Archives for posts with tag: design

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?

IMG_0746-CopyAB

The lapghan laid flat

IMG_0760 - Copy

Close-up of the stitch

IMG_0760A

An angled view

IMG_0753-CopyA - Copy

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.

IMG_0716

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.

IMG_0720

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

IMG_0710

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.

IMG_0652BC

The Blueberry Cowl

IMG_0672 - Copy

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

teddy-bear-booties-CH0429-000

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.

20170325_091815

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?

IMG_0605

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 –

IMG_0607

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!

CS #5A

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.

CS Blocked

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!

 

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….

I know that the first day of spring is designated as March 20th. However, March in the midwest where I was born doesn’t usually feel too much like spring. For me, Easter always seemed to be the more logical, fun, and yummy (mmmm, chocolate!) start of spring – and I still feel this way. So let the cuteness begin!

chick in egg

Peek-a-Boo Chick – http://grietjekarwietje.blogspot.com/2012/04/haakpatroon-kuikentje-in-ei-op-pootjes.html (in Dutch)

baby bunny

Baby Bunny – https://amigurumi.today/crochet-bunny-amigurumi-pattern/

Lace Eggs – http://www.dontpayfull.com/blog/6-quick-ways-to-save-money-on-easter-parties

lace eggs

Gossip Chicks – http://www.vendulkam.com/2015/04/happy-easter_6.html

gossip chicks

bunny basket

Bunny Basket – http://foodsafteyvideos.blogspot.se/

hens

Pretty Hens – http://handmade-paradise.ru/kak-svyazat-kryuchkom-kurochku/http://handmade-paradise.ru/kak-svyazat-kryuchkom-kurochku/

Lamb

Lacy Lamb  –  http://art-madam.pl/szukaj,artysta-tygrysiesploty

 

 

mandala eggs

 

Mandala Eggs – http://www.echtstudio.nl/pakketten.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crochet Duckies  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/karla-fitchs-ravelry-store

rubber duckiessweet lamb

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Lamb – http://www.sewrella.com/2016/12/little-crochet-lamb.html

                   And the Big Man Himself, Grandpa Easter Bunny

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

www.bonanza.com/booths/CrochetedButterfly

Happy Easter to All, and to all a no-upset-stomach, no-sugar-high, blissfully quiet night!

(All photos reposted from Pinterest. I do my best to give the correct URL to each photo, but I can’t be responsible if the site has taken the page down or if there is no pattern. I consider this type of blog “inspiration”, and if a pattern is available, that’s just a happy bonus!)

A little while ago I spotted a crescent-shaped scarf/shawl and fell in love; ever since I have been chomping at the bit to design one. This couldn’t be all that difficult, could it? Little did I realize what I was getting myself into!

This adventure began at the beginning of March. I decided that I wanted to have a curved ridge to mimic the crescent shape and to give it a more modern look. Then, since I have also fallen in love with gradient color schemes, I chose to use Michael’s Loops & Thread Woolike yarn in ivory, beige, and cool gray with just one row of charcoal to strongly define the edge. Seemed like a plan to me. Ha!

IMG_0537

Gradient bands of color

 

I am now on the third version of this scarf. (Amazingly, the yarn did hold up to all my frogging.) At first I tried to figure this out by myself and failed miserably. Then I found a free crescent pattern to give me some guidance, but after a few rows I didn’t like the extreme “U” shape it was taking, so that was frogged. Then I tried my own version, but that turned out too straight. Finally I came up with what I have now, and I think it’s going to be all right. Up to this point my designs have been very simple, so I just wasn’t ready for one to give me such a fight!

There are still two problems, though. 1) It seems that when you start a crescent shaped scarf with a short neck row, you end up with a separately curved neckline from the body of the scarf (see photo below). This has happened to me three times now. I’ve seen a video where this was mentioned, but I also saw a photo of a full crescent shawl without this problem, so I’m not sure if it’s just me or not. I am hoping that I can correct this with an inside edging of some sort. 2) I wasn’t thinking clearly enough to realize that on some row ends I had three stitches and some I had four. The four makes a little bump-out that I don’t want (see top of photo below). I can easily correct this in the written pattern, but I am hoping again that I can correct this with the inside edging of some sort.  (Insert deleted expletive of your choice here.)

IMG_0538 - Copy3

Wonky neckline and end of row bumps

I have one or possibly two more sets of the three-color bands to go, and then to come up with my miracle edging. But I won’t give up on the scarf/shawlette after this one is done, because I saw such wonderful designs while researching this project that I’ll just have to keep on going!

P.S. – If anyone knows of a solution to the wonky neckline, PLEASE let me know. I will be forever in your debt.

%d bloggers like this: