Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Importance of Saving Your Work

I just spent the last two hours working on updating my Yarn Reviews page, the Vanna's Choice Yarn to be exact. Sometimes if you don't keep your palms up off of the laptop, you may move the mouse and click out into the unknown and with a keystroke some of your work may be in danger. 

Not at any point during this two hours did I bother to click the "update" button on my screen to save my work and that darn hand moved the cursor up and with one single keystroke (or a few - not sure since I was in the middle of typing a word) exited out of the Yarn Reviews page and of the crochet pattern I was looking at...::sighs::...I lost two hours worth of work. Let this be a warning to you - SAVE YOUR WORK PERIODICALLY!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Crochet Summery Granny Square Baby Blanket and Hat - FREE PATTERN

My mom's friend is having a little boy this June. My mom has made several different requests as gifts for the family. One of them was a baby blanket. My first attempt at a baby blanket was a few weeks ago. I used a V Stitch and boy, did that blanket take me a while to complete. This time around I went with the ever so popular Granny Square.

Materials:
- 4 balls of yarn - I used Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn in Cream and High Meadow Stripe
- Size M13/9mm Hook
- Tapestry Needle for weaving in ends

*For this blanket, I used two strands of yarn together at once. I wanted my main color for the blanket to come from the High Meadow Stripe yarn which is a mixture of cream, brown, green, and blue green. To blend in, I choose the Cream yarn.
**Also about this yarn, it has a lot of stretch to it. More than I was used to! Take this into consideration when measuring out your work, if you're going to choose different measurements for your finished blanket. HOWEVER, the granny square provides more support and less stretch.
***To make this set more Summer friendly, you can easily change out the acrylic yarn for a cotton one. Continue to measure here and there as changing yarns can change the final size.

After completing the blanket, I had half a ball of the Cream yarn left over.
Note: If you choose two solid colored yarns, you will also have half a ball of your second color of yarn. Self-striping yarns are sold in less ounces.

In my first hour, I was able to complete 11 rows or 17". Rows 12 to 19, took approximately 12 minutes each and the border took about half that, for a total of roughly 2 hours 45 minutes.

Abbreviations:
     CH - Chain
     ea - each
     sp - space
     SC - Single Crochet
     DC - Double Crochet
     sl st - Slip Stitch

Gauge:
     This is hard to pinpoint exactly because of the stretch but each round was approximately 0.75" in height.
     Since this blanket is customizable, gauge isn't important.

Measurements:
     30" x 30"
*If you're unsure about the size you'd like to make, I found a Blanket and Afghan Size Chart courtesy of Clare of BOBWILSON123 with a range of sizes for preemie's up to adult size and lapghans.

Note for Pattern:
     If you want your blanket rounds to be in alternating colors (such as red one round, blue the next), then at the end of the round you will fasten off. You will join your next color into the CH-1 space.
If you are only using one color throughout (like me), then you will be slip stitching over to the CH-1 space in the beginning of each round.

Pattern:
CH 4. Join to form a ring. CH 3. 2 DC in ring, CH 1, (3 DC in ring, CH 1) 3 times.

Rnd 2: sl st over to the CH-1 sp. CH 3, 2 DC in same CH-1 sp, CH 2, 3 DC into same sp. CH 1, (3 DC into next CH-1 sp, CH 2, 3 DC in same sp, CH 1) around. Join.

Rnd 3: sl st over to the CH-1 sp. CH 3, 2 DC in same sp, CH 2, 3 DC into same CH-1 sp, CH 1, (3 DC into next CH-sp, CH 2, 3 DC in same sp, CH 1, 3 DC in next sp, CH 1) around. Join.

Rnd 4-19: You will continue in this pattern, slip stitching into the next CH-1 sp in the beginning of each round, (3 DC, CH 2, 3 DC) in each corner (where the CH-2 spaces are), and (3 DC, CH 1) in each side (where the CH-1 spaces are). You will notice with each round, the number of CH-1 spaces will increase by 1.

Edging: After last join, CH 1, SC in ea DC and ea CH-1 sp with 2 SC in ea CH-2 sp.

Please feel free to make and sell this scarf, but please DO NOT claim this pattern on your own nor should you sell my pattern, and DO NOT re-publish my photos as your own.

I also made a matching hat using the Basic Beanie Crochet Pattern courtesy of Sarah from Family Bugs Blogging. I used the Half Double Crochet Pattern courtesy of Rhondda from Oombawka Design to reference the length. 
Although I made the set as a gift for a newborn, I decided to make the hat for 3-6 months just so it will last a little longer.



This Summery Baby Blanket is available for purchase in my Etsy shop. Size and color options are completely customizable so don't be shy to ask! Here, you can find some color options.




Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Special Offer from Ali C's Supply Shop. How Kind!!

