Crystal's World

Welcome to my world! This is where you can see my crafty projects and probably learn a little about me and my projects!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Reality Check!

Here we have my lovely works in progress. Hmmm… Do I have attention problems? Am I easily distracted? Or, am I just plain busy???

Any excuse I want to give is just not going to cut it… They’re not done and that’s that. They will be someday!

*Starting at the back left – we see a bag with it’s handles begging to be attached. This was a prototype for a large (non-felted) bag that will be sturdy and have a flat bottom- but not using my other technique. I plan to write a pattern for this one—and possibly put it up for sale. It’s made with two strands of Red Heart Super Saver and one strand of a baby weight yarn.
*In the middle… the purple bag is a continuation of my felting study--- handles not attached (or made) yet—but it’s 3 strands of Lite Lopi. I had to get it off the loom quickly to use the Yellow Loom for something else. (Insert distraction excuse here!)
*In the back Right, we have the black felted handbag (part of my study in felting wools) All I have to do for this one is add the crystal and take it’s picture with the other felted bags- What am I waiting for? Well, I was waiting for batteries for the camera--- but I got them now--- no excuse allowed!
*In the front, we see my lovely Easter project--- it’s a crocheted hot pad… but I ran out of yarn. I used more than one skein of Peaches and Cream Fiesta Ombre – and ran out on the border which holds it all together--- I have actually been to 3 stores looking for this color again—have to keep looking! And I need to make another one to go with it!
*On the loom, we see my mesh bag using Suzanne’s pattern. I’ve got the bottom done… ready to switch to the mock crochet stitch now! Hmmm... what’s the hold up--- Life!

The other day I decided to write myself a To Do list… and I filled a whole page with stuff I have to do for my jobs, my own business stuff and home life, as well as my looming!
So, I’m working through the list! But, it does feel good to cross those things off and know that they are out of the way!

Late in Reporting- My book Came!

OK... so I'm a little behind in my posts!
I got my Learn to Knit on Circle Looms Book! Karen of Karen's Crafts sent it out the day I ordered it, which was a day before I saw it in ACMoore. Karen really keeps that 'little country store' feel about her business. Even if it is an online store! She even e-mailed me the update info for the book (without even asking!
On that note--- There are a few typos in the book (gotta love proof-readers!) Denise says that they mixed up all kinds of things from her patterns and that is expected to be fixed in the next printing. But, in the meantime, if you are one of the anxious ones (like me) who had to get it ASAP, the updates are posted on Denise's Site. The updates are near the image of the book on the right side of her site.

I really think the Denise did a great job on this book... I'm going to make my daughter a bangle bag (she LOVES BAGS!) And, I'm thinking an afghan is order for hubby! (He probably won't give up the one his grandmom made him though!- I just don't rank!)

More Socks!!

YAY!!! My New Loom Came!!!
I wanted one of the EFG Sock Looms from DA Looms (they came out right after I bought my FG Sock loom- my luck!) But, I knew that Isela and Sam were in the process of moving and didn't want to order it right now and add more pressure on them. I have a bunch of sock yarn that are just begging to be made into socks... but it's a little thin for use with the FG Sock Loom.
But, as fate would have it...
My new buddy Tracey posted about her new 9" EFG Loom on her blog ... and the sock she made was a little small for her. So, we came to an arrangement and now, that little baby is mine!! The pegs are very tiny and the loom does take some getting used to. I started a sock on it last night... using Plymouth Yarns Wildflower DK (51% cotton 49% acrylic). I cast on using the cable cast on method as the Ribbed Sock pattern requests. To get the crochet hook through the loops, I had to use a 2mm crochet hook--- very tiny! The yarn is a little odd... it's got a loose twist and many strands. It reminds me of Embroidery Floss. I have to say that working in such a fine gauge on the loom is challenging... the KK hook just won't work with this loom. The point on the end of the hook is too thick to get a grip on the yarn. So, I used my handmade stilettos to pick the stitches. (Soon to be for sale on my website!) In my attempt to make this easier on myself, I tried to bend the point on my stilettos... well it worked for one (but the point came loose- so I had to glue it) I didn't have much luck bending the other two points on my stilettos--- they snapped right off!
So, in my journeys... I will be searching for some dental picks to use. In the meantime, I'm waiting for the glue to dry on the first one---I'm sure that one will work perfectly--- you can see it in the second picture... it's the one with the dark green/black handle. The aquamarine colored one is one that I broke! Remember- You can click any picture for a bigger image (and click again for an even closer view).

