Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Thrift Store Crochet



Design from Bent Creek

Happy Groundhog Day!  Our Wiarton Willy predicted another six weeks of winter, but as we really haven't had much of winter weather to start with I think we are all OK with that.  My latest crochet project will come in handy just in case though...

You all know I love a good thrift store visit, and if I find yarn there then all the better.  A few weeks ago I found a bag of burgundy tweed Sirdar yarn:  six skeins; made in England, 100% wool, for five dollars.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but I knew it had to come home with me.  I mean five dollars?!  I would have been crazy not to!


I figured I would use it for some of the charity crochet I do around Christmas time, but then it turned out it had all the same colours as Mr. Crafty World's winter jacket.  Mr Crafty World is also in need of a new hat, so  this is how I spent my weekend:



I used two skeins for the hat: a simple beanie hat made long enough to turn up in double crochet.

With the leftovers I made the scarf, again in double crochet.  I knew I would not have enough of the tweed to make a long enough scarf, so I used a grey wool from Iceland I had previously found in the clearance bin of my local yarn shop for two dollars.

 Mr. Crafty World loves it:  he has been wearing the hat everyday. I loved hooking away the weekend and using up yarn from the stash.  We both love that the entire project cost seven dollars.  It was a win, win project: the best kind!


Thanks for visiting, and
Happy Days!
Jenn

Saturday, January 30, 2016

January Finishes

Hello again!  Happy End of January!

I wanted to check in before the month ended and show the rest of my January makes.  I'm so happy I made it in time!

This has been a good month for stitching:  light levels in the morning have been just right to indulge in some after- breakfast cross stitching.  I have to confess to quite a few pyjama clad mornings while I plied needle and thread.  But heck, it's January right?

One of my first finishes was this little design on the left by Lizzie Kate.


I realized I had no smalls for the month of January so this was a good way to start.  The 'Peace' design is from The Drawn Thread, and I actually stitched it before Christmas and forgot to show it.  It didn't really lend itself to being an ornament, so I finished it as a small to add to my new January collection.


Because it takes three to make a collection I stitched these little mittens to go along with the others.  They came out super small because the fabric is 40 count.  While I like how designs look on 40 count when finished, I have to confess I don't love stitching on it.  Too hard on the eyes!
I wanted to break out of my pillow finish 'comfort zone' so tried a little tag design instead.  I'm kind of on the fence about it, but I like it enough I will try again.  The design is an old one from Helga Mandl.


I also completed an ornament for the month.  Well, I'm probably cheating a bit because I didn't actually stitch it this month.  I stitched this Country Cottage Needleworks design at least five years ago and never got around to finishing it off.  I'm not sure whether I'm happier about having my first ornament for the year done, or the fact I finished off some stitching that has been sitting around since 2008!

Speaking of long term finishes, I brought 'Stitcher's Alphabet' back to the table and completed the 'H' block.  I realize that wanting to finish two letters per month is too ambitious if I want to work on other stitching as well.



All that finishing was contagious, so I completed another work in progress from last year.  I think I started this last Spring:


I broke away from the pillow finish again!  'Chut je brode' (Quiet I'm stitching) is mounted on cardboard and made into a wall hanging.  I tried a ruched ribbon trim for the first time to cover the seams: I think I'm on the fence about that as well...  Anyway, another one out of the 'In' box is always good!

Now, the last thing I promise!  I crocheted myself another Nordic Shawl, this time in wool.
 ( Last year I made this up in cotton, and if you want to see it go HERE.)



This pattern is by Annette of My Rose Valley, and I bought the pattern from her etsy shop.  It is a pure delight to stitch, and even a beginner could do it.  I just love it, and it's not often I will stitch something more than once.  I may even do it a third time...

I used a Norwegian wool called Smart that I found at my local yarn shop.  Because I didn't put myself at the mercy of the clearance bin I was able to hook up the shawl as written:  no having to skimp on border colours or edges.


It's like a nice, big hug when you wrap it around.



 And that, my friends, is what I will leave you with:  a nice warm hug to end January with and as thanks for visiting.

Happy Days!!
Jenn

Monday, January 11, 2016

January Check In

Well Hello!
 Has Winter visited you yet?  We got a bit of a blizzard last night; and with the way the wind was howling  I thought for sure this morning there would be monster drifts to dig through and perhaps a 'snow day' for school.  Turns out the wind just blew the snow somewhere else!


