Saturday, July 27, 2013

Stash Busting Progress

I know there are lots of you out there who can relate to the need for stash busting. Yes we can never have too much yarn, but at some point we must admit to ourselves that we need to use at least as much as we buy, mustn't we?

Well I don't know about all that, but I did silently make a resolution to my self, and my pocketbook, this year that I would try not purchase any new yarn until I've used up the majority of my "peripheral" stash.

Flower Power washcloths, pattern can be found here.

I do like to maintain a "core" stash of my most used yarns, specifically Red Heart Super Saver, and Sugar'n Cream/Peaches 'n Creme/Handicrafter cotton. It pains me to know I won't be shopping for yarn for a good long while, but I think of all the money I'll save and it seems like it might be worth it in the end... maybe...

Doll Dresses, pattern can be found here

This is the remainder of my Cotton Tots Stash. Only a few yards of each left. I'll use it to make a few more flowers and maybe some little bows to add as embellishments. Can't waste a single inch!

Next is my stash of I Love This Cotton. Some more doll dresses. Some doll bibs. Maybe some more washcloths... Has anyone ever used it for a wearable? Was thinking of maybe making a sweater for Ben with the blue and neutral colors of ILTC I have on hand?

EDIT: added links for the patterns above. As an extra note, the little dresses I made smaller for baby dolls by using an H hook for the starting chain and first row, then use an I hook for the rest. I also only worked a total of 12 rnds.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Oh well...

A little over a week ago I asked for help in tracking down the pattern for this wreath. A friend was able to track down the blog that was related to a Flickr account where the picture is posted. I attempted to contact the blog owner but haven't heard anything. I'm disappointed, but I will just have to use this as motivation to come up with something else on my own. :)

Thank you to everyone who helped in the search!

Friday, July 5, 2013


Although the season is in full swing, it's the end of the summer shopping season. Back to school shopping is just around the corner and stores are making room for the over abundance of pencils, paper, backpacks, and all the other paraphernalia the kiddies will need for the new school year. This means it's prime time for the bargain hunters like me to find a good deal. I do love those little red and white clearance stickers!

This is my recent score from Walmart. An inspiration (cork) board for $3, an awesome stocking stuffer for Ben for $1, and 8 packs of scrapbooking paper for 10 cents each! Yes, 10 cents! I kept 2 and gave the rest to Cyndi for her classroom. The candle was not on clearance, but at $3.50 was still a bargain.

They did have yarn on sale too, but I showed great restraint and did not buy any. Not one skein. I've actually been making progress with my stash busting efforts and would like to keep it that way. :)

Someone had asked about where to find the wire for the Daisy Plant Poke. I found mine at Dollar Tree a few years ago. I was just in there the other day and they do still have it. I've also seen it at my local Walmart, and I'm sure you could find something similar at the craft store as well. It is called floral wire and is usually found in the floral department.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Looking for a Wreath Pattern

I love Pinterest, probably a little too much. I sit down for what feels like 10 minutes looking through all the eye candy and crochet/crafty/DIY inspiration, only to look at the clock and realize it's been 2 hours. I know you can relate. :)

I've gained too much inspiration for my home and family to to call it a waste of time. I've tried new recipes, found some great organization tips, and heck, I even made a pair of socks with the help of a couple video tutorials I found via Pinterest. The only "bad" thing I've found is the more than occasional lack of proper sourcing information.

Case in point:

I thought I recognized this as a Sugar'n Cream design, but I can't find it on Ravelry or on the Lily website. Every link I've tried dead ends or just fizzles out. I know there are other similar wreaths out there, but this is the one that "spoke" to me. So I'm just wondering if anyone recognizes it and knows the pattern source?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

New Pattern!

You may have seen my post yesterday about Doni Speigle's flower ring decorations. While trying to figure out how to add the "poke" to my plant poke, I kept coming back to the idea of wire. So I went with it and this is what I came up with...

I used this floral wire that I picked up at Dollar Tree a while back. I've also seen it at in the craft section Walmart.

I first tried to make the loop at the top of the stem freehand, but quickly learned it's difficult to make a nice smooth circle this way. A 2oz paint bottle works much better. :)

And this is the stem before crocheting. I think it could also make a cute fairy wand if you add some beads (or something soft) to cover the cut ends of the wire. But that will have to wait for another time.