So, here we have both of my socks in progress sitting side by site--- Of course, my goal was to get the dark blue socks done before my new loom got here--- but that didn't happen... Tracey was too fast, and my life has been getting in the way of my looming. Oh, Also note in the second pic, the awesome little brightly colored rubber bands that Tracey sent to me with my loom... I love color--- and those are great for marking the pegs. These are normally used for by people with braces.

Monday, April 17, 2006

I've been looming I swear!!! Socks!

Ok... so here we have a real sock. This is the first of this pair to be made. I made tube-like slipper socks with this loom first... but my son has those and I am NOT going into his room to try to find and photograph them!
This sock is made with Isela's Ribbed Sock pattern on the Decor Accents Adult fine gauge sock loom. I'm using the recommended Caron's Simply soft yarn to make them.
I've gotten the ribbed top done on the second sock now... but the pics are from the other day... and my camera's batteries were 'borrowed' so, until I get new batteries, I won't be able to take

another pic. I can see myself wearing these socks... but I want to get the new extra fine sock looms too! I've got some sock yarns that need to be made into something! I may modify the pattern a little and use the flat stitch on the bottom of the sock... not because they need to be tighter, just because I think it might be softer on the soles of my feet!

So... the next pic we have here is my sock loom with it's metal tack... kinda tacky, huh? he he he! Anyway... while rushing the little one to the potty at ACMoore's the other day... I spotted these lovely wooden push pins. I thought that they would make a nice accent to my little wood loom so, I bought them! The metal pin part was sooo long and didn't want to go into the loom so easily. So, when I tried to remove it, the wood part of
the push pin came off and the metal stayed in
the loom. I got out my handy dandy, heavy duty wire cutters and cut the metal part down... then put the wood part back in and added some glue... wa la... pretty loom!

At the bottom, you see the first sock with it's companion - in process! Let's hope I don't run out of yarn.

Looming projects in process...
I've got the black bag felted, and I made a bag out of 'regular acrylic yarns' (I swear, no felting there!). I'm working on a pattern for that one... but I have to get the batteries in the camera to take pics of those little ones!
Have a Happy Day!

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Safari Adventure Results in Treasure Found!!!

Ok... so the adventure began yesterday. Just like every Wednesday, I taught my afternoon Quilting Class at The Quilting Circle (check out the site, I manage it!) :-). But, with the beautiful 70+ degree weather, the turn out for class was slim! My mom (who joins in the class) was there... and only one other student, so we finished up early. My oldest went to the zoo with his friend and my little one was hanging out with Pop Pop for the day! So, after class I was a free bird! My mom happened to hand me an ACMoore ad. Well, all the yarn was on sale for 25% off and there was a 40% off coupon calling my name in that ad. So... My adventure began... off I went to the great wild world of ACMoore!
Now, mind you... Denise Layman author of 'Learn to knit on Circle Looms' had a post on her blog a while back titled Safari . She challenged the world to find her book 'in the wild' and take a picture of it- in other words - in a retail store! This has been in my mind since I saw it... and for the past couple of weeks I've had my camera in my purse. I figured, hey, if I see it, I'll take a picture (plus you never know when you will need your camera anyway!) But, of course before heading to class, I took the camera out of my purse to lighten the load! I never thought I would find it before anyone else!
I'd been waiting to purchase the book til I saw it in a local store to avoid paying shipping. On Monday, I broke down and bought it from Karen's Crafts - I just couldn't wait any more! Karen e-mailed me that day that it was in the mail- she just made it to the post office before it closed on Monday! YAY! (trying to be patient!)
So anyway... while wandering the yarn aisles of ACMoore- I entered the 'tools' section and there it was amongst the looms and bags - Denise's Book! I was so excited... in a weird sort of way... I didn't have my camera to prove it... and I had already purchased it elsewhere... RATS!
So, anyway... when I got home, I e-mailed Denise... she said that I was the first to report it was in a store... and she declared me the winner! WooHoo.. The prize is something to be determined from her stash! But, I agreed to send her some pics... I know how exciting it must be to see your creation in a store for all the world to buy!
So, right after breakfast this morning, my trusty accomplice and I were off!

Meet Lily, my trusty accomplice!

(She understood winning and finding the treasure... but didn't quite understand that the prize wasn't in the store!)
But she loves ACMoore... they sell paint... her favorite thing!!!

