Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I feel like Cinderella

A fairy godmother sent a little love via the mailman! I was confused when the mailman rang the bell because I knew I didn't order anything. When I opened the package, saw the Caron pounder and read the note, I was practically in tears. A very thoughtful FGM had read on the blog that I'd run out of Caron pounder in black for my mom's scrapghan and that I wouldn't be able to borrow a car anytime soon to go get one.

FGM, I'm so humbled by your thoughtfulness and kindness. Tomorrow, I am home from work again, so I am going to enjoy the tea you sent and get to work on finishing the scrapghan for my mom. Big big hugs to you, whoever you are!

Since I was home today too (and Pi was at school!), hubby pulled out my 1960's sewing machine to practice on. I've always loved those hook roll cases and decided I was going to make one come hell or high water. About 5 very long hours later, I had this!

Definitely a challenge for me and I made lots of newbie mistakes that are evident if you take a close look, but I'm so proud that I did it without any assistance. Well, hubby assisted when the sewing machine started to vibrate, but that doesn't count, haha.

You can see my straight stitches aren't so straight, but better than they were just last week.

One big mistake that I didn't realize until after I had finished was that I could see the pocket stitches on the outside of my roll. I think I know what I need to do to eliminate that next time. I think I should sew the pocket and its strips to one rectangle of fabric before sewing both rectangles together. In theory, this should work, but I won't be sure til I try it again.

I've got some fabric scraps lying around and plan to try again. If I get the hang of it, I'd like to make some as ROAKs.

I'm going to focus on the scrapghan tomorrow. Hopefully I can get a lot banged out!

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Magic Ring

Two people have asked what the magic ring is in the last few days, in regards to starting the Husband Hat. Since I don't have an email to reach either of you, here's the link.

The Magic Adjustable Ring

Have fun!

P.S. - am I the only one who is seriously debating NOT opening my 401k statement when it comes next month? :X

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I sewed a tote bag!

Yesterday was the last day of sewing classes. Cal was nice enough to invite us to come in early, so we would have enough time to finish up our bags.

This is the little waiting area at Etsy Labs. Normally, Gertie (Cal's cute little dog) would be napping here but she had to stay home.

At out work areas.

My bag on its way to being stitched together. In hindsight, picking a striped fabric probably wasn't the best idea for my first project.

Double vision + stripes = ALOT of stripes!

I've learned that even with good lighting, my glasses are a very very good thing. I was attaching the handles here and attached them too close the edge at first. When I picked the bag up, the handle fell right off. Oops!

Cal snapped a pic while I was showing her that the handles were really attached this time.

Tada! You might notice that after I squared off the bottom of the purse, the pocket turned out wider than the actual purse iteself. Second oops! I intended to use that pocket for patterns, so as long as its a soft magazine or paper pattern, it shouldn't be a problem.

Check out Cal's awesome penguin dress!

Dear tomato pincushion, I hope you and I (let's not forget our sewing machine either) will have many hours of creativity together.

Friday, September 26, 2008

In a rut.

I've been in a rut for the past week. Everything I've tried to crochet just isn't turning out right. After a few futile attempts at some projects I had on my list, I tried a simple dc scarf and even that was giving me problems. So I put the hook down for a few days and have been reading instead.

I just finished a book called Flight and it was really enjoyable. It was a murder mystery cop type book. Great suspense!

I've also been under the weather a bit and have been going to bed earlier than usual. I don't know if its the beginning of a cold or if its allergies kicking in. I'm fairly new to allergies and can't always tell the difference between symptoms. Pi hasn't been feeling too hot either.

Tomorrow is my last sewing class, which I'm sad about. I'm definitely going to bring my camera and get some pics.

Anyway, I apologize for my lack of anything interesting to show or talk about.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Remember Kiki's sweet little baby ? She's going to be a year old this coming Wednesday! Time really flies.

I wanted to make little Andreanna something that she could use and have fun with (ie: not clothes). I saw this bowling pattern at NutsAboutCrochet's Etsy store and fell in love. I actually bought the pattern back in April but didn't get started until late July. Even so, that gave me plenty of time to do a few projects in between, so I didn't get sick of making the bowling pins.

Bowling pins are normally white and red, but Andreanna has a really pretty purple room, so I decided to make the pins purple to match. Not to mention, it won't show as quickly when they get dirty.

I also made the ball bigger than the pattern called for. Its just the right size for a one year old to grab and when she throws it, she's guaranteed to get almost all the pins with a ball that size! The finger holes are supposed to be black, but I made those in purple to, so it would be easy for her to find them.

The best part is that it's quiet! She can knock these over all day and they won't make a sound. Not to mention she can fling the ball at someone and it won't hurt (speaking of, I'd like to apologize to my little sister, Inky Binky, for accidentally hitting you with that hard plastic bowling ball when you were 3. Glad you recovered!).

