Monthly Archives: April 2013

Navajo Knitting (or Crochet) . . . Triple Strands From One Source.

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G-Ma Ellen has done it again.  Aside from going from solely being a crocheter to also being a knitter, without stabbing herself in the head with the sticks (like Moi), she has found and shared with us, something so wonderful, so delightfully educational, and so simple, I could smack myself in the head and say, “Duh!” for not having figured this out years ago.  Thank you, Ellen!  

This short video tutorial addresses knitting, but translates seamlessly to crochet.  I proved that at three o’clock this morning! (If you can’t sleep…stitch!)

Seriously, if you’re reading my pages and you haven’t gone over to see what Ellen is up to…take a short walk over and say, “Hi!”  She’s right across WordPress Street there…Yeah, that’s her house, the one with the crocheted curtains in the windows and the marshmallow trees!  She’s really cool.  You’ll like her!

Navajo Knitting (or Crochet) . . . Triple Strands From One Source..

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I….Love….Etsy.

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Gentle readers, my affinity for crochet tools is still alive, fat and happy.  I found an Etsy (don’t you just adore Etsy?!?!?) shop that sells the coolest, happiest crochet hooks and knitting needles, I couldn’t leave the shop without putting in a custom order!

The name of the shop is DotDotSmile, and the owner’s name is Kelli.  Kelli sells the sweetest polymer clay-embellished knitting needles and crochet hooks, and also, hand-made knitting notions and other cool cuteness. She’s a great gal, with quite a nice array of hand-made knit and crochet tools.

You would think that the clay tops would throw off the weight or balance, but that isn’t the case.  The tools I bought feel beautiful in my hand, smooth and perfectly balanced.  I bought bamboo, so they’re also superbly light-weight and warm in the hand.

My sister is a huge, life-long Dr. Who fan, and one of her favorite things is the Tardis.  Lo and behold, Kelli has a set right there in her shop!  You know, I had to buy them.  When I got them home, they feel so good in my hand, I want to learn how to hand knit!

How cool are these sci-fi knitting gems!!!

tardis needles 02

tardis needles 01 

Now, me, I have a life-long love of all things fiber, as you know…and cows…and clowns.  I love clowns!  Apologies to those I just creeped out, but there it is.  I will be seeing Kelli for a Cow-embellished hook.  And why not?  A Clown-Cow!  It can be done, Kids.  This little guy was a custom order!

clown cro hook

Yes!  This is that size-G Tunisian hook I needed!  I am, of course, still using the little one I made, on another project, but I started using this the very next day after I got it in the mail.  Smoooooth and balanced, warm…everything you can want in a hook, and the Happy-Fun Factor is, shall we say…off the hook!

Of course, staying on task is a challenge now, as I have to stop frequently and gaze at my little grinning clown…

Isn’t he the bomb?!?!?!?

clown cro hook detail

Now,  you have the links, you even have a widget in my side bar!  If you’re in the market for a cool new crochet or knitting tool, stitch marker, needle threader, or cool desk goo-gaw, go see Kelli.  Turn around is fast!  You’ll have your new toy in short order.

Have some FUN today!

My New “Thing”

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You all know I have an affinity for crochet hooks, right?  I love them.  I study them, collect the new and different as much as I can, go ga-ga for vintage hooks, make Sculpey comfort handles for them, and keep my favorites (Susan Bates aluminum hooks with bamboo handles) within easy reach.

I also love, love, love anything and everything bamboo!  Smooth, warm, light, versatile and sustainable, bamboo is the way to go, from garden poles to walking sticks (made from garden poles), to paper, to yarn, and…you guessed it…to crochet hooks.

I recently got my paws on a free pattern for a great head band, which I’m working in Paton’s Silk Bamboo (there’s that amazing bamboo again), a DK weight wonder of a yarn.  It’s so soft and smooth, so light, I just love to run my fingers across the ball!  To work this yarn, though, I needed a size F or G Tunisian hook.  Not a long one, but a Tunisian, all the same.  Unfortunately, I do not have, nor could I find, that size Tunisian hook.  

BUT…I did find a sweet set of 3.75 (size F) bamboo knitting needles!

So, I got out a coping saw blade, a retractable razor box cutter tool, and some emery boards, and set to work.

