Friday, August 3, 2012

Diamond Lace Stitch Tutorial

Thanks to Pinterest, my Diamond Lace baby afghan is the most viewed post on my blog. I've had requests for the stitch pattern, and have been meaning to post it, I'm just slow. So finally, here it is for anyone who wants to give it a shot! It is really easy, but the end result looks quite impressive. If you aren't familiar with patterns or the abbreviations, here is a website that can help you.  So on to the instructions.

First, you'll want your beginning chain to be a multiple of 6, plus 3 for turning.  I used worsted weight yarn for these pictures and for my afghan, but you could use any yarn and hook you wanted and just chain an amount according to how big you want your finished item.

Row 1: (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in 6th ch from hook, *skip next 5 ch, (2dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next ch; repeat from * across to within last 3 ch, skip next 2 ch, dc in last ch, turn.

This is what it should look like after the first row.

Row 2: ch1, sc in first dc, *ch 3, dc in next ch-1 space, ch 3, skip next 2 dc, sc between last skipped and next dc; repeat from * across, ending with last sc in top of turning ch, turn.

And this is what it looks like after the second row.

Row 3: ch 4 (counts as tr), skip next ch-3 loop, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next dc, *skip next 2 ch-3 loops, (2 dc, ch2, 2 dc) in next dc; repeat from * across to within last ch-3 loop, skip next ch-3 loop, tr in last sc, turn.

And this is after row 3. 


That's it! Just keep repeating rows 2 and 3 for the pattern.  Once you get in a rhythm with it, it goes really quickly. I've made scarves with this pattern, found here, and the baby blanket found here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

BYU Baby

My cousin just got his first son after three girls, so I thought a baby gift he would like was in order.

This is a softer ripple pattern than I've used before, and I love how it turned out. Definitely more ripply than zig-zaggy.

And I thought the Houndstooth Beanie from Playin' Hooky was a great one for a team colors hat. I've made one for my daughter in her school colors, and she loves to wear it on school pride days. I used an iron-on letter Y because I was too lazy to make one myself - but they're really cheap so it's a good way to go. 

I've been meaning to take a moment to gush about my new favorite yarn. They aren't paying me to say this, though wouldn't it be awesome if they did? My yarn of choice for a while now has been Caron Simply Soft. It is super affordable if you can get it at Walmart, which I'm thankful I can. It costs only slightly more than the cheapest of cheap Red Heart Super Saver. It comes in tons of colors, 6 ounces skeins, and though it's 100% acrylic you'd never know it to feel it. It is so soft and drapey, I just love everything I make with it. This set was made with Simply Soft, as was the Lime and Aqua combo, my daughter's Easter shrug, hat, and doll outfit, countless baby hats...I use it anytime I can get the colors I need. I feel it's soft enough for baby things, which opens up a whole new world of color options for those of us (raising my hand) who are sick of pastel everything for babies. Anyway, I just wanted to share because as much as I depend on the Red Heart Super Saver, this has become my go-to yarn.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lime and Aqua Ripples

When I found out a friend was having a baby boy, I was so excited that I ran right out to get the yarn for this project. I'd had the idea for a while and was happy to have an excuse to make it! I love bright, more "unconventional" colors for baby gifts.

The blanket turned out so summery and fun that I searched out a boy's sun hat pattern for a little something to go with it. Now let's hope it still fits him when he gets it, since I'm a procrastinator and I hear he's growing like a weed!

And because I just can't resist a close-up of the lovely ripples...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Baby Boy Hats

I was contacted on Facebook a while back by an online friend who wanted to get a couple cute hats for her first baby boy. She sent me pictures wondering if I could replicate them - I had a pattern for the little newsboy, but I had a blast figuring out the owl! I've since made a couple more and they're always a big hit!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Large Anya Doily Throw

I can't get enough of all things lacy and airy lately! I loved the first doily blanket I made, but it was kinda small. So I had to make another one that's big enough to snuggle with  - I used a much bigger hook than was called for in the pattern, and that did the trick! I didn't even have to add any extra rounds. This pattern is Anya from ohmygoodknits! Lace Love booklet.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Coral and Aqua

This afghan is probably my favorite so far. The colors just scream summer to me - I wish I could get them to translate well in a picture, but it didn't quite work out. Anyway, you can find zig-zag and ripple patterns all over the internet for free. I have made a few now - they're so easy, they make a great TV-watching project. I only wish I would have made this one a bit wider. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth!

I never would have believed it, but summer has been much more hectic than the school year was! It's been quite an adjustment, having both my daughter and husband home all the time, when I'm used to being on my own all day!  I've been busy creating, I just haven't been so good at taking pictures and blogging. I'm working on it, though!

