Monday, December 14, 2009

Jingle Bell Cuff Bracelet free pattern

Ever tried crocheting with beads? Yeah, me neither. But, I'm in a festive spirit, and need a break from this ridiculous order of 11 scarves due in 11 days. Soooo, I decided to make a little cuff bracelet with some jingle bells. I've kind of seen beaded crochet done before, but I don't really know what I'm doing, so I decided to wing it. I also took lots of pics, to help out any other newbies. You will only see the pictures of my successes; believe me, there were many failures. LOL!
I used worsted weight yarn, 12 bells, an I hook, some holiday buttons, and a needle and thread.
First things first, in beaded crochet, it's uber important to string the beads, or bells in this case, on to your yarn BEFORE you begin. Just keep sliding them down the yarn until you are ready for them. Unfortunately, this means you kind of need to plan ahead and really know how many beads you need. Of course, you could always put extra beads on the yarn just in case. Also, I learned the hard way to make sure your beads are in front of your work when you move them down the yarn. Otherwise, the bead moves to the back of your work.
OK, so on with the pattern...
Jingle Bell Cuff Bracelet
Ch 11
Row 1: Turn, sc in 2nd ch from hook, and all the way across (10 sc)
Row 2: Ch 1, turn, sc in ea sc all the way across (10 sc)
Row 3-5: Repeat Row 2
Row 6: Ch 1, turn, sc in first sc, attach bell (slide bell right in front of your work, insert hook into next sc with bell and working yarn in front of work, complete sc as normal. See pictures), sc in next 6 sc, attach bell in next sc, sc in last sc
Row 7-11: Repeat Row 2
Row 12: Repeat Row 6
Continue this pattern until you run out of bells.
Repeat Row 2 five more times.
Ch 1, turn, sc in first sc, ch 4 (more or less depending on the size of the button you use), sk next sc, sc in next 6, ch 4, sk next sc, sc in last sc.
Ch 1, turn, sc in first sc, 1 sc in ch 4 sp, sc in next 6 sc, 1 sc in ch 4 sp, sc in last sc.
Repeat Row 2 one last time.
Sew buttons on near the original ch.
Voila! You are done! I hope these pics made it easy to understand. I can't believe I've finally crocheted with beads! I am looking forward to making other stuff too...whenever I get a minute. :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Versatile Flower pattern is the pattern I promised! I've done it with super bulky weight yarn, and worsted weight. Works great for both! Here I will show the pattern done with ww...
Versatile Flower
very small amounts of worsted weight yarn
H hook
optional button
R 1: Ch 4, sl st in first ch to make a circle
R 2: Ch 1, 10 sc in the circle, sl st in first sc to close the circle (10 sc)
R 3: Ch 1, 2 sc in ea sc, sl st in first sc to close the circle (20 sc)

...At this point, you can change yarn colors, or keep the same yarn...
This part is a little tricky, and you may need to finagle your stitches a bit.
R 4: Sl st in the BLO of the next st loosely (because you are going to end up joining the petal here at the end of this round), *skip the next st, 7 dc in the back loop of the next st. Skip the next st, sl st in the BLO of the next st*, all the way to the end. You should end up with 5 petals of 7 dcs each, all in the BLO. Join with a sl st to the first sl st...or wherever it looks right. :)

R 5: Sl st into the FLO right below where you joined the back row. Now follow the directions for the back row of petals, but use 5 dcs in the petals, and make all your stitches in the FLO. Join to first sl st. Pass hook through to the back of the flower. YO, draw up loop, clip yarn, and fasten off.

Now, if you feel like it, add a little pizazz with a button or something.

I hope this is fairly easy to understand. It may look difficult, but I think once you try it, you will like it! Just remember it is essentially 5 petals of 7 dcs in the back loops, and 5 petals of 5 dcs in the front loops (a bit off-set though to add dimension).
Oh, and here is a picture of the flower in super bulky yarn:

coming pattern!

