Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Valentine Heart Dishcloth

I love holiday dishcloths and pot holders. It is a quick and easy way to decorate and quite practical. This is another pattern from Month by Month Dishcloths. While I'd like the heart to be a little rounder, I love the color blends and most especially the flower. I can see me using the flower for other projects as it is quite pretty and works up quickly and easily.

This was a gift, but I'm already getting another one on the hooks for my own house. I hope to have a selection of Valentine's dishcloths done before the holiday hits.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Sheep Dishcloth

This was the in the March section of Month by Month Dishcloths. I chose it to send as a gift on behalf of my Shelties who are herders but have no sheep of their own. This was a fun pattern, but I couldn't get the tail quite as twirly as I'd wanted.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Valentine Present Dishcloth

This is another dishcloth from Month by Month Dishcloths. It could be done in other colors for different gift needs. I'm thinking about making one in Christmas colors. I've already ordered the yarn to make one in Valentine's colors for our house as I've run out of pink variegated and I can't it locally.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Valentine's Hot Pad

I've subscribed to Crochet World since I learned to Crochet. When they sold the computer CD's of the magazine I bought them. So when I saw the Love to Cook pattern on e-pattern central here I did some research and realized it was originally published in February 2010's edition and I was able to download it from my CD instead of buying a pattern I already owned. I really need to use those CD's more. They are not as searchable as I'd like, but still easier than trying to search through years of print magazines.

This was a gift, but I would like one for our house. One change I think I will make is changing from the suggested H hook to a G hook. That's one of the reasons for making these posts is to record the things I'd do differently the next time because it's easy to forget. It's been a while since I've made Valentine items. I'm enjoying this year's projects.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Football Dishcloth

I picked up Month by Month Dishcloths a while back and only recently have dived into it to make some projects. With the Super Bowl approaching the first logical project seemed to be football dishcloth located in Novemeber's section. After making this for a gift, DH's wants one too, so I will have to get one done for our house before the Super Bowl. I suspect these might actually make some fun small gifts over the next year. There are a few football fans in the family.

Just a note to myself the pattern calls for an H hook but in order to get the ties to fit I needed a g hook for the white section. These is a Premier book, but I used Sugar 'n Creme for this dishcloth as it was available locally and time was a factor in finishing this one. I may try Premier Yarn to test the color at a later time.

This book is not available directly from Amazon. However at the time of writing it was still available at JoAnn's and Knit Picks. You can check your local stores as well.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Valentine's Bear

My Valentine's package for my cousin's little girl is finally complete! I should box it today and have DH mail it tomorrow.

This was a fun project and I was quite glad to find the free pattern here.

As always I like to keep track of the changes I make in case I end up making the pattern again. First to reduce the amount of sewing, I didn't fasten off the head and make the body separately. I continued crocheting the body directly to the head and liked the way it looked. I have had real trouble with hearts this holiday season so this heart is the first heart I actually made for the Valentine Lovey. It turned out to be too large for the bunny but was perfect for the bear. The pattern does come with its own heart pattern but you can find the free subsitute heart pattern I used here.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Library Fiber Groups in Massachusetts

When I talk to friends who knit and crochet they often talk about wanting a place to gather with others who share their interests. It can be hard to find a place. Some LYS stores offer groups but there can be a subtle pressure to buy while you are there. After all it's only fair they are offering you a place to work, they expect something in return. As someone who works almost exclusively in acrylic and cotton yarns I often feel uncomfortable pulling out my store brand yarns there, too.

Therefore I've been pleased to see local libraries following a trend of offering space for knitters, crocheters, and other fiber crafts to meet up and spend time with each other. The library spaces are free and they offer the chance to borrow and preview books of interest without the pressure to buy anything. These are the 3 library groups I've encountered in the area. Feel free to add any other Massachusetts library groups to the comment section and I'll be happy to add them.

Marlborough Public Library has started a new fiber arts group that meets the third Thursday 10-2 in the Bigelow Auditorium. Park at the library, on the street, or in the parking lot across from the street. Group is small and looking for new members.

New Ravelry group started here

Next meeting February 15 10-12

Hudson Public Library

First Monday of the month 6 PM

Framingham Public Library

Every Wednesday 10-11

2nd and 4th Saturday10-11 Main Library Homework Center

edited to add

Maynard first Wednesday of the month, 10:30-noon

My hope is that if libraries see an interest they will offer more times and flexibility in meeting times. Day hours aren't the easiest for most people. If it doesn't work for you, it is worth letting your library know you are interested and what hours/days would be a better fit for you than what is currently being offered. If they don't see an interest my fear is that this is an idea that will be replaced with something else.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

American Girl Grey Lady

I didn't get to this pattern last year, but it is one of my favorites. It works up quickly and has some cute accessories. The skirt and top are connected to form a single dress piece. The stitches used in the top create a lovely textured sweater look and the skirt is pleated. The link to purchase it at has switched since I posted about this pattern last. You can now buy it here.