After my last blog entry on my Dangle Earrings, Ali from Ali C's Supply Shop extended 10% off any purchase in her shop from now through July 31st!! Just use the coupon code, ELK10!!

If you missed my last blog entry, find it here.

Ali has LOTS of charms and beads; sterling silver, sterling silver filled and surgical steel (hypoallergenic) findings; necessary jewelry making tools; beautiful cabochons; chains and wires AMONG OTHER USEFUL THINGS!!

Take a trip over to her Etsy shop, and take advantage of her great customer service, wide variety of nuts and bolts (an expression my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Campbell, made us use in place of the word 'stuff') and the generous 10% off coupon!!

Thanks Ali!

New Dangle Earrings up for Sale on Etsy! Limited Supply.

Usually, I only try to do jewelry that I can replicate, however, I went to Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago and found TONS of neat beads on the clearance rack and thought, what the heck?

Soon to come - bottle cap earrings!

I don't have any tutorial for these earrings, but I can make one if requested.

I used an all-in-one pair of pliers I have, but if you don't have one you will need some flush cutters (like these) for cutting, and round nose pliers (like these). You can get them as part of a beading pliers set similar to this one very inexpensively.

All my earrings dangle from surgical steel earring wires, to make them hypoallergenic - perfect for anyone who has sensitive ears! I found mine, along with MANY other surgical steel findings, in Ali C's Supply Shop. She has awesome prices and a wide variety of findings, charms, beads and MORE! Before I ordered from her, we sent a few messages back and forth about some of the products she carries. She responded very quickly, and then shipped my package out quickly as well! I will definitely be placing more orders with her.

These earrings were all so simple to make! They all use the same techniques and motions:
1. String beads on a headpin.
2. Trim headpin to size, using flush cutters.
3. Form a loop, using round nose pliers.
4. Open loop of earring wire, using round nose pliers, and attach loop of headpin.
5. Close loop of earring wire.
6. Repeat for second earring.
7. Wear and enjoy!!

You can have a cute new pair of earrings to wear in 15 minutes or less!

Lightweight Small Round Purple Blue and
White Splatter Dangle Earrings

These beads are about the size of a dime.
They are white with blue and purple splatters
throughout. Accompanied by blue and purple
seedbeads (also available with just blue, white and
purple, and white seedbeads).
ONLY 7 PAIRS AVAILABLE!!
Lightweight Small Round Purple Blue and
White Splatter Dangle Earrings

These beads are about the size of a dime.
They are white with blue and purple splatters
throughout. Accompanied by white and purple
seedbeads (also available with blue and purple,
just blue, and just white seedbeads).
ONLY 7 PAIRS AVAILABLE!!
 
Lightweight Large Round Blue Swirl Dangle Earrings
These beads are about the size of a nickel.
They are white with light and dark blue and black
swirls throughout. Accompanied by black seed-
beads. (Also available with light blue seedbeads).
ONLY 3 PAIRS AVAILABLE!!
Lightweight Large Round Blue Swirl Dangle Earrings
These beads are about the size of a nickel.
They are white with light and dark blue and black
swirls throughout. Accompanied by light blue seed-
beads. (Also available with black seedbeads).
ONLY 3 PAIRS AVAILABLE!!


Lightweight Small Round Blue Swirl Dangle Earrings
These beads are about the size of a nickel.
They are white with light and dark blue and black
swirls throughout. Accompanied by black seed-
beads. (Also available with light blue seedbeads).
ONLY 3 PAIRS AVAILABLE!!

Lightweight Small Round Blue Swirl Dangle Earrings
These beads are about the size of a nickel.
They are white with light and dark blue and black
swirls throughout. Accompanied by light blue seed-
beads. (Also available with black seedbeads).
ONLY 3 PAIRS AVAILABLE!!

Flat, Round Yellow and Floral Dangle Earrings
These beads are about the size and shape of a
mento candy. They are bright yellow with small
circles in red, green and blue and tiny flowers in
the center of those circles. Accompanied by
black seedbeads on the top and bottom.
ONLY 3 PAIRS AVAILABLE!!
Lightweight Round White and Black Floral
Dangle Earrings

These beads are about the size of a nickel.
They are cream with black outlined flowers
and swirly black vines throughout. Accompanied
by a black seedbead on the very bottom and a
pink bead sandwiched between the two.
ONLY 5 PAIRS AVAILABLE!!


Lightweight Round White and Green Splatter
Dangle Earrings

These beads are about the size of a nickel.
They are white with a green splatter pattern
throughout. Accompanied by a white seedbead
on the bottom, and a small pink round bead on
the top.
ONLY 5 PAIRS AVAILABLE!!

Lightweight Yellow Black and
Red Large Splatter Dangle Earrings

These beads are about the size of a quarter.
They are black with yellow and red splatters
throughout. Accompanied by black seed-
beads on the top and bottom.
ONLY 4 PAIRS AVAILABLE!!

