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Friday, February 19, 2016

That Darn Plarn






  I got sidetracked again. I still have the patterns to publish for November and December's Scarves of the Month, but I started a project that's leading me over to my other blog. And because getting rid of one/starting a new organization system and (kinda) blogging about it isn't enough work, I picked up a side-crochet project too.




wip, work in progress, plarn, rug, finger crochet





  It's a pattern I started back around the holidays, but my big plarn project came to a halt when I ran out of grocery bags. Two months later, there's bags of bags piling up in a corner because I've been neglecting it. I think I'm well on my way to becoming a slob. I used to keep things neat and organized, and get my projects done. Nowadays, you can find a pile of my work somewhere in the way at any given time. It's starting to make me lose my freaking mind.




plarn, rug, finger crochet, work in progress, WIP, crochet





  Some might say that's okay, since there's not much left to lose...(lol) But I'm doing something about it! I could keeping griping about the people that promise to help even though they never do. I could make excuses about my hands swelling again and work being difficult. I could blame it on the dog that interrupts me a million times a day just to say "here's some slobber"... But none of it is going to get this mess cleaned up!




plarn, finger crochet, chunky plarn, loop method, rotary cutter





  During my breaks from navigating the black hole known as my closet, I've been cutting up bags. It's a perfect side project. If I went from the dusty closet to a yarn project, I'd wash my hands before touching the yarn. And since I'm going back and forth between these projects about 20 times a day, I might not have any skin left if did that. I'm not afraid to touch the plarn with dirty hands, because I know it's not going to get stained, and it's easily washable.


  *On a side note, I've lost rack of the number of bags that are being used for this project. I got past 500, and decided I'll try to measure it by weight when I'm done. That's an example of how many bags I've been hoarding. I lost track past 500.


  The goal was to cut up at least half a bag of bags every time I took a break from the closet project. Some of the bags were really packed together, so they took more than two breaks. But still, I'm cutting these really thick, so it doesn't take much time to knock out 20 bags. I'm still finding it easiest to stack multiple bags and cut with the rotary cutter, and now my bag stash in the corner is gone again.




plarn, loop method, finger crochet, plarn rug, chunky plarn





  But oh! What is it about crafting that can make you start hoarding? While cleaning out said closet, I found a garbage bag full of... Can you guess? Grocery bags. A garbage bag full. Okay, that's not too bad. And then there's that plastic tote... Maybe I shouldn't tell you about the cardboard box stuffed with "special color" bags. That box aside, it's good that I found bags, since I ran out again... Right?




  It would be awesome, if any of them were the right color! I'm making my project with only grey and blue bags (good ole Wally-World), but my plarn stash is full of every other color. Brown, white, yellow... Hey, I found some grey ones in there! Aw, but they have black and red print. No go. If Walmart decides to change the color of their bags (again) mid-project, then I'm going to have to change my color scheme!




plarn, hoarding, grocery bags, finger crochet, plarn rug





  On a side note, that closet-clean-out is getting me even more crochet material. Yay, scrap fabric! Wait... Why did I clean it out of the closet, just to have it sit in a basket on the floor? This isn't working, people! I still have a project using fabric yarn that I haven't published, plus another in the works that I never finished. I think when, if, and ever I deplete these plies of junk, I need to let go of that save-it-for-crochet mentality. If I have to cut it up for material, then that's just more time that I'm not crocheting.




  So who's with me? Are you on the verge of becoming a hoarder due to your crafting habits? Has an organizational "trick" ever led you to more disorganization?


  Here's my new goal for recycled projects: If I can't get to it right now, I have to let it go. I've learned that when things get stuffed in corners or closets around here, they tend to stay there. I'm going to learn to get rid of it before I'm suffocating in plarn and my house is considered a fire hazard, or before I go(?) crazy.


plarn, chunky plarn, plastic bags, crochet, finger crochet, joining, loop method



Now, I need to get back to work. That pile of plarn strips must be lonely. I can hear them asking me to join them.   




