Category Archives: Crochet

Doily Madness

I’ve recently become obsessed with crocheting doilies. Specifically doilies designed by Grace Fearon of Emilyandthe Handmade Designs. These doilies have so much incredible texture. They’re so fun to make and really hard to put down.

First, I made Evelyn:

Evelyn Doily in Knit Picks Curio, Lichen colorway.

 

Evelyn is 16 inches in diameter from point to point. This was a Crochet-Along (CAL) that several members of the Emilyandthe Facebook group participated in. Grace released the pattern in 5 parts over 15 days. It was so much fun to compare progress with other people and see their color choices.

Next, I made Francisco.

Francisco Doily

 

Francisco is about 17 inches in diameter from point to point. Too big for my little table to hold it all! I feel like I blocked it a little bit too aggressively, so I may reblock it to a smaller diameter at some point in the future.

My mom bought me the pattern for Francisco. Thanks, Mom!

Finally, I chose a free pattern of Grace’s for a small doily, just because I needed to make one more. This is Elise.

Elise Doily

It’s really difficult to get a good picture of that burgundy yarn and capture all the texture of the doily, as well.

 

Elise was such a fun and fast project. It took me about 2 days from start to finish.

Besides the texture, construction and beauty of the doilies, another thing I love about Grace’s designs is that the most of the names are significant. Some names are just ones she liked, others have deep personal meaning for her.

  • Evelyn was named for the unborn baby of a friend of Grace’s. The baby has a fatal genetic condition called NKH. In the doily, I see angels spreading their wings in the middle section.
  • Francisco was named for a friend of Grace’s family, who has Parkinsons disease and who has no family nearby to help care for him. Grace’s husband takes care of him on a regular basis and they discovered he has very little income. The proceeds from the purchase of this pattern go directly to Francisco’s care. This is the only doily with a masculine name.
  • Elise was named in honor of one of Genevieve Jurgensen’s two young girls who passed away in 1980. (The other daughter is Mathilde and there is a doily named for her, too.) The girls were killed in a drunk driving accident. Grace read Jurgensen’s memoir and named these doilies after the girls.

I’ve been so enamored with these doilies. I’ve been poring over the designs trying to decide which to make next. My sweet husband encouraged me to go ahead and buy one of the Emilyandthe Handmade books, rather than buying the patterns individually. I did, and Volume 3 is here with me. Now I just must decide which of the 7 patterns to make next! My favorites of those are Naomi and Marion… although Ruth and Hazel are pretty, too!

More than once I’ve asked myself (and I’ve been asked), “What am I going to do with all these doilies?” and the answer is… I don’t know yet. With two little boys, four cats and a dog, there’s no safe flat surface to display anything in this house. I do have space for one at work and I will probably take one there. Mom has suggested that I frame them, and that’s certainly a good idea, especially if I want to display them here at home. I think a shadowbox frame would do best for most of these with so much texture, rather than pressing them flat under glass. Who knows, maybe my entire family will get doilies for Christmas, then they can decide what to do with them! I just enjoy making them and will keep on with it for as long as the enjoyment lasts (or until I make them all!)

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A Quick Little Post

I usually write my posts ahead of time and have them queued up for Monday, but I spent this weekend knitting and hanging out a bunch with my kiddos. It was such beautiful weather here, we spent hours at a time outside.

This past week, though, I got all caught up on my Knitterati Afghan blocks. Well, except for the squirrels, hearts and weird leaf-pocket one; I’m not making those. The last two are blocking, but I can show you pictures of the three I have finished.

Knitterati Afghan Block 6

Block 6

This one took quite a bit of yarn, thanks to all those cables. It blocked out nicely, though.

 

Knitterati AFghan Block 4

Block 4

This one was fun and fast to do. I did get tripped up and you can see a row there that’s not quite right. Like I’ve said many times before, though, “Finished is better than perfect” and I am moving on.

Knitterati Afghan Blocks

The three blocked blocks.

I started and finished blocks 7 and 8 this weekend, but it’s rainy today and they’re drying so I don’t have good pictures of them for you this week.

