Posts Tagged With: crochet

A Sleepy Kind of Year’s Start

Dear Sis,

It’s been a very sleepy sort of start to the year here.  I’ve been under a bit of a haze of appointments, crafting, and a really awful cold that’s been going around.  I, of course, caught the cold; and it went straight to my lungs and set up camp.  I’m much better, now, though so not to worry!  I went straight to the doctor and he gave me medicine to cure the infection.  I cannot believe it’s March already, though.  It feels like forever since I’ve written to you, and I wonder how the time got past me so easily.

First things, first, I suppose!  Tea:

It’s a new tea that I was gifted in a recent swap package, and it’s really yummy!  Even ArmyC will drink it with me when I make a pot.

Now,onto the crafting…

January, I made these dishcloths for the winner of a charity auction:

She was kind enough to gift me the pattern to make them, even!  And was so thrilled with them that she stated “these will never see the inside of a sink!” in response to my telling her not to be afraid to use them b/c they will be very hard wearing.  (You know how I crochet, haha.)

I also finished both my pink and turquoise prayer shawls that have been flying about my UFO (UnFinished Object) files for almost a year now!  They’ve already been sent off back home to Gram(ma), and taken to the church.

I was less than pleased with the turquoise one.  It’s just a plain simple stole shaped shawl, but as it was one of my first projects I failed to properly guess the center.  The seam actually runs a bit down one side, but there was nothing I could do to fix it other than unravel quite a bit of it.  Between you and me I was a bit tired of looking at the blue at this point, and found the Q sized crochet hook more cumbersome than I used to.  It’s been a long time since I picked up that large hook!

At the very end of January, my knitting group had a day where we made baby hats for charity.  You could also choose to make something for the seafarers, but those items would have taken me weeks!  They were things like sweaters (for grown men, no less!) and scarves in dk weight yarn.  I simply knew I’d never make it through one of those projects so I settled on making about 5 hats for babies of all sizes.

 

In February, I finished my teapot cozy:

I know, that’s not the camel teapot you gave me!  And it’s not the clear glass teapot I received in the Tea swap we took part in!  This seems to be the year of the teapot for me.  I’d seen the cozy pattern before, and it was one of my favorites, but I was not ready for the colorwork or the steeking or any number of other scary new knitting techniques that this project encompassed!  So I left it in my queue to make “someday”.  Besides, I reasoned, it will not fit either of my current teapots.  But a friend gifted me the pattern and asked me to knit it along with her for moral support.  How could I say no to that?!  It was great fun, and while it’s not perfect, I find it absolutely lovely.  And it turns out that having 3 teapots is a blessing.  I use the glass one for the especially pretty brews when I know I can sit and watch and refill it with hot water as needed.  (It’s a bit smaller than these other two.)  And the other two take turns being clean.  Since I have my pot of tea almost every day, there is always one that needs cleaning.

The theme of February seems to have been to learn new knitting things!  I made these blocks, and for them I had to learn to duplicate stitch.  It took quite a bit longer than I expected, but the results were very pretty for the most part.  And where the prettiness runs thin, I still like that they look a bit like worn wooden blocks with the paint coming off where they’ve been loved a bit too much.

These were for a swap where my partner has one little girl and one on the way.  Please ignore the poorly thought out photo that has the elements P, O, and S in that order.  I was taking these photos hurriedly, as the shipping deadline was the next day.

 

And lastly, March has been a month of finishing what I’ve started earlier, but have put off for one reason or another.  My knitting club is working on some Frankensocks where we each make a bit of a pair, and then swap every two weeks.  We started back in February, and I’m on the heels this week.  I’m currently working on a sweater, a doily, and a bag, each that I started back in December.  The only exceptions to this “finishing” of previous UFOs are some charity projects I’ve been whipping up (because I’ve been remiss about hooking up charity projects; I really have been), and this hedgehog that ArmyC requested especially:

Isn’t he just the cutest?  He now lives on ArmyC’s desk, in a nice pile of unfiled paperwork.  Hedgehog loves it.  And bonus, I’m getting much better at picking up stitches because of him.

