April 18, 2011

The Hacky Sack

When I think about the Hacky Sack, I remember my junior high school days in the 80's, there was always a group of kids, usually all boys, gathered in a circle kicking this little mesh ball around. They seemed to get so much enjoyment from this display of skill, instead of eating the junk food at the school snack bar for lunch.

I haven't even heard the words Hacky Sack until my son recently asked me for one. As it turns out, he seen one of an episode of the Jonas Brothers.

Of course, I was able to find a free pattern to make this on Ravelry.com (my new resource for everything crochet). This is a free pattern design by Amber Linn Designs, and you can access it by CLICKING HERE. Keep in mind, you may be required to sign up for a Ravelry membership for access, but Ravelry is FREE.
I was able to make this using 4 small skeins of DMC embroidery thread that I picked up at Joanne's fabric. I seriously thought I could whip this up in no time at all, because it's small in size, but it took me about 2 hours because I had to concentrate on the counting. I'd like to make some in other colors, and suspect that once I get the hang of this, I will be able to cut my time in half
The pattern says to fill the bag with uncooked Lentils or "whatever else floats your boat". Uncooked Lentils? I have no idea what the heck those are, so lucky for me I still had some popcorn kernels in my Orville Reddenbacker jar left over after my popcorn maker broke. So my bag is filled with uncooked popcorn kernels. 

April 8, 2011

Lets talk shoes now

Before I became a mom, I'd see so many babies without shoes (or socks sometimes), I know that at such a young age, shoes are not an actual necessity the way it is for us adults, but I used to feel sorry for some of these babies and toddlers who were out and about with mom during winter time cold snaps and rain storms.  Those poor little toes had to be cold right?     Either way, once I became a mom, I made it my priority to always have shoes on my baby when I went out.  Guess what though...... most baby shoes ARE NOT easy to put on, and they fall off.  No wonder  I was seeing so many little bare freezing toes at grocery stores and malls. 

Now it's become my mission to make shoes that go on as easy as socks , are just as comfy, and stretchable too.

I started out making cute little summertime sandals. They're really more for decoration and not so practical for keeping warm.   Fair warning though, these were my first attempts at sandals.  I've come a long way and plan to create patterns and revise these to look much more appealing
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My Gramma used to make these cute little converse look alike baby shoes, and I've tried so many times through the years to make them, but didnt have much luck.  Not much luck that is, until I came across this free pattern on Ravelry by LoopySueDesigns   I beleive the pattern is marked public, but if not, you may need to join Ravelry to access. Ravelry is free and it's a wonderland of information, ideas and resources for knitting and crocheting.   I didnt follow the actual pattern , although  it's easy to understand with diagrams and pictures. I just used it as a guide because I could never figure out how to make the tongue and toe part of the shoe.   Thanks to this pattern, I have had an easy time making the sneakers.  Before long I will have them in all sizes and colors.   I do sell them on my Etsy store, and keep the price really low, because there's nothing worse than having to pay a small fortune for something that your baby will grow out of.
Here's some of the different ways the shoes can look.

The Classic Converse Inspired Shoe

Or, maybe you want a
Traditional oxford style in baby blue with a biege trim
Do you have a precious little princess? 
How about light pink combined with ankle socks.

Something funky that looks cute with a pair of small jeans. 
Cherry Red that says "I'm in charge here"

April 5, 2011

I feel a little like the Mad Hatter

I made a few of promises, one to myself being that I will learn to read, follow and write my own patterns. The other promise was to my son that I would stop dragging him with me to Joanne's fabric store every few days for yarn, and most importantly, that I will use up any and all of my yarn stash before I purchase anymore.

So far, I've kept all 3 promises, and in my quest to productively use up what is left of my yarn stash,  the other promises kept came quite easily.   I realized that I couldn't go wrong with baby hats.

of course, you've seen my post with the ribbed newborn cap.   But, even before that, I found the cutest pattern for a Newsboy visor carp from Hectanooga on Etsy.  This was another user friendly pattern with pictures and easy to follow instructions. I finished the newsboy visor cap in about an hour.  If you are interested in purchasing this pattern, here is some good news. Hectanooga allows you to sell the finished item with no requirements to link to her shop.

Now I'm on a roll.  I also really liked the ribbed looking hats because of the way the hat will stretch and be wearable as baby grows.  The  hats below are made to wear up to 3 months because it will stretch to about 16".   Leave the cuff up for newborns and smaller babies, and then put the cuff down for older babies.

Cute, eh?  these two hats kind of remind me of the Easter Bunny meets the Great Pumpkin.  Now I see how endless the possibilities are, and I cant wait to make character hats and matching shoes too.

April 3, 2011

Crochet can be Sophisticately Stylish too

When you hear about someone having a love for crochet, what do you think of?  Over the years, I've had many people chuckle when I tell them that I enjoy sitting down in front of the TV with a crochet hook and yarn.  They picture a little old lady making doilies and top hats to cover your spare toilet paper roll.   Not that those items are'nt cute or important; I mean, I love my doiles, they protect my furniture, and well,  toilet paper, you gotta keep that clean , ya know.

When I "grow up", I'm sure my priorities and my focus will shift, but for now, this is where I'm at.  

Gotta just love my accessories; and yes, that means my hoop earrings too.

These are very simple to make. I used metal hoops to crochet around, but you can pretty much use just about anything circular.  These are a little small, maybe about 2 1/2" in diameter.   I used Omega No.2  Nylon crochet thread (color is grape) that I purchased online from Annies Attic and  a 1.65mm crochet hook.  I just did a single crochet all the way around the metal hoops until they were covered, I poked a small  jump ring through one of the single crochets and into an ear post that I got at my local Joannes Fabric Store,  and It was done. 

If you've never worked with nylon thread before, something that you might notice is that after fastening off with your finished project,  the thread is hard to keep in place and it unravels.  Nylon thread has a luxurious sheen and feel to it, and a knot is difficult to keep in place.   I've tried just about everything to keep my ends in place, including using beading cement/glue.  Take it from me... DO NOT use glue, it leaves an awful smell behind that is hard to get rid of.   What I have learned to do is very carefully clip the end of the yarn and use a lighter flame to melt the ends and hold them in place.  This seems to work well, but I am by no means an expert in this subject.  So if anyone out there can give any helpful suggestions, I'm welcoming you to PLEASE share.