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Monday, January 24, 2022

I'm Planning a New Video Series

 

Thursday, January 20, 2022

A New Baby Blanket Series

Hey all. So, over the last year, I had some time to dream a little bit about what sorts of patterns I wanted to work on this year. 

I know I've talked a bit before about wanting to branch out into patterns that challenge me, and I am definitely working on some of those, but, I also wanted to create a series of themed baby blankets, since I've never really done that before. Almost all of my baby blankets, to this point, have been single stitch repeats (except Lady Frances) that have focused on adapting the color palette to fit what you have on hand. 

This time I'm venturing out into actual themes, starting with a Nautical theme. But, you know me, I'm not one that likes to do a design that is too "on the nose." I like to have it a little more abstract so that it can, or could be, anything you want it to be with just a few tweaks. 






I wanted the blanket to have cables, because to me that immediately says "ropes!" I also wanted there to be A LOT of texture so that it was interesting to make and touch.  


I also wanted the corners to be interesting without using appliques for this one. I didn't want boats, life rings, or Captain's wheels. Nautical flags were suggested, but I didn't want to have four different designs to deal with. Then I thought, well why not a Compass Rose? I thought that could be an interesting add-on that I would only have to design once. lol.  Oh lordy, it took me three and a half tries to get my square to look right. And it's still not perfect, but it at least looks "compassy."


I did have a different vision in my head, but no matter how I attacked it- it just would not come exactly like I saw it in my brain. 

This blanket just went to the testers, and I'm excited to see what my girls come up with! I've given them the freedom to choose other nautical palettes than red, white, and blue.

Next up on my themed baby blanket list is a little garden-themed blanket that will have trellises and flowers and little bees...more gorgeous texture, but so peaceful. 

I'm planning to use Cygnet Kiddies Supersoft DK because they have the dreamiest lemon yellow color that I can find. And the overall color palette is just perfection. This is the picture I keep in my phone to remind me. lol


Does anyone besides me fill up their photos with screenshots of ideas?

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Custom Sweater Update: It's Finished!

The Custom Sweater is Done!!


picture credit: Jesse Lother


thought I would end up posting weekly updates on the custom sweater, but it turned out to be more than I could handle- doing both crocheting and blogging- so I chose crocheting. I was under a timetable and I kept running into problem after problem, so I did what I do best in stressful times and I hid. 



The squares took longer than anticipated. There was a ton of mental math in figuring out the zig-zag side of the sweater. It was just a LOT. But!!! I persevered and here we are - DONE! Not only done, but the recipient of the sweater LOVES it. She said that she had always wanted a sweater like that, and I made her dream come true. 

Picture credit: Jesse Lother


I just want to share some in-progress pictures with you since I didn't post them before. I won't be sharing a pattern for this because it is not my design. The original was created by Shop Fluffy and I took inspiration for this sweater from the original to create one for my cousin's daughter-in-law. I won't ever make this sweater again. She has a one-of-a-kind. My cousin told her she's the only one on the planet with a sweater like that and she's not wrong! Haha!



This was actually close to the end as I was beginning to put pieces together. 



After I wrote down all the square/flower combinations that were in the original sweater I wrote down a list of the rest of the color combinations that would work. Then, I made all my inside circles for my squares, and finish off the outside colors leaving a front loop section to add my flowers to later. 




 
The piles are starting.

 

Now I am separating them out into stacks of inside/outside combinations and putting their "flower" color on top of the piles so I can keep track of what I have to work on. 



I added the flower petals on last because it was easier to attach them to the already finished squares instead of fighting with them while I was adding the background color on. That is the way the original pattern had you do it. Plus, I didn't like the look of the finished petals being caught up by the main color. When I added them afterward, they sat on top of the background color which I felt was a "cleaner" look. You can see it better in the next picture. 



As I was working along, I needed to get an idea of how the squares were going to sit on the body, so I pinned squares to my body form. Let's just be real honest here, that body form is for "looks" only! If I make any more custom sweaters I am going to invest in an actual sewing body form. This thing has an 18" waist and that is not the norm for most people. I was a child the last time I was that small! Nevertheless, it helped me to get an idea of how far down I needed to go to get the car coat length they were wanting. 



