Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Creative Cousin's Cell Case

I have such a creative cousin. Her name is Joyce and she sent me a photo of a project she crocheted and I just had to share. *smile* She said she threaded all the beads onto the crochet thread before she began, then measured her phone and crocheted away. Isn't it pretty? I can just see this in black with white beads or white with black beads too!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Thank You, Girlfriend!

It's so nice to receive a get well card in the mail when one isn't feeling well. First I had a bacterial infection and finished my 15 days of antibiotics and then just when I got to feeling better and venturing out,  I picked up a viral bug. I have asthma and everything goes south when I get sick, so it takes me a little more time to get over it.
Thank you, Joan Petty, for thinking of me!


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tips on How to Watercolor the Art Impressions Way!

Last Saturday, my husband and I attended the Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Expo up at the KCI Expo center near the Airport. I was so excited to finally meet Bonnie Krebs of Art Impressions. My sweet hubby purchased her watercolor DVD at a thrift store sometime ago for me, knowing I've been wanting to learn her watercolor technique.
 He took a photo of the both of us!

Bonnie paints her rubber stamped cards using her watercolor technique beginning with Marvy Markers by Uchida and Strathmore's cold press watercolor paper cut to card size.  She only uses a few Marvy Markers for her watercolor technique which she sells on her website, but she said to use what I have. I was beginning to purchase sets of Marvy Markers at Michaels  with coupons when it looked like I was going to design for Posh Rubber Stamps, so I was happy to see an additional technique I could use the markers for! Her palette was a small square of white plastic at the show, but Bonnie said anything shiny smooth can be used for a palette including a corelle saucer. I believe I still have a marker palette I purchased years ago on clearance somewhere. It was for painting marker "folk art."
Bonnie uses the rough side for her watercolored images and the smooth side with Stazon permanent ink for her detailed girlfriend stamps. She said to use a small paint brush and pull the wet brush through your fingers to control the amount of water.  Then she scrubs the marker color out on the palette and dips her damp paintbrush into the marker color to lift color to the image. She said brushing images in with color is much faster than coloring with markers.
After I visited her website, I discovered a whole series of Bonnie's You Tube videos. If you like, you can watch her beginning video here:

Some of her  watercolor tips at the show were: Start by coloring a rubber stamp with a charcoal gray  Marvy Marker on the rough side of the watercolor paper, then add a clean dampened brush to pull out shadows on the image. When you are stamping foliage in, color in bits and pieces of the stamps with the markers to make it look realistic. You don't have to use the whole image. Also "walk/pounce" the stamp across the area where you want it. Use pieces of paper to mask off sections if you are building up an image. Then pounce a clean damp brush into the center of the images and dabble tiny bits of the colored water around to make it look like watercolor.  Don't add a lot of water or you will wash out (erase) the image or muddy the colors. She doesn't like to use aqua brushes just for that reason.
She said to also add a light grey or blue shadow to the images around the outside to make the image pop. Pretend the light source is coming from the top when deciding where to add the shadows.

I noticed Bonnie stamped her girlfriend rubber stamp mounted on a Fiskars sponge-ball mount. She said she didn't care for the thick heavy acrylic mounts because she found them difficult to maneuver. I found one at a thrift store a while back, still in the package, for $5.00, so enjoyed watching her maneuver the  rubber stamp into position.
She said the secret to having faces  that look alive rather than flat is to keep the center of the images white and add cheek color. Since the light source is coming from the top, give a margin of white at the top of the head; don't carry the color of the hair clear up to the outline of the stamp. And she said you don't have to color in everything, just the main portions of the images. Coordinate a blouse with your background colors of your base card.
And she said, be sure to sign your work, so here's an autographed copy of Bonnie's work she gave to me at the show!


Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Karen came over today and look what she made for me! I picked out the design and she put it together for me. Isn't it cute? Reminds me of Mary Engelbreit's cherries! I have a tiny cherry punch that we used to punch twice -- once for the green stem and leaf and again for the red cherries. CUTE! CUTE! CUTE! :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Guess What?

