Saturday, January 30, 2010
Motifs in Progress

This might be a WIP for a very long time, but I'm going to try and see if I can't use my Simply Soft Scraps to make a small blanket or car seat cover from this.

Wish my luck. My patience with joining - even with joining as I go - usually isn't what it needs to be.

Thursday, January 28, 2010
Crochet Motifs

I like making crochet motifs. Grannies are fun, but I love the fancy squares,octagons and flower motifs that I see. The problem is that I hate joining them. Sewing them bores me and joining as you go can get tedious. Also the constant color changes can be cumbersome.

Yesterday I tried making some of the wool-monger's square. It's a beautiful motif, but I'm sure I won't be making more - I don't have the patience.

Today I tried making some octagon motifs. I really like the fun color combo's, and it's easy enough to join as I go. Still, the color changes will probably keep me from making a large and beautiful project from these. Who knows - maybe I'll surprise myself. The nice thing about motifs, is that it's easy to do one or two, then put the project down for later.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Take Two

Here is my second try at the Wool Eater Square.

This one is done in Bernat Soy in Rice, Celery and Sea Salt. I like it better with this yarn, but don't know that I'll be making many more of this pattern.

Wool Eater's Square

Inspired by Ghost's Blog I took a stab at the beautiful Wool Eater's Square.

This square is so pretty, and so different from traditional granny squares. I really like the look of it. I didn't love crocheting it though. I found the process a bit tedious. I used Caron Simply Soft yarn, which has a tendency to split, and that might have added to the tedium. I think I would like to try this again using a microfiber yarn and a smaller hook. I think that way I would have more stitch definition.

This pattern is quite pretty though, and would make for a gorgeous afghan - either as one giant square or as a patchwork piece.

Baby Emma's Blanket

This baby blanket came off the loom last night. It will be a gift for a former co-worker whose baby is due soon.

I wove this using a soft generic worsted weight yarn for the warp, and Bernat Lulu for the weft. It's super soft and very girly.

Monday, January 25, 2010
Garden Wall

This scarf was woven for a dear friend of mine who is having a birthday next week (and who I don't think reads my blog or she won't be surprised to receive this).

I wove is using a gorgeous recycled sari silk yarn from Mango Moon for the weft and Plymouth Yarn Royal Llama Linen (40% fine Llama, 35% silk, 25% linen) for the warp.

I love this scarf! The sheen of the green silk reminds me of rich moss growing on a stone garden wall.

The silk was lovely to work with, but the weaving was not without problems. For the first time in my short weaving history, I had a warp thread break, and I wasn't sure how to fix it. I was able to patch in a piece of yarn (not the ideal method I later learned), but the repair isn't visible in the finished piece.

I hope my friend will like this scarf and wear it often.

Friday, January 22, 2010
Hope for Haiti
I'm home tonight, and the Hope for Haiti Concert is on TV. We've all heard the heartbreaking stories since the quake hit. I can't imagine what the survivors are dealing with, and the strength and faith that they must all reach down into to get through this tragedy.

We donated last week, and now, during the concert, we're donating again. So while I hate to use my blog to ask people for money, I'm asking that you donate. I know money is tight. I'm out of work right now, and I'm trying to cut back on unnecessary spending, but giving to those whose need is greater than my own can't be unnecessary.

After living in South Florida and seeing the destructive forces of hurricanes, I've come to understand that a natural disaster can happen anywhere, and that it is by the grace of God that this happened to "them" instead of "us". If we don't give, we lose touch with our humanity. Even a single dollar means a lot to people who have lost everything.

So before I get to preachy, I'm asking that if you are reading this, please donate what you can. If it's one dollar or one hundred dollars - everything helps.

If you would like to donate, here are a few links:

Hope for Haiti Now


Doctors without Borders

Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund

Twisted Fringe

I just finished my Mango Moon silk scarf (I'll take a photo tomorrow when I have natural light). The scarf was completed and washed, but I was waiting until the hair twister I recently bought on Ebay arrived so I could twist the fringe.

In the past I have twisted fringe manually, but this little gizmo really does make it fast and easy to do 2 or 3 strand twisted fringe. It's much easier on the fingers.

I love the look of twisted fringe, so I think this that this will be a toy that I used often - on my crafts - not on my hair.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Mango Moon

All yarns are delightful, but some are really special. Right now I'm weaving with some gorgeous Mango Moon Dharma. This is a fabulous yarn made from recycled sari silk. The rich color and texture is just amazing, and it's a real treat to work with.

On top of being gorgeous, Mango Moon yarns do a lot of good!