I didn't even think of doing any decorations for the Fourth of July until last week - I had already done a summer wreath for the front door, and didn't really think of changing it out till fall. But then I was cleaning out my bag and found this pattern for the Star Blanket from Bernat that I'd picked up at Hobby Lobby. I just love all those free patterns at craft stores! I had some red, white, and blue yarn sitting on the table from a previous project, and inspiration struck.

Now, the pattern is for a baby blanket, so I've just continued working in the pattern to make it bigger. In fact, at the point I took this picture I still wasn't quite done with it. I like big blankets to snuggle with! I love the star shape, it's somehing new and unique. I think it'll be great for baby blankets, as well.

I came up with the idea of making a star garland before I was finished with the blanket. I used the beginning rounds of the Star Blanket for the background star, and another pattern from a Red Heart afghan (Stars & Stripes Ripple Throw) for the stars on top. The pennants and letters I kind of made up as I went along, and sewed them all to a chain crocheted holding three strands of yarn together.

I did finally finish a wreath, but I don't love it so I didn't photograph it. I'll work on it some more and it'll be fabulous for next year!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Easter Lovelies

The awesome find of this lovely Easter dress for $6 at a local thrift store called for something to make it a bit more special - and so that my dress-loving girly could wear it to school. Since it's sleeveless, she just needed a bit of a cover-up. I bought three skeins of Caron Simply Soft in a peach color and got to work after finding the formula for a seamless top-down cardigan online. It was a surprisingly quick knit, since I made it short-sleeved and cropped so it hit at the same point as the empire waist on her dress, and it took less than one skein of yarn - which means this sweater cost less than $3! I couldn't believe it! I'll definitely be making more.

Because I had two full skeins of yarn left, I decided to make her 18-inch doll a matching outfit. The dress was very simple, using the top-down seamless formula for crochet on the top, but putting the opening in the back. Then I increased for the skirt to make it fuller and kind of ripply. And as soon as Averie saw the sunhats I made for my grandmas, she wanted one, too. So a peach hat with peach rose completes her Easter ensemble.

(Pictures taken in front of my brother- and sister-in-law's gorgeous new house in Phoenix, where we spent Easter this year. Thanks for your hospitality! We love you guys!)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A New Treasure

I have the best mother-in-law a girl could have! She and my father-in-law made the trip up north this weekend to visit the bird refuge with us, and if that wasn't enough she brought me this gem she'd found at a thrift store.

Any guesses? It doesn't look like much, and it's obviously VERY dated. I didn't even know something like this existed. It's a knitting footstool! The top opens up so you can store your knitting supplies in it!

I was so excited when she told me what it was! It fits all my various sets of knitting and crochet needles, as well as my various notions. I figured eventually I'd re-cover it, but didn't plan on it anytime soon. Then I found some gorgeous, cheap printed canvas at Walmart (2.50 a yard!), and raced home to "git er done." Lots of staples, hot glue, and just a little while later, I had this beauty.

I wrapped the fabric around the bottom, so I didn't need any trim there, but I did need a trim to cover my staples at the top. I didn't feel like going out to the store and spending more money, so I grabbed some cotton yarn from my stash and crocheted a quick trim which then got hot glued on. And voila, a custom, cute knitting footstool. I love it!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Grandma Birthday Hats

I recently came across a cute pattern for crochet sunhats, and the first thing I did was make one for each of my grandmas for their birthdays! This is my sweet Grandma Rae in her hat, done in white with a green band (her favorite color), and with a peach rose.

This is my fun Oma, whose hat is red with a purple band and bow for Red Hat Society. She wore it to their monthly function this past week and I now have an order for another for one of her friends. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Easter buddies

I can't remember exactly when I got the idea for these, but I was so excited when I could finally get to the store to get some soft, fluffy yarn to get them made. I used Bernat Baby Blanket, which is almost like chenille, so it's chunky and super soft. I was hoping to get a bunch of these made to put on Etsy in time for Easter, but this darn cold that keeps going around our family had other plans. My daughter nagged me for over a week to "get pictures taken already" so she could snag these up to snuggle, so they were definitely a big hit!

Saturday, March 10, 2012


This afghan came about because I had quite a bit of yarn left over after completing my slipstream afghan. I wanted to do something with random stripes, but I have a really hard time being random. I learned about something called the Fibonacci sequence, and decided to give it a try. Basically, it's 0+1=1, 1+1=2, 1+2=3, 2+3=5, and on and on. I did it up through 8 (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8) for this pattern, using the colors in the same order all the way through - because I had 17 colors and only five colors in each pattern repeat, it made it so the colors were different sized stripes each time they were used. I think it really gave me that random look without having to be random at all, and I'll definitely use it on future projects. Hooray for math!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Doily blanket

I have become addicted to making afghans, and more specifically quick and easy afghans. Combine that with my newfound love of all things vintagey, and I knew I had to make this doily blanket the second I saw it. It's from ohmygoodknits! Lace Love eBook, which can be found here. It took just over two skeins of Red Heart Super Saver yarn (I used the color Aran), and took just a few days to complete. It's about 45 inches across, so a nice size for a throw or lap afghan.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

St. Patrick's Day decor

March is here, and in our neck of the woods it has definitely come in like a lion! We've had more snow in the past week than we did for most of the winter. Lucky for me, the nasty weather is a perfect excuse to hunker down and crochet or knit.

