Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Birthday Gift To Myself. I can finally....

Hi, my internet friends!
If you didn't know (why should you) my 42 (gasp) birthday was yesterday. As I have told you before I had always wanted to learn to crochet. I am not very creative. That meaning, I can't come up with an idea but I can make it my own once I see it. I have always admired a nice scarf, a beautiful blanket and I knew that somewhere inside me, if I had a good teacher, I could learn to put yarn on a hook. Well, it took me darn near 30+ yrs to finally get settled down and old enough to WANT to learn but I did. 
In my last post I mentioned my never ending (literally, it feels like) Granny blanket is my New Year Resolution but my birthday gift to myself was learning the basics of knitting. 
Soooo, last night I sat myself down. Got out the ONLY set of knitting needles I had and found me a YouTube tutorial.
Yes, I did find one and once I watched it a few times and then a few more in slow motion (go to the settings in the box, click on speed, it's on normal, put it on 0.5) that slows it down enough to see whats going on. You are going to need to. I need to say that I already knew how to finger and arm knit so the long tail cast on was easy for me. Once I figured out that my fingers were used EXACTLY like the knitting needles should be then I got it. This was after about 15 tries. I usually pick up really quick but this was a little confusing for me. Not because of the instructors teaching method, just because I didn't have any clue about how to knit. 
Here is the link I used. Its a basic knitting tutorial.

Here is my progress...


Here is a little video that my bf shot of my progress. I have never uploaded one like this so I dont know it it will play, or whatnot. It might be slow and blurred. Heck if I know. If it does, I will delete it after I view the page. Its just the slip knot, long tail cast on, and a simple knit stitch. You can see by the work on my only set of needles that I have about 15 rows on them already. This work wont turn into a project but its my learning work and I will keep practicing on it until the stitches are neat and all complete.
I dont do videos. I didnt get all dolled up. I just wanted to show you how easy it is and how quick I picked it up. (it took hr last night, and a slow motion play on youtube this morning) The teacher does say that she thinks if you know how to crochet first (because you know how to hold your yarn) you may do better at knitting. This was half true for me. I didnt have trouble with the stitches, it was holding the yarn thats hard for me. Still is. I havent even gotten confident enough to say I know how to hold it but practice makes perfect. When I learned to arm and finger knit a few months back again I watched youtube tutorials to learn it, although I knew the basics of finger knitting from childhood. I didnt know until last year that I actually knew a craft that could help me learn to crochet and mark a line off my bucket list. 

Well, thats a video and a few pictures of my progress. Mind you, I didn't take pictures of every step but I wanted you to see my wonky awkward knitting technique. I don't think it turned out half bad. Its very easy once you get the hang of how to hold your yarn (hardest part for me) and how to adjust your tension. 
I have no clue what in the world I am going to knit and technically I am not supposed to be knitting or crocheting anything but my blanket and my moms birthday scarf at the end of Jan.  
I am still not sure what or how I am going to make it. I have a gorgeous celery and silk brown that I am dying to use that is going to be gorgeous together. I put both strands on the hook and just DC a swatch to see how it looked and I loved it. Now, I just need to find a warm but lovely pattern for my mom. I don't think she will wear a cowl, so I am going to have to learn something pretty for her. I love the Alpaca Wrap but I dont know if I can attempt that or not. It is a gorgeous piece of work. 
I have a month to complete it. 
She asked me for it special.
I want to impress her.
Any ideas?

So, there you have it.
My adventures in knitting....some wonky adventure, at that.
Part of a dream fulfilled.
If you have a comment please leave one. If your one of those "professional" knitters thats going to jump on me for my wrong technique please remember I have been knitting less than 24 hrs. I dont think thats too bad. Everyone has to start somewhere. 
I listen to all suggestions, advice, & critiques with pleasure. Just to know I reach someone lights up my day.
Thats because sometimes I crochet in the dark, and that doesn't mean electricity.
Crochet is a healer.
Keeps my fingers and my mind busy and healthy.
but....I think I will stick to my crochet hook with the occasional knit here and there. ;-)

Monday, December 29, 2014



Today is my birthday. 

My tree is down.
It doesn't seem like a birthday if the Christmas tree is up.
I have always had a birthday full of snow and cold. 
This year it's 40 degrees and raining. Very different for my birthday.
I got to sleep late.
I had 75 Birthday wishes on Fb.
I appreciate all the warm wishes.
I got woke up with a cappuccino, a card a few gifts from my S.O.
I am so blessed.
I am having a little get-together today at my house.
Everyone is Welcome!

Now for the good stuff....

Do you make resolutions?

