January 2018 … Yarn & Tea

When I realize that another month had flown by I initially thought to myself “It was a quiet crafting month.” Well as I gathered photos I see that it wasn’t. Time does fly when you’re having fun 😉

If you’ve read any of my post from the last few months you may have noticed that I’ve fallen in love with the waffle stitch. It’s so quick and easy yet has a beautiful and dramatic effect. The baby blanket that I finally finished was fabulous and sooo soft. In case I haven’t said it enough I really enjoyed making this one!!

love this waffle pattern @LavendarLadi Crochet Stitches and Butterfly Kisses (1)

I wanted to put an edge on it that complimented the geometric pattern.love this waffle pattern @LavendarLadi Crochet Stitches and Butterfly Kisses (2) I’m not a 100% happy with this one but I had to finish the blanket before baby arrived!

 

 

I had planned to make my co-worker some lightsabers to go with her Star Wars themed nursery but I just couldn’t get them to work. I wanted to give her more than just a blanket so I found this adorable baby hat for her. I used Red Heart So Soft. While the yarn was a bit of a pain to work with I adore the silky softness, perfect for a little Jedi’s head. 😉Hat for Baby @ Croceht Stitches and Butterfly Kisses

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After Christmas and into the beginning of January I had time to work on some scarves and a hat for me. Last Fall while shopping the yarn sale for Christmas projects this yarn called to me. The colour of this one reminds me of popcorn; white with a hint of butter. And OH MY it’s soft creamy silky velvety… like have a cloud wrapped around my shoulders.

 

so soft @ Crochet Stitches and Butterfly Kisses

so soft @ Crochet Stitches and Butterfly Kisses

So Soft set @LavendarLadi Crochet Stitches and Butterfly Kisses

You’ve seen that Meme? “Finds the softest yarn but no project/person is worthy!”

We’ll this scarf and hat are for me because I’m worth it. It’s my “Way-to-go-Me” to celebrate my 75lbs weight loss! (the last 2lbs came off over the Christmas holidays!)

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OH Did I share with you? For Christmas, I was lucky enough to get two yarn bowls and a yarn ‘bag’. While I adore my new ceramic one (My Aunt didn’t tell me where she purchased it.) My new wooden one is so very special. My hubby found a wooden bowl then carved the heart into it.

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reading pattern @ Crochet Stitches and Butterfly Kisses (1).jpg

I did decide to start again with the Sidewalk Shawl. I bought a new hook (the bamboo one above) and didn’t want to risk the shawl looking as if I’d used two different hooks.

I am enjoying the challenge of a more detailed pattern however it is definitely not a project to work on while watching (listening) to t.v.  I made a couple scarves because they’re quick and easy. Turns out the month that I thought I’d be resting my hook, I made three scarves, three hats (forgot to take a picture of the one I made for my mother-in-law) finished a baby blanket and started a shawl.

bit of blue (1)

Cake Scarf @ Crochet Stitches and Butterfly Kisses (2)

Looking ahead… I saw somewhere a program that will scan your photo then tell you what colours are in it. I’m thinking of doing this with my ‘icy’ photos to start a blanket. Earlier in the month when we were still very very cold. I had to venture down by Niagara Falls to snap some photos. The mist creates layers and layers of ice that sparkle. It’s my favourite time to visit The Falls.

Icy at Niagara Falls Canada @LavendarLadi (1).jpg

Icy at Niagara Falls Canada @LavendarLadi (1).jpeg

LOL like most of you I never have just one #WIP  What was on your hook this month? Please take a moment to link here so that I can enjoy your work! 🙂

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Gifts for your Crochet Yarn Artist

20160203_093202.jpgWith Valentines Day fast approaching I thought I’d help you out. Candy and chocolate are nice but they spend more time on our hips than our lips. Jewellery is always good. 😉  Stuffed toys are cute we tend to think…”I could crochet one just like that!” Which brings me to some suggestions.

So what gifts would be great when your love adores crochet? Allow me to make a suggestion or two. (Fellow yarn artists..please feel free to add to these suggestions!)