P.S. - the sewing class went well. I have homework because I'm behind everyone else. I need some serious practice!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sewing 101

After practicing threading the sewing machine over and over, I think I've finally got the hang of it. Excited that I managed to get past that step without any war wounds, I forged forward onto practicing straight stitching. I placed the fabric carefully under the pressure foot, lowered it, and gently pressed the foot pedal. All I heard was SNAP! The needle broke! Egad!

I removed the broken needle and headed to the fabric store with the broken needle to get a replacement. I had no idea what size the needle was, so I just handed it over to the sewing guy (who sighed audibly) and was given a variety pack.

After replacing the needle, I held my breath and tried again. Success! The sewing machine was behaving. I saw a so called easy pattern for a fleece hat. I managed to do the long seam, though its a bit crooked.

The next step was to turn the brim up. I guess I was supposed to use fleece that looked the same on both sides, instead of the wrong side/right side fleece I used. When I rolled up the brim, it was pretty obvious that the wrong side was showing. Easy enough to fix if I use the right fleece next time.

I do have a question for you sewers out there. After making the long seam of the hat, you can see the sewing lines that I made on the wrong side of the fleece when the brim is turned up. Is there any way to avoid this next time or will that always show on a turned up brim like this?

The hat is a little small too and since its super amateur, it now belongs to one of Piper's big headed dolls.

I promise (really this time) to have a crochet project on my next post. Its a neat one, if I do say so myself.

Sewing lesson #2 is today!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Make Workshop

Mickey #who-can-keep-count-anymore made its appearance and farewell last night. Its not even cold weather yet and the fun is already picking up. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the bees that were stalking us seemed to disappear after the Cherry Blossom in the backyard lost its flowers (you were right Bezzie).

We had planted some corn in the back along with the pot veggies and as of yesterday morning, the corn was growing really nicely. As of this morning, some little animal (can anyone say squirrel) picked off all the corn and knocked over the corn plants. I hope the little sucker blows himself up in a power line. Um, yeah, not a fan of wildlife. Do squirrels even count as wildlife? :X

In crafty fun, Laura mentioned to me that there was another place in the city that had sewing lessons called Make Workshop. It was a funny coincidence because I'd just bought this book by Diana Rupp, the Make Workshop owner (with a hefty coupon that let me buy it for super cheap!).

The book comes with 10 beginner patterns plus a whole load of information with detailed pictures. I read this book from cover to cover the other day. I think I learned a lot and I'm sure I'm going to be using this as a reference guide. I'm wondering if I should put it under my pillow and pray for osmosis, like I did with my high school textbooks.

I've been practicing loading a bobbin and threading the machine. It doesn't seem quite as daunting after you've done it a few times. I can't wait for my second lesson!

I've got a really cool (in my humble opinion) FO to show, but didn't get to take a picture before I lost good light. I'll try to get it up tomorrow. I know I won't have time tonight because its the first night of Girl Scout's.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

And the winner is....


Congrats! Zuleika, please email me your address at christinacreations at gmail dot com and I'll get that out to you.

Thanks for all the comments everyone! I really appreciate them. Maybe I'll do another give-away with a Halloween theme soon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Tomorrow is my one year bloggiversary!!! Who knew I'd be babbling so long? ;) A big thanks to all the friends I've made through the blog. You guys are a constant source of creative inspiration for me.

As a thanks (and for fun!) I'm having a give-away to celebrate. This is the Sleepy Sheep by Harugurumi. What crocheter and knitter doesn't love sheep?

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. I don't care what you say. You can say "baaa" and you'd still be entered.

I'll announce the random winner tomorrow morning.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fabulous, dahling.

The sewing class was fabulous!

I arrived at Etsy Labs a few minutes early and was greeted by the sewing teacher Cal Patch from hodgepodgefarms. I sat down and was greeted by her teeny tiny dog (and assistant) Gertie, who confirmed that I have good ear rubbing skills.

I noticed there was crochet sticking out of her bag (using gorgeous Noro yarn) and I asked her about it. She's a crochet designer too and has published in a few mags including Crochet Today. Also, she's the author of the Unseamly Sweater in the Stitch and Bitch, Happy Hooker book. No wonder her name sounded familiar! As soon as I realized I was going to learn to sew from a fellow hooker, I knew it'd be a good class.

We learned to measure and cut fabric, how to thread a machine (still needs lots of practice on this one), how to operate a basic sewing machine, practiced on scrap fabric, and how to gently use a foot pedal. Cal mentioned that we should think of the foot pedal as if we were driving and that helped me a lot to not slam my foot down on it and to let up on it if something is going wrong, like when my machine started only sewing backwards!

