Sunday, January 27, 2008

Not Your Granny's Purse

This is a quick to make purse that would satisfy any girl that loves wearing the latest fashion that you stitched up. It's easy to make, too.

All you do is make two granny squares and join them on three sides with sc. I added beads and used a simple sc bead stitch. I used a solid color yarn and a multi color yarn switching back and forth for variety. I then made an icord using yarn and sewed it on. With a fabric liner hand stitched inside the bag it is ready to go!

It takes one evening in front of the tv set to get this bag all but finished. Sew the liner during commercial break and you can do the hand stitching while you finish watching the show and that is all there is to it.

Does it get any easier or faster than this? I doubt it. Be ready to make lots of these for all the little girls in your neighborhood. Good use for all those partial skeins you got laying around, too. You could even sell these and put the cash away for some romantic candlelit dinner with your husband for being so understanding of your 'needing to watch tv' all those nights.

Have a good one!

Your Sandi

Monday, January 21, 2008

Mr Ribbet

Materials List:

Caron Simply Soft, DK SAGE

approx. 4 oz

Size G/4mm hook

10 1/2 inches long and 5 inches wide

Gauge: 15 sc and 21 rows = 4 inches

Notes: Fits an adult size hand. You may go up or down a hook size without having to alter the pattern as written.

Inc sc is done by putting two sc into one st.

Dec sc is done by inserting the hook into one st, yo, pull up a loop, insert hook into next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, and pull through all 3 loops on hook.


Chain 20

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across. (19 sc) Turn.

Rows 2-20: Ch 1, sc in each st across. Turn. (19sc)

Rows 21: Ch 1, work 2 sc into first sc(inc), work one sc in next 17 sts, 2 sc into last sc(inc), Turn.

Row 22: Ch 1, sc in each sc across. Turn.

Rows 23-31: Repeat rows 21 & 22, ending with an inc row. DO NOT FASTEN OFF.

First Arm:

Beginning where you stopped on last row

Row 1: Ch 1, sc in first 6 sts. Turn.

Row 2: Ch 1, sc dec, sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st, Turn.

Row 3: Ch 1, sc in each st across, Turn. (6 sc)

Row 4: Ch 1, sc dec, sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st, Turn.

Row 5: Ch 1, sc in each st across, Turn.

Row 6: Ch 1, sc dec, sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st, Turn.

Row 7: Ch 1, 2 sc in 1st st, sc, dc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st, Turn.

Row 8: Ch 1, 2 sc in 1st st, sc in next st, dc in next 3 sts, sc in next 2 st, 2 sc in next st, Turn.

Row 9: Ch 1, 2 sc in each of 1st two sts, sc in next st, hdc, dc, trc, dc, hdc, sc, 2 sc in last st.


Second Arm:

Turn and work on opposite side beginning at edge. Attach yarn with a sc. Repeat as for first arm.


In the 19 unworked stitches between arms begin by attaching yarn with a sc in first unworked stitch next to an arm.

Row 1: Work sc across to next arm. (19sc)

Rows 2-11: Ch 1, work sc across. Turn. (19sc)

Row 12: Ch 1 sc in first 4 sts, then using FRONT LOOPS ONLY dc in next 3 sts, sc in BOTH LOOPS in next 4 sts, then using FRONT LOOPS ONLY dc in next 3 sts, sc in last 4 sts. Turn.

Row 13: Ch 1, sc in first 4 sts, sc in the unused loops from previous row and continue to sc across row. Push dc sts out of your way.

Row 14: Ch 1, sc in each sc across, pull the dc sts down out of the way--do not work them.

Rows 15-19: Sc across.

Rows 20-25: Work one dec at beg and end of each row.


The puppet is made from two pieces of identical shape. When making the second piece you only change the head by leaving off the eyes. Do this by working 19 rows of sc instead of following rows 12-14. Otherwise it is the same.

Put the two pieces together with Right sides facing out and work sc evenly around edges to join. Be sure to leave an opening at bottom for your hand.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Reverse the Sequence to achieve Basket Weave

To continue the basket weave pattern you simply reverse the sequence. That is, if you ended the previous row by working four FPdc, work BPdc instead. Thus, you are simultaneously working a horizontal block and a vertical one, depending on which side of the pattern you are looking at.
When you have completed the first row of blocks, alternate the order of the next row of blocks by working the following row of stitches in the same way as the previous row. Thus, if you finished that row with FPdc, begin the next row with FPdc.
By repeating the pattern rows as established you will achieve a warm and richly textured fabric that can be used to make sweaters, blankets, rugs, belts and more. You can use a variety of threads and yarns with this stitch.

