Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I'm Done!

At long last the Calendar Ghan is finished!!



Now I just need to get the border instructions written up and we can call this one a done deal! WOOHOO! :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

LYS Review

I'd never stepped foot in a LYS (local yarn store) before yesterday, not because I didn't want to, but because the opportunity had never presented itself. A New Yarn is a brand new LYS in Springfield, MO. I found them via their group on Ravelry earlier this month and knew I must visit!

WOW! is all I can say. I've heard so many LYS stories from different areas of the U.S. (both good and bad) that I really didn't know what to expect. Well there are no horror stories to be found here! I was greeted upon entering by an exceptionally friendly and helpful, but not at all overbearing, staff that obviously strives for a cozy atmousphere. I immediately felt at home.

I was on sensory overload as I perused the stunning displays of fibery goodness. The inventiveness and creativity that went into the displays is impressive. Of course there were the expected "cubbies" full of center pull skeins, and the "wall of hooks" displaying hanks ready to be wound, but what caught my eye was the display of Rowan Cotton seemingly tossed in an old washtub, the Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille arranged on an antique hutch, and even more yarn packed into a strategically opened drawer, all adding to the cozy, homey feeling.

Their spacious layout lends to the comfortable atmousphere. I could have easily strolled Ben around if necessary without feeling like the displays would come crashing down. I was in such awe of the yarn and displays that I almost didn't notice the comfy seating area. I could just picture a group of ladies sitting and talking about the week's events while knitting or crocheting. Such fun!

Much to my amazement, I only walked out with one skein of yarn. I bought a ball of Crystal Palace Yarn's Cotton Chenille in Bubblegum Pink. I've been wanting to play with this yarn ever since I saw the Reverse-Bloom Flower Washcloth in Weekend Knitting a few years ago. I have a few projects I need to wrap up, but I will definately be playing with the chenille soon!



I regret not planning my trip a little better. I really should have made a list of my current WIMs and the proposed fibers for those projects. I knew I needed some feltable wool but had not a clue as to my color needs. I stood there looking at their huge display of Cascade 220 feeling a bit overwhelmed. I know I could have asked for help, and it would have been given without hesitation, but with no idea of the direction I wanted to take with my color effect, it would have been frustrating for both of us. :(

The stress was all in my own head though. I felt rushed because I knew Cyndi and Ben were waiting anxiously in the car for me so we could grab some lunch. But even with feeling rushed, I had a blast petting all of the amazing yarn that I've only seen on the internet or in magazines.

Thank you A New Yarn for providing me with a wonderful shopping experience. The yarns are fabulous and the prices are easy on the wallet. I'm already planning my next shopping trip, and next time I will make sure I have plenty of time to explore!

If you're ever in the area, pay them a visit and tell them DishclothDiaries sent you! Even if you don't knit or crochet, it's definitely worth the trip just to see the colorful and inventive displays alone! :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Calendar Ghan Joining Instructions


**It was my original intention to do a photo tutorial of the joining method, but Ben decided to "play" with the camera so it is not operating to capacity at the moment(it won't focus properly) so doing a step by step photo tut was out of the question. I will get better pics of the finished ghan up ASAP. In the meanwhile, if you have any questions please leave a comment here. I will do my best to answer!

I will post a border pattern early next week!

Materials: US size "I" hook, worsted weight yarn (Soft White was used for example), tapestry needle for weaving in ends

NOTES:
1: December's Mistletoe square has some ch 1 sps on the outermost row. When joining this square each ch 1 sp will count as one stitch.
2: Each of the Calendar 'Ghan squares have 37 stitches along each side PLUS the corner ch 2 sps. If the squares you are using do not have 37 sts you will need to do a row of sc around each square, increasing or decreasing as necessary to bring them all to the proper st count.
3: Alternately, these joining instructions may be used for any square so long as each side (not including the corner ch sp) has a stitch count that is a multiple of 3, + 1. Please note that you will need to adjust the number of repeats of the instructions in the brackets if using with a square other than one that has 37 sts on each side.

