Caps to the Capital

Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Knitters and Crocheters for Newborns:
Caps to the Capital


Is the number of caps I have knit and crocheted for Caps to the Capital, a child advocacy program sponsored by Save the Children. I boxed them up and sent them off today.

Visit today and download the action kit — Please join me in this very important cause.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

While most of this blog is about crochet, which is my main passion, I'm primarily really about making stuff!

I needed a project when I first started teaching myself how to do frames in html -- so I went to my collection of "how to make-it" articles. My collection is old newspaper and magazine clippings, handwritten notes, handouts from Girl Scout and 4H seminars and anything free and generic that has been around for ages.

The result is a website I call "Make-it" and it is my special gift to the crafting community -- enjoy!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

This year a beloved aunt lost her fight against breast cancer.

In remembrance, I crocheted a couple of pink beaded bracelets for me to wear every day during October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month). Visit The National Breast Cancer Awareness Organization to learn how you can help the fight against breast cancer.

Travel Jewelry Pouch

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Little projects like these are when I sometimes have the most fun crocheting. I love reading the pattern, crocheting, assembling and then figuring out who will be the recipient (like most crafters I've met, I rarely keep the finished item for myself -- it's all about the giving.)

The designer is The Crochet Dude and it's a free pattern that you can find here.

I didn't have any problems with the pattern until Round 10 which I rewrote to get the symmetry that I am so obsessively compulsive about. Here is my rewrite and a photo of how the round begins (my version):

Rnd 10: Ch 5, *(skip one dc, dc in next dc, ch 2)repeat from * up to the ch-2 space; (dc, ch 2) twice in ch-2 space; dc in next dc, ch 2, repeat from * around ending with a slip stitch into the 3rd chain of beg ch-5.

Finally, I had a problem interpreting the assembly instructions, which read: "Attach the layers together by stitching through (it is odd wording .... what did he mean by through??) the ch-2 spaces and creating V shaped pockets". I got the gist of it (make V shaped pockets!!!) but was there something special being done by stitching through the ch-2 spaces??? I finally just whip stitched together the 12 sides which were formed by the ch-2 spaces.

Maybe I was just being dense in thinking that there was something special and/or different being done with the assembly but the real disappointment was that I made two posts for help on the CGOA (Crochet Guild of America) membership message board and received NOT ONE reply.

By the way, the Travel Jewelry Pouch went to my granddaughter :)

Homespun Afghan

Monday, August 14, 2006
This is the last of my planned projects that involve working with Homespun yarn from Lion Brand. Once again, working with Homespun presented a problem. This time it was the consistency of color between skeins. Some skeins had much more in the way of lighter highlights and other skeins were mostly grey (I used the color Edwardian). Thank goodness I noticed it fairly soon (not when I was buying it but at least early on in the work.) I alternated lighter and darker skeins to get a striping that looks fairly natural and planned. All's well in the end but just one more annoyance to add to the Homespun saga (see blogs Plaid Baby Blanket and While You Recover Afghan.

This afghan was a thank you present to my daughter for her help getting me through an English Composition class. Thanks sweetie!! I couldn't have done it without you. It is also the biggest afghan I've ever done (60" x 72") -- a snuggleghan for her and her hubby :)

Homespun Afghan pattern

I don't have any Homespun patterns on my wannado or my wips's and I'm going to swear off working with it until memory fades.

Plaid Baby Blanket

Sunday, August 13, 2006
I haven't been able to get away from working with Lion Brand's Homespun yarn. I keep finding patterns I like for it and projects I need to make.

This little baby blanket should have been done quickly and with no problem. However, like any project of mine, *#%@ happens. First, I couldn't find Homespun baby at my usual haunts of A.C. Moore or Michaels (I later found it at JoAnn's). So I needed to switch to the regular Homespun line and pick colors. There are two things that terrify me the most about any project, the first is picking colors and the second is embroidering faces onto dolls. Usually when I'm picking colors I bring along my husband who has a good sense of matching colors (left on my own I just pick tone on tone or exactly match pattern specs.) Luckily this time I had talked my daughter into coming with me (Frappuccino's at Starbuck's are wonderful bribes) and she guided me through my color psychosis.

That should have been the end of it. It was an extremely simple pattern and therein was the problem. The pattern was so easy I worked it while not really paying attention and crocheting with Homespun and not keeping my eye on the stitches is a recipe for disaster. Once again, I kept missing the turning chain and sundry other stitches. And once again, I ripped as much as I stitched. *HUGE SIGH*

The pattern for the Plaid Baby Blanket is here. However, it appears you need to have signed up with Lion Brand to see it. My advice -- MAKE IT UP. You do not have to give these people real information in any way, shape or form. I have an internet persona made up just for this purpose and I hope if mucks up the demographics of every site I use it with.

Crochet Flower

Thursday, June 29, 2006

These flowers evolved from a pattern for a knit flower. The girls in the knitting class I teach asked me to knit them a flower from a pattern they saw in one of my books.

