Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Baby Doll Carrier

After taking a break to let my hands heal up I tackled and finished the second doll carrier for the donation last week. Thanks to a thoughtful Fairy Godmother from Crochetville, I don't need to crochet a blanket for this set as she sent me one as part of our wishlist there. I am grateful as this has let me move on to other projects.

The doll carrier is a free pattern and you can find it here.

Now for my project notes. I fell in love with the color of the Big Twist yarn while at JoAnn's and thought it would be a nice break from working with the Caron Pounders or Red Heart. The yarn is softer and I liked the pale pink color. The softer should have been a sign I'd made the wrong choice. Softer is wonderful for MANY projects, but not the doll carriers, which are trying to create an almost basket to carry the dolls in by using 3 strands of yarn crocheted together. The yarn broke more than once and I've never had this happen with any other brand of acrylic I've used making the doll carriers. That to put it mildly was frustrating. So while I will continue to by Big Twist for other projects, I'm making a note to remind myself that no matter how tempting the colors are I must never buy it again to make the doll carriers.

I am thrilled that the doll carriers are finished for the year. I love the way these come out and next year am planning on sending an additional one to a family member so that will be three in a year, but I never ever find myself sad when I'm done making them as they are extremely tough on the hands and wrists. Three strands is just nasty.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Flower Power Scrubby

As I mentioned in a previous post a friend is collecting kitchen items for her donation project and I thought it would be fun to experiment with projects.

This was another free scrubby pattern I found here. If you haven't worked with plastic scrubby's before and like video tutorials Lily has a great one here. I found both patterns worked better for me when I understood the basics of setting up the foundation row. If this isn't a problem for you than by all means proceed on with your project.

Two notes with this pattern. First is a simple typing mistake that lists (2) round 3's. This is simply fixed by completing all the rounds. Second was pointed out by the author of the pattern. My scrubbies didn't quite fit the pattern she created. I tried increasing the size of my hook but at a certain point gaps appeared making the appearance look bad. I didn't want to change to dc as I felt hdc would likely last longer for the type of job being handled. So I simply followed the pattern adding an additional row with additional stitches in the row. It made it a bit more challenging when it came to joining it in that 36 stitches tends to be the standard joining to a scrubby, but I made it work and the additional leaves didn't seem to be an issue either. I liked the way it turned out for my project.

I don't use plastic scrubbies much these days as I found the free Spiral Scrubbie pattern here. This has been my go to pot scrubber and all around general cleaner for some time now. However, what I liked about the Flower Power Scrubby was I suppose a plus and a negative. On the plus size I liked that it gave me a place where you can hold it and scrub without the abrasive portion of the scrubby attacking your hand. On the down side you only can use one side of the scrubby. Once sewn in you only get to use the outward side. Once it is worn down, it is done. Then again I use my crochet goods. I'm not some of these aren't just for decorative purposes.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Scrubby Posey

A friend has asked for kitchen items for her donation project and so I've been having fun experimenting with projects I don't normally try for myself. I was looking for projects I could make while watching the Olympics so it had to be something that I could do that didn't require maximum focus and I came across patterns made with plastic scrubbies. While I was out picking up kitchen cotton for another project, I also made sure I picked up a package of scrubbies to see if I could even work with them successfully.

This is a free pattern available from Lily here. If you've never crocheted with the plastic scrubbies before, the Lily site has a video tutorial on the same page as the pattern that I found rather helpful in explaining how to get your hook through the mesh and how to get the first row established evenly. I had concerns about ripping the mesh, but the video gave some good tips not just for the foundation row, but works through the whole pattern with you.

This is a great scrap project to finish off cotton left over from other projects. These work up quickly and are great for little gifts or for craft fundraisers.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Little Baker Set

My thanks for today go out to Melissa Mall at Inner Child Crochet for her free pattern for this set which you can find here.

I've been looking for small projects to do while watching the Olympics that can be completed while still getting to see most of the events and getting some of the items on my to do list for gifts and donations completed, too. This was Tuesday night's project. Why pink?

Well I was in a hurry as the skating feed was beginning and I was unclear about how much yarn I needed and I knew I had 2 skeins of pink kitchen cotton in case I needed more than the one skein I thought I'd read I needed. I'm always paranoid about running out of yarn. Pink was the only color close to hand as the deadline approached so pink is the kitchen color this year I guess. Another item ready for the toy drive. I seem to be in kitchen mode at the moment. I will get back to the dolls eventually. I've got a doll carrier almost finished. Then I need to pick a doll clothing pattern once the Olympics is over. It's too hard to crochet and try doll clothes on to make sure they fit while watching sporting events.

