Hooked on Needles


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Crocheted Slippers made with Bernat Sox yarn

Have you ever crocheted slippers? Up until recently, I never had, but then I found this free pattern from Bernat for their new Sox yarn so I had to try it! You may need to sign up for a free account to access this pattern, but it is well worth the effort because the Bernat website always has lots of wonderful free patterns available for knitting and crocheting with their wide variety of yarns.

How do you like my slippers?


Crocheted Slippers made with Bernat Sox yarnI made the largest size for this first pair because I thought my sister had a bigger foot than my daughter. As it turned out, between the BIG BLACK scarf and all the other goodies I gave her, she didn't need a pair of crocheted slippers anyway!


Crocheted Slippers made with Bernat Sox yarnBut as you can see, they fit my daughter just fine!


Crocheted Slippers made with Bernat Sox yarnSo fine, in fact, that she left them on her feet for the remainder of the day! I guess she has a new pair of crocheted slippers for herself!

I enjoyed working with this Bernat Sox yarn. I found it to be very soft and quite pleasant in my hands. The hook size required for this pattern is a D, which I did not have in my extensive collection of crochet hooks. That was fine with me though because it forced me into purchasing a new crochet hook to add to the collection! I'm always up for a new tool! While I was at it, I also purchased a size C and a size B, just in case! Now my needle roll for my crochet hooks is completely full, with some of the smaller hooks doubling up in the little pockets. But I think I now own every size crochet hook known to man, so it's ok!

This pair of slippers took about 3/4 of one skein of Bernat Sox yarn. With the remainder of the skein, I am sure I will have enough left to knit or crochet at least one baby hat for the hospital, maybe even two.

My next project is a knitted cardigan sweater made on size 17 needles! I'm going from one extreme to the other with my projects! I have already begun the back and have about 8 inches complete. I'll take a few pictures when there is something interesting to show you.

Happy Stitching!


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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Twin Tea Cozies

Besides the Christmas stockings I made before Christmas, I also stitched up a pair of matching tea cozies for Kathy. One was for her to keep for her own Polish pottery tea pot, and the other was going to be for her brother. I made these two exactly the same way as I made the Christmas tea cozy, with the print fabric along the bottom, vertical stitching lines, and matching piping along the arch.


Twin Tea CoziesI just loved this bright blue fabric to go with the Polish pottery. So cheerful!



Twin Tea CoziesThe bottom of the tea cozy is slightly arched so that it will sit flat when covering the tea pot.

Now I need to make myself one of these useful little items, because my darling husband gave me this beautiful tea set for Christmas...exactly what I wanted! I'll invite you for tea once my own tea cozy is ready.

Happy Stitching!


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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Crocheted Woven Stitch Extra-wide Scarf

For Christmas this year, my sister the Sister (as my husband affectionately calls her) had asked for an extra wide crocheted scarf in black, of course! As you may recall, she's the nun for whom I made the tote bag last Christmas which was the star of my tote bag tutorial.

Well, this year, I was able to make her gift in the comfort of my cozy chair, working on it in the evenings for about 2 weeks. Here's how it came out...


Crocheted Woven Stitch Extra-wide ScarfMy husband who is 6 feet 2 inches tall was the only one in the house who could hold it up straight without too much of it puddling on the floor! So you have some idea of just how long this scarf is! It is approximately 19 inches wide and took 4 skeins of Bernat Boucle yarn to complete.


Crocheted Woven Stitch Extra-wide ScarfAs you can see in this picture, the boucle yarn is not a good choice if you want to show off your stitches. The stitches just disappear into each other and seem to form a solid fabric of soft cozy bumpy yarn. For this reason, working with boucle yarn can be very difficult if you are trying to use a pattern in either knit or crochet where you have to actually work into the stitches.

I chose the woven stitch in crochet to make this scarf because, after working the first row of single crochet and chain stitch, you only have to work into the holes created by the chain stitch instead of into the single crochet stitches themselves. I also used a hook one size larger than what the yarn called for, thus making my stitches a bit looser and the scarf somewhat softer.


Crocheted Woven Stitch Extra-wide ScarfFor such a large piece, this scarf folded up into a nice little bundle of warmth and coziness.

I'll let you know how she likes it!

Happy Stitching!


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Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Secret Santa had Very Busy Fingers!

The gifts are opened and the children are busy playing with all their new toys. Christmas was a wonderfully joyful time in our household yesterday, and will continue until January 6th when we un-decorate and return things back to ordinary. The last gift I opened yesterday was from my Secret Santa, Australian Rachel of Four Wise Monkeys. Rachel is quite the stitcher and spoiled me terribly with lots of beautiful handmade things.


