Where are the Beads & Yarn?

While as of late most of posts have been about baking (i.e. the Spatula) I have been working on some yarn and bead projects and today I would like to share with you some of the yarn projects.

I recently completed three scarves…

A button-through cowl I made with Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick yarn in Barley. This was a quick cowl to crochet thanks to the nature of the yarn (hence the name of the yarn) and the easy pattern working with double crochets. I believe I was done with this in less than three hours!

IMG_6961

Next I completed another cowl using another Lion Brand yarn, their Landscapes yarn in Desert Spring. It’s a beautiful self-striping roving yarn that’s also great to work with. Well, it was great yarn to work with once I wound it up into a ball as opposed to pulling it out from the skein. I did that during my first go at making this scarf and the yarn began to fray which affected the outcome of the cowl. Thankfully I bought 2 skeins of the yarn – even though the pattern only required one – so I was able to start over with much better results. One other thing, the pattern called for the cowl to be knitted in the round but I opted to add a few extra stitches and just sewed the ends together.

IMG_6967

And finally using Red Heart With Love yarn I crocheted a puff stitch scarf. I had a slight mishap while making this scarf. I knew that it was looking a little funny while working on it but it wasn’t until I finished and needed to add the border around the scarf that I knew for sure what I had done wrong. I didn’t end one of the rows on the right stitch so every few rows the last stitch was sticking out which prevented me from adding the border. So, I had to take the scarf apart and crochet it again. Thankfully it was a quick pattern to stitch up so I was done in no time and done correctly

IMG_6970

And currently on my crochet needle is a toddler blanket for a friend’s daughter – I actually made a smaller version of this blanket last year as a baby gift for another friend. I’m about half-way done and just about to start working with another skein of Lion Brand’s Pound of Love yarn in Honey Bee. As with the button-through cowl, this blanket is just a series of double-crochets.

IMG_7003

Bead & Yarn Project Round-Up

Hope you all had a good weekend! So, as of late most of my posts have mainly been focused on the “spatula” part of the title of my blog, but, I definitely haven’t forgotten about the “bead” nor the “yarn” part. Hence the Bead & Yarn Project Round-Up title of this post. I tend to work on these projects without taking the time to take pictures of the process or the progress so today I will be sharing with you pictures of the final product.
 
Up first two yarn projects…
 
This is a clutch I crocheted following the Candy Color Clutch pattern from Lion Brand Yarn using their Bonbons Yarn in Nature. While the pattern called for using simple buttons that would need a crocheted button cover, I opted to add a little pizazz to the clutch and used gold-toned buttons instead. The pattern was super simple to follow, but, I did find it a little annoying to change the color of the yarn every two rows, but, the final look was worth that extra work.
 IMG_3318
Up next, a baby blanket. The Dreamy Lace Baby Throw – also a Lion Brand Yarn pattern – which I used Pound of Love yarn (also from Lion Brand) in Honey Bee. This pattern was also quick and easy to follow, the one thing that concerned me was adding the shell border, but luckily I was able to add it without incident.
IMG_3907

And now on to the bead pieces…

My new favorite beads to work with are SuperDuo beads. The beads have two-holes so you are able to create some pretty cool earring and bracelet designs.

Like this bracelet…

IMG_3662
These earrings…
IMG_4113
Or this earring and bracelet set…
IMG_4038
Another two-hole bead that’s been fun to work with are Tila beads and CzechMates Two-Hole Tile beads.
IMG_4059 IMG_3375
I’ve also finished a few crystal embellished seed bead bracelets. These are probably one of my favorite bracelets to make because even though they do require a bit of work to complete, you can play with all kinds of color combinations to create a very unique and original bracelet.
IMG_3529 IMG_4137
The cross-weave bracelet using bugle beads, pearls, seed beads and crystals.
IMG_3547
The same bracelet but with an embellished edge comprised of seed beads and drop beads.
IMG_3539
Some ladder stich earrings.
IMG_4076
And finally, a cube and crystal bracelet.
IMG_4167
Hope you enjoyed looking at these items as much as I enjoyed making them. Have a great week!

Easy Lace Shrug… It’s Finally Done!

