Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Eyes Are Just Too Big

Have you ever heard of the saying, 'your eyes are too big for your stomach'? Well, let's say that you are invited to a friend's house and you know that they are a great cook. You see the array of the different food choices and your eyes start to bulge as you must have a little bit of each dish. Before you know it you have piled up on your plate more than your stomach can handle in one sitting. That is what is called 'your eyes are too big for your stomach'.

Now for me, that saying comes in a different way. My eyes are too big for all of the different projects I have started. Yes I am a small hoarder of projects. I enjoy myself so much, but I know that I just won't be able to make everything that I see with my bulging eyes. As you get more and more involved in the needlearts I'm sure you are finding that to be the case. It can be overwhelming but also overwhelmingly fun at the same time.

I set a goal for myself this year and I'm doing really well with it. Do you want to know what that goal is? It is not bringing in any yarn into my house that is not connected to a project that I would work on right away. No storing of new yarns, no going to festivals and buying, no looking at new patterns and dreaming of the finished product or me working on it. Maybe I will keep the last one. I mean it is only dreaming of what I want to do. What harm could that be? Who am I kidding.

I know you might be saying well that doesn't sound like too much fun. But in any case, I am on a mission. I haven't brought any yarn into the house that was not going to be used for what I call a "now" project or yarn I need to go with a yarn I have for a project. It has been working out.

Do you find yourself in the same situation as me? Do you have yarnitest or projectitest and are looking for a balance? The first thing you must do is to be honest with yourself and the second thing is to learn control. Believe me it is not easy. I hope you can work on your balance as I am. Why don't you join me for the second part of the year and do a couple of changes or deciding differently to be able to work on your control. I'll give a report on mine nearer to the end of the year. But you know what that means for next year - BUY, BUY, BUY. Just kidding.

Enjoy what you are doing and make each moment count.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

This Week on 'My Talent Corner'

In this weeks Talent Corner is another student in one of my classes. To me she is an inspiration to others in the needlearts. She is returning to the world of crochet. But what is exciting is that once she got the basics down again she grabbed hold of her hook and took off running after different techniques right away.

From the picture you can see what Denise has been up to lately. She tackled the Solomon's Knot (Love Knot) and made a beautiful very delicate scarf. She had a nerve to bring in this dilabadated towel with a crochet topper and said she wanted to make one. Well, I never had a desire to make a towel topper before so she helped me to delve into something new. After helping her to make one (I made a sample of the process) I liked it. So thank you Denise. Then in class we made a market bag as they learned the granny square. And if that wasn't enough, she delved into the world of beading as she made a couple of braclets crocheted with wire and beads. Well, just surpass the teacher why don't you. She keeps me motivated to do more. Maybe I should just say motivated and keep out the more. I can't do any more. Great job Denise.

My interview with Denise:

Miss Craft Diva: When did you first learn how to crochet?

Denise: When I was about 10 yrs old.

Miss Craft Diva: How did you learn? From a family member, friend, organization?

Denise: I asked my mother to teach me how to knit and crochet, but she's right handed and I'm left handed, so I really taught myself from a book or pamphlet.

Miss Craft Diva: What made you take the class to start again?

Denise: I didn't really take to crocheting and there were a lot of 'old' looking patterns back then. I didn't remember anything that I learned, so I figured I would give it another shot.

Miss Craft Diva: Why do you enjoy crocheting so much?

Denise: It's easy to do and easy to fix mistakes. Projects can be done quickly for a sense of accomplishment.

Miss Craft Diva: What are some future projects you would like to make?

Denise: A modern granny square short vest where the pattern is charted.

Miss Craft Diva: What benefits do you get from crocheting?

Denise: Sense of accomplishment.

It is truly inspiring to see how different ones embrass the needlearts. Thank you Denise for sharing with us your passion with crochet.

May this inspire you to want to learn and grow more in the world of creativity. There will be future projects that I will feature from Denise. As of now, she is busy with her first love - gardening.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The 'V' Stitch Continued

Weather can be so unpredictable. Today for instance is very chilly and rainy. So there is always room in our closet for one more light and skinny scarf just to have on days like today or for a little chilly evening or morning. You don't want the scarf to be too heavy but long enough to wrap around the neck in a way that can give a little extra to an outfit for color and style. The 'V' stitch does just that. It is light and open so that it is just an accent and yet can give enough warmth to your neck but can be worn loose when you are warm enough.

