Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday, 5/31/10 Memorial Day

All American Afghan Pattern
As Memorial Day was approaching and the 4th of July coming up, I wondered if I could find something to crochet in red, white, and blue. Guess what I found right here on Crochet Soiree—The All American Afghan! I just had to have this pattern. It’s super easy; I just paid for it, and then the pattern was downloadable (is this even a word?).

My All American Afghan
I really like the look of Americana and am making mine out of Red Heart Eco-Cotton Blend, Vanilla, Currant, and Denim. I love this yarn, and for me, my wooden hook worked the best to help the yarn slide through the stitches. The yarn has the softness and the drape of an old well worn t-shirt—the one that you can’t throw away because it’s just too soft and comfortable. (I know you know what I’m talking about.) I love the pattern, and I think it’s because it reminds me of the granny square stitch except it’s in stripes. Then, the star motif is a hexagon, and most of you know how I feel about hexagons. (Remember when I couldn’t stop making the hexagon baby sweater?) So wish me luck, I only have 75 more red and white stripes, 44 hexagons, and 6 half hexagon motifs to go. Ha! Ha!

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Memorial Day.

Friday, May 28, 2010

5/28/10 Free Pattern Friday: Baby Cardigan and Hat Crochet Pattern

Crochet Essentials Cardigan and Hat
Oh my gosh, look at these really cute baby cardigan and hat crochet patterns that I’ve chosen to be free for a limited time. I had some Patons Grace left in my stash that I’m making mine out of. I know it will make it smaller, but I’ll just have to adjust by using the larger pattern size and a larger hook. The fun thing about making baby things is that you already have them made up ready to pull it out for a baby shower or give as a charity item.

Crochet Essentials Hat
Of course, I had to Tamarafy the hat from this pattern, and I added some chains made from two strands of yarn in each corner of the top of the hat.

Crochet Essentials Cover
The “Baby Cardigan and Hat” patterns are from a book called Crochet Essentials that features Lion Brand Yarn and is published by Leisure Arts. The book has 19 beginner patterns, and I really like the easy factor in all of the designs.

More Projects from Crochet Essentials
I’m looking forward to trying some of the other patterns in the book.

Be sure to download these patterns now because they will be gone in two weeks!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday, 5/26/10 May Crochet-A-Long Prize Doily

May CAL Prize Doily
I chose this doily to crochet as a prize for the May Crochet-A-Long. I love the way the middle looks like a star and the way it spirals out into a pinwheel. I hope the person that wins it loves it as much as I loved making it.

CAL Thread Left
The doily measure 19" in diameter, and this is the second doily made from this giant spool of thread. I can’t wait to see how many more I can get from this same spool of thread.

The May CAL will be ending soon! Be sure and post your Bean Bag Kitties and Berry Cute Coasters in the Challenge Section by May 31 for your chance to be entered in the drawing to win my doily or some other great hand-crocheted prizes.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday, 5/24/10 A Gift for Doug’s Babies

Booties and Bag of Washcloths
As soon as I read the Leisure Arts Boutique Blog and found out that our own Crochet Soiree Website Guru Doug and was expecting twin girls, I was so excited to get started on a little gift for his family. When I found this little ceramic gift bag vase at the thrift store a month or two ago, I didn’t know what I was going to do with it. I knew I wanted to make some washcloths or dishcloths and put them in it, but now it had a purpose. I went to town making the two pairs of booties and decided to make one pair a pale pink and the other pair a little darker pink. I used DMC Senso, and I think they turned out really cute.

Then, I made two baby washcloths out of Patons Grace yarn and used two of the patterns for the Vintage Potholders from my Total Crochet for the Home book. Of course, I only used one thickness and no loops. Then I made a bigger washcloth more open weave out of some nice cotton yarn that I had in my stash from Twist the yarn shop for the new Mama to have for herself. Sorry Doug, I didn’t end making you anything, but there’s always next time. Anyway, I think you will have fun using the washcloths during bath time and watching those little booties kicking on those beautiful little baby girls. Congratulations and Good Luck!

