Sara’s Craft Blog

Crochet, Quilts, Knitting, and any other needlecraft I can find!!

  • WIPs

    Arbor-style filet crochet curtain (3); Pink Panther afghan (pattern won't be available, this is a licensed product); New theme for checkerboard afghan; Noble Reflections Dimension Cross Stitch (Native American); Baby Afghan to sell; Broom Dolls (Have 4 ready, a dozen in the works); Idea to design for a nurse's item; 2 scrub caps; Re-learning to tat :)
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Virtual Book Tour

Posted by sara1955 on May 7, 2012

Have you ever taken a virtual book tour? It’s easy, it’s free, and you get to virtually “meet” the author and read an except from his or her book. You also get to read an interview and review. Try it out! A Book Lover’s Library is now hostessing (hosting if you’re particular LOL) a set of tours for visitors. Today, featured author Kimberly Lewis is sharing her book for your visit. Rebecca, the hostess, welcomes comments as you visit. Don’t miss it! The link is http://www.abookloverslibrary.com/

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I am an addict

Posted by sara1955 on May 6, 2012

No, I do use drugs or alcohol to calm my nerves. I am, instead, addicted to patterns, fabrics, crafting supplies, crafting and writing groups (online), books, and research. It is quite a problem. But, it is one I have no intention of changing because I LOVE my addictions.

I am on so many mailing lists for group talks on crochet, knitting, writing, tatting, history, and recipes that it’s just silly. I don’t have time to read them all. So, I create folders to hold the emails. That way I can go read them later. Do I read them later? Ummm . . . . no! LOL  Most of the emails I receive are digests, so I can go online to read them. So, do I get rid of the email? Ummm ….

You see where the problem lies. I need a personal assistant/secretary to get rid of all this unnecessary stuff.

I craft, read, and write, sometimes actually for pay, most of the time for enjoyment, and almost always to give something special to someone. I have very few items that I keep for myself. So these addictions are in the way of the time I could use for doing the things I like to do. They’re counterproductive. But, will I change? Ummm . . . probably not J

In the meantime, I have all my little emails waiting for me to take time to do something with them (we’re talking in the thousands), and crafting supplies waiting for my hands to attack them, and books waiting to be read then reviewed, and research projects waiting for me to take time to read and write about them (I’m working on a novel). But . . . oh look! Another pattern for me to grab and save!!! I’m off again!

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Update after a long silence :)

Posted by sara1955 on May 2, 2012

I made a couple of decisions about his blog, first to stop blogging, then re-thought it. Now I will occasionally post something. So, what have I been up to? First, I’m leaving the pattern up for the crocheted checkerboard. I won’t take it down 🙂 It’s free, enjoy!

Second, I’ve been working on projects off and on. That means, I have a TON of UFOs. I’m working on completing some now. Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t start more, but I’m trying to at least complete one before I start something new.

Third, I’ll add a link (http://hystericalreader.weebly.com) that is about another blog of mine. It’s called The Hysterical Reader. There you will find book reviews and occasional blurbs about a book or two I’m working on as an author. I write fiction and have decided to make a series of fictional books based on history or historical events. It’s rather fun. The other fun side is, I review what I read and am starting to receive books from publishers and authors wanting a review. I do not limit the types of books I read a lot, so it’s no telling what you’ll find. Come join me!!

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Remember Hope Chests ?

Posted by sara1955 on March 23, 2009

I remember as a teenager receiving a mini hope chest for graduation from one of the hope chest manufacturers. All the graduating girls received them. The little thing is about 1/3 the size of a shoe box. It’s lined with cedar (mmmm!!!). It included a coupon for dollars off the purchase of a full-sized hope chest. I even bought a “good” set of cookware before I moved out on my own. My mother taught us to be prepared.

