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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

YOP 10.31.16


Bet you didn't expect a post from me.

I had a really bad flare up of pain that wasn't like what I'm used to with the Fibromyalgia.  My doctor suspects it may be RA and put me on a round of steroids to calm things down and then started me on a med used for RA.  I guess it take at least 13 weeks to start to work.  I also had a cold and I've been very tired (which may be from the cold or a side effect of the new meds).  We will see.  I've been feeling a little bit better and was able to do a few things.

I started learning how to tat again and I made this tatted awareness ribbon.  I thought it would be easy to do since I used to tat before but it I had forgotten how to get started again.  I pulled out my 3 ring binder I put together for my tatting notes and patterns but I didn't have anything on there about how to start lol  I had to learn the basics again and I used this site http://www.georgiaseitz.com/  I actually learned from another site and some youtube videos originally but Georgia's site is very helpful.

I wanted to make this into a Fibromyalgia Awareness pin for obvious reasons.  I wanted to find a purple butterfly to put on it but I couldn't find one at Joann's and our Michaels store is closed due to a fire.  Anyway, this is what I ended up with.

I also was finally able to knit the Bankhead hat. I could have made about 4 of these with all the work I did if I didn't have to take out so much to fix mistakes.  The fibro or whatever is causing the pain makes it really hard to focus sometimes.

It kind of bugs me that the ribbing slants.  I thought it wouldn't show when it was on someone's head but it does.  My husband said his hat should be longer so he can fold up the edge and pull it down over his ears when it gets really cold.  Plus he said it should be black to go with his gloves.  It is also a bit thin.  This is lion brand wool ease yarn so it has some wool but I think the wind we've been having will go right through it.  I'm going to get some bulky wool yarn in black to make him a hat.  One of my boys will wear this one.  I already got some bulky yarn in royal blue to match the fleece lining to his coat but since he made the comment about matching his gloves I'll do that for him.  I'm just so happy to finally finish my first knitted hat!  I had a hard time with the dpn's at first.  I didn't have a problem when I was making socks but I guess it is a little different.  Mine are mostly metal and I got right up to the last row and a couple of my needles just slid out and dropped several stitches.  I couldn't figure out how to fix it with all the decreases so I had to start over.  I finally found some needle tip stopper things that came with something I bought.  I didn't understand why I would need them.  They were called "needle point protectors" so I just stuffed them away thinking I didn't need to protect my needle tips since I'm always at home.  I used them to stick on the ends of my dpn's to keep the stitches on while I was working on the other areas.  That worked and I'm thinking that is probably what they are actually for.   They really should call them "Stitch protectors."

Well, that is all for me for now.  I'm happy to finally have an update after being MIA for several weeks.  I will be flying to Anchorage (Alaska) to see my Rheumatologist this Thursday and I always enjoy seeing the mountains there.  I'll try to get a few pictures to share.  It really is amazing to me that you can be in the middle of the city surrounded by cars and shopping and restaurants and you can look up to the horizon and see the mountains.  It looks like the city is built right up to them.  I don't fly well but it is only a 30 minute flight from here.  I hope it isn't too bumpy this time.

Monday, September 26, 2016

YOP Update 9.26.16

I finally finished my Meandering Rib Scarf and I am so glad. I was getting tired of the same thing all the time. Of course I couldn't wait to give it to my husband at Christmas and just gave it to him as soon as it was finished. He really liked it which is really nice. He isn't big into "crafty things," especially if they are things to wear. I knew he would like the color and also pretty sure he would appreciate something knitted over crochet. Now I want to make him a knit hat in the same yarn to match it. I've never knit a hat so I am looking for a good pattern that isn't too challenging to start with.  I've already got enough challenge going on in the new project I just started.

I'm taking on an intarsia wrap using 8 balls of yarn (each one is half a skein - 71 g). It is already making my gray noodle hurt but I'm figuring it out. Hopefully by the time I'm finished it will look like the pictures in the pattern, Japanese Weave Wrap. The pattern is great with photo tutorials for how to do a multi-color cast on and other necessary things. I watched some youtube videos to learn about intarsia before starting.

Multi-color cast on
The first time I started this I got my yarn and myself and some furniture tied up together. I knew there had to be a better way. I decided to lay the balls out in order and instead of flipping my work I just moved myself to the opposite side. That way I have a lot less tangling. The little bit of tangling I get because of crossing the yarns when changing color I just fix as I go.

