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Christmas Chains, Yarn and Crochet

Christmas chains, yarn and crochet; there isn’t much painting this week. The studio is full of soft goods right now, quilts for small grandkids, yarn from Black Friday shopping, products to ship and projects to finish. Are you ready for a small breather in your hectic schedule? I know that we are. Some time off doing what we love, maybe a little home repair, a little deep cleaning, a ton of family time, church time and time to reflect. Like you, we live a rather normal life; well, as normal as it can get. Family time has been a little more intense the past several months. It is good to see that some crochet is starting to happen again. It fills a deep need to create and is more portable than painting and it keeps me balanced.

Yarn Shopping

Crochet has been filling my time more since Black Friday shopping. My crochet momentum is back, finally! The family knew when the soft squishy packages started arriving that Black Friday shopping had been a serious occupation for the Studio. Good thing that some of these projects have used up a little of the yarn. Hopefully, the projects planned for the yarn will work up quickly and fill the Etsy shop. A few photos of the beautiful colors soon to be coming your way with new patterns (hopefully) or remakes of older patterns in new colors.

Christmas Chains

Christmas Chains

Christmas Chains

Crochet

Here is a little of what I have been working on these days.

Christmas Chains

The Baby Hexi which seemed to take all summer.

Christmas Chains

A new take on the Ruby Red with Lion Brand Landscapes “Twilight” just to give folks another viewpoint of the Ruby Red in colors other than pink/red.

I also worked on a cute crocheted paper chain style garland for the Christmas tree. Super simple to crochet. I used all of the silvery yarn on hand and created two separate chains. The instructions are included below.  Here they are in process. These chains were fairly quick and I crocheted a bunch in one color and then joined them with the other color. Super fast and easy, great for beginners or children for learning to crochet. Also great for using up small bits of scrap yarn!

Christmas Chains

Here they are on the tree.

Christmas Chains

A few more more links will be added when there is a little more time. They were crocheted out of silvery grey and red Stylecraft Special DK but they would be beautiful out of bright cotton yarns or all white, even tropical colors would be beautiful. Crochet them any color and it will still add a fun look to your Christmas tree.

Christmas Chains Garland Pattern

Supplies

  • DK weight yarn in Red and silvery grey,
  • Size G crochet hook
  • Scissors
  • Large eye needle for sewing links.

Link:

Chain 25,

First row: HDC in the third chain from hook and HDC across the chain, keeping the chain untwisted.

Second row: chain 2 HDC in each stitch across the the previous row. Tie off and cut with a long tail.

Sew one end to the other using whip stitch.

Finished one chain. Continue creating links being sure when sewing to link the chains together to create a Christmas Garland.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year everyone. All online shops are open this year for the next several  weeks. We have family visiting and hubs in off work for weeks between December 17 and January 1st. Should you need any help on any crocheting or orders, please bear this in mind. I will be stopping by to check on things but not as often. The last day to order from Etsy and Amazon for Christmas delivery is Tuesday Dec. 11th.

Merry Christmas and Talk to you later,

Karen

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The Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth Tutorial

Here is the next crochet washcloth/dishcloth pattern; The Adapted Lemon Peel dishcloth.

The super easy  Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth is fun to crochet. It creates a lovely nubby texture without too much thinking about repeats or counting. It has a soft bumpy look which is great in a dishcloth. This pattern would also make a wonderful spa washcloth for an easy crochet Birthday or Christmas gift. Crochet 2-3 in different colors, add the washcloth to a few lovely soaps and you have an inexpensive and lovely gift for a new mother or a special friend.

The Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth Tutorial

Here is the washcloth first finished.

The Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth Tutorial

 

Supplies

  • Cotton dishcloth yarn
  • Size G crochet hook
  • Scissors

Skills Needed

  • single crochet = SC
  • chain
  • double crochet = DC
  • Weave in ends

The Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth Tutorial

Crochet 32 stitches in your cotton yarn.

Foundation Row

SC across the chain to create a foundation for your washcloth. (I am using a different color cotton yarn for these instructions.)

Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth

Row 1

 

Single crochet in the  2nd chain from the hook. Double crochet in the next chain,

sc in the next 4 chains.Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth

Alternate between the double crochet and  4 single crochets across the washcloth.

Chain 1 turn

(The double crochets will  to need to be on one side of the washcloth, poke them through to whichever side you pick for the front.)

Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth

Row 2

Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth

Sc in the  first stitch of the previous row.

3 sc in next  3 stitches, DC in the next stitch

Alternate 4 sc, 1 DC across the washcloth.

Alternate row 1 and row 2 until the washcloth is square.

 

I like to unplug and have paper patterns at times, so there is a free download  for The Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth in the shop.

 

Other Stuff

We have been helping a chick fly out of the nest this week and build another nest in a first apartment. Part of me is so excited and the other part of me is a tiny bit anxious. Mom’s tend to do this; be anxious, happy and excited all at the same time. The other part of the excitement is that the studio will finally get to move into a more permanent home with a door and nothing but studio items inside. I truly can’t wait but feel wrong to be too excited. Is it wrong to want your chicks to leave the nest?

