Posted by: mamas2hands | February 24, 2017

Don’t Fear the Picot

shell-with-picot-edging-andee-graves-m2h-designs

Ah picots, very possibly the most feared and hated stitch in crochet.  Personally I avoided the picot stitch for a very long time. When I would look at stitch dictionaries I would skip over any stitch patterns that contained picots. Or if I used those stitch patterns, I would eliminate the picots.

picot-edgings

In the past I had primarily seen picots used as a decorative element for edgings or borders. These tiny stitches can turn a plain shell stitch into a lavish embellishment, or make “points” have sharper definition.

fabrics-with-picots-andee-graves-m2h-designs

In many of the Japanese stitch dictionaries I own there are stitch patterns where the picot is used as part of the overall fabric not just on the edge. I found this an exciting new way of looking at the picot.

 buttonhole-for-sota-andee-graves-m2h-designs

In my designs I’ve kept with using the picot as an edging embellishment. I used the picot in my “Shells on the Aegean Neck Cozy” to embellish the button hole. The picot directions in that pattern tell you to: “Chain 3, slip stitch in top of previous stitch”. The previous stitch I’m referring to is the stitch made before the “chain 3”.

One of the biggest difficulties I had with picots is that I like to work with a larger hook than usual for the size yarn. I especially like to do that when crocheting garments or wraps. Picot stitches tend to work better with a firmer fabric though, so if you want to add them to your project you need to keep that in mind.

crocheted-love-rainbow-heart-andee-graves-m2h-designs

My little heart “Crocheted Love” uses a modified picot to create the point at the bottom of the heart. I only have you chain 1, instead of the usual 3, before anchoring into the previous stitch. You could try making the heart with more chains in the picot for the bottom point and see how you like it.

There are some yarns that are a little trickier to get good picots from. Highly textured yarns or extremely limp yarns with fibers like rayon or alpaca in them are the most difficult. It is possible to do a picot with these yarns, the resulting stitch will just be a bit different from the traditional picot. I recommend using a smaller hook to help give the picot more structure.

How do you work the picot?

The problem many folks run into is the picot distorting their stitches. When the picot is anchored to a single strand, it tends to pull and distort the stitch it is worked into. This is solved by catching 2 strands when anchoring the picot stitch.

picot-ch-3-andee-graves-m2h-designs

Picots are started with a short chain, usually 3 chain stitches.  I have occasionally seen picots made with 5 chains, I tend to prefer the look of the 3 chains.

picot-insert-pt-for-hook-marked-andee-graves-m2h-designs

When anchoring the picot on the previous stitch, you next insert your hook into the top of the stitch under the front loop (1) and then under the side loop of that same stitch (2).

picot-2-strands-caught-andee-graves-m2h-designs

It is important to be sure to capture 2 strands of yarn with the slip stitch that anchors your picot. Whether that is working into a regular crochet stitch or…

picot-2-strands-ch-st-andee-graves-m2h-designs

into a chain stitch. When anchoring a picot into a chain stitch I insert my hook thru the V and behind the back bump.

picots-loose-and-tight-andee-graves-m2h-designs

You can achieve different looks by how tight you make your picot’s anchoring slip stitch. The picots on the left shell are worked with a loose slip stitch, the picots on the right shell are worked with a tight slip stitch. The differences are subtle and either way is acceptable, you just want to be consistent thru-out your project.

I have found that making my anchoring slip stitch tighter helps off-set my tendency to work with larger hooks. I’ve only tested this working with “worsted” weight yarn and an I/5.5mm or J/6mm hook. I haven’t attempted picots in any of my “extreme” projects where I work “fingering” weight yarn with an I/5.5mm hook or “worsted” weight with a L/8mm, M/9mm or N/10mm hook.

picots-practice-strip-andee-graves-m2h-designs

Practice you picot stitches on a long strip of single crochets, work a second row of single crochets and place a picot every other stitch. I make strips like these to practice stitches and try out new yarns. Even if they don’t come out perfect, they make great ties for gift bags or embellishments for greeting cards.

simple-dc-hat-with-picots-andee-graves-m2h-designs

For another practice project, try making my “Simple Double Crochet Hat” but on the last round of the brim single crochets work a picot after each odd numbered sc.

