Crochet Squares Baby Blanket Finished!

Blogged under Charity Crafting, Finished Projects by Tammy on Tuesday 30 November 2010 at 8:37 am

Here it is, unwashed or blocked as yet, but I have completed my first baby afghan made up of 10 inch squares. I used single crochet as the base stitch after doing the 10 inch chain, but otherwise, I used double crochet (since it is a zillion times faster than single crochet). Then I made a single crochet trim around each block and used this to slip stitch all the squares together. Finally, I trimmed the entire blanket with purple yarn using single crochet.

There is definitely nothing fancy about this little 30×30 inch baby afghan, but it was a very do-able project for me and fairly fast comparatively speaking. It also didn’t take a ton of yarn. I used an H size hook and Barent Softee and was able to get 3 squares from one yarn skein with a little left over. Since there are only 9 squares needed, that not too bad.

I’m moving on to a few projects for friends and family, and then I will be back to making more of these. I already have a few squares set aside. I’d like to get at least a few more made, and then I will give them to a local Healthy Start chapter.

Yarn Sale Alert

Blogged under Crafty Products by Tammy on Sunday 28 November 2010 at 2:24 pm

Because there is a good yarn sale announced in the JoAnn’s flyer in my Sunday newspaper, I really considered making the 40 mile trek (round trip). I’m still thinking about it in fact, but this week is packed full of meetings, final exams to prepare, and papers to grade, and I just don’t see how I’m going to squeeze that trip in. So….I looked on-line, curious if the web site has the same kind of deals going, and yes, they do: Vanna’s Choice is $2.50 a skein; Lion Brand Baby Soft is $2.99; Bernat Softee is $2.99; and Red Heart Super Saver is $1.99.

However, and here’s the kicker, the sale on-line ends today while the store sale ends Dec. 4th! This is really annoying that the on-line shop doesn’t have the same sales as the brick shop does.

I also heard over at the Ravelry forums that JoAnn’s is have a cyber Monday sale, 30% off yarn and free shipping if you use this code at check out: CYBER333

Ah, decisions, decisions!

Crafting Some Craft Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 28 November 2010 at 11:21 am

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen offers you Starbuck’s upcyled bird ornaments to create. Gather the kids and have fun making these ornaments to hang on your tree, give as a gift or use as a tag!

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi has a two part name tag making project highlighted this week.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a tutorial on how to paint a bee and dragonfly, draw a pilgrim, Native American and English Guard, videos on how to sew a yo-yo, and a preview of the new show Brew Masters and how to paint on a vintage postcard.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter

Who couldn’t use another tote bag? Here’s a Koi Beach-Themed Tote from Eileen for your beach holidays or just to use when you miss the beach and warm weather.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge’s lovely and talented daughter Avalon whips up a super cute embellished hat and scarf this week for ILovetoCreate Teen Crafts!

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi is working away at finding more uses for expanded squares.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
Stef has a new book review-Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes.

Stitching Baby Blanket Crochet Squares

Blogged under Charity Crafting, Fiber Fun, Projects in Progress by Tammy on Friday 26 November 2010 at 10:34 am

I am now up to six squares on the first squares baby blanket. I have three more squares to go to make this about 30 by 30 inches. I think this 10 inch square thing is working. The squares are pretty quick since I just did double crochet for the most part. I have been battling a cold the past few days, so I have been chilling a lot, catching up on my soap operas, listing to crafting podcasts, and crocheting, and I think I will manage to finish this in the next few days. At least, I am a little productive during my time off school.

Lots to Be Thankful For

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Thursday 25 November 2010 at 10:13 am

This crazy old cat is just one of many reason I am thankful this year. I have a wonderful furry and human family; great friends both in 3D and in cyberspace who support me and help me whenever I ask; an awesome full-time job teaching others about literature and writing, two of my passions; a new jewelry making book coming out in about a month; and plenty of freelance crafting and writing work to keep me very busy. Life is good. I hope yours is as well and wish you and your family a safe and thoughtful Thanksgiving Holiday!

Coping a Yarn Feel

Blogged under Crafty Products, Fiber Fun by Tammy on Monday 22 November 2010 at 12:21 pm

I went to a very disappointing Michael’s sale today - as in not much that you’d want to buy is even on sale - but one good thing came out of it. I have been almost exclusively using Bernat Softee baby yarn for the baby items I donate, and now and then I wonder if I should branch out more, especially when there are baby yarn brands that cost less.

So today, as I was strolling through the yarn isles, I felt up a lot of the baby  yarn from various manufacturers. Yes, I coped a yarn feel. I couldn’t help myself.

