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Clean Office Space

My office is a mess. It’s cluttered and I’m tripping over yarn balls and craft bags full of more yarn balls. I’m getting entangled in works in progress and I’m moving piles of papers around and around on my desk, hunting for some other paper.

 

office mess_1.jpg

This is after a few hours of clean up!

It’s time to clean my room! I started yesterday and focused my energies on fixing my space. Half of what’s in here can probably go and I wouldn’t miss it. The hard part will be to actually let it go, but I’m determined to make it happen. I bought a standing desk contraption that you place on an existing desk and that’s what sparked this cleaning frenzy. I wanted to set it up right away but my desk was a disaster zone. I started thinking that it would be nice to set it up in a nice, clean room, as opposed to just dumping all the stuff on my desk on my photography table (which is what I did anyway).

office mess.jpg

Not bad. It’s starting to look good.

Once it was set up and I was trying it out, the clutter was just poking me in the back so I tackled the mess with single-minded determination. I’ve even tossed out a few things (I donate, I toss nothing!). My room is not done but it’s getting there. Now, do I even like my standing desk? I do! At least I do for now. I am so relieved! I was worried I was going to hate it. I also bought a funky chair that you can lean on or sit on if standing becomes tiring. That may have been a waste of money because I’m preferring the standing but we’ll see.

I’ll post the clean results as soon as it’s all beautiful. I’ll take a picture right away because I’m sure it won’t last long. 😉

Playing With Stitch Markers

I was spending a few minutes (turned into hours) reading blogs and came across a post by Katie at Creating Time about some stitch markers she made. I’ve tried making a few stitch markers from time to time but nothing I was happy with. In my day to day, I use clasp earrings that open and close easily but are secure when they are perpetrating as stitch markers. They work great, but then I saw her post and I was inspired to pull out all my little pendants I never wear because they are little and any little charms that were just floating around. I dismantled my terrible, DIY stitch markers I had made before to salvage the clasps and got to work.

DIY Stitch Markers.JPG

I pulled out my handy dandy pliers and my reading glasses and rummaged around for round circles I could use to attach my pendants/charms to the clasps. I found a little broken chain that was perfect. I’m a little concerned that the rings are too flimsy but only time will tell.

I don’t know if my handy-work will stand the test of time but they sure are pretty.

Stitch markers.JPG

New Sleeves for Crochet Bavarian Coat

I know I was supposed to set the unfinished coat aside and contemplate its sleeves at a later time with a clearer head. I was to use that time on other things and come back to it with all kinds of ideas and possibilities. That lasted 24 hours.

Bavarian sweater sleeve

I’m trying out star stitches and I’m working both sides simultaneously so I can see the progress and so that I don’t forget what I did from one sleeve to the next. I know, I know, I should be writing it down and I tried. But I’ve written things down before, only to go do the second of whatever I was making and it didn’t turn out the same. I know I wrote it down right! Sooo, I reasoned that if I do them at the same time, there’s more chance of success. I can try on as I go and if it’s not working, I can rip it back before I get too far.

I think I finally found the solution I like. They look good to me so far. Hopefully they will look good all the way to the end.

 

 

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…😀

 

Finger Crochet

I have very rarely thought about finger crochet. I know what it is. I’ve seen it around. I considered learning it to show my students who had a hard time with a hook. In fact, it was my more experienced students who reminded me about it’s existence a few years back. I was having trouble teaching my Kinders how to do the chain so I left them tangling the yarn on a hook (they seemed to enjoy that) when lo and behold, I came back and they were using their fingers to make the chain. One of the older kids taught them how to do it. I was very impressed. Since then, when a child has trouble using the hook, I show them how to use their fingers  instead. Once, one of them asked me if they could crochet with their fingers beyond the chain and I said I didn’t think so. I couldn’t imagine how it could be done. Boy, was I wrong!

On my last post, I was asked by a blogger I follow (STROKE(d)) if I knew about finger crochet and if it was easy. Aside from the chain, I didn’t have enough experience about it but I assumed that yes, it was probably fairly easy to do. I was intrigued enough by the question to look it up. I should know about this and how to do it, right? What kind of crocheter am I if I don’t know how to do this? A bad one! Furthermore, I should be teaching the kids how to finger crochet, right?! Especially for those who get frustrated but still want to crochet. I should know this!

So I researched in order answer the question with some knowledge. Here’s what I found:

  1. Craftsy has a pretty good tutorial on how to do it.
  2. How to arm crochet the right way: If you know me, you know I love Tunisian crochet (I should probably do more posts on it) and this shows how to do it without a hook! Who knew? Not me, but now I do.

My Own Observations

It is so much easier working with chunky yarn. I tried with regular yarn and you get really lacy results. That’s not a bad thing if that’s the look you want but it’s also harder to work with the yarn, at least for me.