And here is the finished flower. I'm quite happy with it.You can download the pdf in my Ravelry store.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Frugal Friday

The past couple of years Doni Speigle of Whiskers and Wool (I love her potholder patterns!) has been creating a series of holiday ornaments that are worked around a 2 inch plastic ring. Me, being the cheap frugal person I am, started saving the plastic rings from our gallon water jugs to use as the center ring. Why buy something when I can re-use a similar thing I have already, right? :)

She calls these ornaments, but I was thinking about making some plant pokes out of these. Or maybe a couple of fridge magnets. There's always room for one more, right? :)

This yellow one is the same pattern. I just changed it up a little bit by replacing the center stitch on each petal with a ch-3 picot. It's funny how changing one minor detail can make something look so different. It kind of looks like a sun, or if done in red, a poinsettia?

I really like how these turned out. I will definitely be making lots more. :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

In Bloom

My geranium is back from the brink of death and in full bloom. 

Happiness abounds!

Monday, June 10, 2013

How's this for Tacky?

During my 'net travels today I came across the Tacky Living website. I was instantly transported back to the tiny bathroom of my grandmother's single-wide trailer, circa 1970, when this wonderfully kitschy project jumped right out and yipped, "Remember Me?"

 © Tanya A. Brown

Of course I remember the Farting Poodle. Who could forget? And Tacky Living is even kind enough to share the pattern with us. Will I be making one? Highly unlikely... but with me you just never know. :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Recipe for a Happy Saturday

Take one family (kids are a plus!), add 1 charcoal grill (make sure you have plenty of lighter fluid! LOL), sprinkle liberally with plenty of yummy good food and sweet tea, stir in lots of fun and interesting conversation, then at dusk top off with marshmallows toasted over the remaining embers for some ooey gooey yummy s'mores!

Picture taken 6/1/13

Monday, June 3, 2013

Blind Melon Inspired Amigurumi

Remember the "bee girl" video from the early '90s? It was, and still is, one of my favorite music videos. Well Twisted Fibers took inspiration from the Blind Melon album cover to create the cutest little Bee Girl Amigurumi.

(c) 2013 Twisted Fibers

As if that weren't enough, you've got to check out AmigurumiBB's version of the Bee Girl Doll. I love the blue hair! :)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Slippers & Smiles

It doesn't take much to make me smile these days. Today it was using a coupon at Joann's on a skein of Wool-ease in Rose Heather for another pair of slipper socks. $2.41 for a skein of yarn definitely makes me happy!

And after the socks are finished I should have enough yarn left over for the trim on a pair of these with a skein of Lemongrass Wool-ease from my stash as the main color. Green and pink are always a happy combination in my world. :D

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Saturday's Smile--Summer Vacation!

Okay, I'm a day late, but it's vacation time so I'm allowed to be lazy, right? :)

In my future skills/day 7 post from blog week I expressed my desire to make myself a pair of socks. Well I completed my first pair! They are actually slippers made with Wool-ease, a worsted weight wool blend. I used Mary McCall's Short Row Heel Socks pattern. I can't believe how incredibly easy they were! I will definitely be making more of these as gifts, and for myself. I'm also ready to tackle ones made with sock yarn. :)


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Saturday's Smile

I know I'm not the first one to think of the "Tulip Hat" photo, but I couldn't resist making my own. :)

I've been making hats.

Lots of hats. Doll hats to be exact.

They are all for the local Head Start. With all of the budget cuts I decided to do a little bit to help out. I will also be sending doll blankets, play kitchen oven mitt/potholder sets, shawls and boas for playing dress up, and assorted other toys and learning aids. All crocheted of course. :)

I don't usually promote specific charities on the blog, but if you are so inclined, give your local head start a call and ask them how you can help them with an "In Kind" contribution. :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Exhausted & Something CuTe!!

This week has been so very tiring for me. I've been wanting to catch up on comments and posts from blog week, but haven't had a chance. I will soon though!

I did want to show you these shoes I found by way of Pinterest. Aren't they the cutest things? Cyndi has already put in her "order" for a pair, and I think I will have to make myself a pair as well. :)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Got Skills? 4KCBWDAY7

One year from now what new skills, projects and experiences do you hope you might have conquered or tried?

