Friday, July 31, 2009

Hairpins and Earrings....Accessories?

I meant to post this tutorial yesterday, but I got hit with a terrible migraine, and 2 Excedrin and 2 hours later it was still there. The pictures for the tutorial are not the greatest, but I will describe it the best I can :) If you're confused, leave a comment or email.

1. First make a lose slip knot on the left side. You will need the open side to be at the bottom, that way you will be able to make the strip longer than your loom.







2. Take your string and wrap it over and behind the right side of the loom.








3. Put your hook through the loop and yarn over. Pull the string through the loop.








4. Yarn over through the loom, taking a loop through the back, and pull it through the loop. It should look like this:








5. Okay, this is where it may get a little confusing. Lift up your hook, like in the picture with the hook part going first, and the other end following. So, the should now be upside-down and the loop that was on the hook should be on the back side, facing away from you. Think of it as you are making an arch with your hook over the work that you've already done (the yarn that's on the loom already).




6. Holding the left part of your loom, flip the right part over the left part. The original right part of the loom is now the left part of the loom, and the same with the original right part. (I was not able to take a picture of this for obvious reasons) Turn your hook right-side up (it should have been facing down when you turned it from when you made your arch). By doing this you cause the string to have wrapped from the front of the loom to the back of the loom, similar to what you did in the second step.


7. Making sure that you are holding the "tail" to keep the loop straight, insert the hook through the loop on the left side. Yarn over and pull through loop again. You should now have 2 loops on your hook. Yarn over once more and pull through both loops.....sounds like a single crochet, huh? It is :)





8. Repeat procedure from step five through step seven (so you would start by making an arch with your hook over your work).

You will only do steps 1-4 when you first start the strip of hairpin lace. Make it as long as you want or need for whatever you're working with. I have heard that there are several ways to join the strips, most of which I don't understand because the tutorials I looked over were difficult to understand. I just line up the strips one next to the other and single crochet the long loops it makes.

I have one more small thing I worked on today. I got purple beads earlier this week and could not wait to do something with them! So I made earrings....so pretty :) These pictures don't do the beads justice.

PS: Ignore the badly chipped nail polish :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I finally finished.....and started something else!

cI finally finished the baby 'set'. I had to remake the booty that I previously put on here because after looking over the pattern again for the second booty. I think it looks good together. I'm debating on whether I want to make another set or something else. Maybe a scarf/hat/mitten/booty set?

As previously mentioned I did start another project. I decided to make a dark green hairpin lace skirt and crochet the strips together with white yarn. It looks pretty decent. I also decided not to make the strips the same length to make it more interesting. I will obviously wear something under it though since it is see-through. I was also looking at this skirt:
http://www.maggiescrochet.com/stitch-diva-hairpin-lace-bustle-skirt-p-1010.html and this top:
http://www.stitchdiva.com/ProductInfo.aspx?productid=SDS-017

I don't want to pay for the pattern, so I'm going to see how this skirt goes and if it even works out. Sorry so short, but I'm watching America's Got Talent.....I know, I got hooked :)

All feedback is appreciated. If you've worked on projects and want to show them off, or if something didn't work out....let me know :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Too tired to come up with something catchy....

Very long day at work, and a lot of stuff to get done around the house.....almost none of which got done :( That's okay, there's always tomorrow! I managed to figure out how to crochet hairpin lace! YEY! After watching several videos and looking at even more tutorials I got it. So I think that some time this week I am going to write a GOOD tutorial because it really isn't that hard, but there is almost nothing out there about it. It reached it's popularity in the Victorian era, and apparently died out since then. I also was able to finish the loom I was making, and tried it out.....with little success. I found tutorials on how to make one out of bamboo and toilet paper tubes and decided to make mine out of bamboo skewers and pieces of cardboard. It is not sturdy enough and I wouldn't recommend it, but it was fun to make. It is just too flimsy. However, I found, what I think is a hairpin loom (at least that is going to be my purpose for it) that I already had. I picked it up at a Goodwill with a bunch of tatting supplies, string, etc that had already been in a box together. I wish it was bigger though, because it is somewhat difficult to work with since it is so small. I will research picking up a larger one, or something similar to it.

