Monthly Archives: August 2005

Wire necklace.

Apparently, thinner wire is not much less painful to work with. The silver wire in the photo is 28 gauge, the second-finest they had at the store. It was much easier to work with, though. If I had iron fingers, something like this would be excellent for a craft fair. The cost of the materials was approximately $4.50 (and keep in mind, everything is more expensive in Hawaii), but if you were a bit more talented at it than I, they could easily sell for $10 or $15, I’m thinking.

I do love the look of the necklace, though I don’t see myself crocheting very often with wire. I just can’t get a uniform look to the stitches, and if you think Fun Fur hates to frog, try frogging jewelry wire! BUT I adore the delicate look of the necklace. Perhaps at some point in the unknown future I will have opportunity to wear it. I haven’t been to a party in about 4 1/2 years. Oddly, that doesn’t really bother me.

This is my own pattern, by the way. Well, it wasn’t really made from a pattern.

My current project is a dress for my older daughter based off the dress in Cool Crochet. It should be ridiculously simple, as there’s not much need for shaping a dress for a 3.5 year old, when it’s intended to be a pretty close-fitting dress. I should have it finished in the next few days. I was originally going to make it fairly long, but a review of the dress in the book shows it’s only supposed to come just below the knee, so I’ll need to remeasure Smoochie & adjust the length accordingly. (Less from a desire to be accurate than to finish sooner.) I love shrinking down adult patterns, and the kid can always use another sundress. I’m having hormone-induced daydreams of crocheting something for everyone in the family & then having a family portrait made after the new one gets here. I expect that particular haze to clear up shortly after my milk comes in fully once again. 😉 I will at least be making Linda an outfit based on patterns in the same book; can’t make something for Bobbie without making something for Linda. I made Bobbie a big sister outfit last time, it’s only fair I do it for both girls this time.


A painful medium.

Wire hurts. Above is my first finished example of wire-and-bead crochet. I wanted to make the necklace from Cool Crochet, but I was afraid I didn’t have enough wire, so I decided to make a bracelet with what I did have. It turned out OK for a first attempt.

I’d like to see if I can find finer wire. I found it impossible to maintain a steady stitch size since I was having to fight the wire to get it to move through the chains. And my finger that I use to control tension just hurts now. But at least I’ve managed to demystify bead crochet. At least, for me. I’d like to see if I can’t get more consistent results with wire, though. I think I’m going to preemptively bandage my finger; maybe a little padding will help keep it from cutting into my skin so much. We’ll see.

Finished sweater set…

I finished up the dress last night & this morning. And I relearned that sleeves already sewn into the round are a pain in the rear to sew into place. But that’s the way the pattern said to do it. Note to self: should you ever again be insane enough to make that dress, make the bodice, then the sleeves, then the skirt, that way you don’t have to fight with round sleeves into an already-made bodice.

Again, I love the patterns in Candy Babies. I really do. I think they’re incredibly innovative. Hmm, I guess I should say I love the garments in the book. The patterns, not so much so. I appreciate the knitting-pattern-style writing, where it says stuff like “work even until piece measures 7 inches” rather than “Rows 3 – 27: repeat row 2.” But other facets, especially the joining of the various pieces, just don’t work out as well.

So, on to the pictures. First photo–the dress alone:
I had to make a few changes to the pattern. The back of the bodice is supposed to be just straight HDC, but even using the same size hook, it was huge compared to the front, so I did the entire bodice in the pattern stitch, which I think looks nicer anyway. I also did several rows of the pattern stitch (2 repeats of the whole kit n kaboodle) on the skirt, which gave it a pretty nice look, but I’m still not certain I’m totally satisfied. And I made the sleeves shorter than the pattern called for, as on the model they came down to her elbows, & I wanted a short-sleeved dress.

Here are the dress and sweater together:
Cute, huh? I made the body of the sweater a size larger than the dress, but made sure the sleeves were short enough for the six months size. The sweater needs to be able to fit over the dress for them to be a true set. The sweater is a bit longer than I’d like–stupid me didn’t adjust the length in the main part of that–but overall I think it’s a very nice look.

And I have absolutely no plan for it…Sigh.

