Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Crochet Uncut Fall/Winter 2013 Issue Released

I've spent the last week taking photos of the projects, finishing up the patterns and symbol charts, converting to PDFs, and adding project pages on Ravelry for the Fall/Winter 2013 issue of Crochet Uncut. The last two evenings after work have seen the most activity as I finished up but I think the effort was worth it and finally got it published a little while ago.

This issue includes five patterns, 10 book reviews, a yarn review of Blue Heron Yarns Rayon Metallic yarn (I adore this yarn!), and a review of Amazing fa-Brick Textile & Fabric Hardener. In addition, the Just-a-Bowl pattern includes a photo tutorial on using the Amazing fa-Brick product to turn the granny doily (or any other doily) into a bowl.

My favorite pattern, and one that took the majority of my time to make, is the Grandma Spiked My Ripple Blanket that takes a granny ripple blanket and adds a spike stitch to it. This makes a very dense pattern that is extremely warm because the usual spaces in a granny stitch are closed up with the spike stitch.


Grandma Spiked My Ripple Blanket

The remaining patterns are a striped beanie (I've already made a total of five of these), a headband crocheted around an elastic hairband, and a headband made to look like a bow.


Let There Be Stripes Beanie


Sunny Headband


Tied in Bows Headband


Just-a-Bowl

And here are the direct links to the patterns:


As usual, all patterns can be downloaded as PDFs and have links to their Ravelry pattern page. In addition, two of them contain symbol charts which can be downloaded separately. They've also been added (or soon will be) to the Pinterest board, Google+ group, and Facebook fan page.

Links to our Facebook fan page, Google+ page, Twitter, and Pinterest board can always be found on the left menu on Crochet Uncut.

Enjoy the patterns and reviews!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tangled Christmas 2013 Greeting Card

Recently, I did a Christmas tree tangle for a greeting card contest but I didn't win but I like it very much so I've added it to my Zazzle store as a greeting card. The inside of the card is blank so you can put whatever message you like there.


And here is the actual image scan for the tangle:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bookmark, Wedding, and Botanical Tangles

As usual, I've been quite remiss in updating this blog so I'll try to catch up. You can click on the images to see larger versions, especially for the last one.

I did several additional tangled bookmarks which you'll see below. Each one is 2"x6" and took up to 2 hours to complete. They don't have any shading on them as the bookmark pieces had a smooth finish that did not accept pencil shading very well. They can be used as bookmarks or mounted in a frame as art. Any of them are for sale for $10 each, which includes shipping and handling.

  

 
Materials: Sakure Micron Pens, pencil on purchased bookmark
Time Spent: 1-2 hours
Size: 2"x6"

I also asked some online friends for wedding photos that I could convert to doodles. I eventually want to sell these on etsy as special orders based on photos the customer sends me.

The doodle below is the first one I completed. The original photo showed the couple staring off to see on the deck of a cruise ship. I added the railing and tried to use patterns that imitated where it was, i.e., flowing ones for the dress, wavy ones for the water, etc. The photo didn't really show the bride's bouquet (only found the tip of one flower in the photo) so I added it based on a second photo the bride sent me.


Materials: Sakure Micron Pens, pencil on Bristol paper
Time Spent: 6 hours
Size: 5"x8"

The second one I did was of a bride and groom holding hands to show off their rings. I did have someone say that the feather at the far left made it look like the hand was missing fingers so I tried to darken the outlines around the hands. I used a new pen I'd just purchased and it bled so I may have ruined it. I haven't gotten up the courage to scan that version in yet so you'll just have to take this one.


Materials: Sakura Micron Pens, pencil on Bristol paper
Time Spent: 7 hours
Size: 8"x5"

The final tangle I'm going to show you is one I did was to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the American Botanical Council and their 100th issue (30th anniversary) of their print journal, HerbalGram. I actually work for a small advertising firm that handles the ad sales for ABC and my boss paid for the frame while I did the drawing and mounting. I went through back issues of HerbalGram and picked out different plants that had been featured over the years. On August 23rd, we went to the ABC office and presented it to Mark Blumenthal, the founder of ABC. They seemed really pleased with it and placed it on temporary display in the front office on a small easel until they could find a permanent display location on a wall.

