Saturday, October 1, 2011

Afghan for the Next New Baby

I make an afghan for each new baby in the family. It has become a tradition. I've tried to give them other presents but they want afghans. My nephew and his wife are expecting a baby in November and I just finished this afghan for them. It is made of many colors of granny squares and they are joined together with a looping technique. That leaves the back side nice and flat. I've made this before using a diagonal pattern. This time I just randomly attached the colors. I think it turned out well.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Charity Square Drive

I was looking around for a new baby blanket pattern to make for a friend of mine and I found this other blog. It's titled SmoothFox and she has a lot of different types of patterns out there. What I found most interesting is she hosts a competition on her blog for a charity drive. You turn in crocheted or knitted squares to a group called Online Angel's who put the squares together into blankets to give out to needy/sick families.

The interesting part is that it looks as though each square you put in gives you a chance to win a the grand prize of $100.00. You can compete as individuals or as a team. If you win and you happen to be part of a group then SmoothFox will post about your group....or possibly blog or shop. :)

Here's the link. What do you guys think about maybe entering?


by Kelly

Ah, autumn! Crisp apples, warm days and cool nights, and the smell of woodsmoke in the air. And sawdust. Did I mention sawdust?

Me plus tree. That's not the trunk.

Outside our front door
We've cut down three trees in the last two weeks. Donna and her husband cut down two, and we cut down one.

This little saga started with a neighbor informing me that our dead tree creaked so much during a recent storm that she was afraid it would fall on her dog. Now, I like dogs and all, but if I thought a tree was about to fall, I would be more concerned with property damage. Like houses, and cars, for example. I would think a dog would have the good sense to run out of the way.

Still, we decided to bite the bullet and pay to get the tree cut down. ($950, by the way, for those of you who have never been forced to have this done. And that was really a good price - we have paid more.) While we waited patiently for the tree guy to show up, feeling like the Sword of Damocles was hanging over our heads (or rather, our house),  Donna's tree, which was still green and leafy, fell down one morning while I was watching.

So began an orgy of tree felling.

One thing I have noticed, is that if you have something like this

in front of your house, people will beat a path to your door to ask if you're selling firewood. Even if they have to climb over tree trunks to get to your door.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fruits of my Labor

I have been missing in action for quite a while now. But I have been quite busy. This is what I have been doing for about six weeks. I have made pickles, pasta sauce, salsa, pickled vegetables, giardiniera, green beans and zucchini bread. I still want to make apple butter and cinnamon apple jelly as soon as I get some apples.

Then I got busy and did some much needed housework around here.

That doesn't mean I have quit crocheting. Never! I just didn't spend as much time at it. I didn't quit reading, either. I know what my priorities are!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Daisy Ruffle Scarf

by Kelly

Here's something I made last year for a local Christmas charity that supplies hats, scarves, and mittens to kids. I knit it using Daisy Stitch and two colors of yarn and ended up with something surprisingly cute. After I donated the first one, I made another because I had just enough yarn for one more...and anyway the scarf is really adorable and fun to make.

And since I don't happen to need any more scarves at the moment (I think five is enough for one person, don't you?) I've listed it for sale in our shop.

I used  size 8 needles (U.S.) and worsted weight yarn. Half a skein of pink and half a skein of white (about 180 yards total) makes a scarf about 48 inches long.

I added the ruffles on the ends because I’m not good at fringe (or cutting my own hair, either - in both cases the ends are uneven), and found out that the decrease (k3tog) at the end of the ruffle gives plenty of space between stitches, making the daisy stitches easier to work than they normally are.

Here’s the pattern, such as it is. I haven't had anyone test knit this, so please, if you find a problem, comment on this post so others know. If you have any problems, there's a great YouTube video by iknitwithcatfur on how to work Daisy Stitch.

Make ruffle -
Cast on 3x the amount of stitches you’re using for the main body of the scarf. I wanted my scarf to be 29 stitches wide, so I cast on 87 stitches in color A

Row 1:. knit to end
Row 2: purl to end
Repeat these two rows for the desired length. I used 12 rows total. The ruffle tends to curl quite a bit at the edges, so make sure it's long enough.
Row 3 (final row only) k3tog to end (29 stitches on needle)

begin body of scarf  in Daisy Stitch pattern (multiple of 4 + 1)

Rows 1 (RS) : in color A, Knit to end
Row 2:  K1, *p3tog and don’t drop them off your needle, yo (wrapping yarn completely around needle), p same 3 together again and drop them, k1; repeat from *
Row 3: change to color B, Knit to end
Row 4: K1, p1, k1, *p3tog and don’t drop them off your needle, yo (wrapping yarn completely around needle), p same 3 together again and drop them, k1, repeat from * end  with p1, k1
Repeat these four rows until the scarf is desired length (mine was 45 inches at that point (from the edge of the ruffle to my needle)
end with color A
Row 5: Knit to end
Row 6: Purl to end
begin final ruffle
Row 1: Knit in front and back, yo; repeat from to final stitch, knit 1
Row 2: purl to end
Row 3: knit to end
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until this ruffle is equal in length to the other one. Cast off and weave in any loose ends.

Here's a PDF version

Monday, September 26, 2011

Update and Completed Afghans

So the latest update for me is that the numbness in my hands has finally gone away so I'm able to crochet as much as I want to....which is a lot. I've also finally gotten around to taking photos of all my completed blankets.

This is the most recent one I've completed. I'm very proud of it since it's the first time I've tried to make a blanket using two strands of yarn at once. It makes it nice and comfy.

Below is a close up of one of the circles.

The next two blankets are American flags. The only difference is that one has 46 stars and uses the double crochet shell pattern on the stripes. The other has 50 stars and is a straight double crochet across the entire stripe.

My only worry about the 50 star pattern is that you can tell the star field is too big since I had to tweak the original pattern for the 46 star to try to get all 50 in the field. But then I didn't make the stripes big enough. I'm wondering if I should try to sell the 50 for that reason or not.

46 Star...................................................................................50 Star

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