Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I got my JIMBO HOOK!! I got my JIMBO HOOK!!!

My hubby woke me up this morning by giving me my mail. There was a box, and a postcard from my fairy godmother in Wisconsin.

I looked at the box, and before I even saw what the address label said, I just KNEW it was my Jimbo Hook. I just KNEW it.

It took me for-freaking-ever to get the darned thing open, though. MAN, that man uses a lot of tape! *lol* I ended up having to ask hubby for his pocket knife, because otherwise, there was no way in hell I was going to get the thing open!

But finally, I got it open, and out comes this absolutely beautiful hook.

And of course... what does one DO when one recieves a piece of art that is a Jimbo Hook? One USES it, of course!

I immediately whipped out my last ball of cotton yarn and got to work on another washcloth. I'd read another pattern I wanted to try last night, so I figured why not try it with my brand-spankin'-new Jimbo Hook?


I'm planning on making another one shortly, again with my Jimbo Hook and my cotton yarn, but I think I'm going to try a different pattern. I haven't decided what yet, but I'm definitely gonna do it.

And then, when I'm done, I'll get to work on my shawl. I wanted to make something for me with this hook - yes, I'm going to be selfish, just this once - and I've got this pretty blue and purple yarn that would make a lovely shawl. And considering that even though it's nearly summer here, it gets pretty darned chilly in the evenings, I figured that would be something I could use... like NOW! :)

I'm one happy hooker today, that's fer sho'!


Can you believe that after over 20 years of crocheting, I've never made dishcloths before today? Or... well... yesterday, to be technical.

I bought this yarn a while ago. I was shopping at a place called E. Kemp's, just about 3/4 of a mile or so away from my house, and they had this stuff on clearance sale. It didn't have a label, so I didn't know what it was, but for only £0.30 a skein, it was a deal I just could NOT pass up. And the colors are beautiful. These pictures just don't do it justice. It's a variegated, in pink, light lavendar, and dark lavendar. Very spring/summer-ish.

But yesterday, I was looking in my yarn box for something else, and I came across this ball of yarn. And I remembered a thread I'd read on Crochetville about how you could figure out what a yarn was made from by how it acts when it's burned. And that's one of the reasons I'd never used this yarn, because I didn't know what it was made from. So I snipped off a small piece and burned it, and sho 'nuff, this stuff is cotton yarn.

The first one I made is a simple one. It's all single crochet. That's it.

The second one was a little more difficult, but once I got going, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. It's a combination of hdc and cross-stitch, with a border of sc.

I found the pattern on Crochet Pattern Central. If I could remember PRECISELY which pattern it was, I'd give y'all the link. But for the life of me, I can't remember which one. I've looked at so many (I've got Christmas gift lists going in my head right now because this has inspired me) in the last two days that I just can't remember which one it was.

The last one I made, which I just finished about an hour or so ago, I would have to say is my favorite. This is the first one I think I'll use when I do get to use them. It's all hdc, but in the back loops only.

To me, it not only looks neater, but with the ridges created by going through the back loop, it should give a scrubbing/exfoliating action. And this yarn is so SOFT! It feels - and even looks vaguely like - SUEDE! I'm only sorry that I only had the one ball. I could easily see this yarn made up into some sort of wearable. A shawl or a shrug, for example. But hey... I've got me some brand spankin' new, absolutely divine washcloths to use the next time I need a wash.

And best of all, I've got some practice in, so when it comes time to start planning and making Christmas gifts this year, I won't be making myself crazy.

Edited to add: I actually did use that last one in the shower, and I was right. The ridges made by crocheting into the back loops only made for a GREAT scrubbing action, while at the same time it felt REALLY soft. I am DEFINITELY making some of these for Christmas gifts this year!!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Tiffany's Kioko

Here it is, the amigurumi I made for my neighbor's daughter, who turned 15 today.

I named it Kioko, which means "Happy Child" in Japanese - because I was hoping it would make Tiffany happy. :)

I actually did have her 99% finished last night - the only thing I had to do to her this morning was finish her hair. Because I gave her straight hair, I had to attach each strand separately, and it took a looooooooong time!

She's made with 100% acrylic, DK pink yarn. Pink because that's her favorite color (I asked her mom). Her face is embroidered on using DMC embroidery floss (I liked the shine it made, and thought it would look better than just using yarn). Her hair is a mixture of DK acrylic and WW yarn that I had in my stash. I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture, but the pink in her hair and the pink skirt is made from the same yarn. The edging on her skirt and her top are both made from white DK yarn.

Not only does Tiffany already have her, but while trying to type up this entry, she came to the door, wanting help with binding off a knitted top she'd made for the doll! :D I'm just so glad she liked it. I know that at 15, girls aren't very likely to play with dolls, but I was hoping she'd see it as what *I* saw it - a very cute, very unique thing to decorate her room with.

