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Saturday, August 8, 2015

I am a Sewing Dummy






Getting ready for a new pattern...
And messing it up, too!




  So many of you have been waiting patiently for the promise of a pattern that will help you with your crochet tension problems... And you'll have to wait just a little bit longer, so here's something to entertain you in the meantime:




  There's no doubting that my new (free!) pattern is awesome. It. Is. Awesome. There's actually two of them, so you'll be able to mix and match to meet your tension needs. But... Do you know what's NOT awesome? My sewing skills. The new pattern requires a bit of sewing, and that has everything to do with why it's not ready. Because I do stuff like this:








  I swear I'm an intelligent person. Really, I am. I just don't read directions, and I hate to sew! I don't use this kind of snap buttons often, and I knew something seemed wrong while I was sewing this button on the pattern. 







  It wasn't just one side of the button, either. I sewed both sides of it the wrong way before I flipped the button package over and saw the diagram. 







  I even took step-by-step pictures for a tutorial, so now you guys get to watch me sew on buttons... The wrong way.







  Yup... I even made my horrible, big ugly knots to secure the thread, which makes it almost impossible to undo.







  At least I sewed the second button on correctly, although it's not pretty! To prove I'm not a total sewing dummy, I was going to remove the button with my seam ripper and fix my mistake. Oh, that's right... I broke it. How did my seam ripper get broken? Because I'm a sewing dummy!







  The good news is: It works! (The finished pattern; not my broken seam ripper.) That, plus my hands are starting (and hopefully will continue) to heal from my latest flare-up of rheumatoid arthritis. The swelling is going down, the redness is fading, and I'm starting to get some flexibility back. (My skin looks horrible after the swelling, but who cares! The pain is going away, yay!) Maybe my sewing will look nicer if they get a little better. Technically, I could give you guys the pattern now... But I have to put together more pictures and a short tutorial that goes along with them, so I need a bit more time. And...sewing. Here's to hoping that I pay more attention to what I'm doing, and ya'll should have your patterns by Monday!




  A note before we close: It did occur to me that the pattern I designed to help you with tight tension requires crocheting! I purposefully held my tension tight when I created these, and you'll see the results when the pattern is published. But, there will also be a scrap-tastic project available that requires no crocheting... And maybe I'll find a way to skip the sewing, too! 




I often close with "Happy Crocheting", but in honor of today's mistake:
Happy Sewing :)





Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wednesday Wishlist






Have you ever really wanted to try a new product, but it's not in your budget?
Do you fall in love with projects, but you know you just don't have time to make them right now?
Would you donate an item to charity if it meant you got to play with the yarn for free?










  I have two very different projects in mind right now, but I'm having trouble finding the right yarn for each. One has me searching for something fine - probably a lace weight, but I haven't completely decided. My mind is set on the yarn I want for the second project, but I can't find the right one! The ones that caught my attention the most have made this week's Wishlist.


Here's this week's picks:

Click the pictures to follow the links!




Lindy Chain:

Image from knitpicks.com

  It's a fingering weight... Chainette yarn? That's new to me! I've only seen chainettes in worsted weight and up - and only worked with worsted. The project I'm designing will be a warm weather accessory, so this linen-pima cotton blend might be perfect! I love the colors, I love the price, and I love the material. The comments about Lindy Chain scare me a bit... I read quite a few complaints about splitting, but I also read so many positive comments that I think it's worth the risk. Should I try it?





Lion Brand Chenille Thick and Quick:

  I won't bother to share a photo of this one. You can follow this link if you'd like. Chenille Thick and Quick made my picks this week because I want it... But I can never have it. I came across this yarn while on a search for extremely thick, very soft and fluffy yarn. It's perfect; exactly what I was looking for! And, it's discontinued!


  I thought perhaps if I included it in the Wishlist, someone could help me out. I have searched, and searched... And still can't find exactly what I'm looking for. Bernat Blanket comes close, but I'm looking for a super-duper fluffy roving yarn. Bernat's version just isn't fluffy enough. I also considered Lion Brand Quick & Cozy, but it's 100% nylon. I had a chenille-style garment made from nylon that disintegrated after a few washes, so that worries me. 


