Saturday, November 6, 2010

chainless foundation

I have noticed a number of designers are using the foundation sc rather than a traditional foundation chain for their work. Thus far, the ones I've seen have also included the option to use a regular foundation chain, which is my personal preference. It worries me that one day it will become the norm and the foundation chain will be dropped completely (until it's rebirth like clothing styles of other eras which come back eventually).

It's good to try new things, and I applaud those who do, but there is comfort in the familiar as well. I see the advantage to the foundation sc, but I like my "comfort crochet" and don't mind working into a foundation chain - I know some people just hate it. Maybe I'll go over to the dark side eventually and the fsc will become my "norm". We'll just have to wait and see. :-)

If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can check it out at Crochet Cabana, or do a search at YouTube for foundation sc or chainless foundation. There are several videos.

Now I'm going to give you another link. This one is to Scotty's Place and an afghan I think looks great. I like the colors. I like that it's quick and I like that it's very simple process. V stitch and Double V Stitch. What a fabulous idea. Kudos to Pammy Sue for putting it together.

Another thing to look for... both Caron and Red Heart are doing a 12 days of Christmas thing and giving us free patterns. They are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts - and so we'll buy their yarns, of course! Other manufacturers may be doing this as well. If you know of one, holler out. I checked Bernat (they're doing a mystery afghan) and Patons, but didn't see anything there.

Guess that's all for me. Still working on strips for the lapghan.

Happy crocheting!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Alzheimer lapghan

This is a lapghan in progress for the Alzheimer project. I am using the mile-a-minute pattern Restful Rainbow afghan as I mentioned before in the book Mile-A-Minute Afghans (Leisure Arts #108200) (Crochet Treasury Series) . It is taking more strips than I thought it would for the lapghan, but I'm plugging away at it. :-)

This is a pretty simple pattern. On the far right I am showing the basic strip, which is simple 6 dc across.

In the middle you can see one strip with the edging, which is really what gives it that special oomph. The edging uses alternating 3 dc shells and a long triple dc that goes around 3 rows on one side and then the other 3 on the opposite side.

As I mentioned before, I used 75 rows in the lapghan, which is different from the afghan. I also left a long, long strand to sew the strips together so I wouldn't have so many tails left afterwards. I am being very careful to whipstitch these well because I don't want anything poking out because I didn't pull it through correctly.

One strip I made I have put aside because there is a stitch that got messed up. I don't know if it is the yarn, or if it got caught on something or if it was the pin I used to mark off rows. In any case, I put that one aside and will undo and rework it later if I need to. I have plenty of the turqua yarn though so it shouldn't be a problem. I also found a complete skein of the blue that I had forgotten I had.

I also plan to look for more of these two yarns as I think I'll make some more for the Special Olympic project if I can find some at Walmart at the same price. Red Heart now has put the blue and turqua on sale for 2.99, which is much better than their normal $4+. Of course there is shipping cost to add, but at a local store you have tax. You may or may not pay tax on an online purchase. It just depends if there is a store in your state. I don't know if Coats and Clark has any physical stores, but Joann and Michael's and Hobby Lobby do so you pay both s/h and tax on those purchases.

That's all for now. Temps are way down in Louisiana right now. Good time to be working on lapghans, afghans, and scarves.

Happy crocheting!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Here are the promised links.

A visitor asked me about how to figure out the amount of yarn or thread needed for a project. In her case, she wanted to dye thread specific colors. I did not know how to determine how much yarn would be needed for a specific picture worked in thread in different colors, but it got me to thinking about calculating yarn.

Of course, I know if you make a square, rip it back and measure your yarn, you can determine approximately how much yarn you need per square if you want to make bunches of them.

You can also make a swatch in any pattern, measure it and figure your yarn from that, or rip it and measure, or weigh it and figure by pound. All of these things are suggested in the various sites I visited. There are several yarn calculators out there.

