Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Progress Report: Baby Starghan

Note: I decided to join the Starghan CAL at Crochetville while making this project.

I made a lot of progress on the starghan since Sunday morning. I credit the progress to crocheting while watching episodes 1-3 of Discovery Channel's planet earth. (What an amazing documentary!! If you didn't see it Sunday, I suggest checking it out this weekend.)

So far it is 10" from center to point.

I'm going to continue with another rainbow and see how big it is at that point (and how much yarn I have left). If it's close to its final size, I'll just finish it off with a wide white border.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Progress Report: Baby Starghan

Once Dax's Baby Blanket was done, I started the Baby Starghan. The starghan is for one of my best friends whose nickname is Superstar. Seems appropriate that I make a star-shaped blanket for her baby girl. Superstar Junior isn't due to arrive until July but she's accepting gifts prior to the birth. Auntie Sam wants to get this out to California well before the arrival.

This starghan will be colorful and fun, using all colors of the rainbow. I started making the starghan with an G hook, which is the usual hook I use with the baby sportweight from Bernat. For the rainbow, I started with the colors going in reverse (pink in the center).

But I thought the blanket was too loose and I didn't like the way the pink looked near the center. So I took out my F hook and made a second one, this time using purple for rows 4 and 5.

Comparing the two, I like the stitch size and color scheme of the F hook purple one.

Here are the details of this project:


Pattern: Baby Starghan by The Diva Crochets

Hook size: F


Bernat Baby Coordinates in

  • White
  • Baby Pink
  • Lemon Custard (yellow)
  • Iced Mint (green)
  • Soft Blue
  • Soft Mauve (purple)


I'm also making another blanket for the little Superstar. (She's spoiled already!) I ordered the Afghan of the Sandman pattern and bought some pretty pink yarn (Bernat Softee Baby). I'm hoping to start this blanket soon, too.

Dax's Baby Blanket

Finished this just in time as Dax is scheduled to arrive on April 1st.

**Note: The pictures are not true to color. The yarn is much more pastel than it looks in these photos.

Hook size: G

Bernat Baby Coordinates in
  • Soft Mauve (purple)
  • Iced Mint (green)
  • Soft Blue
  • Lemon Custard (yellow)
  • Baby Pink
  • White for border

Five rows of each color; Alternating 5 colors, half double crochet throughout
Border: round of half double crochet, 2 rounds of double crochet making a shell design

Dimensions: approx. 34" wide by 37" long

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Daisy Flower Crochet Charity Square

After the mutant square was frogged, I was able to make this pattern correctly. Who knew all I had to do was count to 16!

Pattern: Daisy Flower Crochet Charity Square from Krochet Krystal

Hook Size: H

Yarn: Leftovers from my stash so your guess on brands is as good as mine. The colors are
  • Pale yellow
  • Pale blue
  • Dark green

The front is really beautiful. After making just this one square (correctly), I am looking forward to making enough squares for an entire blanket. But that project can wait as I anticipate it being a gift to a 3 or 4 year old girl - and the current ones are still in their respective ovens!

Here's a photo of the back of the square - which is surprisingly very nice to look at. Not that I think this blanket could be termed reversible, but it's still very nice.

I'm hoping to send this off in the mail today - but more realistically, it will probably be sent out on Saturday. And if I have time, I'll try to make another one and send two.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


The first pair of skullholders is done! Huzzah!!

Pattern: Skullholders from The Happy Hooker

Hook Size: H

Yarn: 1 skein each of Lion Cotton in
  • Sage
  • Black
Comments: An easy, quick project and a great way to learn to use a grid and carry yarn for multiple color projects. The only complaint I have is that these oven mitts are quite big, measuring almost 10 inches wide and 8 1/2 inches tall.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Genetic Flower Mutation

I FINALLY started working on the daisy crochet charity square. Part of the deal of getting the pattern is that you have to make one and send it to the author. She does some great work making charity blankets and makes one beautiful pattern.

The pattern was a bit complicated - crocheting in front of this and behind that, changing colors, etc. But I got the hang of it and it was looking good.

Well, it was looking good until I got to the part where you create corners around the petals to make it a square.

I don't know how this happened. I don't know why I didn't catch this problem sooner but...as I rounded the last corner I noticed something was a bit off.

Here's what my square looks like:

Here's what it was supposed to look like:

How did I end up with 9 petals instead of 8??? I don't know. I don't know where I miscounted and I don't know why I didn't double check the number of petals I was supposed to have. I guess I was too busy concentrating on learning the technique.

