Monday, August 18, 2008

Crochet on Hold

My wonderful husband let me go on a shopping spree while on our vacation this past weekend. What you see above you is the damage I did. I got a new toy in the Ipod Itouch. It's funny because I was the person who told everyone that I would never own an Ipod, I'm just not that into music (like music, but not a snob). However, this thing is sooooo coool. Its like a mini computer, with web browsing, movie playing and of course music playing. I love love love it.

My second purchase almost didn't happen. I wanted a new camera, but was thinking of a simple point and shoot. I wasn't thinking about a SLR because I have an old Pentax manual (as in not digital) and didn't want to give in and get a digital because I thought it would seem like a clunky point and shoot. My husband finally talked me into it and I am so glad he did. This thing is so cool. It feels and acts just like an old school SLR right down to the mirror moving when taking pictures. Yet it is so much better because it can make up for your lack of perfect lighting, or perfect composition. You can fix everything in camera or after on the computer. I am a true believer in SLR digital.

Because of these two purchases I haven't crocheted at all these past few days. I am way too busy converting my music library on my computer and learning all about my new camera. I will try to get back into the swing of it soon though.

Pattern of the Week

Here are my latest favorite pattern. Still in keeping with the halloween theme, here ar the perfect devil horns. These would be great for those that don't like going full out, but want to represent a little. Click on the picture to be taken to the free pattern.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Not quite Halloween material....

...but then again, I guess someone could use it in a cold climate for a princess costume. I bought this pattern from CapeCodConsignments on Etsy because I had the same idea, but just a different way of doing it. However, when I tried to bring my idea into the real world, I just couldn't get to to work. So I bought this one and decided to try it out.
The pattern was well written, easy to follow, can't give it to you, you have to go buy your own. Or just buy one of my completed ones and forget the trouble. Click on the bear picture to get to the listing of the first one I have up. Only $7 better prices than mass produced stuff if you ask me.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Scarf Listed

Here is my newest listing. I just finished it today and I love it. If it doesn't sell then I am keeping it. Such pretty colors and really soft for wool. Not scratchy at all. Click on the picture to be taken to the store to see other views and a more detailed description.

Another Halloween Addition

Just finished this reversible skull potholder. I have it listed in my shop if you just can't live without it (click on the title link to get to it). It is super thick to keep your hands safe, and nice and big to cover your whole hand. Love these. Making some to keep for myself as we speak. Also working on a 100% wool scarf that I should finish today. That is the one good thing about being sick. Lots of time to crochet.

Pattern of the Week

I was sick yesterday, still am today, but not as bad. I totally flaked with the pattern of the week so today I will present it. I am all about Halloween patterns right now, so I thought I would share a cute one with you today.

I love these coffee cozys (no clue on how to spell the pural of cozy --cozies, cozys-- you get the idea). I want to make the Frankenstein, but I don't have any green yarn. I seem to have a natural defense mechanism against buying green yarn. I don't think I have ever owned any. Strange. I better go get some before Halloween is over. Anyway, click on the picture to get to the website with the pattern. Happy hooking!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Scoop Scoop Scoop

Go to now to get all yarn on their website for 30% off. Hopefully you have already signed up for their email to know that you got a 50% off one item coupon today.

Oh and they are also practically giving away an Ott light for the Friday deal. I have an Ott light and it is the best light ever. You can get a beautiful one for $46.99 that was reg. $129.99. But you gotta sign up for the email. So do it now.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chchchcheck it out

I just made up this very Day of the Dead looking skull for the shop. I like that it doesn't look like a traditional skull. It's part of my Halloween projects that I stopped all my other projects for. If you like it email me and I will tell you where I got it (its a secret. sssssshhhhhhh) Tune back in for more Halloween projects.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Better Start on Halloween

I am dropping all my other projects right not to make up some Halloween stuff to put in my shop. First off Skull appliques. Then I think some ghost. I have a vision of what I want them to look like. I will take pictures once I get my camera back from my husband and I finish some. Stay posted

Monday, August 4, 2008

Pattern of the Week

I am really loving this hat. It looks like it is weaved rather than crochet. Click on the picture to be taken to the pattern.
It is done in 100% cotton and it just totally reminds of being at the beach (I'm sure the picture helps with that feeling).

