Sunday, September 30, 2007

Completed Project: Pineapple Petals Doily

My first doily is DONE! I even ironed and starched it - which made it look a lot better than it did non-ironed.

I've got two photos of this to share...

This one I enhanced the brightness and contrast.
Pineapple Petals Doily 05

This is the regular one so you can see what the color is really like (and the wrinkles in the pillow case that I used for a backdrop).
Pineapple Petals Doily 04

Pattern: Pineapple Petals Doily

Hook size: 6

Yarn: Less than 1 skein of J.P. Coats Classic Crochet Thread size 10 in Victory Red

Size: 13 1/4" diameter

Modifications: I used a larger hook and different thread so this doily is larger than the pattern (9 1/4" diameter). I also used this bright red instead of white or ecru. I love it!


For my first doily, I really happy with how this came out. I especially enjoyed learning the doily and lace techniques and making the pineapple pattern. The main problem I had was due to my gauge. You can see the chains between the pineapples are a bit wavy because they are too long. Oh well - it's a first project. Maybe if I blocked it, it would be better. But I don't think I'll be getting a big foam board to create a doily blocking board until after we move.

But now - what to do with this doily?
Do I give it as a Christmas gift?
Or sell it?
Or just pack it away?

Suggestions welcome. :)

Thursday, September 27, 2007


The date pushed back AGAIN. Ah, the joys of new construction. Not the builder's fault - it's all about BG&E. Whoever heard of an electric company having meters on back order??? And considering the electric rate raises that have been put through, you'd think they'd have plenty of money to have meters in reserve. I think on my next bill, I'll just put a note that my money is on back order and I'll send it when it arrives.

Girls Weekend...The second week of October - and it will either be right before or right after we close on the condo. We'll have a fabulous time among the boxes ready to be transported to the new location (or the boxes recently moved to the new place). A good amount of wine will make it all look like modern art, I'm sure. And Stitches East - oh, yeah, we'll be there!

New employment...Sooo looking forward to finding the right job at the right salary in the right location. It's the trifecta of employment satisfaction that I'm looking's to finding it.

Crafty things...No new projects to speak of as the above 3 items are consuming my time. It's good, because I really must finish what is already on my plate before diving into another project. Unless I find something so fun I just can't help it. :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New Project: Pineapple Petals Doily

I've jumped into yet another new project and this time it's a new brand of project, too - DOILIES. And not just your grandma's doilies.

That's what people think when they hear "doilies", right? These random, frilly, lacy things laying around on every available flat surface of your grandma's house, under crystal vases and candy dishes filled with salt water taffy (YUCK!).

Well, I happen to have found doilies to be a new challenge in broadening my crochet repertoire. Using thread instead of yarn and wielding a tiny little hook to create beautiful lace designs seems like fun. And for my first ever doily project, it's going well.

Pineapple Petals Doily 01

The pattern is Pineapple Petals Doily and I'm using J.P. Coats Classic Crochet Thread size 10 in Victory Red with a size 6 hook. I don't think this is the right yarn or hook size but that's what I had in my stash and this project is really just to try out the technique and pattern reading. So far, so good. I think it will be better once I block and iron it. Stay tuned...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Completed Project: Fat Bottom Bag

Started this on Sunday -

Lined it on Tuesday...

Finished it on Wednesday night and I used it yesterday! Yay!


Fat Bottom Bag 04

Fat Bottom Bag 05

Pattern: Fat Bottom Bag in the book The Happy Hooker

Hook size: H

Yarn: approximately 1 1/3 skeins of Lily Elite Cotton in Black

Size: 11" wide by 7" deep (excluding handles)

Modifications: I used a smaller hook to obtain the gauge and to my delight - the finished product was spot-on for size! I'm a bit shocked by it.

I also lined this bag thanks to Tiff pointing me in the direction of Kel's easy-to-follow lining tutorial. I bought this material a few years ago for a gypsy Halloween costume. I think it works great as a purse lining. It's very thin so I did a double-lining with white fabric behind it. I'm hoping it doesn't tear. Here's a photo of the lining before I crocheted the top.

