Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival

I have not been to the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival yet, but I am definitely going to go next year.  Next year’s event will take place April 6, 7, and 8, 2018 at the David L Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival

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Little Hats, Big Hearts

I found out about the Little Hats, Big Hearts campaign by the American Heart Association in connection with The Children’s Heart Foundation.  It is a campaign for babies born in February during American Heart Month to raise awareness about heart health as well as congenital heart defects.  They are asking for knitters and crocheters to make red hats for preemies and newborns to be provided to participating hospitals in February.

Little Hats Big Hearts

They are asking for hat donations or, for those that do not crochet or knit, monetary donations.  Again, all the information is located at their page.

So I bought a skein of red yarn and I’ve made my first hat for the campaign.  I plan to make as many of them as I can out of the skein I bought.  The page I linked to provides some sample patterns, but I preferred this one that I found on Pinterest called the Apple Crisp Newborn Hat from Salty Pearl Crochet.  It’s a quick and easy pattern and I liked the simplicity of it.

I hope everyone that can, participates.  It sounds like a worthwhile project, and I figured I could donate a skein of yarn and some time to the cause.  Hopefully, you can as well, or if not, maybe some money.

 

Croshame is a yarn artist

I came across this crochet artist from her brilliant version of Krampus, which is no longer for sale at her Etsy shop. I’ve often thought about buying this Krampus for my husband, thankfully the temptation is now gone. But if you spend some time at her Etsy shop, she has lots of unique and interesting crochet that you probably won’t find anywhere else including a severed arm with a Slayer tattoo, an Exorcist playset, a beheaded Lambchop, and a Sid and Nancy set. Photo of Krampus from Croshame.com.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t sell her patterns, only her finished projects, which is fine because I’m not sure if anyone else could do her crochet any justice. I absolutely love it and I would love to have the imagination and talent that she does. I feel if we ever met we’d be fast friends, or I’d be scared to death of her. Hard to tell. But I do admire her talent.

She also has her own blog, which I just became aware of as well. It doesn’t look like she posts often, but I have some catching up to do on whatever she has posted so far.

If you are like me, and you enjoy things that are a bit unusual and out of the norm, you may end up loving Croshame as much as I do. If not, you may be disgusted and terrified. But I hope at least you can appreciate the uniqueness of Croshame.

Teaching Connie to Crochet

My mom taught me to crochet when I was a little girl, maybe 10, or so? Then in my 20s I picked up one of those learn to crochet kits to refresh my memory. I’ve been crocheting off and on through the years, currently on a two year stint after being inspired by Lucy Ravenscar’s Star Wars Crochet.

My friend Connie wanted to learn how to knit and she wanted to take a class together. I thought, sure sounds like fun. (My mom also taught me how to knit, but it never stuck. She even tried to teach me again last Thanksgiving, but it just doesn’t feel natural after years of crochet.) Anyway, Connie and I are also fans of Harry Potter, so I told her I could teach her how to make this Slytherin Scarf.

She came over and I started to teach her how to chain and how to single crochet (sc). I also taught her how to turn rows. Her grasp was really tight, so I told her to try to keep it loose. I was making my own Ravenclaw Scarf as well while she made her Slytherin Scarf. After a couple of hours I thought she was doing pretty good and we could pick up on changing colors.

Next day, she says she went on YouTube and found a way to hold the yarn that felt better to her. I guess my hold on my hook (claw) and my hold on my yarn (also claw, I guess) is different than what is used out there on YouTube. So she showed me what she learned and it really did help her a lot. She also learned how to change colors. I’m so glad that I was so good at teaching, that my student learned more on YouTube.

Connie ended up making this cute little scarf for her cat, Squeaky Bob. He is the chillest cat ever. He loves his little scarf. She also made a full sized scarf for herself.

Squeaky Bob and his Slytherin Scarf

She recently took a knitting class and has been knitting now. So, to summarize, my first crochet student learned more from YouTube videos and switched to knitting at the first opportunity. And my hook and yarn hold is all off. That is how great I am at being a crochet teacher. Lol

My Ravenclaw Scarf

Leg Warmers

I found this free pattern for colorful leg warmers on Pinterest by B. Hooked Crochet.  I thought these would look cute with some leggings or jeggings and would bring me back to my childhood in the 80’s.

