Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A couple quick things....

Number One...
Please visit my other blog to read my posting about a fantastic Michigan artist... Bethanne Siettas... just click HERE!

Number Two...
I am getting ready for the Portland State Earth Day festival, which I have talked about several times, and I came across something that was incredibly helpful.  I love repurposing things that I originally purchased for one thing... and making them work for another.  I found an entire Rubbermaid container filled with high quality paper that I had originally purchased for my wedding invitations, as well as various scrapbook papers, glue dots, ribbons, etc., etc... SO EXCITED!

Monday, March 29, 2010

MOO and Etsy and the next project!

Whooo Hoooo!  Many thanks to Etsy and MOO for having such a fantastic deal for Etsy members!  I managed to pick myself up some fantastic business cards - with my images - for next to nothing.  Seriously.  They were free, all I did was pay a whopping $5.00 in shipping!  They took about a week - which was about two weeks less than the original estimate... I love when that happens!

As for the next project, I am super excited about it and think it will go over very, very well with the college crowd that I am currently knitting for - the Earth Day Festival is rapidly approaching and I am trying to have as much stock as possible, as there is a She's Crafty PDX event following the PSU event by about a week!  I can't put up pics just yet, as I have a friend who is going to be receiving one of the items... once she gets hers, I will put up pics and a link to the fabulous pattern!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pictures of the new projects... and coffee wrap pattern!

Project 1: the crayon roll....
This is a pattern from Lion Brand... I'm thinking about altering it to make it large enough for makeup brushes....

And this is the newest addition to the coffee cup holder family... cotton and fun fur... very cute for those who are into pink and floofy.

This is a very simple pattern, as I wanted to keep it easy and fast... and on straight needles as I'm not very good with my circular ones just yet:
Size 7 (US) needles - with pretty much any yarn - I've used everything from Sugar 'n' Cream to WoolEase to the basic cheapo stuff from Red Heart

*Please Note* I don't care if you use this for commercial purposes, but do me a favor, please link it back to my site!*

CO 38
R1 - K
R2 - *K1, YO, K2tog*
R3 - K

Just keep repeating rows 2 and 3 until you have the piece the desired width - I usually do mine at about 4.5", then Bind Off. 

Finishing: Place two short sides together, stitch together, add an embellishment along stitching to hide the seam.  Shazaam.  Very simple, very easy!

New Projects!

In the past few days, I have wrapped up a couple of things I was working on and started a few others.  I am gearing up for the PSU Earth Day festival by making a ton of coffee wraps and soapy holders - they are cheap, and this is an event at a college...

However, I did just finish a super pretty baby blanket - on size 50 needles - took all of about 4 hours, including the weaving in of the ends.  I like it, as I am not a huge fan of pastels on any kid, and this orange and green combo is pretty sweet looking...  It isn't overly huge at 30"x33" but, it is a great size for a stroller.  One of the problems I always had was I didn't want the kids to be cold, but at the same time, I didn't want the blankets draping on the ground either.  I found the pattern on Lion Brand, and I had a bunch of Homespun I wanted to use up, since Michael's had a massive sale and I bought a ton a few months ago.

Detail of the colors - not only is it green and orange, but it also increases and decreases in the intensity of each shade.

Close up of the edging detail... I like using yarn overs to make a built in interest detail.

All pretty and folded up - ready for gifting!  I also made the wrapping cord as well.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Patterns...

I know I said I was going to rewrite that pattern for the blocks, however, I think I found one on the Lion Brand website that will work just as well.  (Check the sidebar for the link to their website... lots of surprisingly good free patterns)

I was playing around on their website for a while, and I came across a sweater pattern that I LOVE... I really like Boatneck or semi-boatneck tops, as I have a small frame and chest... this particular type of neckline seems to look best on me, as it doesn't draw attention to my lack of a cup size.  :)  Only problem is that this particular sweater seems slightly advanced for me, but I know if I don't just do it, or at least try it, then I won't make any progression either...  Here is the pic.  Thoughts?  (I'm not sure about the yellow either, I like it on her, but I don't know about it on me)  I am also digging on the longer length at the hip with the shorter sleeves - these things are all handy... especially after having kids - for various reasons.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sack o' Suds Pattern

Alrighty... so a few years ago, my oldest son wanted to wash himself in the bath.  Weeeeeeell, at the time, Johnson's (I think) had a product out that was a bar of watermelon soap inside a mesh little bag and you used it until the soap was gone...  while the idea was great, I didn't necessarily like the idea of throwing away the mesh bag, which was made of a type of plastic.

Instead, I came up with this...