Fat Bottom Bag 03

Yes - I did sew this by hand but I won't be sewing the tote bag lining by hand. That is waaaaay more complicated than this one.

I did buy a magnetic snap to add to the bag but the magnet is so strong, I can't pull it apart easily and I don't want to rip the bag. I'm going to add some kind of closure - either a flap with a button hole or a weaker magnetic snap. Embellishments, such as a pin or other decoration are still up in the air, too.

Bonus photo:

A trio of happiness: an F.O., a large mug of coffee and for-no-reason-other-than-he-wanted-to-get-them-for-me flowers from my husband.

Fat Bottom Bag 06


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New Project: Colorwaves Blanket

Well, it's not exactly new. I've posted before about working on it but this is the first post with some more details and some photos.

Colorwaves Blanket 01

Planning on 12 skeins of Lion Brand Colorwaves in Caribbean

Close ups: Don't you LOVE the colors? :)
Colorwaves Blanket 02 Colorwaves Blanket 03

Hook: I (5.5 mm)

Pattern: Just double crochet back and forth. The yarn makes the textures of other stitches hard to see and, for some of them - like dc in the back loop - near impossible. The border is still up in the air.

Progress: The photo above is 8 skeins worth of yarn and it measures approximately 43" length and somewhere between 44"-47" wide. Why the huge discrepancy? Beats me. I just couldn't get a consistent measurement this morning. I'm hoping this was due to the lack of caffeine and not a wonky blanket.

Now that I've got enough yarn to finish this one and make another one, I need to decide if I'll give both away as Christmas gifts - or keep one for myself...which is very likely to happen.

New Project: Fat Bottom Bag

As noted before, it was just a matter of time before I started one of these. With the latest yarn order's arrival and the completion of the pieces for the tote bag, it was a great time to start one.

This is the Fat Bottom Bag pattern from "The Happy Hooker" by Debbie Stoller. I started this on Sunday while Sean was umpiring and finished the main part last night.

Folded in half
Fat Bottom Bag 01

Fat Bottom Bag 02

I had a real problem figuring out my gauge (shocker!). Instead of using the I (5.5mm) hook called for in the pattern, I found that using an H hook was still close to the gauge and I thought the stitches looked better with the smaller hook. The piece above is 6" tall and 16" wide, which I believe is a bit off from the dimensions of the pattern. Maybe the Lily Elite yarn I'm using is significantly thinner than the Lion Brand Cotton? Oh well. So this purse may be a bit smaller than expected. It's just the first so it's bound to be improved upon.

I tried to start the next part of the pattern but I was tired and couldn't concentrate. I still need to go to the store and get purse handles. As for the possible lining - I'm not sure yet if I'll line it or not. I'm going to wait until I have it put together. Hopefully that won't make lining it too much of a chore. But if I do decide to line it, I may have to put it aside to wait with the tote bag until after Christmas.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Progress Report: Eight Pocket Two-Tone Carryall Tote

All the pieces are done! And yes, even the ends are woven in.

Two Tone Tote 02

It's been a quick project creating the pieces from start to finish. But now, it will stay in hibernation until at least December if not January. Because, if I'm lucky, Santa will bring me a sewing machine so I can properly sew the lining. No sense ruining such a beautiful bag with my sad attempt at hand sewing the lining.

Until we meet again...
Two Tone Tote 03

Wicked Fast

My yarn order on Thursday arrived on Friday.
(Sorry - no photo of the jam packed box.)

And the title? Yeah, the BoSox are on television so I'm channeling my inner New Englander.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

More Bad Behavior

I've been working on an afghan/blanket (remind me of the difference again?) using Lion Brand Colorwaves in Caribbean that I bought back in July. I got 8 skeins of it thinking it would be enough for a blanket, but here I am, close to the end, and I know I need more yarn. I also know that I may not be giving this blanket away after all. I just love how it looks and feels - the colors are fantastic and it isn't an overly warm blanket. Light enough for a chill in the air but not sub-zero weather.

So what have I done to remedy the situation?

