Thursday, December 29, 2011

Replacing the Blades

I live in Vancouver, Washington just across the river from Portland, Oregon. I normally just say I'm from Portland because although people don't seem to confuse Portland, OR for Portland, Maine, they will assume I'm from Canada. Folks living in Vancouver, WA are blessed to live where the evergreen trees sink their roots into the soggy soils of the Pacific Northwest. The grass is almost always green. The Columbia River is full of rushing water. You see, it rains a lot.

Because we Vancouver-ites are well versed in rainy days, we are those who own several umbrellas, rain boots and buy Rain-X (although, we are also the most likely to be found in the rain without umbrellas because we learned long ago that unlike the Wicked Witch of the West we won't melt if caught in the rain).

This exposition brings me to my point: It was a rainy day in Vancouver yesterday. Not unlike other days, except that my wonderful husband and I were planning a drive to Portland and found ourselves in a car with horrible wiper blades. We stopped by Napa and picked up some replacement blades.

I was wary because I'd heard how difficult they can be to replace, but our need outweighed our lack of expertise and we bought them. Once the old blades were off and we were examining the directions to reattach the new blades, I saw something that boosted my confidence in this endeavor:

Oh, yeah, I got this one. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

W.I.P. (after Christmas version 1.0)

Christmas has come and gone. What a blur it was at times! I found myself fairly busy finishing up presents as well as keeping up with the Marcel requests through Etsy. You could hardly find me without a crochet hook in my hand! It was quite a learning experience and I do need time to process and reflect on how I dealt with the holiday rush. But when Christmas finally arrived, I was able to put away my crazy crochet filled head and enjoy celebrating Jesus' birthday with my friends and family. It was a wonderful 3 days of Christmas eve (also the day my first born celebrated his first double digit birthday), Christmas day, and Christmas day-off Monday ^-^ There was glorious food, way too many presents, and a viewing of The Christmas Story. Classic.

In the holiday rush, (and I kick myself as I realize this), I forgot to capture on digital camera my crocheted creations. I made 10 scarves (two of them from this cute v-stitch pattern), 2 cowls (based on this convertible cowl pattern I found), and an ipad cover in a glorious red with the red angry bird's face sewn on in felt pieces (based on this ipad cover pattern). I also made one Hobbes the tiger. He lives in our home, so his photos and story will go into its own post at a later date. In the midst of all this gifting I whipped up 6 Marcel the Shells as well!

But even with all I DID accomplish, I am still mid project for at least 4 things! So without further ado, here's my W.I.P Wednesday pictures! The project are all now patiently waiting for me in my large new tote I got for Christmas ^_^

A first attempt at a double yarn project!
Hoping the Oregon Duck's fan in our family will like it come his birthday ^_^

Isn't it just obnoxious when you run out of yarn?
And then don't you just *HATE* it when the store ran out of the color??!
This is a soft red yarn from Deborah Norville's Serenity line and is working
up great for this cowl, but I just one more skein!

I am nearly done with this open lace style scarf.
I based it on Mary Poppins' scarf, but in a peacock
blue instead of coral. It should be finished with fringe
if it ever gets done!
The awesome large tote that now holds my W.I.P.'s!
Thanks, Babe!

And last I want to leave you with one of my favorite gifts of the 2011 year: A bird feeder! Yes, this bird feeder is going to be put out this spring, but with a unique purpose: as bird nest fodder for all the young birdie families in our yard. I saw this adorable idea on pinterest from and got this cutest bird feeder to stuff my yarn scraps in. I just think it will be so much fun to have the birdies build their nests with soft, colorful threads! It's like yarn bombing in disguise!

My bird feeder full of yarn scraps to be put out on the first day of spring!

Happy New Year to all!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Karilandia: my etsy store is OPEN!!

Hello blog world. Have you all been as busy this season as I have? If so I hope it's the happiest type of busy ^_^

I can't believe I haven't officially announced the news: I have opened my etsy site!! I think because of my type A personality, I've been waiting to get my etsy button up and put some more items up at the store so it doesn't look so bare and so I kept putting it off. Well, I will just have to let go of that and for better or worse let the world know that you can check my store Karilandia from Kariland here.

