Friday, April 29, 2011

Afghan Experiment

As I mentioned before I wanted to make Christmas Afghans this year. I purchased Lion Brand's Thick and Quick Wool-Ease Yarn to make one of their free patterns. I soon realized while I loved the color selection of the designer, that I was not as crazy about the pattern. Since most of my other patterns use traditional worsted weight yarn I decided to experiment using just the ripple portion of the Connor's blanket to make just the ripple without the bobbles. As I mentioned in the post about Connor's blanket this makes a blanket with the ripple on the long side, not the short side. The original pattern is available for purchase not a free pattern.

The heavier weight has created a longer blanket that was one of my goals as this child is older and I am hoping the blanket will not be outgrown. The pattern also has a different look to it, which I am pleased about because I do not want the blankets to be duplicates of each other. I want the brothers and sister to have individual blankets. I have a traditional worsted weight ripple with a blue pattern for the last child in this family.

If this pattern comes out well I have Lion Brand Hometown Yarn that I bought for a relative on the other side of the family. The pattern I bought it to use with was another free Lion Brand pattern that uses the same stitch I did not like. Therefore, I will need another substitute pattern and this would be a great option. If not I will explore other options.

If you arrived here looking for free afghan patterns check the following blog pages:

Free Afghan Patterns

Toy Theme Afghans

Pictures may not be used without permission.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Pictures may not be used without written permission

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Connor's Crayon Ripple Afghan

Just to be clear this is not a free pattern. My copy came from the Crochet Calendar. If you wish to purchase the pattern it is available at Treasured Heirlooms.

My blanket is slightly smaller than the pattern suggested size. I knew the gauge was off, but I am not concerned. The pattern called for Caron Wintuk, which I have been unable to locate. Instead I used Caron's One Pound Yarn. Instead of worrying about gauge, I spent quite a bit of time focused on making sure I had the stitches correct.

This was a fun pattern to work on. Instead of a traditional ripple pattern that is worked along the short side of the blanket, this ripple is worked the length of the blanket. The white baubles give the blanket a unique texture. I also learned a new method of edging which I plan on using on another blanket I am experimenting with at the moment.

I love this pattern and am pleased to have finished my first Christmas afghan. I have several more to go before my shipping date, but it is always great to get the first one finished.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Easter Bunny Brings Crochet

I hope all of you had a great Easter.

The Easter Bunny was quite generous this year. Along with some adorable items for my garden, he also left some wonderful crochet patterns. While Amigurumi Toy Box: Cute Crocheted Friends was due out on April 18, the Easter Bunny left me an email from Amazon stating the book was preordered and will be here around May 5. I am excited to have a chance to work on Ana Paula Rimoli's latest patterns. Her first two books have provided many gifts to date.

The second pattern was a set of e-patterns that the Easter Bunny bought and downloaded for my basket. This item came from kandjdolls on Etsy. Alice in Wonderland has been on my list of patterns to locate. I have looked at several Alice patterns. What tempted me to put this one on my Easter Bunny list was this set looked like ones I might be able to complete. While you can buy the pieces individually or in groups the complete set I got includes Alice, the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, and the Mad Hatter. Once I get through this afghan phase, I am looking forward to making toys again.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter

I hope all of you have a happy and healthy Easter.

This has been an interesting season. I finished some projects and have others that will be finished for next year. There are always more patterns to make.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sign Up at Your Favorite Craft Stores

I am on email and mailing lists for JoAnn's, AC Moore, and several other companies. I also get the rewards cards when companies offer them. These programs have led me to receiving offers for additional percentages off my purchases as well as dollars removed from my purchases.

The email and mailing lists do not always offer the same deals. I find that by signing up for both I have gotten additional rewards at JoAnn's for online free shipping and other offers I would not have gotten if I had only been a mail or email subscriber.

Some people complain about increased SPAM or junk mail. I have not had a problem with this so I cannot complain. I did just get a JoAnn's flyer in the mail today with an offer for seniors that I will be passing on to my Mom who for some reason is not on their mailing list.

Happy crafting.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

American Girl Doll Plastic Canvas Sandals

A family member has been learning plastic canvas and finished a first project, American Girl Doll sandals that will be appearing in an Easter basket this weekend. I am hoping another pair will be finished next month to mail with a dress I am making for a birthday present. I thought the dress and sandals would be done in time for Easter, but we both underestimated the time required.

These shoes were made using the patterns found in 18-Inch Doll Shoes from Annie's Attic. The booklet includes patterns for five different types of shoes, sandals, boots, slippers, clogs, and holiday shoes.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter Egg Dishcloth

My digital Crochet World subscription just yielded its first benefits. I downloaded this pattern from the April 2007 edition. This is actually a pot holder pattern, but I adapted it into a dishcloth. The Sugar 'n Cream Yarn makes great dishcloths that are easy to clean. I usually substitute it for pot holder yarn requirements.

There are several different styles of decorated eggs in this pattern including a plain egg, stripes, and various shapes.

This was the first time I have used a chart when crocheting. I know they are common in knitting, but most of the crochet patterns I have used to date are written out. It was great getting a chance to practice on a basic pattern. I have avoided some of the more complicated patterns because of the charts.

