Pretty Edging– Free Pattern

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Hello, hello and happy Tuesday!

Just a little something for you today…a pretty, simple edging pattern to use on most anything…

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My stripey sweater needed a touch more “girly-ness”, so here it is!

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Pretty Scalloped Edge
Row 1: sc in each stitch around. 3 sc in corners.
Row 2: hdc in each st around. 3 hdc in each corner.
Row 3: shell (4 hdc) in next st, skip stitch, sc, skip st. Repeat around.
Row 4: sc in first two st of shell, ch 2, sc in next two st, make extended sc (into row 1) btw each shell.

Note: for my sweater I used purple in rows 1 and 2, green for row 3 and blue on row 4.

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That’s all for now! I have a mountain of paperwork and filing to do, and so many crochet projects calling to me…

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Happy hooking!

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The Graphghan, Part II

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Hello, Monday Eve! It’s not Tuesday yet, but I have pictures at the ready, and, more importantly, I have a teensy bit of TIME…at least for a few minutes, since hubby and the smallest of the small fry are cooking dinner…oh, bliss.

I suppose it is too much to hope that I would get my taxes done tonight, too…but maybe I could get them STARTED…? That would be nice. 😛

I have been making progress! And learning a plethera of tidbits in the process. If you’d like to start at the beginning (and read things in order, hmmm), go here first.

Fun facts about the graphghan so far:

1. I haven’t actually wound any bobbins yet, but am a third done.
2. I have never seen so many ends in my life. I thought I hated weaving ends BEFORE. Wowzers.
3. My ingenious idea for printing a chart over the graphic resulted in a pattern that can only be read by mice. Or elves.
4. I really, really hate weaving ends.
5. Miscounting stitches is very, very obvious in a graphghan, but not until you are 2-3 rows past the error.

There. Venting aside, I should be celebrating! I did it! So far…
The rows of lettering have been quite successful and, well…yay!

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The emblem, unfortunately, has been a trick…the chart was simply too small, and parts of it much too dark to count the squares on the graph…this is all due, of course, to my frugality and inexperience, as there are lovely programs and designers out there that will happily make beautiful, readable charts and patterns…for a fee.

But no, I will persevere with what I have! I cropped, enlarged and reprinted the emblem portion of my design, which has helped.
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I will be redoing the entire section, as my star is currently rather uneven and wobbly.

I learned from the facebook group Teach Me Graphghan that you can count stitches and write them out, rather like a code– or even have the computer do it for you, in Excel– so, being my stubborn self, and given that my image is a mirror image, so that I want it the same on both sides…

I wrote out the stitch counts for HALF the image, and will crochet it that way, first following my counts, then crocheting the same number (and color) of stitches in reverse order in each row, so that it is even. Because at the moment? It is not…hence the redo.

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We shall see!
I have decided making graphghans is not much like crochet…it’s a bit more like weaving and MATH! My sincere apologies to those of you who enjoy calculations…I consider them one of life’s particular torments…

I haven’t given up, never fear! Despite my learning curve, I WILL be trying my hand at even another graphghan, sometime.

I downloaded the cutest little pattern from the facebook group– someone designed a darling baby dragon with hearts and posted it as a free giveway. Just to give you an idea, it is a quarter of the size of my design and has TWELVE PAGES of graph, as opposed to my one. No wonder I am having trouble reading mine. 🙂

And on the bright side, I am making one of my signature giraffes to coordinate with this very special blanket. So far, he is adorable! Sneak peek here:
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And here:
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Ah, patience is a virtue. I might just get in a few hours tonight. Bliss.
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See my little helper here? It’s no wonder my crochet hours are few, these days!
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Happy hooking!

Valentine Roses

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Hello, friends.
It is late on my Tuesday, and I’m afraid I am not at my best. It has been a day.
But, as always, I have something lovely for you!

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I have been making a little something as thank you gifts for a few special ladies in my life.
And they turned out quite sweet, I think.

The free pattern here:
http://www.skiptomylou.org/2014/02/27/free-easy-rose-crochet-pattern/

I found the first row to be just a bit confusing in the pattern…but it is simple enough, once I tried it: sc, ch 2, sk a st, repeat.

Here’s how it looks, unrolled:
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And here they are, all lined up that evening:
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I will add little clips to the back for use as accessories: hair pretties, or maybe on a scarf, coat, hat…they would look lovely on a handbag, too. I need to dig out my rhinestone buttons; wouldn’t they look dazzling with some center sparkle?

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Pretty roses, just in time for Valentine’s Day! They are so quick, and they would make a gorgeous wreath, too. Perhaps next year, here. Happy hooking!

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Gearing up to Graph-ghan

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Is it Tuesday again already? Oh, my…

I have made SUCH progress on multiple orders…and cleaned my yarn bins and shelves, AND even tidied and polished my “projects” table…

Here is my new favorite storage system…a triple laundry sorter that has become my work-in-progress afghan-keeper! I actually finished two afghans last week, now that things are tidy. 😀

Of course as soon as those afghans came out, there were more to take their place!

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All that completion created space in my mind–and life– to tackle something new! It is a special request from my husband for a co-worker’s baby. It will be a bit of a monster, but for him? Anything.

He and the father-to-be designed it themselves.
When he told me what they had in mind, I knew my usual methods wouldn’t do.

So a graphghan it is! But first, I need to learn how…

I read a tutorial that said to use windows paint to lay a graph over your image. I might have paint on my computer (the one that thinks it is 2006) but I honestly don’t even know…

So  maybe I could use my printer to create the chart? It worked!

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First, I needed some graph paper printed to my specifications. Next, I used Word to adjust my image and add text. I printed my Word doc onto the graph paper and voila!

I found the graph paper download here, with so many lovely options.
http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/multiwidth/
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I am not concerned about the finished size, just something about 100 stitches across…I can always add a border to increase it: pram or crib-size will suffice, and I suspect this will end up throw or twin-size, anyway. I could do the stitch-count math but I don’t particularly care. 🙂

I love that the graph paper allowed for three colors of weighted lines, which will make it easier to read. My first printing, I did 10, 2 and 1 squares per inch. Looking at the results, however, I decided I wanted the details a bit finer than that and went to 16, 4 and 1.

As for method…I joined a group on facebook and looked at their photos. I learn so much just from the questions other people ask! There are several options for graphghan stitches: sc, hdc, dc, tunisian and even C2C! Though I prefer hdc, I am going to go with sc to keep my stitches squared (as wide as they are tall). This will avoid elongating my graphic.

Now for my nemesis…as much as I like to try new things, graphghans have two serious flaws: they are BORING and they have a gazillion ends to weave at the finish!

Instead of buying special bobbins to hold the thread, I’ll be using these guys:
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As for the monotony of creation, I’ll take it slow and put on some good background music. Making a mistake means ripping out rows and rows of stitches…and I so despise “frogging”.

Only my love for my husband and the rarity of his special request will fuel this one to completion. We made a late-night run for yarn in the branch colors last night.

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My next step will be to watch a few how-to videos to brush up on joining colors and weaving ends. Maybe I will find some clever techniques to aid in the drudgery! I can hope, can’t I? 😉

A quick search produced plenty of results.
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Phew! All this and I haven’t even started…look out, more learning ahead. I do love to learn!
Happy Tuesday! And happy hooking. 🙂