Sunday, March 29, 2009

I may actually be able to pull this off!

So I finished side one of my sweater this week.  Yay!  I am also about a third of the way done with the second side.  So once I get that done I just need to put them together and do the borders, and I'll have a nice new shell, woohoo!  I am super excited that I am actually going to pull this off.  Of course we have yet to see what the finished product will actually look like, but fingers are crossed.

Here's what the first half of it looks like at least:

And in other news, I found out this week that my baby is a girl, yay!  So you may have noticed some rearranging of items in my projects list.  I am definitely going to make the "Accepted's Blanket" for her, and I am making that my next project.  Now I just need to figure out what order the seven bands of color go in (and find a good baby-friendly yarn that comes in all of those colors).  Also, I have to decide whether to make it round or square.  Jury's still out on that one.  Making something big and round that will also stay relatively flat will definitely be a challenge, but it is possible I'm up to it.  We'll just have to see.

I also forsee some cross-stitching in my future.  When I was organizing my non-crochet craft stuff a while back I stumbled across some old school Care Bears cross stitch patterns.  I think baby girl may need a Bedtime Bear cross-stitch hanging for her room.  :o)  Wow, I haven't done/completed a cross-stitch since my nephew was born.  That really will be a challenge.

Well, that's all I've got for this week.  It is possible I'll have the finished sweater for you to view next week, but if not there will at least be the March swap squares to post.  

Have a great one folks!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Forward momentum, yay!

I feel like I'm back in the game again, huzzah!

I made pretty decent progress on my Serene Shell this week.  I am planning to finish the first side of the sweater today.  No pic yet though cuz it's just a lovely green rectangle at the moment.

I am really digging the 3 Double Crochet Fan/V Stitch combo going on in that pattern.  I think I may utilize it for a baby blanket as summer gets closer.  We're doing a safari theme for the bedding, and I love how plant-like this pattern looks in green, so I have some yarn I got last month on my trip (in green of course) that might be perfect for this.  I think it will look really cool and jungle-y.  

But that's not all I did this week, oh no.  I also made a pair of slippers yesterday.  They were inspired by the slippers my mom has been knitting for me (and others) pretty much all of my life.  Perfect little house slippers.  Now that I no longer live as close to Mom as I would like, and now that she has so many irons in the knitting fire, I hate to ask her to stop what she's doing to make me a new pair just because I already wore through my most recent set.   So for a while I have been thinking I bet I could make myself some really similar slippers via crochet, and last month I started playing around with it a bit.

The first pair turned out to be a bit too big for me (they actually fit my husband quite nicely though), and then I wanted to make a pair for my mom in thanks before my trip.  But until yesterday I hadn't gotten the chance to sit down and just make a pair for myself.

I used Dream In Color's "Classy" yarn in "Wisterious."  I won a skein in a raffle while I was in Illinois and since it's washable I thought it might be fun to use for a project like this. It's a handpainted yarn in purples and pinks and oranges.  I suppose it should invoke thoughts of sunsets, but it reminds me of nothing so much as sherbert, so I give you the Sherbert Slippers:

Here's a shot that gives you a better idea of the colors:

So now, I can totally make my own slippers when I run through them.  Not that I won't treasure any pair my mom makes me, cuz you know, they're from my mom.  

For anyone interested, here is the pattern I came up with.  These will make a pair to fit a size 8.5 woman's foot.  They do seem to have some stretch to them though, so I may end up adapting for a bit smaller pattern in the future, I'll have to see how they hold up after washing.  If you want to make them in a different size you would just need to play with the width of the heel and the length of the toe I suppose.


Uses size G crochet hook.

