crafty things · crochet

June Temperature blanket

June Temperature blanket

Yep, I just finished June.

That’s how far behind I am. But I’ve done more on the blanket this week than I probably have in the last month because our evening are nice and cool, so having a heavy blanket in my lap at night is nice now instead of torture. So I expect progress to pick back up again.

Don’t know if I will ever go as fast as I did in the beginning, because back then it was small enough for me to bring along wherever I went so I could work more often. Although for right now, my youngest is in an art class for about an hour and a half once a week, and even though I have enough time to go home, I’ve instead been staying in the car with my crochet and an audiobook, and it’s so relaxing I think I’ll keep that routine up at least through the end of their class. I can get several rows done at least on those nights.

In general, I am maybe wishing I’d reversed the use of pink and brown. It’s turning out not to have all that much brown in it and I envisioned more, and the pick is getting a bit much. Looking over the July and August numbers, I think June might be the last we see of green for awhile.

As June marks the halfway point, I decided to measure again. It looks like I’m right around 40 inches, which predicts a finished length of 80. That matches with my prediction back in March, so it’s good to see I’m staying consistent. That’s not counting any border I end up adding, but I think this will end up being a great size for our bed.

And since I’ve only been sharing a month at a time, here at the halfway point seems like a good time to let you see the changes over the whole so far:

Temperature blanket halfway point.
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Christmas Amigurumi 2020 #1

I decided to go back to the traditional route for my Christmas amigurumi this year. The first several years I made these, they were always Pokemon. For Mother’s Day, my sister got me several eeveelution patterns from Shea crochet. Maybe it was the Mother’s Day before last. Honestly, time has become meaningless, hasn’t it?

Anyway, I had been wanting to make them, and now was the perfect opportunity. They all turned out more time consuming and more complex than I had anticipated, or really had time for, but once I get an idea, I have trouble letting it go. So I plowed forward.

For my niece, I made Vaporeon. It was the easiest just because I didn’t have to hide it from my kids, and could work on it openly. It took me a little while to get the eyes and mouth to look the way I wanted. The face is so important to the finial doll. I also feel the side fins on her head are not as tilted up as they should be. It isn’t perfect, but I’m happy with the end result and she got a big hug when she was unwrapped (that I got to watch over Zoom. Thanks pandemic.)

cats · crafty things · crochet · Uncategorized

Tiny Granny Square Afghan for the Cat Couch

Meeko on the Cat couch with the new afghan

I think it maybe could have stood one more row to make it a little longer, but it’s still cute. I never made a granny square before, so it was a fun thing to learn without getting embroiled in a big, time consuming project. The colors don’t show all that great, but you get the idea. I used a D hook ,and the smallest bay yarn I could find in my stash.

Cat Couch with tiny granny square afghan
crafty things · crochet

Hank the Sheep

Hank the sheep made by Kara

My daughter gave me the book: Edward’s Menagerie for Christmas. Every single critter in it is adorable so it was tough to pick a first project, but I settled on Hank. Making the wool was a new technique for me, so that was fun to learn.

Edward's Menagerie Book by Kerry Lord

My Hank looks a little different then the one in the book, but I just used basic acrylic yarn that I had on hand instead of the fancy natural alpaca yarns all the samples in the book are made with. Plus I think I stuffed mine more firmly than recommended. The book mentions stuffing lightly to make the critters softer and floppier. I think less firm stuffing would have also made putting the wool on a little easier. It was difficult at times to get my hook into the body stitches because it was so firm there was nowhere for my hook to fit, and it sometimes pulled a little stuffing back out with it.

crafty things · crochet · quilting

2020 – The Year of Finishing

I was tackling my closet with the Marie Kondo energy and was surprised at how many unfinished craft projects I had in there. I was cleaning it out in preparation of cleaning my sewing table because there is a lot of overlap in what I keep in both places and it makes it hard to find things. Plus the sewing table has become one of those catch all horizontal surfaces in the house where all kinds of bizarre things go to be forgotten.

Some of the projects were started to learn a new skill or technique and maybe don’t need to be completed, but others I was excited to see again. They had been out of sight out of mind, but I would actually like to complete them. I made a list of all the projects I found, and am making it a goal of 2020 to finish at least a few of them. Not every project need to be completed, and I’m sure I’ll have new ones I want to work on as well, so I think a goal of 2 or 3 off my list is a good start. Not to mention some of the quilts are likely to be a good amount of work and asking myself to compete all of them is just setting myself up for failure.

I’m going to go ahead and post my incomplete project list just to make anyone else who tends to start then fizzle out on their projects feel a little better. We are not alone.

