I had such a good time at yarn crawl this year! Thanks so much to Tina (owner of Black Sheep at Orenco) for allowing me to set up a trunk show at her shop! I had a blast, sold my yarn and met lots of new knitters.  


After the Thursday / Friday trunk show, my mother-in-law, husband and I hit the other 14 shops that were part of this years Rose City Yarn Crawl. I wasn't planning on buying much (because let's face it- I have enough yarn to knit with for quite a while) but still got some goodies:


Overall it was a great weekend and I'm already looking forward to Yarn Crawl 2016. :)

Maddy's Minion Hat

Way back before Halloween my brother and sister-in-law asked if I could make a minion hat for my niece for Halloween. Of course I couldn't turn them down as she is so much fun to make stuff for. I found this Minion hat pattern on etsy that seemed to be just what I was looking for.I even happened to have all the needed yarn in my stash leftover from other projects. I don't crochet much anymore since I over did it one time a few years ago to the point where my wrist really started hurting. Now every time I crochet the pain comes back and I have to be very careful to keep my crochet sessions short. Anyway, the baby hat was easy to break into short sessions and I still was able to finish it in a weekend. 20131029-210027.jpg

Looks good, right? Well I always run stuff like this through the washing machine before giving it away if for no other reason then to make sure it will survive. I have never had an item (that is machine washable) not survive the wash session until this hat. I took it out and there was a gaping hole in the top. Since it was crocheted from the top down I didn't see any way to repair this without ripping out the whole hat. Luckily I was able to salvage the eyes and bow.


Attempt #2 turned out pretty well also.


But nothing can compare to how cute the little girl wearing it was! :)


Madelynne is here!

This month I became an aunt, and I am so excited! My niece Madelynne was born on August 5th and is the cutest little baby ever. 20130818-142809.jpg

I told my brother and sister-in-law that I was going to be the crazy aunt who always sends knit and crochet stuff. They seemed ok with this, so I thought I should get started early.

When I first found out that my SIL was pregnant I asked for requests and if it was going to be a girl she had a crochet flower pattern in mind. (The pattern can be found here:

I decided to go with yarn from knitpicks. Comfy (75% cotton, 25% acrylic) seemed to be a good choice as it is soft and machine washable. My SIL chose the colors to match bedding that they already had. She chose "Whisker," "Honeydew" and "Lilac Mist" for the flowers  and "Ivory" for the middle of each flower. I'm not sure if they ended up matching the existing bedding exactly, but it is really hard to match colors off a computer screen when you can't see the yarn in person.


Slowly the blanket grew from one flower into a blanket.





Hopefully little Maddy enjoys many years of snuggling with her flower blanket! (She has more knits on the way but her parents haven't seen them yet so I will wait until later to post them.)



My craft room is mostly set up and I love it! I got a desk from Ikea that fits in the corner. It's hard to see, but in the back corner of the desk I have my swift set up with the ball winder on the edge behind the chair. I am also able to keep my sewing machine out. It used to live on the top shelf of a closet which means I never used it. Maybe now that it's more accessible I will actually sew once in a while. 20130404-184047.jpg

Behind the desk is my bookshelf/yarn shelf. On top of this I have my drum carder, drop spindle and all of the knitting needles that I got from my grandma last time I visited.


The closet has the majority of my yarn. The black container to the left of the closet holds all of my spinning fiber.


It's great having so much room for all my crafting stuff. I could pretty much hang out in this room all the time. :)

Orcas are awesome!

Since I was about 7 years old I have been in love with orcas. It all started with a trip to Sea World. Growing up, I had many stuffed orcas, orca print pillows, even a border of orcas around my bedroom wall. So, I was pretty excited when my favorite designer of crocheted stuffed animals released an orca pattern yesterday. You can read all about the pattern on her website, Planet June. Just like her other patterns, you make pieces and sew them together. In this case there is the body, tail, dorsal fin and two fins.


The color changes really weren't too bad to crochet and the end product looks great.