Nepali Women Empowerment Group

Mango Moon supports the NGO Organization N-WEG to help women who have been rescued from abusive situations. The women who come to the shelter are able to use their spinning and knitting skills to rebuild their lives, while continuing to care for their children. Proceeds provide a safe shelter, health care, education and the dignity of financial independence.

It really makes you feel great to work with a wonderful fiber that helps women in need.

Monday, January 18, 2010
Woven Baby Blanket

This Houndstooth blanket was woven from blue and yellow baby weight yarn.

If I overlook a few mis-weaves, this is a really cute, light-weight receiving blanket.

I'm going to donate it to Marine Corps Kids.

Sunday, January 17, 2010
Monkey Business

This is another edged fleece blanket that I made for Marine Corps Kids.

I love this Monkey Fleece. The pattern is so cute!

This blanket isn't perfect. The edges curl inwards, but since the blanket is designed to wrap around an infant it should be ok.

Friday, January 15, 2010
Another receiving set

This is another little receiving blanket set that I made with the Edgerydoo. The yarn is Caron Simply Soft.

This set will be donated to Marine Corps Kids.

Thursday, January 14, 2010
Sara's Scarf

My friend Sara is visiting, and she got to try her hand at weaving.

I showed her the basics of the loom, and she was off and running like a pro. I think her first scarf is beautiful.

It's made with Plymouth Boku ( Wool/Silk blend) and Jewel Hand Dyed (Peruvian Wool).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Welcome Set

This receiving blanket and cap were made with some soft fleece and Caron Simply Soft.

The edging is a simple DC around the fabric. I think that the wording in the pattern is fairly busy, and that the pattern didn't require anything "fancy" in the edging.

This set will be donated to Marine Corps Kids.

Friday, January 08, 2010
Another Nursing Shawl

I warped up another nursing shawl very similar to the last one. This one used baby weight yarn for the warp instead of the chunky yarn. The fabric is thinner and soft, and I think will be more comfortable for the baby.

This one, too, will be donated to Marine Corps Kids.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Nursing Shawl

Just finished this nursing shawl, and I actually like it!

Technically, there is a lot wrong with this effort, but in the end, the fabric is super-soft! I love the color change from gold to red, so I think I'll ignore the mistakes and focus on the good.

This will be donated to Marine Corps Kids.

Monday, January 04, 2010
It's been a while since I posted - I've let all the holidays go by, so I suppose it would only be polite to start by saying "Happy New Year". I think this year will be filled with some great things - or at least that's what I'm hoping for.

Haven't blogged much because I haven't done much. It occurred to me that while I like to crochet and weave, I'm not really Good at either. I'm not just being negative - I have made some beautiful crocheted and woven items, but I'm not anywhere near having the kind of expertise I would like with either craft - and I think it's because I'm lazy. I enjoy instant gratification and don't want to work on a project long term. I think that's why I love baby things - they're fast to make and allow me to have a finished object relatively quickly.

I decided that I needed to make some bigger projects, and that I would start by making a sweater or jacket for myself. I found a pattern that I think is cute on the Lion Brand site, bought 5 skeins ( I think I bought 6 so I'd have one extra) of Homespun and started crocheting. I must have forgotten that while I think Homespun is so pretty, I really don't like working with it, and I really don't like the look as it's crocheted. It's nice for afghans, but I don't think I like the way the sweater was shaping up. Somewhere in the middle I must have added some stitches. Then when it was time to shape the sleeves - something was just wrong. Luckily the yarn frogged beautifully and I was able to rip it out and salvage the entire skein. Saving the yarn was great, but the entire process seemed like a big failure.

Over the weekend, I decided to warp the loom. Got some chunky yarn on for the warp and used a thinner boucle for the weft. I knew that this would make an unbalanced fabric, but I like that look. What I didn't count on was my weave being cockeyed! I tried lashing on the warp instead of tying for the first time. Perhaps I lashed on incorrectly, but it's just not working. My weft is not pretty and straight. It's sort of....wobbly. I'm going to finish the piece because despite all that is wrong with it, the fabric is incredibly soft and sort of visually compelling. If I forget about all the things I know are wrong with the fabric, I can like it for its imperfect beauty.

So - I've been a bit negative about my crafting and need to make something fabulous to get back on track. Maybe my next piece will be it!

On a positive note, hubby and I bought Wii, Wii Fit and EA Sports Active. It was a big investment, but it's a lot cheaper than gym memberships and the EA Sports Active is quite the workout. I'm trying to start by doing 30 minutes a day to see if I can get back into shape and take off some excess weight. Don't know how well I'll do, but at least it's a fun way to try and get more active.