I tried. I really did. But I just didn't like the way the flower came out so I designed and crocheted these instead --I think they want to learn how to crochet next :)

Crochet Flowers pattern

Crocheted Socks --Start to Finish

Monday, June 26, 2006

 Ravelry Project Page -Toe Up Sock

I started this project when the Crochet Guild of America ran its first Crochet Along. I have always wanted to try making a pair of socks. I'm not really a sock person (see post about my beaded foot sandals but I'm always interested in learning new techniques and, as always, I love to make stuff!

The CAL (crochet along) was broken down into five tasks and here are my notes and pictures about the project:

Task 1 - Gauge Swatch (no photo) With an 0 steel hook and Lana Grossa Meilenweit Cotton (multi jacquard, color 405) yarn I was able to get a spot-on gauge both stitch and length (very rare for me!!). However, my swatch was worked back and forth and the pattern is crocheted in the round; my gauge changed once I started working the socks. This proved to be ok in the end because I needed to decrease the number of stitches to fit my foot but my next sock swatch will be worked in the round to get a more accurate gauge.

Task 2 - Toe
This task went really fast and I worked it through all the recommended rounds. I found it difficult to judge the fit of the sock at this point and it wasn't until the next task where I could tell that the toe was too big.

Notes: I started the toe using the slip stitch into the bottom loop of the beginning chain method featured in the book Crocheted Socks! by Janet Rehfeldt and Mary Jane Wood. Also, adjusting the size of the sock would be here and I'd like to figure out a calculation for various foot sizes so that I can easily make socks for family/friends.

Task 3 - Foot
After a few inches of straight work the sock was turning out to be too loose around my foot and I frogged back to row 9 and starting working with 58 stitches for the foot body. The book Crochet Socks! recommends that the sock measure ½" to ¾" inches narrower than the measurement around the ball of the foot and once my sock fit well on my foot my measurement was falling in that range. Because I knew I was going to be crocheting a longer foot than the pattern I should/could have adjusted when I made the top of foot increases. Instead of 4½” up I could have gone 5½" or 6" but I don't really notice a major difference in fit because of this. The length of my sock at the end of Task 3 measured 7½".

Task 4 - Ankle & Cuff
I added 4 stitches to the starting chain that began the ankle/cuff section. Originally, I added 1/2 of the 58 stitches (in keeping with pattern proportions) and tried increasing as I went but this resulted in a tight fit over the ankle so I frogged back and did all my increasing in the starting chain. Other than that this section was straight forward and I look forward to experimenting with different cuffs in future socks.

Note: I began working my sc's in the back loop of the starting chain. I do like the sturdier feature of this technique when working both ends of a chain.

Task 5 - Heel
This went smoothly. I did forget where my ends stopped/began so my heels finish with two different stripes but it wasn't worth frogging.

Misc Notes:
  • I worked both socks at the same time and kept the striping the same for both socks (this strategy held through the heel where I did not start the second heel in the same spot and so the heels are different -- but who really notices that? LOL)

  • When I bought the yarn I was told that crocheted socks use more yarn than knitted ones and it was recommended to get two 100 gram balls. This was wise advice because I have big feet and like taller socks. I would never have been able to finish this with one skein.

  • While You Recover afghan

    Wednesday, May 31, 2006

    This pattern is from the book
    Vanna's Favorite Gift Afghans

    1) Instead of working 2 strands of worsted weight yarn together I worked one strand of Lion Brand Homespun (barrington) with one strand of TLC Amore (plum) -- Very soft.
    2) I filled in the chain 1 spaces around the bobbles with a dc.

    I like the afghan. It was quick to make and it's snuggly soft, but I had a lot of problems remembering to work a sc in the turning chain at the end of my rows. I did a lot of frogging on what is a very simple pattern. I'm pretty sure it was because of Homespun's texture and I was just not seeing it clearly enough --I have a love/hate relationship with Homespun that has yet to be resolved.

    Homespun Love:
    1) I love the texture and softness of the yarn.
    2) Love the colors to choose from.

    Homespun Hate:
    1) The difficulty of working with the yarn. It's very hard to work the foundation chain of anything crocheted and when knitting the yarn grabs and pulls making it sometimes impossible to get off a clean stitch.
    2) The quality control from the company. For a long time they had a problem with the glue from their wrappers ruining the last 5-15 yards of a skein. Now I've been encountering large sections of fuzzy unspun yarn. The company was good about replacing yarn when it had the glue problem but I don't really need more skeins of the color Baroque and this time I don't feel like bothering.

    Beaded Foot Sandal

    Thursday, May 25, 2006

    Ahhh, it's almost summer. It's time to go get a pedicure (Mother's Day gift from a daughter) and start showing off the feet (these feet however, are my daughter's, not mine!) I love sandals and barefeet and this little project caught my eye right away as the best of both.

