I don't have a lot to update today on the creative front. My college roommate and I decided this summer that we needed to go back to Virginia Tech for a football game and we decided to take out Moms with us. We left Friday, stayed in Roanoke (because hotel rates in Blacksburg on game weekend were insane) and drove into Blacksburg Saturday morning. We had a great time driving around to see our old apartment and dorm building and visiting other sites around campus. We had some light rain in the morning but you can see that the clouds moved out in time for kickoff at 3:30. Then the Hokies proceeded to get their butts kicked. That was no surprise but I was glad that we all got to experience Enter Sandman before kickoff. We had a late dinner back in Roanoke Saturday night and then home Sunday. I got home in time for NFL games at 1:00 and proceeded to put my feet up and relaxed the rest of the day.
I always take a travel project with me and I finished this Divine Hat in the hotel Friday night. I followed the instructions and used a J hook for the hat and H for the brim. It seems a little big so for the second one I'm going to use an I for the body and 7 for the brim. I made a shawl from this yarn last month and I like it a lot. It's possible that I can get 3 hats from this one ball. These will be hats for chemo patients. But after these are done I'll switch back to Feels Like Butta for the chemo hats. FLB is incredibly soft.
When I'm crocheting in front of the TV I switch between projects. Working on this blanket with the bulky yarn is really fast but I think it's harder on my hands. I only have 4 balls left and 1 ball only does 4 or 5 long rows. I figure this one has reached it's max length and I'll start doing short rows on both sides. I think this will finish to about 36 x 48. That's a fine lap size I think. It's incredibly warm and occasionally induces a hot flash.
That's when I switch to this lighter weight project. Yesterday I added the last 2 color sections. I think I got the second wide aqua section done just before I left Friday. I am liking the effect of the wide aqua sections and I think this will make a nice wheelchair blanket. I only have a few cakes of self striping yarn in my stash and that's good. I might be kind of over it for a while. After this I'm pretty sure the next blanket I make will be another gingham using 3 solid colors.
Before I left I also finished another walker caddy. These are fast to sew and I have then set up at a machine so I can work on them in small bits of time. I'm going to try to get them finished and out of the way by the weekend. This one has one of the embroidery pieces as a patch pocket on one side and a large pocket on the other. The ties are positioned at the top of the big pocket to add more stability and support for the pockets.
For anyone wanting to make these I recommend just looking online for patterns. I don't really know if mine are right or not. I found a couple of online patterns and adjusted them for the fabric that I had.
Before I get into today's post I just wanted to mention that I got a lot of questions about the fusible batting tape. I will be doing a longer post to answer all of those questions in a couple of days when I can pull some batting sample out to show just how I use it.
I sort of feel like I didn't get much done this weekend but as I think back on it I was sure busy! Friday and Saturday were sewing days. I worked on one of my veterans quilt kits but, honestly, none of us got much done. We were distracted by preparations for a quilt exhibit coming up this week. Our county has a new museum and they had a couple of months that were unscheduled and they desperately needed something. Our sponsor at the Parks and Rec department suggested a quilt exhibit. Three of our members have done an amazing job with the coordinator to pull it together in about 2 weeks! That has to be some sort of record. We will get a preview of it Thursday and I'll try to get some photos.
I also spent a lot of time trying different configurations for the ornament storage. I think I have it all worked out but I had to pick everything up to do my fabric ironing yesterday. I'll get this all back out this afternoon (after my physical appointment). I've told myself that I can't buy any yarn or fabric or any other craft supply until the ornaments are delivered to my SIL.
It was also a football weekend so that means mostly crochet and this is why I'm cheering in the title of this post. The cheer outfit for Ella is done! These are to colors of her cheer outfit. I used this pattern.
I like that pattern because it has all the accessories including shoes! I'm sure I was reading her shoe pattern wrong because I couldn't get it to work but I found a shoe video tutorial on YouTube that I followed for the stitches and used the pattern for the color placement.
The pattern even includes a scrunchie and pompons! This small stuff is hard to crochet! I didn't do a perfect job of it but I think it will be good enough. Now I'm going back to blankets for a while! Blankets are much easier.
Yesterday was a very long day in the dye studio. I started at noon and didn't finish until after 8 but I got a lot done! Needless to say, I didn't do anything else yesterday. After I was done I looked at my crochet bags but settled on picking up a book....a real book, not an audio one. I finished my latest audiobook while I was dyeing.
