WIP to share

Today, I have a rather large project I am working on to share with you.

I am trying a new craft-quilting! So far, it has been pretty easy. I have made smaller quilted items before, and I took a quilting class at our local craft store with my mom a while back, and it was pretty fun. The block we made was far too complicated for me at this stage, so I decided to make it a little simpler. For my quilt, I took 7″ squares in fabrics I really like and sewed them together to make the quilt top.

Beginning of quilt top

Beginning of quilt top

Why 7 inch squares, you might ask? Well, because I confused perimeter and area when I was trying to figure out how large to cut each square. I was thinking 6 inch squares, with 1/4″ seams, and well, mathed it out in my head, and, well, it did not quite work out. It does not really matter, though, as long as they are all the same size. I eventually got them all sewn together and I have 8 columns and 10 rows. It is HUGE!

Quilt top finished

Quilt top finished

I like how it turned out, and I am looking forward to the finished quilt. I am not looking forward to the next part, sandwiching and quilting. I am a bit nervous about it, worried that if I mess it up, all that hard work would have been wasted. I will get brave (hopefully soon), and begin work on the next steps. Maybe even later today 🙂

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Memorial Day Weekend Craft Share

It was just Memorial Day weekend, and I was able to craft a few more things to share with you today!

I recently joined a fun game on Ravelry (only the best online fiber arts resource in the world!) called the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup Challenge. When you join, you get sorted into one of the Harry Potter houses (I got Gryffindor!!!), and you submit projects for each class based on a prompt given by the professors (other crafters who have volunteered for the job). Each term is 3 months long, and you have to submit a minimum of one project each month. They also have extra-curricular acitivites such as quidditch and Maurader’s map missions, as well as OWLs, NEWTs, and other aspects of HP brought to you through a knitting/crocheting perspective! I am having a really great time with it, meeting lots of new people, and I anticipate several of my next crochet projects will be centered around the prompts for this!

#66 – Double Six Blanket – This blanket was crafted for the Divination class for May. The prompt was to be inspired by the double six domino, as dominoes are used to divine the future in some cultures. It was basically about creatively grouping and counting your project in sets of six. I made six granny squares, each with six rows, and then did a border with six rows as well. I think it is perfect for a stroller or car seat blanket.

Double Six Blanket

Double Six Blanket

six row granny square

six row granny square

Six row border

Six row border

#67 – Tiny Fairy for Potions class. The prompt was to make what ever the given potion would make, or to make something inspired by the ingredients. The first ingredient is fairy wings, so here is my fairy to fit this class.

Tiny Fairy

Tiny Fairy

#68 – This one is a favorite of mine. I REALLY wanted to make it fit into one of the HPKCHC prompts. I could, alas, not make it work. I am very excited about this one, because it really used up a LOT of my stash! I bought several (18) skeins of yarn a couple of years ago in an effort to make a blanket of some sort. It came in a kit, but I never made the project. I really love the color, but I had no idea what to do with ALL the yarn. 18 skeins is quite formidable! Then the idea hit me, why not triple them? So I got my giant crochet hook out, tripled the yarn, and got to work. It is just double crochet, but it looks so cool because it is done with an S hook, and triplicate yarn. It is about a full size bed, and about 5 feet long. I love the snuggliness of it 🙂

Thick and cozy

Thick and cozy

double crochets in triplcate

double crochets in triplcate

lush and yummy

lush and yummy

Halfway there! #49-50

I am so excited that I am half way through this challenge!! It has been a bit of a struggle lately, but I know that I can definitely do 100 crafts from my current stash. This week, I have two challenge crafts to share, and one non-challenge project.

First, I have to brag on my students – last week, we brought our 5 middle school orchestras to UIL concert and sight reading competition. For those of you who don’t know, this is the standardized assessment for orchestra. It is intense, and the level of performance, both on stage and in the sight reading (where they see a piece of music for the first time and read it with minimal instruction) is expected to be very high. All 5 of our groups received superior ratings, which is the highest possible. In addition, they were professional and mature, way beyond their years (12-14 years old). They represented us directors, our school, and our program so well. I am so incredibly proud of the amazing kids we teach, and of the countless hours of hard work and dedication they have put into this accomplishment! It was an amazing (and exhausting) experience for me. I am so lucky to do what I do, and to work with such amazing people 🙂 So the last couple of weeks, there has been a small crafting hiatus, due to the intensity of getting ready for this competition, but it has definitely paid off.

Now, down to the real business (crafty business) – I have 2 new projects to share.