If I want to do more work with charts, I will need to work on color changes. The ability to make changes cleanly is what creates the patterns.

Free Holiday Patterns Available on the Following Blog Pages:




Halloween Page




St. Patrick's Day

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Crochet Animals Big and Small

Like many people, I am always looking for new dinosaur patterns. During a recent yarn purchase I came across a small Red Heart book Crochet Animals Big and Small. I have only located this book were I purchased it and the Red Heart site. There are eleven patterns included in the book and four dinosaurs. As the book is published by Red Heart the yarn required is Red Heart Super Saver Yarn. I suspect most worsted weight yarns would work.

I would choose different colors for some of these creations, but I am glad to see find some new patterns. The vintage dinosaur patterns can be very expensive because there are so few available.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Vintage Pattern Finds

I was so excited to make purchases yesterday at two of my favorite sites. There is always a balance of waiting to decide which patterns I want the most, which sites have the patterns at the best price, and when to make the leap before the patterns are gone.

This month I won some and lost some. I lost some vintage Barbie sports weight patterns. They were a little more expensive than I wanted to pay, but they are hard to find. I was disappointed about that. However, in waiting I found a batch of historical 15" doll patterns that were much less expensive. As I have mentioned many times, there are always tradeoffs when you wait. You can lose out, but you can also save money when you find the same item at a better price.

This month I focused on building my afghan pattern library. I want some pretty, but simple patterns to make. I love the look of the more complicated patterns, but I know I lack the patience to make the blocks and sew them all together. I will however, have a real shot at finishing a ripple blanket that changes colors, but requires no sewing of multiple pieces when the item is completed.

I found some holiday patterns and some patterns for Mom, as her birthday and Mother's Day are both around the corner. She has been enjoying the vintage doll and toy patterns.

The 15" doll projects did not progress as far as I expected at this point. My hope is when I get past the afghan phase I am in, I will return to dolls and toys. I will have quite the collection to complete. I am hoping the outfits will work well with homeschooling lessons that the child who receives the doll will be studying. I have some historic patterns for Barbie, but the majority of patterns are thread. The 15" Fibre Craft patterns I have been finding use worsted weight yarn. As anyone who reads my blog knows, I am always happier with the heavier yarns.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

About Patterns on This Blog

I write about projects that I make for family and friends. I use free patterns as well as vintage and new ones I purchase.

In each entry, I try to list where the pattern can be located. If it is a free pattern, I will tell you where to locate the link on the blog. For vintage out of print patterns, I list as much information as I have about the patterns so you can locate them for yourself. For patterns still in print, I try to provide a link to where the patterns or books can be purchased.

I receive many comments that people cannot find patterns on this website when the information is listed in the entry describing the project. To be clear the only patterns I provide links for on this site are free patterns. I do not have the right to share patterns I have written about that have copy write protections. If you want access to those patterns, you will need to purchase your own copy or borrow from a friend. I do not provide copies of patterns that are not listed freely for use.

As for pictures on this site, I use my own when they are available and free pictures when they are not. I do not have the rights to use the free pattern pictures. The people who publish the free patterns retain the rights to use those pictures. Therefore, I cannot guarantee that the pictures match the free patterns. I do list the pattern information for these pictures when I discover them for those who may want to find the patterns.

I hope this clears up any confusion.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ripple Afghan Project

Every time I start one of these projects, it is a learning process. The ripples are similar to the Circus pattern I did before, but this has little bobbles on the white that have been more of a challenge. I have been using safety pins to help track my stitches for the ridges and the bottom of the ripple and this technique has caught a few of my mistakes before they worked into the next row.

I am using the Caron One Pound Yarn as a substitute for Caron Wintuk which I have not been able to locate.

If you arrived here looking for free afghan patterns check the following blog pages:

Free Afghan Patterns

Toy Theme Afghans

Pictures may not be used without permission.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fleece Blankets

I am already working on Christmas presents and I know I am not the only one out there. Fleece blankets are one present that has worked out well and is still popular in my family. I purchase the fleece material on sale or using coupons.

There are several options for finishing the blankets. You can hem the ends. I have used this approach in the past. My Aunt has generously used her sewing machine finish the edges for me. I have seen people cut and tie the edges at craft fairs. Another option I am considering is crocheting the edges. There was a pattern in the Crochet Calendar and I found some in some older magazines I purchased.

My husband and the dogs enjoy blankets from all the local sports teams with the exception of the Boston Bruins and the New England Revolution. I have found Red Sox, New England Patriots, and the Celtics. For kids you can update blankets as their interests change. While I love the knit and crochet afghans, the fleece are more dog friendly for our home. We have our couches covered as it makes it easy to wash and remove dog hair on a frequent basis. They also resist claw damage better than yarn.

These blankets have been popular gifts across generational gaps. Younger family members have enjoyed many of their favorite characters as warm blankets. I have found themes to match the interests of teens, young adults, and our parents. I like that it is much cheaper to buy the material and make the blankets than it is to buy the blankets already made. Another advantage is the ability to control the size of the blankets. My husband is tall and often the sports throws you buy are too short. When I buy the material, I control the size.

