Tuesday, December 17, 2019

GBBO Spa Set - Macaron Soaps & Vanilla Sugar Scrub

I have a problem.  Whenever I watch the Great British Bake Off, I want baked goods.  During cake week I want cake.  During biscuit week I check the pantry in case cookie faeries came while I was out and left me something delicious.  During bread week I resort to making cinnamon toast while watching the show.  So when I joined the Great British Bake Off Swap, I just assumed I'd be sending my partner some sort of tasty treat, either homemade or a purchased extra.  Then I got partnered with the amazing PerfectlyBohemian, who is on a keto diet right now.  So I decided to try to make her all those carb-filled baked goods, in other ways...

The result was a set of spa goodies.  French Macaron Soaps were the first decision.  I purchased a silicone mold from Amazon.  It makes 6 soaps per batch.  (If I was going to do more of them, I'd consider getting a second mold to do more at a time.) I picked up some melt & pour goat's milk soap from Joann's.  Most of the scents were in my stash already.   

I ended up making 4 different scents, Lychee Red Tea (pink), Lemon Chiffon (yellow), Butter Mint (green), and Vanilla Latte (tan w/brown flecks).  I tinted the pink, yellow and green with soap colorant, and the tan was achieved by adding a bit of cocoa powder.  The flecks are coffee grounds, which not only resemble vanilla bean flecks, but also work as an exfoliant.  :)

Out of a 2lb block of soap I think I got about 39 macarons, and one larger lump of leftover soap that had been already tinted and scented.  (I forgot to put aside 1/4 for 'filling', and had too much 'cookie'.  :D)  I packed them up in little treat boxes, with mini-cupcake papers, both also found at Joann's, and tied the boxes with baker's twine.

I decided to make a vanilla sugar scrub to go with them, because I ran into the cutest little jar that says 'home made'.  It was too cute not to buy.  Since my partner listed loving the scent and flavor of vanilla, I used my homemade vanilla extract as the scent, and voila.  Vanilla Sugar Scrub!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Hermione's Beaded Handbag

I made this little ornament for Audania1 in the HP Holiday Ornament & Stocking Stuffer Swap.  The very last HP Swap to be hosted here on Craftster!   :'(  But don't worry, I'm sure I'll host a lovely new HP Swap in our new home, as soon as we have one to settle into.  ;)

I knew when I started the swap that I wanted to come up with an object or scene from the books that I hadn't seen done as an ornament before.  It took me a few days of pondering, but I suddenly remembered Hermione's bag of holding pretty little beaded handbag that also served as a mobile library while hunting Horcruxes and on the run from Death Eaters.  It is crocheted from 2 yarns held together, Caron Simply Soft in plum, and Lion Brand BonBons in purple sparkle.  I didn't use a pattern, just winged it based on the many other bags I've done in the past.  I believe I started with 6 sc, and expanded up to 24 in your average crochet circle, then the sides were done in hdc, because sc was proving too stiff for the shape of the bag I wanted.  I just hooked until I liked the height to the point of a drawstring, then did a row of hdc, ch 1, sk 1 st, all the way around, then finished with a round of hdc and a final row of sc.  I crocheted the drawstring and made the tassel out of the BonBons sparkle, then I dug through my embroidery thread stash, and bead stash, to find stuff to embellish the little bag with.

I hid a second ornament inside: Slytherin's Locket!

Friday, November 29, 2019

Calypso Wrap

I recently whipped this up for a friend who is going through a rough time.  I had hoped the bright colors, reminiscent of the sunrise, might help brighten a dark time, and help her know that a new day is always on the horizon.  The pattern is the Calypso Shawl, and the yarn is Darn Good Yarn's Ombre Recycled Silk in Orange, Blue, and Purple.  The yarn is made from silk waste, that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

