Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Always trust the pattern.....

My dear friend asked for a hat for her daughter (whose first birthday is in two days). She picked the colors and it promised to be adorable.
As I was working up the hat pattern, it looked a bit small, so I followed the instructions for the next size up... still looked small... one more increase couldn't hurt.... right?? Yeah. The hat now fits my 2 year old. While the hat is adorable (and I love how the yarn pooled on it), it will be much to big for little Clara.
I finished the hat for my daughter, Ava. She makes a good model! Now, I'm working on another for Clara repeating the mantra:
Always trust the pattern.... always trust the pattern.... always trust the pattern.... :o)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Kaylin's Christening Gown V.2.0

Today, my dear goddaughter, Kaylin was Christened. She wore the beautiful cashmere gown that I crocheted for her. She also rested with a blanket I made for her shower. I made the bonnet and booties (not pictured) and the dress was hand beaded at the waist, sleeves, and hem. This dress is a gem and an heirloom. The child, is a blessing and a gift of God.

May God bless you, Kaylin, and your entire family on your special day, today, and for your lifetime. I love you and know that you will be raised with the love of God in your heart.

Please enjoy the photos:

This last picture shows (from left to right) Me (Barb/Godmother), Janet (mother), Kaylin (baby), Kevin (daddy), and Johnny O. (godfather).

It was a beautiful day!

Friday, October 22, 2010

On a Personal Note...

I don't know why I feel a need to put this out there. Perhaps, I just need to put SOMETHING out there... for self preservation? I'd like to believe that I am a pretty optimistic person. I smile a lot, crack jokes, and am always willing to jump in and help when needed. So, I'm guessing that it would surprise you to hear that I am feeling pretty down today.

About a month ago, I got a cold. It became a sinus infection. Then Bronchitis. Then Asthmatic Bronchitis. Then Pneumonia. Needless to say, I messed my lungs up pretty bad. After a month of treatments, medications, steroids, inhalers, and dealing with the comments, both of concern and of insult... I've had enough.
I'm tired. My chest hurts. I can't breathe. The muscles surrounding my rib cage ache and are frequently strained. I'm on steroids, which make me hungry ALL THE TIME, and I'm gaining weight. My clothes don't fit. I can't sleep for long periods of time. My hands ache from the carpal tunnel. AND as I do all of this, I have just completed a graduate school class, am working full time, raising 2 small children, and TRYING to be a good wife, despite ruining our 8th anniversary by being ill.

As this has gone on, I have attempted to find peace with my fiber art. I have dyed yarn, knitted, crocheted, and designed. Today, however, I woke up defeated. My hands hurt too much to knit. I'm facing another day at work that I just don't feel like being a part of. My youngest child is sick. I can't even find the joy that usually comes from the playful attitude of the Halloween season. I haven't even decorated. I have fallen into a depression because I know that I still have 6-8 weeks left of recovery on my lungs. I'm tired of the pills, inhalers, doctor visits and treatments.

I'm asking for your prayers. I need to find my happy place soon, or face an even scarier fate in depression.

Thank you, and I appreciate all of the support I get from you all.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Kaylin's Christening Accessories

Above are the are the booties I made to go with Kaylin's Christening Gown. Below is the bonnet. Unfortunately, the gown will most likely be too small for her in December. So, my next project will be a new gown!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dyeing Yarn: Success and Failure

More adventures in dyeing yarn. I started with Orange and Black Cherry Kool-Aid and a skein of cotton yarn. FAIL! While the finished product looks kind of cool, I know that the dye will run out as soon as it is washed. The color was COMPLETELY saturated on the skein before I rinsed and hung to dry. THIS is the result. Fail.

I then use 100% wool in its natural state with orange and tropical punch. SUCCESS! I love the colors together and plan to make something for my wonderful daughter with it. Lesson learned. Stick with natural animal fibers when dyeing.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dyeing Yarn with Kool-Aid

I decided that I wanted to attempt dyeing yarn with Kool-Aid. I've read a few blogs about it and watched a few videos online... then I developed a plan.

I started with KnitPicks 100% Peruvian Highland Wool, fingering weight from the Palette collection in white. I chose this yarn because it was $2 for the ball and if I wouldn't feel like I wasted too much money if I had messed it up. I then purchased 8 packets of Kool-Aid powder at 10 for $1. So, the entire experiment cost me $2.80 plus tax. Not bad!

