Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Some Small Projects and a Free Pattern

Last time I shared some of the larger projects that I completed in the last year or so today I thought I would share some of the smaller things that I have also completed.

Last Halloween, I crocheted part of my youngest son's costume. He wanted to be a knight so I made him a 'chain mail' hood and sleeves. He loved it, and I think it turned out great.

My bff gave me a Star Wars character crochet kit for Christmas. The designer is Lucy Collin and the characters are completely adorable! I made the Chewbacca first, and I have plans to make R2-D2 and Boba Fett next.

I also made an owl hat for a friend's daughter who is turning 3 soon. The pattern is from Repeat Crafter Me. I made a few small changes, and I love the way it turned out! So did my friend and her daughter. :)

My new little great-niece got a sweet hat too.

I also have four other WIPs sitting in my little sweater basket (another gift from by bff). One is a beautiful yellow mesh scarf that I haven't worked on in ages. The other is my tunic. You can't see it but it's buried down there. :) It's actually finished but I need to block it and sew it together (the parts of a project I dread doing - haha).

The last two WIPs are both Sophie's Universe by Dedri Uys -- I'm making them both with Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable. I love how the color changes work so well with this pattern. The color pictured below is Sunrise. With just one skein, I made it almost all the way to the end of the 25th round (not bad!). I shouldn't refer to these as small projects, but they're small for now! :)

Speaking of small projects, I have this little shamrock pattern to share with you.

Shamrock Motif:

C hook
Green Cotton Crochet Thread

Using 2 strands of crochet thread held together, ch 4, sl st in 1st ch to join and make loop.
Round 1: Ch 1, 7 hdc in loop, sl st to 1st hdc to join.
Round 2: Ch 1, *(2 dc, hdc, 2 dc) in next st, sl st in next st, rep from * 2 more times, sl st in next st, ch 3 (this will make the stem), sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next ch, sl st to connect stem to bottom of shamrock.
Finish off, leaving long tail for sewing if desired.

Please do not copy and redistribute my pattern as your own. Feel free to sell finished items -- please give me credit though for the original pattern by linking here. If you have any questions or problems with the patterns, please feel free to leave a comment here. Enjoy and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Updates on Life and Blankets

In the last couple of years, I have really let this blog stagnate. Uhhhh. And it's not because nothing is going on, crochet-wise, but more like because so much is going on. Busy doesn't even seem to cover it, but that is what I have been. Busy with my family, busy with work, busy with projects, busy with ideas. Just, busy. And in the back of my mind, this blog silently nags at me...

I have come to a place where my crochet focus is changing. This has been simmering for awhile, in my head at least, if nowhere else. I am starting to see the fruits of this change start to take shape, and nothing is more exciting than that.

Stay tuned for some exciting new things that are percolating on the horizon. :)

In the meantime, I will share an update on my latest crochet projects. Last November, my second great-niece was born so of course, I had to make two blankets for her (just like I did for her sister)!

I also made a Happy Throw for my sister's boss who gave birth to a baby girl last year. This is such a great pattern and has become a go-to blanket design for me.

I also finished a huge blanket for my husband. He served in the US Navy, so I used gray, white, and blue in a nautical-inspired pattern. 

I have three other blankets in various stages of completion. I'm trying to finish at least one before I start anything new, but...well, that might not happen. :)

These are just the big projects. As usual, I have also been working on plenty of smaller projects too. And in case you think I just have an encyclopedic memory, I don't (ha!). I use Ravelry to keep track of my bigger projects. This really comes in handy when I have put a project down for awhile, and when I pick it up again, I can't recall which hook I was using!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Remembering Marinke (Wink of A Creative Being)

I can't recall how I first heard of Wink's blog, but once I discovered it, I followed it religiously. I was drawn in by her bright colors and patterns -- it was such a happy place! Only later did I realize that all the bright, happy colors were Wink's way of fighting off the insidious darkness of depression. Sadly, the darkness took over and Wink took her own life.

To honor and remember Wink, crocheters around the world are creating mandalas to raise awareness of depression. More information can be found at Crochet Concupiscence.

This is my contribution, The pattern is Wink's. I chose it to represent the light at the end of the tunnel that she could no longer see. The yarn is Scheepjeswol Cotton 8, from the Scheepjes 2014 CAL that Wink designed.

Thank you, Marinke, for all the colorful and beautiful creations you gave to the world. I hope that your loved ones take comfort in knowing that you touched so many people.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Serious Catching Up, Seriously

I'm not really sure how it got to this point. Do the days just whiz by for everyone, or is it just me?

To recap the last few months:

My oldest son Morgan is doing great in his freshman year at college. I, however, still feel his absence strongly. Luckily, he texts me constantly, so it does make things easier. Plus he's almost finished with his second semester, so I am counting the days until he is home again. :)

My second son Tanner is about to graduate from high school, and he has been accepted to the University of Texas at Dallas. Yikes! I have some pictures to order and announcements to address. Oh and a wreath to make for our front door, since I made one last year when Morgan graduated.

My third son Carson is about to become a high schooler. He was accepted into the Science & Engineering Academy (the same school Tanner will graduate from), so we continue with the tradition of attending magnet schools. I'm really proud of my boys. :)

My fourth son Connor is finishing up third grade. He once told me (when Morgan mentioned his dream to move to Europe after college) that he would never leave me. He is the sweetest boy, and he misses Morgan the most (after me, of course).