Working a BPdc

For the horizontal block, the process is reversed. Instead of inserting the hook from front to back, you insert it from the back of the work to the front.
Wind yarn around the hook(YO) and insert hook between 4th and 5th dc of preceeding row, from back to front. Take hook over the 5th dc, then insert it between 5th and 6th dc from front to back.
Wind yarn around hook(YO), draw it through, there are now three loops on hook, and complete the dc in the usual way. This is called BPdc.
Work around each of next three dc in the same way, alternating the groups of horizontal and vertical stitches.

Working a FPdc

After completing your base row of doubles, turn the work and make three chains to count as first stitch.

Wind yarn around hook(YO) and insert the hook between the first and second dc from front to back.

Take hook behind the second dc then bring it to the front between second and third dc.

Wind yarn around hook(YO) and draw it through. You now have three loops on hook. Complete the double crochet in the usual way. This is called FPdc.
Work around next two dc in the same way.
These first four stitches (counting the turning chain at edge) will form part of the first vertical block.

Basket Weave Pattern Technique

The basket weave pattern is not nearly as complicated as it looks. The technique consists of working double crochets around each other, instead of working them into the tops of the stitches in the preceding row as you normally do.
In this way you form horizontal and vertical blocks of double crochet.
By alternating the placement of the blocks, you produce the basket weave effect.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Beaded Crocheted Belt

Materials Needed:
Steel crochet hook size 7 (U.S.)
Pony Beads-120 total
Size 10 Bedspread weight Crochet Cotton Thread, approx. 750 yds.

Guage: 8dc and 5 dc rows = 1inch

Stitches Used: Chain Stitch (ch)
Slip Stitch (sl st)
Single Crochet (sc)
Double Crochet (dc)
Front Post Double Crochet (FPdc)
Back Post Double Crochet (BPdc)

Special Note: Ch 3 counts as first dc

Row 1: Ch 21, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across, turn. (20sc)

Row 2: Ch 3, dc in each sc across, turn. (20dc)

Row 3: Ch 3, FPdc around each of next 3 dc, (BPdc around each of next 4 dc, FPdc around each of next 4 dc) twice, turn.

Row 4: Ch 3, BPdc around each of next 3 dc, (FPdc around each of next 4 dc, BPdc around each of next 4 dc) twice, turn.

Row 5: Rep Row 3

Row 6 & 7: Rep Row 4

Row 8: Rep Row 3

Rows 9 & 10: Rep Row 4

Continue in established pattern until belt measures 60" or desired length.

Last Row: Ch 1, sc in each dc across. Work 3 sc in last dc, turn belt so long edge is now on top, sc evenly across long edge, work 3 sc in corner, turn, sc in each sc across, turn, sc evenly across long edge, work 2 more sc in last corner, then join with a sl st.

Cut ten 24" strands of crochet thread. Put one pony bead on a strand and tie ends together in an overhand knot. Put 11 more beads on by passing knot through each bead. The first bead will hold them in place. Using crochet hook pull knotted end through short end of belt and tie it on with a double knot. Weave ends through sts in belt to hide. Repeat 4 more times on same end of belt and 5 times on opposite end.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Canvas!

I wanted to show you the front and back of this blanket. The front side is on the left and it is neat and has all these vertical lines that line up with each other. These help me to know if I dropped a stitch in the middle of a row. This can happen when you put the project down. Reminds me of my knitting days when that happens.
The back side is a lot like stockinette stitch in knitting. That is on the right side of the picture.
I folded the afghan over so you could see the front and the back at the same time. It is very easy to know which side is which.
I will continue to work loop rows and return rows until this afghan is the size I need it to be. I will embroider a picture on it when the time comes. It resembles a counted cross stitch fabric. If you look at yours closely you will see that the vertical lines have the perfect place to insert a tapestry needle into and they are a bit like squares. Works real good with cross stitching.
I make the 'canvas' for my cross stitching with the basic tunisian stitch. I can add a border or a ruffle with a regular crochet hook when I'm done. It is very nice to know that you can combine these two crafts to produce a true work of art!

