Crochet

It’s the small things that keep me going.

Stained Glass V Stitch Scarf

This scarf was a small project that was fun, quick, and easy to make after a very busy September with more than one big project on my hook and my calendar. It was made with one skein of Unforgettable, a medium weight yarn by Red Heart in Stained Glass and a J (6mm) Clover hook using the Crochet V Stitch Triangle Shawl Free Pattern by crochetforyoublog.com. Additional skeins would make a full size shawl. Though listed as a #4 weight yarn, the J hook gives the fabric of the scarf a flowing drape that highlights the rich colors in the yarn. This scarf is lightweight, yet warm and will look great with a dress or a denim jacket this fall. Adding tassels to the corners of the scarf is optional and will take additional yarn. I may choose to add them to help keep the scarf in place when I wear it.

Many years ago when my girls were 4yrs and 7yrs, I stopped at Woolworth’s on the east end of town during my free hour and a half that I got twice a week when the youngest was in pre-school. That is where I found a crochet kit with supplies and a book that would teach me how to read a crochet pattern. I was off and crocheting small things one at a time.I eventually tried crocheting bigger things like sweaters and blankets for babies and adults- again, one at a time. What I learned about myself was I either took F O R E V E R to complete the big things or I didn’t complete them at all. The incomplete projects would be stuffed into a bin for later and then forgotten. It was easy to blame this on being a busy mom, wife, and nurse. I felt guilty. Later, I would come to realize, I wasn’t being truthful to myself nor knew what to do to remedy the problem.

Five years ago, I started crocheting more on a regular basis. I only crocheted small things avoiding anything big and the guilt from not finishing. Following a handful of crochet pages on Facebook, I learned that many a crocheter will have several WIPS (work in progress) at one time. What! Why? For multiple reasons I learned, it’s common to have multiple WIPS at one time.

I no longer feel guilty, admitting the truth to myself that I get bored crocheting the big things. 😮 It was ok to break up a big crochet project with smaller crochet projects. I have learned by taking breaks from a big project by crocheting smaller projects I am more likely to complete the big project in a timely manner. I have also learned switching out projects with different weights and textures of yarns can give my hands a break on those “arthritic” days when my hands and fingers hurt. I keep a tote to take small crochet projects such as soap sacks for charity with me. I work on them while waiting for appointments or when riding along in the car with my husband. And, to get through those bigger projects in life overall, small incentives like crocheting the scarf above helps a lot!

As for those unfinished big projects tucked away in bins….I sorted through them and unraveled and re-wound the yarn into balls that I either passed on to fellow crochet friends or repurposed for new projects. Having multiple WIPs at one time is OK especially when they help you finish the bigger ones.

Keep crocheting all those big and small projects- Sharon

Crochet

Unicorns and Rainbows

The unicorn hoodie cowl I made for my granddaughter.

Our 3 1/2 year old granddaughter loves unicorns, especially those displaying a rainbow of colors. According to the article, Unicorn Symbolism & Meaning (+Totem, Spirit, & Omens) by Garth C. Clifford updated on 9/24/2021 on http://www.worldbirds.com, “only those with the purest souls can see a Unicorn”, a symbol for purity, innocence, freedom, divinity, and magic. Small children do have the purest hearts. Maybe this is why they have such an affinity for these magnificent creatures.

I added a bit more hair to the mane than the pattern called for…ok, a lot more hair! And, yes it’s a mullet!

Several weeks ago I found this Red Heart Super Saver yarn in Retro Stripe and I instantly thought it would make a wonderful rainbow mane on a unicorn hoodie for my granddaughter. Next, I searched for a pattern. Many were for scarves or sweaters with attached hoods. I decided on a cowl with an attached hood. She’s too little to wear a scarf and a sweater with a hoodie could only be worn during the coldest months where she lives.

Red Heart Super Saver in Retro Stripe

The pattern is the Unicorn Hooded Cowl by LovableLoops on Pinterest @ https://pin.it/6B49flX. I didn’t have any bulky yarn in white, so I used a double strand of Red Heart Super Saver worsted weight yarn and a 9mm hook. I made the hoodie in the child size, but it looks like there is plenty of grow room!

I had a lot of fun making this rainbow unicorn hoodie! Tomorrow, I’ll pack it to mail to our granddaughter. I’ll post a pic if she likes it!

Happy crocheting! – Sharon

Crochet

Weaving in the ends….

My last blog I wrote about crocheting a sweater vest. I finished it several weeks ago, but hadn’t woven the ends in until last evening. Thirty-some years ago I crocheted my first sweater knowing nothing about gauge or adapting a pattern for a better fit. Though the stitch pattern and the yarn used to make the sweater were very pretty, the sweater was a bit too long for my short stature and the sweater grew longer each time I wore it. I eventually donated the sweater to the Goodwill. Hopefully, someone a lot taller than me found it and liked it.

