Saturday, May 21, 2011

Granny Square Tutorial

This is for my mom, Tracey, who is teaching herself to crochet. I'm so proud of her! The granny square has been around for years, and came to be a pattern around the great depression. There are many variations of granny squares and a lot of people do their grannies differently, this is just how I do mine:

1) Slip knot your yarn and place it on your hook. Chain (ch) 4. Slip stitch (Sl St) into the fourth ch from hook to form a circle. Ch 3, counts as first Dc.

2) Work two double crochet (Dc) into the circle, ch 2. 3 Dc, ch 2, three more times for four Dc clusters. Sl St into the top of the ch 3 to finish the round. Fasten off yarn.

3) Attach your second color in any corner, but still with the right side facing you. Ch 3, counts as your first Dc. Dc two more into the same corner. Ch 2, Dc three more into same corner.

Ch 1, three Dc in next corner, ch 2, three Dc in same corner. Repeat to end. Sl St in top ch of the first ch 3, fasten off.

This is what your's should look like at this point.

4) Join your next color in any corner. Ch 3, counts as first Dc, work two Dc, ch 2, 3 Dc in same corner, ch 1.

Work 3 Dc in the next space, ch 1. Repeat three more times and Sl St into the top of the ch 3 at the beginning and fasten off.

5) Join your next color into any corner with a ch 3, counts as first Dc, work two more Dc, ch 2, work three Dc in same corner, ch 1, work three Dc in next space, ch 1, three Dc, ch 1. Repeat to end, Sl St in the top of the ch 3. Fasten off.

6) Join black, your last row, into any corner, ch 3, counts as first Dc. Work 2 Dc into same corner, ch 2, 3 Dc, ch 1, 3 Dc, ch 1, 3 Dc, ch 1, 3 Dc, ch 1. Work corners with ch 2 and straight sides with ch 1.
Repeat steps 1-5 to make any number if squares you'd like. Then to join as you go, you'll use the alternate step 6) for all other squares to, well, join as you go.

6) Join black yarn into any corner, ch 3, counts as first Dc, work two more Dc into corner. Ch 1, insert hook into the corner of your previously finished square.

Yarn over, pull through into a Sl St. Finish corner as you normally would. Instead of ch 1 you'll insert your hook into the next ch space of the previous square and Sl St in place of the ch 1. Continue to next corner. Once you've reached the corner, ch 1, then Sl St through the previous square's corner and finish the square as you normally would.

This will join the squares together so you won't have to sew them together when each one is completed, therefore, saving you time and energy! (Trust me on that one!) Make sure to "join" whenever a square is going to touch another one. I hope this is helpful to you and please, please let me know of you have any questions! Happy Hooking!

Until next time!

Crafty Tales

(above: one of the rabbits I made for Easter gifties, finally got her picture!)
What a deliciously crafty time I've been having! I finished my brother's Christmas present, finally! E is ready to have it gone! And I agree, but for different reasons, once it's gone to it's rightful owner it can begin it's loving life with him! Crochet blankies are made to be loved!

Here it is! 6 pounds of Caron's natural fiber one pounder skeins! Phew, it's heavy too! But oh so soft. It was so long I couldn't get high enough to get it all in the frame. When I went outside the green (Kelly Green) was so dark next to the grass it mostly blended in.

But Mabel appreciated it. I don't think I've ever had a project that I've laid out and not had one of the corgis lay on it. Only the family projects though, if they're gifts I chase those lazies away! It's an Irish flag (obviously) blanket. I'm Irish and come from a strong line of them, but after marrying E I can proudly proclaim I'm Croatian! Little A was built to be tough, but how can someone so pretty be so strong? It's a mystery, that's for sure! But anyway, I knew from the moment I decided to make my bro a blanket it was going to be the Irish flag.