I made one of the mary jane booties I posted the link to yesterday. It was fairly easy and I'm excited I got it on the second try. The first try I didn't read ahead in the pattern and I tied it off after the first row. Hahahaha. I am too tired at this point in time to make another. I think my brain has pretty much had it for today and is going on strike. So the other booty will have to wait until tomorrow. I didn't even tuck in the strings on the first one, I just tried to hide the strings when I was taking the picture. Very, very long day at work. Chow!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Baby earrings?

Sorry for the no post yesterday....I was pulling apart a DSL modem, a satellite receiver box, and cable modem. That and after posting for a week and a half straight, not going to lie, I wanted a break. But I was a crafting fool! I found an obscene amount of copper wire in the satellite receiver box. It took me about 20 minutes, some patience, and a hammer to get it, but it was well worth it! I made some cool earrings by crocheting the wire. Sorry for the slightly blurry picture, but I have found it's very difficult to take pictures of earrings since they're so small.

Pattern with size E hook:
Ch 4, 6 dc., tie off. Tuck in ends. I flattened them, and then shaped them....it's that easy :) I added some "washers" (they're not really washers, I don't think, but I don't know what else to call them) to balance out the fact that I only had silver fish hooks. However, I think they turned out rather nice.

I also decided to use the cover for the satellite receiver as a new earring holder, as my current one (a metal screen) is getting full.

I have recently took an interest in hairpin lace. It seems fairly easy although you have to have a loom to crochet it. I checked out looms online and they seem to be about $40, which is $40 I don't really want to spend. So I also looked online to get ideas to make my own. It is still in the process of being made, so pictures will come later.

I finally finished the baby shirt! I did change it, as I stated before, and I'm fairly happy with the results. What do you think? Not sure if I mentioned before about making matching shoes or not, but this is the pattern I will be looking at:

http://www.geocities.com/gossgirl2/fakemjs.htm

It's the cutest pattern for booties I've found. Believe it or not, there are some ugly booties out there, and it's a good thing that babies don't have a sense of fashion!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Progress with speed bumps.....who said it was easy?

Today was a busy/frustrating day. I was doing major work in the crochet department, and looking back, it doesn't seem like I accomplished that much. I finally got to making the last part of my father's day gifts....I hope he doesn't see this, and, yes, I am a month or so behind. I originally was going to make him a "man garden" specialized to what he likes (the man is a garlic-o-holic, but that's okay I'm like that too!).

Man garden ingredients:
- packs of veggie seeds he could cook with
- growing instructions, recipes, plant usages
- small little mulch-like 'starters' that you soak in water and they expand
- pots to plant them in
- labeled popsicle sticks.

I wasn't able to get everything together on time, and I was poking around online and came across this pattern by lion brand: http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/90152AD.html?noImages=

ch: Chain
sc: Single Crochet
st: Stitch

It's a can cozy, but I didn't like the colors, so I figured I would try to follow the pattern and see where it took me.....well.....I hate crochet in the round. I always lose my place even when I use my trusty dusty bobby pin as a marker. So I decided to make my own pattern:

With size H hook, ch 11, sc in 1st from hook, *sc across, ch 1*. Repeat 19 more times and you should have 20 rows. Join 2 ends together with sc, and this should create a circle.

I wanted to customize them, so I know he loves diet pepsi, and he does like the Cleveland Indians. I had to figure out how to make the pepsi symbol and what to do about making something Cleveland Indians- like (because I sure as hell don't think I could come up with a pattern for Chief Wahoo). I ended up settling on embrodering "Indians" on a patch (which ended up more challenging than expected) and making a baseball. Overall I'm quite pleased with the end result.

