Tag Archives: free form crochet

New Feature! BLOG of the Week!

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Fellow yarn and garden freaks, it’s time to introduce this week’s blog of the week.  

This is a new idea, which coincides well with the, “Etsy Shop of the Week” idea.  I believe I posted that one on Tuesday..so let’s look for that on Mondays or Tuesdays, and look for cool blogs on Fridays or Saturdays.

Let’s kick off the festivities with Daniella Joe’s incredible blog.  This is one talented lady!   A true fiber artist, she is self-proclaimed as being, “not good with patterns.”  So, rather than be daunted by confusing text and convoluted graphs, she sees a need for something…and makes it up as she goes along. That stuns me to silence. What an amazing talent!

Her blog is a delight; Colorful, friendly, and endlessly informative. She gets her readers involved, always suggesting new ideas to tickle our own Muses.
Go on in and check out her pineapple doily, a work in progress. It will boggle your mind, that she made this piece up as she stitched. And, check out her magic Technicolor couch! You’ll be glad you did,

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This Is The Way We Felt a Hook, Felt a Hook, Felt a Hook!

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I’m baaaa-aaack!  Just like a poltergeist tangled in yards and yards of brightly colored yarns…I am back.

And I missed you!

It’s been a little weird here.  Not bad!  Just…quiet.  I’ve been busy, of course, stitching, dreaming, reading blogs, and endlessly wandering, collecting crochet patterns.  I even learned a new stitch or two, thanks to “Mikey’s” You Tube channel, and found a wealth of tutorial videos on Bob Wilson 123’s You Tube channel.

From Mikey, I learned this great “crinkle stitch,” for making a textured, dense fabric, perfect for sweaters, coats, rugs, blankets…anything you can think of.  He’s also got the tutorial video up for this stitch, for lefties!  Woo-Hoo!  We GO, Lefties!

From New Stitch a Day, I found the sweetest
single crochet stitch variation.  Very simple and basic, it adds a cool twist to our beloved, boxy single crochet.  Those of you who are just starting your grand journey into the vast and wonderful world of fiber and hook, will greatly benefit from any of these video tutorials, as will we veteran “hookers!”

I can not describe how much information I found in Bob Wilson 123’s YouTube  channel, or on their website, or Facebook page.  Not enough paper!

What’s that, Earl?  We’re not using paper? Oh.  Can I still change the color of the crayons I write the posts with? Yes???  Cool!

So, I have been doing my thing, stitching, spinning, dreaming…started the garden, finally!  LATE!  The weather isn’t the best this season, but compared to what’s been happening out West, I’ll take some Connecticut gloom.  It’s a banner year for weeds!

Among the infinite number of unfinished projects I always have going, I settled down to felt a few more of my older hooks, ones that didn’t have grips to make my fingers happy.

This time, you all get a little tutorial!

I started out with an assortment of aluminum and steel hooks.

Hooks to be felted 01

To keep things a little less splashy, I wrapped a piece of cardboard with plastic wrap.  And, to anchor the roving to the hook well enough to get a start, I used washable fabric glue, Aileen’s,  “OK To Wash It.”  That’s just what I had on hand.  Any washable glue will do, of course.  If all you have is Liquid Nails, go for it!  Just remember to wear gloves so the wool and glue don’t make you a new pair of unintentional fuzzy mittens.

I do not recommend the use of super glue.  You’re going to get a little glue on your fingers, and if you’re using super glue, you’re about to go through the rest of your week with a woolly crochet hook stuck to your hand.

Felted hook tools01

I put a selection of different colored roving pieces together, some dyed, some natural.  It’s way too cool to wrap your hooks in multi-colored roving, and you can even lay the wool out to make patterns!

Roving mix 01

Now that we have the tools and the fuzzy stuff, let’s get started!  This is so easy, and so much fun, you’ll soon find yourself ransacking your hooks stash to find more hooks to felt.

