Friday, August 25, 2006


I took in my second of Christening dresses to Rue de Lily in Powell, and Karyn LOVED it!! Woohoo!! It looks a lot like the original one I designed, only I added a few more inches to the skirt, added long sleeves, and made it with white mercerized cotton thread. I hand-sewed the skirt lining, using French seams on linen fabric. It's gorgeous!! I also made an adaptation of the Baby Ankle Ties listed in Book 2 of Priscilla's Irish Crochet, making them a little more modern-looking, yet antique. Now, all I have to do is make white booties, line them with linen, and take them back up to the shop once they're done. Also, while we (my dd and I) were there, another lady who works occasionally for the shop owner suggested offering my wares to a little shop in Dublin, Ohio called Create, or something like that. Hmmm...I'll have to see...Perhaps I'll try after the Gahanna Flea Market next month. I really need to focus on products for that event first, then see how things go.

I made 8 more pairs of knitting needles yesterday for the Flea Market. The fobs range anywhere from roses, to circles, to berries, and such. I have a limited color supply of polymer clay, or I'd also try to make animals or even animal prints if I had only thought of buying oranges, browns, and yellows. Oh well. Out of that size of skewers, I only have 9 pairs left to make. Then, I'll start on the size 3 skewers, sorting them, sanding them, dying the bamboo, then I'll make the fobs to go with them, as well. The size 6 ones are turning out to be very cute, and I can't wait to see how well they do at the flea market. I can't decide if I'll display them in a milkglass vase, or in a basket--perhaps I'll do both? Hmmm...maybe I'll ask my CP friends to see what they suggest...

Tata for now...Next time, I'll try to write a tutorial on how to pick just the right doily patterns to make a doilyghan...It's very simple, but I have had people ask me how I know which ones are the right ones, or how to adapt a doily pattern to not have quite so much openwork.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Make Your Own Knitting Needles

I figured out a way to make bamboo knitting needles without a lot of expense!! Woohoo! Unfortunately, it can take some time. Want to know how I did it? Great!! Here we go!!

Bamboo skewers (these can be found in your local department/kitchen store. Sometimes grocery stores have them with the kitchen utensils)
Really fine sandpaper
Your choice of polymer clay
Baking sheet

Optional: Kool-Aid, water, distilled white vinegar, old cup

1. Make sure you find two skewers that match in diameter--they're usually pretty close in the package, but watch out for warping, as well, although it doesn't affect the knitted piece.
2. Using the fine-grain sandpaper, carefully smooth out any roughness, paying close attention to the tips of the skewers--you don't want your needles to be too sharp!
3. (Optional) In the old cup, pour about 3/4 -1 cup of water, 1/4 cup of vinegar, and a package of Kool-aid in the color of your choice. Stir until Kool-Aid is dissolved. Place your chosen skewers into the cup of Kool-Aid mixture for several hours. The bamboo will soak up the coloring. If desired, flip your skewers so the bamboo can soak up coloring on the other end, as well, leaving kind of a tie-die effect in the center of the skewer. Once the color is as you desire, set out to dry in a color-safe area. Once dry, follow with the proceeding steps.
4. Line the baking sheet with foil. Depending on how many pairs of knitting needles you're making, take more foil and make an accordion pattern with it. Place this on the foil-lined baking sheet.
5. Set your oven to the appropriate temperature on the package of the polymer clay.
6. (WARNING: DO NOT USE AROUND FOOD PRODUCTS OR WHERE FOOD IS TO BE CONSUMED OR PREPARED.)Using the clay of choice, make whatever type of fob (piece that fits on the end of the needle, opposite of the point) you like, making sure there are no bubbles in the clay. Tip: I take a tiny bit of clay, roll it into a worm, flatten it, then adhere it to the end. Then I add whatever design element I like. If you desire, add glass beads to your clay design.
7. Place your knitting needles into the slats of the accordioned foil on the baking sheet. Repeat step 6 as often as desired or until baking sheet is full.
8. Bake, following directions on the polymer clay package CAREFULLY. While baking, wash your hands to remove any residue. Do not allow children around the oven while baking, because the clay gives off harmful fumes.
9. Once baking is finished, allow your needles to cool--usually about 10 minutes or so. Now, you're ready to start knitting!!

I need to start...

a WIM journal...I got the inspiration from a book I'm reading about how to invent things, and how things were invented over the years. It talks about fantasy inventions...perhaps I could do Fantasy WIMs? Like, for instance, I've been playing with the idea of making crocheted versions of wedding cakes, using a combination of a hat pattern, and sewing/crocheting Irish crochet motifs to it. Afterwards, perhaps adhering each piece to a papier mache box and voila!! Instant gift!! Sure, it would take more time than what I imagine anyone would ever pay for it, but if done correctly, what a fantastic piece de resistance!! Hmmm...I wonder what else I could put in my journal? *stares off wistfully into space*

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Gaaaa! I Can't Believe It's Been 2 Months!

I am so sorry, folks, for not updating a lot sooner!! My daughter is teething, and a lot has been going on lately!!

Let's see what's been going on in my world...

I finished the dress and took it in to Karen at Rue de Lily...she LOVED it!! Now, I'm working on a white version with long sleeves, and I'm making the skirt longer before taking this one in to her.

I'm also working on items to sell at the Gahanna Flea Market on Sept. 17th. It runs from 9-4:30 in Gahanna, Ohio. I'll be selling a bunch of little cupcake bags, homemade knitting needles (made with bamboo skewers, polymer clay, and Kool-Aid), my Coca-Cola collection, and a bunch of other items I've made. My crochet-along items have been put on hold, just until after the flea market, because I'm going to give them away for Christmas gifts.

A friend of my husband is getting married on New Year's Eve. I'm making her a Star of India doilyghan (pattern can be found under the topic, "Doilies" at Celt's Vintage Crochet), which will be made in a bright red and trimmed in gold metallic thread or yarn--haven't decided which, because it will depend upon what I can find that isn't too expensive.

I'm also making my daughter's dedication dress...I can't remember where I found the pattern, but it uses a double-knot stitch...I don't like that stitch, so I'm using an open-shell, which is a lot easier. It looks really cute, too.

I'm also learning about Irish crochet motifs, and putting them together. I adapted a pattern I found in a Priscilla book that has baby booties (I think they're called "Baby's Ankle Ties") and made them look a little more modern. I think they'll be really cute with the christening dress I designed. I have one finished, and as soon as I finish the other, I'll upload the pics. I might even design a bonnet or a hat to match...hmm...another WIM, just what I need. Lol.

A few weeks ago, I went to a thrift store and lo, and behold, they had a huge bag of wool for less than $4!!!! I couldn't believe it!! Of course, I bought it. :-D There were 4 balls of lavender wool yarn that was made in England, 2 full cones of dark green Peruvian wool yarn (luscious to work with!), and an unlabeled skein of lime green (feels like wool, not acryllic), and one skein of this creamy-greyish-tan, also wool. One of the cones of green I'm making into a pineapple shawl, based on the infamous graduated pineapple table-topper. It's turning out to be quite lovely. The lavender I am making a knitted lace stole or shawl, haven't decided which, yet. Or, I might combine the other green cone, the lime, the tan, and the lavender, and make a Seraphina shawl, or some other butterly-wing shawl--perhaps the Halcyon? I dunno...haven't decided.

I'm still waiting to hear from other yarn addicts...I'd like to make an entry on "You Know You're a Yarn Addict If..." You can either finish the statement, or you can share a story about why you think you are a yarn addict...We already have a couple responses, but I'd like to hear more!!! Keep them coming, folks!