Sunday, October 12, 2014

More Purple Baby Hats for Charity

Here are the hats that I made recently for Click for Babies: Period of Purple Crying Caps (A Child’s Light).  The hats are handed out to babies born in November and December (where I am) to help make parents aware of what normal infant crying is.  This is to help prevent shaken baby syndrome.   So far I have made 24 hats for this charity.  

I love making the 2 and 3 color spiral hats.  
I plan on writing up a pattern on how to make the 2 and 3 color spiral hats this week.  
For this hat I followed a pattern made by my friend Cindy.  You can find it here.   She actually designed it for this charity.  All of her patterns are well written and easy to make.  
I followed this free pattern to make this ribbed baby hat.  It is one of my favorite hat patterns.  I just love making front post stitches.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Tunisian Crochet Slippers

Following this very easy Tunisian crochet pattern, I made this pair of slippers in 2 days.  I did need to make some tweaks to the pattern, but they were minor tweaks.  The pattern said to make them the length of your foot plus an inch, but that made them massive.  They stretch, so the length of your foot is plenty.  Mine are 21 rows long plus the decrease row (size 9 shoe).  The other tweak I did was that I used a size J hook and did a slip stitch around the whole thing at the end (after the single crochet round with a size K hook).  The yarn that I used was perfect, and very soft: Cascade Yarns Pacific Chunky Multi.  I used about 96 yards of the 120 yard skein.  The cool buttons I bought at Aunt Margaret's Yarn & Gift Shop (as well as the yarn).

The only real issue that I ran into with these slippers is that I had to mail order the size N Tunisian crochet hook.  No one local sells anything larger than a K.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Penelope Shawl

It took me most of September to make it, but here is my first triangle shaped shawl.  Since I have failed my numerous knitted attempts, I decided to crochet one.  That was the key.  It is a simple 3 row repeat with a special 3 row border.  You start at the top middle and work your way out and down.  It was so easy to make that I began to get bored somewhere in the middle of it.  I used up all 1000 yards of the James C. Brett Moonlight Sonta yarn that I had (2 skeins) and needed to beg for an extra 30 yards to finish it.  Thankfully my boss knew just who to ask.  After receiving a 30 yard donation, I was able to finish my shawl.  Here is the free ravelry downloadable pattern for it.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Crocodile Stitch Christmas Tree

I dove into my stash the other day and found a skein of green Encore yarn (from Plymouth Yarns), and I set out to make a crocodile stitch Christmas tree with it.  I used up every last bit of the 200 yard skein.  It is a very easy pattern, but it is a yarn eater.  
When I finished it, I glued red sequins on each leaf with some tacky glue. 
There are a lot of star patterns out there, but this one seemed to be the right size and look that I wanted.  It really was the perfect star to top this tree.  Here is the free pattern for it.

A few people in my crochet classes are making this tree, and I am going to be teaching a 2 part class on how to make it in November... Just in time for Christmas.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Striped Ball Bobble Square

The mini challenge in the Disney Adventures ravelry group this month is the Pixar short Jack Jack Attack.  While re-watching this fun companion to the movie The Incredibles, I noticed a hidden Mickey in it.  Among the toys that Jack Jack has to play with is the Pixar ball (a yellow ball with a blue stripe and a red star).  I used this baseball bobble chart and tweaked it a bit so that the bobbles formed a stripe down the center of it, just like the Pixar ball.  Now I have 4 bobble squares for the afghan, and I still have plenty of yarn left over to make 1 or 2 more squares out of each color (green and blue).  

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Apple and Car Bobble Squares

Here are 2 more crochet bobble squares for the afghan that I am making for my son.  

Cat bobble chart

Both squares use a size H hook and Plymouth Encore yarn.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Crochet Bobble Apple Afghan Square

This week I decided that I wanted to make an afghan out of the different crochet bobble patterns that I have instead of dishcloths.  I've made a bunch of cotton dishcloth ones already this year.  Because they are so quick and easy to make, I should be able to make a nice size afghan rather quickly (within a year's time).  The type of images that I want to make kind of scream out kid's blanket, so I will be making it for my youngest son.  Shhh, don't tell him.  So I picked out 2 colors of Plymouth Encore yarn to start off with.  First I picked a nice rich blue color, because he love the darker blues.  However a few of the patterns that I want to make will look better in green, so I also got some green. I figure that as I make more than I can add in other shades of blue and green as well as some purples.  I'll just add as needed.  Because of this loose plan I will wait to sew the squares together when I have enough to make the afghan, that way I can arrange all the different colored squares in a visually pleasing way.

