Circling Lovelies

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Hello and happy weekend.

The weather has turned colder after an unseasonable warm spell that made the start of school a bit more cruel than usual.

Nothing like baking in the classroom, thinking of the beach!

The children suffered more than I did, as I was so excited about the start of the new year with my new job…and my classrooms have air conditioning. 🙂

Today’s pattern is one of my favorites. Tried and true. Simple, well-written, and deceptively intricate. When it looks difficult, but is surprisingly easy to make…

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Priscilla Hewitt is a master designer, in my humble opinion.

I love her Matelasse. All of them. ❤

This one is sweetly named: Circle of Friends. Find it here:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/circle-of-friends-square

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Rounds of sc or dc, then a fun trp-sc to make the fabulous textures!

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I used Caron Simply Soft and my F (3.5mm) hook.

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Started in a fit of need for bursts of random color, and whipped up over the course of a few days, as the pattern is really quite simple.

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I’m so glad I did, for now I have news of babies on the way and will finish this blanket in plenty of time to gift it.

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I changed colors each round, choosing the most contrast I could find…and trying not to duplicate any.

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I love my spring brights. Good old V-Stitch in the background makes me smile, as it is still waiting for me to sew in those ends…and back with flannel. 😀

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I plan to join my squares with a beautiful silver gray in a boring double crochet band…anything with braid, lattice or texture would be too much, and fail to highlight the gorgeous bumpiness of this pattern!

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See the circles turn into squares next time!

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Until then…

May you have a lovely week. ❤

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Protea or Osteospermum? The Lovey African Flower

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Hello and happy holiday weekend!

I am rested up form my first exciting week of my new adventure and ready to post! See more about that here:

https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/toad-ally-awesome/

And, well, you probably know I love flowers…the colors, that shapes, the incredible beauty and detail…

The crochet African flower is one of my favorite patterns. So may options! Moogly has a dozen fun patterns collected here:

http://www.mooglyblog.com/free-african-flower-patterns/

And if you haven’t seen Heidi Bears ADORABLE amigurumi designs…check those out on ravelry here:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lollo-the-african-flower-bear

Plotting my blog, I was curious. Is the design based on a REAL African flower? The answer seems to be no, but I enjoyed the search! Here is a lovely osteospermum:

And then the African national flower protea, also called sugar-bush:

So pretty! But not much like the crochet pattern.

The African flower pattern lends itself very well to scrap-ghans, using leftover bits to make dozens of flowers. Here’s my first gathering of Caron Simply Soft extras out of my bins.There is little I love more than rummaging through my piles of yarn to make new color combinations. Color makes me happy.

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I like charts better, so I downloaded a handful of those and chose a hexie pattern, to start. If you are in need of a written pattern, here is a good one: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/african-flower-hexagon-crochet-tutorial

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Such pretty little flowers, and they work up quickly.

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Now, how to join?

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Another day, another gathering of colorful half and three-quarter skeins…to make MORE!

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Ooo, found a bit of yellow! That will brighten things up a bit.

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I plan to join them with a pretty white…some sort of lacy border…and edging motif.

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Crochet flowers make me happy.

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More next time! The blanket is nearly finished, but I must pace myself now that I am a working girl. 🙂

This hooker will settle in with her stash and crochet a quiet holiday afternoon away…after I finish my lessons…I hope!

May you have a lovely Monday. ❤

Dainty Doily Delight

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Hello, Hello and Happy Tuesday!

May I welcome myself back from a lovely vacation? 😉

It was a much-needed time; so completely detached from my usual tasks that I felt quite a different person, and was entirely refreshed.

Just before we left, I pulled several faded, mimeographed charts from my pile of patterns and worked up a bit of pretty cotton-acrylic blend.

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I wish I had a tub full of the stuff..that’s what it would take to make anything of substantial size!

Here’s the label:

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How anyone manages to buy enough fine yarn to make a sweater or camisole is beyond me; the cost is quite prohibitive.

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I contented myself with doing the first few rounds of this old chart. The fiber blend slipped so neatly between my fingers, and I love the stitch definition that comes from working with cotton.

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I really must pull out some of my finer thread and make another go at something long and lacy.

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Would you like to make one yourself? Here are a few patterns to choose from:

http://allcrafts.net/crochet/crochetdoilies.htm

Need something easy for a beginner? Maybe here:

http://www.favecrafts.com/Crochet/Free-Crochet-Doily-Patterns-for-Beginners

I could get lost on the internet, browsing patterns. Here are two more of my favorite search spots. Perhaps you need a new project!

http://www.garnstudio.com/

http://www.yarnspirations.com/

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Our vacation was such a lovely time away. I shall bundle it up into my happiest memories and keep it there, pulling it out to reminisce, as needed, during the long winters.

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May your summer be full of lovely tender moments and fair-weather fun!

Until we crochet again… ❤

Giant Granny Goodness

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I saw something not too long ago that I simply had to try.

Large granny squares– sewn into an afghan.

It was made by a talented designer, with fancy yarn, in marvelous earth tones, but the basic concept delighted me- giant grannies!

