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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Poodle TP Topper

I saw one of these in the 1960's  I have recently been asked for this pattern and since I never had a pattern I have posted the way I always make mine.   

Roll of Toilet Tissue
Worsted weight yarn and Yarn Needle
Size I (9) crochet hook
Small amount fiber fill for head
20 MM Oval Wiggle eyes or Buttons or Felt
Small piece of Colored felt for nose
Glue for nose and eyes
Pom Pom makers sizes "1-3/8", and "2 1/2"
(I used Clover Pom Pom Makers)


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Friday, November 4, 2011

Screaming Yellow Zonkers

Afghan Schematics are for those who already have some experience in crochet.
The afghans were all made using a Basic Round Ripple afghan pattern.
The variations of each afghan is listed in the "Afghan Schematics"
found on the individual photo page of each afghan.

This post show the photos and lists the materials used for this afghan and 
also a description or "Schematic" of how it was created.

If you are new to this style afghan please read my page
Tips and Tricks of the Round Ripple Afghan.

The basic Round Ripple Afghan pattern

Written in American terminology 

This afghan was donated to a local church to be used for a raffle.
Screaming Yellow Zonkers

Materials:  Red Heart Super Saver
10 oz Pale yellow  (color A)
  7 oz Red             (color B) 
  7 oz Cornmeal    (color C)
less than 4 oz each  Sunshine Print, White,  Bright yellow

Special Stitches:       
Berry Stitch = Sc in first stitch, pull loop through next stitch, holding back on first loop on hook chain 3, yarn over pull through 2 loops on hook, sc in next stitch. (Berry Stitch Complete)

Double Crossed stitch tutorial:  http://crochet.about.com/library/blcrosseddc.htm

Skip Stitch:  *(dc in frist stitch, ch 1, sk next st, dc in next st, sk next st)

Afghan Schematics: 
Round     1 - 18: Double Crochet   Color A
Round          19: Berry stitch          Sunshine print 
Round          20: Double Crochet   White
Round          21: Skip Stitch            Red
Round   22 - 24  dc Crossed Stitch Color C 
Round          25: Skip Stitch            Red
Round          26: Double Crochet    White
Round          27: Berry Stitch          Sunshine Print
Round   28 - 30: Double Crochet    Color A
Round   31 - 32: Berry Stitch          Red
Round          33: Double Crochet    White
Round          34: DC Crossed Stitch Bright Yellow
Round          35: Double Crochet     White
Round   36 - 37: Berry Stitch        Red
Round   38 - 39:  Crossed stitch    Color C

Border  Single Crochet in each st around

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

French Country

Afghan Schematics are for those who already have some experience in crochet.  The afghans were all made using a Basic Round Ripple afghan pattern.  The variations of each afghan is listed in the "Afghan Schematics"  found on the individual photo page of each afghan.

This post shows the photos and lists the materials used for this afghan and also a description or "Schematic" of how it was created.

If you are new to this style afghan please read my page
Tips and Tricks of the Round Ripple Afghan.

The basic Round Ripple Afghan pattern

Written in American terminology 

This afghan was a donation to a local church to be used in a raffle.
French Country
Size:  Width point to point about 50 - 52 inches.
Gauge:  N/A
Materials:  Red Heart Super Saver
14 oz French Country  (Color A)
7 oz Delft Blue            (Color B)
8 oz Light Blue            (Color C)
Small amounts less than 4 oz each  (Amounts vary with hook size and your personal crochet gauge)
Bright Yellow  (Color D)
White               (Color E)
Green               (Color F)
Susan Bates Hook size 5.50 mm  US 9 / I  UK 5

Special Stitches:
Berry Stitch = Sc in first stitch, pull yarn through next stitch, holding back on first loop on hook chain 3, yarn over pull through 2 loops on hook, sc in next stitch. Keep loops of right side of work. Berry Stitch Complete
Vine = slip stitch

Round   01 - 12:  Color A Double Crochet
Round          13:  Color D Berry stitch
Round          14:  Color E  Double Crochet
Round   15 - 17:  Color B Double Crochet
Round   18 - 20:  Color C Double Crochet
Round   21 - 27:  Color A Double Crochet
Round          28:  Color D Berry stitch
Round          29:  Color E  Double Crochet
Round   30 - 32: Color B  Double Crochet
Round   33 - 36:  Color C Double Crochet

With Color E , Ch 3, skip one stitch, in next stitch work *dc, picot in top of same stitch, 4 times, dc in same stitch; sk next st, dc in next st, skip one stitch* repeat from around. Join in top of beginning ch 3.

