Showing posts with label crochet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crochet. Show all posts

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Irregular Square Afghan

Never having been a big fan of acrylic fiber, except for the fact that it washes quickly and dries just as fast, I recently ordered a batch of acrylics from Lions Brand to be used on a new project.   I am anxious to start an afghan called the Irregular Squares Afghan, a free crochet pattern available on this page with colors chosen from an extensive palette of colors offered online.

This is a snap of a finished afghan, courtesy of Lion Brand.  I am not interested in the colors it was worked it (in fact, yuck), but I like how it is put together.


Each of the six squares making up the afghan not only is comprised of four separate colors, but each square is also put together differently, hence the irregularity of the pattern.  If not ingenious, it certainly will hold one's attention while constructing the 30" x 45" throw.  Here is the pattern for just one of the squares:


Now the fun part (for me) is selecting colors to match the decor of the area where the small throw will most be used.

This is a collage of the colors in our living room, including pictures of furniture, paintings and accessories. It lacks the brick red color of the entry wall and all the green plants, but you get the idea.


And here are the colors of the acrylic yarn chosen from the Lion's Brand palette that will be used for the project.

If this works up as quickly as others tell me it will, maybe I'll get cracking on a second one as a gift.


Here are two of the squares worked; each square pattern is worked three times, and then put together in an alternating fashion:




Update: 2/27/2012
Finished but not completely happy with this project as the squares are not completely "square" and the overall look is not tight.  It is warm, however.  I will give it a month of wear before giving it a final rating and deciding whether to crochet this again as a gift.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bag with Crocheted Hexagons

Loosely based on this pattern for making a shopping bag, and borrowing from this pattern on Ravelry for a hexagon blanket, a new project bag was born.


See the toy ferret and bunny rabbit?  Those belong to The Amazing Therapy Dog Libby, but I actually plan on filling it with a sweater project and swapping yarn for the toys.  Its strap is a knitted icord, and the bag itself is two pieces of coordinating fabrics sewn back to back, folded in half, and seamed together.



Several weeks ago, I was making hexagons from sock yarn, but did not have enough sock yarn scraps to make an actual blanket.   Instead of chucking the project, I used the 20 multi-colored hexagons as decoration for the bag front.  Bling was added in the form of buttons and charms.


The little sheep buttons in the middle of a couple of hexagons make me smile.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Stained Glass Blanket

Crocheting hexagons from left over sock yarn has become my new comfort needle art project.  No need to think, just watching the magic come out of my crochet hook, almost like "creating lace in the air", like my SIL Charlotte once said.  These are the hexagons I've made thus far:


After a gadzillion of these are made, they will all be put together in one color jewel toned yarn that will hold all the little hexagons together from an independent yarn dyer (maybe from Sweet Clement on Etsy).  I'm thinking of getting this color BFL yarn:

Another blogger friend, Kepanie, showed her blanket on her blog, found here.  She always has beautiful photography, so please visit her site and tell her I sent you!  Here are Kepanie's hexagons:


An here are a few hexagons made by pennywenny:

If you like video podcast about knitting, don't miss Sheila and Wendy's Knit1HeartToo show.

There are many patterns where crocheted hexagons are detailed.  If you click on the "R project button" below, it will take you to Jessie's pattern.

From Crochetaboutdotcom, here is an easy way to crochet a hexagon:
Starting Chain: Chain 6. Join with a slip stitch in the first chain, to form a ring. 
Rnd 1: ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2 dc in ring, (ch 3, 3 dc in ring) 5 times, ch 3, sl st in top of beginning ch-3 of this round. 
Rnd 2: sl st in ea of next 2 dc, sl st in ch-3 sp, ch 3 (counts as first dc), (dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in same ch-3 sp, * ch 2, skip next 3 dc, (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in next ch-3 sp **, repeat the directions between * and ** 4 more times, then ch 2, skip next 3 dc, sl st in beginning ch-3 of this rnd. End off. Weave in ends.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Preemie Hats - Let's Make Some!

From a blog called Calvin's Hats, the purpose of creating tiny baby preemie hats is summarized here:

Calvin's Hats is offering to grieving parents a gift which can bring a small amount of comfort and peace... a hat tiny enough to fit right on their precious child's head and something to hold on to when their child is no longer here.
Our wish is for these hats to bring a small amount of healing."
A couple of weeks ago, Raveler Annie said this:
When Calvin's Hats first started in February of 2009, it was with the hope that we could provide some hats to families who were leaving the hospital with empty arms. We had one knitter (Sarah DuVal) and a website with a limit of 3 pages. We were sending out one or two hats per month and thrilled to be blessing those families.

About 6 months ago, something changed. I'm really not sure what it w as that spurred it on, but our goal of getting hats into hospitals was finally working. Since that point, we've sent out a large number of hats. ... but never once has my hat drawer been completely empty. I don't suppose tiny knit hats can really compare to the Bible story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with a couple loaves of bread, but that's how it feels sometimes.
If you want more information about Calvin's Hat , Annie's blog can be found here, along with some easy preemie hat patterns.

