Have you always wished that you could knit?
Well, March 2015 is your lucky month because I'll teach you! Within a few short hours, your sentence will change from "I wish I could knit" to "I'm a knitter!"
And a whole new universe will open up. :)
Enrollment is NOW open here. Join me if you want to.
What is it about bear ears that I love? I'm not sure if I can completely explain but it's just that they're so darn cute. And maybe also that they remind me that the thing I love most in a person is active listening skills.
I've been wearing bear ears for many years and decided to put a few up onto my little etsy shop. :)
I am thrilled to announce my NEW book! It's titled Crochet Love, and it features 27 sweet and simple zakka-inspired projects. They are small, adorable projects that I had a ball designing and hope you enjoy making!
Crochet Love officially hits book stands October first but can be pre-ordered right here on amazon.
PS: Here's a little video that provides a sneak peek of Crochet Love. Enjoy! :)
I'm diggin' my new apron I made with a cross motif that I knitted with Crochet Hemp and appliqued. Here's how I did it.
APPLIQUE AND EMBROIDER:
Hooray! I'm happy to report that on this blazing hot day, I have completed my cowl. I'm so happy with it. And yup, it was all done on Second Stage.
What makes a cowl a cowl and not a scarf is that it is a connected loop so that there aren't swinging ends like a scarf. And the connected loop is made by joining the short ends with a simple twist added to it. I'll show you how.
First, I knit up a piece using the Fisherman's rib (here's a great tutorial showing you how to knit the Fisherman's rib) so that it was approximately 20 inches long. But you don't have to use this rib. You can use any pattern you like!
Before joining the short ends, I folded it like this.
Then I picked up the two inner corners like this.
... and then lined up the short edges like this and weaved them together.
This twist results in what is frequently referred to as mobius or infinity. The twist makes the cowl rest beautifully on your neck, no matter how you put it on.
You can add this twist to knitted, crocheted, or sewn items. You can make it short like mine so that you just slip it over your head so it rests on your neck or make it long so that you slip it over your head and let it hang really low or twist it around your neck a few times to make it super chunky.
Here's how it looks when the ends are weaved together.
The reason I like this cowl is that the rib and the wool make it super chunky and thick so that I don't have to knit very much. Just 20 inches. And you can wear it to cover just your neck or you can wear it so that it also covers your mouth ... for days when it's super duper cold.
Happy knitting. :)
I recently posted a couple of fun photos on my Instagram feed about knitting. This first photo is about a fisherman's rib cowl I've been wanting to finish so that I can wear it this winter. It's one of those projects that has progressed in teeny tiny strides when I am able to steal 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there to knit a few rows at a time ... never long stretches of time that I sometimes wish I could devote to the cowl.
But life. It's never that way, right? Family, house, career, dogs, the gym ... so much to fit into the main stage of life that certain things like a fisherman's rib cowl need to step aside to the second stage ... the place we find ourselves not for long stretches of time but tiny and unexpected bits of time ... here and there.
This next photo is of a dress I made for myself years ago. One of my prized possessions. I love the pattern because it's knit in the round, which means that there's not piecing the front and back together. No seams. Just a smooth continuous singular piece that feels like butter when you wear it.
Believe it or not, it was also created in teeny tiny strides ... small moments that I stole here and there to knit "just one more round" before getting back to work, or the laundry, or to pick up the kids from school ... to eventually finish a dress that I simply adore.
These days, though I still have knitting projects in my life, I'm much more obsessed about painting. I frequently sigh when life gets so busy and I feel that the only time I have to paint is on second stage. How I yearn to paint on the main stage.
Sometimes, as the day is winding down, I find myself saying outloud to my family ... "maybe if luck's on my side I'll be able to paint tonight." And if luck is on my side, I dive into the night and paint past midnight and sometimes past the early hours of the next day. Second stage. Margins. Parentheses.
But you know what? I've learned not to underestimate what happens on the second stage. After all, it's where some of my projects may always come to fruition. If that's the case, I think how we regard the nature of second stage creations is important. It's where grand things happen if we allow it ... like chic fisherman's rib cowls, pretty dresses knit in the round, and paintings filled with passion.
Check out these yummy, chunky hot pads I knitted (with a touch of crochet). Here's how I did it:
Each hot pad weighs approximately 6 ounces. You can work with 6 spools of A or B. If working with just one spool of A or B, pull out enough yarn so that it weighs 1 ounce and make that into a small ball. Repeat until you have 6 small 1-ounce balls of yarn. Use the strands of all six balls to make the hot pad.
Learn more about Crochet Hemp here.
To me, the best ornaments aren't bought. They're handmade. Here's an easy one that I made with just a few tools and materials.
Attach washi tape to the edges of a 4-inch square canvas board.
Punch holes along the edges with a crop-a-dial and use Crochet Hemp (3-ply natural) and a crochet hook (size B) to single crochet along the edges. Here's a similar tutorial with a bit more deatils, including how to turn corners.
Adhere a photo to the center of the crocheted canvas board. I used a 3-inch square photo that I got from Kanvess. I also used spray adhesive, which makes the photo adhere nice and neatly.
Super fun project.
Happy holidays. :)
Check out my crocheted hearts that I dyed ... some in red and some in blue.
For these light-red hearts, I dipped the hearts in the dye bath for about 1 second and then rinsed them with cold water.
For the light blue hearts, I prepared a dye bath using the denim Rit dye and dipped them for about 1 second.
For these darker red hearts, I dipped them in the dye bath for about 1 minute and then rinsed them with cold water.
Oh the possibilities.
NOTE ABOUT THIS DAY
I hope you vote today. And I hope that whoever you vote for and whoever you campaigned for prior to today, you'll count blessings that we live in a country where we have the freedom to champion the candidates and propositions that we believe in with all our might. But after the votes are cast, it is America's fine tradition that when the results become clear in a presidential election, the losing side makes a concession call to the winning side, followed by a concession speech. Transitions of power then take place in the most civil and peaceful manner that is the envy of the world. This is very different from other parts of the world where concession speeches are not made, and where power is held onto, frequently with force and violence. This is a tradition that should make all of us proud and one that we should work hard to preserve for future generations.