Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Yes, you can impress your family and friends by making your own hyperbolic surface! All you do is increase the number of stitches in each successive row or round of a crochet project. That's it. Here's how to make a 'pseudosphere' (like the one I made pictured above):
1. CH 2. SC 6 in the second chain from the hook (6 SC total).
2. SC 2 in each stitch all the way around (12 SC total).
4. SC 2 in each stitch all the way around (48 SC total).
5. SC 2 in each stitch all the way around (96 SC total).
You'll get a kinesthetic feel for what 'expanding exponentially' REALLY means. Early rounds go quickly, but each successive round takes longer and longer (and also eats up exponentially increasing amounts of yarn.)
If you want to learn a little more about the mathematics involved, check out this article or just google 'hyperbolic crochet.'
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
I saw something similar to this somewhere and thought it might be fun to make up a set. The coasters and their case make an easy project for the beginning crocheter - they work up fast and make an unusual gift. You'll need:
- about 3 oz of 100% wool medium weight yarn. (Make sure it's wool - otherwise it won't felt.) I like Lion Wool Brand and Paton's Classic Wool. If you are using 2 colors like I did, a couple oz. of each color should be enough.
- a size F or G crochet hook
- a 28-30 oz can of vegetables (say, a 28 oz. can of tomatoes)
- a zippered mesh laundry bag (like the kind you wash delicates in)
- a tennis ball or a pair of jeans
THE COASTER (Make 4 of these):
- Make a circle of 6 SC. You can do this one of two ways. You can CH 2 and then make 6 SC in the second CH from the hook. Or, you can use the 'Magic Adjustable Ring.' Check the video I have for this if you don't know what I'm talking about.
- Make 2 SC in each SC around (12 SC total.)
- (SC 1, 2 SC in the next stitch) all the way around (18 SC total.)
- (SC 2, 2 SC in the next stitch) all the way around (24 SC total.)
- (SC 3, 2 SC in the next stitch) all the way around (30 SC total.)
- (SC 4, 2 SC in the next stitch) all the way around (36 SC total.)
- (SC 5, 2 SC in the next stitch) all the way around (42 SC total.)
- (SC 6, 2 SC in the next stitch) all the way around (48 SC total.)
- SL ST to next stitch and finish off.
- Repeat steps 1-8 of the coasters.
- (SC 7, 2 SC in the next stitch) all the way around (54 SC total.) If you want a two-toned holder, here is a good place to switch to your second color.
- SC in each stitch all the way around (54 SC total.)
- Repeat step 3 for 9 more times.
- SL ST to the next stitch and finish off.
Now you are ready to felt this stuff. Put everything in that mesh laundry bag and put it in your washing machine with that tennis ball or pair of jeans. The tennis ball (or jeans) will help agitate the wool and get it to felt up. Set the wash on the lowest water setting, the highest agitation setting and use hot water. Run it through a wash and rinse cycle. If the pieces aren't felted enough to your liking, you can wash 'em again. Trim any loose ends. Now to shape everything. It should be pretty easy to get the coasters flattened out - just stretch with your hands, if needed . As for the case, put it over the end of the vegetable can and tug it into shape. You make have to pull a bit on this one. It should look something like this (can you tell I live in Texas?):
Saturday, March 21, 2009
I started picking up these seed pods this morning. The count is up to about 150 with no end in sight. And these things are about the size of a hand grenade. So you can't just mow over them. You have to pick. Them. Up. Not to mention the leaves, which are bigger and also (according to my husband) cannot be mowed over.
So. Think twice before you plant one of these things. But if you still want one, here's a very important tip: never trim up the branches. Leave the lower branches low (as in close to the ground.) That way this mess stays hidden.
Friday, March 20, 2009
from the local library. I highly recommend it for those who really don't have a clue as to where to get started (and that would be me.) It's full of easy and inexpensive ways to dig in. Hence, my new pole bean teepee. I scrounged some bamboo poles from the garage and a large tree branch I had been meaning to throw away, lashed them togther with some of the t-shirt yarn mentioned in a previous post (didn't see that application coming) and instant teepee! Once I clear the grass and make a trip to the local nursery for beans I'm set.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I looked at a lot of instructions and videos on the net and here is my take on how to make yarn from old t-shirts:
- The t-shirt must have no side seams, otherwise it's not going to work.
- Wash the t-shirt in hot water and dry on high to make sure it's shrunk as much as it is going to.
- Get out your ironing board. (no, not to iron the t-shirt.)
- Slide the t-shirt on the ironing board. This will make subsequent cutting much easier. (BTW, set up the ironing board opposite how you usually do it. If you are right-handed, point your ironing board to the right. If you are left-handed, point it to the left.)
- Cut off the bottom hem of the t-shirt.
- Cut along the bottom edge at an angle until you have about 1" in width. Then keep cutting in a spiral round and round, keeping the strip approximately 1" wide. This is where the ironing board makes it easier - just rotate the shirt around as you cut. And don't be OCD about getting it exactly 1" or exactly straight - just guesstimate. Or make it wider than 1" if you what. Your call.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
by Sue Whiting. These three roses were made from a pattern in the book and I love how they turned out. (That's the same pattern as the red rose in the upper right corner of the book's front cover.) I used a slightly larger yarn than called for so these came out about 5" across - hooray for big flowers! I tend to think of them as camellias rather than roses but who cares what you call them. There are a couple more projects in the book calling to me - always the sign of a good crochet book.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
This is Isaac, nicknamed Ike-a-saurus by his big brother. Ike’s mama is the author of Haiku Mama and the amazing blogger behind Haikuoftheday, where you can read a lot of their story in her own words. Ike was born 13 weeks early and spent a lot of time in the NICU. Ike finally got to come home but then his dad got laid off and their insurance was cut off the same day.
Many mamas from the Austinmama community are rallying together to organize fundraising events to help with mounting medical bills. You can help by donating at Ike's website. You can also help by going shopping! Some Etsy sellers have offered to donate proceeds from designated items to help Ike. Rachel Hobson, over at the AverageJaneCrafter blog, has all the info on the shops involved. Go check it out and see if you can find something you can't live without. And help baby Ike at the same time.