Showing posts with label crochet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crochet. Show all posts

Featured Artist: Barbra LaBosco


This month I'd like to introduce you to my friend Barbra from All About The Buttons. Like me, Barbra dabbles in a lot of different crafts, including knit and crochet. If you love to knit and crochet too, you definitely need to get your hands on a few of her tape irresistible measures.

Tell us a little about yourself.

It’s never been easy for me to ‘talk’ about me because I never think anyone is interested but you asked, so here goes! My father was a leather designer and my mother sewed a great deal & had an artistic leaning. My brother tinkered and built things & still does today. He is just about ready to sell his photography work which is extraordinary. My nephews, are also very creative and sell their work. (My own son, not so much but wonderful in other ways!) We were a creative bunch and still are. I taught myself how to knit at 8 and shocked my mother and her Mahjongg friends. My loving to create continued as I was an art major in college. I sold many things from cards and scarves, to posters for fraternity parties and sporting events. After college, I chose to go into elementary school teaching and did so for 33 years while still creating on the side and always in my classrooms.


In 1993, I inherited my mother’s/grandmother’s cookie tin of buttons and I just sat and played and imagined and All About The Buttons was established at my kitchen table. In 2002, my husband and I moved from New York to South Carolina…a bit of culture shock! The motivation to come here was my son and his family which now includes his 3 boys, the light of our lives and also life without snow! Upon the move I gained a dedicated studio. No more cleaning up just because someone wants dinner! It’s the “not for public viewing” space that I don’t have to clean up if I’m not in the mood. In the mid 90s, it was suggested that I sell online but doing so for one-of-a-kind items was not feasible then. In 2006, it became possible for me and here I am!

What inspires you?

I have always made “stuff” and loved to sketch. I started with macaroni pictures as a young child to tape measures now! There’s barely any craft or material that I haven’t tried but a few are on my wish list. I have done extensive beaded flowers but the old eyes won’t tolerate that today. I dislike painting and anything with clay but have worked with both. I am in awe of quilters and one day I’d like to have the quilt in my head materialize. I have only made one stained glass piece and would love to give that another go for personal pleasure, not for sale.


I am inspired by basic supplies-buttons, yarn, paper and ribbon-which are often purchased with no goal in mind. Those materials began as someone else’s creations and I make them mine. I don’t make buttons, or spin yarn but taking them from a kind of raw state to a useful and beautiful item is so enjoyable. Often a material will sit for months but eventually will get used somehow. Actually, that’s not true! My button and yarn stash could keep me and several others busy for years! I also love to recycle and repurpose, whether it’s for sale or my private use. Making clocks out of old CDs, trays and dishes has been great fun.

What do you create?

As I said, the knitting was started very young and was quickly followed by crocheting and needlepoint. They came from a desire to emulate my Mom, Aunts and Grandmother who all indulged in activities requiring needles and I still enjoy them all. Working with buttons came from a desire to highlight them, rather than just use as garment closures. To me, they are often little works of art.



Tell us about your product line especially for knitters and crocheters.

The tape measures evolved from embarrassment! I pulled mine out in a store to measure a small stool and it was so grungy, it gave me the shivers. “Make it pretty” it said to me, and they have been an amazing ride ever since.


A knitter or crocheter must have one. It’s such a practical, useful item for anyone but I’m shocked that I’m not bored making them. Each one is just that different to keep my interest. Knitters and crocheters love all the sheep themes but have other interests as well and the tapes make great “I don’t know what to get her” gifts. Everyone can use them! I still get excited when another one sells and am always looking for new ideas for them.

Do you accept custom design orders?

I love custom tape measure orders and find my customers are very creative. The latest custom order was for a graduating pharmacy student from her aunt! People, buttons, yarn and fabric are constant inspirations.

What is a typical day for you?

A typical day consists of the mundane and ordinary household responsibilities. I fit in at least one hour of creating whether it’s tape measure construction, knitting or making shipping envelopes and cards. Much time is also spent on promoting online, a necessary evil. A great day may include gardening if my body and weather permits!