Rainbow Reading Wrap

This was an attempt at writing my own pattern, and it had its successes and its failures.  I started by going for a basic rectangle wrap, with Lion Brand Heartland in the soft grey shade, until I had the desired length. 
I did some rows in double crochet and half double crochet, before switching to the linen stitch for the rainbow section.  For that I used mainly Caron Simply Soft, which while also a worsted weight, is a pinch thinner than the Heartland.  The difference in yarn thickness, coupled with the tighter linen stitch, resulted in the wrap losing some of its length. 
For the cloud border, I used Buttercream Luxe Craft, which is a smaller 'bulky' size. This added to effect of widening the grey outer edges, while the rainbow continued to pull in a bit.  I was able to block it to *nearly* rectangular, with blocking boards and an iron set to a low heat.
While I'm not entirely happy with the results, I am glad that I learned a few things, and know what I'd do differently next time.  And I'm hoping that the friend it is going to will enjoy it anyways, as she cuddles up in it to read. 

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Cozy Silk Slippers & Mitts to fit with Apple Watch

Been feeling a little under the weather lately, and a friend pointed out that I should try to be good to myself, and rest up.  So I put aside my monster afghan crochet project, and whipped up a cuddly pair of silk slippers just for me.  The pattern is called Silk Mer-Slippers by Miranda Nippert.  It was originally designed for Darn Good Yarn's Silk Roving Worsted Yarn in a colorway reminiscent of mermaids, and utilizes a shell stitch, hence the name Mer-Slippers.  I used the same yarn in Crimson Fire instead, because I had 5 skeins of it on hand.  This project busted nearly 2 skeins of it from my stash!  The pattern is very quick; I did the first slipper Thursday night while watching tv, and the second on Friday afternoon, while curled up with some GBBO on Netflix. Since I'm still feeling tired, I plan to spend the afternoon on the couch again, and might make a pair of fingerless gloves to match it.  Or I might nap.   :D

I just finished up a pair of mitts to match my new slippers!  I love fingerless gloves and mitts, but they are always problematic with my Apple watch.  I created a little window in the left mitt, so I can still access my watch screen while I wear them. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Talisman Necklace & Asymmetrical Earrings

This was made for Powerhouseofthecell in the recent Fiber/Mixed Media Jewelry Swap.  While I do make a lot of jewelry, this was way outside my wheelhouse.  I loved that the swap forced me outside my comfort zone.  (Thanks [member]sheepBlue[/member]!)  I also really enjoyed getting to use crochet in jewelry. 

There was no pattern that I followed.  I used a beading needle to string most of a small box of 'bead soup' onto it before I started, then I simply began crocheting.  I believe I chained 16, then started doing single crochet in both sizes of the chain, for a total of 30 stitched per row.  I didn't join at the end of each row, just continued in a spiral around to create the pouch.  The yarn is Premier Wool Free Sock Yarn, in the color Rainforest.  The beads came from a mix called Butter Tart I bumped into at Joanns.  I did a few rounds without beads to establish the base of the pouch, then I alternated doing a row of beads and a row without.  I tried alternating my beads with 2 small in a row, then 1 bigger, then 2 small again, so that when they are all piled together, the bigger ones have a bit more room to shine, with the smaller often hiding behind/under/beside them.

I also only beaded 1 side, so that it would be soft and smooth against either skin or clothing.  At the top I stopped doing single crochet for a stretch, and filled in chain stitches, then restarted single crochet, and went around again, up and over the sc stitches, so that I had a natural loop to close over the button I planned as a closure.  I did several rounds without beads to provide a flat surface to sew the button to.  The button was a Czech glass treasure that I received in a swap many years ago.  (Possibly from [member]rackycoo[/member]?)  I have been hoarding since, waiting for the perfect project to use it on, and this was clearly it.

Once I had completed the pouch, instead of finishing off, I started chaining stitches, to create the necklace portion.  I think I did 2 chains, then a bead, then two more chains.  Once that was done, I cut the yarn, and started a new piece of necklace chain, without beads.  I made that piece the same length, before attaching it beside the first strand, then slip stitching over to the other side, and creating more chain, so that I would have 3 individual strands, that could be braided together.  I braided them loosely, then attached them on the other end, and added a few beads to each end, which you can see below.

