Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cotton and the beach go hand in hand

Today we went for our last day at the beach for the year... Well I can't really say that, because there was talk about going back one more time but I don't know if that will happen.  Didn't want to get sand on my granny squares, and I couldn't take a thick afghan that I need to work on.  So instead I packed 2 balls of  cotton yarn and a pattern that I was recently gifted.  I love working with cotton at the beach.  So what pattern was I gifted?  An egg basket pattern.  The pattern costs $3.37, and it was at the top of my queue.  It'll be a gift for a friend who has chickens.  I showed her a picture of the pattern today to make sure that she would really would want one.  She loved it.  Not only will it hold eggs, but she said that she can put a nice loaf of bread in the center.

I finished the first chevron afghan last night, but I didn't get a chance to take a picture of it yet.

Monday, August 25, 2014

My crochet queue for the next 3 months:

  • Phoenix Amigurumi for my OWL (the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup in Ravelry)
  • Birchbark Slippers, because I need a sample pair for a class this Fall.
  • 2 egg baskets for one of my students who has given me countless fresh eggs from her “girls” and who even bought me a birthday present.
  • Crocheted Alligator Handbag - for me…. But I don’t know if I’ll get to it this year or not.
  • A rippled granny afghan - because I really want to learn how to make one
  • Another mosaic round rippled afghan - for my OWL and PIXAR (the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup Group and the Disney Adventures Group in Ravelry)
  • Some more purple baby hats for charity, because this is the last month that they are collecting them before they give them to the local hospitals.
  • granny squares for my WIP afghan
  • a camera and tripod for my dad for Christmas - not necessarily made in September
  • Daisy Towel Holders - for Christmas presents and part of a CAL next month
  • Oh, and I want to learn how to make an african crochet flower motif.

    The other day I joined the 4th round of squares to my granny square afghan.  I'm using the join as you go method.  The 2nd and 4th rounds are made up of color #15 (orange) of Cascade Pinwheel.  The 1st and 3rd rounds are mainly color #4, but I had to add some of color #5 when I was 3 or 4 squares shy of finishing round 3 (the store was out of #4 at the time).  I was able to buy some more of each color way recently.  Now I'm working on the squares for the 5th round.  I'm using Cascade Pacific #48 (black) for the borders, and a size H hook.  I'm following this basic granny square pattern for the afghan.  

    I'm almost finished with the chevron afghan.  I plan to be finished with it this week, and then I'll work on a smaller white one just like it.  My personal deadline for them is September 15th.  

    September 1st begins a new 3 month term of challenges in 2 of my ravelry groups.  Plus 2 or 3 other groups that I'm in will have new monthly challenges and CALs.  Very exciting!  

Saturday, August 23, 2014

August Projects

I haven't made as many things as I normally do in a month, because I've been focusing on some bigger projects.  
My job at the local yarn shop is going to be part of a yarn crawl next month.  So I needed to make a sample of my bag pattern for the shop.  What better than to use my favorite yarn for it, Cascade Pinwheel.  I had to frog a good bit to make it smaller so that I only used up 1 skein (440 yards), because I wanted people to know how big it would be (and how big to make the base) if they used only 1 skein.  The base for this one is 14 rounds, and I used an H hook.  I don't remember how long the sides are, but I just kept going until I was sure that I had just enough for the top and the handles.   It was also about time that my job had a sample of this pattern, because many of my students have made one.
During the last day of my vacation this month I made this twisted crochet cabled baby hat for the Child's Light charity.  I used Cascade Pacific yarn and an H and a J hook.  
You can see my hat among many others in the collection basket.  You can even see some hats made by Cindy from My Recycled Bags.
I also finished the fair isle snowflake Christmas ornament as well.  Here is the chart for it. 
I've also been working on finishing this chevron afghan for a lady whose mother had started it, but who had passed away before finishing it.  I'm also finishing a white chevron baby afghan for her as well.  My goal is to have both afghans finished next month.  
I've been hard at work making 28 orange granny squares so that I could create a 4th round to my afghan.  Half of the 4th round has been joined already.  I'm using the join as you go method, which you can learn in this video.  I'm using 3 different color ways of Cascade Pinwheel for the squares, and the black border id Cascade Pacific.  
The other day I bought a 5 inch thick binder (with a much needed 50% off coupon) to hold all of my printed crochet patterns in.  This is my new work binder.  Before teaching crochet, I would keep a digital copy of all of my patterns.  However I need to have printed copies of different patterns for my students.  About an inch of those pages are empty sheet protectors just waiting for more patterns.  I put them in alphabetical order according to category, and then I put the holidays in order by month (with birthdays and parties in the beginning).  Then in the back are the paid patterns, so I know which ones are off limits to my students.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Major Project Catch Up

