I made yet another Blue Curacao Shawl from Amazing Crochet Lace. This time I made it in Crystal Cream Patons Brilliant with an H hook. Actually I had to add an extra row of pineapples because I was using a finer yarn and hook than the original pattern called for. I just stopped at row 20, went back to row 14 but only put the increases at the center back and the two sides. I just continued from there with 12 pineapples and I ended with 13 fans (I also opted not to make the scallops on the edge-- I like the plain edge for myself. (BTW, to give you an idea of size, the shawl is laid out on a 28" square table)

This shawl will be my dressy summer shawl and I am very much looking forward to having warmer weather to wear it.

I'm still doing my hook roll giveaway in the previous post, so check it out!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hook Roll Giveaway!

In honor of NATCROMO (National Crochet Month) I thought I'd give away a hook roll, lovingly (tho' somewhat crookedly) sewn by yours truly. Leave a comment about why you love to crochet (and your blog address, if you have one) and your name will be put in a hat for the drawing on Friday the 13th (around noonish EDT). I'll announce the winner and how to get in touch with me then. Who knows, maybe Friday the 13th will be your lucky day!

What have I been doing for NATCROMO, you may ask? Well, I am attempting to design a shawl. So far I have been drawing a blank. I'll get a few rows into something and it looks awkward, or I can't get the stitches or increases to work right... it's been a bit frustrating. Maybe I should stick to bags. Still, I won't know if I can do it unless I keep trying. Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pondering "women's work"

Every time I read an issue of Piecework magazine I marvel at how women did things 200, 100, even 50 years ago. I love seeing the artistry and beauty these women put into even their simple everyday items. I think about how time consuming it was for them just to clothe their families-- and I complain about having to go to the mall for a few hours to buy new dresses for my girls! I don't have to cut and piece together and sew these dresses. I don't have to spin the yarn to make their socks or sweaters. Things were certainly more difficult, and yet sometimes I yearn for a little piece of that time. Things had more value, great care was taken because these things were not easily replaced. No crass comercialism, no cheaply made foreign goods... Don't get me wrong, I am glad that I needn't spend my life doing housework. Women can work outside the home and our society has taken great strides forward, and I'm glad for that. I do wonder about our "brave new world". Would we have the same societal woes, such as lack of personal responsibility, if people had to do more for themselves and work harder just to exist?

I just had to get that bit of philosophising out. Really, if you're never read through Piecework magazine, you should, it's fascinating.

Friday, March 6, 2009

in Just-- spring

when the world is mud-
luscious ...

when the world is puddle-wonderful

(lines from ee cummings poem in Just)

This is one of my favorite poems (here is a link if you want to read the whole thing). My mother read it to me when I was little, and I think of it on beautiful spring like days. I feel this poem very strongly today-- my little girls are outside playing in the sunshine and dirt, giggling and having fun. Finally a warm day! I know it won't last--in Michigan we get snow in April-- but I feel blessed to have a moment of spring today.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Oh, look, another one!

I guess I really can't help myself, I've made another beaded shawl pin ring. I had planned to make a nice, oh so instructive tutorial on how to make them, but I couldn't take a decent close up without everything going fuzzy. Additionally, I'm not sure how to clearly word my instructions. It's not the same as writing a crochet pattern, there's a measure of "do it until it looks right" making the rings. I think I will work on instructions though-- These things are fun and addictive to make.
Now I am going back to fight the good fight with the sewing machine. I really need to work on my skills. I guess it would help if I had a seam ripper... and a clue as to what I'm doing!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My battle with the sewing machine...

At least I can say that I won this round-- but the sewing machine gave quite a fight! Okay, so I haven't used my sewing machine in ages, but I got it into my head to sew a lovely hook case for my "Hooked on Crochet" swap partner on C'ville (I am "multicraftual" after all). Well, it only took me 45 minutes to get the bobbin wound. After that I couldn't get the foot to hold the fabric right. Then the needle broke-- TWICE! After many thread breakages I finally finished it-- it's a little homely. Maybe I could just call it "rustic"or, ummm, "primitive". Still, I'm proud of my little hook case.

Now, you may be asking-- your children left you alone for 3 straight hours?!?!? How can that be? Did you put schnapps in their milk? To that I say, no-- I just gave them a big dose of that opiate of the modern masses-- television! Plus, they both have colds, so they just wanted to rest all afternoon. Believe you me, I have such guilt for letting them watch countless hours of Noggin. But, sometimes you've just got to give in.
Oh, here's a link to the pattern I used to make the case (I made the case a few inches longer, but it's the same idea) Thanks to Katie for the link!

