Beauty and the Beast

Wow!  It’s been a whole year since I’ve been on here.  I’ve made a few afghans that I need to post.  I just got so busy that for months I didn’t even get to do any crocheting.  For a while I was working and going to school.  After that I worked two jobs and went to school.  Later I just worked two jobs.  Finally I decided that working so much took away all my “living” time, so now I just work one job.  Since quitting my midnights job I have made one afghan and am finally getting around to writing a post.  I need to get some pictures of the afghans I have finished.  As soon as I do that I’ll work on some posts.

One of the blogs I follow is called The Happy Hooker Blog.  She has some amazing graphs for knit and crochet. You can check out the graph for Inner Beauty at her blog.

When I saw this graph I couldn’t wait to try it.  I have a friend who’s favorite Disney movie is Beauty and the Beast.  I was so excited to see what she would think of this that it only took a few days to make this even though there were points where I had 8 skeins going at one time.

I love the way this turned out!  Usually when I do graphs they end up being way too small to be an afghan.  This one was large enough to cover my queen size bed without adding any extras to it.

For the rose I used a metallic fuchsia yarn, so it has a bit of sparkle to it like the one in the movie.  I used bright yellow for the main piece and café latte for the beast.  The vase is black.

Now I need to figure out which colors I want to use for her The Little Mermaid graph.  I want to make it.

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Daisy Granny Square

A few months ago a friend of mine sent me this picture and asked if I might be able to make it for her daughter.

inspiraion

I did a little research and found the pattern at this blog:  http://tillietulip.blogspot.com/2012/06/to-beg-chain-ch-5-and-join-to-form.html

If you want to make the afghan you can find it there, but you’ll have to follow a second link in the blog for continuing the block after the daisy in done.

She wanted the colors the same as they are in the picture.  I used Red Heart’s Bright Yellow for the center and White for the daisies.  I used I Love This Yarn’s Turquoise, Peacock, and Graymist for the other colors.  The textures are different, but I think it made the flower pop against the soft background.

close up

For the edging I used the shell stitch from this page:  http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/08/5-crochet-edges-you-should-know/?ext=Pinterest_Crocheting_OP_Blog_13_2016-02-01&maid=89998

edging

I made this afghan pretty long.  The girl for whom I made it is tall.  I wanted to be sure she could wrap up in it and feel cozy!

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This afghan has probably gotten more comments from people who’ve seen me working on it than any other I’ve done.  It got my granny’s approval!  She has been asking me for the pattern.

Afghan 38 – A Patchwork of Petals

This afghan took an extra long time, because I used scraps to make it.  When I was thinking about making it I had no intention of making the background white.  When I started working on it I had a lot of white available, so the background is white.  Back when I had 1,000ish WIPS laying around I had this started.

A Patchwork of Petals

This past week I was desperate for some yarn therapy, so I finished all 117 of those squares and got them together!  After finding out that an old school classmate had committed suicide, putting scraps together to make something warm and comforting was just the thing to do.

Bryan and I had been friends since Kindergarten.  Through most of elementary school we were pretty close friends.  We went to the same Bible school and were in T.A.G. together, so we pretty much got grouped together for a lot of things.  We started to drift apart through junior high school.  I switched to a different school for high school.  I saw him one last time at a graduation party.  He moved away and became Bryn.  This was one person where it just made a lot of sense.  She was more fitted to being Bryn.  When we were kids it was never an issue, because that just wasn’t anything near being on my mind.  Bryan was a friend and kind person.  While I never met Bryn, I just know that feeling was always there.  That’s probably why she was a good friend to a girl at a time when girls and boys didn’t play together so much.

Since this was not the first suicide attempt I had heard of for Bryn, it took a few times hearing the news for me to truly believe it.  When I saw Laverne Cox (of OITNB fame) post about her I Facebook I was shocked!  Laverne talked about how she had never met Bryn but was saddened by this.  It just goes to show that no matter who you are or what you might think of your life, people do care.

I’m not good at expressing myself when it comes to this sort of thing.  I’d like to tell about the best trip we took together as our T.A.G. group.  We went to the state Model U.N.  It was probably the most fun school trip we ever took!  Our little group was mostly friends, and we had been together since fourth grade.