My first two attempts resulted in snapping off the business end of the new hook, but I persevered, and now, after having only lost about an inch or so of length, I have a lovely, smooth size-F Tunisian hook!  It’s a shorter one,  seven inches from the tip of the hook to the end knob, perfect for a small Tunisian project like a head band.

I whittled and sanded, smoothed and formed, tore the sand paper off of the emery boards to get into the tiny inner surfaces, and the result is a smooth, warm, sassy looking hook that is a joy to work with.

hand made tunisian 01

Here it is, with its knitting counterpart, which might become a hook, or might stay a knitting needle for a while.  They look nice together!

hand made tunisian 02

As you can see, I didn’t lose too much length.  The hook measures 7″ from tip to knob, the needle measures 8.5 inches from tip to knob.

hand made tunisian 04

It came out with a sweet in-line head!

hand made tunisian 03

The depth of this hook is perfect for my DK weight yarn, and so smooth, I’m working with it without having used any sealer or wax.  

hand made tunisian 05

And here’s the test…it works like a dream. No snags!

Yup…I have a new “thing…”  and a yard full of oak, tulip and magnolia sticks!

Stay tuned….

 

Another Generation of Feets Is Born! (Chapter One)

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Yes!  Gentle Readers, this post is so special, it gets chapters!  Don’t get that excited, it’s only slated for two chapters…but still, that’s pretty cool, isn’t it?  

Meet our newest little darling, “Lacie Feets!”

Lacie is special on so many levels.  For starters, she’s a miniature!  Without her feet, she measures just three quarters of an inch across.  With her feet, she sits smartly on a finger tip, and almost fits on a quarter.

She’s just a fraction of  Uncles Chauncey and Earl’s size.  Oh, yes, you caught that.  I said, “Uncle.”  You see, Lacie is not a little sister…she’s Chauncey and Earl’s niece!

Every Feets that comes off my hook gets adopted, by someone, somewhere.  Lacie was immediately adopted by another of Chauncey and Earl’s sisters, Little Feets!

Do you remember Little Feets?  She was in Silly Santa’s toy bag this past Christmas, a gift for my sister, “Ahm-Pee Memmie.”

Little Feets is all grown up and has adopted her own Feets daughter, Lacie!

Little Feets is all grown up and has adopted her own Feets daughter, Lacie!

Do you remember how small Little Feets is?  Just about the size of a golf ball, she fit handily into Santa’s toy bag.  So, it was a big surprise when I found out that B.H. Feets is not the only adult member of this family, but that Little had, with Mary’s outstanding parental care and tutelage,  grown up and was ready to adopt her own baby Feets!

All I had to do was make the doll…and get her past Chauncey and Earl.  It turned out that neither was such an easy feat!

I am “of a certain age,”  (53) and my hands are seemingly years older.  So, going into a miniature crochet project was a challenge to start with, as I’m currently working with no less than worsted weight yarn, and prefer super bulky.  My new favorite purchased yarn (my own hand spun wool yarn doesn’t fit into this) is Lion Brand Hometown  USA, a soft, silky #6 ROPE of a yarn that works up like a dream, with a size M or N hook.  That yarn even stands its own against a size P hook!

Lacie used a size B hook, and a #1 yarn, rated “very fine.”  Her hair was even finer, a lace-weight boucle, and her bow was made with a size eight pearl cotton, which is about the same weight as a size ten crochet cotton for making lace…hence her name.

I had no trouble with her head.  That worked up simply and quickly.  Without her hair and feet, Mary commented that she looked like the “Flying Brain” from some obscure fifties horror flick.

lacie and flying brain

Separated at birth????

It was her feet that kept giving me the biggest challenge.  I couldn’t get them to scale!  Her feet kept coming out twice the width of her little head.

Finally, though, Lacie was born, with gorgeous orange hair in a pony tail, wrapped in a yellow lace bow, and ready to meet her uncles.

Here she is, in all of her tiny glory!

Here she is, in all of her tiny glory!

