Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cuddle Blankets or Cuddle Afghans for Two

Crochet this warm, luxurious Cuddle Blanket with this FREE PATTERN!

FREE EASY Crochet Pattern for Textured Cuddle Afghan / Cuddle Blanket (see post above this one).

Monday, October 3, 2016

FREE Healing Hats for Kids and Adults with Cancer

If you or a loved one is currently receiving chemotherapy or radiation for cancer, Crystal Butterfly Creations will send you Healing Hats for you or your loved ones receiving treatment for cancer. Click the link to find out how to get one sent to you.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Felting Magic

If you are one of those people who loves reading about synchronistic and serendipitous events, you’ll enjoy learning about what contributed to my knowledge about something that – to me – was an entirely new kind of craft. While researching low-income housing options, I came across a process called Felting, specifically as it related to Yurts (types of homes often made of felt). 

As I expanded my knowledge of felting, including wet felting (through Martha Stewart’s coverage of the Cooper Hewitt Fashioning Felt Exhibit), I discovered that one of my amazingly creative online friends had just discovered felting, too, and she showcased some of her felted projects on her Facebook page. 

As one who loves learning new crafts, my curiosity about felting became even more aroused when I saw Kim’s felted animal photos, so, knowing what prompted my own curiosity, I asked Kim why she began to craft with felt. 

Kim responded, “I was inspired by other felting artists. I've painted realistic animals using oil paint, and I wondered if it was something that I could do. I began with a kit, and I searched the Internet for info on making more realistic animals. I picked it up quickly. The little white dog was the second item that I've made. The hound was the third. I plan on buying a variety of colors and books with good animal photos. I don't want to use needle felting examples. I want to add as many details as possible.”  

Like Kim, I will probably create my own little creatures and begin with a felting kit, too, so I can learn the process of felting. Wool Roving materials and needles come in kits, so they’re a great way to practice. But as of June, 2016, don’t expect to find them in Hobby Lobby, JoAnn, or Walmart. Apparently, though the process of felting is old, felting in the 2010s is fairly rare. You have to go online to buy roving wool, felting needles, and pads. After shopping at the stores just mentioned, all of which sell felting kits online, I finally found a brick-and-mortar store that sold the kits so I didn’t have to wait for my materials to be shipped to me – Michaels.

Materials needed for felting are roving wool, felting needles (specialty needles that are barbed so that by moving them up and down they can pull different layers of wool fibers together, making the roving wool more firm), a felting pad (to protect surfaces), and a pattern – or your imagination!

Learning how to felt is easy, but you have to be careful not to stab yourself, so this craft may not be suitable for young children. YouTube videos are a great way to learn how to felt. The following videos helped me.

Felting for Beginners - Very Easy Tutorial for First-Time Felters 

Needle Felting Basics for Beginners 

Another creative felting artist I found online is Kay Petal, who felts celebrities. Her work is so astounding, I’m sharing her website, Felt Alive, with you. One video featured on her page is Making Whoopi! A Needle Felted Doll that is so eerily close to the real Whoopi, you’ll be astounded by what felting can create. Her other dolls are equally amazing.

The Conan O’Brien Show featured 10 seconds of another video that appears on her page, Conan O’Brien/Donald Trump off-road adventure! Scroll down her page and you can watch the whole thing. It’s funny, but a little long.

I’ve already come up with an idea for my own felting projects and if they turn out as well as I hope they will, I’ll introduce my creations to you. Give me a couple of months, though. I’m in the process of packing and moving while still caring for grandkids, so I might not get to it until late summer.

Thank you, Kim Dalessandro, for allowing me to post your first few items on this blog. When you get your online store up and running, I’ll add a link to your items here on this blog!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My Favorite YouTube Crochet Instructors

As a visual learner, I find reading instructions sometimes impossible to follow. Either my mind wanders, I lose my place, or the instructions are so poorly written, no matter how hard I try, I cannot complete the pattern.

As you can imagine, uncomplicated crochet instructions (or instructions for other types of crafts) on YouTube are godsends for wandering minds to follow, because we can stop videos with each step. 

But why should I keep these YouTube subscriptions to myself when I can share my favorites with those of you who might experience distractions the same way I do? 

So here they are, my favorite YouTube crochet instructors, in no particular order:

Her shamrock and clover look similar to the ones I created in an earlier post here on All Craft Connection but I have admit – her instructions are a little easier to follow. Had she created her pattern before I created mine, I wouldn't have had to come up with my own pattern ;)

As always, thank you for visiting!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Baby Kicks

Have you ever had a problem following instructions? Instructions are so important that for many years I gave up trying to crochet booties for babies, because all of the instructions I read were so poorly written they didn't make sense. I was so frustrated by my numerous failed attempts, I wrote a blog about it –

Do You Find Following Craft Instructions Difficult?

But despite those failures, I didn't give up and I'm glad I didn't give up, because after reading numerous incorrect instructions, I've been able to figure out how to adjust those poorly written instructions just enough for the instructions to make sense to me and to help me make the following booties, mostly thanks to YouTube.

So for all of you who have given up trying to crochet because the instructions didn't make sense, keep trying. YouTube is a great resource for learning how to crochet projects you want to learn. Watching somebody create something you'd like to create helps, because you can stop the video, work the technique, and catch up. AND you can SEE what you're going.

Here are some baby booties I've made and embellished. A couple of them are gifts.