Saturday, February 27, 2010

The New Yarn and the Crocheted Hexagon Granny Baby Jacket

Remember when I told you that I couldn’t stop making Hexagon Granny Baby Jackets? Well, last weekend, when I took them to show my sister Jackie, she said she wanted me to make one to fit her. Well, since I usually spoil my sister, I thought…Hey, that new yarn would probably look pretty neat in a jacket in her size. They have all the colors that she likes, and her request gave me an excuse to go and buy all the colors that they had. I started to make the hexagon and then decided that it needed a little contrasting color, so I picked up some of my leftover sock yarn and got to this point…

Start of Jackies Jacket

I got to thinking, man this is going to take forever to make an adult-size jacket from this small yarn. Then I thought, you know if the jacket looks cute in infant and toddler sizes, wouldn’t it look cute really small? That made me think, hmmmm…the only tiny thing that I could think of that was that small was Darla Dearlin. Remember the bear that I crocheted from the Summer Bear Free Friday Pattern? So I decided that Darla was going to be the recipient of the jacket.

Choosing a button

I was positive I could find just the right button for her jacket from this assortment, and I chose a little pinkish button. I think the jacket turned out pretty darned cute.

Darlas Jacket

What do you think? Sorry Jackie, cute and tiny won over adult-size jacket this time.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Free Pattern Friday: Floral Suncatchers Crochet Patterns

Suncatches Free Crochet Patterns

I chose these Floral Suncatchers crochet patterns today because I would just like to see the sun. I’m a little tired of the clouds and the wintry mix of moisture that has hit this winter. We’re expecting more snow in my neck of the woods. Oh well, only 6 more weeks! Maybe these Floral Suncatchers will finally get to catch some rays. Ha! Ha!

I used a size 10 steel crochet hook and size 10 thread, and my suncatchers still ended up being bigger than the pattern says they’re supposed to be.

Suncatcher 10 inches

My suncatchers ended up being 10"…

Suncatcher 12 inches

and 12" instead of 8" and 10".

I hope you have as much fun making these as I did.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Beaded Crochet Bag

My Crochet Beaded Bag

One of the polls here at Crochet Soiree asked the question, “Have you ever designed something with beads?” Well, that reminded me of this cute little bag that I designed with beads. I just made it up as I went along.

Bead Bag Handle

This bag hangs behind my bathroom door along with these pretty doilies. You know the kinds of things that are just tucked away. You look at them every day, but you don’t think too much about them until someone asks a question about them.

Tell me about some of the things that you’ve made with beads.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Yarn I Found

New Yarn

I can’t believe I found this yarn. It reminds me of the yarn I used to use when I first started crocheting. I just remember a fine yarn that had a sparkle or thin shiny thread running through it. I used to make baby sweaters, hats, and afghans out of the sparkly yarn. Does anyone else remember that yarn and what its name was? This new yarn calls for a size 1 steel hook, and that’s the size that I used to make my crocheted booties.

Baby Booties

One of the men that I work with saw the aqua bootie that I made and asked if I would be willing to make his brand-new granddaughter a pink pair. Of course, I couldn’t resist going and getting more yarn that evening and whipping this pair of booties up for his new granddaughter. Since I had forgotten to take a picture of them, he was kind enough to hold the booties so that I could take a quick photo. He was so cute and had to show everyone that came into his office those little pink booties.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Crochet Dude and His Hat Patterns

My Version of Cabled Tam

Look what I bought from the Crochet Soiree store. I have been looking for "The Crochet Dude" Drew Emborsky’s books ever since they came out, and I finally got around to ordering In All Caps. I’ve wanted to try one of his patterns for a long time and thought that the “Cabled Tam” would be easy and something I could finish quickly. I was right, and I chose some leftover yarn from the Granny Square Swap (Vanna’s Choice “Purple Print”). Of course, I ran out before I could complete the band, but I finished the band off with “Purple Mist”.

