Wednesday, May 30, 2012

WIP Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Peacock Crochet Stitch

The peacock stitch consists of triple crochet arches, offset by single crochet and chain stitches. It’s a relatively easy stitch to make and works up fairly quickly. Depending on your choice of yarn and size of hook, you can use the peacock stitch to make or enhance several crochet patterns. By itself or combined with other crochet stitches, it would make lovely home accessories and fashion items.

Foundation Chain = multiple of 10 chain stitches (+ 1 more chain)
Step 1:  Single crochet in 2nd chain from hook; *skip 4 chain, make 9 triple in next chain; skip 4 chain, make 1 sc in next chain
{Repeat from * across row, ending with 1 sc in last chain}
Step 2:  Chain 4, turn; make 1 triple in 1st single crochet
Step 3:  Chain 3, single crochet in 5th triple from hook (center of 9 triple crochet stitch group)

Step 4:  Chain 3, make 2 triple in next sc

{Repeat Steps 3 and 4 across row, ending with 2 triple in last sc}
Step 5:  Chain 1, turn;* make 1 sc between first two triple stitches; make 9 triple in next sc

{Repeat from * across row, ending with 1 sc between last triple and turning chain}
Repeat Steps 2 – 5 for pattern.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cro-hook Scarf Pattern

One of the newer projects I’ve started working on recently is a cro-hook scarf. I’ve got this yarn I purchased ages ago that I never quite figured out how to use. Ta-da! Now I know, and it will be a sparkly cro-hook scarf. I only have two skeins of each color, so a simple pattern seems to be ideal.
One of the reasons I procrastinated when trying to use this yarn was that it had the metallic thread running through it. I tried simple single crochet a time or two with it, but the yarn was too pretty. I went back and forth making chains with different size hooks to see what might strike my fancy. Finally, I put it away in my yarn stash, hoping something would spark my imagination someday.
Believe it or not, I even tried cro-hooking with this particular yarn. The only problem was that I didn’t like the texture when I did so. Cro-hooking through the horizontal bar creates a definite effect on the fabric one is making. This time, I chose to cast on my loops, inserting my hook through the vertical bar, instead of the horizontal bar.
I start with one color and make a foundation. Then I switch to the other color. I’m only making two rows of each color at a time. The first one, I cast on; the second one, I cast off. Then I move my yarn to the other side of the cro-hook, and cast on an off with my second color – always casting on through the vertical bar below the stitches I just cast off.

Another small detail that cannot be stressed enough is to pull the side loops tight enough to prevent snags and loose edges. This way, when I’ve used up all my yarn, my scarf will be complete. I won’t need to do anything more to it if my edges are neat and even, and my ends are uniform too. Simply finish off and weave in loose ends.
Please refer to this post to learn the basic cro-hooking technique. Then, take two colors of yarn and experiment with how you cast on loops. Just like in Tunisian crochet, you can vary this when cro-hooking, to create different patterns in your fabric.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Flopsy-Daisy Crochet Stitch

Written down on small strips of paper and tossed like dice…

The winning stitch name for THIS POST is…

Drum roll please…

Glory Lennon, blog host of Glory’s Garden, chose the winning stitch name!

Congratulations and thank you for participating!

***Special note:  Four names were suggested:  flopsy-daisy, chain o’posies, sneakly amoeba and Caladium leaf. Chain o’posies received an extra entry, because it received mention from another participant in the comments. A completely random drawing determined the actual stitch name. Those who participated have all been notified of the results. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday May 23, 2012

Chunky Pink Yarn Crochet Blanket, Phase 3

This is actually yesterday’s post. I simply ran out of time to get it posted, oh my! Sorry for the delay. Glad the A – Z Challenge was last month, because the current month has enough going on to keep me busy for the rest of summer, methinks….

Wordless Wednesday post to follow…

As you can see from the picture, phase 3 includes adding Mile-a-Minute afghan strips around all sides of the blanket, except the top. Math skills come in handy for this. I measured prior to making my motifs, so I could determine the approximate size each individual motif needed to be, as well as how long the strips should be to equal the length of my sides.

When it was time to join my sides, I counted my stitches. As expected, I had more stitches in my strips than on the actual sides I was joining them to, which meant I would need to evenly decrease the motif strips, throughout the attachment process.