It’s been over a month since I posted about the Easy Lace Shrug I was working on. I honestly didn’t think it would take me this long to finish it, especially since I didn’t have much left to go, but that’s what procrastination will do to you. (And also a few mistakes.)

This is where I was when I last posted… I still had to two more sections of the lace pattern to knit up, the seed stich border to complete and I also had to the cuffs to do which I needed to pick up stitches for along the border. Something I had never done before and while it seemed challenging at first I quickly got the hang of it. Although I did have to pull out the first cuff I did because I somehow miscalculated the number of stitches or more likely mistook some space for stitches when they weren’t.

IMG_2729

So, after I corrected my mistake I successfully knitted the cuffs onto each end of the shrug.

IMG_2978

And finally I seamed the cuffs together and it was done (YAY!!!) I’ve been thinking about knitting up a sweater for myself since I got this down. I probably should start soon though so that I can be sure to have it done before next winter.

IMG_2994 IMG_2997

One other thing I got done… The scarf I had mentioned in the post about the shrug. And while it’s officially Spring today the temperatures will be on the colder side early next week so I am thinking I may get to wear this before I have to pack it away for next winter.

IMG_3003 IMG_3007

A Shrug In Progress

As of late most of my posts have been about baking but today I thought I would share with you a quick picture or two of my current knitting project. Initially I started the year trying to make myself a slouchy hat. I had made one once before and in all honesty I never wore it. I didn’t care for the yarn I used for it and my rounds were a little off, so, I attempted to make another one with a different type of yarn. Once again, I didn’t like it. Although this time I decided that before I even finished it. So, I unraveled it and will be using the yarn for a scarf instead – my favorite winter accessory. I actually started it already…

IMG_2732

But, I digress, back to the knitting project. This is probably the “biggest” thing I have made for myself. While I have knitted (and crocheted) baby blankets and afghans for others I usually stick to making scarves for myself. But, after the hat debacle I decided I would make something for myself that has been sitting on my to-do list for over a year – the Easy Lace Shrug from Lion Brand Yarn – or as I have just been telling others when they see me knitting it… a cardigan. Starting this was my biggest obstacle. I couldn’t get the Seed Stitch correct. This is probably one of the easiest knitting stiches out there but for some reason it just wasn’t clicking with me until I watched a video on how to do it. I kept reverting back to a Rib Stitch. After, well, I won’t say how many tries because in all honesty I lost count, I finally got it right and I was on my way.

IMG_2730

After knitting up two inches of the Seed Stitch it was time to start my pattern – a Shell Lace. Luckily this didn’t give me as many issues as that initial stitch. Although, I did have to do a few Google searches to figure out what the pattern meant by “end last repeat SSK.” Once I figured that out that the Shell Lace pattern quickly came together. I am mainly a self-taught knitter and crocheter so a lot of these terminologies escape me, but, there is definitely a satisfaction that comes along with learning things on your own as you go. That “aha moment” is priceless!!! So at this point I have completed the Shell Lace pattern six times and will probably do it two more times before finishing it up with two more inches of Seed Stitch. After that I have to pick up stitches on the side of the shrug to complete the cuffs… YIKES! I will definitely be watching some more videos to get that right…. Stay tuned!

IMG_2729

Two Ruffles And A Cowl

While at Jo-Ann’s a while back I came across one of Red Heart’s new ruffle yarns, the Boutique Filigree Yarn, which is quite similar to their Boutique Sashay Yarn I used to create ruffle scarves last year. The main difference between the two is that the Filigree yarn is described as a woven fabric strip while the Sashay yarn is flat out called a yarn. After working with both yarns I can honestly say that I prefer working with the Filigree yarn since I didn’t have to stretch it open to use it like I did with the Sashay yarn. What caught my eye about the yarn was a nice shade of purple – called Imperial – that I thought would be the perfect color for a scarf for a friend who would be celebrating a birthday soon.

Using the Halley’s Comet Scarf pattern – which was included on the inside of the yarn wrapper – I created this scarf in less than 2 hours.

IMG_1570

I liked it so much – thankfully my friend like hers as well – that I went ahead and knitted one for myself in a shade of blue called Tealy.

