Today was our local CGOA Chapter meeting and I brought in my nearly finished bear. I facilitate the meetings, so I wanted to demonstrate how I sew my bears together. I had filled the arms and legs and head with stuffing and brought stuffing for the body. By the end of the meeting I had finished the bear and given him to my friend Kathy that is organizing this effort. My friend Margie wins the prize for the most bears completed. She brought in all these bears. She said she cheated a little as these were bears she had made on a knitting loom and were just waiting to be finished with stuffing and bows. Kathy and I both said, they still count and will be very appreciated. Before my little bear left the shop, he had a cuddle with some wonderful Malabrigo. I am feeling very inspired with ideas about how I want to design my bear. Hopefully I will have a prototype worked up by Christmas time.
I can’t believe it, but another birthday has come and gone. Now it really feels like Fall.
It was a great birthday, I spent the day with my family. We went to a photo studio and had some really nice pictures taken of the 4 of us, as well as a couple of boys. Next we headed down to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. We explored the new Whale Exhibit and saw the Imax movie “Journey to the South Pacific” which had some awesome under water footage. Afterward we headed home and stopped for dinner at a nice restaurant.
Now Halloween is just around the corner with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays not far behind. That has me thinking about my gift list and sending off Christmas/New Years cards and letters.
If you are making gifts for folks this year you might find the following pattern helpful. I love getting homemade jams and jellies at Christmas time, and I’m always impressed with the various presentations. Got me thinking though about ways of creating a gift that would still serve a purpose after all the yummy stuff is eaten.
I came up with a jar cover. Once all the jam or jelly is gone you still have a pretty jar that can be used to send out your own home-made goodies, or you can remove the little cover and use it as a bag.
The tie for the cover can be crocheted or you can dress it up further by using a satin ribbon. In this example I used a 32 inch length of 1 1/2 inch wide ribbon.
SPARKLY JAR COVER
Jar Cover is 9”/ cm around x 5 1/4“/cm long.
Fits a Pint size Mason Jar
Lion Brand Yarns, Vanna’s Glamour (96% Acrylic, 4% Metallic Polyester), 1.75oz/50g, 202 yds/185m
Color used for sample is: #150 Platinum, approximately 12g/49 yards were used for sample
Size US G=6 / (4mm) or size needed to obtain gauge
Pint Mason Jar
First 3 rounds of pattern = 2.5” in diameter
V Stitch (V-st): (Dc, ch 1, dc) in indicated st or sp.
Rnd 1: Ch 4 (counts as 1st dc and center), 11 dc in 4th ch from hook, sl st to top of beg ch-4. [12 dc]
Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as dc here and thru out), dc in same spot as join, 2 dc in next 11 sts, sl st to top of beg ch-3. [24 dc]
Rnd 3: Ch 3, 2 dc next st, (dc next st, 2 dc next st) 11 times, sl st to top of beg ch-3. [36 dc]
Rnd 4: Ch 1, sc in same spot as join, sc next 5 sts, 2 sc next st, (sc next 5 sts, 2 sc next st) 5 times, sl st to first sc of rnd. [42 sc]
Rnd 5: Ch 1, sc in each stitch around, sl st to first sc of rnd. [42 sc]
Rnd 6: Ch 3, dc in next 41 sts, sl st to top of beg ch-3. [42 dc]
Rnd 7: Ch 4 (counts as dc and ch-1), dc in same st as join, (sk 2 sts, V-st in next st) 13 times, sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch-4. [14 V-sts]
Rnds 8 – 15: (Repeat Rnd 6 then Rnd 7) 4 times.
Tie (Make 1)
Ch 100 and fasten off
Weave in tails.
Thread the tie (or ribbon) thru the openings in the last round. Slide the jar into the cover, tie a bow. Tie knots in the ends of the tie, cut off excess yarn.
Today has been declared “I Love Yarn Day”. A celebration that I can truly get behind, since I really do love yarn.
As many of my readers know, since the start of the school year I’ve been spending my Wednesdays at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe. It’s one of my favorite places to hang out. Surrounded by yarn and other folks that love to play with yarn the hours go flying by, and inspiration always strikes.
Some of the great activities at LYS are all the charitable stitching being done for various organizations. My friend Kathy comes in most Wednesday with another friend and we all sit around the table working on our various projects. Lately Kathy has been working on knitting a Teddy Bear, she is making toys to give to graduates from the Front Range Community College’s Early Childhood Education program.
She asked me if I thought any of our local CGOA Chapter members would like to crochet some bears. Deadline for this project is November 1st, so not a lot of time. Fortunately there were chapter members up for the challenge. I brought some of my leftover yarns to donate to the effort and hunted down some patterns for bears. Both Red Heart and Lion Brand have some patterns available for 12 inch tall bears.
I found this bear at the Red Heart website.
And this bear at the Lion Brand website.
Before I got so busy designing and writing I used to crochet lots of charity projects. Blankets for Project Linus and premie hats for Save the Children were some of my favorite projects. I decided that I wanted to make some bears too, at least they are quicker projects than blankets.
So I’ve started with the bear from the Lion Brand website and I’ll be making the one from the Red Heart website next. It’s been really fun crocheting a project from someone else’s pattern for a change. I just have to follow along and pretty soon I’ll have a bear finished.
Above is a photo of my progress so far, I’m finished crocheting all the pieces except his body.