Today I thought I'd take a moment to catch up on what I've been doing in crochet this past week and some other things I want to do today.
The big blanket is moving along pretty quickly. That's the benefit of bulky yarn (Serenity Premier). I'm on the 5th ball of 10. It's as wide as I want so the rest will be straight up until I get it as long as I want. I'm happy to use this yearn but I'm learning that I don't love bulky yarn. It's really tough on my hands. But, it sure does crochet up fast!
I'm working on a few doll things for Ella. On the right is the top of a cheerleader outfit. The pattern has some shoes too but I couldn't get them to work out for me. So I went to Youtube and found the pattern for the boots. I'm going to alter the boot pattern to make the cheer shoes. I also need a skirt.
The purse is for another outfit all together.
My third project is this blanket. It was intended to be a baby quilt but I don't love the colors for a baby quilt. If I use just the 2 cakes of the stripe it will be perfect baby quilt size but I can make it longer by using the matching pale teal to make those stripes much wider. With that it can be a wheelchair blanket. I'll can add more of the pale teal as a border. I do like trying to use all the yarn.
I'm really being drawn to making the dialysis and wheelchair blankets. They are about the same size as a baby blanket but there are a ton more color options which makes them more interesting to make.
I plan to finish these blocks today. It should only take about an hour. Then I can start putting together that stack of walker caddies.
I went out Tuesday and got all the stuff I need for the ornament storage boxes so Ill start on these today too.
I did not get too terribly distracted this weekend and stayed focused on the postage stamp quilt. I'm getting so close now that I'm going to have to start thinking of a name.
Look, you can see the end! You can also see all the chalk that I drew all over this quilt. No worries, this one will get a good soaking when it's done. I made this before I knew how to handle bleeding fabric.
The yellow line marks the last row that I quilted. I thought I might finish it yesterday but football started so I had to come upstairs to watch games and iron.
I also made this hat yesterday. When we had lunch with my cousin recently she mentioned that she walks in the morning so I decided to make a hat for her. The pattern is a combination of a couple of BagODay patterns (Youtube). I'm including the basic pattern for myself. I don't expect anyone else to understand it.
Starting with 12 DC in a magic ring or chain loop
Round 2: 2 DC in ever stitch (24 DC)
Round 3: 1 DC in 1st stitch, 2 DC in next stitch, repeat (36 sts)
Round 4: 1 DC, 1 DC, 2DC (48 stis)
Round 5: 1DC, 1DC, 1DC, 2DC (60 sts)
Round 6: 1 DC in every stitch
Round 7: 1SC, 1DC, alternating all around
Round 8: 1 DC in the previous SC, 1SC in previous DC
Repeat 7 & 8 for 9 rows
Next round DC in every stitch
FPDC, BPDC in alternating stitches for 2 rows to make a rib
FBSC, BPSC in alternating stitches for the last row.
The skein of yarn was 115 yards and I had only a few yards left over. Perfect. The hat fits me really well so I might make one for myself.
I know that this hat doesn't look particularly impressive in the first photo but look what happens when light hits it! My cousin walks in the morning when it's dark so I thought a hat made of reflective yarn would be cool to have. It's Lion Brand Basic Stitch Reflective. I don't think it's available anymore but I'm sure someone has a reflective yarn.
(Yes, there is a little spot at the top that doesn't have the reflective fiber around it. )
This week I will get the quilting on the postage stamp quilt done!
As usual, the time spent having anxiety over quilting is much longer than the actual time quilting. I knew I wanted feather motifs in the black areas of my quilt but I couldn't decide exactly what I wanted. I finally went back to my notes from Bethanne Nemesch's feather class. After all, I took that class with this quilt specifically in mind.
I settled on Nemesching style feathers and I couldn't be happier. I actually enjoyed my time quilting.
tI've actually finished all of the black areas and am ready to star the tedium of all of those little squares. Of course, that's my favorite part! I can put on an audiobook and just zen out. I'm going to do continuous curves on all million of those squares. I once calculated how many pieces this quilt has and I believe it was just shy of 4000. If I can't find my notes I'll have to do that math again before I create the label for this one. I cannot believe that this quilt is actually almost done!
I also started working on designing the new storage system for my beaded ornaments. My SIL will not have a closet to hang them the way that I store them. I'll create padded "shelves" in plastic bins but this bin is way too small. The basic method is settled, I just need to get the containers and all the materials. I'll make sure that there are 2 acid-free layers (fabric and batting) under the ornaments and I will drill air holes in the plastic bins so that any off-gassing can escape. There will be a layer of 1" foam with circles cut out and I should be able to get 3 shelves in each bin.
