Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday, 3/31/10 Crochet-A-Long (CAL)

Crochet A Long Flower Scarf
I would like to invite anyone who wants to participate to join us here at Crochet Soiree for a Crochet-A-Long (CAL). The pattern we will be using is my free Flower Scarf crochet pattern. I used a cotton/acrylic blend yarn to make my scarf, and it seems to drape really nicely, but you can use whatever yarn you want to. I can’t wait to see all the different yarns that you all use.

Our Flower Scarf Crochet-A-Long Challenge will begin on April 5th and run through April 30. Everyone who completes the CAL and submits an image of their final scarf will be entered in a random drawing for a variety of prizes including books from Leisure Arts, a set of crochet hooks, and a special doily crocheted by ME! Just click here so Doug at Crochet Soiree can tell you exactly how to enter.

The pattern is very fast and easy, so good luck to all of you, and I hope you like making the flower scarf as much as I have designing it and presenting it to you.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday, 3/29/10 My Inga Bag Finished

Guess what? I finally got the finishing touches done on my Inga Bag.

Crocheted Buttons

I decided to crochet around some large buttons and then place them in the center of each one of the 16 squares.

My Inga Bag Finished

I think the yellow centers make the other colors just pop, and besides that, they give the purse some dimension, too. It feels so good to get some of my projects completed even if it took a couple of years to do it. Ha! Ha!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday, 3/27/10 Something Cool for Steph and CrochetWear


This year, my friend Stephanie volunteered to be our Secretary/Treasurer for the KS My Stitch Crochet Guild, and it has been lots of fun having her on board. She’s so easy going and friendly. She also just learned to crochet a couple of years ago and loves to do freeform crochet. The thing that I love about her is she thinks outside of the box, and she always has some really cool ideas.

When I found this new book, CrochetWear here on Crochet Soiree, and I fell in love with the shawl on the cover of the book, so I was showing Steph the book, and she really fell in love with…


…one of the shrugs in the book called Hex On. Well, I just so happened to have purchased one of the new cottons that my LYS owner had gotten in and thought maybe I would make Steph this little shrug. Here’s a picture of the first hexagon—ssshhh, don’t tell Steph. I can’t wait to finish it and find just the right buttons to go on the front. I’ll make sure I show you her face when she gets her shrug, and I hope it will make her smile.

Thanks Steph for all you do!

Friday, March 26, 2010

3/26/10 Free Pattern Friday: Pincushion Bonnet Crochet Pattern

Pincushion Bonnet Free Crochet Pattern

I chose this cute Pincushion Bonnet crochet pattern for today’s Free Pattern Friday because I don’t think you can ever have too many pincushions. I think you should decorate each room with at least one. You never know when you will need a pin or needle.

Anyway, when I started the pincushion, I started thinking about what I could put inside for the stuffing. I’ve been felting some wool sweaters lately and remembered that one of them felted really tight, and I thought that it should work really well for the inside of a pincushion.

Then, I started thinking about a quilt that I bought at a garage sale a while back. It was coming apart on the back, and I could clearly see that there was something other than batting on the inside. Much to my surprise, it was another quilt inside. I later found out that a long time ago when times were hard, quilters would use other things inside for batting, maybe another quilt that was starting to wear out or whatever they had on hand. Well, this quilter had placed a hand-stitched Lone Star quilt inside the other quilt. Unfortunately, the quilt was so worn out that I couldn’t salvage any of it, but it was fun finding it. I know you’re wondering what this has to do with a pincushion. Well, I’m going to tell you.

Lid from plastic ware

The quilt inside a quilt inspired me. I decided for my pincushion that I would make a cute little pincushion inside of another pincushion. The one inside would be made from two round pieces of a felted sweater and some of its ribbing. I used a round plastic lid and made circles for the top and bottom…

Bonnet Poked a Hole In Them

…then I poked-a-hole in them and crocheted around the circles. Then I cut a strip of ribbing and crocheted on each long edge, then crocheted the top to the ribbing, then crocheted the bottom to the ribbing, but before I sealed it up, I stuffed some yarn clippings inside and crocheted the opening up.

