Blanket Achievement Unlocked!

I finished a blanket! My first blanket! It only took…….. almost 3 years.

I took so long that the pattern was taken down, however googling up “Star Crochet Blanket” you will get lots of variations of the same kind of blanket.

My Ravelry Project Page for the Star Blanket
The blanket started as this around May 2010:
star blanket -progress

Progress around October 2010 – the edges are touched the side of the double bed!
star blanket wip

and is now this, as of Mid February 2013 – The final result. My star blanket measures about 74″ wide, though it is hard to measure since this blanket has 5 points

IMG_2877

The blanket on a california king sized bed! The points drape a little of the sides of the bed.

IMG_2881

There is a neat story to this blanket. I intended to make this blanket for my boyfriend – something he can use on his computer chair. Thinking back, I didn’t think this project was going to take this long and boring to make – definitely not a gift for a boyfriend! Anyways, I took this blanket with me to visit my boyfriend, who was long distance, and left the stupid project there to work on during visits.

It dragged and draaaaaaaaaggggged on for me to finish the blanket. Each round went up 30 stitches. Doing never ending double crochets is painfully boring, especially for a crocheter like me who likes small projects or a knitter who like lace and more interest. Often I’d do a side of a point, then put the project down to do something else. Once the blanket got really big, I refused to work on it during the summer as it was too warm sitting on my lap while I worked.

My boyfriend became my husband, and he complained sometimes that I never finished his blanket. I finally cracked down and worked on the beast of a blanket for a week, trying to get it done. My goal was to finish all the yarn I had – which was 3 jumbo balls of bulky weight. There was a few panic moment with the red as I had just enough to do the last round with like 4 inches to spare!

Finally, once the blanket was done – I handed it to my husband, who snuggled with it the entire evening and was very happy with it. Then he put it on my papsan chair and napped there for awhile.

IMG_2874(it’s hard to see, but behind the chair is a mountain of yarn.)

Uggg. I don’t think I’ll make this kind of boring blanket for awhile. I know it was a faster blanket project than most, since I used bulky weight yarn, but I’m more of a smaller scale project type.

I’m going to stick to small projects for awhile, like turtles and dolphins.

IMG_2878


DAVIDsTEA Steeper Cozy Crochet – Free Pattern

I LOVE my DAVIDsTea Steeper. I use the Steeper every day, multiple times a day, for about 85% of all the tea I drink. I’ve taken my Steeper with me when I go on vacations! My father bought one so I have one there for when I visit him. This tea steeping device is serious business.

Don’t know what it is?

Here’s my Steeper! Mine’s all tea stained and I was too lazy to baking soda it pretty. Sorry peeps.

You put the loose tea leaves inside the Steeper. Pour hot water. Steep your tea for as directed by the tea. Stick Steeper ontop of mug and the tea pours out from underneath! Whooo!!! No spills or burnt hands!

Of course, you can buy the Steeper from DAVIDsTEA ♥ along with some tea. Their teas are great btw. My all time favorites are Cherry Blossom, Chocolate Orange, Goji Pop, Chocolate Rocket and The Skinny. My rabbit approves (of their boxes)!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pM8Y_U1zPzE]

♥ I created a crochet cozy pattern for my Steeper! The pattern is actually fairly easy to make and it fits nice and snug over the Steeper. I used an acrylic yarn here (what I had on hand) but I think wool would work better to retain heat. There is no seaming in this pattern, and the cozy is held in place by a button. The Steeper Cozy provides a fun canvas to add funky buttons, colourwork and bling! ♥

My Steeper Cozy pattern is for the 18oz Steeper only! I’d do a 36oz cozy version, but I don’t own that size to make a pattern for it. If anyone wants to donate me a 36oz Steeper, that be pretty cool ♥♥♥

To get this pattern, click download now which will direct you to Ravelry for a copy of the PDF pattern. Or visit the Ravelry Project page and download it from there.