Happy Crocheting!  




Thursday, February 18, 2016

And there it went...






  When I woke up this morning, I wasn't rich. I didn't have a ton of savings, but at least I had enough to buy next week's groceries and pay the house payment. Had. I also had a somewhat cheerful post for you. HAD. I can't post it. Shortly before lunch, I was editing the final photo for the post. Then, I started getting a flood of emails to my inbox.




  Debit card alerts. And I'm not the one shopping at QVC or target.com. There's only one place they could have gotten my number from: The computer. How? I have anti-everything software, great passwords, and I barely use my card! I already got off the phone with the bank and the card is cancelled, but the charges are still pending. They left me penniless. They even have an email address set up under my name.




sadface





  So right now, all I have for you is a sadface. The rest of the day will be spent running antivirus/malware/spyware checks on my PC, changing passwords, and hopefully getting hold of target.com to cancel whatever cost . Wow, they have poor customer service. I'm glad I don't shop there.




  And to the criminal at 224 Milton Road -even-though-you-probably-don't-live-there-and-you'll-sit-at-the-curb-waiting-for-the-package in Pensacola Florida, you won't be getting your $158.93 Garmin GPS. Sorry, I cancelled the order for you. That's over my budget for a device like that. Besides, you're smart enough to figure out my debit card number, but you can't figure out that you already have GPS on your smartphone? Could'a spent my money on something better than that. Oh, and you spelled my name wrong too, DUMMY.




Happy Crocheting!





Monday, February 15, 2016

Homespun Mittens






  These mittens are like fluffy little clouds on your hands. Really fluffy, really warm clouds. Bulky weight yarn makes them work up quickly, and there's only a few increases and decreases to create the shaping. You'll even find a few tutorial photos throughout the pattern to help you out! The simple one-color design can be made more interesting by using a variegated shade, or one of Homespun's "painterly" colors.




free pattern, crochet, mittens, Lion Brand, Homespun





  This pattern creates a basic adult mitten with no cuff, the goal being to use only one skein of yarn. Each size I created left a decent amount of "scrap" - over half a skein for size small. I'm leaving the pattern written for the examples you see, but I've provided extra notes at the end for how much you really could add to the length. Feel free to work a few extra rounds! Each size (as written) is designed to end just past the base of the wrist.




mittens, free crochet pattern, Homespun, Lion Brand





Skill level:
skill level, easy - intermediate







*This pattern is simple enough to be considered "easy", but the choice of yarn isn't easy to work with. If you're comfortable working with Homespun, then you've got this!




Materials:
Bulky weight (5) acrylic yarn
-I used Lion Brand Homespun in Edwardian
Crochet hook size J/10 - 6.00MM or size needed to obtain gauge
Stitch markers (optional but recommended)
Yarn needle




Gauge:
In 4" by 4" (10 cm by 10 cm)
10 half double crochet
8 rows




Notes:
Chain-2 at beginning of rounds counts as a half double crochet.

Save time! Work over beginning tail, and tail of thumb after joining.

Work forward: The very first available space after the beginning chain counts as the same stitch. Work into the next available space for the next stitch.

Pattern is written for size small (S). Adjustments are written in parenthesis ( ) for sizes medium and large (M, L)





Stitches and abbreviations:
Chain (ch)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Half double crochet (hdc)
Double crochet two together (dc2tog)




Directions:

(Example being worked in tutorial pictures is a size medium.)

Begin by creating thumb:


mittens, free crochet pattern, thumb, how to



Round 1:
Ch 3 (counts as base loop + hdc). Make 5 (7, 9) hdc in farthest ch from hook. Join with a sl st to beginning ch-3.
(6, 8, 10 hdc)


Round 2:
Ch 2, hdc in each remaining stitch. Join with a sl st to beginning ch-2.
(6, 8, 10 hdc)


Round 3:
Repeat round 2. For size S, bind off.