Cabled Tam on my Husband

I like how it looks and love how stretchy the fabric is with all of the cables and FPdcs and BPdcs. My husband was so kind to model it for the picture. I think it would work well for a man's hat, too. What do you think?

Earflap Hat Pattern

Have you all seen Drew’s never-before-published Earflap Hat instant download pattern here on Crochet Soiree? It looks like it would be fun to make, and you can purchase it right here and get started today. Those pom poms look like fun—especially since I have every size of pom pom maker, thanks to my friends and secret pal. I think this will be the next hat I’m going to crochet.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Preparations for Spring Market

My sister (Jackie) called me today and was telling me about the preparations for her trip to the International Quilt Market Spring 2010. She said that she was designing a new quilt pattern for her new line of fabric and would like my opinion on it and if it needed any crochet. Well, since I’m such a good sister, I stopped everything and went to her house.

Tiny Booth

She had to show me her tiny booth that our friend Stephanie had put together for her. I think my crocheted owls would feel right at home in her booth. What do you think?

Miniature Junk Bag

I mentioned in an earlier blog that Jackie’s newest pattern was the Junk Bag. Well, here’s the miniature version of the bag. Only Steph has the patience to make that tiny thing.

Now all Jackie has to do is recreate the tiny booth into her normal size booth, and it will be without her sister’s assistance this time. I will be staying back home to watch my little boy, Joshua, graduate from high school. Anyway, we had fun talking about her new quilt pattern and how she spent six hours playing in her tiny booth and laughing. Believe it or not, we decided that her quilt didn’t need any more crochet, except for a tree branch.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Free Pattern Friday: Pretty Purse Set Crochet Patterns

FF Pretty Purse Set Crochet Pattern

First of all, I want to tell you what a friend of mine asked me the other day. She asked, “Tamara, do you ever just sit down and crochet a whole pattern from start to finish without changing something?” And I said, “Yes I have, but sometimes my brain wants to do something different. And that’s what happened with these Free Pattern Friday Pretty Purse Set crochet patterns. I had every intention of following the pattern, but then I decided to use the left over sock yarn from my crocheted socks.

The glasses case came out too big, so I got to thinking that I really needed a hook case for my new wooden hooks, and I thought this crochet piece might be just the right size. Well, guess what. It was.

Crochet Piece Pink Sweater and Fabric

Then it was off to my fabric stash to find just the right piece of fabric for the inside. On the way there, this pink sweater caught my eye, and I thought it would give just the right padding the hook case would need. Then I thought this green fabric (recycled from a shirt that no longer fit) would look good for a flap.

Purse Pretty Button Loop

Then I decided to make a tab from the neckline of a felted sweater. Then I was off looking for a button.

Me Poking a hole in sweater

Me Crocheting Sweater and crochet Piecet

Then I decided to poke-a-hole-in the sweater and crochet all the way around it so that I could connect the sweater and the crocheted piece. Then back to the sewing machine to sew the fabric and crochet piece together. After sewing the button and tab on, I decided I needed to add 2 snaps.

Hook Case all Rolled Up

My friend Pam was right. I don’t normally stick with a pattern without adding my own touches of funkiness to them. Whew…now I think I need a nap. I can’t wait to see all of your “Pretty Purse Sets” as you all can probably stay on task better than me. Ha! Ha!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Organizing Project Sheets

I think I’ve mentioned before that I would like to get more organized. Well, my sister has always created a project sheet for all of the projects that she completes. So I thought maybe I should start doing that.

Yarn Strands

Well I did cut the yarn pieces that I used for each Hexagon Baby Jacket. Now, actually getting the yarns onto a piece of scrapbook paper (Heaven knows I have plenty), and then writing a little description about each one of them is another thing. I love to think about being organized, but I just want to move onto the next project. Ha! Ha!

