Tag Archive | crochet trim

No peasants were burninated in the sewing of this blouse

I made a shirt. It was boring. I put stuff on it. Now I like it. Suffering from writer’s block a bit.

As excited as I was to sew it, it’s not that exciting a story to tell. It’s kind of plain, like the shirt. So I’ll spruce it up, too.

Last week after my pattern binge, I could barely sleep from excitement. So the next morning I set right to work making a peasant blouse out of navy broadcloth from my stash. It was plain, so I crocheted some lace trim for the hem and sleeves.

But even that isn’t all that riveting to read. How about this.

Lo, this past seven-night in the wake of the procurement of multitudinous patterns, repose eluded me. The new day dawned and I commenced fabrication posthaste on an esne’s tunic, availing myself of indigo stuffs. Being too ordinary, I further adorned the frock with hand-worked ornamentation.

But why should I have all the fun? Sewing MadLibs!

Once upon a _______ (noun), JenGren ________ (verb) _________ (quantity) new sewing patterns. She was so ________ (adj) that she could not ________ (verb). The next day, she ________ (verb) a new _________ (clothing) from _________ (color) fabric. But, it was ___________ (adj), so she ________ (verb) _________ (noun) to it. Now it is _________ (adj).

Have at it! Make my story amusing, entertaining, thrilling, exhilarating! You can write your version in the comments (just keep it clean!). And hopefully the oatmeal mush in my head will be a little more witty on Wednesday.

And for anyone curious about the burnination of peasants: Trogdor the Burninator

Get used to disappointment

I love Cary Elwes (Except in “Twister” because his Southern accent was lousy and he was a bad guy). It’s ok; Mr. Gren knows. I especially love him when he’s being all suave and dashing. I mean, how could I not? His name is Welsh, he’s got those eyes, and that smirk, and that voice and… {sigh}. What was I talking about? Oh, right. And of course, “The Princess Bride” is the most quotable of all his films. Today I direct your attention to the famous sword fight scene with Inigo Montoya. Do I need to set it up for you? Really, shame on you. Go watch it. I always loved the dialogue when Inigo asks, “Who are you?” and Westley replies, “No one of consequence.” Inigo insists, “I must know!” only to be met with the flippant, “Get used to disappointment.” Inigo ponders this for a second and then gives an amiable shrug.

Cling! Clang!

I’ve come to the recent conclusion that I, too, must get used to disappointment. Not in dueling (because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t even last long enough to be disappointed), but in crafting. I know you’re probably all sick of hearing about my power outage, but it really did something to me. A couple of days before we lost power, I noticed that I don’t have a stocking hat. I have a beret that I wear through the winter (which is October through about April here), but it doesn’t cover my ears. And some days that is a real necessity. So I began knitting myself a stocking hat with a leftover skein of Homespun yarn. The power went out and I huddled up next to the window with my knitting board and kept stitching. I didn’t finish it until after the power came back on several days later. I sure could have used it as we sat freezing in our 45 degree cabin. I also wouldn’t have been able to see.

It might be a bit big

The cuff is supposed to start about where the pink is, but if you look closely, you can tell that that’s where my nose is. I don’t see through my nose.

Cuffed all the way to the top of my head and it still threatens to fall over my eyes

It calls to mind the first stocking hat I knitted on my knitting board about a year ago this time. It’s not any better.

Warm? Yes. Wearable? No.

So technically, I possess two stocking hats, but apparently I knit for Goliath. Or Andre the Giant.

I put the hat away and tried a different knitting project — a scarf similar to the pine tree scarf I made a couple months ago. This time I wanted to make a heart scarf.

Looks nice, feels scratchy

This wasn’t my first choice of yarn. Turns out my instincts were correct: it just doesn’t feel nice at all. And nobody wants to wear a scratchy scarf, no matter how cute. So I pulled it off the needles and stuffed into my yarn bin and put away the knitting board. Time to try something else.

I began sewing an Easter bonnet for Granota. I know it’s early, but I thought, if it turns out nice, I can make a few more for my etsy store. It turned out… passable. She loves it, so I won’t tell her all the things that are wrong with it. Of course, I can’t make something for one girl and not make the identical item for the other girl. I started sewing Rana’s bonnet and called over Granota for a fitting since Rana was at school. It didn’t fit her. I tried it on Konik and it didn’t fit him, either. How do I use the same pattern and end up with such drastically different results? I had enough seam allowance that I was able to let it out enough to eventually fit Konik’s head. I wish I had pictures of his face when I would try it on him. Even at 2 years old, he knows that is a girl hat and he wanted no part of it. It was pretty funny. In the end, I turned out a sweet little bonnet that I can’t use for my children.

