Archives for category: yarn

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!

 

Well, I certainly hope that all of you had a wonderful Easter and didn’t go overboard on the sweets, like I did! I had plans of showing gorgeous carved eggs (that you can see here), or at the very least sharing a cute GIF (which can be seen here). Somehow those never came to fruition. I think I’ve been stuck in some kind of slow-motion gear that I can’t seem to get out of. However, I did get into the Easter spirit and decided to try out a pattern that I fell in love with some time ago. It’s the sweet “Little crochet bunny pattern” from Amigurumi Today (available for free here).

Amigurumi Bunny

Little crochet bunny pattern from Amigurumi Today

I do have yarn appropriate for making this, but I ran into a problem. The yarn is fuzzy and I was having great difficulty seeing the stitches. So I decided to switch to another yarn I have – sock weight without all the fuzz. Even though my version isn’t quite as cute as the original, I still think it turned out ok. Mine just looks a bit sleepy!

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Arthur took pity on my Sleepy Bunny and shared one of his heart pillows with her, originally seen here. I decided that Arthur shouldn’t have to sit on a box anymore, so I ordered a comfy retro-modern chair for him. However, I need to find a way to wire him, because Arthur has a terrible problem with falling apart. (The chair, while being very stylish, won’t give him a lot of support.) I did find a site that showed how to make an “upholstered” chair and I think Arthur would be ecstatic if I could make one of those for him – but crocheted, of course. Perhaps this will be my next project? But only after I finish the current WIPs…..

While perusing the internet, I saw the concept of using a crochet-covered can for a hook holder/organizer and I thought I’d give it a “whirl” (sorry, I couldn’t resist!). Anyway, I decided on a spiral design so that a person could put their smaller hooks near the middle and work outward as the hook sizes increase. For the can I just used a regular vegetable can, about 14.5 – 15.5 ounce size, cleaned with label removed. I used scrap sport weight yarn (although the pink had to be doubled) with an E hook. The nice thing about this design is that you could use a smaller or larger can, just make the initial spiral smaller or larger to fit the opening; the rest of the pattern would stay the same. I’ve always been in favor of flexible patterns, when possible! So without further ado, here is the pattern –

Whorled Crochet Hook Organizer  –  Skill level: Easy

Materials –

Vegetable can, cleaned and label removed

Scraps of sport-weight yarn (colors called A, B, and C)

Size E (3.5mm) crochet hook

Pattern –  Worked in the round with front side facing you at all times.

1. With A, create a magic circle, ch 1. In the circle work 1 sc, 1 hdc, and 2 dc. Do not finish off.

2. With B, attach yarn to circle and work 1 sc, 1 hdc, and 2 dc. Do not finish off. Repeat with C.

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Instructions 1 and 2. Yarns knotted on right side are just the tails.

3. Tighten magic circle. With A, work 2 dc in each stitch of color B. With B, work 2 dc in each stitch of color C. With C, work 2 dc in each stitch of color A (8 dc of each color). You will continue to work the colors over one another till the end of the crochet piece.

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Progression of spiral.

4. Continue working 2 dc in each stitch until you have a total of 14 dc of each color.

5. Work 1 dc in each of the next 15 stitches with each color.

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Spiral after Instruction 5.

6. Now begin working 1 hdc in each stitch around with each color. You won’t do any increases from this point on; this is the part of the crochet that will slip over the sides of the can – it will fit snug.

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Hdc’s fitting over side of can.

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Crochet over can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Continue working the hdc spiral until it just comes over the edge of the bottom of the can. Finish off two of the colors. Leaving a long tail with the third color, whip-stitch around each hdc and pull to tighten every few stitches. The piece should fit tautly over the can; finish off.

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Instruction 7 completed.

8. Ta-Da!

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Fini!

Just a couple more thoughts. If you want to make sure your hooks stay upright, putting some scrap yarn in the can to act as a cage style of “frog” device could work well.  Also, this pattern won’t work with hooks that have comfort grip handles (Clover, etc.) or even smaller thumb-hold type padding because 1) the spaces in the crochet aren’t large enough to accommodate the extra bulk, and 2) the hooks don’t slide in/out well because the padding hangs up on the yarn. But if you’re like me and have a bunch of the good ‘ol aluminum hooks, this is the organizer for you!

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!

