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My Story

I’m not sure when exactly it was that I taught myself to crochet. It was sometime between graduating from college and having kids. After two failed attempts to learn earlier, I bought a book, and it made sense. I started crocheting, and I didn’t look back.

I picked up some clearance yarn. Instead of finishing the thousand half-done projects, I started a new one!

I can’t even count the hours I’ve spent with hook in hand trying to finish a gift on a deadline or crocheting fish for a game or learning another new stitch. I crochet in the car to keep from pressing the imaginary brake when my husband’s driving. I crochet and binge watch Netflix. I crochet while schooling my children and while dirty dishes sit in the sink.

I’m starting to think that maybe instead of starting a crochet blog, I should go switch the laundry! But start a blog I will! Because I like to crochet, and I like to write. A match made in heaven.

After two hours, it looks like this!
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Temperature blanket

Temperature Blanket: January

January

I did it! One whole month of temperatures and precipitation have been tracked using my crazy, difficult plan. Each square represents one day. The center circle is either rain, snow, or low temperature. The second is low temperature or high temperature. The outside circle is the high temperature. See this post for the pattern.

What about the gray circle? That’s my month divider! Fortuitously, when I figured out my blanket would be 15 squares by 25 squares, I had ten squares left over–perfect for putting a separation between the months!

This pattern is worked from left to right and bottom up. Like this:

January labeled

My first February square will be above the 18.

I feel like January has had multiple personalities. We have had some very cold weather (see blocks 5 and 6 where the temperature never made it above 10 degrees), and some warm, we-don’t-even-need-jackets days (see day 11 when the high was 63 degrees). It is definitely an interesting, visual way to chart the temperature.

It has snowed a number of days. You can’t tell the difference from the days we got less than an inch and the day we got 18 inches, but that’s ok. I woudn’t want to make the blanket and tracking any more difficult!

It will be interesting to see what February brings. Will this crazy up and down pattern continue? Will we get a long cold snap? Will we have an early spring? My day lilies are starting to come up already, so they are certainly confused.

Who else is doing the temperature blanket? What do your colors look like? I’d love for you to post pictures in the comment section.

Here’s a reminder of what my colors stand for. I’ve used all but five already!

Temperature blanket guage

Crochet Along

And We’re Off…

Two years ago, I participated in the Moogly Crochet-Along (CAL) for the first time. I put my squares together last week from last year, but still have a basket of squares from 2016 to join.

Today was the first day of the MooglyCAL 2018. For two weeks now, people on the Facebook page have been posting their finished 2017 blankets and their color choices for this year’s. It was almost as if everyone was gearing up for a race. And today it was ready, set, go.

The first block was released on her blog page at 10 a.m. Central time. (Yes, the exact time is known and anticipated). With over twelve thousand members in the group, it is fun to see the same squares interpreted differently based on color story. The same exact square can look very different when colors are changed uniquely.

I decided on my color palette a few weeks ago after finding it on Pinterest.

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The yarn is a DK weight, although it is heavier than I am using for the Temperature Blanket, so my squares are coming out to around 9″ blocked instead of 12″. This is perfectly fine with me. I was surprised to find that an H-hook gave me the best tension.

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Here is my first completed square.

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The title of the square is Flower Burst by Jessie At Home! I like how it turned out, and can’t wait to see what the next 23 look like. Too bad I have to wait two weeks for the next square!

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An Unexpected Afghan

A few years back, I bought this book. I fell in love with the afghan featured on the cover. It would not be an easy blanket, but I was determined. It was a blanket made from Tunisian diamonds joining as you go. I tried. I was defeated. I managed a small star and gave up.

That aside, I’ve made a few other excellent blankets from the book.

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Here’s where it comes time for a confession that I hate to make. I was playing a crossword game on Facebook and the videos weren’t working to earn free coins, so I looked at the offers. I could get a lot of coins if I signed up for Ebates (which I totally should have done a long time ago anyway), so I did. I also had to make a purchase and found that I could get a decent amount of cash back ordering from Michaels. I didn’t need yarn, but I looked and was intrigued by a new yarn called Kai by Loops and Threads (Michaels brand).

When I got my yarn, I was blown away. It was SOOO soft. I knew I needed to make a special blanket with it. I went back to my Unexpected Afghans book and found a pattern called Croises Cable Blanket by Annie Modesitt.

