A “Little” Afghan

Blogged under Finished Projects, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Monday 27 January 2014 at 10:01 am

As usual, I always have a number of craft projects going on, all in various stages. This weekend I realized that this small afghan I have been working on was super close to being finished, so I set all other projects aside and concentrated on it. The finished size is 34 inches by 41 inches, and it is made using Wool-Ease Thick and Quick and a size K crochet hook. It is all double crochet (6 rows for each color) with a single crochet boarder trim. The colorways I used are Grey Marble and Navy.

Originally, this started out as a stash busting project, but of course, I did not have as much of this yarn as I thought I had and ended up having to buy a few extra skeins to finish it. Each of the 6 row stripes requires almost one skein.

This was going to be a blanket mainly for Jasper, who is our oldest dog and sometimes has trouble getting up on the couch. We have various large dog beds on the floor too, along with another afghan I made for them awhile back, so I thought I should give him another blanket to use down there on those days when getting up on the couch is not possible.

But, Little had different plans. As soon as I set it on top of one of the dog beds, (and all the dogs had taken a look at it), he claimed it for his own and sat like an angel puppy on it almost the entire evening. This was after he had come close to destroying a second water pitcher and chewed up one of the baseboards. But, for a few hours, he was an angel.

Baby Sweater Done!

Blogged under Finished Projects, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Saturday 17 August 2013 at 5:04 pm

It is done!!! The is the baby sweater I made while taking the Beyond the Rectangle crochet class on Craftsy.com. I am so happy that I not only finished the sweater but basically can check off another Craftsy class. I learn so much from these classes, and I like the fact that I can go back and revisit them whenever I want.

The Epic Windsor Lace Wrap FO!

Blogged under Finished Projects, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Wednesday 15 May 2013 at 5:39 pm

I have an epic finished object! I started making the Windsor Lace Wrap back in July of 2012. Since then, this has been my no-brainer-got-nothing-else-to-work-on project. The pattern, which is free, is basically all double crochet and chain stitch, and there are three rows of this that you do over and over again until it is 87 inches long. Yes, 87! As in 8 - 7! This is why I call this epic because it is so long and took me so long to make.

I used Knit Pick Chroma yarn in the Fossil, and like most of the gradient Chromas, I love how the yarn changes colors. I am fairly pleased with how it turned out. For some reason, my gauged changed some from the beginning, which is wider on one end, than the end, but I don’t think it is that noticeable. More than likely, this will end up as my school office shawl because of the neutral colors that will go with just about anything I wear.

Infinity Scarf

Blogged under Finished Projects, Free Craft Projects, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Friday 5 April 2013 at 9:31 am

I gave a little look at this infinity scarf (housed in my Zipper Pouch Thirty-One bag) earlier this week. It was an alternative to a shawlette pattern that I just could not get the hang of. I have wanted to make a cowl or infinity scarf for awhile, so I decided to just wing it.

I know that a lot of these types of scarves are usually done with one long strand of chain stitch that is connected, but you have to really be careful about not twisting it when you go that route. I wanted something fast and easy, so instead of working it with a long connected chain, I worked from the shorter end and connected both ends when I finished. Here it is shown doubled around my neck.

It ended up being 4 inches wide and 36 inches long, and alpaca yarn tends to stretch, so there is plenty of room. I used a size J hook, and the yarn is Cascade Baby Alpaca in the 3030 colorway. Here is how I made it:

  • Start with18 chain stitches,
  • Stitch one row of single crochet, making sure to chain one at the end of the row.
  • Stitch one row of single crochet, making sure to chain four at the end of the row. (This will work as your first triple crochet on the row that follows.)
  • Stitch one row of triple crochet.
  • Continue to alternate between two rows of single crochet and one row of triple crochet for a total of 27 repeats, making sure to end the last row with triple crochet.
  • At this point, you have a regular scarf. Connect both ends of the scarf using slip stitch.
  • Finish off both sides of the scarf with single crochet.
  • Lightly block. (I put it on a towel and spritzed it with water and shaped it.)

Here it is flat. You can either wear it around your neck as one large loop or you can wrap it twice. If you wanted it longer, you would just need to repeat the single crochet and triple crochet pattern until you got the length that you wanted.