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Final leg warmers pulled up.

I started the pattern with Caron Cakes, because there is a sweater I want to make next that uses Caron Tea Cakes and I wanted the colorways to be similar.  I was doing pretty good with the pattern and I thought it was working out pretty well.  But my calves are a little larger than the pattern suggested, so I needed a few more stitches, it called for 35 and I tried 45.  Well a chain of 45 turned out to be way too large for me, plus the colors didn’t change often enough with the Caron Cakes, so I ended up buying the yarn that is used in the pattern, Lionbrand Landscapes.  I also ended up only doing a chain of 38 stitches and, while still a little loose on my calves, not bad.

I liked the Lionbrand Landscapes yarn.  It was so soft and easy to work with, which was funny because some people commented that they thought it was difficult to use.  Or more specifically, more difficult to pull apart.  I think as long as you yank gently, it’s pretty easy to pull apart if needed.

Anyway, this was a quick and easy pattern.  Once I got the right yarn and the right circumference, it only took me four days to make them.  I wore them to work today and got several compliments and requests to make them for others.  lol

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Pumpkin cuddling while I work on my first version of the leg warmers.

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Pumpkin cuddling with me while I work on the second version of the leg warmers.

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Final leg warmers, slouchy style.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer

My husband and I were at Costco a few weeks ago and I found the Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer crochet kit by Kati Gálusz.  Too cute!  It has the supplies to make Rudolph and Santa.

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Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer crochet kit

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Kit comes with instructions to make Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Hermey, Sam the Snowman, and King Moonracer.

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Also includes instructions for Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Misfit Doll, Charlie-in-the-Box, Misfit Elephant, Yukon Cornelius, and Clarice.

Usually, I can finish one of these little characters in a couple of days, but I’ve been a little busy, so it took me a week.  These little guys could make cute Christmas tree ornaments.  Just tie a string loop to them and hang them from your tree.

The instructions were very clear.  I think my only complaint about these little kits are the eyes.  For some reason, the eyes in these little crochet kits are so difficult to get on.  But other than that, totally worth the money and fun to make.  This kit would make a cute Christmas gift for anyone that crochets, or could even be good for someone just learning.

I still need to make Santa, but I have a long project to-do list right now, so I’ll have to come back to him.  But now, I want to watch Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.

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Sammy always wants to cuddle while I’m crocheting.

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Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer

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Bridgeville Library Mini-Con

My friend had a table at the Bridgeville Library Mini-Con yesterday, so I decided to stop by.  There were a couple of craft tables there, including hers, Dawn’s Mystical Menagerie.  She sews bags and blankets and sells other mystical items.  I missed seeing her at the last Steel City Con, so I wanted to stop by and support her.

Dawns Mystical Menagerie

Dawn’s Mystical Menagerie photo by Dawn’s Mystical Menagerie

The other tables included Pickle bug Stitches, Grace DuhLee Designs, and Comfy Creations of Washington, PA.  I always like to support crafty ladies and I love to attend craft shows.  I have an appreciation for hand made items, I guess and the work that goes into them.  I bought a couple of star wars pillow cases from Pickle bug Stitches, a snitch from Grace DuhLee Designs, and a Wonder Woman blanket from Dawn’s Mystical Menagerie.

We were only there for a few minutes, but the mini-con was cute.  We were there for the costume fashion show, so it was cute to see the kids showing off their cosplay.

I also had a nice time talking with the crochet ladies.  I was talking to the one lady that was working on the elephant from the Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer crochet kit.  I had just finished Rudolf from the same kit that morning.  We also talked about Lucy Ravenscar’s Star Wars Crochet kit.  She was also a fan of that kit.  She also gave me a great tip!  For those little crochet books that come in the crochet kits, it can be difficult to keep the books open while you are crocheting.  She uses binder clips to hold the book open.  I usually have my phone holding the book open, but her tip may work a lot better.