Yarn and Crochet Projects

One thing I’ve learned over the past year or so of designing is that designers have names. I seriously hadn’t really thought about the person behind the pattern before. I was not the type to buy a pattern because there’s so many free patterns out there, why bother?

I also didn’t buy yarn.

I have bought so much yarn in the past year and a half! It’s a almost embarrassing 😅 but I have learned a lot about yarn weight and material and yardage. And I have decided I do have yarn preferences!

Last night I made my first order from Lion Brand Yarn online. They gave me a bunch of points and a code to share. I don’t know how many loyalty programs I am part of now. This code is supposed to get you $5 off, and I think it gives me a coupon as well. If I had known there were codes I might have asked for someone to give me their code before I ordered.

When my grandma taught me to crochet around age 8, we went to Walmart and she let me pick out a pretty skein of yarn and the appropriate hook. In the next 20+ years I would buy approximately 4 skeins of yarn. That’s it.

I was given scrap yarn from my grandma and her friends. My mom told people she knew that I liked to craft with yarn so they would give me their scraps too. I had quite a stash by the time I met my husband.

A bag I made in high school. No pattern. Pockets on outside and inside. Button closure. All double crochet.

He also knows how to crochet (learned at a young age) so he also had a few bags of yarn when we met. Our yarn stashes mixed together but since we were both in university we didn’t really find time to use the stash. There was no point in buying new yarn.

People still kept giving us yarn – scrap balls, tightly rolled or random skeins of “new” yarn that had been out of production for many years. At one of the houses we rented, the previous tenants bailed on a few months rent and left all their stuff; 2 or 3 giant bags of yarn was added to our growing collection.

I made a pair of mittens one year. My husband crocheted me a bookmark when we were dating. The craft was always there in the background but never really a focus for us.

Then, after a few babies, I picked up my crochet hook again. I needed something to help me focus on more than motherhood. Maybe you don’t understand that concept. That’s ok. I love my children; I was drowning in motherhood.

I challenged myself to learn some new stitches. I learned how to read written patterns. I learned how to use those charts made up of weird symbols. I learned how to properly weave in my ends. I learned how to change colors. I made my first sweater. And then freehanded another. I learned from YouTube and a few magazines. It was a lot of self-determination that I could meet a challenge and succeed and grow.

I learned c2c (corner to corner) and made this blanket for my daughter. I used a random picture/chart I found online. I mostly planned on using up some of the yarn I already had but I did not have any colors suitable for daddy pig. I think this project opened the floodgates for me to start buying yarn.

Mug for size reference

After I finished a blanket for my firsborn I needed to make one for my son. I liked the c2c but wanted to learn another technique, so this one is a single crochet graphgan. When I began this project I was pregnant with my 3rd and I really thought I could get it done before she came. I was wrong.

This patient boy had to wait nearly a year for this blanket to be his! He was pretty excited to see it finished but, just like the Peppa Pig blanket, neither child actually wants to use the blanket I made them.

Also, copyright laws didn’t even occur to me. I have learned a lot about that topic but I still feel unsure and confused about the details and nuances. “Personal use” might apply, I am not sure.

I have not created a blanket specifically for my 3rd child yet. She is 2 already and I have crocheted more in the last year and a half than the last 10 years combined!

Seriously, these photos below are things I have personally made in the last 18 months. They are not in chronological order. Some are things I made with my cool new knitting machine. And although most of my projecs have been of my own patterns there are a few pieces I made from someone else’s pattern. I am kind of astounded seeing it all together like this. No wonder I’ve started buying yarn!

If I hadn’t started designing patterns I think I still would have crocheted a few things but probably not THIS many things! And I can even think of a few things that didn’t make it into these pictures (like Remi’s Buzz Lightyear Sweater and a scarf that will be released soon but I can’t show you quite yet.

You can find a list of my patterns here on my website or you can purchase from Ravelry or Etsy. I appreciate every single purchase and I am in awe that I have repeat customers!

