Category Archives: crochet gifts

Yarn and Coffee – April

Welcome. Come on in. What can I get you to drink? Coffee, tea? Maybe an ice tea?

April has been a whirlwind month. Whole weeks have just disappeared!

I did finish my blue shawl for the Gala I attended. The yarn was a different dye lot but I couldn’t see a difference when I used the new balls.

 

I love this yarn. I used Vanna White Glamour in Sapphire. A stunning yarn full of sparkle. It’s hue changed with the light. Everything from a midnight blue almost black next to my black dress to a bright ocean blue in the sunlight.

 

I think the darker yarn and not taking the time to block it gave my shawl a different look from the original pattern.  I do want to try Fortune’s Shawlette  again. This corner to corner pattern worked up quickly and I’d love to see it in a different colour.

Then just before Easter when it was time to deliver the Sherbert and Cream blanket. My friend asked for a media pouch to be made. She was giving the blanket to her cousin’s little girl and wanted a gift for another child.

This was the first time I added a zipper to my work. It felt kind of awkward. I think if the occasion arises in future I’ll plan better. I think sewing the zipper in first then finishing the pouch would have been better.

Then it was time to pick up our daughter from university.  I just didn’t believe how quickly her first year would go. In September it felt like she’d be away for an eternity.  When we got up there to get her she was still sick and no help packing her belongings. Which wouldn’t have been bad expect her room is a city block over and 4 flights of stairs up from the doors.

Since she’s been home I haven’t picked up a new project. I think in May I’ll work on finishing a couple of my half done projects.

What was on your hook this month?

Jack Skellington ~ C2C Blanket

Whew! I finished it in time! It took me most of my free time over the past 7 weeks. This Jack Skellington blanket is a gift for our son who is turning 16 very soon!

jack-skellyington-c2c-crochetstitchesbutterflykisses-1With the frequent colour changes I had a lot of ends to weave in. That got done as I worked the blanket simply because I couldn’t stand the mess!

I’m so glad that the inspiration to use the Corner to Corner pattern/stitch came to me because it was perfect for this project.  I don’t think I would have finished in time for my son’s birthday if I had done a traditional row by row pattern.  I wrote last month about making this pattern for the Jack blanket. For the edge; a straight stitch didn’t seem to go with the theme so I alternated between a single and a double stitch. It created a kind-of wonky, off beat edge.20170224_143902

Simply Soft by Caron was picked for the blanket because of the texture. I think if the texture wasn’t so important, I would have liked a ‘sturdier’ yarn for this big of a project.  Yet it is hard to feel any regret about my yarn choice. Caron’s Simply Soft is such a pleasure to hold for this many hours!

I’m often asked how long it takes to make.  I didn’t keep track of exactly how long it took me; I estimate that I was crocheting for around 70 hours. I also didn’t note how many balls of yarn I used!  (guess-timate 5 or 6 white and 2 or 3 black).  I do know that as with all my, blankets the spaces between the stitches are filled with love.

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Do I wait ’til his birthday to give it to him or shall I let him watch t.v. with it tonight?

nightmare-before-christmas
This blanket was inspired by Tim Burton’s movie.

#CreativePeopleProblems ~ The error

While I enjoy challenges and variety in my crochet projects my all time favourite projects are baby blankets. No matter how straight forward of a design they always feel special.

I was happy to create this blanket for a lady at work who is eagerly expecting her a sister for her son.  Having lots of blue and neutral blankets already, she asked for a pink and white blanket. She was thrilled when I gave it to her last week.

mrs-ls-baby-girl

If she wasn’t due soon I wouldn’t have given it to her. I was that tempted to either undo the whole thing or make a new one.  As I was taking photos so I could share my work I saw IT.

Arrrr I must have used a different hook when I started this blanket. That’s all I can see every time I look now.  #creativepeopleproblems

different-hooks

On track with Jack Skellington blanket

Whew! I knew that I wanted to make a blanket for my son’s 16th, since I made a blanket for my daughter’s 16th. It’s been a creative challenge for me in many ways.