It's been FOREVER since I've posted here. I've been so busy with the kids and crochet. I have a show coming up, so I've been making as much product as possible. Anyway, thought I should pop in and share a free pattern for a flower! I couldn't find a pattern that used bulky yarn to my happiness, so I made up my own. Use it and enjoy it!

Oops! The kids are up. I will be back later...with a pattern and pics!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

update on my clan

Well, it's been crazy. As usual. I've been sewing as much as I can, making super cute baby shoes, purses...well, you name it. Now how can I possibly find time to sew and crochet when I have so many small children? Take a look at the dark circles under my eyes and you will see the answer. I am sleep deprived. But I gladly give up sleep to craft. Why, you ask? Because if I don't have a creative outlet, I will go insane. So it sucks for my health, but it's good for the health of my family. LOL! When I'm stressed, I sew. When I'm worried, I crochet. With two active sons and a daughter that's kept me on the brink of a mental breakdown, it's no wonder I never sleep...but damn I make lots of things!

So, to add to my stress levels, my daughter appears to be suffering from the same type of asthma my eldest son has. On a routine visit, a new doctor was listening to her breathe and taking quite some time. He turned to me and said something that just took me by surprise. He said, "I want to get a chest Xray because I hear a heart murmur. The last Xray you had for her showed an enlarged heart, and I want to see for myself." Well, I was unaware of any enlarged heart, and I was instantly worried. Apparently, heart disease can be masked by symptoms of asthma.

Two EKGs, and echocardiogram and another chest Xray later showed that my baby does indeed have an enlarged heart and blood vessels because, get this, she has a large hole in her heart. It's called an atrial septal defect, ASD. Luckily, because he caught it early, it's fixable and should not pose any problems in her little life. It's not the cause of the asthma, which was not a surprise to me because we have asthma in the family. According to the cardiologist, lots of babies have small holes in their hearts but they heal themselves and no one ever knows about it. Every once in awhile though, the holes are quite large and have to be medically addressed. If my new pediatrician had not listened, really listened, we might not have known until she was older and possibly symptomatic. We went in for asthma and came out with a heart defect, although she definitely still also has asthma.

When it rains it pours. So, does this mean I will have to stress about her for the rest of her life? Have to? No. But will I? Abso-frickin'-lutely.

Anyway, I am going to post a tutorial on a purse pretty soon here. Working on it and taking pics now! Check back later...

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm baaaaaccckkk

Well, I've been busy. Of course, that's an understatement to anyone with three kids. LOL! I've been really sewing up a storm though. I am notorious for screwing up anything and everything I try to make; it's part of the adventure. If it takes 3 hours to sew a bag, it takes me an extra three hours to rip out all the seams I messed up and start again. But, what can you do? I am finishing a bag right now that is my first attempt at a diaper bag. Well, I wanted a diaper bag that I was not embarrassed to carry about in public. It seems all diaper bags are so...well, Mom-ish. I wanted something that looked like a killer stylish bag, but just happened to carry bottles, diapers, binkies, etc. It may not look like much now, but it's going to be awesome. Of course, that's if I don't screw it up...which I most likely will. :)

Oh, and here's a picture of my crafting area. See how messy it is? I have bins of yarns and material. I am such a lucky gal that my hubby created this space for me!

Check back soon for a gusseted pocket tutorial. I have no idea how to make one, I can't find a decent tutorial online anywhere, so I am going to figure it out (painfully and with good use of my seam ripper, I'm sure) and then I am going to share with everyone.

Oh, and I had my first craft show! It was total crap and I didn't sell a thing, but that could be because no one came. It was over 100 degrees and it's a brand new one knows about it yet. But hey, at least I tried! I am fired up now and applying for three more (different!) shows!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Food for thought

Ever wonder what it would be like to be the last human on earth? I started thinking about this while watching a show on the now-extinct mammoth. It made me wonder what that last mammoth was going through and then, of course, I extrapolated it to human kind. What would it be like? Especially since we are conscious beings. I know this has nothing to do with this blog's general's just one of those things that I think about.