 

Well, that’s pretty much all the news from out here in rainy Washington.

 

For now, I think I’m going to toss some laundry in to wash, make an early lunch, and see if I can’t settle in to watch my very favorite version of Little Women.

(I just received the DVD version in the mail from a friend!  My VHS version was on it’s last leg, and I’ve never found this version on DVD myself so I am eternally grateful to her.  I’ve already watched it once since receiving it just this past weekend!)

Then it should be about time to drive over, and pick ArmyC up from work.  (I have the car today since because I had an appointment this morning.  I have to go once every week now for my allergy immune boosting shots.  It chops up my day a bit to drive him to and from work so it’s hard to remember to get laundry in sometimes to be done before I need to leave again or I’ll get right into the middle of a chore and I’ll have to stop, but as it’s necessary and only one day per week I really cannot complain too much!)

 

I miss you so much!  And I really do hope you can get away to visit.  Tell Buffalo and Zeus and everyone that I say “hello”.  =)

All our love from ArmyC and me,

❤ K

PS – Talk to you soon, I hope! 🙂

 

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Crochet Wrist-Warmers Pattern

This pattern uses American notation.  For those of you UK peeps, I’ve tried to put your notation in parentheses.  I hope they’re right!  I know how the basic stitches translate, but not very certain after that.  🙂

Stitch Key:

Sl st = slip stitch (UK=same)

Sc = single crochet (UK=double crochet)

Dc = double crochet (UK=treble crochet)

Blsc = back loop single crochet (UK=back loop double crochet)

Fsc = foundation single crochet (UK=foundation double crochet)

Materials:

Yarn: 1 skein of your choice.  (I used Lily Sugar’n Cream Cotton in American Stripes 120 yds/109m.)

Hook: Suggested hook for your yarn.  I used J10/6.00mm, but my gauge/tension is on the extremely tight side.

Size:       Depends on your gauge/tension.  I have small adult hands (ring size 5) & they fit perfectly.  Increase hook size or add stitches to accommodate your hand size. (My gauge: 4sc=1in./3sc=2cm)

How to do a Fsc: Ch 2; insert hook into top loops of first Ch; YO & pull through Ch.  YO; pull through 1 loop (your new chain).  YO pull through both loops left on hook (your first sc).  Continue to insert hook into each new chain stitch; YO; pull through chain; YO pull through 1 loop (making new chain); YO pull through both loops left on hook (new sc) until you reach the amount of stitches indicated in pattern.

A helpful tutorial with photos and a video on how to do a fsc can be found at http://www.futuregirl.com/craft_blog/2009/3/tutorial-foundation-single-crochet.aspx.

Left and Right warmers are made identically with the exception of the eleventh row.  Read carefully as some rows are joined and some are not, but simply done in a spiral.  You will want to use a stitch marker on at least the spiral rows.

If you’d like longer mitts, simply increase either the arm cuff (rows 1-5), the hand warmer length (rows 6-10), or the top cuff over your fingers (rows 11-15).  Be sure to increase the same on both the right and left mitt.

Pattern:

30 fsc; join with slst into top loops of first st.  Be sure not to twist your fsc row while joining.  You should be joining into what is considered your first sc.

Row 1:  Blsc in first stitch and each stitch around.  Do not join.  (30sc)

Row 2-4:  Blsc around.  (30sc)

Row 5-10:  Ch 3 (counts as 1st dc here & throughout); dc around & join with slst in beg. Ch 2.  (30 dc)

Left Mitt Row 11:  Ch 3; skip 7 dc, blsc in 8th dc & each dc around. Do not join. (25)

Right Mitt Row 11:  Ch 2; sc in 1st stitch & each stitch around until 8 stitches remain (22 sc so far); Ch 3; sc in last stitch in row.  Do not join. (25) (See diagram below.)

