About me from the beginning...

Well, I guess I should start with an introduction of myself. I first started crocheting when I was about 16, my mom's been crocheting like forever and passed it along to me. I picked up knitting from my sister at about 21 yrs old and fell in love. Don't get me wrong, I love crocheting too, but I feel with knitting there is much more diversity in what can be made. Before I started driving, I would do my knitting on the train and people all the time started to ask me questions and I would show them patterns of things that can be made, they saw a particular pattern, and would usually say "Wow, I would love to have this made!" and I was getting offers and phone numbers of people who wanted for me to make them stuff. People who are non-knitters do not realize the time, effort, and money that goes into making a particular item. Sure, you can walk into any department store and buy a sweater for $20, but with knitting, most of the time if you want a nice sweater, the yarn alone can cost up to or more than $80, not to mention the labor put into making the sweater. So, I started making things for people as gifts because I didn't really have the nerve to tell someone that if I charged them $150 or more for a sweater made of some very luxurious yarns, I would feel like they would laugh in my face. However, they are people out there who do appreciate a one-of-a-kind hand made garment, and my knitting has expanded to pretty much everything. So, I am starting this blog to show people some of the items that I have made, if they are interested in anything to be custom made for them, I would be more than happy to discuss what you would like done. This bag here was the first bag that I created. I've used it to carry school books and other stuff and it's held up great. As you can see in the middle pic, it has a small inside pocket that can carry an ipod, mp3 player, or other things (The pocket size can be adjusted to your liking, of course). I used a very thick wool yarn for this bag, and it was the first bag that I meandered from a pattern with. Basically, I modified the pattern(as seen in "Stitch 'n' Bitch" the original book. Everything can be adjusted with bags and I love to make them. Small, big, backpacks, you name it! And there are so many variations of yarn that can be used, but generally speaking when making bags, you want to use a good sturdy yarn. The next pic of this bag is just to show how it looks being worn (kinda blurry, sorry that's my webcam!) This next item I made is just to die for. I also made it from the Stitch 'n' Bitch book, but I used similar (and less expensive) yarns that look practically identical to the finished product. It is a turtleneck poncho that is ribbed at the neck and designed with straps of furry yarn (lion brand fun fur, along with the basic yarn) and it's a perfect poncho to wear on days that are a bit chilly, but not too chilly, like now in days before spring, or on a nice spring night. This poncho has stripes of purple and red in a charchol wool base yarn and has a tie (optional) with two little pom poms at the end. I don't know if you can really see, but it ends in a "V" shaped fashion. Very nice to wear for a night on the town, or for any chilly day. Keeps your neck super warm, too! Anyway, I make all types of items, and the cheapest and quickest things to make are: hats, glovettes (fingerless gloves) cell phone covers, or ipod covers, thin decorative belts or scarves. If you want something made, have an idea of something you may want made for a loved one, we can chat and do some brainstorming. If you want to meet in person, I live in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY, we can meet in person, if you like, or if you want to chat online my email is: vickys2133@yahoo.com Thanks for reading! PS-I am adding a photo album that shows all the projects that I spoke of.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lidsville Hat by Debbie Stoller...

I'm now working on a hat for a very good friend of mine in the 'Son of Stitch N Bitch' book, by Debbie Stoller, which can be viewed here.  As you can see from the picture here, it's a very nice hat, but it seems very difficult to put together.  I have viewed some blogs other people have left, who have successfully made the Lidsville Hat.  I had made my friend a little cap about a year or two ago, and he wants a new one, we were browsing the ever so helpful website, Crochet Pattern Central, and came upon this cap.  I was having a problem getting the 'template' to cut the plastic canvas (in the front to keep the hat stiff), and asked a few gals on Ravelry, one of them was totally nasty with me, saying that she's reported me, that it's against Ravelry's rules to ask for copyrighted material, which I was not aware of.  All she had to say was that it's against the Rules to ask for this material, and I should take it down.  Had she approached me nicely, like that, I would have taken it down, no problem.  There's just some really nasty people out there.  Also, since I got the pattern from here, which is at myLifetime, so I didn't really think that it was 'illegal' to ask for a tracing of the template!  Also, if it's 'illegal' to post this material, then why is it on Google Books?

