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Monday, January 28, 2008

Some Crazy Hats

I decided to show some hats I have come across that are a bit strange, monster type, cute, and just plain weird! This one is not crocheted, but is yes you guessed it a Chicken leg... That is my DH who gets a new "different" funny hat from my sister every year we go visit her in NY. This was the one he got in Oct 2007 ...and 2 years ago in 2005 Bob with his Bear hat..

Monster crochet always has many styles??

Pac man anyone?

I love Star Wars and this hat is really a tribute to it...

I found this hat called "The Chip Hat" and is actually made out of chip bags??? Now this creative gal has some really awesome hats, but this one is in my opinion questionable!
Then we have the "Beehive" hat....hmmmmremind you of the 60s???

Believe it or not there is someone in this pinkish hat? Look closely and you can see the eyes???

And of course all the men in our lives would love this one for the big "Superbowl?" Its made of real Bud cans.... and we have to have the cup cakes to go with it if course!!! This lady is getting ready for March I believe??? Chicken anyone?

I had to include this cutie because I love cats!!!

He's not a hat but it was too weird to pass up!!!!
This little guy is an axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) and is the best-known of the Mexican neotenic mole salamanders belonging to the Tiger Salamander complex. Axolotls are used extensively in scientific research due to their ability to regenerate most body parts, ease of breeding, and large embryos. For more weird critters... 25 World's Weirdest Animals

Just don't chase me with a Star-nosed Mole. Those things look really weird!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What is "Halo" Yarn???

Its called Chiengora (pronounced she-an-gora). That is what some people are calling dog hair. Chien is French for dog and gora is from the word angora, which is the fiber the hair most closely resembles. Your dog hair is now regarded as a luxury fiber much like mohair and cashmere.
Dog hair is much warmer and it even sheds water. But, its most striking feature is its fur-like appearance. For warmth it's pretty hard to beat chiengora. It really feels warmer as the temperature drops. Because of this quality, your dog hair is more worn in cool to colder climates. And because chiengora is also fairly water-repellent, it will insulate you better in colder damper weather.
So then...... What is the "halo" you keep hearing about? Halo yarn is just the name given to the "fluffiness" of the yarn or finished piece, such as in any Mohair yarn or an Angora Sweater.

What makes up the "halo" are those tiny, almost microscopic hairs that have worked one end out of the twist and thus creates a fluffy, almost like a halo appearance. Don't be fooled by the initial appearance of your "Keepsake Yarn." It will turn into that beautiful "Halo" appearence after you wear it a few times.

More often than not, when you receive your keepsake yarn, it will look quite similar to commercial or normal Red Heart yarn. But after you handle your keepsake yarn or finished product you will see the results of it separating ontp finer hairs by the main yarn ends twisting apart forming your "Halo" effect around the outside of your project. The longer you work with your keepsake yarn, you will start to see the halo emerge right before your eyes. The more you just touch it, pet it, wash or handle it your keepsake yarn will continue to grow into a beautiful amazing "Halo!"

So,are you as anxious to get the full halo on your WIP as I am? Then try maybe dry cleaning your product and your "Halo"will instantly appear to it's fullest, natural visual aspect. You can slso read more on How to use Your Pet Yarn and how you may want to plan for the halo on your all your projects.

Here is what a mitten might look like after it has its "Halo" the yarn is called "Golden Retreiver" yarn. And the 1st photo is the mitten when it was 1st knit, the 2nd is how it looks after a few wearings. Cool huh?

Yarn that is spun from an animal with a double coat, [under coat of that sofest feeling fur, and then an outside coat of a more coaser feeling hair] pet is up to 80% warmer than wool. think about how wonderful that will feel against your skin and how warm it will keep you in those COLD evenings of winter. The hairs that make up most undercoats of your double-coated pets have a hollow core. These tiny hairs will act like little insulators, they actually absorbe and trap the heat of your pet's body.

So that when you spin it, the hairs do not lose any of their insulating dimensions and they will continue to execute their natural task by absorbing and trapping your body heat. Because of this fact, You may want to think twice about using the yarn to make an entire sweater. It sure would end up becoming a "furnace" effect on your body grabbing all its heat. And then it would end up in the bottom of your sweater chest, as it would become too warm to wear. But if you want to make a sweater with your keepsake yarn, you might want to try knitting just the body of the sweater with other yarn and integrate your keepsake yarn into the rest of your sweater as more of a trim or maybe just the sleeves.

To wash your keepsake yarn you can check out but always remember that professial dry-cleaning is the best way to clean it. Unless you want it to look like its Felted or matted which is caused by three factors: soap; agitation and heat. These three factors are to be avoided at all costs!

And concerning any oders or allergies, because this is your animals hair/fur remember that these are caused by the oils, dander and enzymes in a pet's skin, and not the actual hair itself. so once it is off the animal those fators go away. You can always washing the yarn and it may remove some of the perpetrators.

However, VIP Fibers is the only spinnery that has developed a patented process for permanently removing all of these factors. Even though each natural fiber has it's own indiviual scent, your keepsake yarn will not "smell like your wet dog" and your keepsake yarn will be allergy free.

