Saturday, August 10, 2013

Cream Bookmark

I made this bookmark, my second effort at thread crochet, as part of my Dad's birthday present (the other part is still a work in progress, to be posted at a later date).

I used the pattern for the Victorian Memories Bookmark by Denise Augustine Owens, which I found on Ravelry. The website where this is housed has a background image that makes it hard to read, but I found that copying the text and pasting it into a document worked well to create an easier pattern to follow.

 I used Aunt Lydia's Classic Crochet cotton (size 10) in Natural. I had a little trouble getting everything to line up right on the end where the pattern starts and finishes, but otherwise it worked up easily and was fun to make.

If I had all the time in the world, I'd be doing tons of thread crochet at this point. As it stands, I look forward to making time to do a few more projects like this.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Caleb's Pickachu

You may remember that last year, I made my nephew Caleb an Oshawott for his first birthday. It was my first try at amigurumi, and it turned out well, if I do say so myself. So, for his second birthday, I decided to try a Pikachu. Pikachu has a more complicated body shape, since he's all one contoured piece from his feet to his head, and I had a little more trouble finding a pattern I really liked.

I settled on the Pikachu pattern from Etsy seller getfun for the body, ears, and arms of my Pikachu. However, this pattern uses felt for the tail, feet, and details, and I really wanted my Pika to be all crochet.

So, I used the pattern for the tail, feet, and stripes from the Pikachu pattern by WolfDreamer Off the Hook. I improvised the cheeks and eyes, as they're just circles.

While you can definitely tell that this is Pikachu, I'm not quite as happy with this effort as I was with Oshawott. I'm something of a perfectionist, and I wanted Pika to look just like the cartoon. In the end, Caleb seemed to like it, which is what's really important.

Andy, Caleb, and Pikachu

Monday, June 17, 2013

One Piece Slippers

I made these slippers back last fall, as a prototype to possibly reproduce as a Christmas present. I wanted a pattern that was worked in one piece, and I tried several that I found online. Most of them, like these, were worked by starting from the toe in rounds, then switching to rows to create the sides.

Unfortunately, I never really hit on a pattern that I really liked. Of the several practice slippers I made, these came closest after I heavily modified the original pattern. However, I still don't like how uneven the edging is and I'd have to start over guessing to modify the size. So, I haven't written up my final pattern because I don't really plan to use it again.

I still like the idea of slippers for Christmas gifts, so I'm going to be looking for more patterns like this. I may give up on the idea of working them in one piece, but I'd love it if I finally found the perfect one-piece pattern.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Green Bookmark

Since getting into crochet a little over a year ago, I've been interest in thread crochet. It's much more delicate and allows for some beautiful, lacy patterns. I tried what seemed like a simple bracelet, but couldn't get it to work. So, logically, I decided to jump into a much more elaborate pattern. It worked out a lot better.

I made this bookmark using the Shell Stitch Filet Bookmark pattern by Julie A. Bolduc and Aunt Lydia's Classic Crochet Cotton in Sage.

This particular pattern also appealed to me because the central portion uses the same pattern of stitches to create a grid that's used in filet crochet. Since I'm also interested in giving that a try, this was a good introduction to both.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Candle Making (Part 2 of 2)

As I mentioned before, I made a foray into candle making for gifts this winter. Most of them were made to coordinate with either body products or another decorative gift.

Back: Camp fire, Middle: Bamboo, Front: Cranberry Fig
This batch ended up with more spots where the wax didn't adhere to the glass containers. Since I prepped the containers the exact same way for this batch, I have no idea why.

Making these seemingly simple container candles involved a lot of variables and was way more work than expected. The only real advantage to making these instead of buying them was the ability to match the scent to my body products.

In the end though, since basic candles are readily available and not very expensive, I don't think the extra energy required to make them is really worth it. I still want to try some more detailed candle crafts, but for simple container candles, I'll likely stick to buying ready made in the future.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pattern: Poke Bag

My nephew who just turned two last month has already seen enough episodes of Pokemon to have his own favorites, leading me to crochet him an Oshawott and a Pickachu (post soon!). Of course, my little buddy's love of Pokemon is just an excuse for his dad, the older of my two younger brothers, to watch.

Actually, we don't make excuses, my brother and I love Pokemon! So, for his birthday I made him a bag to hold the damage counters, status problem markers, coins, etc. that we need to play the Pokemon TCG.

 It's a Pokeball!
The twist on this bag is that it has a flat bottom. So, when you open it and fold down the sides, it turns into a handy bowl to for easy access to grab the tokens during a game.

I actually first thought of this concept some time ago and made a smaller version for my dad. I haven't ever written up the pattern for that, so I'll do that soon. In the meantime, here's the pattern for the Pokeball version.


Appoximate amounts worsted weight yarn:

90 yards - Red
95 yards - White
20 yards - Black
H Hook


For anyone unfamiliar with working in continuous rounds instead of joining at the end of each round: Place a stitch marker in the first stitch of the round, and move it up as you complete each round.
Round 1: Create a magic ring. 6 sc into ring.
Round 2: 2 sc in each st around.
Round 3: *Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st* Repeat around.
Round 4: *Sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st* Repeat around.
Round 5; *Sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st* Repeat around.
Round 6: *Sc in next 4 sts, 2 sc in next st* Repeat around.
Round 7: *Sc in next 5 sts, 2 sc in next st* Repeat around.
Round 8 - 15: Sc in each st around.
Row 16 - 17: Change to black. Sc around.
Row 18 - 24: Change to white. Sc around.
Row 25: [Sc in next 6 sts, ch 2, skip 1 sc, sc in next sc] repeat seven times around.
Row 26: [Sc in each sc, work one sc around the ch 2 from previous row], repeat around.
Row 27: Sc around.
Row 28: Sc around until 3 last three sts. Sl st into the last 3 sc from previous round. Finish off and weave in tail under the first few sts of the final round to create a smooth edge.

Button (make one):
Using black, create a magic ring. 12 dc in magic ring, sl st to join. Finish off.
Using white, create a magic ring. 12 hdc in magic ring, sl st to join. Finish off.
Center the white circle on top of the black circle and position both on the front of the bag so that the black stripe on the bag is behind the center of the circles. Using white, sew through both circles to attach.

Use white yarn to chain stitch or braid a drawstring or use ribbon. Thread through the spaces created in rows 25 and 26 of the bag pattern.

While it's pretty simple, this is the most complicated pattern I've written so far. So, please let me know if you have questions or if there is anything that doesn't make sense. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Scaled Up Lotion Recipe

Some time ago, I posted my updated skin cream recipe, in a version that makes 2 oz. of lotion. Of course, when I'm making this as gifts, or even most of the time for myself, I make it in larger batches, so I thought others might like to see the scaled up version.

Batch of six 4 oz. jars:

3/4 c shea butter
3/4 c mango butter
1/4 c beeswax
1/2 c c jojoba oil
1.5 tsp vitamin E oil
16 ml essential or fragrance oil (4 ml per jar)

The instructions are the same, you melt all the ingredients except for the essential or fragrance oil in a double boiler. For the essential oil, you can add enough essential oil for the whole batch at once. However, what I usually do is put the amount needed for each jar in the jar, then pour the lotion mix  and stir each one individually.

One final tip: Keep in mind that fragrance oils are generally quite a bit stronger than essential oils. So, adjust accordingly depending on which you use and the scent level you prefer.