Monday, March 2, 2009

If only I had time to make the shawls too...

Because I keep making the pins to go with them! After reading the kind words of praise that Jimbo gave me in his blog I decided to make another shawl pin. Now I think I am actually going to have to make a blue shawl to go with it. I just used a wooden pin I'd already made, I think this one needs black or metallic color (I just have to figure out how to do that-- or con hubby to help me--"Oh, honey, you may have to go over to Woodcraft or Rockler to help me with this." "Sure thing dear!" as he jumps up and grabs his car keys.) It's kinda like convincing me to go to Joann or Mary Maxims.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Yet another non-blue "Blue Curacao Shawl"

I simply adore the "Blue Curacao Shawl" pattern in Doris Chan's Amazing Crochet Lace. It goes relatively quickly, yet you get fabulous results. I have made several so far and I have yet to use blue yarn to make one. This is one that I started using a nice big skein of Joann Sensations Classic Rainbow and an N hook. (It's enormous!) It took a full 11 oz skein and about a fifth of a second one. The recommended hook for this yarn is a P, but even with the 9mm the stitches were pretty big. I think I'll see if I can find a 7 1/2 or 8 mm hook for this yarn in the future. (Uh-oh, might need a custom job!) Now I am making this pattern with the light weight Patons Brilliant and an H hook. I let you know how that turns out.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

They arrived!

Oh, my beautiful hooks arrived in the mail this afternoon! So, of course I immediately grabbed some yummy yarn and swatched away! The dark hook is the glorious Ironwood size G (yarn is Jaeger Roma in Fern). The lighter hook is the luscious Crabapple size H (yarn is Filatura Lanarota Puno in a Beaujolais sort of color) Aren't they lovely? They feel like a dream in my hand. The curve rests perfectly in my palm; they are oh-so-smooth and slide through the yarn "like buttah" I am now officially addicted to Jimbo's hooks!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I was the high bidder!

Now-- not one, but two of Jimbo's gorgeous hooks will be winging their way to me. I am very excited. I will be able to transform wonderful yarns into things of beauty with hooks that are works of art in their own right. I will definitly post pictures when I get them. Thank you Jimbo!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Shawl pin obsession

Yet another shawl pin. This one I made with wooden beads as well as some ceramic, glass and metal ones. I also used 26 gauge wire-- I think I prefer it with a thicker wire; the others I made are a little more stiff.
On another note-- I placed some bids on some hooks Jimbo has for auction on his blog
Aren't they the most heavenly crochet hooks you have ever seen? Oh, I really hope I win one this time-- I'm starting to get a bit anxious!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pretty shiny things for my shawls

Here are the 3 shawl pins I made the other day. I am working on perfecting how to make them. I use sanded and stained pieces of a dowel rod as the "pins" (well,except for the blue one, I haven't finished the pin for that one so I had to use a crochet hook, if I had used a DPN it'd probably work better). Now I just have to finish the 3 shawls to go with them. Hey, one shawl/ pin combo is actually for little 'ole me-- can you belive it-- I'm actually making something for myself.

Looking at things through a child's eyes

Yesterday, at 6:30 AM we had to leave the house to get my husband to the airport. I was tired and grumpy because I had to get up earlier than usual. I was stressed because my husband was going to be out of the country for a little while. As I bundled my girls in the car in the frigid cold weather my elder daughter asked, "Is it still night?" I said, "No, just very early in the morning it will be light soon." and she replied, "Cool, we'll get to see the sunrise!"

All I could think about was how tired and cold and stressed I was. It took my daughter to remind me to look at the positive. It made me smile. So, when you are in a bad mood or worried about something-- just think of all of the good things that are happening all around you. Enjoy life!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

To market, to market...

I don't think of myself as super "green"-- but I really do like to bring my own shopping bags to the market. (Don't you just hate having all of those little plastic grocery sacks in the house? I swear they multiply and you end up with a bin full of them if you're not careful) Anyway, I digress. I like to crochet my own bags; I just pick up my hook and some cotton yarn and have fun-- I really enjoy making them up as I go along; they're really simple to make. Here are my 2 most recent bags.
The second one is done with fptr, ch 3, sk 3 sts, fptr all around and it seems more sturdy than the net stitch (sc, ch 5, sk 3 sts, sc) on the first one. I think I will use the fptr more it really keeps the bag from stretching out.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Simple Joys

Today my little one got to splash in puddles after we dropped her sister off at school. She got soaking wet, but I didn't care-- she was so happy to finally be able to do something outside. She laughed and splashed and ran around. She was so joyful; it made me happy to see her enjoyment. I hope this helps her attitude problem! I know I'm happy with the warmer weather; yesterday we set a record high of 59 and today the temperature is in the low 50's. Better than the high of 14 we had just a week ago!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Toddler Troubles! Preschooler Problems!

