Monday, June 8, 2009

Forgive me..

We've been particulary busy around here with graduation coming up & wrapping up some projects. I neglected to take the time to select an Etsian of the week yesterday. My apologies... I'll do my best to get back on track this Sunday.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Spinning a Yarn with Martha

Just in case you missed it (like me...), Martha Stewart had an entire show on Knitting & Crochet this past week. It premiered on Thursday at 11am(Eastern).

Had I not had an unexpected meeting, my tush would've been planted firmly in front of the TV absorbing it all. Much to my dear Mother's dismay, I like Martha's shows and ideas. Now, I can't say too much for her manners, as on most of the shows she talks over her guests or gets snippy with them, but many of the ideas she shares are simple & wonderful.

Mom doesn't appreciate her because she believes that Martha has a staff that comes up with all of the ideas & Martha is basically a spokesperson. While that may be the case now, I do believe that her beginnings were truly her own ideas. Hey, if I had a multi-million dollar company I'd hire people to search out goodies, too...

Any who, here's a link to "The Yarn Show." (Don't you just LOVE the fact that you can view many of your favorites online???)

There is a beginning piece about building a yarn bag, a visit to Lions Brand yarn studio (where she mentions Amigurumi!), a fashion show & some crocheted goodies. Enjoy!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Making Granny Squares...

So, do you remember those big 'ole colorful and usually stiff crochet creations from your childhood? One of my grandmother's had full size Granny Square afghan draped across her bed when I was a child. I remember wanting to cuddle up with it, until I touched it! LOL

Now that I've begun crocheting I've found myself fascinated with some of the creations I've seen over the years. I'm remembering things from people's homes, from the county fair, and from local markets. What color combinations they had in the 70's!

When I started on this bent of fiber arts I snatched up a book on Granny Squares called "The New Granny Square" by Susan Cottrell. The lovely photos and color combinations made me rethink the whole Granny Square phenomenon.

I've put off learning how to do the Granny Squares until I had a decent foundation on the basic crochet stitches - single, double, triple, and, of course, the chain! A few weeks ago I attempted to follow a pattern from one of my mom's old pattern booklets. It had me lost. I couldn't tell if the shells needed to be worked inside the hole of the square or woven into the yarn, as normal, and there was nothing in that book to clarify, either!

YouTube is fabulous! I love that you can go there and watch someone do it, in person. That way you get to watch their motions & see details that aren't always clear in a book.

This lady offers a whole collection of how-to crochet videos. I picked the 2 that give the construction of two rows of shells. If you need the beginning video of how to make the chain & join it, it is available.

Lesson 2 - 1st row

Lesson 3 - 2nd row

I'm glad I waited until I had a small foundation, otherwise I might have been confused due to the quickness of her motions and quality of the video. Now that I have a decent base on which to begin I think I'll tackle a Granny Square project soon. (Right after I finish the 12 projects ahead of this!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Crochet & Knitting handicapped??

I've heard so many people say this lately. "I can't crochet because I'm not coordinated." Or "I can't knit because I can't hold the two sticks."

It's okay! If we were all good at the same thing, the world would be one BORING place. Besides, then you'd never need to buy anything AND you'd never have time to do anything fun because you'd be loaded up with the tedious tasks of making EVERYTHING! Gosh, that even sounds painful.

Trusty ole YouTube to the rescue! According to this lady, you can buy pre-made crochet headbands and make baby beanies with them. The sidebar on YouTube says that she buys them on eBay by the dozen, but I've seen some a the local dollar stores, too. (Just in case you don't need a dozen!)

You could carry this idea over into making baby clothing - jumpers, pants, skirts, shirts, etc... You'd only need to know how to hand or machine stitch. Wow! The possibilities are endless!

The best part... You can amaze your friends and family with handmade baby goodies in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost! Imagine their faces when they open the gift expecting to find something that was pulled "off the rack" (and, perhaps, matches another gift) and then find the most precious, hand selected & designed apparel!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday's with Etsy

I'm so excited about this weeks pick! (Not that I'm not normally excited, but I guess I'm even more so this week... you'll see...)

I met this fellow Etsian on Twitter. I have recently become a Twitter fanatic, and not only does this person always give the nicest, most helpful replies, but she's funny and very personable.