IMG_1775

And since I was on a roll with knitting I decided to knit up a cowl that I have been wanting to make for quite some time. To create it I followed a pattern that I came across on Ravelry called the Drop Stitch Cowl and used Lion Brand yarn’s Hometown USA in Little Rock Granite. I initially made the cowl following the directions of casting on 47 stitches but once I finished it it was too big so I decided to start over and casted on 33 stitches. While the final product is a tad bit snug to get over my head, I am hoping that it will stretch out over time.

IMG_1780

A Blanket, a Runner and a Scarf

I recently completed a few crocheting/knitting projects – one was sitting on my needles a little longer than I had hoped, one came together rather quickly and another was semi-done but just waiting to be sewn together.

Up first a baby blanket that was a cinch to make. This is actually the third baby blanket I’ve completed this year – I previously made a Violet V-Stitch Baby Blanket and a Baby Blue Basketweave Blanket. Every time I make one I try to find a completely different pattern to follow and for this one I opted to use the Spring Ripple Baby Throw pattern from the Lion Brand Yarn website. At first I wasn’t seeing the ripple pattern come through but midway through it became clearer. I’m really happy with how this blanket came out and I loved the yarn I used – Loops & Threads Snuggly Wuggly in Doodle Dots. It wasn’t too heavy or too light which is perfect since the baby it’s meant for is due in late spring.

IMG_0026 IMG_0108

And next a crochet project that I actually started late last year… the Crochet Shapes Table Runner, once again a pattern from the Lion Brand Yarn website. I liked this pattern even before I knew how to crochet because of the different motifs it consisted of. I had crocheted all the motifs but needed to stitch them together, unfortunately I got sidetracked with other projects before doing so. I ended up putting the motifs away but it was always in the back of my mind that I needed to finish it and I recently found the time to do so.

The table runner consists of six motifs: Octagon Star, Granny Stitch Hexagon, Circle in the Square, Octagon, Six Petal Flower & Flower Center Circular.

Motifs

And when all of these pieces are stitched together you have a unique and customized table runner.

IMG_0392

Finally, a scarf that I began when a fellow blogger, For The Knit Of It, ran a knit-a-long back in March. The pattern chosen was the Bosc Pattern from Robin Ulrich. And yes, Bosc as in pears. If you look closely at the scarf you can actually see the curves of pears in the pattern. I loved the pattern and was excited to work on it, but, getting it started was such a task. Just getting to this point – the first 10 rows of the pattern – took me about 10 tries.

IMG_9769

The reason… the pattern consisted of numerous yarn overs and I kept missing them and would ultimately have to start over. (Knitting is not as forgiving as crocheting.) To combat that I actually typed of the pattern and then marked where the yarn overs would be so I wouldn’t keep missing them. Once I did that working on the pattern was a piece of cake. Unfortunately for myself it wasn’t the type of pattern that I could mindlessly work on while watching television so it took me a lot longer to complete it than I had hoped. I am happy though that I didn’t give up on it and am looking forward to wearing it next winter.

IMG_0355 IMG_0369

Baby Blue Basketweave Blanket

I started this blanket a few weeks ago after I finished the Violet V-Stitch Baby Blanket. I should say though that I started this blanket quite a few times before I got it right. From the get-go I ran into stumbling blocks to get it done.

To make this blanket I used Lion Brand Pound of Love Yarn and size 10.5 circular knitting needles  . The pattern I was planning on using called for two strands of the yarn to be held together so I decided to take this huge skein of yarn

IMG_9392

and unwind it

IMG_9398

and then wound it up into a ball – which was no easy task since I ran into a few tangles along the way. Once I got to this point I was happy and ready to begin knitting. But, my joy was short-lived.

IMG_9416

The pattern I initially wanted to follow is called the Seed Stitch Baby Blanket from the Lion Brand Yarn website. Unfortunately I had a hard time following the seed stitch* pattern on circular knitting needles. So, I had to scratch that idea and look for a new pattern. I opted to go with a basketweave pattern since I had made a blanket following the pattern once before with the same yarn. The pattern I semi-followed is the baby blanket from the Simply Perfect Baby Set** also from the Lion Brand Yarn website. I knew I had to make modifications to the pattern though to get the blanket to be a decent size; when I made this before I ended up following the pattern exactly and ended up with a fairly small blanket (approximately 18 in x 24 in). To make the blanket larger I ended up knitting four mini blankets and stitching them together.  I didn’t want to do that this time so I decided to modify the original pattern.

