Saturday, April 30, 2005

Wool Hurts

Oh my poor fingers. Oh. Oh. Ow. Oh. Yes, this is the first time I work with wool. I think I need band-aids.

So I found a UFO in some bag in my closet. It's a very early project:. I can tell because the sides are uneven. Because it's stripped I didn't want to frog it. Doing so would give me a few inches of yarn of each colour. Also, I think (THINK) it might have been a scarf but I did it in Caron SS and Red Heart together and holy shiitake, it's HEAVY! So, I decided to turn the mystery project into yet another bag. It came out better than the first, if I do say so myself. I just hope it's not too heavy to carry!

I'll post pics of it tommorrow.

Also, I am currently making little crocheted monsters and aliens. Plus, I picked up the knitting needles again. More on that tomorrow. Right now, I'm heading to bed.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


I'll be making a few things for charities and my first project will be a piggy for Brendan.

After that I'll make a few squares for Heart Made blessings. I'm afraid I'll screw them up somehow or something. But it'll be for a good cause and I'm sure it can't be that hard. no need to make it an impressive square either. A regular granny works fine, right? Right!

I've been very blessed and while my childhood has been...rough I guess, the generousity of other made growing up in the bronx a pretty good experience overall. I'd like to give some of that happiness back now.

Two more things to add to my WIP list. I blame Crochetville. Yes I do <3

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

My Empire For A Needle

Seriously, you heard it here first folks! I will give my entire empire* to the first person to get me a yarn needle or anything else I can weave in ends with.

My agoraphobia has really been on the fritz lately and all the LYS/craft stores are far from me. And I don't want to place an order somewhere just for a yarn needle. Sigh. I need to find somewhere to get one. Any ideas? I miss the plastic one I used to have. Sadly my aunt took it with her when she moved to Florida so now all my current projects have little ends sticking out or worse, *gulp* KNOTS. Oh heavens no!!

So I say again: My empire and my love to the first person who has an idea.

Note: My empire consists of 3 crazy cats, 2 dogs, 2 fish, 3 birds, 1 turtle, a few scraps of yarn, a copy of Edward Scissorhands, some beads, and all the cool crafts seen on this blog. Republicans need not apply (HAH! Kidding, kidding!).

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Meredith Necklace (WIP)

Meredith Necklace

I'll take a better scan (the chain twisted in this one) and give a description when she's done. She looks better when actually on someone. I think she's a beauty.

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Granny Square

My First Granny Square

*Wipes tear from eye* You go out and buy yarn and then it grows up and gets all square on you. I'm so proud. *sniffle* Seriously though, I think it came out quite nice for my first square! It probably would have come out a lot better if I had used instructions but I'm a rebel. I don't conform! Anarchy!! FIGHT THE MAN!

Ooo muffins! *chomps*

Yarn I received today:
From Sandra:
  • 10 skeins of sport weight wool in a dusty green colour (3377 yards)
  • 20 skeins of Cleckheaton 5 ply sport weight wool in a bright green colour (1600 yards)
From Ginger:
  • Chenile yarn in periwinkle/purple (120 yards)
  • Merino yarn in a moss green colour (240 yards)
  • Unknown fiber in a buff colour (60 yards)
  • Wool yarn in oxford grey (240)
  • Rayon crinkle yarn, bright white (240 yards)
All in all I spent 27 dollars (that includes shipping). Man, I love buying yarn...and eBay. Couldn't do it without eBay. I like buying small amounts of yarn for my secret project. Yeah, the SECRET project. The project I'm going to spill now to my wonderful readers:

I'm crocheting curtains! Freestyle curtain! Not an exciting to you but it's exciting to me. See, we're moving to Florida in July and I am looking forward to changing my room around. Right now it's very zen-like: all purples and silvers, lots of stones and plants, a meditation table...
All that stuff is great and will likely stay but this time I want COLOUR! My walls will be blue so I want some nice, unique curtains to go along with it. So yes, freeform curtains are the way to go. Maybe I'll even make a granny square bedspread for when it gets cool. *ponders*

Oh and I must apologize for my stupidity. A few days ago I made a long entry and blogger ate it. When I reposted I forgot to say Thank You to Mantler from Crochetville. She sent me a gift certificate to Adagio Teas which just made my day. I still haven't used it but only because I don't know what to buy! If anyone has any favourites or suggestions let me know.

I just found out I have 6 subscribers to my blog. :D *waves* Ya'll come back now, you hear?

