Tag Archives: crocheting

Book Review: Creepy Crawly Crochet – Perfection!

creepy-crawler-crochetCreepy Crawly Crochet

by Megan Kreiner

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley and the publisher.

As an experienced crocheter (I’ve been crocheting for over 50 years) I feel confident in stating Creepy Crawly Crochet is the perfect instruction book with really cool, creepy but cute patterns.

It begins with fiber and hook suggestions as well as where to find black fiber fill (around Halloween they sell it under the name “Halloween Hay” – who knew?!). This is important for creepy figures that are done in dark colors, because no matter how tight your stitches are, the crocheted fabric will allow white fiber fill to be seen. From felt to project bags there are suggestions and guidance regarding the best type of each item to turn out perfectly.

Kreiner gives step-by-step instructions for crocheting from the beginning slip knot to binding off. She then follows with each stitched used in the following patterns, including “Finishing Touches” like whip stitching your project together and embroidery stitches that will add details to your project.

Tips and Tricks is the next section that helps with the little things that will make your Creepy Crawlies perfect.

The patterns themselves are clear, concise and detailed. There are images to enhance and clarify the directions. Each pattern has a color picture to allow you to see exactly how the project will look when finished.

All of the Creepy Crawlies are cute – in a creepy way. It is hard to pick out one or two that are my favorites over the others, but I have a soft spot for Frankie. He is on the top of my list to make for my grandson. My other favorite is Poe the Raven – he would look very cool sitting on my desk at work next Halloween.

If you aren’t that into creepy, you can still love this book. For instance, Jack and the Headless Horseman is a great pattern for a horse stuffed animal. You could make Jack with a head, and it is just a guy on a horse that all kids would love.

After the patterns, Kreiner has templates for the felt pieces used to finish off the characters. She also gives the abbreviations for the pattern instructions, crochet hook conversion charts, yarn weights and resources.

It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, if you crochet toys or dolls, this is the book for you. I can’t wait to make my favorites.

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WIP Wednesday – Knitting 2016

 

When the new year begins I like to start a fresh to-do list for my knitting and crochet projects. I usually start out overly ambitious with a list longer than my arm. Some years I only get done up to my elbow, but that’s ok. I’m a gal that likes a plan, but don’t mind changing/altering/deleting the plan for a different plan when the need arises.

The first project I am working on is a pair of socks. The pattern is out of a book one of my son’s got me for Christmas, Socktopus by Alice Yu. It is called Om Shanti. I used 2 size 2 Addi circulars, making both at the same time until I got to the leg (these are toe up). Now I’ve divided them because the pattern calls for moving the stitches from needle to needle to jog the pattern. The yarn is some fabulous hand dyed Merino Superwash Wool in a beautifil colorway called Arizona Turquoise. I think they are working up really nicely and hope to finish them this week.

Arizona socks

 

So far I’ve been asked to make an adorable  Viking Hat for a friend’s new baby. I’m using this pattern: Viking Set – Viking Hat, Diaper Cover and Club by JTcreations check it out on Ravelry.

One of the gals at work asked me to make her a pair of socks. I’m going to use my favorite “plain” sock pattern that uses sport or DK wt yarn because she wants them to wear around the house when it is cold. You can find it here: Moda Dea LM0131, Knitted Socks. I’ve picked up some really soft washable yarn at Hobby Lobby that is part acrylic, part alpaca. I plan to start them when I finish my Christmas socks.

For the NICU unit this Easter, I plan to make these adorable Lamb Hats, the pattern was designed by Sarah Zimmerman. I won’t make the flaps or ties because they might get in the way since these babies have a lot going one.

© Repeat Crafter Me

I’m going to teach a Lunch & Learn class at work for anyone that wants to learn how to knit. Because we want the participants to make progress quickly, I searched for a pattern for a simple garter stitch scarf. Luckily I remembered Susie at our knitting night working on a cowl on huge needles. She is a new knitter and has whipped up 11 of them since November! She shared the pattern, which is just 10 stitches on size 50 (yes, you read it right) needles using super-bulky yarn. You work with 2 strands of yarn and it zips up super quick. I made a sample in a couple of hours today. As cold as it is here today, I could use this fluffy warm cowl to keep my face and neck warm. 🙂
Other misc projects I will get rolling on will be NICU hats for Christmas and either Thanksgiving or Halloween. Most likely they will be crocheted because they work up faster.
There will be a few Christmas gifts and I’d like to make a few more of the sock patterns that are in Socktopus. I certainly have a wide variety of yarns in my stash that I can use.
And of course my annual WIP. Seriously, I only have to do the one cuff ribbing and the neck ribbing on my brown sweater. I seriously am going to finish it. I have one sock to make to complete the plain black pair I started last February AND the afghans that I have had part of the squares completed for over a hear. As a matter of fact, I used part of the yarn for another project.
What do you plan to make this year?

