Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Crocheting with Beads

Remember the movie "Rudolph's Shiny New Year"? The upcoming holiday made me think of the movie and the movie title made me think of crocheting with beads. (Not any odder than some trains of thought I've had.)

The library has a few titles with bead crocheting:
Designer Beadwork: Beaded Crochet Designs by Ann Benson,
Knit and Crochet with Beads by Lily M. Chin, and
Crochet Jewelry: 40 Beautiful and Unique Designs by Waejong Kim.
Evergreen Indiana libraries have about 20 crocheted jewelry books and about the same amount for crocheting with beads.

Were you to go to the internet, you could find many patterns in www.crochetcentral.com. In the search bar, enter "bead crochet" or "crochet jewelry".
www.crochetnbeads.com has a few free patterns. http://beadcrochet.com has a video tutorial for learning how to do this technique for either right or left hand. http://crochet.about.com/library/aa030197.htm has some basic instructions and www.youtube.com has many videos showing how to crochet with beads and make projects such as a bead rope necklace.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Socks

One pair of beautiful, colorful, warmly knit socks is one of the Christmas presents I've received for Christmas. Sometimes a pair of moccasins just doesn't do it on a cold evening and this will be wonderful for relaxing without a fire.

In case this tickles your crafting fancy, we have a number of books on sock making. Try one or more of these to warm the cockles of your feet.

2-at-a-Time Socks: The secret of Knitting Two at Once on One Circular Needle by Melissa Morgan-Oakes
New Pathways for Sock Knitters by Cat Bordhi
Crocheted Socks! 16 Fun-to-Stitch Patterns by Janet Rehfeldt
And more.

If you have extra socks that are multiplying in the back of your drawer, and you want to do something fun with them, you could try Sock Crafts by Jeri Dayle.
You can also put "sock crafts" into Google (or other search engine) and find hundreds of ideas. I saw the ever popular Rockford sock monkey made into a Buddha type figure, a sock giraffe, a sock rabbit, a sock Spiderman, and, of course, sock puppets.

Hope you enjoy making them and playing with them.

Happy crafting.

Monday, December 14, 2009

12 Knits of Christmas

There's probably still time to make these cute accessories - or at least your favorites of the list. They mostly use one or two skeins of yarn apiece. A couple only use small amounts of yarn like the wine bottle caps. No kinding, little caps for wine bottles with tiny tassels! You'll find patterns for fingerless gloves, a hat, cowl, ornaments, and at least three scarves of different lengths and types. Great for unusual gifts.
Please check out this website:
www.woolandhoney.typepad.com/photos/the_12_knits_of_christmas/index.html
Thanks for this great idea, Linda Higginbotham.

Happy crafting

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fairy Tale Knits

Yes, I'm the crochet lady - but I'm enthralled with this knitting book!!!
The library recently got Fairy Tale Knits: 32 Projects to Knit Happily Ever After by Alison Stewart-Guinee. In it are patterns for magic carpets, Red's riding hood cape, Robin Hood's green shirt, elf boots, and knitted golden crowns! Cool! There are princess, page, and fairy outfits. Even if you don't have a loved little one to turn into a sprite or royalty, you must come and look through the pictures to admire the designs.
For the time being, you'll find this book in the New Book section.
Happy crafting.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Christmas patterns

There are tons of new patterns for the holidays, both crochet and knit, all over the internet. Lion Brands yarn company hosts free patterns from all sorts of people who come up with new things on a regular basis. Crochet Central and Knit Central, of course, keep adding new patterns as well.
Do you need an ornament, a wreath, a Christmas tree pattern? They're all online. Do you need a gift for someone's kitchen, bathroom, bedroom? All can be had easily. How about a gift for a man, a woman, a child, or their dog? No problem.
Type in "Christmas ornament free crochet pattern" or "Man's hat free crochet pattern" or dog sweater free crochet pattern", etc. You get the idea. And it works for "free knit pattern" too.
23 more days until Christmas. Only 9 days until Hanukkah. You get 24 days if you celebrate Kwanzaa.
Happy crafting.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Beautiful Dish Cloths

Linda H. sent word of a website with absolutely beautiful knitted dish cloths. Here is the website for you avid knitters:
http://www.knittingknonsense.com/DW_cloth.html

