Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Chevron Scarf Patterns...Yes, With an "S"

So I have sucumbed to Chevron.

It's pretty, it's popular, and in crochet, it's easy :) I find it's relaxing to just sit and watch TV and crochet sometimes, and I have really ended up loving these scarves. So, for your enjoyment, I've put the patterns together.   I wanted to have better pictures (the story of my life) but I also wanted to get this out here so if any of you wanted, you could still make some for Christmas presents. 

Both scarves are made with Loops 'N' Thread Charisma acrylic yarn. I love this stuff because it's thick, it's soft, it's warm, and because it's acrylic, it's cheap. Feel free to use whatever bulky weight yarn you like. Skinny Chevron Scarf Uses one skein each of two different colors Charisma yarn.
Guage: Again, I didn't pay much attention to guage, but on a scarf, it's not that important.
Hook Used: Size K, and my side note for anyone who hasn't used my patterns, I usually have to go up two hook sizes to obtain the guage needed on commercial patterns, so you might want to use an I.

All terms are American and standard abbreviations are used I'm gonna include some math here for those of you who like it. If you don't like the math just skip ahead to Row 1. It will also allow you to make as wide a scarf as you like. If you don't like the math just skip ahead to Row 1. We're going to say that in the Skinny Scarf, each row is made of one "chevron unit." That's one line up then one line down. So, for example, the letter "M" consists of two chevron units. In my pattern, each "line" of the chevron consists of 4 stitches. Then there will be the "peak" stitch and the "valley" stitch. The peak stitch is really 3 stitches in one stitch on the row below. The valley stitch is really 1 stitch in 3 stitches below. So, in each chevron unit, there are two lines (4 stitches below), a peak (1 stitch below) and a valley (3 stitches below). Therefore, each chevron unit consists of 12 stitches total. And therefore, for however many chevron units you want on each row, you will chain 12. Then, since the last chevron unit won't need a valley, you'll just ch 9 for the last unit. Make sense? So for the Skinny Scarf, you'll only ch 9 since there's only one unit. For the Infinity Scarf, you'll ch 21 since there are two chevron units. Again, if you don't like math, or if this doesn't make sense, just start at Row 1.

Row 1: With color 1, ch 9
Row 2: ch 2 turn, dc in next 4 st, 3 dc in next st, dc in next 4 st
Row 3: ch 2 turn, 2 dc tog, dc 3, 3 dc in next st, dc 3, 2 dc tog
Rows 4-5: Switch colors, repeat row 3
Rows 6-7: Switch colors, repeat row 3
Keep this pattern up until your scarf is your preferred length or you run out of yarn and finish off. My scarf was my preferred length when I ran out of yarn. How convenient. So basically, just do two rows of one color, then switch and do two rows of the other color.

All that being said, here's the pattern for the Infinity Scarf. I'm writing it for the color pattern that I made it. Feel free to alter that as you please :)
Row 1: with cream yarn, ch 21
Row 2: ch 2 turn, dc in next 4 ch, 3 dc in next ch, dc in next 4 ch, 2 dc tog skipping 1 ch in between (this st covers 3 st in the row below), dc in next 4 ch, 3 dc in next ch, dc in next 4 ch
Row 3: ch 2 turn, 2 dc tog, dc 3, 3 dc in next st, dc 4, 2 dc tog skipping 1 st between, dc 4, 3 dc in next st, dc 3, 2 dc tog
Row 4-5: Repeat row 3 with Red yarn
Row 6-7: Repeat row 3 with cream yarn
Row 8-9: Repeat row 3 with navy yarn
Keep repeating Row 3 alternating cream, red, cream, navy until your scarf is the length you want or you run out of yarn. Since this is an infinity scarf and twice as wide as the Skinny Scarf, you probably don't want it to be very long. Mine was about half the length of my Skinny Scarf. When you decide the scarf is long enough, make sure your color pattern lines up. For example, if you followed the above color pattern, and your last row is a cream stripe, you probably want to add the next color (or pull out the cream) so you aren't joining two cream stripes, but that's really just personal preference. Then line your ends up, right sides together, and slip stitch a row across to join. Finish off.

Now enjoy your fuzzy, fluffy goodness. Or give it away as a gift. And as always, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. I realize I'm not always the best at explaining myself. Just leave me a comment with an email address I can get back to you at, or email me Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

FMI--To Do

Like FYI, but For My Info. I've started to crank the shop back up and have put out a new product.  The Embroidered Key Ring.

And luckily, there have been several people interested in them.  I've also drafted a new pattern for the Bowling Bag.  Plus a lot of other stuff.  So here goes another to-do list with deadlines.

