Sweet Lacy Goodness

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I made the most beautiful little blanket for a baby gift.

Using self-striping yarn, there were almost no color changes and few ends to weave in. Such a good thing!

I used the most delicious new yarn, even the name is yummy…Lion Brand Ice Cream.

I think it was a 5mm hook, though it might have been a 6.

The free pattern is all the rage: it is simple, but looks complicated.

My favorite traits!

It started out as a triangular shawl, and someone clever adapted it into a square.

Here is the link to her blog:

http://www.jonnamartinez.com/2015/11/blanket-pattern-and-worked-up-by-jonna.html?showComment=1458925569857#c873061720421579173

Once you have the center made, there isn’t a need for the pattern, as the repeats are quite easy to remember.

The parents-to-be were quite delighted with the lovely gift.

I so look forward to meeting their new little blessing!

Just a few more weeks. ❤

Happy crocheting!

That Winter Chill

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Don’t you just love the New Year? 

My distaste for monotony thrills to the idea of a fresh start.

I’ve tidied, purged, sorted and organized to my heart’s content these last few weeks. In between all my usual tasks, of course!

I had heard about the project I am sharing with you today before, but hadn’t considered making one, for several reasons. As you know, I have plenty of WIPs (work-in-progress) as it is!

But after I saw all the fun links and ideas in one of my many crochet Facebook groups, I had to make one too. 🙂

The basic premise of a temperature blanket is this: you crochet a row a day, basing the color of the row on that day’s temperature.

You can immediately see my issue: I’m not the sort of person that can do ANYTHING once a day for a year…Goodness! And only one row at a time? No, thanks! And how to remember to record the daily temperature? And do you write the high or low? And which color chart should I choose?

So how do you plan a project when the rules don’t work for you? Why, you break the rules, of course. 🙂

First, I needed a color chart. A quick Google image search revealed many options. I surveyed a few and created my own color/temperature key.

Then I chose my pallette. That’s my favorite part!

There are some fun websites available to help you with temperature readings. I used this one:

http://weatherghansite.azurewebsites.net

At first I thought it didn’t work…You have to click on “see more”, or something like that…After you enter your country and date range. The neat thing about this site is you can make a blanket for any year! Several people were making the a “birth year temperature” afghan for a child. What a lovely idea. 

There are also plenty of patterns to choose from. I fell in love with this one, from the Crochet Crowd:

http://thecrochetcrowd.com/spectrum-afghan-pattern/
Now, where to start? Since I began on the 4th day of January, I was in a quandary. I wanted to crochet a lot of my blanket! Not just four rows…

I thought back over the past year. We had an especially nice November, lots of lovely warm days. Cheery yellow would be just the color to start my blanket. And so I did!

I was eager to see how the first few rows came along. I crocheted six weeks in one sitting.

You can see how quickly the chill moved in! Lots of purple in my future, with a bit of blue.

I have no illusions about completion. One oft-mentioned issue with these blankets is that they become very skinny and long! 

I went with  starting chain of 153. When it is as long as I like, I’ll stop. 🙂 I’m quite curious how many months that will be!

I’ve several orders to finish in the next few days, but I eagerly look forward to making more progress on this one.

Happy hooking!

Vroom, Vroom

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And a happy Tuesday to you!

It’s always so wonderful when our projects are appreciated, isn’t it? When they are used, delight the recepient and become well-loved, even to being worn through.

It’s the best.

A while back, I made a little diaper set for a handsome young chap. Something with cars, she said. 

It wasn’t much to go on! So I designed it to please myself and hoped for the best.

The family was thrilled. Unbeknownst to me, I had matched their nursey decor EXACTLY. 

Hurrah!

So just before Christmas, I got a sweet second request. Could I make a blanket to match???
But of course. 🙂

Now comes the fun part! Choosing a design. 

Here’s a composite of my inspirational photos so far…

I shall keep you updated!

Here is the pattern I used for the diaper set: 
http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2013/01/crochet-bunny-hat-pattern.html

May you stay warm and dry today.

Happy hooking!

The Messy Bun Hat

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Brrr! The temperature has dropped with a vengeance but the sun is shining bright.

The most recent snowfall has left us looking marshmallow-topped and sparkling under said sun.

This week’s blog is a project less than twenty-four hours old, and includes a free pattern! Pretty good turnaround, considering the timeline of most of my work. 😂

A sweet friend posted to my timeline yesterday and asked if I could make her the hat that is all the rage right now– it has a hole at the top for your hair and is much sought-after by those blessed thick-haired creatures of the north.