To store your keepsake yarn try putting it in on an open shelf in a well lit area. Never store your keepsake yarn or any finished product in plastic bags or plastic containers. This will cause the fibers, [any fiber from any mammal contains Keratin, which is a natural protein that is the main diet for cloth moths] to attract moths. These moths will eat through plastic bags and thrust their way under the lids of just about any air-tight container. Fibers that are stored in any air tight container can compound the effect of the scent of the "Keratin" and could act like a flashing "diner" sign for the moths to lay their eggs. Now if you still insist on storing it in plastic, you can try cedar or lavender to help disguise the scent of the Keratin and it might deter the little fellows for a time to keep them away from your treasured knitted items or yarn, However, eventually they will get wiser and go in and lay those eggs.

Cloth moths do not like any kind of light or movement, that is why you might see the adult moths moving away from you and the the yarn when a light hits them. Remember its the darkness that they like. Inotherwords storing your keepsake yarn out in the open, and making sure it is a well lit place will help discourage them from nesting there. Also remember that when you fold your keepsake yarn it will create those dark places that the moths love to snuggle in and it makes a perfect place to raise their families.

All your sweaters, scarves and hats should be hung up even though it may be a pain and takes up more space, it will make you much happier to know that the garments will be "moth free" this way. And your yarn....well bring it out into the open and let people enjoy the wiew of it!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Crocheting Along

Here is a pin cushion I made to send to my swap partner over at All Around the House group. I added some sprinkles on the top for some fun. And I love funnel cakes...Yumm...I got a funnel cake kit...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What I am Working On? [WIP]

I am almost finished with this scarf. Its made of black chenille and Caron Simple Soft.... I saw it in the Jan 2008 Crochet magazine and thought the color combo was appealing, I just love the bl & wht look. It is turning out pretty good, but it is thick so its a bit warm for Southern Calif. Maybe I will use it in the mts???
I am also working on a purple dazzle cape-let with a flower. It is using two different yarns, one sparkle Patton's sport weight and also fun fur metallic. Very pretty together. It is hard to see the dazzle, both yarns have sparkle in them...remember I love Bling Bling.... and the flower which I will attach to hold it together and then add some beads. It just drapes over the shoulders and nice over a sleeveless top or dress....hmmmm.... I have learned something from making shrugs, capes, and ponchos, and that is that I crochet loosely so I need to reduce the hook size that is called for and be sure to lower the foundation chain a bit to adjust for this. I am so used to making bags, that I have not had this dilemma before???? Oh did I mention also that I have finally gotten some of my things on Ravelry? I am listed as "Calcrochetnut" .... Yes I know I have been dragging my feet a bit, but in my defense, it was Christmas...wasn't it??? So now I have no more excuses and I am working hard to get some of my WIP and FP [finished projects] and PWTM [projects wanting to make] on there, and I also ran across a great little group called, "Burnin Up the Stash" and decided that it was a great group for me to be in so I can finsih some of WIP and also get my stash down to make room for new yarn, soooooooo no more buying yarn till I get my stash down...really...Do you think I can?????

Sunday, January 06, 2008

After Christmas Round up and Christmas Card Box Pattern

I thought I would gather some of my Christmas photos and post them for you to show all of you how my holidays went...here is my staircas all decorated with garland...but a bulb went out so this year my lights on it wouldn't work, don't cha just hate that with these new lights when one goes out they all go out???? What is that anyways???

My daughter gave me a new Red Hat, and the suitcase I got from DH,

I crocheted a red nose for "George" our reindeer over the fireplace, If you look closely on the card with Santa on it , he is sitting under a palm tree on the beach. It is just a funny card.

The crochet doily wall hanger was made awhile ago by my Mom, she did such a beautiful job of cupid!

The ornament was given to me by one of my Red Hat ladies, it is really pretty on the tree.

I love mangers and this one I added real Christmas branches to give it a more natural look.
My sister sent me the Santa dollar and I use it as a decoration now. It is a real dollar.

Mr Grinch was a treat for my knit groups exchange game. Isn't he adorable, and he is so soft too!
This is Santa on the beach under a palm tree. Its a card I got a few years ago and put it out every year.
This year my grandkids all decided to buy me something. My granddaughter who is only 6 , wraps up something in her room and gives it to me. It was so cute. She used a Christmas lunch box I had given her last year and she gave me a lay and a little doggy of hers. :) And my other granddaughter bought me a cute Teddy and my grandson got me a really nice silver locket. It was really special....
I made horse finger puppets and used them as ornments and hung them on the tree. They turned out really cute.

And this is my 1st attempt at making an Amigurumi. I made a white elephant. This pattern was so cute, and I loved making it. Now I want to make more...there are some really fun patterns out there, but I am learning to watch as some of the books are in Japanese only??? oh no...

This little guy is just too cute!
Christmas Card Box pattern:
I made a Christmas card box, I have always wanted to make one and it was so easy.. check out the website for more explicit directions on making one. I kind of made up my own.

  • First I decided on the shape and then the size.
  • I took a new box of cards, getting them now is great as they are all marked down, then I got 2 cards from last year, as I always save my cards, and used them for the bottom.
  • Next I punched holes around the cards with a hole punch and then I used a "G" hook and single crocheted in one hole with WS facing each other, and holding the next 2 sides WS together, I crocheted into the hole directly across and prceeded back and forth .
  • Once I was down one side I got the bottoms, WS facing each other, and repeated across the bottom 1 side, and so forth all the way around.
  • Now you will have to work back and forth to be sure to even the stiches, and also be sure to go back on the sides you have missed.
  • Once completed I slip stitched the bottom again all the way around to give it a little lift for sitting. It turned out really nice and I like it so much I am going to make several more for my Red Hat ladies for next year. And you could even make them for birthdays, Easter, or any occasion just using any cards.


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