Some notes for myself Bernat Super Value is my favorite grey. It isn't the cheapest worsted, but for what ever reason I love their grey. I love their other colors too, but I just prefer their grey above all others and can deal with Red Heart or Caron Pounders for everything else. I went on a purge to finish off all the grey in the house this year, so by next year I may need more, thus the note to self.

For my crazy gauge I need to use a G hook for the skirt and an H for the top. The panels for the poncho are sewn to each other. This should be obvious but I got distracted this year and sewed the big panel together thinking the other was joined at the end of that joining. No clear idea why this would be a thing and ended up making a new large panel. The big panel is sewed directly to the small panel. Sometimes I have to spell things out directly for myself.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Valentine Bunny Lovey

I've been continuing with my holiday packages for my relative's little girl. I wanted a Valentine Lovey and couldn't quite find what I wanted in one pattern, so like with the Santa Lovey I had to be a bit creative. The patterns are all free and available on Ravelry. The first pattern is the Bunny Lovey pattern and it is available here. I couldn't find a Valentine Lovey pattern with a heart so as I said I put one together. For what ever reason I had a block making a heart. I'm not sure what was not registering about how they were made, but I finally found a free pattern here that comes in 3 sizes and it clicked for me. Last the bow comes from a Hello Kitty pattern I've made frequently found here.

This is the second holiday lovey I've had to find a work around for so my reminder to myself is that it can be done with a little patience. DH purchased a St. Patrick's Day pattern for me and I think I have a free Easter pattern which just leaves me with something of a Patriotic nature to cover Memorial Day/July 4th and the year of holiday lovey's will be complete. Next year it will just be ami's I think unless she's lost some of them in her move. It's been a fun step outside my comfort zone. I've never tried anything like these before, but they've been fun.

Another plus to this project was it was a great way to use up yarn. The only "new" yarn was the white. I'd depleted my supply of basic Red Heart white. However, this let me use up the left over yarn from the baby doll carrier and several baby and 18" doll projects from last years donation. I love making projects that help me decrease my on hand stash rather than needing to buy more yarn.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Crochet Chicken Drumsticks

I've made crochet food on and off for the nieces, but a few years ago I participated in Crochetville's Olympic Challenge and made a bag full of crochet food for the toy donation. It was a huge hit. In fact I understand the staff couldn't stop assembling the amigurumi hamburger while the stuff was in the office waiting for the students to pick it all up. I've always told myself I'd get back to adding food to the donation, but this year, I couldn't resist the urge to start making some.

I've collected quite a few free patterns, paid patterns, books, and out of print leaflets over the years in my quest to come up with new things to make. However, for this project I returned to the one book I think is the most complete for toy food Tasty Crochet: A Pantry Full of Patterns for 33 Tasty Treats.This is one of my favorites because it has a broad range of foods to make and they easily adapt to cheap worsted weight yarn regardless of the yarns listed. I can make snacks, meals, and desserts all from the same book. It is a great place to start any food project while I assemble my other patterns.

As always I try to make notes to myself on my projects. I've a pile of yarn given to me by a friend when his Mom and sister passed and it has been a great blessing in completing my donation projects. However, one note to myself. This particular white worsted is stretchy which is often a plus with my doll clothes when they might be in need of a little give. However, stretch is not a plus in yarn when making amis. Regardless of my wish to finally finish off this yarn, I should not use it in any future food projects this year. It should be restricted only to clothes.

I loved the green beans. These were simple to make and a great way to add some veggies to the meal. They work up quickly and clearly can be switched between meals once the food is donated to the child. I've packaged it together just for storage/donation purposes. These are a great project to do when I need a project where I can't completely focus on the project. Something to think about when planning when to make these.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Cozy Post Stitch Doll Afghan

I'm not sure which Crochet Calendar this one came from, but this is another of Michelle Crean's doll patterns and you can purchase the set at Annie's here or her website here. I give you both because Annie's sometimes has sales or coupons, but then they put stuff on clearance and the links die. However, I suspect Michelle will be selling her own patterns for considerably longer. That gives you time to find it if you want it. I find it frustrating to find a write up about a pattern I love only to discover I can't find it so I do what I can to help.

This was a fun pattern to work on. I used up some Caron Simply Soft that I'd bought for a baby blanket project and then changed gears and didn't need so much yarn. It felt good to shop from my stash to finish up another project. I also liked going with the watermelon colors. I don't know why, but this color scheme seems to sneak into my doll donations every other year or so in some fashion or other. A few years ago it was the baby dolls as I attempted to use up some yarn that had been given to me.

So again for the pattern notes. The Caron Simply Soft worked fine for this pattern. It required an I hook to make the size I wanted. Lastly again just a note to help me remember what worked, mark first chain 2 and last hdc with marker for better stitch count. I had a hard time picking these out and thus was confused about getting an accurate stitch count. Once I started putting a saftey pin in these stitches I stopped having issues with my count as I knew where these stitches were located and life become easier.

