By the By...

I sometimes have multiple projects going at the same time. Often, I will be making something for myself while making a larger project for someone else. It can take a lot of focus to make a large or complex piece, so I sometimes take a break from that large project for an hour or two to work a few rows on the piece for myself and let my mind refresh.

My current side project is the Movie Night Cocoon Cardi by Alexandra Tavel. I can't wait til this one's done! It's going to be so comfy, and I love the way it's coming out in Red Heart Super Saver in Macaw (#3944).

This is a quick and easy crochet project I think you're going to love!

Continuing the Blanket

Continuing the beautiful Mixed Stitch Stripey Blanket by the very talented designer, Julie Harrison...

I am starting again at the beginning of the stitch sampler with five rows of hdc.

Next will be the three rows of granny stripes, and so on.

And so it grows!   


Baby Blanket CAL, Pt. 9

Part 9 of Julie Harrison's Mixed Stitch Stripey Blanket is a pretty amazing stitch called Catherine Wheels.

It looks really complicated, but it really isn't. Once you set the first row up right, it all follows. (The stitch diagram can be helpful in seeing which stitch you're working into.)

Here are Julie's instructions:

"Special Abbreviation CL (Cluster) : work [yo, insert hook, yo, draw loop through, yo, draw through 2 loops] over the number of sts indicated, yo, draw through all loops on hook.

Row 1(wrong side) : In red, join and make 1ch in first st (counts as first st), 1sc in next st, * skip 3sts, 7dc into next st, skip 3 sts, 1sc into each of next 3sts; rep from * to lats 4 sts, skip 3sts, 4dc into last st,  turn.

Row 2 (right side) : In pink, join to first st and  make 1ch, 1sc into first st, 1sc into next st, *3ch, 1CL over next 7sts, 3ch, 1sc into each of next 3 sts; rep from * to last 4 sts, 3ch, !cl over last 4 sts, skip tch, turn.

Row 3 (wrong side) : still with pink, 3ch, 3dc into first st, * skip 3ch, 1sc into each of the next 3scs, skip 3ch, 7dcs into the loop that closed next CL; rep from *to end, finishing with skip 3ch, 1sc into each of last 2sc, skip tch, turn.

Row 4 (right side) :In red, join and 3ch (counts as 1dc), skip first st, 1CL over next 3 sts, * 3ch, isc into each of next 3 sts, 3ch, 1CL over next 7sts; rep from* finishing with 3ch, 1sc into next st,1sc into top of tch, turn."

Tip: Be careful not to work the ch 3s too tightly. They are what center the fan stitches.

Isn't this a wonderful blanket? It's fun to make and fun to look at!

What now?
And that's the last of the stitches to sample. Now we repeat from the rows of sc through all the stitches again, until it's the right length.

I'm not sure what I'll do for the border, but I think I will probably keep it simple.

I want to thank Julie Harrison for creating this wonderful design. Please be sure to check out her blog, and post your blanket on Ravelry!

Find her full pattern at littlewoollie.blogspot.com.au.


Baby Blanket CAL, Pt. 8

Part 8 of Julie Harrison's Mixed Stitch Stripey Blanket is something  she calls the Outlined Cluster Pattern.

1. Ch 1, sc across to end.

2. A row of 4-tr clusters: Ch 3, tr in next st, *skip 3 st, 4 tr in next st*; repeat to end, finishing with tr in each of last 2 st.

3. Ch1, sc in next st, 2trtog into the center skipped st of the first row of sc, *3 sc across top of cluster st, then 2trtog into center skipped st of first row of sc*. Repeat * to * to end of row.

4. Ch 1, hdc across to end. Turn. Do not change color.

5. Ch 1, hdc across to end. Turn. Change color.

6. Repeat row 4 in new color. Turn. Do not change color.

7. Repeat row 5 in same color.

Find her full pattern at https://littlewoollie.blogspot.com.au/p/mixed-stitch-stripey-blanket-crochet.html.


Baby Blanket, Pt. 7

Part 7 of Julie Harrison's Mixed Stitch Stripey Blanket involves making bobbles. I love making those bobbles! They make such an amazing texture.

1. A row of dcs: Ch 2, dc in 2nd st and to end of row.

2. In the middle row, you make the bobbles: Ch 2, dc in 2nd st and the next 3 st. *Make bobble° in next st. Dc in next next 8 st.* Repeat * to * to end, finishing with dc in last 4 st.
°To make bobble:

Make tr but do not work last two loops; repeat 3 times more (5 loops on hook); pull yarn through all 5 loops and pull snug to make bobble. Sc to "set" the bobble, so it doesn't slip.

3. Another row of dcs

4. Then another double row of sc to finish off this section.

Julie recommends this site for learning to make bobbles. It also explains how to make the bobbles in a different color than the "background" dc st around it. I like this way of making them because the triple crochet stitches make the bobble really pop out from the double-crochet stitches around it.