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Book Review

I will be reviewing the books that I own and buy so you can find out first hand what is in it without having to go to the bookstore. I will list each pattern and give a small desc so you will get a feel for what you could do with the book. I try to be fairly detailed so you don't suffer with a book you hate. If you have any extra questions about a book, email me and I will try to answer it for you.

I wanted to begin my book reviews with my favorite crochet book that I own. Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet is my bible for crochet. I use this book more often than any other for design my projects. Click on the picture to be directed to Amazon to get this $25 book for about $10 used. That's even better than what I paid for my used copy ($12 to be exact)

Inside you will find the History of Crochet, which I actually enjoyed reading. It hasn't been around very long.

After the history you then get the basics. They go through all types of yarns and materials. They then give you the basic techniques of crochet (right and left handed) in very easy to see computer generated pictures -- not pictures of people crocheting, which can be very difficult to decipher. This section goes beyond the sc, hdc, dc, and tr to include rounds, poststitches, inc, dec, clusters, bobbles, puffs and more-- all in right and left handed explanations. This section alone is worth the money and it just gets better from there.

Next are the patterns, and at first I just glossed over these because I was interested in specialty stitches more than anything (we will get to those shortly), but then taking the time to look at each of these has increased my appreciation for this book even more. These are beautiful classic patterns that are very detailed and not at all stuffy.

The first pattern is called "Wrapped in Love" and is the design you see on the cover (minus the necklace made of wire, that comes later). Beautiful simple wrap with interesting tassel ends in the corners. These are great patterns also because they give you charts for each pattern as well (this can be handy when the wording is confusing on the written pattern)

Second pattern is "Decorative Hot Pad" very simple hot pad but it is done on the diagonal which makes it more visually stimulating then a simple sc, or dc hot pad you may find for free on the web.

Third pattern is "Button Top Socks" if I had the urge to make socks (little too much work for such a small item that you don't really see when worn) these would be first on my list. Not bulky at all, they look almost knit with a cute textured top.

Fourth pattern is "Mufflers", cute and basic in a seed stitch pattern. Looks like a scarf.

Fifth pattern is "Granny Squre Poncho" and is for a little girl. I love this pattern and can't wait to make it for my daughter. The edging around the joined Granny Squares gives it a more professional (as in sold in stores) look. They chose really cute colors too, almost looks like a garden with colored flowers surrounded in green.

Sixth pattern is "Shell of Shells" and is an women's shell top. Done in a shell pattern this is suprisingly unbulky and looks like it drapes well. Would be good under a jacket, I would probably line if it I were wearing it by itself.

Seventh pattern is "Aran isles muffler and tam" its a hat and scarf set for a young girl and is super cute. Reminds me of Norman Rockwell pictures of winter. Has cable stitches and other textured stitches that make it look very expensive.

Next the patterns go "Beyond the Basics" they give you a tutorial on working with color and give you lots of color wheels and tips on choosing colors.

They then give you the techniques on joining colors and working with tapesty as well as filet, motifs and doilies. They also touch on bead crochet and wire crochet. This book covers everything!!! They even give you Tunisian crochet patterns and techniques.

The eight pattern is called "Lap of Luxury" and is a tri color afghan with fringe. Beautiful yarn in a textured stitch.

The ninth pattern is "Baby Bobbles" and is a cute baby blanket done with pastel bobbles on a white background. Looks super soft and great texture for baby to touch.

Tenth pattern is "Delicate Filet Edging" which shows you how to dress up pillowcases and sheet edges with a prety floral edging of filet.

Eleventh pattern is "Virginia Roses" and is a cute rose doilie. I am not a doilie maker (maybe in another 30 years or so) so I don't know if this is a good one, but I don't find it offensive. It helps you to learn to join motifs. One of the motifs is sewn onto a pin cusion which is cute and wouldn't mind trying.

Twelth pattern is "Irish Roses" and is a covered button crochet pattern of cute roses in different sizes. I could see putting these on a purse or scarf.

Thirteenth pattern is "Wedding Keepsake" and is an awesome beaded bag. Looks like intricate shell pattern with tons of clear crystal beads, I would love to try this one day.

