Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Finally finished!

I put my mom's Christmas present aside once again. This time to make an afghan for Carrie to give as a gift at a baby shower. Carrie went through my stash and picked the colors. They ended up being pastels....white, mint, blue, lavender, yellow and pink, repeated, ending in white. I did the Easy Ripple Afghan on SusanB's website. (didn't get a picture which is sad since it was very pretty) I had 3 of the 6 planned repeats done and a night to get it finished. Instead of continuing on, I turned it 90 degrees and made the ripples go vertically instead of horizontally. Worked perfectly as a small crib blanket.

Then it was back to my mom's afghan. I'd given myself a deadline of this last weekend since she'd be out to our house visiting. It didn't get done, but it was SO close. So the next self imposed deadline was Monday when I'd be visiting her house. I had to stop working on Sunday because my fingers hurt from weaving in so many ends. Needless to say, didn't finish. I spent most of yesterday on it much to the detriment of everything else around me. Finally at 6:30pm I did the last reverse single crochet stitch around the edge. Wooohooo!




While I love the blanket, I am SOOOOOO glad to be done with it. I'm not a fan of lots of sewing and tons of ends to weave in. I am now free to move onto another project. I should be finishing Sean's spidey afghan since I'm so close to finishing it. But it's not imperative.

What will the next project be?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dying with the kids

Today is a lazy day since Danielle and I aren't feeling so great right now. One of the things I've been wanting to start doing is dying yarn with Kool-Aid or food coloring. The idea is to get good enough to dye reclaimed yarn and possibly start selling it.

What's reclaimed yarn? It's yarn that is from unraveled knit and crocheted things bought from the thrift store. I've only done a few for practice, mostly acrylic. But I have quite a few waiting for some attention...namely cashmere, merino wool, silk and such. Even if I don't sell it, there's NO WAY I could ever afford to pay the prices that these types of yarn cost when new. So at the very least I have cheap expensive yarn to work with. I'd love to make a cashmere mobius scarf (scarf made into a continuous circle, twisted on this). I also think a cashmere hat for Meghan would be awesome. Or double layered mittens with the inside layer being cashmere.

So anyways back to the original thought line....Dying Yarn. I kept thinking about doing it and putting it off because there were projects to work on and then sweaters to unravel. I couldn't take it anymore. I had to DO IT! I was about ready to pull out a sweater and start ripping it apart when I remembered I had some Moda Dea Cartwheel (100% wool) in my stash. The skein I'm using is grey and white but it should still work. The whole line has been discontinued and it was at the dollar store. (wish I'd know it was discontinued when I first found it...I overlooked a lot of nice stuff I'd probably like to have now). Which means if it's a failure, I've only lost a dollar or so.

The process is so safe that the kids can do it, so I decided to make it a project for the little ones and I. I broke out the yarn, wrapped it into a hank around my arm, tied it off in a few places and away we went. The intention was to use food coloring until I discovered we were out of Koolaid had to be included somehow. That is if I could find it. I tore the kitchen apart and just as I was about to give up I found ONE packet of grape Koolaid. YAY!!!

I filled an 8c measuring cup with water, poured in the grape KoolAid and away we went. (no I didn't allow it soak for a set amount of time like you're suppose to...that would be boring!). Danielle picked blue, Sean picked red. I was sad to see the container of yellow had dried up. Then I got the brilliant idea of adding water to it and see if we could get every last drop out. So there's a splash of yellow in there too. I just had the kids drop the color in, one on each side and swished it around a tiny bit, trying not to mix the colors too much. We threw it in the microwave....Sean setting it for 2 minutes, me microwaving my coffee for 2 minutes while the yarn cooled a bit and then Danielle doing the yarn for another 2 minutes. It's sitting on the counter as I type. It has to cool down before I can rinse it out and examine it. I wanted to take some pictures but Eileen can't seem to find the battery charger for her camera. Hopefully we can find it soon.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Took a looooong break from blogging but not from crocheting.