After all that, I added a bit of fringe to the bottom, and filled the pouch with a few bits and bobs to protect Powerhouseofthecell on her journeys; a piece of seaglass (also a swap extra, from [member]calluna[/member]!), an antique key, and a stamped lucky penny.  As I was packing up my swap package, I included the remaining beads, so Powerhouse could use them if she wanted to make a matching item.  I was literally writing that in her card, when I stopped, and dashed back over to my jewelry making area, to create a set of asymmetrical earrings for her to match the necklace. 

It was SO HARD to force myself to make a pair that were not identical!  Seriously, what should have been a 5 minute pair of earrings took more like 20, to get my right brain to get on board with my left brain. 

Sari Silk Wrapped Bangles

These were made for Powerhouseofthecell in the recent Fiber/Mixed Media Jewelry Swap.  Powerhouse mentioned liking bangle bracelets, which I've never really dabbled in before.  These were the result of some inspiration from her Pinterest, and my stash of recycled sari silk ribbon and yarn. 

The blue and the pink were each made from recycled silk cloth, and the green is from recycled silk yarn.  The cloth ones were also wrapped in wire, and have some Swarovski crystal beads sprinkled along them.  They felt a bit unfinished to me, so I called on [member]sheepBlue[/member] & [member]PerfectlyBohemian[/member] for advice.  The recommended a few charms to finish them off.  Incidentally, I believe the dinosaur charms actually came from sheep herself!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Dragon Shawl in Filet Crochet

Guys, I did a thing!  I learned to do filet crochet.  And did I pick a small simple project to learn on?  Nope.  Of course not!  I picked a giant shawl.  (Seriously, this thing is nearly 7' wide.  It's HUGE.)  It was made for Ant Bee in the Madam Malkin's HP Wearables for All Occasions Swap.  Thankfully Ant Bee is tall, so the wing span is much more appropriate to her frame than mine. 

The pattern is The Dragon Shawl by Alex at Yarn Geek Makes (formerly Two Hearts Crochet).  The yarn is her suggested yarn, Malabrigo Rios (#4 worsted weight), but I did switch up the color I chose.  Her suggestion was for a black with hints of red/orange/gold, which gave off a burning fire feel, but I went with Candombe, which is mainly black with hints of green, blue and purple.  Kind of a Maleficent-dragon feel, that I thought would compliment Ant Bee's Slytherin nature.  I had a really hard time capturing the color of the yarn.  The last picture of 3 tassels is probably the most accurate in terms of yarn color.

The pattern does work up very quickly.  Absolute start to finish on it was 10 days, but some of that time was waiting for a third set of blocking boards to arrive.  (I had 9 boards, and assumed I'd be safe with ordering 3 more as I was nearing the end of hooking, for a total of 12.  But this thing was so huge, that when I wen to pin it out I discovered I needed another order of 3, meaning it took 15' of board!)  Honestly, I didn't find filet confusing at all, after learning to do a graphghan last year.  It was just knowing what counted as an 'open' box vs a 'closed' box.  Easy peasy. 

I made 3 yarn & bead tassels with the leftover yarn, and put them onto jewelry clasps so that they can be added or removed as needed.  Ant Bee has a little one, so I think she might need to hide the tassels until tiny fingers aren't tempted to grab and pull.  I'm so pleased with how this came out, and I'm looking forward to messing around with filet crochet more in future. 
[img width=500 height=459]https://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/medium/153888_08Oct19_IMG_8499.JPG[/img]

Mandragora Tee Shirt with HTV

This shirt was made for Ant Bee in the Madam Malkin's HP Wearables for All Occasions Swap.  I bought the SVG design on Etsy, and cut it from a sage green glitter HTV.  I'm going to be honest, this one was really hard to let go.  I think I'm going to have to make a second one for myself.  :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Kingfisher Shawl - A Free Crochet Pattern

Kingfisher Shawl
By Jennie Ingram

The Kingfisher Shawl is soft, drapey, and generously sized for cuddling with your favorite book.  

