Sunday, August 29, 2010

Curlicue Scarf ...or is it Curly-Q?

The last time I was at Hobby Lobby, I saw this pretty yarn. It reminded me of a friend, so I picked it up to make a scarf for her.

Here's how you make it.
Choose a soft yarn. This is Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn with an accent yarn as the last row. I used less than 2 full skeins at 5 oz./251 yards per skein. The accent color will need less.
Using a Size I hook (or whatever is recommended by your yarn) start your chain loosely. End your chain at *least* a good 6-8" shorter than you want your finished product. The additional stitches add some length, and the scarf gets very heavy and stretches itself.
Row 1: 2 dc in 4th ch from hook and in every ch across.
Row 2: Ch 3, dc in same stitch; 2 dc in every stitch across.
Row 3. Ch 3, dc in same stitch; 2 dc in every stitch across; change to accent color.
Row 4: Ch 1, sc in same stitch; 2 sc in every stitch across. Finish off.

I've linked here:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chain Link Scarf

Several months back, I saw a girl wearing a fun and different scarf. She probably thought I was crazy, but I just loved the idea of it and kept asking her all about it. I decided to make up a pattern to try to create something similar. Her scarf was all one color and knit, but since I can't wield two sharp pointy things at the same time, I stuck with what I know.

Here's how you can make one of your very own:
For purposes of a first attempt and clarity of pictures, I used some extra red and black yarn that I had on hand. It is Red Heart Super Saver yarn, and it is a pretty stiff yarn. It will help you to see what I'm doing much more easily, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for this pattern as a scarf.

Start with a Size I hook or whatever size is recommended on the yarn label. This would also be a good time to NOT ask your young'un to take the pictures for you if you don't want people getting sick or blinded while reading the pattern. See the amazing tips I leave for you? I'm only here to help! ;-) Moving on...

Chain 40.

Being careful not to twist the chain, join to the first chain with a slip stitch.

Sc in next stitch

...and in each stitch around.

You will continue around your Loop in a continuous round without stopping or turning at each row.

Side note: I tend to weave in the end toward the right BEFORE I complete my first row so that my sc is worked right in the loop that is hiding the woven in yarn tail.

Continue your rounds until you have about 7 Rows, again, adjust according to your style and size of yarn.

After the 7th Row, cut a short tail,

pull through,

and weave in the end.

Your first loop is done! Now to continue the Chain Links.
Pick your next color (or use the same color); ch 40.

Being careful not to twist the chain, drop the end in the loop, pull around, and sl st to join with the first ch.

Continue your sc Rows until you complete 7 Rows; finish off.

If you are like me, and you sometimes only want to have one skein of yarn with you at a time, you can also prepare the Links of one color separately, then connect them with the contrasting color. This method works just as well and didn't become too tight in the prepared Loops. I was concerned that the wider it got, the harder it would be to keep it moving, but it was fine.

Keep adding to your Chain Links until it's the length that you want.

Celebrate your completed project!

If you're ready to count how many loops I have in my Chain Link, I'll forewarn you that mine finished off a bit longer than seems proportionate, so don't feel like it has to be exact. (...but there are 21, ha!) I also figured with it being a 2-color scarf, the end loops should be the same color. I guess if all else fails, I'll just undo a couple loops and add them to my Ugly Blanket!

If you try one, let me know how it turns out!

I've linked here:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A different type of ugly

Among all the bits of leftover yarn given to me for my first Ugly Blanket, there were a few Homespun and Light & Lofty skeins. Since there were 6 of them, I decided to make them into their own Ugly Blanket. Being a thicker type of yarn, I first checked to see if there were patterns specifically suited to the yarn. I found this pattern.

Here is my finished product:

It turned out to be VERY stretchy, and the two yarns didn't go together as well as I would have liked, but it's ugly and it's warm! Incidentally, the center portion and the border are the same amount of yarn.

Size N hook, 6 skeins.

