Saturday, May 29, 2010

Things I buy at yard sales

It's Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. and at least here in the northeast it's the unofficial start of the Summer season and that means.... yard sales! Here's just a look at some of the things I found as I wandered about my town today. So here's what I do with a couple hours to waste and $5 in my pocket!

I like these Amish dolls. I think they're handmade, there were no "made in China" tags and there was hand stitching in places.
Flower Looms! These vintage books were in great shape, from 1968 -1971. I do think I have a vague memory of these as a kid. They are just too kitschy fun!

Another vintage book (1974) of crocheted and knitted gift items.

And... I know I'll figure out something to do with these! A big baggie full of little wooden plant pots of various sizes.

I did find some other things, like two nice shelves for my shop that I can use for displaying items. Of course, my husband's best buy was a Scalextric racetrack... great fun!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

low tech weaving

a shot of my work space with low-tech woven pouches
The potholder loom scarf got me thinking more about weaving. It's not a fiber craft I know lots about, nor is it anything I've ever given much of a try, so I decided to do a bit of research. I had seen various large scale weaving looms.. you know, those big ones with a bench that probably make blanket-sized fabrics and would no doubt take up my whole living room, not to mention cost thousands of dollars. Needless to say, as a rank beginning weaver that's just too much too soon... sooooooooo ... I went low tech! I perused a few websites, looked over a few examples and made myself a couple very low tech little cardboard looms.

close up of pouches
I used some scraps of yarn and produced two little woven pouches. The one on the right was my first creation and measures about  3" x 4". The little white one on the left was the second, measuring just under 2" square. These were fun to do and extremely low tech, which I like! I found what I thought were easy to follow instructions for the cardboard loom here.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wearable Potholders

Soooo.... I decided to play around a bit with some yarn on my potholder loom. I had bought the loom on a whim a few months ago as something to busy myself with over a weekend, and cranked out a few potholders with the nylon strips included with the kit. I can remember making them as a kid and giving them out as Christmas and wedding gifts to the unsuspecting. It quickly came back to me why working with those loops are so annoying! And yet ... weaving squares gets to be addictive! I ended up stitching them together (something I really dislike and is why I try to avoid projects made of multiple "parts" ::shudder::) and giving it a slip stitch border. Here's the result:

close-up of scarf section

I used some leftover yarn to try out the process since I have never used yarn on a potholder loom before. It's a dk/baby/light worsted weight yarn. I got the idea from tweets I had seen from Noreen Crone-Findlay. The lighter weight yarn gives it a "lacier" look.

nine sections joined together
As I mentioned, it does get addictive weaving the squares (or am I just obsessive?), so before I knew it I had used up all the yarn and decided to join them all to make this scarf. Interesting, eh? Looks better in person, really, and I kinda liked the "raggety anne" look of it, especially my joining - I mentioned I hate doing that, right?

a regular metal potholder loom

All in all, it was fun and now I'm thinking of another project. Working with yarn seems so much easier than those pesky loopers despite how happy the little girl is on the box - gotta love those "old timey" boxes they like to sell things in. It felt like 1950 all over again! Not that I was there in 1950 when you were able to "amaze your friends" (lower left hand corner of box) with your potholders.

Monday, May 3, 2010

amigurumis anyone?

Octi, as my son named him, his head is about an inch and a half across
I've been crocheting small things for some time, so the whole idea of amigurumis is not entirely new, but some of the designs people come up with are just adorable.... soooooo... I had some yarn left over from a baby blanket and some hats I had done for a charity project and I decided to try my hand a few little friends:

my son thought Octi needed a friend... so here's Mr. Squid ... yeah, yeah, I know the eyes should be opposite... I plead artistic license!
this little fellow stands about six inches tall (not including ears)