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1  Valentine's Yarn Wreath in Crochet: Completed Projects by jampvending on: January 23, 2013 06:30:53 PM

My home is aching for some Valentines decor. Actually, I am aching to make my home more Valentine-y. It gives me a little outlet to bring out the girly-girl in me. Would you believe it? This project cost me zero doll hairs!
This is a nice scrap busting project that can be done in a couple of hours!

I first discovered how to make the wreath form/base from this youtube video from Hectanooga1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xG8W_Yijzrg when I made a Halloween yarn wreath last October.

The possibilities in making these wreaths are wonderfully endless!
Here's how to make it:

Materials needed:
If youd like to make your own wreath base/form:
  2 paper or foam plates
 Smaller plate that will fit inside the paper plates. This is just used as a template.
 Pen or pencil
 White craft glue
  Plastic grocery bags or newspaper for filler
For the wreath itself and the decorations:
 Wreath base (either the one you cleverly crafted yourself, or a store bought foam or straw one)
 Yarn! Various shades and weights of reds, pinks and lavenders. Lets bust those scraps!
 Various sizes of crochet hooks. I used sizes F, G, I, J, K and N. Namely because those are the ones I could find.
 Glue gun
 Coordinating ribbon for hanging the wreath
 Baubles, pearls, buttons (optional for added pizazz)
To make the wreath base:
Taking the two paper plates and the smaller plate, trace a circle on the inside of the plates.
Cut the inside circles out of the paper plates. Use foam plates if youd like your wreath to be able to stay outside.
Run a bead of glue onto the outer perimeter of one of the plates and sandwich the right sides together. Let the glue dry.
Stuff the cavity of the plates with plastic grocery bags or newspaper and tape the stuffing in place.
Your wreath for is ready to decorate!

To decorate the wreath, tie the yarn to the base and start wrapping.

There is no magical science (I like that oxymoron magical science) to it, just go around and around making sure there are no gaps and you cant see the plates underneath. I used three separate strands for my project. I used a deep red velvety chenille, a hot pink fun fur, and another similar fun fur with other yarny bits coming out of it.
Experiment with what you have. This part cant be messed up. Once the yarn has completely wrapped the form, tie it off and and tuck in the loose ends. Decide that where you tucked in the loose ends is the back of your piece. 

Crochet a bunch of hearts using different size needles and yarns. The pattern I used for my crocheted wire heart earrings is the same ones I used for these hearts. 

It's basically this: Ch4, treble crochet in the 4th chain from the hook. In the same space - 2 tr, 3 dbl, ch1, 1tr, ch1, 3 dbl, 3 tr. Ch 3 and slip stitch into that same space.

You can crochet two strands together using a larger hook and youll get different sized hearts. When you complete a few, place it on the wreath and play with the placement until it pleases you. You can be quite minimalist or go with the more is more approach. Add buttons, pearls, and shiny baubles to your hearts content.
Hot glue everything down.
Tie a length of ribbon onto your wreath and hang.
Valentine yarn wreath realized! Enjoy!

I had trouble on my previous post in putting up more than one picture, so if you need a visual on the whole process, you can go to my blog: http://craftycoup.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/valentines-yarn-wreath/
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2  Crocheted wire heart shaped earrings in Crochet: Completed Projects by jampvending on: January 16, 2013 08:25:21 AM
I love Valentine's. My boys are everything boys so sometimes I feel girly deprived. Here's a little girly shine to dangle on your lobes. The heart pattern is so simple, I remember it being one of the first things I learned to crochet (sometime last century ago!  Tongue). So I can't say it is truly my pattern...

Materials needed:
 - 24 or 26 gauge jewelry wire if you have the finger/digit strength to use a lower gauge wire, it will make for a more sturdy earring, however your fingers and nails will look terrible after! I don't recommend wire higher than 26 gauge even if it is easier to work with as your earrings will become distorted quite easily.
 - metal crochet hook size F, G or H this will depend on how tightly you crochet wire. How you crochet yarn will not yield the same gauge in wire. Plastic crochet hooks cannot handle any wire type projects.
 - 4 jump rings
 - 2 french hook earring findings
 - 2 eye pins or flat head pins (depending on the size hole of your focal beads)
 - 2 focal beads
 - jewelry making tools like chain nose pliers, etc.
1. Make the hearts
 With the wire allowing about a 3 inch tail, ch 4.
  3 treble crochet in the 4th ch from the hook.
  In that same ch, 3 double crochet, chain 1, treble crochet. This makes half the heart!
 Still in that same ch, ch 1, 3 double crochet.
   Still using that same hole, 3 treble crochet.
  Ch 3. Sl st into the top of the heart. Cut the wire leaving about a 3 inch tail.
 Weave the tail carefully along the outer chains of each side of the heart. This will give the heart a bit for strength and stability. Be careful not to pinch, twist or bend too hard on the wire because it can distort and flatten its shape.
 Make 2.
 Reshape and manipulate the hearts ever so carefully so they are about the same size.