Tell me about how you organize and keep track of the projects that you make.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow and Crochet Weather

View from my Back Door

This is the view from my back door. I don’t know about you all, but I’m already tired of the snow. Although it does help me stay in and want to crochet more on those big projects, especially afghans.

Ripple Afghan

I started another ripple afghan, and I’m making it out of Lion Brand Wool-Ease. I made my husband an afghan with a little bit of wool in it, and I find myself dragging it around with me during these cold nights that we’ve been having. Wool-Ease has some really pretty colors that I chose to use in this afghan for myself. I picked an olivey green, purple, fuschia, dusty turquoise, and of course, a dark brown that I added between each row of the colors. I like how it divides the colors and sort of makes them pop.

Tell me about what you’re working on when you can’t get outside.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hexagon Baby Jacket

First Jacket

About a year ago, the knitting community at my LYS started making an Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Baby Surprise Jacket. I thought it was very cute, but I didn’t want to make it because it was knitted. Then, my friend Pam brought this really cool crocheted Hexagon Baby Jacket to one of our guild meetings.

From This

To This

She showed us how when you fold the hexagon just right it makes a front and a sleeve and then you make two hexagons and sew them together with a back seam and two shoulder seams. Well I didn’t think too much about it until I saw Molly’s (one of the members here on Crochet Soiree) hexagon baby jacket. I thought hmmmm…I have some more yarn left over from the granny square swap, so I went and found some fun colors and started making the hexagon. I ran out of that yarn and decided to make a patchwork type hexagon square for the other side.

Second Jacket

The first one was so much fun I decided to make another one. The details are what take me so long. The fabric to reinforce the buttons, and, of course, a label, and don’t forget about the buttons. The second jacket that I made, I ended up crocheting around buttons to get the right color. That’s what is so fun about crochet. You can crochet over something like a button and make it a different color.

Patons Grace Jacket

Then, I thought wouldn’t this look cute in a smaller version, so I had to make one out of Patons Grace yarn. I think it turned out really cute, and I think this one going to go to our newest grandson who’s named after my dear husband, John. I have Molly to thank for inspiring me to try making this cute little Hexagon Baby jacket.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Random Act of Kindness

Act of Kindness Flowers

This is what I received yesterday at work. Rosina brought the bouquet back to me while I was crocheting on my lunch break. I was surprised as I usually am when I receive flowers. I thought to myself, John is a very thoughtful person and does buy me flowers sometimes, but when I read the card, it just said:


Then I kept looking for John’s name, but all I found inside was “Someone is Thinking of You”. I had been chosen as the lucky winner of our “Make Someone Smile” program at one of the local flower shops. And I looked up at Rosina and asked her, “Who would send this to me?” with a tear in my eye. And she smiled and said “Me!” Rosina got a big hug, and she made me smile and cry at the same time.

Tell me about your friends and what they do to make you smile.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Free Pattern Friday: Hot Pad Roundup Crochet Patterns

FF Hot Pad Roundup Crochet Pattern

I chose these crochet patterns for this Free Friday because I had some sugar ‘n cream yarn in my stash and thought these would be something fun to make. I was right. They were fun to make, so I decided to use all the yarn from the skein and make as many as I could. These were the Super Size skeins, and I made one hot pad, two pot holders, and one tiny pot holder that I’ll give to my granddaughter to use in her play kitchen or when she helps her momma in the kitchen. She’s such a big help, and these were so much fun, I went out and purchased more yarn to make more of them.

Hot Pad Roundup

Here's what I made. I think I will take the hot pad and two pot holders and give them to my guild for a door prize at our next meeting. I hope you like making them as much as I did.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Aunt Marthie’s Visit

My Mom and Aunt Marthie

I love this picture of my mom and her sister, Aunt Marthie. Last weekend, Aunt Marthie was here to visit, and they stopped by my house. I hadn’t seen my aunt for several years, and it’s always good to spend time her. She’s one of those aunts that you just love to be around, and she was always the fun one. When we would go and visit her, we would put jigsaw puzzles together, play the piano, go swimming, and whatever else the kids wanted to do.

