17 January 2010

Fiber arts on the big screen and small screen

I want to do a little series once a week or so on knitting and crocheting (and other fiber arts) in film and tv. I always chuckle when I see it because some actresses really ARE knitting or crocheting and that really makes me smile. Then others are doing a weird imitation.....and its HILARIOUS.

I want to start with I <3 Huckabee's Lily Tomlin really is knitting in this movie:

Here is the trailer, if you haven't seen the movie (I highly recommend it if you like silly artsy movies with Jason Schwartzman!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-t2s0IlVm8

I can't seem to locate a ready made picture of Lily Tomlin actually doing the knitting, and for that I am sorry :( booo. However, see for yourself and let me know if you think she's the real deal!

14 January 2010

Care of your Crocheted Items!

So you've crocheted something or purchased something crocheted or knitted...but how do you care for it?

Personal Preference

Spot clean when possible. Just use a damp clean white cloth to dab at the fibers and allow to air dry. If you must wash the item, hand wash it according to the fiber recommendations (discussed in a minute!). Usually I always use cold if that will get the stain out or dirt out and then lay in the sun to dry (the sun does WONDERS for stains from tomatoes and other stains). With square items, you may have to mold them into place with your hands and pin them to a towel to make them retain their shape. This is called "blocking" and I will cover this in the future.

Machine Washing

I have washed my crocheted items in the washing machine on the delicate cycle in cold water with a light detergent. My tip for doing this *don't care if the item is unraveled and destroyed*  This is not very helpful at all, I know, but if you want to wash an item in your washing machine, you have to accept that the item may get destroyed. I would wash my handmade dish towels in the washer just like any other garment, but I might be more careful with an afghan. Discretion is key.

When in doubt

Read or look up the care label for the yarn that your item is made from. If you get your item from me, just let me know you need help and I will be happy to advise you on the care of your garment.

I hope this post is informative and if you have further questions PLEASE! let me know in the comments!

Happy crocheting!

08 January 2010

Back and Forth

I'm so weird. I have no problem cranking out orders in a couple of hours the day that I get them. When I'm working on something for my family or more specifically for ME I blow it off and can't seem to get as much done. I only added 2 inches to the world's ugliest afghan yesterday, which got rid of a good chunk of yarn, because each row is about 8 feet long. I need to work on this afghan to make room in my house. We've done a huge shifting of stuff in the last few months and my yarn lost its nook. So now it is stored in a huge rubbermaid tote in my bedroom. I want that to not happen anymore and am seeking solutions! If you have any suggestions on how to store yarn, let me know. These are a few things I've been looking at:

Jeri's Organizing & Decluttering News has these suggestions for storing yarn, but they seem to work best if you actually have a craft room, which I don't. I LOVE the wine rack idea, but it would not last long for me, because I'm a yarn-a-holic.

Chica & Jo suggest using shoe storage solutions for yarn and I love this idea as well. It would be probably a better idea for me.

I'm thinking I want some sort of cubby hole set up that I could maybe hang a decorative fabric over to cover the wide array of clashing colors that i have. Something like this?

Its WAY out of my price range, but I would like to explore similar options. Leave me a comment and let me know how you store your yarn! Low budget tips especially!

07 January 2010

Ugliest Afghan!

Most crocheters and knitters know that when you take part in this sort of hobby, you will have LOTS of leftover yarn and nothing to do with it. You can do many things with your leftover scraps like granny squares like on the back of Roseanne's couch:

The granny square is quite easy and is actually the first thing I learned how to do at age 9! They are worked in the round in almost a checkerboard pattern. There are really easy patterns all over online for free!

Another thing you can do with your scraps is to make amigurumi animals:

Another afghan or scrapghan that many people make is a ripple afghan:

These LOOK difficult, but are actually quite simple. It is a matter of strategically skipping stitches and doubling stitches. I made a ripple scarf last winter, but maybe I'm the only one that loves it, because it has not sold!

Scarf--Chocolate Ripple

All of these ideas are great ways to get rid of scraps; however, I did not go any of these routes 5 years ago. Yes, 5 years ago I decided to destash and started double crocheting with 3 strands held together using a J hook. I have been adding to this blanket for 5 years now. It is currently around 8 feet wide and 4 feet long and getting longer all the way! I added about 6 inches yesterday. Now...this could have been done probably in a more pretty fashion...but I really love the random mixing of the colors! Sorry the pictures are so terrible, but I have camera issues at the moment. BOO!

02 January 2010

PHEW! Big day!

I wrote a pattern for this little guy ^ today! I'm looking for testers if you're interested let me know! It will be your chance to try out my pattern, give me feedback, let me know if it works before it goes live on etsy! I'm really nervous because most of the patterns I used were usually vintage, so I'm not sure if things are still written like that anymore. Please reply if you would like to try my pattern out. I'm letting it rest for tonight, but plan to revisit it tomorrow and should be able to email it to you in pdf form.

Pattern writing is much more difficult than I ever imagined. I really respect the artists that do this all the time! Hopefully this is the start of something for me. For one thing, it will be so much easier to send the pattern via email. When I make items, I take them and my toddler across town to ship them, which isn't a problem, I love doing it, but the appeal of a point and click delivery is what drove my motivation today! :)

Again, let me know if you want to give the pattern a try for me, but please only serious responses, as I would like to have your responses as soon as possible. This dino takes me about 2 hours to make, but I would think with a pattern it would go much faster!

Happy crocheting!