Anyway, what’s the point of all this? Basically I wanted to compile a photo collage for myself and then decided it might be something you are all interested in seeing too. Apparently it is good marketing to show you all that I am a real person. 🤷‍♀️🤣 I promise, I am real.

And that code from Lion Brand made me debate on whether I should share it or not. I decided I needed a long blog entry if I was going to share a code that might get me a discount on yarn. So here it is, my long entry to prove I love yarn and always need more! Hahaha and also I give you permission to buy more too! 😉

Buzz Lightyear Sweater, part 2

I managed to find some time for this project today.

I have the body done.

I pinned the shoulders together and tried it on my wiggly toddler. It seems to fit!

I thought 7 stitches from shoulder towards the neck would be enough but after trying it on him I think 9 will be better. That leaves me 28 stitches from collar, across the back, to the other collar for a hood.

The hood is this deep purple and I think the colors are looking great.

I am going to do a very simple hood. Just 20 rows of hdc and then fold the top in half and sew it up.

The hood is definitely not deep enough as is, but I still need to put that purple border on so it should be ok.

For the front border, I simply started in the bottom corner and put a sc in each row all the way up amd back down. Then, I did 5 rows of hdc and finally, 2 rows of sc. I believe a button would fit through these holes if I ever decided to put some on but the plan is to just leave it open.

Also, a big thing I would change if I did this again: those color changes I carried up the side are NOT being hidden by the loose stitches. 😰😭

The white is definitely visible under the purple border.

Oh well. I am not frogging it. Moving on. The sleeves are next.

If I was making a vest I would be done!

I am using green to make a row of sc around the arm holes. Then I will switch to white but I will try the back loop only trick again. It definitely makes a difference but I’m not 100% sure it is worth the effort yet.

I have 29 green stitches around the arm hole. I joined my white and did 29 sc into the back loops only. Then I joined that round with a slip stitch, ch 1, hdc around. From now on I will use a stitch marker to keep track of my rounds.

I did 7 hdc rounds of 29 stitches. Then I started decreasing. Row 8 had 1 decrease (28 stitches) and then I did 2 more rows. Row 11 had 1 decrease (27 stitches).

At the end of row 12 I did a sc and then a slip stitch and cut and tied off my yarn.

I then joined the green and did 3 rows. I put a decrease in the 3rd row (26 stitches).

Back to white to finish off these sleeves. I did 2 rows at 26 stitches and then a row with a decrease.

I put all my decreases on the underside or back of the sleeves but I don’t pay too much attention to the exact stitch so I am not sure if it was stitch 10 or 15 or whatever of the row.

I did 2 more rows at 25 stitches, then a row with a decrease in it, then a final row with 24 stitches. I finished off the sleeves by doing 2 rows of hdc alternating using the front and back posts. Sort of a false ribbed look.

It is a bit big on him, but I want him to be able to wear it for awhile. We can roll the sleeves up for a year.

If I was completely focused on crocheting I could whip up this sweater in a day or two. But I have little kids and we just listed our house for sale so I think it took me 2 weeks?

It was a nice change from blankets anyway.

Buzz Lightyear Sweater, part 1

My toddler is in LOVE with Buzz Lightyear. You may have already seen the blanket I made him?

I started it one month before having my 3rd child, so it took me nearly a year to finish! But of course, during that year I didn’t get to work on it that often. There was at least a full 3 months where I didn’t even touch it.

It is all single crochet and at one point I think I had 50 bobbins! I used a 4.5 mm hook and worsted weight yarn. It is quite heavy and sort of stiff. I was trying to keep it from being too large but if I did another graphgan I would use a 5 mm hook so the drape is a bit looser.

My cute little boy was really excited to get it, but he won’t sleep with it. 🤷‍♀️ Kids.