You’ll find after some practice that you won’t have to fear the picot anymore.

Posted by: mamas2hands | February 14, 2017

The Greatest of these is Love

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13

This bible verse has resonated with me thru-out my life, no matter where my spiritual travels have taken me. The idea that the most important thing that we strive for in life is to live in love.

crocheted-love-rainbow-heart-andee-graves-m2h-designs

This is entirely appropriate, since today is Valentines Day, a holiday that celebrates love. Though some folks view it  as a “greeting card” holiday that focuses on romantic love, I like to look at it a bit more broadly.  I have always enjoyed celebrating it as a holiday about love in all it’s forms.

The love for our children. The love of dear friends that lift us up thru life’s challenges. Even the unconditional love of our beloved furry family members. The love that is expressed as compassion and kindness for our fellow humans on life’s journey.

crochet-love-andee-graves-m2h-designs

Recently I was talking with a crochet friend about how we crochet love into the projects we make. Whether it is love for the person whom we will be gifting the finished project to, or love and compassion for others when we are making projects for charity. There is even the love of our craft that is crocheted into every stitch as we make something for ourselves or (as is the case for me about 60% of the time) a project sample for work.

The image I used for the Crochet Love picture is the stitch diagram for my very popular heart pattern “Crocheted Love” from 2013. This heart has been popular with other crochet bloggers to build on in their blog tutorials and such. This has led to some interesting interpretations of the pattern.

Today I wanted to show you some quick tips on making these hearts. They only take a little bit of yarn and time to whip up to include on a card or as an embellishment for a gift item to celebrate the holiday of love.

The biggest stumbling blocks seem to be where to work the slip stitch that creates the point at the bottom of the heart and the final slip stitch that anchors the last “bump” at the top of the heart.

point-st-chart

This is a close-up of the stitch diagram for the point of the heart. The conventions for showing the orders of operation in diagrams have the arrow pointing under the chain stitch, but you are actually working behind the chain stitch to get to the double crochet just made.

purple-path-for-hook-andee-graves-m2h-designs

My hook goes under the front loop at the top of the stitch and under the top wrap of the stitch. The lighter weight purple yarn in the photo above shows the path I insert my hook thru.

insert-hook-into-top-of-st-andee-graves-m2h-designs

This image is the hook in place.

yo-pull-thru-all-loops-andee-graves-m2h-designs

Yarn over and pull thru all the loops of yarn, including the working loop on the hook.

point-sl-st-tightened-andee-graves-m2h-designs

Tighten the finished slip stitch.

finish-point-andee-graves-m2h-designs

Make the next 2 dc stitches in the same stitch of Round 1 as before, and continue following the stitch instructions for Round 2.

end-of-rnd-2-sl-st

This is a close-up of the stitch diagram for the end of Round 2.

completed-last-7-tr-andee-graves-m2h-designs

When you finish the last 7 treble crochet stitches you will need to anchor it with a slip stitch.

between-ch-n-st-andee-graves-m2h-designs

Work the ending slip stitch between the final dc stitch and starting chain of Round 1.

end-of-rnd-2-finished

Tighten the slip stitch to create a seamless finish to your heart.

As a little extra bonus today I am including the instructions for making a single crochet border around the heart.

sc-border-heart-andee-graves-m2h-designs

You can use this border to give a more finished look to a single heart or to connect 2 hearts together.

making-cardstock-heart-andee-graves-m2h-designs

For the heart above I cut out a heart shape from heavy card stock, using one of my hearts as a pattern to draw the heart shape. When I cut it out I trimmed the shape a bit smaller to leave room for the border stitches.

hearts-before-border-andee-graves-m2h-designs

I then sandwiched the cardstock heart between the yarn hearts while I crocheted the border. This makes the heart extra sturdy for hanging from a garland.

Instructions for Single Crochet Border

After finishing Round 2 of Crocheted Love Heart – Do Not Fasten Off, chain 1, starting with first Treble of Round 2 – (sc in next st, 2 sc next st) 4 times, sc in next 5 sts, 2 sc next st, ch 1 and slip st in top of last sc made, 2 sc next st, sc next 5 sts, (2 sc next st, sc next st) 4 times, slip st to first sc of round.