Guess what I got in the mail from my friend across the pond? Thanks, Lakeslady, you made my day! :)
And I heard on the grapevine that a scrapbook expo is heading our way. October 3-4, 2014. Click here for more info! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Art Museum Field Trip

My husband's nephew is really into reptiles and Greek and Roman history and while he was up in the city visiting his grandparents this summer, we invited him to a day of museum and nature center field trip tours. He had never visited an art museum before, so we took him to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and spent several hours there. They have built onto the museum and have much more to go through then the last time we visited with our son back in our homeschooling days. If you decide to visit, be sure to grab a map at the door, because you can easily get lost in there! If you have ever visited a hospital and gotten lost, you will surely understand what I mean! *smile*

I was hoping to be inspired by all the great artwork because I had been invited to a shoebox card party. In the end, I made "happy mail" business-sized envelopes as sample/door prizes using one of Tim Holtz's techniques that he uses on his tags called "Wrinkle-free Distress." Sorry, I don't have a sample for you to see of the ones I made, since every one of them went home with new owners, but they were just like the tags using his second technique displayed in the video below. I also used similar stamps in black ink on the front and backs of the envelopes, then filled them with little goodies to use on cards. I believe everyone enjoyed theirs, 'cause I heard lots of oohs and ahs when they ripped them apart! *wink* It was almost like Christmas!

For your info, sometime ago, I posted a link list of Midwestern Art Museums. I haven't visited many of these, but thot I might throw it out there if you would be interested. I believe my hubby's nephew enjoyed himself and got lots of walking in. I poohed out after the art museum and the Mo. Conservation Discovery Center, so I sat in the car while they visited the Lakeside Nature Center. After all that walking, we were starving, so we went to a little Greek restaurant my hubby knows about and had some very good food. Afterwards he bought us a variety of heavenly baklava for dessert. All of it was so GOOD! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Stamp Show

Sadly, I didn't get to attend the rubber stamp show, but a girlfriend took a photo of Mark and Cynthia Stansell of Stamp-a-mania stamps for me.

Friday, May 30, 2014

A Patriotic Cell Phone Pocket

I got an idea to make a patriotic phone pocket. It follows the basic directions for the striped pocket (#5) up half-way, then goes to a solid.

# 8 Pocket Supplies and Directions:
* Boyds Crochet Hook, size D
* Aunt Lydia's Fashion 3 Crochet Thread . 150 yds of Blue Hawaii color. (Note: I wanted navy blue and a tan thread, but the three stores I visited did not carry those colors, so will have to make do with what I could find.)
* Aunt Lydia's Fashion 3 Crochet Thread. 150 yds of Scarlett color.
* Red Heart Fashion 3 Crochet Thread. 125 yds of White.
* 1 safety pin or 1 stitch keeper
* Tape measure or ruler.
* Scissors
* Large-eyed yarn needle. (I prefer a slender blunt-end steel needle.).
* Sewing needle and thread to match
* 1, either red, white, or blue button. I chose white..

Follow the directions for number (#5) phone pocket. Begin with the red thread.
Step 1
: I chained 32 for my phone, but I'm making phone pocket for a friend in this same pattern. She has a T-mobile cell phone which is 3 inches wide x 5 1/2 inches long x approximately 1/2 inch deep. I chained 40 for her phone. She has a plastic gel skin on her phone which adds a little
bulk, so I didn't want the pocket too snug. Catch end of chain, ss together, ch. 1 and make a single crochet in each of the back loops of each chain around. SS into top of beginning sc, ch 1.

TIP: As you are crocheting this first row, watch that you are not twisting the chain. If you get to the end of the row and you find your fabric is twisted, you'll have to unravel it back to where the twist begins and sc to the end correctly.

Step 2: Make a sc in each sc of last row. When you get to end of row, ch 1 and repeat this row until you have a total of 5 rows. At the end of row five, ss into beginning st, attach white thread, dropping the red thread towards the back. Do not end off as you will be picking the thread up and weave it into the inside of the fabric as we did in the black and white striped phone pocket.
Step 3: Ch 1 with the white thread and sc into first stitch and all around row. Repeat this row 4 more times, catching the red thread into the beginning stitch by crocheting over it, then drop it to the back when making 2nd stitch in the row.
Step 4: Since you have been weaving the red thread into the beginning of each row, it should be easy for you to start crocheting with it again. With white thread, ss into beginning sc with ss, snug up loop, dropping white thread under red towards the back and ch 1 with the red thread. Make a sc into first sc of last white row and in each sc of last row. Repeat for 4 more rows, catching white as you did for the red.
Step 5: White band. End white off and weave in ends.
Step 6: Red band. End red off and weave in ends.
Step 7: Attach blue and single crochet blue until it measures 2 1/2 inches. To finish the fabric, rsc around top of blue to make a rope like finish. I'm not making the button loop as I believe the gel skin she has on her phone will not allow it to fall out of the pocket as easily as if it was slick plastic like my phone. Whipstitch bottom end together with red thread.
Step 8: Make handle. I made it as long as mine. If that's too long, she can tie a knot in the end of it.

