Crocheting 101: Changing Yarn Colors in a Project

Nobody likes the detail work that finish a project. Stitching pieces together, hiding yarn ends, and blocking projects. They’re the equivalent of filing papers if you have an office job. A bit tedious.

But these are the finishing touches, the final bits that make the difference between a project that’s well done and one that looks amateurish.

There are two common ways of joining yarn and hiding ends when you’re changing colors. I’ve done both, but I definitely have a preference.

The first way is simply by fastening off the yarn of the first color, making a slip knot into the project with the second color and drawing up a loop through both the stitch of the first color and the loop on the hook. I’d wager that’s how most people do it. But it leaves untidy ends that must then be sewn in to the work.

The second way, my favourite, is to drop the old yarn, pull up a loop of the new color and work the row as usual, but for one exception. I snip the old yarn and work it in – along with the tail end of the new color, as I continue the row. I’m effectively sewing in the ends as I work.

It sounds simple, but it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out.


Ear Piercing – Yes or No?

Yes please.

This weekend the local Masterminds store is offering free piercing and free earrings for Our Generation dolls. I’m a big fan of free and have been thinking about getting Evelyn’s ears pierced anyway.

Alternatively, I’ve thought about piercing her ears myself. Directions and tutorials abound on the Internet. Here are a few video tutorials if you think you might want to attempt it yourself:

Off to Masterminds to get her ears pierced …

… and now back home with Evelyn’s ears pierced:

Ear Piercing1

And I have a new beauty salon and sewing room kit:

Ear Piercing 2

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THE SEWING ROOM. Can’t wait to set it up.



Tips and Tricks for Disney World’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Reservations

We’re planning a Disney cruise in December and thinking a stop at Bibbidi Boppidi Boutique the morning of the cruise might be the best way to board the ship in fine style.

A Little WDW Magic

Tips and Tricks for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Reservations

Bibbidi Bobbidi what? Disney World has 2 Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique locations: one in Downtown Disney and the most coveted reservation inside Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom. As all in park attractions and distractions, valid theme park admission is required.

So what is it? One word for it is AMAZING! Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (BBB) is a makeover for princes and princesses ages 3-12. There are varying packages and prices based on your budget, but the experience is excellent nonetheless. Your princess will be paired up with a fairy godmother to make her dreams come true!

Some tips and tricks to get you in the door, choosing the best reservation and preparing before arrival:

Making your reservation:

  • Booking begins 180 days prior to your arrival. If you are an advanced planner and have your Disney World resort reservation or package reservation made by that point, you have some advanced opportunity to book…

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Dinner & a Craft: Cranberry Backpack

This blogpost kicks off my “Dinner & a Craft” series, wherein I attempt to merge my love of food and crafts in some kind of integrated manner. 🙂

It’s Monday night and time to work on a new project to wow the visiting Littles on the weekend. I’m venturing away from crocheting today to attempt a project I’ve seen and loved from the blog of Doll Diaries. Lots of fabulous ideas here, but the one that caught me immediate attention was the backpack.

Duck Tape Backpack

First a bit about Duck Tape. It’s come a long ways since I was making my own pewter coloured wallets back in the day. I was able to find an impressive selection of patterned and coloured Duck Tape at the neighbourhood Walmart, but to have some idea of what’s available, check out the Duck Tape webpage here. There’s a whole line of Disney inspired Duck Tapes, not to mention Minions and Sponge Bob. Of course there’s Elsa and Anna Duck Tape.

Now a bit about Friday’s recipe. Friday nights are pretty casual at our house. It’s the end of the week, so time clear the fridge of leftovers by offering them as a dinner buffet. But I like to try out one new simple recipe to jazz things up a bit.

This week it’s cranberry turnovers, made from a recipe at the Food Network site. Looks delicious, yes? They were.

I’ll keep you posted!


Yarn Bombing: On Practicing Textile Graffiti

My childhood home town is – apparently – in the throes of a graffiti invasion. Yarn bombing.

I’d never thought of knitting as a form of radicalism before. Wait, that’s not true. I took my teenage daughter to a knit-in … probably 15 years ago. I can’t even remember what we were protesting, but our picture ended up on the front page of a local paper. Below the fold, but still.

Wikipedia defines yarn bombing as, “Yarn bombing, yarnbombing, yarn storming, guerrilla knitting, kniffiti, urban knitting or graffiti knitting is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk.”

English author and artist Lauren O’Farrell  (aka Deadly Knitshade) is credited for making yarn bombing popular. You can read more about Lauren and her Knit the City efforts to tell stitched stories with yarn here.  The site is tongue-in-cheek, its humor well worth the read.

If you’re the type to go overboard on a good idea – and I am – you can even delve into Extreme Yarn Bombing. I admit this one took my breath away. The steps of the townhall in Helsinki covered in granny squares?  Yes please.

A yarn bombing Facebook page boasts more than 21,000 Likes.  So, yeah. It’s a Thing. People are Doing It. Probably not me, though. I can’t help but look at all that gorgeous yarn, those beautiful colors and think about the projects I could make.

I guess I’m getting too old for activism. 😉



Making Cupcakes for Your 18 Inch Doll

The other day I came home from work to see my husband puttering in his workshop, making a giant wooden cupcake for our granddaughter’s birthday next week.

Our granddaughter has a bedtime ritual that we adore. When you tuck her in, she says, “Dream About Cupcakes!”. She’s been doing it for a couple of years and recently she upgraded it to, “Dream that you’re in Disney World and it’s your birthday and you’re eating your favorite cupcake”. I love that kid.

Watching my husband etching “I love you more than cupcakes” onto his giant cupcake gave me an idea. Why not make some (fake) cupcakes for her 18 inch doll?

Doncha love the Internet? Everything you want, whenever you want it.

Including cupcakes for dolls.

You’ve got three quick options below: make it yourself, buy a commercial set, or buy off an Etsy vendor.

Cupcakes make from the lids of toothpaste tubes (brilliant idea, I’ll have to remember to keep these lids). Also on this site you’ll find wedding cakes, milkshakes, donuts, and Oreo cookies.

I was quickly distracted by this tea set, including sweets, for 18 inch dolls. Why, oh why was I not born fabulously wealthy???

Dreamy Dolls Life on Etsy carries an amazing 47 piece dessert set that includes: 4 colorful cupcakes, 4 sprinkled donuts, 4 decorative petit fours, 1 chocolate bon bon, 1 cherry chocolate mousse, 1 chocolate mousse torte, a three tiered display rack, a serving tray, serving tool, bakery tongs, 4 plates, 4 forks, 4 spoons, 4 knives, 4 lace trimmed napkins, and 8 paper napkins.

Crafts: The Ultimate Spa Experience

So. Those adult coloring books. Who knew?

Crafters did. Always. There’s something about the creative expression of … creating. Whether it’s a colored picture or a handmade tutu for your daughter’s dance class or a crocheted pullover for your grandson. The process of doing something with your own hands and of seeing the finished product, is so emotionally and mentally satisfying. Like the endorphins after a good work out, something happens internally to make you just feel better.

My mother used to make (sew, knit, crochet) gifts for us and for her grandchildren. I kept the ones they especially liked and when my first granddaughter was born, I gave her the jacket my mother had knitted for her mother. When my son and his wife have their first child, I’ll give him the dinosaur pullover his grandmother knitted for him when he was five. These will be our family heirlooms, the riches we pass down, the gifts planned, crafted, and carried out with love and care.

So yeah, I prefer crocheting to housework. It relaxes me, it gives the recipients pleasure, and it makes me immortal. Cleaning the bathroom toilet is for mortals. 😉