Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tiffany's Scarf

I was ready to ship Dan's helmet liners and Tiffany's prayer shawl this week, and I think, wow, what a waste of postage/time if I'm shipping just the shawl, a summer shawl at that, to Tiffany. So I call her up on Friday, to see how she's doing and all, and to sneakily find out what color coat she has, so I can at least make her a winter scarf to slip into the package.

And she has a navy coat (Lionbrand does not carry navy Homespun), and a black coat. No hat to match a color to, and no mittens. So I decide to use Metropolis, with an edge of Black, to make a nice accent on her black coat. I start it about noon on Saturday, and finished a little after 1:00 pm, (only because I made almost a dozen scarves prior to this one was I able to crank it out so quickly.)

The sun is shining so I take pictures of the scarf, the shawl, and more pix of the helmet liners...

And I rush to the Post Office and get all my projects in the mail. Now just to blog!

Tiffany's Prayer Shawl

I started this prayer shawl for Tiffany over the summer, working on it on the bus and at Thursday night knitting. I was thrilled to finally finish it this past Wednesday! But I shipped it off before I could write down all the details.

I do know it's 20 inches wide, and at least 64 inches long. Tiffany is very tall, and I tried it out on a woman at church over the summer. I've been told that shawls should be as long as the wrist to wrist measurement per person, so I made it long. And then I added fringe.

At first I didn't like the fringe, and so I left it alone for four months or so. And since January is the month to finish projects started long ago, I brought it back in to church last week. And my tall model was not in. But then Jana came to my rescue, modeled it, and declared the original fringe much better than the traditional fringe I was experimenting with.

Basically, this is how I made it:

I chained enough to make it 20 inches wide, then came back with a double crochet, chain one, skip a loop, repeat. The next one I might do lengthwise, so the edges aren't scallopy. But it still looks nice. For the fringe, I chained 42 and then came back and tacked with a single crochet, then chained another 42, etc. Why? I wanted Tiff to be able to wash it, and I was afraid traditional fringe would fray horribly.

Helmet Liners

My buddy and co-worker, Dan, is on his second tour in Iraq. I came across this pattern as a link in the Lionbrand weekly newsletter in November/December and had to try it. Alas, it called for pure wool. All I had was pink. I put the wool on my Christmas List, but it was a little too hard for Santa to find, and I had to wait till January 2008 to buy it at AC Moore.

Needless to say, I was able to finish not one, but two of these helmet liners:

...Talking Heads...

Why wool? Because it keeps our Troops warmer than acrylic, won't melt in an emergency, and is warm even when wet.

I shipped them off at the Post Office today, and I can't wait to find out how they work in action!

Helmet Liner Pattern

Here is the link to the original pattern:

Many, many thanks to Dan and ALL our troops!

May God keep you safe and bring you home soon...

How to Crochet w/Plastic Bags

I could take some pictures and show you how to do this, but this link is the best I've seen by far!!! I think the author is a fellow Swede, Helle Jorgensen, from down under...
just click link (above), and ENJOY the journey!

And if you REALLY want to be amazed, Google "Helle Jorgensen" and find some incredible creations on the following links:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Plastic Bag Tote - the start

So here is my plastic bag tote. My very first creation using grocery store plastic bags.

The base was formed using four Krogers bags. I didn't realize where I'd gotten the Krogers bags from. They are a nice tan, darker than the usual Pathmark bag, and they form a very attractive base. I pulled up on the Internet, plugged in a NYC zip code, only to find out they were not local. I began to wonder if they came from Newcastle, England, where one of my bosses had spent seven months. When I talked to my mom the next week, I realized they came from Texas.

Here is the base, in Krogers:

On one of the websites, it suggested I start with a chain of at least 25 stitches (I used a K hook, and approx. 1" wide strips of plastic bags). After about 3 rows I started doing "three single crochets in the corners", and then I ran out of tan. At that point I switched to the Pathmark bags and worked even, which meant I was going to no longer increase but would work "up" instead:

This all happened last Sunday, Jan 13. I had to take a call from American Airlines about a cancelled flight for another boss, but I kept on crocheting...

Here I am, over a week later, Jan 22. When I ran out of "yarn" on Jan 13, I thought to myself, "Wow, I need to go grocery shopping!" And though I have quite a bundle of those nice grocery store shopping bags, the ones that are environmentally friendly and hold way more than the plastic, I found myself wondering what I could buy and what I could double bag. Not exactly green thinking.

My co-worker, Carin, brought in a bunch of Pathmark bags for me. And I went shopping the following Sunday, and yes I did buy some stuff I didn't need, including a free Star Ledger, which I could bag. Honest to blog. Heard that on Good Day NY. And I timed myself, and it takes me about three minutes to cut up each individual bag and chain it into my ball of yarn. Not including the time it takes to fold the bag in sixths, if that is a word. So it's not a super-easy process. And crocheting DOES take a bit of a work out on my arm, as I'd like a bigger crochet hook (in metal) than the K. Next time perhaps 1/2 inch strips or so.