Lightweight Small Round Purple Blue and
White Splatter Dangle Earrings

These beads are about the size of a dime.
They are white with blue and purple splatters
throughout. Accompanied by blue seedbeads
(also available with blue and purple, white and
purple, and white seedbeads).
ONLY 7 PAIRS AVAILABLE!!
Lightweight Small Round Purple Blue and
White Splatter Dangle Earrings

These beads are about the size of a dime.
They are white with blue and purple splatters
throughout. Accompanied by just white seedbeads
(also available with white and purple, just blue
and blue and purple seedbeads).
ONLY 7 PAIRS AVAILABLE!!

Lightweight Round Cream and Gray
1920's-1930's Inspired Dangle Earrings

The beads are about the size of a nickel.
They are cream with what looks like a
butterfly wing pattern in gray. Accompanied
by a clear bluish purplish rondelle.
A few months ago, I crocheted a Roaring
Twenties inspired cloche in warm harvest-y
colors. I would like to make one in gray to
match the pair of these earrings I made for myself!
ONLY 3 PAIRS AVAILABLE! Once it's gone, it's gone.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My First Knitting Experience - Ruffle Scarves using Red Heart Boutique Sashay Yarn - Pattern/Video REVIEW

Knit Sashay Metallic Ruffle Scarf
in Malachite
 (bluish, green)
Knit Sashay Ruffle Scarf in Boogie
(light and dark Purple)

I have fallen in love with the look of the ruffle scarves using the sashay yarn!! I crocheted my first one about a year ago and have since made four more but recently I was unhappy with the look of how the ruffles hung. After further investigation, I discovered that the majority of patterns found on the Red Heart website are knit ones.


I have been crocheting for a little over a year now, but never considered knitting. The other day when I was updating my Yarn Review page, I was adding information on the different sashay yarns and on the Red Heart site there is a How to Knit Red Heart Boutique Sashay Scarves video courtesy of Mikey from The Crochet Crowd. It seemed easy enough so I added some knitting needles to my shopping list.

I was surprised at how much more knitting needles cost than crochet hooks but thank goodness for my 15% off coupon from Joann's. I also found the sashay yarns on sale $2.00 off. Score!

I sat down last night and worked on my first knit sashay yarn scarf. It took me MUCH longer than I was anticipating. A crocheted scarf takes about two hours for a FULL length scarf. The knit scarf took me one-three hours to complete 52" worth. The whole time though, I was so excited. I am feeling quite accomplished now.

I found that although all of the balls were 3.5 ounces, each crocheted a different number of inches. 
With the whole ball of Sashay Sequins yarn, I was able to knit a scarf of 52".
With the other balls, available lengths varied. I stuck to 54" to keep them all consistent. 

The knit sashay scarf looks much fuller than the crochet version. The ruffles are also more even.

Now that I've learned how to knit a sashay ruffle scarf, I don't think I'll ever go back to crocheting them. Here's to many more BEAUTIFUL scarves!
Knit Sashay Sequins Scarf in Mediteranean
Knit Sashay Sparkle Ruffle Scarf in Salmon

















I now have Knit Sashay Scarves available in my Etsy shop! There are SOOOOO many color options - find them here. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to make a special request.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Has Sprung Challenge! Pattern Review and Finished Scarves for Sale. Completely customizable!

A few weeks ago, I decided to accept the Spring Has Sprung Crochet Challenge posed by Mikey of The Crochet Crowd. Deadline to submit your entries is April 15th, 2014 so you still have time left to enter!

Basically, the challenge was to follow the basic pattern for the Button Up Neck Warmer provided by Red Heart Yarns and make either a cowl as stated, a full length scarf or a baby blanket.

I did not noticed there wasn't a yarn requirement (until this morning!), so I stuck with the Red Heart Boutique Treasure yarn and choose the colors Abstract (mixture of pink, red, orange, yellow, green) and Mosaic (mixture of greens and blues).
The yarn is 70% acrylic and 30% wool. It is soft, and tweed like.

While I am not allergic to wool, I do not particularly care for it.
I added this scarf to my list of things to do but in different yarn types.

This pattern was very easy to follow and worked up quickly. Time frame was approximately 3 minutes per 4 rows).

The length requirement for the scarf was 6 feet, which is 72". To complete this length, it took two full balls and just a tiny bit of a third ball. It was finished in approximately two hours and fifteen minutes.
I also do not particularly like long scarves, especially for the Spring. I would probably change the length to 60" for the cooler months, and 40-54" in the warmer months.

With the extra yarn from the third ball, I was able to complete the full button up cowl. Update to come with photos of the cowl.

Overall, the challenge was very fun and quick. The end result is BEAUTIFUL!

Thanks for the challenge, Mikey. Can't wait until the new one - a spring afghan - starts! Find out more about this challenge, here.