One of the Disney Adventures challenges (ravelry) this month is for Disney Legend Steve Jobs.  He was the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc., so I want to make an apple bobble square for this challenge.  This pattern can be made in less than an hour.  I also started the other bobble apple from the pattern charts as well.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sock Afghan, White Chevron Afghan, and Crochet Shawl

I've been making some good progress on my garter stitched sock yarn afghan (free pattern).  It seems like I get at least 2 stripes made a day.  That's because I work on it while waiting for my kids to get out of school (sitting in the school's parking lot).

I finished crocheting the white chevron baby afghan that I was hired to finish.  Do you see where my finger is in the photo?  From that point and above is what I worked on.  There was little over a skein that I needed to use up before it would be finished.  The lady who hired me picked up the 2 finished afghans last Tuesday.   I'm happy that I could finish her mother's work for her so that she would have some treasured keepsakes.

Now that I am no longer working on those 2 afghans I can concentrate on things that I want to make.  One of those things is a crochet shawl.  This photo was taken a week ago on my first day of crocheting it, it is much bigger now.  I just started using the 2nd skein of the James C. Brett Moonlight Sonta yarn (500 yards per skein).  I did not use all of the 500 yards of the first skien, because when I was very close to using it up, there was a break in the yarn that the manufacturer had tied in a knot.  Not only was there a knot, but the two tied parts didn't match in color.  Thankfully one of the ends of the 2nd skein matched the yarn break that was connected to the shawl.  Problem solved, and you can't really tell where I joined the 2nd skein at.  My goal is to finish this shawl this month, using at least 800 yards of yarn.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Dolores Umbridge's Fat Bottom Bag - Finished

I finished my Dolores Umbridge inspired fat bottom bag today!  Woohoo!!!!!  I used 2 shades of pink Caron Simply Soft yarn (295 yards in total), a size H crochet hook, pink faux velvet fabric for the lining, and red sewing thread.  Here is the free pattern.  I made up the bow pattern (just 2 separate loops of crochet that were put together).

Dolores Umbridge's Fat Bottom Bag

For Quidditch in the ravelry group Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup, the current challenge says: 
Match 1 – Accio Permission Slip! September 5 – September 18
Madame Umbridge left herself room to approve our clubs, teams and groups, but I would wager that a little flattery might go a long way. For this match each player will make something that would appeal to Dolores Umbridge to convince her to let your house play Quidditch. This is not a house pride match but rather we want you to make something to butter up the High Inquisitor. Cats, pink things, tea related items, evil quills ….whatever you can argue she would love is game.
Only a single project may be submitted for this round. Dolores is a quality not quantity kind of witch. Your completed turn in will earn your house 15 points.
Hint - There is a secret bonus point possibility this round if you MAKE are one of her favorites.
For this challenge I decided to make Dolores Umbridge a pink fat bottom bag.  I'm using this free pattern for it, a size H hook, and Caron's Simply Soft yarn.  When I was telling my husband about the challenge, he suggested that I use velvet for the lining of the bag.  Brilliant idea!  However the velvet that I really wanted to use was really expensive, so I settled on some fake pink velvet that was on sale.  As it turns out I have some hot pink yarn that matches it perfectly, so I am using that for the trimming and the handles.  
This pattern is really neat, because after you make the body of the bag (which is kind of flat) you can sew in the lining.  It is a lot easier making a lining for this bag than any other lining that I have ever made.  I did need to use a stretch needle on my sewing machine, because the fabric was a little stretchy.  I machine sewed all of the raw edges of the fabric so that they wouldn't unravel.  You can't really see it because of the color of the thread, but there are tiny red flowers in the stitches.  Then I hand sewed the lining to the body of the bag.  I like to hand sew the lining to the bag so that I can hide the stitches.  This way you can't see the stitches from the outside of the bag.  I am almost finished crocheting the trimming and handles, and then I'll crochet a bow for each side of the bag.  I'm hoping that this bag will be finished tomorrow.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Afghans, Baby Hats, Cat Toy, Shawl, and Fat Bottom Bag

