Monday, March 28, 2011


I finished my daughter's blanket.  Finished!   This is huge.  I started crocheting with the express purpose of making baby blankets for the moms in the ministry I worked for who were expecting, because I thought crochet would be faster than knitting.   I never made it through my first *baby* blanket.  It was just so tedious and I kept folding it over at every it square yet?  Ugh.  

But my inability to finish a baby blanket led me to hats and other cute critters for the moms & babies I worked with and I truely discovered the artistic potential of crochet.  You can see, however, why the completion of a 44x55 inch kid sized lapghan is a big deal!

I love these squares!  They really broke up the tedium.  First you make 12 flower centers, then 12 flower petals, then add the backgrounds, then connect the 4 mini squares, then the border, lather, rinse, repeat.  Even the final border wasnt too bad, because it was simple and repetitive and I was able to do it while snuggled under the warm blankie watching TV. 

I kinda miss the project now that its over - that never happens to me!  I started an octagon lapghan for MIL and I find myself missing my daisy squares.  They have more character. 

However, my biggest problem is that I no longer want to give the blanket to my daughter.  Its mine!   All mine!   I made it!   Its so heavy (the solid colors are all cotton) and comforting and soft (the white and variegated is soft acryllic) and pretty.   But she's not giving it up.

OK, I did mess up a few things.  I changed how I joined my squares after the first 3.  I joined two squares upside down.  I put the first couple rows of my border on backwards.  But thankfully, the style is very forgiving. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Square City

The flower squares are done!  48 5" squares combined to make 12 12" squares.   Now I just need to assemble and border it.   I will use white and the varigated yarn from the flower centers for the border.  If the repetition of the border rows dont kill me.  Not to mention, the blanket will no longer be small and portable.   Although with spring officially upon us, I have 8 months before it has to be finished.

Ever since I started crocheting, and learned that people make blankets from squares, I have wanted to make a "through the year" blanket.   Basically make one square per month with differnt monthly themes.  Now that I know how to make squares, I decided to get started on my first three months' worth.  

February, I did as the pattern called.   Easy enough.   Well, I had no idea where to start round 5 so that round 7 would work right, so I muddled through it a few times and still dont think the top center of the heart is great, but it'll do.  I dont have high standards of perfection.

March, I finally found the perfect shamrock and I just used some rows from Waldo's Puzzles to add the green/orange striping to give it some extra inches.  It may still be a bit small, so I will probably go around with the green again once more.

I expected it to be easier to find a snowflake square for January, but it really wasnt.   So I took the flake from this hexagon pattern and squared it out.   I guess I have gotten a little more comfortable with making squares since I did a halfway decent job of throwing around treble and double crochets to make 4 corners and 4 sorta equal sides.   Then I liked the windowpane look from this pattern and thought it went well with the snowflake.

Now, once done, 12 squares of random colors and patterns will probably look like a big hot mess, but I do think my kids will love it.  I will make an effort to pull it all together with the connecting and the border, but I'm still expecting it to be quite fugly.   It's all cotton, so it should at least be a warm mess.   It's definitely a fun project though, really helping me learn lots of different stitches and techniques to add interest, while being creative enough for my eyes not to glaze over.

Now just to figure out what to do for May....

Friday, March 18, 2011

Quickie Projects

This kitty has really started my wheels turning.  I think it would be the perfect project to teach a crochet class, as opposed to the traditional boring scarf.    Its made from 3 pieces.   The body is a straight flat, single crochet rectangle.   Teaches chaining and SC.    The next is a flat piece with simple shaping.  Teaches increasing and decreasing.   The tail is crochet in the round, laying the foundation for hats and amugurumi.  And the final step is sewing it all together.   Voila - a complete intro to crochet in a simple, easy to make kitten that is much more fun to show off than a scarf.  Plus it can be made with any size yarn and hook.  I used a thin mercerized cotton and a tiny D hook.  I'm going to try another with woolease yarn and a larger F or G hook.   Now i just need to figure out where to teach this imaginary class.

The easter egg is a super quick stash buster.   I plan to make little people-eggs with the pattern to represent the 5 crazies in our famly.   Pics to follow.  But this tiny blue-speckled robins egg was done with baby sport yarn.  

The loofah was the perfect airline project.  Very, very simple.  You just increase by 3 each row.   I made it on the way to visit my friend in CA and left it with her as a "thanks for letting me use your house a hotel" gift.   Havent heard the review on its effectiveness as a bath poof yet, but its pretty!  

Otherwise I am still trucking along in square-land.   Going to assemble squares 7, 8 and 9 of my daughters blanket this weekend.  Then I need to make 3 more big squares (or 12 little squares) and I am ready to assemble and border it.  Wow.  Could complete a blanket some day?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Squares, Squares...Everywhere Squares!

I'm totally digging these "granny" squares.  Who knew? 

After seeing this Daisy Fourpatch, I had to make it.  After making it, I decided I needed to make a blanket out of it.  Me?  Make a blanket?  What's gotten into me?   Luckily it's going to be for my child, so I can justify making it out of 12 12" squares, as opposed to 20 of them.   And after completing the first 3, I can proudly say I am 25% of the way there.  This blanket may actually get done! 

Apparently, they also perform well in battle, as evidenced by Queen Amidala's use of weaponized yarn to battle the Dark Side (her brother).

And of course, because I cannot stay on task (see Blog Title), I stumbled upon Waldo's Puzzle and had to make it.  I love the colors and how it looks, but I am not sure I want to create a whole blanket of Waldo's squares.   Too much weaving in ends.   I might just keep going with the alternating white/variegated stripes and turn it into a baby blanket.

Speaking of end I was making the daisy squares, I stumbled into a valuable technique - weaving in the end of one color as you begin the next color.  OK, so it may be obvious to you veteran yarn crafters, but it was like divine inspiration to me!   On the daisy patches, I was able to effectively go from 26 loose ends to 2 per 12" square!    Unfortunately, Waldo's square didn't lend itself to that technique as well. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My one year crochet anniversary!

One year into my crochet journey and I celebrate my making my first "Granny Square".   Do I get to learn the supah-sekrit crochet handshake now?  I always said I was not a granny square type, but this pattern just called to me.  I have no idea what I will do with it.  I dont love the yarn I used, but I actually enjoyed making it.   Figuring out the rounds was like solving a math word problem.  I noodled over Round 4 for the longest time, trying to visualize what she wanted me to do and then just dove in and got it!   It went very quick too.  It's a 12 in square, so it wouldn't take too many of these to make a kid blanket.