Food for thought...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Some advice for Irish twin moms

It's been awhile since I've been able to post! My little ones and I have been so sick. I ended up in the ER with my oldest boy. He had a terrible fever and was really dehydrated. Poor thing. Then I got sick, my little boy, and finally, my princess. Fevers and coughs all around. It totally sucked. Thankfully, I think we are on the mend...physically anyway.

My little boy, 14 months now, is, I think, entering the terrible 2s early. The past few days he's been throwing temper tantrums and being cranky. This is soooo uncharacteristic of him! But, just when you think you've got your child pegged, they up and change on you. That's one of the joys of parenting! LOL

So, I was compiling a list of advice for an Irish twin mom and here's what I've come up with so far:

1. Ask for help. Especially in those first few weeks and months. Don't be shy about it. Don't be proud. You are going to need it.

2. Don't be fooled by your older child's initial reaction. It may be one of interest or disinterest. Rest assured, given some time your child will realize Mommy's attention has been diverted, and he/she will let you know they are...ahem...displeased. Just be sure to let them know how important they still are, but do not sacrifice that important one-on-one bonding time with your new baby.

3. Get on a schedule. Obviously, this will be difficult at first; I am still having trouble with it now. But at least they go to bed at the same time every night now. That is wonderful! Now, if only I could get them to nap together...

4. Don't be bummed if you can't BF. Hard as I tried, I couldn't BF my LO while trying to spoon feed my older one. Oh well...she's just fine.

5. Invest in a really good carrier. Baby Bjorn, hotsling, who cares! Just get something that you like and that works for you. You are going to need something to carry the infant in...especially because you will have a wobbly walker (or almost walker) on your hands at that time.

Well, that's what I've got for now...until I reach the next phase in this crazy journey of mine. For now, I better eat some breakfast before the other kids wake up. If I don't eat now, I may not eat until dinner. LOL!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

has it been a week already?

Whew...what a day. Kids are all in bed now, and I get some peace and quiet! My daughter's demeanor continues to improve, thank goodness, so life is getting better! I got her little ears pierced the other day...she looks so cute!

I've been crocheting like a mad woman. Any spare moment I get, I've been making baby hats, or bibs, or what-have-you. My Princess is really my inspiration. I am looking forward to putting all the items I've made on Etsy soon.

I'm also going to have another free pattern soon! Yay! Just working out the kinks (in other words, I am not a good pattern writer and have to double check my work!)...

Here's a pic of my little girl...isn't she a cutie?! That's one of the hats I made, btw...and look at her little bling in her ears!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

been a long time

I've been so crazy busy lately...just trying to keep my head above water. Baby Girl has actually gotten a bit better, but I am still insane trying to juggle the needs of two babies and a 10 year old. My younger son thinks his baby sister is his personal plaything and I can't let her be on the floor for fear of attack. He loves to sit on her head and try to pull her eyeballs out. He just laughs and laughs when I show panic. Git... Anyway, what're ya gonna do?

By and large, I get through the days OK, but I feel like that's all I do...get through. A remarkable day is one where the laundry, dishes and some errands get done. There isn't much me time, that's for sure. Their naps rarely overlap for any time, and by the time they are down for the night, all I want to do is eat some dinner and curl up into a ball. LOL!

I've been trying to crochet though...I want to get some new items posted on my Etsy account. It gives me a little relief from the day's havoc. Some days I am able to do quite a bit, and others I do nothing. Oh well.

I am also taking coursework in ASL interpretation. I love learning sign language, but there is a lot to it and I feel so overwhelmed sometimes. At least the class gives me a couple hours away from the kids. I am grateful for that, but always by the time I get home, I am so happy to see them. Funny how that works, isn't it?

My hubby is so great! As I type, he has taken one of the babies to the store with him while the other sleeps, just so I can have a few minutes to myself. What a guy.