After finishing the border you can cut the yarn and weave in the end, or chain to the desired length to use as a hanging cord for the heart.

If you make your 2 hearts with a bulky yarn and appropriate sized hook your hearts will be a generous size and you can insert some stuffing before completing the border to make a sweet little pillow.

***********

I am going to spend part of my Valentines Day in my traditional celebration of consuming Dove Dark Chocolate hearts. I hope you all have a wonderful Valentines Day and that your life is full of love.

Posted by: mamas2hands | February 9, 2017

A Crochet Valentine Party

Seems like the weeks are zipping by in 2017. I’ve been busy with my big de-clutter and organize the house project as well as getting all my new technology talking to each other.  Sometime today my newest bit of technology will be arriving, a new camera. This is one with a lot of bells and whistles, my first DSLR.

I just keep telling myself that learning how to use all these new hardware and software technologies will help keep my brain agile. Either that, or my head is going to explode from technology overload.

Fortunately yesterday I got to have some great low-tech fun with my crochet friends at our Bi-monthly crochet group. This is the Casual Crochet group that meets at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe on the 2nd and 3rd Wednesday morning of each month.  Since this gathering was close to Valentine’s Day I brought in cards and chocolates.

hearts-and-card-andee-graves-m2h-designs

The shop has been collecting hearts made from yarn for a yarn-bombing event next Monday. So we all crocheted some hearts to include.  This heart is my Crocheted Love heart from a couple years ago. The pattern is here on the blog.

margies-blanket

We also celebrated with Margie, who finished her Fans & Lace Blocks blanket that she had started as part of our CAL.

claudia-n-anna-marie

Claudia and Anna Marie both got started on a cowl project. Claudia was helping Anna Marie learn the Foundation Double Crochet stitch. Looking forward to seeing how their projects are coming along next week.

Time to head out to pick up boys from school. I will hopefully be back to my regular blogging schedule soon, as you can tell, things have been a bit busy of late.

Posted by: mamas2hands | February 5, 2017

Vivianne Shawl

vivianne-shawl-andee-graves-m2h-designs-a2

This is my newest M2H Designs pattern the Vivianne Shawl. The name Vivianne means “full of life” and the colorful striping and sparkly beads make this a very lively shawl.

yarn-for-new-pwt-shawl

I used only 3 hanks of Berocco’s “Vintage” worsted weight yarn in different colors to create the uneven color changes. Originally I thought I would use 2 hanks of the dark blue, but I decided I wanted to have approximately the same amount of yarn in each color. Because the shawl is worked top down the rows get longer and the sections of color play out in pleasing proportions. I also mixed things up a little by working a stripe of the next color before ending the preceding color. This stripe has beads added using the “hoist-on” method for a bit more bling and liveliness.

Vivianne Shawl 3 - Andee Graves/M2H Designs

The final 2 border rows are continued in the last color and feature beads added to the stitches to create sparkly drape along the bottom edge of the shawl.

This pattern is available for purchase in my Ravelry Shop for $4.99. In addition to concise text instructions, the pattern contains stitch charts for the body of the shawl and the border, plus photo tutorials for adding the beads.

Posted by: mamas2hands | February 1, 2017

The Argument with the Smart Phone

I’m betting most of you can tell from the title that I’m not having fun with my new smart phone. In fact, you might be wondering why I have a new smart phone? Simply put, the old phone died. Like really died, is completely Dead, can never ever be revived.

There are days I truly dislike technology. It is great stuff for staying in touch with friends, family and my fans. But when it really comes down to it, I’m a low-tech kind of person. I like to make things with my hands, which is why I have a blog and video channel about crafting and art.

Pen View

My old smart phone was a Samsung Note 2, I had it for 4 years. All I had needed to do in that time was replace the battery and the case a couple of times. I had wanted to upgrade it this past Fall, but the Samsung Note series was having some difficulties. Primarily, the batteries were catching on fire. So there were no Notes to be had. I don’t even know if the Note is ever coming back.