~More key rings.  Got to get some more fabric for some.  I know of three that need to be done.  The other numbers I'm not sure of.  But those are to be done before Christmas.  After all, they make great gifts.
~An order for 2 dozen Christmas gift card holders--Thanksgiving
~The Bowling Bag prototype--ASAP
~Baby cords--Nov 21
~The 4 remaining wallet combos--ASAP
~A few Christmas presents that I can't mention because the recipients may read this blog :)--Obviously, Christmas
~Rice warmers--Nov 21
~Initialed Stuffie Monster for Josiah--Christmas

And at 10:45 PM, that's all I can really think of.  I can (will) always add more :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

All American Hero Hat

Scroll towards bottom for pattern. But read anything you want before :)

Yes, I realize it's been a very long while since I've posted anything crafty. A very long while... But here in the past few weeks, I've decided that instead of wishing and blogging about projects I want to do, I'm just gonna do 'em. And the results have been rather pleasing.

Since the beginning of Summer, I've made...

A baby gift for a college friend (not posting the pic because she still doesn't have it yet. Nicki, that's what you get for moving to Korea)

A duffel bag for Josiah to take to the beach.  I started to be brave and sneak in Josiah's room while he slept to snatch said duffel bag for a picture, but I opened the door and heard him stir, so I chickened out and ran like someone was chasing me.  So no pic.

A drool mat. That is not used anymore because of baby mobility.  I didn't even get a picture before I put it up, but I made it using a vinyl tablecloth, an egg crate mattress pad, a fleece throw and blanket binding.  All stuff I could get from our local Fred's or I already had.

A dress for one niece, a shirt for her sister, and matching shorts for my Stink Bug

An umbrella cover, because the existing one didn't have much SPF to it.

A Hello Kitty applique pillowcase shirt and Boutique Jeans for my little cousin.

A crocheted football hat for Stink Bug.  It's just like all the ones that you see on Pinterest, Etsy, and elsewhere.

The "All American Hero Hat" for Stink Bug's Halloween costume (Pattern to come later, like in just a few more lines)

A crocheted skinny chevron scarf (Pattern to also come later, like in another post)

Another crocheted chevron scarf in my favorite cream, burgundy and navy color combo. 

And in the works are...

The coat that I first mentioned here about 2 years ago.  This thing is so close I can taste it.  I just have to finish the hem on the lining and reposition a button.

A bag to match the coat.  That is actually done now.  Amazing what two weeks between writing a draft and publishing a post can do.  Too bad I can't make shoes too.


Another pile of ID wallets to put in the shop. 4 of 9 are done now.

A "Bowling Bag" inspired by the Vera Bradley bags that everyone seems to be toting nowadays.

And I think I'm maybe gonna make some baby cords out of some of my old pants and some rice warmers that hopefully Stink Bug will hold on to when we go to Dollywood at the end of November. He sure does like his rice sock, but I don't want to carry my grungy old mismatched sock out in public. And maybe a microfleece animal/lovey of some sort. I am NOT willing to cut up my housecoat for the baby, so I've got to find some cheap fabric.  And maybe a baby hoodie sweatshirt.  I say maybe because Josiah really doesn't need it, but it's kind of fun to just see if you can do it :)

So I said that the "All American Hero Hat" pattern was coming later. It's later. I wanted to get it out there in time for Halloween so if you wanted to make one for your little Hero, you can. As you may already know, my brother's name is Sam. When Josiah was born, that made him Uncle Sam. Megan, Sam's girlfriend, found a Halloween costume for a couple that was Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty. And they decided that Josiah needed to be Captain America. She even got him a Captain America T-shirt. So I set to work on the hat. I call it the "All American Hero Hat" because it's not exactly Captain America, and I don't want to infringe upon any copyrights or licensing or such. If you make this hat, I do ask that you don't sell anything you make from the pattern. I usually don't care, but I'm still kind of funny about the licensing stuff. Please make as many as you want for personal use or as gifts, just please don't sell them. Thanks! I didn't pay much attention to guage since I wasn't going to go commercial with this pattern. And this pattern involves switching yarn colors. I didn't include instructions for that, but I'm sure you can find some better tutorials than I could write on the matter.

