Crochet projects and other projects

Here is what I am doing now on my crochet projects and other projects. The flower blanket is zooming along and I am almost finished with it. Here is a more current photo of it.  I just have the borders left on it now and it is enormous. It is a heavy blanket and will be wonderful this coming winter. The blanket already has a home as it is a custom order. It will feel good to start on other crochet projects, I have so many in mind.Crochet projects and other projects; ChocolateDogStudio, crochet flower blanket

I went to the business conference last weekend and it was wonderful. The goals setting advice and clarity I got for my business has been wonderful. Crochet projects and other projects; ChocolateDogStudio, crochet flower blanket

I was able to meet Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom. I have been reading her blog for years and it was nice to meet her in person.  She is as fun in person as she is online.Crochet projects and other projects; ChocolateDogStudio, crochet flower blanket

There has been a bunch of stirring around and re-organizing. I am excited that part of this area will be my new studio area. Crochet projects and other projects; ChocolateDogStudio, crochet flower blanket

We have been having a huge cleaning session, getting rid of extra stuff, condensing boxes, and packing up our daughter’s college items until she gets her own place. This is the dirty truth about our makerspace. It sometimes becomes the catch all!

I also found some yarny messes that I have been organizing and clearing out.

Crochet projects and other projects; ChocolateDogStudio, crochet flower blanket

It is Memorial day here and we spent time at the cemetery decorating Dad’s gravestone. He was a veteran and we are thankful for his and other’s service for our country.  Dad’s stone is the one in the foreground. Crochet projects and other projects; ChocolateDogStudio, crochet flower blanket

If you or a loved one has served we thank you for your sacrifice for our freedoms.
The week was full and fun. It has been a busy week and even busier weekend. I am excited to finally get to work in the new studio area. I hope to get more organized with my pattern writing and crocheting.  My yarn is more organized. I have decided that I have too much yarn and need to get started crocheting so that more of it leaves my house! (Is it really possible to have too much yarn?) I have yarntopia and then three plastic tubs full along with baskets full in the living room. I also bought more this past week at a flea market, but it was sooo nice and such a lovely color!

Talk to you later,

Karen

Crochet Projects

I am working on several different crochet projects this month. I have three in progress; a custom granny square and two new stripe afghans. There are also 3-4 projects in what I call the incubator.

The incubator is a blending of several things; a secret pinterest board of ideas, yarn in yarntopia, and visual ideas that persist in running through my mind over and over again. Sometimes the ideas make it to the sketchbook or a yarn order.

The flower blanket you have been seeing updates on through Instagram. It is just a huge project. I feel like I am eating an elephant, one little bite at a time. I know it will be completed soon but it feels like climbing up a mountain on a slippery ice. It just keeps dragging on and on with no end in sight. I really wish I was at the joining stage. Truthfully, I’m not. I was just setting them out to verify how many squares I really needed. Crochet Projects; ChocolateDogStudio, Granny square flowers

 

I have been continuing to read the books on my list. I have been completing the exercises as I go and I think I am making progress. Breaking Busy has been reminding me to not overcommit to activities. Frankly, it has been hard as my life is in a shift of priorities. It appears that we are shifting from parenting to coaching to support staff, and from being friends with parents to keeping an eye on things for them a little bit more. Mom calls it the sandwich generation. I know she is right as sometimes I feel pretty squashed.Today, I am tired, deeply exhausted that tends to go with the fibromyalgia has set in. The weekend was full of family, fun and plain hard work. The results are amazing and today’s exhaustion is worth it.

The weather is gloomy and chilly today, which makes me want to snuggle under a blanket with a cup of coffee. I just need a  day of quiet, crochet and dinner in the crock pot. So, I am off to get dinner started so I can sit and crochet the rest of the day guilt free. The laundry is going so I feel pretty productive even if I am not working very hard.

Talk to you later,

Karen

 

 

4 Ways to Plan a Crochet Blanket

Planning a crochet blanket can be difficult but there are 4 ways to plan a crochet blanket that might make it easier.

The sketch method

Drawing out your afghan can be helpful if you are creating an afghan with complex color changes or designs. Pull out those colored pencils and start sketching it out. Like a road map it will help keep you on track. You can refer to this sketch when you aren’t quite sure what to do next and it might keep you from having to frog (take it all out) as much. If you are creating a pixelated or tapestry design then you will follow the chart much as a cross stitcher does.

