10 October 2013

Owlghan: edging

I've finished the crochet portion of my daughter's owlghan! I'm so excited to not have to stitch any more on it haha. Here's a photo of the semi-finished owlghan:

My daughter seems to be very happy with it. At first, I had too many sc in the first two rounds of the edging and it was too wavy. So, to solve that problem, I did a decrease stitch (sctog) over the joined corners of the squares, treating the two spaces as one. This allowed me to have more control over how much wave/ruffle there was to the edging.

Honestly, I still wish it would lay flat. I think I did something weird with my V-stitches, but I'm not willing to take it out and re-do it again. Here's what a close-up of the edging looks like:

I did a round of sc in purple, a round of sc in grey, a round of V-stitch in grey, a round of V-stitch in pink, another round of V-stitch in ivory, and then a mini shell with ivory.

In the corners on the sc rows I did [sc, ch 3, sc].
I didn't fasten off the different colors. I joined by knotting the two yarns.
The V-stitch is done like so: ch 3, dc in corner sp, ch 3, dc in same sp, dc in next st, skip next st, dc in next st, ch 1, dc in same st. And continue around.
The mini shell corners go as such: hdc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, hdc in corner st.
In each of the V-spaces, I just did [hdc, dc, hdc]. 

I just need to finish weaving in all the ends. I don't even want to think about it right now. After I do that, I'm going to line the blanket either with some cotton or satin fabric. I haven't decided, yet. What would you use?

Happy stitching! xo

09 October 2013

Owlghan: joining comments & granny pattern

Hey, awesome you!

This post is two-fold. There is a review of the joining technique used, as well as the pattern for the filler grannies that I created.

I have never in my life made an afghan in which joining was required, but when I saw these cute little guys wandering around on Pinterest, I just thought they were so adorable, that an afghan HAD to be made with them!!

The pattern for these adorkable little darlings can be found on a blog called "Repeat Crafter Me." Please click on the image above to go directly to the pattern!

There was no getting around it. I was enchanted. An owlghan. How cute, am I right? Now that I'm closer to being done with the afghan . . . well, I'm just honestly not sure that I'll ever make another afghan in which joining is required again! Don't get me wrong, it's certainly not the joining that was a pain in the neck. Honestly, it's getting the edging right, but I'll focus on that in another post later this week.

So, the first thing I did was pick out the colors I wanted to use. This afghan is for my 4-year-old daughter, so pink and purple just had to be in the mix. I'm in love with everything sage right now, so I threw some of that in there to add some contrast. The colors together remind me of a fairy tale.

Confession time! I did not make a graph for how many squares I would make before I started making them. Don't judge me! I had a valid reason for not doing that. There's a madness to my methods.

I wanted to see how quickly and easily I could put the owls together. I'm a fast crocheter, and I'm not all that patient. So, sewing on buttons and making beaks and feet on top of the normal crocheting? Eh. Making a ton of owls did not seem like my thing. I don't mind the little nuances of adding and decreasing stitches, sewing parts together, and sewing embellishments on so much when I'm making a stuffed animal, because they're normally pretty easy and quick to make, but a ton of monotonous little owls? What was I getting myself into?

Luckily, the pattern for the owls really is fairly quick and easy. Naturally, as well, I cheated a little bit and used a larger hook size than the pattern calls for. I still didn't want to make that many owls, though, so I made up a filler square to go in between them based on the center of the owls for continuity. The pattern is so incredibly simple. It goes like this:

Make a magic circle.
ch 1
Rnd 1: 8 hdc in magic circle, pull string taught, sl st to join (8 st)
Rnd 2: ch 1 (do NOT turn), 2 hdc in ea. st around, sl st to join, finish off 1st color (16 st)
Rnd 3: with 2nd color, sl st to join, *ch 3, sk next st, sc in following st, repeat from * 6 more times, ch 3, sl st in same st as join (8 ch 3 spaces)
Rnd 4: ch 3 (counts as first dc now and throughout), 2 dc in same sp, ch 2, 3 dc in same sp, *ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, ch 1, 3 dc in same sp, repeat from * 2 more times, ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, ch 1, sl st to join, fasten off 2nd color (4 corners, 4 sides, 36 st)
Rnd 5: with 3rd color, sl st in corner to join, ch 3, 2 dc in same sp, ch 2, 3 dc in same sp, *ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, ch 2, 3 dc in same sp, repeat from * 2 more times, ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, sl st to join, fasten off (48 st)
Rnd 6: with 4th color, sl st in corner to join, ch 3, 2 dc in same sp, ch 2, 3 dc in same sp, *ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, ch 2, 3 dc in same sp, repeat from * 2 more times, ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, sl st to join, fasten off.

After I got going on the squares, I jotted down a graph on the back of a random piece of paper I had lying around the house. When I got all of the squares done, I slip stitched in each stitch along all the columns first to join, and then along each of the rows. I like the slip stitches being on the front so they're more visible. Owls are very good hiders, and they like to hang out in trees. These should reflect that somehow. To me, it looks like they're perched on the white joining, or even peeking out of a hole in a tree. This is what it looks like pre-border:

As always, I hope that you find this post helpful! If you have any questions or concerns, please comment below. Happy stitching! xo

07 October 2013

Blog Feature no. 2!

Blue Cloud Crochet has yet again been part of a feature on the Middle Tennessee Crafts blog!
Check it out here!

01 October 2013

Ends . . .

When it comes to weaving in ends, I'm terrible at it. Honestly. What I normally do is just work over the ends, and hope that my work doesn't get undone. The last afghan I made before beginning my daughter's owlghan, though, has been mutilated more than once by our miniature pincer, Tony. (Yes, Tony. Tony DiNozzo.) In order to prevent that from happening with the owlghan (because, let's face it, there are TONS of ends in that thing that could potentially come undone), my Nana offered some of her sage advice. Here it is below:

 "Weaving" in Ends

1. Find an end
Just like this one ^
 2. If necessary, pull some of the end back out if you've worked over it and it's just too short otherwise.
Pulled back through 3 stitches so this end is in the middle of a corner.
 3. Split the yarn. Literally, grab a half between two fingers in one hand, and another half in two fingers of the other, and pull till it comes apart a bit. You should now have 2 ends like this:
I promise, this has no bearing on what my hair looks like right now.
 4. Pull one of the ends back under a loop on one of the previous stitches like so:
I had pulled both back through one before I pulled one through another.
 5. Double-knot (square knot) the ends just like you would a pair of shoelaces.
Knotty yarn.
6. Pull the yarn back under the other stitches. Tuck in more, if needed.

So, that's mine and Nana's way of taking care of our ends so they don't fray and work doesn't come undone. Hope this little tidbit was helpful!

Happy Stitching! xo