Sunday, November 21

Crochet for the Classroom: 'Teacher's Gallon Friend'

Sometimes my son brings home school assignments that strike me as crochet-worthy. Maybe it's my imagination, but doesn't this look like a crochet design waiting to happen?
The body is a gallon and the arms and legs are the four quarts. They each have 2 pints, and each pint has two cups (or "fingers"). 

Surely this diagram would also help metric-using visitors to the United States who are confused by the strange logic of pints and quarts :-)

Here's what I worked out, and uploaded the downloadable pattern PDF today to my pattern shop at DesigningVashti and in Ravelry:

My son wanted to keep the original prototype (red at the center). We presented the new yellow-centered one it to his third grade teacher, Mrs. Karen Newhall. 
It now hangs at the front of her classroom.

Tuesday, October 12

Sock Alien Chooses Crochet for Fall Accessories Line

This young alien sees crochet in the stars

News Item!! The younger extraterrestrial populations (that we know of) seem to be turning to crochet for the practicality, fashion looks, and feel of luxurious comfort against their alien skins.

This is an important developing trend for crochet. The number of crocheters will skyrocket (so to speak) if this popular hobby catches fire on other planets. It will then become a beloved tradition across the galaxy in just a few generations. [Or however it is that aliens reproduce.]

Human crocheters can look forward to new crochet patterns by alien designers. Hopefully it will be easy to substitute Earth yarns.
Even aliens can catch a chill

Some extraterrestrials use fashion to express their individuality

Tuesday, August 10

The Venus Flytrap Action Puppet

The main thing is (pick one for me, I can't decide!):
  • A bidding war broke out at the elementary school holiday event for the last one
  • It's an ideal beginner's crochet project; a kid can make one
  • It uses foam sheets to make a crochet project extra fast and easy
  • It's educational: true-life flytrap "zipper" action
This is one of the educational toys available at my new crochet pattern website, and now also in my Ravelry store.

Monday, May 10

Crochet Rings for Cuties

I had a visitor:

She was entranced with my craft supplies and it was her idea to put a pom pom bead at the center of a crocheted rainbow flower.
I love it when kids design their world!
View to another one:

Friday, January 15

Toasty Crocheted Jacket Gets Extensive Testing

Just in time for a record cold front, this yarn stash buster is holding up pretty well (though in unexpected ways) under rigorous kid testing.

'Bob' requested a new crocheted sweater and rifled through my yarn stash to be helpful. He liked the bright twists of color in the Lion Brand Landscapes. The challenge: only 3 skeins and no time to track down more. I like its wool content and it's a fun crochet yarn.

So, to make the most of the first yarn, I did strips of Tunisian Simple Stitch (TSS) because it gets the most mileage out of the yarn. Yes! Eva Owsian once posted a comparison of yarn used for a knitted stockinette swatch, TSS swatch, and single crochet stitch swatch. (Can't find the link but Angela refers to it here.) Would you believe that with the same amount of yarn, the TSS swatch was bigger than the knitted one?

Yeah! Totally.

So then, based on the Marco Jacket I did (my first TSS strips experiment), I found yarns that coordinated with the Landscapes colors. Lion Brand Suede colors were great but I had to add strands of a worsted wt. yarn to beef up the yarn thickness so that it matches Landscapes. Naturallycaron Country adds a nice sheen, and some Brown Sheep wool looked great.

The yarn is actually holding up better than the blocked finished shape. As time goes by, the bottom hem is hiking up a bit, and the shoulder seam is growing--relaxing and creeping down his arm as if it's not his size. It's not supposed to! I was counting on the inelasticity of the TSS return rows to support the weight of the sleeves without stretching! Perhaps part of this relaxing is the air built into crocheted chenille, especially when worked with another yarn strand.

But I'm enjoying seeing these rich textures and more mature colors on him, rather than the primary colors. So on my Ravelry project page I call it "Velvet Motley, A Midwinter Coat."