But, I had to make more...


and more...


and more squares. These babies went everywhere with me! Here we are visiting my mom! 


BUT! Then came the day when all the squares were made. ALL. THE. SQUARES!!! I could hear the angels singing the Hallelujah chorus!



So, I was able to start piecing the flower square side of the sweater together. 


I used a simple sc, ch1, sc back and forth between the squares to create a lacey, webbed look between the squares like the original sweater. 



The square side went together swimmingly. This was definitely not the challenging part of the sweater. It already weighs about 2 pounds at this point. Cotton is unbelievably heavy when there is a lot of it in one place. 



Nope, the real challenging part of this sweater, for me, was the zig-zag portion. A- Before this sweater, I almost NEVER made zig-zag anything. B- Surprisingly math gives me anxiety. LOL


It took me a little bit of figuring out, ripping out, and refiguring, but I got my zig-zag section going.

 

After the initial freaking out was over, it actually became sort of a fun challenge to see if I could do this. Things like shoulder widths and where its going to hit on the neck are things you don't think of in a simple square construction. But, zig-zags make everything different because you have to account for the depths of the zigs and the zags. STRESSSSSS. That's how you spell zig-zag. Hahaha!!



I pinned the pieces together to get an idea of where things were going to lay and whether or not I had to rip a bunch of stuff back. But, things were matching up! Miracle of miracles!



I completed the zig-zag section before attaching it to the square side. At this point, I didn't know it, but I was going to have to undo the side seam and add another small section of colored rows because it was not laying correctly across the bosom section and the sleeve area was just too small. 



And then I got to work on the sleeves. I got them all done and found out I made them WAYYYY too long. They would have been dragging on the ground. It was so ridiculous I just busted out laughing as soon as I saw it...and then proceeded to immediately alter them. The square sleeve was easy...just take off a row of squares. (I put them on my head like a headband, because what else was I going to do with four random flower squares?)



As you can see, I'm super impressed with myself. But, hey, we are being real here, right??


The zig-zag sleeve, however, was not nearly as easy to fix. Here we are ripping it apart and saving all the yarn to redo it. That included having to find all of my tucked-in, finished-off ends...everything you think is going to take "just a couple minutes" to fix ends up taking HOURS. I was down to the wire here because my cousins were waiting to give this gift to her.



And then, boom...just like that, it was done.





It did have to come back for a fitting, and I remade the edging around the front and neck section, pulling the neck section tighter together because it just wants to fall off her thin shoulders due to its weight. The sweater was easily 5-ish pounds when it was done. Cotton is soooo heavy. That's one of the reasons why it's nice when you can find a cotton blend yarn. It really takes some of the weight out of the finished project.  There are no buttons on the front to keep it closed. The original, also, did not have buttons. She was happy with her sweater, and that is all I could ask for. 

picture credit: Jesse Lother

picture credit: Jesse Lother


I pray she is blessed by the love put into each stitch, and the love of her family for thinking so much of her to have a custom sweater ordered for her. 

When you order something from a small handmade business, it's a genuine compliment to not only the maker but also to the recipient. 

More than just showing off a sweater that I'm really proud of, I hope that you walk away from this post thinking about something you've wanted to tackle but seemed too hard. You can do it- You just have to start!




Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Weekly Update: Comfort Hats, the Custom Sweater, and a Video

So, this has been an incredibly busy week for me. I had two custom orders that I had to get started and a video I had to finish up for the Vintage Christmas MAL happening over in the Bizzy Crochet CAL Group on Facebook. 

Here's what I was able to get accomplished:

First up is the custom sweater for my cousin's daughter-in-law. You will see in one of the pictures that I am completing the squares before adding the petals. I found that doing it this way allowed me to attach the petals to the square without having to deal with a lot of extra sewing and work. Plus, it keeps the petals out of my way while I am making the square. I'm not sure that either way is quicker than the other, but this is what works best for me.

I am using the squares from the Flower Power Beach Bag by Bernat. I have had to make adjustments to the pattern to make it work differently for me- so mine is not exact, but I would never claim the pattern as my own. The link above will take you to the Ravelry page for the beach bag pattern.



I should be able to get a lot more done of these in the coming week since it is the main project I will be working on. I have completed 1/2 of the other custom order and I'm done with my video tutorial, soooo woot woot!!


