A Spring Pattern for this Weird Weather!

What is up with the weather?!?  I don’t know if it is strange where you live, but let me tell you I live in New Jersey and I am sitting in my room with the windows open, the fan spinning overhead and I’m wearing a tank top!  It would be a perfect mock spring day if the sun was shining, but it’s raining so bad out….and foggy….like a scary Stephen King novel.  I’m torn between wanting to go out and wanting to curl up with said author’s latest and greatest drinking hot coffee and scaring myself.

Figured while I am deciding my next move I would tell you about this beautiful Slate Crochet Vest pattern I found at  Busting Stitches.  This pattern is so easy to follow and she has even given the patterns for all the sizes from S-4XL!!!!!

For this project I am working with Woolike Yarn by Loops and Threads.  I have one skein right now in White.  If you aren’t familiar, it’s a super fine yarn that recommends working with a 3.5 mm hook.  I chose this yarn when I was on my trip to Florida.  I loved how soft it felt and I knew I could search my pins and find something beautiful to make with it.

Spring Vest 1.jpg

When it was -15 outside two weeks ago I was thinking about making an infinity scarf with this yarn and I still think that would be a beautiful project for winter, but working on this light-weight vest has me thinking about walking outside in the park.

Because this yarn is super fine weight, it takes more stitches and a bit more precision to work the pattern.  I love that the vest is made working with a 5.00 mm hook so there is some space between the stitches.

I don’t know how long it will take to finish.  I would like to say under a week, but I may set this one aside here and there and come back to it…..I can say that with some confidence now that I have put some organization to the patterns I’m working.  I have a great printout for my work in progress, so no more guessing what hook I was using or the type of yarn (if I threw out the label).  You can find that free printable here.

I’ll certainly post my progress with this project, but you don’t have to wait for me…get started on one of your own!  If you have cabin fever like my friends in Western Pennsylvania, this is a decently long enough project it could carry you through a week or two of work…..that’s a good brain break.

I know this warm spell in Jersey won’t last, so I’m going to head outside and hope the rain shower in progress will dull it down to at least a sprinkle.  Maybe our little town will be blessed to end today with a clear sky and a beautiful sunset.

I hope you enjoy the free pattern.  If you are feeling inspired today, I would love to hear about what you are working on.

Happy Hooking!

 

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A Pretty Pinky Ring

A few weeks ago I started pinning some free patterns and links to crochet jewelry with the intention of finding something to do with my bead stash.  I did find some wonderful ideas, but as is typical with me…..I got distracted.  You can check out some of my crochet jewelry pins here.  I have 35 pins on the board, so that is 35 new pieces of jewelry to explore!!

Now, I said I got distracted and I will tell you why…there is a bit of a crossover between crocheting with fiber and crocheting with thin wire…who knew?!?  Clearly, I did not and I was delightfully surprised to see such pretty work with wire!  I started pinning more ideas but since they didn’t 100% relate to the crochet jewelry board, I began a new one just called Jewelry Making.  I might have gone a bit crazy with the pins because I have over 50 on this board…..it is just beautiful stuff and I am so inspired!!

When I went to the craft store a few weeks back I grabbed some copper jewelry wire in a light copper color (16 ga) and also in silver (20 ga).  I didn’t have any real plan in mind, but I knew most of my board pins involved wire………and that my friends is how my creative process works.  Buy the pretty now and figure out what to do with it later.  It’s okay, it’s fun to just create….whether it’s a fail on my part or something great.

I didn’t mean to make a rhyme…..but now it’s stuck in my head like something from a Dr. Seuss book.

Did I mention I get distracted?

Anyway….

I’m so excited to get started that I jump right to one of the beautiful pins I have ready to go……

and I quickly realize that I have no idea what I’m doing.  I don’t even have all the right tools I will need to make this lovely piece.

Back to the boards we go.

Then I find something that is both appealing to me and seems like an easy beginner project to try.  I think you will love it too.

It’s a beautiful and simple infinity ring.  This video gives step by step directions and includes a list of supplies you will need to create one.

I did have some of the tools and wire, but I did not have all the tools nor the right wire gauge.  I made the prettiest ring I could make with what I had and I’m pretty impressed.