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This is a hobby that you need more than one of various items. The most obvious is yarn. We always need (yes NEED) more yarn.

yarn crochet and books

A bit of advice. Most projects need at least two balls of the same colour (and brand) of yarn so please gift at least two. Another important reason to give multiples is in many cases the yarn is dyed in batches (called lots) so the exact shade varies slightly by lot. So if they have to go back to the store to buy a second ball they may not get a matching dye lot!

I’m sure you know we prefer to work with soft yarn. But please do not be tempted to buy the ‘specialty’ yarn. It’s often difficult to work with and/or is appropriate for very few projects.

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For example… Bunny Tail yarn is cute but I have no idea what to do with it!

Now you’ve picked a couple balls of soft yarn… What do you buy with it? A new crochet hook is a good start. Look on the back of the package of yarn to find out what size.

hook size for the yarn

Most stores have one or two types of hooks. Perhaps you’ve noticed which your yarn artist prefers?P_20180114_125209_vHDR_On

Maybe they’re like me and enjoy a variety.

There’s no “best” hook. It’s all preference. Just start with selecting the correct size (see above).

Your yarn artist now has enough to make a project. But there are a few other items that make the process more fun (and easier)

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Scissors, measuring tape

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stitch markers, darning needle

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bobby pins – mark the line in a crochet pattern

A cute pair of scissors, a measuring tape, a darning needle and stitch markers are the little things that make each project go smoother!

And while we’re making things smoother…

Jagged nails and rough skin catch on yarn. When you’re working with the beautiful soft yarn you want your hands soft too.

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The added bonus of gifting these items to you yarn artist is they will make you soft, homemade, full of love pieces.

“When you show others love, you are shown, love. When you give love, you receive love.”
― Donald L. Hicks, Look into the Stillness

Products shown are from my personal collection. I do not have any connections with the companies.

gift summary signed

 

 

 

December 2017 ~ Yarn and Tea

I imagined myself posting this on time alas there is only so much one can accomplish in a month. Especially with a well-timed illness.

I was on the couch from Christmas ’til New Years but I’m feeling 90% better now. It was a well-timed illness because I finished all my Christmas crochet gifts, all my wrapping and cooking AND was just starting to feel icky on Christmas Day!!  I was fortunate to have absolutely nothing to do last week and could dedicate it all to being a sleepy, sick couch potato,

In December, I finished off the hats, made a couple other scarves. I didn’t get the last

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Waffle stitch baby blanket

baby blanket or the baby toys done because I won’t work on baby stuff when I’m sick. They’ll be the perfect way to start off 2018!

 

Over the past few months, I worked on several Christmas crochet gifts (pattern links) that started with a C2C shawl for my sister in July.

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I didn’t initially plan on making hats but when I experimented on my hubby I found a hat pattern that I liked for the guys. Then I found one a pattern for the girls.

It’s funny once I started the waffle pattern for the WIP baby blanket it seemed to pop up in other patterns I liked. Such as my Christmas scarf, the Urban Shell Scarf for the girls and their Alpine Nights hats.

After I made hats, scarves and cup cozies I filled little mason jars with candy or hot chocolate and topped with a plain version a pattern I found in the summer. {The holly embellishment was too big for these little jars.} I had finished my sister’s teacup coasters earlier in the fall. The pattern is one I listed in the pattern collection post.

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I hope that your December was full of yarn and joy!

I’d love to see what was on your hook! 

yarn n tea

November’s Yarn & Tea

Yumm, Sipping on some Sugar Cookie tea taking a break from decorating and crocheting to chat about my projects for the last month. It occurs to me that even with the long list of WIPs my hand hasn’t been hurting! For a while there I was starting to think about making those special baby blankets now because I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to crochet when I was blessed with grandbabies. I wonder what the difference is? I’ve lost a fair bit of weight/ changed how I eat… wonder if that is it?

Anyways… What was on your hook last month?