Up next is the other custom order, of which I am halfway through. I am making some chemo hats for a friend's coworker who was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer and has begun to lose her hair to treatments. She wanted the CC Beanie done in neutral colors. So I went with 100% cotton (I Love This Cotton from Hobby Lobby) since it is a very soft, natural fiber and will breathe nicely in our Florida weather. I purchased the CC Beanie-inspired pattern from this Etsy shop. It is a knit pattern. 


The two colors I have completed are Dove Grey and Off-White. The other two colors I will be using are Taupe and Antique Cream. Both of them are warm brown colors- one is just a touch lighter than the other. The first hat (grey) I used a circular set that I didn't realize was not the right size. The second hat I used my dpn's and I found that my tension was so much happier. LOL. Funny how we get used to using certain hooks or needles to do our makes and anything else just doesn't give the same product in the end. 


Last up, I had to finish up the video for my Vintage Christmas Blanket pattern. The video takes you through the stitches that you find in the pattern, but it only makes a baby blanket size. Hopefully, this helps anyone with questions. 





Thanks for reading this weekly update!!

Biz




Saturday, October 23, 2021

Start of a Custom Sweater


Start of a Custom Sweater

This post may contain affiliate links.

My cousin reached out to me recently and asked if I could make a sweater for her daughter-in-law, who happens to be this gorgeous twenty-something hippy. I said that I absolutely could. 

This is the sweater she wants:


Except she wants it car coat length. 



Like the Exeter Gansey Sweater by Annie's I made for my daughter, Stefani, last year. 

Since there isn’t a pattern available for the flower sweater, and I’ve never designed one of my own, I am using the measurements from a similar sweater pattern that I do have. 



I am also using a flower square from another similar pattern (although, I have had to make a few adjustments to the original pattern to make it work for me.)

Bernat Handicrafter Flower Power Beach Bag
 

Now, the original sweater has flower squares on one half and the other side is a zig-zag pattern. This is going to be interesting to say the least. 

I went shopping at LoveCrafts.
The yarn order landed on my doorstep yesterday.
  I'm using Paintbox Cotton DK in Rose Red, Blood Orange, Buttercup Yellow, Marine Blue, Grass Green, and Lipstick Pink.

I quoted 4 weeks to finish. Let's do this!


Thursday, October 21, 2021

Vintage Christmas Cushion Cover Pattern

 



Vintage Christmas Cushion Cover Pattern

An Ad-Free version is available on my website, Ravelry, and Etsy.

Materials:

#4 Worsted Weight/Aran yarn
- Approx 4oz main color, approx 2 oz each of other colors. Perfect for scraps!
(4) 1-1/2" buttons for closure
(1) 14"x14" or 16"x16" pillow form (if you crochet loosely choose the larger form)
Hook: #7/4.5mm
Large Eye needle for tucking ends
Needle for sewing on buttons and coordinating thread or yarn

Special Stitches:

Leaf: yo, insert hook in sp on row below last st, yo, pull up loop, yo, insert hook in sp 2 rows below next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, insert hook 3 rows below next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, insert hook 2 rows below next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, insert hook 1 row below next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull through all loops on hook, ch2, sc in st above last leaf leg.

Notes:

1- Count leaf stitch as 3 stitches when counting the stitches per side.

2- Leaf uses 5 sts below working round. The 1st spike – under sc just made to right, 2nd – 1 row under 1st and 1 stitch to left, 3rd – 1 row under 2nd and 1 stitch to left, 4th – 1 row above 3rd and 1 stitch to left, 5th – 1 row above 4th and 1 stitch to left, yo, pull through 11 loops, ch 2, sc above 5th spike.


Pattern:



FRONT: Click Here for a YouTube Tutorial

Rd1- MR, ch3 (does not count as dc), 16dc in ring, join to first dc. (16dc)

Rd2- ch1, (sc, ch2, sc) in join sp, [*sc in 3*, (sc, ch2, sc) in next] 3x, repeat * to * once. (5sc/side)

Rd3- sl st to corner ch2-sp, ch1, [(sc, ch2, sc) in corner, sc in each sc] 4x, join to first sc. (7sc/side)

Rd4-5- repeat Rd3, (rd4- 9sc/side, rd5-11sc/side)

Cut color after Rd5.

