Ready For a Baby Experiment

My little Speckled Pup blanket finally made it to  church last Sunday. Since it  was made from scrap yarn and basically full of knots I put it where I sit to use behind my back while still healing from surgery. For several weeks I'd move from piano bench to pew and realize I'd forgotten to grab a blanket to use from another pew, making for a more painful experience. My little blanket worked like a charm. (I actually heard quite a few compliments on it too)!

I already have enough yarn on my shelves to last quite a long while and keep telling myself "do not buy more" until I use what I have already. So what do I do? Again?

It's not my fault! It fairly jumps off the shelves into my shopping cart! I'd actually done pretty good lately, suppressing this yarn urge, but last week there it was -- a deal I could not pass by!

It was a big ol' 8.5 ounce skein of pink Bernat Baby Sport yarn for just 99¢! I looked on eBay and these are easily selling for $10-$12. But I'm going to try actually making a baby blanket out of it using one of the recent stitches I've been playing with. I have an experiment up my sleeve.


Crochet, Then Eat, Then Crochet

I'm still adding on to my Speckled Pup afghan lap blanket. I'm glad I did; it's much better now at 27 inches. I think I should aim at least for 30 inches. It's funny though, that no matter what the size is it always feels good.

The BBC Crochet Club met at a member's home last night while the church was filled with Vacation Bible School kids. Two members were helping at church but the rest of us headed just across the line to NC for a working pizza party. It was really nice and everyone had a lot of fun! We read one of the many thank you cards we've received for the graduate blankets presented a few weeks ago. It's nice knowing we created something that will be enjoyed by others.

I'm making washcloths for mission donations now. Luckily they work up fast because I don't have much time to make a bunch.


Speckled Pup Blanket

My Speckled Pup lap rug is coming along. I'm debating whether to make it a bit larger or not. Coming in at 25 inches square it is sufficient to cover your lap and knees but not quite large enough to 'tuck in' along the sides, if you know what I mean. Sometimes a good tuck can make a big difference.

To increase the size means I'll have to wait to get some more leftover yarn bits. I've fairly used up all I had (not counting the odd bits like baby yarn and cotton wash cloth yarn). I've a feeling this little blankey will be done in time for winter!


Occupying Time

Being stuck at home while healing from back surgery is the pits. But it does offer plenty of time to crochet. For several weeks I'd been looking at a yarn bag of odds and ends I'd gotten from the thrift store. I grabbed the blue and cream and started experimenting with the Cross Over Stitch. I'd done it a few years ago but wanted to see if I could remember how it went. After a quick refresher I made a small lap blanket for church.

Later while plundering in my yarn stockpiles I pulled the extra large wicker basket out where I toss leftover bits of yarn every so often. Since the basket is now full it's time to start putting the pieces together. I've started another random yarn blanket that I fondly call the "Speckled Pup." As you can see I have a nice start already.


Little Blue Hats

These little hats have been so fun to make; it's a quick and easy project for watching TV or carrying around. I was using up a partial skein of that nice sparkly baby yarn I'd gotten in a grab bag of multiple yarn skeins from the thrift store the other week. And yes, I finally finished the yarn before I finished a hat but luckily had the same yarn in white.

They will soon be donated to a local hospital. Have you been noticing all the baby ads on TV lately? I don't even remember what they are selling because I'm so focused on all the little hats on the babies! You never know where you will get inspiration!


Little Corn Cob Bag

It has been such a long time since I was able to attend a Crochet Club meeting. My last one was in mid-March, right before I went to have back surgery. Then after I was able to sit up and felt like doing a few things I decided to make a small walker bag to hold the phone or TV remote (I'd hobble my painful way across a room only to discover I'd forgotten them).

I loomed my little bag because I just didn't have the energy to deal with crocheting anything. (I did try). Even then, I decided to just lay the yarn over the top instead of doing an e-wrap or any other stitch. I did an e-wrap on the beginning row only, just to make sure it wouldn't all come unraveled later.

You can see it was very crude, but again I was hurting a lot and didn't care as long as it worked. The lower left photo shows why I call it a Corn Cob back. I love the way it turned out simply by laying all the yarn on top.

It may be weird but it has been invaluable to me!


Tiny Hats

We're now in the baby hat mode. After a recent brain storm we decided to make hats for the Crisis Pregnancy Center and the Bridge Network's Baby Boutique. It's been interesting adapting our hats down to little ones after making large ones for so long. Using smaller needles and thread skews our former reference points somewhat.

I've been experimenting with a new-to-me Double Cross Stitch crossover stitch after watching a video several times. I thought the first stitch was always a butt-kicker so I simply changed it to a chain and a Double-Crochet. It worked just as well because no one will ever notice the difference when looking at the hats.


Still Crocheting

Well, this has been like watching paint dry. No post in like forever! Since the Crochet Club wasn't meeting during summer and then were more off again than on during the warm fall I didn't crochet much at all. But I finally got my shrug 'coat' finished. Here is my friend, Sue, modeling it. I'm not as happy with it as I should be. Everyone else loves it and I even had a request to do one in camo colors for a gal who likes to hunt but doesn't like to be cold. It's ok for a first try, but I can see things I wish I'd done differently now.


Since September the Crochet Club has only met about 4 times. It was either too hot or too cold or rainy and messy out. Then it got so everyone was taking turns being sick and for the last six weeks it's been holiday mode taking center-stage. We did get together other the holidays for a Christmas party at one of our members homes. We had an awesome time together, which was nice since we haven't been actually meeting.  I think we're now ready to get back to working.

