Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I am not so interested in blogging anymore, but I'm leaving up my patterns. I have disabled all comments because of spamming. Thank you for visiting.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Simple Crochet Ball

I have tried several patterns for crochet balls but was not satisfied with any of them. Decreasing to close the ball leaves unattractive gaps that show the stuffing. I remembered a pattern from a vintage crochet book my mother-in-law gave me, which had you make two halves and seam them, but the gauge and shaping of that pattern was all wrong, and I wound up with more of a lacy egg than a ball. There is another free online that is constructed much like this one, but I haven't tried it. It uses fewer rows in the middle. I have reworked features from several patterns into one that works for me. Mind you, I am not copying any aspects of any pattern. I developed this pattern using basic crochet techniques that all crocheters know. Although the stuffing bit is completely of my own invention... I think.

Finished Size: Variable
Gauge: Unimportant. Though it is important to keep your work tight to prevent stuffing from showing.
Materials: I used sport weight cotton yarn. The orange ball is made from Omega Sinfonia and the blue/green ball is Patons Grace. You can make it out of anything, though. It is a fantastic pattern for using up scraps. I particularly like making them out of sock yarn.
Hook: I used a 2.75m (US C) hook with the ones shown in the picture. Use whatever size produces a firm fabric but does not give you any difficulty in grasping the yarn.
Notions: Yarn needle, scissors, a bit of stuffing or, for a firm ball, cotton quilt batting. See note in that segment of the pattern.

note: make two of the following halves, which will be seamed together.
Mark the beginning of each round using a piece of contrasting scrap yarn. Remember to move your scrap yarn at the change of each round so you can find your starting place.
Rnd 1: Ch 2. 6 sc in second ch. from hook.
2 sc in each st. around (12 sts)
Rnd 2: [sc, 2sc in next st.] repeat around (18 sts)
Rnd 3: [2sc, 2sc in next st.] repeat around (24 sts)
Rnd 4: [3sc, 2sc in next st.] repeat around (30 sts)
Continue in this manner, adding six evenly placed stitches in each round, until you have 60 stitches around (For the size of the orange ball) or do a little more or fewer rounds for whatever size you like. (the other pictured ball has 48 sts)
Rnd ?: sc even around 5 rows. break yarn leaving an 18" tail.

For filling you can use wool or poly fiberfill, but I chose cotton quilt batting because it allows for a firm ball with a little more weight to it. I made it so:
take a sheet of cotton batting (I used Warm & Natural), fold it in half lengthwise, then repeat two or three times more. This makes cutting the strips much quicker. Even out the edge and cut off a few 1" strips. Wind them tightly into a ball as you might wind yarn, making it as symmetrical and round as possible. Continue in this manner until it fits snugly into the crocheted ball. Pull both halves of the ball around it and match them up as you like and seam them. I like to put the tails on opposite sides and sew half of the ball with each, but it doesn't signify how you do it. If you choose instead to use wool or poly fill, stitch up empty halves leaving a 1" gap for filling.
Whip-stitch gives the flattest, most invisible seam in my experience. I have also used mattress stitch, which creates a visually interesting, though clearly definable, seam. Don't forget to sew in your ends.

Now, throw your ball at someone unsuspecting or give it to a child who will roll it under the sofa and make you retrieve it. Wacky fun!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Three Peas in a Pod

I recently whipped up a sweet little improvised set of peas in a pod for my best friend's son on the occasion of his first birthday. It was such a fun and easy project that I thought I'd share it with you. Keep in mind that, as with all of my instructions, they are a little sketchy.

I used a green ww yarn. In this case, Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille in "fern", and a hook only just large enough to grab the yarn. The fabric needs to be really tight to prevent the stuffing from showing through.

Pea Baby (make 3) foundation round: ch 2. 6 sc in second ch from hook.
rnd 1: 2 sc in every st. around (12 sts)
rnd 2: *sc, 2sc in next st* repeat around (18 sts)
rnds 3-5: sc in every st around
rnd 6: *sc, sc 2 tog* repeat around (12 sts)
firmly stuff the pea before the final round
rnd 7: sc 2 tog in every st. around (6 sts)
break end leaving a tail 8" or longer. Weave through each stitch around and pull firmly to close. Knot well and draw end through the pea a few times before cutting off.
Embroider face as desired.

