Friday, February 24, 2012

Andy's Maddox

This is for Andy:

When we saw these three kids over the summer, they saw me knitting a Maddox and asked for one.  I am trying to get these done before Memorial Day when we are planning to see them again.

Pattern: Maddox the Mischievous Monster by Rebecca Danger
Yarn: Cascade Yarn 220 Wool in Lime Green
Needles: US Size 5 on 47" Cables

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Paradise Valley (The Daughter's of Caleb Bender #1) - W. Dale Cramer

Summary from GoodReads: An Amish settlement in Ohio has run afoul of a law requiring their children to attend public school. Caleb Bender and his neighbors are arrested for neglect, with the state ordering the children be placed in an institution. Among them are Caleb's teenage daughter, Rachel, and the boy she has her eye on, Jake Weaver. Romance blooms between the two when Rachel helps Jake escape the children's home.

Searching for a place to relocate his family where no such laws apply, Caleb learns there's inexpensive land for sale in Mexico, a place called Paradise Valley. Despite rumors of instability in the wake of the Mexican revolution, the Amish community decides this is their answer. Since it was Caleb's idea, he and his family will be the pioneers. They will send for the others once he's established a foothold and assessed the situation. Caleb's daughters are thrown into turmoil. Rachel doesn't want to leave Jake. Her sister, Emma, who has been courting Levi Mullet, fears her dreams of marriage will be dashed. Miriam has never had a beau and is acutely aware there will be no prospects in Mexico.

Once there, they meet Domingo, a young man and guide who takes a liking to Miriam, something her father would never approve. While Paradise Valley is everything they'd hoped it would be, it isn't long before the bandits start giving them trouble, threatening to upset the fledgling Amish settlement, even putting their lives in danger. Thankfully no one has been harmed so far, anyway.
It is 1922 in Ohio. Caleb Bender and 4 others are arrested for not sending their children to school until they are at least 17. They remained in prison for 6 weeks and was then forced to agree to send them. Against their religion, but to avoid further pursecussion, the children go to English school. They are all unhappy. The on day, Caleb save an advertisement for a large amount of farmable land for sale in Paradise Valley in Mexico. It wa discussed amongst the community but no one wants to be the first to move their family to another country. So Caleb decided to go first.

After arriving, they encountered several bandits and learned to trust a native named Domingo, to help them through this. They had to build their homes, start their fields and set up a new life by themselves. It was challenging, but they managed.

This was a wonderful story about starting over and the strength of family. I am looking forward to reading more about the Bender family and thie adventures in Mexico in the next book, The Captive Heart.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Love, Luck, Leap Monster #2

Here is Caryn's second monster for the love, luck, leap swap with Danger Crafts.  It is Gort the Gym Bag Monster:

Here is another shot of him:

I thought I would include a monster to help her with Weight Watchers and to battle Iris the Gourmet monster!  LOL!  This monster took me a little longer than normal since I was changing colors every 3 rows.  I was tired of making stripes by the time I got to his arms so I made them solid colors!

Pattern: Gort the Gym Bag Monster from The Big Book of Knitted Monsters by Rebecca Danger
Yarn: Cascade Yarn 220 Wool #7818 - Royal Blue and #7815 - Light Blue
Needles: US 5 on 47" Cables

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Love, Luck, Leap Swap Other Gifts

I made Caryn a set of dishcloths to be included in her swap package.  Here they are:

Here is a close up:

Come to find out, Caryn needed some new dishcloths.  I knew I should have made her more!!!

Pattern: HDC Cloth by Theresa L. Jones
Yarn: Peaches N' Creme #W268046 - Billowing Blue
Hook: US H

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Love, Luck, Leap Swap Monster #1

Here is the first monster that I sent to Caryn as part of our love, luck, leap swap with Danger Crafts.  Meet Iris:

Here is Iris guarding the indoor grill:

Since Caryn is doing Weight Watchers, I thought I would send her a monster to cause problems with losing weight.  Since Iris loves food, this monster will be devil on her counter.

Since she chose a love package, I crocheted a small heart and used it as her belly button.

Pattern: Iris the Gourmet Monster from Danger Crafts and Love Hearts by June Gilbank
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tonal - Blue Yonder and Knit Picks Palette Yarn - White
Needles: US 5 on 47" Cables
Hook: US C

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Washboard Dishcloths (or Place Mats)

I found this pattern recently and I decided to make it.  Here it is in solid light blue:

And here it is in billowing blues:

I made the solid blue one first and I thought it was way too big for a dishcloth but a perfect size for a place mat.  So I made another one so I at least have a mis-matched pair.

Pattern: Washboard Dishcloth by Priscilla Hewitt
Yarn: Lily's Sugar N' Cream #00026 - Light Blue & Peaches N' Cream #W268046 - Billowing Blues
Hook: US G (4.00mm)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Granny's Heart Filet Motif Dishcloth in Pink

I came across this pattern in the Dishcloths R Us forum in Ravelry.  It is for February CAL (Crochet-A-Long).  Here it is:

This pattern has a variation to make the the heart open or solid and I wanted to make them solid so it could be seen easier.  This dishcloth is much bigger than I am used to, 10-1/2" squared.  It did woek up rather quickly too!

Pattern: Granny's Heart Filet Motif by Priscilla Hewitt
Yarn: Lily's Sugar N' Cream #18046 - Rose Pink
Hook: US H/4.00 mm

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Morning Glory Tizzy

Here are anothet set of tunisian crochet dishcloths:

Here is a close up:

This pattern is crocheted on the diagonal to practice increasing and decreasing.  It was a simple pattern to make, they just need to blocked to stop the curling in the corners.

Pattern: Tizzy by Beth Graham
Yarn: Bernat Handicraft Cotton #W275722 - Morning Glory
Hook: Tunisian Crochet Hook H on 24" Cables

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Crochet Hook Comparison

Today, I am discussing a few different types of crochet hooks that I have in my collection.

Boye Aluminum Crochet Hooks

These are the ones that my mother always used so these are the ones are learned on.  They are reasonably priced at under $2 each and come in a large variety of sizes.  They are available everywhere from Joann's, Michaels, AC Moore to Wal-Mart.  I have been using these for a while until December when I started getting a cramp in my hand from crocheting too long while making Christmas presents.  I needed to look for alternatives.

Clover Soft Touch

These were the help I needed from my cramping hands.  These hooks feel weird in your hands at first but I got used to them.  I was able to crochet longer without a problem.  These are priced between $6 and $9 each and come in sizes C through J.  These are available in craft stores like Joann's, Michael's and AC Moore and on-line at various knitting websites.

Knitter's Pride Aluminum Hooks

Then I discovered these!!!  OMG, I'm in love!  These also solved the hand cramping like the Clover ones but are not as ackward and feel more natural in my hands.  These sell for $2.99 each and are available at Web's on-line or in Northampton, MA.  These are available in sizes B through J.

After Christmas, I purchased the full set of Clover Soft Touch hooks.  Then I ordered a size 7 crochet hook from Knitter's Pride to give it a try since I did not have that size.  After using it, I needed all of them!  So I sold my Clover ones to someone on Ravelry and bought the whole set of Knitter's Pride hooks at Web's this past Saturday during my recent visit!  I am so glad that I did!  These are amazing and comfortable!