The vine is worked as a slip stitch in the space between the rows. The leaves are worked in the crocodile stitch while the vine is added.  Holding yarn on top of work, insert hook in space between rows, under the stitch, front to back to front, under the stitch bar, as if the hook were a sewing needle. Catch yarn and pull it through to the front of the piece. Holding the loop on hook, insert hook under the next stitch front to back to front, under the stitch bar, pull yarn through to front and through loop on hook completing a slip stitch. Repeat process to create a slip stitch.

The Leaf: is a single crocodile stitch, with a picot, at the point, worked while adding the slip stitch vine. 
There are many tutorials for the crocodile stitch on You-TUBE.

A leaf requires 2 double crochet stitches as a base. When you wish to add a leaf, rotate your piece to the left or right, slip stitch into the space between the double crochet stitches. Chain 3, make 4 double crochet working across the bar of the double crochet stitch. Chain 2, drop loop from hook, place hook (front to back to front) under bar between next row, pick up dropped loop and pull it through, chain 1, sl st in first chain. This creates the first half of the leaf and secures the tip so it will not fold back on itself. At this point you will need to rotate your piece so you can work the second series of double crochet stitches across the second crochet and back toward the the vine. Work 4 dc across the bar for the second side of the leaf, chain 3, slip stitch back into the vine. Leaf completed and secure.

If this leaf seems too involved you may choose to use the simple Heart Leaf Pattern that was used on the Raspberry Sherbert Throw.

Heart shape Leaf pattern (or use leaf pattern of choice)

Using color D, start with magic circle, Sl st in ring chain 4, 5 tr, 5 dc, ch 3, sl st in first ch to form picot, 5 dc, 5 tr, chain 4 sl st, all in ring.Pull yarn tail and draw ring tightly closed. Tie, work in ends.   Make 24

Crochet Flower Buttons  make 12 yellow and 12 white
Sl st in ring, chain 3, 2 dc, ch 3, sl in ring; repeat three more times, join to first st for 4 petal flower.
Pull yarn tail to close center of flower, tie. Do not trim yarn.  Use yarn tail to form shank of button or if you desire to sew on the flower, the next step may be eliminated and you may use the yarn tail to sew the button.
Lay crochet hook across the chosen back of button and stitch over hook several times to create the shank of the button.  Afghan has 24 flowers and leaves but more may be added if desired.  Flowers and leaves may be sewn on or you may secure them with a slip stitch,  such as you would apply beads, while the vine is crocheted onto the afghan.
To crochet leaves and flowers in place:
Working on front of afghan Join yarn in first space between rows 34 and 35.   Count stitches on one side of  point.  Slip stitch in each space, on the first side of a point, to half way position between the valley and the point.  Thread the working yarn through center of leaf and complete sc. Sc in next two spaces.  Thread yarn through shank of button flower and complete sc.  Sl st around the point to the half way position between the point and the valley, on the second side, and attach flower and leaf.  Alternate color of flowers or position of leaf as desired. Slip Stitch in each sp to bottom of point. Sc in both spaces at bottom of point and continue around placing leaves and flowers as you progress, work around. End off, work in yarn ends.

