Charity work – Project Linus

I ran across an internet article that talked about 25 things the author had learned from crocheting. She also listed 25 organizations that accept crocheted items such as afghans, lap robes, hats, etc. You can find that list of charity organizations here: http://www.crochetconcupiscence.com/2011/09/25-charities-that-accept-crochet-donations/

One of the organizations listed was Project Linus. (Remember Linus from the Peanuts comic? He always carried a blanket.) Project Linus accepts new, handmade blankets and gives them to children in need. Please visit their website for full details: http://www.projectlinus.org/about/

I chose Project Linus for two reasons. First, and foremost, it gives the blankets to children. Second, it’s headquartered in my first hometown, Bloomington, IL. I spent the first 9 years of my life in Bloomington and it’s sister city, Normal, IL, where my mother’s family was from. I learned to crochet from my aunts when I was itty, bitty. It was a way to keep me in the oxygen tents they used as a medical treatment when I had bronchitis and pneumonia, which was at least twice a year from the time I was about 9 months old. Keeping me quiet and occupied was probably quite a chore and both of my aunts – one was a nurse at the hospital I was always in and the other was a teacher – had the patience of Job to sit there and teach a 5 year old how to crochet. I learned how to embroider during that time also. My grandma taught me that. My mom was a working woman and in the evenings when she would come to visit, she would crawl in the oxygen tent (everyone got in that tent with me!) lay beside me and read stories to me. I loved that more than anything.

Anyway, that is why I chose Project Linus. I remember what it was like to be in a hospital. I was blessed to have loving people around me to nurture my talents and I want to give back using the talent they nurtured. I’m going to share my first Project Linus project.

Yellow and Green Blankie

This little crocheted blankie uses the granny square stitch pattern but you crochet it in a straight line. Just rows of the three double crochet, space, double crochet pattern in rows instead of a square. Simple, fast and cute. Here are some pictures of my WIP (work-in-progress)

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I used Bernat’s Softee Baby Yarn. It is a 3-ply 100% acrylic yarn; machine wash and dry. Very soft and holds it shape well. I used the following colors, one skein of each except for the white, I used 2 skeins of white. I used a size F(6) crochet hook.

  1. #31306 – Baby, Baby (varigated green, yellow, pink, blue and white)
  2. #02004 – Mint
  3. #02003 – Lemon
  4. #02000 – White

I thought I would also show my ‘totes’. I keep my yarn in a baby wipes box. I have several of these spread among 5 current WIPs. I always have several projects going; keeps me from getting bored. I also keep the crochet hook I am using for a specific project as well as a pair of scissors, pattern info, measuring tape, and plastic darning needle in an old Crystal Light cannister. (My roommate is a constant source for those little gems!) Here’s a couple of pictures of my storage system.

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I thought about wrapping yarn around the Crystal Light containers, but I also like that they are see through, so don’t know if I will yarn bomb them or not. LOL

Happy crocheting, y’all.

Rainy Day Side Project

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As you know I have been hard at work on some Christmas projects, but I ran across this really cute idea on Pinterest.com and couldn’t resist giving it a try. The original craft came from the blog ‘Little Birdie Secrets’. (http://littlebirdiesecrets.blogspot.com/)

The project is a crocheted towel holder, similar to the towels that have the crocheted top, but this is totally separate from the towel. So you can use any towel that fits your kitchen decor. Here is the original post on the project:

http://littlebirdiesecrets.blogspot.com/2009/01/crocheted-towel-holder-pattern.html

The towel holder uses the half double crochet stitch, the crossed half double crochet stitch and the magic ring technique. All of the stitches are explained with photographic tutorial and it is really easy to master this stitch. (The magic ring technique, not so much. I’m still trying to master that one. LOL)

Here are some images of the towel holder I created this afternoon. Great project for a rainy day in Texas.

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Once I finally mastered the crossed half double crochet stitch, then I started worrying about how the ends of the rows looked. I hit upon an idea to make them more uniform. At the end of the row I did slight modification of the chain two/turn dance. I chained one, then I turned and instead of doing just another chain one I did a half double crochet stitch in the last stitch of the previous row. This gave the ends a more uniform look to them. I continued with the rest of the instructions as they were. I think it turned out really well. I can see Christmas gifts on the horizon! LOL

Happy crocheting, y’all!

Christmas Gifts 2012 (Just don’t tell my family)

I have been hard at work on this year’s chosen Christmas gifts for my son and his family. I am making everyone a scarf this year. They live in Iowa so it gets cold up there, I thought this would be a nice gift from Granny. (And I don’t have to worry about them looking at my blog, lol, they are getting ready to get married and go on their honeymoon, they aren’t paying attention to what dear old Mom is up to! The girls are too young to be on the internet, too!)

