Saturday, January 11, 2014

(Do It On My) Twin Bed

I saw this tonight on the rerun of Saturday Night Live and thought it was so damned funny and so original. And yeah, I've been in this kind of situation. :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Review of Premier Yarns Starbella Strata

When I was at work at the arts and crafts store the other day, I was talking to a customer about yarn. I'm getting called over the yarn department more and more to talk about yarn arts with customers. :) This woman was looking for two particular yarns. We did some searching and came across both of them.

One of them was Starbella Strata by Premier Yarns. "Starbella Strata brings all the fun of ruffle yarns to the next level. Make a quick cowl by inserting your hand into one end and opening up the pre-knit tube --- or, knit or crochet into the edge just like with Starbella for billowy scarves and accessories. 1 ball makes a colorful cowl or scarf - and they make great gifts!"

--71% Acrylic; 29% Polyamide
--Super bulky weight, 7.3 yards
--Hand wash, cold water, lay flat to dry. Do not iron, do not bleach. Imported.

This customer told me you could cut off a length of Starbella Strata, secure the ends and it becomes a ready made cowl that looks machine knit. It sounded pretty cool so I needed to get a skein for myself. You can find the directions for the Jazzy Cowl on Premier Yarns site. Each skein is 7.3 yards and makes 2 cowls.

I got the Blush (color #41-02) and made two cowls tonight (1 for me and 1 for Nicole the Knitter. Michelle the Cook doesn't like the feel or texture of yarn). I decided to just machine hem the ends of each instead of trying to just slip stitch the ends. I didn't think it would be a good idea to leave the ends raw like that because they look like they could unravel.

I like the variegated colors in the Blush (all of the Strata yarns are variegated) but a few solid colors would have been nice to see. The Cafe Au Lait and the Smokey colors are really pretty. Nightlife and Paradise look really similar to each other, enough so that one of those colors could be discontinued.

The plus side of this yarn is having a couple of quick cowls when everything is said and done. It's the lazy crafters' yarn and I don't have a problem with that. It's got a nice net-appearance to it, once you've got it stretched out.

The downside to this yarn is yet to be seen. I'm not sure yet if this yarn has a memory: will it remain stretched to how I've stretched it, or will it creep back? So far, after only a few wearings over the last couple of days, it seems like the yarn has a slight memory, as it shrinks back somewhat over time.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Another Tiny Project Completed

Several, several months ago, my mom bought me a copy of The World of Cross Stitching magazine....another blasted UK-based crafting magazine. :) And like the other wonderful UK magazines, it comes with a monthly gift. For this particular issue, it included a birthday card with a cross stitch pattern for the front.

This is a design by Margaret Sherry. The finished pattern is 3.25" x 3.25". I worked on it for to days, watching reruns of The Big Bang Theory and The Dukes of Hazzard. I think I'm going to save this for Nicole the Knitter's birthday this spring. She has a wild love for all things bunneh.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Terra Cota Pot Wreath

I saw a picture online of a terra cota wreath that had been featured on Pinterest. I decided I liked it and wanted to make one for work.

I used 12 tiny pots, half a bag of reindeer moss, a grapevine wreath, and a stem of fake lamb's ear. I secured the pots with brown pipe cleaners first, and then added some hot glue to make them tighter.

I decided that I didn't want to put pots all the way around the wreath because it would have made it really heavy. I like the way this turned out, but I wish we'd had something in succulents instead of the lamb's ear.

A Big Bulky Infinity Scarf

I finished the crocheted infinity scarf for Bree yesterday. She knew she wanted it to have some kind of cable "knit" look. We've been selling machine made infinity scarves where we work, but they are thin and short. Bree said she's "boobular" and wanted a longer scarf.

This is a pretty thick scarf, because Bree wanted two colors of yarn together. She picked out:
--1 skein of Caron Vickie Howell in Night(ish) for the edging
--3 skeins each of Lion Brand Yarn--Heartland--in Great Smokey Mountains (#149) and Glacier Bay (#105) for the scarf

For the scarf, I used an N sized crochet hook, and for the picot edging, I used a G sized hook.

I used a pattern for a thick cable knit to create this scarf. Using the larger hook and both of the Lion Brand yarns together, crochet a starting chain that is a multiple of 6. This example is 18 stitches.

Ch 1 and sc across the starting chain.

*Fpdc around first sc, bpdc around next 4 sc, fpdc around next sc, rep from * across row. Ch 3 and turn.

*Bpdc around first st, sk 2 stitches, fptr in each of next 2 stitches, fptr in each of the 2 stitches that you already skipped (cross back over the first two fptr st, work the first fptr in the first stitch you skipped and the second in the second stitch you skipped, working backwards across the first pair of fptr stitches like this is what creates the cable), bpdc around next st. Repeat from * across row. Ch 3 and turn.

At this stage you will begin to see the twists of the cable forming but it won’t be obvious yet that you’re creating a cable pattern. It will become clearer as you add additional rows.

Repeat steps three and four to the length of the cable desired. For this infinity scarf, I crocheted back and forth across the width until I had used up almost all three skeins.

When you've got the scarf the length you want, join the ends together in a loop. You can either whipstitch the ends together with a yarn needle, or you can slip stitch them together. Either way, you'll still be using both LBY's together. I chose to slip stitch the ends together, by overlapping the ends by 2 rows. Fasten off the yarn when complete.

As Bree wears the scarf, and maybe even washes/dries it, the weight of the yarn will open up those cables and make it seem a little wider, so she could definitely use it as a hood, if she wants to do so.

Switching the crochet hook to the smaller one, run a series of SC along each side of the scarf. Once that row is complete, do an edging of picot stitches on each side with the Caron yarn.

Create three chain stitches from the point in your row where you want to add the picot stitch. Insert your hook in the third chain from the hook. This chain stitch is the first you created in the preceding step. Yarn over (yo) and draw the yarn through the stitch and through the loop on the hook. Fasten off the yarn once complete.