Friday, July 31, 2009

Embroidery Envy

Oh oh oh... I definitely want to try this! I was browsing Anthropologie, as usual, and thinking about how off-the-wall their sweaters can frequently be. This, however, is sooo adorable. I really want to get some threads & needles and try this on a thrifted sweater. Fall project!

Off to the Beach!

Today I am on my way to the beach! I am going to have my blog auto-post while I am out so you have something to read. I have quite a few little crafty projects I have made for Iron Martin over the years, and I am going to blogging a bit about those. I have just now realized how many of them are ocean & beach-themed! Totally unintentional; I just love sea creatures! Here is a prime example:I made this kissy fish collage for Iron Martin when he had knee surgery. It is water color, stickers, and cut pieces of magazines/fabric/other cr*p on a piece of watercolor paper. Side note: I used the Picnik Polaroid affect here to make the picture look nicer.

I hope you enjoy my week at the beach! I know I will!!!! But for a different reason, I am sure.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Raffia Sunhat: Part FAIL!

Oh Raffia Crocheted Sunhat...I have been working on this baby for the past two days, totally hopeful that it will look cool AND be ready for my beach trip on Friday. Um, yeah. As you can clearly see, FITS LIKE A CHARM!Ha!!! So sleepy. It doesn't look half bad, but it definitely does not fit on my melon head! On the right below, you can see I am already starting on a bigger and better sunhat. Godspeed, Katiebeans.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

He Makes Me Laugh

The other day, Iron Martin picked up my Crochet! Magazine, and, pointing to the advertisement on the back, said, "Is this what you do when I am not here?"


I hope you think that is funny as I do! Haha, yes, I snuggle with my balls o yarn all the live long when he is not here.

Hope you all are having a lovely weekend! I had the best Saturday, and we are just getting warmed up! I want to posty post all about my flea market extravaganza, but I must remind myself this is a blog about crochet & crafting. :-) I am going to focus on my sunhat this upcoming week; I would love to have it for the beach!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Artsy Fartsy

I thought I might be able to give you Raffia Hat Part 2 tonight, but Iron Martin came back from his trip to Amish country bearing gifts! I feel like calling works of art "crafts" is a little derogatory, but blogging about artwork is still kinda close enough to craftings. Iron Martin's friend Justin painted him this skateboard years ago, and he finally was able to bring it up to the NYC. Perfect for our mantle! This painting is honestly HUGE. It is actually intended to be hung vertically, but it literally BARELY fit, wedged in the crown molding. Justin, forgive us for altering your work-o-art. I still think it looks pretty rad.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Raffia Sunhat: Part 1

Please enjoy the fruits of my labors from last night. Here is the beginning of my raffia sunhat.

Here is the outside of the top. Lookin' nice,eh? Here is the underneath part. Who knew raffia comes in individual strands?! Oh, I guess I shoulda paid attention to the brochure last night, the part where it said raffia was FRONDS of PALM. I mean, I had to tie fronds together every 8 stitches. What the frond is up with that?!

Yeaaah. The perfect hat. Thanks for showing us how to wear it, Iron Martin.
Looks like I have quite a bit of cleaning up to do on the stray strands of palm frond front. Yeah, that sentence was jumbling my brain even as I thought it and tried to type it. I am too sleepy to work on this tonight, but it's actually coming along much better than I expected! The fronds don't tear and tie really tightly. Plus they smell really, really good! Nothing like the beauteous aroma of Raffia palm frond, eh?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Best Raffia from Madagascar

...Or so says the brochure that came with my five "hanks" of raffia today in the mail. Upon opening the brochure, I am greeted by the article: "What is Raffia?" Geez, this company has thought of everything! Apparently raffia is fronds of the Raffia palm tree. Right on. I am not sure, but I think I actually got balls and not hanks. Whatever. "Excellent for retail crafters, decoration, floral arrangements, gift wrapping." Crocheted hats is not on that list, but tonight I will see what this raffia can do! Visit if you wanna see too!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Everything Old is New Again

I sure hope you love pictures of my crochet projects! I am so excited and proud of my latest design. I have a bag of clothes to take to Salvation Army sitting by my desk at work, and I just keep taking things out of it. (You might remember me doing so with this dress.)

