25 October, 2011

Finished: Crochet Jack O'Lantern

One of the things I love most about living in South Philly is that so many people decorate for the holidays!  I just love looking at everyone's front window displays!

Well... I am no pumpkin carver...so I thought I would crochet a jack o'lantern for our front window.

I used Red Heart SuperSaver yarn from my stash... It's my favorite yarn for crochet 'sculptures'... And a G hook for tight stitches.  The piece is stuffed with a bunch (i didnt count) of saved plastic grocery bags.

I started with a basic ball-shape and then added a stem.  Next, I crocheted all of the facial components: eyes, eyelids, nose, mouth, teeth & tongue.  No patterns... But just basic shapes...

Once all the facial features were completed, I (starting with the nose) began stitching them onto my pumpkin.  I decided to stuff each of the eyeballs (they each contain 1 bag)...which really made them puff out.

It wasn't a difficult project... Mostly time-consuming... Since I am a slow crocheter... But i am very pleased with the results. 

My husband built a shelf so that I could put decorations in the window AND still let the dogs sit in the window. (That's their favorite spot in the house!). Isn't he sweet? and clever?

Happy Halloween!

30 September, 2011

Finished: Crochet - Bucket Hat Prototype

This is my latest crochet experiment, a bucket-style hat done in mostly post stitches.

It was crocheted with Hobby Lobby's brand "I Love This Yarn!" in Pomegranate Stripe -- with an H hook.

I used acrylic yarn for ease of care... And I have to say that the Hobby Lobby Brand is my favorite acrylic out there: soft & and comes in wonderful self-striping colorways.

This hat was inspired by my admiration for the awesome Xenobia Bailey's ( www.xenba.blogspot.com ) work... I love her Funky Crowns!  I didnt want to try to duplicate her designs... But I love the idea of crowns... And wanted to put my own "stamp" on the idea.

  I started with a top detail of combining post stitches and regular stitches and then used post stitching for the sides for sturdiness.

This hat was a gift for my friend, Lee Ann... Hope she likes it; and that she has some creative criticisms for me.

02 September, 2011

Finished: Simple Mandala with Post Stitches /Crochet

Last month, we bought a small older-model mobile home in Carlisle, PA --about 2 hours from Philadelphia -- where my husband works.  We made the quality decision that 4 hours commuting every day is just too much.  So the plan is that on Tuesday mornings, the doggies & I will go to Carlisle with him and stay at the new place (which is 10 mins from his office) until Friday. When he leaves work on Friday, he will pick us up and we will head to Philadelphia for the weekend.

There are many positives to this new situation... Now, he gets "home" no later than 6pm... Compared to 8pm.  We can actually go out and do things on weeknights! And we get a chance to play at empty nesters during the week...oooo la la. Plus I am sure that our younger son (21) and visiting nephew (26) are enjoying the "no old folks around" time in Philly. Win\Win situation!

So now we get to set up another home place... Wheee! Fun stuff!   I am planning on creating some of the decor; while also scouring etsy and thrift shops for unique & vintage finds.

Here is the first of my completed projects: a crocheted mandala for above the bed.  This is really just a simple circle, done in sc, hdc, dc & tc stitches --with a post stitch accent.  It is made with acrylic yarns (mostly Red Heart SS) from my stash.  When the circle was completed, i sc 'd (is that a word?) it to a metal craft ring.

I think it gives a nice pop of color to the room!

19 August, 2011

Finished Object: Z-Bot (An Early Christmas Gift)

Yep...I am Christmas crafting in August.  Usually I am crafting down to the last minute...and even though I probably will be again this year... At least I started earlier! :-)

I just despise the commercialism of Christmas...so every year for Christmas, I try to give our kids (and now grandson) a handmade gift... Something  made especially for the recipient. ..each stitch is an expression of love.

Ok...i am stepping off my soapbox...

The first of my finished gifts is a robot doll for my adorable grandson, Zander (who will be 2 in Feb)... I present Z-bot:

I crocheted all the components from Red Heart yarns...as you can see, most of the pieces are simple rectangles and circles.  I was purposefully going for a "rustic" look. ..simple arms and legs... But the great thing about crochet is that you can create whatever shapes you desire.