After finishing Mom's shawl I was anxious to start a new blanket. I pulled out this yarn that I got on sale and got this far with it and decided to stop. I know this is a popular yarn but I do not like it. It's stiff and no amount of washing will make this soften enough for a baby. I'm not going to work with a yarn that I don't like. That's why I buy my yarns on sale. I'll pack this up for donation. Someone can make hats or something else with it.
I pulled out more yarns and started TWO new projects. On the left is a baby blanket or lap blanket from Caron Baby Cakes. This yarn is soooo soft and easy to work with. On the right is a bulky acrylic, Premier Serenity. I don't know how I ended up with this yarn but I'll make a lap blanket with it for donation. Because it's bulky it's a little harder on my hands. That's why I started the other blanket. I can switch between the two based on how my hands feel.
All in all, it was a great weekend with the added benefit of spectacular weather. It's so nice to have the windows open to get some fresh air in the house.
Mom and I had our monthly lunch get-together with my cousin yesterday. By Tuesday I had made so much progress on the shawl that I thought I might be able to get it done by the time I picked her up for lunch. I got the pockets sewn on just before I left the house!
The pattern is by Pamela Barton of Pamela's Adoring Crochet and you can find the YouTube tutorial and links to the printed pattern on the linked page. I'm happy to report that this crochet pattern is accurate!
It looks short here but it's quite long. But it's extra wide and that's what makes it look short. But it's fingertip length.
The yarn that I used is Lion Brand Basic Stitch in Almond Tweed. I ordered 7 skeins and had 2.5 left over. I ordered 1 more than the pattern called for (because that's what I do) but I forgot that I wasn't putting the fringe on so I could have ordered only 5. Usually I try to use my leftover yarn before I move on to a new project but a friend was asking me about this yarn and wanted to get some to make a scarf for herself. I packed it all up and shipped it to her. I can start a new project!
This right here is a lesson in being economical when working in a new ball of yarn. This is the last stitches of the last row and I ran out of yarn! If I had not been so generous with my connecting thread tails (like 20" long) I would not have needed to attach a new ball this close to the end! I was going to have to open the ball anyway to make the pockets but this is just annoying.
I did make a couple of modifications to the pattern.
The pattern has nice borders of HDC on each side and the center is a repeating pattern of 3 rows: the row with holes and 2 DC rows. So the first row after the first border is a row with holes. I wanted the other end to have the same row of holes so I added one row of the holes and then did the final border. The row I'm pointing to is the extra row of the pattern.
I like symmetry.
The other modification was on the pockets. I added some length.
This line marks where the pocket was supposed to end but once I got that far I decided I wanted it a bit longer. A normal person would have frogged pack to the DC rows of the pocket and added length there. I didn't want to frog so I just did the last 3 rows one more time to add the length. I finished the pocket with a crab stitch edge to get it a little more stability. This yarn is really stretchy and I felt that the pocket might easily stretch out of shape. The crab stitch (reverse single crochet) should help keep it stable.
I positioned the pockets at the bottom edge of the shawl. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out and Mom likes it. When the weather gets cooler we'll see how it works out for her morning walks.
Until then, I'm jumping into a baby quilt. After all that almond blandness, I'm ready for some bright colors. I'll also start a wheelchair shawl so that I have a travel/quilt meeting project to work on.
The rest of today is devoted to quilting! I promise to have quilting photos Monday.
Today in crochet chronicles a tale of a bad pattern. I criticize modern pattern makers for mistakes but there's a long tradition of poor pattern editing.
While on vacation I went to a used book store and found this gem. It's from 1981 or 1982 and has some nice patterns in it. I really like this one on the cover.
But, this one, called Daisy Field, really caught my attention. I thought it might be a great car project to just make hexagon sized pieces. I decided on more of a light olive for the background with a dark forest green for the last round and the joins. I even read the instructions to make sure it was something I could do. Yarn ordered and ready to go!
My first sample didn't get past the flower because of mistakes that I made but I had success with the second flower and got this far before I realized that something was wrong.
Do you see it?
That is NOT a hexagon! It's a septagon! Septagons don't work for fitting together for a blanket.
The pattern is written this way. If you go back and look at the picture from the book you can see a 7-petaled flower on a hexagon so there's no way that blanket was made with this written pattern. I even found reference to it on Ravelry and the person made one block and I don't think they realized it was 7-sided either!