May first was my niece's, who is also my goddaughter, second birthday, and aunt Tabby had a very special present in mind. Of course it was going to be homemade, duh! But what? Crochet or quilt? QUILT! It had to be girly and pretty, pink and purple, but what pattern? I thought I would make hearts from the pink an purple and combine them with the green. But the hearts were oh so terrifying! So much cutting and piecing. It gave me heart palpatations just thinking about it! But then it came to me, a nine-patch!

No wait, better yet, a disappearing nine-patch! You make a nine-patch, first cutting all the squares, piecing them together, then cut them apart again!

Then you rearrange the pieces again and sewing them all together again. Intense, I know!

I made 12 squares that looked just like this one and sewed all the squares in the same sequence. This created what I call a "floating box" design. Pretty isn't it? Then after I sewed all the squares into strips and the strips into a quilt top I was ready for the backing and basting.

I basted and quitled a line, hated it, tore it out, basted and quitled again, and was happy. Then I made a truck load of binding.

I mean, A LOT! Then I binded the quilt, all with my machine, sewed in all the ends, and 'twas done! Yes! Go me! Two days before the birthday and party!

Needless to say, I polished my nails on my lapel and handed it over with a look of much satisfaction to my niecy who loves it to pieces!

What a great quilting adventure that was! It was almost as much fun telling the story as it was living it.

Enough of my crafty stories! Little A got her hair did by my friend, Megan, who also gave me a much needed hair trim! I didn't have enough courge, or is it patients?, to sit little A down and pull her hair back into piggies. So flipping sweet! She also got her ears piercedon Monday. The doctor who did it, not our normal doc, told us her ear lobes were great! And as we were leaving, after fussying for being held down but not even a flinch when her ears were pierced, I overheard the doc tell our nurse what a beautiful baby little A is. I'm bias when it comes to A so I know she's beautiful, but how it melts a mother's heart with pride to hear someone else exclaim the same! All you moms know what I be sayin'!

The little gold studs have caused her no problems and look so cute on her!

Besides all that, the hubbub has been minimal! I'm started some new projects, but that's nothing new, and had a super nice second mothers day thanks to E and little A. My garden barrels are full of my favorite flowers that I get to look at everyday thanks to them! And the hummingbirds and Baltimore Orioles are hitting up the nectar feeders we have out for them. There's nothing as exciting as catching a glimpse of an Oriole sitting proudly on your deck, or hearing his croaking frog call from the trees telling you to go away so he can eat without you seeing. Or hearing the chittering and buzz of a little hummingbird who are a lot braver than you may think! All exciting times when spring finally! reaches Kansas.

Until next time!

Edited to add: I had just come out after putting little A to sleep thinking how sad I was that I didn't have a picture of my oriole to show you. When I came into the kitchen he was literally tapping on my kitchen window!

Do you see him? So beautiul! He stayed and chittered at the hummingbird feeder for a good 3-5 minutes. What a thing to make your day!

I would also like to say congratulations to Daffny A. for winning the star garland! I'll be sending that out soon to you! Have a great oriole, or Oreo if you prefer, filled day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Star Garland Tutorial

Yay! Just for you! A crochet tutorial on how to make stars and "string" them up to make garland to decorate where ever, with your own bit of crochet goodness! (If this is a knock off on your own star pattern, I apologize. When I was looking for star patterns online I could not find one, so I figured out one for myself. It's not my intention to claim credit for making the star pattern, just sharing with others how to make it.)
For starters, grab your hook of choice and your yarn of choice to begin.
1) Make a slip knot, place yarn on hook and chain 5. Slip stitch in chain furthest from the hook together to form ring.

2) Chain 3, counts as first double crochet.

Do two more Dc (double crochet) into the ring, then chain two. 3 Dc, chain 2 four more times for a total of 5 Dc clusters and 5 chain two spaces. Slip stitch in the top of the chain 3 to join.

3) Slip stitch in the next two Dc and one slip stitch into the chain two space.

Chain 3, counts as first Dc. Dc two more times, chain two. 3 Dc in same space.