Here are the pictures from today, Jan 22, with my Nikon:

So, I'm almost at the right height. And I have to start thinking about how to make the handles. I did seriously consider going to my friend Elaine who makes bags, to see if I could have her give me / buy some handles:
But I think crocheted ones, perhaps as thin as a chain, will work fine...

Plastic Bag Links

I started a tote bag crocheted from plastic bags last week. I'm so excited about it. At the GCVV fair in December, I had bought a crocheted bag from Sophia's mother-in-law. She had made them out of grocery store plastic bags, and mine was made out of jute and another fiber (no plastic bag), and lined. Sophia's mother-in-law does beautiful work, and Sophia told me the pattern could be found on the Internet. So I googled it a few weeks ago, and lo and behold, came upon these wonderful sites:

Crocheted Sandals:

Check out these dresses:
Wedding dress:

The ultimate "how to" and other stuff:

for the fuser (non-crocheter):

and my favorite:

Google is a wonderful tool / resource on the Internet. I believe I typed in "crocheted plastic bags". But you can use it to find just about anything. And I mean, anything!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bin's Scarf

December 8, 2007

So here's the dilemma. Do I back-post my blog entries to match the actual dates, more or less as a diary, or do I enter my blogs and photos in mechanical order as I get to them? Really only Marybeth and Carin are my dedicated readers, so who'll know if I mangle with the dates?

Here is a picture of Bin and the Olive and Hepplewhite scarf she bought from me. I was so happy to see her wearing it the second day of the GCVV Fair, too!

And here is my friend Beth's booth at same fair. I know she won't mind if I post her wares!

The One that Sold...

December 8, 2007

The GCVV Arts & Crafts Bazaar. I had four crocheted baby afghans/lap blankets, one in the making, and almost ten crocheted scarves. Of course I also had my photographs, printed as greeting cards, but that's another blog.

Here is the afghan that sold. I was inspired by Donna's morning glories across the street. They were a deep purple, against a tan wooden fence:

Notice the light that emanates from the center of the morning glory. To the naked eye, it's not really seen. To the camera, you can't help but see it!

I had just completed William's "jungle" afghan and shipped that in late September or early October. I really liked the way the Homespun Baroque my niece gave me last Christmas (2006) was blending with other colors, and I wanted to use it again. So I combined it with Olive (green), Grape (purple), Fawn, and below is the completed afghan. It by far is one of my favorites, but then I have a lot of favorites.

Through the beauty of technology, I am back-posting in 2008 to dates referenced in these events...

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Marley's Baby Blanket

OK. It wouldn't be January without at least one crocheted baby blanket. And this month I'm trying for two. A woman at my church has a daughter that gave birth to a beautiful baby girl at the end of December. I don't remember the exact date, but she can be claimed as a 2007 tax credit. In either case, I was able to ask the mother what color the room would be, and she said purple. The next Sunday I brought samples of Baroque (only having one skein in stock), Grape (perhaps as many as four skeins), and a really cool, discontinued Disco, (four precious skeins), which is a blend of purple, tealy green, and black. I also brought the current Lionbrand catalog to show the grandmother-to-be, now a grandmother, the Lavender from the catalog. Well, Arlene liked the Baroque, but did suggest I choose. Thankfully, and I mean thankfully, it finally became 2008 and I was gloriously happy to go to AC Moore and purchase new yarn to my heart's content. I decided to make the blanket in Lavender, a beautiful soft lavender as the name implies, when it suddenly became positioned next to a scrap piece of Cotton Candy, a nice soft pink as pink as the name implies. Those of you who are familiar with the Lionbrand colors of Homespun will know exactly what I am referring to.

So here is the completed blankie:

I did 7 strips of ten rows, starting and ending in Lavender. And I'm happy to say I was able to give the finished project to Arlene on Sunday, January 6, 2008. And here are some close ups:

My camera doesn't do justice to the cotton candy pink. For that you really have to check out the website, or I need to take a better picture...

See for all the colors!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

AC Moore is open!!!

I just called AC Moore in Watchung and they are open!!!!!!!! Till 6:00 pm. And on top of that, everything in the store is 20% off!

God is so good to me... did I mention the sun is shining? Literally!


It's a new year, a new day, a new beginning. Time to cast on new yarn, new ways, more forgiving!

I woke up this morning in the dark, thinking it was 6:00 am. The rain is outside and it's wet and gray. And it feels like CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!! It has been one full, long year, and I have fulfilled my 2007 New Year's resolution of not to buy yarn in 2007, until I used up all that I had (with rules and exceptions, see last year's post: 2007 New Years Resolution.

I can't WAIT to call AC Moore to see if they are open.

Seriously, this has been a rough year at times, though it has also been filled with countless blessings. I still cannot get over the loss of my friend's young son, and I wake up each morning asking why. I feel for his family. And my buddy Dan, in Iraq, emails of countless more tragedies than would be fit for the U.S. after dinner table talk. We are so blessed, here. So blessed.

But today the thought of buying yarn is a bright, fat ray of sunshine in the drizzle! It's a second Christmas in the season!

Count your blessings, not your tangles.