Here's a shot of the color changes along the belly:


A long time ago I found an orca pattern that I crocheted, but I really didn't like how it turned out. (In fact it now belongs to Lily and she loves walking around the house with her orca in her mouth.) It was made in pieces also, but this one involved making the white areas separately and sewing them onto the body of the orca, I didn't like how this looked, and wasn't a big fan of the fin shaping. Here you can see the old one on the left and the new one on the right.


Again, old one on top, new on bottom. I love how nice and smooth the color changes look on the new orca.


Now Lily can have her crocheted orca and I can have my own. :) (Along with a few others.)


Mini Lily

I finally finished my crocheted version of Lily! This is yet another Planet June pattern. I just modified the color pattern to make it look like Lily. June's patterns are my absolute favorite crochet patterns. Her animals look so realistic and cute and the patterns are easy to follow. The face took the longest as it was the part that needed the most modification. She has much more white on her face than the corgi in the pattern.



I modified the back to add more white but didn't have to change the front legs at all. On the back legs I added one more row of black than what was there. The tail stayed the same as the pattern specified.




I also added 3 stitches of white along the back of her head.



Here is Lily posing with mini Lily.



From the back.



Now I think I will attach a hanger to mini Lily and hang her in our Christmas tree. I am very pleased with how mini Lily turned out!

Popeye Party

A little while ago I was asked to make 3 crocheted versions of Popeye. Popeye is a cat that I really like. While I have never actually met him, I have heard many stories about him and seen pictures of him. He looks like this:

He was pretty fun to make because while you can't see it here one of his legs has much more white than the others. This means that I could use this feature to make sure the crocheted cats are unique and specific to his markings.

The pattern that I used is here:

I decided to make all the pieces first and sew them together at the end.

The hardest part was trying to figure out a good way to make a white pattern going down his head and body.

After his head/body was done it was time to attach the legs, ears and tail!

Here's that white leg.

From behind.

Added a nose, eyes and whiskers. All done! A Popeye party!

Haven't Forgotten..

I thought I should post just so you don't think I have forgotten about my blog. Knitting is still happening around here, but extremely slowly. We have been unpacking boxes since we moved at the end of June but have only actually been in our apartment for barely a week if you add up the random days between trips. The good news is that the craft room is almost set up! Well, technically it's the craft room/office now. We moved from a 3-bedroom to a 2-bedroom so the craft room and office must be combined. Don't tell my husband but I have kind of taken over the room. We went to Costco the other day (yay! we now live in a place with a Costco!) and found an awesome yarn storage system which doubles as our TV stand. I spent today filling it up with yarn and realizing again that I have A LOT of yarn. (I'm so glad my husband encourages the fiber crafts even if the real reason is just to keep me out of his hair.)

Check it out:

Those boxes are bigger than you would think and most of them are full. They are sorted mostly by fiber type. Two "acrylic" boxes, a "cotton", a "wool", a "hand-spun", a "spinning fiber" and a miscellaneous "tools".  I let my husband use one of the slots for the internet hookup just because I need internet to use ravelry so it seemed fair.

This craft room has huge windows which is pretty awesome since my old one was pretty dark.

I'm sure I'll have more to show you soon since I will have lots of time to knit while job-hunting.

Christmas and a Birthday

It's been a while since I posted, but in that time my husband had a birthday. Not long after I started spinning, I got some merino roving that was super soft. After it was spun, Jason commented how it would make a nice hat. From then on, that's what it was destined to be. While looking for a hat pattern on ravelry to make for him, I found one that I thought just screamed "Jason". It is called "Hubby's Decoder Hat." The idea of this hat is that is has a secret message in binary. The knit stitches represent "1" and purl stitches represent "0." So, you decide on a message, figure out your sequence of 1s and 0s then cast on. Once the first row is knit, you just knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches all the way around. Unfortunately, I couldn't try it on his head since it was a surprise and it turns out he has a longer head than I thought. When he tried it on and folded up the brim it didn't quite cover his ears. So, I ended up ripping out the decrease section on top, adding some rows and closing it back up. In the end it looks like this:

I even made an extra challenge for him when I sewed in the end and forgot where the binary pattern started. Oops! In the end he figured out that the message spells out "I Love Jason." Happy Birthday!

