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Archive for February, 2011

Done.

Finished.

Here it is.

 
 

Last time I showed you these squares.

They were so much fun to make.

You can find the tutorial here.

 
 

After I finished the squares (and stared at them lovingly for about three hours) I went on and crocheted them together to make two panels.

One panel has more yellow in it, the other one has more green tones.

AND, I’ve found out that by crocheting things together I can make the seams look so much neater.

Love that.

 
 

The last thing I made was a long strip that I used to join the panels with.

And again, I connected the panels and the strip by crocheting them together.

That’s a good thing to do.

 
 

Oh!

There’s one more ‘last thing’.

The really last thing that I am considering to do with this bag is to line it with fabric.

And here’s where I’d like to ask you, dear skillful crafters out there: Have you ever done that?

(I mean lining a bag with fabric.)

And have you ever done that by hand?

(I mean lining a bag with fabric.)

What do you think?

Is that and easy job to do?

(I mean lining a bag with fabric.)

Sorry.

And thanks.

 

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Let me introduce my new addiction to you.

It’s crocheted granny squares, everybody.

 
 

This is what I am talking about.

If you come somewhere these days and find about 20 squares like these lying around you will know I must have been there.

 
 

What I like about them?

They are colorful.

They are cheerful.

And they can be easily transformed into awesome things like coasters, rugs, or purses.

And in my world those things rule.

 

So far I’ve made a few coasters and plan to make a purse.

Actually, the purse is half-finished and I can’t wait to show it to you.

 

But until then, here’s a little picture tutorial showing how to make a very simple granny square.

You’ll need 4 different colors of yarn and a hook.

 
 

1. With first color, CH 4 and join to first ch with a SL ST to form a ring.

 
 

2. CH 3 (counts as first double crochet now and throughout), 2 DC in ring, CH 1,*3 DC, CH 1 in ring three times. Join with a SL ST to the top of the first ch 3.

Finish off.

 

3. With a second color (I am using blue here) join yarn with a SL ST (or any way you prefer) to any ch 1 space.

 
 

4. CH 3, 2 DC in ring below, 1 TC, 3 DC, CH 1 in same space. *3 DC, 1 TC in ring below, 3 DC, CH 1* in each chain 1 space around. Join with a SL ST to top of first ch 3.

Finish off.

 
 

5. With third color (I am using red here) join yarn with a SL ST to any tc stitch. CH 3, 2 DC, CH 1, 3 DC, CH 1) in same stitch [this is starting the corner of your square]. *Skip next 3 dc, in ch 1 space 3 DC, CH 1. 3 DC, CH1, 3 DC in next tc. CH 1.*

Repeat  *…* two more times.

Skip next 3 dc, in ch 1 space 3 DC, CH 1. Join with a SL ST to top of first ch 3.

Finish off.

 
 

6. With the first color join with a SL ST to any corner ch 1 space. In same space CH 3, 2 DC, 1 TC, 3 DC, CH 1.

 
 

*Skip next 3 dc, in ch 1 space 3 DC, CH 1 two times. In corner ch 1 space 3 DC, 1 TC, 3 DC, CH 1. Repeat from * two more times. Skip next 3 dc and crochet 3 DC, CH 1 in two next chain 1 spaces. Join with a SL ST to the top of first ch 3.

Finish off.

 
 

7. With fourth yarn (I am using black here) join with a SL ST to corner tc stitch. In same stitch CH 3, 2 DC, CH 1, 3 DC, CH 1.

 
 

*Skip next 3 dc set, 3 DC, CH 1 in ch 1 space; repeat two more times. 3 DC, CH 1, 3 DC, CH 1 in corner tc stitch. Repeat from * two more times.

Skip next 3 dc set, 3 DC, CH 1 in ch 1 space; repeat two more times. Join with a SL ST to the top of first ch 3.

Finish off.

 

And that’s it.

 
 

Here I’ve made a square using a slightly different color scheme.

Though I haven’t strayed too far from the previous one.

 
 

I am sure that once you create your first granny square you won’t be able to stop. Just like me.

It is such a relaxing and satisfying activity.

 

Bye for now, dear friends.

Next up – Granny Square Purse.

 

Love,

Petra
 

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Caps.

Hand made caps.

My Mom’s made them.

This winter.

 
 

A purple cap.

Love the color.

Love the pom-pom.

 
 

They all have pom-poms.

 
 

I like the pattern.

And the colors, too.

 
 

This might be my most favorite one.

I love all shades of gray.

For some reason.

 
 

Cute, cute, cute.

 

See?

It’s totally in the genes.

With me it’s mostly slippers and purses that I feel this strange need to produce in dozens. My Mom, on the other hand, makes cap after cap after sweater after cap after sweater… after cap.

I love her.

 

Hey, guys! Do you also have an obsession that runs in your family and you love it?

I need to know…

 

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This picture has been sharpened.