For some reason I'm always good at getting half-formed ideas and then I have to run the idea by my husband or one of my sons to get a complete, workable idea. My oldest son (22) is super smart (Enrolled in public school Gifted & Talented class/ELP when he was only 3 years old!) but he is book smart and if it isn't math, statistics or he hasn't read about what you're doing he doesn't have a clue lol. He was so confused when I tried to explain to him what I was doing. It was funny because he stood in front of my yarn balls for 30 minutes trying make sure I wasn't totally crazy. He was drawing diagrams and writing out number sequences and I was trying to explain knitting in very basic language and what I was trying to do. He was sure I was wrong about how this thing was going to come out and wanted to save me from wasting so much time on it. My youngest son (19) always compared himself to his brother and never thought he measured up.  He didn't see that he had his own talents when he was younger. I did though. He is very clever and he is my main go-to for color questions and things like "Is there something in the garage (or backyard etc) I can use to (do whatever)?" Anyway, my problem was my kitchen table is way too wide for my idea of moving myself to the other side instead of flipping my work; It's a big circle. I didn't have anything else that would work and I couldn't use the floor or Buddy (beagle puppy) would make a mess of things. My younger son came up with the ironing board set up with a bar stool on either side. Later he grabbed my yard stick and put it behind the balls to keep them from rolling off.  

Now I'm learning to change colors properly when on the right side or wrong side of the work and praying I don't make any mistakes. I really wish I had a couple of 12" double pointed needles.

I'll leave you with a new picture of my dwarf maple looking a little more glorious than last week. You can't tell from this picture but it frosted this morning and the air was frosty and white-ish like there were very fine particles of ice in the air. It looks almost foggy but it wasn't fog, it was ol' man winter's breath hanging in the air.

Monday, September 19, 2016

I got my laptop back!

I am so happy!  Now I realize just how much I love it!  I'm just too old to have small screens. Eventually I may need a large screen TV as a computer screen so I can see but for now this full size laptop is really nice. I was surprised when I picked it up to move it to my lap that it seemed so heavy! The chomebook weighs nothing and I'd gotten used to how easy it is to move around. It also has a good, long-lasting battery so I could move to my room or the kitchen for a while and it weighs less than most of my books. One thing I will miss about that little guy is how easy it is to adjust the brightness. There is a row of buttons across the top and one of them turns it up and one turns it down instead of having to remember where to go to find the settings to adjust that. That was really handy when I had a migraine and I've been having a lot of them lately. I can still use that when I want but for now I'm a happy dancing fool with my ol' pal back!  Oh and now I should be able to print the pattern for my new project. I'm so glad.

I also got a new toy for Buddy today.  Here is a little video.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

YOP Update 9.18.16

Sorry I missed last week.  It is hard not having access to the internet like usual. I still don't have my laptop working but I think I might have it back sometime tomorrow night.  My oldest son doesn't like not being able to fix things for me and he really tried. He is going to school to learn computer stuff like his dad so he tried everything he could. I ended up reading a book a day while I had no internet. I did have my kindle and could use that to access the internet but it was so weird to me. There were apps for some things like email or some websites like amazon that made it easier for but for other things I had to use the silk browser and everything was so small. I just got frustrated and read a lot of books instead.

My oldest son came home from work one night and handed me a chromebook. That is what I'm using now. It is perfect for me because I use chrome and gmail, google drive and google docs etc. I just logged in with my gmail account and boom! all my stuff is right there just the way I'm used to. My son just said this laptop can be the kitchen/grocery list/recipe laptop after I get my laptop back. Our family uses an app/website called Ourgroceries.com so everyone has the same list and can add to it or cross things off. This laptop is small and light and super easy to use - well mostly. I actually love it except that I can't get my printer to work with it. You can only use a printer that can connect to the cloud since this computer doesn't actually have a hard drive to save things too. My printer probably would have in the past but it has issues now. We need a new one but I've bonded and hate to part with my old friend. Besides that I just bought new ink cartridges and I plan to use them once I get my laptop back.

In case you didn't see it last week in the YOP Ravelry group, here is the picture of the dress and headband I made for my friend's baby. She looks so pretty in it! I just knew she would look good in that color.

I'm still working on the Meandering Rib Scarf for my husband but I am so close to finishing.   It is 4' 5" and I'll go to 5 feet and see how that works for him or if he wants it longer. I really thought I'd be finished by now but the whole family got sick. I actually had about 4 extra issues hit me at once on top of my fibromyalgia pain - including daily migraines. It is fall here now and it has been raining a lot. I'm allergic to mold so my allergies have been bad and the doctor is sure the fall migraines are caused by the mold outside. Fall is one of my favorite seasons though and it is so short here in Alaska. I hate to miss it because I don't feel well so I have been going out to enjoy it anyway. My absolute favorite moments happen in the evening when I let Buddy out for the last time before bed. I turn on the porch light and sit on the back porch with my coffee and enjoy the cool air and the sound of the gentle wind. The rain lately has been gentle too so I enjoy listening to it and my roof over hangs so I am protected on the porch. It really is beautiful.  I wish I could bundle up that whole experience and some how share it with you all but there really is not way to give it justice. 

Meandering Rib Scarf

I'm learning that this little laptop doesn't let me put my images to one side with the words to the other side. The word wrapping doesn't work so there is just space around the pictures so I am just centering them.

So I saw a new pattern I wanted to make and I can't wait to start it. I wanted to go look at yarn this weekend but because of feeling so bad I ended up asking my husband to pick some up. He is really nice about doing that even though he feels really out of place in a craft/yarn store. He really would have done about anything though just as long as he got to go golf on the last day before they closed. He also picked up some cold medicine for me and my son and some other treats for us before he went to golf. Here are my colors. The two gray skeins are the same color and they are a little bit darker than they look there. Actually, I think all the colors are darker than pictured. 

I'm going to make myself finish the scarf for my husband before starting this new project so maybe next week you'll get to see what it is. Here are some fall pictures to show what it looks like here now. This is what I see out my front window. 

This is my dwarf Maple tree which is the only type that will grow here.  It just has a little red but later it will be completely scarlet. My grass really looks long there but my mower is broken. My husband might actually fix it now that golf is officially over. My son actually mowed two strips in the front yard before it broke so it looks really classy. 

Buddy is getting so much bigger. He loves to go on walks at the park now that he has all his shots. I couldn't get a better picture since he moves so much and always has his nose to the ground. 

Okay, I hope you all are having a good time wherever you are in the world and enjoy your stitching. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

YOP update 9.4.16

I will attempt to add pictures to this post but I'm having trouble with my phone right now.  

Well, this is a pretty sad update but I didn't knit much at all this week. I spent the first part of the week resting and recouping from cleaning during last weekend. That is what the Fibromyalgia does to me. If I do anything that requires very much activity (meaning more than sitting on the couch) I will be down for 1 to 3 days depending on what I was doing or what the weather was like. It was so worth it though. My bedroom looks so nice now! Oh! And I also found my very first pair of socks I knit back in 2007 I think? A friend helped me and when I knit the pair this July it felt like I was learning for the first time again since I'd totally forgotten everything! I even forgot how to do the SSK decrease and had to look it up on youtube. Anyway, those first socks have obviously been worn and washed several times but I'll have to take a picture anyway since I never took a picture of them finished to post to my Ravelry project page. They were knit on sport weight yarn using double pointed needles and I was knitting so tight I was breaking needles.

Thursday, Sept 1st was my 25th anniversary! Wow, I can't believe so much time has gone by. I don't even feel that old. We decided to just spend time here in town since it is so pretty here right now. It is finally not raining and it is so pretty and sunny but not too hot. You can just feel a bit of a nip in the air in the mornings and then it warms up to perfect. We usually like to go on drives to look at the fall leaves on our anniversary but we don't really have that much color yet. It seems like we usually have more by now. The forecast calls for beautiful weather all weekend but possible snow on Tuesday! I hope it doesn't happen like that because I really like fall and don't want it to end too quickly. One season at a time please!  

Anyway, my husband and I decided it would be better to travel during the winter after it starts to get depressing and go to see his mom in Cali and maybe visit the redwoods. I've never been and I would love to.  