Finger Crochet

How to Finger Crochet/Knit

Now I'm sure everyone knows how to do this. The instructions will probably be more confusing and complicated than the actual task. :-p Still, I'm going to try to explain it as best as I can.

Basically you wrap the yarn around your index and middle fingers in a figure 8. Truly this is finger knitting because you pull the older, lower loops overthe higher newer loops...but I like crochet better so there!
Also, this looks best with thicker yarns or two or three strand worked as one. I'm demonstrating with Caron Simply Soft for clarity.
1) Place the loose end of the yarn on the back of your hand. The end connected to the skein will be in your palm. The yarn should be between your middle and ring finger.


2) Bring the yarn up and between your middle finger and index finger


3) Wrap the yarn around index finger. The yarn will now be between your index and middle finger. You now have one loop around each finger.


4) Bring yarn over middle finger so that it's lying in your palm again.

Repeat above steps (2 and 3) so you now have two loops on each finger. The loose end should still be at the back of your hand while the end connected to the skein should be in your palm again

(view of back of hand)


5) Now here's the fun part! You'll be working looking at the back of your hand now.

Pull the bottom loops (the ones you made first) up and off your finger.

(see the lower loop?)

(pulling the lower loop over the top one)

(and pulling it completetly off the finger. YAY!)


6) Repeat the steps to make another loop on each finger. As always, the loose end should be at the back of your hand and the end connected to the skein should be in your palm between your middle and ring finger.

Repeat the process five times or so. Now take the loose end and bring it down to your palm. Give it a nice pull so the end tightens a bit. Continue finger knitting until you get the length you desire. It should look like this:

Now, that doesn't look like much but when you use a nice thick yarn (or more than one strand of worsted weight) you get a nice looking thick chain. Make a few chains and tie them togerther in random places (or don't tie them at all) to make an ultra cool scarf.

To finish a chain, pull it off your fingers. Knot it at the top and bottom with an over-hand knot (I usually do two to make sure it doesn't come apart in the wash or anything). Trim the ends.

Tigger modeling my Finger Knitted scarf I call "Floozey"

This scarf is made of five chains. Each chain is made up of one strand Lion Brand Terryspun (discontinued :( ) and one strand regular worsted weight yarn (forgot the name but I'm 92% sure it was Red Heart).

Hope you found this tutorial easy and fun. I wrote this up at 2am so I might be unclear. If you have any questions or comments, comment here or email me at JESilfa @

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Anastasia Scarf

Anastasia Scarf

Not much to say about this one. It's hdc with rows of 2 kinds of unknown yarn. Beautiful yarns though...and it's soo soft. *Sighs* This is one of my favourites folks. My mother borrows it to use it as a belt. Argh!

ETA: Drew the Crochet Dude (who's super awesome) asked me what kind of yarn it was so I looked it up. The pink edging is a hand dyed nylon yarn called Mountain Lullabye. It's basically pink with soft touches of lavender. The center yarn is Cascade Rio in #244 (pink).

My First Granny Square

I did it! I made my firstever granny square!! SQUEE!

It wasn't easy at all. Well, it was after I did my first but I'm the dumb ass who refuses to follow directions so I only skimmed the pattern and went off to my room to do it on my own For all I know what I made was a variation and not a standard/traditional one but's a friggin' square! SWEET! My friends tell me I'm working backwards. I don't think so. It's perfectly acceptable to make hats, scarves, bags, jewelry and throws before learning to make granny squares. Silly friends...

My mother wants to frame the granny square hehe. I actually ran into her room last night and woke her up just to show it to her. She told me she was proud. BTW, my mum doesn't crochet at all...she's more of a hammer and nails crafter and leaves the fibers arts to "you girls." :p

In other news I am so excited about the secret pal swaps on Crochetville. I'm already making a list of things to send my pal. It'll prolly change once I get their name and interests but I like making lists. It keeps me nice and organized.

I'll post a picture of my first granny square sometime today or tomorrow. Oh and Brandon, if you're reading this, an email should make it's way through cyberspace to you sometime today. :)

Friday, April 22, 2005

To Follow Patterns Or Not...

I have a confession to make: In my three years of crocheting I've only followed patterns about 3 times. I hate patterns! Well no, hate is a strong word. I think I just tend to rebel against them. I like crocheting one of a kind things. I like just making stuff up as I go along. But lately...well lately I've been aching to find a good easy pattern and just follow it. I think the true test of whether I'm a good crocheter or not will be if I can follow a pattern.

