Monthly Archives: June 2011

H is for Home Ownership

Sorry folks – as of today I should be in the new house and without internet. (I’m pre-writing this to make sure I have something post for my ABCs post…. I just wish I could make it a little more intriguing and fun).

So, while I didn’t come up with a crochet related post, how fortuitous that this week’s letter is H and we just bought a Home and that HOME is why I don’t have internet yet.

I should have internet tomorrow.

*crosses fingers*

We closed the purchase last Friday, the 24th. Since that date, we need to finish packing, move, paint, clean, etc.

So, while I am sorry for a lame post, I do hope you all understand. I should be back on track in the next couple days.

With that said – if you are interested in reading more ABC posts, head on over the Accidental Knitter’s blog and go through the links.

Have a great day!


FO Friday (cop out)

OK – I’m sitting here at 10:13 at night knowing I should post something for my finished objects….

Well, today, I’m calling buying a house a finished object. Yup. Indeed I am.

We have spent the last 45 days filling out papers, sending in forms, printing, signing, copying, scanning, emailing, calling, texting, running, worrying, praying, and cursing the entire process that comes along with buying a house. Today, we finally sat back (for a brief moment before the paint-a-palooza started) and signed the last paper and had the keys dropped into our hands.


Finally Finished.

It was, in a way, like a dreadful, intricate thread project for me. I am not a fan of working with thread but there are SOOOOO many projects that I love. So what I do is – tackle those one at a time, leaving enough time between projects to forget just how much I detest working with thread.

Don’t ask – it somehow works for me.

So I get the thread and I have an excitement brewing inside of me. Then I start hooking away at the thread and realize that it may be a little more tedious than I figured on. And by the time I’m a few hours into it, I’m cursing it. Then angry that I love the pattern so much that I must keep working on it until its done but hate it.

And in the end, when I tie off the last knot and weave in the last tail, there is that moment of satisfaction that I finished it. I finally finished it.

And much like buying a house, after sitting there those few moments realizing we now need to go paint – I remember that thread requires blocking.

Thanks for reading my ramble.

Sorry I’m pictureless today. I didn’t think about it and it’s late. Do forgive me. :)

If you want to read some real FO Friday posts, head on over to Tami’s Amis blog and read through all the links. If you have one yourself, be sure to post to her Mr. Linky.

Have a great day!


WIP Wednesday

This is going to be a pretty quick post here because I have added one more WIP, which stops the rest of them from getting worked on… intriguing, isn’t it!

So let’s get going with the two projects you have stared at for the last 2 weeks.


after clue #4

The mystery CAL is going along nicely. I have added a long piece which almost makes me think this is going to be a bag of some kind. I am still on the fence about it because who knows what it could turn into. Last Friday’s clue had me add on to the main piece and create the long thin piece.

I have no idea what we will do with the little floral looking pieces though – that is the part that has me scratching my head if this is, indeed, a bag of some nature.

I would like to point out that the ball of yarn was one of the big skeins of Red Heart Soft. It is down to more than half its size so I hope the project ends soon. That’s the only skein I had *laughs*

OK – this bag is getting expanded. I looked at the pattern and where it had me stopping my rows seemed too short to be a good, effective bag SO I made the executive decision to repeat several more rows so it is taking me much longer. I’m going to go until I run out of yarn or I’m satisfied – whichever comes first.

I suppose overall I’m “ok” with this bag. It isn’t working up exactly how I saw it in my  mind’s eye, but it surprisingly looks a lot like the picture…. which doesn’t seem to make much sense, eh?

Ok – the biggest WIP I have going this week and part of next is the move. Yup – we are supposed to close on Friday which puts us in the house Friday afternoon painting and changing locks. So that means right now we are boxing things up and throwing a lot of stuff out. And by a lot – I mean… A LOT.