Pincushion Inside

I placed the felted pincushion inside the crocheted pincushion. It was almost too cute to hide away inside, but I think whoever ends up with my pincushion in 100 years will be very surprised to find such a special little treasure inside. What do you think?

My Version of Pincushion Bonnet

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday, 3/25/10 My Crocheted Camera Case

Crocheted Camera Case

Look what I finally came up with for my camera case. I knew it was just a matter of getting out the rotary cutter, mat, and ruler to cut three-inch squares of felted sweaters, but that just takes me a long time to make up my mind to do. I love how making something new is so exciting that you don’t want to put it down until it’s done. That’s the way this project was going one morning this week. Of course, I did have to stop and go to work and then think about it all day until I got home and finally got back to it. After I cut the three-inch squares…

Camera Case Poke-a-hole-in-it

…I poked-a-hole in each piece and crocheted all around them. Then, I crocheted the pieces together and cut another piece for the bottom and both ends and crocheted around the edge of them and crocheted them together. Then, I crocheted all the way around the top of bag and made an opening on the next to the last row to run a drawstring through to draw the bag closed. Then, of course, it needed a little flower for embellishment. I am also going to line it with some fabric cut from a skirt. I’ll make sure I show you the finished bag as soon as I get the rotary cutter out again. Ha! Ha!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday, 3/23/10 Another Distraction From My Crochet Project

Amigurumi Book

I got sidetracked again the other day. Joshua has been trying to talk me into making some of his friends some crocheted animals for their graduation presents. Well, I was a little bored with the afghan that I’ve been making, so it wasn’t hard for me to pick up the Kyuuto Japanese Crafts Amigurumi book and find…

Citron Puppy

…this cute little Citron Puppy. Crocheting the different parts was fun, fast, and easy. The part that always takes me the longest is stuffing and sewing the pieces together. I decided I wanted to finish the puppy and give it to Joshua for his opening night at the All City Play—Footloose instead of flowers. I named the dog Drama Dog and told Joshua that he could will the dog to the Drama Department at his high school.

Drama Dog Joshua and Megan

I’m not sure what he’ll do with Drama Dog. Sometimes Joshua thinks I’m not so cool, but this night, I was kind of cool and weird at the same time. But he loves me anyway because he has to. Ha! Ha!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday, 3/22/2010 Flower Scarf Update

Oops...We're so sorry!!! If you've read the comments on the 3/19 Free Pattern Friday: Flower Scarf crochet pattern entry, you've discovered that we made a couple of boo-boos in the pattern. To make my scarf, you'll need 4 balls of 1-3/4 oz. per ball medium weight yarn not 4 balls of 3/4 oz. per ball medium weight yarn, and Row 1 will result in 20 dc not 22 dc. If you printed your pattern before around 9:00 a.m. central time this morning, you need to pencil in these corrections! The corrected pattern is available now. Sorry again!

Monday, 3/22/10 Finished Adult-Sized Hexagon Jacket

Adult Sized Hexagon Jacket

I know you are probably getting sick of hearing about the Hexagon Jacket, but I can’t believe how easy they are to crochet. When my sister Jackie said that she wanted one for herself, I set out to make her one. (Remember the first one that I attempted ended up being a tiny bear’s sweater.) Well, I decided to bump up the yarn size and make it easier on myself. I wanted to create something that she would like and use her colors. So I chose some Vanna’s Choice yarn and some other acrylic yarn that I had that went with the color scheme. I’m hoping that Jackie will want to wear this to the International Spring Quilt Market being held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May. Since I won’t be able to go with her, she can take this jacket and think of her sister back at home.

Hex Jacket Love the Edging

As I was finishing the jacket, I was so excited to see the end that I decided to make a completely different edging around the sleeves and the bottom of the jacket. I really like the way it looks, and I hope Jackie will like it, too.

