Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Well a New Year Has Started.

Are you the kind of person that makes resolutions?  I never do, simply because I know I am not of the nature to adhere to them.  I wouldn't be able to stop smoking (thank goodness I never started) or adhere to a diet, I just don't have willpower I guess is what I'm saying.

I was chatting with a sister in law today and she was telling me what she does to fill her days or relieve herself if she's stressed.  Can you imagine...she spends time in the kitchen baking or cooking!  Not me, you'd find me in my craft room creating something or other. How about you, how do you chill out?  (Poor choice of words with the deep freeze we're in again).

Today I was asked by a family member to create a document for them but in agreeing to it, I knew it would cause me to rise to a personal challenge. I would have to learn how to create a PDF document.   I was unaware that with the publishing program that I like to use when creating documents or journaling for my scrapbook pages, I could create a PDF document and therefore it really wasn't a great challenge after all.   No idea what that (PFD) stands for by the way, so I have to go and look it up now.  It's a Portable Document Format...now aren't you pleased to have learned that?  The nice thing about a PDF document is that it's a format that can be read no matter (I think) whether the recipient has the same program the document was made in.  I see possibilities in the future. 

We had a few people email the store last week about the double handed mittens, the infinity scarf and the bag organizer so will try to address those queries.

To Sue regarding the bag organizer.  

Rachel didn't really have a pattern to go by Sue.  On Google images we found a picture. From that she created her own pattern just by measuring Linda's tote bag and deciding how many pockets she wanted in the organizer.  Rachel knew she wanted pockets for Linda's order book, pen and for her phone. Once she knew the width and depth that would fit the bag, she simply cut material accordingly. For the bindings, she cut straight strips measuring two inches wide by the necessary length.  She then pressed the fabric in half to make one inch width, opened it and pressed the raw edges into the fold line making a binding, repressed on the first fold line.  The corners she mitered to make a neat turn. The straps were sewn on after the organizer was complete and they go around the straps on Linda's tote and button back onto the top of the organizer.  Linda was very pleased with the finished result and how her iPad fits in behind the back pocket too.  Why don't you drop into the store sometime and Linda will be happy to show it to you Sue.

Margaret, you were asking about the infinity scarf I knitted for Sandra's gift.  

Linda and I were out shopping for gifts for Sandra before Christmas when I saw a lovely scarf that spoke to me about Sandra.  I knew I could make her one that would have greater meaning to her than a bought one. 
We looked at the scarf in the store and determined it was about 72" x 12" and all worked in stocking stitch. It was fine yarn and very soft, so I chose a baby weight fine yarn.  The scarf we saw was loosely knit, so I chose to use very large needles for this, 10 mm needles in fact. 

You have to know me and know that I don't like to knit on circular needles. My knitting style is to have one needle tucked under my right arm and you can't do that with circular needles. Hence that meant my infinity scarf would be knitted in a long piece and joined on the narrow edge. 
You recall I said that it needed to be 12" wide, so I cast on stitches to that approximate width, for me it was about 50 stitches if I recall correctly. Can you tell this wasn't a precise garment?  Knitting in stocking stitch (one row knit, one row purl) caused the scarf to roll slightly on the outer edges adding to the very soft overall look.  

I had knitted partway in when I thought ...wow this would be nice if I added some small pearl seed beads to it for sparkle (a little hard to see in the photo, but they're there).  I did this, not by adding all the beads at the beginning of the work and drawing them into the work as I needed them (remember I had already begun this project when I got my "brilliant" idea), but by using a sewing needle and thread.  What you do is put your sewing needle through the bead, then through the working stitch you want the bead to go on, then back through the bead gently drawing the knitted stitch through the bead. With this method (we've shown card makers how to thread a ribbon through a small hole in this same manner) you don't have to know how many beads to add to your yarn before you begin your project.  I did however have to go back and hand sew the section that I had worked before I got my light bulb moment.

