Friday, October 21, 2011

FO Friday: Cabled Fingerless Mitts

Is it Friday all ready? Yes! Today I have a finished object to share with you and they are cabled fingerless mitts!

It is starting to cool off in good ol' New England and my hands are always the first thing to feel the chill. Every year I scour Ravelry for fingerless mitt patterns, but for some reason I always talk myself out of making them! Which is a shame, because my hands get really cold. These were great though- the cables kept them very interesting and the construction is really smart. Also, they are nice and stretchy which is important for a good pair of mitts.

These took a whole two days to make. Phew! Talk about commitment, eh? Really though. I finished one in a sitting and the next day I sat down and cranked out another one. This pattern was pretty easy, though I would say it does require some crochet knowledge. It was my first go at crocheted cables and I really liked how they turned out.

 Cabled Fingerless Mitts
Pattern: Cabled Mitts, Crochet Today! Nov/Dec 2010
Yarn: Knit Picks Elegance in Ash, 1 skein
Hook: size E
Mods: I went down a "yarn size" (from worsted to DK) and down a few hook sizes to an E because I have very small hands. I also added one row of sc blo before seaming up.
You can pop on over here to see my Ravlery Project Page if you would like.

So Happy Friday, everyone! Tonight Andrew and I will be on our way to Connecticut for the weekend to visit some good friends. My friend Sue and I will also be going to STICHES east! Yes, that's right....remember my yarn diet? I did it! I went four months without buying yarn, patterns, and needles. Needless to say I think it will be a fun weekend. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Living Vicariously

Sometimes when you have three tests on one Friday and three projects due on the next Friday, and you're starting a new (and exciting!) job on the Monday in between, and you've got plans to visit friends out of state on the Saturday after, and a room to clean, and a car, and spouse to love, and...well I think you're beginning to sense a pattern here if I'm not wrong. Sometimes life gets just plum busy. During those times it is sometimes necesary to live vicariously through the lives of your fellow Crafty Bloggers.

So here are some Lovely Online Things that have been keeping me afloat, inspired, and living vicariously for the past few weeks.

#1 (as in currently most inspiring) Lucy from Attic24 and her Ripply Blanket Journey

#2 (as in slightly, but not much, less inspiring) Simply amazing, bet you didn't even know you could do this with crochet.

#3 (you get it) Next Project? But I'm thinking with some stashed Malabrigo, three buttons, and fringe. Someone, please, let me know if this is not as cute as I am envisioning it (it has been known to happen).

I hope to have more for you soon, when my academic rigors slow for a bit and I am a little more settled into my new job and schedule.

Until Next Time

Saturday, October 8, 2011

She's Back**

Every now and then we all need something to remind us why we love the things we love. As a Knitter and Crocheter it is easy to get caught up in the latest patterns, the beautiful yarns, the newest magazine. Even selecting a  project can become taxing- the right size, the perfect color, the exact gauge, the functionality, the wearability, the durability.

Sometimes we crafters just need to make something. To feel the yarn glide through our fingers, to relish the feeling of creating.

Sometimes we need to be spontaneous. To let our creative spirits guide us. Remember when you first started? Everything inspired you. All you wanted to do was cast on, start a foundation chain.

Every now and again it is good for us to throw care aside. To momentarily neglect the ever-growing pile of works-in-progress and unfinished objects. To dive into our stash, pull out something, and begin.

I have to thank Jennifer Ackermann-Haywood her quarterly magazine CraftSanity for the opportunity to do just that. The moment I saw this post I was exceptionally inspired. I'm not sure if was the color, the way she wears this blanket as a shawl, or the quintessential modern-granniness of it. Whatever the reason, I was head over heals in love. I was feeling inspired and did not allow myself to dampen my inspiration with excuses of too many projects, too much to do.

I finished my lovely Willow Doily Blanket in just about a week, and I am ecstatic over it. I love snuggling under it in the chilly mornings with my coffee and during the chilly evenings with my book or another project.

As kind of an aside- go check out CraftSanity, it really is great. You can purchase a paper copy or a digital download. There is something very fresh about it, something that seems to get back to the roots of why we do it all in the first place.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thrift Thursday, Finally.