I digress.  Instead of the Donegal Tweed yarn that this pattern requires, I'm using Lion Brand Wool Ease Worsted Weight yarn.  It should make a good substitute, considering the gauge is very similar and the color that I have of the Wool Ease, is a nice brown, earth tones color that changes ever so slightly from a light to medium brown.

I've already completed the 4 back pieces (I'm completely at a loss at how this will fit together, but I do have faith!) and am working on the body of the hat.

I find that projects like these are very challenging, especially for me, since I hate stitching pieces together, but my motto is 'work at what you're not good at'.  If you don't work at what you have trouble with, it can lead to getting bored of making the project and abandoning it.  It's always best to keep things interesting by working on what you're not good at.  But that can work both ways.  You shouldn't just 'skip' along stitches that you're not completely comfortable doing before moving along to the next stitch.

Crocheting & knitting is all about repetition.  The more you work at it, the better you get.  I look at past projects that I've done and I can totally see mistakes that only another crocheter/knitter would notice.  If I notice an error in a project that I'm in the middle of making, even if the error is 10 rows below my current position, I think it's worth it to unravel it, to correct the error.  It's not very fun seeing 10 rows of your hard work disappearing just to fix a mistake, but, you have to think to yourself that you are putting so much time and effort into what you're making, so it may as well be perfect, because if you don't fix the error, you will always notice it and it will be a huge eyesore for you!

Anyone who wishes to share what projects they're currently making, please leave a comment!  Thanks!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Back to my Plastic Canvas Roots...

I'm currently making the 'Lidsville Hat' from Debbie Stoller's book 'Son of Stitch N Bitch', and I had loads of plastic canvas sheets.  Unfortunately, my 'yarn stash' was becoming out of hand to say the least, and I threw away tons of plastic canvas sheets (tons of clear, as well as colored! Darn!)

So, I had to get a plastic canvas sheet and got a great deal of ebay.  Instinctively, this brings me back to my 'plastic canvas' days.

Before I started to knit & crochet, I did cross stitch & plastic canvas a lot, until I got bored from making tissue box covers.  However, since I now have extra sheets, I took a look through my book collection and found this awesome jewelry box pattern, in plastic canvas that I thought I should share with you.

My scanner is horrible, I know that, but you just click on the picture, and are able to zoom in, & see the entire pattern clearly, as well as print it.  If, for some reason, you're not able to see the pattern by clicking on it, then send me an email if you're stuck at something and I will be more than happy to help you!  I just simply love this pattern, it's different from other jewelry boxes because it has 2 levels inside the box.  As you can see in the right side of the first picture, it has a  handle with a case for items like necklaces, or it can be used to secure earrings by putting the earring through a space & secure it on the opposite side with the holder or clasp.  Underneath the first level, are 6 seperate compartments to keep important jewelry together, like sets, and it minimizes the 'tangling' of chains.  I love this box, and it would make a great gift for anyone, and an even better gift for yourself!  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Current projects...

I'm working on this gorgeous crochet shawl/wrap that is made with Patons Lace, that you can see on the right.  For those who have never worked with Patons Lace, it's a fingering weight yarn, and it's made from acrylic, mohair and wool.  It feels absolutely great!  However, this is not a weekend project, since the yarn is so thin and worked on a size D crochet hook, it takes a lot of time to make.  The book where this pattern is in, called Patons Lace Breathtaking has 12 gorgeous items to knit & crochet.  Since the yarn comes with over 400 yards, some items need only one ball to make an item.  This particular item on the right, takes 2 balls to complete, which may seem like a little bit, but when you see the size of the balls, and how thin the yarn is, you can just imagine that it takes a long time to go through one ball!

I simply love this pattern, and I would like to have it done by the end of the month, since this coming autumn would be the perfect weather to wear a wrap like this in!  Till next time...

Friday, August 05, 2011

Some great new books...

I've been waiting for this book to come in the mail all week, and it's finally here!! It's the best book for those who are already knitters who wish to make their own custom made patterns.  It has what's called 'master templates' for all different items, socks, sweaters, vests, gloves/mittens, hats, scarves, bags and much more! What I love even more about this book, is the Appendix in the back, it shows how to make a custom made pattern by taking your exact measurements (waist, shoulders, length of back & front, sleeves, etc), which is PERFECT for someone like me, who has distention in my abdomen area, I find when I buy shirts, I have to get them in a large size, and the sleeves are always big, and it just doesn't fit right. But, if I'm able to make a customized shirt based solely on my measurements, then I can make a shirt to accommodate my large belly.  I don't know if any other women have that problem, buying shirts or sweaters that just don't fit right, well, if that's the case, this is the book for you! To order this book, and start your own endeavor on making the 'perfect pattern' for you, click here
This book is totally awesome, and with it's help, I will start making and posting pictures of my 'own unique' patterns!

