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!
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).
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.
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!
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)!
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.
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!
I love the contrast of the vivid red against the clean white. This is such a departure from the pale blues the Crochet Club has used for blankets in the past. We're a long way from having all our blocks done, but I wanted to share what we have so far.
I recently found the 1981 book, Step By Step to Better Knitting & Crochet at a thrift store. Most of the book is on knitting, but in the back there are instructions for 29 different crochet stitches, including making flowers. As I studied the color how-to photos I came upon number 24, Making Shell Patterns. I’ve never done a shell pattern before since I don’t use them in hat-making.
So a few days ago I was sitting the car waiting for Hubster and thought I’d give it a test run. It was much easier than I’d anticipated and my test sample was pretty flawless. That’s very good news, because now I’m excited to take this stitch to the Crochet Club on Tuesday night and see what we can do with it on our next two Covered With Love blankets.
I had found a pattern for the Crochet Club to try using for a blanket. It was one that most people find as common and seemed simple enough. I quickly found out I didn’t like it. Following the directions gave (fairly) good results, but the way it played out made me think I’d done something wrong towards the end of each row. Time and again, I was pulling out more yarn than I left. Careful to redo the offending section I would then discover that it had been done correctly the first time.
Rats! I hate pulling yarn out for nothing! It became more trouble than it was worth.
It was a simple shell: 3DC, 1 Chain, 3 DC; then a single-stitch in the raised shells of the previous row and repeat the new shells in the dips. Mine looked awful.
Luckily, it wasn’t just me that wasn’t into it. Other members didn’t like it either. So we switched gears at the last meeting and edited our previous #1 favorite pattern from its normal 2 – 1 – 2 to use the 3 – 1 – 3 fan shell instead. I think this work nicely. We all knew how to do it the other way and it’s just a matter of adding a couple of stitches. The “fans” are a little thicker than our other blankets using 2 – 1 – 2. but it really shows up better.
Our BBC Crochet Club's "Covered With Love #3" blanket turned out very well. We added a border this time. I love how the variety of blue shades work so well as the other colors have done on each of the blankets we've made so far. The finished size was 36 x 52 inches, just right for a hospital bed.
Sadly, our recipient of this blanket passed away just two weeks after receiving this gesture of love. It is our hope that the family will keep and cherish it for years to come. We continue to lift the family in prayer.
We now have two more Covered With Love blankets on our project agenda. Cold weather is the perfect time for working on blankets too! Plus, there are always more hats to be created for cancer patients and the homeless. The Crochet Club is up for the tasks, so let the crocheting begin!
Look at all the blocks The Crochet Club has made for our next Covered With Love blanket project!! The skeins at the top will be used to connect the many creamy white and the variety of blue blocks together. I can't wait to see this one!
Every time we do a group blanket we're never really sure of what we'll end up with, but it usually turns out so cool. The fact that we are thinking of a particular person when we create each blanket helps us to stay focused on our prayer life as well as doing the project at hand. I find myself picturing that person wrapped in our blanket, maybe kicked back in a favorite chair watching beloved soap operas, with the blanket across their lap, or if they are in bed a lot I see them cuddled up with the warm threads created from loving hands keeping them cozy.
Since my last post I was in two craft shows. Neither was a super success, but I didn't come home empty handed either. I had a lot of fun with my friends Lynn and Pat, who also set up a booth. The first show was with the Creeds Ruritan Club.
The following Saturday together we loaded up and went to Barco, NC for a craft show at the local Senior Community Center. This event was much smaller and a lot slower. It was only 4 hours long, but the three of us (all members of the BBC Crochet Club) made the most of our time by crocheting.
Looks like I pretty much look the same no matter where I am. I sold more hats at the first show, but did much better at the second one with my 9 inch crocheted wash cloths. Scarves didn't do well at either so I'm going to transform them into hats and rethink some of my other options for next year. I figure hats can always be donated to cancer patients or the homeless shelters, right?