My dear friend, Mary, has joined up with www.BringEliHome.com to raise money for a very worthy cause. Eli is the victim of parental kidnapping and is being held illegally in Turkey since 2010. Sara, Eli’s mother, has been fighting to get him home ever since.
Well, like I said, Mary has joined with Sara to raise money for her travel and legal fees through the sales of her crochet hat pattern, the Bring Eli Home Hat.
Besides being a fantastic cause, it’s also a fantastic hat pattern. Here’s me wearing my fuchsia version (which Mary made). It’s a perfect casual hat, awesome for bad hair days, and very very versatile. I plan on making one to use up some rainbow wool that I have left over from a previous project.
So, check out the links. Say a prayer, and buy the pattern or make a donation. I can’t imagine being away from my sweet girls for a week, let alone a year. Let’s help bring Eli home.
Here’s a good shot of the couch in my living room that my husband and I bought after we moved into our home in 2006. We got this couch and a matching arm chair at a moving sale for $300 all together. Rob really likes the fabric more than me, which makes sense because it is very manly. I like it, but I don’t love it. Especially because the dominant color in the stripe is green and I don’t really decorate with green. I’m more of a blue person. And have become even more of a blue person after we brought home our rug.
I have slip covered the couch in blue. Many many times actually. But I just don’t like the look of this couch when slip covered so we always come back to the stripes and I have to think about the green and how I wish it was blue.
Well, the other day I was thrifting for some shoes (I am always looking for shoes for my kids), which is right next to the housewares department at the thrift store. That’s how I came across this handmade crochet blanket which is, low and behold, the color scheme of my couch! But it has the blue as the dominant color! It has solved all my problems! And best of all, it gives me that “I-make-things-for-my-family” look without having purchased the yarn and spent the time crocheting the blanket myself. In fact this blanket cost less than $4. It’s amazing. Decorating zen for less than a Five Spot.
I recently bought this thrift store skirt & needed a necklace to match. I made this necklace without buying anything new, just finding things already in my stash. Here’s how I made it:
I used a beading needle & strung tons of beads onto the string (while keeping the string in one long piece on the roll so I wouldn’t have to guess how long to cut it). Then I crocheted the string, catching a few beads with each single crochet. When the necklace was long enough I attached a clasp with crimps.
Have you ever heard about the curse of the Boyfriend Sweater? It’s a curse/urban knitting legend that states that if you knit (or crochet) your boyfriend a sweater, by the time the sweater is complete, he will no longer be your boyfriend. I personally have never made a boyfriend a sweater and, now that I’m married, don’t plan on knitting anything for my husband (he doesn’t get as excited about handmade gifts as I would like).
I did, however, crochet him an afghan the first year we were dating. Since this was made specifically with him in mind, it was extra long (he is 6’4″!) and I used colors he liked (greens and gray). I spent about two weeks while he was out of town working on this afghan. In the last seven years, he has consistently used this afghan every winter. He wraps himself up in it while laying on the couch and walks around the house with it draped over his shoulders. Every year that we take the blanket out he comments on how he can’t believe how warm it is.
This year when I pulled the blanket out, I noticed something frightful. The center of one of the squares had come undone! I didn’t feel like fixing it so I ignored the problem only to find my husband sticking his toe through the hole when he used the blanket. I finally decided that it needed to be fixed. And what a simple fix it was. I found the tail of the original ring that the square had been crocheted around and pulled it out. I used a smaller crochet hook to pick up the loops that had fallen off the tail yarn. I pulled the tail yarn through the loops and then through the original know (that I had found and loosened). I tightened the know and there you have it. This blanket will live to see another winter.
I recently participated in a pincushion swap with some of the ladies from the Akron Stitch ‘n Bitch group.
I spent a lot of time fretting over what kind of pincushion to make and decided on a nice, multi-colored pincushion crocheted out of Perle Cotton thread. The fun thing about this pincushion is that it is made up of eight hexagons that you join as you go! I love joining as I go because I hate seaming. I’ve been known to crochet all the squares for an afghan and then leave them stacked nice and neat for over a year so joining as I go is highly valuable to me.
I was able to quickly crochet this pincushion up over the weekend. I really liked this pincushion and was a little disappointed to swap it away. The day of the swap, I gave my beloved pincushion away to Pam after I had received my pincushion from Amy. Would you believe that Amy crocheted me the exact same pincushion? I couldn’t believe it either. I was so excited!
All the pincushion business has gotten me in the mood to use hexagons. The fun thing about crocheting with motifs is that they work up quickly. The hexagonal shape in itself is visually interesting and therefore eliminates extra work, like the need to add a border, for example. Of course, you could always do that, but I like to keep things simple (or perhaps I’m a bit lazy). Additionally, depending on the pattern of your hexagon, you can join as you go.
