Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Let's talk about the elephant in the room.: Pinterest. Also, let's give ourselves a challenge!

Yes, Pinterest.

I know, we all have our feelings about it, whether it be good or bad, but thanks to Pinterest, I'm starting a challenge for myself (Feel free to join me!)

I feel as though there are two kinds of people on Pinterest. The first kind is The Collector, The second being The Doer.

The Collector is planning their wedding, wardrobe and future house out on Pinterest. They post pictures of shoes, dresses, cute wedding ideas (so many of which, that if they actually USED all of them at their wedding it would be the tackiest thing), as well as home accessories from rugs to kitchen bowls, to food processors to paintings and toilets. They post so many pictures of jewelry and open-toed shoes, all with the caption "I WANT THIS!!!!!". There is nothign wrong with being a Collector (I'm certainly guilty of it at times), but I find myself getting bored of thinking "Oh, look at this thing I'll never own'. I'd much rather be a Doer, and that's what this challenge is about.

The Doer is the person who posts DIY things over and over again, from every sort of category. How to make your own dresses, how to plant a garden in tuna cans, how to bake cookie bowls, how to do fancy up-dos. Crochet and knit patterns show up among tutorials on how to make coffee filter flowers, headbands out of T-shirts, and personally, I can't tell you the amount of things I have pinned related to DIY projects with maps involved.

Good GOD I love Maps.

So us Doers, we pin and pin and pin and pin, and we think "HOW ENRICHED MY LIFE WILL BE AFTER I MAKE ALL THESE THINGS", and we keeping pinning and pinning until one day we realize....My God, I'm not actually doing any of these things. I'm just wasting time on Pinterest, tricking people into thinking that I'm a super crafty lady.

So, I'm going to remedy this.

During the month of June, I'm going to set down my crochet hook for awhile, and do some of the things I've pinned, because I sincerely thought about how enriched my life would be because of it. On top of it, hopefully by posting links to some of these things, I will hopefully be able to inspire you guys to do something crafty with your time (I mean seriously. I just CAN'T watch anymore TV, or deal with facebook for much longer).

So, month of June. What will you guys be doing? I'm going to take on the challenge of making:

- DIY Crochet hook comfort grips

- Jenga Block Map Keychain

- Homemade granola "bars"

- Pretty Double Braid Headband Hairstyle

Don't have a Pinterest?

That's fine, in fact, it probably means you're being more productive than I am. Nonetheless, let's make June a month of getting things done, learning new things, picking up a new hobby, venturing into unknown territories of your current hobby.

Wanna know more about crocheting, but have only made a dozen scarves? Learn to make a hat. Don't have anything to do with your hands while watching TV? Learn to knit. Bake cookies all the time? Make crescent rolls, or learn to make cheesecake. Go outside and take photographs. Start writing a novel. Just get your hands on something, and make your brain start thinking.

I think you'll be surprised how nice life gets when you get away from Facebook and cartoons once in awhile. It's not that I'm not guilty of it, I totally am...what do you think inspired all of this, anyway?

I will post my results either at the end of the month, or as they are completed. Anything on your pinboards you guys wanna knock out of the way this June? You can see by the things I'm choosing to do that it won't cost much, either. Any hobbies you've been wanting to dabble in, but just haven't, for one reason or another? What are you guys waiting for?

Since I've been blabbering on about Pinterest, you guys should follow me! Honestly, please do. I need to follow more people...right now, all the pinners I watch are Collectors...I need some inspiration!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Broomstick Lace Finger Cuff

I've been so into broomstick lace since I made my Misty Broomstick Lace Hat. I guess I was surprised by how easy it is, when I've been feeling so overwhelmed by it for so long. I've made a handful of broomstick laces bracelets over the last week or so, and after my FIFTH one, I thought, what about other broomstick lace jewelry?

I decided to try to make a ring, and although this turn out much bigger than I had anticipated, I still enjoyed the idea of a 'finger cuff', many of which I used to own back in the day when I shopped at Hot Topic ;) These, however, are a little lighter, a little prettier, a lot more elegant, and have zero skulls on them.


Not sure how to broomstick lace? A tutorial can be found here. Otherwise, this pattern will assume you know how to do basic broomstick lace.

What will you need?