UFO Day was on July 2nd, so I drew this in celebration of it.  The alien in the center is from the PIXAR short called Lifted. 
For a May bead challenge I made this simple crochet beaded necklace.  It is just a chain stitch with some beads added every few stitches.  
I made another fair isle heart Christmas ornament.  I made my fist one back in December or January.  The stuffing is a little lumpy in it.  Here is the free chart for it.
Then I made an ivy leaf fair isle ornament next.  Here is the free chart for it.  I used Cascade Cherub DK yarn and size 2 dons to make both ornaments.

This seems to be the year of the afghan for me.  I keep starting, and sometimes finishing, afghans this year.
A friend made a granny square just like this one, and I just had to try to make one myself.   I figured out the pattern on my own, but apparently there is a pattern for it somewhere out there.
This fat afghan only took me 11 days to make.  I used size 35 knitting needles, and I held 4 strands of yarn together while making it (1 chunky, 2 worsted, and 1 dk).  If you count all 4 strands as 1, then it took about 800 yards to make.  Everyone in my house loves snuggling under it, which is why it is staying in the living room.  I need to make each of my kids one that they can keep in their room.
Last night I finished this mosaic afghan.  I used 13.6 skeins of Bernat Mosaic yarn in the Mineral color way.  It took me 3 months to make, and it is the 2nd time that I have made one of these afghans.  You'll probably see a 3rd one from me at some point, because I just bought 10 skeins of one color and 4 skeins of another color of this yarn that was on clearance today.  Here is the free pattern for it.
I've also made more granny squares (more than what is shown) for this Cascade Pinwheel join-as-you-go afghan.  I am alternating between color #4 and color #15 for the rounds.  I might even throw some color #5 into the mix since it is very similar to color #4.  The join-as-you-go black border is Cascade Pacific yarn.  You might start to notice from this blog post that I use a lot of Cascade yarn for my projects.  It is currently my favorite brand of yarn.  Here is the pattern that I'm using for the squares, and here are directions for the join-as-you-go method.

You can just call me the bag lady with all of the bags that I make.  I love this bag, because it shows off the color changes in the Cascade Pinwheel yarn and it makes an awesome market bag.  I've been using it a lot when grocery shopping.  It is definitely a conversation starter at checkout.  Here is the free pattern for it.
I finally got around to making another Mermaid's Tears purse.  This one is for display at my job (at a LYS).   I used 3 skeins of Plymouth Yarn's Encore, one in each color, to make it.  The trick is to use the top border color in the back of the crocodile stitches, that way you don't need to buy 4 skeins of yarn.  I plan on teaching how to make it in the Fall.
Using this afghan pattern, I made this great project bag.  I made 2 squares and a long rectangle using James C. Brett Marble Chunky yarn and a size J hook, then I joined them together, crochet around the whole top, and added the handle.  It was very easy to make.  I used about 1.5 skeins of the yarn to make it, however one of my students made a smaller version using only 1 skein of the same yarn.
Last week I also made a simple liner for the bag using leftover fabric from the first quilt that I had ever made.
This is the 6th bag that I've made using one of my published patterns.    Its a little smaller than the others that I have made, but I really like.  I love the color, and I was able to use up some of my cotton stash in the process.
You can't be a bag lady without having something to collect bags in, so I made this 3 eyes clutter eating monster.  Here is the free pattern for it.
I had so much fun making the clutter eating monster that I made another one that looks like Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc.


Here are some more charity hats that I have made for Click for Babies / A Child's Light.  I like to use Cascade Yarns to make them with.


