Sunday, October 8, 2017

Squares and more squares...

This past week I finished the first four squares in the Last Dance Blanket:



And I came up with this color scheme and layout (using stash yarn):


The color representations aren't completely accurate (e.g. it's hard to convey "dusty" and "clear" in the colors that are those), but I think this graphic is a fair approximation of the colors I'm planning on using.  And I kind of like it so far.  Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind about any of the colors as I go.  I've already learned that two of the colors I have yet to crochet squares for are discontinued, so right out of the gate I'm adapting my plans.

If you'd like to join a current CAL for this blanket, we're working on it together in Our Happy CAL Group on Ravelry.  We just started the second week (second square) today and the CAL will go through the end of December.

Each pattern is worked 4 times, so at the end of each week we should have four squares completed, and at the end of 12 weeks (which will be the end of December), we should have 48 squares!   And then a couple of weeks in January will be dedicated to joining and crocheting the border.  Wish me well!  And come join me, if you like!

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As if that wasn't enough of a project to start this past week, I was inspired to try a square from the Stardust Melodies Blanket by gifted crochet designer, Polly Plum.  And after I crocheted that square I was so impressed by the video tutorial and how perfect and nice the square turned out, I decided to consider making a small blanket of some of the squares in this collection.

The first square I tried is called Don't Fence Me In:


I followed Polly's video tutorial (which is available at the link above) and I must say she is thorough and her instructions are easy to follow.  I look forward to making more of her designs.

Note:  Polly has published an e-book that has many more patterns (and accompanying video tutorials) for a large Stardust Melodies blanket, so check it out if you think you might be interested and want more than the 12 free patterns Polly generously provides on her website

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And finally, I decided to pull out a long-languishing project.  Okay, I know some of you have projects that have languished a lot longer than this one, but I hadn't worked on this Fairly Isleish sweater since trying to block out the seriously crooked center-front edges (that was in June, I think).

What used to look like this:



Now has a straight button band on one side and a button-hole band on the other side of the center-front:



And the beginning of a toddler-sized long sleeve:


I'm going to try to get this finished!  If not by the end of this week, then by the next.  There might be a little person out there who'd be warmed by this cute little sweater and it will soon be turning chilly here.

And that's it here in my little corner of the crochet world.  The coming week promises to be busy and if I think to take some pictures, I may have something new and interesting to show and tell about next week.
Hmmm...  aren't you curious now?!?  😉



To see what other YOPPERs are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.




Sunday, October 1, 2017

Hats For Kids...

As of today, I declare my hat factory officially closed.  I don't know if 17 hats is a good number to have made in the last four weeks, or if it's a ridiculous number, but this is what I've got to show for my crocheting efforts over the last month.


Washed and dried, these hats are super soft and if they find the right heads to fit, they ought to keep some kiddos warm come winter.

I know I shared a couple of the patterns here when I first made them, but I thought I'd share all the patterns - in one place this time.  Clicking on the pictures will take you to my Ravelry project page, that will have any notes I made, as well as a link to the designer's page.  Clicking on the links in the text below the pictures will take you to a video tutorial of each hat.


The Divine Hat was probably the easiest and quickest to make, and of course I love it for that reason alone.  Because the pattern produces a hat on the large side, though, I had to tweak it a bit to get it kid-size.  Basically, I just continued with 3 dc shells, instead of enlarging to 4 dc shells where the pattern instructs, and if necessary, I switched to a smaller hook when I worked the ribbing (or started with a smaller hook if I was wanting a hat significantly smaller).   An easy hat with a ribbing that doesn't stretch as much as the others I did, but cute all the same.

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Then there was the Snowfall Slouchy.  I'm not sure how much mine will slouch, but I loved how these turned out.  The size can be adjusted by creating a larger or smaller ribbing, and when beginning the hat portion, just make sure that the starting number of stitches (the stitches that transition from the ribbing to the hat portion) is a multiple of 4. 

A note on how to get the correct starting number of stitches...   After connecting the ends of my ribbing by slip stitching them together (into the back loop only), I did a round of sc's around the top edge of the ribbing with the same yarn I made the ribbing with.   I strive to get the right multiple of stitches on this round by using increase or decrease sc stitches.  Then, if changing colors, I do so with the first round of dc's, and if I didn't hit the correct multiple on my sc round, I have a second chance to get that right on the dc round.

I should mention that I love how the designer made these ribbings - watch her instructions carefully as it's  little different from other crocheted ribbings I've made.  I love it  because it makes very nice edge.   This became my go-to pattern for creating a ribbing on the rest of the hats that were made from the bottom up.

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It was when making the Snowfall Slouchy hat, I discovered the Puppy Love Heart Slouchy - made by the same designer - Bethany Dearden.  This can be crocheted in any size - crochet sc's around the top of ribbing in multiples of 6 (I think).  I love how these turned out, but there is a lot of openness to this pattern, and I wasn't sure how warm and dry of a hat that would make, so I only made two of these before deciding to move on to a new pattern.

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I think my favorite pattern was the Stepping Textures Hat.  The written pattern and video tutorial demonstrate how to make one of these with chunky yarn, but these can be made with any size yarn as long as one starts with a base number that is a multiple of 5.  And, again, I made a ribbing like Bethany Dearden demonstrates in her tutorial  - as opposed to the slip stitch ribbing this pattern calls for. Note: the slip stitch ribbing is wonderfully stretchy, but it's tedious to make.  More tedious that I have patience for.

The pictures below may not show every single hat, and may even show a duplicate or two, but this is what my month of hats looks like:










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And I almost forgot -  After some disappointing attempts at making sturdy pom-poms, I searched for a way to make pom-poms that don't pull apart, and looky what someone came up with:


Try it!  It works pretty well!  All of the pom poms on the hats above are made using this technique.  So much for my fancy-schmancy Clover pom-pom makers!

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And that would be all she wrote, but I want to invite anyone who might be interested to join in a Last Dance CAL in the Our Happy CAL group on Ravlery.  We're just getting started, so you can get in on it from the beginning if you like!

I'm making a Last Dance in the Clouds blanket and here's the first square I made last night:


The CAL will run through the end of the year with weekly installments and links to video tutorials (I think), and even a prize each month for some lucky participants.   Come join the fun!

To see what other Yoppers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.











Sunday, September 24, 2017

Lookin' like a hat factory here...

For a change of pace from making hats, I crocheted a pretty sunflower "doily" yesterday:


Made with Peaches & Cream worsted-weight cotton in the colors brown and gold, I made mine a few rows larger than the designer's and it measures about 9.5 inches across.

If you're interested in making your own, here is the video tutorial I used:



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Otherwise, it's still looking a bit like a hat factory around here!

These...

are gathering and awaiting their final trimming in order to be added to these:



I think I'll make just a few more hats this week and then I'll wrap up this endeavor.  At the moment, I have 13 hats crocheted and while it's tempting to set a specific goal, I think I'll just be done when I'm done.  And I think I'll be done next Sunday.  ;^)

To see what other Yoppers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.






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