Row 12-15:  Blsc around.  Do not join. (25sc)

Finish:  Slst in 1st sc of row 15 & fasten off.  Weave in end.

Diagram of the end of Right Hand Row 11:

Where to put the stitches to make the opening for the thumb/hand properly sized.

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Original Pattern by haikugirloz can be found at http://haikugirloz.com/eggplant-hand-warmers.  Beware.  Pattern has some mistakes.  Note that if following her pattern, your right mitt will be longer than your left as shown by her own photo.

Categories: Patterns, Wrist-Warmers | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Voila! Wrist-Warmers

Dear Sis,

I was rooting around the internet a few weeks ago looking for inspiration for some wrist-warmers.  You know I have some chronic wrist problems from a couple car accidents in my teens, and I recently had bilateral carpel tunnel surgery.  Not a picnic… For anyone of my fellow hookers with carpel tunnel syndrome, I do not recommend doing both wrists at the same time!  Of course, neither did my doctor… but I had to get them done and get myself healed for when my husband visited… so I won that discussion!  If you can call being completely unable to feed oneself for a week or so winning… haha.

Anyway, I had read that it is important to keep one’s wrists warm while crocheting or kitting in order to lesson damage and make it more comfortable.  Not wanting to go through more pain, I opted to make these wrist-warmers a priority!

I knew I wanted something simple.  No fancy or frilly stuff.  I wanted them to fit easily and comfortably under my hoodies.  I also wanted something that covered my wrist, but not much else.  These mitts fit the bill, but the pattern was in a language I do not read.

It was translated into English, but it referred extensively to the “back fillet” and I could not for the life of me figure out if it meant the back loop or the back bump… so after a bit of trial and error, I kept looking.  (I apologize for not having the website information… I would love if anyone knows where these mitts can be found!  For some reason I did not save the information, only took a photo of my screen… so strange.  And if I find it, I”ll put the link up here.)

I was not finding much of what I wanted online, so I started my own pattern… I finished the left mitt and decided it was not going the way I wanted… It was yellow cotton and much too fitted.  The color was beautiful (and I regret not having taken photos… it was Peaches & Cream), but the fit required me to use a button close… not very hoodie friendly, now is it?  Nope!!

So I went back to the internet with my new found information.  Looking for a pattern again, this time with more purpose, and an even better sense of what I wanted.  I finally stumbled upon exactly what I wanted!  There it was in beautiful simplicity.

Having used several free patterns from the internet, I was, of course, weary.  I waited to frog my yellow wrist warmer until I was sure this pattern worked.  I found a skein of yarn my mother talked me into buying because of the colors.  I had no idea what I was going to do with this strongly variegated cotton.  Here was the pattern for it, I suppose.  I zipped through the left mitt.  Beautiful!  Perfect!  I was impressed.  Still not tearing out my original yet…

The right mitt proved equally fast… I eagerly put them on!  I put my hands together… and what is this?  Is the right mitt longer than the left? Yes 😦 Yes, it is.

I checked the original pattern… Yes, I followed it correctly.  I studied the photo of the completed project by the author.  Oh my goodness, her right mitt is longer than her left as well!  I hadn’t noticed it before because I just thought one was bunched up a bit.  Okay, how can I fix this??? Well, I will spare you the ugly details of me tearing my mitt out 4 times.  But I will attach the pattern that I finally used to fix the length issue as well as the issue where the thumb hole was too large and the main hand hole was too small which occurred when joining rows straight from the open chain.

In the end, all the puttering and redoing and fixing was worth it:

Yay!  Beautiful mitts!!! I plan to make a wooly set of these as well when I get done with some stash busting so I can purchase some wool!  And thank you to haikugirloz for the original pattern.

Of course, I wrote all my modifications down into my own pattern (based heavily on the original), and of course I’m sharing!  I’ll upload it very soon ❤

Enjoy,

K

****************************************************************************

Edit to add:

The pattern for the wrist-warmers is now up! 😀

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Hooky Ladies Using a Knit Check??

