Archive | April 2016

Freebie Friday Granny Square And Sweater Derailment

This is what happened.

I finished the dragon cloak (photos to follow in a future post) and I didn’t have any other WIPs (believe it or not). I was antsy with crochet freedom. I realized I now had time to start that sweater from Lion Brand that I posted before on a Freebie Friday.

I thought I’d start with the granny squares called for in the pattern. I don’t make garments very often, what with gauges and special notes and what nots. When I do make a garment, I just use my body as a guide with constant holding up against me and trying on. I don’t need no stinking gauge!

Firstly, I did look over the pattern and read the special notes and perused the stitches used. I scrutinized the diagrams and made an attempt to understand where the pattern was going. Then I jumped right in, grabbed the hook called for (size I) and started hooking. Two things happened right away. 1) I didn’t like the granny square. It looked good in the photo but it was meh in practice and though it wasn’t hard, it was more complicated than I expected for something that looked so plain (to me).  2) It also seemed very large. Too large. I held it up to my body, pictured six of them and realized they would make a huge sweater.

Some of you might be thinking right about now how silly I was for not looking at the gauge in the first place and you’d be absolutely right. Luckily I knew at this point that I needed to find that gauge. It stated that the granny square should be 3 3/4 in by 3 3/4 in. That just didn’t seem right. I pulled out my ruler. My square was over six inches! Wait a minute here. How could I be so off? The pattern recommended using a smaller hook if the gauge was off so I ripped back the square and tried again with a smaller hook (H). It was still too big, by a lot!

At this point, I was contemplating using an even smaller hook size. But the yarn was already getting fiddly with the smaller hook. I couldn’t imagine using an even smaller one. Besides, I didn’t even like the square so I took a step back and looked at other granny squares around the web to find something better.  I found one I liked.

 

Spring flower granny square

The pattern is in UK terms. You can find the original pattern here. My translation is  at the bottom of the post.

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The Prodigal Doll Returns!

This story was inspired by the passing of my oldest sister due to complications of diabetes…

So I made this doll back in 2010. I had just learned about Tunisian crochet and I experimented making some dolls with it. I loved the knitted look that could be achieved and since I was lousy with knitting, I wanted to give it a go. This particular doll was my third attempt at making a doll with this style of crochet. When I was done with her, I thought she was ugly (but I never told her that. I wouldn’t break her confidence that way!). I was happy with the overall doll but I wasn’t too happy with her face. I didn’t do such a hot job with her hair either but she was a prototype so I wasn’t too concerned.

What surprised me about this doll was the reaction some family members had to her. My sis-in-law and close friend fell in love with her and kept cuddling her and asked me if she could have her. She begged me for her. I’m pretty sure she begged me for her :-). I still wanted to make the doll an outfit and take some pictures of her. This doll wasn’t intended for anyone. I wanted to keep her as future reference for other dolls but I had written a pattern already and my friend wanted her so badly that I agreed to let her keep her, but not until I was done finishing her up.

Then, my mom-in-law came to visit and had almost the same reaction as my friend. She also asked if she could keep her but let her know that I had already promised her to someone else but that I would make her a new one (I did eventually make her a new one but it took me over a year to deliver, oops!). I told my friend about it in the event she was feeling generous and would want me to give her to my mom-in-law but she said no way.

Well, on a day my extended family gathered for the holidays, I had intended to give the doll to my friend. I had made her a bassinet, pillow, blanket, an outfit and bought her some clothes. My niece saw the doll and asked me if she could have her too. I let her know that it was already given to someone else and besides, I had already given her some dolls I’d made.

I gave the doll to my sis-in-law (notice she is no longer my close friend at this point) who enjoyed her all of 15 minutes before she gave the doll to my niece! In her defense (this was her defense, not mine), my niece came up to her and let her know how much she loved the doll. My niece, 10 years old at the time, looked pretty cute and convincing. My sis-in-law then said, “Well, dolls should be loved and played with by kids. Will you promise to take care of her?” My niece was no sucker and said that of course she would take care of her. My now not so loved (I’m joking of course!) sis-in-law handed the doll over and that was that.

A couple of things went through my mind in that moment. What just happened???!!! Did she really just give away the doll she begged me for to my niece to whom I had already given dolls to? It could have gone to my mom-in-law (it’s never a bad thing to score brownie points with the mom-in-law), who I was pretty confident would not have given her away in less than 15 minutes.

I don’t blame my niece for wanting her and asking for her but I did NOT expect my sis-in-law to cave in so easily! I felt like snatching the doll back up and giving her to my mom-in-law (brownie points!). But then I came to acceptance. What was done was done. She belonged to my niece now. She conned sis-in-law out of it fair and square. My niece reads this blog and she knows it’s true!

doll

This is one of the dolls I had given my niece. Just in case there was any doubt I gave her good things!

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My Top 6 Best Crochet Discoveries

I’ve been crocheting for a long time and every now and then I stumble across something new that totally excites me, inspires me, or just makes me extremely happy. Here are the top five things that blew my mind when I discovered them. I know these things have been around forever but at one time they were new to me and I’m so happy I found them.

1. Tunisian crochet

I was looking for a phone case idea (a very long time ago) and found a pattern for a really cute one but it looked knitted. I had just learned how to read patterns but the pattern looked completely foreign to me. Even though the pattern said crochet, it wasn’t any crochet I knew. I liked the case and it said crochet so I was determined to learn its language. It said it was done in Tunisian knit stitch so I looked it up and the heavens opened up for me. I was frustrated with knitting and abandoned it but still liked how it looked and this type of crochet was beautiful and allowed me to pretend I could knit. I’ve been Tunisian crocheting ever since and I absolutely love it!

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 10.58.26 AM

The phone case that started it all!

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Freebie Friday – 10 Crochet Toy Patterns

Crochet toys are my favorite. I enjoy making them and combing the internet looking for pictures. I don’t know why they grab my attention more so than other crochet projects but I guess we all have our niches that we like to work in. For this Freebie Friday, I thought I’d share some of the cute crochet toys I found. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. The patterns can be found by clicking on the titles.

Groot!

Crochet Groot

His smile makes me smile.

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Freebie Friday – Mario Rag Doll

Mario is finished and waiting to be given to his new owner. His new owner still needs a few more stars on the chart to earn him but he’s close 🙂

Mario in Tree

Aside from having anxiety about getting the face and hat right, he wasn’t as hard as I was worried he might be.  Continue reading

Renaissance Faire in My Back Yard!

end of fair

There is a Renaissance Faire that happens in my home city???!!! What???!!! I’ve been trekking all the way to Irwindale (about 40 miles away) to go to the faire and I have one practically in my own back yard! Obviously I have to check it out. It’s called the Koroneburg Old World Renaissance Festival. I already bought tickets for The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale, the one I’ve been going to for years. We are still going but if this one is as good, we will be going there from now on. Continue reading

Dragon Cloak coming along

I just spent a wonderful few days in San Diego with my family. We were fortunate enough to be very close to the bay. It rejuvenated my soul. I brought along my dragon cloak (that has been a WIP forever and I’ve been making for the Renaissance Faire) for those down times when everyone just wanted to lounge. I only had the opportunity to pull it out once but it was really nice with the breeze blowing through my hair and my hubby sitting next to me. We even had a few visitors.

ducks

They stayed with us awhile 🙂 Do you see the seagull in the background? He joined us too!

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