Thursday, April 17, 2014

Week 7: Make a Scrap Project From Your Yarn Stash

I have to admit that I've been enjoying this weeks challenge for awhile now. When I was creating the 52 Week Crochet Challenge I happened to be in need of a new project, and a scrap project was just the thing. I decided on a blanket and this is my work in progress (WIP):

The blanket is crocheted using the half double crochet stitch, which I've come to think of as my Goldilocks stitch. (It's not too tall and not too small, it's not too loose and not too thick - it's juuuuuuuust right.) What I really love is that there is no thinking involved, other than which color I'm going to choose next. As for the colors, I chose a range of greens, purples, and blues for the stripes. I only have a few guidelines that I decided on, which came about as the work progressed:
  • I am using a light blue color consistently throughout, between the color stripes.
  • The light blue stripes are 5 rows, and usually the first and last are partial rows.
That's pretty much it. Here's a closer look:

As for my ends, I'm not going to weave them in, and I'm not working over them as I go. I've knotted the ends together on the wrong side and I'm going to trim them short so I'll have little tufts on the back of the blanket. I think it will be a fun and interesting look. I will post more pictures when I'm finished.

Thanks for joining me for Week 7 of the 52 Week Crochet Challenge! 
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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Week 6: Spring Cleaning - Organizing Your Yarn Stash

Wow, I've had a bad case of spring fever this week. Unfortunately I've mostly been tied to my desk trying to get paperwork caught up and I haven't been able to get outside as much as I like. But I really did enjoy this week's challenge as I went through and organized my yarns. I happened to be in the right place at the right time one day at my local thrift shop. They had a whole bunch of plastic crates for $1.00 each. Right then I envisioned a wall of yarn in my craft room and snatched up a bunch of them.

Here is where I keep my skeins of acrylic yarns organized by color. Once the skeins start getting too floppy then I wind them into yarn cakes. (I just love that - yarn cakes! Who doesn't love yarn - and cake?!)

I also have clear plastic lidded tubs that stack neatly and this is where I separately keep my cotton yarns, novelty yarns and my acrylics that I've wound into yarn cakes. I keep my wools in a storage cabinet, also organized by color, and in clear plastic bags so I can easily see my color choices.

So what have I learned this week? I have A LOT of yarn. But the good news is that I do use it up. I've already organized a few charity projects that I would like to do, and I have separated out the yarns that I will never use (after FINALLY admitting this myself). I am setting those aside for now, because I may organize a yarn swap with my crochet group in the fall. Some I will be donating.

This was a challenging week overall, but now I feel yarnie good and organized :)

Thanks for joining me for Week 6 of the 52 Week Crochet Challenge! 
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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Week 5: Learning the Crocodile Stitch

When thinking about what stitch I wanted to learn this for this week's challenge, I thought of the crocodile stitch. It's not something I had ever made before, and to me, the most interesting part is how it's constructed. I'm a big fan of stitches and designs that look complicated, but really aren't.

I did a search on Ravelry for a pattern and came across these darling Crocodile Stitch Baby Booties designed by Laura Tegg. They are a fun project, very quick to make, and also super cute!

I used Red Heart yarns from my stash and a size G (4.00) hook. The length of the finished soles measure about 3 1/2 inches long. But of course, the real attraction is the cuff, which are v-stitches and post stitches cleverly constructed into the "scale" shape.

Below you can see my first round of v-stitches and I've already made the first scale. I will skip the next v-stitch and work the next scale around the posts of the v-stitch after it. 

Below I am beginning my first front post half double crochet around the first post of the v-stitch and after that I will make 3 more around the same post, then chain 1.

Next, I will work 4 front post half double crochet stitches around the next post of the same v-stitch.

The first two rounds of the cuff are completed and I have my first set of scales. The next round is a repeat round of v-stitches. V-stitches are made between each scale, and also in the center of each scale, which is where the green arrow is pointing to in the picture below.

The next round of making the scales had me confused at first because the scales alternate and are staggered, not layered, on top of each other . Make sure that you are placing a scale in the v-stitch between the previous scales. Then you will skip the next v-stitch and make your scale in the next v-stitch. Lastly, you will repeat another round of v-stitches, then again work a staggered round of scales. 

Here is a closer detail of the finished cuff:

I really enjoyed this week's challenge, and now I have an adorable set of booties ready for gift giving. Plus it's fun to learn something new!

Thanks for joining me for Week 5 of the 52 Week Crochet Challenge! 
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