Round 4:
Repeat round 2. For size M, bind off.


Round 5 (size L only):
Repeat round 2. Bind off.



To create body:

Round 1:
Ch 3 (counts as base loop + hdc), make 13 (15, 17) hdc in farthest ch from hook. Join with a sl st to beginning ch-3.
(14, 16, 18 hdc)


mittens, free crochet pattern, round 1



Round 2:
Ch 2, hdc in same stitch. 2 hdc in each of the next 3 stitches. 1 hdc in each of the next 3 (4, 5) stitches(*). 2 hdc in each of the next 4 stitches. 1 hdc in each of the next 3 (4, 5) stitches(*). Join with a sl st to beginning ch-2.
Place a stitch marker at each (*) to keep track of flat sides - It's easier to join the thumb if you loose count!
(22, 24, 26 hdc)


mittens, free crochet pattern, tutorial, round 2 - 1

mittens, free crochet pattern, round 2 - 2

mittens, free crochet pattern, tutorial, 2 - 3

mittens, free crochet pattern, tutorial, round 2 - 4



Round 3:
Ch 2, hdc in each remaining stitch. Join with a sl st to beginning ch-2.


mittens, free crochet pattern, tutorial, round 3



Rounds 4 through 11 (12, 13):
Repeat round 3. (8 times for S, 9 times for M, 10 times for L)


Joining thumb - 
Round 12 (13, 14):
Ch 2, hdc in each of the next 11 (10, 9) stitches. Hdc through both thicknesses of stitch of thumb and next stitch of body. Hdc in each of the next 4 (6, 8) stitches of thumb. Hdc through both thicknesses of last stitch of thumb and same as last stitch of body. Hdc in each of the remaining 9 (12, 15) stitches. Join with a sl st to beginning ch-2.
(27, 31, 35 hdc)


mittens, free crochet pattern, tutorial, joining thumb - 1

mittens, free crochet pattern, tutorial, joining thumb - 2

mittens, free crochet pattern, tutorial, joining thumb - 3



Round 13 (14, 15):
Ch 2, hdc in each of the next 12 (11, 10) stitches. Dc2tog twice. Hdc in each of the remaining 10 (15, 20) stitches. Join with a sl st to beginning ch-2.
(25, 29, 33 hdc)


mittens, free crochet pattern, tutorial, dc2tog



Round 14 (15, 16):
Ch 2, hdc in each of the next 11 (10, 9) stitches. Dc2tog twice. Hdc in each of the remaining 9 (14, 19) stitches. Join with a sl st to beginning ch-2.
(23, 27, 31 hdc)


Round 15 (16, 17):
Ch 2, hdc in each of the next 10 (9, 8) stitches. Dc2tog twice. Hdc in each of the next 8 (13, 18) stitches. Join with a sl st to beginning ch-2.
(21, 25, 29 hdc)


Remaining rounds:
Ch 2, hdc in each remaining stitch. Join with a sl st to beg ch-2.

Written for example shown:
Work a total of 2 (3, 4) even rounds. Bind off, weave in tail.

Total number of possible even rounds per 185-yard skein:
S - almost endless. You could make a ridiculously long pair of shoulder-length mittens, but working the pattern as written leaves enough yarn to make 2 pairs.

M - You'll have enough to work 20 even rounds on each mitten, if you wanted to. That would add about 10" (25 cm) to the length.

L - Working a pair will only leave enough for about 12 even rows per mitten, but that will still add about 6" (15 cm) to the length.



Remember: I've designed these mittens to donate to charity! Please consider making a pair to donate, too. If you're working a pair for yourself and you've enjoyed the pattern, think about using that donate button (at the top of the page) to show me some love! Please? Funds for my charity donations are getting low, and so is my yarn stash!




mittens, free crochet pattern, Lion Brand, Homespun, tutorial






Happy Crocheting!





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