Saturday, June 4, 2011

Crafty Books - Top Ten Catchiest Titles

by Kelly

Crafty books that caught my eye... 

  1. Not Tonight, Darling, I'm Knitting
  2. It Itches
  3. Simple Times : Crafts for Poor People
  4. Stupid Sock Creatures
  5. Things I Learned From Knitting:...Whether I Wanted to or Not
  6. Crochet Liberation Front
  7. Subversive Cross Stitch
  8. Stitch 'N Bitch: The Happy Hooker
  9. Anticraft - Knitting, Beading, and Stitching  for the Slightly Sinister
  10. Knockdown Knits: Thirty Projects from the Roller Derby Track
 I can't personally vouch for any of these books except for Simple Times - Crafts for Poor People. That one I have read.

I especially liked the page about 'Most Common Crafting Accidents', because, when I was learning how to embroider two years ago, I cut my finger very badly with a pair of embroidery scissors. As I was standing in the bathroom, applying pressure and waiting for the bleeding to stop, my husband came in, and asked with concern, "What happened to you?"

My answer? "Crafting is more dangerous than it looks."

For more strange crafty books, click here

Friday, June 3, 2011

Crochet in Disguise

by Kelly

Crochet that looks like a plaid throw...

pattern care of Free Vintage Crochet

and crochet that looks like quilting...

 pattern from Red Heart

and something small...

 sea shells from Susan Whitlock

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Reading Bear

by Kelly

The title of the book is Animal Stories. I really think I need some photography lessons. Or a tripod that I can actually put up without stabbing myself.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Knit and Crochet Wedding Gowns

by Kelly

If spring is when 'a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love', then summer is when a young woman's thoughts lightly turn to weddings. And the focal point of any wedding is the blushing bride in her gown.

Most brides spend months looking for their perfect dress. But would you be willing to spend months making your own? And would it be worth all the work, or would acquiring something from Filene's Basement be less trouble?

A quick Ravelry search turned up two pages of patterns. Admittedly, about half of those hits were for doll dresses and the like, but there were still over twenty different patterns to be used for the big day.

A sampling:


pattern from the procrastaknitter blog, here

pattern from Caron

What do you think? I have seen wonderfully beautiful knitted lacework that would look great as an accent (like a shawl) - but a whole dress?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Double Stitch Twins in Chicago

by Kelly

Fresh from the Red Heart blog,  here's a bit of local news. On Saturday, June 4th, the Double Stitch twins will be at the Michaels craft store to demo a scarf and sign copies of their new book.

The address is 3131 N. Clark. St.

Go on over to the Red Heart site for more details and a video.

Red Heart also has a new yarn line coming out, and an interesting video on how to hand chain a scarf without a crochet hook or knitting needles. Check that out here.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Bee Stitch - Knitting Pattern

by Kelly

This was the first afghan I made. I knitted it in panels, then sewed the panels together. It was just like making scarves, only every so often I had to change yarns and knit in a different pattern.

Looks pretty good, doesn't it? Don't be fooled. Up close the seams where I sewed the panels together look really clunky and horrible.  That's why I've decided crochet afghans are the way to go, since they don't require seaming or really long, expensive circular knitting needles.

For all its problems, there is something I like about this afghan -the blocks that use the variegated yarn. They were knitted using a pattern called bee stitch. Bee stitch is really simple - here's the pattern.

(K1 b means 'knit into the stitch below. Don't know how to knit into the stitch below? I learned how from this YouTube video.  It's not hard at all, once you see how it's done.)

Odd number of stitches
K1 b Insert needle through center of stitch 1 row below next stitch and knit, slipping stitch above off needle at the same time.

Row 1 (WS): knit
Row 2 (RS): K1, * K1 b, K1; rep from *
Row 3: Knit
Row 4 (RS): K2, K1 b, * k1, k1 b; rep from * to last 2 sts, k2
Rep these 4 rows for pattern.

When used with variegated yarn, this pattern produces an awesome, hand-dyed fabric look, only with yarn. Each block looks unique, but they still seem to belong together.

I think this would work really well if you were trying for a quilted blanket look. Using a bunch of different variegated yarns, and one simple stitch to make the blocks, would combine the best of both worlds - quick, 'mindless' knitting and the excitement (okay, not heart-pounding excitement, but still) of seeing pretty, unique designs come forth from a pile of chaotic yarn.

Just make sure that you really understand seaming first. I can't recommend learning as you go for that part of the project.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

65 Roses Community Quilt

by Kelly

Saw this on WhipUp and thought Donna might be interested. It's a community quilt made for charity. The project worked like this - quilters from all over the world each made a single block, then mailed them to a central location where they were all pieced together. Now that's the kind of quilting I could sign on for. A whole quilt seems a little intimidating, but one teeny square, that I could probably accomplish.

Check out the article here. They provide a link to a PDF where you can get the block pattern and some embroidery details.
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