2. Wire wrap the focal beads - make 2
 Thread the focal bead onto the eye or head pin.
 Using chain nose pliers, pinch the wire directly above the bead.
 Push the wire so that it is laying perpendicular to the bead.
 Using the round nose pliers, grasp the wire at the bend and pull the wire around the nose pliers making a C shape.
 Reposition and pivot your pliers so the bottom tip is on the top.
 Pull the wire around the nose of the pliers with either your fingers or another set of nose pliers until the loop is round.
 Wrap the loop with the wire about 3 times.
 Using wire cutters, cut the excess as close to the bead as possible.
 With the chain nose pliers, tuck the sharp edge of the wire toward the bead.


3. Put the components together
 To properly open up a jump ring, use chain nose pliers to  pull one end toward you and the other toward the back. Do not pull the ends away from each other.
 Place the focal bead and the bottom of the heart onto the jump ring.
 Close up the jump ring. Do this to the other heart and focal bead.
 Open up another jump ring and add the french hook and the top part of the heart (where the curves meet). Do this to the other french hook and heart.


Heart earrings achieved! Now admire!
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3  Fonzy's Christmas Sweater! in Knitting: Completed Projects by jampvending on: January 05, 2013 09:20:30 AM

Lets make Fonzys sweater!

More info on my blog http://craftycoup.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/fonzys-striped-christmas-sweater/

Materials needed:
2 colors of Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick Yarn (not a lot. Less than 1/2 a skein each) OR 2 different colors of a super bulky weight yarn. Decide which one will be the main color (MC) and which will be the accent color (AC).
Size 15 (10 mm) knitting needles
Yarn needle (to weave in ends)
Gauge is about 13 sts and 9 rows = 4 in square in stockinette
This pattern fits a smallish dog less than 15 pounds. The finished sweater will be 12-13 inches long and 18ish inches around the chest.
Hint: It helps to have your model nearby to try on the sweater. If you are making it as a gift, try to find a stuffed animal roughly the same length and girth of your beloved recipient.
Back of Fonzys sweater:
With MC, cast on 25.
Work K1, P1 ribbing for 4 rows.
Without cutting yarn, switch to AC, work stockinette. Alternate MC and AC after working one row of knit and one row of purl. Continue until the piece measures about 7 inches (or longer depending on the size of the dog).
Begin decrease. On the right side, K1, k2tog, k to last 3 sts, ssk, K1 - 23 stitches.
Continue the stripe pattern stockinette stitch for 3 rows while repeating the decrease every 4th row until you have 15 stitches.
Begin K1, P1 ribbing for 4 rows. Bind off.
Chest of Fonzys sweater:
Cast on 11.
With MC, work 4 rows of K1, P1 ribbing.
Without cutting yarn, switch to AC and work the stripe pattern stockinette stitch  until the piece is 4 inches long.
Begin decrease. K1, k2tog, K to last 3 stitches, ssk, K1 9 stitches.
Continue the stripe pattern stockinette stitch for 3 rows while repeating the decrease every 4th row until there are 5 stitches left.
Switching to MC, work 4 rows of K1,P1 ribbing. Bind off.
Finishing Fonzys sweater:
Starting from the neck edge, sew the chest piece to the back piece just until the ribbing ends. Matching the stripes up, leave a good size opening for the legs (at least 4 inches, however, I like to just sew the ribbing of the chest piece to the edges of the back piece to be absolutely sure those squirmy legs easily fit in there without too much struggle).  Lets face it, doggie sweaters are really for their humans to look at and fawn over. I don't think they really benefit the little guys much.

