Monday, October 31, 2011

Remodeling My Craft Room

Finally, I am re-doing my craft room!  I've been needing to do it for quite some time. 

First things first:  Get everything out of the room.
  This took a LONG time.  About a week. 

  Some of the stuff went to the living room.

Living Room Getting Crowded

All that stuff was not craft related anyway, so it's gonna stay OUT of the craft room from now on.  (Well....except for the sewing machine.)

More of the stuff went to the hallway.  Now there is a tiny pathway there, where I have to sneak through sideways.  And the rest of the stuff went to the big bedroom across the hall from the craft room.

Now, I can REALLY see how much craft stuff I've accumulated!  Yikes!

After several days of moving stuff out, I still had a pile of yarn bags in there:

Craft Room Almost Empty

And on the other side of the room, I had bookcases, filled with craft magazines and books:

Craft Room Still Has Lots to Come Out

I let myself take a break occasionally, as I was emptying the room.  I would work for about an hour, then take a nap, or have a snack, or play a computer game.

After I finished taking those photos, I took a little break, then went back in there to get all the yarn bags off the floor.  I decided that I needed to replace the flooring, because it's just in such bad shape.

Another View of Damaged Flooring

I installed those tiles over 4 years ago, and they were the thin, cheap version at Lowe's. 

After some consideration, I chose some new tiles at Home Depot.  They are thicker, and look much nicer than the ones I installed last time.

But before I could install the tiles, I needed to repair the holes and tears in my existing floor.  So, I went to Ollie's discount store, and bought some cheap tiles to use for the repairs.  I used a hair dryer and my hands, to pull up the bad tiles, and replaced them with mismatched tiles.  No need to worry about how it looked, because I would soon be covering the whole floor with new tiles.

It only took about an hour to replace all those bad tiles.  Sure looks funny with those mismatched tiles, doesn't it?  And now, I had a smooth floor, to use as a base for my NEW tiles!
Damaged Tiles Replaced

Today, I finally installed the new tiles over half the floor in the craft room.  I love how it looks!

Tile Done in Half of Room

Tonight, while everyone else in the world is celebrating Halloween, I'll be installing the rest of the tiles.  Then, tomorrow, I'll be sawing, sanding, and painting toe molding to go around the edges of the floor.  Hopefully, I'll be setting up my new craft room in just a few days!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mill End Bags at AC Moore

As usual, I've been adding yarn to my craft room.  I just can't pass up a good deal on yarn.....especially since I knit so much.  AND, I have so many knitting and crochet friends that will help me use the yarn for charity. :)

Recently, I've fallen in love with the mill end bags at AC Moore.  I have gotten some INCREDIBLE deals on yarn that way.  Sometimes, I'm not exactly sure which yarn it is, or even the brand name.  But it's still good quality yarn.  Occasionally, I will come across a few bad spots, but that's to be expected with mill ends.  Most of it is in great shape, though. 

The great thing about mill-end bags is that they contain SIXTEEN OUNCES OF YARN! 
That's a full POUND of glorious yarn to work with - AWESOME!

So, now that you know about my mill-end yarn obsession, it's time for me to share some photos of the mill end bags I've bought so far.  I never pay full price for mill ends.  I always use a 40% or 50% off coupon.....which makes my deal even better!  AC Moore usually has great coupons on their website, and I think they accept competitor coupons as well.  You'll have to check with your local store to confirm that, though.

To get your AC Moore coupons, go to this website, and enter your zip code (or city and state):

Here are the mill end bags I've gotten at AC Moore, for less than $4 a bag!

Magenta Nylon, which I believe is Patons Allure

Unknown Magenta Nylon

A variegated acrylic yarn, that looks and feels like Bernat Mosaic, but it's in a colorway I've never seen before

Bernat Mosaic - Mill Ends Greys

Some very nice ruffle yarn - I mean, it's WEDDING QUALITY. Very good yarn. I truly believe that it's Trendsetter Cha Cha, but I could be wrong.

Mill Ends - Ruffle Yarn

Some colorful mohair yarn. I KNOW that it's mohair, because when I opened the bag, it smelled like fresh, clean goat! Ha!

Mill End Mohair

Another bag of acrylic yarn that feels like Bernat Mosaic - but no variegation. Very odd color, too. But, it would work well as a shawl, I bet.

Bernat Mosaic? - Mill Ends Bag

I have NO IDEA what this yarn is, but it's a lovely DK cotton blend, in a nice dark blue color.

