Beaded Bracelet

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I love beads! Especially Fire Mountian Gem beads! I also love quick and easy projects. This beaded bracelet took about an hour from start to finish and that includes the photos I took!

First, I gathered my supplies. Fire Mountian Gems graciously provided the clasps, blue and purple beads and thread for my project.

I dug out my beading crochet hook and a larger crochet hook. It turns out I crochet loose enough that I didn’t need the larger hook. You might, so keep one handy.

I love, love, love these clasps! Aren’t they gorgeous? Before we begin we need to unclasp them. Next, we will pull a loop through the first circle on our clasp and chain 2. Then we will pick up a purple bead with the beading hook and pull the thread through the center of the bead.

Chain over the top of the purple bead to close the stitch. Next, make another chain and then pull the loop through the center of the blue bead. Chain over the top of the blue bead to close the stitch.

Keep repeating the color sequence until you reach the desired length of the bracelet. This bracelet fits me perfectly with 15 beads.

Now we want to slide the clasp back together and work into the corresponding circle. To join we will single crochet into the first circle. Our first row is complete.

To begin our second row we will single crochet into the second circle and chain 1. Then we will pick up a blue bead and pull the thread through the center of the bead. Chain over the bead to close the stitch and chain 1 more. Pick up a purple bead and pull the loop through the center of the bead. Continue chaining and beading as we did in row 1.  Don’t forget to keep rotating the colors as you bead!

When we get to the end of our second row, single crochet into the circle of the clasp and then single crochet into the next circle. Repeat the first 2 row’s color sequence and then fasten off.

Secure the ends in your preferred method. Some people like to use a dab of glue to keep the thread secure. I simply made a small knot and once I was sure it was secure I trimmed the ends.

This is a fun and easy project! It’s perfect for gift giving or just to make a little bling for yourself!

Wool-free Gradient Yarn!

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If you are like me and can’t use wool you totally get my excitement in finding a wool-free gradient yarn! Check out Schachenmayr Tahiti!

Love Knitting carries several different colors to choose from and shipping is reasonable even for those of us that live in the US. It’s a UK yarn but appears to be available to US residents, as well! Yay 🙂

My favorites are Sahara, Hibiscus, and Riviera. I love that it comes in 306-yard skeins, too. It’s the perfect amount of yarn for a shawlette or cowl. Happy Shopping!

 

 

When Dye Lots Don’t Match

I love hand-dyed yarns! My sweet hubby knows I’d much rather have hand-dyed yarn than jewelry! Usually, buying two skeins at one time is no issue. You end up with fiber dyed at the same time and colors that match perfectly.

Other times, though, you end up with two skeins that are glaringly different. That was the case with this slinky bamboo shown above. Thankfully, there is a way to work around the issue. Lacy stitches and using each skein every other row hides the difference in color, especially if your yarn is multicolored. That’s exactly what I did with the wrap I made with my bamboo. It turned out beautiful, too!

Solid color yarns can also be rotated this way but the changes are a little more noticeable. Washing the yarn can help remedy any significant color changes. When you have the yarns as closely matched as possible after washing, give them a quick rinse in diluted vinegar water to set the color. Some dyers treat their yarns so they are colorfast – so don’t always count on this tip when buying hand-dyed yarn.

There is always a way to make an off color dye lot work – play with it until the colorway suits your project! Then it becomes a design feature instead of a flaw!

Tunisian Shawl

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The last couple of weeks have been a flurry of writing. I am always amazed at how quickly time slips by when I’m writing. I did take some downtime in the evenings to work on this Tunisian shawl.

It’s an asymmetrical shape made in a stitch I came up with while swatching. It’s also Ben approved, as you can tell! 🙂

I added beads to the border to help keep the shawl in place when I wear it. It’s made with a lovely hand dyed lace weight bamboo that would slide off easily.  Adding a bead to a chain stitch is very easy to do, you simply pick up a bead with a super small tipped crochet hook:

 

Then pull the yarn through the center of the bead with the tiny hook:

Next, we remove our tiny hook and insert our regular hook:

And finally, we chain over our bead to close our stitch:

Pretty easy, isn’t it? You can find a huge selection of beads at Fire Mountian Gems!

I have amassed a nice collection myself – it’s like yarn, one color is never enough!

More From Estes Park Wool Market!

I thought I’d share a few more photos of the gorgeous work that was on display at the Estes Park Wool Market.

These scarfs were a perfect example of what you can make with yarn you spin for yourself! Unfortunately, I couldn’t touch them, they were wool, after all.

This circle vest was made from 100% bamboo! I was so happy to find a booth that had no wool! It’s hard when you are allergic to pretty much every fiber at the market, but I managed to power through. 😉

I loved the felted bags! Felting is a fun and easy technique. It’s also how I found out I’m REALLY allergic to wool. LOL.

There was even sheep related artwork available. These little lambs were so adorable!

At last! A booth with all bamboo!

