Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Crochet Reading Charts

From time to time, I find invaluable helps and how to's from sources such as websites and other blogs that I follow, and I like to pass on the information. Creations by Valorie does the same, and has passed on this information through her blog. I am following suit. 

Reading charts for crochet is one such skill I myself am in need of perfecting, and this helpful chart is reader friendly and a great place to start!  Thank you Val and Catarina!


Reading Crochet Charts by Catarina


My name is Catarina and today will go thru our first lesson on how to read Crochet Charts.

I don’t know what is the easiest way to start this as I have never been taught this. I just got used to reading them on my own, as most of the crochet patterns in Portuguese magazine come with a chart.

But let’s start with the symbols. Every chart comes with a legend so you know what it represents, but they are kind of universal and here they are:
Crochet Chart Symbols
Sometimes you may find a chart online that doesn’t have a legend or that the symbols are a bit different from the list above. Well that is a problem that arises when the pattern does not include it's own legend. Sometimes you can read them; sometimes you can’t. So far it has just happened for me once that I couldn’t follow a pattern in chart form.

Please don’t get overwhelmed with all these symbols, you don’t really need to know them by heart, as you can always go back to your legend and see what they mean.

So let’s do a pattern reading from a simple chart, this time from a granny square, as I think almost everyone know how to do them or at least understands their construction.

So, as you can see this chart has a legend, and the stitches used for this pattern are chain, double crochet and slip stitch.

In this case we know that granny square starts from middle, but sometimes you don’t know how the pattern you are going to do is suppose to work out, but there are some small things that will help you. Some patterns have a small arrow indicating the pattern first stitch, and other’s have numbers in rows (like this one), indicating what is that row so you just have to look for row 1. But, mainly you just have to look at the symbols – here you can see were the top of the double crochet is, so its easy to see what direction the work is done.
Let’s start then, with the reading of the chart. We start in middle, and...

Start with: 4 ch joined with sl st.
Row 1 is written in black: ch 5, *dc 3, ch 2* 3 times, dc 2 and join with sl st in the 3rd chain from beginning of the row
Row 2 (in red): ch 5, *dc 3, ch1, dc 3, ch 2* 3 times, dc 2 and join with sl st in the 3rd chain from beginning of the row.
So carry on by yourself, leave a comment if you have some doubt and see you next week for lesson # 2.

Catarina Yarn Craft

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Burning the wick at both ends

    It is winter here in New England, but what a winter we have had! Very mild, sunny days, and two snow falls that have amounted to about an inch! It feels almost like winter in Arizona rather than Rhode Island, but who's complaining?  Not I! Last year we were bombarded with large storm after storm-so much so that my entire winter grocery shopping schedule seems to have revolved around when the next storm was going to hit! I love the beauty of the snow, but I certainly enjoy not having to bundle up with hat, thick heavy coat, and gloves each time I just want to step outside!

       It is staying lighter out longer now, and for that I am thankful for! Oh how I love the sunshine and blue skies and hearing birds twittering amongst themselves, which has already started this year, as has the premature growth of crocus' popping through the gardens around my home.

    My days are spent homeschooling my daughter and crocheting, my evenings crocheting in my big cozy chair as my family relaxes together and watches old time shows and movies late into the night. My husband is seasonally unemployed this year, and it is nice to have time to just hang out and do nothing with him for once in our married life. Most of the kids are grown, save one child-Bethy-who is ten, and my husband has worked 6-7 days a week most of our married life. Most recently, the past five years or so averaging 65 hours a week. that doesn't leave much time for just hanging out and enjoying eachother's company. So, we are taking advantage of it while we can, and making up for lost time.

Here is a new afghan I made for my son who is away at Bible college studying church ministries and music. It was finally finished a few short weeks ago after laboring at it for 9 months off and on.  Made with half double crochet with a size H hook, one row seemed to be endless to me! I created patterns with various colored yarns from Vanna's Choice, Caron's One pound, and Red Heart. From light to dark colors and shades and back again, there is a definite pattern throughout, and is repeated only three times throughout the entire afghan. It measures approximately 6' x 6 1/2': Plenty big for wrapping your self up in, and acting as a great throw on a full or queen size bed in the future.

Here is a picture of  him with another love gift I made for him recently at college. We may grow up, but there is always still a little child in each of us.

        February 21 marked my third child's birthday. He turned 20. Wow!  My two oldest now having their own Momma-made-blankies, it was time to start on his. I took him out yarn shopping-for which he tried desperately to hide as I pulled him through the isles to where the yarn was. This is the pattern and colors her chose for his blanket, which again is 6 feet wide. The yarns are Caron one pound and Red Heart in Spring Green. His favorite color is green-must be the Irish in him. I am thankful he chose this pattern-made with long double crochet, it will still be thick and warm, especially because I am using a smaller hook than the yarn calls for, but it also is made with long double crochet stitches, so finishing one row doesn't seem to take forever and it shouldn't take nine months to complete it, either!

Here is a picture of my Irish boy upon his graduation.
What a handsome boy.

  Lastly, here is another project I have been partially working on. I have been teaching a group of ladies at my church how to crochet, and we have been working on a -SSSHHH- surprise gift for our Pastor and his wife. This is the finished blanket for her, and his is partially complete. His is made following the same pattern but with two shades of blue, a tan, brown, and natural. The ladies and I make the squares, and then I  weave in the ends to make sure all is well, sew the squares together,  and add the boarder. I so would like to make one for myself someday. Isn't it beautiful?