UN

We were obsessed with the UNS kids!  We all wanted to be them.  One night we were all gathered in the same hotel room after activities and making a bit too much noise.  We laughed way too hard about the one UNS member who came to ask us to be a bit more quiet.  With the current situation I keep imagining the remaining members of the group to show up at her memorial tomorrow dressed as them and stand by the doors.  We could be the security for her memorial.

They were just too cool for words.

They were just too cool for words.

Why do I find an afghan of scraps so fitting at this time?  As children our lives were so intertwined that each memory of her that comes to mind makes me think of something else.  Lots of memories, both good and bad, have come to mind that I hadn’t thought about in years.  So many little scraps of my life have come together to comfort me.

Anyway, I took a different approach to put this afghan together than what is intended in the pattern.  I had several squares of the same color.  This was true for a few different colors.  The squares are supposed to be put together in random order.  I am absolutely the WORST at randomly choosing colors.  I laid mine out and chose a pattern for the colors before putting them together.  If I hadn’t done this I would have had clumps of one color in certain areas of the finished afghan.

The afghan is worked on an N hook using two strands throughout.  It ended up being a lot smaller than I had expected.

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The green camouflage-like color is from camel hair.  It started to get felted when I ran it through the laundry.  I’ll most likely keep this one for myself, so it’s not a problem.  I think it will add character as it changes.

closeup

I really like the way the joining is raised in front of each square.  Typically when I join this way (because it’s a lot easier than the sewing that’s recommended in most patterns) I have this stitching at the back of the afghan.  It makes it that much more interesting.

When I read the pattern for the edging I did not expect it to turn out looking like it did in the book’s picture.  Surprisingly enough, though, it did!

edging

The back is probably not a strong enough look to carry an afghan pattern on its own.  It doesn’t look bad, though.  It sort of reminds me of one of the patterns in Book 2.

back

Afghan 37 – Bold Winter Waves

In the book it is hard to actually see the waves in Bold Winter Waves.  The picture has the afghan hanging in a way that they are mostly blocked.  The most noticeable thing is that awful background color.  I had always thought I would do a black background with bright colors for the waves.  What ended up happening is that I asked my husband’s opinion on it.  He could not get that color out of his mind.  I decided that I would do the afghan in the colors of fall leaves with the background being the color of tree bark.  I used Café Latte as the background with Burgundy, Pumpkin, and Gold as the colors for the waves.  I absolutely hate the gold color yarn on its own, but I really liked it in this.  I loved the Burgundy against the Café Latte.  Unfortunately, I feel like the Pumpkin was a bit too bright for this afghan.  Josh had gone to buy my yarn for this and couldn’t find a better suited color for it.

closeup

I started by doing the afghan by following the directions and finishing off at the end of each color.  After doing each color once I decided to just hold the yarn off to the side.  The edging covered it, so it didn’t matter.  The only bad thing about this is that, since this is one of those afghans where I hold two strands throughout, I had 8 skeins of yarn hanging off of this the whole time.  The good thing is that this afghan was quick and easy, so it was finished in two sittings.

string

This afghan turned out to be one of my favorites that I have made.  It is so cozy!  I used Red Heart Super Saver as I usually do, but these colors were so soft and feel so nice done.  This will be a great one for sitting on the porch on fall evenings.

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I’ve officially changed the name of mine to Bold Autumn Waves.

Afghan 5 of 2 – Christmas Cover-Up

This is going to be the most annoying to write post I’ve done.  For some reason I keep losing the cursor on my laptop.  The good thing is that usually I can still work it by using the touchscreen.  It’s just hard to do some things that way with my fat fingers.  This is one of those times where I wish I understood computers better.

So I have finished this year’s teacher afghans.  Each of Willow and Jarrett’s regular teachers will be getting one for Christmas.  I’ll go back and get the three I had planned on getting this year another year.  Of course, after I thought I was finished Willow told me she has another teacher everyday.  She says it’s okay, because this teacher is only her teacher for this nine weeks.  It’s for RTI (which I still don’t know what that is), which changing each nine weeks.  I felt sick when she told me about her, but next year she will be one of Willow’s regular teachers.  School gets so confusing in middle school!

On top of all the teacher confusion, I have another new problem with my crocheting.  We are bottle feeding a baby goat.  Due to needing to feed him so often he is living INSIDE our house.  He has apparently decided that I am his mom.  He’s worse than a kitten about playing with my yarn!

