My own “Hello Spring!” Shawl

Discovered a fabulous shawl pattern at the wonderful crochet site, Jenny and Teddy. It was one of the easiest shawl patterns I’ve made and it turned out wonderful!

Here’s the link to Jenny and Teddy if you want to make one for yourself:

http://www.jennyandteddy.com/2018/02/hello-spring-shawl-free-crochet-pattern/

For my shawl, I changed things up just a bit.

I used Lion Brand’s Shawl in a Ball (I used one and a half skeins, so you’ll need two full skeins if you want to make your shawl even larger). The colour. “Community Coral,” reminded me of a Caribbean sunset.

And I used a 5.5 mm hook, which resulted in a 60” wide x 31” deep shawl.

I love the results, and would like to call out a “thank you” to Jane for sharing her lovely pattern!

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Make a Little Luv Baby Sweater using crocheted lace square motifs

I discovered the loveliest crocheted square design called Victorian Lattice Square, designed by Destany Wymor and offered free on her Ravelry page at: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/victorian-lattice-square

The minute I saw it, I decided that I wanted to use it to make myself a lightweight poncho (see the finished poncho in my March 14th post).

After making several squares, it struck me that the first four rounds of the pattern would sure make a cute little motif to put together into a baby sweater. With that thought percolating in my mind, I set aside my poncho project (no, I’m not ADD, but you would think so, the way I jump from project to project!), sketched a rough layout of a baby sweater created from squares, dug some Baby Luv yarn from my stash, and proceeded to make a pile of these motifs. Because they’re so small, they’re quick to make. It only took me a week to make the sweater from start to finish.

In case you’d like to try it, here’s how I made my Little Luv Baby Sweater:

3½” x 3½” Lace Square Motifs
Materials:
1. Any super-fine baby yarn in variegated pastel colors (I used Baby Luv, which you can pick up at Walmart)
2. 6.0 mm hook
3. Yarn needle for weaving in loose ends

How to dc2tog: yo, insert hook in space and pull up a loop (3 loops on hook), yo, pull through 2 loops, yo, insert hook in same space, pull up a loop (4 loops on hook), yo, pull through 2 loops (3 loops on hook), yo, pull through last 3 loops.

Abbreviations: chain: ch / slip stitch: sl st / double crochet: dc / single crochet: sc / double crochet 2 together: dc2tog / space: sp / repeat: rep / yarn over: yo

Motif Pattern: (Make 33 motifs)
Round 1: Ch 4, sl st into first ch to make a ring.
Ch 4 (counts as dc + ch 1); *dc, ch 1; rep from * 10 more times; sl st in 3rd ch of ch-4 to close. [12 dc & 12 ch-1 sps]

Round 2: Sc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1 (counts as first dc); dc in same sp, ch 2; *dc2tog in next ch-1 sp, ch 2; rep from * 10 more times; sl st in first sc to close. [12 dc2tog]

Round 3: Sc in next ch-2 sp; *ch 7, sc in next ch-2 sp, ch 3, sc in next ch-2 sp, ch 3, sc in next ch-2 sp; rep from *, sl st in first sc to close.

Round 4: (Sc, ch 1, 4 dc, ch 2, 5 dc) in ch-7 loop; *sc in next ch-3 loop, ch 3, sc in next ch-3 loop; (5 dc, ch 2, 5 dc) in ch-7 loop; rep from * two more times; sc in next ch-3 loop, ch 3, sc in next ch-3 loop; sl st in first sc to close. Fasten off and weave in loose yarn end.

It’s really easy to connect the motifs into rows as you go, instead of having to sew them together at the end. Here’s how:

To connect motifs as you go (see the numbered photos below): Once you’ve completed your first motif, set it aside and begin working the second motif up to the beginning of Round 4. Work Round 4 like this: (Sc, ch 1, 4 dc, ch 2, 5 dc) in ch-7 loop; sc in next ch-3 loop, ch 3, sc in next ch-3 loop; (5 dc, ch 2, 5 dc) in ch-7 loop; sc in next ch-3 loop, ch 3, sc in next ch-3 loop; *then in next ch-7 loop (1 & 2): 5 dc, ch 1, get the first motif you finished and, with the loop from the ch-1 of your unfinished motif still on the hook, insert the hook into any ch-2 sp (between the 2 sets of 5 dc in a ch-7 loop) of the finished motif, yo pull your yarn through the loop on hook to secure, then ch 1 again, then continue with the second set of 5 dc in the same ch-7 loop of your unfinished motif; (3) sc into next ch-3 loop, then insert hook into ch-3 loop of other motif too and sc again to connect the ch-3 of both motifs, ch 1, then repeat again from * in the next ch-7 loop of your unfinished motif; sc in next ch-3 loop, ch 3, sc in next ch-3 loop; and sl st into the beginning sc to join. Fasten off and weave in loose yarn end.
(1)
These 6 pictures demonstrate attaching motifs corner to corner.
(2) Attaching a new motif to a row. First, attach the corners.
(3) Then, attach the two ch-3 loops.
Then proceed with finishing off the last round of the motif.
Make 2 front panels: Connect a row of 3 motifs, then connect another row of 3 beside them to make the left front panel. Repeat for the right front panel.

