Archives for category: yarn

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!

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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.

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!

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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.

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!

 

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!

About a month ago I found a beautiful Ice yarn, Air Baby Alpaca. It’s a mix of alpaca, extrafine merino wool, viscose, and polyamide, and it’s so soft. It has been made into a chain, and since I’ve enjoyed working with other chained yarns, I decided to try it. Plus it came in a very pretty shell pink (pink with an undertone of peach) that would look really good on my mom.

I wanted to make a shawlette for my mom – just a little something to go over her shoulders without being cumbersome or heavy. I found the Dawn in the Woods Shawl by Elaine Phillips (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/dawn-in-the-woods-shawl) which was perfect because the length.can be adjusted. I was set!

While I was working on the last third of the shawlette I realized that it wasn’t going to be symmetrical. This bothered my sense of design balance (possibly a little OCD?) but my real problem was that when I tried it on it really looked “old lady-ish”. My mom’s style is more like Olivia’s in ‘Scandal’, not the Victorian lacy look, so I came to the realization this would be all wrong for her. I have come up with a Plan B, but this will have to be for her birthday because I ran out of time for Mother’s Day! Amazingly (or maybe not), the shawl ended up looking MUCH better on the dress form –

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So instead of this shawlette, I decided to fall back on an old standby – pigs. My mom has a wonderful collection, mostly figurines, and told the family years ago to not give her any more pigs. I have chosen to completely ignore this directive. Hence, behold the sweet little piggy bookmark (pattern from Ashlea Konecny at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pig-bookmark) –

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I also found a very unique present at Faerie Magazine that I thought my mom would like – Flying Prayer/Wish Paper (https://www.faeriemag.com/products/flying-wish-paper-mini-wishing-kit-dandelion-prayer). You write your prayer/wish on the paper, roll it up, put it on the platform card, and light it on fire. At the last moment “your wish magically lifts off the platform and rises to the heavens!”. How cool is that!

Flying Prayer Paper

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom – And to all of those wonderful mothers out there! We so deserve it!

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

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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!)

I couldn’t resist the allure of Irish Crochet Lace for this most wonderful of Irish holidays, St. Paddy’s Day!

Paraphrased from Wikipedia, “Irish crochet” was originally developed in mid-nineteenth century Ireland as a method of imitating expensive Venetian point laces. Irish crochet lace is characterized by separately crocheted motifs, which were then assembled into a mesh background.

This lace is made with a very fine steel crochet hook and fine crochet cotton or linen thread. It begins with an outline of the pattern on a piece of cloth. Each motif is then crocheted separately, using cotton cord for volume and shaping. The finished motifs are then basted (sewn with a loose stitch for temporary tacking) onto a cloth in the shape of the pattern. The motifs are then joined using chains and picots. When all the motifs have been joined together forming one piece of lace the basting stitch is removed from the back cloth revealing the completed lace.

I’ve gathered the following examples of Irish lace from Pinterest, all coming from Russian sites. However, I did find a wonderful Facebook group called Irish Crochet Lab that is run by Larisa Chilton, who is an instructor and has developed an online course for those who want to learn Traditional and Modern Irish crochet lace. You can find Ms. Chilton’s site at https://www.facebook.com/videotutorialsandpatterns/ . Enjoy!

Irish Crochet 2

From postila.ru

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irish crochet 3

From postila.ru, a type of Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irish crochet 6

https://www.livemaster.ru/item/17305403-odezhda-vintazhnyj-kaftan-suvenir

Irish crochet 5

http://www.facebook.com/Asia-Verte

Irish crochet 7

http://www.facebook.com/Asia-Verten

Oh, yes, just one more thing. Today is my brother-in-law’s birthday – Happy Birthday, Craig!

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