Archives for category: present

I’ve been a little sluggish with my crocheting lately (and my posts!). I needed to take some pics too, and of course “sunny” California decided to be grey and drizzly for the past few days. However – TA DA – I have a few new things to show you. One item isn’t totally new, but I’ve finally completed it and have the pattern available now in my store, which you can find here. This is the afghan I mentioned in an earlier post, and I’ve named it Aqua Dreams. The Caron Simply Soft yarn is so pretty and the sheen is really nice. I was very angry at myself for making my traditional mistake of crocheting the beginning rows loose and tightening my tension as I go along – yes, I did it again – but I was able to work it all out with the single crochet/crab stitch border, so everything is fine now. And I am very proud of myself for using up an additional 10+ skeins of my stash!

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I was so happy with the way the Caron yarn looked that I decided to make another item with it – a long cowl with a lacy edging that you can double loop for added warmth. That’s still on the blocking mat, so you’ll get to see it in my next post.  I’ve also finished my version of the Metro Kerchief by Yuliya Tkacheva. I didn’t design these two items, so they’ll be going in my store as ‘products for sale’, a new category I’ll be adding shortly. I’ve also designed a scarf/shawlette, I’m working on a summer cowl, and I’ve finished my mom’s Mother’s Day present, but I’ll have more on those later. By George, i think I’m out of my slump!

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Till next time, happy crocheting!

 

As we begin 2018, contemplating last year and full of hope and inspiration for the new year to come, I have come to a conclusion. I don’t like new year’s resolutions. If you noticed my past new year’s blogs, I don’t believe I’ve managed to keep any of them. The materials for the quilt I want to make are still hanging in the closet (so patiently) and the garland of mini Christmas balls awaits quietly in its box. Sigh.

Anyway, I’ve given up on resolutions, but I discovered a new concept – coming up with one word to focus your year around. I like this! So I have decided this year will be about ORGANIZATION. Last fall my husband put in a new floor/baseboard and painted the back bedroom for me so I could turn it into my craft room. It’s not really a studio because it still has a bedroom set and my air walker in it, but it now has great craft organizing potential. So my first priority is to really go through every yarn, ribbon, pin and whatnot I own so I don’t have to search for an hour to find them! (Somehow I don’t look at that type of searching as an “adventure” anymore; tiresome is more like it.) And, yes, this was on my to-do list from last year, but of course other things got in the way.

I also need to organize my time, my blogs, and my social sites to improve the little business I have (click here), and my intention is to try to list one pattern or product a month. I want to start using my yarn stash, and I’m currently working on an afghan from stashed yarn (see photo). It was going to be a housewarming gift for my son and his girlfriend, but then I was told they have plenty of blankets and throws, so I guess I’ll sell it in my store. I’m using Caron simply soft with an H hook and alternating front post dcs, which is really giving it a subtle but nice texture.

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Close up of afghan WIP

Recapping 2017, though, I did manage to cut out refined sugar/carbs, lower my salt intake, and lose about 7 lbs – not much, I know, but I’m afraid the Sugar Monster got me at Christmas and I regained a few. BUT, I just had my regular blood tests done and everything came back fine! I also decided to invest in an air walker, and I think this will help me while being very gentle on the joints. So this looks like a pretty good start to 2018!

Yes,  I know the title isn’t exactly that original, but I do want to wish all of you a wondrous new year full of all good things – health, fortune, beautiful yarn, and of course crochet! Arthur wishes you a happy new year also, but he enjoyed much merriment and is now in the process of sleeping it off – as I’m sure a certain portion of America is doing, too!

Since my mom reads my blog – Hi Mom! – I couldn’t post her Christmas present till now. When visiting last fall, I noticed that her lapghan had really seen better days and needed replacing. My mom has a TV room with olive-colored recliners and a neutral beige/brown couch, and since this room is where she usually uses the lapghan, I wanted to get colors that would coordinate. After returning, I found myself wandering in the yarn section of Walmart and I discovered Lion Brand’s Mandala there, and at a great price too! I chose “Chimera”, which is a beautiful blend of brown, teal, olive, yellow-olive, gold, orange, and fuschia. I used two skeins and mirror-imaged them. What I love the most about Mandala is that the colors are nicely hued – there, but not too bright – and it’s a DK weight, which is fast becoming my favorite. I do wish that it was a little softer, but I guess we can’t have everything. I wanted to make her lapghan out of a no-pill acrylic, but fell in love with the Mandala chimera colors – what can I say?

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The lapghan laid flat

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Close-up of the stitch

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An angled view

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People have asked me about this stitch and I will be making a video to post to YouTube on how to do this. I need to come up with a name (the ones I thought of had been taken) – I think I’ll call it the Diamond X Stitch. It’s reversible, a little stretchy, and a little squishy.  Oh, yes – Mom loved the lapghan and she especially liked that it was light-weight – go DK yarn!

As I mentioned in a previous post (here), I was very busy during and right after the visit with my Mom. My sister-in-law informed me that she had accidentally lost a cowl I had made for her a few years back and she wanted me to make her another (complete with taking me to a yarn store!). It was with a very heavy heart that I had to decline her generous offer, but I was in the process of crocheting a wrap for her daughter and wouldn’t have time to do both on my visit.