Until then I'm thinking Easter Eggs wouldn't be a bad Olympic viewing project. I need to get about a dozen of those finished and they are a great scrap project, too. We will see what works for me.

Note to self, I did follow the directions for joining each round on the mitts. I'm thinking I might experiment with one the next time where I don't and see how it all works out. The don't always leave a great look.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Thankful Thursday: Crochet Hamburger and Fries

Once again I am thankful for thoughtful members of Crochetville who continue to support Aztec wishes Holiday Toy Drive. Saturday I received a package from another Crochetville Fairy Godmother with a hamburger with lots of condiments and fries. She also sent a beautiful granny square doll blanket for the toy drive.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

St. Patrick's Day Bear

This is the first project in a while that I really wanted to keep. I fell in love with this little fellow. However, he will be making his way to his new home after his new owner gets into her new home.

I found this free pattern here while searching for a bear pattern for this project. I was going to purchase this one here as it comes as a complete set, but when I started this project it hadn't been released as a single pattern. It was only available as a set and I didn't want the rest of the patterns in the set. Perhaps it will work for next year if I'm still doing these. Then again he's cute enough I might want one of each of these for my house.

Now for my notes, I started doing this project in worsted weight acrylic yarn and even with a smaller hook the bear was huge. For my house it might make a cool decoration. For the child it is going to it would have been a monster. So, I used Knit Picks cotton sport weight yarn I had left over from making the Christmas bib and the yarn I'd hoped to make a St. Patrick's day bib with to make the toy. I believe there is a mix of the Cotton Sports comfort and shine.

The hat came from two other free patterns as clearly the bear pattern was just the cute bear and his shorts. The hat can be found here. The buckles can be found at the same designer different article here. The biggest change was hook size to get it to match my bear's head, but you will have to adjust to fit it to your bear as needed.

An additional note about the pants these are constructed making the pant legs first and connecting them to form the pants. You will want to make sure the legs fit over the bears legs before continuing. After crocheting tightly making the ami, my stitches were too tight making the first leg and the pant leg would not fit over the bears leg. I had to make a second one watching myself to ensure I did not crochet too tightly. The second two worked fine. I generally prefer to work from the waist down and split the crotch making the legs that way, however with the stripes it worked better using this method. The shorts really were adorable. The light green had been used on some Christmas projects and was left over. I had just enough to finish the shorts without digging into another skein.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Annie's Released Down on the Farm as an e-Pattern

Back in 2010 I picked up this pattern from a used pattern site and found out it was rare and hard to find a copy. People have asked me about my posts about it over the years but I don't violate copy rights to patterns to send out copies of stuff. The good news is Annie's is starting to recognize the value of their old patterns and is starting to release some of their older patterns that are incredibly hard to find as e-patterns. I came across this pattern while trying to link to another blog. I just had to post to let people who have wanted this pattern know it is now in reach and without the crazy second hand price costs for original print patterns. I love the old Annie's patterns, but not for the collectible value of them, but for the patterns that I want to make. Hopefully, they will continue to release more of what's in the vault.

It's funny because this is on my list of patterns for the same child that has been getting the holiday packages. It made me so glad to think others can enjoy it too.

Now for the link.You can find the pattern here.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Springtime Patriotic Potholder

My husband purchased Scrap Potholders and Mats for me at Maggie's Crochet here. This has always been on my list of patterns to attack, but after working on the thread for the Texas Rose potholder I decided it would be fun to try working on a thread potholder.

I love this pattern. I used the magic circle for my potholder and it worked well. The only downside is at one point I tightened it too much and it did effect the look of the pattern. I'd work on that when I make this again. The big change I made was making bigger color wedges. I liked the outcome of this change. First I like bolder color stripes. Second it reduced the amount of ends needed to sew in at the end of the project.

This pattern used up some of my size 10 thread and has made me even more grateful for my Bates Bamboo thread hooks. I'm hoping to make one of these to donate for a kitchen charity basket.

This potholder will be on its way to a new home soon. The St. Patrick's Day bear is coming along and I'm hoping to have him finished soon.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Square Doll Blanket

Another Crochetville Fairy Godmother has come through with a doll blanket for my doll donation project.