So, the original pattern called for casting on 88 stitches, but I opted for 90 stitches and added the two additional stitches to the side border of the blanket. All was going fine until I realized that somewhere along the line I had added on an extra stitch, so I was working with 91 stitches as opposed to 90, and unfortunately knitting isn’t as forgiving as crocheting. It’s possible to hide a stitch while crocheting with no one being the wiser but when you are knitting it’s not so easy. (If anyone has figured out how to do so please share!) So, I had to start over.

On my second go at it I noticed that my rows for the basketweave weren’t as wide as I remembered them to be from the first time I made the blanket and I immediately realized it was because I was working in intervals of six rows as opposed to twelve rows. So, I started again.

But, a few rows into the pattern I decided that it looked better with the smaller intervals so I took what I had done thus far off the needles and decided to start AGAIN! I also noticed that the blanket wasn’t going to be very wide so I opted to cast on 100 stitches instead of my original 90.

I figured at this point I was good to go, but, I had one more hiccup to overcome. With the original pattern the basketweave is created using an even number of blocks in the rows, but, when I added the additional ten stitches the basketweave pattern was now going to be created over an odd number, nine to be exact. I should note that that didn’t even cross my mind when I decided to add the additional ten stitches; it was only when I finished my first row and wanted to follow the pattern that I realized it wasn’t going to work. Thankfully the solution came to me quickly. Essentially with basketweave you are knitting the purl stitches and purling the knit stitches as you go along to create the illusion of the weave – basically a version of seed stitch. So I just needed to do that as I went along and I was good to go. From that point on the blanket was a cinch to make. Sometimes the most simplest things are the most difficult to make.

And here’s the final product that measures approximately 29.5 in x 31.5 in.

IMG_9676 IMG_9691

Here’s the pattern I ultimately used:

Basketweave Blanket:

Cast on 100 stitches

Knit 10 rows

Row 1: Knit 5, *knit 10, purl 10; repeat from * to last 5 stitches, knit last 5 stitches

Row 2: Knit 5, *purl 10, knit 10; repeat from * to last 5 stitches, knit last 5 stitches

Rows 3, 5: Repeat Row 1

Rows 4, 6: Repeat Row 2

Row 7: Knit 5, *purl 10, knit 10; repeat from * to last 5 stitches, knit last 5 stitches

Row 8: Knit 5, *knit 10, purl 10; repeat from * to last 5 stitches, knit last 5 stitches

Rows 9, 11: Repeat Row 7 Rows 10, 12:

Repeat Row 8 Repeat Rows 1-12 twelve more times

Repeat Rows 1-6 one time

Knit 10 rows

Bind off

 

*Seed Stitch (over an even number of stitches)

Courtesy Lion Brand Yarn

Row 1: *K1, P1; repeat from * across

Row 2: P the knit stitches, and K the purl stitches

Repeat Row 2 for Seed Stitch

 

**Simply Perfect Baby Set Blanket

Courtesy Lion Brand Yarn

Cast on 88 stitches

Knit 10 rows

Begin working in pattern stitch as follows:

Row 1: knit 4, *knit 10, purl 10; repeat from * to last 4 stitches, knit last 4 stitches

Rows 2-12: Repeat row 1 Row 13: knit 4, *purl 10, knit 10; repeat from * to last 4 stitches, knit last 4 stitches

Rows 14-24: Repeat row 2 Repeat rows 1-24 five more times

Knit 10 rows

Bind off

Violet V-Stitch Baby Blanket

After two weeks of crocheting I completed the baby blanket I’ve been working on. I followed a simple V-Stitch pattern and ended up with a blanket that measures 34×39 inches. A little bigger than what the pattern I followed suggested it would be (33×36 inches) but I also used a different kind of yarn (Red Heart Soft Baby Steps yarn as opposed to Lion Brand Babysoft yarn) and added a different border to it. When it comes to blankets I don’t think it hurts for it to be a little bigger as long as it’s proportionately correct.