The biggest problem was that I found some mistakes in the pattern. That was extremely frustrating, especially when using the yarn for the first time. I couldn't tell if the they were pattern mistakes, my mistakes, or just the nature of the yarn. It turned out to be the pattern, and I had to adjust partway through. If I did a "next time," I would probably use a standard Granny Square pattern rather than this adapted one. Or I would simply make up a pattern with the border worked right into each row.

A friend of mine used this pattern once with the Homespun yarn. Has anyone else used this yarn? What is your favorite pattern to use? I loved working with it and would definitely do it again!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Personalized Christmas Stockings

When we were kids, we had personalized Christmas Stockings for each member of the family. I had been wanting to do the same for our family, but I was never completely pleased with those I was able to find. I looked for crochet patterns for stockings on and off. Let's be honest, they were all UGLY!! Most of them were 2 basic "J" pieces that were stitched together. I just didn't like the look.

Last December, I was looking for some Christmas craft ideas for a friend, and I came across this pattern from Coats and Clark. It was the nicest-looking one I'd seen, so it had potential. I tried one following the pattern to see how it would turn out. The finished product was OK-ish, but I knew there had to be an easier way to do it.

I wrote my own pattern! The first three shown are using my own made-up pattern; the one on the right is the original pattern. I used a needle and accent-color yarn to do a sort of "cross-stitch" of the names on each one.

The reason I'm *just* now posting them is because, though the stockings were finished in time for Christmas, the cuffs and names still needed to be finished. I finished all of them on Saturday (yes, I *did* ignore them for 8 months...) with 4 months to spare!

Is anyone interested in having the pattern? It's a lot to type up, so I'm trying to decide if it's worth it. ;-)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Baby Girl Blanket

Another project is complete!

I started this little afghan a couple years ago, but it had a color change for every row. I quickly realized I couldn't finish it in time for the intended recipient, so I put it away. ...for a LONG time. Well, I finally pulled it out again and finished it!

This project was done with TLC Essentials yarn and Size G hook.

I've always loved Ripple Blankets.

A closer shot of the ripples:

Pretty picot edging.

More projects will be posted, soon.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bead bracelet

While searching the "interwebs" for some craft ideas, I came across this bracelet idea. I thought it was really cute and could picture a friend of mine wearing one. I wrote down the items I would need on my next Hobby Lobby excursion and decided to give it a try.

Here's how it turned out:

Here's what I used:
Size 00 (or 3/4") safety pins
Seed beads
Elastic bead cord in black, size 1 mm
White Tacky Glue

How it goes together:
Place beads on safety pins, dot with glue and close pin. I put a dot of glue on a piece of cardboard to make it easy to pick up and swipe the pin through it without losing beads.
Cut 2 pieces of elastic about 10"-12" depending on the size of your desired end product. Allow for about 2"-3" extra for tying knots.
Tie the ends together *loosely* on one side to keep pins from falling off. This will come apart later, so just do it tight enough to keep it in place.
Begin threading on the pins, alternating directions of the hinged end to keep the bracelet even. Make sure the beads stay up!
When you have enough to fit the wrist, untie the one end and tie the two corresponding ends together. Trim or weave in the ends.

What I will do differently next time:
I purchased a slightly larger seed bead because I loved the colors. With the larger size, I'd go with a Size 0 (or 7/8") safety pin. This isn't necessary, but it would allow more than 3 beads per pin.
Also, I would probably dot a little glue on the end of the elastic to keep it from fraying as I put on the pins. It's an extra step, but it would make the process easier as you get closer to the end.

Helpful hints:
Purchase the pins from the jewelry making section of the craft store rather than the sewing section. You get a LOT more for your money!
Coordinate your elastic color to the colors of your beads to make it a bit more camouflaged.
If you wanted a few extra steps, you could even spray paint your safety pins to match the colors before adding the beads.

Send me a link if you try this!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Daddy and son hats

The second hat only took until the next day to be completed, but pictures were delayed until after the fishing trip.