  • The cat quilt (this is a quilt with pictures of cats, not necessarily FOR cats) it has a very time intense sawtooth boarder.
  • Sunflower quilt (a medallion quilt I was trying to make as a gift for my mother in law)
  • Doctor Who scarf
  • Christmas square mini quilt. (Found this not really started, but all cut out and ready to go)
  • Baby clothes quilt
  • Green/yellow Jack in the Box bed Quilt
  • Quilt of Valor (plus I think I know who I’d like this to go to so I need to look the rules up)
  • Fantastic Beasts Newt blue coat
  • Soccer Jersey quilt
  • Tessellating triangles mini quilt
  • Pile of clothing that needs repairs
  • T-shirt quilt
  • Small amineko
  • C2C scarf – DONE! Gave to my mother before getting a picture (boo)
  • Crochet sheep – DONE! Pictures coming soon

You might notice I have finished the last two times on my list already. I went ahead and added the projects I was currently working on when I made my list because they were still technically unfinished at that time, and I knew I’d be done soon and would like the boost of being able to check them off.

In the spirit of finishing, I am going to take my Doctor Who scarf with me to my sort-of-monthly crochet and knitting get together this week. At first I was trying to think of what new thing I should start to bring along, then realized, I didn’t need to come up with something new to start. I can finish! (Although I’m a very new knitter and my mom finished off the end of the scarf for me at Halloween so I could wear what I had so far, so I also have to learn how to undo her cast off so I can continue it – well, luckily learning is fun too.)

crafty things · crochet

Cocker Spaniel: Bonus Christmas Amigurumi

Cocker Spaniel amigurumi made by Kara Hartz

I joined in the ornament exchange at work this past December. The co-worker’s name I drew likes crochet, but doesn’t do much of it herself. So I knew I wanted to crochet her ornament. After looking at a lot of patterns for more traditional ornaments, I had the idea to make her a Cocker Spaniel, as she is a big fan of the breed and has one of her own. I used the book Amigurume Pets to make it. This is a lot like the book AmiguruMe (and written by the same person) in that it has different head types, body types, legs, etc. that you combine to make a pet that looks the way you want. There is even a table to help you figure out what pieces to use to make various dog or cat breeds. Unfortunately, a Cocker Spaniel is not in that table. I used most of the recommendations for the Beagle, substituting a docked tail for whatever the Beagle tail was.

The other thing I did was used a more fluffy, kinked type of yarn for the ears and legs to hopefully make it look the way Cocker Spaniels look when they have been nicely groomed. Crocheting the fluffy yarn (I used Lion Brand Homespun in Pearls color) with tight amigurumi stitching took away a lot of the fluffyness but I think the effect still mostly looked good. It was super difficult to crochet tight with that yarn though and I will probably try to avoid using it for tight work again.

Cocker Spaniel amigirumi by Kara Hartz

My co-worker loved it though, so it was all worthwhile.

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AmiguruMe Pets Guinea Pig

Tiny Guinea Pig made by Kara from pattern in AmiguruME Pets by Allison Hoffman

I made this cute little fella in almost one evening. The little mouth was stitched on during a car ride and as such came out a little wonky, but we decided it was still cute and gave them a kinda smirky look. I’ve had the book AmiguruME Pets sitting around for a bit now and decided it was high time to make a little something. To celebrate our newest family member – a guinea piggy named Pumba, I made this.

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Christmas AmiguruMe!

I found this adorable book at the library, and decided that THIS is what I was making the girls for their Christmas amigurumi this year. They were more challenging to make than anything I’d tried before, but a challenge is good, and the instructions were great for the most part. I loved the book so much I think I may have to pick myself up a copy to keep. I have 2 more nieces who I’d like to make as gifts. The author/creator also has a book for making pets that looks fun, and one of cute food. If you’re on Raverly her page is worth a look. So much cuteness! And I found a free pattern there for Sneeches (with and without belly stars!) I think I’m making that next.
Eldest daughter AmiguruMe by Kara Hartz

Youngest daughter AmiguruMe by Kara Hartz

Niece AmiguruMe by Kara Hartz
While I don’t think I’ve ever posted photos of my kids, or my niece – trust me, this is exactly what they look like. Those little sandals and flip flops were the toughest, but turned out so cute!

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What I’m Making

This blog was created to share the things I’m creating.

While trying to come up with a topic for today’s post, I was thinking that I haven’t been making anything that I can share. Then I realized that’s not entirely true, I just don’t have anything super exciting, or much progress made on it.

I’m keeping this list to physical things I’m making. I also realized there are several other things taking up more of my time at the moment, but I’m not going to get into those here. I just want to focus on my creating right now.

Mini scarf crochet

Here what is in the works:

Still working on the Quilt of Valor Mystery Quilt. Hopefully have enough blocks to make it worth a post soon.

I have a short story that I will probably finish the first draft of tonight. It passed the ‘flash’ length, but I will probably still be sharing it here – hopefully Friday.

I’ve been teaching the kids to crochet. My project to use for an example is a little scarf for a plush friend.

The novel is theoretically still in process, but I haven’t really be putting any time in. This needs to change.

I’m writing blog posts for work occasionally. This is both more stressful, and more rewarding than I thought it would be, and I’d like to do more of it – which they have given me the freedom to do, it’s just a matter of my finding time.