The other day I needed to make a swatch of an amigurumi animal for my OWL proposal for the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup (HPKCHC) ravelry group (an OWL is a 3 month project - I'm making a phoenix and an afghan).  Instead of undoing the swatch, I stuffed it with fiber filling and catnip and gave it to my cats.  One of my cats loved it!  He played with it all week, carrying it around the house. From now on all of my swatches will become cat toys.

This is the last month that A Child’s Light (aka Click for Babies: Period of Purple Crying Caps) will be collecting purple baby hats for this year.  They will be handing out the hats at local hospitals in November and December.  So not only did I want to make some hats to turn in this month, but I also wanted to use up the yarn that I bought to make these hats.  For the preemie hat at the bottom, I used up the last of a skein of light purple yarn by making the stripe.  Then I wanted to play around with making a 2 color spiral hat.  I had so much fun making it that I made my first 3 colored spiral hat.  One day I want to make a 4 colored spiral afghan.

Someone in one of my ravelry groups has been making a stash-busting afghan using this free pattern. I really liked how it looked, so I started making my own using sock yarn.  I did buy 4 skeins of black sock weight yarn to use as the overall color but for my 2nd color I am using up my sock yarn stash.

One of the challenges this month in the ravelry Disney Adventures group is to make a shawl using 600 yards if knitted or 800 yards if crochet.  The challenge was inspired by the Pixar / Disney movie The Incredibles: A 600 / 800 yard dash for Dash, and a "no capes!" challenge for Edna Mode.  I'm using this free crochet pattern, which is an easy pattern to follow, and James C. Brett Moonlight Sonta yarn.  It is really soft and sparkly yarn, but it is really hard to frog when I make a mistake (the yarn catches on itself very easily).

Today I started making a Dolores Umbridge inspired Fat Bottom Bag (another HPKCHC challenge).  I've made this bag once before, but with blue cotton.  Here is the free pattern for it.   I'm using 2 shades of pink from Caron's Simply Soft collection for it.  The trimming will be a shade darker than than the body of the bag.  I'm debating if I'll add a bow or a kitten appliqué to it as well.  This bag is super easy to add a lining to, because you add the lining to the bag before the trimming and handle is crochet on.

I just signed up for Caron's mystery adventure scarf KAL/CAL.  Since I'm going to be doing it for a HPKCHC challenge, I will be starting it on September 21st instead of on the 9th (due to the rules of the challenge).  The mystery KAL/CAL will email out clues each week that will some how be different for different people due to how they answer certain questions.  Very intriguing.  It requires 2 skeins of 3 different colors of Caron's United yarn, which equals 1400 yards of yarn.  I might have to buy another skein of the purple yarn that I picked for it.  I'm going to be using a hot pink, a light purple, and a dark gray yarn for it (the 2nd of the 2 images below).

In other news I finished crocheting this chevron afghan last month.  I was hired to finish it (using up the 2 remaining skeins of Red Heart yarn).

I was also hired to finish this smaller white chevron afghan as well.  This is a photo of it after I completed one row with a new ball of Red Heart yarn.  I've been working on it for at least an hour a day so that it will be finished by the 15th of this month.

In the ravelry group Good Things Together we are doing a cold sheep challenge.  What is this? Well going cold sheep means that you will not buy any yarn / fiber during this month. You’ll only use what you have in your stash, and/or make yarn using the materials that you have around you (like from plastic bags and old clothes). If you are an avid sewer, than this also counts for your fabric stash.  I might be more of a chilly sheep instead of a cold sheep, because of the yarn crawl that I'm going to do for 4 days this month.  I've been really looking forward to it all summer.  But I am going to do my best not to buy yarn outside of those 4 days this month.  

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