Pea Pod (make 2)
Foundation row: ch 17. turn.
row 1: skipping first ch. from hook, sc across to last st. 2 sc in last st. (17 sts) ch 1 and turn.
rows 2-10: sc to last st. 2 sc in last st. ch 1 and turn.
Check whether your pod is wide enough to hold all 3 peas. If not, add a few more increase rows before moving on.
rows 11-15: sc across.
Break yarn leaving a tail about the length of your arm. Sew the two halves together.
Test the fit with your peas in the pod. If it is not deep enough to hold them in, single crochet around the top edge until you are happy with the fit.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

More Family snaps

So we went to the park this afternoon after Zach got home from work. It's the last week of tax season so we haven't seen much of him the last few days. We thought it would be nice to spend some time outdoors.
It wasn't as much fun as it looks. It was really windy and the little ones were pretty crabby. The kids all decided at the same time that they were really hungry and couldn't wait another moment for dinner, so we didn't stay too long. But for the time we did stay, Zach tried to go fishing and the kids tried to play in the sand. Then the boy got inconsolably grouchy about the wind so we had to go. It doesn't signify, because we had a few fun moments and I got some pretty cute photos. The one Zach took of me... well, I can't excuse his crooked photography. I was actually sitting on a hill.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I haven't shared pics of the boy in a while. These were taken only a moment ago.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Gnome Home

Several people on Ravelry have asked me to concoct a pattern for the Gnome Home I made for our niece Jess for Christmas. I totally improvised it at the time, so I don't remember exactly how I did it, but I have devised a set of sketchy instructions so you can make one of your own. Be advised that by sketchy I mean sketchy. Best of luck.
For the base, use a bulky green yarn held together with a strand of matching green eyelash yarn (grass) or several strands of eyelash yarn held together. For walls use a bulky brown yarn, and for the roof use a bulky yarn in a different shade of brown. You will need to use a hook that is just barely large enough to grab the yarn. A very tight fabric is required to make the house stand up. Gauge is not important in this pattern.

ch 2. In 2nd ch from hook sc 6. Place marker or scrap of yarn between 1st and last sts of foundation round.
round 1: 2 sc in every st around (12 sts)
round 2: [1 sc. 2 sc in next st. (increase made)] repeat around (18 sts)
round 3: [2 sc. 2 sc in next st. (increase made)] repeat around (24 sts)
continue in this fashion, adding one single crochet between each increase, until you have a disc approx. 6" in diameter.

round 1: sc around. Switch to brown yarn.
row 2: sc around to last 5 sts. ch 1. turn
repeat row 1 working back and forth, leaving a doorway 5 sts wide, until doorway is about 3" tall.
row 3: sc around to last st of row. 2 sc in last st. ch 1 and turn.
row 4: repeat row 2.
round 5: sc to doorway. ch 1. going across doorway, sc the rest of the round.
round 6: sc around
repeat round 6 for 1" above top of doorway.

Switch to roof color.
round 1: sc around
round 2: [5 sc, sc 2 tog] repeat around
round 3: sc around
repeat rows 2 and 3 until you have about 5 or 6 sts left. Cut yarn and weave end through sts and pull closed.

Your number of stitches should be divisible by 6, so you will be working each scallop over 6 sts. Be sure your slip stitches are in stitches 1 and 6 of each scallop.
ss yarn to first row of roof color. [sk 2 sts. 6 dc in 2nd st. sk 2. ss in next st.] repeat around. break yarn and weave in ends.

I crocheted the flowers in a sport weight microfiber acrylic, but you can use any sport or fingering weight yarn. I don't have a pattern for the flowers. I found various free flower patterns online such as this one, and then sewed them on. I embroidered the stems in green yarn.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Fulled Tomato Purse (crochet)

As with all of my patterns, I have tested this to the best of my ability, but you may find an error or two. Please let me know if you do.
Tomato Bag
• 1 skein worsted weight red 100% wool or wool/mohair blend (main color)
• 1 skein worsted weight green 100% wool or wool/mohair blend (accent color)
• size J crochet hook
• stitch marker
• yarn needle
• embroidery needle
• 2 black button eyes or black beads
• black cotton thread and/or embroidery thread
• For drawstring, your choice of 2 size 7 double-pointed knitting needles, a knitting spool, a size J crochet hook, or 2/3 yard of matching green ribbon
• washing machine & detergent for felting (if desired)

mc= main color
ac= accent color
ch= chain
ss= slip stitch
sc= single crochet
st= stitch
rnd= round
inc= increase