I’ve been blessed with a wonderful career and phase two has been just as exciting. I love what I do!

Anything else you would like to share?

One of the side benefits and joys of selling online is meeting great, creative souls all over the world. Creating can be an isolating endeavor but the internet has opened up the world for us all. I love that I can say I have friends in Texas, Oregon and New Hampshire, Germany and Australia. We may never physically meet, but we share passions, goals and intensity. It’s something no one anticipated with online selling and a wonderful bonus.


Stay Connected with Barbra



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Featured Artist: Noelle Lewis

Pretty handmade stitch markers, storage tins and crochet hook handles from Noelle Lewis Art

One of the things I really like about knitting and crocheting is that they don't require a lot of complicated tools. Of course that doesn't mean you can't enjoy some pretty tools while you stitch.

This month I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Noelle from www.noellelewisart.com. She recently added a new collection of handcrafted knit and crochet tools to her shop that you will definitely want to get your hands on.

Who are you and where are you from?

I'm Noelle, an artist/crafter from California. I've been creating since I was a little girl, from markers and beads to paint and clay. I started an Etsy shop shortly after high school, which grew very slowly while I worked and took college classes. Then I spent a lot of time developing my skills during my husband's deployments with the Army. Now we live a pretty quiet life with our two cats in Tennessee, where he runs a gym and I've started a website.

What do you create?

My work continues to evolve over time, but I mostly make paintings and jewelry. My paintings are acrylic on canvas, usually realistic landscapes, ranging in size from miniature to large. I make my jewelry with polymer clay, a durable and colorful medium with almost infinite possibilities. My favorite technique is probably caning, a method of piecing different colors of clay together to create an image, which is then reduced, sliced, and used for various projects. Because clay is so versatile, I can also use it to make other items like home decor and crafting tools.

Pretty handmade stitch markers, storage tins and crochet hook handles from Noelle Lewis Art

What inspires you?

Visually, I am inspired by my favorite things in nature. We have lived in some beautiful places, and looking at the trees or the mountains or the stars makes me want to create beautiful things. I'm always taking pictures of interesting flowers and animals too, and it's fun to get ideas from what other people like. Personally, I am inspired by my favorite stories - I'm a big fantasy nerd - and real people who pursue their passions, whether they're people I know or the great artists, thinkers, and entrepreneurs of the past.

What is a typical day for you?

I generally start my day with catching up on chores, going for a walk, or maybe getting some projects started. But I'm a night owl, so after dark is when I really get going. That's when I tend to work on orders, new product designs, and updating my shop and website. Working on creative projects every day keeps the ideas flowing, but sometimes I need breaks too, so I like to watch Netflix at the end of the day.

Pretty handmade stitch markers, storage tins and crochet hook handles from Noelle Lewis Art

Tell us about your product line especially for knitters and crocheters.

It started with a suggestion to make some sheep stitch markers, since I was already selling sheep earrings. I ran with it and ended up making several sets of stitch markers and crochet hooks, and even some little storage tins. Some of the designs are inspired by knit and crochet slang, some have classic yarn themed patterns, and some are just cute and fun. I've improved my sanding skills to make sure the hooks are smooth and comfortable to hold. Each item is designed to be both beautiful and useful.

Pretty handmade stitch markers, storage tins and crochet hook handles from Noelle Lewis Art

Do you accept custom design orders?

Yes! I love working with customers to create something special I might not have thought of. I can make changes as simple as color and size, or as complex as sketching up a whole new design.

Pretty handmade stitch markers, storage tins and crochet hook handles from Noelle Lewis Art

Stay connected with Noelle




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Crochet Pattern: Hazy Daze Hat

Stay cool this summer and block the sun with an easy crochet hat pattern.

We're expecting temperatures near 115° today in Tucson. Even I have a tough time getting excited about fiber crafts when it's this hot. But I have a super cute crocheted summer hat pattern that I think you are going to love.

