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Archive for the ‘Crochet’ Category

More Crochet

Everything that I have read tells me that crochet is “faster and easier” than knitting.  Well, I’m still not convinced of the “easier” part.  But I did find a project that fulfilled the faster part.

In April one of the many treasures that I brought home from the Yarn Shop Hop was some ropey t-shirt yarn.

I was novelty kind of thing that I would normally not even look twice at.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not a yarn snob.  Well….unless it has the world silk in it.  And honestly.  Is there anything better than adding silk to yarn???  But I digress.

What got my attention at the store was the samples.  There were bright colored crocheted baskets.  I was in the midst of Grandma’s flowered afghan, so my crochet skills were flowing.  🙂  I was already wondering if I should make myself my own granny square afghan and here is the perfect bright-colored, small project!  Much easier to tackle vs. a large color-filled afghan!  And “Tee Cakes”?  The name makes me smile and that is what anything yarn related does for me.  Makes me happy in my happy place.

So a bright “cake” of green came home with me.  I did not splurge on a designer hook.  Instead I went to the ever-trusted Michael’s and got a gigantic size N.   I was ready, but there were so many other things to do that came into my summer until about a month ago.

I streamed a classic Bing Crosby movie, Top o’ the Morning….which incidentally had knitting inspiration provided.  This lady looks all smug with herself.  🙂

And while I enjoyed a little Bing, I started and finished my own crochet basket!

It was quick.  But I have not fully embraced the “easy”.  I had forgotten how to single crochet!  So back to all of my helpful blog resources for a refresher.  Then using this large of a hook made my hands cramp like you wouldn’t believe!  Most of that is due to the fact that I am a VERY tight hooker (I think people crochet because it’s so easy to sound dirty 🙂 ).  But I was determined and persevered!

I tried to follow the pattern, and in fact tore it out after finishing it once because I didn’t think the dimensions were right.  But sure enough.  Doing it the second time resulted in the same dimensions.  It looks a little larger in diameter and shorter in height than the ones on Ravelry and in the pattern picture.  But I don’t care.  I eliminated the handles and it is perfect for my guest bathroom!

All of the toiletries that you might have forgotten to pack in your suitcase can now be pulled out of the drawer and set on the counter.  I love it!

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The March Crochet Update

Way back in March while I was watching the end of the college basketball season I started a crochet adventure.  My goal was to give my sister a cool birthday present while completing an afghan that my grandma had started many years ago.  My deadline was Mother’s Day when I would physically see my sister (2 months after her birthday) to give it to her as a birthday gift.

I got it done in time!!!!  And she loved it!

But for the recap and details……Let the Granny Square Afghan saga begin.

Grandma’s squares were the starting point.

And my plain white filler squares would give me the size needed for a blanket.

Them came the joining.  This was the most satisfying for me.  Actually seeing them come together and get some size was the most gratifying!

When I started joining them together I didn’t realize how much the join itself was going to increase the size of the overall project.  So I started with the thought that every other row was going to need to be solid white.  But after completing the first 3 rows I realized that instead of being 9 squares across, it only needed to be 7.  This resulted in more flowers to fill in the plain white rows.

Do you notice that the photo above still has one solid white row in it?  The explanation for that is simple….the deadline.  I simply didn’t want to waste precious time by taking out a whole row of joined sqares.  I thought I would wait and see how the timing progressed to see if I would have time to do it at the end.

I didn’t.

So my solution was that I would make it a “design feature” and do a solid white row on the second to last row of each end.  The entire thing did end up being longer than a throw, but is perfect for her over 6′ husband or to be used on a twin bed.

The random mix of colors goes against my rather symmetrical way of thinking.  But I really ended up loving it!

I edged it in a couple of rows of single stitch crochet to help keep it square.

And….voile!  It was done!!

My sister was stunned that I had completed it.  She evidently thought that I had forgotten that I even took the squares, so her surprise was genuine!

