What I worked on 1/9/17- 1/15/17

This week I primarily crocheted, but I got some good lettering practice in as well. Dawn Nicole Designs has some pretty awesome free Lettering Worksheets for any of you interested in checking out.

More progress on this braided headband. I’m still in love with this Irish yarn!

I’m having a lot of fun with these motivational lettering practice sheets! I should practice the basics some more first, but that’s not nearly as fun. I’ve been dating them, though, so that I can compare later and see how much I’ve improved over time (hopefully).

More lettering, and I completed the headband! I’m still working on the pattern. It needs a bit of tweaking to be ready for public view. It turned out well, though, and the braids give it a nice thickness to hopefully keep my ears warm when walking or running. Right as I finished this, our weather decided to jump to 70s all day, in spite of it being Winter. So I will have to test that theory some time later when it is colder again!

I started on a blanket for a friend going through something unimaginable. The pattern is the Waterfall Throw free from Lion Brand yarns. I love this throw. I have made several over the years and they are always well received, they work up quickly, and are super soft and cozy.

More progress on the blanket.

I’ve been focused on getting this blanket complete. I’ve worked at church, at the library, and here at my kids’ hair cut appointments. I’m determined to finish quickly!

Still working. I should be done relatively soon. #createdaily #crochetersofinstagram #crochet

A photo posted by Jessica (@kingjrd) on

I am so close to finishing now!

What I worked on 1/1/17-1/8/17

I’m going to try to follow my friend Misty’s lead and start posting weekly round ups of what I have worked on the previous week. Hopefully this will help me have something tangible to point to when someone asks what I’ve been up to. Most times I freeze up leading the person to assume I sit at home and eat bonbons watching tv. While that may very well be part of my weeks, it’s definitely not the majority. 

This week I just worked on crochet projects. I’m having fun lately riffling through my various stitch dictionaries to see what I can come up with. I’m learning there’s a lot of trial and error with this method, but that’s half the fun. I keep describing it as experimentation, and hopefully in the end at least some of these experiments will turn into actual finished items, with their own new patterns to share. 

I spent a couple of days last week trying to come up with a shawl using some mystery yarn that a friend made up using leftover bits of yarns. These cakes are so much fun and make the most beautiful, colorful projects. 

I’ve been working on a blanket off and on since last Spring. I asked friends and family members to provide a skein of yarn to represent themselves for my birthday in December 2015, and this blanket is the cozy result of that request. I love that there are so many colors and textures throughout. This will definitely be my go-to couch blanket once it’s done. 

I started another section of this mystery yarn shawl. I think I need to start over, though. I’m not happy that the top is curved downward instead of straight, so I think I’ll try adding additional increases at the ends of each row. I haven’t given up on this, yet, but have set it aside for now. 

This weekend I decided to start something new with this Irish yarn gifted to me from a friend. I wanted to try my hand at these loopy braids, and am finding them quite fun! This is intended to be an ear warmer/headband once it is complete. 

I worked on the headband a bit more. I decided to do three braids instead of two and I like that look a bit better. I’m not quite done with this, but it’s definitely getting closer. 

Raspberry Scarf

This weekend I needed a gift for a Dirty Santa party, and thought it’d be a good idea to make something. Handmade gifts always seem to do well at these events.  I had this beautiful thick and thin yarn just sitting in my stash waiting for the perfect project. I started this scarf using a grit stitch, and the finished result with the thick and thin yarn reminded me of raspberries. So, here is what I did for this raspberry scarf. I’m sure it can be adapted to any yarn. The stitch pattern requires a multiple of 2+1 if adapting this to a different finished size or if using a different yarn weight/hook size combination.  

Materials: 

L (8 mm) hook

284 yards bulky weight yarn. I used a discontinued thick and thin yarn (Cascade Yarns Jewel Hand Dyed). 

Chain (ch) 15

Row 1: skip 2 ch (counts as 1 single crochet [sc]), 1 double crochet (dc) into next ch. *skip 1 ch and work (1 sc and 1 dc) into the next ch. Repeat from * to the last 2 ch. Skip 1 ch and 1 sc into last ch. Chain 1 and turn (counts as first single crochet in the next row).  

