Monday, April 15, 2013

Magic square soap holders

Here are the magic square soap holders I made. The larger one I used a chain of 15 and the smaller one a chain or 10.

Update: Since then, I have made several more and found I like to chain 10 stitches with a size G hook. It makes a soap holder 3 by 4 inches. Which seems small at first glance but they stretch so much when they are wet. If you make them the size the soap is, then they get too floppy when wet.

To make them, I chain 10 stitches and put 1 sc in ea ch across. When I get to the end, I put 3 sc in the last one and turn it around and go down the side I started. (does that make sense?) then when I get to that end, I put 2 sc and then after that when I get to each end I only put 1 sc. It looks like the magic square potholder except you don't overlap the edges together.

I like how they turned out!

I turned them inside out too as I liked the pattern it showed more.

This is my second magic square potholder I made. When I first made it, I finished it too early and it did not come out square looking, which bugged me enough that I ripped out the closure and tried it again. It turns out I needed to put in about five more rounds to give it a straighter appearance. I'm glad I did that as I like it so much better. I know it's "just a potholder" but I want to always be happy with whatever I make.

And now I can cheerfully give it away as a gift without feeling embarrassed! :-)

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Crocheted Soap Savers

I love making soap savers, or as I call them, sudsy sacks. I like the one I've been using for a couple years now but after someone pointed out to me that the small soap pieces were falling out I thought I'd start looking for another pattern to use.

One of the things I tried this week was I used the magic square pot holder pattern to create a soap saver by simply not chaining as much. Instead of folding it over, I left it like a pouch. I'm still working out all the details so until I post up the numbers, here are some other great patterns to try.

These are all free by the way.

Textured Soap Saver
Crochet Spot's absolutely easy soap saver
Fish soap saver

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Crochet magic square pot holder

I made a magic square potholder last week and wanted to show how I sewed the ends together. I had a lot of fun making this and have already thought of several variations to do with this pattern. Stay tuned!

not quite ready just yet

This is what it looks like if you fold it the other way.



ready to sew up.



see how the yarn is going in and out?


completed and ready to go to work!

Crocheted mushroom pouch

Made this crocheted mushroom pouch this afternoon.


It is a wristlet and has a button loop enclosure hidden under the top. 

It was a fun quick project.

The pattern is available for purchase here.


More thoughts on pot scrubbers- learn from my mistakes.

I've been making pot scrubbers for a couple years now and I still learn something new each time I make them. Aren't you glad you don't have to be the one wasting your netting and time and can just learn from my mistakes? lol!

Okay, so here is what I learned. I got some netting from a customer last week and got to cutting my strips. I found the material looking similar in folds to how it is when I get it from the store. I didn't think twice about it. I just cut up 7 strips and got busy making a pot scrubber.

Well, the first thing I noticed after I cut the 7 strips (thank goodness I didn't cut more!) is that the strips were very long. So, I measured them and they were 115 inches long.

Someone commented on my original pot scrubber post asking how long the strips were supposed to be. At the time, I thought it depending on the yardage you bought. Now, I know better.

The length of each strip will be the width of the material that you get. So, if you like me buy your netting from Walmart your strip length will be 72 inches long. I do not know how wide the netting is from places like Hobby Lobby or Joann's.

I found that scrubbers crochet up best using the original pot scrubber pattern if the strips are 72 inches long.

Since I had already cut the strips out with the 115 inch length, I went ahead and crocheted it up. The second thing I noticed is that these longer strips were creating a shiny scrubber similar to when I did this. I do not care for the shiny looking ones especially not with the original pattern because the strips don't seem to hold together as well. I worry they might slip out since the holes are larger.

As I crocheted the first strip up I noticed it was about as wide in diameter when I use the 72 inch length strips. So, at first I thought, well, I'll just use 6 strips instead of 7 but then the scrubber was looking too tiny, so I went ahead and used two strips. The end result? The scrubber came out floppy and at 5 inches in diameter!!! Much too large for my liking.