I made myself 2 different cozies. This DT aqua blue one:

And this white one, inspired by DAVIDsTEA’s “Cherry Blossom” white tea, one of my favorite teas of theirs!

I linked a few embellishment ideas on the pattern, however feel free to go crazy and let your favorite teas inspire you!

This pattern is Free! If you make this, please post to the Ravelry project page or link it to me in the comments below! I wanna see the fun embellishments!

Also, I’m Awkward Soul over on Steepster.com, feel free to pop by and say hello!


Ultra Nubby Scrubby Crochet Tawashi Dishcloths

CROCHETING BIG TEXTURED POOFY STUFF IS FUN!

Get a load of this ultra nubby beast of a crochet project:

I’ve been nursing a sprained/fractured finger over the last few weeks. Right before I messed up my finger I had started on this project then I was forced to take a break. I then discovered I could still crochet (slow paced) however I cannot do tight gauge stuff like amigurumi until my finger is fully healed.

While I was making these, my husband kept stealing them to fidget with. He really likes the white one because it is really stiff and has fun little arms to pull.

This white tawashi is called “Jellyfish” tawashi. Everyone who saw me making it couldn’t figure out what I was doing and concluded it was a jellyfish. This variation in particular is really sturdy and scrubby.

♥ With this pattern there are 5 forms, all easy to modify to be bigger and higher nubs. ♥

Here is all the other forms that I put in the pattern:

Fluffy Jelly Tawashi Dish Cloth – this one is very soft compared to the regular Jelly Tawashi. The nubs are constructed differently to be more open with also has more height and poof going on.

Sun Burst Tawashi – this dishcloth is more on the flatter side, fun and loopy with great scrub capacity. This one crochets up fast!

Medallion Tawashi – this one has coarse, tight nubs for ultra scrubbing power! Very compact!

Spiral Tawashi – a simple spiral dishcloth. Light scrubbing and looks great with variegated yarn.

♥  I got this fun crochet pattern up at My Etsy Shop or can be purchased via Ravelry (no account needed) by clicking this nifty button. ♥ 

Unfortunately, these dishcloths do not make good rabbit hats. Kinda looks like a chef hat or nubby beret? Benson was not impressed. He threw it off and made a cage jail break escape!

Phew! Lots of dishcloths! I actually majorly dented my cotton yarn stash making these and will have to buy more yarn (yessss!).  I got another crochet project idea I’m going to start working on today since I have this one completed. Though, I probably need to go back and make more of this pattern, ya know… christmas gifts. ARG!


Summer Farmer’s Market Bags!

Summer is here and farmers markets are in! Benson is 2 lbs right now and can eat a huge handful of cilantro in one sitting! Then he gives me a mean look “That’s it? Not even a dessert?” Okay fine, have a strawberry.

“NOMMMMMM!”

That little bugger can eat so much produce! With that said, I need to buy up the cheap produce that is popping up and make some more crochet bags to put it in! You ever notice that you crochet or knit certain items depending on the season? I tend to make bags in the summer. They are a fast project of 1-4 hours, useful and impressive gifts.

First, I had to locate some cheap cotton yarn so I don’t have to bust into my expensive Egyptian cotton stash. I found some at a closeout at a japanese store – $0.50 a ball!

Too bad they only had green. A very nice green though with a weird set-up to get at the ends.

The yarn also came with an intense lacey sweater pattern rolled inside the ball. I’ll pass for now.

The pattern I used is one I put up for free a summer or two ago: http://www.awkwardsouldesigns.com/2010/07/07/sky-shopping-bag/

For this particular bag, I made 2 handles instead of one (10 rows each) and made the bag body 31 ch wide by 16 rows high.

The bag’s first job: Watermelon for watermelon juice! My amigurumi Boomkin is thirsty and is low on mana!

Success!

Of course, string crochet bags are great – they can hold heavy objects and look cool. They also roll up into a small bundle which is sometimes more convenient than the store bought bags.

