Friday, April 08, 2011

"G" is for Granny Square Afghans

Crochet Granny Square BlanketImage by eef-ink via FlickrI am falling behind on the A-Z challenge. I honestly don't think I will get them all done by the end of April. I will attempt to spend the next few days getting as much as I can accomplished.
Today is "G" for Granny Squares!
I love the old fashioned granny square afghans.I've made 5 over the years. Two were color themed (one was various shades of yellow and the other in blues), and three in "crochet what you grab" colors.
This is very simple square to make. Here is my basic pattern:
Size G or H hook, worsted weight yarns in your choices of colors, 1 main color for the outer border on all squares.
Chain 4. Join with slip stitch to form a ring.
Round 1 - Chain 3, 2dc in loop, *ch3, 3dc in ring, rep from * two times, ch 3, join with slip stitch to top of beginning chain 3. Fasten off.
Round 2 - Attach new color, ch 3, 2dc in 3 ch space, ch3, 3dc in same space, ch1, 3dc in next ch3 space, ch3, 3dc in same space, ch1, repeat around and join to the top of beginning ch3.
Continue adding rounds until you are happy with the size of the square, keeping in mind there will be one last round of the chosen border color.
Sorry, I am not really good at writing instructions.
I did create a slideshow tutorial to go along with, enjoy!

Here's another great tutorial:

I am currently working on one with a ch 2 space instead of ch1 for an "airier" look. The squares go together really quickly and you could have an afghan finished in less than two weeks.
Granny Squares Now: Dozens of Fresh Takes on a Crochet Classic is a fabulous book that has patterns for adding a new twist to an all time favorite block.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

“F” is for First Name – in Japanese

Huntington Library Japanese Bonsai Garden 0083Image by DominusVobiscum via Flickr

I felt like I should make some small attempt at helping to keep those Japanese citizens in mind as we go through our day. What could I do that has meaning to me, gives thought to those who are suffering, but still not make people feel guilty for not sending money to charity. I for one simply cannot afford to donate right now and I imagine there are a lot of you really can’t spare $10 at the moment.
Today I decided this would be fun, it’s a “What is your first name in Japanese?” site. I am going to be spending the whole week writing my name with the spelling (hopefully I can copy and paste the traditional *kanji characters. My name, Holly, is pronounced HORII, Hor-ee, extending the ee sound.
Follow along and add your Japanese name (and the link) to your blog or site. Give the name on a coffee mug or a mousepad as a gift to a friend.
*This dictionary does not contain Japanese names. Japanese names are normally written using kanji characters, not katakana.
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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

"E" is for Exercise

It is essential to keep yourself in shape in order to be able to craft, I mean work, 8 hours a day. Both mentally and physically. It is so easy to spend too much time sewing or working on the computer getting web pages updated, blog posts  posted, and forget  to eat or spend 30 minutes being physically active.

After working for 3-4 hours, I get up, put on my walking shoes and walk 1 mile. Everyday, rain or shine. 3 days a week, I ride my stationery bike and aim for 15-20 miles. I normally multi-task. I hate using the handlebars on the bike. I devised a holder on the center bar of the bike to hold yarn, tape a pattern on the picture frame and knit till that 20 miles is up! 

I don’t do any strength training, which I really do need to do. Muscles help burn fat and calories. No matter how often I tell myself that, I simply can’t motivate myself to do that.

Do you have an exercise regimen? Leave a comment and share your routine. Do you knit or crochet while pedaling on the exercise bike? Have a fit and productive day!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

"D" is for Dollies

I began making cloth dolls in 1989. Bunnies, cows, baby dolls, Raggedy Ann and Andy. In 2009 I began dabbling in creating the primitive dolls with a Raggedy Ann look.  Most dolls are made from muslin or cotton broadcloth with the baby dolls being made of craft velour. Little girls just love the hug-ability of this fabric. 

We have dolls of all sizes ranging from 10” to the huge and loveable 36” Raggedy Andy.
My current project is with my first design – a 12” tall prim bunny with hand painted features, long floppy ears and big big bunny feet. I am going to be featuring this doll as a boy or girl and offering seasonal/holiday clothing. We are working on a web page specifically for this doll at Holly’s Dollies.

Recently I have begun dabbling in sculpting dolls in polymer clay. A fun challenge but really not getting anywhere fast. The eventual goal is a 14” ball-jointed-doll who can model the 14” doll clothes line for me.

I have a very small collection of dolls. Two Galoob Baby Face Dolls, a 25” crow doll, 1 Berenguer, 2 unknown vinyl dolls, 1 CBK, 2 DinkyBaby dolls, 1 MoxieGirlz the blonde and 5 Barbies.  I am hoping to find some dolls this coming Yard Sale season. Only two thrift stores in this area so findings are rare. I am looking for Skipper, Crissy and any inexpensive dolls needing TLC of various sizes so that I can use them for making sure the doll clothes fit.

Monday, April 04, 2011

"C" is for crochet hooks

Crochet hooks are one my tools of the trade. I have duplicates and even triplicates. I keep them standing tall in a jar.

I love collecting used vintage crochet hooks. They have a history behind each scratch or dent. Someone somewhere may have used this particular crochet hook to create a sweater for her grand-child. I’ve even spent time creating a story behind them. 

I have recently been blessed with crochet hooks and knitting needles my mother-in-law used. My sister-in-law gave them to me during their last visit with us. I didn’t have a really good chance at getting to know my m-i-l well, but I loved her and she loved me. I enjoy hearing stories about her from the family members.

With my hooks, I create baby sweater sets, Barbie doll fashions, doll clothes, afghans, doilie, slipper socks and so much more.