I tallied up the sides of the afghan first. Then I tallied up the stitches in my motif strip. I subtracted the smaller number from the larger one, which let me know how many stitches I needed to decrease. I chose obvious points for decreasing – where the motifs were joined together and in the chain 2 spaces on the sides of my motifs. Doing the math beforehand prevents puckering and uneven sides from developing.

I joined the motif sides with single crochet, decreasing only on the motif strip and joining the last stitch of my decrease to the afghan sides I was joining it to.  

Needless to say, adding motif borders to a woven crochet pattern can be time consuming, but it also adds some interesting details to the project. It’s fair to say that it wouldn’t be too difficult to add crochet motifs to a winter sweater’s edge, or even a handmade tablecloth. I’m pretty certain you can follow the basic outline listed above to use this for almost any project you’d like.

Happy Wednesday, good people!

©2012 All Rights Reserved 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Combining and Mixing Crochet Techniques

I like to combine different techniques and styles when I crochet sometimes. Today, I’m in the mood to mix traditional crochet with Tunisian crochet stitches. You can do this too. All you need is a regular crochet hook and an afghan crochet hook that are the same size. Since I’m only making a swatch, size doesn’t really matter. However, I’m going to make this particular swatch big enough to double as a new kitchen washcloth.

Step 1:  Use the regular crochet hook to make a foundation chain; single crochet in second chain from hook and in each stitch across. Turn.
Step 2:  Chain 4 (counts as 1st dc + 1 chain);* skip next sc, dc in next sc, chain 1

{Repeat Step 2 from * across row, ending with 1 dc in last stitch in row}
Step 3:  Change hooks and begin using afghan hook; turn
Step 4: Insert hook in front loop only of each chain and dc stitch across, casting loops onto afghan hook as you work.
>>>insert hook in desired stitch
>>>yarn over, draw up loop (cast on)

Special note:  Be sure to cast on loop from top of turning chain too.
Step 5:  (casting off) Yarn over, draw through 1 loop (for edge); yarn over, draw through 2 loops, until you have only 1 loop left on your hook.

{Repeat Steps 4 and 5 twice more}
Step 6:  Switch to regular crochet hook; repeat step 2
Step 7:  Chain 1, turn; single crochet across row
{Repeat Steps 2 – 7 for pattern}

©2012 All Rights Reserved

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Time to Accept and Share the Beautiful Blogger Award

Life has been keeping me hopping from one thing to the next lately, which is why this Beautiful Blog Award is so amazing today. Truth be told, I’m feeling more frazzled than beautiful these days, and my friend Judith over at Among the Pots and Pans has phenomenally wonderful timing…I like feeling beautiful much more than frazzled, so accepting this award is an absolute pleasure!~ Thank you, dear lady!

A few things about me…

Swimming is my all-time favorite exercise, and I positively love swimming in the ocean.

Big roller coaster fan here, particularly the Giant Dipper in Santa Cruz, California. Yes, that is a picture of the Pacific Ocean in Santa Cruz, California. I took it a few years ago, when I visited my Mom for her 80th birthday.
Documentaries, as well as educational and informational programs are some of my favorites to watch, along with a good crime drama or two.
As much as I try to eat as healthy as I can, I still have to have my junk food fix from time to time.
My backyard has been and continues to be a work in progress. When it is all finished, it’s not only going to look fantastically beautiful, but will provide us with a large assortment of fresh produce and gorgeous flowers most of the year too.

I’ve always been interested in alternative medicine, and if I ever get cancer, I will probably opt to skip chemo and radiation, in favor of some of the things I’ve learned from documentaries. Please refer to these articles I’ve written on the subject, for more information:

Enough about me…time to share this beautiful blogger award with some very deserving recipients…
Happy Saturday, good people! Enjoy your weekend!

©2012 All Rights Reserved 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Name that Stitch Contest #1

Update to post: May 24, 2012 - Contest Closed. Thanks to all who participated!

It’s Friday, and you’ve all managed to catch me playing with my yarn again today. The only trouble is that I don’t know what to call the stitch I’ve made. Your suggestions are encouraged and very much requested.