Berry Stitch 
Berry Stitch adds texture without bulk
Sc in first stitch, pull yarn through next stitch, holding back on first loop on hook chain 3,
yarn over pull through 2 loops on hook, sc in next stitch, repeat.
Keep loops of right side of work. Berry Stitch Complete

Details   see also    


Friday, September 30, 2011

Forever Spring

The book "Shaped Afghans" is now available at Annie's Attic
and many of your local craft shops.
It contains my original afghan pattern which I named Forever Spring.
Aunt Edith, you now own a Designer Afghan.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Scallops Bookmark

Scallop Bookmark 
Size 10 Crochet Cotton size (C-2) hook
Scallop 1.  (Closed Scallop) Start with magic ring or chain 6, join with sl st to first ch.

Row 1. Ch 3, 14 dc in ring, join in top of first dc.

Row 2  Ch 1, sc in 2 dc, ch 4, sc in next 2 dc, ch 4, work around, ending with ch 4, sc in last 2 dc, join with sl st in first sc. (12-4 ch loops.) 
Scallop 2.

Row 3. Ch 6, sl st in next ch 4 loop, turn.

Row 4. Ch 3, 14 dc in ch 6 space, sl st in next ch 4 loop on previous, Scallop, ch 1, turn.

Row 5. Sc in 2 dc, ch 4, sc in next 2 dc, ch 4, work across all 14 sts, ending with ch 4, sc in last 2 dc; sl st in next ch 4 space on previous scallop. (6 Chain 4 loops)
Scallop 3.

Row 6.  Ch 6, turn, sl st in next ch 4 loop on previous Scallop, turn.

Row 7. ch 3, 14 dc in ch 6 space, sl st in next ch 4 loop, ch 1, turn.

Row 8. Sc in 2 dc, ch 4, sc in next 2 dc, ch 4, work across all 14 sts, ending with ch 4, sc in last 2 dc, sl st in next ch 4 space on previous scallop. (6 Chain 4 loops)

Continue adding scallops in this manner until desired length is achieved.
End off, work in ends. Add tassel, or chain cord.  

This Bookmark pattern was developed, by me, from a doily called Monkey Face Lace published in a Coats and Clark book #222 (1972) and a Scalloped Afghan pattern stitch, taught to me many years ago. 

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dishcloth Diary

Dishcloth or Washcloth
Cloths are crocheted in a seed stitch, 
to create a nubby texture for gentle scrubbing. 
As a dishcloth it is designed with a loop for hanging discretely out of sight in the dishwasher when not in use or hang it in the dishwasher to dry. You may also leave it  hanging in the dishwasher, making sure to keep it well away from the soap dispenser and moving parts, while dishwasher is running to wash and sterilize the dishcloth.

As a washcloth, texture gently massages skin to give to give a squeaky clean tingle. Hang in shower to dry. Machine wash and dry with towels.

To make these I used Peaches and Creme, WW Crochet Cotton, about 2.5 oz. and a Size I- 9 Susan Bates hook

Special stitches
Seed Stitch pattern: sc in first 3 sc, begin pattern, insert hook in next st, pull loop through, holding back loop on hook, ch 3, pull yarn through both loops on hook to complete sc, sc in next stitch. Work pattern across row to last 3 sts, sc in last 3 sts.

Start: chain 8, join to first ch, to form loop, ch 1, 10 sc in loop, join in first sc.  Do not end off.
Row 1. ch about 9 inches ( 28 to 34 stitches) or for desired width.
Row 2. sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch back to loop, ch 1, turn on every row.
Row 3. sc in each sc across row.
Row 4. Start pattern. Sc in first 3 sts, (*seed st in next st, sc in next st;) across row to last 3 sts. Sc in last 3 sts.  (You will always sc in the first 3 sts and the last 3 sts on each row to create border.)
Row 5 - 25 or to desired length of cloth, Work border sts and seed st pattern across row, pushing all ch 3 loops to right side of cloth.
When desired length is obtained, sc across 2 full rows, end off yarn, work in end.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chi Ba-Ba's

So what the heck is a Chi Ba-ba?