#49 – A cute little bear. I have quite a bit of the so-called “mist” colors leftover from making the DC Striped Blanket. I used a bit of the green one in the elephant’s ears from the last post. After using it there, I thought why not a whole Ami made from it? So I came up with this little cutie. I call him Alfred, and he is awfully silly. Here are some pictures –

IMG_1851

Alfred – just hanging about

IMG_1850

Posing for his portrait

#50 – This one has been a bit of a saga for me. I started this blanket 7-8 years ago, and it has a story. My sister had just gotten her first apartment, and she wanted a blanket for watching TV and hanging out at her place. I picked these colors to match the color scheme she had in her living room. So I started to work on it. I decided on a basket weave stitch for the blanket. Something very simple, that looks very complicated. Then I put it down for a few days. When I picked it back up, I picked it up with a different hook (unintentionally); one that was the wrong size. I crocheted several whole skeins into it. When I finally looked at it and measured it, I realized my mistake. I felt so defeated. How was I going to rip out ALL that yarn and do it again?!?! I just couldn’t do it. So, I put it down for 7-8 years. This 100 craft challenge allowed me the chance to pick it back up. I finally had the nerve to pull out all the skeins that were crocheted with the wrong hook. It was tedious, but it was worth it. I figured out the correct hook and tension, and I re-worked them. Then I took the two other skeins of the same yarn, and I worked those in. I have been working on this blanket, a row or so at a time, almost every single day, since this challenge started. Now it is finally finished, and I am so excited!! My sister has since gotten married, and bought a house. And also has a different color scheme. If she still wants it, I will give it to her. If not, I will keep it, or give it to someone else.

Basket Blanket

Basket Weave Blanket

folded blanket

folded blanket

check the basket weave

check the basket weave

So those are my crafts that count towards the 100 craft challenge for now. It is, of course, (as of recently) Spring. That means, lots of work for the garden, planting and pruning, etc. My sister and I got together today and built a compost bin for my house today. It is amazing. It turned out to be a family effort – My one sister designed it and helped me build it (she is so talented!). My mom provided me with the pitch fork I will need to toss my compost. My other sister loaned me her drill to use to make it. It is really amazing, and I cannot wait until it is full of the compost! I love it 🙂 I am super proud of this, since it started with a roll of hardware cloth and a few pieces of lumber. This was an awesome experience!

Here are some pics of the final result. It even has doors to the front of it. They come off for easy tossing.

New Compost bin

New Compost bin

side view

side view

door off

door off

removable doors

removable doors

 

Spring Break Success!!

My plan for this Spring Break was to use the time to craft and rejuvenate myself to prepare for the end of the year. I would say it was a splendid week. I watched movies, both at home and at the theater. I cleaned my house (finally), shopped alone and with my sisters, had lunch with friends and family. I took naps, read books, ran miles, drank fine beers, and ate great food! I made complicated dinners, baked breads and other yummies. It was amazing 🙂

I also made/finished a few things towards my 100 crafts.

#46 – Isaac’s blanket- We had a nephew born at the beginning of the week, a healthy baby boy, on my father-in law’s side of the family. I made him this blanket, which I finished yesterday. It is blue and green for a baby boy. It is a simple pattern of granny squares, joined with a granny join (another row of granny stitch used to join the squares together). I love the way it came together and how the striping ended up diagonally. I cannot wait to get it to our nephew to use.

Green and blue baby blanket

Green and blue baby blanket

#47 – Blanket for my cousin’s baby – My cousin in NY is having her first baby later this year. They are waiting to find out the sex until it is born, so I decided on a rainbow blanket for them. I used some very bright colors, and since it came from my stash yarns, I did not necessarily have the same amount of each color. I made granny squares of each color until I ran out of the most of the skeins. I did not finish the blue or orange, so I will have to make plans for those. Then I laid the squares out, sort of randomly, making sure two of the same color were never next to each other, and also that there were never more than three of the same in a row diagonally. When I was satisfied with the look of it from all sides, I finally put the squares together. I used a single crochet join, and I really love the way it looks. On the front, it looks beautiful and polished with the white stripes pulling all the colors together. On the back, it looks like a seamless quilt. I just love the way it looks and came together. I cannot wait to send it to my cousin.

Rainbow blanket

Rainbow blanket

back of blanket

back of blanket

#48 – Elephant Ami – There was a little bit of blue leftover from Isaac’s blanket, and I used it to make a little elephant ami. He has some green accents on his ears to make him pop. The green yarn is from the DC striped blanket I made for myself (seen here). He turned out really cute, and the best part is, there is only about 1 yard of the blue left. It will go into the scrap pile, to be used as stuffing, or possibly embroidery. I love it when that works out. Also, the elephant is about as cute as possible. I hope you like him, too.

Want to be friends?

Want to be friends?