She is always interested in what I’m doing and, of course, wanted to know what I had been working on. So I showed her a few things, and she confided in me that she always wanted to learn to read a crochet pattern. She also told me that she had learned to crochet from her sister-in-law who is left-handed. The things that my aunt crochets are things like very simple afghans, and I taught her how to make the baby booties that my family has been crocheting for about 50 years. Aunt Marthie told me that she has always wanted to crochet doilies but had never had anyone to teach her how to read a pattern.

Aunt Marthie and Bag of Goodies

Since Aunt Marthie was going to be here for a few days and hadn’t brought anything with her to work on, I decided to make her a little crochet care package of Teach a Group of Kids to Crochet by Kay Meadors, a ball of DMC Senso, hooks, and a bag to carry it all in.

I told her that the book had some easy patterns in it for her to follow and explains how to make the basic stitches and what all they are called. All she needs now is a pad of post it notes, and she should be good to go. I emailed her yesterday, and she said that she had taken the book out a couple of times, and she had gotten interrupted each time. But she said that she would let me know as soon as she dug into it. I wish she lived closer so that I could help her with reading patterns. She really is a fast learner and “Smart” (that’s the nickname that my mom named her when she was a child). Isn’t that cute?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cool Crocheted Basket

Cool Crocheted Basket

I’m not sure how I stumbled onto this pattern, but I did. I have been eyeing this Serenity Chunky yarn for quite some time, too. Anyway, I noticed the pattern was designed to use with this very yarn, and it’s from Deborah Norville's Collection. The crocheted basket pattern was designed by Vicki Blizzard, and since the yarn was on sale, I could justify buying it. Ha! Ha! The pattern called for two skeins of yarn, and since I wanted my basket to be a little taller, I decided to purchase three skeins. I love how fast the basket was to make, and the pattern is super easy. I think my granny squares look neat in it waiting for me to sew them together.

Variegated Crochet Flower

And I had just enough yarn to make a very large flower. It will go into the bag with all the other flowers that I intend on embellishing something with.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Valentine’s Day is Coming Soon!

Heart Doily

Do you remember when we were kids, and it was the week before Valentine’s Day? I remember going home and asking for a shoebox to take to school with me. Then, once you got to school with it, you would cover it with construction paper, cut out hearts and cupids, and glue them to your special mailbox. And we had to make sure we didn’t forget to cut a hole in the top of the shoebox lid. This must have been an early form of scrapbooking, don’t you think? Well, I’m sure if I could’ve crocheted back then, I would’ve made crocheted hearts and doilies with heart shapes in them for my box.

I found this pattern designed by Cylinda Mathews and couldn’t resist making it, and Crochet Soiree has a Circle of Love doily pattern that would be cool for Valentine’s Day, also. Tell me about the things you remember making for Valentine’s Day and if you do anything special now.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Weaving in Ends

Weaving Ends In

I just wanted to remind everyone that when you begin and finish off your crochet project, you should leave a tail of about 6" for weaving in. One of our KS My Stitch guild members asked me to talk about this. She had been given some squares to make an afghan, and someone had not left long enough tails to weave in. After she sewed the squares together and laundered it, guess what. It came apart at the places that didn’t have long enough tails for weaving. She wanted me to remind all of you that if you receive something that doesn’t have long enough tails to weave in, there is a product call Fray Check that works great for just this very thing. Now, I have to tell about how I learned the hard way about leaving longer tails. Here’s my story:

Back when I first learned to crochet, I didn’t know that you were supposed to leaves tails to weave in. I have made numerous doilies, afghans, tablecloths, etc., without leaving 6" tails. I didn’t even know there were books out there to tell you all about this. I had what I had inherited from my grandmother, and all those pattern books did was give you patterns with little explanation on how to make anything. Anyway, when I was first starting to make doilies, I received a subscription to Magic Crochet as a gift, and I loved that magazine. I would try and make everything in there before the next one would arrive. I would sometimes rip out projects just to make another one because I couldn’t afford to go and buy anymore crochet thread.