Once my piece was the length I wanted it to be, 72" in this case, I picked up and worked in the stitches from the cast on row and the row I was knitting and cast them off together.  To cover my seam, I first gathered it in and then knitted a narrow piece, about 6 stitches wide and four inches long sewing that over the gathered seam.
The finishing touch was the crocheted flower with pearl embellishments in the centre and a pin back finding on the back.  I've had that pattern for eons, so have  no idea where it came from. It's worked like this and I'll put it on a tutorial page for future reference.

Crochet Flower…4 layers of petals
I used a 4.5 mm crochet hook

Ch 5. Sl st in 1st ch to make a ring or make magic ring
Round 1:  Ch 1. (SC, ch 3) 5 times in ring. Join with a sl st to 1st ch made at the start of this rnd
Round 2:  Ch 1, (SC, 5 DC, SC) in each ch-3 sp around. Join with a sl st to the 1st ch made at the start of this rnd
Round 3: Ch 1. Working behind the petals made in Rnd 2, (SC in next ch-3 sp of Rnd 1, ch 5) around. Join with a sl st to the 1st ch made at the start of this rnd
Round 4: Ch 1, (SC, 9 DC, SC) in ch-5 sp around. Join with a sl st to the 1st ch made at the start of this rnd. Join with a sl st to the 1st ch made at the start of this rnd
Round 5: Ch 1. Working behind petals made in Rnd 4, (SC in next ch-3 sp of Rnd 1, ch 7) around. Join with a sl st to the 1st ch made at the start of this rnd
Round 6: Ch 1, (SC, 13 DC, SC) in ch-7 sp around. Join with a sl st to the 1st ch made at the start of this rnd
Round 7: Ch 1. Working behind petals made in Rnd 6, (SC in next ch-3 sp of Rnd 1, ch 9) around. Join with a sl st to the 1st ch made at the start of this rnd
Round 8: Ch1. (SC, 17 DC, SC) in ch-9 sp around. Join with a sl st to the 1st ch made at the start of this rnd
Fasten Off.   

I then sewed pearl beads at the base of each petal and one in the centre. There's one on display in the store if you'd like to see it.  I also added a pin back to it so it can be easily taken off and put back onto the scarf.

For all of you that were interested and intrigued by the double hand mittens. I've made zillions of these for my daughters and their friends when they were all little.  I say zillions because they all had three or four pair as they were so thick that when they got wet playing in the snow, they took some time to dry.

The simplicity of them is that you simply knit up the one mitt, then from the inside of the mitt at the top of the rib you pick up the stitches and knit a lining mitt only.  

What I chose to do with these was to use a double knitting weight yarn as well as a sock weight yarn, knitting them together.  
In these mittens of Linda's  I used a burgundy double knitting weight and a variegated sock yarn. The reason I do this is that the sock yarn has some wool content which gives the mittens greater warmth (ask Emily and Linda about that for confirmation).  
So if you have a favourite mitten pattern then try doing this yourself.  Feel free to drop into the store for greater clarification should you need it.  I'll be happy to give you an impromptu knitting lesson as I did our customer Sandra the other day.
I'll type out the basic pattern (no lining) that I've used forever and place it on a tutorial page for future reference.

I know Linda expects that I will be putting the Minion Slipper Pattern on this week, but I will add that next week.

I had the pleasure of a visit with one of my sister's recently and she mentioned to me that she wasn't able, didn't know how, to post a comment on the blog.  She's no longer a favourite sister as she said this in front of Linda who has been telling me the same thing for ages!  It seemed easy to me (no doubt as making a PDF document seems to some, but not me until today), so I didn't take heed or address the concern. However once Evelyn mentioned this, I not only showed her how to do it, (she posted a comment on the tutorial page for the Christmas Ornament, go take a look), but I also resolved to be a little clearer for everyone.  

So here goes. If you receive the blog in your inbox each week because you've signed up to receive any changes to the blog, you will have to click on the title in your blog email which will then take you directly to the blog.  This blog today is titled, "Well a New Year Has Started".  Last week was "The End of Another Year".

Once you are at the blog, then you scroll down to the bottom, below where I sign off and you see some thumbnail pictures of previous postings. Below that you will see a brown bar, see the photo to the right, that says posted by Craft Nook at whatever time I posted...(don't look too closely or you may see what time I am up) then it may show No Comments or it may have a number in there of comments already made.  

