The Ninja Turtle Scarf

I was gone again all last week – sorry about that.  I’ve just been incredibly busy at work, and will continue to be so until Thanksgiving has passed.  Not a bad thing, for sure, since it keeps me out of trouble.  I’ve also been busy at home, and may even have a recipe for you this week.

Since finishing the cat and steak cakes, I’ve been able to pick up my crochet hooks again – I have, in fact, bought a set of Clover hooks, aluminum with padded handles, and I just could not be more pleased with them.  They slide through yarn like a knife through warm butter and are light and easy on my poor old, arthritic hands.  I also have signed up for a yarn subscription service, but more about that later.

At any rate, I’m now in “Christmas present” mode – literally everyone is going to be getting handmade gifts this year.   I’ve found the cutest patterns for pot holders and tea towel toppers and coasters and bookmarks, all which can be made quickly.  I’m making more stuffed toys and am learning how to make hats, because I need one to go with all the winter scarfs I’m churning out.

Like this one, for The G Man:

The Ninja Turtle Scarf

Yes, it’s a scarf made out of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle heads.

The interesting thing about this scarf, besides the fact that it’s at least twice as long as The G Man is tall (oops), was the process of making it.  You see, I started it back at the beginning of summer and had to put it aside because we had G so much, especially over the latter half of the season.  Then I go caught up making other things (to say nothing of the constant weekend canning and preserving), that the few little heads I’d made stayed in their bag with the skeins of yarn, until I finally picked it up again a few days ago.

I was astounded, once I’d begun to work on it again, at how much I’ve improved over just a few months.  My stitches are so much neater and tighter then they were when I first began this scarf that I had to use my largest hook just to keep the gauge the same.  It gives me hope that when I finally do begin to make actual clothes – I have some lovely patterns for stuff that is going to look wonderful on Darling Daughter and Jolly, plus a couple of cardigans earmarked for my own personal use – that I’m actually going to make something that’s, well, wearable.

You can find the free pattern for the scarf here.  I used I Love This Yarn solids in red, navy, orange, grape and jelly bean, joined with burnt pumpkin, and a size J/6.0 mm/4 hook.

Yesterday, Oldest Son asked for a Jayne hat.  Guess I’ll be learning to knit…

Sheldon

Suzanne over at 24 At Heart is getting a Newfoundland puppy in a few weeks, and is asking for name suggestions.  If you think of a name for what will eventually be a huge, furry, black dog, please go drop her a line.

I, unfortunately, couldn’t give her any ideas, because I absolutely SUCK at naming things.  Darling Daughter, on the other hand, is wonderful at it.  When stuck for a name for our latest side of grass-fed beef, it was DD who promptly came up with “Wellington.”

Think about it for a minute.

At any rate, when I decided to try my hand at amigurumi – the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures – I started with a turtle, mainly so I could eventually make a quartet and turn them into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for a certain young man.

Besides, the pattern was unbearably adorable, and I’m a sucker for unbearably adorable.

When I began The Turtle, that was pretty much how I referred to it.  Eventually, though, Beloved asked me what I was going to name it.

“I dunno….George?”

Darling Daughter looked at me with some akin to mild disgust.  “No – SHELDON.”

And Sheldon he became, and because she named him, he now belongs to DD.

Sheldon the Amigurumi Turtle

For those of you who are interested, you can purchase the pattern here.  I used an F/5/3.75mm hook and Bernat Cotton Handicrafter Yarn in Olive for his head, body and limbs, Bernat Cotton Handicrafter Yarn in Cloves for the back of his shell, and Bernat Cotton Sugar ‘n’ Cream Yarn in Ecru for the front of his shell.

Now, if you look at the example that accompanies the actual pattern, you’ll see that Sheldon is not nearly as well-proportioned as the little guy in the picture, but I’m not terribly upset by that.  Sheldon turned out pretty well for a first attempt, especially when you realize I’d never crocheted anything in the round before – all of my previous projects have been limited to afghans and scarves (in other words, squares and rectangles).

I do know one thing, though – I will get better, because I am, pardon the expression, hooked on crocheting unbearably adorable stuffed animals.

Heaven help us when I graduate to clothing…

The Button Infinity Scarf

Say hello to The Incredible Shrinking Girl.

The Incredible Shrinking Girl

Since moving in with us in late April, Darling Daughter has lost about 50 pounds.  It’s amazing what can happen when you simply cut junk out of your diet.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt that she has a pretty physically demanding job (which she loves)

Above is the photo she posted to Facebook last night to show off the infinity scarf I made for her.  You have to admit, the girl knows how to take a selfie.