 

I spent some time watercolor painting with a friend as we both needed the nudge to do something out of our normal routine. I attempted to paint roses again. These are really simple and today they look much better than they did yesterday. I need to go and look at the other paintings I finished. They might look better as well.

Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth I’ve been working steadily on this afghan but have had to take a break on it due to the busyness of life and some arthritis issues this week.

Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth

Take care and enjoy your week. The sun is shining here even though the temps dipped a little lower earlier this week.

This beautiful daffodil is blooming in my garden and bring a great touch of spring to the yard.

The Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth Tutorial

Talk to you later,

Karen

P.S. I would like to think that I invented The Adapted Lemon Peel stitch, but I am pretty sure that I didn’t. If you know the name of it, let me know and I will change the title and credit the stitch. The nearest I could find was the Lemon Peel stitch. There are so many outlets for finding new crochet stitches; from magazines, books and the internet that it is difficult to search back and find the source of your inspiration.

 

 

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Fear and Crocheting

Ridged Square Pattern

You may be asking yourself what fear has to do with crocheting. So much more than you can ever imagine! Fear keeps us in a rut: using the same yarns, shopping the same paths, befriending the same kinds of people. Refusing to change our perspectives and viewpoints is much like using the same colors of yarn with the same stitch. Quite frankly, it is boring, wrong, and keeps us trapped. As artists, we know that variety, changing things up, having a new viewpoint, and trying a new medium can all totally change the end result, enriching our work and propelling us forward into new ideas.

For the past month, I have been crocheting in monotone colors, first blue and now white. I am so incredibly bored. Even though, texturally, the stitches are interesting, monotone crochet is not my cup of tea. Put all of the textured squares together, and it is quite exciting. But right now, in the middle of this afghan, it is mind-numbing and plain hard work. I know, I know, you never hear me say that about yarn, crochet or afghans.

Fear and Crocheting

The fear of changing my mind has kept me here in this monochrome rut, but I am close to the end of this crochet blanket.

 (Actually, it is the overabundance of white and blue yarn in Yarntopia that is keeping me on track — and the fear of having to buy more yarn. I just hope I can finish both of these afghans without needing to buy any more yarn!)

Stepping Out of My Box

Your fear may be different. It may be fear of color, fear of new stitches, fear of commitment to crocheting an afghan, fear of trying something new, or fear of being seen as different. Kick that fear out of your life and move on! Just start step-by-step, and you will soon overcome it.

I am a person that likes the same things, same foods, and same restaurants. I know this is because I have some food issues that result in migraines. Fear of migraines has kept me from trying new foods and new restaurants. But, I have been making myself try new places and order new food. I will say that some of the food I’ve tried is not my thing or too incredibly spicy-hot. But, some has been wonderful. So, my thought is this: be prepared for a little disappointment when you try something new — it might not work out for the best the first time around.

A Different Kind of Creating

I have also been painting some wood planks we have for wall decorations. The first three turned out great, number four was good, and number five… well, take a look and see what you think.

Fear and creativity
Here are planks 1, 2, and 3.
Fear and creativity
Here are planks 4 & 5.

Yes, I passed grade school, and I do know how to spell ‘Merry.’ The next one is going to be ‘Christmas.’ I guess I was tired, so I quit while I was ahead. I will take another shot at it this next weekend.

So the thought I leave you with is to try something new; don’t be afraid, keep trying, and don’t give up!

Creating Washcloth Patterns

I have been on a binge creating new square patterns for washcloths or an afghan or two, and it has been disappointing. It is just plain hard work to jump the tracks and create a different rhythm in my crochet. I have frogged more than crocheted lately, but the two crochet patterns below are easy and small enough to frog without feeling like a failure.

What I am excited about is the washcloth patterns that I just released.

The first is this Ridged  Stripe. It uses front post crochet so you can get used to the stitch, along with half double crochet.Ridged Stripe Square Washcloth Pattern

Here is the Textured Stripes washcloth pattern.textured stripe washcloth patternBoth are free downloads in the blog shop. Whip one up, place in a gift basket, add some beautiful spa products, and you have a lovely gift! There will be a total of four washcloth patterns for you to add to the basket. The two patterns mentioned above are free in the shop today and every day. Just download them and start crocheting!

Age-old Wisdom

I will say that crocheting with the full spectrum of color is far more exciting and enriching than staying with monochrome. But, as my Gran would say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” and “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Talk to you later,

Karen

P.S.

There will be another set of washcloth patterns coming in the next couple of weeks so keep coming back — and yes, they aren’t blue!

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3 Super Easy Crochet Borders: The Scalloped Border

scalloped border

Everyone plays favorites, including me: I’ve been sharing the 3 super easy borders that are mine. I find myself using these borders all the time. These are borders that I don’t have to think about when I crochet them — that’s why they are my favorites. Who wants to spend time calculating how many stitches they need and whether the border is going to fit and turn out just right? This Scalloped Border works all the time on my granny stripe or granny square crocheted items.  Continue reading 3 Super Easy Crochet Borders: The Scalloped Border