Friday, May 21, 2010

5/21/10 Free Pattern Friday: Bride’s Sachet Hanger Crochet Pattern

Brides Sachet Hanger Pattern
Look at this lovely, traditional, Bride Sachet Hanger. I thought it would make an ideal free crochet pattern for this week since wedding season is rapidly approaching, but since I don’t have any weddings to worry about right now…

Tamarafied Brides Sachet Hanger
…here’s the “Tamarafied” version of the Bride’s Sachet Hanger. I probably went a little overboard with the buttons, but they were calling my name just sitting there in that little plastic jewelry bag (another treasure hunt find). Most of the buttons don’t even match each other, but I do love seeing the colors dangling there on the crocheted ruffle. I was so excited about how it turned out that I decided to show my son.

Joshuas Face
This was the look on his face as he said, “What’s the purpose?” That wasn’t the reaction that I wanted, but what did I expect out of an 18-year-old young man? So when my husband came in the room, I showed him the hanger.

Johns Face
This was his reaction, but he was smart, he didn’t say anything! Ha! Ha! I’m not sure what kind of reaction I wanted from him, but he loves me and knows better than to say anything negative.

Anyway, I decided to take my hanger and a few WIPs down to the yarn shop and hang out with people that “get me”. I showed the hanger to a few people, and I met a few new people and really enjoyed talking with them. One lady named Dorothy and I started visiting about how to crochet with thread. I decided to show her my hanger, and she looked at it and said, “Does it have a purpose?” I looked at her and asked her, “Do you always have to have a purpose when you make something?” “Yes,” she answered. I thought a moment and said, “You know, I’m the same way most of the time. What would you use the hanger for?” She looked at it a few more minutes, and she said, “I think you could hang earrings off of it.” I was so excited about the idea and told her that I had been looking for an earring stand or holder for quite some time and never found just the right thing that wouldn’t take up too much room on my counter of my bathroom.

My new Earring Holder
Now, I don’t even have to clutter up my counter. My earring hanger can just hang anywhere I want it to. I really flip-flopped this pattern around and thanks to Dorothy (my new friend), I have a very unique earring hanger.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday, 5/19/10 Crocheted Graduation Gifts

Amigurumi Graduation Gifts
I just had to share with you an idea that I had for giving some of Joshua’s friends as graduation gifts. A lot of Joshua’s friends know that I crochet (duh?). Anyway, they see me making things, or I have shown them what I’m making or have made, and one of their favorite things is amigurumi animals.

Amy Gaines’ Cute Little Animals book is a great source for crocheted amigurumi. I made my little animals from some Patons Grace yarn, and they turned out really small, but I love them, and you know cute small is. I decided to give five of his closest friends one each. I thought they looked so pretty here in their colorful bags.

I remember when I graduated from high school, one of my favorite graduation gifts was from one of my mentors. Her name was Mrs. Fawbush, and she helped me with crochet directions on doilies when I first started making them. She gave me a knitted shawl for my graduation gift, and I cherished it. I hope these girls like their little graduation gifts as much I loved mine.

Does anyone else out there make crocheted graduation gifts? If so tell me what you’ve made.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday, 5/17/10 Another Day with Jackie

Stacks of Fabrics
My sister called me on Saturday and said she needed my input on some projects she was working on. Since she had gotten most of her new fabric this week, she wanted me to also see them. This is one of many stacks of fabrics all over her basement—63 prints all together. I ended up helping her with choosing the fabrics for a couple of the quilts she was going to sew up and also helped her iron the fabrics.