I made my cousin Christine's wedding afghan after a restart. I found out that white wouldn't work well with her decor so remade the hexagons with Caron one pound in off white. I made it 6 hexagons wide by 7 hexagons long, measuring... 45" x 65.5". Unfortunately I never got a picture of it before my mom took it to Tennessee. Christine loved it!

I started a Spiderman blanket for Sean using Stitch 'n Frog's Superhero Dreamcatcher pattern. I have the last 2 sections to finish (about 9 or 10 rows) then the webbing and it's all his. He's been "using" it, hanging tails and all when it's accessible.

Pat and Alex got married Nov 13th. I didn't end up making them an afghan. I figure I have their whole life to get one done. Besides I think one of the two Tree of Life afghans I have started is suppose to be their's. Alex requested an afghan for Christmas and I obliged. I used Hobby Lobby's I Love this Yarn for the first time and made a ripple afghan for her. It was done with 3 shades of blue I started from the bottom and made a section of each color, starting with 6 rows per color. Then I'd start the color sequence again but decrease a row each time. Once I got to 1 row I started increasing again. Can't quite remember whether I ended with a 3 or 4 row section at the top. It was finished with hdc around and then reverse single crochet in the darkest blue. Unfortunately I didn't measure it or get a picture of it. I wasn't too crazy for it and told her she could exchange it at a later date for an afghan of her choosing. She said she liked the one she received.

Next I started an afghan for my mom for Christmas. She'd recently redone her livingroom with dark brown, red and dark green furniture. She also purchased a large painting of a poppy that's on the wall. So I took a few patterns...mutilated and mashed them together and came up with the poppy trellis square. The poppy was made using this flower as a base (with a few modifications. The I surrounded it with the leaves and trellis from the Rose Trellis Afghan pattern in my new book... 50 Sensational Crochet Afghans and Throws. There are so many revisions I can't list them all here. If you want to see them check out the project on my project page at ravelry. Here's one of the squares...

I didn't finish in time for Christmas so she got a box with 24 out of 35 squares in it. She's really excited for me to finish it. BUT...

I had to put my mom's present aside because we had a baby shower and a bridal shower on the 8th and 9th of January that I needed to make presents for. For the baby shower I picked up this blanket that I started in August. After buying more yarn it didn't take long to finish the body. It was the border that took for work. I hate deciding which border best suits which afghan. I decided to do alternating stripes of white and coordinating colors (mint, yellow, pink and baby blue). The white was done in hdc. The coordinating colors were done with 2 strands held together and in sc. I finished with a stripe of white and then reverse single crochet. Again no picture of the completed project.

For the bridal shower I picked the pattern Proposal from the 50 Sensational Afghans book. And again, I wasn't finished by the time the shower rolled around. I had the whole body done so wrapped that and then asked for it back so as to finish it. :o) After I got it back I decided to add another row of blocks to increase the length. The border itself took hardly any time. I had to give my hand a rest for a few days (thumb was getting extremely numb quickly) but had it done by that Wednesday. Now if I could just get the finished afghan to her before something happens to it. Here's a finished picture...


Closeup of the square....

Today I'm back to working on my mom's afghan. Hopefully I can get it done by next week. (told her it would definitely be done by the end of the month) Then I'd like to finish Sean's blanket and maybe a few other WIP (works in progress).

Monday, August 23, 2010

Lots of hooking going on

Most of the things I've got going on are quick and easy projects so they're working up quickly. I worked on the copycat afghan in the morning and did 5 more repeats for a total of 10.


In the evening I finished up the body of the surf and turf afghan. It's now been put into my WIP (works in progress) basket until I decide which border to use. I think I'm going to have to have a major border making session to get rid of all the projects waiting.

After the little ones went to bed I got out my baby afghan book and started working on Christine's wedding present.


