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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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Temperature Afghan

Temperature afghans-if you have crocheted any length of time at all, then you have seen them all over the internet, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram at the first of the new year for the last several years. If you do a search for Temperature Afghan you will probably come across a variation of this photo.  This afghan wasn’t created primarily to be a temperature afghan, though someone on the internet did use this photo to portray one.

Temperature Afghan Tips

 

Temperature Afghan Tips

What is a temperature afghan?

It is an afghan crocheted one row a day with the color related to the temperature of that day. Blues and Purples for cold weather and yellows/oranges/reds for warmer temps. Greens for the middle temps. When completed there is a visual representation of the year’s daily temperature and 365 rows of beautiful afghan.

Problems with a temperature afghan?

  • They can be huge! 365 rows of huge crochet blanket.
  • It is a long commitment. You must know that you will stick with a project for every day of the year (not my thing.)
  • They can be ugly if your regional temperatures zoom up and down like ours in Oklahoma where it can be 80 degrees F one day and below zero the next.
  • It can be boring.

The answer to fixing the boring part and huge commitment is to crochet last year’s temperatures. Find the temperatures for last year on the internet. Print them out and then you can sit down and crochet the whole thing in several weeks! Which is what I would do if I were going to crochet one.

How can you adjust the temperature afghan to fit your crocheting style?

There are so many ways that you can use to crochet a smaller version.

  • It could be the temperatures for the month a baby was born or your birthday month.
  • A scarf illustrating the temperatures for 3 winter months.
  • It could be a granny square blanket with 2 or 3 daily temperatures.
  • Crochet a special year to memorialize someone’s life.

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Life is Fun

Right now, life is fun. I am figuring out how to get around and do daily living activities while not putting any weight on my right foot. Which means that I am not getting around much at all.

 

Before Christmas

I spent my time crocheting these dino hats for the Grandkids and then also finishing up their sequined Christmas Stockings. Which did need me to be down and immobile for several weeks to get them finished. Sometimes I go without the boot when I am sitting around but it doesn’t mean that I am walking on it yet! I am still following the Doctor’s orders

  Temperature Afghan Tips                             Temperature Afghan Tips

 

Temperature Afghan Tips                          Temperature Afghan Tips                     Temperature Afghan Tips

The looked cute on the grandkids with the dino tails to match. The dyno hats crocheted up quickly and are fun to make.

Temperature Afghan Tips

The tails are wonderful and were created by www.etsy.com/shop/kidhub. She did a great job and I was able to custom order the colors to match yarn that I already had on hand.

Beautiful Moments

There have been (what deceptively looks like) beautiful moments like this.

Temperature Afghan Tips

Where it looks like I spent all day snuggled under a crochet afghan drinking yummy hot drinks. When I got about 3 micro seconds of this bliss before I spilled the coffee in my lap. Which goes to show that photos do not often tell the whole story.

    Temperature Afghan Tips

The second photo above makes it look like I am incredibly organized, and  getting some work done. I am not sure about the quality of my work due to the pain meds I was taking at the time. It is time to go back and review my work. We have had a downturn in the weather this week and we went from shorts weather to a dusting of snow before Christmas and it is now brrr cold with a bit of ice due on Saturday.

Temperature Afghan Tips

It was beautiful, and I bribed a child to go out and take some snow photos for me.

Temperature Afghan Tips I also got in my pre-Christmas yarn order that I forced myself not to open until the hats and stockings were finished. Sometimes I need a big carrot to get the job finished. This is always fun and if the colors seem odd, I was filling in some missing colors from Yarntopia. I did miss some vital colors that will have to go in another order.

 

After Christmas

Since Christmas, I have been doing a ton of organizing paperwork, thinking, planning and talking with friends. I haven’t had this much sit down or chat time in months.  I just move too fast and jump from one thing to another without stopping to force myself to slow down and do nothing. It is good to be able to sit and think but it also means a certain amount of boredom has set in. Binge watching tv is now done and over, I have seen all I want to see on Netflix or Amazon.  So, I have moved on to business planning and thinking about coming new year.

Temperature Afghan Tips

So now you are caught up with where I am and what is going on at Chocolate Dog Studio. Things are good, and the foot is healing as quickly as can be expected. I am thrilled at the thought of a New Year and the new crochet projects ahead of me.

 

Talk to you later,

Karen

P.S. I hope that your Holidays have been wonderful and relaxing. I would love to know what is going to be on your list of crochet projects to do this year?

 

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Christmas Countdown and the Holiday Sale

Here we are in full on  Christmas countdown mode and gearing up for the Holiday Sale. The days are shorter and filled with activities.  Music events, church, children’s programs in addition to work and living life.

It is always a rush to get the perfect gift for each and every person on our gift list. It is such a struggle to make sure that no one is forgotten or left out.

 

The Holiday Sale

There are some good sales happening at the Etsy Shop and also here on the blog in the next four weeks. This is the first 25% off any $20 or more purchase.  Everything handmade is on sale in the Etsy shop including the afghans. The patterns are on sale here and the Etsy shop. Take your pick and finish out your shopping! The last guaranteed Christmas arrival shipping day is the 16th of December.

Christmas Countdown and the Holiday Sale

 

Recovery

I am recovering nicely and spent more than half the day sitting up and taking care of this and that computer chore.  I am feeling better and can’t wait to get downstairs and see the Christmas tree. It has been 2 weeks since I have navigated the stairs. Crutches and stairs with a half turn in them plus pain meds have worked to keep me upstairs. Tomorrow is the day that I finally will see the downstairs. I knew it had a been a long two weeks in bed (mostly) when one of the kids saw me sitting in the chair and said “Oh, you are sitting in a chair!” like it was some really strange event to see me anywhere but bed.  Everyone has been incredibly kind and helpful even when I am less than my best.

 Christmas Countdown and the Holiday Sale

Crochet

I have had one little Grandchild visit in the past two weeks . He spent the time talking about Grandma’s big booboo (the boot instead of a cast.) I am  missing those little people desperately. I have not been up to seeing them but we do have a cookie decorating event coming up soon. So, I will get to see them then. I have had the crochet hook out after I finished up this sequined stocking that I had promised.

Christmas Countdown and the Holiday Sale

I am starting work on some Dinosaur hats as a little grandkids Christmas gift. They are receiving dinosaur tails for their Christmas gift from Grandma and Grandpa.

Christmas Countdown and the Holiday Sale

The tails velcro on and were custom made by the Etsy Shop- Kid Hub. Jennifer did a great job and everyone loves them. The hats are a fun add on to the tails and can be worn to pre-school even if the tails can’t. Imagination stretching gifts are my favorite gift to give.

Kid Hub

 

Dinosaur Dragon Tail Birthday Costume Halloween outfit Gift idea Party Favor christmas gift idea

Talk to you later,

Karen

P.S. What are you shopping for this year? Are you crocheting any gifts? How is your Christmas Countdown going?

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The Merry Christmas Post

The Merry Christmas Post

The Merry Christmas PostMerry Christmas to you and yours!

Things are truly crazy around our house lately. We’ve been under the weather with a virus (for what seems like months, but is only a couple weeks) and sticking pretty close to home. I wanted to post a beautiful photo of our lovely tree, all decorated and twinkling, but I’m settling instead for a photo of me wrapped up in an afghan. Yes, that’s how sick we’ve been around here!

I’m writing this a bit in advance because I want to take a mini-vacation; I want to spend time with my family instead of my computer during these few days before and after Christmas. But, I want you, my readers, to know how much I appreciate you!

May God Bless You and Your Family this Christmas,

Karen