Project Fall Square Exchange

Life has been all sorts of crazy around here. Our move has been postponed a couple of times because we’ve been waiting on paperwork, and we have been working on prettying up the house to sell. The nice thing is that my small business has slowed down a bit too. Five dozen moose hats, Creepers and Yodas really took a number out of me this past winter. That is not including amigurumi and other custom requests. I took a few weeks off from touching the hook so I could focus more on packing, painting, and supervising. With two weeks to go, I am ready to go and starting to feel anxious/excited!

Insert fall square exchange. My friend Kimberlie from Shop Kimberlie extended the invitation to her seasonal exchange group. I’ve been invited before a few times, but the thought of working so many squares has always seemed really daunting to me. Until now. The goal. 40 squares by the end of October. Totally doable.

I originally planned to create my own, and I did come up with something. But, it’s just not exactly what I want. So, I started searching, and stumbled on a cute flower square. It’s a freebie from So Far, So Good and it is called the Walled Garden Square. It is simple and cute! I have finished five complete squares and have the pattern memorized, which makes the task a mindless activity I can work on while watching tv.

Walled Garden Square | From Home Crochet

Walled Garden Square

 

I strayed slightly from the pattern. I am a BIG yanker, so I sized my hook right up to J (6.0 mm) and I needed to make it bigger, so I added one extra round to make it measure 8″. I chose Impeccable Teal and Aran for my colours. The texture of this design is amazing and once blocked, this square will look fantastic!

Walled Garden Square |From Home Crochet

Amazing Texture

 

35 squares to go!

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10,000 FAN Giveaway!

Michelle Warwick:

Fantastic Giveaway at Pattern Paradise! Get your entries in!

Originally posted on Pattern Paradise:

10K fan poster.jpg

I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself! I’ve reached 10,000 Facebook Fans and I want to celebrate with YOU, the FAN-tastic Fans!

Join me for a fabulous giveaway which will run from June 29th – July 4th, winners will be announced on July 5th!

Check out all the fabulous prizes below and the AMAZING Grand Prize too!

Just head on over to the bottom of this post to see the super, duper Grand Prize and complete the Rafflecopter entry form for a chance to win!

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Here is the collection of  great prizes by some fabulous vendors. Aren’t they amazing? Please click on the pictures to visit and support this generous group of vendors.

a crocheted simplicity      from home crochet

Ashley designs corner      BowtykesHodgePodge6000

BrandyLynn Creations      Charmed By Ewe Prize

Creative Hats & More Emmaslouchy     Crochet by Jennifer

oneandtwocompany_ad_giveaways     Country Willow

Danyel Pink Designs     Dolls collage graphic Gourmet Crochet

Granmma Beans Handmade gifts     Hannahs Homestead

Kaleidescope Art n Gifts CCB eBook photoCOLLAGE.jpg    Revee K

wendy     sick lil monkeys

The Fine Lime      yarn medleys from the heart 

  lynscrafts_bcy  sugar spun yarn

sick lil monkeys hook          yarn baby

Allie Cats Hats     …

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May The Fourth Be With You Giveaway!

I love a good giveaway! I also love to make Yoda beanies and ami! So, why not have a giveaway celebrating both things? Just in time for “Star Wars Day” too!

One winner will receive their choice of a Yoda Amigurumi OR a Yoda Beanie (any size) Shipping is FREE! How awesome is that?

May The Fourth Be With You| From Home Crochet

Here are the prizes! Draw Date is May 4th, 2014 and you can enter here: http://tinyurl.com/mssuccw

Giveaway ends at 8pm EST on May 4th, 2014! To enter, http://tinyurl.com/mssuccw. Winner will have 24 hours to claim before a new one is chosen, so check back! And, finally, would you choose the ami or beanie if you won?

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Sunflowers Crochet Pattern

I was playing around with some yarn yesterday trying to come up with a beautiful piece of yarny goodness to share with you all, and when I made two rows of a plain circle it hit me. Sunflowers!