In all honesty, I had created a few little things and had my drafts up on etsy for a long time but wavered on committing until I had some lovely people contact me about my Marcel the Shell plushie. I was flattered it was an item I could provide a unique take on, since as far as I know no Marcel plushies have been manufactured. So I've made four Marcels in the last 2 weeks and decided the most legit way for buyers to purchase my items is through etsy. All my Marcels have been purchased, but I'm sure I'll make more after Christmas and let them live in karilandia for a while. So that's the story of karilandia opening!

I will also admit that I was absolutely gleeful when I received my first happy feedback!  I love my little creations and hope everyone else will too! Currently these silly hats live in karilandia:
photo curtesy of Tim Denison Photography

photo curtesy of Tim Denison Photography

photo curtesy of Tim Denison Photography-
isn't he great?

They are mini hats from some of my favorite characters/movies/books attached to a clip for just a touch of silliness or a statement of your state of mind for the day. I invite you to visit kariland, look around and come back often. I will be able to add some more items in the next month o^o

As for now...Christmas presents await for the making. I have so much lovely yarn, I'm swimming in velvety reds, pine greens, chocolately browns, and loving it!

Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Your Favorite Team Colors Scarf: Crochet!

I love personal gifts. That's why homemade stuff is the best! I would much rather receive something my children made than a trinket from the store. Hoping that other folks feel the same, I definitely push homemade stuff on them - teehee! Even teachers. I figure one can only have so many apple shaped pencil sharpeners ^_^ So this year I thought I'd get the inside scoop on what my kids' teachers are into and see if we can't make them something unique this year. However, I had to stop and wonder what I could possibly make for my son's male teacher that he may actually use?

As I mentioned, I'm sort of into scarves this year, so I asked my son to figure out what his teacher's favorite sports team is. Well, he did his homework and reported back that the Bears where top on his teacher's list of favorite sports teams. The Chicago bears have great colors: Orange, White and a dusty Midnight Blue. Here's what I came up with:

Colors aren't showing true, but you get the idea!

I am a sucker for sacrificing yarn types for color. Now, this can turn out poorly if the weight is so dissimilar, but in this case, it was close enough! I grabbed a Sugar n' Cream in Indigo (100% cotton) because the color was spot on. I used Orange and White Red Heart Super Saver Yarn. Now, to be sure the stripes are a touch wider than the length of the blue, but honestly, I cannot find a good orange color in any other yarn type (let me know if you know of one!).

I used the hdc stitch throughout, which is my favorite stitch right now and edged the ends with the reverse single crochet or "crab stitch" (check out the tutorial here)
You can see the crab stitch better here
What I like about the crab stitch is that it is a decorative edging, but not a girly one. It sort of creates a corrugated tube when it is worked up. I rather like it!

So go forth and make scarves in whatever team colors you like! Personalize them with their favorite team colors, kids' school colors, or alma mater colors. Use the crab stitch edging and give them to the men in your life ^_^

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Cute V-Stitch Scarf

Last Christmas I received a lovely red crocheted scarf that went with practically everything. Thus, I wore it all the time and fell in love with it! The stitch was not a lace stitch, nor was it tightly crocheted, so I set out to figure out just what technique the yarn artist used. After a bit of research I found that it was a V-stitch. It's the perfect stitch for a scarf with some heft for warmth, but loose enough to be soft and wrapped snuggly around one's neck.

I knew I wanted to do scarves this year for Christmas so I came up with my own version using the V-stitch. It works up quickly, and I really think it turned out cute. So without further ado:

A Cute V-Stitch Scarf:

Hook G
WW yarn (I used Deborah Norville Everyday soft worsted in Chocolate Brown)