Yep - Another order at Smiley's Yarn. I bought :gasp!: 16 skeins of Caribbean - 4 more to finish my current blanket/afghan and 12 more to make the second one (that I'll actually give to someone). I also got some other stuff - but I'll post about it when the yarn arrives.

The moving date is approaching - now I've got more yarn to haul from here to there. At least it doesn't weigh much. :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Eating It, Too

Another attempt at cake decorating. This one was made for a co-worker's Italian themed going-away party. When I said I was going to bake a cake, another person in the office asked if it was going to be an Italian cake to match the theme. I said yes - and created this:

Pizza Cake 03

Pizza Cake 01

A pizza cake with pepperoni, green peppers and black olives - and a handmade crust. Not as great as Sean's birthday cake, but still impressive. Must've been quite tasty, too, because only a sliver was left at the end of the party.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Dear Santa

The tote bag is coming along nicely. I've got the front and back and two large pockets done. I'm working on the gusset and will probably have it and the two small pockets done by tomorrow. And while I'll then be able to start the red handles, I can't start to assemble it until I buy and some fabric for the lining.

And lining means sewing.

And I don't have a sewing machine...


That's the request for Christmas - a cheap (but not too cheap) sewing machine so I can make linings and other sewing projects. One of the projects I'd like to start is the Fat Bottom Bag. I've got extra yarn to start making it and with sites like Tiff Crochets and With a Hook showcasing such beautiful bags, how can I not start one? Or three?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

New Project: Eight Pocket Two-Tone Carryall Tote

That's a looooong name for a project, eh?

This is a free pattern from Lion Brand. I've opted for colors of a more subtle nature (ecru and poppy red). Thanks to the sale at Joann's, I substituted Lion Brand Cotton for Lily's Sugar 'n Cream as it was $1.49 per skein and Lion Brand Cotton was $4.99 a skein. I did buy the one skein of Lion Brand because it was the better color for the straps and borders of the bag. With a 40% off coupon, it was only $2.99. Worth the splurge.

Eight Pocket Two Tone Tote WIP 01

As you can see, I have the front and back completed and most of one of the large pockets. Given my propensity to have a bigger gauge with the recommended hooks of a pattern, I'm using an H for the large hook instead of the I. Still, the front and back are about a half inch longer than they should be. Oh well - just more room to tote stuff.

There's a CAL over at Crochetville where I found a post of FAQs and helpful tips and a wonderful tutorial on how to line the bag . I was wondering about lining it but given that I am not an avid sewer and I don't have a sewing machine, I was leaning against it. Now that I've seen how wonderful the totes looked lined and since I have some easy to follow directions, I guess I'll have to line it.

I'm not participating in the CAL because I don't have time to read and post on a regular basis. Three posts a week on the blog is about all I can handle (plus the continual updating of my Ravelry notebook).

For now, I must be off to start the work day. I :heart: working from home!

Saturday, September 1, 2007


Sean and I and a group of friends are heading to ye olde Maryland Renaissance Festival tomorrow. I am so freakin' excited! It's such a fun way to spend the day. The cost is reasonable for the amount of entertainment you get. The food is fantastic and very well priced (i.e. you don't feel like you're getting robbed). And giant turkey legs! <-- though it technically falls under the food category, it deserves its own shout out. And mead! Wonderful mead! And pints of local microbrewed beer! And the piece de resistance - frozen chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick. Heaven!

I had hoped to have the pentagram spiral motif shawl done in time for the festival, but I only have 6 motifs done and none of them are joined. It really isn't a problem as it will be too warm for shawls tomorrow anyway. No costumes either it will be in the low 80's and I can't fit into my costume anyway. My cup runneth over and I can't seem to lace up my corset. C'est la vie. I will be wearing my crocheted skirt, though. :)

Here are some photos I took at last year's festival. The musical acts are all performing at the White Hart Tavern.

The Pyrates Royale

The Pyrates Royale

The Rogues

The Rogues

The O'Danny Girls
(though from the looks of the web site, they replaced a sister...)

O'Danny Girls

A sculpture on the grounds of Revel Grove

Sculpture in Revel Grove

More photos to follow from tomorrow's adventures... Huzzah!!