I find myself using my fingers in different ways to work the yarn. Sometimes I poke my finger through the fabric, using my finger like a hook and sometimes I push the yarn through the back of the fabric, through the whole and then place the loop on my finger. I haven’t completely found my ‘groove’ yet but all that means is that there are different ways to accomplish the same thing.

I found it very easy to pick up finger crocheting. I think anyone who already crochets will find it easy as well. However, I’m not sure how easy it will be for someone completely new to the craft. As I was doing it, I realized it might seem confusing to someone who has never crocheted before. I shot a video showing what I’m doing and then I watched it and I probably need to shoot it again, keeping in mind that a true beginner needs me to be very clear on what and how I’m doing it. I kept alternating between using my finger as a hook and pushing the yarn form behind. I will shoot it again showing clearly how to do one way and then the other instead of just alternating on a whim.

Examples

Single crochet

finger crochet sc

Tunisian Crochet

I had to give Tunisian crochet a try. There are obvious limitations to pursuing this style with your fingers. Namely, your finger is only so long so you can’t fit that many loops on it but I was able to fit about seven or eight loops, enough to make small projects.

finger crochet sc_1

Yes! I really did this with my fingers!

I hope to have my videos done by the end of the week for my Freebie Friday post. I’m showing how to do all the basic stitches: single crochet, half double crochet and double crochet. I’m really enjoying this and am looking forward to trying more complicated stitches, like shells and bobbles. I wonder if I can do the crocodile stitch or the start stitch?!

Thanks Akuokuo for pointing me in this direction. Hopefully I will be able to help you pursue finger crocheting. 🙂

 

 

Progress Last Minute Crochet Projects

The Crowns

The crowns are done and my queens loved them. They picked really cool yarn colors that worked out really well. They keep trying to convince me to let them wear them now. Nope. They have to wait until it’s their week to be queen. Cruel, I know. 🙂 But in the meantime, the doll gets to wear them.

Crochet Tiara

I get to wear the crown!

Crochet Tiara 2

I might keep this one.

Jeffy the Puppet

Jeffy the puppet

This is what I’m working with. (Image courtesy of Pinterest) My version of Jeffy will have no diaper or pencil shoved up his nose. I refuse!

I started work on the easiest part of the  puppet, his t-shirt. I made a yellow tube in single crochet and embroidered his name on it. The yellow yarn I picked might not be exactly right but I think it’s close enough. In some pictures of Jeffy, the shirt looks bright yellow but in others, the yellow has more of an orange cast. I don’t think my student will complain about the color of the yarn.

My first attempt at the shirt came out a little wide so I ripped it back and tried again. I made it smaller, was happy, added the name, and then realized the first attempt was better. 😂 Oh well, I’m committed now.

Jeffy body

The arms and legs came next. I didn’t feel like stuffing arms and legs, so I crocheted rectangles and rolled them up. Gives it dimension without having to stuff. I probably should add hands but I’m not sure I will yet. I guess it depends on how much time I have. He is supposed to have shoes but that might not happen either.

Jeffy arms and legs_1

Don’t be alarmed by my headless body! It’s in the works.

I’m leaving the head for last. I’m not sure how I’m going to do it yet. Different ideas are marinating in my head and I’m almost ready to get started. I’ll probably take this part back to work with me and finish the head there. That will give the student the chance to say something about the hands and shoes. If he doesn’t, it stays the way it is. 🙃

 

 

Off to the Renaissance Faire!

A mere hour before I was set to leave for the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale, I was tenacious in my determination to finish a few more pieces for my outfit. I know, craziness, but it was absolutely going to happen. It should have happened before but life sometimes gets in the way. Plus, I wasn’t inspired like was I was that hour before we were supposed to leave, honest.

I wanted to have a true mermaid necklace, and I already had a table full of shells and beads strewn about so I knew it wouldn’t take me long to quickly piece something together. I already had the shell picked out, namely because it was one of the few that already had holes in it, but it was pretty too and would look perfect as a mermaid necklace.

Mermaid shell bead necklace

All I had to do was string some beads. Plenty of time!

mermaid necklace

Look at all that mermaidiness!

The next priority was a mermaid purse. I obviously couldn’t make one from scratch and I had planned to throw my stuff in my hubby’s bag, but when I woke up in the morning, I had a stroke of genius (or insanity). I remembered my first attempt at a Bavarian square that wasn’t much of a square. I’d had no idea what I was going to do with it but now I knew! The colors were even close, not exact, but close enough. I sewed up the sides and added a handle and voila!

crochet mermaid purse

Just big enough for my phone, my comb and some makeup. The rest still went into hubby’s bag. 🙂

I finished it all off before hubby woke up. Score!

And then it was off to the Faire.

Crochet Mermaid Costume

I always love going to Ren Faire. There are so many things to look at from the wonderful outfits, the booths, and the fun performances. I’ll post about our trip soon. 🙂