First finding a subject that spoke to who he is, what his interests are; took some time. He likes superheroes, their villains and ‘antiheroes’ but he found the patterns too ‘baby-ish’  He enjoys sports but again, none of the designs seemed right. At last, he decided that Jack Skellington would be a good theme. When I found a pattern it was a friendship bracelet design. Jack blanket attempt one

I toyed with a few ideas on how to turn the pattern into a bed sized blanket for a teenaged boy. At first, I thought I’d make a bunch of 2″ squares but the thought of sewing that many squares together was a bit overwhelming.  I then sat down and figured out how many double crochet stitches across / down would be needed so I could just go row by row (like a traditional blanket.)

I even had a start on the traditional style blanket before the holidays. However, I found some C2C blankets by RepeatAfterMe.com and I had my “ah-HA” moment. I watched a few videos, in particular, the how to make a Corner to Corner scarf by Crochet Crowd, were very helpful.

I printed the pixel pattern and added squares along the edges to make the pattern wide enough for a blanket. {It’s more of a long lap blanket.} The pattern I found didn’t have squares that are regular graph paper size so I had to draw the squares.  In the Crochet Crowd’s video, he talks about a website that will help you create patterns but that wouldn’t work for this design so….

C2C Pattern
C2C Pattern

Once this was done I could count the number of each colour squares in each diagonal row. I also noted up and down and where I would only be growing one side to create a rectangle vs the traditional C2C square.

I’m finally enjoying the journey for this blanket and feeling the pressure. I have just over a month to finish it before my not-so-little-man turns 16. I hope I’m as proud of this blanket as I am of him!

C2C Jack Skellington - in progress by Crochet Stitches and Butterfly Kisses

C2C Jack Skellington – in progress by Crochet Stitches and Butterfly Kisses

I have to weave those ends every few rows because it looks so messy and confusing!
I have to weave those ends every few rows because it looks so messy and confusing!

Feeling creative inspiration

Like slipping into a warm bubbly bath and that “ahhhhh” feeling. I found inspiration for my son’s birthday blanket.

I had previously thought I’d do it row by row and even spent the time to figure out how many stitches for each row to make the pattern. While I’m proud of all the work I put in to figure this out… the project itself seemed so big.

While flipping through Pinterest I decided to look at some of the videos for the C2C / Corner to Corner blankets. And VOILA I found some inspiration.

I think the project size and the thought that the end product would look “ok” not ‘wow’ like my daughters (Doctor Who / birthday blanket) feed my procrastination.

beginning of Jack Pattern
start of Jack blanket

After seeing the cute ‘picture’ blankets on Pinterest I realised this is the look I want for my son’s Jack blanket.

Well I should go throw a load of laundry in, make a cup of tea and get started on my son’s birthday blanket.

 

 

Yarn and Coffee Share .. ends and beginings

If we were having coffee I’d be flipping through Pinterest and showing you some cute ideas that I’ve seen. Yep, always looking ahead. It’s rare that I completely finish a project before I start my next.  And this week is no exception.

20160814_104457 I’m not quite finished my fall sport-watching wrap but I’ve started my son’s blanket. I’m making a Jack Skellington blanket for his 16th.

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I have the yarn on my desk trying to prompt myself into making more maple leaves for Project Maple for Canada’s 150th . I love the colours; they’re perfect for these leaves; but the yarn is scratchy.

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It’s been a quiet week yarn wise.  I’ve been watching the Olympics and cheering for the Olympians. It’s just amazing that 4th is less than a blink in time from first. While I cheer for the Canadians a little louder, it’s awesome to see such dedication in motion from all the athletes.

What have you been doing while working on your yarn projects? Do you have your next project (or three) planned?

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Special thanks to Part-Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare for inspiring this Yarn & Coffee Share.

Yarn and Coffee Share… first week of August.

If we were having coffee my cup would be surrounded by yarn scraps, markers, paper and pencils.

This week I finished spirit wear scarves for my daughter and her spirit wearboyfriend. I’ve been working on that wrap, that’s in the school colours for my son’s football games. {I learned last year football games mysteriously bring about the cold winds and rain even when it was a beautiful Fall day.}

I’ve also decided on the blanket I’m going to make for my son’s 16th birthday. I found a pattern for Jack Skellington that I like. However it is a friendship bracelet pattern. So first I’ve had to scale it up so that it’s blanket size and determine how many stitches per square.

beginning of Jack PatternI have a back up plan just in case this didn’t translate well. I can make 2″ granny squares and sew them all together but since the blanket is for a 5′ 11″ boy I rather not sew that many squares !!

