Quite the Disappearing Act

I’m baaack! So, I’ve been getting the hint from some of my friends that I need to blog again. I feel very loved and happy.

And apologetic. I didn’t mean to abandon you all, I guess the month of madness (aka Blogtober) did me in. The holidays were very busy and then work became very busy, and then my blog seemed to fall off of the face of the Earth. Well, I’m back! But just a little bit, not like October. I will try not to disappear for a week  erm three months again!

So…. dear friends, what’s new? I spent the last few months on a crazy life/craft spree and I loved every bit of it. I’ve been ripping out my garden, knitting, crocheting, learning new crafts, doing home improvement, cooking and of course, giving lots of gifts. Here is a quick look at what I’ve been up to. I’ll catch you up in the following weeks.

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From the Unfinishables: The New Craft

Look at me, just finishing stuff left and right! Boo-ya! Do people still say that anymore?

earringsHere’s the story. I am getting ready for Halloween which means sending lots of gifts to family members. It is also my sister’s birthmonth, so that gives me the opportunity to send one big package of goodies for her and her family.  My sister is pretty rad and can somehow pull off really bold fashion. I knew that one of my Unfinishable pieces would work for her: those amazing Dia de los Muertos crochet earrings.

Here’s the wrap-up, just to rehash.

The New Craft

The story:  “Look at this! Ooh, look at this!” That is what I sounded like the first time I looked up crochet patterns on Ravelry. The possibilities were endless….and so is my to-do list. This was the first pattern I was just DYING to make. The problem is, I still haven’t.

Finishing Problem: Too many projects, not enough time.

earrings 2A challenge like the 31 Days Challenge is perfect because it forces me to make time for things that are important. This pattern is pretty easy, considering that I am a new crocheter and am still a bit shaky at this.

The pattern PDF shows the skulls with some fancy eyes so I looked through my bead collection and found some shimmery white eyes to add to these guys.

Also, look at that beautiful calavera pot! I participated in a little craft exchange with a long-lost friend from high school and that is what they sent me. Isn’t it fantastic?

I can’t wait to finish the second pair so I can wear them to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, which is the 1st of November this year. Curious about the holiday? Check this out!

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Lusty Eleven – September

Hooked!

Yes, I’m completely hooked on crochet. So this month’s Lusty Eleven is all about  fiber fun in general, including tutorials, beautiful handmade accessories and crochet ideas — all celebrating my new hobby. Hope you can get hooked too!blog

  1. Isn’t this the most beautiful crochet hook case? From elsiegeneva Etsy shop.
  2. Must learn how to make these gorgeous cuffs. Pattern from Ravelry!
  3. A fancy bowl to hold my yarn, this from Abby T Pottery’s Etsy shop
  4. Tiny Owl Knits book, not crochet but I want to make everything!
  5. 100 Birds, Butterflies & Little Beasts to Knit and Crochet, yes I want to.
  6. Desperately wanting these owl shaped stitch markers from winemakerssiter’s Etsy shop.
  7. Learn to knit with Purl’ Soho’s knitting videos!
  8. I want to make beautiful fall things, like these beautiful maple leaves from LubaDaviesAtelier.
  9.  Need to grow your hook collection? Knitpicks has a colorful, gorgeous Harmony hook collection.
  10. I now need every color of thread known to man, like this cotton Curio thread from KnitPicks.
  11. School Days!

Hooked yet?

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Feelin’ Foxy

As you know, I’m trying out my new crochet skills this month. One of the things I love most about crochet is the ability to quickly make super cute animals. There just seems to be a lot more freedom in this category than in knitting and is the whole reason why I wanted to learn how to crochet. That and lace actually, because nothing is more beautiful than lace.

03c750aa251211e3a9c822000a1d2020_7Check this new crochet pattern I’m working on! I’m a tad bit obsessed with foxes right now. It appears that my excitement about fall has manifested itself in all things orange: pumpkin lattes, fox cuties and my new shimmery orange nail polish (aptly named Fox Hunt) I got in my latest Birchbox. All of these seem to be attempting to meet my deep need to see the leaves turn bright shades of red and orange.