Welcome to the first Thrift Thursdsay Post! Thrift Thursday is all about my love for thrifted clothing, all things vintage and not-vintage-at-all, how to buy secondhand and still look good, and most importantly: being good to our Good Ol' Mother Earth who has been so good to us all these years!

I hope Thrift Thursday will expand to include tips on thrifting, home decor thrifting, re-furbing (or refurbishing), and much more!

Today's piece is actually two pieces. This is an outfit I would most typically wear to work. The thrifted items are the top and necklace. The non-thrifted items are the slacks and shoes. I found this orange top at Salvation Army and loved it for the design element of the trim. It is definitely reminiscent of crochet but is machine-made so it is not actual crochet.  The necklace I got at a consignment store and is really one of my favorite accessories. It goes great with orange, yellow, and white. There are little engraved flowers on each bead though you can't quite see that from the distance these are shot at.

So there it is. You can look good and professional when wearing thrifted fashion!

Until Next Time.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Avoiding Obvious Green Post Titles

You know like, In The Green or It's Not Easy Bein' Green. Anywho. It's about half way through June here and half way through the month of green. I was telling my best friend Ashleigh about how surprised I was by the lack of green in my stash. Thing is- I always gravitate to it and tell myself, "No, you already have plenty of need to use other colors." But in telling myself that everytime I wind up with essentially no green yarn. I said essentially. I do have two skeins of Cascade 220 waiting patientlly to become sleeves and buttholes on my Tea Leaves Cardi. I also had one ball of Knit Picks new Chroma yarn in fingering weight. I have never used a color transitioning yarn, and at Knit Picks prices I thought, "What the heck?" So I grabbed a ball in North Woods, assuming it would be socks. I will say this now- had I known they would, indeed, not be socks I may not have picked this colorway (but that is kind of what Project Spectrum is about). So after dubiously casting on for a sock, realizing it was a little too thick/thin and fuzzy for socks, and hearing Ashleigh tell me that it is "way to pretty to be socks", I ripped and cast on spontaneously for a Lacy Baktus. When I say spontaneously I means as spontaneous as casting on can be: I had never even favorited this pattern on ravelry! But I will say, Knit Picks Chroma loves Lacy Baktus. Don't you think?
At first I was weary of the colors, I am not much of an orange girl. But now I am in love with this scarf/shawl. The orange is more of a terra anyways. So pretty! Also, now I know why yarns like this and Noro are such favorites. They are really fun to use. The pattern is great too, I love the way the shawl grows and the "lace" is simple enough for me to handle (which is a plus). So that's basiclly all that's going on by way of green. I was planning on buying some green crochet thread, but I can't. Which leads me to my news.
I, LiveLoveYarn, am officially on a yarn diet. I am going cold-sheep.
There, I said it. I jokingly asked Andrew if he thought I could go until Stitches East (in October) without buying yarn. He said "Absoutley, without a doubt- you have no chance at all" or something like that. So it became a full-blown-shake-on-it-bet. If I can go until Stitches without buying yarn, patterns (magazines, books, individual patterns), and crochet hooks he will donate $30 to my Stitches shopping spree (after much debate I convinced him to exclude needles since they are not as interchangeable as hooks). If I should lose I have to fork over $30 to him which he can spend on food for the weekend. I have more than enough yarn to get through Project Spectrum and then some. Also more than enough UFO's, but we don't talk about that. So wish me luck on that front.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

One Last Day of Red

Yes I know its June 1st, and technically the first day of green. But I wanted to do one last post on red. So here she is. First up are my crochet thread earrings. I used size 10 crochet thread and the granny square pattern from my Harmony Guides Motifs book.

This is a little flower motif from Linda Permann's Crochet Adorned. I am planning on making two more with one less repeat each (so they are smaller) and making a headband.

Finally- the red beret. I have been wanting a red beret forever. But for some reason it just wasn't happening. I tried three yarns before I stumbled on this one in a yarn sale. It is Plymouth Happy Feet and it is perfect. This design is improvised using my knowledge of beret construction and yarn conservation. Every two or three rounds was a double crochet, ch1 round to conserve yarn. I love it.

Also, I made spaghetti sauce! (And turkey meatballs) Remember what I said about being a novice baker? Same applies to cooking. Remember the first thing you ever crocheted or knit? How you were so proud of it and it was so beautiful even though it was really ugly and probably a poor fiber choice? Well that's me with baking and cooking.

