Monday, January 9, 2017

It's NOT a Disaster!

  Well, well... I'm very surprised at what I'm about to share with you! First, let me quickly set up the situation: Rip van Winkle has developed a nasty infection which has me washing and re-washing everything in the house, and cleaning like mad. So, can you guess what happened when I hastily grabbed a pile of crochet stuff I had thrown on the floor? My blanket made with Bernat Blanket came out fine after being dried on high heat. My afghan made with both Caron One Pound and Simply Soft survived a wash in the machine on the heavy setting. And my fuzzy blanket (not crocheted) that was tossed in with them left a lot of lint in my dryer... But there was one item in that pile that wasn't destined for machine washing... That "disaster" of a cowl I made with Loops & Threads Facets.

Loops & Threads, Facets, yarn, crochet, cowl, fail

Loops & Threads, Facets, yarn, crochet, cowl, fail

"OH NO!" was the first thing out of my mouth when I saw a corner of it peeking out of the load in the just-ran-on-a-full-cycle-on-high-heat-dryer.

"It's destroyed" was the next thought I had before pulling it out...

And "I can't believe this!" is what I said when I saw the whole thing.

Loops & Threads, Facets, yarn, crochet, cowl, fail

  The end of a tail has popped out, which we all know happens from time to time. But other than that, I swear it looks better now than when I had hand-washed it! The feel of the yarn is... Different. It's not quite as soft as it had been, now having a bit of a scratchy-wool-but-still-soft feeling. The fuzzy frizz that had developed all over the project now appears to be smoothed out some (but not all the way; you'll see soon). And the whole thing shrank a little bit, but it now looks more like its old shape instead of the stretched-out mess it had become.

Loops & Threads, Facets, yarn, crochet, cowl, fail

   But, where did that frizz go? One theory is that perhaps they were loose fibers that needed a fluff in the dryer to remove... The lint trap sure was full of gray stuff, and maybe it didn't all come from that Walmart blanket. I originally thought that my black blanket's lint had mixed with some lint from the Bernat Blanket to create gray; that was before I saw the cowl in there.

  My other theory is that the high heat simply melted the frizzies away, and that's why my fluffy-soft cowl is a little scratchy now. Come to think of it, maybe a better way to describe the feeling is "crispy". Kinda like if you iron acrylic yarn... Hmm... There's an idea! I wonder if I could use an old cotton towel and the iron to further set these fibers in place? That's an experiment best performed on a scrap of the yarn before I go killing the whole cowl. But I think it's worth trying, because the edges of the piece are still looking like a well-worn sweater.

Loops & Threads, Facets, yarn, crochet, cowl, fail

  Maybe I should just let it go... From farther away and out of bright light, the cowl simply looks like a cozy, soft, fluffy accessory. When it's bunched up around the neck, the seams that pulled from shrinking can't be noticed. It even seems like maybe that shrinking helps bring the definition back to the lace squares.

Loops & Threads, Facets, yarn, crochet, cowl, fail

  I'm still going to make the pattern again in another yarn. I'll just call this a tester and wear it out without worrying! And who knows? Maybe after another accidental trip into the dryer, it might look even better. I think the next time it needs washed, I'll toss it in the machine again. But I do fear another trip to the dryer could turn it into a child-size cowl. Eh, either way, I'm over it. It's time to move on to the next project and more

Happy Crocheting! 

Ooo, but wait! Now this yarn is on clearance! Maybe I should buy more! 
😉 Just kidding. 😉

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Granny Stitch Dishcloth and 2017 Granny-Spiration Challenge

  Welcome to the first Granny-Spiration Challenge of 2017! So many ideas ran through my mind when Alexandra asked me to be a part of the challenge. I wanted to kick it off with something simple, yet something "outside the box", so how about a round dishcloth using the granny stitch? I've had this yarn in my stash for about two years because I wasn't happy with the color. A request from The Kid and this challenge combined to help me get over the color and MAKE something already! She wants it as a washcloth... I think it seems like more of a dishcloth. You can decide for yourself what yours will become.

