Tag Archives: crochet

Roundup!

Once more I have slacked off this week! I almost finished the scarf I was working on for the gift basket but that’s not terribly interesting. I didn’t finish the baby sweater and haven’t started on my coworker’s gift, which basically means I need to go hide in a corner until they’re both done.

The main reason I slacked off was because my editor finally sent me half the edits for Detective’s Brother and I’ve been working on those. She has some great suggestions and I’m glad to have her input. I really feel like she’s helping me polish my work into the best possible story, and I hope my readers feel the same way.

I’m also trying to work on an outline for a new Yeah Write series. I’ve got the idea, I just don’t have the time to work on it right now. Maybe after I send back these edits I’ll be able to do it, but for now it’s on the back burner.

And in the last piece of writing news, I found myself a new cover artist! She’s really great and her portfolio is amazing. We were bouncing some ideas off each other and I think she’s a great fit for the team. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.

That’s pretty much it for this week. Hopefully I’ll have more to report next week, but for now it’s head down and back into the edits!

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Lazy Lazy Week

Happy New Year! I hope 2016 is super for you – it’s going to be exciting for me!

I have been so incredibly lazy this last week, due to my sinking myself into a side project and being completely engrossed in the Flawed series, so I don’t have a finished project to show off. Instead, I have a couple of halfway made WIPs that I am embarrassedly showing you.

Pastel Sweater

First up, half of a baby sweater. I decided I was going to make another one in pastel because I have a ton of purple and white yarn left over from the polka dot baby blanket and I thought it would be fun to make one in a smaller size. This is what I finished a couple of days ago before I threw everything aside to read Outsider.

Scarfy

Second half-finished project is a super-chunky scarf that I’m crocheting for a gift basket! It’s really bulky and warm, and I can’t wait for it to become someone’s new favorite scarf. I like crocheting with bulky yarn because it works up quickly and you can see the detail in the stitches, which makes double crochet look totally fancy.

I’m going to finish these projects over the weekend with any luck (definitely the scarf, maybe on the baby sweater) so I can move on to working on the Christmas Exchange blanket…a week after Christmas.

I never said I was punctual.

Next week my crochet posts move to Wednesday, my Open Book posts to Monday, and I’m going to really try to do a Friday writing post. Thursdays are going to be book review days. One of my 2016 goals is to read a book every week, so I’ll be on the lookout for new stuff. I don’t like to be pinned to any one genre, so there’s always the possibility that I’ll tell you all about Stephen King’s newest at some point. You’ve been warned!

The Sweater That Ate My Life

I saw this adorable little sweater in The Crochet Crowd and decided that since I had never made a piece of clothing before and I was cocky from the firefighter outfit I was going to challenge myself to make it. So I got out my trusty iPad and headed over to Michael’s for some yarn.

I’m not a huge fan of pastels, so I bought one skein each of the Caron Simply Soft – the brand recommended by Crochet Crowd – in Dark Country Blue, Iris, and Pagoda. My little one is wearing mostly 18 month stuff so I chose the 24 month size because I usually crochet kind of tightly and play fast and loose with gauge, and I figured it would come out smaller than the measurements. Crochet Crowd made the 6 month size and said one skein was plenty but said they might need 2 skeins for bigger sizes.

We were watching a movie last Friday evening and I decided to start it then, but when I had to break out the stitch markers I knew this wasn’t going to be something I could do while watching TV. My husband started playing a video game, so I was able to concentrate much better and I got a good portion of the bodice made.

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Our work holiday outing was the next day and it took us an hour to get to Dallas in our party bus, so I crocheted while we all chatted and had our annual Frozen sing-a-long. I got almost all of the bodice finished and when I got home I got one round of the puff stitches in before bed, completely confident in the fact that I could blow through this sweater on Sunday. What I didn’t realize was that the 11-round pattern repeated multiple times. Oops.image

I worked hard on it for the next couple of days, even taking it to work so I could finish it on Tuesday to post about it. Then tragedy struck. While I was making one of the sleeves, I was distracted by the movie we were watching (nope, didn’t learn my lesson) and forgot to turn it every row to get the right pattern. I had to frog a quarter of a sleeve and was pretty bummed about it. I started the sleeve over and got halfway through before I figured out that the sleeve was REALLY wide and I had somehow managed to increase 15 stitches. I frogged that and was about ready to throw the damn thing across the room but was determined to finish it.

imageI finally finished it yesterday! I really love the way the colors came out. I ended up shortening the sleeves a little because otherwise they would completely cover the baby’s hands and she’ll have outgrown it by next winter. I think it’ll look really cute on her!