Skill Level: Intermediate
Finished Size: 64" across the top; 30" from center back to point

-2 skeins Lion Brand Heartland in Pinnacles (Turquoise, noted as color A in pattern)
-1 skein Lion Brand Heartland in Great Sand Dunes, (Tan, noted as color B in pattern)
-1 skein Lion Brand Heartland in Sequoia, (Brown, noted as color C in pattern)
-1 skein Lion Brand Heartland in Cuyahoga Valley, (Teal, noted as color D in pattern)
-6mm crochet hook
-Tapestry needle

Gauge: 7 rows of 14 dc = 4”

Ch: Chain
Dc: Double crochet
Hdc: Half double crochet
Sk: Skip
Sp: Space

Notes: At the beginning of each row ‘ch 4’ counts as dc + ch 1.  

Beginning: With color A ch 4, sl st to form a ring.

Row 1: Ch 3, 2 dc, ch 3, 3 dc.

Row 2: Ch 4 (counts as dc, ch 1), turn work. Dc in same st, ch 1, sk 1, dc in next sp, ch 1, (dc, ch 3, dc in ch-3 sp), ch 1, dc in next dc, ch 1, sk 1, dc, ch 1, dc in final st. (8 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 3: Ch 4, turn work.  Dc in same st, (ch 1 sk 1, dc in next dc) 3 times, ch 1, (dc, ch 3, dc in ch-3 sp), (ch 1, sk 1, dc in next dc) 3 times, ch 1 dc, ch 1, dc in final st. (12 dc, 1 ch-3 sp). 

Row 4: Ch 4, turn work.  Dc in same st, ch 1, *dc in top of next dc, ch 1*. Repeat across to last dc on that side. Ch 1, dc, ch 3, dc in ch-3 sp. *Ch 1, dc in top of next dc*. Repeat across to second to last dc.  Ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc in last st. (16 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Rows 5: Repeat Row 4. (20 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Rows 6: Repeat Row 4. (24 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Rows 7: Repeat Row 4. (28 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 8: Change to color B. Ch 4, turn work.  Dc in same st. Dc in each dc and in each ch 1 sp across to ch-3 space. Dc, ch 3, dc in ch 3 sp. Dc in each dc and in each ch 1 sp across to second to last dc. Dc, ch 1, dc in last sp. (58 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 9: Change to color C. Repeat Row 4. (34 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 10: Repeat Row 4. (38 dc, 1 ch-3 sp). 

Row 11: Change to color D. Ch 3, turn work.  Hdc in same st. Hdc in each dc and ch 1 space across to ch 3 sp. Hdc, ch 3, hdc in ch-3 sp. Hdc across to second to last st. Hdc, ch 1, hdc in last sp. (76hdc)

Row 12: Change to color C. Repeat Row 4. (42 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 13: Repeat Row 4. (46 dc, 1 ch-3 sp). 

Row 14: Change to color B. Repeat Row 8. (94dc 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 15: Change to color A. Repeat Row 4. (52 dc, 1 ch-3 sp). 

Row 16: Repeat Row 4. (56 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 17: Repeat Row 4. (60 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 18: Repeat Row 4. (64 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 19: Repeat Row 4. (68 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 20: Repeat Row 4. (72 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 21: Repeat Row 4. (76 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 22: Change to color D. Repeat Row 8. (154 dc, 1 ch-3 sp). 

Row 23: Change to color C. Repeat Row 9. (82 dc, 1 ch-3 sp). 

Row 24: Repeat Row 9. (86 dc, 1 ch-3 sp). 

Row 25: Change to color B. Repeat Row 11. (174 hdc)

Row 26: Change to color C. Repeat Row 9. (92 dc, 1 ch-3 sp). 

Row 27: Repeat Row 9. (96 dc, 1 ch-3 sp). 

Row 28: Change to color D. Repeat Row 8. (194 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 29: Change to color A. Repeat Row 4. (102 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 30: Repeat Row 4. (106 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 31: Repeat Row 4. (110 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 32: Repeat Row 4. (114 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 33: Repeat Row 4. (118 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 34: Repeat Row 4. (122 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 35: Repeat Row 4. (126 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 36: Change to color B. Repeat Row 8. (254 dc, 1 ch-3 sp). 