I’ve had a cold for the past week, so I’ve been spending quite a bit of time sailing the internet – and oh! those wonderful holiday patterns. Of all the lovelies that are out there, though, I have become totally enchanted with the Christmas Bauble – and what’s not to love? You can get very inexpensive ball ornaments from the dollar store (I bought a package of a dozen for $1) plus you use your yarn scraps to crochet over them, then you have a very pretty ornament when finished. Win-win-win!

I looked up patterns for baubles (hoping to not have to reinvent the wheel), but the majority I found used larger balls and heavier weight yarn. So I had no choice but to create the Corded Bauble – and keeping with the Christmas spirit, I am sharing it with you! I know many of you don’t use size 10 or 5 crochet thread, but being a lace-lover I do have quite a bit of these in my stash so that’s what I used.

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Color variations of the Corded Bauble.

Materials – 1 7/8″ (48mm) plastic ball ornaments (I had red but gold or silver would fine)

Cotton Crochet Thread size 10 in different colors

Bernat Handicrafter Acrylic Thread size 5 in different colors

Size 1.9mm hook, but you could probably use a 2mm or a 1.8mm

Liquid Stitch or equivalent (white glue would work)

Scissors

Stitches –  sp – Space,  st – Stitch,  sl st – Slip Stitch,  ch – Chain,  dc – Double Crochet,  trc – Triple Crochet,  fptrc – Front Post Triple Crochet,  mc – Magic Circle,  v-st – V-Stitch (dc, ch 1, dc), 2-dc group – 2 dc’s worked in same stitch,  FO – finish off.

Special Notes – 1. All rounds are worked from the front (right) side. 2. All rounds are finished off to use a new color for the next round. 3. Instead of trying to weave in ends, I took the beginning and ending tails of each row and weave them so they’re next to one another, put Liquid Stitch on the base of each, tied an overhand knot and let them dry.

IMG_0678 - Copy 2A1. With a mc, ch 3 (1st dc) and work 11 dc’s in the circle. Sl St in top of ch 3, tighten circle and FO. (12 dcs).

IMG_0679AB2. Work 2 dc’s in between each dc from round 1. FO. (12 2-dc groups made)

IMG_0682A3. Work 1 V-st in the middle of each 2-dc group from round 2. FO. (12 V-sts)

IMG_0687AIMG_0684A (2)4. *Work 2-dc group in V-st from round 3; trc in front of round 3, in between the 2-dc groups from round 2*. Repeat * to * around. FO.

 

IMG_06885. Work V-st between each 2-dc group from round 4. FO.

IMG_0691 - Copy6. *Work V-st in the ch 1 sp of the V-st from round 5; working in front of round 5, fptrc around the trc from round 4*. Repeat * to * around. FO.

7. Work V-st in the ch 1 sp of V-st from round 6. FO.

8. *Work V-st in the ch 1 sp of the V-st from round 7; working in front of round 7, fptrc around the fptrc from round 6*. Repeat * to * around. FO.

9. Work V-st in the ch 1 sp of V-st from round 8. Slip ball into crochet and finish round with ball inside. You’ll work crochet rounds over ball from this point on.

10. *Work V-st in the ch 1 sp of the V-st from round 9; working in front of round 9, fptrc around the fptrc from round 8*. Repeat * to * around. FO.

11. Work 2-dc group in ch 1 sp from round 10 around. FO.

12. *Work 1 dc between the 2-dc group from round 11; working in front of round 11, fptrc around the fptrc from round 10*. Repeat * to * around. FO.

13. Work sc in every other st around, FO.IMG_0697-CopyA

Note – If you use all size 10 crochet thread, you may need to add another round before you complete the bauble with round 13. If so, work 1 front post double crochet in every fptrc from round 12.

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A couple other baubles I made. Loved the look of the Fptrc stitch, so I went crazy with it!

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The entire dozen baubles completed!

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and it has encouraged you to create a few baubles of your own this season!

PS – I just realized that in my instructions I didn’t tell you to “chain 3” for the first dc or “chain 4” for the beginning of the first V-st in a round. Obviously this cold had more of a hold on me than I thought! I apologize if I confused anyone. I’ve been crocheting for so long that apparently I take those instructions as a given. So now I’m off to double-check my other patterns!

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.