So I was thinking about this old-old skirt I had from senior year of high school, and I thought I could wear it as a strapless dress. I grabbed 'er out of the bag! (Side note: the only thing left now is a striped button down and a couple of headbands.)
Better yet, I could crochet straps and accents. I included hand-crocheted buttons to clasp the straps like overalls. I am SO lucky and happy that the skirt already had mini, crochet-sized loops at the top of it. Perfect!I wore the dress with a red belt for date night! I am working on a crocheted belt, but I think this looks totally cute!
I really need a name for this dress! Iron Martin and I did a lot of brainstorming, but we didn't love any of the names we came up with. Any suggestions? Here is a sampling of our ideas: Better Off Red, Red Red Wine, Skirt Flirt, Red & Butter, Redhead, Ain't Skirt, Skirt the Issue, RE-Done.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summertime, and the Living is Easy

If you were wondering why I am not getting a lot of crochet projects done, here's what. I am soaking up the sun. François made it up to an estate in Greenwich, CT, for a poolside sesh.

In the interest of saving François's film, I took a couple cellphone shots.
Now I am just chilling with Mr. Kitten, watching movies, having beers & M&Ms, working on a crochet-accented dress. I gave Mr. K a box, and he has spent most of the night batting a styrofoam puff inside of it and curling up and grooming himself. Life is rough.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Polaroid Camera Day!

Today is the day! Mr. Polaroid has arrived. Enjoy the inaugural ceremony in photos!

The very first picture is of Mr. Kitten. Doesn't he look like a wee lil kitten cat in this photo and not the 2 year old doll that he is? This is me behind the wheel. Mr. Polaroid looks smashing on me. Usually anything that covers my face does.
What a great day for gifties in the mail! My new Crochet! Magazine and my new Polaroid. I think he needs a name. Let's go with François...oui, oui!
Needless to say I am most excited! I know this is mostly a crochet blog, but since it is summer, it is hard to find the time to work on my projects. I am hoping to work on some things tomorrow and this weekend!
Au revoir!!!!
Katiebeans et François

When Work & Crochet Collide

Today I discovered something amazing in my pursuit of crochet, and that is raffia. I had been looking for raffia to crochet a summer sun hat, but I did not know the name of it. I had been searching around for "craft straw" and "basket straw." Somehow I discovered its name today, and I started to get ready for crocheting a summer hat. I am armed with a sun hat pattern, and I have just ordered raffia from However, I am desperately trying to learn how to crochet with raffia (is it different from crochet with yarn? are there any special pointers?).

As you may or may not know, I work in online marketing. I know a lot about search engine marketing and search engine optimization. Like 74% of the country, I use Google for searching on the Internet. Today, however, Google was of no use to me in my pursuit to learn how to crochet with raffia. All results on the first page of Google were for Crochet Raffia products for sale. I finally thought, I will give Bing a shot. (For those of you who have not seen the multi-million dollar ad campaign, is MSN's revised search engine.) I have tested Bing before just for kicks, but I never seriously considered using it until today. My first search on Bing actually yielded impressive results! I searched "how to crochet raffia," and the first result was this book on While I don't know yet if the book (entitled How to Make Raffia Hats, Bags & Baskets) is crochet-specific, it did help give me the idea to look more on Amazon. Bing also gave me a result for how to crochet with wire that mentions raffia. Nothing ground-breaking, but still much better results than Google.

Unrelated update: my Polaroid camera arrived today!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Inspiration: Kansas Couture

I read a lot of fashion blogs, but sometimes they do get boring or annoying (even though I keep coming back!). One blog that I always love is Kansas Couture. Not only is her name Katy, and she lives in Kansas (fun fact: Katiebeans was born in Kansas); but she has lovely style and is a lovely girl. I asked her about sunglasses once and bought a swimsuit from her Etsy shop. She could not be sweeter (online anyways)!

Today, I have to blognob about her awesome and inspiring flower top:

Looks like crochet to me! This seems like a daring thing to crochet and to wear.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lalalalove For Zooey D.

Interview Magazine, March 2003
“I like to knit and crochet. You have to have something to take the edge off,
and as an actor there's either a lot of downtime or no downtime, and you have to
stay used to being busy.”
I am not an actor, but I always have to stay busy. I don't know what to do with myself if I have a day to relax. Yesterday I went to Central Park to nap, but spent most of the time crocheting!

Lalalalalaloooove Zooey Deschanel. She is gorgeous! We should get together and crochet, and maybe she will let me borrow some of her super rad, stylish clothes. If I couldn't be me, I would be her!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Inadvertent Cat Toy

As you may recall from this post, I had some bad luck with my first attempt at filet crochet, which was also my first attempt at crocheting with twine. Double whammy dumb idea.