These Spring Has Sprung Scarves are available for purchase in my Etsy shop. 
I would be happy to alter the length, yarn type or color for you. Feel free to message me with your special request!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Crochet Adult Black Beanie in Rhythm. FREE Pattern!

I received a special request for a man's beanie. The request included a photo of three music notes with a swoop across the top, and that the hat be black with gray music notes.
After a few searches that didn't leave me anywhere but frustrated, I decided to just take it into my own hands.

I started out with the adult large size of the basic beanie pattern courtesy of Sarah of Family Bugs. I used Deborah Norville's Everyday Soft in Black for the beanie. 
I did work it in a continuous round from start to finish, adding an extra row of double crochets around, followed by a row of 'slip stitch in the next stitch, chain 1, single crochet in the same stitch, single crochet in each stitch around'. The last row is to even out the continuous round.
This yarn mess made this project quite a challenge! Geez!

The total length of the hat was 8.75". And while it was to fit the average man's head, it fits my head just fine too!
*To make for a woman's head, do not add the extra row of double crochets.

For the music notes:

Materials:
   Small amount of worsted weight yarn - I used Gray in Red Heart Super Saver
   Size H8/5mm Crochet Hook
   Tapestry Needle for weaving in ends and final attachment of music notes

Abbreviations:
   CH - Chain
   DC - Double Crochet
   SC - Single Crochet
   sl st - slip stitch

Pattern:

LEFT NOTE
CH 4. Join to form ring. CH 2 (counts as DC). Make 9 DC in ring. Join.
Rnd 2: CH 1. SC in 1st DC (same as join), SC in next DC, CH 12, sl st in 2nd CH from hook and down skipping the last one, sl st in next DC of circle.
Fasten off with long tail for sewing.

CENTER NOTE
CH 4. Join to form ring. CH 2 (counts as DC). Make 9 DC in ring. Join.
Rnd 2: CH 1. SC in 1st DC (same as join), SC in next DC, CH 13, sl st in 2nd CH from hook and down skipping the last one, sl st in next DC of circle.
Fasten off with long tail for sewing.

RIGHT NOTE
CH 4. Join to form ring. CH 2 (counts as DC). Make 9 DC in ring. Join.
Rnd 2: CH 1. SC in 1st DC (same as join), SC in next DC, CH 10, sl st in 2nd CH from hook and down skipping the last one, sl st in next DC of circle.
Fasten off with long tail for sewing.

Swoop
CH 27. SC in 2nd CH and across. CH 1, turn.
Sl st in 2nd CH and across but leave last 4 unworked.
Fasten off with long tail for sewing.

To Assemble:
I used sewing pins to help
me visual the finished look.

First I pinned down my pieces to the hat to see how it would look and get the final approval. 
I didn't really aim for any certain rows, just centered the notes as best as I could.
The left and center notes fall centered on the 13th and 14th rounds. The right note falls cented on the 11th and 12th rounds. The swoop is off centered.

Please feel free to make and sell this scarf, but please DO NOT claim this pattern on your own nor should you sell my pattern, and DO NOT re-publish my photos as your own.

This Adult Black Beanie in Gray Rhythm is available for purchase in my Etsy shop. While the listing is for an adult, it can be made in any size from infant on up and in any colors of your choosing. Feel free to shoot me a message with a special request!




Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Vertebrae Bracelet!!


After I got home from work today (BEING LIKE TWO MONTHS AGO!!), I sat down to work on the Vertebrae Bracelet project, courtesy of The Potomac Bead Company

The tutorial is really easy to follow - even for someone who has NEVER done seed bead sewing (not sure what it's called). 
1st Attempt

For my first attempt, I must say, I did a pretty darn good job and now feeling quite accomplished.

I ended up using about 80 super duo beads and two-thirds of the cubes, for a bracelet measuring 6.25" long excluding clasp, 7" with clasp.
2nd Attempt
The first bracelet took three hours to complete, and the second half the time, only an hour and a half. It just took some getting used to.

I found myself with a dilemma before starting my second round of cubes - RAN OUT OF THREAD! Ah! But don't worry, I found a How to Tie Off and Add Thread tutorial courtesy of Beadaholique. Phew! The Potomac Bead Company also has a How to Add Thread tutorial, however, I find the one from Beadaholique to be more detailed and easier to follow. 

I also added my own touch to the knotted ends - some clear nail polish. Just to make sure that they don't come loose.

I have tested these bracelets out, wearing both of them at the same time for two weeks straight. They are tough, lightweight, and beautiful!


These Vertebrae Bracelets are available for purchase in my Etsy shop. Color and size are completely customizable, so feel free to message me if you have something else in mind.
You can search SuperDuo Bead (center line) color options here, and Miyuki Cube (surrounding) color options here.