With the death of my old Note 2 I needed to replace my phone. It died the Monday morning before I left on my trip to Phoenix for CHA. So it was a bit of a scramble that week deciding on what phone to get and then getting the new phone set up so that I had what I needed on it while traveling.

After consulting with my husband, and whinging about the unavailability of the Note series, I decided to get the Samsung s7 Active. It’s a hardy phone and I’ll probably have it another 3-4 years.

Unfortunately, getting it to talk to my computer has been a pain. Which is what the argument has been about. I was able to use my old phone as a media device with my computer, making it very easy to upload files from the phone to the computer using a USB cord. This was especially handy for my videos and photos.

I know there is very likely a simple fix for getting this new phone to play nice with my computer. Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of patience for figuring out new tech, so it has been an painful and frustrating couple weeks. I’ve actually decided to take a break from it for a few days as I tackle other tasks.

I’ve been swatching and sketching this week in preparation for submitting some proposals to publishers. We will see if anything comes of that. Submitting proposals is not a guarantee of them being accepted for publication. I like what I’ve come up with and may publish these designs in my own pattern line if the publisher doesn’t want them.

This weekend my husband has promised to help me figure out all the smart phone and computer stuff. Hopefully that means I’ll be back on track very soon.

Posted by: mamas2hands | January 26, 2017

My first CHA show

sunset-out-the-plane-window

Sunset view out the plane window

Forgive me dear readers for being so tardy with my first post this week. I’ve been recovering from this past weekend. I made a quick trip to Phoenix, Arizona to attend the CHA (Craft & Hobby Association) Trade Show.  I took a flight out of Denver early Saturday morning and flew back at sunset Sunday. It was a super busy time while I was there.

sign-for-networking-event

The primary reason I went was to attend the Saturday evening Bloggers Networking Event hosted by Prime Publishing. There I met a number of vendors and picked up some awesome swag to try out their products.

goodies-from-event

This is a photo of my pile of goodies. It doesn’t represent everyone that was there. Just some of the crafting supplies that I came home with from this event.

big-adhesive-runner

The gals from Scrapbook Adhesives also had this insanely huge adhesive runner. I had to have a picture of them with it so you could see how oversized it was.

Leisure Arts were giving away samples of their new oval shaped knitting loom, unfortunately they ran out. I’ll be getting one in a couple of weeks and hope to do a review of it. The line for the Leisure Arts table was very long, but I did get a moment to visit with them. On Sunday I went by their booth and was excited to see my “Texting Mitts” book in the rack of books on display.

clovers-new-st-markers

While I was on the show floor both Saturday and Sunday I got to see so many fascinating  products. When I visited the Clover Tools booth, I saw my friend Eloise, who was demonstrating knitting and crochet. She had their awesome new stitch markers.

clovers-st-marker-pkg

These markers come in 3 different sizes and are shaped to look like sheep, including a little curling horn on their heads. They are super light weight and the smallest size would be ideal to use for working with lace-weight yarns.

foiled-heart

There were lots of Make-and-Take opportunities. One of my first stops was to check out the Deco-Foil display. The woman there showed me how their foil papers could be used on embossed adhesives thru an ordinary laminator by making this little heart for me. This would be a great idea for making valentines for school exchanges.

Fuseworks Microwave kiln - image from catalog

Fuseworks Microwave kiln – image from catalog

One of the other products I wanted to check out was at the Diamond Tech booth, a glass fusing kiln that you use in your microwave. I’ve always wanted to learn more about working with hot glass, but have been prohibited by the cost of kilns or even kiln fees (plus driving distance). The pendants that they were making in the demonstration were really nice and I am seriously wanting to get their “Beginner’s Fusing Kit” this year.

Fuseworks Beginners Kit - image from catalog

Fuseworks Beginners Kit – image from catalog

Just to make things even more tempting they sent me home with a catalog of all their fun glass project stuff. Various mosaic tools and glass, glass cutting tools, Lampworking tools and sets, plus the glass fusing tools and sets. Oh yeah, I’m in big trouble.

