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.

full

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.

close up

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.

full

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.

Afghan 36 – Tantalizingly Teal

I’ve made a lot of progress on this year’s teacher Christmas gifts.  I’m now trying to figure out which teachers will be getting one.  Since Willow started middle school this year I don’t know if I want to give each of both of the kids’ teachers an afghan.  Jarrett still has the three regular teachers.  He also has the music, PE, and computer teachers who are with the kids for all of elementary school.  The PE and computer teachers will teach them again in middle school, but the music teacher may not teach them again.  Willow has five teachers this year.  She and Jarrett will both have those same teachers next year.  If I give one to the six elementary teachers this year and wait until next year to give the sixth and seventh grade teachers afghans, I’ll give the eighth grade teachers theirs when Willow is in eighth grade.  I am thinking that would be the easiest way to do it, but Willow seems like she might be getting her feelings hurt if she doesn’t get to give any this year.  If that’s true, then I’ll be giving all of their teachers afghans this year.  I’ll try to do all of the regular teachers plus the three “once a week” teachers, but that would be eleven afghans to finish.  Currently I have six done.  (I need to get a few posted.)  If I skip the extra three I’ll only need to make two more.  Maybe I can get those teachers later?  Maybe I should think about this much earlier in the year.

 

Tantalizingly Teal is a very simple pattern.  I thought about doing the afghan all grey with red fringe or all red with grey fringe.  When I asked the kids which they thought would be better they said they wanted me to mix the two.  It’s an afghan that you have to hold to strands of yarn together while making it, so it’s one of each.  The similar pattern along with using the same colors makes this look very much like Rich Heather.

afghan

I don’t know if you can see the difference in stitches between the two, but I promise it’s there!

Tantalizingly Teal

Tantalizingly Teal

Rich Heather

Rich Heather

I do like the size of this one better than Rich Heather.  The length on Rich Heather was my fault.  I kept going until I ran out of yarn required in the pattern.  The width is from the pattern, though.

Tantalizingly Teal is sized perfectly to fit my queen size bed.

full afghan

I did only use red yarn in the Rich Heather afghan while I mixed red and grey in the fringe as well as the whole body of Tantalizingly Teal.  I think I like the solid red better.  Too much mixing kind of overdoes it.  I think these patterns are favorites around here.  They’re both big and heavy.  Perfect for cuddling up on the couch on these cold nights!

Afghan 34 – Warm Autumn Wrap

I’ve gotten a start on next year’s teacher Christmas gifts.  I only need to make enough three to have enough for my son’s teachers.  My daughter will be in sixth grade, so she will have the same teachers for three years in a row.  When Jarrett is in sixth grade and Willow is in seventh grade they will have the same teachers, so I’ll have them both do afghans as gifts to those teachers from both of them.  I may end up letting Willow give afghans to other school staff.  She was upset when I told her that I would only be making afghans for Jarrett’s teachers this year.  I can’t believe my daughter is so happy about something I do!!

I made Warm Autumn Wrap in the school colors.  The book has it in shades of Terra Cotta that are similar to each other.  Before I started making this I didn’t even realize it was a ripple afghan.  I thought it had a shell design.  With the colors being so much different from each other it’s much easier to see the ripple pattern.

close up

It’s pretty exciting to have one Christmas gift out of the way when today was the last day of this year’s school!  Now we can look forward to a couple of lazy months.full afghan

Afghan 29 – Christmas Trees

I have been unable to post for far too long. Mostly it’s because I haven’t actually finished an afghan in quite a while. I do have a few that are just so close to being done. I promise that I really have been busy! It wasn’t ALL due to me being lazy. (A lot of it was.)

Until the first week of July, my family spent most of our time preparing for the 4-H fair. This year both of my kids took market lambs. My daughter had a whether and decided to try a ewe this year. Their names were Betsey and Johnson. Both of my son’s lambs were whethers. Their names were Troy and Abed. It makes us super happy when people get those references. Overall they placed 5th, 14th, 17th, and 18th out of 20 lambs. To be honest, I was pretty glad to see Willow did not do as well as she had done last year. You learn more when you don’t win. All of the kids worked really hard, and I’m proud of all of them.
Jarrett lamb

Willow lamb

Willow did say that she will never get another ewe. Betsey trampled her a time or two and was much more difficult to work with than the other lambs. Both of the kids said they don’t want to take lambs next year. Willow changes her mind every few minutes about which animal she does want to take. The only thing we refuse is hogs. Jarrett says he doesn’t want to show any animal. He wants to take a science project. That’s perfectly fine, too. Although he was happy to do work in the barn, he never has been one to want to be in front of a crowd. I thought he was going to be sick in the show ring. He even told the judge he was not going to show lambs again. That made the judge smile!