This blanket is fun to make!

Baby Blanket CAL, Pt. 6

Part 6 already of Julie Harrison's Mixed Stitch Stripey Blanket! This is such a cute design!

This time we are going to make 4-dc clusters, alternating with rows of sc. Easy.

1. Ch 3, dc in next st, *skip 3 st, 4 dc in next st*; repeat * to * to end.

2. Sc across.

3. Repeat row 1.

4. Repeat row 2. Do not change color. Turn.

5. Sc back to start of row, for double row of sc in that color.

This makes it an even more amazing blanket! How's yours coming along?

Baby Blanket CAL, Pt. 5!

This 5th installment of Julie Harrison's Mixed Stitch Stripey Blanket is the simplest of all: 4 rows of sc.

As Julie did the first two rows in the same color, so did I.

It really pulls the blanket together, don't you think?


Baby Blanket CAL - Pt. 4

Part 4 of Julie Harrison's Mixed Stitch Stripey Blanket is a really fun one: chevrons!

Chevrons aren't hard; they're just stripes that get bunched up in one place and widened in another. The key is the alternating 3-stitch decrease for the bottom point and 3 stitch increase for the top point of each chevron. That's what gives it that zigzag shaping.

Note that Julie starts the first row on the wrong side of the work.

"1. (On wrong side) Ch 1,  *1hdc into next st, 1dc into next st, 3tr into next st, 1dc into next st, 1hdc into next st, 1sc into next st ; rep from * to end.......turn.

2. (Right side) Change colour. ch 1, skip 1 st, 1sc into next st (counts as sc2tog), 1sc into each of next 2 sts,  *3sc into next st, 1sc into each of of next 2 sts, over next 3 sts work sc3tog, 
sc into each of next 2 sts; rep from*.
...til the last 5sts, 3sc into next st, 1sc into each of next 2 sts, over last 2 sts work sc2tog, turn.

3rd row : as 2nd row, and in same color, working back. (This row strengthens the look of the line, so it really "pops out".)

4th row of chevron pattern:

Join the [green] wool, ch 4, skip 1 st, 1tr into next st (counts as tr2tog), *1dc into next st, 1hdc into next st, 1sc into next st, 1hdc into next st, 1dc into next st, over next 3 sts work tr3tog ; rep from * for rest of row."

At first, making the "mountains" of the first row makes the piece wider. But, not to fret, the zigzag rows pull it back to right.

Find her full pattern at: https://littlewoollie.blogspot.com.au/p/mixed-stitch-stripey-blanket-crochet.html


Blanket CAL Continues

Part 3 of Julie Harrison's Mixed Stitch Stripey Blanket is a quick 2 rows of hdc--with a twist.

1. Attach new color to 3rd ch at beginning of previous row.
Ch 1, *skip 1st st of 3-dc shell, hdc in next 2 st, hdc between the 3-dc shells in the previous row.* (It makes a sort of icycle there. Nice touch.) Repeat * to * across row.

2. Change color. Hdc across to end of row.

Mine's coming along nicely now. I hope Nicholas likes it!

CAL Blanket for Nicholas

Moving right along on the baby blanket... Part 2 of Julie Harrison's CAL for the Mixed Stitch Stripey Blanket is three rows of granny stripes.

1. Attach new color to first st of previous row. Ch 3, *3 dc in next stitch, skip 2 st*; repeat * to * to end of row, ending ch 1, dc  in last st.

2. Attach next color to 3rd ch of previous row. Ch 3, *3 dc in gap between 3-dc shells in previous row*; repeat * to * to end of row, ending ch 1, dc in last st.

3. Attach same color as row 1 (to get same effect as in her project) to 3rd ch of previous row. Ch 3, *3 dc in gap between 3-dc shells in previous row*; repeat * to * to end of row, ending ch 1, dc in last st.

Cute and easy!

Note: I used Light Blue and Pumpkin Red Heart Super Saver.


What's This? Mixed Stitch Stripey Goodness

And now, for my next project...a mystery. A mystery blanket, in fact. A fun project because of all the different stitches included. A CAL (Crochet-A-Long) for a beautiful sampler blanket.

Springtime has brought beautiful new babies into the world, and everyone knows babies need blankets! One more reason to love babies.

I wanted something lively and colorful for the most recent baby in my family, Nicholas. I found this beautiful Mixed Stitch Stripey Blanket by Julie Harrison on an Australian blog (in American terms). Here's a perfect example of a CAL that I am jumping into long after the fact. And what fun!

Join me and we can make one together!

I'm making this in Red Heart Super Saver (those who follow me know that this is my go-to yarn), using a J (6.0 mm) hook.

I'm making a stroller blanket, which will be approximately 30" x 35".

To start, ch 100.

