September 22, 2014

Challenge: Crochet to music & celebrate the first day of fall

Week 28 (09-10-14):  Do you listen to audio books or music when you crochet?  If yes, tell us what or who you've enjoyed the most.  If not, give it a try.
Week 29 (09-17-14):  Celebrate the First Day of Fall (Sept 22) crocheting some leaves, or by using Fall colors in a project..

Crocheted Pansy & Leaves
I combined two weeks and listened to music while I crocheted a fall project.  Instead of fall colored leaves, I chose the flower I love seeing in the fall - the pansy, along with the pansy leaves.

The pansy pattern is Pretty Pansies
by Terry Kimbrough
from Leisure Arts #100318, Afghans for All Seasons, Book 1.

The pansy leaf pattern is free and can be found here:  Pansy Leaf - Crocheted Leaf Pattern.  I modified it just a bit so the tips would come to a slight point.  (Click the pic for my notes on what I did).


As for the music part of the challenge:

I don't listen to audio books when I crochet.  I'd be too distracted with audio books, following the story, so I watch old movies on TV instead.  The only time I crochet to music is when riding in the car.

In trying to decide what music to listen to, I saw a post by Kathryn from Crochet Concupiscence discussing "crochet music" on her blog.  You could knock me over with a feather - oh my gosh, who knew there were songs that had crochet in them!

So instead of just listening to music as I crocheted, I listened to music about crochet while I crocheted!

Please go and listen and watch the music videos!  Absolutely fascinating.  Warning:  put your "music judgement" on the back burner and understand that while you may not like punk or some of the other genres, that this is a modern history lesson on crochet in songs!

Listen to the music and watch the music videos:  Songs About Crochet and Other Music for Crafting

Be sure to stop and watch the music videos.  I'll never look at a thrift shop the same again!


Until next time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's never too late to join the 52 Week Crochet Challenge by Julie at Red Berry Crochet!
One simple task per week - your skills, style & knowledge will evolve while you're having fun! 


#crochet #pansy #leaves

September 21, 2014

Free crochet pattern: Perfect Hot Pads

Perfect Hot Pads / PotholdersIf you want to crochet a pot holder / hot pad that is going to be the most used one in the house, this may be it.

This is the work horse --- the potholder reached for when you're doing serious, no- nonsense cooking.  There is a reason generations have made potholders with this stitch.

The Stitch

The stitch used is called the single crochet thermal stitch; also called the “potholder stitch”, honeycomb stitch (from the early 1900’s), Helena’s potholder stitch, double thick stitch, Siberian stitch, and waffle weave technique.

The Tips

This is a very easy stitch to learn.  All it is, is single crochet - you just put the hook in different loops.

The first 3 rows are hardest, only as far as knowing the beginning and end stitches to work into - they can get kind of hidden.  Just put a stitch marker in those stitches right when you make them and it will save headaches and let you see right where they are. Otherwise, your potholder may take on a pyramid or slanted square shape!  After row 5 it’s no problem, but keep using the markers if you need to.

Perfect Potholder / Hot PadThis stitch is not very speedy, but remember that is because it is making a double thickness.  It is what you want for a potholder or hot pad and the end result is worth it.

The pattern calls for an H-8 (5 mm) hook.  I used a G-6 (4 mm) hook for a closer weave, but don't believe that it was necessary.

The Lowdown

 This is a very nice, thick, well-shaped, sturdy potholder that will last a LONG time and one I would be proud to give as a gift to anyone.


The Pattern

Pattern with photos:  The Best Crocheted Potholder, by Heather Tucker  (Has link to a video for more help, if needed).


September 19, 2014

Crochet Challenge: National Library Card Sign-Up Month

Week 27 (09-03-14):  September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month.  Sign up for a library card this week and/or check out a crochet book and tell us what you think.

Answer:  I live in a rural area and so do not have access to a free public library.  They charge a fee to use it.  Kind of aggravating, actually.  What about all the kids in the country that want to use a library?  grrr!

The Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches: Over 900 Great Stitches Detailed for Needlecrafters of Every Level [ULTIMATE SOURCEBK OF KNITTING]Encyclopedia of 300 Crochet Patterns, Stitches and DesignsGifts from the Heart (House of White Birches)

Anyway, here are a few from my mini-library of crochet books, and I do peruse them all the time for inspiration or instruction.  Nothing beats a good, old-fashioned book!


Until next time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's never too late to join the 52 Week Crochet Challenge by Julie at Red Berry Crochet!
One simple task per week - your skills, style & knowledge will evolve while you're having fun! 