    The pattern came from Beadwrangler and the only adjustments I made were: 1) I used the cheaper jewelry elastic from A.C. Moore instead of the Rainbow Elastic (I was able to make over 12 of these sandals from one cone) and 2) I used sc's down the front rather than the V formation of stitches used in the pattern. --That's just me and my taste though. I'm a straight line kinda gal.

    Using black and white beads I also made a "Checkered Flag" one for my sister (Nascar Nut Fan) -- Love ya Sis ;)

    Little Granny Square Heart

    Tuesday, May 23, 2006
    I LOVE hearts motifs, especially crocheted ones. Many crocheted hearts are a variation of the same stitch theme but this one was a little different.

    The original pattern is here: Little Granny Square Heart.

    I did rework the shape heart portion of the pattern, because I couldn't figure out how the stitches were being counted, but it wasn't a difficult adjustment.

    My heart measures 2 3/4 x 2 1/4 in size 10 cotton thread with a 7 hook.

    Now I need to figure out what project to use them in!

    Update: I found a wonderful use for this in a friendship quilt.

    Finger Puppet

    Monday, May 15, 2006
    This little cutie is known as a Poppit Petpet and is from the online game Neopets. I designed her for a contest at the site (she took a third!)

    She sits beside me at my desk and I love to pick her up and play. I may just have to make a few more!

    Finger Puppet pattern

    Make Your Own Rug yarn

    Friday, April 28, 2006
    Found this little tidbit in some saved notes --

    1 skein acrylic worsted weight yarn
    G crochet hook

    Chain stitch the entire skein.

    Diagonal Garter Afghan

    Friday, April 21, 2006
     Ravelry Project Page - Homespun Diagonal Square Blanket

    What happens if you take 4 skeins of Homespun yarn, size 13 circular needles, and you start knitting the Diagonal Garter-Stitch Square?

    Not a bad blanket!! The end result was a blanket that is stretchy but light approximately 45" square.

    It's nothing new or unique but here's what I did:

    4 skeins Lion Brand Homespun
    Size 13 circular needles.

    Cast on 4 stitchs.

    Row 1: Knit
    Increase Row: Knit 2, yarn over, knit remaining stitches.

    Repeat increase row until you have used 2 skeins of the Homespun (I left a little just to make sure I had enough.

    Decrease Row: Knit 1, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit remaining stitches.

    Repeat decrease row until you have 5 stitches left on needle then, knit 2, knit 2 together, knit 1.

    Bind off.

    This pattern produces a knit 2 lace border. On my next blanket I'm going to adjust the pattern for at least a knit 3 boarder (maybe knit 4) I think I'll like a bigger border. I'll let you know.

    Valentine Heart Pin

    Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    This Pin is a project from the crochet class I took in July 2004 at the CGOA chain link conference in Manchester NH. The class was teaching how to crochet with beads with flat work (rather than in the usual round). The ruffle around the heart and the charms are my tweeking of the design.

    Finished just in time for Valentines 2005!

    Posted in time for Valentine 2006!!

    Dress Bookmark

    Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    I made up a bunch of these for a holiday exchange. I can no longer find the pattern on the web. Thank heavens I long ago learned to save patterns when I saw them and not to go looking for them on the web once I finally got around to wanting to make it!!

    If anyone knows if/where this pattern is still posted please let me know and I'll provide a link. The pattern was originally published at with a copyright date of 10/26/99 by Esther Cott.

    Update 4/25/10:
    The pattern can currently be found here!

    Update 10/13/12: The pattern is currently at the Wayback Machine and can be found here.

    Hopefully the Wayback Machine will be a stable home for this pattern but this pattern has moved around! If you visit here and the above link is no longer working, please let me know and I'll see if I can track it down again.

    There is another post where I help clarify how to work round 5 of this pattern - Dress Bookmark - Revisited

    Baby Fleece Blanket

    Thursday, January 26, 2006
    How do people poke holes in fleece????

    I tried. I tried the awl (couldn't get even spacing and I kept pulling the fleece). I tried a hole punch (maybe a 1/8" hole punch was too big but UGH, it wasn't pretty). I wound up zig zagging with a sewing machine around the blanket and using that stitching/spaces to work a blanket stitch (photo 1) followed by two rounds of crochet (photo 2).

    The result is a blanket I want to keep for myself!

    Baby Fleece Blanket pattern

    Skinny Scarf - Homespun

    Tuesday, January 10, 2006

    Quick and easy!

    Homespun yarn
    Size K crochet hook


    Row 1: Ch 9, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next 2 ch, sk 1 ch, dc in next 3 ch.

    Row 2: Ch 3(counts as dc + ch 1), turn, 3 dc in ch 1 space, ch 1, dc in 2nd ch of beg. ch.

    Row 3: Ch 2, 2 dc in next ch 1 space, ch 1, 3 dc in next ch 1 space.

    Repeat rows 2 & 3 for desired length.

    Finish off.