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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Needle Tatting

My First sample using Aunt Lydia's Violet Crochet thread.
Recently while looking around the needlework section at my local hobby lobby I discovered Tatting. They had a couple of books so I decided to buy them and give it a try. There are two different types: needle and shuttle. Looking around online it seems that most people tat with shuttles but I leaned how to to do needle tatting first. I learned by using the book Learn Needle Tatting Step-by-Step by Barbara Foster and it already came with the needles! I also bought the book Embellishing with Edgings by Handy Hands Inc. This book has 15 Edgings that you can shuttle or needle tat. I decided to make a sample size one to see how it came out using the needles.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Works in Progress: Hairpin lace Shawl

I recently started a new project using the technique I learned Hairpin Lace. I am making my mother a shawl using Caron Simply Soft in the Victorian Rose color. I saw this technique in a book I bought and I couldn't wait to start something with it. Since I had wanted to make my mother a shawl for sometime now I decided this would be perfect for making her one.
First Step is to make strips with equal amount of loops on each side joined in the middle with single crochet. There are different methods other than using a single crochet to join them at the middle but this is the basic form. When you first start this out its sometimes difficult to keep the row of joins even but with practice you will get better. I actually didn't do such a bad job my first time so its different for some.
This is one piece with 40 loops on each side. You basically have to make strips like the one above and join them together somehow in order to get the finished product. Making these can be time consuming but its definitely worth it in the end.  
In order to complete one piece for the shawl I need two strips of loops which will be joined together to get one piece for the shally. You want to be careful when joining them that the loops are not twisted unless that the look you are going for. You could put a piece of yarn through them to keep them from twisting so its easier for you to join them later.

To the right is one completed piece. I slip stitched the two pieces next to each other this way I don't need any extra yarn to attach them together. For the outside I crocheted a chain of 12 and single crochet every six loops. I have estimated that I will need about 12 to 16 of these to complete the shawl. Like I said before it does take a while to do this because of all the different steps you have to do before getting one piece finished. After making this piece you can either join the next piece with this one or make all your pieces and join them by crocheting them all together. It just depends on what you like best. I'm not sure what method I am going to use to make my shawl. We will just have to see when I get to that point. I deinitley keep an update on this one because I know its going to take a long time to complete.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hairpin Lace

A couple months ago I bought the book A Complete Photo Guide to Crochet. At the end of the book there is a section all about specialty crochet methods. One that quickly caught my attention was Hairpin Lace. Reading through it, it didn't seem to be to hard but I was still a little confused so I decided to look it up on YouTube and found several tutorials. I learned from Esperanza Rosas. She is a woman from Peru and if you understand Spanish I recommend you looking at her page. She has tons of tutorials on all kinds of things. You can also go to her website here. But even if you don't speak Spanish there are still many other videos that teach this so you will probably find one that works for you. First of all you will need a Hairpin Lace tool. These are some of the ones I found. The first is from the brand Boye, the second from Clover and the third from Susan Bates. I have the Susan Bates. You will also need a crochet hook and will need to know how to do a single crochet and that's it.  I begun working on a project using this techquine which I will talk about in this post.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Work in Progress: Knitting Needles Case

I have a lot of knitting needles. I have size 2 to 9 of straight needle with multiple sets of some. I have circular needles and double pointed needles and I didn't know what to store them in. I had thought about buying a box that's made just for storing them but decided a different case might be better. Instead of going out and buying one I have decided to make my own. I got the idea from the Crochet hook case I showed in my previous post. I customized it to be big enough for my needles. So far I have one side done with 10 pockets. I am also finished with the inner spineing and have begun working on the other side. I have almost used the same amount of yarn I used to complete the whole crochet hook case so I'm guessing I will probably use 3 balls of yarn. I again am using brand Caron Simply Soft but this time the color is Wine Country. I will keep updating my progress as I get more done.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Finished: Crochet Hook Case