My Granny Square Afghan with Fabric
I was really looking forward to seeing the faux crochet granny square fabric that Benartex made from my granny square afghan. Now, I need to pull out my Aunt Lydia’s crochet thread to see which ones look the best with the fabrics because, of course, she wants two receiving blankets edged with crochet for the Spring International Quilt Show this month. We had a great day, and I was exhausted when I got home just thinking about all the work that she still has left to do before she leaves.

Tell me about some of the fun things you do on Saturday.

Friday, May 14, 2010

5/14/10 Free Pattern Friday: Rococo Scarflette Crochet Pattern

Rococo Scarflette Crochet Pattern
Here’s another really cool temporarily free design for our Free Friday crochet pattern this time. This special scarf pattern will be a free downloadable pattern for a limited time of two weeks, so download it now.

The pattern calls for chunky yarn, but you know me, I had to do something different. I used…

Bernat Softee Baby Yarn
…two strands of Bernat Softee Baby yarn for my scarf, and then dropped one of the colors on each end to make the ruffles. I think some cotton yarn would really look good, too, and a lighter scarf is always nice to have around for those cool spring nights.

Of course, I had to put my own spin on the closure, so I thought about poking-a-hole-in some “Exclusively You” faux leather and making a flower out of it. I used one of my plastic lids and traced around it to make my circle; then, I just placed some dots evenly around the circle…

Punching Holes
…and punched holes in it.

Crocheting Around
Then, I crocheted around the circle.

My Rococo Scarf
I think my pin will be cool on the scarf and on other jackets or purses.

ICrochet Museum Cover
Remember to tell all your friends that this pattern is only available for a short time! I hope you have as much fun making the scarf as I did. This free scarf pattern is from a book called iCrochet: Museum Quality Hats-Scarves-Purses by Francine Toukou, so if you like this scarf, you might want to check out the book for some other really cool designs. Thank you, Francine, for allowing us to use your Rococo Scarflette pattern for our Free Pattern Friday.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday, 5/12/10 Another Repurposed Sweater

Another Repurposed Sweater
I can’t help myself; I have a problem with picking up sweaters like this one at the thrift store. I either like the color or I might just like the buttons. I bring sweaters home with me, and I launder them, and if they make it out of the washing machine in one piece, they hang around for a while until I get an idea for what to do with them. My ideas don’t always come right away and may even take a few days or months or years. My ideas may not come in the form of trims that I’ve seen, like the one for this sweater.

I saw a pattern for a baby afghan that had granny squares turned on point with zigzags running on the top and bottom of them. I found the pattern in a vintage 80’s pattern book by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weis, and I thought of adding it to the sweater that had been hanging around for a few months. After I sewed the squares together and added the zigzag at the top, I decided to add my own design of stripey goodness for the bottom edge. Then, since I wasn’t quite finished, I decided instead of crocheting the edging onto the sweater, I thought it might look neat to button it onto the edging. I looked for 15 buttons of the same color in my button box and came up empty handed, so I found some buttons that were around the same size, and I crocheted around all of them.

Steph was Kind
I showed my new repurposed sweater to my friend Steph, and she was kind enough to try it on for me and model for the picture. I like the way it turned out, but I don’t think I’m quite done with it yet. I still think it needs to have one row of edging around the fronts and around the neck, just to tie it all together.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday, 5/10/10 Another One Hooked

Jackie and Granny Squares
I remember meeting Ms. Jackie at my LYS about 3 years ago. She was always interested in what I was crocheting, and I was always curious about what she was knitting. She would always say that she was going to really learn to crochet one of these days. Ms. Jackie is an amazing knitter, and she can even knit while she is looking at you and talking. I’m still amazed at what knitters can make.

Anyway, last Saturday, I walked into Twist, and I was welcomed by the knitters table and, as always, I stopped to chat and see what everyone was working on. To my amazement, Ms. Jackie was sitting with a Crochet Today magazine and some nice little piles of crocheted granny squares. She looked up at me and said, “I’m crocheting and have finished a hexagon table cover.” I sighed and said, "Do you like to crochet?" Ms. Jackie said, “Yes” and that she was having so much fun crocheting. This made me smile, and I told her and the knitters, “Yes! I’ve hooked another one.” Ha! Ha!

