## Saturday, June 14, 2008

### Alright, here's a formula...

Okay, so it seems that this lace pattern is a mite trickier for many than I had expected. So, I'm going to try to make it a bit easier so that all you have to do is plug in the numbers, and voila! There ya go!

So, the fan begins with an open shell in its first row, no? Then, the next row of the fan is (dc, ch 1) in each dc and ch-1 space of the first row. The third row is (dc, ch 2) in each dc across the fan, then another row of (dc, ch-1) in each dc and ch-2 space. The fourth row is the foundation row for the shells, alternating between skipping dcs and placing scs in every 2nd ch-1 space. Clear as mud so far?

As the fan pattern repeats, the number of each fan should increase by one. The first fan is made at the beginning of the pattern. Then, the next time open shells are worked there are two fans; the next time, three, and so on. Each new fan is worked between two fans of the previous set. Between each fan are closed shells, which finish off the fans below.

The number of shells between fans diminish by one each row, until there is one shell left between fans. The following row should be a whole row of shells, then following that row would be a row that begins with either a half-shell or sc, then an open shell, and ends with an open shell and half-shell or sc (depending on which repeat you are working).

Between each shell (no matter the type) and fan, there will always be an sc placed in the 3rd dc of the next shell (except during the second set of fans, where there is a dc2tog, skipping the sc. This is the only exception).

As I have previously mentioned somewhere in a post on Ravelry in the CAL group, I don't believe in mistakes...That's one reason I despise counting with a passion, as I tend to "eyeball" it and make a guess as to placements. Someone in the group mentioned in her projects page that she's enjoying watching this shawl grow organically, and I think that's the whole point of this exercise. This shawl does seem to be organic, and if it seems "off-balance" on some rows, it will inevitably even itself out on the next repeat. Rest assured, it turns out to be symmetric ( *wink* to those of you who constantly need balance!) despite its apparent tendency to be asymmetric. That's the beauty of this pattern. I've enjoyed putting the whole thing together, and crunching the estimations (if I were to say numbers, it would imply that I'm doing row counts, which I don't do :-P ) has been a lot of fun.

A couple of the gals asked me about an edging, which may not be necessary around the body of the shawl, but may be quite necessary if using a fine yarn such as a lace-weight (turns out, I'm using a light fingering, which is bigger than lace. Since I'm not a spinner--yet--I had no idea. I apologize to those who knew better!! :-D ). You can simply work slip stitches across the top of the shawl, or work scs. I wouldn't use a shell edging due to the shells that are all throughout the body--it would prove to be a bit much.

My goal this week is to put all these notes of the last couple weeks--plus YellowDuckie's charts, if she'll let me--into one comprehensive .pdf, which would be downloadable from Ravelry (once I get set up for that), and I'll also post the link here on my blog, perhaps on a sidebar.

I hope this mini-tutorial helps. Basically, this pattern is more of a guideline, and you may do what you want with it. Think outside the box, per se, and be willing to broaden your horizons. Forget about stitch counts, row counts, etc., and if it looks a little wonky, so what? See if you can balance it out with another repeat if you have the yarn. Once I'm finished with my own shawl, I'll try to post pics of it so everyone can see what it may look like.

Well, I'm heading off now. We are going to attempt to attend the Rose Festival at the Park of Roses in Clintonville this afternoon. Might try to take pictures, but we'll see. We all know how great I am at posting pics here. *tongue in cheek* God bless!

## Thursday, June 05, 2008

### Laceweight Mystery Shawl CAL, Parte Deux

Hehee...I'm excited! I finished the shawl pattern much earlier than planned, and I'm not going to tell anyone in the Ravelry group...Just gonna see if y'all happen to notice! *grin* Anyway, would you like the next set of instructions? Yes? GREAT!

Here ya go!

Begin repeating rows: (asterisks {*} should only be used on repeat rows, not during the first time these rows are worked)

Row 17: Sc in same st as turning ch, open shell in next sc, (sc in 3rd dc of next shell, shell in next sc) 4 times, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, open shell in next sc, *(sc in 3rd dc of next shell, shell in next sc) 5 times, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, open shell in next sc; rep from * to last fan segment, (shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell) 4 times, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, open shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, 3 dc in last sc. Ch 1, turn.