This is Omacella, knitting queen, checking a crochet hook that we both own with her knit-check. This hook came in a package of three hooks by a brand Crochet Dude. The package is clearly labeled as containing American sizes “Sizes L, P, Q” or “8mm, 10mm, 15.75mm” for our friends across the pond. L is the smallest of the trio. It’s dark blue and the only metal of the group. Q is the lightest blue and the largest. So what is this middle blue, middle sized one? Well, the package says P… but we had our doubts.

Omacella had about 4 hooks all labeled P with this being the smallest:

And I had hooks from Susan Bates that were sized smaller letters, but were physically larger than this hook:

Finally, Omacella broke out her knit-check as only a knitter would (since us hookers have all our info printed on our hooks almost always). And guess what size it was? Well, maybe you don’t need to guess as her photo shows it is clearly no P.

IT’S A SIZE “N”!!!!!!!!!!!

Ta-dah!

Apparently all us hooky ladies should head right down and get one of these knit-fangled thingies…. Just for these odd cases where the package lies.

On a semi-related note, I am very sad. You remember the beautiful home I have for my hooks? Yes, well the slot for the N-hook-marauding-as-a-P-hook will now be too narrow for a real P hook.

************************************************************************************

Edit to add:

Upon further research, Omacella did in fact figure out why all the P hooks are different sizes.  Apparently the head of the hook (just the very part where the hook is the largest) is a P size.  Now, this doesn’t help with actual gauge since the shaft is so extremely tiny, but that’s how the companies can call the hooks size P.

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Seriously Upset Aves (Angry Birds)

Part of why Sis and I haven’t been around is that we just finished a furiously fast-paced crochet endeavor for a great cause…. but on a hugely pressure-filled time crunch.

We found out about a benefit for someone to raise money for their breast cancer medical bills and asked if we could donate anything for the silent auction.  We were told Yes!!!  So we got to work!

In three days, we came up with a basket of full of angry bird goodies.

The patterns for each of these amigurumi birds can easily be found online, though I will warn that we found problems with them.  The hat can also be found online as a free pattern, but was a wonderful surprise with no problems!  We also didn’t write down the fixes for these mistakes simply because we were so pressed for time.  Some of the problems we encountered we didn’t even have time to fix, but they turned out okay for the most part.  The scarf had no pattern.  I simply decided I didn’t want all these funky colors in my stash bin to bust later because, honestly, when was I ever going to need this awful hot red? lol.  The night before the basket had to be delivered I grabbed the yarn two strands at a time and started double crocheting my heart out with a size N hook.

Before I knew it, I had a very scary looking scarf.

I texted Sis my problem and she suggested the rows of solid black to tone it down.

So here is the final project:

We both hope it went for a good price to pay for lots of medical bills!!!!  Neither of us could attend as we were snowed in 😦

Red Bird

Black Bird

Green Pig

Yellow Bird

Earflap Hat

If you want the rest of the patterns (that we did not have time to make):

Green Bird

Blue Bird

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Winter Break is Over…

Dear Sis,

With the Christmas break over, it’s been a bit difficult to find some time to write, but that doesn’t mean there has been no crafty time!  I have so much to write about, you can expect a few letters from me over the next few days.

What has been going on over this absence?

Big snows:

Even more snow:

Dr. Suess – like snow:

Warming up by the fire (sorry for the terrible lighting in this photo):

Lots of hooky:

(Credit for the green piggy and yellow birdie goes to you! Thanks again! I’ll explain more to our readers soon…)

And going through your yarn stash:

So much to talk about!  Must start writing here more often… but for now, I need to finish my lesson for tonight.  My students will not appreciate how much yarn fun I’ve been having!  They will be much more interested in the review game I’ve promised them… I’m off to compile some prizes!  Talk to you soon.

Love,

K

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