Sunday, December 30, 2007

23 - 24 - 25 and DONE!!

I did it!!! I don't believe it. The first one here is done from squares I showed you whan I first started this challenge, I don't know why it took me so long to use them. Then another never-ending-blanket, and finally another sewn blanket for the Baby Pack Project.
For those of you that are coming in late I challenged myself to make 25 baby blankets for charity in the month of December. These are the last three. For those that want to count or see the other blankets here are the posts the others are pictured on:

First seven

Another four

Six more

Four more

A quilt

And these three make 25!!!

Now I can make HATS!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

1st Baby Quilt is Finished

And that makes only 3 more blankets to go.

Hexagon Granny

This is the hexagon version of my never-ending-blanket square. You can make it with as few or as many rounds needed and join them together.
Chain 6 and join to form loop
RD 1: ch 3 (counts as dc) 1 dc, *ch 2, 2 dc* 5 times, ch2 and join should have 6 groups of 2 dc
RD 2: ch 3, dc in each dc, in each ch 2 sp *2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc* join
RD 3 : ch3, dc in each dc, in each ch 2 sp *1 dc, ch2, 1dc*
You can add rows by repeating Rd 3

And another 4 done 4 to go

Not much to say about these, another one made from my never-ending-blanket square and Baby Cloud yarn. Three sewn from fabric I bought at a thrift shop the other day. There are two of the pale blue ones on the right. The sewn blankets as well as some others are going to the Baby Pack Project.

Quickie Chemo Cap Free Crochet Pattern

On one of my Yahoo groups Bev's-Charity-Challange we were asked to make just one hat on Christmas day. Since I was over at my son's apartment I didn't have a lot of yarn with me except what I was using for a couple blankets, this is what I came up with. It's a really simple chemo hat, very soft and, at least I think it is, very pretty. I made it in less than an hour and I'm going to give you the almost-a-pattern pattern. It's just too simple to call a pattern. I used a varigated yarn and somehow it just striped perfectly. I tried to do it again, same yarn, same hook, same pattern and it wouldn't do it.
Quickie Chemo Cap
You need to use a super bulky yarn such as Red Heart Baby Clouds or Light and Lofty. I used a size N hook. I do crochet rather loosely so you may need to make adjustments, also I have two N hooks that are totally different in size so yours may not give the same size hat. The one I made will fit an adult woman.
Ch 4 and join to form loop
Round 1: ch 3 (counts as dc) 15 dc in loop and join (16 st)
Rd 2: Ch 3 dc in same st 2 dc in each st till end and join (32 st)
Rds 3 - 8: Ch3 dc in each dc and join
Rd 9: Ch 1 sc in each dc
See how easy? If you want to make chemo hats and have some suitable yarn it doesn't get any easier or quicker than this.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Six more done eight more to go

Another six done, I'm not going to do this type of challange again, I need some variety. I want to make hats!!! Just because. Just because it's something different!!
From top left hand corner going clockwise:

1. Yet another Never-Ending-Blanket

2. A blanket made in one large square with Baby Boucle that was donated by a very nice woman in one of my Yahoo groups. Thank you Angelika!

3 and 4 Two blankets made with baby homespun donated by Angelika and a white bulky yarn I already had.

5. A blanket made in the corner to corner fashion (will be posting pattern soon) made with self-striping yarn just to prove I could do something more than squares!!

And finally in the center (I almost consider this cheating) is a fleece blanket. I found a Project Linus site that explains several ways to make fleece blankets.

Too much going on

I have too many projects started or in the planning stage. LOL This is the clutter on my kitchen table. Yesterday I went to a store called Leftovers, where they sell recycled objects (such as toilet paper rolls and egg cartons) and crafting leftovers. I usually buy a lot of yarn there but this is the first chance I've had to go there since I bought my sewing machine and I bought two big brown paper bags full of fabric as well as another huge piece that didn't fit in the bags. Total cost was $15. So of course I had to come home and start planning all the projects I'm going to make with them. I also stuffed some yarn and patterns in the bags so I have those too.
I've already cleared some of that stuff off since I took the picture, I have to pull back and start getting some stuff finished!
(Notice my "helper" trying to get in on the fun?)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Purple String Quilt

OK I finished another quilt top although I am considering putting a border on it. I didn't do such a good job of lining up the centers but I promise to do better next time. I belong to a Yahoo group called
Heart String Quilt Project that makes this kind of quilt for charities. You can make the blocks, or offer to put them together or quilt them or do it all. The charity you send them to is up to you.