I also saved $0.10 since Long Beach charges for bags. Errr.. well with the difference of yarn, I spent $0.40 but in a couple visits I save!

Now to make 4 more *dies*

 

Now, another picture of a typical day of my married life:

“More strawberries!”

(I thought the rabbits were supposed to look disapproving and not the husbands…)


I can knit smoothly with this crochet hook…

One of my pet peeves is mistaking knitting for crocheting or crocheting for knitting.

crochet hooks?
I found this at my local Yoko Yaya (Japanese dollar store similar to Daiso), located in Downtown Vancouver. I tried lace crochet, but felt like I’d go blind doing it.. but the packaging sold me on its wrongness.. but hopefully not to encourage this.

Close up:
crochet hooks?  2

I’m not sure how smoothly I’d knit with a crochet hook.

To add to some more randomness… cookies I made for a “BAKE OFF!!” I had with a co-worker
skull cookies
I made with this recipe halved, with some cocoa powder.

More crochet stuff to come, I`ve been designing patterns right now (unsuccessfully) and been working quite a bit (16 hours OT shifts! ARGG!)


Holding back my comment

Diaso yarn

^ found on the Antibacterial yarn package, purchased from Diaso (Richmond, BC, Canada). I’m trying really hard to hold back any smart or insulting comments to go with this picture.

I’ve been missing in action lately as my computer(s) were spazing. Okay, I have one computer my sister and I built about 2-3 years ago… and each part on it broke except for the tower case and power supply (even the case fans broke). From there, I switched to my father’s computer a few months ago which is at least 6 years old and can just barely handle internet browsing.

So I bought a shiny Dell computer (i7 quad processor + 8gb ram) and now I’m FLYING! However, that project = installing everything, moving files around, reorganizing files, and playing on things I couldn’t do before my previous computers didn’t. While I was doing that, I’ve been chipping away at this blanket:

star blanket wip

(pattern from http://yarn-diva.blogspot.com/2006/03/free-star-shaped-afghan-pattern.html)

At the moment, it can almost touch the edges of my double-sized bed. I’m just gonna keep crocheting away until all the yarn is gone <3

Back to new computer tinkering!


Fishnetty Bag – Free Pattern

Vancouver practically hasn’t stopped raining since last summer. It rained through most of the Olymipcs, and it’s almost halfway into June and it is still raining. Sigh. I miss the warm DRY weather of Los Angeles, strolling through the Farmer’s Market with my boyfriend, filling our bags up with fresh fruit (to become pies) and our stomachs full of crawfish and alligator (it was chewy fishy chicken).

I almost always use reusable shopping bags – I don’t own a car and I find hauling groceries easier with a large sturdy bag instead of those flimsy plastic ones (that get slippery in the rain). My boyfriend tries to use reusable bags, but fails. There is some great crochet bag patterns out there, however I wanted to make my own pattern to suit my needs.

What I came up with:
fishnet bag 4

They look small, but are very sturdy, stretchy and can hold A TON of crap. Hey, they look  fishnetty too!
fishnet bag 5 fishnet bag 1

The red on is the “large” size, holding two 775g cereal boxes, with plenty of room to fit more crap on the top. The “small” size in camo green is holding 7 cans of beans and would hold more but it be a pain in the ass to carry more weight.
For another size comparison, the “small” size is your typical plastic grocery bag size that will hold two 2 liter bottles of pop, whereas the “large” one can hold four bottles!

Other than size, these bags are lightweight, roll up tiny, work up fast, great for a beginner, have no seaming and very easy to adjust the size to your liking!!

Enough chatter – onto the pattern (and free – my first free pattern)

Materials:
~Worsted Weight Cotton yarn – around 140 meters for the large size. I used Bernat Handicrafter Cotton (renegade colour) for small, which is more weighted and more gapey finished appearance. For the large size, I used a cotton polyester blend, Nashua Cilantro. The latter yarn has a bit of stretch to it, but not necessary for the project.
~4.5mm to 5.5mm crochet hook – gauge is not important, go with what the yarn says or experience to make a not too loose not too tight stitch. I went with 5.5mm because I got that amigurumi tight gauge.
~Tapestry needle to weave in ends.
~Whatever you use to mark beginning of rows (safety pins, scrap yarn) as you will be working in rounds and marking where to put handles.

