Archives for posts with tag: crochet

Officially spring began March 20th this year, but I am aware many parts of this country have still been feeling wintry effects. Well, tomorrow is National Gardening Day – yes, there is actually such a day! As many of us already know, crocheters also tend to like gardening, cooking, and cats (gardening and cats for me, cooking not so much). I had become a pretty decent gardener while I was back in Illinois. This is how my Illinois garden looked like much of the time (minus the lace curtains and mansion in the background) –

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Then about eight years ago my family and I moved to southern California. VERY different climates, to be sure. I thought I would still have my green thumb, but alas, things have not turned out so well. My CA gardening ventures have gone much more like this –

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Something tells me I should just keep to the crocheted versions of floral and fauna beauty. They stay fresh for so much longer! Someday I might even attempt this spring fantasy from Lunar Heavenly

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Till then, stay warm and crochet on!

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…..

I always seem to be “a day late and a dollar short” when it comes to holiday themed posts. I know that St. Patrick’s Day is on March 17th, but I think I’m going to take a pass this year for posting wondrous Irish things. If you have an insatiable desire to see these lace beauties, please refer to a previous post of mine here.

Lately I’ve been working on an afghan that’s almost complete (yes, really!) and the Metro Kerchief by Yuliya Tkacheva (see pic below). I love the design of this kerchief, although if you make it slightly larger it would really be a shawlette, and I’m about halfway done. I know, I know – I’m supposed to be designing my own items – but sometimes it’s nice just to go with someone else’s pattern. If I don’t find someone to give this to I’ll probably just list it in my shop.

Metro Kerchief

Metro Kerchief by Yuliya Tkacheva

But I digress. Easter is coming, and I think I’ve been looking at this adorable bunny for so long that I must make her. There is no designer listed that I can find, but the free pattern is available at Amigurumi Today. If you are a Pinterest Peruser, I’m sure you’ve come across her – along with a million other items we all would like to make. Well, enough with the talking. I’ve got the yarn – I’ve got the hook – now wish me luck!

Amigurumi Bunny

Bunny

PS. I want the pattern for that little bear, too!

I’m late.  As some of you that follow me may have noticed, I have done several blog posts using a “national day” as a theme. Well, March 1st was National Pig Day and I missed it. The reason this is a big deal is that my mom loves pigs (Hi, Mom!) and has a wonderful collection of them. They’re mostly ceramic figurines, but she has a few other items too – like the iron flying pig doorstop or the pig-weighing-herself salt and pepper shaker, for example. Quite a while ago now my mom told all of us not to give her anymore pigs because she felt she had more than enough. I don’t always abide by that wish, but I’m sure she’ll find this “ode to the pig” blog post quite acceptable!

Baby Pig

Baby pig found on Pinterest – inspiration only, darn it!

Furls pig

Pig Amigurumi CAL by Brenna Eaves

Clown Pig

Clown pig – inspiration only

Keyring

Adorable key ring by Duls Stuff, inspiration only

willie the pig

Willie the Pig by Lan Lien, free pattern

2 pigs

Friends from Instagram, inspiration

Pig Lovey

Sweet Pig Lovey by Maiko

pippa A

Pippa Pig by Little Aqua Girl

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Pig bookmark I gave my mom, pattern from Ashlea of HeartHookHome

Piglet

No post about pigs would be complete without Piglet! Free pattern from Holly’s Hobbies

Hope you all had a wonderful National Pig Day, and celebrated it by enjoying our porcine friends in whatever way you deemed appropriate!

Just the other day I received an email form Allcrochetpatterns.net describing their Granny Square Design Contest (find details here). I like granny squares. I have many granny square designs saved on my computer; I enjoy seeing posts with new designs; I even designed a square once (see below). However, I have never made anything with granny squares – but I was interested to find the history behind them.

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I found an article from Etsy Yarn-A-Holics’ Confessions of a Yarn-A-Holic blog about the origin of the granny square (here): “According to a 1946 article attributed to the Oregon Worsted Company, the thrifty women of early America would carefully save scraps of yarn and fiber unraveled from old sweaters and socks. As these scraps accumulated, they were crocheted into small squares…sewn together to make a blanket which was both functional and colorful. Because grandma was no longer up for manual labor, she was often the one to sew the squares together, thus they became GRANNY SQUARES.” Makes sense!

Since the design contest sparked my interest, I took a little trip around the internet and found a wonderful post from Dorianna Rivelli of The Lavender Chair showing lacy crochet squares here. If you are not familiar with The Lavender Chair, please take a moment and visit the site – you will be delighted at Dorianna’s wonderful designs!

 

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Visit The Lavender Chair by Dorianna Rivelli for the patterns here.

These are all sooo pretty! But then again, I do have a major soft spot for all things lace. I don’t know if I’m going to design an entry for this contest because I currently have so many other things buzzing around in my head, but I certainly wish good luck to any crocheters out there that are willing to take the leap!

 

Arthur and I want to wish you the happiest of Valentine’s Days! Arthur is feeling quite dapper in his top hat and bow tie, and he really likes his new tri-heart pillow. Even though he hasn’t had a girlfriend in quite some time, hope springs eternal in his romantic heart – he’s believes that this year just might be his year. I promised I would try my best to find him a friend, and that if I can’t find him one, I’ll do my best to crochet something for him!

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These “Puffy Hearts” have been designed by Repeat Crafter Me and the free pattern is available at http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2017/01/crochet-puffy-hearts.html. I used a fingering yarn and a 1.90mm hook. The hearts came out to be 2″ wide and 1 1/2″ tall – perfect size for a key chain or hair accessory. I crocheted the top hat, but alas, black is very difficult to photograph well – especially for a non-professional!

Have a wonderful day, and have a piece of chocolate for me!

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!

Yes, today is Penguin Awareness Day in the good old USA. See how enlightening this little blog can be?! Anyway, people are encouraged to think, read, discuss, or watch programs about these delightful creatures, but you are not required to dress in a tuxedo. There are even a whole array of jokes about penguins – most of them real groaners – such as “Q: What’s a penguin’s favorite relative? A: Aunt Arctica!”  (more of those available here). 

Of course, my interest lies in the crocheted versions of the formally dressed flightless birds. So, without further ado, I present ..The Penguin –

Penguin 1

So cute! Paid pattern from Make It Easy here.

Penguin 2

Just adorable hat, but inspiration only – photo here

Penguins 3

Cute and comical trio from Stephi’s Koestlichkeiten, free pattern in English here

Penguin 4

Baby set from Missy1107, product only here

Penguin 5

Precious baby penguin from Havva Designs, paid pattern here

Penguin 6

Charming kiddie clutch from Sarah at Repeat Crafter Me, free pattern here

Penguin 7 Skipper

Skipper of Madagascar fame from World Dreamer, free pattern here

Penguin 8

Sweet little applique! Product only from Savo Designs here

Penguins 9

Charming micro family from SuAmi, product only available here

Penguin 10

Darling rug from Irarott Designs, paid pattern here

Have a jolly (crocheted) penguin day!

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!

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