  Every other yarn that came close was discontinued. Can anybody recommend a substitution? I need it to be wool-free! And affordable - None of that $25-for-100-yards stuff!




This hook!

Image from etsy.com

  Did I mention a super-duper fluffy yarn? I've got a few ideas rolling around, but no matter what I decide on, I'll need a biiiiiig hook! Look what I found... I think this will do the job! You can find this monster along with other big hooks and needles in Snokist Farm Girl's store on Etsy. (This one's a size X! That's 30 MM!)




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  Click the donate button in the right sidebar if you can help me out! I love to play with yarn, even if I don't get to keep (or make money from) the item I've made. None of your donations ever go towards a personal purchase. The Wednesday Wishlist is more about charity, and less about the things I want! All donations will support my Scarf of the Month program. Every month, a new scarf (or set) will be designed to donate to charity. As a thank you for your donations, the pattern will be provided for free the following month! For more information, check out the Scarf of the Month Page!


  



Monday, August 3, 2015

April Scarf of the Month: Drops on the Window






  Inspired by drops of rain running down a pane of glass, this scarf is perfect for April's Scarf of the Month. April showers usually bring May flowers, but this pattern brings you a new stitch! If you're familiar with the bobble stitch, then you should have no problem with the modified bobble, but those who need help can use this tutorial. The modified bobble stitch combined with the lacy pattern creates contrasting texture that has a ton of character, no matter what color or kind of yarn you use.










  And speaking of yarn, this pattern can be made in just about any kind you choose! I'm using worsted acrylic (as usual), but it would be great made with some homespun, an amazing silk blend, or a beautiful hand-painted yarn (something like the Noro featured in the last Wednesday Wishlist). This elegant design will stand up well to anything! DK or fingering weight would make a lovely fashion scarf, or use bulky weight for a major-chunky scarf. My version has a finished size of 54" by 5 1/2" (137 cm by 14 cm), but the pattern is easy to adjust for your desired length or yarn weight. Need help making an adjustment? Just drop a comment with your desired length and width, plus your gauge with the yarn you're using. I'll get to it as soon as I can!






Skill level:





Materials:
I used Red Heart Super Saver in Light Blue
Crochet hook size J/10-6.00MM or size needed to obtain gauge
Stitch markers (Optional: to mark turning chains if needed)
Yarn needle to weave in ends




Gauge:
In 4" by 4" (10 cm by 10 cm) -
4 multiples of pattern in 4 rows






Notes:
Use stitch markers to mark turning chains, if needed. Chain-3 at beginning of rows counts as a double crochet (dc). Even numbered rows beginning with ch-6 count as one dc plus ch-3. Ch-4 at beginning of odd numbered rows counts as one dc plus ch-1.

Pattern is written in multiples of 4+1




Stitches and abbreviations:
Chain (ch)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Double crochet (dc)

Special stitch -
Modified bobble (MB) - (Yarn over, insert hook, pull up a loop. Yarn over, pull through 2 loops on the hook) five times (6 loops on hook). (Yarn over, pull through 2 loops) twice (4 loops on hook). Yarn over, pull through all 4 loops.

Begin/beginning (beg)
Skip (sk)
Space (sp)




Directions:

To begin, ch 24.

Row 1:
Beg in 10th ch from hook, (MB, ch 3, sk 3) 3 times. 1 dc in the last ch. (3 bobbles in row)


Row 2:
Ch 4, turn. (MB, ch 3, sk 3) 3 times. MB, ch 1. Sk next, 1 dc. (4 bobbles in row)


Row 3:
Ch 6, turn. (MB, ch 3, sk 3) 3 times. 1 dc in last stitch. (3 bobbles in row)


Repeat Rows 2 and 3 twenty-seven more times, or to desired length. Example has a total of 57 rows for a finished length of 52" (132 cm), without border.






Border:
Sl st into corner sp, ch 3. Make 1 dc in the same sp. *(Ch 2, sk next side-post space, make 2 dc in the following) 27 times (or to desired length). Ch 2, (4 dc, ch 2, 4 dc) in corner sp. 4 dc in each of the next ch-3 spaces.* (4 dc, ch 2, 4 dc) in corner sp. Repeat from * to * one time. (4 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in last corner space. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3.

Bind off, weave in ends.








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