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The Finished Sweater (Sort of)

The sweater is done and ready for its debut…in the Winter. I would say Fall but our Autumns are still warm. Now I can finally say I made the sweater I’ve been wanting to make for years. It’s my first attempt so I’m not surprised it could have been better.

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Shows the sweater with the edging.

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Student Highlight

I can’t express how proud I am of my students who have taken their crochet skills to the next level. So much so, I thought I would showcase and highlight some of their projects. Some of them have started following my blog and I want to show them how much I love their work by displaying it here.

Three of my 3rd grade girls have been really challenging themselves lately. They have been working on self guided projects that I have been very impressed with and that they are very proud of.

This student (below) was working on a headband when she realized that it wasn’t working out. One of the things I’m always stressing is that crochet is flexible and if something doesn’t work out, there is almost always a way to fix it, perhaps by turning it into something else. She was working rows of single crochet, changing colors to create stripes. When she saw that she hadn’t made the rows long enough for a headband, she turned it into a cute Barbie purse.

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A+ for creativity and flexibility 🙂

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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.

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

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Freebie Friday -(on Sunday :-) Cardigan

I have a tale of woe to tell. It is the reason I didn’t get out my Freebie Friday post out on, well, Friday. I hate to admit that I accidentally dropped my cell phone into a tank of water. This, after having done the exact same thing about a few weeks prior, but that time, my phone survived its swim. Alas, this time, it was destroyed. Worse still, I have only had my phone since November! There was a heated debate in my household as to how I could do the same thing twice when I had never done this with my previous phone. My very good argument was that the case I had purchased for this phone was very slippery and was a catastrophe waiting to happen. My hubby seemed to be of the opinion that my new phone was larger than my old phone and that’s why it kept slipping out of my hands. We are probably both right. Being without my phone was difficult. Who knows how many important texts I missed! (None probably 🙂 ). I was scrambling around trying to  get it repaired but in the end, I was forced to get a replacement. I am now up and running again and can now focus on getting my post out!

Lately, I’ve been seeing some really nice sweaters while out and about. I would go so far as to say I envious of the beautiful sweaters I’ve been seeing. I always wanted to make myself a lovely sweater and just never got around to it but lately, I have the itch to make one. I used to have this long, black, sweater that was made from yarn but I’m sure it was mass-produced. I’m not even sure where I got it from but it disappeared at least a year ago (but probably a lot longer). I loved that sweater and vowed I would either buy a new one or make one. I never did find one I liked and just didn’t get around to making one. Here’s one I found online that I think is worth trying. It looks pretty and not too difficult to make. Hopefully I can make it before the winter season is over. I don’t have much time so I better get started soon! The pattern can be found here.

Sweater Lion Brand

I am not affiliated with any websites nor do I make any money from these sites. They are simply patterns I like or would like to try myself.

Freebie Friday – Scarf and Doily

Awhile ago, my niece asked me if I could make a small doily for a dreamcatcher she wanted to make. Doilies are NOT my thing but I thought I had some my mom made and was going to give her one of those. My intention was to find it right away but time got away from me and I never got around to it. She asked again and I forgot again. Recently, she asked again (I’m a bad auntie) so I actually looked this time but couldn’t find the ones I was thinking of so I decided to go ahead and make one for her.

She requested something simple but as usual, I went on a Pinterest binge and started looking up all the doilies under the sun. Then I found out she needed a tiny doily so that set me off on a different quest because size changed everything! The type of yarn I needed, the pattern for something small like that, etc.

I found this (below) before I knew it needed to be small but I just followed the pattern until I got the size she needed. The pattern can be found here.

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Here’s how far I got for the palm sized doily she wanted (below).

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My niece liked it so I had to make her another one that she didn’t ask for in case she didn’t like the first one. Did I mention she already liked the photo of the first one? I whipped up a second one that I made up, just to give her choices. 🙂 Sadly, I didn’t take pictures of that one but it was cute.

And then, she asked if I could make her a scarf with some yarn she bought. I love making scarves. I don’t wear scarves that often so I don’t get the chance to create them for myself so I agreed. And you can guess what happened. Pinterest! I searched thousands of pictures (yes! thousands!) and then found out it was chunky yarn. Well, that lead me on a different search for scarves made with chunky yarn. When I finally got ahold of the yarn, I tried different pattens on it but I didn’t like how they were coming out. I changed gears and went for something more simple. In my slippers post, I mentioned that I made some flowers from a pattern that I saw on the Knit and Crochet Show on PBS. The flowers were for a headband that I didn’t care to make at the time but I liked the stitch pattern so I adapted it for my niece’s scarf and it worked out. I used the left over yarn to make those same flowers.