We have many lap-sized afghans throughout church for our colder senior citizens as well as babies who get chilled beneath the many ceiling fans in our sanctuary. Odd as it seems when folks first walk in, we've had so many people tell us what a great idea it is! We keep them rolled up on the ends of the pews.
As I was putting them back in place after they'd been removed for a recent memorial service I told the pastor that we were getting ready to get crochet hats together for donation.  He mentioned a church he used to be at that has a soup kitchen and often gives hats to homeless visitors. But, he said the lady who used to make them passed away. He is going to check if they could use our hats. How cool to be able to help another church's ministry like that! Being a country church we don't often get as many options as city churches do. I'm thrilled at this opportunity that God may open for us!

Since I've decided to not do craft shows or sell my hats online for a while I've already gather 43 hats to donate and I know the rest of the Crochet Club members have many hats to give too! We've just been waiting for the right time!


Slow Shrug

Think I'll ever get done? In my defense some days it's just too dang hot to have this stuff on my lap. But it is coming along nicely; slowly, but nicely.


Shrug Shrug

I've been on a bit of a shrug kick lately. I saw one that looked to be made from an afghan blanket and thought I'd give it a shot. I don't have a pattern, just a few pictures gleaned from Pinterest, that I'm trying to go by.

I figure I have nothing to lose by trying. If all else fails I can take it back down to a blanket, right? Blanket stage is where it is right now, but I'm excited to start seeing things come together.

I only had a hodge-podge of colors to choose from, but luckily they seem to be working together. I have some dark brown I'll be adding if push comes to shove (I start running out of other colors).


Zigging and Zagging

Lately I've been connecting blocks for the latest Crochet Club Covered With Love blanket that we're making for a local shut-in. I ended up using one blue block left from a previous blanket in the middle, surrounded by the red blocks CC members made specifically for this project. After adding white around each block for consistency of edges I decided to use the same blue to join the blocks and make a blue border to balance out the massive amount of red against the blue.

On the last two Covered With Love blankets I had joined blocks with a simple crochet stitch that resulted in a raised ridge. For this one I wanted to keep things flat so I have used a zig-zag of single-stitches. It's working very well.

To keep everything fairly straight I left the blocks laying flat on my kitchen table rather than taking them in my lap so bending over the project is my biggest problem due to degenerative disk issues, so things are taking longer than I'd like. I have to work in short time increments, but gradually it's coming together.


A Bit Wayward

Sometimes things don't turn out the way they should. Here are a couple of blocks that were recently done by Crochet Club members. Both blocks are on the small size, which is OK; we will use them on a project requiring smaller blocks. The block on the right has smooth straight line sides the way we need them to be. But the one on the left is scalloped on three sides. I'm not sure how that happened. Some where along the way the instructions got 'rebooted' with new results.

It's a bit wayward, but I'm thinking this would be really cool on a whole blanket where you'd just go back and scallop that fourth side!


Red Hat Alert

My plain and simple crochet hats, while warm and very functional, seem so generic. When I look on Etsy or other sites the mad skills that are displayed by the craftsmen seem so incredible. I guess I have "hat envy."

I don't have a desire to make hats with bunny or bear ears; I'm not thinking about frogs or big eyes. Yarn braids added to a hat brim to give the illusion of long hair aren't my thing. But I want to see about doing a long, long cone-shaped hat with a fluffy pompom on the end of it.

I had a long red hat for years. Then, somewhere along the line of transitioning from college to marriage and motherhood, during those times I didn't wear my hat at all, it simply vanished, never to be seen again. That was the loveliest hat ever, with a thick brim that fit snugly around my head and ears to keep me nice and warm. I sure miss my old hat.

So I'm gonna make one! I have this crazy idea to try looming a three foot long Christmas hat. I have never tried it before and it may be the  best thing I ever did or the worse disaster ever invented. But I won't know until I try. (If it works out OK, then hopefully I'll have some exciting new hats for the fall craft show a few months from now)!


Had To Be There

This was kind of funny, even though it was a "had to be there" moment. At the Crochet Club meeting last night I was helping a lady learn how to do a new stitch. It had been two weeks since we had last attempted this stitch, and we hadn't had much time before the meeting ended. On this night we had ample time for her to practice before we went home, assuring that she would remember what she learned.

She couldn't find the hook she'd used before so we chose one in close size and went to town on the new block. Everything went well and she's a quick learner (even though she keeps saying she's always messing up).  I crocheted the first row to get her started, since that is the hardest part to do. Then she began the next row and did very well with getting used to "loading" the yarn over her hand and controlling her loop sizes.  I went back to my seat to work on my own project.

She completed the second row and started a third, pulling more yarn loose from the skein, Then I heard "Uh-oh" as a big wad of yarn started coming out. I went over to help and suddenly we realized that the problem wasn't a simple manufacturing glitch.  A shiny pink size J crochet hook had just arrived from the center of the skein!

Oh my! That had been missing for two weeks! It seems that when we left two weeks ago our crochet lady had stuck the hook in the top of the skein which was promptly eaten by the skein during the ride home.

How many times have we all stored our hooks in the yarn? Well, that solves that mystery and reminds us to take the extra time to put our tools away when finished.


Covered With Love 4

The fourth blanket by our Blackwater Baptist Church Crochet Club members is in done in red and white blocks joined with tan. A tan border completes the over-sized lap blanket. Because members crochet differently the blocks come out with slightly different sizes, giving it a folksy homespun air. There's no mistaking that this was made with lots of love for someone very special!

One side of each block ended up 'scalloped' making the joining much more difficult for this sometimes all thumbs crocheter. But we got 'er done. The results looks much better in person than in photos. The blanket is slightly heavier than a regular Granny Square afghan of the same size. I'm sure the recipient will enjoy snuggling this against cold knees and feet very soon!