To make a string block you can use either a paper or fabric foundation (I generally use paper but for anything I'll send to the group in the future it needs to be cloth). Using your rotary cutter you cut strips of fabric, this is a great way to use up scraps. You can make them all the same width or vary it as I did. Many people use the same fabric or same color fabric for the center. Starting at the center you simply sew on strips, ironing as you go, until you fill up the block. After trimming it's ready to put together.

I'm hoping that was clear enough but if you have any questions or suggestions just use the comment button below.

Friday, December 14, 2007

4 More Blankets Done - 14 to go

I'm really beginning to wonder if I'm going to make it, I have so many other things I need to do. I need to step it up. I have another quilt top in the works and still need to finish the top I made last week before I can count it.

The blankets are:
top left; Another one finished using donated squares from Linda. That makes three I was able to finish with one small box of donated squares. Thanks again Linda.
top right; A never-ending-blanket in pastel
bottom left; This one I made using a yellow and white self-striping baby yarn with the awful yellow yarn I bought some months ago. The green cast to the yarn isn't noticable in the finished blanket and the striping of the other yarn is more subtle (and I think very pretty) than the striping yarn on it's own.
bottom right; I liked the effect of the yellow so much I combined two different shades of pink with a pink and purple self striping yarn for the forth blanket.

To read more about my December challenge go here.

Baby Pack Project

Can you imagine having a baby in a hospital and then taking it home wrapped in newspaper because you had nothing else to wrap it in? This is what some women in South Africa were doing and the reason the Baby Pack Project got started.
One of my Yahoo groups All-Crafts-4-Charity is working on items for this project for our January project, although it's a great group and you really should join, you don't have to be a member to help.
Here is the link to a blog set up just for this project that will explain what is needed and how you can help.

KZN Baby Pack

Just Rambling 12/14/07

I just got home from a four day live-in and only brought home four finished blankets. I'm falling behind in my goal or this month. I'm also running short on suitable yarn for baby blankets, I've been working a lot and haven't had time to go on any Yarn safaris lately. I hate to have to go to Wally World to buy yarn. I'll be posting the pics of the ones I finished later today.
Thing 2 is trying very hard to help here, I think she missed me but it's very difficult to type with a cat trying to push her head under my hand. This is my only time off this week. I need to do some Christmas shopping. Most of my gifts are handmade, but I wanted to augment them with a few goodies. I also want to make recyclable bags for wrapping presents rather than adding to the landfill problems. I'll probably be working on that today. OK, the things need attention so I'm going to go for now. Will be posting more in a little bit.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Dancing Diamonds Quilt Top

Do you see the diamonds dancing across the quilt top? This is the first one I've made in over 7 years and I will admit there is a learning curve going on again. Here I thought I knew what I was doing. It's an easy pattern though, it uses a paper foundation and you simply start with a four sided figure in the middle and add pieces until the paper square is filled. I used a 6 1/2" paper to start. After trimming and sewing the blocks together the finished size is 5 1/2".

A picture of the beginning is here.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

My Challenge 7 down 18 to go

My personal challenge for the month of Dec. is to make 25 blankets for charity. I originally said they were all going to Project Linus but then I remembered that one of my Yahoo groups All Crafts for Charity was working on things for the Baby Pack Project so I will be designating some of them for that project.
Anyway, I was gone on a work assignment for six days, I'm a caregiver to the elderly, it was only supposed to be three. I have a lot of time to crochet while the client is sleeping, watching TV etc. so I was able to get seven blankets done towards my goal.
The first picture is two blankets made with donated squares. Thank you so much Linda for the squares, I still have enough for another blanket!!
The second picture (I know it's blurry but I think that's because of the yarn) is four blankets made out of Red Heart Baby Clouds yarn. These go so quickly, I use a size N crochet hook and just make a large granny square (square pattern here) changing color whenever I get the urge. It usually takes 2 1/2 to 3 skeins of yarn. My WalMart had this on clearance and I bought a lot of it, but this just about used it up.
The color combo in the third picture is just because I finished all the projects I had taken with me because it was 6 days not 3 and this was all I had with me. I think it came out pretty good anyway!