Size: Made to fit my will-be 10 month old who has a large head
Yarn Used: Lily Sugar 'N' Cream, 1 ball each Red, White and Blue
Hook Used: Size I, but I usually use a hook 2 sizes larger to obtain guage on commercial patterns
This is an American termed pattern with standard abbreviations, bpdc = back post double crochet, fpdc = front post double crochet
Hat Base, starting with blue yarn
Round 1: SC 6 in a Magic Ring. Sl st to join to top of first sc. If you don't know how to do a Magic Ring, I made a video here, but please feel free to find something better elsewhere on the net.
Round 2: ch 1, 2 sc in each sc around. Join to top of first sc with sl st (12 sts)
Round 3: ch 1, 2 sc in same sc where joined, 1 sc in next sc, *2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next sc* 5 times. Join to top of first sc with sl st
Round 4: ch 1, 2 sc in same sc where joined, 1 sc in next 2 sc, *2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next 2 sc* 5 times. Join to top of first sc with sl st
Round 5: ch 1, 2 sc in same sc where joined, 1 sc in next 3 sc, *2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next 3 sc* 5 times. Join to top of first sc with sl st
Round 6: ch 1, 2 sc in same sc where joined, 1 sc in next 4 sc, *2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next 4 sc* 5 times. Join to top of first sc with sl st
Round 7: ch 1, 2 sc in same sc where joined, 1 sc in next 5 sc, *2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next 5 sc* 5 times. Join to top of first sc with sl st
Round 8: ch 1, 2 sc in same sc where joined, 1 sc in next 6 sc, *2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next 6 sc* 5 times. Join to top of first sc with sl st
Round 9: ch 1, 2 sc in same sc where joined, 1 sc in next 7 sc, *2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next 7 sc* 5 times. Join to top of first sc with sl st
Round 10: ch 1, 2 sc in same sc where joined, 1 sc in next 8 sc, *2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next 8 sc* 5 times. Join to top of first sc with sl st
Round 11: ch 1, 2 sc in same sc where joined, 1 sc in next 9 sc, *2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next 9 sc* 5 times. Join to top of first sc with sl st
Round 12-24: ch 1, sc in same where joined, sc in each sc around. Join to top of first sc with sl st. Finish off at end of Round 24.
Round 25: Join white yarn. Ch 2, dc in same sc where joined, dc in next 2 sc. Join red yarn, dc in next 3 sc. *Switch to white yarn, dc in next 3 sc, switch to red yarn, dc in next 3 sc* 11 times (or around depending on whether or not you like to count). Join with sl st to first white dc.
Round 26-27: With white yarn, ch 2, bpdc around same dc where joined and around next 2 dc. Switch to red yarn, fpdc around next 3 dc. *Switch to white yarn, bpdc around next 3 dc. Switch to red yarn, fpdc around next 3 dc* 11 times. Finish off at the end of Round 27. (White yarn should be around white yarn, red yarn around red yarn.)

Make 2 with white yarn Row 1: ch 10, turn
Row 2: sc in 2nd ch from hook and in next 8 sc, do not ch when turning(9 sts)
Row 3: 5 dc in next sc, skip 1 sc, sl st in next sc, skip 1 sc, 4 dc in next sc, sc in next 4 sc. Finish off.

"Target" applique
Rounds 1-5: Follow instructions for Rounds 1-5 of Hat Base with red yarn
Round 6: Switch to white yarn, sl st in each sc around, finish off.

Star applique
Round 1: sc 5 in magic ring, join with sl st to top of first sc, do not ch
Round 2: *(sc, dc, sc) all in next sc, sl st in next sc* 5 times. Finish off.

Stitch star applique to center of target applique. Stitch target applique to center front of hat (I just guessed at this). Stitch wings to sides of hat using just the first 5 dc cluster. Position them slightly closer to the front than to the back. One will be "wrong side out" but just don't look too close and no one will really notice :) Weave in ends, you may want to use some fabric glue to tack down the yarn ends on the wings since there's no really good place for them to go.

And there you have it! It's not Captain America to a T, but I bet anyone who sees it will recognize it as such. Enjoy! And thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

An Open Letter to All the Bad Mommies Out There...

Dear Bad Mommy,

I'm talking to you, Mommy who lets her baby sleep with a blanket, Mommy who lets her baby sleep on his tummy, Mommy who doesn't breastfeed, Mommy who lets her baby watch TV, Mommy who fed her baby solid food before 6 months old, Mommy who gives her baby a paci, Mommy who doesn't give her baby a paci, Mommy with loads of dirty laundry and/or dishes, Mommy with a not so clean house, Mommy who always makes time for a shower, Mommy whose baby doesn't always get a bath everyday, Mommy who let her baby cry for a few minutes so she can poop, Mommy who gets excited about her baby growing up and doesn't cry at every milestone, Mommy who has left a dirty diaper in the diaper bag for more than a day, Mommy who has left her baby with a realtive or at daycare on her day off, Mommy who forgets to take pictures every 3 seconds, Mommy who has ever wished the baby would just shut up, Mommy who works a full time job, Mommy whose baby has bumped their head when she wasn't looking, Mommy whose baby sleeps with her, Mommy whose baby sleeps in another room, Mommy who rocks her baby to sleep, Mommy who doesn't rock her baby to sleep, Mommy who gained too much weight during pregnancy, Mommy who didn't gain too much weight but still can't get it off after several months, Mommy whose baby is 6 months old and you haven't blogged the first thing about him, and Mommy who has committed a multitude of other "Mommy Sins" against your baby.