Hedgehog fibers/Eel
We had a nice breakfast Thursday and then went to a movie (Suicide Squad) which I loved. We went to a bookstore and then a real LYS - well The only one here. I bought some yarn and caked it up there. Hopefully I will be able to get a swift and ball winder of my own soon. They only *just* added Hedgehog fibers to their store and I homed right in on that. I bought some sock yarn in the EEL colorway which reminds me of peacock feathers with some black. I also got a mini in Graphite to add black heels and toes to the Turtlepurl yarn I bought on Etsy in the colorway Dream room. I think my husband likes it better when I shop at Joanns. My new sock yarn isn't cheap. The one full skein of Hedgehog fiber cost me $32 and he said, "$32 for a pair of socks and you have to do the labor?"  I said, "No, I GET to do the labor!"  hehe I guess only a Knitter can understand. Oh, I also got a sock ruler. The Grocery Girls showed one on one of their podcasts and I've been wanting one ever since. So now I'm all set. All I have to do is figure out which sock pattern to use. I did buy the fish lips kiss heel pattern and kind of want to try that but I also feel super nervous and don't want to mess up my new pretty yarns.

Turtlepurl turtle toes in Dream room plus Hedgehog mini in Granite for heels and toes

After the yarn store I had my hubby drop me off to get my nails done. I haven't treated myself to a mani/pedi in so long and it felt so good. Of course my nails are purple since that is my currently favorite color. Saturday my husband and I decided to continue our celebrations and we went to breakfast again and did a little more shopping. I also got my hair done. I refreshed my purple highlights but went for a deeper purple this time. She added a toner to help it last longer this time and my hair is so soft and shiny. She curled it really pretty but then I crashed as soon as I got home and messed it up. I should have taken pictures before I left the salon! That was just too busy a day for me and I couldn't wait to get to my bed. Hopefully I can get a good picture to show the color but I'm not sure how well it will show in my lighting.  

Jo-Ann Sensations Cosetta in Cosetta purple
Here is the one thing I knit: A swatch. I found this discontinued yarn in my stash and I really want to make myself a hat with it. I have attempted to use this yarn before but never got very far since I have a hard time getting gauge with it. It says it is a bulky weight yarn but it seems it isn't as bulky as a lot of the yarns people use for patterns. I knit this swatch last night and blocked it, which I've never done before. I'm hoping that was part of the problem and I'll be able to get it to work for a pattern. It is really pretty and I'm loving the stripes of purples. It also has just a touch of silver here and there - not stellina but actual silver touches in the fibers. I really don't know how they did that but it is beautiful. I'm sad they discontinued it.

It looks hand-painted with metallic silver paint

Oh, Buddy the Beagle Baby got to go on a walk with me Saturday before I took my long nap. He is learning what it means to "go for a walk" and not a sniff. I've never had to teach a dog to heel before since the other's I've had already knew when I got them. He's my first puppy and he did a pretty good job this time. He does get to go for "sniffs" too though.  He did get really scared when a car drove by us. He had never seen a car except to get in ours so the poor guy shrank down to the pavement and didn't want to move. I'm sure he'll get used to that but I hope he keeps enough of that fear to not ever run in front of one. He's a hyper pup so we really have to keep close tabs on him. I hope he never gets loose!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

YOP update 8.30.16

I'm late posting this because this weekend we were doing some serious cleaning. I wasn't feeling well Saturday so just my husband cleaned but I did a lot of work on Sunday. We pulled out boxes and bags of things that had been undisturbed for a very long time. I found clothes I used to love that look like they would fit a child now. I ended up having an asthma attack from all of the dust we stirred up and had to retreat from the room for fresh air and my inhaler. We pot a hepa filter in there and let that run for a while. Our vacuum also has a hepa filter too and that actually worked faster. I'm so glad to have more room now.  I really don't miss those boxes stacked up in my way all the time. We are planning to replace our carpet with hardwood floor sometime soon so we have to be ready for that. We will be going through one room at a time purging extra stuff and moving some to other areas. I was really wiped out after cleaning so much though and ended up sleeping for most of the last two days. Hopefully I'll start to feel better soon because Thursday (Sept 1st) is our 25th Anniversary. My husband has the day off and we are hoping to be able to spend the day together.

I am still working on my meandering rib scarf by Lion Brand Yarns and amazingly I've gotten somewhat comfortable with the pattern. I can even watch tv or podcasts while working on it now and only mess up every now and then and have to tink back a little. I started to use a counter on my phone called "Knit & Crochet counter" and it is so much easier to keep my place in the pattern. I was using a sticky note but if it fell off I would get mixed up.  That app is for ios phones but there are some others that work for Android on this page and they work with Ravelry.  This one is a free app.