Hdc Stripes

The first section she does is five rows of hdc stripes.

1. Hdc in the 2nd ch from the hook and to end of row. Do not turn.

2. Attach new color at same (right) end of the blanket as previous row started. Ch 1, hdc across to end.

3.-5. Repeat Row 2, changing color each time.

Note: If you want to use the same colors as I am, I used: Soft Navy, Royal, Red, Royal, and Blue.

Next section coming up...Granny Stripes!

Note: Please, please work over or work in your ends every row (with a crochet hook or yarn needle). Who wants to be done-but-not-done and have all those ends left to deal with, when you could be dancing, right?


1/19/2014: Monkey Wristers!

My boys wanted wristers (aka hand warmers or fingerless gloves) to keep them warm this winter, so I searched Ravelry (of course) for a good pattern. And I found this cute pattern, the Warming Trend Wristers from Lion Brand yarns, and made some up to match their sock monkey hats (see previous post, 12/5/2013).

They came out cute, didn't they?

Moogly Oogly

One of my favorite crochet sites on the entire World Wide Web is Tamara Kelly's blog, Moogly (mooglyblog.com). She's a talented designer who is constantly releasing new free patterns. Her weekly newsletter is always fun. And--she's got a CAL (Crochet-A-Long) going every year that always has the most wonderful granny squares!

I may make them all, or I may not make every single one, or I may make more than one of the squares I like best. I follow to suit what I want to make, and at the end, the blanket I make from them is always fabulous! The patterns are free, and from experienced designers, so the results are always good.

One thing I especially like about CALs is that I can go back to previous years' CALs at any time, and include some of those squares, too.

My latest square is number 9, the Crossed Square (http://jessieathome.com/crossed-square/), designed by Jessie Rayot of Jessie At Home. It's not difficult, and it sure looks gorgeous! The only thing that makes it above a beginner's level is the front post stitch that creates the raised cross. And that's not difficult at all. It's just a triple crochet (tr) that's worked in the previous cross stitch of two rows before. You crochet around that stitch on the front of the square, so it's a front post tr (fptr) crochet.

And it looks like this! Fun!
Maybe I'll make a few more of this one, it's so fun!


Jenny's Faith

I have been obsessed all evening, and into the wee hours of the night, trying to find the fabulous Jenny's Faith Shawl crochet pattern by Anastasia Roberts.

This very talented designer created this lovely shawl, and a few other patterns, and has since seemingly vanished. Dozens of crocheters have sought the pattern on Ravelry, but the source is down. We have begged her to republish, but two years and no reply yet.

I am thrilled that I found the pattern online, after some serious digging, and I share it with you here out of love for the design and respect for the designer.

Until she returns...here it is.

Maybe she will republish it, when she learns how much we love it!

All rights belong to the designer, Anastasia Roberts.


A Blarf, By Any Other Name...

I have been playing recently with the wonderful Stashbuster "Blarf" pattern I found on Ravelry. I've been having fun, trying different color combinations.

The pattern is fun and so easy, that after a few repetitions of the four stitch patterns, I found it easy to remember.

The pattern is by designer Esther Sandrof. I really enjoy her designs.

Then today I found another project she made, this one a variation on the Stashbuster Blarf, her Replacement Blarf (http://www.ravelry.com/projects/esandrof/stashbuster-blarf-rectangular-shawl). Next project!


Cinnamon Roll in a Mug

I found this recipe on Pinterest and it seems like a great idea. I'm amazed by some of the recipes for mug cakes!

What do you think of it?

Know any good recipes?



December 20, 2013: Last Minute Gift

Here I am, just before Christmas, working on one last gift. (I know I'm in good company there!) My niece needed a warm hat.

So where did I go to find a pattern? (You can probably guess...) Ravelry, of course!

I was drawn to this cute slouch hat, the Majestic Tweed Slouch by Kathy North. I found the terrific pattern on the Classic Elite Yarns website. It's easy and quick to make, and the pattern's even free!

This one was made in Red Heart Super Saver worsted in the Grape Fizz colorway. Make one yourself, and enjoy the warmth this winter!

December 5, 2013: Silly Sock Monkey Hats

The boys needed new winter hats, and I wanted to make them something special.

I found the cutest pattern on Ravelry, which led to the wonderful Stitch11 blog and the free pattern.

It's a fun pattern and the boys love them. I hope you'll try your hand at this fun project!

July 15, 2013: Sweet Summer Shrug

Needing something to keep the chill off my shoulders when out in the evening, I went looking on Ravelry for a crochet pattern for a shrug.

My search led me to the wonderful Maui Shrug on the Interweave website at https://www.interweave.com/article/crochet/maui-crochet-shrug.

I made it from charcoal gray acrylic worsted, with the contrasting border in a multicolored yarn. You can use Red Heart Super Saver yarn in charcoal gray and Monet.