I have a gray & pink granny blanket that I started on when I first learned to crochet a couple months ago. I went to walmart and finally got the yarn for my inspiration project. (its a few posts back)
I have decided NOT to start anything until I get this blanket done. I started out making a cali-king sized blanket and since I got a new cherry sleigh bed for Christmas the blanket sized has changed since I went to a queen sized mattress. So now, I don't have much more to go. 
So, thats my New Year Resolution. Not to work on ANYTHING until I got my blanket done. 

Here is is.....

Its gray and a light pink that I can find anywhere. I guess I'll just keep going in gray and edge it out in the pink I have left. It won't take me long, but its gonna take a few days of hard work. I'm up for it. I want it out of the way so I can start on my shrug and my sons StormTrooper granny square blanket for the new year.

Do you have a NYR or a project that you can't get finished?

Have a great day, and Happy Hookin!

Barbie Loves Crochet Too...

Good Afternoon My Friends!

Since the Christmas Holidays are over I have finally got my tree and all my Christmas put away for another year. Boy, don't it seem like there is WAY more to put away than when you got it out? Seems that way to me. I have always taken my tree down right after Christmas because my Birthday is TODAY and it does not seem like its my birthday with a Christmas Tree up.
Thats for another post though. 

I have been working on Barbie clothes for my niece. Sometimes they turn out a little wonky. I decided to try my own hand at my own crochet barbie clothes and here is what I came up with.

Barbies New Halter, Mini and purse (it opens)

Barbies New Hat & Scarf

Barbies Sleeping Bag

All my hard work!

I'm telling you, Barbie clothes are NOT easy. It cramps my fingers because it such small stitches. I used regular worsted weight yarn, because its hard to work with thin stuff. A lot of the Barbie clothes online are using thread. No Thanks!
I barely got these done. Barbies sleeping bag is a little wonky, but she doesn't mind. :-)
Her little hat and scarf was so easy, and her outfit I made by my own pattern. Her little purse holds stuff too.
My sisters little girl is going to be IN LOVE.
Now, I just have to find a dress and a bathing suit. There are so many cute Barbie clothes on line that I have a hard time deciding what to make. Sometimes its too hard once I get started and I have to tear it all back out and go to another.
I'm making a whole Barbie wardrobe.
Have you bought Barbie clothes lately????
It's easier this way IF your little girl doesn't mind crochet Barbie clothes and accessories.

Have a great day, and Happy Hookin!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas To All!

From~Crystal to All of You <3

Since we will all be busy with our families and such during this Holiday Season I just wanted to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year. 
Its important to me to let the few of you out there know that just you opening the page and looking at my pictures does me good. I don't write this blog for advertisements or free stuff. I honestly enjoy doing all my little projects. In the big world, they might not matter to someone else but they matter to me in my little part and thats all that matters. I love to write and share so thats where my idea of a blog came from. 
I love new people, I am very outgoing but spend most of my time by myself of a daytime. I fill the hours with my newfound love of crochet.
So, this Holiday Season tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. That means way more than any gift, then make a resolution to treat yourself better for the New Year. Thats not so hard, put like that. 
Anyway, its my bedtime. 
I wanted to say Thank You
Happy Holidays

Now, for one more quick thing. One of my biggest pet peeves is Red Heart Yarn not pulling from center. Yes, it says so but I can't ever find the yarn barf that other crocheters say is inside. Anyway, I seen the bottom cut off a 2 liter of soda to keep your yarn in on Pinterest to keep it from getting tanged. I do not like to ball yarn. I would rather clean toilets. Sad but true. My yarn bottle didn't work out so well because the Super Saver I had in it was too full. So this is what I came up with after scouring Pinterest for ideas. (I asked Santa for a yarn bowl from our local potter but idk if that is going to happen. I may need to gift it to myself, I DO have a birthday 4 days after Christmas.

Ta-Da! (Don't laugh, it works like a dream)

Ok, I have to admit its a lot on the DIY side but the open hanger goes right thru the yarn and it lets it roll. I am very satisfied with myself although my hubby thought I was crazy.
So what! He isn't crocheting.
Thats my very first blanket. I started it a couple months ago when I started learning to crochet. I had to wait on more yarn. Darn truck! Darn town with no yarn store!
Its just a rose and charcoal never ending granny. It started out as a cali-king size but I got a new cherry sleigh bed for Christmas and its a queen so it wont be quite as large. I have 3 more skeins of charcoal here and maybe that will finish it up. I have intentions on making the pillow covers to go with. I saved the rose to do the middles and the borders. Why not go all the way! I love it.
Its my bedtime.
My UNWRAPPED packages are sitting in my bedroom floor looking at me. I dont know whats wrong with me. I am always so into Christmas, not this year so much. Its been a tough year for us though. I will be glad to see 2015 ring in.
I will get it all caught up in the morning. Thank goodness we celebrate later of an evening on Christmas Eve.
Have a blessed Christmas Eve & a Great Christmas Dinner! 
I will be back with you after it all settles down here.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Partys & Last Minute Gifts