Another great book is "The Field Guide to Knitting". If you wish to make your own unique patterns, this book is also a MUST HAVE.  Click here to purchase it and take a look on what's inside.  It shows you virtually every pattern known to man!  These would be you're two reference books in creating your own pattern.  And, you can create your own pattern not just for a custom made sweater, but for anything.  If you wish to make a unique blanket, or a special covering for something, all you need to do is know the measurements of what it is you want to make, what yarn you want to use, the gauge of that yarn, and what kind of pattern you would like to use (and that's where the "Field Guide to Knitting" comes into great handy, I would go further to say that it's a necessity).  So, now that I'm armed with these two great books, I am ready to start making my own patterns.  You can actually take any pattern and customize it to your liking.  You just have to find a stitch pattern that fits into the number of active stitches, and rows.  Now, this may sound complicated, but even if you're a novice knitter, if you buy these two books and read them, but not only read them, actually do the steps that are being done as you go along.  By reading it, you can get a gist of how to customize something, or as "Teach yourself Visually Design Knitting" puts it, the 'master pattern', which in retrospect, can be any pattern that can be tweaked to your specifications.  When looking at the back of the book, you can see that it's so simple to make your own pattern, all you need is a book of graph paper, pencil & eraser, ruler, and a calculator, because most people don't know that in creating a pattern, there's A LOT of mathematics involved.

If anyone out there who knits, please stay tuned, because I'm quickly learning on how to make my own patterns, and I will have them posted here, on my blog.  Once I get good at learning how to design my own patterns, I think the same rules apply to creating a crocheted pattern.  I do have books on crocheting stitches, not just the typical single, half-double, double and triple crochet stitches, but making crocheted items that have more design to it, such as picot stitching, seed stitch crocheting, etc.
Anyone who purchases both of these books shown above, will not be disappointed, I can assure you that! If you take the time, you, too, will be creating your own patterns in no time! And when you do, please send them to me, I would love to see them! If anyone's got any 'custom' made patterns already, please sent them to me, as well and I can (with your permission, of course) put them up here for all to see! Till next time...

Going back to my roots...

