Is That Another Rug Pattern????

It’s that time in the winter season….you know, when leaving the warmth of your bed is only tolerable because there is hot coffee. As I shuffle my way to the kitchen, I can feel the chill settle in my bones. I know how blessed we are to have good heat in the home; but that doesn’t stop me from checking the temperature about 15 times a day. I’m just sure that it’s 40 degrees in here!

Cabin fever is real my friends and I have it bad!!

If you are anything like me then you have a to-do list that is unreasonably long, rooms that you continue to walk by and continue ignoring even though it needs a cleaning and you have at least six crafting projects unfinished. I should add that I have no real interest in doing any thing…..except maybe napping…I feel like Garfield.

Garfield the cat

I should get moving. I mean, I still have Christmas stuff up in Gracie’s room and I have done little more than vacuum and spray air freshener in there since Christmas Day! Seriously! I clean the floor, grab the dirty clothes, spray the air and back out slowly. I usually mutter under my breath, “Jimmy Cracked Corn!”

Well, the door is closed, so I can pretend it’s clean and pick a craft project to work on for today….just for today though, tomorrow I’ll clean ūüėČ

If you are following along, you know that my current obsession is crochet. I have to decide whether to finish a current project or start a new one…it’s all about priorities.

The project I grabbed this morning and started stitching on was not a chunky blanket, but another rug….I know; but my feet are cold and that makes me think about the floor. Besides, who can’t use more rugs???? It is a work in early progress, so I will show a little now and share my pattern when it’s all finished.

Pink and Purple Rug.jpg

The lovely rugs I made and talked about in my Stay-cation post are great, but since I didn’t follow the second pattern exactly, I did have some issues. It wasn’t sturdy enough worked with three strands. It’s too big and needs the stiffness the extra strands will give it.

Because I only used three strands I also had trouble getting the circle to lie flat. I added the shell border on my own with the hope that would weigh it down. It did, but the rug didn’t hold up well to high traffic….or light traffic for that matter.

So, that rug got a good wash and is now a circle throw for the couch. It looks good there and it’s less frustrating on the couch versus the floor. Moral of this one is if you want a rug, follow her pattern….please. If you want a cute throw for the house, three strands and a cute border should make a perfect piece.

If I am going to do a quick rug review before I get back to what I’m working on today; then I have to take a minute and talk about the Pom-Pom Rug I made just after Christmas. I had such high hopes for this one. I loved how colorful it was and how much of my yarn stash it ate up. As I predicted, the pom-poms have been pulling apart and the frayed yarn ends up all over the floor. I made this one with all acrylic yarn of various weights and it’s a fail….as a rug. It might be beautiful as a tapestry though.

I haven’t tossed the idea of pom-pom rugs out the window, though. I have been gathering cotton yarn and creating new poms of all different colors. When one of the craft stores has cotton yarn on sale, I will grab some. I only have a small handful of poms now, not nearly enough to start a rug. For now, that idea sits in the unfinished piles.

It’s time to make another hot cup of coffee, get back to working on this new rug and show-hole Season 6 of Catfish. I hope what ever you are working on today turns out amazing! Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you all about Gracie’s new rug…..and then I’ll stop obsessing over making rugs…..probably.

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Let’s Make a Blanket In One Day

It’s Tuesday, but it feels like Monday because the kids were out of school yesterday.¬† I woke up feeling behind yet motivated.¬† So I am sitting in my crafting space watching my favorite reality drama with two unfinished projects and a long list of to dos for today. The coffee is hot and there is a chill in the air as another snow storm moves into the area.¬† The quiet in the house today will hopefully keep me focused, but this weather has me wanting to pile yarn over my lap and make the biggest, warmest blanket I possibly can!

In fact, I think that’s exactly what I’ll do.¬† I’ll grab some super bulky yarn and before the sun sets on today I should have a really nice soft blanket to keep me warm until Spring!!

I have made quite a few blankets using super bulky yarn.¬† Most of them have been baby blankets for friends that are expecting, or throw blankets for the house.¬† There are a ton of free patterns out there and all of them can be modified to a larger or smaller size; but you don’t need a pattern…Really.¬† I’ll show you how, but first….

Here are two blankets that I made last year…

Baby Boy Blanket

Baby Girl Blanket

Aren’t they great?!?¬† These are super soft and warm for brand new babies!! The size of a baby blanket is normally 35″ x 35″ so these work up in just a couple of hours!!