**Technique used for the V-stitch: (dc, ch 2, dc) all in one stitch**

Ch 24
R1) start 3rd stitch from hook 22 hdc, ch 2 & turn (22)
R2) 22 hdc, ch 2 & turn (22)
R3) 22 hdc, ch 3 & turn (22)
R4) sk 1 hdc, V-stitch, *sk 2 hdc, V-stitch* repeat 5 more times, sk 1 hdc, dc, ch 3 & turn (7 ch-2 spaces)
R5) V-stitch in ea ch-2 space across, then sk las dc, dc into top of turning ch, ch 3 & turn (7 ch-2 spaces)
R6) repeat R5
R7) repeat R5
R8) *hdc, hdc, hdc into ch-2 space* repeat 6 more times, hdc into top of turning ch, ch 2 & turn (22)
R9) 22 hdc, ch 2 & turn (22)
R10) 22 hdc, ch 3 & turn (22)

Repeat R4 - R10 until desired length of scarf is achieved.
I repeated the pattern a total of 12 times and end added the fringe to the bottom of both ends.
I used 3 lengths of yarn per ch-space for this scarf

How to add the fringe:
On both ends of scarf, attach yarn and do the following:
FRINGE BASE ROW: Ch 3, sk 1 hdc, sc, *ch 2, sk 1 hdc, sc* repeat across row (you should have 11 ch-2 spaces)
Cut equal lengths of yarn and follow this picture tutorial for adding the tassels or fringe through the ch-2 spaces you created.

I liked the look of the dividing up the v-stitch section with the hdc
Sort gives it a "patchwork" look ^_^

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Candy Corn Scarf: Crochet!

I love candy corns. While it is true that there have been years where I go a little candy corn crazy and get utterly sick of them, each fall I still look forward to the sweet treats (it normally takes a good long year for that particular craving to return - thus I shun all Valentine's or Easter candy corns ^_^) To borrow a Bugs Bunny quote: "Why do I like [candy corn] so much? They don't have much meat on them...but I love them! I LOVE 'EM I LOVE 'EM I LOVE 'EM! LUNCH TIME!!!!"

But more than their goodie value, I think they are just so darn CUTE!! I love the color combination. I love the rounded triangular shape. I love that they are tiny. If you hop onto my pinterest page here you will see that I have a board devoted entirely to the Candy Corn!

So of course I needed a crochet version! Inspired by Twinkie Chan's food scarves, I crafted this one up to share with you all:

The Candy Corn Scarf:

Hook G
WW white yarn
WW orange yarn
WW yellow yarn

These are worked in rows - be sure to ch 1 at the end of each row

Begin with WHITE: (leave a long tail)
Ch 3
R1) 3 sc (3)
R2) 2 sc in first st, sc, 2 sc in last st (5)
R3) sc, sc, 2 sc in next st, sc, sc (6)
R4) sc, 2 sc in next st, sc, sc, 2 sc in next st, sc (8)

Change over to ORANGE:
R5) 8 sc (8)
R6) 8 sc (8)
R7) 2 sc in first st, 6 sc, 2 sc in last st (10)
R8) 10 sc (10)
R9) 10 sc (10)
R10) 2 sc in first st, 8 sc, 2 sc in last st (12)

Change to YELLOW:
R11) 12 sc (12)
R12) 2 sc in first st, 10 sc, 2 sc in next st (14)
R13) 14 sc (14)
R14) 14 sc (14)
R15) sc2tog, 4 sc, sc2tog, 4 sc, sc2tog (11)

F.O. and weave in ends

I made 11 candy corns and fastened them together tip to bottom until you have a scarf.
Length can be adjusted by adding or subtracting corns.

The best thing about this scarf is it won't give you a stomach ache ^_^

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Pumpkin Bomb

I came down stairs this morning to see that my 7 year old daughter has, indeed, taken after her mother:

pumpkin yarn bomb

I'm so proud ^_^

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bulky Boucle Scarf

I love the yarn store. I am literally like a child in a candy shop. Well, I'm more like the child in a candy shop that looks over all the candy options, but only ever ends up buying the same ol' plain cookies and cream that she always does.  But you see, it is so fun to go and touch all the soft varieties of yarn and dreaming up things to make with the crazy variegated colors. However, after spending WAY TOO LONG on this, I do always end up heading back to that one familiar section that holds all the 100% cottons or acrylics for my plushies. Well, this summer I broke out of my "usual" purchase and actually purchased an über soft boucle with lovely teal and brown color changing threads. I had absolutely nothing in mind for it. I just bought it and stuffed it into my yarn stash at home.  It's been looking at me for several weeks now. I figured with Christmas coming up, a super soft scarf would come in handy. Plus, I was excited to see how the colors worked up.