I also managed to finish the crochet elephant’s ears this weekend. I have to block them before I can sew everything together, and since my blocking board is taken up with the afghan blocks, the elephant will have to wait until later in the week. I’m trying to decide whether to put the tusks on the doily, though.

Ira Rott Designs Crochet Elephant Rug Pattern - Jeffery

Jeffery – With tusks (Photo from Ira Rott Designs)

 

Josefina Elephant Rug Pattern by Ira Rott Designs

Josefina – without tusks (Photo from Ira Rott Designs.)

 

While they’d be quick and easy to make, I like the idea of having a baby elephant for my baby boy. What do you think?

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I’ve Come Down With Startitis

I have had a serious bout of startitis the last week! I keep finding all these cool, short projects that I want to do and I apparently think I should start them all at once. They would all be really quick to make, if I wasn’t making them all at once! I have a bunch of WIPs to show you today.

This is one I’ve had on my mind for a while. It’s so adorable and is so much fun to work on.

Elephant Doily

Elephant Doily. Obviously it needs to be blocked, but that will happen when it’s all been put together.

The pattern is Josefina and Jeffrey Elephant Rug by Ira Rott. It’s intended to be made with three strands of worsted weight yarn held together to make a sturdy rug, but I saw a couple of other people had used crochet thread and made a doily instead. I thought that would be perfect for Lollypop’s room.

I love, love, love crocheting doilies, but they are sometimes difficult to stop working on! I worked on this one every free moment for 4 days and I had to put it down for a little while. I woke up with migraines for 4 days in a row before I realized that crocheting was causing them. Working with the slick cotton thread and the tiny hook makes me tense up and really hurts my hands if I don’t take it slow. I’m waiting on my wrist and shoulder to stop hurting before I pick this up again and finish the other ear. When I do pick it back up, I will only work a little bit at a time.

While I’m waiting to heal from the crochet, I started another block for the Knitterati Afghan. The last I showed you of these blocks was number 5. There have been three more blocks released and they are more my style.

 

I forgot about block 5 and started in on block 6. If it wasn’t for running out of yarn, I’d be finished with block 6. I picked out yarn for blocks 5 and 7, and then decided these would be my colors for the entire afghan. I was going to try to use all stash yarn, but I think I would like it to be more uniform. Plus, these balls of yarn are only 50g and I’m not sure most the blocks will be able to be made with just one ball. In fact, block 6 up there will definitely not make it with just one ball, so I need more, anyway. While I am waiting on yarn to finish block 6, I think I’ll go ahead and start block 5.

I showed my color choices to my husband and he said I needed another color. I had considered that, but I couldn’t find a color that I really liked in my first dig through my stash. He suggested an orange. Hm. I thought about that and decided I agreed.  So dug again, consulted the color chart for Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and decided on one I think will work. I like that all the colors have a gray undertone. It’s almost pastel, but not quite.

Knitterati Colors

I also started a Sockhead Hat. This is one I heard about on the Very Pink Knits Podcast. They discuss it in episode 38: Moths! and I thought it sounded like a wonderful, simple pattern. I have plenty of sock yarns in my stash and I immediately knew which yarn I was going to use when I decided to make the hat. However, as I was digging, I found another one that I liked even better. This yarn is Three Irish Girls McClellan Fingering in colorway Zephyr (this colorway has been discontinued). The yarn base is 25% bamboo, which gives it a very nice sheen and silky feel, but bamboo is very bad for stretching and not springing back into shape and it’s not very warm. The wool content (85% for this particular skein) will help it keep its shape, but I felt like the bamboo content would make this yarn a poor choice for socks. I think it will be perfect for a slouchy hat, though, and it will be really awesome for bad hair days that are just slightly cool.

Sockhead Hat

Sockhead Hat in a perfect blue-green.

In all the startitis, I did finish a thing. I’ve been working on these socks since June of last year. They’ve been my car project – the project I work on while I’m riding in the car – and I did take them with me when I traveled for work. I used 3mm needles (US2.5 or US3, depending on your reference) and discovered I don’t like the fabric that needle makes for socks. It’s just a little too loose for my liking, but I will wear the socks anyway, because they’re very pretty.

