Crocheting – Textured Stripes Throw

This week my parents celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary.  It reminded me that I wrote this post nearly a year ago and never uploaded it.  A year in the making, and here it is…

I recently (well, over a year ago) crocheted this Textured Stripes Throw from Ravelry.com as an anniversary gift for my parents.  I found this pattern via Pinterest (where else would I go to find crochet patterns).  Its stripes of varying sizes and textures (stitches) appealed to me, and it did not look like your typical afghan.

Once I crocheted the first set of stripes, I decided not to continue with the color repeat of the pattern as printed.  I wanted a more varied look so that each color would stand out in its own way, so I randomly selected the color order for each row sequence repeat.  I did, however, keep the first and last color sequence the same as the pattern.  Also, I did not add fringe to the afghan, rather I weaved in the loose ends of the yarn.

The yarn I selected was I Love This Yarn, worsted weight, 100% acrylic in the following colors:  Aubergine, Cream, Graphite, Navy, and Sea Blue.  I purchased two skeins of each color of yarn, and used approximately one and a half skeins per color.  As stated in my previous post, this afghan took me approximately 40 hours to complete.  I am beginning to understand hat once you learn how to read patterns and know the basic crochet stitches, you can complete just about any project.  Any of the special stitches are typically explained in the pattern instructions.

I snapped a few photos while working on the afghan including the yarn selection and my progression.

As I crocheted the afghan, I realized I enjoy bigger crochet projects.  Yes, hats and scarves are nice for a quick and easy piece of work, but the interesting thing about afghans and more complex items is that it takes longer and I appreciate the work more.  I momentarily considered selling my afghans online.  A quick look at Etsy proved it is not a revenue-generating plan.  Although, it would be a fantastic and very unique gift.  Only time will tell what I will do next.

Crocheting an Afghan – A Labor of Love

I have always heard crocheting an afghan is a labor of love.  When I was a kid, one of my great aunts crocheted an afghan each for me and my two brothers and gave them to us as Christmas presents.  Each afghan was a different color, shape and size, and each one made with one of us in mind.  We knew they were special and they quickly became our favorite blankets.  Until recently, I didn’t realize how much time and effort and love actually goes into making such a gift.

While crocheting my first afghan, I didn’t give it a second thought because I was making it for me.  There was no timeline and it didn’t really matter how it turned out.  I was learning to crochet and it was something on my bucket list.  I knew I would treasure it regardless of its imperfections.

My most recent crochet project, the Textured Stripes Throw from Ravelry.com was different.  This afghan was a gift for my parents.  Each step of the process I thought of them – I searched for a pattern they would like.  I carefully chose colors to match their home.  I wanted it to be unique, so I manipulated the pattern a little and randomly choose the stripe colors for each set of row repeats.  As I crocheted row upon row, I thought of them and how they’ve been married over 40 years, and their love for one another, their children, and their grandchildren.

Textured Stripes Throw

As best as I can figure, the afghan took me over 40 hours to complete.  I worked on it in small chunks of time over the course of three weeks.  I can’t imagine one spending this much time creating something for someone they dislike.  As I completed each stitch, I was making progress, but I was also making something for two people whom I love dearly.  By the end of the project, I concluded crocheting an afghan truly is a labor of love.

Crocheting – Dishcloths

I received a call from my aunt a few days before Christmas.  We talked for a while about my new hobby, crocheting.  She asked if I could make a few crocheted dishcloths for her.  I was between crocheting projects, so I figured I would make a few different ones for her.  Thus, I began my search for crocheted dishcloth patterns.

I remember skipping a dishcloth pattern in the Crocheting For Dummies book, so I started with that one.  If you own the book, it is located in Chapter 5.  (If you don’t own the book, I highly recommend you procuring a copy.  It’s a great reference tool for all of the crochet terminology and the various stitches).  Next, I headed to my favorite place, the Red Heart website, and found this Dandy Dishcloth pattern.  Finally, I went over to trusty Pinterest where I found two other patterns – one from Erika’s Crafts Corner, and the other from Petals to Picots.

Crochet Dishcloth Patterns

Completed Dishcloths

The Luxurious Washcloth with Border in the Crocheting For Dummies book is very basic.  It is a series of single crotchet (sc) stitches with a border also using single crochets.  The finished project measures approximately 10 inches square.  I used Sugar ‘n Cream 100% cotton, worsted weight yarn, color Rose Pink for the dishcloth and edging.

RedHeart Dandy Dishcloth

Pattern Courtesy of Crocheting for Dummies

The Dandy Dishcloth found on RedHeart.com was a little more entailed in that it used single crochets  (sc) as well as 3-double crochet (dc) clusters.  The finished project was approximately 9 inches square.  I used Sugar ‘n Cream 100% cotton, worsted weight yarn.  The dishcloth color is Love and the border is Hot Pink.

Crocheting for Dummies Luxurious Washcloth with Border

Pattern Courtesy of Red Heart

Next, Erika’s Crafts Corner provided very easy instructions for this dishcloth.  The pattern incorporates single crochets and double crochets in a cluster to provide texture.  Erika states this can be used as a hotbed, potholder, or washcloth, so the pattern has endless uses.  Of the four dishcloths I made, this was the one I enjoyed the most.  I’m not sure if it’s the pattern or the color yarn used, but I really liked this one.  The picture doesn’t give the yarn justice, it’s a combination of purples and  blue-greens.  The yarn is Sugar ‘n Cream 100% cotton, worsted weight yarn, Crown Jewels Ombre color.

