Beautiful Beaded Bracelets!

DSCN5292I’ve known you could crochet with beads and wire for years, and have tried it in the past, but was never super happy with the results. But then I crocheted three chains with beads and braided them together, and quite like the results!DSCN5284

I used clamshells over the ends of the wires, and then attached my findings to them. The biggest problem I had with these was estimating how long to make the chains, as I wasn’t sure how much the act of braiding would shorten them. But I estimated all right; it turns out I was right on with my first try, discounting the clasp: Oops! So this guy’s a little looser than I like, but still perfectly wearable 🙂 DSCN5281

I made both of these bracelets in under an hour! A fun, easy craft if you already know how to crochet!

August Round-up

Happy almost-end-of-summer, everyone!Bring the sunshine indoors!Actually, I’m not sure that should be “happy”, but I am enjoying the lingering warmth, and looking forward to all the changes September brings. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been busy with moving, but I’ve also been busy with crafting. I’ve not, however, been organized about it. So rather than a few short posts, I’m just gonna combine a few of the things I’ve been seeing, making, and baking into one round-up!

First up is a dress I altered.Picture1 I made this, and blogged about it here and here, a while ago, but I wasn’t in love with the fit, or the sash. So I seam ripped the whole bodice and redid it, adding darts, taking in the back and lowering the back neckline. I also redid the zipper. Spot the differences: Super Easy edition!The changes are subtle, but I’m much happier with it now!

Then for the apartment, I needle felted some kooky coasters to add some color and protect the table:026I’ve also been cooking, especially after I discovered a farm stand not five minutes from my new digs. I picked up fingerling potatoes and Brussels sprouts and roasted them with carrots and garlic, all tossed in garlic oil and rosemary. Delicious!018You may notice there’s some bread on that plate. That’s ’cause I baked some, and it turned out wonderfully:007 011The 1953 cookbook prevails again!

One last little thing. When putting together my closet, I had one set of nice hangers, and then a whole bunch of mismatched wire hangers. They were ugly and my clothes kept slipping off, so I paired them off and crocheted over them.029So much better!

Wow! Looking at all these things, I feel very productive! Here’s to hoping you all can make the most of what left of summer too!

Baby’s A-Coming!

First off, not my baby! No babies for me! But a close friend of mine is due at the end of November! Now, she got a ton of cute things at her baby shower, but when little ones come along, I can’t help but romanticize about Anne Blythe, nee Shirley, who insisted on hand-sewing all of her first baby’s clothes. Now I know this a completely different era, but I love the idea of hand-made things as a sign of hands-on love, so I try to make at least one thing by hand for every expecting person I know! In this particular baby’s case, I made four things…

First up is a cozy little sweater!100_2497 I used Lion Brand homespun in peacock, and L.O.V.E. the result. I’ve used this pattern before; it’s from the book One-Skein Wonders, edited by Judith Durant. The other sweaters I’ve made using this pattern pattern have always turned out well, but I think this might be my new fav yarn for it! 100_2500The buttons are from a bag-o-buttons I bought at a flea market a few months back. One cool thing about this sweater is that it’s knit loosely enough that you don’t need to make button holes: the buttons just fit right through the stitches 🙂

Moving on, I crocheted an adorable set using patterns from a 2010 issue of Crochet Today.100_2512 The booties and the earflap hat are both from the magazine, and then I used the extra yarn to crochet a matching granny-square blanket.100_2513 Confession: I crocheted the whole hat, only to find it too big and ripped it all out. Guess I shouldn’t have skipped the gauge swatch…

100_2504I think all my creations turned out well, and I can’t wait for the little one to arrive and cozy up in them!

Breaking News: Afghan Invaded by Soveriegn Nation of Cat!!!

So today’s post was supposed to be a celebration of a finished project, one that was a major stash buster. And it still kind of is. It’s just that my cat totally took over the celebrations.

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He’s all “Oh you wanted to photograph the blanket? But what about me?”

I’ve been working on an afghan for the past few months, using odds and ends of my yarn stash. It’s a simple granny square mish-mosh, joined up with more granny-stitch pattern. Consequently, there are lots of different colors and textures. While I admire the careful planning evident in many afghans I see, I love the crazy energy of stash-busting blankets. Also, I harbor weird, vain dreams that the afghan will still be around in 40 odd years and my grandkids will pick favorite squares!

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Maybe they’ll like the green one! Or the mixed yarn square! Or the funky eye-lash thing towards the bottom…

Or perhaps good ol' blue and white! Or the lion colors next to it!

Or perhaps good ol’ blue and white! Or the lion colors next to it!

But enough of that! I went to spread the blanket out to take pictures and before I could even turn the camera on, Mr. Luna Tic jumped up and made himself at home! I figured proof of a satisfied blanket-user wouldn’t go amiss!

Here's the whole blanket, with Luna in the center!

Here’s the whole blanket, with Luna in the center!

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Look at the juxtaposition of textures! The skillful crocheting! Oh, who am I kidding? Look at that cat!

Eventually, though, the diva tired of the attention.

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“Please, no more pictures.” he purred, demurely covering his face with one white-gloved paw…

In the end, I have a much lighter stash, a lovely afghan, and a contented cat. What more could a crafter ask for?