I know it’s not season appropriate, but, when I get an idea, I must GET. IT. OUT. NOW! Seriously, I have no patience, and I was worried Mom Brain would tuck it away in some cobweb covered file somewhere in the back of my brain to never be seen again. Ask any mother… that happens.

Anyway, back to the task at hand… I grabbed two skeins of Vanna’s Choice; one chocolate and one mustard and set to work putting my new thought to work. I had a Bates K in my hand, but this is really something you can make with any size hook. It is also a 15 minute project, although, that could be extended to half an hour if you kids. I see you moms nodding along…

Sunflower Crochet Pattern | From Home Crochet

Sunflowers

The Sunflower

You can save this pattern as a PDF file by picking it up in my Ravelry store, http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sunflower-crochet-pattern

Stitches and Terms

  • MC – Magic Circle
  • SC – Single Crochet
  • DC – Double Crochet
  • SKST – Skip Stitch
  • SS – Slip Stitch

This pattern is made using a picot stitch. To simplify it, I have written out the steps to complete it in the pattern. If you look to the end of the pattern, I have posted photos to help you along if you are confused. The third round is not completed in the back loop. It is worked in the 3rd loop. I have also included photos of this for those unfamiliar with it.

Round One: With brown, make a mc. Ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc x 11. Join with a ss to ch 3. (12 dc)
Round Two: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in same spot as ch 3, 2dc in each st around. Join with a ss to ch 3. (24 dc)
Round Three: (switch to gold and ss into the 3rd loop of the next st) Ch 1 (counts as first sc), dc in same st, ch 3, ss into 3rd ch from hook (picot), dc in same st, sc in same st. *Skst, sc in next, dc in same, ch 3, ss into 3rd ch from hook (picot), dc in same st, sc in same st.* Repeat * * around. Join with a ss to 1st ch. Fasten off, weave in ends. (12 petals made)

 

Photos:

Sunflowers Crochet Pattern | From Home Crochet

Working in the 3rd loop: If you look in the back of your work, right below your back loop, you can see a small loop that runs right across your stitch. This is your third loop. All of your stitches will work into this loop.

 

Sunflowers Crochet Pattern | From Home Crochet

The Picot Stitch: When you have finished your first dc, ch 3. In the 3rd ch from hook (the 1st ch in this sequence), you will ss. The last photo shows what your completed picot will look like.

 I had an epiphany this morning! This pattern can also be used to make a sun applique!

Sunflower Crochet Pattern | From Home Crochet

Sunshine: we can use a little of that in these parts

I would love to see how your sunflowers turn out! Share them with me on my Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/fromhomecrochet

Sunflower Crochet Pattern | From Home Crochet

Stack of completed sunflowers ranging in size. I used a G, H and K hook to make these.

Happy Hooking!

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Making Laundry Soap

If you’re anything like me, you like to save money… so that you can buy the most AMAZING new bag from Shaggy Baggy! Okay, that wasn’t why I make my own laundry soap, but I do like that I can make a batch that lasts me for 6-8 months (or more) and only costs me about $25. It works great, smells clean and most importantly, is HE friendly for my front load washer!

 The materials are pretty simple and can be found at your grocery store. The recipe I use came from a pin I had stumbled on by How Does She? about a year and a half ago (maybe slightly more), and this is my third batch of soap since then. What you need:

1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax

1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean

2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap (I used Fels Naptha)

1 (4 lb) Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

1-2 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener

Grater

Large container for storage

Making Laudry Soap | From Home Crochet

All you need to do is open up the boxes and containers, and start dumping. It was nice to have a toddler who really wanted to help me. While she did the dumping, I was able to get started on grating the soap.

Making Laudry Soap | From Home Crochet

I grated two bars of Fels Naptha for this batch.

