My first baby blanket

April 19, 2006

A lady I work with just found out that she would be having a boy and that gave me a good reason to rush to Joann’s and get some yarn for my first baby blanket. How could I not make a blanket for her?

I decided on this yarn…

Yellow.jpglogo_softboucle.gifblue.jpg

Bernat Boucle was my first yarn. Sure, I really started with a Red Heart yarn in light mossy Green, but Boucle was the one AFTER the starter yarn. The one I had waited to pick out on my own after I made the ceremonial first project, the wash cloth. It was my first scarf and the first scarf-gifts for Christmas 2004. It will be so perfect for this new baby, who will also be my student in just under a year.

I have already done the first stripe. It’s just going to be very simple. Three rows of double crochet, three of single and three more rows of double crochet. Then on to the next color. This will have sort of a wavy effect, but still be boyish. It will be soft and not too warm since the baby is due in the summer time. But it will still be warm enough for the winter and the best part , it’s washable AND you can put it in the dryer.

My Tools

March 25, 2006

I love paraphernalia of any kind.  I have the thing that goes with the thing for anything I do.  Not that I spend a lot of money getting these things,  but I do like to buy good quality things.  Things that will last and get more beautiful with age.  I think I got this from my grandfather who I inherited some of my household tools from.  That hammer I got from him is the best hammer I will ever use.  It must be years old by now.  It’s worn down and stained on it’s wood handle,  but it’s one of the most beautiful tools I own.

Part of the reason I Knit and/or Crochet is that I get some “me” time.  Part of that is putting on some good music,  lighting a scented candle and settling down with some soft fuzzy yarn.  Wooden tools blend right into this situation,  but the most important reason I use wood is so my hands do not hurt.  When my hands are hurting from working the yarn or computer use,  wood is warm and softer then metal.  The yarn won’t slip off as bad at plastic and metal.  Plus there is an amazing wood turner in Ohio that makes the most beautiful hooks and needles.  Go check him out!

Turn of the Century

The Hooks

SA50020711.jpg

The hooks come in so many different woods from around the world and sizes…even sizes that no one else has.  The smallest size is 3.75mm and the largest is 19mm.

The Needles

I use Clover bamboo knitting needles.  You can find them at any craft store that sells knitting supplies.  I got my double pointed needles from Bambooneedlegirl on Ebay.  She sells wonderful bamboo needles and Crochet hooks and I look forward to buying something from her for the third time.  Bamboo is so light that you hardly notice the needles in your hands sometimes.

The Cases

Both the Needle and Crochet cases are made by women in Vietnam so they can provide for their families.  Not only did I help them by buying both cases, but they help me out as well.  There is a place for everything and even a zippered pouch for everything else.  I am tough on my things sometimes so I added snaps to my cases,  but they do hold everything well.  Both cases are made of silk and are in the Jade/Chocolate color.  There are five other color combos and they are not expensive.  It was $25 for the Crochet case and $35 for the needle case.  Check them out below.

Lantern Moon

Crochet Case

SA50020511.jpg

SA50020411.jpg

Needle Case

SA500226111.jpg

SA50022411.jpg

My Summer Blanket

March 24, 2006

I started this in Aug. 2005.  It’s about five feet long now and I’m going for six.  So far I have used two huge balls of Joann’s Rainbow Boucle Yarn in “Berry.”  I’m about to start on my third.  I would love my blanket to be in expencive Alpaca,  but this yarn is $4.99 a pop,  it’s soft and I can wash it in the washer!

The whole blanket is done in double Crochet and is 100 stitches wide.  I used a 10MM hook.

SA5001941.jpg

Oh, self striping purple!

I came up with this scarf in August 2005 and it’s a pretty fast project if you understand how to do the chain stitch,  single and double Crochet.  They are simple and fast.  I have made this pattern simple to follow so that anyone just starting out (but who can do the three main stitches) can follow it.

SA5001971.jpg

Orange scarf done in Joanne’s Angelhair yarn

You can do this scarf in all types of yarn,  but you will have to make a sample to see how wide you want your scarf and how many holes you want to use.  The holes are just simple Filet crochet.  I also stitched in the back loop.  Doing this makes lines on the fabric as seen on the solid part of the scarves.  But back to those holes…

How many chain stitches should I make?

To know how many chain stitches to make for Filet Crochet,  you just have to keep adding three.  You start with four stitches and every three stitches equals another hole.

To explain this, I will simply give you the numbers.

4 Stitches=1 Hole, 7=2, 10=3, 13=4, 16=5, 19=6, 22=7, 25=8, 28=9, 31=10 and so on.

It looks sort of like this…double Crochet=”/” and 0=Chain Stitch.

/00/00/00/00/00/00/00/00/00/00/

On to the pattern…

  1. Lets say we wanted to do a scarf with six holes.  Chain 19 plus one turning chain…and turn.
  2. Now single Crochet and be sure that you have 19 stitches.  Do this for four or five rows (or longer if you wish) remembering to chain one before you turn.
  3. Here comes the holes!  Instead of chaining one on your last row of single Crochet,  chain 5.  This will give you three chains for turning (double Crochet stitches are longer then single) and two for the top of your first hole.  Now make your first double Crochet in the third stitch,  this means you will skip two stitches.  Now do two chain stitches,  and a double crochet into the third stitch,  skipping two stitches again.  See how you are making a square?  That’s pretty much it.  At the end of this row,  chain one for turning.
  4. Now back to single crochet!  Make sure you stitch 19 singles in this row.  I don’t know how many times I’ve had to pull out my stitches because of not doing enough or doing too many.  It can be hard to find the stitches when working with some yarn.  Don’t forget that last stitch (Part of the five chains to turn to do double Crochet) Three of those stitches need a single Crochet stitch in them so if you keep missing the count,  look there.
  5. Repeat until you like how long it is.  Don’t know how long you want it?  Wrap it around your neck!

SA5001831.jpg
Green Scarf done in Joann’s Angelhair yarn with white shimmer Crochet thread

To crochet with two strands of yarn or yarn and thread,  just hold them together.