January 2005 Archives

Other recently completed crochet projects


In addition to finishing the 2 lap blankets I just posted about:

  • Last Sunday I shortened the sleeves of my Classic Cardigan. I've worn it almost every day during the past 2 weeks!
  • I pulled apart my hooded scarf and made a shorter scarf using a similar pattern but without a hood. The original length of 84 inches reached my knees and got in the way. 68 inches is better!

Size: 35 inches x 42 inches
Colors: Skipper Blue, Orange, Tangerine, Scarlet (Red Heart Classic and Wintuk)
Pattern: Indian Wrap (with modifications)
Book: Rustic Warmth - Leaflet 2653 - Copyright 1994 - Leisure Arts
Hook: I
Date: January 2005
Adjustments to pattern: Shortened the length, used only one panel, made that panel wider, did not include fringe, added 3-row sc border in blue around the entire blanket

I was drawn to the dripping-paint-like design and the colors used in the original pattern (black, olive green, tan, deep red), but since I didn't have those colors on hand, I made use of what I had...which makes for a very bright blanket!

I didn't include the fringe because it could get caught in wheelchairs and requires grooming to keep untangled.

Size: 34 inches x 52 inches
Colors: Pale Blue, Medium Blue, Pink, White, Pale Yellow (Caron Dazzelaire)
Pattern: My own (4 different granny square patterns)
Hook: G
Date: January 2005

Way back in October last year, I posted photos of 4 coordinated granny square designs I had created. I still haven't gotten around to writing the patterns down, but I did finally finish a lap blanket using the patterns and baby-colored (pastels) Dazzelaire yarn from my stash (plus some yellow I had to buy when I ran out of enough yarn to connect the squares together!!). The blanket was started on September 22, put aside when other projects became more interesting, rediscovered in my recent craft room reorganization spree, and finished on January 19. It's the first lap blanket I've finished for this fall's donation to a local convalescent home.

Yarn websites


Yarn can be ordered online at:

Others? Let me know!

Yarn manufacturer websites:

  • Bernat (http://www.bernat.com/)
  • Caron (http://www.caron.com/)
  • Coats & Clark: Red Heart, TLC, etc. (http://www.coatsandclark.com/)
  • Lion Brand (http://www.lionbrand.com/)
  • Patons (http://www.patonsyarns.com/)

Also see the Yarn Comparison Chart at Crochet Partners.

I had fun getting organized Saturday morning! I unloaded the photography stuff that was in the storage cabinet onto the floor of my home office, then loaded up the cabinet with yarn grouped by dye lot (if applicable), type, and color. The 3 drawers of the lateral file cabinet were re-organized so I can now see what types and colors of yarn I have.

The 3-drawer plastic storage unit on top of the lateral file cabinet has drawers for miscellaneous crochet tools, 4-ply scraps, and 3-ply scraps. There is also a drawer in another storage unit to store small yarn ends removed from projects after hiding the larger part of the end - these can be used as stuffing.

Look! All of the cardboard boxes are gone! Well, except for the 4 empty boxes I'm saving for future use, and the one that contains Sayelle yarn for a project I pulled out a while back.

A few months ago, I organized my collection of single pattern sheets and pattern leaflets / booklets into binders. The last photo above shows the labeled binders and larger crochet pattern books stored on two shelves of the bookcase in my office. There are a lot of patterns!

The photography stuff was put away Saturday afternoon. I'm not quite sure what to do with the small TV stand (complete with VCR but no TV) so it's taking up space in my office right now. And, there are 2 plastic tubs (one empty, one filled with office supplies) I'll probably end up putting in the craft room, under the yarn-filled tubs.

It's so nice to walk into the craft room now and not feel cramped by 12 copy paper boxes! And, big reason for the reorganization: I can now see my yarn stash!

Twists & Turns Blanket - Blue


Size: 41 inches x 60 inches
Colors: Country Blue (Caron Simply Soft)
Pattern: Twists & Turns - Design by Eleanor Albano-Miles
Book: Timeless, Textured Afghans - Leaflet 1343 - Copyright 2003 - American School of Needlecraft
Hook: G
Date: January 2005

After putting Deb's afghan aside in December because the twists and turns (cables) were making my right wrist sore, I picked it up again this weekend and finished it last night. It's soft and very nice to cuddle up to!

Using flash when taking photos definitely flattens out patterns! The second photo is a closer shot of the twists and turns (cables), but it's difficult to see so I added a photo of the afghan from the cover of the pattern book.