I realize that Halloween is coming up pretty fast, especially for those planning to create costumes and/or decorations for this annual “ode to spirits that have passed”. However, in my wanderings around the internet I discovered that there is a National Ghost Hunting Day, celebrated on the last Saturday of September (this year, the 30th). This is a fledgling holiday, officially created in July 2016, but with a seemingly robust following (check out http://www.nationalghosthuntingday.com/home.html for more info). So in keeping with the “spirit” of the day, I have chosen to do a little of my own ghost hunting – of the crochet variety, of course!

Boo Ghost

Whimsical Boo Ghosts by Beverly Mewhorter, free pattern at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/boo-ghosts

CASPER1

I wouldn’t mind a visit from this Casper-inspired ghost! From Ophelie at http://www.ahookamigurumi.com/en/halloween-special-n1-one-pattern-for-two-ghosts-amigurumi/

 

BABY GHOST HAT

 Adorable baby hat inspiration from Soap and Stitch on Etsy – https://www.etsy.com/shop/soapandstitch?ref=l2-shopheader-name

dapper ghost

What a dapper fellow! Halloween Ghost free pattern at
https://amigurumi.today/halloween-ghost-crochet-pattern/

 

ghost afghan

Who wouldn’t keep themselves cozy with this on a Halloween night? By Maggie’s Crochet at https://www.maggiescrochet.com/products/halloween-ghosts-afghan-pillow-set-pattern-1

little miss spooky

If you’re looking for a sexy ghost, Little Miss Spooky is here!  https://de.dawanda.com/product/107163507-haekelanleitung-little-miss-spooky-geist-pdf

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Who could forget Zero – in a lovey form, no less! Free pattern from Jamie Hackford at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/zero-lovey

gIRL gHOST

And this little sweetheart comes from Gateando Crochet at
http://gateandocrochet.blogspot.nl/2015/10/la-fantasma-lola.html#english 
(I used this pattern to make the boy and girl ghost in the pumpkin below!)

Two ghosts in a pumpkin

 

I AINT FRAID OF NO GHOST

I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghosts! Classic “Ghostbusters” logo – free design by http://www.triflesntreasures.com/my-attempt-at-blogging/i-aint-fraid-a-no-ghostfree-crochet-pattern#.V5Ix7IMrKUl

I hope you enjoyed this little ghost tour and possibly found a little friend to crochet. Oh, yes – and happy hunting on the 30th!

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Finished Crescent Shawl – Ta Da!

Yes, it took me a while to screw up my courage and attempt to work out the problems with this “simple” scarf/shawl. If you remember, I was lamenting a bit ago about the neckline of this project (The “Simple” Scarf) and how I wasn’t sure how I was going to fix it. Well, first I found a way to fill in the scooped neck area. Then I created an inside edge, rolled it on itself, and with needle and thread tacked it down. I also tacked down those little bumps at the end of the rows. Voila! Now with any luck I’ll have the pattern posted  in my Bonanza shop (https://www.bonanza.com/booths/CrochetedButterfly) in about a week.

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Crescent Shawl blocked on pinning board

I am very pleased with how it turned out, despite all the trouble it gave me. I think I would change the yarn I used, though. Loops and Threads Woolike it a nice yarn, but I feel it was a little too soft. I would like to have a yarn with a little more body/stiffness to it so the ridges would hold better; perhaps a cotton/acrylic or wool blend. Or perhaps it’s just my OCD is showing again!

I am currently on a crocheting hiatus. I went to a rheumatologist yesterday and received a cortisone shot in my left thumb. I don’t know if any crocheters out there have had this problem, but I have had pain in my left thumb with crocheting for quite some time now, probably at least a decade. Up till January, however, I could always take a break for a couple days, the pain would go away, and I could crochet again. By January I was in the middle of making an afghan for my nephew and his to-be wife (Wedding Bells!) and sadly the pain became consistent in both thumbs. I finished the afghan but ordered new wrist splints that also had thumb splints. (I have been wearing wrist splints at night for over a decade due to carpal tunnel developed from crocheting – oh, what we do for love!) The splints have helped with the pain tremendously. My right thumb only hurts if I stress it, like carrying something heavy or opening a jar. I started an afghan for my other nephew getting married in September and the left thumb flared up again, hence the trip to the doctor. I have to get xrays and visit him in six weeks. Gee, who says getting old isn’t fun? Anyway, I have to take it easy for three days and I should be able to resume all activity in five, so that’s not too bad. I shall survive!

 

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!
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