Felted Crochet

On this topic, I am the messager rather than the expert. I have done a little bit of accidental felting by putting a couple of afghans in the washing machine. They come out a little bit fuzzier every time I wash them.
Here are the basics as I understand them. It's useful to make a small sample from the same yarn that you are planning to use for the project. The yarn should not say "Machine Washable" and it should be at least 50% animal hair. Wool, llama, alpaca, and mohair are good choices. Sometimes the colors will fade or blend at the edges of stripes.
To felt by hand, you soak the piece in warm, soapy (use pure soap like Ivory) water and rub the yarn against itself, changing directions as you go so that every part gets rubbed. When you think it's fuzzy enough, dip the piece in cold water and rub a little more to make sure it's the way you want it to look. If it isn't finished, put it back in the warm water because the soap and heat help loosen the fibers. Rub some more until it's the way you like it.
Squeeze out the water. Roll the piece in a towel to get rid of more water. Block the piece and put it in a warm, dry place to finish drying.
Felted pieces can still shrink after they have been processed like this, so treat them like other woolens and wash in cold water.
The library has a book with instructions and patterns called Felted Crochet by Jane Davis. There are also at least six books on how to felt with knitted work.
You can find patterns and instructions, written or on video, online. Put "felted crochet" in the search bar - and happy crafting.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Two degrees

This morning my husband was watching the news (and I wasn't paying close attention), when I heard in passing something like this "If you lower the temperature in your house two degrees, we'll contribute to such-and-so charity". Maybe it's time to go back to big, fuzzy house sweaters.
The library has sweater patterns in both knit and crochet. Family Circle Easy Sweaters: 50 Knit and Crochet Projects by Trisha Malcolm might be useful in times such as these.
Also Crochet Pattern Central has almost 100 sweater patterns in crochet and, if you switch to the other side, Knitting Pattern Central, there are way more than that. And that's only in the Women's Clothing section. The men have just as many, but not so nicely separated. They have sweaters, vests, and other clothing patterns jumbled together.
When I make a sweater or house robe, I like to make them with three-quarter sleeves so I can cook without getting food on myself or setting the sleeves on fire. Just a thought.
May you dream warm dreams, and happy crafting.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Pocket Pets

Have you ever heard of amigurumi? It's the Japanese style of crocheting in a spiral. Usually amigurumi is used to make small animals which you stuff with a little bit of poly-fill and give to the wee ones in your family. Some of these creatures can be made small enough to hang as a decoration on a backpack. If you start now, you could make enough for your Christmas tree. (chuckle)
The library catalog has several listings for amigurumi pattern books, all of which you will have to put on hold to have sent here from somewhere else. There are all kinds of amigurumi patterns on the internet. Just put "amigurumi free patterns" into the search bar and choose what you like. Almost all of the patterns will be crochet, as that is the traditional medium for this style of craft, but you might find a few patterns to knit.
Pocket pets are hot, so work up a couple of little creatures and put a smile on someone's face.
Happy crafting.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Masks

I wondered if I could find some crochet patterns for making masks. Instead of the simple tried-and-true patterns, I stumbled across a freestyle artist, Nicki Hitz Edson, who makes crocheted "sculptures" that can be worn as masks. Wow!!

If you want to check it out, go to http://nhedson.tripod.com/crochet.htm
If you click on any of the pictures, they will enlarge somewhat and you can see what kind of stitches she used in her creations.

After seeing her work, I asked myself, "What can you NOT make with crochet?" I went to Google images and put in "Crochet Sculpture". You wouldn't believe it if I told you. You'll have to see it for yourself.

The long and the short of it is - If you have an imagination and the time to play with the shapes, crochet is incredibly versatile. Maybe you don't have to give flat things as Christmas presents. Why not a crocheted crab or sea coral or...

Happy crafting.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Holiday Decorations

With several holidays creeping up on us, I went looking for good crochet patterns to use for decorating doors and tables. I called up an old favorite, Crochet Pattern Central, and clicked on the Thanksgiving button. Some of those patterns will work beautifully for Halloween too.
There are several patterns for crocheting pumpkins. But my favorite one is the crocheted Indian corn. Who would have thought it! And they're really pretty. I love the one with black and yellow kernels. You can check it out at www.favecrafts.com/Crochet-Amigurumi/Harvest-Indian-Corn#.

Happy crafting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bigger than Bread

We have a friend who is doing a HUGE favor for our family. This is a much bigger favor than I can say thank you for with homemade bread. You know, the kind Grandma used to make.

So my next thought is to crochet an afghan. It has to be masculine but acceptable to his wonderful wife as well. So here's my fast and easy pattern for a man's afghan.

Chain as long a chain as you want to make it wide. Every row will be ch 3, *dc, ch, dc, ch* to the end, finishing each row with a dc in the last stitch. It should come out with every dc directly on top of the one below so that you get a mesh effect. Make it as long as you want.

