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1  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Nebula inspired child blanket on: June 18, 2015 04:26:37 AM
I'm so excited about this blanket!  I've been interested in astronomy for a while now, and during an intense design session, this was the first idea I had, and it's my favourite of everything I came up with during that time!

I used about 2670 yards of Caron Simply Soft and it took me about four days to make (what can I say? I was excited to see how it turned out!)

I love it so much that it's going to be hard to part with it (but alas, I must!).  I'm thinking about adjusting the size up to king size and make one for my bed!  (I have a queen-sized bed, but I sleep with a lot of pillows.  Like... a *lot* of pillows. lol)

2  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Craftster Itself / [RESOLVED] The "new" button on: April 23, 2015 01:26:22 PM
I've been noticing lately that when I click on the "new" button it doesn't take me to the first unread message in that thread.  I think it's actually just taking me to the latest message instead.
3  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Mario granny square blanket on: September 18, 2014 02:33:18 PM
I just finished my first Christmas gift for 2014! Yay!!

My oldest nephew (9 years old) just loves video games, and his mom (my SIL) told me at the last family dinner that he'd really like a Mario blanket.  In an effort to keep my title as the "Cool Aunt", this is what I made:

It's made up of 600 two-round granny squares, and 5 rounds of granny edging.  It used up about 3434 yards of yarn, mostly Caron Simply Soft, but the blue was an unnamed yarn that was similar to the CSS that came in 1lb bags.

I made this blanket adult sized because, well... let's just say, I'm 5'11" and I'm the second-shortest adult in my family.   I'm just hoping this blanket will last him until at least the teen years!

4  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Meta blanket - continuous join-as-you-go on: May 20, 2014 08:29:44 AM
Recently I taught a class at my crochet guild on the continuous join-as-you-go technique I used for my Craftster Anniversary Challenge entry a while back.

During the class, we took four squares and joined them together.  This gave us, essentially, a bigger square.  I wanted to offer the class things they could do with their class samples.  I explained how they could continue on to make a bigger blanket, but I also suggested that you could take these bigger squares and use the technique again to join them all together.

I decided to try that last one, and this was the result.

Well, the middle part is the result.  I cut the yarn and wove the ends in after doing three rounds of edging, but after laying it out, I thought it might be too small.

I counted the groups of dc stitches around the outside and found there was 29 of them.  I don't know why I keep running into prime numbers... they're becoming a real pain in the butt. :-P

I decided that if I added one more round, I'd have 30, which meant I could do three-round squares around the edge.  Since I had that extra round to do anyway, and I wanted the project to portable, I did the three-round square ring separately, joining them as I went.  Then I joined that ring of squares to the main blanket while adding that extra round I needed.  Then I did four more rounds of edging.

I'm going to send this blanket off to Neighbour To Neighbour's layette program.

5  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Christmas Stocking Cap on: September 20, 2013 06:18:14 AM
I was making some stockings for my mom for Christmas.  I made them on a round knitting loom and the pattern was pretty simple - basically, it's just the hat pattern that comes with the looms, made extra long, with a heel stuck in there.  Since I was using the same size of loom that I use to make hats for me, I naturally had to try one one - just for a lark!

Long story short, I decided I just had to make myself a stocking cap!

IMG4083 by fantasticmio, on Flickr

This is what it looks like when it's not being a hat:

IMG4088 by fantasticmio, on Flickr

I used Loops & Threads Charisma; the full ball of "Holiday" (the striping yarn), and about 80 yards of "Off White".  And the second-to-biggest round loom in the Knifty Knitter set (the green one - it has 36 pegs). 

I can't wait until it's cold enough out to wear it!  This being Canada, that should happen any minute now...
6  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Overflow Christmas Stocking on: September 17, 2013 02:43:40 PM

My mom loves Christmas - it's her favourite time of the year.  She has so many decorations that she starts putting them up on November 1st so that she can get them all up in time!

She prefers handmade decorations, too, which is awesome. ^_^

Mom has made stockings for all of us (though, some of my younger nieces and nephews, as well as my fiance, are currently on a waiting list for them).  She makes them out of felt (from kits), with sequins and such... they're quite beautiful!  But! She always over-buys the stocking stuffers.  For the stocking-deprived and for the overflow, she's been using fabric bags, and I thought that this year I'd make her something more festive!

IMG4070.jpg by fantasticmio, on Flickr

This was made on the second-to-biggest round loom in the Knifty Knitter round loom set (the green one), with Loops & Threads Charisma (almost a full ball of the green, and about 3/4 of a ball of the white)

The reason I used the bigger loom is because I've made this kind of stocking on a round loom before.  Last time I used the smallest one (the blue one), and the finished Christmas stocking ended up fitting me perfectly!  I was hoping to avoid that this time... you know, for pride's sake.

