The baby blanket was ordered from my favorite grocery checker. She ordered 2 blankets: a boy and a girl blanket. I crocheted the girly blanket pretty quickly as I had a plan for the yarn and the design. The boy blanket was a little harder.
And with the boy blanket, do I use just one color, many shades of that color? Little boy blue? Green, yellow? What will I choose? Now its time to get into my work space.
As I was sitting in my home office, looking my shelves of yarn, one shelf has Encore Worsted in red, blue, green, yellow and orange. Perfect color choices for baby blanket. How will I use these primary colors in a blanket?
Now to set up the color sequence. Open Excel spreadsheet and start to paint with color stripes and blocks of color. For instance, I came up with these blocks shown below. All primary colors and each column the colors shift one space to the left. Therefore, red was chosen as the beginning of the blanket.
The sequence followed a color wheel: red, blue, green, yellow, orange. No purple for this blanket. Most importantly, its fun to mix with colors. As you can see, using Excel to play with the gives you ideas on how the blankets will turn out. I highly recommend trying it.
I found the crochet letters on Moogly blog. Be sure to check out the blog for caps and lowercase letters, with easy to follow instructions and pictures. With 25 squares and 26 alphabet letters, I crocheted the M & N smaller to fit into one square. You could do that for Y, Z if you want.
To finish up, putting a border around the blanket will frames the blanket and smoothes the edges of the crochet stitches. This blanket has a border of 4 colors, each side has one color edging. This blanket can be crocheted in a weekend. If you want the pattern for the alphabet baby blanket, just click the link and it will take you to my shop page.
This is 20-20. My year begins with a bang. My ocean themed crochet animals have made their way home to me. After several months of reflection, I decided to end my consignment and the end of 2019. The last 8 years crocheting hundreds of animals for her shop. It was a great run, now it’s my time.
Here is a sample of a few of them. What you see are the actual animal. Each one crocheted by me. I choose bright colors, it makes me happy. Kids of all ages, adults too, like these animals.
All of the animals I will be listing are from my consignee. All ocean themed animals, with an exception of a couple that were requested. Best of all, they are machine washable and dryable. Place inside a mesh laundry bag, gentle cycle wash, and delicate dry for 15 minutes then let air dry.
Ally the Mermaid. This sea creature was very popular at the shop. The customers did not know it takes about 2 days to crochet. Hair takes 6 hours to attach to her head, each strand one at a time. She stands about 12 inches tall. Three colors of yarn used. My favorite yarn for animals is Red Heart Super Saver. Its acrylic, and holds up to stitches and does not stretch when stuffing the animals. Purchased the pattern on etsy from seller kandjdolls.
Nemo-like Clown fish. These big, chubby fish are two toned
in color. Again, love the bright colors. Does it make you happy? Can you see
your kids giggling at those ball shaped tail fins? Fishes measure a whopping 10
inches long and 7 inches tall. Give to your favorite fisherman who can finally say
“the one that got away” did not happen.
Stanley the Starfish, one of the first ocean themed crochet animals to go on consignment, this one is a favorite of mine. I love how easy it is to crochet. Just 5 legs and a body, add a couple eyes, a smile and its ready to its new home. Stanley stands at 9 inches wide, the legs are poseable, turn the tips, squeeze the legs to make it stand taller or push down the body to make it lay flatter. The pattern was purchased on etsy from seller DaveyDreamer.
Norman the Narwhal is a newer crochet animals. The pattern, too cute to bypass. The pattern was a duo. Actually, the whale and narwhal are the same, just add a horn to the whale and you get a narwhal. Purchased from etsy seller TheresaCrochetShop.
Cleo the Clam, another great aquatic animal to crochet. Elizabeth at DaveyDreamer designed this animal. Her crochet animals have great detail. Extra large big eyes, and a jumbo shell. Lots of fiberfill stuffing, those eyes, 24mm. The possibilities are endless. Solid color, stripes, variegated yarns, many to choose from.