#crochet #library #books

Crochet Challenge: Organize Your Kit and Project Bag

One simple task per week and your skills, style and knowledge will evolve while you're having fun! Just click the "Are you Ready?!" button on the sidebar to get started.

Week 26 challenge (08-27-14):   Go through your crochet kit and project bag and organize them.

 Yarn Tote Organizer BagI bought this bag from Miles Kimball for $13.99 and free shipping.   (Click the pic to go there if you want to order one).

It is my main project bag.  I was surprised at the quality, for the price.  It is so functional.  When I got it, it had a bad plastic smell; I unzipped everything and let it air a couple of days and it was fine.

It's soft-sided so it squishes into spaces.  It stays by my chair and I grab it by the nylon strap and put it in the floorboard of the car when we go places.

 Yarn Tote Organizer Bag One side has a clear pocket that holds a spiral notebook and pattern and has a velcro tab closure.
 Yarn Tote Organizer Bag
The other side has a clear zippered pocket that holds my set of crochet hooks, and a ziploc bag that holds a spare pair of glasses, row counter, bandaids, clothespins, pens, marker, and kleenex.

 Yarn Tote Organizer BagThere are three zippered pockets on the front.  Each pocket holds two big skeins of yarn.  The project I'm working on now uses 6 different colors.  Perfect!

 Yarn Tote Organizer BagThe top has smooth metal grommets that the yarn feeds through. There are velcro tabs that hold the yarn ends to keep them separated and from sliding back through the holes.  There is also a small zippered pocket that holds miscellaneous items.  I have lens wipes to clean my glasses, a pen, some unfinished grannies, and a tape measure in it.
 Yarn Tote Organizer Bag
The back has a zipper that opens into a roomy space to store the unfinished work.  Mine shown here is holding completed granny squares for an afghan, and has plenty of room to hold the rest.  That black fabric notebook in the front is a magnetic pattern holder.

Chatelaine with scissors, pin cushion & needle threaderIt also holds my chatelaine, which has my scissors, and a pineapple pin cushion with yarn needles, needle threader, safety pin markers, and the crochet hook I'm using.

Project tote bagOther larger projects are in tote bags, like this one that is holding the work-in-progress, pattern, yarn, and tunisian hook for an afghan I'm making for my daughter.

Ziploc bags hold crochet projects

Each smaller project is in a clear ziploc bag, which is stored in a plastic bin.  I can just grab the one I want, along with the hook needed and chatelaine from my main project bag.


Until next time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's never too late to join the 52 Week Crochet Challenge by Julie at Red Berry Crochet!
One simple task per week - your skills, style & knowledge will evolve while you're having fun! 


#crochet #organization

Crochet Challenge: Online Crochet Class or Helpful Videos

Have you ever taken an online crochet class?  If you have, tell us about your experience.  If not, check out some crochet classes at Craftsy.com or find a helpful video on YouTube to share.

This was the challenge for Week 25 (08-20-14).   One simple task per week and your skills, style and knowledge will evolve while you're having fun! Just click the "Are you Ready?!" button on the sidebar to get started.

My response:  My goodness, there are a bazillion resources to choose from nowadays.  We may curse technology for some things, but oh, how wonderful it is, putting so much information at our fingertips!

Craftsy (www.craftsy.com)

Craftsy Free Mini-Class, Crochet Ribbing, Textures, and BeadsI registered at this site some time ago.  While I've never paid for any of their online classes, they always have some free mini-classes.  For example, right now they have this one on crochet textures using ribbing, cables and beads.

They also have everything "craftsy" - not just crochet and knit.  There's also embroidery, quilting, sewing, jewelry, paper crafts, photography, painting, drawing, gardening, woodworking, spinning, weaving, cake decorating, food & cooking.  I do have some classes earmarked to take for drawing and cake decorating.


YouTube 

My goodness again!  I don't think there's anything that can't be found on youtube; and for free.  The mind just boggles!

Today I watched this video showing the Tunisian Simple Stitch, and the slip stitch bind-off.

This one is by the amazing Tamara Kelly from Moogly.  I like her videos because I can follow and understand them! In fact, she has a number of instructional videos, and her blog is a veritable smorgasborg of information, tips and tricks.



I don't know how she does everything she does, but do yourself a favor and visit her:
Moogly Blog  (http://www.mooglyblog.com/)
Tamara Kelly You Tube Channel  (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD8D0ojFdqKWugU3qx7jbtw)

The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch DesignsLow-tech is still cool

And then there are still books!  There's nothing like flipping through the pages of books and having the printed instructions in front of you!

Until next time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's never too late to join the 52 Week Crochet Challenge by Julie at Red Berry Crochet! One simple task per week - your skills, style & knowledge will evolve while you're having fun! 


