Sunday, 15 November 2009

that's more like it

Now this is what I have been waiting for. The LYS made truly cool! Great minimal design and bang on trend. Here is Wool and the Gang (just not sure about that name, anyway...)

They also have a blog here

milkin' it

I don't like milk except on my cornflakes or in my tea, but this packaging is just gorgeous. Seen on the lovely package website.

Friday, 13 November 2009

early seasons greetings

Well, as I mentioned before, I'm sort of having an off moment with crochet. A couple of days ago I got a teeny job out of the blue to design some bottle labels. Whether anything will come of it I don't know, but it got me back on the old computer and I kind of enjoyed it. So yesterday I sat down and did this little Christmas card. I really had fun creating it and think I might be doing some more. So, what do you think? Should I???

(click on image to enlarge)

Thursday, 12 November 2009

November inspiration

It's been a while since I posted a mosaic of my Flickr faves, but here's a little warming collection now the nights are drawing in. And Mosaic Maker just got a whole lot more user-friendly!

(click on image to super-size)

1. Vintage Notions, 2. Some Vintage Finds, 3. My bedroom (and Emiliano), 4. 100 yards., 5. etsy, chickens & me..., 6. vintage mugs, 7. snippets of color..., 8. Green Pincushion, 9. bada bing, 10. ||, 11. Firki, 12. living, 13. red stripes, 14. Untitled, 15. Assorted nuts, 16. sage

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

don't do it!!!

This gave me such a laugh this morning! I discovered this brilliant blog dedicated to all crocheting blunders called what not to crochet. I do urge you to take a look, if only to remind yourselves not to attempt that Elvis statuette. Or were you feeling the urge to whip up a tampon cozy?

If you discover any crocheting catastophes, then submit them to whatnottocrochet (AT) yahoo (DOT) com!

Friday, 6 November 2009

how to make pom-poms

I'm loving making squishy little pom poms lately. I'm sort of having an off-moment with crochet - not helped by terrible wrist and thumb pain - so taking a break from that for a bit. So pom poms still enable me to play around with yarn, creating pleasing little objects of joy!

I have some round plastic pom-pom makers, but I threw them down after about 2 minutes out of pure frustration! You have to keep cutting lengths of yarn and awkwardly threading it through the middle. No, the no pom-pom maker method is best! There are a few tutorials out there on the web, but I didn't find anything truly satisfactory, so this is my version.

You will need
some yarn
a crochet hook suitable for the size of your yarn
a darning needle
some small sharp scissors
your fingers!

You can click on any of the images to make them bigger.

Step 1 Cut a length from your chosen yarn - about 30cm/12" should do. Put it where you can grab it easily. We are going to use this later to tie our pom-pom.

Step 2 Take your ball of yarn. Put the end over your palm and hold it out of the way with your ring finger and little finger.

Step 3 Start wrapping the yarn - not too tight - around your remaining two fingers.

Step 4 I am using a DK yarn here and wrapped it around my fingers 100 times, but play around with different thicknesses and different wrap amounts. The more you wrap, the denser your pom-pom will be!

Step 5 Once you have the desired amount of wraps, take your length of yarn that you cut earlier. This will save you trying to cut a piece now - not easy! Slide it between the ends of the two fingers holding the yarn. You should leave it longer at the back as we are going to secure the pom-pom with this long end.

Step 6 Take the longer length behind and over the pom-pom and towards your knuckles as shown.

Step 7 Grab your crochet hook and stick it through your fingers to grap the yarn.

Step 8 Pull it through to the palm side of your hand and around to where you originally joined in the yarn.

Repeat this step a couple of times. Now pull gently but firmly on the two ends to tighten the 'waist' of the pom-pom.

Step 9 Now you can remove the pom-pom from your fingers. You will see that by wrapping the yarn round a couple of times already, it won't budge. This will really make your life a lot easier when tying the pom-pom. Now tie the two ends together, pulling a little tighter to secure, and tie once more.

Step 10 Now we are ready to take our scissors and cut around the outside edge of the pom-pom. Continue cutting through all layers until no loops are left. Be careful not to cut your ties at the moment!

Step 11 Here's the fun bit - shaping your pom-pom! There is no quick solution for making a perfect ball (which is where pom-pom makers have the advantage), but you're roughly aiming to trim off the longer lengths to match the shorter lengths. Shake out your pom-pom every now and then, hold it up and spin it around to see where it's uneven. You will however, have to cut off a lot more than you think is necessary!

And there you have it - a (hopefully) perfect little pom-pom! This one measures about 5cm/2½" across. You can leave the ties on until you come to use it or chop them off recklessly.

Now you can experiment. Try using two different coloured yarns together with half the amount of wraps. And you can use the same method above with 3 or 4 fingers, although a little more difficult to tie on the 3-finger method. I have even made some really small ones using a straight-sided fork instead of fingers!