Paddy the Platypus is a “classic” pattern I found over 10 years ago. This little platypus has a big tail, big beak and small body. My version of it uses thick yarn, making it bigger to hold and cuddle. Paddy is an adorable crochet animal. This FREE pattern came from Craftster https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=298640.0
These next 3 crochet animals all came from the Lion Brand website. The first 3 animals I ever crocheted. Fifteen years later, I still crochet these animals.
Torty the Turtle the very first animal I crocheted. After participating in a few craft shows, selling blankets, wraps, scarves, I wanted to try to crochet in the round. Not many websites back in 2004 had crochet animals, except Lion Brand yarn. I found several animals to attempt: octopus, turtle, ladybug. Torty was the start of 15 years of crocheting animals. My love of crochet for many turtles have found new homes.
Lulu the Ladybug was the second animal I crocheted. How fun was it to work with 2 colors to create such a cute little ladybug. One thing that I did change with the ladybug, the safety eyes. The original pattern calls for 6mm eyes. They are quite small, and were difficult to place within the stitch. Little fingers could possibly pull out the eye, making it a choking hazard. I use larger eyes, 9mm. Much better, with the special locking disc that goes on the inside of the animal, makes it hard to pull out.
The Party Penguin, a classic crochet animal. Thanks to my choice of yarn, this penguin is the hit of the party. Penguins are aquatic. The Pen stands at 8 inches, 4 inches more for its party hat, total of 12 inches in height. Hat and scarf sewn to head and neck.
“Tomorrow is another day”and so I shall be back to officially list these animals.
Accomplishing goals, I crocheted a sweater. The next sound you hear is that of bells chiming, cheers of the crowd clapping frantically. Yes she did it. To no surprise, it took some effort on my part, a few tweaks to the pattern, many hours of measuring and remeasuring.
I purchased the yarn from a fellow knitting guild member, not knowing what I would make with it. Bright royal blue yarn caught my eye immediately. I decided to wind the yarn from the cones to cakes to get a better visual.
Scanning through emails, I found a sweater pattern to crochet. I read it, looked at the difficulty, and decided to give it a try. Remember, I have no idea how much yarn I have to work with. Called Summer’s End Crochet Cardigan by Crystal Marin. Find it on her website, christacodesign.com or if you prefer Ravelry, it’s a paid pattern there.
The sweater pattern calls for 2 rectangle panels. That works great for me, as I have 2 cakes of yarn. I began by crocheting one panel, measuring the length as I went. The second panel crocheted quickly. In little time, both panels were done.
Memorizing the pattern was easy, and I was crocheting the sweater in no time. I had a goal for the sweater to be finished, our nephew graduating high school.
A few bumps along the way, the length works, but it needs to be wider, for example, I decided to add a row of double crochet along the length of the panels. That made the panel wider by a couple inches.
As I am stitched the panels together, the seam was quite visible, as a result, the next sweater I crochet, more detail will be put into assembly. I single crocheted several rounds to create sleeves. The sweater almost done, something was missing. With the leftover yarn, I added a row of double crochet along the front panels and finished off with picot edging.
I finished my first sweater within a week of our nephew’s high school graduation. To go with the sweater, I sewed a maxi skirt with fabric I purchased at Hobby Lobby. Little did I know, the royal blue matched perfectly in the skirt to the sweater.
Final note: this was an easy pattern to follow.. I did not add hem to base of sweater and I added a picot edge. The sweater accented for the skirt, the sleeves covered enough of my arms and it hung nicely against my body.
My basket has been full of such projects since December. Us women wear many hats, we take on many projects and responsibilities and still are able to take time to feed the family, keep the household together and care for our pets.
The day after Christmas I got sick. The same cold that has affected many people. That cough where you feel like you are going to break some ribs, nonstop coughing. You know what I am talking about. A month before I really felt good. My basket is empty. No work, just rest and feel better.
Surprise at Christmas my nephew Colton was getting married on January 24, 2019. My basket just started filling up now. I put my skills to work, to make Colton and his new bride, Annette, a gift. What will it be? How long will it take? What colors do they like? My basket is becoming overwhelmed with ideas.