I’m not sure today’s teens know what a hope chest is. I’m going to rant briefly. It seems we have a few “good” kids and MANY not-so-good kids out there.  I know (this is fact) that many teen girls today want a baby.  They want a baby of their own.  Some of these girls might be the oldest daughter or child in a family and may be left baby-sitting her younger brothers and sisters.  She may want a child of her own so that she doesn’t have to baby sit any more.  Some may want a baby to have something “of their own.”  I’ve heard statements from teens of this fact.  It’s unfortunate that many have sex to start having “their own” family, some girls are younger that 13.  I know of many girls (yes, many) that are 13 and giving birth.  So, my rant is over …

I hope changing a focus for girls (and boys) today might help.

Let’s talk HOPE CHESTS! What is a hope chest, besides a wood box lined (usually) with cedar? It’s a box that girls put their newly made linens, laces, and other goodies waiting to set up their own household. Now you’ll notice I said household, not preparing to marry. Who says we have to marry to leave our parents’ homes? Who says one must be a girl to have a hope chest? I say each and every kiddo out there needs a hope chest. How will we fill it?

Hope chests should be filled with items needed in a new home, whether the home is an apartment or a house, shared with someone else or to be lived in alone. Let’s remember how expensive it is to set up a home with items we take for granted every day. Towels, wash cloths, sheets, pillows, sauce pans, skillets, microwaves, refrigerators, mops, brooms, vacuums, dust cloths, and a whole plethora of other items …. Paper towels, toilet paper, glass cleaner, dish soap, automatic dish soap, laundry soap, etc., etc., etc. Below are a few suggestions of mine to help fill the chest:

Towels: bath, hand, kitchen
Wash cloths: bath and kitchen
Sheets, pillows, blankets
Shelf liners!!!
Sewing kit/Mending kit
Pattern books (never ever, ever go unprepared for needlework)
Pot holders/ hot pot pads
Pretty new nighties (okay, we need those! We do!!!)

Girls and boys should learn how to sew a button on, repair a tear in clothing, knit or crochet an afghan. These are every day skills that come in awfully handy. They need to learn how to do laundry, including how to separate laundry (ugh! Pink underwear for boys hehehe). They need to know how to wash dishes, not only how to load a dishwasher. Learning the basics makes each and every one of us prepared for tomorrow. We may, or may not, be in a position to hire someone to do these mundane chores … but if we have to do them ourselves, we need to know how to do it!!

So, to make things for the hope chests, I’d like to hear YOUR suggestions. Do you have something that you’d like instructions to make? I’d love to see your comments.

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Everything you ever wanted to know about Tunisian

Posted by sara1955 on March 17, 2009

There is one site that is absolutely awesome with information about Tunisian crochet, everything from stitches to patterns to …. well just EVERYTHING!!!  chezcrochet.com is out of this world!  ARNie is quite knowledgeable and shares her knowledge in a very logical order.  She has a variety of information available without cost.  ARNie also writes books that are a definite “must have.” 

If you’ve never crocheted using the Tunisian technique (remember afghan hooks?  it’s the same thing), ARNies link is the place to go.  She also has a yahoo group for even more information.  

I can’t add more at this point than ARNie has on her site so do check out chezcrochet.com and tell ARNie Sara sent ya’!

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March is National Crochet Month

Posted by sara1955 on March 4, 2009

So, let’s all learn something.  I’ve always heard that when you become a teacher, you become your own best student.  I’m usually a one-on-one teacher, but I’m flexible <grin>.  So, I’m ready to learn a little more about crochet history.  This is a very brief overview.

Most needlework as we know it has been around for centuries.  That isn’t true for crochet.  As a matter of fact, crochet has an elusive history.

According to my Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, crochet is defined as:

     (as a noun) needlework consisting of interlocked looped stitches formed with a single thread and a hooked needle.
     (etymology) French, from croche “hook,” of Scandinavian origin.
     (as a verb) to make of or work with crochet.