The pattern called for adding a border around the perimeter of the blanket. I was a little unsure of how to do it from reading the directions, but, as I suspected once I started I immediately got the hang of it. To do so I first worked single crochets around the outside edge of the blanket and then in the second round added the decorative border by working into those single crochets. The pattern called for creating a picot edge. I decided to check out videos on YouTube to see how to make them and after a few attempts I couldn’t get the hang of them myself so I decided to go a different route and added a scalloped edge instead. To create the scalloped edge I worked a half-double crochet, double crochet, treble crochet, double crochet, half-double crochet into every third single crochet.

IMG_9371

And here’s the final product…

IMG_9389

Next up… Another baby blanket – a Seed Stitch Baby Blanket – which I am sure will take me a little longer to make since I will be knitting it on circular knitting needles.

IMG_9392

This is the pattern that I used as a basis for creating the blanket.

V-Stitch Baby Throw Pattern

Courtesy: Lion Brand (www.lionbrand.com)

Throw

Ch 148

Row 1: (dc, ch1, dc) in 5th ch from hook (V-St made) *sk next 2 ch, V-st in next ch; rep from * across to last 2 ch, sk next ch, dc in last ch – 48 V-sts at the end of this row

Row 2 – 78: Ch 3, turn, V-st in ch-1 sp of each V-st across, dc in top of turning ch. Do no fasten off.

Finishing

Border

Rnd 1: Do not turn, work sc evenly spaced around entire outside edge of Throw, working 3 sc in each corner st; join with sl st in first sc.

Rnd 2: *Ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch from hook (picot made), sk next sc, sl st in next 2 sc; rep from * around.

Note: As you near the end of Rnd 2, count your remaining sts. If necessary, you can sl st in 1 or in 3 sc (instead of 2 sc), in order to end the rnd evenly.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Abbreviations:

ch – chain

dc – double crochet

sk – skip

st – stitch

sp – space

sc – single crochet

sl – slip

…Beading and Crocheting/Knitting Update #1

It’s been a week since I started tackling my project to-do list and so far so good. The blanket I started last week is coming along nicely. I just started working with my third skein of yarn and have about twenty inches of the blanket completed (according to the pattern directions it’s supposed to be thirty-six inches). I’m thinking that I am going to need another skein of yarn to complete the border around the blanket – thankfully this yarn doesn’t have a dye lot number. I was on the fence as to whether I was going to add the border because the directions sounded a little confusing, but, I am sure once I start it will make more sense.

IMG_9282

Something that wasn’t on my to-do list but I received a request for was a few ruffle scarves. Luckily these only take me a few hours to make so I had no trouble knitting them up.

IMG_9275

It wasn’t all about crocheting and knitting this week. I also tested out a vanilla cake recipe for a Minnie Mouse cake that I am making this weekend. Unfortunately I wasn’t too pleased with it so I’ll be sticking with a box cake to ensure that it comes out well. I also needed to brush up on my cake decorating skills for this cake so I was busy doing that as well. Coming up next week… hopefully a completed blanket and pictures of the Minnie Mouse cake.

It’s Time To get Beading and Crocheting/Knitting

I’ve been piling up yarn for the past month or so for knitting and crocheting projects and I finally decided it was time to start working on them. On my plate I have two baby blankets, a cardigan and a scarf to make. I definitely have to get the blankets done, but, there is the possibility that the cardigan and scarf will end up sitting on the back burner once I am done with the blankets. I tend to push big projects that are for myself further and further down my to-do list as other things come up, especially if they are quick and easy.

IMG_9255

First up a baby blanket using Red Heart Soft Baby Steps Yarn in Light Grape.

IMG_9261

While I thought it was going to take a while to work this blanket up, after a few hours of crocheting I am happy with my progress and am looking forward to the finished product.

IMG_9269

I also have some beading projects that I am eager to get done as well. In a recent issue of Bead & Button magazine there were a few pieces that piqued my interest. While going through my own collection of beads to pick out colors I realized that I wasn’t too happy with the colors I had so I decided to take advantage of a sale at a beading website and stocked up on some different colors of size 15 beads. I also added some bugle beads, tila beads and cabochons to my collection.

IMG_9247

Stay tuned to see what I create!