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Here’s a little detail of the neck. I had to learn a new stitch for this; the crab stitch, also known as the reverse single crochet, and it was kind of frustrating at first but I got the hang of it. I added a little purple stripe to the arms to go with it, and added a couple of rounds at the bottom so it ended with purple. It’s so cute!

I’m planning on making another one with some leftover baby yarn in the 6 month size to see how it comes out with thinner yarn, and because I had a good time with it. For now I need to start planning my friend’s baby gift. I found some cute, cute patterns and my secret Santa gave me a gift card to Michaels so I can’t wait to make it!

If you’d like to try this one for yourself, you can find it at Yarnspirations and there’s a tutorial video at The Crochet Crowd!

The Littlest Firefighter Outfit

A week or so ago, my coworker sent me a text message asking if I could make her a cute pink and gray firefighter outfit for her sister’s baby. She’d seen it on Etsy and said that she’d rather pay me to make one for her and wanted to know what I would charge. I kindly told her that I would need a pattern to make it and she said okay. Then, on Saturday, she sent me a photo of a similar one in red and black and I finally caved and searched Ravelry and Craftsy for a pattern.

I found one on Craftsy that looked close to what she was looking for and sent her a picture for approval, along with an estimated cost and hoped she got back to me before I left work and got into my comfy pants. She was thrilled and I headed for the craft store with my work clothes on. I picked up some pretty pink and heather gray super-soft yarn and bought the pattern, wondering how long it would take me to make it.

Firefighter Set

Turns out, it takes about a day and a half.

diaper coverThis thing is just too adorable for words. I started off with the diaper cover and suspenders for a 3-6 month old because I had no idea how old this baby was. It occurred to me as I was making it that I should have asked, but it was a little late so I just went with the size I was making. The pattern recommended using little buttons on the inside to make the suspenders adjustable, so even if the baby is smaller they’ll fit for a photo shoot.

Booties 1The booties reminded me of why I love the idea of booties and want to tear my hair out while I’m making the first one. I work out my frustrations by the second bootie but the first one never fails to make me frog at least half a round.

Booties 2The pattern called for a little strap at the top but I omitted it. These look just like the ones she wanted!

FD HatThe hat posed some problems. Once I started working on it I decided I didn’t like the hat from the pattern, so I frogged about a third of it. Started on a simple pattern from another site and somehow managed to increase a ridiculous amount – it looked more like a coaster than a hat! Third try was the charm, and I added a cute scalloped edge to it along with the badge I cross-stitched “FD” on, and it was complete!

My coworker absolutely adored it, so staying up until midnight-thirty working on it was totally worth it. She was surprised at how fast I made it – her sister hasn’t even had the baby yet! Oh well, it’ll be a cute baby shower gift for her.

Speaking of baby shower gifts, one of my other coworkers is pregnant and in the course of searching for simple hat patterns I came across some seriously adorable and easy things that would be perfect for me to stick in with a pack of diapers and a Target gift card.

I am the QUEEN of baby shower gifts.

If you want to try this one for yourself, you can find it here : http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/crocheting/accessory/fireman-hat-diaper-cover-boots-4-piece/25036

Granny Square Christmas Stocking

I fully planned to do some work on my Christmas exchange blanket last week so I’d have some cute squares to post here but something else got in the way!