Stopped off at JoAnn’s craft store, trying not to cough on others, to get inspiration for the gift for Colton and Annette. Purchasing cotton yarn for farmers market bags, I came across 4 cones of Lily Sugar & Cream yarn. The cone had reduced price of $7.47, grabbed one cone, walked over to the price scanner and it rang up $4.47. My basket is almost overflowing now.
Almost all of January was spent crocheting placemats. Which way do I crochet, length or width, one skein or 2 held together? Decisions, decisions. My basket cannot handle any more. The best approach to making these placemats? Grab a placemat from the drawer and use as a guide to get me started. It worked! I decided 2 yarns held together and crochet them lengthwise. The sturdier the better.
One placemat finished in a day and a half. Work needs to get faster to make at least four. FYI, we decided we would go to the wedding.
On top of crocheting the placemats, trying to get rid of the cold, find a cute blouse to wear to the wedding, now we need to get hotel room, rental car, flight.
Placemats were finished the week of the wedding. I forgot to snap pictures before they were shipped. What do I do? Being me, I crocheted another placemat. Colton and Annette loved the placemats, just happens to be in their favorite color, Navy.
The wedding was lovely, got to spend time with my brother Mark and his wife Kris, and Susan and Laura and her husband Will, step sisters. They were surprised we attended the wedding. It was nice to see all of them. My basket is full of love and appreciation.
Until next time when February gave me inspiration to knit a hat that had been archived for several years, crochet new animals and bring back some farmers market bags.
Its New Year’s Eve, and 2018 is almost gone. Where did the
year go? It felt like it went out faster than I can recall it being 2018. The
year ended with me getting a cold that just won’t go away. Day 6 and its still
here. So while I am resting, I thought I would put to paper my year in review.
January started out fantastic for Lee. The temp job he had
became a permanent job! YES, Lee working full time, getting benefits, vacation
hours. That makes up for the past 4 years. His boss is so nice, the company
feels like an extended family, they all get along.
2018 began with me crocheting tentacles for the octupuses I
ship to my consignor. Usually the first 3 months are quiet, but with Lee’s new
job, he started to bring in a few of my animals to show his co-workers. All of a sudden, sales were happening, custom
orders were being taken and I was busy crocheting new animals.
Between consignment and new co-workers, I crocheted 150
animals, 90 of them went to Buy Hand Laguna Beach, 30 went to Lee’s co-workers
of Lee and the rest for arts & crafts shows.
2018 I resolved to keep my consignor in stock of crochet
animals, kids hats, and crossbody bags. I shipped product to her 9 times this
year. She kept me quite busy, especially during the summer, with emails asking
for crochet animals, as they were selling quicker than expected. That made it
easy for me to not do any spring craft shows, more time devoted to her.
2018 found me creating and designing more patterns than in
previous years. This year accounted for 6 new patterns. There were scarves, a
hat, new animals just to name a few. I hope to be able to create more in 2019.
We did have a few fun moments: we saw one of my all-time
favorite bands this summer. The Brian Setzer Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl.
Great concert, well worth the price. I just wish we could see his Christmas
concert, it usually falls on the same night as Lee’s company holiday party.
The one project I HAD to do was to make my brother the
blanket he now has. He lost his home in the summer to a wildfire in Redding. He
lost everything he and Kris had. They got out, with their kitty, that was the
most important to get out alive. They will rebuild on the same site. The blanket
took me 3 weeks to make, a lot of hard work went into making it, but they have
a new heirloom to cherish, and to keep warm.
Not only did Los Angeles have the Yarn Crawl in April, this
past November, Stitches So Cal happened in Pasadena. Lee and I provided the fixtures
for the knitting guild booth to display members knitted and crocheted items from
classes we had taken. I knitted and crocheted 6 seat cushions for the booth.
2018 ended with just 1 craft show I participated in. I was
able to clear out merchandise I had been crocheting and knitting this year.
Even one of my favorite grocery checkers purchased scarves from me. She placed
2 custom orders, with a third order to be placed in the next few days.
There you go, 2018 was quite an eventful year. The kitties pouncing, playing with each other, getting along as the year went by. Lee working many hours every day, up at 4:30am, asleep by 9pm. Me, learning new skills, taking time to create new product, working on the blog.