Today’s noncrochet talk–Bobbie is has just about mastered the capital A and is moving on to the lowercase of the letter. I’ve got her the practice writing tablets like I remember writing on in school, but lines mean nothing to her, the dear. She writes as she lives–large & enthusiastic. There will be time for refinement later.

And the good news does not end there. Linda peed in the potty. IN the potty, rather than on the lid, or beside it, or in front of it. Which means she’s getting better at feeling the urge to go, and I’m getting better at recognizing her signs and prompting her to get on the potty. Nope, I don’t ascribe to the ‘later is better’ school of pottytraining, but that’s all I’ll say about that topic, since it is even more of a hot-button issue among mamas than abortion, it seems.

Gotta get something in here to fill the emptiness…

Still sniffling to myself over managing to erase this blog last night instead of another one. The problem is that this blog is titled BellaLinda Crochets, but I have another one titled just BellaLinda. I apparently forgot the little part about reading last night. Oh well, at least I got BellaLinda set up properly, so I shouldn’t have this problem again one hopes.

I do have a finished object photo for you:
This is from the book Candy Babies by Candi Jensen. This is the project which prompted my epic search for a 4mm hook. Not that the pattern calls for one, mind you, but the F hook (3.75mm) was too small for the gauge & the G hook (4.25mm) was way too big. So I actually willingly spent $8 for a crochet hook. Crystal brand hooks make a 4mm hook that they label F. Susan Bates makes a 4mm hook they label G. The Susan Bates hook was $2. I was twitching internally when I bought the more expensive hook, but the Crystal hook is a “comfort grip” (it is, by the way, singularly uncomfortable, though I’ve a sneaking suspicion the story would be different for a right-hander), and so immediately obvious as unusual. This saves me from grabbing a 4mm hook when I want a 4.25mm one instead.

The yarn used in the project is Red Heart BabySoft. I love, love, love this shade of green. I think it’s labelled lime green, but it’s more of a celery color to me. It’s not harsh like you tend to expect LIME green to be. It’s just…crisp. The trim is soft yellow. I am currently making the matching dress from the book in yellow trimmed with green. No plan for this outfit so far. I certainly don’t expect to need it, so perhaps it will wind up as a gift. I was going to debut both pieces together, but after my fiasco last night, I felt the need to get SOMETHING up here. And so, you get the sweater early. I have some pretty butterfly buttons I’ll be using (I forgot to put in the buttonholes, so they’ll only be for show; the actual closure will be snaps), but I need to make sure I have the correct color thread for the snaps too.

One thing about this pattern…This drives me crazy. The standard for crochet patterns is that, when your first row will be HDC, you have a foundation chain of one extra stitch, and then the first two chains that you skip count as the first HDC. For some reason, the back of the sweater has an extra two chains, but the front has the standard one extra. My memory isn’t too clear on the sleeves, but I think they go back to the two extra chains. The directions for sewing up the seams are also kind of screwy; for some reason the pattern stops in the middle of telling you how to sew it up to tell you how to trim the front. It’s insane, and confusing. I sewed the seams up in my own fashion, and I’m pretty sure my way was simpler than what was described in the book. The clothes in this book are really great, but I’m thinking whomever the editor was didn’t have a clue one about crocheting or pattern writing conventions. A lot of the patterns are only slightly less confusing than the ones you’ll find posted by amateurs online for free. I can’t help but think that I could do a better job of writing some of these patterns, and I’m far from a pro.

Oh well, at least I have achieved my long-held desire of a wrap-front garment. Yes, I am that pathetic.

On a side note, my crocheting will be slowed down somewhat, as I’m taking time now to teach my older daughter her alphabet. She’s only 3.5, but she tries to read almost as often as she tries to crochet, so I’m starting at the very bottom. I have a very nice workbook to help me teach her the alphabet, but I noticed today with some fear that it has an answer key in the back. Really, if I cannot tell that my child has correctly drawn a line from one capital A to the other one, I need to not be homeschooling!


I accidentally just deleted this entire blog. Crap. Well, I guess a fresh start isn’t all bad. But I lost almost 30 entries…Gah.