You will start from the base of the tomato and work your way up.
Using J hook and mc, ch 2
6 sc in 2nd ch from hook (first ch made)
rnd 1: 2 sc in each st around (12 sc)
Place marker. Move to next round at each pass.
rnd 2: *sc in 1st st. 2 sc in next st (inc made)* repeat ** around (18 sc)
rnd 3: *sc in 2 sts. 2 sc in next st* repeat ** around (24 sc)
rnd 4: *sc in 3 sts. 2 sc in next st* repeat ** around (30 sc)
rnd 5: *sc in 4 sts. 2 sc in next st* repeat ** around (36 sc)
rnd 6: *sc in 5 sts. 2 sc in next st* repeat ** around (42 sc)
rnd 7: *sc in 6 sts. 2 sc in next st* repeat ** around (48 sc)
rnd 8: *sc in 7 sts. 2 sc in next st* repeat ** around (54 sc)
rnd 9: *sc in 8 sts. 2 sc in next st* repeat ** around (60 sc)
rnd 10: *sc in 9 sts. 2 sc in next st* repeat ** around (66 sc)
rnd 11: *sc in 10 sts. 2 sc in next st* repeat ** around (72 sc)
rnd 12: *sc in 11 sts. 2 sc in next st* repeat ** around (78 sc)
rnd 13: *sc in 12 sts. 2 sc in next st* repeat ** around (84 sc)
rnd 14: *sc in 13 sts. 2 sc in next st* repeat ** around (90 sc)
rnd 15: *sc in 14 sts. 2 sc in next st* repeat ** around (96 sc)
rnd 16: *sc in 15 sts. 2 sc in next st* repeat ** around (102 sc)
rnd 17: sc around
rnds 18-47: repeat rnd 17
rnd 48: *sc in 10 sts. sc 2 tog.* repeat 7 times more. sc in last 6 sts. (94 sc)
rnd 49: sc around
rnd 50: *sc in 8 sts. sc 2 tog.* repeat 8 times more. sc in last 4 sts. (85 sc)
rnd 51: sc around.

break off mc and switch to ac.
You are now going to form the leaves.
for each leaf you will repeat the following pattern around the rim of the tomato.
row 1: sc in next 5 sts. ch 1 and turn
row 2: sc in each st across (5 sts). ch 1 and turn
row 3: sk 1st st. sc across (5 sts). ch 1 and turn
row 4: sk 1st st. sc across (4 sts). ch 1 and turn
row 5: sk 1st st. sc across (3 sts). ch 1 and turn
row 6: sk 1st st. sc across (2 sts). ch 1 and turn
row 7: sk 1st st. sc across (1 st) ch 1. do not turn.
ss in the end of each row along the leaf edge. ss in mc in last st of 1st row.

repeat leaf pattern around top edge of tomato.
Join first row of last leaf to first row of first leaf with ss.
rnd 1: (eyelet row) 2 sc, ch 2 sk 2 around to last 2 sts. sc in last 2 sts.
rnd 2: sc in each sc, and 1 sc in each ch 2 space around.
ss in last st and finish off and sew in ends.

make 2.5' drawstring using knitted i-cord or crochet lobster stitch or use
2' of matching green ribbon.
To felt bag and drawstring, place in the washing machine on a hot cycle with a small amount of detergent and a few low lint or lint-free clothing items (t-shirts and jeans are good). Check periodically and remove when it looks the way you like. If you are using a front-loading machine, wash on the shortest cycle, then check progress and repeat if desired. Rinse in cool water and blot with a towel. Stuff the bag with dry washcloths or socks and pin leaves down and lay drawstring flat to block. When dry, trim off lint or pilling and run drawstring starting in first eyelet made.
Sew on eyes and embroider mouth using running stitch according to the picture or your own taste.

This pattern is protected by copyright. You may use it for personal and charitable use, but you may not sell more than one item made from this pattern without my permission. You may not re-post the pattern without my permission. Feel free to comment if you have any questions.