Wednesday, June 17

Raindrops Falls - a lace poncho to crochet

Raindrop Falls is a gorgeous lace poncho that works up quickly in a DK weight yarn. Crochet it in cotton or a summery yarn for warm weather or a wool or warmer for cooler spring and fall wear.

It is constructed in the round from the neck down and finishes with a beautiful lace border.

You'll need 500 yards of DK (or light worsted) weight yarn and a size J (6 mm) crochet hook. The pictured poncho was made with 5 balls of Knit Picks Cotlin.

The neckline measures 26" around, 53" wide after increase rounds, 18" long, and 73" wide at bottom. It has not been blocked though you may do so if you like.

Make it with any weight of yarn by changing the hook size to suit the yarn and changing the number of stitches in the beginning round.

It can easily be adapted into a skirt.

The 4 page pattern has written instructions and a crochet chart. It sells for $5.00 in my Ravelry pattern store.

Tuesday, May 19

Crochet a Cogswell Spirals dishcloth or coaster

Cogswell Spirals is a simple cloth crocheted from the center out in continuous spirals (no joining rounds). Stitches are worked in loops on the wrong side of the cloth. A picot border finishes the cloth with a steam punky, gear look.

You’ll need 30 yards of worsted weight cotton yarn and a size H (5 mm) crochet hook for a 6” cloth. Also included in the pattern is a 4” coaster size.

The four page pattern includes written instructions and crochet charts. The pattern is available as a download through my Ravelry pattern store for $2.00.

Monday, May 18

Endless Hearts - a crochet project

Endless Hearts is my newest design. Actually, this one has been simmering for a year or two. I've worked on it and put it aside when the stitch pattern just wouldn't come together the way I wanted it to. I pulled it out earlier this year when it was still cold. It still didn't want to cooperate and it went into time out for a month or so before I gave it one last chance and the design came together.

Endless Hearts is a mobius cowl-type scarf that features heart motifs. My friend Chris came up with a very fitting name for it. The secret to how this scarf works is the mobius twist at the beginning.

You'll need a size I (5.5 mm) crochet hook and 280 yards of a worsted weight yarn for the longer (red) scarf. It measured 54" around x 8" tall. I steam blocked it and it grew to 64" around. Blocking is not necessary. I did it to provide better stitch definition for pictures. The red scarf was made with Red Heart Shimmer. Shimmer is a soft, slightly fuzzy, worsted weight yarn, that has a sparkle thread twisted through it.

The pattern gives directions for a shorter version too. You'll need about 165 yards of worsted weight yarn and it measures 28" x 8". 

The pattern can be worked in any weight of yarn by changing the hook size to suit the yarn and adjusting the stitches at the beginning.

The three page pattern has written instructions for both sizes and a crochet chart. It sells for $3.00 from my Ravelry pattern store.

Wednesday, April 22

What's normal anymore?

Normal? What's that? That word seems to have deserted my life for the last couple of years. My husband and I could sure stand a little boredom instead of all the excitement and chaos that keeps occurring.

Got my mom settled back in her home town last June and finally signed the papers to sell her house the end of February this year. Just about the time we thought we'd get a bit of a breather, things went south again.

On Valentines Day, my husband drove through white out conditions to pick up my FIL at the hospital where his girlfriend was a patient. My FIL's behavior had made him no longer welcome there. A drive that should have taken no more than 90 minutes round trip took 3 hours. I was very worried. Hubby told me the roads were horrendous and there were lots of slide offs. It was a white knuckle drive. Not long after he arrived home they put out a blizzard warning and told everyone to stay off the roads. We got a lot of snow that day.

Shortly after that my FIL moved back to his own home after living with his girlfriend for the past 6-7 years. He just turned 92 and is not a happy camper about being separated from her. His girlfriend is in the end stage of congestive heart failure and is now living with her daughter.

Within 2 weeks of being home my FIL was in the emergency room twice. Shortly after that came the day a visiting nurse checked on him and he greeted her with "I took a bunch of pills with alcohol to kill myself." She rushed him to the ER. He had an infection but was not successful in his suicide attempt. This landed him on suicide watch at the hospital and a visit to the local mental health center for evaluation when he was well enough to be released from the hospital. He was at the mental health facility for a week before they finished evaluating him. He said it was like being in the army again. My FIL doesn't understand why they are concerned that a 92-year-old would want to commit suicide. This is the kind of stuff that makes you want to tear you hair out when you hear it. He is supposed to be seeing a counselor. Not sure it's happened yet as the doctor keeps cancelling his appointments. He's also supposed to be on antidepressants and stop drinking. I don't think either of those have happened. You can not make a stubborn old man do something he does not want to do.

