Saturday, June 28, 2014

Soft and cuddly, for me and the fur monsters

I love the feel of Lion Brand Homespun yarn. My dogs love Homespun yarn... more specifically when I'm crocheting with Homespun yarn. The first non-granny square afghan I made was with Homespun. I'm not sure that was one of the smarter choices, now that I look back on how I struggled with the yarn. But I love the afghan. In fact, I made two. Simple afghans of just row upon row of single crochets.

Even though I don't have the afghan out this time of year, the minute either of the fur monsters can get near it they want to cuddle into the soft fibers. I really can't blame them. Homespun entices you to curl up on the couch with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate with no mind of what's going on outside.

Homespun can have a mind of its own. It's a bulky weight yarn but woven with the strand is a thread that gives it another hint of variegation. That strand is heavier than sewing thread, but it can unravel. I've learned to tie knots at each cut end of yarn to prevent this. In addition, I wonder how well the ends will stay tucked in because of how soft the yarn is.

All in all, I still love the yarn. I generally don't recommend beginning crocheters use the yarn until they are comfortable with basic stitches and have their tension evened out a bit. Tight stitches with Homespun yarn would likely cause frustration because of the yarn's tendency to unravel/fray.

This doesn't stop me from using the yarn, though. I made a throw for my mother using two strands with Red Heart's Holiday Stripes Throw (LW1882). All the while, the fur monsters curled up on my lap to 'help' me make this gift for her.

When I finished, I decided I needed to make one for myself.

All that's left to do is tuck ends and finish the border. Why don't I learn and tuck ends as I go? Life would be grand, I would be less stressed and much happier, and the afghan would be DONE by now! Ahh, but we don't learn, do we. But I am close, really close, to being done. It's on the table, instead of a bag. So maybe even work on it tonight.

Happy on the Hook!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Oh, Knit-Cro-Sheen

Just saying "Knit-Cro-Sheen" brings to mind images of my grandmother crocheting delicate openwork with the finest hook I could imagine. I loved watching her work. Her stitches were so perfectly even. I could never get mine so even, and boy did I try. Her pineapple work and doilies were stunning. I remember thinking, "mine will never look like hers." I'm not sure my work is there yet, but I think I'm close to trying, especially after an acquisition my mother made this week.

My mother found a box and a bag full of Knit-Cro-Sheen at a yard sale. Most have quite a bit of thread on the ball. Some are even brand new. I would classify most as vintage. Now to find the perfect project(s). I love doilies, placemats, tablecloths, table runners - any openwork in a finer weight.

I can't take credit for any of finished work pictured here. All of these were likely done by one of my grandmothers - something to aspire to!

Happy on the Hook!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Greetings to my readers, fellow crocheters and just friends! This is a new adventure for me and I'm excited to share it with you. I have numerous hobbies - my family has never stuck with just one - but in the last couple of years crocheting has come to the forefront as a favorite.

I have a few WIPs in the basket(s), so I'll start my blogging experience by sharing these with you!

The first is one that I have to say, I really love.

This is the third pair of wrist warmers I've made for myself, the fourth pair I've made total. The pattern I used is a DROPS Design pattern and is linked on my Patterns I Adore page. These literally kept me warm this winter!

This particular pair I'm not making all the rounds of shells because I want them a bit shorter on my hand. That really is the beauty of the pattern - you can adjust the length to fit your style. I'm using Yarn Bee Soft Secret yarn.

Next, I have to admit that I'm addicted. Yup, the mandala craze has hit my house. I spent quite a bit of time looking for the right pattern to hook my first one, and I chose this Little Spring Mandala by Barbara Smith at Made in K-Town.

As you can see, the next set of yarns is picked out and ready to go! The two completed mandalas were made with four-ply worsted weight acrylic yarn. I read later that cotton yarn is a better choice because it won't "fuzz."

This is my mood blanket for 2014. Actually, it's the do-over. I started one in January, but the block was huge, and I mean huge. It took me an hour and a half to complete one block. Needless to say I didn't get very far. For those who may not know about the mood blanket idea, people assign colors to their moods and then crochet a block/row a day or week for their moods. The blankets can get to be rather large by the end of the year (52 or 365 blocks/rows), so some planning is in order.

I've spent half the year trying to find a pattern I liked. I finally found this one, which happens to be Zooty Owl's mood blanket pattern as well, and started crocheting like mad to catch up. I'm using I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby for the entire afghan, crocheting a block a day and joining as I go.

The completed block in the front was my test pattern to see if I liked how the block would look. The piles around it represent different moods:
Relaxed: Glacier, with Gelato Stripe as the joining color; Content: iced violet, spun sugar stripe joining; Migraine: gelato stripe, glacier joining; Energetic: turquoise, seaspray ombre joining; Loved/Blessed: grape, jazz stripe joining; Excited: medium blue, seaspray stripe joining; Confident: antique teal, agean stripe joining; Happy: periwinkle, sugarplum stripe joining; Productive: royal, peacock joining; Tired: seaspray ombre, turquoise joining; Angry: jazz stripe, grape joining; Bleh/Sick: agean stripe, antique teal joining; Stressed/Rough Day: spun sugar stripe, iced violet joining; Overwhelmed: seaspray stripe, medium blue joining; Busy: sugarplum stripe, periwinkle joining; Frustrated: peacock, royal joining; Down/Low/Bad Day: sherbets stripe, soft pink joining.

I'm excited to see how this looks with all the 'moods' put together. It's been interesting to track how I feel each day. I can see how the weather affects my mood, and how the stress of work comes home. Crocheting helps relieve the stress of daily life, so we can be thankful for that!

I would love to hear if you are doing a mood blanket! I'm hopeful I will keep with it until the end of the year.

Happy on the Hook!

For those wondering why I named my blog Thread 'n Fur... thread is for all the things crafty. Fur is for my two canines, Rosco and Rufus

because their fur gets on everything!