I grabbed a hook, and a small patch of roving, stretching the roving out to measure it against the hook.  I wanted the felted handle to cover the hook up to the finger grip, so that I would have that finger grip, and also be able to tell what size hook I had in my hand.  After the hook was measured against the roving…and believe me, this is not an exact science…I dipped the hook into the bottle of glue, covering it up to the grip, like so…

02-light glue hook to roving

I also made a hook with a “patterned” roving patch, which requires just a little more finesse, but really comes out cool.  For this, I got my loose measurement against the roving, with the pattern side UP, then when it looked good to me, I flipped the pattern side down to do the wrapping.

03-measure hook against pattern

Once the hook is dipped, just lay it down on one edge of the roving, and start rolling.

04-start rolling roving

Roll it all up and tuck in the end, close, but not too close.  Leave a little pillow on the end.

06-rolled roving ready to felt

Now, here comes the optional part of today’s program!  Any needle felters out there?  Here’s where, if you have some needles about, you get to needle felt the hook sleeve into place, making the wet felting easier.  Of course, if you really, really go to town with the needle felting, you won’t even have to wet felt.  Your cover will be softer and looser, but perfectly usable.  This hook was needle felted into place…you know the drill…poke, poke, jab, jab, all over, again and again, stick, move, stick, jab, swear, wipe up the blood…..

Yeah, there are two types of needle felters, those who have jabbed their fingers with those deadly sharp little barbed boogers, and those who will do so eventually.

I’m a veteran.

So, anyway. this is what that blue and black hook looked like, needle felted.

07-needle felted, soft ready

It’s ready to use!  It’s softer than I want it, though, so I’m going to wet felt it, with the others.

This is important!  You have to wait a day, for the glue to dry.  Otherwise, it will wash away and your hook cover will fall off, or worse, fall apart.  So, wait a day, and come back for the rest of the tutorial.

Oh, hi!  You’re back!  So, you have your hooks, with the roving glued to the handles, all wrapped up and ready to felt.  Cool!

And that brings us to…ta-daaaah!  The sink.

Wet felting the hooks is easy, easier if you did the needle step first.  If you didn’t, just take your time.  We’ll go through the process as though you had not needle felted your hook cover, first.

You’ll need hot water, and soap.  I just use the bathroom sink, and some liquid soap that I keep there.  Fill the sink with hot water, and dunk your hook.  Make sure it gets thoroughly soaked!

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Next up, grab up some soapy stuff.  You can see in the picture that I have liquid soap, but if all you have is bar soap, then go for it!  Very gently, get up a good lather, by squishing and releasing, adding a few drops of water when you feel like it.  No heavy rubbing yet!  If you are using bar soap, you might want to let the hook soak while you get a good lather happening in your hands.

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Now, remember, at this early stage, you’re working very gently, so that the wool doesn’t pitch a fit and fall off the hook.  At this stage, I bring up a good lather, and squish it between my fingers, being careful not to rub too hard.  You do have to rub a little, to get the fibers to start blending, but…not too hard.  Just use a light touch, and some gentle squishing and patting.

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The fibers will tell you when it’s time to start putting a little more pressure into your felting.  This is where I start to dig in with my fingers a little.

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Don’t forget the end of the hook!  A little squish-and-rub there would be a great idea right about now.  You’ll probably, sooner than later, have to start pushing the fiber down onto the hook a bit.  If your hook pokes out, just pull some wool back up over the end of the hook and keep rubbing.

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Now that you’ve got some rubbing, squishing and lathering done, it’s time to rinse, and check your progress.  Rinse your hook in hot water, then switch to cold, then back to hot.  This “shocks” the fibers and helps get them to shrinky-dink around the hook.  Hot water expands the fibers, then the cold water shock makes them contract. 

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Now, for more hot soapy water.  You can see in the picture that I’m involving my whole hand, squishing and rolling the fibers, putting some pressure on the wool.

