I SPY: vintage granny square christmas tree

I just had to make this...

...after I spied this
A vintage granny square Christmas tree.

The dear 93yr. old woman that I take care of had this in her stash of Christmas decorations & when I saw it, I was like 'hey, this is crochet!"

Anything that is crochet
& anything that is vintage & crochet
& then anything that is vintage, crochet & Christmas-y!?...

More than fabulous!
She originally bought the granny square Christmas tree in the '70's -- which you can tell from the scratchy, almost brittle feel of the yarn -- but still ~ I just.loved.it!

So I started thinking that this would be so easy to make.

Because it's just crocheted granny squares ~

...in varying sizes.

Green granny squares with a white edge.

The original tree had 6 granny squares so that's what I made.

From largest to smallest.

And then it's just a simple flip of the bottom edge to form the boughs of the fir tree.

Time to embellish.

I tied the ornaments right through each bough of the tree to attach & keep the tree together.

And crocheted a nice, chunky, brown trunk with just simple rows of dc stitched in the back loop only to give it some texture.

A remake of something  so vintage-y.

And speaking of vintage -- I thought this was soooooo cute & my kids thought it was more than weird -- I also spied this at Ruth's house on the shelf in her bathroom...

Yes.  That is her knitting that she is doing.


dressy towel-topper tutorial

I made one of these dressy towel-toppers last Christmas just by 'winging it' you could say.  No pattern.  Just stitch after stitch.  A little bit of ripping out.  A little bit of head-scratching and I had a dressy towel-topper, but still no pattern.

Well, some of you asked if I could possibly do a pattern for this.  

Oh, golly.  Me & numbers?  Me & strategy?  Not such a good thing.

But here you go (and any mistakes [there may be many] let me know!)

What you need:
size G hook
worsted weight yarn
kitchen towel ( I bought mine at Target)
sewing thread
sewing needle

Each round ends with a slip stitch to close.
Ch 3 at beginning of each round counts as 1st dc

Begin by chaining 28.  Slipstitch to close ring.

Rnd. 1--- Ch 1, work 1 sc in each sc around -- 28 sc. 

Rnd 2--- Ch 3 (counts as 1st dc) 1 dc in same stitch, 1 dc in next sc 
*2 dc in next sc, 1 dc in next sc* repeat * around.  -- 42 dc

Rnd 3---  Ch 3, 1 dc in the next 2 dc, ch 3 
*1 dc in the next 3 dc, ch 3*
repeat * around -- 14 sets of 3dc.  Fasten off.

Rnd 4--- Join new color in ch 3 space, Ch 3, dc2tog, ch 3, dc3tog 
* dc3tog, ch 3, dc3tog* in each 3 chain space
repeat * around

You will have 14 -- dc3tog, ch 3, dc3tog clusters.  Fasten off.

NOTE! This round includes many pics
Rnd 5---Join new color in any ch 3 space.  Ch 3, 1dc, ch 2, 2dc in ch 3 space
*2dc, ch 2, 2dc in next ch 3 space in the next ch 3 space

1 dc between the 3rd dc and 1st dc of next cluster (see pic)

Now you have to pinch your piece together to form the sleeves of the dress.  You will have 4 groups of  2dc, ch 2, 2dc that you will be pinching in your left hand.  Yarn over and slip your hook under both layers of 'sleeve'...
 ...to complete the next dc in that same space as the first dc.*  
Sound confusing?  It might! -- but if you look at it like it's an actual sleeve that you are trying to form --- it looks easier than what you might think.  I hope the next 3 pics can help you see what I am trying to describe.

Rnd 5 continues -- repeat from * 3 more times.

Rnd 6--- Slip stitch to first ch 2 space.  Ch 3, 1 dc, ch 2, 2 dc in chain 2 space
*2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc in each ch 2 space, 1 dc in each dc* that forms the underarm of sleeve (see pic)
Repeat from * to end

Rnd 7--- repeat rnd 6

Rnd 8--- Join new color.  Ch 4 (counts as 1st tr), 5 tr in ch 2 space
*6 tr in each ch 2 space
2 tr in each dc in underarm of sleeve*  Repeat from* to end

Add a hanger:
On the top edge, I added the hanger by sc into 5 stitches of the collar.  

And then just a simple back and forth of sc and ch 1 (turning ch) until you reach the desired length of you hanger.
Optional: I added a blue sc border to the bottom edge.  You may or may not do this --- it's your choice.

I hand-sewed a button to attach to hanger to the front part of the dress.

I'm not sure if there is method to attaching this to a towel, but I do know that I don't like it when the towel is cut in half.  So I used the entire towel and just hand-sewed a gathering stitch right along the center of the towel to create a rouching effect.

I then folded the towel in half and gathered the towel until it was the width as the bottom edge of the towel-topper...

...and hand-sewed the crocheted top to the towel.

And there you have your dressy towel-topper!


square into star

A Christmas star that started out as a square.

Weaving ch-28 loops over and under the sides of the square...oh, I love this pattern!

The pattern is from MAGIC CROCHET magazine October 2002 - Number 140 and designed Hiroko Hanai.

At first, my crochet thread was causing quite a knotted mess (because you are unable to shove the ball of thread thru each corner opening when weaving) but I just let it.

Cause a mess, that is.

Because in the end, after you clip your threads --- voilà! -- the twisted square turns into a beautiful Christmas star.


brown footies

Did you know that you can't find brown footie socks anywhere?  Well, maybe you can & I just shop at the wrong stores.

I have looked & looked & looked for brown footie socks to go with brown shoes & can't find them in any store. 

Black ones.  White ones.  Pink ones.  Polka dots ones.  But never, ever brown.

(And yes, they must be footies because regular socks seem to always fall below my heel in these shoes.) 

So?  What to do?

Find a cool pattern for footies (I found mine here at purlbee) and begin knitting my own pair. 

Now if you had overheard my conversation with my sister a few days ago, you would think me a complete whack-job a bit discontent about this whole knitting thing.

I might have gone off about how hard knitting is -  how I can't knit lace to save my life - how I end up with way too many stitches at the end of the row - how the pattern does not match up with the previous row - how, blah, blah, blah..........

Honestly, I am surprised she just didn't hang up on me.

After sitting around, long after my ranting -- I realized something.  Just because it doesn't come easy, doesn't mean I have to give up.  For some reason, that has always been my mantra (my husband says I do this all.of.the.time.)

So, I am going to fix that. 

And it starts with sticking with the sticks, even when it doesn't make sense or doesn't always end up right.

       yarn: Deborah Norville sock yarn      dpns: Clover Bamboo size 1      sock blockers: KnitPicks 

And it starts right now with these brown footies.