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Sunday, December 30, 2007

FM 12/31/07

The last Monday of the year - how did it get here so _darned_ quick? I don't know either, but here's today's dash of freebies.

Tired of that 9 to 5 life, all the phone calls, all the paperwork and that lousy "coffee" in the break room. Maybe you'd like to be a crochet designer. Sounds cool but it's a lot of work. Crochet Craft Gossip offers some books to help get you started:

This person is lucky enough to know Vickie Howell - well enough so M's Howell names a yarn after her. And well enough to score some free yarn from M's Howell. Sounds pretty sweet, doesn't it? However she had a slight problem with her gauge and found a different way to solve it rather than ripping the whole hat out.

Ever try to figure out how to make a pattern, but for some reason or another (tiredness, too much work, not enough caffeine) you just can't remember? Here's a tutorial on making a shell stitch pattern:

I love Crochet Craft Gossip. She always has some really cool stuff. In this particular blog, she presents thrifted sweaters to have fun with - making mitten garlands or crocheted scarves. So if you have some old wool sweaters or snag some from your local thrift store, here's something you can do with them:
Yup, I'm back on the coral reef fascination again. This is a coral reef made from hosiery.

This site claims it's for threadies, but they are so wrong. It's for anyone who crochets, you can adapt the patterns for worsted weight or sprots weight yarn. Plus a big advantage - patterns for crocheted snowflakes made from yarn as well as thread. Check it out:

I hope all of you have a safe happy New Year with lots of good surprises coming your way!


Friday, December 28, 2007

Thank you, Crochet Lassie!

I wanted to show all of you a beautiful coaster Crochet Lassie sent me, along with a Christmas card and a photo of her family. I was quite surprised to get this little package yesterday. I opened it thinking "oh gosh, did I join a swap I forgot about? A scrunchie swap, maybe?" but I was very happy to find this beautiful coaster. She sent this to me as thanks for winning the book contest, what a very sweet thing to do. I'm not sure if the picture accurately presents how detailed the stitches are - very cool. I'd like to say publicly thank you, Mary Lynn - what a sweet gesture.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Boxing Day......

well, it's the day after Christmas & time to "box" things for the service folk in your life - if you're the type of person that does that sort of thing.....I guess I'm not as I haven't done it.

I got some great Christmas gifts, 2 killer gifts from my sons (who were also good enough to fix Christmas dinner at their place and clean up afterwards - themselves. Excellent turkey dinner)
One is "Crochet Embellishments" by Jean Leinhauser and the other book is "Everyday Crochet" by Doris Chan. Pretty cool books.

But I thought I'd take a poll and publish the results on January 15, 2008. If you're interested in participating, here's the questions:

1) Top crochet books of 2007. If you give the title of an e-book, please give the website. For a book to qualify as a "top crochet book", at least 50% of the patterns have to be crochet. Why? Because I said so;)

2) How many projects do you estimate you made this year? How many were gifts? How many for charity? And did you really make something for yourself this year and if so, what was it?

3) Christmas gifts - a _lot_ of people crochet Christmas gifts. Did you? Did you finish in time? My youngest sister offered to give me a new hobby this year - cross stitch;) She's making a cute bunny picture but didn't quite finish it. I said no, I have enough hobbies;)

4) What project are you looking forward to doing in 2008? Any crcochet challenges or crochet alongs? Maybe trying a new technique?

5) Your blogs or your favorite blogs or both. I'm always curious to see what other folks are writing about.

That's it, inquiring minds want to know;)

Please just put the answers in the "comments" section or you can email me at blazelaflame at g m a i l (.) c o m (you know the proper way, just trying to avoid spambots).


Monday, December 24, 2007

FM 12/24/97

Each year I swear I won't be "this disorganized again". But the next year comes and I'm disorganized in a different way. This time, it's the baking. The chocolate cake, it looks like a mudslide. Even _with_ the icing on it, it still looks like a mudslide *sigh*. But it will get eaten, I'm sure.
On with the freebies

I didn't attempt to bake gingerbread people because they probably would have fallen apart like the cake. But I think I could manage to crochet a gingerbread person. If you got the time (or starting for next year), here's a pattern for you.

