19th Century Craft, Meet 21st Century Technology

January 31, 2009 in Tips and Techniques

Evernote on iPhoneI was a computer nerd long before I decided to take up crocheting so it was only natural to me to apply my geekery to my new found hobby.  I first started by saving all my patterns to Evernote.  It’s a freeware program that allows you to create virtual notebooks.  It has a really easy to use method of clipping web pages so when I find a pattern I like I just clip it in to Evernote and never have to worry about forgetting where I saw it or having the website disappear.

Evernote is superior to saving patterns as individual files because it allows you to search everything in your notebook (even text in images) as well as allowing you to add tags so you can find patterns easily.  For example, I tag all my hat patterns with “hat” but I also tag them with the type of hat like “cloche” so if I want to see all my hat patterns I click the “hat” tag or if I only want to see cloches I click “cloche”.  It makes organizing all my patterns and finding the perfect one for my next project so quick and easy.

Next I downloaded the Evernote app for my iPhone (they also have one for Windows Mobile).  Evernote has a unique feature that allows you to create folders on your PC that will sync to the internet so you can either view them through their web interface or through an internet capable cellphone.  If you’re using the free version there is a limit to how much data can be synced per month but so far I haven’t hit it.  Whenever I’m working on a pattern I move it to my folder of synced patterns and then it’s available on my iPhone wherever I am.  Now I don’t have to print out a pattern to make it portable.  Whether I’m just on the sofa at home or I’m in a coffee shop 30 miles from home I can access all my projects.

I can also use my iPhone to look up YouTube crochet videos, free patterns online, or read crocheting forums and articles.  I also use it to check out yarn reviews on Ravelry or do price comparisons while I’m out shopping.  In fact, I would have to say that my iPhone is my primary tool for feeding my crochet obsession.  I’m a modern girl so I believe that making it hand made doesn’t have to mean making it the hard way.

New Stitch Markers

January 21, 2009 in Tips and Techniques

stitch_markers

While reading Beth Doherty’s amigurumi book, I saw that she recommended the Clover locking stitch markers so I checked them out at my next craft store visit.  They looked really nice but were way too expensive.  Since I have multiple projects going on and also wanted to have plenty to use while designing patterns I decided to shop around on the internet.  I figured it would be really easy to find plastic safety pins that would work as well as the Clover stitch markers.  Boy was I wrong! It took me about three days of randomly searching on Google to finally come up with a site that sold plastic safety pins on this side of the Atlantic and in reasonably small quantities.  The biggest surprise was that this placed turned out to be California Bird Nerds, a website for bird toys.  I still can’t believe this is the only place outside of Asia that you can buy plastic safety pins but that didn’t stop me from immediately placing an order.

It cost me $8 including shipping to purchase 144 of them.  To put it in perspective this would buy approximately 20 of the 3/4″ clover stitch markers.  The plastic safety pins I purchased are 1″ long and come in 5 colors.  Unlike a metal safety pin they don’t have a coil at the hinged end so they hang safely out of the way.  Like the Clover stitch markers, they lock shut so there’s no chance of them falling out.  They even have a hole in the end that could be used to attach beads (if that’s your thing).  I’m guessing the Clover stitch markers are made of more resilient plastic but even after giving a few sets away to friends I still have over 100 of them so it won’t be a big loss if I break or lose a few.

iPhone Case

January 4, 2009 in Free Patterns

iphone_case

I got an iPhone for Christmas but it didn’t come with a case.  I broke my old cellphone when it slipped out of my jacket pocket while I was bent over to tie my shoe laces so I made this cozy to protect my new phone.  My boyfriend thinks there’s something ironic about protecting a piece of cutting edge technology with a very old crafting technique.  Maybe he’s right but I still think it’s cute.  This was really quick to make.  I’m not too crazy with the snap but it’s all I have on hand.  I might experiment with replacing it with a button/loop closure after my next craft store trip.

Tools and Materials

  • Small amounts of green, red, and yellow worsted weight yarn
  • Size F hook
  • Snap

Gauge

  • 4 dc = 1″
  • 2 rows = 1″

Case

  1. Chain 12
  2. dc in each chain across (12 sts) and chain 2.
  3. repeat step two until you have 24 rows.
  4. Fold nine rows up. There should be 18 rows for the case front/back and 6 rows for the flap
  5. SC crochet down the edge of the flap, and then through both layers once you reach the fold.
  6. Continue around the bottom of the case, putting 2 sc in each corner.
  7. Once you make it back up the other side of the flap, fasten off and weave in the end.
  8. Add a snap closure or a button and loop to your preference.

Strap

  1. Starting with a long tail, sc 38 (or more if you have a larger hand).
  2. Slip stitch in the first chain to form a loop. Fasten off and leave a long tail.
  3. Take the both tails and slip them through the first single crochet where the two sides of the case were joined.
  4. Holding the two ends together, knot them around the strap twice.  Weave the tails in to the case.

Decorate

Decorate the case with beads, thread, or appliques however you like.  I made the red and yellow flower using the Crochet Flower Tutorial from greetingarts.