How I do it Series- Three Color Baby Blanket – the crocheting

This is the third post in the series. If you missed the first or the second please go back to read.

Today, I’m going to share my experience with the actual crocheting. Last post, I talked about the math I did to figure out my pattern I needed to follow to create the 3 color baby blanket.

I don’t know if I mentioned that math was not one of my strong suits, lol, so needless to say, some things didn’t not quite work out the way I had planned on paper.

Hurdle #1- The height measurement was off. From my swatch, I thought it would take 27 rows of double crochet to make the center pink section a 20×20 square. NOT. On paper it seemed simple enough, if 1.5 rows equaled 1 inch then I could set up a ratio to see how many rows would equal 20 inches.

1.5/1 = r/20

1.5 x 20 = 1r

r= 30

I know, icky math. But, your third grade teacher didn’t lie to you, math does come in handy, sometimes wait until we use circumference! But the problem was, I didn’t make my swatch the same way I started my blanket, silly me. Lesson learned for next time!

Hurdle #2- Joanne’s Fabric Store didn’t have the shade of green I liked, so I had to order on line. First time I’ve done that, but it didn’t get here soon enough and I was crocheting fast (finished the 4 yellow panels and the center pink one in two days.) I didn’t want to wait so I adjusted my design.

blanket 3

Hurdle #3- There was a method I wanted to use to connect the pieces that I saw on Pintrest, but I couldn’t understand the tutorial correctly and it didn’t work out. So I had to sew the pieces together a different way.

connecting pannels

Hurdle #4- Second guessing all of my decisions and wanting to start from scratch! I called my sister to help to talk me off the ledge! After everyone in my house was asked three times if they liked it, I had to press on.

Well, as they say: best laid plans and all of that.

So what hurdles have you ever faced when tackling a project? I’d love to hear that I’m not alone.

Hope this helped.
M

WIP Wednesday

Happy WIP Wednesday!

tami_wip

Today is day 30 of the 31 Day Blog Challenge. I haven’t posted for each prompt, but I have learned so much from this process. Thank you so much Sara for issuing this challenge! Today’s prompt is about sharing a bit of myself with my readers. I think I’ve done that over the last 30 days and plan to continue.

Monday’s post discussed about my difficulty with trying to develop a pattern for a pig: Pinkie T Pig. Well, he’s what I’ve got so far
pinky t

I think she’s coming along quite nicely! What do you think?

I’ve even begun her story. I love when books come with their very own stuffies and I would love to be able to combine my love of creating adorable- in my opinion 🙂 – stuffies and writing books for children! Therefore, I would love for my stuffies to come with books!

Speaking of books, I’m reading a good one.
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I’ve read all of her O’Mallory series and this is her newest one.
So what’s on your hooks? Or on your Nooks? (lol, sorry. I love to rhyme.) And if you have a chance, do stop by Tami’s to see what others are working on. Everyone enjoys encouragement!

Brr, It’s Cold Outside

WUAliberty150x215It’s been cold lately across the country. Here in southern Virginia temperatures dropped down into the teens and I know farther up north temps were below zero in many places. As I was going out to drop off my hubby one morning, I hated the bitter cold. But it made me think: what about those people who were homeless?
I was outside for maybe twenty minutes; I couldn’t imagine huddling outside all night or in a shelter with little to protect me from the cold.

What:
This week for Tabatha Tuesday, I’m focusing on a foundation that’s mission is:”motivating, training and coordinating volunteers to knit and crochet afghans and clothing for people in need.”

Who:
According to their website, Warm Up America , has been around since 1991 and began in Wisconsin. A group of women began crocheting and knitting items for those in their neighborhood who were in need. Sounds a lot like Tabitha from Acts9:39, right?

How:
Have some extra yarn? Want to practice a new stitch? Volunteers are asked to donate their time to crochet and knit a 7″ x 9″ rectangle that will be combined with other donated squares to make afghans and lap blankets. The website has directions on how to complete your crochet square.

Why:
Matthew 25: 36- 40. I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

This has always been one of my favorite passages from the Bible, What will you do for the least of these?

Crochet Devo #4

crochet devoI wanted to make a pig. Don’t ask me why, it was probably because I had a lot of pink yarn left after making baby blankets. But for whatever the reason, I wanted to make a pig. She was going to be super cute and I had her all planned out in my mind right down to her name: Pinkie T Pig.

I started and got as far as her head when I realized it just wasn’t working. I got a major case of Give Up. Have you ever had one of those moments of self-doubt? What more could I possibly offer to the crochet world? There are tons of people who crochet better, write better, blog better than I do; so what in the world did I have to offer?

Finally I found a great article, How to Become an Expert by Abby Glassenberg on her blog and it totally changed my outlook. In the article, she talked about a time when she was having a difficult time trying to create one of her stuffed toys. She too wanted to give up, but she kept trying.