First, here's the pattern... But don't forget to look for the linkup and giveaway at the end of the post! 

Finished size:
7" (17 cm) across
about 1 oz of yarn used for each

Skill level:


Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, Granny Stitch Round Dishcloth, cotton yarn, crochet

Worsted weight (4) cotton yarn
-I used Peaches & Creme worsted 4-ply in Orchid (a discontinued color, sorry!)
Crochet hook size H/8 - 5.00mm
Yarn needle

Not important

Chain-1 at beginning of rounds does not count as a stitch.

Round 2 does not follow the same typical granny stitch pattern, so pay attention to your chain spaces!

To skip the single crochet border: A hanging loop may be added between the first and third double crochet of the granny stitch.

Single crochet (optional)
Double crochet

Granny stitch:
(3 double crochet, chain 1) -or- (chain 1, 3 double crochet)
Whichever way you want to look at it!

Leave beginning loop extra loose for stitches, start with a magic circle, or chain 3 and join into a ring. I start with a loose loop on the hook, chain 1, and move right into making the double crochet. All stitches for round 1 will be worked into the beginning loop.

Round 1:
To begin, only chain 1. Double crochet in the farthest chain from the hook (or your choice of beginning space - this stitch will be part of the beginning granny stitch, and now we move on). (Chain 1, work 3 double crochet in the same space) x 5. Chain 1, work 2 double crochet in the same space as the first double crochet made (completes first granny stitch). Join with a slip stitch to the beginning double crochet.
(6 granny stitches)

Round 2:
Chain 1, double crochet in the first available chain-1 space. Chain 1, work 3 double crochet in the same space. (Move on without making a chain) (3 double crochet, chain 1, 3 double crochet) in each of the remaining (5) chain-1 spaces. Work 2 double crochet in the beginning space (before the first double crochet made). Join with a slip stitch to the beginning double crochet.
(6 'increasing' granny stitches, with 6 spaces in between sets, for a total of 12 spaces)

Round 3:
Chain 1, double crochet in the first available chain-1 space.
(Chain 1, skip 3 double crochet, work 3 double crochet in the space between stitches. Chain 1, work 3 double crochet in the same space. Chain 1, work 3 double crochet in the next chain-1 space) x 5. Chain 1, skip 3 double crochet, (3 double crochet, chain 1, 3 double crochet) in the space between stitches. Chain 1, work 2 double crochet in the beginning chain space (before the first double crochet made). Join with a slip stitch to the beginning double crochet.
(18 chain-1 spaces)

Round 4:
Chain 1, double crochet in the first available chain-1 space. (Chain 1, work 3 double crochet in the next chain-1 space) x 17 Chain 1, work 2 double crochet in the beginning chain space. Join with a slip stitch to the beginning chain space.
(18 granny stitches)

Round 5:
Repeat round 4.

Round 6/Border:
(optional; see notes for working hanging loop without border)
All stitches in this round will be worked into a stitch, not a chain space. Do not chain 1. Moving right into the next stitch, single crochet. Make the hanging loop any place you like; chain about 10 between any of the single crochet stitches (I like to make mine away from the beginning). In each of the following stitches (including chains), work 1 single crochet. For the last stitch (before the first single crochet), work over the joining slip stitch to make the single crochet. Join with a slip stitch to the first single crochet made. Bind off, weave in ends.

And there will be a video for beginners coming soon!

Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, Granny Stitch Round Dishcloth, cotton yarn, crochet

And now, on to the blog hop and giveaway!

This Month's Giveaway is sponsored by EyeLoveKnots. One winner will receive a $10 Etsy Card to spend in any shop on Etsy! 

Must be 18 or older to enter. Open to all countries. Gift card has been purchased in US Dollars. If recipient is outside of the US, to use gift card, must go into Etsy settings and temporarily change to US Dollars. Void where prohibited. Winner has 48 hours to respond to email notification, or another winner will be chosen. EyeLoveKnots is responsible for prize fulfillment.

Now, Share Your Granny-Spiration Project With Us!