Crochet Dishcloth Pattern

Pattern Courtesy of Erika’s Crafts Corner

The last dishcloth was found on the Petals to Picots website.  The pattern works single crochets and double crochets and achieves clusters that provide texture.  Although the pattern is extremely easy, and the fault is absolutely mine (I wasn’t counting my stitches), I had a difficult time getting it right.  I must have been preoccupied or just tired.  It really is an easy pattern that’s great for beginners.  The final product came out great, just took a little longer than I expected (again, at no one’s fault but my own).  I used Sugar ‘n Cream 100% cotton, worsted weight yarn, Rose Pink color for the washcloth as well as the edging.  The finished product measured approximately 8 inches squared.

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Pattern Courtesy of Petals to Picots

I used yarn that I had laying around, so the colors were unintentional.  When perusing dishcloth patterns, I noticed that all of the patterns called for 100% cotton yarn, I’m sure this has to do with absorbency and durability.  I preferred the smaller dishcloths, while my aunt said she preferred the larger ones.  So it’s definitely a personal preference on size.  Overall, the directions were easy to follow and the dishcloths didn’t take long to make.  A big THANK YOU to those who shared their dishcloth patterns online, I appreciate your generosity!  Now, on to the next crochet project…

Crocheting – Dog Paws Christmas Stocking

After completing our Christmas stockings and all of the snowflake decor, I had one more crochet project to complete and ship before Christmas.  While perusing the RedHeart website, I found this adorable Dog Paws Christmas stocking pattern and knew without a doubt which four-legged pup would be receiving this for his first Christmas!

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Meet Roux, my brother’s pup!

I made the leg sides one afternoon and finished the stocking the following afternoon.  Overall, it took a few hours to make.  The directions were quite simple, and the featured video located below the stocking picture was extremely helpful, especially when it came to making the paw and toe prints and sewing them onto the stocking.  Helpful hint, when making the paw, toe prints, and bone, when you are fastening off be sure to leave a long tail.  You can then use this piece of yarn to sew the piece to the leg sides (if you are having trouble, watch this youtube video for further explanation).

I used the same yarns as our Christmas stockings – I Love This Yarn, 100% acrylic, worsted weight, in Forest (leg sides), Cranberry (center paw and toe prints), and White (bone).  After completing the bone, I decided to use my sewing machine’s embroider function to add Roux’s name, and then attached it to the front side of the leg.  Once complete, I filled the stocking with a few doggy treats and mailed to my favorite Rhodesian Ridgeback, Roux!  Dog Paw Christmas Stocking

Crocheting – Christmas Stockings

I’ve been looking for Christmas stockings for me and Nick since before we were married.  Since we’ve yet to find any that we liked, I decided to make Christmas stockings this year.  As you know, Red Heart has become my go-to for crocheting patterns, and this was no exception.  I found this Holly Berry Christmas Stocking IMG_1406pattern on their website and wanted to give it a try.

As with just about all of my crocheting projects, I made a few changes to the pattern.  Basically, I followed the pattern, with exception  of the cuff, I did not complete the holly and berries portion, just repeated the single crochet in Rows 2-11.  I used I Love This Yarn, 100% acrylic, worsted weight, in three colors – Cranberry, Forest, and White.  These were extremely easy to make – you crochet all of the rows, not working in the round.  Then whipstitch the seams together from the top of the leg to the bottom of the toe, so there is a seam in the back of the leg.

We now have stockings hanging from our mantle, awaiting Christmas day.

Crochet Christmas Stockings

Crocheting – A Snowstorm

The week before Thanksgiving, I began looking for something fun to make for our moms and my grandmother for Christmas.  I found this White Snowflake Table Runner pattern on the Red Heart website and decided this would make the perfect gift.  So I made a trip to Hobby Lobby and purchased I Love This Yarn, color Metallic White, 97% Acrylic and 3% Metallic Polyester medium weight yarn.  It’s hard to tell in the pictures, but the yarn has a sliver of silver in it, so it sparkles in the light.  The pattern is quite simple, it is just a combination of single crochet (sc), half-double crochet (hdc), and chain (ch) stitches while working in the round.  I completed the first table runner according to the pattern.  After this, I made a few modifications, either adding or deleting snowflakes, to obtain the length needed.

From the first snowflake to the last ornament was a little over three weeks.  In this time, I completed a 4-foot, 6-foot and round table runner as well as three snowflake ornaments.  It brings me much joy to give handmade gifts this year.  The presents were mailed earlier this week and all were delivered by Saturday.  The recipients were surprised and very excited to be given “such a special Christmas gift”.

Crocheting – An Afghan

I’ve been working on this crocheting project for over a month now.  After learning a few stitches and crocheting in the round, I wanted to try my hand at making an afghan.  I searched for a pattern that incorporated the stitches I was familiar with and didn’t seem too difficult.  I finally settled on the Crocheted Afghan with Striped Texture pattern from Jo-Ann.  The yarn was  purchased from Hobby Lobby.  I used 100% Acrylic, medium weight yarn by I Love This Yarn, the color Antique Teal.

I started the afghan right after we moved into the hotel as something to keep me occupied during the day.  Part of the reason it has taken me so long to complete is because I didn’t check my gauge prior to starting the project.  I didn’t realize how important this step was, until now.  That little mishap resulted in me going through more skeins of yarn than the pattern suggests and more than doubled the number of rows needed.  Also, I mis-measured the length of the blanket, therefore I had to add several rows to the border to increase the length and width of the afghan.  I figured a pattern is like a recipe, use it as a guide and modify when necessary.

Overall, I am very satisfied with the finished product.   The afghan color compliments my sunroom furniture, which is the perfect spot to cuddle up and drink coffee or get lost in a good book.

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