Silk Marbled Yarn in Purple, Brown and Aquamarine

Silk Yarn in Purple, Brown and Aqua

Silk Yarn in Purple, Brown and Aqua

When my two-year old emptied my knitting basket, (What a Tangled Mess) I found three small balls of marbled silk yarn (fingering weight) in purple, brown and aquamarine. I remembered buying them to make headbands a few years ago. When I started crocheting with them I realized that they wouldn’t really work because the color changed too drastically and too quickly which tended to obscure the design. So, like so many other things, they got thrown in the yarn basket. When my daughter resurrected them, I decided to find a use for them.

I found that by using more than one marbled color, or in combination with other solid yarns, the design was much more  clear.

Aqua and brown silk marbled yarn design for crochet headband

Aqua and brown silk marbled yarn design for crochet headband

Since the yarn is only fingering weight I ended up having to crochet two extra layers around the outside to get the same width as with the yarn I usually use.

Today I finished a choker using the aqua yarn and nineteen fresh water pearls.  I still have a good amount left so I guess I’ll have to get creative again.

Finished Headband in Brown and Aqua and Silk Yarn

Finished Headband in Brown and Aqua and Silk Yarn

Crochet Choker, Fresh Water Pearls and Aqua Silk Yarn

Crochet Choker, Fresh Water Pearls and Aqua Silk Yarn

Back to Sticks

New Pile of Sticks Ready to Become the Next Tea Light Holder

New Pile of Sticks Ready to Become the Next Tea Light Holder

Late yesterday afternoon, after much pestering, my daughter finally convinced me to pry myself from the computer in exchange for some fresh air.  

She has her own little, pale blue, dust pan and whisk broom and loves to follow me around the garden and sweep up any stray clippings or dead leaves that get missed.  I give her lots of “big helper” encouragement since she does such a good job cleaning up after me. 

Whenever I’m out in the garden, I undoubtedly end up at one of the many over-grown shrubs, with shears and lopper in hand.  This isn’t really a project that should be started when dusk is just around the corner, but that never stops me.  Yesterday afternoon/ evening was no different.  When I was finally at a stopping place (nowhere near finished), it was completely dark and must, I thought,  have been near my daughter’s bedtime.  I couldn’t go inside though until the patio was swept and all my tools put away, after all, this is a hotel. 

Of course, I had to go through all the branches to make sure I wasn’t throwing any “good ones” away.  Finally, twenty minutes later, my daughter and I were heading in.  

Tuesday’s are my favorite day of the week since I have the day almost entirely to myself.  My husband works during the day (he usually works afternoons & evenings) and my daughter is at pre-school.  So, whatever I had originally planned for the day was overshadowed by this beautiful new pile of sticks – go figure.  I had to break the promise to myself regarding the unfinished crochet projects.  “I’ve been so good, I deserve a change of pace” I reasoned.  I can always find a good reason to do something I would rather be doing.

Tea Light Holder #2 Made Using Recycled Glass, Tree Branches and Hemp Cord

Tea Light Holder #2 Made Using Recycled Glass, Tree Branches and Hemp Cord

 I jumped right into creating my second tea light holder, utilizing the lessons I’d learned from the first one, which took far longer to make than it should have.  This time I used white glue to hold the hemp cord to the branches as I tied each one.  The first time, I tied them all first, then ended up having to tie many of them a second time when I glued them.  This one still took longer than it probably should have, but next time I should have the process down pat (ha ha).  I also used a different sized jar which I think I like better than the first.  This jar was the same height but the mouth of the jar was one inch less in diameter, two inches, which is the perfect diameter for a tea light.  Here’s how it finally came out.

The Latest “Finished” Project

Crochet Wrap Belt Tan and Ivory White

Crochet Wrap Belt Tan and Ivory White

Here’s my latest “finished” project.  For this one all I had to do was make the belt loop, the rest was already done.  I wasn’t sure if I should add some more segments and make it a scarflette but the belt idea won out in the end.  I made the loop by wrapping multi-strand galvanized steel wire in a circle around itself a few times, then crocheted all around it.  The wire works well because you can adjust it to whatever size you need.  On one of the wraps I cut across the center of the circle with the wire (before crocheting of course) and crocheted around it as well.  The loop is a bit flexible but should hold its shape well.  Click on the picture to see the listing in my Etsy shop.