This morning the dumpster was delivered. The guy informed me the size the man ordered was out. Someone accidentally booked more than they had so we got a free upgrade. It is INSANE how big this dumpster is. It’s like commercial size. I believe 20 yards is what he said. The man reserved a 10 yard dumpster and since they were out, they upsized it.

I was a little worried it wouldn’t fit! We live on a very busy road with a narrow drive in front (we don’t use) and then access from the back alley… but the fence and neighbors garage limit the ability to back in with a large truck. So… it went into the front drive. The guy had the busy road all blocked off and was just like “vroom vroom drop bang raise BYE” in a matter of minutes.

He was good.

So with that said – just another head’s up that my internet will be iffy after Friday so I am not sure about getting an FO Friday post up (unless I pre-write it with the one tiny item I finished) and I’m unsure about my ABCs post on Monday. Obviously, that one is easily enough pre-prepared… if I can think of something for H now *laughs*

If you are interested in what other people are doing or would like to share your WIP, click on over to Tami’s Amis blog and go through the Mr. Linky.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have an absolutely fantastic day.


G is for Grandma

A lot of people have inspired me tremendously to create and be creative. I have talked about my mom in relation to my crafting so I think it’s a gimme how much she inspired me and was one of my primary teachers. BUT considering today’s letter is G, mom doesn’t fit. So I’m turning my attention to another woman in my life and family that was inspirational to my fiber arts.

My grandmother is really the only grandmother I had. My paternal grandmother, whom I share my middle name with, passed away before I was born. From stories, I have a feeling she would have been just as inspirational to me in crafting, the arts, and in the kitchen, as my mother. My maternal grandmother was alive and I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time getting to know her and be inspired by her.

Now, before I go any further I want to say that it is posts like this that make me wish my family was more “photo friendly.” No – not saying we are an ugly lot, I’m just saying we don’t take near enough pictures. I searched and searched for photos of my grandma and I just don’t have any. I found a couple of her back… but those don’t do her much justice. So, I found a wallet sized photo and did my best with taking a picture of the picture. I apologize for the quality of the photo – but I think this post alone may have inspired me to take a little more care in taking photos and getting them into albums (and in an external drive… guess I need to buy a scanner!)

So there isn’t a whole lot of demographic stuff I can tell you about her – I don’t know the exact date of her birthday but I am pretty sure its in September. In my defense – I really don’t know anyone’s birthday outside of my immediate family and children. She was born in 1928 (I think) and was not an overly educated woman. I don’t think she finished high school. She worked in a factory for a time and lived in Indianapolis. She moved to my hometown when I was about 5 years old.

We would visit her almost every day – usually it was my dad and I visiting because my mother worked in a factory. My dad was handicapped so he did odd jobs, leaving him to be my stay at home parent. He enjoyed going to “mee-maws” and sharing a cup of coffee and casual chat. My brother and I would play outside or in the school yard in the next block on nice days. When it was rainy or cold out… heck, who am I kidding – we still played outside or over in the school yarn in he next block.

I really took her for granted as far as being there. This had a lot to do with the fact that my family was always “there.” I never had to question if Grandma or Grandpa were there or if my parents were around or my brother was there to taunt me.

My grandma always took her coffee in the same cup and always sat in the same spot. Her spot was pretty much like mine is now – it was her craft nest. This is what I want to talk about today – my grandmother as an inspiration to crafting and the arts.

My grandmother always had something in her hands. She was an avid crocheter although I admit, I don’t think I ever remember seeing her knit. I remember when plastic canvas came out – she was all over that like white on rice. She had plastic canvas everywhere! She always sewed – Her sewing machine was in the same spot from the day she moved to her house in my hometown to the day she died – it was set up in the “guest room” that was converted to an all out craft and beanie baby room. She made goose clothes, plastic canvas dresses, crocheted bed dolls, afghans, … she was a manufacturing company all her own. She was insane when it came to crafting…. and between you and me – I LOVED IT.

