Showing posts sorted by relevance for query World's Biggest Stocking. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query World's Biggest Stocking. Sort by date Show all posts

Thursday, December 24, 2015

We Did It! A World Record

  Did you make a blanket for the World's Biggest Stocking project? If you did, then CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING PART OF A WORLD RECORD! I fell short of my personal goal for blankets, but managed to send in four of them. And that's okay with me, because that's twice as many as I had originally planned. My target number jumped mid-project when I was bashed on Facebook for my work. Even though I didn't make it to the twelve blankets I wanted to make in retaliation, the negativity only drove me to push beyond just two.

Guinness World Record, World's Biggest Stocking, knitting, crochet

  I wanted to design a special pattern for the project, so I could definitely pick out one of my blankets from the Stocking. I never did, because I know how that would go... I'd get halfway through it and rip the whole thing out in a fit of rage when I'm not happy with the design. I do that a lot. Getting involved in this project was never about "look at my pattern". It was about "Hey, YOU can help make blankets, too!" I knew I couldn't get them done if I was wasting time on designing a pattern.

  I'm a little disappointed in a way... But not really. I wish I could find my squares in the finished project, just so I could say "Look! That's one of mine!" Like I said, the project wasn't about me. I'll just pretend that the one spot in the Stocking that happens to have four blankets a lot like the ones I made all next to each other... Yup, in my head, that's my spot, whether it really is or not. You can't have that spot. It's mine. Can you find your blanket in the stocking? I saw some really interesting originals in there!

Yarnspirations, World's Biggest Stocking, Guinness World Record

  So, here's the stats: (I got this info and the pic above from the Yarnspirations videos on Facebook... I couldn't get the photo to link properly, so this link should take you there.) 830 knitters and crocheters stepped up to the challenge. A total of 1260 knit and crochet squares were donated to make the Stocking. The final project weighed in at a whopping 1641 pounds, and measured 76 feet wide by 136 feet long! $100,000 was raised for the Children of Fallen Patriots fund, and the Stocking was disassembled so the pieces could be donated to those in need.

  Those who worked to assemble our squares into the Stocking spent a total of 40 days (960 hours!) sewing the project together. They deserve a big huge pat on the back! If you visit the Yarnspirations Facebook page, you can see a few different videos about the Stocking, but I think this one is my favorite. Watching the length of time it took to unroll the World's Biggest Stocking is a great reminder of how much work went into this project!

  So many people came together to make the World's Biggest Stocking possible! From the companies that sponsored the idea to the 830 knitters and crocheters that made the squares, and especially those who assembled it... I mean, without them, it would just be a pile of squares. It all came together to set a Guinness World Record and benefit charity, too. Everybody deserves a big, huge


  Now, enough with tooting our own horns over the World's Biggest Stocking. Because you know who deserves an even bigger thank you? The soldiers and their families that inspired this project. If not for their sacrifices and suffering, the Stocking wouldn't be needed... But even this project isn't enough to help them all. Remember that there's soldiers that won't be coming home this holiday season. Never forget the sacrifices they made for you. If you know a veteran or a family member of a fallen soldier, don't forget to say


  I'll be busy over the next week or so, making sure some of my Scarf of the Month projects see their way to some veterans in need. Others are going to Bridge and Beyond in Ohio, and a few that aren't so practical to donate to the homeless are getting sent to some friends that are down on their luck. I'll try, but it's possible there won't be another post on the blog until the new year - But I'll be picking up with all the free patterns that have been on hold! So in the meantime: My progress on the blankets for the World's Biggest Stocking was pretty dramatic, and full of tutorials! If you missed the series, you can pick up some skills and read my rants by checking out these posts:

The Wednesday Wishlist
It all started here, with a short little post. At that time, a giant box of Caron United was already in transit to my house. Ha! I mentioned "looking into" using some of it for this project.

Yarn Tales Tuesday - National Crochet Month and #crochetforcharity
Yup, that would be the semi-famous rant I went on after the Facebook bashing. My inspiration to make more than two blankets.

Yarn Tales Tuesday - I Need a Break!
The invititation to come make blankets with me. I took a moment to unleash some stress and recharge before starting the project.

First Color
The start of the Big Granny Square Blanket. Beginners can learn how to begin the pattern, make a double crochet, and work the first two rounds of the pattern.

Color Two
I deal with "yarn vomit" (tangles) as we work the next two rounds.