Row 37: Change to color C. Repeat Row 9. (132 dc, 1 ch-3 sp). 

Row 38: Repeat Row 9. (136 dc, 1 ch-3 sp). 

Row 39: Change to color D.  Repeat Row 11. (274 hdc, 1 ch-3 sp). 

Row 40: Change to color C.  Repeat Row 9. (142 dc, 1 ch-3 sp).

Row 41: Repeat Row 9. ( 146 dc, 1 ch-3 sp). 

Row 42: Change to color B.  Repeat Row 8. (294 dc, 1 ch-3 sp). 

Row 43: Change to color A.  Repeat Row 8. (300 dc, 1 ch-3 sp). 

Row 44: Ch 3, 2 dc in same, *ch1, sk 2 sp, sc, ch 1, sk 2 sp, 3 dc in next*.  Repeat to second to last dc of this side.  3 dc in last dc.  Ch 1, 3 dc in ch-3 sp.  Ch 1, 3 dc in next dc, *ch 1, sk 2 sp, sc, ch 1, sk 2 sp, 3 dc in next*.  Repeat across to end. 

Row 45: Ch 1, turn work. Sc in same sp. Ch 3, sk next 2 dc and ch 1 sp, *dc in sc sp. Ch 3, sk ch 1 and next dc. Sc, ch 1, sc in next dc (center dc of from previous round’s 3dc cluster), ch 3.*  Repeat from * to * across to last sc on this side.  Ch 3, sk ch and 1 dc sp, (sc, ch 1, sc) in next dc, ch 3, (sk dc, ch 1, dc), dc in center point, *ch 3, (sk dc, ch 1, dc), sc, ch 1, sc in next dc, ch 3, dc in sc sp*.  Repeat across to last sc sp on this side. Ch 3, sc in last dc. 

Row 46: Ch 1, turn work. Sc in same sp. Ch 1, *(2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in top of dc.  Ch 1, sc in ch-1 sp between sc sts of previous row, ch 1*.  Repeat from * to * across to last sc on this side. Ch 1, (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc in point), ch 1. *Sc in ch-1 sp between 2 sc sts of previous row, ch 1, (2dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in top of next dc, ch 1.*  Repeat from * to * across to last dc on this side. Ch 1, sc in final sc.  

Fasten off, weave in ends.

Copyright © 2019 by Jennie Ingram * All rights reserved.  No portion of this pattern may be reproduced, transmitted, or distributed by any means, whether for free or for sale.

Monday, September 2, 2019

From the Ashes Silk Shawl

I finished a quick little summer shawl!  The pattern is the From the Ashes Shawl from Rachy Newin Designs.  I started it when I was called home unexpectedly for a family funeral.  (The pattern name seems somehow appropriate for such an event.)  I wanted something very small to work on, so I took just 1 skein of the 3 used in the piece, and uploaded the pattern PDF to my kindle.  The yarn, a few stitch marker, and hook all fit in a little zippered pouch that I could tuck in my purse while traveling. 

The yarn is Darn Good Yarn's Sport Weight Silk in colorway Popsicle.  I received 1 skein of it as a selection of the month in their subscription yarn club.  Later I received a second skein as a promotion they were running where you could add a surprise to your subscription box for just $5.  Since I now had two, I picked up a third skein later, so I'd have enough to make something light and lacy.  It is such a dream to work with.  It glides across your skin, and whatever the detergent they use on the yarn smells pleasant, but not overwhelming.  I found myself sometimes sniffing my project.  Is that weird?  Wait, never mind.  It's totally weird, but I don't care.