The Never Ending Blanket Square Free Crochet Pattern

This is the standard Granny square I usually work with when making my blankets. This particular square is one made for a never-ending-blanket. I like it because it's "mindless", I can do it with my eyes closed. I know that for sure because I've tried it. It's also versatile, you can make each blanket unique by changing the colors, where the color changes are and size of the square. I've made blankets with 144 small squares and I've made them with one really big square. Several people have asked for the pattern and I've referred them to a similar pattern that I've seen on the web. But it is similar not the same so I thought I would finally post my pattern here. This square is suitable for projects asking for squares with a minimum of "holes" or "no lacy patterns" and makes a very warm blanket. I need to name it, hmmm, maybe the Never-Ending-Blanket square??
Never-Ending-Blanket square
chain 4 and join to form loop
Rd 1 chain 3 (counts as first dc) 2 dc, ch 2, * 3 dc, ch 2* 3 times join to first ch 3
Rd 2 chain 3 (counts as first dc) *dc in each dc (3 st total), in ch 2 sp for corner, 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc* 3 times
Rd 3 and all other rounds start with 3 ch counting as first dc, dc in each dc and 2 dc 2 ch 2 dc in each corner
To change color simply end first color at end of round, join the new color anywhere ( I like to do it in a different spot than where I ended to make working in te ends less noticable) following pattern.
For pictures of blankets I've made with this pattern
Baby Clouds Blankets (read down in post for the 'not quite a pattern' pattern)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Knitting Loom Class!!

The grandbabies came over to learn how to loom knit like grandma!! They're doing pretty good too.

Friday, November 30, 2007

My December Challenge and How You Can Help

I've decided to challenge myself to make twenty five baby blankets for Project Linus. I was going to make it ten but thought "Why Not?" on the larger number. I don't think it's impossible and will work on it as much as possible this month. I still have some family presents to finish but they are almost done.

I have a good start with all the squares in the picture that just need to be joined, some of them are donated by a woman in one of my Yahoo groups. Which brings us to the how you can help part. If you would like to make squares for me I would be happy to join them for Project Linus blankets. They need to be made out of machine washable yarns and be kid friendly colors. Other than that anything goes, I can find a way to work with anything thats sent. If your interested send me your email address through the comment link. Everything is moderated so I won't publish anything with an email address or other personal info. I will be the only one to see it.

I also have quite a bit of baby yarn and Red Heart Baby Clouds yarn that I can use to make baby blankets. Since the challenge for one of my Yahoo groups Angels Touch Crochet is baby blankets for the month of December it fits right in. So I need to get to work, I'm sort of stranded today because my cars in the shop so it's going to be a great day for crocheting!!

I also need to get my "new" sewing machine fixed again. (sigh) a few pieced blankets would be nice, too.

The pattern for my granny squares can be found here.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Recycling Old Sweaters for Yarn

In the picture above is what remains of two sweaters I've been unraveling (aka frogging) for yarn. The hat is one I made out of the yarn from the dark sweater. It's hard to see the colors but that sweater had large blocks of 4 different colors, using three of these help together I made the hat on a knitting loom.
I am a devotee of recycling and thrift shops and am always looking to save money. It takes some time to unravel a sweater but it takes time to earn the money for yarn too. Where I live we have a thrift shop where you can buy a brown shopping bag full for $3. I can fit 6 or more sweaters in the bag and I get a lot of yarn from these sweaters.
This link will take you to a site that explains how to do it better than I could. Read it before you go out to buy because not all sweaters are suitable. Then go looking, you can find some awesome yarns if you keep an eye out for the right sweaters!!

Just Rambling 11/29/07

I've been away for work the last three days. I almost finished a hat and scarf set for my son-in-law. Other than that I didn't get a whole lot done. I actually read a book and I feel so guilty for not working on my charity projects. LOL. I did get enough never ending blanket squares done in pastel to start putting them together. I just haven't decided what color to join them with.

I stopped at a thrift store on my way home from work today and bought two small shopping bags full of yarn. One bag was all greens so I'm starting to plan a blanket with them. I can put that on the long list of planned projects. I also have a box of squares that someone sent me to put together. I really need to get work on joining squares for blankets I'm starting to collect quite a few! I guess that will be my next goal!!