Hex Jacket Love the Button

I’ve been waiting for just the right project to use this big button on, and I think I found it. What do you think? Although, after I got the jacket done and started taking pictures of it, I’m not sure if it’s even going to fit her, and it looks really blocky. But Jackie has a way of making even a gunny sack look good, so I’m hoping she can pull this one off, too. Ha! Ha!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday, 3/20/10 Joshua and His Third Crochet Project

Joshua and His Third Project

Ok. I think I’ve hooked another one. What do you think? Joshua started his third project with some of the left over yarn from my Granny Square Swap. He wasn’t quite satisfied with the small choice of colors that were left and asked politely if I could get him some more Vanna’s Choice in more of a variety of colors. Since I’m such a nice mom, I went right to the store the next evening and picked him up ten different colors and some black for the borders.

Quick and Easy Afghan

He chose a pattern from Farmhouse Crochet called Quick and Easy Afghan. He has also taken over the basket that I crocheted. He puts his yarn and hook case in it and tucks it under his arm and carries it from room to room or just simply sits beside me on the couch. I’m really enjoying watching him and answering his questions along the way.

Picture of his Strips

I can’t wait until he starts the borders around each strip. I can’t believe how fast he is already, and he’s accurate, too. He’s already on the fourth strip of six that the pattern calls for. Tomorrow will week two. But remember, he did tell me he’s a natural. Ha! Ha!

Friday, March 19, 2010

3/19/2010 Free Pattern Friday: Flower Scarf Crochet Pattern

Flower Scarf Crochet Pattern
For this Friday’s free crochet pattern, I would like to share one of my own designs with everyone. This Flower Scarf is really a fun and easy pattern, and I hope you all have as much fun making it for yourself or for a gift as I did designing it.

Wouldn’t this be a fun design for a crochet-a-long? It would be quick to make, and the weather’s still cool enough for a light-weight scarf—especially one that celebrates spring flowers!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday, 3/18/10 Mary Engelbreit and Crochet

Mary Engelbreit Goodies and Hearts

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a real big fan of Mary Engelbreit. I was at Michaels the other day, and they had a bin full of writing journals, blank note cards with envelopes, and little packages of Kleenexes with her illustrations on them. Since I needed some writing journals, I thought it would be fun to have hers, and you can never have enough blank note cards with Mary’s cute drawings. I love how my crocheted hearts look with Mary’s stuff.

What do you think?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday, 3/16/10 Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Tomorrow’s St. Patrick’s Day! Have you got your green ready to go? I don’t usually do anything special for St. Patrick’s Day, but maybe it’s because I’m not Irish? I’m not sure, but I always try to wear something green on St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t you remember going to school, and if you didn’t have green on, someone would always pinch you? I feel like someone will still do that if I don’t wear green even now. I guess I could use the crocheted shamrock that some of our guild members made last year…


…but it looks like I would have to finish it in order to wear it. Ha! Ha! Oh well, I think I have a green jacket that I could wear until I get my crocheted shamrock finished.

Tell me if you do anything special on St. Patrick’s Day.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday, 3/15/10 Hands and Some Faces at Twist

Me and Shelly Faces

I know this isn’t hands, but I couldn’t resist having Shelly take our picture as we were hugging. At our last crochet guild meeting, we learned to make a little sock. For a follow up to our program, Pam decided to do a crochet-along the next two Saturdays for the guild members that wanted some help completing socks. Well, I decided to join in on the fun, and once I got there and had wound my two balls of sock yarn, I decided not to make socks. I couldn’t help but get my camera out and start taking pictures. Most people know that when I’m around, my camera is not far from me, and I can at any given moment bring it out and start taking pictures. This day, I was intrigued by everyone’s hands.

Crocheting Hands One

Crocheting Hands Two

Crocheting Hands Three

Crocheting Hands Four

Crocheting Hands Five

Crocheting Hands Six

Crocheting Hands Seven

Crocheting Hands Eight

I love looking at the different way crocheters holds their yarn and hooks. I also enjoyed just being with my friends and watching their hands. If you look close enough, each one tells a story all its own.

Cutest Crochet Vest

Mimi was working very hard with her hands, too, but I couldn’t resist snapping this picture of her in that really cute crocheted vest.