I hanked out the wool using my homemade niddy-noddy (see an earlier post) and soaked it in hot tap water. Then, I emptied 2 packets each of Tropical Punch, Grape, Ice Blue Raspberry, and Lemon-Lime Kool-Aid into 4 glass cups filled half way with hot water. I put those glasses into a pot filled half way with water and turned the heat to medium. This was to keep the water warm and promote saturation.

I put the yarn into the glasses (see below) and made sure to dip the overlap into the both colors to assure that there were no white spots. and to blend the colors to make a smooth transition.

After about 30 mins, all the color had disappeared from the glasses of water and soaked into the yarn. Very cool.

I then put the yarn into a warm bath to soak and relax for about five minutes or so.

I hung the yarn to dry on a clothes hanger, over a bucket (to catch the drips), overnight. This is what I found this morning....
The purple into the green looks a little muddy, but overall, a very successful adventure. It was SUPER fun, too! I can't wait to do it again. Hmmm... I have 2 more skeins of that wool... I'm off to the store to buy more Kool-Aid!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I finally washed the Cashmere

So... after all that panicking, I finally bit the bullet and washed the cashmere christening gown. Can YOU see a difference?



It's sooooo soft now. I'm really glad I did it. The blocking brought out the design and I am more proud of this than any other garment I have made. YAYYYYYY!!!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Christening Gown

It's DONE!! I loved working with the Colourmart Cashmere/Viscose blend. It was soft and yummy. The gown is BEAUTIFUL!!! What do you think?

I still need to wash and block it. Mental note: Next time I work with Colourmart yarns: Prewash and shrink the yarn before making an heirloom piece! LOL!! I'm a bit nervous about the washing, but I've been told by Colourmart devotees that if it is blocked, I shouldn't lose too much in the size. PRAY PEOPLE!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Kaylin's Christening Gown

The cashmere is PERFECT for this gown. I took this photo a few days ago, so it has gotten longer since then. The pattern is my own and I'm pretty much winging it as I go....

Stay tuned for more updates!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


This is me with my Goddaughter, Kaylin, born on Friday, August 13. I can now begin work on her Christening set! YAY! Isn't she beautiful?

On Friday, I made her a hat and on Saturday, I made a sweater in the car on our way to NY.

Erin in her DRESS!

As requested, here are pictures of my lovely little girl in her dress!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Erin's Dress

This is the dress that I designed for my dearest 3 year old daughter. She begged me for a dress and it HAD to be pink... so on Monday, August 9, 2010, I pulled out my pink cotton and a size k crochet hook and started to randomly crochet. This was the result and I LOVE it... I'm making another for Ava, my younger daughter! It's simple and sweet with a circle skirt that will make every aspiring ballerina proud. She loves it and wants to wear it EVERYWHERE. I'll take a picture of her in it tomorrow and post for you all.

This design IS going into the pattern book I hope to publish in the not so far future.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My Recycled Yarn

The adventure continues with Recycling Yarn. I ripped out a blanket made for my nephew that I never finished and reclaimed some camouflage yarn. I then used my niddy noddy (see earlier posts) to skein it out. I washed the yarn in lukewarm water and hung to dry using a hanger and a clothes line with a can of soup as a weight.

The first skein was hung after squeezing the water out by hand... It dripped for 2 days. The remaining skeins were placed in a spin cycle on my washer.

Here are my results! 2 lovely skeins of camouflage. Sure, it's acrylic cheapo yarn. Did you think my first attempt would be with good stuff? (See the cool wrapper on the yarn? Personalized. Yeah... I like that.)

Look at the colors! Now, if I could only figure out what to make with it.....

A trip to the thrift store brought me a very ugly redish pinkish sweater. The colors were so pretty I could see myself using them for something for my lovely little daughters. I ripped the sweater apart, washed and WOW! The water turned BLACK. The yarn turned out beautifully. I found that using the drier spin cycle cuts the dripping out and reduced dry time to about 24 hours. I got 6 skeins of the red/pink cotton.

Look at it up close... LOOK... LOOK!!! Pretty.... I enjoy petting this one.

Friday, August 6, 2010


mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.................. cashmere.............

On August 1, I ordered cashmere yarn, lace weight, from Colourmart. Today, August 6, it arrived... from the UK to Pennsylvania. Folks, that's great service. The yarn is delicious. It's soft, beautiful, and everything I had hoped it would be. I WILL order from them again and I encourage you to do the same.
Here you can see the two spools of yum...
The thickness ...