Speaking of goals, I belong to a Yahoo group called Bevs-Charity-Challange and what we do is set a goal for the year and then encourage and support one another as we try to reach those goals. I set my goal at 400 for the year and I am now at 385!! Almost there!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ready to go!!

These hats and booties are heading for an NICU in Kansas. The hats are loomed and all the booties are variations of the same bootie pattern. There are many NICUs that can use our hand made items. You can call your local hospital to see what they need or check with Care Wear Volunteers for a hospital near you to donate to.

The pattern for the hats can be found on Bev's Country Cottage , I used the rolled brim pattern and a premee loom, and one variation of the bootie pattern can be found here.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Quilting Again!!

After seven years of not having a sewing machine I finally bought another one. It's pre-70's and only cost me $25 but it works like a dream! I used to do a lot of quilting. Mainly baby quilts that I would sell in the local craft shop. Now I'm going to put my Talents (as small as they are) to work making even more things for Project Linus. As I said before Things 1 and 2 won't let me crochet at home and I can't exactly haul my sewing machine to a clients home (I do in-home care for the elderly and often have down time where I can crochet) so I'll be sewing at home and crocheting at work.
I got this fabric in a bag of scraps I got through our county's freecycle. Although I have a few boxes of saved fabric from before I thought I'd start with this. I really thought the stars would be good for the kids. I'm going to use a "pattern" I used years ago. I used to do a lot of paper foundation piecing and this one was a great way to use up scraps. I don't know if you can see in the picture but I start with 6 1/2" square paper. I cut the main fabric (the stars) into four sided figures. I place them in a diamond on the squares and then sew other fabrics on until I fill up the square. I call it Dancing Diamonds and will post a picture when I'm done.

Just Rambling 11/22/07

Happy Thanksgiving to all my US readers. Wishing you plenty of turkey and family to fill your day. Remember those less fortunate while you enjoy your meal and start planning the next project!

I've been rather busy making Christmas presents for the family, money is going to be really tight this year and I told them all I was making gifts instead of buying them this year. I also told my sons that their college education is a four year long gift from me. Although they get financial aid it still costs me a lot to get them through. The end is in sight though, the older one's a senior and his brother is a junior.

I wish I could post pictures of the gifts but of course I can't. I'll have to wait till Christmas I guess and then take a pic of them all with their presents. My grandkids are getting cuddle blankets and the rest are all getting wearables and that's all I'm going to say. LOL

Friday, November 16, 2007

Christmas Stocking Baby Booties Free Crochet Pattern

This is a fairly simple pattern that can be used as a baby bootie or a Christmas ornament. In the picture, the one on the left has the cuff turned down. This pair is heading for an NICU in Kansas but it is 3 1/2" and should fit a newborn. I used an F hook and Lion Brand Microspun yarn which is a very soft sports weight yarn. So most people would probably get this size using a G or H hook, you may have to experiment.
Ch 3 at beginning of each rd counts as 1 dc
Ch 4 and sl st to form loop.
With white
Rd 1 ch 3 and 11 dc in loop. (12 sts)
With red
Rd 2: ch 3 *2 dc in next stitch dc in next repeat from * (18 sts)
Rds 3, 4 and 5: dc in each dc
Heel with white
Row 1: Attatch to any dc and ch 3, dc in all but 3 dc
Row 2 and 3: dc in each dc and end leaving 6 in tail of yarn
Sew back of heel together by using the back loops only
Join Red yarn at back where it was sewn together
Rd 1: ch3 9 dc evenly spaced down side, dc in each dc left open, 9 dc evenly spaced on other side and join
RD 2 and 3: dc in each dc end red yarn
With white
Rd 4 and 5: dc in each dc
If your making booties either ch 80 for tie or you can use ribbon. For ornament when you get to end of rd 5 ch 10 and join for hanging loop.

Just Rambling 11/17/07

A disaster has struck!! I lost my N hook. I thought I had it with me at work yesterday (I do live-in care for the elderly) but couldn't find it so I came home today and have looked everywhere for it. Even crawling around looking under stuff. I am, of course, blaming it on Things 1 and 2, but they're sitting here looking at me innocently and wondering why I'm acting so strangely.