 

 

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Filed under baby hats, Crafts, Crocheting, Easter, Knitting, NICU, Ravelry, socks, WIP Wednesday, yarn

NICU Charity Challenge 2015

An email popped into my mail this morning announcing this year’s Christmas Charity Challenge. This is the sixth year for the challenge, and will be my second year participating.

The challenge is to knit or crochet 12 hats for your local NICU unit in 12 days. The yarn police do not knock on your door if you only finish one or two. I know you are busy. Tomorrow is December 1st and you have at least 3 months of things to do in the next 3 weeks. But think about this. I completed 2 NICU hats today on my break & the last 1/2 of my lunch at work. While watching a bit of TV yesterday, I finished 5 of them. They are tiny and work up quick.

DSC_0068

Last year when I decided to do this challenge, I contacted 3 local hospital in my area, and neither one even answered me. Then I remembered my best friend’s sister is a nurse in a NICU unit! Duh – I attribute my airheadedness to the Christmas season of craziness, but it was probably just an every day airhead moment. She quickly responded that they would LOVE to take them, and I’ve been making  hats for them all year.

DSC_0083_01

I always use acrylic yarn because it is easily washed and dried. There are no strings or buttons that might fall off or get in the way of treatments or cause a choking hazard. This is a great way to use bits of yarn you have left from other projects.

If you are interested and want to know more, please go to Sunset Family Living’s blog. http://www.sunsetfamilyliving.com/christmas-charity-challenge-2015/ . As an extra bonus, when you sign up for the challenge, you will receive a free pattern for an adorable baby hat in you email each day. If you really want to warm your heart, once you go to the website, you can follow the link to her Facebook page to see all of the hats current and former participants have donated. Nicu hat #11

 

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WIP Wednesday

Greetings!

This has been a busy week, but it looks like I don’t have much in the way of knitting and crocheting done. I’m completed 1/2 of the 4 Christmas presents I’ve been working on, so that is good. I can’t post pictures of those until after the New Year.

The other project I completed this week is the dinosaur hat for my son’s godson. He hasn’t modeled it yet but i am super excited to see him in it.

DSC_0002_04 DSC_0003_05

I am going to start working on another Christmas present this week, so no pictures of that either.

Tonight is our knitting group, so I’ll have updates and info on any tips that may help you.

Last, but not least, I found a great new blog about sheep and yarn: Wovember.com (http://wovember.com/2015/11/10/many-hands-collaborating-in-wool/). There are great posts and pictures and links to farms to purchase yarn straight from the shepherds. I’ll be sure and post the pictures of the yarn I ordered as soon as it arrives. 🙂

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Filed under Christmas, Crocheting, Knitting, knitting group, NaBloPoMo, WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday – Chuggin’ Along

Here is it Wednesday again. I don’t know about all of you, but daylight savings time is kicking my butt. I was ok the first day, but by Monday I was ready for a nap when I got home from work. I decided that was not a good plan but I sure hope I adjust quick.

The pumpkin hats were delivered safe and sound. Hopefully they will all be useful and enjoyed. I need to start planning for Christmas hats for the NICU. The bear hats are always popular, so I might do a mix of them and Santa or elf hats. I also saw a cute pattern for a snowman, which may be in the lineup also. I probably won’t start them until after Thanksgiving, so I have tons of time to decide.

I started on the dinosaur hat for my son’s godson, but the gauge on the pattern is off. The toddler size fit my head. So I frogged the whole hat and searched Ravelry for a new pattern. I found one that is not a dinosaur, but can easily be made into one. I’ve used part of the 2 patterns had have and am almost ready to get the spikes done.

dino hat 1

I’m working on ear warmers, and loving the pattern. Jessika Cates is spot on with her pattern. It works up  beautifully. The only thing I changed on this second one is I am doing a provisional cast on (you can see how it is done here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T7OwOpC6CY ) so that I can do a three needle bind off instead of seaming the ends. Here is the pic of my WIP and the link to the pattern. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/braided-cabled-ear-warmer

Ear warmer_2

My projects are calling – until next week, happy knitting 🙂

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WIP Wednesday – To Swatch or Not Swatch, That is the Question

I honestly don’t know of any knitter that says they love to do a swatch to check his or her gauge. Personally, I prefer to jump right in, but know I cannot if I am making a garment or accessory that must fit properly. Scarves, afghans, dishcloths and anything else that you make that can be an inch or more bigger or smaller than the pattern reads most of the time end up being ok. But try and put on a sweater after weeks (or months) of knitting and realize it is too big or small due to gauge..this doesn’t end well.

