Archive | May 2017

Crochet can make you cry…

Crochet Jeffy puppet

I think I just had the sweetest moment in my teaching career this last Friday. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had many sweet moments with the kids at work, but never from such an unexpected source, in such an unexpected way. Those two 5th grade boys (the advocate and the recipient of Jeffy the Puppet) made me cry today. Not the kind of crying where I want to beat my head in frustration, but the kind brought on by a sweet surprise.

In our program, we have Friday movie day with popcorn and a treat. Since we have no homework on Friday, I allow the kids to share anything they like before the movie. This particular Friday was no different. Continue reading

Freebie Friday – Finger Knitting

I’m notorious for telling the kids that if they want to learn something, they need to keep trying, even when it seems super hard. It will get easier.

I’m not a knitter. I wanted to learn, though. I tried, got frustrated, tried again, failed again, and vowed to become the best crocheter ever! Nope, I didn’t follow my own advice. I gave up. The irony wasn’t lost on me. I guess I didn’t want to learn that strongly or I would have followed my own advice. But a good thing came of my failed attempt and that was a deeper love of crochet and a desire to keep honing that craft. Thanks failed knitting attempt!

Then I stumbled upon this video tutorial on how to finger knit. Finally, knitting I can do! It’s also something I can teach the kids. This is the kind of project I think they can all do. I might save it for the next school year but I definitely want to introduce it to them.

In the meantime, I did introduce it to one of my Kinder girls and she got so excited because she learned how to do it all by herself. When it was time to go home, she didn’t want to put it down. I didn’t have the heart to force her to stop so I let her take the ball of yarn home so she could keep working on it.  She wanted to make a scarf. I can’t wait to see it and share in a future post highlighting student work.

But just because I think it would be great for kids doesn’t mean it wouldn’t also be great for adults. Have a go at it and see what you think.

Photo and video courtesy of the web. 

Crochet Fires

Was it me that foolishly uttered I didn’t have any more crochet fires to put out? Yep, yep, that was me. What a farce! I spoke too soon. Luckily, they’re just little fires, easily put out.

I failed to notice (or conveniently forgot) that a bunch of kids were close to our Ultimate Prizebox. Lucky for me, I had a few crochet emojis and a Pokeball already in there.

emojis

These were all in the Ultimate Prize Box plus another heart and small crochet purse. There are only two left.

But one little boy wanted a Popular MMO figure. Those aren’t that hard and I said I’d try but I had to concede defeat.

IMG_0975

This is one I gave to another student last year. H e was already played with by the time  took the picture so he was a little beat up.

He wasn’t technically at the ultimate prize box, he was past it. So technically, he missed his chance to get a custom made crochet piece. He chose something else at the time. So I didn’t feel so bad about directing him to something else. He chose the Pokeball.

red-pokeball

Then, two more kids made it that wanted something custom. I stressed it had to be easy (and small!). One girl picked an emoji purse. As long as she’s not expecting something big, that’s doable.

The other student asked for a hat or a beanie. Phew! That sounded easy. I asked what kind he wanted. He said a top hat. I laughed. A top hat? I asked him to draw it because I wanted to make sure I was thinking the same thing he was. Uh huh, I was. He’s a second grader so he could be thinking anything. Lol I guess I’m making a top hat 🎩 for a second grade boy. 😁

We’ve got two weeks left of school. I’m going to be busy! Again! LOL

Crochet Fail – Bavarian Sweater/Coat

I normally have no qualms about ripping back work when it isn’t right, but this time, this time, I have a lot of qualms about it. I had set aside my Bavarian square sweater in lieu of other projects. Why? Because it got hot! Who needs a thick and cozy sweater when it’s bloody hot outside! Plus, I couldn’t figure out what to do with the sleeves, so it was easily abandoned.

All my other projects are complete and there aren’t any crochet fires I need to put out, sooo… I picked up the sweater and continued work on the sleeves. One of the problems of working off-the-seat-of-your-pants, on-the-fly, make-up-as-you-go type of creation, is that you don’t always get what you envision in your mind (or is it only me?). I’ve been working the sleeves separately from the main coat in Tunisian Crochet. I ran out of black awhile back and was too busy (lazy) to go buy more. PLUS, I had so much of the grey yarn I’d already used on the sweater (and spent good money on already), I thought it would be good enough. The panels themselves I like. Once I finished them (after trying out different solutions), I sewed one of the sleeves onto the sweater last night and tried it on to see my handy work. Yuck! I didn’t like it.

Tunisian crochet sleeve

Doesn’t look so bad here, but trust me, it’s no good! 

First of all, the sleeve didn’t drape right. I  was still going to make a few rounds of half double crochet with deeper decreases for the cuffs, but after trying it on and not liking the drape, I didn’t proceed with that. No matter how much I tugged and pulled on it, it still looked bad. The problem was that I needed more decreases further up on the sleeves. The sleeves were too big. Second of all, the color just didn’t work. I kept squinting and looking at it from different angles, but I couldn’t make myself like it. Fail!