Now that I have the packages to Pine Ridge sent off, it's time to concentrate on Christmas presents and Project Linus again. I worked on a red, white and blue never ending blanket yesterday and since I managed to collect some more pastels, I think I should be ready to finish the pastel one you can see in the picture.

I also worked on some Christmas booties for a NICU in a hospital in Kansas. One of the yahoo groups I belong to, All Crafts 4 Charity is doing this. I promised 6 hat and bootie sets. I already had the hats done and I thought I only needed 4 sets of booties but when I got home I could only find one other set. I can't even blame this one on the cats since they're not allowed in the craft room.

I went to Leftovers, I think I mentioned it before, and was able to buy a bag of pink and purple yarns. they had no wrappers so I have to figure out the content but I'm hoping to make a nice little girl blanket with it.

That's about it right now. I'll be posting a pattern for a Christmas Stocking Newborn Bootie sometime today.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pine Ridge Reservation

Pine Ridge Reservation, in South Dakota, is home to the Oglala Sioux Tribe. It's needs are many. I just sent a box with sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves and more(including two teddy bears) to the Cangleska women's shelter. I also sent the results of my brown yarn challenge, the lapghan and slippers to another organization on the reservation. They are in need of warm clothing and space heaters right now. Many on the reservation live in homes with no or insufficient heat and it gets very cold in South Dakota.
They have many needs, right now they are taking cash donations for Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday meals and asking for gifts for the children (hence the teddy bears) for Christmas.
They even collect Labels and Boxtops for Education for the schools if you can collect some of those and send them.
There is too much for me to talk about here so if you would like to visit the website and see where you can help out click here.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Your favorite free patterns?

I am setting up another blog just for lists of pattern links. I want this list to consist of favorite patterns. Although there isn't much there yet, they are all someone's favorite pattern. So send me your favorites, doesn't matter what they're for or if they're knit, crochet, loomed or sewn or whatever. What does matter is if they can be used for charity crafting and they're free. Just use the comment button either here or at the other site to tell me about your favorite patterns.

Favorite Patterns

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Saga of the Brown Yarn Part 2

WOW!! I did it, I used all that yarn and it only took a little over a week!!

The final total is:
1 lapghan done with double strand of yarn for added warmth
4 pairs Manly Man Slippers done with 3 strands for warmth
4 7" squares
15 squares started

The lapghan and slippers are going to the Pine Ridge reservation, the squares are going to a joiner for The Ships Project and the unfinished ones will go into my waiting for yarn pile and will be finished as soon as I get more brown yarn and I'm sure that will be soon.

The pattern for my granny squares and also the squares I used for the lapghan can be found here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Just Rambling 11/07/07

I did it!! I actually managed to go to WalMart and walk out without any yarn!! Then, I went to our local quilt shop and bought a sewing machine (used of course). Now I am not only going to have to resist the yarn but the fabric, too!!

I'm about halfway through all that brown yarn. I am so sick of looking at browns and tans I can't see straight. But I promised myself I wouldn't work on anything else until I'm finished with it. It got so bad yesterday I couldn't go on. I actually (gasp) watched TV. Today I've thought of a million things to do except work with the brown yarn. I have finished 4 pairs of Manly Man Slippers and am about halfway through a double strand lapghan. I'm kinda, sorta following my never-ending blanket non-pattern but I'm not continuing on to another blanket. Instead I'm using the smaller leftovers of yarn to make squares for point of contact afghans for The Ships Project.

Just a note, the main charity I do work for is Project Linus who provide security blankets to seriously ill and traumatized children. I also collect squares, either crocheted or knitted (and now that I have a sewing machine, quilt blocks) to put together for these kids. If you'd like to help leave a comment with your email address and I will contact you. I do moderate all comments and anything with personal info will not be published on the blog.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Manly Man Slippers Free Crochet Pattern

In my effort to use up all that brown yarn I decided to try to make some really warm slippers for the elders at Pine Ridge. This pattern uses three strands of worsted weight yarn and is very thick and warm. The pairs I made fit my volunteer model easily and he wears a size ten. I have a similar pattern for women here.

You will need:
N Hook
3 skeins worsted weight yarn in different colors I used 2 strand of brown or tan and a verigated strand in mine.