Here are a few sites I found.
Jimmy Beans knitting calculator
Annie's Attic yarn calculator
Knitting Brain
For those with an iPhone

Note that knitting and crocheting needs different yarn amounts for the same project. For example knitting a scarf and crocheting a scarf in a similar pattern will need different yarn amounts.

Also, I have been receiving Red Heart's 12 weeks of Christmas e-mails with very nice patterns. They are in pdf files. If you are on Facebook, they post the patterns there as well.

Another Red Heart pattern I happened across is the Flower Accents Throw using Red Heart soft yarn. I've used the RH Soft and been pleased with it thus far. I'll be buying it again.

I wasn't too pleased when my Super Saver Turqua kept having thick spots that had to be cut out of the yarn. I ignored a couple of them that weren't too wieldy, but some I just felt had to be cut out. Very annoying. I posted on the Facebook page and they said to contact me via the web site, which I did. Really, it is not just the Red Heart yarns that have problems. I had to cut out knots four times in a 12" square of I Love This Yarn the other day. This happens now and then in other yarns. I also sometimes find a different color in my yarn. For example in this turqua there was a small bit of red. Just the once and it was small, but it was there. I've had red in my blue and brown in my blue on occasion. I know that these things happen, but I'd like to know WHY and HOW they happen. Nothing is perfect. If I have an explanation I can understand.

I was thinking of trying to get more yarn to make more Special Olympic scarves, but not sure now if I will want to do that. I'll have to think on it some more.

Maggie Weldon is into using bottle caps for crocheting. I rarely see bottle caps these days. My mom does buy Coke in the glass bottles still so I guess they're manufactured. Here is a cute apple trivet pattern using them.

Then they are sleep sacks or cocoons as they are called. I have lately become interested in these and I was looking for patterns. I purchased two patterns ( I bought the Santa and the pumpkin) from Sandy's Etsy shop at . She's got some really cute cocoons there! I could have bought a dozen of them.

I found these others online.
That one is made with granny square

I think that's it for now.

Happy crocheting!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

award from Molly

I am honored to be the recipient of an award given by Molly over at Crocheting my Best with my Worsted, which I have to also say is the cutest blog name!

I am going to alter the rules even though I'm not the originator of this award - I could not determine the originator.

The current rules say you have to pass on the award to 10 people and tell us 10 things about yourself that we don't already know. (Don't worry I won't make a happy of talking about myself! LOL) The recipient of the award does not have to do any of that. You can if you want to, but no guilt trip if you don't. I give awards because I appreciate what you do and enjoy reading about your projects and ideas. So just sit back and enjoy it!

Here is the picture of the award.

You don't have to put the award permanently on your blog. If you choose to  post about it, you can pull the picture from above, just save it to your own computer.

I am such a rebel that I'm going to veer from the original rules again and present this award to The Bridge and Beyond Project and all the folks who participate in it. I'm sure that is way more than 10 people. :-)

And here are ten things you may or may not know about me.
1. I became a born again Christian in January 1996.
2. I am deathly afraid of snakes, lizards, geckos and frogs. but don't mind spiders and can deal with roaches though they're not my favorite.
3. I learned to crochet in my early 20's and have not been without a hook since.
4. I miscarried my first baby in November 1983. She will always be in my heart.
5. I drink bottled water with all my meals unless I am at a restaurant that doesn't offer it. In that case, I drink Sprite.
6. I used to dye my hair auburn.
7. I have diabetes.
8. I have lived my entire life in Louisiana.
9. I am deaf in my left ear.
10. I have never eaten bread. Yep. In my entire life. I do eat biscuits though.

There ya have it. So on to crochet things ...

Some of you may remember that I took the CGOA crochet course back in July. Well, I got an address yesterday to which to mail my swatches. This is NOT to the reviewer. This is another address where they will hold the swatches until a reviewer becomes available. At that time I will get an e-mail for the reviewer so we can correspond if needed. The e-mail said I am in the top 15.