Star: To make star, ch 5. Catch end ch and make a ss into it to make a circle. Ch 1 and make 13 sc into circle. Make a ss into first sc and ch 1. Sc into same sc that you ss'ed into. Sc again in same space. Make 2 sc into each space until you come to the end of the row. SS and ch 1. Make a sc in first space, repeat 4 more times. Ch 1 and turn. Dec two stitches by sticking hook into 2 spaces and pull up a loop, then pull another loop through all three hoops on hook. Sc across the rest of the stitches to the end, ch 1, turn. Continue to dec on first two stitches in each row, until you come to a point and end off, leaving enough thread to attach point to fabric of bag.
Attach thread and make another point. Continue until all five points are made. Sew star to bag and a button to center of star.
= + = + = + = + = + = + = + =
#9 A Busy Bee Mobile Phone Pocket
* Boyds Crochet Hook, size D
* Aunt Lydia's Fashion 3 Crochet Thread . 150 yds in black, yellow, & white..
* 1 safety pin or 1 stitch keeper
* Tape measure or ruler.
* Scissors
* Large-eyed yarn needle. (I prefer a slender blunt-end steel needle.).
* Sewing needle and thread to match
* 3/4 inch white buttons and 2 smaller black buttons for eyes

Follow the directions for number (# 5) phone pocket. Begin with black thread.
Step 1: Begin with chaining as many stitches as you need (Note: I chain 32 for my phone.), Complete chain by slip-stitching into first chain to make a circle and single-crochet in the top of each chain. To complete row, slip-stitch into first sc of row, ch 1, then sc around again to make 2nd row. Continue until you have 5 rows for one stripe and enough rows to cover your phone plus 1 inch. Follow (# 5) directions for finished edge and neck loop also.
Step 2: Sew on black button eyes and whip-stitch bottom closed.

Wings = Divide the number of your beginning chains in half to make beginning chains for wings. Mine is 16. Chain that in white. Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across (15 sc). Turn work so that bottom of ch is facing up and sc across the bottom of the ch (15 sc). Turn work and ss into beg sc.
Step 2: Ch 3. Make 2 dc into first sc. Make 15 sc across 1st row. Ch 3 and dc in same stitch. Next stitch, 3 dc, then sc in each remaining stitches. When you crochet the last sc, ch 3, then make 2 dc in same stitch. Connect to beg ch with a slip-stitch, chain 1. Sc across last row. When you come to the middle stitch between the two sets of 3 dc, increase (inc) work by crocheting 3 sc into that stitch, then continue making 1 sc into each stitch round. Do the same at the other end. Connect to beg sc with slip-stitch.
Step 3: Ch 3, then make 2 dc in same stitch; 1 dc in next stitch, then another set of 3 dc in next stitch after that. Sc across the row till you get near next end, then make 5 sets of 3 dc with 1 dc between. Sc across row and leave enough stitches at end to make 3 sets of dc with 1 dc between. Connect to beg. ch with slip-stitch.
Step 4: Ch 3, make a dc in each dc until you get to center end of wing and inc by two dc in 1 stitch, and a sc in each sc around. Connect to beg ch with slip-stitch, and fasten off. Weave ends in. Cut a piece of thread about 1 yard long and thread on yarn needle. Fold wing piece in half to find center, then make a running stitch along that line, leaving a knotted tail a few inches long to tie off. Gather the wing fabric along running stitch and wind string around center several times. Tie off with end of tail on front of wing fabric, then sew on back of "bee" near top third of pocket at center back. Tip: I found it helpful to fold wings in half and whip-stitch under wings a couple of times. Be sure not to catch front in stitches. Fasten off and weave both tails in.
= + = + = + = + = + = + = + =
# 10 Rainbow Stripe Mobile Phone Pocket
Another friend ordered a rainbow striped pocket , so I'm making it like my black and white (# 5) pocket in many colors except I'm adding some nubby popcorn stitches in the third row of each stripe.

