Welcome to my blog! This is where I'll be keeping track of all my crochet projects! Find me on Ravelry!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rainbow Brocade Ripple Afghan

I decided I wanted to make a pastel rainbow afghan using the Brocade Ripple pattern from the book Reversible Ripple Afghans by Kim Guzman.

I used Caron Simply Soft yarn, as suggested by the pattern, as well as a J hook to ensure I didn't crochet too tight, as I did in the test squares. In addition to White, the six colors I chose are Blackberry, Soft Pink, Lemonade, Soft Green, Soft Blue, and Lavender Blue. I'm a bit sad that I decided to make the posts in white; the brocade pattern looks much nicer when the posts are the darker color. I couldn't do that with the rainbow colors though, so I had to settle for white.

I wish I could have omitted the Lavender Blue in favor of a light orange, but my local Michael's didn't offer anything other than burns-your-retinas bright orange. I also wish I had chosen a more muted yellow, but again they didn't have anything suitable.

The finished product is approximately 55" across and 72" long. Unfortunately, the couch monster ate several hooks over the course of making this blanket and I inadvertently switched to an I hook so the top of the blanket is more tightly crocheted than the bottom, but it isn't too noticeable.

Overall, I like the colors even though the purple is too dark and the yellow is too bright. I'm disappointed with the look of the white brocade pattern, so hopefully my example will help steer others away from the same mistake (or towards, if you prefer this look!). I much prefer the plain ripple side and honestly I wish I had just done that; it would have taken much less time to finish.

My cat also enjoyed the blanket even while it was still in progress. All she needs is a PopTart and she'd be NyanCat! Also being able to survive the vacuum of space would help.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Joining With Slip Stich Over Loose Ends

While making my second sampler afghan, I found that I needed to join the squares with slip stitch, but my squares had many carried strands and loose ends from color changes. I didn't want to weave in all the ends, but couldn't find anything on the internet about how to hide these less than desirable bits. The nature of slip stitch makes it less bulky than a single crochet join, but it also means the ends aren't hidden under the stitches. My method hides the ends and carried strands securely and even adds a zig-zag pattern to the slip stitch that adds some character when joins are made using contrasting yarn.

Begin joining yarn as usual, holding the two pieces with the right sides facing each other (wrong sides exposed). Slip stitch through both pieces in the far right corner (or wherever you want to start joining), and continue slip stitching across until you get to the loose end. Hold the loose end over the top edge as you normally would, going under the loose end for the first slip stitch. For the next stitch, move the loose end slightly down and slip stitch above it (essentially, the loose bit won't be in the stitch at all). Repeat alternating slip stitches under and "bypassing" the end, until you're satisfied with the join or reach the end. Because of the alternating stitches, you end up with a zig zag pattern.

If you have multiple loose ends, you can tie them in a square knot, ensuring the yarn stays flat against the edge, not too tight or hanging off loose. That will both ensure a clean and easier join, and that the loose ends won't unravel.

Once I'm able to take some pictures (or a video), I'll edit this post. Stay tuned!

Friday, June 20, 2014

White Baby Elephant Bookmark

After making the large blue elephant bookmark the other day, I wanted to make a smaller one. I decided to use Loops & Threads Woolike White yarn, as it's soft and thin. It's Super Fine (1) weight, so I used a B hook.

It took me a long time to make, longer than the larger elephant, because I had to be very meticulous with each stitch. Attaching the pieces together was even more difficult and slow going, but it was well worth it. The finished product is incredibly adorable. I didn't embroider eyes because I'm not very good at it, and I think it looks quite cute without them.

I took a picture with both the elephants together for size comparison. The small elephant measures approximately 2" across at the ears, 3" long body plus head, and 6" long from trunk to tail.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Elephant Bookmark

I saw this pattern today on Ravelry, and just had to make it right away! I chose Lion Brand Pound of Love Pastel Green yarn and an F hook, but I'd also like to use Loops and Threads Snuggly Wuggly Big! in Denim, as it's a bit thinner yarn.

