Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Owl Finally FINISHED

The ears (notice none in picture) were what held me up so long in finishing this owl. I spent hours trying to get the ears to look right. Then, Dah , I went online to see pictures of owls-I had lost all perspective. Guess what. The snowy owls have ears that you can't see! Mine looked like the pictures.

Once I got past that, the rest went as quickly as the beginning did. So, a WIP finally finished. You know, if I had set out to make this owl from the start, I would have gone about it altogether differently. Since I started with something else in mind, it was kind of like working from the edges inward, and that's difficult to do in crochet. Thanks bunches for that one, Vivian.
Please see previous posts to see how this began.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Unidentified Objects Growing

I've learned over the years to trust my muse (her name is Vivian). So I keep making these things.

Occasionally, Viv plays a dirty little joke on me just to keep me on my toes, I suppose. I have to admit I'm getting a little worried about her humor, but have to follow thru to prove to myself if this is a joke or not.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


OK, I've given advance notice and it's finally here. FREE YARN! The yarn pictured below is "Airy" made under the Yarn Bee label of Hobby Lobby. This will come to you from a smoke free and animal free environment, and I'll even pay the shipping. (USA only.) I usually buy yarn when it's on sale, so I don't remember what I paid, but the label is marked $5.88. It is a sparkled yarn, so the picture shows that; it does not have white lint!

As I said on my preview, this is a new blog with not much traffic, so chances of winning are pretty good I'd say!
So here is your part. The drawing will be July 4th, 2012 at noon CST, and will be done by You will be voting for your favorite post(s) on my blogs and there will be several more between now and the deadline, so you may want to wait until closer to the drawing to vote. Vote by leaving a comment with your contact email or email your entry. Either way is fine, I just need an email address so I can notify you if you win. If I notify the winner and have no response in 72 hours, another winner will notified that they have won. You may vote twice, for your two top favorites which doubles your chances.

The winner will receive 6 skeins of the yarn absolutely free! Please check back often to see the newest posts before you make your decision. When you vote, a little comment about why you like the post you are voting for would help me know what I need to do for future posts. I would greatly appreciate that. Good luck and happy crocheting.
P.S. If you win, but do not like this particular yarn, I will give you several other choices because I want you to be happy!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New Unidentified Work in Progress

The owl from previous post is almost finished, but something else has come up. Do not know where this came from or what it will become, but I am again DRIVEN to make these.

I do not even know how many to make, but I trust my muse. I will wait and it will come when it is time.
Do not despair, owl is still in progress, but is not very portable, because the coned cotton weighs several pounds. This is one of my pick up and run with WIPs.
I welcome suggestions. Muse often speaks through others.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Owl Still in Progress

Not much time today to work on this but it is looking more and more like an owl - isn't it? Please don't give up on this guy before you see him finished which will be soon I hope.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Project in Progress - Another Bird?

In my classes I always include at least one session requiring students to bring to class an object of their choice. A tub that held butter, a vase, a box, just any small object. Of course, I don't tell them why, so they bring amazing assortments of all shapes and sizes. A penny, ball, picture frame, a jar that had contained maraschino cherries, a piece of driftwood and on and on. When I tell them we are going to learn about free form and construction by making crochet to form fit the objects, some of them get a little pale in the face. Not to worry, and we begin.
I still look at objects in that way. The picture below shows what I am making from the blister part of a package of two hooks for my bathroom.

So I get home and install the hooks, but just can't part with package. I thought I was brilliant when I decided to use the blister part to make a yarn bag with two holes at the top, therefore being able to use 2 skeins to work from with no tangling. What a clever woman I am.
My first move was to start to cover the plastic holes with yarn. I did pretty good on the front side ( top picture), but the back side was not so good, ( two bottom pictures, see the clear part especially in the center and it's white edge peeking from between the stitches?), but I thought that was all right because it would be inside so no one would ever see it. As I started crocheting around that initial covering (first round), I was thinking about how to get the yarn into the bag since I was crocheting it from the top. I decided on a side opening. Yes, that will be so cool I thought.
Then I turned it over and saw the top picture. Everything changed. I realized how silly I had been to think I was making a yarn bag, when I was obviously making an owl. I think the top picture shows how easily it could be a mask, but I couldn't stop there. Wait till you see how this turns out.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Don't Pay For It!

I've spent several hours today just looking around on the Internet about crochet. I learned a lot and of course it stimulated my own creativity. This post is the result of something that I found in common on many sites or blogs- paying for patterns. If it is truly your own and you want to sell it, that's OK with me. What I find absurd is making someone else's pattern yourself, taking a picture, and then selling the barely disguised pattern as your own. I found a picture on Pinterest that very closely resembles my Little Birdie (for which I gave credit to and Lucy as well), and it's selling for $3.50 or more.

