Monday, April 30, 2007

Nature's Needles

Wedding season is upon us, eating up all of my crafting time. I was in San Clemente for a shower this past weekend. Adam and I took Monday off to make it a mini-vacation, and spent two days hiking around Julian, CA and the Anza-Borrego State Park.

These pictures are from Anza-Borrego. The size of this cactus is unusual (most were about 1 foot tall), but it certainly wasn't the only large one. The needles were nearly the length of my hand. I was really tempted to break off a few and see if they'd work as sewing needles - I bet they'd be perfect. I didn't, though, so the next hiker can see the plant intact.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Dishcloth Dresses

My grandmother recently unearthed these from her cedar chest: hand crocheted dishcloths, made by her mother. I'm curious - was this a popular style at one time? A google search turned up only a few hits, including this free pinafore dishcloth pattern. As soon as I get through my project backlog, I'll try to develop patterns for how to make these two.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Craft magazine posted a feature on the Crochet to Go Deck! You can check it out here. The editor, Natalie Zee Drieu, did a beautiful job. There's a link to a free pattern (the cover wrap top), too. You'll also find an interview with yours truly, with everything you ever wanted to know about the first project I crocheted, favorite patterns, and what I'm making next.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sun dress

Some projects just don't work out. I was sure this was one of them - the yarn wasn't draping well, the shape looked all wrong, clearly the directions were for a project other than the one pictured. The pattern is the little yellow dress pictured in the upper left corner (Coats & Clark's Book for Babies, Book No. 510, 1956), made to fit a 1-year-old.

I've suffered along on this pattern for a month. That's really long for me - generally I try to move on to something new every two weeks or so. But we've been traveling, I've had some freelance work, the weather's been improving, etc. I definitely can't say I've put in a lot of hours on this project lately. I finally finished it in 2 back-to-back bursts this weekend, sewed it together, and... Wow! It's not quite what I set out to make, but it's rather cute. It's also adjustable at the shoulders and waist, and buttons up one side, so you don't need to struggle to get it over the baby's head.

Moral of the story? Don't give up, even if success seems impossible.

The pattern is available online here.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

Here's my favorite easter project. The pattern is available for purchase here.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Thanks for Whipup for unearthing this post on the Poppalina blog - made from yarn remnants, it's a spectacular example of why experimenting with color can be a really good thing. It reminds me of the ripple blanket that Alicia of Posie Gets Cozy has blogged so extensively about.

It makes me want to organize my pile of scraps and make something!

Precious Mesh

I spotted the Precious Mesh shop in the Etsy Showcase yesterday - can you believe this work? I'm blown away. It's handcrocheted and surprisingly affordable.

I love the Craft Magazine blog: they consistently feature wonderful, surprising things. Take the Translations in Tupperware contest - who knew? The deadline for the third annual competition is August 31st. Do you think you can top this dress?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Colombian Crafts

I should first say that Colombia is not an inexpensive country, in most respects. A mid-range hotel costs $80-150. A nice dinner for two costs about $30-50. A bottle of water costs $2. A fast food meal costs about $10 (significantly more than the U.S.).

That said, I bought very few locally made crafts. I had hoped to find pottery - specifically large ceramic bowls for wedding gifts - and found very little. I do love the weaving style shown here, and plan to do some research into how to do it myself.

My favorite store by far was Galeria Kano. There are many locations, the best of which is in the Zona Rosa district in Bogota (the mall location, not the street one). Galeria Kano specializes in fairly inexpensive, gold-plated reproductions of pre-colombian artifacts. Some is very subtle, some definitely is not. It's nice work, and when you buy it they give you a card that states the region and time period of the original artifact.

Other stuff? Turtle shell bowls and utensils, which I think are beautiful but can't ethically allow myself to buy. Painted furniture, which I was told would be ripped apart in customs. Lots of random trinkets, such as wooden fish, that seem to be common to a lot of areas in Latin America. Rum - did you know that Colombia now has to import molasses to make rum? There's no current entirely Colombian rum brand. They still grow sugar, but the by-products are made into a gasoline additive.

Finally, crochet? Yes, I was amazed at the number of fabric stores, most of which carry crochet hooks and cotton crochet thread. Knitting needles were rare. I saw numerous garments in the tourist shops in Cartegena with crocheted trim. And swim suits of course. I actually wore my crocheted suit - for a couple of hours at least. Man, it really gets itchy after awhile!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Check it out! My friend Elese spotted the Crochet to Go Deck in the NYC Anthropologie this past weekend. So far it doesn't seem to be at the San Francisco store, but I'm checking frequently. Let me know if you see it at any other locations.

My apologies for delaying so much on posts. I finished posting pictures from the Colombia trip on Sunday - click here if you're interested. I'm nearly through my list of missed blog posts too (I'm currently reading 47, which is fine on a daily basis but completely overwhelming when I fall behind). Who knows, maybe I'll actually get to my Colombian crafts post tonight.