As a kid I got to see new yarns, watch her quilt, touch the silk threads she embroidered with, help her choose colors, help her decide if “this looks ok” or not….

I was around 8 or 9 when she bought her first kiln and got into ceramic making. She painted so many wonderful things and that lead the way to my dad making me a porcelain doll from start to finish – …. my dad even made the mold that was poured – my mother banded all the arms and head so they moved….

but that is a story for a different time.

So that was my grandma – while I may not have a bunch of material items or hundreds of photos, I do have a million memories of her and the inspiration she gave me to be creative.

I only have a few material items from her since she passed away three years ago. One of those is a large swatch of the shell stitch… I’m not sure what it was intended; however, that is packed away in my cedar chest. The other item, pictured here, is a ceramic bear she painted and banded (so it’s limbs and head move) and she sewed the dress.

The bear was a little more handy to pull out of storage and snap a photo.

I’m hoping that with our move later this month, I’ll be able to get a nice display cabinet where my little bear grandma made will have a nice place to sit…. safely.

I miss my grandma terribly – sometimes it feels unreal that she is gone because she was always there, but I know that she is waiting for me in heaven…. perhaps with a sewing needle or crochet hook in hand.

If you are interested in reading more ABC entries like this one or would like to share one of your own, head on over to the Accidental Knitter’s blog for the link party.


Something Completely Different Saturday

No, this isn’t some new “thing” I’m starting. This blog is meant to be primarily about crochet and sprinkled with some infos on other things I do, usually craft related.

Today I just wanted to give my followers a head’s up that I am moving. Not the website – I’m physically moving into a different house. I just wanted people to know that things may slow down for the next two weeks but I am still here. I am not sure I’ll get the flip flop tutorial done before I move but I am going to try. I don’t know how long I’ll be without internet at the new house either, although with my tech-self, I am sure it won’t be too long.

I’m very excited for the move, including that we are picking up a 4th bedroom which will serve as my guest room/craft storage room. THAT is very exciting to any fiber artist. I am hoping to be able to set up my sewing machine on a more permanent basis rather than having to pull it out and put it back every time I use it (which is one reason I don’t sew a whole lot.

The house, as far as square footage, is about the same as my current house, maybe a little bigger; however, the floor plan is MUCH better and we are gaining the same floor space in a downstairs living area too. A big yay for finished basements. So while the kitchen may be a wee bit smaller, we will be almost doubling our living space. That is seriously exciting!

In addition to a gorgeous well-lit house (contrast to my current living situation), we will be picking up a lovely back yard with garage.

The house isn’t as big and fancy as the man wanted, but I’ll tell ya – I am not a fan of super huge houses. This house will do just fine for us.

Of course, as it relates to this blog, I have been racking my brain trying to figure out the best way to move into the extra bedroom with my sewing machine and yarn. I’m thinking wall storage and a small desk for the sewing machine… and of course the closet. Or do I set it up in the bedroom? We will have a HUGE bedroom… oh I can’t wait –

I must admit, that while I’m excited for the move in general and have given thought to furniture placement, kitchen layout, etc…. my mind is continually drifting back to 2 things: gaming/fitness room downstairs and where my yarn is going to go OH and a third thing – being able to take gorgeous outside photos of my finished works.

So, I hate putting out blogs without images, so I figured I’d step away from fiber arts and share a bit of other art. Not all of these are mine so I’ll describe them….. OH – and I do believe all are for sale, so if you are interested in anything, just shoot me an email at creationsbycris (at) comcast (dot) net – even the stuff from my brother, I can always relay the information to him and get you the item.

First up is a plate set my brother did. The plates you see here are kinda brown with a blanket stitch around them. He drew, in ink, on a brown paper the images of Elvis and Marilyn and then affixed the paper in the bottom of the plate. I don’t know if he plans to put something over the plate to seal it all in or not, but I’m sure that can be negotiated. The pictures are from a display during an art show.