They do eat up the yarn though.  The baby blankets typically take two to three skeins depending upon the tightness of the stitches.  The boy blanket above took just over three skeins and the girl blanket took two skeins almost exactly.

Oh, you will need the bigger hooks too if you don’t have them already.¬† I work most bulky blankets with the 9.00 mm or 11.00 mm hook.

Before you start, you will want to know what size blanket you want to make so your shopping list will be correct.  I found this wonderful compilation of sizing for blankets that I want to share with you.  The list can be found here.  Be sure to pin it or print it for future reference.

This blanket is the only one I have made for myself so far….and yet it is usually found in the living room warming little girl legs ūüôā

Cream Blanket.jpg

It’s a beautiful blanket and I can throw it in the washer and dryer along with other linens, so it isn’t a high maintenance piece either.¬† This blanket is a twin size and if I remember correctly I used almost 10 skeins of yarn before the blanket was finished.

I created these blankets using three different types of stitches and without a written pattern!!  That is how easy making a blanket can be!

The key is to make your foundation row the width of the blanket you are creating.  When you have the correct measurement, you may need to verify that your stitch count works for the type of stitches you want to use.

For example:¬† I used the star stitch for the cream colored blanket.¬† This stitch requires an even number—and the foundation chain ends on an odd number to allot for the single crochet start on Row 1.

Once you have your count right, you are off to the races!

If you are just starting to learn crochet, working simple stitches with bulky yarn can be very satisfying and make you feel accomplished.  It is hard to fail with these kind of projects.

If you are still not sure how to proceed without a written pattern, I have been lucky enough to find a super simple beginner pattern for a bulky baby blanket at Rescued Paw Designs.  Her pattern is very easy to read and she has some great photos of her blanket too!

Should you make one, I would love to see it!¬† I think I am going to make today’s blanket into a circle….maybe a mandala pattern……oh boy!¬† I’m feeling inspired all of the sudden.¬† Time to pin some ideas!

Check back to see what I find and as always…..Happy Hooking!

 

 

A Spring Pattern for this Weird Weather!

What is up with the weather?!?¬† I don’t know if it is strange where you live, but let me tell you I live in New Jersey and I am sitting in my room with the windows open, the fan spinning overhead and I’m wearing a tank top!¬† It would be a perfect mock spring day if the sun was shining, but it’s raining so bad out….and foggy….like a scary Stephen King novel.¬† I’m torn between wanting to go out and wanting to curl up with said author’s latest and greatest drinking hot coffee and scaring myself.

Figured while I am deciding my next move I would tell you about this beautiful Slate Crochet Vest pattern I found at  Busting Stitches.  This pattern is so easy to follow and she has even given the patterns for all the sizes from S-4XL!!!!!

For this project I am working with Woolike Yarn by Loops and Threads.¬† I have one skein right now in White.¬† If you aren’t familiar, it’s a super fine yarn that recommends working with a 3.5 mm hook.¬† I chose this yarn when I was on my trip to Florida.¬† I loved how soft it felt and I knew I could search my¬†pins¬†and find something beautiful to make with it.

Spring Vest 1.jpg

When it was -15 outside two weeks ago I was thinking about making an infinity scarf with this yarn and I still think that would be a beautiful project for winter, but working on this light-weight vest has me thinking about walking outside in the park.

Because this yarn is super fine weight, it takes more stitches and a bit more precision to work the pattern.  I love that the vest is made working with a 5.00 mm hook so there is some space between the stitches.

I don’t know how long it will take to finish.¬† I would like to say under a week, but I may set this one aside here and there and come back to it…..I can say that with some confidence now that I have put some organization to the patterns I’m working.¬† I have a great printout for my work in progress, so no more guessing what hook I was using or the type of yarn (if I threw out the label).¬† You can find that free printable¬†here.

I’ll certainly post my progress with this project, but you don’t have to wait for me…get started on one of your own!¬† If you have cabin fever like my friends in Western Pennsylvania, this is a decently long enough project it could carry you through a week or two of work…..that’s a good brain break.

I know this warm spell in Jersey won’t last, so I’m going to head outside and hope the rain shower in progress will dull it down to at least a sprinkle.¬† Maybe our little town will be blessed to end today with a clear sky and a beautiful sunset.

I hope you enjoy the free pattern.  If you are feeling inspired today, I would love to hear about what you are working on.

