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Archive for the ‘Warmth for Warriors’ Category

The first thing I have to do is acknowledge the prize drawing I won a few weeks back.  During the Back to School Bash I hosted a comment-a-thon to raise money for the Houston Pittie Pack. The money I donated went into a drawing for a scarf that Madi’s mom crocheted and donated as a prize drawing. After all the raffle money had been collected Puddles was selected to do the drawing for the scarf and I won! In addition to the scarf the package came with a lovely card that was custom-made just for me and said that the scarf would give me a hug every time I wear it. I will also never be able to put it on without thinking of Madi and her mom.

Crochet Scarf from Madi’s mom

I tried to enlist Charlie to take a picture of me wearing the scarf, but even though he is great at some photography, portraits are not his thing. I decided to display the scarf on my mannequin instead.  I wish you all could feel just how soft this scarf is. Not only will it keep me warm, but I love that it isn’t scratchy either. Being a new hooker myself I can really appreciate the effort that went into making such a beautiful piece. By the way Charlie likes that the scarf is in such neutral colors so he may even wear it some this winter too.

A few weeks before I won the scarf, and before I even thought about trying to win it, I started working on my own crocheted scarf and matching hat.

Originally I picked up this yarn thinking I would make an afghan, but I loved the softness and decided some winter accessories would be more practical. I also want to make some hats for the Warmth for Warriors project and thought it would be a good idea to practice on one for myself first.

Top View

Side View

The hat is fairly simple and worked in the round. That means you start at the top with just a few stitches and keep adding stitches in a circle around it. I love the way this yarn makes stripes as you go. That is even more pronounced with the scarf.

The pattern I used for the scarf was adapted from a hooded scarf pattern I found in the February 2012 issue of Crochet World. It uses a large stitch they call a “V” stitch and worked up quite fast. I used two skeins of yarn to complete this. I still have a few skeins left and plan on making a pair of mittens to complete the ensemble.

Deborah Norville – Serenity Chunky Weight – Color Stormy

I think that this winter I will not only be warm, but look good too.  Thanks Madi and Mom! I love my scarf (and might have a difficult time keeping Charlie from monopolizing it)!

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A few weeks ago I showed you some of the wash clothes I had crocheted so far and now I want to show you the two most recent additions.

The first one up is from a pattern called “Paint the Town”. It was a bit more complicated than any of the others I had tried to this point and if you are a crocheter and look close you can see the many flaws in it.  Even though I messed it up a bit I just kept going and did the best I could and I’m sure it will serve its purpose even with the flaws. I plan on trying this one again and hopefully doing a better job.

The next one is called “High Tech” and I really like the way it came out. I don’t think I messed anything up on this one. I love the way the edging turned out the best. It was a fairly simple pattern to follow since it was done with square sides compared to the other one that started out with a center circle.

So now you might be wondering what would I need all those wash cloths for? Well I shipped all nine off to the Warmth for Warriors project. Next up I will be making some hats to send to them during the winter months. This has been a great way to learn more about different crochet stitches and how to read a pattern and I love that I can do something for a very worthy cause.

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Er…I mean crocheters!

Since tomorrow, September 12, 2012 is the big Back to School Bash I thought I would alert my readers to another event happening on the same day…International Crochet Day! This is the 5th year of the event that was created by Jimbo a semi retired patent agent that hand carves crochet hooks. If you are a hooker like me then you should check out his blog and leave a comment for a chance to win one of his beautiful crochet hooks.

International Crochet Day isn’t just for those of us that are already hooked on hooking! If you haven’t tried it yet why not run to your nearest craft store (in the USA that is probably Joann’s, Michael’s, or Hobby Lobby to name a few), pick up a small skein of yarn and a crochet hook to fit that yarn (check the yarn label for suggestions). Then you could check out the great tutorials that Lynne created for the Blogville Ladies Crochet Society to get started. Here are links to her tutorials so far.

These tutorials are great for beginners with lots of pictures to help you along. I’ve been having so much fun learning this new hobby and I couldn’t have done it with out the Blogville Ladies Crochet Society!