I outlined all of the features with the gray so that when i stitched them to the body...then stitched them on the body... free-formed an anntenae ... stuffed the arms and legs... attached them and stuffed head and body. 

I hope he likes it!

What do you think?

This is my first attempt at a toy... have you made toys? if so, I would love to see them!

26 July, 2011

Finished: Crochet Squares For Japan

Think of Japan While Knitting is a group that is accepting 4"crocheted squares that are then sorted and stitched into afghans. The afghans are then to he auctioned off for money to be sent to an organization that helps the orphans caused from recent earthquakes & tsunami.

I saw this group on facebook (i believe they have a Ravelry page also); and decided to spend a few hours to make some squares.  They provide the pattern. 

I made seven squares... 7 is my favorite and lucky number.  I made one square to resemble Japan's flag; and the other six are done in different combinations of brown, cream & pink...which remind me of Japanese cherry blossoms. 

They post pics of the squares as they come in... And of the completed afghans. Check out their page...maybe you will want to help out too. 

08 July, 2011

Finished: A Sweater For My Kindle

I decided to make myself a little cozy for my kindle...
This was made by loomknitting a tube on the knifty knitter pink (smallest) long loom.  I used 2 strands of Hobby Lobby's "I Love This Yarn!" brand yarn in pomegranate stripe
Then I crocheted the embellishments... A skull motif, a free-form hand motif w/surface chain spiral and a double ruffle with some acrylic yarn in my stash.
This makes a nice thick and form-fitting sweater cozy...  Perfectly sized for my kindle 2nd gen in its leather case.
Easy Peasy! :-)

Found on the Internet: Double Stitch Twins Patterns

Being in my 40's and zaftig, I doubt that I could get by with wearing some of their designs; but i definitely enjoy looking at what the Double Stitch Twins are designing!

I love the creativity that they are bringing to crochet! They have a good eye for color. Many of their patterns feature versatility in how to wear.  And best of all, one needn't be an Advanced Stitcher to add some funky (and mostly inexpensive) flair to your wardrobe.

In my opinion, these things are important in attracting young stitchers into the crocheting flock ... Which, in turn, keeps new ideas flowing in our community.

Thanks to Red Heart for compiling these patterns:

The Latest Pattern Designs by the Double Stitch Twins | Red Heart

06 July, 2011

Found on the Internetz: Crochet in Fashion

Wow...check out this link...would love to hear what people think about this look:

Nicola Roberts says 'yay' to crochet! | heatworld.com

IMO I think she actually pulls it off...it's quirky for sure, but it works for her.  However, I don't believe it's a look that works for everybody or every body.

But I DO like seeing crochet used in new & unexpected ways!

14 June, 2011

Watch This Space: Reorganizing My Thoughts / Getting Back On Track

wow... i realized today that i havent spent much time on my blog... i have never been great at regularly posting ... but its been 9 months since i posted here :-(


i dont know... lack of focus maybe? during the past year... we have uprooted and moved to a different part of the country... spent almost 6 months to find a permanent house... which means 6 months of a nomadic-type life... almost a year of battling home-sickness... missing my son, daughter-in-law & baby grandson who live in georgia... then dealing with the long-distance effects of being away from my extended family while two of my uncles (twins) battled cancer... one passed away in January 2010... he was 61...and the other, who was much more than an uncle to me... more like a father... passed away in May...just 3 months after celebrating his 62 birthday.

to tell the truth, i am having a super hard time with his death... there were 2 people... and only 2... that i could be my completely uncensored self with... that i never had to worry what they would think of me when i let my thoughts fly... one is my husband... the other, i lost on may 12, 2011.

so i guess you could say that i have been derailed... my mind was in a lot of places... i didnt even feel like posting... even though i was working on crafts all the while... i just didnt feel like taking pictures and writing about them...

but as we are getting really settled into our new life in Philadelphia... and with the help of family and friends (i hope you all know who you are -- i am a better person for knowing you!), i am learning how to cope with the devastating holes in my family's fabric... i think i am ready to climb back on track soon.

i have decided that this blog will be mostly craft oriented... i have started a tumblr blog for my food-related posts... so if thats what you are interested in... check it out (not much there yet... but i am working on it):  kuiadore

so watch this spot... and bear with me...as i try to get back on that blogging horse and ride :-)