Sailors whiled away time making nets with knots.  There have been reported depictions on ancient shards of pottery of chain-like strings.  I’ve even read reports of “finger-hooking” or “making lace in the air”.  Crochet may have disintegrated so that it is unrecognizable in excavations on ancient sites.  There is no definitive answer on ancient crocheting, nor is there accepted evidence, as of this writing, of crochet before the 1800s.

During the potato famine, nuns, who previously taught knitting and lace-making to the poor for cottage industries, began teaching crochet to those same people.  Crochet mimicked lace borders and European laces.  As these peasants immigrated to the US, they brought their skills.  Pioneer women walking or riding with their wagons would work on crochet to decorate their new homes in the West.  Notables were crocheting as well; Queen Victoria was seen crocheting in public.

Crochet seemed to almost disappear from view in our more recent times.  Today, crochet is “hot” again.  Lacey designs, baby items and warm comforters grace our homes again.  We warm our elderly and cuddle our babies in afghans.

Crochet has evolved with the times.  Cro-tat, crochenit, Tunisian crochet (previously known as the afghan stitch with an afghan hook) and filet crochet (one of the older forms of crochet) keep our creative juices flowing and our fingers busy.  In this month of National Crochet Month celebrations, I challenge each crocheter to teach someone special simple stitches.  I also challenge my fellow chrocheters to learn and grown in his or her own craft.

Remember, the teacher is the best student.

Want to learn more?  Try these links:
     Crochet Guild of America:
          Teacher resources:  http://www.crochet.org/teach/toc.html 
          Crochet History:  http://www.crochet.org/newslet/nl0997a.html 
     Crochet stitches:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_crochet_stitches

Happy Hooking, fellow crocheters!

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Free Checkerboard Game Afghan Pattern, Assembly & Border

Posted by sara1955 on February 11, 2009

The Assembly for this afghan sounds complicated, but it’s easy once you get the hang of it.  There are 8 rows with 8 squares in each.  Even numbered rows have the same color sequence (B-A-B, etc.) and odd numbered rows have the same color sequence (A-B-A, etc.).  Row 1, Square 1 is situated at the lower left; Row 8, Square 8 is situated at the upper right.  You will use rev sc (reverse single crochet) to join squares, then again to join rows.  When joining squares, use Color B.  When joining rows, use Color A.  All vertical rev sc rows will be Color B.  All horizontal rev sc rows will be Color A.

To Assemble Rows:  Take Square 1 and Square 2, wrong sides (WS) together, Square 1 facing you.  Join Color B with sl st in 2nd ch of Square 1 upper right sc-2 and 1st ch of Square 2 in the same corner.  Rev sc across square.  Repeat for each square across row.  Then, repeat complete sequence for each row across.  The color layout is as follows:

ROW 8:  B -A -B -A -B -A -B -A  (4 squares of Color B; 4 squares of Color A)
ROW 7:  A -B -A -B -A -B -A -B  (4 squares of Color A; 4 squares of Color B)
ROW 6:  B -A -B -A -B -A -B -A  (4 squares of Color B; 4 squares of Color A)
ROW 5:  A -B -A -B -A -B -A -B  (4 squares of Color A; 4 squares of Color B)
ROW 4:  B -A -B -A -B -A -B -A  (4 squares of Color B; 4 squares of Color A)
ROW 3:  A -B -A -B -A -B -A -B  (4 squares of Color A; 4 squares of Color B)
ROW 2:  B -A -B -A -B -A -B -A  (4 squares of Color B; 4 squares of Color A)
ROW 1:  A -B -A -B -A -B -A -B  (4 squares of Color A; 4 squares of Color B)

To Join Rows:  Hold Row 1 and Row 2 WS together with Row 1 facing you.  Join Color A with sl st in upper Left hand corner, in 2nd chain of ch-2 Sq 1 and in 1st chain of ch-2 in Square 1 of Row 2.  Rev sc across.  Repeat for remaining rows.

At this point, you should have a checkerboard.

