Pattern: Yarn Cake Holder

Ever needed or wanted to work on a project while walking, but thought it would be too difficult to manage your yarn and hook or needles at the same time?  Well, now you can!

This yarn cake holder fits onto your belt and is adjustable to the size of your yarn cake*.

Now you can walk and crochet or knit at the same time!

This pattern is available as a free download on Ravelry or through the link on my pattern page.  Hope you enjoy it!

*can also accommodate a roll of toilet paper for your camping or NATCROMO Party Bathroom line needs.

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2011 DFW Fiber Fest Awesomeness

Last weekend was the 2011 DFW Fiber Fest and it was an absolute BLAST!  I didn’t want to leave…just ask the ladies that had to escort me out of the building both nights I attended.  😉

I went to the Friday night talk by Mary Beth Temple.  She was so funny!  Everyone near me was in tears from laughing so hard!  I ended up having to get her book “Hooked for Life” and am thoroughly enjoying the read. 

I also met and sat next to Linda Permann!  She is so nice.  She wore the Garden Path Shawl she made (just stunning) and was working on a green version of her Peanut Butter Cardigan for herself while there.  It is going to be gorgeous!  She was also promoting her new book, Little Crochet.  It’s filled with super cute patterns for little ones.  I absolutely LOVE the Hooded Capelet, and want to make a ton of mini little Tegue’s Jingle Balls!  I also flip over the Tiny Tee Appliques, and Soft Owl Pillow.  The Swing Set Cardigan reminds me a little of the knitted Baby Sweater on Two Needles (February) by Elizabeth Zimmerman; but being crocheted, would be easier and faster for me to do!

I also met a few other super nice knitters and crocheters, including one of my local crocheting friends who does the most amazing thread work.  And we were all jealous that the other side of the room was winning all the door prizes!  I was totally star struck, but somehow managed to fumble my way through getting autographs from all the crochet superstars that were there.  There were knitting people there signing too, but I don’t know who they are yet.  LOL

Saturday, I had a Crochet from the Toe Up class with Robyn Chachula!!!!  I cannot tell you how excited I was!  She has been one of my favorite designers since the very first pattern of hers I saw.  She is so bubbly and sweet.  If you get a chance to take a class from her…do it!  She’s fantastic!  In fact, I was enjoying her class so much, that during the break, I went out and signed up for her afternoon class too.  😀

I’ve never taken a crochet class before and I had brain fart issues (you know those moments when you know how to do something but suddenly can’t remember).  I even had problems (and still am a little bit) counting!  LOL  But Robyn was great and the whole class had a wonderful time.  We made a little tiny baby sock and it is tooooo cute!  After this class, I couldn’t wait to try to make a full size version, so I downloaded her pattern, Cozy from the Toe Up (Rav link here), and have started on a “Woodsy” sock for myself!

And I won a copy of her new book, “Baby Blueprint Crochet“.  Another book filled with super cute patterns for little ones!  I just adore the froggie and dinosaur appliques, wish I had a Kyla Mod Stroller blanket when my DD was little and must make a Rosa Car Coat and Stella Jacket!  I need to find more babies to crochet for!  …or upsize some of the patterns to fit my little ones.  Hmm….

My friend, TXCr1cket, was in the class too.  We got to go to lunch together and talked about her writing up the patterns for some of her designs and collaborating on a video tutorial.  That will be exciting; she’s already won one Flamie for her work!  And I’m so jealous, she got to take all 4 of Robyn’s classes!

In the afternoon class, we learned secret little tricks like how to invisibly move a button hole (could also be used to fix a hole in your crochet) from where you originally put it to the other side of the piece or wherever you needed it.  To do it, we had to, gasp, cut our crochet!  But it wasn’t nearly as scary as it had seemed at first.  I also learned a couple of new stitches I had never done.  It was a very cool class…and see, you can always learn something new no matter how long you’ve been doing this!

Then I got to go shopping!!!!!!  I arrived a little early Friday night, so I had a few minutes to scope out some things before they closed the vendor hall down for the night.  And I bought some more buttons from Bonny Beads to use as the center of the crocheted flower pin I made using my first two ever handspun yarns!

The buttons just fit perfectly with the natural yarn!  The pattern is the Croco Flower (rav link) from Bonita Patterns.  It’s a really quick, cute flower.  I made it into a pin by using a large safety pin to secure the button on the flower and my shirt.  This way, I can also change out the center button in case I find other yummy buttons I want to showcase!  😀

Just inside the door, surely to tempt me, was Butterfly Girl Designs.  I have one of her .5 oz Green Italian Resin spindles and I just love it!  I used it during last year’s Tour de Fleece to make the thinnest yarn I’ve ever managed!  And as if a spotlight was shining on it (there wasn’t was there?), she happened to have a 1.5 oz green Carved Moss Agate spindle (kind of like this one).  I went home Friday night without it, but dreamed about it all night…so before my first class Saturday morning, I ran in to see if it was still there.  It was, so I knew it was meant to be mine!  😀  My pics of it haven’t come out very well yet, but I’ll keep trying!

