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.

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Now that we’ve all settled ourselves from our Halloween-induced sugar highs, it is time to turn our thoughts to that most delicious of holidays, Thanksgiving.  As MentalFloss.com states, “Since [William] Bradford wrote of how the colonists had hunted wild turkeys during the autumn of 1621 and since turkey is a uniquely American (and scrumptious) bird, it gained traction as the Thanksgiving meal of choice for Americans after Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863.” So I think it only fitting that we pay crocheted homage to a creature that has brought so many of us such aromatic and savory memories – I give you…the Turkey!

Theo-the-Turkey

He looks a little scrawny, so maybe he should be pardoned by the President! Theo the Turkey paid pattern by ILDikko at http://www.amigurumipatterns.net/shop/IlDikko/Theo-the-Turkey/

turkey hat

Adorable Turkey Hat by The Stitchin’ Mommy, free pattern at https://www.thestitchinmommy.com/2014/11/crochet-turkey-hat-free-pattern.html

Cute Turkey2

Cute Turkey (I’ll say!) by Teri Crews, free pattern at Ravelry – https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cute-turkey

C2C Turkey

Delightful pillow Turkey Graph CAL by Emily from Pixel Perfect -free pattern at https://www.pixelperfectcrochet.com/turkey-crochet-graph/#more-1917

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So adorable Turkey Coasters by Joanne at Craft Passion, free pattern at http://www.craftpassion.com/crochet-turkey-coasters-and-ornaments/

turkey talk throw

Beautiful autumnal colors and line dancing turkeys come with this Turkey Talk Throw from Red Heart, free pattern at http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/turkey-talk-throw#.UGL6ycCoKFo.pinterest

Pilgrim Turkey

Pilgrim Turkey is all dressed up for dinner! Only $2.69 for this pattern at https://www.e-patternscentral.com/detail.html?code=ENC0186&source=pntrste

pumpkin pie

No Thanksgiving dinner would be complete without a nice big piece of pumpkin pie! Scrumptious Pumpkin Pie Brooch/Tissue Holder free pattern by Twinkie Chan at http://blog.twinkiechan.com/2014/11/26/free-crochet-pattern-video-tutorial-pumpkin-pie-brooch-and-tissue-holder/

I hope you all have a wonderful and bountiful Thanksgiving holiday surrounded by your friends and loved ones!

I know I didn’t post anything last month, but believe it or not, I have been busy! I spent 2 weeks visiting with my Mom at the end of September/beginning October,  as well as going to my nephew’s wedding on 9/30. What a beautiful wedding! The reception was held at a gorgeous country club and the food was fantastic. And the bride was stunning – they make such a good-looking couple. It was truly a lovely day, and I was so happy I could share it with them.

As I hoped in a previous post (And Another One Bites the Dust), the 2.0 version of the wedding afghan was definitely an improvement over the first one I made here (sorry Nate and Chelsea, but it’s true). I modified the “brick” sections slightly and I added the cable “ropes”. I did stay with neutral colors, but anyone could certainly choose whatever colors they would want, maybe perfecting the ombre look I was going for. I used Michael’s Colorwheel no-pill acrylic yarn and it was wonderful! I don’t know their reasoning, but Michael’s is discontinuing it – it’s currently on clearance for 99 cents a skein. How sad.

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Close up of an end diamond panel with cable

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I used a crab stitch (reverse single crochet) for the edge

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Ta Da!!!

As I was doing the diamond panels I fell in love with the diamond lattice stitch, so I decided to try it out on another project (more on that later). It is so lovely and reversible! I found this stitch online from a video made by a very nice Russian woman; of course I can’t find it now. The stitch isn’t super complicated, just a little tricky to describe in words. Perhaps I should make a video? Anyway, the pattern is currently available in my Bonanza store, which you can find here. Check it out!

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!

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!

I remember as a kid I would kind of dread August. First it meant that I only had one month of summer vacation left before school started (in Chicago school starts the day after Labor day). But second, August usually had the worst weeks of summer heat, and without any AC it generally meant I spent a whole lot of time in the basement, or when I could, at the local public swimming pool.

Now that I’m into crochet, however, “dog days” has an entirely different meaning. So in honor of National Dog Day being on 8/26, I will devote this blog entry to our four-pawed, tail-wagging, tongue-drooling best friends, and to all the wonderful crochet they inspire us to create!