The first scarf done is Sydney’s. She is a sweet, angelic little fireball that my son says is exactly like me in temperament. No, I have no idea what he is referring too. Feisty and opinionated, maybe? ; )

Anyway, this is Sydney’s scarf.

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The pattern I used is commonly called ‘Kittens (Kitties) In A Row’ and I followed this wonderful lady’s instructions:

http://gingerschatz.blogspot.com/2010/04/kitties-in-row-afghan.html.

I used Caron’s Simply Soft Yarn. If you have never used this yarn find a baby to make a blanket for and use Caron’s!! I won’t make a baby blanket without it! It is soft and has a beautiful sheen to it. It’s 100% acrylic so completely wash and wear. And I make my baby blankets to be used, not kept as a keepsake.

Here’s the breakdown of the pattern and colors I used for the scarf. If you are making a baby blanket you may want to get more yarn. I had plenty left over but not sure one skein would make a blanket, depending on the size of the blanket of course.

Hook size – H

Caron’s Simply Soft, 100% acrylic 4 ply yarn, 1 skein of each color

  1. 9702  Off White
  2. 9719  Soft Pink
  3. 9737  Light Country Peach
  4. 9712  Soft Blue
  5. 9739  Soft Green
  6. 9756  Lavender Blue

Another Dr Who Scarf Update

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I have 500 rows to go!! I am almost to the half way point! Actually, I think I’m about 84-85 rows from the midway point, but trust me, at this point who’s counting? Oh, yea, I am. LOL.

Here is Jenn modeling the scarf. As you can see it hangs to the floor on her. It’s actually about 5 or so inches off the floor. It’s over 8 ft long at this point. I have 99 days til my deadline of Dec. 23 to have it completed by, that’s so I have enough time to wash and dry it and throw it in a gift bag. Why not wrap it you say? Get real! LOL Maybe a big blue bag decorated like a Tardis? Oh, speaking of decorated like a Tardis….here’s Jenn’s costume from a recent anime convention. She’s a Tardis-within-a-Tardis!

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Dr Who Scarf Project

I have a friend, Jennifer, who loves the Dr. Who TV show. She expressed a desire to have the Dr. Who Scarf which is like a 10ft long knitted monstrosity. I guess he used it to measure things… In a moment of sheer “auntie” love madness (she is like a niece to me) I volunteered to make the scarf for her.

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The original scarf was knitted but since I don’t knit I crochet we scoured the internet and found this pattern to go by:

http://www.dustbunnies.com/Crochet/DrWhoScarf.htm

I chose to use Vanna’s Choice yarns by Lion Brand. They have a wide variety of colors and the yarn is 100% acrylic – easy to care for, which is a plus for a college freshman. We went by this color chart:

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Doctor Who Scarf – Season Twelve in Cascade 220 by Tara Wheeler

Ms. Wheeler has a number of patterns available. Her instructions can be found here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/doctor-who-scarf—season-twelve-in-cascade-220

I used a size G crochet hook and although the patterns call for a single stitch, which closely resembles a knitted stitch I guess – remember, I crochet, I don’t knit. : )  I used a half double crochet stitch. It gave the scarf some texture and it made it a little lighter.

Colors and # of yarn skeins I used:

  • P – Purple        Color – 143    Skeins –  2
  • C – Beige         Color – 123    Skeins –  5
  • B – Honey        Color – 130    Skeins –  2
  • M – Mustard     Color – 158    Skeins –  2
  • R – Cranberry   Color – 180    Skeins –  3
  • X  – Olive          Color – 174    Skeins –  3
  • G – Gray          Color – 149    Skeins –  1

So, now it’s time to get started on the project. I got goofy one night and figured out the number of days left until Christmas, the number of rows in the scarf and how many rows I will have to crochet on a daily basis to make sure I have the scarf completed by Christmas. There are 832 rows, 179 days (from the day I started the scarf) until Dec 23rd, my targeted completion date. I want enough time to wash it before I throw it in a gift bag and give it to her on Christmas morning. That averages out to just under 5 rows per day. Totally doable!

After a couple of false starts…I got the scarf way to wide the first time so I tore it out and started again. It’s still too wide I think, but we are going with it. If she ever goes up north in the wintertime, she’ll appreciate it being a little wider! I also had to tear out two rows and redo them because I discovered I had missed a couple of stitches. No biggie and actually I am about 4 days ahead of schedule, which is a good thing because I usually have 3 or 4 crochet projects going at once and rotate working on them. More about the other projects in a bit.

So, here are a couple of beginning pictures of my Dr. Who Scarf. I will post more pictures as the scarf, and days, progress.

Thanks for reading my blog. Happy crocheting!

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