#crochet #video #learn

Crochet Challenge: Crocheted Items Years From Now

One simple task per week and your skills, style and knowledge will evolve while you're having fun! Just click the "Are you Ready?!" button on the sidebar to get started.

Week 24 challenge (08-13-14):   Imagine one of your crocheted pieces years from now.  Where will it be?  Who will have it?  Describe what you think the answers will be, or make up a story instead.

Giraffe Afghan and Toy
Click for pattern info
Answer:  Wow.  It's always tricky imagining reality - because what I think is a treasure may just be tossed aside by the owner!  What I'd like to imagine - my story - is that the items I create will be used, loved and snuggled with, fondled, talked about.  Perhaps carefully folded with tissue paper and stored to be presented to the next generation.

My heart and soul and love go into crocheting unique and special touches that I hope will give happiness, such as this afghan.  I designed and added the sun, butterflies, elephant, rocks, snake, and caterpillars.  I used special fluffy yarn for the clouds, and textured yarn for the tree trunk.  I added more leaves on the tree, added manes and tails on the giraffes, and added a bird and flowers from patterns I found.


I love doing things like this, because nothing on this earth could give me more joy than to have something I have done give someone else happiness.

We have such a short time on earth, and then we're gone and forgotten.  Perhaps it's egotistical  but my existence seems less pointless if a part of me left behind would be loved.


Where will your crocheted pieces be in the future? 

Until next time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's never too late to join the 52 Week Crochet Challenge by Julie at Red Berry Crochet!
One simple task per week - your skills, style & knowledge will evolve while you're having fun! 


#crochet #afghan #jungle

Crochet Challenge: Make some Crochet Word Art

One simple task per week and your skills, style and knowledge will evolve while you're having fun!  Just click the "Are you Ready?!" button on the sidebar to get started.



Week 23 challenge (08-06-14):   Make some crochet art!  Visit www.wordle.net and create, then share your creation.
Answer:  At first I thought, this is weird.  But it turned out to be wonderfully fun!  Here are my creations.

The "crochet art" is created using word cloud creators.  They are called that because they form visual "clouds" out of words.

I used two free word cloud creators:  Wordle and Tagxedo.  Both allow you to put in a web site address (URL), and then will create a world cloud using the words found at that address.  The more a word is used at the site, the larger the word will be in the cloud.  You have options to remove words, change fonts, and colors.  They will ignore words like "the", "and", "it", etc.  You can even choose to have your words line up all horizontal, all vertical, or a mix.

Wordle (www.wordle.net)

Wordle is different, in that you can also opt to manually input only the words you want to use.  Entering a word more than once will make it appear larger in the cloud. This is my example.


Tagxedo (www.tagxedo.com)

Tagxedo is different, in that you have lots of shapes to choose from.  The angel above is from Tagxedo.  You can't input your own words like at wordle, but if there are words you don't want in your cloud, you have an option to remove them.  Here are two more Tagxedo creations.






These were actually quite fun and addictive.  They would also make a fun project for or with kids --- what endless creative possibilities with font, color, shape, orientation, and spacial concepts!

Until next time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's never too late to join the 52 Week Crochet Challenge by Julie at Red Berry Crochet!
One simple task per week - your skills, style & knowledge will evolve while you're having fun! 


#crochet #wordart

September 8, 2014

Free crochet granny square patterns: August 2014BAMCAL #2

Isn't this a striking square?!  Love the design elements that make the flames, and it was fun to do.

 There is a pattern for 6" and 12" blocks, and if you use Caron Simply Soft worsted yarn and a size G (4 mm) hook as I do, it makes a 9" square.

This block tied for 1st place with Thoughts of Spring as the "filler" block for August.  (The other August squares are here:  Free Crochet Granny Patterns - August).

Click pic for pattern and notes
The designer's pattern suggestion was for a green background (hence "the meadow" in the name), which looks fabulous, but I needed to stick with my CAL colors.


Until next time!
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#crochet #free #patterns #granny

September 4, 2014

A Walk on the Wild Side - Wildlife Pics

We have a trail cam on our property, which is so fun--who knows what will pop up next!  Feeders throw corn or other grains out for deer.  Of course, deer are not the only ones that like it!

Here is Mr. or Mrs. Raccoon, munching away........and Mr. Deer, looking very confused at his unusual dinner partner!
    

Meanwhile, I'm just crocheting away and watching old movies. Later will be trying out a new recipe for banana bread. Here's the recipe - it sounds wonderful:  Extreme Banana Nut Bread 'EBNB'.

I'll let you know how it turns out. What's going on in your world?

Until next time!