I needed to read what Abby had to say about not giving up even when design attempt after attempt doesn’t work. Life, or crochet design, isn’t supposed to be easy but if we want the crown, we have to keep fighting the good fight and not giving up.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7 Paul had many times in his life where things were not going his way: jail, shipwrecks but he kept going. He didn’t give up.

Last month, my grandmother passed away. She was 99 and 323 days old when she died. Mama raised my sister and I after our mother died. Mama was a very strong woman who sole purpose in life was to take care and love those around her. She willed herself to keep fighting and keep trying even after being given 3 months to live back in 1957 when the doctor diagnosed her with breast cancer. Mama told the doctor that she had people to take care of and that wasn’t going to work for her.

One of her favorite poems was Keep Your Grit by L.E Thayer

Hang on! Cling on! No Matter what they say,
Push on! Sing on! Things will come your way;
Sitting down and whining never help a bit,
Best way to get there is by keeping up your grit.
Don’t give up hoping when the ship goes down,
Grab a spar of something— Just refuse to drown;
Don’t think you’re dying just because you’re hit,
Smile in the face of danger and hang on to your grit.
Folks die too easy— they sort of fade away,
Make a little error and give up in dismay;
Kind of man that’s needed is the man of ready wit
To laugh at pain and trouble and keep his grit.

Do you ever want to give up? Well, one of the things I learned from crochet and trying to learn how to design is that even though I will have moments of doubt, I can’t give up.

This week, I’m finishing my pig! 🙂 What are you thinking about crocheting this week? Check out my girl’s ZaMarah’s Maybe Monday blog post and post what you’re thinking about crocheting

How I do it Series- Three Color Baby Blanket – The planning

Happy Thursday and welcome back to How I do it!

Last week, we started looking into the “behind the scenes” process of how I go about designing. If you miss the intro, click here.

The Sketch:
Well I had a good handle on what my client had in mind, so I began doodling.

G

Playing around with design, I realized that I really enjoyed being able to figure out exactly how I was going to do it. The rush of design. I doodled a few possibilities. I’m not sure how clear the picture is, but this is my scratch paper that I had out as I spoke with my client. We had already established a price (more about that on another post.) Then I narrowed my focus down to the two plans I liked the most.

planning2

Of course I had to have my favorite little interior designer (my littlest one) double-check which one I should do. And a design is born. The one on the right won.

The Math:
Using the yarn I had bought Caron One Pound in Pink and Red Heart in Yellow and Green, I made a swatch. Last year when I started crocheting and knitting, I hated making a swatch. I didn’t see the point. Well, there is one, at least when it comes to design. If I wanted the blanket to be consistent (my last one wasn’t) then I needed to know how many stitches I would need in order to make the length of the blanket as well as how many rows of double crochet stitches I would need to make the height.

G

From the pictures, you might be able to see my chicken scratch math calculations. I knew from my swatch that 3 chains equaled 1 inch. And 1 and a half rows equaled 1 inch. I did some math and figured out how many stitches to chain and how many rows i would need. But things never go quite as planned, you read in next week’s post.

How do you go about designing your patterns?

Day 24’s prompt for the 31 Day Blog Challenge asked how me to find out how easy it is to repost one of my posts. So, if you wanted to repsot this (or tweet) how easy would it be?

Remember, at the end of the series, I’ll be posting my free pattern for this blanket. See ya next week.

Hope this helped.
M

Wednesday WIP

Good WIP-y Wednesday to you!

Yesterday, I told you about chemo caps that could be donated to Knots of Love. Well, here is the almost finished hat for my little friend Jason. Just a few details left to do. Get his mouth straight and add his teeth! I always have the hardest time sewing on a mouth. Any suggestions?

spongebob

If you would like to find out more about Knots for Love:

Logo_Horizontal_Warming Hearts and Heads (2)

Or

If you would like to help me reach my goal of 60 chemo caps, click here for more information.

That’s my WIP. What’s on your hooks?

If you get a chance, check out for more WIPs

tami_wip

Tabitha Tuesdays- Crochet for Charity

Logo_Horizontal_Warming Hearts and Heads (2)Tabitha, also known as Dorcus, is written of in the Bible in Acts 9:36-41. She was a disciple “full of good works and charitable deeds.” (Acts 9:36) When the Apostle Peter was sent for, he came to Joppa and all the widows showed him “the tunics and garments which Dorcus had made.”(Acts 9:39)

If you could crochet for charity, that is a great reason to learn how to crochet. Each week, I’ll focus on a charity that accepts donations, a free pattern to crochet, or a way for people to get involved to help others with our handcrafts.