Here’s to 2019, resolutions or not: Blogging, stay healthy & happy, take time for myself, relax and enjoy each day as it comes.
Memories of Thanksgiving flood me today, the day where people have traveled to their family homes far and near. The airport running to catch that flight, the gassing up the vehicles to start that long drive to family far away, the hustle and bustle of grocery shopping to get all those ingredients for hours upon hours of cooking ahead.
Memories spring back to life when Thanksgiving props its head every November. I remember waking up early to see my grandfather boiling the onions, mincing the parsley, roasting the chestnuts in the oven, taking the Jimmy Dean sausage roll and inserting it into the back end of the birdl all for his own recipe for stuffing the bird.
The chopping of the onions, the oversized bowl to fit not 1, but 2 packages of Mrs. Cubbison’s stuffing. The 3 slices of bacon placed on top of the bird once the bird was stuffed and was about to go into the oven. The butter strategically placed between the wing and thigh, seasoning the bird, placing the 2 large pieces of foil on top of the bird. Those overwhelming smells got me salivating for turkey, but that was hours away.
Memories as a kid jumping out at me. My mom always made the pumpkin pies the day before. I liked to help beat the filling with the mixer, I was never good at cracking the eggs. I can still smell the spices that went into the filling, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger. Those pre-made frozen pie crusts never really could pour all the filling into them, slowing sliding the pies into the oven, hoping the rack did not jump and pie filling spill into the oven.
Once the pies were done, chilled in the refrigerator, the next morning it was time to whip the whipping cream. In our home, we did not use aerosol whipped cream. My mother liked to decorate the top of the pies with real whipping cream. It was my job. She would add sugar and a little vanilla extract while I was holding the hand mixer, watching the cream turn into whipped cream. Of course, I got to lick the beaters.
That was my life as a kid, someone else doing all the work to make Thanksgiving memorable. As an adult, I was able to replicate my grandfather’s turkey stuffing recipe, I did not roast chestnuts, but did chop walnuts. I boiled the onions, minced the parsley, even stuffed the back end with sausage.
Memories fill me today. Thanksgiving will be with Lee’s dad, brother, sister in law, nephew, sister in law’s parents and dad’s girlfriend. I will be in the kitchen shortly prepping all the side dishes. I will not be stuffing the bird, his dad prefers the bird NOT to be stuffed. Lee’s brother is bringing the “deep fried” turkey along with pies. Plenty of eating to be done today.
I will be crocheting a hat or 2 while visiting, one never leaves home without some sort of project to work on.
May your day be filled with memories and a full belly
Drum roll please… the month long project is finished! The project started when my brother alerted us that they evacuated from their home due to the Carr Fire in Redding, CA. What should I do to help out my brother and sister in law?
My first thought was to buy them gift cards so they can shop for what they need. Our sister instead started a gofundme page, which raised $3500 for them in 2 weeks. I decided the best way to help them was to use my crochet skills and make them a blanket. Something they can curl up to at night when it feels like the sky is falling and they need to escape from reality.
Off to the local shops to see if anything color scheme comes to mind. I knew it was going to be a big project, but also it would help them get through having to start all over. Out popped this chocolate brown yarn. Big skeins of yarn… on clearance… I had to have all that I could find. 4 skeins, 14 ounces each skein. And so it begins. Red Heart Super Saver was the yarn of choice. With numerous colors to choose from, my stash was ready to be used.
But how do I add color? I want the chocolate brown throughout the blanket, but I also want color. After talking to a fellow crocheter, we both came up with double the strands of color, 1 brown, and 1 accent color. That way, the blanket is thick for cold winter nights, and the accents of color will show through.
Now to begin the task of crochet several rows to gauge sizing. I know my brother has a queen size bed, and the size is 60 x 80 inches. I have a queen size bed, so using my bed for gauging, I chained 150 stitches. One row of half double crochet should give me draping. I lay it on the bed, looks too big, it drapes too far down the sides, frog back 10 stitches, and looks good, so I start there.
Time to grab remnant skeins of yarn from my stash. Holding 2 strands together, my project begins. I decide to only do 3 rows of 1 color, change the accent color, and continue changing colors every 3 rows keeping the brown as the main color.