* Boyds Crochet Hook, size D
* Aunt Lydia's Fashion 3 Crochet Thread . 150 yds in a variety of colors.
* 1 safety pin or 1 stitch keeper
* Tape measure or ruler.
* Scissors
* Large-eyed yarn needle. (I prefer a slender blunt-end steel needle.).
Follow the directions for number (#5) phone pocket. Begin with the any color thread.
Step 1: I chain 32 for my phone and this friend's phone is approximately the same size as mine. Begin with chaining as many stitches as you need, complete chain by slip-stitching into first chain to make a circle and single-crochet in the top of each chain. To complete row, slip-stitch into first sc of row, ch 1, then sc around again to make 2nd row.
Step 2: Third row = begin third row like first two rows. Make five sc, then a popcorn stitch. To make a popcorn stitch, make five double-crochets in a single-crochet in row below. Turn work, make a slip-stitch into beg dc st. Turn work back to 3 row and sc 5 times into 2nd row. Continue until you come to last few stitches of row (Note: I have enough space to make four sc, so I'm making 3 sc and 1 popcorn stitch in last sc before I sl-st into the beg of row.)
Step 3: Sl-st into beg sc of third-row. Ch 1 and continue sc this row, treating the popcorn stitch below as one sc. (Tip: push popcorn stitch down with your thumb and you'll be able to see the connecting sl-st at top of stitch to sc into.) Make 5th row in sc, complete and end off.
Step 4: Attach next color and repeat steps 1-4 until you have enough stripes of color to complete your pocket.
Step 5: Neck Loop = attach color to side and make a neck loop of several inches of chain (abt. 30"), then attach to opposite side of pocket with slip-stitch. Sc back across chain to opposite side. Continue sc around top of pocket, pushing neck loop to inside when you get to that point, until you return to beginning point. Attach with slip-stitch, then end off. Weave end into fabric.
Step 6: Whip-stitch end of tube with matching thread. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A New Improved Walker Bag

When I first made my walker bag, I had sewn ribbons at the corners to hold the bag onto the walker, but I wasn't sure if they were strong enough to hold the bag if I loaded it. I saw a photo of a walker bag made from pint-size overhalls on Pinterest, so decided I could apply the same idea to the bag I made out of the baby crib bumper pad. (see photo here).
 I believe the walker bag I saw had the bib part of the overhalls machine stitched to the fabric before sewing the bag together, but since I had already sewn my bag, I opened the overhalls along the side seams and sewed a seam across the legs just above the snaps at the crotch and set my bag down into it. Next, I centered the overhalls, pinned it into place, then hand-stitched the bib to bag, but didn't sew across the top like the other one. I figured it would give me an extra pocket front and back. And of course, I would be able to utilize the many little pockets on the front and back of the overhalls for pens, coins, tissues, and so forth. I wondered what to make out of the discarded legs and ended up making little pockets out of them too, except I turned them inside out to see the nice plaid fabric lining on the ankle. I thought perhaps I could attach them to the inside of the bib part if needed, with a sewn on snap at each corner. Or, sew a long ribbon to each side and give them to the little girl next door for a play purse.

Well, the overhall straps (for strength) plus the ribbons (for steadiness) was a success! We tried it out last Saturday when my husband, a couple friends, and I went to a town fair up north. It carried two drinks, my camera, plus all kinds of other stuff that we purchased or was handed from booths along the square.

The basket under the seat had suntan lotion, my checkered totebag folded up (in case) and some purchased items. And I had my seat when my legs and back gave out! It was wonderful to be able to watch the long parade sitting down!

Next on the agenda is to figure out how to attach a "perfect" umbrella for portable shade. I figured out that a "perfect" umbrella would collapse, be about 12 inches taller than the lawn chair one I have so I could see out from under it, would be offset by a few inches to cover the side that see's sunshine, namely my arm and to have a silicone rubber grip on the inside of the c-clamp that twists onto the bar at the back of the walker so that it wouldn't rotate on the bar when I sat down.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Black and White Checked Cell Phone Pocket Crochet Pattern

I said I would make a black and white grid pattern telephone pocket this week (# 6).

First of all, I had a bit of problem. I couldn't find the little ruler I used last and so the school ruler I found instead, showed that 5 rows equals 1 inch. Well, that messed up my calculations. So I'm gonna have to go back and change the basic pattern. Excuse me while I go do that.

Second of all, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get the grid pattern to come out right when crocheting in the round, so I'm crocheting this grid pattern in the flat and will stitch up one long side and the bottom to make my pocket.

On my basic pattern, I chained 32 chains to begin, with 31 sc, but in order to get the grid pattern to come out even, I'd have to either go smaller, which is not an option, or go a bit larger, which I did. So to begin:

(# 6) Supplies:
* Red Heart Fashion Crochet Thread. Size 3 of 100% Mercerized Cotton. 126 yds of both white and black.
* Boyd's Size D crochet hook.
* Scissors, steel yarn needle, stitch keeper or safety pin, sewing needle and thread
* 1 button in either white, black or bright red.
* a doubled towel or quilt pad and a number of rustproof straight pins

(# 6) Directions:

Step 1: Ch 36 loosely (make it an even number of stitches, so that you can make it 5 sc for each grid; see grid pattern). In second ch from hook make a single crochet and 1 sc in each of the next 4 chs. You should have 5 sc.