This summer I decided to jump back onto the path of learning how to fit a crocheted garment. I still have a ways to go, yet this time I know better where I need to improve and what questions to ask. And, practice, practice, practice.

Below are pictures of the sweater vest with a hoodie-with the ends woven in! I took the free pattern Happy-Go-Lucky Hoodie Crochet Pattern @ http://www.hookedonhomemadehappiness.com that I found on Pinterest and experimented with the stitch pattern and also added additional rows of HDC along the front edges. It was a good place to start my venture into garments. Now, I’m going to challenge myself by crocheting another sweater with sleeves and a neckline.

My hooded sweater vest. The front will lay more flat after blocking, I think.
The back of the hooded sweater vest.

Keep crocheting! – Sharon

Crochet

Speaking of sweaters…

Hot, humid weather has me chillin’ inside where it’s easier for me to breath. We keep the air conditioning set at a reasonable temp and supplement with the ceiling fan. It’s comfortable while I’m up doing my work, but I need a light sweater if I sit for a bit.

Speaking of sweaters….I started crocheting a sweater vest with a hood yesterday. At the beginning of the summer I bought two skeins of the Lion Brand Pound of Love acrylic yarn in Antique White. I had purchased it for a different project, but was busy at that time making a baby blanket and bibs for a friend’s daughter who is expecting a baby girl. Then I started writing a pattern for a baby bandanna bib. After a couple weeks I finished the baby blanket and bibs and I’m almost done proofreading my pattern. So, getting back to the two skeins of yarn….

I had purchased a popular sweater pattern and thought the yarn would work for the pattern. I was wrong. The yarn, though a 4 wt. yarn, is more like an Aran than a worsted. It’s beautiful, soft yarn, but not what I wanted for the sweater pattern I had purchased. So, I spent a few evenings searching for a new pattern and found one on Ravelry.

The sweater vest is a sporty style and the pattern uses the half double crochet- my favorite crochet stitch. This morning I measured my gauge on the piece of fabric I started crocheting yesterday and I’m on target. Yeah! Many years ago I learned the hard way the importance of gauge- especially when putting a lot of time into making a garment. Always check your gauge! The yarn crocheted in this stitch is soft and the fabric drapes gently over my hand.

Pound of Love acrylic yarn by Lion Brand in Antique white in half double crochet stitch.

These skeins are huge! To keep the yarn clean and away from the cat, I placed it in a tote. I’ve learned if I remove the label and pat the yarn on one end to flatten the skein into a round, it’s easier to find that elusive end to pull it from the center.

Center pull from skein of Pound of Love acrylic yarn by Lion Brand Yarn.

I’ll post pictures when the sweater vest is done. If this hot, humid weather continues, that could be soon!

Be happy-crochet! – Sharon

Crochet

The Fairfax Coffee Cozy – Digital Crochet Pattern

Sometimes out of necessity is born an idea. We always stayed at the same hotel when visiting our oldest daughter and her family when they lived in Fairfax, Virginia. This hotel was popular with travel groups – sports teams and international tour groups. We would see and meet people from around the world every morning getting breakfast in the common area of the lobby. It was fun, friendly, and busy!
Each morning at the hotel, we would start with a cup of coffee while scoping out a table. Fresh, hot, halfway decent coffee in a paper cup with a lid and one of those cardboard sleeves to protect your fingers from the heat. 0ne morning, after a particularly busy weekend at the hotel, we poured our coffee, placed the lids on and looking around, there weren’t any cardboard sleeves anywhere for our hot coffee cups!
We managed to get our hot coffees over to a table. While my husband watched the morning news, I pulled out my crochet. He looked at me and asked, “can you make me a cozy for my coffee cup? One, that covers the whole bottom?” Why, yes, I can! My husband has large hands. So, I knew why he wanted a cozy that covers more of the coffee cup than the usual cardboard sleeves. So was born that sunny morning in Virginia, The Fairfax Coffee Cozy.
The cozy is made from 100% cotton and fits snugly over a size small or medium “fast-food” coffee cup. Not only does it protect your fingers, but it also helps insulate the cup to keep your coffee hot longer. I keep extra cozies in our cars for road trips and give them to friends and family when they need to take a coffee for their trip back home. Since this time, more and more places no longer offer the cardboard sleeves. So, another reason to keep these cozies on hand. If you find the cozy you have made has stretched out, throw it in the washer and dryer. It will return to its original size.

The pattern includes tutorial pictures and a link to a video on how to crochet the reverse single crochet stitch also known as the crab stitch. One ball of yarn makes several coffee cozies and it’s a great way to use up cotton scrap yarn, too! The digital crochet pattern is available at Miss Sharon’s Craft Cupboard on Etsy.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1252718074/the-fairfax-coffee-cozy-digital-crochet

I’ve given away most of my Fairfax Coffee Cozies the past few months. Writing this pattern, I’ve re-supplied our own supply of them for our summer trips. Enjoy and happy crocheting! – Sharon

Crochet

Lavender….and drinking shrubs!

