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11  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Chocolate Bunny & Peace Seat Cushions on: April 14, 2014 05:22:26 AM
I've finished this just in time for Easter. A Chocolate Bunny chair pad.

I used Sugar 'n Cream all cotton yarns and a size H hook.

The bunny pattern is from Susan Lowman's "Hot Stuff for the Holidays" wiggly trivet and coaster book.
I've used that book to make some other chair pads in the past but this is my first bunny.

Here's my own wiggly peace design chair pad. I wish the yellow were darker but it's all they had in the stores I was in. Plus, no one had true blue! So, for the blue, I had to use Sinfonia 100% cotton yarn and double up so it would be as thick as the Sugar 'n Cream yarn.

Here's a comparison shot of the chair pad with the original wiggly trivet on top. (The trivet was made from size 10 crochet thread). I wanted the chair pad to be that dark yellow too but, oh well.
(Mondrian colors always look awesome!).

The trivet patterns work great for making chair pads. You don't have to use cotton yarn either. I just thought it would be nice and durable. Many people make cotton scrubbies with the yarn so it should last a while for just sitting on.
12  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / The Mighty Blackhawks Vest on: January 09, 2014 12:22:44 PM
My Dad is a big Chicago Blackhawks hockey fan and so
I started making this vest with the intention of giving it to him for Christmas.
But I liked it too much and in the end kept it for myself. (It's so hard for me to get rid of stuff!)  Cheesy

It's tunisian crocheted with a size J cabled crochet hook.

I made the back first and then did the side and front in a brighter red.
I crocheted the C and tomahawks logo and whip-stitched that on top of the front.
It's lined with a used size 3XLarge red t-shirt that I cut down the center and just sewed in.
The edges are trimmed with red Fun Fur.
At the bottom I fringed the t-shirt and added black and white pony beads.

13  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Halloween Wiggly Trivets on: October 30, 2013 08:02:17 AM
My Mom passed away a week ago yesterday.

On the way up to Illinois, through five days of waiting by her bedside at the nursing home, and including the trip home I made these Halloween trivets.

The pumpkin trivet is from a pattern by Susan Lowman in her "Hot Stuff for the Holidays" booklet. (Although I did add a nose and changed the colors a bit).

The Franken-wiggly and Dracula-wiggly as well as the love-them-or-hate-them-Candy-Corn-wiggly are all my designs.

My sister embroidered a turkey penny rug for me and I made her a Franken-wiggly to take home too.

Mom was an avid crafter herself and my sister and I were calmly keeping her passion alive even in this saddest of times for us.
14  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Skele-wiggly trivet and others on: October 12, 2013 08:38:03 AM

I finished this last month but waited until it got closer to Halloween to post it.

It's a trivet made from size 10 crochet thread in black and white.
I designed it myself using the same techniques as Susan Lowman and her fabulous crocheted trivets.

I also made a few more trivets.

I had already made this Mondrian colored Peace trivet for myself last year, (left), but when my dog Peace died last month I decided to make another one for my sister using some groovy thread she gave me. So this right one will be hers. I like how the colors look on that one!

I had made this Smiley wiggly already too but after Peace died I was so sad I made this Frowny trivet. It turned out smaller than the Smiley and I don't know why because they are actually the same grid square lengths. Maybe the thread was thicker? Or maybe my stitches were tighter? Or maybe I used a different sized hook? Anyway, it was nice to have something to work on during my grief.

And finally, I made this Green Bay Packers G trivet for my sister too. It was hard to try and make it like their G logo because it has to be in a grid form and, so, not as curvy. I hope she like's it!!!!
15  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Magnificent Butterfly Afghan on: August 13, 2013 09:00:43 AM
This afghan is made from a free pattern published in Crochet! Magazine as a Web Bonus from April 2012.
It was designed by Susan Lowman, (who many of you may know from her fabulous Wiggly Crochet patterns - that's where I 'discovered' her anyway.) Here's her Ravelry page with the pattern info.

It's tunisian crocheted with a Susan Bates Size J Silvalume extended crochet hook.
It's made mostly with I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby.
There's also Red Heart Frost Green for the leaves.
Coats and Clark Wiggles yarn in purple on the butterfly and pink on the flower. (This gives some really nice textures to the afghan).
Finally, for the border there's Decadence Yarn Bee yarn in the color Peridot Twist, (also from Hobby Lobby.) I wanted the border to look like grass with bit's of flowers speckled into it and looking like you were high above it like the butterfly and huge flowers in the design.