- 1.50 or 1.65 MM crochet hook
- Size 10 Crochet thread
- A Size 8 (5.0 MM) knitting needle
- Tapestry needle.

Here's how to do it.

Row1: Chain 17. Single crochet in 2nd ch from hook, and in each ch across (16 sc).

Row 2: Pull up a loop from every sc onto your knitting needle (16 loops). Pull together a group of four loops, ch 1, then 4 sc in the gathered loops.  *Pull together the next group of 4 loops, and 4 sc in the gathered loops.** Repeat from * to ** until the end of the row (16 sc, 4 groups of broomstick lace)

Repeat Row 2 until your finger cuff is the desired length. Mine was 8 rows.

Finishing off: Fold cuff so both WS are facing outwards, sl st through both the 1st and last rows to connect. Finish off after connecting last st. Tie off ends, and flip inside out.


Are you going to make one? Where are you going to wear it? I'm not sure what occasions mine is appropriate for, so I wanna hear what you guys are doing with yours! I think it's a nice coffeehouse afternoon accessory, but then again, that's what I think all accessories are for :P!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Quick and Easy Crocheted Bangles

I don't really know what's been going on with me lately. The weather is in the 70's, and I've only yelled about it a couple times.

See, I like winter. I like putting on sweaters, and drinking hot cocoa, and crocheting with the biggest, fluffiest, fuzziest, softest yarns I can get my hands on, and then wrapping whatever it was that I just made around my neck a good 5 or 6 times, so I can go sit in front of a fireplace at my closest Starbucks. I like snow, and ice and wool socks.

I don't like summer. Summer, to me, is mosquitoes, and sweating, and all my friends saying "Let's eat our dinner outside!" So that I can be swarmed by mosquitoes, while I sweat, WHILE eating dinner. Nothing says 'joy' to me like picking gnats out of my mashed potatoes. Great.

This year seems a bit different, I haven't been bothered by the weather thus far, and I've been all too happy to go out and take walks. The weather has, however, been very inconsistent. Maybe I will look back on this reflection in a couple months when it's 80 degrees everyday, and think "Oh, if only I knew then what I know now..."


However, in the spirit of enjoying the weather, I put something simple and summery together. I was at Target the other day, and on a whim, nearly cleared out a section of clearance bangles (They were $1.20 each! At that price, how could I afford NOT to buy them? Amirite?!). Basically, I took cheap, semi-broken bangles and single crocheted over them with a light, cotton yarn (Lily Sugar n' Cream Stripes, the colorway "Country Stripes"). I LOVE this yarn. I'm already rather partial to cotton yarns, but this yarn reminds me so much of the Chesapeake Bay, where I used to live, my heart feels heavy as I write this out, and I don't know how good it is for my health to think about it too much. The yarn is 4 colors that all shined through over the 3 bangles I made, and are so reminiscent of the Bay waters, looking down at them makes me reminiscent enough to keep rambling (but I will spare you all). On top of that, it's light, so it won't be too hot to wear in the summer. My favorite part? Only using one yarn, and making 3 distinct and individual bangles.


Ah, I've been rambling more than usual. I'm actually hoping to do some real writing after this post, so my creative writing juices must just be spilling over. Also, my coffee is totally working (It's peanut butter coffee!)


Here's how to do it:

What you need:

- Bangles! I used 3 kinds, a flat one, a round one, and a square one. The square one was weird, but works well enough. I will use the flat one as an example, since it is the simplest.

- Yarn, preferably cotton yarn so you can wear them in warm weather, but to each their own.

- Crochet hook. I used a size G hook, but I'm not entirely sure if this matters.

- Tapestry needle

First, Slip stitch around the bangle, then ch 1.

 Because of the thickness of the bangle, you will have to reach your hook out about an inch. Be more aware of tension, and it will turn out fine.

After your sl st ch 1, you will just do single crochets all around the band.

Pull your loop up more than usual, to meet the top of the bangle

Pull through one loop, then both loops.

Single crochet all the way around. Be sure all the stitches are snug. When you are done. Sl st into 1st sc.

I then threaded both loose ends underneath all single crochets and cut them. Boom. Done. 

 These were so fun, and I actually REALLY enjoy wearing them! If you make some, I would love to see how they turn out.