I love the color and softness of this yarn. There are going to be some warm and comfy dolls this Christmas.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thankful Thursday: Valentine's Brought Crochet

My very thoughtful husband did some very traditional romantic gestures like flowers for Valentine's Day, but he also never forgets my love of crochet. I found Snuggle and Play Crochet: 40 Amigurumi Patterns for Lovey Security Blankets and Matching Toys had been sent to me as a Kindle book. I'm finding I'm experimenting more with using patterns off my Kindle. I still find it easier to use paper patterns, but sometimes the e-book version is just easier to access.

I also did get some traditional e-patterns all printed out for me to add to my donation project. I've wanted Michelle Cream's Annablelle's Doll Afghans after having lost one of the calander patterns from the set that has been one of my go to patterns. The set includes all of my regular patterns and additional blankets and pillows I can add for my projects. You can find the pattern at Michelle's site here or its currently on sale at Annie's here. I give you both because while Annie's was my source, it has been known to retire patterns.

To work on the play food donations I got two patterns from CrochetnPlayDesigns Pancakes, Waffles, and Syrup & Turkey Dinner. From KTB Designs I got the Canister set. Now I just need to get through my wishlist and holiday projects so I can get back to the donation project.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Leprechaun Lovey

I received a lovely thank you note from the family these packages have been going to and discovered that the lovey's and the books have been the big hits of the package. With that I bring you the next holiday lovey for St. Patrick's day. DH picked up this pattern for me for Christmas. You can purchase the pattern here.

For those of you interested this pattern does come with arms. I just didn't make them. After attaching the head, I thought it would be awkward the way I'd sewn it on to add arms. I think the arms are adorable, just not right for this time around.

The two big challenges I had in making this is my hands still weren't recovered from the baby doll carrier when I started it and they were sore working on the ami head. The second was the beard. I've always had trouble with hair. I got through this but it is a reason I prefer animal ami's to human or human like characters. The hair is a challenge. Another more minor challenge was one of the ami eye backings decided to be difficult and I had more hand trouble which I really didn't need.

All and all I think he's an adorable addition to the St. Patrick's Day package. I think if I were to do this again I'd make the blanket, keep the hat, and create a St. Patrick's themed animal blankie for the occasion. Some day I will find my solution to hair, but right now it eludes me.

Still working on my Crochetville wishlist items. I also have to get the rest of this project done as well in order to get it out before the deadline. My yarn arrived for the baby bib so I'm thinking of taking that to the Library fiber day today. I've also got to think about the graduation afghan and returning to the doll and food donation projects. They all get done some how.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Granny Doll Blanet

Another thoughtful girt from a Crochetville Fairy Godmother. This blanket is for my doll donation project. I love granny squares, but I never have the patience to make them all the same size and then to assemble them all together.

The high school students can add another state to the states and countries that have donated to their project.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Yellow Rose of Texas Potholder

I found the Yellow Rose of Texas in the out of print leaflet Annie's Showcase of Needlecraft Number 2 Potholder Potpourri.

I've been collecting old Annie's Attic and other out of print crochet pattern books for years. When I set out to make dishcloths and potholders to answer some of Crochetville's wishlist requests I pulled out various books and leaflets I had to give myself some options. I like trying new things when I do something like this and this has been a fun journey. One of the great benefits of this project for me is I've organized my printed patterns and some of the smaller leaflets into it's own binder since I've been using them more frequently. The holiday ones are still in their holiday binder as I still tend to look for holiday projects under the specific holiday and think oh yeah I can make this for Thanksgiving, etc.

The trim for this potholder called for thread and in general I've avoided using thread as I've not found it easy to use. However, after working on the trim I was inspired to pull out my thread and work on a thread potholder. It might have something to do with having lost and rediscovered my thread Bates Bamboo hooks and realizing I can't replace them. I've felt quite grateful to have found them, especially knowing I can't replace them.

This was a fun pattern, easy to work up and no major challenges. I did start the leaves on the wrong side after misreading the directions, but it was quickly resolved. I will likely make one of these for my own kitchen at some point as I really fell in love with the pattern. I'm working on the second potholder that will go out with this package, my first thread potholder.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Crochet Butterfly Magnet

I've been writing quite a bit about Crochetville's wish list and Tuesday a present from a Texas Fairy Godmother arrived at my door. This beautiful crochet butterfly magnet came with a beautiful card (how she knew I loved teddy bears I don't know) and an incredibly thoughtful hand written note. It is amazing how our thoughtful gestures do brighten the days of those around us.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Cat Pot Holder

As I mentioned in previous posts I've been working on answering wishes for Crochetville's wish list. One had a cat theme and since I decided to work on sending out some dishcloths and pot holders my goal has been finding patterns to match. I actually found the pot holder before the dishcloth, but I started on the dishcloth first.