When I started this, I wanted a project to take my mind off things going on in my family. My Mom had just been brought to the hospital and diagnosed with a faulty heart valve. She is now in a nursing home and in the process of "actively dying". It's so painful to see her this way and I know I can't do anything to help her now but visit her and give her comfort and support; and so I crochet.

Last week, my Mother-in-law has been put in a nursing home. Her mind is failing and she can no longer take care of herself. My husband came home over the weekend after seeing her and it kills me to see his pain and anguish. I can't do anything about it but give him comfort and support; and so I crochet.

And now, as if this was not enough, our dog of 12 years died yesterday in a vet hospital we drove to that was open, (thank God!), at three in the morning!!!!!! My children grew up with this dog. She'd been a part of our family for so long. We're just now going through the "she's not there" moments as this day unfolds and it's so hard.

I know you all have a million things going on in your lives as well. This is all part of life. When these things start to happen all at once it can be very overwhelming. This is what's happening to us. But i know we aren't alone. I'm sorry to be such a bummer. (I think I need a new project to crochet.)

Thank goodness there is the internet - and Craftster - and places to talk about our projects and our lives. I know crocheting can be a very lonely introverted hobby. I know I myself shut people out to concentrate on projects - especially difficult ones. But at least there is this community out there - and others like it - that, when we do feel like sharing and communicating, getting inspiration and advice, and just some simple praise from others who share the same passion and interests and can appreciate what we've made, it makes it all worth it.

This is the front.

This is the back.
16  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / It's A Jungle Out There! - Animals Afghan on: May 24, 2013 08:51:50 AM
I bought a kit to make this afghan from Mary Maxim's.

The pattern is in Leisure Arts booklet called A Year of Baby Afghans and this was the afghan for August. The yarn is Mary Maxim's Starlet in medium blue.

The afghan was so hard for me to do. You really need to know your crochet abbreviations and pattern-reading skills! Plus, lots and lots of counting stitches. This is a 'no-distractions; I'm crocheting!' type of project for sure. LOL!

The stitches used mainly Front Post Double Crochet and Single Crochet stitches, (in the back loop only).

This was actually fun to make, (despite it being so difficult for me).
I like how it never tells you what animals you were working on. You only had the photo in the pattern book to go by and so you just hoped that you were doing it right. The animals slowly begin to emerge from your stitches and it's pretty neat!

One animal I thought was a baby elephant, I decided must really be a bear. No long trunk. That one in the bottom and top center.

The afghan is bigger than I expected too.

Mary Maxim had put a note into the kit in which they suggested that you begin the project with a smaller H hook and gradually use an I hook and then finally a J hook so I did that. It's to prevent what they called "tenting" in the middle. I guess that's like bunching up like puffy tents. So anyway, beware if you tackle this afghan too. You might want to do the same with switching out the hook sizes gradually.
17  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Hiddleson Baby Animals Filet Crochet Afghan on: March 29, 2013 10:55:21 AM
YAY! I finished at last!

This is a filet crocheted afghan using an Elizabeth Hiddleson pattern.

Here's the back. You can see the seems where I joined the squares and the center panel pieces.
The hardest part was making those two middle panels. In order to have the crochet stitches go the same way as the squares, it had to be worked up width-wise instead of the longer length, (which would have been SO MUCH easier!) In fact, for the sides of the afghan, I just went ahead and did those along the length of the afghan to save my sanity!) LOL

I altered a couple of the animals that I thought looked a little weird on the graphs. The rabbit's head I made come to a pointed nose. (The graph was so icky! It kinda had a double cheek thingy going on.) I also made the cat's nose come to a point. (The graph looked like one of those flat-faced cats, (like Crookshanks!),  which didn't seem to look right in profile like this.) And also the elephant was too small for it's square. So I added a mound and some clouds to fill in the square.

I liked these squares because each one was finished with only one ball of Cebelia thread. Not having to buy two. YAY!!

The border is done with Coats and Clark Old Fashioned thread in ecru. Both threads are size 10. The crochet hook I used was a 7 (1.65 mm) steel Boye.

Happy Easter everyone!
18  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / One Small Step - One Giant Leap - Sweater Jacket on: November 16, 2012 06:53:08 AM
This project is my tribute to the late Neil Armstrong who passed away in August of this year.

This is the back. This is supposed to be Neil Armstrong as he steps off the space capsule onto the moon and says his famous quote, "One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind." I tried to emphasize the step footprint there at the bottom with the moon boot tread in the dirt.

Here's the front. (Yes. that's me). It shows a rocket taking off and an astronaut attached with a cable to a space capsule. Below there is a planet and the middle has pockets on each side for the hands. (It's supposed to be a sort of flying saucer spaceship.)  On the alien spaceship pockets is the quote above. 