I understand patterns just fine, I can do most crochet stitches (even if I don't know any of their names haha), they just never appealed to me before. Well dammit, I'm going to try. So this is where my fellow crocheters come in:

Recommend a good pattern to me. I would prefer it be something relatively medium or small (in other words, not a king size afghan) and something I can make with regular acrylic yarn like Red Heart or Caron. If you do, you'll get to see my oh-so-funny progress. Expect to see posts on my blog like "What the hell does that mean??" "5th row? I only have three rows! Ahh crap!" "What the hell is a single crochet stitch?? Oh...oh. I knew that."

This is going to be oodles of fun.

Finish or Frog It!

Ladies and Gents I am taking the UFO pledge.

No more
UnFinished Objects lurking in my WIP box!
No more
"What the hell was this going to be?"
No more
Crackers in bed!

Um...okay that last one has nothing to do with UFO's but it's still a good thing to stop. *ahem*

Fellow crafters, crocheters, knitters and crackers-in-bed people, say it with me now: No more, no more!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Oh...Oh Man...Oh No

I feel SOOOOO sick. No crafting from me for a while. I did stock up on supplies though. I got 22 skeins of yarn for 7 dollars on ebay ($18 with all the shipping) and Another 5 skeins for 8.99 with shipping. I ordered $70 of beading supplies and gemstones. Plus, my mother and I went grocery shopping so I have a good 80 plastic bags to crochet with. I'm storing them in a huge plastic container until I think I have enough to make another tote bag. And with that, I am done. Good night folks. Happy crafting!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Mmm Mmm Pie!

"Mmm Mmm Pie" Messenger Bag words. No words to describe it. They should have sent a poet. So beautiful. I had no idea...
Oh sorry, I was watching contact. *Ahem* Anyway this is my happy accident bag (you can read more about it here ). I think it came out beautifully and I am so proud of it. *pets bag* You done good, gal. You done good.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Rose and Lilith
Gemstone and Swarovski Bracelets

These are two bracelets I made for sale. Rose comes with matching earrings. They will be put up on my online store, Saw Ocean, Felt Small when the site gets finished up.I'll link it here when it's done.

What? What was that? *cough* Did I finish my messenger bag? Or my cigar purse? Um...I don't know what projects you're talking about. *covers up WIP list* Okay I give up. No, I didn't finish those. But I just had to make these bracelets. The "Mmm Mmm Pie" bag is almost done anyway. I already started making the sides/straps. And now I'm off to make some hats! I mean work on the bags...yeah.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Take A Swallow As I Sip

"Mmm Mmm Pie" Messenger Bag

Yes, I realize this is an awful scan of the bag. It's not done anyway. I'll take a pic of it with the digital camera in the sunlight tomorrow. Yes, I WILL finish it by tomorrow. No more slacking off for me, dagnammit. The bag is a pretty good size and I like the way the flap is slightly wider than the rest of the bag. That's good for all my button and patches.
Oh...oh god. Oh I think I need some unchicken soup. *pats sad tummy* Being sick sucks.

New WIP added: My piggy tail hat. I forgot I was making it. Doh! More on that tomorrow.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

I Finally Did It!

I did it! I finally did it! After years of not understanding, after years of trying to I can't believe it. Ladies and gentlemen, I have done what I said I could never do....

I tried to crochet a square, and got a triangle.

SCHWEET! Wait...hey don't walk away! Let me explain. See when many people learn to crochet, they make the mistake of making a stitch in the very very last loop that's on the side. Doing so adds an extra stitch each row which results in an increase...or something. Okay I can't really explain the mistake but crochters will know what I mean. Now, I was quite the perfectionist when I learned to knit and crochet (and I had 3 women around to teach me) so the increase problem never plagued me. In fact, I didn't understand how anyone could make that mistake. Now I do. *hugs fellow crocheters/knitters* Now that I have experienced your pain, the healing process can begin.

Actually, I didn't frog the work. Instead of making a hat, I am now making a messenger bag. I've stopped increasing so the triangular portion will simply be the flap. Why yes, I know I rock the casbah. Thank you for noticing.

Pictures of my beautiful accidental triangle will come tomorrow.

Also, I practiced a new stitch. The No no it's not called "the crap." I don't know the name of it. Basically you yarn over six times, push hoop through stitch, yarn over, pull hook through stitch, yarn over again and pull that last y/o through the other 8 loops on your hook. The effect is a very puffy, cute stitch. I've experimented with y/o up to 9 times. It's a bit hard at first but you get used to having to twist your hook a little quickly.