It’s moving along quite nicely. Might I remind you that we were having a heatwave, with lots of humidity added for more discomfort. The blanket is growing daily, but I cannot keep working on it when I have crochet animals to make for my consignor. She sold 10 animals in 5 days, which is incredibly fast for her shop, so during most days, I crochet animals, take a break and work on the blanket at night.
After a couple weeks, the blanket is big, not big enough yet… keep working on animals and blanket, animals and blanket. Ship the animals, work on blanket. More animals, more blanket. When almost finished, I decided the blanket needed accent pillows.
Text brother, ask their favorite colors. Great, I have 1 pillow form already, need to buy another pillow form, running out of brown yarn, need more yarn. Off to yarn shop again. Get home, wrong size pillow form, use it anyway.
Corner To Corner technique was used for the accent pillows. Crochet 2 panels bigger than the pillow form size, single crochet the sides together, slipp the pillow inside, and stitch it closed. An additional row of single crochet, chain 1 in every other stitch of previous row.
Blanket and 1 accent pillow finished right before my knitting guild meeting. I wanted to get blanket done so I can show and share it, telling them the story of my brother losing home. The ladies LOVED it, even several ladies asked for the pattern, it’s a good way to use up scraps of yarn.
MY TIP: Use 1 color as the main color, and take scraps of leftover yarn as accent colors and crochet an afghan or blanket. Change out the accent color after a few rows, always weave in the color changes while crocheting next row.
My brother and sister in law love the blanket and pillows. The weather is too hot to be used on their bed, it’s on the back of the sofa for now. As she said, “its big enough for both of us to curl up on the sofa and both of us will be warm”.
Until next time, may your fiber dreams be filled with splashes of color.
Shark Week is upon us. Well, actually Discovery Channel has expanded its annual event to 2 weeks this year —which is always in July, the height of vacation season and when sharks come out to hunt, er, play in the waters. Here you will discover fun projects to knit and crochet all things sharks.
With many species of toothy sharks on the planet, fiberistas have taken it in their hands to create softer and more cuddly versions of aquatic sharks. The internet has exploded with patterns of all shapes and sizes from little ball shaped to very large sharks. Here are a few samples of sharks that I have crocheted. If interested, you can purchase the patterns on Etsy and each photo tells you the designer name.
I have crocheted each of these sharks, all are easy. Chum the shark is small, Shawn medium size and Sam the shark is large.
Once you have the shark plushie done, you might want to move onto shark shaped bags. These are fun to make, and are a great conversation starter. I have crocheted this bag in 2 sizes, kid size and adult size. I lined the adult bag with fabric to make it sturdy.
The Shark Bag is also a fun, easy pattern to follow. Go Ravelry, where you will find the FREE pattern by Erin Sharp. I banged this out in less than a day, pretty easy.
How about a shark hat? Not just for babies, kids of all ages can wear one too.
Repeat Crafter Me, is the designer of the shark hat. She has great detail with instructions, many photos, and many sizes. The link provided will lead you to the FREE pattern on Ravelry. The photo here shows you 2 different size hats made from her pattern. I added a little fiberfill stuffing to the dorsal fin.
And let’s not forget about “Fluffy.” Your cat may hate you, but it is good for a laugh.
(Sorry, no link available for these cat costumes.)
Then there are the slippers, slipper socks, sleep sack, shark can cozy, shark oven mitts. The possibilities are endless. What can you come up with?
Dog Days Cat Days of Summer, Light Projects for Hot Summer Days
June Gloom, where did it go? The gloom has parted ways, as the fireworks raged on –elsewhere this week. Baggy and Gizmo are scattered on the bed, fans blowing on them, trying to keep cool. Southern California has been HOT, even at the ocean –no foggy mornings these days. The weather channel reports its hotter in LA than it is in Phoenix, WOW, now that’s HOT! Welcome to summer.
So, how do you crochet and knit when the weather is hot? (Let me know.)
