Crochet Challenge: Crochet a summer project

Week 17 challenge (06-25-14):   Celebrate the First Day of Summer (June 27) by crocheting a beach or summer fun project.
Answer:  If it's one thing we know in Texas, it's summer heat!  Of course, we don't have a monopoly on it, but we do have a lot of it!   We've already had 99 deg F days, and the endless 99-100+ days are upon us.

This means trying to perspire in a ladylike way, with hair being soaked, sticking to the back of the neck, and...well, you get the picture.  I'd already been in search of the perfect summer headband pattern, and found this free pattern.

Crocheted Cool Summer Scarf - Head Band
Click for pattern info
It is airy and cool, and the cotton I used (pattern calls for acrylic) keeps my forehead and neck dry in the heat. It stays tied with just one tie, is stretchy and doesn't slip around.  It is super easy and super fast.

This is a "Boho" or "Gypsy" scarf, hence it's length.  You can make it shorter or longer, and you can make it the width you want.

This one that I made is 6 rows wide, which I found too wide even for summer, so it will be used in the fall.  I'm making another one that will be 4 rows wide, and a little shorter.

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 by just having fun! 

#free #crochet #pattern #summer #scarf #headband

Out of the Garden Recipe - Asparagus Beans

This is the asparagus bean AKA Chinese long bean AKA yardlong bean AKA bora AKA long-podded cowpea AKA pea bean AKA snake bean.  You’d think with all those AKA’s that it would be on the FBI’s most wanted list.

 Asparagus Beans
This pic is from Wiki because I didn't get a pic of ours.  We ate them up too quick.

It is a different genus than the common bean, and is subtropical/tropical and most widely grown in the warmer parts of South Asia, Southeast Asia, and southern China.   And now grown in Texas!  A variety of the cowpea, it is used and cooked very similar to that of the green bean. When the immature pods are picked they are 14” - 30” (35-75 cm) long.

Our friends and we swap veggies out of our gardens. We trade squash and zucchini and onions. But I refuse to swap my tomatoes! I’m normally pretty unselfish…I’ll give you my money, the shirt off my back, my children.  But you can’t have tomatoes out of my garden!   Oh all right.  Of course I will... *digging toe in sand*.  Because someone enjoying them as much as I do always beats out being selfish 

Anyway, a friend gave us these, which were new to us!  The ones we were given by our friend were 18” - 24” (45-61 cm).  They were tied in a bundle just like in the pic (we got one bundle).

Asparagus Beans - My Recipe

Cut into 3” pieces.  In a wok or heavy skillet, saute in a tablespoon of oil with 1/4 cup minced onion, 1 clove minced garlic, 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger.  When almost tender, add 1/2 cup chicken broth; cover and simmer until tender.  Add 1 teaspoon corn starch, stir, sauce should just glaze beans.  Serve with soy sauce to taste.

Hope you enjoy them.  I'd love to hear your recipe!

Until next time!

#garden #asparagusbeans #recipe

Free crochet granny square patterns: June 2014BAMCAL

It always amazes me that we have access to such amazing granny square patterns - for free!  I'm so grateful to the designers that share their talent with us.

Here are two June CAL squares.  The pattern for Diamond in the Rye, on the left, is for a 12" square,  but using Caron Simply Soft yarn and a G hook, I make 9" blocks.  Even then, sometimes I still need to add rows.  (SS yarn is such a thin worsted, and looks best - to me, anyway - worked with a G hook, which is often smaller than what the pattern calls for).

For the same reason, when I do a 6" square, like Walled Garden, on the right, I need to add rows.

(Click the pic to see more info, including the link to the free patterns).
Free Crochet Granny Square Pattern - Diamond in the Rye
Diamond in the Rye
Free Crochet Granny Square Pattern - Walled Garden
Walled Garden

#crochet #free #patterns #granny

Free crochet pattern: Potholder Covers for Glass Cookware Lids

CorningWare Glass Cookware Lid Potholder

Berniece from Ravelry made these dandy little worsted cotton potholder covers for her Corning VisionWare cookware lids.  I liked them so much I wrote out the design and made some for my own CorningWare Lids.

Corning Ware Glass Cookware Lid Potholder

They can be made any size, for any type of knob.

They slip on and off easily and can just stay on in the microwave - talk about handy!  (Don't use them in a regular oven, though)!

Corning Ware Glass Cookware Lid and Handle Potholders
The handles just cried out for matching potholders, sooooo.....  here they are!

The whole set is so fast to make!  In about an hour, you have a unique, cute set to keep or give as a gift.

Have fun!  Let me know if you make some - I'd love the see a pic!

Click on pics above for lid potholder pattern, or here:

Matching handle potholders:

Until next time!

#crochet #freepatterns #corningware #potholders #lid

Free Crochet Pattern: Easy Speedy Dishcloth

Free crochet pattern - Fast Easy Wash / Dish Cloth

Super Speedy Easy Crocheted Dishcloth

(Click pics to go to pattern)

Free crochet pattern - Fast Easy Wash / Dish ClothThis free crochet pattern for a dish / wash cloth may not be unique, but I could not find another one like it, so I wrote it down.

Simply a take on the easy griddle stitch, you'll have the pattern memorized in 3-4 rows!

Made it to fit what I wanted a dishcloth to be:  Not too heavy, so it will dry out before mildewing here in the hot South, but not too light so it will absorb a lot.  Not too textured to make it hard to rinse out, but textured enough to scrub.  Not so big that it would slosh ends around, but plenty large enough to fit under my large hands, and soak up liquid.
Free crochet pattern - Fast Easy Wash / Dish Cloth
Easy enough for beginners, it uses less than one skein worsted (weight-4) cotton [2 oz. (56 g) / 95 yard (87 m)] and a size I-9 (5.5 mm) crochet hook.