Inside: I made mine with more pockets than the one on the pattern.
I was really excited when I found the pattern for this case. I had been looking for a case to put my crochet hooks in but didn't find anything I liked. So i decided to make my own that way I could choose exactly how many pockets I wanted so everything would fit and I also got to choose the color. Its easy to customize it to your needs. I used Caron simply soft soft pink. One ball of this brand was enough for the whole project. This is the first one I made and my mother saw it and loved it so I decided to give it to her and make myself another one which I haven't started yet. I decided to add one button to close it but I recently saw one that had two which I liked so I might make mine with two. You can also sew on a zipper but I prefer a button. There were two different patterns. One was for the steel hooks and the other for aluminum hooks. The aluminum hooks are longer than the steel hooks. This one I made was the one for the steel hooks but I made it longer to fit the aluminum hooks as well. Like I said before its very easy to customize it to your needs.
This is what the cover looks like

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Finished: Scarves

   Here are some of my scarves for the winter season. I actually like making scarves but I usually don't wear them unless its really cold outside but its always good to have a couple different colored ones to go with many outfits! The first 2 I made with the brand I love this Yarn sold at Hobby Lobby. I used Light Sage on the first and Peacock on the second. 

This pattern is from The Complete Photo Guide to Knitting by Margret Hubert.
It's called Airy Garter Stitch. I had seen a couple of scarves online using this stitch and really liked it so I decided to make myself one. I love how it knits up so fast and its really easy to do. I also love this yarn because its really soft which is important to me especially when its something that will have contact with my skin.
The pattern used on this one is the dotty pattern from 50 Fabulous Knitted Lace Stitches by Leisure Arts. As you can see the fringe is curled up which was unintentional but I actually really like how that looks. This scarf is a little wider than I usually like them but I love how the pattern turned out. If I make another one using this pattern I will definitely make it thinner. 
On this one I used a brand of yarn sold only at Joann. It's the Rainbow Classic from Sensations in the color Turquoise. The pattern was originally for a baby blanket in the book Our Best Knit Baby Afghans by Leisure Arts but I made it into a scarf. I really like how this pattern looks and the color is very pretty. This yarn is a little different than what I am used to but it is really soft which I like.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Knitting Storage

This is my knitting Corner where I store all my knitting supplies and  projects I am currently working on. As you can see I have a lot of Bernat Softee Baby yarn and Caron Simply Soft. I usually buy it when it's on sale at my local craft store. I usually will use about 4 balls of yarn on a blanket so I stock up when there is a sale and when I feel like starting a new project I already have it at hand. I organize the bins into the following categories: Baby blankets, scarves, loom knitting, almost finished (meaning it only needs some finishing touches), Yarn left over from projects, Miscellaneous projects, and Small knitting projects ex. iPod and camera cases. Some bins also have yarn that doesn't fit at the top. I bought the cube organizer and bins at Target. I like these bins because you can fit a lot into them. All my finished projects I store in my closest so that these can be used only for things I am currently working on. Usually I start a lot of projects before really finishing any so its good to have a lot of space to keep them in an organized manner and not all over my room. Which eventually starts happening anyway.  I really like how its so colorful! 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Acrylic Yarn

