Saturday, May 7, 2011

How to Embroider Eyes on Crocheted Toys (Amigurumi)

by Kelly

I thought it would be fun to make a little video tutorial showing a few neat tricks I learned while making eyes for my amigurumi bears. Little did I know that many hours of computer time and much help from my loving, tech savvy husband would be required. Lesson learned.

Also, the video is longer than I thought it would be. It sure doesn't seem like it takes almost four minutes to sew one darn eye on a toy bear, but apparently it does. Which makes me wonder how long it takes me to do other simple tasks, like washing dishes or sweeping the floor. It really puts a whole new perspective on things, and certainly makes me even less inclined to do the housekeeping. But I digress.

So, here is the video. There is one thing that you need to know before watching this - embroiderers thread their needles differently than other people. First, cut a long length of embroidery floss. I measure it from my fingertips to my shoulder. Seperate one strand of the floss and fold that one strand in half by putting the two cut ends together. Now thread both cut ends through the eye of the needle. You'll end up with a loop on one end. It sounds weird, but this works better because there is no knot on the end.

Trust me. The video shows how this works.

So, there you go. A simple (ha!), little (four minutes!) video on how to embroider eyes on a toy.  Have fun!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Christmas in May

This is what I did on Thursday. No, I didn't crochet all of those on Thursday. I just starched them. Between Christmas and March 1st I made a lot of ornaments. This is probably about 25% of them. On the top left are some angels, a bell and some baskets for my hot air balloons. On the top right is a variety of things. Snowflakes, trees, wreaths, bells, hearts, star, stocking, crosses. I still have to finish these things. Some require beads, ribbons, little flowers, or whatever I happen to dream up. I'll post a few of these again when they are finished.

Hello! Kitty

by Kelly

I visited CRAFT this morning, as I usually do.  And saw something astonishing.

So let me show you this, all the way from a blog in Norway called Smoochie.

I really don't think I need to say any more. Except that there should be some kind of  disclaimer warning parents that they will accomplish nothing if they take their child out in public wearing these. Because whether a bystander loves the Hello Kitty craze, or hates it, these pants demand comment. By everyone.

The pattern is available in her  Etsy shop in Norwegian, and English.

Thank you Internet, for bringing a smile to my face even on difficult mornings. Thank you.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My First Post

Hi everyone!!

So I get to join in on the fun crafting talk which I am very excited about. I've been crocheting ever since Donna taught me how when I was a little, little kid. And, trust me, it is very hard to keep your cool in high school when all your friends find out you do "granny work" as they called it....which is probably why I was a dork in high school. :P Oh, well.

I really only crochet though I did try to learn to knit once and it just turned out badly so I stick to my strengths of crocheting fabulous afghans. I've been spending the last week trying to figure out what I want to make now that I finished my Irish flag blanket. I'm thinking of doing an alphabet baby blanket that I made for my husbands sister a few years back. I loved making it and it was so pretty. It looks a lot harder than it is. Once you figure out the best way to make the bubbles you're good to go.

The only frustration I have about this is that you can only do it in one solid color because it's too hard to switch between colors due to the bubbles.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Chat box

by Kelly

I've added something new. Waaaay down at the bottom of the blog, I have installed a chat box. Now, rather than talking to each other in the comments, we can talk to each other in the Chat box. This way, any messages to each other about the blog will be in one place, rather than scattered around in comments tied to specific posts. Also, if anyone else wishes to contact us or comment on the blog itself, rather than a specific post, they can just add a chat. I tried to add a different version that used IM, but that plug-in failed in a really spectacular way, so let's try this one for now.

Let me now what you think!

My beautiful dishcloth

I finally finished the dishcloth I decided to make. It was a free pattern from Micheals. The difficulty rating was easy and time to make it was supposed to be 2 hours. I worked on it for 3 days. Not constantly of course. It is eleven inches across. I made it with Sugar and Cream cotton yarn. That is the first time I have used that kind of yarn. It is very pretty but who in their right mind would actually use it for a dishcloth. Not me! But at least I can now say I've made a dishcloth. Next time I will stick to granny square type patterns for dishcloths.