This is a painting I did. It’s acrylic and titled “High Mountains” (as named by my youngest). I believe it’s 11×14 (currently in storage box) but I can always pull it out and check if you are interested.

(not for sale)

I love doing bright blue skies – there is just something happy about them to bring in the feeling of a crisp summer morning. Maybe that’s all in my head – I dunno.

I tend to lean towards realism, landscapes in general; however, I do sometimes deviate from the norm. The Tree of Life painting, also in acrylic, was 16×20 I think (I don’t remember) and now proudly hangs on my oldest daughters living room wall. She wanted it and when t went to the art show, I think she was secretly hoping it would not sell. And, it didn’t. She walked out of there that night with it in hand as a gift from me to her. She loved it so much – how could I deny her?

I do have a fiber arts plan for the Tree of Life painting – provided I can ever get time to get started.

So to bring this “surprisingly long blog I had no idea existed in me until I started typing” post to an end – and to kinda bring it full circle *laughing* – what are your craft storage methods? Currently my yarn is in boxes, bags, and baskets – I’m ready for something creative, fun, practical, and nice…. if you have a link to a post you have done, showing off your stash storage, do share it (Mr Linky below) OR just leave a comment describing what you currently do.

(my sincerest apologies for using a meme name that isn’t exactly what I’m doing… but for 1 mr. linky, I didn’t want to upgrade membership to create my own meme name)


FO Friday

Woooo hoooooo – it’s Friday and that can only mean one thing – FO Friday!

While I have several things on the hook right now, I stopped briefly to do a fun project for my youngest – a pair of covered flip flops.

I found a pair of plain ole flip flops on sale so I grabbed some followed by some bright pink yarn (Impeccable – worsted weight in dark pink).

I will most likely do a tutorial (text and video) on how to make these – they were fun and the turnaround time was insanely quick. I finished off the sandal with a cute lil button and the yarn tied in a bow on the front. As you can see, I put a heel catch on the back and covered the plain ole straps.

I am thinking that in the future, I may just put some colored elastic on them. Perhaps make a tube of crochet and then feed the elastic in. Who knows – perhaps I’ll play with that tonight.

It was a fun project that didn’t take too long and put a big ole smile on my daughters face.

If you are interested in reading what other people have done this week or would like to share your own work, stop over to any one of these blogs that host link parties:
Tami’s Amis Blog
Wisdom Begins in Wonder
Natural Suburbia


Kitty Knitter

This is Kyul. Kyul Rangi to be specific.

Kyul is 14 years old. She came to our household roughly 2 weeks after we were married in 1997.

She has been with us for a very long time.

Now usually, Kyul doesn’t “hang out” with me too much because quite frankly, she is in love with the man. If she were human – I have a feeling she wouldn’t like me very much… heck, she doesn’t have to be human to not like me (as she’s proven the last 14 years).

It isn’t that she hates me – she just doesn’t exactly prefer me over the man.

Well – she didn’t prefer me until recently, specifically when I started to knit. She loves to watch me knit. Watching turns to tail swishing which turns to snapping at my needles like a piranha as they move.

When I finally stop thinking its cute, which seems to be shorter and shorter each time, she does what is pictured above: she weasels her way onto my lap and pushes my hands up. As I move my hands up, she lays out more… pushing my hands up. My hands were about 5 inches from my face when I decided to take the picture above. If you notice, her front legs are 2×4 straight and she is clearly pushing upwards into my arm.

I have never rated anywhere on this cat’s radar but apparently, I rate higher than knitting.

Go me.


WIP Wednesday

Has it been a week already? Wow – time flies when you are having fun!

First, before getting into the WIP stuff, I saw a post by a fellow blogger regarding his dislike of people taking their blog pictures with their cell phones. I usually do this because my phone is handy; however, I never thought the pictures were that bad. So truly, give me your honest opinion on the photos. If they are terribly distracting or not – you won’t hurt my feelings. I just want to make sure everyone who chooses to come to this blog truly enjoy it, pictures included.