Tree Skirt

Another project I have been working on is a Christmas tree skirt also known as the never-ending Christmas tree skirt. The pattern I found is here: Tree Skirt. I got some Red Heart Shimmer yarn and grabbed the crochet hook listed in the pattern. This was my first mistake. With both knitting and crocheting I have a tight tension and always need to go up at least 2 needle/hook sizes than what the pattern lists. But did I think of this at the time? No.

I crocheted and crocheted and all of a sudden I was almost done with the pattern but the skirt seemed really small. I had one row to go and the skirt was only something like 12.5 inches wide. I look back at the pattern and it says the finished length is 18.5 inches. Ok, fine. It went pretty fast so I ripped it out and started again with a K hook (2 sizes bigger) thinking that this would fix the problem. I get to the last row again and it's 14 inches. Ok, it's a pretty straight forward repeat, so I'll continue the pattern with one more repeat. Finally it was 18 inches wide.

It's kind of funny that it's called the 7-hour tree skirt and this turned out to take much more than that.

In the end though, I think it was worth it.

This one is for Jason. Go Pack Go!

Catching Up

Since I was sick last weekend and didn't leave the couch, it has been a while since I have made a post here. I have been knitting up a storm but unfortunately most of the things I have been making cannot be shown here. This is because they are Christmas presents and I don't want to ruin any suprises!

I did finish up the green and gold baby sets I have been working on. You have already seen the hats, but here they are with the booties and blankets:


I have also been spinning some very interesting yarn. It came with my fiber of the month club box. It is the brightest pink roving I have ever seen. I am spinning the single strand right now, then will turn it into 3-ply yarn. I have no idea what I want to make out of it, but whatever it is, it sure will stand out!


Charity Squares

Recently I had decided that I needed to start using up some of my yarn stash. I was thinking about making hats or scarves for charity, but something else just happened to fall into my lap. Last week I saw that my local yarn shop was collecting squares for KasCare. Basically, this charity collects 8 inch by 8 inch squares. Then they sew them together and give them to AIDS orphans. The yarn shop has put a twist on this idea and is doing a competition between the two local schools. They want the squares to be in either WSU colors (crimson and grey) or UI colors (silver, gold and black). Since I graduated from UI, but work at WSU and have yarn in the colors of both schools in my stash, I decided to make some squares for each school. WSU:


The shop is collecting squares up until October 15, so I plan on making as many as I can with the yarn leftovers that I have. This charity is always looking for squares and their goal for 2011 is 170,000 squares. So, if anyone else out there has extra yarn, you can always consider making some squares and sending them in!

Hats Galore

This weekend I have been working on lots of hats! I had a few requests from people and needed to get going on them. The first one is a much smaller version of a hat that I have made many times for lots of people. I didn't exactly know how I was going to modify the pattern to make it go from adult size to baby, but it turned out to have a simple solution. All I had to do was use a much smaller crochet hook and I didn't have to change the number of stitches at all. Here is the finished product on my little model:


And here are a few that show the pattern a little better:


I have also been waiting for some yarn to come in the mail to start on some sets for a pair of twin boys. Luckily, the box came yesterday so I could get started.

Eventually there will be hats, booties and blankets. They will all be in green and yellow, but the main color of each set will be different. Here's what I have so far:


I will post the matching booties and blankets as soon as they are done!

Crochet German Shepherd

Last Christmas I had an idea to start making the dogs and other animals from Planet June (my favorite crochet designer). I wanted to make them in a smaller size then loop a ribbon through the back and make it into a Christmas tree ornament. I thought of the idea too late though and only got a few made in time. I did end up selling a dachshund:

So, I had decided that I would make a bunch throughout the year and have a collection of them to put on my website this Christmas. So, how many do I have done? As of today I have 1! He is a German Shepherd. Although he already has a future home this Christmas I hope to make some more to actually put up on Etsy.

These patterns are super easy to make. It is all in single crochet and works up pretty fast. I started this guy last night and finished him up when I got home from work today. Here is the collection of parts: Head, nose, 2 ears, body, front legs, back legs and tail.

For me, the worst part is sewing all of these together. I started with the head. First it was stuffed, then the nose was stuffed and sewn on, followed by the ears being sewn on. Once these were attached the eyes were added.