Color Three
Rounds 6 and 7, plus more yarn vomit. I call out Caron United for having a yarn-tangling troll in their factory. For some reason, I never received a response. (lol)

Colors Four and Five
The last two color changes before the colors repeat, and a vomit-free skein! 

Repeating Colors
Beginners can get a great tutorial to begin without a slipknot!

The Trouble with Trolls
Beginners can learn to tell the direction of their stitches; some advice about untangling yarn vomit; a mini-rant about trolls.

A Look at a Finished Blanket
More about the troll and how I messed up he made me mess up the project! Also, the last living appearance of Cornelius Peanutbutterus on the blog :(

The Big Granny Square Blankets Finished!
Beginners can learn how to invisibly weave in ends in the round and how to join yarn with the Russian join.

Big Granny Square Blanket, free crochet pattern,

Yarn Tales Tuesday - Finding Myself in a Pile of Yarn
After veterans opened up to me about their struggles and said thank you for my work, I open up about my own struggles to say thanks back.

Beginning Blanket Two   
Trying to decide what to do about having the wrong colors for the Nine Square Blanket; yarn vomit; how to begin with a knot-less slipknot.

Tips for Beginners and Beginning Squares
Beginning the squares, another lesson in the double crochet stitch, working into the knot-less slipknot, and weaving in your ends while you work.

Nine-Square Second Row
More weaving while you stitch and help with working into your turning chain.

Mistakes I Made as a Beginner
It's amazing that I have the skills of an expert, with all those mistakes I used to make! I get it all out there, with tips so beginners don't have to make the same mistakes.

Ready to Assemble!
Beginners can see what a square sometimes looks like before blocking - even when it's made by an expert.

The Nine-Square Blanket Finished!
Joining the squares.

Nine Square Blanket, free crochet pattern,

Beginning the Granny Square Blanket
Making the center of the squares and changing colors.

A Contrasting Color
Adding a second color to the squares, deviating from the pattern, and weaving in ends.

Uh Oh!
How I messed up again, and what I did to fudge it instead of frog it.

Time to Go
Due to some roadblocks, I skip ahead and share a sneak peak at all of the finished blankets.

Four Blankets Shipped!
The final result of the Granny Square Blanket after my mistakes, a tutorial for using the single-crochet-two-together for joining the squares, and shipping!

Granny Square Blanket, free crochet pattern,

  The idea that I wanted to join the project was announced February 18th, I began working on the squares in the beginning of March, and my four blankets were shipped to the project by the 19th of June. Twenty-three posts about my progress were published. I worked through constant thunderstorms; I worked through a flare-up of rheumatoid arthritis; I worked through power outages and terrible flooding; I struggled and still worked through the death of my closest companion. I connected with some wonderful bloggers and some amazing veterans. I listened to stories from them and their families: How much of a struggle they face every day. How much they need help. How much my work meant to them. And I still can't get it out of my head... Just some measly little blankets... Money raised for a college fund... Surely that isn't enough to say "thank you" in return for what they've given.

Happy Crocheting!
A Big Thank You to all the knitters and crocheters that made the Stocking possible!
An Even Bigger THANK YOU to all the veterans and families of fallen soldiers out there!
And Happy Holidays, everybody!

Friday, June 19, 2015

WBS Progress: Four Blankets Shipped!

And the rest of the stuff I missed... Like a tutorial!

  Since I was in a rush to finish the Granny Square Blanket and get my donations mailed to the World's Biggest Stocking Project, I didn't cover the final assembly of the squares in the last post. So in this post, you'll get a bunch more "blah, blah, blah", along with a great tutorial!

  Even though the $5,000 contest is coming to a close, more blankets are still needed for the Stocking! I plan on making eight more before the project is over, but I'll be taking a break for a bit. Yesterday was the first day I didn't pick up any crochet in... Um... In a really long time! I'd love to tell you that I used my crochet-free day to do something awesome, but in reality, I cleaned my house. Yay. Actually, I could count some of it as crochet work, because a lot of my time was spent organizing my WIP's (work in progress). I also spent some time putting together a tutorial for you, so let's move along!

It was almost a disaster, but I was able to save it! One Granny Square Blanket completed, and already shipped to the World's Biggest Stocking.

Here are the squares that I messed up. The border of the Red Squares and the centers of the Navy squares were worked with a smaller size I/9 hook. Everything else was worked with a size J/10 hook. At this point, I had only worked up to the last row of double crochet for each square.

