Crochet: Granny Four Square

granny four square baby blanket

I started and finished this blanket for my cousin’s new baby, waaaaaay back in March. That’s over 4 months ago! If you couldn’t tell, I’ve been on hiatus for a while. How the heck are you?! Any cool projects I should check out? I haven’t had a chance to hit up my blog reader in a while. Is anyone still out there? Say hello in the comments! I would love to get back to sharing my crochet and knitting projects, so I figured this would be a good start.

Granny Four Square, folded

This blanket started with the yarn. I chose 3 shades of pink, 2 shades of blue, a yellow, and white. I used Hobby Lobby’s “I Love This Yarn!” because they have a ton of colors in store and it’s pretty dang soft. After I had my colors in front of me, I used the nifty granny square generator at granny-square-colors.com to get a completely random granny blanket. I kept refreshing until I saw one that I LOVED. I took a screen shot of my result, so I could keep it handy while I worked.

Granny Four Square close-up

Since I was using worsted weight yarn, I used a 6 mm (US 10/J) hook for a looser feel. I was feeling a bit anxious around this time and it was definitely reflected in my yarn tension. The larger hooked helped a lot! As did the crochet work. Interesting enough to keep going, mindless enough to help me relax.

Each square was three rows of each of the six colors, minus white. I used white to make a final round on the squares, employing my favorite granny square join (between the chains, pretty much) until all four were connected. If there is an official name for this join, let me know. You aren’t crocheting into the other square so much as THROUGH it.

Here’s how it went:


When you get to the first corner of the second square’s white round, make a DC cluster into the corner, chain 1, then take your hook completely out of the current chain. Insert it into the corner you want to join to, put the chain back on the hook and THROUGH that space and then simply continue as you were: chain 1 again, and make the next DC corner cluster. Before your next “Ch 1” in the granny square (space between each cluster), you repeat the process of removing your hook from the chain and pulling it through the space you want to connect to. It looks like this:



You continue the final white round, connecting in the chain spaces as needed. When you get to your third square, you have to connect the corner in two squares, but it isn’t that much more difficult than connecting to one. My granny squares have a “Ch 2” corner, but I still chained 1 before taking the hook out for my first join. I brought the chain through one of the squares, chained 1 again, then brought that chain through the other square and chained 1 a final time. This makes it a “Ch 3 corner” but that’s OK for the final rounds.



Attaching the fourth square is just as easy; attach the corner to the square on the right and the square above.

Granny Four Square joined

Granny Four Square edging

Granny Four Square corner

Granny Four Square folded blue

After joining all four squares, I made a round of SC and then a round of 5-DC scallops. This blanket was perfect for people like me who have problems completing projects with a lot of parts, like regular granny square blankets. Four big squares with different color patterns keeps things interesting and is finished before you know it.

Granny Four Square, laid out

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Crochet: Amigurumi Bunny Food Eggs

Crochet: bunny food

Last Easter, I made a fluffle of amigurumi bunny eggs for my favorite kiddos. This year, I’m branching out into bunny food–carrots and strawberries! They’re little amigurumi crocheted and glued onto Easter eggs. You can fill them with whatever treats your tiny humans might want.

amigurumi egg supplies

The perfect eggs for these amigurumi are from Target. The plastic feels a little thicker, so I feel like they’ll last longer, and they’re a great size! They’re large Spritz brand eggs and come in a pack of three. I may have a bag full of them under my desk, right now.

My favorite orange for carrots are bulky yarns from Lion Brand, specifically Hometown USA in “Syracuse Orange” and Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in “pumpkin”. For the strawberry, I used Wool-Ease T&Q in “cranberry”. My hook for both was a 6 mm (US J). The green tops on both is worsted weight cotton held double. Use your favorite shade!

crochet carrot egg, open

crochet strawberry egg, open

The “body” of the egg for both is pretty much the same. Start with a magic loop and do NOT connect at the end of the rounds. Place the cover on the egg part as you go, to ensure the fit. Add a stitch or two, if it’s too small. If it’s too big, skip an increase. Remember you will be gluing, at the end, so it doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should be able to cover the egg with minimal stretch or scrunch. Here’s the pattern I use:

Work in the back loops only for the carrot.
Egg Top
Round 1: 6 SC into ring
Round 2: 2 SC into each st (12 SC)
Round 3: [SC into 3, 2 SC into next] 3 times (15 SC)
Round 4: [SC into 2, 2 SC into next] 5 times (20 SC)
Round 5: [SC into 4, 2 SC into next] 4 times (24 SC)
Round 6: [SC into 3, 2 SC into next] 6 times (30 SC)
Round 7-9: SC into each st (30 SC)
Round 10: slst into each st (30 slst)
Fasten off.
If working the strawberry, you may need to make round 10 SC instead of slst.