Friday, June 19, 2009

one of those moments

If I don't laugh or scream right now, I will just cry. It's been one of those days. My daughter has done nothing but cry all day. It's so frustrating. She's fed, she's clean, she just won't stay asleep. And she's decided to punish me for it. For the first time in my parenting history, I've put my child in her crib and am just letting her cry. What else can I do? I still have a 13 month old who needs my care, an injured cat that needs medication 3 times per day, we are hosting a brunch for 10 people tomorrow and I need to get the house clean, etc. Oh, and I am all by myself. My sweet hubby is working hard...lucky guy.

Well, the 3 minutes away from my reality were wonderful...back to the grind...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's late, and I'm tired

Geez, it's late. But that's what happens when you have not one but two babies at home. My daughter was exceptionally needy today. She just cries a lot and wants to be held all the time. Well, that's just not a possibility. I have another baby to look after and a 10 year-old. Suffice it to say, this is the first chance I've had to sit down and eat some dinner. Figured I would blog while I was at it.

I feel so frustrated. I want to be the best mom possible, but I worry that my kids aren't getting everything they need from me. It breaks my heart when I have to tend to one child and the other keeps crying. In my case, it tends to be my infant. She's not mobile yet, so sometimes she just has to cry. I hate it. On days when my hubby is home, I feel like I hold her all day to make up for it. On those days, I know my 1 year old is getting extra attention. I am doing the best I can, but is it good enough? I hope so. I think having Irish twins is harder than regular twins. I can't say I'm an expert, but it just seems that it would be easier to deal with two babies dealing with the same problems. Anyway...

I just saw a movie yesterday...OMG! It was so good. It's called Religulous, and actually it's a documentary. Wow. If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and rent it!

Know what else I did yesterday? I painted my nails! Now, this may not seem like much to you, but to someone who only gets to shower every other day, fingernail maintenance seems like utter pampering! Of course, I did it myself and you shouldn't look too closely (because I also shared the color with the rest of my fingertips), but at least it got done!

Any Harry Potter fans reading this? I am so looking forward to the next movie. I think it's weird that the movie is coming out in less than one month and yet I haven't seen any trailers on TV. What gives? The biggest mistake those distributors made was delaying the release of the Half Blood Prince. I mean, really, why didn't they capitalize on the hype? If it had come out last November, as originally promised, I bet they would have made so much more money. Kinda like the Star Wars idiots. Please, someone tell me why a complete DVD set of all the movies was not released the same year that Episode 3 came out? Whatever...

Well, I've finished my food, and my food for thought. I'm gonna turn in for the night. I am tired, and who knows if I am going to have to get up again tonight with my 2 month old.

Monday, June 15, 2009

my first free pattern

So, as I expected, I started this blog and didn't keep up...even after just one post! Oh well, I guess I shouldn't think I am going to write here every day. Or even every other day! LOL

Well, I want to kick this blog off to a good start, so I am going to share a free pattern with you! I wanted a hat that looked knitted, but wasn't. As you know, I can't knit (YET!) so it had to be crocheted. Anyway, here you go! If you have questions about it, just let me know. I am by no means a pattern-writer, so there may be errors! I am giving you two versions: adult and child. I will also attach a picture or two so you can see what it should look like when finished.

Knit-Look Ribbed Hat pattern

Approximately 3.5 oz WW yarn; G, H or I (if you crochet tightly like I do) hook

Note: beginning chain does not count as a stitch and should be ignored throughout hat, unless otherwise instructed. Also, hat circle will seem floppy at first, but after several rows, the hat will take shape. This is a great pattern to use up scrap yarn as you can add stripes and works great for men.

Please note that errata was added 12/28/2011, affecting Row 4 only.