(UH campus visit)

In crafty news, I have finished two blankets (and started another), made countless hats and scarves, and started cross-stitching again.

             (Nikki's bobble blanket)                  

 (Morgan's cozy dorm blanket)

(Kevin's nautical-inspired blanket)

I used to cross-stitch all the time. I hoarded DMC embroidery thread and contemporary patterns. I'm not really sure how my crafty life evolved from thread to yarn, except that after having my children, I found it much easier to put a yarn project down than a cross-stitch project. Cross-stitch after all requires a certain amount of concentration.

(Birthday gift for my bestie's son. Pattern by weelittlestitches.)

I'll post some of the cross-stitch pieces I have framed around my house. Next time. :)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

How Can It Be October Already?

I just cannot believe how quickly this year is passing. It feels as if I just dropped off my oldest at college, but in reality it has been more than 7 weeks. Luckily, my son texts me all the time, so it doesn't feel much different from last year. He is adjusting well to living on his own, and we are all managing here without him. Although we certainly miss him.

We have been to Houston twice to visit him. While I have my own personal prejudices against the city (really long story), I do love the campus of the University of Houston. It has towering trees, beautiful art installations, and buildings of stature and distinction, plus all the amenities one could possibly want. Makes me wish I could go to college again. :)

The best part for me is how happy Morgan is:

 And just in case you thought there would be no mention of yarn in this post, guess again! :)

This is another WIP that I work on now and again. I have been hoard, ummm... saving, this yarn for awhile, and I finally had to start using it. It's Red Heart Boutique Treasure in Watercolors. I just love all the shades -- it looks like several colors but it really is only the one colorway. I'm using the Spring into Summer Blanket pattern by Felted Button (the pattern calls for a different yarn but works up beautifully with this one).

I'm also working on seasonal items. I was playing around the other day with a little ghost applique that I just couldn't get out of my head. I made 2 versions: a 'standing' ghost and a 'floaty' ghost.

I posted them on Instagram and got some requests for a pattern, so I wrote them up and here they are:

Little Ghost Applique
WW yarn 
G hook

Version 1:
Rnd 1: Magic Circle, 3 dc, 2 hdc, 3 dc, 2 hdc, all in circle, pull tight, join w/ sl st in first dc.
Rnd 2: Ch 1, 2 hdc in next 4 sts, hdc, (ch 5, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc2tog, sc in last ch), sc in same st as hdc, (hdc, dc) in next st, 3 dc in next st, (dc, hdc) in next st, sc, (ch 4, sc in 2nd ch from hook, 2 sc in next ch, sc in last ch), hdc in same st as sc, 2 hdc in next st, sl st to join. 
Rnd 3: Ch 1, (hdc, dc), (dc, hdc), hdc in next 3 sts, (hdc, dc), (dc, hdc), sl st, finish off. Weave in ends. 

Version 2:
Rnds 1 and 2 are the same as above.
Rnd 3: Ch 1, sc, 2 hdc, (hdc, dc), 2 dc in ea of next 2 sts, ch 4, 2 sc in 2nd ch from hook, 2 hdc in next ch, 3 dc in last ch, sl st to ghost body to join, finish off. Weave in ends. 

Face: Use black yarn or thread to embroider eyes and mouth.

Please do not copy and redistribute my pattern as your own. Feel free to sell finished items -- please give me credit though for the original pattern by linking here. If you have any questions or problems with the patterns, please feel free to leave a comment here. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer Happenings

Busy -- that's the one word that describes this summer perfectly. Here we are in the last week before school starts, and as usual, I am wondering where the time went. We've made road trips to Houston (freshmen orientation for our oldest son)

(selfie at orientation!)

and also to Dallas because we just had to visit my sweet great-niece Harper!

Of course, I had to take a new crocheted gift to Harper, a sweet little crab (she's a Cancer!).

(Pattern by Awkward Soul)

My own little Cancer turned 8 this summer. He wants a crab, too. :)

While the zodiac sign Cancer reminds me of these two sweethearts and my dad, the disease cancer brings awful memories. Its insidious nature has impacted me in more ways than I can even begin to say, which I would guess is true for many people. This year I have already lost two incredible women to this dreaded disease, and four more women I know are fighting the good fight. I crocheted some caps in anticipation of hair loss for the two women who are currently getting chemotherapy treatments.

(Free pattern courtesy of Oombawka Design)

The saddest part of cancer to me is the children. In 2011, a member of my extended family was diagnosed with leukemia and died just 6 months later. Sam was 8. The next year, his family started the Samuel Szabo Foundation with the goal of raising awareness of childhood cancers, funding childhood cancer research and supporting families faced with a diagnosis of cancer in northeast Ohio. 

I have started crocheting hats and caps to donate to SSF and will be posting photos and patterns here. Please consider donating to SSF or a similar organization -- only 4% of federal funding for cancer research goes toward childhood cancers. That has to change. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

New Market Bags and a New Look

I recently added new market bags to my Etsy shop:

One of my goals this summer is to finish some of my UFOs and restock the shop. I have at least 3 more market bags that just need finishing and photographing.

I also plan on finishing this chevron scarf (true confession - I started it in 2011 - yikes!):

And I'm still working on the secret project. And I haven't touched my tunic project in weeks. Sigh.

The shop also had a new look, courtesy of my son's friend who is a talented digital graphic artist. She created a new shop banner and avatar for me. I figured a change was due after 7 years! I have also commissioned a portrait of my sons -- cannot wait to share that with you!