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.
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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 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/

How Tuesday – Starting Your Chain

When picking up the crochet hooks again, after many years, one of the hardest thing for me to relearn was how to start the initial loop to start my chain. I attempted intricate knots, multiple wrapping of the yarn around the hook, etc. I knew it just had to be easier.

One day the end of the string was just laying on the table in such a way that a new way to start the chain struck me. (I have since learned that this is a common way).

Hopefully my sharing this little trick will save you some time and frustration –

Step 1 – Make a loop in the end of your yarn –

Step 2 – Bring the end of the yarn back under the loop you just created –

Step 3 – Put your crochet hook through the loop, yet under the center string

Step 4 – Grab both the end of the yarn and the main string of the yarn and pull the loop tight around your hook. (Note – this will create a slip knot. If you take the hook out and pull, the knot will come out)

Now you know!

Geeking On Firefly (& important lessons learned)

Very excited to write this first Wired Yarn post. When thinking of which project to share as my first one, it was simple.

Jayne’s Hat

For any Firefly fan, you automatically know what I’m talking about.

I originally started this as a Christmas ’11 project for my brother-in-law. (Many thanks to Kim Werker for posting her crochet pattern on Crochet Me. I couldn’t have done this without you. I know you didn’t know I saw your post til now.)

Due to the nature of me wanting to reproduce the hat as close to the real thing as possible, I decided to actually follow the pattern (a first for me) and not just do my own thing. This was the first time I experienced using stitch markers.

I used old wine glass charms as markers.
They pull double duty quite well.

The most important lesson learned from this project is “gauge“. As you see in the photo below

there’s quite a bit of give in the hat. This is me wearing Jayne’s hat before finishing touches.

I learned to ensure my gauge is good before proceeding with a project. Especially when it has to fit well.

Unfortunately, I do not yet have a finished photo of this project since, when finishing it, I ripped out an ear flap. I have promised my BIL that he’ll still get his Jayne’s Hat, but it has currently gone on the back burner of projects.

Such is the life of someone with ADD having more than one project going at the same time. LOL