The Fiber Lady shop was, by far, my favorite place to visit! She even carried bamboo lace weight yarn! If you’ve ever tried to find a lace weight yarn without wool, you know what an adventure that can be. I bought the lace weight – I can’t wait to design something light and airy with it! Click on over and check out her store. The yarn colors are vibrant, comes in a variety of colors and weights, and she even carries project kits!

 

Estes Park Wool Market!

Two weeks ago we made our yearly trip to the Estes Park Wool Market. I love the view as we cross the lake into Estes.  One year we actually saw several elk swimming across it! It was an incredible sight to see! Behind those peaks is the Never Summer Range. They are snow packed beauties year round.

We absolutely live in the west – those chaps and lassos as “art” were pretty cool!  Visit any local ranch and you’ll find them in the mud room or barn.  😉

There were colorful felted items at the entrance to the market. It was the wool market after all!

I loved this spring themed felted scarf – it was a stunner in person!

Raw wool, alpaca, and rabbit hair were all around.  I even found some camel hair to spin! No animals are harmed to acquire their wool/hair. Sheep and alpaca are shaved and bunnies are brushed. The camel hair is gathered as they shed it (same with yak). They are all lovingly cared for.

Weaving is really hot right now and there were plenty of booths selling woven items or the supplies needed to do it yourself.

All in all, it was a wonderful day! I have more photos to share later. There were booths packed with glorious fiber and beautiful sample pieces, as well!

Tunisian Bracelet

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This morning I was looking for a quick and fun idea for scrap yarn. It’s been one of those mornings where I wanted instant gratification – not an easy thing to achieve with knitting or crochet! The above bracelet is the result of that!

The yarn is a bit fuzzy which is why the photo appears a little blurry. It was a fun and fast project!

I started with my Denise hooks, some pretty scrap yarn, my scissors and a yarn needle. I chained until it fit around my wrist loosely, for me, that was 30 chains using an F hook. My yarn is a sock weight so if you use a thicker yarn you’ll want to go up in hook size. I worked 3 rows of the Tunisian knit stitch and then fastened off. I then sewed the ends together and weaved in the ends! That’s it! Done!

You can do as many or few rows as you’d like. Whatever you do, don’t block it! This is the one time we want the curl! The curl is what gives it the lovely bangle shape.

These are perfect gifts or even stocking stuffers you can whip up in no time! What a great way to use up pretty bits of yarn you just can’t stand to part with!

Quick Tee Embellishment!

I love shopping! Not because I like buying things (unless it’s yarn!) 😉 I just really enjoy the inspiration I find while out and about.

This tee was actually pretty ordinary until I noticed the crocheted pocket on it. What a delightful idea – and a fantastic way to use small swatches that are too pretty to throw away but hard to use in another project.

I have a drawerful of swatches and way too many tees, maybe it’s time to combine the two? What a fun and fast way to spruce up my wardrobe!

What fun and interesting ways have you seen crochet used while out shopping?

Lace Knitting Tip

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For years lace knitting has been my nemesis. I managed to tackle cables quickly when I first started knitting so it was a complete surprise that lace stumped me so easily.

The light bulb recently went off as to why it was hard for me — the yarn was so fine I couldn’t see my stitches to read them! Once I realized that was the issue I bumped up the weight from fingering to DK and guess what? I can knit lace!  When I have the repeats memorized using the DK weight I can start on my project in a fingering weight.

This swatch is made with Cascade Yarns Cherub DK in color 34.

I used my Knit Picks knitting needles that my sweet hubby gave me for Christmas.

The lace pattern I made my swatch with is the Double Eyelet Rib, which is a multiple of 7 stitches plus 2.

Row 1 (RS): P2, * k5, p2; repeat from * to end.

Row 2: K2, * p5, k2; repeat from * to end.

Row 3: P2, * k2tog, yo, k1, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, p2; repeat from * to end.

Row 4: Repeat Row 2.

Repeat Rows 1-4 for pattern.

If you struggle with lace knitting too, try going up a size in yarn. It just might work for you, as well!

 

Inspiration Wednesday!

Vivid color is always my biggest inspiration.  I will be that colorful little old lady who wears whatever she wants 🙂 much to the embarrassment of my kids. It’s already starting to happen and I really don’t see it toning down anytime soon!

Isn’t this Tencel lovely? It’s a bold and beautiful one of kind hand painted yarn. The fiber artist is from the Eugene Textile Center. She had so many gorgeous choices – it was hard to pick just one! With 550 yards of silky softness, I’m going to have to come up with a design that really shows off the gentle color changes. The yardage is perfect for a shawlette or a pretty infinity scarf.

When working with a variegated yarn Ive found that light and lacy stitches work best. The color changes seem to be more natural and blend better. I know planned pooling is really hot right now but I love the simple beauty of subtle color changes, too!

For now, I am swatching with this beauty – hopefully, I’ll have a new self-published pattern using it soon!