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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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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

 

 

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Baby Granny Blanket

This is a fun little granny square baby blanket that I crocheted up quickly a week or so ago. I started it during the move and then ran out of yarn as I only picked up one skein. So I added the green and pink to make it large enough. It starts with a 20 round granny square of the multi-color yarn. Then it has a row of green, another variegated round and two rounds of pink. I then added sweet little two round granny squares to the ends to make the blanket a rectangle.The whole thing is bordered with two rows of green and the pink scalloped border. Here is a detail photo of the cute little granny squares. 

I apologize for the snap shots of the baby afghan. I have lost my good camera sometime during the move. I really think it is hidden in a box that is not unpacked yet. Hopefully it will turn up soon. This pretty little blanket will be in the shop as soon as some decent photos are taken. It was really just a quick little fun project! The good news is that I used up the variegated yarn.

What have you been working on?

Talk to you later,

Karen

P.S. I can always make one in blue and white for that baby boy in your life!