Things that caught my eye

I’ve been using Evernote and the Evernote clipper extension for Chrome to jot down ideas for future posts. Not for WiredYarn, but for my job. If you’re not familiar with Evernote, it’s an app and a website that you can use to jot things down. It works crossplatform, so I can use it on my smartphone, my work computer and on both sides of my dual booted laptop. I realized last week that Evernote would also be handy to clip things that I saw this week that are worthy of sharing with you. Here’s where I unveil my list of things that caught my eye.

  1. 20 Inspiring Ideas for Combining Crochet and Fabric. I’m not the crocheter. Rick is, but I’ve been known to make an afghan or an amigurumi or two. However, this list makes me want to bust out my hooks and bust my yarn and fabric stashes.

    Crochet and fabric afghan

    This particular pattern is sold on Etsy by sheilalikestoknit. And OMG, Scooters!

  2. Yet another crochet project: This adorable crochet lamb.It has a Wallace and Grommit look to it.

    Baby Soft Sheep toy

    He looks like Shaun the Sheep.

  3. Not to be outdone by a couple great crochet links, the new Jane Austen Knits is out. Combining our love for Jane Austen and knitting. Brilliant!

    Jane Austen Knits Fall 2012

    Pure eye candy.

  4. A late entry from last night. This hit my cellphone while I was driving down dark country roads. Once I arrived at my destination, I was rewarded with this. Abby Scuito would love this scarf.

    Illusion skull scarf

    Not every fiction author creates knitwear to go with it.

  5. Then for something completely different. TBDBITL’s tribute to video games. This has an added bonus of the Script Ohio at the end.

Easy summer projects

I’ve had an attitude about knitting washcloths and dishcloths. They seem like the perfect summer knitting project. Small, easy to carry, usually an easy enough pattern to not need too much thought. It was that last one that I think kept me from making them. I got bored. That and I couldn’t get over the fact that all my hard work would be used for cleaning.

Last year a friend mentioned how much she loved hand knitted dishcloths. When she and her husband bought a house, I made a couple as a house warming gift. It wasn’t that bad. Last month I made these for a friend’s bridal shower.

Stack of washcloths

Stack of washcloths

I used the scraps to make this striped washcloth:

Washcloth made with scraps

I used the scraps to make this.

After a week at the cottage, I decided in needed pot holders, which are a cousin of washcloths. However, when I look at potholder patterns, I’m drawn to the crocheted ones.

Like these:

Quilt-square pot holders

I think I’m hooked on these quick and easy projects for summer crafting. If you need me, I’ll be busy making potholders or browsing them on Ravelry.com.

Geek Crossover

So, its been established that, here at Wired Yarn, we “geek” over a few topics. That’s now a given.

However, I have to say that recently, due to pure happenstance, I had a true moment of “geek” in two distinct areas at the same time.

I was in “geek” heaven, at that moment.

I, recently, through just random searches found (& for the life of me I can not find it again now) a crochet stitch called “wine stitch” that described alternating a single crochet stitch from the back loop and the front loop. The picture showed a rippled effect in the resulting piece.

I used some extra yarn I had (Loops & Threads Charisma) Navy Blue to start to create this new stitch. I decided to do a scarf.

So far, I’m geeking on yarn, of course, and my other passion – Wine, because of the stitch.

But, it gets better.

I decided to do 6 rows of the blue before switching to the same brand yarn, but “red”. When I got to the end of the 6 rows, I was actually at the end of the skein.

I KNOW!

How often does that happen?

(I just lost the the non-yarn geeks, right??)

I felt like playing the lottery!

So, yeah, This was a total throw away project. Practice with extra yarn on a new stitch and yet it got me geeking on more than one subject at the same time!

It doesn’t get much better than this!

Sewing Saga

Happy National Sewing Machine Day!

To celebrate, I’m going to share with you my first ever sewing project!

For Christmas this past year, my loving husband bought me a sewing machine. I’ve wanted one for some time now as I try to get back to living self sufficiently and local etc. I think sewing one’s own clothes and fabric needs are a way to do this.

So, Jerry buys me this machine and I suddenly am overwhelmed. LOL So much I can do, but I don’t know how. Thankfully, my dear friend, and fellow Wired Yarn geek, Sandy, stepped in and gave me pointers along the way.

So, I set out to sew my first project – A Bath Robe

I’ve always put a nice, fluffy bath robe on all my Christmas

lists, but no one ever bought me one. So, I decided I’d make my own. I bought some nice blue fleece (Sandy said fleece was a good “starter” fabric), cut out the pattern, pinned it, cut out the fabric and then…

it sat there. I felt a little intimidated for the next step. But, Finally I took the plunge and started sewing.

I found it to be much easier than I’d worked it out to be in my head. I’m glad I finally decided to start sewing. It’s so satisfying to have a piece of clothing when you’re done that you have made yourself.

So, to celebrate National Sewing Machine Day today, either dust off the machine sitting in the corner of your craft room, or go get yourself one and begin. There’s tutorials online to help, the local craft stores are always willing to help (and some even have classes) and there’s always people like Sandy who are willing to help guide you and make sure you don’t give up.

Oh, and the final result of my first Sewing Saga?
Not too bad, eh?

I have quilts on my mind

I have quilts on my mind.