BORDERS:

Top and Bottom of Checkerboard.  Crocheting in FRONT LOOPS ONLYJoin Color A with sl st in upper left corner in 2nd ch of ch-2.  Rev SC across.  Turn afghan so the Row 1 is at the top with right side facing you.  Repeat Rev SC sequence across.  NOTE:  Do not stitch in rev sc of assembly rows.

Sides of Checkerboard:  Crocheting in FRONT LOOPS ONLYJoin Color B with sl st in upper left corner in 2nd ch of ch-2.  Rev SC across.  Turn afghan so the Row 1 is at the top with right side facing you.  Repeat Rev SC sequence across.  NOTE:  Do not stitch in rev sc of assembly rows.

Final Border Rows: 

Row 1:  Join Color B with sl st in unused back loop of any corner dc.  Ch 1, sc in each dc around, ch-3 over corner ch-2 spaces. Join with sl st in beginning sc.  Note:  corner ch-3 are only worked in the 4 afghan corners.

Row 2:  Chain 3 (counts as 1st dc), DC around working 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc in each corner ch-3 space.

and VOILA!  You have an afghan/checkerboard.   These are great for boys especially.  They’re so hard for me to find appropriate crochet patterns for!

Checkerboard Game/Afghan

Checkerboard Game/Afghan

Again, if you have ANY questions or comments, please let me know!  This pattern is currently being tested for accuracy.

–Sara

© Sara Nowlin-Edens and Sara’s Craft Blog at saracrochets.wordpress.com, 2008 – 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sara Nowlin-Edens and saracrochets.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Patterns provided by Sara Nowlin-Edens and saracrochets.wordpress.com are for personal use.  Finished products from said patterns may be sold individually or at craft shows and fairs, but may not be sold by or through the internet.  Patterns may be linked to but not copied or sold.

Posted in Free Patterns | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Free Checkerboard Game/Afghan Pattern, Part 1&2

Posted by sara1955 on January 20, 2009

Size:  46″ X 46″

Yarn:  Color A:  21 oz (3 skeins Red Heart)
              Color B:  21 oz (3 skeins Red Heart)
Crochet Hook:  Size I

Stitches Used:  slip stitch (sl st); chain (ch); double crochet (dc); Reverse single crochet (rev sc); single crochet (sc)

Part I:

Round Motif :  Make 24 in Color A; make 24 in Color B

Chain 4, join with sl st.

Rnd 1:  Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 11 dc in ring.  Join with sl st. (12 dc)

Rnd 2:  Ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in same st, 2 dc in each dc of prev row.  (24 dc)

Fasten off.

Assemble Checkers:  Take 2 Round motifs of same color, put them WS (wrong side) together.  With same color, join with sc and use Rev sc around, last rev sc in beginning sc.  Fasten off.

You will end up with 12 checkers in Color A and 12 in Color B.

Part II: 

Square Motif:  Make 32 in Color A; make 32 in Color B

Chain 4, join with sl st

Rnd 1:  Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 11 dc in ring.  Join with sl st. (12 dc)

Rnd 2:  Ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in same st, 2 dc in each dc of prev row.  Join in top of beginning dc.  (24 dc)

Rnd 3:  Ch 3, dc in next 2 dcs.  *(2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next dc, dc in next 5 dc, rep from * two times.  (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next dc, dc in next 2 dc.  Join with sl st in top of beginning ch 3.  (36 dc)

Rnd 4:  Ch 4, Sk 1 dc, dc in next dc, ch 1, sk next dc, dc in next dc. *(2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in corner sp, dc in next dc, (ch 1, sk next dc, dc in next dc)] four times.  Rep from * two times. Dc in next dc, ch 1, sk next dc, dc, ch 1, sk next dc, join with sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch-4.  Fasten off.  Secure loose ends.