IMG4067.jpg by fantasticmio, on Flickr

*dramatic sigh*

7  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Rainbow Scrap Granny Square Blanket (with continuous join-as-you-go tutorial) on: August 07, 2013 07:43:49 AM
What does Craftster mean to me?  Innovation - Inspiration - Information

I love that the Craftster community is filled with innovative people.  Folks who come up with neat new ideas, or interesting ways to revisit past ideas.  I find this, as well as everyone's colour and materials choices quite inspiring!  I also love the fact that so many Craftsters are happy to share how they made what they made.

Such an awesome place, over all, I think!

For the Craftster 10th Anniversary Challenge, I decided to try and address these three ideas into one project, and I came up with this blanket:

First a close-up:

IMG3868 by fantasticmio, on Flickr

And here's the full shot:

IMG3835 by fantasticmio, on Flickr

This project started as "I'm going to make a bunch of granny squares using my scraps and then decide what to do with them after", with the initial thought of just adding any missing rounds with a new colour... but then I wondered, do they have to be the same size to join them together easily?

Apparently not!

Granny square pattern:
R1: ch3 2dc in 3rd ch from hook, (ch2, 3dc in the same ch as before) three times, ch1, join to top of ch3 with a sc.
R2: ch3 2dc into sp below the ch3, (3dc, ch2, 3dc in the next ch sp) three times, in next ch sp, 3dc, ch1, join to top of ch3 with a sc.
R3-end: ch3 2dc into sp below the ch3, 3dc in every side space, (3dc, ch2, 3dc) in the three other corners, finish the round with 3dc, ch1, join to top of the ch3 with a sc in the first corner.

On the last round, replace "ch1, join to top of the ch3 with a sc in the first corner" with "ch2, join to top of the ch3 with a slst in the first corner".

I would do as many rounds as I could complete with the yarn I was using, or stopped at 7 rounds, whatever came first.

When I had a huge stack of them, I decided to come up with a layout that would work, and then fill in any blanks from there.  This is the layout I used:

Super-Scrap-01 by fantasticmio, on Flickr
(click to see the full size)

In this picture, the number above the column indicates how many of those squares you need.  The number inside the first block of the column indicates how many rounds those squares have.

For this layout you need:  96 one round squares, 64 two round squares, 48 three round squares, 16 five round squares, and 12 seven round squares.

All that's left is to join them!

The joining method I've been using for granny squares for a while is this one: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=348031.0#axzz2bI9opXSZ

But it makes for a LOT of ends to weave in for this type of blanket, so I decided to use a variant - the motions are pretty much the same, however, the order in which you work into the sides of the squares changes, so you can work continuously - basically, you don't have to cut the yarn, so you only have twice as many ends as balls of joining yarn you use (rather than twice as many ends as squares you have to join together)

This tutorial will work for the standard square layout (a simple grid of equally-sized squares), as well as for a layout like this one where each column has squares all of the same sizes (but each column has a different size than the others).

Continuous Join-As-You-Go Tutorial
The first thing you need to do is decide on a layout for your squares.  Here is a layout of 6 squares with a schematic for a general overview of what we'll be doing:

Take the square from the top right corner and crochet around three sides:

Take the square that goes *below* that corner square and put it next to the square you were just working with.  Work 3dc into the corner of the second square:

Now rotate that second square up and join it along that side to the first square:

Crochet around two more sides of this second square:

Continue adding squares down the column by repeating how you added the second square.

The last square of the column is slightly different!  Only crochet along one more edge after the joining edge:

Take the first square at the bottom of the second column and put it next to the last square of the first column.  3dc into the corner:

Rotate the new square so that you can join that edge to the previous square.  When you get to the corner of the square you're working on, work 3dc in the corner, ch1, slip stitch to the adjacent space, or in this case since they line up, around the join of the adjacent two squares:

ch1, then take the next square up in the second column and start joining it to the previous column:

Do this with all of the squares in the second column so that you end up with something like this:

It's time to finish the edging on the second column now, which will work almost exactly the same way as the first column.

Go all the way around the first square.  When you reach the spot where four squares meet, ch1, join to the square directly across from the one you're edging with a slst in the corner space, ch1, then start edging/joining the next square.

Continue in this manner until all of your squares are joined.

All that will be left is to work across the bottom and up the right side of the blanket.

There are a few ways to do this to get it to look "normal".  I tried a few of them before settling on "3dc in the corner of the first square, ch1, sc between the edging on the two squares, ch1, 3dc in the corner of the next square":

I like to work a second round of edging (as each of the internal squares looks like it has two rounds of edging), and when I get to the bottom and right edge, I work a group of 3dc into the sc.