The photo I took is a little less flattering (it doesn’t help that ALL of her clothes are just hanging on her these days), but you get a better look at the yarn I used (black acrylic interwoven with shiny, metallic threads in different colors):

The Button Infinity Scarf

I haven’t had much time to crochet lately (and I’m not going to have a lot of time until the wedding cakes I’m doing in early October, to say nothing of canning season, have passed), but when Darling Daughter asked for an infinity scarf to wear this winter, how could I turn her down?

For the uninitiated, an infinity scarf is simply a winter scarf crocheted into a big loop – no beginning, no end.  Since I wanted to do a braided scarf, I couldn’t crochet in a big loop; I had to crochet three separate panels, sew them together at one end, braid them, sew them together at the other end, then join the two ends before adding buttons at the seam.

I’d love to give you the pattern for it, but I sort of went off the cuff with this one and while I could write a recipe in my sleep, I have no earthly idea how to write a crochet pattern.

Which doesn’t mean I won’t try.  Because you know how I am.

So… here goes.

Materials:

– 3 skeins Loops and Threads Impeccable Glitter, “Mirror” color

– size H/5.0mm crochet hook

– 3 large, black buttons

tapestry needle

Abbreviations:

ch: chain

sc: single crochet

dc: double crochet

st: stitch

Make 3 panels using the following directions:

Loosely ch 18

Row 1 –  Dc in the 3rd st from hook; dc to the end of the chain (16 dc). Ch 1; turn.

Row 2 – Sc in 1st dc; sc to end of the chain (16 sc). * Ch 1; turn.

Row 3 – Repeat row 2 to *. Ch 3; turn.

Repeat rows (1 – 3) 23 more times for a total 24 rows of (1) dc and (2) sc.  Fasten off yarn and cut.  Weave in loose ends.

Line up the ends of the 3 panels.  Using the tapestry needle and the same yarn the scarf is made of, sew together the panels on one end.  Braid the panels; sew together the other end of the panels.  Bring the ends together and join them, again using the tapestry needle and yarn.

Attach the buttons at the seam.  Fasten off yarn and cut; weave in all loose ends.

Please, all of you serious hookers out there, let me know what I’ve done wrong here – it’s all a learning experience for me!

My Sad, Sad Yarn Addiction

Hello.  My name is Jan and I’m a yarn addict.

The Yarn Stash

See?  And it doesn’t include the tons of scrap yarn, or yarn from works in progress.  I do, however, have plans for almost all of it, although there’s a few skeins I bought just because I liked it.

The folks at the local craft and yarn stores just LOVE me.

In this stash are 3 scarves, 2 hats, a pair of mittens, 2 afghans, a set of amigurimi Ninja Turtles and an amigurimi My Little Pony.  Oh, and however many Christmas ornaments I can make before it’s time to decorate the tree.  All of which you’ll see when they’re done.  If I can manage it, I’ll have the scarf I’m making for Darling Daughter finished this weekend and will post it next week – it’s going to be absolutely beautiful.

I will also have a recipe for lacto-fermented kosher garlic dill pickle spears, too, and will talk a little bit about how to keep a traditional, fermented pickle crisp.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

The Popcorn Ripple Afghan

I haven’t had a whole lot of time to crochet lately, but I managed to make The Young One a winter scarf – there will be a hat to go with it, so I’ll post it when the pair is done – and finish this lovely piece of work.

It’s a gift for someone (I can’t say who just yet) and took quite a long time to make, since I’d put it down from time to time to work on something else.  The pattern itself is pretty easy, but the yarn I chose for it – Caron Simply Soft – is a nightmare to work with.  As a friend of mine said, “It splits if you look at it cross-eyed.”  Indeed it does, and it slips off the hook constantly.  However, it is really soft and the end product, if I do say so myself, is just lovely.

The Popcorn Ripple Afghan

For those who are interested, you can find the free pattern here.  I used a size H/8/5.0 mm hook and Off-White Caron Simply Soft yarn; I do not remember how many skeins, but I bought quite a few and have 3 left over.  I’m thinking I’ll make a baby sweater and matching booties with the remainder (and probably curse like a sailor the entire time).

Between now and Christmas I’m concentrating on scarves, hats and Christmas ornaments, so you’ll probably see quite a few more crochet-related posts in the next few months.  In the meantime, tomorrow or Friday I’ll have a really marvelous late-summer recipe for you.