In other crafty news, someone please give me a boost to finish my "Magnifico Espana (Magnificent Spain)" cigar box purse. My mother has it on display on our bookcase and it gets a lot of compliments but honestly, it's not done. I really gotta finish her.

I'm going to finish my messenger bag now. :D

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

How to Wind a Ball of Yarn

The cheapo Jess way. See, most yarns come in hanks, which is basically yarn looped and then tied in a figure 8 formation. Hanks are great because they minimize space (which means you can more yarn), let you see the colour and texture of yarn better and they are the easiest way to go from just spun/dyed wool to a managable object. You can't knit/crochet from yarn however so many people invest in yarn winnder. I, on the other hand, put my money in toilet paper!

You'll need:

Empty toilet paper cardboard roll
Two medium height, heavy objects
Hank of yarn

Take the cardboard tube and rip a notch diagonally at the top (illustrated in the red circle).

Take your hank and unwind it from it's figure 8 shape. Place the hank around the two heavy objects:. I usually put it over the back of a chair or over two mugs. This is to ensure that the hank doesn't become a tangled mess as you wind the yarn. Find the loose end of the yarn and pull it away from the rest of the hank.

Tuck the loose end into the notch in the cardboard tube. Make sure it's secure and make a loose wrap around the cardboard tube.

Wrap around the tube 50 times. Make sure you don't wrap too tight! Not only does it make getting the yarn off the tube more difficult but it'll also stretch out your yarn which messes with the stretchy feel of a knit object.

Begin to wrap the yarn slightly diagonally on the tube.

Alternate wrapping straight around and diagonally. Also at this point I like to "compress" the yarn. To do this, push the top edge of the yarn down with your index fingers while simultaneously pushing the bottom edge of the yarn up with your thumbs. This is what really holds my skeins together. Continue wrapping the yarn until the hank runs out. Tuck in the end wherever you see fit (tuck it though, or else you might confuse it with the center pull end!). Release your center pull from the notch and pull your new ball off the tube. Voila! A ball of yarn!

If you find your yarn is too flimsy, keep practicing. My cardboard tube method has never failed me and after practice I've been told that my skeins "look just as beautiful as the ones in stores."

Stash Tip: Once I start working with a yarn, I place it in a sandwich or ziplock bag. What I do is cut a tiny hole in the corner of the bag, feed the center pull through, tie bag and throw into my stash box. This way my WIP yarns don't get tangled with each other. You can work with the yarn still in the bag: just pull on the yarn and it'll come out through the hole. This is great when you're doing a multi-skein project.

Sorry the images aren't great. MS Paint is only my friend on Thursdays; any other time of the week she's a hating whore.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Teeny Tiny Purse

Teeny Tiny Purse

Done in a eBay rescued acrylic yarn, dc lengthwise then folded in half with room left for flap. Silk button closure. Pictured 30 percent smaller on my screen. It's small enough to fit into a pocket and holds my tiny hand crafted tarot cards.

A bigger version in purple in being made to hold my regular tarot cards and one in black for my brother's trading cards.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Money Hungry Liar

"Money Hungry Liar" ID Case

Made from duct tape, cardboard and images printed on regular computer paper. Case is laminated for extra protection (not that much would get through the duct-tape anyway). Shown holding 25 business cards and can hold more.

Notes to self: Adapt a version with clasp and another with velcro closure. Play around with use of 3D embellishments.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

DIY Thank You Cards

These recycled paper greeting cards were too plain jane for me so I jazzed them up using embossed stickers, coloured pencils and markers. There are four sets:

Butterflies n' Bees
Ephemera (scraps of foreign ads/newspapers)

The "No Cut" Two Colour Bag

Done in two and a half hours. This was supposed to be something else but I increased too much and decided to let the piece decide what it wanted to be.

Crocheted in a spiral round with a K hook. Base is two colours (white acrylic and orange/white acrylic blend). I dropped the orange after 10 rounds and continured with the white. The bag was done in one piece (hence the "no cut" title). To make the straps : ch 32 from last row, sl st on opposite side. DC in chain and join with sl st on the side you began from.

The drawstring is just both yarns held together and chained with a I hook to make it thick and sturdy.

Voila! I'm not 100% pleased but it's a technique and idea to work on.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Testing, Testing

This blog is open for posting. Sweet.