ABREVIATION NOTE:
S1 = Square 1 (you will only make one of these)
S2 = Square 2 (joined only on one side)
S3 = Square 3 (joined on two sides)
SA = Square A (when joining S1 and S2 this is the square facing you)
SB = Square B (when joining S1 and S2 this is the previously worked square behind SA)
SC = Square C (when joining S1 and S3 this is the next previously worked square behind SA)

*Use the Layout Chart below for square placement

Square 1: With right side facing, join yarn with sl st in any corner ch sp of square, (ch 3, dc, ch 3, 2 dc) in same sp, ch 1, skip next st, [dc in each of next 2 sts, ch 1, skip next st] 12 times, *(2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc) in next corner ch sp, ch 1, skip next st, [dc in each of next 2 sts, ch 1, skip next st] 12 times, rep from * twice more, join with sl st in top of beg ch 3, fasten off.

Square 2 (one sided join): With right side facing, join yarn with sl st in any corner ch sp of square, (ch 3, dc, ch 3, 2 dc) in same sp, ch 1, skip next st, [dc in each of next 2 sts, ch 1, skip next st] 12 times, (2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc) in next corner ch sp, ch 1, skip next st, [dc in each of next 2 sts, ch 1, skip next st] 12 times, (see abreviation note above) holding wrong sides together, on SA work 2 dc, ch 1 in next ch 2 sp, sl st in corner ch 3 sp on SB, ch 1, 2 dc in same ch 3 sp on SA, sl st in next ch 1 sp on SB, [(skip next st, dc in each of next 2 sts) on SA, sl st in next ch 1 sp on SB] 12 times, skip next st on SA, 2 dc in next corner ch sp on SA, sl st in corner ch 3 sp on SB, ch 1, 2 dc in same corner ch sp on SA, working on SA for remainder of square, ch 1, skip next st, [dc in each of next 2 sts, ch 1, skip next st] 12 times, join with sl st in top of beg ch 3, fasten off.

Square 3 (two sided join): With right side facing, join yarn with sl st in any corner ch sp of square, (ch 3, dc, ch 3, 2 dc) in same sp, ch 1, skip next st, [dc in each of next 2 sts, ch 1, skip next st] 12 times, (see abreviation note above) holding wrong sides together, on SA work 2 dc, ch 1 in next ch 2 sp, sl st in corner ch 3 sp on SB, ch 1, 2 dc in same ch 3 sp on SA, sl st in next ch 1 sp on SB, [(skip next st, dc in each of next 2 sts) on SA, sl st in next ch 1 sp on SB] 12 times, on SA work 2 dc, ch 1 in next ch 2 sp, sl st around joining slip st previously joined squares, ch 1, 2 dc in same ch 3 sp on SA, sl st in next ch 1 sp on SC, [(skip next st, dc in each of next 2 sts) on SA, sl st in next ch 1 sp on SC] 12 times, skip next st on SA, 2 dc in next corner ch sp on SA, sl st in corner ch 3 sp on SC, ch 1, 2 dc in same corner ch sp on SA, working on SA for remainder of square, ch 1, skip next st, [dc in each of next 2 sts, ch 1, skip next st] 12 times, join with sl st in top of beg ch 3, fasten off.


Square Layout Chart




Back to CAL Main Page

Pattern designed and written by April Moreland
© 2010 All rights reserved

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Coming Soon!

Many of you have been asking about the joining and border intructions for the Calendar Ghan. I know I've fallen to the wayside on this, but I just wanted to let you all know I haven't forgotten about it.

I haven't even put my own squares together yet. BUT I have put it on the agenda for this week and will be developing the details, with photos, and will have the joining instructions up later this week!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Wonders of Ravelry

I have been spending a lot of time on Ravelry lately. I joined quite a while back but have only recently begun to really learn my way around the site. I've added lots of projects to my projects page as well as many of my free patterns from here on the blog to my designer's page.

Feel free to look me up and add me as a friend. I'm DishclothDiaries over there too. :)

A quick preview of a few of my newly added projects:

A couple of grannyghans for charity...

My roaming gnome I made just for me :)

Cyndi's "Crocheting Crab" that I made for
Ben to give her for Mother's Day last year.

