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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Fat Skeleton Scarf

I know I haven't been posting much here lately.  If you don't know me very well than you should know I have a lot of pain from Fibromyalgia and sometimes, some days or weeks, I just can't do anything I want to do.  When I feel good I love to crochet.  Sometimes I knit, make tatted lace or do paper crafts like card making and scrapbooking.  I love to paint and do multimedia art too.  Hopefully I can be more active in the coming year.  Cross your fingers and your toes that 2015 is a good year for me!

Anyhoo, I've been hooked on the show Bones.  A few months back I started to watch the series again from the first season and now I'm almost finished with the 7th season.  I'm addicted!  I love mysteries and forensics.  I kept seeing people making these neat shawls with skulls.  I love them but I am just not one to wear skulls.  It seems kinda depressing.  The way I feel most of the time is depressing enough.  I need to wear lollipops and cupcakes... and rainbows and pink elephants.  Anyway, I remembered that my sister in law likes skeletons.  I decided to make her a scarf since she just doesn't seem like a shawl person to me.   I used this pattern called the Narrow Crochet Skull Scarf.  Of course it is almost impossible for me to follow a pattern without changing something.  The pattern calls for sock weight yarn but I used Caron Simply Soft in Gray Heather.  Since it was bigger I called it the Fat Skeleton Scarf.  It just seemed more fitting.  I still used a 3.5mm E hook called for in the pattern to keep it from being afghan sized and I love how it turned out.  They even chose to use one of my pictures on the pattern page which is always cool.

I did make a few changes but mostly just to accommodate the thicker yarn I used.  I added a few
extra chains here and there and made some other small adjustments to help it lay flat and the rows more straight without pinching at the ends.  It will still come out looking kinda lumpy as you work it but blocking will fix that. Since I used acrylic yarn, I just used the steam from an iron held only about an inch above the scarf. After steaming a section thoroughly just use your fingers to straighten it out and move on to the next part.  Then leave it to dry.

Here are the changes I made

Rw 1: I started with a chain of 49 and dc in 5th chain from hook. The four extra chains represents a double crochet.
Rw 2: begin with chain 5 instead of 4. Skip over the first group of double crochet and work in the next chain space. This makes an open space (loop).
At the end of this row you chain 4 and sl st to the top of the chain 4 from the round below which represents the last dc. Now you have an open space (loop) on this end as well. Chain 1 and turn. Sl stitch to the second chain of the chain loop (this makes it a square)
Rw 3: Chain 3, 3 dc in loop.
Rw 4 (and all even numbered rows): Chain 5……………….to end chain 4 and sl st to top of chain 3 from the previous row. Chain 1 and turn. Sl st to 2nd chain in loop.
Rw 5 (and all odd numbered rows): Chain 3, 3 dc in loop.
Rw 10: starting with this row I changed the first and last stitches worked on the skull to slip stitches. This gives it a more rounded look and not so angular.

I made each half of my scarf have 6 skulls and fastened off the first half after row 14. After I completed the second half with 6 skulls and finished with row 14 I did not fasten off so I could crochet the two parts together.

I laid the half with the yarn attached on the right side of my lap and the other side on the right. (I’m right handed)

The right side ended with a chain loop. Now chain 1 and turn, sl sp to 2nd chain in loop.

Granny Join

Chain 2. Keeping yarn to the right of the work insert hook into the chain loop from the left half of the scarf, yarn over and pull it through the loop on the hook. That represents your first double crochet.

(Connecting Double Crochet) Working somewhat loosely and keeping working yarn to the right, yarn over and insert hook into loop on right side of scarf. Yarn over and pull up a loop. Yarn over and pull through two loops on hook. This is half of your double crochet. Insert hook into loop on the left side now, yarn over and pull up a loop and then pull that loop through the remaining two loops on the hook. This completes the double crochet. Work two more connecting double crochet.

Now slip stitch in the four double crochet on the left side of the scarf and then slip stitch into the next open space.

Work 4 connecting double crochet in next space then slip stitch across the 4 double crochet to the next space. Continue across and fasten off.

My scarf came out to 6’ 4.5” long not counting the 6” fringe. It is about 9” wide.  It was very fun to make and I'm so glad Karin Kaufmann was so awesome to make it a free pattern!  Thank you Karin, you rock!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Pint Sized Washcloth

I am sick a lot so my husband does the shopping for the family and he always buys these blue sponges for washing dishes.  My boys, aged 17 & 20 years old, help a lot with cooking and cleaning up the kitchen but they are notorious for leaving said sponges in the sink to turn into blue cheese. They get gross and stinky and I always end up throwing them out.  Gag me with a spoon man!  This is a huge pet peeve of mine. I asked them why they don't use the crochet dishcloths I've made or just any other cloth that can be washed and they said they like the size of the sponges and they said they clean better.  I did point out that if they clean up right away things come clean easier without the need to scrub with the scratchy side of the sponges.  I also noticed that when I clean up I usually do fold the dishcloth into a smaller rectangle that fits better in my hand.  So I decided to make a dishcloth that would make everyone happy.

