Ripple blanket update

I’ve been moving along on my ripple blanket, row by super long row, and it’s starting to look more like a blanket and less like a scarf.

You could darn near cover half a leg with that.

Starting my first ripple blanket

I am so excited about this. I decided to take some time to make something for myself, thinking that if I started on a blanket big enough to cover a bed now, I’d have it done by the time it gets cold again.

As with any crochet project, the first row is brutal (and a lot of counting to make the ripples), but after that it gets much easier and you can kind of work on it while you’re watching TV at the end of the day.

I’m realizing, too, that in the beginning this looks like a scarf. Hmmm. I’m creating more work for myself.

I don’t mind, though.

Scalloped scarf

I bought some yarn, oh I don’t know, a year ago? to make a cute little crocheted scarf. I had a little free time tonight so I pulled it out and looked up the pattern in my Happy Hooker book. I knew it was a simple one, but I had no idea it would go so fast! I finished it in just a couple of hours watching TV.

I won’t give away the pattern, but it’s basically just three rows of double crochet, with a shell pattern running over the outside.

I think if I were to make it again I might make it a little fatter. I chose cream colored yarn, but it would be great in black or purple, too.

Crochet stripes blanket, a must-make

So here it is, the wedding present I almost couldn’t bear to give away.

I started it a month before the wedding, which left me just enough time to work a few rows here and there, usually a set amount daily, and then speed crochet the last couple days and finish weaving in the ends on the car ride to the airport. A close call, yes, but it turned out so beautifully it was worth every scrambled minute.

Here’s a look at it before I finished the ends.

The colorway is really nice, and the way the stitches switch from single crochet to double and back adds cool texture and speeds up the process. The edging also cleans up any bobbles that come from the color switches, a technique I plan to use again for other projects. Find the pattern at lionbrandyarn.com. It’s beginner-friendly.

I made one bitty change because I thought the ’70s color combo begged for orange yarn (a fave of the bride, too) so I used magenta for the red rows and orange for the magenta rows. I never expected to be a fan of Vanna’s Choice yarn (as boutique-y yarn tends to spoil the knitter), but it is actually lovely and soft and I’ll use it again. (Not to mention tres affordable…)

Valentine striped scarf pattern

I almost forgot to post this pattern! It is a beautiful scarf, should you decide to make it.

Materials:
2 skeins Patons classic merino wool in bright red
2 skeins Patons classic merino wool in that’s pink

Tools:
Size H/8 crochet hook
Yarn needle to weave in ends
Scissors

Chain 31. Starting in second chain, Single crochet in each chain across, 30 stitches. Turn and repeat for second row. Switch colors for the third row, then fifth and so on. I crocheted over the end of the new color each time, so I only had to weave in half the ends. But that was still A LOT. If you have a better technique, use it. After 65 inches (or however many you want) bind off. Weave in ends.

I also noticed when I was just about finished with this that about 6 inches into it I had added a stitch, making it a little wider. I don’t know why I do this sometimes, and fortunately you can’t even tell unless you’re looking for it. But be careful!

So much for a matching hat

As much as I like to think I’m an invincible crafter, it’s so not true. Sometimes the stuff I make just doesn’t work out and I end up tossing it out. I wanted to make a matching striped hat to go with my scarf, and I was all ready to post it here when I got finished. But the pattern I was using just wasn’t a good one. The first hat I made was super tiny and seemed to get much wider at the end. I discovered I was using the wrong size needle and had managed to add 10 stitches by the time I got to the end. So I started over (this is like a 3-hour hat) with the correct needles and more precision with my stitch counting. Unfortunately, the final product is cute, but it doesn’t fit my head. And by the time it’s stretched out large enough to partially fit my head, it has really big holes in it, rendering it not very warm for winter weather.

So, no hat. But I have tons of hats, and I can certainly try another one when it gets closer to fall. I’m actually less in love with the idea of it matching, too. I have a cream-colored cable hat in bamboo yarn that would look good, I think. For now, I have to move on to some other projects I’ve been working on.

I also need to get moving on some wedding presents for the great wedding tour of 2008, and I have an idea for some holiday presents that I will have to start early.