Secret Santa gifts from RachelThis is what greeted me upon opening the pretty paper package that had been waiting under my tree since its arrival two weeks ago. I recognized those birds! I remember seeing them on Rachel's website a while ago and admiring them.


Secret Santa gifts from RachelThis lovely wall hanging is the first thing I looked at, and the more I look at it, the more I see in it. The detail is quite amazing and all the stitching is perfect!

Take a look...you can click on the pictures to make them bigger.


Secret Santa gifts from Rachel

Secret Santa gifts from RachelThis star is filled with French Knots! Wow!


Secret Santa gifts from RachelThe big red heart hanging from the moon, and the red trim along this angel's collar and hem are also French Knots.


Secret Santa gifts from RachelA wonderful thought for this time of year, and throughout the new year too!


Secret Santa gifts from Rachel

Secret Santa gifts from RachelAnd here's Rudolph complete with red nose, leading the way!


Secret Santa gifts from Rachel

Secret Santa gifts from RachelThis is one tall tree!



Secret Santa gifts from RachelTwo little Christmas love birds!


Secret Santa gifts from RachelThen there was this fabulous bag...how did Rachel know I like bags? Maybe I mentioned it here once or twice? Don't you just love the fabric she used?


Secret Santa gifts from RachelAnd check out the button hole stitch around the flower petals...perfect!


Secret Santa gifts from RachelI love the ric-rac trim around the top of the bag. It's lined with pretty fabric too! Just my kind of bag and the perfect size to tote a project along.


Secret Santa gifts from RachelUnder all the other handmade loveliness was this Melly & Me pattern for the cutest little stuffed bears, Bonzer and Beaut.

What a package! Didn't I say that Rachel spoiled me? Now you can see it's true!

Thank you once again to Rachel for all the beautiful gifts of stitchery, sewing, time and talent. Your thoughtfulness and generosity are very much appreciated!

And another thank you to Chookyblue for hosting this swap again. It's a lot of work for one person to undertake so that all of us can make new friends across the world and share our talents with each other.

Happy Stitching!


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Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Blessings to All!

Wishing Christmas JOY to you!

Our Nativity


Our Nativity


Our Nativity

Happy Stitching!


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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Half Double Crochet Border - Video Tutorial

After about a week's worth of patient and determined work by my own private technology guru who is my sweet husband of 27 years (we just celebrated our anniversary last week!), I finally have the following video to share with you. For some still-unknown reason, my video would not process in Blogger with all the separate clips put together into one video, which is the way I have made all my video tutorials available here at Hooked On Needles. The first clip by itself processed successfully and the other three clips together also processed successfully. I was ready to give up on it days ago, but my husband kept at it and finally was able to come up with a workable solution, to present this tutorial in two parts!

So without any further delay, below you will find video instruction on how to add a half double crochet border around a knitted garter stitch piece. This video was requested by reader Mat from the knittinghelp.com forum, specifically asking for details on the beginning and the end of the border. So the video shows the process from beginning to end, sparing no detail. If you need to brush up on your half double crochet stitch before giving this a try, you can find my video for that HERE.

Here's Part One:

video

And here's Part Two:
video


This is what I started with...a sample piece of knitted fabric in garter stitch which mean every row is done in knit stitch.

Half Double Crochet Border
Here is the sample complete with the half double crochet border around it.

Half Double Crochet Border
And this is a close up of one of the corners. You can see how the side edge is uniform because of going into the same hole at the end of the knit rows for each stitch.

Half Double Crochet Border

If you would like to see other crocheted borders that I have done on knitted blankets, you can click HERE and take your pick. For a while, I was working on those wonderful little oddball baby blankets practically non-stop, but I've had to take a little break from that work in favor of quite a few recent commissioned projects, and of course preparation for Christmas and some family time.

Happy Stitching!


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Monday, December 21, 2009

The Stockings Were Hung by the Chimney with Care...

There is a special kind of charm about family Christmas stockings sewn by someone special and embroidered with each person's name, hanging by the fireplace every Christmas year after year after year. My friend Kathy's family has carried on this tradition now for several generations, as evidenced by the remaking of Bumpa's stocking to be used by the new Grandpa of the family. Now it is time for the next generation to get their own stockings, and other family members as well.


Continuing a family tradition with Christmas stockingsUsing one of the old stockings as my guide, I worked up pattern pieces and sewed five more stockings for this wonderful family. Here they are in the picture above, hanging on my fireplace where my own family's knitted mittens usually hang. If the names had worked out better, I might have thought about keeping them!


Hand embroidered Christmas stockingsEach name is hand embroidered using 3 strands of DMC embroidery floss and my very favorite embroidery stitch, the chain stitch.


Hand embroidered Christmas stockingsDonna's stocking got a little bit of a feminine touch with pretty light green organza ribbon, very sheer and has a little sparkle in it too.