I can't quite sew in a straight line yet but I was getting better towards the end of class. We also practiced a simple hem. Quite honestly, I'm amazed I was able to sew at all. I even yanked at the fabric to see if the seam would fall to pieces just because I made it, haha.

Cal agreed to take a pic for me when I mentioned I had a blog. I whipped out my camera only to discover I left the memory card at home. D'OH! There's always next week!

I won't leave you with just oodles of text. Here's a pic of a preemie afghan I made for charity with a nice sized ball of leftover Joanns Rainbow Sensations Boucle. Its sooooo soft.

I'm off to get ready. I'm having brunch with fellow Brooklyn hooker, Janet!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Logically speaking

What does one do while they are excitedly waiting for their first sewing lesson?

Crochet a tomato pincushion, logically! This is the tomato pincushion pattern in the May 2008 Crochet Today magazine. I used a very small amount of Caron pouder in red and RHSS in green. The pincushion worked up really quickly...in about an hour.

I also walked to a fabric store on my lunch break to pick up some fabric for my first class. There was a 75% off clearance rack with pre-cut stacks of fabric that I couldn't resist.

There are 2 yards of the striped fabric and it was originally marked as $22. I paid $5.50 for it. There are 2.5 yards of the dark blue fabric and it was originally marked as $10. I paid $2.50 for it. Four and a half yards of fabric for $7.50 doesn't sound bad to me, though I don't have much experience in the fabric department.
Tomorrow are sewing lessons! Woot woot!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Please keep all the September 11th victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers today.

Also, please keep the rescue workers in your thoughts and prayers as well. My dad was a rescue worker at ground zero for more than 5 months, searching for victims and clearing debris. He now suffers from respiratory problems that he did not have before the September 11th attacks. Many, many of the rescue workers are suffering with respiratory illnesses.

A big thanks to the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program at Mt. Sinai Medical Center for continuing to provide medical care for the rescue workers who are ill.

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Thwarted by the scrapghan!

I'm starting to think this scrapghan just doesn't want to get done. I started this in May 2007 and was hoping to finish it by Christmas as a gift for my mother. Then in September 07, my mom and I had a huge, gigantic, nasty blowout and I put it away, vowing it would be destroyed before given to her.

We sort of made up after Christmas and are on much better terms now, so I pulled it out, hoping to finish it by this Christmas. I was able to add 6 rows of the waves and reached the 1/3 mark. Then, the impossible! I ran out of Caron pounders in black!


Since I was doing the daisy ghans, it seemed I had an endless supply of black pounders. When I went into the closet to get another and realized there were none left, I hung my head in defeat. The scrapghan is stalled again. I won't have a car anytime soon to get to the Joanns or Michaels in Staten Island and I won't place an online order for just 1 skein. Hopefully, I'll get to go before November and give myself enough time to get it done before Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, I've started a project for my 20 year old sister. I won't say what it is yet because I know she and her boyfriend read my blog once in awhile. Sorry Inky Binky! You'll have to wait until December. heehee

Have I mentioned I'm petrified slightly intimidated by my sewing machine? I think I'd rather tackle an alligator than the sewing machine. When I look at it, it stares back at me in a menacing way. So I've decided to conquer it with the help of a professional. I'm taking a sewing class! I won't be learning on *my* machine, but I will be learning on *a* machine with hands on help for my first try. I'm a visual learner, so I'm hoping when I see it in person that I should catch on and be able to practice with confidence afterwards.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Big Headed Frog

G hook
small amount of WW yarn
Gauge is not important, but my frog stands 6” tall


Round 1: using magic circle, work 6 sc into circle
Round 2: 2 sc in each sc around (12)

Round 3: (sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc) around (18)

Round 4: (sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc) around (24)

Round 5: (sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc) around (30)

Round 6: (sc in next 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc0 around (36)

Round 7-12: sc in each sc around

Round 13: (sc dec, sc in next 4 sc) around (30)

Round 14: (sc dec, sc in next 3 sc) around (24)

Round 15: (sc dec, sc in next 2 sc) around (18)

Round 16: (sc dec, sc in next sc) around (12)

Sl st in next sc, fasten off, and stuff


Round 1: using magic circle, work 6 sc into circle

Round 2: 2 sc in each sc around (12)

Round 3: (sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc) around (18)

Round 4-13: sc in each sc around

Round 14: (sc dec, sc in next sc) around (12)

Sl st in next sc, fasten off, and stuff

Arms (make 2)

Round 1: using magic circle, work 4 sc into circle

Round 2: 2 sc in each sc around (8)

Round 3-5: sc in each sc around (stuff now)

Round 6: (sc dec, sc in next sc) around to last 2 sc, sc dec in last 2sc (5)

Round 7-14: sc in each sc around

Sl st in next sc, fasten off, and stuff lightly

Legs (make 2)

Round 1: using magic circle, work 4 sc into circle

Round 2: 2 sc in each sc around (8)

Round 3-8: sc in each sc around

Sl st in next sc, fasten off, and stuff

Eyes (make 2)

Round 1: using magic circle, work 6 sc into circle

Round 2: 2 sc in each sc around (12)

Round 3-6: sc in each sc around

Sl st in next sc, fasten off

Do not stuff eyes!