So, no time to waste blubbering over a too-small hat. I did learn a new stitch, though! Reverse crochet to trim the edges. It’s twisty and cool.

Only a crazy person would make this scarf

So I started this scarf back in January, I think, with the intention to finish it by Valentine’s Day. I wanted a red/pink combination and I wanted to try making a crocheted, rather than knitted scarf. But needing to do things the hard way I decided to go with horizontal stripes, meaning that I would have to do very frequent color changes and ultimately weave in about a thousand ends.

So, six months later I finally finished it. Truth be told, it only took me less than a week to do the bulk of the work once I got determined to finish what I started. But it was as labor intensive as it looks. If anyone has a suggestion for making something with lots of color changes less painful, I’d love to hear it.

To save some finishing time I crocheted over the end strand of each new color so that I would only have to weave in the end of the old color. Does that make any sense?

Now I think I’ll make a hat to go with it. I found a pattern that I should be able to convert. When I get it finished I’ll put both patterns on the blog so you (should you decide to lose your mind) could make this, too.

My first (big) blanket: finished!

So, 140 little squares later my blanket is finished. Sewing the squares together was not difficult, but it was tedious and it left a million little ends to deal with. I never really feel good about the ends hanging out, even if I have weaved them in, but oh well. That’s what makes something handmade.

Since I altered the color scheme I really didn’t know how this blanket would turn out. But I have to say, I love it. It achieved the effect I wanted, which was a blanket that was both old school and modern.

I’m now formulating some ideas for more granny square projects, possibly even some to sell.

My first (big) blanket

Months ago when I knew I was about to be laid up in bed for several weeks I decided to make a crocheted blanket. Well, that plan failed miserably, as the medicines I took knocked me out and made concentration on a craft all but impossible. But I did start the blanket, and I kept at it, picking it up every few weeks and making a few more squares. It’s a typical granny square afghan, except that it’s arranged in blocks of color. I adapted the pattern from on in my old fave, the Happy Hooker book. Theirs was supposed to resemble the pattern that appears when your TV goes out.

I preferred the softer colors, specifically the ones in Cotton Ease yarn. So that’s what I used. At full price it’s a lot of money ($4.99 a skein), but I was able to find it on sale for $3 a skein a couple times at Michael’s.

At first the little squares took ages. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to follow the directions in the pattern for each square, or the one I learned on, which appears earlier in the book. Basically the difference is whether your center ring should be 4 or 6 stitches. I ended up going with 4.

Now I am nearly done with the squares and just have to sew it all together. The finished blanket is actually kind of small, more of a throw, but I’m proud of it all the same. And I’ve got to wrap it up as I’ve got aplenty of homemade Christmas gifts to get to work on.

Doris Daymat

I’ve spent the last two weeks in bed recovering from back surgery, and I thought that meant I’d have two weeks to devote to crafting. Well, not so much.

Though I had plenty of time and was bored out of my mind, I was also doped up on Vicodin. Which makes you feel a little bit drunk all the time. Not so good for the motor skills. I bought five skeins of yarn to make a blanket with my newly learned granny square skills, but I didn’t even touch them.

I did, however, complete one project, and that’s cute little “Doris Daymat.”

The pattern comes from Stitch ‘n Bitch Happy Hooker. I made several changes to it. First of all, I didn’t want to use jute and twine from the hardware store, as the pattern calls for, because I read it was slippery, and I already had yarn in the 3 colors needed for the flowers. God knows I don’t need any more yarn (even if it is twine).

At the craft store (Michael’s to be specific) I found some thick nylon yarn that’s used for some other craft project. They had the exact green color I needed so I bought 2 rolls. Later when I needed 2 more rolls I went on a wild goose chase for it because that store was out. But I finally found it.

One type of flower turned out to be super easy to make. I could make these all day long.

The others were ridiculously hard. So much so that I made two and gave up. But that seemed plenty. Because I was using bigger yarn I had to use the smaller needles to get a similar sized flower. But that meant it was almost impossible to make the petals, which required getting 3 and 4 stitches into one stitch.

All in all it’s a little misshapen, but I love it. And no one better walk on it!