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.