The pattern for the Pepsi symbol is:

ch 3, sc in 1st ch from hook, and across. ch 1, turn, sc in base of same st of ch, sc across and 2 sc in last st. repeat one more time and tie off.

Repeat this twice, once for red and once for blue, but don't tie off second time. Sc red and blue together and then tie off.

Using white, chain 9 and sc in1st st from hook. sc across and tie off. I stretched and moved the white to get the shape and sewed the blue/red patch on the cozy with the white strip. I then went around the red side with the yarn and sewed it to the cozy and repeated with the blue to make sure it was not going anywhere. That and you have to fiddle with it to make it more round and when you sew it to the cozy with the same color, it helps it keep the shape (how this wasn't confusing).

I followed the original instructions for the white patch, and embrodered "Indians" on it (this took a long time since I didn't really have a pattern it was just trial and error). I came up with the pattern for the baseball:

ch 2, sc in 1st ch, and sc in same stitch until it looks round or "full" enough. I used bright red thread doubled up to make the stitches.

I secured both patches on by sewing around the edges in white to the cozy.


I am still working on the baby "shirt" (http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/hdc-shirt.html). However, I didn't understand Row 12-17 where it says don't turn (am I supposed to crochet in the round......not again....I hate crocheting in the round....lol). So I decided to deviate from the pattern and did a treble crochet (it's like a double crochet, but instead of yarning over once, yarn over twice) and I am going to weave the tie in and out of this part (I don't understand where the tie comes in either). The original tie is just a chain, but I am making the executive decision to make it 1 or 2 rows of hdc. Here is the progress I made today. It doesn't look like much because like I said before, I ended up taking out several rows. I had originally made my treble crochets farther down, but then decided that I didn't want the tie to be around the baby's stomach. I also am going to do picots around the bottom and arm holes and see how that looks....I may change my mind depending. Additionally I was thinking about making matching mary jane booties that I found a pattern for:
http://www.geocities.com/gossgirl2/fakemjs.htm

What do you think?

Not Prego!

I just want to clarify.....not currently prego and never have been. I have been getting a lot of questions and phone calls about it. The baby clothes are not for me, they are for my friend's son's girlfriend. She is almost 7 months along. I was just excited to try something new (making baby clothes) because I have obviously never had any reason to make them before. Thanks for the concerns though :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Home and baby decor


I have a couple of plain lamps that I've had for years, and one of the shades got crushed in a move. I decided that I would paint it. I used orange fabric paint, and it turned out really well. But, it doesn't look as good when it is in use. I have already put on 2 coats, therefore, I have concluded that you would be better off to remake the lamp shade with an alternative fabric, dye it with fabric dye (which is probably what I am going to try with the other shade), or use a different type of paint. So I'm not sure if I should just paint it again, or give up.

I have also started on the baby clothes. It took a while though because I am not that good with counting my stitches, so I restarted multiple times. But I think it is well worth it since it is turning out really cute so far.
Here is the link to the pattern I am using:
http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/hdc-shirt.html
I used stitch markers because with the yarn I am using, it is difficult for me to find the 'shells'. I am using "Lemon Custard" by Bernat. It really is a beautiful light yellow yarn, and the picture doesn't do it justice. The closer I am to being done with this piece, the easier it seems. I am thinking about making some matching booties or sandles....what do you think?

In between time, I painted my nails (another form of art). I put decals on them, but the pictures wouldn't come out. You don't have to solely use polish to decorate your nails. Use glitter, stickers, cut out pieces of magazine, pictures you found on the internet (scaled down, of course), anything! Make sure you use a base coat so it has something to stick to, and a top coat to seal it! Happy painting!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It's important to accessorize while your making dinner!