I didn't know this, but there's somebody out there that rates crafty blogs. Nope, I'm not in the ratings, but some other pretty cool blogs are - see if one of your faves made it on the list:
Shiny Media's Top 100 Fashion & Lifestyle Blogs: 51 - 100

Have you ever tried a "crochet along"? I haven't. But this particular site lists various crochet alongs for 2008. Here's a granny square one you may want to check out:

This is just silliness, but it's funny. You can figure out "what kind of yarn are you?" with this quiz. (I am cotton dishcloth).

This was interesting to me as I was complaining about this earlier this year.
This site has pointers on how to stop hand pain

Remember "Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house - not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse". On the "Knitting Daily" blog, they posted a knitters "Night Before Christmas". You can always think "crochet" where the word "knit" is printed;)

Another contest, this one for a skein of yarm every month for a year. Again, it says "knitters" but crocheters also have one skein projects and free yarn is free yarn.

That's it for me and I need to _go_. Tomorrow is another work day and it's also the night I get together with my siblings and their families to exchange Christmas gifts. So I will be dragging - oh, it's _today_....
I hope you have a happy Christmas and if you don't celebrate Christmas, have a nice Tuesday.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

fm 12/17/07

So you're giving a book and think it needs a little something else? Or maybe you're sending a card out that you want a little something "extra" in? Here is a quick bookmark pattern:

How about a tiny thread teddy beat tutorial? Edith Molina (she writes excellent patterns) has one online you can check out. Even if you feel too rushed now to make a thread bear, you can use it for future reference.

I asked a question about a size 7 hook for worsted weight yarn last week on Crochet Partners. I got a vey helpful answer from Wheat Carr. It's been on her blog but somehow I managed to miss it in my search to figure it out. M's Carr has plenty of cool stuff on her site, but I'm just giving you the conversion chart link right now - you can nose around to your heart's content.Here it is:

Not a free pattern, but something to drool over....

If you're looking for a particular pattern that you've seen done in Coats & Clarks yarn, you can get free Coats and Clarks patterns here:

This is a really cool stocking - a fair isle stocking. Maybe next year I'll try it - currently I don't need a need stocking for anyone. But I might try my hand at it just to see how it works up:

Just in case you have about 8 (or even 6) leftover granny squares, here's a quick & easy stocking. I can't tell you it's my original pattern, but I also can't tell you I have seen it in a pattern book. It's probably like a basic granny aquare - everybody knows the basics but nobody knows who thought it up first.
You take your 4 (or 3) granny squares and sew them in the shape of an "L". You repeat the same with the remaining 4 (or 3) granny squares. Now you can edge the "L"s with another color if you want or just sew or crochet both sides together and you got a stocking. You could put an edging on the top, then make s chain stitch hoop so the stocking can hang. I'm sure you can think of a dozen other ways to "gussy up" your granny square stocking.

The usual disclaimers apply - I get no kickbacks from these folks. If they wanted to give me a kickback, I would take it. (just being honest with you)


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

finished objects

On the right is a poncho I made for a friend's grandaughter. It's made from Caron's Simply Soft and it was a joy to work with. This is probably the most basic poncho in the world - two rectangles sewn together with edging and fringe. I didn't rely on a pattern but made it up as I went along. I just used a shell stitch to create the rectangle and added little curly fringe on it. I was veryhappy with the way it turned out. I hope she will be happy, too.
On the left is the tree skirt I was working on for my sons. As you can see, it's just granny squares with a hole left in the middle so it can be draped around the tree. I was pleased with the way it came out, but wasn't too thrilled with myself for letting the ends wait to be woven in. I would stick to Bernat or Red Heart to make another one. I wasn't too thrilled with the way the Peacock yarn worked up, but I did like the colors.

An update on Payton: He is doing as well as can be expected. He is eagerly waiting for Santa Claus (of course). The case went to trial and the judge is waiting for a psych report on the two juveniles so he can decide what, if any, punishment they should receive. I'd rant and rave, but that's not what this blog is supposed to be about

Monday, December 10, 2007

Freebie Monday 12/10/07

it's a short list today as I should be going to bed. You know how jobs are, they expect you to be all fresh and perky for them;)

here you go for today
Need to make a pair of mittens for a child - check this site out:
Click here: Mittens For Children - This is a great one piece pattern that I use every winter.

How about some free patterns for crochet toys?