I know some people are going to think I'm crazy because I only use acrylic yarn. I started using it when I was young mostly because it was inexpensive. Over the years I have continued to use it because I honestly haven't had any serious problems with it. It's not perfect but really what is? Plus it's what most of my local stores offer. But I am open to working with anything so if any one has any suggestions please share!
   For baby yarns my favorite is Bernat Softee Baby. I love how soft it is and in most cases really shinny. The problem is that its not always the same so you have to be careful when buying it because sometimes its a thin yarn and others its thicker. When it comes in the thicker yarn its not shinny at all. The marled ones are always the thicker yarn so the blankets I make with those are not as pretty in my eyes as the others. They do have some nice baby colors to work with but its not a huge selection. Another Bernat yarn I work with is the Baby Coordinates. I use this only for baby blankets because I like the look it gives them. I don't use them for other baby items because I just don't like the look. I recently decided to try other brands because even though I really like the Bernat brand its always a good idea to try out others. You never know you might be missing out on something good. I liked the Red Heart Soft Baby Steps when I first touched it because It was so soft but when I started knitting with it I didn't think it was so soft. I do tend to knit pretty tightly so that might be the reason so I think I am going to try knitting with some bigger needles even thought I'm not to worried about it because usually after washing it will get softer. The last baby yarn brand I tried is the Loops & Threads Snuggly Wuggly Brand sold only at Michaels. This one didn't feel very soft at all but I decided to give it a try. I am working on a baby blanket with it and even though its not the softest yarn I do like the thickness of the yarn which is perfect for the blanket I am making and I hope after washing it will be softer.
          Moving on to other types of acrylic yarn not for baby items my all time favorite is Caron Simply Soft. Mostly because of how soft it is and second because there are so many colors to choose from. They have pastel colors, bright colors, and dark colors so its easy to find the perfect color for any project. I have used it to make hats, scarves, purses, pillows and even baby blankets. The only thing is that if you are into variegated colors you might have to look into other yarns because this brand doesn't have many of them. I also used Red Heart Super Saver which I don't like because of how rough it feels. Even though it does have a lot of yarn and comes in so many colors I rather get something softer. I so use it for making rugs though. Another brand that I really like is the I love this yarn sold only at Hobby Lobby. Its really soft and comes in a lot of colors. I only bought a few balls to try it out but I do like it a lot and it looks bulkier than the Caron brand so if that's the look you want definitely try this one out. The most recent yarn I bought was Vanna's Choice. I did like it because its also comes in a lot of colors and I like the way it knits up. This yarn has more color options and has heathered, tweed, and variegated colors. It is also soft even though I think I still like the Caron brand better. There are a couple other brands that I have heard about and what to try out but haven't gotten around to them yet so I will let you know how that goes.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Finished: Knitted Baby Blankets!!

Like I mentioned in my last post I love knitting baby items and my absolute favorite are baby blankets. Here are a few I have knitted in the past year. I mostly use Bernat Softee Baby for my blankets because its so soft perfect for babies.
On this one I used Soft Peach from Bernat Softee Baby . The pattern is called Sculptured Terrace from  99 knit stitches  by Leisure Arts. I added the lace to make it look bigger because the blanket itself was too small. I like how it looks and its very different to the other baby blankets I have made in the past
This one I used Soft Green from the Caron Simply Soft brand. I decided to try something new so I did the middle mostly in stockinette with a few little shells. For the border I used the Little Shells pattern also from 99 knit stitches leaflet. I love this one and what to try this style of blanket again. I liked knitting the border as I knitted the rest of the blanket. It's so much easier than having to pick up stitches later or having to sew on the border.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year!

Since its a New Year I have decided to start something new blogging! I started off knitting and crocheting at a young age because that's what my mother taught me. But over the years I have learned how to do many other things by looking at videos and books. Some of the most recent being tatting and cross stitch. I decided on doing a blog because I like looking at all the different crafts that other people do and I would also like to share mine. I also liked the idea of it helping me keep track of all my projects because I tend to be working on a lot of them at once so maybe this will help me finish them sooner. One of my biggest obsessions is knitting baby items so this being my first blog I want to share one of my favorite baby blankets! Even though I really like the non-traditional color baby blankets I really like this one because it looks so much like a baby blanket with all those pastel colors. Its super warm and I really do love it. I also really like the pattern because its takes the basic square baby blanket that most people make to another level.
This is done with  Baby Ombre from the Bernat Softee Baby  brand.
The pattern is the Semi-woven Lattice pattern from the leaflet  99 knit stitches  from Leisure Arts
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