I decided today to make something similar to rice pilaf on a whim. It turned out fairly good, I was kinda surprised, even though there were a couple road bumps in the way. Here's the recipe:

3/4 c.- 1 c. Rice
1 Can stewed tomatoes
1/2 Bag frozen veggies
1 1/2 c. Water
1 T. Butter
Garlic powder
Salt
Italian seasoning

Put rice, water, stewed tomatoes and veggies in 9" pie pan. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and Italian seasoning (I would say roughly about 1-1 1/2 t. of each...for those of you who prefer exact measurements) and add butter. Mix and put in 350 degree oven, covered, for about an hour. Check and stir every 15 minutes. It is done when rice is tender and liquid is gone. If you prefer, instead of adding Italian seasoning, add cumin or chili powder. Or add broth instead of water. Good as a side or meal.

I also made a hair tie....if that's what you call it. I got the idea from this website (http://www.crochetme.com/Feb_Mar_2005/patt_barrettes.html) but made it my own. I used some twine-like string I had and a size "G" hook. I ch. 6, dc in 3rd from hook, *2 dc in next 2 st. ch 3, turn*. Repeat * to * 4 more times and tie off. Tuck in your strings. Take an 8" section of the same material and tie a knot in one end. String desired beads and thread through front of hair tie, in the middle of the first row. Thread through the same spot, but on the opposite side, and string desired beads. Tie knot. The beads should hold the string so it does not slip out of your hair tie. To wear, put your hair through the loop that the 8" string made and pull the two ends tight and tie in a square knot.
I have also used things such as kite string (similar to tatting) and raffia to crochet. So don't limit yourself to yarn. Experiment....you can always take it apart!

I have also been very busy looking for baby patterns and found some rather cute ones (and some really scary-looking ones too!). Hopefully I will be able to start on them this weekend, especially because I found out that she is a little less than 7 months along, and is planning to have a baby shower soon. Yikes! I will keep you posted on my progress :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Listening to Christmas carols....in July???


So I was selling a lamp I had on Craigslist, and I found that one of the bulbs broke. I had to make an emergency light bulb run to Kroger, and got back just in time before the lady who wanted the lamp got to my apartment. I was just going to give her the extra bulbs, but alas, she told me she was planning on using the new florescent bulbs. So.....$2.00 out with 3 extra bulbs.....I decided to make Christmas ornaments! I figured that it's never too early to start shopping for presents, so it's never too early to make christmas decorations......right?

The first one (on the left) I hot glued some circular metal chips, and ran out close to the bottom. So I painted the rest of it white, and added a white bow at the top to "balance" it. The second one was actually the first one I started with, and I was going to try to run the glue down the sides to make an "icicle" effect, but soon found that the hot glue was not runny enough. I decided to just go wild with the glue and sprinkled gold glitter and Voila! The last one is vertical stripes made with hot glue and I once again sprinkle some peach glitter and added a white bow to keep it "soft". Now I have 3 cute ornaments to show for the $2.00 I spent, so it was definately worth it :)

My other project today was my headphones. They originally were white, but recently started turning colors for whatever reason, and they looked beat-up but still worked. I recently saw a post, I believe on either Craftster.org or Threadbanger.com about headphone cozies. I tried to find the tutorial again, but gave up after 20 minutes or so figuring I could just fumble through it. About an hour later I ended up with this:
I originally was going to use a neutral color so my boyfriend could borrow then, but then I figured they were my headphones anyways, so I picked a color I would like the most. I used a size F hook and some medium weight yarn I had picked up from a dollar store a couple years ago. To start, I did a slip stitch over the end where the jack is, and then single crocheted my way up the left side of the split to the left earphone and tied it off. I went back to the split and slip stitched the string to the stitch that went over the center of the split. I then continued to crochet all the way up to the right earphone, and tied it off. I tucked in my ends, and I was done! Sad to say that after my new set of earphones was done, I discovered that it really wasn't my set. Whoops!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chicken pot pie?....I think not!