Next cut lengths of yarn about a foot or foot and a half longer than the mesh. You are going to use two strands at a time and weave through the mesh with a yarn needle, leaving about 4-6 inches at either end for fringe. Tie the fringe together at the edge of the mesh to secure it. You can weave up and down for fringe at the top and bottom, or you can weave side to side if you don't want the fringe in your face.

That's as easy as it gets. The colors can be anything. I am planning a light tan, medium tan, and brown base with the same three colors going up and down to make a plaid arrangement.
Other color possibilitites might be all one color - going for a textured effect only. Or all one color in the base and a contrasting or complimentary color running up and down (or across, don't forget). Or any number and combination of colors of your choice. It can get pretty harlequin if you go into your scrap basket. I wouldn't give the harlequin one away or put it in the guest bedroom, but it could be a fun way to use up your spare yarn.

There's pattern and a beautiful image of a Scotch plaid at this website:

http://www.freevintagecrochet.com/afghans/woven-scotch-plaid-afghan-pattern.html

Made on a smaller scale, this also makes a nice warm scarf.

Happy crafting.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thinking Ahead

Yesterday I was looking through 100 Crochet Projects by Jean Leinhauser & Rita Weiss. I found all kinds of quick, easy projects that suddenly reminded me of how close we are to Christmas already. I found teddy bears and snowflake earrings, shawls and vests, scarves and purses. With a little thought to the people on your Christmas list, you could have a lower-cost holiday if you work out of your scrap basket and get a little done whenever you sit down to crochet.
If you want to be a little more fancy with your gifts (even if it's a gift to yourself), we have Felted Crochet, Crocheted Socks, Designer Beadwork: Beaded Crochet Designs, and Knit and Crochet with Beads.
Or if you really do want to work just out of your scrap basket, try One Skein Wonders by Judith Durant.
Christmas is on the way. And please, if you have any extra time, check out www.soldiersangels.org to make lap robes for the wounded soldiers.

Thanks, and happy crafting.

Monday, September 28, 2009

New Muscles

I've finally gotten both crocheted baby blankets in the mail to my nephew and his wife. The second one was in a star pattern made from crocheted diamond shapes all sewn together. But my right arm will only crochet for so long before I have to switch to something else.
My knitting is limited to one channel - the All-Garter Stitch All The Time channel. I can increase and decrease. I can switch colors at the end of a row and in midstream as it were. But I have never mastered purling. Woe is me!
So I went to our new books, the knitting section, for inspiration. I found a wonderful book called "Quick Knits, Cool Projects" by Brenda Gallmeyer. I fell so in love with three or four of the patterns that I also grabbed Knitting for Dummies. I had no idea there were knitting needles size 17. Now that's fast knitting!
In the meantime, if you are a crocheter who likes to carry small work around with you and if you don't mind sewing the pieces together, you might like to check out the crocheted quilts at this website.
www.happyyellowhouse.com
Happy crafting.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hypnotic

I'm working on a tube scarf. It will be double thickness when I am finished and as warm as can be. Let winter do its worst. The interesting thing is that it seems to be hypnotic. I don't have to count. I don't have to cut the yarn or stop at the end of a row and turn the work around. I just keep working stitches in a never-ending spiral. I think I like it. It is a great end of the day activity. I can organize my thought from the day or plan for tomorrow while keeping my hands busy. Put a stitch in the next space, put a stitch in the next space...Tomorrow I'll fix a chicken for supper...Put a stitch in the next space...
Try it sometime. Your project grows without having to concentrate on it and you get a lot of mind-work done as well.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Knitting looms

Knitting looms are supposedly the "new" hot idea for crafting. I admit that I have gotten into it pretty much wholeheartedly since it gives me a way to knit without using knitting needles. There are several pattern books available. One can knit anything from afghans to socks if you get a loom the right shape and with the right spacing of pegs.

As for being "new" - I remember knitting long skinny tubes exactly this way by using a wooden spool and a few nails. I remember trying to make a longer loom by hammering nails into the side of a 2 x 2 and giving it up as a lost cause because the nails were hard to work with and the wood snagged the yarn. I also remember the sweater-making looms where you would get the yarn started and then zip a sliding bar across the top and - voilĂ  - you had a fancy pattern.

