Archive for Crochet

The incident of the naughty…knotty yarn

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That sweater looks so pretty…so serene there hanging on the chair. I was so excited to be nearly finished with it until I decided to take out one of the sleeves because I needed to lengthen it and I had missed a few stitches in the pattern that I didn’t understand until I got to the second sleeve. I was inspired by the fact that our five-year-old was actually really excited that I was crocheting her a “pretty sweater” and so I started ripping out stitches, only to discover that it was actually the front panel and not the sleeve as I had thought. So, I continued pulling the yarn thinking that I would just take out the sleeve but it actually started unraveling the back panel! I was so frustrated, that what remains of the kinky yarn lies in a pile of knots; a pile that could easily resemble my body due to the stress of it all.

It got me to thinking that if I were a knitter, I am sure it would take me a lot longer to thrash my yarn in a fit of frustration because the work would have taken me so much longer to complete to that point. Flying knitting needles also seems a more dangerous vision than crochet hooks. I really wouldn’t have been so emotional if I had *made a choice* to rip out all the stitches, but I was really happy to know that the sweater was going to be eagerly received that it made it that much more painful, and a tantrum on my part ensued. Well, I will be back to crocheting it again in a day or two and I am hoping that by the weekend I can be closer to the finish line than I was before today – before the incident today, that is.

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On a happier note, I am also sewing up this adorable dress for the babe. It is a really simple pattern but I have been putting it off because I had to make up my binding. Tonight I got that done and I am going to finish up pinning it tomorrow. I haven’t touched my sewing machine in about a week and it feels strange. I am looking forward to getting this doll of a dress done. Isn’t the vintage pattern just precious?! Can you see the price up there in the corner – yep, that’s right .35. Now that was back in the day!

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Sunny Days

Yesterday I was thinking about how our wee one does not have a hat to protect her little head. With the weather heating up around here and the fact that we have nary-a-day when the sun doesn’t boldly announce its presence, I deemed this a necessity.

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Hubby had a great idea as I rounded the last bend of the brim. “Why don’t you add a kind of ruffle edge to the hat…” You know, those statements that look like a question when you write them but in all reality they are a recommendation? Yea, he said it like that because he knew I would think it was a wonderful idea!

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So here it is as modeled by the wee one herself. Oh how I have loved making little treasures out of Goodwill yarn. This is my third crochet project…I think the yarn for the three projects has totaled about five bucks. It is incredibly liberating to realize that you can make an item that you would otherwise go to the store to purchase. It was very rewarding because it whipped up so fast – one day is a lifetime record for me! Of course, my lifetime of crochet is so minute in the scheme of things.

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While visiting blogs today, I came across a couple highly contrasting comments that inspire my newfound love of crochet. The first was that of a woman who said that she firmly believes that anything that can be knit, can be done just as well, if not better, in crochet with the exception of socks and hats. Now, it just so happens that I completed a hat and I am pressing on to crochet slippers. Oh how this could put a damper on one’s novice spirit. While my completed items may not illustrate the delicacy of a knit treasure, hopefully they won’t be categorized among the embarrassments of the opposing commenter. She proceeded to witness to the reasons why I never had a desire to learn crochet myself up until now. She linked to several hideous crochet projects while professing repeatedly the mantra, “This is why I have never wanted to learn crochet!” It is true – there are an awful lot of ugly crochet projects out there. So, I’d like to redeem the art by sharing some of the gems I’ve found.

While you ooo and ahhh, I’m off to attempt a pair of wispy blue slippers to add to the collection…

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It’s a miracle!

Well, it’s finally done! Yesterday I looked at the skirt and the onesie resting upon one another in an embrace that said they longed to be together but never would. It was enough to motivate me to attach the skirt whether it was the “right” way or not!

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While at my mother-in-law’s for Easter, I consulted Grandma (the crochet queen) and I think that may have helped me to make a go at it. She told me what she thought the “rows” could be defined as for my stitches and I just counted around to see if it would work out. Of course, we both crochet in the “I-have-to-try-it-for-myself-to-see-if-it-would-work” kind of way so I had no way of being sure; however, I am pleased with the final product.

 

My other motivator was the fact that she wasn’t going to fit in it at all by the time I finished the project…and that was very nearly prophetic (okay, prophetic was used very loosely there)! I definitely need to get going on a bigger size because I think it is just adorable and the airiness is perfect for our hot summers.

 

The flower was just a little creative inspiration. I think it makes the outfit look so girlie and sweet. This really is an easy pattern, looking back. Of course it wasn’t all that easy during my rip fits! Anyway, I think it will whip up pretty fast in the next size. I learned a few new stitches with this pattern, learned how to “sew” my pieces together and learned how to attach two pieces with a single crochet stitch. The process was well worth enduring.

 

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Size matters – what’s so big about gauge anyway?

Weeks ago I started an adorable pattern out of Simple Crochet for Cherished Babies by Jane Davis. Now, keep in mind that this is my second crochet project ever. My first was a blanket that I started about two weeks before our daughter was born. I did complete the blanket itself and will show you all when I get the finishing touches added to it (flowers and a vine).

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Making a piece of clothing makes gauge a lot more important than making a blanket. As you can see, the green version of the onesie is significantly larger than the blue one below. I ended up tearing the green one out because it looked like a was making a onesie that would fit my ten-year-old daughter instead of our two month old! So, I did a little research about what “fingering weight yarn” looks like as well as the impact yarn and hooks have on gauge.

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I know there are several of you out there that are screaming – this is all common sense – but I can assure you there was nothing common about it all to me. The following photo is evidence of my frustration as I was on about the eighth do-over of the pattern. Being so new at this, I don’t know when things are turning out right or not. It turns out that everything was peachy and I didn’t need to rip it out – well, rip it up. In the moments that followed my husband wondered who this mad woman was that he married !

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The Crochet Answer Book is a GREAT investment for even the most frugal shopper – Posie just raved about the value of this book as well. Thus far, I have purchased all my yarn from Goodwill and I have really enjoyed having so many different textures and colors at my disposal. I can usually pick up about three or four balls of yarn for around 2 bucks – unless it is Saturday when everything is 50% off. The yarn I ended up using for this project is presumably hand-dyed and spun because the thickness varies throughout. Even after my fit of destruction, I ended up spending about three bucks on this project.

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I have since added the straps and crocheted the skirt but now I am trying to figure out how to attach it to the body with single crochets. Such a simple stitch yet such a difficult new concept…any words of wisdom?

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