Row 2: 1 dc into first stitch. *skip 1 dc, work (1 sc and 1 dc)  into next sc. Repeat from * to the last 2 stitches. Skip 1 dc and work 1 sc into the top of the turning chain. Ch 1 and turn. 


Rows 3 and up: Repeat Row 2 until the scarf reaches the desired length. Mine was approximately 60 inches when I was ready to add the border. 

Edging: Once the scarf reaches your desired length you can ch 1 and sc evenly around the whole scarf. Slip stitch and finish off at the first ch 1. This step is optional, but it gives the scarf a more finished edge. 


Fringe: Once the edging is completed, you can add an optional  fringe. For my fringe, I cut 15  9 inch pieces of yarn for each end (30 yarn pieces in total). I attached one piece of yarn per stitch on each end by looping the yarn in half, threading the loop into a stitch on the end, and pulling the free ends through the loop. I illustrated this concept in the photo collage below, and a completed fringe end below that. 


I can’t wait to see your scarves! 

* Disclaimer – y’all, I’ve made this pattern exactly once. I started this pattern on Friday and gifted it by Sunday. For a comparison, I made the ponytail hat three times before I published. If you spot a problem with this pattern, please, let me know. Either comment here or message me on Ravelry. I’ll answer any questions and make any corrections asap! Thanks! 

Ponytail hat – Crochet Pattern

Earlier this week, a couple of different people showed me a photo of a hat with the top open so that a messy bun or ponytail could be worn with the hat. I’m a fairly new runner, and the weather is getting colder, so this seemed like a pretty awesome idea. I poked around Ravelry a bit, but wasn’t seeing what I wanted to do right off. I just wanted a simple double crochet hat, with ribbing at the bottom, just with the first couple of rows open. I started this hat by crocheting around a hair elastic, to give the opening some stretch. It worked perfectly with my pony tail! I don’t have enough hair for a bun, but I think you should be able to stretch the opening over one of those as well. 


Materials: 
Worsted Weight yarn. 

Size 5 mm and 4.5 mm crochet hooks. 

No metal hair elastic. I used the thick, ouchless ones made by Goody (affiliate link). 


Notes: 

For a cleaner look, use the chainless starting double crochet method for each new round. Moogly Blog has an excellent photo and video tutorial.  

I used the measurements from Annie’s Picture Perfect as a guide for sizing the Adult and Teen sizes shown here.  This chart is great for anyone wanting to come up with their own hat designs. For the hat height measurement (crown to bottom of ear), I compensated for the hole in the top by subtracting about an inch from the measurements in the linked chart.  These hats are pretty stretchy, so there is a bit of flexibility in the circumference measurement. 


Adult Woman hat instructions (22″ head circumference) 

Slip stitch (ss) into the hair elastic using the larger hook. 

Slip Stitch into hair elastic
Slip Stitch into hair elastic

Round 1: Double crochet (dc) 30 times around the elastic and join to the top of the first stitch with a ss . (30 dc) 

Round 1
Round 1 Complete

Round 2: 2 dc in the joining stitch. dc in next two stitches. *2 dc in next stitch, dc in next two stitches* repeat around. Join to first dc. (40 dc)

Round 3: 2 dc in the joining stitch. Dc in the next three stitches. *2 dc in next stitch, dc in next three stitches. *repeat around. Join to first dc. (50 dc)

Round 4: 2 dc in the joining stitch. Dc in the next four stitches. *2 dc in next stitch, dc in next four stitches. *repeat around. Join to first dc. (60 dc)

Round 5: 2 dc in the joining stitch. Dc in the next five stitches. *2 dc in next stitch, dc in next five stitches. *repeat around. Join to first dc. (70 dc) circle should be 7-7.5 inch diameter. Adjust number of increase rows to get a 7-7.5″ diameter circle, if needed. 