Basically, work the shells across in this row until you come between the finished fan segments, where you add an open shell.

Row 18: Sc in same st as turning ch, sk next 2 dc of 3-dc group, (dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 4 times, dc in next dc, (sc in 3rd dc of next shell, shell in next sc) 3 times, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, *(dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 4 times, dc in next dc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, (shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell) 4 times; rep from * across to last fan segment, (dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 4 times, dc in next dc, (sc in 3rd dc of next shell, shell in next sc) 3 times, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, (dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 4 times,dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in last sc, ch 5, turn.

Row 19: Ch-5 counts as (dc, ch2). (Dc in next dc, ch 2) 8 times, dc in next dc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, (shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell) twice, *(dc in next dc, ch 2) 8 times, dc in next dc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, (shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell) 3 times; rep from * across to last fan segment, (dc in next dc, ch 2) 8 times, dc in next dc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, (shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell) twice, (dc in next dc, ch 2) 9 times, dc in last sc. Ch 4, turn.

Row 20: (Dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 1, dc in next dc, ch 1) 9 times, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, sk next 2 dc of same shell, *(dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 1) 8 times, dc in next dc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell,(shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell) twice; rep from * to last fan segment, (dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 1) 8 times, dc in next dc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, (dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 1) 9 times, dc in 3rd ch of turning ch. Ch 1, turn.

Row 21: Sc in same st as turning ch, ch 1, sk next dc, (shell in next dc, sk next dc, sc in next ch-1 sp, sk next dc) 6 times, shell in next dc, ch 1, sk next dc, *sc in 3rd dc of next shell, sk next 2 dc of same shell, shell in next sc, sk next dc, (sc in next ch-1 sp, sk next dc, shell in next dc, sk next dc) 5 times, sc in next dc, (shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell)twice, shell in next sc, sk next dc, (sc in next ch-1 sp, sk next dc, shell in next dc, sk next dc) 5 times, sc in next ch-1 sp, shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, shell in next sc, sk next dc, (sc in next ch-1 sp, sk next dc, shell in next dc, sk next dc) 5 times, sc in next ch-1 sp, sk next 2 dc, 3 dc in top of turning ch, ch 1, turn. In repeated rows, continue making shells across the row in the same manner, ending with the 3 dc in the turning ch, ch 1.

Rep Rows 17-21 until shawl is size desired. Finish off, weave in ends.

Oh, yeah, here's the kicker...Can anyone guess what the following are?

1) The name of the stitch pattern used
2) The name of this shawl. ^_^

Yeah, I know. I'm evil. But, y'all love me, right?

## Friday, May 30, 2008

Okay, there are actually two more rows that I had typed up in this blog, but Blogger was starting to cry at the length of my last entry, so here are rows 15 and 16:

Row 15: Sc in same st as turning ch, ch 1, sk next dc, (shell in next dc, sk next dc, sc in next ch-1 sp, sk next dc) 5 times, shell in next dc, ch 1, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, ch 1, (dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 1) 8 times, dc in next dc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, ch 1, sk 2 dc, (shell in next dc, sk next dc, sc in next ch-1 sp, sk next dc) 6 times, sk next dc, 3 dc in 3rd ch of turning ch, ch 1, turn.

Row 16: Sc in same st as turning ch, (shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell) 6 times, ch 1, sk next sc, (shell in next dc, sk next dc, sc in next ch-1 sp, sk next dc) 5 times, shell in next dc, sk next dc and sc, ch 1, (sc in 3rd dc of next shell, shell in next sc) 5 times, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, 3 dc in last sc. Ch 1, turn.

At this point, the shawl should be about the size of a collar. Yes, there will be "ripples" in the fabric, as well as a scallop-y shape in the center of the neckline. Another set of curves should be starting.

Until next time...

### Mystery Shawl CAL :-D, Part I

Hehee...two blog entries in two days! How cool is that?! Anyway, there are some gals at the CLF on Ravelry who are literally itching to get their fingers going on this mystery shawl. So, let's get going!!