I tend to learn from seeing something done. I always had a hard time with the box stitch until this tutorial.
http://www.crochetcabana.com/stitches /box-st-in-rows.htm

Another Crochet Cabana special:

I'm sure you've heard of the Sylvia Cosh and James Walters books on freeform crochet. Mr Walters is offering worksheets on freeform crochet at this website.

And finally, one of my favorites - ~/o There's no people like snowpeople~/o (okay, that's bad, but at least you didn't have to listen to me sing it;))

The usual disclaimers apply - I don't get a kickback from these folks or sites, just passing what I think is interesting information on to you.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

finished the tree skirt

I finally finished weaving in the ends of the Christmas tree skirt for my sons. I will _never_ wait until the end of the project to weave in all those ends again. It's basically a granny square pattern, I need to take a photo of it and post it. I made it with Peacock yarn (which I'm not that fond of), some Bernat and some Herschnerrer's. It various shades of blue, with a silver metallic thread in the yarn. I based it off of one I made almost (_eeek_) 36 years ago, long before there were kids or even before I had my own household. It's a good gift for somebody who is spending their first Christmas in their brand new household - or at least I think it is. Christmas decorations are something that never gets considered as a wedding gift or a house warming gift, but definitely a thoughtful one. My tree skirt is made from green, red and white Dazzleaire yarn. Remember that yarn, it was _great_. It has a sort of shimmery effect to it. It has held up very well (beter than me;)) after all these years. Since it's old enough, maybe it should run for president - but that's something to comtemplate for another time.
Two years ago, when my neice and her new hubby moved to their first home, I made them a tree skirt out of the same colors of yarn I used for Dan's & Will's tree skirt. I believ I got the pattern from one of the digest crochet books, but I wouldn't swear to it. It ended up looking similiar to a shrug and my sister-in-law teased that Allison would wear it rather than put it under the tree. I do think she is using it as a tree skirt.

Here's a freebie I was unaware of Monday when I posted freebies. Caron (see how nicely that fits in with the tree skirt) has a newsletter for the "Twelve Days of Christmas"
The first issue has Christmas stockings, one with a gingerbread girl and one with a gingerbread boy on it. The pattern is by Noreen Crone-Findlay and is very cute. So check it out!


Monday, December 03, 2007

Freebie Monday 12/3/07

I got a mixed bag of listings for you today. The first one I seriously considered keeping to myself because I am a big brat. It's a contest for a snowman crochet hook hand carved by Noreen Crone-Findlay and it is beautiful. I like to use snowflake designs for Christmas (that way if I don't take them down right away, it doesn't look so goofy), so I really think this is cool.
There's the website so you can see how the hook was made and you can enter the contest.

This also is a contest - it's for either a $300, $200 or $100 shopping spree at your favorite yarn shop. If you win, you could splurge on that yarn you've been eyeing but just can't justify buying it for yourself:

DMC (yes the embroidery thread people as well as perle cotton and Senso) have a site with free crochet patterns. If you want to check it out, here you go:

I said before I like snowflake patterns. I have made one snowflake afghan, but it didn't look like this one. I'm considering if I want to make another one - maybe. I do really like this pattern and it would make a great gift if you're fast enough to whip it up.

I don't have grandchildren and my sons are much to old to wear a hat like this. But I am thinking about making it for my great-nephews. Whether they are too fashion conscious to wear it, I don't know. If you get a chance to poke about Bev's Country Cottage, definitely take the time. She has some very lovely patterns - for sale as well as freebies - and they are always well written. http://bevscountrycottage.com/bevs-bear-beanie.html

Want to check out a few free crochet patterns from Interweave Press? That's a pattern for a boy's sweater here as well as a woman's pullover. Neither of these patterns are in the Interweave Crochet magazine: http://www.interweavecrochet.com/issue/materials_win07.asp#murphy

And here I go with another snowflake pattern. I really do _not_ need another scarf. In fact, I got some very soft yarnand some patterns for a scarf from a swap and I haven't used that yet.

I even buy those packs of crocheted snowflakes, I think they could be from India (not sure) because I think they are beautiful. I have a huge stack I was going to make a vest with, but now I don't like the way it looks. I did sew some on a denim Christmas stocking which of course, is _my_ stocking). I should post Craig's stocking....

As usual, I don't get a kickback from these folks, but as usual, I could be bought;)