After I returned, however, was another matter. My S-I-L requested purple to go with her purple winter coat, and I recalled two purple and two blue skeins of acrylic chenille I bought from Herrschner’s a while back – I have decided to work down some of my stash, after all. So, voila, the Blueberry Hill Cowl was born! I realize that the chenille yarn I used has been long discontinued, but I believe any #4 weight yarn could be substituted.

I wanted to make the cowl thick enough so that it could work her warm in those cold Chicago winters, but I did discover that making a more solid fabric made it resistant to folding. So I kept a space between the “berries” and just hope they don’t let in too much cold air.

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The Blueberry Cowl

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Detail of the pattern

When my S-I-L received the cowl, she said it coordinated well with her coat and she was sure it would be nice and warm. Success! If you would like to get the free pattern, it is available in my store on Bonanza, here.

We love teddy bears. I don’t believe I have ever known someone who didn’t at least like teddies, and many people had one as a “best friend” as a child (me included!). Ever since the shopkeeper Morris Michtom and his wife Rose made a stuffed fabric bear in honor of America’s 26th commander-in-chief (Teddy Roosevelt) and displayed it with a sign, “Teddy’s bear,” in their store window, these bears have been a perennial favorite. So in honor of this beloved creature that has given us so much comfort, let the love begin!

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Have you ever seen such a sweet face?!!
Inspiration only at  https://jzamell.jimdo.com/teddy-s/

bear hats

What a delightful way to stay warm! Pattern for sale by Caroline Guzman at
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/teddy-bear-hat-10

fuzzy bear

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear…and the free pattern is by Irina Nikolajeva; http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/little-bear-4

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Aren’t these booties adorable? Free pattern from Helena Asmu Lim at http://www.clearlyhelena.com/teddy-bear-booties/

sleep tight blanket

What child wouldn’t go to sleep with these friends? By Christins from Sweet Potato 3 at
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sleep-tight-teddy-bear-blanket—lovey

panda bear

My childhood teddy was a panda bear! Designed by
Kristel Droog and pattern available at https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/461552466/crochet-pattern-my-little-panda-bear

Teddy granny square

What lucky mother wouldn’t want to receive this beauty for her newborn?Teddy
 Bear blanket by MingazovArt at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/teddy-bear-blanket-59

Teddy Lovie

Delightful lovey by Natalya Birina at TillySome – https://www.etsy.com/shop/TillySome?ref=l2-shopheader-name

winnie the pooh

Oh so cute Pooh Bear Diaper set by Olivia, free pattern at http://www.hopefulhoney.com/2015/11/winnie-pooh-inspired-hat-diaper-cover.html?spref=pi

teddy zombie

There’s even a Halloween Teddy – Frankie the Zombie Teddy by Krawka at
https://www.etsy.com/listing/472432946/crochet-pattern-frankie-the-zombie-teddy?ref=shop_home_active

I have to admit that there were so many teddies and teddy-related items that it was really difficult to decide what to include in this post. Trust me, this is only a fraction of what I found on Pinterest!

I certainly can’t speak for anyone else, but Father’s Day gifts were always a problem for me. My two siblings and I did the best we could, but I’m sure my father inwardly groaned at some of the presents we gave him! Anyway, I decided to check out what wonderful crochet gifts the creative people on Pinterest (and others around the net) might be suggesting for our hard-working dads.

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A sports-themed afghan could be perfect for many fathers! Manly Sports Lapghan by Crystal Porter from iyarny.wordpress.com; pattern found at https://www.allfreecrochetafghanpatterns.com/Lapghan-Patterns/Manly-Sports-Lapghan/ct/1
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And what better to go with sports but a beer bottle cozy? A free pattern from Evermine Occasions – https://www.evermine.com/blog/fathers-day-beer-and-crochet-cozy-pattern/
Loafers
So comfy Modern Men’s Loafers by Lisa van Klaveren. Pattern available at https://www.lovecrochet.com/us/modern-mens-loafers-crochet-pattern-by-lisa-van-klaveren
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For the periodic-table-inclined/”nerd” fathers, Megan of Left in Knots designed this clever “Dad, 24/7 365 days a year” tribute – http://www.leftinknots.com/home/2016/6/5/dad-247-365. This could also be cute done with crocheted versions of Scrabble letters.
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And let’s not forget the golfers out there! Beautiful club covers by Sarah of Repeat Crafter Me – http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2013/05/crochet-golf-club-cover-pattern.html?m=1
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Every coffee-lovin’ man deserves a great cozy, and Sharon of Table Top Jewels has a very nice variety available in her shop – https://www.etsy.com/listing/180433786/crochet-coffee-cozy-cup-sleeve-a-kelly?ref=shop_home_active_6 I could imagine other appliques to personalize the cozy even more (tool, fish, gardener, computer, etc).
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And now for the Star Wars fans (you know who you are!) – their very own adult sized Darth Vader crocheted mask! Pattern sold by My Little Chapina on Craftsy – https://www.craftsy.com/crocheting/patterns/darth-vader-crochet-hat-for-adults/275710
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Last but not least, for the dad who has everything, the Viking or Dwarven Beard by Melissa Campbell – free pattern with link to helmet at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/viking-or-dwarven-beard.
There was another crocheted item for dad that I decided not to list because I rather enjoy the “G” rating for my blog. Besides, that item would be much more appropriate for Mom to give Dad!