The only good thing was that I only attached one sleeve. Now I needed to take the sleeve off and rip back both sleeves. That’s when the qualms hit me. I didn’t want to rip back all that work! I don’t usually struggle so much with frogging my work. I’ve ripped back entire queen-size blankets. But I just couldn’t do it. In the grand scheme of things, they are tiny panels that no one would miss (except me apparently).

Tunisian Crochet panel

I suppose it could be a skirt or top instead.

And yet…

Instead, I played with the unattached sleeve (I hadn’t removed the other one yet). I held it up to my chest to see if I could turn it into a top of some sort. I held it like a skirt. Hmmm… nope. Maybe.

I’m trying real hard to turn those panels into something else so I don’t feel like I wasted my time. I’ll probably just set the panels aside and think about them later. That way I’ll have some distance from all the work and I won’t be so torn about undoing them. In the meantime, I’ll start some new sleeves. This time, I’ll might start them straight on the arm holes, in black. I have black now. I probably should just make more granny squares for the sleeves. I was resistant to do that because the coat is already so dense. I thought it would be granny square overload. Maybe I’m over-thinking this. I’m most definitely over-thinking this.

I have until next winter to decide…😀

 

Reflecting

boats

Reflecting can mean different things. When I saw this prompt, it reminded me of these two photographs I took in San Diego. The one on top is a literal reflection but it also causes me to reflect on the beauty  of the ocean and the solitude I felt walking in the wee hours of the morning with only a few people around.

In the bottom picture, I was reflecting about how I was going to finish my crocodile-stitch cloak in time for the Renaissance Faire. I was also reflecting on how relaxed I felt sitting and crocheting, while two ducks were bold enough to approach me and watch me crochet. I pondered the questions of the universe with those ducks.

ducks

I’ve been doing a ton of reflecting lately. One of my uncles passed away a few days ago and it got me thinking about all my loved ones who are no longer with us. With Mother’s Day this past weekend, I was thinking a ton about my my mom and my sister. When my brother told me about my uncle’s passing, my automatic reaction was to ask if anyone had told my sister (the one who passed) about it. I stopped myself before it came out of my mouth. She was older than me and much closer to this uncle and would have been hurt the most by this uncle’s passing. I told my brother what I almost did and he laughingly said I was an idiot. Then he told me he had had the same reaction when he was told about our uncle. I guess we were both ‘idiots’. We reminisced about her for a few minutes before we hung up.

Reflection is good.

Scary Saturday

I love the scary stories featured on Tanglewood Tapestry. This is one of my stories. I hope it’s not too scary for anyone! Take a look if you dare. It’s all true based on how I remember it happening. This isn’t my final story I have to share but it is the scariest one.

Have you ever had anything scary or other worldly happen to you? Do you even believe things like this are possible? Personally, I approach these things with a strong sense of skepticism (question everything!) but I also have an open mind. Enough credible people have told me their stories, so I believe. I don’t pretend to understand, but I believe.

As Featured on Tanglewood Tapestry

Have you ever felt that someone or something was looking out for you? Have you ever felt that a paranormal force has protected you from physical or emotional harm? Have you ever felt your spirit guardian with you? Would you even know if you had a spirit guardian?

via Scary Saturday – Guardian Spirits — Tanglewood Tapestry

Freebie Friday – Finger Crochet

I’ve been experimenting with finger crochet lately. Mainly, I like a new challenge. I wanted to see how many stitches I could make just by using my fingers. Turns out, it’s a lot! I started with the basics like single, half double, and double crochet. I then moved on the Tunisian crochet trying out the simple stitch and the knit stitch. Those are the Tunisian stitches I use anyway. Then I tired the star stitch and it came out pretty. I only made one round of it but since I’m using my fingers, that round was pretty big. I turned it into a phone case.

Star Stitch finger crochet

Which brings me to my next point. What the heck am I going to do with this technique? I’ve seen people make all sorts of things with finger crochet, but nothing that I would want to make with this method. I feel like I’m in a maze, wondering in which direction to go (I knew I could sneak the word for the daily prompt in there!). Which path will lead me to make the best use of this style of crochet? The phone case is cute and it was fun but what else?

I don’t have much chunky yarn, so I decided to use three strands of regular acrylic yarn (medium weight).  I have plenty of that to work with. Well, after doing a few rows of single crochet with it, my finger started to hurt. What’s going on here? It didn’t hurt when I was using the chunky yarn. It was hurting now, though. It felt like I was irritating my skin. Was all that finger crocheting finally starting to irritate my skin or was it the rougher yarn that was the real culprit. I’m still not sure, but I think it was the rougher yarn coupled with trying to manage three strands of yarn on the finger. I was pulling the strands on the top of my finger versus the side of my finger when I use the chunky yarn. Looks like the top of my finger is more sensitive and more prone to irritation. Either way, it slowed me down a bit. Today I tried it again with the chunky yarn and that’s when I noticed I was pulling the yarn over from the side and there is no pain. I’ll have to consider that before I use the acrylic yarn again.

finger crochet single crochet.jpg

Single crochet in the back loop done with three strands of yarn

I think I want to make a doll or toy next with finger crochet. That’s my thing so I’m going to brain storm. Until I come up with something, here are my quick videos on how I finger crochet.