Simplicity by Choice

Off-Grid Living & Self-Reliance

Learning Corner To Corner Crochet May 17, 2014

Filed under: Crafting,simplicity — ourprairiehome @ 6:41 pm
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Well, I finally took the time to learn a new crochet technique. I was reluctant to do so, but am now so glad that I did. I had joined a crochet group on Facebook and they kept posting pictures of works in progress or items made using the Corner to Corner technique from Red Heart yarn. Well, I am not about to butcher the instructions in my blog. Trust me, it wouldn’t be pretty to anyone trying ot learn the technique. I am definitely doing you a huge favor in that! LOL

What I will share is a couple of things. First, you can get a great tutorial for this technique by going to Red Heart. They have a really nice free afghan project you can download that you make using Corner to Corner. Secondly, I found a great tutorial video by The Crochet Crowd for those who learn better by watching. You can find it on YouTube.

My first project using the technique has been dishcloths. I wanted something simple that wouldn’t be as overwhelming as an afghan. I generally will do this with any new stitch or techniques learned. I make small items until I get more comfortable with it,

One thing that I am very pleased about it how quickly I caught on to the technique. While it may seem confusing at first, the pattern is actually very easy to do. I also loved that the dishcloths took very little time to make. I am now considering making a small blanket using the pattern, possibly a baby blanket to give as a gift.

Learning this new technique is giving me the confidence to try more new patterns. Even though I learned to do basic crocheting nearly 30 years ago, I still am very timid about trying new techniques or patterns. I have a few that I am very comfortable with and have used off and on over the years. Finally, I’ve reached a point in life where the crocheting is very relaxing to me and I am wanting to branch out a bit more in it.

I am already planning out the crocheting needed for next winter. Both Little Miss and I need new shawls and the beds can all use a new blanket. Then, there are the holiday gifts to be made. I am sure that at least a few of the things made will be incorporating corner to corner crochet.

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Spring Cleaning and a Swap February 22, 2014

Filed under: Crafting,gardening,simplicity — ourprairiehome @ 6:06 am
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For the past week, the days were nice enough that I only had the heater set on low at night. In the morning, I turned the heater off.  By mid-day, the front for was open to let the warm breeze in.

I have started the spring cleaning.  I want it done before spring planting commences.  Already, the feed stores are selling onion sets and seed potatoes. Garlic can also be planted.  The time to prepare for garden season is upon us.  Once the last frost has occurred, I won’t have time for spring cleaning.

This season, Little Miss is helping.  I have her working along side of me so that she can learn how to deep clean.  She seems to enjoy it while we are working together much more than when doing a task on her own.  It takes me longer to get the chores done, but we have fun with it.

In the evenings, I am crocheting 10″ square dishcloths for a swap that I joined. We have until early April to get the dishcloths made and mailed to the other participants. I haven’t taken party in a swap like this for quite some time.  I am enjoying it though.  I am making 20 of the dishcloths in total.  I was Lucky in that I already had a bunch of the cotton yarn on hand.

As the winter is approaching its end, I am deciding on the final garden plan.  I am considering the vegetables we ran out of the fastest.  How much should I grow?  Is it more cost effective to buy the tins of certain vegetables instead of growing our own?  Lots to take into account before planting.

 

Learning To Crochet Idea December 10, 2013

Filed under: Crafting,simplicity — ourprairiehome @ 4:07 am
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I have been playing around with trying new stitch patterns trying to decide which one I want to use to make an Infinity Cowl.  I am a very visual person.  I have to see a nice size swatch to get a true feel for how the pattern will look on a finished project.  So, I have been doing something that I find I am quite enjoying.  Instead of doing a small 4″ square as my pattern swatch, I am making a dishcloth.  This not only gives me a better representation of what the stitch pattern will look like, but I have a new dishcloth to use.

I have never written a pattern for crochet before, so please let me know if the directions are not clear.  Unfortunately, I have no picture at this time of the dishcloth.

Cotton Dishcloth

Materials:

Peaches and Cream cotton thread/yarn

Size G crochet hook

Stitches used: HDC, SC

Starting chain of 25 stitches.