The pattern calls for 52 hexagons but I think I'm going to make it bigger so need to do a few more. Just need to figure out exactly how many. Guess I have some time to figure that out since I only have 4 motifs done so far. lol I need this done before my parents leave for Tennessee the weekend of Oct 9th.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Onto something new

I'm suppose to be starting an afghan for my cousin's wedding. She lives in Tennessee so I won't be going (it's a month before Pat's wedding so we can't swing it $$). I decided I could crochet her an afghan and send it with my parents though. So I started looking through my baby afghan book and then I moved onto Ravelry to see pictures of what people had done with the patterns in the book. I pretty much know which one I'm going to attempt for her. It's one of the ones I wanted to do for Esther and Tim's shower gift.

BUT I just had to keep looking. I saw a really neat variation of the afghan that's on the cover.

The main color is white instead of blue and they used a variegated rainbow for the white accents. So I ran to my stash and pulled out a Caron one pound skein of white and the rainbow colorway of Jo-Ann Sensations Rainbow Classic. Another yarn that I wanted to love but just couldn't. The person who did the neat variation of the blanket said she used a K hook. The book says to use an I hook. I decided to try the K, got a few rows into it and didn't care for it so switched to my H. Here's how it's going so far...


I'm figuring I'll make the body as big as either color of yarn will allow me. And of course I'll also have to get going on the wedding gift too....soon.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Soooo close

I had decided I wanted to do a mindless project next. I picked a baby blanket, using the diagonal box stitch as that project. I had at least one whole skein of Caron's Jumbo rainbow ombre so used it.

It was working up quick and easy...just like I was looking for. The idea was to do the body and then put it aside until I needed it or found a border I liked. I tried to gauge when I'd used about half the skein, figuring I'd then start to decrease the rows and finish the blanket with the second half of it. Well I didn't do so well as I ran out of skein, yet still have about 6.5 small rows to do plus sc around the whole thing.

Maybe I can find a stray partial skein laying somewhere. If not, then it'll have to wait until I need it for a gift, pounders go on sale or I decide to use a 50% off coupon. So into my WIP (works in progress) basket it'll go.

Lesson learned

Back in Jan '09 when I first started crocheting...I bought a LOT of yarn. JoAnn's Fabric had a huge yarn sale and I went crazy. One of the yarns I loved was TLC Essentials' Surf and Turf

I thought the brown and turquoise would make a great baby boy blanket.   I even had someone in mind for it.   I bought 3 skeins, brought it home and started playing with it immediately.    I just couldn't like it no matter which pattern I tried to use with it.    The turquoise color run was just too small.  Instead of giving me splotches of color I was getting tiny streaks.   I tried sc, hdc, dc....I tried to work it into an afghan, hat, afghan again...always frogging it.   Then I came across the diagonal box stitch and decided to give the surf and turf one more try...taaaadaaaa!  The stitch gives more opportunity for the turquoise to "butt" up with other turquoise streaks, creating the splotches I was originally looking for.   It also helped that I dropped my hook down to an F hook which gave me a  wider worked up section for each color run  (4 whole dcs). 

Where the lesson comes in is that you have to pay attention to dye lot. I know, I could I not already know that? It's been said a million times when talking about yarn. Well, the yarn companies started the no dye lot advertising and I didn't realize it only meant solids, not verigated. Even one of the skeins I originally bought is different then the original two...the dark brown is almost black. It's put aside waiting for another project. My original skeins had rust in it. The newer ones have grey in it. I prefer the rust ones.

Original skeins

Newer skeins

I also see the importance of trying to get all the yarn for your project at once. But I'm excusing myself to that fault and blaming it on being an inexperienced crocheter and not realizing how much yarn a project would need.

Here's a funny...while photographing this I realized....I messed up big time on the thing! I had stopped short for a row, creating a new side straight edge. Then used that point as the new edge for 9 rows. Nothing to do but to frog them and redo the rows. It wasn't so bad since the dark brown had been pooling into a solid stripe which I wasn't so happy about. So I broke the yarn and started working from the opposite end of the skein...problem solved.

Here it is before I frogged it.