(Free crochet pattern from Repeat Crafter Me)

I thought I would do a bit of catching up since Christmas.  It seems like a long time ago now, what with having put everything away doesn't it?
My last post was a few days before Christmas and I still had gifts to make.  Can you believe that I actually got them finished?  I'm a little surprised myself!

I completed the slouchy beanie hat for My Favourite Girl.  This is actually the second pattern I used:  the first one was really nice, but I had to rip it out three times to make adjustments and I was running out of time.  This second edition was much quicker, and I am happy to report she likes it!  Yes, a thirteen year old girl liked her homemade gift!  That was like a gift to me:)



The pattern for the hat was from HERE.  The glove pattern is called 'Shell Lace Fitted Fingerless Gloves' by Sherry Ramaila.  This is a free Ravelry download as well.  Both are easy and quick.  For the gloves I would recommend using a larger size hook on the foundation row before switching to what your yarn calls for.

These next gifts I have been wanting to make my kids for years.  They are a little too old for stuffed puppers now (especially made by Momma!), but there is a redeeming feature about these.  Inside each dog is a removable barley bag to heat in the microwave and cozy up with on cold winter nights.



The dogs have been put to good use the past few weeks, but of course nothing is as good as the real thing!


I am happy I finally got the dogs made, and I can say with confidence I will never sew with this fake fur again!  Holy cow what a mess!  I had fur up my nose; in my mouth; stuck to my eyeballs and on every surface within five meters of where I was working!

In the last little bit before Christmas day I found the pattern for those crocheted Christmas lights above.  I fell hard for these and crocheted enough for two sets, with plans for a pastel version next year.  I crocheted so much my wrists were sore for days!

Of course once Christmas was over it was time to look forward to new projects.  I bought myself a pretty little notebook and jotted down all the crafty projects I want to make.  There are over thirty in the crochet section alone! *Sigh*, it's good to be optimistic and busy though isn't it?



I got a few works in progress out of the way, which I thought was a great start to the new year:


This pattern is a freebie from the DMC website and I started it quite a number of years ago.  Why I never finished I can't tell you, because it is neither large or complicated.  I didn't know how to finish it:  it's too large for an ornament or a small, so another piece of hoop art it is!


My Favourite Boy finally got his new flannel pyjama bottoms!

I have also had my first crochet fail of the year.  This is the Fifties Cowl from ByHaafner.  It is very simple and I was really looking forward to this one.  It's just not large enough and all the fudging I had to do to make it fit doesn't seem to help.  I'm sure I will make another one, but for now it's going somewhere else and I will move on to another project.


And that my friends, is enough for today.  I will be back in a couple of weeks with the rest of my January makes.  As always, thank you so much for visiting and your kind words:  it's always the cherry on my cake as they say!

Happy Days!
Jenn

Friday, December 18, 2015

December News

Well.  That was a much longer absence than I planned on!  I have been a very busy elf around here as you can imagine.  I can't believe the big day is almost here and I still have presents to make!!  Will it ever be any different?  I highly doubt it!

Without further delay, lets get started on what I've been up to since the big blankety ta-da.
My crochet hooks were kept busy with a few more gifts:  I made a snuggly scarf for My Favourite Boy in nice chunky yarn:



Next I stitched up some fingerless gloves for My Favourite Girl:


I am hoping to make a matching hat so I see some furious hooking in my future!

I also crocheted a few kitchen things for my piano teacher.  She is very patient with me so I wanted to do something a bit more involved than a coffee card:



I managed to cross stitch two ornaments and finish off a third I had stitched last year:



This is stitched over two on 40 count linen.  It is a free design that can be found HERE.  Lots of lovely freebies to see there.


I made five or six of these because they were so fast.  I just stitched a face onto evenweave and used the fabric covered button tools to attach the fabric to a shank button.  Afterwards I glued the button to one of those plastic snowflakes from the dollar store.  Nice and easy and I used a few as package embellishments.


Last year I had an idea for a quick stitched ornament for the times you want to give something stitched, but don't want to take two weeks to do it.  I used metallic thread for the letters on my own dyed fabric.  It was quick to stitch, but I can hardly call it a quick finish when I take a year to make it into an ornament now can I?

Of course I pulled out all my decorations and had a grand old time doling out the Christmas cheer.  I have some new crafty additions this year:  first up are more sweater pillows, this time in festive red.


