Jun 25

Happy Together recently had a tutorial for a ribbon and pearl crocheted necklace that was inspired by a Lanvin necklace. I had these huge wooden beads hanging around and some ribbon (I only had black and red), so I tried my hand at crocheting a similar necklace. Instead of attaching the beads after the necklace was crocheted, I strung my five beads onto the ribbon before I started crocheting, and then incorporated them into the crocheting at specific intervals.

This necklace is big and bold (probably a little too big and bold for me), but I like the technique and I definitely want to play around with the idea a little more.

May 18

I absolutely loved this article by Julie Finn I found on Crafting A Green World (great blog, by the way!) about sewing on knitted or crocheted fabric. The article has tips for using old afghans, etc. to create new clothing – I am in love with this concept (especially because handmade afghans abound at the thrift store)!

You must check it out, and then we must all try it for ourselves!

Click here for entire article

Feb 13

Over the years, I have filed the idea away in my head of making a rag rug. The project I really wanted to try was a Martha Stewart bath mat made from braided towels. I have had that project on my mental list for years now. However, the thing that held me back from wanting to actually MAKE a braided rag rug was the whole sewing issue. I really didn’t want to sit there and hand-sew all the braids together into a rug.

Enter the huge crochet hook!

I had a Craftster swap partner who mentioned she would like to receive a kitchen rag rug, and so I made her a small crocheted rug in about two hours. I ripped up some stash fabric I had (that was too junky to actually use to sew anything – why was it in my stash?) and a vintage sheet I recently picked up at the thrift store. The rug went together so fast that I started another one. It’s the perfect activity to do while watching TV.

To make:

First: Prepare Your Fabric Strips

I ripped up strips from stash fabric (easy to rip), sheets (easy also), old curtains (easy), and clothing (not as easy!). Basically, if the item to be ripped up is in flat and straight pieces, it’s pretty easy to turn into fabric strips.

To rip a flat sheet, I undo any hems, then cut a one-inch notch in the fabric about one inch in from the hem. Rip all the way to the other side of the sheet, but don’t rip to the very edge. Leave a quarter-inch bit unripped, and then cut a notch about one inch in and continue ripping. In this way, you will get one long strip of fabric. Roll ripped fabric into balls like yarn.

How much yarn will I get from a sheet? Assuming your strips are exactly one inch in width, a queen sized flat sheet will yield approximately 255 yards of yarn. (The math: a queen flat sheet is 90×102 inches. 90 times 102 strips in one-inch widths = 9180 inches. Divide by 12 to get 765 feet of yarn. Divide by 3 to get 255 yards. Tell me if I did my math wrong!)

Right now, the rug is getting big (about 5 feet x 5 feet) and one queen sized flat sheet ripped up into approx. 1” strips made four rows of crochet.

To join ripped pieces, you can just tie the ends together in a square knot (if you don’t mind the nubs in your finished rug), or just twist them together when you are crocheting to create a more seamless join.

To rip something like clothing, you have to be more creative, and it involves more cutting and less ripping. It also doesn’t yield much “yarn”. Something that is relatively long and flat, like pants or maybe a bathrobe or big nightshirt might be worth working on.

The pattern:

More experienced crocheters might have better info about this, but I just started by making a chain of 12, then single crocheting 2 in from the edge. I sc’d to the end, and then did about 4 scs in the last stitch (to go around the corner). Continue sc-ing. Do 2 scs in one stitch when you get near the corners. I kind of just randomly add stitches – about 6-10 per trip around the rug. Like I said, I’m sure there is a much more perfect way to do this, but it’s working for me.

When I get done with my big rug (I call it “a monstrosity”), I’m going to block it by laying it on the floor and covering it with damp towels overnight. We’ll see how well that works!

Jan 29

I have been swapping quite a bit lately, and I just received a swap package yesterday for the Craftster Fill-A-Mug swap. My swap partner, ellen-j, did WAY more than fill a mug… wow! She made so much nice stuff for me and included a cute flower pot shaped mug. She made a big mouse stuffy, an owl, a coffee cup, three pretty crocheted flowers, and some scrabble tile pendants. And some chamomile tea!

She crocheted so many cute things for me, including this little pirate owl with a sparkly gold eyepatch.The owl had this note enclosed with him:

This is Petey. He is very confused. Raised by parrots, he expected to spend his life ona pirate ship: sailing, looting, and providing companionship to some lonely pirate. He only recently discovered that he was, in fact, an owl, and is now searching for his biological family. Not wanting to bother with a hiding place for his gold, he had it spun into an eye patch. Learning to fly with just one eye is quite a challenge.