I didn't take a picture of my scarf since it still looks the same as my last post but it is longer. The last time I measured it was about 30 inches long. You can see in the picture from the app above that I've done 9 repeats (24 rows) plus the 7 knit rows I started with. The big number 1 is showing that I'm now on row 1. The little 222 in the top right is the total number of rows worked although I think it is one row off. I can fix that. Someone asked what yarn I'm using and it is Wool-Ease by lion brand yarn. The color is Gray Heather. I get that yarn at my Joann's store. I really like that yarn and there is a nice range of colors. I don't think I'm going to make this scarf 130 inches long since I don't think my husband would want a scarf that long.  I'll probably just make it 5 or 6'. I just finished off the first ball of yarn so I think maybe 1.5 more balls should be all I'll need.

I did break the needles I was using somehow.  I have the boye interchangeable knitting needle set and they seem to break too easy. I'm not even sure how it happened. The cord just dropped off and I wan't torquing on it or anything. I'm just knitting back and forth on this scarf and the cable is 20 something inches so plenty of room. They always break off at the threaded area where it screws into the cable. That is the third time that has happened and it is getting really hard to find the replacements. I think I need to invest in a better set but just don't know which set to get. I have to get something that has no nickel plating since I'm allergic to nickel.  Dianamcheck recommended Knitters Pride Dreamz Deluxe IC set. Does anyone else have a set of interchangeables they like?  Or a set you've used that you didn't like for some reason?

Here is a cute picture of Buddy the Beagle Baby to make you smile.  He is sleeping with his head propped up on my Kindle and actually stayed like that for over an hour.  I often find him laying on a book like a pillow but this is a first.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

YOP Update Aug 21

It is raining again so I've been sleeping a ton and just hanging out in bed.  I used to love the rain but that stopped when I started having fibromyalgia pain.  I can still see the beauty in it at times though. It intensifies the colors of everything and perks up the plants and trees.  I love watching the birds play in the water.  I try at least to see past what I feel.

#1 recovered MIA WIP - meandering rib scarf /lion brand yarn (originally started 11/2014)

Anyway, I stalled on my scarf because I found an error - well an entire row that was wrong so it made a line.  I tried for two days to ignore it and just keep going but I just ended up not wanting to work on it anymore.  My oldest son (19) told me no one would notice and certainly not his dad who it is for. Still, I knew it was there and it haunted me. I finally pulled the whole thing out and started over but I still wasn't happy with it so I tore it out again. Then I decided to go down two sizes to size 4 needles because the yarn seemed kind of thin for worsted weight.  I was much happier with the look of the stitches but it made the scarf so narrow. I decided to rip back yet again and add some extra garter stitch on all the edges. I started with 7 rows at the bottom and now there are 5 stitches on each side.  I really wish I had added a couple more rows at the bottom but I'm going to leave it this time.  If you look at my last post you can see what it looked like before.

I decided to try knitting in my lifeline with my boye interchangeable needles since they do have the little hole for tightening but it is only big enough for size 10 thread.  Can someone who has the knit picks needles tell me if the hole is big enough for a thin yarn (not just thread)?  I like to put in a lifeline at the end of a pattern repeat.  I'm just a little past 2 repeats in that picture.  I really don't like using thread though since the loops can pull the thread down.  It doesn't help that the thread I used is so light colored.  The ball is actually a variegated purple with some really dark purple but the first part was light and I didn't want to waste too much. Anyway, I was watching TV last night and totally messed everything up so I ripped back to the lifeline and it was almost as difficult to get the loops pulled back up as if I'd not used a lifeline at all. Next time I think I'll find something thicker and use my darning needle.

Oh, I almost forgot!  I'm inserting this part in here hoping to get some feedback.  I need to get a swift and ball winder.  Does anyone have any recommendations?  I want to get something that will last me a long time.  I was looking at the knit picks ball winder and swift on amazon.  Does anyone have any experience with that brand?  I'm hoping to get it for my birthday since I just bought my first thing of yarn that looks like a twisted donut.  If you have had a bad experience please tell me about it.  I want to avoid any hassles if possible.