I’ve been working on hats this month. I’m excited about that because previous attempts didn’t work out. I’m enjoying the simple patterns that I’ve been using and that they work up so quickly. Partly because it’s nice to see a finished project but really it occurs to me that my nephews may lose the hats and since it didn’t take long to make I won’t be upset. LOL

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My son has been my model for these hats. He likes his hats snug but I’m not sure if his cousins will so for one hat I used the yarn’s recommended hook size and the other I used a size down. I did make the rounds two stitches shorter because the first hat was way too loose for a beanie. P_20171203_094135_vHDR_On.jpg

I’ve been using Red Heart Soft in Navy, Wine and Dark Leaf (sorry the colours in the photos don’t reflect this) The hat that was on the loose side I used a 5.5mm and the smaller one 5mm

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I’ve also been working on a Christmas scarf for me but it’s slow going because I had the brilliant idea to do thin-ish strips on a scarf. I’m torn about what to do when it’s long enough. The edges are not as smooth as I’d like so I could put an edge on to hide them but will that ruin the stripe effect?

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And then there are all the ends to weave in. If the yarn wasn’t so soft I may have abandoned this project. Or at least set it aside for next year. I’m going to finish it today.

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I’ll see how I feel when I get to “long enough” or the end of the balls. 😉

I only have a  two more hats to make for gifts. I may make scarves to go with the hats for my daughter and nephew’s girlfriend.

Plus we do a gift exchange game with all of our family. This year’s theme is homemade. The only tricky part is making something that everyone could use.

Perhaps I’ll make a bag holder?

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Cheers & Happy Holidays.

May all your WIP be finished on time and may

at least one of your gifts be new yarn!artist Scarletfoxfibers.jpg

 

 

Hats! I’ve made hats!

Funny the accomplishments that you’re excited about. 🙂 I’ve made infant/toddler hats successfully before but older children/ adults … not so much.

So I was very excited that my latest attempts worked! My first was a simple gray hat for

stitch marker

TIP: Always mark the first stitch in your round!

my hubby. The pattern is super easy! I used Men’s Chunky Stripe Beanie by Jenni Designs

Overall I find I crochet a little on the loose side, for this hat pattern. She includes a test pattern to check your gauge. Which is handy.

For my hubby, he picked Caron Simply Soft in Gray Heather. It makes a nice soft hat. This yarn is on the silky side for hats…. very floppy but he likes it. Even though the yarn isn’t chunky (it’s a medium/4) I found it worked well.P_20171122_090235_vHDR_On.jpg

I used the same pattern with a smaller hook (yarn recommends 5mm) for a second hat that fits slightly snugger. He finds it warmer.

I also used the Men’s Chunky Stripe Beanie pattern for this next hat. This time using Charisma by Loops & Threads in dark purple with black for accent. For this hat, I used the 8mm which is the recommended hook size. I find the hat very loose but my son says it’s ok, fit wise. I’m going to try a hook size down the next time. This yarn is described as bulky (5) so I thought that it would have worked better size wise.

 

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The other pattern that I used this month has more detail in its style. My daughter and nephew’s girlfriend will be getting these as gifts.

The Alpine Nights Beanie by Pattern Paradise has a slightly more advanced stitch (for beginners) but once you see how to do the fpdc / front post double chain (to make the waffle pattern) it’s another ‘quick to work up’ hat.

P_20171116_191922_vHDR_OnThe original pattern uses Caron Cakes but for this hat, I used the Caron Cupcakes, Strawberry Pie. This yarn is finer than the Caron Cakes. It’s a Light/3 weight yarn. It worked up very well and I had some yarn left over. I added the pompom that comes with this cute yarn but when we tried the hat on the pompom seemed too small.

 

This pattern has a companion pattern, the Alpine Nights Super Scarf. I’m loving the waffle pattern so I’m going to use it to complete the gifts.

I’m pondering making it into an infinity scarf. I’ll see what happens when I start it.

It’s nice to see results when crocheting. I usually make blankets, some of which I work on for months, so it’s very rewarding to see so many projects done in one month. Next weekend I’ll post about November’s projects in Yarn & Tea.

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