Making Laudry Soap | From Home Crochet

Once everything was in the container, I got a big spoon and stirred it all together. Grumpers wanted to help, so this was a bit of a chore making sure it all stayed in the container, so pictures of this process did not happen. ;)

Making Laudry Soap | From Home Crochet

I took one of the Purex bottles, removed the label, and poured some of our laundry soap into it to store a small portion of our batch for easier use. I have the big tub sitting on top of our stacked washer/dryer duo, so this makes my life slightly easier come laundry day. Plus, the little cup on top is great for measuring. You only need about a tablespoon of soap per load. This soap is HE friendly, and I have used it in my machine without issue for over a year and a half. There is never a mildewy smell from our machine anymore, and as I said previously, you cannot go wrong with the price, which leaves you more money for other “necessities”.

Making Laudry Soap | From Home CrochetSee? Laundry can be fun. ;)

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Laundry DIY: Making Dryer Balls

Laundry DIY: Making Dryer Balls | From Home Crochet

I’ve been dying to try making my own dryer balls, and after stumbling on some skeins of wool at Michael’s discounted to $1.99, I knew they were my destiny. < Tres corny, I know!

Laundry DIY: Making Dryer Balls | From Home Crochet

I used this Martha Stewart Crafts Roving Wool, which is 100% wool. I wasn’t sure if this wool would work, but I knew it HAD to be 100% to do this project and given the price of wool, I decided I would give it a go.

Laundry DIY: Making Dryer Balls | From Home Crochet

The first thing I did, was wrap it around two fingers about 8-10 times to give me a base. Then, I carefully took it off, and began to wrap the wool around the base, making a little bow shape.

Laundry DIY: Making Dryer Balls | From Home Crochet

Keep wrapping it around and around itself, changing directions to keep a round shape. When you’ve reached the size you’d like, it will look something like this.

Laundry DIY: Making Dryer Balls | From Home Crochet

Cut your yarn leaving a little string. Using a crochet hook, I pull the end string under a couple of layers to fasten it off. Cut off any excess string as close to the ball as possible. The end result is this.

Laundry DIY: Making Dryer Balls | From Home Crochet

Now, you need a pair of tights or pantyhose to “felt” them. I used a pair of Grumpers tights and stuffed the balls into the legs. I tied a piece of ACRYLIC yarn in a knot in between each ball. Using acrylic is important because if you used wool, it will also felt around your pantyhose. I did not take a photo of the stuffing process, because I did them last night and I am not allowed to use the tights today for a photo. (Go toddler!) But, I think you can picture tights, stuffed with wool balls each with a tie off in between them to keep them secure.

Throw them in a wash cycle of very HOT water with a COLD rinse. I washed mine in a load of bath towels. When your cycle is finished, throw them in the dryer, again on a hot setting. When your towels are dry, take them out and cut the ties. Open up the tights/pantyhose and pull out your wool balls. They will look like this.

Laundry DIY: Making Dryer Balls | From Home Crochet

I have read that sometimes you may need to put your balls through another cycle or two to get a nice felt. You will know they have felted properly because if you run your fingernail lightly across a strand on the ball, it won’t move. Mine seemed to look okay, so I just tossed them in with my next load, and they worked great! The more of them you use, the quicker your loads of laundry dry. I have four that have gone through the wash/dry stage, and I made some more up today that I intend to felt the next laundry day.

Have you made your own dryer balls? How did they work for you?

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How to ‘DYE’ Acrylic Yarn

Michelle Warwick:

My fabulous friend Tanya from HodgePodge Crochet has shared a secret she learned from another fabulous lady! Check it out!!!

Originally posted on HodgePodge Crochet:

A few nights ago I went to check out my FAVORITE YouTuber, The Frugal Crafter. (Seriously, she’s amazing so I’ll wait while you go check her out and subscribe!)

One of her latest tutorials was on how to dye acrylic yarn!! Okay…I’ll admit; I was skeptical. But she’s SO convincing and charismatic and so gosh darn infectious with her energy that I knew I needed to try it on my own to see if it was indeed true!

And guess what you guys… IT IS!!

http://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ How to 'DYE' Acrylic Yarn

Actually, the term ‘DYE’ is misleading (because you are literally painting your yarn) but the process is the same and the results are nothing short of spectacular.

There are a couple of tips I’d like to tack onto her tutorial if you are thinking about doing this on your own so here we go!

The first thing you need is yarn. Think LIGHT…

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