Anyone who knows me, knows the only thing I hate about crochet are knots in my work.  But then again desperate moments call for desperate measures so all the yarn ends that are too small to work into a granny square but still too large for me to be able to throw away are tied together and wound onto a ball. When the ball is large enough I create crate mats, which I call Chi Ba-ba's. and they are nothing more or less than small blankets.  They are not designed to be pretty.  Their purpose is strickly functional. I crochet them using the now popular C2C or Corner to Corner stitch. 
Yes, they are a bit strange looking due to the fact they are made from waste yarn in an unusual explosion of colors.  Hey, but haven't I always been NEON?  I considered the fact I had always heard many animals are color blind and I know, as we all know,  they are never critical of their blessings.  Chi Ba-ba's are stackable, soft, warm and very much loved by small dogs and cats.  They are machine washable, dryer friendly and best of all free and ecology friendly as I am keeping the waste yarn out of the landfill.  When finished they are donated to our local animal hospital who works with the animal shelter.

The first batch of Chi Ba-ba's I donated, resulted in my receiving some rather strange looks from the recipients and I admit I felt a bit foolish but not discouraged.  Later that week I received a lovely thank you note which was more than enough encouragement to keep me churning them out.  To this day nobody has never refused to accept one or tell me they had too many.

My little scene stealer Heidi Lou, shown in the photos here, is inspecting some Chi Ba-ba's that are ready for delivery and giving a demo of how to play her favorite game called  "See Me, See Me ?"  She burrows into the Chi ba-ba's and peeks out.  First you see me, then you don't.  Heidi Lou is the ultimate in undercover dogs.

Crate mats can be made any size.  Just measure the area.  I make them about 16 X 16 for the animal hospital.  Large enough to curl up on, small enough to leave a bare area for food dishes and/or necessary papers. 

For more personal use I measure and make them the size of the designated crate.  I also make them with new yarn chosen in decorator friendly colors that are large enough to cover a chair seat or a sofa cushion and I use and/or sell them as "Seat Savers".   You may notice your cat or dog will seek out that Chi Ba-ba and claim it as their own to sleep on when sneaking onto the best seat in the house.  No more pet hair everywhere when somebody comes or you just want to sit. Just pick up the seat saver and toss it in the washer/dryer.

An excellent video tutorial for the diagonal box stitch can be found here:

A free pattern for a regular size afghan throw is here.

The stitch is textured, simple, fast and fun, can be used for many things and you can even make blocks and crochet them into a granny square afghan. 

Do save your scrap yarn your pet will be glad you did and perhaps you will too.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Basic Granny Yarn Requirements

Ever get part way around a Granny Square and run out of yarn,
I find that very annoying so I decided to work up a traditional granny square 
and see just how much yarn is needed for each round.
For this example I used worsted weight 4 ply yarn Red Heart Super Saver.  

Basic Granny Square
Granny Square Yarn Requirements:
Approximate WW yarn allowance per square
(hook size  I - 9 or 5.50mm)

    Rnd 1: 2 ½ yards
Rnd 2: 4 yards
Rnd 3: 6 yards
Rnd 4: 8 yards

Monday, June 6, 2011

Birth of an Afghan ~ Not Your Everyday Granny's

Growing Pains, for Not Your Everyday Granny

For some unknown reason I took a left turn on my current project.  I hate it when I do that. Why anyone would change their mind about their design when it is almost finished is beyond me. Must be part of my inner weird.  Spent last weekend ripping out the last row on every block, re-stitching it and adding one more before joining the blocks into 4 block squares.  An overdose of instant insanity!  Duh ! Like, who does that, that is not completely certifiable ?  

Being a rather intense personality, in my Vocabulary
"Begun" is synonymous with "Done".

I hate it when a project fights creation.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ode To An Afghan

     I won't run through the whole boring story leading up to the preparation of my initial encounter with the art of crochet and the creation of my first granny square. I will start with how proud I was when my first square was done. It was a six inch square and worked up rather quickly. After I got finished patting myself on the back I looked at the book and then discovered I need like about a zillion more of them to make anything useful. Not being a patient person the mental wheels started grinding, I was never good at math but I was thinking if I need 80 six inch squares I would only need 40 twelve inch squares. Right ? Wrong, but that did not come into play at that time. I reattached the yarn and started to add rows/rounds. It got bigger, but, so I tied on a new skein of yarn and again it got bigger and I added another skein of yarn until all of a sudden I had this huge square. Like "BAM! Now that's what I'm Talkin' about !"