Schnauzer

I couldn’t resist! This Schnauzer puppy reminds me so much of my own Mickey! Inspiration only by Lemowan – https://www.instagram.com/p/BCptrRojjqM/

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Adorable hats for kids (or the young at heart!) Free pattern at http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2014/01/crochet-dalmatian-dog-pattern.html

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Cute dog bowl mat by Bauta Witch, free pattern with translating on page – https://bautawitch.se/2015/12/14/diy-virkad-matskalsmatta-till-din-hund/

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Remember the Slinky Dog? Here’s the crocheted version, but will need translating – http://stranamasterov.ru/node/105178

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Exquisite hound dog, inspiration only by amiguru_mi —https://www.instagram.com/p/9_comrlFrQ/

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Wonderful dog toy bones, free pattern by Lime Green Lady – https://limegreenlady.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/23/

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Pretty in pink Pomp-a-Poodle by Red Heart – free pattern at http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/pomp-poodle

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These dog-face cup cozies are just fantastic! Created by HookedbyAngel, you can buy the patterns on Ravelry http://www.ravelry.com/designers/hookedbyangel  or her shop – https://www.etsy.com/shop/HookedbyAngel?ref=l2-shopheader-name&section_id=16355592

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And now, from the “Waaay Back” machine, it’s none other than Mr. Peabody from “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” (there is a new cartoon version out!) Free pattern available from K. Godinez at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mr-peabody

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Ah, yes – the iconic dog sweater! Above is actually an adorable hoodie from Jenna Wingate at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/dog-hoodie

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Of course we can’t forget one of the most famous dogs! Snoopy with his friend Woodstock – https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=424990.msg5057883#msg5057883    I couldn’t find the photo’s pattern, but this very close version is for sale by Amanda L. Girão: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/snoopy-inspired-dog-amigurumi

As always, all photos have been procured from Pinterest, and I try my best to link to the original designer. I will be glad to post any corrections in future posts.

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!

I’m still in the process of making the afghan for my nephew and his soon-to-be new wife – I think I’m safe to say that because I don’t believe either one of them follow this blog! – and so I thought that doing a piece on dream catchers would be very appropriate for mid-summer’s reveries.

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Black Magic Boho Dreamcatcher by CleanS18 at https://www.etsy.com/shop/CleanSl8?ref=l2-shopheader-name

DC feathers

Many dreamcatchers have feathers – why not make your own? https://poppyandbliss.com/2017/05/19/tunisianfeathers

Black and White DC

Monochromatic design by Marion van Kooten-Stok at http:// https://www.facebook.com/handmadebymarian

Red Star DC

Not a dreamcatcher, but wouldn’t it make a fantastic one? Starflower Mandala from Zelna Olivier, free pattern at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/starflower-mandala

3D DC

Dreamcatcher on steroids! By AGAAZRA at https://www.etsy.com/shop/AGAAZRA?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Granny Stitch DC

Even the iconic Granny Stitch gets to show off! Rainbow Granny Spiral Sun Catcher by Jaime Ramsey at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rainbow-granny-spiral-sun-catcher

 

Pleasant dreams everyone!

Some of us have been blessed to inherit vintage doilies. Some of us still adore the delicate patterns so lovingly hand crocheted. Some of us just love all things lace! No matter what category you fall in, most of us succumb to the allure of these dainty pieces at one point or another in our lives.

But what to do with them? Our grandmothers used them as decorative protection on the backs and arms of chairs and as underlayments to centerpieces, but this is so out-of-date today. Never fear – the creative powers on Pinterest have come to the rescue!

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Displaying them in frames seems totally appropriate for their beauty

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Group doilies to make an eclectic table runner

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What an elegant place to store the remote!

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Lovely way to brighten a room

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Sooo cool – I want one!

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A diminutive sachet or pincushion, from https://www.livemaster.ru/topic/470805-kruzhevo

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Decorate a plain tablecloth – from http://ana-rosa.tumblr.com/post/31532747462

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Doilies make a stunning window screen framed in embroidery hoops; from Dishfunctional Designs

While wandering Pinterest, I also spied many other examples for doily use – mobiles, stiffened for bowls, gift bags, jar or tea light covers, decoration for scrapbook covers/pages, to create a banner, decorate a tote bag or throw pillows, use as a stencil, to press into clay for plates/bowls/ornaments, crochet together to make a curtain/lightweight throw, or as an insert for a room divider. And please don’t forget – doilies are usually made from cotton, which is a very dyeable material; you certainly don’t have to limit your creativity to the traditional whites and ivories. Vive le doily!

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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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