Just click on the comment wording and it will bring up a comment box like this to the left here.  
All you have to do then is type your comment into the box, including your name in the comment box so we know who you are. 
Below the comment box you will see "Comment as" with Craft Nook in there, but there's a drop down arrow to the right where you can choose how you will comment.  
In most cases I expect that "anonymous" is the choice you will make, unless you have a blog of your own or some other type of address. Once you choose "anonymous" (don't forget to have signed your name in the comment box), simply press publish and you're done.  We'd love to hear from you if only to tell us what you're up to, so don't be shy, please leave a comment or two on what catches your interest or what you are doing to "chill out".
Marta sent us a lovely email telling us what she had done with the tags she received  in the Christmas Tag Swap she participated in.  I'll try and remember to copy it into the comments so that you can all see what good use she put them to.  I can be so totally inspired by some of the ways our customers craft that I love to share these ideas with all of you.

I know this was a long blogging and I hope you were able to stay with me, because I  have another story to share with you.   

I mentioned to you a while ago how Emily had wanted to learn to sew on the sewing machine.  She has a small crafting sewing machine that used to belong to her sister Jessica at one time. Emily was so determined that she planned out, with Linda's help, how to make a gym bag for herself.  
When she was at my house one day she showed me her fabric and told me of her plan.  It was obvious to me that she had thought this out well, but the fabric she had available to her was not a good size for her plan.
So off we went into my fabric stash...oh the joy on her face to be allowed to choose from the "stash". After looking through a variety of colours and textures, she chose the appropriate fabric for the job and off we went to the sewing machine.  

More joy when she found she was going to use the "big" machine. She listened well, she measured, she cut, she sewed and here's the final result of her very first sewing project. One where she planned the pattern and executed the plan.   She was going to embellish it further, but to date has chosen not to.

And finally, (though I'm not really finished, I'll have to save it for next time, or maybe I'll put an extra blog into the week) my words for today...I  have so many!!  

We all know that any form of crafting be it needle arts, paper arts of any sort, painting, or general crafting is an art form, so with that in mind, remember that.......especially all you Canadians...

Until Later....Happy Crafting



  1. glad you gave instructions thanks . Like seeing your craft ideas every week Bernice

    1. Thanks Bernice...your comments encourage me to share. Did you make out ok in today's snow storm?

  2. I look forward to your blog. I have tried some of the knitting patterns and am currently trying felting. I am not able to make it up as often as I would like due to distance and winter weather, so your blog is a welcome connection between trips to the store. Thanks for your hard work. It is truly appreciated as well as inspiring. Marilyn

    1. We miss seeing all our out of towners in the winter Marilyn. Pleased you are able to stay connected through the blog and newsletter.

  3. Thanks for the double knitted mittens pattern. It certainly sounds straight forward but once again the proof is in the pudding, I will give it a try and see what happens. I look forward to your blog and newsletter please keep up the good work. Looking forward to seeing you whenever the weather clears enough to make the journey from Midland.

  4. Oh it's easy enough Dianne. Just use your favourite mitten pattern to knit the basic mitten, then turn the wrong side toward you, pick up the number of stitches you had at the top of the ribbed cuff and go again. Easy peasy and so warm.
    Hope to see you again when the weather breaks.

  5. Replies
    1. Total agreement Jill. If I haven't created or worked on creating something each day, then I'm likely to say "eh". I have a sister-in-law that loves to cook and although I tease her about it because that's not where I want to be, I recognise that too is an art form

  6. Thanks for sharing the pattern for the infinity scarf with flower embellishment! I have a couple of pairs of fingerless gloves to know, and a cowl, but it's next on my list (which means I'll be in for coaching!). I really enjoy the blog, thank you!

    1. I'll look forward to "coaching" you, why not sign up for a Friday night Crop and Craft night. We have one this coming Friday Jan 17th. You'll have to introduce yourself though, as you forgot to sign you name...LOL.