And my own mini version of the popular
bearghan. This one is made baby doll sized. :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Charity Crochet

Somewhere along my travels today I came across this link: Carewear.org

They have a database of hospitals and various other organizations that accept handmade donations. You can look at the entire list or search by state. They also offer free patterns for you to make baby items for charity.

I encourage you to look up your home state and find a hospital or other organization and donate something that they are in need of. It will make you feel good, I promise! :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chainless Crochet

Dislike that unsightly seam created by the ch 3 while working in the round? Or the uneven edge when working in rows? Well TXCr1cket has a solution! She has several videos on her You Tube Channel that eliminate the need for the chain stitch.

How cool is this? Have a look:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Seed Stitch Charity Cowl

*This pattern has NOT been tested. If you find any mistakes please leave a comment here and I will correct.
Also, I don't have a pic to post just yet, so if you work this up and would like to share a link to a pic in the comments section it would be greatly appreciated!

MATERIALS
(US) size H hook
1 skein Caron Simply Soft yarn; Blue Mint (or desired color)
tapestry needle

GAUGE (worked in seed st)
15 sts = 4 inches
14 rows = 4 inches

FINISHED SIZE
Adult-One Size Fits Most (9 inches tall X 26 inches around)

SPECIAL STITCHES & TECHNIQUES
"back hump" of starting chain: Turn your starting chain over so the back is facing you, notice the single strand in the middle of the chain forms a "hump". Your stitches will be worked into that hump. For more info see: http://www.stitchdiva.com/custom.aspx?id=191
(This method for working into the starting chain gives a more finished look to the beginning edge of your work. If you are uncomfortable with this method, the traditional method of working into the starting chain may be used.)

FPdc (front post double crochet): yo, from the front, insert hook around the post of the corresponding dc of the previous row, yo and draw up loop, yo, draw through 2 loops, yo, draw through 2 loops.

BPdc (back post double crochet) = yo, from the back, insert hook around the post of the corresponding dc of the previous row, yo and draw up loop, yo, draw through 2 loops, yo, draw through 2 loops.

Closing the beginning chain: Thread tapestry needle with the tail from the beginning ch, working on opposite side of starting chain, insert needle on right side and under free loops of 2nd dc made in round 1, pull snug but not tight (it should look like the top of a sc) and secure end at base of first ch of starting chain.

leaving 6 - 8 inch long tail, ch 106, do not join (See note above)

Round 1: working in the back hump of starting chain (see note above) dc in 4th ch from hook and in each ch across, join with sl st in top of beg ch 3. (104 sts)

Rounds 2-4: ch 3, work FPdc in next st, (work BPdc in next st, work FPdc in next st) around, join with sl st in top of beg ch 3.

Round 5: ch 1, sc in same st, dc in next st, (sc in next st, dc in next st) around, join with sl st in beg sc.

Round 6: ch 3, sc in next st, (dc in next st, sc in next st) around, join with sl st in beg ch 3.

Rounds 7-26: Repeat rounds 5 and 6.

Round 27: ch 3, dc in each st around, join with sl st in top of beg ch 3.

Rounds 28-30: Repeat rounds 2-4, fasten off. Close beginning ch. (see note above) Weave in ends.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

Today is bright, sunny, and warm. I hope Spring has finally sprung! We had entirely too much cold and bad weather this year. I'm ready for some color! Spring Fever has definately set in, and here's my proof:

The bunny I came up with on my own...
But I'm sure you recognize these guys:

Mama chicken and her baby pastel chicks were a staple in our house when I was little. I hadn't thought about them in years until a friend wanted me to make her some recently. This is what I came up with:

I have the patterns written and will post them tomorrow. Hope you enjoy!! :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Knitting Daily

I watched a tv show today that kind of took me by surprise. I had set the DVR on a whim a few days ago when I saw the title. The show was Knitting Daily. The episode was #110: All About Texture. Although I do knit, my expertise in that area is pretty much limited to simple dishcloths and other simple projects. So I thought what could it hurt, I might learn something new. And learn something new I did, but not about knitting!