My 2 and a half year old daughter is making me absolutely insane! She's going through a particularly defiant and angry stage in her development and my patience is really wearing thin. She has been pushing and hitting her sister, screaming and flailing when she does not get her way, shouting "NO!"when I ask her to do something (like sitting down during dinner and other "unreasonable" demands like that). It is getting to the point that I do not want to take her anywhere-- even getting in and out of the car is a fight. I know "this too shall pass" but I'm not sure I can hang on until it does.

Now, my 4 year old is a handfull lately too! I taught her a new word the other day-- "Contrary".
I hear a lot of "I won't, I don't, I can't." We watched the Little Mermaid 2 yesterday for the first time and when it was over I said, "That was a good movie!" and she said, "No, it wasn't!" Now, she was smiling and laughing the whole time, but I guess she has to disagree with everything I say.

Maybe my girls have really bad cabin fever. It has been a very cold and snowy winter and we haven't been doing very much. I don't feel like leaving the house much myself, so I'm sure my attitude does not help. All I know is that I need to figure out what to do. I am loathe to take them out, however, because they give me such a hard time. It's a vicious cycle.

Well, here's a funny story, my 2 year old has taken to wandering around the kitchen during dinner. This has caused me and her father all sorts of grief-- proper family dinner is important to us. So she's dancing around instead of eating and we tell her to sit down and she says, "No, I the queen, I the bossy queen, I don't sit down." We got her to sit for a few minutes eventually, but she kept chanting "Bossy Queen, Bossy Queen." all through dinner. It's a good thing she's cute!

Monday, February 2, 2009

I didn't know going to the theatre was dangerous!

Yesterday my in-laws, husband children and I went in to downtown Detroit to see "Sesame Street Live" at the Fox Theatre. It is a beautiful old theatre, designed back in the good old days, with a marble staircase, gilt statues, velvet seats... it transports you back to the 20's. Well, I took my crocheting bag with me so I could keep my hands busy while waiting for the show to start (yes, I'm that obsessed!). As we were filing in I noticed there were metal detectors at the doors. "Hmmm," I thought, "I wasn't expecting that." When the security man asked to look in my bag I told him I'd probably set off the metal detector because I had a small pair of scissors (to cut the yarn) in my bag. I was told I could not bring them into the theatre so I had to bring them back to my car. I complied, rules are rules after all, but the whole experience has made me a little sad.

I assume there have been some problems with people bringing knives or guns into the theatre. (Either that or they were worried I was a terrorist or something.) I am not sure what they thought a suburban housewife with her family was going to do with a 5 inch long pair of scissors... did they think I'd rush the stage and give Elmo a haircut? However it is, it is a sad commentary on our society that theatres (and sports arenas for that matter) have to take such precautions to keep violence out.

Friday, January 23, 2009

So, I have not posted in a while... c'est la vie!

Yesterday my children and I made bird feeders with pine cones, peanut butter and birdseed. We tramped out in the deep snow in the backyard and hung 3 pine cones on a bush the birds usually like... and so far no critters have come to partake of or treats. Hmmm, I wonder if we did it wrong or something. Hopefully some animal finds them.

I have not been crafting much. I guess I needed a break. I am making another market bag, but other than that, nothing. I have a few designs sketched out and some very rough patterns written out, but I have not had any desire to work on them. I'll post again when I have some more inspiration. 'Til then, adieu!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I have been spending a lot of time crocheting lately, so much so that I have not been exercizing as regularly as I should. So today, I told myself I could not crochet until I had a good workout. So after half an hour of cardio and 15 minutes of abs and arms, I can now indulge in my favorite craft. If only there were some way to do aerobics and crochet at the same time... but there seems to be a great potential for injury... and I don't think speed crocheting (or knitting for that matter) actually counts as exercize. Hmmm, how to find a happy medium...

Monday, January 5, 2009

My first Blog

Normally I consider myself a neo-luddite. I have a subtle fear of modern technology. And yet I decided to start a blog. Why... I don't know. Perhaps it is the desire to express myself, share my creativity, perhaps to have a soap box of my own for those times I wish to rant and shake my fist at the ways of the world. Maybe I just like run on sentences. I'll add more when the spirit moves me. Until then, adieu.