I think I like the knitting looms because they are simple, and they remind me of my much younger days. I generally catch myself crocheting at something approaching the speed of light, so using the knitting loom slows me down. I can relax and enjoy what I'm doing.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

free patterns from River Knits blog

Posted for Linda H.
Hi,
More freebies for the blog.  I REALLY like the Flower Scarf.
Linda
-----Freebies & funnies
Bride in Sheep’s Clothing http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1205007/Shepherdess-bride-marries-stunning-dress-wool-flock.html
http://www.theloopyewe.com/sheri/patterns/robynd-Flower_Scarf.pdf Flower Scarf - use 150 yards of any fingering/sport yarn to make this pretty little flowery neck scarf.  Chase the chills away & look great while doing it.  Great pattern for that little bit of yarn you might have left from other projects or nice enough to buy new!
Kureyon Felted Tile Bag http://closerknit.blogspot.com/2008/01/kureyon-tile-bag.html pattern only at this site.  Picture here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8774956@N06/2634720587 http://www.flickr.com/photos/8774956@N06/2634720587 Takes 5 skeins of Kureyon or 550yd of any long repeat feltable wool.  (Deluxe Worsted LP would be a great option too).
Ribbed baby jacket using 4-6 balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran (or any worsted/heavy worsted weight yarn) http://www.allaboutyou.com/craft/Knitting-pattern-ribbed-baby-jacket/v1
Amy’s Pinwheel Beret, picture here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24076420@N06/2469250461 pattern here: http://enoneoftheabove.livejournal.com/267279.html Using the Comfort dk called for in the pattern you could knit this cute cap for a mere $3.50.  Or change it up like in the picture and use a self striping or handpainted sport wt. yarn like Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport or any of the self-patterning sport wt. sock yarns.  Fun!
Socks of Kindness – patern would  look great with many sock yarns.  Try it with the Melody Superwash as shown or use your favorite sock yarn: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cauchycomplete/2022502004/
Knit on!
Elizabeth

www.riverknitsyarns.com
River Knits
926 Main Street
Lafayette, IN 47901
765.742.KNIT (5648)
http://riverknitsyarns.blogspot.com

Crocheting (and we thinking Knitting) is good for your health.

Posted for Kathy N.
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4917058n

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Longer Nights

During high summer, I was able to come home from work at quarter till 9 in the evening and still have time to get the lawn mowed before sundown. Not anymore! Now that I can't do outside chores in "the cool of the evening", I have more time to sit and do handwork. The first baby blanket is finished and the second one is about to double in size to be used for a child's nap blanket. I'm working on a star pattern where you crochet the pieces and sew them together a la quilting style.

In trying to find a star pattern for you, I found a nice five pointed star blanket made all in one piece. See if this might be fun to make and look good on the child of your choice. http://yarn-diva.blogspot.com/2006/03/free-star-shaped-afghan-pattern.html

Here's a six-pointed one all in one piece http://www.meibythepug.com/2009/01/6-point-star-afghan-pattern.html

And finally I found a website with crocheted quilt patterns. Crochet the bits and pieces and sew them together. Very pretty work! http://www.happyyellowhouse.com/htm/quilts.html

Happy crafting.
Kathi

Monday, August 17, 2009

Converting

Sometimes when I wander through patterns, I find the perfect pattern in knit when I'm a much more accomplished crocheter. It's somewhat frustrating - and a puzzle to be solved. Can I think of a way to accomplish the same look using crochet stitches? Is there a way to convert patterns from one craft to the other?
Here are some websites that offer possibilities:
http://www.ehow.com/how_18632_convert-knitting-pattern.html
http://www.ehow.com/how_18631_convert-crochet-pattern.html

But if I really ponder the complexities of, say, a fisherman's knit with the intricate cable pattern, I am persuaded that there is no crochet stitch, nor any combination of them that will give me the smooth rippled effect that flows off of knitting needles. And so I looked farther on the websites and found that the stitch differences aren't the only consideration. Crochet uses about one-third more yarn than knitting. Here are a couple of websites that explain the differences:
http://wheatcarr.com/blog-a-mentary/convert-crochet-to-knit-no-not-really.php
No, not really the same
http://crochet.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ/Ya&sdn=crochet&zu=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.planetshoup.com%2Feasy%2Ftips%2Fconvert.shtml
More yarn for crochet and not the same.

So once again I must make my peace with my preferences or determine to spend some time becoming more familiar with the other discipline.

