Monday, July 25, 2011

Finished Projects July 2011

The hook has been at work quite a bit lately so I need to stop and show you what I've been doing!

This is my first Winter Special Olympics scarf donation. I used half double crochet stitches and worked in the back stitch only at the color changes for a slight cable effect. The dimensions had to be 60" x 6" and I was happy with the way it turned out. The next one is going to be more of a sampler design or basket weave stitch - I can't decide. I'm using the foundation single crochet method for the first rows and it really makes a nice finished edge. Watch Alice Merlino, AKA Futuregirl show you how to do it!

I was also very flattered to receive a special request order from a reader in Australia for a cowl/scarf/hat pattern I showed on my blog last year. Christine of Golden Lily Crafts wrote: "Here in Australia it is blisteringly cold and as I walk my dogs daily this cowl would be perfect. I can start off with it wrapped around my head and as I warm up it can fold down to a scarf."

We exchanged emails sorting out color choices and shipping details and I was so happy to be able to ship it off! Word to the wise. When you buy postage online, double check the dimensions of the box you choose. I unknowingly chose a box that barely fit the cowl and hope it doesn't get too squished on it's journey across the pond. Thank you, Christine for being my first client! I hope the cowl gives you years of enjoyment!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hitchcock on the Hill

Forest Park is home to so many amazing museums and events all year round from Ice Skating at Steinberg Rink to star gazing at the Science Center, to watching the prairie dogs at St. Louis Zoo. Every Friday in July, the St. Louis Art Museum hosts Friday movies outdoors on a giant, inflated movie screen. We couldn't believe our good fortune to have 90 degree weather instead of 100 degree weather this night. Four days before, I attended my son's swim meet at at balmy 110 degrees at 7:00 pm.

The movie was Rear Window and I hadn't watched it since college. Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly. Swoon! I'm sure January Jones took a cue from Grace Kelly for her role on Mad Men. I found myself noticing the amazing clothes and the sets. There's nothing like a Hitchcock thriller, in my book. Perhaps we'll check on Vertigo and North by Northwest and Dial M for Murder on the old Netflix. Notice I didn't say Psycho. Shiver.

Are you a Hitchcock fan? What's your favorite Hitchcock film?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Field Trip to Upcycle Exchange Equals Stash SCORE!

My friend sent me a link to a new shop that opened in south St. Louis, the Upcycle Exchange. It employs a new business model - you name your price for upcycled craft supplies, yarn, fabric, notions, scrapbooking supplies, art supplies, crafty books, magazines and more. Items for sale have been donated at the shop or at one of many indie craft establishments in the area. You pick the items you want and enter the price you want to pay in the store's Square-based checkout system. And 10% of the proceeds benefit a different local charity each month.

Autumn Wiggins, a St. Louis indie craft rock star and founder of the Strange Folk Festival, opened the shop in 2009. The open structure pricing model has proven to be sustainable and Wiggins is meeting and exceeding her overhead costs. There are already plans to open Upcycle Exchanges in Detroit and other cities.

And can we just say, how much fun it is to shop here? Autumn has a real eye for merchandising and terrific storage ideas. She used ordinary storage bins and jars, then painted a patch of chalkboard paint on them for easy labeling. Everything is stored in Ikea units and the place has a cool combination vibe of modern and pressed-tin-ceiling vintage.

There is such a huge variety of materials I had to stop myself and focus on key items I needed. Since I love to dabble in so many different crafts, it would have been sooo easy to go overboard.

My stash from today's visit included:
  • 3 hanks of handspun alpaca/wool blend yarn
  • Buttons (for seat belt cozies)
  • Fresh water pearl beads
  • Cotton crochet thread
  • Buttons for softie cat eyes
  • Scrapbook paper in basic colors
  • Wine corks (for mulling spices gifts)

Now it's time to get busy and use some of this stash to start on Christmas goodies!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Crochet for the Winter Special Olympics

Special Olympians Wisconsin 2010, courtesy of

Have you heard about this project to crochet or knit scarves for Winter Special Olympians? The scarves are given to each of the athletes and there are over 30 states hosting events. Last year, over 26,000 scarves were donated.

2010 Special Olympics Scarf Project website

The scarves can be any pattern as long as the finished dimensions are 6 inches by 54-60 inches long. The image gallery offers lots of inspiration. I love this scarf created for the Northern California Special Olympics and the combination stitches and patterns.

Image courtesy of Scarf created by Esther Hsiao Tsai

We were shopping over the weekend and I found the Red Heart colors needed for the this year's scarves (red and navy)and started hooking! My plan is to get our local crochet group and church folks involved and see how many scarves we can get together for the Illinois athletes participating at the Galena, IL games.

Check out this page for the list of states and the deadlines.

I'll post progress photos soon!
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