Free Sources for Instructions on Blanket Edges:


No Longer Conforming


Friday, April 8, 2011

Crochet World Digital Version Review

I just renewed my print version of Crochet World, but I have been thinking about the digital version as an option for a while now. When I renewed my print version for two years, I was able to avoid paying shipping costs. I also discovered that there was a reduced cost for the digital version. When bought alone, the digital cost of the magazine is about $16 and gives you the current year as well as two years of back issues. When purchased with a print version the cost is less than $11. Buying the two together also gave me access to the current year and four years of back issues. Since I have been buying old issues to get the patterns this will reduce the issues I need to find.

The ability to download old and current patterns was worth the investment. I have already begun printing patterns to add to my collection.

I was originally wondering if I would regret buying the digital and the print versions. After reviewing the online magazine, I am not regretting it. There may be better ways to read the online version I have not discovered yet, but my original experience was not as enjoyable as I had hoped. It was not as easy to negotiate as I had hoped. You can read the current magazine in "magazine format" online. However, it does not appear that you can directly print from there. You have to move to the PDF version, which is not as quick to negotiate. This magazine format does not seem available for the older magazines, which makes reading the articles more difficult. There is an option to skip from page to page. However, it does not provide the "feel" of reading a magazine.

There is a search function and this is limited. If you search for a term like "afghan" it will bring you to the issues that have afghan patterns. It does not bring you to the specific patterns themselves. You have to open the magazine to find them.

As I explore the magazine further, I may find there are better functions to make using this easier. I will post more about my experiences as I learn more. If anyone has any suggestions to improve negotiating the digital system I would appreciate them.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ana Paula Rimoli Gnome Patterns in Crochet Today

I have not read about a contract between Ana Paula Rimoli and Crochet Today, but this is the second magazine in a row to feature her patterns. The May/June 2011 copy has a fairy and a gnome pattern for readers to make using Red Heart Yarn.

If you visit my home in the summer, you will see a collection of garden gnomes so you can understand my excitement about the gnome pattern. The fairy is also cute.

Her new book Amigurumi Toy Box: Cute Crocheted Friendsis due out this month so that may be one of the reasons for her increased presence. I hope she continues to work with Crochet Today. It would keep me subscribing.

The magazine also had a wizard’s cape that I thought was cute. The downside is it is designed using sport weight yarn and requires 11 skeins of yarn. I will admit to being cheap, but it seems this project would have been just as effective in worsted weight and a great deal less expensive. I could see doing the stars in a lighter weight yarn, but I am thinking the cape would have been just as much fun and a good deal cheaper and accessible in worsted weight yarn. I cannot imagine finding nine skeins of sports weight blue in my local store, which means I would have to order it. On the other hand, in worsted weight, it would be less expensive and I could pick up the items locally. I may try playing with the pattern to see if I can make it small enough. It would make for a fun dress up costume or even a Halloween item.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I Won a Blog Drawing for Earrings at Sweet Notions

I won a blog drawing offered by Sweet Notions and received the two beautiful pairs of earrings above.

My husband often buys me gifts of handmade earrings when we visit craft shows, but I have only seen pictures of crocheted earrings. I have lists of free patterns for them, but with my ability to use thread, no hope of completing them. When I saw a drawing for crocheted earrings, I was quite excited.

The blue earrings are a perfect match for several outfits I have. The crocheted black hoops will be fun to try with several others.

I want to thank Candice for the prizes. I am going to enjoy my beautiful earrings.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Crocheting by Genre

Lately I realized I have been crocheting in specific genres and I find it hard to break out of my pattern. I was working on toys and then had a need to make a baby blanket. Before I knew it I was working on blankets and have not been able to get back to making toys. I have a doll dress almost finished and several Easter projects that need to be done. However, instead I am working on my second afghan project that I do not need until Christmas.

By the end of the week I will need to force myself to finish those Easter projects if I want to be able to mail them out in time. I have birthday projects that also need to be completed. It is hard to fight against the urge to create certain projects. It is time to get back into toy and doll mode.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Granny Square Afghan Completed

This was a fun project and I promised I would post the details when it was completed. The pattern title is Granny Square Afghan. It comes from the Annie's Quilt and Afghan Club series published in 1996. The pattern number is QAC317-04. I have been collecting a few of these pattern offerings and this is the first one I have attempted to make. While out of print, they are offered on various vintage pattern sites as well as traditional auction sites.

I loved the bright colors and the rectangular granny squares. While I have made several granny squares, I had no idea how the rectangle would work until I was several rows into the process. While some people can read the directions and get a picture, I have to work through it before I can see how it will work. Once I have done a particular style a few times, then I can read it and anticipate the next step.

My husband is already enjoying his early birthday present. One advantage of this pattern was the length. A few of our afghans are short and barely cover his toes. This one leaves plenty of extra room to spare. With an unexpected cold spell, he and the dogs have been snuggling while watching the opening baseball games.

If you arrived here looking for free afghan patterns check the following blog pages:

Free Afghan Patterns

Toy Theme Afghans

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

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