Loop Rows and Return Rows

After you have put the loops on the hook(loop row) you made sure you pulled up a loop at the end of the row, you are now ready to take the loops off the hook(return row).
For the first loop at the end of the row, you YO and draw through the One loop, then you YO and draw through Two loops and continue to the end of the return row, where you are left with one loop on your hook.
The only time you yarn over and draw through one loop is at the end of the row. Otherwise you yarn over and draw through two loops.

How Not To Drop Stitches

This is where most people drop a stitch. Don't be one of those people. Make sure you always insert hook and draw up a loop in the last stitch. I used the red yarn for contrast to help you see what I'm talking about. I pulled the red yarn out when I finished taking the pictures.

How Not To Add Stitches

I'm making a big issue out of this for a reason. Most people that end up with too many stitches pick them up by inserting the hook in the first vertical loop. Don't be one of those people.
Insert the hook in the second vertical bar to get the correct number of loops/stitches in your work.

Two Loops on Hook

The picture shows where I have the added the second loop by drawing up a loop in the second vertical bar of row one.
Proceed to draw up loops through all vertical bars across, working right to left. Be sure to draw up a loop at the end.

Working the Second Row of Tunisian

It is important to note here that you never turn your work with Tunisian Stitch.

With that in mind, we proceed to row two. The picture shows the vertical loops left from row one. Insert the hook in the second loop of row one, YO and draw through. You now have two loops on your hook.

Working Basic Tunisian Stitch

This is your basic Tunisian stitch, aka afghan stitch, simple, knit and tricot stitch. Once you master this one, you should be able to do all the variations. More about these later.

First you need an afghan hook. I suggest you go with a larger size for your first lesson.

You start with a chain just like any other crochet you've done. Chain about 20 for this. Then you take your afghan hook and insert it into the second ch from the hook, yarn over (yo) and pull it through. You should have two loops on your hook now. Leaving this loop on the hook, proceed to do the same in the next ch and all the way to the end. DO NOT TURN.

Yarn over(yo) and pull through the first loop on the hook. YO and draw through the next TWO loops on the hook. You are now working from left to right. Continue to YO and draw through the next two loops on hook. The stitches are coming off the hook as you work them. At the end of row one you should have one loop left on your hook.

Watch your tension. You need to be as relaxed as you can be. Keep the tension loose enough on the yarn that you are not fighting it. If the yarn is too tightly stitched the project will tend to roll. Relax. You can do this. Go with a bigger hook if you have to.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Tunisian Crochet or Afghan Stitch

This form of crochet is perhaps the historical link to knitting. The hook that is used is much longer than your average crochet hook. It comes in different sizes. When it has a number assigned to the size, it is comparable to a knitting needle of the same size. When it has a letter representing the size, it is comparable to the crochet hook of the same letter.

The hook is so long because it needs to hold all the loops as you work the stitches. Each row is done in two steps--putting the loops on the hook and then taking them back off. It is worth the effort, in my opinion, as it produces a variety of textures not found in regular crochet.

For larger projects, such as a one piece afghan, the hooks are available with a cable attached to hold the extra stitches.

I will be covering the basic afghan stitch first. Are you ready? Grab your hooks and your yarn and lets get to stitching!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Can I Have a Drumroll Please

Ta-Da! I gathered all her hair up and tied it into a top knot. This is also known as an overhand knot.
I flipped her hair over to side and I swear she had a smile (or a triumphant smirk) on her face.
I shouted out with joy, the dog started running around in circles barking his fool head off, and with that The Doll Was Born! Yippee! Hurray!
Whew! What a job that was. Creating an original design is not the easiest thing in the world to do.
Feeling full of pride now. I proceed to post my pattern at In fact, you can go there and print out the entire pattern. It's a bit more professionally done on that site, I confess. But what the hey, at least here you can sit around and crochet and have a good laugh on (oops, I mean with) me.
And maybe, just maybe, you'll learn a trick or two. Okay, maybe not. But I hope that you had as much fun with this as I did. I'll see you later!
Your Sandi

Twelve Hairs

Well, now she has twelve hairs. I showed it to my son's wife. She smiled and said, "Cute! What is it?"
Oka-a-a-y. Guess I'm not quite done with her (the doll) yet!
I'm feeling tired and frustrated and I'm wanting to cry. Someone take away my creative license. Please. Maybe I should have went to the New Year's Eve Party afterall.
But wait just a minute. I'm no quitter. No Way! There is an answer to this problem and I just thought it up all by my lonesome.