So that wraps up May. But definitely not red. I find myself loving, appreciating, and not fearing this color now that I have worked with it during this month. But seriously- BRING ON THE GREEN.

Until Next Time!

Monday, May 30, 2011

So Much For That

Disclaimer: blogger made an executive decision and decided I wasn't going to be posting anything for a day or two. But were back....

I am by no means a baker being said- I do enjoy baking. Little stuff. Stuff your six year old could make with equal finesse. Even so, I always feel really accomplished in the end.

So there are your standard-run-of-the-mill red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Used this recipe. They were delicious and I was so proud that I made another batch and brought them to my uncle's surprise 50th birthday party.  If you would like to make some of your own delicious cupcakes, but only want one batch then cut the frosting recipe in half.

But I will admit- I defintely enjoyed having cupcakes around to eat at every whim. Might just have to make some more.....

Until next time!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Project Spectrum FO 1

Disclaimer: this post includes capitals, as LiveLoveYarn has been reading too many English blogs lately.
When I "signed up" for PS I knew May would be the least organized of the whole project. I had finals the first and second week and I oral surgery the second week. Think you can forgive me for not posting? Well in effort to make up for I will be blogging every day (starting today) until the end of May. A blog-a-thon, if you will. Just because I haven't been blogging doesn't mean I haven't been a Little Miss Busy Fingers. So May. Red. Daunting, haunting, classically beautiful red. Did you know I have not one skein of red yarn in my stash? Not even any acrylic from the Early Days when I grabbed Any Yarn in Sight. Then I thought; why? Why no red? Then I had a little peek through my wardrobe and there was not a red article in sight. I like red as much as the next girl- so why don't I own anything red? I think, maybe, I was a little scared of the color. I decided the best way to overcome that was to start small. Like say...a necklace.

I think I'm in love with this necklace. I have never worked with size 10 thread before and man is it Teeny Tiny. The pattern is the Lace and Pearls Necklace from Crochet Today April/May 2010. I decided to forgo the beads and (clearly) change the color.  I followed the pattern exactly (cough, foronce, cough). The result is  Just Lovely, and I am very proud of my little peice of crochet-wearable-art.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Welcome Back (to me)!


Wow, it has been so long. Too long. I have quite a lot to catch up on. But, first things first: the semester is done. Done. I can't believe it. There was a good stretch there where I was really beginning to believe it would never end. But here we are. This was undoubtedly my most rigorous semester yet, but I am so proud of myself for sticking with it. More than sticking with it though- I actually did quite well this semester, academically speaking. I was even exempt from my Biopsychology final for having a A on all the tests. My Ethics of Harry Potter class was by far my favorite though. Not only because I am a complete Harry Potter dork, but because I actually learned quite a bit. Alongside Harry Potter 1, 2, 6, and 7 we also read Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics and Machiavelli's The Prince. These are books with content I would never had considered reading without this class, and I think that my professor was very wise to use pop culture to introduce philosophy to someone who previously had no interest. Also, it was a challenging class- the professor was a tough grader- but I did really well and that made it all the more rewarding.

But enough about that, right? It's Summer! Well...summer break at least. The weather has finally started coming around though, which is great. So what have I got planned this Summer? Well, quite a bit actually. This semester left me little time to indulge in the things I love most, like crafting and reading. So, while I did contemplate getting another job to fill my summer free time I decided against it. Instead I will be using that free time to indulge in the kinds of things I couldn't during the semester because, quite frankly, I worked hard this semester and I deserve it! So, my plans are as such:
  • Take a sewing class
I signed up for a two-hour-a-week-for-eight-weeks class which started last Tuesday. It is at my  local fabric and yarn store, and it is a sewing class for beginners! I have wanted to learn to sew since before yarn ever tickled my fancy. Every summer they offer this class, and every summer I come up with some reason why I can't take it. But not this year! So I've got my fabric, my pattern, all my notions, and my first very own sewing box. I am so excited to be taking this class I can't event tell you!
  • Join in on Project Spectrum
Project Spectrum is basically a seven month long creativity exercise. Please check out the facebook page, Tumblr, and ravelry group if you want to learn more about it. This is PS's fifth go-around and my first. This years theme is "The Basics" so were working with all the primary and secondary colors. The organizer of the movement talks about this years theme on her blog. So after some serious considerations (along the lines of: I just finished a challenging semester, will I really want to have any structure this summer/I don't want to feel obligated to craft like I was obligated to study,do homework, go to class, and work when I'm not doing all that?) I decided I was in. We'll see what it blossoms into.
  • My very first segment!
Let's face it- all the real bloggers have one. Okay, maybe not all. But a lot of bloggers do and since I will have time to blog this summer I would like to give it a try. So, drum roll please, this summer I will be featuring Thrift Thursdays. More on that next Thursday.

