Archives for posts with tag: design

You know, technology is wonderful – when it works.

If you’ve been following my wondrous blog, you’ll know that my nephew and his wife are expecting a baby girl in December. So of course I have been in the process of making crocheted items for the newcomer, and spending waaay too much time looking through patterns. So. Many. Patterns.! Thus the lack of posts. At this point I have made a Caron Simply Soft Baby Hoodie, booties – sorry, I can’t find the pattern, a Cuddly Baby Amigurumi (which I’ve decided I need to remake because I didn’t put safety eyes on it – silly me) and I have designed a Baby Unicorn Lovey. I am in love with this lovey. I was having issues with the head when I first started, which took me about 3 days to finally work out. The rest all went pretty smoothly until I got to the mane. I did curly-q’s and sewed each one one separately, which was really tedious. But the lovey is done.

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As i was creating the lovey, I was using the OpenOffice program I have on my laptop to type the directions. Of course this was just a scratch copy. So yesterday I went to put the official pattern together on my business stationary, correcting all my shortcuts and abbreviations (so people could actually understand what I had written) and arranging all the photos with their captions. Then I saved it. This took me about nine hours to do.  (Side Note – I don’t have a tester for my patterns, so when I write the final draft, I go over what I have written several times to make sure it is correct, concise, and understandable. I haven’t gotten any complaints so far, so hopefully I’m doing something right!)

For some reason, no matter what I try to save something as, my computer wants to save it to Word, which I don’t have on the computer. So I get up this morning and see that it was saved as Word, and the format is all wrong and the pics are all on top of one another. !&%$#@&^!!!! I had Word on my old laptop, but when it crashed we couldn’t transfer the program. The Microsoft Office Suite is so expensive that my IT Guru son downloaded OpenOffice for me. It’s ok but not nearly as good for my purposes as Word, and has always been rather frustrating for me to use. At this point I’m so frustrated I’m really ready to go back to Word. I see that there are some older versions that are for home/student use that could be used for my laptop and don’t cost extraordinary amounts. Well, I’ve decided that I’m going to see if my son is free this weekend and pay him a visit. HELP! Obviously, I am NO computer whiz, and no doubt some of my issues stem from the fact that I flounder around a lot. I won’t be surprised if my son finds out I screwed something up.

If you all would be kind enough to remember my computer in your prayers, I would certainly appreciate it. Now I’m going to fix myself a very large drink.

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Hoodie sweater and booties for the Newbie!

 

I have a definite sweet spot in my heart for all things amigurumi (or kawaii softies, if you prefer), and one of my absolute favorites are fairies. International – yes, INTERnational – Fairy Day has been designated for June 24th this year. (Just FYI, the tooth fairy has her own days on February 28th and August 22nd. I don’t know why she has two days, but maybe oral health needs the extra advertising!)

I took to Pinterest to find what fairies were available, and there were quite an assortment of delightful little cuties. The ones that are on my bucket list, though, are the ones from the Russian master class crochet. Of course, I would have to work my way up to that level! Perhaps I should start with some of the simpler ones….

Little Fairy

Sweet Little Fairy by Fun and Fang; free pattern can be found here

Tinker Bell

Adorable Tinker Bell by JanaGeek

Lucy-the-fairy-mouse

Who could resist Lucy the Fairy Mouse by LittleAquaGirl

Chrysanna-the-Albino-Fairy

Chrysanna the Albino Fairy by Epic Kawaii – Make sure to check out the other fairies by this designer!

Bella-Fairy

Unique Bella Fairy by Madelenon – she’s waiting to make your wishes come true!

Delaney-the-Good-Luck-Fairy

Delany the Good Luck Fairy by Fox in the Snow Designs – we all could use this fairy, right?

Fairy Elf

Sublime Fairy Elf by Alyona Dudakova; inspiration only, but you can visit here and here

Fairy House

Everyone needs a home, especially fairies – and this one doubles as a teapot cozy!

I hope you have the pleasure of a fairy sighting today, and happy crocheting!

As much as I love designing crochet items, I just have to give myself one long cold hard look in the mirror and be honest with myself. I love crocheting much more than I like having to write the patterns out. There, I said it. So I have decided to start using OP’s patterns and crochet! This doesn’t mean I won’t ever design anything anymore; it just means that I’ll have a “products” section in my store.

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First up on this new(er) venture is my version of the Rose Lace Cowl by Alyssa Titus of Undeniable Glitter (free pattern can be found here). This was perfect for me because of all the Caron Simply Soft yarn I have in my stash, and it did take a little over one skein for the cowl (one skein for the body of the cowl and the “little more” for the edging). What a perfect and economical present! The pattern is written well – I didn’t have any issues following it at all – and the cowl works up in no time. My only disagreement with her description is that I think this cowl could be very warm and just fine for winter, as well as spring and fall. IMO!

 

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I did run into one problem, though. My little picot points on the edging all swerved to one side, and I wanted them to point straight. Silly me thought that this would straighten itself out in the blocking, but it didn’t. Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not blaming the designer. It’s very possible that the way I crocheted the points made them swerve – I don’t know. Anyway, I took some thread and sewed the top loop of the picots down on the opposite side of the swerve, and this straightened them out. It was a pain, though. So if I ever make this cowl again, I’m going to find  way to crochet those points straight or consider the swerved points part of the design!

Till next time, happy crocheting!

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!

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.

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!

teddy with star

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!

When I lived in Illinois, I had managed to develop a bit of a green thumb. Since moving to California (7 years ago now), that thumb has turned cold and dead – even with plants that I should be able to keep alive. At least I think I should be able to!

I love violas. I have bought several violas over the past few years, with no success. I thought I’d try again this year, just because the plants at the store were soooo pretty and healthy and thriving. Please see pic below.

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I made the silly mistake of planting my beauty in an unlined terracotta pot. I believe the problem with that was the plant would dry out, I’d water it, the clay would absorb the water, I’d water it more, then the plant would be over-watered and the leaves would turn yellow and die. If I didn’t water the plant so much, the soil would dry out and the leaves would turn yellow and die.

Then I transplanted it to a plastic pot. The plant, though much smaller now, seemed all right. Then I gave it a little fertilizer. I don’t think it liked it. It started to wilt, continuing till it completely died. RIP, my poor little viola.

I felt very sad about the lonely pot, so I gave it a new friend. These gorgeous pom-pom marigolds are only supposed to be annuals, but I’m hoping that with a little TLC I might be able to nurture them through a CA winter. Hope springs eternal, right?

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As for actual crochet news, I’m still working on the wedding afghan, but it is getting close to being done. Here’s a little sneak peek –

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This is a photo of the side diamond panel with the cable/rope edging. I think the ombre effect turned out well; I’m pretty sure this one’s going to turn out great – keeping my fingers crossed!

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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!

 

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