George

He really wants to eat my yarn.  Since he enjoys watching car shows with my husband, he has been named for George Barris.  He drives me absolutely crazy, but he can be sort of cute sometimes.  The one way I’ve found to get him to leave my yarn alone is to let him cuddle on my lap.  It makes it a little more difficult to crochet with his head resting on my arm, but it’s easier than constantly pushing him off my stuff.

cuddly George

Christmas Cover-Up is a pretty simple pattern.  I found that it was not what I was expecting.  Before when I’ve done afghans with long double crochet stitches there has been an open stitch from placing a chain skip stitch where I was supposed to place the long double crochet.  Also, this is the first time I’ve done extended long double crochet.  I do not like those.  I have a feeling they’ll get snagged on things very easily.

no chain

Willow says this is her favorite afghan this year.

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I think this one should go to a math teacher.  The way the long double crochet stitches and extended long double crochet stitches are laid out looks like the marks on a ruler. I was so afraid I was going to miss a stitch somewhere and have those lines all squiggly.

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I went to get gift bags for these.  I like to use the reusable shopping bags for that, since they’re much sturdier and cheaper than actual gift bags.  Cracker Barrel usually carries great Christmas bags for this.  Unfortunately when we went there for the bags they were already sold out of Christmas themed bags.  They had some really pretty peacock bags.  We got some of those, but we’re still looking for a couple more.  Since Willow has three male teachers this year we are guessing they don’t want the girly bags.

Afghan 4 of 2 – Evergreen

Evergreen is an interesting looking afghan.  The pictures make it look a lot more difficult than it really is.  It’s basically a bunch of V stitches.  Now I’ve decided I need an afghan photographer.  Mine pictures just aren’t as impressive as those professionals.  Unfortunately I’d probably have to pay in afghans, so I’ll be doing my own pictures for the foreseeable future.

The picture from the book had this looking so thick and intricate, I was sure it would be a major headache to do.

closeup

When you look at it from the side it’s easy to see the V stitches.

side

This afghan is a bit smaller than most of the afghans I have made lately.  It doesn’t quite cover my bed.  It has a nice length.  I imagine most of these school color afghans will be used for football games, and no one wants a huge blanket for that anyway.

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It is a pretty neat looking afghan.  It could easily be made wider.  Since each row worked runs top to bottom it felt like I was working on it forever with very little progress.  I did finally get it finished after working through most of Thanksgiving and my church’s craft night.  Now I guess I have one more to finish for teachers this year!

Granny’s book – Buffalo Plaid

A while back my dad sent me a box full of his mom’s patterns and a couple of afghans.  My daughter instantly claimed the afghans.  I get to see them once in a while to wash them.  Her bedroom tends to be a black hole for afghans, though.  She asks if she can have just about every afghan that I don’t already have a plan to give to someone else.  Sometimes she’ll still ask if I’ll make another one like that for her.  I would gladly make as many for her as she wants, but she would not have room for anything else if I did.

One of the pattern books that he sent to me was this one.  It’s another book titled “A Year of Afghans.”  The other ones I’ve seen are Book 1, Book 2, and Book 3.  This one is simply “1997.”  Also it’s a hard back book instead of soft back like the others.  It is a Leisure Arts book like the others.

book

One of the best parts of this book is there are some pages where she used paper to save her place.  She wrote her shopping list for those afghans, so I know what color she was using for them!

I decided to do the Buffalo Plaid pattern from this book for a teacher gift.  It is one that uses two strands of yarn at a time, so it’s very heavy and warm.  With that in mind it takes a surprisingly small amount of yarn to make.  The book did it in black and red.  That looked great, but I went with the school’s red and grey.

One of the reasons I chose this pattern is that it looked so easy.  The pattern was simple to do, but each of the squares looked deformed while I was working on it.

square

The pattern is almost like a simplified granny square.  As easy as those are, you can imagine how easy this was.  The hardest part was doing the two strands and using a Q hook.  It’s hard for me to keep the tension the same doing that.

close up

Although it feels like this thing is HUGE, it does just fit my queen size bed.

full afghan

The only thing that looks really bad about this afghan is the back.  Since I refuse to do whipstitch when I feel like I can get away with slip stitching blocks together, that’s what I did.  It would probably work better in a smaller gauge.  It’s very visible in this.  It is hard enough to see it due to the colors matching that I was fine with doing this.

back

This is one of those afghans that Willow has asked that I make another one for her.