First Hair is Attached

You know if I get any more detailed with the pics, I will need video. I'm not set up for that....yet. But I plan to be.

Detailed Pictorial For Putting on The Hair

This is just another picture to help you to 'see' what I'm doing.

You see I am preparing to yo(yarn over) using both strands of the yarn. I am going to pull both strands though the red loop. All the way through. Then I am going to pull on the two strands just enough to make it snug.

That is also how you do fringe on an afghan, only with fringe you end up doing this with quite a bit more strands. This is good practice for when you want to try something more complicated.

I did this with all twelve strands, across the top of the head.

She Needs Hair

It's time to put on the hair. Hmmm. Well, one way to do it is to appy each individual strand much like you would put on fringe.
I cut twelve pieces of yarn 12 inches long. Folded one in half and by using my hook I pulled the middle of this yarn through yet another un-used loop. These un-used loops are quite handy for attaching things to your crocheted items.

Tapping Into the Un-used Loops

I put the hook through the loop, and by yarning over (yo) and drawing the loop through I had the yarn attached with a slip stitch(sl st).
For this project, it didn't matter too much where I started out.
Now I proceed to ch 3 (chain 3) and that acted as my first dc (double crochet). Then I put a dc in every un-used loop after that. When I got to the corner, I just found a likely stitch to put my hook into and then I put 3dc into that one stitch. This is called an increase(inc). It needs to be there on the corner so that the skirt will look right when I'm done.
Now I turned the doll to do the same on the back as I did on the front. Dc in all the un-used loops, and three dc in the corner.
When I got back around to the original dc (which was actually a ch-3) I joined them together (tog) with a sl st (slip stitch).
Then, I ch 3 and dc in the same stitch (st) I joined in. I put 2dc in each st all the way around the doll and joined to the beg(beginning) ch 3 with a sl st. Then I finished off (FO).

Seeing the Un-used Loops

To be a boy, he was technically done. But....there was the name Granny's Boy and the fact that he was a bit on the square side. I was worried about him getting beat up to tell you the truth. The mouth with the ruby red lips was the final denominator that made me decide that as a boy he simply had too many issues.
He was going to have to be a girl.
Looking at him, I noticed that he had a line of un-used loops that I could tap into with my hook and make a skirt. Flipped him over and saw the same line of un-used loops on the back.
Well, all righty then, he was destined to become the girl he always knew he was. I should know by now that my projects know better than me what they ought to be. Don't force them to go against the grain, so to speak.

The Making of a Crocheted Doll

It started out to be a boy doll. I was going to name it Granny's Boy. But then I thought, "No, better not do that."

After stitching the two squares together, stuffing it with a sock (fiberfill would have come right out on this), I made two legs using single crochet(sc). I switched to the blue yarn at the end of a row and doubled the stitches (inc) for two rows and then finished it off (FO).

Embroidery was done using a tapestry needle and imagination. I knew it needed two eyes and the mouth. I've learned not to let my fear of making mistakes stop me in this business of crochet.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Crocheting Without Pain

I want to talk about crochet and pain. Yes pain. If you've crocheted as long as I have you have most likely experienced the two together.

Here is what works for me. Massage. Yes! With lotion. Take your time and put it all over your hands, in between the fingers, rub it in those areas that tend to ache the most. Do this before you get your hook out of your totebag.

Massage warms the area up and reduces the risk of pain before you even get started. Seperate those fingers, spread them out. It's good excercise and good therapy.

Shake those hands out. Gets the blood to flowing. Ball your hand up into a fist and then straighten your hand out. Rub your palms together.

Now your hands should be nice and warm and ready for that crochet project.

Need extra help with keeping the pain at bay after you've been crocheting for a bit? Take a break every 30 minutes to an hour and repeat the steps above.

You can also wear fingerless gloves. Or even a wrap for your wrist can help. They keep the warmth where you need it most.

If all this is still not enough to keep the pain manageable, then you might want to talk it over with your doctor.