Today is the FIRST day of the rest of your life!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This is Sundara....

On the Naturally Caron site they have this really gorgeous sweater/cardigan/jacket to is called Sundara designed by Margret Willson. Yet another fabulous FREE pattern. Now, I'm a bit too chunky for the sweater now, but look at the trim....LOTS of trim! Wouldn't that make a beautiful border to an afghan! You HAVE to say yes—it's just too luscious!

As a matter of fact, I bet the sweater/cardigan/jacket pattern could be adapted for an afghan, too! Wow....too much.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Finished - Taylor's Afghan

This is the edged and joined afghan for my niece.

These photos don't do it justice - in person it is really SWEET! I still have ends to weave in, but I am hoping to have it sent out by the first of the week latest.


Thursday, March 11, 2010


As a quick note - I added an errata on the top of the post "THE EDGE AND JOIN" -----  I had counted wrong.  Check it out.........and sorry.



I am in the process of doing a lace pattern. Although I grew up on making doilies, it has been quite a long spell since I've done intricate patterns in thinner yarn. I did do a fillet pattern, but those are straight forward and you use charts. Yes, I've also made shells, but those are rather mindless after you do one row.

I was having trouble from the beginning of this particular pattern and could not figure out why it kept being so complicated. I thought it was the end for me....I would never be able to make something lacy and pretty for myself or anyone else.

Then the light went on! It wasn't me - it was the pattern. It was written for those who may not have been intimately aware of crochet techniques and protocol, i.e. the novice crocheter. So, instead of reading each line which was taking me forever, I sat down and re-wrote each row. The pattern has a 3 row repeat, so in essence I only had to write those 3 rows.

Below is a sample of how it was written, and then how I re-wrote it. You might want to try your hand at doing this when it comes to complicated patterns. I find it is better to read the pattern row first and then read and crochet. After I understand how it is written, then I can re-write it to suit myself. 

In this particular case, each chain is considered a stitch. There are no single crochets in the long "chain", but there are sc in "a" chain. The problem with the instructions is that one time it would indicated to skip a ch & skip a sc. The next time it would only say to skip the first sc. As the sc came after 3 chains, that meant you are skipping four stitches even though it doesn't say when you re-write the instructions if you don't look at your work you are liable to write "skip one stitch" and in reality you are to skip four.

This is one row from the pattern:

Row 5: Ch6, turn; skip next sc and next 2 chs, sc in next ch, sc in next 3 sc and in next ch, ch 3 *skip next sc, dc in next sc, ch 3, skip next sc and next 2 chs, sc in next ch, sc in next 3 sc and in next ch, ch 3; repeat from * across to last 2 chs, skip last 2 chs and next sc, dc in last sc.


Ch6, sk3, sc5, ch3, sk3, dc, ch3, sk3, sc5, ch3, (sk3, dc)

That is soooooo much easier to read when you are in the process of repeating rows. And it is easier to see the pattern and understand the repeat process of each row - therefore easier to see your mistakes.

So next time you find your are faced with a mountain to climb in a intricate pattern, dissect it into doable rows, writing it the way you understand it, and in your own shorthand. Life will seem much calmer and easier at the end of your hook!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Alright - here I go one more time!

This is what I have found in finishing the afghan.  First, it is a must that you have the same amount of stitches on each side of a square, and the same amount on all squares.  You can fudge by a couple of stitches as long as you have the same amount of loops on the side once you border the square!

The formula for the edging is to divide the amount of stitches you have by 3 minus one.  So if you have 44 stitches, you first subtract one stitch (it takes four stitches for the very first pattern) - 43 divided by 3 gives you 14 plus one stitch left over.  When you start the pattern you use four stitches, then will have 13 patterns left to make and along the way instead of skipping two stitches you can skip 3 to incorporate that one left over stitch.

Lets say that you had 38 stitches.  You subtract one and have 37, divide by 3 and have 12 with one stitch left over.  So if all your squares have 12 then you do as above.  However, if most have 13 patterns, then you have add a pattern to this one. We know that you need 3 stitches in a regular pattern (each pattern shares one stitch except the first one), but if you want to add patterns you can do it by skipping one stitch instead.  Each time you skip one stitch instead of two, you have an extra stitch to use to add a pattern.  As in this example you already have one extra stitch, you only need to do this one time. Therefore, a pattern near the beginning and a pattern near the end of the side can each be one skipped stitch and that gives you enough room for 13 patterns down the side to match the other squares.

I found that at the corners I had to improvise a bit. It depended on how many stitches I had per side of the squares - remember I didn't get all mine exactly the same (shame on me!!!) so I had to work out the corners as I approached them.  Most all of the squares ended up with 14 patterns per side, but a couple had 15.  That made the stitching together a bit wonky, so I can't emphasize enough to get the counts right on the squares before stitching them together.  Make sure you have the same amount of patterns down each side.

The problem I ran across in the way I did the corners was that when I put the squares together, the end of the row of joined squares looked like it was missing patterns.  It had a rather large U look to before doing a full border around all the squares I had to go in and add a pattern at the end of the joins so that it looked like the squares already had one border around them.  I am going to work on the way to first edge the corners and see if there is a way to put more pattern in the corners, or change the way they are there in order for that empty area not to be there. You can see it in photos 18 and 19.

If this is as clear as mud, I'm sorry!!!!!

I hope these photos are self explanatory. If you have any questions, let me know!

I hope these photos show you what I do.  

Let me know if this makes sense to you.  THANKS!

OH - and please excuse the blatant advertisement for Paula's stitch markers!  I needed a way of showing how many stitches I was skipping and they seem to be the perfect way to do the demonstration. :o)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Although this might not be a new way, and others may have devised it, I accidentally ran across this while looking for a border.  I bordered an afghan in the last post with the stitch.  It is a sc in one stitch away from the corner, ch3, dc in the same stitch, skip 2 stitches, then sc in the next stitch - then ch3, dc in same stitch, sk 2 stitches, sc in next (etc. all the way across...toward the corner you only skip one stitch to work in 3 or 4 of the pattern stitches around the corner).

Well, I took that particular stitch and bordered one of my squares for the afghan for the grandniece (I'm keeping the pastel one!).  Then I started bordering another square and though perhaps it would be cool to put them together, so on the last row I started after the first sc I then did a slip stitch around the chain 3 loop instead of the second ch, then did the last ch and dc into the original sc as before.  I did that across and it became sort of one of those flat braid joins you hear about.  You have to fiddle with the corners a bit if your squares aren't exactly the same size, but LOVE IT!  It does take some time to do, but it looks very girly, and I think for a 10 year old it is perfect!

After all is joined, I'm going to continue the original pattern for the overall border around the whole of the afghan.

What do you think?