I’ve spent several hours this Thanksgiving weekend adding projects to Ravelry. Doing so makes me wish I’d had something like this back when I first started crocheting!
It’s been a trip down memory lane going through my pattern books, the file of patterns I’ve printed from various websites, a variety of project photos, and my yarn stash, trying to recreate everything I’ve made since I learned to crochet back in college. (I think it was sometime in 2000 when I started, but I really don’t remember exactly.)
I keep thinking of things I made back then that I didn’t photograph (mostly small items like scarves and potholders). Luckily I do seem to have pictures of most of the major projects. It’s really cool to see all of the stuff I’ve done with my little hobby, particularly all of the gifts.
Ravelry has been a great resource for me and I enjoy the community there. I still plan to blog about many of the projects I’ve shared there, as well as lots of crafts that don’t fit into Ravelry’s knit and crochet boundaries.
Friend me on Ravelry if you are so inclined!
I just love granny squares. I’m an impatient crocheter at times, and the ability to make and completely finish a square in one sitting gives me a sense of accomplishment. If I get bored with one pattern, I can switch to another.
I love to watch the squares pile up, and then I love to play with all the different arrangements I can make before finally assembling them into something beautiful.
- Partial skeins of Caron Simply Soft acrylic yarn in Orchid, Light Country Peach, Light Country Blue, Sage, Victorian Rose, and White.
- Hook Size H/8-5MM
I finished this scrap afghan in the fall of 2012. I’d made several summer baby projects out of the Caron Simply Soft, and found myself with a good deal of it left over. I like this yarn for being soft and cheap, although it can be a little frustrating to work with since its plys sometimes come apart while I’m crocheting. If a ply doesn’t get hooked, the stitch must be redone. As long as I’m using a hook size H or larger, it’s not too much of a problem.
These five colors aren’t ones that I ever would have chosen to put together in the beginning, but I wanted to use up the yarn so I started making granny squares just to see where it would go. I’m pleased with the results as it looks different from anything I’ve made before, and the scrap colors remind me of their original projects.
Every square is different in at least color or pattern. I got a few patterns from the book 99 Granny Squares to Crochet, which is one of the first crochet books I ever bought and an all-time favorite. I made up the patterns for the rest of the squares out of stitches I wanted to try.
The squares are assembled with single crochet, and I added a thick white double crochet border around it to make it look “quilt-y.” I had a tiny bit of each color left, so I even did a small square in each corner, which reminds me of a quilt border.
I made a few last-minute crochet wristlets for my mom and sisters for last Christmas. These are fun because they work up quickly and can be worn on the wrist, pinned to a blouse or coat, or used to tie a scarf together.
- Partial skein of Caron Simply Soft acrylic yarn in orchid
- Hook Size H/8-5MM (for the broomstick lace bracelet and the peony)
- Hook Size I/9-5.5MM (for the rose wristlet)
- Pretty buttons, pins, or earrings for flower centers
First I made a rose wristlet for my youngest sister. (I’m working from left to right in the picture above.)
The pattern for the flower came from this Slinky Crochet Flower video from Crochet Geek on YouTube. This was one of my first attempts to learn something from a video, and though I tend to be a more text-oriented person, I found it very instructive.
This flower is worked in a spiral, and then must be stitched into a flower shape. It works up very quickly and would be a great option for embellishing other projects. I sewed this one onto a basic double crochet wristband with a simple single crochet and chain border, and finished it with a single clear button in the center of the flower.
The middle bracelet was my first foray into crocheting broomstick lace, which is a beautiful and unique stitch that I’m looking forward to using more in the future. The pattern is an adaptation of the Broomstick Lace Bracelet from Cult of Crochet, which I found via Pinterest. The two shiny buttons make this really pretty, although I have my doubts about whether they will keep it fastened after my sister wears it for a while.
The last is a peony pin that I made for my mom, with a pretty opalescent button in the center. The pattern is by Sew Ritzy-Titzy and I found it via Pinterest. I really like the soft, floppy look of this peony. The only thing I didn’t love about it was the large open center of the flower. I thought sewing on the fancy button would cover it, but that didn’t really work as well as I hoped. I didn’t include the fabric leaves or the felt backing, but instead just finished off the peony by stitching it to a nice big safety pin.
It’s only the middle of November but I don’t think it’s too soon to look wistfully at the lights in these photos, which I took just before Christmas 2012.
Over the weekend I finished a baby blanket for some friends who are expecting their first baby next month. It’s one example of how the timeless ripple pattern has recently enjoyed a new life as the trendy chevron.
- 4 skeins of Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn (Orchid, Pistache, Buttercup, and Light Peach)
- Hook size H/8-5.00 MM
I found this great pattern on Pinterest. The entire piece is done in double crochet so it worked up quickly and easily, and it had a simple pattern that I memorized within a row or two (making it perfect for crocheting when tired after work or watching a weekend movie).
It made a beautiful afghan that measured approximately 40 inches square when finished. As written, the pattern is 10 ripples across, but it could easily be adjusted for larger blankets. The edges were nice and clean, so I did not add a border. I like how this one has softer, shallow ripples, instead of steep pointy ones.
I switched colors after every 8 rows, which gave the blanket bold chevron stripes. This gave me just enough yarn for two stripes of each color.
One of the challenges of this project was a strange odor on the yarn. I’ve used I Love This Yarn before with no problem, but this time it had a pungent chemical smell. Once the blanket was finished, I washed it, air dried it, and then tumbled it in a warm dryer with some clean-smelling dryer sheets. Laundering it removed the odor and the few minutes in the dryer softened the blanket nicely. I only wish that I hadn’t had to put up with the smell while I was working with the yarn.
I’m not sure how many hours this took, but I worked on it very sporadically during the month of October. The pastel colors reminded me of Easter eggs, and made it fun to work with.
The blanket is currently in the mail on its way to Jefferson City, Missouri. I’m pretty pleased with it!