And here we have it... the restless Treasure - begging to be brought home! Right there on the hook next to the KK looms, wonder looms and some project bags!
Treasure found!
The wild creature just begging to come home to a domestic enviroment - like your home!
If you are in the area... This image was taken at the ACMoore in Bensalem PA! Go get your copy before they are gone!

Honestly, I was a little shocked that ACMoore had it before Michael's--- I checked there on Monday! Michaels really pushes the KK looms... thought they would have the book first... but nope... ACMoore was the first!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Quilts for Kids

A little about what I do when I'm not looming! I work with a 501(c)3 charity - Quilts for Kids
Well... to begin, I've been making quilts for the organization since early 2004. Then, things evolved! I started running the sew-a-thon at our local quilt shop (The Quilting Circle in Bensalem PA) in August of 2004. Every month, I make more than 35 quilt kits and a group of volunteers known as 'The Sew Fine Quilters' gather to sew the kits into quilts. The volunteers range in age from 10 to 80 years old. They are a very creative, productive and friendly bunch! To date, our group has donated 1,288 quilts to Quilts for Kids. Considering that we have about 25 people sew with us every month (many other occasional volunteers too)--- It's amazing. Often the volunteers will also make quilts out of their own fabrics or will take fabric that has been donated and create their own designs. Shortly after taking over this sew-a-thon project, the Founding President of Quilts for Kids asked me to use some other talents to help out with the day-to-day operations of the organization. Officially, my title is Director of Membership and Volunteer Services. I work with the over 50 chapters we have internationally as well as individual voluteers nationally. In addition, I help to keep other things running smoothly for the organization.
Anyway, I decided to post a little about what is going on with Quilts for Kids as things are moving so quickly! Quilts for Kids was founded in 2000... and has donated over 40,000 quilts to children in need. The first goal was to keep fabric out of landfills and secondly to make quilts for children with life threatening diseases such as AIDS and Cancer as well as those who are battered and abused.
Downy (the fabric softener company) contacted us as they wanted to make Quilts for Kids the recipient of their 'Downy Family Quilt' Project. They have created a virtual quilt - they are asking for people to upload a photo of their families to fill the quilt... for each photo that is uploaded, they will donate $1 to Quilts for Kids. The goal is 20,000 photos. If we fill the quilt, Downy will throw in an additional $5,000! That's $25,000 to the organization! The great thing is that it costs nothing to participate... and you can even get a free sample of their latest fabric softener! To participate, please go to Downy's website. Please go to the site and upload a pic!

Secondly, The cast of the Broadway hit "Wicked" loves Quilts for Kids. On May 15th they will hold the 3rd Broadway show to benefit Quilts for Kids. This will be a Broadway star-studded variety type show. A star from the hit show Extreme Makeover will be participating - and we're hoping Tony Danza joins in... as well as many other big names in Hollywood and from Broadway. In the past.. Liza Manelli, David Hyde Pierce, Ben Vereen, Jai Rodriguez, Carson Kressley... and many other stars have Broadway participated... you can see more about the previous shows and information on how to get tickets on the Quilts for Kids website.

Thirdly, A major fabric company 'Crypton' has taken a fabric design that was created from some of our Quilts for Kids recipient's drawings and printed the fabric out. The Crypton Fabric is pretty resilient stuff... stain proof and anti-bacterial -liquid beads off of it! So, they have printed this fabric and are marketing it to hospitals and schools for their funiture lines. Some of the proceeds of each yard that is sold will be dontated to Quilts for Kids! In addition, Crypton has developed a few different bag types that will be sold with all proceeds going to Quilts for Kids. I'll have more infomation about this as it becomes available. There is a messenger bag (which can also be used as a diaper bag- pad included) as well as a tote bag- great size for knitters, quilters and loomers!

This is such an exciting time for Quilts for Kids... it has only be around for just over 6 years and has truly made an impact on the worlds of the little ones who most need it. Our next big step will be to get a 'real building'. Currently, The Q4K headquarters is run in a additional room built exclusively for Quilts for Kids... the addition was build by the founding president... and we have surely outgrown this room! Our goal is to have our own building which will be a storage place for fabric and finished quilts. Also we plan to have an open workspace for people to sew as a community for the community. We plan to offer sewing and quilting classes to teach others the art... as well as provide after school programs to help give kids a focus on community service. Ultimately, we'd love to also have a long arm sewing machine to help speed up the quilt making time and provide more quilts to kids in need!
So, there you have it... this is what I do when not looming!