Happy Hooking!

 

Bracelets You Can Make In Under An Hour

Yesterday afternoon Hubs and I loaded Gracie in the car and traveled north to fight with other mall shoppers and exchanged a few gifts.¬† There wasn’t as big of a crowd as we had anticipated, so we finished up shopping quickly and headed out for a nice bite to eat at our favorite Pho restaurant.¬† ¬†On the way home the NJDOT had updated the highway boards to warn of the winter storm that would be passing through the area in the next 24 hours.

I didn’t panic over bread or milk, I panicked over the thought of not having a project to do or the ability to get to a craft store to get a project going again!¬† So, with as little stress in my voice as possible, I asked Hubs if he would make a stop before home at our local Wal-Mart and I would head into the craft section and brainstorm something to work on during a snowy day.

My mind kept going back to a pattern I rediscovered while organizing my bookmarks this past week.¬† It’s for a lovely white triangle shawl that is made with cotton thread instead of yarn.¬† I knew I could find the size #10 thread I would need, even if I could only choose between three colors….so, white it is.¬† I will, of course, keep you posted on the progress once I really dig into it.

After I grabbed two spools of thread to start the project I couldn’t help but check out the jewelry section and grab some copper wire to play around with when I got tired of working on this shawl…..maybe I could twist some semi-precious rocks for my necklaces, or a ring….I’ll have to figure out where my skill set lies before I get too excited.

In the meantime, I still have some beading and elastic cording saved from before Christmas and that’s the craft I wanted to share today.¬† The supplies for this craft are simple and you can decide how budget friendly you want it to be with your choice of beading.¬† I think for these bracelets, I probably spent around $15 for everything.

Beads for Bracelet.jpg

So, here’s what you will need:

.08mm elastic cording (or equivalent to slide your beads on)

Beads or charms of your choice (enough to make at least one 7″ to 9″ bracelet) For this project I used lava beads, quartz beads and red jasper (I think).¬† I grabbed a box of mixed wood beads, too!

Scissors

A little dab of super glue (or crafters glue)

* For a woman’s bracelet- measure the wrist if you are able…if not, measure it approximately 10″ (8″ for the beading and 2″ for securing).¬† The average man’s bracelet should measure at 10″-11″ finished.

Here is where you can learn to do a¬†surgeon’s knot.¬† This is how you will secure the bracelet.

Ready????¬† Then you will need to decide how you want your bracelet to look and begin stringing the beads onto the elastic cording….I suggest leaving it on the roll while doing this so the beads don’t slide off the other side.

When your bracelet is the size you need, then cut the elastic from the roll leaving a few inches to work with for tying.

Tie your two ends together using a surgeon’s knot.¬† Now, do a second surgeon’s knot and tug the ends tight again. Trim the ends down.¬† Dab the two knots with some super glue and let it dry.¬† Slide a bead over the knot and cover it and viola!!!¬† All done!¬† It’s gonna look great and last for a long time.

Check out the bracelets I made from these beads and a few I had left over from previous craft projects….they are really divine!

Finished Wood Bracelets.jpg

It seriously took me about an hour and a half to complete all of these.¬† I wear most of them everyday….they make me happy.¬† I can add essential oils to the lava beads on the bracelets for mood elevation, so that’s good for my anxiety.

These are so easy and so gratifying to make.¬† I encourage you to head to the craft store and pick out some of your favorite beads….you could have a beautiful statement piece for your jewelry collection before the day is out.

If you do make one (or several like I do), I would love to see your finished projects.  Any questions?  Need some help with it, leave me a comment.  I would love to hear from you.

As always,

Happy Hooking!

 

A Finished Rug

Yesterday I shared the how-to information for putting a Pom-Pom Rug together and in the post I said it would probably take me a couple of days to finish.¬† When I started to put the rug together it was so adorable that I couldn’t wait to see the end product so I just kept at it until I finished it about half an hour ago.

It’s really so adorable!¬† Look at all the colors…..

Pom Pom Rug Finished.jpg

When I said this was a scrap buster project, I was not kidding!!!¬† I have two skeins of yarn left from my Caron’s Simply Soft collection and only 2 or 3 skeins of specialty yarns.¬† I didn’t use the expensive stuff to work this project because the poms unfortunately won’t last forever.¬† I have a plan to make them last as long as possible, but poms are fragile.