I’m, so far, pleasantly surprised at my ability to focus on finishing  these projects as I promised myself.  My normal process is to flit from piece to piece.  I don’t know how much longer I can sustain this level of focus though. 

Next up!!

What a Tangled Mess!!

My Daughter and My Yarn Basket

My Daughter and My Yarn Basket

Yesterday, my two-year old daughter got into my yarn basket.  She’s done it before but this time she really made a mess.  When I finally looked over to see the floor strewn with tangled yarn, my instinct was to scream…or maybe cry, I’m not sure which.  Instead of doing either, my eye caught an unfinished project I’d started maybe as long as a year ago.  It was a crochet pendant made with gold cotton thread and turquoise glass beads.  I’d forgotten it entirely and so vowed to “finish” it!  When I sat down on the floor, I discovered countless crochet “experiments” some good and some bad.  I decided, rather than being angry at my daughter, I should thank her for giving me a reason to go through all this junk and maybe even finish some of the projects.

Yarn Basket Mess

Yarn Basket Mess

There may have been as many as thirty crochet flowers scattered across the floor.  Some small and delicate and some large and fuzzy.  I decided to make three piles.  One pile was for experiments that had gone so horribly wrong they weren’t even worth the unraveled yarn or thread they were made with.  The second pile was for experiments that had gone horribly wrong but that had used enough yarn or thread to be worth unraveling.  The third was for things I thought may be worth finishing.  I threw away the items in pile number one, unraveled items in pile number two and threw the rest into a canvas bag while promising myself I’d finish these projects before starting anything new (we’ll see how that works out). 

A few of the projects were simple to finish, for example,  headbands that just needed the ties crocheted and ends woven in.  Others weren’t so straight forward and I’m not even sure what I originally intended them to be but they still have some potential.  I may decided later that some of them belonged in pile number one in the first place but I can put that off for a while. 

Crochet Gold Sun and Turquoise Glass Beads Pendant- FINISHED!

Crochet Gold Sun and Turquoise Glass Beads Pendant FINISHED!

 This is the pendant I mentioned earlier, finally finished with a matching knotwork chain and silver clasp.  I’m pretty happy with how it came out and I’m excited to discover some more lost treasures.  I crocheted some of them so long ago it’s as though someone else did all the hard work and I just need to finish them.  Of course, as with almost any type of creative process, finishing is most often the least fun part since by this time you may be getting sick of looking at the thing.

Off I go to rescue the next partially finished crochet project from the canvas bag – a.k.a. “pile number three” .Finished Crochet Sun Pendant With Turquoise Glass Beads

How a Pile of Sticks Becomes a Rustic Tea Light Holder

Me prunning shrubbery in the garden. Last Summer I spent quite a few afternoons pruning shrubs in the garden that had grown completely out of control during the worst of my illness.  I didn’t use an electric pruner because they’re loud and leave shrubbery looking “shaved” and unnatural.  Instead, I got out my hand pruning shears and loper for larger branches.  The process probably took ten times longer than it should have (and it’s not officially finished).  I found it very therapeutic, although I won’t spend too much time pondering why I find wielding sharp objects and chopping branches relaxing.

As I chopped away, I began looking at the branches as I threw them in the compost bin and noticing the beautiful shapes some of them made.  As with many things, I thought they were too beautiful to throw away, so I threw them into a broken plastic planter under the stairs, sure I’d find something useful to do with them.

My bucket of "sticks"

Every time I walked up the stairs to my apartment, I glanced at the pile hoping an idea would materialize.  A few days ago, one finally did.  I had just washed out an empty glass salsa jar and voila – the idea was born!  I love homey feel of the rustic style and I think this piece would fit right in.

I already had a big spool of natural colored hemp twine that I’d used to string beads, so I used it to wrap the branches together.  I found some large wooden beads that weren’t much use for jewelry making (the hole was too large) so I strung them on with the twine.  It took me some time to figure out the best way to achieve the results I wanted, so I had to rewrap many of the branches before I got it right.  Hopefully, the next time I make a similar tea light holder, it’ll go a little faster since I know what I’m doing now (yeah right).

Here is the finished product.  I’m pretty happy with how it came out.  Next time I’d like to try a taller jar so I’ll be able to use some of the more uniquely shaped branches. Rustic Tea Light Holder  Click the photo below to see the listing in my Catalina Inspired Etsy shop.