All you need (so far as I know) is the equivalent of 3 balls of Paton's Lacette (a laceweight yarn), which is a total of 705 yds./645 m., plus a G/4.25mm crochet hook (or, you can go larger if you want an even more lacy look).

Instructions:

Row 1: Ch 5, (dc, ch1) 3 times in 5th ch from hook, dc in same sp, ch 4, turn.

Row 2: Turning ch counts as (dc, ch 1). (Dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1, dc in next dc, ch 1) across, dc in next ch-1 sp, dc in 3rd ch of turning ch. Ch 5, turn.

Row 3: Ch-5 counts as (dc, ch 2). (Dc in next dc, ch 2) across, ending w/ dc in 3rd ch of turning ch. Ch 4, turn.

Row 4: Ch-4 counts as (dc, ch 1). (Dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 1, dc in next dc, ch 1) across, ending w/ dc in 3rd ch of turning ch. Ch 1, turn.

Row 5: Sc in same st as turning ch, ch 1, *sk next dc, 5 dc in next dc--shell made, sk next dc, sc in next ch-1 sp; rep from * across, ending w/ sc in 3rd ch of turning ch. Ch 3, turn.

Row 6: 2 dc in same st as turning ch, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, [(dc, ch 1) 4 times, dc] in next sc--open shell made, (sc in 3rd dc of next shell, shell in next sc) twice, open shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, 3 dc in last sc. Ch 1, turn.

Row 7: Sc in same st as turning ch, sk 2 dc, (dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 4 times, dc in next dc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, sk 2 dc, (dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 4 times, dc in next dc, sc in top of 3rd ch of turning ch, ch 3, turn.

Row 8: (Dc in next dc, ch 2) 8 times, dc in next dc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, sk next 2 dc of same shell, (dc in next dc, ch 2) 8 times, dc in next dc, dc in sc, ch 3, turn.

Row 9: (Dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 1) 8 times, dc2tog--skipping the sc in the middle--(dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 1) 8 times, dc in next 2 dc. Ch 1, turn.

Row 10: Sc in same st as turning ch, ch 1, sk next dc, (shell in next dc, sk next dc, sc in next ch-1 sp, sk next dc) 11 times, ch 1, sc in last dc. Ch 3, turn.

Row 11: 2 dc in same st as turning ch, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, open shell in next sc, (sc in 3rd dc of next shell, shell in next sc) 7 times, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, open shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, 3 dc in next sc. Ch 1, turn.

Row 12: Sc in same st as turning ch, ch 1, (dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 4 times, dc in next dc, (sc in 3rd dc of next shell, shell in next sc) 3 times, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, open shell in next sc, (sc in 3rd dc of next shell, shell in next sc) 3 times, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, sk next 2 dc in same shell, (dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 4 times, dc in next dc, sc in 3rd ch of turning ch. Ch 5, turn.

Row 13: (Dc in next dc, ch 2) 8 times, dc in next dc, (sc in 3rd dc of next shell, shell in next sc) twice, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, sk next 2 dc of same shell, (dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 4 times, dc in next dc, (sc in 3rd dc of next shell, shell in next sc) twice, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, sk next 2 dc of same shell, (dc in next dc, ch 2) 9 times, dc in next dc, ch 4, turn.

Row 14: (Dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 1, dc in next dc, ch 1) 8 times, (dc, ch 1) in next ch-2 sp, dc in next dc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, sk next 2 dc of same shell, (dc in next dc, ch 2) 8 times, dc in next dc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, sk next 2 dc of same shell, (dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 1) 9 times, dc in 3rd ch of turning ch, ch 1, turn.

## Thursday, May 29, 2008

### Yay! Second Update in a Week!! Woohoo!!

Hehee...I'm ecstatic because I finally remembered to come here to update a lot sooner than last time. Just in the past week, there's been a lot that has gone on, so I'll update what I can think of.

