Tag Archive | daily post

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.

Freebie Friday – Crochet Mermaid

I’ve been thinking about mermaids lately. I want to make a really cool crocheted mermaid. There are lots and lots of pretty crochet mermaid patterns out there but I want to create my own. Hey, maybe a mermaid puppet! Anyway, that doesn’t stop me from admiring what’s out there. While I was ogling the available pictures, I came across a few I couldn’t resist sharing.

These are NOT my patterns. They are courtesy of a Google search.

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Adorable! And if you’re mermaid crazy too, here’s the link to these mermaid patterns.

Student Corner

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about the wonderful crochet projects my students were working on and I thought it was about that time. I meant to get this out before the school year ended but better late than never, right? The kids had  really been inspired and their work deserves to be seen.

Student Work

4th Graders

One 4th grade girl made a cute book cover. She asked me to teach her fancier stitches. I taught her how to do alternating single and double crochets and then alternating them in the next row. The book cover came out very cute.

Crochey book cover pouch_2

Crochet book cover pouch_1

After that, she felt ready to make a doll. She’d already tackled working in the round by making emojis so she was definitely ready. She finished the head and body and started work on the hair. She had definite ideas of how she wanted her doll to look.

crochet doll head

I let her know that how the doll looks it’s totally up to her. That’s the fun part of making dolls, they are totally unique to us.

Look at that hair! She’s good. 🙂

Another 4th grade girl has made several scarves but she wanted a pencil case for her brother. She asked me a few questions and then set out to make it.

Crochet pencil case

This will be a pencil case.

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Now It’s starting to look like a pencil case! She was adding a Batman symbol to the yellow part before we left for the summer. She even sewed it together to form pencil pockets. I didn’t teach her that!

5th Grader

A fifth-grade girl wanted to try a doll as well. I taught her how to crochet in the round and I don’t doubt she’ll have her own doll pretty soon. She managed to finish the head before we left and hopefully she won’t abandon it now that she won’t be returning (5th graders move on to middle school).

I recently learned about finger knitting and I was able to teach one of my Kinder girls how to do it. With a little guidance, she was able to make herself a scarf. She was very proud of it and I was very proud of her. She wore the scarf all day. 🙂

Kindergartner

Lastly, I’d like to feature one of my transitional Kinders who has mastered the chain in her own way and is itching to move on to the single crochet.

She wants to make so many things and is frustrated that she can’t yet. So far, I haven’t managed to teach a Kinder how to do single crochet. Mainly because they are happy learning how to chain stitch and get impatient that they can’t pick up single crochet quickly. The youngest I have been able to teach that far is second-grade. Even then, that second-grader didn’t master single crochet until she was in third grade. However, this child is so determined, I think she can actually do it. If not this year, I’m pretty sure she’ll be able to do it next year. Transitional Kinders get two years of Kinder. So next year, she will still be a Kindergartner. We will both feel a sense of accomplishment if she manages to learn the stitch. She’s really sharp so I have no doubt she’ll get it.

I am soooooo proud of them all! Watching them make their projects was a revelation to me about how good they’d gotten. I’m constantly harping on about how you can make anything once you learn the basics. If you can dream it, you can make it happen, and they did! I was actually giddy when I saw how little they needed me for these projects. Sure, I guided them, but the ideas and implementation was all their own. So proud.

Crochet- A Distant Memory

I feel like I haven’t crocheted or posted in a long time. It all seemed so distant. It must have been weeks since I made something or posted something. I’ve missed two Freebie Fridays in a row. This I know, which added to this distant feeling I’ve been having. I was all set to post a Freebie Friday this last Friday, but it was interrupted by life. So no post.

Since I hadn’t posted in forever, I decided that today I would sit down and write.

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What should I write about?

I opened up my WordPress account and checked when I had posted last…Um, this is embarrassing. I posted three days ago, which means it hasn’t been forever since I crocheted or posted something.

Not so distant after all. 🙂 But it feels distant. It begs the question (okay, I’m the only one begging) why it feels so long ago? The answer is because I haven’t picked up a hook since I got off of work. How long ago was that? Oh yeah, last Thursday. Three whole days ago! I realize now that I’ve been crocheting everyday for awhile now and with the school year over, I just stopped.

I didn’t consciously decide I wasn’t going to crochet, I just didn’t crochet. Nothing was pressing. No students were barraging me with request. I had nothing specific I wanted to work on and my Bavarian sweater can wait, it being 90 degrees and all. So no crochet is happening at the moment, and it feels weird.

But that hasn’t stopped me from talking about crochet and dreaming and planning about where crochet might take me.

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This is how I dream and plan 🙂

I’ve sporadically mentioned that I wrote a crochet book about how to make dolls and hubby and I have been talking a lot about how to finally get that off the ground. We’ve been strategizing and plotting and just having fun. We talked about his stuff too but this post is about me. Selfish, I know, but I didn’t want you thinking I monopolized the conversation. 😉

I’ve also been listening to crochet podcasts. I found one I really like and I’m finding it to be very inspiring. In the past, I subscribed to a few podcasts on the subject, but after trying to listen to them, they lay abandoned in my queue, never to be listened to again. I felt they didn’t contribute  anything or they plum just didn’t grab my attention. It’s been years, so I gave it another try, figuring there was bound to be new podcasts out there and I found one!