Fourteenth pattern is "Beaded Heart Pins" and are pretty substantial pin brooches. They have two on a dress form and they take up most of the chest.

Fifteenth pattern is "Amulet Necklace" and lets you stick your toe in the water of wire crochet. Small pouch necklace with smaller flowers adorning it.

Sixteenth pattern is "Elegant Wire Jewelry" and I love this necklace. It is the other cover image and is made from lots of wire chains banded together. Simple but chic.

Seventeenth pattern is "In a Tunisian Garden" and is a tunisian pillow with a picture of a hummingbird with flowers. Very pretty and not at all old lady looking. Looks fairly difficult but is labeled for a beginner. Will probably try it one day.

Eighteenth pattern is "Child's Tunisian Vest" vest done in Tunisian stitch, which I love the stitches but not sure if I would make a vest for my daughter with it. Could be made into a pillow or blanket though.

Nineteenth pattern is "Medallion" a small flower applique that the child modeling the vest wears between the vest opening on the shirt underneath. Cute applique done in three colors.

Pattern number twenty is the fabled "Philosopher's Coat" if you have heard of this book you have heard of this coat. Super great for an old woman, I would never sport it, but it is so detailed it would probably take years to complete. This is the ultimate test of your crocheting skills. Tons of colors and tons of stitches. Insanely complicated, and I am sure it was a pain to convert to a pattern.

That is where the completed patterns end but not where the book ends. Now we move onto the crochet pattern gallery.

I love, love, love this section. This is where I get all of my specialty stitches I use in alot of my designs. Each of the patterns has a 2 x 2 close up picture, a graph pattern and a written pattern. In total there are 107 patterns. Then there are 4 flower patterns with 2 leaf patterns to accompany them. They have 6 beautiful granny squares (more like granny art) then 9 flowery (round and flower shaped, but not a flower) motifs. I am making a scarf out of the "Mica Motif" right now.

Then they move on to Filet. They have 3 filet diagrams and 4 filet edgings.

After that they have crocheted edging patterns. 18 in total. I used the "crab" edging in my nitty gritty washcloth that is in my Etsy shop.

To fuel your learning they then dedicate 5 pages and 9 patterns of Tunisian crochet to finish off the book. On the page before the index, they supply you with online links to resources and suppliers.

For me, this is the best all inclusive book that I own and I recommend it to anyone that wants to design their own patterns. This gets my highest honors 4 balls of fun.

My super deal

So I haven't visited my local Tall Mouse store in quite a while. I decided to check it out yesterday and I am so glad I did. I found some Red Heart Casual Cot'n for $2 a skein. I would take a picture of my newly acquired stash materials but my husband took the camera to work. So I supplied the link to Joann's in the title of the post so you can see what the yarn looks like and to see that I got it more than 50% off.

Not sure what I will make with it, but I knew it was a great deal that I couldn't pass up.

Remember, never pay retail!! Happy hooking.

More Money Saving Tips

As you may have found out by now that free patterns on the web can be lacking in their beauty and originality. Really how many potholders can one person make? You may be thinking about heading down to the bookstore and picking up some pattern books. STOP!!! Whether you have a 40% off coupon or not, buying from the bookstore or local craft store will still cost you more than following a few simple tips:

- Buy online. Two great sites for discounted books are and (hosted by ebay) These two sites have just about any pattern book you could find at the store but they have one thing the store doesn't -- people who will sell their copy cheap. I have litterally picked up crochet books that run $25 for 25 cents (plus s/h). These two sites are great for regular books also. You can get just about any book out there for cheaper than what you would spend at the bookstore.

Of course, visit the bookstore first so you can see the inside of the book you want to buy so you don't get stuck with a book you hate just because you thought the cover was cute (I am so guilty of this).

- Visit the library. It may be a limited selection, but they still have books that you can take home and try out before you buy. If you really love the book you borrow then you can always go the tip above this one and find a good deal on it.

Friday, August 1, 2008

New Scoop at Joanns

If you were still deciding whether to sign up for emails, here is another great reason why. Starting today, every Friday they will be having a special sale item that is a super great deal. Today's deal is reg $199.99 but they are selling it for $74.99. Won't tell you what it is... give you more incentive to sign up and start saving.