Chain 4, create ring
Row 1: Chain 2 (counts as dc), 11 dc in ring, sl st to close circle (12 dc)
Row 2: Chain 2, 2 fpdc into chain stitch below and in each stitch around, sl st to first fpdc to close circle (24 fpdc)
Row 3: Chain 2, *2 fpdc into first fpdc of row below, dc in between fpdc and next fpdc, fpdc into next fpdc of row below, dc in between fpdc and next fpdc* - repeat until the end of the circle, sl st to top of first fpdc (36 fpdc, 24 dc)
Row 4: Chain 2, *fpdc into first fpdc of row below, dc in between fpdc and next fpdc, [fpdc into next fpdc of row below, dc in dc] 2 times* - repeat until the end of the circle, sl st to top of first fpdc (36 fpdc, 36 dc)
Row 5: Chain 2, *fpdc into each fpdc, bpdc into each dc* - repeat until end of circle, sl st to top of first fpdc (36 fpdc, 36 bpdc)
Row 6 to finish – continue Row 5 until hat reaches desired length.

Child’s Version

Use I or J hook, depending on the size you want, or how tightly you crochet

Chain 4, create ring
Row 1: Chain 2 (counts as dc), 11 dc in ring, sl st to close circle (12 dc)
Row 2: Chain 2, 2 fpdc into chain stitch below and in each stitch around, sl st to first fpdc to close circle (24 fpdc)
Row 3: Chain 2, *fpdc into first fpdc of row below, dc in between fpdc and next fpdc, fpdc into next fpdc of row below, dc in between fpdc and next fpdc * - repeat until the end of the circle, sl st to top of first fpdc (24 fpdc, 24 dc)
Row 4: Chain 2, *fpdc into each fpdc, bpdc into each dc* - repeat until end of circle, sl st to top of first fpdc (24 fpdc, 24 bpdc)
Row 5 to finish – continue Row 5 until hat reaches desired length.

Adult Version

Child's Version (with matching scarf)

As you can see, the adult version would be excellent for a guy or gal, and in absolutely any color! The adult version is shown in soft yarn, the child's one is made with cotton.
Well, have fun! I will try to post more later.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Inaugural post

Life's pretty hectic. No doubt about it. I have three children: a ten year old, a 13 month old and a 2 month old. Yeah, I know, I'm crazy. If I hear that one more time I might hurt someone. But, alas, I am CANDY COATED...therefore I won't hurt anyone. LOL!

So, in this blog, I will attempt to blow off the steam that goes along with having two babies, as well as share my creative triumphs. Of course, anything and everything I attempt to make is riddled with errors and always requires more than one draft. But, that's just me. I've got an Etsy shop you should check out too. What you see there is the result of a TON of work, considering I never seem to get things right the first time. LOL!

So, more about my brood...

First, actually, I am going to start with my hubby. You know, some women have all the luck. Well, I'm luckier than they are. Male Kangaroos are called Bucks. Did you know that? Anyway, my Buck is the absolute best. He's great with the kids. He does all the cooking. He does housework. He takes great care of the yards and vehicles. He's unbelievable. And, he's frickin' hot to boot! I swear...

My kids are awesome too. My oldest is just finishing the 4th grade. I can't believe it. Before I know it, he'll be married with children of his own. I know that seems a bit far into the future to be looking, but I can't help it. These past 10 years have flown by. Anyway, he's really smart and funny and a pretty good little soccer player. And, he's got the biggest heart. He's so great with his little brother and sister and, every year, he shaves his head for children with cancer. I am a proud momma.

My two little ones are 11 months apart. Yeah, you can do the math on that one. Anyway, it's really crazy at our house, and I am sure many of my posts will be dedicated to the insanity that is my day-in and day-out life. They have their unique personalities: the 13 month old is vibrant and outgoing and loves to play outside. Constantly. The 2 month old...well...let's just say I love her. She has been hard on us, crying a lot and always wanting to be held. Oh well, I am sure this is just a phase. After two boys though, I am grateful to have a daughter that I can dress up!

Well, here it is...the middle of the night. I think I am going to need to get some sleep.

Maybe I will catch up with you tomorrow... :)