You are not alone.

Ever since I brought my little one home from the hospital, I've struggled with feeling like a bad mommy.  There are so many things that I've done (and haven't done) with him that mommy society says I shouldn't (or should) have done.  Most of the "sins" above I have personally committed, but it wasn't because I didn't have a well thought out plan for most of it.  Josiah slept with a blanket for the first 2 months of his life because he was 3 weeks early, in the middle of December, and had no body fat.  He cried more at diaper changes than he did at having his foot pricked just because he was naked and cold.  Warm footie pajamas alone did not do the trick to keep him warm.  We tried breastfeeding for 6 long weeks of actually just pumping and bottle feeding because he had so many things going against him with breastfeeding.  He was early, had a rather traumatic birth, was jaundiced, etc. etc.  When I reached the point that both of us were sitting in the bathroom floor crying, I knew something had to change.

As an only six month old mommy, I don't claim to have the answers to all of the mommy problems out there.  Actually I claim to have very few answers.  I can't tell you to do this or that to be a "better mommy."  I surely won't tell you that breastfeeding makes the baby weight melt off for everyone.  When I pumped, if I didn't eat enough for a small army, my body didn't sacrifice itself to make more milk, it sacrificed the milk.  I won't tell you that if you follow all the guidelines in all the parenting books/magazines/websites that you will have a happy, healthy baby who won't die from SIDS (mostly because if you read enough parenting books/magazines/websites they will all contradict each other on most issues).  I won't tell you to let your baby cry it out, nor will I tell you to attachment parent.  I won't give you any concrete advice, in fact.

But I will tell you this.  I read something in a parenting magazine (go figure) before Josiah was born that stuck with me.  I apologize for not remembering which magazine, much less the author, of this wonderful article.  It said something to the effect of, "The simple fact that you are worrying about being a bad mommy makes you a good mommy."

Good mommies want the best for their children.  Good mommies want to do everything right.  Good mommies would give up anything if it would be better for their child.  But good mommies are also human, and as humans have needs that should be tended to.  And good mommies also beat themselves up when things go, not necessarily wrong, but not according to plans.  And good mommies go looking for answers on the internet. 

So my answer, the best solution I've found for turning "bad mommies" into "good mommies:"

Happy Mommy = Happy Baby

All the while remembering that good mommies aren't selfish.  Do what you have discovered is best for your little one.  If you let your baby sleep in the same bed with you because she will sleep all night and won't sleep anywhere else, by all means, sleep in the same bed with that baby.  If your baby sleeps in a separate room all by himself in a crib, sometimes with the door shut (but with some way of hearing distress) because he decided somewhere around 4 months that he doesn't want to sleep in the Pack N Play in your room, by all means, leave him by himself.  If your baby latched on to the boob two minutes after he was born and still wants to breastfeed even when society says it's socially awkward, let him after it.  If trying to breastfeed, and failing, has driven you to postpartum depression (and I'm convinced that kids can sense the depression), break out the formula.  If you can hold a kid in your lap and poop, good for you!  If you need a few minutes to yourself to poop, and maybe breathe, I promise your infant won't say when he's older, "Remember that time you let me cry in the floor when you had to poop?  Yeah, I probably won't succeed in life because of that."

The beautiful thing about mommies, is that God made each one of us as different as He made our babies.  If everyone was the same, the world would get boring quick.  But because He made us all different, we will all raise our babies differently.  What works for one may not work for another.  And what works for the other, may still not work for another. 

The only ones of us out there who are truly bad mommies (Mommies, now.  Being a mother and being a mommy are two different things.) are those of us who are setting a bad example for our children by judging, and sometimes even berating, other mommies who aren't doing things our way.  Yes, some of us went from "Mean Girls" in high school to "Mean Mommies" at preschool.  I realize not everyone reading this is a Christian, but Ephesians 4:29 says, "When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you." (NCV).  And even to someone who is not a Christian, this is good advice.

So chill out, Bad Mommy.  You really aren't that bad after all.  Go get you a big piece of chocolate, or a new pair of shoes, or do some yoga, whatever makes you happy (because we are all different, remember) and enjoy that baby.  And if you must hang out on parenting message boards, please remember to say only helpful things.  If you must criticize someone, unless they are doing something dangerous, please just keep it to yourself.     

I'm pulling for you, I believe in you!  Here's to raising our children in happy homes where they know they are loved.  Even if they do have to cry in the floor while you poop.     

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