Egg Bottom
Round 1: 6 SC into ring
Round 2: 2 SC into each st (12 SC)
Round 3: [SC into next, 2 SC into next] 6 times (18 SC)
Round 4: SC into each st (18 SC)
Round 5: [SC into 2, 2 SC into next] 6 times (24 SC)
Round 6: [SC into 3, 2 SC into next] 6 times (30 SC)
Round 7-8: SC into each st (30 SC)

Fruit tops
Using 2 strands of worsted, or a single of bulky
Round 1: Ch 1, 8 HDC into ring, slst to top of first HDC
Round 2: [Ch 8, slst into third ch from hook, Ch 4, slst into same HDC], *slst into next HDC, rep from [ to ]; repeat from * for 8 chain loops total, slst to first st. Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing.

If making a carrot top, weave tail through the loops, and cinch it together, so the loops stand up. Sew onto egg bottom. For strawberry, sew the solid hdc circle onto egg bottom, leaving leaves free.

Use the green yarn to embroider strawberry seeds all over, before gluing.

Use hot glue to attach your pieces to your eggs. Start with the tips and work your way around and down. Be careful and don’t sacrifice any finger tips for perfection!

Fill eggs to your heart’s desire.

crochet carrot egg top

crochet carrot egg

crochet strawberry egg

If you want to make a bunny with this thicker yarn, use the same pattern for the strawberry body and then add some ears. Mine were super simple, start with 5 SC in a ring, increase to 10, then to 15 and work for however long you like. Fasten off, leaving a longish tail to sew onto your egg top. Sew the ears and embroider the face before you glue! Let me know if you make any!

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Crochet: Las Olas Wave Border

crochet border pattern waves

I mentioned on Instagram, a few weeks ago, that my uncle passed away. I made this blanket for my aunt. My uncle’s sister, who made the long road trip in from Mexico, started the border for me when I told her I didn’t know what to do. The blanket is a 40-round granny square, so I made a simple single crochet border that she worked over. Essentially, she crocheted into my last granny square round.

waves6

waves3

waves2

What resulted were these beautiful olas, or waves. I loved it and my aunt thought it was pretty, so when we ran out of yarn, I promised to finish it. I thought I would share the instructions, since I had never seen a border like this. It resembles a scallop, but they lean to the side, so it’s more wavy.

I made a video, which I’ve embedded below, but I want to put out the written instructions first.
US terminology is used throughout.
You should know: chain (CH), single crochet (SC), and treble/triple crochet (TR). This is the pattern for working around a granny square. You should have an uneven number of rounds, so there is an even number of chain spaces (ch-sp) between the corner spaces.

Attach your yarn in a corner and chain 1.
[SC in same space, Ch 2, 5 TR in same space. *Skip next cluster of stitches and space, SC in center of next cluster, SC in next stitch, SC in next space, 5 TR in same space; Repeat from * to last ch-space of this side of the square, skip last cluster of stitches and SC in corner space, Ch 2] Repeat between [ ] for 4 sides, slst into first SC. Fasten off and weave in ends.

To work this as an edge for other blanket patterns, start with a round of single crochet. There should be a multiple of 8 plus 3 between each corner space (I suggest working a [sc, ch 2, sc] into each corner).

Attach the yarn in the corner space (the chain 2), then work the first wave: ch 1, SC in same space, Ch 2, 5 TR in same space. [Skip 5 stitches, SC in each of next two stitches, work a wave in the next stitch: SC, Ch 2, 5 TR in same space.] Repeat between [ ] to the corner. Skip last 3 stitches and SC into corner, ch 3, SC in same space. Work the next edge the same way. Start with a wave in the corner, then skip 5 stitches, work 2 SC, and a wave…continue until you have worked all the way around the blanket. Slip stitch into the first SC.

waves

Affiliate links help keep my blog running. If you are interested in any of the supplies used in this video, follow the links below:

Lion Brand Heartland yarn in “Glacier Blue”- http://amzn.to/1EpcgQc (You would need 6 skeins for a 40 round blanket and border)
Lion Brand Heartland yarn in “Redwood”- http://amzn.to/18r3iF2
Knitter’s Pride crochet hooks- http://amzn.to/1yLQi6I

There ya go. What do you think of videos? I get requests for videos, especially for the Mary Jane slipper tutorial, but they are tough to make! At least for me. I suppose it’s a learning curve and if I made more, things would feel more natural. I’m also getting over a cold, so I feel like I sound…weird. Anyway. Do they help? How’s the quality?

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Make it a crafty Christmas!

It's a Crafty Christmas

Christmas crafts are my jam! I adore handmade ornaments and now that my kids are old enough, I can force them help them to make their own. I thought I would share some of the ones we’ve made, this year. Some were already made during our last few scout meetings (oh, Tigers!) and others, I’m taking with me to our scout Christmas party, so the evening isn’t just a bunch of kids with sugar rushes running around the community center.

1. The top left corner is my FAVORITE. Winter Hat ornaments made with leftover yarn and a toilet paper roll.

2. Cookie cutter jingle bells are a kid favorite. Just use pipe cleaners to secure bells to a Christmas cookie cutter. I found these Wilton ones at Tuesday Morning for 29 cents! Score! If you don’t have a Tuesday morning, this 18-piece set looks good.