Round 5 Complete
Round 5 Complete

Rounds 6-10: dc in each stitch around. Join to first dc. (70 dc)

Round 10 Complete
Round 10 Complete

Rounds 11-17: switch to the smaller hook. Make a chain less starting dc in the joining stitch. *Front post dc (Fpdc) in next stitch and Back post dc (bpdc) in the one after that. *Repeat around. Join to first stitch. Once hat reaches 7.5-8″ from the top to bottom, fasten off and weave in ends. 

Round 11 - Chainless dc and first fpdc completed.
Round 11 – Chainless dc and first fpdc completed.
Hat completed.
Hat completed.


Teen hat instructions  (20-21″ head circumference)

Rounds 1-4 same as Adult size. Hat should measure between 6.25-6.75″ diameter. (60 dc at end of round 4). 

Teen hat - end of round 4.
Teen hat – end of round 4.

Rounds 5-10: dc in each stitch around. Join to first dc. (60 dc)

Rounds 11-15: switch to smaller hook. Make a chainless starting dc in the joining stitch stitch. *Fpdc in next stitch, bpdc in the one after that. *Repeat around. Join to first stitch. Once the hat reaches 7-7.5″ from the top to bottom, fasten off and weave in ends. 

Completed Teen Hat
Completed Teen Hat

Pain in the Eye

I’ve been trying to work more activity into my life. It’s difficult. I prefer going to the gym, but carving out time to drive down there, work out, then drive back is near to impossible between work (for me), gymnastics (both girls), soccer (at least two of us, if not all 4), and church (all of us). I have one day a week open where we have no after school activities. So far that one day a week has been spent trying to catch a nap to make it through the week, or running errands that didn’t get done earlier in the week. All that to say, getting to the gym is just not easy right now. Monday night I decided to sneak in a walk in the neighborhood after the girls went to bed. I got outside, and not 3 minutes into my walk, something flew into my eye! After a few seconds of fierce blinking, it didn’t hurt to keep my eye open, so I carried on walking. When I got home, I looked and looked in the mirror and didn’t see anything. A mystery! My eye still stung a bit, but I didn’t give it much more thought. I just figured it was irritated from whatever had flew into it, and hoped that whatever it was, was gone for good. I took my contacts out for good measure, and moved onto the nightly tv watching before bed.

Tuesday morning I get up, and when I look in the mirror – there’s a little spec on lower eyelid! Apparently, the bug made it’s way out. I called the eye doctor to make sure there wasn’t anything else hanging out in there and to make sure I didn’t need antibiotics, or something. My eye checked out ok, outside of some irritation remaining and I was sent on my way with orders to get eye drops and use for the next couple of days.

Later Tuesday, I had to take our cat, Jasmine, to the vet. At her last appointment, the vet was concerned with her eye. We knew her eye looked funny when you looked at it – it kind of reflects light back at you. At her previous appointment, the vet we saw that time didn’t seem too concerned. This year, though, the newer vet was much more concerned. Turns out her lens is no longer attached, and was turned around. The way her lens was situated is causing fluid build up in her eye, which is causing high eye pressure. Yesterday’s appointment was to check that pressure again. You can see here that one eye looks different from the other.

It wasn’t lost on me that we both had our eye pressure checked yesterday. While my check was for something minor, and turned out just fine, hers is a bigger deal. The vet determined yesterday that her pressure is still very high with no improvement in the past four months. She can’t see out of that eye currently, and the pressure is bound to be causing lots of pain, even though she doesn’t show it. Our pets are good at masking when they’re in pain. The recommendation was for her bad eye to be removed. On the surface it seems like it was a tough decision, but knowing she is in pain, and that the painful eye is of no use to her anyway, it just makes sense. She should be her same old self once she’s healed from the surgery. She’ll go in next Tuesday for that procedure.

And hopefully, I can keep all insects and other foreign bodies out of my own eye. A pirate cat in the family is just fine. I’m not sure the pirate look suits me, though.

Does anyone else have any experience with one-eyed cats or dogs? Any funny stories or tips or other anecdotes?