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Archive for March, 2008

 

Wondermommy tagged me! 

The tag rules are:
1. When tagged, place the name of the person and URL on your blog
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Write 7 things about yourself
4. Name 7 of your favorite weblogs
5. Send an e-mail letting those bloggers know they have been tagged

So here are 7 random things about me:

1.  The sunshine on bright, sunny days gives me headaches.  Even with sunglasses, it feels like I’ve been looking directly into a bare lightbulb at the end of the day.

2.  I gave myself a haircut when I was three.  My mom put a ribbon in my hair for the picture below to keep the short hair on the top of my head from sticking straight up. 

3.  I love fresh ground pepper – lots of it.  I even put it on popcorn.

4.  At restaurants, I tend to shred, tear or strip my paper napkins by the end of the meal.  It’s very bad manners, but I always make sure every piece is scrunched up on the plate before I leave. 

5.  My public high school graduation ceremony was at the Roswell Street Baptist Church in Cobb county, Georgia, the same county that had the famous ‘evolution is theory’ sticker controversy.

6.  I love going to those cheap matinee movies where there’s five other people and you get to put your feet up.  The theater on this island only plays two shows a week in the evenings, so I don’t get to do this often.

7.  I have a tiny scar under my left eye from when I was a toddler and an older kid at daycare threw a record at my face.

I’m tagging the following 7 people:
*That’s cool* a random fact
When trade was monopolized by the Portuguese in the Middle Ages, pepper was worth more than gold by weight.
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Katrina got her Swap Swap Gals package the other day so now I get to blog about all the super-secret projects I have been working on.  It was actually pretty tough to stay mum on so many projects. 

 And I know there are at least a few of you are thinking, “Finally, she made something besides dishcloths!”   

 

The Brea Bag is the item I’m most proud of for the “All About Hearts” themed swap.  I had been weary of intermediate knitting projects until Kara and Katie gave me some knitting encouragement via my Ravelry message box and I decided to just go with it. 

This was my first major knitting project with cables, but the pattern was actually easy to understand, especially with the videos on Knittinghelp.com.  Also, I relied on the Terms and Techniques list from Knitting-crochet.com.  Their abbreviation list is really comprehensive and I learned a bunch of knitting terms like ssk, psso and St st.

This was also my first project with a lining.  I had to hand sew everything and it took me a while to finish.  The lining turned out a little baggy but I was afraid it would end up on the small side. 

The handle was thrifted from an old handbag.  Instead of  sewing the flaps in place I sewed buttons to the inside so the handle can be removed and Katrina can wash the bag easily.  She could even replace the handle if she wanted.

The picture of the Brea Bag along with the free pattern had a heart-like shape.  Mine doesn’t look quite like that so just for good measure I used a button with a heart motif.   

My crochet skills really helped for the last steps of the pattern.  I slip stitched the bag together for strength.  Also, the pattern called for a crab stitch edging and chain button loop. 

Since the purse didn’t have a zipper closure, I made her a matching Half-Hearted Purse with Red Heart in Cafe and Cashmere.  I used a crab stitch for the edging to match the purse and kept the same color scheme on the front and back.  In the original pattern, the designer used hemp and reversed the colors for the opposite side of the coin purse. 

I lined the coin purse, too.  I think the zipper was sewn a tad uneven so it’s a little tough to open and close.  Also, next time I sew a zipper I’ll make it a little longer.  The opening is smaller than it should be.

This drawstring bag is titled That Pouch Thing.  The pattern makes a nice little drawstring bag designed for holding dice.  I would make this again in a DK or light weight yarn.  The crochet fabric is a little stiff to gather with Red Heart (in Cafe and Country Rose).

The bottom view shows the individual pieces of the bag.  I whip-stitched the pieces together instead of single crocheting like the pattern called for. 

Changing colors every row for each of the four pieces would make a nice v-shaped stripe design. 

Katrina is due this summer so I made her baby-to-be a Pixie Hat.  The size is meant for a 3-6 month old, but could stretch to fit an older baby.  Katrina wrote in her Wish List that she liked earth tones and orange.  I originally wanted to make this in Bernat Pink Camouflage, but I didn’t know the sex of the baby until after I sent the package (it’s a girl!).  To be safe I used this gender-neutral TLC yarn in Jungle.   

There was so much sewing for this swap!  When I was done with the purses, I still had to this button to attach.

Instead of a tassel, I added a little orange heart motif.  Looks a little like a carrot now that I see it up close!