I was planning to do a little cross stitch yesterday that I bought on ebay for a gift a while back.  One of my brothers finally got married (They have been together for a long time).   My SIL's name is Joy and I saw this simple cross stitch kit that says "Share Joy."  I thought that would be a nice Christmas gift for her to keep at her office (if she wanted to).  It is a chalk board look design with black fabric and white thread and it had a butterfly in the design top center which I loved.  It also comes with a white filigree easel frame.  But, when I took it out of the package and sat down to start working on it I realized it wasn't the right design!  I didn't even notice when I first got it in the mail and I already left good feedback.  It is too late to try to get them to fix it.  I really need to pay more attention when I first get things.

It is the same except it says "Grow Love."  I went back on ebay and looked at the listing again and the title and description were actually right but the picture was showing the Joy design.  I did look it up and found another one even cheaper and that one is on the way.  I will go ahead and make this one for someone else.  I do like the design but I will wait until later to work on it. Maybe it will stop raining.

Buddy the Beagle Baby has been so cute and I love him so much.  It is so hard to imagine what life was like without him now.  He is very different than my other beagle, mostly because he is a puppy and my other dog was very old but also because he loves to snuggle and play with toys and fetch - things my other dog didn't do.  Blue (girl) was always an easy going dog who liked to chill in a sun-ray or snuggle in blankets but she got too hot if you laid next to her.  She wanted all the blankets and your pillow but you had to go lol Buddy wants to sleep as close to my head as possible and sometimes on my face.  He will snuggle his little muzzle right up in the curve of my neck with his soft ears falling forward.  He will sleep with me that way all night long now and doesn't get up and wander around as long as I get right up with him in the morning.

He did find some gum last night though.  Someone didn't throw their gum away properly and he found it.  I noticed when he jumped up with me to sleep that he had nice fresh breath lol  He was chewing away and it was so funny.  I didn't notice him drop it on my chest though and my shirt was very close to the same color.  I looked for the gum but didn't find it and figured he just swallowed it. When I woke up and went to the bathroom I saw it plastered to my shirt.  I sure am glad I cut my hair short or I'd really have a mess. There are also a few spots of it on the sheet and some on his foot. So now I have to see if I can get that out of everything.

Anyway, I hope everyone is having fun crocheting or knitting or whatever you do.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

YOP update

The first part of this week wasn't very productive since I wasn't feeling well but then the sun came out and I got a lot accomplished in the last part of the week. It was so nice to get outside too and enjoy the sunshine. It was so wet and yucky out for several weeks and there were mushrooms popping up all over my yard. They all died after a while with the sun out. It has been about 75f during the days but I feel the coolness of autumn coming in the evenings. I am actually looking forward to fall and the beautiful colors.  I am itching to make something in a goldenrod yellow color to wear this fall. The only drawback to fall here in Fairbanks, Alaska it is it so short lived and suddenly it will be winter so I'm glad we still have a little bit of summer left.

I have an FO!!  I finished my Easy Peasy Socks for First-Timers by Stacey Trock.  They were so much fun.  I had some issues with the second sock because I had fibro brain so I did a lot of tinking and had to use a lifeline once but I was determined to get it finished. I remember when I was working on it my feet were cold and instead of getting up and putting on a different pair of socks I just knit faster so I could wear these.  Of course, when I finally finished it was too hot to wear them.  

BTW, these are knit in a discontinued yarn called Red Heart Stripes - Cancun.  I know, I'm so sad that it is discontinued.  I would love more of the colorways they had.  It is a worsted weight yarn.  I bought this yarn a long time ago for a blanket I was knitting but it has been languishing in a tub for a while.  I decided to use the yarn for something else.  I also have some turquoise yarn to go with it and one other color that I can't remember right now.  So now I'm trying to think of things to use that yarn for since that is one of my goals for this year - to find all my MIA wips and either finish them or frog them and use the yarn for something else.  So that blanket is one of them but it isn't one I put in ravelry.  

I actually finished both my goals for this week even though I really did it all in just the last couple days.  The first was to finish my socks and the second was to write up the pattern for Buddy's Squeaky Bug and get it posted on my blog and listed as a free pattern on Ravelry.  I made another cuter one that looks like a ladybug and also made a simple version which I call Less Buggy Squeaky Bug.  Buddy loves them all and for the Less Buggy version I made him I let him pick the colors since he is always rooting around in my yarn and I am constantly having to take it away from him.  He picked out the green cotton I used for the bottom and then since he kept trying to steal my socks while I was working on them I used that yarn for the top of it.  If you look at the pictures below you can see how ratty looking the green was because he already grabbed the circle from me and played with it.  He even took it outside and brought it back in a few times.  He was chomping at the bits to get it from me so I had to quickly finish off and weave in the ends with him biting at it.  So that doesn't look so hot but he doesn't care. It reminds me of an eyeball.