Tell me about some of the people you have hooked. (And, oh, if you think you might be hooked on making crocheted granny squares, you need to check out this book: Great Grannies! The seven scrap afghan patterns it offers prove that grannies don’t have to be square!)

Friday, May 7, 2010

5/7/10 Free Pattern Friday: Hats off to Mother Crochet Pattern

Hat Off Mom Crochet Pattern
When I first saw the free crochet pattern for these little hats, I thought they were really cute. I have to admit I didn’t know if I would like making them, but as I was making the first one, I thought what a good way they were to use up the small amounts of thread that I have left from other projects.

Threads for Hats
I’m also in love with making these little hats. I can’t seem to stop; I want to make one in every color of thread that I have.

12 Hats
Here’s what I’ve made so far—12 of them.

Rolled Up Wool Felt
Then, as I was making them, the wheels started turning. What else could I put in them besides potpourri? Oh, I found a strip of felt that I had used to make a tongue for the crocheted dog “Drama Dog”. I just rolled it up like a tape measure and sewed it together and stuffed it into the crown of the hat and…

…voila, it’s a tiny pincushion for those little appliqué pins.

Lapel Pin
Next up, I want to use some starch on some and give them a set of flowers and a pin back and make a lapel pin out them.

These are just a few things you can use these little hats for. I think they would make really cute Mother’s Day gifts. My hats are off to all the mothers out there and hope all of you have a Happy Mother’s Day.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday, 5/5/10 May Crochet Along

Well everyone it’s May and everything is blooming here in Kansas and I’m sure things are blooming where you are too. People have been talking here at Crochet Soiree about another Crochet Along, so we’ve decided to do another one. This time we’ll be using 2 patterns that are in the free patterns.

My Berry Cute TrivetsI loved this Berry Cute Coaster pattern and couldn’t stop making them. I used some of the Patons Grace crochet yarn and it made them larger and just big enough to use as trivets for hot things to sit on my table. The fun thing about these coasters is that as you crochet the pattern, it automatically makes it 2 sided and then just comes together at the bottom without even sewing (except hiding the tails). You’ll see when you make them how fun they are and how addictive they can be. I had to make them in all different colors and they are so bright and cheery and remind me of the strawberry patch where we used to pick our strawberries when we were kids.

Bean Bag KittyThe other pattern that I chose is the Bean Bag Kitty. I know I’m not eligible but I’d like to try and make mine out of all different colors of yarn and make my Kitten striped.

The rules are simple this time:

Make your projects off of either or both patterns and use any kind of yarn you want to, embellish, or change it up however you want for either pattern. The crochet along will end on May 31, 2010.

There will be a drawing again and the prizes are:

First Place, Doily made by Me (Tamara Gonzales)
Second and Third Place will be crocheted items made by 2 Crochet Soiree members (ssshhh! Don’t tell them that I told you but they’re Molly and BarbM) Ha Ha!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday, 5/3/10 Jennifer’s Crochet Tulip Afghan

Jennifer and Jodi
My daughter Jennifer has been busy crocheting, too, and I am just as proud of her as I am about my son crocheting. After she made this afghan for one of my coworkers…

Jennifer and Tulip Afghan
…she came over to my house for dinner the other night, and she pulled this out of her bag.

Tulips on Afghan
Gosh, it’s so pretty and springy looking. She’s using Bernat “Baby Softee” yarn and look at the pretty tulip design it makes.

Year of Baby Afghans Cover
Jennifer’s so talented and does such a good job and makes it look so easy. I asked where she got the pattern, and she said “Mommy, it’s a Leisure Arts publication called, A Year of Baby Afghans, Book 4, and you gave it to me.” Man, I’m a good Mom, aren’t I? Ha! Ha!