I have a friend who is working in India. I've been reading his blog, and he has a couple prayer requests. One is that his visa to India states he needs to be out of the country for a certain amount of time at the end of July or he loses his privileges of being in the country (at least, I think that's how it works). He was going to meet up with friends in China when they were to come and tour certain provinces, but in light of the political spectrum, Americans are having a difficult time meeting their now stricter regulations to obtain tourist visas. I guess it's also more expensive to travel to some of the other neighboring countries, and my friend is lacking funds. Please pray that he finds a way to not lose his visa. Which also brings me to his other request, and that is funding. I'm not sure if he's found a second job to help pay for things, but he has stated in one of his last entries that he could use some financial support. Please pray that funding comes to him, whether by conventional or unconventional means. If you know me (either on Ravelry or Crochetville or IRL) and would like to know more, please email or pm me and I can send you the link to his blog. He has some incredibly beautiful pictures of the Indian countryside and local festivals, and I can guarantee you won't be disappointed.

For those of you who have been following along this past year, I have continued to copy the Bible. I took a couple months' haitus toward the end of my pregnancy and during the first month or two after dd2 was born, but now I'm back at it. Unfortunately, like this blog, I only get to it when I can. I'm on chapter 21 of Proverbs, and when I need a break from it I've meandered to the New Testament and some of the shorter books of the Old. I don't remember what I posted before, but this is what I've accomplished thus far in my copying: the book of Ruth, the book of Esther, Song of Songs (aka, Song of Solomon), 2 John, Proverbs 1-20, and the Letter to the Colossians. I'm about half-way through Proverbs 21, and only have a few chapters left of Proverbs to go before I do another book. I need to start praying about what book to copy next.

Yay! I have my flute back! I got it back yesterday, and purchased a new silver polishing cloth to keep it shiny. I'm still working on the cover for the case, and I played with the latches while still in the store and yes, there is a lot more play in them than I originally thought. Good thing I tend to keep it in an attache case with my music and recorders, eh? While at the store, I browsed the sheet music and found some I might get later down the road. There was a collection of flute pieces by Telemann which would be lovely, as well as a Celtic collection, which, while it doesn't appear to be too technically difficult, could be stylistically challenging. Also, there was a fresh copy of the Bach sonatas I have, which I had purchased years ago while in college but is currently falling apart; I might give it a go and restore some of the pages with acid-free tape, or purchase another copy, since it was only \$10.95. Oh yeah, a funny about while we were still in the store...We were the only customers there (they're usually hopping in the evenings and weekends), so the salesman turned on an electric keyboard so dd1 could explore it while I browsed the music. As I was returning to her, she accidentally hit the "Demo" button and the music started playing quite loudly. She screamed, and ran to me, crying. Of course, I was laughing so hard, but I had to explain to her it was just like her toy piano at home that her aunties had got for her birthday, which also has a demo button with lots of songs to be played. Once she understood this, she immediately stopped crying and started dancing. Oy. Life with a 2 1/2-year-old is never dull.

For those of you anxious about starting the laceweight mystery shawl, it's coming along quite nicely, though still more slowly than I had originally planned. I just told the CLF group on Ravelry yesterday that my aim is June 2nd, but I don't think I'm going to make that self-imposed deadline. However, for those of you who are also Irish lace lovers, I have issue a challenge to you. In a thrift store, I found a quilt-square pattern book, called Baltimore Bride's Quilt Square Patterns. Basically, the squares are designed for album or friendship quilts, with lots of floral themes. I was thinking that these squares would be perfect layouts for Irish lace. So, I took a handy-dandy spiral notebook and pen, and went through the squares, one by one, and wrote down what my interpretations were for each square in Irish lace. This book has 75 squares, but I only want to focus on one or two to see how they would turn out in I.L. My challenge for my Irish lace loving friends is to attempt the same, or something similar. Right now, I'm merely compiling the motifs, working them here and there, and collecting them in a small box to be placed into their squares at a future time. This is my long-term, on-going project, one which I hope is successful. If the first 2 squares turn out as well as I hope, they may become part of an heirloom for future generations. Once my dds (and other future children) learn to work in thread, they'll also begin their own Irish lace squares to be used in their own heirlooms for their hope chests. I haven't decided whether this will become a bedspread or object d'art, but it's an interesting idea I'm toying with right now.