Top row, left to right: Ginseng, Olives, Gingko, Garlic, Camu Camu
Center: Echinacea
Bottom row, left to right: Termitomyces robustus, Sage, St. John’s Wort, Aloe Vera, Prickly Pear

Materials: Sakura Micron pens, pencils on Bristol paper
Time Spent: 15 hours
Size: 9"x12"

Anyway, hope you enjoy seeing my work. I've not been able to do any lately as I've been busy with other things but hopefully I can do a few more soon.


Friday, September 06, 2013

Egg Cups with Heavy Cream and Shredded Cheese

I originally found this recipe on the Somersize boards at SuzanneSomers.com but the board is no longer used (although it is archived) and not the easiest to search through.

I believe this is a Level One recipe and it is so good you'll definitely want to make it as often as possible.

One thing I will say is that you probably shouldn't cook these in a toaster oven. The top browns too fast and the egg yolk doesn't have enough time to fully cook. I'm saying this because the photo below is of an egg cup that was cooked in a toaster oven (my sister's doing) and I ended up peeling off the browned part - although Basha, the resident husky, was ecstatic about them.

I actually like to make these the night before, sans the heavy cream, cover them and place in the fridge overnight. The next morning, I take them out, pour on the cream, and bake.

Egg Cups with Heavy Cream and Shredded Cheese - Pro/Fat, Level One




Ingredients (per cup):

1 egg
2 tbl grated cheese (approximate)
1-2 tbl heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Butter, enough to cover sides and bottom of ramkin
(optional) Few pieces of cooked chicken, turkey, ham, or sausage

You'll also need:

Small ramkin for each egg cup
Cookie sheet
Aluminum foil

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 300 degF.

Place aluminum foil on a baking sheet as it is very likely that the goodness will overflow.

Cover sides and bottom of a small ramkin with the butter.

Crack an egg into the ramkin, poke yolk with a fork and slightly swirl it. Don't mix it into the whites too much as you still want a definite cooked yolk for this.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

(Optional) Sprinkle a few pieces of your favorite meat on top of the egg making sure there will be enough to have a small piece in each bite.

Cover egg/meat with grated cheese almost to top of ramkin.

Slowly pour heavy cream over cheese until the nooks and crannies are filled. Don't let the cream go all the way to the top of the ramkin.

Place ramkin on tinfoil covered cookie sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes. If you only cook it for 15-20 minutes, they yolk may not be completely cooked through.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Ramkins and contents will be extremely hot.

Serve with your favorite breakfast or brunch sides.

P.S. One time when I couldn't locate my ramkins (we were in the process of moving), I used a small glass baking dish and about seven eggs to make a type of casserole.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

First Tangled Bookmark

I've been working on a special tangle that is 9"x12" but can't show it yet as I don't want anyone who might be associated with the group it is for to see it. I'll show it as soon as I can though.

In the meantime, I've been crocheting an African Flower elephant from a pattern by Heidi Bears on Ravelry. The Bubbo's Pants group is having a CAL for any of her animals (hippo, pony, giraffe, elephant, frog, or bear) and one of the ladies purchased the elephant pattern for me since I couldn't afford it. Not that the prices are high, they aren't, but with only a part time job right now, it just wasn't in my budget. So far, I've almost completed her bum. It's going slowly since I was jumping between her and the tangle all weekend. It will probably have to go on the back burner for a while as I really must get going on designs for the next issue of Crochet Uncut.

Last night, I decided to tangle a bookmark. I'd purchased a pack of them at Michaels for 99 cents and wanted to try them out. They aren't made for tangling and have a glossy finish so the ink dries much slower than on Bristol board - but I like how it came out. You can see it below. It is 2"x6", took just over 2 hours to complete, and, if you'd like to purchase it, is $10 which includes shipping and handling.