Well, let me tell you something. Working with bulky boucle was a hard transition! My cottons and acrylics are normally so clean and easy to look at, but this boucle, PHEEEEEW! It was like crocheting blind! The foundation row was torture to add on to and even then, my hdc were blindly inserted hoping I was catching the stitch at the right point. I had to count EVERY SINGLE row because I never knew if I was missing a stitch or not. This was not your relaxing in front of a favorite movie while crocheting sort of project. There was too much for me to concentrate on.

In one regard, it is a rather forgiving yarn because I know I wasn't always even (sometimes redoing the row to try and space the stitches out and sometimes not) and it's really hard to tell the ones that seemed spot on vs. the ones I was just too tired to count for.

But now that I'm done, I can back away and be grateful that it turned out as well as it did. I finished it off with some "fringe,"tried it on and sure enough, it will be a great neck warmer for someone!

Look at that texture!!!
Next,I am trying a Paton's Lace yarn with sequins that jumped into my basket at the yarn shop. It, too, is super soft and the peacock color is gorgeous, but it is pretty fuzzy and thin (a sport weight). I'll definitely post pictures when I finish that one and let you all know what it's like working with a yarn infused with sequins!

~kari ^_^

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Show & Tell Bunting

Warning: Another non-crochet post ^_^

Early this summer our family set goals and made room most days to work towards accomplishing them. For the kids it was goals of reading enough to earn prizes through the library's summer reading program, and learning a new skill (magic tricks, how to ride a 2 wheel bike, bake a special cookie, etc) and we had our oldest set a goal to write, produce & shoot an original movie idea.  For the adults we worked on new piano songs, caught up on scrapbooking, and set photography goals. These goals, once met, deserved to be celebrated! For the past 2 years we've put together an official Show & Tell night for the grandparents. Having a caring audience who doesn't mind oooooh-ing and aaaah-ing over both small and big achievements is so great for the kids' confidence. It's also a wonderful chance to look back and realize just how much we DID accomplish.

This year's Show & Tell had to be a bit later in the year than normal for scheduling reasons. So, this last weekend we pulled out all our projects, dusted them off a bit and got to show them off! Feeling a bit artsy this year, I decided to make a bunting style banner for the occasion and just thought I'd share it with you all:

Using various scraps of paper I had accumulated in my years of scrapbooking, I was able to create this using my new favorite color combination: reds & aquas. I also had a fun teal & brown yarn that I used to string it up with. 

It definitely made it feel like a party! Well, that and Simon's awesome homemade pretzels - yummy!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Toy Hammock: Crochet!

My darling daughter loves all things snuggly. Unlike her mother who, as a child, had only a few very dear stuffed animals. Certainly not even close to the horde my little 7 year old has amassed. And it's so easy to indulge the dear when all she wants in the world is one more dragon, pony, bird, fishy, snake (yes, snakes)...

AND I like to crochet things for her...

So needless to say after seven years of collecting and being absolutely unable to give up any of those dear plushies to Goodwill, there is nary a place for her in bed for all the sleeping buddies she has.

Something needed to be done. Thankfully, I crochet. Thankfully,  I found this great pattern by Candance from Crafty Concoction. Because I used a very large, unmarked, plastic hook (I THINK it's a P) I had to make some adjustments. I needed to decrease 2 "squares" each row and then added my own edging with some yellow flowers so it looked a bit like a meadow for her plushies to live in :)

The Meadow: before inhabitants

The meadow: piled high with its denizens

So now there is at least a bit more room for the princess to lay her head at night :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

DON'T PANIC: crochet!

When we got an iPad with a cracked screen I quickly learned just how delicate this sleek technology was. It took nothing more than the accidental slip of the hand and the tablet computer is no longer the sleek or even functional tool you no doubt have learned you cannot live without.