I’ve actually been surprised at how quickly the crocheting for this project has gone. Of course, I had to tweak things a tiny bit. I’m crocheting his eyes and nose from size #10 cotton thread then sewing them on firmly, instead of using safety eyes and embroidering the nose. These bears will be in the hands of little ones, so I’m upping the cautious factor. Plus the crocheted eyes will be more washable than plastic eyes.
I’m also coming up with something a little different for his “scarf”.
Working on my bears made me realize that I need to design a teddy bear of my own. I’ve designed a little bear that was published in Crochet World in their December 2012 issue. But that bear is much smaller, I think my next bear needs to be snuggly size.
Okay, back to work on this bear. Hopefully I will have a photo of the finished bear very soon. Though I am reminding myself that it takes nearly as much time to put all the pieces together and stuff the bear as it does to crochet the bear.
I’ve been crocheting and designing like crazy, but nothing that I could share with everyone quite yet.
Finally I can tell you all about a wonderful new book: “Christmas Crochet for Hearth, Home and Tree: Stockings, Ornaments, Garlands and More” by Edie Eckman. I was very honored when Edie Eckman asked me to contribute a design to this compilation back in January 2013.
Edie selected my Little Bird Ornament, called “Bird Trio” in the book. I love to decorate my Christmas tree with symbols from nature. Which meant a bird ornament was the perfect design for me to create.
One of my favorite things about this book is that all the designs have written instructions and stitch diagrams. When working sculptural projects I always find stitch diagrams to be very helpful.
I decided to work up another bird for my tree this year. I used Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Glamour in the Silver color, and switched to an E hook for the thinner yarn. I also added some pearly white glass beads along the edges of his wings for some extra sparkle. He is going to look marvelous with the Christmas lights, I might need to make a few more.
The book is available from Storey Publishing on Amazon.com as both a paperback or Kindle Ebook. Get yourself a copy soon and you can Crochet your Christmas this year.
Last Thursday evening was very cold. Compared to some of our winter weather it really wasn’t that cold, but after 80-90 degree temperatures it felt very chilly.
This was the view out the front door first thing in the morning.
Then I headed down the mountain a little ways to have some crochet time with my friend V. When I drove back up a few hours later the top of the mountain was socked in with fog. It was beautiful and I decided to stop and take a few photos.
Looking back down the mountain I couldn’t see the tops of any of the ridges around the valley.
A few hours later things were warming up a bit and the sun had come out. I looked out the window and noticed the daylight fog. In my front yard it wasn’t super noticeable.
But the backyard looked absolutely magical.
I have the feeling this is just the beginning of our Autumn yo-yo weather, definitely the signs that summer is over are getting clearer.
Seems like this last month has gone screaming by. I’ve been adjusting to my new routine with the boys going to school in town. We are starting our mornings bright and early, this past week we were up before the sun was and it will be trailing us more as the Autumn moves forward.
I’m still exploring my options for getting work done while I’m down off the mountain. One of my new routines is spending my Wednesdays from 10a – 1:30p at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe.
It is a very appropriate space for me to hang out, surrounded by yarn and inspiration, as well as the lovely company of the owner, Gail and her lovely “shop dog” Kit.
Gail has the shop set up beautifully. Here is the class section, where there are samples of the various class projects for the myriad classes that will be taught this Fall at the shop.
I’m modeling my little wrister cuff that my students will be making this Saturday afternoon (September 13th, 1p-4p) in my Crochet Wristers class. The students will learn all the techniques they will need to make the wrister cuff and will go home with the pattern for my “Spiraling Crosses Gauntlet”.
The Gauntlet was designed in Crystal Palace Yarns’ Sausalito sock yarn. I love this yarn, the gradual and subtle color changes make for interesting striping effects. There is still room in the class if you are in the area and want to join us. Just call the shop at (303) 678-8242 or stop by at 454 Main Street in Longmont, Colorado and they will get you signed up.
Today is chilly and wet, so I’m hanging out at the Boulder Public Library. Not as quiet as I had hoped here, there is a big construction project underway, but it is warmer than sitting in my car. This might be an option later on as the school year goes along, but I don’t think I’ll be utilizing the library as a work place until the construction is done. I may do some investigating to see if I can find a corner in a friend’s office to rent for a few hours each day.
It’s getting to be that busy time of year, just a little less than 18 weeks until Christmas. If you are planning on making your holiday gifts, then you know it’s time to get started.
Fortunately the folks at Annie’s Publishing know that we are all on the hunt for ideas for lovely gifts that won’t take forever to make. They have just published a special issue magazine: “Crochet! presents 70+ Crochet Gifts in 1-2-3″.
You can find loads of wonderful gift ideas in this issue, including my new design “Winged Columns Wrap”.
The wrap is worked outward from a central back foundation in 2 parts and requires no finishing other than weaving in a few ends. It only takes 2 skeins of yarn, 1 skein for each half. The lacy stitch pattern makes for a lot of fabric without a lot of bulk.
Because the fabric isn’t bulky it can also be worn as a scarf.
I really love this stitch pattern, the shapes within the columns put me in mind of migrating flocks of birds. Thus the name, Winged Columns.
I hope you get yourself a copy of this Crochet! Special issue. Then you’ll be all set for making gifts for the upcoming holidays. It is currently available on newsstands, or visit their website to order a copy for yourself.