Infinity Ring

Since the gauge I worked with was thicker than required to make the ring I ended up with a pinky ring that is just a bit ridged.

Ok, it’s a lot ridged, but it’s a beautiful piece and it fits.  I can’t ask for much more than that for a first try on both making an infinity symbol and sizing a ring.

I still have the copper wire to work with, but before I get farther into making jewelry, I think I need to grab some tools at the craft store.

I already have a plan.  Of course I will tell you what I have in mind….

I’m going to take a thicker gauge distressed copper wire and recreate this ring in a bracelet size.  I need a nylon hammer to make it correctly, so I’m off to the craft store again!  🙂

By the way, if you love my bracelets shown in the picture,  click here and I will tell you how to make one (or several)  for yourself.

 

Stay-cation

It has been days since I last posted.  My only excuse is that I took a little impromptu stay-cation thanks to the subzero temperatures and a blizzard that landed in South Jersey last week.

The benefit to a stay-cation and a lack of writing is that I began AND finished another beautiful rug and I have photos and links to this wonderful pattern as well!  So, you get two patterns for the wait 🙂

Last week I left off with a blizzard bearing down on us and three new cones of cotton yarn to create something with.

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In this photo you can see not only the cones I am using, but the lovely swirl stitched rug I already completed.

Let’s start with the small aqua colored rug I worked last week….

Granny Stitch Mandala Rug.jpg

This picture shows the size of the rug really well, but not the color.  I didn’t notice the color saturation until after I got started with this post.  The color that is just a peek in the first picture is the true aqua color of the rug.  It’s my favorite color right now.  I just love how cheerful this color makes any room.

So, last summer I bought some of the Bernat’s Home Decor yarn and made a lovely tote bag out of it.  As I normally do, I bought about 2 skeins too many for the project so I would have more to create something else with.

In case you haven’t worked with this yarn before, let me tell you what you are missing out on.  This yarn is made from jersey cotton which makes it soft and stretchy and the tubular shape makes it simple to work with.  Because the yarn is bulky, you can count on your project to work up quickly (the rug took me under two days to complete) and the material guarantees that it will handle well in the washer and to normal wear and tear.

As with all my patterns, I found this one for free!  It’s an easy pattern that is not only understandable, but comes with wonderful picture tutorials and help along the way if you should need it.  You can find the pattern here.

I followed the pattern exactly.  My rug is 25 1/2″ in circumference.  It lays flat and it is such a cute accent rug next to my side of the bed.  I plan to look for some more Bernat colors to work more of these rugs up and possible sell them at craft shows….or maybe I’ll just make a couple more for myself 🙂

On Thursday, as the blizzard closed in on us, it was time to find a rug pattern to use with the cone’s of Peaches & Creme cotton yarn I bought.  I went with “Panorama” because the base of the color is neutral and it has little splashes of pastel colors in it.

For the rug I decided on, the pattern called for 6 strands of yarn to be worked at one time.  The creator of the pattern used 28 balls of Peaches & Creme yarn to make her rug!  I could have broken up the cones and created 6 strings to work with, but I didn’t really want to hassle with it.  I figured worst case scenario I would just pull the stitches and start over with another pattern.

Luckily, I didn’t have to do that.  This pattern was super easy to work up.  It did take me 3 days to finish, but I set it down a few times to watch Netflix with the family and to do some baking; so I guess I will say that it works up in a “few” days.

Even if it takes you a week to do, it’s so worth it!  It’s so pretty and feminine!!!

Daisy Rug

Now, it’s not unusual for me to take a pattern and change it up a little to either fit with the yarn I have on hand.  For this rug, I wanted it to be as large as I could make it while still working within the constraints of only having three strands of yarn.  So, first things first, the pattern….

You can find the pattern here.  Yarnspirations is such a great resource to find patterns and a community of other crafters.  If you haven’t checked out this site, I highly recommend you do.  I get so many great ideas just browsing around!

Alright, now you have the link and you can see the beautiful pink rug that inspired me to make this one!  So, this pattern calls for a P Hook with 6 strands of yarn worked at the same time.  I only have three cones, but I wanted my rug big, so I started with the P Hook, too.

