Thursday, January 27, 2011

Getting Organized

So, I'm starting quite a little collection of yarn. I'm sure most of you that have more than 4 months worth of yarn piling up will laugh at my naivety, but it seems like a lot to me. I made a scarf for a Christmas present, and halfway through, I ran out of yarn. I hadn't saved the wrapper from the yarn skein, of course, and so I had a little bit of a nervous breakdown. I had to take a little piece of yarn to the store and hold it up to all of the possible candidates. It was annoying, and nerve-racking. So, wanting to avoid that in the future, I started a little wrapper collection. I took the wrappers off of all my yarn, cut a six-inch piece of yarn and stapled it to the corresponding wrapper. Then I stuck them all in a baggie and, ta-da! Organized yarn wrappers in case I need a new skein of exactly the same kind of yarn - like, if I'm making something more than 1 foot square. Duh.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Library = Free Patterns!

I have begun to spend waaaayyyy too much time looking for free patterns online. So the other day when I was at the library, I looked at the collection of crochet books available. I didn't want a "Learn to Crochet" book with scarves and afghans and such, but something with REAL patterns. I found a few that I was interested in and I wanted to quickly review my findings! And go:

I wanted to find some good patterns that my husband might possibly, maybe, kind of tolerate. This book looked like the ticket! Well, he laughed and laughed at every single (EVERY SINGLE) pattern in the book. I have to admit, most of the models really do look like they are wearing their wife's sweater. I actually might make a couple of these for myself, they look so pretty.

Almost the exclusive reason I wanted to learn to knit was to make socks. I LOVE SOCKS! Love. While these are not knit patterns, there are a couple that pretend to be kind of like knit socks with small, tight stitches and skinny yarn. I'm interested in those patterns, not really the big and chunky socks. Also, there are a couple quite disturbing pictures of feet that I don't like (think "toe socks" and you can imagine what I'm talking about). Creepy!

I'm not impressed with the patterns in this book. I am not quite plus size, but I thought I could find a cute sweater pattern that was longer and I could alter it a bit. Well, most of the patterns are a little too froofy for me. If you like lace and embellishments, this book has some great ideas.

This book is great! It has a pretty good variety of patterns - sweaters, jewelry, baby, home, etc. But the best part is that it gives you an estimate of how long each project will take, and it appears that there are none that take more than a total of 30 hours to complete. Nice! I get bored very easily with one long project, so I will most definitely use some of these patterns.

Friday, January 21, 2011


My sister-in-law Maegen (LOVE her!) is a pretty great knitter. She actually inspired me to really start doing yarnish things. Well, she had a little hat with a hole in it that she was trying to fix, and she decided she would probably just have to cover the hole up with something. I suggested a crochet flower, and she, of course, loved my genius idea! So I proceeded to show her (which I was very excited about, since she is amazing, and I am totally not) an easy flower pattern that I had found. Later, she told me she couldn't use that pattern because it was basically junk. When I had done some flowers with it, I used a chunky yarn, but when she had tried with smaller yarn, the flower turned out holey and dumb-looking. Determined to fix this horrible suggestion, I went hunting for a better flower pattern. I found this tutorial and whipped up a handful of these cute little flowers in about half an hour. I sewed one on a hair clip, and my 4-year-old daughter loves them! Adorable!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Life's a ball!

Today I discovered the marvelousness of yarn balls. I know, totally dumb and elementary stuff, but I really hadn't thought about it. I started out using Lion Brand yarn, which is skeined (skeined?) in such a way that you can't pull out the end from the middle of the skein (at least not easily - I have yet to figure out a way, so I say it doesn't exist). So while working on a project, your skein rolls around all over, tension is randomly messed up, etc., etc. Since it was the first type of yarn that I used, I didn't realize that it was so annoying until I got some Caron yarn, with a very easy to pull, middle-of-the-skein end of yarn. Love it. Going back to Lion Brand is frustrating to say the least. So...yarn ball. I rolled a bunch of my Lion Brand and they look so nice and pretty (and now easy to crochet with)! My fat brown speckly yarn is so luscious, right?

...I said banana?

I started crocheting/attempting to knit a few months ago and have become totally immersed in it. Totally. Completely. I have made several gifts and other fun stuff since I really started in about October 2010, and I love it! I've been looking at a bunch of others' yarnish blogs, and I wanted to join the club. I am going to try to show all of my projects from beginning to end as well as some helpful tips for beginners (which is actually me, so mostly it will be things I just found out about!). I hope it is fun and educational for everyone. Here goes nothing!