I'm just so glad she likes it!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Tiffany's Pillow

I just finished this pillow for my neighbor's youngest daughter, Tiffany, for her birthday on Monday. I don't have a lot of money (talk about an understatement!), but I wanted to do something for her, since she's always helping me and the kids out. When it's nice out, she recruits a bunch of her friends and takes all 3 of my younger children out to the park and to the beach. I found this pattern here. I did change up the pattern just a little bit - instead of doing both sides of the top of the T from the outside edges, I did the FIRST side from the outside edge, and did the SECOND one from the 15th stitch in and crocheted outwards. It made the stitches look more uniform. I also noticed that there's an error in the pattern. On Row 14, where it says "you should have 3 skipped stitches on either side of this row," there's actually 3 stitches on one side and 4 on the other. In order to not confuse myself with the rest of the pattern, on the side that had 4 stitches, I did a decrease stitch (single crocheted 2 stitches together) to make 3 stitches. I'm sure I could have just adjusted the rest of the pattern to the extra stitch, but I was too tired when I started that part of the pillow and frankly, just couldn't be bothered.

I'm also going to make her an amigurumi dudette, so keep an eye on this... I'm hoping to have it done by tomorrow night at the latest (since her birthday's the very next day!).

Just a night's work. :)

Well, the dreaded birthday is now officially over. My "baby" turned 4 today, and got spoiled rotten, considering it's pretty much just us and her aunt Vicci that has anything to do with her.

But my neighbor's youngest daughter gave her a doll set for her birthday... and it has a BUNCH of tiny little pieces. Most of them are so small I could suck them up in the vacuum cleaner and not even notice. So I wanted to give her some way to at least TRY and keep them together. So the lightbulb went on over my head, and I thought "why not make her a little bag?" :) So I did. I did some stash-diving, got out my small scraps, and whipped this up tonight.

I wouldn't exactly call it my best work, but considering I was just making it so that a 4 year old could keep all her toys together, I really don't care. If I was going to make it for any other reason, I would. But for this.... *shrug* ... who shives a git? ;)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I've won me a JIMBO HOOK!!!!!!

Can you tell how excited I am?

If you don't know what I'm talking about, you've GOT to go check out his blog. He hand-carves (or "whittles," as he likes to say sometimes) these GORGEOUS crochet hooks from wood he (mostly) just happens to find while walking around on his property. He does sometimes use different woods - like African Padauk - but the majority of the wood he uses he just finds in the natural habitat around him.

I've been seeing his work around Crochetville and on his own blog, and I gotta tell you... I could only DREAM of the day I could own my very own Jimbo hook. I just read this post here from another Crochetville member, and it only proves to solidify my already high opinion of them. They're gorgeous, but for the amount of money his go for (he auctions them off, and the highest bidder gets it - usually about $20 or $25 U.S.D.), there's just no way I'd be able to afford one. I can't spend that much money in an entire month on ALL my crocheting supplies, never mind just one hook!

But I WON one! I won! I won! I won!

He said on his blog that he was giving them away because he didn't like the finish he used on them - it was an experiment that didn't go quite the way he'd hoped. But ya know what? I DON'T CARE! I can't WAIT to get it!

I've already decided what I'm going to do with it. First, I'm going to make something for myself. Yes, I'm going to be selfish just this once. Then, I'm going to use it to make my sister's pillowghan that I'm re-doing, and I think I might do the same for my neighbor. She's been a great friend (heck, my ONLY friend) since I moved here, and she just mentioned a few weeks ago that she wanted an afghan. So I think I'm gonna make her a pillowghan for Christmas... or maybe her birthday. Depends on how soon I get it done.

I've got PLANS for this thing! And it ain't even HERE yet! *LOL*

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Amigurumi Dress and Hair Pattern

It occured to me, after exchanging like 5 or 6 pm's with another member of Crochetville, that maybe I oughta put the pattern for the hair and the dress I made for my Dudette up here.

It honestly just never occurred to me before - it's like I have this thing in my head that says that all other crocheters out there are better than me, and therefore wouldn't want ME telling them what to do. As I said to the other member in one of the pm's: maybe I should have more faith in my OWN crocheting abilities, huh?!


You will need:
any yarn of your choice
complementary hook
(I used double knitting weight yarn, and a 3.00 mm hook)

*Note* You will be making EACH STRAND of hair individually.

Ch 21 for shorter hair, 26 for longer hair.

Row 1: sc in the 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across, fasten off

The work will automatically curl a bit, because of the closeness and the type of stitches used. You can either leave it as is or twist it around a bit to make it even more curly. That's what I did with mine (I wanted Dudette's hair to resemble mine a bit ;).

Use the ends of the work to sew it onto your amigurumi's head, wherever you'd like. (In my version, I started with the beginning round and progressively worked my way down until I felt she had enough hair).

Repeat until you've got the amount of hair you desire.


You will need:
any yarn of your choice
complementary hook
(I used double knitting weight yarn, and a 3.00 mm hook)

*Note: you will be making the dress in 2 pieces and then joining them together.

For the skirt:
Chain the same amount of stitches as the circumference of your amigurumi (as said in the previous post, I used Crochet Me's "Amigurumi Dude" pattern, and the circumference of the body was 30 stitches, so I chained 30), join with a sl st to form a ring, ch 1.