As in the striped pocket, I dropped the black thread when I attached the white, however, so that you have no loose threads to snag on the phone, you will have to crochet over it.

Tip: Drop black thread to the back; drop the white thread to the front. (Black back). The only time you can snug thread is at the loop on the hook, otherwise do not pull the thread as you crochet over it or it will distort your fabric.
Step 2: To attach white, slip your hook into next ch with black thread over the hook, slip a noose of white thread on hook and make a sc, holding both the beginning chain and the black thread together in the opposite hand from the hook. It will feel awkward, but persevere. Make 4 more sc. Drop white thread to the front and pick up black thread.

Step 3: Make 5 sc in next 5 chains in black. Then drop the black thread to the back and pick up the white to make 5 sc in the next 5 chains. Continue till you get to end of chains.

Step 4: Ch 1. Make 5 sc in black. It is helpful if you fold the white thread to the back and crochet over it. You will have to count 5 sc for each color to the end of row to get it to come out correctly, dropping and crocheting over threads. Continue till you come to end of body of work. Ch 1. Repeat this row 3 more times.

Step 5: We are going to alternate colors in row 6. Ch 1 in white and make 5 sc. Repeat, alternating colors for all five rows.  Continue work, alternating colors, as to the grid pattern until you complete the crocheted fabric. Picking up both colors, ch 1. Do not turn.

Tip: If you must drop the work at any time, insert stitch keeper or safety pin into the last 5th sc, so when you come back to it, you will know that you've completed the 5th sc and can begin the next color.

Step 6: To finish, do the rsc across the top of the fabric with both colors in hand to make a varigated rope-like finish. End off. Weave in all loose ends of thread.

Tip = Blocking is useful when your fabric wants to curl and you want it flat or when you want to shape starched fabric into the final shape, such as ruffles on a doily.

Step 7: To block the phone pocket crocheted fabric = dampen it, then pin flat on a doubled towel, straighening lines to grid. If you wish, you may spritz fabric lightly with starch. Let dry.

Step 8: Un-pin. Fold right sides together and whip stitch 1 long side and the bottom together. Turn inside out and finish by adding the button loop, button and neck loop.

Simple Washing Tip = I've already washed my purple pocket. To do that, throw the pocket in the wash with your colored clothes, remove, flatten pocket with your fingers and hang to dry. Simple as that. 

= + = + = + = + = + = + = + =

(# 7) Supplies:
* Aunt Lydia's Baker's 100% Cotton Twine Thread, Size 1 Super Fine (Art #159; 150 yds) by Coats & Clark,
* Small bit of white thread left over from last phone pocket project.
* Small bits of red and yellow thread or 1 hank each of embroidery thread in red and yellow.
 * Boyd's Size D crochet hook.
* Scissors, steel yarn needle, stitch keeper or safety pin, sewing needle and thread,
* two small black buttons or beads & 1 large button for closure

(# 7) Additional Directions:

And while I was crocheting this variegated fabric, I thought how much it looked like a flecked chicken, so I decided to turn this pocket into a one and then I had to run to the store to get additional thread.

While I was at the store, my husband suggested since I needed just a little red and yellow thread, why not purchase embroidery thread which I did.

Frugal Tip: My husband works in a warehouse and he brings me home throw away goodies from time to time like for instance the heavy-duty cardboard tubes from the printed mailing labels they slap on the boxes. I wind my embroidery thread on them. Lacking these, wind thread on TP or paper towel roll.  

Step1: Ch 32 and follow basic in the round pattern to make a tube 6 inches long.

Step 2: SS into next row and make a neck loop. I make my neck loop of ch's 30 inches long because I'm a BBW. Make yours however long you need it. Flatten your fabric-- where the ch's began is one side and you need the opposite side to attach ch with a ss. Ch 1, turn, and sc across ch. Attach to beginning side with ss. Flatten fabric once again handle side to handle side to figure out center front; ss to that point and make a ch 16 loop; attach to beginning of ch with ss. End off, then weave ends into fabric.

Step 3: Attach the end of red embroidery thread to front left just in front of handle of neck loop. Ch 1, then make a sc in same stitch. We're going to make scallop stitches (scst) for the chicken's comb at the top of its head, so make two more sc, then make 5 dc in same stitch as last sc, then sc in same st, 2 sc, scst in next, repeat across top to handle. When you come to button chain and neck loops, push them to the back and crochet around them. I made half of my scst on one side of button chain, then the other half on the other side. When you come to the next handle of the neck loop, sc around it and across the back to handle. Attach to beginning red sc, ss into it and end off. Weave ends in.