It likely comes as no surprise, but a year from now my primary goal is to reduce my stash. My dream is to have all of the overflow gone and my stash completely contained in my spare closet. This will be no easy task considering I've only managed to eliminate two cubbies worth of yarn (about 40 skeins) in the past 3 years. But like I said, this is my dream. In reality, I'm just hoping to avoid new purchases. I'm not going to go so far as to say I will exclusively use stash yarn for my projects, but I can confidently commit to doing so at least 85% of the time; hopefully more.

 My spare closet nice & tidy :)
I just wish the rest of the place looked like this!!

My blog activity has been sporadic over the past few years. So my second goal is to be better about keeping up here. I plan to continue to post more often, talk more about my crafting inspirations, show off more of my finished projects, and create a better web presence in general.

Speaking of web presence... I've finally come into the new millennium and created a Facebook Page for my Crochet Amore and Crochet Amore Knits! line of patterns. Yes, there is only one knit pattern in there now, but hey, it's a freebie! Be sure to check back next week as I have 4 new knit patterns that I'm finalizing as we speak. And never fear crocheters! I have tons more crochet patterns on the way as well. :)

freebie knit pattern

My third goal is to learn more about Bruges Lace. Ever since I first saw the Amandine Doily (3rd one down) by Hartmut Hass I knew I needed to make it. I've bought the pattern and have watched a couple of you tube videos. I think I understand how it works, now I just need to get to it! :)

And my fourth goal is to once and for all knit a pair of socks for myself! This has been on my to-do list for 5 years now and I have yet to brave up and just do it. I need to decide on an easy first-time pattern. I've thought about doing these just to learn the mechanics of it, but at the same time, I'd kind of like to jump right in with some of the sock weight yarn and small dpns I have. :)

I have more, lots more, I'd like to accomplish this year. I will likely not finish half of what I would like, but I'll give it a good honest try. :)

I just want to say I've enjoyed this year's blog week. Thank you to Eskimimi Makes for organizing the week's activities! I've had a lot of fun meeting bloggers from around the world. Please stay in touch! :)


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday's Smile/Cool Tools 4KCBWDAY6

Write about your favourite knitting or crochet (or spinning, etc) tool.

I thought today I would combine my "Saturday's Smile" with my Day 5 post for Knit and Crochet Blog Week since my favorite tool definitely makes me happy. :)

My favorite tool is my hook caddy. I bought it at Target a few years ago in their impulse buy section for $2.50. It has been worth every penny and then some! It is actually a child's "Art Caddy," but it serves me well in its current function so, oh well. :)

It has plenty of room to hold all of my crochet hooks, my "go-to" knitting needles, a few pair of scissors, and some other supplies. The bottom has a lazy susan type mechanism that allows it to turn giving me easy access to everything.

I just wanted to talk quickly about some more of my favorites. I prefer Boye hooks, Bates are okay, but they tend to split the yarn on me. I have a set of bamboo hooks but don't care much for them. They have a "tooth" to them that holds onto the yarn. The slick metal hooks allow me to move faster allowing me to be more productive. That's always a good thing! :)

Ironically, in regard to bamboo knitting needles, it's that drag that I love about my Clover bamboo needles. I'm not a great knitter so I need all the help I can get! The slick metal makes me drop too many stitches. Someone on a forum years ago suggested I try these. Oh my, what a difference!

The ones above are the sizes I grab most often, 6, 7, and 8. I have metal ones in all types and sizes but keep them tucked away as I never use them. I've been toying with the idea of creating this just so I can give them something interesting to do. :)

I also have a few specialty hooks, and with me being a Bee, I have to show you this one I picked up on ebay a few years ago. I had a hard time getting a good picture, but hopefully you get the point.

Well, that's it for today. I was out all day so am behind on reading posts from yesterday but I will be catching up over the weekend. I look forward to reading about everyones favorites!

EDIT: I meant to say... when I saw Bek's video on her blog Polka-Dots & Sparkles, like the bee that I am, I was instantly drawn to the Ten Stitch Blanket she had on her needles. The wip above is the beginnings of a Ten Stitch doll blanket for my daughter's classroom (she's a pre-K teacher). LOL


Friday, April 26, 2013

Buzz Buzz 4KCBWDAY5

It’s the annual challenge to blog in a way different to how you normally blog. 

Okay, prepare to roll your eyes because this is undoubtedly the corniest thing you will read today.