When I first stacked them up and took a look, I thought I'd be able to go back to one hook size for the last round of single crochet. They look pretty close, don't they?

Nope, wrong! I worked the border of a Red and a Navy Square with the same size J/10 hook. It threw it off even more! I frogged the round I had made on the Red square and worked it with the smaller size I/9 hook. Perfect! I made the remaining Royal square all with a J/10 hook.

As for how I assembled the squares, I worked through both loops of both pieces to pull the whole thing together a bit. I began by working in the back loops, but that caused the pieces to (unexpectedly) ripple. 

Working through both loops solved the problem! I really expected to have better results by using the back loops, but I was wrong. Thankfully, I had only joined four squares before I noticed the problem. To avoid the extra thickness of the seam, I used a single crochet-two-together to join them.

Which leads to that tutorial! First, let me be clear that I would never claim this pattern as my own - but since I strayed from the pattern and used my own method for joining the squares, I took the opportunity to make a Guidecentral guide for the stitch!

  Call me a sell-out if you want to. But for picture-heavy tutorials like this one, it's less work for me, and works better for you on Guidecentral. Plus, I have more due in bills this month than money in the bank right now, and that's because of the yarn for this charity project! So, you don't mind clicking a link for that tutorial, do you?
  You'll also get a bonus learning how to begin the row with a standing single crochet (which is actually a standing-single-crochet-two-together), and I'll show you how to work over the tail, too! This stitch makes one flat side and one textured side, which can be adjusted by working into the front, back, or both loops of the stitch.

  Are you back? Now, let's see how I shipped those blankets!

Vacuum-sealed bags, yay! I picked up a box of these at a discount store for less than $5. I figured I could let go of one of them to ship these blankets. The plan was to stuff them into one of those "If it fits, it ships" boxes to save some money, but even mushed down like this, they didn't fit.

I had to buy a regular shipping box for them to fit. And had to pay regular shipping. And (ouch!) that came to almost $20. I arrived at the post office excited and happy to be shipping the blankets, and left feeling a little... Broke (lol), but still happy! So, remember to give that Guide a "like" for me, so I can make a few cents back, okay?

Yarn to make four blankets for the World's Biggest Stocking: $75.
Cost to ship the blankets to the Project: $20.
Amount I could possibly win thanks to the Stitch for the Stocking contest: $5,000.
That feeling that you get when you donate to those in need:

Happy Crocheting!

Friday, April 3, 2015

WBS Blanket Progress: First Color

Blanket One: First Color
Join me in my journey to become part of a world record - Let's help make the squares that will create the World's Biggest Stocking!

To learn more about the project from its creators, click on the World's Biggest Stocking button in the right sidebar.

To find out what drove me to make more than one blanket for the project, see this Yarn Tales Tuesday post.

  I'm taking time off from designing patterns to do some charity work, but I didn't get very far yet. I came down with a cold. But if there's one good thing about having an autoimmune disease like RA, my immune system seems to work really fast at attacking viruses so it can get back to attacking me.

Don't mess with me, germs! I got a crazy, out of control immune system that's gonna kick your...!

  Anyway, let's get to the subject because we have lots of pictures to go over... The first blanket that I'll be sharing my progress on is a simple large granny square blanket with color changes. No carrying colors; no pattern changes: Pretty easy. 

  To get the pattern for this blanket, download it here. Remember, these patterns are not my design, and I'm not affiliated with the companies involved in the project! I simply want to help you guys out if you need it, because as of now, that Stocking Tracker is still only at 10%, and that sucks. Come on, people, make a blanket! (Or, go join Guidecentral, give all my guides a "like" so I can make some extra money, and I'll be able to afford to make an extra blanket - which doesn't cost you any more than a little of your time!)

  Once you've downloaded the patterns for the World's Biggest Stocking, look for the Big Granny Square Blanket (pg. 6). Remember, you can make these blankets in any color you choose, as well as any brand of yarn, as long as the finished blanket measures 36" (91.5 cm) square - But try to keep the colors cheery! As I said before, this is a simple granny square pattern. The basic form of the pattern will stay the same as you work, adding more sets of double crochet every round.  

-One last thing before we begin: I'm still learning the new camera. Sorry about a few of the photos looking a little washed out.

Ready? Let's set a world record!

The very first thing you really ought to do is - make a gauge swatch! You should have 12 double crochet in 4" (10 cm).