3. The foam ornament in the right hand corner is a kit from Hobby Lobby. It’s actually a photo ornament, so there goes one of our Tiger electives.

4. The beaded candy cane is an idea from a kit I saw. Just alternate red and white tri-beads on a pipe cleaner, then shape it into a candy cane.

5. The popsicle stick Rudolph is pretty self-explanatory. My MIL had one my husband made when he was little, so I just copied hers. Three popsicle sticks glued together, wiggly eyes put in place, and a red pom-pom nose, with a jingle bell tied to the center by a piece of yarn.

6. The popsicle stick Christmas tree was fun to shop for. Make a triangle with popsicle sticks, then let the kiddos color it green with markers. We glued sequins, buttons, and other “ornaments” on to decorate it. The photo was a quick print on my home printer on regular printer paper. Twine at the top to hang it.

7. Last, but not least, the baby wooden clothespin Rudolph. These wooden clothespins were actually given to me by my MIL. They were leftover from when she did this craft with her kids! So, early 90s? Anyway, it’s 2 clothespins inverted and glued to each other. Mini pom pom nose, ribbon bow tie, and sharpie eyes. Simple, but cute.

I actually put together little ornament kits for my scouts because I am slightly neurotic when it comes to messes. I KNOW they’d help me clean and I should trust them more with supplies, but let’s be real–things are gonna get crazy. SO, each kid gets all the supplies they need and they can make them at the party, or take them home to work on. It was actually quite pleasing to lay out all the supplies and then make little baggies of craft stuff.

What are you crafting for Christmas? How is your Christmas knitting going?! I have made a ton of those bulky zig-zag cowls and oh boy, I am loving that pattern still.

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“All is Full of Fluff” knit pillow pattern

All is Full of Fluff knit pillow pattern

Pillows are my jam, right now! With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, a heart pillow was naturally on the top of my list. I wanted something fun and most definitely pink. This is the first time I’ve used a fur yarn and I kind of LOVE it.

Materials
2 skeins Lion Brand Luxe Fur in pink and 1 skein of worsted weight acrylic. I’m not 100% sure of the brand–I just looked for a hot pink in my scraps that blended well with my fur yarn. I would guess it was about 100 yards.
9 mm (US 13) needles
yarn needle for sewing/weaving in ends
poly-fil stuffing

Abbreviations
CO: cast on
K: knit
Kfb: knit in front and back loop of stitch
K2tog: knit two together
SSK: slip slip knit (slip each of the next two stitches separately, then put them back on the left needle and K them together)

Pattern
Make 2

Bottom of heart
With BOTH yarns, CO 2
Row 1: Kfb across, turn. (4)
Row 2-3: K, turn. (4)
Row 4: Kfb, K 2, Kfb, turn. (6)
Row 5-6: K, turn. (6)
Row 7: Kfb, K 4, Kfb, turn. (8)
Row 8-9: K, turn. (8)
Row 10: Kfb, K 6, Kfb, turn. (10)
Row 11-12: K, turn. (10)
Row 13: Kfb, K 8, Kfb, turn. (12)
Row 14-15: K, turn. (12)
Repeat the process of increasing in the first and last stitches and knitting two even rows between the increase rows until you have 24 stitches on your needle. Knit 3 rows and then move on to the lobe directions.

Lobe
Row 1: K 10, K2tog, turn. (11 stitches, leave 12 un-worked on other needle)
Row 2-3: K, turn. (11)
Row 4: SSK, K 9, turn. (10)
Row 5: SSK, K 8, turn. (9)
Row 6: K, turn. (9)
Row 7: K 7, K2tog, turn. (8)
Row 8: K 6, SSK, turn. (7)
Row 9: K, turn. (7)
Row 10: SSK, K 3, K2tog, turn. (5)
Row 11: K, turn. (5)
Row 12: SSK, K 1, K2tog, turn. (3)
Bind off 3 stitches.

Attach yarns at outside edge of remaining 12 stitches, arranging them on opposite needle. Repeat Rows 1-12 for second lobe. When you turn after Round 12, the wrong side will be facing. Bind off all stitches. Weave in ends on this wrong side.

After making two hearts, arrange them with wrong sides together and whip stitch them together with the worsted weight yarn only. Leave a 2-inch gap for stuffing. I stuffed mine almost until it was a little too stiff. From my experience, over-stuffing is better because it will get compacted with use. Sew the gap shut once you are satisfied with the amount of fluff.

All is Full of Fluff, knit pillow pattern from goodknits

I’m not sure if this pillow will be out all year, but for now, it’s sitting pretty on my couch, which I am still loving. I want to make a million pillows for it but at the same time I just want to stare at the bare couch all the time. Maybe I should just knit a pillow for every season/holiday so I can have a nice selection from which to choose!

All if Full of Fluff, knit pillow pattern from goodknits

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