Archive | July 2017

A Nudge From Mom – Swatch Found

Yay! I found it! {Jumping up and down with glee} Where was it? I’m embarrassed to say, but I will confess. It was nowhere near where it was supposed to be. I’m also pretty sure I checked there already and didn’t see it.

See that mess that is the top shelf of my craft closet? See those clear bags with junk in them? The one on the top left has scraps of rags I sometimes use for stuffing my dolls. It’s sitting on top of the looms.  I rifled through that yesterday (among every other place in my office/craft room) looking for the swatch. And I do mean RIFLED! I didn’t find it. The clear bag on the right sandwiched  between a white bag on top and a white bag below was pulled out as well. That one has baby clothes in the event I want to make large dolls.

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The swatch was on top of and to the back of the clear bag on the top left.

Knowing it was originally in a clear pouch that had other mis-matched pieces of crochet I didn’t know where else to put (things like little flowers and bows, disembodied doll arms and legs and my mom’s swatches), I opened up my big blue bin. Continue reading

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Freebie Friday – Double Crochet Reversible Square Pattern

My mom used to love making us all (my siblings and I and our children) beautiful crochet blankets. We all have a variation of one in particular. It is a reversible blanket that looked like a series of little squares made using double crochet where the posts are interlocked, woven, interlaced or what ever other language you want to use.

When my mom passed away a few years ago, I kept a little swatch of this pattern in case I ever wanted to try to make it.

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Mom’s swatch

I had made one of these blankets with her guidance 29 years ago.  I was pregnant and I was trying to get it finished before my baby was born. It was one of thee most frustrating experiences of my crochet life up to that point. It’s a super simple pattern to make once you get going. After all, it’s just double crochets. But if you mess up, it’s like ripping back two blankets because of how it works up. Equally, it took me a long time to make it because it’s like making two separate blankets at the same time.

So it took me forever to make it and when I messed up, it hurt even more to rip it back. And it was only a baby blanket so it wasn’t that big. Admittedly, I was a lot slower then than I am now and I didn’t know how to fix my mistakes. All I knew how to do was rip back to fix a mistake. Now, I would finish much more quickly and I would know how to fix it and keep going without having to rip.

Needless to say, I felt on the verge of tears when I was working on it, thinking I would never finish it in time. I did though. I didn’t give up and I finished it right before my daughter was born (I think she still has it lying around somewhere). The satisfaction I felt when I finished it can’t be described but lets just say I was extremely happy it was done and I never made another one.

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This is my daughter’s blanket. It’s a little beat up because it’s 29 years old!

Fast forward many years and my mom started making them for everyone. My daughter got several new ones and my son got one.

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This is my son’s. He loved orange and picked the colors. He was about eight or nine. He’s 17 now and he’s still using it. 🙂

We all loved (and continue to love) them. When mom passed, I had no desire to make any. I’ve since figured out how to make other blankets she’d made but not the ‘squares’ one even though I have the swatch.

More recently, I’d say within the last two years, I went on an internet search looking for the pattern. I tried all kinds of language looking for it and never found it. I always told myself I could probably figure it out from her swatch but I wasn’t 100% sure I could. What if I undid her work in an effort to make one and couldn’t? Her work would be unraveled and I wouldn’t have the swatch anymore. Then it would be lost! So I never undid it and kept searching the internet.

Then one day within the last six months or so, a blogger I follow wrote a post about that same pattern! I was so excited. The name for it was so simple that I thought I would never forget it. I was going to respond but I got distracted and forgot about it. Then when I remembered, I couldn’t remember which blogger it was. I spent hours and hours searching through all the blogs I follow looking for it and never found it (if you’re that blogger, let me know who you are!). At first, I searched the ones I thought most likely to have posted it and then I searched through all of them going back months, to no avail. I finally gave up and tried to remember the title she used to describe it. It was something like interwoven double crochet but that didn’t bring up what I was looking for.

Then a couple of days ago, I tried searching the internet again, using as many descriptive words as I could and I found one video on YouTube! It’s mostly the right pattern and I got busy working up a swatch.

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My swatch

Then I went looking for my mom’s swatch to compare and I couldn’t find it! Oh no! At least I know it’s here somewhere. I must have put it someplace safe, so safe I can’t find it. Heh! But at least I know how to do it now. Luckily I took a picture of the swatch and used that to compare to my swatch.

Mine is slightly different. Mom’s edges look better and neater. I need to find her swatch so I can make the adjustments. I think she started her’s a little differently than what I found.