Happy crafting,
Kathi

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The fogs of August

Maybe I just like the way the words sound together, but fogs in August are a bit of weather lore speaking of the winter to come. The dampness this morning made me think of a light cover-up like a shawl. Here's a website with free shawl and stole patterns - I'm guessing over 200 of them. Do you like to do quick projects, or lacy beautiful craftsmanship, or cozy pieces that will keep off the chill. There's some of each in here.
Happy crafting.
http://www.crochetpatterncentral.com/directory/shawls_etc.php

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dog Days

August is often called "The Dog Days". Do you want to make a winter jacket for your best 4-legged friend? Or a Christmas idea for a friend or family pet? Here are a few cool websites with links to free patterns. A couple of the links have gone out of date in the first one, but most of them still work. http://mycrochetstuff.blogspot.com/2005/05/hello-puppies-crochet-for-dogs-links.html
http://www.knittingforcharity.org/free_knitting_patterns_go_to_the_dogs.html
(What appears to be spaces in the above link are actually underscores _ )

I'm guessing that most cats would rather play with the yarn than wear it, but if you can make your cat sit still for such a thing, here's link with cat crafts too. http://www.knittingpatterncentral.com/directory/pets.php

If you truly want a chic cat or dapper dog, knitting or crocheting just might be the way to do it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cool winter

If the coming winter follows the pattern of this summer, it will be cool indeed! And even though it's July, you might want to think about some of the heart-, hand-, and body-warming projects you could start for Christmas presents. Whether you knit or crochet, we have scads of books with fashionable and/or colorful ideas to help keep your family and friends toasty this winter. Get them while they're hot! The call numbers for knitting and crocheting are 746.43-746.434. The library has about 12 linear feet of books and access to knitting and crocheting books from nearly 50 sister libraries in the Evergreen Indiana system.
So come and get 'em. And happy crafting.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Free Patterns for "plarn"

At the last Crochet Klatch, I handed out instructions and a couple of ideas for using plastic "yarn" made from grocery bags, newspaper covers, and garbage bags. I showed the group an easy way to turn out yards of the stuff in short order.
Today, I went looking for free patterns, mostly with regular yarn in mind, and stumbled on a LONG list of free patterns for "plarn"! Holy cow!
Check this out: http://www.crochetpatterncentral.com/directory/plarn_items.php
They have patterns listed for everything from purses and pots to Barbie dresses and rugs. There's even a pattern for making a crochet hook carrying case out of plarn and a small piece of cloth.
Happy pattern hunting and hope to see you at the next meeting in August.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Crochet and Knitting Books

We have two each of new crocheting books and knitting books. Here are the titles so you can decide if you want to rush on down and check them out.
300 Classic Blocks for Crochet Projects by Linda P. Schapper
Crocheted Afghans by Oxmoor House (I especially liked "Over the Rainbow" and "Firecracker")
Knitting Sweaters from the Top Down by Cathy Carron (Almost makes me wish that I knitted)
Designer Knitting with Kitty Bartholomew
Hope you take a chance to look them over.

Warming hearts

I don't much care for crocheting blankets in warm weather, but my nephew and his wife are going to have a baby in October, so I don't have too much choice.
This labor of love put me in mind of a project that Kathy had us work on last year which was making lap robes for wounded soldiers.The website is http://soldiersangels.org/index.php?page=blankets-of-gratitude. It tells what they are hoping to get, the sizes, etc. to let the soldiers know their sacrifices have been appreciated. Soldiers' Angels also looks for Blankets of Hope, which might even be taken to the front lines and used to cover a newly-wounded soldier on his transport flight to a hospital. There are suggestions for knitting, crocheting, and sewing blankets. There's even a no-sew option using fleece.
If you have a serving heart, this is something to consider.
At the last Crochet Klatch meeting, we handed out patterns for crotcheting an American flag. One was constructed of granny squares and the other was made in one piece.
For all the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" people (or for those of you whowatch the Do-It-Yourself channels - the Repurposing people), we'll have patterns and ideas for things to do with your plastic grocery bags. Every hear of "plarn"?
It will be fun, it will be "green", and it's always a good group for socializing.

Patterns

I was looking for something easy to do to take on vacation--for the car or beach. I can't not knit, or sometimes crochet, when I am sitting still! www.bernat.com has some easy throw rug patterns. I am going to try a couple. Just go to their site and put "rug" in the search box. Use your scrap yarn and make these for your home or for gifts!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Link to the July August Browse Newletter

You can always find general or adult program information in flyer form at http://www.myjclibrary.org/services/adult/index.asp. I did post the current Knit and Crochet flyers on the left navigation bar on this page, also.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Welcome, craftspeople!

Join the fun! We will attempt to post pattern pictures and instructions that go along with what the groups are doing. Post your own comments and knit and crochet photos here. Learn what is going on in these groups. We invite you to "become a follower" on the lower left side of this page, so you will receive email notification when people post to this blog.

See Georgiann's blog at http://www.libraryknitnight.blogspot.com, for some patterns from the past months.