Color is the key that can make it pop. I made mine out of sock yarn but added a triangle to each bottom piece and buttons. I wanted something different. And when I place it around my neck it is just enough. What I like about a little skinny scarf is the difference it can make with the yarn you use and the color you choose. It can be dressed up or dressed down. It is also a scarf that can easily be made shorter or longer as your desired look. It just needs to be place around your neck as you are making it to see how it looks at different lengths.

I am passing along this little skinny 'V' stitch scarf. It also is very easy and a quick project to make. And it doesn't take up a lot of yarn.

V Stitch Scarf Pattern

Size G Crochet Hook

Yarn – Sport weight (3) – 1 skein at least 200 yards

Size: approx. 5" x 52"(with the yarn I used)

(note: If you need to purchase more yarn remember to look at the dye lot number from the skein you have and the one you are going to purchase to make sure they match.)

dc – double crochet
ch – chain

Chain 22

Row 1: double crochet in 4th chain from hook, chain 1, double crochet into same chain as first dc, *skip 2 chains, (dc, ch1, dc) into next chain*. Repeat from * to * ending with dc into last stitch, turn.

Row 2: chain 3, *(dc, ch1, dc) into chain 1 space* Repeat from * to * ending with dc into last stitch, turn.

Repeat row 2 for pattern for the length you want.

Edging around scarf

When you get to the length that you want start the edging of single crochet. For the next row chain 1, turn, single crochet in first double crochet, work one single crochet in each double crochet and one single crochet in chain 1 space across row, when you get to the corner put 3 single crochets in corner stitch to make a round shape, do not turn work but continue single crochets down the side of scarf working 1 single crochet per row to the next corner, work 3 single crochets in corner stitch then work 1 single crochet in each free loop across bottom row which is your foundation chain row, work 3 single crochets in corner, work 1 single crochet in each row down the last side of scarf.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Mistakes to avoid:

  • working only one double crochet in space instead of two
  • no chain between double crochets to form V
  • chaining in between two V’s instead of between the two double crochets
  • not working the last double crochet in top of turning chain of previous row when you get to the end of the row
  • not chaining three at the end of row or beginning of row to start new row
  • making the V between two V’s and not on top of last V of previous row
  • every once in a while hold your work up to the light to see if all your stitches are correct

Friday, May 13, 2011

It's A Baby Shower

The months go so fast. It seems as if it was just yesterday that I was getting ready for the annual baby shower at the Navasink Knitting Guild. For the past few years the guild has put together a baby shower for charity. Everyone that wants to give makes something special for the shower. How could you resist not making a gift for a little bundle of joy.

Last year the baby items were so precious and beautiful. This year is no exception. We all at the guild enjoy showing off the gifts we made and looking at what everyone else made. It is like a fashion show for babies.

As you can see from the picture, I made a baby blanket for a preemie and four hats of different styles and colors.

I took a picture of the array of items from the members of the guild when after each person presented their item it was then displayed so that everyone could look at them.

It is not just items that are displayed but hand made items showing off the talents of techniques and stitch patterns used as we enjoy the act of giving.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's All About The Color

Picking out the right color is so important. Take for example my Entrelac scarf. I tried two different times using different color choices before I went out and purchased yarn for this. I was trying to use the yarn I already had but it just did not appeal to me. Working with the right color is the key. When you can choose the color that is appealing to you it gets you excited about the end result of your project. You can't wait to wear it or display it. Now that I found the colors I like I enjoy looking at it and working on it. I will share my end result when I complete my scarf.

But if it is for a gift we want to remember that the colors should not be from our color palette. Picking out the right color for that person is so important. When taking out the time to give a gift of something hand made and we put the time into making it, then we want the receiver to use what we have made. If it is not an appealing color or style for that person then it can become a waste of our time and effort. So it is important to find out what might be a favorite color or if it is something they will be wearing what is their style of choice.

Giving is a great feeling, but we would not want it to become an object that just sits in a closet unused. Let's make it worth it by making it more personable and your gift will be more appreciated.

By the way, Entrelac is a fun technique to learn and you can do a lot with mixing colors. Try it and see what color choices you come up with. Have fun.