Good Morning!
I hope everyone is having a calm day. I know Christmas is only 4 days away. To be honest, I have not wrapped a darn thing. Since I shop all year for Christmas presents (its not as expensive to spend it all year than in 2 months) I need to get in my closet and pull out all those gifts that I have hid from myself. Do you shop all year?
Have you ever lost a gift you put up?
I have, not this year I hope.
I have all the necessities for wrapping. Last year I waited too long and couldn't get bows and had to make them homemade. Not this year, I got mine early. I am way to busy to be making bows this year. 
For those of you who have been reading since the beginning you know my sister is having a hard time. I crocheted dishcloths in 3's for all my family members with a kitchen. She had one until about a month ago. Now, she does not. I struggled with
                   what to make her and her boyfriend.
I stopped in at our local panty the other day and they had these gorgeous scarfs and matching hats. I picked one of them up for the boyfriend and for another gift for a friend. 
What do you think? (I didn't make these)

They are going to make great last minute gifts. 
Now let me show you what I have been working on like a mad woman. This is a shell scarf I made from youtube.
Here is the wristers pattern from Mikey @TheCrochetCrowd.

I think they turned out great. I started on the shell stitch scarf first. I had made shells before just not in a scarf. After I got past the first 2 or 3 rows I had it going on. I finished it in 2 days. Thats a little long, but I had to prep for a Christmas party here at the house yesterday so I didn't have much crochet time. The gloves were so easy. I figured who wouldnt love a pair. I am going to make myself a pair after I can start crocheting again for my self after the first of the year. After all the holidays are over. I have a birthday the 29th of Dec and we have 5-6 birthdays in Jan. Whew. I'll be busy!

I love to try hacks from Pinterest. I decided to make the mint trays I have been seeing everywhere. I couldn't find my parchment paper. This little round one was my first try. I put it in the pie tin to keep it from spreading. I used waxed paper in the bottom. I put the candy in the right pattern, put it in 350 oven for 8-10 min. I watched it carefully so it wouldn't run. Here is how it turned out.

When I took it out of pan the waxed paper stuck on the bottom so this candy you can't eat after your done using it (if you want too, it says you can, idk about that, yuck).
This is one hack that works!
Here is the square one, I found the parchment paper this time and it peeled off the back perfectly.
Here is my big one.

Yesterday at my party I put the Christmas Cookies out on it. 
My bff and I made about 75 Christmas Cookies Friday. Look at these, don't they look yummy?

I have to say my dinner was a success yesterday. I had 8-10 people. We had lasagna, salad, crescent rolls, pie, so many good things. It was a success. I made my first batch of PB candy (made from the easy pb candy pin on Pinterest). 
This is the recipe I used. I cut the extra 1/2 cup sugar.

It turned out so creamy.

If you love pb candy and don't want to drag out all the stuff to do it with, try this simple recipe. Time 2 1/2 min ONLY. You don't need a candy thermometer. Try this for Santa instead of cookies!

Ok, today I need to get my stuff done. My cards addressed, the packages wrapped, many, many other things to do.

I started on a dog sweater for my son and his Chillweenie so I am going to try and get some crocheting in today. I had a crochet helper last night. 

How often do you have a helper?

Have a great day. 
Dont stress!
You have PLENTY of time to finish.

Happy Holidays & Happy Hookin!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hookin On Hump Day!

Good Morning!
The sun is shining and its beautiful outside. Its hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner. I have been super busy, as I am sure all of you are too. I havent been crocheting much because I cant decided on a project. There are so many things I want to make but our Walmart (only yarn store) doesn't have any kind of selection. So I am limited in the yarn dept. You can make soft, wearable clothes out of cheap yarn. So my next purchases are going to be at an online yarn shop. I dont know where to go. 


Well, let's get to it this week. 
It's Wednesday and that means "Hookin On Hump Day!"
Yay! I love to show off my work and look at everyone elses. 