I have not weighed the leftover yarn, but I’d estimate that I used about half the skein on this. I probably have enough to make another one, or I might try making one but knitting it this time. I’m very happy with how it turned out. Alpaca yarn is super warm, but since I used a lot of triple crochet stitch in this, it should be light enough to use in Florida on the few occasions it’s cold or when my hubby insists on cranking up the air conditioner.

Another Shawlette

Blogged under Finished Projects, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Sunday 3 February 2013 at 5:59 pm

I have another shawlette finished! I used a similar pattern to the gray shawlette I made awhile ago. They are in the same book: Totally Simple Crochet: Over 30 Easy Projects for the Home and to Wear. This pattern is called Chain Stitch Netting Shawl with Fan. It is like the first one I made but has intermittent fan sections throughout and a fan trim. I changed the trim a little, making the shells smaller than called for, but otherwise, I pretty much followed the pattern.

The first picture does not really have a good take on the color of the yarn, which I got from Craft Me Happy. It’s called Calico Sock Yarn, is fingering weight, 100 grams, and the colorway is called Waimea Bay. Here is a photo I took of it in my photo tent. It shows the color better though not the shawl since I have it folded up.

I wasn’t sure if I would get much use out of a shawlette, but after having a brief cold spell here last week, I give them the thumbs up. I wore it to school with a light jacket and sweater underneath. When I got inside, I took the jacket off but kept the shawlette on with the sweater, and it kept me warm but not too warm. Sometimes the buildings can get cold because it is rare for the heat to get run as it usually warms up by about noon. The shawlette kept the chill off my neck, and I think it was a little more fashionable than a scarf.

I have not weighed it, but I have a fair amount of the yarn left, so I’m trying to figure out what to do with it. I could easily get some fingerless gloves out it, or there might be enough to make another shawl and gift it.

My Shawlette

Blogged under Finished Projects by Tammy on Wednesday 28 November 2012 at 10:25 am

Back in October, I splurged at a not-so-local yarn shop and purchased this wonderful skein of Frog Tree sock yarn (80% washable Merino wool and 20% bamboo). One thing I am trying to be very careful about when I purchase fancy yarn is to make sure I actually use it. I know from past experience with other crafts (such as beading) that it can be difficult sometimes to make yourself use the “good stuff.” You  buy it but then never use it because you think you are saving it for that perfect project, which never seems to materialize.

When I purchased this yarn, I had plans to use it to make a shawlette, and here it is just the end of November and I have it finished - yeah me. (I will try to get a better photo of it.) Of course, in Florida, there is not a huge need for me to have a lot of warm clothing, so I used a fairly large hook (US size H) and a pattern from the book Simply Crochet (crochet shawl with chain stitch loops). I also made it shorter than the pattern called for (37 inches x 17 inches), so it is not a very heavy piece to wear.

Shawlettes are basically small shawls that essentially work more like a scarf in a way. Over the past six months or so I have been treated for skin cancer in various areas, including right under my collar bone. Though I am not one to wear low-cut shirts, this has still meant that I have to had to keep my collar bone area covered. I have been wearing silk scarves to help with this, but now that there is a little chill in the air, I am hoping this shawlette might replace the other scarves for awhile as my skin continues to heal. I may even make another one using some more of the “good stuff” in my special yarn stash.

Hacky Sack Experimenting

Blogged under Finished Projects, My College Craft Club by Tammy on Saturday 17 November 2012 at 5:10 pm

About a year ago, I purchased some yarn for the craft club in school colors thinking we could whip up some hats to sell. We did make hats, but it was about 80 degrees out, so they did not really sell and ended up being sent to a charity, which is fine. However, I’ve been trying to think of what we could make using this yarn that might actually sell at the craft show - maybe hacky sacks?

So far, I’ve made three, but I have had to rework a number of patterns to get the right size. Most of the patterns I found do not use worsted weight yarn, or if they do, the hacky sacks (IMHO) are too large. So I’m continuing to experiment and hope to get a pattern perfected as I make a few more of these.

I’m stuffing them with aquarium rocks that I first stick inside plastic wrap and then wrap closed with tape. They have a pretty good feel to them, so even if my stripes are off a tad, I think they are turning out pretty well.

Premie Hats and Baby-Ghan

Blogged under Finished Projects by Tammy on Tuesday 30 October 2012 at 1:38 pm

I just finished making a few premie-sized baby hats a a baby afghan for a friend of mine whose new grandson came early, as in too early. He is now up to four pounds and headed home, but she asked me for some hats because the ones from the hospital were too large.