I am so grateful for that video but I think I’m going to make my own version. Her video is very long and I think I can make one that is a little more condensed but still useful. I also want my video to match my mom’s pattern (as soon as I find her swatch). Plus I worry that the video could disappear and I  would be out of luck again. At least if I shoot my own, I’ll always have it. It certainly can’t hurt to have more than one tutorial on the pattern.  🙂

The Crochet Coats – Sweaters So Far

My three sweater coats

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This was the first and is my favorite in the ‘looks’ category. I’m still working on this one.

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This is the second one and I love the star stitch but I had a few mistakes that were bothering me. This one went to my sister.

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Here’s the current one. This one is my favorite in the ‘how it feels’ category but it’s not my favorite to look at. But I do like it a lot overall. I might add pockets and I might, might I say, give this a friend who likes it.

So now I’ve finished three coats but the first of the three is still waiting to be plugged up. As a reminder, I finished that first one ages ago.

It’s the only one that had a hood. It’s the only one I bought special yarn for (and by Continue reading

Craft Yarn Council Certification- Pass or Fail

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I passed! I passed! I had my exit call with my master teacher. It was a great phone conversation. Right off the bat, she was really nice. As the time drew nearer for our scheduled talk, I got more and more nervous. Was my portfolio any good? Did I make any mistakes that would cause me to fail? Were my lesson plans too long or not clear? Was she going to ask me something I didn’t know how to answer? This call could be disastrous! Yep, I was getting pretty wound up there.

But none of that happened. She put me at ease right away and was very conversational and friendly. She told me my portfolio was beautiful and very impressive but that I must know that already. I did not! It was very organized, that I knew. I did the best I could with the swatches but you never know what someone else might think but I knew I could present my work in the best light possible. So it was nice that she noticed. Continue reading

Bavarian Crochet Sweater/Coat/Cardigan

It’s done! I can finally wear it when it’s cold again. I really like this one. It feels great and I’m happy with it’s length. My friend saw it and says she wants one. She’s been telling me she wants one since I made the first one (which I’m still plugging away at, literally, plugging up the holes), the second one, which I gave to my sister, and now this third one. Maybe I’ll give it to her and start a fourth one. Or maybe I’ll start a fourth one and pick my favorite and give her the other one. We’ll see. 🙂 Oh, and another one I promised my other sister! I better get busy!

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I’ll be warn come winter although I was roasting in it for the picture. It was 90º!

 

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There’s the back.

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You can see the shell edging I did at the end of the sleeves and around the the bottom and up the front of the coat.

I’m still thinking of adding a pocket. It was a mistake on my part not to have built the pocket in when I was sewing it up. It would have been so easy. Now I have to cover up one of the squares in order to add it on top. That’s the only thing stopping me from doing it but my hands instinctively want to go in a pocket so I just might have to do it.

Crochet Hook Cases and Holders

Today  I wanted to share my favorite hook cases that are stashed all around my house. I have them in craft bags, in nooks and crannies, and who knows where else. I say ‘my favorite’ because I have more hidden around somewhere, but those are empty and got set aside for some reason or another.

So this first one is THE favorite. It holds everything I need in one easy and convenient place. I initially made this one at my daughter’s request. She wanted something she could store her pen’s and a sketchbook all together. I made it to her specifications and then she decided the sketchbook was bigger than what she told me so I repurposed it for my own use as a hook case. It ended up being my favorite one. It holds my hooks easily and the pouch holds my gauge tool and measuring tape and anything else that’s an awkward size.

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I love the star stitch so I led with that.


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Everything fits!


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See that pouch? It’s holding my case of steel hooks, which I never use because I don’t often do thread crochet. Come to think of it, why am I lugging that around?

Continue reading

Crochet Doll for the Giveaway

I’ll be joining my fellow bloggers in being a sponsor at the Giveaway over at kellysdiy. Sounds really fun and I can’t wait until the giveaway gets started on July 17th. Head on over there and check it out. You might even want to participate. 🙂

I didn’t know about her blog until I started seeing it pop up in blogs I follow and saw that others were joining in. I checked out her blog to see what all the fuss was about. I wasn’t necessarily going participate but I ended up really liking her blog. She is super creative and has some fantastic ideas. I have to come up with a lot of projects for the kids at work and many of her projects are kid friendly. They will come in very handy when I go back to work for the new school year.

Here is my contribution.

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