Please show me pictures of yours.  I'd really love to see them!

Until next time!

#free #crochet #pattern #dishcloth

Crochet Challenge: Crochet a pattern with UK (or US) terminology

This week's challenge:  Did you know that crochet terminology is different in the U.S. and the U.K.?  Google search UK crochet patterns and find a pattern you'd like to "interpret".
Findings:  Actually, I did know that, but had never crocheted from a UK pattern.  Since I've been wanting a round mat to go under my Arthur Court fruit bowl....

Crocheted Round Mat - Fruit Bowl, Plant Pot, etc.
....this Plant Pot Mat pattern looked perfect.

Found at Patterns for Crochet (UK), most patterns are in both US and UK terminology.

The first interesting thing discovered was that the pattern asked for a 4.50 mm hook.  I didn't have one!

I have a full set of Susan Bates US size hooks, and had noticed before, that size G-6 (4mm), jumped up to size H8 (5mm).  There were times I've wished I had that in-between size for adjusting gauge, but made do with the ones I had.  And I'd never come across a pattern calling for it before. 

The next thing I got mixed up on was converting UK tr to US terminology.   I got it backward.  I translated UK tr = US dtr, instead of UK tr = US dc.  No wonder my first round was so wacky!

My mind finally wrapped around the difference, but it was more kooky feeling than I thought it would be even though the pattern was simple --- a more involved one would really have had me on my toes and wrinkling my face up.

This exercise made me appreciate the ones from other countries that crochet from our US patterns, and will be more mindful writing patterns from here on.  Adding US to UK conversion tables to the patterns I write is simple to do and hopefully will be helpful.

Back to the plant pot mat - Here it is under the fruit bowl (currently holding tomatoes from our garden).  I think it turned out to be quite pretty, don't you?

Here are tools used while working this pattern:

Crochet chart - US vs UK terminologyKathryn from Crochet Concupiscence worked up this chart (on right) that gives US vs UK terminology.  Click on the chart to go there / view larger.

Crochet chart - US vs UK abbreviationsThis abbreviation chart from Simply Crochet Mag (UK) helps translate patterns to US.  Examples: "bl" instead of "blo" for back loop only, and "yoh" (yarn over hook) instead of "yo" (yarn over).  Click on it to go there / view larger.  They also have a CHART key for those that read charts.

This challenge was actually lots of fun.  If you do it, I'd love to hear your experiences and see what you made!

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 by just having fun! 

#crochet #terminology #US-UK

Crochet Challenge: Crochet in public

This weeks challenge:  Crochet in public sometime this week and tell us about your experience.
Answer:  First opportunity was about a week after this post.

Crochet in public #1:  I  did whip out my crocheting at the Dept. of Motor Vehicles while waiting for my husband as he renewed his driver's license.

A lady next to me asked me what I was making.  I told her it was a dishcloth, and how nice crocheted dishcloths were, and how easy to make.  She said she and her mom used them, but had to buy them as they didn't crochet but wanted to learn.  She watched, fascinated, as we chatted,  and I hoped she might think about learning how!

Free crochet pattern - Lily Sugar'n Cream Speedy Texture Dishcloth
Click for free pattern
This is what I was making.  This free Lily Sugar'n Cream pattern calls for a size H hook, for a 13" square.  I wanted less dense and smaller so used a K hook and began with ch 29, for 28 st across, which made a 10" square.  After making it that way, I recommend using a J hook (instead of K), and reducing the beginning chain even more if necessary for a 9" cloth.  

Crochet in public #2:  In the hospital waiting room while my husband was having a procedure, a young lady and her mother talked about the crochet I was doing, commenting how they'd like to learn.  Another lady plopped down next to me and said she didn't have her  crochet with her, but was working on plastic canvas crosses and we could chat too!  
Free crochet pattern - Summer Headband / Scarf
Click for free pattern

I already had a plan to present my crocheted item to the young lady (whose mother had also gone in for a procedure).  

Just as they called my name to go back to post-op, I cut the last woven-in end!  Talk about good timing!   I gave her this summer headband / scarf, and wished her and her mother best wishes.  Her eyes were huge and she was speechless except for saying over and over "Oh, my...God bless you."  

By crocheting in public, I met such nice ladies and had such a pleasant conversation that the time passed quickly.  It was nice to have an otherwise tense event offset by such a happy experience.

What experiences have you had?  I'd love to know!

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 by just having fun! 

#crochet #public #free #patterns

Free crochet granny square pattern: Water Lily Pad Granny

Free crochet pattern - Water Lily Pad Granny
Click for free pattern
A worsted / aran crocheted rendition of a water lily pad floating in a pool of cool blue water, this block is easy and fast to make, and makes a bright and cheerful addition to any afghan, pillow, or anywhere you want a touch of whimsy.  Adorn it with a water lily, or even a little amigurumi frog!

Free crochet pattern - Reflected Dragonfly Granny
Reflected Butterfly
Click for free pattern & info

Designed to go with this variation of a Ravelry
Crochet-A-Long (CAL) square, Reflected Butterfly
by Aurora Suominen.  Be sure to read the notes for
my modifications, if you want this look.

The two of them look really cute together!

Note:  I designed the Water Lily Pad Granny square only.  

I'd love to see pics of your square!

Until next time!

#free #crochet #pattern #lilypad #granny