Thursday, December 19, 2013

Where Have You Been?

Thanks for asking.
Here's the deal.
I'm still crocheting (of course!).
I just have a busted computer. And a busted camera. Between the two, not a lot of blogging happens.
Also: I'm in a 200 hour teacher-training program to become a certified yoga teacher (whaat! I know).
All this, plus the mayhem that is the end of the year has resulted in this wee corner of the internet being completely ignored.
Thank you all for your patience, and maybe use this opportunity to dig around in the archives.

<3 br="">~Jess

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I Crocheted My House (Finished!)

I'm a sucker for cutesy amigurumi, and I'm a sucker for cutesy housey thingies. So when I saw these adorable crocheted houses, well, of course I would make a version of my own house!

It helps that I live in a "Cape Cod" style house- it's already cutesy all on its own.

Azaleas in the front...

...and a forsythia bush in the back. Yay, homey goodness!

Initially I wanted it to be pillow-sized, but as I got into the foundation and halfway up the house I realized how unreasonable that is. Frogged it and began anew- and now this little guy is a sweet "miniature". I stuffed it with poly-fil, but I'd recommend that you weight it with some beans in the bottom, because mine tends to topple.

So are you going to crochet your house? Check out the link that follows for some inspiration and instructions to get you going! Crafty Queens: Crocheted House

Friday, October 4, 2013

Jade Pullover (Finished!)

Despite crocheting many days away in September, I didn't manage to update my sweet little bloggy corner of the interwebs. The main reason for my neglect was camera issues. The lighting was either terrible, or my battery was dead, or my pictures just weren't what they should be. So I'd wait or forget or put it off until suddenly over a month had passed and not a peep came from this blog.

So today I sit here and have decided: enough! Here's my Jade Pullover, all FINISHED! and cozy and looking quite green. I still need to block it so the sleeves will lay a bit softer, but for now, you get the idea...
 I was about to clean the dirty mirror but I looked up to discover a wasp in this room. Eeeps! So I did what I do and I ran out and shut the door and then told my husband about it when he came home.

 Awkward stance.

I've never been much for taking 'selfies', so these finished sweater shots are a challenge to get right, I guess everyone gets the gist of the sweater, despite my photographic abilities. :)

Now I need to write up the stitch pattern tutorial. I really-really love this stitch, it was fun and fast and repetitive and geometrical and a wee bit floral without being overly complicated. I think it'd make a great tote-bag of sorts, especially with a calico material lining peeking through the diamond-y holes. Mhm!

You know what else I've crocheted in the month and a half it's taken me to get this post together? A poncho, a house (yes, a house), more squares on my queen sized blanket, a lot of hats for care-bags, added rounds to my son's star blanket, Lego finger puppets, and a whole lotta motifs for a sweater I'm working on (at this point it's becoming a compulsion). Now let's see if I can get my camera to cooperate!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Two of Ten (Work in Progress)

I suspect my queen size granny square blanket is going to be one of those makes that is much more beautiful and impressive in person than it photographs.  Oh well, what can you do. :)

Here's what progress looks like:

My favorite square. ^ ^ ^

I got a ton more yarn- hopefully enough to get me halfway done. But I won't get ahead of myself: I'm taking this blanket one row at a time.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Jade Pullover (Sneak Peek)

My jade green sweater is d o n e, and has been for a few days now.
I did try to get some good shots of the thing, but sheesh, it's tricky to take self portraits and this is the only one that came out clear....
so, let's consider this a sneak peek. :)
It's quite cozy. I'm almost okay with autumn coming.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Left Overs (Work in Progress)

'Use it up
Wear it out
Make it do
Or do without.'

I like to think of myself as a bit of a minimalist. Or at least, I aspire to minimalism and truly believe the old cliches: "less is more" and "waste not, want not". Jaded by our consumer driven society, my charming husband and I decided long ago that we'd make what we could, fix what we could, buy thrift when we could, and buy new only things that were really made to last.

This mentality carries over into my crochet stash, where I'm keen to use up my random yarn and not let it go to waste. It's been a year and a half since I finished my Not-That-Ugly Scrappy Granny Blanket and I recently noticed the yarn bits were multiplying again. Time for some stash busting with the left overs!

This go 'round I stuck with just two rounds of granny. It makes the squares fast and fun, makes weaving in ends feel faster, and when the whole thing is finished it'll have a great retro granny feel (especially if I circle it in black). It's awesome how different granny squares can look.


Mini stack of mini grannies.

My project within the project came into being from the surprise bits of yarn that don't have enough length to form even one round of a granny square. I'm taking those and knotting them together and winding them into a ball of their own. When I have 3 or 4, I'll make a little multi-colored floor mat for entrance to my house from the porch. 

Minimalist living is surprisingly colorful.

Have a Lovely Day!


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Fast Makes (Finished)

Sometimes you don't want to crochet a blanket or a sweater. Sometimes you want some instant gratification. Sometimes you just want a fast make.

Last weekend I felt like that. Ugh, I don't want to touch you, queen size granny square blanket. Ugh, I've frogged you entirely too much to make you appealing, jade green sweater.

So I made a belt.

And a finger puppet (inspired by this foxy guy).

And, since I'm over run with spider plant babies, this little doily plant hanger (inspired by dottie angel).


Have a Lovely Day!


The Petal Cluster Stitch (Inspiration)

I am loving the Petal Cluster stitch! Despite quite a few hiccups when I started my next sweater (still officially nameless), I stick with the Petal Cluster because it's a design I'm seeing everywhere...

From my bedsheets... my yarn bowl (okay, technically orchid planter, but I can't keep orchids alive)... porch table tops...

....even tiny little bits on throw pillows.

