Thursday, February 26, 2009

What sport did you letter in?

While searching for treasure with my friend, I came across these chenille letters. I'm guessing (hoping?) I have it upside down, but it gives me any idea. Sewn on an appropriate sweater or jacket it will make the perfect 'gotcha' gift for a certain sister-in-law who should really read my blog more often.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Crocheted Pillbox Hat

For some time now I have been a little obsessed with creating a pillbox hat. I'm not sure of the source of the urge since 1) I don't wear hats myself, 2) 'fashionable' is not an adjective that describes me, and 3)I live in a part of the country where the purpose of a hat is to keep the hot sun off of your face (or neck, as the case may be.) But, still, a cute little pillbox hat. Just the name sounds exotic. I originally envisioned a felted one, but that hasn't worked out too well. Probably I need a hat form for felt to work. Instead, here is what I finally came up with - a pillbox hat of sorts. I used an extra bulky yarn and added a novelty yarn for the 'flash' factor.

Pattern available at my etsy shop.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Artisan Bread For Dummies

I got this great bread book for Chrismas - thanks, Leigh! The book is Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking
and I figure I am the perfect test case since I have never attempted to bake my own bread. (Bread machines don't count.) Here's what you do: Mix up a big batch of dough that will keep in your frig for 2 weeks. (And I do mean mix - no kneading required.) When you are ready to bake a loaf just pull off a hunk. The '5 minutes' is how much time you actually handle the dough - there is some added wait and bake time, but who cares about that? I am happy to let the dough rest for 40 minutes while I do something else and then bake for another 30 minutes while I still do something else. And no kneading. Ever. Big plus. The photo above is the basic loaf, but the book contains lots and lots of different recipes. I made the sweet rolls the other night - very tasty but a little too much work for lazy me. I'm going to stick to the easy ones like this...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Crocheted Fern Scarf

This scarf design was inspired by the wispy look of ferns, so I've titled it the 'fern scarf.' It was crocheted using a bulky yarn and a large hook. I also tried with a blue-gray yarn, in which case it looked a bit more like the 'fishbone scarf.' Stick with green.
Pattern available at my Etsy shop.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Perfect Crochet Book for Beginners

I recently volunteered to teach a group of kids to crochet. Since I learned the craft rather haphazardly (whatever I picked up as needed) I thought it might be a good idea to review my favorite how-to book. Sure enough, I am doing a few things wrong (like how I hold that darned hook.) This aptly titled book is extremely readable and is perfect for absolute beginners. It even explains the hieroglyphics that pass for instructions in most patterns. Check out Crocheting in Plain English: Easy-to-follow lessons in patterns, Sensible solutions to nagging problems, The only book any crocheter will ever Need over at Amazon where you can view the Table of Contents and read the first chapter.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Free Amigurumi Heart Pattern

Just in time for Valentine's Day! Surf on over to to find the free crochet instructions for these cute amigurumi hearts.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Single Crochet Stitch

The Slip Loop and The Chain Stitch

How to start your crochet project with a Slip Loop - and how to make the foundation row with the Chain Stitch.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How to hold the yarn and the hook

Sorry about the grainy image - I used an old digital camera and it was also an overcast day. But hopefully this will help you get the idea. Bottom line: left hand holds the yarn and doles it out, right hand wields the hook.

For someone who has never attempted crochet, I suggest starting with a size F or G hook and a plain medium weight yarn (the yarn label will say either 'medium' or 'size 4'.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Red Hearts

Is this adorable or what? It was on Etsy's front page treasury so I tracked it down to Samiskiart's shop. I must be subconsciously looking forward to Valentine's Day because it seems lately I only notice things that are either red or heart-shaped (or both.) There are lots of other adorable little wall plaques in this shop. Go take a peek.