I have been making a lot of dishcloths lately, because I'm trying to use up my cotton stash. 

 crochet basket weave
For my birthday I got 2 books on Bavarian crochet, so I made this hot pad using one of the patterns.
I just made up this Mike Wazowski dishcloth.
You can really tell that I was using up leftover skeins of yarn to make 2 of these dishcloths. 

I finished another Tunisian crochet strawberry fields cloth last month.  I used Cascade Avalon yarn this time around.  It is a very durable cotton yarn that is still nice to the touch.  Here are my notes on how to make it:
The math is multiples of 8 plus 3, so I chained 35 sts for mine (8 x 4 = 32 + 3 = 35). 
I did 2 complete rows of single stitch in red (that means picking up stitches in one direction and passing back through them in the other direction twice). 
Red: single st in the next 3 bars, double st in the next bar 5 times, repeat to the end making sure that the last 3 stitches are single stitches. 
Red: Pass back through all of the stitches 
Green: single stitch through the next 3 bars, in the cluster single stitch through each of the 5 cluster stitches then yarn over and pull through all 5 stitches, yarn over and pull through that last stitch one more time. Repeat making sure that the last 3 bars are single stitched through. 
Green: Pass back through all of the stitches 
You can push the bobbles through to the front with your finger. 
Now repeat 2 - 6 but this time start by single stitching into the first 5 stitches (instead of the first 3) so that you off set the bobbles / strawberries. 
Repeat 2 - 7 until you have the height that you want. 
Repeat row 1

Sunday, June 8, 2014

May Flowers

These flowers were made from a pattern in Crochet Bouquet: Easy Designs for Dozens of Flowers.  I used the same yarn, but I used 3 different sized hooks for each one thus getting slightly different sized flowers.  

I tried out a new stitch (for me) called the lotus stitch.  The first time I tried it I broke the yarn, because you have to do a 5 stitch decrease purl wise.  It is a time consuming and slightly hard stitch to do, but if you purl loosely on the purl only rows, then the lotus stitch rows become easier to make. I had wanted this to be a dishcloth (I cast on 33 stitches), but it ended up being the size of a coaster.  Here is the free stitch pattern

May Dishcloths

Doctor Who The Angels Have the Blue Box Dishcloth - free pattern.
The Eye of Ra Dishcloth - free chart.
Bobble Rocket Dishcloth - free pattern / crochet chart
Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon Square - free pattern
UFO Bobble Dishcloth - free pattern
Bobble Cactus Dishcloth - free pattern

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Paintings, Afghans, and Hats Plus a Blog Feature

Last week I realized that I was skipping a stitch in the repeat of this afghan.  I had to frog 7 rounds.  It was so painful.  Last night I finally  caught back up to where I had ripped it out at.  I need to finish up the 2nd skein and 2 more skeins before the end of the month to meet my monthly deadline.  I want to finish this afghan in 3 months time.
I finished a few more squares for my blue afghan.  I'm following the pattens in this book, however there are a few typos in it.  After I make all of the blocks I will post a list of all of the typos (like there is a ch7 when it should say ch1).
I made 2 more charity hats for Click for Babies: Period of Purple Crying Caps.  The striped hat pattern was designed by my friend Cindy.  It was a very easy pattern, then I made the flower from on elf the patterns in this book.  The twisted crochet cable hat was a little bit more challenging to make, but not necessarily hard.  It's not a hat for beginners.  This article was recently published about the local chapter / leader of this charity.  You can see some of my hats in the photo.  Here is the charity's Facebook group if anyone is interested.

Earlier this month, or was it last month, I was invited to a moms' night out where we painted flowers. The instructor showed us some techniques, then she wanted us to use our imaginations to create our own unique painting.  This was mine.  I was invited to an impressionistic paint night happening next week.  I can't wait!
Then on Wednesday I had some time to paint outside while my kids were at school.  This painting isn't finished yet.  It needs a little something in the upper lefthand corner, but I'm still thinking about what that little something is/will be.

Do you guys remember my crochet hook case?  Well it was featured on Illuminate Crochet this month.  Here is the blog post.