Make 1 back panel: For the back panel, connect 3 rows of 3.
Connect each front panel to the back panel at the shoulders. Seam together on the wrong sides by slip stitching with your crochet hook. (If you’d prefer, you can also sew the seam using your yarn needle.)
Make 2 sleeves: Connect 3 rows of 2 motifs for each sleeve.

Then, as shown above, find the mid-point of sleeve and line it up with the shoulder seam of sweater. Use markers or safety pins to attach the sleeve to the sweater body. Turning to the wrong side, seam the sleeve to the body (where the markers are shown) using slip stitching.
Then do the same on the other side of the sweater with your second sleeve.
Below is a shot of the wrong side with everything seamed together.
Next, with right sides still together, fold in half at the shoulder seems and bring the sleeves together. You are now going to sew the sweater together to close the sleeves and sides. Again, I used slip stitching, but you can also sew everything together with your yarn needle, if you prefer.
After everything was seamed, I used plain pink Baby Luv yarn to crochet a border around the sleeve edges, as well as the entire sweater, using two rows of single crochet on the sleeves, and three rows of single crochet around the bottom, front and collar.
Next, I dampened the sweater and blocked it overnight so it would be nice and straight.
Since the style of it is double-breasted, I chose six ¾” buttons and sewed them on as shown below.
I also made a little matching hat embellished with a butterfly!

The good and bad of being an old fart

Ah, the joys of aging! With each birthday that passes, you climb one more rung on the ladder to old-fartdom.

Some of you still have a good distance to go, some are midway along, and some of you have stopped a moment to sit down on a rung near the top because the climb is killing your back.

Regardless of your current position on the ladder, the fact of the matter is that we all start climbing the day we are born.

As someone who’s done her fair share of climbing, I’ve got some good news and some bad news to share about what you can look forward to once you’re well past the halfway mark on your ladder:

First, the bad news…

“Remember when your knees could bend
without that cracking sound?

And the frown lines on your face were there
ONLY when you frowned?

Remember when sensible shoes
were the style old grannies wore,

And you never imagined stairs
could be a mountain-climbing chore.

Remember when you’d drop your keys
and swoop to pick them up,

Without needing a hand from passersby
to help you stand back up?

Remember when you’d grease the wheels
by having another drink?

Now your grease is a tube of Voltaren
used to soothe a new neck kink.

Remember when the scent you trailed
was Chanel Number Five?

What you now save on chic perfumes
you spend on A535.

Remember when you could remember
what you’d been about to say?

When thoughts remained inside your brain
instead of drifting away?

Remember when missing “the pill”
could make your blood run cold?

Instead of nightmares filled with storks,
now it means your cholesterol’s up tenfold.

Remember when a “home” was
what you paid a mortgage on?

Now it’s where you’ll someday be dumped
by your scheming, evil spawn.”

And now, the good news…

“Remember when you used to give a crap
what other people thought?

And believed you had to practice
all the etiquette you were taught?

Remember your shocked concern
if you saw a hair turn grey?

And how you actually worried about your weight
after bingeing at a buffet?

Remember when you’d actually listen
if some young punk said you were wrong?

Now, you answer:
“Bite me, you knuckleheaded schlong!”

And all those senior discounts
couldn’t have come at a better time,

Since you’re sick of being reamed by shops
for every single dime.

Remember when you had to keep
a polished résumé?

Now who cares? You get to sleep in
every single day!

And isn’t it fitting that now the government
must pay your way?

Since they sure cleaned up when you worked full-time
by stealing half your pay.

Yep, growing old has its good days
along with some days we dread,

But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,
It’s better to be old than dead!”

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