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More rinsing and checking…again, hot to cold, back to hot.  You can now roll the hook between your palms, roll it between a couple of small sheets of bubble wrap, if you have it, dig in with your knuckles, if you like,  rinse hot to cold and back again a few times to shock and check progress…

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And now, as you see, I have a finished, felted grip on my hook.  It feels wonderful in the hand!  I went a step even further with my hooks, and after I wet felted them, I rolled them up in a thick towel to get the excess water out…then popped them into the dryer.  Oh, BOY, do they make a racket!  Toss something in the dryer with them, give them something to rub up against.  The added agitation is what makes them further felt in the dryer, and when they’re done, you’ll have perfectly felted hooks to enjoy!

08-finished batch

This seems like a lot of writing, but don’t feel daunted.  This is not a lot of work.  This is even something that the kids can do with you!  You’ll use warm instead of hot water, but that’s okay, as long as they get the rubbing down.  Felting has a lot to do with agitation.

If your sleeve slides off your hook, like one of mine did, just dip the hook, gently slide the (DRY) sleeve back on, and use the glue that squishes out to seal the open end of the sleeve.  That’s right,  just use a finger tip to work it right into the edge of the wool.  It will disappear, and be soft, as it’s fabric glue.  Then, just put the hook aside for a day while the glue sets, and you’re all fixed!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial…if you have questions, please feel free to leave comments, and I’ll get right to answering them, if I can.  If I can’t…I’ll Beseech The Gods of Google!

Stay tuned…next up, some VERY special crochet hooks….

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..

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!

Meet B.H.Feets…and She’s a Grown-Up!

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Dearlings, we have a new member of the rapidly-growing Feets family, B.H. Feets!  And, get this…she’s a grown-up!  She’s my first all-grown-up member of the Feets clan.

Right off the hook, she had an air of knowledge about her, one that shone clearly through her beautiful blue eyes.  She has a gentle wisdom and a level of confidence  that only comes through experience, even though she’s a brand new member of the family, and really hasn’t had any life experience.  B.H. is a mature soul.

“B.H. ‘” stands for “Birmingham.”   I joined a very cool crochet group that meets once a week, and we meet in an vintage building, one that was built when towns named their buildings.  I stitched the lovely B.H. up as a community pincushion, a gift for the group.  Our group meets in the Birmingham building, hence B.H.’s name.  While she loves her given name, she also wondered if it would seem a bit pretentious in a casual group setting.  Initializing her name made her seem more casual, and feel more comfortable.

Needlework groups are great fun.  You’re  in a comfortable setting, with like-minded people, talking stitches and crochet math, asking questions and trading patterns…and it’s a form of therapy, isn’t it?  It is for me, for sure.  When I get hyper

scribble spaz

or tired,

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or just have a less-than-perky day, I relax with the hook and yarn, and come up with something productive.  The trials of the day melt away with each stitch formed.  Talking things over with other crocheters once a week just makes it all that much more fun, more relaxing, and more therapeutic.  As if this particular cake needed any icing (seriously, a cake without icing?),  being in a group setting with a bunch of yarn junkies allows me to be completely free with my own yarn addiction.

So, in addition to being a group pincushion, and a grown-up,  B.H. is a “certified” crochet group therapist!  Really, how cool is that?

And now, Dearlings, because they’re hopping up and down and begging for the opportunity to write their own post, I’m turning the post over to our intrepid siblings, Chauncey and Earl,  to introduce their new, “Little-Big” sister to the WordPress world.  I’ll just sit back, spell-check at ready, and watch the fun.  (I’ll be in italics.)

Looong post…the boys get distracted easily…Strap in, Kids!!!

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Enter Earl, who will start tonight’s post festivities, as Chauncey is busy, happily running around in a perfect circle on the bed.

Earl:  “Hi, Everybody!  Wendy’s letting us post tonight!  Isn’t that  cool?”

Earl:  “Um…Hey, Chauncey…Um…We’re on…”

Chauncey:  “Is it time to talk to the Word Pressing peoples?”

Earl:  “Yuppers!  Dude, you running around and around like that is making me dizzy.”