Yay!!!!  I love it when a plan comes together!  🙂

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Flat Braid Crochet

Last night I enjoyed a most fabulous supper of oven roasted potatoes.  I make them my own way with whatever seasoning I feel like and whatever veggies (peppers, etc) are in the fridge.  But the link is the basic recipe that got me hooked.  I think I’ve made them 4 times in the past 10 days!  And, yes, I am single and don’t eat anything with them….I just have them – by themselves – for supper.

While cutting up the potatoes to throw in the oven I popped in one of my favorite college movies, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.  Kevin Costner in his almost mullet is so cute.  And the Bryan Adams theme song brings back so many memories…..”I’d lie for you, Walk the wire for you, yeah I’d die for you“.  Aaaah!  How romantic!  🙂

The reason that I ordered the over-2-hour flashback movie from Netflix during the week was so that I could have some quality time to work on grandma’s afghan.  I have become quite adept at the basic granny square and was having a really hard time deciding how to join them.  And it was imperative that I start joining them soon so that I feel like I am getting somewhere!  More piles of squares was not doing it for me!

There were many options and I find it interesting that not everyone photographs the front and back of their work after they show you how to do something.  Since it is a blanket and both sides will be seen, I really like to see what the back is going to look like.  But  I digress since that is totally not the point and irrelevent to what I was tyring to do.

So I finally landed on the Flat Braid join.  There are many pretty pictures on Pinterest and even though they are all called the same thing, they don’t all look exactly the same.  I discovered that the prettiest picture linked me to a website with only written instructions and a few photos.  In my newbie-crochet phase this was not working for me.  I learned to knit with books and pictures, but my head does not wrap around the crochet instruction verbiage.  So I found a series of videos that are great!  Four videos…one for each block of the first four blocks.

So in the two hours that it took Robin Hood to defeat the Sheriff on Nottingham and court Maid Marion.  I managed to connect some squares.

Not bad work before King Richard shows up for a guest appearance at the wedding (I think Sean Connery is so handsome).  My technique is not perfect.  But I am very pleased with it so far!!

And now that I “get” what I am doing I am hoping it will go faster.  My goal is to get the first 3 rows assembled before Saturday at noon.  I am heading to my knitting buddy’s house to enjoy a little yarny socialization for the afternoon and want to have a “taking shape” project to share!  She has seen the piles of squares sitting in my family room for a year and will be excited that I am finally doing them!  Moral support is imperative to me!

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March Madness Crochet

Yes, some people think it’s spring. All signs for us outside still show winter.

Our snow is shrinking….but it is still here!  So even though this past weekend was sunny and in the 30’s I was not outside playing.  Instead I decided to work on some long overdue inside projects.  My sister found a bag of these afghan squares many years ago when my grandma passed away.

They are kind of fun!  However, there are not enough for anything other than some pillows.  About a year ago she asked if there was any way that I could make them into a throw/afghan.  I took them and told her I could figure something out.  But does anyone notice a problem??  These were not created by beloved knitting needles.  They were created with these….

I only use these for weaving in ends and hadn’t even learned how to use them for edging.  UGH!  Thus the squares sat here for  a year without being touched.

I finally decided last week that I should do something with them.  Partially because my sister’s birthday was at the beginning of March and wouldn’t it have been nice to have had this done for a gift????  Well, I won’t see her until Mother’s Day and I work best under pressure….  🙂

So I started slow and found a nice simple dish cloth pattern with a great tutorial video on a “simple” half double crochet stitch.

Not bad for my first try!  Since it is edged you don’t see that I “lost” a couple of stitches along the way.  So it is not exactly square!  But I can crochet!!!!

Now that I was on a roll I decided it would be my goal this past weekend to conquer granny squares!!  Friday night while I watched Iowa State beat Notre Dame (Yay!) I found a very useful tutorial (I love YouTube!).  It was late, and I didn’t tackle attempting anything yet.

So while it was sunny and 34 on Saturday I sat inside and mastered the art of crocheting granny squares!

Here’s my plan.  I don’t have the pattern for the flowered square that Grandma was making.  So I am just going to do solid white basic squares until I have enough of both for an afghan.

I managed to get 9 squares done throughout the weekend.   A couple were done while I watched Iowa State lose on Sunday morning.   😦  So my March Madness pool continues as does my newly acquired crochet skill.

 

 

 

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