Side view

Side view

I love his tiny tail!

I love his tiny tail!

I did not quite make it to 50 crafts, but I would definitely call this week a success. I feel rested and refueled and ready to get back to work. I did not make myself crazy trying to meet impossible deadlines, or stressing about school coming back. I definitely made the best of this vacation, and am glad I did. Thanks for stopping by!

Sick Day

I am home sick from work today – not to worry, I think today was the end of it, and I should be good as new (or at least 90% there) by tomorrow. Definitely going back to work then anyway. So today, in between naps and netflix, I finished a long-ongoing project. I started this blanket over winter break, and worked on it on and off since then. I had no idea how HUGE it would be when I started it, although, secretly, I think I wanted it to be gigantic. I wanted to make something for myself, and fell in love with this “mist” yarns from Vanna’s Choice by Lion Brand – I used Seaspray Mist (Green), Taupe Mist, Denim Mist, Purple Mist, Tangerine Mist, and Rose Mist.

look at the colors!

I love to look at the colors!

I chained 217, and crocheted 2 rows of double crochet in each color. I finished the crocheting about 3 weeks ago, and I have been hiding stitches ever since. 20-30 minutes a day, so as not to get too bored of the work. It is a simple pattern, but I think it turned out beautifully, and now I have a cozy King size blanket, or if I double it over, a super warm and snuggly couch blanket.

Spread out on the bed

Spread out on the bed

I love the simplicity of it. I love the colors. I love the size and snuggliness (is that a word? If not, can it be?!!) of it. Usually when I work on a blanket of this size, it is a gift for someone, and there is a deadline for it (Christmas, birthdays, etc.). As that deadline fast approaches, I work furiously and fervently to finish, and in the process grow almost so sick of the project, that I am glad to get it out of my house, lol. With this blanket, I knew it was for me, so I worked slowly, and took lots of breaks from it, working on other projects in between and making sure I did not get tired of it. Now the reward is that I super LOVE this blanket, and I am so glad I made it. I so rarely ever make myself anything, but I am really glad I made this one! I hope you make something for yourself once and a while too! Even if it is something simple and elegant like this blanket. 🙂

side view

side view, folded up – Monster size blanket

Baby Set and Elephant Pattern

Greetings!  I have a new pattern to share with you today 🙂 First of all, I was inspired by a customer to create baby sets, consisting of a baby blanket, hat, and doll. She ordered hers for a Christmas baby, and she did not know the sex, so we did neutral Christmas colors and the doll was a reindeer. It turned out so cute:

First baby set - the flower is removable, since gender is unknown

First baby set – the flower is removable, since gender is unknown

This is just a simple granny square blanket with a baby beanie and removable flower (in case it was a girl). The reindeer pattern can be found here. I modified it slightly, but I think it turned out severely cute! I was inspired by her request to create more baby sets, and had not had a chance to do any gender specific ones, when my cousin asked if I could do a set for a coworker of hers that is expecting a girl in a couple of weeks. I was delighted to do it for two reasons. First, I got to make another baby set (so cute!!) and second, I got to make Alyssa the elephant again, so I could edit the pattern for you! So here are pics.

second baby set

second baby set

Tiramisu blanket - LOVE this pattern

Tiramisu blanket – LOVE this pattern

The blanket is a pattern called Tiramisu Blanket, which is so pretty. The original pattern has a ribbon woven through the beautiful border, but I opted to not do that. I think it still looks nice, and I may use this border again, since it is so lovely.

Elf Hat - so cute for a newborn

Elf Hat – so cute for a newborn

This elf hat pattern was originally on the internet, and I made one in some other colors. The author has since taken the pattern down, but I did the best I could to recreate it without the pattern. I think it looks completely adorbs. Finally, here is the elephant. I recently made an elephant, Alyssa, and promised the pattern. I edited and tested the pattern again here, and am happy to share her with you!

Elephant side view

Elephant side view

Elephant Front view - such a cutie!!

Elephant Front view – such a cutie!!

So, without further ado, here is the pattern for Alyssa, the Elephant:

I used a worsted weight yarn and an F hook for this elephant, but gauge is not essential, so you can use any yarn and an appropriately small hook. Generally, I use a hook at least 2 sizes smaller than the recommended hook for an ami. I find it is best to get as tight a stitch as possible on these, otherwise, the stuffing may show through.