Well, I've actually taken the steps on learning how to make my own patterns. My mom, who's a great crocheter, doesn't crochet from patterns, she does it all in her head. I want to use the mathematics on how to write my own patterns, and I can add them on this blog. I've actually already came up with an "Extremely" simple one.
Now, I have this book, it's awesome, it's called "Field Guide to Knitting" and it shows ALL of the stitches, designs & trimmings on different designs. Such as, for example, the design you see here, which is called "Fish-Scale Lace".  Basically, for those more 'advanced' knitters, this is worked over 17 stitches with an 8 row repeat. Now, very easily, one can make a 'swatch' pattern, using this 'Field Guide to knitting' book, which has HUNDREDS of stitches & designs. It's actually easier than I thought. So, me being the extreme knitting enthusiast, I want to take it even further!
I'm working on, putting together ALL of these patterns, and, when my health is better, I'm going to put my ALL into creating my OWN knitting software. Now, I've seen a lot of 'knitting software' already, software that allows you to make your own sweater, socks, but I've never seen a software that opens up, like a wizard, asking you what you would like to make, with what kind of yarn you want to make it with, and just magically 'creates' a pattern for you.  This is an EXTREMELY hard task to accomplish.  There will be many steps in the wizard for it to accomplish this.  Things will have to be known, like, how long do you want a piece to be? Do you want to join these pieces together? Are you planning on making singular (and when I say 'singular', I mean, like a sweater, where you make the front, back, then sleeves and stitch it all together, or more simply put, a bag with a front, back and straps)
I think this software would be GREAT, because it will allow novice/beginner knitters to create their OWN patterns, fit to their specifications, and all they would need to do is put the length of the pieces they wish to make. Now, this software will generate a pattern simply showing you how to make the individual pieces, but, I would like to add a section just showing people how to sew these pieces together (ex. mattress stitch, backstitch, invisible seam, etc). All that someone would need to know is, what they want to make, what kind of yarn they would like to use (specifically, the gauge of the yarn), and how many inches they would like for the pieces to be. In the more 'advanced' settings, what I would add to this 'wizard' is specific things such as designs. This software will have the 'basic' options on making these 'pieces' in stockinette stitch, garter stitch, 2x2 rib, or seed stitch. Anything more intricate, such as cables, lace knitting, etc, would be in the wizard and it will specify what kinds of stitches are available.  For this, I would use ALL of the stitches shown in the "Field Guide to Knitting" book that I have.  I'm actually waiting for a book on how to make patterns to come in the mail, it's taking forever! It should've been here Tuesday, I hope it gets here today, or I'll just have to go to the post office and see if they have it.  I have the tracking #, but it shows it was 'out for delivery' on Aug 2nd! No other updates are available, so, I don't know!
Anyways, for those more advanced knitters who are bored with the patterns that are out there, what would you like this 'knitting software wizard' to have? What features would you like to see?
Also, I would like to do the same kind of program with crocheting, and, to be honest, I've been doing A LOT of crocheting lately, more so than knitting, simply because I've got a lot of projects that I've been working on that I'd like to finish up.  I'm working on another item for my niece, but, it's taken me SOOO LONG to make this (a simple poncho, with one big cable, and two smaller ones) but the size is up to 6 months, however, I would still like to finish it, because it's a great pattern!  So, I have to make the decision now to either finish it and accept the fact that it won't fit her and possibly have a 'raffle' here on my blog and give it to a lucky individual who knows of a baby girl who would wear it (in fact, if anyone knows of a baby girl, or someone who's pregnant with a girl, so long as they're willing to send me pictures of the baby wearing it, I'll just give it to them! Let me know!) or, abandon the project all together, but I really don't want to do that.  Any real knitter knows, it's not always about the finished project, but the joy of making it and learning to hone your skills to perfection! To me, the finished project is just a little bonus! I knit/crochet not to use the item I make (sometimes, I do) but mainly, I do it to learn, and to make the most beautiful things I can!
By the way, the slideshow of pictures you see on this page, I am ALWAYS adding pictures to it, so you can just click on any one of the pictures, and it will take you to my Picasa album and show you ALL of the pictures of things I've made (I believe there's 83 pictures in the album as of right now), so keep watching! Please comment...

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Are you a 'Socks Fanatic'?

I had a little phase when all I would do Knit is socks. However, I am very against the double pointed needle method because of the 'Second Sock Syndrome' which is basically, you finish the first sock and then get lazy cause you don't want to have to do it all over again, so to get around that, I use 2 Circular needles at the same time, about 24 inches long each, and knit both socks at the same time.  This method can be found and shown anywhere, just do a google on 2 socks at a time on 2 Circular needles.  I've made a great pair of socks using Lion Brand Wool Ease and 2 Size 5 Circular needles. They're very warm, soft and cozy.  In the Herrschners website, they sell this stuff called Abs Latex and it's great!They also sell a stencil that has different shapes and what it basically does is make your socks slip proof.  It turns them into great socks to walk around the house in and not slip, since it is a liquid rubber that goes on the bottom of the sock and dries. You can make wavy lines across the bottom of the socks, or little circles, anything you want.  Using the stencils, you can make little stars, paw prints and other cute things.  Just check it out here
Tell me how you like to make socks, which methods you use and why you like to use it. 

Finished Baby Cardigan set. Have you made anything for Babies?

Well everybody, my sister had her first daughter, Olivia, on September 3, 2010.  I made this lovely Cardigan set out of Patons Grace, including a bonnet and botties. I am attaching pictures of it so you can see them.  If anyone wishes to have this pattern, please send me a message and I will send it to you, it makes for a great gift for a baby shower! Also, I made a Pinwheel Afghan shown here, made of Herrschners Baby yarn in the color 'Popsicle', but you can make it in any color or sport weight yarn, if you want the pattern for the afghan, I can send it to you also.

Now, I am asking all crocheters out there: Have you made anything for babies, recently or not? Do you have pictures of them that you would like to share? Please send them to me along with your name and items title.  Does anyone have any good baby patterns out there? Especially for a bunting? Patterns other than any on Crochet Pattern Central because I've seen almost all of them!