     Please note I was 14 years old at that time but had already developed into what I like to refer to as a rather intense personality. So as I review all the afghan patterns I had already collected I noticed none of the afghans are square. So now I have this humongous square and apparently afghans are supposed to be rectangular, right? Who ever heard of a "Square" afghan? I never saw one. Dilemma how to turn the square into a rectangle Hummmm. Back to the book and behold I found a Chevron or ripple pattern. Starting with a foundation chain which meant I could add a ripple pattern to opposite sides of my square and a rectangle is born. TA-DA ! Nothing left to do but add a simple border around the whole mess and call it done !

     In spite of my best effort, this project resulted in the ultimate "UGLY" afghan. When I started I had high expectations but low confidence so I purchased Red Heart Yarn {on sale yarn) for my first effort, which at the time I could only get in three colors. Federal gold, Moss green and a shocking shade of Purple. The birth of my first experience with going NEON! When finally finished I draped it artfully across the sofa and called Mom to admire my handiwork. Being a loving, caring mother who always encouraged my creative talents no matter how feeble, Mom raved about how well done it was and how beautiful it was. I in return, enthusiastically proclaimed "I made it for you." (it's true no good deed goes unpunished) Mom gently suggested since it was my first masterpiece (monsterpiece) perhaps I might like to keep it for myself, IN MY ROOM ! Ah, but I was not having any part of that. Because at the moment of her voiced admiration it had instantly become "The greatest Mom in the World Award" so how could I deprive her of it ?

     Mom was very brave, I now know, because as I grew up Mom got stuck with all of the "first" creations of the many different art forms I explored, so whenever my craft changed over the years so did her personal torture. I remember well the gaudy "Sequin" earrings, the painted Plaster of Paris Pins, the handmade aprons, the plastic tile box/bowl thingy or whatever the heck that was anyway. Like most of my accomplishment, no matter how awful, the afghan was out on display for a while. With the arrival of Spring blossoms, it went into the cedar chest for the summer. Over the years it moved mysteriously in and out of the closet or cedar chest with changing seasons or current need. Mom devotedly dragged it along from house to home as she led the family through the routine of daily living. I admit I felt a new sense of pride when Daddy fell ill and it was deployed as a banner of comfort and love on his wheelchair.

     I stopped taking exact notice when it came and went, always appearing in Mom's apartment abut the time the cooler nights of fall crept into the rooms, slipping out of sight with the warmth of spring. It was old, heavy, clumsy and still UGLY. After a time, as I matured, I perceived Mom as getting older and looking smaller and she appeared frail to my eyes so I made two small stylish afghans in her favorite colors. These at least were beautiful, well made, light in weight but still warm and worthy of the privilege of the task assigned to them. As we neared the time when she went to meet daddy, she chose to forgo her lifelong, ever present, sweater and spent most of her time snuggled under one of those little afghans, to ward off the winter chill or the breeze from the summer fans.

     Closing up Mom's apartment was difficult and the "UGLY" afghan, now affectionately named by me as the Purple People Eater, suddenly reappeared still as ugly as ever. In spite of the two new afghans I had made for her, even after all those years she had saved it. Perhaps she saw some redeeming quality in it that I did not detect. I know she had a keen eye because in spite of all my growing pains, she never gave up on me. So one of mom's little afghans was donated, Sis, took the other with my blessing and I was going to toss the Purple People Eater but Sis would not hear of it. She insisted I bring it home where she deemed it belonged. She reminded me it was my first "Monsterpiece" and believed I should keep it. How do you deny the wisdom of a little sister who has watched you her whole life and knows you better than you know yourself.