Do NOT chain two, Dc three times in next space. Chain two, three Dc.

Repeat three more times. Total of 10 Dc clusters and 5 chain two spaces, and 5 no chain spaces. Slip stitch in top of chain 3 to join.
4) Slip stitch in the next two Dc and one slip stitch in chain two space. Chain 3, counts as first Dc.

Dc 2 more in same chain two space. Chain two, 3 Dc in same space.
5) Do NOT chain, single crochet (Sc) into the space between the two clusters without a chain space.

6) Do NOT chain. 3 Dc, chain two, 3 Dc again in the chain two space and repeat step 5) and 6) three more times. A total of 10 Dc clusters, 5 chain two spaces, and 5 Sc. Slip stitch into the top of the chain three from the beginning to join. Fasten off and leave a tail for weaving in.

7) Weave in all ends and repeat all steps to make desired amount of stars.

8) Chain 5 with your choice of yarn. Yarn over on your hook as if you were going to do a regular Dc and insert hook into the top of a star through the right side, yarn over and pull through, yarn over, pull through two, yarn over pull through two again. Dc completed. The chain and yarn will slip a little when you Dc in the top of the star but you can do it! It's not impossible, just a little awkward at first.
9) Chain 20-25, or however Manu you desire, and repeat step 8) when you come to each star. Once you've reached your last star and completed step 8), chain 5 and fasten off. Weave in all ends and find a nefty place to hang your beautiful and handmade star garland!

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and please let me know if you have any questions! Happy hooking!

Until next time!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Give Away Surprise!

(Above: Tonka resting in the yard on a windy day. Good day to hang out laundry!)
Hello! Good Tuesday to you all! I have kept my promise and made a lovely, fantastical crochet goodie to give away! By the way, some of you have still not claimed your boxy pouches! But anyway, are you ready to see it? No, no, you have to hear the story first.

On Wednesday, E sent me a message saying we needed something at good ol' Wally world and since we had just gotten home from hanging out with out friends I told him we would just go when he got home from work. He said ok, be ready when I get there! When he got home we wrestled Little A into shoes and carseat and were just about ready to go when I HAD to get some crochet to go with us. I hurriedly looked for some fun yarn to take with me with my favorite hook and settled on some white yarn. Not so fun. But as we were driving a lightning bolt struck me between the eyes! BAM! Something to satisfy my crafting needs and fulfilling my give away promise to you!
I finished one before we reached wal-mart and picked up three new skeins of fun colors. I was so excited to make more of the thing ASAP. But wait! Wal-mart didn't have what we needed so we had to drive another 15-20 minutes to go to Home Depot to get it! Yay car crafty time!! On the way there and back to home I punched out quite a few of these things. They were so fast and easy! Are you ready to see them?

Ok. Here they are!

Stars! Fun and fancy, crochet stars!

After I made 11 of them I chained them all together to make a little garland. I made a chain of yarn then double stitched into the top of every star and before dinner I hung them up.

Unfortunately, I really like them up there, and so does E. So that garland is going to stay there. Fortunately! I'm going to make another strand just for you! Whoever the winner might be picked randomly. Double fortunately, I'm opening it up to my blog subscribers AND my blog readers! Just send me an email at with the subject as "crochet stars" and tell me you would like to be entered, or comment on the blog post and tell me. But wait! Triple fortunately, I'm going to make a tutorial for the stars and how to chain them to make garland! I'm super excited about all of it really. I hope you're as excited as I am!

(Little A eating breakfast)
At the end of the month or the beginning of the next month I've been creating a post called "Things That I Love," well this month I'm still going to post it but it'll be a little different. I still hope you enjoy it. I'm going to post that tutorial too, so there's going to be two more posts after this one. Just warning you! That's probably enough from me for now. Thanks for reading!

Until next time!

PLEASE NOTE: There will be no cost to you! I'll be paying the shipping! Also, please enter by Friday! :-)