While some of them weren’t too bad, such as Lion Brand’s Baby Soft which I thought was pretty decent, as I suspected, Bernat Softee is way, way softer than any others I felt. I used to be able to get this yarn at a great price at Wal-mart ($3.28), but it is no longer available there…bummer! Michael’s carries it, but it’s $4.49, yes, even the solid colors, yikes! So now I must be forever on the alert for Bernat sales since the difference is so noticeable.

Craft Link Time

Blogged under Around the Web, Fiber Fun by Tammy on Sunday 21 November 2010 at 2:27 pm

The Crochet Dude
Drew unveils the November purse as part of his Purse Pattern of the Month Club! It’s a sexy little number with a metallic copper finish.

About Family Crafts
Are you wondering what kind of crafts to make for local craft fairs and church bazaars? Check out these ideas and share your own.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
See how to make an illuminated broken windshield glass filled vase inspired by the book Eco Craft.

Aileen’s Musings
Get ready for Thanksgiving morning by making Pumpkin Biscottis ahead of time. Aileen has a pumpkin biscotti printable recipe card ready for you!

Mixed Media Artist
Expanded squares are a fun way to create a repeating fabric pattern!

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi is inspired by a magazine cover to make a cute pine cone tree.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge Crafts from the Couch and Shares a Retrofabulous Christmas Stocking!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a chance to win a copy of The Complete Photo Guide to Paper Crafts, ideas for dressing up twinkle lights with die cuts, a tutorial on how to watercolor and transfer images on old postcards, info on different types of compositions, and 3 blue-ribbon recipes.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Have you heard about Crafters’ Anonymous? We’re tackling our stash, one step at a time!

Sewing Daily

Blogged under Sew Simple by Tammy on Saturday 20 November 2010 at 11:22 am

Interweave has a number of blogs related to its publications such as Beading Daily, Knitting Daily, and Crochet Me. According to this website, Sew Daily will soon be added to its ranks, a daily blog that will help promote sewing books as well as Stitch magazine. Right now, you can sign up for the newsletter, which is pretty nice. Recently, it included a tutorial on applique.

I’ve picked up Stitch magazine a few times at JoAnn’s and like it. I’m actually surprised, though, that sewing in general hasn’t taken off as much as I expected over the last couple of years. A few summers ago, I pulled out my sewing machine and even wrote a related book proposal because I have always enjoyed sewing and felt like it was making a comeback. I think it still is, but it hasn’t come around as quickly as I had suspected.

One reason for this may be because while it can be a good way to save money on some items versus purchasing them (especially home decor type things like curtains and pillows), it still takes some pretty solid cash to get started compared to other DIY hobbies. For example, with crochet, you need a hook ($1.28 at Walmart) and a skein of yard (around $3-5). For jewelry, you need a few pliers ($20), beads, stringing materials, and findings (maybe another $20), and you are pretty set to get started. Then when it comes to sewing, you need a sewing machine ($75), material ($3 yd at least), thread, notions, etc. I say “may be” this is the reason because I’m not really sure, but it will be interesting to see how the publishing market treats this type of craft.

Another Step in the Jewelry Book Process

Blogged under Publications from Moi by Tammy on Friday 19 November 2010 at 8:50 am


The FEDEX guy delivered my advanced copy of The Complete Photo Guide to Jewelry Making late yesterday afternoon. This means I am one step closer to the end of the book process and will soon, maybe in about a month, see the book in bookstores. It also means those who have ordered copies through Amazon will finally get their copies as well very, very soon! Yeah!

At this stage, I now have to review the copy for any minor (hopefully) errors. Then I make a list of them and send them back to the publisher to correct before any reprint orders are filled. I did a general flip through last night, and I think it looks great. I’m very happy with the huge number of photos, and the gallery section, which turned out to be problematic at one point, looks awesome, thanks to many jewelry making designers who stepped up and helped me out with it.

It won’t be long now before I will announce the official release!

Stitching Up the Crochet Squares

Blogged under Charity Crafting, Design Ideas, Fiber Fun by Tammy on Wednesday 17 November 2010 at 7:16 am

So far, so good, on my idea to make 10 inch squares and stitch them together to make baby afghans. One thing I didn’t think through, however, is the actual color of the squares. I have a pretty large stash of Bernat Baby Softee yarn and figured that would not be a problem, but then I made squares from a variegated skein and realized that I only had enough to make 3 squares from it, which means an odd number versus an even number of these to integrate into the final pattern of the blanket. It felt like one of those logic tests for awhile, but I think I finally figured out a pattern that will work. We shall see.

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