So, with that said – on to the WIPs!


Whelp, I’m 3 clues into the Crochetville Mystery CAL and as you can see, I have pretty  much what I have from last week excluding the main piece is taller now.

While I’m not wanting to guess, it is hard not to. It definitely is not a hat – although wouldn’t I be quite an interesting sight, strutting my stuff around in an over-zealous and baggy hat…. flopping around on my heat. Perhaps I could make a pair of dangly earrings out the extra pieces and put one on a necklace. Oh – wouldn’t I be lovely!

In all actuality, I think it may be a bag, but I’m not 100%. Obviously, it is still relatively early on in he project (I think) so it could turn into anything. If it is a bag, it definitely would need lined because the bottom of the main piece has one of the flower-looking pieces in it (not sure if you can see it in the picture).


I have been needing a few different bags for various reasons: farmer’s market, crochet project bags, and beach bags.

I had the Caron green yarn left over from when I frogged out the man’s Christmas present last week and when I saw a small pattern booklet at Michael’s for Enviro-Totes, I knew I had to get it. I grabbed it up for 3$ and headed to yarn group. I have been working on pattern #4.

Oddly enough I thought the bag was going to be square-ish from the picture, but alas – it is not square. It is definitely round.

I have put a few hours in on it and it is going pretty well. I will say I’m not exactly sure I’m going to stop at the recommended rows from the pattern for the sides. I think I want my bag to be a little taller – so I will be deviating from the pattern a wee bit (per norm).


Whelp, I won’t say that I like knitting or that the knitting bug has bit, but I have been keeping something on the needles for the last couple weeks. A couple nights ago I decided to try my hand at cables. I have never done them and I don’t think they turned out too badly.

This was a bookmark pattern I found on Ravelry: Cabled Bookmark by Lesley Raymond.

Granted, right about where the needle is there I don’t know what happened (sneezed or something) and stitches were being picked up and dropped like no one’s business). I did end up frogging up this piece, but up until that point, it was going pretty good.

No – I’m not ready to tackle a sweater.

uh…. uhm…. *runs away*

If you are interested in reading what other people are working on or want to share your own works in progress, pop on over to Tami’s Amis Blog and Ambassador Crochet to join in, or read through, the link party.


F is for Frogging

I desperately wanted to avoid a topic that was an absolute that other people were going to write about. So for F, I wanted to avoid the topic of frogging because I am sure it is going to be a popular topic. But, when it comes to fiber arts, it is one I couldn’t pass up. Hopefully, I’ll cover it a little differently than other people may be.

rip it, rip it, rip it

First – a new person to the internet community of fiber arts may not know what frogging in. Frogging is simply this – when you ‘rip it rip it rip it.’ Yup – it’s when you grab your end piece of yarn and rip the darn thing out.
So what in the world do I have to say about frogging that could be different than what someone else would write?

Simply put – everyone does it.

That’s right. This isn’t some weird form of peer pressure in that do it because everyone is doing it. In fact, no one wants to do it but when it comes down to the meat and bones of it all – everyone does it. Once understood, frogging your very first big piece really becomes no big deal. It’s just a reality to the fiber arts.

The spaghetti mass of green in the above photo was a baby blanket I made for a friend. It started out as a bobble baby blanket and became a gorgeous pile of green yarn spaghetti. Then that green yarn spaghetti turned into a lovely basketweave baby blanket.

It sucks to think that you just put a lot of time into something and it is being reduced to a pile of blah; however, you have to think about it in terms of your excitement for the project. If you are not excited about the project, having no desire to work on it, then it will never get done (or take forever and a day, prolonging your lack of desire). If you bite the bullet and frog it, even if its a couple hours work, and put the yarn into a different project, chances are you’ll finish the new item a lot faster than you would have finished the old one.
Let’s take that green baby blanket I mentioned. I started the Bernat Baby Bobble Blanket and did not enjoy it at all. I worked on it for about 6 hours and only completed a few inches in comparison to the whole. I didn’t like working on it. It was all I could muster to sit down for “yet another hour” to “slave away” at the blanket. I didn’t like it – ’nuff said.