I was happy to see that the show is crochet friendly! Kim Werker, billed as their "Crochet Ace," is one of the regulars on the show. On today's episode she met with Robyn Chachula who showed her a different kind of double crochet stitch. It is called a "Linked Double Crochet" (abreviated Ldc). It creates a more solid fabric that is great for wearables. She used the stitch when designing her Rosemary Sweater which was featured in the fall 2007 issue of Interweave Crochet. Robyn is also offering a free download of the Rosemary Sweater via the Knitting Daily webiste.

In addition to the crochet segment, they talked about different yarns and thier textures. Even though the information was primarily geared toward kitters, I think there was much to be learned by crocheters as well. After all, yarn is NOT knitting exclusive! I will definately be watching Knitting Daily on a regular basis.

If you want to check it out, it's on PBS. You can look for the show in your area on the Knitting Daily website.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Another History Lesson

I promise to keep this one brief! I just wanted to follow up a bit on my previous posts about George Washington Carver and antique patterns.

Undoubtedly, one of the most popular, as well as historical, crochet items that was ushered into the new millennium has been the shawl. Many Prayer Shawl Ministries have emerged in the past decade or so in an effort to provide comfort and emotional support to those experiencing hardship and loss. What once was worn primarily as a garment of necessity, has become one of comfort and support.

I thought it would be fun to re-create a Civil War Era Shawl and share the pattern with everyone for your ministries, personal use, or participation in Civil War Reenactment. Keep an eye out for the pattern within the next week. In the meanwhile, here's a sneak preview:



For more details about the history of crochet, Ruthie Marks has provided a wonderfully detailed historical timeline of crochet. It is posted at Crochet.org. (opens as a PDF)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

National Women's History Month

Yesterday I talked about National Crochet Month, well March is also National Women's History Month. What started just a few decades ago as International Women's Day, has evolved to encompass a full month dedicated to educating students of all ages about the importance of women throughout history.

This year's theme is Writing Women Back into History. Although it may be politically incorrect in today's society, it is a fact, historically speaking, that crochet and most other needlewark was primarily seen as "woman's work". Antique Pattern Library is working to preserve the the art form by making available the many patterns our foremothers used during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Included in the library are crochet, knitting, tatting, embroidery, needle lace and other kinds of needlework patterns. No matter your needleart of choice, you will surely find something there that will help you give you a sense of needleart history.

Monday, March 1, 2010

History Lesson

March is National Crochet Month. The origin of crochet often falls under scrutiny. Some believe men may have been among some of the first crocheters during the early centuries, others say there's no evidence of the artform until the 19th century when it was popular with European women of the day. In more recent times though, history has come full circle with men finally reclaiming their niche in the world of crochet.

During the mid to late 20th century, crochet was beginning to be seen as the pastime of "old ladies." It was mocked, berated, and seen as inferior in the world of fiber art. During the 21st century however, it has become a modern and hip way of expressing ones creative spirit. From amigurumi to the classic granny afghan, crochet is making its mark on the new millennium in a very postive way.

Perhaps its current popularity can be attributed, at least in part, to some modern day celebrities who lend their name to the enjoyable hobby. One of the first names that comes to mind is that of Vanna White. From pattern books, to her own popular line of yarn, her name has helped to revitalize the once jeered art form.

While Vanna may just be the most well known woman in crochet, the most celebrated "dude" associated with crochet is not who you might think. Yes, Drew Emborsky most certainly is The Crochet Dude, but the identity of an earlier male fiber fiend may just surprise you.

He was born a slave in 1864, just before the abolition of slavery, in what is now Diamond, Missouri. In the absence of his natural mother, his owners, Moses and Susan Carver, raised him as their own. Susan not only taught him in his youth to read and write, she also taught him to crochet. Historically, he is best known as the man who discovered 300 uses for the peanut.

Have you guessed who he is yet? I'm sure you have.

Yes, George Washington Carver was a crocheter!

You can catch a glimpse of him with his handiwork at approximately 1:45 into the following video:



Stay tuned for more on this subject!