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Monday, December 31, 2012

Necks and Noggins

I try to be an equal opportunity crafter but I am NOT a knitter.  I just do not have the patience. Oh the knitting is fine, it is the trying to correct it when I make a mistake, oh so many mistakes.  Yes. I make mistakes crocheting too but the fix for crochet is almost too easy, just grab the working end of the yarn and yank it out then do over.

However I do love my toys and have acquired many yarn crafting tools and gadgets over the years among them a set of round Knifty Knitter looms and I play with them from time to time.  Scarves are large this year or so I have been told and I made several for Christmas Gifts and one for a birthday yet to come (shhhhhh quiet on that item I'll try to post it later)

There are many types of patterns posted for the Knifty Knitters but I did not use a pattern, I just made a simple tube. Here it is, the model is one of my 5 gorgeous niece's.  Like any proud Auntie, I think she makes the set look too cute.  It is pretty, warm, fuzzy, washable, dryer friendly, and
very wearable so what is not to like?  

This is a list of the exact materials I used but there are several types of fun fur and many brands of yarn to chose from.   

You will need a Knitting Loom and the basic knowledge of how to use it.   Very easy to learn and "You Tube" has lots of knitting loom lessons.

I used the small blue Knifty Knitter.
3 (1.5 oz) skeins Lion Brand Fun Fur
I used Cotton Candy Stripes 

Article: #320-300 UPC: 023032323008
It also comes in solids (Wal-Mart is the least expensive place to get this)

Red Heart Super Saver 1 (7 oz skein) 706 - Perfect Pink or color of your choice for the scarf and the hat.

Ripple Hat and Scarf Crochet Pattern Project Number: LW1471  Designed By: Mary Jane Protus Skill Level: Easy. A Free Pattern on the Red Heart Website 

(I only used the hat pattern for this project.)

Holding 1 strand of the Fun Fur and 1 strand of the Super Saver Yarn together attach to loom. Wrap and knit each round to form a long tube. Tie on another skein of fun fur as each skein runs out making sure the loose ends are on the inside of the tube. Work to desired length or until the fun fur is used up. End off as per Knifty Knitter directions. Gather stitches and close both ends.  Make a pom-pom for each end and stitch in place.

Use the remainder of Super Saver yarn to create the hat portion of the Red Heart Pattern.  I did not use the fun fur on the hat for 2 reasons, because I was worried that what might feel cozy around my neck might feel itchy around my face. Also I wanted the hat to be a separate entity that could be used alone or with another scarf that had been worked with the coordinating colors.  

It is my habit to make every hat to match two different scarfs because I find, with the ladies, that scarfs seem to be worn more often than hats. 

I did not put a pom-pom on the hat but one could be added. Also a matter of personal choice.

This is the same style scarf paired with the Basic Earflap hat pattern that can be found on this site.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Blanket Stitch ?

This "Retro" pattern has been around for so long I feel Certain that it must be in the public domain by now.
But this post is not a pattern for the infamous Granny Square Christmas Stocking.  This post is to show a pattern for a crochet stitch I use and consider to be the equivalent of the overcast or "blanket stitch in sewing.
I do not know if this is a "real" crochet stitch or not.  It is a process I worked out while trying to avoid a marked difference in appearance on the right and wrong side of a crochet joined seam.  

Since I am making "stockings" I am using them for demonstration purposes of this joining.  Starting with a standard 5 corner granny,  I do make one small change in the last round.  In one of the 5 corners I work 6 treble crochet instead of the normal 3 double crochet, ch 2, 3 dc.  This 6 treble corner will become the toe of the stocking. 
NOTE:  6 treble in bottom corner 
Positioning the square so the treble crochet point is downward,
1.  Join yarn in the right top corner, single crochet in the ch 2 space and each stitch across
2.  fold the piece in half,  with the wrong sides together, sl st in the first single crochet.  

