Beading... Beading...

After years of not making one, I made one big ass purchase at Fire Mountain.  I should have taken a picture of the haul.  It was HUGE!  So I'm beading beading beading instead of hooking hooking hooking.

Here's an example of the fruits of my labor:

Necklace and matching earrings!  The necklace I made with Lily attempting to crawl all over me, so it's a pure win.  The earrings I made later when I realized I didn't have anything to match.  (Yikes!)  They were made while Lily attempted to steal the beads. 

For anyone who doesn't know yet: yes, my hair is brown and teal.  I did it myself.  :)


Felted Soap

Wow!  Long time, no post!

I've spent all last summer making baby blankets and neglected to take pictures of them...

I take that back, here's one:

Not bad, eh?  It's a totally unrepeatable trick though.  I didn't write down the pattern of the tree but rather just kept crocheting until I ran out of yarn.  This was made for Baby Fiona, whom I have yet to see in person.  (Having a toddler of my own means time not spent with her is either spent sleeping or working.) 

I finally made a Fire Mountain order after two years of not making a really big one.  I was really running low on beads.  I should have taken a picture of the haul: it was $300 dollars worth of beads!!!  Of course, not all of them were mine.  I combined an order with my friend Amy to get the 50-199 assortable pricing tier.

Last Friday was "Discovery Day."  Once upon a time, this day was an actual in-service day for library staff.  After years of it successfully being held during winter break (and shutting the Libs down for it), they moved it to the Friday BEFORE spring break and held it WHILE WE WERE STILL OPEN.  Not much of an in-service, neh?  And why did it move?  So the person who runs the in-service could go to mid-winter ALA in Detroit.  That woman does not know what she's doing.

But I digress.

This in-service one of the department heads did a class on felting soap.  Here's mine:

Felted soap is very similar to soap in a little cotton bag.  The idea is to make it last longer.

What you need is a bar of soap (I used Dial Shea Butter and Peaches) and wool or alpaca roving. 

Wrap the wool around the soap thickly and hold it all together tightly as you dunk it in hot water.  Then massage the soap!

The Dial gets really sudsy so I had to rinse it in hot water a few times, but after about 15 minutes, the soap was properly felted.

After felting is complete, you rinse the soap in cold water to shock the wool and squeeze all the water out.  Let it dry and voila!  Felted Soap!

Since I'm in the middle of another bar of soap at home, I won't being using this guy for at least two weeks.  In the mean time, I have to keep it out of Lily's reach.  She thinks it's awesome!


So I've been busy...

The problem with being a crafter who is reasonably good is the amount of commissions you get.  The Christmas commissions came heavy and early this year. (And before someone jumps on it, all the gifts were specifically being given for Christmas and not Hanukkah or Yule.) 

The commissions involved:

1 Slytherin scarf and pair of fingerless gloves
1 Gryffindor scarf, hat, and pair of fingerless gloves
   (The owners of these two commissions duked it out in the Libs.  I'll post the pic later.)
1 Penn State Scarf
1 Granny Cross scarf
4 pairs of fingerless gloves, all different (I should have taken a pic of them.  Curse my lack of foresight!)
1 Capri Sun Bag (finally finished)
1 beaded lanyard for an original DS (Those things would lose their styluses like crazy, so I make attachments.)
2 more pairs of fingerless gloves (for the nieces!)

I've been busy.  But I've also made a lot of money!


Low Res Photography

I've been experimenting with low resolution photography on my cell phone camera (a measily 1.5 mega pixels).  And I've been getting some pretty spanking shots!  Check 'em out!

This lovely lily is from Luna's enclosure at the North Carolina Aquariums at Fort Fisher.

This is from the tree outside the house, which dropped all those beautiful leaves on my car.  

This is the bridge over the pond at the Hintz Alumni Center

Here is the surf at the lovely Wrightsville Beach.  I love this one!  Time to put it up for sale on Deviant Art!

 Another fall leaf.  I love how the light shining through the leaf shows off the veins.

This tree lives on my lane.  You can tell what season it is just by looking at the tree.  Spring in this case.

Another picture of the beautiful Wrightsville Beach.  This is the sun rising over the water.  :)


So busy...

This blanket was a wedding present for my friend Doc. He married a lovely girl named Jill last September in a beautiful ceremony that I missed the vast majority of because Lily was so finicky. Silly Baby!  The pattern for this one is the same as the pattern for the throw I made for Erica.

This baby blanket is a Steeler's car blanket for 'Gus,' the unborn son of my coworker Andrew. He doesn't read my blog, so I'm safe in posting the pic. :)  There's even a matching hat with super huge pom-pom.  The pattern for this one comes from Crochet World Magaine's "Afghans" Fall 2010.

The last picture is "A Very Victorian Baby" blanket. I was using up some scraps while watching old Dracula movies on TCM. I'll be donating this one to the craft sale the Libs has every year before Christmas. In fact, I took a picture of it in the Libs! You won't be able to recognize the place, Penn Staters. It's in my office. :)

The pattern for this one comes from Beyond the Square, though the original block is an older vintage pattern.  Yay, Public Domain!

I like how this one turned out so much that I might make a similar one for sale on Etsy.

More Fingerless Gloves!

I apologize for the blurry picture. You try taking pictures with a baby in the house!

As promised on Facebook, the pattern:

Easy-Peasy Crochet Fingerless Gloves

Yarn: 100 grams of sock yarn
Hook: E/4 3.50mm
1 yarn needle

Pattern Notes:
1. Chain 3 at the beginning of each round does NOT count as a DC.

Leaving a long tail. Chain 51.
Row 1: DC in 4th chain from hook. DC across chain. Turn. (51 DC)
Row 2: Chain 3. DC in back loop of each stitch. Turn. (51 DC).
Rows 3-5: Repeat Row 2.
Row 6: Chain 2. HDC in the back loop of the next 7 stitches. SC in the next stitch. Chain 17. Turn.
Row 7. DC in the 4th chain from the hook. When you hit the stitches, DC in the back loops to the end. Turn. (64 DC)
Row 8: Chain 3. DC in back loop of each stitch. Turn. (64 DC)
Rows 9 & 10: Repeat Row 8.
Row 11: Chain 3. DC in the next two stitches, *Chain one, skip next stitch, DC in the next two stitches* Repeat * to * until end.
Row 12: Repeat Row 8.
Row 13: Repeat Row 11.
Rows 14-19: Repeat Row 8.

Bind off with a tail long enough to sew up the glove.

Starting with the first long tail at the beginning chain 51. Use it to sew the thumb ends together down to one stitch past the single crochet. Bind off and weave in the end.

Take the long tail from the end and sew up the seam of the glove, taking extra care to be sure their is no hole where the thumb meets the glove. Bind off and weave in the end.


Doral Wristlets

I swear to God I haven't posted because I've been too busy... crafting!

These gloves are made with a mercerized cotton whose brand currently escapes me. The pattern comes from Caron International: Doral Wristlets

I altered the pattern slightly. I gave it a shell edge and a thumb hole (by not connecting of the motifs on one side on each wristlet.

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