Toe and foot
With all three strands of yarn held together chain 4 and join
Rd 1 Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc) 7 dc in ring and join for 8 dc
Rd 2 ch 3, 2 dc in each stitch for 16 dc
Rd 3 ch 3, dc in each stitch
Repeat rd 3 -5 times (you could add or subtract a row here if you need to change the size)
Rd 1 Ch3, dc in 13 stitches leaving 3 stitches open
Rd 2 Ch 3 and turn, dc in each stitch
Rd 3 repeat rd 2
Turning the slipper inside out use a slip stitch to join the back of the heel. Slip stitch back up to top.
Rd 1 Ch 3 work 7 dc evenly along one side, dc in each of 3 stitches left open when making heel, 6 dc evenly spaced along other side and join (18 stitches) (make sure your working on right side, I seem to have the tendancy to start working on the wrong side)
Rd 2 Ch 3 and dc in each stitch
You can repeat rd 2 again for a longer cuff

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Saga of the Brown Yarn Part 1

I like color, lots and lots of color. So how did I end up with so much brown and tan yarn? I keep getting more and it keeps adding up. So this week I've challanged myself to use it all up. I've already made a couple pairs of slippers with it. I'm going to post the pattern I used tomorrow, it's late and I just got home from work. I was going to call them Tootsie Warmers but since they're all in browns and man size I figured the men would be more willing to wear them if I called them something else. Anyway the plan is to use the larger skiens to make men's slippers. Then the medium size ones to make a lapghan or two. These would be for the Pine ridge Reservation. Then I would use up the rest making squares to send to someone that will be joining them together for The Ships Project. That's the plan but plans were made to be changed, so we'll see what happens.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Double Strand Bobble Slipper Free Crochet Pattern

This is a fairly simple, but warm pattern for slippers. It uses two strands of yarn OR 1 strand of bulky yarn. I used an N hook for this and I hope I've adjusted the pattern this time to take into account the guage I crochet. These should fit an adult foot. They're warm and comfy too, I made myself a pair!
Bobble Slippers
Toe and foot
With both strands of yarn held together or one strand of bulky chain 4 and join
Rd 1 Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc) 15 dc in ring and join for 16 dc
Rd 2 ch 3, dc in each stitch
Repeat row 2 -4 times for small -5 times med and -6 times lg
Rd 1 Ch3, dc in 12 stitches leaving 3 stitches
Rd 2 Ch 3 and turn, dc in each stitch
Rd 3 repeat rd 2
Turning the slipper inside out use a slip stitch to join the back of the heel. Slip stitch back up to top.
Rd 1 Ch 3 work 6 dc evenly along one side, dc in each of 3 stitches left open when making heel, 6 dc evenly spaced along other side and join (16 stitches)
Rd 2 Ch 3 and dc in each stitch
Rd 3 Ch 1 and turn sc in same space as chain 1 *make bobble [ yo hook twice and insert in stitch yo and pull through yo and pull through 2 loops on hook twice (this should leave 2 loops still on hook) yo twice insert hook into same stitch yo and pull through yo pull through 2 loops twice yo and pull through all 3 loops on hook], sc repeat from * around
Rd 4 Ch 3 and turn dc in each stitch
Please let me know if you try this and how it comes out.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Just Rambling 10/30/07

I started sorting out some of my yarn yesterday. I had gone to a place called Leftovers and bought a bunch of grape boxes and its working out great for some of the smaller skiens and is perfect for a few balls of fun fur or small bits of other yarn.

Leftovers is store that collects ummm... well trash and then recycles it for craft projects and other stuff. Teachers and Scout leaders use it a lot. People take things like egg cartons, plastic boxes, odds and ends of craft supplies, yarn, even whole craft kits, magazines and more. They sell the stuff by the bag full for a nominal price. I've heard of other places like this in other areas so check to see if you have one near you.

I just finished another fun fur scarf. Now I need someone to model it so I can post a picture. I sent the other ones out for kids in a homeless shelter before I wrote that post, so I didn't have one to take a picture of. I'm going to make a couple more and they will be going to the Pine Ridge Reservation. I hope they're warm enough. It gets pretty cold in South Dakota. I'm also working on some slippers and other stuff, I really can't stay focused on one thing but that's ok because there are so many things needed and it's kind of fun making different things.