Chauncey stopped so abruptly he fell over onto his face.

Chauncey:  “Whoa!  That was cool!  I wanna do it AGAIN!”

Earl:  “That was cool!  Let’s do that after we do our post!”

Chauncey: “YEEE-HAAAA!”

Earl:  “So, anyway, Wendy is letting us have our own post tonight, like BIG guys!”

Chauncey:  “I like bouncing up and down on the kee-bored to make words!”

Earl:  “Me, too!  And Wendy says she likes reading our stuff, and she gets to play lots and lots with something called, “Speel-check.”

Chauncey:  “What’s that?”

Earl:  “Dunno.  Maybe she’ll let us play with spell-check, too!””

Chauncey:  “I bet she will.  She only says, “no” to wrestling on the tee-vee, and M-and-M’s.”

Earl:  “Yeah, that’s ‘cuz she says they both make us crazy.”

“Chauncey:  “Ahm-pee Memmie lets us watch wrestling and gives us M-and-M’s!”

Earl:  “Yeah!  She says she gets to spoil us ‘cuz it’s her Ahm-pee job!”

Chauncey:  “Yeah!  And she says she likes to wind us up like tops right before she goes home!”

Earl:  “I saw tops on the tee-vee yesterday!  We can play tops when we finish with our posting!”

Chauncey:  “We have a new Little-Big sister!”

“Earl:  “Yeah!  She’s our little sister ‘cuz she’s younger than we are.”

Chauncey:  “And she’s our big sister because she’s bigger!  Not older, but really bigger.  And she’s a grown-up!  That makes her older than us even though she got stitched last.  I think I’m confused now…”

Earl:  “Yeah, she’s all grown up, even more grown up than Ruby!”

Chauncey:  “Yeah!  Ruby is a teen-ager, and B.H. is even older than a teen-ager.  She must be really-really old if she’s older than a teen-ager!”

Earl:  “Do you think we’ll ever be grown-ups?”

Chauncey:  “Nope!  Wendy says we’ll be her cool little kids forever and ever and ever!”

Earl:   “Hahaha!!!  Remember when we saw that moo-vee on tee-vee ?”

Chauncey: “Yeah-Yeah!! And then we waited for Wendy to come home and said, “Come play with us, Wendy!  Forever and ever and ever!”

Earl:  “Wooooo!  She got all red and looked at us funny and left the room really fast!”

Chauncey:  “Yup!  And that’s when we learned about Pare-ant-tail Corn-trols” on the tee-vee.  But we still get to watch cartoons!  Did you see in Kid vs. Kat when Kat….”

“Guys.  B.H.?”

Chauncey and Earl:  “B.H!”

Chauncey:  “B.H. is our new Little-Big sister!”

Earl:  “And she’s a peen-koo-sheen, like us!”

Chauncey:  “Yeah!  And she’s some kind of crow-shay thair-ah-peest, too!”

Earl:  “What’s a thair-ah-peest?”

Chauncey:  “Dunno.  Wendy, what’s a thair-ah-peest?”

Me:  “A therapist is a person, or in this case, a Feets, who helps with specific things.  They work with a specific problem, and help it get better.”

Earl:  Oh!  Like when you got a big boo-boo in your hiney and you went to the fizz-ah-kal thair-ah-peest?”

Me:  Exactly!  Actually, it’s my legs, hips, and sacra-illiac joints.   The physical therapist helped make my boo-boos a bit better by giving me exercises and advice, and B.H. will help people make their crochet projects better by providing tools to work with, like stitch markers and other stuff.”

Earl:  “What’s a steech-mar-ker?”

Me:  “You know all those safety pins in B.H’s hair?  They can all be used as stitch markers.  And the little scraps of yarn in her pocketbook can be used for that, too.”

Earl:  “Safe-tee peens?  Oh!  Closey-peens!  WE have closey-peens!  And we have sow-ing needles, too!”

Chauncey:  “We’re peen-koo-sheens, just like B.H.!  And, and, and…WE even have crow-shay-hooks in our hairs!”