I gave the stitch a try with some dense cotton yarn, but it just didn't feel right. And I remembered no matter how much I love yellow, it does not love me.

So back to my jade green I turned. No in-progress pictures are available just yet, but hopefully I can get those done soon. 

So, does anyone know what this design is actually called? Oh, and I know I linked to the photo tutorial of the stitch available from Crochet Me, but if the pictures aren't enough, no worries: I intend to write up a tutorial, especially because I think I tweaked the row end/beginnings a bit from what the original offered.
Have a Lovely Day!


Monday, August 5, 2013

End of Summer (Work in Progress)

If you've been around this blog, you may remember The Circus Sweater was a recent make of mine (here's a link to the Sedge Stitch Tutorial, if you want to recreate it!)

Well, since this is my most favorite-est time of year (the end of summer!) and we're looking ahead to autumn but not even there yet (a good 6 weeks before I even think about actually wearing the sweaters I'm making), I thought it was the perfect time to start on another sweater while we wait for autumn.

Initially, I started on this lovely, simple pull over...

Gorgeous, right? Yeah, it's not gonna work. I began the first row of this sweater 5 times (5!) and had to frog it. I wonder if there's something amiss in the pattern, because what I was creating just wasn't adding up with the instructions. There was an actual chart, but since I've never made a top-down sweater before, it wasn't much of a help (I'm actually not much of a visual learner- I need words).

Scratch that.

I then decided to base my next sweater off my circus sweater, but to use a stitch that was a bit airier, to make the sweater a bit looser, and the sleeves a bit longer.
It took a few days of internet searching and book perusing, but I've finally settled on (what I think) is the perfect stitch.... The Petal Cluster

I had to alter the stitch a bit so it would work out with straight edges, but it was a pretty simple adjustment.

It meets all my nit-picky criteria: interesting stitch without being too complicated, a tad flowery without being too feminine, airy without being entirely made of a chain stitch. Oh yes, I have high hopes for this stitch. I just have to order a bit more yarn, because I don't think I have enough of my jade green on hand.

Time to get started.
Happy Monday, all! And happy end of summer!

Have a Lovely Day!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Goodbye, Google Reader

A quick note to remind you all that Google Reader will be gone at the end of this month (!!). So, if you enjoy reading blogs (like me) and you'd like to continue to keep track of your favorites, check out the alternatives to Google Reader....




I'm sure there's more, but those are the ones I've seen recommended. Apparently they'll even export your current blog list. How crazy cool is that. Enjoy!

Have a Lovely Day!


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sedge Stitch Tutorial (Free!)

The Sedge Stitch is a stitch I completely
* L * o * V * e *
and I wanted to share it with everyone,
especially those of you who saw and loved my version of
The Circus Sweater

So before we get this tutorial-party started
I will mention a couple of things....

This tutorial is for the *stitch*, not for any finished item
(though I've included a selection of pictures of finished sedge-stitched things).

I include the instructions for each picture
*BELOW* the picture.
If you're like me, excessive scrolling will confuse you,
so just keep that in mind.

You can use
*any yarn*
*any hook size*
to make
*almost anything*
that you want.

So with no further ramblings,
I happily present:

*The Sedge Stitch Tutorial*

To begin, chain a length in multiples of 3. I chained 36.

In the second stitch from the hook, work a single crochet, a half-double crochet, and a double crochet. (Disregard the cat hair on the floor.)

Skip two stitches, and in the third stitch work another single crochet, half-double crochet, and double crochet. You repeat this step all the way across. (Be brave!)

Now you've reached the end of your row and you have one stitch left. (It's not a mistake!)

Single crochet into the last stitch. (YES!)

Chain 2 and turn your work! (Onward to our second row!)

In the last stitch of the previous row you'll work a double crochet. (See, it's like a half cluster.)

Skip two stitches, and in the single crochet of the previous row, work your cluster again: single crochet, half-double crochet, double crochet. Keep repeating that step until you've reached the end of the row.

Locate the very last stitch of the previous row. (It's tricky, it kind of hides.)

Work a single crochet into the very last stitch. (Row 2 is CoMpLeTeD!)

Two rows painlessly completed. Now, chain two and turn.

Row 3: Begin! In the first stitch of the previous row work a double crochet.

Skip two stitches, and in the third stitch work your cluster: single crochet, half-double crochet, double crochet. Repeat across. (You've probably gotten the gist of this by now. Hang on, one more thing of note left.)

Now you're at the end of the row. Notice there's no single crochet in the previous row, but your turning chain and your double crochet. That's exactly how it will be from here out. So...

Work your single crochet into the turning chain of the previous row.

If you keep going, eventually your stitches will look like this.

And this. Easy peasy!!
In Abbreviated Crochet Terms...
To begin, chain a length in multiples of 3. (I chained 36 for this project.)
Row 1: In the 2nd ch from the hook work sc, hdc, dc. *Skip 2 st, in 3rd st work sc, hdc, dc * across. In last ch st work sc. Ch 2, turn.
Row 2: In sc of prev row, work 1 dc. *Skip 2 st of prev row, work sc, hdc, dc into sc of prev row * repeat across. In last stitch work a sc. Ch 2, turn.
Row 3: In first stitch of prev row, work 1 dc. *Skip 2 st of prev row, work sc, hdc, dc into sc of prev row * across. Sc in turning ch of prev row. Ch2, turn.
Repeat Row 3.
To increase, work additional clusters into beginning or ending stitches.
To decrease, skip clusters in beginning or ending stitches.

From this tutorial I made a coffee cozy (sah cuuuute!). These itty bitty projects are a great way to practice a new stitch. Just sayin'!

And, of course, the Circus Sweater.

Enjoy your sedge stitching!!

Have a Lovely Day!