Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Of Fishnets and Hogwarts

My love of everything crochet has kept me quite busy lately. There are always so many projects to make and so little time in the day. If I don't write an idea down, it sometimes vanishes. I love to see what other crochet artists are working on and was thrilled to see the final outcome of a project that a friend of mine was working on.

Well-known on Etsy for her fabulous fishnets, Liz Clark, or lizstaley, as some of us know her, blew me away with her rendition of Fred and George, the Weasley twins. The attention to details and quality of the facial expressions are incredible. To have the ability to create twin pieces with a unique style to each one amazes me. And I can't imagine having the nerve to paint on a project that took so much time and effort.

Here's what Liz had to say about the project:

"Fred and George were made for a few reasons. First, my friend Nichole asked if I'd make them for her because she loves the two characters, so they were a commission from the off. But I also made them because I was mad at myself for not writing down the pattern when I made my Spider-man plushie that nearly everyone who saw it was asking me for, so this gave me an opportunity to write and test out a pattern at the same time-- which was fun and challenging! I ended up having to crochet a round, write it down, then when I got to the end I had to go back and make another piece and follow my written instructions while making sure I could follow them if I hadn't written them. It was madness, but I'm glad I did it because it was an awesome experience.

"The best part about doing these, as with any of my projects, was getting them done. They took over 40 hours of work and I learned a lot about making plushies while I was doing them (they are only the third and fourth plushies I've ever made!), including embroidery with yarn, trying not to have a heart attack while painting on a nearly finished project, and using yarn for hair. There was a lot of trial and error involved and a ton of work, but it was fun. And of course, the reaction of the recipient is always a wonderful thing for me. I love it when something I've made brings joy to someone else."

Cheers to you Liz! These boys are incredible!
You can view other works by lizstaley at Etsy.com or by checking her out on Flickr.
Oh, and Happy Birthday Harry!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


This weekend I'll be attending Smoke on the Allegheny's 1st Annual BBQ Competition. No, I won't be cooking, but I'll have lots of knitty goodness for sale and hope to promote my Etsy shop while I'm at it.

My Mom and Dad will be cooking. Fran and Judy Fry are the award-winning BBQ team "The Frying Pan."
BBQ is what they love to do. I finally get a chance to see them in action.

This event will be held this weekend at the Rocky Grove Firehall in Franklin, PA. Click the link above for more information. And check out "The Frying Pan" website for their delicious rubs and sauces!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Etsy Poster Challenge

Here's my entry for the Etsy Poster Challenge. I thought it was a good sample of items available on Etsy. No, I didn't included anything from my shop. It would be cool if they chose my treasury for their poster, but it would be even cooler if I had an item of mine published on one!

To read more about Etsy's Poster challenge go here. And, of course, click here to see what's new in my shop ; )

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Dream A Little Dream

I had to dig deep into my yarn collection to find these beauties again. Yes, I have quite a collection. I just can't pass it up if it's a good buy, or just absolutely gorgeous - like these.

This one reminds me of a coral snake. I'm sure it doesn't really look like a coral snake, but it looks like snake skin with the black thread spun with the cotton. It is a soft, hand-painted cotton yarn called "Evening Sun" from Sugar Apple Creations. I have been dreaming about what to make with it. I hate to rush these things, you know. I envision something lacy and exquisite!

This one is called "Teaberry" and is an acrylic homespun yarn that I found on eBay awhile back. The colors are an odd combination of browns and purple, but it really works well together. It is another light-weight yarn that I can't wait to use.

I suppose I've set these two favorites aside because they are a light-weight yarn. I am most comfortable with regular worsted-weight and I just love working with thick, bulky yarns. Most of my shawls have been made with Lion Brand Yarn's Homespun. People like how soft it is and I like it because it "works up" quickly. I have made an effort to buy less commercially-made yarn and to live up to the Etsy motto and "BUY HANDMADE"!

With several months to think about this particular yarn, I have yet to come up with any ideas for it. I suppose it falls in the category of "What in the world was I thinking?"
It is an Italian yarn called FIOCCO from Filatura Di Crosa. A gorgeous rust and black mohair/acrylic blend. It's very loopy and bulky.

So, I continue to collect yarn whenever I can and dream of what it should become. I am certainly up for suggestions, especially with this last one. And I really need to get a ball-winder of sorts because my kids say their arms are going to fall off if they have to hold any more!

***Note*** On Sugar Apple Creations Blog - Crafty Diversions has posted a tutorial on how to make your own yarn swift!!! This is exactly what I need!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Tour of my craft space??

In an effort to be more involved with Etsy and to make new friends, I've joined the Etsy Bloggers Street Team. This should be a way to be better able to maintain a list of Etsy blogs. I do enjoy reading everyone's blogs, but it's the organizing that I find difficult. I have played with Technorati and other ways of marking blogs to read later, but it is still so new to me.

The Etsy Bloggers Street Team has joined up with Blog Carnival as a way of getting us all together. To start it all off, they've assigned a theme for our first gathering....a tour of our craft space. I had to laugh......and so did my husband. He said "If you count the magazines in the bathroom, you use the whole house!" This is so true. I have yarn, patterns, books, and magazines all over the place, especially yarn. It would have been impossible for me to organize it all in order to take a nice neat photograph to post. So, here it is....my house!

I do have these nifty little baskets and containers that I take with me wherever I'm working at the moment. Here is my latest work space - my new rocking chair in the living room. So new that I haven't found cushions for it yet. I do love my sheep skin that I found years ago at a Fiber Festival in Maryland. Currently I'm knitting a shawl with Lion Brand Homespun in Tudor. I make a lot of shawls, but I rarely wear one myself. I'll be listing it soon in my Etsy shop, so do stop by and take a look!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

That's so '70's...

I have been trying to finish projects that I started a long time ago. You know how it goes. You get an idea for something and get a great start to it, then set it aside til who-knows-when.

I dislike thread crochet. But when I came across some needlework magazines from the 1970's something struck me and I thought I'd like to design a camisole. I used double thread to make it somewhat thicker and easier for me to work with. There are a lot of details on this one. I still have some blocking and finishing to do, but I think it will be pretty when it's done. I'm not so sure of the size yet. I sure do need a dress form!

Here's another pretty, yet intimate design. I was working on a bikini awhile back and had the cups made for this. I finally found some fabric to match and got it all put together. I decided to use a corset-style back so that it's adjustable. I just listed it today in my Etsy shop. Lots of views already! It is pretty, if I do say so myself!

Friday, July 6, 2007

A Vintage Find

It has been yard sale season here in Ohio. Everywhere you go, someone is having a sale. I don't usually stop, but I decided to take my daughter to a few and look around. She found some great vintage clip-on earrings and pins today. I came home with a really pretty piece of retro canvas fabric and a huge cone of some sort of heavy-weight wool yarn. I hesitated buying the yarn, but decided it would make a great rug. Yes, it's that thick....and scratchy too.

So, I spent the day washing the fabric and cutting out a nice size library tote from it. Here's the final picture. I love the colors of orange, rust, brown, and green.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Holiday Fashion!

For something completely different, I often read Mai's Fashionist Blog.
I love seeing how and who she captures for great street fashion.
Anyone with girls knows how often they change their clothes and how important their "look" is. I just thought I'd share my daughter's fashion sense for the Independence Day holiday. Of course, our cat, Mojo wanted to be on the catwalk too!

She also crocheted herself a bracelet to match her outfit. All those hours of chaining and attempts at crocheting a never-ending scarf have paid off. When let loose to roam through my yarn stash, she created a total of 3 unique bracelets and a really cool necklace. Talk about freeform crochet! I hope she continues to be inspired.