Here is my first finished hat that took only 90 minutes to complete.  It would fit on a tangerine.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Chemo Hats and Interpreting Sickness in a Unique Way

This is the second one off the hook:

The same pattern of crocheted hat finished this week from this free Bernat pattern:


Here is another:

These hats are, of course, for my daughter Julie.  Julie had her first chemo treatment this week, along with the requisite anti-nausea drugs.  After three days post treatment, she is still not keeping anything down. Sigh.

And speaking of sickness and how we deal with it, I am borrowing this from Abigail at Abigail's Alcove:
...When I found out that my newborn needed emergency abdominal surgery, I immediately asked to have her baptized. If my baby girl had to undergo all of that suffering, I wanted it all to mean something. I wanted her incorporated into the mystical body of Christ. I wanted her hurt to save souls.

A birth defect is different from the ordinary effects of sin. My baby girl didn't get hit by a bullet or poisoned by an environmental toxin. The Creator of the World, the One who lovingly knit together my baby's body in the womb decided in His infinite wisdom to drop a purl stitch in the formation of my baby girl's intestine.
Futher reading can be found here by Abigail about her infant daughter's sickness.  It is well worth the read, and gave me pause after digesting her interpretation of why this birth defect happened to her child.  I hope you take the time to read it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chemo Cap to Crochet

Ironically, sadly, three chemo hats are still in my cedar chest that my mother used during her cancer treatment in 1999, and that I saved because they reminded me of her.  She was not a complainer, and always grateful for whatever the day held.  I do try to emulate that quality, though sometimes it is a challenge.

This is my mom and me in 2000 just before she died, wearing one of her favorite hats covering her little bald head:

Then, lo and behold, wouldn't you know that I then had the "opportunity" to use those same hats, and especially the one shown above on Mom, when I went through chemo.  Yup, it is so.

And now my daughter will be the recipient of these useful little garments to keep her head warm after she loses her hair due to chemotherapy.  Three generations of women with cancer: bing, bing, bing.

Never fear, she won't have to just use those old hats (even thought they are quite attractive and still functional).  I am making her a couple more with crochet and knitting needles.

Here is a pattern I came across this morning: free, free, free and easy, Bernat offers this chemo hat as a download with a (also free) registration to their website:
As a quick update on Julie, she has been diagnosed with Stage III B breast cancer, and will have her chemo port placed on May 23.  They are trying to shrink her tumors prior to a mastectomy.

The chemo cotton hat will be started today as I listen to Frank Delaney's Ireland on audiobook.  If you are on Ravelry, there is an audiobook group and a podcast group that you might check out; this group has excellent suggestions on good listens.  I'm currently listening to several books on tape, depending on moods and inclinations.

Now I'm off to Michael's as soon as they open to buy three balls of cotton yarn so I can snuggle down for a good session with Ireland and my hooks and needles.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Crochet: Laptop Bag with Six Layer Padding

You know how Sandra Lee uses prepared foods and makes them look like a lot of prep time went into it, supposedly fooling her guests with a delicious end product?
This crochet project was done along the same lines, using a few things that were on hand in the craft closet and finishing it off with a handmade smaller project.  The end result looks like an expensive purchased laptop case,  IMHO.

Start with a $2 canvas tote from the craft store for the middle lining...sandwich that between the outer crocheted "public side" of the laptop bag and the fabric inner lining.  Then add in some pretty fabric for lining and attach a key ring for personalization.


The recylced canvas tote had sturdy handles, so they were disassembled and covered with matching fabric and zigzagged onto the bag (one is hidden and only attached to one side of the bag for ease ofloading the laptop into the jacket).
Directions for making this 9" x 12" cover:
  • chain 95 stitches of cotton yarn with Size E crochet hook
  • double crochet contrasting complemenery yarns in rows to your liking (I crocheted 4 rows, 3 rows, 4 rows, 3 rows to a length of about 23 inches, turning and changing colors at whim at the end of the rows).  Now you have a little piece of fabric that looks like a doll blanket.
  • fold over the finished crocheted piece of fabric to make a (roughly) 11.5"x 9" product; single crochet edges together
  • create lining using canvas and pretty fabric, right sides together, sewn together leaving the ends open, and pressed with a steam iron (only 1/3 yd. of fabric is required)
  • sandwich the canvas sturdy lining between with the pretty fabric lining cut to 23" x 9" to create a 6 layered, cushy pad for your laptop.   Add a finished fabric binding to the top of the tote to cover the raw edges.
  • create fabric covered straps from the canvas tote by sewing fabric atop the handles and turning the fabric over with 1/4 inch edges, tacking down with blind stitches
  • add a purchased key ring with charms to finish off the tote
Note: some assembly is required (grin)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Crochet Sue and Ophrah

Do you crochet?


(from Craftzine)
Sue would be cool at my play station.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hey! Granny Square Afghan Finished

...and I am not even a grandma!