Honestly, I hadn't visited her shop until the other night when another person on Twitter recommended something from her shop. (I know...but sometimes I forget who's Profile I've checked and whose I haven't. Guess that happens when you're being followed left & right!)

Anyway, let me introduce you to Sharon Paradiso of Seedlings: Jewelry Because.

Dark Blossom

Sharon's shop offers hand-crafted jewelry of all shapes and sizes. There you will find a small selection of goodies ranging from earrings to bracelets and necklaces.

Across the Universe

Her color selections are naturalistic, presumably because her creations are "inspired by and created from natural materials (including recycled materials where possible)." Recycled materials??? Woot! That's a big plus in my book! I'm constantly looking for ways to incorporate something to be "upcycled".


And, she had one piece of crochet jewelry lurking on the second page... Hey, this is a fiber arts blog, after all!


While I enjoy her work immensely, the thing that put Sharon over-the-top this week was her decision to do more with her shop. Twenty percent of every purchase goes towards making a donation purchase at Heifer International. If you're not familiar with this amazing group I encourage you to visit a previous post I did earlier in the year or their website.

As Sharon states this is "a group that takes the "teach a person to fish and feed them for a lifetime" just a bit further with gifts of animals, bees, etc.". These gifts enable families around the world, including the United States, to start their own home business and eventually procure a better livelihood for not only themselves, but their entire community!

Visit Seedlings: Jewelry Because to enrich your life and the life of someone else!

Photographic rights are retained by Seedlings: Jewelry Because.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Have you heard of Amigurumi???

While searching for my Monday's with Etsy featured seller I continuously ran upon Amigurumi Patterns. I'd never heard this term before. I happened to be Twittering at the same time, so naturally I asked about it on Twitter. (Have I told you that I'm addicted to that site??? Well, I am...)

Thanks to Jadielady & mysie_at_etsy for their help with this mystery!

Amigurumi means Knitted stuffed toy in Japanese (according to Wikipedia). Although crochet appears to be just as common during creation. The toys can be intricate or artistically rendered.

Traditionally, the patterns run in spirals and use multiple colors. These creations are made on small or fine needles, which prevents the stuffing from escaping. This translates into very time-consuming for me! ;-)

The patterns I've found are precious. Here are a few of my favorites...

Worm in Apple

Fairy Doll & Mushroom Set

Fuzzy Guinea Pig

Elton, the Sheep (doesn't he look like the Serta sheep??)

From the traditional to the not-so:

Pancake Stack Treasure Plate (this reminds me of an actual plate from the 60's!)

If you are interested in any of these patterns, just click on the photo and it will take you straight to the proper individuals' Etsy shop.


Moral of the story -

If you're looking for a way to test your skills and while away some hours...these may be just the thing you're looking for! Enjoy!

Photographic rights are retained by the individual artist.
Links are accessed through the photos above.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday with Etsy

I spent yesterday combing the Etsy Pounce feature for "new" and "undiscovered" artisans. I found some really lovely shops. Unfortunately, several had no seller "Bio" or Shop Policies listed. As much as I want to share Etsy finds with you, I'd like to know something about the seller (other than what their listings look like) before I feature them.

To me, buying handmade is an entire package. That's the same reason I love shopping at the farmer's market - I want to get to know the person behind the creation. It adds something to the experience for me. It's something you simply can't get shopping at Walmart...

During this long search I Twittered about it a few times. As luck would have it Popsicle Stick found me there. Will wonders never cease! Just when I needed a fiber arts oriented post...

Skate Socks Granny Square Afghan

Apparently she's been selling on Etsy for several months now, utilizing her fiber and other mediums to entice us. What a sunshiney, happy shop. It reminds me of the 70's!

Hang Ten Crochet Bracelet

She states that she picked up the crochet skills from her mother who went everywhere with crochet in hand (hallelujah...that makes me feel not so crazy!)

Knee Socks and Nikes Crochet Scarf

With almost too reasonable prices, and 100% cotton, customizable creations how can you miss? Hop over to visit when you have a moment and snatch up a great deal for that upcoming birthday or shower!

Bubblicious DNA Crochet Bracelet
(Doesn't this look like the old Bubblicious package??? Too cute!)

All photographic rights belong to PopsicleStick.