Earl:  “Can we have scrapping yarns, too?”

Me:  “Absolutely!”

Chauncey:  “I want TWO scrapping yarns!”

Me:  “I’ll give you both two scraps of yarn, right now, and perhaps our readers will forgive the diversion.”

“Earl:  “They will.  Our readers are the best!”

Me:  “Look, I even got you new needles for your hair, and these cool bamboo stitch markers!”

Chauncey:  “Neato!  Do we still get scrapping yarns?”

Me:  “Of course.  Here you go, two scraps each.  I’m going to use your safety pins to hold them so they don’t get lost.”

Chauncey:  “That’s ‘cuz we don’ have a pockie-book, like B.H.”

Earl:  “Steech-mar-kers in steech-mar-kers!'”

Chauncey:  “This feels niiiice!”

Earl:  ” I like these bamboo sticks!  Ooooo, these are your special hand-spinned woolly scrapping yarns!”

Me:  “Only the best for you, my boys.”

Chauncey:  “Lookie!  We’re crow-shay-inng wif our feets!”

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Chauncey and Earl:  ” We could be crow-shay their-ah-peests!!!”

Me:  “Yes.  Yes, you could.”

Readers, we have to take a short break now, as both of my little boys are spinning and running around in circles….

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Me:  Well, boys, now that you’re all tuckered out from running and spinning, would you like to show everyone your pictures of B.H?”

Earl:  “Yeah.  We’re tuck-kerd out.”

Chauncey:  “Yup.  Plum tuck-kerd!”

Earl:  “Does anyone say that any more?”

Chauncey:  “I just did!  Hey!  I found the pee-chers of B.H.!”

Earl!  “Cool!  Which one first!”

Chauncey:  “I like this one!  She just came off Wendy’s hook, and we gave her a big sow-ing peen and closey-peens for her hairs!”

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“Earl:  “I love her eyes, they’re so pretty!  And here’s where Wendy put her green peace sign!”

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Chauncey:  “What’s that all about, anyway?”

Earl:  “Wendy says that a long, long time ago, she went for a ride with Unkka Eddie and Ahm-pee Leez, and Ahm-pee Leez threw a piece of paper out of the car,  and Wendy made Ahm-Pee Leez go out of the car an’ get it, ‘cuz that was lee-tuh-reeng, and lee-tuh-reeng is bad.”

Chauncey:  “Uh-Ohhhhh….”

Earl:  “An’ Unkka Eddie said Ahm-Pee Leez shouldn’t do that in front of Mizz Green Peace.”

Chauncey:  “Who’s Mizz Green Peace?”

Earl:  “Wendy!  So now she puts green peace signs on everything.”

Chauncey!  Oh.  Cool!  Sometimes the peoples can get confusing….”

Earl:  “Yeah.  But I like the green peace signs!”

Cauncey and Earl:  “Wendy!  Can WE have green peace signs?”

Me:  “I’ll work on that, sure!  We can hang them off your pins.”

Chauncey and Earl:  “Yaaaaaay!”

Earl:  “Which peecher is next?”

Chauncey:  “Ummmm…Oh!  Here’s one with her pockey-book!”

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Earl:  “Good one!  And here’s one that shows the cool tools she carries in her pockey book!”

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Chauncey:  “And this one shows her cro-shay thair-ah-peest card!”

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Earl:  “And here’s what being a crow-shay-thair-ah-peest is all about!”

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Chauncey:  “And this shows she has all her cool stuff.”

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Earl:  “Not ALL her cool stuff!  In this one she has US!”

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Chauncey and Earl:  “We love our Little-Big sister!”

B.H.:  “I love you, too, boys.”

Chauncey:  “Can we fall on our faces some more?”

“Actually, Gentlemen, there’s one more picture to take tonight.  Why not hop into your photo nest and let me fix you up?”

Chauncey and Earl:  “K.  Wait!  Is that????  WE GOT GREEN PEACE SIIIIIIGNS!!!!!”