Rd6- Join w/ch1 in corner ch2-sp, [(sc, ch2, sc) in corner sp, sc in 4, make leaf, sc in last 3] 4x, join to first sc. (13/side)

*Remember to count the leaf as 3 stitches when counting per side.

Rd7- sl st to corner ch2-sp, ch1, [(sc, ch2, sc) in corner ch2-sp, sc in 5, sc in closing st of leaf, 2sc in ch2 sp, sc in next 5] 4x, join in first sc. (15sc/side)

Rd8-10- sl st to corner ch2-sp, ch1, [(sc, ch2, sc) in corner sp, sc in each sc] 4x, join to first sc. (Rd8- 17sc/side, Rd9- 19sc/side, Rd10- 21sc/side)

Cut color after Rd 10.

Rd11- Join w/ch1 in corner ch2-sp, [(sc, ch2, sc) in corner sp, sc in 5, {make leaf, sc in next 4sc} 2x] 4x, join to first sc. (23/side)

*Remember to count the leaf as 3 stitches when counting per side.

Rd12- sl st to corner ch2-sp, ch1, [(sc, ch2, sc) in corner ch2-sp, sc in 6, sc in closing st of leaf, 2sc in ch2 sp, sc in next 5, sc in closing st of leaf, 2sc in ch2sp, sc in last 6] 4x, join in first sc. (25sc/side)

Rd13-15- sl st to corner ch2-sp, ch1, [(sc, ch2, sc) in corner sp, sc in each sc] 4x, join to first sc. (Rd13- 27sc/side, Rd14- 29sc/side, Rd15- 31sc/side)

Rd16- Join w/ch1 in corner ch2-sp, [(sc, ch2, sc) in corner sp, sc in 5, {make leaf, sc in next 5sc} 2x, make leaf, sc in last 4] 4x, join to first sc. (33/side)

*Remember to count the leaf as 3 stitches when counting per side.

Rd17- sl st to corner ch2-sp, ch1, [(sc, ch2, sc) in corner ch2-sp, {sc in 6, sc in closing st of leaf, 2sc in ch2 sp,} 3x, sc in last 6] 4x, join in first sc. (35sc/side)

Rd18-20- sl st to corner ch2-sp, ch1, [(sc, ch2, sc) in corner sp, sc in each sc] 4x, join to first sc. (Rd18- 37sc/side, Rd19- 39sc/side, Rd20- 41sc/side)

Cut color after Rd20.

Rd21- Join w/ch1 in corner ch2-sp, [(sc, ch2, sc) in corner sp, sc in 6, {make leaf, sc in next 5sc} 3x, make leaf, sc in last 4] 4x, join to first sc. (43/side)

*Remember to count the leaf as 3 stitches when counting per side.

Rd22- sl st to corner ch2-sp, ch1, [(sc, ch2, sc) in corner ch2-sp, sc in 7, {sc in closing st of leaf, 2sc in ch2 sp, sc in 6} 4x ] 4x, join in first sc. (45sc/side)

Rd23-25- sl st to corner ch2-sp, ch1, [(sc, ch2, sc) in corner sp, sc in each sc] 4x, join to first sc. (Rd23- 47sc/side, Rd24- 49sc/side, Rd25- 51sc/side)

Cut color after Rd25.

Rd26- Join w/ch1 in corner ch2-sp, [(sc, ch2, sc) in corner sp, sc in each sc across] 4x, join with first sc. (53sc/side)

Cut color and weave ends.




BACK: Click Here for a YouTube Tutorial

Rd1- MR, ch3 (cts as dc), 2dc in ring, (ch3, 3dc) 3x in ring, ch2, join to first dc. (4- 3dc clusters, 4- ch3-sp)

Rd2- sl st to corner ch2, ch3, (2dc, ch3, 3dc) in ch2-sp, [ch1, (3dc, ch3, 3dc) in next ch2-sp] 3x, ch1, join to first dc. (8- 3dc clusters, 4- ch3-sp, 4- ch1-sp)

Rd3- sl st to corner ch2, ch1, [(sc, ch3, sc) in corner, sc in each dc and ch1 sp] 4 x, join with first sc. (9sc/side)

Cut color after Rd3.