I used more sweater remnants for little hearts to decorate the mantle this year:




I also have some new hoop art courtesy of Bustle and Sew magazine.  I believe these are from last year's issues:


This is part of a larger design but I didn't want to do all the hand stitching for the lettering, so this is my abbreviated version  !    

       
This was originally designed to be a tea cozy, but I wanted something festive to hang in my kitchen.  There was much singing of the Christmas carol as this was being stitched!

So now the cards and parcels have been mailed; gifts have been bought and wrapped and the kids are off school.  We still have baking to look forward to, and a few church choir performances before we can all relax and tuck in to a nice turkey dinner cooked by Mr. Crafty World.  It has been a hectic season thus far, and I am looking forward to a break of tea sipping and cross stitching in my chair watching holiday movies and planning for next year.

I know this is already a really long post, but I wanted to talk about these next gifts as I think it's worth mentioning.  I read in our local paper about an initiative to adopt a senior citizen in long term care for Christmas.  As it happens there are quite a few seniors living there who have no family members to visit them over the holidays, or give them gifts on Christmas day.  This just about broke my heart, because I think getting bypassed for gifts at Christmas would be just as disappointing at 95 as it is at 5.  There are always gift drives for young children at this time of year, and I think that is important too, but these are people who have contributed to our society and are now being forgotten about just because they are old and out of sight.  When I called to inquire about what was involved I felt so sad again, because requests were for things like a tube of red lipstick, or a pretty hairband.  We ended up adopting four senior ladies, and hopefully these little gifts will brighten their day on what can be a very difficult time of year.



Two of our ladies requested costume jewelry; one a hair brush; and the last wanted a stuffed animal to hug and had a fondness for British sweets.  I also added a few chocolates and some lip balm, just to make it more of a surprise.


I wrapped these up as pretty as I could, because sometimes opening a nicely wrapped gift is more fun than seeing what's inside.  I am also aware that this may be the last Christmas for some of these folks in the residence and I think it should be a nice one.
So, if you are considering where to put some of your charitable Christmas contributions, think about putting them here, with a local seniors residence.  The dollar outlay was minimal, yet these were the gifts I enjoyed buying the most.

Thank you so much for reading this far!  Now go and enjoy something festive and have a wonderful Christmas!

Happy Days,
Jenn

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Blankety Ta Da and a New Craft

I hope you are enjoying the same delicious weather we are!  Oh my it's been nice.  Libby dog and I have been to the woods every day to pick up sticks and greenery and all sorts of good things.
However, this is the biggest and best news of the week:  my blue granny square blanket is finished!


When I decided to use up all my left overs I wasn't totally convinced these colours would work together, but they really did!  I did have to purchase some additional yarn, but I am happy to say I used up most of it.  I was able to use up quite a bit in the border:


 (I did not block this so that's why everything is so wonky looking)


One of the reasons I am so pleased with it is the fact I finished it so quickly:  ten weeks!  I wish all of my blankets could grow so quickly.  It's quite heavy, so definitely great for snuggling under.  Once the cold weather settles in we will be all set.

Granny squares can be a little tedious when you have to make so many, so I did a bit of 'in between' crocheting to have a break.  These cheery new dish cloths and scrubbers were quick and much appreciated little diversions.



I mentioned about a new craft, and I also mentioned about getting things from the woods.  I have been foraging for downed branches that I can cut up and make into ornaments.  I bought myself a wood burning tool and today tried out something new:





I think I'm hooked!  I have learned a few things about wood burning on different kinds of wood, and now I am able to tell the fakes from the authentic ones on Pinterest.  This weekend I will cut out the rest of my wood and have lots more canvases to play on.

Thank you for visiting and your lovely emails.  I really appreciate the time you take to visit me.
Next time I hope to have some finished Christmas gifts to show and a bit of cross stitch too.

Happy Days!
Jenn

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Make Overs

This weekend I traded my hooks and needles in for some paint, glue and paper.  Didn't I have fun!

I have had few pieces from the thrift stores around for a while that I wanted to 'do-over' for some time now.  I found this sewing box on my birthday and fell in love with its shape.  I just didn't like all that brown!


I tried chalk paint again; this time in the softest pink:


I lined it with some minty scrapbook paper:


I am thinking this might make a good home for my sewing charms or overdyed threads.

Another brown wooden box in the form of a tea box.  More chalk paint in ivory, with some vintage looking scrapbook paper and she's a much better fit for my kitchen.  (Sorry for the blurry photo!)