This week I am going to put up the headband on the previous post, this little boutique bag, and my last set of Christmas Dishcloths for a gift.
The dishcloth was a new pattern for me. The first one is worked in the back loops only, and the 2nd one is just shell and post. I love the design. It turned out lacey and lovely.
This will be my go to pattern from now on. Here is the YouTube video tutorial I used. She is my favorite tutorialist (is that even a word, lol) and she makes great videos. Very clear. The little boutique bag can be found on a previous post in this blog. Its very simple, takes no yarn and works up in about 30 min. Great project for a rainy day or stocking stuffer. Here it is as well...

Boutique Bag


So easy, I made them out of Sugar and Cream cotton yarn from Walmart for $1.77. Not too shabby and definitely cheaper than buying them.
I hope everyone has a great day!
I will be back soon with another showing and some Christmas cheer. Just hang in there. Santa will be to see you soon. I will be back soon with a few more updates. Its early here in WV, I just woke up and Hookin on Hump Day was the first thing on my to-do list this morning.

Now for a cappuccino to get my morning going.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Quick Project for a Sick Day

Good Afternoon!

I am dealing with a terrible cold today and it has really got me down. I made a promise to myself that I would practice crocheting every day. If you don't practice, (just like the piano) you don't get better and its my goal to be a crochet encyclopedia. I am amazed at all the stitches and projects that are available and out there to learn. Most are too hard for me right now but I attempted this SAME headband when I first started crocheting a couple months ago and it was out of my league. Today it was not, and thats huge progress for me and for that I am excited and thankful, and Today that promise was turned into headbands. Very easy headbands. I can always use the extra little things in Christmas stockings. My sisters little girl reaps all the crochet benefits. Lucky her. I made one for myself this time though and I have one more to make for my BFF Kat. I started Sissy's in pink, she is a red-head and I got to thinking I had better stick with the white for her. Anyway, here is the link I used. 
I went Andromeda's Fiber Studio and got it. There is a picture tutorial available too. I always look for one when I start a project. Its nice to crochet along with someone.

Here is the picture tutorial.

Here is the picture of mine. Please excuse the morning hair. I am taking a sick day.

I think it turned out really cute, right on trend and great for extra Christmas presents for neighbors, post woman, just whomever you think could use a headband. 
I just love this one.
If you make one, let me know!
~Happy Hookin!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Just a little something....

Good Afternoon!

I am trying to get caught up! I don't know when I will be back. I wanted to show you a little bag I made. This was a stash buster project. Made up from a site and I put my own edge on it. Its not great colors but its going to be perfect for my runs to town with a couple dollars, a credit card and my phone.

I think it turned out real cute.

Now, in a few posts back I told you I had found me an inspiration picture. Here is it.

I am in love with this.
Here is the link I am going to use.
I had a hard time finding the pattern. The
 link is broken. I had to do it another way. I got it though. Its Kootoyoo. They also have a link on Ravelry.com
What do you think of it? Isnt it adorable? It uses chunky and a big hook. Im going to use 2 4 ply navy and a big hook. Its just 2 granny hex's. I hope in my limited but expanding quickly crochet knowledge its something I can do. It may take me a minute but when I crocheted my inspiration bag I couldn't make the solid granny that it use but I did it!
I will update with more pics after I get my Christmas Crochet done. I hope to get it started after Christmas. I have a birthday 4 days after Christmas so maybe this can be a birthday present for me. I usually give my stuff away. I hope to wear this one with pride. If you love this pattern, let me know. I would love to have a crochet buddy to make this with. A CAL for us. 
Have a warm day, everyone. 
It's snowing here in WV.
Happy Hookin!

Meet Mom's Meet!

Hey Everyone!
I wanted to share my National Geographic Holiday Book Party with you. I entered on Mom's Meet. They send me things all the time. This is about the 6th or 7th box I have received from them. This box was heavy. It came with an adorable animal baby book for your real pregnancy. I will never use it but maybe one of these days my son will have a grandchild. This book is about $40. Its gorgeous. There is a kids cookbook, an ad-lib book, a book on butterflies, a huge hardback full of animal stories, a 100+ sticker activity book, and the baby book. Not a bad haul. I have kids who read. I read myself. I will look thru these and decide where to "gift" them for Christmas. I may keep the kids cook book and baby book for myself.

I just wanted to make a post about Moms Meet. There is no big surverys to fill out, you do have a survey at the end but thats common. Its takes very little time and it gives you something special to do with your family. I belong to many sampling programs but Mom's meet has to be my favorite. They have a Mom's Meet Ambassador section just for bloggers!
Try it and see. 
I guarantee you will love it.

Yarn For Christmas

Hey Everyone! Happy Holidays!

Isn't my Grans Christmas Cactus gorgeous?

