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Holiday Organizing

I get three weeks off from work this year and normally, I’d be crocheting like crazy but I actually wasn’t this year. Right before our break, I was crocheting like crazy for the kids at work, and even brought some projects home, but once vacation started, nada, zilch, nothing.

What was I doing with all my free time I hear you ask? Cleaning, decluttering, organizing and reorganizing! As I  mentioned in a previous post, my adult daughter was moving back home and we (and by we I mean me)  needed to make room for her. The room she would be occupying is actually not a room but a formal dining room off the kitchen that has been used for everything but actual dining. In its present incarnation, it was serving as my library and general catch-all. I had bought cabinets to house my vacuums, brooms, and photography equipment. All that stuff had to go! Somewhere else! She wanted to keep the cabinets so I had to find these things new hidey holes.

She was moving in a week before Christmas and we host a family gathering so the house Continue reading

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Hilarious Crochet Fail – Mermaid Ears

Whenever you attempt something new, failure is always lurking. That’s life. But that doesn’t stop me from trying. After a few years of hiatus, we once again have passes to Disneyland and I wanted to make Mickey ears, all kinds of Mickey ears. I see so many cool ones being worn all over the parks and I think, I can make those in crochet! So far, I have made exactly one set and it was cute but not that impressive.

crochet Mickey ears

I decided my next attempt would be ears that would reflect my love of mermaids. I looked at pictures for inspiration and saw a few that I could translate into crochet, easy.

Maybe not so easy, but definitely doable.

But I wanted to try something different first. Wouldn’t a mermaid tail on the ears look super cool? I found one somewhere but haven’t been able to find it again. I also wanted to make the ears stiff so they wouldn’t flop on the headband so I used three strands of yarn. I pictured it in my head and I thought it could work. I thought starting with purple and ending with green would look very mermaidy. Continue reading

Tunisian Swatch – CYC Level 2

I was diligently working on my swatch of Tunisian crochet for level two (Craft Yarn Council teacher certification). It wasn’t hard. I know how to do Tunisian crochet. I LOVE Tunisian crochet. Then why did it take me so many tries to get it right?! The square itself was easy enough. I had that down and had my perfect five inch square. The trouble was the second part of the the instructions. I needed to cross-stitch my initial on the square. Again, I know how to cross-stitch on Tunisian crochet.

The problem was trying to do it the way they had it in the manual. Personally, I like going from the back to the front of the fabric but the instructions had you doing it under the loops or something. I’d seen this before and always just did it my way. So I needed to practice. Luckily, I had a reject square that didn’t come out the right size the first time around.

First, I had to decide on the shape and size my initial would be and then I had to practice it their way. I’m not sure why, but I ended up with a huge ‘Y’. It didn’t say the letter had to be big but I went BIG. I practiced the cross-stitching and placement on that reject square. I undid the cross stitch a few times but I was finally satisfied and was ready to do the cross stitching on my good square. The size was good and the stitches looked good and I had the cross-stitch down and then I noticed it was off-center!  Continue reading

CYC Level 2 Certification

Initially I had planned to do separate posts about my progress on the second course of the Craft Yarn Council’s Teacher Certification program. Time got away from me, though, what with going back to work and being crazy busy with getting back in the swing of things. We’ve been back a full week now and I had a breakthrough moment with one of my 4th grade girls and single crochet, but I digress, that will be for another post.

Back to my swatching.

all swatches

Swatches everywhere!

I have completed most of the required swatches for the program and have left the required lesson plans and the sweater for last. The sweater will be considered the final exam. I won’t go into the gory details of each swatch, only the more interesting ones but I will say that I made each swatch at least 3 times trying to make them perfect. Some required a lot of undoing and redoing to get the right gauge, but in the end, I was happy with the results. Continue reading

Craft Yarn Council – Level II

So I just received my email instructions for level II of the Craft Yarn Council’s program. Umm…it looks tough! I just glanced over the assignments and there are a few things in there I’ll have to learn in order to complete the swatches. Like what’s a Flame Stitch? I looked on YouTube and it doesn’t look at like the diagram in the assignment sheet! The instructions are confusing too. That’s ok, I think I figured it out.

Then for the final assignment, I need to follow the pattern for a baby sweater without deviating from the pattern and making sure the measurements match. I think that’s the part that has me the most nervous. I hate following patterns. Their is a second option: making your own design making sure to include all the requirements. Normally I would choose this option but making clothes isn’t my strength in crochet.

I can make clothes but I usually just measure off of my own body or the body of the person I’m making clothes for (which isn’t very often) so I don’t think I want to do that. I can follow a pattern so I will do theirs. I just need to make sure I follow gauge and we all know I hate doing that. LOL

I’ll probably have to buy yarn because the pattern and some of the swatches call for yarns I don’t think I have. I don’t think I have baby yarn in my stash, although I might actually have some. How sad that I have so much yarn I don’t even know what I have! If you know me, you also know I hate wasting money and although I love buying yarn, I hate buying yarn to make something I have no use for. {What a whiner}. I will make the baby sweater and then make a big baby doll to put it on. Or better yet, I will pick the size that fits the life-size doll at work. She will now have a new sweater. 🙂

Overall, I’m excited to start this level. It looks like it will push me to learn some new things and test my skills.

Here goes…

Swatches.jpg

Confession time, I already started! That’s the flame stitch in the middle. That one gave me some trouble. The one on the left is giving me trouble now. I can sort-of cross stitch but the way they want me to do it is new to me. It’s a learning curve for sure. The bottom one is my practice swatch. I kept having to undo the cross stitches. I think I have it figured out now but we’ll see. 

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 Lessons 3 and 4

Now that I’ve started blocking, I’m blocking everything! I kept a big, rectangular piece of foam board that was part of the packaging for my standing desk. I thought it might work well for blocking my lesson swatches. I like it so far. I have a spray bottle on my desk and am looking around my office looking for other things to squirt, I mean block. Blocking is fun! Waiting for the pieces to dry, not so fun. ☹️ Running around squirting my family, fun🙃

Not sure I’m blocking right. I know I’m wetting and pinning right, I’m just not sure I’m shaping them right, but it’s the first time I’ve blocked anything so I’m sure I’ll get better.

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The hardest part of my swatches is making a perfect 5″ square. I’ve had to adjust all kinds of things to make the squares come out the right size but it’s been fun figuring it out. I’m totally committed to making this work.

The hardest square for me was the popcorn stitch. The pattern calls for two rows of double crochets, seven rows with popcorn clusters and two more double crochet rows. I had to use medium weight yarn. I just couldn’t get 11 rows and I went down to an F hook and crocheted very tight!

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My toughest swatch!

I got up to nine rows so I went with that, one row of double crochets (instead of two) at the ends with the seven rows of popcorn stitches. My other alternatives were to use a bigger hook and skip some of the non popcorn rows (only seven rows total) or still have the two rows at each end intact but  eliminate some of the rows with popcorn stitches. I think my solution was the best one. I kept the integrity of the popcorn stitch design. The directions say you can alter the stitch count and hook size to attain gauge but hopefully what I did falls within the parameters of what I can change to make it the right size.

The last thing I need to do for lesson 4 is create or use someone else’s pattern for crocheting in the round without joining. It has to be something a beginner can make. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to make but settled on making a handle cover for a pan. I have cast iron skillets and actually need handle covers so this is perfect. I finished it and realized I don’t want to send it in as an example of my work. It’s going straight to my pan.

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Instead, I made a small happy face emoji keychain instead.

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Now that’s something more up my alley.