Tea Cozy Tuesday – September – Week #5

I’m glad to have had a bonus week this month, as it gave me time to frog this cozy and try again. My 2nd try turned out much better than my first try! That only makes sense though, since this time I followed the pattern more closely.  It’s the Broken Rib Tea Cozy by Pamela Hendersen. I did shrink it down a b it to fit my pot, but otherwise I did it as written…with much better results!

September Tea Cozy

For the stem, I picked up stitches around the top (8, I think). Just like last time, I decreased down to 4 stitches over a couple of rows, continued straight for 2 rows, then increased up to 8 stitches over a couple rows. The difference, this time, is that I put more increases on one side than on the other, to create an asymmetrical top. Then I grafted the stitches together at the top to finish off.

I used the leaf pattern from this “Apple of my Eye” newborn hat on Cre8tion Crochet. They came out too small, so I added one more row around each leaf, following the general pattern from the previous row.

I think overall I ended up a bit closer to a cherry than an apple, but it’s cute, and it’s a lot closer to what I wanted than the first try!

How did yours turn out?

Don’t forget to:

  • Post your finished cozy on  the Ravelry group, which is also a great place for tips and suggestions, to follow everyone’s progress, or just for some tea talk.
  • Check out all the other finished cozies on the Pinterest page. If you made one and I haven’t posted it there yet, please let me know.
  • Go to the main Tea Cozy Tuesday page for the official button, rules, and other useful links.
  • Link your tea cozy posts back to this site, or leave a comment here or on the main page so we can all find your post!
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Worldwide Artists Blog Hop – It’s my turn!

frog

© 2014 ʕ •o•ʔ Shelly.

No, no, no! not a FROG hop…. a BLOG hop! We’re hopping from blog to blog and learning about some wonderful artists by reading their answers to a few questions. I’m so honored to be a part of it!

I was tagged in this awesome bog hop by Kyla Grexton of Keep Me In Stitchez. Be sure to stop by and read her blog hop post too!

I found myself wondering, where exactly did this blog hop start? So I traced it backwards from Kyla’s post. I ended up at Merc’s World – writing & ruminations with this blog tour post from February. It looks like, at that point, this was a blog tour specifically about the writing process! I dead ended there because the post previous to that one seems to have been taken down.

I really enjoyed tracing this back though, and seeing all the lovely artists. One of my favorite stops along the way was Lilli Bean Designs by Kirstin McCulloch. I found myself browsing through her artwork and posts for quite some time before moving on.

Going forwards, I’m tagging the following bloggers:

They are all awesome designers, so go check them out! If you have time, I highly recommend exploring backwards as well as forwards – you never know what you might find along the way!

Wow this post is long already and I haven’t even gotten to the questions! here they are:

  1. Why do I do what I do?  Well, I don’t know really, I’ve just always done it since I was little. I like to make things, and I can’t sit still without doing something. Whether it’s crochet, knitting, scrapbooking, needlepoint, etc, I’ve always had SOME project to work on. As far as blogging and writing patterns, that’s all thanks to a little encouragement from very supportive friends and family.
  2. How does my work differ from others of it’s genre? I don’t really think it does, other than in the same way that every designer’s pieces will be unique to them. Originally, I learned from my mother, who learned in India, so that may have some subtle influence on my style and techniques (even if I’m not aware of it). However, it’s been a long time and I’ve had a lot of other influences since then too.
  3. How does my creative process work? – Sometimes an idea just comes to me. Often it starts with a name, like in the case of my Rainbow Ripple Wrap Dress (I liked the alliteration). Other times, it’s out of necessity – like my Ribbed Fingerless Mitts, which came about because I needed a quick, easy, last minute Christmas present idea. Other times I start with a type of piece (like cowl, or hat) and consciously try to find a way to make it unique. I try to draw inspiration from things I see around me every day. The idea for the stitch pattern in my Starry Skies cowl/scarf, for example, came from a wrought iron railing I saw in a picture somewhere.
  4. What am I working on now? – A Christmas ornament, which will be a free, quick pattern. I’m also working on a series of 3 shawl patterns (which may not be ready for quite some time still). I’m still running my Tea Cozy Tuesday C/KAL too, starting on some Christmas presents, plugging away (slowly) on my Socks with Sarah socks, and finishing up a few other UFOs. Finally, (because I didn’t have enough going on already) I just joined an awesome CAL, hosted by Kim Guzman, to make the Moroccan Market Tote by Moogly. (Sleep? what’s sleep?)