My Favorite Ebay Seller

Ok I have an ulterior motive here. This Ebay seller is a personal friend of mine and an awesome lady. I have never actually bought anything from her on Ebay. I just stop by and see what she has in her store. The ulterior motive is that she sometimes sells stuff for me. This money often goes to buy craft supplies (often from her) and yarn for my charity crafts. There is no way to tell you whats mine and whats not. That's really not the reason I'm posting this. But you really need to check out her Ebay store if your into crafts, she has a great collection of patterns and more!


Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Never Ending Blanket

I call this the never ending blanket because another blanket is started before the last one is finished. I keep several bags of smaller balls of yarn in certain color combos. These may change as I get more of certain colors and less of others. The color combos I usually use are bright colors, pastels, and red, white and blue. I only use worsted weight yarn but even then some are too thick or thin so make sure they're all about the same although some variation can be worked with.

You can use any plain granny square pattern. I use one that doesn't have a lot of holes. I also use a K hook so these squares go fairly quickly. Since I am making them for Project Linus and kids come in all sizes I don't worry too much in the beginning about size and number of squares. I found if I have a lot of smaller balls making more small squares works. On the other hand, if you have larger balls you can make large squares and don't have to make so many.
The pattern for my square can be found here.

I have a few "rules" I follow, but you don't have to

1. Never change colors in the middle of a row. If I don't have enough I unravel and try on a lower row of another square.

2. Never do more than 2 rows with the same color in the same square.

3. Except in the very beginning where sometimes it's unavoidable, once I choose a ball to use , I use it up. In other words it may be big enough to make a row 7 and 8 of one square, 6 and 7 of another then maybe a 2 or 3 and finally to use it up I make one or two row 1's. This is the rule that makes it a never ending blanket, there are always squares started for the next blanket.

4. When first starting your blanket, start with the smallest balls first. This makes it easier to use up all those small balls and work your way up. If you want, save any pieces that are too small to make a first row for fringe.

5. As you get more scraps, small balls etc. add them to the squares you have made, at some point as your working on them, you have to decide how big you are going to make the squares and how many you are going to need.

6. Once you have enough join them together in a pleasing way. I often do all the last rows in the same color. In the picture above, if you can make it out, I did the last rows of all the squares on the bright ones in Red Heart Mexicali variegated. This can pull all those colors together. But again, you don't have to.

7. Do several rows of double or single crochet for the border.
Now that your finished, if you followed the rules, you should have at least a couple squares of the next blanket started. You don't have to do them all at once, or save up a lot of yarn. I usually add scraps as I get them so it can sometimes take a while to complete a blanket but of course I'm working on a lot of other projects so I'll have more scraps!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Thing 1 and Thing 2

These are my "helpers" they are also my constant (and I mean constant) companions when I am home. They help me watch TV by getting in front of it. They help me read newspapers and books. They help me type, that needs no explaination, it usually looks like this 6666666690ikkkkkkkkkkkk. They also help me crochet, they see my hand moving and think it should be petting them instead. They also like to poke their heads through my knitting looms while I'm trying to make hats. Yes they are wonderful helpers and companions, I don't know what I would do without them. For future reference Thing 1 prefers to be called Smokey and Thing 2 thinks her name is Sammi.

Pukey Yellow Yarn

On my last yarn safari I came across a large bag of yellow yarn. The label said it was baby yellow but it has a greenish cast to it that makes it look sickly. Now I have nine skeins of this stuff and am wondering if anyone has any bright (or brightening) ideas.

Think I can dye it somehow?? How about tie-dyed yarn?

BTW it's 2 ply sports weight 100% acrylic

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Kids' Bumpy Hat

I've reworked this pattern to try to make the sizes more uniform. The changes didn't change how the hat looks. Sizes in parenthesis are for
(Infant, Toddler, Child)

Photo on right is courtesy of a reader who made this hat. (Thanks Karla)

Kid's Bumpy Cap

Booties to match

Using J hook Chain 4 and slip stitch in first chain.

Rd 1: ch 3 (counts as 1st dc) (13, 15, 17) dc for (14, 16, 18 dc in ring) join to chain 3

Rd 2: Ch 3 dc in same stitch, 2 dc in each stitch join to chain 3 with sl st, (28, 32, 36) stitches

Rd 3: Ch 3 *2 dc in next stitch, dc in next stitch repeat from * to last stitch 2dc and join (42, 48, 54) stitches

Rd 4: Ch 1 and turn (this row is worked on wrong side) sc in same st as slip stitch, tr in next stitch, * sc in next stitch then tr in next. Repeat from * till end of row. Join with sl st to first sc

Rd 5: Ch 3 and turn (this row is worked on right side) dc in each st.