The hat is made with a cool cotton, linen, silk and nettle fiber yarn. It's generously sized (22 inches in circumference) so that you can comfortably wear it with a ponytail or hairclip.

Materials

  • 1 50 g/218 yd ball of Plymouth Yarn Nettle Grove (shown in Seashell)
  • US size E (3.5 mm) crochet Hook

Gauge


6 sts or 2 rows of dc = 1 inch

Special Stitches


Cluster (CL)
- Holding back the last loop of each dc on hook, 2 dc in same st or sp, YO and draw through all 3 loops.

Beginning Cluster Shell (Beg CL Shell) - Ch 3, dc in same st or sp, ch 2, CL in same st or sp.

Cluster Shell (CL Shell) - In same st or sp work (CL, ch 2, CL). 

V-Stitch (V st) - In same st or sp work (dc, ch 2, dc).

Directions


Ch 8 and join with sl st to form a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 23 dc in ring, sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch 3. 24 dc

Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in next dc, [ch 3, holding back the last loop of each dc on hook, dc in next 2 dc, YO and draw through all 3 loops] 11 times, ch 3, sl st in 2nd dc. 12 ch 3 sp

Rnd 3: Sl st in ch 3 sp, [ch 5, sc in next ch 3 sp] 11 times, ch 5, sl st in beginning sl st. 12 ch 5 sp

Rnd 4: 2 sl st in ch 5 sp, Beg CL Shell in same sp, [ch 3, CL Shell in next ch 5 sp] 11 times, ch 3, sl st in 1st CL. 12 CL Shell

Rnd 5: Sl st in ch 2 sp, Beg Cl Shell in same sp, [V st in ch 3 sp, Cl Shell in ch 2 sp of next Cl Shell] 11 times, V st in ch 3 sp, sl st in beginning CL.

Rnd 6: Sl st in ch 2 sp, Beg CL Shell in same sp, [ch 1, V st in ch 2 sp of next V st, ch 1, CL Shell in ch 2 sp of next CL Shell] 11 times, ch 1, V st in ch 2 sp of next V st, ch 1, sl st in beginning CL.

Rnd 7: Sl st in ch 2 sp, Beg CL Shell in same sp, [ch 2, V st in ch 2 sp of next V st, ch 2, CL Shell in ch 2 sp of next CL Shell] 11 times, ch 2, V st in ch 2 sp of next V st, ch 2, sl st in beginning CL.

Repeat Rnd 7, seven more times.

Rnd 8: Ch 3 (counts as first dc in this and all following rnds), 2 dc in ch 2 sp, dc in CL,[(2 dc in ch 2 sp, dc in dc) twice, (2 dc in ch 2 sp, dc in CL) twice] 11 times, (2 dc in ch 2 sp, dc in dc) twice, 2 dc in ch 2 sp, sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch 3. 144 dc

Rnd 9: Ch 3, dc in 10 dc, 2 dc in next dc, [dc in 11 dc, 2 dc in next dc] 11 times, sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch 3. 156 dc

Rnd 10: Ch 3, dc in 5 dc, 2 dc in next dc, [dc in 12 dc, 2 dc in next dc] 11 times, dc in 6 dc, sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch 3. 168 dc

Rnd 11: Ch 3, dc in 12 dc, 2 dc in next dc, [dc in 13 dc, 2 dc in next dc] 11 times, sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch 3. 180 dc

Rnd 12: Ch 3, dc in 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc, [dc in 14 dc, 2 dc in next dc] 11 times, dc in 7 dc, sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch 3. 192 dc

Rnd 13: Ch 1, sc in same ch as joining, ch 3, [skip 1 dc, sc in next dc, ch 3] 95 times, sl st in 1st sc, fasten off. 96 ch 3 sp

Flower

Rnd 1: Starting with a magic loop, ch 3 (counts as first dc), 15 dc in loop, tighten the magic loop, sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch 3. 16 dc

Rnd 2: Ch 1, sc in same ch as joining, [ch 3, sc in next dc] 15 times, ch 3, sl st in 1st sc. 16 ch 3 sp

Rnd 3: Sl st in ch 3 sp, ch 1, sc in same ch 3 sp, [(hdc, dc, 2 tr, dc, hdc) in next ch 3 sp, sc in next ch 3 sp] 7 times, (hdc, dc, 2 tr, dc, hdc) in next ch 3 sp, sl st in 1st sc, fasten off.