Of course, she had to be gifted with her bling, a “closey-peen” loop and a “closey-peen” to match.  That is something that the boys insist on, unless the new Feets is slated for a small child or as a doggie toy.  Here’s how it works…if Chauncey and Earl see the black plastic safety eyes, they ask for the bling.  Lacie likes to wrap her pony tail around her feet, to keep warm…and to keep from tripping over her hair!

lacie 01

Chauncey and Earl could not believe how tiny she is.  They looked down at her…

chauncet earl look down at lacie

Then looked up at me…

"Where's the rest of her????"

“Where’s the rest of her????”

Then, moved right in to cuddle and protect their tiny niece.

chauncey earl cuddle lacie

“We’ll never let anything happen to you!”

When they finally looked back up to me, they both said,  “We can keep her.”

chauncey earl look at me we want to keep her

Uh-Oh!

Now, those of you who have been watching Chauncey and Earl for a while, know that Earl’s sensitive nature is worn on his yarn.  He’s a wee bit more conservative than Chauncey, in that he doesn’t just fly into danger without a look, for the sake of an adventure.  He follows his brother.  He absolutely idolizes Chauncey, and with good reason!

Chauncey seems to be a careless dare devil, and in some ways he is…but he does not just jump into danger, without a forward glance.  He looks, and he  quickly think things through.  Why, you ask?

 Because he knows his brother will follow him.  He will not let anything happen to his little brother.

Chauncey wears his heart in his stuffing.  You can’t always see the depth of it.  But let me tell you, folks, my little guy has a heart and a sense of family and responsibility that rivals any super-hero toy out there.  He’s the Buzz Lightyear-Winnie The Pooh-Captain America of the Feets family.

It just happens to be that the Animaniacs are his heroes.

So, I was ready when he put one of his big feets down and declared that he wanted to keep Lacie.  Here’s how it went….

“Chauncey,  Lacie has to go live with her Mommy, she wants to go live with her Mommy,” I said.

“You could be her Mommy,” he argued, ominously close to tears.

“But I’m not,”  I answered, as gently as I could.  My poor little hero’s heart was breaking.  “Lacie was born from my hook, but she has another Mommy ready to adopt her and love her.”

“Me and Earl would love her,”  he said, sniffing.  “We would!”

“Oh, Sweetheart,”  I said, now ominously close to tears, myself.  “I know you love Lacie.  I know you would take awesome care of her.  But Little Feets is her mommy, and they need to be together.”

This brought up a studious glance from Earl, who was quiet up to this point.

“Little Feets,”  Earl started, “She’s the one that went to live with Ahm-Pee Memmie, right?”

“Yes,” I answered.  Lacie is going to live with Auntie Mary and Little Feets.”

“Can we go and see her?”  Chauncey ventured.

“Of course!”  I exclaimed.  I bring you to visit with Nell and Lucky, and Scribbles, don’t I?”

“Yeaaaahhhhh…”

“And didn’t you spend a lot of time Outside last summer with Squeaky Feets and Bug, the dog?”

“Yeaaaaahhhh…”  Suddenly he brightened.  “I remember Bug, the doggie!  He carried Earl around by his head!”

“Yeah!”  Earl chimed in.  “Bug had my whole head in his mouth!  It was kinda gross, but it was fun!”

“Yes, I remember,”  I chuckled.  “I took your picture!”

“Um,”  Chauncey began,  “Can we play with Lacie until she goes to her new house?”

“You most certainly can,” I assured him.  “Relax, play, enjoy each other for a few days, and when it’s time for Lacie to go to Mary’s house, you’ll have plenty of time to say, ‘see you later.’  

“Yeah!”  Chauncey said, brightening.  “See you later is not good-bye!”

“That’s right.  It’s more like, happy trails.”

Hey!”  Chauncey said, now my bright and happy guy again, “Can we go bun-gee jumping?”

“Nooooo,”  I cautioned.  “I think Lacie is way to small just yet for that.”

“Hmmmmm….how about circles and splat?”

“Yes,” I laughed.  “You can all run around in circles and go splat.  Look at her.  It seems she’s built a nest atop Mount Earl!”

He looked, and forgot all about being sad, forgot all about being worried, and jumped in to play, because there was tiny Lacie, sitting sweetly on top of Earl’s head.

lacie on earl's head

Tell me when you want to jump down and I’ll catch you!

Stay tuned!  Next up, Lacie goes home to Mama!