Hand embroidered Christmas stockingsRiley's stocking needed a little change from the pretty packages which are on the other stockings. Can you guess by the fabric and the quilting that Riley is the canine member of this family?


Free motion quilting on dog's Christmas stockingUsing the very best free-motion quilting that I could muster with my walking foot, I free-handed the word "Woof" and a dog paw and a few dog bones on Riley's very cute red fabric with brown doggy paws all over it.


Hand embroidered Christmas stockingsAll the stockings have the same off white trim on the cuff and the toe, but the men got the ric-rac for a more manly touch.


Hand embroidered Christmas stockingsAnd here is baby Paul's stocking, the first of the next generation, but hopefully not the last! God willing, there will be siblings, maybe even a new uncle or two, and some cousins who will be needing stockings in the future.


exposed seams on Christmas stockingI decided to make Riley's stocking first, copying as best I could the construction of an old stocking that Kathy let be borrow to make the pattern. After putting it together, I decided that there had to be a better way to make the inside look more finished...


no exposed seams on Christmas stocking...so instead of layering the outside of the stocking with the batting and the lining before sewing the stocking together, I saved the lining to insert on its own, thus hiding all the seams and giving the inside of the stocking a much more finished appearance. I also used fusible fleece batting for these stockings, fusing it to the decorative outside stocking pieces, so I felt that quilting through all the layers really was not necessary. I was much more pleased with this outcome, and this is how I will construct any future Christmas stockings.

My Christmas preparations are well under way here, cleaning, baking, decorating, gift making, school projects, wrapping, all the fun of the season. I hope your stockings are hung by your chimney with care too, and that you have a very blessed Christmas season.

Happy Stitching!


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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Great fabrics at great prices!

Don't pass up the chance to do some end of year fabric shopping and get great customer service and some great deals at Grace Full Creations. You can read about the discount Ronna is offering readers of Hooked On Needles by clicking HERE. You have to act fast though, because it's only good until the end of this year!

Right now you will find bargains on lots of top name fabrics. My own personal favorite deal is 40% off over 400 items to celebrate Ronna's birthday month. Now that's a nice birthday gift!

Go check it out, and make sure you mention that you heard about this from Hooked On Needles!

Happy Stitching!


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Monday, December 14, 2009

Are you Bagalicious?

What have I gotten myself into this time? You all know how much I love bags...making bags, using bags, having bags...I just love bags of all shapes and sizes and for any possible purpose. I was cruising around all the wonderful sites that I follow the other day when I came across this...




I scrolled down to see what it was all about and discovered a list of designers that just about knocked my socks off! Natalie Ross, Helen Stubbings, Sue Daley, Rosalie Quinlan just to name a few. For just a couple clicks of the mouse, I could have a kit of their own bag designs delivered to my door about every six weeks for all of 2010! Do you think I could pass up such a fabulous opportunity? Of course not! When would I ever have the chance to get some of the fabrics that they use in their designs, or be able to get my hands on their latest bag patterns? This was my chance, and I took it!

Well, come on, none of you were around to talk me out of it! Pop over to the Bagalicious Club page by clicking on the button up there and check it out for yourself. I'll be curious to know if you are able to resist!

Happy Stitching!


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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fabulous and Fun Fabric Giveaway!

You must go check out Twiddletails and the wildly fun complete line of fabric she has available right now in her store. While you're there, perhaps you would like to sign up for her giveaway of 4 fat quarters of the new Wild Thyme Quilt Fabric by Carolyn Gavin for P&B Textiles. It's fun! Maybe you and I will be two of the five winners of this generous giveaway! Wouldn't that be fun?

Happy Stitching!


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Friday, December 11, 2009

Secret Santa Christmas Swap gifts received!

Secret Santa arrived at my house today! George the mailman left a nice cushy package in my mailbox and it had the code I had been waiting to see written on the back...SSCS! It was all the way from Australia too...how exciting to receive something from someone so far away!


Secret Santa Christmas Swap gifts received!Here are the two gifts that were in the package - one clearly labeled to open at Christmas and the smaller one said 'ornament' which meant I could open it right away...so I did!


Secret Santa Christmas Swap gifts received!Isn't this the cutest hand-stitched ornament? And isn't it what everyone wants for Christmas too? I just love it! Can you tell red was the perfect color for the stitching...it even matches my tablecloth!


Secret Santa Christmas Swap gifts received!It also matches the ornaments on our living room tree! Whoever my secret Santa is did a good job picking this project for me...it is perfect!


Secret Santa Christmas Swap gifts received!Being the good girl that I try to be, I placed the other package under the tree to await the arrival of Christmas...just 2 weeks away! You can be sure I'll let you all know just what I find inside that lovely package, and who sent it too!

Happy Stitching!


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