1                       2                        3
From this point you will always be working through both thicknesses.
3.  Single crochet in the corner space, ch 10, single crochet in same space.  This forms the loop for hanging. 
4                          5                        6
4.  Insert hook from back to front through the next corresponding stitches.   
5.  Make sure your working yarn is under the bottom of your hook in the back 
     and crosses over the top of the piece to the front.  
6.  Pull a loop through to the back and complete the single crochet.
        Work down the side of the stocking in this same manner working 3 single crochet in the 2 chain corner space and continue across the bottom to the toe of the stocking. 
     End off and work in yarn tails.
6-B  Looking at the edge / top of the seam your stitch will look like this.
So what have we accomplished ?
With the blanket stitch worked as explained here both the front and back side appear almost the same.  There is a large difference between the front and back side of the standard single crochet.
7 FRONT SIDE  (SC)    8 FRONT SIDE  (blanket st)  9 Reverse of both STS
10  Closeup compare the difference
Yes it can be done in double crochet.
11. Front side double crochet blanket stitch on the left, 
single crochet blanket stitch on the right 
  12. Reverse side with single crochet blanket stitch on the left, double crochet blanket stitch on the right

Friday, December 14, 2012

How Many Stitches ?

In a forum I visited recently
I found a question that intrigued me. 
" How many stitches can you complete in 1 minute ? "
So I took the time to consider the
variables to really measure speed. 
Knit or Crochet,
Yarn: type / weight,
Stitch: Type  / Pattern,
Duration:  Time needed for accuracy
(“Remember the legend of "John Henry")
I have a friend who teaches the art of crochet and
she tells everyone I crochet with amazing speed. 
Faster than anyone she has ever known. 
But no matter how many projects I complete,
like the old Pennsylvania Dutch saying,
"The hurrier I go, the behinder I get".
I never checked my speed. 
I just check the need
I always see dozens of wants,
needs and special projects waiting for me.  
So I won't check my speed
I’ll just keep doing what I do. 
It is not how fast I crochet,
it is the fact that I can crochet at any speed
and I pray I will be able to crochet
and share the love till the end of my time.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Peacock's Feather

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 photo 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

Hobby Lobby's "I Love This Yarn"
1 Skein Purple Solid 7 oz 
1 Skein Peacock Solid 7 oz 
3 Skeins Peacock Ombre 5 oz 
Size I (9) Susan Bates Hook

Start with Magic Ring  
Double Crochet each round.
Rounds 01 - 14 Peacock Ombre 
Rounds 15 - 20 Peacock Solid 
Rounds 21 - 26 Peacock Ombre 
Rounds 27 - 33 Purple  
Rounds 34 - 37 Peacock Ombre 
Rounds 38 - 44 Peacock Solid 
Rounds 45 - 47 Peacock Ombre 
Round         48 Peacock Solid 
Rounds 49 - 50 Purple 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Oktoberfest at Deaton Creek

Oktoberfest at Deaton Creek 
Crafts, Food, Music
Fun for all 
October 06, 2012  Deaton Creek

Monday, September 24, 2012

Kitchen Kolors II

The Next Generation
Spiral Center with 2 colors

With A, start with magic ring, ch 1, (sc, hdc, 3 dc) all into ring, drop A, DO NOT FASTEN OFF; following the A sts, join B with an sc in the ring, work (sc, hdc, 3 dc) all into same ring, drop B, DO NOT FASTEN OFF.
Rnd 1: Pick up A, work 2 dc into each B st – 10 dc A; Drop A, pick up B, work 2 dc in each on the next 5 stitches. ending with hdc, sc, sp over next 3 stitchs,  Cut B work in end,

Pick up A, work 1 hdc, 1 sc, 1 sl over next 3 sts, then refer to Round 2  "the foundation round" on the basic trivet pattern to complete.

Spiral Center ( 3 colors )

With A, start with magic ring, ch 1, (sc, hdc, 3 dc) all into ring, drop A, DO NOT FASTEN OFF; following the A sts, join B with a sc in the ring, work (hdc, 3 dc) all into same ring, drop B, DO NOT FASTEN OFF, join C with a sc in the ring, work (hdc, 3 dc) all into same ring, drop C Do NOT FASTEN OFF.

