Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day in Fort Worth

Can you believe it? Two days ago it was nearly 80F! Texas- ya gotta love it! These are from windows in my house.
Click on pictures to see in full windows.

And the only green showing.

And in just the few minutes it took to write this, look how much more!

Happy holidays to everyone. I'm spending this afternoon watching the snow and, of course, crocheting.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Priscilla Hewitt's Gripper Towel Ring

This is far and away the BEST towel ring I have ever seen. Such a clever design! Pricilla must be an engineer as well as a crocheter.
I have her in my side bar where I suggest you go and look at all her free patterns. The link directly to this pattern is HERE. It works up in a jiffy and after the first one (learning curve), you can really make several at one good sitting.
This gripper will not let go of your towel. It's great for golfers as well as cooks, burp cloths; just so many applications. Quick gift or bizarre item.
Ok. Enough on the selling points. What I have below is just a short demo on how it's done. (It even looks like the same yarn.)

I used coned cotton, and a size G hook. If you have any difficulty keeping the two rings together for the first six stitches, tape them together first.

Then the 31 chains.

Sc back down the chain.

Above is just before single crochets into the second side of buttonhole.

That buttonhole marks the almost half way done spot. Then I forgot to continue taking photos until I was finished, but the second part is very easy.
Here is the finished back side.

And here is the front with a towel

and the back with a towel.

So you can see how it works.
Try this, and look at her other patterns too. I'd love to hear what you think and see what you make!
Crochet every single day,

Google+ Not For Me

Hello Everybody,
I tried Google+ and thought everything was fine. It was not. I repeatedly tried to fix it on my own. Finally I searched the Internet and found that there are many, many people having these problems. Under threat of going into obscurity, I decided to revert back like I was told I could when I signed up. Now it says to change my profile which gives this notice - "this page is broken, that's all we know." Then it says that they will "try" over the next few days??? to restore me back to what I had before. So, if this blog starts going crazy, please be patient as I will address each new problem as they arise and, of course, after "restoration", which I have no way of knowing when or why. That's all for now except this advice: be careful, very careful, before switching to Google+. Enough said.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Baby Counterpane

Hello friends,
I finished the baby blanket made in the Counterpane stitch that I previewed in my last post. Just to break it up a little, I randomly chained 2, skipped 2, then picked up the pattern stitch again.

The stitch is simply this: yarn over, pull up a loop then slip stitch in two steps, yarn over and pull through two remaining loops. It helped me to think of it as yarn over, sl st, sc. (With a ch 2 for turning) I used the same stitch for the border.
Also, remember that I used a size J hook, and that it is as tall as a half double stitch, yet the "holes" are tiny! It works up quickly enough to satisfy almost-immediate gratification. Please try it and tell me what you think.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Vintage Stitch Washcloth OR Watching My Muse at Work

What follows is my favorite childhood poem.
The Land of Counterpane
by Robert Louis Stevenson
When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.
And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;
And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.
I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.

In fact my sister and I were reciting it out loud just a few months ago to be sure we still could. I still do not know what Counterpane is, but I keep meaning to look it up, because I'm sure my sister knows, but I don't want her to know that I don't.

Recent Past

I found these little 2 ounce skeins of yarn at Michaels. They are LILY Sugar'nCream Twists. I loved the butcher's twine look so I bought it in the three colors above just to play with. Then added them to my stash and forgot about them for awhile.
Then I was wandering around the crochet portion of the Internet and found This site and This stitch pattern hidden deep inside, in fact I challenge you to find it on the site without the link. Anyway, the history of the stitch intrigued me, so I grabbed some of the twisted yarn to give it a try. I used a J hook (much larger than suggested) and fell in love! Chaining 35 to start with, I started the pattern stitch right away. It turned into this 11" x 11" washcloth. As you can see, it is beautiful on the back side too.

Here is a close-up of the stitches.

And here is what I had left when it was finished.


It is a very nice size, being more the size of nice commercial washcloths than most patterns I've seen on the Internet.
It came from my muse, so it worked out perfectly! I have something I'll use and never forget how Vivian tied it all together for me. The name of the stitch is Counterpane.
I've already started a blanket in this stitch which I'll show you a preview of now so you can see it in a solid color. (Don't worry about the hole in the yellow stripe, I'll explain it when I reveal the blanket.)

You cannot imagine how wonderfully this works up. The holes in it are small like single crochet with a much smaller hook, perhaps a G, but because of the larger hook and the stitch being as tall as a double crochet, it works up in a jiffy. This would be so appropriate for a baby's blanket for year round use. It drapes like a dream, but is not too heavy. I used Simply Soft by Caron for the blanket and a K hook.
Please try this stitch. You will not be disappointed. Keep these two things in mind. 1) use a larger hook than you normally would for the yarn you use and 2) heed the advice of Hannah Davis and work the first half of the stitch in two movements. Also look for Hannah, the young whippersnapper that rediscovered this stitch to visit here after the holidays.
Crochet every single day,

And the Winner Is

The winner of this hook made by JIMBO is...drumroll please....Injuneau. Congratulations.

Please contact me by email for delivery information. If you do not contact me within 24 hours, another winner will be selected.

Thanks for everyone that entered and keep following because next giveaway is already planned for January. I have so much enjoyed all your comments.