Rainbow’s End

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My day has been just a wee bit busy! The long-awaited twins have arrived. They are five months and simply sweet. My girls are thrilled! It has been a lovely day of feedings and crying and spit-ups and changes. So many excellent skills for my eleven- and twelve-year-old to learn. They have been the best helpers.

I spent a few hours sewing and weaving ends over the weekend! And the light is right for a granny TA DAAA! 🙂

So here she is, with the promised tips and links for joining motifs.

Center patchwork:
For the center squares, I sewed a simple whipstitch through the back loops. I love the stripey look it makes, but I confess, I don’t use this method often since I would rather crochet than sew! I do suggest a good yarn needle, that really helps.

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Here is a link with a whipstitch diagram:
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-join-crochet-seams-with-whipstitch.html

Granny stripes:
To transition from the squares to the rounds of granny stripes, I simple double-crocheted around in the first color, then in the second round, double crocheted three times in every third stitch. I changed color every round.
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For my next set of granny squares, I crocheted one round, changed color, crocheted a second round, and on the third round, joined the square to the stripes (and the square or squares next to it) with a single crochet in between each set of three double crochets.

This is called a Join-As-You-Go method, and I prefer these, as it eliminates the need to sew much! 🙂
A tutorial for joining squares is here:
http://myrosevalley.blogspot.com/2013/02/granny-square-join-as-you-go-tutorial.html

My favorite jaygo method, which I did NOT use for this blanket 🙂 is here:
http://babylovebrand.net/2013/06/01/continuous-join-as-you-go/
So pretty! I love clever things.

For the second set of granny stripes, I wanted to try a different look, so instead of dc around, I sc in between every three st, then chained 3. This created a different type of base for the stripes. I also worked two rounds in each color, instead of one.

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I liked how this matched the sc joins in the squares and created a uniform look.

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So here she is! I tried several fancy edgings, but they were too frilly, so I simply ended on a pretty red.
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TA DAA! I hope you have enjoyed watching her grow as much as I have. Happy Tuesday!

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Summer’s End

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We celebrated the last day of summer this past weekend. Only one thing to do: a trip to our favorite place to celebrate fall!

Here is the link: http://www.lapaceksorchard.com/

But first, a peek at my latest workings…

I was inspired the other day by a picture someone posted of a six-pointed star. Those of us who are crafty for the holidays know that the countdown for making homeade gifts has begun!

I loved the granny diamonds she used to make the star, but I refuse to sew all those pieces together! And a join-as-you-go method isn’t too tricky…so I tried a few sample stars.

Here is a five-point:
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And here is six:
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I had some trouble with the center on that one, but now as I look at the picture it seems all right…it is also too wide, I am going to try shorter stitches on the sides.

Here are the two lovely free patterns I found; they both have so many gorgeous color possibilities! The diamond I am working on is smaller, I like little things. 🙂

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http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/prairie-star

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http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/christmas-star-throw

And here are some pictures of our lovely afternoon at the orchard.

Apples!
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Raspberries…

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Pumpkins…
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Photography fun 🙂
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Woolie Bear caterpillars…
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Sixty varieties of apples, pretty seasonal vignettes, free samples 🙂
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And caramel apples and cider donuts, yuuuuummmm…
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Welcome, autumn!
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Mighty Mitered Crochet Squares

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Squares, squares, squares! I absolutely love the look of mitered squares in an afghan…I think it must be my latest obsession. I have had an idea in the back of my head for weeks, something in pretty fall tones, and beautiful ombre shading…

I looked and looked for patterns, but didn’t find anything suit exactly.

Mitered squares seem to be more predisposed to knitting…and Bernat no longer has the pattern posted for the Mitered Squares Baby Blanket. 😦

I did find a nice picture tutorial for it, here, which gives the basics of the pattern:
http://www.hookedonneedles.com/2008/07/mitered-squares-baby-blanket-crocheted.html

And from Bernat, this larger version is available:
http://www.yarnspirations.com/patterns/mitered-squares-afghan.html

And this is more like what I had in mind in the first place…
http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/crocheted-mitered-square-shawl

Perhaps I just don’t know what I want! 🙂 Ha ha, do I ever?

