Tag Archive | crochet thread

More or less homemade Halloween

WordPress tried to get fancy on me and switched me over to the “improved posting experience.” Well… the improved experience ate my post last Wednesday and I was too disgusted to start over again. But, I suppose it’s time to stop pouting and get back on the horse. Problem is, I don’t even remember what I was going to write about. How about we take a look at our Halloween costumes?

There wasn’t a whole lot of crafting involved in our costumes, but there was a considerable amount of DIY.

First is Rana. She wanted to be Cleopatra, which is actually what she had intended to be last year before Joan Jett swayed her. The Joan Jett wig was hardly suitable for Cleopatra, so I looked and looked and the best I could find was a Snow White wig. Rana doesn’t know that I cut the red ribbon off. This wig had seen better days and I tried to tame it by soaking it in water and conditioner, but that really didn’t do a thing. To make it look appropriately royal and Egyptian, we needed some kind of headdress. I didn’t really have time to make something elaborate; I found this crochet headband pattern which turns out looking pretty good in gold crochet thread. The beauty of this pattern is that you can make it up in any weight yarn (well, within reason), just use the appropriate sized hook. One thing to note is that this was written with UK crochet terms, so for Americans — when she says “slip stitch,” she means single crochet. It will turn out to be kind of a lumpy mess if you actually slip stitch.

Rana’s Egyptian “dress” is actually a chemise I made from Simplicity 5726 (The Fashion Historian pattern by Martha McCain) which I’ve already talked about here . A gold and silver belt and some canning rings for bracelets finish off the costume. Rana was convinced that she was the spitting image of Cleopatra and we’ll just let her think that because she had fun, and isn’t that what dressing up is all about?

She wouldn't walk like an Egyptian for me.

She wouldn’t walk like an Egyptian for me.

Granota was a kitty cat. With purchased ears and tail, a painted face, and black clothes, her outfit was pretty easy to put together.



Beaten only by… Konik’s pumpkin suit. I crocheted the little stem & berries hat he is wearing, but apparently never blogged about it? I can’t find a post about it. I made it when he was just 1 year old and so now, it is technically Sprinkaan’s hat, but Sprinkaan is a kind and understanding baby and let his big brother borrow it for just one night.

Sugar punkin

Sugar punkin

So that leaves Mr. Gren, Sprinkaan, and me. Can you guess?


Yes, we were Doc, Marty, and Jennifer from “Back to the Future.” We outfitted Baby McFly’s stroller like a little cardboard Delorean, complete with glow-stick flux capacitor. It all started because Sprinkaan already had that little red vest and we went from there. If we had had more time between when we thought of the costumes and when we wore the costumes, we probably could have made a better Delorean. But that’s what you get for one rushed afternoon of work. Also, there was that little issue of making it baby-safe. Rather than being an exact replica, we’ll just say it embodies the essence of the real Delorean.

Roads? Where we're going, we don't need "roads."

Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need “roads.”

The Delorean Motor Company probably didn't use cardboard and duct tape.

The Delorean Motor Company probably didn’t use cardboard and duct tape.



1.21 gigawatts!

1.21 gigawatts!


Great Scott!

Great Scott!

There you have it: Halloween 2014!



More beaded jar covers

I need to offer my apologies to German-speaking Jewish people of the world.

One of my most-clicked posts as a result of one of the most-frequent search terms that lead people to my blog has probably turned out to be pretty disappointing. See, when Mr. Gren and I thought that my beaded jar covers looked like tricked-out yarmulkes, I thought I was being all clever combining the words “jar” and “yarmulke” to get “jarmulke.” Turns out, that’s just the German spelling for the same thing. I suppose it’s still a sort of fun play-on-words, but it undoubtedly made no sense at all to all the people who landed on my blog shopping for actual Jewish head-coverings. Sorry ’bout that. Goyim gonna goy.

So this time, no funny stuff. I made jar covers with crocheted edgings and beads. White crochet thread, an assortment of pretty beads of various substances, and white flour sack towels from Pakistan which are actually somewhere in between cheesecloth and an actual flour sack towel in terms of the weave. For my purposes of fermenting, that actually works better because it allows more air in, while still keeping dust and bugs out.



The tap is open and the kombucha is flowin’


These made nice portable projects for our trip to Idaho this summer. I only finished two while I was there; I’ve got a couple more circles of cloth left still.

Sourdough starter

Sourdough starter


These are fairly simple to do, but I love how pretty they turn out. Classing up my kitchen! I did learn a few things from last time which made this go ’round easier. I machine-stitched a line 1/4″ from the edge of the cloth, then poked my crochet hook inside that stitching line when I started the crochet edging. The machine stitching gives it a little more stability so close to the edge of the cloth. Also, I didn’t bother with beads that didn’t easily fit on my crochet thread. Life’s too short. I tried to do a different edging on each cover, for my own amusement. And that’s all there really is to say about that.

Since that was short and only marginally interesting, I’m going to tack on a bit more here at the end.

Remember this thing?


This is the UFO jar that is, perhaps, partially responsible for my long hiatus. How can that be? Well, the last project that I pulled from the jar was the Rainbow Afghan. My goal was to finish one project per month. I didn’t finish it the first month. Nor the second month. I ran out of yarn. And then I ran out of gumption. This afghan was supposed to have been a stash-buster. You don’t buy new yarn for stash busters! So I was caught in this crafter’s quandary: Do I buy yarn and finish the project (and then have new leftover yarn)? Or do I accept that the afghan will be smaller than originally planned? I chose Option C, which was “Do nothing.”