Here is the blanket before the extra outside border:

Here it is with an extra round:

The difference is subtle, but I like it. ^_^

Because I am an avid blanket crocheter, and it currently takes me three large loads to wash all of the handmade blankets we own, both of the blankets shown in this post (the rainbow one that is my challenge entry, and the variegated one shown in the tutorial) have been donated to Blankets For Canada.  Cheesy

Oh, and I'm already working on a way to use this joining method with a bunch of squares that are different sizes that aren't laid out in neat, one-size-each columns.  So far I've discovered that it is absolutely possible, and I'm just playing with layouts now.  

And this all came about because of Craftster.  

Thank you!

8  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Massive Pom-pom blanket on: July 29, 2013 06:59:42 PM
I had a hard time deciding what to call this post.  On the short list was, "10 lb blanket", "Don't Try This At Home", and "This Is Why They Call Me Crazy"

IMG3950.jpg by fantasticmio, on Flickr

Yes, it does weigh 10 lbs.  No, I do not recommend that anyone else try this (even if the end result is *awesome*.  The ends don't justify the means!).  Yes, I am absolutely, incontrovertibly crazy.

This this took three months to make, 2014 yards of Loops & Threads Pom-pom yarn, and 1645 yards of Bernat Waverly.  I used a 6.5 mm double-ended hook, and used the Tunisian Simple Stitch throughout.

I made strips of varying widths both to mitigate the sheer boredom the project would induce, as well as to make the different dye lots inconsequential.  I joined the strips using a slip stitch with the Waverly on the back... I turned the a/c down a couple of degrees whenever I did this, because this thing is *warm*.  I'll come in handy for our Canadian winters.

I think I need a nap...

9  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Slightly Unwound hat and scarf set on: July 18, 2013 07:11:23 PM
Sometimes I think I have the wrong hobbies.  I crochet, I knit, I weave, and I'm allergic to animal fibre yarns and some acrylics.

I love the look of the striping Noro yarns, but can't use them.  I was so excited when Bernat released their Mosaic yarn, only to discover I was allergic to that, too. *sob*

I work at Michaels (where I go through a lot of rash cream on truck days...) and we sell a yarn called Loops & Threads Charisma.  Now, I love this yarn for a lot of reasons.  It comes in some great colours.  The self-striping yarns have just as much yardage as the solids.  And I'm not allergic to it! Hooray! 

It's a bulky weight yarn, though.  Bulky weight yarn is great, but I mainly work with worsted weight yarn, and a self-striping worsted weight yarn I can use has remained elusive.

I did have the though of separating the strands of the Charisma as they looked pretty close to worsted weight yarn, but that seemed rather crazy-pants.

Until one day I was at work and discovered a ball of this that had an error - the first several yards on the outside was missing one of the singles.  We wrote it off to use for Blankets For Canada, and I tried making a granny square with it, and it worked beautifully!

So, I went stash diving, found a ball of Charisma that I liked the look of, and set to work separating the strands.  Six hours of juggling later, I had three balls of worsted weight self-striping yarn (one of the singles shredded when I pulled it too hard... lesson learned!)

I paired it up with some navy blue Bernat Satin and made this hat:

IMG3759 by fantasticmio, on Flickr

And this scarf:

IMG3780 by fantasticmio, on Flickr

this is the other side:

IMG3783 by fantasticmio, on Flickr

I think I have enough left to make some matching mittens.. I just have to figure out the pattern first!

Of course, the problem here is: I *love* how this worked out.  It's fantastic.  And a LOT of work...
10  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Eventually Granny Square Crayon blanket on: May 09, 2013 10:13:29 AM
I thought up a new layout for my Eventually Granny Square blanket.  This is my second attempt at the layout, and I like this one much better!  I like the colours better than the last one (although, the green seems a bit off to me...), and I actually did the right number of rounds this time, so the shapes look better and the blanket is a usable size.

In fact, I was originally making this for a baby, but when I saw the finished item I thought it looked more like a child's blanket.  It will be going to charity as soon as I find one that is collecting children's blankets.

IMG3263 by fantasticmio, on Flickr

This layout required one more technique that isn't listed in the original pattern, and that is what you do when you're joining a valley to a point.  I don't have pictures of it yet, but what you do is a dc2tog decrease that grabs the point halfway through.  Or: yarn over, insert hook in next space, yarn over and pull up a loop (three loops on hook), yarn over and pull through two loops (two loops on hook), insert hook through the point space, yarn over, insert hook in the next space of the part you're working into, yarn over and pull up a loop (four loops and a corner point on hook), yarn over and pull through two loops (three loops and a corner point on hook), yarn over and pull through everything being careful not to snag the yarn of the corner point (one loop on hook).

I also played a bit with the joining method - I wanted the green "outside" squares to look like they were behind the border parts they were next to, and to do this, I would remove the hook and put it through the coloured part and grab the green yarn again when working the green squares, and when I was working on a coloured border area and attaching it to a green square, I did not remove the hook, I put it from front to back through the green square and made a slip stitch.  It's a small thing, but I think it makes for a better looking pattern. ^_^

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