First of all, check the pattern for the correct weight/type of yarn. It stands to reason worsted weight will knit up larger than fingering or sock yarn. Next, use the size needle the pattern calls for – unless you are an experienced knitter than knows you knit tighter/looser, But if you are, you already know all of this anyway!

Your pattern will tell you how many stitches and rows per inch you need to get the proper gauge so your finished garment will fit. The mystery KAL I am making now has a gauge of “8 sts and 13 rows = 2” in stockinette stitch. So the swatch I knit has to be at least a few, if not more, stitches and rows than 8 stitches, 13 rows. Personally, I like to make a nice little square of stockinette so that I can measure smack dab in the middle to make sure the stitches aren’t pulled or rolling along the sides as stockinette will do.

swatch

So I cast on 20 stitches with size 9 needles and worsted wt yarn that the pattern called for. I knit until I had a perfect square. Sometimes I don’t but this time I figured I’d make 2 of the little purple squares, sew them together and stuff them for a perfect doll sized pillow for my cousin’s little girl. She loves purple. 🙂

Using a contrasting yarn, I make a running stitch up 13 rows (gauge from the pattern), then use 3 more bits of contrasting yarn to run along 8 stitches at the top and bottom of the 13 row mark, then another along the end of the 8 stitches to make a box in the middle that should measure 2 inches. If it does, all is well. If not – back to the swatching board. Lucky for me this one was right on target

If the gauge is too small, I need to use a larger needle, too big I need to use a smaller needle because I don’t want to use a different weight yarn. There are tons of websites that explain gauge much better than I do, just google “knitting gauge” and you’ll get instructions, video and one of them will help you learn how to swatch like a pro. I like this one: http://sheepandstitch.com/what-is-knitting-gauge/

Now that I’ve preached the importance of swatching, I’ll catch you up on works in progress. Donita’s next baby blanket is barely begun, but it won’t take long to complete.

Donita blanket #3

I will be starting the Mystery KAL from Melody’s Makings on Ravelry since my swatch is done. 🙂 And since I am leaving for a few days of vacation I am either going to make the second black sock, which is boring but will be used this winter more than the fancier socks in crazy colors that I would rather knit. Practicality may or may not win out, I’ll let you know when I get back.

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Filed under baby blanket, blanket, Crafts, Crocheting, Knitting, Knitting Techniques, WIP Wednesday, yarn

WIP Wednesday 2×2

Why 2×2 you ask? Is it a piece of wood I am referring to? Or perhaps one of those breakfasts they offer at our local dinner – 2 eggs, 2 bacon, 2 pieces of toast & 2 sausage links? *Sidebar* it should be a 2x2x2x2, but who am I to correct the menu for them & it works.

Anyway, the 2×2 I am referring to is 2 weeks and 2 days late for WIP Wednesday. Life has gotten in the way of blogging these last few weeks, so I figured better late than never.

I’ll keep this short and sweet.

  1. Scarf for my cousin is complete. I have enough yarn to make a smaller version for my tiniest cousin (first cousin once removed, but let’s not quibble – remember the 2×2 above). I may take that on vacation with me, it would be a great project for the ride to Florida.

Becky's scarf complete

  1. The lavender baby blanket is complete. I took it to work this morning and neglected to take a picture first. In my own defense, I didn’t finish it until almost 10 last night and forgot this morning when I left at 6:00.
  2. I had to miss the Knitting Group last week, so nothing to report there. I did get the pink bear hat done for the NICU nurse’s baby as well as another two – one complete and one ready to sew together when I go to the next Knitting Group.
  3. I am joining a KAL that Wool & Co ( http://www.woolandcompany.com/ ) has on their website for the football season. It looks fun. Check out the details by pasting the link above in your browser or right click on it and choose “go to”.
  4. Since I got the 2 projects done that I promised myself I’d do before starting anything else, I am going to start those socks that I have been dying to start since buying the fabulous yarn at the Chicago Yarn Crawl a few weekends ago. Just as soon as I catch up on book reviews 🙂 I’ve finished 2 great books in the last 2 weeks, but haven’t had a chance to review them yet. This weekend for sure.
  5. Last but not least I am making more bear hats. No surprises there, they are my go-to quick take to work projects for break time.

The only pic of the last few projects is apparently the one of the scarf. I dunno why I didn’t snap a few of the others. Because we all know that a whole bunch of words and no pictures make for a boring blog, I’ve included one of my favorites from the knitting calendar that Leslie gave me for Christmas last year. 🙂

Calendar_Stash

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Filed under baby hats, NICU, scarf, socks, WIP Wednesday, yarn