Rnd 1: Pick up A, work 2 dc into each B st – 10 dc A; Drop A, pick up B, work 2 dc in each of the next 5 stitches; drop B pick up C work 2 dc in each of the next 5 stitches. End color B and color C by working a hdc, sc, sl stitch over next 3 stitchs,  Cut B and C and work in ends.  Pick up A, work 1 hdc, 1 sc, 1 sl over next 3 sts,  DO NOT FASTEN OFF   (30 sts)

Foundation Round
Round 2: Sc in next st (*ch 21, being very careful not to twist the chain, sc in next st, skip 1 st, sc in next 2 sts) repeat from *, ending with sc in last st, sl st in first sc, ch 1 do not turn. (10 chain loops; with 2 sc and 1 skipped st, between each loop)

Refer to Round 3 "Setup round" on the Kitchen Kolors basic trivet pattern to complete.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Retro Ring Trivet

Retro Canning Jar Ring Trivet
(without the canning jar rings)

Many may recognize this as your Grand-mother's favorite trivet.
Canning Jar Ring Trivets were very popular in the 40's through the early 60's

I believe the reason the old Canning Jar Ring pattern dropped out of popularity was because of the decline in home canning thereby reducing the availability of canning jar rings.  For a while the pattern struggled to stay alive with the substitution of plastic 6-pack rings but now they are also a thing from a different era.  In remembrance of this old pattern my trivet is made without the use of canning jar or plastic 6-pack rings.  

This trivet can be made in many sizes depending on the number of rings used.  I make two sizes, Small which uses 6 rings and Medium which uses 8 or 9 rings. (9 so I can use 3 colors of  rings)  This pattern is written for one with 6 rings but the pattern is basically the same for any size.  The  number of rings and the number of stitches on the connection chain are the only difference.  The larger trivet does leave a larger hole in the center which I do not like so I also added instruction on how to work a center insert to close that hole.

This pattern works up quickly and is another amazing stash-buster which is always a favorite of mine.

Less than 4 oz, WW weight or rug yarn acrylic or cotton in colors of your choice
Size I - 9 hook or J for heavier yarn weights
Size 8 to 9 inches at the widest point for 6 ring using WW yarn
Pattern written in American terms / adjust for UK

Chain 18, (or 20 ) being careful not to twist chain, sl st in first ch to join. Do not turn  Ch 3, dc in same stitch, 2 dc in each stitch around 36 (or 40 sts) join to top of ch 3.  End off, work in ends.

Using the colors of your choice, make 6 (8 or 9) rings according to the size trivet you wish to create.

NOTE:  This connection chain length is for the 6 ring trivet.  A longer chain must be worked for a 9 ring trivet.  The length of the chain is not critical as long as it will work through all rings and be stitched together without drawing up the rings too tightly.  Better a tiny bit loose than too tight.

Connection Chain:  (for 6 ring trivet)
If you know how to work a foundation double crochet chain, ch 40 sts.  If you want to learn how to work a foundation double crochet chain ( fdc) tutorial here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGPkRHF0rUw

If you do not know how to work a foundation chain, ch 42, dc in 3th st from hook and each st across, end off , leave long tail for sewing the ends together later.  When working with the fdc, I don't usually cut my yarn until the weaving is done so I can add or remove stitches.  I just put a paper clip in the last stitch to hold it.  Plastic or plastic coated paper clips make excellent stitch markers .

Lay rings on each other, over-lapping one on top of the other in the color pattern you want. Weave the connection chain in and out of all the rings. To make it easier to see and understand I used a different color to weave through the rings because it is harder to explain than it is to do.

TIP: It may help to weave all the rings together in a straight line, pinning the ends of the connection chain together, then pull the trivet into its round shape before sewing the connection chain.

When all the rings are interlocked, sew the 2 ends of the connection ring together to secure the circle. 
Gently pull circle into shape and turn individual rings so the joins will be hidden under the overlap.

Edging  (or finish with edging of your choice)

Round 1  For the Cameo trivet at the top of the page, attach yarn with a sc in any ring and work 1 sc in next 11 sts, skip to next ring and work 1 sc in next 12 sts, skip to next ring, join all rings together in this manner, join, sl st in first sc..    
Round 2  Work sc, ch 2 *(sc in next st, ch 2) around skipping over the center loop, between each ring and ending with sl st in first sc.

Note:  I prefer to join my rings with single crochet and work a border from there.  If you prefer, you may work a round of double crochet instead.  Once the rings are connected and the shape is formed you may work the border you like.  This trivet is also very nice with a reverse single crochet also known as the crab stitch worked as the ring connection round.