I'm pretty sure I could make this block easily with a 6-petal flower and hexagon base. But here's a bigger problem. The flower is attached to the hexagon only with slip stitches between each petal. That's just asking for toes to get caught. I'm guessing that the blanket in the book was made by appliqueing a daisy on a hexagon base. I'm now searching for another pattern to use with the yarn I purchased. I have a few good alternatives so far.
But that didn't keep me from making something. I finally got started on the pocket shawl for Mom. The pattern is from Pamela's Adoring Crochet and you can find a free tutorial and $1.99 PDF on this page.
It has a tighter pattern on the edges to give it some nice structure. The center is 7 repeats of a 3-row pattern. It's really easy and this yarn is working up nicely.
Pamela primarily designs crochet doll clothes and since my little friend, Ella, is a cheerleader this year I got this pattern and will make an outfit in her elementary school colors. Pamela even designs patterns for shoes!
Speaking of Ella, I was finally able to give her the opera dress last week. She was thrilled! This doll is one that her Mom played with and the dress looked great with the doll's blue eyes. I think she liked the fur-trimmed hood even better than the dress. You can see a shoe peeking out. Her grandmother bought her silver sparkle shoes to go with the dress.
In between big crochet projects I've been slowly working on loom knitting and crochet hats. I've been saving them all up but it's time to put the stack of hats away and that means a hat centric post for today.
First up are these 2 loom knitted hats. I am still at the early learning stage on the loom. Nothing that I make turns out like the pattern yet but I think I'm getting a little better each time. Both of these hats were knitted with the exact same pattern. The blue one is a 5 weight yarn and the brown one is a 6 weight yarn. That's all the difference. One fits me and one fits Chris, although both will be donated.
Both of these were made on the Chunky Flexee loom. I like that loom a lot because it allows you to do crown decreases like this and I like the look of this a lot better than the gathered crown.
But.....I'm still a long way from getting the tension on my stitches right. My hat should look like the one in the pattern picture but obviously it doesn't. I have yarn to make another but I'm going to do a little swatching of different knit stitch styles before I cast on the next one.
There's also another chemo cap. I finished this one before I went on vacation. The yarn is Flecks from Michaels. The yarn feels really nice but it's pretty splitty to crochet with. I tried different hooks. The Clover Armour work the best with it but it still splits a lot. I'll be happy to make one more hat and see the end of this yarn. I do like this pattern a lot. The hat looks kind of elegant on the head.
I also sewed on the tops of the Sesame Street hats. I sure hope the hats fin the boys.
Also in the chemo hat category are these 2 Diving hats. I have been seeing a lot of these hats on YouTube and then Fiber Spider posted a tutorial and I wanted to give it a try. The gray multi one is a Cloudborn yarn. I bought 1 hank to swatch up for Mom's shawl but didn't like it for that. The yarn was expensive so I didn't want it to go to waste. It worked up great for this hat and it's super soft. The ecru one was made Tuesday during quilt club and I printed the original pattern for this one. The only difference is the number of rows. The ecru yarn is Impeccable which I think came from Michael's. It was great to crochet with but isn't as soft as I want for a chemo hat. I think I'll stick with Lion Brand Feels Like Butta for the chemo hats. It's affordable and very soft.
Here's a close up of the patterning on the Divine hat. I really love it. But after the blankets and hats I had scraps and I hate yarn scraps!
For my 4 weight scraps I started a scrappy afghan and I just add yarn to this as I finish a project. You can see the most recent yarn additions from the hat projects. I think that I'll make this a small pet blanket and donate it to Richmond Animal League. That will be a perfectly fine way to use up my scrap yarns. I don't need a scrap yarn collection to add to my scrap fabric collections and I don't need a big, ugly scrap afghan for my lap.
The little tag on the stitch marker tell me what hook size I'm using since this little project can go months without me touching it.
The yarn left from the baby blanket is a bulky weight so I used the little bit of leftover from that to make a premie hat. The subtle shading in the yarn made a really cute hat!
Any other bits of leftover yarn get chopped up and added to stuffing for the pet beds.
Now I'm on to the pocket shawl project and will also be swatching up some test blocks for the daisy hexagon afghan. I've got plenty to keep me busy this weekend.
I've finished another blanket!
