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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Homecoming Shrug

With every issue of Crochet Today! I enjoy looking through the magazine to see what all of the designers came up with.  I would love to make many of the designs but I have discovered that it is difficult to find the time to crochet "for fun" when I am busy working on designs to be published.

Well, I really really liked the Homecoming Shrug (designed by Kristin Omdahl) in the Sept/Oct (2012) issue of Crochet Today! and I had never used the Red Heart yarn, Stardust, before.  It is very fine (like sock yarn) and has a classy strand of metallic yarn woven into the hand-dyed-looking main strand.

It took me a couple of months to finish this since I worked at it a little bit at a time between my other projects. I loved working with the yarn and like the results.

A few notes about the pattern: 
The armholes turned out very big and loose so I gathered them quite a bit before adding the same edging that the pattern called for along the body of the shrug
I did not do as many rows as the pattern called for but I went through almost 4 balls of Stardust - if I followed the pattern exactly I would have needed 5 balls of yarn (the pattern only called for 4)
A few notes about the designer:
I met Kristin at a CGOA conference when she was the keynote speaker.  She shared her "crochet/designing" journey and gave the audience (of crochet professionals) many practical career tips.  She was very generous with her time and ideas.  I learned a lot from listening to her.
She has many beautiful designs in books, on her website and on Ravelry.
Kristin is also part of the PBS show, Knit and Crochet Now! and also is a designer for knitting.
Check out her work here:

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fan Set - Crochet Today!

The next issue of Crochet Today! is out in stores.  It is the March/April issue - full of fun and colorful spring projects.

I have two designs in this issue - the Fan Finger and the Bleacher Cushion- photographed together in the "Fan Set."

The Fan Finger was fun to create.  I enjoyed the challenge of adding all of the details and of making it sturdy enough to hold its unique shape.

I liked the effect of the self-striping Team Spirit Yarn by Red Heart for the Bleacher Cushion.
I think this project would be great for anyone to keep in their car and use whenever they need to sit on a hard seat for a prolonged time, not just at a ballgame. In fact, my students have used something like it when they sit in the chairs for crochet class. :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Doggie Sweater

My sister has an adorable dachshund named Millie.
Millie has a great personality and loves to go on walks.
I saw this bright pink dog jacket and immediately thought of Millie.
Of course, I had to embellish it with some flowers and Celtic Knots before I gave it to her. :)

This is one of my favorite things about crochet. It is easy to work up a quick motif to add to outfits - even ones for a cute little dog!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Butterfly Wrap

While at the CGOA conference in Manchester, NH this past summer, I visited the Red Heart yarn booth.  All of the women there were very helpful - Amy, Donna and Kathleen.

The Butterfly Wrap (designed by the Double Stitch Twins) was on display on a dress form and it caught my eye. Since then I have been planning to make it. 

(You can find the free pattern here: http://www.redheart.com/search/apachesolr_search/butterfly%20wrap - Note that there is a correction posted with the pattern)

It worked up very quickly. I enjoyed working with the Red Heart Treasure Yarn.  I paired the Horizon colorway with a medium weight coral color (instead of another color of the Treasure Yarn as the pattern suggested).
I love that this design has such a unique back view and with the tie in front, the wrap stays in place.  As a busy mom of 3 young children I need to wear wraps that stay put - I don't have time to constantly "re-wrap" my wrap!
Another great yarn from Red Heart, Unforgettable, was showcased at the Knit and Crochet Show.  It is 100% acrylic but looks like wool and comes in beautiful colors.  I was looking forward to crocheting with it since wool irritates my skin.  It is much thinner than the Treasure yarn so when I made the same Butterfly Wrap with Unforgettable (Candied colorway) still using the large hook called for in the pattern, it turned out to be a size perfect for one of my daughters. 
Another great thing about a skein of Unforgettable is that it has a lot of yardage and it is very inexpensive.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Today it is snowing and I am reminded of how beautiful snowflakes are. Each one is unique and intricate. Amazing!

Here is our snowman one of my daughters created today.

And here are some snowflakes I crocheted around Christmas.   These snowflake patterns are from the book, 100 Snowflakes to Crochet by Caitlin Sainio.

Lion Brand is featuring a handful of patterns from this book and offering them as free patterns on their website: www.lionbrand.com.   I receive the Lion Brand E-newsletter and enjoy getting the articles, free patterns and book previews. 

These snowflakes are  quick and fun to crochet.  I "painted" them on the back only with a mixture of white glue and water to stiffen them up a bit.  I used Vanna's Glamour Yarn in a variety of colors but I think the white (with the silver metallic strand in it) looked best.