For her other three kids (4, 2 and 1) I sent Alice in Wonderland.  Remember the Queen of Hearts? 

There are four items that don’t fit the ‘All About Hearts’ swap theme.  Katrina mentioned in her wish list that she liked to read about organizing and collects recipes, so I had to include the Woman’s Day Magazine.  

As for the pink bag, I was originally going to find a heart bead to thread on the drawstring, but I couldn’t find anything non-plastic.  The little heart beads were perfect for a bracelet kit for her four year old daughter though. 

I also threw in a toy elephant and a spool of ribbon.  These were last minute additions to put in the purses.  I don’t know where I got the idea, but I don’t like giving a bag/purse/wallet as a gift with nothing inside.  It’s probably one of those superstitions you hold over from childhood.  Remember avoiding cracks on the sidewalk?

For the Lewis Carroll book I made a little granny square heart bookmark.  The pattern, Heart Coaster or Embilshment, is from Crochetville.  I just added a slip stitch tail.  The little sun motif at the end is just a ring of single crochet and a row of single crochet and picots. 

Lastly, I made this dishcloth with Lily’s Sugar and Cream in Hot Orange and Over the Rainbow.  The My Heart Dishcloth pattern is pretty and quick, just like a dishcloth should be.

At least this post wasn’t all dishcloths, right?

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Maybe it’s because I spent so much time restitching the border, but I really do like this Lacy Round Dishcloth.  I frogged the last two rounds a few times trying to match the pattern to the picture beofre I gave up and wrote my own border pattern.

The directions are clear until round 9 when the pattern directs you to put 9 dc in every ch-5 sp.  This will give you twice as many shell lobes as the actual dishcloth has.  Plus, round 10 is missing brackets around “ch 1, sc in next st”.  I’ve written the last two rounds according to how I crocheted them:

Round 9: sl st in ch-5 sp, ch 3, 8 dc in same sp, *ch 1, sl st in next sc below in round 7 and around ch 5 of round 8, ch 1, 9 dc in next ch-5 sp, rep from * 6 times more, end ch 1, sl st in next sc below in round 7 and around ch 5 of round 8, ch 1, join rnd with a sl st to top of ch 3.

Round 10: ch 1, sc in same st, *[ch 3, sc in next st] eight times, sl st in ch-1 sp, sl st in next ch-1 sp, sc in next dc, rep from * 7 times more, end [ch 3, sc in next st] eight times, sl st in ch-1 sp, sl st in next ch-1 sp, join with a sl st to sc. 

These pattern revisions are probably a little more complicated than they could be, but I liked the slip stitches in round 9 to accentuate the shell curve.  (Beware: these directions are not tested!) 

Also, if you’re past the ‘beginner’ stage of crocheting, it’s not impossible to come up with your own guess-timation for the border rounds.    The extra work was well worth the final product though and the border reminds me of Lion Brand’s Sweet Scallops Shawl.

This Textured Stripes Dishcloth is one of the most durable, functional dishcloth patterns I’ve crocheted.  The crunch stitch rows make this dishcloth very sturdy and the size is big enough to get a grip without being overly large.   

The only downside to the crunch stitch is the difference in gauge compared to single crochet.  The crunch stitches are very compact and single crochet is comparably loose, making the two of the edges curve.  I used a crochet hook two sizes smaller for the single crochet rows, but I could have gone down another hook size. 

You can see in the picture below that I accidentally crocheted the border facing the wrong side. Oops!  Next time I’ll pay closer attention to which side I’m on. 

Overall, this pattern makes a great little dishcloth.  I’d love to see a matching Swiffer cover.  The crunch stitches would be perfect for catching dust bunnies. 

If you don’t like, use or enjoy crocheting dishcloths, but still want to try the crunch stitch, check out the Pirate Clutch on Craftster.  It’s an easy crochet purse with a shell detail. 

Finally, the Simple Dishcloth uses v-stitches and shells in the round.  This pattern really is easy and the resulting lacy dishcloth is very pretty.  I would use a smaller crochet hook next time because the stitches are not as solid as I expected. 

Also, I’d like to try using stripes of different colors.  The first three rounds would be perfect for a flower and leaf color.   

Watch out for my next post!  Katrina got my swap package, so I’ve got the go ahead to blog about all the crochet goodies I sent her.  Check out her blog, Sewalicious Designs for a sneak peak of her Swap Swap Gals package.

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