22 April, 2009

Crochet Wallhanging Update: Day of the Dead #2

i have been working on this piece a lot lately... wanting to finish it so that i can hang it in the house. i am actually loving how this piece has turned out.

it's not "completely done" (is any piece ever completed?) ... i am trying to come up with a crochet design for a marigold ... and want to make a strand of yellow & orange marigolds (and maybe some beads... mmmm... beads) to drape over\around the piece.

marigolds are used in Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations ... the scent of the flowers lead the spirits. also, in India, strands of marigolds are used for joyful celebrations and for reverence.

i think a strand of marigolds will really set this piece off... we'll see!

here are some close up shots (up --> down) showing some of the details.

this piece is mostly free form crochet... i have also made crochet motifs and appliqued them to the piece... the stitches used are mostly sl, sc, dc, ts & bobbles (lots of bobbles) made with dc.

i have also incorporated loom knitting and small-loom weaving to the piece. and then the embellishments! i used vintage and new buttons; and beads of glass, plastic & metal.

i had so much fun picking out & placing the embellishments!

here are some side-to-side views

i created this piece from all acrylic yarns (mostly red heart yarn). i like using acrylic yarns to make something i consider beautiful from something so looked down on as a medium... mostly because of the snobbery involved. i really hate that look you get from "serious fiber artists" when you mention acrylic.

don't get me wrong... i love and use wool yarns... i splurge on lux brands sometimes... but i actually adore the spectrum of colors and textures that are offered in acrylics. they are bold and fun... which is what this piece is all about... a celebration of family & life.

HERE'S YOUR SIGN: Jockey Lot Flea Market

as we were walking around at the flea market a couple of weeks ago, we noticed an empty booth. obviously they sell star wars merchandise! anyway just wanted to share the funny sign that was posted there.

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16 April, 2009

CROCHET HERO: Xenobia Bailey

This is a portrait of one of my crochet heroes, Xenobia Bailey.

(this picture is "borrowed" from the Roving & Yarn Blog ... which is an AWESOME blog about traveling & textiles... check it out) (sorry about that... you can "borrow" one of my pics...lol)

If you are a fiber artist who is unfamiliar with her work: shame, shame, shame ... first go to her blog @ http://xenba.blogspot.com ... then Google her name... you won't be disappointed, i promise!

Xenobia Bailey does absolutely beautiful crochet artwork... she works mostly (if not exclusively) in single stitch crochet and using mostly acrylic & cotton yarns and plastic pony beads. Which, to me, exemplifies the fact that you don't have to know all of the fanciest or complicated crochet stitches... and that you can make STUNNING artwork with humble components.

I love her eye for beautiful and bold colors. As a fellow fiber stitcher, i appreciate her dedication to a piece (maybe i am just slow, but it would take me forever to complete one of these pieces! lol). I love the funky & spiritual aspects of her art. And I love that her work forces people to see that fiber art can be classified as fine art.

I am headed to NYC (for the first time) in September ( a gift from the wonderful Sugar Daddy); and I am so hoping to see some of her artwork in person.

I am also lucky enough to own a crocheted hat created by her ( a gift from my younger son) that was purchased from her Etsy shop. (I also received a very nice hand-written note from her!)

check out these links to her artwork\articles & i think you will see why she is one of my crochet heroes:

Sistah Paradise's Great Walls of Fire Revival Tent

Artist Xenobia Bailey Gives New Life to Crochet

The (RE)Possession of Xenobia Bailey


15 April, 2009


Here is my first tawashi, which is a Japanese -inspired crocheted (or knitted) scrubbie for cleaning dishes, counters, etc.

I have been seeing so many of these on Ravelry (there are several groups devoted to tawashi) and on blogs, that I decided to whip one up to see how it works. I had some left-over Red Heart Acrylic in my stash... believe it or not, acrylic is the main choice for these little scrubbies! (although you can buy special acrylic with silver in it for authentic Japanese style)

This is my version:

first, i made a rectangle with bobbles (made with 4 dc) staggered on it... i used hdc for the rows without the bobbles and dc for the rows with the bobbles.

I folded the rectangle in half and trimmed the tawashi with sc done in a different color.

lastly, i did another round in sl and created a hanging loop on one of the short ends.

TA DAAA! here is my finished little tawashi! I cant wait to try it out... will post the results after some use.

If you are interested in tawashi, check out these sites for inspiration:

a whole load of craft

knitting knonsense

okniawa otter knits

little purl of the orient

juli's jots

or just "Google" the word tawashi

13 April, 2009

I Am So Proud of Myself... I Should Get A Gold Star!

I went grocery shopping today & remembered to bring all of my reusable shopping bags! and I found out that if you ask... stores will give you a "bag credit" for each bag you bring! nice!

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FO ALERT: Little Green Rose Purse

Here is my latest finished object... a little green purse (made from red heart) and adorned with a little crocheted rose and some vintage rose buttons for closures.

As you may know, I have been spending lots of time in hospitals... as my father-in-law recovers from a stroke. For those of you who have asked about him or sent comforting wishes... thank you. You dont know how much I appreciated your concern. He is now home and working on recovering with the help of Home Health Care. At this point, he still has no movement on his left side. But he is working hard and doing his therapy exercises obsessively... if anyone can do this through sheer determination, it will be him!

Anyway, while visiting him in the various hospitals, i always brought along a some yarn and a hook. I needed to do something to keep my hands busy and my mind calm. For me, crochet is perfect, each stitch is as comforting to me as prayer beads.

I just started out with a rectangle of hdc (for you trivia geeks, that is my favorite crochet stitch)... i love the "striped" effect of that stitch!

i added a smaller rectangle (with stitches going the other way) for the flap of the purse. made buttonholes on the flat. Then i made the strap... which also forms the sides and reinforces the bottom... long enough to wear cross-body style.

here is a peek at the lining ... which is actually a cloth napkin that was on clearance! I did realize that I definitely need to work on my sewing skills!

here is a close up of the strap detail...

and here is a shot to give you an idea of size and strap-length.

the rose i used to decorate this purse was adapted from this pattern.