Crochet for Charity Spotlight: Knots of Love

What:
“Knots of Love’s primary goal is to brighten the lives of those in need with kindness and love.”

Who:
Christine Fabiani began KOL a little over five years ago. To date, KOL has donated 142,389 chemo caps to medical institutions across the county. They do this with people donating handmade hats. On the KOL website they offer a variety of free hat patterns, lists of approved yarns that will be soft enough for the recipients, and locations in many states to drop off your donations.

Why:
I have a personal connection. One of my little friends, Jason who is 6, has to continue his fight with cancer and go through another round of chemo and then have a bone marrow transplant. He wasn’t able to start kindergarten this year and it looks like going to school might not be accessible to him next year either. He loves SpongeBob, so I crocheted him a SpongeBob chemo cap.

How:
In his honor, I’d love to be able to donate 60 chemo caps to KOL. Will you help me? Let me know in my poll. Tweet this to help reach my goal #60caps4Jason.

“She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. “ Proverbs 31:20
So let’s get those hooks moving, ladies!

Crochet Devo #3 Best Laid Plans

crochet devoBest laid plans of mice and men…

Saturday was my day to get my hair done. Lol, no not a particular earth shattering experience and not very uncommon to most women, but it leads me into my devo, so just go with me for a second.

I have Sisterlocs, not an advertisement or endorsement, but you have to understand what they are to appreciate my story. Basically they are tiny dreadlocks that when I get them re-done, it takes anywhere from four to six hours sitting in a chair! Yes, that’s right. So with so much time on my hands I knew I was going to be able to knock out some of my new Michigan Throw.

I had to be at my hairdresser’s (for lack of a better word) house at 7 am on a Saturday morning. EEK! But I was looking forward to starting my blanket. I even stopped at 2 Wal-marts to try to find the right shade of yellow for the “M.” I drove all the way there and THEN realized that I had left the other yarn at home and worse yet, I’d even left my crochet hook home as well. I was fit to be tied, as my grandmother used to say.

With a long six and a half-hour day looming before me I had no idea what I was going to do to fill the time. Well, I had already drawn out the sketch so I actually got to write out the pattern. (I’ll talk more about this is a “How I do it” another time.

In Psalm 27, David asks God to teach him the ways of the Lord. In verse 14 it states: “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” I don’t know about you, but so many times I have plans. I have ideas of how things should go and I get so upset when they don’t go the way I had expected.
But today I remembered that I need to do as God, through David, instructed and to remember to wait on the Lord. Good will always comes from relying not on my plans or ideas, but on God’s.

So when we can’t get the amount of crocheting (or anything) done we wanted or the stitch pattern isn’t coming out right, be of good courage and God will strength our hearts.

Has crocheting ever helped you to learn a lesson?

Pintrest

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I love Pintrest!

It is one of my favorite hangouts on the web. Day 19 of the Blog Challenge is all about Pintrest. Sara posted a amazing resource all about Pintrest. I’ve learned so much with this FREE, yep free webinar If you get a chance, watch it. Have paper and pencil close by because Michelle (awesome name)Shaeffer has tons of websites and helpful tips you are going to want to write down.

Today, since I’m still resting my wrist from crocheting, I’m going to see how “pinnable” I can make my blog!
Happy Saturday.
M

Friday- Snow Day

Brr… It’s cold outside!
Happy Friday to you. We have a snow day. Well our homeschool co-op does. So lots of time to get some items crossed off my to-do list.

Today for the 31 Day Blog Challenge… drum roll, please:
Writing Prompt:
I plan on using YouTube to market my Crochet Business in 2013 by _____.

Yay! I blog post that I totally get right off the bat! This is day 18. Personally, I learned a lot from YouTube, including how to do tapestry crochet. I plan to use YouTube to post videos on skills and techniques to help my readers and pattern customers learn any skills they may need to learn to complete their pattern.

Since it is a no school day for my kidos and a long weekend (Did I say yay?) my goal is to post my first YouTube video this weekend!

Snapshot from my video tutorial on carrying yarn

Snapshot from my video tutorial on carrying yarn

As well as make some final touched to two patterns I’ve been working on to be able to post to the site and send to my lovely tester *waves at ZaMarah*.

So what is on your docket this weekend?

Previous Older Entries

Diary of a MadMama

Refashioning a Method to the Madness of Life

ReFashionista

Creating now.

Terras Kreativecke

Alles selbstgemacht

Family Bugs Blogging

How To Sell Crochet and Other Crafts

crochetandyarn

For hook and fibre lovers

Designs by Hebrew Hands

Crochet Blog, Techniques and Tutorials

Kittens with Mittens

Just another WordPress.com site

Canaconda Tales

Named in honor of the "Canacondas" from my five year old's imaginations this is a place to tell the tales of our life

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