Body:

In magic ring, 6 sc

Row 1: 2 sc in each st around (12)

Row 2: sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, around (18)

Row 3: sc in next 2 st, 2 sc in next st, around (24)

Row 4: sc in next 3 st, 2 sc in next st, around (30)

Row 5: sc in next 4 st, 2 sc in next st, around (36)

Row 6-9: sc in each st, around (36)

Row 10: sc2tog, sc in next 4 st, around (30)

Row 11: sc in each st, around (30)

Row 12: sc2tog, sc in next 13 st, around (28)

Row 13: sc in each st, around (28)

Row 14: sc2tog, sc in next 5 st, around (24)

Row 15: sc in each st, around (24)

Row 16: sc2tog, sc in next 6 st, around (21)

Row 17: sc in each st, around (21)

Row 18: sc2tog, sc in next 5 st, around (18)

Row 19: sc in each st, around (18)

Row 20: sc2tog, sc in next 4 st, around (15)

Row 21: sc2tog, sc in next 3 st, around (12)

FO and leave a long tail for sewing

I usually stuff the body at this point and set it aside.

Head:

In magic ring, 6 sc

Row 1: 2 sc in each st around (12)

Row 2: sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, around (18)

Row 3: sc in next 2 st, 2 sc in next st, around (24)

Row 4: sc in next 3 st, 2 sc in next st, around (30)

Row 5: sc in next 4 st, 2 sc in next st, around (36)

Row 6: sc in next 5 st, 2 sc in next st, around (42)

Row 7-11: sc in each st, around (42)

Row 12: sc2tog, sc in next 5 st, around (36)

Row 13: sc2tog, sc in next 4 st, around (30)

Row 14: sc2tog, sc in next 3 st, around (24)

Row 15: sc2tog, sc in next 2 st, around (18)

Row 16: sc2tog, sc in next 4 st, around (15)

Row 17: sc2tog, sc in next 3 st, around (12)

Insert safety eyes if you are using them. Stuff head and continue to stuff as you finish the trunk.

Row 18-20: sc in each st, around (12)

Row 21: sc2tog, sc in next 4 st, around (10)

Row 22-23: sc in each st, around (10)

Row 24: sc2tog, sc in next 3 st, around (8)

Row 25-26: sc in each st, around (8)

Row 27: sc2tog, sc in next 2 st, around (6)

Row 28: sc2tog, sc in next 4 st (5)

FO, Sew trunk closed and shape. Sew to body.

Ear front (make 2 in contrasting color):

Ch 2,

Row 1: Sc 4 in 2nd loop from hook, ch 1, turn. (4)

Row 2: 2 sc in each st, around, ch 1, turn. (8)

Row 3: 2 sc in next st, sc in next st, around. Ch 1, turn. (12)

Row 4: 2 sc in next st, sc in next 2 st, around. (16)

FO, hide tails.

Ear back (make 2 in main color):

Ch 2,

Row 1: Sc 4 in 2nd loop from hook, ch 1, turn. (4)

Row 2: 2 sc in each st, around, ch 1, turn. (8)

Row 3: 2 sc in next st, sc in next st, around. Ch 1, turn. (12)

Row 4: 2 sc in next st, sc in next 2 st, around. (16)

Pick up ear front, hold the two pieces next to each other and work the rest of the ear in both the front and the back of the ear.

2 sc in next st, sc in next 3 st around, ch 1, turn. (20)

Sc in each st around. (20)

FO and leave a long tail for sewing. Sew to head.

Legs (Make 4, stuff lightly, and sew to body):

In magic circle, sc 6.

Row 1: 2 sc in each st, around (12)

Row 2: 2 sc in next st, sc in next st, around (18)

Row 3: BLO – sc2tog, sc in next 7 st, around (16)

Row 4: sc in each st, around (16)

Row 5: sc2tog, sc in next 6 st, around (14)

Row 6-7: sc in each st, around (14)

Row 8: sc2tog, sc in next 5 st, around (12)

Row 9-11: sc in each st, around, (12)

Row 12: sc2tog, sc in next 4 st (10)

Row 13: sc in each st, around (10)

FO, leave a long tail for sewing to body.

Please let me know if you find any errors in this pattern. I would love to see your creations if you make Alyssa, so please share pictures!  Feel free to make as many toys from this pattern as you like as gifts. Please do not sell the pattern as it is my original. Thanks!!

Ravellenic Games

One of my projects for the Ravellenic Games (a quasi-olympic like quest hosted by my favorite yarn craft website, Ravelry), is a WIP.  The category is “WIPs Wrestling,” a chance to finish a WIP and enter it in to the games.  I started this blanket months ago, (posted about it here and here) and then put it on hold, so that I could try to finish it this week.  So far I have joined about half of the hexagons so far.  I think I can finish joining by the closing ceremonies, but I am not so sure about hiding all the threads!  That chore may have to wait until this winter, when it is not a million degrees, and I can wear the blanket as I work on it 🙂