Alas, I decided to make something foxy and this brooch is a quick one to make! Now all I have to do is get some more craft eyes and my fox will all done! Gorgeous!

You can find the pattern on Ravelry from Mad Madam Mel (she also has a fox hair pin pattern! eee!).

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Medallion Earrings

The crocheting continues! Serious all, if you don’t know how to crochet and really don’t know if you care about learning…just do a Ravelry search for crochet earrings and your mind will be blown! There’s too many cute things not to try it.

Case and point… my new earrings!

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Find the pattern on Ravelry (for free!) or at the designer’s blog: Taraduff’s crochet and other stuff.

Since I’m a newbie, I’m not cool enough yet to be able to crochet on such tiny, tiny hook with miniscule thread. So mine were crochet with a size D hook.

Do it!

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Crochet Kuchi Earrings

crochet earringsFirst, I just want to remind you that I’m completely new to this crochet thing. Though that crochet class helped immensely, I can barely understand the directions so crocheting actual items (as opposed to free-form thingies) is pretty hard.

To make me practice, I’ve chosen crochet as my September blog theme though you could hardly tell by the looks of this blog this month. Oops.

Anyway, I’ve been lusting over ridiculously beautiful crochet earrings on Ravelry. They are lacely, gorgeous, intricate and look extremely difficult.

Probably because they are.

I’m confused by everything. Most patterns say “oh just go ahead and start with a magic loop”. Well what the hell? I Google’d it and yea okay, magic loop is like what I learned in class. You chain a number of stitches, slip to connect and then start making your stitches into the circle — but the pattern directions DO NOT always tell you how many to chain!! This is just too much freedom for this constrained knitter. Knit patterns are not free. They do not just leave important things like the number of stitches in the cast on row just up to you. Squeak! Okay, so I realize that the magic loop is magic because it is adjustable. But, eek! That’s just the sort of thing that would freak a newbie out.

But I blindly, lovingly jumped and tried out some earrings.

done!With partial success.

These earrings were adapted from Life in a Gilded Bottle’s Crocheted Kuchi Earrings. I say adapted because I tried to complete the pattern but well…I’m new to this and couldn’t understand what to do next. I’m sure it will all sink in with time.

Basically my pattern involves these following rows instead:

  1. Ch 5 and join with sl st to form a ring.
  2. Ch 3 (counts as first dc), *dc into the ring and ch 1, repeat from * 6 times, dc (8 in all). Turn
  3. Ch 3, dc 2 times into every space across (15 in all).
  4. With yarn needle, thread through last loop to secure.
  5. Grab your earring hook and stitch remaining thread through hook and secure.
  6. Grab your bottle of Stiffy Fabric Stiffener and soak earrings, lay flat overnight to dry.
  7. Ta-da!

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A Crafty Evening

handpainted

Only a crazy person thinks that making hand-painted wrapping paper is more cost-effective than buying it…

Yesterday was probably the most productive craft day I’ve had. I went home early because of lots of allergy issues and managed to

  • wash and weave in the ends of the romper
  • finish and attach my squirrel tail
  • make sweet hand-painted wrapping paper from my Lusty Eleven post last month! Yup, that is an empty sewing thread bobbin.
  • find patterns for gorgeous crochet earrings

notionsAnd the madness continues as I spent my lunch hour making adorable crochet earrings. How about they literally take minutes to make? Minutes! I think I love crochet. It satisfies my craft ADD perfectly because, unlike my knitted sweater, I can enjoy it it seconds!

I also found out that a repurposed Umbabox gift box comes in handy for my earring-making notions.

Why can’t every night be so productive? Because I am now exhausted! What I wouldn’t give for some mindless garter stitch project and a chick flick…

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