Size: X-large
Colors: Aran (cream), Buff (tan), Aspen Print (variegated) (Red Heart Super Saver)
Pattern: Classic Cardigan - Design by Darla Sims
Book: 101 Granny Squares, New Motifs for Contemporary Designs - Copyright 2004 - The Needlecraft Shop - ISBN 1-57367-168-1
Hook: J, K
Date: January 2005
Adjustments to pattern: Alternated puffs on sleeves, added 1 row of puffs and 1 row of sc around body bottom, added row of sc around cuffs, added rows to the edging to make the collar wide enough to roll over, adjusted hook sizes for my gauge (pattern says to use K and L for x-large), crocheted a belt using Aran.

Da-da-done! I finished my first cardigan/sweater on Friday evening! I wore it today when I took myself to see a movie (In Good Company with Dennis Quaid and Topher Grace - good!). I showed it to Mom yesterday before I took her out for her birthday lunch, and she said I looked like a snowball. A snowball! Harrumph. She then asked "Did you have fun making it?" and was pleased that I had. Hmmm, I'm not easily insulted - snowball indeed!

The sleeves are too long by about 2 inches, even though I held them up to my arm to measure. Who knew the sleeves would grow once they were attached? I'm considering removing them and reducing their length, but I'm not sure whether I want to go through the hassle of finding the hidden yarn ends...it's not a pleasant way to spend my time...

The photo accompanying the pattern shows alternating puffs on the sleeves, but I followed the directions a few times and the puffs were lining up vertically. So, I ended up doing my own thing to get the puffs to alternate.

[Update January 23, 2005] I removed the sleeves, shortened them by 3 rows of puffs and 3 rows of sc), and sewed them back on. Perfect fit!

Thread crochet and snowflakes

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The Thread Crochet and Snowflakes website has very good tips and information about crocheting in general (not just snowflakes), including blocking and stiffening.

Now this is what I call an organized craft room: Doodle-head's (aka Melissa) Craft Room Reorganization photos, complete with a layout planning map! Hmmm, I thought I was detailed!

Melissa's sense of organization also shows in the sidenav of her cross-stitch projects page. Oh, and, checkout her The StRIP List: Stash Reduction Implementation Plan chart!

I'm in awe. (This is not sarcastic! I really am impressed.)

I have many more large tubs of yarn and a smaller (much smaller) collection of patterns and miscellaneous craft materials (which I consider separate from my photography-related materials). In the past week or so, I've been itching to figure out how I want to better see what I have. Current ideas are:

  • Get more large, clear plastic tubs to replace the copy paper boxes and not-clear tubs; then, use the not-clear tubs to store "done" lap blankets before donation
  • Label tubs, boxes, drawers of yarn
  • Use open shelving with boxes/squares built-in or squares of wire shelving (but I'm concerned about cat hair and dust)
  • Group yarns by type (done a while back, but new stash means doing it again)
  • Group yarns by type and color
  • Group yarns by purpose
  • Get large and medium and small clear plastic zippered bags (like the ones bedspreads and bed sets come in).

I'm very satisfied with my pattern book organization method: 3-ring binders (appropriately labeled) containing patterns organized by type (for example, Holidays, Wearables: Sweaters, Wearables: Other, Toys/Other, Babies/Children). Pattern books use 3-hole 12-inch or 11-inch "bookkeeper" or "magazine" tabs, and individual patterns use 3-hole heavy-weight sheet protectors.

Frequently-used crochet hooks and related tools (snippers (scissors), yarn needles, stitch counters, markers, safety pins) are kept in a 4-inch wooden box on our livingroom table next to my crocheting workspace. All other hooks and tools are currently stored on top of the lateral file cabinet in my craft room. I'd like to move them to a small clear plastic tub if I can find one long enough for the double-ended crochet hook.

Since Mom wasn't using it anymore, I snagged the wooden box from her one afternoon - it was one of the wooden boxes she used for storing her craft tools etc. while I was growing up.

[Updated 5:15pm]

Now that I'm home... Reality strikes!

There are 12 copy paper boxes. And 4 large opaque (a better word than "not-clear") plastic tubs. Not very cost-effective for replacement: I estimate 10-12 clear plastic tubs would be needed (assuming about 2 copy paper boxes to a tub), at approximately $8.00-$10.00 per tub is about $100.00.

So, I'll probably just organize the contents of the boxes and tubs and tape a label to the outside.

(Seen in the weekend newspaper ad...) Office Depot currently has a sale on plastic storage carts with 3 clear plastic drawers ($9.97 instead of $24.97). Depending on their size, one or more of these may handle the tools and smaller amounts of specific types of yarn.

[Update 7:17pm]

We just got home from Home Depot and Office Depot. I've definitely decided (for now, anyway!) to keep the boxes and opaque tubs, but reorganize the yarn by type, color, and project and then label, label, label. I did buy 3 of the plastic 3-drawer storage carts - the long double-ended crochet hook fits with room to spare. I hope to have the desire/energy this weekend to tackle the organization project!