To make this, you will need:
100% Cotton yarn, you can use Sugar n Cream, but I prefer Cotton Tots from Bernat or one of the cotton yarns from Rowan. (1 ball or skein will make several)
Size 4 (US) needles
1 Yarn/Tapestry needle

CO 13
R1 - work in Garter stitch
R2 - *K1, P1* for the entire row
R3 - Work in Moss stitch (Purl the knit stitches, Knit the purl stitches)
Continue with Moss stitch until the piece reaches about 10 inches.
Fold bottom of piece up to 2in below top, then fold top 2 inches back down toward the bottom.  This will make the overflap that keeps the soap in the pocket.  Simply whipstitch the sides together - the top you will be sewing through 3 layers, the bottom, 2 layers.  Fold the flap back, pop your favorite bar of soap in there, and you - or your kids - will be good to go!  This is also great for someone with arthritis who prefers bar soap, but has a hard time holding on to it.

After consulting with a few people, I added a hand strap for ease of use... To make this addition:
CO 15
Garter stitch (K every row) until piece measures approximately 1"
Attach to sides of bag as you are stitching

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Oh Felting...

Alright, so the blocks were KIND OF a let down.  They didn't turn out quite as nicely as I had hoped.  They shrunk more in the middle of the squares and stayed more of a rectangular shape than I had planned.  I am going to rewrite the pattern that I had found and try it again.  As this was only my second attempt at felting, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't perfect either.  Lame.  I will put up the pattern for the washcloth soap holder tomorrow, as I'm still trying to come up with a name that I like for it...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Yippee!!! I can see the light!

Yes, I realize that was an extravagant amount of exclamation points, and honestly, I'm okay with it.  Why, oh why am I so excited, you might wonder?  I have only four more squares left to do until I can toss all of the squares in the wash for felting!  I like to do a lot of unisex things when possible, especially for kids, since it seems to increase the market value... and demand.

This is the largest of the three blocks...

This is the smallest of the three blocks...

Believe it or not, those are the same blue colors... thanks photo editing software!  Sheesh. The true colors are the top ones - a bright turquoise and lime green shade - the Patons classic wool. I am looking forward to getting these knitted tonight/this afternoon - it depends.  I was doing this project to use up this wool I had laying around, and now I might have to go and get more...  I have the fabric for the appliques chosen, I just need to trace the numbers on and wait for the felting process to be done so I can stitch them on!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Baby Blocks

One of my great loves are free patterns.  I love that other people that are good at math are willing to share their abilities and aptitude with the rest of the knitting community.  So for those of you that do... THANKS!

The project that I'm currently working on is a set of three stuffed, felted, baby blocks.  The pattern I found was plain, so in order to "dress it up" a little, I have decided to take some scrap fabric and turn it into little number appliques for the blocks.  I am really excited to see how these turn out.  I am new to felting, so I HOPE that they work the way that I want them to.

My other great love are my product testers and friends that let me clothe their children in freebies and cover their homes in knit toys - and also use their connections to drum up sales for me, so (especially) Erin Cannon Johnson and Carrie Payton Sham... thank you so much, I love you guys and appreciate you so much! 

I hope to have pics of the blocks up soon!  Until then, keep checking back for updates!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Playing on Alchemy

For those that are fellow Etsians...  I was scrolling around on Alchemy for a little while and got to wondering if anything ever actually comes from it.  Have you had success on Alchemy?  What are some tips and pointers? 

Alchemical symbols in Kitab al-Aqalim by Abu 'l-Qasim al-'Iraqi inspired
 by Egyptian hieroglyphs in British Library in London

I saw the above image and thought it was really cool... I read a post recently from someone saying they didn't understand why the custom request board was called Alchemy.  Learn why here.  Okay, so maybe that was slightly vague.  Basically, Alchemy is the "science" of turning something into gold, or currency, or something of value... sort of like a request on Etsy... do we all get it now?  Sheesh.  :)

Setting Up

While not new to the blogging stratosphere... this one is a new venture.  I have been inspired lately by some of the other "craft only" blogs that I have been reading and commenting on.  With that being said, I thought that maybe, just maybe I could get a few followers over to my corner of the web... and maybe, dare I hope, drum up some new sales on Etsy?

However, one of my main goals here is to have some, wait for it... FREE PATTERNS!  I love finding freebies, using freebies... I'm not the best at coming up with them, mainly because I forget to write them down, but I do try, and I have made some really cool stuff.

The other thing is that I wanted to have a blog for crafty stuff that was separate from my personal stuff... don't get me wrong, they do spill over, but when I want to rant and rave about my bank, or my car, I wanted to have that on a different page!

Going, going, going.  I have a few patterns I am ready to put up, but I don't have images for them just yet.  I hope to hear from others, I love comments and feedback!

Thanks for visiting, and come back again soon!