Besides crocheting animals, I try to craft shawls for the fall and winter shows, often deterred by the weather. Who really wants wool resting on their lap when its hot outside? Maybe I need to think about wool more in winter…
Instead of focusing on the heat, I thought I’d share Here are some fun, small projects to keep you motivated during these hot summer days. Made with scraps of yarn in your stash.
Fruits and Vegetables. These are fun, quick projects that can be crocheted in no time. Imagine the possibilities of fun food. No more dusting off plastic fruits and veggies, crochet and knit them. Teachers tell me they use fruits and veggies as color association for kids to learn colors, i.e. apple-red, banana-yellow. They can also be cat or dog toys, before closing the fruit or veggie, just add some dried catnip with the stuffing. Your kitty will love you for it.
Cookies, Ice Cream Cones, Donuts. Why not, right? These are great toys for kids to play with, filled with fiberfill stuffing, no calories, just fun food. Put in a large clear container, and the kids will think you got them sweets to munch on. The cookies paid patterns can be found on Craftsy. The ice cream scoop is my pattern, and the Donuts are a free pattern.
Flowers. The possibilities are endless. Take a straw bag, accessorize it with flowers. Get French clips, sew flower onto clip, you have made a cute flower for your hair. Take a mini flower, attach to paperclip and you have a cute bookmark. Daisies, Roses, Sunflowers, Lilies, Pansies. From small to large; earrings & necklaces to belts; scarves too. Add a stem and you have created a lovely bouquet of flowers.
Cactus. . Saguaro, Barrel, Agave, Star just to name a few, just place them in cute clay pots. Wouldn’t these be cute as pincushions? A fun conversation piece sitting on a table. These teeny tiny cacti patterns can be found on etsy, with the direct link to the seller MuffaMiniatures
What’s great about all of these items, you can use up scraps of yarn. No need to stop by the local store to pick up many yarns. Little bits of leftover yarn and in no time you will have a cornucopia of little projects.
So stay cool, keep hydrated, place the pets indoors with fresh water, and enjoy the little projects during the hot, summer days.
Many things are happening today with World Wide Knit in Public Day, National Rosé Wine Day, Donald Duck Day and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day, and Iced Tea Day is tomorrow. With summertime ideas for crocheters and knitters, summer does not have to be boring.
What a great day to get out and take a peek at people knitting and crocheting. Have you ever wanted to learn how to knit or crochet? Maybe join a group, meet interesting people, or just catch up with friends while showing those curious in a craft. It’s not just for grandmothers, any age can crochet or knit. Today is your day.
The weather has finally changed, no more “June gloom” clouds in the morning, beautiful blue skies in the day, leading to some coastal fog in the late afternoon. The crochet hook continues to produce animals new and reintroduce old favorites.
Summertime beckons great colors, fabrics, ideas. Here are some to get you started, all made with cotton yarn.
How about picnics in the park, with a handmade blanket to sit on? Take a look at Ashleigh’s gingham blanket. Just make squares and sew together. If you are handy with making graphs, use the C2C method and make a graphghan. Its more work but less ends to weave in.
For knitters, miter squares are a great alternate to crochet. I am working on a blanket using miter squares with remnant pieces of yarn.
Heading to the beach, take this oversize tote bag with you. Imagine the color possibilities with this bag. I made this one for a July 4th party we were invited to. Strips of color, woven together, add a shoulder strap or 2.
Having a summer time party? Give your guests their own drink cozy. No worrying about whose bottled beverage is who’s when each guest can have their own cozy. Embellish the cozy if you want or not. Your guests leave home with a party favor.
Watermarks on tables? Not anymore, a quick 10 minute crochet pattern is all it takes to make a coaster. I like adding a cork backing to the coaster to ensure no condensation seeps through. Michael’s Crafts Store carries adhesive back cork in a roll. Just cut the shape, peel off the backing and stick to back of coaster.
And finally, what’s not summertime without Iced Tea. If not brewing suntea, a favorite tea is Starbucks’ Passionfruit Tea with Lemonade (no sweetener). Crisp, sweet from the lemonade, and refreshing.
One big black cat loves summertime, he gets some sun for himself outside with leash attached, which tends to be hours of quenching those rays. He would live out there, if not for the busy street we live on. (Note, picture was taken a couple of years ago)