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.)


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!

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!