By the way, I just wanted to mention again that even though I'm calling these tangles, that is just so other people recognize what they are and can find them. I do not Zentangle®. I am not a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) nor do I ever plan to be. Zentangling incorporates specific methods of doodling and also incorporates some teachings that I cannot support. If I ever teach how to tangle, it will not be following their methods.

I just wanted to make that clear.

The Zentangle® Method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Tangled ShrinkyDink - First Try

I've working on the best technique and materials for making stitch markers with ShrinkyDink and tangles. I really need to get some alcohol-based pens as the microns smear too much although they do bake permanent. Since the ink wasn't permanent and smeared, I added the color on the back. After baking, I found that the bottom-or maybe it was the inside center-pushed out around the edges so I'll need to take that into consideration as I continue. Also, even though I used a normal hole punch size of 1/8", the hole was way too tiny after shrinking so I'll need to either use a bigger hole punch or use a drill to make the hole larger after shrinking.

Also, the instructions for ShrinkyDinks said to place the piece on a piece of brown paper bag, then after taking it out of the oven to press it with a pad or folded paper. When we did this, the brown paper bag got stuck onto the back of the piece and had to be softened with water and scraped off. I still haven't gotten all of it off though.

One thing that made it easier was that I purchased a Fiskars Round 'n Round X-Large Easy Squeeze Punch which punches out a 2" round circle which shrinks down to about the size of a nickle. It was about $18 at Michaels but I had a 40% off one item at original price coupon so the price was more in my price range.

Anyway, here's the finished test product that I placed on the scanner since my camera has gone awol. Pressing it with the pad also meant it lost any shine it may have had so maybe I'll have to add some protection to it to get it shiny again.


Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Tangle Pattern: Cactus

My sister Jessica uses my computer during the day while I'm at work since it is more powerful than her computer is. I usually have the cards that I make the tangle pattern thumbnails on lying on my desk so, one day she drew a pattern for me on one of them. She said it was based on a cactus but made using hearts and that she'd been drawing it for years. I finally figured out the steps tonight and put them together.

Oh, and here's the links to the pin for this on Pinterest and to the image on Flickr.

(Click on image for larger version)

Also, I've been pinning the tangle patterns I find on Pinterest but have been redrawing them so I have uniform thumbnails. You can find my Tangle Pattern board here.



Saturday, July 06, 2013

Two Dog Tangle

When I was packing to move from Utah to Texas, I'd placed some yarn and other items on my bed to get them out of the way. My dogs, Mr. Darcy and Linus, loved to play on my bed and as a result, I ended up with what I called "The Two Dog Tangle." I posted in a forum on Ravelry where they loved to untangle stuff and a lady in California offered to untangle my mess.

It started out as not being such a big thing after a few "Get off the bed!" hollers at them:


After a few more play sessions, it looked something like this after I was able to remove a few items but what remained filled almost half of a 13 gallon garbage bag. There were at least 5 projects in there, one that I removed the needles from as I couldn't remember what I was making. You can see two of them at the top of the photo, one at the far left, one at the bottom left, and the last one is somewhere in there. The motif one is the only one I needed saved. The ear buds for the iPod are also still in there (see lower right corner for small section of cord). Some of the yarn had fallen through the headboard (through different sections) and was tangled under the bed. One skein had been located by the Shih Tzu (Linus) under the bed and dragged out into the hall before I could catch him.


Items successfully removed from yarn barf: 1 C-Pap machine with tubing and cord, 2 iPod cords, 2 skeins of Hobby Lobby fuzzy yarn, 1 partial skein of Lion Brand Jiffy Yarn, 1 ball of metallic Feza, a small amount of pink yarn, 1 skein of misc. green yarn (possibly also Hobby Lobby, cotton), and some fabric scraps.