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I did the scarf from memory from the stitch I saw on the show. Here is the link to the headband pattern (you need to register to download it but I like this site and would recommend it).

Even though I was going from memory, I coincidentally used the exact same stitch count as the headband pattern but because I used a very chunky yarn, it came out much larger  🙂 and I obviously did many more rows than they did. Do as many rows as you need to get the desired length.

I did something slightly different on the ends of my scarf that are not in the original pattern. I started the scarf with a row of double crochet followed by a row of single crochet and then I followed the pattern. When I reached the length I liked, I did a row of single crochet followed by a row double crochet to finish it off. I also changed colors. I had less of the pink colored yarn than the white so I did four rows of pink and six rows of cream and repeated that until the end. My niece was pretty happy with the end result.

You might be wondering if I stopped at one scarf and it probably won’t surprise you to know that I did NOT stop at one scarf. I made another because I was on a roll. Recall I looked at THOUSANDS (this might be a slight exaggeration) of pictures so I had a lot of ideas rattling in my head but that’s a blog post for another day!

I am not affiliated with any websites nor do I make any money from these sites. They are simply patterns I like or would like to try myself.

 

Funny crochet slippers

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Now that winter is here, I found myself wanting  some warm slippers. My mom used to make slippers for everyone in the family but now that she’s gone, I don’t have that luxury so I decided to have a go at it.

Traditionally, I don’t have a great track record with crochet slippers. I can make the heck out of one slipper but the second one tends to be a little more elusive. Either it comes out too small or too big, even when I do the exact same thing (at least that’s what I tell myself). Inevitably, I try to match the size of one of the slippers but instead, I end up with a craft bag full of different sized slippers. Lol  Well no more, I told myself! I was going to make myself a pair of slippers. And they would match! Continue reading

Freebie Friday – Pink Shells Bow Scarf

I was browsing on Pinterest the other day and spent way too much time exploring my interests. I just went on there to look for a flower pattern and got caught up in the recommendations they had for me. Going on Pinterest is much like going to Costco. My intentions are always good. Go in, get what I need quickly, and get out! But nooooo. I end up staying in there far longer than I intend. It’s the same with Pinterest. Go in, find what I’m looking for and get out. It never seems to happen that way. I get so distracted by all the neat things I find, when I look up and look at the time, I’m almost late for work!

On this foray into dangerous territory, I found this scarf and pattern that kept catching my eye. I don’t wear scarves very often so I’m not usually interested in scarf patterns but I thought this one was so cute I decided to share it. I think I’m going to make it but I’m already thinking up ways to change it! I can’t leave well enough alone 🙂

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I found it here!

Hope you enjoy it too.

I am not affiliated with any websites nor do I make any money from these sites. They are simply patterns I like or would like to try myself.

 

New Crochet Doll Dress

So, I wanted to finally make the second doll dress my sister wanted for her baby doll. When she asked for it, I told her sure, sure, no problem. What I didn’t tell her was that I had permanently crocheted the other doll dress onto the doll. I do that sometimes when I know that someone isn’t going to take the dress off of the doll. In retrospect, I should not have done this with this doll. So instead of telling her that in order to make her doll a new outfit, I might have to destroy the old outfit to get it off, I just agreed to  make a new one and in secret, hoped I could figure out a way to get the old outfit off without ripping it to shreds. I realized this was a bad plan from the get-go but there was a chance, a possibility, that I could gently undo something that would allow me to take the old dress off and then redo it so it could be removable. If that were the case then I didn’t have to tell her anything :-).

So one day, when I went to pick up my son who had spent the night at her place, I arrived early while she was at work. I snuck into her room (the door was open so it wasn’t like I was breaking in) and grabbed the doll and inspected her carefully. I was in luck! The top opening of the dress had been large so I had crocheted a slip stitch all around it to tighten it up and then wove in the ends. It was in a contrasting color so it was very easy to pull out the slip stitching.

lucha's doll

I was able to easily remove the slip stitch row around the neckline.

I was then able to pull off the dress with ease. By the time my sister got home, she found me happily working on her doll’s new dress and I didn’t have to admit to anything :-). I just told her I had to undo the slip stitch and that I would fix it later.

I got pretty far on the outfit by the time I had to leave but I was coming to realize very quickly that I was going to run out of the green yarn I was using. She wanted most of the dress in green with a little yellow. I didn’t bother telling her that I couldn’t find that same color yarn anywhere. So….she gets this!