Modeled so nicely by my tailor's ham, which didn't put up a fuss

Come on, now, something has got to work out one of these times. Next project was to crochet little cuffs to sew on the bottom of Rana’s pants. Remember all those clothes I made her at the beginning of the school year? Yeah, she’s outgrown them. Her pants are too short and we have no money, so I thought I could use what I already have. I measured around the hem of her pants, then got out my crochet stitch book, chose a stitch and started crocheting up a nice little decorative cuff. I used crochet thread and a size B hook. I was pleased with how it turned out and got right to work on the second one.

There might be a size discrepancy here.

Same number of stitches and yet… So I started a third one. Three different times. Tightened my tension and it would still turn out too big. I can’t even begin to explain what is happening here. I thought I would have all this great stuff to show you after the little scare with my computer (which has been behaving itself of late, so we’ll see…) and I can’t properly finish anything. I’ve gone through the stages of confusion and frustration, so now I’m left with disappointment. But y’know, it’s so much easier to take when I imagine Cary Elwes telling me to get used to it. Anything for you, Cary.

Jarmulke yarmulke

I like kombucha. I like to make my own; it’s a lot cheaper than buying a small bottle for $4 at the grocery store! I also like having a bowl of sourdough starter on my counter. You can use it for more than just bread! I’ve also been trying to soak my grains before I use them the next day. The problem with all of these healthy pursuits is that fruit flies also like them. Fruit flies are not healthy. I recently had to throw out a perfectly good kombucha mushroom because some fruit flies found the bowl and set up camp. Pitched tents, set out the lawn chairs, and started gossiping with the neighbors. Pretty soon there was a baby boom and little fruit fly parents were up late into the night soothing fussy maggots. They all got a one-way ticket to the compost pile. Fortunately, I do have a back-up kombucha mushroom in the freezer, but I haven’t wanted to get it out until I knew I could protect it.

One of the blogs I like, Down to Earth, is written by an Australian woman named Rhonda. She and her husband have worked hard to live a simplified and nearly self-sufficient life. Her writing is wonderfully warm and friendly and I always learn so much from her. After my run-in with the fruit flies, I recalled one of her posts where she wrote about different ways of covering your food and mentioned jar covers. One of them was a thin cotton cloth with crocheted trim and beads for weights. She didn’t explain how to make it, but I was sure I could figure it out.

Beads, steel crochet hook, crochet thread, and a circle of cotton cloth

I knew that the Dollar Tree had loosely-woven (made in Pakistan, oooh!) cotton dish towels which would be perfect for jar covers. The weave is small enough that nothing icky will get into my food, but is thin enough to breathe. I picked up a couple towels and cut five different sized circles to fit a variety of jars and bowls. At Michael’s, I agonized in the bead aisle, trying to find the heaviest (and cheapest, of course!). I already had the crochet thread and the steel hook, which was my great-grandmother’s.

The first thing I had to do was string the beads onto the thread. The blue rocks went on pretty easily, but the little brown shell beads had a smaller hole and fought me all the way. After much muttering and cursing of the Yosemite Sam variety (rassen frassen dadgum….), I finally got eight of each kind of bead on my thread.

I know that it only shows six brown beads. Trust me, there were eight.

I have never crocheted onto cloth before, so I did a little searching on Crochet Pattern Central to see if there was anything to get me started. I did find a pattern for a glass cover, although her cloth was much smaller than mine. It was a good starting point, though, so I used the first two rounds of her pattern on my cloth.

Not as intimidating as I thought it would be

I think next time, I will put in a line of stay-stitching about a 1/4 inch away from the raw edge, just to give the fabric some stability and then crochet inside the line. Also, I think I will add one more chain between stitches in the fabric. You can see in the picture that it puckered a little bit. It wasn’t bad, because it made the edge curl in a little which might help with keeping out the vermin, but I think I would like the edge to stay flat. On the next one, I also think I will alternate the beads as I thread them so that I can attach them all in the same round of crochet.

Basically crochet lace with a rock

When I finished my jar cover, I placed it on Mr. Gren’s head because it was convenient in all its roundy baldness. And also funny. He commented that it was like a yarmulke. Just a bit ago, I did a search for yarmulkes. I found both plain and fancy yarmulkes, satin, embroidered, even knit and crocheted yarmulkes. But I didn’t find any adorned with beads. That might just be too much.

This will do the job nicely.

I like the way it looks: kind of old-fashioned and homey, but delicate and dainty at the same time. It is definitely an improvement over the scrap of paper towel and rubber band that I had used occasionally in the past.

Kombucha jar with its new covering

Time to brew up a new batch of kombucha! And work up a few more jar/bowl covers. Or, jarmulkes.