Daddy's hat took one less row than kiddo's hat and finished with a sc instead of dc. I had done an additional row of dc and ended up taking it out to replace with sc because it was coming too far down his eyebrows.

I'm happy with how they turned out!

Friday, August 13, 2010


My sister used to have a little stuffed elephant she called "Fluffant." Awww! Kids have the best words.

I finally found pictures of my first Amigurumi animal, but they were on my old phone. So this is the best quality I can find!

I'd like to hope that I learned some things after this one, and each one gets a little easier. Maybe soon they won't intimidate me so much!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Little Lion

An Amigurumi Lion this time!

Can anyone tell me if I'm doing these right? :-)

New hat!

I came across a nice hat pattern today, so I made it this afternoon. It said it would fit a man, but I wasn't sure that my man would wear it. I figured that if he didn't like it, then maybe it would fit me. Of course, kiddo saw me working on it and immediately wanted it for himself.

This project was done with a size G hook, and acrylic yarn in Cubs colors (go Cubs!!), and the finished product ended up being just a bit too tight on us adults. Hubby liked it enough that he said I could make another (slightly bigger version) for him.

Here's my finished product:
I did the whole thing going through both loops of the previous stitch. Maybe it will keep him a bit warmer...

Funny Monkey

It’s an Amigurumi monkey. Yeah, it’s impossible to say, but it’s stinkin’ cute!

I bought a book of Easy Crochet Critters at Hobby Lobby on a whim one day. I wasn’t sure I’d be brave enough to try it, but they were so cute and not too expensive. I’m really glad I went for it. That night, Nate talked me into trying to make an elephant for his baby cousin with some gray yarn I already had on hand.

Here’s my latest attempt:

Isn’t he so cute perched atop the little chair here:

Oh no…what’s happening??!?!?!!? Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhccccckkkkkkk!

Well, he was cute while he lasted! And he went down with a smile.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Baby Boy Blanket

I finished another blanket. I had been working on this one for far too long, mostly because I couldn’t decide how I wanted to border it. I didn’t want to go buy more yarn, so I ended up using a combination of some I already had. I’m very happy with the finished product!

This pattern is a combination of bobbles (made by tr, dc, sc) and front- and back-post dc for the border.

The whole blanket is crocheted two-strands together (for extra warmth–it gets cold around here in winter!) using size J hook.

Here’s a closer view of the fpdc and bpdc around the border.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ugly Blanket

I’m making an Ugly Blanket, and I’m SO excited about it!

I’ve been moving around random partial skeins of yarn for years now, and I finally decided that I need to use them up. None of them had enough for any given project, so I figured, “Why not put them all together to make a warm (albeit UGLY) afghan for camping?” I got started right away. I was a little nervous about what dear, sweet, loving, encouraging hubby would say when he got home from work… I plowed ahead anyway. (By the way--he LOVED it!)

I made up a pattern of V-stitches. After all, it’s supposed to be ugly, who wants to work hard on a pretty pattern?!?!

Here’s what I have so far:

If you’re interested in helping me out by clearing out your sewing/craft room of those partial and unusable skeins of yarn, let me know! I’d love to add more colors to it! I’ll keep posting progress in the next few weeks as I get more yarn.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ribbon Wreath Craft

A while back, I found a tutorial for a Ribbon Wreath. I thought it was a neat idea, and it didn’t seem too difficult or expensive, so I wanted to try it. The first thing I did was look up the prices for the grosgrain ribbon I would need. Ummm….wow! That stuff was CRAZY expensive! Are you kidding? Wow, backburner that craft for a while! I was looking for cute and CHEAP!! It was looking like this thing could cost upwards of $40-$50 or more!

Fastforward a few months.

My new favorite area at Hobby Lobby is their fabric clearance shelf. Lo and behold, I found some pretty turquoise stripe grosgrain ribbon on clearance $2.10 for 10 yds. I was pretty excited by that price! With my 40% off coupon, I got the Styrofoam wreath form for less than $3. So, pretty Ribbon Wreath, less than $7! Yeah! Now to put it together… It took a little help from dear Kati, but I was finally brave enough to try this one.

