Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Catching up on my crocheted projects, part thirteen

I saw some bags using granny squares a different way and decided to try my hand at it.  For this one, I used the new Craft smart yarn available at Micheals.  This is a really dureable yarn that is perfect for items that will see a lot of rough use!

Granny Trio tote

Just three granny squares joined to make the bottom and sides, then rows of sc to make a border along the opening.

Granny Trio tote

Here's one of the side panels laid flat.

Man, that red's so bright, it's hard on the eyes!  The camera didn't like it very much.

Granny Trio tote

The handle was done using Tunisian Stockinette stitch again.  Starting only 3 stitches wide, the red was added in the forward pass. 

I think this is an interesting way to use assemble a bag, and a method I think I'll use again.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Catching up on my crocheted projects, part twelve

Here's another project using the Waverly for Bernat yarn.

Old Style Cables bag

The horizontal lines are the cable stitch I learned how to do in my crochet course - a stitch that no one really uses anymore.  I can see why - it's a pain to work, but I do like the result!  The strap is just rows of 4 sc, then I bordered it all with sc.

The main thing that's different about this bag is the inside.

Old Style Cables bag

I made a plastic canvas frame for the inside.  The sides and base are a single piece, with smaller pieces sewn into the sides.

Old Style Cables bag

After sewing together the plastic canvas pieces, I worked buttonhole stitch along the top, plus an extra row of running stitch, just for appearances.  After placing the frame inside the bag, I worked joined it to the bag itself using the button hole stitches to sc into.  Without the frame, I felt the bag was just too floppy for use.  That drape is great for shawls, but not so good for bags!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Catching up on my crocheted projects, part eleven

Finally, moving away from hats!

Here's a cheery little evening bag I made.  Rather different then my usual bags.

For a bag, I prefer to use a sturdy, durable acrylic, like Red Heart Super Saver.  It's the sort of thing that can handle a lot more use and abuse.

Fractal accent evening bag

I started this bag by making a flat, rectangular base, then worked up the sides in the round.  The textured area is alternating dc and sc stitches - I can't remember if it's called the seed stitch or the moss stitch.  The flap was made by first working a few straight rows for the part that covers the top of the bag opening, then reducing on one side only.  I tried to line up the plain and textured sections in the body of the bag.  The button loop is just a chain loop that was covered when I worked sc around the edge opening.  I also did a row of slip stitchs just inside the edge, using the slight holes formed when working the sc edge.  It not only tidied up the look of it, but strengthened the edge of flap at the botton loop.

Fractal accent evening bag 

 The fractal flower is another hyperbolic accent.  I like using these to cover the seam that forms when working in the round.

Fractal accent evening bag

The handle was made using Tunisian Stockinette Stitch, just 4 stitches wide.   At this width, a regular hook can be used.  I find it makes really nice handles.

More photos here.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Catching up on my crocheted projects, part ten

Here's another hat using the Carons Simply Soft yarn. 

Lace and Diamonds hat

I wanted to do something with this diamond pattern.  The diamonds require a base that's divisible by 8, but I didn't want to do my usual crown in solid single or double crochet, so I experimented with something more open and ended up using a series of V stitches and shells.  I'm rather pleased with how it turns out.  The diamond pattern makes for a hat that's more decorative then warming, though!

More photos here

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Circular loom scarf

I am doing a demo for circular loom knitting on Saturday.  This is going to be a scarf sample of making a flat panel on a circular loom.  I like the resulting texture on the front.

Sent from Anna's phone

Monday, October 22, 2012

Catching up on my crocheted projects, part nine

Micheals Canada has finally started to carry Carons Simply Soft yarn - it's something that had been available in the US, and many of the patterns I have for my classes use it.  Quite a few other patterns I've got use it as well, so I was glad to finally be able to get it at a reasonable price.   Of course, that meant picking some of to try it out.

Open shells hat

This is a hat pattern I'd come up with a few years back, using a bulky yarn.  I wanted to revisit it with a medium weight yarn, and I'm really happy with how it turned out.  I'm definitely liking the Simply Soft, and can see why it's used in so many patterns.

More photos here.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Catching up on my crocheted projects, part eight

I wanted to make a very open, almost lacy hat, but with a bit more structure.  This is actually a modification of a hat pattern I use in one of my classes.

