Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Reviving my love of crochet

When I went to Lucky Star Art Camp in November 2014 I roomed with 4 fabulous ladies, one of which was Cal Patch, a teacher at camp.  Cal teaches the basics/not so basics of sewing, pattern drafting, as well as crocheting.  She revived in me my love of crochet which I had left behind somewhere along the way, I got side tracked into quilting, bicycling, online art classes and art journaling - which I love and still spend time on.

When I got back home from camp I decided I wanted to make some crochet caps to give away to family for Christmas.  I found a book of hat patterns and yarn and hooks at Hobby Lobby and the first one I made was entirely too small -- I suppose the yarn I chose was not the right "weight".  Anyhow, I perservered and tried a different pattern called the Turnbuckle hat, made it and it was too big but I was determined and undid it and started again with a smaller size hook, finally, success.  So I made another, then another, and then a friend at work wanted one (I had taken my project to work to get a little done on my lunch hour), so I made another - by this time I had that pattern down!  It is a nice hat that fits a little looser than most crochets caps with the idea that it would not give the wearer "hat hair."

Here are some pictures of the finished product - note I failed to take pictures of the first 3, this is a picture of the same hat and a scarf I made for my sister's birthday:

I then felt brave enough to try something more challenging, I went to Cal's etsy shop etsy.com/shop/hodgepodgefarm and found a beautiful shawl pattern called Borealis.  I also purchased another pattern for a cloche.  These pics are from her site:

borealis shawl PDF crochet pattern                    coral cloche PDF crochet pattern

The shawl pattern is made with lace weight yarn which is just slightly thicker than string (think embroidery floss) and a small hook.  I got about half way through when my instincts told me that it didn't look right so I sent a email and pic to Cal.  She informed me that I did indeed have an error, on Row 1!  I was disappointed but undid all my work and started again.  I am happy to say that the second time I got it right and it is about half way done now and is turning out really pretty, here is a picture of the WIP:

I plan on giving this to my SIL since she  is always doing nice things for me.  Of course, since I love this pattern so much I bought yarn to make myself one, although not in the lace weight, so it will be a little bigger and heavier.

I also want to make myself one of those Turnbuckle hats so looks like I'll be crocheting for sometime to come and fitting in all my other beloved crafts as well.  It is good to be busy crafting!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Weaving Potholders + Feeling Like a Kid Again

Do you remember going to Vacation Bible School or Summer Camp as a kid and learning how to weave potholders to take home for your Mom?  I recently stumbled onto this again, my sister was visiting from Albuquerque, NM and we went into Comfort (the small town I live close to) to shop, we ended up in this wonderful store, The Tinsmith's Wife, http://tinsmithswife.net/, full of yarn from all over, some hand made and hand dyed, I could spend hours in there!  Anyway my sister spotted this kit that includes a loom and the cotton loops to make 2 potholders and immediately we both had to have one, luckily they just happened to have two.  It is called the Pro Loom, there is a smaller version called the Traditional Loom.

The loom is made by a small family owned company called Harrisville Designs, harrisville.com, and they have a great website that has a potholder design template which allows you to choose a design and the colors so you can see what the final product will look like.  There are lots of cool designs, here are some that I have made:

They are a really nice size, 10" and are sturdy and thick.  I would recommend purchasing the loops from Harrisville as well as they are a very nice quality, I haven't been able to find anything as nice at the local craft stores.  You can finish one in about an hour.
I gave some away as Christmas gifts along with a chili and cornbread mix.  These are fun and easy to make and I feel like a kid again whenever I pull one off the loom!