The scent of lavender fills my sunroom.

Through this new venture of teaching crochet I have met new people and have made new friends along the way. One of those new friends contacted me a few weeks ago. Her summer schedule filled with gardening, camping, and watching her grandson had not allowed time for her to practice her crochet. She asked, “can we start again in the fall? “Yes, we can!”, I quickly responded. I have not had much time lately for crochet, either. So, I was grateful for the break!

Knowing my new friend has a passion for gardening, I asked if I could come see her garden and flower beds sometime this summer. She responded, “come soon while everything is in bloom”. I actually went over to her house that afternoon. It was wonderful taking a stroll around her home and through the side yards and back yard looking at her flower beds and gardens. I asked so many questions and enjoyed learning from her answers! Along the way she shared berries from her strawberry plants and blueberry bushes with me. We finished our tour on her patio drinking a shrub made of berries from her garden. If you don’t know what a shrub is for mixing in drinks, I’ve shared a link below. It makes a delicious, refreshing drink that is healthy! And, she gave me a lovely bunch of lavender tied with a pretty ribbon to take home. This is exactly what I needed that day to clear my scattered mind! Enjoy your summer, new friend. We will crochet again together in the fall.

Here is the link on Pinterest for a strawberry shrub recipe that I tried this week. I want to make a watermelon with basil shrub next!

https://pin.it/6xLwNrd

Strawberry shrub mixed with plain carbonated water.

Family

Family and July 4th

Happy Fourth of July!

A last minute decision brought our oldest home to Ohio with her husband, Shane and 3 y.o. daughter, Evie for a short visit this long holiday weekend. They spent Saturday with Shane’s family and his Uncle’s family from out of state. Evie played with her cousins, ate watermelon, and watched fireworks that night. The next day, we had them and Leigh Ann and her husband, Zach at our house for a cook-out. We spent most of the afternoon and evening outside in the beautiful weather playing, talking, and riding the golf cart around the yard. We could hear “pops”and “bangs” late into the evening from the surrounding neighborhood.

We had surprised Evie earlier in the day with a red tricycle and a matching bike helmet when she arrived. Yes, there was a tumble and a few scrapes treated with sprays of Bactine. The helmet did its job, too, getting a few scrapes on its front edge while protecting her head when she fell off the trike going too fast.

Later, we had our typical hamburgers, hotdogs, with several homemade sides- cole slaw, baked beans, and potato salad. Leigh Ann brought made-from-scratch muffins and brownies. She is an excellent baker! I had gotten down from the cupboard our old melamine plates with the lighthouses. I’ve had this set of dishes for decades! You know, the ones offered for purchase as a promotional by grocery stores where different plates, bowls, trays, were featured each week to add to your set. We’ve used these plates for every summer holiday since the girls were little.

Melamine tray by Oneida.

Allie brought her current crochet project with her plus several pieces she had made using a beautiful French wool yarn. I will block these pieces, take pictures, and post them in my Etsy shop to sell for her. Her crochet skills have taken off this past year and her ability to create and design exceeds her mother’s!

Aunt Leigh Ann brought paints and I supplied the paper plates, and plain paper. Sitting at the high-top table in the kitchen we showed Evie how to paint fireworks with a paper towel tube cut and splayed on one end. She had so much fun and it gave her mom and dad a short break.

Evie painting fireworks with GiGi and Aunt Leigh Ann.

Last evening our cousin Lori who is more like an Aunt to our girls and her grown daughter, Madi (who recently graduated with her BSN and passed the NCLEX for her RN this week) stopped by to say “hello” and play “grocery store” with Evie- and push her, laughing and squealing, on her toy train. Needless to say, Miss Evie crashed for the night!

Selfies with Madi from a visit a couple weeks ago.

This morning, bright and early, Evie was outside playing on the patio. Allie and I sat, sipping coffee and watching her play and chatter in her make- believe world. Then her chattering shifted and she talked about her family. She talked about playing with her cousins at her MiMi and PaPa’s house and about her Aunt Leigh Ann and Uncle Zach and Lori and Madi. She kept saying, “my family”. It warmed my heart that she was understanding at her young age that these people are her “family”. May she grow up with many fond memories of spending summer holidays with her family.

Evie asked me to draw her “outline” while she laid on the concrete. Then we filled in her chalk outline to match her dress.

Everyone has gone home and the house is quiet. The dishwasher hums in the background washing all those lighthouse plates used this weekend. Alan is doing a couple chores outside and I’m drinking more coffee and writing this post. This evening will be the fireworks at Silver Park and we will watch for the high ones over the tree tops.