But, the pattern gauge (currently) says you should also have 3 rows in that same measurement - And my 3 rows don't add up! I have changed hook sizes, and I can't get close. I tried pulling my stitches up taller, and couldn't meet the gauge. 

To begin, chain (ch) 5, joining into a ring with a slip stitch (sl st) in the farthest ch from the hook.

Chain 6. This counts as the beginning double crochet (ch 3) and the ch-3 corner space.

 Need to know how to make a double crochet? Let's learn it! If you're already familiar with the stitch, you may want to skip ahead a few steps...

To make a double crochet (dc), yarn over the hook from back to front.

Insert the hook in the center ring.

Yarn over, pull up a loop. (3 loops on hook)

Yarn over, pull through two loops on the hook. (2 loops remaining)

Yarn over, pull through the remaining two loops. (Dc complete)

Now you've got the double crochet down! Let's get to the rest of the pattern:

Make two more dc in the ring.

Chain three for the next corner space.

Make three dc in the ring, then chain three for the following corner space.

Make three more dc in the ring.

Chain three for the last corner space of the round.

Make two more dc in the ring.

Locate the third chain of the beginning ch-6. Insert the hook.

Yarn over, pull through the stitch and the loop on the hook for a slip st.

That's round one! There's one more round to make with this color; let's see if we can go a little faster this time...

To begin the next round, insert the hook in the ch-3 corner space.

Yarn over, pull a loop up and through the loop on the hook for a sl st.

Chain 6 (to count as the beginning dc and ch-3 space), make three dc in the same space.

Don't forget to chain one before moving on to the next corner space!

In the next ch-3 corner space, make (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc).

*Chain one, make (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in the next corner ch-3 space.*  Repeat from * to* for the following corner. Chain one before moving on to the next step.

In the same corner ch-3 space as the beginning of the round: Make two dc in the space before the beginning ch-6.

Join with a sl st to the third ch of the beginning ch-6. Cut the yarn to bind off, pull the tail through the stitch.

  So, until next time, you have time to weave in those ends! Well, you don't have to, yet. I guess if you want to, you can wait until the whole project is finished, then spend tons of time on the tails. And develop nightmares like I did when I saved the weaving in for the end of a three-strand, three-color full sized afghan. I still have it stuffed in a cabinet, afraid of those human-eating-tentacles... I mean, tails.

Happy Crocheting!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

WBS Blanket Progress: Beginning the Granny Square Blanket

Squares, squares, and more squares!

  I like challenging patterns. Love knot stitch? Bring it on. Puffs, clusters, filet crochet, and pattern stitches of all kinds... No problem. Bullion stitch: One of my favorites. Clones Irish lace... Okay, still learning some of it. But assembling pieces? I hate it! If you browse through my free patterns, you might notice that I try my hardest to create everything in one piece. My skills are advanced enough that putting together squares or pattern pieces is no problem for me. I just don't like doing it.

  Even though the simple patterns provided for the World's Biggest Stocking project are easy for me, these multiple piece designs are challenging my mentality. But, it's a challenge, so I'm having fun. I'm even starting to get over my dislike of joining squares. I'm working my way up to the blanket with the most pieces, so I'm starting the Granny Square Blanket Square for my next project. This blanket consists of twenty-five six-round granny squares. 

  The colors of this blanket are a nice change from the holiday colors I've been using for the other squares. I've worked with red, white, and green since last October, thanks to a few other holiday projects I had picked up, then transitioning right into the World's Biggest Stocking blankets. When the holidays come around this year, I'm making everything in purple. 

  So, anyway... Follow along as I begin the Granny Square Blanket! Remember that these patterns are not my design; they're provided free by Yarnspirations for the World's Biggest Stocking project. Click here to download them for yourself, then make a blanket square that will help set a world record and later be donated to military charities.

Let's get started!

These granny squares are made differently than the pattern for the Big Granny Square Blanket, but the center begins in the same way. Two double crochet are worked into each side of each corner, and a double crochet is made in each double crochet around. The color will change at the end of the third round. 

But, what I'm doing is joining at the end of the round, for now. My plan is to make all the squares up to the color change, and I'll pull the joining slip stitch out later. I'm doing it this way to avoid juggling multiple skeins of yarn, because I often move my work from place to place. 

Here's what I have left of one skein after finishing the centers of the first sixteen squares. There's not enough here to make any more centers, but I don't need any more in this color, anyways. There will probably be enough to make the last round of single crochet for at least one square.