Nope, that was too loose of a stitch pattern for a rug.  Remember, they are suppose to be tight stitches on a rug……so I brought my hook down to an M Hook and it worked up nice and tight, but without the stitches being a struggle to work with.

I worked the pattern exactly as it’s written.  When I finished the last row around the rug, I fastened off and weaved in the ends.  I tossed it on the floor and…..I liked it.  I wasn’t in love with it.  It needed something more.

It needed a thick border on it to keep it laying flat (I work with loose stitches generally).  It just seemed unfinished.  So I grabbed my phone and surfed Pinterest for crochet edging and borders that could work.

I decided to do a shell stitch since it ‘s heavy and it leaves a ruffled edge that works well with the flower pattern.

To do the shell stitch, don’t fasten off after you make the last sl st of the pattern given, work the slip stitch and then chain one.  *SC into the same stitch, skip the next stitch, DC 5 times in the next sc, skip the next sc, SC in the next stitch.*  Repeat the pattern all the way around the rug and fasten off.

It’s really cute and easy to make.  The rug I completed measured 54″ in circumference which is just 4″ shy of the finished rug in the pattern, so not too bad at all for a first try.

I placed the rug in Gracie’s room because kids are a great tester for the durability of all things homemade!

I hope you decide to make one of these rugs.  They just add such a nice pop of color to the room!

Happy Hooking!

There’s a Blizzard Comin!

Today and tonight I’ve been busy getting us ready to hunker down for a big storm blowin in tonight.

I’ll be posting tomorrow about an amazingly simple and gorgeous rug I made for my bedroom over the last few days.

For now I’m going to enjoy the quiet before the storm and start working on a rug for my kitchen!! Check back tomorrow and I’ll share my progress…

Until then, stay warm and Happy Hooking!!

It Starts with a Binder

I don’t know about you, but the first of every year has me scurrying around the house organizing everything that I deem looks chaotic.  Hubby never sees the chaos like I do, but he helps me when I ask and only complains when it involves hanging things on the wall…that is for another post.

Do you remember last week I mentioned that I had pushed aside the household stuff to get my patterns and postings in order before I do something awful…like repeat a posting!?!  If you know me then you already know that this a real possibility even after I have put every pattern in it’s place (which I haven’t by the way); but it’s January and that means I can’t put the household off any longer.

I should also mention that I can’t be creative about anything else as long as there is that pull to “get it together!”

That is why the majority of yesterday and today have been spent with my face planted in my phone while I researched everything Pinterest could offer me in the way of family organization, bullet journals, binders specializing in various subjects and project goals.

I may have gone a little crazy with printing forms and planners and dividers and covers…..I had to restock the printer…..twice.  What do I have to show for all that printer time?

Well.

I have more tools than I could ever want to use for my blog, but the family organizational binder I am working on is still a work in progress.  I would like to take some time to work with the things that are hot off the printer today and separate the useful from the not so useful forms.

When I have the binder completed and have an index that explains how everything works and where it’s located I will post again and share all the great links to free stuff I was able to use.

If you are feeling the need to get it together since it’s January again and you can’t wait for me to get myself together, then head over to my Pinterest boards and you can see some of the printables and ideas I am already working with there.  All the printables on the boards should be free, but if they aren’t just use keywords from the post in the search bar and you will find a ton of options.  Happy Hunting!

Did you create a binder or start a bullet journal recently?  I would love to hear about your work and how organizing this aspect of your life has been helpful.  Drop me a note and share some useful tips with me.  Lord knows I could use ’em.

 

 

Out With The Old

Before the day completely gets away from me, I wanted to stop by and wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year!!!  I hope you have plans to be with family and friends over the next couple of days.  One of my favorite things about New Years Day is my husband making wings for us to munch on while we watch all the football games.  It takes him hours to get a big tray of them done, but boy are they worth it!!

On that note, I will be heading out soon for the grocery store (and the liquor store) to prepare for tomorrow.  I wish it wasn’t so darn cold outside.  The sun is shining, but it’s deceiving….the temperatures might be out of the teens by now, but I doubt it.  I’ll resort to extra layers today and consider myself blessed that I can keep my hair a mess and throw it in a messy bun hat.