Mill End - Blue DK blend

This is another pretty DK blend. This time, I'm sure it has acrylic...but not sure what else is in there. I really like the tweed look of this yarn. I wish I could find another bag of it, but that's the breaks!

Mill End DK Brown Multi

I really love this gorgeous purple boucle. Should make a very nice hat, scarf, and mitten set. Yum!

Mill End Purple Boucle

This past week, I found this very pretty baby pompadour yarn. At first, I thought it was Lion Baby Soft, but it's thinner than that yarn. Maybe it's Bernat Baby Sparkle? Whatever it is, it will work perfect for knitting a christening gown, or making baby burial outfits.

Mill End Pompadour

Check out this nice cotton! I'm positive that it's Bernat Cottontots. Looks very similar to Ecru, but it's a teeny shade darker. Will work great for washcloths. :)

Mill End Cottontots

Last but not least is this fun poodle-y pom pom yarn! This is just one skein I got out of the bag, so you can see how it looks. I have 4 skeins of it now!

Bernat Puff Ball?

Lots of fun yarn, isn't it? So, if you haven't looked at mill-end bags before, give it a try. They usually have lots of dishcloth cotton and crochet cotton, plus some standard worsted weight acrylic.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Knitting, Crochet, Fall Magazines, Friends

You know, if it wasn't for yarn, I don't know what I would do with my time.  I am just addicted to it!  Yarn for knitting, yarn for crochet, yarn for crewel embroidery, yarn for needlepoint.  In my little world, it's just all about YARN!! 

(Well, except for music - I do enjoy teaching piano lessons to my students, and playing organ and piano at church every Sunday.)

Recently, I went to Barnes and Noble to look at the Fall 2011 knitting magazines, to look for plus size patterns for my Plus Size Knitting Blog.  Look at all the issues I found!

Fall 2011 Knitting Magazines

It took over 4 hours to look through them all.  You can see the results of my labor on that blog.
Plus Size Knitting

As for YARN, I have made some very lucky purchases lately.  On eBay, I won an auction for a box full of vintage nylon sock yarn.  Just $4 (plus $4 shipping) for all of it!  To make things even better, when I received the package, the yarn was in a vintage Bear Brand yarn box!!!  LOVE IT!

Vintage Bear Brand Nylon Yarn Collection

A few days later, I was looking at Hobby Lobby's clearance shelf, and found some good acrylic yarn for my charity knitting.  Just over a dollar a skein for all of these.

Red Heart Super Saver - Melonberry

I Love This Yarn Sportweight - 305 Naturals Multi

Those will all make a nice addition to my huge yarn stash.  If I don't use them all, I'm sure I will find a knitting or crochet friend who will be happy to use them. :)

A few weeks ago, a member of my church asked me to do her a favor.  She said that she had an afghan that her grandmother crocheted for her - and it had been damaged when someone was cutting something with scissors, but didn't realize the afghan was caught in the scissors at the time.  I told her that I would try to fix it for her, and she could give me some yarn in exchange for my work.

Last Sunday, she brought the afghan to church, along with a few skeins of yarn for me.  I took it all home, put the yarn on my stash mountain, then pulled out the afghan to have a look at the damage.

Larger View of Damage

Yikes!  That damage is PRETTY BAD!! :(

I don't know if I'll be able to fix this or not.  I still consider myself a beginning crocheter, so this is a very big project for me.

One option would be to just sew across the damaged areas with strong thread, to keep it from unravelling, then doing some handwork with yarn across the cut, to try to make it look better.  The problem with that is I don't have any yarn that EXACTLY matches the afghan.

Step One:  Look for Matching Yarn
I looked in my huge stash, and found precisely ONE skein of yarn that was close.
Close to Matching

Not exactly the same, but not AWFUL.

Next, I went to Hobby Lobby, to see if they had anything that would match better. 
Nope.....not a thing.

I still need to go to AC Moore and Michaels, but I don't have high hopes.  I think I will have to live with my Bernat Super Value in Oatmeal.

My other choice would be to unravel the afghan to the section where it is damaged, and re-crochet the blanket from that point.  It would certainly look better than sewing by hand....and I wouldn't need to look for matching yarn either.  But, that would take a LONG TIME, and I don't know what the pattern is for the existing stitches.

Any experienced crocheters out there who can offer some advice on the pattern?

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I'm a forum moderator and blogger for Spinrite Yarns (, and I spend WAY too much time there. :D You can also find me on the Knitting Help Forum occasionally