Compared to a typical 4-5 round granny afghan, there will be less joining– I will make nine squares– although the ends sewn will still  be numerous, as of course I must change color every round.

I love color!

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And as I must also put a twist on everything I make, I started with circles. 🙂

 

 

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This is a scrap-ghan…which means I am using all kinds of bits and pieces from my current yarn stash, not purchasing new, although as my rounds get larger I require more and more of a skein to complete them. Eventually I will be forced to pick up a few final colors to complete it. Yarn shopping(!), oh, how sad… 😉

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I see that I forgot the cardinal rule of granny squares (I was making these rather late at night last week and was distracted for various reasons), which is to TURN your work after each round or your granny square will begin to show the dreaded, “granny twist.”

It isn’t too late. I shall start flipping them over and work alternating sides for the rest of the rounds. I believe I am on number nine? Going for twenty, unless they start to get too big.

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I’ve gathered several of my random unassigned skeins of yarn into a tote for easy pickings. Makes for easier clean up, too, when the little ones are coming by.

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If you prefer a more uniform theme or specific color design, I recommend a marvelous free web tool– the granny square pattern generator:

http://granny-square-colors.com/

I have had far too much fun with it– on more than one occasion 😀 …so many options! You can choose dimensions (by number of squares), number of colors, infinite color shadings…the possibilities are endless. I especially liked using it to vary the light and dark tones to see how that changed the overall look. I would think it would be very helpful for quilters that way, too.

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And, just for fun, as I missed you last week (all of my cameras were dead or AWOL and what is a crochet blog without pictures?), a sneak peek at my cutest little 4th of July project– the popover smock, done Star-Spangled Banner style!

 

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For the dress pattern, see here:

https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/mais-oui/

Such a lovely, lovely day. The children have been to the park and are now in the pool…I shall grab myself a bit of yarn and hook it ’til dinnertime.

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Happy Tuesday!

Get A Room

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So today has been all about  joining, here…except for the chicken beak, but let’s talk about that another day.

Apparantly I’ve looked at too many pictures on Pinterest, because I was trying to use a join for circle grannies (like the ravelry sunburst pattern) on squares.

This is what I thought I was trying to make:
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Except I wanted it more like this:
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Weird, I know…so I made my five-round grannys  (color just in the first round, then all the rest cream), and began to join as I go. But I only did a chain 3 btw granny clusters, so it isn’t visible.
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And then it sat in my collection of random wips, for maybe six months?

Today I pulled it out again. Thought maybe the squares should be smaller? Tried the sunburst join:
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Still not as decorative as I’d like.

So I tried something I read a while ago– a lattice stitch where you drop the yarn off the hook and pick it up through the loop on the adjacent square.  Yes!

A gorgeous openwork join. But now I want to try it in different color edging! Wouldn’t that be pretty? A two-color twist, different on each side; I love it.
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But alas, my free time for today is over. 😦

And to my consternation, I found this on my own Pinterest board as I was pulling up the sunburst granny! I have to laugh, as I thought I had come up with that idea myself…wonder what else is buried in my subconscious?
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That will do for now.
Have a lovely day!
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Spinach Chicken, a Giraffe and Some Zebras

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Hello…happy Monday! Schools here are canceled for two days due to the extreme cold. Which means a full house for us, since my brother’s children join us then, too! The cousins have been playing rapturiously and riotously all day…a little noisy, but so sweet as I well remember my own delight when school was canceled, long ago!

I have been busy with the hook…today was a bit of pattern experimentation for a special order.
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Zebra, zebra, zebra! The spike stitch was the winner, you can find the instructions here: spike crochet stitch

The middle stripe pattern is a half-double crochet with the hook inserted between the stich instead of under the v as usual. I liked the diamond shape it makes, as well as how nicely it lays.

The longer piece on the right is simply a increase/decrease pattern of single crochet rows: 3 blk, 1 wh, 2 blk, 2 wh, 1 blk, 3 wh, etc. I like that one, too. It will be fun to try in color!

And now, something special I worked on yesterday afternoon and well into the evening…
Can you guess? I haven’t done any amigurumi for a bit…so it was fun to get back to it.
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Still needs horns, and ears…but I was very happy to complete so much at once. Here is another clue:
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When it is finished I very much hope it will look something like this:
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Here is the link if you would like to see more of her lovely work:
http://willewopsie.blogspot.com/

And finally, something yummy…my sweet husband is off for the holiday and made us dinner: spinach, garlic and chicken lasagne. It smells amazing!

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You can find the recipe here: lasagne

Looking forward to a whole evening of crochet, now that my brother has arrived to collect his crew! Stay well and warm. ♡ More pretties coming this way later in the week…I have an owl afghan  design I am so eager to start! Blessings.
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11 Little Stockings

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I am enthralled with this pattern. Everytime I finish one…or sometimes halfway through(!)…I think of another color combination. And then there are the embellishment possibilities…hearts, stars, holly, colorful buttons…and embroidered names, too!

http://www.lemondedesucrette.com/2011/11/16/little-christmas-socks-the-pattern/
Merci, Angie!