If you are already an active hooker here are a few suggestions on how you could celebrate too:

  • Teach someone to crochet
  • Yarn bomb a co-worker’s cubicle. Or your spouse’s car. Or your kid’s lunchbox.
  • Vow to bust your stash
  • Make a hat. Give it away (Warmth for Warriors is a good cause).
  • Get started on your holiday gift list.
  • Crochet a flower or two or ten. Give them away at random to people you don’t know.
  • Crochet in public.

Let me know how you plan on celebrating International Crochet Day! I plan on working on more wash cloths to send to the Warmth for Warriors project.

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Or How I Learned to Read a Crochet Pattern and Mind my Tension

The first crochet project that Lynne set up for the Blogville Ladies Crochet Society to try was a dish cloth. It was a great project for a novice like myself.

Variegated Crochet Dish Cloth

Yellow Crochet Dish Cloth

I had fun making the first two and wanted to stretch my wings on some more. I realized that my first two cloths weren’t done using the intended stitch properly when I saw the tutorial for the pot holder that Lynne presented for the next BLCS project. Without knowing it I had used only back loops to do my single crochet, creating a corrugated or ribbed effect so I made another cloth using the proper single crochet technique. I also stretched my wings a bit by changing the color every two rows!

Proper Single Crochet Wash Cloth

By this time I figured I had mastered the single crochet and wanted to try some new stitches. I like the idea of doing dish cloths since they are small projects, but a person only needs so many dish/wash cloths. While surfing around some knitting and crochet web sites I discovered Warmth for Warriors. Their main focus is to provide hats to soldiers in Afghanistan, but during the summer months they are also looking for wash cloths so now I had an outlet for all my wash cloths.

One of the challenges with learning to crochet is to be able to read the patterns. You basically have to learn a foreign language. For all you non-crocheters here is an example of a crochet pattern to give you a feel for what I’m talking about:

Row 1: 3 dc into 4th ch from hook, *skip 3 ch sts, (1 sc, ch 3, 3 dc) into next ch, rep from * to the last 4 ch, skip ch 3, sc into last ch, ch 3, turn.

See what I mean? Everything is written in a shortcut language. At first I was really intimidated by this, but I am starting to get the hang of it and keep trying new patterns. I also found the Ultimate Crochet Bible at Joann’s and picked it up with one of their great coupons. I wanted a good reference book for stitches and this seemed to fit the bill.

My first Tulip Stitch Wash Cloth

One of the patterns I stumbled upon was for this Tulip Stitch wash cloth. It uses a double crochet stitch so I had to teach myself that first. Next I attempted the same pattern with different yarn and a hook the next size up (what the yarn wrapper called for). I also tried to not pull my stitches real tight as I did in the above one since I am learning that isn’t necessarily the proper technique either.

Multi-color Wash Cloth

I love how using different color yarn can produce something that looks quite different. What you also can’t tell from the separate pictures is how different in size they are.

Tulip Stitch Wash Cloth
Same Pattern With Same Number of Rows

The colorful one is maybe a bit too loose so my next try will aim for somewhere in between. I also found my next wash cloth pattern online. I liked this one because it used a series of different stitches for groups of rows.

Big Girl Wash Cloth

You can see the different stitch patterns in this picture. Since I am making these for the Warmth for Warriors project I tried to find yarn that wasn’t too “girly”, but that isn’t always easy when looking for cotton yarn.

The next version I did I used some coordinating solid color yarn.  I like the way this version shows off the different stitch areas and I think it makes it look a bit more masculine. I have more yarn and will be making more versions of this pattern with the three colors of yarn. This is an easy one to have for a small carry along project.

Same Pattern, Same Yarn, Same Hook – Different Tension

Like I said earlier, I am trying to loosen up my tension and you can see how the one on the right is slightly larger by loosening up the tension just a bit.

The Warmth for Warriors project will be accepting wash cloths until September 30th so I plan on plugging along to see how many I can send to them. I would like to challenge my fellow American crocheters and knitters to make a wash cloth and send it to the Warmth for Warriors project too. I don’t know if there is a similar program in other countries, but I don’t suppose that you have to live in this country to participate if you would like. Let’s see how many we can make and let me know if you do.

 

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