Monday, February 28, 2011

Friendship Bracelet... My Daughter's First Crochet Project

I started teaching my 6 year old daughter how to crochet this weekend. She had a bit of trouble with the needle so we started by making finger crochet chains and turning them into friendship bracelets. Once she has mastered this I guess we will try working with the needle again and then on to the single crochet stitch. Anyone have any fun beginner projects for kids that they can finish quickly??? She is already thinking big and I need to find things that will help her stay interested while she is learning the basics.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I was thinking about cleaning out all my old basketry stuff today and possibly getting started on making some baskets again. I haven't done any basket weaving in a while... but before I took up knitting and crocheting... basketry was my craft of choice. Here are some examples of my baskets that I found here and there at my mother's house while I was visiting this week.

This is my first Appalachian basket. I made it for class. I used grapevine, round reed, jute and sea grass to make this one. You can make this style with a handle as well by crossing two rounds of grapevine... weaving a gods eye around them and then adding your basket's ribs. Maybe I'll do a picture tutorial some day soon.

This too is an Appalachian basket... it is made with round reed, grapevine, jute, sea grass, yarn, and hand dyed jute. Now that I am more experienced at weaving I usually leave out the round and reed and simply use grapevine for my baskets ribs. It is a little more difficult since they are not as uniform... but it creates a more rustic looking basket.

This is called a Cherokee Double Walled basket. I made it using reed with accents of honeysuckle (that I gathered locally along the Blanco river) and sea grass. I would love to try and make one of these using only locally gathered honeysuckle... but I don't really know how practical that would be.

Here is the inside of the basket. Like the name implies... the basket has two walls. You start at the middle... weave up to the top... and then loop around to weave back down to create a basket that is as strong as two baskets.

Here is the inside of what is called a coil basket. You make these by wrapping a material like raffia around a length of jute or some other hardy core and you coil up until you have a basket that you like. It is very similar to crochet in the round... and you can make a variety of shapes with this type of basketry. It is also a fairly portable project unlike most basketry projects.

This project I made with materials I gathered in my own neighborhood. The core is store bought jute... but the materials I used for wrapping come from grasses and a type of cactus that I gathered and dried myself.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Juggling Balls

This is my first crochet pattern to include in this blog... and only the third one I've ever worked out. The other two were a washcloth (but it was based on another pattern) and I also wrote a pattern for a mummy finger puppet that I will be including in my next installment.

I know that there are probably thousands of patterns for crocheted juggling balls out there... and I'm sure that this one much different from others out there on the web... but when I was knitting these up I didn't have Internet access due to a broken computer... so I put this little pattern together and I thought I'd share it.

You can either use all one color for these... or mix it up however you like.

The first set of these I made I used cotton yarn... I love the look... but I found that when I stuffed with beans the filling sometimes came out the holes... Cotton stretches and a few loose stitches on the decreases and you will find beans all over the place. Only one of the balls leaked... so it might have been the brand of cotton I used (I love this cotton from hobby lobby).

The second set I made of these I used a bulkier yarn and I was much more pleased with the way they came out. I used a size F crochet hook for both versions... In the future I just might opt for a smaller needle size when using worsted weight cotton... OR I could just work on getting my stitch size more consistent on my decreases... I'll continue to experiment with this pattern and let you know what I come up with.

I stuffed the juggling balls with beans to give them the weight necessary to juggle... but I also made another set of these in cotton for my daughters that I stuffed with poly-fil. Many patterns I've seen suggest stuffing them with plastic pellets... but I was unable to find any pellets in my local craft stores that would work... they were all tiny and would have leaked through even the tightest stitch... the ones I did find were pretty expensive as well.

Make a ring and chain one.
Round 1- SC 6 into the ring.
Round 2- SC 2 stitches into each SC around (12)
Round 3- *SC, Increase (SC 2 times in one stitch)* repeat from * to* around (18)
Round 4- *SC, SC, Increase* repeat from* to * around (24)
Round 5- *SC, SC, SC, Increase* repeat from * to * around (30)
Round 6-11- SC around (30)
Round 12- *SC, SC, SC, Decrease (Single crochet two together)* repeat from * to * around (24)
Round 13- * SC, SC, Decrease* repeat from * to * around (18)
Round 14- *SC, Decrease* repeat from *to * around (12)
Round 15- Decrease around (6)
Fasten off and fill with beans or pellets for juggling balls or poly-fil for indoor balls.

Please let me know if you try this pattern (or any of my patterns) and let me know what you think. I'd love to hear from you so feel free to comment... or send me links to your projects on Ravelry (profile name lovecurry).


Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Fun

For Valentine's Day I made these oragamil cards and crochet monkeys for my daughters. I added stuffed hearts to the monkeys to give them that perfect Valentine's Day touch.

You can find this pattern in the book Creepy Cute Crochet... I picked up a copy at the library... but you can also purchase the book online.

This little monkey is from Easy Crochet Critters. I picked this book up at a local craft shop... but you can also find this book easily online as well.
If you have a Ravelry membership you can find the heart pattern here. If you don't already belong to ravelry... then sign up... it is free and there are so many cool patterns.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Purse Design

I made this purse for my mom for Christmas. I used the Mason-Dixon Linoleum dishcloth pattern . I used Lily sugar and cream cotton yarn in three shades of blue... navy and the darker and lighter shade from their denim collection. I repeated the pattern 7 times instead of 3 (three for each sides of the purse and then an extra to make the flap. I then lined the purse with fabric and made a crotchet strap. It was really easy and made a nice smallish purse that is perfect for everyday use.

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