  1. Chain 3.
  2. 2 single crochet in second chain from hook, 2 single crochet in next chain (4 sc).
  3. *Chain 1, turn.  2 single crochet in first single crochet, 1 single crochet in each stitch across to last stitch, 2 single crochet in last stitch.** Repeat from * to ** 3 times (5 rows, 12 sc).
  4. Rows 6-20:  Chain 1, turn, single crochet in each stitch across (12 sc).
  5. Chain 1, 1 single crochet in each row along edge of heel, two stitches at bottom and each row along opposite edge (42 sc).
  6. Rows 2-8:  Chain 1, turn, half-double crochet in each stitch around (42 hdc).
  7. Chain 1, turn, 1 single crochet in same stitch.  Single crochet next 2 stitches together, single crochet in each of next 16 stitches, single crochet 2 together twice, single crochet in next 16 stitches, single crochet 2 together, single crochet in last stitch.
  8. Join to first single crochet on opposite side with slip stitch.
  9. Chain 1, 1 single crochet in edge of each row and in each single crochet across bottom of heel then in edge of each row along opposite side.  Join with slip stitch to first single crochet (30 sc).
  10. Rows 2-8:  Chain 3 (counts as first double crochet here and throughout), double crochet in next stitch and in each stitch around.  Join with slip stitch to third chain in chain 3 (30 dc).
  11. Chain 3, double crochet in next 2 stitches *(3 dc), double crochet 2 together.** Repeat from * to ** around.  Join with slip stitch to third chain in chain 3.
  12. Chain 3, double crochet in next stitch *(2 dc), double crochet 2 together.** Repeat from * to ** around.  Join with slip stitch to third chain in chain 3.
  13. Chain 3 *(1 dc), double crochet 2 together.** Repeat from * to ** around.  Join with slip stitch to third chain in chain 3.
  14. Chain 1, half-double crochet in same stitch and in each stitch around.  Join with slip stitch to first half-double crochet (12 hdc).
  15. Fold toe in half, slip stitch to edge (if necessary).  Single crochet edges together (6 sc).
  16. Finish off, turn slipper right side out.
And there you have it.  Yay!

Anyhoo, I hope everyone has a wonderful week.  Enjoy spring now that it has sprung and all.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Finally something new to report...

Been a while, I know, but I haven't been up to too much on the crochet front lately.  There was a week of cleaning in preparation for a dinner party (and to get rid of the remaining signs of plague in the house).  I did get my sister's March square done that week, but since I couldn't post a photo, I didn't feel like that on its own merited a blog entry.

Then last week I fully intended to get started on that Amigurumi giraffe but I just couldn't face the thought of all of those pieces that would have to be assembled.  Add that to the time change and a nasty turn in the weather and I was honestly completely worthless last week (though I did get an awesome amount of reading done).  

But I am trying to start this week off on a better note.  I realized I am going to wait on the giraffe for a while.  Maybe when I get further along in my pregnancy--the bedding set we want for the hatchling's room is a safari theme, so the giraffe (while not safe as a baby toy) would make a really cute decoration for the room.  

I decided to just jump in to the next project on my list, so now I am working on a really cute sweater.  I got the swatch done yesterday, and happily the gauge seemed to be pretty decent (though without the benefit of blocking because I am on a quest for the perfect blocking tools--my mom has an awesome blocking pad she got from JoAnn's but a search at my local store did not yield any results).  The stitch count was spot on.  The row count was a little short, but as this pattern doesn't call for a specific number of rows but to instead go until you have the correct length in inches, I think it will be okay.  I also ordered an exta skein, just in case.  So my fingers are crossed that it comes out alright.  

The pattern is "Serene Shell" and is available for free at (I am not putting in the link because you need to register to see their free patterns).  I am using the LB Studio Cotton Bamboo yarn.  The pattern calls for the yarn in Hyacinth (a very pretty blue) but I went for Snapdragon (a nice mellow green, how very St. Patrick's Day appropriate of me) instead.  

Here is a shot of the swatch:

And here is a closer shot so you can see the pattern a little more clearly:

I really like this pattern so far.  It is all just double crochet and v-stitches (which is really just more double crochet) the whole way through, with a little bit of single crochet around the arm holes and neck hole for edging.  I actually might be able to pull this off.  Also, I am totally jazzed about the green, because it gives the pattern a very plant-ish look to me, which I am digging.