Last time I posted, which was far too long ago (sorry), I was thinking about scraps. I still am–scraps and using up my fabric stash. I also have a granddaughter due in August and I’m considering making a quilt rather than an afghan. It’s always so hot working on an afghan in the summer. Both of her sisters have an afghan from Grammy. I should have planned this better.

I know that I have a box of cut squares that was my DH’s grandmother’s stash. I’m tempted to use that up. And then I ran across this. The idea of creating a baby quilt that is based on a cityscape intrigues me. Skyline Baby quilt

I’m tempted to use the Columbus skyline, since this is her parents’ hometown, but this little one will be born in Fort Worth and will most likely move to Louisville. Columbus will be a foreign land. One of the things that sells this quilt is the map fabric. Buckeye fabric would be fun. Hmmm, I guess it’s time to shop to see what inspires me.

The Smile Of A 4 Year Old (or “Why I Crochet”)

When folks find out I crochet, I quite often get a smirk or even an audible “What?”.
I don’t think, these days, most people realize that guys crochet and knit and craft too.
As I said in the “About Me” page here on Wired Yarn, I grew up in a family of crocheters and quilters. I’ve crocheted since I was a kid. Crocheting, to me, is family. It ties me into my heritage and reminds me of those no longer with us.

This last November, though, I received the ultimate validation for my efforts in yarn.
I had spent several weeks, verging on months, working on an afghan for my niece’s 4th birthday. Her favorite colors are pink and purple, so I went with a simple straight double crochet, alternating colors every six rows. I thought it would never end!

However, all my frustration at how long it took the day of her birthday party, when she pulled her afghan out of the bag, said “I Love It.” and smiled.

 

How Tues…er Wednesday: Scrappy Squirrel

You caught me. I forgot to post my How-to yesterday. Considering I knew what I wanted to share, I have no excuse, other than Tuesday is NCIS day. I get very distracted by NCIS.

Last week Rick asked me what to do with scraps after cutting out a pattern. If you’re a crafter you know what I’m talking about.  Nowadays people buy fabric to color coordinate their quilts, but once upon a time, people used the scraps to make quilts. The quilt on the bed in DS3′s room is a scrap quilt that DH’s grandmother pieced. My mother-in-law recognized some of the pieces as we quilted it together.

Scrap quilt

When I hit the Google for some ideas, I ran across this quilt pattern that uses strips rather than squares. Great use for long, narrow pieces left after cutting out a sewing pattern. Fabric scrap banners are also another good use for those. I also found this link with ideas for using fabric scraps. The geek in me loves this idea to cover binder clips. If you wonder why you’d want to use a binder clip for anything other than clipping binders, just look here.

As a knitter, its just as hard to toss bits of yarn as it is for the sewer in me to toss bits of fabric. I’ve used them for:

Once again, hit the Google and see what kind of trouble you can get into. Now we just need storage ideas. How do you store your yarn or fabric scraps?

Feel Young Again.

I’m supposed to be writing about my projects. Like these really cool socks I’m working on for my March KAL.

Laurel Hurst sock  or how much I love the heel flap. Laurelhurst heel flap

But the literature geek in me is only thinking of 2 things.

   and  

It’s sad that I only started reading the Harry Potter books recently. I’m completely hooked, but part of me is already longing to move on to the Baroom books that John Carter was based on. If you haven’t seen John Carter, make a point of catching it before it leaves the theatres.

I know. I know what you’re thinking. It looks like a mash-up of a bunch of sci-fi movies you’ve already seen. What you may not know is that John Carter came before Star Wars, and Avatar, and Dune. It was written in 1917 by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the same man who brought us Tarzan. And fortunately for us, Burroughs seemed to enjoy writing stories about men in loincloths.

*blink*

When I came home from seeing the movie, I wanted two things. First, to have my sons with me so we could have one of our old-fashioned discussions about the merits of the film. I have no doubt we’d be discussing who stole what from Burroughs. Second, I knew I had to read the books. Reading would be the definitive way of identifying what parts inspired the stories that came after these books. Right away I saw Star Wars and Avatar had been influenced heavily by Burroughs’ Barsoom. Carter’s exploration of Barsoom (Mars) was in some ways very similar to Ransom’s exploration of Malacandra in C. S. Lewis’ Out of the Silent Planet. Even more there is a very Braveheart moment and there are characters very similar to The Watchers in Fringe.

When I mentioned these things to my sons in the far-off lands of Texas, I was presented with this. “How John Carter Made Me Young Again.”  Yes, yes, yes. This is exactly how I felt about the movie. It’s a heroic tale. It’s a space epic. It’s…it’s…it’s just what I needed. See the movie. Read the book. Feel young again.

How Tuesday – Learning New Stitches

Gone are the days when you have to personally know someone to show you a new stitch for crotchet.

When I took back up crochet this last year, I needed a refresher on some basic stitches, but didn’t have my mom or aunts handy to show me the stitches as they did when I was younger.  So, …

I turned to YouTube.

There are MANY a video tutorial online for how to do many stitches, from the basic single crochet  - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqhaQQajt0U to many more detailed stitches (search to your heart’s content).

One thing to be aware of, when watching these videos, make sure the videos are shot from the perspective as though you were looking at your own piece of work or you will learn the stitch “backwards”.

And, for the knitters reading this, check out the videos at http://www.knittinghelp.com/