Also, if you like someone else’s suggestion, please reply on their comment, and I’ll tally up the suggestions to determine which ones get the top 3 votes just for fun. Then, next Thursday night, after everyone has had enough time to decide what to name this stitch, I will put all suggestions into a random drawing, and the winner will receive a special handmade dainty doily from yours truly. Colors of prize doily will be subject to what's available in my doily thread stash, and may or may not be different from the one pictured in my Dainty Doily post. 

I will post the winning stitch name, who suggested it and instructions about how to claim their dainty doily prize next Friday, May 25, 2012, right here on this blog.

Oh yes, one more thing…

You can vote up to 3 times. This is just in case anyone has more than one positively wonderful stitch name screaming from their voice box.

For those interested in making this stitch for a pattern, here are the instructions:

Step 1:  Chain 2 (counts as 1st chain 2); yo, insert hook in 2nd chain from hook and draw up a loop [twice]
Step 2:  Yarn over, draw through 2 loops on hook, chain 2 [3 times]
Step 3:  Chain 2 turn; yarn over, insert hook in 1st chain 2, yarn over and draw up a loop [twice]
Step 4:  Yan over, draw through 2 loops on hook, chain 2 [3 times]
{Repeat Steps 1 – 4 for pattern}

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Irish Lace Mesh

Irish Lace combines lacy crochet motifs with a mesh (aka net) background. As you may know, I’m determined to teach myself how to make Irish Lace, which is why I was so excited when I discovered this pattern for making the Irish Lace Mesh background.

Sometimes, following patterns from books isn’t easy. The pattern I found clearly had a flaw or two. I’ve made adjustments to it for this blog post, and hopefully you’ll have a very easy time making Irish Lace Mesh because of them.

Foundation Chain: Make your multiple of chain stitches divisibly by 4. Add 1 more chain to your foundation.

Step 1:  Chain 5; make (1 sc, 3 chain, 1 sc) in the 10th chain from the hook.
Step 2:  Chain 5; skip next 3 chain stitches; make (1 sc, 3 chain, 1 sc) in next chain
{Repeat Step 2 across row to the last 4 chain stitches. End row with 1 sc in last chain.}
Step 3:  Chain 5, turn; *Make (1 sc, 3 chain, 1 sc) in next chain 5 space; chain 5

{Repeat Step 3 from * until you reach the last chain 5 space. Make 1 sc in the 3rd chain of the last chain 5 space.}

Repeat Step 3 for pattern.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Work-In-Progress Wednesday

It’s WIP (aka Wordless) Wednesday. Thanks to Glory Lennon for sharing this fun activity with me.  Here’s the link with more information, for anyone else who might want to participate.

Happy crocheting, good people!

©2012 All Rights Reserved 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Crochet Knob Protectors and Hair Accessories

What do you get when you combine these (hair ties) 

with these (crochet motif swatches)?

Knob protectors, of course!

Simply insert hook inside ring. Evenly single crochet around edge of motif to hair tie. Slip stitch to join round. Add another round of single crochet and finish off.

These knob protectors prevent little ones from being able to get into things, and they also make fantastic, decorative hair bun holders. Happy Crocheting!

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Simple Crochet Buckle

This pattern is an original pattern that can be used as a buckle for a crochet belt, as a loop to secure scarves, as a napkin ring or even as a hair accessory. It’s an easy item to make and will come in very handy for numerous things you might consider.

Step 1: Begin by making 18 chain stitches and forming them into a circle.

Step 2:  Chain 7, sc in 2nd chain from hook and in each chain until you reach your foundation circle.

Step 3:  Keep the single crochet strip you just made straight, and join to the other side of the chain, with single crochet stitches, working your way back up to the tip of your straight row of single crochet stitches.


Step 4:  Slip stitch into opposite end of foundation circle, at the half-way point. Chain 1.

Step 5:  Single crochet in each chain around foundation circle, ending with a slip stitch to the first single crochet in the round.
Special Note:  As you work, be sure to secure the single crochet strip that is in the middle of your circle. You can do this by inserting hook through its end, before beginning a single crochet stitch in foundation circle at either end.
Step 6: Finish off. Weave in loose ends.