Of course, with a new spindle, one needs new fiber…right?  I thought so.  There were many, many fibers to pet and drool over (well, to the side of).  The one that caught my eye, called my name and made me hunt for it was this BFL from Two if by Hand, colorway Algae Bloom.

It’s actually a bit greener than this photo shows.  My camera doesn’t seem to like greens…even in a light box.  😦  You can see better pics of the colorway on their website.  So now, I’m ready for TdF this year!  Is it time yet?????

But that’s not all!  I also had to have some souvenir yarn!  Remember that new design I had wanted to make to wear to this fest?  Well, I think I found a yarn that will be perfect for it and the weather in which I live.  It’s a bamboo/cotton blend, called Mousocot, from fiberlady.com.  And in case you haven’t already sensed a theme here, the colorway is Fern Green.

(For my love of green, I just have to figure out the right settings on my camera to photograph the colors better.  I’m still working on it.)

I had bought some alpaca/bamboo fiber from her last year and she had some tempting new shades of it this year; but this verde virtuoso screamed louder.  It is soooo soft.  I cannot wait to work out the kinks on the design and make it in this yarn.  I may never take it off!

Can you tell I had a good time?  It was great therapy for me.  I am already looking forward to next year’s Fest!  And see, I told you I’d make up for all that knitting during NATCROMO!  😉

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Prelude to Fiber Fest

DFW Fiber Fest is this weekend and I’m so excited!!!  They have some fabulous crochet classes planned with amazing teachers, like the class I’m taking from Robyn Chachula!!!!  I’ll get to catch up with a few of my crochet friends and maybe make some concrete plans for collaborations.  And then of course, there are the vendors and their fabulous wares.  I.can.not.wait!!!!

Unfortunately, my plan to have a finished sample to wear hasn’t worked out and leaves me with nothing new to wear to Fiber Fest.  😦  I had wanted to make a quick one skein kind of project (because that’s all I have on hand in the yarn I wanted to use); but the design that won’t leave my head till I get it out is 1) going to need more yarn than I have…I think and 2) needs a little more tweaking to get it just right.  But I am still working on it and maybe I’ll even pick up some yarn at Fiber Fest to finish it in.  I really like this one though and think it will be fantastic!

I did finish the design for the fun NATCROMO project.  I’ve had it tested and have a few minor tweaks to make to the pattern and then I’ll post it as a freebie! 

Now I’ve got to start getting my stuff together for the fun this weekend.  I’ve got to pack my copy of Blueprint Crochet to get signed, materials for class, notebook, camera, portfolio (you know, just in case) and decide on a project to take to work on during down times.  I also need to make a list of some things I want to look for from the vendors…like yarn weights and quantities needed for known upcoming projects, buttons and beads and the rest will just be what catches my eye while there.  I always like to get at least one souvenir from each event or trip outside my normal range.  Notice, I said at least one.  Yarn, fiber, spindles, hooks, needles, books, patterns…yep, I’m going to have FUN!!!!!!  😀

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NATCROMO Absolution?

In order to make up for all the knitting I’ve done during National Crochet Month (NATCROMO), I’ve decided to work on a new design!  (to be self-published)

Since the DFW Fiber Fest is coming up at the beginning of April, my plan is to have at least a sample piece completed by then to wear…provided I can get it to work out the way I want.  So if you’re going to be attending Fiber Fest, keep an eye out!

And while working on that, I also have some baby gifts to make for Jitterfrog’s teacher who is due soon with her first child.

I did finish Thing 1’s Twirly Skirt, but I haven’t gotten photos taken yet.  I also have a fun design I did for NATCROMO, but you’ll have to wait to see it as well.  I’m trying to find a cooperative model to help me with photos for that one.  Hopefully, I’ll be caught up on pictures for the next post.

So, will 2 new crochet designs absolve me for knitting during NATCROMO?  😀

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March is NATCROMO!!!

This month is National Crochet Month or NATCROMO for short.  There is a virtual party held on Ravelry to celebrate it, and ITCROMO (International Crochet Month), with a crochet community spanning the globe.  There are games, CALs, general silliness and long bathroom lines.  It’s lots of fun!

Unfortunately, since I was relegated to the injured list for the first half of the month, I haven’t been able to do much in the way of crocheting (or knitting for that matter).  I did, however, pick up an old WIP to try to finish…the twirly skirt for Thing 1.  I know, I know, it’s a knitted project, not a crocheted one.  But it needs to be finished before she grows out of it and what was left on it was about all I could manage to do with my injury.  I finished up the last couple of rows and the bottom hem.  All that’s left now is the top hem and the i-cord.  UGH!  I HATE knitting i-cord! 