You see, my day job has a Christmas tradition where everyone decorates a stocking and we hang them on the wall. All month long coworkers and management are encouraged to put small gifts and items into the stockings, and we take them home the day before Christmas Eve (we are closed the 24th through the 27th this year). A couple of my friends asked if they could use their stockings from last year. I asked if I could make my own.Christmas Yarn

It turned out that small skeins of yarn were 2/$5 at Michaels so I bought some bright holiday colors and went to work. I made sure that the green I bought was much greener than the one I used for the exchange squares because while they were pretty, they were a lot darker than I planned.

Stocking Square

I used this pattern from Ravelry to make the stocking, and chose to follow another user’s color scheme. The pattern called for 8 squares and I wanted it to be a healthy size, so I used an I hook and it came out kind of chunky.

Stocking Squares

Rather than single-crocheting around the edge like the pattern stated, I sewed it together with red yarn for more of a patchwork look. I also decided to enhance the Christmas stocking effect by adding a white cuff at the top and a small red loop to hang it on the wall. I kind of wanted to make the cuff larger but my hands were tired and I wanted to take it to work Thursday, since I had a three day weekend.

Christmas Stocking

Here’s the finished product! To be honest I’m not totally in love with the way the toe looks. It’s kind of blocky, and if I had it to do over I might just make 7 squares, fold the bottom one in half, and make a shorter toe. It looks good on the wall, though, and everyone really likes it. And of course, it holds goodies quite well.

Summer Sunshine Afghan

As promised, here are some pictures of the first friendship swap I did! It was called the Summer Sunshine swap and the theme was all colors of yellow, no set pattern. Unlike the last two swaps I’ve done, I actually made the correct number of squares, which led to a square blanket.

Summer Sunshine 1

This one was a little different! We had 18 participants, so everyone got 2 squares from each other. Nowadays the group is a little smaller so we each get 4-5 squares from each other and usually still end up with about 36 squares each. Then you can overmake squares like I do, ha ha ha.

Summer Sunshine Border

Originally my border was going to be a sage green (that doesn’t photograph well), the same color as the joining. When I was a couple of rows around it, though, it was kind of boring so I added a butter yellow stripe that I think really made a difference.

Summer Sunshine 2

The finished blanket! Please ignore the clutter and my husband standing over at the edge, we still had kind of a mess from moving. Crocheting is a great way to de-stress when there is a living room full of boxes and bags in your living room, though! I highly recommend it.

So that’s the first friendship afghan I ever made! I’m very proud of it and you can bet I carried it around in a shopping bag with me for a while and showed it to everyone. Now it’s folded up in a project crate in my closet but if I come across a family member or friend who really likes yellow I might consider giving it to them. Maybe not, though. I’m kind of a project hoarder.

Polka Dotty

Oh my goodness you guys, this turned out so cute! 

 Here are all the squares lined up! There are twenty-five altogether, 13 of one color group and 12 of the other, and I’m glad I started with the purple/white instead of the white/purple. Not sure why but it felt right. They didn’t come out exactly square, which I was a little disappointed about since I worked exactly to the pattern, but I figured they’d straighten out when I joined them.

 I was right! Here they are all joined up. One of my Facebook friends said they look like eyes, then we agreed that they look like a record collection. I told my husband that it reminded me of turntables. A LOT of turntables.

  
Here’s the finished blanket! It ended up about 2 inches shorter than the pattern indicated because I crochet a little tightly. I usually go up a hook size but thought I’d go with the pattern this time. Oh well, it still came out cute and would look great over a baby.

  
Here’s a little detail of the edging. I wasn’t entirely in love with it, especially the slip stitching around the border, but it’s grown on me.

This is the first time I’ve ever used a pattern that I got for free at the store. Usually I just kind of walk past them and think “oh, that’s cute” and maybe even take one, but don’t actually do anything with them. This one was just too cute to pass up, though. There’s also an adorable one on the back of this skein of yarn I’m using, and I’ve got a LOT of extra purple and white baby yarn that I could use but I’m going to be working on the mystery project next, and I’ll be getting the finished Christmas squares sometime this month. Busy, busy, but at least I’ll have plenty to update on Crochet Mondays.

If you’d like to try this pattern for yourself, you can find it here. I might suggest you just buy two skeins of each color rather than the one-pounders but that’s just me. I have a whole lot of yarn left over.