So I'm posting again about my little embroidery floss birdie. But I'm doing just the basic circle so that even beginners can understand what they might otherwise pay for.
As is true in most art, there is math involved. (More on this later). I prefer the magic circle beginning (just google it-there are tutorials and text and pictures-about a jillion of them), but a chained beginning is just as well.

Either way you start with a circle.
Then you ch 1 if you want the first round to be single crochet or ch 2 if it will be doubles. Then you make your stitches, single or double into the circle.You do not even need a pattern. The number of stitches is how many it takes to lie flat with whatever yarn and hook you are using. If there are not enough stitches into this circle it will cup up-not lay flat. If there are too many, the edges will ruffle. Play with it until you are satisfied that it is flat. Join the last stitch to the top of the ch with a slip stitch.

Again ch 1 or 2, depending on the height of the second round. For practical purposes I'm going to say your first round was doubles and all your rounds will be double, so ch 2, Double crochet in the same stitch as the ch 2.. Now here's the math to keep your circle from cupping or ruffling. On this second row you do 2 doubles in each double of the first row. This means you are increasing in every stitch.

Join as before and start round 3. If you increased in every stitch, you would have ruffled edges, so this time the increase is in every other stitch. Row 3 would read like this; ch 2 (counts as 1 double, by the way), * 2dc in next stitch, 1dc in next*. Repeat * to* around. So you have increased in every other stitch.
Row 4, and guess what? The increase is in every 3rd st. Reads like this; ch 3, dc in next stitch, 2dc in next st, *dc in next 2 st, 2dc in next stitch*. Repeat around.
Row 5 the increase is in every 4th st. I usually "work even" on 6th row, which means no increases. Just one st in each st of previous row.

By the way, usually, unless otherwise stated, there is no turning in circle patterns. The same side faces you throughout.
Another by the way: there are a couple of ways to do without the joining which leaves no ugly demarcation lines at each join. One way is to work in a spiral, eliminating the joins, and the other is called invisible joining. Do a search on both of these to see which you prefer.

You can make any kind of flat circle this way: large or small and with whatever yarn or string or embroidery floss. . . In one of the patterns for sale they used pearle cotton, another called for fingering yarn.

For goodness sake, search the Internet for what you are interested in making. There are soooo many free patterns, try to find one that suits you. If you try and cannot find it, make sure the one you pay for is original. BEFORE you pay, if you have doubts or can't find what you want, let me know and I'll find it or create it or send you a free skien of yarn if I fail.


Any questions? I will respond to any problems you may send my way very quickly.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Body Bag / Project Bag

I'm calling this my body bag because I was needing something to carry projects in progress, without needing a place to sit or lay it down. Something that allowed me to crochet while walking, or sitting some place not so clean. Something I could "wear" without it hanging around my neck or over my shoulder.

So this is what I came up with and wear it a lot now. I'm not always a sitting crocheter and this works even when I'm stirring soup or waiting for the dryer to finish. I'm telling you, this is a handy thing to have.

No, that's not my arm! The pattern follows below. It is approximately 18 inches wide and 11 inches tall, but you can easily adjust the measurements. I used a worsted weight and size J hook, but gauge is not importantly.
Row 1- ch 71, dc in 5th chain, *ch1, dc in next chain* across the row.
Row 2- turn and ch 3, dc in first ch1 sp, *ch 1 dc in next ch1 sp* across. End with ch1, sk 1, then dc in 3rd ch of dc in previous row.
Row 3 - turn and ch 3, dc in first ch1 sp, ch1 *dc in next ch1 sp, ch1* across, dc in top of ch 3.
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until piece measures 36 inches (or your preferred dimensions). Fasten off and weave in end. Fold last row up to meet first row and stitch up side of bag.
If you want the zig-zag net pattern to go the other direction, simply turn pattern, but then the joining is across the bottom of the bag and I did not like that idea. This way is much stronger.
For handles you could use rings or machine stitched fabric. I made 2 straps by joining about 5 inches in from one side and doing 5 sc, *turn do 4 sc* until strap is about 6 inches then join in same place on opposite side. Repeat 5 inches in from other at other end.
This pattern is easily adapted to any number of things, like curtain panels for example or a scarf...Play with it and enjoy.

Hat Finds Home

I made this hat several years ago without benefit of a pattern. I'm not a hat person so I never wore it like I thought I would.

When my sister from Pennsylvania visited in April, she mentioned how she has started wearing hats everywhere, so I unpacked this one and it went home at last.She's a photographer and since the hat is white, she thinks the black and white shows the hat better than color might. If you are interested in a pattern, just contact me.Boo