Row 1: Chain 2 stitches, turn and HDC in 2nd chain from hook.  Continue crocheting a HDC in each chain stitch.

Row 2:  Chain 1, turn and SC (single crochet) 1 stitch in each stitch across the row.

Repeat row pattern until your work is square.

At this point, you can weave in ends to finish off the dishcloth or add an edging all the way around.

One other option to consider is to save the dishcloths (without an edging) until you have enough to stitch together and make into a baby blanket, tote bag, or some other project.  Sewing/crocheting  2 of these squares stacked together will make a wonderful potholder.

Don’t want to make a dishcloth sized pattern sample? Try making 3″ or 4″ size squares.  Once you have 6 of these, sew/crochet together to form a cube, leaving one edge open.  Fill with polyfil stuffing and close the opening.  Voila!  You have a soft baby toy.  Consider making these in a series of sizes beginning with 2″ squares to make a stacking toy of blocks.

Enjoy!

 

Simple Patchwork Afghan April 29, 2013

Filed under: ramblings,simplicity — ourprairiehome @ 2:21 am
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I found a wonderful link that I wanted to share with you. It is for a patchwork style afghan for the Warm Up America project. Warm up America is a volunteer project where you crochet or knit 7×9 inch blocks. Once made, you use 49 blocks to make an afghan. They are sewn together in a grid pattern of 7 across by 7 down. There is a very nicely done PDF file that gives the exact directions for both crochet and knitting. I am working to make these block over the warm months. It is much easier than working with a large afghan in the hot weather. In autumn, I will start joining the blocks to make quilts.

Enjoy!

 

Super Easy & Quick Crochet Hat Pattern December 30, 2012

Filed under: family,sewing,simplicity — ourprairiehome @ 3:41 am
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I fell in love with this pattern during the holiday. I was looking for a fast & easy pattern to work up for my youngest kids and 2 of my grandsons. Maggie’s Crochet has a wonderful YouTube tutorial of her pattern at http://www.maggiescrochet.com/page.html?id=60

I made the first hat in a couple of hours. It was a very fast and easy project. I love her directions and the size chart provided on the above link. Well worth printing out for later reference.

 

Crochet Blankets – Fast & Easy December 18, 2012

Filed under: old fashioned,simplicity — ourprairiehome @ 6:19 pm
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I mentioned in a previous post that I can crochet a blanket in a week’s time. The actual “pattern” can likely be made faster if you have the extra time and less distractions than I seem to have. I crochet mainly in the evenings after the kids are in bed. So, if I crochet about an hour or two each night, I can have a blanket done in a week.

The size I make is good for my kids’ twin beds. There is no true pattern, per se. I use 2-3 threads at a time, depending on how heavy I want the blanket to be. If using 2 threads, you would need 8 skeins of yarn if buying the typical size. If using the large pound size skeins, I buy 4. I usually end up with part of a skein left over for each thread used, but I end up using it on something else.

I use the larger plastic crochet hook, size P is my favorite. I measure the top of the bed I am making it for. If you want to have it overhang at all, include that measurement. I generally make them about 70 inches long and 46 inches wide.

Using 2 threads at a time, crochet a chain 70 inches long. I am not including number of stitches because your hook size will alter that. Once you reach the desired length, add 2 more chains. Starting in the 2nd stitch from hook, I do a half-double crochet stitch in each chain across the row. At the end, chain 2, then repeat the pattern of a half-double crochet in each stitch across. Continue this pattern until you reach the width you are wanting. I usually and up with about 64 rows. Weave in your ends. To finish it, you can add fringe to the short ends or crochet a pretty edging around the entire blanket.

Doing the half-double crochet for this makes a very heavy blanket. I am currently working on one for my son who always kicks his blankets off at night. I had one of these for him when he used a crib and it was the only blanket he couldn’t easy remove in his sleep. If you are wanting a lighter blanket, simply use a single crochet or double crochet to make the blanket.

That’s it. No real pattern needed for this one, but it does work up really fast. Even a beginner can make this blanket without much trouble. If you look on YouTube, there are many crochet tutorials that demonstrate how to make the various stitches. It is easy to learn and can be quite fun.