Sunday, April 29, 2012

Blankets, Booties and a Giraffe!

Baby Gift for my soon-to-be niece!
Earlier this month I mentioned that I made a baby afghan using the "Round the Block" pattern from the book Oh Baby, Crochet! for my soon-to-be niece.  For this afghan I chose to use a variant yarn that was Pink and Green.  However before I knew what gender this baby was going to be a started working on a gender-neutral afghan that was white, yellow and green.  I wanted to try a new pattern so I rented the book The Complete Book of Crochet Stitches from my local library.  After searching through the book I found pattern 373 that offered a puff stitch (which I love to make) as well as a v-stitch similar to a previous project I made for my niece on my husbands side of the family.

Close up of Pattern 373 and the baby booties I made.
I also wanted to make a pair of booties for my new niece, so I searched online and found a pattern in the book Crochet Precious Baby Booties.  (Fun Fact - I'm not sure if Amazon knows, but if you search inside this book you can get a bunch of the patterns in this book for free!)  So I decided to follow the 'Ribbed Booties' pattern which I really enjoyed crocheting as it was relatively easy to make.  I liked this stitch so much that I would like to try this ribbed look on an afghan.  It also was nice to use two different yarns without having to cut and sew in the ends each row since you don't cut your yarn until the very end!

Then I found this pin on Pinterest for a crocheted giraffe.  I had to make this for my niece since I knew her parents were going for a animal/african themed baby room.  I realized early on that I would need a safety pin to mark where each round started since otherwise I would find that I'd lost my place.  I did notice a few issues with this pattern, but any experienced crocheter could figure out how to handle these problems. The pattern was nice enough to tell me how many stitches each round should be, but I did notice in a few instances that the number counts were incorrect.  The pattern also didn't tell me how to make the eyes, but I just made 4ch and then sc into those and created little balls for each of the eyes.  I'm sure you could use buttons if you didn't feel comfortable making them.  This pattern also failed to explain how to assemble, but one can make the correct assumptions as to where to put the legs, arms, head, horns, ears etc by looking at the pictures on the pattern page.  If I were to make this pattern again I would definitely try adding some pipe cleaner in the neck, since the finished project is top heavy.  However this just gives my gift a little character as he's the Eeyore of giraffes!  Overall I was quite thrilled with the finished project and yesterday my brother and sister-in-law loved it at their shower. 

Don't you want to make one?
During yesterday's baby shower, I felt my family and I need a pintervention, because as my sister-in-law kept opening gifts we would shout, 'that's on pinterest!'  In fact two of my other very crafty cousins replicated this pin and did a great job!
They said this was a bit tedious, but definitely worth it!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Door County Yarning it up!

This past weekend I had the pleasure of taking a trip up to Door County.  I always keep my eye open for crocheted or knitted items that I haven’t seen before that perhaps myself or a fellow HDHer could replicate.  The first unique item I came across was a knitted Soap Cozie which sold for $8.95.  While I’m used to using a loofah, this might be something fun to try since bar soap is usually cheaper.  This cozie was made with Microbial wool, and it stated that it would make your soap last longer, and exfoliate gently.  I’m sure this pouch could easily be made using a single or double crochet and you could add any other stitch you want to give it a little design.   

This could be a warm and fuzzy gift.

Then I came across crocheted necklaces that sold for $16, at a local boutique.  I was immediately drawn to these necklaces since I actually own some of the yarn similar to three of these designs.  A yarn of which I hate since everytime I buy it, I forgot that even though these yarns look fun and cute it's horrible for me to crochet with since I can’t see my stitches. These necklaces however, appear to be made using just a chain stitch which would be uber easy.  I’ll definitely give this design a try once I finish my current project.

These also would make for cute gifts, that don't look old lady like!

It’s always fun to find crocheted treasures in everyday life.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Weekend in Crochet Town - Guest Blog Entry!

