Sunday, February 28, 2010

Buy my stuff!

Until I get an Etsy shop, this will just have to do:

Behold! My Facebook page!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Star Blanket pattern illustrated

This is one of the first few projects I learned. I've made so many of them over the years. They make really nice rugs and throw blankets.

-At least 42 oz. of worsted weight yarn.
-K hook or larger.
Gauge isn't important for this project.

Chain 6.

Join with a sl st to make a ring.

Ch 3. (This counts as the first double crochet here and throughout.)

dc 15 into ring. (16 dc total)

Join with a sl st to the top of beginning ch 3.

Ch 3.

dc into next dc. If you want a textured look to your blanket, I'd suggest going in only the back loops from here on out.

ch 4.

dc in next 2 dc, ch4. Repeat around. You should end up with 8 pairs of dc and 8 ch 4 spaces.

Join with a sl st to top of ch 3.

sl st your way to the first ch 4 space.

Ch 3

2 more dc in same ch 4 space. ch 3, 3 dc in same ch 4 space. Skip to next ch 4 space. [3dc, ch 3, 3dc] all in same ch 4 space. Repeat around.

Join with a sl st to top of beginning ch 3. (48 dc and 8 ch 3 spaces total.)

Sl st your way over to the first ch 3 space. Ch 3, dc, ch2, 2 dc all in same ch 3 space.

Again, if you want the textured look, at this step, work in back loops only. *Dc in next 2 dc. Skip 2 dc. Dc in next 2 dc. This should put you at the next ch 2 space. 2dc, ch 2, 2 dc all in the same ch 2 space. * Repeat from * to * around.

Join to top of beginning ch 3.

The last round is what you work for the rest of the blanket.
-sl st your way to the corner
-ch 3
-work 2dc, ch 2, dc in every chain two space
-work a dc in every dc, skipping the middle two dc. It should increase by one on each side of the middle with every row. You should always have 8 ch 2 spaces, and your total dc should be some multiple of 8.

Here are some photos of some that I've finished. Please email me pictures ( of any that you guys make. I'll post them!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Saturday Stitch: Increase

I seem to be surrounded by people who can crochet but don't really get patterns. In some ways this is a good thing. My sister in law can just dream stuff up out of nowhere. I am just now barely getting into making my own patterns for things.

For those who feel stuck because you can't decipher patterns, I've decided to devote a day of the week to illustrating a stitch commonly used in patterns. This week it's increases. They are used to excess in any pattern involving anything wavy. Increases are a main component in Amigurumi.

The increase is essentially the same thing. It's two of a stitch in one spot. A single crochet increase (sc inc) is two single crochets in the specified stitch. A double crochet increase (dc inc) is 2 double crochet in one stitch.

The following pictures are of a single crochet increase:
And here is a pattern illustrating the double crochet increase:

Circle Potholders
abbreviations used: ch= chain, sl st= slip stitch, dc= double crochet

Ch 4. Join with a sl st to form a ring.
Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as first dc here and throughout), 9 dc in ring. 10 dc total.
Round 2: Ch 2, dc in same st. 2 dc in each stitch around. 20 dc total.
Round 3: Ch 2, 2 dc in next st, dc in next st. (2 dc, dc, 2 dc) around. 30 dc total.
Round 4: Ch 2, dc in next st. 2 dc in next st. (dc in next 2 st, 2 dc) around. 40 dc total.
Round 5: Ch 2, dc in next 2 st. 2 dc in next st. (dc in next 3 st, 2 dc) around. 50 dc total.
Round 6: Ch 2, dc in next 3 st. 2 dc in next st. (dc in next 4 st, 2 dc) around. 60 dc total.
Round 7: Ch2, dc in next 4 st. 2 dc in next st. (dc in next 5 st, 2 dc) around. 70 dc total.

Make 2.