Crazy Zauberball Socks Finished

I love finishing a new pair of hand-knit socks. My sock drawer looks so colorful and is threatening to overflow soon. I still wear commercial socks – especially for hiking or walking – but for cozy, unique comfort, nothing beats a well made pair of hand knits.

So, I needed some new car socks to work on. I bought this yarn on impulse after seeing it as an advertisement on my Facebook feed. It just grabbed me and spoke to me. It said, “Please let me come live with you!” and I kindly obliged. 😀

Haute Knit Yarns Bonfire Sock

This is HauteKnit Yarns Jimmy Sock in Grey Bonfire. The colors will show much better when I get more of the socks knitted, but here’s the photo from the Etsy Listing. You really gotta see the vibrant colors in this one.

Jimmy Sock HauteKnit Yarn Grey Bonfire

Image borrowed from Etsy shop HauteKnitYarn

 

One more (or maybe two) more things I want to start are crocheted doily coasters for my desk at work; I’ve been exploring Pinterest for ideas. I’m starting to think about Christmas, too, and plan projects for my giftees. I guess my startitis isn’t quite in remission yet. I tend to just go with it, though, and I’ll get into a finishing mode again before too long.

The sad part about my startitis is that I haven’t touched my Anni sweater in a couple of weeks. I’ve been thinking about it being lonely in my knitting basket, so I’ll pull it out again soon. It’s getting warmer around these parts, so a long-sleeved wool sweater isn’t going to be a best choice, but that will be the perfect time to finish the sweater so its ready to wear in the fall.

I’ll be taking all my new projects slowly, trying to heal up my wrist from the crochet stress. I have to take frequent breaks right now and stretch my wrist and hand, but I feel like it’s getting better. I’m so glad, too, because I really want to finish that elephant!

So here’s to finishing and healing and many beautiful projects in the next few weeks! Talk to you next week, my friends!

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Five Ideas for Handmade Gifts

This week, I’m bringing you 5 hand-made gift ideas to consider for your friends and family.

1 – Hats

Hats are quick and easy projects and make great gifts. These are some of my favorites that I made so far. The first is a hat I made for my husband several years ago. It is still the most favorite hat I have ever made. Second is a hat I made for my friend Chelsea. She wanted a couple of fun berets for summer. This one has a purple companion and was really fun to make. Number three is a fair isle hat. I love doing color work and since you’re using two yarns for the colorwork part, it’s double-thick and cozy. Finally, a little baby dinosaur hat that’s a mixture crochet (for the base of the hat) and knit (for the spikes). This one can be made in any size from newborn to adult.

2 – Mittens and Gloves

Gloves, fingerless and otherwise, as well as mittens are great warm gifts to give. They take a little more time than a hat to make, but that’s only because there’s some shaping involved.

3 – For the Kiddos

For welcoming baby to the world, what could be better than a sweet layette set? A coordinating hat, sweater, diaper cover and booties go together to make an adorable little outfit, suitable for the newborn photo shoot. Soft toys with sewn-on eyes are perfect for littles ones of all ages. For older kids, who haven’t outgrown the love of stuffed toys, getting the perfect gift that matches their interests is easy.

4 – Christmas Stocking

These things are so much fun to design and make! I really enjoy getting to know my clients and designing a pattern that fits their personality perfectly. Did you realize that each of these stockings was designed especially for the person I made it for? The designing process is as much fun for me as the knitting process, especially with Christmas stockings! We can work together to make a design that fits your style and decor perfectly.

5 – Housewares

Knitted items can be functional as will as fanciful. There are practical things such as dish cloths, swifter mop covers and bath mats. Then there are fun decorations such as doilies and knitted flowers. Then there are the bonus combo items, like a pretty knitted afghan with wonderful cabled texture or a bright baby blanket. If you’re a beer lover, you can keep that growler nice and cool with a felted cozy – the possibilities are endless with the design of that one!

Have you thought about having something handmade for a special someone on your gift list? Maybe a hat or mittens, just in case we get cold weather again. Does your family need a matching set of knit stockings, or have you added a family member (or two?) but haven’t gotten them one yet? Are there little ones in your life that would love a little softie? I know it’s only March, but it’s not a bad idea to start thinking about what you might like to do for Christmas. If you have an idea, let’s talk about it and see if we can work together!

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