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Wire-o-rama!

This marks my entrance into the world of wire crochet!

After a few disappointing attempts that more resembled chicken wire than anything I would call "jewelry", I got a tip from another fledgling wire crocheter at Crochetville.

Try thinner wire.

Ohhhhhhhhh... what a difference!

That didn't mean that my next attempts were a lot better (notice I don't have any pictures of a blue necklace...). I still was trying to follow a "pattern".

When I gave up on published patterns and just picked up a hook and let the wire talk to me, I fared much better!

The first bracelet was the green bracelet. It has a 28 gauge spine, made with the medium beads and an F hook. Into that with 34 gauge wire and small beads I crocheted the "band" of the bracelet with a 5 steel hook. This is one of my accessories for my swap partner (if you're reading this, Anna, I'm sorry to spoil the surprise!). I wore it to work to make sure all of the edges were in, and that people liked it. Yes, on both counts.

I next made the pink bracelet, using the same technique, but with larger beads. I like it, but the green is prettier... it's just in the beads. The one part I like best about the pink bracelet, though, is that I used a lobster clasp and jump ring instead of a toggle (but my mom liked the toggle better, so to each their own).

In fact, my mom liked the bracelet, and toggle, so much that she went out to Michaels and picked out some beads so I could make one for her very fashionable friend's upcoming birthday. I made it for her that night to her direction. "Like the green one, only with more beads. But not wider. And shorter; she has tiny wrists."

I did manage a picture before she left, though I think they look much better in person (and even better on my computer than on the web as far as the picture goes). I'm sure I will be making more of these in the future!!!


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posted by Unknown on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 @ 9:47 PM

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Crochet is Good for Your Health...

We all know crochet is good for us. Maybe not our wallet. Maybe not other projects. But it makes us happy, and now I have identified a few other ways that crochet is good for your health...

A good diet is full of fiber. So is a well-stocked crochet room!

You have $5. Do you buy a skein of yarn, or pint of Ben & Jerry's? Thanks to crochet, that Cherry Garcia is safe, and so is your calorie count for the day.

If you get butter on your popcorn you get butter on your Popcorn Afghan. If that's not a reason to switch to "Lite", I don't know what is!

Artist Crochets Self into Cocoon... you know what's not in a cocoon? Chocolate donuts.

Crochet is a great incentive for weight loss... if you're a smaller size you don't have to buy as much yarn for a garment, so you can splurge on a nicer yarn!

How does crocheting fit into your health regimine? Post in a reply, or email me and I'll add it to the message!

posted by Unknown on Thursday, June 08, 2006 @ 11:44 PM

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The Crochet Workout (or Sweating to the Stitches)

I discovered something this week that has had a profound impact on my ongoing health...

I can crochet while I ride my stationary bike.

This is amazing! My two biggest beefs about working out at home were (1) it's boring boring boring and (2) I keep thinking of all of the other things I could be doing around the house (including crocheting).

The boring aspect made it a real chore to make it 30 minutes on the bike, but now I can go much longer (in fact it is now just tiredness that makes me stop). I'm on day four of Crochet N' Ride, and the past two days I have gone for over an hour each day!

There are some drawbacks:
  • I have to work on something relatively small. I have found squares for my afghan work, but for the first few days I was finishing up a nifty accessory that shall remain (for the time being) nameless for the C'ville Accessory Swap.
  • The sweat running down my elbow concerns me. This, however, is why God invented towels and fans.
  • When I multi-task, each task suffers a little. I crochet slower. I bike slower. BUT... I crochet more in an hour of Stitch&Spin than 1/2 hour just crocheting, and I bike more in a shared hour than a half hour alone, so there is a net gain of crocheting and biking. And the biking isn't unbearably boring!

I always knew there was a way to use my crochet for good and not evil >B^)

posted by Unknown on @ 11:20 PM

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Tour de Yarn

Today my friend, Toni, and I (with the ever-present mini-me) set forth on a Tour de Yarn de Richmond.

We loaded up the van at 11 am and set forth for fiber-ous pastures.

First stop, Hardees. Did you know they don't serve biscuits after 11? Us either. OK, straight to the yarn!

Got Yarn? This was a really neat yarn shop on Midlothian Turnpike, with a lot of funky, unique yarns. There were neat shawls, and a great class/work area in the back room. They apparently do a lot of mail order; they had three big boxes ready to go out in the post and have a really informative webpage. Crocheter-friendly alert! Not only were the yarns yummy and the staff friendly, they had crochet pattern books and an actual selection of crochet hooks... including some gorgeous Brittany hooks! Toni got one; I'm jealous. :-)

Next up: a slight detour for bathroom, lunch (PF Chang's, yum!), and Three Dog Bakery. We have determination, but also other shopping needs. :-)

Lettuce Knit. This shop seems geared towards garment knitters, but they did have a very cute "Cat in the Hat" style felted stocking cap purse, with black eyelash fur trim. Toni fell in love with some gorgeous hand-dyes, but we had more shops to go, she had no project in mind, and the price was a bit steep for an impulse buy (not high for the quality, just high for no purpose purchase).

Unraveled. This might have been my favorite shop of the day! Just inside the door are a circle of comfy armchairs, adorned with throws, pillows and shawls that really inspire you to pick up the needles, knitter or not. The shop owner (I presume she was the owner) was very friendly and both helpful and non-intrusive all at the same time. There was a great selection of yarns, plus some pencil roving. Toni lost the battle of will with a big ball of a brown tonal boucle with a hint of mohair, and we picked up tips about knitting with wire and beads (and picked up a schedule for classes!). They also have a growing weaving class/materials stock, and the music was a CD by Ann's husband (crafty family, that one). I can definitely see myself going back there again!

Ben Franklin. What? That's not a local yarn store (LYS)? OK, no, it's not. But it was on our way, and we don't have any in our area of the state! Good timing; they were having a 25% off customer appreciation weekend. We were still inspired by the last shop and Toni picked up some wire and beads at a great price. I snagged a free tear sheet for a cute bag, won the battle of will with some sock yarn (too many WIPs already!), and noted for future reference that they had small bags of wool roving in multi-colors for just $6! Holly Spring Homespun has better roving, but this is good to know for future reference.

The Yarn Lounge. Tied for first place with Unraveled, but a totally different feel. The Yarn Lounge has worktables in the front, and a bit of a coffee-shop-esq seating area for knitting and chatting. The feel was contemporary, with hip styles, friendly staff, and a super-friendly and well-behaved dog that entranced my daughter. Sit and knit last Tuesday's of the month - can't wait to go back!

Due to time restraints, we had to cut a few local places out of our loop. We didn't make it out to Holly Spring Homespun (but can you tell that I loved the last trip I made out there?), or to The Knitting Basket. We just hit the "unknowns".

posted by Unknown on Saturday, June 03, 2006 @ 10:23 PM

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