What cracked me up is that the e-mail said to send my box RIGHT AWAY and thanked me for sending it TODAY [emphasis mine]. They also suggested I take a photo or scan of every swatch in case it gets lost. Really, people. I mean REALLY.

I'd already been to the post office once and it was pouring down rain so did not plan to go out again. And really, I wait almost four months to get the address, which is not even the address I've been waiting for but a temporary stop, and now the urgency. Today? I realize they don't want to have any more delays than necessary, and rightfully so. It just irked me. I know, sounds like a personal problem. LOL

If it had been suggested four months ago that I should take scans or photos to have on hand, that might have worked, but to say do that and send it off today does not work for me. These workers are volunteers and they have lives too, so no problem. I understand they are busy and doing the best they can under less than ideal circumstances. They're trying to maintain the quality of the course, so that the certificate means something. And I get that. It's just irritating. But patience was never my strong suit. :-)

I did NOT take photos or scan. I started to. I really did. Then I decided to just pack the whole thing up and get it out. So I went to the post office again, in the rain, and mailed out the package. Cost me $15.20 with delivery confirmation. I'm glad to get it out of here. The post office has never lost a package of mine before so I'm sure it will get there fine. I don't think you can judge quality of a crocheted piece by a photo anyway. I would need a much better camera and photo op to get that type of quality.A can might have done better. I don't know. I rarely scan physical objects.

Now as to whether I'll pass or not, remains to be seen. From what I understand they may ask you to redo swatches if it is deemed necessary. How long you have to redo them, I do not know.

The e-mail said "if there are at least five swatches the reviewer cannot identify well enough to review, they will send all back for you to resubmit." That part I did not understand at first, but I checked the web site at .There is a section that says: "Rework in the CGOA Masters program may be required if material presented is not satisfactory. If there are five or more unsatisfactory items identified by the reviewer, the review will be discontinued and the portfolio will be returned. See "Second Review" application form, with additional fees required to resubmit a portfolio." So I think what they meant was not whether they could identify them, but if they are found unacceptable. Each swatch is labeled so it should be easily identified.

The second review cost is $20 if requested before a year has passed. You cannot resubmit before a month. I guess they figure it will take you at least that long to redo the swatches correctly and double and triple check them. Plus with the backlog of first timers, they wouldn't want resubmits to be added to that workload. That is my thought anyway. It doesn't say that.

In any case, my swatches are gone. I may have to redo some. I may have to redo them all. Or I may not get the certificate. I don't know at this point. Truthfully, I'm wondering if all this hassle was worth it. Maybe so. When it's over I'll have to look back and decide. I certainly don't regret actually making the swatches. I think it was a good experience.

One thing I did notice on the education page. They don't want you to do the swatches the way you think they should be done, or the way you normally would do them. They want you to do them the way you are told to do them. This is to see if you can follow instructions. I get that. But that wasn't made clear in the instructions, my version anyway. As time goes, they make corrections and additions, so those who take it later will get what should be a better version. The swatches, as far as I know, are the same.

That's all for now. I have some links I want to share in a different post. Probably tomorrow.

Happy crocheting!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Special Olympic scarves

The Scarves for Special Olympics web pages have been updated. It looks great and gives all the information you need to participate. 31 states are included.

I will be donating to Louisiana, my home state and, in fact, mailed my pledge off this morning.  The address to which to send the 6" x 54-60" scarves made in the 512 Turqua and 886 Blue Red Heart Super Saver yarn to Louisiana project is:

Special Olympics Louisiana
Attn: Scarf Project
1000 East Morris Avenue
Hammond, LA 70403

You can buy yarn many places. I happened across the link at Amazon for a 3 pack for $10.77. I paid 2.23 per skein at Walmart a few weeks ago, but I've read various pricing from others. With so many people wanting it, and a deadline, I think folks are grabbing them wherever they can find 'em.
Red Heart Super Saver Yarn Turqua E300-512, 3 Item(s)/Order

Red Heart Super Saver Yarn Blue E300-886, 3 Item(s)/Order

Requirements in brief: put nothing but the scarf in individual plastic bag and throw a card in the box with your personal info.