I’m planning on doing a lot more illustration work this year, and was very interested in the Chameleon Pens booth. They were giving away single colortone pens for folks to try them out.

chameleon-colortone-pen

I really like this pen, it is a great tool for creating watercolor style effects when adding color to my drawings. I also tried out their new color pencils. I’ll be sharing a lot more about these tools come summer. You can check out more about their products at their website: www.chameleonpens.com. They also have a Kickstarter fundraiser going until February 17 for their new Color tops product that works with the colortone pens.

amazing-molding-putty

My nearly last stop on Sunday was at the Alumilite Booth to look at their brand of “Amazing, Casting Products”. I’ve always loved mold making and casting. They had a wonderful range of products for both endeavors and were kind enough to provide me with a small sample of their 2 part mold putty. I can hardly wait to play with it.

Well, now you know why I’ve been so distracted since I got back from Phoenix. There is a lot to absorb after such an inspiring weekend. I’ve been spending hours trying to capture all my ideas. There has also been the usual catching up with the family and the household after a trip.

I had hoped to get my video for the Shells on the Aegean Neck Cozy finished this week, but that has been delayed with all this other stuff happening. Instead I’m aiming for having the new video up by next Tuesday, January 31st. Wow, we have less than one week of January left! Looks like 2017 is going to be rocketing along.

 

Posted by: mamas2hands | January 20, 2017

Shells on the Aegean Neck Cozy

shells-on-the-aegean-neck-cozy-andee-graves-m2h-designs

It has been so cold the last couple of weeks that I thought it was time for a warm neck cozy pattern. Because it buttons to fasten around your neck, this snuggly short scarf takes less yarn than a full size scarf.  Just a little under 315 yards of worsted weight yarn. I used Caron Yarns “Simply Soft” for the sample you see.

remaining-yarn

This is all I had left of the 1 skein I used. That is a U.S. Quarter next to it to give you a frame of reference.

For those of you that are more visual learners I will have a YouTube video tutorial of this pattern on my channel next weekend (January 28, 2017) Tuesday, January 31, 2017 Due to some serious technical difficulties the date for this video is unknown now, hopefully sometime in February. There will be a big announcement blog post when it is available and I will update this post as well. The video will have lots of tips and tricks for some of more advanced techniques I use in this design.

Here is the Pattern:

Shells on the Aegean Neck Cozy

Designed by Andee Graves

SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

Neck Cozy is 13.25”/ 33.125cm wide (lace scarf section) x 30”/ 75cm long.

YARN

Caron Simply Soft (100% Acrylic; 315 yds/288m = 6 ounces/170.1g)

#9767 Royal Blue: 1 skein sample used nearly all of skein

CROCHET HOOKS

Size US I-9 / 5.5mm

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS

Yarn needle

1 – 1” button (shank style works best)

GAUGE

5 rows & 4 sts in single crochet = 1”

SPECIAL STITCHES

Shell Stitch (Shl): (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in indicated st or sp.

V-stitch (V-st): (dc, ch 2, dc) in indicated st or sp. 

Picot stitch (picot): Ch 3, sl st in top of previous st.

flat-view-shells-on-the-aegean-andee-graves-m2h-designs 

Pattern Notes

This Neck Cozy is worked in 2 parts, the Button Band and the Lace Scarf.

Be sure to work the base chain loosely for ease of working into the bottom of the foundation row when crocheting the lace scarf part of project. If having problems keeping the chain loose enough, use a hook one size larger to make the chain then switch to the smaller hook for the rest of the project.

When counting stitches for skipping, chain stitches count as one stitch each.

INSTRUCTIONS 

Button Band

Row 1 (RS): Ch 32, working in back bumps sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch back to beginning. [31 sc]

Row 2: Ch 1, turn, sc in each st to end of row. [31 sc]

Row 3: Repeat Row 2.

Row 4: Ch 7 (creates button loop), turn, sc in each st to end of row. [31 sc, 1 ch-7 loop]

Rows 5 & 6: Repeat Row 2 twice.

Row 7: Ch 1, turn, sc in next 31 sts, (button loop finishing) picot, [(2 dc, picot) 6 times, 2 dc] into ch-7 loop, sl st to end of Row 1. DO NOT Fasten off.

