Archives for posts with tag: yarn

C wheel

The Catherine Wheel crochet stitch, for the longest time, eluded me. I don’t know if I had a mental block on it, had psyched myself out over it, or was just looking at oddly-written patterns, but I could not get the hang of it. I asked my crochet instructor to include it in this semester’s syllabus, and she taught it this week.

I ended up ripping out more often that I usually do, and as you can see in the sample swatch, a few wheels do look like they might have hit a large pot hole. Regardless of the errors, I finally feel as though I have an understanding of the construction of the stitch.

While it is amazing to live during a time when there are so many instructions and tutorials available online, sometimes getting some help or guidance from a more experienced crafter in person can’t be beat. Some of the newer crocheters in the class constantly apologize when they ask for help with something. Perhaps that comes with learning a skill as an adult. I don’t think children think twice about asking questions.

What I have found, through my years of trying new things, is that most people are gracious in sharing their crafts and skills. It’s the way these things were passed on for many years before the internet came along. It’s being part of a crafting community.

 

wrapped

I had hoped to complete this wrap created for the “Wrapped in Hugs” project a week ago.  Actually, I did finish it off, but then discovered that the piece which had been the right size somehow shrunk. Since it was a corner-to-corner pattern, I’m not sure what happened, but I got back to work adding more border. I suppose it is better to have a piece end up too small rather than too large.

Now, finally, it is truly complete; ends sewn in, and ready to ship off. The final size is 30″ x 60″.

I keep thinking that the weather is going to become too warm for large crochet pieces, but we had some snow here on Saturday. We had a very mild winter, aside from one big blizzard, so a few hours of April snow which was gone by the evening just meant spending the day cozy and crocheting.

C2C

Sometimes it is hard to choose between all of the worthwhile charities and organizations that exist. Other times, you have a connection with one, and that makes the choice easier. I have a friend who donated a kidney to her father a few years ago. As a result, she is very involved with the Gift of Life Donor Program which is a local chapter or the national transplant organization. When I saw that they had a program called ‘Wrapped in Hugs‘ where they give out hand knitted or crocheted wraps to donor families, I knew I wanted to participate.

The wraps need to be 30″x 60″, and I have a record of making pieces either way too large, or way too small, so I decided to start a corner-to-corner wrap. This will make it easy for me to judge exactly how wide it will be.  I’m almost to the 30 inch mark, and will be able to start working on the length soon.

The yarn is a variegated worsted-weight acrylic by Caron in the color Peacock. I like the way the blue, purple, and green work together.

 

Bar stitch

One of the things I like about crochet is that once you learn a handful of basic stitches, you have the foundation to make just about any stitch out there just by changing where they are placed or how they are combined.

In my crochet class this week we learned the bar stitch. This is a stitch that creates a right side with the ridges and a wrong side that is smooth. It is a dense stitch, but the vertical ridge gives it nice texture. It is a combination of single and front-post double crochets with the double going around the bar of the stitch two rows down.  The first set required some concentration as it needed to be worked into a row of single crochet, but after that, it was easy to see the bar created by the double crochet and know just where to place that stitch.

One thing we are doing in class now is to make our swatches in 8 inch squares. When the class is done, the instructor will join them all together to create a lapghan to donate. It provides motivation to finish the sample swatch, and also puts them to good use.

Some good online instructions can be found here.

 

Baby set

At the beginning of January, I started a baby blanket for my Father-in-Law’s home health aide.  The body of it was complete, but I was waiting to find out the gender of the baby before finishing it.  As you can see, it’s a boy!

When I was finished the border, I had some blue yarn left over, so a little beanie and set of booties seemed like a cute add on. Baby hats and booties seem so incredibly tiny, but I know they will get outgrown pretty quickly.

I was able to make all of this from stash yarn. There was a period a few years ago when I had to make a lot of baby blankets, but for some reason, there has been a lull lately.  The yarn is Loops & Threads Snuggly Wuggly which is sold by Michaels Crafts.

 

AHS afghan

Thank you all for the kind words and thoughts over the past days. I had to step out of routine life for a while but am starting to resurface.

I have to admit, there were several days last week when I did not work on any creative projects at all. It is probably a time when it would have helped the most, but I’m giving myself a pass. This week I got back into it and pushed through to finish the hospice afghan I’d been working through.

The weather has turned decidedly spring-like, and I knew that once it got too warm, the idea of an afghan-in-progress on my lap would not be appealing. The body of the afghan turned out smaller than I anticipated, so I had to make up the difference with the border.

Many, many thanks to Simply Hooked for introducing me to this stitch. Because it is a dense stitch, I went up to a K/6.5 hook, and it is still nice and thick and cozy without being too heavy.  I even have enough yarn left over for a second afghan, but may watch the weather before I decide to start.

Roving

I really like it when friends send me ideas for Thing-a-Day. If I have the materials I like give them a try.  A few days ago, a friend sent me this link.As luck would have it, I had a bag of roving in my stash (thanks to Terri) and had been looking for a way to use it.

I’ve finger crocheted a chain stitch before, but this was my first attempt at trying a real stitch. It is also the first time I’ve crocheted with roving.  This is done in rounds of single crochet and it took a couple of rounds to get the rhythm. Not using a hook makes it feel at first like you are wrestling with the fiber. Eventually, I figured out how to keep the yarn on my hand while still grabbing the feeder piece.

The roving is acrylic and is actually the roving that would be used for one of Lion Brand’s Homespun colors.

 

Yesterday this arrived with my mail.

package

 

A friend of mine has packed up some assorted craft supplies she was not going to use and sent them to me. (I have to say this is a foreign concept to me…supplies you KNOW you are not going to use??)

Hat

There are tiles, beads, grommets, pom poms, and some stickers. I wanted to make something with one of the items right away so I could show her I appreciated her generosity.  Although it only uses one of the pom poms, this little hat ornament was quickly made up.  I tried twice, but could not recreate the perfectly smooth top from the original instructions. It is also hard to hold a bundle of yarn perfectly straight and tie it without it getting lopsided when you are working alone.

clothesline basket

I made one of these last year and it had become my favorite place for stashing thread and yarn snippets while I work. The texture of the yarn and clothesline keeps hold of all the snippets so they don’t end up travelling around the house like they have done when I’ve used other bowls for the job.

Because I like to keep that first one next to the spot where I usually crochet, I wanted a second that could live by my sewing machine. I added handles to this one just to play and see how they would work out.

 

Skirt

Sometimes I keep projects in mind I want to try just because they look fun.

I liked the idea of a granny square skirt, but did not want to spend the time making the squares. Fortunately, local thrift shops often have crocheted afghans. This one I picked up last year, with this project in mind, was somewhere in the $4-6 range, so less money than if I had bought the yarn.

To make it, use the existing border for the bottom, then figure out how long you want it to be. Carefully separate the squares at the row that hits the desired length. For the waistband, it’s a row of single crochet as an anchor, then double crocheted rows, decreasing at every 10th stitch until it had snugged in enough to fit your waist. You could probably also weave a crocheted drawstring into it if you wanted to be extra secure.

I lined it with some stretchy swimsuit-lining fabric sewn just across the top under the waistband, but if you are the type to wear leggings under skirts, that part could be skipped.