Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Spooky the Cat and Horace the Ghost

I'm excited for Halloween this year.  I'm not sure why as my kids are grown up, so I think it must be all of the beautiful crafted decorations I am seeing on other blogs and on Pinterest.  The creativity of others inspired me to design these two cuties, Spooky and Horace.  I love working with felt.  It lends itself to so many different ideas.

Spooky the Halloween Cat

Horace the Halloween Ghost

Both of these cuties can be made into either a brooch or a barrette.  They do have googly eyes on them so if you would like them for a little one I will embroider the eyes on them instead.  These are listed in my Etsy shop.

Happy Craftoween!


Friday, September 18, 2015

My Favorite Things - Flowers from Our Garden

Although the growing season here in South Carolina is long and I do get tired of gardening chores, I have to admit that I hate to see the garden dying off and having to pull plants.  We do have a number of cool weather vegetables popping up, like carrots, radishes, and cabbage, but the tomatoes and cucumbers, and peppers, and even my herbs are starting to go by.  So to keep the garden color alive, I want to share pictures that my son took of some of the flowers we had this past season.  Enjoy the color!

This little guy lived in the sunflower bed all summer!

Flowers on a cabbage plant that went to seed..

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Turkey Time!

I know it's a bit early to be thinking turkeys, but look how cute they are!  These are available as either a barrette or as a brooch.  You can comment here if you are interested in ordering or contact me on my Facebook page.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Knitted Ripple Afghan

Hi everyone!  Hope that everyone had a wonderful summer.  Time for me to get back to being organized and efficient and back into blogging.

The last two days here in SC have been cool.  Finally!  I'm sitting here this morning by an open window and have a shawl around my shoulders.  It's so nice to have the windows open and not have to listen to the air conditioner humming away.

So, the cooler weather has put me in the frame of mind of afghans, as I can only work on these during the cooler months.  I want to share with you a ripple afghan pattern that is knit.  My mother made a number of these blankets; three are pictured below.  This pattern is very easy, but just a word of warning, it is time-consuming.  It is well worth it, though.  And, I don't like saying this, but it is also an easy project to set aside for a while (or a year...LOL) and pick back up as the pattern is not complicated.  This pattern was passed onto her by one of her friends and I have her copy, written on a recipe card, my favorite!

First some pictures....

These three afghans were knit by my mom.  The blue and green one is my son's, the pink and yellow one is my daughter's, and the rose one is mine.  She knit mine while I was in college (many years ago).  These blankets are well-loved and used every winter so they hold up very well.  In addition to these three, she made two others; one for each of my sisters.

Now for the pattern:

This beautiful and simple afghan pattern allows you to showcase a combination of solid yarns or a variegated yarn with solid yarns, in bold blocks of color.  It is a simple knit pattern, requiring only basic knitting skills.  It is knit on circular needles in order to hold the number of stitches for the pattern, but is knit back and forth on the needles, not in the round.  Enjoy!

A pdf version of the pattern is available HERE.

Pattern Rating: Easy.  Basic knitting skills required.

Stitches Used:  knit (k), knit 2 together (k2tog), increase (inc)

Finished size:  Approximately 45 inches wide x 90  inches long.

Gauge:  not important


·         Size 8 circular knitting needles, at least 29 inches long

·         Stitch markers

·         13 Skeins of worsted weight (No. 4) yarn:  4 skeins Color A, 4 skeins Color B, and 5 skeins Color C.  See the color layouts below for variations using a mix of solid and variegated yarns.  I recommend Red Heart Super Saver yarn.  This is a durable, washable yarn that is available in many colors and has been used in all of the blankets that are shown in the picture above.  It is easy to find and it is very easy to work with, especially if this is you first blanket or afghan.


Cast on 266 stitches. 

Row 1:  K across. Turn.  Do not join.  Circular needles are used for this pattern only to easily hold the number of stitches cast on. 

Row 2:  K1, K2 tog.  *K8, increase in the next st, place marker, inc in the next st, K8, K2 together twice*.  Repeat from * to * across to the last 3 stitches.  K2 tog, K1.  Turn.

Row 3:  K across. Turn.

Row 4:  K1, K2 tog.  *K8, increase in the next st, slip marker, inc in the next st, K8, K2 together twice*.  Repeat from * to * across to the last 3 stitches.  K2 tog, K1.  Turn.

Repeat Rows 3 and 4 for the pattern.  This repeat will make a total of 12 points to the ripple across the afghan.

Each skein of yarn should be used completely, joining the next color in the pattern at the end of the row. 

Bind off and weave in yarn ends. 

Pattern note:  Some yarn colors do not contain the same yardage as others, even by the same manufacturer.  If you would like the color section to be the same width, you will need to count rows.  Note, however, that variegated yarns tend to have less yardage than the solid yarns and the pattern does start with a solid color.  The narrower bands of variegated yarn do add a bit of variety to the pattern and overall, do not matter in the completed project.  I have never worried about the color band widths so I just knit until the yarn runs out.  Just a thought!