A knitted swatch with a double strand and size 6 needles...

A crocheted swatch with a double strand and D hook...

I had intended from the start to use a double strand because I want to give the Christening outfit a little more strength. I think this yarn will give the extra something I was looking for with the project.

Stay tuned for more on CASHMERE!

My First Niddy Noddy!

In my new hobby, recycling yarn, I found that I have a serious need for a niddy noddy. I read about them on the web, priced them out on websites, and found several blogs about making your own. Now.... Let me tell you that the notion of making one of these very handy devices out of PVC pipe intrigued me.

Since my wonderful husband works for a large name hardware store (use your imagination, you'll figure it out!) I figured I could just ask him to pick up the supplies on his way home from work.... a week ago.... So last night on my way home from work, I stopped and picked up the pieces I would need for the adventure.

Step one: Figure out how a 5 foot tall woman is going to reach the 1/2 inch PVC pipe that is located 8 feet off the ground at the home improvement store. I grabbed a short length of fat PVC pipe and began waving it over my head trying to knock down a piece of pipe. That's when a kind gentleman in an orange apron came and told me that I was going to hurt myself and possibly others that way. He got the pipe for me. =)

1/2 inch PVC pipe comes in 10 foot long pieces. Keep that in mind if you plan on doing this because it DOESN'T FIT IN YOUR CAR!!!! Ugh. I ended up bending the crap out of it, winding it around the passenger's seat, two children's car seats and eventually had about 2 feet hanging out a back window. Yeah... scared the crap out of me. There was so much tension on that piece of pipe that I was afraid it would sproing back and kill me as I drove home. It didn't.

I read a lot of different blogs about how to make the Niddy Noddy. One said to make the center pipe 15 inches and each arm 4.5 inches to produce a 2 yard hank. Ok... That's 33 inches. I have 10 FEET! I can make more than one! I also bought a coping saw to cut through the pipe.

ADVICE: If you are going to do this... Get a friend to help. Round pipe ROLLS all over the place when you try to cut it with a saw. You need 4 hands ... minimum. I did not have 4 hands. Just me. So... let's just say that I'm glad I have more pipe!

Ok. Pieces cut. Now, I used "T" joints to put it together. Taa daa! It isn't pretty, but it sure LOOKS like a niddy noddy!

I took some of my reclaimed cheap acrylic camouflage yarn and started to play with my new toy. I started with cheap yarn because I didn't want to screw up on the good stuff. Guess what!!!! The hank was exactly 2 yards around!!! Bless that blogger whose name I cannot remember!

I wound and washed two hanks of yarn and hung them to dry last night. I promise to post more pictures as they come. I feel so empowered that I'm actually contemplating dying yarn!! Ok.. we'll save that for another day!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Stash!

So.... A recent topic of discussion on Ravelry challenged us all to admit to our problem by posting a photo of our stash. Here is mine. I can stop any time I want. HONEST! I just don't want to!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Too Close to the Project

I have realized that I am too close to the project to have an objective opinion. Of course, I am speaking of the Christening outfit I am designing and, in theory, making. Here is a rough sketch.
I have created a design that I LOVE, but in it's simplistic elegance, is boring to make. I have barely worked on it because the use of a continuous single crochet stitch is boring. I love making lace and doilies because of the stitches and details and frills. Row after row after row of single crochet makes me INSANE!

To top it off, I still have not found more of the yarn I need. I think it's time to start again with a different yarn. I found a nice lace weight cashmere blend, but I'm wondering about the practicality with an infant. Drops has a baby alpaca that is nice, but again, I am concerned about spit ups and stains. The Bernat Cool Crochet is completely washable and makes a nice baby garment.

I need to step away from the project and look at it objectively. Maybe I should get someone on the outside in to help? If anyone is reading this blog, what is your opinion???

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Duty of a Godmother

On July 11, I threw a baby shower for my dear friend. Well, I tried to throw a shower. See, about a month after I decided I wanted to do it, her mother-in-law jumped in and changed EVERYTHING and increased the guest list. I was MORTIFIED! She pretty much took over. I was able to get my say on some things in the end and I'm so thankful for the help. When all was said and done we had a beautiful Jack-n-Jill baby shower that made both Mommy and Daddy cry.

After the party, my husband and I brought our kids by the house to visit with our friends. They pulled me aside and asked me to be the new baby's Godmother! YAY!!! Oh, and my husband was NOT going to be the Godfather... AWKWARD!!!! I cried, said yes, and began contemplating how I was going to break the news to my husband.