Thankfully, our cracked screen was replaced and once again it was restored to it's original glory. But I wasn't about to let the fact that we'd need to wait a while for a "proper" Apple $75 cover to arrive let me worry about the mean time. I was going to MAKE something that would at least cushion a fall, if (*gasp*) one occurred, in that mean time. Using a simple single crochet and working in the round here's what I came up with (I didn't write down the exact pattern, but a "guideline" is below):

I found that using a G hook and some red heart yarn worked great.
Ch 22 and work back onto fc with sc for a total of 21 st.
Start the round by continuing to sc on side of fc
Add 2 sc into 1sc at each of the four corners
Do this for 2 rounds.
Then sc around until long enough to cover iPad

I found matching buttons and sewed them on.
To make the button hole: ch 2 and sk 2 sc
before continuing on with the round.

Sew on cut felt pieces with matching thread


If you know Douglas Adam's Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy you remember that the tool used to help the protagonist on his journey to find the answer to life the universe and everything is much like our modern day iPad. So of course I had to add this appropriate appliqué :P

After trying to explain to my kids the marvels of Adam's books and the funny green guy that is featured on the book covers, my darling daughter presented me with her own version, which I find quite dear, indeed:

She's awesome.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sweet Peas in a Pod: Crochet!

Two Sweet Peas in a Pod

These sweet peas were adapted from Ana Paula Rimoli's adorable 3 Peas in a Pod. I wanted to make something quite a bit smaller so instead of WW yarn I went with a lovely shade of green in a super soft crochet thread 10. Using a crochet hook size 5 (aka size teeny tiny) I made two peas and thought my hands were going to fall off. So I decided to make one a boy and one a girl and put them in their own little pod. They fit snuggly right inside and pop out easily.

The kids love to play with play food and there's just something special about food with eyes :) I have a special place in my crochet heart for these two...
She-Pea boldly leaves the safety of the pod
He-Pea ventures out as well...
Look at the flower in my "hair"!

Just a handful

(^_^    ^_^)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lunch Bags made from Capri-sun Pouches (not a crochet project - gasp!)

Our family made goals for the summer. We wanted to stay busy in productive, fun ways during the long summer days and I longed for fewer "I'm bored" comments from my three kids during these months! Not to mention the feeling of pride when we look back and see what we've accomplished! We adopted a loose schedule that we personalized and set up a specific time during the day to work on our "goals." The kids made lists of their goals including reading enough to get prizes for the library's reading program, making a movie, baking cookies, learn favorite songs on the piano, etc. I found myself making a list alongside them which included several crochet projects, updating the scrapbook, and having the kids drink capri suns at lunch. Here's why:

14 capri suns per bag x 3 bags = a full summer of drinking capri suns (roaring waters only have 30 calories, so that's mostly what I purchased, even though the "juicy" ones are more colorful)

I found the idea and pattern for these lunch bags here and thought they were pretty darn cute for a reduce/reuse/recycle project. Not to mention they actually needed new lunch bags for the school year. It's pretty great to get something useful for very little extra cost than the drink pouches (which we used for picnic lunches throughout the summer anyway).

Now that the project is complete (yay for reaching a goal!) I laugh to see that I have trained the kids to not throw away their little drink pouches when cleaning up their lunchtime mess...anyone need a pouch? :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lil' Apple Pot

It is mid-August, the time of year the mommies and daddies are thinking back-to-school thoughts while the kiddies are treasuring the precious few days they have left of summer vacation. I admit that the seeds of school-y thoughts have indeed drifted down and found purchase in my mind and I can practically smell the chalk and erasers from the classrooms of my youth (does the same nostalgia come from dry erase boards?). I can nearly feel the weight of a backpack full of books and my new supplies up on my shoulders and almost taste the crisp morning air as I wait for the big yellow school bus. As I these thoughts continue to grow roots I find my eyes are drawn towards all things with primary colors: folders in glossy red, rulers painted yellow, and notebooks in brilliant blue! What a great time of year!

It is in this vein that I post my adaptation of Ana Paula's Amigurumi Apple Pattern.
 I call it: Lil' Apple Pot...

A fun little pot for rainbows of coloring crayons! 

Also, a perfect home for our Lil' Garden Friend...

I think Lil' Caterpillar and Lil' Apple Pot might just sneak her way into a backpack 
on the first day of school ^_^