I was brainstorming what I could do with a hexagon and have decided to use the pattern to work up my sock yarn blanket. In case you haven’t heard about sock yarn blankets, they’re simply knitted blankets made up using small scraps of sock yarn (about 20-25 yards per sock yarn square). If you’re a fast knitter, then this probably isn’t a problem. I however, knit incredibly slowly and after having accumulated close to 100 tiny balls of sock yarn (and having only knit 6 squares in four months) have come to realize that a knitted sock yarn blanket may just take me the rest of my life. I settled on using the scraps to crochet up hexagons instead, each being approximately 4” across at the widest point. In the course of an hour I was able to work up three hexagons. This blanket will definitely go much faster than my previous knitted version. Now, if only I could find someone to ball up all those tiny hanks of yarn.
I recently overheard a mother and daughter talking while looking at some crochet pattern books at a local craft store. The mother told the daughter that she used to crochet. The daughter expressed interest at this but the mother told her that “all crochet looks handmade by a grandma”. I was slightly offended by this considering for a long time I only knew how to crochet. I personally enjoy (and appreciate) handmade items and I love crochet.
So I decided to dig through my projects and find something that was fun, current, and still functional. I found this: a crocheted bowl. This bowl is crocheted using cotton fingering weight yarn. It is then stiffened using a warmed, one part water/one part sugar mixture. Surprisingly, it stiffens very well but needs several days to dry. This could be done with any doily pattern you can find. I think it’s a great way to make a doily a little more current. It makes a wonderful house-warming gift, is firm enough to hold goodies in, and even better? There are so many wonderful colors of cotton out there now so you don’t have to settle for the classic white. I’ve also done doilies using worsted weight cotton to increase the overall size. Imagine the possibilities!
My boss’s birthday was coming up and bless her heart, she appreciates a handmade gift. I had a gorgeous skein of purple (her favorite color) yarn in my stash. But what to make with only 220 yards? A crocheted scarf. The wonderful thing about this scarf pattern is (a) it’s free on Ravelry (just sign up for a free account to access it), (b) it’s open, lacy, and perfect for spring, and (c) it’s crochet so you know you can whip it up quickly.
After winding the yarn into a ball and finding my I hook, I got to it. Two days later (with only minimal time spent working on it) I had a scarf. The secret to making this scarf a WOW is blocking. I let it soak for about 20 minutes in my sink with some wool wash. After gently squeezing all the water out I pinned out the points on the scarf, making sure to stretch it as much as possible. That one skein of yarn ended up about 58” long and 10” wide. A quick and easy gift for a spring birthday. Crochargosy Scarf
Throughout April, Andrea Sanchez will be one of two guest bloggers with us. Andrea is a “yarnaholic”, and will share crochet tips, project ideas, and her love for fashionable crochet with modern colors and design. Here are a few favorite projects from Andrea’s blog, Life on Laffer:
A little more about Andrea & her beginnings with crochet: Andrea began crocheting at age 18 when she convinced her mother to buy her a hook, enough yarn to make an afghan, and teach her the basics. Her mother, used to her picking up and dropping hobbies like hot potatoes, made her promise that she would finish the afghan. Andrea completed the afghan and her love for crochet was born.
After earning a degree in English, Andrea and her husband moved to Akron in 2007. Here, she has found a rich community of crafters and fellow yarn lovers. Andrea enjoys taking traditional crochet patterns and making them fun, up-to-date, and unique. She especially enjoys giving these creations to friends and family to use and love.
Andrea is currently continuing her education, working towards a Master’s degree in education at the University of Akron. She has also recently begun to blog about her yarn adventures at lifeonlaffer.blogspot.com.
My knitting friend, Heather, was my partner in our recent Stitch N’ Bitch amigurumi swap. I am super lucky, too. She’s so talented! She spun the wool, as well as crochet the owls. She also felted the nest from her own wool.
She made an owl for every member of the family, Rob to Cressida.
Apparently there was a moment where Heather’s son kidnapped the owls for his own. She had to bribe him with his own Amigurumi Ninja. Thanks, Heather!
If anyone has a photo of all the Amis, could you send it to me? I didn’t bring my camera, and I want a documentation of all the awesomeness.
My favorite thing about new babies is that they can’t protest when I dress them up as silly things for Halloween. My older girls have opinions now and I can only do so much to sway them, but not Cressida. Cressida can’t tell me that she doesn’t want to be Mr. H Horrible Hair because he’s a boy and she’s a girl. Or that she thinks the green crochet eye-lash yarn hat is a bit too much. Or that Mr. H isn’t magical and all costumes should be of magical things.
For those of you not born in the late 70s/early 80s, this is Mr. H Horrible Hair. The Letter People are a new hit in our house, so even though Olivia and Elise don’t want to be him, they sure are glad that Cressida is going to be.