So I have developped three of my own patterns for the mitered square, one in double-crochet worked with an increase, and two in half-double crochet worked with a decrease. Fun!

Here are my pretty fall colors:
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This square starts with a little solid granny square and then you work two sides for the miter. Here are my baby squares all made:
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And here is my test square, in solids and stripes:
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I think it will be very pretty! I plan to edge and join in chocolate brown…

Now for something worked the opposite direction. Here is my modified version of the Bernat pattern, starting with only 15 stitches at the base.

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I love the texture in the solid color!
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It works up quickly, and there are no ends to weave as you join individual squares, but you do need to finish off at the end of the row and join for the next, so the squares go the same direction. So we have ends to weave with each row.

Which led me to the question, what about working rows in alternate directions? And decreasing over two stitches instead of just one?

I tried cotton and made a little washcloth.

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Ooo, I wonder what would happen if I started with a center square and worked outward in rounds of squares? I may have to try that.

I am on the hunt for just the right self-striping yarn to make a gorgeous fall pallette afghan of mighty mitered squares! And I am still searching for the perfect pattern…but we know how that will go. 😉

Happy hooking!

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Goodnight, Sweet Friend

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Warning! This week’s post will be sad…and hopefully sweet, as well.

I would like to dedicate it to my cyber-friend Missy, from Missy’s Crafty Mess, to whom thanks are long overdue. When I started this blog last year, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing! And she was so sweet to like several of my first posts, and make some encouraging comments. I didn’t even know you could do that, I was so new to blogging…and I look forward to it now.

When I hopped over to visit her blog, I was so touched by her courage in the face of grief. So, thanks, Missy, I appreciate your kindness and am glad your are sharing out of your loss. Who knows how many others will be helped by your example?

I needed a little of that courage last week, as we said goodbye to a little friend. I know it is such a tiny grief, especially compared to yours. But my heart broke over my children’s tears.

For several years now, we have been the owner of four birds. After a brief illness, we lost one of our parakeets last week. It was a tender goodbye.

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I was proud of the girls as they nursed, then grieved. They wiped their tears and went back to the tasks at hand. The burial was short, and sweet. The sadness returns at odd moments: putting away the cage, finding a stray toy or forgotten medecine dropper.

I am always so thankful when the pain fades to sweet memories and gratitude for the time that was had.

May it be so in your lives as well.

Great Granny Gumption!

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It is always such a change when the children go back to school, isn’t it? Each year, each child is so different…and there are many variables, here!

The little toddler we watch during they day is adjusting.
The daughters in school are adjusting.
The daughters schooling at home are adjusting.
And I am losing my mind! 🙂

Just too much change, all at once. I miss my little ones from childcare last year that have now gone to school. I miss my nieces and nephew that spent much of the summer with us. I have too much time during hours I am used to having too little, and vice-versa! Our entire schedule has altered.

It will take a few weeks to settle in.

Thankfully, I have found time this week–even with all the “adjusting!”– to work on the rainbow granny. And I have a plan for it, too, upon completion…

One of my friends is in the hospital. 😦 It will make a nice cheerful recovery gift, I think. I hope.

So, from the beginning:

Rainbow squares while I stitched on the v-stitch
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Made into a little patchwork
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And edging
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Then a third motif of two-tone, three-round grannies joined-as-you-go
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Puppy approved
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Then some pretty flowers from sweet Sarah’s blog
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The free flower pattern is here:
http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2014/04/daisy-flower-crochet-pattern.html

And now the final motif, two rows of each color, to give a vintage rick-rack feel…
I keep running out of yarn, as it takes nearly a skein to go twice around!

Another trip to the yarn store for me. 🙂

We have been making lots of visits to our local park this week, here are a few pretties:

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Such lovely weather, and a pretty time of year! See you next week ❤