Row 1: 2 sc in each st around, join.

Row 2: ch 2, 1 dc in each st around, join.

Row 3: ch 2, 1 dc in 1st st, 2 dc in next st (1 dc in each of the next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st). Repeat from ( to ) around. Join.

Row 4: same as row 3.

Fasten off, weaving in ends.

For the bodice:

ch 5

Row 1: 2 dc in 2nd ch from hook, 3 dc in next ch, 2 sc in last ch. ch 2, turn.

Row 2: (ch 2 counts as first dc) 1 dc in 1st st, 2 dc in each of the next 2 sts, 3 dc in next st, 2 dc in each of the next 3 sts. Fasten off, weaving in ONLY the LAST end.

Use the BEGINNING tail to whipstitch the bodice to the skirt, making sure the seam you made in the skirt is at the BACK.

Using 1 strand for each side, attach yarn to the sides of the bodice for straps, wrap them around your amigurumi's neck, and tie with a bow on the back. (Doing it this way, you can make different dresses and change your amigurumi's clothes whenever the mood strikes you!)

On a personal note: this is the first time I've ever written a pattern for others to use. Please let me know if there's anything I should add or do differently if you have a problem with these directions. If I'm going to bother writing patterns, I'd like to do it right the FIRST time! KWIM? :)

Amigurumi Dudette!!

I used Crochet Me's "Amigurumi Dude" pattern to make her. I just picked up the first ball of yarn my hands touched and started it. But it was such a pretty pastel color that, before I was even finished, I just knew it was a SHE, not a HE. So I gave her a mop of curly pink hair, and when she was finished, decided she had to have a dress. Self-respecting amigurumi girls don't walk around town NEKKID! I'm really pleased how she turned out. The kids like her, too - they won't leave her alone!

I'm seriously thinking about making one for my grandmother for either her birthday or mother's day. Yes, I know Mother's Day was weeks ago, but I couldn't send her anything because money is just too tight. But I've already got a ton of yarn, so all it would cost me to make her an amigurumi is a little of my time and postage costs. THAT'S doable!

Here she is, nekkid:

And after I made her a dress:

A little closer...


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Crocheters Anonymous

Hello, my name is Suzi and I'm addicted to crochet.

Man, those are words I never thought I'd even THINK, never mind saying out loud or... *gasp*... write in a blog!

But it's true. And man, is it ever catching up with me. I can't count the number of times over the past few days that the thoughts "just one more row," or "I'm almost finished, I may as well stay awake until it's done" have entered my mind. I think the earliest I've gone to bed since last week was 1 a.m. No joke.

And today my arse is a-draggin'! To make matters worse, today was the field trip to the farm with my youngest daughter's nursery class. Some days I can talk her into taking a nap with me - or at the very least, sitting on the couch with me watching telly while *I* take a nap! No chance of that today - I left the house with the kids at 8:45 a.m. and didn't walk back in the door until nearly 4 p.m. The only time I really got to sit down was on the BUS on the way to and from the farm!

And here it is, 11 p.m., I've got a hat that's 99% done, I'm on the VERY last row, and something in me just will NOT let me set it aside for tomorrow. Something in me keeps telling me I HAVE to finish it.

Part of me wonders if that's not my grandmother's perfectionism biting my arse... or if it's just the crochet addiction. And God knows I'm addicted. I even finished the crown to a different hat on the bus taking (above mentioned) daughter to the Eye Infirmary yesterday. The ENTIRE crown, not just a few stitches here and there.

Good Lord... am I sad or WHAT??

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Ripple Blanket and tons of HATS!

I finally found the camera and charged it up, so I can finally post pictures of what I've been doing for the last week.

Pink & Lilac Ripple Baby Blanket:
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Hats, hats, hats, and more HATS!!!

Pink hat
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Lilac Hat (yes, it's really lilac, although I realize it LOOKS blue)
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Brimmed Lilac Hat with Pink Rosette
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Pink & Lilac Striped Hat
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As you can see, my 2 youngest kids are absolutely LOVING being my models. Of course, the fact that I have a bunch of CAMERA HOGS for children doesn't hurt any! :)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Crocheting with plastic bags?!

I never thought of that one before, until I read a thread on Crochetville regarding "unusual" crocheting supplies.

Now, considering the fact that my house is over-run by plastic shopping bags, this one doesn't sound like such a bad idea.

And I can always have hubby and his best friend take whatever I make to the boot sale and see if it sells.

All in all, not a bad idea. I already have the supplies (and then some!!), all it's going to cost me is a little of my time.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

New blog; old obsession

So here I go again. This is what? ......... my 6th blog in the last few years, something like that. But I'm thinking that maybe, since my obsession with yarn and the things I can make with it stems from the age of 7, when my grandma taught me to crochet my first chain.... well, maybe... just maybe... I'll be able to stick with it.

Besides, what better place to keep all my photos of my FO's than in a blog? Huh?