With the wrong side of the potholders facing each other, line them up so the ch 2s are together. Start stitching them together here. Make sure to chain 1 so you have something to slip stitch into when you're done. This is very similar to putting granny squares together. You work only in the back loops of the stitches, slip stitching your way around the circles.

Another variation is to use single crochet to put them together. If you choose this option, put an extra single crochet every 6th stitch. It continues the increase (imagine that, you can now say you've worked a sc increase! It's really just 2 sc in one stitch. This pattern reading seems hard but it's not. If I can get it, anyone can.) and prevents the potholders from trying to become a hat.

When you get to where you started, ch 12. Slip stitch into that chain 1, and you're good to go. Cut the yarn and weave the ends in.

Bonus: This pattern is easily adapted to making simple hats. You work the potholder pattern until it is big enough to lay on top of the head of the person you're making it for. Then you just work as many rows even (no increases) until it's long enough for the person you're making it for. In the coming weeks I'll post a pattern for hats and that will have different options for borders and stuff.

As always, enjoy and email me with any questions or with pictures of stuff you've made. :D

Monday, February 15, 2010

Amigurumi basics: Volume 1

According to Wikipedia, Amigurumi is "the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. The word is derived from a combination of the Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll. Amigurumi are typically animals, but can include artistic renderings, and inanimate objects endowed with anthropomorphic features.

I am really in love with these. They're so easy to make. They take about a day, depending on the size of the project or the difficulty. They make personal, cute gifts.

They all have similar starts to them. One popular one is the magic ring, or magic circle. This basically means crocheting the first stitches into a circle that you can pull tightly closed via a drawstring apparatus. YouTube is a big help in learning to do crochet stitches. The video I learned the magic circle is located here. It's one of the clearer ones.

Another option is to chain 2, and then put the desired amount of stitches in the second chain from the hook. This option works perfectly fine, it just doesn't get as tightly closed. A lot of patterns will have this as the starting option, but using the magic ring usually works well with the pattern. This is also true of patterns beginning with the magic ring/circle. You're probably fine using the chain 2 option.

If enough interest is generated, I may start a photobucket account full of how-to pictures, and link the albums on the side with the rest of the links. Leave comments and let me know. You are also perfectly welcome to email me at and I will be happy to talk you through patterns I post here as much as I can. I'm also planning on doing giveaways of crocheted things. The first will probably be around my birthday in the coming week so keep an eye out. :D

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I suppose it would be smart of me to begin this crochet journal with the piece that inspired not only it's creation but it's name.

Or, perhaps I should begin with the beginning of my crochet experience. I was taught to crochet by my mother. I toyed around with it half-heartedly until I was 19 and without school or a job to keep me busy. The majority of the beginning of my crochet was done on the ride to Jacksonville, IL. We were going to a benefit to raise money for my Grandpa. He had just come home from the hospital after an intense battle with AML leukemia. I decided to make a scarf and put it in for auction. I remember sitting in the back of my parents' car. I used an F hook that my Mom got from her Grandmother. My hand kept cramping and I remember being mad I couldn't keep going. It was just addictive. It still is. I have this almost ADD relationship with it. I pick it up, leave it for awhile, and pick it up again when my interest is sparked. I'm much better at things I can finish quickly. I have a few quarter or half finished blankets that can attest to my intermittent focus. I keep telling myself, "One day I'll finish these". Then I find another pattern I want to try. The internet has just exacerbated this. Don't confuse that with complaining. I'm happy to have a plethora of patterns at my disposal. (I know it's contrary to be glad about a plethora, as it means having so much it becomes annoying. I stand by my sentence.)

I digress. The meat of this entry is to introduce the blog and give credit where credit is due. The owl pattern comes from Amigurumi World by Ana Paula Rimoli. Her book is full of cute things to crochet. Her second book is even better. I'll get into more detail when I post my first book review entry.

To counter-act the wordiness of this post, here's a picture of the little guys:
I love how they all look different, even though they're made using similar yarn.