[Update January 12, 2005 7:00am]

At Bill's suggestion, I've decided to replace the photography materials now stored in the steel cabinet in the craft room with yarn. The cabinet has adjustable shelves, as well as doors that can be opened so I can see what's there. Most of the photography materials will be moved onto a pair of white wire shelves in my home office, and the stuff that's on those shelves now will be sorted into discard and keep piles; the keep pile will be stored in one or more of the 4 opaque plastic tubs. Whew. Lots of work to do!

Proper spelling of cross-stitch

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Because inquiring minds want to know - and this inquiring mind was in doubt... According to Dictionary.com, the correct spelling is:


Yes, with a hyphen. When capitalized, it is:


Classic Cardigan - In progress

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The twists and turns (cables) in the Twists & Turns afghan I'm making for Deb started to bother my right wrist (even with the wonderful Clover Soft Touch Crochet Hooks, Back Triple Crochets in the previous 2 stitches are tough on the wrist!), so Thursday evening I started a cardigan from 101 Granny Squares. My first sweater! Ever! I chose a cardigan instead of a pull-over sweater because my internal heater nowadays runs from warm to hot and it's easier to remove a cardigan to cool off!

I stopped by Jo-Ann Fabrics in Dublin after work Thursday to see what yarn, if any, was on sale (sale-priced yarn is excellent for donated blankets) and was very attracted to Buff (tan) and Aran (creamy off-white) yarn. So I bought 4 skeins of each with the intention of starting my first for-donation lap blanket of 2005... Once arriving home, however, I spotted the 101 Granny Squares book, picked it up, and was lost in the thought of making the Classic Cardigan pattern in Buff and Aran. From my stash, I selected a variegated third color: Aspen Print. While I'm well aware that Red Heart is not the softest yarn, I have hope that, after a few washings, the cardigan will be softer!

The back and front were finished by Sunday evening. In 3.5 hours last night while watching the second two installments of 24 (with the lovelier-as-he-gets-older Jack Bauer, err, Kiefer Sutherland!), I made one sleeve, attached it to the cardigan's body, and hid yarn ends.

I should have a new sweater in a day or two!

The ergonomic Clover Soft Touch Crochet Hooks are wonderful! I can crochet for hours and hours without discomfort or pain or numbness! It's amazing! It took a few weeks for my wrists to get better from the preexisting twinges of soreness caused by the regular crochet hook handle style, but after using the Clover Soft Touch Crochet Hooks since September (4 months now), my wrists/hands/fingers are not sore even after hours and hours and hours of crocheting. One exception: My wrists will get a little sore after hours of using a smaller crochet hook (such as a D) with a thick, tacky type of yarn (such as Caron Perfect Match) - but if I use the appropriate size hook for the type of yarn, all is well!

[Update: March 8, 2007] Clover also has the Soft Touch style in thread sizes, but they are difficult to find. Lone Star Yarns used to offer them but their website is now closed. I just found Clover Soft Touch Thread Crochet Hooks in Clover sizes 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 (estimated US sizes 4, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14) (1.75 mm to .6mm) at Karp Styles.

[Update March 23, 2008] Maggie Weldon is now selling Clover Soft Touch Thread Crochet Hooks for $6.75 each in 8 sizes: 0 (1.75mm), 2 (1.50mm), 4 (1.25mm), 6 (1.00mm), 8 (0.90mm), 10 (0.75mm), 12 (0.60mm), and 14 (0.50mm).

Finished Crocheted Projects in 2004


2004 was a year for lapghans and afghans! 22 total with 18 completed between January and September! Other completed projects include 5 pillow covers, 5 ski caps, 2 cat toys, 2 berets, 2 scarves, 1 Christmas tree skirt, 1 wimple, 1 shawl, and 1 turtle.

I didn't start keeping track of start and finish dates until October, so the January through September project dates aren't specific.

Stuffed Cat Toys with catnip

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"Boyfriend" Stuffed Cat Toy (the large toy):
Size: 2 1/2 to 5 inches x 16 inches
Color: 4-ply worsted scrap yarn
Pattern: My own
Hook: D
Date: December 2004
Time to make: About 5 hours

"Chili Pepper" Stuffed Cat Toy (the small toy):
Size: 2 inches x 4 inches
Color: 4-ply scrap yarn
Pattern: My own
Hook: E
Date: December 2004
Time to make: About 30 minutes

Cleo likes to "kill" blankets and newspapers and rolled up magazines and towels and...by laying on her side, grabbing the object between her front paws, then biting it and scratching her back feet across it. Of course, we encourage this cute behavior quite often!