One issue of the magazine had a square tablecloth made in the filet stitch with butterfly designs on all four sides. I used bits and pieces of all the thread that I had, and I was so proud of it, and my neighbor decided she wanted to purchase it from me. At the time, our fence had blown over that ran between our yards, so I told her that I would trade her for our part of the fence. She agreed, and everyone was so happy. Until it came time to wash that tablecloth, and afterwards, she came over and said, “Look what happened to my tablecloth; it came apart in different places all over.” I took a look at it and saw that it came apart at all the joins of the new threads. I had to sew it back together for her with sewing thread. That was my hard lesson on not leaving tails to weave in. I always leave tails now.

I also found out from a friend of mine about the Clover Chibi needles that work great for yarn. They have a curve on the end that works perfectly for weaving your tails in. I never used to like to thread a needle and weave in ends, but now I don’t even mind with the Chibi needles. I hope my story helps someone not make the same mistake that I did. Happy weaving in ends!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Free Pattern Friday: Lacy Hearts Crochet Patterns

Lacy Hearts Crochet Pattern

Here's the crochet pattern I picked for today's Free Pattern Friday.

1234 Hearts

When I first saw these designs, I thought they would be a great projects to make for Valentine’s Day. I started out making the #2 heart and really had fun making it, and then I chose to do #4, then #1.

1 Heart

On the #1 heart, I was having trouble keeping my place, so I found my trusty post-it-notes, and when I used those, I was able to keep my place a lot better, so #1 was fun to make, too.


The last one that I chose to do was the #3 heart, wondering all along how in the world it would become a heart, but sure enough, as soon as you push your stitches together along the ribbon and tie the ribbon into a bow, voila it becomes a real heart.

I hope you have as much fun making these hearts as I did. Wouldn’t it be fun to make a chain of hearts and use it as a garland. Oops, another project to do. Ha! Ha!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rian and Joshua

Rian and Joshua Clown Around

Rian and Joshua have been friends for a couple of years now. They met last year when Rian was a freshman, and she started hanging out with the drama kids at school. They have a lot of fun hanging out together, and I love hearing them make fun of each other and watching how they clown around.

When Joshua finished crocheting the scarf that he made for Rian, he wanted to take it to her right away, and he did. But I made him take the camera so that he could get her reaction on film.

Rian Receiving Her Scarf From Joshua

I just love her reaction when she found out that he made it and not me. I think she likes it. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Farmhouse Crochet Book

Gooseberry Farmhouse Crochet Book

When I first saw this Gooseberry Patch Farmhouse Crochet book, I immediately thought of my friend Susie. She’s just a farmgirl at heart. The patterns inside are really neat…

Gooseberry Chair Cushion

and I can’t stop thinking about the chair cushion…

Gooseberry Patch Pillow

and the pillow.

I love the designs and the colors they’ve used. Plus there are 13 more designs that I haven’t even mentioned. Anyway, you can purchase your own book here on Crochet Soiree. I know my friend Susie is going to want this book as soon I show her mine.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cool New Crochet Books

108 Crochet Cluster Stitches

50 Fabulous Crochet Thread Motifs

I’ve been slowly but surely working on my granny squares from the swap I was in before Christmas. This has been fun and challenging at the same time. Anyway, it’s challenging because it’s a little monotonous doing the same thing over and over.

I keep looking at these two new books and wanting to break away from my squares to try out some of the cluster stitches from 108 Crochet Cluster Stitches by Darla Sims or one or two of the thread motifs from 50 Fabulous Crochet Thread Motifs by Jean Leinhauser. I keep telling myself, NO, not today, but there’s always tomorrow, right?