I did find another MIA WIP - my Meandering Rib Scarf from Lionbrand.com.   I had forgotten that a cup of coffee got dumped over on it.  It was in a small tub with the yarn for it and the coffee dumped right in the tub.  I dumped out all that would come out and was so frustrated I just sat it aside to deal with later and then forgot about it.  I hadn't knit very much on it so it wasn't a big deal.  Well I frogged it and soaked the yarn and washed it.  It wasn't as difficult as I thought.  It is wood-ease by Lion Brand in Gray Heather.  It dried nicely and regained it's fluff.  So I only have one repeat of the pattern done right now.  I do have a lifeline in because it is so easy to get lost with this pattern.  I need to use a word processor program to edit the pattern to be easier to follow.  I did that last time but lost it.  Normally I just use a sticky note to keep track of where I am in a pattern but with this one I get to row 9 and it says "repeat row 6" so I need another sticky note to put at row 6.  Then I get to Rows 15 and 16 and it says "Repeat rows 11 and 12".... I go to Row 11 and it says "Rep row 4" and then row 12 says repeat row 3.  So I just take the pattern and make each row say the pattern to follow so I can just move down the list and not have to jump all over the place.  

I do like the pattern.  This is a gift for my husband but I want to make myself one too that will be slightly different.  Buddy the Beagle Baby finally has all his shots and is almost ready to go out in the world.  We just have to wait another week to make sure his last shots kick in.  We also have to get him a different food because the Vet thinks he may have a food allergy.  He has a few itchy spots where he chomped off his fur.  We have some ordered and I really hope it works for him.  

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Squeaky Bug - Free pattern

Squeaky Bug *FREE pattern*

Buddy loves his squeaky bug and it was so easy to make.  Buddy is 4 months old now and loves toys that squeak so I bought a bag of medium sized replacement squeakers on Amazon.  They are 1 3/4" in diameter.  He is always snagging the squeakers from me when I'm trying to put them in a toy and he will run around the house like a mad dog with it in his mouth squeaking away.  So, I decided to make a toy that was just big enough to cover the squeaker and protect it from his teeth.  That way he could still run around with it in his mouth.

Squeaky Bugs are fun for other pets too.  You can even skip the squeaker and stuff them with pillow guts, yarn tails or scraps of fleece etc.  You could even slip in a little cat nip for your kitty!

I would love to see all the crazy Squeaky Bugs (including the Less Buggy Squeaky Bugs!) that people make.  If you send me a picture to donnaj71@gmail.com with a name to display I'll put the picture on my blog in my Squeaky Bug Exhibit.  I will assume you are giving me permission to post your picture on my blog if you email it to me.

Here is what you need:
  • Worsted weight yarn in black and whatever color you want your bug to be.  I like to use 100% cotton yarn (like Sugar N'Cream, Peaches & Creme, Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton etc) because it holds up better for a pet toy than acrylic yarn but you can use any kind of yarn.
  • G size hook (4mm)
  • A darning needle
  • 1 Medium sized round replacement squeaker 1 3/4" in diameter.  
Gauge: The circles for the body of the bug should be about 3" in diameter when flat.  You want to work tight so if your circle comes out bigger try changing to a smaller hook.  It is okay if your circle is a little smaller.  


The body is constructed of two circles, one colored and one black.  They cup a little to hold the squeaker because of the way they are worked. When you look at the hdc (half double crochet US terminology) you'll see the horizontal bar going across below the V on the top (There is also a horizontal bar on the back which you'll use later if you want to add legs to your bug). If you roll the work slightly in your hand a little so you can see the top V stitch and the horizontal bar below it (on the front side of the work) you be able to understand exactly where to work.  Instead of working into the top V, roll the work back so you don't see the back loop of the top V stitch - now you see another V stitch to work in!  Work in that V stitch like normal for joining and working stitches. This will cause the stitches to pull forward creating the cupped shape.  This is actually really easy to do when working in the round like we are for this pattern.  It is actually more difficult to not do it this way in the round and many people do it without realizing it and don't know why their work is cupping.