My husband, his two brothers, and we three SILs have tried our best to make him comfortable, see to his needs, and keep him out of trouble. He wants none of it. He is only interested in getting back with his girlfriend which he thinks about constantly. Like a dog with a bone, he keeps chewing trying to find the best way to achieve his end goal. I strongly suspect the suicide attempt was as much a bid for her attention and sympathy as anything else.

My FIL used to be a loving, kind, man who was very family oriented. Every holiday, family event, birthday, anniversary, etc. we celebrated together. (I also got the whole how important family lecture is from him before I married his son.) Then my MIL died. A year passed before he reconnected with a woman he knew growing up. My FIL turned his back on his sons, our families, and all of his close friends who had helped him through his wife's passing. He no longer had time for any of them. It's a very sad and frustrating situation for all of us. We do what we can for him but more times than not we are greeted with verbal abuse.

On top of this, one of hubby's close, long-time, male friends is fighting a terminal cancer diagnosis. He has been in and out of the hospital a lot and he has refused to give up. We are praying for a miracle.

And as if hubby didn't need anything else to worry about, I've been down with an upper respiratory virus for the past week. It is one nasty bug that's making the rounds in our area and it doesn't want to go away easily. (I'm hoping hubby doesn't get it. I am worried as he has been coughing and complaining of a headache that goes along with this bug.) I'm looking forward to feeling like myself again. Haven't touched a crochet hook, knitting needles, or much of anything else I've felt so bad. Hubby didn't help when he came home last night with news I didn't want to hear -- two people at work told him they had this and it took 2 to 2-1/2 weeks to get over it. Yikes!

Friday, March 6

It Be Winter Hood to knit

It Be Winter is a thick and cozy hood designed to keep you warm even on the coldest days. Knit flat in garter stitch on size 11 (8 mm) needles with bulky weight yarn (140 yards) or doubled worsted weight yarn, it knits up fast. There are no seams. Cast on and work the front first. Then work a few short rows at the center and begin to join the back to the front. Finish with a little skirt at the back to cover the neck and tuck inside your coat. Add a button and loop under the chin or ties for a secure closing.

Measures 17” from top to bottom x 8” deep laid flat on the side.

You can change the size of the hood by choosing a lighter weight yarn and needles recommended by the yarn label.

I will be knitting more of these to wear next winter. :-) I'm hoping we don't need heavy winter gear for much longer this year.
The three page pattern includes written instructions only.

Buy the pattern through my Ravelry pattern store for $3.00.

Have fun knitting!

Monday, February 16

Heartsong Shawl to knit

Heartsong is a fun heart-shaped shawl that is a companion piece to my Heartsong Scarf.  It is knit from the top down in garter stitch that ends in a simple lace border. Knit in a heavy worsted weight yarn on size 8 knitting needles it is a fast knit. Looks stunning in a yarn with a long color run.

You’ll need 300-330 yards of heavy worsted weight yarn for a shawl that measures 41” neckline x 13” deep and blocked to 59” x 18”.

It's easy to make larger by knitting more repeats. Use any weight of yarn by changing the needle size to suit the yarn.  The pictured shawl was knit with 3 skeins of Noro Silk Garden.

The 3 page pattern sells for $4.00 in my Ravelry pattern store.

Blue Daisies Cowl to crochet

Blue Daisies is a lace mobius cowl constructed in the round using a daisy filet crochet motif. This cowl may be worn around the neck, over the head, or around the shoulders.

You’ll need 360 yards of worsted weight yarn and a size I (5.5 mm) crochet hook (or 200 yards for a shorter cowl).

I used Red Heart Shimmer in Royal for the cowl pictured above. Finished size is 41” around x 16” deep.

A photo tutorial is included in the pattern that shows you step-by-step how to create and work the mobius twist.

The size of the cowl is easily adjustable by changing the number of repeats you work. Can be made in any weight of yarn by changing the hook to suit the yarn and adjusting the foundation chain.

The 4 page pattern has written instructions, a mobius tutorial, and a crochet chart. It sells for $3.00 in my Ravelry pattern store.