I already had the baby afghan in the works for him (it was going to be a surprise), and so it was no big deal to whip up a few little hats. And they are just so tiny! Every time I make premie items it freaks me out a little to think even a baby can be that small.

I used mainly Bernat Baby Softee yarn, which I had plenty of in my stash. The baby afghan is primarily alternating rows of double crochet and treble crochet with a single crochet and then half-double crochet border.

Finished! Crochet Socks

Blogged under Finished Projects by Tammy on Saturday 20 October 2012 at 10:10 am

Sock number 2 is now done! I have to say that making these socks was a challenging project for me, and I am in no way a sock making covert; however, it feels good to complete a project that (for me at least) was pretty difficult to make. The actual stitches (mainly single crochet) were not hard to do, but figuring out the pattern was not easy. Plus, this is not an immediate gratification project to say the least. It took me 19 days from start to finish, and while I did not only work on these or even work on them every day, I did give them a fair amount of attention.

These socks fit me, which is nice. I’m not sure if I’m in love with making socks now and certainly am not sure about this particular pattern (which comes from Learn to Crochet Socks for the Family). The pattern has you do a few things when it comes to finishing that I think are kind of odd. The finished socks are also full of texture, so when you walk in them you can feel it. For me, they are not necessarily uncomfortable but might be if I was wearing them with shoes. If I were to make these again, I would probably make sure I used super soft yarn rather than the scratchy JoAnn’s Sensations Sole and More that I used for these.

Since crochet items tend to work up much faster than knitted items (even for more experienced knitters than myself), I’m pretty surprised that sock knitting is so popular. It has to be very time consuming, but of course, if I were the type to wear socks more, maybe it would be worth it. Without a doubt, though, the sock making bug did not bite me!

Recently Finished Craft Objects and the Power of KAL/CALs

Blogged under Finished Projects, amigurumi, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Saturday 29 September 2012 at 9:55 am

KALs or CALs , which are acronyms for knit along or crochet along, are a little new to me as far as participation. I’ve known they exist, but most don’t appeal to me. I don’t like having pressure about my crafting put on me. I add enough on my own, so having some kind of deadline imposed by a KAL/CAL is extra pressure I don’t need. Another reason I haven’t done them in the past is because often I just can’t do them. For example, a sweater knit along is something I just can’t ever see myself doing. I wear sweaters only a few weeks of the year, and that would be such a huge project for an item I’d hardly ever wear.

All that said against KALs/CALs, I have recently participated in a few and got sucked into them because of my craft podcasting addiction. So far, the two that I’ve completed have been good experiences. Positively Knitting is finishing up a KAL this month called the Sacred Skein Craftalong. The idea is that you use yarn that you have been hording because it is so wonderful that you can’t bring yourself to use it. For me, it was three skeins of Chroma yarn in the Guppy colorway. I love this yarn, but I was determined not to use it unless I found the perfect project for it.

Luckily, I found the Cascading Stylish Shawl pattern, and I’m thrilled to say the shawl is finished and turned out great!

The Local KAL, aka LoKAL, is another one I participated in, and this one is run by The Fat Squirrel Speaks. She challenged participants to find local yarn and use it to make whatever they want. For me, this at first seemed tricky since there aren’t many sheep in Florida, but then I realized there are lots of alpaca farms in Florida. I found an Etsy seller who makes yarn and fleece from her own Florida alpacas, and I was set with my local yarn. When I got it, though, it was not the buttery soft yarn I expected. However, the seller also tossed in another skein of alpaca for free.

So as I tried to figure out what to do with the gray yarn, the original skein I had ordered for the LoKAL, I began a knit scarf with the other yarn. It is also not necessarily buttery soft, but it is much softer than the gray yarn, which is actually pretty dang scratchy. The LoKAL ends in the middle of October, so I was running out of time to finish the scarf, and then I saw some participants post pictures of amigurumi’s they had made. Voila! I got the idea to use the scratchy gray yarn and make mouse toys for my cats.

This is obviously a “before” picture. My cats love this little guy. I have tons of yarn left, so I plan to make more for my cat crew as well as extras to donate to a local shelter. This project is not the large, complicated one I had expected to do, and the yarn was not exactly a wonderful find on my part. However, the cat toy idea is a perfect way to use the yarn and make some cats happy. So again, I feel like I got something out of participating in this KAL.

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