Then came the rest of the body. And once everything was attached, a German Shepherd was born:

Hope you enjoy him. I have a lot of projects to get done, but hopefully I will have more puppies for you soon!

Cherry Berry Baby

This post is a little late since I have been trying to post on Sundays, but our internet was out all day yesterday. Therefore, this week gets to have a Monday post! I was recently asked by my mother-in-law (who is a great supporter of my shop - thanks Mary!) to make some baby outfits. I thought that I would find some patterns to knit (versus crochet, which is how I have been making all my baby sets). I found some patterns that I thought looked really cute together. They are all sized for a 6-12 month old, and made with acrylic yarn. While I have been learning about and using a variety of fibers, I like to stick with acrylics for baby patterns. The reason for this is simple - it is machine washable. I figure, babies are messy and their moms are probably not going to want to hand-wash their clothes. Here is the end product:

I started with the hat which was a really simple pattern on double-pointed needles. The yarn was Bernat Baby Jacquards in the Cherry Berry colorway. The yarn made a self-striping pattern that turned out really nice looking.

For the dress I used TLC Baby yarn in the Powder Pink colorway and a pattern called Baby Sweater Dress found on the Lion Brand Yarn website. For the bottom garter stitch rows and the two rows in the middle I used the same yarn that was used for the hat.

The booties are made out of the same yarn as the dress and are called Mary Jane Booties. I decided to omit the buttons on the sides to reduce the chance of the little one pulling them off and attempting to eat them.

I also started working on a matching blanket. It is a dark pink and I am using Lion Brand Pound of Love yarn in the bubblegum colorway. The plan was to knit a blanket but after many attempts at many patterns and much ripping out of yarn, I made the decision that it will be crocheted. All the knitting patterns were fairly difficult lace patterns. I would get to the end of a row and not have the right number of stitches on the needle. Then I would have no idea where I lost/added a stitch. Maybe someday I will attempt another lace knit blanket, but for now I'm sticking with the much more forgiving crochet pattern.

This pattern is very similar to the very first crochet pattern that my mom ever taught me, but with a different edging. I haven't made it very far yet, but here is a sneak peek:

Hello World!

Welcome to post #1 of the CrystalCrafts blog. This is a place where I can keep track of what I'm working on while sharing them with you at the same time. In fact, over the last few days I finished some projects that I want to show off. The first one is a knit tank top. The pattern comes from Lion Brand and it is called the All Season Shell (60433). I used 100% cotton yarn (Loops and Threads Brand Cotton Club in Wild Rose) in the hopes that it would be nice and cool for the summer. Turns out the yarn is thicker than I intended and it may not be as cool as I wanted, but we'll just have to see what happens. At the moment it has been washed and it drying in my craft room. I am very glad it turned out since the first attempt was kind of a failure. I finished it, went to try it on, and my head didn't fit through the head hole. Oh no! Anyway, I Un-did the shoulder seam, picked up the stitches, added a few rows and used kitchner stitch to seam it back together (which looks a lot smoother than when I had sewn it).  I tried it on again and voila! my head fits through the head hole. Yipee! I don't have a picture of me wearing it yet, but here it is drying:

The next project that I recently finished was a diamond pattern crochet hat. This hat is kind of special because it is the first item I made from fiber that I completely processed myself. A friend of mine gave me wool from her sheep. First step: skirting. I took the wool out of the bag, got rid of the dirtiest parts and saved the rest.

For this step I decided to take the wool out to the porch. I bought some cotton zip-up pillow cases to put the wool in for the next step: washing.

Then it was bath tub time. I turned up the water as hot as possible, filled up the tub, and the wool went swimming. The tricky part here is making sure that the wool is not agitated because heat+water+agitation=felting which means a huge blob of wool that cannot be spun. 

After combing out the wool with some dog undercoat rakes (which I will never have to do again since i got some awesome home made wool combs- thanks Dad!) I spun it on my amazing Kromski Sonata. I ended up with quite a bit of yarn. (576 yards if you want to know exactly how much.)

I took 1 hank, dyed it with blue raspberry kool aid and crocheted it into a hat:


Now I'm off to go work on a new project. Not sure what it will be yet, but I'll let you know when I figure it out!