Before I continue, I'm going to weave in all the center tails of these squares. I think I'll probably work over the ending tail when I start the contrasting color, but I'm not sure yet.

I can't weave the ending tails in now, anyways, because I have to undo this stitch to change colors. According to the pattern, the new color should be pulled through when making the joining slip stitch.

I'm going to follow the pattern for one square to see how it comes out, but it looks like this might make a little jog in the color... We'll see! For now, I'm gonna finish weaving in all those center tails. That's another thing I don't like doing, so I need to get it out of the way.

My RA is starting to act up again, so I'm supposed to be taking it easy. Then I went and made all 16 of the centers for the red squares in one day. I'm gonna take a break now, and we'll pick this up again soon.

Happy Crocheting!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

WBS Blanket Progress: Tips for Beginners and Beginning Squares

Let's learn as we begin the squares!

  In this post we'll work the first row of the square as we continue on the Nine Square Blanket for the World's Biggest Stocking. I'll show you how to work into that loose slipknot from the last post as if it's a chain stitch, beginners can learn the double crochet stitch, and we'll begin to weave in the tail as we work. I wanted to include the tutorial for the slipknot because when I was learning to crochet. I always found myself one chain short at the end of my foundation row. The book I learned from stated "The first loop after your slipknot counts as your first chain". I misunderstood, thinking that the actual knot was all they meant, and the loop counted as a chain. Looking back, I can laugh at myself now... But with only one book, no internet access, and no help, I was so frustrated!

  I've learned to properly count my chains since then, but I still have times that I accidentally count a stitch twice or skip one. And then there's always those times where you're making an afghan with a foundation chain of 500, and you reach the end of the first row to realize that you're 11 chains short... (Yes, you can fix that!) But that's another crochet tutorial for another day. The most important reason I work into the knot this way is because there isn't any knot! I love knot-less joins and can't stand knots anywhere in my work; so why not begin without a knot, too? And going hand-in-hand with the knot-less beginning, we'll start to learn how to weave in the tail as we work, which saves time and hides the end with no bumps or knots.

  Ready? Follow along as I begin the first row of one of the squares for the Nine Square Blanket. Please remember, this pattern is not mine; it's provided free by Yarnspirations for the World's Biggest Stocking! What I'm doing is providing help for beginners that may want to join the project. If you haven't already, you can download all the patterns for the World's Biggest Stocking here

Let's begin!

The foundation chain of each square is the same: 41. The first three chains from the hook will count as your first double crochet, so we'll be making the "second" stitch in the fourth chain from the hook. Yarn over from back to front to make a double crochet.

After you yarn over, insert the hook in the fourth chain from the hook. Beginners: Why do we work into the fourth chain, when a double crochet is equal to three chains in height? Because the fourth chain counts as the foundation chain for the base of the stitch!

For the next step of the double crochet: Yarn over, pull a loop through the stitch. You will now have three loops on your hook.

With three loops on the hook, yarn over. Remember to always yarn over from the back to the front during all steps of the stitch!

Pull through the first two loops on the hook. This will leave two loops remaining on the hook. (Beginners: This is known as a "half-closed double crochet", in case you ever read that in a pattern!)

You're almost done! With the two remaining loops on the hook, yarn over from back to front. 

Pull through the two remaining loops on the hook. You will now have only one loop on the hook. One double crochet complete!

Make a double crochet in each chain across, until you reach the slipknot that we will work into. (You will have a total of 39 dc's once the row is finished. You should have 38 when you stop here.)

When you insert the hook into the slipknot, you should see the front and back loops of the previous chain running into the center of this loop. For additional help, see each of these loops highlighted towards the end of last week's post.

Now, let's begin weaving in that tail while we work! If you notice your working yarn over your tail, then let's fix that before we continue.

Move the tail up and over the working yarn, keeping it behind the hook for the next step of the stitch.

Yarn over, pull through two loops. The tail will now be in trapped in the first loops of the stitch.

Before you yarn over to complete the stitch, bring the tail over the working yarn again.  You may sometimes see other crocheters yarn over the hook with the tail, instead of the way I'm doing it here. Go ahead and do that if you like! Both methods work, but I can still see the tail if I yarn over the hook with it. Most people don't notice it. I'm just super-picky like that. 

Yarn over, pull through the remaining two loops on the hook. Now the first row is finished! We'll work over the tail some more as we crochet the returning row, but we've gone through a lot of pictures! That's going to be all for this post!

Happy Crocheting!

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