New Granny-Spiration Projects will be shared from your hosts the first Saturday of each month. Post times will vary. You will be able to link up from 9am EST on the first Saturday of the month, through 11:59pm EST on the second Thursday from the start date - specific dates are on top of the Rafflecopter form - giving you almost two weeks to link up and enter the giveaway!

Please share projects that are family friendly, and GRANNY INSPIRED through use of regular granny square or solid granny square, granny stitch pattern or other afghan square in the form of a free pattern, pattern review, or inspiration piece. Not limited to crochet or knit.

Please make sure to link to your post, and not your home page.

*If you don't have a blog, you can still share with us by creating a Free Flickr Account - powered by Yahoo. Add your projects there, and then come back here with the link for the project.

*Link ups cannot be to Etsy listings or Ravelry pages where patterns are sold. You can link to blog posts, Flickr or Facebook pages, Pins, etc that are directed towards it, but can't directly link to it.

To be clearer though, Raverly pages of finished projects are okay to share. Sorry for the inconvenience! That's per InLinkz guidelines. Thanks!

Features may be chosen at the discretion of each host. By linking up, you give us permission to feature your item.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017!

  Hi! It's good to be back... You all might not have noticed, but I had to go away for a few days after I murdered my PC. I'm still working through updates, file transfers, and installing apps, so I'm a little behind in announcing an upcoming event: I'm excited to tell you that Alexandra of EyeLoveKnots has asked me to be a part of the Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017!

Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, EyeLoveKnots, blog hop, giveaway, challenge, crochet, granny square

  You'll find a few other bloggers joining the challenge, and we'll meet them in a minute. I share many of their same reasons for participating: In a serious need to de-stash some yarn, I've set aside more complicated patterns and gone back to simple motifs and the granny stitch... But sometimes that gets boring for me, and my couch disappears under a pile of WIP's! This challenge is a perfect way to keep me motivated and experiment with new, exciting ways to work with grannies. And I can't wait to see the creations everyone else will share!

Now, let's hear about the challenge from Alexandra:
(Or, you can read Alexandra's post here)

What is a Granny-Spiration Challenge?

Well, being inspired by granny squares, it's been named accordingly. In this challenge, a new project will be shared the first Saturday of every month from January to December of 2017. You will find both traditional and non-traditional projects created with either regular or solid granny squares, the granny stitch pattern or other afghan squares in the form of either a free crochet pattern, a crochet pattern review, a DIY of some sort or just inspiration piece with tips to recreate.

How to Join in on the Granny-Spiration Challenge:
Join my friends and I the first Saturday of every month as we share our Granny-Spiration project with you, and open a link up for you to share yours! You'll be able to share your WIPs and pictures of completed items in these link ups for a chance to win prizes. 
Tag it on social media as #GrannySpirationChallenge2017.

Chat with others, find inspiration and get updates and reminders in the EyeLoveKnots Crafting Community Facebook group.

Which Blogs Will Be Participating in the Granny-Spiration Challenge:

Alongside myself, the following bloggers will also be participating in this challenge with me, and I encourage you to visit them all for great patterns, DIYs and inspiration!

Marjan from Atelier Marie-Lucienne
Sandra from Hakelfieber Austria (in German)
Sara from Posh Pooch Designs
Sigrid from Kat Kat Katoen
Rhelena from Crochet n Crafts
Rachel from The Philosopher's Wife

By the end of 2017, you will have at least 12 finished granny square inspired projects that will be done just in time for the holidays as well as a smaller yarn stash since grannies are great for stashbusting! Can't wait to see your projects!

Thanks, Alexandra! Can't wait to see yours, too!

  So, I kind of panicked at the thought of having to keep with a schedule for this challenge... If you've followed the blog for a while, then you know nothing here ever goes as planned. And since the challenge starts Saturday, I feared I wouldn't make it in time. When I continued to go though the pile of WIP's that are hiding my couch, I realized I had more opportunities than I thought. The challenge is supposed to be a fun and inspiring way to de-stash, inspire, and create. I think it will be just the motivation I need to help me find my couch again. 😉

The challenge starts this Saturday, so I hope to see you all there!

and as always...

Happy Crocheting!

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