It only took me a few hours from start to finish, with many interruptions. The pattern was overall easy to understand, though it did use UK terminology so I had to keep myself in check. The only thing that tripped me up a few times was where to put the stitch where the rows start and stop, but that would have been easily remedied through the use of additional stitch markers. I wish there were fewer gaps where the legs are, and where the trunk is, but I think after some use it'll relax a bit. I used two small, white brads for the eyes.

The bookmark measures 4" wide at the ears, the body plus head are 6" long, and from tail to trunk it measures 11".

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

More Tiny Chickens

I made some more tiny chickens for my Ingress group, this time using not only Vanna's Choice Oatmeal yarn but also Craft Smart Desert yarn. For the former I used an E hook and an F hook for the latter.

The Desert chickens turned out a bit larger than the Oatmeal, so I had to improvise the comb and beak a bit to make them more proportional.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Vanilla Cream Ripple Afghan

My mom made this afghan for my brother's bed, to match his newly-painted room, which favors the same colors featured in this afghan. She chose Vanilla Cream Ripple as her pattern, from the book Reversible Ripple Afghans by Kim Guzman.
She did modify the pattern a bit to make the front posts thinner.

She used Caron Simply Soft Sunshine, Berry Blue, and Soft Blue with a K hook. She crochets much more tightly than I do, so her blanket turned out thicker (and arguably softer) than mine. The finished size is about 75" x 55".

One curious thing about it is that since all the front posts are parallel, it naturally accordions to just a fraction of its width.

Check out more projects using this pattern on Ravelry:

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Chicken Tissue Box Cover Pattern

I was trying to think of more projects that could be chicken-themed for my Ingress group, and was considering making Mario themed tissue box holders. The ideas eventually combined into a chicken tissue box! I couldn't find a similar pattern online, so I decided to make my own.

My pattern fits a square tissue box 4.5" x 4.5" x 5.125".


J hook
G hook
Worsted weight yarn - I used Loops and Threads Impeccable for the body and Red Heart Super Saver for the rest
Tapestry needle
Safety pins

sc = single crochet
st = stitch
sl st = slip stitch
ch = chain
MR = magic ring tutorial

Note: body, face, and back pieces are worked all in front loop only. Beak and eyes are worked in both loops.

Body (make three)
Chain 16
R1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each st across
R2-R15: ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across
Bind off

Face (make one)
Chain 16
R1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each st across
R2-R5: ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across
R6: ch 1, turn, sc in next 5 sc, ch 5, skip 5 sc, sc in last 5 sc
R7-R13: ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across
Bind off

Back (make one)
Chain 16
R1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each st across
R2-R13: ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across
Bind off

Feet (make two)
With J hook and brown yarn:
leg and toe 1: Ch 16, sl st in 2nd ch on hook, sl st in next 4 st
toe 2: ch 6, sl st in 2nd ch on hook, sl st in next 4 st
toe 3 and leg: ch 6, sl st in 2nd ch on hook, sl st to end of leg, bind off

Beak (make two)
With G hook and yellow yarn:
4 sc in a MR
R1: 2 sc in each sc
R2: (2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc) around
R3: sc around
R4: (2 sc in next sc, sc in next 5 sc) around
R5: sc around, leaving a long yarn tail

Eyes (make two)
With G hook and black yarn:
6 sc in a MR
sl st into first sc to join, pull ring closed, leaving long yarn tails on both ends.

Comb (make one)
With G hook and red yarn:
Ch 6, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st to end, ch 6, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st to end, turn and ch 6, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and to end.

Using the safety pins, attach the face, back, and two body pieces together as desired, and either whip stitch or slip stitch to attach the pieces together. Make sure the mouth hole is on the lower half of the face.
Take the last body piece and attach using your preferred method to the four sides already assembled.

Attach the beak pieces to the face around the hole, using the long strands of yarn left on the pieces.
Using the tapestry needle and yarn ends, fix the eyes in place by "sewing" around the edges of the eye.
Weave the yarn ends onto the back of the seams on the body to attach feet in place.
Position the comb as desired and run the two ends of the yarn through the body, tieing them in a knot on the inside. Keep about one inch of yarn, in case the knot comes loose in the future.

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