Color Pattern Suggestions
There are many different color combinations that can be used to make this afghan uniquely yours.  In the picture above, two of the blankets are made using 2 solid and 1 variegated colors of yarn while the other uses all solid colors.

Call the yarn colors Solid A (A), Solid B (B), and Variegated or Solid C (C).

Color Pattern 1:  A - C - B - A - C - B - C - B - C - A - B - C - A

Color Pattern 2:  A - C - B - A - C - B - A - B - C - A - B - C - A

The letter in BOLD is the center of the pattern.  Basically, the color design steps out from the center toward each end.

These are just suggestions.  I would love to someday make this as a scrappy yarn quilt, using up random skeins and partial skeins of yarn.

I would love to see your selections for yarn and your finished projects!

Just two more pictures....this is the afghan I have been working on for, say we say, awhile.  Still love the colors, but I want you to see the needles I am using.  These are the needles my mom used to make all of the afghans I mentioned.  Worn with love!

This pattern may be used for articles to sell.  Please credit for the pattern.  Thanks!

Happy Crafting...and Knitting!


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Orange "Orange" Coasters Crochet Pattern

The Orange "Orange" Coaster
Nope, not a typo.  It is an orange orange coaster!  As I promised a few days ago, here is the pattern for the coasters that I designed.  If you aren't up for trying them yourself, I have them  for sale in my Etsy shop.

This is the first crochet pattern I have ever written.  Please let me know if you find errors or have any questions.  I am not including instructions for the various stitches (in US terms) as I know there are many tutorials available for basic stitches.  Enjoy!

Orange "Orange" Coasters
Materials for 4 Coasters:  
  • Lily Sugar 'n Cream 100% cotton yarn.  I purchased a 14 ounce skein of white as I dyed my coasters.  If you prefer to skip the dying step, I would suggest purchasing 2 skeins of Lily Sugar 'n Cream solids in Hot Orange.
  • Size G crochet hook
  • 1 sheet (9x12) each of orange and green felt
  • matching thread
  • Rit Dye in Tangerine.  I used the powdered dye, but the liquid can also be used.
  • Equipment necessary for dying as stated on the dye package
Abbreviations used in this pattern (US terms):

ch - chain
rnd - round
sc - single crochet
ss - slip stitch
hdc - half double crochet
st - stitch

Round 1:  Make a magic circle.  Ch 1. Crochet 6 sc in the magic circle.  Pull circle together using the end of the yarn.  Not too tight though!  Wait until you have crocheted another round to close the circle.  Join with a ss to the ch 1 from the beginning of the round.  

Round 2:  Ch 1.  2 hdc in each sc from round 1. Join with a ss to the beginning ch 1. - 12 hdc  made.

Round 3:  Ch 1.  *1 hdc in first hdc from rnd 2.  2 hdc in next st.*  Repeat from * to * around.  Join with ss to the beginning ch 1, - 18 hdc made.

Round 4:  Ch 1.  *1 hdc in each of the first 2 hdc from rnd 3.  2 hdc in the next st.*  Repeat from * to  * around.  Join with ss to the beginning ch 1 - 24 hdc made.

Round 5:  Ch 1.  *1 hdc in the first hdc from rnd 4.  2 hdc in the next st.*  Repeat from * to * around.  Join with ss to the beginning ch 1 - 36 hdc made.

Round 6:  Ch 1.  *1 hdc in each of the first 2 hdc from rnd 5.  2 hdc in the next st.*  Repeat from * to * around,  Join with ss to the beginning ch 1 - 48 hdc made.  

Round 7:  Ch 1.  sc in each st from previous row.  Join with ss to beginning ch1.  Fasten off.  Weave in lose ends.

After I completed 8 coasters, I set up my dye bath following the instructions provided on the Rit Dye package.  I only used about half of the dry powder package since this was not going to be a large dye bath.  I dyed mine in a plastic bucket that I have set aside specifically for small dye batches.  Once the coasters are completely dyed and rinse following the manufacturer's instructions, I laid them flat to dry on an old towel.  I did notice some bleeding of the dye so a second rinse may be necessary.  It also prompted the next step.

Felt backing:  Cut a circle of felt for each coaster made.  The felt circle should be slightly smaller than the coaster.  I cut mine about 1/2 inch less in diameter than the coaster.  Using matching thread I slip stitched the felt backing to the back of the coaster.  This will provide extra protection against moisture on a wooden table.  Next I free hand cut 2 leaves for each coaster from the green felt. Basically I cut an oval shape that is tapered on both ends. I slip stitched these to the front of the coaster, stitching the outer edges of the leaves to the coaster where touching and the overlapping edge of the upper leaf to the bottom leaf.  

And there you have it!  These could also be dyed red for pretty fall apples or even tomatoes.  I hope that you enjoy my first crochet pattern and, again, please let me know if you like it or if there are any errors!  

This pattern is for personal use only.  I strive to make my designs simple and unique and appreciate your cooperation.  Thanks!

Happy Crafting and Crocheting!