We got both of the kids some good boots for the show ring this year. Willow had been wanting a pair of Justin Gypsies for a long time. We made her wait, because her feet grow so fast. She picked out a really cute pair.boots She fell in love with them. She had to keep them in her lap for the car ride home. Even when she fell asleep in the car, she kept her arms around the box!boot nap

I bought my husband a new lawn mower for our anniversary. (Yes, we’re country.) On July 4, he decided to let Willow cut the grass in the field. She loves cutting the grass! The only problem is that this lawn mower shuts off if the driver gets off the seat. She is so light that it shuts off every now and then if she hits a bump or anything. mower

The first day at the fair was Jarrett’s ninth birthday. Due to the timing of his birthday, the only celebration was that we got him an ice cream cake to share at the fair campground. (We have plans to go to an amusement park later when the crowds won’t be as bad.) He said that since it was he ninth birthday, it should have a ninth Doctor theme. He was so happy with it!

Have a FANTASTIC birthday

Have a FANTASTIC birthday

One of the big events at the fair was monster trucks. Jarrett enjoys the trucks. He likes the idea of the size of the trucks. Unfortunately, he does not like the noise. Luckily, we were able to see one of the trucks parked on a day before the show. He had me take his picture with it. We decided that maybe we’ll watch monster trucks on TV sometime with the volume low.
monster truck

All of the 4-H kids are allowed to take two projects each year. Jarrett’s second project was Safe Use of Guns. He had a blast working on it! He won second place. He does plan on continuing with something in the shooting sports next year. Willow’s second project was Pocket Pets. She took the sugar gliders for that. While we were there, the baby we’ve been waiting for came out of its mom’s pouch! (This evening while I was typing this, Josh brought it out to show me that it has just opened its eyes.)
sugar baby

These are things that have helped to keep me from crocheting and posting. Finally I will actually show you my afghan I finished. Christmas Trees is done in green, white, and red in the book. I tried to make it a little less Christmassy by changing the colors. I used Red Heart’s Paddy Green and Coffee and I Love This Yarn’s Pale Denim. I thought this would make it appropriate for a cabin-style decorating year round. Of course, everyone who has seen a piece of it instantly saw Christmas trees.
1234

Since it was made from 54 squares, it was a lot easier to carry around to work on it since I was working with three strands of yarn at one time.

forest

It’s not quite the Christmas look that they intended, but it does still make everyone think of the holiday. It will be good for napping on the couch during Christmas break.

Afghan 22 – Fall Splendor

You may remember my picture of a previous attempt at Fall Splendor:

20131113-192459.jpg

Even though I had a lot of issues, I did get a note from one of the hotel housekeepers for this one.

note
I still keep it in my suitcase to give me a smile.

Thanks to a tip from fiveboysmom, I was able to get this one done correctly. I just did not want to do my cluster stitches around the Fpdc on the other side of this one. That is how it had to be done. It is written that way. It makes sense. I just had some sort of mind block preventing me from wanting to do it that way. When I was doing it wrong, the reverse side looked and felt like those waffle weave blankets.

While I did get the stitches correct (I counted every row), I still messed up on this afghan. After getting about half way through it, it had gotten pretty heavy. The bulk of what I had done would fall off my lap. My stitches got looser. This is the reason that it did not turn out to be a perfect rectangle as it should have. Luckily, this was a gift for someone we love like family, so she seems to overlook its flaws!

finished

This is the last of the school afghans I had planned. This one went to the kids’ bus driver. She is also our neighbor, so it was okay that it wasn’t quite finished before the end of school. We still got it to her before Christmas.

I do have some of these colors left. I don’t know if I’ll go ahead and use them together or put them with other colors for afghans. You’ll find out shortly after I do.