I was at work today and somebody had a chicken pot pie. Since I'm a veggie, chicken is out for me....but vegetable pot pie is another story. So all today while I was sorting and pricing, I was thinking about how I could just substitute chicken gravy for mushroom and extra veggies instead of chicken. I got home and found this recipe http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easy-Vegetable-Pot-Pie/Detail.aspx, so I tried it.

I didn't have the potato soup, so I used mushroom instead and defrosted frozen veggies I had in the freezer. I also made the pie crusts, since it is cheaper that way, and I had everything I needed :)

Pie Crust Recipe:

3/4 c. and 2 T. Butter/Margarine
1/4 c. boiling water
1 T. Milk
2 1/4 c. flour
1 t. salt

It makes enough for a top and bottom for the pie.

It turned out pretty well, although I had to cook it for longer than the 40 min. the recipe suggests by about 20 minutes or so. I would also suggest that you use half of the pepper in the recipe or to taste because it was fairly strong. Overall though I was impressed with it and would probably make it again (with less pepper of course). Sorry no picture, the pie is almost all gone!

So my friend's son's girlfriend is expecting a baby girl....not sure when, I forgot to ask. So, this gives me a new challenge....making baby clothes! Since babies are small, and I've made afghans before.....how hard can it be? I've been scouring the web for baby booties and such....I think I may rule out baby blankets because someone is already quilting one for her, and other items may be more beneficial. So I am open to any suggestions or ideas, wish me luck!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Nothing like homemade bread.......

Just made the best Banana Bread ever! It's an older recipe from my mom's cookbook that I got a copy of. I call it my magic book, lol. It's a super easy recipe:

Banana Bread (vegetarian)
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. mashed ripe bananas (3-4 medium)
1/3 c. water
1 2/3 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder
1/2 c. chopped nuts

Mix and bake in 350 degree oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours in a bread pan with only the bottom greased.

This is the original recipe, and I'm not sure where she got it from. Mix ingredients in the order listed. When I made it, I omitted the nuts (I just prefer it that way) and I greased all sides of the pan....I figured it couldn't hurt. You could probably substitute the butter for applesauce or imitation margarine and then use egg substitute for a vegan recipe.

I also recently made some earrings out of parts that I dug out of an old printer.


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The first pair has springs, not sure from where at in the printer, but the second one has rubber covers that were by the ink but have no ink on them. I have more parts that I pulled out like gears and such, which I will use later, but I don't have enough jump rings to make things with them yet....although....I could just poke a hole in them.....hmmm....

On a side note, bamboo still is not doing well except for the ones in the turtle tank and a little vase filled with water. It has a reputation of growing out of control....one it's sadly not living up to.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

First post.....I've been busy!



I've been working on two skirts this weekend. Separate projects that I keep putting down and forgetting to pick back up.....but they are finally done! The first one was a plain gray, mid-calf length skirt. I cut two 3" sections off the bottom and sewed them together. I used this to make the ruffle at the bottom and just added a bow with ribbon that I had lying around.

The second skirt used to be a pair of jeans that I didn't like (I still don't know why I bought them). I made lemons out of lemonade and turned them into a skirt. I cut the legs off at the knee and seam-ripped it almost all the way up to the crotch. I then overlapped and sewed it together. I installed a zipper on the side (my first zipper, yey!) and left the edges at the bottom to fray. I kept it this way until this weekend, where I went mad-scientist on it. I took out the zipper, and seam ripped the side up another couple inches. I added grommets so that I could switch out the ribbon whenever I felt like it. I also hemmed the bottom for a more-finished look.

I am also planning to work on my bedroom, which I have been trying to come up with a black, red, white oriental theme. Hopefully I will make good progress today on it since I have today off. Wish me luck!

On a side note, I just dug up some running bamboo this past Friday and am now trying to grow it. I put some in my turtle tank, some in a bucket of water outside, and planted some outside as well. However, none of them look very happy. Any suggestions?