(I wrote a relatively objective review of the pattern too – but no matter what, I know I will not make that blanket in the future unless 100%, absolutely, life-dependent.)

I decided to frog it, which is the spaghetti mess pictured above. Sure – it sucked to frog it. I thought of all those hours lost with each “rip” of the yarn. I couldn’t believe that all those hours were ripped out in a matter of minutes. But what happened after that was magical… ok, perhaps magical is a bit over-dramatic, but I felt pretty darn good!

finished blanket

I began working on one of my favorite crochet patterns which is the basketweave stitch. I love love LOVE basketweave. Perhaps it is my girlie love of baskets.. who knows – either way the baby blanket was done in a relatively short amount of time. The reason it didn’t take that long is because it felt good to make this pattern. I enjoyed picking it up and working on it. Sometimes, I looked forward to it – because it felt good to work on it, it seemed to go a lot faster.

If I had left it as the bobble blanket – I would have dreaded every minute and not picked it up so willingly – I could foresee the baby I was making the blanket for starting school before I finished the bobble blanket.
Frogging something is a mental struggle, especially when there are several hours already wrapped up into the project. Do you just stick with the original project because you put several hours into it or do you take a leap and start something more enjoyable? It is almost like a bad boyfriend/girlfriend – do you stay in it just because you have already put a fair amount of time into it or do you just finally close the door on the chapter and try to start fresh?

I think the final thing I’d like to say again is: everyone is doing it.

Yeah – a bit of a repeat from the above but for a completely different reason.

Everyone does do it. It doesn’t matter how new or experienced you are – you will end up frogging something.

Frogging something does not make you a failure or mean you are not good at what you do – it just means whatever you were doing didn’t seem to work the way you had hoped for. In fact, if you are able to frog something, that means the project did not meet your standard for whatever reason (time, passion, need, quality, etc) – it makes you a better fiber artist to know when your project is not what you wanted or expected.

So while froggin’ seems to be a necessary evil to the craft, know that it isn’t necessarily evil at all.

Happy Crafting!
– Cris

Interested in sharing your ABCs or just wanting to ready other entries? Hop on over to Misadventures in Craft, the temporary host to the ABCs with Accidental Knitter meme.


Come Blog-A-Long

OK – part of keeping info on my blog is to keep ideas coming or at least have a reason to talk about why I’m doing certain things. Obviously, I’ll be keeping some days open for my free-for-all posts that randomly appear.

So – ok? you ask – what does this have to do with anything?

Well, dear readers, as of July 1st, I’ll be joining in a Blog-A-Long group on Ravelry. The premise is to post all the patterns you plan on working through from July 2011 through June 2012. Yup – a year’s worth of patterns. Some folks may choose to work their way through a book while others work their way through a set of patterns. Me – I’ll be working my way through a set of patterns.

I will be posting the list of patterns on July 1st.

Oh boy… now that I’ve typed the commitment out – it is kinda scary!

My thoughts are this – The first part of my pattern list is going to be items that I need to complete by Christmas. Yup – some folks are not including their Christmas items but I am! If I don’t account for them, there is a good chance I won’t finish them… and well, I’d rather not repeat that again this year *coughs lightly*

Obviously, I don’t have the entire list ready at this very moment, but look for it – it is coming!

Then every Sunday I will post an update on how I’m doing. I’ll talk about the current projects I’m working on as far as the list is concerned (and yes, I’ll most likely have other things going as well). I’ll talk about any frustrations or concerns I have with meeting the deadline as well as with the projects themselves. I’ll provide a percent complete status for each item as well as the overall project (I’m technical like that and like to see numbers).

So – just know it’s gonna happen.

It’s on like Donkey Kong.