If you have any questions about this so far, just give me a yell. 🙂

See Free Checkerboard Game Afghan Pattern, Assembly & Border for the finishing of this Game/Afghan

© Sara Nowlin-Edens and Sara’s Craft Blog at saracrochets.wordpress.com, 2008 – 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sara Nowlin-Edens and saracrochets.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Patterns provided by Sara Nowlin-Edens and saracrochets.wordpress.com are for personal use.  Finished products from said patterns may be sold individually or at craft shows and fairs, but may not be sold by or through the internet.  Patterns may be linked to but not copied or sold.

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Rants . . .

Posted by sara1955 on January 20, 2009

What caused people to become rude and selfish?  Did it start when both parents had to work outside the home?  Or when prayer was taken out of schools?  Or with the breakdown in the American family?  Whatever the cause was, it need to stop ………. NOW!!!

I’m saddened  by this and I just want to throw a few thoughts out there for pondering . . .

When at the grocery store, if an older person has 1, 2, or 3 items and you have a lot, let them go first.  That’s just common decency.  Sometimes shopping really knocks all the energy our of our senior citizens, and standing in line take more energy than shopping does.  It doesn’t hurt to be nice and let someone in ahead of you.  There’s not a grand prize for being rude 🙂

Speaking of letting others go first:

. . . there’s no shame in letting a car back out of a partking space, even if you don’t want that space;

. . . there’s no shame in letting a car into the traffic flow when traffic is heavy;

. . . there’s no shame in waving to neighbors or welcoming a new neighbor with a cake or cokkies or a pitcher of tea.

These are just a few of my thoughts.  I’m saddened by the adult selfishness I see and appalled by the lack of adult supervision of adolescents and teens.  As rude as our nation has become, heaven help us when we become the seniors (and that’s not far off for me) and have to depend on these folks.

Just a little food for thought 🙂

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Pot Holders

Posted by sara1955 on January 13, 2009

–ONE of my Achilles’ Heels —

I love the “old” pot holders of days gone by.  I’m especially fond of the decorative Pot Holders, mitts and hot pads.  I have a bunch that I made hanging on the wall above my stove.  They’re in 4-5 fruit patterns with different colors to make my “50s Fruity/Tuscanny” kitchen a little more finished.

There are a number of patterns, both free and for sale, on the internet.  My favorite “for sale” patterns came from Maggie’s Crochet (www.maggiescrochet.com).  Get used to seeing Maggie’s link!  She has a number of my favorite patterns.  I’ll add more links as I think of them in this blog. 🙂

Believe it or not, a number of people collect pot holders, like they collect Pyrex, Fire King, Tupperware, and other oldie-goldie items.  and you guessed it!  M & I both collect these …. and more!  *sigh*.  I think we’ll end up having to buy a second house to house our goddies!! LOL

“Gay & Gifty Pot holders” by Barbara E Mauzy is a nice book for pot holder collectors.  The particular book I have wa published in 2003, so I’m certain things have changed a bit since then.

I’m not a “serious” collector of anything.  I do treasure my items and treat them well, but I believe “if ya’ got it, use it” even applies to my goodies around the house.  That being said, I ue collector’s books not to find the perfect collectible, but to verify that I’m not gouged by a seller when I buy something.

In Ms. Mauzy’s book, there are wonderful examples of crocheted pot holders.  There are a number of these that I think I’ll have to figure out how to make them for my kitchen and there are several that I think, “hmmm, if this or that were added or changed . . .”  So, I supopose off and on you’ll be seeing potholder patterns here.

I am working on the checkerboard and have sent the first part out to be tested.  Hopefully I’ll have it all out to be tested by the end of next week.  This pattern will be free on this site, but not alll my patterns will be.  As a tester “you” get a free copy, it is copyrighted so please don’t share, send anyone who wants to peek or make it to this site.  Would you like to be a tester?  I only allow five people (of different skill levels) to test the patterns.  I’m always looking for beginners, beginner-intermediate, intermediate and advanced crocheters.  Contact me and we’ll see if we can find common ground.

Until later, stay tuned —

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