 Have a LOVEly day. Love all you do, and those you have, with all your heart!

Thursday, February 23, 2012



The directions given are for making a hat sized for newborns. 
For instructions on making other sizes, see below the pattern instructions.

Size H crochet hook
Red Heart Soft in the color Chocolate
Black ball point pen or fabric paint
7/8" X 7" Cloth Ribbon
small safety pin
Fray check

**Note before you begin:  Against the usual rule of crochet, the ch 3's at the beginning of each row DO NOT count as a double crochet throughout the stitch counting process, and ALL rows are joined to to the top of the first double crochet in each row, not the beginning chain 3.

1) In magic circle, work 8 dc. Do not close up completely, allowing for room to fit ribbon in when finished. Join w sl st.
2) Ch 3,  dc in same sp, *2 dc in next dc, dc in next dc; repeat from * around. (12)
3) Ch 3, dc in same sp & ea dc around. (12)
4) Ch 3, dc in same sp, * 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next; repeat around. (18)
5) Ch 3, dc in same sp & ea dc around. (18)
6) Ch3 , dc in same sp, * 2 dc in dc, dc in dc, * repeat from * around. (27)
7) Ch 3, dc in same sp & ea dc around. (27)
8) Ch 3, dc in same sp, *2 dc in dc, dc in next; repeat from * around. Join. (40)
9) Ch 3, dc in same sp & next 8 dc, 2 dc in next, (dc in 9 dc, 2 dc in next) 3x. Join. (44)
10-13) Ch 3, dc in same sp & ea dc around. Join. (44)
14-15) Ch1, sc in same sp & ea sp around. Join. (44)
Finish off, weaving  in ends & securing tail from magic circle. Be sure to leave a small opening large enough for inserting ribbon.
Clip one end of the ribbon as shown in picture, print near the end of ribbon with pen the word "Kisses", & apply fray check to each end of ribbon. Allow to dry. If  you are making the hat for a photo prop, insert the ribbon into the top of the hat, and pin to top of inside of hat, being sure to pin AROUND an inside stitch, not through, to ensure the integrity of the yarn. Take ribbon and pin off hat before washing. To secure the ribbon permanently to the hat, simply sew it in place rather than using the pin. I am unsure, however, how well the ribbon and ink will endure washings.

For larger size hats experiment using thicker yarns such as Lion Brand, Impeccable, etc. Use larger size hooks such as I and J. For an even larger sized hat, try crocheting two strands of yarn together or use chunky yarn (size 5) and a size K, L, or N hook.

For preemie hats use an f or g hook and/or size 3 baby sport yarn.

***If you do experiment and make other size hats as suggested, PLEASE feel free to comment below and share with us your results of the finished sized hat you made according to the circumference, as well as what yarn and hook you used to obtain it! THANK YOU!

Head Circumference:
Newborn: 12-14"
3-6 months 14-17"
6-12 months 16-19"
12 months - 3 years 18-20"
Preteens and teens 20 1/2 - 22"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Strawberry and Yogurt Gelatin Confection


2 cups water
2  1.4 oz pkgs Rasberry Jello
2  1.4 oz pkgs Orange Jello
8-12 oz  lite non-dairy whipped topping (depending upon preference)            
16 oz lite nonfat vanilla flavored yogurt
16 oz strawberries, cut into small cubes
12-18 ice cubes

       In microwave, bring 2 cups water to a near boil/boil. Remove from microwave and add the jello. Stir two minutes or till completely dissolved. Add 12 ice cubes and begin stirring to melt the ice cubes and to cool & thicken the jello.Continue to stir & add as many ice cubes as necessary until mixture is almost completely set, but still chunky. Quickly remove any remaining ice cubes with a slotted spoon & place into blender or food processor. Add yogurt and mix together until fully blended. The desired consistency should not be too thin at this point. If it is, place in freezer for 30-60 seconds to thicken up just a bit. In a clear serving bowl or trifle dish, layer with 1/3 of jello/yogurt mixture, 4 oz whipped topping, and 1/3 of strawberries. Repeat process 2 more times. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

Thank You, Olga, from "This Where is Soleil" for this award!

What an honor!

OK, so this awards has some rules which are:
1. Add the award to your blog
2. Thank the blogger who gave it to you
3. Mention 7 random things about yourself
4. List the rules
5. Award to 15 bloggers
6. Inform each of those 15 by leaving a comment on their blog.


OK, so the seven random things about myself....hmmm.
1. I LOVE to crochet (figure that!) and stay up late way too many nights doing just that!
2. My best friend's name is Jesus.
3. My second best friend is my husband. :)
4. I wish I was as fat as I once thought I was!
5. My five most favorite things in the world are my five children.
6.My ten year old is wanting a sixth child in the family. EEK!
7. My favorite ministry in church is the music ministry in which I sing and play my flute in, & I love every minute of it!

My Choice of bloggers to award this to are:
Creations by Valorie Blog
Bev's Country Cottage Blog
Bunny Mummy
Carina's Craft Blog
Crafty Mix
INSOMNIAC with a hook
My Rose Valley
Sarah's Sweethearts
Scrap Yarn Crochet
Stitch of Love
Tangled Happy
The Yarn Stashbuster Blog
The Dainty Daisy
Treasures Made from Yarn
Whiskers & Wool