 Bee-ing Mee

to bee or not to bee
a monkee or a pee-
cock, no not mee
the see
is not for mee

a new thing I see
calling mee
distracting mee
I must see

swinging in a tree
curious monkee
"come play with mee"
a tempting plee

something fun I see
luring mee
tempting mee
I must see

gentle manatee
cute and cuddlee
splashing in the see
that's no life for mee

a new thing I see
teasing mee
taunting mee
I must see

strutting proudlee
"hey, look at me"
majestic pee-
cock, can't you see
feathers aren't for mee

petal to pozee
flying free
with glee
bizzee bee
yes, that's mee
it's meant to bee!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Color Me Happy 4KCBWDAY4

What are your favourite colours for knitted or crocheted projects?

I was looking forward to writing today's blog post. But now that it's here I'm finding hard to articulate my color philosophy. I use a lot of different colors in my projects. I love most colors and enjoy playing with them for effect. There are colors I tend to gravitate toward, but to say they are my favorites might only be true for the moment. The only colors I find myself actually avoiding are the overly pale pastel "baby" colors.

I know when I look at my projects over the past year or so, of the ones I have made and kept for myself, there will be many bright pastel colors. Nothing pale, but lots of rich, vibrant, true colors. Nature colors. Possibly a hint of something dark, but no black. Maybe a splash of white for contrast. Yes, bright, flowery, nature colors. Happy colors.

Dishcloth bouquet on my kitchen counter

My "Lucy Flowers" (a wip for the bathroom wall)

 One of many bright floral-y hotpads I use in the kitchen

A "Just for Fun" kitty sitting on a shelf in the bedroom

I could go on, but I think you get the point. :)

Now stash is a different story. The vast majority of what I crochet is given to others, either as gifts or to charities, so the colors will not represent my personal tastes or preferences. I've also been making a concentrated effort to reduce the beast that is my stash, so there will be an absence of some colors. I know I am low on reds and blues. I am really fighting the urge to shop. Really fighting...

 My Red Heart stash 3 yrs ago

My current stash (Red Heart reduced to 4 cubbies)

Nothing exciting there, so let's move on. :)

As you'll see, I love the traditional granny pattern, especially for charity projects. They are quick and easy to make and I can put one together start to finish in under 4 days. What a productive Bee I am. :) These projects also give me the opportunity to play with colors I wouldn't normally use for myself. I've had some failures, but most of them usually turn out nice. I'll start with a couple of my fails...

 I was going for Christmas, but ended up with Martini. LOL

The other six. I wonder what the seniors thought of this one. :)

Another Christmas one that fell slightly short of its mark.

Now this one is more like me. Very garden-esque.

This is one of my favorites, Neopolitan.

Another favorite. I feel like I'm sitting in a field of flowers. :)

Not a granny, but I saw it on Ravelry in these colors and HAD to make it. :)

There are more, but I won't bore you with them now. If you'd like to see my other granny-ghans, I am CrochetAmore on Ravelry. Just search "granny" in my projects. I am really behind getting pictures up, but I will try to finish that up next week sometime.

One final (long) thought on my personal color style. I have different tastes for different purposes. If you look in my closet you will see I have a clear affinity for purple, teal, blue, and black. I rarely wear red or any "hot" colors. You might occasionally catch me in pink or brown... but it's a rare sight. And never ever yellow, orange, or green... my complexion just can't handle it. :/

In the second stash picture above, you likely saw the pineapple afghan on my bed. When I choose colors for a large project for myself, such as an afghan, I tend to lean toward a more subdued palette. Choosing solids over multis, mid-tones over brights, etc.. I am currently working on a sofa throw, the Pinwheel afghan, in Ranch Red. A very muted, almost brown-ish, red as another example. Why these bland colors? They do seem to go against what I've said about my preferences.

Looking at the examples of my personal color style above (and below,) I trend toward smaller accents of color. A bouquet of dishcloths on the counter. A flowered cozy on the dish under a plant... By allowing the larger pieces to fade into the background, the smaller-more vibrant-bursts of color don't have to compete for attention. They are allowed to make their own statement. In other words, less is more.

Yarn for sofa pillows

Various colorful magnets/fridgies

My Christmas tree skirt. Just a hint of red. Let the tree be the center of attention. :)

EDIT: I am just noticing that I do a lot of floral themed projects for myself. How very "Bee" of me. :)
2nd EDIT: Corrected the link for the pineapple blanket.