Open lacey hat

It was made using Waverly for Bernat.  I really like this yarn.  It has excellent feel and drape.

More photos here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Catching up on my crocheted projects, part seven

I picked up the free pattern for the Vision Hat some time ago and made a couple of hats with it, but didn't touch it again until recently.  I wanted to make a vertical hat for a change, so I dug it up again. 

Short rows hat

I used the heavier Loops & Threads Haze yarn this time, having bought out the last of the stock when it went on clearance at the Michaels I teach at.  I believe it's discontinued.

I didn't change the recommended hook, so it's a lot tighter then the original design.  I thought it might be too stiff, but it isn't.  It's nice and cozy, though!

More photos here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Check it out...

I've finally done my Squidoo lens about the wonderful tour I took part in back in August. 

Check it out!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Catching up on my crocheted projects, part six

This next hat was an experiment for me in a couple of ways.  First, it was the first time I used Patons Classic Wool.  I've been avoiding wools since I had a reaction to some wool yarn I'd worked with a few years back, though I think I may have been reacting to the dye, not the wool.  I had no problems at all working with this yarn, and it was really pleasant to stitch with.

Wandering Cables wool hat

My other experiment was with the pattern.  I wanted to play around with cables - moving them around and crossing them, but had no idea what, so I made this up as I went along.  I rather like how it turned out.  I've found myself playing around with cables a lot more often of late.  They're rather fun!

More photos here.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Catching up on my crocheted projects, part five

Here is a heavier yarn version of the granny rounds hat.

Granny clusters hat - cotton

It was made using a cotton yarn I usually don't use for wearables.  It's quite comfortable and heavier; perfect for cool summer evenings.

More views here.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

All that glitters is not gold

My older daughter is working on her Halloween costume. Part of it reqires washing the glitter off of some Christmas decor/plastic plants.

This was taken after they had already been washed once.

Sent from Anna's phone

Friday, October 12, 2012

Catching up on my crocheted projects, part four

Some time ago, while riding the bus, a man got on wearing a light crochet hat made with the same 3dc clusters as in a granny square.  Remembering that,  I decided to experiment with working granny rounds to make a hat, and succeeded.  Here's one version.

Granny Clusters Hat - fine weight yarn

Once again, I used Patons Lace, Sachet.  It's a great yarn for this sort of thing - though it's not one you want to be making any mystakes in, because catches like crazy if you have to rip it!

Visit my flickr page for more photos.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Open House reminder

Don't forget to swing by Beyond the Arts for our Open House!

Friday, Oct. 12, 1 pm - 5 pm
Saturday, Oct. 13, 11 am - 4 pm

Map here.

It's getting serious, here

So I've been working on my main project, which involves a lot of photography.  I've set up a workspace that will allow me to take photos as I work.  Unfortunately, I had a distinct problem with light.  As long as I was getting full sunlight through the master bedroom window, at the opposite end of the hall, the photos looked grand.  As soon as the sun started moving past that window (shortly after noon, this time of year), the camera started to compensate for the artificial light.  When I uploaded the photos and looked at the folder, I could actually see the photos change from blue-ish with natural light to yellow-ish in artificial light. 

Now, I can compensate for that with digital editing software, but frankly, I'd rather take good pictures to start with and not count on being able to edit it later.  I could also play with the temperature in the white balance settings, etc., but I don't want to be fussing with the camera.  I need to be focusing (no pun intended) on my subject.

Today, I solved that problem.  Check this out.

This photo has been resized, but is otherwise straight from the camera.  It's almost orange.  This is using room lighting, without flash.

 This photo has also been resized, but otherwise untouched.  Huge difference!  This is what half my photos would look like, and the other half would look like the yellow photo, to varying degrees.  Very frustrating.

 Here is our new addition - a light box kit.  We've rigged up light boxes before, without too much problem.  We also played around with a number of different types of lights, but we've never had proper studio lights.  The two bulbs this kit came with are compact fluorescent adjusted to 5200 Kelvin (daylight).  The camera settings go from 5000K to 5300K, so I set it to 5300K to test it out.

The kit came with a choice of backdrops as well, which affix to the back of the box with Velcro.  Facing one way, the two flaps have green and white, with blue and silver available when flipped the other way.