So, after many attempts at folding and unfolding the material trying to figure out which way the netting was supposed to go, I got the bright idea to look at one of my previous strips that I had cut from the Walmart netting. I never noticed this before, but the design of the netting faces a certain way:


Can you see this? The points to the hexagon shaped netting faces across. The first strips I cut they were pointing up and down. When I cut the second batch across, it measured about 60 inches long. Too short for my liking but the netting wasn't shiny looking and it turned out the way I like it though a bit smaller.

I just had to know how large to make each section so that it ended up the right size.

The first two strips will make a diameter of about 2 1/4 inches. Then, the next four strips will make a diameter of about 3 1/4 inches. If you follow these measurements you can use netting that comes on a roll, or in whatever width you want, though I like just buying the netting by the yard that is 72 inches wide.

The scrubber came out just 1/4 inch smaller than my previous ones, but they look the same. :-)





Monday, April 8, 2013

Quick way to make a lot of pot scrubbers FAST!

I don't know that it's actually faster to do it this way but I made close to three dozen this weekend.

Here's how I did it:

Cut my strips and set them into three piles. First pile: Two strips. Second pile: Four strips. Third pile: One strip.

I make sure not to have more than one of the same color to avoid confusion. :P

Then, I grab my first color to work with and do the first two strips (2 sc around). I make up all the scrubbers in the different colors- just doing the first two strips. Then, when I have all the pieces done with the first two strips- I move to the next pile. The four strip category. I crochet them up one color at a time. (1 sc around) Then when I'm done, all I've got left to do is one strip on each scrubber. I did that this morning and got 10 made up in a few hours. It usually takes me an evening to make 6.

I think it goes faster because I'm not having to worry about which part goes next. And separating them into the piles keeps the confusion down which makes me very happy.

And if after you try this, you decide you'd just rather not make them yourself, contact me and I will make them for you!

My piles. I had already started the first two strips when I took this picture.

 Completed the first two strips on each of these. 


Completed the four strips on the black, green, purple and red. The white and yellow have two strips done on them as I started more.

And done!


Friday, April 5, 2013

Nourishing Chicken soup


I've been making my favorite comfort soup the last month. I've been craving it and it's so yummy and nourishing to me. I can feel a difference when I eat it.

I love my new bowls that I got awhile back. The cheery pattern brightens my days. It came as a set with salad plates and dinner plates too. I bought some matching mugs to go with it. It's funny because when we first started looking for some plates that we liked, neither of us liked that design at all. Then when the time came to buy some, we both saw it with new eyes and fell in love with them. Now I can't imagine using anything else. 

To make the soup, I add a couple of drumsticks or chicken thighs, (anything with bones) and add enough water to cover. I boil it and then simmer it until the meat falls off the bones. I like to add plenty of pepper, two whole cloves and a dash of salt. While it's simmering, I gather up any vegetables that I have on hand. In this case, it was chopped celery, onions and grated carrots. Chunks of fresh ginger are nice too, especially if I have a cold. Then, I keep simmering it until the veggies are done. Halfway through I add in a couple tablespoons of brown or white rice. Cook until the rice is done. Top with green onions (if I have them). Strain out the cloves. A couple dashes of fish sauce to taste. I like to add 1/4 teaspoon of curry powder to it as well. This reminds me of a soup I had as a child for breakfast in Thailand.

It's a great dish to have any time of the day!

Mmmm! My favorite thing to have for lunch lately. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New winners for drawing of Organic cloth.

Due to lack of response from the last winner of the drawing that I had last month, I drew a new name. Then, I drew a second name for the cloth that was left.

Congratulations to

Maria Welch for the hummingbird cloth. Please contact me to claim your prize.
and
Constance Gilbert for the round scalloped cloth.

I plan to have more drawings in the future, so stay tuned!

Deadline for contact is 4/15/2013.

Update- Due to lack of response from Maria Welch. I drew a new name for the Hummingbird cloth.
If anyone has suggestions on how to make future contests go smoother, please let me know!

The winner is:


That hummingbird with trumpet flower is so detailed - I'd love that one. ♥





Old Shale Scarf and fabric

I bought some yarn this week but could not bring myself to start another project until I finished at least one of my current WIP's. So, ...