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Stay tuned!

Meet Ruby and Blueberry Feets!

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The Feets are flying off the hooks!  Today, I’m delighted to introduce you to two new members of the Feets family, Ruby and her little brother, Blueberry.

Little Blueberry Feets is a “Good Luck” Feets!  Yes, they are all “Good Luck” feets, but Blueberry’s whole way of life is to bring good luck to a garden.  This time, it will be “Unkka Mike’s” garden, a very special garden, indeed!

Blueberry is mostly green,

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Save the blueberries growing between the leaves in his hair.  

 

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He’s very sweet, and a little on the quiet side, like Earl, and he has a way about him, a patient wisdom that shines in his black button eyes, which comes from being close to plants, and to the Earth.  

Now, Ruby, on the other hand, takes a little more after her big brother, Chauncey, in her verve and vigor.  She isn’t as hyper, but just as energetic, just as happy, and just as sweet.

Ruby is, as all Feets family members truly are, a “Companion Feets.”  Ruby, like the young woman she went to live with, is a “Tee-Nay-Jar!”

She’s unique, from her big blue eyes to her long red hair with blond highlights, tied in a swinging pony tail at the top of her head.  Ruby is mostly shades of pink and red, save the black scrunchie she ties her hair up with.  She even has red-painted toes in her vivid purple feet!

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Ruby asked for two “closey peens,”  which balance out prettily, like ear rings..sort of…Feets are all about feet and don’t have ears.  And, she has an added safety pin in her pony tail, homage to Chauncey’s tribal needle-through-the-head thing.  She thought that the “Chauncey Needle” was “Uber,”  but asked that I refrain from driving a needle through her skull.

I know that Ruby looks like, and perhaps even seems like, a  bit of a Diva, but she really isn’t. She’s kind and generous, polite and energetic, and made sure that little Blueberry’s aesthetic needs, his safety-pin decoration, were met first.  She cuddled her little green brother,

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to make sure he was feeling safe and loved.  Then, she cuddled with her big brothers, too,

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to assure them that all is well, that she and Blueberry were going to live with great people, who would love and care for them,  “the same way that Wendy cares for you!”

Ruby is very, very cool.

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Next up, you’ll meet yet another new member of the Feets family…and this one is a Grown-Up!

Stay tuned….

 

 

 

‘Twas The Day After Christmas

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I hope this finds everyone happy, warm and safe, after having the best Holiday ever!

My crochet hooks flew through the weekend, and I finally got everything finished and washed on Christmas eve, wrapped early on Christmas day.  Not cutting it too close, was I?

My sister told me, “Relax.  It isn’t Christmas unless you’re weaving in the last ends over dinner!”

I know I already showed off my baby niece’s sweater some time back, when I started the felted bag, and I promised you pictures of that bag, completed, as well as the crocheted Santa for Mary.

Here we go!!!  This is Santa Claus, from a pattern that I bought from Delicious Crochet.  She has some really awesome patterns there, so go look!

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Here’s Santa again, with a bag of toys I whipped up (What would Santa be without that toy bag?)  and his buddy, Beaker, sporting his own new Santa hat.

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Now you all see what I was talking about when I was cursing the French knots.  Santa’s mustache, beard, eye brows  and head are covered with them!

Another really good shot of Santa and his toys…

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The toys were fun to make.  This little teddy is only about an inch and a half tall.

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And, what toy bag would be complete without a Feets baby?  Welcome to the world, Teenie Feets!

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She’s really teenie, only about half of Earl’s size.  What a little darling!

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Here’s one last shot of that gang, hanging out for the Holiday…and look, Teenie is checking out Beaker’s Feets!

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Christmas Day, and the Amaryllis popped up with a brand new bloom…

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I’m delighted with the felted bag, and so is my niece!  It all came together beautifully.  Of course, I still can’t find the darn clasp I bought for it, but the loop and button will do until I find it.