      So now it lives on my rocker. It turned 54 years old February 2011 and is, in spite of my achievements, a constant reminder of my humble beginnings. It is most treasured by my Chihuahua, who is always cold, and is pressed into service when the winter chill creeps over the counterpane, you may find us cohabitating under its folds. It is still "Ugly" and it looks a little worse for wear, having survived hundreds of bouts with the washer and dryer over the years. But the colors are still bright, the yarn a little less resilient but amazingly enough it still has its rectangular shape and has never lost a stitch. Faithful, ready to work, undemanding, a silent sentry as life moves forward it remains, another tribute to the undeniable truth "beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sharing your handmade crafts.

When someone remarked to me, "I think that is too much money to pay for just yarn", I said "Of course, but I don't charge for the yarn. In fact I will give you the yarn, lend you the pattern and hook and you can make your own." The usual reply is, "Oh no, I can't do that ?" When I ask "Why not" I am often told, I don't know how and/or I don't have time. Then I replied "Now you know, exactly what you are paying for, which is my time and my talent."

Potential Buyers, should be aware that beautiful hand crafted items require not only supplies, they require talent and many, many hours of hard work. Those hours are part of the artist's life that are spent and can never be gotten back. Please don't devalue that talented person by complaining over the price. Ask yourself this question, "How much money is an hour of my life worth?"   Many persons work outside jobs lasting 40 hours a week. An artist working at home often puts in many more hours than that.   So exactly how much money is 40 hours of your life worth ? 

I gift and/or donate many things but I have learned over the years, even if you craft mostly for fun or relaxation, in order just to earn enough money to maintain your supplies you must charge your friends and family for their "special requests". We all know how it goes. You make it, someone sees it and everyone says, "Oh, I want one of those." We want to make one for everyone and in the exact color they need, right? I also know we all feel badly about accepting money from friends and family, But remember you must charge your family and friends because your enemies will not buy from you.

Having made several feeble attempts at trying to write crochet patterns, I have come to realize this is also a talent and we should remember in order not to cheat someone of their due, never share copyrighted patterns.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My favorite obsession

      It will become rapidly obvious, as I go along, I have a obsession with the Art of Crochet. In this area it is not yet summer but has already become too hot to work comfortably with a large item on my lap. Since I will have to work on small items if I prefer to remain cool, I have considered regressing back to the rudiments of basic Crochet and returning to the construction of the humble but oh so versatile Granny Squares for the duration of the summer heat.

     A "Yarn Stash" is created from the ends of the glorious huge skeins of yarn that were purchased to create something wonderful.  The not needed remainder of those skeins are rolled into small balls and banished  to the odd ball basket to languish until some practical purpose can be found for them. Hence the birth of the granny square which is nothing more than a collection of the colorful strands puzzled together to make small blocks which can then be turned into larger and larger blocks until they can eventually be turned into something useful.  

     Now I have never been a large fan of the Granny Square Afghan. They are, in my opinion, without question the "Plain Jane" of all your basic afghans.  Although not fond of Granny Square Afghans or even the basic Granny Square, I must admit I am guilty of having made more of them than I can remember or much less count. Since they are going to be at the top of my list this summer I will be trying to dress them up and give them a little style. Wish me luck?

Vanilla Creme Granny
     I made the Vanilla Cream Granny with standard granny squares. Growing up I became familiar with the basic granny square afghan, always outlined in black, and in a fit of defiance I decided to use a different color. Digging into my stash I made matching grannies, using the 4 round basic pattern, in sets of 2 and  also an equal number of plain cream colored squares as a background color. 
     The opposing corner squares were made using two squares of matching grannies and two squares of the basic background color. The “join as you go method” was used to place the squares into diagonal position to create the larger four square blocks.  
     After enough four square blocks were created came the question of the color for the joining. Certainly not black, not this time. But after a quick look into your garden to see what color goes with everything I chose a frosty green. This afghan was joined with the three chain flat braid join.

     Finishing the joining created the basics for the border which is a simple “V” stitch with picot. I really like the way it looks. 
     Were I to do this again I would use the continuous join method for joining the large blocks. Faster and no yarn tails.

     I love the Continuous Join method and You Tube has an amazing 2 part tutorial showing exactly how to do it. 

Here are both links: