Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Free Pattern: Diamond Windowpane


DIAMOND WINDOWPANE
a crochet square
design by Reyna Thera Lorele






Your first round begins just like a traditional Granny Square, but before long, it’s clear that Granny has a bit of bourbon in her tea.  Traditional no more--or is it?  I guess that depends on your granny!

For a conversion of this square into UK terminology, go to spincushions blog, and read down a little; it's just past the first few pretty pictures.  Spincushions not only presents many free patterns from different designers for a CAL, she makes super cute pincushions in her Etsy shop.  Check it out!

Finished size: 7 inch square
Gauge:  4 sts per inch in double crochet
Materials:
Worsted weight yarn  (about 25 yards)
H hook

Abbreviations:
ch = chain
sl st = slip stitch
dc = double crochet
sc = single crochet
beg = beginnning
st, sts = stitch, stitches
sp = space
sk = skip
rep = repeat

Directions:
Foundation:  ch 6, join with sl st into first ch to form a ring.

Round 1:  ch 5, (3 dc, ch 2) 3 times into ring, 2 dc into ring, join with sl st to 3rd ch of beg ch 5.

Round 2:  ch 1, sc in same st, (4 sc in ch 2 sp, sc in each of next 3 dc) 3 times, 4 sc in next ch 2 sp, sc in each of next 2 dc, join with sl st to first sc.

Round 3:  ch 1, sc in same st and next st, (ch 5, sk 2 sts, sc in each of next 5 sts) 3 times, ch 5, sk 2 sts, sc in next 3 sts, join with sl st to first sc.

Round 4:  sl st in next 2 sts and into first ch 5 sp, ch 3 (counts as first dc now and on future rounds), 2 more dc in same ch 5 sp, ch 2, 3 dc in same sp, *ch 2, sk 2 sc, dc in next sc, ch 2, sk 2 sc, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch 5 sp*, rep from * to * 2 more times, ch 2, sk 2 sc, dc in next sc, ch 2, sk 2 sc, join with sl st to top of beg ch 3.

Round 5:  ch 3, dc in each of next 2 sts, *(3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch 2 sp, dc in each of next 3 sts, 2 dc in ch 2 sp, ch 1, sk 1 dc, 2 dc in next ch 2 sp**, dc in each of next 3 sts*, rep from * to * around, with last rep ending at **, join with sl st to beg ch 3.


Round 6:  sl st over to first ch 2 sp, ch 3, (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in same sp, [*sk 1 st, dc in next st, dc in skipped st*, rep from * to * across to ch 1 sp, dc in ch 1 sp, rep from * to * across to corner ch 2 sp, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in corner ch 2 sp], rep from [ to ] 3 times, join with sl st to top of beg ch 3.

Round 7:  ch 1, sc in each st around, with 2 sc in each corner ch 2 sp.  Join with sl st to first sc.

Finish off.  Weave in ends.  Block if necessary.


© 2012 Reyna Thera Lorele.  All rights reserved.
Ravelry:  captainhook

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This square first appeared on this blog in this post.  I combined Diamond Windowpanes with some squares from Jan Eaton's wonderful book, 200 Crochet Blocks to make a charity blanket.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Handspun Happiness

At last I got around to knitting with all that ultra-chunky handspun, made with donated fibers, as well as some other donated chunky yarn I had in my stash.



Used the pink stuff









It all came together in another log cabin blanket, one of my favorite stash-busting patterns.



The teal and grey marl, and a little teal and purple, are left over from my very first handspun, from when I first tried learning to spin several years ago.

I found knitting and crocheting always lured me more than the wheel I had at the time.  So I ended up selling the wheel, and swearing I didn't need or want another hobby anyway.





Then I moved to Nashville and met a bunch of fun and friendly spinners, and got sucked back into the vortex.  I'm so glad I did!  Thank you, Christina, and the Nashville Spinsters!


This blanket is made of various kinds of wool, not machine washable, which means I will be searching for a place that will take it.  I have a lot of leads for local charities who might not care about the machine washable aspect.


The thing about stash-busting is, if the finished object is still sitting on my couch, I haven't exactly lightened the load around here, have I?  But I am hopeful!