Here it is, finally, from the front…

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I added another green Peace sign on the closure flap

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Here’s the back of the bag…

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Felting this piece was a challenge, as the stitches were all different thicknesses.  I had the thick and thin textures from my hand-spun yarns, the smooth textures from worsted weight purchased wool yarns, and textured stitches such as popcorns and bullions.  It took a long time to felt evenly, but it turned out to be well worth the effort. 

While I didn’t make “Ugly Christmas sweaters,”  I did go with that grand tradition theme, and whipped up an “Ugly Christmas scarf” for my sister in law.  It’s thick and soft and warm, and perfectly hideous.  She loves it!  

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For my brother, I went bananas with his “Fugly Christmas hat.”  I thought, for him, the happier and more ridiculous the better…and I was right.  He loves it!  This is the front of the hat, if this is the way he prefers to wear it.

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The back of the hat is where I added extra rows, so he can wear it with this as a neck warmer, or turn it around and wear these extra rows as a sort of brim.  For the “pooftage,” I did the same stitch I use to make “Chauncey hair.”  I know there’s a name for that stitch, but I don’t know it, so I call it my, “Chauncey Stitch.”  For the “Chauncey Stitch,” you simply treble crochet, and slip stitch, into the same stitch.  This stitch always works from the back, so that the poofs show up on the right side.

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Of course, it has the signature green peace sign!  I hung it from the tassle at the top of the hat.

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This all begs the question, “Will he wear this thing?”

You bet he will!!!!

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This hat is THICK.  Four strands held together and a big hook…and it’s so soft and pliable, he said it was enormously comfy…and plans to wear it a lot.

Today, I’m still crocheting…but I did let my hooks cool down a bit right after Christmas.  I’m currently spinning more roving for another gift…stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forvive Me….

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I am so close to getting that felted bag finished, I can taste it!

I have to fashion some sort of strap for the bag.  I believe I will break out, “Mr. Trusty”  (that’s my double-ended drop spindle) and “ply” four or five strands of wool together to make a sort of colorful, felt-able rope.  I’ll sew it on, and felt the bag.  I have yet to make the “envelope flap,”  but that won’t take but an hour or so.

I also want to embellish a couple of these patches with a little more whimsical embroidery.

Here’s a peek at my two favorite patches, still under construction…

This is a cool purple rose, easy to do, and the leaves were even easier.

This is a cool purple rose, with leaves

This one is my favorite!

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Now here’s where I have to ask you to forgive me.

This is it for the pictures until after Christmas.  I want to maintain at least a modicum of surprise for my niece.

I knew you’d forgive me!

Stay tuned!  I promise to take pictures as soon as this is finished, and post them right after Christmas.

 

New Yarn, New Fractal Toy…Life Is Good.

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Does anyone remember The Great Kool-Aid Debacle from this past August?  I dribbled liquid Kool-Aid colors onto wool roving in an attempt at getting a tie-dye effect…It was bad.  Really bad.

Got that fixed, dyed the roving again with dry Kool-Aid mix sprinkled onto damp, vinegar-enhanced roving, and nuked it in plastic wrap.  And it was good.  I’m currently using that spun yarn in the felted bag, and it’s great.  Mostly, it’s shades of earthy red…tweedy and very cool.

At the same time I was cleaning up after that adventure, I dyed a second length of roving, this time bypassing the wet altogether (once stung…) and going right for the sprinkled dry Kool-Aid mix in lots of colors.  For those of you who didn’t see that post, or want a refresher, it’s here.

That was back in August, and that dyed roving has been sitting here, waiting for spinning, ever since.  I finally got to it, and the result was very satisfying!  If you click on this image once or twice, you’ll get a nice, big image with much better detail.

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The reds are deep and earthy, the blues are sweet.  The tweedy-stripey-candy-caney effect that happened naturally during the spinning process is way cool!  I’m looking forward to working this into Kris’s bag tonight, after I get the hank rolled into a pull skein. Do I have a yarn swift or ball winder?  Nope.  For winding the hank from the drop spindle I used the back of my computer chair.  To wind the hank into a center-pull ball, I have a neck to hold the hank, and a thumb to roll the ball around.  I’m Old School!  Okay, okay…I’m cheap.