I'm working on the Valentine Lovey at the moment along with the Gray Lady 18" doll outfit. The ami heart has proven to be the most challenging item for the lovey. I can't remember making one before that wasn't two sides sewn together. I did a quick search on the blog here and as I remembered I'd made some Valentine heart toys for my nephews a few years back, but that pattern had you make 2 sides and sew them together, not the traditional ami style that I was struggling with yesterday. I did however finish one, but it is likely going to be better for a larger toy I wanted to make and send. I'm almost done with the smaller heart that will go with the Bunny Valentine Lovey. I'm slowly getting there and I still have time. My drop dead mail date is the last day of January although I'd like to go sooner if possible. I still need to order the Board Books to send with it.

Edward's Crochet Doll Emporium: Flip the Mix-and-Match Patterns to Make and Dress Your Favourite People

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Baby Doll Carrier

The first doll carrier and blanket for the 2018 doll donation are done and I am so glad. I love the doll carriers and the pattern isn't challenging in general, but working the three strands of worsted weight yarn together is hard on my hands. Finishing a set is always a welcome time. For those of you interested in the doll carrier it is a free pattern found on Ravelry here. The blanket is another of Michelle Crean's doll blanket patterns found in Crochet 2018 Day-to-Day Calendar. This year's entry is called Diamond in the Sky and I rather liked it. Red Heart makes the blankets a little larger, but I like to give the child the option of wrapping the doll, which a shorter blanket doesn't allow.

Now for my notes to myself that I make so I can remember what I did that makes all of this stuff work. For the carrier I need 3 skeins of the same color Red Heart Super Saver Yarn. To make this a workable size for the donation doll start with an I hook for rounds 1-10 switching to a K hook at row 11 to end. This is strictly based on my funky gauge. The first time I made this I tried the K hook through out and almost had one big enough for a real child. Those of you reading should test your own to determine how to proceed. My notes are really for me to come back to should I lose the pattern I've written the notes on for next year. I'm trying to get better with my documentations because I have lost patterns and then have no recourse but to experiment again.

As for the blanket I had hoped to start with the yarn left over from the carrier, but situations being what they are hadn't finished with the carrier when I started with the blanket. However, for my purposes I need 2 skeins of Red Heart Super Saver for the blanket and an H hook I was able to use up the remains of the yarn from the 3 skeins I used for the carrier. I love it when I don't have tons of little balls of yarn left over from projects but instead can roll them into the next project. It does wonders for my yarn storage issues.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Christmas brought Crochet and other goodies

It is wonderful when your husband supports your hobby. This year was no different and I got some new cool stuff to work on for both my donations and my holiday project for my relatives baby girl.

First off was the annual Crochet 2018 Day-to-Day Calendar which I already completed a doll blanket from that I'll be posting about later this week. My one disappointment is they've reprinted items from previous calendars. I did get a new doll outfit from one of my favorite doll designers so that was a plus.

I love fairy tales sets and like to make the toys and send them with the corresponding book. I was thrilled with the Three Little Pigs Playset

I have some of Amy Gaines Christmas ornaments so when I saw she had fairy tale patterns Little Red Riding Hood made it to my Christmas list.

Cradle purses were not a great success for me, but I saw Annie's Bassinet Baby and thought this might be a cute addition to the doll donation that I could actually make work for me.

The baby doll donation dolls now can have some holiday outfits 15" Christmas Outfit and Valentine's Day

There is no longer a concern about what lovey to crochet for St. Patrick's Day as I also got the Leprechaun Lovey pattern, which I will be working on for the St. Patrick's day package.

In post Christmas shopping I found a gift for my niece's bday from Herrschnerrs and they had a great shipping deal if you met their minimum. They also had a set of my Bates Bamboo hooks B-N on sale at quite a good price. After finding they'd discontinued my Bates Bamboo thread hooks I decided having a complete back up set of the regular hooks to make shipping was not a bad idea.

I also went wild at Knit Picks 40% off book sale picking up several ami titles along with a dishcloth book. Again I am a sucker for free shipping.

Amigurumi Parent and Baby Animals: Crochet soft and snuggly moms and dads with the cutest babies!

Amigurumi Winter Wonderland: 15 Original Crochet Patterns

Baby's Buddy Amigurumi | Crochet | Leisure Arts (6853)

Cute Crocheted Animals: 10 Well-Dressed Friends to Make

Leisure Arts, Dishcloths

Edward's Crochet Doll Emporium: Flip the Mix-and-Match Patterns to Make and Dress Your Favourite People

I found this book after I'd made my Christmas wishlist so it seemed like a great time to pick it up during a great book sale. Literary Yarns: Crochet Projects Inspired by Classic Books

I'm hoping to make some great stuff with all these inspiring patterns.

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