In case you're interested, there's more about the genesis of the other handspun here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Goats in the City

While I was looking for a place to live in sunny SoCal, I went to one area of Santa Barbara called the Highlands.  It's a hilly, forest-y area not far from downtown, not far from the beach, i.e., right smack-dab in the middle of the city.

Well, first I had to schlep to the property management company to pick up keys, and fill out a form, and leave a credit card, and read their rental application policies, which sounded very much like you would not only have to have sterling credit and an income like the Rockefellers, but you would also have to sign over your firstborn child, cut off an arm, and sacrifice a goat for them to consider you as a tenant, but I played along so I could see the rentals, because I am nothing if not thorough.  I figured if I liked any of the places they managed, we could work out the child-limb-goat situation later.

I drove up into the hills, parked, and there they were:



I hoped it was a sign!  How often do you find a herd of goats in the middle of town?  There was even a dog guarding them!  Cool!  Surely this was the perfect place for a fiberholic to live.

Alas, after I wandered farther up the hill to the apartment complex, the key did not work in the door.  None of the keys worked in the door.  I peeked through the window and saw the place wasn't very appealing, so off I went to look at the next apartment, an even shabbier affair which would require them paying me to live there.  The third place was no better.  Which is why I am not living near the goats.

Someday I must go back and visit them.  There are signs posted saying, "Please do not feed or harass the goats," so you're not supposed to pet them (or pull out a comb or some scissors and try to snag a little fresh fiber), but there's something about seeing them foraging on the hill, just the other side of city traffic, that's soothing to the soul.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Amazing Ribble Hat

Yes, it's the amazing RIBBLE once again!  It slices, it dices, it... well, thank heaven, it doesn't do those things.

Instead, it perches on the pate, it cuddles the ears, it conforms to even the brainiest baby's big head! (As in, "I'm not fat, I'm big-brained.")

The zig-zaggy rib of this hat makes it super-stretchy.  It measures a mere 12 inches around at the brim, but stretches to 20 inches or more, as necessary.

Ribble Hat at Rest


Ribble Hat in Action (i.e., around something spherical)




The Ribble Blanket has been my best selling design so far, so I thought it deserved a companion hat pattern.  It's an easy pattern.  If you can knit and purl, you can make this hat.  Here's the link for the inexpensive (I don't like to say cheap!) pattern for both blanket and hat:

More about the evolution of this pattern here.










Ribble Hat from On High




Ribble in Red




I know the last one looks pink, but in person, it's red.
It will soon be venturing into the world, to sit on a baby's head.
Hey, that rhymes, and I wasn't even trying!
Glory be.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Free Pattern Links: Keep Us In The Loop

Since I received a lot of the ribbon yarn that I used for the Ribbon Rib Scarf (free pattern here!), I made yet another one of these scarves with the loopy fringe:



I realize that in these pics, there is more of a centipede look to the scarf.  Do we really want to throw a centipede around our necks?  I'm thinking, no.

But in fact, when worn, these scarves look like boas.

No, not boa constrictors.  Most of us don't really want those around our necks either, do we?  I used to belly dance, and I danced once or twice with a borrowed snake, which was actually kinda cool, but as they say, it was a nice place to visit but I didn't want to live there.

Back to the scarves:  they act like feather boas.  Clearly, I need to find someone to model these things so I can take a decent picture.  The self-portrait with the camera held at the odd, up-jutting angle just doesn't thrill me these days.  That may be due in part to the fact that the angle magnifies my triple chins.






This is another fun, easy pattern, and here's a trick to make it even easier: on every row, knit the first two stitches, then knit through the back loop of the next stitch, then knit normally across to the third stitch from the end and knit through ITS back loop, then knit the last two stitches.

Knitting through the back loop gives a little twist to the yarn, so when you pull the yarn out on each end of each row, that twist keeps the whole thing from unravelling.  No need to tie those knots as described in the original free "recipe": RIBBON LOOP.

I think the pattern works best with a wide ribbon yarn rather than a thinner one, but as all this yarn was donated, a.k.a. free, I'm not complaining.

All the scarves pictured here have been donated to various charities, including Handmade Especially For You.  I heard they are a big hit, and I am grateful to have another place to donate handmade items that don't have to be machine washable.  I hope you'll be inspired to make one; it's really fun to pull out all those loops and see that the scarf doesn't unravel!

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