Eyes: With white thread, ch 5, ss into last ch to make a circle. Ch 1, and make a sc. Make a total of 10 sc in circle. Attach to beg sc with ss. Ch 2. Make 2 half-double crochets (hdc) in each sc around, ss in 2 beg ch and end off. Make another eye just like this one. Whipstitch to fabric underneath comb. Sew a black button in center of each, then sew beak just underneath and in between. To make beak, see directions below.
Beak: Ch 6 with yellow embroidery thread. Sc in 2nd ch from hook and all across ch, ch 1 turn. Decrease (dec) two sc into one by pulling up two loops through two sc and then pulling one through all three loops on hook. Sc in remaining sts. Ch 1, turn. Dec again, then sc in remaining st. Dec again, sc once more. Ch 1, turn. Dec last two st and end off. Weave ends in and trim. Blind stitch onto front of fabric under eyes when you sew on buttons.

Postscript: Someone told me my chicken looked like an owl because it didn't have the wattle under the beak, so I crocheted one and here's the directions.

Wattle: Ch 4 with red embroidery thread, leaving a tail long enough to tie off with. Make 5 double crochets in last loop from hook and one slip-stitch, Fasten off. Pull tails of wattle through fabric under beak to inside and tie off. Weave ends in. If you wish to make it extra secure, whip-stitch to crocheted fabric with a single strand of sewing thread.
Feet: Flatten fabric and attach yellow on beginning chain in line with handle of neck loop. Ch1, then sc in same spot and across about a third of the way, catching both sides of fabric together. It looks like I've sc 7 stitches. Ch 10, then sc into 5 ch, ch 6, sc into those 5 ch, repeat, then wind hook through sides of all the last sc and pull up a ss as for a cls, then sc down remain ch to fabric. Sc across bottom of fabric 5 or 6 times and make another foot, then finish off by sc across the rest of the bottom and end off. You may block the feet if you wish to have them flat.

= + = + = + = + = + = + = + =
I went over to a girlfriend's last night and got two more ideas for another couple of phone pockets. That's next.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

How to Crochet a Striped Cell Phone Pocket

I decided I wanted more pockets, mainly ones in keeping with my current theme of black and white, so following the basic pattern I crocheted a (# 3 and 4) a solid black with a white flower, then the opposite and next (# 5) a black and white stripe. Next, I am going to have to work out a pattern for a (# 6) black and white check and a (# 7) variegated black and white pocket which will be following this post. 

Tip = If you would like to keep track of the type of thread you use for a project, after removing the label, fold it in half and stuff it down inside the cardboard tube. It will be right there if you need it.

(# 3 and 4) Solid Black and Solid White Alternate Supplies to Basic Pattern's:
* Red Heart Fashion Crochet Thread, 100% Mercerized Cotton, Size 3, 125 yard ball in black
* Red Heart Fashion Crochet Thread, 100% Mercerized Cotton, Size 3, 125 yard ball in white
* 2 safety pins or 1 stitch keeper + 1 safety pin
* one black and one white button

Tip = When you crochet in the round, remember that the little tail of thread at the end of the beginning chain is also the beginning of your rows.

(# 3 and 4) Alternate Directions:
Step 1 = I crocheted mine in the round so that I made a tube 5 1/2 inches long from bottom open end to top open end.
Step 5b. In the round = When you come to the end of the rsc row, ss to finish row and ch 1. Fasten a stitch keeper to the ch. This will be your center back. Flatten fabric to figure out front center and pin. Set aside to make flower. 


To make flower:
Row 1 =
Ch 5 with the opposite thread color to your crocheted fabric. Without removing the last ch from hook, ss into the first ch to make a circle. Ch 3.

Row 2 = Make 3 double-crochet (dc) into ch circle, ch 3 and sc on circle. Repeat 4 more times. When you've made the complete circle, ss in bottom ch of first "petal." Ss up chs to top, then ch 3.
Row 3 = To form the petals of this flower, we are going to make a cluster stitch (cs) on top of last row's dc's. Make a dc in 1st dc from step 2, except do not complete stitch, leaving last loop on hook. Make 2 more dc (you should have 4 loops on hook). Pull one loop through all the loops on the hook to complete cs. Ch 5. Ss in sc made in circle to complete the petal, then ch 5 and repeat. Make 4 more cs to make a total of 5 petals. End off after making last ss in last sc. Weave thread tail through back of flower.
Row 4 = Remove front pin, then sew flower onto front of pocket, then button in center.