I am working on a new project, and Mr. Kitten got a major paw grab of the skein of yarn I was using so I gave him the leftover piece o' crap failure project to play with. As you can see, I actually created an incredible cat toy. In the end, the twine filet crochet disaster was a cat toy success!

Hope to have a fabulous new dress to show you this week! Side note, I got my Polaroid film today in the mail. I guess it would help if my Polaroid camera would arrive too!


Friday, July 10, 2009

Test the Vest

I don't know that I am a vest kind of a girl, but I am definitely working on incorporating some crochet embellishements into regular tops. I am a horrid sewer, but I am testing out the waters. Check out some inspirational pieces I saw at

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Buy Crochet, Donate to Charity

A friend of mine (who has his own very rad blog), sent me a link to a cool article Krochet Kids Crochet Beanies. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Founded upon love, the Krochet Kids now have 10 Ugandan women in their
Krochet Program who not only learn how to knit, but receive a reliable salary
and are involved in a financial education program that teaches them the aspects
of small business management.

The quality beanies come in a variety of styles and colors, but all of
the wool and acrylic-blend hats bare the handwritten name of the women who
stitched it and a "Love Africa" tag. Recently the non-profit team added a
collection of tees and tank tops to their lineup, showing off the logo "I Africa
Krochet Kids."

Learn more about Krochet Kids here. Shop Krochet Kids here.

Side note: if the ladies are learning how to knit... why is it called "Krochet Kids?" I just went to the Krochet Kids site, and it says:
Those chosen for the program are trained in the skill of crochet and then
provided with materials to make quality crocheted products for a good
New side note: how is it so hard to confuse knit with crochet? Particularly if you are writing an article on it?!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

You're Just A Monkey in a Monkey Suit

A good friend of mine from college has just welcomed her first nephew into the world, and she requested that my blog make something for him. Yay!

I thought nothing could be cuter for a newbie than a monkey hat. There are plenty of those on the Internet if you do an image search, but I wanted to make up my own pattern. I decided to use the yarn and colors that I used for the owl hat I made for myself since I thought that came out perfect. I have only ever made one hat for a child, and that hat fit my newborn niece for about one day. Literally, I gave it to her a few weeks after her birth, and it barely fit. See pics here. In order to prevent that from happening again, I used this hat size chart to estimate the circumference of a hat for a baby age 6 - 12 months. Plus, by the time he is wearing it, it should be wintery out. I used one of the beanies I made for Iron Martin to figure out the ratio of circumference to length. It is hard to envision what the hat will look like on a baby so I just hope hope hope it looks good! Here is a pic of my stuffed monkey modelling the Monkey Hat.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Clutch Formerly Known as Dress

...And currently known as Trash.

I came up with what I thought was a stroke of pure genius: take a dress out of my Salvation Army bag, cut it into pieces, and crochet it into an amazing clutch, like the ones I have blogged about here and here.

Here is the story of this failed experiment in pictures..

I cut the dress up in a continuous ribbon; and when that was too thick, I cut the long ribbon down the center.

Mr. Kitten wanted in on the action.

First, I tried several times to crochet the clutch in rounds, like the purse I have mentioned here.

The rounds weren't working. The ribbons were fraying and tearing apart. I tried to crochet in rows, and it just looked terrible.

This did NOT work out like I had envisioned. I ended up finishing two very small sides of a rectangular clutch. I had run out of ribbon, and it was all fraying anyways. It really just looked like trash, and so that's where it is. It was a pretty enough dress, and I kind of wish it had ended up at Salvation Army. I guess you will never know how something will work until you try it out! Next time, I will try tshirt material or something.

Friday, July 3, 2009

DQM Dunks

I have many crochet things to tell you all about, but I don't have the time right now! I hope you like the pics of the new shoes Iron Martin just gave me! They are suede dunks made for Dave's Quality Meat, a skate shop downtown. I only know as much about shoes as I have learned from Iron Martin, so I can't tell you too much about these. Apparently they are pretty coveted, and they are definitely one of my favorite colors. The first thing I said was, "they match Mr. Kitten's eyes! And the bathroom!"

Apparently people like Jay-Z wear these, and I am goin "break necks." Siiiiick shoes. I put a heel insert in them so I hope they don't hurt my injured foot! Wearing them today!