So welcome back to me and my readers! It should be a very exciting summer, and I am really excited to see what is in store! Do you have any plans? Let me know!

Until next time.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The "Perfect" Scarf

A while back I treated myself to two luscious skeins of Cascade Pure Alpaca in a gorgeous ice blue colorway. I originally intended to make a Cedar Leaf Shawlette with it, but decided that some other yarn I had in my stash was more suitable for that project (more on that later). So in the stash it sat. Until. I had an enlightened moment. This yarn was destined to be an infinity style scarf/cowl! So warm and soft, it is perfect for neck wear and I had a shawl's worth I would definitely have enough with not too much left over! But it needed to be slightly lacy, because alpaca is very warm. Now all I needed was the pattern. Well, easier said than done. This one's too solid, this one's too lacy, but this one is jusssst right ;).  After scouring Ravelry I found the Seraphina Cowl and the instant I saw it I knew. This was the one.

Just enough solid fabric and lace and, I must say, holey drape! (Get it? hole-y!) I love this scarfcowl (heehee). It got a lot of good use this winter, and I can still wear it with a tee on warmer days.

Pattern: Seraphina Cowl by Abigail Wang
Hook: G, Susan Bates bamboo handle (looove)
Modifications: Went down a hook size, crocheted more rows
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Pure Alpaca, colorway 3031

I'm really happy with this cowl, and it is a part of KnitPicks Independent Designers Program so the pattern only $1.99! Head over there and check it out, it's a pretty sweet program with both crochet and knit patterns available.


As you can see, its really versatile. Doubled up its pretty warm and very fashionable. Tripled it's extremely warm! I found myself tripling it outside and wearing it doubled inside. All in all, great pattern (well written, easily memorized) +  great yarn = great cowl.

I also wanted to take a second to show you my earrings. They are vintage, passed down from my great grandmother.

Pretty, huh? Well that's about all for now. I hope you're all working on some equally satisfying projects while enjoying the first glorious signs of Spring!

Until next time

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Week-Long Break Americans Pretend is During Springtime

Otherwise known as Spring Break. The Yarn Harlot had commented on her blog that in Canada it's called March Break because they don't try to kid themselves by pretending it's Spring. I do love her but, quite frankly, I am all for pretending it's Spring right now.

So, I've just returned from a brief little vacation in NH with Andrew and I must say this: it was wonderful. We both put a little money from a few paychecks aside so we could eat out, do fun things, and maybe even shop a little. Or a lot. You know. We were staying in Manchester and payed visit to Derry and Hooksett. I think my favorite part of the stay was the arcade/candle pin bowling alley. It was a lot of fun and because it was so empty I got to bowl without feeling self conscious (I;m not the best bowler). Also really great was CJ's, which stand for Cactus Jack's, which is right off Exit 2 on Route 93. Great food there, Andrew got what he dubbed the "best prime rib he's ever had", and it is no secret that the man is hard to please. And, of course, there was yarning. We took a fifteen minute trip to Derry, NH to an amazing LYS called The Yarn and Fiber Company. I left with two beautiful skeins of yarn and a very satisfying customer experience.
This is, I believe, the owners brand of yarn called Ivy Brambles. This yarn is the Romatica Merino Lace in the colorway Storm. It looks like a lot of yarn, because it is. That's about 1,000 yards of superwash merino laceweight right there. I have no idea what to make with it because I possibilities are basically endless.
This is SockScene, also by Ivy Brambles, in the colorway Petunias. I asked my mom that if I was to make her a hypothetical shawl, and she could hypothetically choose any color she wanted what would it be? Hypothetically, of course. She said fuchsia, but not too pink, and not too bright. As impossible as that description sounds, I think Petunias hits it on the nose (and, of course, it's much prettier in person). I haven't decided if the hypothetical shawl will be knit or crocheted yet, but if I decide to knit it (hypothetically) I think this yarn would like to be a Traveling Woman shawl.
We also hit up an amazing antiques shop in Hooksett before we hit the highway home. This place, the Log House Antique Center, was beautiful. And huge! We both out like little antique bandits. Andrew acquired himself a 1953 silver certificate (an antique dollar) and I left with two sets of gorgeous vintage buttons and a yard of vintage fabric.