I have made a ton of these things while watching TV and I don't even have to think about what I am doing since they are so stinkin' easy.  They work up to about 5" x 4.5" inches before washing.  I use different colorways as a color coding system for different cloths used for different purposes.  I have a set for kitchen use, a set for each of my boys for bathe with (I have an OCD boy that doesn't want anyone else to use his even though they get washed lol) and a set for me and my husband.  I have a set for cleaning the bathroom or other dirty areas and I have a set that I use as reusable fabric softener sheets.  

The textured stitches work well for scrubbing in the kitchen and also help clean acne-fied skin. Everyone seems to like them.  My younger son also pointed out that they make good coasters and he uses them to clean off his desk surface which is glass.  

Pint-Sized Washcloth

I use US terms.  

You will need:
about 26 yards of 100% worsted weight Cotton Yarn
An H (5mm) crochet hook

Gauge: 8 sc = 2"
Finished size: 5" x 4.5"

Start by making your slip knot so that you have about a 2.5" - 3" tail and chain 18.

Row 1. Single crochet in second chain from hook and into each chain to the end.  (17 sc)
Row 2. Chain 1 and turn, single crochet in each stitch across. (17 sc)
Row 3. Chain 1 and turn, *single crochet in first stitch, triple crochet in next stitch* repeat across ending with a single crochet in last stitch (9 sc, 8 tr)
(note: make sure the single crochet stitches do not get stretched out.  They should pull the taller triple crochet down to create a textured stitch)
Row 4. Chain 1 and turn, *triple crochet in first stitch, single crochet in next stitch* repeat across ending with a triple crochet in last stitch.  (9 tr, 8 sc)
Row 5 & 6. Chain 1 and turn, single crochet into each stitch across. (17 sc)
Row 7. Chain 1 and turn, *single crochet in first stitch, triple crochet in next stitch* repeat across ending with a single crochet in last stitch (9 sc, 8 tr)
Row 8. Chain 1 and turn, *triple crochet in first stitch, single crochet in next stitch* repeat across ending with a triple crochet in last stitch.  (9 tr, 8 sc)
Repeat rows 5 - 8 one more time.
Row 9. Chain 1 and turn, single crochet in each stitch across, chain 1 and turn.

Now, without cutting the yarn, you are going to work a round of single crochet around the entire square putting two stitches in each corner and crocheting over yarn tail.  

More detail here for beginners.
Chain 1 and turn, work 2 single crochet in first stitch, work 1 single crochet in next stitch and each stitch to the end of the row putting two single crochet in the last stitch (corner). Continue around to the side evenly spacing single crochet stitches into free loops (Free loops are just any loop or loops at the edge that you can make a stitch into.  Sometimes you may need to use a smaller hook or use a darning needle to loosen up a loop so you can get your hook in better) When you get to the bottom, which is the back side of your beginning chains and also where your yarn tail is, work 2 single crochet over the yarn tail into the corner loop and then work 1 single crochet in each loop (working over the yarn tail until it is covered) to the end putting 2 single crochet in the corner stitch. Continue around to the last side evenly spacing single crochet until you get back to the beginning.  Join with a slip stitch to the beginning single crochet.  Cut yarn and weave in end.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Coffee Filter Basket Crochet Pattern

I came up with this idea for my son who wanted the coffee filters to stay out on the counter when I wanted to keep them in the cabinet. I don't like a lot of junk sitting on my counters and it really bugged me. I got the idea to make a basket to hold the coffee filters so it would look nice instead of like junk sitting out. I made it to match the colors in my kitchen and I made the lid to be easy to take off and put back on with one hand (otherwise it wouldn't get put on).

The basket is made to fit a 200 count package of 8 to 12 cup coffee filters but it can also be used to hold tea bags or sugar packets etc.  

This crochet pattern is now available on Ravelry. 


Here is the one I made for my kitchen which is in Tuscany colors. The knob is made from a plastic water bottle cap. The pattern explains how to crochet the knob to cover a bottle cap or to stuff with cotton or yarn ends. The knob on the yellow basket below is stuffed with yarn ends and it makes the knob more round. Of course the knob is optional so you could opt to not add one.

I also made this other one to list in my etsy store. This one I embellished with flowers and leaves. I didn't use a pattern for the embellishments; I just made it up as I went along.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New free crochet pattern

I know I haven't posted here in a while but I've had an interesting summer.  I'm trying to get going again and even playing around with designing some of my own patterns.  I really enjoy crocheting and it keeps me going when I am not feeling well.

Check out my free pattern for my Fab Grabbers on Ravelry.  They are great for taking hot dishes out of the oven or microwave or lifting those hot pot lids.  Your fingers and thumb actually slip inside so your hand is protected but they are easy to slip on and off even one handed.  I use mine all the time.

I am about to release my first paid pattern as soon as I know the pattern can be followed by someone besides me.  I can't wait because I know everyone will love it.