So, here are my goals for the next few months:

• learn to make jams/jellies, and can them, as well as tomatoes and other tomato products
• develop a tomato sauce recipe to be used in future canning adventures, maybe for future sales down the line (we're talking it may be a couple years before I'm able to sell)
• make cloth diaper wipes. I discovered I could probably save us \$170-ish just by making a few dozen flannel/terry wipes and use them instead of the chemical-covered ones. Also, it helps to prevent rashes if used with natural cleansing ingredients (read, water, essential oils, etc.)
• maybe start using cloth diapers? I dunno about this...might have to wait until we get a house so we can use a clothesline. Right now, lines are against our association by-laws, and there's more research to be done before I invest in either purchasing or making my own diapers.
• continue to make my own bread. Healthier, and soooo much yummier!
• continue to make my own laundry soap. I found a great recipe here online, and I'm trying out my first batch. I'll update to tell y'all how well it works.
• this fall, make my own soaps. This is just a maybe right now...we'll have to see what the autumn brings. It depends on where we're living, what we're doing, etc. I'd love to make my own, and save a lot of money, but it's a wait-and-see issue right now.
Anyways, if you got this far, I thank you for keeping up with me. If not, I'm sorry. I guess that's what happens when I don't update as often as I should! Lol. I'll update again here in a couple days to start the lace pattern. I hope y'all enjoy it as much as I am designing it!

God bless.

## Thursday, May 22, 2008

### I am so bad at this...

...but hey, those few of you who really do check in on me once in a while forgive me, right? Lol.

I've been pretty busy around here lately...I've been trying to get the condo cleaned up so we can make an attempt at selling it, but it's been rather challenging. Having two little ones who constantly need you at all hours of the day and night is really taking its toll on me. Don't get me started on our ever-increasing grocery bill, yet decreasing amount of food I'm able to bring home each trip.

At any rate, here's an update on what's going on in my crafting world...

...I'm knitting (yes, my CLF friends, I said it: I'm KNITTING) a cover for my flute case, which (sigh) is not even here. For my birthday, dh decided to have my flute overhauled, which the poor thing desperately needed. So, on Feb. 9 of this year, we took it in to get it done. We were told it might be finished by March 15, which would have been 5 weeks. Heheh. Wrong. It's May and it's still not done. Since I rarely get to play any more, it's not that big of a deal, but, hey, I've been getting the urge to break out my Bach and Hindemuth. It used to relax me even more than knitting and crocheting, so I'm really starting to miss it right now. Anyway, back to the cover. The repairman (who shall remain nameless because I know he does a great job; I don't want anyone to think otherwise) fiddled with it a bit before even examining the flute joints and informed me my latches were bad. Well, I've known that for a while, but just haven't sprung for a new case yet. The one I really want is in the \$80 range, but I won't spring for that until/unless I get an upgrade to an open-hole (I'm still using my student model I've had since 5th grade. I used a loaner in college since it was mandatory to have an open-hole flute). I wouldn't mind getting a nice one that would work for about \$25-30, but things always come up and the money ends up elsewhere. 'Sokay though. That's why I'm knitting a cover for it. It's in a 2x2 rib, and I'm still trying to think of a good way to close it because the handle gets in the way. Might just make a tab/button arrangment through the handle, but what about the rest of the thing to keep the latches from coming undone? I dunno know yet.

I'm working on a laceweight mystery shawl pattern in crochet. That's right. Crochet. There's been a huge discussion on the CLF about the lack of laceweight shawl patterns available to the general public. I've decided to make mine free of charge. The Mystery Shawl CAL will begin here, on my blog, on or around June 1st. If you'd like to join me in this, all you need is some laceweight yarn (probably no more than about 750 yds., I'm guessing, since I don't have the pattern finished yet O_0) and a G/4.25mm crochet hook. Oh, and the link to this blog. I will post a few rows here and there every week, which should give me the incentive to come here more often ;-). The only hint I can give right now about it is that it will be semi-circular-ish in shape...er, I think...I'm still working out the math.

