Iowa State Fair

I love the Iowa State Fair. I go every year with my mom. One place we never pass up is Snakes Alive. I have a photo from every year since I was 5. It’s kind of fun to have a picture from every year, even if I do have a huge snake draped around my neck. 🙂 I always make room for at least one lemonade and a corn dog… then there’s the bucket of cookies from the amazing cookie place in the Varied Industries Building… the apple cookies…  the pork chop on a stick… pineapple ice cream… some cotton candy and a caramel apple for mom. Oh, and don’t forget all of the free samples from the Iowa Beef Council in the Agriculture Building! There are hard boiled eggs and usually there’s some kind of milk, too! As you can see, mom and I go to the fair mostly for the ridiculous food! Ha, not really, but it is super tasty! We also go to see some of the animals, do a little people watching, and of course check out all of the awesome photography, doll houses, and needlework!

So speaking of needlework… I entered five items into the Fabric and Threads category this year. I heard that even if you don’t get a ribbon you get a good critique from the judges on how to improve. Nice! Below you will find the items I entered. It was a lot of fun making them and I think I will benefit from the experience.

While you’re looking at the pictures below… think about this… do any of you go to the fair every year?  Have you ever entered an item for judging to your local fair? Just how far do some of you travel to get to the fair? It’s only about a 15 minute drive for me so I consider myself lucky. 🙂 Is there some other activity you do yearly with a parent/child?

^Going clockwise starting with the blue hat: Tidepool Brioche Hat, Spring Blooms Wrap; In Bloom Cloche; Owlie; Genevieve Cardigan (withdrew this entry); Frogger

^Tidepool Brioche Hat – This was a test knit for a woman by the name of Sharon Fuller. She is sharonf on Ravelry.com and I just love her design. Her pattern will soon be for sale via Ravelry.com.

^In Bloom Cloche – You may remember this cloche. It is a hat I designed not too long ago. Edit: My In Bloom Cloche received a 2nd place ribbon!

^Spring Blooms Wrap – This was a test crochet for a woman by the name of May Cheang. She is maycheang on Ravelry.com and her pattern is up for sale as well! Edit: My Spring Blooms Wrap received an honorable mention ribbon!

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For the Love of Crochet

Greetings, fellow bloggers and crafters!

I have some exciting news to announce, but first I have some crochet love and fun new creations to show you! I’ve been doing a lot of crochet projects lately!

Crochet Love

I have always greatly enjoyed crochet and want to show folks the range of projects that can be made. I love crochet because the basic stitches can easily be manipulated to create a variety of pieces. Crochet can make elegant, lace shawls and scarves, summery children’s hats, fashionable adult hats, toys, baby blankets, clothing, and most any other project. Another nice thing about crochet is it is slightly less time consuming than knitting. Here is a link to my crochet favorites on Ravelry. There are over 600 so browse as long as you would like!

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Recent Crochet Projects

Not too long ago I signed up for a test pattern called “Spring Blooms” by May Cheang. It is a beautiful floral scarf/wrap that is perfect for cool summer evenings. It looks lovely in solids, but I quite like mine which was done in the variegated Ella Rae Lace Merino (below). Who says crochet can’t be light, lacy, and elegant? 🙂

Spring Blooms

Spring Blooms by May Cheang

Spring Blooms

Spring Blooms by May Cheang

The hoodie below was created using Berocco Comfort in a bulky weight. I love bulky yarn because it makes for a fast project. I designed it as a cool day hoodie for a baby or child. I have a few revisions to make, but I would like to publish the pattern sometime this summer. (Perfect for fall, eh?) 😉

Bulky Babe Hoodie

Bulky Babe Hoodie by Tasha Wells

Another recent creation was also a test from the Free Pattern Testers board. This is a pattern by Ms. Ira Rott. She released the pattern earlier this year, but wanted some testers to make revisions and get some pictures up. Overall, the pattern is very clear and the end result is adorable. The hat can be made with or without the brim as well. Until I get a child to model my hats kitty here will have to do. 😉

Anyway, I love making crochet hats because they are so simple and fast. A baby hat can be made in as little as an hour with larger hats usually taking 2+ depending on the stitch pattern.

Crochet Cap with Brim

Crochet Cap with Brim by Ira Rott

Crochet Cap with Brim by Ira Rott

Crochet Cap with Brim by Ira Rott

This next pattern is an original. It is done by crocheting in the back loop only and then using the crab stitch as a border. I got the idea from the crochet hat above as it also has a crab stitch trim.

Crab Stitch Headband

Crab Stitch Headband by Tasha Wells

The purse below is another fun, summer creation. As you can probably tell by the colors, the last two projects were also made with the this yarn. This yarn is Cascade Sierra and it is 80% cotton and 20% wool. It’s incredibly soft, but it does get a bit splitty if you have to handle it too much. Overall, I enjoy it because the end product is so cushy and beautiful. The bag pattern can be found on Ravelry and the flower is an original made using the bouillon stitch.

Granny Stripe Boutique Bag

Granny Stripe Boutique Bag by Sara Freisberg

The hats below are some random baby hats I’ve been making up. They are done in Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton and require very little time.