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The pattern took a while to learn and I was dropping and adding stitches for a while, but once I got the hang of it, it worked up nicely. The cabling adds a depth and squishiness to the blanket that makes the softness even softer. This was a blanket I didn’t want to get rid of.

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But I did. I had decided to give it to a friend who I knew would love it.

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It took a couple of weeks, but it was definitely worth it.

Temperature blanket

A Chilly January

Day1-8

So far, January has been pretty chilly. See those two completely purple circles? Those are days it didn’t get above 10 degrees, and on January 7, the low was -8! On those days, I didn’t even want to take the dog outside! Interestingly, I think one day will be in the 50s this week.

This unpredictable weather is what makes the Temperature Blanket so interesting. The colors will vary. As the rows stack up, it will get even more colorful and fun.

Here’s a closer look at the squares:

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Dday 5-8

The rows will be 15 squares wide, so I’m about halfway there. I can’t wait to see how it shapes up.

Are you joining me? What does yours look like?

Happy Yarn Mail · Subscription Box

Happy Yarn Mittens

I’ve been subscribing off and on to Happy Yarn Mail for the past eight months. It is exactly what it says.  Happy. Yarn. Mail.

I will say what was good got even better. A month ago, Sewrella announced that the HYM format would change.  Instead of charging $39 plus shipping for the pattern, yarn, and extras, she cut the extras and now the yarn and exclusive pattern come for $19 including shipping. Happier Yarn Mail.

December’s box came with beautiful Lion Brand Landscapes Yarn in the Boardwalk colorway. The pattern: mittens!

I don’t usually make things that have to fit, so I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. All in all, the pattern was very clear and the mittens worked up quickly. 

The finished product turned out super cute!

And they match November’s Prismatic Hat. I missed the scarf box, so I’m working one up to match!

Crochet Along

Crochet-along Blanket

For two years now I have participated in the Moogly Crochet Along (CAL). Every two weeks a new pattern is posted for a 12×12″ block. The patterns are from different designers and introduce us to new stitches and techniques.

I posted a bit about the Moogly CAL last spring. I did not complete the 2017 Moogly CAL, I’m sorry to say, but I did end up with a gorgeous blanket with half the squares.

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I really love the variety these squares give. No two are the same. Color placement is sometimes tricky, but it’s fun. I finally decided to finish this blanket after a friend had a fire in their house. I think they would like something that’s not a generic blanket they could get anywhere. I hope they like it.

For the center square, I decided to use the Sophie’s Garden pattern. It was slightly bigger than twice the other squares, but it came together nicely anyway.

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I used the flat braid join. It’s very forgiving when you don’t have the same number of stitches on each square and is sturdy enough to hold up to the rest of the blanket.

When I asked my husband for advice on a color for the border, he informed me, “I don’t know. Maybe purple? I’m not particularly fond of those colors.” I love them. What do you think? So, that being said, I decided to stick with the beige for a simple shell border.

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Maybe it’s time to put together my 2016 Moogly CAL now. All the squares are done. It’s just sitting in a box…

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I’m undecided for 2018. I love this project. I probably have enough yarn from this year to continue a new one, but my husband doesn’t love the colors, so… I’ve seen people do the squares in a single color. The texture really stands out and looks quite beautiful. Maybe I’ll try that this year.

Temperature blanket

Day 2: Joining the squares

I have made the executive decision to use my artistic license when there is no precipitation. For Day 2, I chose to make the low temperature one circle and the high temperature two. If today is the same color pattern (which I think it will be), I will do two circles of the low temperature and one of the high. Although, it would be totally fine to do two exactly the same right next to each other.

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This is my Day 2 square up to round 4. I crocheted tighter this time, so my square is a little smaller than the first one, but once it is joined, no one will notice. (I hope!)

I told you I would tell you how to join today. You’re going to join as you are crocheting Round 5 using the bumps made by the ch. 3 spaces on the first square.

See the bumps below?

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Next you are going to continue Round 5 on your second square to the corner. The pattern for the square can be found here.

You will ch. 1, 2 SC, ch. 3, 2SC in the corner. SC in the next 5 SC. Ch. 3

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SC in the next 5 SC. 2SC in corner space Ch. 1.

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Find the corresponding ch. 3 space on the first square insert hook into that space. Sl. st. then ch. 1. 2SC in the same corner space of the second square.