Baby doll dress

Yes, there is a little more than just ‘a little’ yellow. I’ll probably be working on a third dress soon 😉

Crocodile Stitch Cloak in progress

Cloak round 2_3I have been plugging along on my crocodile stitch cloak and it’s growing so slowly. I work on it for a few hours every night. I’m finding that my right hand is getting crochet carpal tunnel and crochet elbow (I made those terms up but I’m very confident they apply). I’m very sad that I can’t work as long as I used to be able to on projects. I don’t know if this age related or project related or hopefully just a fluke. This particular stitch can be very demanding and is creating a lot of strain on my hands. But in the past, it was never a problem. I remember when a dear friend of mine told me she was developing carpal tunnel from knitting and my first thought was how glad I was I didn’t have that problem. I love crocheting so much I would hate to slow down because of something like that. And now here I am too. I take many breaks and stretch my hands periodically. I even bought these crafters gloves. They didn’t help me much and made my hands hot. I felt they got in the way more than they helped.

As the cloak is growing (albeit slowly), I’m starting to wonder if it’s worth the effort. I keep debating with myself if I should abandon ship and start over. I could find a different stitch that would look just as nice and still look like dragon scales (I definitely want it to look like dragon scales) and that would go much quicker. I could do a lacier design that would be lighter and cooler. But then I argue with myself (it’s not pretty) and I tell myself to just finish it. Then I think it might look cool but will it just sit in a drawer somewhere never to be actually used? Am I spending all this time on a fail? I already finished the hood and I’ve already spent so much time on the cloak part. I’ve set it aside for a few days contemplating it’s fate. I’ve committed so much time to it already I hate the thought of abandoning and consequently unraveling it but I’m not so sure I’m in love with it anymore. I probably will finish it (I can’t bring myself to undo that much work) and if I don’t like it as a cloak, I’ll keep it as a cozy afghan 🙂

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Crocodile Stitch Cloak

Now that I am done with making all the dolls that were in my to do list, I was floundering around wondering what to make next, if anything. Instead, I decided to attack all the other little tasks I was supposed to do this summer and actually finished some of them! I can become obsessed with tasks sometimes and I ended up spending days organizing my photo files on my computer. And I do mean days. I was at my desk non stop for days! DAYS! Then I cleaned up my computer files in general. Then I went and organized my physical prints. I cleaned my office and craft room and reorganized that too.

Then I found myself back where I started. What to make :-). Working on the cape for the Anna crochet doll reminded me about the cloak I started and never finished about two years ago. The one I was going to wear to the Renaissance Fair two Renaissance Fairs ago LOL. I had lofty goals back then. I had just learned how to make the crocodile crochet stitch and fell in love with it. I wanted to make a mermaid skirt for Halloween and went searching for the perfect stitch that looked like scales. I made my skirt and then had the bright idea that a hooded cloak would look awesome with that stitch. I imagined a cloak that looked like I had killed a dragon and wore is at a cloak. Very nerdy but I was going to make it happen. I envisioned this shimmery, goldish, greenish cloak that wasn’t too hot (Ren Fair happens in the summer and it can get very hot!). I sadly didn’t have enough yarn in my stash that fit this description so that meant I would have to buy something. This would get pricey! Instead, I figured I should make a prototype before I went and spent all this money on something I didn’t know how to make. I didn’t want to run out of yarn in the middle of the project so I went with something I had a lot of that I didn’t mind using in the experiment. It was a gift from my sister and I’m not sure what kind of yarn it is but it seemed fancy and felt nice.

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It’s pinkish in color (I suppose there could be a pink dragon somewhere) and I started the hood. I realized right away that I didn’t make the hood big enough or wide enough so I added a fringe in this Boucle yarn I had (bought with a coupon). It was a variegated white and blue. It reminded me of snow. I thought the two yarns looked good together. I had finished the hood right away back then and only did about two rows of the cape when I set it down.

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I’m not sure why my desire to finish it petered out. I think the task ahead seemed daunting and I just kept putting it off.

Well, the time for my cloak is now! I will finish this cloak and it will be ready for Ren Fair next May. It won’t be goldish and greenish and shimmery but it will be pink and snow blueish and whitish and it will be hot but it will be pretty 🙂 I have already finished a few more rows and am looking forward to meeting this new cloak and maybe it will inspire me to go out and find that perfect yarn for the second cloak 🙂