Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Orange "Orange" Coasters Crochet Pattern

The Orange "Orange" Coaster
Nope, not a typo.  It is an orange orange coaster!  As I promised a few days ago, here is the pattern for the coasters that I designed.  If you aren't up for trying them yourself, I have them  for sale in my Etsy shop.

This is the first crochet pattern I have ever written.  Please let me know if you find errors or have any questions.  I am not including instructions for the various stitches (in US terms) as I know there are many tutorials available for basic stitches.  Enjoy!

Orange "Orange" Coasters
Materials for 4 Coasters:  
  • Lily Sugar 'n Cream 100% cotton yarn.  I purchased a 14 ounce skein of white as I dyed my coasters.  If you prefer to skip the dying step, I would suggest purchasing 2 skeins of Lily Sugar 'n Cream solids in Hot Orange.
  • Size G crochet hook
  • 1 sheet (9x12) each of orange and green felt
  • matching thread
  • Rit Dye in Tangerine.  I used the powdered dye, but the liquid can also be used.
  • Equipment necessary for dying as stated on the dye package
Abbreviations used in this pattern (US terms):

ch - chain
rnd - round
sc - single crochet
ss - slip stitch
hdc - half double crochet
st - stitch

Round 1:  Make a magic circle.  Ch 1. Crochet 6 sc in the magic circle.  Pull circle together using the end of the yarn.  Not too tight though!  Wait until you have crocheted another round to close the circle.  Join with a ss to the ch 1 from the beginning of the round.  

Round 2:  Ch 1.  2 hdc in each sc from round 1. Join with a ss to the beginning ch 1. - 12 hdc  made.

Round 3:  Ch 1.  *1 hdc in first hdc from rnd 2.  2 hdc in next st.*  Repeat from * to * around.  Join with ss to the beginning ch 1, - 18 hdc made.

Round 4:  Ch 1.  *1 hdc in each of the first 2 hdc from rnd 3.  2 hdc in the next st.*  Repeat from * to  * around.  Join with ss to the beginning ch 1 - 24 hdc made.

Round 5:  Ch 1.  *1 hdc in the first hdc from rnd 4.  2 hdc in the next st.*  Repeat from * to * around.  Join with ss to the beginning ch 1 - 36 hdc made.

Round 6:  Ch 1.  *1 hdc in each of the first 2 hdc from rnd 5.  2 hdc in the next st.*  Repeat from * to * around,  Join with ss to the beginning ch 1 - 48 hdc made.  

Round 7:  Ch 1.  sc in each st from previous row.  Join with ss to beginning ch1.  Fasten off.  Weave in lose ends.

After I completed 8 coasters, I set up my dye bath following the instructions provided on the Rit Dye package.  I only used about half of the dry powder package since this was not going to be a large dye bath.  I dyed mine in a plastic bucket that I have set aside specifically for small dye batches.  Once the coasters are completely dyed and rinse following the manufacturer's instructions, I laid them flat to dry on an old towel.  I did notice some bleeding of the dye so a second rinse may be necessary.  It also prompted the next step.

Felt backing:  Cut a circle of felt for each coaster made.  The felt circle should be slightly smaller than the coaster.  I cut mine about 1/2 inch less in diameter than the coaster.  Using matching thread I slip stitched the felt backing to the back of the coaster.  This will provide extra protection against moisture on a wooden table.  Next I free hand cut 2 leaves for each coaster from the green felt. Basically I cut an oval shape that is tapered on both ends. I slip stitched these to the front of the coaster, stitching the outer edges of the leaves to the coaster where touching and the overlapping edge of the upper leaf to the bottom leaf.  

And there you have it!  These could also be dyed red for pretty fall apples or even tomatoes.  I hope that you enjoy my first crochet pattern and, again, please let me know if you like it or if there are any errors!  

This pattern is for personal use only.  I strive to make my designs simple and unique and appreciate your cooperation.  Thanks!

Happy Crafting and Crocheting!


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Crocheting Craziness!

About six months ago I was fortunate to find a group of ladies here that get together and knit and crochet two nights a week.  I usually keep a knitting or crocheting project on hand but this group made me crazy about it!  Especially crocheting!  I think I like crocheting better, even though I learned to knit as a little girl, because if you make a mistake it doesn't mean you have to go searching for a stitch or drop a stitch or lose count.  I am knitting a tank top right now (that I have had to re-start FOUR times!!!).  It has a lace pattern at the bottom of it and I kept forgetting to either yarn over or knit two together or something because the first three times I either had more stitches or less stitches than I needed.  Then I wised up and added stitch markers so that I can verify my count after each set of 50 stitches.  Made life so much easier!

I titled this post Crocheting Craziness and here I am prattling on about knitting. Watching other ladies crochet and seeing the beautiful things they were making gave me the bug.  Not to mention all of the beautiful yarn that is available in all price ranges.  So I started searching Ravelry and Pinterest and found all kinds of beautiful free patterns.  Then I started modifying the patterns as I became more confident.  Here are some of the goodies that I have made and have listed in my Etsy shop.  I will share patterns for a few of them next week if you would like to try your hand at them!