I didn't paint the inside because I never seem to be able to  get good coverage in the corners .  Unless you spray, which I didn't want to do because I will be storing tea bags in here.  This would be cute for storing so many things really, like cake decorating stuff, or sewing supplies...  I might just have to go look for another box!

A few years ago I was gifted some tea, but once I finished it I couldn't bring myself to put the tins in the recycling bin.  They were such a nice size and the lids fit really well; it seemed a shame to get rid of them.  After I found this scrapbook paper and chalk labels two weeks ago, I knew exactly what they were going to become:



I do wish my Mod Podge wasn't so glossy, but all in all it's probably for the better as these will be stored in the kitchen.  Now I just need to make a loose tea order from my favourite tea company and I will be all set!

I know I said I put down my hooks on the weekend, but since I just finished these potholders I thought I would put them in.  I thought some pastel winter decorations might be nice for my kitchen this year:  they work so well with my new tea cannisters!


I used Bernat cotton yarn in robin's egg; and a pink, nubbly baby cotton that I can't remember the brand.  The white cotton is also from Bernat, and is one of their holiday yarns with a thin strand of silver woven in.  The pattern can be found HERE.  It's very easy and in two evenings you can have it all done.

Thanks for visiting!

xoJenn

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

October Catch Up

If it's true that time flies when you're having fun, then October was truly fun filled for me.  Holy cow! Did it whip by for you too?!
Where September saw my needle and thread out for most of it, October was mostly about crochet.
  I know I say it every year, but the leaves were simply spectacular this fall and I was inspired by all the beautiful colours like these:



Doesn't it just want to make you go home and crochet a tea cozy?



I think it needs a few more acorns, but other than that I am so happy with it.  I actually had to rip the base out twice, and then make a completely different one on the third try.  Thank goodness I love crochet!

I also made a fall inspired mandala for it to sit on:


I thought it was rather 70's looking with all the browns, but at this time of year it all looks good together I think.  It got Mr. Crafty World's praise so that's worth something!
For the mandala I used part of a pattern from Nata's Nest.  On the sidebar you will see lovely links to free tutorials.  I have my eye on another one of her mandalas, and the crochet snails are just so sweet I think.

While in the craft store I found the prettiest yarn from Red Heart.  It's called Boutique Treasure, and the colourway I fell in love with is called Horizon.  As soon as I saw it I wanted to stitch up a cozy fall infinity scarf.  The colours are very fall like I think, without being all about browns, oranges and reds.


It actually reminded me of days like this:



I have worn it a lot already and still love it so much.  The pattern I used for the scarf can be found HERE.  I made mine a bit less wide because the yarn was a bit chunkier.

I mentioned in my last post about a few other projects I had started:  the scarves are growing bit by bit:



Both are made with Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable , using the linen stitch.

My 'Canadian' blanket is growing too:


This is also stitched with linen stitch and is working up very quickly.  I have to put it away now until after Christmas, but I have completed a third of it so far.

I also started another blanket!


These are left over colours from my Lake Erie blanket, and over the summer I started making up a few squares here and there.  I just decided to go for it and start using up all the left overs to get this out of the yarn cupboard.  I have a goal of about ten squares a week:  I need eighty squares all together and then I am going to attach them together with grey and use any left over blues in the border.



I did finally manage to pin down My Favourite Girl and craft our leafy luminaries:


I love how they turned out and I burn candles in them every night.  The look just gorgeous all lit up in the evening.
We used leaves from the dollar store which had to be individually ironed before we could glue them on, but despite the extra work I think these fabric leaves look much more realistic than the ones we saw in the craft store.

By the middle of the month I knew I wasn't going to get any new cross stitch completed.  I finished off this apple that I had started in September.  I was about half way done when I ran out of floss.  The craft store does not sell individual skeins of DMC 115, so mail order was my only option.  I finished the back with the red and white toile in the photo.  I tried to finish it off into an apple shape, but it's a a little hard to see here.


This little black bird is a project I started last summer and put away.  Every once in a while I get it in my head to stitch over one and it always takes me forever!  This is a design from Danybrod in France.  I finished it with some dyed wool; vintage lace, and a small charm.  The pillow itself is quite tiny, maybe two by three inches all together.


And that brings us to the end of the month!  I have started working on some Christmas gifts so I plan to be a busy bee in November.  Thank you all so much for visiting and your kind remarks on my September projects.  I'll leave you with a few Halloween photos.  Until next time,
Happy Days!
Jenn















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