Here’s what I used:
10″ wreath form
20 yds. grosgrain ribbon, 1.5″ wide (mine had 2 major flaws on one roll, and I still had plenty) Mine happened to have wire-edge. This is not necessary, but, hey! it was on clearance–I’m not picky. If you get wire-edged ribbon, don’t use your nice sewing shears to cut them!
Scissors (see above note)
Tape measure

To make:
Cut your ribbon into 14″ lengths. Leave one extra long length for hanging it.
Tie the ribbon in a square knot (or any type of not, just keep consistent with the whole wreath).
Keep going until the wreath is full or you run out of ribbon. :-)
Tie on the hanging ribbon…hang it up!
I did not use fray check on the ends or burn them. You could do that if you wanted to, I just found it unnecessary and time-consuming.

What I would do differently next time: I *might* spray paint the wreath form first. On the off chance that any shows through, it could be disguised. Honestly, even with my perfectionism, I just don’t think I’d waste the time. The color/design of ribbon would probably be my deciding factor.

Here’s how it turned out:

A more detail shot:

You can see that it had an interesting double-sided design. There was the stripe on one side and a blue-to-white fade on the other. Odd, but I think it worked!

Did I miss any instructions? Let me know if you try one!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Tie Fleece Blanket

I've decided to keep a separate crafting blog. Here's my first attempt at a crafty how-to that I brought over from our family blog!

Start with some fun fleece from Hobby Lobby. I found a pretty purple that had 1 3/8 of a yard, so that’s the size I decided to use. =) You can go smaller for an infant size, but 1 1/2 to 2 yards is recommended for toddler or twin bed. For an adult or teenager, you definitely want 2 yds. Once I found the purple, I just looked for a cute coordinating pattern. Yes, normally you’d find the cute pattern first…I was shopping with a friend and 3 kiddos. Nothing makes sense.

As I said, I don’t sew (mostly due to not having a sewing machine + having a mother with skills AND the machine fairly close by), so I don’t have the tools of the trade. My friend offered me her rotary cutter and mat. It made the job nice, but it certainly isn’t necessary!

First step, lay out your two pieces WRONG sides together, as flat as you possibly can. Doing this during your inquisitive 4-year-old’s naptime is suggested so that it won’t move when he “wants to touch it and see how soft it is!” I try to be helpful whenever possible.

Obviously, the cuts aren’t perfectly even, and trimming is necessary. Also the selvage edge needs to be trimmed so there is NO ugly left. By the way, you can slightly see a curl to the material near the words in the bottom left corner. The edge with the curl will stretch quite a bit more when it comes time for tying.


Once it is trimmed and perfectly (at least close…says the perfectionist) even, you’ll need to cut out squares from each corner. This will show you about how long your fringe will be. I did mine about 3″ because it followed the pattern of blocks on the material! That made for easy decisions.


So here is what it looks like. Remember, try not to move it through the process so that everything stays in place and together how you like it.


Now it’s time to cut your fringe. I went about 1″, and I liked the final thickness. Cut through both layers at the same time. Here I am showing you that you can do it with scissors (if they’re good quality and sharp, like my Creative Memories scissors here).


And here it is with the rotary cutter that can help you keep your fringe even at 1″ spacing. Notice my lovely vein-y hands? Yep, I get that from my mother.


Here’s the home stretch for the tying! Now, I wanted to make sure that the complementing fabric showed on the opposite side, so I had to do a bizarre form of left-over-right, left-over-right to make it work. My first tie became perpendicular to the floor, then the next one finishes it:


And it’s done! It’s pretty easy, but it is a little tedious, so it can take a couple hours. I’m thinking mine took around 3 hours? It’s hard to tell since there are always distractions. But I LOVE how warm they are! I’m planning to make a nice throw for us, too.


Well, thanks for humoring me to feel like I can do great things!