Speaking of hats… here is another Spring Bloom Cloche. I made this one a little shorter as the ears don’t need to be completely covered in warm spring weather. I used Cascade 220 Superwash Paints and am very happy with the yarn. It is beautiful and soft…. almost as good as my Malabrigo Rios! 😉 This hat takes closer to 4 hours to complete because the stitch is more complex; however, I think it’s worth it in the end as the result is a beautiful flow of color!

Grape Bloom Cloche

Grape Bloom Cloche by Tasha Wells

And last, here is a simple sc baby blanket made by my ma. She used Baby Bee yarn with two strands held together. One strand is variegated and the other is solid… I really like the finished product!

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Exciting News

Now that you’ve seen some fun pieces perhaps you’re wondering why I’ve almost completely ditched knitting and only crocheted for the last month or so. Well, back in April I spoke to the folks at Knitted Together about the lack of crochet love in yarn shops. Even a look at the patterns on Ravelry show 58,053 crochet patterns to the whopping 166,039 patterns available to knitters.

Anyway, this conversation ended with me putting together a Beginning Crochet class for the shop. I am very excited to share my love for crochet with those who want to learn. If there is interest a Crochet for Knitters class and perhaps an Amigurumi class will be put together for this fall as well. If you would like more information on the intro class you will find it here on the Knitted Together class site.

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So what about all of you who read the blog… do you knit and crochet? What is your preference and why? If you don’t know how to crochet and have an interest – what are you most interested in learning? Go ahead, spill the beans!

Lady Sparrow Scarf and Hat

Back in February I was browsing the Free Pattern Testers group on Ravelry  and came across Nitza Coto’s Lady Sparrow Scarf.

Lady Sparrow Scarf

Nitza’s Lady Sparrow Scarf

It is beautiful, no? And my love for birds just spurred my need to volunteer as a tester. I found no errors in the pattern and quickly memorized the rows. I think I got it down to approximately 20 minutes per repeat which means this lovely scarf really didn’t take too long to complete.

 
I have worked on lace before, but I would say this is my first completed project involving lace. 🙂 I think this is important to note as one gets a beautiful end product with a fairly simple lace pattern. I would for sure recommend this as a first for those who want to try their hand at lace.
 
This scarf also involves the kitchener’s stitch which I had never done. This is a wonderful technique to add to your repertoire and Ms. Coto explains it very well in the pattern. She also has a video on her blog that shows the stitch in detail.
Anyway, the matching hat came out for testing a short while later and I volunteered for that as well.
Lady Sparrow Hat

Nitza’s Lady Sparrow Hat

 Unfortunately I had none of the dark blue yarn I used for the scarf left over to use on the hat so I now have a blue scarf and a purple hat. ‘Tis unfortunate… However, I have decided on a solution to this problem! I am going to make this set in a beautiful winter blue and enter it at the Iowa State Fair! Any ideas on what I should call the set? I am thinking winter sparrow scarf and hat or snow bird scarf and hat… Hmm…

I am very excited to start this project again and very much recommend the purchase of one or both of her patterns. The end result is just lovely. You may purchase both patterns on Ravelry by clicking here or on her blog by clicking here.

Oh, and below are my finished products from both tests!

Lady Sparrow Scarf and Hat

Tasha's Lady Sparrow Scarf and Hat

It’s Been Awhile…

Well, I started this blog back at the beginning of January and then I kind of fell off the planet when it comes to updating. 🙂 However, I do have an excuse…. Back at the beginning of February I had surgery and while recovering I have been doing nothing but knit and crochet! How is that for an excuse! 😉 As soon as it is sunny I will take pictures of my projects and perhaps put a few new items up for sale in the shop.

Speaking of the shop, K1 Sew Too is again open on Etsy so stop by for your Bearded Warmth pattern!

My most current project is a felted drawstring bag which I am making for one of the nurses at Methodist. I had trouble breathing a couple of times while in the hospital and the last spell ended in a panic attack. Anyway, my nurse that day was named Michelle. She was great. It turned out I was getting enough oxygen (so said the little machine), but it just felt hard to breathe and the like… She got the right medicine, held my hand on one side and Aaron was on my other side. It was very comforting to have them there. I mean, I know it’s her job, but she was very patient and kind. She was funny, too. Aaron liked her as well.

felted drawstring bag for my wonderful nurse at Methodist

My progress thus far...

She had pink shoes and a pink watch so I thought she would like a pink bag! I am also going to borrow my dear friend Carrie’s needle felter and felt a flower stem and darker pink flower onto the side of the bag. 🙂

My other current project has a deadline of Monday! Yikes! Why a deadline you ask? Well, there is a group on Ravelry.com where designers can have their patterns tested. This group has a set of rules for both the designer and the testers. The pattern I am testing is called Lady Sparrow Scarf and it is a great pattern. It is easy to memorize and the end result is great. I will post a link to her finished pattern once it is released. Below is my first half of the scarf and I plan to finish the rest right on time – Monday!

blue "Lady Sparrow" scarf for a ravelry test

Here is the first half of my scarf...

Well, that’s about all I have for now.  Do you have any gift projects or deadlines coming up?

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