The cotton-bamboo yarn is really soft and so far not too bad to work with.  I do find that I need to pay a little bit closer attention with it though because it is easy to stick the hook through just part of the yarn rather than the whole loop if I'm not careful.

So that's where I am.  I will keep y'all updated on the sweater progress.  I am going to try to take my time on this one because I really want it to come out well.  

I also think I will make myself a pair of house slippers this week, because that will be a quick project to work up, and I think it will be perfect for this really awesome skein of yarn I won at my mom's yarn store last month.  

Um...other news...I know I had mentioned that Lion Brand was going to do a sweater this month for their crochet-along, but I wasn't a big fan of the pattern that got picked (there were three that could be voted on), so I decided to just work on projects in my own queue for now.

Also, I totally have started feeling the hatchling move around.  Dude.

That's all for me.  Happy St. Patty's everyone!  Have a wonderful day and stay safe!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Now if I can just make it through August...

Man, it's already March?  Where the heck did February go to so quickly?  Granted, short month, but still.  Oh well, I am actually not going to complain.  I am expecting my first kiddo in mid-August, so the more quickly I can get to that point the better, I say.  Also, March means warm weather is starting to make its return.  I like warm weather.  That would be why I live in Texas.

Anyhoo, on to the crocheting!  I have completed my second amigurumi penguin.  This one was made using the Amigurumi Holiday Penguin pattern at Lion Brand's website.  The pattern is totally free but you may have to register to view it.  

Since the holidays are well over, however, I decided to change up the color of the penguin's hat and scarf, so instead made them purple, in honor of my alma mater, TCU.  Go Frogs!

Here's a look at the little guy:

And here's a closer shot:  
He's actually about twice as big as the other penguin I made, so this is a good size for a little one if you're looking for a quick project to gift someone.  Though if it's for a super little one, I would recommend using black yarn rather than safety eyes for the center of the eyes. 

This guy has gone to a good home with a friend of mine (another Horned Frog), who needed another penguin.  One can never have too many penguins.

I have to say my favorite thing about this whole pattern was the hat.  You can see that I was a little overenthusiastic in the stuffing of the hat...but aside from that it was just a neat little pattern.  I think I can totally adapt it to make myself (or my hatchling) a wizard hat in the near future.  Perhaps in Gryffindor colors?  Hmm...oh the possibilities!

Anyway, next up in the queue is an amigurumi giraffe, pattern also available at Lion Brand's site.  I think after I finish that I will take a break from the amigurumi for a while.  They are super easy and quick to make, but I find that assembling all of the pieces tends to annoy the crap out of me.  

Ooh, Lion brand is starting up a new crochet-along in the next few weeks, and it looks like it is going to be a sweater.  I may give it a whirl.  I think I need to go get some blocking materials though.  After visiting with my mom and watching her block a few things though, I have a much better idea of how it is done.  Maybe I am on the path to making clothing after all!  We'll have to see I guess.  I still think blankets are my true crochet love.

Speaking of blankets, two more quick things.  First off, for those of you sci-fi geeks, I found out this week that the final Wheel of Time novel has been announced for a fall 2009 release.  In addition to meaning I'll need to get started ASAP re-reading the whole series, this has also renewed my interest in making my "Accepted's Blanket" that I have been kicking around for a while.  I am going to wait to finish plotting it to find out if I am having a boy or a girl, and if it's a girl, it will totally be a baby blanket, otherwise it will be for me.

And finally, now that February has wrapped up, here are the swap squares my sister and I made for month two.  The pattern we used for February was Jessie's Square, from the 2007 Crochet Pattern A Day calendar.  You can find it at Amazon if you've any interest, there are some pretty cool patterns in there.  

Here's the square I made for my sis:

And here's the square she made for me:

Good stuff, no?  Anyway, I guess before I get to work on that giraffe I had better get my March square started.  

I hope you all have a lovely week.  Happy March!