Do the Math

I use the math method when I am working on a Granny square blanket to see how many squares I will need to crochet to create a specific size blanket. It is simple to use and very helpful. Simply create a square, measure it. You can then figure out how many squares per length and width. Multiply length and width together and the answer will tell you how many squares you need.

4 Ways to Plan a Crochet Blanket, crochet, ChocolateDogStudio

This should read 10 x 12 which is 120 squares. They are 6″ squares. I need twelve squares for the length and ten squares for the width and then if you multiply them together that means 120 squares total.

The Sample Method

Here is my sample method. I was playing with some new yarn and I wanted to see how it would look in stripes. People all over the crochet world use different types of sample colors to see how they will work in their blanket.  Wooden clothes pins or pegs and little cardboard spools are used to hold colors. These work great as it helps you play with the colors until you get just the right color combinations.

 

Here I layout the skeins to see how the colors work together. I have done this several times through the years. I usually lay them all out on the couch to get an idea of how they will work in a blanket. I use so many colors that it makes it easier to see the progression of colors without putting the skeins on the floor.

These are my 4 most favorite ways to plan an afghan. Do you have a favorite afghan planning method. Do you plan your projects or do the spontaneously happen? My favorite afghan are scrap afghans or blankets that just happen! They seem to have more life in them than the meticulously planned, but I am very spontaneous about crochet. Not everyone is spontaneous so planning has its place as well. It does help you know that you have enough yarn for the project you have planned. If you know of another method, let me know. I am always looking for new ways to stay organized!

talk to you later,

Karen

 

Checkerboard Crochet Afghan Pattern!

The Checkerboard Afghan pattern is now available! Do you remember this beautiful afghan?

Checkerboard Crochet Afghan Pattern, crochet pattern ChocolateDogStudio

It has such a simple yet beautiful border. There is not much to remember and it all just flows together so easily.

Checkerboard Crochet Afghan Pattern, crochet pattern ChocolateDogStudio

Lovely masculine squares and stripes with incredibly soft yarn.

Checkerboard Crochet Afghan Pattern, crochet pattern ChocolateDogStudio

There are several different color combinations of this easily found yarn. You can shop your local craft store to find the perfect colors for your checkerboard afghan.

Checkerboard Crochet Afghan Pattern, crochet pattern ChocolateDogStudio

Incredible visual texture and a soft, warm cuddly exterior.

Checkerboard Crochet Afghan Pattern, crochet pattern ChocolateDogStudio

I have ranked this afghan a beginner + 1. It is a little bit more complex than the other afghan patterns I have created. This is a perfect step up. One of the easier parts is the lovely border which is included in the pattern with step by step instructions.

Checkerboard Crochet Afghan Pattern, crochet pattern ChocolateDogStudio
Skills needed:
• Double crochet
• Slip stitch
• Weave ends in
• Change colors
• Single crochet

Supplies needed:
• Yarn
• Scissors
• Large eye needle
• Size g crochet hook or size needed for gauge

These instructions are written in U.S. crochet terminology.

You can find the pattern for sale on Craftsy

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/crocheting/home-decor/checkerboard-afghan/199395

and Etsy

https://www.etsy.com/listing/288035203/crochet-afghan-checkerboard-pattern

FYI:

I also have links on this webpage to several shops that also sell the yarn. Should you purchase from any of the links on this page I will receive a small percentage of the sale, which will help fund my future yarn purchases!

It has been a full week. I have been crocheting on these flowers and I just can’t seem to crochet them fast enough. Here they are several days ago. The were taking over the coffee table and I finally popped them all in the basket lid to contain them. I am trying not to repeat any color combinations but it is difficult. I have been crocheting early in the morning and late into the night trying to get them all crocheted.

2016-03-29 10.19.34

I, also,  just found out that one of my favorite fabric shops is having a going out of business sale. I am headed over there after lunch with my daughter-in-law. I am going to try to teach her to sew a log cabin quilt. I think we will be purchasing fabric and goodness knows what else. I might stock up on craft staples like sewing machine needles, yarn, quilt batting and other sewing necessities. Now I know that yarn is not a sewing necessity but it is Necessary for happiness  in my house! I hope to find some great deals as thing are supposedly 50% off in some cases. You just never know if what you want is actually on sale or not.

Talk to you later,

Karen

P.S. ChocolatesBabyShop is now closed. I have been stretched too thin trying to keep two shops up. I was pleased with the results of the shop but all the crochet afghans can been shown in one shop! If you are looking for baby afghans you can now find them here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ChocolateDogStudio?section_id=11215540