Repeat rds 4 and 5 (3, 4, 5) times

Next row, repeat row 4

Turn work to work on right side again. Ch 2, hdc in each stitch for next 3 rds. Finish off

Grape Boxes

Yes, I said grape boxes. You know the kind, plastic, with lots of holes to keep the grapes fresh. They're a great way to keep the yarn balls your working with from rolling across the floor. They also keep my cats from unwinding the balls in wonderful patterns all over my living room. Any plastic container with holes that's large enough will work but I find the 2 lb. grape size is just right for a lot of my projects. Right now I'm loom knitting hats with three strands of yarn for the Pine Ridge Reservation and it's working great the yarn feeds out through the holes in the box with no fuss and no muss.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Project Linus

The first charity I made anything for and still my favorite is Project Linus. As I'm making each blanket I imagine a child reaching for it. Children in hospitals, scared and sick, happy to see the bright colors of my blankets. That may seem a little odd to some but that's what keeps me going. I'm also constantly thinking (and sometimes starting) the next blanket. Every color combo, every pattern I use inspires more ideas for more blankets. I will never be finished because I will always be planning the next one.

If you would like to help too, the rules are really simple. The blankets must be new, handmade and washable. They also ask that the colors be kid friendly. My favorite blankets to make are my rainbow blankets, sounds kind of fancy but they're just done in all the colors of the rainbow.

The national website can be found here, they have a listing of all the chapters across the country. Find the closest one to you and donate a blanket now!!!
The pattern for the granny square I used to make all these blankets can be found here.

Local Charities

I started a list of local charities that collect and distribute hand made items. I think I may have worded it wrong on the posts I made asking for help. Or maybe I just didn't comprehend the scope of what I was trying to do. I have been receiving lists of hopitals, nursing homes etc.. Thats not exactly what I was looking for, I just wasn't clear on what I was asking for. I would go nuts listing everything just in the St. Louis area, let alone every city in every state. What I am looking for is groups that make or collect these items to distribute to the hospitals, nursing homes etc. Project Linus or Head Huggers would be more along the line of what I was trying to do. Of course they list all their chapters on their national website, so I've just provided a link for that.

So now that I have (hopefully) made that more clear I would like to ask for your help. If you know any organization or group in your area that you would like to have listed just leave a comment. You can see the list I have so far by clicking the link on the right for the state listings.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fast and Easy Fun Fur Scarf (Crochet)

I hardly consider this a pattern but it's something really easy and fast to do. With winter coming, this is a great time to make a few of these and donate it to a local charity that serves teens and pre-teens. These scarves are fun and warm.

You will need:
2 balls fun fur (depending on how big you're going to make it you may need another ball)
1 skien matching worsted weight yarn (I tried a contrasting color and didn't like the effect)
N crochet hook

Using one strand of each yarn Ch between 12 and 15 ( this depends on how wide you want to make the scarf, you can make it wider or narrower but these sizes are what looks best to me), dc in third chain from hook and in each chain. *Ch 3 and turn dc in each stitch, continue from * until scarf is as long as you want it.

See?? told you it wasn't much of a pattern but with the fun fur you don't need any fancy stitches and this goes really fast.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Introduction and other stuff

I have been knitting and crocheting since I was a teenager. I can also do other needle crafts such as embroidery, cross stich , needlepoint and quilting. My favorite, though is crocheting. Something about the soothing rhythm of the hook going in and out I guess. I hadn't done anything in ages though and then one night when I was watching the news they had a piece on Project Linus. As I watched them give out the handmade blankets I was thinking "I could do that" So I did, I ran to Walmart (OK, so I drove the car, running just sounds more urgent) and bought the brightest colored yarn they had and started making blankets. Since then I've branched out a bit and have now made infants hats and booties, hats and scarves for homeless teenagers, squares for afghans for the Ships Project, and have just started on some chemo caps for cancer patients. I am going to use this blog to inform others of these programs and also give you links where you might find free patterns and such for your projects. It's going to take awhile since my job takes me away from home a lot, so consider this a work in progress.