Small (Large) – crochet in rounds formed around the foundation chain.
Ch = chain
Sc= single crochet
Hdc = half double crochet (could get away with and not use this stitch for this pattern)
Sl st = slip stitch

  1. Chain 36 (56). You may adjust the width of the bag by keeping the base chain in increments of 4.
  2. Sc in the 8th stitch. *Ch 5, skip 3 stitches, SC* repeat till the end. DO NOT TURN – continue to work the pattern on the underside of the foundation chain, inbetween the chain spaces.
    (note: for crocheting onto the foundation chain, ensure you are doing your intial set of single crochets through two loops of each foundation chain, not the round bump of the chain. This ensures the bottom is more stable)
  3. Repeat row 2 for 20 (22) rounds, or until it reaches the desired lenght.

Handles:
Lay the bag flat, and mark where your handles will be, ensuring they are evenly spaced. I did 2 (5) chain spaces in the middle of each handle.

  1. Continue the *Ch 5, skip 3 stitches, SC* pattern until you reach the first handle marker. Chain enough to make a long enough handle for your liking. For a bag that will go around your shoulder, as seen in my examples, I chained 60. 35 chains would make typical grocery bag handle. Attach the chain using a SC at the next marker. Resume the pattern until the next marker and repeat for the next handle. Continue the fishnet pattern until the end of the row.
  2. HDC in each chain space 3 times, and 1 HDC in SC (you may have to do one or two more depending on your gauge. It stretches a lot, though you do not want it to ripple). Work HDCs until you get to a handle. Do 1 HDC from around the same space the SC is to make the handle more secure, then continue HDCs up the handle in each chain. When you reach the end of the handle, HDC in the chain space before the SC, then continue around the edge of the bag until you reach the end.

If you want thicker handles, do the edging again at least once more. You may also use Single crochet/whatever instead of Half Doubles – I just like Half Double crochets and like to toss them in when I can.

Feel free to add extras – attach crochet flowers, hearts (this is a cute tiny heart pattern ) or beads. I would of added something cute, but these bags are for my boyfriend and they need to be “manly”.
fishnet bag 3

I should really make one in black….

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 Canada License. Pattern created by Char Gascho. Pattern is for personal and non-commercial use.


Cute Felted Slippers <3

slippers2 may2010

In my previous post I mention working on some felted project. This is the result, yay! The pattern is by Bonnie Smith, and you can find it Here (Raverly link) or http://www.alifecrocheted.com/ A very similar pattern, but in knitting form, can be found at http://www.frenchpressknits.blogspot.com/

Awhile back I saw the knitted pattern and threw a spaz because it was for knitting. I can knit quite decently – I can cable, make a sock, stuff toys, fair isle, but now it strains my wrist, and I prefer crochet. Finally, when this pattern emerged in crochet form, I was fucking pumped! I love ballet flats because they are cute and comfy.

I had to pull out the first slipper and start again >__< as I fail at reading a pattern. I kept seeing double crochet instead of decrease half double (A big deal) as well as my stitches being way out. With that said, one must be somewhat alert while crocheting this masterpiece!
slippers 1

The slipper came in 2 pieces – if you actually follow the pattern the first time (unlike me) the hardest part is choosing what to accent the slippers with! Pre-felted form they don’t look impressive and are massive in size.  I hand felted the slippers in the sink, which was very easy, and they shrank at least 20% and became dense, thick and snuggly! <3

slippers3 may2010

In the end, this is a really cute pattern and I know what I’m going to be making in the fall for Christmas presents! I know my sis would want one in pink……. @__@

slippers1 may2010