Wednesday, June 21, 2017
This is an easy peasy project with endless variations.

  • Approximately 250 #8 beads
  • Size 10 thread
  • Size 10 crochet hook

    Note: I am using a hook that is smaller than the one normally used for size 10 thread in order to get a tight stitch.

    1. String beads onto thread.
    2. *Chain 2, bring up bead and chain, repeat from * until all beads have been crocheted.
    3. Join into a circle.

  • Revamping my Mood bag

    Friday, May 26, 2017

    Many years ago when I made my first pilgrimage to Mood in New York City they gave me a cloth/vinyl bag with my purchase. The original bag measured 20"w x 14"h and the depth was created by a 6" side panel on each side of the bag. The bag was a perfect size for my fabric and notion purchase but too large and cumbersome for any other use.

    It was time to make this bag usable by making it smaller.

    1. Step 1: I started with removing the side panels and reducing the width by cutting off 3.5" from each side (no photo).
    2. Step 2: Stitched and serged the two sides.

    3. Step 3: I added depth to the bag by flattening, stitching and trimming the corners to 3". Here's a nice video tutorial on How to Box Bag Corners.

    From this:

    I didn't take a photo of my original bag but this one is just like it. Thanks to Jeanne Marie's Sewing Studio for permission to use your photo.

    To this:

    The final bag size is 13w" x 14"h x 3"d and it is now perfect for my on-the-go knitting projects. Even more importantly, it's being used.

    Magic Yarn Project

    Monday, January 16, 2017

    The Magic Yarn Project is a wonderful program that creates comfortable and whimsica head coverings for children battling cancer. These tiara's are for their Disney princess wigs. The tiaras need to be about 8" in length and can't wrap around the head so I adapted and tweaked this Princess in Disguise pattern.

    Here's the pattern for how I made them:

    • Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver (Turqua, Gold, Real Teal, Light Periwinkle, Medium Purple)
    • Hook: Size F
    • ch - chain
    • sl st - slip stitch
    • sc - single crochet
    • dc - double crochet
    • tr - treble crochet
    • st(s) - stitch(es)
    Stitch explanations:
    5dc cluster (worked in each of the 5 dc of row 1): Yo, insert hook in next st, yo, pull through st, yo, pull through 2 lps on hook, (yo, insert hook in next st, yo, pull through st, yo, pull through 2 lps on hook) 4 times, yo, pull through all 6 lps on hook, ch 1.

    Picot: Ch 3, insert hook back into the center of the base st, yo, pull through st and loop on hook.

    Large picot: Ch 5, insert hook back into the center of the base st, yo, pull through st and loop on hook.

    Ch 40,
    Row 1: 5 dc in 5th ch from hook (counts as ch2 + skip 2 sts), *skip 3 sts, 5 dc in next st,* repeat from *to* 8 times (for a total of 9 shells), skip 2 sts, dc in next st, turn.

    Row 2: Ch 2, 5dc cluster (makes 1 diamond), *ch 5, 5dc cluster*, repeat from *to* 8 times (for a total of 9 diamonds), dc in top of ch 2 of previous row, turn.

    Row 3:  Ch 1, (3 sc in next ch 5 space, picot, 3 sc in same ch 5 space) twice, 7 sc in next ch 5 space, (in next ch 5 space work 2 sc, 2 dc, 1 tr, 2 dc, 2 sc) twice, 3 sc in next ch 5 space, turn.

    Row 4: Ch 6, sc in tr of previous row, ch 7, sc in next tr of previous row, ch 6, sl st in 3rd sc of 7 sc from previous row, turn.

    Row 5: 4 sc in ch 6 space, picot, 4 sc in same ch 6, 4 sc in ch 7 space, large picot, 4 sc in same ch 7, 4 sc in next ch 6, picot, 4 sc in same ch 6, 4 sc in partial ch 5 from row 3, (3 sc in next ch 5, picot, 3 sc in same ch 5) twice, sl st in top of dc from row 2.

    Fasten off. Weave in ends. Add bling!**

    **You don't have to bling the tiara's. If you'd rather just crochet and send them, the Magic Yarn Project will add the bling.

    Pussyhat Project

    Monday, January 09, 2017

    For the past few weeks I've been knitting hats with the Pussyhat Project for women who will be walking in the Women's March On Washington (or Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago .....)

    The Pussyhat Project aims to:
    1. Provide the people of the Women's March on Washington D.C. a means to make a unique collective visual statement which will help activists be better heard.
    2. Provide people who cannot physically be on the National Mall a way to represent themselves and support women's rights.

    The Pussyhat Project provides a free pattern but, of course, I had to find and tweak a pattern to fit my personality. I found this delightful free pattern for a child's cat ear hat. I was immediately drawn to the shaping done in the crown of the hat and the stitching which define the ears. I changed the center cable pattern and that necessitated adjusting the crown shaping but otherwise the pattern is essential the same.