Step 6 = Remove stitch keeper from back loop and slip your hook back into the loop. Ch 16, fasten at center back and end off. Weave ends in. (Note: I made a belt loop for my mother's phone pocket, but since I don't wear belts, I decided that I didn't need to add one.)
Step 7 = Turn pocket inside out and whipstitch bottom end closed. Since black is hard to see sometimes, slip your finger in between both sides to make sure you catch both, pulling thread snug, but not too tightly or you'll distort your fabric. Whipstitch to the end and fasten off. Weave ends in and turn right side out. Go on to basic pattern step 8 and crochet neck loop. 

= + = + = + = + = + = + = + =

(# 5) Stripes Alternate Supplies:
* Red Heart Fashion Crochet Thread, 100% Mercerized Cotton, Size 3, 125 yard ball in black
* Red Heart Fashion Crochet Thread, 100% Mercerized Cotton, Size 3, 125 yard ball in white
* one white button

(# 5) Alternate Directions:
Step 1 =
I crocheted mine in the round so that I made a tube 5 1/2 inches long from bottom open end to top open end.
Beginning with black, crochet four rows, then attach white to beginning of 5th row after ss, dropping the black thread behind work and towards the hand you hold the hook in. Continue 5th row in white thread. When you come to the beginning of the 6th row, pick up black thread, crochet over it, and then drop it again. Do not pull it tight. In this way, the dropped stitch is added to the body of your work and there will be no loose threads to catch on the phone.
Make a total of 4 rows of white, then drop thread and take up black, alternating colors until you have a total of 5 black stripes and four white ones.

Step 5b. In the round = Ch 1, then rsc around top of pocket with the white thread.

Step 6 = When you come to the end of the rsc row, ss to finish row and ch 16, then ss back into itself. Fasten off and weave ends through inside of work. (Note: Following the basic pattern, you can add a belt loop to your pocket, however, I did not.)
This is your center back. Flatten fabric to figure out front center and sew a white button on at this point. 

Step 7 = Flatten tube, centering button, then at bottom of tube, attach white thread at side of fabric. Sc across bottom to close tube, catching both front and back loops of beginning chain in sc's. Fasten off and weave tail back through white sc.
Go on to basic pattern step 8 and crochet neck loop in black.

Next I'll complete the pattern for the checked pocket and flecked one!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Crochet a Basic Cell Phone Pocket!

My mother keeps losing track of her cell phone in her house, so I decided to make her a little pocket to carry it in so that she could either wear around her waist on a belt or around her neck on the days she doesn't have a clothing pocket. Now if I can just get her to remember the acronym RTP (return to pocket), she will be ahead of the game! *smile*

Supplies Needed:
* Red Heart Fashion Crochet Thread, 100% Mercerized Cotton, Size 3, 125 yard ball
* (second one = bits of varigated thread to add to body of fabric)

* Boyds Crochet Hook, size D
* Large Safety Pin or Stitch Keeper (looks like a giant safety pin). If you need to leave your work, thread the stitch keeper through the last loop to keep your work from unraveling until you return.
* Tape measure or ruler.
* Scissors
* Large-eyed yarn needle. (I prefer a slender blunt-end steel needle.).
* 1 (3/4 inch) button.
* Sewing needle and thread to match

Step 1.
Chain (ch) 32 or enough chains to go around the width of your phone ending on a even number of chains. Don't make it so tight though, that you might not be able get a finger and your thumb into the pocket to retrieve the phone.
Step 2. Single crochet (sc) in each chain across. (31 sc).

(OPTIONAL = At this point, you have a choice. You may crochet your pocket in a flat piece or you may decide to crochet your pocket in the round. Here's directions for both options.)

Step 3a. On the flat = Ch 1. Turn. Sc in each stitch across (31 sc). Repeat this row until your piece measures as long as your cell phone plus one inch. (5 rows = 1 inch).
Step 3b. In the round = Meet the two ends of row together. Slip-Stitch (ss) into the first stitch at the beginning of the first row to make a continuous circle. Ch 1. Make a sc in the same sc you made a slip-stitch in. Continue sc around the row until you come to the end. Repeat. You will be making a tube as long as your mobile phone plus one inch. (Note: I prefer to crochet in the round.)

Step 4a. On the flat = Check your fabric against your phone to see if it is long enough. (My crocheted fabric was 5 inches long). At this point, if you wish, you may end your last row as is, but I wanted to add a decorative edge, which is a reverse single crochet (rsc). To make, ch 1, but do not turn. Without slipping the loop off your hook, slip the tip of your hook back into the last sc you just made and pull up a loop. Sc as usual. You will  sc backwards all across last row, making a rope-like finished edge.
Step 4b. In the round = Check your fabric against your phone to see if it is long enough. My tube was 5 inches long. At this point, if you wish, you may end your last row as is or you may add a decorative edge which is a reverse single crochet (rsc). To make, finish row by ss into sc of last row, then ch 1. Without slipping the loop off your hook, insert your hook back into the last sc you just made and pull up a loop. Sc as usual. Keep going backwards across last row, making a rope-like finished edge.