Sweet little pink clutch.  The flower and leaves are made using embroidery thread.
Another version in spring green.  Each clutch is lined in a coordinating fabric.
And finally the white clutch.
Next I  moved onto coasters....

I love this one!  This is my own design.  I crocheted it using white cotton yarn and then dyed it orange.  I decided to buy white yarn as I have plans to make a number of different fruits and veggies and didn't want a bunch of half-used hanks of yarn lying about.  I used Rit Dye and then backed the coaster with orange felt to give it a bit more substance.  I was very happy that it turned out the way that it did (and that I wrote the pattern down!)

This coaster is an adaptation of a dishcloth pattern that I had in my files.  I got it from one of the ladies in my knitting group and modified it.  I love the way that the yarn stripes!

Hope you enjoy these and stay tuned for a pattern!

Happy Crafting and Crocheting!


Monday, June 8, 2015

Our Garden

I never would have thought that I would enjoy gardening.  Or working outside in the yard.  Or any of that getting my hands dirty kind of stuff.  But while living in Virginia and only renting a house I realized how much I missed it.  So when we moved back to our home in South Carolina, getting into yard work was no longer a big deal for me.  I actually feel like I haven't accomplished anything unless I go outside at least once a day and do something.  Even when it is in the 90's.  Crazy....

We have a beautiful garden this year, thanks to the efforts of my husband George.  He is the true green thumb in the family (although our son runs a close second!)  He is constantly tending to something outside, whether it is our compost, or the yard, or especially the garden.  We planted a lot of things in containers this year.  We have new neighbors and they did a lot landscaping and had a lot of large pots that trees and such had come in.  They graciously let us have them and we have used them for most of our tomato plants, cucumbers, zucchini, spaghetti squash, watermelon, honeydew melon, and peppers.  We even have corn growing in one!  (George likes to experiment!)  

As we live in South Carolina the growing season begins a lot earlier and lasts much longer.  Although I've lived here for over 20 years, I still have a hard time adjusting to the earlier start to the season as in New Hampshire we usually couldn't start planting until Memorial Day.  Since we are able to plant earlier we also start harvesting earlier.  So far I have picked zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, and even a couple of tomatoes.  I've also picked and hung to dry quite a bit of mint as my son loves hot mint tea and I have been adding it fresh to cold green tea.  I'm looking forward to canning tomatoes this year and hope to buy a half bushel of peaches to can.  Our peach tree is still little and not bearing fruit yet. 

Here are a few pictures from the garden I wanted to share with you.  How is your garden growing?

Harvest from Sunday, June 7.  The herbs are mint and chocolate mint.

View of the backyard

Raised bed with zinnias and marigolds.  Those are strawberries in the pot in the front.

Tomato plants in the foreground and cucumber plants in the background.

Happy Crafting and Gardening!


Friday, June 5, 2015

Dreaming of Christmas...already!

This is a felt brooch that I have been working on for a while trying to perfect the design.  I think it would also look cute as a barrette for a little girl.  Who doesn't love Santa?  I had it listed in my Etsy shop last year, but was not happy with it.  So time to re-vamp and re-make!  Enjoy!

Another item I had listed in my Etsy shop was this Santa pot.  I originally found a similar design in a magazine many years ago whose name I cannot recall.  These are a lot of fun to paint and make great Secret Santa gifts.  They could also be filled with little goodies for a cute teacher's gift.  I don't have any listed back in my shop yet (it really is too early to think about Christmas shopping, isn't it?) but I'm going to start working on these soon for my shop and to put in my friend's shop on consignment.

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Grand Opening of Nature Wise Farmacy

This weekend marked the Grand Opening of my friend DeAnna's store, Nature Wise Farmacy.  The store is located here in Florence, SC.  DeAnna opened the store in order to promote and celebrate, as is her slogan, the local artisan.  The store features work from craftsmen and artisans that live in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.  Now, don't go asking me to tell you what the Pee Dee region is.  I've lived here for over 23 years and still am not sure!  I've always considered it the area around Florence, in general.  I'm probably wrong, LOL, but the focus of the store is to give us an opportunity to sell our work.  

So Saturday was the Grand Opening and, being true to South Carolina, it was hot!  As you can tell by the gorgeous picture of me below.  Ignore me...I just wanted to show my display.  We had about 10 consignors from the store set up, along with a bouncy house, cotton candy, and snow cones for the kids.  As many of the consignors are also involved in the local hobby farm association we had our share of chickens too!  Turn out was okay, mainly hindered by the heat, but more than anything it drew attention to the store.  

I currently have paper bead jewelry and crocheted items for sale in the store.  In addition, I will be teaching classes in crocheting, paper bead making, and sharpie tie-dying; this one is for kids.  As the year progresses, I'll be adding Christmas items to the store.  I'll also be re-stocking my Etsy shop with Christmas items.  

If you are ever in Florence, SC travelling on Highway 52 (aka Irby Street) keep an eye out for the store and stop in and say hi!

Happy Crafting!