I don't know which of the three finds I'm more in love with. These were only $3 and I'm going to be using them on the Shawl Collard Cowl I finished a little a while ago. These buttons are not only gorgeous, but they are perfect for the cowl, which is also navy.
These are a nice purpley, maroony, burgundy color, and although I have no plans from them they are certainly turning my creative wheels at the moment.
This I almost left without this but Andrew, being the little devil's advocate he is, talked me out of that terrible idea. The yard was $7 and it's simply gorgeous. Again, no concrete ideas but I've got pillows, skirts, shirts, and bags in mind. I'm not a very accomplished sewer, but I have been dying to learn and maybe this will finally light the fire.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I'm Sorry To Say It...

...but I have decided I am going to be taking a blogging hiatus. I'm not sure for how long, and I'm not sure exactly what this means. I am full-swing into my Spring semester with six classes and still working part time. My winter break was delightful (and fruitful, crafting wise) but now I need to focus on The Ethics of Harry Potter (which I really hope I can share something about eventually), Biopsychology, Social Psychology, Orientation to the Psych. Major, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, and Classical Piano 1. ::Deep intake of breath:: Also, there is working at the bookstore, spending time with my significant other, and maintaining sanity to concern myself with. Over this semester I probably won't have much time for knitting, crocheting, or reading and I really don't think I will have time to blog about it. Much. I promise if I do, I will. Instead I am announcing my little break which I think is a nice alternative to simply not blogging for a few months, losing any readership, and then feeling terribly guilty. However, I will be back. I promise.  I will leave you with a few photos of what happened during our last few snow storms. Hopefully all those projects will be on Ravelry soon (where I am known as liveloveyarn) so you can grab the details.

Until next time,

Monday, January 10, 2011

I Meant To Write

Er. Blog? Really, though I did. I had a nice little "lets-look-at-the-year-and-discuss-resolutions" post all planned out for your reading pleasure. But the Time Eaters paid me a visit, and we all know how that ends. Not well. But alas, here I am. I wanted to share a few projects with you briefly and-still-hopefully-discuss-resolutions. First is a beret I wear approximately eight days a week. (For those humming The Beatles right now- I love you.) Really though, I love this hat to death and I will most likely wear it to that point. It is the Raspberry Beret patter by Linda Permann featured in Crochet Today Sept/Oct 2009. I made mine with Patons Classic Wool. I'm sure I made some mods but I made this beret so long ago that I have no idea what they are. "So long ago?", you say. Yes, maybe even a year ago. It went straight from the hook to my end and never really left. I was sitting around the other day and I realized I never even blogged it or put it on Ravelry.

It's adorable from the front and side, but the real surprise and stunner comes when you see the back.....

 Whammy! Isn't is pretty? I love that Linda was able to take something so beautiful and turn it into a fully functional accessory. Also, in this color it matches almost everything I own. I'm not quite sure it's for a beginner, but I am not one to tell someone what they can't do. A beginner with a lot of patience and ambition could probably crank this out. It took me all of a day. Best day I ever spent crocheting ;).

Also, there is this.  An off-the-fly Nook cover I made for my latest and greatest tech toy.


You can see the joins in this pic, so you know it was made in the round. I chained the length of the Nook then double crocheted in all the sts until the last. In the last st I crocheted two in one sp and then I crocheted in the bottom of the chain until the first where I crocheted two in on sp again. Then I joined and continued crocheting in the round until it fit and decreased accordingly for the flap. It was pretty easy and quick. I followed this tutorial by Robyn Chachula of Crochet by Faye for the frog closures. They took a few tries, but in the end I think they look pretty good for a first try. What do you think?

I think the simple double crochet body and contrasting frog closures give my new Nook case a very elegant and classy look . I used Encore Worsted for the body and Swish Worsted (left over from Mom's Cardi) for the closures.