This crocheted mug is so cute! It is filled with a ball (that comes out). Adorable! Made me want to crochet a bunch of play kitchen stuff.

She also gave me these fab scrabble tile pendants. They look like a lot of fun to make!

Dec 17

I’ve seen this yarn-filled glass bulb project around, but I can’t remember where I saw it last year. I was so inspired by that post author (whoever you are!) that last December I got three boxes of these glass ornaments with which to make this craft. I was kidding myself because I was 9 months pregnant, it was Christmas time, and we were moving on December 26th… so I didn’t get around to making these ornaments until last week!

The idea I saw centered around putting yarn from your stash into the glass bulbs. I love this idea because I have some pretty novelty yarn that I bought randomly with no projects in mind (like the Noro shown in the bulb above), that just don’t suit my crochet/knitting style.

My twist on the project is that I also used a length of the same yarn to hang the bulb with, showcasing the yarn another way.

To make them: I either fed the yarn through the hole in the bulb slowly (to create the coiling/balling effect), or I had a big mass of the yarn and shoved it through the hole with a pen (this method used for the pink ornament).

These are hard to take good photos of if you’re in a hurry (as I always am), so I hope you will get the idea! I like the orange eyelash yarn – it looks like fire in a bulb in real life!

p.s. If you know where I saw it last year (I think it was linked to on a pretty big blog), let me know and I’ll link to it!

Dec 5

If you just don’t know what to crochet for that special someone on your list this year, may I suggest these silverware socks brought to you by one of my 90s crochet magazines?

For the kid who has everything, perhaps the crocheted boxing set (complete with championship belt) would be just the thing?

Actually, my son would probably love the boxing set…

Nov 20

I actually liked a few patterns from the early 90s crochet mags I scored at my mom’s last week.

Okay, this plaid crochet tote is cheesy in execution, but I like the crochet plaid concept. Plaid is hot this fall, did you know? I can imagine a plaid Burberry crochet handbag–I would totally rock it. Speaking of crocheted high-fashion ave you heard of the Counterfeit Crochet project? It’s a website that advocates recreating designer bags with crochet. I just clicked over there to link to them for you, and they actually had a crochet Burberry plaid bag pictured… whoo!

And this crochet Native American doll with papoose is cute, and fits in with the current amigurumi trend. This would be a cute Thanksgiving decoration.

I noticed a strong southwestern theme in the 90s crochet magazines… I’ll just sneak a bad one in here:

Eww, this afghan-cum-sweater coat is hideous… I like the navajo afghan pattern, but as a coat, it’s an obvious fail!

And then back to the amigurumi thing. I thought this Cow Over the Moon mobile was a cute idea:

I have a couple more to share, but I’ll save them for my next post.

Nov 19

Last week I scored some early 90s crochet magazines at my mom’s house. I found a few cool patterns, and a few silly ones like this southwestern Aqua net hairspray cozy:

Anyone else remember that time period? I, for one, rocked the Aqua Net a lot like this girl:

That tam is pretty hideous, but I was more interested in the mane. It has a crunch factor of 10.

And then this Snowman Cosby sweater is pretty bad, but at least she paired it with some acid-washed jeans:

Nov 17

Tammy at The Crafty Princess Diaries blogged about a project to make special scarves for Special Olympians. This sounds like a really great project for any knitter or crocheter to work on! No specific pattern is required, but Red Heart is aiming to collect 5000 scarves knitted in their Red Heart Super Saver yarn in white and delft blue.

Oct 26

Crafts are all around us, including on TV. This week’s episode of “My Name Is Earl” (Episode: “Quit Your Snitchin'”) featured a good t-shirt recon on one of TV’s craftiest personalities, Joy. Her hair accessories alone are worth featuring on this blog every week.

Looks like they used some filet crochet to make the shoulders and inset side piece for this t-shirt reconstruction. This would be a decent t-shirt recon project to attempt if you had an old filet crochet tablecloth or something like it. You could also use some wide lace subbed in for the crochet for a similar look.

I’m pretty sure the filet crochet was custom made for this particular piece, but you could easily upcycle some existing crochet for a fun, feminine t-shirt.

BONUS USE for your t-shirt recon: use it for your Joy costume for that white trash theme Halloween party!

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