Attach the flower to the hat and you are ready for some summer fun.

A printable version of this crocheted Hazy Daze Summer Hat pattern with additional sizing options is available in my pattern shop.




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Hello Stanwood Yarn Ball Winder, Goodbye Frankenskeins

My name is Ellen, and I am a yarn-a-holic. My problem isn't necessarily related to buying too much yarn. I am typically a project-based yarn shopper and my skeins do not remain in my stash unworked for very long.

The real issue is that when I finish a project, I simply can not throw away the leftover bits and pieces no matter how large or small they are. I mean, the color is so pretty and someday I might need it for something.

So, I roll the leftovers into a ball and drop them into a bin where they commingle with the other fiber castoffs, eventually morphing into a giant Frankenskein!

Even the cat avoids tangling with this monstrosity of stash yarn.

Hmm... I wonder why I never use my leftovers. Even the cat avoids tangling with this monstrosity.

Then one day in a casual conversation, my neighbor accused me of having every knit and crochet tool known to man. Like that's a bad thing! I immediately went on Amazon to prove my dear friend wrong. Hooks, needles, row counters, stitch markers... Yep, I pretty much have it all.

But wait! What magical fiber related tool do I not yet have? A yarn ball winder. A situation quickly remedied with my purchase of a Stanwood Needlecraft YBW-A.

As soon as it arrived I clamped that bad boy to the table and started deconstructing my giant Frankenskein. Within a couple hours I had a pile of colorful cakes piled across my table.


The winder pleasantly hummed as I wound it all. Cotton, wool, acrylic. I'm not a yarn snob after all.

And now that my yarn is neatly wound and organized by fiber type two questions remain? What stashbusting pattern is next to be designed and what knitting/crochet tool is still missing from my studio?


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Crochet Pattern: Flower Buttons

Crochet Tutorial and Pattern: Learn how to make you own flower buttons.I admit, sometimes I get crafter's block and just feel uninspired. That's why I love it when my friends ask, "Hey, Ellen, have you ever made...?"

This time the inspiration came from my friend Maryse. (She's pretty crafty, too and you can find her on Facebook at UnChifon Fon Fon.) She asked if I had ever made crochet flower buttons. The answer was no, but clearly I had to give it a try!

Materials



Directions


The entire piece is worked in the round with the right side facing.

With orchid pink

Rnd 1: form a magic loop, 8 sc in magic loop and pull loop closed, sl st in front loop of 1st sc,
-or-
Rnd 1: Ch 2, 8 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in front loop of first sc.
Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 4 dc in front loop of same sc, [ch 1, drop loop from hook, insert hook from front to back in first dc of 5dc group, draw dropped loop through, ch 3, 5 dc in front loop of next sc] 7 times, ch 1, drop loop from hook, insert hook from front to back in first dc of 5dc group, draw dropped loop through, ch 3, sl st in 1st dc of rnd. Fasten off.

With frosty green

Rnd 3: Attach green in back loop of any sc from Rnd 1, ch 4 (counts as first tr), 3 tr in  back loop of same sc, [4 tr in back loop of next sc from Rnd 1] 7 times, sl st in first tr of rnd.

Rnd 4: [Ch 3, skip 1 tr, sl st in nest tr] 16 times. Fasten off.
Cut a 12-18 inch piece of either yarn. Weave it up and down through all of the ch 3 loops.
Place the button cover onto the wrong side of the crochet flower.
Pull the yarn snuggly so the green part og the flower wraps around the button cover. Tie the yarn in a knot and trim the tail.