©2012 All Rights Reserved 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mile-a-Minute Afghan Strips

Using a simple motif pattern, it’s easy to join crochet motifs into strips, which can then be joined to make a complete afghan. This makes a blanket project more portable while it is being worked on, because you only need to transport the portion of the afghan you are working on at any given time. Almost any simple motif pattern will work for with this process. I’m using the Simple Flower in Square Crochet Motif to show you how a simple strip is made in this tutorial.

Step 1:  Crochet enough motifs for your strip.
Step 2:  Join motifs together according to preference.
Step 3: Crochet around strip if desired.
Step 4:  Join multiple strips together, until afghan is desired size.

One last thing before you go...

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Happy Mother's Day Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Simple Flower in Square Crochet Motif

Step 1:Make flower: 
a. >>>Chain 6; form ring
b. >>>Chain 6; single crochet in 2nd chain from hook and in each chain until you are back at base ring
c. >>>Slip stitch in ring; repeat b and c until you have 8 flower petals
Step 2:  Group petals in pairs to a cross like so:

Step 3:  Join Color B to 1st petal of any pair. Chain 1 (counts as first single crochet)
Step 4:  Single crochet in top point of next flower petal; chain 7 (to make corner between pairs of petals)

Step 5:  Single crochet in tip of next 2 flower petals; chain 7
{Repeat Step 5 two more times and join with a slip stitch to 1st stitch in round.}
Step 6:  Slip stitch in next single crochet and in chain 7 corner loop

Step 7:  Chain 3 (counts as 1st double crochet); make 4 more dc in same loop, chain 2, make 5 more dc in same loop) [Corner made]
Step 8:   Chain 2; make [5 dc, 2 chain, 5 dc] in next chain 7 loop
{Repeat Step 8 twice more to make all 4 corners, ending with chain 2 and joining to top chain stitch of 1st dc}
Finish off. Weave in loose ends.

©2012 All Rights Reserved 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Simple Cro-hook Bookmark

Using a small cro-hook (I found mine at Hobby Lobby), and two colors of size 10 doily thread, you can make a simple and charming cro-hook bookmark. I used taupe for Color A and pink for color B to make the bookmark pictured.

Step 1:  Chain 9; follow the Cro-hook Basics post instructions until your bookmark is the length desired.
Step 2:  On the last row, when your bookmark has one loop of Color A left on the hook, single crochet across the top of the bookmark and finish off. Weave in loose ends, and voila! You have made a Simple Cro-hook Bookmark in a very short time. Mine took about an hour to make, if that.

Cro-hooking usually creates a tightly woven fabric. However, using a smaller cro-hook and doily thread, you create a lacy look that can be used for many other projects as well. Happy crocheting, good people!

©2012 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kitchen Crocheted Floor Mat Pattern and Instructions

Followed by rain, lightning and thunder…
As I sat there working on my project yesterday, I paused to enjoy such beautiful weather. We don’t get a lot of rain storms out here in the desert. When they arrive, it’s always a noteworthy event.
The pace of my project slowed. It would still be finished by evening. Cool breezes were invigorating, the scent of clean, refreshing air. Computer time would have to wait. This was nature’s time and I was ready to embrace it.
I’ve been working on a small mat to place in front of my kitchen sink. It’s something I’ve wanted for a while; slowly, but surely, the small rug worked its way to my finish line. Here is the result and simple tutorial of my project.
Always remember that your project can be tailored, according to your own needs and desires. If you want a larger kitchen mat, crochet more motifs, joining them in the same way. I provide guidelines. Each crocheter needs to determine how their individual projects will take shape. Crochet is an art form, not an exact science. Designers and artists should reflect personal preference and personality throughout their work.

Kitchen Crocheted Floor Mat Instructions

Step 1:  Make 18 Octagon Motifs

Step 2:  Join motifs together with a single crochet seam, along the straight edges. Refer to my recent joining crochet motifs post for step by step instructions.


>>>Start by joining a strip of 6 motifs
>>>Make 3 strips of 6 motifs each

>>>Once you have your 3 strips, single crochet only along straight edges, to join each motif in turn, matching motif for motif and stitch for stitch, until you have a large rectangle that is 3 motifs by 6 motifs
>>>Do not finish off; when you reach the end, chain 1
Step 3:  Starting at the end of your last row, single crochet around entire floor mat, joining with a slip stitch to your first single crochet.
Step 4: Finish off; weave in loose ends; steam and lay flat before presenting in final display

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