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SC in the next 5 SC of the second square. Ch. 1. Find the corresponding middle bump on the first square. Sl. st. into that space and ch. 1. SC in the next 5 SC of the second square.26613256_10213435602957443_1238453578_o

2 SC in corner stitch. Ch. 1. Insert hook into the corresponding corner on the first square and join with a sl. st. Ch. 1. 2 SC in the same corner stitch of the first square. Continue with Round 5 around the rest of the square. Now you’re ready for the next square tomorrow.

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Here is a picture of the squares put together. I decided to attach a marker to the bottom left corner, so that I would always know where square one is! Try weaving ends in as you go. It’ll be so much better at the end.

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Happy crocheting! I will post more on the temperature blanket when I have a week done.

 

Temperature blanket

Tracking the Weather

Well, today is much like yesterday. I saw snow in the air, but weather.com isn’t claiming any, so I won’t either. I found this to be one of the hardest parts of the blanket: tracking the weather.

It’s easy to find what the current weather conditions are and what the forecast is, but it’s harder to find out what yesterday’s weather was.

Growing up, my dad worked for a college in their biology department (limnology actually). One thing the college tracked was the weather. They had a weather station that was checked daily and the findings were sent on to whatever the higher record-keeping organization was. This was something that  had to be done by hand at the station. So, on occasion, we would stop to “do the weather” on the way to church or wherever we happened to be going. All that to say that even in this digital age, I totally get that knowing these things is not immediate. Someone behind the scenes has to do the work first.

I’ve finally found what I was looking for, so I’m going to use the monthly tracker on weather.com. It’s not likely that I’ll be able to crochet the block every single day, so having a record of what I’m looking for is going to be necessary.

weather page monthly

Once you get to weather.com, put your zip code in and go to the monthly view. It will show you past conditions and forecasts.

weather page high low precipitation

When you click on a specific day, it shows you the record of that weather. Yesterday, I saw snow and decided to count it, but there was no accumulation, so it’s not marked here. So the circled information is all I need to keep up with the temperature blanket.

I’m also going to keep the information in a spreadsheet, so that if I feel like doing a week at a time, I can.

Spreadsheet temps

Tomorrow, I will show you how to join the squares as you go. After all, most days won’t we be working on yesterday’s weather?

Patterns · Temperature blanket

Day 1: Temperature Blanket

It’s a new year. It’s a new project: Temperature blanket 2018.

In my previous posts, I’ve outlined how the blanket works. I do a square for each day of the year which corresponds to the high temperature. I decided to make mine a little more complicated.

Day 1

The middle circle is white because we got some snow. I decided to do the day’s low temperature in the next circle. As you can see, it was 1 degree F. The next circle is the day’s high temperature. A whopping 12 degrees! The gray is the background color. The little loops are where the squares will join together (you’ll be able to see that better tomorrow).

Day1 size

My square ended up being just 3″ which is what I was aiming for to make the blanket a manageable size.

Below are the instructions for how I made my square. If you’re still a bit confused, it will make more sense as we go along. You don’t have to make yours as complicated as mine. You can just stick with the high temperature for all 3 rounds.

Here’s a reminder of the colors I’ve chosen in a DK weight.

Temperature blanket guage

Temperature Blanket Pattern:

Round 1: With color A, make a magic circle. Ch. 3 (counts as first DC), 11 DC in ring. Join with sl. st. to the top of ch. 3. (12 stitches)

Round 2: If using a new color, attach with a sl. st. in any stitch. Ch. 3, 1 DC in same st. 2 DC in next stitch and each stitch around. Join with sl. st. to first ch. 3. (24 stitches)

Round 3: If using a new color, attach with sl. st. in any stitch. Ch. 3, (2 DC in next st, 1 DC in next st.) around. Finish with 2 DC in last stitch. Join with sl. st. to first ch. 3. Fasten off. (36 stitches)

Round 4: Attach background color to any stitch with a sl. st. Ch. 3 (counts as first TC), TC in same st. *DC, HDC, 4 SC, HDC, DC in next 8 stitches.*** 3 TC in next stitch** (corner made). Repeat from * to ** twice and from * to *** once. End with one TC in the same st. as starting chain. Join with Sl. st. (44 stitches)

Round 5: Ch. 1. *(2 SC, ch. 3, 2 SC) in same stitch (corner made). SC in next 5 stitches. Ch. 3. SC in next 5 stitches.**  Repeat from * to ** three times. Join with sl. st. to the first SC.

I will show you how to join in the next few posts.