Oh well. What I do know is that this square will be frogged and I'll have to start all over again. Mrah!

Progress Report: Skullholders

Three down and one to go on the black and green skullholders...

I am really enjoying this project. Using the grid pattern and alternating the colors has been a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to designing some oven mitts and/or afghan squares using a grid pattern.

I am also enjoying the looks from people who see me crocheting skulls on the train. ;)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Countdown Continues...

One month. . .

____________Two weeks. . .

_________________________. . . and Five days!!!

Think I'm just a little excited about the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival???

Check out the recently revealed cover art for this year's festival.

I think it's a really great design except for the sideways writing. I bought a canvas bag last year because I LOVED the artwork (click here to see past covers). Sheep as balls of yarn - gotta love it! Not sure what I'll buy this year - perhaps a mug or a keychain. It really depends on how insanely long the t-shirt line is.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Progress Report: Skullholders

So here is my progress with the skullholder's pattern from The Happy Hooker:

Didn't take me long - had this much done in a day. This is the first time I've ever carried a second color to create this look so I'm pretty impressed with the results. One thing I don't like about this pattern is that these will be larger than any oven mitts I've seen.

The pattern says that the final measurements are 9 1/2" wide x 8" tall. Now, I'm nortoriously bad at checking my gauge and I stupidly trust the patterns I use, especially when they come out of a high-class book. I had not measured my current oven mitts to see how these new ones would compare. All I can say is that these oven mitts are for those with GIGANTIC hands.

Here's the skullholder with my average sized hands (at least, I think they're average):

Here's the skullholder compared to my other oven mitts:

So I did some measuring and actually checked my gauge.

Gauge correct: 4"=16 rows

Gauge incorrect: Width of project is supposed to be 9 1/2", mine is 10"

Somewhere I gained a half inch - but how? How could it happen if my vertical gauge is correct??? Oh well - Sorry Queen, but you're getting the skullholders on steroids. Mistress, I'll try to correct the pattern to make a slightly smaller one.

Ixing-nay the Lanket-bay

I hate how this baby blanket looks so far.

I thought working diagonally would be interesting with the self-striping yarn. But alas, the striping hasn't gotten any better as the blanket has gotten bigger.

I used an F hook instead of a G so the blanket feels too stiff, not cuddly at all.

So it's getting frogged and put into a ball for some project in the future. :P

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Got Yarn?

My recent order from Lion Brand arrived on Thursday evening. Let's take a look at what was inside this wonderful package!

  • 3 skeins Avocado
  • 3 skeins Cranberry
  • 1 skein White
  • 1 skein Fisherman

I had used Wool-Ease before for a pair of mittens. I love the way it feels and looks and I absolutely love the bright green of the Avocado yarn. I'm guessing I'll use this yarn for Christmas related things. Maybe I'll try to make my own Christmas stocking.

Here's the other part of my order:

Lion Cotton
  • 2 skeins Sage
  • 1 skein Black
  • 1 skein White

This yarn was really the purpose of my purchase. I need this cotton yarn to make the skullholders. While the Mistress has an olive kitchen, Lion cotton did not have a comparable color so I thought this color would work best for her and for the Queen. But the Sage looked sorta odd to me...

Doesn't this look more like a blueish-gray than a sage green? Isn't sage always a green? Please correct me if I'm wrong about that.

The yarn looked really wrong when I compared it to the intense green of the Avocado Wool-Ease. It almost looks teal.

So far the yarn looks more green next to the black and white yarn (I've started the skullholders but that progress is for another post).

Here's one more small thing I ordered - Stitchmarkers!!

Here's a tip for all you yarn bargain shoppers out there. There is a trick to getting a 15% discount when ordering from the Lion Brand site. If you go to the yarn section and add stuff to your cart, you'll be paying full price. Go ahead - click here and add some yarn. Comes up as $3.49 each, right?

Now click here for a free afghan pattern (you may have to register to see this). Under the materials list you should see a blinking "Save 15%" sign. Go ahead and add any of those yarns to your basket.

Ta-da!! The yarn you just added to your cart is now $2.96. You just saved 15%! And you were not required to buy all the yarn included in that pattern nor did you have to buy the pattern! A great way to save some cash - and considering the shipping costs are significant, saving some money on yarn can help.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

To Do List

In anticipation of my Lion Brand order that is supposed to arrive today, I wanted to write out my current 'to do' list. I have a current projects list on the side bar, but it doesn't have links to the patterns or anything. I thought this would be more fun - and it would be an easy reference spot for me to click on the needed patterns.

