. Beautiful Buttons

TEST

Beautiful Buttons

Category: crochet

I love buttons. They can be so unique and beautiful, and they can brighten up even the simplest of garments and accessories. I’ll even use them to embellish my needle felted dolls from time to time!

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-12-10-23-pm

Every now and then when I’m facing shelves I get to take a peek through our button racks, and I always seem to find something new and entertaining. Today I’d like to share a few of my favorites with you, and hopefully spark some inspiration! (Ignore my gross fingers)

img_3702

He’s so happy!

img_3704

img_3705

img_3708

Sometimes I like to use these and the antlers above in my felting.

img_3707

Each of these coconut shell buttons can be vastly different from the others in the tube.

img_3706

 

img_3712

img_3711

When you’re trying to find the perfect button, look no further. This is THE perfect button for everything, no doubt about it. Everything you have needs to portray the heartwarming story of the goat that lived on a farm and was best friends with a toad. ~*~Everything~*~

DIY Costume Pieces for Halloween

Category: crochet

I love Halloween. A holiday all about chocolate and costumes? Yes, please! (I am equally passionate about theme parties, for similar reasons.) Whenever possible, I like to make my own costumes, and I actually think that’s part of the fun. I recently spent a little time browsing Ravelry for handmade Halloween costume items to share with all of you, and there are some really fun pattern ideas out there!

Wigs: You can knit or crochet a wig for just about any character — long hair, short hair, colorful hair, wild hair. Plus, it’s basically a hat, so it will help keep you cozy on a chilly Halloween night.

dsc03346_medium2

© Charlotte W.

The Lassie Wig Hat by Charlotte W. is a great foundation for any costume that calls for a wig. You can do braids, or pigtails, or even wind the braids on either side, space-princess-style. Thread sturdy wire through the braids and you’ve got Pippi Longstocking! Throw a horned helmet on top and you can be a Viking!

 

 

 

6a00e55007f593883401a3fd23cef6970b-320wi_medium

© Mary Scott Huff

The Dolly pattern by Mary Scott Huff is perfect for a number of classic costumes. Goldilocks, a rag doll, Shirley Temple, Little Bo Peep… This knitted wig also features a hat base, to help your curls stay in place, and it would be easy to make longer curls if you need them. With any hat-based wig, you can pretty much create any hairstyle — simply weave or tie the yarn into the hat base.

 

 

 

Masks and disguises: As a crafty person, you can custom-make a mask to fit your face, which means no more ill-fitting costumes that slip down over your eyes!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

© BuddyRumi

The Disguise Mask by Ana Rosa is a delightful yarn-y take on a classic. I especially love the option for the fuzzy eyebrows. This disguise can stand alone as a costume, or be part of a Mr. Potato Head!

 

 

 

 

8813776601118_small2

© Coats & Clark

Mask Gone Batty by Cristina Mershon is a slightly more elegant mask option. Crocheting this in aran weight yarn will make for a quick, last minute option. Add a black lace shawl — bonus points if you made it yourself!

 

 

 

There are so many amazing costume pieces out there! Hats, gloves, mermaid tails…

l0609a_medium

© Lion Brand Yarn

Check out the Witchy Hands by Kim Hamlin — creepy yet cozy at the same time!

 

 

 

 

lw3741_medium

© Coats & Clark

This Halloween Top Hat by Sharon Mann is super fun, and can be customized in almost any way you can imagine. Circus Ringmaster, Mad Hatter, steampunk…

 

 

 

 

There’s still plenty of time to grab some yarn and add a handmade touch to your costume! Ravelry has pages and pages of Halloween goodies, and we have skeins and skeins of yarn! Now, if anyone needs me, I’ll just be over here making a wearable cloud out of FiberFil and hot glue. Get crafty!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Yarns Held Together

Category: crochet

Lauren's Mouse Stuffed ToyShortly after I taught myself to crochet, I decided to make crocheted gifts for each of my family members. For my three siblings, I made stuffed toys. They may all be adults, or nearly so, but who couldn’t use a cheerful little something decorating one’s office or bedroom? Stuffed toys are for grown-ups too, thank you very much. But for my parents, I decided to make scarves. Mom’s was decorated with ruffles and flowers and beads. It delighted me to no end to produce a scarf straight from my girly-girl dreams. But Dad’s a dad, with a professional manly sort of style, and his scarf had to be a little more conservative. What could I do to spice it up?

As I dug through my craft supplies, I was thrilled to experience a jolt of inspiration when I happened upon some embroidery floss. It occurred to me that I could add a whole rainbow of bright color in little bits that would make a grey scarf spectacular, but subtle. I’d do it by holding a much heavier yarn in grey together with a thin strand of vibrant yellow, for instance. I’d keep the base color the same, and change out the accent color periodically. When I purchased 20 or so colors of embroidery floss from a local store, the lady who rang me up asked me the question I ask customers every day – “So, what are you planning on making with this?” It’s a good question, after all. Making things out of yarn is my favorite thing to talk about. But she gave me a curious side-long glance when I told her I’d be incorporating this embroidery floss into a grey scarf. The conversation went no further. I wondered if I was the only one ever to have done such a thing.

But as it turns out, nothing in the world is entirely new, and holding two yarns together was certainly no exception. There are several excellent reasons for which one might do such a thing.

1. You want to achieve a larger gauge. Holding two strands of lace-weight yarn together will give you approximately a fingering-weight gauge. Holding two strands of fingering/sock-weight yarn together will give you approximately a worsted-weight gauge.

1a. It may expand your yarn options to consider holding two strands together. There happen to be a lot of great machine-washable options in fingering-weight yarns since many are designed for socks!

1b. It may help you work from your yarn stash. The other day, I wanted to use a fingering-weight yarn and a dk-weight yarn together because the colors and textures were perfect for each other, so I double-stranded the fingering-weight yarn!

1c. You can achieve extremely large gauges by holding 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 strands of worsted-weight yarn together. This is awesome for rugs!

pihat08_web2. You can create unique textures. Consider holding a strand of wispy mohair yarn together with a smoother yarn, to add a soft fuzzy halo to your fabric. We did this when we designed the Pi Hat. Berroco Yarns recently released a gorgeous pattern called the Kennebec Hat, which achieves the same effect by holding a strand of Andean Mist together with a strand of Boboli Lace.

3. You can achieve complex, almost iridescent colors. When you knit or crochet with two yarns held together, they naturally wrap around each other, mimicking the look of a marled yarn (think about sock monkeys, made with brown & cream-colored marled yarn).

4. You can blend colors gradually to create a gradient effect. When you hold two strands together, and change out only one at a time, you can create the appearance of a gradual change from one color (or texture) to the next.

Here are a few gorgeous examples.

anastasia_berroco-gradient-scarf-2-strands-02

Hold two strands of the same yarn in same, then different colors to transition gradually from one color to the next. Pattern: Anastasia Shawl by Berroco. Photo by Ravelry user Lindabannerman.

confetti_scarf_2_strands_02

Hold strands of neutrals together with brights to create a “confetti” look. Pattern: Confetti Scarf from Purl Soho.

five-by-five_cowl_3_strands

Hold yarns in similar hues together to create a rich, iridescent look. Pattern: Five by Five Cowl by Felicia Lo.

knit_washcloth_2_strands

Hold two strands of lace weight cotton together to make a lightweight dish cloth with a marled look. Pattern: Not Your Ordinary Knitted Dishcloth by Erica Lea.

Hold two strands of gradient-striping yarn together for rich, surprising color transitions. Pattern: Waiting for Winter Mittens by Susan B. Anderson.