Be Kind – Words to Live By

This morning has been hectic and nerve-racking.  Yuki, the white and black bun sister, wasn’t eating her breakfast.  For a rabbit, refusing to eat is not a good sign so I went into watchful panic mode, silently begging her to nibble something.  Then I ran out of hay and was dangerously close to running out of bunny greens.  So off to Tractor Supply and the local grocery store I went.

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Beginner Crochet Series – Parts of a Chain Stitch

Foundation Row
This is the reason I want you to learn how to do good chain stitches.

When I first started crocheting, the first row of crochet after the chain stitches was the most frustrating part of any project. Either I was missing a chain here and there or putting two stitches into the same chain. My stitch counts were never right and it was enough to put me off a pattern.  Sometimes I even wanted to totally give up crochet.

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Happy Pi Day Everyone!

Happy Pi Day
Happy Pi Day!
Image courtesy of Dreamstime Stock Photos

Today is the 30th anniversary of Pi Day where we celebrate π (aka: Pi) or the ratio between the circumference and diameter of a circle.  What?  Not relevant to crochet, you say?  How many patterns have you done in the round, dear readers?  Yesterday’s shawl pattern started with a circle of twelve double crochets in a chain 3 space.  Some granny squares start off as circles. The bottom of round bags and baskets usually start as circles.  We may not need to calculate Pi in our daily crochet lives, but we do use math to figure out a repeat, increase, or decrease.

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WIP Tuesday – Crochet Tea Cakes Shawl

Tea Cakes Shawl
Close up of the stitch work on the Tea Cakes Shawl

Today’s WIP Tuesday project is the Tea Cakes Shawl designed by Mikey of The Crochet Crowd.  I have a confession.  This pattern really confused me at first.  It drove me bonkers!  I almost gave up.  Grasping the concept was almost beyond my comprehension.  Or so I thought.  Then I realized I was reading between the lines and making it harder than it actually was.  Do the pattern just as it is written, silly.  (*face palm)  Duh!

My Favorite Stitch

This pattern uses my favorite go-to stitch:  the corner-to-corner.  If I need a quick project, I grab some cotton and make dish cloths.  I’ve also made scarves and cowls.  I have done many variations of the corner-to-corner stitch in the last few years.  The Fortune’s Shawlette pattern by moogly created a gorgeous, summertime piece in long color changes from peach to burnt orange.

This stitch creates an unusual tooth-like edging on triangle projects that can be smoothed in the final row if I want.  Whether or not I put his border on my shawls depends on how much yarn I have left.

The Pattern

Twelve double crochet ring
Close up of the unusual beginning of the Tea Cakes Shawl

The circle created using 12 double crochets in the 3-chain ring is unusual and gives the shawl a unique beginning.  If I didn’t know any better, I would think that the pattern was actually going to be done in the round.

The shawl’s spine is not symmetrical, but that adds to it’s unusual design.  If you crochet this shawl, pay attention to this part.  It’s easy to loose track of what you are doing until you are more familiar with it.

You also need to pay attention to the edges.  But once you realize that they are variations of the main stitch (chain three – two double crochets in the chain three space), they should be easy to remember.

The Yarn

Lion Brand Mandala in Sphinx
I used the Sphinx colorway of the Lion Brand Mandala for this shawl.

Once again, I chose Lion Brand’s Mandala yarn for the Tea Cakes Shawl.  This time I am using the Sphinx colorway.  It’s more of a “pond in the middle of the forest” type color if you ask me.  But as I am such an earthy person, I really like the way the colors come together.

I should have finished this shawl a long time ago.  It’s a fun pattern.  I just lost interest for a short time because the sides are getting longer and longer.  It feels as though I will never get to the end.  I need to work on it a few more days and it will be complete.  Just maybe not today…

Have you given this pattern a try?  Or did you get frustrated like me?  It’s not Mikey’s fault I wasn’t paying attention to the pattern.  If you did get frustrated, why not try it  again?  Let me know in the comments below what you think of the Tea Cakes Shawl.

Have an excellent day!

Nose Bumps
Nose bumps from the Bun Sisters

Why I’m not a Yarn Snob

Red Heart Super Saver and Handspun Yarn
Does this trigger the Yarn Snob in you? It shouldn’t.

Here is my yarn story for today’s Misc. Monday:  Once upon a time and for a fleeting moment shortly after I began spinning, I felt my soul being drawn towards a certain negative force.  It felt so wrong.  It’s just not who I am.  However, I couldn’t fight it.  I was being drawn into the depths of yarn hell!.  Then, like the protagonist in a shape-shifting monster anime, I resisted that negativity and regained myself.  Ahhh….  Zen….

What was this horrible force drawing me into the void, you may ask.  It was the awful enemy, “The Yarn Snob”.  It looks down on Red Heart Super Saver.  It scoffs at Lion Brand Pound of Love.  It sneers at Caron Simply Soft.  It also considers certain other yarns (depending on its branch of yarn religion) less than dirt.  It’s a horrible enemy that must be quashed!.  It must be annihilated!

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Beginner Crochet Series – Getting to Know Your Hook

Crochet hooks in the snow
Using the recent weather to my advantage

I know your first thought is to bypass this post.  Please don’t.  It’s important to know your crochet hook because it is the tool you will be using.  It is your partner in this endeavor.  It is an extension of your hand like a pencil is when you write.

In the beginning you might hate your crochet hook.  It’s awkward and doesn’t listen to what you are telling it to do.  But it’s just like picking up a pencil for the first when you were a child.  You need to train your muscles so they use the correct movements to make your stitches.

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Spinning Singles – What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

Collection of My Singles
Here are three of the singles I have done.

For me spinning singles came out of my desire to spin the best yarn I can.  I’m not a robot so I will have bumps along the road.  That’s what make me human.  But I want to do my best as often as I am able.  There have been bad days where I wonder what the heck I’m doing with the contraption I lovingly named Loki.  And there have been really good days when I find myself squishing a particularly lovely skein of yarn like it’s a stuffed toy.

I started spinning on a spindle in October of 2016.  Eventually, I purchased a spinning wheel and my love of making yarn really took off.  My ideal yarn is smooth and even and as thin as I can make it.  Call me frugal, but I want to get the most mileage out of my fiber.  Thick and thin chunky yarn is wasted on me.  That’s how I am and I’m perfectly happy.

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Revisiting the Seraphina Shawl Pattern by Doni

Seraphina Shawl
Stitch detail of the Seraphina Shawl by Doni

Several years ago I wrote a blog post about the “Seraphina Shawl” by Doni.  This is my all time favorite shawl pattern.  At least six of these fantastic shawls have passed through my hooks with one or two still waiting to be finished.

If you look on the Seraphina Shawl’s Ravelry page, you will see that it is quite popular with over 1600 projects.  I’m not the only person who considers this pattern their favorite either as it’s beautiful and fun to crochet.

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WIP Tuesday – “Dimholt” by Jasmin Räsänen

Dimholt shawl WIP
Today’s WIP – The Dimholt Shawl

Good day, everyone!  Hope the beginning of your week is going well.  Today’s pattern for WIP Tuesday is something that I have been working on for several months.  It feels like a really long novel I don’t want to give up.  I’ll be sad when it’s finished because it’s such a pleasure to crochet.  What is it?  Oh, it’s a shawl called Dimholt by Jasmin Räsänen that I found on Ravelry.

The shawl is so delicate and graceful that I had to find the perfect yarn to highlight the filet crochet and lacework.  As an added bonus, the yarn I chose is a long gradient so I am not going to get bored.

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