I listened to the latest episode and was hooked from start to finish. It was a long episode and I’m usually turned off by long podcast episodes of anything but I gave it a shot and listened to it while watering the grass. It was an interview about teaching crochet, either for profit or for fun. I’ve been toying with this idea for years now and it piqued my interest. Teaching the kids at school has in turn taught me some valuable lessons and listening to the episode just brought home that I might be ready to take it to the next level.

I listened to a couple more episodes and I liked those as well so I’m sticking with this one. I found it in the iTunes store but I’m sure there are other ways to get the podcast if you are on a different platform but here is a link to the iTunes website in case you are interested.

So even though I’ve been lax in my crocheting (for the past three days lol), I haven’t been completely derelict to the spirit of crochet.

Red and Black Crochet Puppet

I handed over my finished puppet to her new 5th grade owner after a day of celebrating our 5th graders. I said a few words about how much I will miss them, because I will. Two of them have been with me since kindergarten. That’s six years with the same students. It’s always bitter sweet to see them go, knowing most of them will disappear without a trace as they move on to middle school. Sometimes, they come back to visit or I run in to them when I’m out and about, but for the most part, on the last day, they’re just gone. I give them a big hug on their way out the door and wish them well.

So I said a few words, said my farewells, handed them their crocheted graduation caps and we partied with cake, pizza and a movie.

Blue graduation caps

I finished the puppet and handed her over to my student before she went off to summer glory.

crochet girl hand puppet

She didn’t turn out exactly as I pictured her but she’s alright.

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She’s kind of sassy!

My student seemed happy with her and I  know the puppet is going to a good home. This particular 5th grader has become a great crocheter and wants to take crochet with her to her new after-school program next year. Some of our 5th graders from our school continue on in our program at our sister school. I had started crochet there years ago when I worked the summer program. Many of the students loved it but it died out quickly with no one left to run it. This 5th grader certainly has the chops to get something up and running over there. She has leadership qualities that I know she’ll put to good use to teach the students there how to crochet.

When we go back in the fall, I’m going to hook her up with the supplies she needs to get started. Hopefully that means I’ll still see her sometimes and she won’t disappear without a trace. 🙂

Forget the Top Hat

I basked in the glow of student adulation over the Jeffy puppet for about one whole day. Then it was back to business as usual. Back to reality and the typical way my students act when it comes to my crochet.

So, coming off my Jeffy high, came the low of being taken for granted. I finished off the emoji purse for my third grade girl and she happily accepted it and was on her way. No problem there. Seeing her happy with her purse was thanks enough (really😁).

Then, it was time for the top hat for my 2nd grade boy…but he changed his mind. He didn’t want the top hat anymore, he wanted a puppet. Well, of course he did. After hearing how much the 5th graders loved the Jeffy, he wanted his own puppet, one that looked like him, no less.

I explained that time was running out and there was no way I could finish a complicated puppet like Jeffy. It would have to be something much simpler. He said that was fine. And typical, it didn’t take him long to start asking if I was finished. I mean, he immediately started asking if I was done! By the end of the same day that he made the request, he asked if I was done. I know they think I have a magic crochet wand (hook) that I can just wave around and abracadabra, there’s a completed item. I chuckled and let him know that I hadn’t had time to even start it yet.

The next few days were like going on a trip with a child in the back seat who keeps asking if we’re there yet. I kept hearing, “Are you finished yet, are you finished yet, are you finished yet?” Continue reading

Crochet Fires

Was it me that foolishly uttered I didn’t have any more crochet fires to put out? Yep, yep, that was me. What a farce! I spoke too soon. Luckily, they’re just little fires, easily put out.

I failed to notice (or conveniently forgot) that a bunch of kids were close to our Ultimate Prizebox. Lucky for me, I had a few crochet emojis and a Pokeball already in there.

emojis

These were all in the Ultimate Prize Box plus another heart and small crochet purse. There are only two left.

But one little boy wanted a Popular MMO figure. Those aren’t that hard and I said I’d try but I had to concede defeat.

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This is one I gave to another student last year. H e was already played with by the time  took the picture so he was a little beat up.

He wasn’t technically at the ultimate prize box, he was past it. So technically, he missed his chance to get a custom made crochet piece. He chose something else at the time. So I didn’t feel so bad about directing him to something else. He chose the Pokeball.

red-pokeball

Then, two more kids made it that wanted something custom. I stressed it had to be easy (and small!). One girl picked an emoji purse. As long as she’s not expecting something big, that’s doable.

The other student asked for a hat or a beanie. Phew! That sounded easy. I asked what kind he wanted. He said a top hat. I laughed. A top hat? I asked him to draw it because I wanted to make sure I was thinking the same thing he was. Uh huh, I was. He’s a second grader so he could be thinking anything. Lol I guess I’m making a top hat 🎩 for a second grade boy. 😁

We’ve got two weeks left of school. I’m going to be busy! Again! LOL