There is also the front flap, which I won't be using very much, since my arms are going to be right in the box.  The doorway has two removable pieces, so the photographer has some choices as to how large to make the opening. 

The light tripod legs are adjustable, and they also have two telescopic sections at the top, where the light fixtures attache to the tripods.  I haven't opened them to full height, so I'm not sure how tall they actually get.  The fixtures themselves are very light weight, so stability is not compromised by extending the height.

This thing is going to see a lot of use in the next while!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Catching up on my crocheted projects, part three

I wanted to make some simple, light hats that were more unisex, and this is one version.

Simple mesh hat

It's another simple mesh, again in Patons Lace, this time in Sachet.  It's a lot looser then most hats I make, and so light, you can hardly tells it's there!

More photos here.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Catching up on my crocheted projects, part two

When I was asked to share a booth with my older daughter during Art in the Plaze, one of the things I noticed about my inventory is that it was mostly winter or cool weather stuff.  With temperatures soaring in the 25C range, I figured making some lighter, summer hats would be a good idea.

Hyperbolic Accent mesh hat

Doesn't Ferdinand look lovely?  This is a fairly simple mesh hat with a hyperbolic accent.  The yarn here is Paton's Lace, Patina.  I'm really liking the slow colour gradient in these yarns.

Hyperbolic Accent mesh hat

The hyperbolic accent is worked up the "seam" of turning chains, giving it a gradual swirl.  There's about as much yarn in the accent as there is in the entire hat.  Possibly more.

You seen see other photos of it at my flickr page.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Catching up on my crocheted projects, part one

With how busy things have been over the summer, I haven't kept on top of posting photos of my finished crochet projects.  I'll be catching up on that for the next while.

The first batch will be of various hats I made.  Ferdinand got quite a bit of a work out for these photos.  The rest, I'm going to have to get my kids to model for me, as I don't have a torso or arm to go with my head.

Spiderweb Cables Earwarmer Hat 

First up is an all-over front and back post hat with earflaps.  Visit this link for other angles.

I've made a version of this hat before and wanted to revisit it.  I tweeked where I did the increases, and this time I used Bernat Mosaic yarn.  The post stitches makes it quite dense and warm, and I'm quite happy with how it looks.  My younger daughter promptly claimed it for herself, and I've posted a photo of her wearing it while she kept me company during my last Open House. :-D

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Here are some events I'll be taking part in in October.

At the Clareview Micheals;

I will be doing a crochet demo on Saturday, the 6th, from 1-3pm.  

As usual, on the third Saturday of the month, I'll be hosting the $5 Yarn Nights from 1-3, with the option to go longer.  This month, Yarn Night is on October 20.

I have another demo booked on October 27th, from 1-3pm.  This time, I'll be doing a demo for circular loom knitting - my first demo of the technique!

It's also getting to be that time of year where I need to update my class schedule for 2013.  I will still be maintaining the days and times, it's just the dates that I will need to add.


At Beyond the Arts;

Beyond the Arts is back from summer break with an open house on Oct. 12 - 13.  There will be snacks, crafts and door prizes, so come on by!

At Beyond the Arts, I get to make my own classes, so they're somewhat different then the ones I do at Micheals.  I've got two levels of beginners crochet classes and two levels of intermediate classes for now.  If there's a demand for it, I can see about doing advanced or specialty classes as well.  The classes will be 2 hours long, and they can be taken in squence or as stand alone classes. 

I am also considering doing all day crochet workshops.  These would be 6 hours on a Saturday, and would include a lunch or snacks.  Let me know if there is any interest!


With summer being as busy at it has been, I've been lax in posting photos of my finished projects, other than cell phone snaps.  I've set up a photo area in my work station and took over 60 photos, only to find the ISO setting on my camera wasn't where I thought it was.  Once they were uploaded to the computer, I could see they were horribly grainy, so I'm going to have to take them all over again.  Once they're done, I'll start posting them here.  Meanwhile, I am working on a major project that I need to finish by the end of the month, since I plan to do NaNoWriMo again this year.  If all goes well, I'll have a major announcement at the end of the month.  If all doesn't go well, it might be delayed a couple of months, which I really don't want to do!