Make sure the flower is centered on the front of the button.
Position the button back.
This next part takes some muscle use the pusher to push the back into the cover.
You'll know it is in place when you here it pop.
Finally, the hard part, decide what you are going to use your pretty, crocheted flower buttons for!

Crochet Tutorial and Pattern: Learn how to make you own flower buttons.

Happy Crocheting!


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Crochet Pattern: Pink Sands Pocket Purse

Free Crochet Pattern: Pink Sands Pocket Purse to carry just the essentials (wallet, keys, phone) when you are on the go.If you've been following along on the blog, you know that I have happily downsized my purse. It used to be called my "Big Bag of Everything" but these days I am quite pleased that it has become my "Little Bag of Necessities".

About a month ago I shared a knitting pattern for my Lifeline Pocket Purse. Today I have a crochet pattern for another micro purse. It's approximately 5 inches wide x 7 ½ inches deep and perfect for those days you want to travel light.

Many thanks to Endless Leather for providing the fantastic silk cord and jewelry findings to complete this purse.

Materials

Abbreviations 

ch - chain
sc - single crochet

Directions


This bag is worked from the bottom up, in a continuous spiral with the right side facing so there is no need to turn the piece over as you work or join the last stitch of the round to the first with a slip stitch.

Bag

Ch 30

Rnd 1: 3 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next 27 ch, 2 sc in next ch, sc in the bottom of next 27 ch. (59 sc)

Rnd 2: [sc in next sc, sc in the stich below the next sc] repeat these two stitches until the piece measures 7 ½ inches from the beginning ch.

Use a ruler to find the center stitch of the bag. The center stitch should be a sc (NOT a sc in the stitch below the next sc). continue working in the pattern to 5 sts before the center mark. Your last stitch should be a sc in the stitch below the next sc.


Closure Flap

This section is worked in rows.

Row 1: [sc in next sc, sc in the stitch below the next sc] 5 times, ch 1, turn.

Repeat Row 1 until the flap measures 2 inches.

Row 2 (buttonhole row): sc in next sc, sc in the stitch below the next sc, sc in next sc, ch 4, skip 4 sts, sc in the stitch below the next sc, sc in next sc, sc in the stitch below the next sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 3: sc in next sc, sc in the stitch below the next sc, sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of the next 4 ch, sc in the stitch below the next sc, sc in next sc, sc in the stitch below the next sc.

Repeat Row 1 until the flap measures 1 inch from the button hole omitting the last ch 1 of the final row. Fasten off.

Use a needle and thread to attach a button.

Assembling the Strap

Attach the circle clasps to either side of the bag.
Cut the silk cord to the desired strap length minus ¾-inch. (If you plan to carry your purse over one shoulder, you will need 28-36 inches of cord. For a cross-body strap, plan on using 48-54 inches of cord. As shown, the silk cord was cut to 28 inches.) Be careful so the cord does not fray after it's cut.

Place a generous dot of G-S Hypo Cement into one end cup. You can even add a little glue around the tip of the silk cord.

Tip: If you don't use enough glue, the cord will slide out of the end cup the first time you use your purse.
Insert one end of the cord into the end cup. It is helpful to slightly twist the cord in the direction that it tightens as you push it into the end cup.

It's ok if some glue oozes out. Simply use a damp cloth to clean the outside of the end cup and the silk cord before the glue starts to dry.
Attach the second end cup to the other end of the cord in the same way.

LET THE GLUE DRY COMPLETELY FOR 24 HOURS.

Use pliers to open the jump rings and attach them to the looped sides of the end cups.

Open the circle clasps and slide them through the jump rings.
Fill your bag with a small wallet, phone and maybe some lip gloss and you are ready to go.

Free Crochet Pattern: Pink Sands Pocket Purse to carry just the essentials (wallet, keys, phone) when you are on the go.

A printable version of the Pink Sands Pocket Purse Pattern is available in my pattern shop. Happy crocheting!


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