Since I am printing a master copy of my pantry list, grocery store list, and weekly meal planner today, I decided I will share those links with you so you can print them out.  It’s so helpful to grocery shop with a plan….especially when there are young children helping you shop.

Anyway, here is to keeping it all together in the New Year!  See you in 2018 🙂

Grocery Shopping List- All Out Of….from Life In Yellow

Pantry Essentials List-  Pantry Essentials by Moms Bistro

Meal Planning Weekly Sheet-  What’s For Dinner by Baked Bree

BONUS:

Recipe Card (full sheet):  Red Recipe Card by Printables by Design

Bracelets You Can Make In Under An Hour

Yesterday afternoon Hubs and I loaded Gracie in the car and traveled north to fight with other mall shoppers and exchanged a few gifts.  There wasn’t as big of a crowd as we had anticipated, so we finished up shopping quickly and headed out for a nice bite to eat at our favorite Pho restaurant.   On the way home the NJDOT had updated the highway boards to warn of the winter storm that would be passing through the area in the next 24 hours.

I didn’t panic over bread or milk, I panicked over the thought of not having a project to do or the ability to get to a craft store to get a project going again!  So, with as little stress in my voice as possible, I asked Hubs if he would make a stop before home at our local Wal-Mart and I would head into the craft section and brainstorm something to work on during a snowy day.

My mind kept going back to a pattern I rediscovered while organizing my bookmarks this past week.  It’s for a lovely white triangle shawl that is made with cotton thread instead of yarn.  I knew I could find the size #10 thread I would need, even if I could only choose between three colors….so, white it is.  I will, of course, keep you posted on the progress once I really dig into it.

After I grabbed two spools of thread to start the project I couldn’t help but check out the jewelry section and grab some copper wire to play around with when I got tired of working on this shawl…..maybe I could twist some semi-precious rocks for my necklaces, or a ring….I’ll have to figure out where my skill set lies before I get too excited.

In the meantime, I still have some beading and elastic cording saved from before Christmas and that’s the craft I wanted to share today.  The supplies for this craft are simple and you can decide how budget friendly you want it to be with your choice of beading.  I think for these bracelets, I probably spent around $15 for everything.

Beads for Bracelet.jpg

So, here’s what you will need:

.08mm elastic cording (or equivalent to slide your beads on)

Beads or charms of your choice (enough to make at least one 7″ to 9″ bracelet) For this project I used lava beads, quartz beads and red jasper (I think).  I grabbed a box of mixed wood beads, too!

Scissors

A little dab of super glue (or crafters glue)

* For a woman’s bracelet- measure the wrist if you are able…if not, measure it approximately 10″ (8″ for the beading and 2″ for securing).  The average man’s bracelet should measure at 10″-11″ finished.

Here is where you can learn to do a surgeon’s knot.  This is how you will secure the bracelet.

Ready????  Then you will need to decide how you want your bracelet to look and begin stringing the beads onto the elastic cording….I suggest leaving it on the roll while doing this so the beads don’t slide off the other side.

When your bracelet is the size you need, then cut the elastic from the roll leaving a few inches to work with for tying.

Tie your two ends together using a surgeon’s knot.  Now, do a second surgeon’s knot and tug the ends tight again. Trim the ends down.  Dab the two knots with some super glue and let it dry.  Slide a bead over the knot and cover it and viola!!!  All done!  It’s gonna look great and last for a long time.

Check out the bracelets I made from these beads and a few I had left over from previous craft projects….they are really divine!

Finished Wood Bracelets.jpg

It seriously took me about an hour and a half to complete all of these.  I wear most of them everyday….they make me happy.  I can add essential oils to the lava beads on the bracelets for mood elevation, so that’s good for my anxiety.

These are so easy and so gratifying to make.  I encourage you to head to the craft store and pick out some of your favorite beads….you could have a beautiful statement piece for your jewelry collection before the day is out.

If you do make one (or several like I do), I would love to see your finished projects.  Any questions?  Need some help with it, leave me a comment.  I would love to hear from you.

As always,

Happy Hooking!