I started this blanket expecting it to be a baby blanket but it's much too large for that. As a rule, when I make a blanket I don't stop until I run out of yarn. In this case it made for a big blanket and I'm OK with that. Here are the details:
Yarn is Universal Major - Full color selection here. On sale colors (including my blue, Aloe) here. This is the second blanket that I've made with this yarn and I have 2 more colors in my stash to work with. I enjoy this yarn and it makes a squishy blanket. It's a #5 bulky weight. I used 4 whole skeins (about 1300 yards)
K Hook, although you could get away with one size larger. I cast on 122 stitches with an L hook and did one row of single crochet before starting the pattern.
The pattern is the Inchworm Baby Blanket. It calls for 2 colorways of this yarn but I only used 1.
If you prefer video tutorials here's one from Fiber Spider that I used to supplement the written pattern.
I have this same yarn in a pink colorway and actually made a baby blanket with it earlier this year. I have enough pink to do this exact blanket again and that's likely what I will do, eventually. What I love about this pattern is that when you make a mistake in the pattern (usually by skipping a stitch on the fan section) it's easy and invisible to fix by skipping a skip stitch on the next pattern row.
The pattern is one row of DC in pattern and 1 row of SC.
My blanket finished at about 42 x 60. Mom and I talked about it and decided that it would be best as a donation for a chemo or dialysis patient. It would be a really comfy and warm blanket to bring to treatments. So when I donate it I will specify that use.
Next up I'm going to do a couple of hats for something quick and then I'll start a pocket shawl for Mom out of this yarn, Lion Brand Anti-Pilling. Based on the swatch I think it's going to be lovely to work with.
Good news! I didn't forget how to dye fabric while I was away. Yesterday I dyed over 50 yards of fabric (exhausting) and I don't think I made any mistakes.
On dyeing days I'm usually too tired to do anything but sit and crochet and that's what happened.
First I sews in the ends for this wheelchair shawl to donate. The yarn is Red Heart Roll With It and I used a J hook to keep the fabric drapey. Not my favorite, but it was what I could find while on vacation and I think the colors are very pretty. That's good because I have a second one.
The goal with these shawls is a horseshoe shape so that they stay on the shoulders and long enough to cover shoulders but short enough not to get bunched up on the back against the chair. This is the second shawl that I've made with the Carrie Penny Half Circle Shawl. I did this one a little different to make a neck opening. The pattern begins with 8DC in a circle and the wedges are built out from that center. I thought it might be nice to start with a chain of 40 to get a little neckline and I do like this better. Next time I will start with a row of half double crochet to add more stability to the neckline.
The two shawls that I made would be best for little people but I saw another video from Cinnamon Stitches for the Dina Shawl that has great instructions for making a larger size shawl. I will need more yarn than the 1 cake of Roll With It that I have leftover but I absolutely have other yarns that will work for the Dina.
I really enjoy making these. The agency that I donate through seems to ask for these more than baby blankets. I expect that they get lots of baby blankets. I'll keep making those too but will add in some of these shawls as well. I pretty much made this one totally in the car on the way home and I split up crochet time with loom knitting. It's all double crochet and chains.
There's another horseshoe shawl pattern out on the web but it has only 4 wedges so it ends up with some sharp points. I like the 8 wedge version better.
Speaking of baby blankets, I'm about halfway through the 3rd skein on this blanket. It's going to gether very fast and I think that the pattern is really pretty.
I'm already planning a few new projects. This is a swatch for a pocket shawl that I'm going to make for Mom. She hates wearing coats so I thought a pocket shawl would be good for wall and most of winter here in Virginia. I'll start this after the baby blanket is done. This yarn is an anti-pilling line from Lion Brand.
While I was on vacation I perused a used book store and found this crochet book from the early 1980's. It has both knit and crochet blankets but I think there are more crochet options. I actually like several patterns in this book.
But I kind of fell in love with this one which Chris thinks is hideous. What does he know? What I see is a great car project because it's made of hexagon blocks. I think I would start by making all the daisies and then go back and add the green backgrounds. That would mean less yarn to carry around.
I should have practiced first to see if I liked it but Lion Brand had a 35% off sale last week so I took that opportunity to get the yarn for Mom's shawl and this yarn (Pound of Love) for the daisy blanket. For the hexagons my plan is to do most of the background in the light green and the last round (and joining) in the dark green to give it a little more interest.
This one is put away for the time being. I'll get it out in time for the next road trip and do a practice block.
Today I'm planning on doing some dedicated sewing and run a few errands.
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In Bloglovin you need to search "Colorways By Vicki Welsh" to find the blog.
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.