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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 a diagonal brick 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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dymIOzc_aXY


A free pattern for a regular size afghan throw is here.
http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/crochet-corner-corner-throw


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.

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