I believe my official title is Honorary Hump Day Hooker, but you can call me Saffron.  I live about 5 hours away from the Hump Day Hooker Headquarters.  So, back in February I was able to visit Crochet Town.  (My permanent residence is Procrastinationville, hence the blog being written in April.)  First stop was a coffee shop for Hooking in public. 
I brought yarn that I had bought about a year ago, see the ‘What in Yarnation!’ blog.  It was a very thick wool yarn and I used the stitch that Loretta taught me.  It is a very complicated stitch… it is so complicated that I cannot even tell you the name of it.  However, I think Hazel calls it a double stitch.  I originally intended to make a scarf and wear it many different ways. I actually had this pin in mind when creating it.  However, once I started crocheting the most complicated of all shapes, a skinny rectangle; I realized that the yarn was too thick.  I would not be able to tie this scarf in a bow tie any time soon.

Second stop was my nephew’s basketball tournament.  I continued making my scarf not really knowing where it was headed.  I did know that I had at least three hours to decide though.  Therefore, I just kept crocheting.  During these three hours, I learned that Crochet Town is a very mean place.  I was mocked by my mother, father, sister, and husband.  Apparently being 26 and crocheting in public is frowned upon.  I even had to take time away from my crocheting to try and convince my 10-year-old nephew that I was not pregnant.  Apparently, public crocheting is an activity for pregnant women.  My younger nephew and I quickly made up and he became my official yarn feeder, unrolling my yarn and feeding it to me so I can be the most efficient of crocheters.

The time quickly passed and I was running out of yarn.  So I get a stroke of genius!  (I have a vacation home in Modest City.)  Infinity scarf, have you seen these?  Basically, it is a glorified circle; but it is perfect.  The scarf is too thick to tie in any way, so I sewed the ends close.  Once I finished it I started modeling it for the crowd at the basketball game.  All of a sudden, I was the envy of every mother old enough to have a child in 8th grade, including my sister.  My mother, father, and husband also had a change of heart.  Even both of my nephews thought I was cool again!  Of course, my older nephew seemed slightly upset that I was crocheting during his basketball game, but he got over it once he saw my cool new scarf!

After the basketball game, it was back to Procrastinationville.  I was very warm thanks to my scarf.  I even have some extra yarn, enough to make a matching hat.  I have my project for 2013!

Notice the pointing toes.  I learned from America’s Next Top Model that it makes my legs look longer.  Even though my legs look a mile long, the true star of this photo is the infinity scarf!

 I scare myself sometimes.

  My husband, Parley, showing an alternative way of wearing my infinity scarf.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Baby Blanket & Headband

Imagine a baby where the bear is.

A few months ago I rented a book from my local library called Oh Baby, Crochet!, and there were lots of cute patterns in there.  I rented this book so I could stockpile some baby blankets for when my friends started having babies.  Turns out the day this book came in was the day I found out my brother and his wife were expecting a baby, followed by a cousin just a few weeks later!  I immediately flagged one of that patterns titled “Merry Go ‘Round the Block” since it had a neat 3 dimensional look, (using mostly a dc and a modified dc stitch), and made one for my  brother.  It was such a quick and simple pattern I decided to also make one for our cousin, since I knew it looked like a nice quality blanket. 

It's great when a cute pattern is easy!

I had some leftover yarn from that blanket and knew I wanted to make a little matching headband with a nice big flower on it.  I was keeping my eye open on pinterest for things that might pop out as a cute flower pattern, and finally I found a real cute pattern, only thing it was in Russian. Luckily the Google Translate button translated most of the words and there were picture diagrams to make sure I was making the correct stitches.  After I made this flower I decided to just crochet a single crochet band with about 4 rows to attach the flower to, and added a jeweled button to the center of the flower to give it more baby pizzazz!

Isn't this just pizzazz-y?

At the end of this month I'll be posting another blog about the stuff I made for the other future baby, as I'm waiting to have their shower.