About a month ago I found a beautiful Ice yarn, Air Baby Alpaca. It’s a mix of alpaca, extrafine merino wool, viscose, and polyamide, and it’s so soft. It has been made into a chain, and since I’ve enjoyed working with other chained yarns, I decided to try it. Plus it came in a very pretty shell pink (pink with an undertone of peach) that would look really good on my mom.

I wanted to make a shawlette for my mom – just a little something to go over her shoulders without being cumbersome or heavy. I found the Dawn in the Woods Shawl by Elaine Phillips (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/dawn-in-the-woods-shawl) which was perfect because the length.can be adjusted. I was set!

While I was working on the last third of the shawlette I realized that it wasn’t going to be symmetrical. This bothered my sense of design balance (possibly a little OCD?) but my real problem was that when I tried it on it really looked “old lady-ish”. My mom’s style is more like Olivia’s in ‘Scandal’, not the Victorian lacy look, so I came to the realization this would be all wrong for her. I have come up with a Plan B, but this will have to be for her birthday because I ran out of time for Mother’s Day! Amazingly (or maybe not), the shawl ended up looking MUCH better on the dress form –

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So instead of this shawlette, I decided to fall back on an old standby – pigs. My mom has a wonderful collection, mostly figurines, and told the family years ago to not give her any more pigs. I have chosen to completely ignore this directive. Hence, behold the sweet little piggy bookmark (pattern from Ashlea Konecny at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pig-bookmark) –

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I also found a very unique present at Faerie Magazine that I thought my mom would like – Flying Prayer/Wish Paper (https://www.faeriemag.com/products/flying-wish-paper-mini-wishing-kit-dandelion-prayer). You write your prayer/wish on the paper, roll it up, put it on the platform card, and light it on fire. At the last moment “your wish magically lifts off the platform and rises to the heavens!”. How cool is that!

Flying Prayer Paper

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom – And to all of those wonderful mothers out there! We so deserve it!

As I’m sure with many of you, I’ve had Mother’s Day on my mind. It’s only a couple weeks away and I’m in the middle of making something for my mom (with luck it’ll be done in time!). Of course, I can’t show or discuss what I’m making because my Mom reads this blog and I wouldn’t want to give away the surprise. So that will have to wait for later. (Hi, Mom!)

The following are a gathering of what I would consider wonderful Mother’s Day presents – of the lacy variety, of course!

crown bowl

I love this bowl – it looks just like a crown! http://meninascrocheteirasemacao.blogspot.fr/2015/03/receitas-e-graficos-de-croche-endurecido.html (Many charts available at this site)

necklace

Elegant statement necklace/collar from http://www.silviagramani.com/search/label/Colar%20de%20P%C3%A9rolas (Patterns for purchase through designer’s books)

framed doily

Have a gorgeous doily already made? Frame it! http://crochet.postbit.com/photos/crochet-doilies/86620_1.html

tealight

Lovely tealight holder from http://www.soulouposeto.gr/2013/11/blog-post_5.html (No pattern but instruction on stiffening)

Scalloped basket

Such a pretty candy dish – or for sparkly trinkets in the boudoir? http://lanaecotone.blogspot.com/2010/05/scatolina-alluncinetto.html?spref=pi

You can find the pattern for the featured picture of ‘Mother’s Day Teacup’ by Marjorie Jones at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mothers-day-teacup. Now it’s back to present making for me….

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The Wedding Afghan

This is the afghan I have been working on for my nephew and his new wife. The wedding was last Saturday and everything was just perfect – the bride was stunning, the groom and his men were so handsome, the bridesmaids were gorgeous, the venue was beautiful, the food was delicious and the music selection was wonderful. I truly don’t think I’ve ever been to such a perfectly planned and executed occasion, and really feel quite fortunate that I was invited and could participate in their special day. Congratulations, Tim and Chelsea!

But now back to the crocheting. I wanted to come up with an afghan for them that would be more contemporary looking than a traditional afghan; they just aren’t the lacy shell types. Plus I wanted the afghan to “talk” to their wedding and the beginning of their life together.  So here is what I put together –

—Three panels of a diamond lattice pattern to represent their past, present  and future together. The diamond pattern also represents my wish for them to make it to their diamond (60th) wedding anniversary. I told them after that they’re on their own.

—The two panels of a modified brick pattern (that’s what I’m calling it and I’m sticking to it!) represents the foundation of their relationship they’ve already laid and the life that they’ll be building together.

There is only one thing I wish I’d included – a cable stitch to represent the life line they may need to throw to one another at some point, because occasionally life can throw you a curve ball. But then again, I heard I have another nephew getting married this September. I believe I’ve just been given a chance to perfect this design!

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