I’ve also started to make a few coffee cup cosies. So far just one for my daughter and a halloween-ish one. But I’ve seen a lot of other cute patterns. I like these types of projects. They make great stocking stuffers.

What’s in your basket of yarn art this week? Fall decor? Christmas gifts? Winter warmth?

 

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Special thanks to Part-Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare for inspiring this Yarn & Coffee Share.

My first amigurumi ~ Baymax from Big Hero 6

My first amigurumi !  I was so nervous. Would it turn out ok? Would he like it? Is it nerdy enough that my 17 yrs old nephew would like it or will he label it “just a stuffed toy”?

I know he really likes Disney movies and Big Hero 6 is one of his Big Hero 6 ~ Disney ~ 2014favourites but…

Amigurumi ~ The phrase itself really encompasses the entire knit and crocheted stuffed toy genre. The first part of the word means knit OR crochet (yes, both!) and the second part means stuffed doll/toy. Essentially, it means “knit/crocheted stuffed toy friend!” (source: Craftsy.com  What is Amigurumi? by Lisa Gutierrez )

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Following the pattern I found at Nicole’s Nerdy Knots wasn’t hard. It did take more concentration that I anticipated. I couldn’t watch t.v. and count rows/stitches 🙂 Stitch markers as a MUST.

Also, I found I tried to rush the assembly too much. I strongly recommend watching the tutorial video before assembling and watching it again as you put the pieces together.

Bayomax 1 (1)

Thank you to Nicole’s Nerdy Knots for this pattern and tutorial. My nephew loved it!

Patternhttp://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baymax-2

Assembly tutorialhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX4v4c_yLy0

 

 

Off my hook in 2015

Last year I pondered making a mood blanket in 2015. Perhaps 2016 will be the year for that. I know it’s going to be one of those “big years” but what I don’t know is what will strike my fancy for crocheting!

Can’t love what you’re making? Love who you’re making it for.

A friend asked me to make a hat set for her daughter and her daughters elves. I told her that I have yet to make a hat ‘successfully’. But she had faith that I could create something that she would like.

After many tries with various patterns, I finally ran out of time and had to give her my last attempt.

The hardest part is she had a hat in mind that didn’t have a pattern. So I now had to figure out how to make a hat and find a pattern that was close to what she wanted. I don’t think I succeed but she’s kind and said it was lovely. It was so much bigger than I imagined. My daughter says that because I’m not used to slouch hats.    20151124_100129

This project really hit home for me why I crochet. It’s the creative process that I enjoy. I like the colours and textures. I like figuring out the patterns.  It’s the joy of making it.

Having to make something that was picked by someone else by a specific time was work. I don’t think I could have finished this project if it wasn’t for someone I really liked. ( I was excited to find a project to use these adorable button with!!)

She asked for a slouch hat, a scarf and mittens plus matching hats/scarves for her daughter’s elves.

The rest of her order worked up well. I had fun creating tech covers. And I loved the yarn and pattern for the toddler/infant sets. Overall I was excited to create projects for this friend and was honoured that she asked me to make these for her. I hope her daughter enjoys them!

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by CrochetStitchesandButterflyKisses.wordpress.com

The pattern for the slouch hat was easy to follow. You can find it at Cats-rockin-crochet.blogspot.com.au

The infant/toddler set’s patterns can be found in the post linked above.

The pattern that I used to make the scarf can be found at ravelry.com/patterns/library/no-holes-baby-blanket

I made some slight changes to the mitten pattern found at redheart.com/free-patterns/crochet-mittens-all

For the mittens: I shortened the cuff by a few stitches and did 20 rows for the cuff. Which meant 20 stitches for the round that creates the hand part. From their I followed the pattern for child (adjusting for the extra stitches.) I did this because the child’s size is too small and the woman’s is too big for a 10 yrs old girl.