While wondering what fun and short-term crocheted project I wanted to tackle on the last day of 2004 (before again working on the solid-color Twists & Turns afghan for Deb), it flashed on me that I could make a tube-like cat toy object and stuff it with polyester fiberfill sprinkled with catnip. So, that's what I did! Texture was added with loops and front post triple and double crochets to make sure teeth and claws could grab onto and get caught in stitches. The tail allows us to tease our cats with the toy!

Cleo and Jasmine love this thing! They grab it, rub their heads on it, wide-eyed and heavy breathing - which is why Bill named it the "Boyfriend". They slobber and chew on it. And, of course, they "kill" it with their back feet claws. It's really quite cute! (No photos available...yet!)

Since Jasmine like to hide toys under the couches, inside shoes, and in other mysterious places, I made a smaller cat toy also stuffed with fiberfill sprinkled with catnip. She slobbers on it, talks to it, and tries to stuff it under the couch (so far without luck!). Bill named this toy the "Chili Pepper" because it's made with bright red yarn and sortof resembles a chili pepper.

Bubba hasn't yet decided these toys are interesting enough to give them much attention. Picky picky picky.

Size: 9 1/2 inches x 84 inches
Color: Dark Plum (purple) (TLC Essentials; less than 2 6-ounce skeins)
Pattern: My own (see below)
Hook: M for scarf; L for border
Date: January 2005
Time to make: About 5 hours

While I like the wimple I made for myself in November, the wind blows right through the front onto my neck (I used a larger crochet hook to make it not as tight around my face, but now it's not tight enough!). I may take the time to re-make the wimple, but first I decided to make myself a hooded scarf so that I could adjust the coverage around my face and neck. The pattern below is my own.

[Update January 23, 2005] 84 inches is way too long for someone who's 5-foot 3-inches at the most! As the scarf stretched, it reached my knees! So, I pulled out the scarf and am making it again. This time, I'm using an L hook for the scarf (so the scarf is less airy and less stretchy) and a K hook for the border. I may leave off the hood this time.

[Update January 24, 2005] The new scarf is 68 inches long - just right for me!

Size: 7 inches x 68 inches
Swatch from Lion Brand website Colors: Covered Bridge (red) (Lion Brand Homespun; less than 1 6-ounce skein)
Pattern: My own (see below)
Hook: P
Date: January 2005
Time to make: About 2 hours
(Yarn swatch image from Lion Brand website - this is the actual yarn color.)

Since there was a full skein of the Lion Brand Homespun yarn leftover from Corinne's Courthouse Steps afghan, I decided to whip up a scarf for her on January 1. The pattern below is my own.

20041200homespuncoveredbridge.jpg 20041200homespundeco.jpg 20041200homespunmontanasky.jpg
(Yarn swatch images from Lion Brand website - these are the actual yarn colors.)

Size: 46 inches x 70 inches
Colors: Covered Bridge (red), Deco (creamy white), and Montana Sky (blue) (Lion Brand Homespun)
Pattern: Courthouse Steps
Book: Patchwork Patterns - Leaflet 3294 - Designs by Judy Sajewski - Copyright 2002 - Leisure Arts
Hook: J
Date: December 2004

Before the Winter Break, I offered to make Corinne (a woman at the college where I work) a blanket if she bought the yarn. So...here it is!

I started the first square for this afghan on December 24 and finished the blanket on December 30! I think each square took about 2 hours to make. (I'm a crocheting machine when I don't have to go to work, but about 8 hours each day???)

Because Homespun yarn requires a larger crochet hook (J instead of G), I modified the pattern for each square by making one less section of white and red "steps".

Originally, the blanket was going to have 12 squares (3 x 4) but it would have been too small, so I made 8 more squares (4 x 5). Then, since there was still a lot of yarn left, I made another 4 squares for a total of 24 (4 x 6).

The blanket is soft, warm, cuddly, and H-E-A-V-Y. It'll definitely keep Corinne warm in her recliner!

Sketch of Cheryl

About Cheryl

Enjoys crocheting, gardening, cats, NASCAR (especially Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch!), reading, photography, snorkeling in Kailua-Kona with sea turtles, Sizzler's Mega Bacon Cheeseburgers, hot and iced decaf coffee, dark chocolate, color (yarn, fabric), playing around with web technologies - not necessarily in that order! Still very much a beginner with quilting, knitting, and sewing. Donates crocheted lap blankets.

List maker, detail-oriented, organized, leans heavily toward perfectionism. ISTJ. Libra.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2004 is the previous archive.

February 2005 is the next archive.

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Cat playing with strand of yarn.


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