Cut out 2 felt half moon shapes slightly smaller than eyes. Cut a small slit and insert safety eyes onto felt half moons, but do not close with the back yet. Insert the felt and attached safety eyes into green eye and now close safety eye with backing. Glue felt half moons to green eye with craft glue. Whipstitch eyes onto frog head. Embroider frog’s mouth. Whipstitch head onto frog body.
Whipstitch arms and legs onto body, using picture as placement guide.

Enjoy your big headed frog!

Copyright 2008
Please do not sell or repost pattern. You may sell finished items made from this pattern.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Search Phrase Fun

Three updates in a row! Holy cow, I must have a fever!

When Pi came home from school today, there was a note in her folder saying she had been invited to join the Aquinas enrichment program. There wasn't any further explanation of what this meant, so I called the school to find out. When I was young, an enrichment program usually meant you needed extra help, so I was a little worried. Turns out this is just the opposite. Since she did well last year, she was invited to this program to work on an extra project that will be displayed at the end of the year with all the other Aquinas kids from Brooklyn. How cool is that? My kid is an evil genius! haha! She also told us that she joined the choir. Growing. Too. Fast.

Anyhoo.... Ever wonder what search phrases people use to get to your blog? I saw another blogger do this and thought it looked fun, so I'm going to be a biter and do the same. Some of the search phrases are normal and some are just plain weird funny.

Here are ten of my favorites:

10. Christina hot - why, thank you!
9. Christina bunny - I've never posed for anything, I promise!
8. Christina dark - the other dark meat?
7. Dirty grandma - I really hope it was a dirty grandpa searching for this
6. Grandma dirty dancers - I really REALLY hope this was a dirty grandpa!
5. Unhealthy empanadas - are you trying to make them unhealthier?
4. Goya - 'nuff said
3. New Kids on the Block - this could only have been Joyce
2. Bunny backpacks at Walmart - I'm getting worried about the bunny theme.

My very favorite search phrase is....*drumroll please*

1. greatview of my cervix - hahahahahahahaha!!!!

Stay tuned this weekend for a free ami pattern written by moi.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

First Day of School

Apparently, gang signs are the in thing now. Just joking! Pi said the three fingers is to represent that she's in the third grade now. Third grade! *sob* She's growing way tooooo fast.

Slow down Pi, slow down!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Diaper Cupcake

In my last post, I mentioned that I needed to give a co-worker a baby shower gift and was going to give some of the tawashi washcloths I'd made. I also whipped up these Little Button Loafers by Sylver as the centerpiece of my gift. I love these little booties! They're sturdy and really warm. Check out those cute buttons!

I made a diaper cupcake (aka mini diaper cake) as the last minute gift. Really, it should be called the after minute gift because the baby shower was the week before last, but in my deadline focused mind, I totally forgot! I'm not particularly close to this co-worker, so I didn't want to go nuts making an afghan and thought this was a cute alternative.
First, you roll up 7 size 1 diapers. Arrange them in a circle and rubber band them together. Wrap ribbon around to hide the rubber band.

I bought a set of 3 baby washcloths at the dollar store and rolled one into a washcloth lollipop. Stick the washcloth lollipop and a baby spoon (also bought at the dollar store) into the center diaper so they're standing in the middle. Fold the remaining 2 washcloths into triangles and place one on each side of the lollipop/spoon.

Layer the tawashi washcloths on top and add the baby booties to the top of the pile.

Wrap the whole thing in some tulle and finish off with some ribbon. The tulle will keep everything in place and make it look alot fancier than it actually is. Tada!

I'm especially proud of myself because this gift didn't cost much. I already had the diapers, buttons and ribbon on hand from a diaper wreath I made last year. I bought the washcloths for a buck, the spoon for a buck, and the tulle for a buck. I crocheted the booties from yarn leftover from the Cathedral Rose Window and the tawashi washcloths are from cotton I was gifted in a ROAK. That makes a grand total of 4 bucks if you count the small gift bag I bought to put this in. Not bad if I do say so myself!

Its back to the work grind today. I guess I can't complain much...I had an awesome week off with awesome weather to boot! The kiddo starts school on Wednesday. She's not exactly thrilled about it.