In the car on the way home I approached the subject. He responded, "It's about time they asked you!" Wait, what? It would seem that several months ago, our friends approached him to make sure he wouldn't be offended if they asked me and not him. The little stinker knew all along and never breathed a word about it!!

So... The DUTY of a Godmother....

I decided that since I love making Christening sets so much, I must make a one of a kind outfit for my new godchild. The only catch: We don't know the child's gender.

I designed a baby boy outfit and began to crochet in one of my favorite yarns: Bernat Cool Crochet in Crisp White. This is a discontinued yarn and I can't find any to purchase. I have 2 small skeins. YIKES. Here's hoping it will be enough!

Should the baby be a girl.... I'll start a new gown, which I am already designing in my mind. Why do I make so much work for myself???

If anyone knows where I can find some Bernat Cool Crochet in Crisp White... CONTACT ME!! PLEASE!!!

Fingers, don't fail me now!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Recycling Yarn

On one of my many random visits to, I stumbled upon a vendor selling "recycled yarn". The prices seemed incredibly low, so curiosity took over and I began a Google journey.

What is it? Basically, you take an old outdated knitted/crocheted item and break it back down into yarn. There's much more to it than this, but that's the basic idea.

After spending quite a bit of time reading up on the idea and suggestions, I decided to give it a go. I stopped at the local thrift store on my way home from work and searched through the sweater section -- not an easy feat in the middle of the summer, but there were no crowds in that area, which was good. Onlookers must have thought I was insane. I first looked for colors and textures that I liked, then I examined the seams inside the sweaters. Some sweaters that are commercially made have cut and surged edges and will not work for recycling. A lot of them, though, were fine! I selected a red and pink mixed cotton sweater and a very large pink plus sized cardigan (bigger sweater = more yarn). Total cost: $8.98

When I got home, I tended to the children and settled in with the red sweater. I ripped seams and tore out both sleeves. When I got to the front of the sweater, there were pockets to contend with. Here I had my first gross out moment. Pocket dirt. Not lint, DIRT. It was sick. It looked like a mass of thick white cobwebs and actual literal dirt. I brushed it off in the garbage and reminded myself that I will be washing this yarn and continued to rip.

I now have four small balls of yarn and the back of the sweater yet to rip out. Then I need to hank it, wash it, and move on to the pink sweater.

Warnings: I felt disgusting when I was done ripping for the evening. My hands felt grimy. You have no idea what thrift store finds have been laundered in, if anything at all. If you try this technique for reclaiming fibers at a low price, remember to launder them. EEEEWWWWW! Next time, I might even wash the sweater prior to ripping!

So... enough yarn to knit a sweater for about $4.50 each? Is it worth it? YES! There was a lot of yarn there. I haven't yet measured, so stay tuned, but it was a lot. If you have more time than I did, you can seek out more luxurious yarn blends. Look for cashmere or another fun blend. The sky is the limit and your pocketbook isn't busted!

I think I have a new hobby.... :o)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Welcome to my BLOG!

I decided that it was time to start a blog. Inspired by the movie Julie and Julia, I like the idea of committing to something for a period of time and sticking with it no matter how difficult it may seem. So... at risk of looking completely foolish and putting something out into the void that it is quite possible that no one will ever look at, I am going to throw it all out there!

Trikel's Trinkets is the name of the non-profit organization I have created but never officially filed anywhere. Perhaps someday I will officially own the name, but if you are trying to figure me out, I guess it would be best if we started with the basics.

TRIKEL -- That's me. I'm Trikel. I have been since college when I first found a need to develop a web handle. Why Trikel? It's really kind of silly. I was on one of those old chat boards where there were no images and people were playing some form of goofy role playing game. Everyone had funky sci-fi names and I felt a need to join in. I became Tri-Kel, as in three Kels. I was thinking Kelvin or something stupid like that. As time passed it evolved to Trikel, pronounced like trickle, and it stuck. You can call me Trik, but please do not call me Trixie!

TRINKETS -- That's easy enough, I'm a crafter. More specifically I knit and crochet, but I'm always willing to make something fun. In this blog you will learn about my creations. All items I make are either gifted or sold for charity. My charity of choice is The National MS Society, however, you will find me donating to organizations that provide empowerment to battered women as well.

Welcome aboard! I hope you enjoy the ride!