And, speaking of being cheap….BuddhaKat, who has a very cool WordPress site, very generously mentioned my sister site, Schmoozelfracs, in his latest post! That led me to poking around, which led me to another great blog with plenty of fractals to goggle over.

While I was poking around there, I landed on a link that reviewed free fractal tools.

New fractal toys? I am there!!!

I went, for now, with GNU Xaos and installed it. I played with it for a little while, and…let’s just say that there will be new fractals up in Schmoozelfracs really, really soon. I LOVE this new toy!

I promised myself I would finish up the dishes, and mop the floor. I will keep my promise to myself. After that, the evening is mine! I’ll pick up my hooks and sassy new yarn, open up that new fractal toy, turn on something silly…Phineas and Ferb come to mind!

Tonight, I get to play.

Life is good!

Free Form Felted Bag Progress

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The bag is coming along well.  I got the front of the bag done, and bordered in black…I even got the edges almost straight!  

 

That took row upon row of mixed stitches, working singles on the rises, half doubles and doubles on the dips.  I finally got the edges straight enough to work with, and have enough of a border to fold over, to make the border for the back panel.  As I said in my last post, I’ll be working from the edges of the borders, inward.

I folded the border roughly in half, from front to back, and put in a running basting stitch with scrap yarn.

 

Then I ran a round of single crochet, through the top of the fold, through both thicknesses of the border fabric.  This gave me a pronounced ridge, and forced the fold toward the back of the work. 

When I got to a corner, I released my basting stitch, and jammed the crochet hook into the corner, grabbing the top stitches.  

 

With the hook in place marking where I wanted to put my corner, I folded the next side over and basted it into place.  

I put three single crochet stitches into the corner, and started around the next side, grabbing the fold through both thicknesses and forming my single crochet ridge.

 

From the back of the piece, you can see that I have a distinct border built, a good foundation to work inward from. 

You can also see that fitting the corners are going to be a challenge!  I’ll work on them later.

 

Now, here’s where it started to get fun.  I have this beautiful folded, stitched border, running all around the piece to work inward from, just have to feel my way to fitting in the corners.  Great!  But…I can’t work inward from that top border.  If I do that, I won’t have a bag any more…I’ll have an empty pillow.

So!  That top border just became an interface.  I eased those two top corners into place and stitched them down, then attached yarn to the top left corner and started chaining for a second top border for the back of the bag.  I wanted a more solid base chain to work from so I did this with Foundation Single Crochet .  This gave me a more solid base chain, a finished edge to work from.  It’s actually starting with a row of single crochet.  

 

As you would have in any regular row of single crochet, you have two top loops.  I made the base chain to fit the width of bag, secured it at the other end, and then did a row of half double crochet through the back loops only, to guide the stitches down toward the bottom of the bag.  A second row of half doubles through both loops made my new border just the right height.  I sewed it in at both corners, nice and neat, then went to the other two corners to ease them to fit, and sewed everything into place as neatly as I could.  Three corners went in swimmingly, but one corner had to be rolled into place.  It worked well, though!  It looks like a little black rose!

Now, from the back, you can see that I have an open top, bordered.  I have borders along each side, and a nice border along the bottom.  I now have a great frame in which to build the back of my bag!

 

The outside edge, where I first folded the borders over and stitched them in single crochet stitches, has a great ridge of finished stitches, and will be a great foundation for a strap for this bag, and I’ll be able to easily attach an “envelope flap” at the top for closure.

It’s coming along!!!!  Miss Kris, if you’re reading this and you hate it, you’d better speak up now, Girlie!  (Truth be told, I have handed Miss Kris some seriously Fugly crochet in her life, and she’s always been happy to have it.  She’s a SWEETIE!)

I’m looking at my black borders now, and Muse is whispering, “French Knots….”

Stay tuned!!!