The poms are basically yarn that is cut to a specific length that is wrapped with another piece of yarn.  The smaller cut pieces will work themselves out of the yarn that ties them eventually and if one or two too many start to come out, the whole pom is compromised because the knot is no longer tight enough.

Knowing that they will require some special handling, I would just caution that as you work your project, leave a little room at the edges…the squares you tie your pom to seem to be a bit weaker around the edges of the piece and I had a few pop off after I had attached them.

After the piece is done and you are enjoying your rug in your space, when (not if, but when) you see long pieces of yarn sticking up please avoid pulling the strand out and take the time to find scissors to trim the length.

Finally, you can’t machine wash this rug.¬† It would be best to spot clean it and Febreeze it until the rug has worn out.¬† If that isn’t a possibility, you will have to hand wash the rug and hang it to dry.¬† Any other attempts to clean it will probably ruin the integrity of the piece.

Here are a few more shots of the rug and it’s progression to completion.¬† I hope you will take the time to make one for your house.¬† It looks so precious in Gracie’s room at the foot of her bed!¬† Depending on your color combinations, you could put this in any room or even on the deck if you want!¬† Check mine out and then make one of your own and send me pictures.¬† If you have experience making poms or pom rugs and have pointers, I’d love to hear.

 

As always…

Happy Hooking!

 

The Elsa Frozen Hat

It’s been two weeks since I last updated, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have some great items in the works or that I don’t have a wonderful pattern to share today….cause I do! ¬†The projects I’ve been working on are gifts, so I’m not going to be able to post photos or patterns for a few weeks while I put the finishing touches on them and they are sent and received but I’m dying to!!!

I can share with you that one of my designs involves granny squares and an upcoming wedding, while two of the other items will be gifts for my beautifully pregnant DIL who is expecting her first child in the fall!!! ¬†As you can imagine I am obsessed with all things baby right now and I can’t wait for these weeks to pass so I can meet my new grand-daughter!!

Since I can’t share the final products with you yet or give you any more hints than that, lets move on to the last project I wanted to share and aFrozen Hat wonderful pattern for a hat that anyone who loves the movie Frozen will also love….love….love.

Of course, following the release of Frozen all the retail stores were stocked with tons of items themed for Elsa and Anna. ¬†Gracie, along with all the kids in her class, ¬†were asking for all of it…..you know they were ūüôā ¬† Gracie was adamant about wanting an Elsa hat she saw for winter and although I said no to the $20 hat at the store, I set out to find a pattern and make one for her.

This is the end result and she loves it!!!

The pattern is¬†here.¬† It’s so easy to follow and the results are spectacular. ¬†This was the project that had me falling in love with Simply Soft yarn. ¬†It’s an easy beginner pattern and finishes in a weekend or less, so…go visit Mango Tree Crafts¬†to follow this pattern or check out her other works. ¬†¬†I hope you create one of these beautiful hats for someone you love….or for yourself. ¬†If you do, I would love to see the end results.

 

Happy Hooking!

 

*Ava didn’t want the long braid on the hat, so I worked the pattern and finished it off before the instructions to work the braid.

 

 

Mae’s Colorful Tank

For this project, I really had to step outside of my comfort zone with what I think I know about crochet.  Admittedly, I am not really big on creating a swatch to check gauge and I often stitch more open than the average hooker.  Since I know these things about myself, I knew that stitching clothing was going to be a challenge and I was prepared to be utterly frustrated by even the simplest of patterns.D's Halter

Instead, I was wonderfully surprised by the simplicity of this pattern.¬† Okay, it wasn’t that simple.¬† I didn’t know how to do the corner to corner or C2C stitch so there was that 10 or 15 minutes I took finding the YouTube video learning how to complete it for the pattern I had in hand.

I’m posting links to both the video and the pattern I used.¬† The top I worked up in under an hour…keep in mind I made it for Mae and she’s just a little thing, so it didn’t take much time or yarn.¬† Heck, I may have found a good scrap yarn project.

Give this pattern a try with whatever yarn you have on hand.¬† It’s a nice change from rows and rounds and both the video tutorial and the pattern are very user-friendly.¬† Happy Hooking!

 

Here’s the YouTube video to learn the stitch:

Corner to Corner Crochet Tutorial

 

Here’s a link to the pattern I used:

Intimate Threads- Corner 2 Corner Halter Top Recipe