Lace scarf

Row 1: (Working along bottom of foundation of button band Row 1) Ch 3, 3 dc in first st, ch 1 (sk 2 sts, V-st in next st) 9 times, ch 1, sk 2 sts, 3 dc in last st. [9 V-sts, 2 ch-1 sps, 6 dc]

Row 2 (RS) : Ch 3, turn, sk 1 st, 3 dc in next st, ch 1, (Shl in next ch-2 sp, V-st in next ch-2 sp) 4 times, Shl in next ch-2 sp, ch 1, sk 3 sts, 3 dc in next st. [5 Shls, 4 V-sts, 2 ch-1 sps, 6 dc]

Row 3: Ch 3, turn, sk 1 st, 3 dc in next st, (ch 1, V-st in next ch-2 sp, ch 1, Shl in next ch-2 sp) 4 times, ch 1, V-st in next ch-2 sp, ch 1, sk 3 sts, 3 dc in next st. [5 V-sts, 4 Shls, 10 ch-1 spcs, 6 dc]

Rows 4: Ch 3, turn, sk 1 st, 3 dc in next st, (ch 1, Shl in next ch-2 sp, ch 1, V-st in next ch-2 sp) 4 times, ch 1, Shl in next ch-2 sp, ch 1, sk 3 sts, 3 dc in next st. [5 Shls, 4 V-sts, 10 ch-1 sps, 6 dc]

Rows 5 – 50: Alternate repeating Rows 3 & 4, 22 times.

Row 51: Ch 1, turn, sc in each of next 3 sts, (*sl st in ch-1 sp, sc next 2 sts, sk next st, 5 sc in next ch-2 sp, sk 1 st, sc in next 2 sts, sl st in ch-1 sp,* sk next st, 5 sc next ch-2 sp, sk 1 st) 4 times, repeat from * to * once, sc in each of last 3 sts. Fasten off. [71 sc, 10 sl sts]

FINISHING

Weave in ends. Block lightly, if desired.

Sew button to RS of button band on Row 4 at opposite end from button loop.

 

Posted by: mamas2hands | January 18, 2017

Checking off one of my 2017 Resolutions!

I’m a little proud of myself right now. Sadly, very often my New Year’s Resolutions sort of slide off into the mist of time as the year rolls along. This year I’ve already made one resolution happen and February is still nearly half a month away.

In my first post of 2017 I shared 5 resolutions. #2 was to open my Etsy Shop, and late Sunday night I made it happen. I have started with 5 listings. It all was a bit stop and go on Sunday evening, attempting to get the shop up, because our internet was being difficult (the joys of living on a mountain).

I’ve opened my shop with some jewelry listings.

When I learnt about the idea of wearing a safety pin as a symbol of solidarity I loved the concept. I wanted my safety pin to stand out a bit more and these decorated safety pins are what came from that. Each pin has beaded wire wrapping along bar opposite the “pin” part.

rainbow-bright-silver-wrap

rainbow-nickel-wrap

rainbox-gold-wrap

I experimented with the color of wire I used for the wrapping with the Rainbow colored glass beads. There is a bright silver wire (that I found out today is actually tarnish resistant silver-plating), nickel silver and bright gold.

black-jet-seed-w-bright-silver-wrap

I also experimented with using different size beads, like the seed beads on this pin.

silver-beads-w-bright-silver-wrap

This pin was my experiment with a subtler decoration. Still more noticeable than a plain safety pin because of the silver sparkle, but it is a coloration that can go with any outfit.

2/3 of the price for each pin sold will be donated to various organizations that support and help protect civil rights for all Americans. I’ll be adding more pins with different decoration as I develop my shop further, I also plan to have some stitch markers and shawl pins. I hope you’ll stop by and see if any of my pieces appeal to you. You can visit my Etsy Shop by clicking here: Mamas2Hands, Two Hands Arts & Crafts.

 

 

Posted by: mamas2hands | January 14, 2017

More Books and Fiber to Play With

It’s been a busy week since my last post. I’ve been working on 5 different things all at the same time, a couple of them were to do with opening my Etsy Shop.  I have set the 15th of January as my goal for getting my shop open, that is tomorrow. Eek!

I may only have a couple of listings when I open my shop, but I figure you have to start somewhere. Funny thing is, the making items part is actually the easy task. It’s the getting all the information online and figuring out how to do all the listing stuff that slows me down. I’m hopeful that once I’ve gotten some practice listing items on there I will be faster.