 
 

This picture has not been sharpened.

 

Can you spot the difference?

You surely can.

Especially if you compare the bonbon in the front.

 

I love sharp, well-defined images.

I want all of my pictures to look that way.

But the fact is that the images that come straight out of my camera are usually rather far from being sharp. Partially it’s caused by my shaky hands. And additionally, cameras themselves usually don’t produce very sharp images… for some specific reason… that I once read somewhere… but have already forgotten.

 

Luckily, there’s good news. Photo editing software has been sent to this planet to save us.

Whoever or whatever has sent it, THANK YOU SO MUCH for that.

 

To edit my pictures, I love to use Photoshop Elements 8.

It’s simple and fun to use.

And this is what I do to make my pictures sharper:
 
 

1. I open the picture in Photoshop (File -> Open…).
 

2. Duplicate the background layer (‘Ctrl + J’ on PC or ‘Command J’ on Mac).

Make sure that the newly created layer stays highlighted.

 
 

3. In the upper bar, press Enhance -> Unsharp Mask.

 
 

4. A window will pop up.

We have three sliders here: Amount, Radius and Threshold.

Frankly, I was looking for a way to use these sliders for quite some time. Until, after about 6 months of using Photoshop, I’ve learned that:

 

Amount – shouldn’t be lower than 50. I like to start with 50 and increase it if necessary. But most of the times, 50 works just fine.

Radius – I almost always use 0.6 setting.

Threshold – I usually keep this one at 0. Only sometimes, when I think the picture looks a bit too harsh, I increase this setting to 1 or 2.

 

So, once again, I usually go by 50 – 0.6 – 0 formula.

My blog-sized pictures seem to be happy with it.

 

5. Once you are satisfied with the Amount-Radius-Threshold setting, press OK.

 
 

6. Then, have a look at the Layers Palette.

Here’s a little thing that you can use, but definitely don’t have to if you are perfectly okay with the way your picture looks like now.

 

In step 2 we duplicated the background layer and since then we’ve only worked with this duplicated layer. Which means that we’ve only made changes to the duplicated layer, leaving the background layer untouched. The good thing about working this way is that now you have a very precious chance to adjust the opacity of the changes that you’ve made. You have the whole scale of 0 – 100% here for you to play with. So if you think that your sharpening should be about 20% less strong, you can easily achieve that by using the opacity slider and setting it to 80%.

Awesome, isn’t it?

 

7. In the upper bar, press Layer -> Flatten Image.

 

8. And finally save the image (File -> Save as…).

 

Again:

Before.

 
 

And after.

 
 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial as much as I’ve enjoyed this bonbon.

Mmm.

It had milk filling, my favorite.

 

Love,

Petra

 

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Okay.

Some of us are happy in our relationships and surrounded by people we love and who love us back.

Some of us are not.

And that’s exactly where delicious food enters the game with its magical ability to make everyone happy.

Right?

So whether you stand left or right on this field, these yummy thingies can make your soul sing:

 

Scrambled Egg Muffins.

They are cute, quick to make and with the addition of cut out pepper hearts they make a great idea for a lazy brunch.

 
 

Molten Lava Cakes.

These make a clear statement.

I mean, this is very much what sin looks like.

A perfect, sweet sin.

 
 

Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits – heaven in a glass.

 
 

Or how about making this fluffy Roulade with Strawberries and Cream.

Because where there’s cream, good things are likely to happen.

And on top of that, this roulade is amazingly simple to prepare.

 
 

And this dish… this dish, my dear friends, is the direct way to a man’s heart.

It is Chicken with Heavenly Creamy Sauce.

Tested and proven.

Satisfaction guaranteed.

Pure love.

 

I wish you the most beautiful Valentine’s.

Love you, guys.

Petra

 

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Curly

I want to tell you something very important.

It just needs to be said right now.

 

The thing is, I really like curly male singers.

 

What?

It WAS important!

 

I love them because they are curly and that makes this world a better place.

 

Today I’d like to take my very imaginary hat off to all the talented curly male singers.

 

To lovely Michael Hutchence of INXS.

 
 

To sweet Ville Valo, the frontman of a Finnish group called HIM.

 
 

To legendary Jim Morrison, of course… and to many, many others out there.

 

You rock, guys!

Forever!

 

Love,

Petra (strongly affected by approaching Valentine’s Day, it seems)

 

(The pictures come from here, here, and here.)

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Hi, dear friends.

I wish you the most beautiful Monday and the most wonderful week.

 

Anyway, I just finished a new pair of slippers.

I like these. Probably because they are pink. And they have flowers. That all makes them girly. And I love girly.

Just wanted to let you know.

Because how could you possibly go on without information like this?

Right?

 

Also, I wanted to let you know, in case you haven’t seen it yet, that I’ve prepared a simple tutorial on how to make crocheted slippers like these. Just for you.

 

Love,

Petra

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