So that’s about it for me – go check out some of the other awesome blogs on this blog hop!

 

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Starry Skies cowl & scarf pattern

She walks in beauty, like the night
   Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
   Meet in her aspect and her eyes;

-Lord Byron

I would love to say this poem was the inspiration for this pattern…but it wasn’t. It was, however, where I got the name for it!

PicMonkey CollageThe Starry Skies pattern is really 3 patterns in one. It offers options for a cowl, a scarf, or an infinity scarf. Whichever you choose, the lacey design and subtle shimmer is sure to add a touch of elegance to your autumn wardrobe.

The sizes of the 3 formats are:

  • Cowl: 8” x 12”
  • Infinity scarf: 8” x 25”
  • Scarf: 8” x 60”

This is an intermediate skill level pattern, but would probably be OK for an adventurous beginner as well. The joining for the cowl and infinity scarf is the hardest part, but the pattern includes a photo tutorial for the joining as well as an easier, alternative option. Photo tutorials for the 2 special stitches used are also included. The lacey stitch pattern is provided in both a written and a chart format.

This pattern is available in my Ravelry store. The introductory, 75% off promotion has now ended.  To make sure you don’t miss future patterns and promotions, follow this blog by e-mail or RSS feed using the links to the right!

As always if you have any questions or concerns, please let me know! Enjoy :)

This pattern is protected by copyright. Please do not distribute or share this pattern in any way other than by sharing a link to this page or to my Ravelry store.  Click here for copyright information.

Buy the Starry Skies pattern now!

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Tea Cozy Tuesday – September – Week #4

Here’s my September cozy so far – it’s mostly done except for the leaf, but I don’t like it. Don’t get me wrong, the pattern is great. It’s the Broken Rib Tea Cozy by Pamela Hendersen. My problem is, I didn’t follow the pattern.

first try

 

I was going for an apple, but ended up with something more like a pear. At first I thought it was just the  shape of my teapot. After looking at some of the Ravelry projects made with this pattern though, I think it may actually be a mistake. The pattern calls for 2 strands of worsted weight yarn held together. I thought that would be too thick, so I used one strand. However, I now think the extra bulk could have helped to round out the shape better.

I think I’ve decided to frog this and try again. Luckily, September has 5 Tuesdays, so I’ll have an extra week to get it done!

Do you like my stem? It was really easy. By the time I got to the top, I was working in rounds, so I just switched yarn – if you have already bound off though, you can just pick up a brown loop in bound off stitch. I then decreased down to 4 stitches (2 on each side), knit 3 or 4 rows, and then increased back up to 8 stitches (4 on each side) for one row. Instead of binding off, I grafted the top together, just like the toe of a sock.

Have you made any pattern modifications? How did they work out for you?

Don’t forget to:

  • Check out all the other finished cozies on the Pinterest page. If you made one and I haven’t posted it there yet, please let me know.
  • Visit the Ravelry group for tips and suggestions, to follow everyone’s progress, or just for some tea talk.
  • Go to the main Tea Cozy Tuesday page for the official button, rules, and other useful links.
  • Link your tea cozy posts back to this site, or leave a comment here or on the main page so we can all find your post!
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Want a “sneak peek” at my patterns?

If you do, please sign up to test them for me!

As I’m starting to develop more patterns, I’m finding that I need to find more people who are interested in testing them. I’m looking for all skill and experience levels, even if you’re just learning. After all, beginner difficulty patterns are best tested by…well…beginners!