Meanwhile there is yarn and fiber stuff happening too. Last night I was getting ready to do reading time with my boys and my husband said, “Oh I forgot, you got a huge box in the mail.” Then he handed me the box.  It was from my friend Pam in New Jersey.

We spoke on the phone a few weeks ago. She was doing some clearing out and she wanted to see if I would like any of the stuff she was getting rid of. At first I said “No” because my own studio needs a serious clear-out. She wasn’t giving up that easy though, and began to tell me about some books she thought I would like.  She also knows I have been doing needle-felting and offered some roving and felting tools that she thought I would find useful. Plus, as she put it, the roving would make good packing material for the books.

new-books

By the end of the conversation I had agreed that the books sounded very interesting. Here they all are: 3 books about crocheting with wire, 1 about wire-wrapping, and the last is any interesting book about Textile Techniques in Metal. She even included a couple of articles from Bead & Button issues that were about crocheting with wire. Very distracting and fun.

big-bag-of-roving

Then there was the colorful bag of roving.

roving-and-hankies

I was expecting wool roving, but Pam included some lovely alpaca and silk as well.

silk-hankies

Look at this beautiful stack of hand-dyed silk hankies. Pam and I have similar tastes in colors, so these just about jumped out of the bag into my hands. I haven’t played with silk in this form before, though I have read about it.

needle-felting-tool

Last of all was a handy Needle-Felting tool from FeltCrafts. This will be very useful when I am working on some of my larger projects.  I’m looking forward to testing it out. Don’t you love the fun little container it came it? It is really nice when one can keep all the sharp things gathered up.

I am very glad that Pam talked me into acquiring these new goodies, now I just have to behave myself and get some of the other stuff on the Mutant To-Do List done before I play with them.

 

Posted by: mamas2hands | January 10, 2017

Where did my MoJo Go?

Seems like all that traveling for the holidays is catching up with me this first week of the new year.  I’ve had a difficult time settling and sticking to any task. This was not helped by our busy weekend. We were celebrating my oldest son’s 14th birthday. Wow! Hard to believe my sweet little baby is so grown up.

He had a couple friends come up Friday after school to spend the night. It was a very full house. Saturday afternoon Himself took them back down to Boulder to their homes and I had the house to myself for a few hours. I spent most of it clearing up the chaos though.

Sunday we took the boys plus another friend to see the “Fantastic Beasts” movie, then picked up pizza and wings to take home for dinner. Suddenly it was time to get boys ready for the coming school week and the weekend was mostly over.

One of the things I’ve been working on has been trying to organize my supplies and tools for making jewelry and such for my coming Etsy Shop. I’ve also been online learning what I need to do and attempting to get all the information filled out for my shop.

About a week before we left for our trip I had placed a couple of orders for supplies from Fire Mountain Gems. Unfortunately with the seasonal post office slow-down, I didn’t get my packages until our return. It was a bit like an extension of Christmas though, opening the boxes and looking thru all the goodies.

It’s always a bit tricky ordering supplies online, when I am purchasing something new-to-me I can’t be certain what it is really like until I receive it. Fortunately Fire Mountain has a decent return policy though, so most of the time it works out.

metal-stamps-and-beading-clips

I purchased some additional tools; metal stamps and beading clips.

beads-and-charms

Then there were beads and charms.

stamping-blanks

Plus a wide variety of metal blanks for stamping.

I’ve been doing some metal stamping, it’s going to take quite a bit of practice to become familiar with the right amount of force needed. It all depends on the size of the stamp and the density of the blank. I’m enjoying learning a new skill and exploring the options when things turn out differently than I had in mind.

I haven’t had very much time to do much in the way of crocheting. I’m working on a few patterns, but they are still in the super secret stage.  Look for a new pattern here on the blog later this month, and if all goes well I’ll also have a new video and paid pattern before January ends.

Writing this all up I realize that I’ve been doing more than I realized. Just the length of the Mutant To-Do List makes me think I’m spinning my wheels. Turns out I must have some mojo going after all. Hooray!

Hope you are all having an energetic start to 2017.

 

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