So I’ve purchased an Embellish Knit in the hopes that it will make my i-cord knitting life easier.  Only problem…it says not to use with worsted weight yarn, which of course is the yarn for all projects I have needing i-cord!!!!  I’ve searched the LYS, Ravelry stashes, and on-line retailers for a smaller yarn in the same brand/color as what I’ve used, but no luck.  So now, I’m either stuck with doing it by hand (UGH!) or risking breaking my new toy.  Decisions, decisions…

Oh!  I’ve been cleared for resuming fibery activities after my injury!!!  YAY!!!!  Of course, to celebrate, I immediately wanted to start something new.  The Village Hopelessly Overcommitted is having the second KAL for Gail (Rav link).  I wanted to participate last year; even had my yarn wound into a cake, when something came up.  I had tried to start it though; just didn’t get very far.  I was confused by the double yo.  Anyway, when the village started up another KAL for it this year, I couldn’t pass it up again, so I cast-on.  (I know, yet ANOTHER knitted project during NATCROMO…oh the shame!)

Things are going much better this time around.  I’ve figured out the double yo (or at least gotten something to work) and have made it through the first repeat.  Of course, it doesn’t look like much right now…

That’s the beautiful yarn I won from CindersKnits way back in 2008!  I absolutely LOVE it but have been waiting to find the right project for it.

Anyway, with all this shameful knitting during NATCROMO, I’ve got to come up with something to make up for it!  I’m digging through my WIPs for crocheted items to finish and through my queue for new things to start.  I even have a few design ideas that I might try to work out.  Think that would be enough?

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On the Injured List

For the second time this year, I find myself on the injured list.  I really need to find a cure for clutziness!  Anyway, I hope to be back soon with more pictures and projects to share.  See you soon!

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Cast On Mania!!!

It’s that time of year again in the Village Hopelessly Overcommitted.  For one month, we allow our startitis to run rampant, encouraging a new project (or two, or three) to be started everyday…free of guilt.  And it’s no coincidence that it happens during the shortest month of the year.  😉

It sounds so easy, but is harder than you think.  As a veteran of COM now (who is still frogging things started during COM 2 years ago), I have learned a few things.  The key to sanity, at least for me, is small projects.  One that takes a day or less to complete.  And since I crochet faaaarrrrr faster than I knit, crochet projects top my COM queue.

So far, this is my best COM yet!  I’m having a blast and not completely stressing myself out.  I know I won’t be able to participate the entire 28 days this year, so I’m making the most of it while I can.  I have already started 10 projects in the first 5 days of COM.  Nine of those ten are now FO’s!  The one incomplete project is a test knit and I suspect it will join the FO pile before too long.  And this year, Mother Nature decided to help out by icing and snowing us in…so what else could I do to keep my sanity couped up in the house for four days with three kids, no school and no chance to leave???

So here’s the list so far:

  • Feb. 1 (or Jan. 31 depending on your time zone): Cast-on a test knit my dear friend, roseknits24-7, IrMom’s Cowl. Pattern coming soon
  • Feb. 2: Very Vintage Potholders 1 & 2
  • Feb. 3: Very Vintage Potholders 3 & 4; and another test knit for a village resident, this time a mug cozy.
  • Feb. 4: Very Vintage Potholders 5 & 6
  • Feb. 5: Two Moriarty hats for Thing 1 & 2.

I call them Very Vintage Potholders (and note, the picture only shows 1-5) because they are made from cotton from the 80’s and the pattern is Vintage Potholders 1941. It started because I have a lot of “vintage” stash that I’m hoping to use up and what better way, than on a vintage pattern. Think about it, if you use vintage yarn with a vintage pattern, shouldn’t the resulting object condidered vintage too?

The Moriarty hats are out of necessity. It’s VERY cold here and Thing 1’s hood on her jacket just won’t stay on.  So I whipped up one of these cute, quick hats for her to wear for playing in the snow.

Then, of course, Thing 2 wanted one too.  I just finished his late last night, so he’ll get to wear his out today.  Right now, they’re both running around the house in them, so I think that means they really like them.  😀

I’ll probably slow down a LOT on the projects for the rest of the month.  After all, our Pinewood Derby is this month and we still haven’t started our cars.  YIKES!  But I promise to find time to get caught up on the COM pictures.

The snow has been very distracting.  It might not seem like much to those of you who are used to snow and ice, but I’m a true Southern girl and this has been the most snow I have seen in my entire life!  (…even if you combined all the previous snow I’ve seen.)  It’s been crazy and it may not be over yet.  They’re forcasting two more days of ice and snow over the next week.  But at least school should start again on Monday…I hope.  Otherwise, I’ll have to try Franklin’s suggestion.

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