This would generally be for paid patterns, and in most cases you would receive the finished pattern in return. Each project will be different, of course, so time lines, photo requirements, etc may vary. Most of my patterns are crochet for now. Maybe someday I’ll have more knit patterns, but my knitting skills are not nearly at that level yet.

Basically, I’m looking for a group of people who I know I can reach out to when I need something tested. I will be creating a closed facebook group of approved testers, so I can post testing requests as needed. If you’re interested, please fill out this quick Pattern Tester info form!

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Tea Cozy Tuesday – September – Week #3

I’m only about a third of the way through the Broken Rib Tea Cozy by Pamela Hendersen, but I’m really loving the pattern!  I’ve never done a broken rib before, though I’ve seen it several times. It’s much easier than it looks.

Progress

This is my 2nd try. The first time, after a few rows, I realized it was too wide. I had to start over and cast on 37 instead of 49. I also decided to work both halves at once. After I started, I realized that once I get far enough in, I could just switch to working in the round. Then I realized I could have started out that way too, but didn’t want to start over again.

I still haven’t decided which leaf to use. As a reminder, here are my favorites:

How is your cozy coming along? Are you doing the apple, the pumpkin, or something else?

Don’t forget to:

  • Check out all the other finished cozies on the Pinterest page. If you made one and I haven’t posted it there yet, please let me know.
  • Visit the Ravelry group for tips and suggestions, to follow everyone’s progress, or just for some tea talk.
  • Go to the main Tea Cozy Tuesday page for the official button, rules, and other useful links.
  • Link your tea cozy posts back to this site, or leave a comment here or on the main page so we can all find your post!
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Product Review – Boye Crochet Dude Blocking Boards

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking these links, I may be compensated. You get the same great price, and you are helping to support this blog!

I have several items in a pile, waiting to be blocked. I love what blocking does for my FOs, but I definitely don’t love doing it. I must say though, ever since my mom got these Boye Crochet Dude Blocking Boards for me, it’s much easier! I got 9 of them as a birthday present this April.

back blockingToday I finally got around to blocking the back piece of the lacey cardigan/vest that I’ve been working on. This is the first large piece I’ve done on these boards. This picture shows all 9 boards put together in 3 rows of 3.

The boards are like puzzle pieces and they went together really easily. Each board is 1 foot square, however they overlap a little, in the interlocking sections. 3 of them put together, therefore, doesn’t quite make 3 feet – it’s more like 32 inches of usable space. I plan to do a shawl later, which will need a different arrangement that is longer at the top and smaller at the bottom. I like the flexibility of being able to arrange them differently to fit different shaped pieces.

Each piece has a grid pre-printed on it, with lines every 1 inch. It’s hard to see in the picture above, but can be seen clearly on the product picture on Amazon.com. This is very useful for measuring the edges of pieces. I blocked a 6 inch square earlier without having to measure the edges or worry about keeping the corners square. I also found that they were helpful lining up the lace motifs on the piece shown above.

The foam holds the pins really nicely and is somewhat self-healing. I’m sure over time though, it will develop holes in spots that are used too often. The pieces are less than half an inch thick, so the pins do go all the way through. I find I still need to place these boards on a soft surface where the pins can go through without damaging anything. If they were 3 times as thick, that would be great. Unfortunately, I’m sure that would make them three times as expensive too, which would not be so great. As they are now, they are very affordable.

My one main issue with these was the packaging. They were shrink wrapped, with a label stuck to the front. The label was stuck directly onto the front of the blocking board, right on top of the grid, and the adhesive was not easy to remove. On every single one of them, I have a small area in the middle of the grid that was damaged by removing those labels. It would be much better if they could use a different glue that came off easier, or even put the label on the back side so it’s not on top of the grid.

Overall though, I think this is a GREAT product (and I am not being compensated for saying so). It has made blocking much faster, easier, and less frustrating for me. I may have to put a few more on my Amazon.com wishlist for Christmas. You can do the same, or you could just buy your own Crochet Dude Blocking Boards now!

 

 

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