I'm already thinking ahead to Christmas. Well, I've been thinking about Christmas since last Christmas. Lol. With the arrival of our 2nd daughter a week prior to last Christmas, the gifts we were able to give were fairly sparse, at best. This year, I aim to make it up to everyone. Since I'm not a fan of cheesiness or kitsch, or tp covers or bed dolls, (not that there's anything wrong with any of these things, they just don't happen to be my thing, ya know?) I aim toward innovative things that can be made with the hook and a fiber. However since some of my family members actually look in on here, mum's the word on the gifts (guess y'all will have to wait until Christmas Eve to find out, and you know who you are!! :-D). The only hint I can give is that I'm going to put my own twist on Irish lace. And just what does that mean, Tracey? Wait 'til December, and you'll see! ^_^

Oh! I almost completely forgot! And I would definitely slam my head against the wall if I didn't mention this news in this post! One of my patterns is actually getting published! For real! I still can't believe it! The Crochet Liberation Front on Ravelry is having a book published sometime this summer and my Peekaboo Playtime Chemise was accepted!! Woohoo!! I do need to give credit to some folks who helped me out with it...my dear friend Linda, who helped me make a papier mache dress form (with me as the mold). My testers from Crochetville (I had a few, and I do need to go back to check to see who all did it, and I don't want to leave anyone out, so I'll come back and edit this post with all of your names at once! :-) ), SkyDramini (Julie) who worked up a model within a week and her poor wrist was hurting. Thanks for the awesome pics, btw! And for Laurie, our fearless leader, who is working night and day formatting, cutting, editing, and pasting the whole book together. You are awesome. I hope you all know that, right? When I received Laurie's message saying my pattern was accepted, I was ecstatic. I literally danced around the living room for an hour, and pranced around here for days while calling everyone I knew that would care. Any way, I have a couple sneak peeks of the Peekaboo Playtime Chemise (not the ones that will be in the book, btw) if ya wanna see...Wait, I'll have to upload them later since I don't have my own shots on this computer (I have Julie's, but I don't have permission to use them on anything other than the book, so I'll post my own shots tomorrow).

I'm sure there's more to post, but I'm exhausted. Dd1 decided to wake up dd2 at 7:30 this am after dd2 had me up at 2:30 am to feed her, and between the 2 of them, I couldn't get my nap in today (then again, do I ever? :-) ). I'll be back again tomorrow, I promise--er, today? At any rate, after I have a few hours of sleep, fed the girls, gone to the store for food, and the park for a play date. Ugh. Maybe I should just wait until Saturday. Sounds like tomorrow's gonna be worse than today was.

## Thursday, April 10, 2008

### Doubly Sweet Baby Blanket

As I promised on Ravelry and Crochetville, here is the pattern for my Doubly Sweet Baby Blanket. Unfortunately, I don't have pics yet, but I hope to soon.

This blanket was inspired by an afghan my great-grandmother made as a wedding gift to my parents some 34 years ago. It is pale blue on one side, and navy on the other, and edged in navy. It took my a couple years to figure out how it was done (then again, I wasn't trying very hard) and once I figured it out, it was like a "Duh!" moment! The pattern below is for a baby-sized blanket, but can also be made much larger (like my parents' blanket, which fits a full-size bed) simply by making a longer foundation chain. Of course, the larger blanket will need a lot more yarn. ;-)

Materials:

• Lion Brand's Pound of Love--2 skeins, 2 colors of choice (or mount equivalent of)
• Size K/6.5mm crochet hook
• About 5 yds. 3/4"-1" wide satin ribbon in coordinating color
• 2 safety pins, optional, or other item to "hold" sts in place
Instructions:

With MC, ch 102 (or if doing the swatch, to about 18" plus 2)
Row 1: Dc in top loop of 4th ch from hook and in ea ch across. Pull loop up and use pin to keep last st from falling out. Do not turn. W/ CC, start at 1st dc and join w/ sl st to opposite free loop of ch, leaving back ridge of ch free. Ch 3, dc in next ch and across to end, ch 3, turn. At this point the two colors are not joined at the top and will try to fold outward and away from each other.

Row 2: Continuing with CC, dc through inside loop of MC plus both loops of CC (MC will be facing you at this point w/ CC facing away from you). Continue in same manner across to end of row. ch 3, place stitch holder. Do not turn. Remove holder from MC, ch 3, dc in free loops across to end of row, ch 3, turn.