I checked out a dozen free patterns on the web, and at least as many pics, and decided to just try my own thing.

Any hat pattern could work, you would just make a ring and start about the third round.

You can use an elastic band to crochet over for the first stitches, or chain a ring and crochet around.

I used about 20 chains to get the diameter opening I was looking for.

Bulky yarn #5 and a 9mm hook

Here it is:

The Sparkly Toad Messy Bun Hat Pattern

Ch 20, join with sl st 

Rnd 1: make 24 hdc in ring, ch 1.

Rnd 2: crocheting BETWEEN each st, make 2 hdc between each st around. Join w sl st to first hdc, (24 vStitches made)

Rnd 3: ch 2, crochet 1 hdc in same st as join (counts as first v stitch). Make 2 hdc in each v stitch around. Join with sl st to center of first v stitch.

Continue to just short of desired length (I made about 12 rounds), then make two rows of alternating fpdc and bpdc to create ribbed edge.

My friend was thrilled! It fit perfectly and the blue and rust are her colors. 🙂 

The first few rounds started out pretty full and wobbly but it evened out nicely as I crocheted down. 

Her wonderful hubby took this pic for me:

Made last night and delivered this morning. ❤

If only all my project went this well. 🙂

Happy hooking!

Ordinary Miracles

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‘Tis the day before Thanksgiving.

The bird is ready.

The school speeches have been made.

Grandmother’s table is set…

…with the other grandmother’s ceramic turkey.

My chicks will soon all be home to the nest and I am deeply content.

So at peace, in fact, that there is nothing left to do this drizzly day but put some yarn on my hook and crochet the afternoon away. ❤

***

For a fun crochet Tom turkey, see this previous Thanksgiving post:

https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/granny-squares-mr-tom/


Happy Thanksgiving! Be blessed, tomorrow and always.

Hurray for Hats

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It’s been a busy season of crochet here!

I’ve a lot accomplished, which feels so good.

The giant grannies blanket is finished but for those pesky ends, and so is the Autumn Beauty.


I’ve needed a few quick gifts, and one thing led to another, until I found I’d made a half-dozen hats in just under a week!
First, a couple of Minnies for some sweet preschool girls.


Then a matched set for a new little mister and his proud big brother!


And finally, by request, a pair of penguins for my youngest and her friend.


Too much fun. Simple to make, especially with the well-written pattern:

http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2013/01/crochet-puppy-hat-pattern.html

The above link is for the puppy. The Minnie is also available and I just “wing-ed it” for the penguins. Two circles and a triangle make the penguin the easiest of the three, in my opinion!
What clever holiday gifts, too.

Now back to work for me. I’ve started a new blanket this week already.

Soft floral and earthy tones mean her title must be My English Garden. She’ll have a granny center, but who knows where the rest will lead? 


I’m thinking she wants for tiny diamonds next.

We shall see! Happy hooking!

A Dip in the Pool

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Hello, my friends, and come join the fun!

I have succumbed to the insanity that is planned pooling.

If you are like me, as a crocheter I found variegated yarn to be lovely, but annoying. If I tried to combine it with pretty solids for a project, it never quite matched. And used alone, the mishmash of color was often, well, overpowering.

No more! I have learned of its secret, and I will never despise variegated yarns again.

ARGYLE!!!

Be amazed…I was! 🙂

Knitters have known this for years. In fact, here is a snapshot from an old chart, showing the possible color pools from the same yarn with varying stitch counts.

Wow! Of course, I had to try it. My first move? Join a Facebook group or two and learn from my peers. I recommend this one:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1585936391710370/

Planned Pooling with Crochet

Great group, lots of laughter and shared frustrations as we all tried to make our yarn cooperate. 

For your amusement, here are my first attempts: 

You can see I am close! But it is not the perfect argyle. I was using the method described here: 

But I wanted more…with a little luck, and plenty of determination, I achieved this with my second skein:

Argyle! There she is!

And a little longer:

Success. Sweet accomplishment.

Of course then I had to try ALL my yarns!

I’m glad I have such a large stash of partial skeins. :

And my favorites:

And there you have it. Planned pooling, in a nutshell. For an in-depth description of just how to do this yourself, I suggest:

http://www.glamour-4-you.com/blog/planned-pooling-with-crochet-made-easy-4-simple-steps
She also has a YouTube video. Love those!

More next time. Happy Crocheting!