The argyle wreath above was inspired by the one I found on Pinterest and made for Valentine's Day. I had the idea for this wreath at that time, since I already had the green knitted wreath base hanging around - I meant to do something with it for Christmas, but just ran out of oomph. It's knit in a super chunky yarn (Hometown USA) in garter stitch, which I wrapped around a picture frame and sewed together. I used my Cricut and the Designer's Calendar cartridge to cut the shamrock out of chipboard, which I then used as a pattern to trace onto my two colors of felt.

The table runner was inspired by a free Red Heart afghan pattern, found here. I used two bright shades of Red Heart Super Saver green, sewing them together and doing a single crochet border around it all.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Knitting needle case

Wow, I can't believe I haven't posted in two weeks...oopsie! I didn't mean to have such a long absence, but I made a hat that just took off and ended up with bunches of orders to fill. So I took a bit of a hat hiatus, but I'm back now!

My recent foray into hats led me to purchase a new set of double-pointed knitting needles, which came in a boring a new case was needed! I made this pretty simple rolled case, kinda making it up as I went along.

I'm still not much of a sewer, but I am getting more acquainted and comfortable with my machine, slowly but surely! I want to make at least two more cases - one for my interchangeable needle set, and another for my crochet hooks.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentines wreaths

I just can't get enough of Valentines projects, it seems. I had a major craft fail with my first attempt at a wreath for my front door...I flunked making crepe paper roses! I had to come up with something else because I didn't want a bare front door, and this is it.

Some time after Halloween I got an idea for knitted wreaths, and went to our local thrift store to get some picture frames to as the base. They were so happy someone was buying the empty frames, they let me take all I wanted for only $2! Needless to say, I bought A LOT of frames. For this one, I attached one-inch foam with hot glue to make it a bit thicker and softer. Then I cut some gingham fabric I already had into strips, and wrapped it around the frame. I used felt and embroidery floss for the banner - cutting the pennants and letters by hand, then sewing around each one just to make it look more finished. It's hung with a piece of red velvet ribbon I had lying around, which I attached to the back of the frame with the staple gun.

After this one was done, I fell in love with a Valentines wreath I found on Pinterest and decided I had to make that one, too. It incorporates so many of my loves: gray, hearts, yarn, and argyle.

I found the instructions here. Wrapping the wreath form with the yarn is time consuming, but I just sat down in front of the TV and watched the news, so it didn't seem so bad. I didn't use any hot glue for the yarn part at all, I just tied it in a knot at the beginning and end, and it seemed secure enough to me. I did hot glue the felt hearts on, but again didn't use any glue on the yarn crosses, just tied them together. I tied a bit of extra yarn onto the back to hang it from, and voila! It now lives on the closet door in our living room.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Faster than a speeding crochet hook!

I can't believe I finished this afghan in two weeks...and a distracted two weeks, at that! I did quite a few hats and at least one cowl and one mitten (I really should make the other one soon) while this was in the works. I dreaded sewing in all those ends...17 colors, with four stripes of each color, equals about a zillion little ends! I sat down this morning determined to finish it, though, and it took just over an hour. I'm so glad it's done! Averie and I have both spent time snuggling with it already. I wish I could get a better picture, but it's overcast today so lighting is less than optimum. The colors are vibrant and gorgeous, and they make me happy!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Earflap hat

I've been wanting to make an earflap hat for quite awhile, but never could settle on a pattern, so I made one up off the top of my head Saturday night and it actually worked! It's worked in the round down to the flaps, which are done back and forth, all in half double crochet. I threaded lots of yarn through the ends of the flaps and braided it together, then finished it off with a fun pompom on the top, all done in the same gray/cream tweed wool yarn.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Crochet cowl and Terzetto hat

The Terzetto was my first ever knit hat, and it turned out great! I found the free pattern at Goodknits. We made a trip out to Hardware Ranch Sunday, and I decided I also needed a new cowl to wear with it - even though it didn't end up nearly as cold as we expected.

The cowl was a really quick crochet I whipped up in a day. It's two strands of worsted weight yarn held together, worked in a loop, doing half double crochets through the back loops only. Easy peasy! It's long enough to wear double like I did, but you could also just let it hang long.

A close-up of the Terzetto, which has a fun triangle pattern. If I did it again, I'd make the ribbed brim a bit longer - but it's great just the way it is. I was inspired to try a knit hat thanks to Luvinthemommyhood's winter knit along, which you can find on her blog here, or here if you're a Ravelry member.