Row 3: W/ MC, dc in inside loop of CC--which should now be facing you--and through both loops of MC in next dc and ea dc across, ch 3, place st holder. Remove st holder from CC, dc in free loops in next dc and ea dc across. Ch 3, turn.

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until blanket is size desired. Finish off CC and weave in ends through CC side.

Edging:
Rnd. 1: Ch 1, sc in ea st around through all four loops on top of blanket, working 3 sc in ea corner, alternating 2-3 scs down the sides of the dc posts of ea row working through posts of both dcs of front and back of blanket, and work in remaining free back ridge of original foundation chain on bottom. Join w/ sl st, ch 4, turn.

Rnd. 2: (Sk next sc, dc in next sc, ch 1) around. In center sc of corners work (dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc). Join w/ sl st in 3rd ch of ch-4 at beg of rnd., ch 1.

Rnd. 3: Sl st in next ch1 sp, 2 sc in ea ch-1 sp around, working a ch-3 on either side off center dc in ea corner. Finish off, weave in end.

Rnd. 4: W/ CC, join w/ sl st in any sc of previous rnd. Ch 1, sc in next sc and ea sc around. In ch-3 sps, work (sc, ch3, sc). Join w/ sl st, finish off, weave in end.

Rnd. 5: W/ MC, join w/ sl st in any sc from previous rnd. Ch 1, sc in ea sc around, working 5 scs in ch3 sp of corners. Join w/ sl st, ch 1.

Rnd. 6: Continuing w/ MC work reverse sc in ea sc around. Join, finish off, weave in end.

To finish blanket, weave satin ribbon through Rnd 2 of edging. Sew ends or tie into a bow.

If you're making a larger blanket, and don't want to do the edging above, simply work in rounds of single crochet, or pick an edging you would prefer.

Happy hooking!!

## Tuesday, February 19, 2008

### Woohoo!!

Yay! It's that time again at Crochetville!! The Spring Secret Pals Swap began this past Friday and will end in April. Can you tell I'm excited? I have a great Known Secret Pal (KSP) who is pretty dern cool. I can't tell you much about her just in case she happens to stumble across my blog. However, I can tell you that I'm going shopping today for a very special project for her. I just hope I can get it done in time! *grin*

My Unknown Secret Pal (UKSP) has already sent me a couple really sweet emails, plus a pretty cool e-card. She says she has a yarn stash the size of a small store. Hmmmm...I wonder what that must look like? Is it like this? If so, I'm insanely envious! Lol. She said she has a special project in mind for me...I wonder what it is? Anyhow, I look forward to hearing again from "Mrs. Crochet." :-)

On Friday, I went to Big Lots and they had 6 skeins of Patons Brilliant in Sparkling Rose for only \$1!! What a steal!! I of course grabbed all 6 and brought them home (well, after paying for them of course! ;-) ). I searched on Ravelry for just the perfect pattern. I decided to make the Luna Moth Shawl found on Elann's website. I'm using size 6 straight knitting needles, and discovered that I'm also going to need a circular as well. *sigh* Oh well, that just means that while I'm out shopping for my KSP, I can pick up an inexpensive one at JoAnn's (where I'm going, anyway).

I've also been researching interchangeable knitting needles. I've discovered that the Boye set I was considering has a lot of bad reviews...Not only that, but it doesn't come with the smaller sizes. Neither does the Denise set (I hate plastic, anyway!) or the KPOptions or Harmony, which pretty much covers most of the interchangeables. I think I'm going to save up and get the Harmony set down the road, and purchase the smaller needle tips separately to go along with it. I really enjoy lace knitting, so the smaller pieces are important. Not only that, but with two little ones in the house, the smaller needles will help make lots of socks and hats. I can't use the Options or sets similar to it, nor can I use any Addis (unless they're bamboo) because of the whole nickel thing. It stinks, because the Options set is less expensive and it looks cool. Oh well. Maybe one day I'll just make my own. (Don't put it past me, because I just might! Lol.)