With packing and driving from Utah to Texas, I just couldn't handle untangling the rest myself so the untangling group on Ravelry was a life saver. Anyway, it's been far too long since I received the untangled yarn and I really needed to take the time to make something to send back to the lady who untangled it as a thank you. I'd already decided to send her one of my crocheted angel ornaments but since I'd recently started tangling in earnest, I thought it would be a good idea to make one for her. I also called it "Two Dog Tangle" after the reason it was made.


I want to add a few more items to the package before I send it but the angel and this tangle will be the main items in it.

Fortunately, most of my yarn is in storage so there's not much for my dogs to get into now, although they do find the odd skein lying around if I'm not careful.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Steampunk Tangles

I decided I needed to practice adding color to some tangles. I didn't do too well but it wasn't bad for a first attempt.

Here's the tangle before I added color to it:


And after adding color to it:


I'll just have to keep practicing.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tangled Initial "H"

Finished this one about 2am this morning. Once I got started I just couldn't stop until it was done. I added a crochet hook and ball of yarn to this one.


Size: 3.5"x3.5"
Time: 4 hours
Materials: Micron on Bristol

There are hundreds of patterns out there and the two main sites I found have links to many of them, but neither one of them are complete. Just wish I had the time to find them all and put together my own link pages.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Tangle Weaving

An online friend recently mentioned that her son was into Zentangles so I looked it up. Basically, it's structured doodling. Of course, I've been doodling most of my life and I have the meeting notes to prove it! So, I decided to just do my normal doodles, then add some of the tangle patterns I found just to finish it off. After four hours, this is the result:


Size: 5.5"x8.5"

The next night, I purchased some Bristol paper and cut them into 3.5"x3.5" cards and made my first initial, including a paint palette and brushes:


Size: 3.5"x3.5"
While looking up patterns, I also found some designated as "line weaving" which I prefer over ZenTangle since I don't really like to use defined spaces that often when I'm doodling. In a post on Facebook, I put it as Zentangle/Line Weaving so my mother suggested I call this "Tangle Weaving." I like the sound of that.

I'm currently trying to figure out some sort of organization method so that I have a snapshot of as many patterns as I can get hold of, without having to print them all out. I may have come up with something but not sure if it will work out yet.

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about this, you can do a search on "Zentangles" on Google and Pinterest to find tons of images and patterns. The term "Zentangle" is a registered trademark, but "tangle" and "line weaving" are not. You're also free to use "Tangle Weaving" if that's what you prefer to use, no restrictions.

Resources:

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Crochet Uncut Summer 2013 Issue Released

I admit, it took a long time to get this issue out. Not long after I released the last issue, I lost my job and moved from Utah back to Texas, Austin to be exact. I've spent most of the time looking for work, working contract jobs (some of which required anywhere from one to two hour commutes - one way), and trying to find the time to come up with designs, make them, and do reviews. I finally found some part time work, which still requires a one hour commute. Unfortunately, the job is not technical writing but it's a job, I enjoy it, and it pays the few bills I have left.

Anyway, the Summer issue is finally finished and released and includes reviews of some of Windy Valley Muskox yarns and some of the Crochet Dude's crochet supplies. You'll also find a tutorial on figuring out how to use the Crocodile Stitch to make an edging for a pillow. I had to figure out the edging for the ring bearer pillow for my nephew Cody's wedding.

Crocodile Stitch Pillow Edging
The patterns in this issue are a Windy Prairie Scarf made using one of the Windy Valley yarns and a Crocodile Stitch Kerchief. Both patterns are easily adapted to make them larger or smaller. The scarf can be worn in a variety of ways and I've included several photos to show them off.

Windy Prairie Scarf
Crocodile Kerchief
And here are the direct links to the patterns:


As usual, all patterns can be downloaded as PDFs and have links to their Ravelry pattern page. In addition, they all contain symbol charts which can be downloaded separately. They've also been added to the Pinterest board, Google+ group, and Facebook fan page.

Links to our Facebook fan page, Google+ page, Twitter, and Pinterest board can always be found on the left menu on Crochet Uncut.

Enjoy the patterns and reviews!