I always like to thank the designers that offer their patterns up for us to use for free. This Fat Tabby Pot Holder Can be found at The Blue Crab Stitches at Midnight here. The directions were easy to follow and I made the only mistake in making the pot holder a row short. Having done all the detail on the face and sewn it all together, I wasn't going to start over. Thus, my cat is slightly smaller than it should be if I'd followed the directions.

The only changes I made were functional. I like dishcloths and potholders you can use. This pattern does use cotton, but it has decorative items that make the pot holder decorative not functional. I changed the eyes and the nose. For the eyes I merely did a magic circle with 6 sc inside. I then put black french knots inside the eyes to give them some definition. For the nose I chained seven and crocheted all around the chain to slip stitching into the first stitch at the end to create the nose. These notes aren't formal because they are written for me to use if I ever am called to create another cat pot holder and can't remember what I did. They are not designed as formal pattern notes.

I've begun work on the St. Patrick's Day holiday box. I'm also continuing with my wish list projects. I've got a few more to knock off and then it's back to doll donation work. The dishcloth project has been giving my hands a bit of a rest.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Easter Pot Holder

I've been very blessed to have been part of the Crochetville community for many years now. We've had a wishlist traditon there since long before my arrival. It had fallen off for a while but recently been revived. We call those who bless us with gifts Fairy Godmothers. Mine sent me the Easter Egg Chick Potholder. In return, I sent her the pot holder for her home.

I'd been gifted the actual pot holders made from patterns by this designer, but this was my first attempt at one and after making this I am going to be looking at picking up some of the other holiday patterns. They are fun to make and having the other ones in my kitchen, I know they really do make my kitchen feel more in the holiday spirit year round as I dig out the appropriate matching pot holder.

I've been struggling with some hand and wrist problems since I started working on the second baby doll carrier which is almost finished so the color changes on this were slightly more challenging than I'd normally have experienced. I'd probably have waited to try it, but I really wanted it ready to send off as a part of a wishlist package.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Kitty Dishcloth

One way to revive something is to participate. The Crochetville wish list has always been one of my favorite social activities there, but in recent years it has fallen off. I've answered a number of shopping requests over the years, but this round I decided it was time to make some small items and send them out into the world to see if it brings back some connections to our community.

One way to do that is to look for clues on the wish lists. One mentioned a love of cats and since my project goal is dishcloths and pot holders I went looking for a pattern that met that theme. I found the pot holder pretty quickly and will be posting my finished product soon. The dishcloth proved more elusive. However, I came across Michele Wilcox's Kitty Dishcloth in the out of print Big Book of Scrap Crochet Projects that I'd picked up while shopping at one of my favorite used book sites.

I did make a couple of changes to the original pattern. I used off white instead of the camel used in the pattern because I am determined to use up some of my cotton stash and camel is just not a frequent color I buy. I also gave the cat a pink nose. The black seemed a little harsh.

I like the way this pattern came out and I'm looking forward to making several other of the dishcloth/potholder patterns I originally purchased this book to find.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Hexagon Dishcloth

This is one of my favorite dishcloth patterns. It is both pretty and practical. It is a great scrubbing dishcloth and it can double as a hot pad due to it's extra thickness. Learn-a-Stitch Crochet Dishcloths is out of print but Annie's e-pattern central is bringing some of their favorites back as e-books so as of the writing of this blog you can find it here.

This dishcloth is going out as part of Crochetville's wishlist. I mentioned I'd be making more football's from Month to Month Dishcloths and sure enough this one is headed out in the same package.

I've been getting quite a bit of use out of that book recently.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Circle Pot Holder

I bought my first non-Kindle e-book, The Big Book of Dischloths, Potholders and Scrubbies from e-pattern central here after seeing this pattern offered as a single pattern. I liked this pattern and realized there were several other patterns I liked all from the same book. The e-book was on-sale, the print book out of print and rather costly from second hand sites.

Note to myself I increased the hook size to I to make this bigger. Using the suggested hook I ended up with a pot holder about the size of a coaster. Increasing it to an I hook gave me the size I wanted. This was a gift, but at some point I will be making one for our house so these notes are important.

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