  1. Start off with a magic circle, chain 1 and work 6 hdc (half double crochet) into the circle. Join with slip stitch to the first hdc.
  2. Chain 1, starting in the same stitch as join, work 2 hdc into each stitch.  Join with slip stitch to first hdc. (12 sts)
  3. Chain 1, starting in the same stitch as join, *work 2 hdc, 1 hdc in next stitch* repeat around to the end and join with slip stitch to the first hdc (18 sts)
  4. Chain 1, starting in the same stitch as join, *work 2 hdc, 1 hdc in each of next 2 stitches* repeat around to the end and join with slip stitch to the first hdc (24 sts)
  5. Chain 1, starting in the same stitch as join, *work 2 hdc, 1 hdc in each of next 3 stitches* repeat around to the start and join with slip stitch to first hdc (30 sts)  fasten off and weave in ends. (when you make your black circle for the bottom do not fasten off)

Now, take the colored one and add your buggy details.  You can use your darning needle to stitch the lines on or you can use surface crochet.  Using the black yarn stitch a half circle to create the head of the bug and a line down the middle of the back.  Then add two eyes and some spots to each side of the bug.  Of course you can add the details however you want and get super creative.  Make loads of crazy bugs!  I can't wait to see what everyone makes!  Just make sure you stitch them in good and weave in the ends so your pet can't get them loose.  I actually knot mine since it is on the inside anyway and won't be seen.  You can also use safety eyes instead of stitching them on.

For this one (my first one) I used surface crochet for the lines and that was super quick and easy.  I was a little impatient when doing the dots and you can tell.  I just whip stitched this bug together working around the legs.

For this one I used 6 mm safety eyes and used a back stitch for the lines and french knots with 3 wraps for the dots.  He doesn't have a mouth but his eyes are smiling.

Bug Legs

After you finish your black circle don't fasten off after joining.

1. Chain 1 and turn it to the back of your circle and slip stitch to the horizontal bar on the back of the stitch (marked in blue in the picture below).  

Note: I found it is easiest to hold the circle so your thumb is on the right side of the work so you can work on the back edge like in the picture below.

2. Next, chain 6.  Slip stitch into second chain from hook and down to last chain and then slip stitch back into the same horizontal loop where you started.  -1 leg!
3. Slip stitch into the next two stitches (horizontal bars)
4. Chain 6 and slip stitche back down and then back into the horizontal bar again - 2nd leg!
5. Repeat step 3 and 4 one more time and then fasten off. - 3 bug legs!

Turn your circle around and repeat the same for the other side.  When you are done it should look something like this from the right side.  

Joining your Squeaky Bug

So now you have all your parts you need to make a bug sandwich.  Make sure both of your circles are right side out. 
Joining the layers together is super quick and easy with surface crochet (slip stitch).  Use yarn to match the top of your bug.  I'm using red.  Make a slip knot in your yarn but don't put it on your hook yet.  Stick your needle through both layers of your bug starting from the top, then stick your slip knot on the hook from the back.

Pull the yarn to the front (but don't pull the slip knot all the way out) and then stick your hook back down into the next space, yarn over and pull it to the front of the work.  Work a slip stitch and repeat all the way around.  When you get to the end to where there is just one space left you will have to finish with a darning needle.  Just pull your last loop out long and snip it leaving you with at least 5 or 6 inches.  Thread the yarn onto a darning needle and stick your needle flat to the work at slide it under both loops of the first surface crochet stitch.  Then, slick the needle back down where it is coming from to complete the last chain.  Take the two pieces of red yarn at the back and tie a knot. Then just use your needle to take your yarn into the body of the bug and out through the top.  Snip the yarn and give the bug a tug (hey that rhymes!) so the yarn tail ends up inside and not showing.  

This is what it looks like on the back

Less Buggy Squeaky Bug

Simple Version

This is a simplified version that can be made super quick.  Just take your two completed circles and put them together right sides out with your squeaker in the middle.  You can add some small safety eyes if you want or just skip adding any details all together and single crochet (US Terms) the two layers together.  

Put your squeaker between two 3" circles.  Please excuse my green circle looking a little ratty.  My puppy kept snagging it so it has already been played with some.  Make sure you secure your magic circle really well on the wrong side.  

If you just finished your last circle you can just chain 1 and then insert your hook through the top loops of both circles, yarn over and work a single crochet.  Work all the way around and then join to your first single crochet and fasten off.  

The finished squeaky bug is only slightly bigger than 3" and is ready to play with!