I'm quoting from the Louisiana list, so check the list from your state. I think the basic requirements are the same across the board, but better safe than sorry.

Complete list per the web site:
    * Please place each scarf in an individual Ziploc bag for sanitary reasons. (I found a gallon ziploc bag to work perfectly)
    * Multiple scarves may then be shipped in the same box.
    * Please send via UPS, FedEx or United States Postal Service (USPS) to the address specified above.
    * Please include one 3x5 card with your name and mailing address clearly legible. (I only had 4 x 6 cards, so I cut one to that size)
    * You may also include your email address if you would like to receive updates via email.
    * You are welcome to include a note of well wishes in the box with your scarf. However, due to privacy regulations, please do not include any contact information on the note and do not enclose inside the Ziploc bag with your scarf. For efficiency in receiving, please do not enclose the note in the Ziploc bag with the scarf, but place it separate in the box.

There's a place at the bottom to make a pledge of how many you're sending. I am sure this is so that they can judge when they have enough. They will post the numbers somewhere so if your state has gotten all they need, you can move on to someone else who is still in need. If it works out, everyone gets what they need, but not an overabundance. Of course, there will likely be some overlapping. Some will pledge but not send. Some will send but not pledge, and the mail and the pledging may not allow numbers to be perfect, but it's better than needing 1000 and getting 10,000. It's better for them and better for you. You'll be able to send items where they are needed and know they will be used for the purpose for which they are being sent.

There are patterns available here if you want to work with those, but you are free to choose any pattern that gets you to the required size.  There are many books and leaflets featuring scarves and many online as well. Here are a few available from Amazon. I don't have any of these, so I can't give you specifics on them. Just remember to adjust for the right size.

Wrapped in Crochet: Scarves, Wraps, & Shawls
Hooked Scarves: 20 Easy Crochet Projects
Just Scarves: Favorite Patterns to Knit and Crochet
Easy Crochet: Scarves (Easy Crochet)
Storey Publishing: Crochet Scarves! 15 Hip Projects
Crochet Hats, Mittens & Scarves
Knit & Crochet Scarves with Attitude

All that said, Louisiana participates in the basketball and bowling sports. Both are indoor sports. The deadline is March 4. Louisiana has very mild winters and March is on the cusp of our summer temps, so no need to make these very thick. I sent what I'd made because I never received an answer on the Louisiana FB as to if they were participating so I focused on cold figuring scarves are generally used in cold weather. If I were to make more I would use a more open weave pattern like v-stitch perhaps. I'd have to get more yarn though and from what I read it is not that easy to find. I'll try to keep track of their quota and if it looks like they're running short, I'll make more of an effort. Doesn't take more than a few days to make a scarf even working leisurely.

Here are the scarves I sent out this morning.

I'm thinking now that I should have held back the double strand for another effort, but they've been sitting around here for a couple weeks and I was ready to get them out and didn't stop to think. A few days ago, I shipped the scarves that didn't meet the size specs to different charity efforts, so the yarn really got a workout. :-)

In addition to the Special Olympics project, I'm working on a second lapghan for the Alzheimer research center, using the above colors. I feel a tad guilty using the yarn for something other than Special Olympics with people scrambling to find it, but I like the colors together and I did buy the yarn. I'm adapting the Restful Rainbow afghan pattern in size. If you use 75 rows rather than 103, I think it works out perfectly. The pattern is from Mile-A-Minute Afghans (Leisure Arts #108200) (Crochet Treasury Series)

Those lapghans (about 40" with worsted weight acrylic yarn) can be mailed to
Jeffree Itrich
Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study
University of California San Diego
8950 Villa La Jolla Dr, Ste C-227
La Jolla, CA 92037-1712

I think that's all for now. Keep those hooks moving!