Rd4- Join w/ch3 in corner ch2-sp, (2dc, ch3, 3dc) in corner sp, [*ch1, sk 3sc, dc in next 3, ch1, sk 3sc,* (3dc, ch2, 3dc) in corner sp] 3x, repeat * to * once, join to first dc. (12- 3dc clusters)

Rd5- sl st to corner ch2-sp, ch3, (2dc, ch2, 3dc) in corner sp, [*{ch1, 3dc in next ch1-sp} across to last cluster, ch1*, (3dc, ch3, 3dc) in corner sp] 3x, repeat * to * once, join to first dc. (16- 3dc cluster)

Cut color after Rd5

Rd6- join w/ch3 in corner ch2-sp, (2dc, ch3, 3dc) in corner sp, [*{ch1, 3dc in next ch1 sp} across to last cluster, ch1*, (3dc, ch3, 3dc) in corner sp]  3x, repeat * to * once, join with first dc. (20 clusters)

Rd7- sl st to corner ch2-sp, ch3, (2dc, ch3, 3dc) in corner sp, [*{ch1, 3dc in next ch1-sp} across to last cluster, ch1*, (3dc, ch3, 3dc) in corner sp] 3x, repeat * to * once, join to first dc. (24 clusters)

Cut Color after Rd7.

Rd8- join w/ch3 in corner ch2-sp, (2dc, ch3, 3dc) in corner sp, [*{ch1, 3dc in next ch1 sp} across to last cluster, ch1*, (3dc, ch3, 3dc) in corner sp] 3x, repeat * to * once, join with first dc. (28 clusters)

Rd9- sl st to corner ch2-sp, ch3, (2dc, ch3, 3dc) in corner sp, [*{ch1, 3dc in next ch1-sp} across to last cluster, ch1*, (3dc, ch3, 3dc) in corner sp] 3x, repeat * to * once, join to first dc. (32 clusters)

Rd10- Repeat Rd9

Cut Color after Rd10.

Rd11- join w/ch3 in corner ch2-sp, (2dc, ch2, 3dc) in corner sp, [*dc in each dc and ch1 sp across*, (3dc, ch2, 3dc) in corner sp] 3x, repeat * to * once, join to first dc. (41dc/side)

Rd12- sl st to corner ch2-sp, ch3, (dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner sp, [*dc in each dc across*, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner sp] 3x, repeat * to * once, join to first dc. (45dc/side)

Rd13-14- Repeat Rd12. (Rd13-49dc/side, Rd14- 53dc/side)

Cut color after Rd14. 



FLAP: Click Here for a YouTube Tutorial


Row1- with RS of pillow front facing you, join to the BLO of the first stitch, ch1, sc in the back loop, Working the back loop only- sc in each sc across the side. Do not cut. (53 sc)

Row2- ch2, turn, working in both loops across, hdc in each sc. Do not cut. (53 hdc)

Row3- ch4, turn, trc in each hdc across. Do not cut. (53 trc)

Row4- ch2, turn, hdc in each trc across. Do not cut. (53 hdc)

Row5- ch1, turn, sc in each hdc across. Cut yarn. (53 sc)

Weave in ends. Set front piece aside for now.


ASSEMBLY

*Put both pieces wrong side together.

*Have the front facing you.

*Using your edge color and starting at the top left corner of the front- working through all thicknesses (both sets of loops from front and back pieces), ch1, 3sc in the top left corner.

*Match up your stitches going down the sides- work through all thicknesses.

*Place 3sc in each corner space.

*When you get to the top right corner, after you place your 3sc- sc in the open stitches left on Rd26 of the front from putting in the flap.

*Join to the first sc.

DO NOT CUT COLOR

EDGE:

*sl st to the center sc of corner 3. (you should be in the top left corner of your cover again)

*Row- ch1, (sc in sc, ch7, sc in same, ch9, sc in same, ch7, sc in same, ch6, sk6) repeat around pillow edge. Sl st to join in first sc. (32 chain clusters)

Cut color.

*Attach 4 buttons evenly placed to the top edge of the back piece, using the trc row of the flap to indicate placement.



I'm Planning a New Video Series

  Ever learn a new stitch or motif and then struggle to come up with a project? Well, I'm here to help you answer that question and much...