While the afghan continues to simmer on the back burner, I thought it was high time to pull a new project. After all, my goal was to empty this thing out by the end of the year!


{sigh} Oh boy. You don’t know how badly I wanted to put this right back in the jar and pull something else. “They’ll never know! They’re just internet people!” But integrity won out in the end and now I’ve published it for all the world to see. “Mai” is Rana’s favorite stuffed bunny rabbit. Originally, this project was conceived as a little mother-daughter teaching time, but, well, let’s just say that Rana and I didn’t have the best summer together and the thought of any more “quality time” together right now makes me want to run screaming for the hills. So here’s the deal: I’m just going to bust this out on my own. Leave it on her bed for her to find after school one day and then she and Mai can have a lovely time playing dress-up and I’ll move on to a new UFO.  Fair enough?


Every year for the past 7 or so years, I’ve participated in an ornament exchange with a group of friends. The last couple of years, I’ve made the ornament that I give, and crochet tends to be a good medium. Of course, a lot of that depends on the pattern and the yarn! I want my crochet ornaments to look delicate and classy; not like they time-traveled here from the 60s.

This year, I knew I wanted to make my recipient an angel. I searched through a ton of angel patterns. I wanted one with a robe that stood out full — not just a 2D Flat Stanley angel. I also needed one that was ornament-sized instead of a full-on tree topper. This pattern met all the criteria.

Here’s my angel!


My friend has received it now and said she loves it. I hope it brings her a smile every time she sees it!

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FYI: This may be the last you see of me this week. I’ve been poking along on the girls’ dolls and finally looked at a calendar. Holy Time Crunch, Batman! I’ve gotta get a move on! The kids have been less-than-cooperative in this process. Last week, Granota kept popping out of her room unexpectedly during naptime whereas normally she never leaves her room. That got me all paranoid. Saturday night, I gated off the loft, turned the armchair around backwards and hauled up my fabric and doll pattern book. Were the children content to just let me work since Mr. Gren was home? No. If Maman is not accessible at all times then we’ve entered a crisis situation. All three of them sat at the gate and bleated at me like little lonely sheep, which makes concentration on much of anything more difficult than it should be. So where we stand right now: 1 assembled yet bald & naked Axl (I can just imagine the blog hits I’m going to get now); 1 Axl as Lt. Dan; 1 mostly constructed white jacket; 1 pair of white pants that I’m not completely happy with; and 2 little black t-shirts cut out but waiting to be sewn. Still lots to do!

Have a great week!

I get by with a little help from my friends

Bonus points and I promise to like you if you can tell me what that’s from.

Last week, I shared with you some of my recent crafting disappointments. Things that didn’t quite turn out as planned. One of the main things I had been working on (which I really needed to cooperate with me) were the crocheted cuffs for Rana’s pants. The poor kid’s giraffe legs make all her pants look like high-waters. I made these cuffs thinking it would be a nice affordable way to get some more usage out of pants that otherwise fit. Except I ended up with this:

Still no explanation for this.

After multiple failed attempts at making a third cuff that refused to match either of the existing ones, I rolled them up and chucked them in a bin with assorted craft detritus. No, not the garbage, just random odds and ends.

Well, Kristen from Kristenisms wouldn’t let me give up that easily! If you go back and look in the comments, you’ll see how she kindly but firmly encouraged me to go block the darn things. I had nothing to lose at that point, so I gave it a go!

Grow, little cuff, grow!

And you know what? I had thrown in the towel too early. Kristen was right — through the miracle of blocking, I was able to get the cuffs to match. Hooray! Here’s Rana strutting her stuff in her refurbished pants.

The little patches on her pocket are hearts I crocheted out of the same multi-colored crochet thread last year when she deemed the gray corduroys “too boyish” and refused to wear them. Now they’re extra girly-pretty!

That should work!

Until her next growth spurt. In two weeks.

Mystery #1 revealed! Silver threads

Some friends of mine and I participate in a Secret Sister ornament exchange each year. This year, I’ve been on a crochet thread kick and decided to make a pretty little silver bell. Mystery #1 revealed! Those pretty sparkles in my “sneak preview” post were from the metallic thread I used to make the bell. After it was all crocheted, I stuck a plastic egg inside of it and starched the heck out of it. Now it will hold its shape for all time. Or until it gets wet. (Don’t get it wet!)

Here was the mystery photo, which will make so much more sense when you see this:

Ring-a-ling, hear them ring

I’m considering making a whole bunch of these and stringing them together in a garland next year.

And on the theme of silver threads, this morning when I woke up, I was looking out the window and saw the trees draped with frosty cobwebs. It looked so magical. Now, make no mistake, spiders are my very worst fear in the world. I can sense a spider’s presence before I see it, and then, once I see it, I’m a petrified, shrieking mess. However, I can appreciate the delicacy and beauty of a web, especially when it’s 22 degrees outside and I know the suckers who made them are D-E-D.

The sun was coming up and I knew it wouldn’t be long before the frost melted off the webs and I wanted to be able to share it with all of you because they look like crochet lace. So I went out in my bathrobe, slippers and beret (it’s cold out there!) so that you all could enjoy these beautiful webs, too. It’s a good thing that none of our neighbors are close enough to see, otherwise I might end up on somebody else’s blog.