    Here are the notes and pattern for my hat. I think I've knit this hat enough times now that the pattern is accurate. It is not pattern tested, tech edited or have a chart. I also have not yet taken the time to explain stitches but if you're an experienced knitter (especially with cables) you should have no problem.

    Gauge: Resizing the hat to fit an adult head was an easy fix by substituting a larger weight yarn. I used aran weight yarn (Red Heart Super Saver & Lion Brand Vanna's Choice both worked well) with size 8 needles but you can use any yarn and needles that will give you a gauge of 16 stitches for every 4".

    The pattern is written for an adult small. Follow the numbers in (parenthesis) for a medium/large hat which fit most of the adult women who have tried it on.

    Pattern (4 rows):
    Row 1: (K16(20), p2, C2B, C2F, p2, C4B, C4F, p2, C2B, C2F, p2) twice
    Row 2: (K16(20), p2, k4, p2, k8, p2, k4, p2) twice
    Row 3: (K16(20), p2, K8, p2, k8, p2, C2F, C2B, p2) twice
    Row 4: Repeat row 2.

    Hat Body:
    Cast on 72(80) stitches, join to knit in a circle.
    Work 1 x 1 ribbing for 5 rows.
    Next row: M1 after every 9(10) stitches. 80(88) stitches.

    Repeat pattern rows 1-4 8(9) times and then work Row 1 once more before beginning crown decreases.

    Crown decreases:
    Row 1: [K16(20), *p2, k4, p2*, ssk, k4, k2tog, repeat from * to *] twice. 76(84) stitches.
    Row 2: [K16(20), *p2, C2F, C2B, p2*, ssk k2, k2tog, repeat from * to *] twice. 72(80) stitches.
    Row 3: [K16(20), *p2tog, k1, k2tog, k1, p2tog*, ssk, k2tog, repeat from * to *] twice 56(64)stitches.
    Row 4: [K16(20), *p1, k3tog, p1,* k2tog, repeat from * to *] twice 48(56) stitches.

    Knit 8(10) Flip hat wrong side out & 3 needle bind-off.
    Sew ears.

    Scrappy Baby Bear

    Monday, November 21, 2016

    Isn't he cute?

    I love using scraps from one project to make something else. This little baby bear was made with unused fur fabric from a Halloween costume, along with a little bit of embroidery floss and a few yards of fingering weight yarn for the scarf. That was it!

    The pattern for the body came from Sew Toy's, How to Sew Quickly A Cute Little Soft Baby Teddy Bear.

    Here are my production notes:

    • I scaled the pattern down when printing by choosing 4" x 6" paper and "fit to printable area" in my printer settings. I really like this smaller size but the pattern can certainly be printed as is or scaled to any other size.
    • I traced the pattern onto the wrong side of the fabric and stitched along that line (leaving an opening of course!) and trimmed away the excess before turning, stuffing and closing the opening.
    • The eyes are six strands of DMC floss #143 which is a dark gray. Next time I'll go for a true black because the facial features tend to be obscured with the fur.
    • The scarf pattern is 3 stitches cast on size #1 needles and knit in garter stitch for 12". A scarf made from fleece scraps would be quicker and work just as well but I couldn't resist adding a knitted touch.

    Pattern Weights

    Tuesday, October 25, 2016

    Pattern weights are great to use with delicate fabrics when you don't want to make holes with pins or when you need to hold things down for a quick cut.

    Commercial pattern weights are usually metal rings but anything that successfully holds the pattern down works. I've used drinking glasses, soup cans, and any knickknack close by and in reach. It was finally time to just get it done and make some.

    I cut 3.5" fabric squares and sewed with a 1/4" seam allowance for a finished size of 3". Here's the twist -- I used small garden rocks leftover from a landscaping project to stuff the squares!

    These are so handy and useful that I wish I had gotten around to making them years ago. I still will use a few pins on the grain line (old habits die hard) but mostly it's these pretty little things holding the pattern down while I cut.

    Signature Quilt

    Friday, October 21, 2016

    This past spring my sister, brother and I gave a party to celebrate my mom's 80th birthday and I organized a signature memory quilt activity. Using the Siggy Block Tutorial, from the ps i quilt blog, I made a stack of blocks to take to the party.

    I chose 8 colors of Fabrico Dual Tip fabric markers to write with and encouraged everyone to decorate a block with a birthday wish.

    I love how this project turned out. I especially like the hex shape which is a very nice one for use as a wall hanging but it also works well as a lap quilt. I also like how I was able to include a few blank squares for friends and family who were unable to attend to sign later.

    I am not an experienced quilter and there were a few Macgyver moments which I'm sure broke quilting rules (I have a page of notes for things to do differently the next time!) but my design vision was achieved and it is definitely a memory maker.