I'm leaving out the couple of baby blankets I've already posted about - onto the yet to be started projects!

Baby Starghan - pattern by The Diva Crochets
I started this pattern using the Sweet Stripes Bernat yarn. While I loved the way the piece looked structurally, the changing colors of the yarn did not work at all. It looked uneven and sloppy. I know when I use my single colored yarn (Bernat Baby Coordinates), it will look great.

Skullholders - pattern from The Happy Hooker (another sample)
Not much of a surprise anymore, is it.... T'is the crafty project I'll be making for my girls. :)

New Wave Throw - pattern by Lion Brand
I bought this pattern with my latest order. I haven't had a chance to look at the pattern yet but I'm hoping to use different colors; perhaps blues or greens. There are a lot of Homespun colors from which to choose.

Daisy Crochet Charity Square by Krochet Krystal
I NEED to start this next so that I don't get labeled a bad swapper/sharer. Though in my defense, I didn't have an H hook until recently.
Depending on how much I like the finished product, I may make a bunch of these for a baby blanket. At the rate everyone is breeding, it's not a bad idea to have one or two blankets in the pipeline.

Afghan of the Sandman by The Crochet Garden
I absolutely love the way this blanket looks! All one color and yet the texture is so interesting!

Stained Glass Window Afghan by The Crochet Collection
This will be a great stash-buster project. Not sure when this project will be started...

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Austin TX Yarn Store

A couple weeks ago I was down in Austin, Texas for work. I took some time to walk around the city and to visit the LYS (local yarn store), Hill Country Weavers.

Inside this quaint little yellow house are fibers galore! Oodles of yarn to oggle. They had a wonderful collection and the staff was very friendly. I had my hopes up that this was a crochet friendly store since Debbie Stoller was scheduled to appear for a book signing of "The Happy Hooker". Sadly, when I asked where the crochet hooks were, I was directed to a small part of a large wall devoted to knitting needles and accessories. There were about 7 aluminum hooks and 5 wooden hooks. That was it - and they didn't have the H hook I wanted to buy. It was sad. :( But I wouldn't say the store isn't crochet friendly because the staff I talked to were very nice. It's just not a great store for hooks. Like I said before - LOTS of beautiful, quality yarn for purchase. I had to stop myself from buying a hank of Fiesta yarn that cost $45. Gotta save that money for MS&W. in May.

So if you're heading to Austin, TX - check out Hill Country Weavers.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Monday Madness

Only 2 months until the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival! I'm so excited!! They are updating the site and the schedule looks great. The Queen and I will be up bright and early to arrive before the gates open.

A few WIPs updates:

Dax's Baby Blanket is on its way to completion. I'm working on the white border - some shell stitches all around look good so far.

I recently bought some of Bernat's Baby Coordinates Sweet Stripes in Splash. The bold green and blue caught my eye at the store and I just had to have it. I thought it would be a good selection for a baby starghan but the change in color took away from the overall design. I frogged the started starghan and began a baby blanket crocheted on the diagonal. It's looking good and may resemble this knitted version when it's done. Problem is that I've been using an F hook and I don't like how stiff the blanket is. I may frog it entirely and use a G hook. Here's a preview:

I'm looking forward to starting the starghan with all the baby colors used in Dax's blanket. The only problem is that it is a lot of yarn to carry with me while commuting. That's why I'm liking the one skein idea of a project made with the Bernat Sweet Stripes. Once my order gets here, I'll have yarn for the skull oven mitts. Those should be a very portable project.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Yarn Addict

The last thing I need is more yarn. My stash runneth over. So what did I do?

I bought more yarn.

But I need it.

Really, I do.

Don't look at me like that - I'm serious.

Okay, I only need 4 of the skeins that I bought. I bought the other stuff so I would get the most out of the $10 in shipping I had to pay. I originally had $36 worth of stuff, but the shipping cost was the same up to $50. Thus, I bought more yarn in order to save on shipping. In my head, this is completely logical.

I'm hoping it will arrive next week. Nothing fancy, just some cotton yarn from Lion Brand so I can make the skull oven mitts. I'll buy some fancy stuff at MS&W, which according to the ticker, is just over 2 months away. Yay!

I raise my glass of orange juice to all the yarn addicts out there! Cheers!