Weave in ends. Done!
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4  Go see COWL! in Knitting: Completed Projects by jampvending on: December 31, 2012 11:29:09 AM

I whipped this little number up because I've given myself a stash busting goal for 2013. Although it didn't quite bust my stash, it turned out quite cute, I think! It is very easy and knitted up in one evening and that's with making the buttons, too! Here I am modeling it with my flannel sheep pajamas (hee hee!). The pattern is on my blog http://craftycoup.blogspot.com.

I'm still working on the directions for the toggle buttons. It's just a simple flat peyote beading stitch rolled and then attached to itself along the long side.

Hope you like it!
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5  Halloween Yarn Wreath - Gothic Kitsch in Halloween Decor and Parties by jampvending on: November 04, 2012 09:03:13 PM
I wanted something cute and spooky at the same time this Halloween to adorn the front door. I saw on pinterest all kinds of fun yarn wreaths so I thought I'd give it a try.

I followed this youtube video to make the base out of two paper plates, some plastic baggies for stuffing and tape. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xG8W_Yijzrg

I wrapped the wreath form with Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick black yarn. I crocheted all the flowers using double strands of black, gray, and midnight colored scrap yarn. This is a good and FAST scrap busting project. I used various sized crochet hooks, too. I found the glittery spiders at the 99 cent store (3/99 cents! What a steal!)

I arranged the flowers and spiders and hot glued them on. The whole project took less than an evening. I watched a whole episode of Walking Dead and Talking Dead right after!
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6  Effie Trinket - Hunger Games - "That is mahogany!" - Lots o' pics! in Halloween Costumes by jampvending on: November 04, 2012 07:57:35 PM

This Halloween the odds were ever in my favor to recreate the venerable Effie Trinket! Here is my homage to Capitol Couture!

I bought all the fabric at a local fabric discount store. I bought about 4 yards of the pink brocade (which was way more than I needed), 1/2 a yard of pink lining and 1 yard of gold lining. Including notions, I walked out of the fabric store spending about $30. I made the outfit in 3 separate pieces. The pencil skirt was made from a free pattern I found on burdastyle.com. Here is the link http://www.burdastyle.com/patterns/ak-pencil-skirt.

The balloon peplum was created loosely following some of the guidance from youtube tutorials. Here's one of the ones that broke it down well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YT2oMemC3jk

The top was quite tricky as I didn't have a picture of Effie's back and I couldn't quite figure out how to make the off-the-shoulder sleeves. I found I vest pattern at Walmart for under $3. I cut the shoulders a bit to give it a more "halter" look  and finagled the sleeves using rectangular pieces of the brocade, pressing pleats, and then handsewing on to the underside of the collar in the front and the armhole in the back.

I found a pair of shoes on http://www.amiclubwear.com/. The trick was to find a pair of high heeled booties that had an open toe and a zipper in the front. Although I dearly love the gold $1500+ Alexander McQueen Faithful booties, sadly, they are out of my price range!  Cry. I found these tootsies on sale for $9.99 and I found an online coupon for 30% off. So just over $7 and a short drive to the wherehouse (How fortuitous to live close to the shipping site!) they were MINE! My darling hubby was kind enough to spray paint them gold for me. I held them in place with gold tone brads (the kind that you can bind a stack of papers with). Can you believe it!?

I found the wig on Amazon. I think it was called a Lady Gaga Curly Blonde wig. I found mine for under $10. The hair flower was a Christmas ornament I made more substantial by hot gluing gold petals I sewed from the leftover lining fabric from the jacket/top. I hot glued a hair clip to the back of it.

I did my makeup and nails just following youtube videos. Youtube has tutorials on everything!

Many volunteer tributes that night! It was glorious!
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7  Abalone shell and turkish bead crochet rope bracelet in CHALLENGE 71 ENTRIES by jampvending on: February 06, 2012 05:06:45 PM
A year ago, I discovered that I can incorporate two of my favorite crafts together - crochet and jewelry making! Since then, I've made numerouse pieces of jewelry using this technique and other crochet bead rope techniques.

Turkish bead crochet is a lot easier/faster to do than other crochet bead rope, yet the results are always just as beautiful. I used abalone shell as the focal bead and various sized seed beads for the remainder of the bracelet.

I made this one for a friend's friend. It takes longer to string the beads then it does to actually make the bracelet. This project took me just this afternoon to make!

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