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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Merry Mistletoe

Can you believe Thanksgiving has gone by and it's time to get ready for Christmas?

Our family loves to start decorating for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.  We have a great time going to cut our tree down at a local farm and spending the rest of the weekend putting up our Christmas d├ęcor.  Today I look forward to putting up this decoration I designed - Merry Mistletoe.

Its sprigs (made out of Red Heart Soft Yarn) will never wither or dry out. You can hang this mistletoe every year in hopes to create many kissable moments.  It also would make a great hostess gift for your next Christmas party.
This design can be found in the current December issue of Crochet World -
on newsstands now or at www.crochet-world.com
Coming up in the next few weeks - crocheted Christmas gift ideas!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Crochet Pumpkin Votive from Newspaper Bag

I come from a long line of creative and crafty women so I was brought up to always think 'outside-the-box' and look at things in a unique way - and that includes what went through my mind when I saw this on our doorstep each rainy Sunday:  This could make a neat crochet project!

I had made "plarn" (yarn made with strips of plastic bags) before and experimented a little.  I have not done much since it seemed to take so much longer to make the plarn then it did to actually crochet something.  But I have still been on the lookout for colored plastic bags to use.  . . . They are hard to come by until you have a rainy Sunday when the newspaper is delivered!

First, I gathered several of the orange plastic bags and cut them into strips using a cutting pattern that keeps each bag all one length.  (I cut off the bottom of every bag  - this created a tube open on both ends - and then cut down the tube lengthwise - this created one large rectangle as seen in photo above). I rolled the strips into a ball as I went and soon was ready to crochet.

(Glass Votive - 3" diameter across bottom, 3 1/2" across opening on top and 15 1/4" around widest part)

I used a J hook and worked as if I was making a baby hat.  I started with an adjustable ring so there is no hole on top.  From there I simply single crocheted around increasing as I needed to up to the widest point of the votive. (To check, I slid the project over the votive and then slid off to continue.)  After passing the widest part of the votive, I then decreased gradually until my stitches completely covered the glass. (You can use a simple pattern for a newborn hat to get the basic shape.)

To finish I added green pipe cleaners (that had been twisted around a pencil) and a felt leaf. (I found a pumpkin leaf template on-line.)

The plastic is stretchy and fits nicely to the shape of the votive.  Use ONLY battery-powered tea lights to illuminate your pumpkin!  (You can also use those short strands of battery-powered LED lights - they are much brighter than a tea light).You may also want to secure the bottom of the pumpkin edges with twist ties - this keeps it snug on the votive but also allows you to undo it to replace or remove the tea light.

Happy Thanksgiving!

(I used the glass votive with the open end on top because the shape seems more pumpkin-like. But . . . if you flipped over the glass holder so the open end was on the bottom, it would be very quick and easy to add a tea light and/or turn it off and on!)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ladies Night Out Crochet Class


Our Ladies Night Out Crochet Class had a great time this fall.  We learned a variety of stitches that we made into squares and practiced several techniques, such as: color changes and joining squares.

Ali and Jenn are crocheting away and getting inspiration from a pattern book.

Reshea and Elisha enjoyed crocheting together as mother and daughter - even though one is left-handed and the other right-handed! :)

Marie and Mona made several beautiful squares.


Elyse and Sally were beginners that did a wonderful job
learning the basics and having a good family time together.

Celeste is great to sit next to and get pointers. Bonnie always brings a lot of laughter to class!

And here I am with Judy who has made some neat projects
combining knitting with crochet.
Please check out everyone's projects on the page to the left - Student Gallery of Projects - that we worked on for the last 8 weeks.