I am now attempting to make him a Buzz Lightyear sweater. Maybe he will use this more. His older sister likes her unicorn sweater and and I will have to come up with some fancy sweater for my 3rd child as well.

On a completely unrelated note: I am happy to report the front porch has been renovated and looks much better now

I am writing out my pattern as I make it up. It won’t be a true pattern because I don’t plan on making size options. This is just the one size I am using that will fit my one child right now. I also created a Ravelry project page.

I am using worsted weight yarn. Red Heart Super Saver melon green. Some leftover black from my stash. Red Heart Super Saver medium purple. Not sure what brand this leftover white is.

My main stitch is going to be the hdc (half double crochet) because it gives enough bulk when using a large hook and makes the project quick.

My hook is a 7 mm. It looks like I have about 11 hdc by 8 rows in 4″ as a gauge.

I am starting with green at the bottom, and working my way up.

Foundation hdc 67. Ch 1, turn and hdc in the same spot (counts as the first stitch). I had more problems than usual with keeping my stitch count proper, stitch markers are your friend!

After the foundation row, do another row of hdc with the green, then switch to black for 2 rows.

I am adding these single crochet white rows to represent the bendy part of Buzz’s waist. I am doing the SC in the back loop only and then switching back to black and doing hdc in the front loop only.

I want those unused loops to both be on the “right side” of my work. This is an amigurumi trick to get straight lines and I am not sure it will work the same with my loose gauge but I figured it is worth a try.

I also do the first and last stitch under both loops because I want my project to feel sturdy. In mosaic crochet when you join new yarn you use both loops, so I joined yarn with the same technique.

I then did 2 rows of black, another row of white, 2 rows of black, a row of white, and 2 rows of black. For the color changing rows I always used the loop on the wrong side (sometimes that is the front loop and sometimes it is the back loop).

Turns out I messed up my own made up pattern 🤣 white was supposed to be sc, but the middle row is hdc

I also chose to just drag my yarn up the side instead of cutting it each time. I plan on putting a border on after that will cover the messy edges anyway so I would rather not have ends to weave in.

Ugly edges for now

Now that the waist is done I have cut the black and I am using white again. When you look at Buzz you will notice he has two purple stripes across his front… but the angle makes it complicated. I decided my sweater was going to be a bit more abstract and not an actual image of his costume. Maybe I am being too lazy. I hope it’s good enough.

I have done 3 rows of hdc in white, then one row in dark purple, then 3 more in white. Why did I do just one row of purple? Well I am using the leftover yarn from that Toy Story blanket and this piece of yarn was the perfect length to just do one row.

He knows it is for him

I then switched to green for 3 more rows until I decided the length was sufficient. Now the tricky math part.

I started with 67 hdc, but I will be adding a border along the front opening, so I folded it into an approximate sweater shape and counted the front panel stitches. I did a few rows and measured it on my not-so-cooperative toddler.

With all that very official measuring I decided each front panel will have 15 stitches. And I want them to be at least 7″ tall from the armpit hole to the shoulder based on his other clothes.

Therefore, I did an extra 13 rows of 15 stitches for each front panel and 13 rows of 39 stitches for the back panel. The stitch that had my stitch markers got used for both the front and back panels.

And I like to make the stitches match on the front, so with the first front panel, since my yarn was attached, I started at the outside edge, but with the second front panel I joined my yarn where the stitch marker was because a hdc doesn’t look quite the same on each side and I wanted the front to line up with the front. I also joined my back panel to the stitch marker near the 1st front panel because that makes all the hdc face the same way.

So far, this does not look like what I first envisioned. But it feels nice. Soft and stretchy. And it has worked up pretty quickly.

Technically, it has been 2 days since I started it, but I also managed to get 2 patterns updated to include right- and left-handed instructions for both interlocking and mosaic crochet (Preemie Love and Wild and Free) and I published a new pattern: Speedy Train!

I am going to publish this in two parts because it is quite long with my notes and ramblings and it may take me a few days to get back to this project.