My Christmas Tree 2014

I haven't been on for awhile. I have been consumed with regular Christmas activities I got my nerve up and went to Walmart. I will shop online from now on. It wasn't the people in the aisles this year. It was the merchandise! There was not enough room to get though to shop. Very time consuming.
I went for yarn and some groceries for my Christmas dinner. My best friend Kat and I are going to throw a Christmas dinner for our strays. Those are our friends that have no family. We had Thanksgiving at her house, now its time for everyone to come here. 
On the menu...
Deviled Eggs
I am sure there will be cookies, candy and appetizers for everyone. I am so excited to host it this year. I need to find a gorgeous tablescape. I think thats a great menu. I dont want to spend all my time in the kitchen so lasagna sounded easy and self serve. I want to spend time with my guests. I think a few holiday drinks will be on the menu too. Do you have a fave I can try?
As you know I have been out of my mind without yarn. I have been so desperate that I took things apart to make new stuff. Thats over now. Look at my haul from Walmart.

I was really disappointed in their selection. I got what I needed to finish up my Christmas Dishcloths and my 3 bags that I need to crochet that were ordered online. I am making Sissy's Boutique Bag. (The bottom pic is the bag, but it is the first one I ever made) Its in one of the previous posts.

This is it but in these colors...

I think a little girl will love it.

Here are all my DishCloths I am making for Christmas Gifts. I made a little towel holder and 2 dishcloths tied up with a pretty bow. I would be pleased if someone thought enough to crochet me something lovely to do my dishes with and if you have never used a 100% cotton crochet dishcloth, then you NEED to. They dry fast and make your kitchen happy!

Here is a set for my friend. She ordered them from me for Christmas gifts.

The dark blue on the towel holder is crocheted around a rubber band. The solid one is a design of my own. That one requires no sewing. Reason the 2 are different is I am running out of yarn (walmart is out) and I have one more to do. I think its going to be fine. I may have to do the other to match now that I see it on here.
I have 3 more bags to crochet.
I better get busy!

I woke up this morning to a yard full of snow. Our first here in WV. Brrr.....

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Rainy Days and T-Shirt Bags

It's very late but I am dealing with a bout of insomnia at the moment, so I decided to update a little early (or late), however you want to view it. 
Its poured the rain here all day in my little one red-light town. So being out of yarn I done the next best thing.
I got into my homemade T-shirt yarn. 
I have been looking at this bag on Ravelry but there is no pattern link so I decided to take what little bit of crochet knowledge I had and decided to give it a try.
I just crocheted 25 across, put 2 sc in each turn and kept on going, making sure I decreased as I went as not to have the bag out of proportion. It worked up really fast and it looks quite good, I think.
I basically made it out of boredom but I have realized that a little different pattern and I can make any kind of free standing basket or bag I would like.
I chained simple crochet handles.
My laptop is going to fit perfectly, its even got some cushion. 
This bag is big enough to take to the store, to pack my yarn in when my bff and I crochet together, and drag all my other crafty stuff I carry around.
Well...I've rambled long enough.
Here is the big reveal...

Well, what do you think? Not to shabby to be made out of old raggedy T-shirts. My crochet keeps getting better and better as I practice with new stitches and patterns. Using different weights of yarn and different size hooks have really got me paying attention. 
I look up a new tutorial everyday. No matter if its dbl tr, or just a simple granny. Its helped me in so many ways and I am so grateful to all the great bloggers in the crochet arts that I follow.

Ok, one more thing to show you before I try and get myself settled in for the night.
I am in love with doily's. I think that is an art that will soon be lost if more people don't learn. I love to tat. I love the look of lace but being new to crochet I have always found the patterns, thin thread, and tiny hooks daunting.
I searched all day for a beginner doily pattern.
I found this one...

Since I was using my stash yarn and I am almost out. I used a gold 2 ply and a 0.3 MM hook. I followed the pattern until I ran out of yarn. I went around all but one time. I admit, it's a little wonky in places and I didn't do the picot's at the top but its progress and I think it could be used just like it is. The color reminds me of a gold star ( I say that because I really don't like it, lol). Once I lay it out and get it straight I think it will make a nice addition to a table somewhere. 

Here it is....Don't laugh. First try...LOL

and really it is very simple. If you haven't tried to make one pick up your hook and give this pattern a try. I will be making a few more as gifts as soon as I can get the correct materials to do it properly.
Thats my thing, if your bored and you don't have the right stuff just PRACTICE! It cant hurt and it can only make your work more beautiful.

Have a good night!
I'll talk to you soon.
Thanks for hanging out with me for a bit!
Happy Hookin :-)