Also, not just about babies, but I'm looking for a pattern for a scarf with a hood, like all one piece, if anyone has a pattern like that, please send it to me, if not, I will just have to make one myself!

Last topic: How do you feel about stitching or slip stitching items together? Do you prefer to make items all in one piece? I love making things in one piece, especially when crocheting, because I find it a bit difficult to make a clean, seamless stitch.  I'm crocheting a snuggie right now, I have the pattern for all sizes, girls, boys, men & women, just let me know which one you want and I can send you the pattern. 

Crocheting vs. Knitting - What's your opinion?

People frequently ask me "What's easier to learn? Crocheting or knitting?" I've always had a hard time answering this question, but I usually just tell them the difference between the two. To me, knitting is more of a form of weaving, whereas crocheting is a series of knots and loops connected in special ways. Even though there is more crochet stitches than knitting, and knitting only has purl and knit stitches, I have came to the conclusion that crocheting would be easier for a beginner to learn. The chain, which everybody knows how to make, is very simple. Most people who don't know how to crochet get stuck at that point. That's when the lessons are essential. Also, learning the abbreviations commonly used in a pattern is crutial to making any project, crochet or knit. So, I ask you more experienced crocheters&knitters. What would you tell someone is asked "Which is easier to learn? Knitting or crocheting?"


Even as an Advanced Crocheter, I find it hard to crochet with novelty yarns, especially eyelash yarn, you can't see your stitches, it's easy to miss mistakes, hard to tell when you are at the end of a row or if you are beginning in the right stitch. Anyone have any solutions for this?


Hey, just wanted everyone to know that herrschners, my favorite website to buy yarn at, is having a sale on a really cool magazine called "Crochet Today", they have some past issues for .97 cents! I got the 2010 Special issue and I'm making a blanket from it, it's called "Blue Skies Bedspread", if anyone else in interested in making this beautiful blanket, FYI, the yarn can be purchased at www.herrschners.com and it costs a total of $32.82 and that includes s&h. I'm waiting for the yarn to come as we speak, also, I've ordered on herrschners the "Radiant Shawl" kit which comes with the new Patons Lace yarn. Has anyone ever used it yet? I have, and it's good knitting yarn, I have yet to use it for crochet, so we'll see. The colors are simply beautiful, nothing like I've ever seen, they're not exactly Ombre colors, because the color fades into another color spectrum so slowly that when knitted, it looks like the color is changing slowly in certain parts. Maybe I'm not explaining myself quite well. Anyways, this "blue skies bedspread" is 53 x 67 inches, huge!! I've never really been into the "granny square" method of making afghans, because it's very easy to get bored making the same damned square over and over, which has usually lead to me abandoning the project. However, the blue skies bedspread requires you to make a certain amount of half squares, like triangles, and the squares are big, and not all of them have the same color sequence. And it's beautifully crocheted together, not sewn with a great contrasting yellow. So, I've also seen an afghan that is knitted and has different sizes and different yarns in the "One More Skein" book, which is great! I am currently making the cabled poncho for babies for my little bean niece! I'm also making the first project, fingerless gloves, everybody needs a pair of those! I love that pattern, it's extremely simple, just a 3x1 rib for 8ins, then sewn ends together leaving opening for thumb. Very simple, very quick. The only reason I'm making this is because I ordered this yarn to finish the socks I was crocheting and was sent the wrong color, so I decided to keep the skein and make use of it. Also, in this book "one more skein" there is an afghan pattern that is so rad!! (I can't believe I'm using the word rad!), but it is. You can use any kind of yarn, just gather up all of the mismatch colors and weights of yarn that you have and knit squares in all these different sizes and sew them together. Anyone can do this without a pattern, it's all about the mathmatics. For example, if you want an afghan, let's say, 35 x 50 ins, you can make squares that go into that number of inches. Either have 3 rows or more of squares, or do it like a puzzle. Any weight yarn will do, so long as the squares are the right number of inches that fit together. That's pretty much what this pattern is, and if anyone wants it, I'll be happy to email it to you. Well, any interesting patterns, people? A cool pattern that I wish to share, is the crocheted snuggie! It's awesome and uses a huge size L hook. Here's the link to make crochet the Suggie. Keep this blog alive, people!!!