Alternate Double Crochet Border 
For the 3 color connection chain on this trivet, ch 40,  followed by 2 rows of sl sts in alternating colors.
Round 1: Attach yarn where the outside of the rings overlap, putting the hook front to back through one stitch on each ring, pull yarn through and ch 3 (counts as dc), work picot in top of ch 3, dc in same stitch, "V" st with picot made. *(skip 1 stitch, dc, picot, dc in next st) 5 more times. (6 "V" sts, in same ring). Where next ring overlaps, work dc, picot, dc, through one loop of both rings to join rings together. Work around, being sure to join rings at overlap, ending with a slip st in top of chain 3.

8 Ring Trivet

Working the same as for the 6 ring trivet, and adjusting the length of the connection chain you may make an 8 ring trivet if  you only want to use one or two colors for the rings.  The 8 ring trivet is almost as large as the 9 ring trivet but you must have a number of rings divisible by 3 if you want to use 3 colors for your rings in your trivet.  Instructions for 9 ring trivet follow..     

 9 Ring Trivet 

Working the same as for the 6 ring trivet, create 9 rings in colors of your choice.
Make a 50 stitch connection chain in the method you prefer as described above.
Weave the rings together in the same manner as for the 6 ring trivet and sew the ends together.
Shape trivet and turn rings to conceal the joins under the overlap.
Single crochet around the around the outside edge of the rings to lock them in place.
Use same border as for the 6 ring trivet or add border of your choice.

On the 9 ring trivet you will notice the larger hole in the center of the finished trivet.  If you like it that way, sc a connection round on the inside of hole moving from ring to ring to hold the rings in place and you are finished.  I am not a fan of large holes in the center of trivets.  There are two easy ways to close the hole.  I have included instructions for both.

Method 1: To close the hole: (working on right side) 
Make a "magic circle" (A.K.A. magic ring, slip ring, slip loop ) 
Tutorial can be found here  http://www.allfreecrochet.com/Tutorials/How-to-Crochet-the-Magic-Circle# 
or on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHYVutk2iYY

Slip stitch in magic circle, *(chain 3, drop loop from hook, insert hook front to back in center stitch at top of any ring, pick up loop and pull through, yarn over and complete the slip stitch, ch 3, sl st in magic circle,) repeat from * around each of the 9 rings ending with ch 3, sl st in magic ring, end off. Pull yarn tails to back and work in ends. 

Method 2 To close the hole (working on right side) 
Chain 4, *(drop loop from hook, insert hook front to back in center stitch at top of any ring, pick up loop and pull through, yarn over and complete the slip stitch, ch 3, sl st in first st (beginning chain), chain 3, repeat from * around each of the 9 rings ending with ch 3, sl st in beginning chain, end off. Pull yarn tails to back and work in ends.  This method will still leave a hole in the center but it's a small hole.
1                                                  2                                                  3                                                  4

5                                                  6                                                   7                                             8

The Jar Ring Trivet pattern is a very old pattern apparently lost to time and this is my new adaptation 
of  that design concept.  It is intended for personnel use only and commercial use is prohibited.
Items crafted from this pattern may be sold but the pattern itself is not to be sold.
This adaption may not be claimed by or posted / published anywhere else or under another name.
Any resemblance to any other pattern is coincidental. 
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Kitten Capers Toy

Kittens can make a toy out of almost anything but all cats seen to have an inborn fondness for yarn.
This tiny toy takes only minutes to make is ultra-simple with no detail.  Perhaps it is the texture or it's resemblance to a small rodent but  it seem to be a great favorite among the cat and the kitten kids that have been testing it for me.  We call it: "Might B Mouse"

less than 1 oz any color acrylic yarn
Size I or J hook

Ch 15, sl st in first st and next 6 stitches, ch 3, 2 dc in same st, 3 dc in each stitch to end of chain. end off and work in the ends. What you have is a curlicue with a tail.

That's it, just drop it in the middle of the floor in an obvious place and wait. If kitty does not like it you have lost nothing but a bit of your time and you can make a key chain out of it.  If kitty does like it you many never see it again except when they take it out to play.

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

American / International / Conversions

I am delighted to see we have gone to an International level 
and thought I would put up a few charts to help with the yarn and hook conversions.

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