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1  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / From old leather jacket to pirate hat on: October 27, 2009 02:51:50 PM
I've never done anything with leather before, but my daughter would not let me crochet a pirate hat for her. I found instructions for a Jack Sparrow tricorn hat on Livejournal and cut the cost by using a ruined leather jacket instead of the new leather called for. Because I was using a jacket, there are a few seams in places where they shouldn't be and I had to back the leather with fabric so it wasn't quite so floppy - but it turned out pretty well - and it's free. The used leather was also easier to work with - I could use my sewing machine on it. As a bonus, I'm making the remainder of the jacket into a buccaneer vest to add to her costume.

Aargh - I would add the link to the original instructions, but I can't find it again.

2  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / More adventures with novelty yarn on: October 26, 2009 08:03:29 AM
I'm finding that I really like experimenting with novelty yarn - I picked up 2 rubbermaid totes with about 50 skeins each of all kinds of stuff (some quite pricey) for only $10. It's fun combining colors and types of yarn - plus something with simple stitches looks more high-end.

The beret is a combination of a yarn that was 3 colors/widths of chenille and rust-brown vintage 2-ply wool.  It is the Chunky Beret from Melody Griffith's So Simple Crochet. I added some vintage buttons

The second is a super cozy scarf made from a brown/taupe/white ribbon yarn that has lengths of cotton string attached and a mixed brown chenille.  Half-double crochet along the length of the chain with both yarns, 2 rows of single crochet (down & back up) with just the chenille and repeat.

3  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / can't stop crocheting - img heavy on: October 23, 2009 05:38:57 PM
I haven't posted in a while, because it seems like I'm obsessively crocheting.  Focus seems to be my problem - I currently have 4 partially finished projects scattered around the house.  Here are a few of the things I've made in the past few weeks - trying to find things to make with this ton of novelty yarns I picked up at a yard sale.

The cowls each use one skein of Moda Dea Frivolous and a partial skein of regular wool - stitched together. They are stitched in the round using an N hook: *round of single crochet, round of triple crochet" repeat 2 more times, end with round of single crochet.  Attach a large button to the upper edge to adjust the fit - using the triple crochet as a button hole.

This is the kitty hat from Linda Kopp's Cool Crochet Hats in bulky alpaca-blend wool and the next is a girl's waffle-weave cap from the same book in a ribbon yarn - I made-up the button-on heart decoration (side view).

The last is the cowl that was in this month's Crochet Today in orange Homespun -- I added a drawstring with leaf-ends top and bottom - so you can push it back, adjust the strings and it becomes a slouchy hat.

4  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / My Twitter themed amigurumi keychains on: August 17, 2009 08:04:38 PM
Here are a couple of little amigurumis that I made for my Twitter-fiend daughter - a Tweet Bird and a Fail Whale.  I decided to give the whale a little spout of water.  Not too happy with his mouth though. 

I later fastened key rings through loops on the tops of their heads.
5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / My first fused plastic project - coupon wallet on: August 17, 2009 05:18:40 AM
This is my first attempt at fusing plastic grocery bags -- I think I had too many layers and the setting up too high at first - the plastic shrunk up like shrinky-dinks and is really wrinkled.  The plastic I used for the covered button was done on a lower setting and is only about 4 layers and was quite smooth.  I guess it takes a little experimentation to come up with the perfect layers/setting combination.

At any rate - it came out fairly well - I even fused the seams.  Much better than the tattered paper envelope I was using for my coupons

6  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / slow-computer projects on: August 04, 2009 06:41:12 PM
I'm at the bottom of the food chain computer-wise at our house -- my trusty half-ball base Mac loads super slow, so I've taken to keeping some orphan yarn and a hook at my desk so I can crochet while waiting for iPhoto or GarageSale to load, etc.  Here's a couple of things I've been able to finish -- a card-holder keychain and tasseled lariat necklace/scarf thingy.

The button on the cardholder is a covered button made with a bit of a vintage necktie

The cord on the lariat is a simple chain that I slipstitched back along a couple of times.
7  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / multi-strand yarn ideas on: August 01, 2009 10:58:32 PM

I found a terrific booth at a local flea market that sells mill-ends of really nice mostly multi-strand yarns that are wool/cotton/acrylic blends for from $1 to $2 per skein and huge bags of mixed skeins for $4 each. Yesterday I got 2 of the mixed bags (each with about 12 skeins), a bag with 6 skeins and a cone of black merino lace-weight yarn, 2 more skeins of lace weight, and a couple other skeins of merino all for $17.

I'm just having a little trouble coming up with projects for the multi-strand yarn - in most cases I only have 1, but up to three 100-150 yd skeins in each color.  So I'm just playing around with some scarves to see what type of stitch shows off the yarn best. Here's a close-up of one of the multi-strands - Any ideas?

8  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / flower shell scarflette & mesh scarf/wrap on: August 01, 2009 10:50:57 PM

I went from one extreme to the other with my latest projects - from a scarflette that just fits around my neck to a scarf so big I can also use it as a wrap.  The size of each was just due to the amount of yarn I had - one mini skein of multi-strand purple and three small skeins of a gorgeous merino wool blend for the wrap.

The scarflette is just a double shell stitch done with a J hook. The large scarf is a mesh stitch with attached ribbing at the ends.

9  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Queen Anne scarf sort of on: July 03, 2009 08:02:46 PM
I lucked into tons of high-quality yarn for a mere 50 cents a skein a few weeks ago at my local Goodwill -- Alpaca, merino, wool blends, cottons and some other unusual yarns - including 2 skeins of recycled sari yarn (I walked out with more than 30 skeins).  I'm still learning, so I started off with this bright yellow cotton from Greece.  It's an adaptation of a Queen Anne pattern I found on Ravelry - I just made the part at the neck a bit plainer with a picot edge.

The sari yarn was a bit difficult to work with -- I meant to make a bag, but wound up with a beanie & skinny scarf. They are both double crochet - the hat has 2 rounds of mesh, then a round of single crochet at the opening.

10  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Spicy pickled yellow beans on: July 03, 2009 05:48:26 PM

Is is wrong that I grow fresh veggies just to pickle them?  I just finished my first batch of the year of pickled yellow beans and will eat them within a few days, so I'm not bothering to really can them - just stick them in the fridge. Later in the season, I'll use canning jars and process them for 20 min in a hot water canner.

They are just so good -- hot, garlicky and salty -- not too vinegar-y.  This year I'm experimenting with a lowered sodium salt -- Diamond Crystal Salt Sense, otherwise, this is the recipe I usedhttp://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,162,158171-224197,00.html.  I also substitute 1/2 tsp of Red Pepper Flakes for the whole peppers.
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