As for the pattern, I initially had a bit of trouble with it.  The directions per row are a dense block of text, and even with the text size turned up on my kindle, it was easy to get lost within the paragraph.  I did the first 8 rows easily enough, but by row 10 I could tell something was off.  I frogged and restitched rows 8-12 a few times, not quite figuring out what was wrong, and getting a bit frustrated.  Finally I decided to walk away for a little while.  I took a nice shower, did a few errands, and had some lunch.  Lo and behold, when I got back to my parents house, there had been an update on the pattern, and it now had a diagram!  The diagram made all the difference, and I discovered that I had simply missed an asterisk in row 10, leading to 2 too many stitches.  It also made me realize how far I've come with reading crochet diagrams over text directions!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Silk Flower Brocch

Now that this has found its way to its new home, I can finally share the silk flower brooch I made in Candie Cooper's silk class at the Adornments Retreat last month.  The lovely kittykill helped me out by watching over the Craft a Craftster Friend Doll Swap while I was away at the retreat, and so I knew I wanted to make her something while I was there.  When we started in on these awesome flowers, I knew I had to make this for her!  Each petal was rough cut from silk fabric and lace, then the edges were lightly singed with a butane torch to seal them, and create an organic look.  They were layered together, topped with an awesome piece of Vintaj brass, and a cool rhinestone embellishment, and fished with some dangling bits of chain.  I couldn't resist adding some crystal beads to the chain.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Crystal, Pearl & Brass Necklace & Earrings Set

I almost forgot to post this!  This is my entry for the Bead Soup design contest at the Adornments Retreat earlier this month. Everyone was asked to bring a 16" strand of beads, matching some aspect of a provided color palette.  I assumed we were mixing all the beads that everyone brought, so I provided a 16" strand of the same beads.  But in actuality, we were in smaller groups, where we mixed beads with the few other people at our individual tables.  Some tables were full with 8 people, and others, like mine, were smaller.  We had just 4 people.  To get us started, Swarovski Crystal who was one of the sponsors, placed a few strands of their beads in each bowl.  The crystal rings, and the deep blue pearls both came from that.  The other beads were from my various table-mates. 

Since the other sponsor was Vintaj, and they provided clasps for the designs, I went with a very Vintaj-heavy feel for my design, incorporating some of their brass filigree components and bead caps, along with some antiqued gold chain, and some chain tassels.  The result is a simple piece, that I could wear comfortably.  (You should have seen some of the more awesome designs!  There was some crazy beautiful stuff in the mix.)

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Silk Tassel Pendant

I got to attend the Adorments Retreat last week, where I was lucky enough to take two classes with Candie Cooper.  The first focused on using silk in jewelry making.  We made large scrappy fabric tassels out of silk, bits of chain, and lace; all topped with beautiful large Swarovski crystal beads and Vintaj findings.  We were given beautiful knotted crystal strands to hang them from.

 I'm not really a girl or pink person, and yet I can't help but love the results, and I've been wearing it nearly every day since.  :D

Layered Coordinating Pendants

Last week I had the great good fortune to attend the Adornments Retreat sponsored by Vintaj and Art Bead Scene.  It was 4 days of classes, make-and-take projects, and crafting fun.  One of the events on the first day, as a way to get to know one another, was a pendant exchange.  We were invited to bring a pendant we had made, strung on a simple cord or ribbon, all wrapped up. 

The base is Vintaj arte metal.  The middle layer is a piece of Vintaj brass that I hit with a little of their patina paint in a few shades of pink.  The top piece is an antiqued gold charm star charm with an opal pink stone in the center.  I popped some holes in the base art metal piece, and added drops made from rosewater opal Swarovski crystals.

Since I wasn't sure if we would be truly exchanging between two people, or if we would all place our pendants on a table, and randomly take another, or if we'd be able to meet up with one another in some way later, I decided to make myself a coordinating pendant, so my partner could find me later if need be, and so we would always have something to link us together after the event.

The base is the same arte metal, and the middle layer is the same Vintaj brass that I hit with patina paint in shades of green instead of pink.  The top piece is an antiqued gold charm compass rose.  I added drops made from chrysolite opal Swarovski crystals to go with the brass patina. 

I'm glad to say the recipient loved her pendant and was wearing it throughout the event.  :D