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Blue Cat Needlework

Monday, May 30, 2011

Blue Cat Needlework

As you can see from the new banner at the top of my blog page, my Etsy store, Blue Cat Needlework, is now open for business.  The Shawl Pins may be of interest to you if you are making a shawl for yourself, or as a gift.  A shawl pin is a nice touch.  Since the pins I used have no coil, they will not snag the shawl.

I am also working on my first order of  six (6) small market bags crocheted using 100% cotton yarn.  I make them a little over-sized so when they shrink, they are still a useful size.  The pattern probably already takes shrinkage into account, but I would rather err on the side of caution.

I made a large version of the market bag - I made it exactly twice the size, but I can't sell it because I did something that makes the handle look like it is attached incorrectly, even though it is mathematically in the correct place.  I used it to carry laundry and a detergent bottle to the laundry-room where I live.  I fit enough clothes in the bag to fill a large capacity washer.  I placed the bag in with the first load, and even after it shrank, I could still carry a washer-load plus a large bottle of detergent.  All of my joins have held.  The handle is fairly wide, and with the inherent stretch, it was comfortable on my shoulder.

The pattern I am using for the market bags is available for free at Lily's Sugar'N Cream website.  This links directly to the pattern.

Happy crocheting!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Since this blog is also about tatting, I thought that I would include a book recommendation for anyone interested in learning the technique, or improving your current technique.

One big problem with tatting is, if you are tatting in the round, joining the last ring to the first picot leads to a twisted picot that doesn't lay right.  It is also a dead giveaway as to where you started/finished the round.  There is a way to correct this, other than simply not doing the final join.  The book I am linking to this post is my favorite technique book.  I got my first copy right after I learned to tat while I was living in Australia.  When I got home to the USA, my book was packed up in a box, so I bought the book again.  That's how good it is.

This book is worth every penny.  I have the page marked that shows how to join the final ring to the first picot, creating a seamless round with no twisted picots.  You also learn a nifty way to hide the ends without having to glue or sew them down to the outside of the work where they are visible.  I hope you will find this book as helpful as I have.

Happy crocheting and tatting!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Were you caught up in the Rapture?

Well, I didn't get raptured this evening, so I guess I'm stuck here on Earth for awhile longer.  Either that, or the guy who predicted it is a total quack. Since we are still here, I will be looking for some more interesting bits to pass along here on my blog.

Happy crocheting!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mystery Crochet-Along

I joined a crochet page on Facebook, and I just now found a post on my page.  This is for a Mystery Crochet-Along, the purpose of which is to make cat toys for your, or a friend's cat, or to donate to a shelter.  It is a great way to use up some scraps that are long enough that you just HATE to throw them away!

If my cat is any indication, it won't matter whether the yarn is acrylic or natural fibers.  So use what you have stashed away!

Happy crocheting!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Russian Join

I just tried my first Russian Join!  If you don't know how to do this, please click the link.  It will take you to another Blogspot blog with great pictures.  Thank you to Maria who posted this link on the Magic Ball discussion on Crochet Spot.

I am crocheting a Market Bag from 100% cotton worsted weight yarn.  The body of the bag is mesh.  Hiding the ends when joining the new ball is problematic in this situation, so I decided to try the Russian Join.
Russian Join

 Here is the chain loop containing the Russian Join:

 Here is the next round worked into the chain loop containing the Russian Join:

So, it isn't too obvious, and I won't have to weave in any ends.  I will post pix after I launder the bag, and will let you know how it holds up.  The cotton will shrink, so we'll see what happens.
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