Does anyone else out there like to watch hands at work like I do?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday, 3/13/10 Just A Little Poke-A-Hole-In-It Explanation

Poke-a-hole-in-it Sweater

When I was telling you about cutting sweaters and poking holes in them and then crocheting around them, I was talking about manufactured sweaters—not hand knitted sweaters. I have found with most manufactured sweaters (those that are machine woven), you can actually just cut them and crochet right on the edges without them fraying much (you might find a few tufts of fiber come out, but after a few washings, they stop). I tried zigzagging the edges, and it only stretches the fabric and makes the edges all wavy.

I cut the front out of one sweater (I poked-a-hole-in-it and crocheted all around the opening). Then, I used the sweater pieces for patterns and laid them down on the crocheted motifs and cut the crocheted fabric; then, I took the crocheted pieces to the sewing machine and zigzagged all around them. Then, I crocheted around the crocheted pieces (to make them straight). And finally, I crocheted the two pieces together. That was about 5 years ago, and that design is still holding up after many washes. I have also cut the cuffs and bands off of quite a few sweaters and added edgings to the bottom of the sleeves and the edges of the waists, and all of them are still holding up.

Adding Rows

This is a picture of one of the sweaters that I added lots of rows of different colors and edging to in order to make the sleeves longer. I like it because edging can jazz the sweaters up just a little or a lot depending on how many rows of edging you add. That’s what is so fun about adding crochet to sweaters.

Friday, March 12, 2010

3/12/10 Free Pattern Friday: Hot Pad Pizzazz Crochet Pattern

Hot Pad Pizzazz Free Crochet Pattern

I was so excited when I saw this Free Friday Crochet Pattern—Hot Pad Pizzazz. I met the designer of this pattern here in Wichita at the LYS Twist. She’s a frequent customer there, and I met her almost two years ago. Shelly introduced me to her, and we started talking about how she had recently moved to Wichita with her husband’s work. I asked her what she was working on (like I ask everyone else), and she said that she was editing a pattern for Leisure Arts. She explained that she had worked for them while living in Little Rock and still did some freelance editing for them. This was even before I started blogging for Crochet Soiree. I could hardly wait to try Joan’s patterns out.

Hot Pad Pizzazz My versions

Here’s my version of Joan’s Hot Pad Pizzazz, and I loved how easy the patterns were to follow—and they were fast, too. Thank you, Joan Beebe, and hopefully, I will bump into you sometime real soon.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday, 3/11/10 March is National Crochet Month

National Crochet Month

Well, here it is—March. Did everyone know that March is designated as National Crochet Month? I’m not sure which year they did this, but if anyone knows, feel free to tell me. What a fun thing to do. I’ve thought about things that I could do in the month of March to celebrate National Crochet Month, but it seems like I already do a lot of them.

1. I promote the National Crochet Guild everywhere I go.
2. Promote Crochet Soiree.
3. I’m carrying on the presidency in my local crochet guild (which is a chapter of the national guild).
4. I’m organizing a display of crochet in the windows at our LYS for the month of March.
5. I crochet items for charity.
6. I try to wear something crochet every day.
7. I crochet every day. (Unless I’m so sick that I can’t hold a hook in my hand!)
8. I’ve recently tried a few new stitches—front post dc and back post dc.
9. I teach whoever wants to be taught to crochet.
10. I crochet in public.
11. I try new yarns and new hooks.
12. I'm trying to figure out which design I’m going to enter into the Crochet Design Contest for the Knit and Crochet show in July.

Tell me about some of the different things you’re going to do in the month of March to celebrate National Crochet Month. Maybe I need to include those in my list, too.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday, 3/9/10 Washing Your Crochet Hooks

Crocheting Dishclothes and Hot Pads

I was crocheting along the other day, making some hot pads and dishcloths, when all of a sudden it felt like my hook was sticking to my yarn. Have you ever had that happen to you?

Washing My Hooks

Well, I took my hooks to the sink and dipped them in some hot soapy water and then rinsed and dried them well. I’ll tell you what; those hooks are gliding right through the yarn now. I think sometimes the oils and lotions on my hands or maybe the acrylic yarns make them sticky. Anyway, I thought this might help someone else with sticky hook problems.