Back to my afghan for a while. I hope to soon catch up with enough other projects to actually have time to do some serious crocheting. I still need to make a doily, placemats, Christmas bag for a wine bottle, tote bag and on and on. There are so many things to make. I already have patterns picked out for four more afghans.

It is an obsession!


Summer knitting and crochet

by Kelly

It seems silly to knit in the summer. Just the feel of yarn on your hands when it's ninety degrees in the shade is a little off-putting. On the other hand, I find knitting really relaxing. Unless I'm working on a stinker of a pattern that is. Then, not so much.

So, maybe summer knitting should be about lightweight yarn, simple patterns, and pretty colors.  I think I may have some ideas...

Maybe a pretty shawl like Seascape found here at Knitty

And to give me a break on lazy days when I don't feel like concentrating on a pattern, I think I'll work on an afghan...

From the blog by Elizabeth Cat
I can crochet one hexagon at a time during the summer and join them together in the fall. And that means no big bag of knitting to drag around! Just a crochet hook and a few balls of yarn.

Or maybe a cute summer top from Vogueknitting...

Just look at a few patterns from their current magazine -

Not that I've ever knit a top before. But I'm always ready to learn something new. And those sunny colors are stunning.

Or, of course, I could go back to my embroidery and cross stitch....

*Sigh*  And how am I ever going to get any summer reading done around here with all these temptations in my path?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Amazing Grace

One of my new favorite yarns is Lion Brand's Amazing - the wrap I've been working on is done in this yarn in the Mesa shade, but over the weekend I found a shade called Mauna Loa that's just gorgeous. I think the yarn manufacturers have taken a cue from the nail polish companies and are making their color names really enticing. One of the problems with this particular yarn is that it's quite expensive - around $6.99 per skein. With my 40% off coupons I can get it down into the $4.20 range, but you also need a lot of it to make anything of size and these skeins are pretty small. Most of the suggested crochet patterns are for scarves or some other such neck wrappy thing, so I'm looking for some ideas for something else to do with it. It's a wool and acrylic blend so it's kind of fuzzy looking. Let me know if you have any thoughts.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Show and Tell

By Kelly

Do they still do show and tell in school? I remember for my first show and tell in Kindergarten, I was sad that I didn't have anything cool to bring in for the big day, so my older sister lent me her Pet Rock. Am I showing my age, here? Actually, the other kids were really impressed. Yes, things were different when I was a kid. Weirder, for one.

Let me show you the projects I finished in April.

Two cotton dishcloths, a totebag crocheted out of old sheets (which surprisingly turned out really well) , four little bears and a headband / hairtie thing for myself. The funny part about the hair thing is that I made up my own pattern while I was sitting in front of the TV, and now I have no clue what I did. Guess it's one of a kind.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sugar & Cream

This weekend I did something I've never done before. Actually a couple of things - crocheted with cotton and made a washcloth. The washcloth or dishcloth is a staple of the crocheter's repetoire and yet like Kelly and her fear of doillies, I deigned to find the crocheted cloth a bit old-fashioned and outdated. I had also seen the little cotton skeins of Sugar & Cream cotton yarns and yet had never had a reason to buy one. That is before this weekend. What I found truly blew me away - well at least as blown away as one can be by yarn. Ready - wait for it....

Scented Yarn! Seriously. Scented.

That goes straight into the "Now I've seen everything" file. Scented yarn. Who knew?

So I picked up a couple of different kinds, lavendar, aloe vera, powder and chamomile and before I knew it, they were practically crocheting themselves into the most adorable little washcloths. They're posted at our Etsy store ( and they are just the cutest, freshest little washcloths I've ever seen. I'm a convert, a Sugar & Cream convert. Now what will they think of next?

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