Archives for posts with tag: present

I have totally fallen off the track with posting as I had promised myself at New Year’s. I went to a wonderful 4th of July/family reunion party and had a great time, but within a couple days the weather went to 112 degrees and I didn’t handle it well. (Neither did several of my plants, and I am afraid I’ve lost at least two of them.) Then last Tuesday my husband went in for surgery (all is well!), but I had to get up at 3:30 am to get ready to leave with him, which really threw my routine in a tizzy. Silly me, I brought a shawl to work on while I was waiting, but I was so tired I ended up having to rip out all that I had done. Oh well, it kept me busy. I’ve since caught up on my sleep and I am back with the living now!

My husband was just recently notified that his family is going to have a new addition. The nephew and his wife had a gender reveal at the July 4th party – it’s a girl! So if course that means anything I was currently working on or planning to work on has been set aside for now. There are so many wonderful things to crochet for babies – it’s so hard to choose! However, I remembered a particular doll that I had seen a while ago that I fell in love with, but it was a paid pattern so I took a pass. But now I have the perfect excuse for buying it! So I did. It’s called “Cuddle-baby – amigurumi doll” by Lilleliis and it cost about $4.68 in US dollars (4 Euros). The pattern is well written and easy to follow; it was me who screwed up, so of course it took forever to make.

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Cuddle-Baby – Amigurumi by Lilleliis

My suggestion is to make sure you have all the same weight yarn to make this doll with. I thought I did, but it didn’t take me too long to realize I didn’t. You see, I’m still trying to keep with using my stash, so I worked with what I had. I started with the head and then went on to the body. The yarn I used for the head was at least a DK and the body was definitely sport weight. The head was huge! So I had to unravel half the head and figure out how to make it smaller, which was time consuming. Then I realized I hadn’t worked the invisible decrease correctly on the body, which left odd little indents (they didn’t show until I stuffed it). I tried to fix it with a needle and thread, but it didn’t work. So I had to redo the body. Then I realized one of the hands was bigger than the other, but I was able to fix that with needle and thread. Geez, you’d think I was a novice crocheter for as much as I messed up!

I did decide to embellish a little, so I gave the hat a crab stitch edging with a pink whipstitch in between the grey stitches, and I added a triple heart applique to the body. Even though this little doll ended up taking a lot more time that it should have, I’m still happy with the outcome. I may add the stitching around the wrists and ankles, though – it does give a more finished look. That is, of course, if I can keep myself from starting the newborn booties, baby blanket, 12M sweater…well, you get the idea!

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My version – not a bad runner up, hey?

There is one thing I found out that made me sad, though. While I was looking for the pattern on Ravelry, I found another person’s version of the same pattern for sale. It wasn’t done nearly as well, and now I can’t seem to find it. I can only hope that the original designer found it and told her to take it down. The nerve of some people! Another person was trying to crochet this doll from the picture (hadn’t bought the pattern) but was having problems figuring out the arms and legs, so she was asking for the directions on the pattern’s forum! The designer replied that what she was requesting was illegal and she was shocked that someone could do such a thing. Listen, I’ve made things from photos, too, but  I would never have the gall to go on the paid pattern’s site and ask for free directions! So sad this stuff goes on. And one word to the wise – unless a pattern is VERY simple, you’re going to spend A LOT of time figuring it out on your own. Trust me – I know! So you’d better think twice if it’s really worth saving a few bucks, IMO.

Till next time, keep on hookin’!

In keeping with having products in my store to sell, I have just added another (and very colorful) item for sale – the Boucle Delight Cowl. I had originally made this as a scarf, but it ended up a little short, so i decided to convert it to a cowl. I know that I should have more summery items in the shop. I promise I will, but I’m still in the throws of reorganizing my bed/craft room, so when something pops up to add, I’m just going with it. In my world the months seem to fly by, so it’ll be fall before I know it!

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The biggest problem I’ve had with this cowl is the photography. I didn’t use bright or neon yarn colors to make this, but in the photos the cowl really looks much brighter than it actually is. I tried taking a pic inside the house (thinking the sun was the culprit), but that didn’t work either. The next photo is much closer to the real colors.

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In articles about taking product pics, they tell you to use natural light (or “reveal” type light bulbs) as much as possible because this will show off the true color of the item. Obviously, direct sun doesn’t always work. Since I don’t have a room to set up for product photography or the money for a pro photographer, I just have to rely on photo editing programs to try to achieve the proper effect. Easier said than done!

 

Until next time, 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!

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, including mothers-to-be, mothers to fur-babies, and mothers in spirit! I believe most women have a nurturing aspect to their personalities, and I like to take Mother’s Day to celebrate this. I know this is a rather broad definition of this holiday, but I think the world would be a very different place without the caring of women. So I hope all of you have a wonderful day!

I won’t be able to spend Mother’s Day with my Mom, but of course we’ll talk and I sent her a card with a little contribution to her pig collection. I took the Little Crochet Bunny Pattern from Amigurumi Today.com and did a few tweaks to the pattern to create the girly-girl piglet for my mom.

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The little dress is technically removable. I tried using tiny snaps but it didn’t look right, so I just sewed the pearls to the dress. Looking at the dress now I realize I should’ve blocked it, especially the hemline. Oh, well. I’m sure my mom will excuse me. Other than that faux-pah, I was really happy with how she turned out.

Till next time, have a great day and happy crocheting!

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!

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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