Here's the front laid out flat. For the astronaut and capsule I used this old Mary Maxim sweater graph pattern from 1966 that I found on e-bay.

The pattern also has a rocket ship on the inside but it was kind of "blocky" looking and I wanted a curvy-lined rocket so I made my own on graph paper for the left side of the front.

This is the back laid out flat. For this I used neat vintage Marimekko fabric of a floating astronaut which I took a photo of and graphed online.  I made a hat to match the sweater.

This sweater jacket turned out huge and I had to crochet inside belt loops and a crocheted sort of belt to cinch it all the way around so it would fit better.

The whole thing is tunisian crocheted except for the sleeves.
The front is two pieces for each side. Then there's the back piece.

The sleeves are just double crocheted by doing a front post double crochet, back post double crochet, alternately around and around for a million rows until I reached the length of sleeve that I wanted. It gives the sleeves some stretch, (sort of like socks), and looks/feels really cool too.

I made the hat this way too after making a circle starting at the top. So the hat stretches out nicely too.

This moon landing was one of the biggest events in my life and I'm happy to have made the event into a sweater to cherish the moment forever.
19  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Swanky Skankin' Skellies Sweater on: July 02, 2012 06:51:03 AM

This is my first tunisian crocheted bulky sweater.
I found this old Beehive sweater pattern on etsy with Mexican dancers and bongo players with music notes. It's a knitting pattern but it is graphed so it can be used for tunisian crochet too.

I loved it but wanted to make it with a really cool dancing skeleton graph I found here http://www.myphotostitch.com/Make_Pattern/Make_Pattern.html on a do-it-yourself graph pattern making site.

At this site, people have made their own graphs which get posted for a while. But they only post photos of the finished graphs for a short time so its not there anymore and I have no idea who made it. Im so glad I saw it and was able to make a copy before it was deleted!

After I got the bongo player pattern I realized that I needed a sweater pattern for a much larger person than on this old pattern. Soooo, I got a Mary Maxim Titan bulky sweater pattern book here. http://www.marymaxim.com/titan-bulky-jackets-pattern-book.html

It was on sale, (still is), and it has lots of nice patterns too. So I used this Titan booklet for the sweater size, used the old Beehive pattern for the bongos and music notes, and used the skeleton graph to make this.

The sweater is almost all wool. I used I Love This Wool from Hobby Lobby, and Lion Brand Fishermans wool yarns. I had the intention of felting it but after I put it together, I realized that it would shrink way too much and never fit. I used a size J cabled afghan hook.

I took photos of the sections I made before assembling it. This way you could see the patterns more clearly.

I made the back first. I had to make the skeleton twice - reversing the pattern for one of them. It was confusing at first but you get used to it.

Heres a photo of the two front sides of the sweater. I used soft Watercolors yarn from Lion Brand Yarn for the stripes. I think that yarn is discontinued now.

Finally heres the sleeves. Now, I asked my husband, (who actually played the drums in high school), if the notes were correct and what about if I reverse them for the other sleeve? (It says to do that in the pattern).

I showed him the photo on the Beehive booklet. I wanted to make sure it was right. Well, he said one was right, the other not. Well, I wanted to get it right. But I guess I misunderstood him or something. So, consequently, I think I made them both wrong. (At this point, I dont care anymore) LOL!

So after taking the pre-assembled photos I went to put it all together. Ugh! It was so hard!

The sleeves kind of come in at an angle from the front and back and so when joining you kind of just have to free-style it. Plus, crochet is so bulky.

After trying several things, I finally wound up weaving black yarn through the seams and cinching it. Its still bulky but, believe me, its much better than it was. I have a few more photos of it all together. My son took the pictures and the color is not as accurate as the separated piece shots I took of it alone earlier.

I have two multi-strand crocheted yarn ties for closure. I added a lot of soft fluffy trim all around too. I was going to make pockets but didnt want to cover over any of the skellies.

I cant wait to wear this! Its perfect for Halloween or Da de los Muertos occasions. Its so dang hot right now but it will be great for fall here in Indiana.

20  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Two Vintage Zodiac Needlepoints on: February 13, 2012 10:53:02 AM

These are two Zodiac vintage Gemini needlepoint kits from 1977.
I bought the kits on etsy.

The Libra one had about an inch done on one corner and that was it.

The Aries one wasn't worked at all.

I finished the Libra needlepoint in December and the Aries one in January.
The kits had real Persian wool too. Great quality and they just don't make graphics like these anymore.

I love retro vintage needlepoints!
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