Reminder: Only wash aluminum, steel, or plastic hooks.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday, 3/8/10 Looms and an Angel

Surprise Package

I received this surprise at my door this week. Is that the loom that makes those unknown loomy things that I can’t resist buying every time I see them? Yes, it is, and there is more than one size of loom in the box. These are called Love and Money Looms, and one of my friends (let’s just call her Angel), somehow she got them to me, and I’m grateful. Let’s just say, she is one of the most caring and generous people I have come to know. She gives of her time everyday, never asks anything in return, and she makes me smile and cry at the same time.

Love and Money Looms

Now, please forgive me for walking away from some of my crochet projects while I dig in my stash to find just the right yarn and figure out how to use my new looms. Be back soon.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday, 3/6/10 Joshua’s Second Crocheted Scarf

Little Scarf Imperfection

Joshua has completed his second scarf, and it’s already around the neck of the recipient that lives in New York City, and she goes to the school where Joshua is to attend next year. He worked diligently on it the weekend before Valentine’s Day in order for him to get it to her before Valentine’s Day.

He’s been rehearsing for the play “Footloose” since January, and we’ve had a hard time finding the time together for me to explain an edging to him. When I’m awake, he’s not, and when he’s awake, I’m not. You know how that goes? It was cute…he was so worried about one place on the edge where it looked a little different. I texted him and told him to try putting a single crochet edging all the way around. He tried that and stopped because it didn’t look perfect to him. He wanted my opinion before he continued on. When I got home that evening, I ripped out the single crochets and placed 1 sc, ch 2, skip 2 stitches, 1 sc all the way around, and it seemed to do the trick of hiding that little imperfection.

Joshuas Second Scarf

But of course, I let him be the judge of whether it was hidden enough when he got home that evening. And much to my surprise, he was pleased, and the scarf went in the mail the next day. He said he had thought about something similar, but was afraid to try it. I encouraged him to just to go ahead, and if it didn’t work out, he could always rip it out and start over. With time, he will have the confidence to just go with his instincts--especially when his momma isn’t there to help so much anymore. What do you think?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday, 3/5/10 Free Friday Pattern: Lacy Oval Crochet Pattern

Lacy Oval Free Crochet Pattern

I’m not sure if I told you this, but I love doilies. And I chose this Lacy Oval crochet pattern for today's Free Friday Pattern because I had extra thread left over from the “Suncatchers” that I made last week. I think there will be enough left to complete this doily, and if not, I probably have some stashed away somewhere.

Lacy Oval

Here’s what I have completed so far...

I hope you have as much fun making this doily as I am. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cool Crochet Display & Gifts Ideas

I thought I would share with you all a little something that I dreamed up a couple of years ago and what one of my friends thought of.


My best friend Debbie gave me this etched vase one year for my birthday. I used it occasionally for cut flowers, but most of the time it sat on a shelf unseen until I would get flowers. One day, after I had completed some washcloths, I decided to see what the washcloths would look like in the vase, and I discovered that I liked being able to see the colors of the washcloths through the glass.

Lid with Etched Vase

Then, when I was cleaning out one of my cabinets, I found a plastic lid from a candle, and it was like a lightbulb going on. I thought maybe if I could crochet around it, it would fit right on top of the vase with the washcloths, and, voila, it worked. I think it looks good and it helps keep my washcloths clean and dust free. Now, I can enjoy looking at my washcloths and the pretty etched vase everyday and not just when I have fresh flowers.

Baby Vase

Another friend of mine, Susie, shared a fun thing she had come up with. She crocheted baby washcloths and rolled them up and put them in a ceramic BABY vase that she had gotten at the second hand store. She was making it for a friend for a baby shower she was attending. How cool is that?

Vintage Vase

Then, I have this turquoise vintage vase that I thought the washcloths would look cool in, too. I thought that it would be another cool idea to give a new mother a pretty vase with some special soaps or bath salts and some crocheted washcloths in her favorite colors.

Tell me about some of your cool ideas.