Step 5a. On the flat = When you come to the end of this rsc row, end off, leaving a long (abt. 15 inches or so) thread tail to whip stitch your flat piece together along the long side to make an open-ended tube. Weave in ends, trim, and turn tube inside out. Flatten tube and figure out where center front is and sew a button on at this point. On opposite side, at center back, attach crochet thread.
Step 5b. In the round = When you come to the end of the rsc row, ss to finish row and ch 1. Fasten a stitch keeper to the ch. This will be your center back. Flatten fabric to figure out front center and sew on a button at that point with needle and thread. Remove stitch keeper and slip your hook back into the loop.

Step 6 = Insert phone into tube. Ch across the top of your mobile telephone, around button and back to starting point (I had 16 chs). Fasten at center back with ss, then to make a belt loop, ch 5 inches long or as long as your tube is. Fasten ch to bottom of tube at center back with a ss. Ch 1.

(On the second phone pocket I made, I shortened this belt loop chain to 3 inches and laid it down the center line to attach it where it ended.Ch 1.)

Step 7 = Sc across chain. If it's hard to sc with phone in tube, remove phone. End row by fastening at top center back with a ss. Ch 1, turn. Continue sc two more rows, fastening with a ss at bottom center point. Fasten off, leaving a long tail (18" to 20" long) of thread. Turn tube inside out and whipstitch end closed. Weave ends in and trim if needed. Turn right side out. You may consider this phone pocket complete with belt loop handle, or you may continue by adding a neck loop .

(On the second phone pocket I made, I added crocheted dangles to the bottom to close the tube. Here's how = flatten tube button side up and attach thread on side. Ch 1, sc, catching both front and back chains, then ch 7, double-crochet (dc) 7 times in 6th chain from end, then sc down remaining chain. SS through front and back of crocheted fabric, ch 1, 2 sc in 2 chs, catching both front and back together, 7 ch, 7 dc in 6th ch, and 5 sc back down ch. Repeat. Continue until you have closed end of tube with 7 or 8 dangles. Fasten off and weave ends in.)

Step 8. Neck Loop = Flatten tube once more to find east and west sides. Attach thread to one of those side points and ch. At any point, to test length of chain, you may insert your cell phone into the pocket again and slip the stitch keeper through the last loop on your chain and the other side of the pocket.  (Since my mother and I are BBW's, I made a chain approximately 30 - 32 inches long.) Remove phone, flatten tube, and attach ch to opposite side. Ch 1, turn, and sc across ch. When at end of row, ss on fabric edge and fasten off. Weave in ends and trim. You may tuck neck loop inside pocket when wearing on your belt.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Walker Bags

I decided I needed a walker bag on my rolling seat walker.

I usually use a cane to help keep my balance when walking as I was diagnosed with vertigo several years ago after I fell and herniated a disc in my lower back. (However I've learned since then, despite the maneuverability of the cane, it can also not stop me from falling if I catch the rubber tip on a stair lip. I crashed several weeks ago at a girlfriend's house and scared her! Oh, my sore knees!) At the same time, I was told I had arthritis in my spine (okay, so that explains the pinched nerve and fire down my leg when I stand or walk too long, huh?) and an extra vertebra. Mom always said she goofed on me -- I was her first pregnancy experiment! She said she should have named me "Grace" instead! *giggle*

I take my walker with me to places where I might have to walk or stand quite a bit. I love having a portable place to sit down when I poop out in pain and the guy(s) might not be done looking. I looked on Pinterest for ideas on how to make one and decided to design one from a quilted black and white crib bumper pad I picked up some time ago junking. I cut out two rectangles the width of my walker back, sewed the ends together and down the center to make two pockets. Next I held up the bag to the walker and guesstimated where to sew the ribbons on.

I was in a hurry to get my walker bag done as I was going shopping with friends the next day, so I sewed ribbons on it to hold it on temporarily. The ribbons won't hold heavy loads, but I thought it might do to hold a water bottle. I will make sturdier handles later with fabric if the need arises.

The basket under the seat also got an fabric insert because previously, when I've used the walker as a shopping cart, I would lose small items through the wires. It worked dandy! See photos.

Postscript: I improved my walker bag. Click here to see how.