Well, time to get cracking on the shopping. I have to get the little ones ready so that the baby can eat when we return. I hope not to be out too long. Yeah, right! Rofl. I know myself too well! :-D

## Thursday, February 14, 2008

Okay. So I totally suck at updating my blog. I keep telling myself that I need to do so more often, but I just never get around to it. Ugh. Anyways, I'm here now so I'll share what's been going on in my world.

DD2 was born on Dec. 18, 2007 at 3:41 am. Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep that night, or that morning. ;-) Since then, I've been kept on my toes between her and DD1, trying to give the both of them the attention they need and deserve.

In the meantime, I haven't had much time for needle work. I made a Halcyon Shawl (found at Crochetme.com) in October to take with me to the hospital, and I love it! I used Bernat Super Value in various colors, as well as their Denim Style. I'll post a pic later.

I also made a bunch of slippers for my mom's side of the family for Christmas; I only got half of them done before the baby was born, and I couldn't finish them before Christmas, so I finished more afterwards when I had time (which means, no, they're still not done! :-P ). MOost were made in Lion Brand's Jiffy, and they were so soft and warm, that I'm going to have to make myself and the girls a couple pairs.

The Anona Christening dress pattern is finished!! My personal prototype isn't, however, one of my testers finished hers last week, and once I talk to her and ask for permission to link to her photos, I might be able to share what it looks like. I'm excited!!

I've taken to knitting more lately. No, I haven't forgotten my first love, Crochet, as I have a few projects going on there, too. My newest WIP is Clapotis, found on Knitty.com. I started one in a light fuzzy variegated mohair on size 2 needles, and it was going well, too. However, things got busy, and now I forget where I was in the pattern. Ugh. Now I have to go through the fuzz and figure it out. I know I was in the 1st repeat of Section 2, but I don't remember where. *scratches head* Anywho, I started another this morning using--gasp!--Coats' Royale Crochet thread in Pumpkin on size 6 needles. It doesn't look bad, either. Orange isn't my first choice, but I was going through what's left of my stash (I'll explain later!) and all I have left suitable for this project is thread. Oy. so what's a girl to do? Use it!! Heehee...Oh!! And I'm so proud of myself!! I finally--after 3 years of trying--figured out how to use dpns! I'm making a hat. It was originally for the baby, but it's now too big for her so it's going to dd1. I'm using an unknown white acryllic worsted (my wool is gone or I'd have used that). I also started a sock for DD1, and hopefully it turns out well.

Crochet-wise, I'm working on a huge afghan for a friend using a boucle yarn from JoAnn's, Etc. Love the colors, hate the yarn. If you mess up, it's very difficult to frog. Yikes! I had to start all over and I have to frog about 8 rows of this stuff--not pretty at all. I'm also working on 2 baby afghans for 2 of dh's co-workers. One is due in March, and we're not sure when the other is due. Each baby is also going to get a pair of booties to match its blanket, and I have one bootie done of one pair, and I'm about halfway done with its mate. These are for the baby of the couple who want to keeps its gender a surprise. The booties are being made in Royale's Ocean with a white trim. Very cute!! The blanket is going to be double-sided, with white on one side and green on the other using a technique my great-grandmother used to make a blanket for my parents' wedding gift. The other blanket will be yellow and white, but I'm waiting to hear from dh to see what that baby's gender is before I decide what booties to make.

Oh! Last week, I had the neatest idea for another lingerie project! This one is going to involve Irish lace. Since I haven't lost baby weight yet, I'm so glad I made my dress form last spring to use as a model for placement. This will be another custom-fit piece, and I'm sure that those who enjoyed my Peek-A-Boo Playtime Chemise will love this one--well, when I have it done. I haven't even started on it yet, not even a drawn-out schematic! I have to do a little "research" (ahem!) on sizes so it's going to take some time. Unfortunately, I can't get started on this until my friend's afghan is finished--well, I could probably keep balls of thread and hooks in my purse for those waiting times at the doc's, lines at the grocery store, post office, etc. Hmmm...I'll see what I can work out! Heeheee... Tell me what you think of the idea of lingerie made in Irish lace! I'd love to hear from you, positive or negative.

Well I must go. It's time to feed the baby! Hopefully I can update again soon!