In all its glory:
The husband does not like all the colors.  And I can just hear my mother saying "...if you would make one in off-white and beige, it would look better with my decor"...  But I like it because it makes me happy.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Granny Squares Galore

Having chosen nine different colors of yarn that roughly mirror the colors in the painting previously posted here, granny squares are being crocheted.

This free pattern for a granny square afghan requires 30 granny squares with dimensions of 9" x 9". So far, I have 14 finished.

A few pictures of some completed crocheted squares:

Then the question of how to join them together comes up. How to do this?

Mikey knows! (method 1, the single crochet, is the favored method):


saga to be continued of Granny Squares Galore...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Granny Square on Steroids

The first granny square was addictive, once I got the hang of simple crochet.  9 inches square (it is supposed to be square, that is, although it looks a bit wobbly around the perimeter):


Whilst watching tv, the little 9 inch square looked up and said "FEED ME".  Really.

So back to the craft closet for odds and ends of yarn, and more crocheting.  It will end up an afghan because it just keeps growing.

It is abour two feet square now and continuing to add girth.  It is eating up wool, acrylic, possum fur, and every blended fiber in my stash. 

Even without vitamins, it is growing like a weed.

The pattern can be found here under Heirloom Stitches.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Complementary Colors and Fibers

New color books on my bookshelf and a few older ones helped me prepare for a new fiber project.  Color books speak a different perspective on choosing a color palette, helping me define a new project in color choices I don't usually gravitate to.

Taking one of my oil paintings in purples, blues and greens and going to the color wheel for assistance, new yarn was purchased to make an afghan of granny squares.  This is ambitious as 18 skeins of yarn were purchased from Knit Picks.
Identifying the colors in the painting, I found these yarns at Knit Picks online.

On the color wheel, complementary colors are directly across from one another in the circle. Example: choosing the color red, its complementary color is green. Split Complementary Colors are "one off" from the opposite color. The split complements of red are the two colors on either side of the complementary color. Using this information, playing with the colors in making yarn selections opens up a whole new world from simply choosing one or two of your favorite colors for project work.

Here are the two books that I will be referencing to make the afghan from those 18 yarn skeins.  It will never be boring as there are 200 patterns, all the same size, that will keep this handwork ever changing.

The first book, 200 Crochet Blocks, is a gem.
First, the good: all of the blocks are designed to be the same size, so you can mix and match them as you please. This is a considerable help. I have a number of vintage crochet-block books from the 60s and 70s, and none of the blocks are the same size, so it takes a lot of tweaking for each block if you want to make an afghan.
Not so when starting from scratch, making each square the same dimensions and allowing for a uniform size.

The second book, Knitter's Yarn Palette, had a fun color wheel made of yarn to illustrate the use of the color wheel when choosing yarns:
Webs has this explanation of Knitter's Yarn Palette on its website:
This unique book explains everything there is to know about weight, gauge, texture, and the suitability of mixing yarns using a wide range of 30 projects that revolve around 10 themes including: Seashores, delicate shades of sky and sand, string, cotton, and linen yarns, ripple-effect techniques. Lazy Meadow, grassy green, poppy red, buttercup yellow, soft, silky, velvety yarns, ruffling and layering techniques. Tribal Adventure, earth tones, linen, wools, and felted yarns, felting techniques.
The washable and soft woolen yarns are a feast to the eyes and will definitely brighten up the coming dark winter days as I work with them.

handmade projects

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Knitting to Beat the Band

Cowls are the magic cure for disguising crepey necks. If the money fairy gave me an extra $10K, maybe that could be fixed, but that is not going to happen.

So here is my latest cowl rendition, knit in a silk and wool blend purchased at I Knit London and found on Ravelry at this site.


The free pattern from Bernat for the baby blanket is finished and off in the mail to Laura:


This 100% hand painted silk fiber, from Cascade Lace (Switzerland), luscious to hold and light reflective, is being made into the lace Norwegian Woods Shawl:


Designer Sivia Harding says about her design:
This top-down lace triangle portrays a forest progressing from winter into spring. Beads grace the bottom edge....This pattern can be upsized by doing more repeats of one or more of the three lace patterns used in the shawl. Note that more yarn and beads will be required if the pattern is made larger.
The repeats are 12 stitches, so I made lettered index cards for the pattern rows from the stitch charts.  It was too difficult to read that chart, and the cards seem to work for me.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Wooden Crochet Hooks

These lovely hand fashioned crochet hooks were made by William Schmidt of Turn of the Century.




Having recently taken up crochet, and reading that wooden crochet hooks were easier to hold and made pulling yarns less taxing on finger joints, I found this one in walnut and ergonomically fashioned.  The shop is on Etsy and owned by DCWoodcraft.


 DCWoodcraft's Etsy shop made purchasing quick, and DC efficiently sent it out the next day.  The postal service cooperated by sending it quickly.

This hook feels smooth, organic and comfortable while working with it.  My SIL says she really likes hers, too.  SIL has one made in cherry wood in size "J", although any millimeter sized hook can be purchased.

Here is the crocheted baby blanket in progress with the ergonomic hook attached:


Pleased with the wood hook, I might get rid of most of those stashed plastic crochet hooks.