Halloween is right around the corner!  So it’s time to start with props.  I started with a prop of Book from Hocus Pocus.  I used the following blog post from 102 Wicked Things to Do as a launching point to create my book.  I found it on Pinterest.


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In the Round

My first experience doing motifs with joins in the round was last summer when I made the Dancing Daisy Crochet-A-Long.  When I was at the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival I bought a crochet kit from Stunning String Studio.  The kit was the Floating Wrap pattern by Robyn Chachula, one of my favorite teachers at the festival.  It came with three skeins of Luxury in Storm Cloud by Stunning String Studio.  I ended up purchasing an extra skein because the pattern said that three would make a medium and four would be needed for a large.  I didn’t wan to run out of yarn at the end, so I just bought an extra to make sure I had enough.


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Fisherman Afghan

While my grandmother always made Granny Square afghans, my mom always gravitated to the Fisherman Afghans.  I also see them referred to as Aran afghans,  I’m not sure if they are the same thing or if there is a difference between the two, but they both look the same to me.  Aran afghans seem to be in the style of Aran sweaters from the Aran Islands.

Anyway, I’ve been seeing this style of afghan showing up in my crochet groups recently, my knitting group too.  This type of afghan seems to be gaining some popularity lately, so keep your eyes peeled if you like to keep up with the crafting trends.  I tried to do a little research and haven’t been able to find anything out about this style of afghan.  I can’t find it’s history or whether it is the same as the Aran afghan.  All I know about this style is that it has different types of stitches in long columns.  Popular stitches I’ve seen include popcorn stitch, cables, and lattice stitch.

My mom made this afghan by modifying off a pattern in the book Vanna’s Favorite Crochet Gifts.  She made a couple of them and gifted them to some friends.  She jotted her pattern down and when she shares it with my I’ll post it for anyone that may be interested.  


Filet Squares Baby Blanket Pattern

I wanted to design and make my own baby blanket, but I’m still pretty new to designing my own patterns.  I searched through my “The Crochet Stitch Bible” and looked for a stitch to make the base of my blanket.  I ended up selecting the filet squares stitch.  I like the simple look of the stitch and there is not a lot of lace for tiny fingers and toes to get struck in, but enough small holes to add some venting for a summer blanket.  If you pick up The Crochet Stitch Bible it includes the charts as well as the written pattern for the filet squares stitch.


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Baby Washcloths

I decided to add a few baby washcloths to my baby gift basket.  I bought some cotton yarn (20 Skein La Mia Mini Cottony 100% Turkish Cotton Baby Yarn) for the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival to use in classes. It gave me a variety of similar yarn in different colors to work with. The yarn itself is nice, but not the easiest to work with. It splits and isn’t twisted tight, so there are some limitations on the stitches you can do with it since it snags easily on the crochet hooks.


Ripple Stitch, Leaf Stitch, Half Double Crochet, Tunisian Simple Stitch, and Spiral

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Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival 2019 Loot

Every time, I tell myself I’m not going to spend too much.  Then I end up spending too much.  I think partly I feel guilty, like I should buy from everyone, which is ridiculous.  And no, I don’t buy from everyone, but I do buy stuff from people I like and I buy stuff that I just have to have.  So this year at the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival I came home with a bunch of stuff.


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Happy Birthday, Mom!

It’s mom’s birthday and we are spending it at the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival. Her birthday present this year, from me, was three classes!

This morning, or afternoon really, was the Next Steps in Tunisian Crochet class by Robyn Chachula. This is the class I was cramming for, trying to learn Tunisian Crochet. The class was jammed packed with new stuff. Perhaps I would have picked it up faster if I had actually spent more time getting familiar with Tunisian crochet. But we learned the knit stitch, pearl stitch, a slip stitch foundation row, twisted stitch, reverse stitch, and spike stitch. my swatch looks like a hot mess.


Looks like a hot mess

Starting to change colors, but still looks messy.

I like the spike stitches.

Then we learned how to do increases and decreases with a chevron pattern. She also had multiple ways to do increases and decreases in her write up, but I just stuck with the basics. I feel like I completely got my money’s worth here and I’d better spend more time with Tunisian so I can remember everything I learned.

Many mistakes, but the chevron isn’t so bad.

We spent maybe an hour on the floor, then we went to our Hairpin Lace class with Laura Regan. Mom and I were ready for our second class of the day! About 5 mins into the class my husband texted me that he couldn’t find his car keys. Oopies! I grabbed his keys this morning when I left the house. I had to leave the class and go run and meet him at his appointment, that he had to Uber to, and drive him home afterwards. Ugh. I missed the class and some good quality time with mom because I was absent minded this morning.

Mom and me, ready for class

Ready to learn hairpin lace, shame I had to leave.

I hope I’ll be back tonight in plenty of time for the block party. And mom needs to teach me hairpin lace now. (Do you ever just want to bonk yourself on your head? Yeah, me too.). Looking forward to the rest of the weekend.

Tunisian Crochet

So I finally learned how to Tunisian crochet.  Well at least the simple stitch.  I wanted to take the beginner class at last year’s Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival, but the class sold out before I could register.  This year they are not offering a beginner class.  The class is Next Steps in Tunisian Crochet with my favorite instructor, Robyn Chachula.  I have to take this class!


Well, the festival this year is also the same weekend as my mom’s birthday and she wanted to join me this year.  For her birthday present I registered us for three classes.  I convinced her that we should take this class and that we could learn the basics on our own.  lol  The class instructions say that students should know how to chain, single crochet and Tunisian simple stitch.  Well we already know how to chain and single crochet, so how hard can it be to learn simple stitch?  Not so hard actually.

For my birthday my mom bought me this awesome Tunisian crochet hook set.  I already had some basic metal ones, but I like short hooks, so I thought the ones with cords would be better for me.  She also bought me a book that I put on my wish list, Tunisian Crochet from Absolute Beginner to Advanced.  Well, the book started out ok for the foundation row forward pass and return pass, but when it got to the simple stitch instructions there wasn’t enough detail for me to figure out what to do.  There was one picture and I couldn’t figure out where to put the hook?

Well I searched for Tunisian crochet how-tos  online and found a great blog post from Jo-Creates, and hey, I follow her blog too so that worked out well!  I spent one afternoon following her instructions and I was able to make this little swatch.  Not too bad for a quick cram session.  I missed a stitch on one row and realized at one point that my stitch count went down.  I did not go back and fix it; I still need to figure out how to fix mistakes.  So, my class is next Friday and maybe I’ll practice one more time before the class.  Maybe I’ll make a washcloth or something simple.

Anyway, the moral of the story is, Tunisian Crochet is not that hard.  Don’t be intimidated by it.  And if you want to learn, check out Jo-Creates tutorial, Ever Fancied Learning Tunisian Crochet.  The tutorial had the right amount of detail and step my step pictures, which is perfect for me.  Try it!